The Importance of Understanding the Historical Events of AD 70
A number of Christians who have studied the historical events of AD 70 have asked the question: Why is knowing what happened in AD 70 important to my Christian walk?
The author of this web site recalls the first time he personally shared these new concepts of the events of AD 70 with another Christian brother. The comment by this particular Christian brother was: If what you say is true, what is left for Christians? This Learning Activity will address these concerns. What follows are a series of insights that various Christians have given as to why the events of AD 70 are important to their Christian walk.
1. Salvation – There is no effect on the understanding of salvation. Under the New Covenant a person becomes a Christian and enters eternal life by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ!
2. Redefinition of “the blessed hope!” There currently exists in the church today an expectation (a hope) that Jesus will one day come back for His church. This belief finds its origin in the following verse:
“Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13).
When that statement was recorded in the Scriptures (likely in the Spring of AD 57), Christ’s presence was still future as we have seen in Learning Activity #34. After AD 70, the church should no longer be looking for the return of Christ as He is already here and living in His body, the church, of which He is the head. With this AD 70 understanding of the Scriptures, the blessed hope is redefined from a future hope to a present reality!
3. The historic events of AD 70 give credibility to Jesus, the writers of the Scriptures and the Scriptures themselves because the imminency statements in the Bible do not have to be twisted and turned about in an attempt to make them believable. In the AD 70 fulfillment understanding the imminency statements can be accepted at face value with no games being played with them. The scriptures I refer to include the following:
a. “But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come” (Matt.10:23). Jesus was clearly speaking to “the twelve” (see verse five) in this passage. They were to see Him come back in their lifetime!
b. “Jesus saith unto him [the high priest], Thou hast said [that I am the Christ the Son of God]: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven” (Matt.26:64). Jesus said He would come back (His Parousia) in the clouds during the lifetime of the high priest!
c. “Verily I say unto you, 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). Jesus said that some of those who were standing before Him when He made this statement would not die before they saw Jesus coming in His kingdom! Some Christians are still waiting today for the kingdom and the King to come because they do not understand the events of AD 70!
d. “Verily I say unto you, this generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled” (Matt.24:34).
e. “Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation” (Matt.23:36). Everything Jesus spoke of would take place in the generation of those who stood before Him as He spoke!
If we consider the statements above that were made by Christ, we must come to one of the following conclusions:
(1) Jesus was confused about future events.
(2) Jesus deliberately misled those He spoke to.
(3) Jesus lied to those He spoke to.
(4) Jesus told the truth and many in the church today are guilty of believing something about the Scriptures that is not true; namely, that He has not yet returned and set up His kingdom.
So influential are the previous passages that they caused the noted British philosopher, mathematician, and Nobel laureate Bertrand Russell (1872–1970) to publish a book entitled, Why I Cannot Become a Christian. Russell understood that Jesus’ statements never took place as Jesus had said they would and no one in the church could tell him otherwise to clear up his misunderstanding.
Albert Schweitzer (1875–1965) a French Protestant clergyman, philosopher, musicologist, medical missionary, and Nobel laureate had the same problem with the statements Jesus had made. Schweitzer interpreted the life of Jesus in the light of Jesus’ eschatological beliefs. Schweitzer’s book, The Quest for the Historical Jesus, 1906, contains many of Schweitzers misled beliefs.
If these two learned men were so misled by their understanding of the statements of Jesus, we must ask ourselves how many more have been led astray from the truth of Christianity both in the past and in the present time because of a lack of understanding of the events of AD 70? When those who are respected in the church tell the world that the return of Christ is still future, they create a crisis of delay in the minds of the people keeping them from believing Christ at what He said about Himself as being true, therefore contributing to their denial of Christianity.
The biblical statements of imminency are not restricted to the words of Jesus alone. Other writers also portrayed imminency in their writing.
The Apostle Paul:
“Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand” (Philip.4:5).
Statements by James:
“Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh” (James 5:8).
“…behold, the judge [Christ] standeth before the door” (James 5:9).
