By Bill Reeves
King versus Jesus, on Matt. 22:23-33. King, like the Sadducees of old, denies a general resurrection of individual dead bodies.” A-194 No wonder, then, that this passage gives him trouble. But, give King credit: he does meet it head on in his book, although he employs his customary sophistry to set aside its obvious import.
He blames the Pharisees “fleshly concepts” for the Sadducees unbelief. The Sadducees “rejection of the resurrection was due largely to the fleshly concepts taught and believed in that day.” A-217 Where did you learn that, King? Made it up, didnt you? Paul was a Pharisee! (Acts 23:7,8, “1 am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees; touching the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question … For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, neither angel, nor spirit.”)
“They reasoned that if the fleshly body were going to be resurrected in the last day . . .” A 217 Yes, the fleshly body will be resurrected in the last day, but it will not be raised a fleshly body (I Cor. 15:44). King very astutely misrepresents us repeatedly by referring to a “fleshly resurrection,” rather than to a bodily resurrection. He knows there is a difference.
“But Jesus informed them that their problem existed in their ignorance of the nature of the resurrection.” A-217 Note how subtly King inserts the word “nature” into the discussion. Ah, but he is subtle! No, King, the Sadducees did not deny the nature of the resurrection; they denied the fact of it! Read v. 23 and Acts 23:8, again, and notice also 26:8, 23. Those Sadducees affirmed: “there is no resurrection,” just exactly like King affirms: there is no “general resurrection of individual dead bodies.” King tries to slip the word “nature” into the discussion and pin Sadduceeism on us!
King speaks of the Sadducees first error being that of not knowing the Scriptures, and their second one, that of not knowing the power of God. He is wrong again; they had but one error in this context: they denied the fact of the resurrection! Jesus says that in so denying it they showed both their ignorance of the Scriptures and of the power of God. I emphasize “power” to alert the readers of Kings book to the smoothness and subtlety of deceit he employs throughout it, for concluding matters, he says, “Thus, the failure of the Sadducees to know their scriptures and the promise (emphasis mine-BHR) of God . . . ” A-218 See how he switches terms in order to condition his readers minds to his position? (He had just above written about the resurrection being for fulfilling to Abraham and to his seed the promise of a new heaven and earth, meaning his A.D. 70 doctrine).
It would take a book to expose the twisting and perverting of all the Scriptures, which King has set forth in The Spirit Of Prophecy. These few articles can take up only some samples of this play-on-words artist!
How King is hurting on Luke 20:27-40! Let us look at his pitiful attempt to explain it away.” Jesus in this passage talks about “this world” (aion, age) and “that world,” and Kings Preterist-View doctrine has to give such expressions a constant application: namely, the “Jewish world” and the “Christian world” (as of A.D. 70!). But Jesus is talking about life now on earth, and the life in heaven after this life is no more, because he talked about a time when they when people marry, and a time when they will no more be doing so. If Jesus is talking about what King is, then since A. D. 70 there is to be no more marriage (and how could we possibly have gotten from A. D. 70 until now without marriage!). King knows this and we now look at his perversion of Rom. 14:17, designed to help him out of his predicament.
He writes: “The statement that those in the world to come would neither marry nor be given in marriage is not, as it would appear on the surface, a denial of marriage or physical life in the Christian age. Rather, it has the meaning of Pauls statement that the kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost (Rom. 14:17). Jesus was not teaching that the citizens of the world to come do not marry” anymore than Paul taught that citizens of the kingdom do not eat or drink. The point being debated is the nature of the world that was to come. The children of this world (Jewish) were constituted as such by physical birth, being the fleshly seed of Abraham. Thus, the citizens of this world were propagated by marriage or fleshly procreation. But such would not be true in the world to come (the Christian age). Jesus said those who would be worthy to obtain that world and the resurrection from the dead, would not do so by physical means or methods. It was not the kind of world that could be entered by flesh and blood (1 Cor. 15:50) . . . Neither can they die any more because they are the children of the resurrection, refers to the spiritual state of redeemed man, and not his physical state.” A237,238
King can crowd more error, sophistry and perversion into one paragraph than anyone I have ever known! Let us note some of these:
(1) (Denying marriage or physical life in the Christian age. Of course what Jesus said is no such denial, for the simple reason that Jesus was not talking about the “Christian age.” Jesus does deny that there will be marrying in the world to come. Since marriage is not denied us now, “that world” is not now! How King is hedging, here!
