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Response Posted with
"The 70 A.D. Doctrine Examined"

By Mark A. Copeland

"Mark A. Copeland"
Reply to:
To: Multiple recipients of list
Subject: Re: 70 A.D. Doctrine reviewed by Marc Gibson

Mark Copeland here...
On 12 Apr 96 at 16:43:

Dear Tim,

     Thank you for sharing the material referenced above by Marc Gibson. I believe it serves as a good introduction into this issue which I believe has damnable consequences.

     Yes, the word "damnable" is strong, but I have seen its effects in the lives of individuals and congregations. A young preacher who got his start working along me (he came before Steve Rudd) followed this teaching to its logical conclusion, and eventually lost his faith in the Bible and the Lord Jesus altogether.

     But even if one maintains his "faith" while holding to this doctrine, I still believe his soul will be lost. Why? Because he has denied the one "hope" (Ep 4:4), which clearly includes the literal resurrection of the body from the dead (cf. Ac 23:6; 24:15; 26:6-8; Ro 8:23-24). To deny the one "hope", or to substantively change its meaning, is as damnable to one's soul as to change the one "baptism", the one "Lord", or the one "God". Since the consequence of the doctrine so seriously disrupts the "unity of the Spirit" (Ep 4:3-6), I do not know how fellowship can be maintained with those who espouse this doctrine, just as I cannot have fellowship with those who teach a different "baptism", "Lord", etc.

     But the real reason for writing is to offer a suggestion on how to refer to the doctrine. Marc Gibson in his introduction listed different names by which it has been come to be called:


A) A.D. 70 Doctrine
B) Realized Eschatology (doctrine of completed last things)
C) Fulfilled Eschatology
D) Covenant Eschatology
E) Preterist (past)
F) Kingism (The Max King Doctrine)

     Of the five above, I believe either "realized eschatology" or "fulfilled eschatalogy" are the ones most descriptive and lest likely to impugn innocent brethren.

     Many people not familiar with the issue are likely to confuse "A.D. 70 Doctrine" or "preterist" with those brethren who simply hold to the view that Revelation was written in A.D. 70. The term "Kingism" smacks of "Campbellism" and I know how we all feel when people through that one at us. I've never heard of "covenant eschatology", so I don't know if it can possibly be confused with some other teaching that is not the same.

     Finally, for the benefit of others on ML, just a thought on how best to approach this issue. In my limited efforts to study with others who subscribe to the doctrine of "realized eschatology" (which includes not only the preacher referenced to above, but some members of the Presbyterian Reformed church who were well versed in the doctrine), I have focused on the Biblical teaching of the resurrection of the body. Including the passages mentioned above, I emphasize 1 Corinthians 15, where I believe the doctrine of "realized eschatology" is most weak in its efforts to explain the Scriptures.

     I also depend heavily on the Book of Revelation. Subscribing to the early date (A.D. 70) myself, this puts me one up on those who hold a later date that have to deal with this issue. I try to illustrate how all of the events "realized eschatology" purports to have occured in A.D. 70 could not have occurred at one time. Events that supposedly occurred in A.D. 70 are separated in the Book of Revelation by other events occuring over long periods of time, and to propose that all these events happened in one event is ludicrous to any who come to the book with an open mind.

     That leads to a final point. I have found that it is almost impossible to make any headway with someone who is strongly enamoured with this doctrine. The reason pertains to how one studys the Bible and treats the Biblical evidence. I see a great similarity in how the Bible is handled with those who are JW's.

     Presuppositions, limiting definitions, ignoring context, etc., all making it difficult to reason together.

     Unfortunately, it is an approach to the Scriptures that is endemic among faithful brethren, which is one reason why the "realized eschatology" has appealed to so many. I call this approach "concordance theology" with a degree of "reactionary theology" thrown in. Allow me to define my terms...


     This is where one lists all the Scriptures that use a particular term or phrase and draw conclusions based upon the presumption that the term or phrase means the same thing in every text. This is a mistake the JW's make with their use of "soul" and "spirit", and I have seen brethren make the same mistake with the expression "eternal life" and other terms. "Realized eschatology" make the same mistake with expressions like "the day of the Lord", or the "coming of the Lord".

     I propose the Scriptures should be studied the way they were written. Verse by verse, chapter by chapter, etc., with an awareness that in most cases the original readers were expected to understand the writer without the benefit of other epistles or books that had not been written or generally available at the time. Therefore the answer to most questions about a troublesome verse are likely to be found in the context of the verse or book itself. Certainly there are exceptions to this rule, but we must be careful not to apply a Bible author's use of a phrase or word in one context to determine what he or someone else might mean in a totally different context (whether in the book itself, or in a totally different book).


