I believe in the resurrection of the flesh – Norman Geisler

Copyright 1994 by the Christian Research Institute.
This data file is the sole property of the Christian Research
Institute.  It may not be altered or edited in any way.  It may
be reproduced only in its entirety for circulation as "freeware,"
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Research Institute").  This data file may not be used without the
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enhancement of any other product sold.  This includes all of its
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exceed more than 500 words.

If you desire to reproduce less than 500 words of this data file
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"I Believe...in the Resurrection of the Flesh" (an article from the
Christian Research Journal, Summer 1989, page 20) by Norman L.
   The Editor-in-Chief of the Christian Research Journal is Elliot


    Down through the centuries orthodox Christians have always
confessed with the Apostles' Creed: "I believe...in the
resurrection of the flesh." This affirmation of faith in the
_believer's_ resurrection is grounded in faith in _Christ's_
resurrection. A major purpose of the latter resurrection was to
make possible the former; thus they are both of the _same nature_
(2 Cor. 4:14; 1 Cor. 15:20-23, 48; Phil. 3:21). The two doctrines
are therefore interdependent, and will be treated as one doctrine
in this article.

    In spite of the historic church's unwavering belief in the
resurrection of the flesh, there are those today who call
themselves "orthodox" but do not adhere to the doctrine. In the
past, those who deviated from this venerable truth of apostolic
Christianity did so by denying the _reality_ of the resurrection.
Today, some veer from course by denying its _materiality._ What
makes their view unique is that they affirm an "empty tomb" while
ironically denying that a material body emerged from it. In short,
while they deny the materiality of the Resurrection they confess
its objectivity, and on the basis of this confession they conclude
that their faith remains biblical.

    Wolfhart Pannenburg is a case in point. He believes Jesus left
an empty tomb behind but that the resurrection body was by nature
invisible and immaterial. He declares that for Paul "the future
body will be a different one from the present body, not a fleshly
body -- as he says -- a 'spiritual body.'"[1] Southern Baptist
professor E. Glenn Hinson agrees, adding, "Paul was convinced that
the Christ who appeared to him belonged to another order of
existence than the Christ the disciples had known in the flesh. The
risen Christ has not a physical but a spiritual body."[2] Professor
Murray Harris of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School provides yet
another example. He argues "that after his resurrection his
[Jesus'] essential state was one of invisibility and
immateriality."[3] He adds that the resurrection body of Christians
"will be neither fleshly nor _fleshy_"[4] (emphasis added).
According to this view, Jesus' resurrection body was not the same
physical body He had before His death, but a _second embodiment._

    Why should these men be classified as "unorthodox" for simply
denying that Jesus rose in the _same_ physical body in which He
died? Why did Jesus have to rise in the flesh, as long as His tomb
was vacated and death was conquered? The answer to these questions
has both historical and theological components.


    First, the confession of the Christian church is instructive.
The church has not only always affirmed the _immortality_ of the
resurrection body, but also its _materiality._ While it has agreed
with the apostle that the resurrection body is a "spiritual" (i.e.,
spirit-directed) body (1 Cor. 15:44), it has never denied that it
is a material body.

*The Apostolic Testimony*

    The Christian church has from the beginning confessed that the
same physical body of flesh that was laid in Jesus' tomb was raised
immortal. This belief is based on several explicit New Testament
references and extensive tangible evidence. Jesus Himself said His
resurrection body was one of "flesh and bones" (Luke 24:39; cf.
13:37). Speaking of the resurrection of Christ, Peter insisted that
His "flesh did not see corruption" (Acts 2:31). Writing after the
Resurrection, John declared that Jesus "came [and remained] in the
flesh" (1 John 4:2; cf. 2 John 7). The body that emerged from the
tomb on Easter morning was _seen_ (Matt. 28:17), _heard_ (John
20:15-16), and even _touched_ (Matt. 28:9) on many occasions after
the Resurrection. Moreover, Jesus ate food at least four times
after the Resurrection (Luke 24:30; 24:42-43; John 21:12-13; Acts
1:4). He also showed His crucifixion scars on two occasions, once
challenging doubting Thomas: "Put your finger here; see my hands.
Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and
believe" (John 20:27).

*The "Ante-Nicene" Testimony*

    Following the apostolic testimony, the church down through the
centuries has confessed its belief in "the resurrection of the
flesh" -- both that of Jesus in particular and of humanity in
general. "Ante-Nicene" (i.e., before the 325 A.D. Council of Nicea)
father Justin Martyr (A.D. 100-165) said plainly: "The resurrection
is a resurrection of the flesh which dies."[5] As for those who
"maintain that even Jesus Himself appeared only as spiritual, and
not in flesh, but presented merely the appearance of flesh: these
persons seek to rob the flesh of the promise."[6] Justin even
insisted that Christ's ascension shows that it is possible "for
flesh to ascend into heaven."[7] Tertullian (c. A.D. 160-230)
declared the resurrection of the flesh to be the church's "rule of
faith," saying it "was taught by Christ" and only denied by
heretics.[8] In his treatise on "The Resurrection of the Dead" (ch.
3), second century Christian teacher Athenagoras concluded that
God's "power is sufficient for the raising of dead bodies, and is
shown by the creation of these same bodies. For if, when they did
not exist, He made at their first formation the bodies of men, and
their original elements, He will, when they are dissolved, in
whatever manner that may take place, raise them again with equal
ease: for this, too, is equally possible to Him."[9]

*The "Post-Nicene" Testimony*

    In the fourth century, _The Second Creed of Epiphanius_ (A.D.
374) confessed that "the Word became flesh,...the same suffered in
the flesh; rose again; and went up to heaven in the same body;...is
coming in the same body in glory to judge the quick and the
dead."[10] Cyril of Jerusalem (A.D. 315-386) considered any view
heretical that claims "the resurrection of the Saviour was
phantom-wise, and not real, not heeding Paul who says, 'Who was
made flesh of the seed of David according to the flesh;' and again
'By the resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord from the dead.'"[11]
The preeminent theologian, St. Augustine (A.D. 354-430), declared:
"It is indubitable that the resurrection of Christ, and His
ascension into heaven with the flesh in which He rose, is already
preached and believed in the whole world." Augustine even held that
God would reassemble in the resurrection body "all the portions
which have been consumed by beasts or fire, or have been dissolved
into dust of ashes...."[12]

*The Medieval Testimony*

    St. Anselm of Cantebury (A.D. 1033-1109) insisted on the
material nature of the resurrection body. Speaking on the topic,
"How man will rise with the same body which he has in this world,"
he argued that "if a man is to be perfectly restored, the
restoration should make him such as he would have been had he never
sinned....Therefore, as man, had he not sinned, was to have been
transformed with the same body to an immortal state, so when he
shall be restored, it must properly be with his own body as he
lived in this world."[13] The great theologian, Thomas Aquinas
(A.D. 1224-1274), said of the resurrection: "The soul does not take
an airy or heavenly body, or a body of another organic
constitution, but a human body composed of flesh and bones and the
same members enjoyed at present."[14]

*The Reformation Testimony*

    The Protestant Reformation continued the orthodox affirmation
of the material nature of the resurrection body. The Lutheran
_Formula of Concord_ (A.D. 1576) reads: "We believe, teach, and
confess...the chief articles of our faith (of Creation, of
Redemption, of Sanctification, and the Resurrection of the
flesh)...."[15] The _French Confession of Faith,_ prepared with the
help of John Calvin and approved by the Synod of Paris (A.D. 1559),
pronounced that "although Jesus Christ, in rising from the dead,
bestowed immortality upon his body, yet it did not take away from
the truth of its nature, and we so consider him in his divinity
that we do not despoil him of his humanity."[16] _The Belgic
Confession_ (A.D. 1561), adopted by the Synod of Dort (A.D. 1619),
declares that "all the dead shall be raised out of the earth, and
their soul joined and united with their proper bodies in which they
formerly lived."[17] Further, the _Thirty Nine Articles of Religion
of the Church of England_ (A.D. 1562) confess that "Christ did
truly rise again from death, and took again his body, with flesh,
bones, and all things appertaining to the perfection of Man's
nature; wherewith he ascended into Heaven...."[18] And the
_Westminster Confession_ (A.D. 1647) proclaimed that Jesus "was
crucified, and died; was buried, and remained under the power of
death, yet saw no corruption. On the third day he arose from the
dead, with the same body in which he suffered; with which he
ascended into heaven...."[19]

    Even some who deny that Christ rose in the flesh admit that
"until the time of the Reformation the creeds of the West spoke
only of the resurrection of the flesh."[20]


    Having examined the historical evidence, we must now turn to
the theological question: What difference does it make whether
Christ arose in the same body of flesh in which He lived and died?
The New Testament's response is clear and unequivocal. Without
Christ's physical resurrection there is no salvation (Rom. 10:9),
for the Resurrection is at the very heart of the gospel by which we
are saved (1 Cor. 15:1-5). The apostle Paul listed a litany of
consequences that follow a denial of the physical resurrection. If
Christ did not rise, then :1) Our faith is useless; 2) We are still
in our sins; 3) Our departed loved ones are lost; 4) The apostles
are false witnesses; and 5) We are the most to be pitied of all men
(1 Cor. 15:14-19).

    In addition to this sobering list of dire results for denying
the literal resurrection, there are some crucial theological
problems that follow failure to join the apostolic confession of
"the resurrection of the flesh."

*The Problem of Creation*

    God created the material universe (Gen. 1:1) and pronounced it
"very good" (v. 31). Sin, however, brought death and decay to God's
creation: "Sin entered the world through one man, and death through
sin, and in this way death came to all men...." (Rom. 5:12).
Furthermore, because of man's sin "the creation was subjected to
frustration...." (Rom. 8:20). Thus, the creation has been groaning
and waiting "to be liberated from its bondage to decay" (v. 21).
Likewise, believers "wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the
redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we are saved" (vv.

    Since God's material creation fell, it is clear that in order
for redemption to be effective it must restore this material
creation. Humans sin and die in material bodies and they must be
redeemed in the same physical bodies. Any other kind of deliverance
would be an admission of defeat. Likewise, just as the world God
created and which subsequently fell was material, even so God will
eventually deliver this material universe from decay by recreating
a new heaven and a new earth (Rev. 21:1-4). If redemption does not
restore God's physical creation, including our material bodies,
then God's original purpose in creating a material world would be
frustrated. As Professor Robert Gundry aptly noted, "Anything less
than that undercuts Paul's ultimate intention that redeemed man
possess physical means of concrete activity for eternal service and
worship of God in a restored creation." So, "to dematerialize
resurrection, by any means, is to emasculate the sovereignty of God
in both creative purpose and redemptive grace."[21]

*The Problem of the Incarnation*

    The denial that Christ came in human flesh is called docetism.
Hence, the denial that He rose in human flesh is a kind of
neodocetism. Both diminish the full humanity of Christ, one
_before_ and the other _after_ His resurrection. A similar
doctrinal deviation existed in the first century. John addressed it
when he warned against those who deny that 'Jesus Christ has come
[and remains] in the flesh' (1 John 4:2). The use of the perfect
participle ("has come") implies that Jesus came in the flesh in the
past and He remained in the flesh when John penned these words
after the Resurrection. In the parallel passage (2 John 7) John
used the present tense, warning against those "who do not
acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh." This makes it
even clearer that John considered it wrong to deny flesh of Christ
either _before_ or _after_ His resurrection. The reason is obvious:
human flesh is part of our true human nature as God created it.
Hence, to deny that Christ was resurrected in human flesh is to
deprive Him of full humanity.

*The Problem of Salvation*

    Among other things, salvation is victory over death (1 Cor.
15:54-55). Since the death which resulted from sin directly
involved the material body, the body that is raised again must be
material for there to be real victory over death. Failure to
confess that Christ rose in a material body undercuts the very
gospel itself.

    In his definitive work on the nature of "body" (Greek: _soma_)
in the New Testament, Professor Gundry noted that unless Christ
rose in the same physical body in which He died, then "the
relationship of the two bodies to each other is extrinsic and to
that degree unimpressive as a demonstration of Christ's victory
over death."[22] Hence, "the resurrection of Christ was and the
resurrection of Christians will be physical in nature."[23]
Anything less undercuts God's redemptive purposes for the human

*The Problem of Deception*

    There is also a serious moral problem. Some claim that Christ's
appearances were merely "materializations" aimed at convincing the
disciples of His _reality_ but not His _materiality._ But Jesus
said: "Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and
see; a spirit does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have"
(Luke 24:27). Jesus challenged Thomas to put his finger into the
scar in His hand and to put his hand into the wound in His side and
"stop doubting and believe" (John 20:27).

    Given the identity of the scars with His preresurrection body,
the only impression these words could have left on the disciples'
minds was that Jesus was claiming to have resurrected in the same
literal, material body in which He died. However, if He did not
rise in this physical body, He was intentionally misleading His
disciples. In short, either Jesus rose in the same material body in
which He died, or else He lied.

*The Problem of Immortality*

    A denial of the material nature of the resurrection body is
fatal for Christian immortality. Unlike the ancient Greeks,
Christians believe true immortality involves the _whole_ person,
including the body; not just the continuing existence of the soul.
But if Christ did not rise in the same physical body in which He
died, then we have no real hope that we will ever attain true
immortality either. Paul declared that Christ "has brought life and
immortality to light through the gospel" (2 Tim. 1:10). It is only
through Christ's victory over physical death that believers can
proclaim: "Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your
sting?" (1 Cor. 15:55). Otherwise, as Paul informed the
Corinthians, "if Christ has not been raised...those who have fallen
asleep in Christ are lost" (1 Cor. 15:18).

*The Problem of Verification*

    A nonmaterial resurrection has no evidential value. If Christ
did not rise in the same material body placed in the tomb, then the
Resurrection loses its value as an evidence for His claim to be
God. However, Jesus often offered His resurrection as a proof of
His claims (John 2:19-22; 10:18). On one occasion He offered it as
the unique sign of who He is, declaring that no other sign would be
given to that unbelieving generation (Matt. 12:40).

    The apostles also offered Jesus' resurrection appearances as
"many convincing proofs" (Acts 1:3). They used the Resurrection as
the basis of their fearless preaching of Christ over and over again
(Acts. 2:22-36; 4:2,10; 13:32-41; 17:1-4,22-31). Paul told the
philosophers of his day that God "has given proof...to all men by
raising him from the dead" (Acts 17:31).

    There is a very good reason for this repeated connection
between the fact of the physical resurrection and the truth of
Christianity: there is no real evidential difference between an
immaterial resurrection and no resurrection at all. An immaterial
body has no verifiable connection with a material body. The only
objective way the world could know that Christ rose was if He rose
in the same material body in which He died. As the poet John Updike
powerfully stated,

     Make no mistake; if He rose at all
     it was as His body,
     if the cells' dissolution did not reverse, the
     molecules reknit, the amino acids rekindle,
     the Church will fail.

Dr. Geisler is Dean of the Liberty Center for Research and
Scholarship and Professor of Philosophy of Religion at Liberty
University, Lynchburg, Virginia. He is the author of nearly 30
books, including the forthcoming _The Battle for the Resurrection_
(Thomas Nelson Publishers).


 1 Wolfhart Pannenburg, _Jesus -- God and Man,_ 2d ed., trans.
   Lewis L. Wilkins and Duane A. Priebe, (Philadelphia: The
   Westminster Press, 1977), 75.
 2 E. Glenn Hinson, _Jesus Christ_ (Wilmington: Consortium Books,
   1977), 111.
 3 Murray Harris, _Raised Immortal_ (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1985),
 4 _Ibid.,_ 124.
 5 Justin Martyr, _Fragments of the Lost Work of Justin on the
   Resurrection,_ ch. 10. (All citations from the Ante-Nicene and
   Post-Nicene fathers can be found in Alexander Roberts and James
   Donaldson, eds., _The Ante-Nicene Fathers,_ vols. 1-14 [Grand
   Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1985], and Philip Schaff
   and Henry Wace, eds., _Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers,_ First
   Series, vols. 1-14; Second Series, vols. 1-14 [Grand Rapids:
   William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1983]).
 6 _Ibid.,_ ch. 2.
 7 _Ibid.,_ ch. 9.
 8 Tertullian, _The Prescription Against Heretics,_ ch. 13.
 9 Athenagoras, _The Resurrection of the Dead._
10 Philip Schaff, ed., _The Creeds of Christendom,_ 6th ed., vol.
   2 (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983), 37.
11 _Cyril of Jerusalem: Catechetical Lectures,_ XIV, 21.
12 Augustine, _The City of God,_ Book 12, ch. 5.
13 Anselm of Cantebury, _Curus Deus Homo,_ Book 2, ch. 3, in _St.
   Anselm: Basic Writings,_ 2d ed., trans. S. N. Deane (La Salle:
   Open Court, 1962), 241.
14 Thomas Aquinas, _Compendium of Theology,_ 153, in _Saint Thomas
   Aquinas Philosophical Texts,_ selected and trans. Thomas Gilby
   (London: Oxford University Press, 1964), 278.  See also 
   _III Summa Contra Gentiles,_ 79, in _Saint Thomas Aquinas
   Theological Texts,_ selected and trans. Thomas Gilby (Durham:
   The Labyrinth Press, 1982), 405.
15 Schaff, _The Creeds of Christendom,_ 98.
16 _Ibid.,_ 368-69.
17 _Ibid.,_ 434.
18 _Ibid.,_ 489.
19 _Ibid.,_ 621.
20 Harris, 132.
21 Robert Gundry, _Soma in Biblical Theology_ (Cambridge: Cambridge
   University Press, 1976), 176,181-82.
22 _Ibid._ 176.
23 _Ibid._ 182.


End of document, CRJ0056A.TXT (original CRI file name),
"I Believe...in the Resurrection of the Flesh"
release A, April 15, 1994
R. Poll, CRI

(A special note of thanks to Bob and Pat Hunter for their help in
the preparation of this ASCII file for BBS circulation.)


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Interview regarding battle for the resurrection – Norman Geisler

Copyright 1994 by the Christian Research Institute.
This data file is the sole property of the Christian Research
Institute.  It may not be altered or edited in any way.  It may
be reproduced only in its entirety for circulation as "freeware,"
without charge.  All reproductions of this data file must contain
the copyright notice (i.e., "Copyright 1994 by the Christian
Research Institute").  This data file may not be used without the
permission of the Christian Research Institute for resale or the
enhancement of any other product sold.  This includes all of its
content with the exception of a few brief quotations not to
exceed more than 500 words.

If you desire to reproduce less than 500 words of this data file
for resale or the enhancement of any other product for resale,
please give the following source credit:  Copyright 1994 by the
Christian Research Institute, P.O. Box 500-TC, San Juan
Capistrano, CA 92693.

"The Battle for the Resurrection: An Interview with Dr. Norman
Geisler" (an article from the Interview column of the Christian
Research Newsletter, Volume 5: Number 1, 1992) by Ron Rhodes.
    The editor of the Christian Research Newsletter is Ron


    _Throughout the 30-year history of the Christian Research
Institute, we have endeavored to limit the focus of our attention
to the proclamation and defense of the essentials of Christianity.
We have always allowed a great deal of latitude regarding secondary
or peripheral issues such as the perpetuity of the spiritual gifts,
the timing of the Rapture, the proper mode of baptism, and so
forth. However, when it comes to the essentials of the faith, we
have never equivocated._

    One of these essentials is the doctrine of the resurrection of
Christ. Recently, this has become a matter of controversy among
some Christian scholars. In this issue of the _Newsletter,_ Dr.
Norman Geisler is interviewed regarding what is at stake in this

    Newsletter: _Dr. Geisler, why is the issue of the Resurrection
so important?_

    Dr. Geisler: Because we're not talking about one of the
trivials of Christianity, we're talking about one of the
essentials. The apostle Paul said, "If Christ has not been raised,
then our preaching is vain" (1 Cor. 15:14). If the Resurrection did
not really happen, the apostles were false witnesses, our faith is
futile, we're still lost in our sins, the dead in Christ have
perished, and we're the most pitiful people on the face of the
earth -- to say nothing of the fact that there's no hope beyond the
grave. Clearly, this is a transcendentally important issue. You can
deny the inerrancy of the Bible and still be saved. If you deny the
bodily resurrection, however, there's no basis for salvation (Rom.

    Newsletter: _You really can't preach the Gospel without this
doctrine, can you?_

    Dr. Geisler: The Resurrection is the heart of the Gospel.
According to 1 Corinthians 15:2-6, the Gospel includes Jesus'
death, burial, resurrection, and His appearances to people in proof
of His resurrection. Without the physical resurrection of Christ,
there is no Gospel.

    Newsletter: _If a person was asked, "Do you believe in the
empty tomb, in the Resurrection, and in the bodily appearances of
Christ?" would this be a sufficient test of orthodoxy?_

    Dr. Geisler: If you used that as a test to determine whether
you should hire somebody to be the pastor of your local church,
congratulations, you may have just hired a Jehovah's Witness.

    Newsletter: _Because a Jehovah's Witness could go along with
that definition?_

    Dr. Geisler: Yes. They affirm all of those things.

    Newsletter: _If that's the case, then what question should we
be asking?_

    Dr. Geisler: We should ask: "Do you believe that Jesus was
raised in the _same physical body in which he died?_" That's the
crucial question, because if the body that died didn't come back to
life, the Devil won and God lost.

    Newsletter: _What are the key elements, then, in the orthodox
view of Christ's resurrection?_

    Dr. Geisler: Two of the key elements are _sameness_ and
_physicalness._ Christ's resurrection body was the _same body_ in
which He died. That's why He could say to Thomas, "See the scars in
my hand, put your hand in my side" (John 20:27). It had to be a
_physical_ body because the physical body died, and if that
physical body didn't come back to life, there was no victory over
death and sin. So, two of the key elements of the orthodox view of
the Resurrection are sameness and physicalness, or, to put it
another way, numerical identity and essential materiality.

    Newsletter: _As far as this issue of "sameness" is concerned,
let me play devil's advocate. Why is this such a big deal anyway?_

    Dr. Geisler: Because the victory has to be at the point of
defeat. If the point of defeat is physical death, then the victory
has to be resurrection of the physical body. The soul didn't die.
The soul lived on. It was the body that died, and if the body that
died didn't come back to life, then there was no victory over death
and sin. In Acts 2:31 we read, "His flesh did not see corruption."
The flesh of Christ did not corrupt in the tomb because He was
raised incorruptible.

    Newsletter: _What scriptural evidence is there for the
"sameness" and "physicalness" of Christ's resurrection body?_

    Dr. Geisler: Christ said His resurrection body had "flesh and
bones" (Luke 24:39). He had the same physical scars (John 20:25).
He was touched on two occasions (Matt. 28:9; John 20:17), and
challenged the disciples (Luke 24:39) and Thomas (John 20:27) to
feel His wounds. He also ate physical food four times after the
Resurrection (Luke 24:30, 42-43; John 21:12-13; Acts 1:4).

    Newsletter: _All this is related to the different views on the
empty tomb. Can you elaborate on this?_

    Dr. Geisler: The _orthodox_ view says God raised the body of
Christ from the dead. The _liberal_ view says someone took the body
from the tomb. The _neo-orthodox_ view says that God destroyed the
body -- which is the same as the view of the Jehovah's Witnesses.
They say Christ's dead body turned into vapor, or gas, and leaked
out the cracks of the tomb. That's not a resurrection, that's an

    *The key question becomes: If you were in the tomb on the first
Easter Sunday morning, what would you have seen?*

    The _orthodox_ view says you would have seen that body come
back to life again and walk away. The _liberal_ view says you would
have seen somebody come in and take the body. This new view
(_neo-orthodoxy_) -- which is now held by some eleven percent of
so-called evangelical scholars -- says you would have seen that
body vanish before your very eyes. Well, that's a Houdini act --
"now you see me, now you don't." That's not a resurrection.

    Newsletter: _And the statistic of eleven percent is based on

    Dr. Geisler: I took a survey of the Evangelical Theological
Society -- scholars who sign a statement saying that the Bible is
the inerrant Word of God -- and asked them, "Do you believe that
Jesus Christ was raised from the dead in the same material body of
flesh and bones in which he died?" And eleven percent said "no"!

    Newsletter: _That's an alarming figure. Why do they even belong
to the society?

    Dr. Geisler: That's a good question. How can you believe that
the Bible is the inerrant Word of God and deny the materiality of
the resurrection body when the Bible says four times clearly that
Jesus was resurrected in the flesh, and says dozens of times that
He was resurrected in a physical, material body?

    Newsletter: _As you noted in your article, "I Believe...in the
Resurrection of the Flesh," published in the Summer 1989 CHRISTIAN
RESEARCH JOURNAL, one Christian scholar who has written several
books arguing for the nonmaterial nature of Christ's resurrection
body is Murray Harris, a professor at Trinity Evangelical Divinity

    Dr. Geisler: Yes. Murray Harris has written two major books on
the subject -- _Raised Immortal_ and _From Grave to Glory._ He
believes that Jesus was not resurrected in a continuously material
body -- it was not a body of flesh. He believes that Christ's body
was transformed from a _physical_ to a _spiritual_ body at the
instant of the Resurrection and that Jesus only materialized on a
few occasions, temporarily assuming bodily form for apologetic

    Now, here's the real problem. Major magazines, many scholars,
and one major seminary have pronounced this  view "orthodox," and
various countercult groups are scurrying around saying, "Hey, we're
going to have to apologize to the Jehovah's Witnesses if this is
orthodox, because this is substantially the same view that the
Jehovah's Witnesses have held on the nature of the resurrected

    Newsletter: _Bottom line -- what are the consequences of
denying that Christ was raised immortal in the same physical body
in which He died?_

    Dr. Geisler: In brief, if Jesus wasn't resurrected in the same
physical body, then God lost in His purpose to create a physical
world, because the physical world was destroyed and never restored.
God also lost in salvation because Jesus' physical body died but
was never brought back to life. As well, Christ lied because He
looked at His disciples in Luke 24:39 and said, "See my hands and
my feet, that it is I Myself; touch Me and see, for a spirit does
not have flesh and bones as you see that I have." Furthermore,
there's no hope that you'll see your loved ones in heaven (1 Thess.
4:13-18). To summarize, if Jesus wasn't raised in a physical body,
then God failed, Christ lied, and there's no hope beyond the grave.

    Newsletter: _What is your closing admonition to our readers?_

    Dr. Geisler: In essentials _unity,_ in nonessentials _liberty,_
and in all things _charity._ I believe that adage, but the
Resurrection by any count is an essential. It's a fundamental of
the Christian faith, and I would like to see Christians rise up and
defend the crucial _physical nature_ of the bodily resurrection
against these neo-orthodox incursions into the Christian church
that are now being blessed by major scholars and magazines. I think
we need to stand up and be counted on this doctrine and say that
these people have made a tragic mistake. It's a fundamental
doctrine, and these people have denied one of the orthodox pillars
of the church.

    Newsletter: _This is not a time for silence._

    Dr. Geisler: Silence is not golden when one of the great
doctrines of the Christian faith is in the balance. Silence is
cowardice. Silence in this context is probably one of the greatest
sins of omission that can be committed by a Christian who wants to
preserve the orthodoxy of the faith.

    _You can contact Dr. Geisler by writing him at: Southern
Evangelical Seminary, 5801 Pineville-Matthews Rd., Charlotte, NC
28226-3447; or phone: (704) 543-1200._


End of document, CRN0041A.TXT (original CRI file name),
"The Battle for the Resurrection: An Interview with Dr. Norman
release A, June 30, 1994
R. Poll, CRI

(A special note of thanks to Bob and Pat Hunter for their help in
the preparation of this ASCII file for BBS circulation.)



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AD70 Storyline Fundamentally Different from Historical Christianity’s – Todd Dennis

Though many of the finer points of Hyper Preterist (HyP) error can be displayed in detail, doing so can often be hard to understand for those unstudied in biblical theology.

As with currency, the best way to spot the counterfeit is to know the genuine article very well. And so, perhaps the easiest way to show just how different HyP error is from the entire scope of historical Christianity is to point out the view’s vastly different storyline. Throughout Christian history, the focal point for the total revelation of New Covenant redemption has always been the cross of Jesus Christ. This is the genuine article.

Most Christians are probably aware that the removal of separation between man and God is a gift revealed in its fullness by Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross. These same people may be surprised to hear that, according to Hyper Preterism, the cross of Jesus Christ was insufficient for this purpose, and needed to be augmented by the fall of the Jewish temple 40 years later. So far as I know, every outlet of HyP doctrine endorses the view that the the fall of Jerusalem in AD70 was the “consummation of the ages” event that removed the separation between man and God.

Not until forty years following the cross, it is taught, was the New Covenant finally established in its fullness, and the separation between man and God removed. This is the counterfeit.

Follow up:

The HyP teaching that the New Covenant wasn’t in its full establishment until long after the cross event shows how Hyper Preterism is fundamentally different from Christianity as it has always been known. This “AD70 storyline” is foreign to the Bible, and to Christianity as a whole throughout all of its centuries and denominations. Only the Universalists of the last 200 years have embraced this type of AD70-centrism.


When the life of Jesus was draining away on the cross, He Himself noted that the redemptive work had been accomplished in saying “it is finished”. John 19:30′s word for “It is finished” (Tetelestai), comes from the verb teleo, means “to complete, to accomplish” (as all preterists know). The parsing of this Greek verb shows that it is only this sacrificial death of Jesus which saves, and that nothing else can be added to that finished accomplishment.

“The word occurs in John 19:28 and 19:30 and these are the only two places in the New Testament where it occurs. In 19:28 it is translated, “After this, when Jesus knew that all things were now completed, in order that the scripture might be fulfilled, he said, ‘I thirst.’” Two verses later, he utters the word himself: “Then when he received the sour wine Jesus said, ‘It is finished,’ and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” (bible.org)

Though HyP tends to diminish the meaning of the cross and Jesus’ declaration prior to His sacrificial death (which diminishment in itself serves as a litmus test for error), it was of the utmost significance. In fact, in order to maintain continuity with Christianity, it must remain the central focus. To diminish the centrality of the cross for redemptive accomplishment is to fundamentally alter the message that has been handed down and delivered throughout all generations.

To diminish the cross event is not just a small matter of end times disagreement; Rather, it is an attack on the very foundations of Christianity.

Undoubtedly to underscore the central focus and total accomplishment of God’s redemptive purposes, God in His Sovereignty tore the “veil of separation” that hung inside the Jewish temple. Undeniably, this signified the ceasing of separation between God and man, through the cross of Jesus Christ.

This event was also attended by other signs and wonders — all given, Christianity teaches, to segregate the cross event as the most significant moment in world history. And yet, to listen to the HyP, it was AD70 that was the most significant moment in redemptive history. Quotes to this effect are being collected and will be added here in time. See also Mark 10:45; Matthew 20:28; 26:28.

In my honest opinion, this is gross heresy which is worthy to be vigorously opposed. It is certainly as bad – if not much worse – than the Dispensationalist teaching that animal sacrifices will be re-instituted in a salvific sense in a rebuilt temple! My only regret is that I actually supported this overthrow of this Christian message for over ten years. (The Lord is Sovereign and has His purposes with which I do not dispute; However, from my perspective, it is a regrettable decade of promoting heresy.)


And so, in short:

Instead of fixing upon the “it is finished” declaration of Jesus, Hyper Preterism demands another 40 years before believers were allowed to enter “within the veil”.

Paul, in Hebrews 8-10, makes a rock solid case that access into the holiest places were already then a present reality in Jesus Christ. In many forms he refers to the good things which have come in Jesus, with absolutely no reference to more work that needed to be done in order to accomplish the redemptive work of God.

Only through a horribly mangled usage of Hebrews 9:8 and 28 (grandly mistaking not only the meanings of “the way”, “made manifest”, “first”, “tabernacle”, “had standing”, and “unto salvation”, but also the very intent of the entire verse, chapter, and book!) is this AD70-centrist view able to to support the devilish doctrine of the non-occurrence of prophecy at the cross.

In Hebrews, Paul was looking back to things that had already been fulfilled in the fall of the GREATER TEMPLE – not something future depending on the fall of the LESSER TEMPLE. (Lesson: In the Bible, the “lesser” points to what is accomplished in the “greater”, and not the other way around)

If you wish to be able to better detect the error in the Hyper Preterist counterfeit, I suggest you familiarize yourself with the genuine article as revealed in the Epistle to the Hebrews.

There are many essential differences between the narrative storyline of Hyper Preterism and that of Christianity. These are just two of the profoundly divergent story lines between the standard held by hyper preterism (AD70) and that held by the entire scope of historical Christianity (the CROSS).

And even though, through ignorance of what is being taught or through the old debater’s trick called “misdirection”, certain ones who embrace HyP may claim that AD70 isn’t really the focal point of their doctrine, all evidence points to the contrary.

One of the most revealing comments ever given by a (now former) teacher of this HyP is that their form of “Preterism is an interpretive system that is locked on the events of 66-70 A.D.” (Frost)

Even without such a claim, all one has to do is listen and read to the bulk of materials coming from the movement of HyP. The basis and total thrust of all such preterist evangelism is the fall of Jerusalem and the Jewish temple.

The fall of Jerusalem is very often noted as the focal point for the actual full start of the New Covenant “Age to Come” era. (I am not accusing these men of diminishing the cross; rather, I am saying that the doctrine being taught diminishes the cross. These are not bad people, this is just bad doctrine. Please note the difference. These quotes are given fully in good faith.)

Don Preston – “The New Day fully came in 70 AD when Jesus returned in judgment of the Old World of Darkness and brought the New Day of Salvation. The Day has come.”

Michael Sartori - “I would contend that the O/C passed away in AD70 and the N/C commenced in AD70, at the destruction of Jerusalem. “

Though many others could be added, I would like to turn attention specifically to the Most Holy Place, and the HyP teaching that entrance was not given until 40 years after the cross of Jesus Christ.

Despite the demand of HyP, entrance into the Holiest of All was not dependent upon AD70, but upon the self sacrifice of Christ, who is the anti-type to all the Old Testament shadows of the centrality of the offering. It is this point, in particular, which reveals how the one foundational error yields others. Notice how this issue is so fundamental to HyP theology:

William Bell – “We all know when it fell, in A.D.70! Entrance into the Most Holy is a blessing of the “age to come.” Entrance was opened up at the fall of the temple. Therefore, the blessings of the “age to come” were opened up or received at the fall of the temple, specifically ETERNAL LIFE!

Ward Fenley – “Paul saw such importance in the holiest of all that he could with full assurance declare that while they were still out of the holiest of all they were STILL in the OC body of death, from which Paul was longing to be delivered.. What Paul was declaring in Romans 8 is that without the complete salvation and growth of the first century church AS A WHOLE, there would be no complete salvation, for God promised He would SAVE HIS people from their sins.”

“The promise of God to give His people a new heart and a new spirit and to cause them to walk in His laws through the righteousness of Christ was finally initiated at Pentecost by the Spirit. This was ultimately consummated at the Parousia of Christ when He returned at the destruction of the Jewish Temple and nation and brought to completion the Heavenly Jerusalem, the church, the body of Christ. Since that time the elect of God are given faith and regenerated by the presence of God in their hearts.”

“The ministration of righteousness, the N.C. kingdom, was exceeding in glory while the ministration of death, the O.C. kingdom, was diminishing in glory. In fact, though the literal veil was torn in two at the crucifixion of Christ, the actual veil of spiritual death was still upon the elect unsaved Jews, but was in the process of being done away as the remnant according to the election of grace were believing in Christ. Not only this, but for those who were believers, the veil was in the process of being removed as they had not yet entered into the holiest of holies.”

