In this series, we have been examining the doctrine of “the end” as used by Paul in 1 Corinthians 15, where he said “the end” comes at the resurrection. It is taken for granted by all futurists that Paul had in mind “the end” of the Christian age, or the end of time. This is pure speculation based on a presuppositional doctrine of the death of Adam.
Be sure to read the previous articles wherein I demonstrate that “the end” simply cannot be referent to the end of the Christian age or of human history. Those articles can be found here- #1, #2, #3, #4
The End as the Harvest — Fact #5 – Christ the first fruit of the Harvest
Christ is “the first fruit.” There is “each in his own order” (Greek tagma, meaning in order of occurrence). “Those that are Christ’s at his coming, “then comes the end.” Very clearly, in 1 Corinthians 15, “the end” is the climax of the harvest. While a great deal could be said of this, we will be brief, simply presenting some of the glaring more of the self contradictions and problems with Dominionist eschatology when it comes to the motif of the harvest and AD 70. Be sure to read my formal debate with Joel McDurmon, held July 2012. We discussed the resurrection in detail, and some of his concessions are simply stunning. Furthermore, some of his claims are virtually unknown in church history, and certainly not found in any of the creeds.
As with other eschatological motifs and passages, the Dominionists differ strongly about the application of the harvest motif. Gentry applies Matthew 13 to the climax of human history, (2003,140) and says it teaches there will be no more days after the “end of the age” of Matthew 13:39f.
Revelation 14 likewise discusses the harvest of the earth (land). Although he does not comment specifically on the harvest motif, Gentry, definitely posits the fulfillment of Revelation 14 during the Jewish War,
In stark contrast with Gentry and Mathison, Leithhart says the parable of harvest in Matthew 13 refers to the end of the Jewish age, and God harvesting that age. DeMar concurs (Madness, 1994, 155). And McDurmon says Matthew 13: “describes the then soon coming end of that old age and the destruction of its children, and the beginning of the gathering in of the true children of God’s kingdom. It should not be understood as teaching anything beyond this.”(Jesus V Jerusalem, Poweder Springs, Ga. American Vision, 2011,49) As we have noted, McDurmon is wrong to see the end of the age as the beginning of the harvest. It is, as seen just above, the completion of the harvest of the Old Covenant world, as Leithart says.
Let me make a point here:
The harvest of 1 Cor. 15 is the harvest of Matthew 13. If not, why not? Was Jesus the first fruit of two harvests, at the end of two different ages, and two different parousias? No, there was but “one hope” in scripture, and from John, who announced the imminence of the harvest, to Revelation, the pronouncement was the time had come for the harvest.
The harvest of Matthew 13 occurred in AD 70 and there is no further application – McDurmon.
Therefore, the harvest of 1 Corinthians 15 was in AD 70, and there is no further application.
This conclusion is confirmed by the indisputable fact of Jesus being the “first born” or “first fruit” of the resurrection. Acts 26:21 confirms that Jesus was “the first to be raised from the dead.” This is hugely problematic for those insisting that “the end” of 1 Corinthians 15 must be the end of human history, climaxing in a resurrection of human corpses out of the dirt.
Gentry patently sees a problem, and attempts to escape the force of it by saying: “Jesus is called the first born, yet we know that others physically arose from the dead prior to Him, some during his ministry. Thus, his resurrection was of a different order, a different order that made him a “first’ in that respect.” (1992, 283-284). You will note Gentry fails to define or explain this “different order.” It seems obvious he was simply trying to evade the force of Jesus being the first to be raised from the dead, yet clearly not the first to be raised from physical death. This is an insurmountable problem for those defining Adamic Death as biological death. Gentry’s suggestion flies in the face of Paul’s terminology in Corinthians.
Take a look again at the use of “first fruit” with the word “tagma.” Paul says “Christ the first fruit… and every man in his own order…” The word “order” is from tagma. It means in order of occurrence. Thus, Paul’s emphasis on “first fruit” and then “every man in his own order” demands that Paul is not discussing Jesus as simply of a different order, but, that Christ is the first in the “tagma” the first in chronological sequence of the harvest. This puts the emphasis, not on the nature of the resurrection, but on the chronological order. And this means that in Paul’s resurrection doctrine, Jesus was the first to be raised from the dead. This fact totally destroys the traditional views of resurrection.
Paul’s use of harvest imagery and description of Jesus as the first fruit demands that the time of harvest was present in the first century. And undeniably, in 1 Corinthians 15 that harvest is the climactic, “final” end of the age harvest. It did not point to another harvest, at another end. This falsifies the unbelievable claim of McDurmon that there was “a fulfilment” of 1 Corinthians 15 but, we are still looking for the “final” fulfillment. AD 70 did not point to another, greater resurrection. It was the resurrection of which Christ was the first fruit. See my book AD 70: A Shadow of the “Real” End? for a complete refutation of the claims of the Dominionists that AD 70 was typological of the end of the Christian age.