“Inaccurate eschatology causes believers to:
Wait for a King who already reigns,
Wait for a Kingdom they’re already in
Wait to become what they already are,
Wait for power that they already have,
Wait for an Age that they’re already in,
Wait for victory that’s already been won,
Wait to do, what they should already be doing.”
A good majority of Christianity believes in the 2nd coming of Christ.
Those who have been following my posts know that I teach Christ is come.
He is already here, within us. Jesus said, the Kingdom of God is within us.
Why would God’s kingdom still be coming if it is already within?
Today, I want us to look carefully at
“Look, he is coming with the clouds,” and “every eye will see him, even those who pierced him”; and all peoples on earth “will mourn because of him.” So shall it be! Amen.”
The key words for this text on Christ’s return are: “even those that pierced him”
Can this be any clearer that the ones responsible for crucifying Jesus would still be alive to see him return.
Furthermore, since this is written in Revelation we know John is not referring to Jesus appearances after the resurrection. At the time of this writing John is still referring to it as a future event.
Does not this correlate with what Jesus said in Matthew 24:34-35?
“Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.”
Heaven and Earth was the Jewish symbol for their Temple.
So here Jesus is being very explicit and specifying that their generation will not pass away until he returns and their Temple is destroyed.
We know from history the Jewish temple was destroyed in 70 AD along with Jerusalem.
So the million dollar question is how, where and when did Jesus return around 70 AD?
This question might be best answered by Josephus, who was a Jewish historian commissioned the Romans, to document the historical accounts leading up to and during the destruction of Jerusalem.
“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.”
This event was independently documented by Tacitus, who was a Roman historian commissioned to also document the war against the Jews and Jerusalem:
“Prodigies had occurred, but their expiation by the offering of victims or solemn vows is held to be unlawful by a nation which is the slave of superstition and the enemy of true beliefs. In the sky appeared a vision of armies in conflict, of glittering armour. A sudden lightning 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. Few people placed a sinister interpretation upon this. The majority were convinced that the ancient scriptures of their priests alluded to the present as the very time when the Orient would triumph and from Judaea would go forth men destined to rule the world.” (Histories, Book 5, v. 13).
I hope this piques your interest to read and study these historical accounts.
You will be amazed to find the wealth and treasure in the fulfilment of Old and New Testament prophecy that is documented.
There is now tremendous evidence documented by historians and Scholars that show that the Book of Revelation was written between 65 and 68ad.
I’ve only scratched the surface here, there is much, much more.
WHEN WOULD THEY SAY TO THE MOUNTAINS “FALL ON US” AND TO THE HILLS “COVER US”?
Isaiah 2:2 The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. 2 Now it shall come to pass in the latter days (“last days” KJV) 10 Enter into the rock, and hide in the dust, From the terror of the LORD…19 They shall go into the holes of the rocks And into the caves of the earth,…From the terror of the LORD And the glory of His majesty, When He arises to shake the earth mightily.
Notice again the context here… the latter days, the last days is associated with the day of the Lord, a day of judgment for the proud and haughty and lofty would also be a time when the mountain of the Lord’s house, which is the kingdom of God, will be exalted above the hills which are the little kingdoms and nations.
Jesus applied this passage to HIS day, not a future day.
In Luke 23 Jesus is being led to his death and he turns to the women who are weeping for him and this is what he said,
“27 And a great multitude of the people followed Him, and women who also mourned and lamented Him. 28 But Jesus, turning to THEM, said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for Me, but weep for YOURSELVES and for YOUR children. 29 For indeed the days ARE COMING in which they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, wombs that never bore, and breasts which never nursed!’ 30 Then they will begin ‘to say to the mountains, “Fall on us!” and to the hills, “Cover us!”’
Revelation 6:15 Then the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains; 16 and they said to the mountains and to the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; 17 for the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?”
What Isaiah calls the last days, Jesus says is coming soon TO THEM in THEIR DAY, and then the same thing is said in Revelation BECAUSE it all refers to the same event.