Again, these claims of the non-occurrence of prophecy regarding entrance into the Most Holy goes directly against Paul’s explicit testimony to the contrary in Hebrews 10:

“19 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God..”

F.F. Bruce and C.H. Spurgeon are quoted now, not in support of this historical Christian view (which needs no proof), but just as an expression of it:

Bruce: “He who, by “virtue of his own blood, entered the holy place once for all” (9:11) has procured for his people equal right of entry there by means of that same blood – that is, on the ground of his accepted sacrifice.” (Hebrews, p.250)

Spurgeon: “Did not the miracle also mean that from that hour the whole system of types, and shadows, and ceremonies had come to an end? The ordinances of an earthly priesthood were rent with that veil. In token of the death of the ceremonial law, the soul of it quitted its sacred shrine, and left its bodily tabernacle as a dead thing. The legal dispensation is over. The rent of the veil seemed to say—”Henceforth God dwells no longer in the thick darkness of the Holy of Holies, and shines forth no longer from between the cherubim. The special enclosure is broken up, and there is no inner sanctuary for the earthly high priest to enter: typical atonements and sacrifices are at an end.. In actual historical fact the glorious veil of the temple has been rent in twain from the top to the bottom: as a matter of spiritual fact, which is far more important to us, the separating legal ordinance is abolished.

We have a choice: Agree (as with the entire spectrum of historical Christianity) that full entrance into the Most Holy Place was given based upon the fall of the Temple of the King of Kings, or (as with Hyper Preterism) that entrance awaited the fall of a temple built by an apostate king.

In my opinion, there is no way in which the fall of a building in AD70 could ever compare with the cross event of Jesus’ passion narrative. No amount of fallen stones could ever challenge the cross of Jesus Christ for the scope or significance such sacrifice has been given by the Father.

The 40-year delay of Hyper Preterism – though seemingly a small matter – is of the greatest significance when it comes to the centrality of Jesus Christ’s body in redemption, among many other reasons. The cross of Jesus Christ – though not as significant to HyP in redemption as it is to historical Christianity – cannot be matched in its great significance for the accomplishment/fulfillment of redemption.

Paul specifies that the only grounds upon this entrance is “through the veil, that is to say, his flesh” – in other words, through his sacrificial blood shedding. To side with HyP that we enter through the veil by the (re)tearing of the temple’s veil in AD70 is just simply divergent from historical Christian doctrine.

Robbing the meaning of “it is finished”, by stitching the torn veil back together theologically (just as the temple priests had in actuality), is to radically and fundamentally alter the message of the New Testament and the historical Church.

And then, of course, this judgment-worthy brutality to the person of Jesus Christ is finished off by teaching that today’s Christians live in a fundamentally different dispensation (this age / age to come) than those of the pre-AD70 era of the New Testament writings.

In many different ways is revealed the same truth. Separation between man and God being totally accomplished in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. There are many other passages which point out these truths which will be dealt with in time.

“For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit” (1 Peter 3:18)

“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” (Heb. 4:16)

I pray to the Lord of Glory that those sincere students of the Word who currently embrace hyper preterism will no join those HyP leaders who are trying to silence or disqualify all critics. Rather, I pray that all such Bereans will be given the wisdom to understand how far from the received gospel the HyP view truly is. Perhaps as this concept being exposed to them, love for the old rugged cross will inspire a sincerely critical examination of the “salvation in AD70″ view.

(Note: this article is not an attack on those who embrace Hyper Preterism, but upon the doctrines and focus of Hyper Preterism itself. Those who detect a hateful smear are – purposely, I say – reading into what is being said. Surely it is possible for those who embrace Hyper Preterism to critically examine that view’s focal point and to work towards making sure that the cross is central by minimizing AD70. It is not logical to take an attack on a theological position as a hateful attack on individuals personally, thereby (through logical fallacy) disqualifying critical exegesis. Doing so is just “that old debater’s trick called misdirection”. It is as if nobody is allowed to question Hyper Preterism without being accused of hate! There is nothing to be so feared in hard-hitting critical exegesis, as if it cannot but be taken as a personal threat on our very world. After all, Hyper Preterism serially attacks Dispensationalism.. does that mean that all HyPs are hateful towards Dispensationalists? No, as that is another matter entirely. I get the sense that those who want to see hate so badly do so to accomplish the very disqualification I warn against! Rather, let us all be Bereans by focusing on the exegesis of John 19:28,30 and Hebrews 10:19-22. Those who skip that part are dealing in misdirection.)

For a fuller look at just how radically different HyP’s storyline is from historical Christianity’s, read Spurgeon on The Rent Veil

All power and glory to He who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty!

These passages are included below with those which speak of the pre-AD70 possession of realities (eternal life, raising of the dead, the end of the law) which the typical full pret system says were not obtained until after the Jewish temple fell:

    • Luke 10:11 “Even the very dust of your city, which cleaveth on us, we do wipe off against you: notwithstanding be ye sure of this, that the kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.”

    • Luke 11:20 “But if I cast out demons with the finger of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you.”

    • Luke 19:9 “And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham”
      John 4:23 “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.”

    • John 5:24-25 “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. Very truly I tell you, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live. “

    • Romans 8:10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.

    • Rom 10:4  “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.”

    • Rom 11:7  What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it

    • 2 Cor 1:9    But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead: Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us

    • 2Co 1:21 Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God;

    • 2 Cor 5:17  “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all thingsare become new.”

    • 2 Cor 5:18  And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation

    • 2 Cor 6:16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath saidI will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

    • Ga 3:13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us”

    • Ga 5:1  Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

    • Eph 1:3  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessingsin heavenly places in Christ:

    • Eph 1:11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:

    • Eph 1:22  And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,

    • Eph 2:1  And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;

    • Eph 2:5   Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved)

    • Ephesians 3:9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:

  • Eph 5:14 Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.

  • Col 2:9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. 10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:

  • Col 2:13   And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses

  • 2 Tim 1:9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace,

  • 1Jo 3:14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.


Romans 8:11 and the Resurrection Body – Robert M. Bownman, Jr

Romans 8:11 and the Resurrection BodyRobert M. Bowman, Jr.



In the debate over the meaning and nature of the resurrection of Jesus and of the future resurrection of believers, Romans 8:11 is an important and yet generally overlooked biblical text. In this paper I wish to draw attention to this text and show that it proves that the resurrection of Jesus—and the future resurrection of believers—is a bringing of the original, mortal body from death to immortal life 

This study is divided into three parts: (I) translating Romans 8:11; (II) the meaning of ZWOPOIEW; and (III) the exegesis of Romans 8:11.





I begin by quoting Romans 8:11 in the NASB:


“But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.” (NASB)


Other modern translations use practically identical wording to translate the verse. Before discussing the interpretation of the verse, we ought to note and comment on certain seemingly minor but possibly significant variations in the wording of the text.


Some versions render the opening word DE “but” (NASB, NKJV) while others have “and” (NIV) and others leave it untranslated (ESV, NRSV). Oddly, the NWT renders it with “now”: “If, now, the spirit of him….” The conjunction DE is a fairly colorless conjunction and often does little more than mark the beginning of a new sentence. Verse 11 is the fifth sentence in a row that begins with DE (in its usual postpositive place, i.e., as the second word of the sentence). The NWT renders DE in these five sentences “So” (v. 8), “However” (v. 9a), “But” (v. 9b), “But” (v. 10), and “now” (v. 11). Some variation in rendering DE is normal, but I am unclear as to the reason for rendering it “now” in this verse. In any case we should not put any weight on the conjunction; the relation between verses 10 and 11 will have to be determined from context and not from the conjunction itself.


Some versions have simply “Christ” (NIV, NKJV, NRSV) rather than “Christ Jesus” (NASB, ESV, NWT) in the second half of the verse. The manuscript evidence is almost evenly divided between CRISTON EK NEKRWN and EK NEKRWN CRISTON ’IHSOUN. The latter is likely to be correct, but it may not matter much for our purposes. I will assume the reading favored by both the NASB and the NWT.


The NRSV has “that dwells in you” instead of “who dwells in you” at the end of the verse, reflecting the judgment that Paul is not speaking of the Spirit as personal here. Similarly, the NWT has “that resides in YOU.” This is an important but separate question for our purposes. The NIV has “is living in you” instead of “dwells in you,” while the NWT, as noted, has “resides in YOU.” These variations don’t seem to have any significance.


The NRSV puts “also” after “mortal bodies” instead of after “will”; this is apparently nothing more than a stylistic choice and does not affect the meaning. The word “also” (KAI) actually occurs immediately after the verb: “will make alive also your mortal bodies,” which is not stylistically good English, thus accounting for the differing placements of “and” in the translations.


In all other respects the wording of the NIV, NASB, NRSV, and NKJV are identical.


The word translated “will give life” is ZWOPOIHSEI. In English most translations render this “will give life” and follow the verb with the preposition “to,” treating the noun phrase “mortal bodies” as the indirect object. This is good English and unobjectionable as to properly expressing the meaning of the text. In Greek ZWOPOIHSEI is followed by the noun phrase TA QNHTA SWMATA hUMWN (“your mortal bodies”), which is accusative and therefore grammatically functions as the direct object. The KJV uses the older verb “quicken” and thus treats “your mortal bodies” as the direct object. Today, to be more literal one might translate “will make alive your mortal bodies.” The NWT essentially takes this approach, rendering it as “will make YOUR mortal bodies alive.”


It is probably already apparent how Paul’s statement expresses the idea that in the resurrection of both Jesus and believers the mortal body itself is resurrected. But to show that this is certainly Paul’s meaning we will take a close look at the text.





The crux here is what Paul means by “will give life also to your mortal bodies.” The natural and by far most common understanding is that Paul is referring to the future resurrection of believers. If this is correct, as we shall argue that it is, then this sentence affirms explicitly the resurrection of the mortal bodies of believers and also indicates that Jesus’ resurrection involved the giving of life to his mortal body that had died. These conclusions can be disputed only by denying that ZWOPOIHSEI here refers to resurrection.




Not surprisingly, the word ZWOPOIEW, “to make alive,” can and is used in contexts other than resurrection from the dead. Most of the eight occurrences of the word in the LXX seem not to be related contextually to resurrection (Judg. 21:14; 2 Kings 5:7; Job 36:6; Ezra 9:8, 9; Neh. 9:6; Eccl. 7:12). Only once in the LXX does the verb suggest resurrection:


“You who have shown me many troubles and distresses

Will revive [Greek, EZWOPOIHSAS] me again,

And will bring me up again from the depths of the earth” (Ps. 71:20 NASB [70:20 LXX]).


Here the Psalmist speaks hyperbolically of himself as dying and having to be “made alive again.” Contextually this is hyperbole because the Psalmist has not literally died; he is expressing confidence that God will deliver him from deadly trouble as he has done on other occasions. But the text shows that the word could be used with reference to literal resurrection as well.


B. Undisputed Texts (John 5:21; 1 Cor. 15:22, 36, 45)


In contrast to the LXX, most if not all of the 13 NT occurrences of ZWOPOIEW are related to resurrection. This is indisputably and transparently the case in the following texts:


“For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life [ZWOPOIH], even so the Son also gives life [ZWOPOIH] to whom he wishes” (John 5:21).


“For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive [ZWOPOIHQHSONTAI]” (1 Cor. 15:22).


“That which you sow does not come to life [ZWOPOIEITAI] unless it dies…. So also it is written, ‘The first man Adam became a living soul.’ The last Adam became a life-giving [ZWOPOIOUN] spirit” (1 Cor. 15:36, 45).


In John 5:21, the context of resurrection is explicit in Jesus’ reference to the Father raising the dead. The occurrences in 1 Corinthians 15 are all embedded in Paul’s extended comments on the resurrection of believers in Christ. They “will be made alive” (v. 22) when they are resurrected before the end (vv. 21, 23). Thus, the description of a seed being sown and then coming to life (v. 36) is a metaphor for the resurrection. The “life-giving” work that Christ does (v. 45) is in this context the giving of life in the resurrection (see especially vv. 42-49).


The word ZWOPOIEW has reference to resurrection life in other NT occurrences. We will consider each occurrence of the word in turn.


C. John 6:63


“It is the Spirit who gives life [ZWOPOIOUN]; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life” (John 6:63 NASB).


Jesus has just used this word in the previous chapter (5:21) with reference to resurrection. In chapter 6 the subject is again the resurrection life that Jesus gives through his death on our behalf:


“This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day…. No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day…. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” (John 6:39-40, 44, 54 NASB)


To those who believe in Jesus and come to him, they begin already to possess “eternal life,” and yet its consummation awaits the future resurrection “on the last day.” The life-giving work of the Spirit to which Jesus refers, then, begins now when we believe and is fully realized in the resurrection.


D. Romans 4:17


Paul uses ZWOPOIEW in one other place in Romans, and there the context is also resurrection. Paul says that God “gives life [ZWOPOIOUNTOS] to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist” (Rom. 4:17 NRSV). Abraham believed God for such life in a rudimentary way when he believed God’s promise that he would bring into existence from his “good as dead” body the new life of the “seed” of many nations (vv. 16-22). This promise, which began to be fulfilled with the birth of Isaac, is in a new stage of fulfillment that began when God “raised Jesus our Lord from the dead” (v. 24).


E. Second Corinthians 3:6


In 2 Corinthians, Paul uses the word once:


“…who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life [ZWOPOIEI]” (2 Cor. 3:6).


Here Paul uses almost the same wording (TO PNEUMA ZWOPOIEI, “THE Spirit gives life”) that Jesus used in John 6:63 (TO PNEUMA ESTIN TO ZWOPOIOUN, “the Spirit is the life-giving one”). The resurrection context may not be as obvious in this text, but it is definitely there. After elaborating on the comparatively greater glory of the new covenant (3:7-16), Paul states that we who are in Christ “are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit” (2 Cor. 3:18). Such transformation, under way now, will be completed in the resurrection (cf. Phil. 3:21; Rom. 8:29). Even now, the glory of Christ’s transforming life is in us as “treasures in earthen vessels” (2 Cor. 4:7), living humbly now “so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body” (v. 10). Paul and other Christians like him lived with death constantly near “for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh” (v. 11). Paul is confident that the end result will be “that He who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and will present us with you” (v. 14). In the resurrection “that which is mortal will be swallowed up by life” (5:4). Of this resurrection life, Paul then says, God “gave to us the Spirit as a pledge” (5:5). We see, then, that the Spirit “gives life” to us now as the “pledge” or earnest (down payment) of the resurrection life that we will receive when God will raise us just as he raised Jesus.


F. Ephesians 2:5 and Colossians 2:13


A similar point is made in both Ephesians 2:5 and Colossians 2:13, parallel texts and the only places in the NT where ZWOPOIEW has a prefix (SUN) attached to it. In Ephesians Paul says that God, “when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with [SUNEZWOPOIHSEN] Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:5-6 NASB). In Colossians, Paul writes about believers: “having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with [SUNEZWOPOIHSEN] Him…” (Col. 2:12-13 NASB).


The idea in both of these texts is that when God raised Christ from the dead, he accounted or considered that resurrection as the guarantee or beginning of our own resurrection life.  That is, the historical events of Christ’s own death, burial, resurrection, and exaltation are accounted ours, resulting in our forgiveness of sins and the beginning of a new life in Christ now, with the promise of our own literal resurrection and exaltation to come. Paul elaborates on the same idea later in Colossians:


“Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory” (Col. 3:1-4 NASB).


This is the same idea that Paul states in Romans when he writes:


“Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection” (Rom. 6:4-5 NASB).


In Ephesians 2:6 and Colossians 2:13, then, SUNEZWOPOIHSEN is referring not simply to an imparting of a spiritual life within believers, but to their prospective association with Christ in his resurrection, an association that is anticipated in our present life in the Spirit but will eventually be realized in its fullness in the resurrection. The word in these two occurrences, then, also connotes resurrection.


G. Galatians 3:21 (Possible Exception)


The only text in Paul’s writings where ZWOPOIEW is used in a context where it does not refer clearly to resurrection life is Galatians 3:21, where Paul says that “if a law had been given that could make alive [ZWOPOIHSAI], then righteousness would indeed come through the law” (NRSV). The context does not indicate that resurrection is or is not in view; there simply is not enough in the context to draw any definite conclusion. Paul’s focus is on our present life in Christ (Gal. 2:19-20; 3:11-12; 5:25), but he also looks forward to the “eternal life” that we will “reap from the Spirit” (6:8-9). We should probably conclude that Paul’s use of ZWOPOIEW here is consistent with a connotation of the giving of new life that culminates in the resurrection, but this is not spelled out explicitly in this epistle.


H. First Peter 3:18


There is one other use of the word in the NT, outside of Paul’s writings, and it is something of an interpretive quagmire. Moreover, it is one of the JWs’ two main prooftexts for their doctrine that Jesus was not resurrected in his physical body. In 1 Peter 3:18, the apostle Peter writes: “For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive [ZWOPOIHQEIS] in the spirit” (NASB). JWs understand the last clause, “made alive in the spirit,” to refer to Christ’s resurrection as a spirit (i.e., as a nonphysical, nonhuman spirit). Evangelical theologians have understood this clause in at least two different ways. Some favor the translation just given (so also the ESV; NRSV) and take the view that Peter is referring here not to Christ’s resurrection but to his entrance into the realm of spirit upon death. Others translate the clause “made alive by the Spirit” (KJV, NIV, NKJV) and conclude that Peter is attributing Christ’s resurrection to the agency of the Spirit. A third, mediating view is suggested in the NLT, which paraphrases the clause “raised to life in the Spirit.” On this view Peter is referring to Christ’s resurrection, not as having been performed by the Spirit, but as identifying Christ as united with the Spirit.


JWs and many (probably most) evangelicals agree, then, that ZWOPOIHQEIS in 1 Peter 3:18 is referring to Christ’s resurrection. A minority interpretation among evangelicals (which is quite respectable) suggests that it does not. At the very least, the word occurs here in the context of resurrection (so explicitly in 1 Peter 3:21-22), and even on the minority evangelical view his “having been made alive in the spirit” was a kind of first stage toward that resurrection.


I. Conclusion on the Usage of ZWOPOIEW


Let us review our findings to this point. The verb ZWOPOIEW occurs eight times in the LXX, once in reference to resurrection (albeit hyperbolically). However, all or at least nearly all of its 13 occurrences in the NT do occur in the context of resurrection. This is in all but one occurrence (Gal. 3:21) either explicit in the very sentence in which the word appears or is explicit in the surrounding context (John 5:21 [2x]; 6:63; 1 Cor. 15:22, 36, 45; Rom. 4:17; 8:11 [our text; see below]; 2 Cor. 3:6; Eph. 2:6; Col. 2:12; 1 Pet. 3:18).


A fair conclusion, then, is that where ZWOPOIEW occurs in the context of resurrection, it must refer to resurrection unless the text explicitly indicates otherwise.





With that conclusion in mind, let us return to Romans 8:11:


But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you,

He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead

will also give life [ZWOPOIHSEI] to your mortal bodies

through His Spirit who dwells in you.


In Greek:







That the first two lines refer explicitly to resurrection—specifically, the resurrection of Jesus—is beyond dispute. That the third line also refers to resurrection must therefore be considered a proven fact. This is made essentially explicit by the conjunction KAI (“also”) in the third line: Having raised Jesus from the dead, Paul says, God will “also” make your mortal bodies alive. In this context KAI can only be plausibly construed to mean “also” or “as well.” The making alive of the third line, then, is a resurrection.


The symmetry of the four lines of this sentence confirms the above analysis. The first and fourth lines both speak of God’s Spirit as dwelling or residing “in you,” in believers. The second line refers to Christ’s resurrection from “the dead,” while the third line refers to the believers’ bodies as “mortal.” The sentence thus forms a short chiasm, and the two middle lines are for that reason as well to be seen as thematically related.


Another consideration supporting the conclusion that Paul is speaking about our future resurrection is the fact that Paul frequently does just this: predicating our future resurrection on the resurrection of Jesus (Rom. 6:4-9; 1 Cor. 6:14; 15:12-23, 48-49; 2 Cor. 4:14; Phil. 3:10-11, 20-21; Col. 1:18; 2:12-13; 3:3-4; 1 Thess. 4:14).


But now we must take notice of just what it is that Paul says. In our future resurrection, God will make alive our “mortal bodies.” This is what Paul means by resurrection: the mortal body is made alive. Of course, in the eschatological resurrection this “making alive” is not merely resuscitation back to mortal life; it is more than that, the raising of the dead to immortal, eternal life. But this “making alive” will happen to our “mortal bodies.” Our present bodies are not simply left dead forever, to be replaced by nonhuman, spirit beings in a nonphysical form of existence. Rather, our present mortal bodies will be made alive.


Finally, notice that the way Paul states this expectation necessarily implies that this is also what he understands to have happened to Jesus. When God “raised (Christ) Jesus from the dead,” what this meant was that Jesus, who had died, returned to life—and that this included the “making alive” of the “mortal body” in which Jesus had died. The logic of Paul’s sentence makes no other interpretation plausible. “If God did X for Jesus, then God will also do Y for you,” where ‘X’ and ‘Y’ are normally synonymous expressions, must be taken to mean that God did ‘Y’ for Jesus. Since Jesus had a mortal body, died, and was raised from the dead, it is quite evident that Paul means that his mortal body was made alive and so will ours.


To my knowledge, the publications of the JWs have never addressed the interpretation of this verse in any substantial way. I did find one comment on the text that interpreted it (without explanation or consideration of any other view) to be speaking of the “aliveness” that JWs show in their ministry activities (_Holy Spirit_ [1976], 162). The exegetical considerations adduced here render such an interpretation extremely dubious. The one hint of an exegetical reason for this interpretation is a cross-reference given in the Reference Edition of the NWT, which cross-references Romans 8:11 with Ephesians 2:5 (which says that God “made us alive” with Christ). However, the verb refers to the union of Christians with Christ in his resurrection, and so does not support the JWs’ interpretation.


I agree with Moo:


“Since reference to resurrection is so plain in the first part of the sentence, ‘will make alive’ must also refer to future bodily transformation—through resurrection for dead believers—rather than, for instance, to spiritual vivification in justification, or to the ‘mortification’ of sin in the Christian life…. The cause-and-effect relationship between Christ’s resurrection and the believer’s, made so plain in Rom. 6:5 (cf. 8:17), lies behind Paul’s affirmation that God will give life to ‘our mortal bodies’ just as he raised Christ from the dead.”  (Douglas Moo, _The Epistle to the Romans_, NICNT [Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1996], 493.)


I conclude that Romans 8:11 is a strong prooftext for the following doctrinal conclusions:


1. Christ’s mortal body was made alive in his resurrection.


2. The mortal bodies of Christians will be made alive in their resurrection.


One other concluding observation: The above findings are inconsistent with the JW teaching that Romans 8 is referring specifically to a subset of Christians that will live forever as nonhuman spirits in heaven. The Christians of whom Paul speaks will have their mortal bodies resurrected to immortal life.

The State of the Blessed Dead by Henry Alford, D.D., Dean of Canterbury

The State of the Blessed Dead
by Henry Alford, D.D., Dean of Canterbury

Reprinted from the Fourteenth London Edition


770 BROADWAY Cor. of 9th Street



I HAVE already announced that during this Advent season I would call your attention to the state of the blessed dead. My object in so doing is simply that we may recall to ourselves that which Scripture has revealed respecting them, for our edification, and for our personal comfort. And I would guard that which will be said by one or two preliminary observations.

With Death as an object of terror, with Death from the mere moralist’s point of view, as the termination of human schemes and hopes, we Christians have nothing to do. We are believers in and servant of One who has in these senses abolished Death. Our schemes and hopes are not terminated by Death, but reach onward into a state beyond it.

Again, with that state beyond, except as one of blessed nests purchased for us by the Son of God, I am not at present dealing. It is of those that die in the Lord alone that I speak.

And this being so, it is clear that the first point about them demanding our attention, is, the very commencement of their state at the moment of death. And this will form our subject to-day.

We shall be guided in its consideration by two texts of Holy Scripture.

The one is that where our Lord answers the prayer of the dying thief that He would remember him when He came into His kingdom, Luke XXIII. 43: “VERILY I SAY UNTO THEE, TWO-DAY SHALT THOU BE WITH ME IN PARADISE.”

And the other is an expression of Saint Paul, Phil. I. 23, not improbably taken from those very words recorded in the gospel of that evangelist who was his companion in travel — “TO DEPART AND TO BE WITH CHRIST.”

Now in both these one fact is simply declared, viz.: that the departed spirits of the faithful man is WITH CHRIST. It is as if one bright light were lifted for us in the midst of a realm brooded over by impenetrable mist. For who knows whither the departed spirit has betaken itself when it has left us here? One of the most painful pains in bereavement by death is the utter an absolute severance without a spark of intelligence of the departed. One hour, life is blest by their presence: the next, it is entirely and forever gone from us, never to be heard of more. One word, one utterance — how precious in that moment of anguish he do we feel that it would be! But we are certain and never will be granted us. None has ever come back who has to hold the story. Where the spirit wakes and finds itself, — this none has ever declared to us; nor shall we know until our own turn comes. Now, in such a state of uncertainty, these texts speak for us with a certain truth: The departed spirit is WITH CHRIST.

I shall regard this revelation negatively and positively: as to what it disproves, and as to what it implies.

First, then, it disproves the idea of the spirit passing at death into a state of unconsciousness from which it is to wake only at the great day of the resurrection. If it is to be with Christ, this cannot be. Christ is in no such state of unconsciousness; He has entered into His rest, and is waiting till all things shall be put under His feet; and it would be a mere dilution to say of the Blessed dead that they shall be with Christ, if they were to be virtually annihilated during this time that Christ is waiting for His kingdom. Besides, how then with the Lord’s promised to the thief be fulfilled? What consolation would it have been to him, what answer to his prayer, to be remembered when Jesus came into His kingdom, if those words implied that he should be unconsciously sleeping while the Lord was enjoying His triumph? Therefore we may safely say, that the so-called “sleep of the soul,” from the active death till the resurrection, has no foundation in that which is revealed to us.

It is perfectly true that the state of the departed is described to us as “sleeping in Jesus,” or rather, for the words are a misrendering, a having fallen asleep through, or by means of Jesus. But our texts are enough to show us that we must not take such an expression for more than it really implies. Sleep, or falling asleep, was in name currents among Jews and Christians, and even among the best of the heathens, for death, and implying its peace and rest, implying also that it should be followed by a waking: but apparently with no intent to convey any idea of unconsciousness. It is a term used with reference to us, as well as to the dead. To us, they are as if they were asleep: removed from us in consciousness, as and presence. The idea of taking rest tended to make this term appropriate. But it must not be used to prove that to which it evidently had no reference.

The spirit, then, of the departed does not pass into unconsciousness. What more do we know of it? It is WITH JESUS.

We have now to consider what this implies. And in doing so we shall have further to make certain that which we think we have already proved. For, first, it clearly implies more than a mere expression of safe-keeping or reserve for future state of blessedness. “The righteous souls are in the hand of God, and there shall no harm happen to them.” This is one thing: but to be with Christ is another. We might again appealed to the spear of the promise made to the penitent thief in order to show this: we might remind you that in the other text St. Paul is comparing the two states-life in the midst of his children in the faith, and death; and he says, “I have a desire to depart and to be with Christ, which is far better:” better than being with you, my Philippians.

So that more must be meant than mere safe-keeping in the Redeemer’s hands. We may surely say that nothing less than conscious existence and the presence of Christ can be intended. And if that is intended, then very much more is intended also than those words at first seemed to imply. Remember the contrast which the same Apostle also where draws. “We know,” he says, “that while we are present in the body, we are absent from the Lord: for we walk by faith, not by appearance: we are willing rather to be absent from the body and present with the Lord.” That is, if we follow out the thought, his present state of dwelling in our home, the body, is a state of severance from the Lord but there is a better state, into which we shall be introduced when this house of the body is pulled down: and from the context in that place we may add, much as we wish to be clothed upon with our new and glorious body which is from heaven, yet even sure of that we have learnt to prefer being simply unclothed from the body, because thus we shall be present with the Lord.

So that we may safely assume thus much, my brethren: that the moment a Christian’s spirit is released from the body, it does enter into the presence of our Blessed Lord and Saviour, in a way of which it knows nothing here: a way which, compared to all that its previous faith could know of Him, is like presence of friends compared to absence.

Now let us take another remarkable passage of Holy Writ bearing on this same matter. St. John in his First Epistle says: “Bowl love it now we are children of God, and it never yet was manifested what we shall be; but if it should be manifested, we know that we shall be like Him: for we shall see Him as He is:” for this is the more accurate rendering of the words: meaning, if anyone could come back, or come down, to us, and tell us what our future state is to be, this information could amount for us now only to this, that we shall be like Him, like Christ; because we shall see Him as He is. And in treating these words at considerable length at last year, I pressed it on you that this concluding sentence might bear two meanings; either, we shall be like Him, because in order to see Him as He is, we MUST be like he Him; or we shall be like Him, because the site of Him as He is will change us into His perfect likeness. For our present purpose, or indeed for any purpose, it matters little which of these meanings we taken. At any rate, we have gained this knowledge from St. John’s words, that the sight of the Blessed Lord which will be enjoyed by that Christian’s spirit on its release from the body, will be accomplished by being also perfectly like Him.

Now, here, my brethren, are the elements of an immediate change, blessed and joyous beyond our conception. Let us spend the rest of our time to-day indwelling upon it.

And I will not now insist on the deliverance of the spirit from the and ferment see, or pain, or decay of the body: because of this is not so in all cases. Many a Christian’s spirit is set free from a body and perfect vigor and health. Let us take nothing but what is common to all who believed in and serve the Lord. Now what is our present state with reference to Him whom all Christians love? It is accents. And it is accents aggravated in a way that earthly absence never is. For not only have we never seen Him, which is a case perfectly imaginable in earthly relations, but also, which hardly is, we have no absolute proof of His existence, nor of His mind toward us. It even as far as this, is matter of faith, and not of appearance. We have no token, no communication, from Him. I suppose of their hardly ever was a Christian yet, living under the present dispensation, entirely dependent upon his faith, who has not at some time or other had the dreadful for cross his mind — overborne by his faith, but still not wholly extinguished, “What if it should not be true after all?” And much and successfully as we may contend with these misgivings of unbelief, yet that frame of mind which is represented by them, that wavering, the full, unsteady faith, ever accompanies us. The distress arising from it is known to every one who has the Christian life in him. Only those never doubts who have never believed: for doubt is the very essence of belief. But some poor souls are utterly cast down by the fact of its existence — shrink from these half-doubting fits as of themselves deadly sin, and are in continual terror about their soul’s safety on this account: others, of stronger minds, regard them truly as an inevitable accompaniments of present human weakness, but of course, struggle with them, and ever more yearn to be rid of them.

Now is what we have been saying be true — and I have endeavored not to go beyond the soberest inference from the plain language of Scripture — if so much be true, then the moment of departure from the body puts an end for ever to this and perfect, struggling, fitful state of faith in doubt. The spirit that is but a moment gone, that has left that well-known, familiar tabernacle of the body a sudden wreck of inanimate matter, that spirit is with the Lord. All doubt, all misgiving, is at an end. Every wave raised by this world’s storms, this world’s currents of interest, this world’s rocks and shallows, is suddenly laid, and there is a great calm. Certainty, for doubts; the sight of the Lord, for the conflict of assurance and misgiving; in the face of Christ, for the mere faith in Christ — these have succeeded, because the departed spirit is “with the Lord” — companying with Him.

Before we follow out this farther, let us carefully draw one great distinction. We must not make the two common mistake of confusing this site of the Lord which immediately follows on the active death, with that complete state of the glorified Christian man, of which we shall have to speak in a subsequent sermon. The greater than our thoughts can now conceive, the bliss of which we are speaking to-day is incomplete. The spirit which has been set free from the body is alone, and without a body. This is not the complete state of man. It is a state to us full of mystery — inconceivable in detail, the easily apprehended as a whole. We must take care, and what we have further to say, that this is fully borne in mind. And, bearing it in mind, let us proceed.

This site of Christ, this, a full, unbroken and assurance of His nearness and presents, what does it further imply? As far as we can at present see, certainly as much as this; First, the entire absence of evil from the spirit. It would be impossible to be with Christ in any such a sense, unless there were entire agreement in will and desire with Him. It would be impossible thus to see Him and has He is without being like Him.

Let us imagine, if we can, the effect of the total extinction of evil and anyone in of our minds. How many energies, now tied and bound with the chain of send, which spring are poured into action! How many imprisoned yearnings would burst their bonds, and carry us on word to higher degrees of good! And all these energies, all these yearnings, can exist in the disembodied spirit. It is in a waiting, a hoping state: the greater the upward selects yearnings, the greater the accumulated energies for God and His work, the higher will be the measure of glory to be attained after the redemption of the body, and the completion of the entire man.

Well — as another consequence, following close on the last, all conflict, from that same moment, is at an end. Conflict is ordained for us, it is good for us, now. If it were to cease here below, we should fall back. We have not entered into rest; it would not be good for us to enter into rest, in our present state. Here, this little platform, so to speak, of our personality, is drawn two ways, downward and upward: and it is for us to stand to thereon to keep a watch and word that the downward prevail not; but from that moment the dark links of the downward chain will have been forever severed, and the golden cord that is let down from the Throne will bear us upward and onward, unopposed. So that, as the conflict, there will be perfect rest.

And let us remember a another matter. If the department spirit were during this time dwelling on its own unworthiness, casting that looks of self- reproach, weighing accurately God’s mercies and its own require goals during life past, there would of necessity be conflict: there would be better self-loathing, there would be pangs of repentance. It would seem, then, that during the incomplete and disembodied state, this is not so; but that all of this kind is reserved for a day when account is to be given in the body of things done in the body: and we shall see, when we come to treat of that day specially, how its accounts will be, for the blessed dead, itself made a blessing.

Again, as all at evil will be at an end, and all conflict — so will all labor. “Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord: even so saith the Spirit, for they rest from their labors.” Now labor here is a blessing, it is true: but it is also a wariness. It leads ever onto a greater blessing, the blessing of rest. Christ has entered into His arrest; and the departed spirit shall be with Christ; faring as He fares, and they partake or of His condition. And he who have lived to the ordinary term of human life in God’s service (for it is only of such that we are now speaking) can testify how sweet it is to anticipate a cessation of the toil and the harassing of life: to be looking on to keep the great Sabbath of the rest reserved for the people of God. What more may be reserved for us in the glorious perfect state which shall follow the resurrection, is another consideration altogether: but it clearly appears that the intermediate disembodied state is one of rest. And let none cavil at the thought, that thus Adam may have rested his thousands of years, and the last taken of Adam’s children only a few moments. Time is only a relative term, even to us. A dream of years long may pass during the sound that awakens a man; and a sleep of how worse appears about a second. What do we know of time, except as calculated by earthly objects? Day and night, the recurrence of meals — these constitute time to us: shut up a man in darkness, and administer his food at your regular intervals, and he loses all count of time would ever. Shirley, then, no cavil on this score can be admitted. In that presence were the departed spirits are, one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

Let us conclude with the consideration, to a Christian the most glorious of all. This spirit that is with Christ in nearest presence and consciousness knows Him as none no Him here. Here, we speak of His purity, His righteousness, His love, His triumph and glory, with miserably in perfect thoughts, and in words still more in perfect than our thoughts. We are obliged to employ earthly images to set forth heavenly things. The revelation’s of Scripture itself are made through a medium of man’s invention, and are bounded by our limited vocabulary. But then it will be so no longer. The Apostle compares our seeing here to that of one who behold the face of his friend in the nearer of metal, sure to be tarnished and distorting: and our vision there to beholding the same face to face — the living features, the lips that move, the eyes that glisten. That spirit which has but now passed away knows the love that passes our knowledge; contemplates things which God has prepared for them that love Him, such as eye has never seen, nor either heard, nor hath it entered into the heart of man to conceive.

