DID THE RESURRECTION HAPPEN IN A.D. 70 OR IS IT STILL IN THE FUTURE? The A.D. 70 doctrine, also called realized eschatology, is a doctrine that is less than 200 years old. However, those who teach this doctrine would say that their view of the end times has been around before the first century because they believe that the prophets of old foretold it. They believe that all prophecy was fulfilled by A.D. 70. They believe the second coming, the resurrection, and the judgment day all happened in A.D. 70 when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem. They believe the earth will never be destroyed and that our flesh will never be resurrected to be part of our immortal bodies, but instead our spirits/souls will simply either go to heaven or to hell when we die because the Haden realm (the waiting place) was also emptied out at A.D. 70. I personally studied with Don Preston for about a year and a half on this topic when I was new to Christianity, but I simply could not accept his doctrine then, and I cannot accept it now. This seems to be a doctrine that people either reject or it really confuses them, or they fully embrace it and can’t seem to get enough it. It seems to me that some are like those Athenians you read about in Acts 17:21. Another observation I have made regarding this doctrine is that many of their arguments focus on vague verses that have a multitude of views, but they offer the “true interpretation” of those disputed verses and then try to make clear verses work with their “true interpretation” of those vague verses, which many times causes one to spiritualize or make a metaphor out of those clear verses. They will also try and make every phrase or word mean exactly the same thing no matter what context it is found in. Sometimes they will use the Old Testament prophecies, which are not very clear and sometimes have dual applications, and they will use them to try and prove their argument instead of gaining a better understanding of what that Old Testament prophecy is talking about or is not talking about based on what the New Testament says about that given topic. In this article, I will focus on their resurrection argument in which Daniel 12 is used as their main focus to try and show that the verses found in 1 Cor. 15, Acts 24, Jn. 5, and 1 Thess. 4 are all talking about the same thing as Daniel. Don Preston has written an entire book on Daniel 12 consisting of almost 500 pages titled “The resurrection of Daniel 12:2 Fulfilled or Future.” Of course, one of the major arguments he makes is that if Daniel 12 is talking about the same resurrection as these other verses in the NEW TESTAMENT, then it must mean that the resurrection was fulfilled in A.D. 70 because it is: Dan. 12:7 when the power of the holy people has been completely shattered, all these things shall be finished. On the surface, I can understand why Don would want to use Daniel 12 as his cornerstone for his resurrection argument. After all, if Daniel 12 is talking specifically about the resurrection as mentioned in the New Testament verses I gave and, if verse 7 is referring to the destruction of .
Jerusalem, you can begin to see how he could claim that the resurrection mentioned in the New Testament verses must mean exactly what Daniel had in mind, which means that the resurrection had to happen at the destruction of Jerusalem. This argument, like many of the others that are put forth, is based on there being no other explanation of the text, but that simply is not the case, which is why the argument is so weak. In fact, there are several different views regarding Daniel 12 that have good points that support their views. The problem with Daniel 12 is that it is not crystal clear to what it specifically refers to, which is why there are multiple views of what is specifically talking about. Please understand, I am not talking about some random views people made up, I am talking about the views of well- respected scholars from the past. There are many prophecies like this in the Old Testament that gives us a general idea of what is going on, but we cannot fully grasp the meaning of that prophecy until we read about it in the New Testament. One example that comes to mind is how Philip was able to preach about Jesus to the Eunuch from Isa. 53. The Eunuch did not understand who Isaiah was talking about, but Philip opened his eyes to the truth. Even though there are multiple accounts of how much the Messiah would suffer, be crucified, and raised up in the Old Testament prophecies, and Jesus told His disciples many times that He must die and be raised again, His disciples didn’t believe this truth until shortly after He had been put to death and His tomb was empty (Jn. 20:9; Mk. 16:14). The next week, Thomas finally believed (Jn. 20:24-28). Many more examples could be given, including how the prophets desired to understand more about the prophecies they were making (Mt. 13:16-17; 1 Pet. 1:10-12; Eph. 3:1ff), but it is clear that Old Testament prophecies tend to be a bit vague for the most part, and in some cases, there are some prophecies that applied to Jesus that we would not know applied to Him if the New Testament did not reveal it to us such a Jesus being the spiritual rock of Exodus 17:6 (1 Cor. 10:4). No Jew would ever be able to guess that the serpent being raised up on a pole (Nub. 21:9) would have anything in common with the Messiah being raised up on the cross (John 3:14-18). The details of Psalm 22 being a prophecy of Jesus’ crucifixion were not realized until we see how it describes many of the details of His crucifixion that we read about in the New Testament. So, people should not make an Old Testament prophecy their cornerstone for their argument, especially if that prophecy is vague like the one found in Daniel 12. Yet, this is exactly what men like Don Preston have done. I have no problem saying that the resurrection verses found in 1 Cor. 15, Acts 24, Jn. 5, and 1 Thess. 4 are indeed talking about the same resurrection that will happen at the second coming of Christ, but I would not use Daniel 12 as a proof text in conjunction with these verses and try to force the resurrection to be at A.D. 70. In order to prove that the resurrection was to be in A.D. 70 and was not a bodily one, it would have to be proven from the New Testament verses, which are NOT vague like Daniel 12. Don’t miss this point. If Daniel 12 cannot be used as absolute proof for their doctrine, then this strikes a big blow to their view. .