If Jesus and the other writers of the Scriptures have made the preceding statements and those statements have not yet taken place (some 2,000 years later), then our belief in anything else that has been said in the Scriptures is in jeopardy. We may be believing in a fairy tale. But as the author of this web site understands the Scriptures, Jesus and the other writers meant exactly what they have written and those things and expectations that they had did take place exactly as they had stated. The biblical record clearly indicates an expectation and hope in which those in the early church waited for their returning Lord. The early church was comforted by the assurance that their day of deliverance was at hand; the judge who was the deliverer from the persecution that was coming against them was already at the door; and in a very little while He who was to come was coming and that time would not be delayed. It is impossible for the author of this web site to believe that the confident expectation of those in the early church of an almost immediate deliverance from their persecution is still today considered to be in the future after more than twenty centuries of waiting!
There are only two alternatives possible: either those in the Bible were grossly deceived in their expectation of the return of Christ (the Parousia), or that event did take place, in accordance with their expectation and the Lord’s prediction Himself. If we believe that the Parousia has not yet taken place, then those we have quoted from the Scriptures possessed a vain hope and lived in the belief of a delusion. If the Scriptures are in error in regard to the Parousia which was one of the most confident and cherished beliefs of the early church, how can we today place any confidence in any of the other issues to which the Scriptures speak?
4. The historic events of AD 70 place a greater emphasis than ever before on the biblical fact that “…Christ liveth in me…” (Gal.2:20), because of His return and the indwelling of the Christian as well as the kingdom of God being now present in the Christian. If a future hope in a so-called rapture out of the things of the earth is taken away, the pie-in-the-sky hope is removed and people should be more inclined to see the truth of Christ in them (now) as their only hope of glory (Col.1:27).
5. The historic events of AD 70 permit us to better understand that we are living in a time when all things are summed up in Christ (Eph.1:10). We have been given the blessing appointed to Abraham’s seed (Gal.3:8); we have God dwelling in His people (Eph.4:6); and the kingdom of God is on earth in the believer (Luke 17:21).
6. A delayed, postponed or unrealized eschatology of Christ’s second coming is a sad commentary on the work and mission of Jesus of Nazareth!
7. Proverbs 13:12, “Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.” Many in the church today are still waiting for a physical appearance of Christ who is the tree of life, but to those who have an understanding of the happenings of AD 70, the vision is clear and sweet! Proverbs 13:19, “The desire accomplished is sweet to the soul…”
8. If new Christians were taught the implications of the historic events of AD 70 there would be fewer Christians who would be misled by false teaching
of man, not the least of which has been some which have encouraged Christians to sell their homes, leave employment behind and move to some specified location to await the rapture of the church and the second coming. Not all are guilty of such extremes, but each has contributed to confusion in the church by their statements.
AD 66-70 – Simon bar Giora of the group of Essenes saw the Jewish revolt against the Romans in 66-70 AD as the final end-time battle. By the authority of Simon, coins were minted declaring the redemption of Zion. (Web Site Editor’s Note: Too bad Simon expected a physical return or he would have been totally correct in the Spirit realm!).
AD 80 – Yohanan Ben Zakkai died expecting the Messiah to return at his own death.
AD 93 – Clement wrote that the end is coming any moment.
AD 100 – Ignatius wrote that the last times are come upon us.
AD 130 – Rabbi Jose the Galilean thought that the Messiah would come in AD 130.
Cyprian 200/258 AD – the day of affliction has begun to hang over our heads, and the end of the world and the time of Antichrist….draw near, so that we must all stand prepared for the battle.
AD 363 – An earthquake was declared to be the beginning of the last days.
AD 365 – Hilary of Potiers predicted the world to end in AD 365.
AD 375-400 – Martin of Tours stated that the world would end before AD 400, writing, “There is no doubt that the Antichrist has already been born. Firmly established already in his early years, he will, after reaching maturity, achieve supreme power.”
AD 418 – An eclipse and drought was thought to be signs of the end of time.
AD 435 – Rabbi Judah ha-Nasi (135-220) believed that Messiah would come 365 years after the AD 70 destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem (365 + 70 = 435).
AD 470 – Rabbi Hanina believed that Messiah would come 400 years after the AD 70 destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem.
AD 500 – Hyppolytus (170-236) and Lactantius (250-330) believed that the Second Coming of Christ would be in AD 500.
AD 786 – Beatus of Liebana in his commentary on the Apocalypse states that there were 14 years left until the end of the world.
