Edward Stevens’ “Resurrection No Longer Applies” Doctrine #3
After I posted article #2 on FaceBook, once again, Stevens accused me of misrepresenting his views. He offered not one word of proof for his claim, even though I challenged him to produce that proof. Then, he sought desperately to divert attention away from my critique of his view, by claiming that the real issue was not what I was pointing out about his views, but, what I believe about Revelation 21. No, as I pointed out, the issue under consideration was his view of “Resurrection No Longer Applies.” My personal view of Revelation 21 had not been discussed or raised. But Stevens knows that his view cannot stand close scrutiny, thus, he sought, repeatedly, to divert attention away from my critique of his views to focus on my views. I refused to be diverted, and so, Stevens abandoned the discussion. Well, he abandoned that discussion to start another, in which he once again attempted to divert attention away from my critique and demand that I address his questions about my views. He claims that I just don’t understand that Conversional Resurrection and Eschatological Resurrection are two “radically different” resurrections. But, as I will note in upcoming articles, all he did was entrap himself even worse than he already had! Thus, to this date, Stevens has not even made a single attempt to answer the points that I raised.
Please follow me here, as we continue to look at Ed Stevens’ view of Death and Resurrection, and his doctrine of what we will call his doctrine of “Comprehensive Adamic Death.” All of this is in response to, and examination of, his claim that Resurrection Does not apply today. And, keep in mind that all of his claims in this regard are tied to his claim that Adamic Death included physical death. With that in mind, consider the following arguments that I have presented repeatedly, and yet, at the time of this posting, Stevens has not hit a keystroke of response.
If it is true that physical death was an integral part of the Adamic Death, per Ed Stevens,
If it is true that the resurrection, at the parousia of Christ in AD 70, would overcome and abolish the Adamic Death for those in Christ, (per Stevens),
It must be true that physical death was abolished in AD 70 – or must one day be abolished – thus falsifying Ed’s claimed belief in full preterism.
This is inescapably true. It will not do Stevens any good to now say (as he did initially but was entrapped, so he changed positions in mid-stream) that Adamic Death was NOT supposed to be abolished for the child of God in AD 70. Remember, equivocated by saying that, Yes, Adamic Death was to be abolished, but we have to properly define the Adamic Death to be conquered. Again, this is nothing but smoke and dust, pure obfuscation. There is no distinction, no dichotomization, no division between supposed different tenets and elements of Adamic Death to be found in 1 Corinthians 15.
Now, Stevens says that we today only die physically because we first die spiritually. So, if we die physically “because we are sinners,” that means that we are paying the penalty of sin – “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). I don’t care what kind of verbal gymnastics you try to play, this is unavoidable.
The wages of sin is (physical) death– Ed Stevens- and all futurists.
Every Christian dies physically.
Therefore, every Christian receives (pays) the wages of sin!
The wages of sin is physical death– Ed Stevens and all futurists.
The Christian is (ostensibly) forgiven of sin, that which alone imposes the “wages of sin” i.e. supposedly physical death.
Therefore, the Christian, (ostensibly) forgiven of sin, should not receive the “wages of sin”- i.e., physical death.
It is very clear that in Stevens’ paradigm, the full scope of Adamic Death, spiritual death and physical death, have not been abolished- and that means that Stevens is a futurist.
Stevens refers to Adamic Death as “Comprehensive Death.” By this he means that Adamic Death included SPIRITUAL DEATH, PHYSICAL DEATH AND HADEAN DEATH. By using the term, Comprehensive Death, he seeks to escape the force of the fact that although he uses the plural “deaths” to speak of Adamic Death, Paul invariably used the singular “the death” – never “the deaths.” But Stevens’ so called Comprehensive Death is fatally flawed.
The reader must keep in mind that Stevens claims that the resurrection of AD 70 was exclusively the resurrection out of Hades. (This is why he says that Resurrection no longer applies). It clearly did NOT include resurrection out of physical death. It did NOT mean the end of spiritual death, since in his paradigm, people only die physically because they first die spiritually. Thus, no sin death means no physical death. Since there is physical death, then sin death assuredly continues– even for the Christian.
Now, if the Christian does not have to go to Hades when we die, due to the work of Christ, why do we still have to die physically AS A DIRECT RESULT OF SINNING? I cannot over emphasize the fact that Stevens says that we only die physically because we first die spiritually. So, why is / was the work of Christ only effective for the Hadean realm? Why was Christ’s resurrection work only PARTIALLY COMPLETED? For Christ to conquer only one out of three aspects of “the Comprehensive Death of Adam” demands, as proven, that one day, at (another) parousia, at (another) “the end”– the end of WHAT?– the full scope of Adamic Death will be conquered. But Ed Stevens’ claimed full preterism will not allow this. Stevens cannot be a full preterist and claim that only one of three ADAMIC DEATHS has been conquered. To leave two of three aspects of the ADAMIC DEATH fully in force, fully operative– “world without end” – places one fully in the futurist camp. Exactly where in scripture do we find that Hadean Death is the only death to be conquered at the parousia? It is clear that Ed has hidden his views on this from his readers, just as he has hidden his views that we must die spiritually in order to die physically.
