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Preface 1. The Church 3. The Sacraments Signs and Seals 4. Baptism 5. The Lord’s Supper 6. Death and Immortality 9. The Time of His Coming - the Signs 10. God’s Plan for the Jews 11. The Antichrist 16. The Spiritual Historicist View 18. The Trumpets 19. The Final Judgment 20. The Premillennial View 22. The Resurrection of the Body 23. The Final Destiny [02/06/2004 11:12:35 p.m.]


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On Friday evenings after the war, Dr. Lloyd-Jones held discussion meetings in one of the halls in Westminster Chapel in London. The subjects of these discussions were practical issues in the Christian life and the meetings were attended by many people. The questions which arose demanded a knowledge of biblical teaching of all kinds; often, too, a matter of doctrine would arise which the Doctor would deal with, usually in his summing up at the end of the discussion. It was partly as a result of this, partly, too, because the numbers were becoming too large for the hall, and, perhaps even more, because so many people were asking him about the biblical doctrines, that he felt it right to move the ‘Friday night meeting’ into the Chapel itself and to give a series of lectures on those great subjects. He did this from 1952 to 1955 and after that he began his magisterial series on the epistle to the Romans which continued until his retirement in 1968. The doctrine lectures were very much appreciated by the large congregations who heard them and, over the years, many have borne testimony to the way in which their Christian lives have been strengthened by them. Later, the Doctor himself felt happier about preaching doctrines as a part of regular exposition – ‘If people want to know about a particular doctrine, they can find it in the doctrine text books,’ he once said. But the great strength of his doctrinal studies is that they are not arid text–book lectures. He was, above all, a preacher and this shines through in all of them. He was also a pastor and wanted men and women to share his sense of wonder and his gratitude to God for the mighty facts of the gospel; so his language is clear and not encumbered by complex academic phraseology. Like Tyndale, he wanted the truth to be in words ‘understanded of the people’. Also he did not want the teaching to remain in the head only, so there is an application in each lecture to make sure that the heart and will are touched also. The glory of God was his greatest motive in giving these lectures. (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:12:37 p.m.]


Those who know the preaching and the books of Dr Lloyd-Jones will realise, on reading the lectures, that his views on a few subjects developed over the years and that his emphases may not always have been the same. But this is all part of the richness of his ministry as it has been of the ministry of many of the great preachers of the past. However on the essential, fundamental truths of the word of God, there is no change and his trumpet does not give an uncertain sound. We have had one difficulty in preparing these lectures for publication. They were delivered in the early days of tape recording so that in a few places the words have been difficult to decipher and a few tapes are missing. Also, only a very few of the lectures were taken down in shorthand so in one or two cases we have neither a tape nor a manuscript. Fortunately, however, the Doctor kept his very full notes on all the lectures so we have used them, though, of course, it means that these chapters are not as full as the others. The Doctor’s tapes are distributed by the Martyn Lloyd-Jones Recordings Trust and, of all his tapes, by far the largest number of requests is for these doctrine lectures. The lack of knowledge of the vital truths of the Christian faith is greater now
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than ever before – certainly greater than it was in the 1950s – so it is our prayer that God would use and bless these lectures again to our strengthening and to His glory. The Editors

1. The Church
We have now arrived at number 60 in our study of biblical doctrines, so this is perhaps a good point at which to remind you of the various steps and stages through which we have passed. Having started with our consideration of man in this world, and having seen the futility of trusting only to our own understanding, we came to see, as people have ever done, the need of a revelation. God has given us that revelation: it is a revelation of Himself in His word. Then, having considered what the word tells us about God, we went on to consider what it tells us about men and women and their needs, and the cause of their needs – that introduced the doctrine of sin. That leads to the need of salvation which we considered in the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ, and then in the application of all that to us by the operation of the Holy Spirit. Now we come to a new section: new simply in the sense that we recognise certain divisions for the sake of convenience of thought, but obviously new in no other sense. Also, we should notice again the marvellous way in which each one of these doctrines leads to the next, quite inevitably. Truth is one and God’s purpose is a whole, so that as we finish dealing with one doctrine we are, of necessity, introducing the next. In the last lecture, we were considering together the teaching of the Bible (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:12:38 p.m.]


concerning spiritual gifts. We considered how God gives to the Church apostles and prophets, pastors and teachers, who have the necessary gifts. And we saw that various other special gifts are given to Christian people, both temporary gifts for the early Christians, and other gifts which are more permanent and are given to all Christians at all times. But in all these cases we observed that the gifts were given to the Church and to members of the Church. And in that way we come, by an inevitable logic and by the force of truth itself, to a consideration of the biblical doctrine of the nature of the Church. Now this doctrine is very often entirely omitted in books that deal with biblical doctrines, though it is difficult to discover why. This is most regrettable, because if we really are concerned to deal with the doctrines that appear in the Bible itself, then we must deal with the doctrine of the Church. Most of the New Testament epistles were written to a church and their teaching is much about the Church. So it is not enough to consider the doctrines of the Bible that deal with our more personal and individual needs and experiences. So much in the New Testament would not be devoted to truths concerning the Church unless this were something that is vital. The very character of Scripture itself compels us to deal with this doctrine. Another reason, surely, is the great prominence that this doctrine has had in the history of the Church herself. Take, for example, the history of Britain. Standing out prominently is the whole question of the nature of the Church. We see this in the Protestant Reformation – one of those great turning points which everybody knows
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with the result that http://67. People do not suffer like that for truth and for a cause if it is an indifferent matter. Now you cannot look at those things. to take seriously the biblical teaching concerning the nature of the Church. there is a reason which. of course. and to be able to take an intelligent interest in these discussions. The religious papers devote a great deal of space to this and it is being said by the exponents of ecumenism that the particular function of the Church in the twentieth century is to call attention to the nature of the Church. it behoves us to know something about this New Testament doctrine.] . even from the secular <. in a sense.Previous First Next -> something about – and in all that happened in the seventeenth century. And then. that accounts for most of the problems that we are confronting at the present time. even at the risk of their lives. But. we should be compelled to study it out of respect for the names and for the greatness of our distant forefathers. I suspect that it is the failure of evangelical people. For some reason or another. without seeing that the doctrine is rather important. To them it was not something that could be regarded with indifference. our immediate fathers and grandfathers felt that it was sufficient to form movements and they did not think in terms of the Church. including certain aspects of the Civil War.42. particularly during the last sixty to seventy years.15. there is another reason which drives us to consider this question. Whatever the persecution.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:12:39 p.m. many of them founded conventicles and insisted upon meeting together. further.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt03. So if we had no other reason for considering this doctrine. So if we want to enter into discussion with such people. and that is the great prominence which is being given at the present time to the Christian Church in connection with what goes by the name of the ecumenical movement. is far more important than all the others put together. Our fathers regarded it as of such vital importance that they were prepared to undergo very great hardships and to suffer the loss of almost all things because of their concern about the doctrine of the nature of the Church.

So from that standpoint this is a highly important subject. Let us all try to do that. with as open a mind as possible. Let us come. let me also make my usual introductory remark.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:12:39 p. whatever our prejudices. praying that God will deliver us from the prejudices from which we all tend to suffer. have they not? But history alone assures us that this is perhaps the most controversial of all. This is a highly controversial subject–practically all of the doctrines have been so.m.PDF evangelical witness is diluted among the great denominations and evangelical Christian people only meet together in movements instead of in Churches. And yet it is sheer cowardice to avoid dealing with a subject simply because it is controversial. Now as we approach–the biblical teaching concerning the nature of the Church. what the Scriptures have to tell us. Among Christian people there is often a great deal of confusion about these two subjects. therefore. then we are compelled to consider the doctrine of the Church. The first question we must deal with is this: What is the relationship of the Church to the kingdom of God? In the Bible we find teaching about the kingdom and teaching about the Church. to certain preliminary words of Whatever our upbringing or background.15.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt03. This is very largely because of the way in which the Roman <. If we have a deep concern about the evangelical message and its vital importance in the world today. we must endeavour to consider.Previous First Next -> http://67.42.] .

And you remember how. What is the kingdom of God? Well. no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you’ ( Lk. and the kingdom is yet to come. It is present now wherever the Lord Jesus Christ is acknowledged as Lord. claiming the right to rule and to dominate the whole of life in every respect.’ He said.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt04. in the Middle Ages. The kingdom of God is wider and bigger than the Church. And that idea has somehow tended to persist. and Roman Catholics are absolutely consistent in the way in which they work that out. That was why our Lord was able to say that because of His activity and His works. because all things are in His hand and history is in His hand. it is best defined as the rule of God. In the Church. but only a part. So we can say that the kingdom has come. 11:20 ).m. God’s kingdom is much wider than the Church. So if we regard the kingdom of God as the rule and the reign of God.15. then. So the kingdom is there at that point.42. ‘with the finger of God cast out devils. What. In Roman Catholic teaching the Church is the kingdom of God. So the Church is not co–extensive with the kingdom. 17:21 ). The kingdom of God is present wherever God is reigning. the kingdom was here when our Lord was here in person. the Roman Church used to rule kings and lords and princes and countries and powers. she was supreme. where the Church is truly the Church. is the relationship of the Church to the kingdom? Surely it is this: the Church is an expression of the kingdom but is not to be equated with it. ‘the kingdom of God is within you’ ( Lk.PDF <. So we must be clear about the relationship of the Church and the kingdom.Previous First Next -> Catholic Church identifies the two. He rules in places outside the Church. the lordship of Christ is acknowledged and recognised and He dwells there. But it is to come with a greater fulness when everybody and everything will have to acknowledge His lordship. So the Church is a part of the kingdom. on the grounds that because she was the kingdom of God. ‘if I.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:12:41 p. places where He is not acknowledged. the kingdom is among us.] .

which means ‘lord’ – it has the same derivation as the words Kaiser and Caesar.15. of God’s people. the church in the Old Testament. in his speech in Acts 7 Stephen refers to Moses being in ‘the church in the wilderness’ (v. an assembly.PDF Now let us look at some of the terms that are by which he means that a number of people had come together.m. not necessarily called out of the world. Our word ‘church’ comes from the Greek word kurios . Now our word ‘church’ – or the word they use in Scotland. If you read the account in Acts 19 of the extraordinary meeting that took place in the city of Ephesus. carry a slightly different meaning. the ‘kirk’ – and all the cognate terms and names.Previous First Next -> http://67. a meeting which almost became a riot. We can translate ekklesia by the word ‘assembly’. an ekklesia . In the Scriptures ekklesia is not confined to a spiritual assembly. It is important that we should remember that. In the same way. a gathering. you will find that the town clerk calls it an assembly. We use the word to mean that we belong to the Lord. and ekklesia means ‘those who are called out’.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:12:41 p. who are gathered together. They were the ekklesia .48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt04. they are ‘called together’.] . but called out of society for some particular function or purpose. The Greek word which is translated ‘church’ is the term ekklesia . So the children of Israel were a church. 38 ).42. <. That is the fundamental meaning of the word ‘church’. because we must put these two meanings together: the Church consists of those people who belong to the Lord.

‘church’. 1:2 ). is generally used with regard to a local gathering. and these are really important. in Romans 16 . according to which the Church is the great thing. It is to be found in Acts 9:31 .html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:12:42 p. The Authorised Version reads. for instance. in Galatia. the word ekklesia .m. The term that is almost invariably used in the Scriptures carries this local meaning. Yes. Now if you go through the Scriptures you will find that is the usual apostolic way of handling the subject.’ But the Revised Version has the singular. He is not thinking in terms of the modern ecumenical ideal.] .42. So that probably Luke was not referring to the idea of ‘the Church’ as distinct http://67. But we do have to notice that there are some two or three instances where the word ‘church’ is used rather than ‘churches’ and one of them is rather interesting. he makes a reference to ‘the church that is in their house’ (v.PDF <. but of the churches.15. A number of Christians met together in the house of Aquila and Priscilla and the apostle Paul does not hesitate to call that local gathering a church. There is a difference here between the Authorised [King James] Version and the Revised Version. 5 ). and this is undoubtedly the better translation. Then. and were edified. He writes the Galatian epistle to ‘the churches of Galatia’ ( Gal.Previous First Next -> But let us go a step further.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt05. when Paul sends his greetings to Aquila and Priscilla. we must remember that the reference is almost certainly to the members of the church at Jerusalem who had been scattered abroad as a result of the persecution. In the Bible. This is a most significant and important point. Paul addresses his epistles to. ‘the church of God which is at Corinth’. but even then. For instance. when it is applied to Christians. ‘Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria. Paul is not thinking of one unit divided into local branches. Now the distinction I am making is the difference between the Church thought of as a general idea and the church thought of as a local and particular idea. not ‘the Church of Galatia’. also. a number of these units. Let us consider certain statements in the Scriptures which are made about the

48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt05.Previous First Next -> http://67. ‘To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God’ ( Eph. but in a few instances there is a larger conception when the term ‘the Church’ is used. secondarily prophets. ‘And God hath set some in the church.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:12:42 p. and there are quite a number of <. Then. 3:10 ).42. Then there is one other way in which the term ‘church’ is used. And Paul writes the same again in Ephesians 5:23–32 . So far. in 1 Corinthians 12:28 we read. next. In certain passages. like those great passages in the epistle to the Ephesians. the term ekklesia is used in the plural and the writers are obviously thinking of individual churches. but was thinking of the one church scattered abroad in various places and at peace. then. the fulness of him that filleth all in all’ ( Eph. we have seen that. which is his body. further on in the epistle. he says.] . However.PDF from ‘the churches’.15. Paul is obviously thinking of the Church as including not only those who are on earth but also those who are in heaven. 1:22–23 ). generally speaking. and gave him to be the head over all things to the church. we must consider the various pictures or illustrations which are used in order to teach the doctrine concerning the Church. Again. ‘And hath put all things under his feet.’ Paul does not say that God set them ‘in the churches’. At the end of the first chapter he says. this is not a vital point. but ‘in the church’.m. Similarly. first

lt. rejoicing and triumphant. for everything. and the apostle Paul compares himself to a wise master builder ( 1 Cor. taking all these ideas together. In Ephesians 2 Paul talks about our being ‘fellowcitizens with the saints. He felt that there was something about the Empire that was analogous to the Church. and was thinking of this good Roman Empire. The classic example. with all the parts scattered abroad and yet with a central unity. Another picture is of the Church as a temple or as a building. the Church is spiritual and invisible. as has been done throughout the centuries. of the ‘Church militant’ and the ‘Church triumphant’: the Church on earth is fighting for her life. for doctrine.] . Then in Ephesians 5 Paul refers to the Church as the bride of Christ and that image reappears in the book of Revelation. 19 ). in Ephesians 4 and in other places. In Ephesians 2:20 he talks about the Church being built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets. All the instances I have given you of the word http://67.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:12:43 p. He was probably a prisoner in Rome at the time he wrote that epistle. So then. the great way in which that is put in Hebrews 12:22– 24 .PDF <. of course. The first is the analogy of a body. the Church that is beyond the veil.m. so he thinks of it there as a building that is being erected. for instance.15. but we find it also in Romans 12 . Yet another concept is that of an empire. is in 1 Corinthians 12 .42. we can speak. what is our conclusion? Clearly.Previous First Next -> very interesting ones. In several of the New Testament epistles we are told that the Church is the ‘body of Christ’. To use another term. 3:10 ). and of the household of God’ (v. That was obviously an analogy that came readily to the mind of the apostle.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt06. Take.

It is very important that we should draw these distinctions because. It is possible. local manifestations.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt06. to be a member of the visible. is rather important. which is His body. spiritual Church. And that is obviously true of the Christian Church. but you know that each person has a soul and expresses that fact through the body. and its visible. The body of Christ is an entity. You cannot see people’s souls.PDF used in the singular suggest something which cannot be seen but has a reality as a spiritual entity. But you can be a member of the Church without being a member of a visible part of the Church – though you should be. spiritual and invisible. Apart from local churches there is such a thing as the Church.15. You can be the one without the other.Previous First Next -> http://67. I can go on to add this: you cannot be a Christian without being a member of the Church. the invisible manifesting itself through the in the light of what I have been saying. But at the same time. A good analogy here is the soul. The invisible has local manifestations. All Christians are members of the body of Christ. Thus you can see that this scriptural distinction between the universal Church. through behaviour and life.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:12:43 p.m.] . external manifestation of the Church and not to be a member of the invisible. too. <.42. the Church is also visible and can be seen externally and can be described as existing in Corinth or in Rome or in some other particular place. It is very important that we should bear those two things in mind. It is impossible. it is a real and a living thing.

certain things can be said without any fear of contradiction. Yes. the true body of Christ. Our Lord is talking of the relationship between the Father and the Son. who are in the Father and the Son. of course. surely. and have known surely that I came out from thee. to sum up. Father.m. Now. But over and above that.] . That is all spiritual. in the local churches.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt07. then we must agree at once that the unity that the Scripture is interested in is spiritual unity. then that is a contradiction of what John 17 teaches. and those who are in Christ. quoting verse 21 . That.’ they say. Now here. and they have believed that thou didst send me’ (v. They insist also that division in the Church is the greatest sin of all.42. no matter what the shape or form. art in me. even as we are one’ (vv. Our Lord’s terms are these: ‘As thou. and He has already told us certain things about these people. as I have said. 21–22 ). and they have received them.15. So our Lord’s words about unity are only applicable to people who believe that particular http://67. And this is the great topic of today. ‘For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:12:45 p. schism is certainly sin. and I in thee. How often John 17 is misquoted! People just tear a phrase right out of its context.Previous First Next -> So then. So we come now to the next question. but when that is interpreted as meaning that anybody who calls himself a Christian. we all agree that division is regrettable. 8 ). He says. ‘That they all may be one. that they also may be one in us … And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them. all those people who are truly born again and spiritual are also members of the unseen spiritual Church. and they leave it at that. If we are to be guided by the scriptural teaching.PDF <.lt. John 17 surely makes the character of this unity quite plain and clear. that of the unity of the Church. that they may be one. is someone with whom we should be in absolute unity in every respect. is something which is of very great importance if we are to understand the present discussion about the Church. the usual meaning of ‘church’ given in the Scriptures is of a local gathering of saints where the presence and the lordship of Christ is recognised.

Parts cannot work harmoniously if they do not belong to one another. organic. If the analogy of the body is to be at all right. This unity is something mystical. It is not a mere amalgamation of a number of organisations or a mere paper agreement. but have come together for the sake of some common purpose. ‘For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father’ ( Eph. Then in Ephesians 4:3 Paul talks about ‘the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace’. there must be an essential. it is a community of life.15. For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:12:45 p.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt07. But the second principle is equally clear in the Scriptures.PDF doctrine. I have shown you that already from John 17 .] . spiritual and that is that unity must be based on doctrine. So the first thing to emphasise is the Spirit: the unity is spiritual. Again in Ephesians Paul says. That is not what I find in the Scriptures. It is spiritual unity. and have known surely that I came out from thee and <. if they do not have the same life in them.42. That great twelfth chapter of 1 Corinthians makes the same point. and if people tell me that they are Christians but say that Jesus was only a man. ‘Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee. I do not belong to them. and they have received them. but if they have not believed and accepted this. there is no basis for unity. 2:18 ).Previous First Next -> http://67. Our Lord says. Nor is it a coalition of people who disagree. if the same blood is not flowing through them. something spiritual. They may call themselves Christians. it is vital. it must be doctrinal. then I have no unity with them.m.

who do not believe that He is the only begotten Son of God. They are words that teach His miraculous coming into the world. 20:28 ) – and the words that He has spoken about the Person of the Holy Spirit. and in breaking of bread. before there can be fellowship there must be community of doctrine. the same truth. and in prayers. if one thinks He is only a man. and in breaking of bread.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt08. In Acts 2:42 we are told that immediately after the Day of Pentecost.15. it was in ‘the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship.42. to the supernatural. no. They do not believe in the substitutionary atonement or in the Person of the Holy Spirit. ‘No. and so on. Now the ‘words’ referred to by our Lord mean the words about His being the only begotten Son of God. They refer to His miracles. because He Himself refers to His miracles ( John 14:11 ). ‘Before Abraham was. We are not told that the first believers continued steadfastly in the apostles’ fellowship and doctrine. To talk about unity with such people is a denial of John 17 . to the purpose of His death – giving His life a ransom for many ( Matt. and the other says. No. ‘They continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship. They are words about the incarnation. He is the eternal substance made flesh’? There must be community of belief. But John 17 is not the only example of this truth that unity must be based on doctrine. Fellowship is based upon the same faith. and in prayers’. They are words in which He claims. and the place and the position of words in a verse are of tremendous importance. If you mean one thing when you speak of Christ and someone else with you means another.] .PDF <. I am’ ( John 8:58 ).’ Scripture is verbally inspired. about the Word being made flesh. In other words. the same They pick out this one statement: ‘that they all may be one’ and forget all this rich doctrinal teaching that has preceded it. the virgin birth. who do not believe the virgin birth and do not believe that He ever worked a miracle – they say that miracles are impossible and that they are folklore.Previous First Next -> they have believed that thou didst send me’ ( John 17:7–8 ).html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:12:46 p. can you have real fellowship? How can you both go through the same Person to God. And yet we are asked to enter into some great unity with people who deny His unique deity. otherwise you are unhappy about the http://67. Words count.

in effect. then he says. the apostle of love. receive him not into your house.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt08.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:12:46 p. ‘Let’s all get together.] . and bring not this doctrine. neither bid him God speed. It is never a very difficult thing to get a coalition of people who believe nothing <. So when we are discussing the question of the unity of the Church. If you give him a meal and send him on his journey you are encouraging his false doctrine. They were among us but they have gone out. we must always put in the foremost positions the spiritual and the doctrinal character of the unity.42. remember – doctrine is essential and vital to true fellowship. We can then decide about matters of belief. It is said.Previous First Next -> http://67. Evidently they were not of us ( 1 John 2:19 ). There were certain people. Acts 2:42 has apostles’ doctrine. ‘You mustn’t receive the man into your house because if you do you’re encouraging him.’ And if you read John’s first epistle. Don’t do it. There is an even stronger statement in John’s second epistle: ‘If there come any unto you. The significance he attaches to doctrine and to truth is so great that he says. And that is on a point of doctrine.PDF other man and doubtful as to what he means by his terms. these antichrists and their followers. for he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds’ ( 2 John 10–11 ).15.m.’ But we cannot have fellowship apart from this unity of doctrine. who ‘went out from us’. That is from John. but today fellowship is put first. you will find that all along he is concerned about the same thing.