AD 799-806 – Gregory of Tours calculated the End occurring between 799 and 806.
AD 848 – Thiota declared that the world would end that year.
AD 993 – Mt. Vesuvius erupted causing the prediction of the end of all things.
AD 999 – In Europe, Christian expectations of the end of the world flooded the continent. Terrified masses feared that the 1,000 years spoken of in the book of Revelation had expired and that Christ was coming back to end it all. Signs were eagerly sought in the final months leading up to AD 1000 and it is said that activity in European monasteries nearly ground to a halt as AD 999 wound down. A French monk by the name of Markulf stated that there were clear signs that announced the end of the world. Many expected the last judgment to take place in Jerusalem and the number of pilgrims descending upon the city was compared to an immense army. Many of these pilgrims had sold their worldly possessions to finance their pilgrimage. AD 1000 could perhaps be recorded as the most pronounced state of hysteria over the return of Christ. Building maintenance was ignored by people, crops were left unplanted and criminals were set free from jails!
1033 – When Christ did not appear in the manner expected, a new date was set using 1000 years from the Ascension which yielded a new date of 1033. This date was also a failure.
1100 – An Italian monk and noted Bible prophecy scholar by the name of Joachim of Fiore set the time interval of 1200–1260 for the end of the world.
1186 – The so-called Letter of Toledo warned everyone to hide in caves and on the mountains as the world was to be destroyed and only a few would be spared.
1259 – A famine and pestilence was marked as the end of all things.
AD 1260 – Joachim of Fiore, an Italian mystic, determined that the Millennium would begin between 1200 and 1260.
1284 – Pope Innocent III expected the Second Coming to take place in 1284, 666 years after the rise of Islam.
AD 1290 -1335 – The Joachimites, followers of Joachim of Fiore rescheduled the End to 1290 and then to 1335 when his 1260 prophecy failed.
1348 – The Bubonic plague and an earthquake was heralded to be a sign of the end.
1349 – An epidemic broke out that was thought to be a sign of the end.
AD 1370 – Jean de Roquetaillade said the Antichrist was to come in 1366 and the Millennium would begin in 1368 or 1370.
1378 – Arnold of Vilanova wrote in his work De Tempore Adventu Antichristi that the Antichrist was to come in 1378.
1501 – Christopher Columbus declared that there were about one hundred fifty-five years remaining for all of mankind to convert to Christianity after which the world would end, History of the End, Rubinsky & Wiseman, Page 91.
AD 1504 – Sandro Botticelli believed he was living during the Tribulationh, and that the Millennium would begin in three and a half years from 1500.
AD 1524-1526 – Thomas Muntzer said 1525 would mark the beginning of the Millennium, according to this Anabaptist. His followers were killed by canon fire in an uneven battle with government troops. He died under torture and was beheaded.
1528 – Protestant reformer Hans Hut predicted the end on Pentecost 1528.
1533 – Michael Stiefel stated that Christ’s Coming and the final judgment would take place on October 19, 1533 at eight am.
1533 – Anabaptist Melchoir Hoffman predicted Christ’s Second Coming to take place that year in Strasbourg. He claimed that 144,000 people would be saved, while the rest of the world would be consumed by fire.
1546 – Martin Luther made numerous statements that “the day of judgment [end of the world] is not far off…will not be absent three hundred years longer.” Luther believed “all the signs which [he thought] were to precede the last days had already appeared.” “I am satisfied that the last day must be before the door; for the signs predicted by Christ and the Apostles Peter and Paul have now been fulfilled, the trees put forth, the Scriptures are green and flourishing….We certainly have nothing now to wait for but the end of all things.”
AD 1555 – Around the year 1400, Pierre d’Ailly, a French theologian wrote that 6845 years of human history had alreay passed, and the end of the world would be in the 7000th year.
1580 – An earthquake was declared to be a sign of the end.
AD 1585 – In his book, The Restoration of Christianity, Michael Servetus, a Spanish born reformer claimed that the Devil’s reign in this world began in 325 AD, at the Council of Nicea, and will last for 1260 years, thus ending in 1585.
1600 – Martin Luther predicted the end of the world would occur no later than 1600.