If Hadean resurrection is the exclusive focus of the resurrection, then of necessity, sin death had to be overcome / abolished. Sin is what separates – “kills” (Isaiah 59:1-2), and thus, if sin has not been conquered for even the Christian, (since we die physically as a result of sin, per Stevens), Hades is still necessary. Be sure to read our comments below on forgiveness and Hades. The point is that if Hades has been destroyed, sin death (alienation) has been annulled as well.
It is sin that brings death, (Romans 6:23-separation from God). Thus, if Hades, the ultimate expression of separation from God, which was manifested under the Law of Moses (Luke 16– Hebrews 9) was destroyed in AD 70, then that means that forgiveness of sin is a current objective reality. This in turn means that spiritual death has been abolished for those in Christ, and if spiritual death has been abolished for those in Christ, then since Stevens say physical death only comes as a result of spiritual death, IT MEANS THAT PHYSICAL DEATH MUST HAVE BEEN ABOLISHED! You cannot isolate the idea of Hadean Resurrection from the concept of deliverance from sin and condemnation. Paul said the resurrection would be when sin, “the sting of death” would be fully dealt with (1 Corinthians 15:55-56). If sin has been dealt with, Adamic Death – the so-called Comprehensive Adamic Death – has been conquered for those in Christ!
Consider 1 Corinthians 15, Hebrews 9 and the issue of Hades and forgiveness.
Consider first 1 Corinthians 15:55-56, where Paul said the would be when “the law” that was “the strength of sin” would be abolished. resurrection (He did not say that only Hades would be overcome). You need to know that Stevens now denies, after teaching otherwise for years, that “the law” that was “the strength of sin” in 1 Corinthians 15 was the Law of Moses.
Well, Paul DID define the Law of Moses as the strength of sin!
“By the law is the knowledge of sin”- Romans 3:20f
“I had not known sin except the law had said, ‘thou shalt not covet’” – Romans 7:7f.
“That which was intended to be for life, I found to being death” – Romans 7.
“Those who are under the law are under a curse” – Galatians 3:13.
“That no flesh is justified by the Law is evident” – Galatians 2:10f.
“The Law” could not deliver from “the law of sin and death” – the law of the Garden – Romans 8:1-3. Note the clear distinction between “the law” and “the law of sin and death.” Those were not the same law. Paul was not saying, “the law of sin and death cannot deliver us from the law of sin and death.” That would be tautologist.
Paul was very clear that when “the law” that was the strength of sin was overcome the full (not partial) power and curse of the Adamic Death would be overcome. When sin was conquered, eternal life and immortality would be given to those in Christ.
Look now at Hebrews 9:8-10:
The Holy Spirit indicating this, that the way into the Holiest of All was not yet made manifest while the first tabernacle was still standing. It was symbolic for the present time in which both gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot make him who performed the service perfect in regard to the conscience— concerned only with foods and drinks, various washings, and fleshly ordinances imposed until the time of reformation.
So, the Law of Moses could not bring forgiveness of sin – and remember that sin was the sting of death (1 Corinthians 15:55-56). Thus, the Law could not do what the resurrection would do- bring deliverance from sin!
As a result of the fact that there was no forgiveness under the Law, and thus man was still under, “the Adamic Condemnation,” man could not enter the MHP, the Presence of God. He could have no eternal life.
At the end of Torah, when forgiveness of sin would be accomplished and given, man could enter the MHP, the Presence of God. This means that reception of eternal life – resurrection life – was tied to the end of Torah! The reception of forgiveness meant the reception of eternal life, deliverance from the Law that was the strength of sin, the Law that brought the Curse, the Law that could not deliver from the Adamic Death. As Paul said, the Law of Moses could not give life (Galatians 3:20-21). This is the full deliverance, not partial, from Adamic Death. The end of the Law would bring “the life” that the law of Moses could not give.
So, at the end of “the law”- Torah – forgiveness (resurrection from sin death) became a reality. But, forgiveness removes that which alone brought (“Brings” in Stevens’ view) the Adamic Curse on man- SIN. That Adamic Curse, per Stevens, was spiritual death that results in physical death. Thus, once again, Stevens cannot claim that the Christian is truly forgiven without demanding, logically, that physical death has been abolished. To say that Torah is removed and that forgiveness is our’s is to say that we are in the Presence of God!
