Michael Boling – Thoughts from The Theocratic Kingdom: Proposition 9

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In Proposition 9, George Peters states:

“The nature of, and the things pertaining to the kingdom, can only be ascertained within the limits of Scripture.”

This proposition is intimately connected with proposition 5 in which Peters declared that the doctrine of the kingdom is based on the inspiration of the Word of God. Thus, since Scripture is the inspired Word of God, it then goes to say that in order to grasp the nature of and truths of anything related to the doctrine of the kingdom, one must go to Scripture. Certainly there are a number of godly individuals throughout history who have penned valuable words regarding this doctrine. With that said, the root of what we determine as truth regarding the kingdom must be found in Scripture and Scripture alone. It is the gold standard if you will by which we understand this issue, especially since Peters has already noted the various other doctrines which the doctrine of the kingdom is connected at the proverbial hip.

The most notable observation Peters presents in Proposition 9 is the following:

“All believers admit that in the study of the Scriptures there must be, to secure success, a reverent, prayerful spirit maintained, a reliance upon the Divine guidance into truth. There must be a moral preparation (John 8:47) to appreciate their force and beauty (Ps. 119: 12, 18). Such a direction, although given by God Himself (James 1:5, Luke 11:13, etc.), loses some of its weight in the estimation of unbelief, since parties the most antagonistic in doctrine and practice profusely profess to have poured forth earnest prayer, and to have been guided b the Spirit in their expositions. A modest student, and one too who really prays and is morally aided, will scarcely set up such a standard, or refer to Him in such a connection. Prayerful study of the Scriptures will evidence itself, not in profession, but in fruits. It, too, will be found that error may be conjoined with even fervent prayer, if the Bible is neglected, if the simplest rules are rejected for ascertaining its meaning, if the grammatical sense is violated, if reason is not properly used, if intellectual activity is not combined with faith, and if the formulas of men are substituted for the Word. Prayer is a help, but not so directly that we need not search for the truth. So also mistake may be connected with the assumed guidance of the Spirit; for it a man expects “direct spiritual illumination” or an “intellectual light” by which he can know the truth without an acceptance and patient study of that which the Spirit has already given, he only shows that he is self-deceived. Prayer and the Spirit indeed are of great avail in their moral bearing, in preparing us for the perception and reception of the truth, but they are not given to supersede the searching of the Scriptures (John 5:39), the reasoning out of the Scriptures of God (Hebrews 5:14), the taking heed unto the Word given (2 Peter 1:19), the daily receiving and study of Holy Writ (Acts 17:11). Indeed the fact of our dependence upon the Spirit to enlighten us and enable us to savingly appropriate truth, to trust and to rejoice in it, does not allow us to neglect the means of enlightenment which He has already furnished in the presented Word. It forbids a passivity of our mental faculties, and enjoins upon the man of God, in order “to be perfect, thoroughly furnished,” to let both mind and heart receive “all scripture,” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).”

In other words, grasping the truth of Scripture does not come about by osmosis or simply praying that God will teach us truth without ever cracking open the Bible. It just does not work that way. We are commanded to love the Lord our God with heart, soul, mind, and strength. Peters is not saying prayer is to be disregarded nor is he saying that studying is to be disregarded. Both are essential and required to be a workman that needs not be ashamed. I greatly appreciate Peters statement that a sound approach to engaging Scripture “forbids a passivity of our mental faculties”. We are to engage our brains and to be on our knees. Be careful to not avoid either activity.

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Michael Boling – Thoughts from The Theocratic Kingdom: Proposition 6

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In Proposition 6, George Peters states:

“The kingdom of heaven is intimately connected with the supernatural.”

This is yet another simple yet profoundly important statement. While the kingdom as previously noted by Peters has as its location earth, it is also supernatural. It is supernatural because of something Peters also noted earlier, namely that the kingdom is an act of God and takes place according to His divine will. Man cannot through his combined efforts create a kingdom of perfect peace, love, and harmony in the presence of God. It takes a supernatural act on the part of God for this kingdom to be established.