Revelation has been fulfilled in the fall of Jerusalem in AD70.
Did you realize that every time God “comes down” or that he “comes in the cloud”, it is always about judgment?
Genesis 11:7 – Babel
Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”
Genesis 18:21 – Sodom
that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know.”
“There is no one like the God of Jeshurun,
who rides across the heavens to help you
and on the clouds in his majesty.
and lays the beams of his upper chambers on their waters. He makes the clouds his chariot and rides on the wings of the wind.
Jeremiah 4:13-14 – Jerusalem
Look! He advances like the clouds, his chariots come like a whirlwind, his horses are swifter than eagles.
Woe to us! We are ruined!
Jerusalem, wash the evil from your heart and be saved.
How long will you harbor wicked thoughts?
Ezekiel 1:28 – 2:1
Like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the radiance around him.
This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. When I saw it, I fell facedown, and I heard the voice of one speaking.
Daniel 7:13 – Jerusalem AD70
“In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence.
The Lord is slow to anger but great in power; the Lord will not leave the guilty unpunished.
His way is in the whirlwind and the storm, and clouds are the dust of his feet.
Matthew 24:30 AD70
“Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory.
1 Thessalonians 4:17 AD70
After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.
Revelation 1:7 AD70
“Look, he is coming with the clouds,” and “every eye will see him, even those who pierced him”; and all peoples on earth “will mourn because of him.”
So shall it be! Amen.
I looked, and there before me was a white cloud, and seated on the cloud was one like a son of man with a crown of gold on his head and a sharp sickle in his hand.
So he who was seated on the cloud swung his sickle over the earth, and the earth was harvested.
Do you know see what is the coming in the clouds?
It is always speaking about judgment. Not rapture.
There is one more thing I want you to see. Revelation 14 records the actual coming in the cloud mentioned by Jesus. Now pay attention to this. What would happen?
So he who was seated on the cloud swung his sickle over the earth, and the earth was harvested.
Now let me ask you this question. When was the earth harvested?
Matthew 9:37 AD30-33
Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.”
Do you realize it was during the generation spoke about?
Let’s close with a fascinating thought. If that is about AD70. It would mean that’s the final time he came and went back.
It also means his final coming was found in Revelation 21. It was hence also about AD70.
Let me show when was the final coming.
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.
He now already dwells with his people. Did you know since then he hasn’t gone back for him to go back. His dwelling is no longer in the clouds.
It’s among his people. You.
God bless you.
If we bother to read the the book of Revelation in the light of the Old Testament, we would NOT be intoxicated with a dark impeding future of a doomsday antichrist.
He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
He will swallow up death forever; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces,
and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth,
for the Lord has spoken.
You will see that John was quoting Isaiah.
Now look at the context.
On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples
a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine,
of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined.
And he will swallow up on this mountain
the covering that is cast over all peoples,
the veil that is spread over all nations.
This mountain is the New Jerusalem. It came about after the Old Jerusalem was destroyed in AD70.
The Old Jerusalem was where the Law was practiced. It is also know as Sinai.
Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia; she corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children.
Now look at this.
2 Corinthians 3:14
But their minds were hardened. For to this day, when they read the old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away.
Notice Paul tells us the veil spoken in Isaiah is the Old Covenant.
What John is trying to tell you therefore is that it when the Temple and preAD70 Jerusalem were destroyed, the ministry of death being the Law and the continual tearful need of repentance were done away with.
2 Corinthians 3:7
Now if the ministry of death, carved in letters on stone, came with such glory that the Israelites could not gaze at Moses’ face because of its glory, which was being brought to an end,
It has nothing to do with us living immortalised. That is not happening in the future. It happened in AD70.
It is time we come to a realisation that death and tears are our past. We are now living a resurrected life.
