Four Biblical Reasons
Why AD70 Cannot be
the Second Parousia of Jesus

By Bill Grimes

This article is my response to a recent e-mail which I received from a full preterist. The name has been changed to protect his identity.

Dear Sean,

I am not sure what thought you are trying to convey in your recent communication to me, but let me answer you in this way.  

AD70 was not the Second Parousia of Jesus for the following reasons:

The Second Parousia will come unexpectedly.

       Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning;   And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately.   Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them.   And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants.   And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through.   Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not. (Luke 12:22-40 AV)

 By contrast, the Jews anticipated the AD70 sack of Jerusalem.  Jesus gave the people a multitude of signs by which to tell when it was coming.  If you read Josephus, the Zealots trapped in Jerusalem kept close tabs on the Roman army as it tramped across Palestine and ravaged it.  This does not fit the clear teaching of the Word of God concerning the Second Parousia.

And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.   For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.   And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.   For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.   All these are the beginning of sorrows.   Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake.   And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.   And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.   And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.   But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.   And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. (Matthew 24:4-14 AV)

At the Second Parousia all of humanity will be judged.

Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,   And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.   For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:   Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:   But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. (2 Peter 3:3-7 AV)
And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.   And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.   And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.   And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:12-15 AV)

By contrast, the AD70 sack of Jerusalem was strictly a local judgment on that  generation of Jews for the following reasons.

For the murder of all the prophets:

Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city:   That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. (Matthew 23:34-35 AV)

For economic oppression of the poor:

Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.   Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten.   Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.   Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth.   Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter.   Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you.   Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.   Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.   Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door.   Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience.   Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy. (James 5:1-11 AV)

All dead persons will rise at the Second Parousia, some to life and some to damnation.

        Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,   And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. (John 5:28-29 AV)

          And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.   And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. (John 6:39-40 AV)

 This resurrection will be a bodily resurrection.  Our bodies will be just like our Lord’s after He rose from the dead.

For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:   Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself. (Philippians 3:20-21 AV; Cf. 1 Corinthians 15:52)

 There was no bodily resurrection of all that died throughout the earth at AD70.

At the Second Parousia, everything that is evil will be destroyed, and a new heavens and a new earth will be created.

And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.   And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.   And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.   And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.   And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. (Revelation 21:1-5 AV)

 Evil still thrives.  Just look around you.  You see diseases, death, murder, economic oppression, genocide, hate, pride, fornication, adultery, etc.  The list goes on and on.  In 2 Peter 3, Simon Peter compares the future destruction of this world by fire to the worldwide flood of Noah. God destroyed all evil by a flood of real, wet water. He will destroy it again by a real, hot fire.  It is contrary  to God’s holiness for Him to allow evil to persist forever, which is what full Preterists are suggesting.

Sean, in determining what is literal and what is figurative in Scripture, I try to follow the maxim quoted below.

 To quote Martin Luther: 

{The Holy Spirit's} words cannot have more than one, and that the very simplest sense, which we call the literal, ordinary, natural sense. . . . We are not to say that the Scriptures or the Word of God have more than one meaning. . .We are not to introduce any . . . metaphorical, figurative sayings into any text of Scripture, unless the particulars of the words compel us to do so.. . . For if anyone at all were to have power to depart from the pure, simple words and to make inferences and figures of speech wherever he wished. . . [then] no one could reach any certain conclusions about . . . any article of faith. . . {Quoted by W. G. Kummel, The New Testament: The History of the Investigation of its Problems (Nashville/New York: Abingdon, 1972) 22-23.} 

In reading the above passages that I have quoted to you and others the “particulars of the words” lead me to believe that they are to be taken literally.  History teaches us that Jesus’ words in Matthew 24:1-35 were fulfilled quite literally in the cloud judgment that fell upon Jerusalem and Israel in AD70 at the hands of the Romans.  This fact encourages me, because I know that when the Second Parousia does come, it will come in the same fashion as Jesus and the Apostles described it.

Sean, this is my encouragement to you.  Lay aside every book on eschatology that you have ever read except for the Bible.  Read it and it alone.  If you do this you will find that the Word of God does NOT teach Transmillinialism ™  or any of its attending errors.  Rely instead on the Holy Spirit to teach you what His Word says instead of what other men tell you that it says.

1 Corinthians 8:2  And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know.

With every blessing,

Bill Grimes
Things to Come

Copyright, July, 2000, Bill Grimes.  Permission is granted by the author to reproduce the contents in whole or in part for research purposes or for publication, with or without credit to the author, as long as the contents quoted remain unchanged and the publications are free.  Any other use requires the express written consent of the author.