The most notable observation Peters presents in Proposition 3 is the following:

“The Word begins with the supernatural (the presence of God) and the natural in harmony. It shows how an antagonism was produced, causing the withdrawal of the supernatural from the sight of man, and yet how in mercy it at times exhibited itself to man, in and through and for man, especially in giving revelations of its will. It even condescends, in order to secure redemption, to veil itself in humanity and manifest the fact by suitable demonstrations. It indicates its presence by fulfillment of predictions and promises, by the conversion of men, by the existence of the Church, by the consciousness of man excited in contact with truth and providence. It will, in a still more striking and direct way, exhibit itself in the future, after all the preliminary preparations are made, in order to fulfil the remainder of Holy Writ. Now the kingdom being designed to restore and manifest the original concord once existing between the natural and supernatural, the Bible closes with that kingdom in such accordance. Without the supernatural the kingdom cannot be produced, for it requires, as predicted, a supernatural king, who has been provided in a supernatural manner, and rulers who have experienced a supernatural transforming power. Even in its conception and the preparatory measures, as well as in its final manifestation, is it indissolubly bound with the Divine. Death, which is to be destroyed in it, tears, which are to be wiped away in it, nature which is to be fashioned anew in it, these, as well as a multitude of other promises, can never be realized without the attending supernatural. The kingdom and the supernatural cannot possibly be dissevered. The inception of it arises from the supernatural, and under the guidance of the same, consistently with human freedom, not only revelations are given, manifestations of its reality are vouchsafed, exhibitions of its power are foreshown, but that all these are mere shadowings, foretastes of a living, vital relationship, now invisibly maintained, which shall ultimately be visibly shown in the kingdom itself by affinity no longer concealed, owing to the mediumship of a glorified humanity, which serves as the connecting link between the visible and the invisible. The supernatural is held in abeyance as to its outward manifestation until the time arrives for the restoration of the forfeited blessing, the personal dwelling of God with man, which will be experienced in this kingdom. When Jesus, of supernatural origin and glorified by supernatural power, shall come the second time unto salvation, His supernatural power, be exerted in behalf of this kingdom in the most astounding manner. Holy Writ constantly appeals to this union, and no scriptural conception of it can be obtained without conceding this fact.”

In a nutshell, Peters is describing the promise of redemption and restoration, the return to the Garden. Because of sin (the antagonism Peters mentioned), we were removed from the Garden. This is why we needed a Redeemer, one who would come to satisfy the penalty for that sin and who will come again to take his bride to the place he has prepared for her – the kingdom supernaturally restored. Maranatha!

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Michael Boling – Thoughts from The Theocratic Kingdom: Proposition 4

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In Proposition 4, George Peters states:

“The literal, grammatical interpretation of the Scriptures must (connected with the figurative, tropical, or rhetorical) be observed in order to obtain a correct understanding of this kingdom.”

With this proposition, Peters begins to define some specifics of how he believes one should approve the topic of the kingdom as outlined in Scripture. He specifically notes the importance of a literal grammatical interpretation; however, he does not reject other means of interpretation as being relevant to the conversation.

The most notable observation Peters presents in Proposition 4 is the following:

All believers ask for the aid of the Spirit in understanding the Scriptures, but this aid or enlightenment is not outside of the scriptural truth, but of it. Faith, in its influence upon the heart, qualifies the believer to appreciate the Word; for its truths can only be properly estimated by him who practically receives them and experiences their power in heart and life. The higher our experience of God’s promises, the more we are enabled to understand Holy Writ containing them. The Author of the Scriptures is the Spirit: we honor Him by asking His assistance to comprehend them, and such honor and reliance is only properly exhibited by a personal study of them. Human helps are valuable, and the Spirit will certainly (as experience testifies) use them in impressing the truth, provided the chief reliance is placed on the Scriptures themselves as given by Him and the moral enlightenment resulting from their reception. This distinguishes a mere student from a believer, for a man may be learned and able, and yet utterly fail to receive the truth as intended (thus failing in his apprehension), while an unlearned believer, cordially accepting and appropriating personally the Scriptures, experiences their power in his own heart and life. (“If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God,” John 7:17); but both combined, learning and religious experience, elevates the man to the highest plane.”

What a salient reminder of what our approach to Scripture should be all about. I have noted on occasion the overdependent approach we have when it comes to commentaries or the urge to rush off to find out what our favorite author says about a subject. Peters rightly encourages the reader to let the Holy Spirit speak when we engage Scripture. This is not to say that the thoughts of our favorite author or theologian are of no assistance or importance. What this is saying is one who truly wants to dive into Scripture will have a focus on a personal study of Scripture, using appropriate tools when necessary (i.e. dictionaries, commentaries, etc.), but focusing mostly on letting God speak to us through His Word without all the “outside noise” if you will. When it comes to a subject such as the kingdom, the proper definition and application must come from the pages of Scripture rather than the machinations or opinions of man.

