In a previous aricle, The Menace Of Radical Preterism, we discussed some of the identifying traits of a heretical movement that subscribes to the notion that (in the words of one of the dogma’s advocates) “God accomplished the fulfillment of all [Bible] prophecy culminating in the destruction of the Jewish Temple in A.D. 70.”
This theory is variously known as “The A.D. 70 Doctrine,” “Realized Eschatology,” “Covenant Eschatology,” “Preterism,” etc. As suggested above, according to the devotees of this view, all biblical prophecy was finally realized in the epochal events of the destruction of Jerusalem by the Roman armies in A.D. 70. Thus:
- The second coming of Christ occurred in A.D. 70; there is, therefore, to be no future return of the Lord.
- The resurrection of the dead took place with the fall of Jerusalem; there will be no future resurrection of the body.
- The day of judgment transpired with the Roman invasion of A.D. 70; there is no judgment yet to come.
- The end of the world was realized when the Jewish system ended in A.D. 70. Biblical references to the end of the world, therefore, relate to the end of Judaism, not this material globe.
Realized eschatology is so off-the-wall that it is difficult to understand how any serious Bible student could accept it. Nevertheless, it has generated an intense level of fascination for a few misguided souls. They are virtually consumed with it. It becomes the all-encompassing issue of life.
Several men among the churches of Christ have digressed into this error—principally under the tutelage of Max R. King of Warren, Ohio. As a result of their antibiblical teachings, King and his followers have been isolated to a significant degree. They have a small, tightly-knit cluster; but it’s been a lonely existence for them. Obviously, feeling the solitude imposed by a disciplinary procedure, these gentlemen now are crossing over into denominationalism, freely fraternizing with, and employing the services of, a host of sectarian teachers.
One small publication advocating the preterist viewpoint is designated, Quest. It is published monthly by Holy Ground Ministries, apparently a miniscule group of preterists who have bonded because of their common conviction regarding end-of-time matters.
While Holy Ground Ministries claims to be non-denominational, it actually appears to be inter-denominational. They state: “[W]e do not take a stand on theological issues which divide various ministries/churches today.” But to not take a stand upon truth, is to take a stand for error.
The January, 2000 issue of Quest contains these interesting comments:
Our ministry [HGM] has been represented for the past five years at the annual Bible Conference presented in Warren, Ohio by Living Presence Ministries (LPM). Our learning and growth in understanding of Covenant Eschatology is due in part to the teaching of Max R. King, Tim King, Jack Scott, Jr., Don Preston, William Bell, Larry Siegel and Kevin Beck at these conferences. People from all over the continent come to partake and share.
Last year Tim King became president of Living Presence Ministries and opened their ministry to others with a view to transdenominationalism. It cannot be denied that this one-time church of Christ ministry, through its teaching, established the foundation of the present-day preterist movement.
. . . . In 1998, Holy Ground Ministries offered its first annual Bible seminar with invited guest speaker, Jack Scott, Jr. who presented an overview of Covenant Eschatology. In 1999, both Max and Tim King spoke to a very receptive audience at our Cape May, New Jersey Conference.
. . . . We are looking forward to participating in Living Presence Ministries’ first Transmillennial Bible Conference in June. Bill Kanengiser is preparing a talk on 1 and 2 Corinthians and Resurrection. Carol Hope and JoAnne Gerety will be making a presentation on God’s Feast Days and their fulfillment within the first century church.
What a dramatic illustration this is on how far men will go—away from the truth—when they become obsessed with a doctrinal hobby. A bizarre eschatological theory takes precedence over fundamental gospel truth (e.g., the plan of salvation and the identity of the New Testament church, scriptural worship, and accurate biblical teaching on a variety of crucial issues). Denominationalists are happily embraced, solely on the basis of the alleged significance of the Roman-Jewish war of nineteen centuries ago.
When men leave the pure gospel, it is scarcely possible to predict where they will end up.