HIS SECOND COMING
The Bible contains much more material concerning the Second Coming. Consider this passage in Matthew that we have already mentioned, which we will now consider in more depth. Jesus is speaking to his disciples: And you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved. When they persecute you in this city, flee to another. For assuredly, I say to you, you will not have gone through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes. (Matthew 10: 22-23) Here Jesus made a clear statement about the timing of his Second Coming. Jesus stated to his disciples that He would come before they had completed going through all of the cities of Israel. Let’s consider how some interpreters view this passage. Some commentaries say that this statement is not about the Lord’s Second Coming at all, but about his First Coming. But obviously, this passage cannot be about his First Coming; Jesus was already there! Similarly, some say that the passage is referring to Jesus’own ministry in the cities of Galilee. But that does not fit the passage either. It is not about Jesus’ministry in the cities of Galilee; it is about the disciples who were going through the cities of Israel. The passage makes sense only if Jesus was looking ahead to the time when He was no longer on the earth and the disciples had the responsibility of carrying out their work of evangelism. Further, Jesus was giving the disciples themselves a timeline for what was going to happen in relationship to their work, not Jesus’own work. Other commentaries acknowledge that Jesus is referring to the Second Coming. For example, the popular NIV Study Bible says, “The saying seems to teach that the gospel will continue to be preached to the Jews until Christ’s Second Coming.”Such an interpretation completely ignores the fact that Jesus is telling his disciples that they themselves will not finish their mission before his Second Coming. (It’s amazing what otherwise good scholars can come up with in order to support a flawed presupposition.)
Christian Hope through
~Charles S. Meek
Here is a list of preterist passages compiled by David A. Green. 267 This compilation puts an exclamation point to the importance of the imminency passages in the New Testament: The kingdom of heaven is at hand. (Matthew 3: 2) Who warned you to flee from the wrath about to come? (Matthew 3: 7) The axe is already laid at the root of the trees. (Matthew 3: 10) His winnowing fork is in His hand. (Matthew 3: 12) The kingdom of heaven is at hand. (Matthew 4: 17) The kingdom of heaven is at hand. (Matthew 10: 7) You shall not finish going through the cities of Israel, until the Son of Man comes. (Matthew 10: 23) the age about to come (Matthew 12: 32) The Son of Man is about to come in the glory of His Father with His angels; and will then recompense every man according to his deeds. (Matthew 16: 27) There are some of those who are standing here who shall not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom. (Matthew 16: 28; cf. Mark 9: 1; Luke 9: 27) “When the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those vine-growers?”They said to Him, “He will bring those wretches to a wretched end, and will rent out the vineyard to other vine-growers, who will pay him the proceeds at the proper seasons.”…“Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you, and be given to a nation producing the fruit of it.”…When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard His parables, they understood that He was speaking about them. (Matthew. 21: 40-41, 43, 45) This generation will not pass away until all these things take place. (Matthew 24: 34) From now on, you [Caiaphas, the chief priests, the scribes, the elders, the whole Sanhedrin] shall be seeing the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven. (Matthew 26: 64; Mark 14: 62; Luke 22: 69) The kingdom of God is at hand. (Mark 1: 15) What will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the vine-growers, and will give the vineyard to others…. They [the chief priests, scribes and elders] understood that He spoke the parable against them. (Mark 12: 9, 12) This generation will not pass away until all these things take place. (Mark 13: 30) Who warned you to flee from the wrath about to come? (Luke 3: 7) The axe is already laid at the root of the trees. (Luke 3: 9) His winnowing fork is in His hand. (Luke 3: 17) The kingdom of God has come near to you. (Luke 10: 9) The kingdom of God has come near. (Luke 10: 11) What, therefore, will the owner of the vineyard do to them? He will come and destroy these vine-growers and will give the vineyard to others…. The scribes and the chief priests…. understood that He spoke this parable against them. (Luke 20: 1516, 19) These are days of vengeance, in order that all things which are written may be fulfilled. (Luke 21: 22) This generation will not pass away until all things take place. (Luke 21: 32) Daughters of Jerusalem, stop weeping for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For behold, the days are coming when they will say, “Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed.’Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us,’and to the hills, ‘Cover us’”(Luke 23: 28-30; compare Revelation 6: 14-17) We were hoping that He was the One who is about to redeem Israel. (Luke 24: 21) I will come to you…. In that Day you shall know that I am in my Father, and you in Me, and I in you…. Lord, what then has happened that You are about to disclose Yourself to us, and not to the world? (John 14: 18, 20, 22) If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you? (John 21: 22) This is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel: “And it shall be in the last days “(Acts 2: 16-17) He has fixed a day in which He is about to judge the world in righteousness. (Acts 17: 31) There is about to be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked. (Acts 24: 15) As he was discussing righteousness, self-control and the judgment about to come. (Acts 24: 25) Not for [Abraham’s] sake only was it written, that [faith] was reckoned to him [as righteousness], but for our sake also, to whom it is about to be reckoned. (Romans 4: 23-24) If you are living according to the flesh, you are about to die. (Romans 8: 13) I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is about to be revealed to us. (Romans 8: 18) It is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed. The night is almost gone, and the day is at hand. (Romans 13: 11-12) The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. (Romans 16: 20) The time has been shortened. (1 Corinthians 7: 29) The form of this world is passing away. (1 Corinthians 7: 31) Now these things …were written for our instruction, upon whom the end of the ages has come. (1 Corinthians 10: 11) We shall not all fall sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. (1 Corinthians 15: 51-52) Maranatha! [The Lord comes!] (1 Corinthians 16: 22) not only in this age, but also in the one about to come (Ephesians 1: 21) The Lord is near. (Philippians 4: 5) The gospel …was proclaimed in all creation under heaven. (Colossians 1: 23; compare Matthew 24: 14; Romans 10: 18, 16: 26; Colossians 1: 5-6; 2 Timothy 4: 17; Revelation 14: 6-7; cf. 1 Clement 5, 7) things which are a shadow of what is about to come (Colossians 2: 16-17) We who are alive, and remain until the coming of the Lord…. We who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds…. You, brethren, are not in darkness, that the Day should overtake you like a thief…. (1 Thessalonians 4: 15, 17; 5: 4) May your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thessalonians 5: 23) It is only just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire. (2 Thessalonians 1: 6-7) Godliness …holds promise for the present life and that which is about to come. (I Timothy 4: 8) I charge you …that you keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Timothy 6: 14) storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for that which is about to come, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed (1 Timothy 6: 19) In the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self …Avoid these men. For of these are those who enter into households and captivate weak women …These also oppose the truth …But they will not make further progress; for their folly will be obvious to all. (2 Timothy 3: 1-2, 5-6, 8-9) I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is about to judge the living and the dead. (2 Timothy 4: 1) God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son. (Hebrews 1: 1-2) Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who are about to inherit salvation? (Hebrews 1: 14) He did not subject to angels the world about to come. (Hebrews 2: 5)
Christian Hope through
~ Charles Meek
Inaccurate Eschatology causes believers to:
Wait for a King, who already reigns,
Wait for a kingdom, they’re already in,
Wait to become, what they already are,
Wait for power, that they already have,
Wait for an Age, that they’re already in,
Wait for victory, that has already been won,
Wait to do, what they should already be doing.
~ Nathan Edward Camacho
UNDERSTANDING THE BOOK OF REVELATION
The book of Revelation is the last book in the New Testament. Its actual title is not “Revelation” or “Revelations” but “The Revelation of Jesus Christ” – it is best translated from the greek as, “The Apocalypse of Jesus Christ”. In our modern English parlance, it gives the idea of a terrible catastrophe, usually related to the end of the world or human civilization (as we have some Hollywood movies). An “apocalypse” was a particular type of literature in the earliest centuries.
The word “apocalypse” literally mean an “unveiling” – it doesn’t mean to hide something in a mysterious way, neither does it have anything to do with the end of the world. With that in mind, the “Apocalypse of Jesus Christ” simply means “an unveiling of the prophecy of Jesus Christ explained with the use of prophetic symbols and motifs.