In this article, I am not going to begin with Daniel 12. I am going to begin looking at the New Testament texts just as I said we should. Once we see what they are talking about, then we can begin to make some sense of Daniel 12 and its multitude of views. Let’s begin with a definition of resurrection from Thayer. 1. a raising up, rising (e. g. from a seat): Luke 2:34 (opposed to πτῶσις; the meaning is `It lies (or `is set' A. V.) like a stone, which some will lay hold of in order to climb; but others will strike against it and fall'). 2. a rising from the dead (ecclesiastical Latin resurrection) (Aeschylus Eum. 648); a. that of Christ: Acts 1:22; 2:31; 4:33; Rom. 6:5; Phil. 3:10; 1 Pet. 3:21; with the addition of νεκρῶν, Rom. 1:4 (a generic phrase: the resurrection-of-the-dead, although it has come to pass as yet only in the case of Christ alone; cf. Acts 17:32; Winer's Grammar, sec. 30, 2 a. at the end); ἐκ νεκρῶν, 1 Pet. 1:3. b. that of all men at the end of the present age. This is called simply ἀνάστασις or ἡ ἀνάστασις, Matt. 22:23, (28), 30; Mark 12:18, 23 Luke 20:27, 33, 36; John 11:24; Acts 17:18; 23:8; 2 Tim. 2:18; by metonymy equivalent to the author of resurrection, John 11:25; As you can see, the word “resurrection” can be used in several ways, but one of the ways in which it is used is to describe that which is dead coming back to life like Jesus, and as Thayer suggests, “that of all men at the end of the present age.” Please keep in mind that the A.D. 70 doctrine demands that our word “resurrection” refers to the church rising up out of Judaism in A.D. 70. Besides the word “resurrection” being able to refer to a dead body being able to rise again, I want to point out two examples of how the word “resurrection” can be used in different ways, which may seem like it helps the A.D. 70 doctrine out, but you will see that it does not. If you read Ezekiel 37, you will see an interesting event that happens as we see a valley of bones described that come alive by the power of God, but the specific reason for this is given in: Ezekiel 37:11 Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts. 12 Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. 13 And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves, 14 And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the LORD have spoken it, and performed it, saith the LORD. This vision is about the children of Israel who were in captivity because of their wickedness, but they are going to be restored. They are described as these dry bones without life, and it describes them coming out of the graves because they were dead, not physically, but spiritually. So, they would rise up from that dead state and be brought back to their own land. .