Let me reiterate here: If spiritual death has been abolished, (Which Stevens cannot and does not affirm) there is no such thing as Conversional Resurrection, and Romans 6, Ephesians 2, Colossians 2 no longer apply! (Remember that Stevens claims that Jesus’ promise that his followers will never die does not apply to believers today)!! Yet, Stevens argued that Adam died representatively through the animal sacrifice, but was saved by the putting on of the animal skins. He likens that to our CONVERSION, where we die with Christ and put him on in baptism (Romans 6) – WHICH IS RESURRECTION LIFE. The imagery of Romans 6 cannot be denied: death, burial and resurrection- newness of life! But, if there is no resurrection today, there is no conversion, i.e., resurrection from sin death.
Thus, on the one hand, Stevens wants to posit a spiritual resurrection today. Yet, his own statements DENY RESURRECTION LIFE TODAY! But keep this in mind: If there is Conversional Resurrection today, then sin is destroyed for the one coming into the “life” of Christ. Paul said that those entering Christ through baptism did so “that the body of sin might be destroyed” (Romans 6:5-6). But, if sin is destroyed, then, the Christian does not die PHYSICALLY! You must not lose sight of the fact that in Stevens’ view, we all die physically only because we first die spiritually. Thus, no sin means no death- but not in Stevens’ paradigm!
Stevens needs to face some facts:
If the non-Christian dies spiritually the day they sin, and are doomed to physical death as a direct result of that spiritual death – do they have to be spiritually resurrected (e.g Romans 6 / Ephesians 2:1-4 / Colossians 2:13f. Etc.), to be saved and go to heaven? If so, that is resurrection. And keep in mind that this is not the eschatological, end of the age, resurrection, but, the availability, the consummated reality, of resurrection life for those who enter Christ. If there is no resurrection today, as Stevens claims, does this not mean that there can be no conversion of the non-Christian, no deliverance from alienation / sin-death?
If a person does die spiritually the day they sin, and as a direct result are destined to die physically, if “resurrection does not apply today” Stevens needs to explain how anyone can become Christians, made alive with Christ. (BTW, when Stevens admits that spiritual death comes on man the day they sin, this falsifies his claim that the threat of the Garden- “In the day you eat you will surely die”- was a one time only threat. More on that in another article to come)!
So now, in Stevens’ view, we have THREE ADAMIC DEATHS in spite of the fact that he posted the article arguing for Two Adamic Deaths– not THREE. Once again, here is what he posits:
Sin Brings–->spiritual death—> which brings physical death—> and unforgiven sin brought Hadean death. He is clear that SPIRITUAL DEATH BRINGS PHYSICAL DEATH (Adamic Condemnation). Thus, the Christian is not, after all, in the status that Paul described: “There is therefore, now, no condemnation for those who are in Christ” (Romans 8:1). Therefore, Christians are still subject to the Law of Sin and Death; we all die physically, “because we are all sinners” is Stevens’ official position. Stevens patently contradicts the Bible in his Comprehensive Adamic Death Doctrine. His interjection of “physical death” onto the Adamic story leads inexorably to these conclusions. But he has carefully concealed these things from his followers.
To summarize: Stevens’ view proves several things:
If there is no resurrection of any kind today, then universalism is true, since if there is no resurrection there is no death. If there is no death, there is no sin. If there is no sin, there is no need for Conversional Resurrection, all men are alive to God.
If there is no resurrection today, then, if universalism is NOT true (as Stevens maintains) then there is no Conversional Resurrection today, and all men are doomed. If all men today are guilty of sin (all have sinned…) then all are dead, and all need Conversional Resurrection. Thus, Stevens’ denial of resurrection destroys the mission of the church, to offer men life (Conversional Resurrection) in Christ through obedience to the Gospel.
If forgiveness is real today, there is no need for Hades. But, according to Stevens, all men die physically because they first die spiritually. But, if all men die physically because they first die spiritually, then all men die in sin, and that means that all men are lost. There is no true forgiveness.
Ed Stevens is a futurist, since, in his view, physical death was an integral part of the Adamic Death Curse. Since physical death has patently NOT been abolished, it must one day be conquered through resurrection from physical death. Let me say one more time: you do not conquer physical death by dying in subjection to “the last enemy”!
