In Proposition 142, George Peters states:
“The Kingdom being related to the earth (extending over it), and involving the res. of the saints (in order to inherit it), is sustained by the promise to the saints of their inheriting the earth.”
Peters begins to tie several previous assertions together in this proposition, noting that if a series of statements is true (which the previous propositions have been determined to be so), then a particular something sustains the saints inheriting the earth. This something is the covenanted promises made by God to His people throughout Scripture. Essentially, these covenant promises are God’s way of telling His people they can rest assured that what He says will take place will take place in the manner declared in those promises. When it comes to the Theocratic-David Kingdom, it will indeed be established on a renewed earth with the saints enjoying its fruits.
The most notable observation Peters presents in Proposition 142 is the following:
“This doctrine teaches us how to regard the various theories of inheritance, such as the third heaven idea, the central universe notion, the metaphysical heaven (of Good’s, etc.), which gives no place of existence, the spiritualist’s visible unfolding of the invisible, “the Sun our Heaven” (so Mortimore, Wittie, etc.), and the infidel’s no future inheritance. By overlooking the plainest promises and oath-bound covenants, or by spiritualizing them, men manufacture inheritances of their own. No matter that the inheriting of the earth was a favorite Jewish doctrine based on the Messianic prophecies and the predicted supremacy; when Jesus uttered this promise it must be modernized and accommodated to the supposed advanced theological opinions of this age, molded by the influence of some favorite philosophy. No matter that the Patriarchs are personally promised such an inheriting; that the saints, as part of a perfected Redemption, are to realize it; that a thousand predictions direct attention to it, the leaven of the old Gnostic spirit against matter and the claimed higher spirituality, deliberately refuses the plain grammatical sense, and substitutes another sense at the will of the interpreter.”
This is a powerful and important observation. I could unpack a great many things Peters has stated here, but I will focus on an unfortunate reality he has uncovered. That unfortunate reality is the tendency for theologians in particular but also laymen to completely ignore the plain reading of Scripture in order to insert man-made ideologies into the text. Now a good deal of conversation can be had about how to determine what is the plain reading of Scripture. Should every single part of Scripture be taken completely literally? Of course not as certain genre, most notably apocalyptic texts, are replete with symbolic imagery. With that said, even that symbolic imagery is rooted in something we can look back upon to inform our understanding.
When it comes to God’s covenant promises regarding the Theocratic-Davidic Kingdom, the manner in which it will be established, where it will be established, and who will inherit it, let’s just say what God had to say is plain as day. To insert man-made philosophy and ideologies into the text is intellectual dishonesty of the highest order. Unfortunately, the continued influence of Platonic and Gnostic beliefs provides the impetus for many theologians to lay claim to aberrant theology on a number of subjects. What is most unfortunate is a number of Platonic and Gnostic based beliefs become accepted doctrine, not because they are rooted in Scripture, but simply because enough theologians have held sway over the years in support of such notions. It is high time those who declare sola Scriptura actually adhere to that declaration. In doing so, they may find what the have held dear when it comes to theology might need some serious adjustments.