     This is where one studies the Scriptures, not so much to learn what it says, but to prove that what others teach can't be true. The danger is that we are likely to accept any argument that seems to support our position, and indeed we may even go looking for arguments to support our cause.

     When brethren begin to say their position is right because it makes one better able to defeat the denominationalists, that tells me "reactionary theology" has been taking place. Personally, I try to study the Bible to find out what God wants me to do, not to prove someone else wrong.

     I view "realized eschatology" as an over-zealous reaction to pre-millenialism. But because brethren often engage in a "reactionary approach" to the Scriptures (i.e., studying to prove the others wrong rather than studying to find out what I am to do), they are very susceptible to those doctrines whose appeal is how effective they appear to dealing with other forms of error.

Mark (eagerly awaiting the redemption of his body - Ro 8:23-24) 

Mark A. Copeland
1537 E. Jason Street 
Kissimmee, FL 34744-4048 
(407) 931-1725

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23 Aug 2001


Realized Eschatology should not be confused with the modern Preterist view. Realized Eschatology focuses on Matt 10:23 and the parousia-delay.

24 May 2002


alot of yakin' no backin' you use many words to say so little . use your own advice to interpret when Christ said he was coming back (context & audience relevance ) maybe you can see your doubletalk. also me thinks it best if you read Pauls words on what kind of body we will atain to after our earthly demise..., " it is sown a PHYSICAL body.., raised a SPIRITUAL body..corruptable/incorruptable.., mortal/immortal " guess you just don't wanna see wit them spiritual eyes you say u posess..., keep readin' & pleadin' then maybe God will show u something you won't be able to understand .., sincerely jimmy

22 Jul 2002


beg pardon but i regret to in form u that there are those who, being led by the spirit, have sought only truth for truth's sake. your stereotyping a belief system on reasons that those u know personally seem to be that way is totally unfounded reasoning.., therefore... makes me wonder why anyone should listen to you're opinions on any subject. personally i just wanted to understand God's word & fought against the truth of preterism, but when one faces the evidences of clearly defined words (in their proper audience relative context ) & definate timlines( in their proper prophetical language usages ) then one has to come to the only correct interpretation of God's revealed wisdom.., when Christ said (many times) that some who were alive at the time he spoke the words would be alive at his return the meaning was clear to those listening . your comments on concordance theology ia a hoot ..., take the term new heavens & new earth.., the term is a symbolic prophetic statement & should be seen as such(that is the true context of the words ) last days.last hour ..,ect... keep them in the context of language style & usage then you can see why we (preterist) have no problem identifing the meaning( using the bible to interpret itself ) . you seem to be the one trying to prove every body else wrong and a judgemental attitude will only spoil your spirit..., poser..,? if Jesus told an apostle that the apostle would be alive when He came back in the kingdom, or told a ruler of the land that he would personally see Jesus return to judge those that condemned Him, or again told others close to Him that before they had completed the task of witnessing to the surrounding countryside that he would return..?? and he didn't do as he said..., would'nt that make him a liar? my friend ...My Jesus is no liar.., because you dont understand simple words & you feel the need to fit what you read in the bible into you're preconcieved theological mold does'nt give you any authority to make judgements about men's souls.., for did'nt Jesus say that there is only one judge , and I don't think he was talking about you .., please be careful you don't step over the line. the natural man cannot understand the things of God for they are spiritually discerned. those that are christ hear his voice.., it is sown a body of flesh it is raised a...

24 Nov 2003


we are studying this in our sunday school and we are having a trouble undersanding it please email me at Micah David Yosko

Date: 15 Aug 2006
Time: 16:42:31


Dear Reverend Copeland, I will be doing a Bible Study on Revelations with a group not familiar with this book at all.

For the sake of simplicity we are using The New Living Translation. The study we are using is written by Gladys Hunt, Fisherman Bible Study Guide. The Title of the book is Revelation, The Lamb Who Is the Lion.

After reading your comments on the above:Response Posted With the 70AD Doctrine Examined...I almost feel inadequate to teach on Revelations as just by glancing at what you wrote, I am not sure of what you are writing about. If there is anything, in simple terms, you feel led to advise me about please do. I definitely believe we must start somewhere in studying Revelations and hopefully, led by the Spirit, He will teach us,even if we are just child-like in understanding this book. God bless you and also...there are many interpretations on the rapture of the church or no rapture by some believers. Is there something, again simple, to share with my group. God bless you, your sister in Christ, Jean


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