Finally. supremely. If you go back through the long history of the Church. was a medical man.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:12:47 p. the view in England with regard to the Anglican Church. Now that is.15. that is true in the Church of God. the Church did that. an idea first propounded by a man called Erastus. was the man who started the pernicious doctrine that the Church is a branch of the state. you will find that it has often counted most. but because I have a zeal for the truth as I find it in the Scriptures. again. The Church of England is Erastian and most of the Lutheran Churches take the same view. It is not people coming together because nobody cares very much what is said or that is a debatable point. At the opposite extreme is the so–called ‘Erastian’ view. an enthusiasm. And. The Lutheran Church in Germany was Erastian and I think that a very good case can be made out for saying that perhaps we would never have heard of Hitler were it not for the Erastianism of the Lutheran Church in Germany. of course.] . is a highly controversial subject. and regard it as tragic to note the way in which Scripture is being twisted and perverted in the interests of a unity which is not a unity. it is a power. It is people welded together by what they have in common. And yet it seems to me that this great lesson of history is being entirely forgotten and ignored at this present time. However. and has been most used by God. give you the history of the unfortunate interventions of medical men in the doctrinal history of the Church! Erastus. The Roman Catholic idea was that the Church was the state and controlled everything in the state and. But that is not unity. as I reminded you at the beginning.m. I regret to say. when there have been just a handful of people who were agreed in spirit and in doctrine. But when there was only one Church in the whole of western Europe. God took hold of them and used them and did mighty things through them. Unity is a life. what is the relationship of the Church to the state? Here. who.PDF <.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt09.42. Unity is something positive. unfortunately. what did she lead to? The Dark Ages.Previous First Next -> in particular. I feel I must. http://67. on some occasion. I say these things not because I am animated by any controversial spirit.

html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:12:47 p. But over against these. as well as the Lord of the Church.15. no. ‘are ordained of God’ ( Rom. In 1928 it happened to be Erastianism. we must agree. God is the Lord of the universe. but from another standpoint. so that the head of the state appoints bishops and other dignitaries and functionaries in the Church.42. yes.] . is the belief that the Church is a kind of department of state.m.’ says Paul. In England in 1928 there was a great controversy in the House of Commons over the proposed new Prayer Book. let us never forget that. You may say that it was a very good thing that Parliament had that authority! From one standpoint.Previous First Next -> http://67.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt09. surely. People who hold this view believe that God owns everything. God has ordained the state: ‘The powers that be. but what if Parliament suddenly decided to do the wrong thing? It still has the power to do so. are the Roman Catholic and the Erastian views of Church and state. but there is this other <. and that it is ruled and governed by the state. I repeat. that there is a third view which can be described as ‘the two estates’. The Church had decided to have it but Parliament was able to turn it down. There. Magistrates and other types of rulers were not made by man but were ordained by God. if we go carefully through the Scriptures. 13:1 ). because that is a weapon which can work both ways. Yes. then.

and the two exist side by side. They are both separate and they are both under God. the Church.] . Scythian.’ Christ said to the Jews. one. They met under the lordship and in the presence of Christ.PDF <. for one.42. as we have seen. That.15. And outside was the great state to which they belonged. Differences in nationality. In exactly the same way. members of the mystical body of Christ. ‘There is neither Greek nor Jew … Barbarian. There is no indication at all of anything coming anywhere near a state Church. 3:11 ). The Church is something different. And throughout the centuries that has been the Reformed view of the relationship between the state and the Church. To add these qualifications is surely to be guilty of something that is not scriptural. then I repeat that I. we cannot find in the Scriptures such a thing as a ‘national’ Church. ‘The kingdom of God. The one does not control the other. along with social and racial distinctions. ‘shall be taken from you. had nothing at all to do with the state. with Christ as the head.m. http://67. So what is left? It is the That was so at that time. in a sense.Previous First Next -> estate. is the picture given by the New Testament. and her people are the same everywhere.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt10. in that sense. they had entered into a realm which. But if we are concerned about the scriptural view. I suggest to you. and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof’ ( Matt. Paul writes. and gather together in their local assembly – church – call it what you will. The Church is. The first believers were independent of governments. cannot find anything corresponding to such a condition referred to anywhere in the pages of the Scriptures. consisting of those people who have been born again and have spiritual life. are immaterial and should never be mentioned in connection with the Church. bond nor free’ ( Col. surely quite the reverse. who are. 21:43 ). We know historically how national Churches have arisen in various countries.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:12:49 p. While still citizens of that state. It is no argument to say that the nation of Israel was the church in the Old Testament. but now.

The word is preached in the Church for the upbuilding and the establishing of the saints.42. the believers. in fellowship. The usual Protestant teaching is that there are three main marks of the Church. She consists of God’s people who live on earth in various states but are also citizens of that kingdom which is not of this world. The first is the preaching of the word. she has her people in all nations. where he applies to the Church the words that were spoken to the nation of Israel. and the word is preached in order that they may be strengthened in the faith.15. <. The Church is now supra–national. The Church is a fellowship of those who are believers in Christ and recognise His headship and His lordship.Previous First Next -> http://67.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt10. That is the primary business of the Christian Church: she was created and called into being for that purpose.] . The Marks and Government of the Church Our next subject as we continue with the doctrine of the Church is what is generally called the marks of the Church. They come together.PDF as Peter proves in chapter 2 of his first epistle.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:12:49 p. The preaching of the word is done in two main respects. as we saw. or the characteristics of the and a number of answers have been given.m. 2. What is the Church here for? What does she do when she shows that she is the Church? That is an important question.

and to us’ ( Acts 15:28 ). It simply said. for instance.] . An evangelical clergyman. ‘It seemed good to the Holy Ghost.Previous First Next -> us who are Christians desire fellowship with Christians in other churches. extreme Anglo–Catholic bishop. for instance. eventually you will find yourself an evangelical member of a body in which the controlling powers do not agree with you in doctrine or in practice – and yet you are expected to support financially a teaching which you believe to be wrong and dangerous simply because you belong to such a body.42. it simply sent a recommendation. If you do not accept the congregational view. but are not in sympathy. And that is why I suggest the local independent view: it seems to me to approximate most closely to the New Testament pattern. The council could not compel the local churches.15. there was no longer any fellowship. http://67.PDF <. They belong to churches with which.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt18.m. no council possessed binding authority. are a denial of the faith. then when they had their next fellowship meeting. We hold the same beliefs. the council that met in Jerusalem which is described in Acts 15 .html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:12:50 p. And the local churches could either accept it or reject it. But as I understand the teaching of the Scripture in New Testament times. may have a high church. Or an evangelical may find himself in a free church supporting funds to maintain ministers and ministries which. it could not coerce. they not only do not agree. we worship the same Lord. If they were not in agreement. if a local church disagreed entirely. other Christians had power to suggest that perhaps such a church should have no right to come to the in the main. But there was no legislative. and yet they are subject to such powers. to confirm his own members. It said: This is our understanding. Each local church should be autonomous and independent. That is what has invariably happened in history and that is the position of so many evangelical people today. but ready always to meet in fellowship with those who are like–minded and of a like spirit. and if you adopt any one of the other systems. Take. it is good for us to meet in conference – yes. he verily believes. It had no power to legislate for the local churches. Of course. no coercive power. This is our advice.

I repeat.’ then the only thing I have to say to you is that you are a very unscriptural person. but freely. I do trust that nobody feels that this has not been a spiritual subject.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:12:50 p. of which He has made us custodians and guardians. in the light of the New Testament teaching and surely also in the light of experience throughout the centuries. meeting together to further themselves and their spiritual life. who are in fellowship with all others who are similarly agreed. This fellowship of likeminded believers. but with nothing binding. 3. to see to it that the Church visible in no way contradicts the doctrine of the Lord Himself. to me.15. I’m a spiritually minded person. your with no right to impose anything on individual churches. help one another as best they can. These things are.42. The Sacraments – Signs and Seals <. ‘The government of the Church has nothing to do with me. of vital importance and if you say.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt18. no right to bind the conscience. the people who are agreed. No single church is compelled to do things which are contrary to its views and indeed even contrary to its conscience.] .m. voluntarily.PDF Therefore. it seems to me that the ideal is the local church.Previous First Next -> http://67. As a member of the body of Christ it is your business.

I do not mean that the whole body of the Church met but that each local church in a given area appointed delegates – a minister and an elder – and they all met together and formed a presbytery. and the presbyterians agreed to abide by the decisions of that supreme court. the general assembly. indeed. The Congregationalists – those who believe in the congregational system – affirm that every local church is an entity in itself. a presbytery. Each presbytery sent up a number of delegates who constituted the general assembly. it governs itself.15. and so on. It is rather difficult to handle this subject nowadays because not one of the descriptions which I will be giving is strictly in correspondence with what is actually in practice today. He. When I say ‘a number of churches’. in the churches in general in Scotland since the time of John Knox and the Protestant Reformation. Next they went further and gathered together a number of presbyters into a general assembly. Now that is the essence of the presbyterian system that has been. there is the view of church government which we call congregational or independent .m.Previous First Next -> The next theory of the government of the Church is the Presbyterian view. Then they solemnly agreed together that every local church would abide by the decision of the presbytery. it is well for local churches to set up a body which they will all recognise and to which they will all conform. a general assembly or anything else.] . and does not look to any higher body. So a number of churches met together and formed a presbytery . Presbyterians started by saying that the local church in itself is an entity. as they look to Him and wait upon Him.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:13:00 p. but there is very little of such a quality to be had today.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt17. but that for the sake of order and formality.42.PDF <. It is a gathering of Christians who believe that the Lord is present and is the Head of the Church. for instance. Here I am beginning to talk about independency or congregationalism. for the sake of avoiding The local church is autonomous. be it a bench of bishops. by the Spirit. And then. finally. http://67. the method of government in the Presbyterian Church and. that it has supreme power to decide everything itself. will guide them and give them the wisdom they need to decide about doctrine and discipline. and who believe that.

15. I am not afraid of the challenge! When a man feels called of God to teach.Previous First Next -> http://67. for the Baptists believe in congregational church order. All of <. Well. historically.m. But ideally. in general. They are no longer Congregationalists but have become Presbyterian. with power given to a higher body which can influence the local But today. both the Congregationalists and the Baptists have adopted the presbyterian idea with their sustentation funds and their control over the local church through funds. the local churches. it is his business to try to give guidance. I ask. I have no doubt that many are anxious to ask a question at this point: Do I advocate one system of government rather than another? Well. Congregationalism or Independency conformed to the pattern which I have just been describing. Yes.] . even in New Testament times.PDF But. did meet together for fellowship and surely we must do that. how many such churches are there today? Originally. you have the different views on the ordering of the Church. you must surely come to the conclusion that the local independent conception is the one that is most scriptural.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt17. there.42. the description applied to the so–called Congregationalists and to the Baptists. and originally in the seventeenth century. I do not want to be over–dogmatic but I do suggest that as you think of these things in the light of the New Testament teaching. forgetting what has happened in history. independency from the standpoint of government.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:13:00 p.

but in local bishops! Perhaps there may be some truth in that http://67. to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi. The word ‘bishops’ there stands for presbyters or elders. and you observe that in the one church at Philippi there was not only one. members have really very little say in the ordering of the life of the Church. In fact. who was once the Bishop of Durham.m. but there were several bishops. or ‘presbyters’ – the older men to whom this position and function was given. difficulties cropped up. and a need was felt for some kind of discipline. one bishop responsible for a large group of churches.] . For instance. Bishop Lightfoot has proved. elder and presbyter are interchangeable. 1:1 ). the apostle Paul. we can easily see how it came into being.15. you are on the road to episcopacy. And of course. all I would say by way of comment is that the man who has thrown the greatest light upon the subject is undoubtedly the great Bishop Lightfoot. this was an idea which came in several centuries after the first century.42.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:13:04 p. So that far from there being one bishop over a great diocese. it seems to me – and I am here happy to say that I am in entire accord with the gentlemen who are called ‘scholars’– that there is no New Testament authority for the episcopal view of the government of the Christian Church. to the satisfaction of all. It has often been said of those of us who do not believe in a ‘bench of bishops’ that we do believe in bishops. with the bishops and deacons’ ( Phil.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt16. They were thus not bishops according to our understanding of the word. started by a man called Cyprian. This is taught by all episcopal Churches. Here. again. Again. that in the New Testament there is no difference at all between the bishop and the elder – that the terms bishop. some kind of body to decide things. again. What of this? Well.PDF <.lt. the servants of Jesus Christ. Problems arose in the Church.Previous First Next -> Church is to be confined solely to bishops. And once you start on that course. in writing to the church at Philippi. says this: ‘Paul and Timotheus. They were ‘elders’. in the New Testament there were many bishops in one church.

The Roman Catholics have been completely unable to answer Salmond’s detailed argument so they reject the book as a whole.15. then. Now I am not simply making an empty assertion. and his every word is definitely from God. brings me to the Roman Catholic view. therefore. there is a need of some standard. Let us say this about it: this view is absolutely logical and consistent. he is infallible. <. the holder of which has final authority. the Vicar of Christ on earth. some power and some body that can put it into practice.42. If you want a great book on the subject. which is episcopacy driven to its logical conclusion. But since then. But the main answer is that.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt16. read The Infallibility of the Church by a man named Salmond. historically. The moment we begin to exercise discipline. of course.] . it is something that can be demonstrated. That is the claim of Roman Catholics.PDF charge. Roman Catholics have no case at all.m. He speaks ex cathedra . Now we shall not go into the arguments against all that – there are books which can give you the full answer. They cannot answer him because there is no answer. If you really believe in the episcopal ordering of the Church.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:13:04 p. They maintain that the Pope is not only the chief bishop but that he is the direct successor to the apostle Peter and is. And it was only as the result of that need that the episcopal idea came into being.Previous First Next -> the Roman Catholic Church has been at great pains to try to trace episcopacy right back to the apostle Peter! That. then the logical conclusion is one episcopate over all the others.

42. he added. whether definite offices are indicated there and functions ascribed to such offices? http://67. If you elevate a man he will soon add to what you have given him. the Christian Church decided to call itself ‘Christendom’ and it borrowed many ideas from the Roman Empire.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:13:06 p. of course. let me admit it quite plainly and clearly. ‘Ah yes.’ They say that the machine always kills the spirit. could not contain the new. hierarchies and power–seeking. it was a disturbing element and people bound by the old ecclesiastical structures invariably found themselves I once put that question to a Roman Catholic priest with whom I was discussing these matters. this admixture of Church and state. as they all do. It was too much alive. the ecclesiastical body. but revelation has been given since. quite honestly. Unfortunately.m. including its systems of government. in the New Testament?’ And he admitted that he could not.’ And to the Roman Catholic. So there is a great deal to be said for this refusal to accept church government. tradition is equal to the Scriptures. I cannot see a modern Roman Catholic Church in the Scriptures. and yet I do ask whether this view has taken note of all that is taught in the Scriptures. that the organisation quenches the spirit. and the elevation of offices. is that whenever there is a revival. historically. do you see your Church. It is very easy to understand people reacting so violently against that as to say. Now we can well understand a reaction against all ecclesiasticism.] . ‘I don’t believe in any order at all. it has almost invariably led to the formation of a new denomination because the old. hide–bound and stiff that the Holy Spirit is not given an opportunity to work. I said. as she is today.PDF <.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt15. But. And for myself. The result. The Church becomes so complex. any order is dangerous. ‘Can you tell me. when the Roman Empire became Christian. and you will in the end have a tremendous organisation which will crush the life of the spirit.15.Previous First Next -> Now let us admit quite frankly that there is a great deal to be said for this view.

but it is a very different thing to have a church in which. in practice.Previous First Next -> http://67. which.] . there are no leaders. So. and the Church has not even power to excommunicate. the view of the Lutheran Church and of the Church of England.42. and that government in the <. which has some relationship to the last.15. Discipline. Leadership is inevitable.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:13:06 p. as we have seen. means that the Church is a function of the state. the state governs the Church. is exercised by the state. an ‘order’ or ‘the bench of bishops’.PDF Perhaps the final argument is that it is one thing to say that you do not believe in any leadership at all. Proponents of this view teach that Christ Himself has committed the care of the Church directly to certain men.m. as we have already seen. and if you do not put it on and they in turn appoint others. who are descendants of the apostles in a direct spiritual succession. let us base them on the teaching of the Scriptures. The ordinary member has very little say. and that. The state appoints the officers of the Church. somebody will see to it that there are self–appointed leaders. if we are to have leadership and church order. therefore. is the episcopal system: belief in government by bishops.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt15. The next view. The next theory with regard to church government is put forward by those who hold the Erastian view. the high dignitaries particularly. That is the teaching – that Christ appointed the apostles and that they were to perpetuate themselves and their order by the appointment of bishops. finally. The Erastian idea is. No power at all is given to the local preacher.

lt. the channel. and the New Testament tells us that the vessel. He will become wretched and miserable. the church numbered three hundred. the instrument. During periods of revival and reawakening.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:13:08 p.42. They go back to the New Testament and they simply try to live a life in accord with the New Testament teaching. invariably. Then he began to examine the church members one by one.m. as it does with regard to many other doctrines. an outstanding mark at such a time is the exercise of discipline. again. and that may bring him to his senses and his soul may be saved. If ever there was a church disciplinarian it was that man! In his journals he records that on one occasion he went over to visit a church – the class meeting at Dublin – and when he arrived there he found about six hundred people. and when he had finished a few days later. When we come to the government of the Church. As we read those parts of the New Testament which were the last to http://67. for instance. How can a church that is mixed up with the world in various respects be a channel of the Holy Spirit? The thing is almost inconceivable! So the third mark of the Church is discipline. So the teaching is not only of a ‘gathered’ church but also of a ‘pure’ church. church leaders in all branches of the Church have always been concerned about purity – of necessity. It does not give us detailed instruction.] . It is interesting to notice that the New Testament is not very specific about church government.Previous First Next -> and Satan will cause him to suffer. that it is a highly debatable and controversial matter. perhaps in his body. we find.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt14. about John Wesley. and they and the prophets were able to teach and govern the Church. This is an important subject. and undoubtedly that was because the New Testament was written while most of the apostles were still alive. that God uses must surely be pure. Read the history of the Church at any time of revival and reawakening – it does not matter when – and you will find that. Read.PDF <.15. One wonders sometimes what John Wesley would do today if he returned! But this was not only true of Wesley.

are the main ideas that. because all members. it is a reaction against that awful idea which is summed up in the word ‘Christendom’. though we have very little specific teaching. as they come together.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:13:08 p. like the pastoral epistles. first. thereby creating a tradition that was often even in contradiction to the Scriptures. have been current in the Church herself with regard to the question of church government? Well. throughout the centuries. <. we do have a clear indication that order in connection with church government was increasingly necessary. the Church herself began to do things and to add things. Therefore.Previous First Next -> http://67. there have always been those who do not believe in any church government at all. What.15. is the fact that subsequent to the period of the apostles and prophets. if you prefer it. What causes the confusion for us. and there are still representatives of that view in the Church today. we notice a definite increase in teaching with regard to church order and government. which cannot always be found in the Scriptures. They say that there is no need for any government as such. exactly what one would expect. in our age and generation. and subsequent to the teaching of the Scriptures. or. which is. This has generally emerged as a reaction against what we may call ecclesiasticism .] .PDF be written. But even in the book of Acts we find the apostles ordaining leaders and giving instructions as to how the life of the churches should be ordered. are obedient to the Spirit.42.m. of course.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt14.

First of all.PDF <. But of course you receive the unbeliever into your house in order that you may talk to him about Christian things.15. a misunderstanding of the teaching of the parable of the tares. I am not saying that. John says that if a man does not bring the true doctrine he must not be received at all. And I think that the whole situation confronting us today is abundant proof of the terrible consequences of failing to exercise discipline with respect to doctrine. they allowed this wrong teaching. It was because they failed to discipline the people who believed and taught such things. We read: ‘ A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject’ ( Tit. you certainly must not receive him into your house. Of course it means nothing of the sort! What it does mean is that if a man who claims not only to be a Christian but also a teacher is teaching error. because if you are to keep yourself from all those people it would mean that you have got to go right out of the world! No. the practice of discipline is something to which we are exhorted repeatedly and strongly in the Scriptures themselves. 3:10 ). it is to be exercised with respect to doctrine. often. that we are witnessing the present situation. but I do say that if a man who is a brother is guilty of these things.42.] . With a mistaken tolerance and. Furthermore. and that we must do something about false doctrine. Now discipline is to be exercised along two main I do not hesitate to assert that our grandfathers and great–grandfathers in the nineteenth century failed to exercise the discipline they should have done when that fatal Higher Criticism began to come in from Germany. let alone into the church.’ So the New Testament tells us that we really must be concerned about doctrine in the Church.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt13. as we have just seen. hoping http://67.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:13:09 p.Previous First Next -> discipline. not even into one’s home. in effect.m. Paul puts this perfectly in 1 Corinthians 5:11 where he says. This does not mean that Christians should never admit an unbeliever into their house. ‘In all these matters of discipline I am not referring to those who are out in the world. Let me make this clear. don’t keep company with him.

Inconsistency or a sinful life on the part of a believer do incalculable harm to the cause of Christ. and they are an obstacle and an offence to those who are outside.PDF that things would soon be exercise discipline with regard to doctrine and equally we must exercise it with regard to life and living because if the members of the Christian Church are deniers of her doctrine in their lives and in their practice. <.Previous First Next -> http://67. then he must actually be put out of the church. that they may see your good works.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt13.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:13:09 p. their passions. 5:5 ). denying the faith they preach.] . in word and in action. who is going to believe it? It is the negation of our Lord’s words: ‘Let your light so shine before men. You hand him over to Satan. ‘for the destruction of the flesh. but it probably means something like this – you not only put him out of the membership but stop praying for him. therefore. It does not matter how orthodox people may be. The biblical teaching is that if a disobedient brother does not reform and pay heed to correction. 5:16 ). their desires.m.42. their lusts. they are.15. and they talked about maintaining a positive witness and not being negative! In this present generation we are reaping the consequences of that tragic fallacy on the part of church leaders. We must. I do not know exactly what that means. You may have to ‘deliver him to Satan’. a phrase which is used by Paul. their temper. and glorify your Father which is in heaven’ ( Matt. if they are not controlling and disciplining themselves. as it were. that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus’ ( 1 Cor.

’ Discipline is the whole theme of 1 Corinthians 5 . in spite of that.’ they say. and. some people object to any separation of Christian people from what may be regarded as an apostate Church. of course. But. again. All the parables http://67. strangely enough. in the various letters to the individual churches in the book of Revelation there are exhortations on the exercise of discipline. in 2 Thessalonians 3 . for when the servants said.42.’ This teaching is also to be found. And.PDF <. where he gives instructions as to what should be done with members of the church who are living disorderly lives. for exactly the same reasons. then you are contravening our Lord’s own instructions. “ No. which ends with these words: ‘Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person. and avoid them. again.15. 15–17 ). Those are the words of our Lord Himself. lest you uproot the wheat at the same time. in 2 John 10 . Then in Titus 3:10 there is this explicit command: ‘A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject. let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican’ (vv. Let them grow together until the harvest. ‘If you try to exercise discipline and to put people out of the church. But this is a grievous misinterpretation of Scripture because the parable of the tares obviously does not refer to the Church but to the kingdom. ‘You must not discipline Christians. there are those who often try to justify the absence or the lack of discipline in the local church and.Previous First Next -> he neglect to hear the church.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/ as we saw in the last lecture. where Paul talks about receiving back a man who had been disciplined.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:13:11 p. especially verses 5 to 10 . there are many who do so in terms of the parable of the tares in Matthew 13 .m. ”’ Furthermore. Then. “ Shall we pull up those tares and destroy them? ” the master said.’ Nothing could be more explicit than that. We have it again in 2 Corinthians 2 .] . in Romans 16:17 we read: ‘Mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned.

And. It is a picture of the whole world which. and it is an error into which most Churches that follow that Church have also tended to fall.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt12.42. To apply the parable of the tares to the Church is. and those who belong to the devil. And. The Church is one expression of the kingdom. But the view of the Church which we put forward in the last lecture demands that there should be <. to fall into the same error as the Roman Catholics. does not believe in disciplining the individual member. They are not disciplined. in a sense. indeed. again because of her view of herself. 13:38 ). and you may remember that in the last lecture I pointed out that the Church and the kingdom are not identical.m. can in that general sense be regarded as His kingdom. So the parable of the tares has no bearing upon the question of discipline within the local they are not put out of the Church.Previous First Next -> http://67.15. of course. that the field in which the wheat and the tares are sown is not the Church but the world ( Matt. in His own interpretation of this parable. but the kingdom is bigger than the Church. our Lord Himself explicitly says.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:13:11 p. That is why it is possible for people to be regarded as perfectly good Christians when their lives may even be riotous. The good seed are the children of the kingdom. That is why.PDF in Matthew 13 are parables of the kingdom. of course. But within the world there are the two groups – those who are Christians.] . there is no discipline in the Roman Catholic Church. the same thing is true in general of the Anglican Church. but the tares are the children of the wicked one. who belong to the eternal kingdom. since it belongs to God. The Anglican Church.