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Michael Boling – Thoughts from The Theocratic Kingdom: Proposition 2

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In Proposition 2, George Peters states, “The establishment of this kingdom was determined before, and designed and prepared from, the foundation of the world.”

Such a declaration is supported by passages such as John 17:24, Hebrews 4:3, 1 Peter 1:20, Revelation 13:8, Ephesians 1:4, and most notably Matthew 25:34 which speaks specifically about “the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world”.

The most notable observation Peters presents in Proposition 2 is the following:

“This kingdom is one pertaining to the earth. Before the creation of the world, it only existed in the determination or purpose of God, but at creation the very foundation of the world was laid in preparation for it. We know that the expression “inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world,” is interpreted by many simply to mean, prepared for you from the beginning or from eternity, and refers only to purpose. But taking into consideration the paradisaical condition of the earth at creation and the fact (Props. 140-148) of its future restoration to the same when the kingdom is to be established, we believe that the phrase embraces a far deeper significance, viz., its relationship to the earth. “From the foundation of the world” is indicative that God purposed this very earth, when founded, for this kingdom.”

There is much to note regarding this observation. The main thrust is the kingdom is not some ethereal concept where one day we will be floating up in the heavens on a cloud playing a harp. Man was created by God to inhabit the earth, to have dominion over creation. The fall certainly impacted that dominion mandate as well as introducing other factors such as death and decay. However, the future state promised by God is a return to the Garden, the restoration and eternal existence in the Kingdom, a place where God once again dwells with His creation.

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Michael Boling – Thoughts from The Theocratic Kingdom: Proposition 1

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A large goal of mine this year is to read through the three volume set by George Peters titled The Theocratic Kingdom. As I begin to dig into this massive and important work, I plan on sharing some thoughts along the way, sometimes my own musings on what I have read and other times direct quotes from Peters.

The first proposition presented by Peters is the following:

“The kingdom of God is a subject of vital importance.”

It is hard to argue with that statement. In support of his assertion, Peters identifies eight observations. I would like to share one observation in particular that I found to be helpful.

“When surveying the vast array of facts and events, some the greatest that the world has ever witnessed, all pointing to this kingdom as a contemplated end; when looking at the same as they occur and exist today, preparatory to the kingdom; and then contemplating the host of remarkable, astounding events predicted to come to pass in connection with the kingdom still future, surely this forms a subject worthy, beyond all others, of the earnest, devout and patient study of every student of the world’s eventful and, without this key, perplexing history. The kingdom embraces so much, both in preparation and in actual realization, that, in view of its extent, the doctrine exceeds all others in magnitude, enfolding in itself nearly all doctrine.”

Peters makes some rather bold and overarching statements in this proposition. I am interested in reading further to discover his support of this underlying assertion, namely that the doctrine of the kingdom supersedes all other doctrine. I personally see the kingdom as clearly hugely important and accept that it does intertwine as do many fundamental doctrines of theology with so many other biblical realities. Determining a preeminence for the doctrine of the kingdom over all others seems to be the task Peters has set out to demonstrate.

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Michael Boling – Thoughts from The Theocratic Kingdom: Proposition 14

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In Proposition 14, George Peters states:

“Some things pertaining to the kingdom not so easily comprehended as many suppose.”

Once again it seems somethings just never change. Apparently back in 1884, Peters noted something that still happens today, namely the attempt by many to claim they have discovered all aspects of this mystery. Based on the reality presented in some of his previous propositions, we have to humbly admit we may not be as clever as we have often claimed, especially when it comes to making the declaration that we have this whole kingdom principle issue figured out. There is nothing wrong with admitting there still remains a mystery. In fact, such humility demonstrates that we are submitting to the leading of the Holy Spirit and God’s perfect timing in which He desires to make these truths known. There is purpose behind the mystery and it would behoove us to remain patient and watchful as God unfolds the details as He sees fit.

The most notable observation Peters presents in Proposition 14 is the following:

“Avoiding, on the one hand, the opinion of the Romish Church that the Scriptures are so unintelligible, so obscure that they need the interpretation of the Church, of Councils, of the Fathers, or of the Pope; and, on the other hand, the view of some Protestant divines, and others, that all things are clear and intelligible to him who is in the Spirit – it is best to preserve the due medium, that whilst many things are plainly stated, yet others, for the reasons given, can only be ascertained by laborious research, or, as some old writers have quaintly observed, by “digging for hid treasures.” The Kingdom, forming the subject matter of a large portion of the Bible, cannot be correctly apprehended in its totality without the student passing over all the different sacred writers have to say concerning it.”

