THE HARVESTER

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The Harvester, which originally started as a field report of work being done by our graduates and staff, is now the school’s monthly journal. It consists of teaching articles and announcements regarding the school. Read it and get acquainted with us.

- Brian R. Kenyon, Editor

The Harvester
Official Publication of the Florida School of Preaching

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October 2014 | Volume 35, Number 03
Brian R. Kenyon, Editor
Published Monthly

Florida School of Preaching
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Lakeland, Florida 33803
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Ted Wheeler, Chairman
Brian Kenyon, Vice-Chairman
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The Impossibility of “AD 70 Doctrine” Being True
October 2014, Volume 35, Number 03 - Brian R. Kenyon

The AD 70 doctrine is also known as Max Kingism, so named after Max King, a preacher from Ohio among churches of Christ. He taught as far back as the late 1950’s that the second coming of Christ actually occurred in AD 70. What he meant by the “second coming” was not that Jesus came back to universally judge all souls from Adam to the generation then present. Rather, the “second coming,” according to King, was Jesus’ coming in the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. Gus Nichols (in 1973) and Jim McGuiggan (in 1975) both debated King. The following proposition, which summarized his position, was affirmed by King in his debate with Nichols:

The Holy Scriptures teach that the second coming of Christ, including the establishment of the eternal kingdom, the day of judgment, the end of the world and the resurrection of the dead, occurred with the fall of Judaism in 70 AD.

This doctrine is also referred to as “realized eschatology,” or “fulfilled eschatology.” The term “eschatology” refers to the study of last things. These designations identify all aspects of the “last things” as having already occurred, or as being “fulfilled.” Another term that is used, in more academic circles, to identify the doctrine is “full preterism.” The word “preterism” comes from the Latin praeter, which means “past.” Therefore, “full preterism” says that all Biblical prophecies, including Christ’s Second Coming were completely fulfilled by AD 70.

The AD 70 doctrine is actually found in different “flavors,” containing several sub-doctrines (such as universalism, redefined resurrection, Jesus being less than God, etc.). All proponents of AD 70 doctrine would not necessarily agree with all the sub-doctrines. However, there are a few doctrines that all would believe; namely, (1) that everything in the Bible was fulfilled by the time Jerusalem was destroyed in AD 70; (2) that the Messianic kingdom did not “fully come” until the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70; and (3) that Christ is not coming again at any time in the future. These three major teachings have been dealt with in the last two issues of the Harvester. In this concluding series article, we will consider two more inconsistencies, among many more that could be given, showing the impossibility of the AD 70 doctrine being true. The Bible stands true, and, although many will not accept it, “shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar” (Rom. 3:3-4)!

Requires Spiritual Adultery

According to the AD 70 doctrine, the Law of Moses and the Gospel were in effect at the same time between the cross and the destruction of Jerusalem. AD 70 doctrine says that at the cross the Law of Moses began to decrease while the Gospel began to increase so that with the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70, the Law of Moses was finally and completely done away, while, with that same Jerusalem event, the Gospel system reached its full force. Thus, according to AD 70 doctrine, for almost forty years, the two religious systems were congruently in effect.

Not only does that just sound strange, it contradicts what Paul taught concerning spiritual adultery.

Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? 2 For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. 3 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. 7:1-4)

Paul compared the Law of Moses with a husband to whom a wife was bound by law. As long as the husband lived, she was to be married to him. If he were still living and she married another man, she would be committing adultery, but if her first husband were dead, she would be free to marry another man, so long as he was lawfully eligible. Paul wrote this to let his readers know their “marriage” to Christ was fully legitimate because the Law of Moses was dead (cf. Col. 2:14). However, if the Law of Moses were still in effect when Romans was written, which, according to AD 70 doctrine, would have been the case, then marrying “another” (Christ) while the first husband (the Law of Moses) was alive would be committing spiritual adultery! Thus, the AD 70 doctrine would have people, or at least Jews, who became Christians prior to AD 70 committing spiritual adultery!