Therefore, below that, let us be of good cheer concerning them that have fallen asleep through Jesus: and let us be of good cheer respecting ourselves. Good as it is to obey and serve God here, it has been far better for them to depart and to be with Christ; and it will be far better for us, if we hold fast our faith and our confidence in Him firm unto the end. If to us to live is Christ, then to us to die will be gain.


We stand two-day at this point in our consideration of the state of the blessed dead. They depart, and are with Christ. “This day,” the day of the departure, they are consciously, blissfully, in His presence. Their faith is turned into site: their misgivings are changed for certainty: their mourning for joy. Yet, we said, their state is necessarily imperfect. The complete condition of man is body, soul, in spirit. The former of these three, at all of thence, is wanting to the spirits and souls of the righteous. They are in a waiting, though in an inconceivably blissful, state. Of the precise nature of that state — of its employment, if employments it has, and we know nothing. All would be speculation if we were to speak of these matters.

Our concern to-day is with the termination of that, their incomplete condition. When shall I come to when and? We have this very definitely answered for us by St. Paul, and a chapter of which we shall have much to say, and in a verse of that chapter which we will take for our text, I Cor. XV. 23. Noticed he is speaking of the resurrection of the dead: and he says, “But EVERY ONE IN HIS OWN ORDER: CHRIST THE FIRST-FRUITS: AFTERWORD THEY THAT ARE CHRIST’S AT HIS COMING.”

Well then: from these words it is clear that the end of the expectant state of the blessed dead, and the reunion of their spirits with their risen bodies, will take place AT THE COMING OF CHRIST. Here at once we are met by a necessity to clear and explain that which of these words import. In these days, it is by no means superfluous to say that we Christians do look forward to a real personal coming of our Lord Jesus Christ upon this our earth. I sometimes wonder whether ordinary Christian men and women ever figure to themselves what this means. I suppose we hardly do, because we fancy it is so far off from ourselves and our times, that we do not feel ourselves called upon to make it is subject over practical thoughts. To this we might say, first, that we are by no means is sure of this: and then, that even if it were true, the interest of that time of His coming for everyone of us is hardly lessened by it’s not been near us, seeing that if we be His, it will be, when ever it comes, the day of our resurrection from the dead. It is evidently the duty of every Christian man to make it part of his ordinary thoughts and anticipations — that return of the Lord Jesus from heaven, even as He was seen to go up into heaven. Now, our object to-day is to ascertain how much we know from Scripture, without indulging in speculations of her own, about this coming, and to this resurrection which shall a company it. The latter of these two we made the subject of a sermon a very few Sundays ago; but it was not so much with our present view, as to lay down the hope of resurrection as an element among the foundations of the Christian life.

Now one of the first and most important revelations respecting this matter is found in the fourth chapter of I Thess., ver. 13-18. These Thessalonians had been, as we learn from the two epistles to them, strangely excited about the coming of the Lord’s kingdom. Perhaps the Apostle’s preaching among them had taken as specially this form; for he was accused before the magistrates of saying that there was besides or superior to Caesar another King, one Jesus. And this excitement of the Thessalonians, fancying as they did that the Lord’s coming would come in their own time, they thought that their friends who through Jesus had died a happy death were losers by not having lived to witness the Lord’s coming. In D., they sorrowed for them as those that had no hope: by which expression it seems likely that the even suppose them to be altogether cut off from the benefits and blessedness of that coming by not having been able to see it in the flesh thereupon St. Paul puts them right by saying — using the same argument as in that great resurrection chapter, I Cor. XV., — that “if we believe that Jesus Himself died and rose again, even so also those who through Jesus have fallen asleep will God bring with Him,” that is, will God bring back to us when He brings back to us Jesus.

You may just observe, by the way, that the whole force of what the Apostle says is very commonly lost, by a wrong method of reading those words. We very commonly hear them read, “will God bring with him.” But thus we, as I said lose the force of the argument, which is: If Jesus, our first-fruits, are representative, died and rose again, so will all who die in union with Jesus rise again. And in order to that, the same power of God which brings Jesus back to us, will with Him, with the Jesus, bring their spirits back, and order to that resurrection.

Well, what then? “This we say unto you by the word of the Lord” — thus the Apostle introduces, not an argument, not a command or saying of his own, but a special revelation — “that we, which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord” (for nor does that at first, at the early time when these Thessalonians epistles were written, first of all St. Paul apostle as letters, the Apostle looked forward to that day of which neither man nor angel know with, as about to come on in his own time) shall have no advantage, no priority, over them which have fallen asleep. And why? For this reason — that “the Lord Himself shall come down from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the Archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first:” that is, shall rise before anything else happens — any changing, or summoning to the Lord, of us who were alive.

Now here let us pause in the sacred text, and consider what it is which we have before us. Mind, we are speaking to-day as the Apostle is speaking in this passage, entirely of the blessed dead; of those whom it may be said that the root Jesus their death is but a holy sleep. We have clearly this before us: at a certain time, fixed in the councils of God, the Father, known to know created being — mysteriously unknown also, for He Himself assures of this of this and words which no ingenuity can explain away, to the Son Himself in His state of waiting for it — at that fix time the Lord, that is Christ’s, shall appear in the sky, visible to men in His glorified body; and His coming shall be announced the men by a mighty call, a signal cry, and by the trump of God.

Now let me at once say that as to such expressions as this, when we are told that they cannot bear of their literal meaning, but are only used in condescension to our human ways of speaking, and thus an attempt is made to deprive them in fact of all meaning, I do not recognize any such a rule of interpretation. If the wordsare used to suit our human ways of thinking, I can see no reason why the things signified by those words may not also be used to affect our senses, which will still be human, when the great day comes. As to the sound being heard by all, or as to the Lord being seen by all, I can with safety leave that to Him who made the I and the ear, and believe that if He says so He will find the way for it to be so.

Now let us follow one with the description. With the Lord Jesus accompanying Him, though unseen to those below on the earth, will be the mere he adds of spirits of the blessed dead. And notice — for is an important point, since Holy Scripture is consistent with itself and another place on this matter — that this coming none are with the Lord, no spirits of the departed, I mean, except those of the blessed dead. In other words, this is not the general coming to judgment, when the whole of the dead shall stand before God, but it is that first resurrection of which of the Evangelist speaks in the Apocalypse, when he says, chap.XX.5, “the rest of the dead lived in not again until (a prescribed time at which he mentions, whatever that may mean) that the thousand years were finished. Blessed and holy is he that hath parts in the first resurrection; on such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ.

Then, the Lord being still descending from heaven and on the way to this world, the dead in Christ shall rise first — the first thing: the great shall be opened, and the bodies of the Saints that sleep shall come forth, and, for so the words in Shirley imply, their spirits, which have come with the Lord, shall being united to those bodies, each to his own.

Here, again, I can see no difficulty. The same body, even to us now on earth, does not imply that the same particles compose it. And even the expression” the same body” is perhaps a fallacious one. In St. Paul’s great argument on this subject in I Cor. XV. he expressly tells us, that is not that body which were sown in the earth, by a new and glorified one, even as the beautiful plants, which springs from the insignificant or the ill-favorite seed, is not that which was sown, but a body which God has given. What ever the body shall be, they will be recognized as those befitting the spirits which are reunited to them, as they also be fit the new and glorious day into which they are now entering.

This done, they who were alive and remain on earth, having been, which is not asserted here, but is in I Cor. XV.com a changed so as to be in the image of the incorruptible, spiritual, heavenly, will be caught up together with the risen saints and clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: to meet Him, because He is on His way from heaven to earth, on which He is about to stand in that latter day.

Thus, then it, the words which I have chosen for my text will have their for film it. Christ has been the first-fruits of this great harvest — are ready risen, the first-born from the dead, the example and pattern of that which all His shall be. This was His order, His place and the great procession from death unto life; and between Him and His, the space, and definite to our eyes, is fixed and determined in the councils of God. The day of His coming hastens on the word. Well men are speculating and questioning, God’s purpose remains fixed. He is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness. His dealings with the world are on two large as scale for us to be able to measure them, but in them the golden rule is kept, everyone in his own order. Christ’s part has been fulfilled. He was seen alive in his Resurrection body; He was taking that body from earth to heaven. And now we are waiting for the next great event, His coming.

What is lay has the Church set apart a season and every year in which this subject may be uppermost in our thoughts. Further is nothing we are so apt — nothing, we may say, that our whole race is so determined to forget in out of sight. It is alien from our common ideas, it ill suits are settled notions, that the personal appearing of Him in whom we believe should break in upon the natural sequence of things and which we are concerned. And the consequences, that you will hardly find, even among believing men, more than one here and they are who at all realizes to himself, or has any vivid expectation of this personal coming of Christ. Think of the Christian Church as taking its faith and hope from the New Testament; and then compare that faith and hope, as actually exist with reference to this point, with the New Testament — and the discrepancy is most remarkable. In the days when it was written, 1800 years ago, every eye was fixed on, every man’s thought was busy about, the coming of the Lord. You will hardly find a chapter in the epistles and which it is not spoken of, or alluded to, with earnest anticipation and confidence. Where as now, when it is brought so much nearer to us, it has almost vanished of the consideration of the Church altogether. No doubt something may be said by way of reason why it should occupy a less prominent place and our thoughts than it did in theirs. The Lord’s own words, and those of the Divinely- messengers who announced His return, spoke of it simply as certain, without any know of time being attached. Hence, those who had seen Him departs believed that they themselves should behold Him returning. There can be no doubt in any fair-judging mind that, besides these eyewitnesses, St. Paul, when he wrote that fifth chapter of the Second Epistle to the Corinthians, had a full persuasion that he himself should be of those on whom the house and not made with hands, that is to be brought from heaven, was to be put, without his being on clothed from the earthly tabernacle, he looked at such unclothing and his own case as possible, but was confident that it would not happen so. And again, when, in the over-zeal of the Thessalonians, they imagine that the coming of the Lord was actually upon them, and he in his Second Epistle checks and sets right that premature a some and, he does so in words which, as he wrote them, might very well have had all their for film it within the life-time of man. The was words now appeared to us and more of the true sense in which the Spirit, whose by Paul, and tended them: we see that the apostasy their predicted, and the man of send their set down as to be revealed, our great developments or concentrations of the unbelief of churches and nations, but there is no evidence that the men of that day saw any such meaning in the words. As it was gradually, and not without conflict if, revealed to Peter and his side of the apostolic band, that the Gentiles were to be fellow-heirs and partakers of the peace of Christ, so gradually, and not without some sickness of hope the bird, made manifest to the Church that the coming of the Lord should be for ages and generations delayed. Unmistakable indications of this truth appear in the Lord’s own prophetic discourses, which we know how to interpret

And all this is no doubt our reason why the great subject should be less constantly and less vividly before our minds then it was before theirs. But it is no reason why it should have dropped out altogether: none, what are we should almost universally neglect the revelations of Scripture respecting the manner and details of His coming and confuse them all together and the vague popular idea of the judgment-day; none, what are we should forget the mention of the landmarks which He Himself has pointed out along the wilderness journey of His Church, — and so, as far as an us allies, provide for her being unprepared when He appears.

The end of the state of waiting of the blessed dead, the end of our present state of waiting, will be that day of His appearing. Let us fix as well and our minds: and do not let us be kept from doing so by being told that there is danger and allowing the fancy to exercise itself on the unfulfilled prophecies. No doubt there is. But I am not exhorting you to exercise your fancy on them. Faith and fancy are two wholly distinct things. To my mind, there can be hardly anything more detrimental to the faith of the Church than always to be fitting together history and prophecy, magnifying insignificant present or past events into fulfillments of a prophetic announcements. They who do this are forever being refuted by the course of things; and then they shift their grounds, and come out as confidently with the new scheme, as they did before with her old one. Nothing can more tend to third discredit on God’s prophetic word altogether; and it is no doubt in part owing to such speculations that faith in the Lord’s coming has become weakened among us. He Himself has told us the great use of His announcements of the future. “These things have I told you, that when the time is come, ye may remember that I told you of them.” When and as each prophecy comes to its time to be fulfilled, just as the years of the captivity predicted by Jeremiah were interpreted by the Church and Babylon, so they Lord’s predictions, and the predictions of His Apostles, will fall at each into its place; and the Church, if she into war in faith and watchfulness, will stand on her look-out, and be prepared for the sign of His coming.

Let us, my brethren, with regard to those who have left us and the Lord, Let us, with regard to ourselves and our own future, be ever looking for and hasting to that day of God; the day when that better thing which God hath provided for us shall be manifested, and day with us shall be complete, who without DOS were not perfect.

And let us not be discouraged by unpromising signs, or by prevalent unbelief. Remember what are Master has said to us and the services of this day, “Heaven and earth shall pass away; but My words shall not pass away.”


We have traced the condition of the blessed dead, from their departure in being with Christ, to the glorious day of the resurrection. Their spirits are safe in His keeping, till that day when He shall call their bodies out of the graves, and they shall be once more complete in manhood, body, soul, and spirit. And our present consideration is, What, in that resurrection, is the next thing which shall befall them? Now the best, because of the most general, text on this matter is that in Heb. IX. 27, “IT IS APPOINTED UNTO MEN ONCE TO DIE, BUT AFTER THIS THE JUDGMENT.”

You will see that here is enounced something comment or nature. We are all to dies; we’re all to be judged after death. And that this is really true of all, and not merely stated generally, to be met afterwards by special exceptions, St. Paul shows, when he, speaking of things but wanting entirely to his own practice, and his own justification before God, says, in 2 Cor. V.: “We labor, that whether present in the body or absent from the body, we may be accepted with Him. For we must all be made manifest” (there is nothing about standing in the original) “before the judgment-seat of Christ, that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that which he did, whether it be good or bad.” You will see that here he expressly includes himself among those who are to be made manifest before the judgment-seat of Christ.

Now perhaps you are wondering why am accumulating the Scripture evidence to show a matter which seems to also plain. But I have a sufficient reason. And that reason is, because in other passages of Scripture the blessed dead, or rather the believers in Christ, whether living or dead at that day, are spoken of as if they were not subjected to the general judgment of all, but passed into the glorious life without undergoing that judgment. Thus our Blessed Lord Himself, in John v. 24, says, “Verily, verily, I say and to you, He [sic] that heareth My word, in believeth on Him that sent Me, hath eternal life, and cometh not unto judgment” (for that, and not “condemnation,” is the word used by our Lord), “cometh not unto judgment but hath passed out of death into life.” That would seem to mean that the faithful man has arty pass over out of death, and all that long stood death, sin, and guilt, and judgment, into life: and therefore when the judgment comes he can have no part in it, can not come into it at all, because he is acquitted are ready through the faith in Him who bore his guilt and took away his sin. And similarly, again, a few verses further on, ver. 29, are Lord says, “An hour cometh, and which all that are in the graves shall here of the voice of the Son of man, and shall come forth; they that have done good unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil onto the resurrection of judgment.” That is, I suppose the one shall rise into eternal life — into the fold less of the heavenly state, and the others into the condition, would ever it be, which the judgment shall decide. Of course I am fully aware that I have not quoted these texts as they are read in our English Bibles. The matter stands thus: the word which I have rendered “judgment” is the word always meaning judgment — the word occurring in the very next verse, where are Lord says, “As I hear, I judge, and My judgment is just;” the word used also above in ver. 22, where He says, “The Father committed all judgment unto the Son.” In those two places, because there was no difficulty, our translators kept the word “judgment.” But in those other to which I’ve quoted, because there was an apparent difficulty, they changed “judgment” in one verse into “condemnation,” and the other into “damnation,” without any reason or right soever. Indeed, in the latter of the two passages, not only is this so, but the whole sense is broken up by their unfaithfulness, Are Lord having mentioned the resurrection of judgment, proceeds to vindicate the justice of that judgment: “As I hear, I judge: and My judgment is just, because I seek not Mine own will, but the will of Him that sent me.” So that the difficulty, which man’s meddling with the Bible has tried to remove, does exist in the Bible as it came from God. And we must try to see through it, not to hush it up by being unfaithful to the plain language of our Lord.

Nor does it exist here only. Bar Lord Himself has given us one great description of the final day of judgment, in His own discourses; and another by the pen of His beloved apostle. We will take the latter first, as being, for our present purpose, the fuller of the two: and we will show in what remarkable point the two agree. And Rev. XX.4, it passage to which we made reference last Sunday, we find the first resurrection taking place, and the faithful dead rising to reign with Christ during a period known as a thousand years. And it is expressly said, “The rest of the dead lived not till the thousands years were finished.” Now, I am not here taking upon me to explain the meaning of this, but merely to insist on the fact that, would ever may be the precise imports, is so stated. Well, and what then? When the thousands years are expired, and when the last great victory of the cause of God over it evil has been gained, then we read, “And I saw a great white throne, and Him that sat on it; and I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead that were in its; and to death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them: and they were judged every man according to his works.” So far the description in the Revelation. Now, in that given us abide are Lord in Matt. XXV. we find the Son of man coming in His Glory, and all the holy angels with Him, and sitting on the throne of His glory, and all the nations gathered before Him. But there is this singular coup incidents with the other accounts, that when the King comes to address those on the right hand and those on the left, He says, “Inasmuch as ye did its (or did not) unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye did it (or did it not) on to Me.” Now “these My brethren” cannot of course mean the Angels; therefore there must be some Christ to whom the words must refer. In other words, we have here also the risen saints in glory with the Lord, as in that other account.

But we may go even further yet, and may discover more from Scripture respecting the position and employment of these of the saints who are with the Lord. When St. Paul, in I Cor. VI., is dissuading the Corinthians from taking their disputes before the heathen courts to be settled, he says, “Know ye not that the saints shall judge the world?” And again, “Know ye not that we shall judge angels?” Such expressions as of these can bear but one meaning, and that is, that the saints of Christ are actually to bear part in the judgment, as His assessors. Further then this we know not. It is not our duty to be wise above that which is written; but it is our duty to be wise up to that which is written: otherwise it was written in vain.

What, then, are we to say respecting this apparent discrepancy in the statements of Holy Scripture concerning the dead in Christ? If it be true that it is appointed unto all men once to die, but after that the judgment; if it be true through that we all, including even the apostles themselves, shall be manifested, laid open, before the judgment-seat of Christ, how can it be also true that the believer in Christ has already passed from death into life, and therefore cometh not into judgment at all? How can it be true that while others shall rise to a resurrection of judgment, he shall rise to a resurrection of life? How can those descriptions be correct which we have been quoting, of those a living in reigning with Christ long before the general judgment, and even taking part in it with Him?

I believe the answer is not difficult, and perhaps may best be found by remembering another variety of expression in Scripture respecting a kindred matter; I mean the way in which the saints of God are spoken of in relation to death itself. On the one hand, we know that it is appointed on to all men to die; and that the faith in service of the Lord bring with them no exemption from the common lot of all mankind. Not only is this proved everyday before our eyes, but Scripture gives us its most direct testimony that those who believe in Christ must expect it. The very expressions, “the dead in Christ,” “those who through Jesus have fallen asleep,” show that this is so. Yet again, on the other hand, some passages would almost look as if death itself for the Christian man did not exist. Christ is said to have abolished death; we learn from His own lips that “if a man keep His word he shall never taste of death; “He has said again, “He that liveth and believeth and Mean shall never die.” Now in this case there is no practical difficulty, get the variety of expression is very instructive. We all know what lies beneath it; namely, the fact, that though the believer in Christ must undergo the physical suffering of death like other men, yet death has become to him so altogether without terror and curse that has been for him Dee prized of real existence and power. The apostle in Rom. VIII. gives the full explanation: “The body indeed is dead because of sin, but the spirit is life because of righteousness.

Well, now let us apply this to the case before us. Let us take the same solution, and see whether it will not suffice. The Christian shell, like other men, undergo the judgment after death; thus one set of Scripture declarations shall be fulfilled. But to the believer, who has died in the Lord, what is the judgment? He stands before the judgment-seat, perfect in the righteousness of Him to whom he is united, and from whom death has not separated him. His sentence of acquittal has been long ago pronounced; he cometh not into judgment, so that it should have any substantial it effect in changing or determining his condition. The resurrection is for him not a resurrection of judgment, not one in which the judgment is the leading feature and characteristic, but is only and purely a resurrection of and unto life: one in which life is the leading feature and idea.

Thus for the blessed dead the judgment has the dark side: “there is no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus.” But though it has the dark side, it has a bright one. Never for a moment to the Christian scriptures lose sight of the Christian reward. Those who die in the Lord, like the rest of men, shall be laid open before the tribunal of Christ. Their sins have been purged away in his a toning blood; they have been washed and justified and sanctified in the name of Jesus and by the Spirit of their God.

But to what end? for what purpose? Was it merely that they might be saved? No indeed, but that God might be glorified in them by the fruits of their faith and love.

And these verses shall then be made known. The A father who saw them in secret show reward them openly. The acts done and the sacrifices made for the name of Christ shall then meet with glorious retribution; yea, even to the least and most insignificant of them, even according to our Lord’s own words — to the cup of cold water given to one of his Little ones.

It is much the fashion, I know, and our days, to put aside and to depreciate this doctrine of the Christian reward. It looks to some people like a sword or reliance on our own works and attainments; and so, though they may in the abstract profess a belief in it because it is in Scripture, they shrink from applying it in their own cases, or in those of others. Now, nothing can justify such a course. We have no right to discard a mode of held up for our adoption and guidance in Scripture. And that this is so held up, who knows his Bible can for a moment doubt? Think of that saying about the cup of cold water just quoted, think of this series of sayings of which it is the end, “He that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward,” etc. think, again, of that series of commands, to do our alms, our prayers, are abstinences, in secret, each ending with “and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.” Think, again, of the parable of the laborers in the vineyard, where the great to final blessing at the hand of the Lord is through out were presented to us as reward, or rather — for so of the word used properly means — wages for work done. And it is in vain in this case to try to escape from the cogent see of our Lord’s sayings by alleging that the doctrines of the Cross were not manifested till after His death and glorification. For, if this were so, then the apostles of themselves had never learned to those doctrines. For the apostles constantly and persistently set before us the aiming at the Christian reward as their own motive, and as that which ought to be ours. Here St. Paul saying that, if he preached the gospel as a matter of duty only, it was the stewardship committed to him; but if freely and without pay, a reward, or wages, it would be due to him. He or him again, in expectation of his departure, glorying and the certainty of his reward: “I have thought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith; backspace: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord the righteous Judgment shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but to all them also that love His appearing.” Listen to St. John, who we are accustomed to regard as the most the lofty and heavenly of all the apostles in his thoughts and motives. What does he say to his well-beloved Gaius? “Look to yourselves, that we lose not the things which we have wrought, but that we receive the full reward.” Listen, again, to that writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews, that apostolic man, eloquent and mighty in the Scriptures, and hear him describing the very qualities and after beats of faith, that he who cometh to God must “believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him,” and saying of one of the first and brightest examples of faith, that he had respect on to the recompense of reward.

So, then, these holy dead who have died in the Lord will in that judgment had each his reward a lot it to him, according to his service and according to his measure. Then the good that has been done in secret will all come to light. All mere profession, all that has been artificial and put on, will drop off as though it had never been; and the real kernel of the character, the fear dealing in charity in love of the inner soul, will be made manifest before men and Angels. Then, not even the least work for God and for good will be forgotten.

How such an estimate of all holy men will be or can be made and published, utterly surpasses our present powers to imagine. We have no faculties now whereby to deal the best truly and fairly with all men: our organs of sense in this present state, and the mines themselves to which those organs convey impressions, are too feeble and limited for the effort required to apprehend all respecting all, as we shall then apprehended. But this need not form any difficulty in our way to believe that such a thing shall be. The power to understand its and the power to receive it surely do not dwell farther off from Irma toward powers now than the full powers of a grown-up man from the faculties and conceptions of a child. In all such matters we are children now. Think we’ve been of the Blessed dead at that day of the resurrection, as rising sure of bliss and all their perfection in Him to whom they were united; being as though there were no judgment, scene that they have One who shall answer for them at the tribunal: judged not withstanding before the bar of God, and passing not to condemnation, but to their exceeding great an internal reward.

One more thing only now is left to us: to ask what we know of that last and perfected state of man — that highest development and dignity of our race, one body, soul, and spirit, free from sin in sorrow, shall reign with Christ in light.

With that question, and its answer, we hope to conclude discourse of sermons next Sunday.


We are to speak two-day of the final state of Blessed of those who have died in the Lord. Their state of waiting has ended; the resurrection has clothed them again with the body, the final judgment has passed over them, and their last unending states has begun. There are no words in Holy Scripture so well calculated to give a general summary of that state as those concluding once of a passage from which I have before largely quoted, I Thess. IV. 17: “AND SO SHALL WE EVER BE WITH THE LORD.”

For these words contain and them all that has been revealed of that glorious day, included in one simple description. The bliss of the moment after death consisted in being with Christ: the bliss of unlimited ages can only be measured by the same. Nearness to Him that made us, union with Him who redeemed us, the everlasting and unvexed company of Him who sanctifieth us: what glory, what dignity, what happiness can be imagined for man greater than this?

And yet is not by dwelling upon this, and this alone, that we shall be able to arrive that even that appreciation of heaven which is within our present powers. We may take it these words, “forever with the Lord,” and we may find in them, as in our Father’s house itself, many mansions. In various ways we are far from the Lord here: in various ways we shall be near Him and with Him there.

But, first of all, we must approach these of various mansions through the airport tolls and the avenues which lead up to them. And one of those is the consideration, who, and of what sort, they shall be of whom we are about to speak. It will be very necessary that we should conceive of them aright.

Well, then, they will be men with bodies, souls, and the spirits like ourselves. The disembodied state will be over, and everyone will have been united to the body which he or she had before death. What do we know of this body? Very glorious lots rise up in our minds when we think of it; but in this course of sermons I am not speculating; I am inquiring soberly was revealed to us about the blessed dead. Well, then, again, what do we know of this body of the resurrection? In Phil. III. 21, there is a revelation on this point. Is there said that “our home is in heaven, from whence also we expect the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: who shall change the body of our degradation that it may be fashioned like unto the body of His glory.” And this change is very much dwelt on as a necessary condition of the heavenly state, and I Cor. XV. “Flesh and blood,” i.e., this present natural or physical body, the body whose in forming tenants is the animals soul, cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither can corruption, that which decay’s in passes away, inherit corruption, that states where there is no decay nor passing away. So, then, a change must take place at the resurrection: the change which shall pass also on those were alive and remain at the Lord’s coming. The bodies of the risen Saints, and of those were to join them in being for ever with the Lord, will be spiritual bodies: bodies tenanted and informed in chief by that highest part of man, which during this present life is so much it dwarfed down and crushed by the user patience of the animals soul; viz., his spirit.

Now, it would be idle to conceal the fact, that we cannot form any distinct conception with the spiritual body may be. No such thing has ever come within the range of our experience. But some particulars we do know about it, because God has revealed them. And of those, the principal are specified in this very passage: “It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption.” It cannot decay. Eternal ages will pass over it, and it will remain the same. Again, “it is sown in dishonour: it is raised in glory.” There will be no shame about it, as there will be no sin. Thus much of from these words is undoubted. What else they may imply we cannot say for certain; probably unimagined degrees of beauty and radiancy, for so the word glory as applied to anything material seems to imply. Further: “It is sown in weakness: it is raised in power.” That is, I suppose, with all its faculties wonderfully intensified, and possibly with fresh faculties granted, which hear it never possessed, and the mind of man could not even a managing. This last by its being called a spiritual body. As here it was an animal body, subject to the mere animal life or all, hemmed in by the conditions of that and alive, so they are it will be under the dominion of, and suited to the wants of man’s a spirit, the law he and heavenly part of him.

And if we want to know what this implies, are is I’d will be to contemplate the risen body of our Lord, as we have it presented to us and the gospel narrative. As He is, so are we in this world and our essence even now; and as he Is so shall we be entirely there. He is the first-fruits, we follow after as the harvest. What, then, was His resurrection body? It was a real body and admitted of being touched and seen, and had the organs of voice and hearing, yet it was not subjected to the usual conditions of matter as to its commotion, or its obstruction by intervening objects. It retained to the marks of what had happened before death. In order to convince the disciples of His identity, our Lord drank before them. We must therefore infer that these were natural acts of His resurrection body, and not merely assumed at pleasure.

With the body, then, of this kind will be blessed be clothed upon at the resurrection and remain invested for ever in glory. Now let us see further flows from this as an inference. We may further say, that we have implied in it a surrounding of external circumstances fitted to such a state of in incorruptibility and glory. Man redeemed and glorified will not be a mere spirits and the vast realms of space but a glorious body moving in a glorious world. Nor is this mere inference, however plain and a legitimate, holy Scripture is full of it. The power of words does not suffice to describe the duties and glories of that renewed and unfading world. I need not closed passage after passage — they are for Millie are to you all. Nor, again, is it nature alone which it shall be glorious above all our conception here. It would appear that art also shall have advanced forward, and shell minister to the splendor of that better world. The prophets in the Old Testament, and to the beloved apostle in the New, vie with one another in describe in the heavenly city, the new Jerusalem, adorned as a bride for her husband, lighted by the glory of the indwelling Godhead.

Where this glorious abode of Christ and His redeemed shall be, we have not been told by revelation; and it were idle to indulge in speculation of our own. From some expressions in Scripture, it would seem not in probable that it may be this earth itself after purification and renewal: from other passages, it would appear as if that inference were hardly safe, and that other of the bodies and space are destined for the high dignity of being the home of the sons of God.

We have now, I believe, cleared the way for the answer to a question which presses upon us two-day: as far, at least, as the answer can be given on this side of death. Of mankind in glory, thus perfected, what shall be the employ? For I need hardly press it on you that it is impossible to conceive of man and a high and happy is state, without an employment to worthy of that is state, and in fact constituting its dignity and happiness.

Now, some light is thrown on this inquiry by Holy Scripture, but it must be confessed that it is very scanty. It is true that all are meditations on and descriptions of heaven wants balance, and are, so to speak, pictures still composed. We first build up our glorified human nature by such hints as are furnished us in Scripture: we place it in an abode at worthy of it: and then, after all, we give it an unending existence with nothing to do. It was not ill said by a great preacher, that most people’s idea of heaven was to set on a cloud and sing psalms. And others, again, strive to fill out with the bliss of recognizing and holding intercourse with those from whom we have been severed on earth. And beyond all doubt such at recognition and intercourse shall be, and shall constitute one of the most blessed accessories of the heavenly employment; but it can no more be that employment itself then similar intercourse on earth was the employment of life itself here. To read some descriptions of heaven, one would imagine that it were only and at most prolongation of some social meeting; walking and talking in some blessed country with those whom we love. It is clear that we have not thus provided the renewed energies and enlarged powers of perfected man with food for eternity. Nor if we look in another direction, that of the absence of sickness and care and sorrow, shall we find any more satisfactory answer to her question. Nay, other shall we find it more difficult and beset with more complication. For lattice think how much of employment for our present energies is occasioned by, and finds its very field of action in, the anxieties and vicissitudes of life. They are, so to speak, the winds which still the sale and carry us onward. But their action, hope and enthusiasm are excited. But suppose a state where they are not, and life would become a dead calm; the sale would flap idly, and the spirit would cease to look on word at all. So that, and lest we can supply something over and above the mere absence of anxiety and pain, we have not attained to — nay, we are farther than ever from — a sufficient employment for the life eternal. Now, before we seek for it in another direction, let us think for a moment in this way. Are we likely to know much of it? We have before in the sermons adopted St. Paul’s comparison by analogy, and have likened ourselves here to children, and that blessed state to our full development as men. Now ask yourselves, what does the child at its play no of the employments of the man? Such a portions up them as are merely external and material he may take an, and represent in his sports: but the work and anxiety of the students at his book, and the man of business his desk, these are of necessity entirely hidden from the child. And so it is on word through the advancing stages of life. Of each of them it may be said, “We know not with what we must serve the Lord, and till we come thither.”

So that we need not be utterly disappointed if our picture of heaven be a present ill-composed: if it seemed to be little else than a gorgeous mist after all. We cannot fill in the members of the landscape at present. If we could, we should be in heaven.

Remembering this our necessary incapacity for the inquiry, let us try to carry you as far as we may. And that we may not be forsaking the guidance of Holy Scripture for mere speculation, let us take the words of St. Paul, “Now we see in a mirror, securely, but then face-to-face: now I know in part, but then I shall know even as also I was known (by God).” This immense accession of light and knowledge must, of course, be interpreted partly of keener and brighter faculties where way of the blessed shall be in Dowd; but shall it not also point to glorious employment of those renewed and augmented powers? How could one in doubt with them ever remain idle? What a restless, ardent, many-handed saying is genius even hear below! How the highly in Dowd spirit searches of bouts and tries its wings, now hither, now thither, and of acid realms of intellectual life! And if it be so here, with the body weighing on us, with the clogs of worldly business and trivial interruption, what will it be there, where everything will be fashioned and arranged for this express purpose, that every highest employment may find its noblest expansion without let or hinder rings? Besides, think for a moment of the relative positions of men with regard to any, even the least, amount of this light and knowledge of which we are speaking. An order to take in this the better, think of the lowest and most ignorant of mankind who shall attain to that state of glory. Measure the difference between such a spirit and Augustine, and then recollect that Augustine himself, that St. Paul himself, was but a child in comparison of the maturity of knowledge and insight which all shall there acquire. Such a thought may serve to show us what a gap must be bridged over, before any such perfect knowledge will be attained by any of the sons of men. And when we remember that all blessings come by labor and to the goodly heat of exercised energy, shall we deny to the highest of all states the choices of all blessings? So that the attainment of, and advance in, the light and knowledge peculiar to that glorious land must be imagined as affording on ending employment for the blessed hereafter. And this gives us another insight into the matter. As there is a great disparity among many here, so we may well believe will there be there. All Scripture goes to show that there will be no general equalizing, no flat level of mankind. Degrees and ranks as they are now, indeed, there will been none. Not the possession of wealth, not the accident of birth, which are held here to put difference between man and man, will make any distinction there: but any quality and distinction will proceed on other grounds; the amount of service done for God, the degree of entrance into the obedience and knowledge of Him, these will put the difference between one and another there.

But we hasten to a close: and in doing so, we come back to the simple words our text, “for ever with the Lord;” and we would leave on your minds the impression that these, after all, furnish the best key to the employment of the blessed in heaven. If they are fit companions for the Lord, then must they be like you Him as He is there; and thus we seem to have marked out an appointment alone sufficient for eternity. Look at it in its various aspects.