For those not familiar with the term “Romish Church”, Peters is referring to the Roman Catholic Church. It is interesting that Peters states that the Protestant Church has a tendency to take the opposite extreme approach as the Roman Catholics, purporting that since the Holy Spirit resides within the believer, that means all aspects of Scripture are crystal clear. While certainly a function of the Holy Spirit is to reveal the truth of Scripture to the believer, this does not mean there is some sort of “Rosetta Stone” if you will provided that unlocks all of the mysteries of the Bible. If that were true, why are they called mysteries? As Peters noted, there is a more proper middle ground to take and it involves work. I appreciate the quaint saying, “digging for hid treasures”. It reminds me of the parable of the Parable of the Hidden Treasure (Matthew 13:44-46). The treasure of the kingdom is such that when found, regardless of whether it is a small part of truth we have encountered or whether God has revealed a larger part of His divine plan to His people, we will recognize the value of this treasure and will then go all in to grasp its truth as revealed in Scripture.

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Michael Boling – Thoughts from The Theocratic Kingdom: Proposition 13

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In Proposition 13, George Peters states:

“Some things pertaining to the kingdom, intentionally revealed somewhat obscurely.”

Peters again builds on what he has been stating over the past couple of propositions, here noting that not all things have been revealed regarding the kingdom. Even that which has been revealed through Scripture, while certainly presented in Holy Writ, remains yet to be fulfilled and thus there is an element of mystery that surrounds those future events. The unfolding of God’s divine plan will take place and what He desires to unveil from obscurity to clarity will be in keeping with His grand purposes. It is our continuous duty to study and to be observant, allowing Scripture to speak when God desires it to speak, and to not insert personal opinion or unfounded presuppositions in an attempt to unravel the mysteries by our own accord.

The most notable observation Peters presents in Proposition 13 is the following:

“In answer to the question, frequently asked, why the revelations respecting the Messiah’s Kingdom were at first so obscure, were so gradually unfolded, and that some things, to be fully understood, require additional light, it has been said, that God makes long and secret preparations for important events; that He adapts His revelations to the necessities and circumstances of particular times, etc. Reflection will teach us an additional reason, viz.: that the depravity of man, exhibited in the pursuit of selfishness, would, hitherto, have rejected a plainer revelation, or else would have made it the basis of a continuous cruel persecution. If everything relating to the Kingdom would have been clearly revealed, in a systematic order, we are confident that such would have been the hatred of earthly kingdoms toward it, that no believer in it would have been safe, and, in consequence, the work of gathering out the elect would have been seriously impeded. The existence of Gentile domination, especially the hostile and jealous Roman power, prevented (as we shall show in the proper place) a plainer statement of various particulars, lest it should unnecessarily excite unremitting persecution. This Kingdom will be better understood as the Primitive view is revived; its nature and the things pertaining to it will be better comprehended as the Scriptures are compared; and the result will be, as prophecy teaches us (e.g. Rev. 19, etc.), that the kings and the mighty of the earth will be arrayed against is re-establishment. God, foreseeing this antagonism as directed by “the god of this world”, does not unnecessarily excite it by a premature disclosure of all things, but gives us the truth in detached portions, some of it veiled under prophecy, others under symbolical language, etc., so that His preparations, patiently conducted, may go on to a successful completion, and the Kingdom be suddenly – unexpectedly to many – manifested. The history of the world in its rejection of the truth, is evidence to justify such a conclusion.”

There is a lot that Peters says here, but it can be condensed into the reality that God reveals to His people what He desires to reveal in accordance with His perfect timing. I appreciate his reference to the “Primitive view” being revived. One may wonder what that type of view describes. I believe he is referencing a return to understanding Scripture within the proper framework, devoid of the multitude of layers of man-made systems and philosophies that have negatively influenced how we approach and understand Scripture. Furthermore, given the movement towards the re-establishment of the Kingdom is truly a return to the beginning, namely that which was lost due to sin, it behooves us to take that Primitive view by building our foundational understanding of the doctrine of the Kingdom from the formative pages of Scripture, following the patterns and principles as they transform from a seed of truth into the blossoming tree that will be present to observe when all the mysteries are finally revealed by God.