Our second example comes from Paul. Colossians 2:11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: 12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. 13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Before a person obeys God’s plan of salvation, they are dead spiritually until they are baptized into Christ where the old man dies (Rom. 6:6). and they are raised up with Christ. Again, we see a resurrection in a spiritual sense because obviously we don’t physically die when we are baptized, but the point is the same as above in that the person was dead spiritually before he was made alive spiritually through baptism into Christ. In order for something to be resurrected it has to be dead whether spiritually or physically. This clearly means that in order for the church to be resurrected from Judaism. the church had to be dead either spiritually or physically. This is why the above examples will not help the A.D. 70 doctrine at all because whether we are talking spiritual or physical death, the thing or person must still be dead first, which no one in his right mind could say this about the church between A.D. 30 – 70 because it was very much alive and growing like crazy. In fact, the gospel was preached to the entire known world before A.D. 70 (Col. 1:5, 23; Rom. 10:18; 16:26). Now, they might try and say that I have this all wrong because it was Judaism that died and since it died, the church was able to rise up since Judaism was no longer alive. However, that will not work because the only thing that can be raised up is that which is dead. So, if Judaism is dead, only Judaism can be raised up. The church cannot be resurrected out of a dead Judaism. Again, go back to my examples regarding a spiritual resurrection and you will see that my logic applies because it was only that which was spiritually dead that could be resurrected and made spiritually alive. I could stop right here as I have proven that the resurrection could not possibly refer to the church, but let’s press on to show that the resurrection being spoken of that happens when Jesus returns will be a bodily one and not a spiritual resurrection of the church. Let’s begin with the following text: Matthew 22:23 The same day the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to Him and asked Him, 24 saying: "Teacher, Moses said that if a man dies, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife and raise up offspring for his brother. 25 "Now there were with us seven brothers. The first died after he had married, and having no offspring, left his wife to his brother. 26 "Likewise the second also, and the third, even to the seventh. 27 "Last of all the woman died also. 28 "Therefore, in the resurrection, whose wife of the seven will she be? For they all had her." 29 Jesus answered and said to them, "You are .
mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God. 30 "For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels of God1 in heaven. 31 "But concerning the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by God, saying, 32 `I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob1 '? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living." This teaches us that the Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection of the dead, but they knew that the Pharisees did. They think they have Jesus trapped in this example they have set up with those seven brothers and one wife. They want to know whose wife she will be at the resurrection. It becomes quite clear that they understood the resurrection meant that these seven brothers and one woman would be raised up and not the church, especially since they knew nothing of the church at that time. We know this because the only way their example could come close to trapping Jesus was if these seven brothers were raised from the dead along with the one woman. If everything is the same as it is here on earth at the resurrection, then there is going to be a real problem because now that one woman would be married to seven brothers. However, Jesus quickly corrects them and lets them know that at the resurrection, life will be different because we are no longer going to be married or getting married. Instead, we will be like the angels. Now tell me how this applies to the church being resurrected? It clearly states that we will be like angels and we will not be married or given in marriage at the resurrection, which the A.D. 70 advocates said took place in A.D. 70, yet Don Preston is married and so are a lot of those who teach the A.D. 70 doctrine. Take a close look at verse 31-32 But concerning the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by God, saying, `I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob1 '? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living." The Greek word behind “dead” is in the plural form. So, we could say. “the resurrection of the dead ones.” Based on context, we can see that Jesus is explaining what the resurrection of the dead is and what it is not. He talks about Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob who have been physically dead for a long time, but when He says that God is the God of the living, this is saying that despite them being physically dead with their bodies being nothing but dust by now, they were still alive. Why? Because the soul/spirit does not die, but the body does. Since these three men were still alive and have absolutely nothing to do with the church, it shows that the future resurrection Jesus is speaking of would include these three men, but it would have to refer to the ONLY thing that could be dead, which was their physical bodies. Jesus said: John 6:39 "This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. 40 "And this is the will of Him who sent .
Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day." Is Jesus talking about raising the church up here? No! He said that everyone who sees the Son and believes is the one He will raise up, which means it cannot refer to the church, but to individuals (See verses 44, 54). This would also be on the last day, but the A.D. 70 advocates would say this is talking about the last day of Judaism, but that idea cannot be found within this context. Next we read: Acts 17:18 Then certain Epicurean and Stoic philosophers encountered him. And some said, "What does this babbler want to say?" Others said, "He seems to be a proclaimer of foreign gods," because he preached to them Jesus and the resurrection. Paul is dealing with the Athenians, which is a long way away from Jerusalem, yet Paul proclaims Jesus and the resurrection. I wonder why Paul would preach about the resurrection to these people, which would include the destruction of Jerusalem, even though its destruction would not affect them in the least bit? However, my main thought comes from what Paul says a bit later. Acts 17:30 "Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, 31 "because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead." 32 And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked, while others said, "We will hear you again on this matter." Here we learn that Jesus will judge the world on that appointed day. Notice, it did not say Jerusalem, but the world (See Mt. 25). The reason we can know that Jesus is going to do this is because He was raised from the dead. More specifically, His spirit returned to His physical body and His body was raised up. In verse 32, once again the Greek word behind dead is plural, which means that Paul was teaching about Jesus being raised from the dead physically in verse 31, and he is also teaching about the general resurrection of the dead physically. Think about it. If there is so much emphasis on Jesus being raised from the dead physically, why in the world would anyone think that this has nothing to do with our physical bodies, but has to do with some spiritual resurrection of the church out of Judaism. Next we read: Acts 26:6 "And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made by God to our fathers. 7 "To this promise our twelve tribes, earnestly serving God night and day, hope to attain. For this hope's sake, King Agrippa, I am accused by the Jews. 8 "Why should it be thought incredible by you that God raises the dead? .