Denies Atonement and Exaltation

On the Day of Pentecost, when the church was established, well before AD 70, Peter said that Christ was “by the right hand of God exalted” (Acts 2:33). That exaltation involves elements that are completely incompatible with the AD 70 doctrine. The following syllogisms, adapted from H. Daniel Denham (Facebook posts and emails to the author), logically prove the AD 70 doctrine false based upon Christ’s atonement, enthronement as King, and service as High Priest. Note that the conclusions become the next argument’s major premises.

First Syllogism. Major premise: If it is the case that Jesus Christ purged our sins when He sat down at the right hand of the Father, then it is the case that the blood atonement was made when He sat down at the right hand of the Father. Minor premise: It is the case that Jesus Christ purged our sins when He sat down at the right hand of the Father (Heb. 1:3). Therefore, it must be the case that the blood atonement was made when He sat down at the right hand of the Father.

Second Syllogism. Major premise: (1) If it is the case that the blood atonement was made when He sat down at the right hand of the Father, and (2) if Jesus sat down on the right hand of the Father upon His ascension, and (3) if the ascension occurred about 40 years before the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70, then it must be the case that the blood atonement was made about 40 years before the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. Minor premise: (1) It is the case that the blood atonement was made when He sat down at the right hand of the Father, and (2) Jesus sat down on the right hand of the Father upon His ascension, and (3) the ascension occurred about 40 years before the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70 (cf. Heb. 1:3; Acts 2:29-36; 1:9-11). Therefore, it must be the case that the blood atonement was made about 40 years before the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70.

Third Syllogism. Major premise: If it is the case that the blood atonement was made about 40 years before the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70, then it is the case that Jesus began to serve as High Priest about 40 years before the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. Minor premise: It is the case that the blood atonement was made about 40 years before the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. (see previous syllogism). Therefore, it must be the case that Jesus began to serve as High Priest about 40 years before the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70.

Fourth Syllogism. Major premise: (1) If it is the case that Jesus Christ began to serve as High Priest about 40 years before the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70, and (2) if Jesus Christ was to be both High Priest and King at the same time, then it must be the case that Jesus Christ began to reign as King about 40 years before the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. Minor premise: (1) It is the case that Jesus Christ began to serve as High Priest about 40 years before the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70, and (2) Jesus Christ was to be both High Priest and King at the same time (cf. Zec. 6:12-13). Therefore, it must be the case that Jesus Christ began to reign as King about 40 years before the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70.

Conclusion

AD 70 doctrine cannot be true because it would have required Christians before AD 70 to commit spiritual adultery and because it denies that Christ was reigning as King and High Priest due to His atoning work prior to AD 70. Jesus is coming again at the end of time, when “we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ” (2 Cor. 5:10 cf. Mt. 25:31-46; Rev. 20:11-15).


PREPARING TO PREACH

Men decide in different stages of life to become preachers: some, like Timothy, are young; some, like Paul, are in the prime of another career; some are in their retirement years. Since the economy took a dive in 2008, the average age of our students has become younger. Generally speaking, young men without families require less financial support (cf. 1 Cor. 7:32-34). The age group that has declined consists of men in the prime of secular careers. The reason for this is obvious: it is more difficult for these men to raise the funds they need to support their young families for two years while they train. We have such men now, who have left well compensated secular careers to become Gospel preachers. While some may consider foolish the giving up of a well compensated secular career to become a preacher, Paul said that “it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe” (1 Cor. 1:21). These men, with families to support, need more financial support than unmarried men or men who are in their retirement years. These men are an important asset to the kingdom. When they apply the determination and talents that made them successful in their secular careers to preaching the Gospel, great things can happen through the Lord. Do you value preaching? Are you able to help these men with a one-time gift or a monthly amount? No amount is too small. These men are worthy and in need of your help! —Brian

Front row: Shawn Sullivan, Troy Postlethwait, Taj Williams, Cody Walling, Hiram Kemp, Cameron Lager
Back: Rico Brown, Federick Hicher, Brian Kenyon, Kenneth Harrison, Forest Antemesaris.

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