Our Lord. But I must mention it now because it is one of the marks of the Church. That. so He was sending His immediate followers and those who should believe on Him through them.] . says quite specifically that as the Father had sent Him into the world. because it is so sadly neglected. if I were asked to explain why http://67.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:13:13 p. is the exercise of discipline. then. is evangelisation.m. When men and women were converted it was but the beginning. and that they may be led to a living. Now if we had asked at the beginning: ‘What are the three essential marks of the Church?’. and the apostles and the prophets had the same purpose in their preaching. It is the particular task of the Christian Church to preach to those who are not believers. if I were asked to explain why it is that things are as they are in the Church. It is part of the work of the Church to preach the gospel to those who are outside in order that they may be convinced and convicted of their sin. They were sent into the world as He was. The second mark and characteristic of the Church is the true administration of the sacraments. and they needed instruction. is the first mark of the Church – preaching the word.42.15. and the one I am most anxious to emphasise. they needed to be warned against error and safeguarded against heresy. in His high priestly prayer in John 17 . The third mark of the Church. Indeed. of course.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt11. So the Church is essential to believers. The Church is a place where the sacraments are rightly and truly administered in connection with the preaching of the word. vital faith in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. They had been born as babes in Christ. The second object of preaching. Now I shall not stop with this now because I propose to deal with the doctrine of the sacraments on its own.PDF <. I wonder how many would have mentioned the exercise of discipline? There is no doubt at all but that this doctrine is grievously First Next -> The New Testament epistles were written to believers with that definite object in view. He came bearing the message of the kingdom and we are sent bearing the same message.

if I were asked to explain why it is that so many churches seem to be incapable of sustaining the cause without resorting to whist drives and dances and things like that. but there are numbers of people who would even try to justify the neglect.m. And unfortunately. beginning at verse 15 : ‘Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee. that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. then take with thee one or two more. if I were asked to explain why it is that the Church is in such a parlous condition.15.42.Previous First Next -> http://67.] . not only is discipline neglected. I should have to say that the ultimate cause is the failure to exercise discipline. When did you last hear any reference from a Christian pulpit to the subject of discipline? How often have you heard sermons or addresses on the subject? The word has almost gone right out of existence and what it stands for and represents has fallen into disuse. thou hast gained thy brother. tell it unto the church: but if <.lt. go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee. But if he will not hear thee. Take the passage in Matthew 18 .html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:13:13 p.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt11. the lack of power and the lack of influence upon men and women. and it is because of this that I want to go fairly fully into the subject.PDF statistics show the dwindling numbers. And if he shall neglect to hear them. Now it is on scriptural grounds that I suggest that discipline should be exercised.

taught. the Roman Catholic Church recognises only one means of grace. in the Church.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt19. Quakers believe that if someone experiences the working of this ‘inner light’ – the Spirit of God within – nothing further is needed. because there have been different ideas as to these means of grace. more or less.42. the Scriptures.Previous First Next -> We have been considering the meaning and importance of the doctrine of the Church. namely. which has arisen as a reaction to both the Roman Catholics and the Quakers. encouraged and established? It is essential that we should approach the biblical teaching about the sacraments in that way. in whatever form it may come – spoken. which is the body of Christ. we are built up in our most holy faith. We ask: How are Christian people built up. mechanical manner. and its characteristics and government. preached. We now go on to consider how.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:13:15 p. Now we cannot go into all this in detail in this series of lectures so let us. In other words. is the view which says that there is no other means of grace whatsoever but the written word of God.15. content ourselves by putting it like this: the traditional Protestant http://67. But they say that grace comes to us in that.m. strengthened. Another view. read – is the only means of grace. through the sacraments. In a sense. The extreme opposite of Roman Catholic teaching on the sacraments is the view that was originally taught and propounded by the Quakers and is still held by them. It is held that the Bible alone. the communion of the Lord’s Supper. therefore.PDF <. and also five other sacraments which Roman Catholics recognise and which I shall deal with later. their teaching that the only means of grace is the internal operation of the Holy Spirit in the believer.] . The teaching of that Church is that all grace comes to the believer through the sacraments – baptism. we come to a consideration of the means of grace. and that is the

lt.42. The word ‘sacrament’ has been used by the Christian Church for many centuries and yet I am very ready to agree with those who teach that it is unfortunate that this word should ever have been used. the teaching or the reading of the word under the illumination and guidance of the Spirit – and the sacraments. as they very rightly pointed out.m. As we shall see.PDF teaching about this matter is that the believer receives grace through the word of God and the application of the word of God by the Holy Spirit and through the sacraments. Now it was the custom in ancient law for both parties to deposit a certain amount of money in the court and then. therefore.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt19. brings us to a consideration of the biblical teaching concerning the sacraments. There is very little point in examining the philology or the derivation of the word sacrament except that it does help us to see how the word came to be chosen by the Church. That. It is a word that is not found in the Scriptures but has been introduced into the Church and her teaching in subsequent centuries.Previous First Next -> http://67. Our word ‘sacrament’ is from the Latin sacramentum . when the case was decided. which was a legal term. the sacraments must never be separated from the word. the money of the <.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:13:15 p. In a legal dispute there are always two parties – the one who brings the petition and the defendant.] . because. then. But that is a little extreme and.15. the sacraments can do nothing without the word. we say that the normal means of grace are the word – the preaching. That was why some Protestant Fathers said that grace came by the word only.

but also strengthen and confirm our Faith in him. but rather they be certain sure witnesses.’ And I do that quite deliberately. is used. ‘Sacraments ordained of Christ be not only badges or tokens of Christian men’s profession. In church. in pagan religions.15. are the definitions of the sacraments that have been given in the past? In the twenty–fifth of the Thirty–nine Articles of the Church of England we read. I try not to use this term. then.] . seal and exhibit to those who are http://67. and that idea was borrowed by the Christian Church in order to describe the means of grace which comes to people in this particular way.’ The Westminster Confession has this definition: ‘A sacrament is a holy ordinance instituted by Christ in His church to signify. and God’s good will towards us.Previous First Next -> man who lost the case was given by the court for certain religious purposes. which. and it is only right that we should know what people mean by it. perhaps. So ‘sacrament’. I say.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt20. ‘We hope to meet together at the communion table to partake of the Lord’s Supper. It is. and doth not only quicken. meaning a deposit. we have to take things as they are. The term. Unfortunately.m. but that is how it happened and.PDF <. I believe that even today certain pagan movements still have some kind of initiatory rite of entry. to repeat. a pledge. and effectual signs of grace. Personally. What. unfortunate that the word ‘sacrament’ has ever been used. the Latin word sacramentum was also used to translate the Greek word for ‘mystery’. That deposit of money was called a sacramentum . I never announce that ‘the sacrament of Holy Communion’ will be administered. by the which he doth work invisibly in us. however. It was certainly true of the mystery pagan religions in the ancient world.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:13:16 p. was applied to baptism and the Lord’s Supper. was the word used for a secret rite or initiation ceremony.

the other. That is why when we teach children the alphabet.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt20. And there can be very little doubt but that His reason was to call in the aid of something which can be seen. ‘an outward and sensible sign used according to Christ’s own appointment’. but <.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:13:16 p. to testify and cherish their love and communion with one another and to distinguish them from those that are without. to oblige them to obedience.42. it is easier to learn things by having a visual representation than by just listening.’ and show a picture of an apple. Now most people are undoubtedly helped by seeing things.] . visible sign of an inward. we generally do it in the form of pictures. in spite of their education and their vaunted culture. and the child remembers the picture.m. to increase their faith and all other graces. Sometimes a sacrament has been defined as ‘an outward.PDF within the covenant of grace the benefits of His mediation. It is an awful confession. to help that which has been heard. ‘an inward and spiritual grace thereby signified’. I am tempted at this point to digress and point out that a sad feature of the age in which we are living is that there is accumulating evidence that people. spiritual grace’. ‘A for Apple. are finding it increasingly difficult to take in truth by listening and are increasingly calling for visual aids.’ It goes on to say that the parts of a sacrament are two: the one. Children are always helped by pictures. Now it is very important that we should pay attention to these definitions because they remind us that the sacraments are not a human invention.15. It is our Lord Himself who commanded His people to do these things.Previous First Next -> http://67. We

Now I trust that we all see that we are considering something very practical. in His infinite kindness and condescension. because in most of the denominations there are groups who hold what they call a ‘high sacramentarian doctrine’. Indeed. and the water in baptism.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:13:18 p.m. that at once arises is: What is the relationship between the outward sign and the grace which is signified by it? You see the importance of that question? What is the relationship between the bread and the wine in communion. It is the relationship between the symbols.PDF <. has stooped to our weakness and has provided visual aids.15. are the main ideas.] . So let me try to summarise the ideas.Previous First Next -> it seems to be the truth. there is the Roman Catholic teaching.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt21. to help us to grasp what we have heard. then. something we can see. then. the Anglo–Catholic view. First. a mass of literature has been devoted to this most fascinating and entrancing subject. and the grace which they represent or throughout the centuries. The Catholic idea is that the grace is contained in the very elements of the http://67. Here. has led to great discussions and disputations. let me ask you these simple questions: What is your understanding of what really happens in baptism? What is your understanding of what you yourself do when you take bread and wine at the Communion Service? What is your idea about the bread and wine? What does it mean? That is the subject we are discussing. Undoubtedly our Lord. one can waste a lot of time in going through it. of course. the view of anyone who delights in the name ‘Catholic’.42. in fact. and not only the Roman Catholic but also. And yet unless one is very careful. and the grace that is received? This is a question which. The question. If you do not. So we have something outward and visible which leads to an inward grace. or elements.

one of the Swiss Reformers. we are simply calling to mind something that our Lord once did. Now the traditional. Therefore. The technical term for that is that grace acts ex opere operato .15. which means that it If you eat that bread. When Paul writes about circumcision in <. not only signify grace but. and in the water. so called. as the Westminster Confession puts it. you are. whatever may be your condition or the condition of the person who gives you that bread. when we take the bread and the wine. they are purely symbolical. actually and of necessity. They are simply an external enactment of something. but can be put like this: the sacraments. So the grace is received by taking the bread and the wine or by having the water sprinkled. in its own strength and in its own being.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt21. It is as mechanical as that.PDF sacrament: that the grace is in the bread and the wine. Zwingli reacted very violently against the Catholic teaching and said that sacraments are nothing but external signs or symbols. Not only are they nothing in themselves.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:13:18 p. but they in no sense bring us grace. as it were. and mainly commemorative. receiving grace. The extreme opposite of the high sacramentarian doctrine is a teaching that is held by many today but was originally put forward by Zwingli. it acts automatically. Their only function is to commemorate and bring to mind something that happened in the past.Previous First Next -> http://67. it is like having an injection. Reformed Protestant teaching is neither of those.42.] .m. they also seal the grace. Because the grace is in the substance.

the teaching is that circumcision was given to him as a sign and as a seal of the righteousness of faith which he had already received. it is also a seal. God gave the rainbow.PDF <. The person who has the ring can look at it and be reminded of what that ring represents. Yes. We come here to the very essence of the truly Protestant teaching with regard to this matter. yet there is value in it. but also a seal. When you put your seal on a document it does not add to the document as such. but it is a further authentication. as we have already seen. Why. And it was in that way that for Abraham circumcision to confirm the truth that He had already declared with regard to His relationship with the world. http://67. it does not add to the statements of the document. but it is more than that and this is where we part company with Zwingli. an external sign. The rainbow is a seal in exactly the same way. 9:8–17 ). He said that the world should never again be drowned by a flood. you remember. Take the use of an engagement ring or a wedding ring.15. So I will give another illustration.m. Why does anybody ever give or receive a ring? It is not essential. a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised’. something visual.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:13:20 p. not only a sign. but He not only said it. It is a sign. was he circumcised? Well. he says that Abraham ‘received the sign of circumcision.] . It seals the statement that has already been made. of course. But what I want to emphasise is that the act of giving or putting on that ring is an action on the part of a person who is sealing a promise to another person. it simply tells the same thing in a different way. but it is the custom. He gave the rainbow as a seal. In addition to being a sign. then. a further confirmation ( Gen. The importance of the ring is that it is a seal. it confirms the truth of what is stated in the document. And that is the basis of the traditional Protestant definition of what is meant by a sacrament. It does not add to the statement.42.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt22. and there is something in this practice.Previous First Next -> Romans 4:11 . Now a seal is something that authenticates a promise. Now he had this righteousness of faith before he was circumcised.

Let us return to the case of a young man becoming engaged to a young woman. because the moment we say that a sacrament conveys grace.15.] . says the Westminster Confession . He has already expressed his love plainly and clearly. Now this is where care is needed. They confirm the grace that we have already she feels she has received something additional. Yes. What I am not teaching does not say that at all. but is it not true to say that when the young woman receives the engagement ring. And similarly it is said that grace enters into the water of baptism so that the water is no longer water. as it were. but shall we go further? They even exhibit it. but contains grace in solution. he has repeated it.Previous First Next -> http://67. something extra? Now in a fundamental sense she has <. Roman Catholic teaching is that the grace is present mechanically in the symbols.m. he has shown emotion. Yes.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt22. let me show you the difference. but are also seals of grace. people ask. ‘Haven’t you suddenly become a Roman Catholic? Aren’t you saying now that grace is conveyed by the means and the symbols?’ No. that the bread has become the actual body of Christ: that is the teaching we call transubstantiation .PDF So the Thirty–nine Articles and the Westminster Confession tell us that the sacraments are not only signs. meaning that in a sense they convey it.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:13:20 p.

What is a sacrament designed to do? Well.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:13:22 p.15. In the same way. In other words. and he has not given her any more love.Previous First Next -> not. circumcision. it was also a seal of the righteousness of faith. when we take the bread and the wine at the communion table. the ring is a kind of seal and every time she looks at it. That is the value. we must realise that it is not merely some external representation. they now know is theirs. It is the value of a deed when an estate is conveyed from one person to another. The grace comes to me . When we receive any one of these sacraments. you are a member of the body.m.42. Yet receiving the ring is a receiving of love in a special way. Very well.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt23. you may say. was not only a sign. She already has that man’s love. the benefits of Christ’s redemption. and we should be conscious of receiving something which only comes to us in that special way. God.] . they have heard the statement of God’s grace in Christ through the preached word. of a key which conveys admission to a building. Protestant teaching says that the elements are actually a means of conveying grace to us. Similarly. It is He who has commanded us to keep it. As we have seen. but is truly a means of grace. therefore. has designed it. it is meant to signify.PDF <. to seal and to convey to those who are within the covenant of grace. we should regard it as God saying. in a way which she has not already received it. as we have already seen. what more can they ever have? It is this sacrament. to you . They have heard the proclamation of the gospel. But let me underline all that I have been trying to say by putting it like this. the Lord Himself. ‘Now this is the way that I have chosen to tell you that my grace is given to you in particular. first. When people are baptised they should be conscious that grace is conveyed to them personally in this special way so that what they have believed in general. You are admitted to This is a scriptural distinction and it is very important that we should pay heed to it. You will see the relevance of all this when we come to deal separately with baptism and with the Lord’s Supper. that young woman finds an assurance there to confirm what she already believes and knows. and so on. also. and I am http://67.

as we have The extreme opposite of that. If you take the Catholic view.’ That is His way of saying it.42.] . So there are those two main functions. they are absolutely essential because if you do not take them. Those who are baptised and those who come to take the Communion have a kind of badge or a token of the fact that they are members of the Church. and also the teaching of the Salvation Army. you are not receiving grace.15. They are not interested. That is what He told the apostle Paul. He need not have decided on that. <. Those who hold this view believe that the sacraments are not necessary at all.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt23. Our next question is: Are these sacraments absolutely essential? Now of course that depends upon the view you take of them.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:13:22 p. but the first is the important one.Previous First Next -> http://67. The second purpose of a sacrament is that it is also a visible badge or sign of our membership of the Church. And since they are the only means of grace. but He did.PDF telling you through this bread and through this wine that my grace is coming to you. but you cannot receive grace without the sacraments. as we read in 1 Corinthians 11:23 : ‘For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you …’The sacrament has been ordained by the Lord to help us. You may do without the preaching of the word and many other things. you must at all costs not neglect them.m. is the Quaker position.

It is because she already knows she is loved that a woman values her engagement ring. It is implicit in our definition that without faith there is no value whatsoever in baptism or in the Lord’s Supper. So we emphasise not only the preaching of the word but the absolute necessity of faith in the recipient. There must be a full church service. There should never be a service only to meet at the communion table or a service only for baptism. We say the sacraments are not essential because. and the word must be preached.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:13:23 p. and our position is that we are built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets. in order that we may safeguard ourselves from that grievous danger of all Catholicism of regarding a sacrament not only as something in and of itself. That is why it has always been the traditional teaching that the sacraments and the word should never be separated. And there is no particular.42. The grace is in the http://67. by our own definition. I do not hesitate to take my stand with the great Protestant fathers who asserted that the preaching of the word comes first and foremost. but because this sacrament has been commanded and because it is one of the means of grace ordained by the Lord Himself.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt24. Not only that. and that the sacraments should always be observed in connection with the preaching of the] . and we take the bread and the wine not because we believe they are essential.Previous First Next -> The Reformed. Clearly it is essential that anybody who is to derive any benefit from the sacraments must be a man or woman of faith. Roman Catholics are not interested in that. but also as the supreme means of receiving grace. we see very clearly in the New Testament that the apostles themselves obeyed that commandment. they do not add anything to the word. But we hasten to add that the sacraments are not essential. It is His commandment and we take part out of obedience to Him. it seals the faith.m. exceptional grace that is conveyed only by the sacraments.15. Similarly.PDF <. the Protestant. position is that we believe in these sacraments because they were instituted and commanded by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. the sacrament is confirmation of faith.

m. and. But if we come in true faith. And there is. And the reason for that is simply that these were the only two to be instituted and commanded by the Lord Himself. It determines not only the general attitude of these Churches to divorce but.15. confirmation.42. and. it controls their position with regard to the remarriage of the so–called ‘innocent party’. the ordination of a man as deacon or priest or bishop or whatever else it may be). obviously. finally.Previous First Next -> http://67.PDF sacrament and must therefore enter into anybody who takes it. to the whole question of divorce. the Lord’s Supper. But from our standpoint. marriage. in particular. but through the realisation that God is telling us something through the bread and wine which He has chosen to say in that way. That brings us to the last point: How many sacraments are there? The Catholics recognise seven: baptism. not through the bread and wine as such.] . in general. faith is essential and there is no value whatsoever in our coming to the communion table and taking the bread and the wine if we do not come with faith –we are no different and no better than we were before. penance.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt24. realising that God has instituted the sacrament for the special purpose of strengthening our faith. This understanding of marriage as a sacrament underlies the attitude of the Roman Catholic Church. order (that is to say. extreme unction.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:13:23 as you <. then we ought to be conscious of receiving grace. whatever may be that person’s spiritual condition. the Church of England. The traditional Protestant position is to recognise two sacraments only: baptism and the Lord’s Supper.

if we say that it is too much to try to take in truth in that way. but were preaching a kind of humanism or a morality. It is God in His own infinite condescension who has stooped to our weakness and provided something for the eye as well as for the ear.42. however. Now when we come to consider baptism and the Lord’s Supper. by the visual method? And therefore ‘the hungry sheep’ – to use http://67.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt25. and find that perhaps even a quarter of an hour is more than we can cope with in this enlightened age. how often.Previous First Next -> go through the Bible – and I speak very deliberately and advisedly – no evidence whatsoever for regarding the other five as sacraments. then. But I do trust that we are clear about this great central idea and understand that it is based on Romans 4:11 . claimed that this further teaching of the Church is as inspired as the Scriptures.m. well. we shall simply have to consider what is sealed and how. It is. But do we not also recognise the extraordinary foreknowledge of God? How often has it happened in the history of the Church that when the men who were privileged to be standing in pulpits were not preaching the truth and the evangelical faith. the gospel has still been proclaimed to those who had any understanding by this other method. but even the Roman Church does not pretend that it is based upon scriptural evidence. exactly. Surely we cannot but feel a sense of thanksgiving and praise in our hearts to God for having ordered and decreed and instituted these aids to our faith. has it happened that when the pulpit has forsaken its privilege and its duty.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:13:25 p. So we have been considering the question of the sacraments in If we say we really cannot listen to a sermon that is longer than twenty minutes. once you take the first false step. These are means of grace appointed by God so that we have no excuse if we fail. here it is – here is this other way. and have seen that the great and important principle is the emphasis upon the sacrament being a seal.PDF <. it is sealed.15. It was a teaching that crept into the Church in later centuries as the power of the priest grew and the sacramentarian idea developed. This development is quite logical. or even preaching the Church.] .

Baptism We are considering the means of grace that are available in the Church. 4. that God can speak in that way as well as by the preaching. have been able to find spiritual nourishment in the bread and wine or in the water in baptism.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:13:25 p. and in our last lecture we looked in general at what are called the sacraments. Praise be unto God. through the Church.] . mighty as He is. The ways of God are truly beyond our understanding.42.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt25. through their understanding of the Scriptures. Now we come to a detailed consideration of the two ordinances which <.m. but they are ever perfect.15. and often by men whose words denied what they were actually enacting as they administered the sacraments. but also at His extraordinary provision for guaranteeing that the truth should always be Milton’s words – who have come but have not been fed by the word preached. and are administered by the Church for the upbuilding and the strengthening of the Christian believer.Previous First Next -> http://67. not only at the kindness and the condescension of God who stoops to our weakness. and have been reminded. So we marvel again.

every professing Christian has been engaged in discussion on the question of baptism. there would never have been all this controversy and there would not have been denominational distinctions. Therefore it behoves us once more to say that not only trust we approach the subject with caution. So it ill behoves us to be over–dogmatic and to give the impression that there is only one possible point of view. but he has undergone a great change in his view of baptism. glib generalisations and dogmatic pronouncements than when considering a subject like this. Barth was brought up in the typical presbyterian manner. let us take the biblical doctrine of baptism. It is probably unnecessary for me even to mention the fact that this is a subject about which there has been great disputation. And equally] .48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt26. have been comparatively ignorant about some of the other causes of dissension. you are aligning yourself with http://67. still more importantly.m. Whereas many people might. Never has it been more important to avoid mere labels.Previous First Next -> were commanded by the Lord and which we regard. Having been brought up to believe in infant baptism he has written a book to say that he no longer believes that. I am sure that at some time or another. Is it not perfectly obvious. equally spiritual.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:13:27 p.42. before we go any further. No sacrament is essential to salvation: if you say it is. perhaps. First. baptism is not essential to our salvation. in a Christian manner and in the Spirit which we claim we have received and to whom we submit ourselves. but.PDF <. the great Reformed theologian (though my citing him does not mean that I agree with his essential position). as obligatory: baptism and the Lord’s Supper. therefore.15. but believes in adult baptism. that it is not one of those subjects concerning which you can give an absolute and unmistakable proof? If it could. people are to be found holding the various opinions. equally learned. that this subject cannot be finally decided. As we saw in the last lecture. I would cite the example of Professor Karl Barth.

the Baptists. but it is significant in that it demonstrates that infant baptism was not the universal practice. who was a great man in the early Church at the end of the second century. They do not add grace. a man like Tertullian would never have spoken against it in the way that he did. you cannot lay too much weight on that argument. An important piece of evidence comes from Tertullian. There are three main positions on this subject: the paedo (infant) baptists. and we should therefore practise them. So we must approach the subject with this caution and with a Christian spirit. In the early Church there was no definite reference to infant baptism until AD 175.PDF the Roman Catholics. however.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt26. So there is surely a very strong case for saying that in Tertullian’s day it could not be established that infant baptism was taught and practised by the apostles. whose mother was a Christian.42.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:13:27 p. and the Salvation That silence does not prove. that infant baptism was not practised before that date. was not baptised as an infant. Protestants have always said that while baptism and the Lord’s Supper are commands of the Lord. Now Tertullian changed his views on this subject and became an opponent of infant baptism.m. <.] . together with the Quakers. they simply point to it and bring it to us in a special way. Another very interesting bit of evidence is that the great Saint Augustine. for if it was. Again. they are not essential.Previous First Next -> http://67.