There is such a desire to be the first to unpack all the mysteries. This is evidenced by the sheer number of prophecy books on the market that claim to have “the” handle on tying together current events, purporting to demonstrate how the author has figured out what will happen in the time of the end. Sheer guesswork and speculation for the most part. Let us instead of running to such works, instead root our perspective in Scripture, allowing God to reveal to us as He sees fit what will transpire, being ever diligent to remain faithful students and to be watchful of the times in which we live. After all, that is what God commanded us to do. We are to be out and about doing the business of the Kingdom, watching and waiting for the day when the King returns. May He find us faithful.

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Michael Boling – Thoughts from The Theocratic Kingdom: Proposition 12

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In Proposition 12, George Peters states:

“There is some mystery yet connected with the things of the kingdom.”

This proposition was alluded to in our discussion of proposition 11. It is a fact that not all things in God’s divine plan have taken place. Thus, there are still some mysteries associated with the doctrine of the kingdom and its complete establishment that yet remain to unfold. I think it bears repeating a passage shared yesterday, namely 1 Corinthians 13:12 – “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.” At this point in history, many believe (and I submit rightly so) that we are nearing the end which would mean that we are closer to the final outworking of God’s divine plan than what was taking place in the time of Abraham or even during the life of Paul. Even so, much remains to take place and that which is yet in the future, while spoken of in Scripture, is in some part still a mystery until it actually unfolds. Such a proposition seems to be a matter of sense; however, it still needs to be stated and considered as I humbly submit that often the most elementary statements are the first to be overlooked in such a study.

The most notable observation Peters presents in Proposition 12 is the following:

“The doctrine of the Kingdom thus containing mysteries, confirms the position taken, that to its proper understanding, we must apply to the Scriptures, and seek within its limits for the things appertaining to it, Props. 9, and 10.”

If you are just joining this study or perhaps have forgotten the statements made in Propositions 9 and 10, they were as follows:

Proposition 9 – “The nature of, and the things pertaining to the kingdom, can only be ascertained within the limits of Scripture.”

Proposition 10 – “This kingdom should be studied in the light of the Holy Scriptures, and not merely in that of creeds, confessions, formulas of doctrine, etc.”

It is vital that Peters once again establishes the parameters by which the mystery of the kingdom, either past, present, or future should be approached and understood. Anything related to the kingdom or understanding the nature of the kingdom must be grasped first and foremost from within the pages of Scripture. They very word mystery has a tendency to lead some down strange paths, most notably into New Age doctrines of devils. In an attempt to parse or flesh out the mysteries, some have looked to the mystery religions, at times knowingly and other times unknowingly. Unfortunately, even a cursory look at the local bookstore and even the Christian bookstore reveals this tendency to integrate a New Age mantra into the search for the mystery of the kingdom. This type of approach must be avoided at all costs. Truth is found in Scripture through the leading of the Holy Spirit. All the words of man regardless of how much an heirloom or part of church history they may be must be compared to the truth of Scripture. What is found wanting must be jettisoned immediately. God will reveal the mysteries of the kingdom in His due time to His people. There is no need to try and jump the gun by trying to ascertain the mysteries of the universe through man made dogma or doctrines that more often than not lead away from the truth of Scripture and thus down the path to destruction. Harsh and pointed words? Quite but necessary to state nonetheless.

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Michael Boling – Thoughts from The Theocratic Kingdom: Proposition 10

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In Proposition 10, George Peters states:

“This kingdom should be studied in the light of the Holy Scriptures, and not merely in that of creeds, confessions, formulas of doctrine, etc.”

This is giant pet peeve of mine as there is a great tendency, most notably among theological academics but also displayed among bloggers, pastors, authors, and the average to come dangerously close to elevating creeds, confessions, and theological systems to the level of Scripture. The dogma and thus the lens through which many understand and approach Scripture is not based on Scripture itself, but rather the musings and opinions of man.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not discounting the value of confessional statements as they are quite helpful in codifying foundational beliefs. I have studied them in great detail in Bible College and Seminary, read and reviewed a plethora of books on them, and have referred to their content on more than one occasion. With that said, if one is looking to these confessions and creeds as gospel, then they are grossly misusing such things. We do not believe for example that sin is a vast and pervasive problem for which the only solution is the cross because some confession declares it to be so. We believe such a truth because Scripture declares it to be true. A confession, if biblically valid will essentially reiterate without alteration what God already declared to be true through His Word. This is true of any biblical doctrine and thus as noted by Peters is true of the doctrine of the kingdom.

