Michael Boling – Thoughts from the Theocratic Kingdom (Vol. 2): Proposition 161

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In Proposition 161, George Peters states:

“This Kingdom will not be re-established until after Antichrist is overthrown.”

As Peters has noted in other propositions, there are event markers provided in Scripture to help the people of God to correctly watch, wait, and be prepared for what will transpire in the end of the age. The overthrow of the Antichrist is one such even marker.

The most notable observation Peters presents in Proposition 161 is the following:

“The Church has always kept its eye fixed on the prophecies pertaining to Antichrist. Every century, from the Christian era down, gives us in the writings of eminent men an expression of opinion relating to it. However important the subject in the past, interest in it increases proportionately to the increasing nearness of the Millennial age. he Millennium can never be introduced before the fearful scenes under that Antichrist are first witnessed and experienced. The prominence given to Antichrist in the Scriptures and by the faith of the Church; the nearness of fulfillment that may be nigh to us; the delineation of character and work given by the Spirit; these are sufficient warrant for a careful consideration of this powerful actor in the world’s history.”

Much debate centers on the identity of the Antichrist. Will the Antichrist be an individual or representative of a collective spirit of the age? Will the Antichrist be a political figure, full of charisma who steps in at a critical juncture to secure what appears to be peace for the world? Does this figure arise out of a revived Roman Empire? All these and many more are typical questions that are asked. It seems each time a charismatic figure arises somewhere in the world, especially in a region associated by people as the center stage for end times events, that figure is given the label of being a potential Antichrist. Whomever that person ends up being, his rise and fall serve as even markers for the coming Theocraic Kingdom.

John Colquhoun – A Treatise on the Law and the Gospel

Introduction

The subject of this treatise is, in the highest degree, important and interesting to both saints and to sinners. To know it experimentally is to be wise unto salvation, and to live habitually under the influence of it is to be at once holy and happy. To have spiritual and distinct views of it is the way to be kept from verging towards self-righteousness on the one hand and licentiousness on the other; it is to be enabled to assert the absolute freeness of sovereign grace, and, at the same time, the sacred interests of true holiness. Without an experimental knowledge of and an unfeigned faith in the law and the gospel, a man can neither venerate the authority of the one nor esteem the grace of the other.

The law and the gospel are the principal parts of divine revelation; or rather they are the centre, sum, and substance of all the other parts of it. Every passage of sacred Scripture is either law or gospel, or is capable of being referred either to the one or to the other. Even the histories of the Old and New Testaments, as far as the agency of man is introduced, are but narratives of facts done in conformity or in opposition to the moral law, and done in the belief or disbelief of the gospel. The ordinances of the ceremonial law, given to the ancient Israelites, were, for the most part, grafted on the second and fourth commandments of the moral law; and in their typical reference they were an obscure revelation of the gospel. The precepts of the judicial law are all reducible to commandments of the moral law, and especially to those of the second table. All threatenings, whether in the Old or New Testament, are threatenings either of the law or the gospel; and every promise is a promise either of the one or the other. Every prophecy of Scripture is a declaration of things obscure or future, connected either with the law or the gospel, or with both. And there is not in the Sacred Volume one admonition, reproof, or exhortation but what refers either to the law or the gospel or both. If then a man cannot distinguish aright between the law and the gospel, he cannot rightly understand so much as a single article of divine truth. If he does not have spiritual and just apprehensions of the holy law, he cannot have spiritual and transforming discoveries of the glorious gospel; and, on the other hand, if his view of the gospel is erroneous, his notions of the law cannot be right.

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Octavius Winslow – Christ’s Sympathy to Weary Pilgrims

A Boundless Fathomless Ocean

Eternal love moved the heart of Jesus to relinquish heaven for earth — a diadem for a cross — the robe of divine majesty for the garment of our nature; by taking upon Himself the leprosy of our sin. Oh, the infinite love of Christ! What a boundless, fathomless ocean! Ask the ransomed of the Lord, whose chains He has dissolved, whose dungeon He has opened, whose liberty He has conferred, if there ever was love like His!

What shall we say of the ransom price? It was the richest, the costliest, that Heaven could give. He gave Himself for us! What more could He do? He gave Himself; body, soul and spirit. He gave His time, His labor, His blood, His life, His ALL, as the price for our ransom, the cost of our redemption. He carried the wood and reared the altar. Then, bearing His bosom to the stroke of the uplifted and descending arm of the Father, paid the price of our salvation in the warm lifeblood of His heart!

What a boundless, fathomless ocean! How is it that we feel the force and exemplify the practical influence of this amazing, all commanding truth so faintly? Oh, the desperate depravity of our nature! Oh, the deep iniquity of our iniquitous hearts! Will not the blood drops of Jesus move us? Will not the agonies of the cross influence us? Will not His dying love constrain us to a more heavenly life?

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Michael Boling – Thoughts from the Theocratic Kingdom (Vol. 2): Proposition 160

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In Proposition 160, George Peters states:

“This Kingdom is set up in the divided state of the Roman Empire.”