What is, what will be, the Lord doing in that state of blessedness. Will He be a title, like the gods of Epicurus, sitting serene above all, and separate from all, created day? No, indeed, no such glorified board is revealed to us in Holy Scripture. “My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.” The created universe will be then as much beholden to His upholding hand as it is now. If they are to be forever with Him, attending and girding His steps, they, too, will doubtless be fellow-workers with Him there, as they worst year. And in this, only consider how much of his Creation was altogether hidden from them here! Look abroad on a starry night — behold a field of employment for those who shall be ever with the Lord. The greater or of His works never came within sight of this our mortal eye at all. These are only hints, it is true, which we have no power of following outs: but they may serve for finger-posts to point to whole realms of possible blessed employment.

Then, again, there is more in the words “for ever with the Lord” then even if this. Who can tell what past works, not of creation only, but of Grace also, the blessed may have to search into — works wrought on themselves and others which may then he brought back to them but by memory entirely restored, and then first studied with any power to comprehends or to be thankful for them?

Then, again, the glory of God Himself, then first revealed to them — the redeeming love of Christ — the glory of the mystery of the indwelling of the Spirits — dry and lofty subjects to the sons of men here, will be to them when there as household the words and as daily pursuits. It seems to me, my brethren, when we look at all the sources of blessed employment, though we are unable from our present weakness to follow them out into detail — and when we think that perhaps after all and are earthly blindness we may be omitting some which shall there constitute the chief, it seems to me, I say, as if we should have to complain not of insufficient employ for the ages up eternity, but of an infinite and inexhaustible variety, for which even endless ages up limited being hardly seem to suffice.

Such, then, beloved, are the thoughts which have occur to us on the subject of which I pray that it may be one of personal interest to everyone here present.

When we are to leave this present state is a matter hidden from our eyes, and not dependent on ourselves: but how we will leave its, whether as the Lord’s blessed ones, or with no part in Him, this is left for us else to determine. There is set before us life and death. May we choose life, that it may be well with us; that we may wake from the bed of death and find ourselves with the Lord; that we may pass in joyful hope through the waiting and disembodied state, and wake at the morning of the resurrection to that fullness of completed bliss of which we have this day been speaking.


Revelation 20:4-5 What Is The First and Second Resurrection Preterist Perspective


Joel Osteen Says Buddhists Will Be In Heaven

Listen to the short clip and commentary below.


Apostle Paul In 2014 To Cultic Heretical Hyper-Preterists


Max Kingism: An Unkingly Heresy – Stephen Wiggins

Max Kingism: An Unkingly Heresy


By Stephen Wiggins

In 1878 James Stuart Russell, a denominational preacher, wrote and anonymously published a 567-page book entitled The Parousia: A Critical Inquiry into the New Testament Doctrine of Our Lord’s Second Coming. The thrust of this whole literary endeavor was a desperate attempt to show that the Scriptures teach the second coming of Christ “with its connected and concomitant events,” such as the resurrection of the dead, the judgment day, the end of the world, etc., took place during the first century at the destruction of Jerusalem and downfall of Judaism.

Nine years later, in 1887, an unaltered second edition of the same volume (with the exception that the author’s name appeared on the title page) was made available, wherein the author confessed that his views had not met with “ready concurrence” from the reading public. In other words, most Bible students rejected Russell’s newfangled notions as being nothing more than false and fanciful hallucinations of a misguided brain, being as they were without a shred of biblical support.

In 1971, 93 years following the publication of Russell’s original work, Max King, a preaching brother from Warren, Ohio, published The Spirit of Prophecy,wherein he set forth essentially the same conclusions as his sectarian counterpart. Read from Russell first: “We conclude that the parousia, the resurrection, the judgment, and the last day, all belong to the period of the destruction of Jerusalem” (p. 126).

Now hear King:

There is no scriptural basis for extending the second coming of Christ beyond the fall of Judaism. … The second coming of Christ is associated with numerous events that have a direct bearing on the consummation of God’s redemptive purpose, such as the judgment, the resurrection, the end of the world, and the establishment of the eternal kingdom (pp. 105, 155).

Here, both authors clearly affirm that Christ’s second coming, along with other eschatological phenomena, was fulfilled in A.D. 70 with the fall of the Jewish state. The difference between what Russell and King are saying amounts to the same difference as twiddle-dee and twiddle-dum.But now here’s the funny. When C. D. Beagle, father-in-law to Max King, wrote the introduction to King’s book he stated, “I am certain a whole new view of the Scriptures will open up before you.” Bah! Don’t these boys know there’s not a thing under the sun new about this unkingly heresy they’re trying to palm off on the brotherhood? Why, it is nothing more than an old, worn-out, and oft-refuted denominational blunder of a century before – regurgitated tommyrot which reeks of a rancid sectarian stench from toe to top – repudiated and rejected many times over by sound and sensible students of the Book. You will please excuse me when I choose not to swallow this spiritual strychnine as suicide of the soul has never appealed to me.

Even if the stuff were new, as the Kingites take pride in spouting, this would only prove it is a Johnny-come-lately, too modem to be anything kin to scriptural truth of the apostolic kind. What? You say King will tell me that the resurrection is past already, as there were some in the first century teaching the same? O.K. Let’s see what inspiration says about it – “And their word will eat as doth a gangrene, of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; men who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already, and overthrow the faith of some” (2 Tim. 2:17-18).

See? It’s not new. But like a sassy, old woman prancing around in a miniskirt, King thinks he’ll get some lookers if he can dude up his ancient heresy in chic garb of the 20th century. But we know better.

Published September 1993

The Allurement of Hymenæn Preterism: The Rise of Dispensable Eschatology by Jim West

The article originally appeared in the July 1997 The Chalcedon Report and is reprinted with the explicit permission of that body

A fellow pastor of a Reformed congregation informs me that a recent visitor to his congregation was encouraged to sign the guest book. When the service was over and the congregation disbanded, he peered at the guest book and noted the signature of the visitor, followed by a most unusual appendage: his name followed by the word “preterist.” The visitor could have saved the minister a lot of time from searching the dictionary for the meaning of the word had he signed his name “Hymenæus” instead of “preterist.”

What is a “preterist?” And who was Hymenæus? The word “preterist” is a grammatical term describing what is “past.” Thus, if our interpretation of the Book of Revelation is that most, if not all, the book is fulfilled, we would be “preterists.” Or, if our interpretation of the first 34 verses of Matthew 24 saw their fulfillment in the A. D. 70 coming of Christ, we would subscribe to the preterist interpretation. However, in recent years a new expression of preterism has emerged that assigns the Second Coming or Parousia of Christ, the general Resurrection, and the Great White Throne Judgment to the past. In other words, there are no future prophetic events. According to this scenario, time will continue on this terrestrial ball forever. Both sin and the earth are everlasting. At death the soul of the believer passes into the presence of God and the soul of the unbeliever (presumably) to judgment-both to be disembodied spirits forever. The advocates of these ideas call themselves “consistent preterists” over against the “inconsistent preterists,” who, it is claimed, fail to face the implications of their position. The so-called “consistent preterist” holds that the Second Coming of Christ occurred in A. D. 70, and that the resurrection occurred when Israel was spiritually quickened. Some “consistent preterists” will even claim to be Calvinistic in their soteriology. Consequently, Christians who truly love the doctrines of grace may be taken unawares. There will be the temptation to treat bygones as bygones, to minimize the colossal differences. This amalgamation-temptation threatens to compromise the historic creeds of the church, especially such vital Christian teachings as the resurrection.

The Centrality of the Resurrection

The cardinal doctrine of the New Testament is the resurrection. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 15 that if Christ be not raised up, our faith is vain, our preaching is vain, and we are of all men most miserable. Paul’s thrust is that a dead Christ cannot save and that the church cannot have communion with a Christ who is still in the throes of death. Christ was raised from the dead in order to justify us (Rom. 4:25). Most significantly, it was by Christ’s resurrection that He “was declared to be the Son of God with power. . .” (Rom. 1:4). The resurrection is not only a blazing advertisement for the verity of Christianity, but the supreme attestation to the Deity of Christ Himself. If there is no resurrection, there is no Christianity. Scripture even teaches that salvation itself is a resurrection (Jn. 5:24). The purpose of Christ’s resurrection was to justify the whole man-body and soul. Even the new birth is actually a metaphor for the resurrection instead of the resurrection a metaphor for the new birth. Our labor is based on the bodily resurrection of Christ too. We are animated to work because of the resurrection (1 Cor. 15:58). Our work ethic is not only the (proverbial) “Protestant Work Ethic,” but “the Resurrection Work Ethic.” This is why we abound in the work of the Lord. Our very redemption is portrayed as the redemption of our bodies (Rom. 8:23).

What about Hymenæus?

The “consistent preterists” (as they charitably define themselves) deal with the resurrection in a manner that parallels two apostolic personalities. We refer to Hymenæus and Philetus, whom Paul names in 2 Timothy 2:17. These men were apparently church members (they “named the name of Christ”- verse 17). They were resurrection preterists and probably preterists in regard to the Second Coming of Christ, too. Paul tells us in 2 Timothy 2:18 about their belief that “the resurrection is already past.” How could they have been afforded some prestige in the church?

For starters, they no doubt arrived at this conclusion sometime after their profession of faith in Christ. Thus, they were members in good standing in the church. In addition, they may have been leaders in the church, perhaps even elders or pastors. What is more, they did affirm and confess the resurrection! The resurrection was an important article of their faith that perhaps they would even have died for. They would confess their whole-hearted agreement with the “Blessed Hope” of the Second Coming and the promise of the resurrection. Upon being questioned about their views, they would argue that their faith is the same faith as the church as a whole, except for their exotic belief that the resurrection is “already past.”

What did they mean when they taught that the “resurrection is already past”? First, their error was not that the resurrection of Christ was “past.” Recognition that the resurrection of Christ was an historical event is not heresy. Had Hymenæus denied the past resurrection of Christ he would have been guilty of an obvious deviation from Biblical truth. One reason is every sermon in the Book of Acts exalts the resurrection of the flesh of Christ. The Apostle Peter provided a homiletic precedent for all future sermons by citing the second Psalm and its teaching about the resurrection of Christ’s “flesh” (Ac. 2:31). So this could not have been his error.

If Hymenæus meant that the bodily resurrection of the believer is “already past,” he would have been speaking nonsense, for he himself would have been bodily resurrected. It is possible that he might have referred to the individuals who were resurrected on the very day that Jesus was crucified (Mt. 27:51-53). However, since 1 Corinthians 15 and other resurrection-Scriptures were written long after that, the probability of this is zero.

The interpretation with the most distinct ring of truth is that he embraced the idea that the Christian’s spiritual resurrection is past or that Israel’s spiritual resurrection is past. Therefore he argued that there was no future, bodily resurrection for believers (or even unbelievers).

Reasons for Hymenæn Preterism

Why did Hymenæus and Philetus argue that the resurrection was past? The first reason is that they no doubt had a low view of the body-perhaps thinking of the body as a kind of shell for the more important spirit. This is the old error of Platonism that taught that the “body is the prison of the soul.” If the body is the prison of the soul, that does not forebode good things about the body; neither does it envision any future resurrection of that “prison.” The very word “prison” is inflammatory; couched in modern terms, we could ask why anyone would want to resurrect Alcatraz so that he might once again occupy cellblock 25?! This is how they viewed the body: as cellblock 25. Scripture teaches that it is the grave that is the real prison-not the body. The pathetic Greek view of the body was influenced not only by Gnostic thinking which despised matter as evil, but also by a confounding of the good and the sinister usages of the word “flesh” in the New Testament (Gal. 5:19; Ac. 2:30-31). Its modern equivalent is those who despise the body, such as monastics, or those who mistreat their bodies by the neglect of the right foods or exercise or over-indulgence, such as gluttons and drunkards. An old expression of this contempt for the body is the doctrine that our souls preexisted before our bodies. The idea here is that the body was made only to house the all-important soul. A recent expression of contempt for the body was the thirty-nine self-murderers in Rancho Sante Fe who wanted to be liberated from their bodies to reach the “next level.” They justified the exit of their spirits by demeaning their bodies as mere “containers.”


The second attraction of Hymenænism is that it is ostensibly consistent (given the erroneous premise that the Second Coming of Christ has already occurred). Scripture does teach that the Second Coming and the resurrection of the body are simultaneous events (1 Cor. 15:23). In this passage Paul writes, “But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.” If the only coming of Christ is His A.D. 70 spiritual coming, then the resurrection must have occurred then too. Hymenæns are therefore compelled to merge Christ’s Second Coming at the end of human history with his A.D. 70 coming. Virtually all of the “comings” of Christ in the New Testament are seen through Hymenæn glasses.

The new Hymenæn view parallels the Hymenænism of Paul’s day except that we know more about its details. The new Hymenaens do teach the Second Coming of Christ and the general Judgment during the last days. There is the “up-front” declaration that these doctrines are true-but again with the caveat that they are “already past.” Some Hymenæns even assert that all the eschatology of the Bible is fulfilled and “all is perfect” in the New Testament era-a statement that exudes a tinge of Christian Science and naivete.

Overreaction to Dispensationalism

The third attraction of Hymenænism stems from an overreaction to dispensationalism, together with its esoteric charts and graphs, which include one false prediction after another. The church has been listening to the voices of Darby, Scofield, Hal Lindsey, Dave Hunt, Ryrie, Jack Van Impe, and Chafer, etc., for over 150 years. Whereas the hallmark of dispensationalism is elaborate charts and comic-book scenarios of the future, the Hymenaens have no charts at all. For them there is nothing to think about; all prophecy is fulfilled-no charts at all. Life is easy. Eschatology is the easiest of all. They peer into the future and see nothing. They speak of all prophecy as “fulfilled eschatology.” One Hymenæn writer even tells us that the “hope of the resurrection” is an “empty” hope and an empty expectation, and that with regard to the future the Christian turns over the next leaf “and there is nothing.” Amazingly, the followers of Hymenæus have chosen to combat dispensational eschatology with an eschatology that dispenses with eschatology!

Matthew 24

Jesus’ Olivet Discourse in Matthew 24 highlights a Hymenæn interpretation versus a true, preterist interpretation. Our Lord completes the first part of His sermon with the famous “Time-Text,”-”Verily, verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away until all these things be fulfilled.” The orthodox preterist interpretation is that everything that occurred before verse 34 saw its fulfillment in that generationthe contemporary generation of Jews. However, the Hymenæns merge everything that occurs after verse 34 into the A.D. 70 spiritual coming of Christ. For example, Hymenæns argue that even verse 36 is about A.D. 70, when Jesus states, “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.” The problems with this viewpoint are explained adequately by Marcellus Kik in his Eschatology of Victory, and the reader is urged to review his arguments. Echoing Kik, we affirm that the designated “that day” does not refer to the days of tribulation for Israel prior to the coming of the Romans. The reason is that “that day” had already been introduced by our Lord earlier, even as far back as the Sermon on the Mount. For example, the Lord tells us that not every one who says unto Him, “Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven,” and that “many shall say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (Mt. 7:21-23). Earlier in Matthew, the Lord compared Israel’s judgment with some of the historic cities that were notable for wickedness. Christ preached, “But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment than for you.” And again, “But it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment than for thee” (verse 22, 24). Christ had already drilled the “that day of judgment” terminology into the heads of the disciples, which they would have understood as including Sodom and Tyre and Sidon on a day other than A.D. 70. Certainly Tyre and Sidon and Sodom were not judged in A.D. 70. In the Matthean account of the Olivet Discourse, “that day” is an explicit reference to the great day when God will judge all past, present, and future generations. Paul also in his sermon to the Greeks on Mars’ Hill preached “a day” that God will judge all men (Athenians included-not just Jews) by that Man Whom He has appointed (Ac. 17:31).

The best commentary on the “that day” terminology of verse 36 is both what follows verse 36 and what flows from verse 36. There are several parables that follow verse 36, the Faithful Servant and Evil Servant (24:45-51), the Wise and Foolish Virgins (25:1-13), and the Talents (25:14-30). This string of Second Coming parables is capped off with the picture of the Son of Man judging the nations “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” (25:31). When he comes “all nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides the sheep from the goats” (25:2). Christ’s coming to judge all nations does not merely follow Matthew 24:36 in chronological sequence-it flows from it.

Interestingly, both dispensationalists and Hymenæns have adopted an all-or-nothing approach: the former interpret virtually every coming of Christ prophesied in the New Testament as the Second Coming; the latter interpret every prophesied coming as Christ’s A.D. 70 spiritual coming. There are then dispensational eschatologists and dispensable eschatologists.

The “dispensable eschatology” of the Hymenæns also dispenses with the resurrection of the believer’s body at Christ’s Second Coming. Beginning with the premise that there is only one coming of Christ (A.D. 70) they force all other parousia-texts into an A.D. 70 straitjacket. This forces them to deny the resurrection of the flesh and to wrest the meaning of 1 Corinthians 15. Scripture teaches that what makes the Second Coming of Christ the “blessed hope” is not a bare, physical coming of our Lord. The “blessed hope” is not only tied to the “hope of the resurrection,” but is colored and defined by the resurrection (1 Cor. 15:19; Ac. 23:6; 26:6; 2:26; 1 Thes. 4:13ff). It is only because of the resurrection of the body that we will be able to see the Lord and be caught up with the Lord in the air. This was the faith of Martha who said, “I know that he [Lazarus] shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day” (Jn. 11:24), and the repeated teaching of Christ who taught, “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day” (Jn. 6:40, 44, 54). The Hymenæns repeatedly fail to distinguish between the “last days” of Israel and “the last day” at the end of this world. This in turn causes them to trivialize the resurrection of Christ and to discount the believer’s bodily resurrection altogether.

Misunderstanding Paul

A fourth attraction of Hymenænism is based upon a misinterpretation of Paul’s statement in 1 Thessalonians 4:15, where he writes, “For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not precede them which are asleep.” Devotees of Hymenæus argue that Paul believed that he and others would escape death to witness the Second Coming. It is then urged that the Parousia had to occur during Paul’s lifetime. There are innumerable problems with this interpretation. First, not only would Paul have to be alive, but everyone in the church at Thessalonica to whom he was writing, too (he did say “we” which are alive). If we dogmatically assert that Paul experienced the Parousia, then we must dogmatically assert the same for all his readers. If so much as one of his readers was cut off by death before the Parousia, then we could not rule out the possibility that Paul himself (as well as all the Thessalonians) might have died before the advent of the Lord. Clearly, Paul is not telling the Thessalonians that each of them would escape death to experience the A.D. 70 coming. 1 Thessalonians may in fact have been the first letter that Paul ever wrote-perhaps twenty years before the destruction of Jerusalem. The reason he speaks of himself and them (the Thessalonians) as “living” is because he must distinguish between the living and the dead. His goal is to impart comfort to the living, not because he knew that the living would be alive when Christ returned, but because the living needed to know that their dead would be the “first” beneficiaries of the Second Advent (1 Thes. 4:16). His purpose is to impart comfort to the living about their dead (this is why he numbers himself with the living), not to prophesy that his generation would escape death altogether.

Another problem with the Hymenæus interpretation of 1 Thessalonians 4:15 is that this very epistle was read by other Christians too. It was to be read by “all the holy brethren” (1 Thes. 5:26-27). Keep in mind that the influence and therefore the fellowship of the Thessalonian Christians was great: this church was an example to “to all in Macedonia and Achaia who believe” (1 Thes. 1:7). From this church the word of the Lord (which included “the word of the Lord” spoken to Paul about the Parousia and the resurrection – 1 Thes. 4:15) “sounded forth” “in every place” (1:18). According to Hymenæn logic, every pre-A.D. 70 Christian who read 1 Thessalonians 4:15 would beat the grim reaper to be alive at Christ’s A.D. 70 coming.

The disciples of Hymenæus argue that all of Matthew 24 is about A.D. 70. Christ’s coming to judge Israel is the Second Advent, they claim. Yet, Jesus says in Matthew 24:36, “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.” If, as the Hymenæns assert, the “that day” of verse 36 applies to the A.D. 70 coming (which not even Christ in His human nature was privy to), how could Paul and all the Thessalonians know that they would escape death to experience it?

The Hymenæns also have an insurmountable difficulty meshing 1 Thessalonians 4:17 with 1 Corinthians 15:52, which reads, “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump, for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” Notice: whereas in 1 Thessalonians 4:15 Paul speaks of himself as possibly alive when Christ returns, in 1 Corinthians 15:52 he speaks of himself as bodily “resurrected” when Christ returns. Paul’s intent is not to declare that he would be dead when Christ returned, any more than he would be living at his return. He is merely identifying himself with the people of God. Paul no doubt had a certain knowledge either that he would be alive or that he would be a participant in the resurrection after his death, but that certain knowledge is not the same as saying that he knew for sure which one of these alternatives would be his lot.

Also, nowhere does the Bible state that the bodily resurrection of all believers “is near,” is “at hand,” is “close.” However, there is a statement describing the heretics who assert that the resurrection is “already past”-the Hymenæns!

Satanic Pride

The fifth reason for Hymanæn theology is Satanic pride, a desire to pass muster before men. Heretics love novelties. The pride in this case is not just opposing the resurrection theology of the Bible, but the craving to make a name for oneself-the desire to have the preeminence, that is, the spirit of Diotrephes (3 Jn. 9). The pride factor is particularly easy to spot in the Hymenæns, for they are obsessed with a resurrectionless preterism. It extends further than identifying oneself as a “preterist” on the guest registrar of the church. The Hymenæns are campaigning to “subvert” the Faith of others. Believing that they have discovered some new truth that has been hidden from the church for the last 2000 years, we can well understand their zeal. In Paul’s last words to the elders at Ephesus, he wept, stating that after his departure, grievous wolves would enter in, and from even their own selves “shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them” (Ac. 20:30). Since Paul was writing to Timothy who was probably in Ephesus, we can identify Hymenæus and Philetus as two of these invaders.

What Is a Resurrection?

Because of the simultaneity of Christ’s coming and the believer’s resurrection, the Hymenæns are forced to redefine the word “resurrection.” For example, R.C. Leonard and J.E. Leonard in their book, The Promise of His Coming, define “resurrection” as following:

The New Testament term for resurrection, anastasis, is not a theological word but is related to the verb stenai Paul employs in the above passage [Eph. 6:11-13]. In ancient Greek literature, stenai is sometimes used in the sense of rising up in protest or rebellion. Resurrection or anastasis is literally “standing again” in defiance of enemy powers, and thus contains an element of vindication. (181)

The Leonards then quote Acts 2:23-24, where Peter argues that after Jesus was crucified, that “God raised Him up again. . . .” Thus, for the Leonards “resurrection” means vindication. What they call only “a feature” about Christ’s resurrection becomes the leading motif so that his bodily resurrection is diminished. For the Leonards, the real victory of Christ was not his overcoming physical death, but his standing up for his cause. Their notion that anastasis (“resurrection”) is not a theological word is both unwarrantable and astounding! The weakness of their whole argument is shown by the appeal to the Greek outside the Bible and even that is indirect-the best they can do is relate anastasis to the Greek verb stenai, which even by their own admission is used infrequently outside the Bible. Therefore, what is universally defined in the New Testament as a resurrection of the flesh, plays second fiddle to Christ as a mere champion and rebel. Of course, every interpreter of the New Testament ought to know that it is the context of the New Testament itself that colors and defines a word. What kind of credibility can a person have who would argue that the Greek word for resurrection is “not a theological word”?! The Leonards both dodge and discount the word anastasis as it is used throughout the Bible.

Hymenæns compound their error about the resurrection further when they argue that all of 1 Corinthians 15 is a description of the spiritual resurrection of Israel during the last days of Israel’s existence. The Leonards tells us:

All of this shows that, for the New Testament writers, the resurrection is an ongoing process. It corresponds to the fulfillment in Christ of God’s promises to Israel during the last days of the old covenant period. Resurrection is accomplished “by the Spirit” and is a progressive overcoming of sin-death (Ibid, 171).

Not only is Israel not mentioned in 1 Corinthians 15; there is no Scripture proof that resurrection is “a progressive overcoming of sin-death.” Resurrection is connected to crucifixion and is as once-for-all as the death of Christ on the cross. That the Leonards see 1 Corinthians 15 as having its fulfillment in the A.D. 70 experience of Israel makes them the contemporary disciples of Hymenaeus.

Does all this mean that the Leonards rule out a future, bodily resurrection? They claim that while the Scriptures do not teach a future bodily resurrection, nevertheless, “fulfilled eschatology does not take issue with a bodily resurrection” (Ibid 177). This cavalier concession should not impress us, for it goes no further than the old Sadducean error. Alfred Edersheim recounts:

…the Talmud expressly states that the real principle of the Sadducees was not, that there was no resurrection, but only that it could not be proved from the Torah, or Law. From this there was, of course, but a short step to the entire denial of the doctrine; and no doubt it is taken by the vast majority of the party” (Sketches of Jewish Social Life, 241).

Also, we should note that the comment about not taking issue with a bodily resurrection is more a concession than a confession. Paul did not concede the resurrection; Paul proclaimed both the resurrection of Christ and the resurrection of the believer (1 Cor. 15:1-4).

1 Corinthians 15

The error of making the resurrection refer to the resurrection of man’s spirit or to the resurrection of Israel is an attack on the resurrection of Christ himself, for if Christ’s resurrection is a true paradigm of ours, then his and ours must be identical. The believer’s bodily resurrection is tied to the resurrection of Christ, whose resurrection is the down payment of ours (1 Cor. 15:1-9). 1 Corinthians 15 teaches that Christ is the “firstfruits of all that slept” and that “every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits: afterward they that are Christ’s at His coming” (vs. 20, 23). This is proven not only by the word “firstfruits” which means that the first sheaf is the same as the others in the resurrection harvest, but the fact that the first part of 1 Corinthians 15 defines Christ’s resurrection in terms of his body. He rose again on the third day (v. 4), he arose according to the Scriptures (verse 4-which would include such Psalms as Psalm 16 where the “flesh” of Christ is stated), and he was “seen” (v. 5-8).

Not surprisingly, many Hymenæns do in fact spiritualize Christ’s resurrection. This is done in two ways: (1) It may be argued that Christ arose in spirit and that his post-resurrection appearances were in a temporary bodily form that he assumed after his spirit-resurrection. Therefore all of the physical appearances of our Lord after his spirit-resurrection were not, according to them, in the same body in which he was crucified. (2) The students of Hymenæus will also argue that the body of Christ was a “spiritual body” (meaning a non-physical body). This conclusion is made on the basis of 1 Corinthians 15:44, where Paul writes that “it is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body and there is a spiritual body.”

How shall we respond to the Hymenæus “resurrection” theology? To begin with, not all Hymenæns are as consistently heretical as they should be. Not all boldly dispute the physical resurrection of Christ. Some seem non-committal; others are slippery; others (the Leonards) see vindication for a cause as the central motif; still others have imbibed the historic Anabaptist idea that God created a new body for Christ (his resurrection not being a resurrection so much as a new creation). Yet, whatever the nuance of their heinous error, they do in fact argue against it when they deny the bodily resurrection of the believer. Paul deduced that if our bodies are not raised up, then Christ is not raised up (1 Cor. 15:16). The reluctance of every Hymenæn to come to grips with his error resembles the deniers of the virgin birth of Christ, who would argue against the virgin birth, and yet claim both the impeccability of Christ and the full Deity of Christ. It is not difficult to see that the belief that Jesus was begotten by an earthly father threatens the doctrine of His impeccability. Also, how can a man with a naturalistic origin be a supernatural Savior? Likewise, if we disclaim the future resurrection of the believer, we are in fact repudiating the historic resurrection of Christ, no matter how much we protest to the contrary.

Let us not imagine that the Hymenæn movement is monolithic either. Hymenæns who claim the title “consistent preterist” disagree with other Hymenæns who claim the same. While all Hymenæns agree that the resurrection is “already past,” not all formally disclaim the resurrection of Christ in the flesh. They may discount the importance of Christ’s resurrection, but not all discount its factuality. Other Hymenæns argue for the discontinuation of the Lord’s Supper since Christians are to partake of the Supper “till He come” (1 Cor. 11:26). Thus Hymenæns themselves do not have a uniform definition of a “consistent preterist.”

Second, the belief of many Hymenæns that Jesus took upon himself only a temporary body after His spirit-resurrection fails to answer some significant questions. The Hymenæns have no explanation as to what became of the body of Christ after his ascension: as far as they are concerned, it may have peeled off like a space-capsule. Also, this does not explain the empty tomb. If the resurrection of Christ was a spirit-resurrection, why was the tomb empty? The empty tomb speaks tons about the physical resurrection. The fact that there were still holes in the side of Christ and imprints of nails in his hands testifies that the body that was crucified was the same body that was resurrected (Jn. 20:25, 27). Christ describes himself as body when he challenged his disciples, “Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have. And when he had thus spoken, he showed them his hands and his feet” (Lk. 24:39-40). Notice: Christ describes himself as “I” in the bodily sense, even denying that he is a “spirit.” There is no spirit-resurrection here.

Third, the “spiritual body” of the believer does not mean that the believer will possess a non-physical body. The contrast in 1 Corinthians 15 is not between a physical body and a non-physical body. Paul’s contrast is between a “natural body” and a “spiritual body.” What is a “natural body?” The answer is a body that is susceptible to death, pain, etc. A “flesh and blood” natural body is different from a “flesh and blood” spiritual body because the spiritual body is raised up by the same Spirit that raised Jesus and is incapable of dying (Rom. 8:11). Christ was not raised up a spirit, but a “spiritual body.” As Zacharias Ursinus wrote:

The apostle means by a spiritual body, not that which is changed into the Spirit, or which is in all its properties equal to the Spirit, but that which is ruled by the Spirit of God, which is immortal and free from all misery, adorned with heavenly splendor, glory, activity, strength, and holiness.

Augustine is also most helpful. He wrote:

We must not imagine that because the Apostle says that the body which we have in the resurrection will be spiritual, that it will be purely spiritual without any body. But he calls that a spiritual body, which is wholly subject to the Spirit, and which is free from corruption and death; For when he calls the body which we now have a natural body, we must not suppose that it is not a body, but a soul. Therefore as the body which we now have is called natural, because it is subject to the soul, and cannot be called spiritual, because it is not yet fully subject to the Spirit, as long as it may be corrupted, so it will then be called spiritual, when it will not be able with any corruption to resist the Spirit.

Perhaps sensing the consistency problem, some Hymenæns are toying with the idea that there may not even have been an incarnation of Christ too. Others assert that the resurrection of Christ was spiritual. Despite certain discontinuities in the movement, all Hymenæns diminish the body-believing that the body is extraneous to man’s being. This obviously raises questions about their overall view about Christ’s Person and work. To be a truly consistent, Hymenæn preterist, one should deny the flesh of Christ from cradle-to-grave, resurrection to Second Coming.

So, it is important to understand that the Hymenæn movement is a Christological error as well as a prophetic error. The fall of just one “incarnation-domino” will lead to the fall of a second domino, etc. No Second Coming in the flesh means no resurrection of the flesh and no resurrection of the flesh means there is no incarnation. Watch the dominoes fall! We have here a “dispensable Christology” as well as a “dispensable eschatology.”

Paul’s Assessment of Hymenæn Theology

How then should we treat those who embrace Hymenænism and yet claim to wear the badge of Christianity? We must look to Paul’s charge to Timothy. Paul tells us that the Hymenæns have “erred with respect to the truth” (2 Tim. 2:18). Erring with regard to the truth means that we have erred about the “truth of the Gospel.” His description of the Hymenæns is not that they have erred with respect to one truth among many Gospel truths. On the contrary, their error is a capital error; the whole truth has been denied.

Their preterist resurrection theology has overthrown the faith of some. This is a powerful indictment. Not merely the faith by which we believe, but The Faith that we believe is defeated, destroyed.

The teachings of the Hymenæns are labeled a “canker,” a gangrene, perhaps a cancer. The Greek word could be a medical word or a word describing oxidation. If the former, then, the church is compared to a living organism. A malignancy or a gangrene can only destroy this organism! Hymenæn theology is a cancer in the living organism of the church.

Hymenæns also make “shipwreck” of the Faith (1 Tim. 1:19). The shipwreck is a religious shipwreck. Hymenænism is not a mere pinhole in the hull of the good ship salvation.

The upshot is that we should not be referring to the disciples of Hymenæus as “beloved brethren,” as “good friends,” as “dear Christian brethren.” They are the enemies of Christ and the enemies of the church. The “sons of the resurrection” should not be taken unawares. Hymenæns who are members in Christian churches should be disciplined for their error, even delivered over to Satan so that they would not blaspheme (1 Tim. 1:20).

If a church unwittingly carries Hymenæn books (such as the Leonards’ The Promise of His Coming, or J. Stuart Russell’s The Parousia), these books should be torched or removed immediately. No church should pray God’s speed on the disciples of Hymenæus. If a church has Hymenæn members, let her admonish or rebuke these subverters at once. We dare not give them the Lord’s Supper. We must not let them get away with calling themselves “preterists” or “consistent preterists,” or believers in “fulfilled eschatology.” The word “preterist” is a good word. The disciples of Hymenæus are not preterists; their “dispensable eschatology” makes them heretics. What is more, they are antichrists; for only the spirit of antichrist says that Jesus Christ did not come in the flesh (1 Jn. 4ff). When we interview new members, we need to question them about Christ’s resurrection and ours. Hymenæns are not our friends; they are the enemies of the cross. If we deny the future resurrection of the body then we deny the resurrection of Christ. And if we deny the resurrection of Christ’s flesh, then we deny his accomplishment on the cross. The design of Christ’s bodily resurrection was to implement His sacrifice on the cross, when He suffered the wrath of God in his body and in his soul. He came to redeem us in body and in soul (Rom. 8:23; 1 Cor. 6:20).

Hymenænism is damnable heresy.



(Did It Occur in A. D. 70?)

Down through the ages some have tried to predict when the Lord would come. In the middle of the 19th century, William Miller twice tried to predict the coming of Jesus, and twice he missed it. Then Judge Rutherford had his say, and concluded that Jesus came invisibly in 1914 which the Jehovah’s Witnesses still teach today.

Now it is being taught in a few congregations of the Church, that the second coming transpired in A. D. 70 at the destruction of Jerusalem at which time the following points of major Bible teaching were fulfilled:


It is taught that Jesus came invisibly, in power and fulfillment of scripture which relates to His second coming, in the army of Titus when He besieged and destroyed Jerusalem in A. D. 70. Thus a “spiritual” application is made with all the scriptures which refer to it. In taking the liberty to “interpret” the scriptures for us, some say they have it all figured out for us. Literal rather than figurative.

Acts 1: 10-11. ” . . . And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, two men stood by them in white apparel which also said, ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven.”

Notice that men were literally looking up into heaven with their eyes, and were told that He is coming in like manner. Some tell us that He came in A. D. 70 and men may see Him with their mind’s eye, if they will only look.

Revelation 1: 7 tells us “Behold he cometh with clouds, and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him; and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, amen.” His second coming could not have taken place in A. D. 70, as scholars tell us that the above scripture (the book of Revelation) was written A. D. 81-96. Early writers like Eusebius, Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria and Origin, and later writers also, say it was written in the reign of Domitian.

1 Thess. 4: 16 “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout.”

2 Thess. 1: 7-9 “And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God and obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ; who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his power, when he shall come to be glorified in his saints . . .”

some questions are in order:

  1. Has he come?
  2. Has he come as he went?
  3. Did he come in A. D. 70 as the second coming?
  4. Did every eye see him?
  5. Did he come with a shout? Who heard him?
  6. Did he come with flaming fire?
  7. Did he take vengeance on those who did not obey the gospel?
  8. If he came in A. D. 70 as some claim, will he take vengeance on those who do not obey the gospel who have lived since then? When and how?
  9. If he came to take vengeance on those unbelieving Jews who were persecuting the Christians in Thessalonica in A. D. 70 by destroying their city, when did he take vengeance on the Gentiles who were also persecuting the Christians there? I Thess. 2: 14 says that the Christians in Thessalonica were suffering things of their own countrymen (Gentiles).
  10. Has Jesus been glorified I his saints? Was he glorified any more after A. D. 70 than he was before?

