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Church-State Relations and the Book of Revelation
An Introduction to The Parousia: A Careful Look at the New Testament Doctrine of the Lord's Second Coming
by James Stuart Russell (1878) // Written by
Todd Dennis, Curator


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The 70 A.D. Doctrine

By Buff Scott

This is a reprint from the Sept./Oct. 1993 issue of Reformer, edited by Buff Scott, P.O. Box 10074, Phoenix, AZ 85064.

     The 70 A.D. doctrine announces that the coming of Jesus Christ, the complete establishment of his kingdom, the end of the age, the resurrection, and the judgment all occurred by 70 A.D. The defenders of this new doctrine allege that the removal of the heavens (universe), the elements, and the earth of 2 Peter 3:8-13 are figures of speech and relate directly to the removal of the old covenant. The 'new heaven and earth' refer to the new covenant system.

     Such are the views of our good brother Edward E. Stevens, Editor of Kingdom Counsel (122 Seaward Avenue, Bradford, PA 16701), and Jeffrey B. Kessel, Associate Editor. They employ various scriptures to support their position, some of which are Matthew 24, Revelation 21 & 22, Isaiah 51 & 65, Matthew 10:23,16:27-28,26:64, Romans 13:11, and many others.

     These brothers believe that 'there are some of those who are standing here who shall not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming into his kingdom" means that Jesus made his second coming during the life of some of his followers, and his coming was about or on 70 A.D.

     Most of us have long believed that Jesus' statement alluded to the enactment of God's new reign, which began on the first Pentecost following the ascension of Jesus as King. Jesus did not come personally on Pentecost, but his presence was felt in the anatomy of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2). In this sense, he descended again. Another 'in-between coming" (as our good brother Leroy Garrett puts it), was when he came in judgment upon the nation of Israel in 70 A.D. Jesus did not come personally in 70 A.D., as Stevens and Kessel claim, for not 'every eye" saw him, there was no general resurrection, and the earth was not "laid bare" (2 Peter 3).

     In reference to 'there are some standing here,' Mark says they will not "taste death before they see the kingdom (reign) of God come with power' (Mark 9: 1). So the reign of God and the 'Son of Man coming into his kingdom' apply to the same occurrence, the setting in motion of God's new reign (Acts 2).

     To support their contention, Stevens and Kessel teach that Revelation was written prior to 70 A.D., as John closes the book by saying, "Come, Lord Jesus." But there is an abundance of historical arguments in favor of the book's being written in about A.D. 96, the latter part of the reign of Domitian.

     Space will not permit me to share that evidence. Later, perhaps. In the meantime, please send for Leroy Garrett's article, 'In-Between Comings' in the May 1990 issue of Restoration Review, 1201 Windsor Drive, Denton, TX 76201.


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