What was the “prophecy” of Jesus Christ? John’s gospel is the one that excludes the famous Olivet discourse – the prophetic speech which Jesus gave to his disciples (Matthew 23-25). It was the only extended “prophecy” which Jesus gave. Very much the same that Jesus had the extensive “the Sermon of Jesus Christ” in (Matthew 5-7)
The “prophecy of Jesus Christ” we are obviously talking about the only extended prophecy that he delivered that was actually consistent with what some prophets of Old like Daniel and Malachi had recorded in their writings.
Since prophecy must have fulfillment to be valid, we must note THAT the prophecy was about what would happen within “one generation” (not OUR generation) (Matthew 24:34) when a time of trouble and tribulation would come to Judea (not to the whole word) that would begin when Jerusalem was surrounded by armies bearing the Eagle banner and would end with the Temple being destroyed so completely that “not one stone will be left upon another”. THAT was what Jesus predicted and prophesied.
THAT was the “End of the Age” and THAT would happen within forty years. If THAT was Jesus prophecy, and if Revelation is an unveiling of Jesus prophecy in the language of symbols – then THAT is what Revelation is about too. Clearly it was the closing curtain on the Old covenant and its institution for the new to be established.
The book of Revelation amplifies Jesus prophecy by giving it greater and more vivid details, and explains it more fully. It was written during the reign of the Emperor Nero when there were only a few years left until those age-changing events would occur. The prophecy was at its heels of fulfillment. Consider these statements:
“what must soon [shortly] take place” (Rev. 1:1; 22:6 [KJV]).
“Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy . . . who hear it and take to heart [obey] what is written in it” (Rev. 1:3; 22:7 [KJV])
“the time is near [at hand]” (Rev. 1:3; 22:10 [KJV]).
These full-content-bracketing, time statements establish the immediate historical context for the fulfillment of the whole of the prophecy. These passages tell us that a very significant event was to occur within a very short time and certainly within the lifetime of the book’s original and primary recipients.
The beginning of Revelation – The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:. (1:1)
The word “signified” (Greek word, semaino) most literally and graphically means “sign – ified”—i.e., making known or communicating with signs and symbols. Hence, if we take the Revelation precisely for what it is, visual parables of spiritual/physical reality, any believer can better understand it.
But the physical/material mindset denies or ignores the dimension of the spirit and blinds people to the spirit-world realities the book unveils. Once, however, we accept that God spoke in spirit-realm/physical-realm terms using signs and symbols, the Revelation begins to open up its treasures to us.
The end of Revelation – “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near.” (22:10)
WHAT’S YOUR VIEW OF THE RESURRECTION?
Chuck Crisco December 2, 2015
Did you ever really think about the resurrection? I mean the concept that one day your spirit will leave the perfect bliss of being in the eternal, incomprehensible joy of God’s presence in heaven, and suddenly come back to earth where the molecules of billions of people from all of history are reassembled into physical, albeit new, form? Suddenly graves will break open to the terrifying stares of unsuspecting people. It is called the resurrection, or at least a version of how the story goes.
Are you willing to re-think the resurrection? Did you ever wonder what the purpose of that event would be? Supposedly it is so that we can reign and rule with Christ over the planet and a handful of unbelievers left over from the tribulation. It is taught that Christ will reign in natural Jerusalem, which of course means that every resurrected saint would then only have access to him by appointment. Maybe once or twice over that period of history. Wouldn’t that be a step backwards in so many ways?
We want to leave heaven for a return to earth and all its limitations? How often would you get to see Jesus here? Would you schedule an appointment?
We want to leave heaven for a return to earth and all its limitations? How often would you get to see Jesus here? Would you schedule an appointment?
Of course, there might be a different view, an alternative perspective that takes all the scriptures into account, looks boldly and honestly at the text, and says, “wait a minute!”