In this proposition, Peters suggests that the Theocratic-Kingdom will be set up during the period of a revived Roman Empire. I have heard such a suggestion before, in particular the teaching that a revived Roman Empire will arise in the last days. Such a suggestion is based on what is stated in Daniel 7 which Peters addresses in a bit more detail in the below observation.

The most notable observation Peters presents in Proposition 160 is the following:

“Without repeating the reasoning elsewhere given, it is sufficient to say that this Kingdom, according to Daniel 7, is received by the Son of man after the Fourth Beast or Roman Empire is divided; after the rise of the ten horns and little horn, and at the very time that the judgments of God are to be poured out upon the divided Empire. The First Advent took place when the Empire was consolidated, the Second will occur when it is divided into its ten-toed form; for the smiting is upon the feet of the image, the reception and inheriting of the Kingdom is after the saints have long suffered from the arrogance, etc., of the powers arising out of this Empire, and these powers are to meet an awful infliction of tribulation.”

The passage in Daniel 7, for those perhaps not familiar with this reference, is Daniel’s dream of four beasts. The portion of that passage that addresses the fourth beast states,

“After that, in my vision at night I looked, and there before me was a fourth beast — terrifying and frightening and very powerful. It had large iron teeth; it crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left. It was different from all the former beasts, and it had ten horns.

“While I was thinking about the horns, there before me was another horn, a little one, which came up among them; and three of the first horns were uprooted before it. This horn had eyes like the eyes of a human being and a mouth that spoke boastfully.”

The typical explanation of the Fourth Beast is that it is/was the Roman Empire. Thus, if applied to future prophecy, this Beast must then represent a revived Roman Empire. Peters follows the line or reasoning that since the Roman Empire was in power during the First Advent, as the final Beast in Daniel’s dream, a revived version must then be in place at the Second Advent. Analyzing such a prophecy is far beyond my area of expertise and I repeatedly note varying opinions by astute theologians on exactly what Daniel is describing. I will leave my comments with I suppose it is possible. Exactly how such an empire will revive itself and what that looks like remains of course to be seen. The most popular explanation using current events is the European Union. Again, we shall see is my response.

Joseph Dear – Logical Fallacies (Part 1): The Non Sequitur

The Importance of Logically Valid Arguments

In all sorts of debates, well beyond just those on the nature of hell, having good logic, having sound reasoning, is essential to being correct. Sometimes logic is panned as being too “Greek” or too “Western” to apply to the Bible. But we aren’t talking about specific forms of arguing or classical rhetorical methods or standards that do indeed vary from culture to culture and era to era. We are talking about simple objective truth. Whether we think in a linear or non linear manner, or whether we use three-part syllogisms or multiple, unlabeled ideas spread throughout a paragraph, there is a point where something is either true or it isn’t. God either exists or he doesn’t. Either A equals B or it doesn’t.

No matter how much or how little we formalize it, and no matter how many or how few technical terms we use, we use logic every day. The same was true of the Hebrews in the Old Testament, and of the apostles, and even of Jesus. Any time you make any type of persuasive argument, you employ logic.

And where there is logic, there can be bad logic.

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Dr. Mark Bird – The Divinity of Jesus Revealed in the New Testament

Abstract

In this article, I will go through the books or sections of the New Testament noting different times that Jesus is revealed as God. Though this is not an exhaustive list, I have identified more than 150 verses or passages that express the divinity of Jesus in some way. Some of the verses taken by themselves are not absolute proof of his divinity, but when viewed along with the many other passages on the subject, they strengthen the case for the deity of Christ.

Jesus is either claiming to be God, accepting or demanding worship, claiming to possess attributes that only God can possess, claiming to do things that only God can do (and then doing miracles to prove it), or others are making these claims about Jesus.

Keywords: Jesus, God, divinity, verses, New Testament, passages, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John

The Synoptic Gospels

In the synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke), I referenced only the first time an event occurred or a saying was made.

Jesus Is Called “God with Us”

His name is to be called Emmanuel, which means “God with us” (Matthew 1:23). “Emmanuel” describes the concept of the incarnation — God becoming man. Jesus being called “God with us” is consistent with John 1, which refers to Jesus as the Word who was with God, and who was God, and who became flesh (John 1:1, 14).

To continue reading Dr. Bird’s article, click here.

Michael Boling – Thoughts from the Theocratic Kingdom (Vol. 2): Proposition 159

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In Proposition 159, George Peters states:

“This Theocratic Kingdom of the Lord Jesus, the Christ, will never come to an end.”

What a comfort for the believer to have confidence in the reality that the Kingdom of our Lord will never end. The sheer finality of the end to evil and the enemies of God and the believer provides us with a great hope in this life. Despite the seeming triumph of evil over the righteous in this age, as believers, we know this current construct of sin, death, and decay will come to an end and replaced with the Theocratic Kingdom and a new heavens and a new earth. Evil will never again rise up to try and usurp the throne of the King. Come quickly Lord!