Some say, “How can every eye see him because the earth is round and if he comes in the air in one area how can those on the other side of the earth see him?” All I have to say is that some have a very small concept of our omnipotent, omnipresent God and their thinking borders on the realm of modernism which is nothing more than rejecting the miraculous and replacing it with were human reasoning. According to Luke 17: 34 it will evidently be night on one side of the earth as he states ” . . . there shall be two men in one bed, the one shall be taken, and the other left . . .” and this indicates it will be day on the other side of the earth as two women will be grinding at the mill, and two men shall be in the field one taken and the other left. Besides all this I Tess. 4: 17 says some will be caught up in the air. According to 2 Cor. 5: 16, Jesus is not coming in the fleshly body; his appearance may well cover all the earth.

A huge effort is put forth to prove the Lord came in A. D. 70 by stressing the words “nigh” James 5: 7-8; and “The time is at hand” Rev. 1: 3.

First, remember that the Lord came many times in providential judgment. Isaiah chapter 13 and Ezekiel 32 are but two example. Another example is found in Revelation 2: 5 where Jesus told the church in Ephesus to repent and do the first works or else I will come unto thee quickly and remove the candlestick out of its place. Likewise we have a very similar saying in regard to the church at Pergamos, Rev. 2: 16 “Repent, or else I will come unto thee quickly and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.” A. D. 70 may have been a providential judgment of the Lord too.

Second, I would much rather let the Apostle Peter explain a word than anyone else, and here is Peter’s explanation to those who thought the coming of the Lord was to appear immediately, and when he did not they asked, ” . . . where is the promise of his coming?” Peter said, ” . . . One day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as a day . . .” In view of this it has been only a couple of days with the Lord, and we have reason to believe he is coming. Further, if the second coming of Christ took place in A. D. 70 that was only about four years after Peter wrote his second epistle and his statement of “A thousand years as a day . . .” with the Lord, would have had no significance to them at all.

Peter wrote all of these things anticipating what would happen in times to follow because he stated “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days, (he did not say, these are the last days, and this is happening now) scoffers, walking after their own lusts, (we may have some scoffers around now) and saying where is the promise of his coming? For since the fathers fell asleep all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.” We will have somewhat more to say about 2 Peter 3 later.

Phil. 3: 20-21 ” . . . for our conversation is in heaven from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who shall change our vile body that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body.” Some say the word “body” here refers to the natural, decaying, transitional body of death which existed between A. D. 33-70 while Christianity was being perfected out of Judaism.

To begin with, Jesus took away the old at the cross. Col. 2: 14 “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that were against us, which were contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross.” Also Hebrews 10: 9 ” . . . He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.”

The scriptures do not teach that the old law (Judaism) remained after the new was begun, so that God might bring out of it the perfected kingdom. Much was written by the inspired men to try to show that old was not valid after the new came. Thus Paul wrote, ” . . . Whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.” Gal. 5: 4.


“So man lieth down and riseth not; till the heavens be no more they shall not

awake, nor be raised out of their sleep” Job 14: 12. These words in Job indicate there will be a resurrection when the heavens pass away. But there are those who teach that the resurrection was not to be taken literal and that it was accomplished in A. D. 70 at the destruction of Jerusalem. They say that Jesus came invisibly and raised the Christian system out of the ministration of death, or out of Judaism. Also, if I understand their teaching, they say that Jesus took the righteous dead and moved them from the intermediate state into heaven itself, and at that time he also cast the devil and his angels, the wicked dead, the beast and the false prophets into the lake that burns with fire and brimstone.

You be the judge of this in view of the following scriptures:

John 5: 28-29 “Marvel not at this, for the hour is coming in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil unto the resurrection of damnation.”

When Jesus calls all forth from the graves will be the time when all who lives and died will be made alive in Christ. I Cor. 15: 22 “For last enemy to be subdued is death and he is to destroy that when he comes and raises all that are in the graves. But, as long as there remains graves with the victims of death in them, and as long as people continue to die, certainly we can see that death has not been destroyed.

Acts 24: 15 Paul said, “And have hope toward God which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.”

Again Acts 26: 8 “Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you that God should raise the dead.”

Romans 8: 11 In this passage we read of the resurrection of Christ and we are assured that ” . . . If the spirit of him that raised up Christ from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken (make alive) your mortal (fleshly) bodies by that spirit which dwelleth in you.

I Cor. 15: 23 tells us ” . . . Christ the first-fruits; and afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.” Verse 20 says “Christ is risen from the dead and become the first-fruits of them that slept.”

Now the word first-fruit is very important. There is a law of reproduction that we cannot ignore. This law was first stated in Genesis one and repeated there many times. Things reproduce after their kind. Now one cannot deny that Paul was speaking of the literal resurrection of Christ in this chapter and thus since he was bodily raised from the dead, we shall be also.

John adds a bit to this also when he said, “It doth not yet appear what we shall be, but we shall be LIKE HIM for we shall see him as he is” I John 3: 2.

While Jesus was in the body upon the earth the Sadducees, who did not believe in a bodily resurrection, came to him trying to trap him and asked, “Whose wife shall she be in the resurrection, for seven men had been married to her one after the other, but each had died?” According to those who do not believe in a bodily resurrection, Jesus should have told them that they were right in not thinking of a bodily resurrection, BUT HE DID NOT! He said to them, “Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God, for in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven” Matt. 22: 23-33. The very fact that people are still marrying and giving in marriage, shows the resurrection has not come.

2 Tim. 2: 16-18 Here we read of two men who had some “vain babbling” and were saying that the resurrection had already passed. This apparently happened in about 66 A. D. Paul said they had erred from the truth and overthrown the faith of some. Now if the resurrection took place in A. D. 70 as some say, then Paul should have told them to wait a little while – you are a bit too early.

It is difficult to see how anyone can say that the resurrection is passed, and that there will be no resurrection of the dead from their graves. Every where people continue to die. There are thousands and tens of thousands of graves every where you look, and so it is evident that the resurrection has not come, and that death has not been destroyed.


It is being taught that the general judgment took place in A. D. 70 at the destruction of Jerusalem. It is said that God vindicated his church and perfected it then. At that time he also took vengeance on the unbelieving Jews and destroyed their city. To them this may be the judgment, but it apparently is not what the Bible teaches about the general judgment. Let it be understood that people are being condemned or justified by their daily response unto truth and opportunity. Further, the Bible apparently teaches that God’s judgment was revealed many times. His providential judgment was seen in Isaiah 13, Eze. 32 and in Rev. 2: 5 etc. We are not dealing with those things, but with the general judgment.

Eccl. 12: 14 “For God shall bring every work into judgment with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” Did that happen in A. D. 70? Matt. 11: 21-24 “But I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment than for thee.” God did not bring Sodom into account in A. D. 70 with the Jews when he destroyed Jerusalem. Hebrews 10: 28-29 “He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses; of how much sore punishment, suppose ye shall he be thought worthy who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?” if judgment took place in A. D. 70 then there was no sorer punishment, but they simply died as did those who despised Moses’ law. Also, there would be no sorer punishment awaiting those who sin willfully – and no fear for any before God now.

Acts 24: 25 Paul reasoned with Felix ” . . . of judgment to come.”

Hebrews 13: 4 It is stated here that God will judge the whoremongers and the adulterers. Did he do that in A. D. 70 at the destruction of Jerusalem? Of course not, for some are around today who must be judged.

2 Peter 2: 4 states that God has reserved unto judgment the angels that have sinned, and in verse 9 he said that “The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished.” In this we should notice that punishment came after judgment, and we read in Hebrews 9: 27 “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” We must conclude that the order is: death, judgment and then punishment for the wicked; and death, judgment and a crown of life for the righteous. 2 Tim. 4: 8 Paul said there was a crown of righteousness awaiting him and those who love his appearing.

Rom. 14: 10 “For we must all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.”

2 Cor. 5: 10 “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that everyone may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done whether it be good or bad.”

Matthew 25: 17 teaches we are now exercising our talents as stewards. This could not be if the judgment is past already.

Acts 17: 31 Paul declared, “He hath appointed a day in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men in that he hath raised him from the dead.” Paul was speaking to Gentiles there – were the Gentiles judged in A. D. 70 when Jerusalem was destroyed. They probably were not affected at all.

John the apostle wrote apparently after A. D. 70 and told of seeing the judgment scene. He said, “And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it from whose face the earth and the heavens fled away; and there was no place found for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books according to their works.” The evidence is clear – the judgment is to come.


It is taught that the kingdom did not fully exist until A. D. 70, 2 Tim. 4: 1 is used for proof. The idea is that it was begun on Pentecost and perfected in A. D. 70 at the destruction of Jerusalem.

Consider: The kingdom passage found in the Bible before Acts 2, (Pentecost) all refer to the kingdom as yet to come. Then you will notice that all of the references to the kingdom after Acts 2, speak of it as being in existence. Yet to Come: Isa. 2: 2-4; Dan.2: 44; 7: 13-14; Matt. 3: 2; 10: 7; 16: 17-19; Mark 9: 1; Acts 1: 6; Matt. 16: 28.\

Kingdom in existence: Acts 8: 12; Rom. 14: 17; Col. 1: 13; Heb. 12: 28; Rev. 1: 9. Now if all scripture was written before A. D. 70 as they claim – how is it that the above scriptures speak of the kingdom as being already in existence? Let those who believe such give us a scripture written after A. D. (According to their belief) that states that the kingdom came in A. D. 70. As far as that is concerned, let them give us a reference from early historians which declares that the kingdom came in A. D. 70. They cannot, I think. The word kingdom is one of the appellations given to God’s people. There are many different terms used to refer to the same, and each has its own significance. Thus, when the church came, the kingdom came. When the regeneration came, the true tabernacle which the Lord pitched and not man, came also.

Thus we may conclude that the kingdom was established on the first Pentecost after the resurrection of Christ when the power came on the apostles as we learn from Mark 9: 1 and Acts 2. God made it like he wanted it. It was not partly or imperfectly made and later perfected. Jesus was presented with the kingdom when he went to the Ancient of days, and at that time there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages should serve him, Dan. 7: 13-15. That was the time that he ascended up on high (Eph. 4: 8-10) and led captivity captive, Psa. 24. That was when the gospel was sent forth into every nation, Matt. 28: 18-20; Acts 1: 6-8. How much more perfect could the kingdom have been after A. D. 70, than it was before?


We are told that the above things did not come in their fullness until A. D.70. I

ask that you carefully consider the following:

  1. In A. D. 64 the Christians at Ephesus had been blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ Jesus, Eph. 1: 3. They had all blessings then, how could they have had any more after A. D. 70?
  2. In A. D. 64 they had redemption. Eph. 1: 7 “In whom we have redemption, through his blood . . .” How could they have had any more after A. D. 70?
  3. In A. D. 64 the Ephesians had obtained their inheritance. “In whom we also have obtained an inheritance, Chapter 1 verse 11.

The church began in A. D. 33 and these blessings were given to the members.

They had forgiveness of sins also. Col. 1: 14, “In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.”

These blessings were just as complete as they will ever be upon this earth. When Jesus comes Christians will be glorified with him, Col. 3: 1-4.


According to those who teach the A. D. 70 doctrine, the end of the world came

in A. D. 70. It was not the end of this literal world that we live in, as you know, but it was the end of Judaism. Thus all scriptures that deal with eschatology relate to the end of Judaism as set forth in the destruction of Jerusalem, they say.

Surely we know that the word “world” is used in different ways in the Bible, so that is not the question. The question is, does the Bible speak of the end of this earth and the heavens or heavenly bodies? They say no. I would ask them this, what if this earth does end; as scientists say it must slow down in its orbit and eventually be destroyed, would it not cause a great catastrophe, and would not people perish from off the earth? We know that this would be the case and so it would be a literal fulfilling of 2 Peter chapter 3. A more detailed study of this subject is set forth in another tract on a related subject.


Those who believe that the world ended in A. D. 70, naturally would believe

that the new heavens and earth are not literal either. They say this term found in 2 Peter 3 and in Rev. 21, refers to the Christian age and we are living in it now as Christians. What of the former things that are to pass away? Rev. 21: 4 Things like death, sorrow, pain and tears? They are still with us and we can not deny that. But more on this great subject in another tract.


People now have the opportunity to believe in Christ and let their faith become a motive to move them to repent and express their faith and be baptized for the remission of sins that they thus may make the preparations to meet the Lord when he comes again. This old world will end and “The end of all flesh” will again come as God stated in Gen. 6 when he was to send the flood. “Be ye also ready, for in such an hour as ye think not; the Son of man cometh” Matt. 24: 44.



(Did The 2nd Coming Occur in A. D. 70?)



We usually think of the Godhead as being in heaven. Heaven is spoken of as being above and separate from the earth. However, the Bible present God, the Word, (later known as the Son) and the Holy Spirit to the human race upon the earth at many times.

The Word was present in the creation (John 1: 1-3, 14). The Spirit was there, as we read that the Spirit moved upon the face of the waters. God was there as we see in the words, “And God said . . .” Then we find God in the garden walking and talking with Adam and Eve. It is evident that the three of the Godhead were present because of the words ” . . .Let us make man . . .” In Gen. 1-3, the Bible depicts God talking with people upon earth, many times passing judgment and executing his wrath. In view of this we would expect to find the Godhead (including Christ) appearing upon earth at various times.


In Genesis 6 we read of God observing the wickedness of man upon the earth. We also read of the Spirit – “My Spirit shall not always strive with man . . .” Christ was apparently present there too, as we read in I Peter 3: 18-20, “For Christ hath also once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit by which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; which sometime were disobedient when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water . . .”


Since the Godhead is principally in heaven, Christ must have come to the children of Israel in a figurative way during the time of the deliverance of Israel from Egypt. He must have been present in their wanderings as Paul wrote in I Cor. 10: 4, “And did all drink the same spiritual drink; for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.”


“Behold, the day of the Lord cometh” Isa. 13: 9. “They come from a far country, from the end of heaven, even the Lord, and the weapons of his indignation to destroy the whole land” Isa. 13: 5. “Therefore will I shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove all of her place . . .” Isa. 13: 13. Then in verse 10 he speaks of the sun being darkened and the moon not shining etc. All of this is spoken about the destruction of Babylon when God’s wrath was poured out upon it. Did he come? Surely he did in power and providence just like he said he would. There you have a coming of the Lord.


We read in Ezekiel 30 of the impending doom of Egypt. In verse two it says, “For the day is near, even the day of the Lord is near . . .” Then in chapter 32 we find a similar message to that given about the destruction of Babylon. The Lord said he would make the land of Egypt desolate – verse 15, and in verse 7 he said he would make the stars dark and cover the sun, and the moon would not give her light. Did the Lord come? Yes he surely did.


Next, we know that the Lord came physically and literally in the flesh. He was begotten of the Spirit, Luke 1: 35; born of a virgin, Isa. 7: 14 and Matt. 1: 21, and rightfully called the Son of God. Here we have the Word in the flesh. John 1: 14, He was in a body of his own. Previously he had been present in the creation, in the days of Noah, etc. but then he was upon earth in a body having come of the seed of the woman, Gen. 3: 15. Some find it difficult to believe in a virgin birth. I think that God presented only a small portion of his great power in the virgin birth. Consider the power that it took to create this great big universe. Which is the larger miracle, placing the Word in a human body, or creating the heavens and the earth? The Lord Jesus has come in the flesh, and all had better believe it. “Except ye believe that I am he, ye shall die in your sins” John 8: 24. “He that believeth not shall be condemned.” Mark 16: 16.


After Jesus was raised from the dead, he ascended up into heaven as human eyes saw him go up. But while on earth he told his disciples that he was going away and that he would send the comforter to them. This he said in speaking of the Holy Spirit which he would send to them. Then he makes a statement that makes us realize that truly the Godhead is one – “I will not leave you comfortless, I will come unto you” John 14: 18. Immediately before he ascended he told them that they should receive power, after that the Holy Spirit had come upon them – Acts 1: 8 Then they were to be witnesses unto him in all the world. He further told them to tarry in the city of Jerusalem until they received the power. This they did, and on the first Pentecost after his resurrection the power came, the Spirit came and the Lord came as we see recorded in Acts chapter 2. He had said to them as he gave command to go teach all nations, “And Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world” Matt. 28: 18-20. Did he come? Yes he did, the apostle John said so – “We know that the Son of God has come (NEB) and given us understanding; indeed we are in him . . .” I John 5: 20.


The message of John and the disciples of Jesus while he was upon the earth in the body was, “The kingdom is at hand” Matt. 3: 2; 4: 17. “There be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power” Mark 9: 1. Matthew’s account adds something that is very important – “There be some standing here which shall not taste of death till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom” Matt. 16: 28. Notice the following:

  1. The kingdom was to come in the lifetime of some of those who heard Jesus that day, Mark 9:1.
  2. The kingdom was to come with power, Mark 9:1.
  3. The Son of man was to come in his kingdom, Matt. 16: 28.
  4. Some would live to see the Lord come in his kingdom with power. Now remember that Acts 1: 8 says that “Ye (apostles) shall receive power after that the Holy Spirit is come upon you and you shall be witnesses unto me, both in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”

We may conclude then that Jesus came on Pentecost when the power came with promised Holy Spirit, and thus the kingdom came as all scriptures prior to Acts 2 speak of the kingdom as yet to come, and all scriptures after Acts 2 speak of it as in existence. Pentecost was the time that the word was sent forth from Jerusalem Isa. 2: 1-3. Jesus had promised to build his church, and then uses the words, church and kingdom, interchangeably, all of which is found recorded in Matthew 16; and in Acts 2 we see the fulfillment of that promise. The regeneration had begun. The apostles were given an exalted place of authority sitting on twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel in a sense Matt. 16: 19 and 19: 28. Yes Jesus came as king of kings, as both Lord and Christ (Acts 2: 36). He came in his kingdom with the power of salvation to “whosoever will.” He came in the gospel message which was destined to go into all the world, Mark 16: 15-16. “Go into all the world and preach the gospel unto every creature; he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.” He came in the Spirit to dwell in every one of his true followers.


“Christ in you the hope of glory,” wrote the apostle Paul in Col. 1: 27. Again, in Matt. 18: 20 we find: “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” “That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith” Eph. 3: 17. “If any man have not the spirit of Christ he is none of his” Rom. 8: 9. “And if Christ be in you the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness,” verse 10. These scriptures show that the Christians can expect the Lord Jesus to come to them, and if you have Christ in you, you have the Holy Spirit, Acts 2: 38 and 5: 32. He is promised to all that obey. Then, surely we must conclude that if you are godly, it is because you have God in your heart, and have been made partakers of the divine nature, 2 Peter 1: 4. It is wonderful to know that we have Christ because ” . . .if the spirit of him who raised up Christ from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by that spirit which dwelleth in you” Rom. 8: 11.


Jesus came to Paul on the road to Damascus. He had to see as a risen Lord and be sent by the Lord himself in order to be an apostle, Acts 9: 5; 22: 8; 26: 18. Paul said the Lord had appeared to him. In Gal. 1: 12 Paul indicated that Jesus had revealed his will to him. So we have another coming of the Lord.


Just as the Lord came against Babylon and Egypt of old, so we have a providential judgment passed upon Jerusalem. God had so ordained that the gospel was to be preached to the Jew first and also to the Greek, Rom. 1: 16. Further God gave the Jews ample time to hear and obey the gospel. For about 37 years God had sent forth the message – first to the Jews. During this time his inspired apostles taught by word and epistle, that the old was not to be followed any longer. It had been nailed to the cross – taken out of the way. Now, the words of prophecy spoken by the Lord would be fulfilled in the destruction of Jerusalem, Matt. 24; Mark 13; Luke 21. This apparently happened in A. D. 70. No longer did the temple stand. The city was laid waste. The records were destroyed and Judaism had received a blow from which it has never recovered. This was a coming of judgment just as many others were. We read in Rev. 2: 5, “Repent . . . or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place . . .” This was the word to the church at Ephesus. We have a very similar message to the church at Pergamos. Rev. 2: 16, “Repent, or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.” Those were threats of the Lord to come in judgment if they did not repent, and did not refer to A. D. 70.

We can gather from all of this that the Lord has come in many ways and many times. The destruction of Jerusalem is just one of many. Some in a few congregations of the church are putting far too much emphasis on this and are teaching that all scriptures were fulfilled then and that the Lord is not coming again. They say that was his second coming. In trying to make the destruction of Jerusalem the second coming they misapply many scriptures and do great injustice to the meaning of words. Since they believe that all must be fulfilled there, they must twist, warp, misapply, misinterpret and change any and every scripture and word, that does not fit into their theory.

Here are only a few of the scriptures which we believe they misuse:

  1. The second coming of Christ took place in A. D. 70 they say, and so here is a list of all the scriptures they misuse and must say are all fulfilled then. Acts 1: 9-11; Rev. 1: 7; Heb. 9: 28; John 14: 1-3; I Thess. 4: 13-18; 2 Thess. 2: 7-9; I Pet. 1: 13; 2 Pet. 3: 3-13; 2 Tim. 4: 1-4, 8; Matt. 24: 36-51; 25: 31-46.
  2. The resurrection of the dead: They further must teach that all of these scriptures were fulfilled at the destruction of Jerusalem in A. D. 70. Acts 24: 15; Romans 8: 11; Matt. 22: 23-33; John 6: 39; 5: 28-29; 11: 23; 12: 48; Acts 4: 1; 17: 18, 32; 23: 6, 8; I or. 6: 14; Phil. 3: 10-11, 20-21; Heb. 11: 35; Rev. 20: 13.
  3. All of the following judgment passages they must say have been fulfilled in A. D. 70. Psa. 96: 13; Eccl. 12: 14; Matt. 3: 12; 7: 22-23; 8: 29; 2 Pet. 2: 4; Matt. 12: 36; 13: 30; Luke 11: 31-32; Matt. 13: 41-42, 50; 16: 27; John 12: 48; Acts 10: 42; 17: 31; 24: 25; Romans 2: 5; 14: 10; I Cor. 3: 13; 5: 10, 2; 2Tim. 4: 1-3; Heb. 9: 27; 10: 27; I Pet. 4: 5; 2 Pet. 2: 4; 3: 7-12; I John 4: 17; Rev. 20: 11. Can you imagine all of these scriptures being fulfilled in the destruction of Jerusalem? I do hope you will find out what each of these scriptures say and then judge for yourself whether you believe they were, or even could have been fulfilled in A. D. 70. But there are more to follow:
  4. The End of the World: Judge for yourselves; did you believe these passages were all referring to the end of Judaism? Psa. 102: 25-27; Isa. 51: 6; 24: 19-20; Matt. 5: 18; 24: 3; 2 Pet. 3: 3-13; Heb. 12: 26-27; Rev. 10: 6; 21: 1.
  5. Other scriptures which they say were fulfilled in A. D. 70: 2 Cor. 5: 1-4; In this passage they teach that the earthly house was Judaism and that the house from above is Christianity. It is very evident that Paul was talking about our earthly bodies which we hope to exchange for the heavenly. I John 2: 15-17 which they say was written before A. D. 70, (but it apparently was not written until A. D. 80 or after) in which John says, “Love not the world (they say that means the world of Judaism) neither the things that are in the world . . .” Judge for yourselves.

None of the above scriptures can refer to anything in the future according to Those who teach that the Lord came for the second and final coming in A. D. 70. Makes you wonder what they use to teach God is going to punish the wicked and disobedient, doesn’t it?


The second coming of Christ is yet to be. It will be just as literal in one sense of the word, as the first coming when he came in the flesh. Just as real and literal in the sense that every eye shall see him, they also that pierced him . . . Of course he will not come in the flesh, and he will not literally walk on the earth as he did, but marvelous things will happen when he comes and here is what some of the scriptures evidently teach about his second coming: Acts 1: 9-11; Rev. 1: 7; The second coming: will literally be seen by every eye. I Thess. 4: 13-18; Jesus will come with a shout, and all that are in the graves shall hear his voice and shall come forth, they that have done good unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil unto the resurrection of damnation. John 5: 28-29.

2 Thess. 1: 7-9, “And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ; who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his power, when he shall come to be glorified in his saints . . .”

2 Peter 3: 10-14, “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. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, looking for and hasting unto the coming of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace without spot and blameless . . .”

Phil. 3: 20-21; “For our conversation is in heaven from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who shall change out vile body that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body.”

Acts 2: 33, 36; Jesus is now reigning at the right hand of God as both Lord and Christ. Heb. 1: 3 also states the same. He must reign until he hath put all enemies under his feet, and the last enemy to be destroyed is death, and when he comes with a shout and all in the graves hear his voice and come forth will be the time that he will deliever up the kingdom to God and be in subjection unto the Father also, Read I Cor. 15: 19-28. John 5: 28-29 shows the righteous shall be raised unto life. Matt. 25: 46 shows that the wicked shall go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into life eternal. 2 Peter 3: 13 speaks of a new creation, and Rev. 21 does also.


It is evident that the Lord came many times in various ways and certainly in providential judgment upon many nations including the Children of Israel. Thus, the destruction of Jerusalem may have been a coming of the Lord in providential judgment. However, those who say that was the second coming of the Lord, disregard the plain teaching of many scriptures, and twist them to make them fit their belief, and are deceiving many, and much harm is being done. Congregations are being split, new born babes have been confused and have fallen by the wayside; prospective members of the church have been turned off; hard feelings have sprung up between those who once loved each other dearly; even homes have suffered because of the innovation of this A. D. 70 doctrine which has not really been taught at large, if to any extent, for some 1900 years plus.

Let those who believe that all of the scriptures relating to the second coming were fulfilled in A. D. 70, come forth with words of early writers and historians which affirm and confirm the momentous things they say took place. We are aware of what Josephus wrote, but I am talking about the early church fathers and others of secular history. Where is the record of early Christians who tell us that the Lord’s second coming took place in A. D. 70 at the destruction of Jerusalem? Where are those who declared, like those of old, “This is that which was spoken of the Lord” etc. Surely, if all of those wonderful things which we have shown must come to pass at the second coming of the Lord, happened in A. D. 70, the record of such would fill hundreds and even thousands of pages in the books of history – but, they do not. Jesus is coming again! Let us be ready!



“Naughty Names”
by Dan Trotter

Why it is Perfectly Okay to Call Heretical Preterists Naughty Names

I was recently taken aback when I discovered that an heretical preterist that I knew decided not to attend the annual Southern House Church Conference that I help sponsor, because I had told him via email that he was “gangrenous”. I thought to myself, how could I, the meek, mild, gentle, wimpy, Clark-Kentish Dan Trotter have ever said something that bad about anyone? Four days later I had a flash: I was applying to my full preterist correspondent one of the same terms that Paul had applied to the heretical preterists of his day. Let me quote the words of the inspired apostle: “and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, men who have gone astray from the truth saying that the resurrection has already taken place… (2 Tim 2:17,18a)” When I realized I had apostolic precedent, I immediately felt better about my rhetorical intemperance. In fact, what I said about heretical preterists was positively mild in comparison with what Paul said about the ancient hyperpreterists: he called them blasphemers (I Tim 1:20), he said they had rejected their faith (I Tim 1:19), they had rejected a good conscience (I Tim 1:19), they had shipwrecked their faith (I Tim 1:19), he handed them over to Satan (I Tim 1:20), he called them vain and profane babblers (II Tim 2:16), he said they were ungodly (II Tim 2:16), he said they had gone astray from the truth (II Tim 2:18), and he said that they were upsetting the faith of Christians (II Tim 2:18).

Now, I dare say if I would apply the aforementioned epithets to a modern day Hymenean, I would hear some variation of the following: “Brother, you’re not showing love. This is just a minor dispute about the timing of certain eschatological events.” I would respond to this by not only appealing to Paul, but also to Tina Turner: “What’s love got to do with this?” “Love” is the first word out of the mouth of someone about to lose a theological argument. If someone dumps a load of horse-patookey into my living room, I’m not going to tell him how much I love him. I am going to request of him in no uncertain terms to shovel the stuff out.

Hyperpreterists, of course, don’t like the strictures Paul used against Hymenaeus and Philetus to be used against them, and have gone to great lengths to disassociate themselves from the gangrenous teachings of those two heretics. Heretical preterists have a good deal of trouble doing this, because Hymenaeus and Philetus believed back then exactly what the hyperpreterists believe now: the resurrection of the dead has already occurred. So how do the heretical preterists try to make their case? I am going to lay out their case, and then show you beyond cavil that their case is patently absurd. Once I have done that, I will feel perfectly free in good conscience to end this article by adding some other choice labels to our present day heretical preterists, namely: quasi-gnostic, quasi-manichean, and quasi-liberal.

So, how do the hyperpreterists disassociate themselves from Hymenaeus and Philetus? They do it by trying to argue that Paul was disagreeing with those two, not over the NATURE of the resurrection, but rather, over its TIMING. As we shall see, this is impossible: Paul was upset with Hymenaeus because of Hymenaeus’ view of the NATURE of the resurrection. Paul believed in the physical resurrection of the body (Rom 8:23; Phil 3:21; I Cor 15:20,23,44,52; I Thess 4:16) and Hymenaeus and Philetus did not believe in a physical resurrection of the body, and so Paul anathematized them.

This is how the heretical preterists argue that the disagreement between Paul and Hymenaeus was over the timing of the resurrection, not its nature. First, they point out (correctly) that Hymenaeus was not arguing that a physical resurrection had already occurred. If the argument were that, all Paul would have to do to refute it would be to point out that all the graves around them had bodies in them, therefore no physical resurrection had occurred. Nobody would be dumb enough to assert such an easily-refuted proposition, and no one would be dumb enough to believe it. Therefore, if Hymenaeus didn’t believe that a physical resurrection had already occurred, he must have believed in something else, probably that a spiritual resurrection of some sort had occurred in the heavenlies, which is what the heretical preterists of today believe, and which is what hyperpreterists assert that Paul believed. So, if Hymenaeus believed in a spiritual resurrection, and Paul believed in a spiritual resurrection, Paul couldn’t be upset with Hymenaeus over that, and therefore, he had to be upset only over the timing of the resurrection.

There are two ways to proceed here to prove the hyperpreterists wrong. One would be to point out the numerous Scriptures which easily prove that Paul, in fact, did believe in a physical resurrection, and therefore his disagreement with Hymenaeus was over the nature, not the timing, of the resurrection. This is easy enough to do, and I have done so on a sound recording you can listen to by clicking here: [this link will be available soon] The second way to show that the dispute with Hymenaeus was over the nature of the resurrection, and not its timing, is to grant the hyperpreterists’ premise arguendo, namely that Paul believed in a spiritual resurrection just like Hymenaeus believed, and that the dispute was thus over the timing of the resurrection, not its nature, and then proceed from there to show that this hyperpreterist argument is absurd on its own premises. We’ll do that next.

On hyperpreterist assumptions, the most disagreement that Paul and Hymenaeus could have over timing is approximately forty years. Paul’s view of timing would be governed by Jesus’ words in the Olivet Discourse, in which Jesus said that “this generation” would not pass away until “all these things” previously referred to had taken place (Mt 24:34), one of which was Jesus’ “coming” (Mt 24:27,30). Now, Jesus’ “coming” is intimately associated with the resurrection. This can be seen in such verses as I Cor 15:23 “But each [are resurrected] in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His COMING.” Also, I Thess 4:15 (cf. v.17): “…we who are alive and remain until the COMING of the Lord will not precede [in resurrection] those who have fallen asleep.” Now, if Jesus’ coming was within one generation of when Jesus spoke, and if the resurrection of the dead occurred at Jesus’ coming, therefore the resurrection was also within one generation of when Jesus spoke (on hyperpreterist assumptions). If Jesus spoke around A.D. 30, and a generation is roughly forty years, then the resurrection of the dead (again, on hyperpreterist assumptions) would be around AD 70. This is when Paul would be expecting the coming of Jesus, and the associated resurrection of the just and the unjust (again, granting the hyperpreterists their premises).

If Paul was expecting the resurrection around AD 70, how did Hymenaeus time the resurrection? At the time Paul wrote II Timothy (mid sixties), Hymenaeus believed that the resurrection had “already” come. The earliest that the resurrection could logically be thought by Hymenaeus to have occurred would be the instant after Jesus had returned to heaven. This is so because, Jesus could not have “come” from heaven and caused the resurrection, unless he had first gone to heaven. So the earliest date that Hymenaeus could have possibly taught that the resurrection had occurred is the date that Jesus ascended, which is approximately A.D. 30, which is the date the majority of scholars assign to Jesus’ crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension. And now we compare Paul’s view of the timing of the resurrection, with Hymenaeus’s view of the timing of the resurrection, so we can get a feel for the great, burning controversy that caused Paul to get himself all bent out of shape, and which caused him to label Hymenaeus and Philetus blasphemous, gangrenous, faith-shipwrecked, and consigned to Satan. Paul’s view: A.D. 70. Hymenaeus’s view (at the max): A.D. 30. The difference? A whopping forty years. FORTY YEARS!!!! And for that, Paul is going to send these guys to hell? For forty years? PUH-LEEZE!! If anyone reading this believes that, please email me, so I can show you some great oceanfront property in Arizona I want to sell you.

So, if the dispute between Paul and Hymenaeus can’t be over the TIMING of the resurrection as the heretical preterists so foolishly allege, then that leaves only one option for the subject of the dispute, namely, the NATURE of the resurrection. Paul believed in the physical resurrection, just as scadzillions of Christians through the millennia have believed. Hymenaeus didn’t believe in a physical resurrection, and that’s why Paul was so upset with him and his friends.

The heretical preterists often counter the assertion that they are Hymeneans by pointing out that, although they are claiming the resurrection has already come, as did the Hymeneans, they are different than the Hymeneans, in this one respect: the hyperpreterists are making their claim that the resurrection already happened POST- A.D. 70, whereas Hymenaeus and friends were making their identical claim PRE- A.D. 70. The hyperpreterists then say: see, Hymenaeus was wrong, because, indeed, when Hymenaeus made the claim, in fact, the resurrection hadn’t occurred yet (because they made the claim pre- A.D. 70), but when we full preterists make the claim today, we are perfectly correct in saying the resurrection has already occurred, because it indeed has already occurred, in A.D. 70. This is typical of the slick rhetorical tricks heretical preterists like to use. The reader will notice that the logic I’ve given above pierces their buncombe. That the heretical preterists (given their premises) are right about the timing of the resurrection, and that the ancient Hymenaeans were wrong about the timing of the resurrection, is absolutely irrelevant to Paul’ anger and condemnation of Hymenaeus and company. Paul could not have possibly gotten that upset over a few decades worth of difference in timing between himself and Hymenaeus. What he was upset about was that in saying that the resurrection had already come, Hymenaeus was also saying that there wasn’t going to be another one, which sent Paul ballistic, which sends me ballistic, and which ought to get you pretty riled up, too.