1650 – Anglican Bishop James Ussher predicted the Second Coming in 2000.
1657 – A group called the Fifth Monarchrists, radical Christians, predicted the final apocalyptic battle and the destruction of the Antichrist to take place between 1655 and 1657.
1658 – Christopher Columbus claimed that the world was created in 5343 BCE, and would last 7000 years. Assuming no year zero, that meant the end would come in 1658.
1697 – Cotton Mather, a Puritan minister, predicted the world would end this year. After the prediction failed, he revised the date of the End two more times.
1700-1734 – Cardinal Nicholas of Cusa, predicted the end would occur between 1700 and 1734.
1750 – John Gill, an English Baptist, preached that the final slaying of the two witnesses of Revelation would shortly take place.
1792 & 1794 – The Shakers predicted the world would end in both these years.
1805 – A Presbyterian minister, Christopher Love, predicted the destruction of the world by earthquake in 1805, followed by an age of everlasting peace when God would be known by all.
1815 – On April 10, 1815, the volcano Tambora in Indonesia experienced the largest eruption recorded in history. The flow killed more than 10,000 people with ash falling as far away as 800 miles. When the flow reached the ocean it displaced so much water that tsunamis as high as fifteen feet emanated from the island. The ash that fell from the eruption was devastating, killing all the crops and vegetation, causing over 80,000 more deaths due to famine and disease. The overal temperature of the earth, due to the release of sulfur dioxide, lowered the temperature so drastically that 1816 became known as the year without a summer. A cholera epidemic is thought to also be tied to this event. In places like New England and Canada frost was recorded every month of the year and snow fell in June. It was thought by some that this event was surely marking the end of the world.
1832 – William Miller, founder of the Millerite movement in the United States, made the prediction that Christ would come and the world would end sometime between the dates of March 21, 1843, and March 21, 1844. He preached “And so brethren, it has been revealed to me that the world is coming to an end. Repent, repent, I say, for you have but eleven years to be washed clean in the blood of the Lamb. In mighty fire and terror the world will end in 1843.” This resulted in an end time movement which swept throughout the United States and caused much excitement. Miller later changed the date to October 22, 1844.
1833 – On November 13, 1833, a celestial event described as the most extensive and wonderful display of falling stars which had ever been recorded. It was interpreted as the last of the signs necessary for the 2nd Coming of Jesus Christ.
1835 – Joseph Smith, who founded The Church of Jesus Christ of the Later Day Saints (Mormonism),prophesied the coming of Christ as being near and that “fifty-six years should wind up the scene.”
1835 – Archdeacon Browne of England is quoted in the book, The Last Times, by Joseph A. Seiss, D.D., as saying “Our lot has fallen under the solemn period emphatically designated in Daniel as the time of the end.”
1836 – John Wesley wrote that “the time, times and a half a time” of Revelation 12:14 was 1058 and 1836, “when Christ should come.” The Prophecies Unveiled, A.M. Morris, Page 361. He wrote that Revelation 12:14 referred to the years 1058-1836, “when Christ should come.”
1847 – Joseph Worif, a converted Jew, prophesied that Jesus would come to the Mount of Olives during that year.
1859 – The Reverend Thomas Parker, a Massachusetts minister, stated that the 1,000 year millennium had started in 1859.
1862 – A Scottish clergyman by the name of John Cumming, stated that it was 6000 years since Creation in 1862, and that the world would end.
1863 – The founder of the Christian Israelite Church calculated that the Millennium would begin this year.
1874 – Jehovah’s Witnesses, who claim to be the sole possessors of God’s revealed truth, made a series of prophecies for the end of the world for the years 1874, 1878, 1881, 1910, 1914, 1925 and 1975.
1901 – The Catholic Apostolic Church claimed that Jesus would return by the time the last of its 12 founding members died. The last member died in 1901.
1926 – Oswald Smith, a leading missionary statesman of his day, wrote in his book, Is the Antichrist at Hand? “the great tribulation, the arrival of the Roman Empire, the reign of the antichrist and the battle of Armageddon must take place before the year 1933.
1935 – Evangelist Wilbur Glenn Voliva announced that “the world is going to go ‘puff’ and disappear” in September 1935.