and it is the same in Galatians 3:27 and in Colossians 2:12 . It is very important that we should bear in mind that the primary meaning of baptising is not cleansing but this union.Previous First Next -> As we go on through the centuries. the first and the important thing about baptism is that it suggests union .15. baptised unto Moses.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt27. in Matthew 28:19 : ‘Go ye therefore. do we learn from this? Well. we find. baptised into the body. that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?’ And we read in 1 Corinthians 12:13 : ‘For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body. in a most interesting way.] . That brief historical survey leads us to the next question: What is the meaning of baptism as it is taught in the Scriptures? Here the significant thing to observe is that the phrase that is generally used is ‘ baptise into ’.PDF <. surely. and of the Holy Ghost. God The Holy Spirit. being placed into something: we are baptised into the Holy Spirit.’ Exactly the same phrase is to be found. What.42. baptised into Christ.m. in general. that right up until the Protestant Reformation there was only infant baptism. when one was old enough to be able to make a personal statement. ‘Know ye not. ). We considered a number of these statements when we were dealing with the doctrine of the baptism of the Holy Spirit (see volume 2. for instance. and of the Son. that we become identified http://67. ‘Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in [into] the name of Paul?’ It is the same thing in Corinthians I0:2 where we are told that the children of Israel ‘were all baptized unto Moses’ – I shall refer to that again later on. in 1 Corinthians 1:13 . but towards the end of the sixteenth century a new body of people arose who were called Anabaptists because they believed in rebaptising on confession of faith (the prefix ana means ‘again’). whether we be Jews or Gentiles’. There is the famous command. There is also the statement in Romans 6:3–6 where Paul argues.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:13:28 p. baptizing them in [into] the name of the Father. where Paul says. The main Protestant Reformers continued that then. and teach all nations.

and in 1Peter 3:21 . ‘The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh. ‘But ye are washed. calling on the name of the Lord’.15. into the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. in Titus 3:5 . There is also the secondary sense of cleansing and purification. where Paul speaks of ‘the washing of regeneration’. from the pollution of There are many statements of this. and be baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins’ ( Acts 2:37–38 ). We find this meaning also in Acts 22:16 where Paul is told. says. where Peter. no doubt. that ‘washing’ does partly refer to baptism. ‘Men and brethren. and wash away thy sins. as we see in Peter’s reply on the Day of Pentecost to the people who cried out saying. but ye are sanctified. yet Paul says. In 1 Corinthians 6:11 we are told that some of the members of the church at Corinth had been guilty of certain terrible sins. and be baptized. of course. that we are put into a certain atmosphere.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:13:28 p. what shall we do?’ Peter tells them. <. ‘Repent.’ In other words.42. but that is not the only meaning. but ye are justified …’ And. In baptism we are cleansed from the guilt of sin. So the primary meaning of baptism is union.PDF with a certain context.m. And. baptism is an assurance that we are delivered from the guilt of sin and. talking about the people in Noah’s ark. also. ‘Arise. but the answer of a good conscience toward God).48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt27. Likewise.Previous First Next -> http://67.] . we are told that we are baptised into the blessed Trinity. in the quotation from Matthew 28:19 .

is the official teaching of the Church of England. So they speak of baptismal regeneration . That is the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church. People often do not realise that that is the teaching of the Lutheran Church. certain sections of the Church of England teach quite specifically that the purpose of baptism is to cleanse us from original sin and to regenerate us. of baptism is not to cleanse us from original sin.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt28. They are not justified because they have been baptised. and. again. I say it is a sign and a seal. indeed. they are baptised because they are justified. of our union with Christ and of our receiving the Holy Spirit. then. it is a sign and seal of the remission of our sins and our justification. I do not become regenerate as I am baptised. Baptism is not the means of their forgiveness and justification. But more than that. So what is the function of baptism? Well. if that is its meaning? Here we must start with a negative. baptism is a sign and seal of regeneration.42. and. I would say. that I am united to Christ http://67. we need to be cleansed and purified from the guilt and the pollution of sin.m.Previous First Next -> there is undoubtedly a reference to the same thing. Baptism tells me that I am regenerate. Now. but an assurance of it.PDF <. but in order that we may be there.15. though there are many in that Church who repudiate the suggestion. in a sense. So the meaning of baptism is that it puts us into this position of union. As we have seen. baptism is a sign and a seal. as I indicated in the last lecture. giving them an assurance that their sins are forgiven and they are justified. As the engagement ring on the finger speaks. I only have a right to be baptised because I am regenerate. nor to regenerate us. The function. the purpose. so baptism speaks to those who are baptised. and not only that Church but the Lutheran Church also. First. baptism is something that speaks to me. What.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:13:30 p. especially. But we say that the purpose of baptism is not to deliver us and to cleanse us from original sin. is the purpose of baptism. it certifies to me that I am born again.] .

our bearing witness. the function. then.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:13:30 p. it is something that is done to us. We are already in the invisible but here we enter into the visible and baptism is a sign or a badge of that. and the emphasis is on our action. Now I emphasise this because I think you will agree that so often it is put the other way around. It is the sealing of that to me. as we are baptised. is a bearing of witness and of testimony. It is not primarily something that we do. baptism is a sign of membership of the Church which is His body.m. It is God giving us the seal of our regeneration and. It is a separating from the world and an official introduction. in an external manner. secondarily. The main thing and the first thing about baptism is that it is something that God has chosen to do to us. Let me. our giving a testimony. But that comes second. The prime purpose. as we are baptised.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt28. into the visible body of Christ. baptism. So that.42. and as He gave circumcision to the chosen and that the Holy Spirit dwells in me. It is God’s way of giving me a pledge. Our witness and our testimony follow that and are subsidiary to it.] . He is speaking to us and telling us that we are regenerated. thirdly and lastly. summarise this again and re–emphasise it. But. As He gave the rainbow. so He gives us a sign and a seal of our regeneration in the act of baptism.Previous First Next -> http://67. It is something of which we are the passive recipients. And then. of course.15. of baptism is as a seal for the believer. we are incidentally bearing our witness to the fact that we have believed the truth. <.

to assure us and to reassure us and to strengthen and increase our faith. it is obligatory because our Lord has commanded it.] . It does not add to grace. Luke tells us that they were actually infants.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt29. Now that brings us to something more controversial: Who is to be baptised? And So I repeat. The second argument that is produced is based on Acts 2:39 .html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:13:32 p. Our Lord picked them up in His arms and blessed them and said. It is one thing to say that our Lord can bless children. ‘Suffer little children to come unto me.PDF <. something that can be seen.Previous First Next -> But again we must point out.42. and we rob ourselves of this particular seal of the promises of God to us if we do not submit to baptism. of course. first and foremost. of course. people point to the incident of the little children who were brought to our Lord for His blessing. that baptism does not give us any blessing that the word itself cannot give us. The reply. and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God’ ( Luke 18:16 ). but it is very different indeed to say that He therefore taught that children should be baptised. there is a great division between those who say that infants are to be baptised and those who say that only conscious believers are to be baptised. It is primarily meant. God in His infinite grace and kindness stooping to our level. And. is that there is no mention at all of baptism at that point. it does not do something to us which cannot be done in any other way. while failing to emphasise that it is. in any case. Let us start by looking at the arguments that are produced in favour of infant baptism. and thereby sealing to us the promises of forgiveness and regeneration and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. a verse to which I http://67. people are very wrong when they just represent baptism as an occasion for bearing witness and as an evangelistic medium. First.15.m. This is the very centre and nerve of the controversy. therefore. as we did in dealing with sacraments in general. doing something objective. So we do not say that baptism is essential. though we do say that it is of the greatest possible value.

by ‘children’ Peter does not mean physical descendants. those people are told that baptism applies to their children as well as to themselves. the answer is that we are not told there were any children at all in either household. I do not know. For the promise is unto you. Clearly. We are told that when Lydia believed on the Lord. Indeed. It is argued that this must mean that the children and perhaps even the infants in both the households were also baptised. When Peter is preaching on the Day of Pentecost. ‘Men and brethren. To which. now.’ And Luke also writes that the Philippian jailer was baptised – ‘he and all his. even as many as the Lord our God shall call’. of course.PDF have already referred. he does not mean the children of those listening but. what shall we do? Then Peter replies.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:13:32 p. and her household . and to your children …’ In that passage. it is for ‘as many as the Lord our God shall call’. There may have been. in effect: ‘The promise is not only for you who are immediately here. and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. and <. and be baptized every one of you [into] the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of but is for the next generation and the generation after that and after that and it will continue down the running centuries.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt29. ‘Repent. I notice that the rest of the verse is always left out: ‘and to all that are afar off. ‘She was baptized.] .15. the people cry out and say.42. The third argument stems from Acts 16:15 and 33 . straightway’. the argument goes.Previous First Next -> http://67. And it is not only for Jews but also for those who are afar off’–the Gentiles. those who are outside the commonwealth of Israel. But whenever I read this argument in any book.m.

So there again there is no clear case for infant baptism. ‘I baptized also the household of Stephanas.] .’ That is surely a suggestion that the household of Stephanas did not include children. and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints).Previous First Next -> nobody else knows. So we can sum up by saying that in the New Testament there is no clear evidence http://67.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt30. besides. There is clear indication.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:13:34 p.42.’ Those in the household seem to have been capable of listening and receiving the truth. We read. ‘And they [Paul and Silas] spake unto him the word of the Lord. the argument is that there must have been children in the household. we read this: ‘I beseech you.m. this verse is not dealing with baptism at all. The household may well have consisted of the servants. The same term is used about an unbelieving husband or wife as is used about the children. but adults who had believed the truth and were now helping and ministering to the saints. A household can consist of grown–up children. and to all that were in his house. I know not whether I baptized any brethren. in the case of the jailer at any rate.’ Once more. that it is the firstfruits of Achaia. Here our reply is that that does not of necessity mean that children were baptised. indeed. that they must have been adult because we are told that the word was preached not only to the jailer but also to his household. (ye know the house of Stephanas. Indeed.PDF <. Clearly.15. And then the last argument at this point is 1 Corinthians 7:14 where we are told that the children of believing parents are sanctified by their parents. The next evidence which is given is found in 1 Corinthians 1:16 where Paul says. therefore. It just means that they were allowed to enter into the church services and have certain common privileges belonging to the Church. there seems to me to be a conclusive answer at this point because we are told that an unbelieving husband is sanctified by his wife and that an unbelieving wife is sanctified by her believing husband. But if we go to 1 Corinthians 16:15 . it does not even necessitate that.

But my difficulty is this: it seems to me that it ignores the essential point which is the mode of entry into the kingdom.15. it is that children were ever baptised.] .42. and the New Testament teaches that the mode of entry into the kingdom of God is not by physical descent but by spiritual rebirth.m. The statements are such that you cannot make a dogmatic pronouncement. <. Now the mode of entry into the kingdom of Israel was by physical descent and by that alone. We are told that baptism in the New Testament corresponds to circumcision in the Old Testament. I cannot prove that they were not. There is no doubt that in many ways this is a very powerful argument. Therefore. The great contrast between the Old and the New is the difference between the physical and the spiritual. and whenever a son was born to a Jew he was circumcised almost at once.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt30. it is said. ‘Circumcised the eighth day’ ( Phil. Thus the apostle Paul says of himself. The second line of argument in favour of infant baptism is the analogy based upon circumcision.Previous First Next -> http://67. but I am certain that there is no evidence that they were. We must be born of the Spirit before we enter the kingdom of God. So it seems to me that that argument breaks down at that point. when we come over to the Christian era. 3:5 ). surely the New Testament parallel should likewise be carried out with young children. The argument is that all sons born to Israelite parents were introduced into Israel officially and were given that sign by circumcision.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:13:34 p.

as we have been trying to do.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:13:36 p.15.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt31.Previous First Next -> People have also argued for infant baptism on the grounds that in the Old Testament God entered into a covenant with His people. In the New Testament God has inaugurated a new covenant and it is said that the children of those who are in the new covenant relationship should therefore be baptised. We must be very careful as we handle these arguments because the same point can be raised on both sides. surely. Therefore that argument must not be used as a basis for adult baptism. alas.] . They say infant baptism must be wrong because baptism is the seal and the sign of regeneration and we do not as yet know whether a child will be regenerate or not. of course. because are you certain that the adult is regenerate? Someone may certainly say that he believes in the Lord Jesus Christ. Similarly. people often say something like this: ‘Look at the thousands of children who were baptised when they were infants. We must not base our arguments on observations but. But now let me say something on the other side. There are people who seem to think that they can solve this problem very simply. But this argument is based upon Acts 2:39 and I have already suggested to you that to say that this verse refers to physical children is to misinterpret its meaning. They were accepted into the Christian Church but subsequently they lapsed. we cannot be certain that anybody is regenerate. We have presumptive evidence but we cannot go beyond that. then what do you say later on when he denies the faith entirely. thousands of times with people who were baptised on confession of faith when they were adults. and baby boys were circumcised as a sign of that covenant. proving that they were never really Christians at because he has said that he believes. but does that prove that he is regenerate? If you say that you are sure he is. That has happened.m.42. It is not for us to decide who is born again and who is not. But that is a very dangerous argument. on the http://67. So that is another inconclusive and. indeed. is exactly the same.PDF <.’ The answer again. a fallacious argument. as many have done? No.

you may be familiar with the great discussion. do we conclude at this point? Surely the critical question to ask is this: What is baptism meant to do? What does it signify? What is its purpose? Well.42. surely.] . it is for an adult believer. then. as you look at the case of the Ethiopian eunuch and the apostle Paul himself.Previous First Next -> http://67. that is impossible. both of whom seem to have been baptised more or less in private. then. much more important than the sign is the sealing. that last argument is conclusive. For the first thousand years of the Christian Church. who is aware of. It cannot be a seal to an uncomprehending infant. It does seem to me that. the common mode of baptism was immersion. What.15.PDF Scriptures. can be said on historical grounds. then. even those who put up the case for infant baptism.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:13:36 p. Surely. then I could see a great argument for baptising an infant. baptism is only for a person who knows. however. as everybody is agreed. What has history to say about this? Well. As far as I myself am concerned.m. the important thing about baptism is the seal.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt31. it has a great deal to say but unfortunately it does not decide anything! This what is happening. But. That brings me to my last main heading: What is to be the mode of baptism? How is it to be administered? Again. If baptism were only a sign. There are two main schools of thought: sprinkling and immersion. Even Roman Catholics say that it is right that a person should be <. I have already answered the question. If the great thing about baptism is that it is a sealing by God of that which I know has already happened to me.

Here is an interesting bit of evidence.Previous First Next -> immersed. he marvelled that he had not first washed before dinner. And when the Pharisee saw They do not put it in the first position but they say that it is legitimate and they give instructions as to how it should be done. immersion was put before sprinkling. Twenty–five voted for excluding immersion and twenty–four voted against excluding it. The Greek Orthodox Church and the Russian Orthodox Church still practise immersion and say that immersion is the way – many of our Baptist friends will be surprised when they hear that they are not the only believers in immersion! In the Church of England prayer book of Edward VI. If you read Luke 11:37–38 you will find this: ‘And as he spake.] .PDF <.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt32. instead of holding His hands under running water. But the reply is that those http://67. So there is the suggestion of sprinkling. The word baptizo does not prove anything. it was the custom of the Pharisees. the argument for immersion is brought forward on the basis of Romans 6 and those parallel passages that I mentioned earlier. No. a certain Pharisee besought him to dine with him: and he went in.15. the Westminster divines had a final vote. to hold their hands under running water. Sprinkling was only allowed as an alternative to immersion in the case of illness or incapacity of some kind. Again. The Westminster Confession says that the right way to baptise is by sprinkling and it excludes immersion.42. but it is very interesting to note that after a long discussion in the Jerusalem Chamber in Westminster Abbey. But it does not because the scholars are divided about its meaning. They thought it was essential and were surprised that our Lord. and sat down to meat.’ The word used there is baptizo and clearly it does not mean that they were surprised that he did not go and have a complete bath.m. The present practice was only introduced in the prayer book of 1662.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:13:45 p. so their decision was carried by a majority of one! But what are the arguments? There are people who say that the Greek word baptizo absolutely settles the argument. before they sat down to eat. immediately sat down.

Then there is another argument based upon our Lord’s baptism and that of the Ethiopian eunuch.15. then Philip also must have been totally First Next -> http://67.PDF verses do not of necessity refer to the rite or the ceremony of baptism. it is said.42. In the Old Testament things were set apart. surely the verse simply indicates that they were standing in the water and does not tell us exactly how Philip performed the baptism. No. but Paul argues about the dying and the crucifixion also. But there is another bit of evidence which seems to me to be very important. is conclusive proof that baptism must be by complete immersion. but that we are crucified with Him. purified.] . consecrated and sanctified by <.’ Of course. And if that is meant to prove that the eunuch had been totally immersed.m. and that Philip and the eunuch also came ‘up out of the water’ ( Acts 8:39 ). because we are told that both of them came up out of the water. Baptism does not indicate that at all. ‘it does indicate the burial and the rising. That. We are told that our Lord ‘went up straightway out of the water’ ( Matt. And the same applies in the case of our Lord.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:13:45 p.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt32. does it? ‘But. So supporters of baptism by immersion are pressing the argument further than the apostle himself takes it. that we have died with Him. All it tells us is that Philip and the eunuch stood in the water and then came up out of it. But Acts 8:39 does not say that. 3:16 ).’ people say. In all those verses Paul is arguing for our union with Christ – he argues not only that we are buried with Him.

and blood was sprinkled in front of the curtain of the Holy Place ( Lev.PDF <. for what it is worth: thousands of people went to John the Baptist. The Old Testament use of sprinkling for cleansing seems to me to be significant and important. The mode of baptism is not the vital thing.] . they stood in the Jordan and the one who was baptising the other placed his hand in the water and sprinkled the water over the one who was to be baptised. but in the writings of the various Fathers there is a great deal to suggest that. it seems to me to fit in perfectly with what happened to the eunuch. therefore. The horns of the altar were sprinkled with blood. it seems to me that. If there is an adequate supply of water such as a river. 10:22 ) – they are purified by sprinkling with the blood of Christ. 19 ).lt. on the evidence of the Scriptures. in the sense that is generally accepted today. I would not refuse even to immerse completely.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt33. it seems to me. I am not able to give you all the evidence. I think the best method is to stand in the water and to baptise in that way. and. It is the thing signified that matters. 4 ). obviously. The author of the epistle to the Hebrews uses that symbolism. And there is. the only view.Previous First Next -> sprinkling. which one is justified in taking is that one should allow both methods. attended his preaching and were baptised by him. finally. was John’s method of baptism. Surely if baptism by immersion. To summarise.42. Sin was remitted by sprinkling with water into which the ashes of a heifer had been put ( Num. this argument. it is the sealing that counts. then the physical problem involved enters into this argument. I would be prepared to immerse or to sprinkle a believer.m.15.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:13:47 p. If it was the river Jordan. and as we have seen. we surely cannot arrive at any finality and. the practice in New Testament times was something like this: the person to be baptised and the one baptising stood together in the water. What I am certain of is that to say that complete immersion is absolutely essential is not only to go beyond the http://67. However. He talks about ‘having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience’ ( Heb. for myself.

but is to verge upon heresy. having said that much about who is to be baptised and how such a person is to be baptised.PDF Scriptures. if not to be actually heretical. but also to seal to us our redemption. which I personally believe is the more scriptural and the method for which great evidence can be produced historically.42.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:13:47 p.] . It is to attach significance to the mode . In conclusion. And thus God stoops to our as I have tried to show you. But. let us again emphasise the importance of understanding that it is by this means that God has chosen not only to signify. Baptism is God’s appointment and. who tries to tempt us into unbelief.15. gives us assurance and strengthens us and fortifies us when we are attacked by the devil. authenticates our faith. let us remember the thing that is signified. But as to the mode.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt33. the thing that is sealed.Previous First Next -> http://67. a view which can never be substantiated from the Scriptures. The Lord’s Supper <. I cannot see the case. those who are to be baptised should be adult believers.m. for infant baptism. our forgiveness. and certainly it is out of line with the practice that was consistent throughout the Old Testament. our union with Christ. as far as I am concerned. whatever the mode. the remission of our sins. it can be sprinkling or immersion or a combination of the two. our being baptised into Him and our receiving the Holy Spirit. 5.


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We come now to consider the Lord’s Supper. This, too, has been the subject of great debate and controversy in the Christian Church for a number of centuries, especially since the Protestant Reformation, and great and mighty works have been written on it. It would be easy to go into all that but I have decided not to do so because most of the controversy that has arisen has not really arisen on the basis of biblical teaching at all but rather because of the additions to biblical teaching for which the Roman Catholic Church and her followers have been responsible. In other words (I say this for those who are interested in method as distinct from matter), there is a very real difference between biblical theology and systematic theology. Biblical theology means doctrine which arises directly out of the teaching of the word itself. But we cannot go into a systematic consideration of doctrine without also considering what has been taught in the Church throughout the centuries. Now in this series of lectures, we have been trying to deal with biblical doctrine, but I have made references in passing to other teachings because I have judged that we have all heard something about them and we like to know how they came into being, why we think they are wrong, and how to answer them. I have tried as best I can (you will be the judges as to how far I have succeeded) to keep to biblical doctrine and to avoid going overmuch into the history of the doctrines. So if you feel disappointed that I shall not deal in a detailed manner with the Roman Catholic teaching about transubstantiation, that is my reason. Otherwise it seems to me that our series of lectures on biblical doctrine would become almost endless. So I shall now pick out what I regard as being really important. There are only two standpoints with regard to this communion of the Lord’s Supper. The first is the typical Catholic point of view – and when I say ‘Catholic’ I mean not only Roman Catholics but also Anglo–Catholics and others who belong to various ritualist movements, even in some of the free churches. Certain (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:13:49 p.m.]


sacramentarian and sacramental societies are coming into being, and they all can be included under the generic title of Catholic. They are the people who in one way or another believe in that teaching which goes by the name of transubstantiation . They believe that, as the result of the action of the priest, the bread is changed actually into the physical body of the Lord Jesus Christ. Now that is a doctrine which, during the Middle Ages, began to make its appearance in the Western Church, which was then more or less nothing but the Roman Catholic Church, but the doctrine was not defined by them until the twelfth century. Transubstantiation then remained the official doctrine of the Western (but not the Eastern) Church until the Reformation and, as I said, is still held by the Roman Catholics and others. Roman Catholics have woven a great philosophy round transubstantiation. If you ask: ‘How can that happen, because I still see something that looks like bread, which is white and has the texture of bread and tastes like bread?’ their reply is that that is perfectly correct. But they add that anything that you see can be divided into two main sections or divisions – the substance and the accidents . Now as I have said, I do not want to go into this in detail, but I do think that it is important that we should know something about it because there are so many people today who say that they have been blessed by such teaching. And you will always find that when true Protestantism is lifeless and lethargic there is a strange attraction for some people in sacramental teaching where you have nothing to do but receive the bread and it acts almost automatically. So, this view says that the whiteness of bread does not belong to the
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substance of bread but is one of the accidents, as are the texture and the taste, and the substance can be changed without affecting the accidents. So it is believed that the substance of bread is no longer what it was, but by a miracle becomes the actual body of the Lord. And, of course, believing that the bread is now essentially the body of the Lord, Roman Catholics put it in a special vessel; they worship it; they address their prayers to it; they call it ‘the host’ and carry the host in processions. Now there is no need for us to stay with this because even the Roman Catholic Church herself is prepared to admit that the doctrine cannot be proved from the Scriptures. They try to lay great emphasis on the fact that our Lord said, ‘This is my body’ ( Luke 22:19 ). That ‘is’, they say, is all–important. They say that He did not say, ‘This represents my body,’ but, ‘This is my body,’ and you must take His words literally. There are many obvious answers to that. There was our Lord standing in His body, so how could He therefore mean that the bread that was in front of Him was actually His body? He was speaking in the body at the time and there was bread in His hand. That is one answer. But there is another, and in many ways a more powerful, answer and one which the Roman Catholics can never deal with. Our Lord later goes on to say, ‘This cup is the new testament in my blood’ ( Luke 22:20 ) and you can say to them that if they insist upon the ‘is’ in the one case they must insist upon it in the other. Therefore the wine does not matter at all, but it is the cup that matters because He said ‘this cup’, not the wine in the cup. Of course, there is no answer to that. In other words, the attempt to base this doctrine of transubstantiation upon that one word is not only unscriptural but is, indeed, unreasonable. The fact is that the whole doctrine came into the Church simply in order to enhance the position and the status of the priests. It is only the priest who can work this miracle and, as he alone can do it, he becomes correspondingly more important. (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:13:51 p.m.]