Before you throw rocks at me and break your computer screen, let’s dispel a myth for a moment. Some will quote 2 Timothy 2:17-18 saying, “Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18 who have departed from the truth. They say that the resurrection has already taken place, and they destroy the faith of some.”
I imagine we all agree in the resurrection of Christ, agreed? But Paul was writing about a group of people who were saying the resurrection of the dead had already taken place after the resurrection of Christ. How is that possible if the resurrection of the dead was to be a world-wide event in which graves were opened and spirits came into reassembled bodies? Wouldn’t that have been obvious? Not if the resurrection of the dead was supposed to be a spiritual event instead of a physical one.
Secondly, no one here is denying the resurrection, I am simply presenting you with a perspective in which the TIMING and NATURE of the resurrection is different. So this view affirms the resurrection of Christ and the resurrection of the dead, but it differs with the so-called traditional view.
What I DO find fascinating is that some will read this article and then dismiss it because it doesn’t fit their existing paradigm. It can’t be true because they believe something different. But take the time to look at each passage on its own accord rather from the images that are already painted in your heart. You will discover that there are no scriptures that teach a physical resurrection in our future. Instead, the scriptures teach that when we die we will be raised into a spiritual body, into heaven, to be with the Lord forever. Let’s look…
The Hope of Israel:
Let’s not forget that the resurrection is an old covenant promise to Israel, through which Christ would bless the world. This is important because it was THEIR promise fulfilled at the end of the old covenant age, and we were incorporated into its outworking. In other words the resurrection was to occur (spiritually) in a corporate sense out of Hades in AD 70, as a promise to Israel, through which we were incorporated in an ongoing individual experience at the moment of our death. Therefore, we must look at what the Hebrew scriptures promised in conjunction with Paul’s text to determine the nature and the timing of the resurrection. Charles Meek says,
“At the Second Coming to occur during the lifetime of Paul’s contemporaries, there would be a culmination of the eschatological hope of the world. God’s Suffering Servant would bring salvation to Israel and to the world (Isaiah 42: 1-9; 49: 1-7; 52: 13-53: 12; 56: 1-8; Luke 21:28; Romans 13:11; Ephesians 1:13-14; Hebrews 1:14; 9:28; 1 Peter 1:3-9). The promised new heavens and earth would include the gathering of the elect and of all nations into the covenant as promised in Isaiah 40:5; 49:5-6; 56:8, by Jesus in the Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24:31; 25:32), and reiterated by Paul in 2 Thessalonians 2:1. Israel would be reborn and restored, and this would include immortal-body resurrection of the righteous — and ultimately eternal life in heaven as promised to believers in Christ’s own resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:1-4, 19). Meek, Charles S. (2014-11-24). Christian Hope through Fulfilled Prophecy: An Exposition of Evangelical Preterism (Kindle Locations 4141-4147). BookBaby. Kindle Edition.
The Timing of the Resurrection:
Contrary to popular opinion, the references to the resurrection are not in some far off future from the NT writers. Stop for a moment and carefully consider this. Daniel affirmed that the resurrection would be at the time when the “power of the holy people is shattered” referring to the temple and the system of Law, after saying it would be at the end of the “times, time and half a time.” This was in AD 70 when the Jerusalem was trampled by the Roman-Gentiles for 3 ½ years and the temple was destroyed. Does an angelic being SWEARING this to be true help? (See Daniel 12:7).
Secondly, did you know that Paul preached that the resurrection was near in his lifetime? In Acts 24:15 he 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.” Translators, for theological reasons instead of translation reasons, avoid translating this accurately. The words “shall be” come from the Greek Strongs #3195 méllō – properly, at the very point of acting; ready, “about to happen.” (Helps Word Studies; Analytical Greek Lexicon, p. 262; Arndt, p. 500; Thayer, p. 396).
Paul uses this same word tense méllō, in 2 Timothy 4:1, “I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who (is about to) judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom.”