The most notable observation Peters presents in Proposition 10 is the following:

“This Proposition in its definite statement is the more needed, since at the present day multitudes find themselves so fettered by an undue reverence for human authority, as presented in and through the church, that it is scarcely possible to get them to consider any subject in its true scriptural aspect. We have no sympathy with the men who could, if they were able, destroy the memorials of the church’s view and struggles. The creeds, confessions, formulas of doctrine, systems of divinity, theological writings of the past, however some may be one-sided, prolix, etc., are precious heirlooms, giving us a dogmatical or systematic form the opinions of noble men, in different epochs, entertained respecting the truth. They, too, subserved a great and glorious purpose in holding up Christ and the essentials in Him, in opposing great error, and in resisting the torrent of unbelief. Admitting that the necessities of our spiritual nature, the thirst after truth, the deep feeling caused by the realities of Revelation, the impressive ideas evolved and suggested by contact with the truth, the earnest desire to extend and bulwarks and barriers; – while receiving them with gratitude and acknowledging our indebtedness to them, yet we cannot, for a moment, give them the authority of God’s Word. They, too, the workmanship of man, must bow to the supremacy of Holy Writ, as, in nearly every instance, the framers thereof intended and declared by appeals to the Bible, indicating it to be the sole, paramount rule of faith.”

Peters wrote his treatise in 1884 so it seems the temptation to improperly elevate the creeds and theological systems in his day was as rampant as it is today. I would submit to some degree the urge is even greater today. A very important reminder is provided by Peters in this observation and that it regardless of how much of an heirloom a creed or theological system may be, it must be subservient to Scripture. The Bereans did not go search out the writings of the rabbinical schools to determine if what Paul said was true. They searched the Scriptures. May those who claim to be of the Berean tradition follow their lead. As we study this doctrine of the kingdom, may the driving force be God’s Word over and above any opinion of man.

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Michael Boling – Thoughts from The Theocratic Kingdom: Proposition 8

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In Proposition 8, George Peters states:

“The doctrine of the kingdom presupposes that of sin, the apostasy of man.”

Peters alluded to this proposition earlier, specifically with his statement of man rejecting God as Creator which is of course due to sin. Furthermore, a future restoration of something, in this case the kingdom, requires that something is amiss in the first place. A return to the Garden also implies a departure from the Garden. That departure took place because of sin and the return to the Garden and the establishment of the kingdom when our Lord returns will result in sin being dealt an eternal blow. Also of importance regarding this proposition is the fact that Jesus is our Redeemer. If there were no sin, there would be no need for redemption, either physical or spiritual in nature. It is because of sin that God’s mercy and grace through His divine plan of redemption has been and is being carried out to perfection. Those who embrace the kingdom will find life. Those who reject the kingdom will find death.

The most notable observation Peters presents in Proposition 8 is the following:

“It is needless to discuss the difficult problem of sin; the fact of its presence and power is amply sufficient. It is a fundamental fact, and the superstructure of the Bible is in a measure reared upon it; for the Bible is a revelation of God’s plan to save man from his fallen condition. The kingdom in its conception, preparation, and ultimate establishment implies, and constantly keeps in view, a recovery from sin and its resultant evil. The kingdom originates in God’s merciful desire to deliver us from the reign and power of sin; to bring us back into a state of entire restitution and perfect salvation. It is the manifestation of such salvation, in which man’s will shall be in accord with God’s, and in which unspeakable blessedness, flowing from such a restoration, shall be realized. It has for its chief ruler a Savior who saves from sin, and for its associated rulers and subjects those who are redeemed from sin. It is a kingdom which in its preparatory measures calls for repentance from sin (Matt. 3:1), conversion from sin (Matt. 18:3), self-denial of sin (Mark 9:47), perseverance against sin (Luke 9:62), and most emphatically refuses admittance into the kingdom of those who indulge in sin (1 Cor. 6:9-10). The scheme of redemption is founded upon the principle annunicated by Jesus: “They that are whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.” The disease, as well as the physician and remedy, must be kept in view in order to appreciate the provision made for us.”

I think that final statement is vastly important. In order to understand this idea of the kingdom and what it will bring, we need to understand the sickness that we all suffer from – that of sin. Because of this disease, we need healing and that healing can only come from a supernatural restoration through the Redeemer. There is no physical means by which man can affect a renewed state devoid of sin. It is only by God’s mercy and grace through the cross that entire restitution can be achieved. Lose sight of that fact and the overarching message of the gospel is lost. Remain focused on that fact and you will have a firm grasp on what the gospel is all about.

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