Now, of course, Ed Stevens knows that every Christian will die physically and that is, “because we are all sinners.”! In fact, per Stevens, our physical death comes ONLY because WE FIRST DIE SPIRITUALLY! Now, spiritual death is caused by sin, and ONLY SIN– Romans 6: 23 / Ephesians 2:1f / Colossians 1:15-20 / 2:12-13). So, we have a question for Edward Stevens: DO PEOPLE TODAY STILL DIE SPIRITUALLY THE DAY THEY SIN? If they do, and he surely wont’ deny this because to do so is to take the Universalist position, then that means that all physical death today is the direct result of that spiritual death.
Furthermore, remember what we posted earlier. If they die spiritually THE VERY DAY THEY SIN then Ed’s claim that God’s threat of penal punishment of “in the day that you eat you will surely die” was a one time only event is totally falsified.
Since the Christian is supposedly forgiven of that which alone imposes “the wages of sin”– I.E., spiritual and physical death – then if, through forgiveness, we do not experience spiritual death, very clearly, CHRISTIANS SHOULD NOT DIE PHYSICALLY!
Remember, in Ed’s view, spiritual death is essential, it is the prerequisite, for our physical death. If we only die physically because we first die spiritually, then without sin and spiritual death, THERE IS NO PHYSICAL DEATH. Thus, since Christians die physically, sin and death undeniably holds full sway over the Christian in Stevens’ paradigm. But of course, the problem here is that if we die in our sin, from our sin, there is no way for us to go to heaven? Can sin enter heaven? How can we die as the wage of sin, and inherit eternal life? If spiritual death still exists, (Stevens says it does) and if sin still brings “death” to the Christian, (he says it does), then there can be no entrance into heaven.
Ed’s doctrine of Adamic Death (s) clearly negates and destroys the reality of forgiveness for the Christian. Is this the Gospel that he preaches? We all die “because we are all sinners”?
Thus, the fact that Stevens’ position denies the current reality of forgiveness of sin, it logically demands that Hades – the place of separation from God until the parousia and the full bestowal of forgiveness, and entrance into the MHP – HAS NOT BEEN DESTROYED. Hadean death and Hades would be destroyed WHEN SIN WAS CONQUERED AT THE RESURRECTION. Thus, when Stevens tells us that sin and death still rules the Christian, he is telling us that the resurrection has not occurred. This establishes once again that Stevens cannot be a full preterist!
In the final analysis, Stevens’ claim of a “comprehensive death” becomes the death of Stevens’ eschatology. He defines Adamic Death as “comprehensive death,” which, remember, includes spiritual death, physical death and Hadean death. BUT HE DOES NOT TEACH A “COMPREHENSIVE RESURRECTION”! To the contrary, he teaches a very limited, very restricted resurrection from only one of the so-called three Adamic Deaths.
I have shown that Stevens’ own words logically lead to universalism, negate forgiveness, eliminates conversion, denies the substitutionary death of Christ. (More on the substitutionary death of Christ later). He has falsified his own rapture doctrine – and destroyed the Gospel.
If there is no spiritual death today, then Universalism is valid and true. So, if / when Stevens affirms the continuing reality of spiritual death, he must logically accept the necessity of spiritual resurrection in direct contradiction of his own claim that resurrection does not apply today. And keep in mind that if / when Stevens admits that there is such a thing as Conversional Resurrection today, then of necessity, because of his view that we only die physically because we first die spiritually, then to be delivered from spiritual death in Conversional Resurrection DEMANDS THAT WE ARE DELIVERED FROM PHYSICAL DEATH.
If physical death has not been abolished– as is evident to all – then the so-called Comprehensive Adamic Death has not been overcome, has not been conquered for those in Christ! The Curse of Adam still reigns, the last enemy remains in full force, there is no entrance into the Presence of God!
✱ You cannot in any way identify the Adamic Death as physical death and then claim that the Adamic Death was abolished in AD 70! If (physical) Adamic Death was not abolished in AD 70– Ed Stevens is not a preterist.
✱ You cannot identify Adamic Death as physical death without demanding that the Christian is not subject to physical death. Has Stevens answered this? Not a keystroke!
✱ On the other hand, you cannot say that Adamic Death was physical death without demanding that Christians are still subject to “the last enemy” and, “the one who had the power of death, the Devil.” When Stevens tried to identify “the Adamic Death” of 1 Corinthians 15 as solely Hadean Death, that demands that Hadean Death was the “last enemy” and the only death over which the devil had power. (We would like to see Stevens quote any of his conservative academics that would agree with him on THAT)!
I think it is abundantly clear that Edward Stevens’ claim that Resurrection No Longer Applies, is not the Biblical Message. While the eschatological resurrection is clearly fulfilled– in that I agree with Stevens – His view that spiritual death brings physical death, logically demands a future physical resurrection to overcome sin-death, and thus, physical death.