Again in a similar context in Mt. 16:27-28, “For the Son of Man is [about] to come in the glory of His Father with His angels…”
To throw the corporate resurrection into the future is to miss the power of their message!
Paul’s Doctrine of the Resurrection in 1 Corinthians 15.
If there was any text considered THE proof text for a future resurrection it is this passage. But, in fact, it seems to teach us a view completely contrary to our confusing modern picture. So let’s mine out these passages a section at a time.
15 Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.
3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: 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 by Cephas, then by the twelve. 6 After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. 7 After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. 8 Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.
9 For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.11 Therefore, whether it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.
We see that Jesus after his resurrection revealed himself to only a few people. It is a fact that Jesus told his disciples, “Yet a little while, and the world will see me no more; but ye will see me; because I live, you shall live also” (John 14: 19).
So he made a promise to them that the “world”, the kosmos, (Greek-inhabited world) would never see him again. How can this be if he is coming back to raise people from the dead and every eye will “see” him?
When John in Revelation 1:7 quotes Christ’s words, 1) he was speaking of their generation (even those who pierced him, the time is near), and 2), the word for “see” there is not with physical eyes, but with spiritual perception [Strongs 3708 horáō – properly, see, often with metaphorical meaning: “to see with the mind” (i.e. spiritually see), i.e. perceive (with inward spiritual perception).]
12 Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. 14 And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. 15 Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up—if in fact the dead do not rise. 16 For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. 17 And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! 18 Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.
Pay close attention to verse 19 because it is very telling. He speaks of this life (earthly) vs the next life (heaven-spiritual). He doesn’t speak of this life, and then a life in heaven, and then another life on the earth in a resurrected body, and then at the end of a 1000 years another kind of existence. He only points to the earthly and the heavenly. He is very clear and it is that contrast and comparison that continues throughout his discussion. Do you see it?
The Last Enemy Destroyed
20 But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. 23 But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming. 24 Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. 25 For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy that will be destroyed is death. 27 For “He has put all things under His feet.”
Let’s briefly address these one at a time.
The resurrection was to take place AT HIS COMING. I am writing primarily to those who already have a basic understanding of the parousia. Unfortunately, a lot of confusion happens because bible translators in many instances do a poor job of accurately communicating the text. I tend to believe it is because many translating organizations have a pre-existing theology which will not allow for anything else. In this case the text says τῇ παρουσίᾳ αὐτοῦ (THE coming-presence of him). Paul doesn’t suppose this is “a” coming of the Lord, but “THE” coming, as if there is only one and it is the singular one that all the other NT writers affirm was to happen in their generation.
AFTER HIS COMING IS THE END.
The “end”. It cannot mean the end of the world. Why? Because there is no scripture in the Bible that speaks of the world coming to an end. The new covenant age, the age of the gospel and the everlasting kingdom is one that never ends. Therefore that means that if one places the resurrection at some time at the end of history instead of at the end of the old covenant age, then there would NEVER be a resurrection because there are no scriptures that speak of the end of the entire cosmos. For example:
Ephesians 3:21, “Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.”
Isaiah 9:7, “Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end…”
Psalm 148:4-6, “Praise Him, you heavens of heavens, And you waters above the heavens! Let them praise the name of the Lord, For He commanded and they were created. He also established them forever and ever; He made a decree which shall not pass away.”
Ecclesiastes 1:4, “One generation passes away, and another generation comes; But the earth abides forever.”
Mary heard the angel say, “He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end” (Luke 1: 32-35).
Daniel 2:44, “And in the days of these kings [Roman Empire] shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.” (also see Daniel 7:13f)
How then can there be a resurrection at the end of the world if the world doesn’t end?
THEN HE DELIVERS THE KINGDOM TO THE FATHER.
So we were taught this verse as if there will be a period of history in our future, after Jesus has supposedly defeated physical death, and after the world has completely crumbled because of the devil and the tribulation, that THEN (apparently after a failed effort on the part of Jesus through his church to affect any real lasting change in the world) and ONLY then… Jesus gives the Father the kingdom and he abdicates it himself.