Paul is defending himself before Agrippa, and he makes it clear that this idea of a resurrection from the dead (yes, it is plural here as well) was known to the twelve tribes. In other words, generation after generation of Jews were looking forward to that resurrection from the dead, which could not possibly be referring to the church rising up from Judaism because that would not make any sense. Instead, it makes perfect sense knowing that God would raise them up from the dead. A little bit later, Paul writes: Acts 26:22 "Therefore, having obtained help from God, to this day I stand, witnessing both to small and great, saying no other things than those which the prophets and Moses said would come-- 23 "that the Christ would suffer, that He would be the first to rise from the dead, and would proclaim light to the Jewish people and to the Gentiles." Don’t miss this point. Paul is proclaiming that the prophets of old foretold how Jesus would suffer and rise from the dead. Once again, our word “dead” is in the plural. If we translated this literally from this verse it would say, “the first to rise out of the dead ones.” Did you notice that Paul said that Jesus would be the FIRST? If He is first, then surely this means there will be more to follow. Paul mentions this same idea in other places as He calls Jesus the firstborn from the dead (Col. 1:18) and the firstfruits of them who have fallen asleep (1 Cor. 15:20), which refers to those dead physical bodies because they are the only part of man that can sleep. Also, ‘firstfruits” implies that the rest of the harvest (i.e. resurrection) would be of the same crop as was the resurrection of Jesus. Since Jesus was bodily resurrected, as explained in 1 Corinthians 15, the rest of the crop has to be the same, which is a bodily resurrection. The following verses support the idea that our resurrection will be like that of Jesus’ resurrection. Philippians 3:20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself. 1 Corinthians 15:49 And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man. 1 John 3:2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. Think about it, if Jesus came to this earth to live the perfect life so He could die for us and bring forth the new covenant, and the foundational message of Christianity is Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection, why would we not follow in His footsteps? Why would we be different than Him? In other words, why would He be raised bodily and be called the firstfruits, firstborn, etc. and .
then make the resurrection a spiritual one regarding the church rising up out of Judaism? If you really think about it, it doesn’t make any sense, but it makes perfect sense that we would follow the same pattern as Jesus and that our bodies will be raised up on the last day just as Jesus’ body was raised up after three days. As Paul explained, our physical bodies will be transformed into an everlasting body. So far, we have mainly focused on the righteous regarding the resurrection and this is the main focus of the New Testament. However, God’s Word also teaches us that nonChristians will be resurrected as well. John 5:24 "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. 25 "Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live. 26 "For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself, 27 "and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man. 28 "Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice 29 "and come forth-- those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation. Within these verses we have two different ways death is being used, which is spiritual death and physical death. This is why it’s important for us to look at how a word is used within its context because a word can have different meanings depending on the context. Verse 24-25 are talking about those who were physically alive but spiritually dead. Please note that verse 25 says that the hour is coming and now is because people could hear that good news about Jesus and obey the gospel and be saved thus moving from being spiritually dead to being spiritually alive. Verses 26-27 focus on Jesus and how He has life Himself and has the authority to execute judgment, which will happen on the last day. Acts 17:30 "Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, 31 "because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead." Verses 28-29 talks about physical death and how ALL who are in their graves will hear His voice and be raised up both the good and the bad. Remember the word resurrection is used to describe something that is dead being made alive and Jesus specifically mentions these people being in their graves, which can only refer to their bodies. You will also notice that Jesus put this resurrection sometime in the future because He did not say and now is, He just said the hour is coming. So, the dead mentioned in the previous verses cannot be the same as the dead mentioned in these verses. .