I should point out here that there is another possible way to analyze the controversy between Paul and Hymenaeus, which, however, still leaves the heretical preterists in trouble. I take this argument from Jonathan Seriah’s The End of All Things, p. 158. This argument assumes that the controversy between Paul and Hymenaeus was not over timing (impossible, as we’ve seen above), but it also assumes that Paul and Hymenaeus weren’t disagreeing over the nature of the resurrection either. Says Seraiah, Hymenaeus was referring to the events recorded in Mt 27:52-53 when he says the resurrection already occurred. Those verses say that, about the time of Jesus’ resurrection, “the tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they entered the holy city and appeared to many.” Therefore, on Seraiah’s view, Hymenaeus agreed with Paul that the resurrection of the saints was a physical one, but he disagreed with Paul concerning the extent of the resurrection. Hymenaeus believed that those few that were raised at Jesus’ crucifixion were all that were ever going to be resurrected. The rest of Christendom were going to have their bodies rot in the graves. On the contrary, Paul believed that all the rest of the believers would be raised (physically) at the last day. One will immediately discern that on this view, the hyperpreterists are still at odds with Paul: Paul believes in a physical resurrection of a believer’s body, and he is upset with Hymenaeus, who, like the heretical preterists, does NOT believe in a physical resurrection of (the great majority of) believers’ bodies. Seriah’s view is perfectly plausible, but I like the argumentation I used earlier to crumple the heretical preterists’ position. I like it better because, by assuming the hyperpreterists’ premises, and showing that their conclusions aren’t internally consistent, one doesn’t have to argue over whether Hymenaeus was referring to Mt 27:52-53 or not.

I want to note here that, having seen that the Hymeneans were preaching the same thing the heretical preterists preach today, many will still attempt to let today’s hyperpreterists off the hook by distinguishing the heretical preterists from the Hymeneans on the basis of their persons, since their theology can’t be distinguished. It is said that Paul was speaking against non-believing heretics, whereas, even though the hyperpreterists are preaching heretical doctrine, they themselves are believers, and therefore we should treat them less harshly than Paul dealt with Hymenaeus. This, of course, is a classical ad hominem argument. Just as it is difficult to defend the truth of the existence of charismatic gifts in the church today because of all the crazy things charismatics say and do, it is equally difficult to attack the heresy of a hyperpreterist who does works of tender love and mercy. So why am I so presumptive to do so?

First, let me point out that it is an unproved assumption that the Hymeneans that Paul attacked were unsaved. In the long history of doctrine, there have been a lot of believers who have believed crazy things. Hymenaeus and Philetus could very well have been the first in a long line of believers in Christ who also believed heretical doctrines. This is especially true if Hymenaeus, when he said the resurrection had already come, was referring to the first-fruits resurrection that happened at Jesus’ resurrection. A person who believed this would probably be a believer. And if it be said that if Hymenaeus were preaching a non-physical spiritual resurrection, and therefore he couldn’t have been a believer, all I need to do is point out that present-day hyperpreterist Hymenaeans do the same thing, and they are believers. Therefore, it is perfectly possible, and perhaps likely, that Paul was denouncing fellow believers. But that’s besides the point. Paul was concerned about the effect the DOCTRINE was having on his flock. He wasn’t on a personal vendetta against Hymenaeus and Philetus. He was concerned about the truth, not about winning a personal battle. If we keep our battle against the heretical preterists on that plane, I don’t see why anyone should have reason to complain.

Now that we have established that the heretical preterists’ views are just as damnable as were those of Hymenaeus and Philetus, that leaves us in the happy position of being able to say things about the hyperpreterists at least as naughty as Paul did. I hesitate to do that, because I am a Southern American, and my culture drills into us that we are oh so polite, in each and every circumstance. If our neighbors come to visit us with their kids, and the little hellions draw all over the walls with crayons, poop on the carpet, and grab the cat by the tail and smash his head up side the wall, we hang around by the door for a half hour while we wait for them to leave, telling them what a great time we had, and would they please come back and see us some time. I would like to burst through my cultural limitations and bluntly hang a few choice epithets on the heretical preterists.

First of all, they are quasi-gnostic. Why? For two reasons. The first is that they don’t believe the physical body, or the physical world, is important enough to be redeemed from its physical corruption. The heretical preterists aren’t completely gnostic, because they do believe the body was created good, and that it shouldn’t be abused with licentiousness, and that it shouldn’t be damaged with asceticism. Thank God for small favors.

The second reason the hyperpreterists are quasi-gnostics is that they believe that their full-preterist gnosis has been hidden from the whole Christian community for two millennia, and that only they have seen the light, starting, I suppose, with James Stuart Russell in the late nineteenth century. The rest of benighted Christendom has missed it. That’s the talk of dispensationalists and crazy people. Now, as someone who holds to house church ecclesiology, I am fully aware that a hyperpreterist could level the same charge at me. He could say that since I am in such a small minority, and since hardly anybody sees what I’m doing as the truth, and since I am claiming to have seen the light concerning the church, therefore I am as gnostic as the hyperpreterists. Well, no I’m not. There have been tons of Christians over the ages who have believed as I do about the doctrine of the church. For example, the entire early church up until the fourth century. For example, the Waldensians. How about the biggest church in the world today, the church in China? In fact, there are so many people who have believed the way I do about church, that John Kennedy has written an entire book about them: The Torch of the Testimony. But consider heretical preterism: over the long course of church history before James Stuart Russell in the late nineteenth century, who has believed this nonsense? Nobody.

The second naughty name which I apply to the consistently foolish preterists is quasi-manichean. The original Manicheans believed that evil existed coeternally with the good. The hyperpreterist quasi-manicheans, unlike the Manicheans, believe that there was no evil present with God at the beginning. However, like the Manicheans, the heretical preterists believe that from now on, evil will always be here. The physical creation, including our bodies, will never be redeemed from it. How depressing.

Naughty name number three: quasi-liberal. In my mind, there is almost nothing worse than “liberal” that you can call somebody. Whether its politics or religion, the liberal operates from the dark side. Granted, the heretical preterists differ from liberals in some areas. Hyperpreterists believe in the Virgin Birth, the inerrancy of Scripture, the physical resurrection of Jesus, etc. But notice how many beliefs they have in common with theological liberals: (1) no visible return of Jesus, (2) no physical resurrection of the believer, (3) no Judgment Day at the end of the world, (4) the world will go on forever and ever until it peters out, (5) the devil is not active today in the world, and (6) the miraculous is not active today in the church. And what makes the heretical preterists’ quasi-liberalism even worse is that they spend hours and hours dinning our ears with the very doctrines that the liberals love. I am convinced that what really motivates the hyperpreterist is not the love of the truth, but the fear of the (divine) supernatural. Heretical preterists are usually highly intelligent rationalists who wouldn’t believe a miracle if it happened right in front of their eyes. And incidentally, to call them highly intelligent is not a compliment. The sleazy lawyers that sprung O.J. Simpson were highly intelligent, too. They had to be: they were defending a guilty client.

Ladies and gentlemen, the heretical preterists have denied the historic Christian faith in its essence. Their doctrine is poison. Stay away from it.

Hope: The Incentive To Persevere – Ed Tarkowski

STAND & COMFORT Newsletter
Email NEWSLETTER #32 (Vol 2 No 17)
By Ed Tarkowski


Because of all that Christ has done and the Holy Spirit is now doing in the believer, we stand in the reality of salvation as a free gift by faith. Inherent in that faith is faith’s goal: the fulfillment of our God-given, Christ-centered hope. Faith is what will get us to the time when the hope is fully manifested. Faith is what causes us to patiently endure trials and tribulations and the disciplines of God as he prepares a people in whom He can fully manifest the hope He has given them:


Rom 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope:
5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.

The word “experience” in verse 4 means “proof,” as in this verse:


Phil 2:22 But ye know the proof of him (Timothy), that, as a son with the father, he hath served with me in the gospel.

“Experience” is the experiential evidence that one has really believed through grace. After we first believe, we believe in God’s abiding presence in our lives. Then come the trials to test that faith, to show our faith in Him is real. Though the word “experience” is not used in the following verses, 2 Thessalonians 1 depicts the proving of the Christian:


2 Th 1:3 We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth;
4 So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure:
5 Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer:

Paul says, “your patience and faith . . . [are] a manifest token (G1730. endeigma, an indication [manifest token]).” In other words, in the midst of trials and tribulations, their patience and faith in defense and proclamation of the gospel was “an indication” that their faith was real and that God approved of their efforts. In the next verses, he goes on to describe Christ’s second coming to glorify them and all the saints who are counted worthy of the kingdom of God. In his previous letter to the Thessalonians, Paul had acknowledged that their patience under these circumstances was based on the hope of the gospel:


1 Th 1:3 Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;

The author of Hebrews mentions these same attributes of faith, patience, and hope:


Heb 6:9 But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak.
10 For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have showed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.
11 And we desire that every one of you do show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end:
12 That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

In Romans 12, Paul names all kinds of ways Christians should walk in God’s will, and in the middle of them, he says,


Rom 12:12 Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;

Along with these is constant reliance on the word of God:


Rom 15:4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.

Tribulation, patience, experience/proof, hope. When our faith is active towards these four things, we can be sure we are approved of God and can look forward to the hope that will be realized in us at the return of Christ. Therefore, it is written,


1 Cor 9:10 Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope.

Because the plowing and threshing are in regard to the gospel, these bring the trials and tribulations, the works God has prepared for us in advance (Ephesians 2:10). But God does not leave us alone in the trials that come our way:


2 Th 2:16 Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace,
17 Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.

It is in trials that the Christian proves himself. Along with Paul, Peter also encouraged us to not fear, but be ready to tell others the reason we have hope:


1 Pet 3:14 But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;
15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

Paul stated his own attitude toward serving God for the gospel’s sake:


Phil 1:20 According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.

Paul and Peter tell us more of this hope in the following verses:


Col 1:27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:


1 Pet 1:13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

Writing to the Corinthians, Paul emphasized the power of our hope, that it is a hope that points to eternity and not just to the things of this world:


1 Cor 15:19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.

He is referring here to the crucial importance of the resurrection. Paul had suffered much persecution for defending his belief in the resurrection contained within the gospel. He says that if the resurrection weren’t true, then the Christian is the most pitiable of all creatures for he is still without hope, yet suffers for his stand. But he believed it and he stood in its hope, warning others not to be moved away from that hope:


Col 1:23 If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;

The writer to the Hebrews encouraged the same:


Heb 3:6 But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.

Paul said this hope of salvation is our helmet, which protects our minds against doubts and deceptive hopes that would move us away from the one hope God has given us:


1 Th 5:8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.
9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,

Yes, the Christian has hope for a total redemption, and it is not in doubt. It is a sure hope and will manifest when Jesus returns in the glory and power of the Father to redeem the bodies of all the saints and to pour out wrath on those who refused the hope and instead persecuted God’s people. Therefore, let us do as Paul encouraged us to do in the Scriptures:


Acts 24:15 And have hope toward God, which they [the law and the prophets] themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.
16 And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men.


Is Our Hope Important to Eschatology? – Ed Tarkowski

STAND & COMFORT Newsletter
Email NEWSLETTER #31 (Vol 2 No 16)
By Ed Tarkowski



What is happening in the Church today is that, instead of people doing serious study of God’s word to come to one mind about the end times, many are content to live with division, contention, distortions, and confusion. To make matters worse, the “NEW” doctrines that have arisen add even more confusion to this and the other things of God.

This newsletter contains some lists of basic truths. I don’t want you to think I included them because I believe you’re ignorant of the hope we have in Christ, or so immature that you need these simple outlines. BUT in the light of the disruptions in the Church, I do find it necessary to state things in a clear, simple way for those who are seeking God for the simplicity of His word.


Jesus Christ will come again and fulfill the hope of the gospel that God has given believers: at His return, we will experience resurrection from the dead, or if alive, be changed to be like Him. Because He alone can do this, He is our hope:


1 Pet 1:13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

I have heard discussions in which people say that the hope of Christ’s second coming, and all that it includes, is not as important as the basics of the gospel described by Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:2-4. But Paul continues on in this same chapter to stress the importance of the resurrection as it relates to the hope of the believer. Scripture overwhelmingly calls the time of His coming and how it affects the believer “the hope of the Church.” In previous parts of this series, I wrote about these things:

1. The death of Christ was necessary for there to be a resurrection.

2. The resurrection was necessary to His being able to ascend to the Father.

3. The ascension was necessary to His being glorified.

4. His being glorified was necessary to the sending of the Holy Spirit and to His returning in the power and glory of the Father.

5. The sending of the Holy Spirit was necessary to the sanctification of the believer, the proliferation of the gospel, and the maintaining of the hope of Christ’s return to bring the Church into its full inheritance.

6. These events pointed ahead to the climactic event of history: the second coming of Christ and its affect on believers (resurrection/changed) and unbelievers (wrath/judgment).

This is God’s process of saving men:

1. They are saved by believing in Christ’s finished work.

2. They are being saved (because they are saved) by the indwelling Holy Spirit’s work in them.

3. They will be saved (because they are saved) at Christ’s return when their bodies are redeemed, whether they be dead or alive.

If we read through the six points above six times, eliminating one each time and only considering the remaining five, we find it does great damage to the plan of salvation which culminates in the second coming of Christ. For instance, you can’t leave out Jesus’ death, or His glorification, and still have a true picture of God’s simple plan of salvation. Neither can you add another hope of a resurrection/changing of the saints before the tribulation, or say that all these six points were fulfilled in 70 AD. Doing any of these things would pervert that which God’s word has said.

What is important to the Christian regarding Jesus’ coming is the HOW of His coming and the TIME of His coming. If a person’s belief about the “how” and “time” of Christ’s return does not agree with Scripture, the following become true:

1. He is placed in danger of deadly deception, since he is already deceived about the truths (how and when) of Christ’s coming

2. His proposal of unbiblical scenarios concerning the coming of Christ opens the door for confusion, division and contention

3. He may pressure those with other views to “agree to disagree” about what God has said concerning Christ and His return, therefore making the word of God ambiguous and relative

4. He has brought into the Church the false idea that the “how” and “time” of Christ’s return is unimportant, or that we cannot really know what God promised the Holy Spirit would reveal to us (John 16:13-14)

Since the fulfilling of our hope is vitally connected to the coming of Christ, the above four points also apply to the person’s hope being fulfilled:

1. Since he is already deceived about the “how and when” of Jesus’ return, he will now be deceived about the fulfillment of his own hope for resurrection/change

2. His unbiblical scenarios concerning the coming of Christ open the door for confusion, division and contention about when our hope is fulfilled

3. He may pressure those with other views to “agree to disagree” about what God has said concerning the fulfillment of our hope, even though it’s the capstone of our salvation

4. He has brought into the Church the false idea that the “how” and “time” of our resurrection/change is unimportant, or that we cannot really know what God promised the Holy Spirit would reveal to us (John 16:13-14)

In Part 2, I quoted Peter telling the Church to “hope to the end,” the “end” being the “revelation of Jesus Christ”:


1 Peter 1:13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you AT the REVELATION of Jesus Christ;

The word “revelation” is “used of events by which things or states or persons hitherto withdrawn from view are made visible to all” (Vines). The word “revelation” describes exactly the second coming of Christ, in which He fulfills the hope of the Church and brings wrath upon all who have rejected the gospel. This revelation is described in 2 Thessalonians 1:7:


2 Th 1:6 Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you;
7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, WHEN the Lord Jesus shall be REVEALED from heaven with his mighty angels,
8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:
9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;
10 WHEN he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.


The above verses describe the revelation of Christ when He comes to raise the dead saints and change the living saints (“to be glorified in his saints”). It is a fiery, visible revelation of Him to both believers and unbelievers. Note that WHEN He is glorified in all His saints, those who have not accepted the gospel are dealt with as well. This single, one time revelation, when the saints are glorified, is the hope of the Church. Paul describes the hope of the church again in 1 Corinthians 15, a parallel passage to Christ’s fiery coming “to be glorified in his saints” in 2 Thessalonians 1:


1 Cor 15:51 Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

Paul began this chapter by stating “first things first” concerning the gospel:


1 Cor 15:1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
5 And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:

The definition for “first of all” in verse 3 (Vine’s, en Protos) indicates that there are other things that could be said, but what is said first is of primary importance or foundational. What Paul describes first is the foundation of their salvation in the gospel, which they have accepted and rest in as absolutely true:

FIRST “of time or place,”
(a) as a noun, e.g., Luke_14:18; Rev_1:17; opposite to “the last,” in the neuter plural, Matt_12:45; Luke_11:26; 2_Pet_2:20; in the neuter singular, opposite to “the second,” Heb_10:9; in 1_Cor_15:3, en protois, lit., “in the first (things, or matters)” denotes “first of all;”

In Romans 16, Paul tells us that this same gospel establishes one in Christ and is made known to the nations of the world for the purpose of their obeying it:


Rom 16:25 Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,
26 But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:

This gospel, though, does not end with the fact that Christ is risen (1 Cor 15:4). In verse 23, Paul adds the resurrection of the believer to the resurrection of Christ. Then in verse 51, he adds the changing of the living to the time of the resurrection of the saints. Is this part of the gospel? Is this to be added to the “first” things of the gospel Paul declared? Yes, it is part of the gospel, the very hope of its proclamation. Christ risen is foundational to the fact that believers can expect to be raised or changed at His coming. The proclamation of the “first” things of the gospel was to be made to the nations, but so was that which was contained within it: the very hope it offered:


6 Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth:Col 1:22 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:
23 If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and BE NOT MOVED AWAY FROM THE HOPE OF THE GOSPEL, WHICH YE HAVE HEARD, AND WHICH WAS PREACHED TO EVERY CREATURE WHICH IS UNDER HEAVEN; whereof I Paul am made a minister;


Just as we cannot compromise the “first” things of the gospel, neither can we compromise the truth of its hope. But there are at least nine end time doctrines out there which change the facts (the “how” and the “time”) of the event by which Christ fulfills our hope – His return immediately after the tribulation. In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul gives the order of things concerning the resurrection/changing of the saints:


1 Cor 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.
24 Then cometh the end,

1. Christ has been raised

2. The saints will be raised or changed

3. This is immediately followed by THE END, not by seven years of tribulation. To insert seven years between verses 23 and 24, as Pretribulationists do, is a major assumption that perverts the truth of Scripture. Preterism perverts things even further by teaching that the end came in 70 AD. It is towards this END that the Church is to persevere for it is when the hope of the gospel is fulfilled in them:


Heb 6:11 And we desire that every one of you do show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto THE END:
12 That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.


Some say that eschatology is not as important as the foundational gospel, but it definitely is crucial to understand at least the basics. I searched the internet to find a definition of eschatology and found that it is hard to define because of its innumerable facets. But a simple definition of eschatology would be this:


Eschatology: “The doctrine of last or final things, as death, resurrection, immortality, judgment” (Webster).

A believer should study eschatology in order to understand what GOD has said about the final things. The final things have been determined by Him and and related to us in His word, and understanding them is of the same importance as understanding the finished work of Christ which established salvation and its hope.

1. Christ saved us to a hope of being totally saved: spirit, soul and body.

2. Christ saved us positionally before God; we are now being justified in His sight.

3. The Holy Spirit is “saving us” by calling us to holiness and working with us by our co-operation to walk in holiness.

4. Christ will return to redeem our bodies and thus “save” us to the full.

Our hope for the redemption of the body is a hope that completes the experience of our total salvation. This final act of redemption could not take place without the resurrection OR the second coming. Together, all of the aspects of Christ’s work give us the complete picture of salvation of the total man as defined by God. One is not more important than the other. ALL are absolutely necessary and ALL are part of the gospel, including the HOPE OF the gospel. So what must be included in a study of eschatology is the understanding of the full gospel and the full salvation it offers to man. Crucial to this understanding is the “how” and “when” of Christ’s return and the fulfillment of our hope. If we don’t include these, we are open to the deceptions of the adversary.

It is inappropriate to dismiss eschatology as an unimportant part of our faith. Eschatology, which includes Jesus’ second coming and the resurrection and glorification of believers, enhances the hope of the gospel because it contains the facts of the “how” and “time” of Christ’s return – events which are yet to happen. The gospel covers past, present, and future events:

1. The crucifixion is over. That’s part of the gospel.

2. Christ’s resurrection is a past event and part of the gospel.

3. The ascension and glorification of Jesus Christ is past and part of the gospel.

4. The sending of the Holy Spirit is a past event and part of the gospel. It is the very promise of the Father, because His present indwelling of believers is our guarantee that we will receive the fullness of the gospel (its hope) when He raises us from the dead or changes us at Christ’s coming.

All that Christ has done and will do must be made real in the life of the Christian in order for him to experience a full salvation.


CALVARYCHRIST – died by the shedding of His blood for the cleansing of our sin and putting to death our old nature
BELIEVER – must believe on the finished work of Christ as the only acceptable sacrifice for his sin


CHRIST – rose on the third day for our justification
BELIEVER – must believe He is risen from the dead, which is the assurance that we have been justified by the sacrifice of Himself. Believing this gives us hope for our own resurrection into eternal life


CHRIST – as the first sinless man, the first man to enter into the very presence of God
BELIEVER – assures our entrance into the very presence of God at death, and our final entrance into His presence as totally redeemed people (spirit, soul, body) at His return


CHRIST – being proved by the resurrection to be the acceptable sinless sacrifice, the Son is glorified by the Father
BELIEVER – assures our future glorification in Christ when we are changed to be like Him at His return


CHRIST – sent the Holy Spirit to indwell all who believe
BELIEVER – indwelt by the Holy Spirit for the purpose of sanctification, service of the gospel, and guarantor of our hope for a full inheritance, which will be initiated by our resurrection or change when Christ returns


CHRIST – he will return once after the tribulation to glorify the saints
BELIEVER – the dead will be raised and those who remain will be changed to be like Him. Our redemption will be fully realized and we shall forever be with the Lord. The hope of the Christian will be fulfilled by His return.

There is no way Christians can say that eschatology is not that important. Having the facts wrong gives a person a false understanding of the one hope we have in Christ. To agree to disagree over these “eschatological facts” is to say that the word of God and its related hope are not that important. To say that it doesn’t matter what we believe because God will straighten us out when the time comes is not only ridiculous, but presumptive. Apostasies are based on attitudes such as these. WE are INDIVIDUALLY RESPONSIBLE for what we know, and what we know is to line up with what God has said, or we stand in danger of opening ourselves to deceptive doctrines.

A Perversion Of Our Hope – Ed Tarkowski

STAND & COMFORT Newsletter
Email NEWSLETTER #30 (Vol 2 No 15)
By Ed Tarkowski



The Bible tells us that our hope is the person of our Lord Jesus Christ:


1 Tim 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope;Titus 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

Jesus’ returning in the power and glory of the Father will be earth-shattering to those who have refused the gospel, for He will come in judgment upon the nations of the world. But His coming will also fulfill all His promises to those who have believed on Him and hoped for His return. These things are called part of our inheritance:


1 Pet 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,
5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

The following are some of those things which Christ manifests in us when He, as our hope, appears:



Titus 3:7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

The return of Christ will totally satisfy the promises and will enable us to live forever with the Lord in the Father’s Kingdom:


Mat 25:34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:



1 Th 5:8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.
9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,

The fullness of our salvation will be revealed with the redemption of our bodies, with the dead being raised and the living being changed to be like Him. Therefore, the resurrection of the saints is one aspect of the hope that proceeds from Christ and completes our salvation:


Rom 8:23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.
24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?
25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.



Gal 5:5 For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.

Because we have righteousness by faith rather than by the law, we have hope for its full manifestation when Christ returns. This includes the reward associated with this righteousness, which is based on one’s faithfulness to that which God has given him to do. Paul said,


2 Tim 4:7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.



1 John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

The hope of being changed to be like Jesus is the incentive to purify ourselves of all that’s detrimental to this promised change.



Rom 5:2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

The Christian will be glorified by the glory of God Himself.


In his first letter to the Thessalonians, Paul describes Christ as the hope of the Christian. He then goes on to tell how the dead saints, who believed in their hearts that Jesus died and rose, are not without this hope. They had died in the sure hope of returning with Christ, to be raised from the dead in their bodies just before the living are changed:


1 Th 4:13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

These verses describe Christ as the hope of all Christians, past and present, dead or alive. It is the only hope for all who are His, for there is only one hope described in the Scriptures:


Eph 4:4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;

What the verses in 1 Thessalonians describe is Christ physically returning in a very visible way (shout, the voice, the trump, etc.). In this coming, He fulfills the hope of every person who ever believed in Him, whether dead or alive. Only He can raise the dead and only He can change the living, conforming their bodies to be like His glorious body. In the gospel of John, Jesus described Himself as this hope:


John 11:24 Martha saith unto him, I know that he [Lazarus] shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.
25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

When He returns, Jesus will be the Resurrection to the dead saints and the Life to the living. The hope of all believers from all time will be fulfilled by Christ at His coming. Romans 8 tells us that even creation groans for this day because it, too, lies in corruption as a result of man’s fall and sin. But at Christ’s coming to glorify the Church, this corruption also will be removed because the time of the restoration of all things will have come:


1 Th 1:10 And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.


Acts 3:21 [Jesus,] Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.Phil 3:20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:
21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.

Rom 8:20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,
21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.
23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.
24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?
25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.

The creation itself, which also abides in hope, will also be restored when Jesus returns and raises and glorifies the bodies of the sons of God. There is only one hope in the Church and in the creation itself, and when He comes again (Hebrews 9:28), this hope is fulfilled. Christ alone is our hope and the very hope of creation.


This one event (the resurrection of the dead saints, the changing of the living saints, and the deliverance of the creation from corruption) does not occur at the beginning of or just before the tribulation period, as Pretribulationism proposes. If that were true, then the world would pass through the tribulation period under the reign of antichrist IN A CREATION RELEASED FROM ITS SUBJECTION TO CORRUPTION. If that were true, the Church would have been glorified and taken to heaven, not be reigning with Christ over the restoring of all things. Believing that this event happens before the tribulation perverts the glorious picture of creation’s, and our, one hope fulfilled. Just as Pretribulationism splits the coming of Christ into two parts, it does so also to the one hope of the Church.

Pretribulationism objects to this argument, saying the manifestation of the glorious sons of God is speaking of the “second” return after the tribulation in Revelation 19. But the context of Paul’s writing is TO THE CHURCH AT ROME. It is THEY whom he is saying this to in the context of the resurrection (v.11-18, especially 11, 17 and 18). These saints have already died and will be raised WHEN Jesus returns. In these verses, Paul is speaking about them being glorified and then continues by tieing that same hope of creation to the time they are glorified. Will they skip the resurrection that Pretribulatio9nism proposes, which occurs before the trib? If not, then creation must be changed when they are raised. In Pretribulationism, there is NOTHING to justify the creation’s having to wait seven years to be released from corruption after the glorification of the sons of God.


Another doctrine (Full or Radical Preterism) teaches that the return of Christ and the resurrection of believers is long past, having occurred in 70 AD. But Jesus said that when He returned, He would raise those who had died and immediately change those who were still alive. It’s at the time of the resurrection of the dead that the changing of the bodies of the living saints is to take place. From that time on, those living would never die. But Full Preterism teaches that Jesus already returned in 70 AD, and the resurrection took place, and that from that time forward, the resurrection became a spiritual resurrection: the believing dead go to be with the Lord in heaven in their spiritual bodies. The Scriptures are perverted because the hope of a physical resurrection and redemption of the body is changed. Our one hope is changed from a single, sudden event – which includes the entire body of Christ in heaven and on earth (1 Thessalonians 4:13-17) – into an ongoing process of hope being fulfilled over the entire life of the Church on earth. If this doctrine were true, this hope has been in the process of fulfillment for 1932 years, and creation’s hope as stated in Romans 8 has not been fulfilled at all.

Full Preterism proposes that when Jesus supposedly came in 70 AD, the resurrection of the dead was not seen because those who had died were raised in their spiritual bodies. But what about those believers who were alive at the time and had the hope of being changed and living forever? Thinking this through, we come to two possible scenarios:

1. Those believers who were alive in 70 AD didn’t die, but were changed to be like Jesus and then were caught up together with the dead in their spiritual bodies. This means they also are in spiritual bodies and are no longer in this world. Since THE ENTIRE Church was moved to heaven in 70 AD according to its one hope, there have been no Christians on earth to preach the gospel since 70 AD.

2. Those believers who were alive in 70 AD didn’t die, but were changed to be like Jesus and then allowed to remain on earth so God would have someone to preach the gospel in the world. But since they were changed at His return, THEY COULD NOT HAVE DIED AFTER HIS RETURN. Where are they, then? THEY SHOULD STILL BE ALIVE ON EARTH AND OVER 1932 YEARS OLD!

But because there’s been no lapse in gospel preaching since 70 AD and there are no ancient spiritual bodies doing the preaching, we should ask: Did God restore Christians to the earth for the purpose of preaching the gospel after 70 AD? What would be their hope, since the one hope of the Church has already been fulfilled? And we could ask another version of the question we’d put to Full Preterism: was the one hope of creation, deliverance from the bondage of corruption, fulfilled in 70 AD, and if not, why not? Paul said it would be.

Perverted doctrines such as these destroy the truth about the one, true, God-given hope of the gospel. In Ephesians 1, Paul prayed,


Eph 1:18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,
20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,

Jesus Christ is risen from the dead and is fully capable of fulfilling the hope God gave us. We are to know these things, and also to know WHEN our hope will be fulfilled, lest we look for another time and be deceived. As Peter said,


1 Pet 1:12 Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.
13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;


Our hope will be totally fulfilled at THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST. That revelation will be to the world and the Church, when every eye will see Him. The word “revelation” means to take the cover off, to disclose (Strong’s G602):

1) a laying bear, making naked

2) a disclosure of truth, instruction

        2a) concerning things before unknown


        2b) used of events by which things or states or persons hitherto withdrawn from view are made visible to all


      3) manifestation, appearance (Linked Word Project, KJV)

Strong’s G601

1) to uncover, lay open what has been veiled or covered up

        1a) disclose, make bare


    2) to make known, make manifest, disclose what before was unknown

If someone is in bed and fully covered up with the sheets and one takes the covers off, they are disclosed. If one has an antique car and it is covered by a canvas and the canvas is removed, the car is fully seen. Jesus will return in the power and glory of the Father to fulfill the hope of the church. He won’t be revealed before the tribulation, nor was he already revealed in 70 AD. The Christian’s hope will be fulfilled when the sky rolls back and Jesus is revealed to the world in wrath, and to the Christian for salvation from that wrath. The dead in Christ will rise, living believers will be changed and caught up in the air, and the creation itself will be given the glorious liberty of the children of God. Such is our hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Our Hope Made Real By The Resurrection – Ed Tarkowski

STAND & COMFORT Newsletter
Email NEWSLETTER #29 (Vol 2 No 14)
By Ed Tarkowski


On Pentecost, Peter told how David spoke of Christ being raised from the dead, that when Christ laid down His life for all men, He did so in the perfect, without-a-doubt hope of being raised again:


Acts 2:25 For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved:
26 Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also MY FLESH SHALL REST IN HOPE. . . .
31 He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.
32 This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.

Christ suffered at the hands of the Jewish leaders of His time and eventually was put to death according to the foreknowledge of God. He went to the cross in perfect faith in the Father, knowing it would lead to His death. When it did, He died in perfect hope, knowing He would be raised from the dead. Jesus died in hope that was undergirded by faith in the One who said it was time to go to the cross. This is what Peter said regarding David’s prophetic words, which describe one aspect of the hope we have in Christ: resurrection from the dead. Engulfing and saturating this perfect faith and perfect hope was the perfect love between the Father and the Son.

I think Christians sometimes have an old tendency to see hope as not quite a sure thing. When we hope for earthly things, there’s an element of doubt; e.g, “Gee, I hope I get that job” or “Boy, I hope I can get this work done in time and make it home during the holidays.” And we’ve all heard unbelievers say, “I sure hope I get to heaven when I die.” This is not the kind of hope Jesus had. He didn’t say, “I sure hope I will be raised from the dead.” Instead, He rested in the sure fact of resurrection because He IS the Resurrection and the Life, and the Father commanded that He take up His life again once it was laid down.

Our resurrection is just as sure a hope. God’s word was not written with an element of doubt in it. When it speaks of hope, IT DOES SO SIMPLY BECAUSE whatever the specific hope is, it hasn’t happened yet:


Rom 8:24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?
25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.

Therefore we must wait for it, placing our faith in God that He is not a liar, but true to what He has said. The hope God gives is a promise given that something will definitely, undoubtedly happen, but the time for that which was spoken has not yet arrived. The resurrection on the last day is a sure hope because the promise has come from God Himself:


John 11:25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

Jesus died in the sure hope of resurrection, ascension and glorification at the right hand of God. To Him, there was no doubt these things would happen, and He went to the cross with perfect expectation. By His resurrection, He established for all who believe the future resurrection into His visible presence. This hope is just as sure, just as certain.


HOPE 1679. elpizo, from G1680; to expect or confide:– hope (for), trust.HOPE 1680. elpis, from a prim. elpo (to anticipate, usually with pleasure); expectation (abstr. or concr.) or confidence:–faith, hope.

Faith and hope are intertwined. Remember the song, “You can’t have one without the other”? Well, concerning faith and hope, you can’t have one without the other as well. It is hard at times to separate them to see the attributes of each, but I will make that attempt here. The definition we often use of the word “faith” is this”:


Heb 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.FAITH 4102. pistis, from G3982; persuasion, i.e. credence; mor. conviction (of religious truth, or the truthfulness of God or a religious teacher), espec. reliance upon Christ for salvation; abstr. constancy in such profession; by extens. the system of religious (Gospel) truth itself:–assurance, belief, believe, faith, fidelity.

There is a perverted faith and hope where, in order to fulfill his hopes and desires, a person confesses and confesses until his brains are inside out. This kind of faith is given birth by the human wants of man. But the God-given kind of faith and hope is birthed when God speaks to us and we are confident that God has spoken. When we say, “God has said this to me and this is what He will do in the future,” it is a sure thing in our heart and we rest in faith in Him to bring it about. Crucial to this life of faith and hope is KNOWING that GOD HAS spoken to us, and that what was promised had no origins in the flesh or the whisperings of spirits not of God.

God is very merciful in this area. If you remember my doubts concerning the Scriptures I was “hearing” when my dog Bogie was missing, you’ll remember that I hoped against hope. I saw no evidence that he would be found alive. The wooded areas for miles around made me doubt all the more that we’d ever find him. But God kept bringing Scriptures to mind that gave me a hope that wouldn’t quit, even in the face of all my doubting as to whether or not it was God speaking. I knew that if it was God, Bogie would be found. This hope coming to me through the word of God hoped against my own personal, doubt-filled hope. One was a confident expectation, while the other hoped one minute and doubted the next. The one hope was of the flesh and brought confusion and doubt and a roller coaster experience. The other was filled with an expectation that when covered up by human hope rose again and again and again. God was being very merciful to me.

Now that Bogie is safely home, I can see the hope God was giving me in this situation. It was not a confusing hope; I was the one who confused things. True hope is a beautiful experience in the face of circumstances that are beyond our control. We only ruin that experience because of our fleshly nature that surfaces in such times. This was for me another lesson learned.

Concerning Christ, for a resurrection to take place, there must be a death, and Christ willingly laid down His life to establish righteousness as a free gift for all who would believe. For Christ to ascend to the Father and be glorified and then send the Holy Spirit to believers, there had to be a resurrection. Death is death is death. Without the resurrection we would have no hope There would be no hope of entering the presence of God, there would be no hope of union with God by the Holy Spirit, there would be no hope of Jesus’ return to establish His millenial reign. We would be as hopeless as we always were. The resurrection is absolutely crucial to God’s plan of salvation and Jesus walked through to Calvary in perfect hope and placed His faith in the Father without any hint of wavering. Out of death, He rose again. Hope and faith would be available to all. All one had to do was believe.