1949 – Dr. Billy Graham is quoted in The U. S. News and World Report, as saying, “Two years and it’s all going to be over.”
1953 – David Davidson wrote in his book, The Great Pyramid, It’s Divine Message, that the world would end in August, 1953.
1969 – Hal Lindsay, in his book, The Late Great Planet Earth, stated that within one generation we would experience the end of the present world and the return of Christ. The dust cover of the book cautioned readers not to make plans beyond 1985.
1975 – Dr. Charles Taylor wrote in his book, Get All Excited, Jesus is Coming Soon, that the probable date for the rapture was September 5 or 6, 1975.
1978 – Salem Kirban wrote in his book, The Rise of the Antichrist, “we are living in the age of the Antichrist! The world is on the threshold of catastrophe.”
1978 – Chuck Smith, founder of Calvary Chapel,in Costa Mesa, California, wrote in his book, End Times, A Report on Future Survival!, “If I understand the Scripture correctly, Jesus taught us that the generation which sees the ‘budding of the fig tree,’ the birth of the nation Israel, will be the generation that sees the Lord’s return. I believe that the generation of 1948 is the last generation. Since a generation of judgment is forty years and the Tribulation period lasts seven years, I believe the Lord could come back for His Church any time before the Tribulation starts, which would mean anytime before 1981. (1948+40–7=1981). However, it is possible that Jesus is dating the beginning of the generation from 1967, when Jerusalem was again under Israeli control for the first time since 587 B.C. We don’t know for sure which year actually marks the beginning of the last generation.”
NOTE: The later date would give us a date of 2000. The rear cover of his book stated, “What he (Smith) has to say is both startling and factual,” and “learn how to prepare for the breath-taking events about to happen – in your lifetime!”
1979 – Reginald Edward Duncan predicted that there would be a Russian invasion of America and the Millennium would begin.
1981 – Emil Gaverluk of the Southwest Radio Church predicted the rapture to take place by 1981.
1982 – The book, The Jupiter Effect, received wide attention with its prediction that California would be rocked by major earthquakes due to the alignment of the planets. The author of this web site was visiting a church in Oroville, California, and heard a sermon delivered on the book along with a warning to the congregation that this could be the end times spoken of in the Bible! The truth is, the planets come into a relatively close alignment every twenty years and there is no danger to the earth from these alignments.
1986 – Moses David of the Children of God faith group predicted Christ would return.
1988 – Edgar Whisenant predicted in his book, 88 Reasons Why the Rapture Will Be in 1988, that the rapture event would take place in that year.
1989 – Salem Kirban’s Guide to Survival (1968), concludes that the Rapture would take place in 1989.
1989 – Edgar Whisenant published another book, 89 Reasons Why the Rapture Will Be in 1989!
1990 – Dallas Seminary president John Walvoord published a book, Armageddon, Oil and the Middle East Crisis, stating that a war by America with Iraq would lead to the final battle of Armageddon
1990 – Pat Robertson, in his book The New Millennium, suggests April 29, 2007, as the day of Earth’s destruction.
1991 – A Russian born rabbi, Menachem Schneerson stated that Messiah would come by September 9, 1991, the start of the Jewish New Year.
1992 – A Korean group by the name of Mission for the Coming Days predicted that October 28, 1992, as the time of the rapture. The group used numerology to set their date and some camera photos that had “ghostly images” on them as a supernatural confirmation of the validity of the date.
1992 – Charles R. Taylor states in his Bible Prophecy News that Jesus would return in the Fall, 1992.
1993 – Harold Camping predicted in his book, 1994, that the day of grace would end on September 6, 1994, and later in that month Jesus would return and preside over the end of the world.
1994 – Jack Van Impe stated “everything is winding up with the next ten years” on his television broadcast of June 22, 1994. On February 5, 1997, Van Impe changed his timetable to “between 2001 and 2002”.
1994 – Paul Crouch, during his Spring 94 Praise-A-Thon fundraiser on February 22, 1994, stated, “we are in the last moments of grace before the wrath of God is revealed. This is the wind up. The curtain is about to come down. We don’t have much time left…If Jesus hasn’t come back by the year 2000 AD, then we (referring to his guest speakers on the show and himself) have missed the Scriptures.”