Now around about the 1830s, John Henry Newman (afterwards Cardinal Newman) and Keble and others began the Anglo–Catholic movement in this country. Now, quite deliberately, they said, and were not ashamed to say, that they thought that the only way of saving the Anglican Church (because it was then in a very bad condition) was to exalt the position of the minister – the priest. And they chose one of the time–honoured methods of doing that, namely, they adopted this old doctrine of transubstantiation. You see, I am greatly tempted, and I am exercising most commendable restraining grace, but I must keep to my word and refrain from going into this in further detail. That, however, in its essence is the position. Now the Lutherans have a slightly different view. They do not believe in transubstantiation but in what is called consubstantiation . They say that the Catholics are wrong and there is no change in the substance of the bread. The bread still remains bread, but the body of the Lord becomes joined to it ( con means ‘with’, hence con– substantial). So they believe they have both the bread and the body of the Lord at the same time; our Lord’s body is with and under the bread. Of course, that does not change the position very much and is most unsatisfactory. Luther, having started at the beginning by seeing this thing clearly, afterwards weakened and, having been influenced by some of his friends, went back to a rather unhealthy and unsatisfactory compromise with the old Catholic position.
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Then it is interesting, I think, to notice the different view held by the Protestant Reformers. You may remember that I have already referred to Zwingli’s view of the sacraments (chapter 3). Now Zwingli was consistent with himself so he regarded the Lord’s Supper as purely a sign and a commemoration. But when we come to the Reformed view, we find again, as we saw in baptism, that the sacrament is not only a sign but also a seal. We covered this when we looked at the sacraments in general and now we simply have to apply that teaching to the Lord’s Supper. So let me come to the vital question: What is signified by the communion of the Lord’s Supper? And there is no difficulty about answering that. The first thing signified is the Lord’s death. Paul states that explicitly in 1 Corinthians 11 . He says, ‘For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew [proclaim] the Lord’s death till he come’ (v. 26 ). The breaking of the bread and the pouring or the drinking of the wine are a representation of our Lord’s broken body, His shed blood. That is the primary thing that is signified by this action and in 1 Corinthians 11 Paul specifically tells us to do this because in that way we are declaring our Lord’s death. And, again, let me underline something we considered earlier. Do we not see here a wonderful provision made by the Lord Himself ? For there have been periods in the history of the Church when the Lord’s death has scarcely been preached at all from the pulpits. It has been denied; it has been misrepresented and abused. Yes, but our Lord had given this commandment – as Paul says, ‘for I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you’ ( 1 Cor. 11:23 ) – and He commanded the other apostles in the same way ( Luke 22:19–20 ). Though the pulpit may have failed, the Lord’s Supper has still gone on declaring, proclaiming, preaching the Lord’s death and often there has been a great incongruity, not to say contradiction, between the preaching of man and the preaching of the bread and the wine upon the communion table. (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:13:52 p.m.]

We are in communion with Him. because we are in Christ. when he had supped. then. and we have risen again with Him. in the eighth chapter. this marvellous new covenant that God makes with men and women. You remember the rich teaching about that in Romans – that we are in Christ and. God has made a new covenant with believers. comes out in the apostle’s words in 1 Corinthians 11:25 : ‘After the same manner also he took the cup. the Communion Service is a reminder to us that in and through our Lord Jesus Christ. in the ninth also. God the Father. we have died with Him. indeed. He is the head and representative of humanity in this new agreement. But the Lord’s Supper is also a declaration and a sign of the believer’s participation in the crucified Christ. again. in the tenth chapter in particular. This cup is the new testament [the new covenant] in my blood: this do ye.m. of our participation in His death. So.] . we showed how the shedding of blood in the death of the Lord was also the ratification of the new covenant. It reminds us of that and of our union with Him and.42. But in addition to that – and this is tremendously important – the Lord’s Supper is a reminder to us and a declaration that we participate in all the benefits of the new covenant. That.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt36. saying. God the Son ).html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:13:52 p. Christ is the mediator of the new covenant.’ Now when we dealt with the Lord’s death and the doctrine concerning it (see volume 1. We read about that new covenant in the epistle to the Hebrews. and. in remembrance of me. as oft as ye drink it. In <.Previous First Next -> http://67. and been buried with Him.15.

The verses which tell us that are to be found in John 6 . and I regarded them not. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness. receive from the Lord Jesus Christ Himself life and strength to live the Christian life. and write them in their hearts [no longer on stone outside but in their minds and in their hearts]: and I will be to them a God. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days. and they shall be to me a people: and they shall not teach every man his neighbour. For finding fault with them.15. say http://67. and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. Know the Lord: for all shall know me. saith the Lord.] . when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt. You see what a tremendous thing it is to meet at that table and to take the bread and the wine? Yes. Our Lord only really begins to deal with this at the end.Previous First Next -> Hebrews 8 you get that striking contrast between the two covenants. however. we are reminded by the partaking of the bread and the wine that we. the days come. Now this section in John’s Gospel has caused considerable dispute in this way: Was our Lord here referring to the Lord’s Supper or was He not? I hold the view that He was not referring to the Communion Service and for this good reason: at that time the disciples were clearly not capable of receiving such teaching. The Roman Catholics. but we do not stop even at that. Behold. and every man his brother. and it is interesting to note them.PDF <.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:13:54 p. in the upper room. he saith. as believers. saith the Lord. because they continued not in my covenant.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt37. saith the Lord. from the least to the greatest. Hebrews 8:8–12 So every time we meet at the communion table and partake of the Lord’s Supper we are declaring this new covenant and all the contents of the new covenant of which we are reminded there in Hebrews 8 . In addition. I will put my laws into their mind.

He is our life. He is saying.] . 61–63 ). Yes.m. Our Lord says. they are spirit. As the living Father hath sent me. and drinketh my blood. ‘You must eat of me. a truth is stated in verses 56 and 57 which certainly can be applied at this point. even so I am sending you and you must live by Me. of course not! It is a spiritual conception: ‘[My words] are spirit and they are life. He did not say that He was literally eating of the substance of His heavenly Father. But though John 6 is not a reference to the Communion Service as such. and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me. the flesh profiteth nothing. dwelleth in me. they are a picture.’ Now our Lord Himself goes on to explain that this is just a picture: ‘When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it. you must live on Me.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt37.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:13:54 p.’ So we must live on the Lord Jesus Christ. You must eat my flesh and drink my blood. and the bread and the wine remind us of Him. he said unto them.’ That was a spiritual partaking. As the Father has sent Me and I live by the Father. ‘He that eateth my and I in him. in effect. a portrayal. They represent. even he shall live by me.Previous First Next -> http://67. Doth this offend you? What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before? It is the Spirit that quickeneth.15. and they are life’ (vv.PDF that John 6 is a reference to the Communion Service – it suits their argument to do so – and so do those who follow them. That is.42. of Him. As <. the words that I speak unto you.

and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread’ ( 1 Cor. the apostle goes on to give the teaching he does. is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break. they are all joined to one another. as we drink the wine and swallow it. we should say. in effect. ‘The cup of blessing which we bless. but in a spiritual sense.] . He writes. Now the apostle Paul has taught this in 1 Corinthians 10 . we become. therefore.’ So as we come to the Communion Service and the bread is broken.Previous First Next -> we actually take the bread and eat it. ‘You are denying the very principle of communion. ‘that you are denying one of the central things taught by the Lord’s Supper – that you are all one? You should bear one another’s burdens. Some of you are eating too much while others are not having enough to eat. We are bound together with Him because we are all in Him. They are not only all joined to Christ.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt38. a chapter to which we should always pay careful attention. As He took of the Father. Now you see what Paul is teaching there? He says that as we partake of Christ. The term communion . I must feed on the Lord as He told me. you are divided. And the bread and the wine remind me that I must eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of Man in a spiritual sense if I am to be a strong and a virile and a conquering’ ‘Can’t you see.’ There is one other thing that is represented by the bread and the wine. and it is this: the union of believers with one another. we become one. He says. one loaf.42. There are some who say that verse 17 should be translated: ‘For we being many are one loaf’ – not bread –‘and one body.15.PDF <.’ says the apostle. we are reminded at one and the same time of the parts and of the whole. 10:16–17 ). ‘Yes. and that is why. not in a physical. you should share what you have http://67. I must live on Him. if you like. You must wait for one another. I must take of Him. so I will feast on Him. in chapter 11 . but you must all be one.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:13:56 p. represents not only our communion with the Lord but also our communion with one another. You are selfish. is it not the communion of the body of Christ?’ Then notice this: ‘For we being many are one bread.m.

so the bread and the wine are a special assurance given to us by God in His love and condescension in order that as <. not only signifies but also seals all the benefits to which I have referred. this communion. this is all yours.’ The new covenant of God with man belongs to me.] .html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:13:56 p. because you are all parts of the same loaf. And it is idle for you to say that you have communion with Him if you are not in communion with one another. the same bread. nor are we merely putting on our badges for church membership as it were. though we are doing that. so that when we take the Communion we are not only reminding ourselves of something.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/ He is handing it over to me. God is telling us that we are participators in the benefits of this new covenant. as we receive that bread and wine. He has made it with me. This action.’ Paul talks about the divisions and the heresies and he condemns them because they are a contradiction of everything that is represented by the Communion Service.m.42. that I am joined to Him. it does not stop at that. It seals all these promises of God. It assures me that He died for me. He is giving it to me. There. then. this sacrament. that I have died with Him and have risen with Him. As the wedding or engagement ring is an assurance to the person who wears it of the love of the other. It is like handing me a document with a seal on it: ‘There it is. It seals them all to us. thank God.Previous First Next -> http://67.PDF with one another. But. we are not only indulging in a memorial or a commemorative action. But more than that. are the main things that are signified or portrayed by the communion of the Lord’s Supper.

that He has adopted me. that all the blessings and the benefits of the new covenant in Christ belong to me and are coming to me and I thank God for them at this point. and realise what I am doing for you in and through Him.’ Have you known something about that? I certainly remember as a young Christian trying to produce tears because I thought it was the right thing to do and yet I found I could not. Some people call it the Eucharist and the word ‘Eucharist’ means ‘thanksgiving’. He is sealing things to us. God has chosen this method of speaking to us and telling us. How vital and important it is that we should realise this when we come to the communion table. Remind yourself of that. As the young man gives that ring to the object of his love.m. ‘You know. ‘Here God is telling me that I am in the new covenant. ‘I give you the benefits of the death of My Son and of His life. I don’t know what to do in the Communion Service. And the answer is this doctrine which we are considering together. People have come to me and said. that I am a child of His. take freely of Him. As we take the bread and wine together at the Communion we are declaring ‘the Lord’s death till he come’ ( 1 Cor.’ So as we take the bread and the wine.’ And I have known people who have found it a painful service for this reason. live on God is also declaring things to us. Every minister will tell you that he is often asked questions about the significance of the Lord’s Supper.42.’ In other words. Say.Previous First Next -> we take them we may know that He is giving us all these benefits.] .PDF <. Do not let the Catholics rob you of that term. There is often a great deal of sentimentality about this and people are in trouble because they do not know what ought to be happening and because they feel that there ought to be some curious sensation. Yes. http://67.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt39. 11:26 ). They have observed certain people in the Communion Service weeping silently and they have said.15. ‘I’ve never wept and I can’t make myself.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:13:58 p. but remember that we are not only representing these things. let us remind ourselves that it seals all these glorious and wonderful things to us. you should always feel thankful at that service.

15. so that it is only for believers. As we have seen. seeing this.] . but as the elements were brought round to her. he understood exactly what was happening. there is nothing in the bread. he saw her refusing the wine and.42. We do not believe that this acts any more automatically than does baptism. she refused them. If we do not realise what we are doing. as of every other sacrament. Our whole view of this Faith is essential. there is nothing in the wine as such. there is no object and no purpose in it. even for sinful believers.PDF Finally. a professor of Hebrew who taught at New College in Edinburgh in the nineteenth century. is that it depends upon faith. There is no value in eating the bread and drinking the wine if we do not do so in faith. because the grace is in it – not at all. We do not believe in that theory of the Catholic Church that it operates in its own force and by its own inevitable power.m. but for weak believers. There is a wonderful story about the famous Rabbi Duncan. On one occasion he was taking a Communion Service and was watching what was happening as the elders were taking the elements around. The woman was so conscious of her sins that she felt she had no right to <.Previous First Next -> http://67.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt39. He saw her refusing the bread. We do not have to be perfect before we can come here.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:13:58 p. Yes. ex opere operato . who is to partake of the Lord’s Supper? Here again the answer is perfectly plain and clear: it is only for believers. that great Scotsman. And he observed one distressed woman in the congregation who was weeping copiously.


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partake of that wine. So he got up and, taking the cup, he went to her and said, ‘Woman, take it, take it, He died for sinners.’ That is perfectly right. The woman was repentant. A repentant sinner has as much right as anybody else to take the bread and wine, if not a greater right. Yes, but that is a very different thing from living in sin. The apostle condemns people who take the bread and wine when they are living in sin and are not repentant. That he prohibits, as has the Church throughout the centuries when she has exercised discipline. But as long as you are repentant, and in your repentance remind yourselves of the things that are sealed to you by the bread and the wine, and if you do it truly, you will end by thanking God – it will be a true Eucharist to you. And you will go on your way rejoicing. And you will say to yourself, ‘Yes, I will live on Christ. I will eat His flesh and drink His blood by faith. I will henceforth live on Him and I shall not fall into sin.’ So you go away with your conscience cleansed, with a joy in your heart of sins forgiven and with assurance of new strength and life and power of which you had not been aware before. So we say that this sacrament must be received truly by faith, and if we cannot take it in by faith, then it is better to refrain because Paul teaches that if people will not examine themselves, if they will not examine and judge and condemn themselves and leave their sins, they will be judged. He says, ‘For this cause’ – because they would not examine themselves – ‘many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep’ ( 1 Cor. 11:30 ). He is specifically teaching that some members of the church at Corinth were weak and others were ill because they would not judge themselves as they should and cleanse themselves, but came unworthily to the Lord’s table, and the result was that God had chastised them. Paul says that if we judge ourselves we will not be judged. But when God does judge and punish us, we are ‘chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world’ (v. 32 ). This means that if we will not listen to the preaching and the exhortation, then we may become weak; we may become ill; (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:14:00 p.m.]


we may be reminded of death and become fearful. Then we will begin to ask, ‘Why is this?’ And we will face our sin, repent and come back, and so avoid further condemnation. There is, indeed, a mysterious phrase ‘and many sleep’ ( 1 Cor. 11:30 ), which means that many were dead because they would not judge themselves. We do not understand this but it is clearly taught here that these people died because God chastised them in that way. It does not mean they were lost but it does mean that God chastised them even by means of death itself. For that they will suffer a certain loss in eternity. We read in 1 Corinthians 3 that some people’s work will be burnt up – it is ‘wood, hay, stubble’ (v. 12 ). They will suffer loss but they themselves will be saved ‘yet so as by fire’ (v. 15 ). Paul’s teaching in 1 Corinthians 11:30 probably means something like that. Therefore, when we come to that table, to the Communion, we must bear all those things in mind, and as we do so, it will be a means of great blessing to us. Yes, but remember this sacrament does nothing more than the word does. It does nothing beyond preaching. I said that about baptism; I must still say it. There is no new or additional grace given in the Lord’s Supper. No, what it does is seal the effectiveness of the word, it confirms our receiving of the grace. There is no special grace. There is nothing there that you cannot have anywhere else. There are those who
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say that the supreme service in the Church is the Communion Service, but I find no scriptural evidence for that at all. No, the supreme sacrament – if you like to call it such – the supreme means of grace in the Church, is the word, the word preached and taught. This is just another means of doing that. It is a remarkable one, a special one, but it does not give us any extra, special grace. What it does is intensify the grace, it makes it more effective to us. Go back to my illustration: the man who puts the ring on his lady’s finger is not loving her any more at that minute than he was before, and yet she is getting something in that intense manner which his declarations do not give. And it is exactly the same with the Communion Service and the partaking of the bread and of the wine. It is one of the means used by God to make His own word to us effective. It is a portrayal, it is something the eyes can see. And so we thank God for this sacrament and should ever go from it feeling strengthened and built up and established in the faith and rejoicing in our great salvation.

6. Death and Immortality
In the last five lectures we have been considering the doctrine and sacraments of the Church. Now we must move on to consider another great area of scriptural teaching, and that is the doctrine of the last things, or, to use the technical term, eschatology . The word ‘eschatology’ is from the same root as the word ‘escalator’: you work up to the last things, to the ultimate, the end. Eschatology is a very important biblical doctrine and we all are curious and concerned about it. It is something that is quite inevitable. Whether we like it or not we have to face death and we can say with reverence that if biblical teaching did not deal with this question of the last things, it would be incomplete. But that is the wonder and the marvel of this book. It caters for the whole of life, every aspect, every department, every phase. There is nothing that appertains to the life of humanity but that we find it is dealt with, and dealt with in a thorough manner, in the Scriptures. (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:14:02 p.m.]


Here, then, are some of the questions that we shall be considering: What is death? What happens after death? What is our whole life leading to? What is the future? What of the future? We will consider these questions in two main ways. We all want to know our own destiny, and personal future. But, in addition to that, we are naturally interested in the larger question: What is going to happen to the whole world? Generation follows generation. Is that to go on endlessly, for ever and for ever, or is there a limit to this process? That is where this whole doctrine of the last things comes in. So as we look at these matters we are not animated by some mere theoretical or academic interest. Every one of these subjects is intensely practical and it is the business of Christian people to be familiar with the biblical teaching with respect to them. Today there is a new and revived interest with regard to this section of biblical doctrine. During the early part of the twentieth century and the end of the nineteenth, there was very little interest in eschatology. I am speaking about the Christian Church in general when I say that, because one of the things that has differentiated evangelical Christians from the majority of Christians is that evangelicals have always attached great significance to this doctrine. But for the great majority of Christian people the whole idea of the kingdom of God applied only to life in this world. Christian people spent their time in talking about ‘introducing the kingdom’, which
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meant improving social conditions in this world. For various reasons, one of the main ones being, of course, the advance of scientific knowledge, and false deductions from that knowledge, people had come to the conclusion (speaking generally) that there is no life after death, that this is the only life and the only world. They felt that people are, after all, but animals, and when someone dies it is like the death of an animal. And that, they said, is the end of the story. So there was no interest at all in this larger question of the future of the world. Life was more or less easy and comfortable. Conditions were more or less prosperous and everybody was interested in this world. But then came the First World War and the life which had seemed so secure and so stable and so settled was shown to be illusory. Everything became uncertain and unsettled again, and the Second World War, of course, accentuated all that. The coming of the atom bomb has given a great impetus to studies about the last things. Everybody today feels that the whole of life is utterly uncertain so that people are beginning to ask again: What is it? And how does it end? What is death? There does not seem to be much hope in this world – is there more in the next? Is there a next world? The whole question has come back again. It behoves us, therefore, to know the biblical teaching about these matters in order that we may answer people’s questions and in this age of insecurity help them to know exactly what the Bible says. Indeed, at the present time, this subject is undoubtedly one of the most fruitful means of evangelism. Let us first of all look at this problem from the personal, the individual, standpoint. I think that is the natural order. People start with themselves and say, ‘Here I am. What’s going to happen to me? My life is uncertain, so what is there for me? Before I begin to think what is going to happen to the whole world, what is the truth about me myself?’ And that brings us immediately face to face with the question of death and the biblical teaching about death. Is it not extraordinary how people dislike and avoid this subject? It is very natural, of course, in the case (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:14:03 p.m.]

The common view held by the world is that death is just the end of life. The first is Luke 12:4–5 . When I die. is simply the separation of the soul and the physical body.42. which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell’. Matthew 10:28 : ‘him which is able to destroy both soul and body in <. But … Fear Him. Or. My soul functions in and through my body. What does the Bible tell us about death? The first thing is this: death is not merely the cessation of existence. according to the Bible. Now I could give you many texts.Previous First Next -> http://67. Here our Lord says to His disciples.PDF of unbelievers because they have no hope as regards they are one. as we read in the parallel passage. Death means. Two very important ones clinch the whole matter.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:14:03 p. Death. biblical teaching is the exact opposite.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt42.15. it is said. he is no longer existing and that is the end of that. But that is not the biblical teaching at all! In fact. Bible writers are very anxious to assert and to emphasise that death does not mean the cessation of existence. cessation of existence. So death is the separation of soul and body but by no means the cessation of existence. he dies. A man exists. and the soul and the body are intimately connected.] . my soul will leave the body.m. Here we are in this life. but it is astonishing that Christian people should also tend to avoid the subject of death. ‘Be not afraid of them that kill the body. and after that have no more that they can do. my soul will go on. as I shall try to show you. My body will still be left here in this world.

of death.15. for that all have sinned’ (v. you see. It was introduced because of sin. it is not something inherent in it. So the teaching is that as life was constituted. According to the Bible. God the Father. God the Son ). 12 ). and so death passed upon all men. So the next question to ask is this: Why do we die? Why is there such a thing as death at all? The popular view here. The One to fear is the One who can destroy the soul as well as the body. We considered that at the beginning of these lectures (see volume 1. Death. And that is followed by a movement: life develops. And it comes in the New Testament in Romans 5 .lt. They both leave their bodies behind but their souls are there. our Lord says. The rich man. this seed. Do not be afraid of them.] . where the apostle Paul shows how death entered in because of the sin of Adam: ‘Wherefore.42. death is not a part of life. and death by sin. Dives. a sprouting. But that is again far from being biblical teaching.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:14:05 p. ‘dying thou shalt die’. Lazarus.’ There are some people who can destroy the body. Why? It is because life is meant to go so far but no further and when it reaches its peak it begins to go down the other side of the hill. the popular philosophical view. dies. it matures. And our Lord’s teaching in Luke 16 about Lazarus and Dives obviously teaches the same thing. the poor man. but is the punishment for sin.PDF <. the beggar at his gate. That is the fundamental biblical definition of death. came by sin. http://67. as by one man sin entered into the world. You will find this in Genesis 2:17 : ‘In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die’ – or. also dies. that death is a part of the life process. existing in that other realm: it is the separation of the soul from the body. and then it begins to decay. Life comes into being: there is a beginning. it blossoms. You find the same teaching exactly in Genesis 3:19 . is that death is inherent in life. it attains its full maturity.Previous First Next -> hell. it had within it this germ.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt43.m.

1:14–15 ).PDF There is another very interesting statement of the same teaching in the epistle of James: ‘Every man is tempted. it bringeth forth sin: and sin.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:14:05 p. we have seen that we die because of sin and we have seen what death is. This is a vital biblical principle and it cuts right across the popular modern philosophy which controls the teaching of the vast majority of people. There are many people who argue in exactly the same way that a Christian should never be ill because Christ’s death on the cross dealt with all the <.m. does a Christian have to die?’ Now that is a most interesting and important question and there is a kind of sub– division to it. They say.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt43. have to die?’ ‘I’ll admit. So the biblical teaching is that death was introduced as God’s punishment for sin. ‘All right. I’ll accept that. There was no death until man sinned and there would have been no death if he had not sinned.Previous First Next -> http://67. a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. But at this point a number of people are in trouble. I am justified. bringeth forth death’ ( Jas. So then. ‘that death was the punishment of sin. but after all. Then when lust hath conceived. and enticed. if I have believed in the Lord Jesus Christ. then.’ says this person. when he is drawn away of his own lust.42. but then the problem you leave with me now is this: Why does a Christian . my sins are forgiven.15. “ There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus.] . ” Why. when it is I am reconciled to God.