The substance of things hoped for was now seen by the apostles and disciples. Hope was now in Christ for the eternal future of all men who would believe. Our own resurrection or being changed is still in the future, yet we hope for it, believing at this moment the truth of it. It is a hope that WILL come to pass, and those who place their faith in the one who promises a complete redemption will not be disappointed.


Not only was Christ raised from the dead, but He ascended to the Father and entered His presence to be glorified:


Acts 1:11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven. . .
Acts 2:33 Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.
34 For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,
35 Until I make thy foes thy footstool.
36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.

When Jesus ascended after His resurrection, He entered the presence of the Father as our forerunner:


Heb 6:17 Wherein God, willing more abundantly to show unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath:
18 That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:
19 Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;
20 Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

The resurrection established a sure hope to be offered to all men. Jesus was God come in the flesh and these verses refer to His entering into the Father’s presence as a risen man on our behalf, then becoming our High Priest before the Father. He was our forerunner, the first fruits of all who would follow. In this historic event, we find hope to be set free one day from the infirmities of the earthly body. Jesus rose bodily and entered the Father’s presence bodily and then, being glorified, sent the Holy Spirit to indwell all who would believe. Jesus’ dying was only one part of God’s work to establish a full salvation that could be offered to all men. There had to be a resurrection as a sign to all that God had indeed established righteousness before Him, that we could enter His presence at death through the shed blood of Christ, and that one day He will, without question, back up His word and raise all believers in glory into His very presence. He will fulfill all His promises included in the one hope He has given us.

The resurrection is central to all the parts of God’s one salvation. It establishes the hope of our own resurrection as a sure thing without doubt. Not only did He enter on our behalf, He was glorified on our behalf. Without the resurrection, the hope of glory would be an empty one. Because of the resurrection, Jesus entered God’s presence and sent the Holy Spirit to indwell all who would believe. Praise Almighty God for the resurrection. Without the resurrection, the Holy Spirit could not have come to indwell us as the power of this full salvation which points to a living hope of a full redemption. Because of the resurrection, God could tell the world through Peter,


Acts 2:38 . . . Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

With the promised Holy Spirit sent, the way was established for the resurrection of all who believed Jesus was indeed risen from the dead:


Rom 8:11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

The spirits of the dead saints in heaven could now look forward to the resurrection of their bodies to be like His glorious body, as could all who will be alive and changed when He returns:


Phil 3:20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:
21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.

HOPE! A SURE HOPE! Jesus would one day return to raise all who will be His at that time, and they will be raised without corruption. Death will harm these no more as they reign with Him in glory.


The resurrection is central to the life of the Christian. Without it, he could not look forward to being glorified in Christ. The changing of our vile bodies to be like His, the glorification of the saints, and living in the visible kingdom could not occur without it. I can readily assure you, Jesus is not sitting on His throne thinking, “Gee, when the time comes for me to return, I hope I can raise them all from the dead.” Jesus has said it is a sure thing because it is part of our eternal inheritance as believers in Christ, and the power to bring it all about lies in Him alone. The fullness of Christ’s finished and future work are all contained in the words, “eternal life”:


John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

It is knowing Christ in all these ways (as our sacrifice, our forerunner, our High Priest, our baptizer in the Holy Spirit, etc) that gives us eternal life now. Knowing Him is not mere mental assent, but an experiential knowledge of Jesus and of Him who sent Him. It is in knowing the justification, the setting apart, the indwelling Holy Spirit, etc. that we know Him and thus experience eternal life now. Because of His death through the shedding of His blood, we can now have eternal life and all that that means. Some of these things we have now, yet our inheritance is not fully enjoyed. But He has given us a guarantee:


Gal 4:6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
Gal 4:7 Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.Eph 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

God has saved us:


Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

God is saving us:


Phil 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

God will save us:


1 Th 5:8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, THE HOPE OF SALVATION.
9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,
10 Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.
11 Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.

Salvation (of the body which completes our salvation) is a hope, to be manifested at a future time, yet we are even now saved and being saved. We rest in it now while we work it out, and will be totally redeemed at the return of the only one who can raise the dead and change our mortal bodies to be like His glorious body:


Phil 3:21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.
Phil 4:1 Therefore, my brethren, dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.

Because God raised Jesus from the dead, Peter could boldy say:


1 Pet 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,
5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.1 Pet 1:19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,
21 Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.

The Early Church Fathers: No Preterist Resurrection By Ed Tarkowski

Though I am just beginning to look into Preterism, I found an important list of quotes from the early Church Fathers and others up the 400 A.D. that I think ought to posted somewhere. I will do that in a moment, but let me explain the basics of what I have learned about Preterism.

There are two main classifications of Preterism. The first is Full Preterism, which believes that all prophetic Scripture has already been fulfilled in 70 A.D., including the resurrection, the second coming of Christ, the reign of Christ with all having now been handed over to the Father. Full Preterism is known by a number of different names, such as Realized Eschatology and Hyper-Preterism. There are other names, but any doctrine proposing that all has been fulfilled is Full Preterism.

I imagine there are more than one offshoot of this belief system, but the second main one is called Partial Preterism (in which various beliefs vary within the doctrine itself), which believes some of the prophetic Scriptures have been fulfilled, but there is still to be a return of Christ one day. The following gives the general points surrounding events in 70 A.D. according to various articles I have read on the Full Preterism:



  • The second coming of Christ (spiritual, not bodily) occurred in 70 A.D. 
  • This coming was *THE* day of the Lord 
  • Christ came spiritually in judgement in 70 A.D. The Great Tribulation is a past event. 
  • The resurrection was not a physical resurrection but a spiritual one (1 Cor 15:44) in 70 A.D. This supposedly fulfilled 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17. 
  • Any future resurrection is only for those who die, meaning the spirits of those who die go to be with the Lord 
  • We are now living in the eternal kingdom of God which will never end 
  • We have fully received all the promises of God and possess them in the present

The references to the early Church Fathers I referred to early was found in a <A HREF=”http://members.aol.com/VFTINC/70/GentryHP.htm#tangible”> discussion between a believer in Full Preterism and a Partial Preterist, Kenneth Gentry. He states,


“Second, hyper-preterism has serious implications for the perspicuity of Scripture. This viewpoint not only has implications for the later creeds, but for the instructional abilities of the apostles: no one in church history knew the major issues of which they spoke — until very recently! Are the Scriptures that impenetrable on an issue of that significance? Clement of Rome lived through A. D. 70 and had no idea he was resurrected! He continued to look for a physical resurrection (Clement 50:3). Jude’s (supposed) grandsons still sought a physical resurrection (cf. Eusebius, EH 3:24:4). Whoever these men were, they came right out of the first generation and in the land of Israel — with absolutely no inkling of an A. D. 70 resurrection or a past second Advent. See also the Didache 10:5; 16:1ff (first century); Ignatius; Trallians 9:2; Smyrnaens 2:1; 6:1; Letter to Polycarp 3:2 (early second century); Polycarp 2:1; 6:2; 7:1. See also Papias, Irenaeus, Justin Martyr.”

I did my own search of the early Church Fathers and found the following quotes, which were all written AFTER 70 A.D. when the resurrection promised by Jesus is said by Full Preterists to have taken place. Interesting is the fact that when I searched the ECF documents, I came up with the 1,067 references to the resurrection. Sporadically checking a number of them, I did not find any that said the resurrection had occurred in 70 A.D. or that the resurrection was a past event. Not only does Full Preterism leave us with very few promises, if any, it mocks the early saints of the Church after 70. A.D. as though they were ignorant that they had been resurrected. Can we even imagine those saints standing for the faith and undergoing persecution and martyrdom and doing so in total ignorance that THEY WERE ALREADY RESURRECTED?! The thought that the resurrection has occurred is unthinkable.

I now list the early Church Fathers LOOKING FORWARD to the resurrection, realizing that in other areas there may be problems with some of the things they said concerning Christian beliefs. I list a few quotes here, starting with John Chrysostom (347-407):


“For what position can be loftier or more secure than that in which a man has only one anxiety, ‘How he ought to please God?’ Hast thou seen the shipwrecks, Theodore, of those who sail upon this sea? Wherefore, I beseech thee, avoid the deep water, avoid the stormy billows, and seize some lofty spot where it is not possible to be captured. There is a resurrection, there is a judgment, there is a terrible tribunal WHICH AWAITS us when we have gone out of this world; ‘we must all stand before the judgment-seat of Christ’” (St. Chrysostom, An Exhortation To Theodore After His Fall, Letter II, 4).”As then if we see any one sleeping we are not disturbed or distressed, expecting that he WILL certainly get up: even so when we see any one dead, let us not be disturbed or dejected for this also is a sleep, a longer one indeed, but still a sleep. By giving it the name of slumber He comforted the mourners and overthrew the accusation of the unbelievers. If you mourn immoderately over him who has departed you will be like that unbeliever who has no hope of a resurrection. He indeed does well to mourn, inasmuch as he cannot exercise any spiritual wisdom concerning things to come: but thou who hast received such strong proofs CONCERNING THE FUTURE LIFE, why dost thou sink into the same weakness with him? Therefore it is written ‘now concerning them that are asleep we would not have you ignorant that ye sorrow not even as others who have no hope’” (Chrysostom: Omily On The Paralytic Let Down Through The Roof).

According to Full Preterism, Chyrsostom was totally ignorant that 1 Thessalonians 4 had been fulfilled. Continuing,


“15. . . . What did He promise? Resurrection, immortality of the body, union with angels, a place in the joyful company of archangels, and as a citizen in His kingdom, immaculate life, the good things ‘which eye hath not seen, nor ear heard nor have entered into the heart of man, things which God hath prepared for them that love Him.’16. Understand what is said, lest ye lose it: I am labouring to enable you to perceive it. The dowry of the bride then was divided into two portions consisting of things present and things to come; things seen and things heard, things given and things taken on trust, things experienced, and things to be enjoyed hereafter; things belonging to present life, and things to come AFTER THE RESURRECTION” (Chrysostom, Homily II, After Eutropius Having Been Found Outside The Church Had Been Taken Captive).

“And Paul clearly testifies this, saying, ‘For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him that subjected the same in hope: because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.’ For the creation was made subject to vanity, he says, and he expects that it will be set free from such servitude, as he intends to call this world by the name of creation. For it is not what is unseen but what is seen that is subject to corruption. The creation, then, after being restored to a better and more seemly state, remains, rejoicing and exulting over the children of God AT THE RESURRECTION; for whose sake it NOW groans and travails, WAITING itself also for our redemption from the corruption of the body, that, WHEN we have risen and shaken off the mortality of the flesh, according to that which is written, ‘Shake off the dust, and arise, and sit down, O Jerusalem,’ and have been set free from sin, it also shall be freed from corruption and be subject no longer to vanity, but to righteousness” (Methodius, circa 311 A.D., From the Discourse on the Resurrection, Part I, VIII).

If the resurrection has occurred, then we are now ignorantly living in a new creation free from corruption.


“But I and others, who are right-minded Christians on all points, are assured that there WILL BE a resurrection of the dead, and a thousand years in Jerusalem, which will then be built, adorned, and enlarged, [as] the prophets Ezekiel and Isaiah and others declare” (Justin Martyr, 100-165 A.D., Dialogue With Trypho, Chapter LXXX.-The Opinion of Justin with Regard to the Reign of a Thousand Years. Several Catholics Reject It).”And on this account we believe that THERE WILL BE a resurrection of bodies after the consummation of all things; not, as the Stoics affirm, according to the return of certain cycles, the same things being produced and destroyed for no useful purpose, but a resurrection once for all, when our periods of existence are completed, and in consequence solely of the constitution of things under which men alone live, for the purpose of passing judgment upon them. Nor is sentence upon us passed by Minos or Rhadamanthus, before whose decease not a single soul, according to the mythic tales, was judged; but the Creator, God Himself, becomes the arbiter. And, although you regard us as mere triflers and babblers, it troubles us not, since we have faith in this doctrine. For just as, not existing before I was born, I knew not who I was, and only existed in the potentiality (u0po/stasij) Of fleshly matter, but being born, after a former state of nothingness, I have obtained through my birth a certainty of my existence; in the same way, having been born, and through death existing no longer, and seen no longer, I shall exist again, just as before I was not, but was afterwards born. Even though fire destroy all traces of my flesh, the world receives the vaporized matter; and though dispersed through rivers and seas, or torn in pieces by wild beasts, I am laid up in the storehouses of a wealthy Lord. And, although the poor and the godless know not what is stored up, yet God the Sovereign, when He pleases, will restore the substance that is visible to Him alone to its pristine condition” (Tatian’s Address To The Greeks, circa 150 A.D., Chapter VI.-Christians’ Belief in the Resurrection).

“The power and glory of God shine forth in the weakness of human flesh, as he will render our body a participator of the resurrection and of immortality, although He has formed it from the dust of the earth; He WILL ALSO bestow upon it the enjoyment of immortality, just as He grants it this short life in common with the soul” (St. Irenaeus of Lyons, circa 130-202, Adversus haereses, Book V, Chapter 3).

The resurrection of the believers is a bodily one and it has not occurred. It must await the return of our Lord Jesus Christ at the end of Daniel’s 70th week. It is our hope, our only hope and Full Preterism takes away the hope we have as Christians. I think this quote from Chrysostom is somewhat appropriate regarding this matter:


“The doctrine of the Resurrection, too, was lame (ekwleue) among them: for some of them had no strong belief that there is any resurrection of bodies, having still on them the disease of Grecian foolishness. For indeed all these things were the progeny of the madness which belongs to Heathen Philosophy, and she was the mother of all mischief. Hence, likewise, they had become divided; in this respect also having learned of the philosophers. For these latter were no less at mutual variance, always, through love of rule and vain glory contradicting one another’s opinions, and bent upon making some new discovery in addition to all that was before. And the cause of this was, their having begun to trust themselves to reasonings” (Chrysostom, First Epistle Of St. Paul The Apostle, To The Corinthians, Argument, 2).

During the first 400 years of the early Church after 70 A.D., the Fathers defended the truth of a future, bodily resurrection. None of them stated otherwise, nor did they refute others that it had already occurred. For 1900 years, the Church has believed in a future resurrection from the dead at the glorious, visible, in-the-sky return of Jesus Christ when every eye will see Him personally.

In one discussion I had, a brother in Christ gave me these quotes from the early Church Fathers of those men who were students of John the Apostle and of those these students taught. If any of the ECF’s should have known the resurrection had already taken place, these should have. These quotes also show future events that Full Preterism inisists have been fulfilled:

Polycarp-Pupil of John the Apostle (AD. 70-156) 

CHAPTER VI.–THE DUTIES OF PRESBYTERS AND OTHERS”we must all appear at the judgment-seat of Christ, and must every one give an account of himself.” Let us then serve Him in fear, and with all reverence, even as He Himself HAS COMMANDED US, AND AS THE APOSTLES WHO PREACHED THE GOSPEL UNTO US, and the prophets who proclaimed beforehand the coming of the Lord [have alike taught us].”


CHAPTER II.–AN EXHORTATION TO VIRTUE”But He who raised Him up from the dead WILL raise up us also”

PAPIAS-Pupil of John the Apostle (AD. 70-155) 

FRAGMENTS OF PAPIAS FROM THE EXPOSITION OF THE ORACLES OF THE LORD. V.”those who are deemed worthy of an abode in heaven SHALL go there, others SHALL enjoy the delights of Paradise, and others SHALL possess the splendour of the city; for everywhere the Saviour WILL BE seen, according as they SHALL BE worthy who see Him.”


“there WILL BE a millennium AFTER the resurrection from the dead, when the personal reign of Christ WILL BE established on this earth”

IGNATIUS-Pupil of John the Apostle (AD. 67-110)


CHAPTER IX”He was also truly raised from the dead, His Father quickening Him, even as after the same manner His Father WILL SO raise up us who believe in Him by Christ Jesus”


“Ignatius, the disciple of John the apostle, a man in all respects of an apostolic character, governed the Church of the Antiochians with great care, having with difficulty escaped the former storms of the many persecutions under Domitian”

Irenaeus-Student of John the Apostles’s pupil Polycarp (AD. 120-202)


AGAINST HERESIES, BOOK V, XXX”But he indicates the number of the name now, that WHEN this man comes we may avoid him, being aware who he is: ..But when this Antichrist SHALL HAVE devastated all things in this world, he will reign for three years and six months, and sit in the temple at Jerusalem; and then the Lord WILL COME from heaven in the clouds, in the glory of the Father, sending this man and those who follow him into the lake of fire; but bringing in for the righteous the times of the kingdom”


“In a still clearer light has John, in the Apocalypse, indicated to the Lord’s disciples what SHALL HAPPEN IN THE LAST TIMES, and concerning the ten kings WHO SHALL THEN arise, … These have one mind, and give their strength and power to the beast. THESE SHALL make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb SHALL OVERCOME them, because He is the Lord of lords, and King of kings. … And THEY SHALL lay Babylon waste, and burn her with fire, and SHALL GIVE their kingdom to the beast, and put the church to flight. AFTER THAT THEY SHALL be destroyed by the coming of our Lord.”


“For ALL these and other words were UNQUESTIONABLY SPOKEN IN REFERENCE TO THE RESURRECTION OF THE JUST, WHICH TAKES PLACE AFTER the coming of Antichrist, AND the destruction of all nations under his rule; IN [the times of] WHICH [resurrection] THE RIGHTEOUS SHALL reign on the earth, waxing stronger by the sight of the Lord: and through Him they SHALL become accustomed to partake in the glory of God the Father, and SHALL enjoy in the kingdom intercourse and communion with the holy angels, and union with spiritual beings; and those whom the Lord SHALL FIND IN THE FLESH, AWAITING HIM from heaven, and WHO HAVE suffered tribulation, as well as escaped the hands of the Wicked one.”

Hippolytus-Student of Iranaeus of the direct teaching lineage of John (AD. 170-236)


TREATISE ON CHRIST AND ANTICHRIST, 5″It is proper that we take the Holy Scriptures themselves in hand, and find out from them what, and of what manner, THE COMING of Antichrist is; ON WHAT OCCASION AND AT WHAT TIME that impious one shall be revealed; and whence and from what tribe (he shall come); and what his name is, which is indicated by the number in Scripture; and how he SHALL WORK error among the people, gathering them from the ends of the earth; and (how) he SHALL stir up tribulation and persecution against the saints; and how he SHALL glorify himself as God; and what his end SHALL BE; and how the sudden appearing of the Lord SHALL BE revealed from heaven; and what the conflagration of the whole world SHALL BE; and what the glorious and heavenly kingdom of the saints IS TO BE, when they reign together with Christ; and what the punishment of the wicked by fire.”


“As THESE THINGS, then, ARE IN THE FUTURE, and as the ten toes of the image are equivalent to (so many) democracies, and the ten horns of the fourth beast are distributed over ten kingdoms, let us look at the subject a little more closely, and consider these matters as in the clear light of a personal survey. The golden head of the image and the lioness denoted the Babylonians; the shoulders and arms of silver, and the bear, represented the Persians and Medes; the belly and thighs of brass, and the leopard, meant the Greeks, who held the sovereignty from Alexander’s time; the legs of iron, and the beast dreadful and terrible, expressed the Romans, who hold the sovereignty at present; the toes of the feet which were part clay and part iron, and the ten horns, were emblems of the kingdoms that are yet to rise; the other little horn that grows up among them meant the Antichrist in their midst”



“With respect to his name, it is not in our power to explain it exactly, as the blessed John understood it and was instructed about it, but only to give a conjectural account of it; for when he appears, the blessed one will show us what we seek to know. … Wherefore we ought neither to give it out as if this were certainly his name, nor again ignore the fact that he may not otherwise be designated. But having the mystery of God in our heart, we ought in fear to keep faithfully what has been told us by blessed prophets, in order that WHEN THOSE THINGS COME TO PASS, we may be prepared for them, and not be deceived. FOR WHEN THE TIMES ADVANCE, he too, of whom these things are said, will be manifest.”


“Now concerning the tribulation of the persecution WHICH IS to fall upon the Church from the adversary, John also speaks thus, “And I saw a great and wondrous sign in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, … And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.” That refers to the one thousand two hundred and threescore days (the half of the week) during which the tyrant is to reign and persecute the Church…. These things then, being come to pass, beloved, and the one week being divided into two parts, and the abomination of desolation being manifested then, and the two prophets and forerunners of the Lord having finished their course, and the whole world finally approaching the consummation, what remains but the coming of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ from heaven, for whom we have looked in hope.”


“WHEN THE TIMES ARE FULFILLED, and the ten horns spring from the beast in the last (times), then Antichrist WILL APPEAR among them. WHEN HE MAKES war against the saints, and persecutes them, THEN MAY WE EXPECT the manifestation of the Lord from heaven.”

I have made some inquiries about Full and Partial Preterism, but it seems to me that Full Preterism plays into the hands of the Dominionism agenda. IF all things were fulfilled, then all that would be left, it seems to me, would be to establish the kingdom on earth since we supposedly already have our inheritance. If I come to a more sure conclusion about this, I will write more later on this belief system.

Of or From The Dead – Cheri Stokes

of OR from the dead

(44x in 40v)

(Mat 14:2) “And said unto his servants, This is John the Baptist; he is risen from the dead; and therefore mighty works do show forth themselves in him.”

(Mat 17:9) “And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying, Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead.”

(Mat 22:31-32) “But as touching The Resurrection of the deadhave ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, {32} I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.”

(Mat 27:64) “Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He isrisen from the deadso the last error shall be worse than the first.”

(Mat 28:7) “And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the deadand, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you.”

(Mark 6:14-16) “And king Herod heard of him; (for his name was spread abroad:) and he said, That John the Baptist was risen from the dead, and therefore mighty works do show forth themselves in him. {15} Others said, That it is Elias. And others said, That it is a prophet, or as one of the prophets. {16} But when Herod heard thereof, he said, It is John, whom I beheaded: he is risen from the dead.”

(Mark 9:9-10) “And as they came down from the mountain, he charged them that they should tell no man what things they had seen, till the Son of man were risen from the dead. {10} And they kept that saying with themselves, questioning one with another what the rising from the dead should mean.”

(Mark 12:25-27) “For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels which are in heaven. {26} And as touching the dead, that they rise: have ye not read in the book of Moses, how in the bush God spake unto him, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?{27} He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living: ye therefore do greatly err.”

(Luke 9:7) “Now Herod the Tetrarch heard of all that was done by Him: and he was perplexed, because that it was said of some, that John was risen from the dead;”

(Luke 16:31) “And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.”

(Luke 20:35-38) “But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that Age, and The Resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage: {36} Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of The Resurrection. {37} Now that the dead are raised, even Moses showed at the bush, when he calleth the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. {38} For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto him.”

(Luke 24:46) “And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:”

(John 2:20-22) “Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? {21} But He spake of the Temple of His Body. {22}When therefore He was risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this unto them; and they believed the Scripture, and the Word which Jesus had said.”

(John 12:1-2) “Then Jesus six days before the Passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom He raised from the dead. {2} There they made Him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him.”

(John 12:9-11) “Much people of the Jews therefore knew that He was there: and they came not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might see Lazarus also, whom He had raisedfrom the dead. {10} But the chief priests consulted that they might put Lazarus also to death; {11} Because that by reason of him many of the Jews went away, and believed on Jesus.”

(John 12:17) “The people therefore that was with him when he called Lazarus out of his grave, and raised him from the dead, bare record.”

(John 20:8-9) “Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed. {9} For as yet they knew not the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead.”

(John 21:13-14) “Jesus then cometh, and taketh bread, and giveth them, and fish likewise. {14} This is now the third time that Jesus showed Himself to His disciples, after that He was risen from the dead.”

(Acts 3:14-15) “But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you; {15} And killed the Prince of Life, Whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses.”

(Acts 4:1-2) “And as they spake unto the people, the priests, and the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees, came upon them, {2} Being grieved that they taught the people, and preached through Jesus The Resurrection from the dead.”

(Acts 4:10) “Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, Whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by Him doth this man stand here before you whole.”

(Acts 10:40-42) “Him God raised up the third day, and showed Him openly; {41} Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with Him after He rose from the dead. {42} And He commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is He which was ordained of God to be The Judge of quick and dead.”

(Acts 13:29-38) “And when they had fulfilled all that was written of Him, they took Him down from the tree, and laid Him in a sepulchre. {30} But God raised Him from the dead:{31} And He was seen many days of them which came up with Him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are His witnesses unto the people. {32} And we declare unto you glad tidings, how that The Promise which was made unto the fathers, {33} God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that He hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second Psalm, ‘Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten thee.’ {34} And as concerning that He raised Him up from the dead, now no more to return to corruption, He said on this wise, ‘I will give you the sure mercies of David.’ {35} Wherefore He saith also in another psalm, ‘Thou shalt not suffer Thine Holy One to see corruption.’ {36} For David, after he had served his own generation by the Will of God, fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption: {37} But He, Whom God raised again, saw no corruption.{38} Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this Man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins:”

(Acts 17:2-3) “And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the Scriptures, {3} Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, Whom I preach unto you, is Christ.”

(Acts 17:30-32) “And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: {31} Because He hath appointed a day, in the which He will Judge the world in righteousness by that Man Whom He hath ordained; whereof He hath given assurance unto all men, in that He hath raised Him from the dead. {32} And when they heard of The Resurrection of the dead, some mocked: and others said, ‘We will hear thee again of this matter’.”

(Acts 23:6-8) “But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee: of The Hope and Resurrection of the dead I am called in question. {7} And when he had so said, there arose a dissension between the Pharisees and the Sadducees: and the multitude was divided. {8} For the Sadducees say that there is no Resurrection, neither angel, nor spirit: but the Pharisees confess both.”

(Acts 24:15) “And have Hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a Resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.”

(Acts 24:19-21) “Who ought to have been here before thee, and object, if they had ought against me. {20} Or else let these same here say, if they have found any evil doing in me, while I stood before the council, {21} Except it be for this one voice, that I cried standing among them, Touching The Resurrection of the dead I am called in question by you this day.”

(Acts 26:22-23) “Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come: {23} That Christ should sufferand that He should be The First that should rise from the dead, and should show Light unto the people, and to the Gentiles.”

(Rom 1:3-4) “Concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; {4} And declared to be The Son of God with Power, according to The Spirit of Holiness, by The Resurrection from the dead:”

(Rom 4:22-25) “And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. {23} Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; {24} But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on Him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; {25} Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.”

(Rom 6:3-13) “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death? {4} Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the Glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. {5} For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also of His Resurrection: {6} Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. {7} For he that is dead is freed from sin. {8} Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him: {9} Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. {10} For in that He died, He died unto sin once: but in that He liveth, He liveth unto God. {11} Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. {12} Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. {13} Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and yourmembers as instruments of righteousness unto God.”

(Rom 7:3-4) “So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man. {4} Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the Law by the Body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to Him Who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.”

(Rom 8:11-13) “But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you. {12} Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. {13} For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.”

(Rom 10:6-9) “But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, ‘Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) {7}Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)’ {8} But what saith it? ‘The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart:’ that is, the word of faith, which we preach; {9} That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”

(Rom 11:15) “For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but Life from the dead?”

(Rom 14:8-10) “For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s. {9} For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that He might be Lord both of the dead and living. {10} But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before The Judgment Seat of Christ.”

(1 Cor 15:12-58) “Now IF Christ be preached that He rose from the dead, THEN how say some among you that there is no Resurrection of the dead? {13} But IF there be noResurrection of the dead, THEN is Christ not risen: {14} And IF Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. {15} Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ: Whom He raised not up, IF so be that the dead rise not. {16} For IF the dead rise not, THEN is not Christ raised: {17} And IF Christ be not raised, THEN your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. {18} THEN they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. {19} IF in this life only we have hope in Christ, THEN we are of all men most miserable. {20} But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become The Firstfruits of them that slept. {21} For since by man came death, by Man came also The Resurrection of the dead. {22} For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. {23} But every man in his own order: Christ The Firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at His Coming. {24} Then cometh the end, when He shall have delivered up The Kingdom to God, even the Father; when He shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. {25} For He must reign, till He hath put all enemies under His Feet. {26} The last enemy that shall be destroyed isdeath. {27} For He hath put all things under His Feet. But when He saith all things are put under Him, it is manifest that He is excepted, which did put all things under Him. {28}And when all things shall be subdued unto Him, then shall the Son also Himself be subject unto Him that put all things under Him, that God may be all in all. {29} Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, IF the dead rise not at all? why THEN are they baptized for the dead? {30} And why stand we in jeopardy every hour? {31} I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily. {32} If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for tomorrow we die. {33} Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. {34} Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame. {35} But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come? {36} Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die: {37} And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain: {38} But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased Him, and to every seed its own body. {39} All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds. {40} There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial isanother. {41} There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory. {42} So also is The Resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: {43} It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in Power:{44} It is sown a natural body; it is raised a supernatural body. There is a natural body, and there is a supernatural body. {45} And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the Last Adam was made a quickening Spirit. {46} Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.{47} The first man is of the earth, earthy: the Second Man is The Lord from Heaven. {48} As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. {49} And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. {50} Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit The Kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. {51} Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, {52} In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. {53} For this corruptiblemust put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. {54} So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in Victory. {55} death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? {56} The sting of deathis sin; and the strength of sin is the Law. {57} But thanks be to God, which giveth us the Victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. {58} Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.”

(Gal 1:1) “Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, Who raised Him from the dead;)”

(Eph 1:19-20) “And what is the exceeding greatness of His Power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of His Mighty Power, {20} Which He wrought in Christ, when Heraised Him from the dead, and set Him at His Own Right Hand in the Heavenly places,”

(Eph 5:13-14) “But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. {14} Wherefore He saith, ‘Awake thou that sleepest, andarise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee Light’.”

(Phil 3:10-11) “That I may know Him, and the Power of His Resurrection, and the fellowship of His Sufferings, being made conformable unto His Death; {11} If by any means I might attain unto The Resurrection of the dead.”

(Col 1:17-22) “And He is before all things, and by Him all things consist. {18} And He is the Head of the Body, the Church: Who is The Beginning, The Firstborn from the dead;that in all things He might have The Preeminence. {19} For it pleased the Father that in Him should all Fulness dwell; {20} And, having made peace through the Blood of His Cross, by Him to reconcile all things unto Himself; by Him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in Heaven. {21} And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies inyour mind by wicked works, yet now hath He reconciled {22} In the Body of His Flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in His Sight:”

(Col 2:11-12) “In whom also ye are circumcised with the Circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: {12}Buried with Him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with Him through the faith of the Operation of God, Who hath raised Him from the dead.”

(1 Th 1:10) “And to wait for His Son from Heaven, Whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from The Wrath to come.”

(2 Tim 2:8) “Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my Gospel:”

(Heb 6:1-2) “Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, {2} Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of Resurrection of the dead, and of eternal Judgment.”

(Heb 11:17-19) “By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the Promises offered up his only begotten son. {18} Of whom it was said, ‘That in Isaac shall thy seed be called:’ {19} Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.”

(Heb 13:20) “Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that Great Shepherd of the sheep, through the Blood of the everlasting Covenant,”

(1 Pet 1:3-4) “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to His abundant Mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively Hope by The Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, {4} To an Inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in Heaven for you,”

(1 Pet 1:21) “Who by Him do believe in God, that raised Him up from the dead, and gave Him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.”

(Rev 1:5) “And from Jesus Christ, Who is The Faithful Witness, and The First Begotten of the dead, and The Prince of the kings of the earth. Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His Own Blood,”

(Rev 11:18) “And the nations were angry, and thy Wrath is come, and the time of the deadthat they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the land.”

(Rev 20:5-6) “But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is The First Resurrection. {6} Blessed and holy is he that hath part in The First Resurrection: on such the second Death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.”

Bodily Resurrection – Charles Spurgeon

The doctrine of the resurrection of the dead is a doctrine peculiar to Christianity. The heathen, by the feeble light of nature, were able to spell out the truth of the immortality of the soul. Those professors of religion who deny that immortality, are not so far advanced in learning as the heathen themselves.

When you meet with any who think that the soul of man may possibly become annihilated, make them a present of that little catechism brought out by the Westminster Assembly, which bears the title, “Catechism for the Young and Ignorant.” Let them read that through, and begin to understand that God hath not made man in vain.

The resurrection of the body was that which was new in the apostolic times. When Paul stood up on Mars hill, in the midst of the learned assembly of the Areopagites, had he spoken to them about the immortality of the soul, they would not have laughed; they would have respected him, for this was one of the sublime truths which their own wise men had taught, but when he went on to assert that the flesh and blood which was laid in the tomb should yet arise again, that bones which had become the dwelling place of worms, that flesh which had corrupted and decayed, should actually start afresh into life, that the body as well as the soul should live, some mocked, and others said, “We will hear thee again of this matter.”

The fact is, reason teaches the immortality of the spirit, it is revelation alone which teaches the immortality of the body. It is Christ alone who hath brought life and immortality to light by the gospel. He was the clearest proclaimer of that grand truth. Albeit that it had lain in the secret faith of many of the ancient people of God before, yet he it was who first set forth in clear terms the grand truth that there should be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and of the unjust.

As far as I know, the doctrine has not been disputed in the Christian church. There have been some few heretics who have denied it at divers times, but they have been so few, so utterly insignificant, that it is not worthwhile to take any notice of their scruples, or of the objections which they have urged.

In order to affirm this, the ancient Christian church was in the habit in their creed of adding a sentence to the Article which runs thus:—”I believe in the resurrection of the dead.” They added, in Latin words to this effect:—”I believe in the resurrection of the dead, of this very flesh and blood.” I do not know that the addition was ever authorized by the church, but it was continually used, especially at the time when there was a discussion as to the truth of the doctrine of the resurrection of the body.

The very flesh and blood that is buried, the very eyes that are closed in death, the very hand which stiffens by my corpse, these very members shall live again—not the identical particles of the same matter any more than the self-same particles of the wheat spring up to make a blade, and to make full corn in the ear. Yet shall they be identical, in the true sense of the term, they shall spring up from this body—shall be the true result and development of this poor flesh and blood, which we now drag about with us here below.

Ten thousand objections have been raised against this, but they are all readily answerable. Some have said, “But when men’s bodies are dead, and are committed to the grave, they are often digged up, and the careless sexton mixes them up with common mould; nay, it sometimes happens that they are carted away from the churchyard, and strewn over the fields, to become a rich manure for wheat, so that the particles of the body are absorbed into the corn that is growing, and they travel round in a circle until they become the food of man. So that the particle which may have been in the body of one man enters into the body of another. Now,” say they, “how can all these particles be tracked?”

Our answer is if it were necessary, every atom could be traced. Omnipotence and Omniscience could do it. If it were needful that God should search and find out every individual atom that ever existed, he would be able to detect the present abode of every single particle.

But it is not the identity of the matter that will make positive identity. Are you not aware that our bodies are changing—that in about every ten years we have different bodies from what we had ten years ago? That is to say, by decay, and the continual wearing away of our flesh, there is not in this body I have here, a single particle that was in my body ten years ago, and yet I am the same man. I know I am precisely the same.