Is that really what this text says? Did we not just read that his kingdom is an everlasting one? Did we not see that of the increase of his kingdom there would be no end? How could Jesus kingdom end then?
This same word is used in verse 3 when Paul said he delivered the gospel to them. It doesn’t mean he abdicated the gospel. It doesn’t mean he abandoned it. It doesn’t mean that he had no connection to it. In some cases the word does mean that, but not here.
This word “delivers” is [3860 paradídōmi (from 3844 /pará, “from close-beside” and 1325 /dídōmi, “give”) – properly, to give (turn) over; “hand over from,” i.e. to deliver over with a sense of close (personal) involvement.] Remember Jesus was given the task of judging (Jn. 5:22) and at the end of that task, it simply means that he no longer has that task/job/responsibility anymore. In Isaiah 54, we discover that after “a little wrath” he swore an oath, with the same one-sided commitment that he did regarding Noah and the flood, that he would never be angry again, nor rebuke (speak harshly) nor remove his covenant of peace. So the meaning of the word itself here indicates not an abdication of the throne, but the completion of a task and an affirmation of partnership. Otherwise the eternally advancing kingdom isn’t!
Which brings us to Paul’s comment that he must reign in that capacity until he puts his enemies, particularly death, under his feet. I know, I know… people still die right? There are a couple of insights here that I think you ought to know. First of all we assume that he is speaking of physical death because we have been told that the death that Adam brought was physical death. But why then did they have food to eat in the Garden of Eden? Just for the sake of using their mouths for something other than talking? And if physical death was the result of Adam’s sin, then why do we still die when we believe in Christ? Why did those Jesus raised from the dead still die again? No, God said that on the VERY DAY that you eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you will SURELY die (Genesis 2:17).
But he didn’t. In fact, he didn’t die for hundreds of years. So what is the death of Adam that happened the very day he ate of the tree? It was a sin-death, a blindness, a spiritual thing! This is confirmed by the fact that (again) the translators left out the definite article “the” before “death.” This is not physical death, but THE death that Adam brought!
Acts 2:31; 13:35 reveals that Jesus’ physical body was the only one promised not to see decay.
It is interesting to me that he says that the last enemy destroyed is death, but the Greek is katargeó: (a) to render inoperative, abolish, idle down, make idle (inactive), make of no effect, annul, abolish, bring to naught, (b) I discharge, sever, separate from. The tense of this word means that it was ALREADY BEING destroyed AS he wrote this. Has he been working on this for 2000 years, or was it near in his generation… at the cusp?
In some way it was “death” that was keeping those in Hades-Sheol from entering the glory of heaven.
Persecution and the Hope of the Resurrection
29 Otherwise, what will they do who are baptized for the dead, if the dead do not rise at all? Why then are they baptized for the dead? 30 And why do we stand in jeopardy every hour? 31 I affirm, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily. 32 If, in the manner of men, I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantage is it to me? If the dead do not rise, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!”
While I am not going to try to tackle those who were “baptized for the dead” here, (I never want to make a doctrine out of one single verse in the Bible) I DO want you to notice the context and reference Paul uses. Paul was experiencing such persecution from the Jews in every place (1 Thes. 2:14-16) that the only thing that gave him hope was that even if they destroyed his physical body… he had confidence that God would raise him up.
Notice his quote from Isaiah 22:13 (invoking particularly the context of 12-14). It is a prophetic word against Jerusalem itself and their stubborn disregard for the coming destruction of the city. It is no coincidence that he quotes it here:
12 And in that day the Lord God of hosts
Called for weeping and for mourning,
For baldness and for girding with sackcloth.
13 But instead, joy and gladness,
Slaying oxen and killing sheep,
Eating meat and drinking wine:
“Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!”14 Then it was revealed in my hearing by the Lord of hosts, “Surely for this iniquity there will be no atonement for you, Even to your death,” says the Lord God of hosts. (12-14)
~ Chuck Crisco