So it seems clear that Christians are still left subject to suffering. they are weak and sickly. that the atonement has dealt with all the consequences of sin.42. as the psalmist says in Psalm 119 . it will do so for all. It has done so for some immediately. is it not. There is also that teaching in 1 Corinthians 11 in connection with the Communion Service. that because some people do not examine themselves. The teaching of the Scriptures is surely perfectly clear in these respects and it is a misunderstanding of the atonement with regard both to sickness and to death to say. He could have made us immediately perfect had He chosen to do so. the Christian believer has to die just as the unbeliever has to die. Illness is a part of God’s process of discipline. This http://67. that death was most certainly not dealt with in that way in the atonement. It has pleased God to allow sickness to persist. We are waiting for ‘the redemption of the body’ which means that we are waiting for the body to be delivered from death.PDF <. They say that when Christ died on the cross. Those who believe this say that a Christian should never be ill because healing is a part of the atonement and they quote Matthew 8:17 . With regard to physical death.Previous First Next -> consequences of sin. to which we referred in the last lecture. even in the Christian.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt44. which is itself a quotation from Isaiah 53:4 . ‘Before I was afflicted I went astray’ (vv. because it is clear. sickness and death as a part of the process of their sanctification. Ultimately. He could have abolished death immediately and all sickness. but He has not so chosen.m. death to persist and sin to persist. about Christ bearing our sicknesses.] . 67 ). 71 . They all go into the same category. So it is important that we should take those two ideas together. This very argument forms much of the basis of the popular faith healing movements today – as well as of the cults.’ and. He nullified all the consequences of These are a part of God’s chastisement – see Hebrews 12:3–13 – so that the Christian can say today. without any qualification.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:14:07 p.15. from sin and from sickness. ‘It is good for me that I have been afflicted.

where is thy victory?’ In Christ we know that ‘ the sting of death is sin.15. and God has healed their backsliding. 56 ). But we may be. for instance. There have been Christians who. in that great statement in 1 Corinthians 15:55 . have started to backslide. and this reminder of death has brought them back again. Why? Because of what they know. is one of the means that God uses to sanctify us. forgetting God and their relationship to Him. Every one of us should be able to look in the face of death and say. carried away by success in this world. But suddenly they have been taken ill or have seen someone die. But thanks be to God which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ’ (v. The fear of death has often been a blessing to Christian people.PDF does not mean that every time we are taken ill. we are of necessity being punished for sin.Previous First Next -> http://67. But let me hasten to add that though Christians are still subject to death. ‘O There is also no doubt that death. where is thy sting? O grave.] . their view of death should be entirely different from that of the unbeliever. to use sickness and death very much as He used the nations that He left behind in the land of Canaan to perfect the children of Israel when He brought them out of captivity in Egypt.42.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt44. but it does mean <.m. This does not mean that we speak lightly and loosely and flippantly about death.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:14:07 p. God has chosen. like illness. and the strength of sin is the law. it seems to me. You can see this.

’ he says. we have been considering the question of death itself and have thought about why Christians have to die. We know. nobody ever told you that the immortality of the soul is in doubt.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:14:09 p. But the fact that this is true only of God does not mean that God may not have decided to give that gift to men and women. in and http://67. then. essential.m.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt45. The next question which follows is: What happens after death? And here we come face to face with the idea of immortality. There is a specific statement to the effect that God alone is immortal. reading the Bible would never have raised the question in your mind. No one would claim that they. ‘if anything can be plain. If. We start by saying quite frankly that the Bible does not use the term ‘immortality’: it does not make an explicit statement that the human soul is immortal. but generally most of their pages are devoted to a philosophical discussion of the subject and I do not think it is a part of my task to weary you with that.PDF <.] .’ it is ‘Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord. But first let me put the arguments against the belief in the immortality of the soul.’ Now the answer is that that statement is perfectly true. immortality or has it not? Great volumes have been written on this subject. Is the human soul immortal? Has it an inherent.Previous First Next -> that we know that its sting has been taken away by the atoning death of Christ. ‘Who only hath immortality.15. for instance. 1:21–23 ) while Revelation 14:13 tells us. there it is. ‘which is far better’ ( Phil. the teaching of the apostle Paul about death being a ‘gain’: ‘Having a desire to be with Christ. and by the satisfaction He gave to the law. I suggest to you that no one can read the Bible in an unprejudiced way without gathering the impression that it assumes everywhere that the human soul is immortal. This has often been hotly debated. But while there is not an explicit statement. There is a statement in 1 Timothy 6:16 which says of God.’ So far. too.’ ‘Now.42. God alone has immortality in and of Himself.

9:4 ). The Old Testament.m.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:14:09 p. everything seems shadowy. But they <. as if to say that of course. in His infinite wisdom. when we are dead that is the end. are inherently immortal or can. Now the answer that is generally given to that argument is that there is a kind of progressive revelation in the Scripture and that ideas are much plainer and clearer. 1:10 ). and finally absolutely plain. Indeed. who has ‘brought life and immortality to light through the gospel’ ( 2 Tim.] . has chosen to give the gift of immortality to the human soul.PDF of As we work through the Bible we find a kind of development of doctrine.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt45. indeed.15.42. that God alone has immortality in and of Himself as His right and as His possession. in the New Testament than in the Old Testament. But the reply of those of us who do accept the immortality of the soul is that God.Previous First Next -> http://67. Things are hinted at. So we can say. He need not have. achieve immortality. we do not get the suggestion and the teaching that the human soul is immortal. Everything seems uncertain. As the author of the book of Ecclesiastes puts it. It is said that as we read the Old Testament. seems to indicate that death is just the end. for instance. it is said. ‘A living dog is better than a dead lion’ ( Ecc. therefore. and then yet more plain. we are finished. by His resurrection. Scripture tells us that it is the Lord Jesus Christ alone. But let us consider further arguments. but He has chosen to do so. but He has given it as a gift to the souls of men and women. then they become a little plainer.

and also says. http://67. the Old Testament does state very clearly that there is a place called Sheol . For instance. And there is a very strong affirmation of belief in immortality in Psalm 73 where the psalmist says that his hope is in God. If you go through the Old Testament and make a note of them.42. there is a development in the Old Testament teaching. but certain specific statements in the Old Testament teach the immortality of the soul. and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: and though after my skin worms destroy this body. we must not say that there was nothing there before. Psalms 16 and 17 are of very great importance in this connection and that is why they are quoted several times in the New Testament itself. that he has no one on earth but God. Verses 10–11 of Psalm 16 say. ‘For I know that my redeemer liveth. therefore. at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore. descend together to Sheol. ‘As for me.] . It was a mere suggestion and. incomplete. with thy likeness.’ You could not have anything stronger or more explicit than that. there were all these adumbrations. the good and the bad. There it is. Not only that. one of the best being The Immortality of the Soul by a man called Salmond. yet in my flesh shall I see God’ ( 19:25–26 ). Job states. and afterward receive me to glory’ (v. There was. you will find that the evidence is very powerful. ‘Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:14:11 ‘For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell. In the book of Job. Many books have been written which collate all this evidence. The Old Testament teaches that death is not the end but that the dead go on living and all people. Christ has brought life and immortality into the full light of day. or – to use the Greek word – to Hades . Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy.Previous First Next -> were there before.’ And if we go on to the next psalm. I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied.m. when I awake. there were these suggestions.15. but it was inchoate. a state where the dead go. neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.PDF <. But when we say that.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt46. 24 ). And there are many other verses. we again find immortality stated very clearly in verse 15 .

] . there is a further piece of evidence which always seems to me to be very important. when consulted by that tragic man. And then there is the evidence produced by the event which took place on the Mount of Transfiguration. and against resorting to spiritism or spiritualism. which is very striking.PDF In addition to all this evidence. finally. <.m. This prohibition is referred to.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt46.Previous First Next -> http://67. 17:1–8 ). and this prohibition is in itself a powerful argument in favour of the immortality of the soul. when Moses and Elias appeared and spoke to our Lord. let me come to the New Testament teaching. that we should fear Him who not only can destroy the body but can cast the soul into hell. was able to produce the presence of the prophet Samuel. There is the statement in Luke 12:4–5 .lt. If the spirits of men and women did not persist after the death of the body. Then.42. This shows that Moses and Elias are still in existence ( Matt. suggesting that though the body may be destroyed in this world. by the so–called Witch of Endor who. the spirit goes on. which I have already quoted to you. It is the prohibition in the Old Testament against consulting familiar spirits. of course. the first king of Israel. there would be no need for such a prohibition. Now there is a great deal of teaching in the Old Testament against the consulting of familiar spirits.15. Saul.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:14:11 p.

] . as they have added other teachings from time to time – as we have seen. for the good reason that there is no biblical evidence for it. he is seeing. When the trick question was brought to Him. he is concerned. Conditional Immortality or a Second Chance? We have seen that in the Scriptures we discover that the soul goes on after death. Some people think that it is a kind of vague state of being. This is one of those doctrines that the Roman Catholics have added. Lazarus is there in Abraham’s 22:32 ). too.m. 7.Previous First Next -> And notice. he is conscious. In the Scriptures also we have teaching about the resurrection.PDF <. and the God of Jacob’ ( Matt. ‘God is not the God of the dead.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt47. That is very definite and specific evidence that the soul goes on after death. The rich man is also there: he is dead – yes – but he is still active. that was His reply. Then look again at the story of Dives and Lazarus in Luke 16 . Death is not the end. But apart from that.15. He was being questioned by a clever man who was trying to trap Him with regard to this question of the immortality of the soul.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:14:13 p. the persistence of life after death. the use which our Lord made of the statement: ‘I am the God of Abraham. there are certain wrong ideas with regard to the intermediate state. and He continued. so let me try to deal with it as briefly as I can.42. What is our condition between death in this world and the resurrection which is to come? There has been a great deal of writing and discussion about this. but of the living’. our Lord’s argument was that Abraham. In other words. I shall not discuss the Roman Catholic teaching with regard to purgatory. In the classical http://67. So the next question is: What happens between death and the resurrection? That is what is called the doctrine of the intermediate state . and the God of Isaac. Isaac and Jacob are still alive and God is their God now.

and that we will remain in this state of unconsciousness until the resurrection. Or sometimes the word means nothing more than being in the state of death. Supporters of this view say that when we die we enter upon a state of sleep. when what is meant is ‘going down into the grave’. and the other. and perhaps a more important. Another idea that is sometimes taught is that after death the believer and the unbeliever pass through some common place which is called Hades or Sheol where there are two kinds of compartments for the dead. At other times the context indicates that ‘Sheol’ refers to the place of punishment. the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:51 says. If you are careful to observe the context. One is Abraham’s bosom. For instance.42. when we are unconscious.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:14:13 p.Previous First Next -> http://67.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt47. as I hope to show you. the place of suffering. idea is the teaching with regard to the so–called sleep of the soul . It is claimed that there is biblical evidence to support that contention. Sometimes it simply means ‘the grave’.] .lt. is very far indeed from being the biblical teaching.m. Then another.PDF literature of ancient Greece and Rome we find the belief that the soul goes on to some vague. Now we might very well spend a long time with this but I do not judge that it is profitable. We read of ‘going down into Sheol’. ill–defined condition where everything is nebulous and indistinct with no definition. I think that you will be in no difficulty about the meaning. <. The confusion has often arisen because the same word – this word Sheol – is used for a number of different ideas. Now that.15.

Psalm 115 is also quoted in support of the ‘sleep of the soul’. Paul puts it in terms of sleeping. Instead of speaking bluntly. ‘To day shalt thou be with me http://67. and this doctrine is really based on that verse in 1 Corinthians 15 : ‘They shall not all sleep. We must never build up a doctrine on an isolated statement.’ But it is quite clear that there the sleep simply refers to the fact that people are no longer alive. they are not enduring this sleep of the soul. shall not sleep. Here we read. he says. But there is the still more specific teaching of our Lord in the parable of Dives and Lazarus in Luke 16 . As I said. waiting for the resurrection. But to propose a ‘sleep of the soul’ is to misunderstand Scripture because the Bible teaches quite plainly a conscious existence after death and before the resurrection. ‘Sleep’ is a euphemism for death. otherwise the rich man could not plead that Lazarus be allowed to go to him to relieve him.42.Previous First Next -> ‘We shall not all sleep. neither any that go down into silence’ (v. They. there is definite evidence that the soul is not unconscious after death. And obviously Lazarus is also alive.15.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt48.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:14:14 p. And you will find that statement made many times in different ways in the Old Testament. the whole purpose of which is to show that this rich man is not only existing. thus implying that others will sleep.PDF <. First and they are not in a kind of unconscious state. Lazarus and Dives are both conscious. but is consciously aware of the state of his brethren who are still alive on earth.] . otherwise there is no point whatsoever in the parable. ‘The dead praise not the Lord. we again take the incident that happened on the Mount of Transfiguration when Moses and Elias spoke to our Lord. Clearly. This is an important principle in biblical exposition.’ His teaching there is that some will be on earth when our Lord returns and their bodies will be changed.m. 17 ). A still more important affirmation of a conscious existence after death is found in our Lord’s word to the penitent thief on the cross.

15. Still more striking and explicit.PDF in paradise’ ( Luke 23:43 ). and will enjoy His presence face to face. Paul is enjoying his present communion: ‘For to me to live. Take his words.’ To go into a state of unconsciousness cannot be better than that. and for the vengeance of God to be inflicted upon their cruel oppressors. I say. Again. with the soul in an unconscious condition. which is far better’ (v. and willing rather to be absent from the body.Previous First Next -> http://67. Now that plainly indicates a conscious existence in the presence of the Lord. No. So there is an abundance of evidence to prove that the doctrine of the sleep of the soul after death is entirely unscriptural. We can go further and <. The soul is not asleep.’ he says. It must mean that. 21 ) and. and to die is gain’ (v. otherwise Paul has no argument. And then there are statements made by the apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 5 .html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:14:14 p. That is vital. that would not be ‘far better’ than the conscious communion of the believer with our Lord in this world. Now it cannot be argued that it is ‘far better’ to be in a state of sleep.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt48. pleading and praying for the end to come. ‘We are confident. Paul says that to die is far better because it means he will be with Christ.42. 8 ). ‘For I am in a strait betwixt two. having a desire to depart and to be with Christ. ‘For to me to live is Christ. and to be present with the Lord’ ( No.m. perhaps. are those magnificent statements in Philippians 1 where the apostle says. ‘is Christ. in Revelation 6:9–10 we are told that the souls of those who had been put to death by persecution are under the altar. 23 ).] .

Now we must come on to a teaching which is increasing in popularity and often troubles people. Destruction means complete disintegration. Now. and it is inconceivable that something can go on being destroyed for ever. but is mortal and the gift of eternal life. Some say that the souls of unbelievers will be destroyed the moment they die. they are fond of quoting that statement which I referred to in the last lecture: God ‘who only hath immortality’ ( 1 Tim. That. simply ceasing to exist altogether and for ever.15. but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. while we must accept that and agree with it. Now proponents of this view disagree among themselves.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt49. Called conditional immortality or annihilationism . is referred to in the Scriptures as a gift – ‘For the wages of sin is death.m. must mean what it says – that only God is immortal.42.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:14:16 But. their souls will go out of existence.PDF <. With regard to the others. But the primary argument for conditional immortality centres upon terms like ‘destruction’. as we indicated. Immortality. it is stated. ‘perish’ and ‘death’.] . But their period of punishment and of suffering will come to an end and then they will be finally destroyed. it is said. the unbeliever in a state of misery. Others say that unbelievers will be kept alive for a certain length of time and during this time will suffer and will be punished. this is the belief that the souls of unbelievers will be utterly destroyed and will pass entirely out of existence. 6:16 ). which is interpreted partly as the gift of immortality.’ says Paul in Romans 6:23 . is given to those who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. destruction means destruction. The teaching is something like this: man is not naturally immortal. the end of something. There are different schools of thought. they say. ‘Perish’ and http://67.Previous First Next -> say that both the believer and the unbeliever will be in a conscious condition – the believer enjoying untold bliss and joy. What argument do people have for this idea? Well. it does not of necessity preclude the fact that God has given the gift of immortality to all men and women.

that is.PDF ‘death’ likewise must mean the end of existence. and deliver them who through fear <.Previous First Next -> http://67. he also himself likewise took part of the same. and that those who belong to Him go on to everlasting bliss and those who do not to everlasting punishment and destruction. and goes on for ever. We must be very careful not to arrive at any conclusion which is at variance with the general tenor and sense of scriptural teaching. you are told that that is impossible. those who belong to God and those who do not. ‘Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood. and I would say that the whole teaching of Scripture not only does not suggest but is positively against the theory of annihilationism. you would never gain the impression (it would never even enter into your mind) that anything is taught in the Scriptures save that the world is divided up into those who are Christian and those who are not. Let me give you one illustration out of the Scriptures.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt49. Here Scripture is in agreement with what we can describe as the common instinct of humanity which is to believe that after death the soul goes on. What are we to say about this teaching? Well.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:14:16 p. So if you quote 2 Thessalonians 1:9 .] . If you were to start with the first verse of Genesis and go right through your Bible. the I suggest to you that the general sense and teaching of the Scripture is altogether against it. We read in Hebrews 2:14–15 . that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death. which speaks of ‘everlasting destruction’.15.

m. physical. then. It is the ultimate end of salvation. because so much of the interest in our Lord’s second coming centres upon this one question of the time. how much more necessary it is with respect to this particular aspect of the subject.] . which we ever have to consider as Christian people demands such a careful observance of our spirits as this particular subject. to approach this glorious truth in that way 9. and one evening in the vestry before the meeting. in general. This is not a subject for the mind only. We considered the main terms that are used and we also went on to talk about the manner of our Lord’s second appearing. When is our Lord going to appear? Is His coming imminent? May it happen at any moment? And undoubtedly it is because of that kind of interest that this subject always makes its appeal to Christian people. the importance of care and the danger of being gripped by prejudices. Now if I have emphasised already. therefore. it is for the whole person. I remember on one occasion. our consideration of the doctrine of the second coming of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ was very largely introductory. It is the completion of all that we have hitherto been privileged to consider together. ‘Keep your eye on the increase in the congregation tonight. sudden and glorious. The Time of His Coming – the Signs In the previous lecture.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt64.42.PDF <.’ http://67. he was giving a series of lectures.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:14:18 p. We emphasised that it will be personal. since it involves many difficult and abstruse points and is subject to such controversy and debate. So. Nothing. he said to me. perhaps.15. May God give us grace. which is the time of His coming. visible.Previous First Next -> whole approach is wrong. when Dr Campbell Morgan was still here with us. we now move on to the next aspect of this

lt. and are determined to purify yourself.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:14:18 p. even as he is pure’ ( 1 John 3:3 ). Let me therefore repeat that the test of the sincerity of your interest in this question is the effect of your study of it. You have a wrong interest. Unless you are filled with a desire to be purified. and unless it has the effect upon us of making us strive to be holy and to be ready for that great day. or of your consideration of it. then either I shall have failed <.15. then you are just unscriptural. upon your daily life and living. then there has been something wrong in the way we have been approaching it: ‘Every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself.42.’ he said. I think I established in the last lecture that whenever this doctrine is introduced in the Scriptures.] .48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt64.Previous First Next -> http://67. So if your interest in this subject is so that you may know times and dates and may be able to speak with authority as to when certain things are going to happen. it is always as a part of the appeal to holiness.PDF ‘Why?’ I asked. ‘Well. a false.m. an unhealthy interest. Our concern about the second coming of the Lord should always be in terms of our relationship to Him. ‘I’m announced to speak on a prophetic subject and I never deal with the question of prophecy but there’s always a marked increase in the size of the congregation!’ But we must be very careful lest we be led by the adversary of our souls into something that is quite false.

on the clouds of heaven. we mean this great. is something that I must emphasise. lastly. But His second appearance will be in glory. 5:2 ). In His first coming He came as a baby. this glorious appearing. this physical coming. Yet I suggest to you that if you go through all the passages describing His second coming. invisible. Christ will be attended by His saints and He will come as the King of kings and as the Lord of lords. Our Lord Himself taught that. appearance. will be secret and nobody will see Him except His own. 1:7 ). with His holy angels. this visible coming. but it was a secret. There are some who would teach that our Lord’s presence. you will find they all emphasise its visibility.Previous First Next -> Acts 1:11 ). ‘Be ye also ready’ ( Matt. His parousia. He also compared His return to a thief coming in the night ( Matt. This suddenness is something that is emphasised everywhere in the New Testament. So when we talk about the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The next thing is that His second coming will be sudden . 26:64 ).PDF <. He came in humility. He has already come. something that is not only visible. it is said.m. and our Lord is now dwelling in the air. There is a popular teaching which says that our Lord appeared secretly in That is why we are warned. it will be a glorious appearing. ‘Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man … coming in the clouds of heaven’ ( Matt. As the apostle Paul puts it http://67. Far from being secret. this sudden coming. 24:44 ). Such a secret. and the archangel himself will make that trumpet proclamation. unseen event is utterly unscriptural.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt63. but sudden ( Matt. again. and that is also the way in which it is described by the apostle Paul ( 1 Thess. 15:52 ).42. 24:43 ).] . and why we are reminded that as Christians we should never thus be taken by surprise. comparing it to the flashing of lightning.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:14:20 p. 24:27 ). This.15. this personal coming. mighty event. And. He will be heralded by a trumpet blast: ‘The trumpet shall sound’ ( 1 Cor. We must always be looking for Him and always expecting Him. ‘Every eye shall see him’ ( Rev. unseen.

html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:14:20 p.15. should comfort us. and if you want to be sure that you are doing it in the right way. then it is utterly and absolutely wrong. it is the right way. you are studying it in the wrong way. But if it is something purely intellectual.] . and it does not affect your spirit and your way of living.m. this is an infallible test: if your study of it humbles you. We shall not approach this teaching theoretically or academically or as if we were trying to fit in the parts of a jigsaw puzzle and establish a theory. that you must purify yourself and prepare yourself for it. have encompassed the thing with your own mind. If your study of it makes you realise that the time is short and that you must be up and doing.Previous First Next -> http://67. As John says.PDF in writing his epistle to Titus. Let us rather approach it as we are exhorted to do by the Scriptures. then you are studying in the right way. having emphasised those aspects of It is something that should rejoice our hearts. even as he is pure’ ( 1 John 3:3 ). as it were. the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ’ ( Titus 2:13 ). then you can be certain that your <. I do trust that. ‘Every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself. If it inflates you or inflames your mind and your passion. If the study of it leads you to go down on your knees in worship and adoration and praise. There is a right way and a wrong way to study this great doctrine. ‘Looking for that blessed hope. we shall proceed to consider it and to think of it in this devotional manner. your study is in the right way. but if it gives you a sense of self–satisfaction that you have understood it and. should stimulate us to holy living.42.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt63.

Yes. the terms refer to a personal appearance. but in the coming and the sending of the Holy Spirit. Of course. but over and above all along. He is the Head of the Church and He came through the Spirit on the day of Pentecost. He has come into the Church in a special manner in times of revival. that is not what we have in our minds at all. we are conscious of His nearness – that is a spiritual coming of Christ.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:14:29 p. their city sacked and razed to the ground and they themselves cast out among the nations. Second.] . In dealing with the doctrine of the Holy Spirit we touched upon the spiritual manifestations of the Son of God (see volume 2. But when we talk about the doctrine of the second coming. He Himself will appear. ‘I will come to you. There is no doubt at all but that our Lord did come.Previous First Next -> theories and without prejudices can possibly accept that.15. our Lord did come into the Church. we are told that His coming will be not only spiritual. they indicate that He in person is going to come.m. 19 ).48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt62.42. There is also no doubt but that He did come in judgment on the Jews as a nation in AD 70 when their Temple was destroyed. as He promised on the day of Pentecost through the Holy Spirit. He draws near to each of us. and not only in the resurrection appearances. The doctrine of the second coming teaches a physical coming of the Lord in the http://67. The Lord still comes in a spiritual way. He comes to us individually. God the Holy Spirit ).’ He said to His disciples ( John 14:18 ). And He gave an explicit promise: ‘Yet a little while and the world seeth me no more. we are told a great deal about His influence. for. but ye see me’ (v. There is no question about that – that was a spiritual coming. but physical .PDF <. That was a ‘coming of the Lord’ in judgment.