So you. You shall have been born in America, and lived there twenty years; you shall suddenly be transferred to India, and live there another twenty years; you come back to America to see your friends—you are the same man, they know you, recognize you, you are precisely the same individual; but yet philosophy teaches us a fact which cannot be denied—that your body would have changed twice in the time you have been absent from your friends; that every particle is gone, and has had its place supplied by another; and yet the body is the same.

So that it is not necessary there should be the same particles; it is not needful that you should track every atom and bring it back in order that the body should preserve its identity.

Have you never heard the story of the wife of Peter Martyr, a celebrated reformer, who died some years before the time of Queen Mary? Since his enemies could not reach his body, they took up the body of his wife after she was dead, and buried it in a dunghill. During the reign of Elizabeth, the body was removed from its contemptuous hiding-place; it was then reduced to ashes. In order that the Romanists, if they should ever prevail again, might never do dishonor to that body, they took the ashes of Peter Martyr’s wife, and mixed them with the reputed ashes of a Romish saint. Mixing the two together, they said, “Now these Romanists will never defile this body, because they will be afraid of desecrating the relics of their own saint.”

Perhaps some wiseacres may say, “How can these two be separated?” Why, they could be divided readily enough if God willed to do it; for granted that God is omniscient omnipotent, and you have never to ask how, for Omniscience and Omnipresence put the question out of court, and decide the thing at once. Besides, it is not necessary that it should be so. The life-germs of the two bodies may not have mixed together. God has set his angels to watch over them, as he set Michael to watch over the body of Moses, and he will bring out the two life-germs, and they shall be developed and the two bodies shall start up separately at the sound of the archangel’s trump.

Remember, then, and doubt not that the very body in which you sinned shall be the very body in which you shall suffer in hell; and the body in which you believe in Christ, and in which you yield yourselves to God, shall be the very body in which you shall walk the golden streets, and in which you shall praise the name of God for ever and ever.

Did Jesus Return In AD 70? Part 2 – Sirrod

Recently, I was approached by a hyper-preterist/universalist who challenged me to stop discussing the eternality of Hell when I open-air preach. Read the original post here.

I have split the subsequent debate into 2 sections… A discussion on the Eternality of Hell: Part One &Part Two. And this broader discussion on whether the presupposition of Jesus’ Return in 70 AD is true.Read Did Jesus Return in 70 AD? Part One

Eusebius of Caesarea
NOTE: I took a calculated risk in asking for historical documentation that shows secular historians and early Church fathers believing that Jesus returned in 70 AD. To my knowledge there is ABSOLUTELY NO ONEfrom the period that believed that Jesus returned in 70 AD. Even if they could find “one”, remember that this was to be a MOMENTOUS event. The first coming of Christ was marked with a volume of writings about the event and the theological significance of every word and deed. (I am speaking of the New Testament). If the early Church saw the return of Christ why is there NO cannonized documentation of the event? Whenever prophecy is spoken and fulfilled there is Scriptural record of the fulfillment. Our New Testament was cannonized 100s of years after His supposed second coming. Why was that not included?Hint: Because it never happened.

Preterists cling hard and fast to Eusebius of Caesarea because some of his writings (Specifically, those concerning Daniel’s 70 weeks) are preterist. Again, I want to make a distinction between Partial Preterism (Orthodox Preterism) and Full-Preterism (Hyper-Preterism). The first is an acceptable eschatological position to take. The second is heresy. As you will see below, Eusebius’ works are ripped out of context to make it seem like he believed Jesus returned. The poor research on this topic and frankly, lack of critical thinking compounds the deception.

My response to the “historical evidences” was the debate stopper. I have not been contacted again.

In my previous email I have asked for specific historical records that declare that Jesus returned in 70 AD.This is the response I recieved:

      Jerry, I’d like to show you the below quotes. If you won’t believe Jesus, that He promised His appearing in their generation, then maybe you’ll believe eye-witnesses.


Josephus (1st century) wrote. (Emphasis ours.)

        “Besides these [signs], a few days after that feast, on the one- and-twentieth day of the month Artemisius, [Jyar,] a certain prodigious and incredible phenomenon appeared; I suppose the account of it would seem to be a fable, were it not related by those that saw it, and were not the events that followed it of so considerable a nature as to deserve such signals; for, before sun-setting,

chariots and troops of soldiers in their armour were seen running about among the clouds

        , and surrounding of cities. Moreover, at that feast which we call Pentecost, as the priests were going by night into the inner [court of the] temple, as their custom was, to perform their sacred ministrations, they said that, in the first place,

they felt a quaking, and heard a great noise, and after that they heard a sound as of a great multitude, saying, “Let us remove hence” 

        (Wars, VI-V-3).

Tacitus (also 1st century) wrote,

In the sky appeared a vision of armies in conflict, of glittering armour. 

        A sudden lightening flash from the clouds lit up the Temple. The doors of the holy place abruptly opened, a superhuman voice was heard to declare that

the gods were leaving it

        , and in the same instant came the rushing tumult of their departure” (Histories, v. 13).

Eusebius (A.D. 325), quoting from the Latin Josephus, in the fourth century wrote,

        “For before the setting of the sun chariots and armed troops were seen throughout the whole region in mid-air,

wheeling through the clouds

         and encircling the cities” (Eusebius’ Ecclesiastical History, Book 3, Ch. 8 ).

Eusebius (260 – 340) Bishop of Cesarea, in Palestine

        “And all these things were fulfilled when the seventy weeks were completed at the date of our Saviour’s Coming.”

Source here.

Jerry, I anticipate that you’ll respond to the above, saying that these are just men’s perceptions and hear-say. If you do then I’m darned if I do and darned if I don’t. You won’t believe Scripture, and you won’t believe non-scripture. This discussion is hopeless, I’m thinking. :-(

My Response:

      I don’t mean to be flippant, but is this it? Hyper-preterists have two historians saying something “divine-like” happened?

(This is the argument that I asked you to refrain from using)

       Rev 1:7 “Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. So it is to be. Amen.” Catch that?


       It seems reasonable to expect ONE historian to record seeing Jesus with such a prediction. You’ve offered none. I am wondering why you cannot see the blatant absence of proof for your presupposition?


Quoting Eusebius is really deceptive on a number of levels. (I realize that you are grabbing from other sources and assuming the originator vetted the information—I do not think you are deceptive.) First and foremost Eusebius of Caesarea is one of the authors of the Nicene Creed of 325. “When the Council of Nicaea met in 325, Eusebius was prominent in its transactions. He was not naturally a spiritual leader or theologian, but as a very learned man and a famous author who enjoyed the special favour of the emperor, he came to the fore among the 300 members of the council. The confession which he proposed became the basis of the Nicene Creed.” (Wikipedia) Here is the confession he proposed…

The Nicene Creed 325 CE LPNF ser. 2, vol. 14, 3. (Emphasis add)

We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of all things visible and invisible; and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the only-begotten of his Father, of the substance of the Father, God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten not made, being of one substance (homoousios) with the Father. By whom all things were made, both which is in heaven and in earth. Who for us men and for our salvation came down [from heaven] and was incarnate and was made man. He suffered and the third day he rose again, ascended into heaven. And he shall come again to judge both the living and the dead. And [we believe] in the Holy Ghost. And whosoever shall say that there was a time when the Son of God was not, or that before he was begotten he was not, or that he was made of things that were not, or that he is of a different substance or essence [from the Father] or that he is a creature, or subject to change or conversion–all that so say, the Catholic and Apostolic Church anathematizes them.

Have you read the works of Eusebius? The quote you reference has no connection to the events of 70 A.D. Period. It is from Demonstratio Evangelica or in English “The Proof of the Gospel” which is a 10 chapter long defense of Jesus’ FIRST coming. Eusebius was preterist in that he believed that the prophecy of Daniel’s 70 weeks was fulfilled in the first coming of Christ. He wanted to solidly found the incarnation as fulfilled prophecy. If you read “Demonstratio Evangelica” and/or“Theophania” with the understanding that he both wrote and affirmed the Nicene Creed you will see that at every mention of the “coming” of Christ he was speaking of Christ’s incarnation. Find his writings here: http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/

I encourage you to also read Eusebius’ Ecclesiastical History. You may find it here:http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/250101.htm It is shocking that this supposed hyper-preterist does not mention the second coming of Christ even once in his history of the Church. I hope you find that as odd as I do?

Furthermore, Eusebius’ Ecclesiastical History is one of the most sited sources for a late writing of John’s Revelation! Please review Ecclesiastical History Book III Chapters 18-19. In it you will find that Eusebius puts the Apostle John on Patmos during the reign of Domitain. Clearly Eusebius did not believe the prophecies in the Book of Revelation were in anyway fulfilled in 70 A.D.

Do you realize that not a single early church father believed that Jesus returned in 70 A.D.? Do you realize that not a single period historian recorded the return of Jesus? With no proof of your presumption hyper-preterism is defeated at its root. Jesus simply did not come. He must have meant something different than what you presume He did in Matthew 24:34.

Your friend.


P.S. BTW… all three sources are hear-say. :-)

Did Jesus Return in AD 70? Part 1 – Sirrod

Recently, I was approached by a hyper-preterist/universalist who challenged me to stop discussing the eternality of Hell when I open-air preach. Read the original post here.

I have split the subsequent debate into 2 sections… A discussion on the Eternality of Hell: Part One &Part Two. This post is about the much larger and more significant section… Did Jesus Return in 70AD?

Here is a taste of the presuppositional tactics used to “support” the Hyper-Preterist position:

      Jerry, I have enjoyed our exchange. Talking about the Bible is one of my favorite things to do!


YOU SAID>> “I hope I am the first person you have attempted to teach these views to? James 3:1 tells us to “Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment.” It is one thing to sit under a false teacher, it is another to become a false teacher.”

Jerry, I fear no judgment. I think that Scripture shows that the judgment has been fulfilled. “Appeal to fear” isn’t therefore effective. That generation did not pass away until all those things took place (Matthew 23:36, 24:34). Show my preterism wrong. :-)

Matthew 16:27-28 “For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and WILL THEN REPAY EVERY MAN ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS. Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom. ”

Revelation 22:12 “Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. “

I think that while some standing there had not yet tasted death, Jesus with His angels came quickly and rendered to every man according to his deeds. Only those who had not recognized the time of their visitation were punished (Luke 19:43-44). Because we today have had no visitation of Jesus, to us the above warnings are non-applicable.


      My email was a warning to you as a friend. I expected the response would be something like…

“I hear the warning Jerry. I have thought through the fact that what I am teaching is considered heretical.” 

      This is not about being “right” for me. Please do not interpret my passion and forcefulness in the following remarks as me being angry or arrogant. To be true to my position I must plead with you to abandon the path you are on. I am truly concerned for you and others you may mislead into following your position.


Pascal’s wager comes to mind. If preterist-universalism is correct than I should have no fear that what I am teaching will put me under judgment. I can preach eternal damnation and the imminent return of Christ and be perfectly safe from any consequences. If however the position countless Christians hold—that Jesus will yet return to judge the world—is true then you especially will be judged. This is my second warning to you. Please be absolutely sure of your position. I beg you.

When I debate Atheists and Evolutionist I point out that Darwin himself said that in order for his theory to be true there must exist millions of transitional fossils that show the needed progression. This is what is called the “missing link.” The reality is that there are perhaps a handful of disputed fossils and a host of fabrications.

Similarly, in order for the Hyper-Preterist position to be true there must exist an abundance of historical evidence that our early Church fathers believed that Jesus returned in the 1st Century. I will concede that some of them believed that the first part of the Olivet prophecy was fulfilled in the 1st Century. However, all of them held that the second portion would be fulfilled at Christ’s still future return. Can you explain that?

Please explain to me why there are no secular historical records of Jesus return? I ask that you please not give me the standard preterist line that “Josephus and several other historians did in fact notice and record that what transpired in A.D. 70 was something ordain and likely divine.” That makes me laugh. Read Acts 1:11 and Revelation 1:7. Please to do not cut Luke off at 17:20-21 but continue to read through verse 24 “For just like the lightning, when it flashes out of one part of the sky, shines to the other part of the sky, so will the Son of Man be in His day.” This is the MOST important event to take place in our history short of the first coming. There should be a verifiable written record by a host of Church fathers and secular historians. Where are they?

It seems ridiculous to me that the Church would miss the very event they most look forward to. If indeed the Spirit of Christ dwells in us, why has He not revealed to us that Jesus returned? The Holy Spirit in me should confirm with my spirit this immeasurable truth. He does not.

Anyone can bring a presupposition to scripture and proof-text verses to mean what they want. We see this all the time with cults. This is the very approach that hyper-preterist take with the second coming of Christ. They take the unverifiable presupposition “Christ returned spiritually in A.D. 70″ and interpret every verse accordingly. I can equally say that Jesus came back in 1945, that Hitler was the anti-christ, that His judgment was on the unbelieving Jews and that He then refounded the nation of Israel ushering in the new Jerusalem. Please do not bother proof-texting one more verse to me. It’s tiring trying to read scripture that you add emphasis to with bold and italics. Instead, please prove your presumption. Show me proof that he returned, not a verse that “makes sense” if he had. Do you see the difference?

You asked me to prove your preterism wrong. The burden of proof is on you. Prove to me that Jesus did return.

It seems you missed my point about Paul’s message in Athens. Why would Paul warn the non-Jewish Greeks to repent? Judgment did not fall on them at all. Likewise do not miss this point… 1 Peter 4:3-5 tells us that the Gentiles “will give account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.” When did that happen? Romans 3:6 tells us that God will judge “the world.” This is not an isolated Jewish event. The ENTIRE world will be judged, both Jew and non-Jew. The non-Jewish names written in Romans 16, the reference to “all the churches of the Gentiles” 16:5 and the fact that in Romans 1 Paul identifies himself as one to bring obedience of faith to “all the Gentiles” all make me wonder who he meant by “all” in Romans 14:10 “For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God.” When were all the Gentiles judged?

You said, “Sin was adequately punished when Jesus died on the Cross at His first coming.” How do you explain Peter and Paul declaring that people should repent after Jesus died? Why fear judgment when the sin was punished on the cross? More importantly why did Jesus declare after his death and resurrection, “Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem?” Luke 24:47 By “to all the nations” did Jesus mean to say “to all [the Jews who did not believe in me who are scattered among] the nations?”

You said, “Then [sin] passed away at His second [coming].” 1 John tells us that “sin is transgression of the law” more over it says that “all unrighteousness is sin.” Please show me from Scripture where these definitions are countermanded. Adultery, the seventh commandment, was declared a sin after Jesus death on the cross in Heb 13:4 “Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge.” Is it now not a sin to commit adultery?

Do you see that full-preterism has concentric doctrinal affects that are heretical? If judgment has come, then…

    1. We need not evangelize the “lost.” They’re not lost.
    2. We may sin with no consequences. You can be a child sacrificing Satanist with no fear of God’s wrath.
    3. Jesus’ claims of exclusivity are irrelevant. All are in heaven now because of His death on the cross.
    4. Most of Scripture is irrelevant, it is fulfilled or simply does not apply post judgment.
    5. The doctrine of heaven is significantly modified to fit with the reality of our world. “Heaven” discriptives are simply dismissed as allegorical. 6. 7. 8. I could go on…

A distinction should be made between Partial Preterism (Orthodox Preterism) and Full-Preterism (Hyper-Preterism). The first is an acceptable eschatological position to take. The second is heresy.

The Dangerous Theological Errors of Hyper Preterism Part 4 Was Satan Really Destroyed in AD70 by Brian Simmons

If you’ve been around Hyper-Preterists for any amount of time, you’ll notice that one of the touchiest topic of discussion is the Millennium (Rev. 20: 1-6). Because Hyper-Preterists believe that “all Bible prophecy was fulfilled in A.D. 70,” they necessarily hold that Satan was cast into the lake of fire at the destruction of Jerusalem. This means, then, that the Millennium was a 40-year period of history, running (as generally supposed) from A.D. 30-70.

Is this theory correct? And if not, why not? If Satan was really cast into the lake of fire in A.D. 70, then he must have been bound in the first century. Therefore, we should expect to find some clear indications in Scripture that this was the case. All Hyper-Preterists can give us, however, is logical equations based on false premises. Of course, we know that the “binding of Satan” is a concept mentioned elsewhere in the New Testament. And it is perhaps for this reason that Hyper-Preterists place the Millennium as past-fulfillment.

During our Lord’s earthly ministry, it is evident that Satan’s goods were, in a certain sense, “spoiled” by Christ. For the Lord said: “How can one enter into a strong man’s house and spoil his goods, until he first bind the strong man, and then he will spoil his house?” (Matt. 12: 29).

As we know, Satan is the prince of this world (John 12: 3114: 3016: 11). Therefore, his “house” is the world, to which Christ, the Seed of the Woman, came. His authority over Satan was manifested during His ministry, as when He gave His disciples power over demons and unclean spirits.

But here’s the rub. Satan’s goods were spoiled because the Son of Man was personally present on earth. When Christ was present, Satan’s activities were curtailed. But notice that when He was about to return to the Father, Christ said: “Hereafter I will not talk much with you; For the prince of this world cometh and hath nothing in me” (John 14: 30).

Likewise, He told Peter: “Simon, Simon, Behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat; but I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not” (Luke 22: 31-32). Is this any indication that Satan would be bound after Christ’s resurrection and ascension?

True, Christ gained victory over Satan in His glorious resurrection, and spoiled principalities and powers (Col. 2: 15). Yet that victory was personal, not vicarious. In order to share in His victory, we must be personally regenerated. As you’ll see, though, this has nothing to do with freeing whole “nations” from Satanic deception (as in Rev. 20: 3). In this dispensation, God is not dealing with nations, but with individuals.

As Scriptures indicate, Satan was free during the entire 40-year period that Hyper-Preterists call the Millennium. Let us look at some key texts in their chronological order, and we’ll see that all throughout this period, Satan was very much “in commission.”

[A.D. 33]: “But Peter said, Ananias, Why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?” (Acts 5: 3).

[A.D. 45]: “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4: 7).

[A.D. 53]: “Wherefore we would have come unto you, even I Paul, once and again; but Satan hindered us” (1 Thess. 2: 18).

[A.D. 57]: “To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus” (1 Cor. 5: 5).

[A.D. 57]: “Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices” (2 Cor. 2: 11).

[A.D. 58]: “And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly” (Romans 16: 20).

[A.D. 59-60]: “Because your adversary, the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5: 8).

[A.D. 59-60]: “And we know that we are of God, and the whole world [Gr. kosmoslieth in the wicked one” (1 John 5: 19).

[A.D. 60-62]: “Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, that that ye may be tried” (Rev. 2: 10).

[A.D. 63]: “According to the prince of the power of the air, that now worketh in the children of disobedience” (Eph. 2: 2).

[A.D. 67]: “Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme” (1 Tim. 1: 20).

[A.D. 67]: “For some are already turned aside after Satan” (1 Tim. 5: 15).

More examples could be cited. However, the twelve given, which span the 40-year period under consideration, should be sufficient to convince anyone thatHyper-Preterism is wrong. To say that, despite the evidence, Satan was really “bound” during this whole period, is to override the plain statements of Scripture, and obliterate all distinctions between fact and fiction. If there is no such thing as recognizable fulfillment, then one can prove anything he or she likes. This is exactly what Hyper-Preterists have done.

Hyper-Preterists conveniently forget that Satan could not possibly be bound during the period covered by Acts. For his binding is contemporaneous with the reign of the martyrs persecuted by Antichrist during the last 3 1/2 years of the age. The first resurrection is the reward given these martyrs when they are raised from the dead upon Christ’s return (see Rev. 20: 4).

Now we have a bit of an anachronism to deal with. For Hyper-Preterists claim that Nero was the Antichrist! Therefore, Nero must have operated during the last half of the 70th week (the 42 months of Revelation). If Hyper-Preterism is correct, the key should fit the lock. But does it?

I can’t tell you how much material I’ve waded through that “proves” this 42 months occurred during the Roman siege of Jerusalem (A.D. 67-70). Ok. But was Nero destroyed by Christ’s parousia in A.D. 70? No, He committed suicide in A.D. 68. That’s a couple years too early, isn’t it?

Then, let’s not forget, the martyrs killed by the beast during the whole “tribulation period” are not raised until Christ returns and casts him and the false prophet into the lake of fire (Rev. 19: 20). It is THENthat the Millennial reign takes place, and Satan is bound.

What does this prove? Well, it shows, once again, that the Hyper-Pret view of the Millennium is inconsistent with the statements of Scripture. For if the Millennial reign is the reward of martyrs killed during the tribulation; and if that tribulation already happened in A.D. 67-70; then it is impossible to place the binding of Satan any earlier than the destruction of Jerusalem. For if it happened earlier, the saints wouldn’t have had any time to reign. Since their reign is concurrent with the binding of Satan (Rev. 20: 2), it is obvious that the Millennium was still future when John received his visions.

And this is exactly what the Book of Revelation states. It deals with events that were yet future when John wrote. “Write therefore what things thou sawest, and what they are [i.e., what they signify]; even what things are about to happen to hereafter” (Rev. 1: 19). We follow the rendering given by Alford, Rotherham, Stuart, Bullinger, and others. This verse, which stands as a key to interpreting the Apocalyptic visions, reveals the fallacy of the Hyper-Preterist argument. If John visions pertained to things which were about to happen, then how could the binding of Satan be a past event when John wrote? Impossible.

Of course, Hyper-Preterists do not give up. Present them with this evidence, and they’ll start whining about parallels between Daniel 12 and Revelation 20, or go down other dead-end trails– anything to support their scheme that “all Bible prophecy” was fulfilled in A.D. 70.

But without clear Scriptural proof that Satan was bound during the 40 years following Christ’s ascension, it is impossible to conclude that he was cast into the lake of fire in A.D. 70. All parties agree that Satan’s 1000-year binding precedes his ultimate destruction in the lake of fire. So, if Satan was cast into the lake of fire in A.D. 70, then he must have been bound during the period covered by the book of Acts and Paul’s earlier prison epistles. We’ve seen, however, that this isn’t the case.

Conversely, if Satan was not bound in the first century, then he could not have been cast into the lake of fire in A.D. 70. This means that if he wasn’t cast into the lake of fire in A.D. 70, then there was no second coming of Christ, no “Great White Throne Judgment” and no resurrection.

Hymeneus and Philetus by Brian Simmons

In Paul’s second letter written to Timothy (written about A.D. 68), the apostle makes reference to two individuals — Hymeneus and Philetus — who were making shiprwreck of the Christian faith, by preaching that the resurrection had already happened (2 Tim. 2: 17). The preceding context informs us that their doctrine may have arisen from failure to “rightly divide the word of truth” (see 2 Tim. 2: 15-16).

Thankfully, Paul condemned the teachings of Hymeneus and Philetus in the strongest terms, sounding out a warning to those who in after years would depart from vital truth concerning the resurrection. Regardless of his warnings, however, the same teaching is held today by men who say that the second coming is a past event. Their doctrine is known as “Hyper-Preterism.”

What did Hymeneus and Philetus actually teach? If we can reconstruct, even in a general fashion, the doctrine they delivered, we may help readers to understand why the two men were condemned so strongly by Paul. This will help us to fix our exegetical anchors in the Word of Truth, so that when we deal with the subject of the resurrection we will not be led into error as they were.

I suppose that Hymeneus and Philetus had been with Paul long enough to know — in outline, at least — what he taught regarding the resurrection. It is certain that they must have known one predominant fact: that the resurrection would only occur at the parousia of Christ.

(1 Corinthians 15: 23) “But every man in his own order: Christ the first-fruits; afterward, they that are Christ’s at His parousia.”

Of course, Christ had told Peter, James, John, and Andrew that the parousia (translated “coming” inMatthew 24: 3) would occur immediately after the Great Tribulation, and be preceded by signs in the heavens, which could not be missed (see Matthew 24: 29-30).

The sign of the “telos” (i.e., last half of Daniel’s 70th week) was to be the setting up of the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, in the holy place of the temple (Matt. 24: 15; cf. Dan. 9: 27; 11: 31; 12: 11). Every Jew having knowledge of Christ’s words would have been on the lookout for a fulfillment of the events prophesied in Daniel 11: 31-45; for it was “at that time” that Michael would stand up for the children of Israel, and the Great Tribulation would commence (see Dan. 12: 1-2). This would bring about the refinement, purging, and eventual restoration of the covenant nation (Isaiah 48: 10-11Jeremiah 30: 7Ezekiel 20: 33-4322: 17-22Malachi 3: 3-4).

Even with these facts in mind, though, we are not sure whether Hymeneus and Philetus ever had access to the three synoptic Gospels. It is likely that the two men had only heard Paul’s teachings of grace and reconciliation. If they had read the Olivet Discourse, however, or heard it orally recited, they must have spiritualized the parousia in the same manner that modern day Hyper-Preterists do. Unfortunately, that is something which we are unable to confirm.

Nevertheless, one thing is certain. Hymeneus and Philetus could not have missed the fact that the resurrection would take place at Christ’s second advent. Therefore, by relegating the resurrection to past-fulfillment, they must have also viewed the second coming as a past event. From this it is obvious that Hymeneus and Philetus were the very first Hyper-Preterists.

How could these two men, instructed by the great apostle Paul, have ever been so foolish as to say that the second coming of Christ, and resurrection of believers, had already happened? Being Gentiles, they may have been strongly tinged with heathen philosophy. The pagan concepts of life after death, and the immortality of the soul, may have led them to see the resurrection as something attainable apart from any physical return of Christ.

But there is a better answer, I believe. If they had been with Paul prior to his imprisonment at Rome (and it likely that they had heard his teachings when Paul ministered the Gospel during his two-year stay at Ephesus), then they might have noticed the difference between Paul’s teachings before and after theActs 28 council, when the Jewish leaders of the Dispersion formally rejected the offer of the kingdom. This was a dispensational crisis, for it marked the period when the Jews as a nation lost their religious priority over the Gentiles.

In Paul’s prison epistles written after Act 28, the parousia, which had been so prominent in his earlier teachings, is nowhere alluded to. True, we have the “blessed hope” (Titus 2: 13), as well as the teaching concerning our Lord’s “epiphaneia.” Yet are the two the same? To one ignorant of the truth concerning the “Dispensation of the Mystery” (Eph. 3: 9), it may seem strange that in the later Pauline epistles, the apocalyptic character of our Lord’s second coming is nowhere to be seen. The word “apocalupsis” is not even found in Paul’s seven epistles written after Acts 28.

Then there is a lack of teaching concerning the ordinances. The administering of baptism and the Lord’s supper are not referred to in Paul’s later epistles. While the verb “to baptize” appears 12 times in the letters written to the ThessaloniansCorinthiansGalatians, and Romans, no mention is made of it in EphesiansPhilippiansColossiansTitus, and 1 & 2 Timothy. A similar silence is noticed in regard to the keeping of the Lord’s supper. While the earlier epistles contain some 15 references to the loaf and the cup, not a single reference can be found in Paul’s epistles written after the Acts 28conference.

Then, too, in the earlier epistles we read about prophesying, as well as “tongues” and gifts of healing. In the later writings, no mention is made of prophesying and tongues, nor is there any indication that Paul’s healing gifts were in operation when he penned his second epistle to Timothy (see Phil. 2: 261 Tim. 5: 232 Tim. 4: 20). This silence concerning so many elements connected with the once-impending “Day of the Lord,” certainly may have led led Hymeneus and Philetus to conclude that Christ had already returned “spiritually.” And because Paul taught no such doctrine, their teaching was likened to a canker that would eat away at the faith of the apostolic churches.

And that is precisely what happened. There is evidence in Paul’s second epistle to Timothy, that most of his hearers had departed from the faith concerning the administration of the mystery.

(2 Timothy 1: 15) “This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me.

This departure from sound doctrine would have made it very easy for men like Hymeneus and Philetus to promulgate their false doctrine concerning a past second coming of Christ. After all, even if their teachings had received opposition, couldn’t they have quoted from Paul’s earlier writings to show that perhaps the apostle was wrong?

Around A.D. 57-58, Paul had stressed the imminence of the parousia of Christ. The Corinthian church was urged to “come behind in no gift; waiting for the APOCALYPSE of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 1: 7). Paul certainly included himself in this hope; even the hope of the resurrection, which would happen when Christ returned from heaven.

(1 Cor. 15: 51-52) “Behold, I show you a mystery; WE (Paul included) shall not all sleep, but WE shall all be changed; In a moment, in the twinkling of the eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and WE (Paul included)shall be changed.”

Notwithstanding the then-imminence of the second advent, and the fact that Paul expected to be among those who would be changed without dying, the apostle later expressed doubts as to whether he would attain to the resurrection of the dead (Phil. 3: 11-12). This was in A.D. 62. And in his second epistle to Timothy (A.D. 68), he believed he would die before the coming of Christ took place (2 Timothy 4: 6-8).

How easy it would have been for Hymeneus and Philetus to take hold of Paul’s apparent contradictory statements, and to assert that the apostle was in error; that Christ had already returned, and the resurrection had taken place! All this because of ignorance concerning the dispensation of the mystery.

Because the mystery falls into the parenthetical period between Israel’s “rejection” (in Acts 28) and their ultimate “renewal” (when the broken-off events of the Pentecostal period take up their course again), such false teachers as Hymeneus and Philetus did not see that the parousia had already beenpostponed in Acts 28. Because Paul no longer taught that the day of the Lord was “near” or “at hand,” they blindly concluded that it must have already happened. And so, (whether they knew it or not), the two men became the “de facto” founders of the Hyper-Preterist heresy.

What Death Did Adam Die? – Brian Simmons

One of the distinctives ofHyper-Preterism is the teaching that death was completely destroyed in A.D. 70.  Because there was no verifiable resurrection at that time, Hyper-Preterists claim that death is “spiritual” or “covenantal.”  But Hyper-Preterists change the meaning of key texts, forcing the evidence to bolster their own position.

At a recent Hyper-Preterist conference in Nebraska, a fairly well-known speaker encouraged Hyper-Preterists in their views by assuring them that the death that Adam died was entirely spiritual.  Such assurance is needed, for the doctrines of Hyper-Preterismare not found in the Bible!

When asked what death Adam died, I reply:the death of the entire man.  Man is composed of soul and body, and so death has two dimensions.  Adam died both spiritually and physically.  And he died in the very day he ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Now, I can picture the Hyper-Preteristscratching his head, and saying: “No he didn’t!”  After all, it is believed among Hyper-Preterists that because Adam didn’t physically die in the day he ate of the forbidden fruit, that death cannot be physical.  Therefore it must be spiritual, or else covenantal.

Well, we know that Adam and Eve died spiritually when their eyes were opened, and they were ashamed (Genesis 3: 7).  This caused them to hide from the presence of the Lord, and cover their nakedness with fig-leaf aprons.  These historical facts have spiritual significance.  For the guilty sinner knows that he is condemned; and yet, instead of seeking mercy from God, he covers his nakedness with his works.

Adam and Eve, however, are to be treated with some leniency for not fleeing to God immediately, for the message of the Gospel had not been given!  But after it was given, and the promise made that the Seed of the Woman should bruise the serpent’s head (Genesis 3: 15), they were free to accept the mercy that was extended to them.

By some Bible students it is thought that the time of their hiding from God’s presence was three hours, corresponding to the three hours when the sun was darkened at our Lord’s crucifixion (see Matt. 27: 45).  I believe that is the case.  At any rate, it is clear that Adam and Eve suffered spiritual death the moment they ate of the forbidden fruit.  So in that regard, the punishment was levied that day.

But what about physical death?  How did they die the same day they ate of the fruit?  The answer is quite simple, and involves the Gospel that was preached to them by God.  In Genesis 3: 21 it is written: “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them.”

The answer: Adam and Eve died physically in the person of their substitute, a slain lamb.  Remember, Christ is called “The Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Rev. 13: 8).  The title has no significance unless it points back to that vicarious sacrifice which took place in Eden.  Adam and Eve didn’t have to die physically themselves, because a slain animal died in their stead.

Isn’t this part and parcel of the “everlasting Gospel“?  For there can be no “good news” without a shedding of blood.  It is the blood that maketh atonement. (Leviticus 17: 11).  Wherefore God, after preaching the Gospel to our first parents, ordained that an innocent lamb should be slain, that atonement might be made for their sin.  And because their transgression was covered by the blood, they left the Garden without dying.

Notice, however, that Adam and his wife were then driven from Eden, and prevented from eating of the tree of life (Gen. 3: 22-24).  The reason?  “Lest he should eat, and live forever.”  This tells us that if Adam and Eve had eaten of the tree of life, they would have lived forever!  Lived how?  Spiritually or physically?  Obviously, in a physical sense, for Adam and Eve had already spiritually died, but were still alive physically. They needed the tree in order to sustain the life that they had.  And because access to it was restricted, their physical death was made sure and certain.

Now, it is a fact that Adam died at 930 years of age (Gen. 5: 5).  Thus, if we take a “day of the Lord” as equivalent to 1000 years (2 Peter 3: 8), we see that Adam died within the limits of the first day.  Not the first creative day, but the first redemptive day.  For sin made necessary Christ’s redemptive work, and a new week of 1000-year days was set into operation on the 24-hour day that Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit.

The seventh day is the redemptive Sabbath — otherwise known as the Millennium — to which the saints look forward.  As Paul writes: “There remaineth therefore a sabbath-keeping(sabbatismos) to the people of God” (Hebrews 4: 9).  This sabbath-keeping is associated with that “better resurrection,” in which the promises made to the Fathers shall be fulfilled.  Until that resurrection occurs, death must continue.  But only in a limited sense.

Our Savior’s purpose was to annul death in two distinct stages, corresponding to His two advents.  The first advent took care of spiritual death.  The second advent will take care of physical death.

At our Lord’s ascension, it is said that He led forth a multitude of captives (Eph.  4: 8).  Who can these “captives” be, but those who were kept in Hades prior to Christ’s resurrection?  These were removed from the Paradise compartment of the underworld, and carried back to heaven to be with Christ.

Hence Paul, entertaining thoughts of departure from this world, could look forward to ”being with Christ, which is far better” (Phil. 1: 23).  And he could truthfully say that Christ “hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel“ (2 Tim. 1: 10).

Spiritual resurrection takes place at the regeneration of the believer, when he is “quickened” by Christ (Eph. 2: 15).  This work was complete in A.D. 30, at our Lord’s exaltation to His Father’s throne in heaven.  It did not require 40 years to be perfected.  If the Bible represents first-century believers as being spiritually “alive,” then no man has a right to say that this life was incomplete.  No.  Spiritual death was annulled at the Cross.

What therefore remains to be annulled but physical death?  This will occur at the Lord’s second advent, when the bodies of the saints will rise from the dust and be refashioned after the image of Christ.  This resurrection is yet future.  It was foreshadowed by Christ’s “first-fruits” resurrection (1 Cor. 15: 2023), and the raising of many saints from their graves (see Matt. 27: 52-53).

According to the law, the ”first-fruits“ demands a future harvest of the same nature and kind — not of something different.  Because fulfillment of the first-fruits resurrection was physical in nature, the harvest will also be physical.

By denying the above evidence, Hyper-Preterists lay themselves open to charges of willful rejection of the Scriptures.  Like the Pharisees and Sadducees of old, they have created their own religion in which they feel comfortable, and no amount of evidence can be presented to make them change their mind.

However, I trust it is clear to any honest and intelligent student of Scripture that the “death” brought upon the race by Adam includes physical death, which will one day be annulled at the glorious appearing of Jesus.  “For our seat of government (politeuma) is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body, according to the working whereby He is able even to subdue all things to Himself” (Phil. 3: 20-21).  Maranatha!