Think about this, if verses 28-29 we're talking about spiritual death moving to be spiritually alive, how could that be used to describe both the good and the bad? That would have Jesus saying that if you're good when you are made spiritually alive, then you will have eternal life, but if are bad when you are made spiritually alive, then you will be condemned. It just doesn’t make sense. Also, I would ask if it's the church that is supposed to be resurrected out of the grave, how do you get good and bad out that? Were there good and bad churches? If the church was in mind, once again, we have the church being dead until A.D. 70., which is ridiculous. Now, when you apply what the Bible actually teaches about the resurrection happening on the last day, then our verses make perfect sense as we apply them to the physical body being raised because only the physical body is in the grave. On the last day, our bodies will be raised and transformed into everlasting bodies that will further clothe our souls. Those who have lived and died have either lived a good life for God or chose to live their lives for themselves or like the world. This is why on the judgment day there will be a great separation between the good and evil, which is exactly what Jesus is talking about in these verses. The good who are raised will be in heaven for eternity, and the bad will be in lake of fire for eternity. This great separation can be seen in Matthew 25:31-46 in which ALL nations will be gathered and separated. Matthew 25:46 "And these (the bad) will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life." I have never seen what the A.D. 70 doctrine advocates say about Mt. 25, but my guess would be is that they would say that all nations is referring to the all nations being represented by all the Jews who came to Jerusalem during the Passover as it was required of them by the Law of Moses. It is true that the Jews came from different nations to be at Jerusalem, and they were there when the Romans surrounded the city, but Jesus did not say that a few Jews from a given nation would be before Jesus, but that ALL NATIONS would be before Him. How exactly could these verses be applied to the siege of Jerusalem? Who are the righteous and who are the unrighteous? In what way did the righteous, that is those specifically there at Jerusalem, receive eternal life, and in what way did the unrighteous receive everlasting punishment? What about the unrighteous Jews who were not killed during the siege? Are we to believe that no matter what they did from that point forward that they would receive everlasting punishment? Why wouldn’t they be able to obey the gospel and be saved and receive eternal life? There are so many problems with trying to make our verses in Mt. 25 fit the destruction of Jerusalem, but there are no problems making them fit with the final judgment day when ALL NATIONS are gathered and all are separated and judged on that DAY. Jesus used several parables to teach this same idea about there being a final day with a great separation between the good and bad, just read these parables in Mathew 13: The Tares and the wheat, and the Dragnet. Also consider the 10 virgins, and the parable about the talents in Matthew 25. So, there is no .
doubt in my mind that Jesus was talking about the general resurrection that will happen when He comes back to judge the world. The idea of a general resurrection of the physical body was not a new concept as can be seen in: Acts 24:14 "But this I confess to you, that according to the Way which they call a sect, so I worship the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the Law and in the Prophets. 15 "I have hope in God, which they themselves also accept, that there will be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust. Paul is giving his defense before Felix and explaining why he was arrested, which was for proclaiming the truth that there was a resurrection of the dead. Paul believed that this idea of a resurrection from the dead ones (yes, it is plural here too) was taught in the Law and in the Prophets. So, without a doubt this was the belief that was held throughout their generations, and if you think for a minute that these Jews thought the resurrection would point to the church rising up out of Judaism, then I would say you have a great imagination because they would not have thought that at all. They believed in a bodily resurrection. As I have pointed out in this article, the Old Testament is kind of vague about some of its prophecies and about the resurrection, but we do have some hints from the Old Testament regarding a bodily resurrection (Job 19:25; Deut. 32:39; Heb. 11:19; Isa. 26:19; Dan. 12:2). To make matters even more vague, some of these verses I just listed have translation issues and some of them could possibly refer to something other than a bodily resurrection depending on how you look at the context. Perhaps Enoch and Elijah, the only two men who did not die physically and were taken to heaven, were looked at being examples of one being raised up bodily. No matter how vague the Law and Prophets were, Paul and many of his fellow Jews believed in the general resurrection (Jn. 11:24). The real challenge would be in finding Old Testament prophecies that even vaguely point toward the resurrection being the church coming out of Judaism in A.D. 70 because they don’t exist. Like Jesus, Paul points out that the resurrection will be of the just and the unjust, which makes no sense if we are talking about the church rising up out of Judaism or it referring to a spiritual resurrection from the dead. Verse 15 contains the Greek word ‘mello” and those who teach the A.D. doctrine believe every time this word is used that has to mean that the thing it points to must happen soon. In fact, notice how William Bell points this out in his comment on my YouTube channel. Here's another point to consider. Acts 24:14-15 is a direct quote from Daniel 12-2-3, which is the premier tet in the Old Testament that mentions the resurrection of the "just and the unjust". It uses "mello" saying the resurrection was "about to be". For those Amillennialists in the church .