26:64 ). He said so Himself. we are not concerned about the general preaching of the gospel and His teaching and the memory of Him. we are not even concerned about His spiritual manifestations. and they also which pierced him.42. When He was on ‘So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many. It will be a visible seeing.] . which is taken from you into heaven. second coming – both physical.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:14:29 p.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt62. In and of itself that is enough to establish that according to the Scriptures the second coming will be a physical coming. and every eye shall see him. He ‘shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven’ ( <.m. And in Revelation 1:7 we are told.’ First coming. ‘Hereafter shall ye see the Son man … coming in the clouds of heaven’ ( Matt. He will come in a physical manner. shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven’ ( Acts 1:10–11 ). The classic passage which teaches this is the great statement in the first chapter of the book of the Acts of the Apostles: ‘And while they [the disciples] looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up. So the next point is that His return will be visible . we are not dealing with His spiritual influence. behold. and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. he cometh with clouds. our Lord told the High Priest. ‘Behold. we are referring to something external and physical. Ye men of Galilee.15. two men stood by them in white apparel. which also said. We find exactly the same thing in Hebrews 9:28 where the contrast is drawn between our Lord’s first and second comings.Previous First Next -> http://67.’ So we must be very careful to draw a distinction and insist that when we talk of our Lord’s second coming.PDF body. why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus.

or be troubled.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt61.] . 13 ). are interchangeable. nor by word. and the day of judgment . Paul writes. so there are with regard to our Lord’s second coming. Sometimes our Lord’s coming is referred to simply as the day . Now some people teach that these terms not only have different shades of meaning. You can use wood and hay and stubble. Now I have always felt that there is one text which ought to be more than enough to settle this matter and it is in 2 Thessalonians 2:1–2 : ‘Now we beseech you. A great deal of teaching is based on that difference. but the other will remain. The apostle Paul uses that term in 1 Corinthians 3 where he talks about our building on the one and only foundation.’ In these verses the apostle clearly regards ‘the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ’ and ‘the day of Christ’ as the same event.m. by fire. It is said that the parousia means the Lord Jesus Christ coming for His saints. though he uses two different expressions. or gold and precious metals. Paul that ye be not soon shaken in mind. http://67. as I understand it.Previous First Next -> ). and it is at this point that the controversy tends to come in. These terms. whereas His appearing means that He is coming with the saints. for instance. brethren.42. As there are different terms to describe the same thing in many other connections in Scripture. neither by spirit. The wood.15. There is a teaching.PDF <. and they will all be tried. the day of wrath . which says that the presence of our Lord – the parousia – is entirely different from His epiphany – His appearing. hay and stubble will be burnt up. That ‘day’ is sometimes also called the last day . as I have indicated to you. ‘Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it’ (v. nor by letter as from us. My answer is that I do not recognise such a distinction. as that the day of Christ is at hand.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:14:32 p. by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ’ – and the word there is parousia – ‘and by our gathering together unto him. but describe different things. the great day .


There are people who say that there is a great distinction between the terms ‘kingdom of God’ and ‘kingdom of heaven’. But in fact the terms are used interchangeably. Matthew says ‘kingdom of heaven’ in describing the parables; Mark and Luke in describing the same parables use the expression ‘the kingdom of God’. The terms mean the same thing but there are special reasons why one word should be used in one case and one in another. It seems to me that it is exactly the same with these great fundamental terms about the second coming and that it is indeed doing violence to the preaching of the Scriptures to suggest that there is a marked difference between the ‘presence of our Lord’ and the ‘coming of our Lord’. Well, there are the main terms that are used. If you read the books that I have described and advocated, you will be able to work all that out in detail and I beg of you to do so. The next major heading is: What is to be the manner of the second coming? What exactly does it mean? Let us be certain that it does not mean the three things to which I have referred, namely, our own death, the coming of the Lord in the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost or the destruction of Jerusalem. We reject those three interpretations because certain things are taught very plainly and clearly in the Scriptures with regard to the manner of our Lord’s second coming. First, it will be a personal coming. There are people who have taught that by the second coming of Christ the Scripture means His coming again as an influence: He has created the Church, He has influenced the life of the Church and He has influenced the life of the world through the Church. But surely no one reading the New Testament without
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But may I add this word of warning: this lecture is largely introductory, but I regard it as most important. Beware of losing your balance with respect to this doctrine. Beware of becoming an exclusivist. There are some people who take it up as a study and it almost becomes an obsession to them so that they see nothing else in the Scriptures. I knew a man once who, when I first met him, was a theological student and was going to be a minister. His own conversion happened to take place when the preacher was preaching on the second coming, so he thought it was his duty to preach on that subject and on nothing else. And he did that until it was pointed out to him that he was losing the balance of the Scripture. So while it is good for us to read about those things, and it is our duty to do so, let us be careful to preserve a balance. Of course, the need for balance does not only apply to the doctrine of our Lord’s return, it applies to every doctrine. I have never been able to understand the mentality that believes in forming movements in connection with holiness or movements in connection with the second coming. Surely the truth of Scripture is one. These are but aspects and facets of a truth that is a whole. All the doctrines should be held together. If you start having a movement to preach one thing only, you are bound, eventually, to lose your balance. The Church should preach all the doctrines always and not concentrate on certain things only. So, having made that point, let us now try to approach our subject. First of all, we must look at the terms which are used with respect to our Lord’s second coming, and there are a number. One is the apocalypse. The word ‘apocalypse’ means revelation, and that is why the last book in the Bible is called by some, the Apocalypse, and by others, the book of Revelation or the Revelations of the Lord Jesus Christ. ‘Apocalypse’ also means unveiling and conveys the idea of a veil drawn back. That which stood between us and the sight and the vision is removed. (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:14:34 p.m.]


Another term is epiphany – we talk of the epiphany of our Lord – and ‘epiphany’ means an appearance or a manifestation. There is a slight difference of meaning, as you observe, between apocalypse and epiphany. Ultimately they mean exactly the same thing, but they emphasise two different aspects. The idea of apocalypse is that our Lord is standing there, but a veil is also there and then the veil is taken away and we see Him. Epiphany, on the other hand, gives an emphasis to His coming, His appearing. The third term is parousia , which means presence – the presence of the Lord with His people, which is His second coming. And, of course, His presence includes all that has led to it. A person cannot be in your presence without his appearing and if something prevented his being in your presence, if he were on one side of a veil and you on the other, then that barrier must be removed. So there are three terms: revelation, appearance and presence. But a large number of other terms are also used to describe this great event. It is described as the day of God . We find that in 2 Peter 3:12 : ‘Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat.’ Another, and most important, term is the day of the Lord ( 1 Thess. 5:2 and 2 Pet. 3:10 ). This event is also described as the day of the Lord Jesus or the day of [Jesus] Christ ( 2 Thess. 2:2
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fixed dates for the coming of our Lord, and these dates have been precise (some of them) even down to the hour. Other people have elaborated theories and multiplied ideas, and have been utterly dogmatic, speaking with great assurance. This has gone on for centuries and, of course, the dates predicted by so many of these teachers have long since passed. Yet our Lord has not returned and the natural – almost inevitable – reaction in the minds of all sane, balanced people is to say that we must be very careful about all this. To avoid vagaries and the exaggerations which have characterised so much of this teaching, people have said that the safest thing is to leave it alone and not to consider it at all, lest one become involved and immersed in the disputation. There is no question at all but that the history of this whole matter has been rather sad because there has been dogmatism where dogmatism is not justified at all. People have exaggerated their theories, turning them into facts, and have even made such views the test of people’s orthodoxy. When this happens, then I think it becomes very serious. There are, for example, three possible views with regard to the millennium. You can be a premillennialist, a post–millennialist or a non–millennialist and you will find equally saintly people – as I shall show you – belonging to the three groups. Yes, but there are certain societies which insist upon your being a premillennialist. Now that is the kind of thing to which I am referring. To elaborate theories and to make them tests of orthodoxy is surely to wrest the Scriptures – as Peter puts it – to your own destruction ( 2 Pet. 3:16 ). Where we cannot be certain, we must be careful. We must be guarded in our speech and in our language and we must always try to define the point beyond which we cannot go with certainty. So it is, I think, for those various reasons that many people have to admit that they have read very little about this subject and know very little about it. But while it is right to be careful, carefulness does not mean that we avoid a thing altogether. And it is perhaps best at this point to emphasise that the essence of (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:14:36 p.m.]


wisdom is to be sure that your reading about this subject is balanced. Start with the Scriptures. Then go to these books which will help you. And, above all, read both – or all – sides of the matter, for there are many sides. Do not be content with reading just one side. I find it tragic that people should read one side only. Often they have never heard of another side, or if they have, they are not even prepared to consider it. Surely that must be wrong. Now there are various books on the subject. There are some people who read that edition of the Bible known as the ‘Schofield Bible’ and this has footnotes which deal very extensively with our Lord’s second coming. So read the Schofield notes, but do not stop there. There is a little book which is easily read, which, on most aspects of this subject, takes the opposite view to that taken by the Schofield notes. It is called The Momentous Event and is by W. J. Grier. I suggest that even if you go no further, you do, at any rate, read that much. If you are familiar with the Schofield teaching, then balance it with the other, and come to the Scriptures having read both. Test what you read by the Scripture itself. Nothing is more sad than that people should say, ‘This is what I’ve always been taught, this is what I’ve always believed, and I’m not going to start thinking about anything else.’ That must be wrong. When saintly men of God on both sides – equally saintly and equally scholarly – put forward these views, it behoves us in humility, and with open minds, to read their ideas and to test them as best we can by our understanding of the Scriptures.
<- Previous First Next -> (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:14:36 p.m.] We are confronted by an enemy who is always trying to depress us and to keep our lives so full of other things that we forget this blessed hope. 1–2 ). Just as that is a reference to death. all the references to the coming of Christ refer to His coming to fetch us in death. Very often they quote the fourteenth chapter of John: ‘Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God. That was His teaching concerning the http://67. for example.15. neither knoweth him: but ye know him. and shall be in you. Thereby. of course. and receive you unto myself’ (vv. for he dwelleth with you. That is why this doctrine tends to stand out most prominently in days of persecution and trial. it is only when we see the vanity of this world that we look to that glorious future that is awaiting us. there are some who have taught that it just means the fact of death. 15 and 16 of John’s Gospel. In John 14:17–18 . There is no doubt that one reason is the tendency in all of us to spiritual lethargy. Others interpret our Lord’s coming in terms of what happened on the Day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came upon and into the Christian Church. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. to stir ourselves up. these people say. because it seeth him not.PDF <. this great doctrine is avoided.Previous First Next -> us to consider the reasons for this neglect. In my Father’s house are many mansions … I will come again. Another reason for the neglect of this doctrine is that there are false views and ideas with respect to what it really means.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt58. They point out that before His death our Lord told His disciples that He would be disappearing for a while but would come again. our Lord says. When we talk about the second coming of our Lord.m. ‘… the Spirit of truth.] . We tend to become victims of life and of circumstances. whom the world cannot receive. So often. that we may contemplate them. believe also in me. so.’ And that. what do we mean? Now. They interpret most of the references to the coming of our Lord in terms of the Christian dying and going out of the life of this world.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:14:38 p. This is all taught in chapters 14 . obviously happened at Pentecost. it is said. That is why these scriptures are always exhorting us to remind ourselves of these things.

All references to the Holy Spirit. and He came again into the Church and into the lives of His people through the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost. very popular idea with regard to the interpretation of the second coming describes it and defines it solely in terms of the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:14:38 First Next -> http://67. The third reason. If you look at Matthew 24 and the corresponding passages in Mark 13 and Luke 21 . something that belongs to the past. perhaps more than with respect to any other single doctrine. surely. And they have in that way confined the coming of our Lord solely to the end of the Jews as a nation. you will find obvious references both to the destruction of Jerusalem and to the ultimate coming of our Lord. must be interpreted in that way – it is the spiritual coming of our Lord.] . but is not a very vital doctrine for the Church. It is very easy to understand how that interpretation came about.42.PDF coming of the Holy Spirit.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt58.15. is just a reference to the destruction of the Temple and the city of Jerusalem. So it was not unnatural that certain people should have said that the whole thing. which is of value as far as it goes. at one time. They have <. they say. Then a third and. I think. for the comparative neglect of this doctrine is due to a kind of shyness and carefulness on the part of Christian people because of extravagant teaching. Obviously those who hold the last two views will not pay much attention to this great doctrine but will regard it as something that has already happened. People have become interested in times and seasons. of which there has been a great deal.

they constantly emphasise His apocalyptic teaching concerning the second coming.PDF <. they said. certainly we have nothing which can account for the subsequent history of the Christian Church. And then the angel spoke to the disciples as they watched our Lord ascending into the heavens and said. starting with the very first we find this subject again. Our Lord. If we move on to the Acts of the Apostles. he really did demolish that so–called liberal ‘Jesus of history’ by establishing that this apocalyptic element was an essential part of our Lord’s teaching.42.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt57.Previous First Next -> book which was translated eventually into English under the title of The Quest of the Historical Jesus. This is one of the most important facts about him and it is probably not mentioned in the newspapers. And then when we come to the epistles. shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.m. we again find our Lord’s return taught http://67. 7 ). they said. The liberals had taken the apocalyptic element right out. reconstructing the Jesus of history. taught nothing but morality and ethics. and they stripped Him of all that was miraculous and supernatural. As a student bringing a scientific mind to the Scriptures. but at any rate he did that excellent bit of negative work.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:14:40 p. 3:19-21 ). conduct and behaviour.] . Our Lord was asked a question about events in the last days which He answered (v. which is taken up from you into heaven. Now do not deduce that I am describing Dr Schweitzer as an evangelical Christian because he is very far from being that. as does Paul (cf. Acts 17:31 ). But Albert Schweitzer proved that we are then left with very little. I would not have mentioned this if it had not been that Dr Schweitzer is now eighty and you have been reading about him in the papers. and in that book he established beyond any dispute – and the case has never been answered – that whatever else the Gospels may say about Jesus of Nazareth.15. They were.’ Peter refers to this subject in his preaching (cf. ‘This same Jesus.

it is the greatest incentive to holy living. beware lest ye also. is somewhat overlooked and is certainly not emphasised as it should be. seeing ye know these things before.15. it is that to which the Church is looking forward and at the same time. Peter says. therefore. placed as they were in a difficult world and subject to persecution. ‘Ye therefore. as we read Paul’s epistles we find this doctrine everywhere. looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God … ?’ (vv. it is in the epistles of John and in the book of Revelation. ‘As also in all his epistles.PDF everywhere. of course. And yet I think we have to agree that this It was the comfort that was offered to that first generation of Christians. he has already exhorted them with the words: ‘What manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness. In the third chapter of his second epistle. fall from your own stedfastness’ ( 2 Pet. Peter says of Paul.] . 3:17 ). being led away with the error of the wicked.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:14:40 p. Not only that. the teaching is that no greater comfort can be offered to the Church than this particular doctrine.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt57. this truth. in the light of these things. That is Peter’s testimony and. It is the blessed hope.42. 11– 12 ). It has sustained the martyrs and the confessors in all ages of the Church. to which Peter has just referred. speaking in them of these things’– that is. It is in James also.m. beloved. that Scripture itself emphasises the importance of Christ’s second coming.Previous First Next -> http://67. and it behoves <. And. certainly. the coming of the day of the Lord. We see. There is never a doubt about the fact of the second coming of our Lord.

15. ‘Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord. His second.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt56. God enable us to do so. therefore.PDF <. and shows that the proportion is this: for every one reference to the first coming of Christ as the baby of Bethlehem. We have looked at the doctrine concerning our personal future. In those statistics I think we see an indication of the very great importance of this 8.42. Another statistic – I am giving you this simply to show you the importance of the subject – takes the references in the Scriptures to the first and second comings of our Lord. the destiny of the whole world. and second.] .html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:14:41 p. and though we have not finished dealing with it. 5:11 ). and have noted that the subject naturally divides itself into two main headings: first. Certain people who are very fond of statistics like to analyse the Bible in a statistical manner and one man even goes so far as to claim that one verse in thirty in the Bible is a reference to the second coming of our Lord. because all that Scripture tells us further about our personal destiny is bound up with something which affects not only the whole of humanity but indeed the whole cosmos itself. is decided in this present world by their belief or rejection of the gospel of God’s wondrous grace in the Lord Jesus Christ.Previous First Next -> their eternal unhappiness and wretchedness. to the biblical teaching concerning the second coming of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.m. This is a tremendously important subject. We come. our individual destiny. there are eight references to His final. Now at this point we must turn to the general aspect of the doctrine of the last things. The Second Coming – a General Introduction We have seen that in the Scriptures a good deal of time and space is given to the doctrine of the last things. coming. we have thought about the biblical teaching concerning death itself and the state of the soul after death. we persuade men’ ( 2 Cor.

lt. and its exponents were the people who constantly talked about ‘Jesus’. Towards the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth centuries. But still more important is the fact that our Lord Himself emphasised it and referred to it frequently. contain the account of a discourse by our Lord Himself on this very question and there are parallel statements in Mark 13 and Luke 21 .15. but there are also many other things that emphasise its significance.PDF subject. In passing. For instance.] .42. Matthew 24 and 25 .Previous First Next -> http://67. to which I have referred. there was this teaching about His second coming. Certain chapters in the Scriptures.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:14:41 p. a great religious genius. Their whole teaching was that the real picture of Jesus of Nazareth given in the Gospels was of a good man. let me point out that although we may have differing views with regard to Dr Albert Schweitzer. I would not quite agree. At any rate.m. and all that He foreshadowed about His death. for instance. There are those who would say that both epistles to the Thessalonians were written solely to deal with this subject. our Lord’s second coming is the dominating theme in both those epistles. the prevailing theological mood was modernism or liberalism. his biggest achievement in the theological realm is undoubtedly in connection with our Lord’s second coming.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt56. Matthew 24 and 25 . We cannot read the Gospels without seeing that in addition to all the teaching our Lord gave there and then. but quite a good case can be made out for that view. Then Albert Schweitzer wrote a <. are given exclusively to this doctrine. contrasting the ‘Jesus of history’ with the ‘Christ of St Paul’.

15. ‘But of the times and the seasons. not the angels which are in heaven’ – notice – ‘neither the Son. Indeed. It is rather astounding that people should ever go astray on this matter because there are at least two statements in the Bible that should have saved them from error. whom God used and honoured. dates which have long since passed. So we must examine our motives. therefore. Let us take great warning from the past. I shall not give you any help or indication whatsoever in a precise form as to when this second coming will take place. my whole endeavour as we consider this great subject is simply to concentrate on those http://67. in spite of those two verses. and without adducing any other verses. exactly.PDF <. ye have no need that I write unto you. clearly showing them to be wrong.] . or else you will not have been listening to what I am saying! That is the context and we must never forget it.m. Take the statement in 1 Thessalonians 5:1 . were led astray with regard to this doctrine. He says that this is a knowledge which was denied Him as the Son of Man and that the angels in heaven do not know it but only the Father. but the Father’ ( Mark 13:32 ). We must also bear in mind the history of the Church and must remember how saintly men and women of God. and to strive honestly to arrive at a knowledge of the truth. And yet look at the books which bear eloquent testimony to the fact that Christian people have nevertheless been trying to fix the time. to serve Him more truly. Listen to these words of our blessed Lord and Saviour Himself: ‘But of that day and that hour knoweth no man. and approach this whole subject with the great desire to know Him better.’ And Paul goes on to point out that the day of the Lord ‘cometh as a thief in the night’. Obviously.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:14:43 p.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt65. There is the Son of God Himself telling us that He does not know the day or the hour.42.Previous First Next -> very badly in what I have been saying. Some of them actually committed themselves to precise dates. But in Mark’s Gospel there is a still more important statement. brethren.

There have been critics of the Scriptures who have said that they cannot accept the Scriptures as the word of God because it is perfectly clear that the apostles – the very writers – believed that the Lord was coming in their own day and they were patently wrong. for example. in their <. all I shall endeavour to do is put various views before you and ask you to weigh them in the light of the scriptural evidence. I suggest to you that the apostles.m. asking God to guide you.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt65.42.Previous First Next -> http://67. there are certain points which we must take As for the rest. by the end of this series of discourses. Indeed. So we shall hold on to those things. As we approach the question of the time of our Lord’s coming. But what do the Scriptures really say? Well. you feel less certain than you were at the beginning! I shall feel that I have achieved my object because if there is one subject about which dogmatism should be entirely excluded it is this. about the manner in which He will come.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:14:43 p.] .15. Here the Scripture is perfectly plain and explicit. In this way an attack is made upon the authority of Scripture in general. For instance: Did the apostles believe that it was going to happen in their own day and generation? That is a question that is often raised. I shall be very pleased if. I have known large numbers of people whose spiritual life has become dry and barren simply because fixing the time of our Lord’s second coming has become almost an obsession with them. There is no question.PDF things about which we can be absolutely certain and I have already mentioned them.

most certainly did give the impression that they thought He would return in their day and generation. starting with the coming of our Lord and going on to His second appearing. the first Christians were. That is a dogmatic statement.PDF <.lt. The two http://67. however. we must always remember that with God a thousand years are as one day and one day as a thousand years ( 2 Pet. We are already in the last time. So the time in which we live is a part of the last days or the last time. There are. generally refers to the whole of the New Testament era. but they never taught it. certain statements and passages which.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt66. First. the Christians of a thousand years ago were. on first reading. That is a very important point to bear in mind as we read our New Testament. As we read the prophecies in the Old Testament. might give the impression that the New Testament writers did teach our Lord’s imminent return. as it is used in the New Testament.Previous First Next -> questions to our Lord. in the Bible we find what is rightly called ‘prophetic foreshortening’. on the surface.15. when a statement is made from God’s side. Third. So what do we do with them? Now there are certain principles which we must bear in mind as we study the Bible verses dealing with the timing of the second coming. The term ‘time’. as it were. They seemed to believe it in their questions to our Lord. and we have to be very careful to make sure which he is referring to. must always carry with it that thought. but if you examine the Scriptures you will find that it is correct. But I defy you to give me a single statement where they ever taught that in writing. the term ‘the last times’ or ‘the last days’.m. Therefore it is wrong to limit the terms to something that is yet to happen. when it is thought of from the godward side.42. So we must not take our ideas of time and import them into such a statement. The last times began at the first advent and will run on until the second advent. That is one principle.] . 3:8 ). Second.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:14:45 p. in the same breath. we notice that the prophet talks about the first coming of the Lord and the second.

Our Lord had told them about the coming destruction of the Temple.m.PDF seem to be blended in together – that is prophetic fore–shortening.15. The first is: When will the Temple and the city of Jerusalem be destroyed? The disciples had asked that question. Now let us spend just a moment with this because it is so important.Previous First Next -> http://67. There are references to the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70 and references to the day of judgment – the end of the world – more or less telescoped into one another and we have to be careful to bear that principle in mind as we read certain chapters like Matthew 24 and 25 or Mark 13 or Luke 21 . Thus the whole period of the Church in which we are living is there in the Old Testament prophecies. So when the commentators and the expositors throughout the centuries have come to read these chapters. in addition to that. there have been three main schools of thought.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:14:45 p. Take those chapters to which I have referred. He also dealt with the second question which is: What are to be the signs of His coming? Then. He went on to discuss the end of the age and the final] . There have been those who say that in those chapters our Lord deals with nothing but the <. there are three main subjects. and they asked. The question is: What is our Lord dealing with in these discourses? Well. but it is not there very obviously. ‘When will this happen?’ As our Lord answered that question.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt66.42. We find exactly the same thing in the New Testament.