(2) (Citizens of the kingdom do not eat or drink). Rom. 14:17 has nothing in the world to do with the subject of Lk. 20:27-40. Jesus is talking about the world to follow the one we are living in now, and Paul is talking about our conduct as citizens of the kingdom now. What we eat and drink, or do not eat and drink, is not the basis of our conduct in the church, Paul says, in a context dealing with matters of indifference. But, incidentally, look what King has done: cited a text concerning conduct in the kingdom before A. D. 70! King, if he has a parallel at all, will have to affirm that Paul says, “for the kingdom of God will not be (after A. D. 4 0) eating and drinking, but righteousness . . .”
(3) (The point being debated is the nature of the world to come). This is Kings desperate invention. As he did in handling Matt. 22, here he slips in the idea of “nature.” This is not Christs point! Christ is not talking about how to get into the world to come: whether by literal marriage or not! Thats ridiculous, and King knows that he is perverting this context. Just which words of Jesus, King, do you cite to show that Jesus was talking about proper means or methods of attaining to that world? Jesus spoke of what people would not be doing once they did attain to it: they would not be marrying, giving in marriage, nor dying (present tense in the Greek text, which indicates continual, habitual action). King makes Jesus say that N. T. saints, of before A. D. 70, would not be able to get into Kings complete and perfect something, coming when Jerusalem would be destroyed, by means of the marriage act!
(4) (“Neither can they die any more” does not refer to physical death). King expects us to accept this forced conclusion, in spite of the context of Luke 20:27-40. He slips in some texts dealing with spiritual death, and hopes we will not detect his tactics, his switching of terms! Well, the simple truth of the matter is that (a) the Sadducees, “they that say there is no resurrection,” period! came to Jesus and propounded a case in which seven men died physically. Do you see that, King? Of course you do. (b) Then the woman died, also and that physically! (c) Jesus claimed that in the resurrection they do not do that anymore, King. They do not die! physically! Jesus said, they cannot. Why? Because they are like the angels, who do not die.
King represents us as “waiting for some miracle of spiritual renewal or transformation to take place in physical death,” A-238 and in doing so, misrepresents us! Let us ask: King is that the way you used to express it when for years you taught on the resurrection what we teach now? Before you left the truth, did you preach it like that? In those terms? For your benefit, I will tell you what we are waiting for: we are waiting for the Lord Jesus Christ from heaven, who shall fashion anew (Greek, changing what is outward and shiftingVincent, p. 889; change the figure of-Thayer, p. 406) the body of our humiliation, that it may be conformed to the body of His glory (Phil. 3: 20,2 1). We do not expect this at the moment of each ones death, for at death we sleep in Jesus and rest, but when He comes from heaven. Thess. 1:10; 4:16, 17; Heb. 9:28; 1 Cor. 15:20-23). The next time you write a book, brother, at least represent us correctly, regardless of what you teach!
“To put the new heaven and earth in contrast with this material world, making it essential for all material elements of creation to be destroyed before the new world can be created, misses the whole scheme of redemption, as well as the very nature of it. The world that failed to accomplish redemption, becoming a ministration of death was the one the new heaven and earth followed, bringing a ministration of life and righteousness. Any careful student of the Bible should be able to readily identify these two worlds and pinpoint the ending of the one and the beginning of the other.” A-239
The new heavens and new earth will follow the dissolution of the elements of the material creation; Peter says so in the third chapter of the second book. Such does not miss the “whole scheme of redemption.” Kings Preterist-View is the culprit, because it makes a “ministration of death” (Judaism, as he calls it) continue some 37 years after Christ nailed the Law to across, and postpones the “ministration of life and righteousness” 37 years too long! People dead in sin had been made alive in Christ; the unrighteous had been made righteous, for 37 years before Jerusalem was destroyed. Among a host of Scriptures on the subject, consider Gal. 3:8, 21, 22, 24.
The two covenants did not overlap for some 37 years. A change was made (Heb. 7:12). He took away the first in order to establish the second (10:9). By means of that second one, which replaced the first one, the Hebrew brethren had already been sanctified (9:10), years before A. D. 70. Even a careless student of the Bible can see that the cross of Christ, and not A. D. 70, is the turning point in Gods scheme of redemption. That is why Paul told the Corinthians that they were in Christ Jesus, who had been made unto them wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption fl Cor. 1:30). Paul had gone to Corinth to preach Christ and Him crucified, and not the Preterist-View of Prophecy, and so, when he wrote them later he could say what he did in that above-mentioned text!
Our last article will be on Daniels 70 Weeks.King leans heavily upon it. -Route 3
TRUTH MAGAZINE XVII: 15, pp. 9-11
February 15, 1973