1997 – Stan Johnson of the Prophecy Club believed there was a 90% probability that the tribulation would begin on September 12, 1997.
1998 – A Taiwanese group in Garland, Texas, predicted that Christ would return on March 31, 1998.
1998 – Marilyn Agee in her book The End of the Age set a date for the end as being May 31, 1998, based upon Israel becoming a nation in 1948 and adding 50 years to that date.
1999 – Numerous messages were delivered by Christians throughout the world that the coming in of the new year of 2000 would mark the end of all things. This was also accompanied by a threat of massive computer failures throughout the world that would lock-up banking and food distribution along with basic essential services. Scores of Christians purchased and stockpiled food, water, generators, etc. in preparation for this event which never materialized.
1999 – Jerry Falwell stated that “the Antichrist is probably alive today and is a male Jew.” He also told an audience of about 1,500 people at a conference in Kingsport, TN, that he believed the Second Coming of Christ probably would be within ten years. Williamsburg, VA, Associated Press, January 15, 1999, article Falwell: Antichrist May Be Alive.
2000 – Grant Jeffery stated in his book Appointment with Destiny that AD 2000 is the probable termination date for the last days.
2003 – F. M. Riley, New Mexico, predicted “the Rapture would occur on or near the Passover in the Spring (April 16, 2003).”
2003 – Barney Fuller calculated in his book, Nations Without God, that the seventieth week of Daniel would conclude on September 4, 2003.
2006 – Harry Walther by use of public road billboards and the web site satansrapture.com promotes the possible “Great Tribulation (of seven years) starting in 2006 AD and ending in 2013 AD. It is developed from many Bible Codes paralleled with Revelation and some very coincidental dates that will occur between 2006 and 2013 AD.” The web site goes on to state, “…it is possible that Antichrist could be revealed on June 6, 2006 = 6/6/06 = 666 and time will soon tell.” The web site then continues by stating, “If not, a close scenario (above) will happen (possibly in 2011 – 2012 AD) and triggers The Coming of Antichrist and the Start of the Great Tribulation, the Biblical Apocalypse that lasts for seven years.”
November, 2007 – Twenty-nine people including four children and one 18 month old from the “True Russian Orthodox Church” took refuge in an underground cave near the village of Nikoskoye about 400 miles southeast of Moscow. The group was part of a doomsday cult waiting for the end of the world to come in May, 2008, as predicted by their spiritual leader Pyotr Kuznetsov.
2011 – Harold Camping on his Family Radio Internet web site portrays a complex time line which results in his predicting that the “probable end of the world” will occur on May 21, 2011.
December 21, 2012 – We are told by some that the Myan calendars are said to reveal that the end of the world will take place on this day.
2012 – Using a chronology he has developed for the seven seals of Revelation, Jack Smith has established that in 2012AD the Second Coming of Christ will occur.
2012 – Michael Drosnin who wrote the book, The Bible Code, predicts that a comet will impact the earth in 2012 and destroy all life. Drosnin states this to come from the first five books of the Bible.
2036 – On April 13, 2036, astronomers have predicted that the asteroid Apophis has a one chance in 48,000 to collide with Earth. NASA estimates the energy from a strike by this asteroid to be roughly the equivalent of 65,000 nuclear bombs. From The Sky is Falling, The New York Times, March 16, 2007, Russell Schweickart.
In case you really want to stretch your imagination way out to the future to approximately 5,000 million years AD, scientists say that the sun, which in effect is a huge nuclear power plant, is going to run out of hydrogen. As the sun shrinks in size its gravitational pull on the Earth will diminish and the orbit of Earth will widen causing it to get colder. Earth will then become an icy, permafrost planet. When the sun runs out of hydrogen, the nuclear reactions inside the sun’s core will stop and the sun will collapse. As it collapses the sun will start fusing helium into carbon and hydrogen and it will flare up again with immense power. The sun will now grow evaporating several planets; Mercury, Venus, and then Earth!
The Sun, New Scientist, June 21, 2003.
Fiery Future for the Planet, New Scientist, April 2, 1994.
Hell on Earth, New Scientist, December 6, 2003.
If the Sun Dies, Atheneum, 1967, Oriana Fallaci.