The most notable observation Peters presents in Proposition 159 is the following:

“While the words “eternal,” “everlasting,” “forever,” are sometimes employed to denote limited duration (i.e. duration adapted to the nature of the thing of which it is affirmed), yet such words applied to the Kingdom of Jesus Christ cannot be thus restricted, because an unending duration intended by them is stated in explanatory phraseology (as e.g. Luke 1:32 “of His Kingdom there shall be no end,” etc.). The thousand years are specifically mentioned as the period of Satan’s binding and of the time existing between the two resurrections, and of this era it is also asserted that Christ and His saints reign. the declaration of their reigning during this period does not limit the reign of it, but is added to indicate that the reign is already commenced and extends through this Millenary age. Jesus is not merely the king of “an age” but of “the ages” (1 Tim. 1:17 Greek), and His Kingdom is united, not merely to “an age,” but to “the age of ages” or “eternal ages,” thus indicating its extension onward through the vast succession of time in unending series. Hence the perpetuity of the Kingdom is freely declared in 2 Sam. 7:16; Heb. 1:8; Luke 1:32-33; Rev. 11:15; Is. 9:7; 2 Pet. 1:11, etc., and this is explained, Dan. 2:44, to be “a Kingdom that shall never be destroyed,” and in Dan. 7:14,” His dominion is an everlasting dominion which shall not pass away, and His Kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.” Indeed, so expressive are these and kindred passages that even thsoe who advocate a transfer of the Kingdom to the Father and some kind of an ending of the Kingdom, are still forced, by their weight and concurrence, unhesitatingly to acknowledge, in some form (as Barnes, etc.) “the perpetuity of Christ’s Kingdom and His eternal reign.” Hence this reign, beginning at the Millennial era, is not terminated by the close of the thousand years. The idea of the perpetuity of Christ’s reign was so generally diffused in the early Church, that we even find it in the Sibylline Oracles (B. 3) “the Holy King of all the earth shall come, who shall wield the sceptre during all the ages of swiftly moving time,” etc.”

The sheer volume of the biblical message regarding the eternality of the coming Kingdom is such that it is impossible to find any traction upon which to pose even the smallest argument against it. As Peters aptly notes, words such as eternal, everlasting, and forever can at times have a limited timeframe attached to them. Descriptions related to the Theocratic Kingdom do not have any element or sense of a limited duration. When Scripture says something will never end, well quite frankly it will never end. No ifs, ands, or buts about it as they say. As I noted above, this provides a great deal of confidence to the believer. Evil will be dealt an eternal blow. No longer will evil try and rear its ugly head. The King of King and Lord of Lords will reign forever. It sends goosebumps up my arms just thinking about that day!

Mike Ratliff – The Doctrine of Original Sin and the Wrath of God

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. John 1:1-5 (NKJV)

Those who have a problem with the Doctrine of Original Sin and the Wrath of God against all sin attempt to paint the God of Reformation Theology as some sort of ogre full of anger with very little love manifest except in the case of a chosen few. In their examples of how God operates in saving people, sin is never the issue. They portray God as loving everyone to the maximum and even if their sin amounted open rebellion against Him on their part. In their theology He just looks the other way and attempts to save everyone, but the point of contention is that the God in their example is unable to save anyone. The salvation of people is only made a possibility with those actually being saved being those who hear the Gospel and respond by exercising their sovereign Free Will. On the other hand, the God of the Bible is not anything like this. He is Sovereign. He saves those whom He has elected or chosen unto eternal life. No one limits Him in any way. Man’s will is in no way a barrier to God fulfilling His Will. From these two vastly different understandings of theology comes two very different understandings of sin. Let’s look at a biblical view of sin and I invite you to compare your own understanding of it to what we unpack here. If your’s is different, I suggest to you that the Bible is not in error.

To continue reading Mike Ratliff’s article, click here.

Horatius Bonar – The Blood of the Cross

The precious blood of Christ, as of a Lamb without blemish and without spot.” 1 Peter 1:19

Preface

That blood has been shed upon the earth, and that this blood was no other than the “blood of God” (Acts 20:28), all admit who own the Bible. But admitting this, the question arises, how far is each one of us implicated in this blood shedding? Does not God take for granted that we are guilty? Nay further, that this guilt is the heaviest that can weigh a sinner down?

If so, then is it not a question for the saint, how far have I understood and confessed my participation in this guilt incurred by my long rejection of the slain One? How far have I learned to prize that blood, which, though once my accuser, is now my advocate? How far am I now seeing and rejoicing in the complete substitution of life for life — the divine life for the human — which that bloodshedding implies?

Is it not also a serious question for the ungodly, is this blood shedding really and legally chargeable against me? Is God serious in saying that He means to reckon with me for this? Is this blood at this present hour resting over me as a cloud of wrath ready to burst upon my head as soon as my day of grace runs out? Is it on account of my treatment of this blood that I am to be dealt with at the seat of judgment? Is my eternity really to hinge on this?

To continue reading Horatius Bonar’s booklet, click here.