During all of the above statements and hype, if Christians had been aware of the historical events of AD 70 and how they affect biblical understanding they would never have been distracted and misled by the previously listed false alarms. The church needs to understand the historical events of AD 70 and to be able to apply these events in their study of the Bible!
9. There are also a number of “attitudinal” or “how we view things” that change to a more positive understanding when we see the implications of the historical events of AD 70. Some of these are as follows:
a. Many Christians are so busy looking up (for the return of Christ) that they have neglected to look around themselves and how they can be reflecting the light and salt of Christ within them to a confused world.
b. A person who believes he will be rescued (raptured) before judgment comes (even though that judgment already came in AD 70), has no great interest in the continuation, preservation or improvement of what currently exists. I am not here suggesting that all Christians must become ecology monsters, but I am suggesting that we should be good stewards of the planet we live on.
c. Those who understand the significance of the events of AD 70 report that over time they see a significant change in how and for what they pray for, how they interrelate with other Christians and what the content of their conversation consists of.
d. If things are going to get worse, why do anything about it now! Who wants to polish the brass on a sinking ship?
e. If our real victory is somewhere in the future, then we will never express to the world now what true Christianity consists of.
f. Living life here on earth with the view that the end of the world is at hand and the world is becoming worse and worse until the end arrives is a very depressing way to spend our time here on earth. Finding time to “…think on these things…” (Philip.4:8) when your focus is looking for a second coming is very difficult if at all possible.
g. Our world view is changed. We view things in a more positive manner than other Christians.
10. It has been the experience of the author of this web site that Christian understanding of the Scriptures has consisted of a constant change in the depth of biblical truth as I have continued on my Christian journey. I conclude that my earlier biblical understandings either consisted of believing man-made lies about the Scriptures or lesser truths about them. If a greater truth exists and is available, why continue to believe in a lesser truth?
11. We can now understand the Bible without having to create “fairy tales” to explain passages that never made sense before. In addition, we finally can understand the books of Daniel and Revelation. A Christian recently told me that since she came to understand the significance of AD 70 she can now explain the Scriptures to others for the first time in her life!
12. For the Jewish people, the church has the greatest evangelistic tools available to bring them to realize that their Messiah (Christ) has already come. Their own scriptures, Daniel 9:25–27 clearly show that their Messiah comes BEFORE their city, Jerusalem, is destroyed! Since Jerusalem was destroyed in AD 70, then their Messiah must have already come!
13. Many Christians live a very pessimistic existence here on earth in the belief that better things lie ahead of them when they die. The facts are we Christians have it all right now (in the spiritual fourth dimensional realm) and that will continue when we die. The Antichrist has already come and gone, the tribulation is over. Satan has been disposed of and we have little to “worry” about beyond the actions we take in this life on earth.
14. Christians are insisting that Christ must come back physically and sit physically on a physical throne of David to rule the physical world from Jerusalem. When the events of AD 70 are understood we then see from the Scriptures that Christ has already returned, is on His throne and is ruling His kingdom (which is within the believer, His body, the church).
15. God lives within the believer, His presence in us is why we already have eternal life, and when we die physically we will slip away from the physical for eternity with Him. We do not have to hope for these things as we already possess them!
16. Some people think that if the Second Advent is past, then we Christians are being deprived of our share in the promises of the Bible. This kind of thinking is based on a misconception of the facts. Fulfilled prophecy is NOT worthless! The past gives us a greater revelation of God and human beings which have deep eternal significance. These things reveal God who in His severity toward sin, His compassion toward the sinner, and His mercy toward the believer, are important facets for us to apprehend.
17. God never intended for the history of the future to be anticlimactic. With a fulfilled eschatological understanding of the Scriptures and some awareness of the events of AD 70, we can have an ever increasing relationship and knowledge of His presence as well as His soverignty over ALL things!
18. It is not realized (fulfilled) eschatology, but the theory of unrealized eschatology, that clouds the gospel hope to the discrediting of the completeness of the New and everlasting covenant.
19. Christianity is not a religion of the future, except in the sense that what man now has in Christ is full and complete and everlasting on into the future!
20. Not recognizing the power of Christianity for today is the source of eschatological chaos in Christendom.
This listing will continue in the next Learning Activity