42. but also a picture. This holds that in those chapters our Lord was deliberately dealing with the two things: that certain of His statements are a literal account of what would happen in AD 70 only while other statements refer to literal events at the end of the age and the day of judgment. yes. The first is the calling of the Gentiles.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:14:47 p. Often confusion arises because people interpret in terms of the end. It tells us that certain signs will precede His coming. But then there is a third school.) So go through these chapters.’ That is http://67.m. He made use of that to say that the events of AD 70 were also a picture of what would happen on a much bigger scale at the end of the age and on the day of judgment. I feel Scripture is very definite and explicit. again.PDF <. what our Lord was saying simply in respect of AD 70. and then shall the end come. Then there is a second school which teaches that our Lord certainly did deal with that. and in a sense it was His main concern. a famous and most important verse: ‘And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations. In other words. but I am deliberately raising these points in order that we may be aware of the difficulties and see that nothing is so wrong as to jump to conclusions. We find that in Matthew 24:14 . (I obviously do not have time to go into it in detail. of a yet greater event that would happen when the age was summed up and the final judgment pronounced. We read about AD 70 in particular and the end of the age in particular. what would happen in AD 70 was a fact.Previous First Next -> destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70 and the spread of the gospel. and if you were to press me to say which of the three I belong to I should say the third one.] . a parable. The second question is: Might our Lord come again at any time? Or can we say that certain things will happen before He comes? but He did not stop there.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt67. Now I commend to you a study of those chapters in the light of that principle. observing the way in which our Lord deals with Jerusalem only and then with something much bigger – the end of the world and the end of the age.15. Perhaps I should not be doing as much as I am.

but having said that.Previous First Next -> http://67. Yes. the vail is upon their heart. Some say that the conversion of the Jewish nation will precede the millennium while others believe that it will take place during the millennium. <.m.15.’ But the key passage is Paul’s statement in Romans 11 .] . and this is one of the most controversial aspects of this entire doctrine. we are told.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt67. There is a similar statement in 2 Corinthians 3:15–16 .42. is it not? There is a similar statement in Mark 13:10 and we find it also in verse 25 of that great eleventh chapter of the epistle to the Romans where Paul refers to ‘the fulness of the Gentiles’. Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord. So what does it teach? As you may know.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:14:47 p. That is the teaching in it essence. and this nation of the Jews will then become the greatest evangelists that the world has ever known. especially from verses 25 to 29 . the vail shall be taken away. Romans 11 clearly teaches that before the end the Jews will certainly be gathered into the kingdom. will be taken back to the Promised Land where a great conversion of the nation will take place. when Moses is but there are subdivisions and different schools of thought. let me come to something which is really difficult and yet taught quite clearly. many people today believe there is to be a national restoration and conversion of the kingdom of Israel. The Jewish nation. A second sign will be a gathering in of the fulness of Israel.PDF perfectly clear. which is generally quoted in this connection: ‘But even unto this day.

There. and the son who said. and that. having spoken His http://67. ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones. That ye which have followed me. That is followed by the parable of the wicked husbandmen. is true. in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory.m.] . ‘Verily I say unto you. There is our Lord. for ‘I won’t go. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out …’ Then there are very significant statements in Matthew 21 . But let me put certain evidence against that for your consideration. In this century we have witnessed the important events in 1917 when Jerusalem was recaptured from the hands of the Gentiles.42. The kingdom of God shall be taken from you. addressing the Jewish nation as represented by its religious leaders and. judging the twelve tribes of Israel. and the setting up of the state and the nation of Israel and the return of so many Jews to the Promised Land. ‘… many shall come from the east and west.PDF <. of course. which concludes with one of the most important statements which even our blessed Lord Himself ever made: ‘Therefore say I unto you.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt68. in the kingdom of heaven. until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof’ (v. And those friends who hold this view have pointed out that it is a historic fact that the Jews have persisted as a nation and as a race in spite of terrible persecutions. In Matthew 19:28 we read. and Isaac.Previous First Next -> Now what evidence is there that there is to be a national conversion of the Jews? Two passages of Scripture are generally put forward. the 1917 Balfour Declaration. and there is no doubt but that this parable refers to this matter.’ but afterwards repented and went. It tells of the son who said he would go to work in the vineyard and then did not go. 43 ). where we read. the parable of the two sons in verses 28 to 32 . Take the statement in Matthew 8:11–12 . and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles. and shall sit down with Abraham. and Jacob.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:14:49 p. in its essence. There is.15.’ Those are the important scriptures that are put forward in connection also with the statement in Romans 11 . is the case for this belief that there is to be a national restoration and conversion of the Jews.’ Then again we read in Luke 21:24 : ‘And they shall fall by the edge of the sword.

When they were at the foot of Mount Sinai. Take all those statements and put them with 1 Peter 2:9 : ‘But ye are a chosen generation. 19:6 ). God said to the children of Israel.] . And there is no doubt at all but that the parable of the barren fig tree in Luke 13:6–9 deals with the same subject. His ‘peculiar treasure’.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:14:49 p. corresponding with the ministry of our Lord.15. The fig tree is to be left for yet another year. They were His people.PDF ‘Ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests. He sums it up and emphasises its message with that statement. unless it bears fruit at the end. a royal priesthood. His special possession. It is to have a three–year trial.42.m. So if we link that with our Lord’s words in Matthew 21 that the kingdom is to be taken from the Jews and given to another nation ‘bearing forth the fruits thereof’. we see that the Church is the nation to whom the kingdom is given <. and an holy nation’ ( Ex. a peculiar people.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt68. the same words that God had applied to the nation of Israel. that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light. an holy nation. it is to be cut down. Then in Matthew 22:1–14 we read the parable of the king’s marriage feast and the man who went in without his wedding garment – clearly again dealing with the question of the Jews.Previous First Next -> http://67.’ The significance of Peter’s words is that they are a repetition of what God had said to the children of Israel before He gave them the Ten Commandments. And the apostle Peter applies to the Church. consisting of Gentiles as well as Jews. and.

they say.15. and teaches very confidently. like the similar phrase ‘Israel of God’ in Galatians 6:16 .42.m.’ What does the apostle mean when he says that? Indeed. every single individual Jew who is alive will be First Next -> when it has been taken away from the nation of the Jews. Now before we go on to consider it.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:14:51 p. There have been two subdivisions of that school. some have even gone as far as to http://67. redeemed. That is some of the evidence on the two sides. One school of thought says that by ‘all Israel’ Paul means the entire number of the elect from among both the Jews and the Gentiles. It is said that ‘all’ means ‘all’ and therefore when Paul writes ‘all Israel’ he means every single Jew. But there is another school of thought which teaches. that when our Lord returns. and does not mean that every single Jew who is alive when our Lord returns shall be saved – that. What it does mean is that there will be such a large number that one really will be able to speak of the Jewish nation as redeemed. regenerate people. let me set you some homework. There have been those who have said that it means the Jewish people in general. is ridiculous. according to that interpretation.PDF <. what does he mean in the whole of that eleventh chapter? What is he teaching about the Jews? Three main lines of exposition have been traditionally put forward and I find it an absorbing task to read these three chapters in the light of the three possibilities. look at the verses and take them in their context. The task I set you is to read and carefully study chapters 9 . and I trust that you will consider it. is the Church of God and the phrase in Romans 11 .48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt69. The second exposition says the words ‘all Israel shall be saved’ refer to the restoration of Israel as a nation. simply means all converted. Indeed. 10 and 11 of the epistle to the Romans in order that we may arrive together at a conclusion with regard to the meaning of the crucial phrase in verse 26 : ‘And so all Israel shall be saved.] . That brings us to the special teaching of Romans 11 . ‘All Israel’.

48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt69. The third possible interpretation is that ‘all Israel’ refers to the total number of elect Jews. then it is no longer ‘all Israel’. because there have been all sorts of ideas. <. This means that Paul is thinking of a spiritual Israel and is not thinking nationally at all. If there is one missing. a special position.PDF say that the apostle is here teaching that every Jew who has ever lived will be saved and all who are already dead will be resurrected in order that they may be saved. If I were to begin to tell you of the various other sub–divisions that have been put forward.m. then we would never finish our exposition. with the result that there will be the saved Church and the saved Jewish nation. in God’s redemption. the total number of Jews that are to be saved. So the final Church will consist of the fulness of both Israelites and Just as there is to be a ‘fulness of the Gentiles’.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:14:51 p. so there is also to be a fulness of the Jews.15. I ask you to consider whether or not such ideas are scriptural and in the next lecture we shall attempt to consider the arguments. they say.42.Previous First Next -> http://67. But I must draw your attention to one teaching frequently found today which maintains that the Jews as a nation will have a special place.] .

the correct explanation? Well. Now the big question confronting us. I do not hesitate to say that I do not think it can possibly mean that because. God’s Plan for the Jews The point at which we have now arrived with regard to our Lord’s coming is this: we have seen that the Scripture teaches that certain signs must happen before He comes. is this: Is this first view. before our Lord returns something will happen with regard to the conversion (I use the term in general) of Israel. ‘And so all Israel shall be saved. We began by seeing that Matthew 21:43 is a crucial statement. And we are now considering what exactly that means. we find that the term ‘Israel’ is used very frequently and every single time it refers not to the Church but to Jewish people.Previous First Next -> 10. So if I were to believe that ‘all Israel’ here means the Church.PDF <.m. and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. the teaching of the Christian gospel to all nations will precede this great event. Here our Lord said. I would have to say that the apostle suddenly changed the meaning of the term without telling But now we must concentrate in particular upon the teaching of this mighty eleventh chapter of Paul’s epistle to the Romans and especially on the phrase at the beginning of verse 26 .15. First. confirms that by applying to the Christian Church composed of Jews and Gentiles the words that God used just before the giving of the law with respect to the nation of Israel. and second. for myself.’ And Peter. ‘The kingdom of God shall be taken from you. I think.’ Let us look again at the three possible interpretations which I outlined to you at the end of the last lecture. I am sure that I shall not be able to satisfy everybody but I can put forward to you some of the considerations on both sides with regard to the three views. in 1 Peter 2:9 .html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:14:53 p. 10 and 11 . as we read Romans 9 .42. which regards ‘all Israel’ as the Church.] .48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt70. I cannot http://67.

there will be two lots of redeemed people: the Church and the redeemed Jewish nation. they say. we come to look at the suggestion that Paul meant the Jewish nation. It is generally <. As. Incidentally. and that is the big subject with which we are concerned. rather. I am discussing. there are a number of considerations which we must bear in mind. then. Is the apostle teaching that? Is he saying here that the Jews as a nation will have special treatment and be put in a special position. the view which tells us that Paul’s words are a reference to the Jewish nation and that what we are taught in the Scripture is something like this: a time is coming when the Jews as a nation will go back to Palestine where they will be converted as a nation and will then become the greatest evangelists that the world has ever known. We cannot do that so I shall do my best to summarise what is perhaps the most popular view No. There are all sorts of sub–divisions to this theory and people do not agree at one point and another. books have been written on this one theme alone. then. It has been studied throughout the centuries. does ‘all Israel’ mean Israel as a nation? Now we introduce a subject that could occupy us for many weeks. and that seems to me a sufficient ground in and of itself for saying that ‘all Israel’ here cannot mean ‘the Church’.42.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:14:53 p.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt70.15.PDF believe that the great apostle would do such a thing. I should perhaps have said that I am not going to pay its supporters the compliment of even outlining such vagaries as the so–called ‘British Israel’ theory. so that at the end of time there will be the Christian Church and the Jews as a nation? It is not that everybody will be in the Church. Second.m.] . but in its essence that is the teaching.Previous First Next -> http://67.

you would assume refer only to the nation of the Jews. People were asking about the descent of the Holy Spirit. but which the New Testament applies to the Christian Church. I know that the reply is to say. ‘Yes. but after the formation of the Church. if we can. the Church was brought in as a kind of parenthesis. almost an afterthought. the Gospel will again be offered to the Jews. and Romans 9 . what are we to say about these teachings? Now this question of Old Testament prophecy. but Peter said that it applied to the Church. teach that for the Jews salvation will not come by grace but as the result of their acceptance of the law and the message of the kingdom. We must be very careful at this point and I think the wisest course to adopt is to discover. And Peter. also. And there are others who say that our Lord really came to offer the kingdom to the Jews. for example. first. The people were there and then seeing a fulfilment of Joel’s words. There are even those who say that the Gospels.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt71. they say.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:14:54 p. It will happen. when the nation of Israel is saved and they add that most Old Testament prophecies have a reference to this. And from the New Testament we are able to say that there are certain prophecies which.’ but I would ask you to http://67. If you read the second chapter of Joel. is very important and most interesting.15. the prophecy used by the apostle Peter in his sermon at Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost.m. Take. 10 and 11 . what the New Testament tells us. In other words. replied by saying.] . of course. by Old Testament prophecies.Previous First Next -> claimed that this contention is supported. Then these people say that in the Gospels. there is a different way of entry into the kingdom for Jews than for Well. but that was only a partial fulfilment. if you only read the Old Testament.PDF <. trying to avoid the sidelines and ramifications. you remember. there seems to be a great deal of teaching pointing to the fact that the kingdom is for the Jews only. and keeping to the main issue. and the men speaking with tongues – these astounding phenomena. you would think that the prophecy had sole reference to the Jewish nation. you will see that they look forward to some great day of blessing which is yet to take place. ‘This is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel’ ( Acts 2:16 ). People say that if you read those prophecies. and because they did not accept it.42.

’ This does not mean that it all happened then. If you were to read that prophecy of Amos.15. after this I will return.’ He Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world. and will build again the tabernacle of David. which is fallen down. who doeth all these things. upon whom my name is called. and I will build again the ruins thereof. James was quoting from Amos 9:11 and this is crucial. And to this agree the words of the prophets. It was the beginning of the fulfilment. and I think you will find that he did not say that it was a partial fulfilment. and I will set it up: that the residue of men might seek after the Lord. as it is written. ‘is the fulfilment.42. yes. to take out of them a people for his name.PDF read again what Peter said. ‘This.Previous First Next -> http://67.’ said Peter. and all the Gentiles. saith the Lord. you would come to the conclusion (if you were left to yourself) that the prophet was undoubtedly referring to something that was going to happen to <.] . ‘This is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:14:54 p.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt71. and it has been going on ever since. James was presiding at the conference of the leaders of the church in Jerusalem and this is what he said: Simeon [Simon Peter] hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles. Peter’s words are a reference to the whole of this age to which the Church belongs and which leads to the second coming.m. Still more important and significant are James’ words in Acts 15: 14–18 .

you will find that river will have to rise and flow up over mountains – impossible if you http://67.’ Acts 15:14–18 is significant because of the term ‘the tabernacle of David’. So James does not take Amos’ prophecy literally but spiritually. you will find that you have measurements which cannot be fitted into a literal Palestine.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt72. For instance.Previous First Next -> the Jewish nation: the tabernacle of David which had fallen down would be raised up and built again. Indeed. tell us that we must take the Old Testament promises literally. Those friends who believe that ‘all Israel’ means the Jewish nation. and they have come in. this did not seem quite so clear when Germany attacked Russia in 1941! Read those chapters and try to interpret them literally. If you work out all those measurements about the restored Temple.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:14:56 p. speaking under divine inspiration. and all the Gentiles.m.’ he said in effect. Amos says that when the tabernacle of David which has fallen down is built again.PDF <. ‘we must admit these Gentiles. If you work out what you are told there about the river. ‘It’s all right.] .15. for instance. But. some people were absolutely certain that they were seeing the fulfilment of Ezekiel’s prophecy about Gog and Magog and the great northern confederacy. when Molotov and Ribbentrop signed their pact in 1939.42. was the very subject that they were discussing in their conference. But James says that the ‘tabernacle of David’ referred to by Amos means the Christian Church which has been founded by David’s greater Son. Let us turn. to the prophecy of Ezekiel from chapters 40 to the Now with this key we must proceed to consider the other prophecies and we can interpret them in exactly the same way. of course. But James. Amos has prophesied that. many people have gone back to chapters 37 and 38 as well and in the light of contemporary events have often said that all these prophecies have been fulfilled. as Peter has reported to us – it’s a fulfilment of the prophecy of Amos. did not hesitate to say that the prophecy of Amos had already been fulfilled and the residue of people seeking after the Lord. then the residue of the people and the Gentiles are going to come in. These important chapters have often been studied.

15. I could say a great deal more. and shall sit down with Abraham. There.m.] . What we do know is that He said – as I quoted in my last lecture – that a day is coming ‘when many shall come from the east and west.42. can you possibly go back again to the types? Surely it is quite unthinkable. A literal interpretation of these chapters involves us in believing that a day is coming when the Jews will again occupy the whole of the land of Palestine with a literal Temple again built in Jerusalem. There is no reference to it in all His teaching. It is a simple fact that our Lord never spoke about the restoration of the Jews to the Holy Land. Not only that. and Isaac. once and for ever. But let us go on.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt72. and Jacob.Previous First Next -> http://67.PDF take it literally! But if you understand Ezekiel’s words pictorially and spiritually there is no difficulty. In reply. but I must leave it at that. is the way in which we must approach the argument which is based upon the Old Testament prophecies with regard to ‘Israel as a nation’. But can you really believe such a thing? When the one sacrifice is there. it seems to me. Never. those friends say that the Temple and its sacrifices will only be a kind of memorial of what our Lord has already (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:14:56 p. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast <. and the memorial is the bread and the wine. but burnt offerings and sacrifices for sins will again be offered – and this after the Lord Jesus Christ has given and made one sacrifice for sins once and for ever. in the kingdom of heaven.

2:14 . Our Lord has ‘broken down the middle wall of partition … we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father’ ( Eph. Scythian. until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in and then. Paul said. bond nor free’ ( Col.] . once and for ever. But Paul did not say that. ‘so are the branches’ (v. It is this essential oneness and unity and continuity that the apostle is concerned about. I would argue that the teaching of Romans 11 . proves that the view we are considering cannot be right because Paul’s whole argument there is that there is only one root. ‘… blindness in part has happened in Israel. Paul says that there is no longer Jew nor Gentile. brethren. ‘If the root be holy. 3:11 ). http://67.PDF <. It is not the branches so much as this one root that is important. and also the Jews in a special position. Barbarian.42. that the Church is one – Old Testament and New. they are finished.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt73. 16 ). Paul says.’ says Paul. to Gentiles. therefore.Previous First Next -> out’ ( Matt. How Paul gloried in that! Yet people tell us that the Jews are separate and that at the end there will be the Church of Gentiles. 8:11–12 ). What about all the statements in which the apostle Paul so delighted? ‘Where there is neither Greek nor Jew.m. He said that. but He never said that they were going back to Jerusalem There are also certain other powerful considerations.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:15:05 p.15. that ye should be ignorant of this mystery. circumcision nor uncircumcision. And then there is the tremendous statement of Galatians 3 in which Paul says that we are all of the seed of Abraham – and he was writing. in and of itself. lest ye should be wise in your own conceits. 18 ). after that. The Gentiles are grafted in. all Israel shall be saved’ – as if the salvation of Israel happens afterwards. It seems to me. that blindness in part has happened to Israel. that there is no special place for the Jews as a nation. Also it is important for us to bear in mind that so often people reading Romans 11:25–26 read it like this: ‘For I would not. it is impossible.

In this way. ‘all Israel shall be saved.’ So a good principle always when dealing with a difficult statement in Scripture is not to concentrate on that statement. The better method is to stand back and say. them he also called: and whom he called.] . them he also glorified’ ( Rom. In his marvellous peroration in chapter 8 . let me go back to the beginning of Romans 9 . not to pore over it and bring a microscope. in this way. then he takes up another subject. as it were.’ And then he works up to his terrific <.lt. they are a complete argument. His words must mean. 8:29-30 ). what do we find? The first question we must ask is this: Why does the apostle introduce this subject at all? Why does he bring in the Jews? It seems to me that there can be only one adequate answer to that question. in effect. And so all Israel shall be saved.PDF until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. them he also justified: and whom He justified. Clearly chapters 9 . then.15. ‘I’m not clear about that statement in Romans 11:26 . So Paul stands back and says. on to it. Paul is comforting the Roman believers and telling them that God’s promises are sure: ‘For whom he did foreknow.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt73.’ If.’ Paul is not talking about chronological sequence. in this manner . 10 and 11 form a whole. we take Romans 11 in its entire context. Paul starts on something at the beginning of chapter 9 and he goes right on with it until the end of chapter 11 .html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:15:05 p. ‘What do you say to that? Nothing can stand in God’s way. the way he has been describing. What shall I do? Well.42. he also did predestinate … Moreover whom he did predestinate.Previous First Next -> http://67.m.

that neither death. Why not? Here is the answer: ‘For they are not all Israel.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:15:07 p. He says that the rejection of Israel is not complete.15. nor because you think the term “ Israel ” means the literal. ‘Wait a minute. all of whom are Jews – but it doesn’t.PDF <. It doesn’t seem as if they’re being carried out. physical nation of men and women. 38– 39 ). He is not concerned just to give an outline of his prophetic teaching. All is well. 10 and 11 . But then Paul hears somebody saying to him. it is only in part. 9:6 ). nor things to come. So let us summarise Paul’s teaching. but what about the Jews? Look at the promises made to them. nor any other creature’ – nor anything else you can think of. as used in the Scriptures. nor life. ‘You’re in difficulties.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt74.42. what do you say about the position of the Jews?’ That is how this subject came in. he is answering an objection. If what you are saying is right. nor height. which is in Christ Jesus our Lord’ (vv. nor principalities. Paul. That sounds very wonderful. doesn’t mean every single Jew because “ they are not all Israel. nor depth. ” There is the vital distinction.m. nor things present. he goes on to make a crucial statement which is the key to the understanding of the three chapters: ‘Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect’ ( Rom. wherever it may be – ‘shall be able to separate us from the love of God. which are of Israel. But then he does not stop at that. How many are there in the Christian Church? It seems to consist chiefly of Gentiles and the Jews are persecuting the Christians. Israel.’ http://67. it is not absolute.’ In effect.] . nor powers. Paul is saying to the objector. How can you reconcile this tremendous assertion of God’s promises being inviolable with the facts that are staring you in the face? So the apostle takes up the question of the Jews and discusses it in chapters 9 . you’re letting your eloquence run away with you. which are of Israel. and if God’s promises are absolutely sure. my friend.Previous First Next -> climax: ‘For I am persuaded.

there are 7. Yes. even now. For I also am an Israelite.000 others you do not know about – ‘the remnant according to the election of grace’ are always there. they have killed thy prophets … and I am left alone’ ( 11:3 ).15.m. I suggest to you. 1:1–2 ). of the tribe of Benjamin. is the key to the solution of this problem as to what ‘all Israel’ means. in ‘If I were the only Christian among the Jews. the true Israel. Paul has talked about the ‘fulness of the Gentiles’.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:15:07 p. and he turned to God and said. And then Paul continues with his doctrine of the remnant. Take.Previous First Next -> http://67. is still there. ‘Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. It looked as if the promises of God had gone entirely astray and indeed Elijah himself thought they had failed.] . to the spiritual Jews. No. ‘Lord. those whose circumcision was not outward but inward. of the seed of Abraham. And here. there is also a <. of the heart and of the spirit. Yes.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt74. God’s promises were to this particular people He has chosen within the nation – the true Israel.’ Paul says. Paul goes on to say in Romans 11 . And God replied. And God has always kept His promises to these people. when you think there is nobody. says Paul. the time of Elijah. Israel. the spiritual Israel. I would still be able to prove that God’s promises are true: “For I also am an Israelite. God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew ”’ ( Rom.42.PDF Paul then goes on to show that the promises of God have never applied to the literal nation as a whole but have always had reference to the remnant. for instance.

29 ).’ Paul says.] . because of their nationalistic ideas. And then. the same are the children of ‘then are ye Abraham’s seed. writing to Gentiles. http://67. saying. In thee shall all nations be blessed. And the scripture. So what we must be careful about is this: the Jews rejected the Lord Jesus Christ when He came because of their carnal ideas of Israel. preached before the gospel unto Abraham. perhaps. that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith’ (v.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt75. this spiritual Israel about which the Bible is always concerned and which – according to the apostle Paul – is the only Israel in which God is interested from the standpoint of salvation? How dangerous it is to think in terms of the physical nation and not to realise that ‘they are not all Israel.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:15:09 p. but they will all come in. and heirs according to the promise’ (v. foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith. all whom God has called among the Jews: they will all be saved.Previous First Next -> ‘fulness of the Jews’. national. Then. because they were bound by their political. social ideas.15.PDF <. Finally. All whom God has called among the Gentiles. and large numbers in others.42. ‘And if ye be Christ’s. let us look at some verses from Galatians 3 which put this matter in a very clear way: ‘Know ye therefore that they which are of faith. 7–9 ). which are of Israel’. and they rejected Him. ‘All Israel’ must carry that meaning and connotation. in certain generations. because He did not come and set Himself up as a king. 14 ). There may be very few. ‘That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ. Is that going to happen again? And are some of God’s people falling into the same trap and error of thinking in terms of the nation rather than this remnant. finally.m. They did not recognise the spiritual truth. So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham’ (vv. the total Israel that God had in His mind from the beginning will all be brought in.

and Him crucified. No one will ever be able to keep the law. So thank God for it. But they will not be in a special position. all who exercise faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and who belong to Him and who are redeemed by Him. there is no other way into the kingdom. who believe that Paul does teach in this chapter that before the end there will be large numbers of conversions among the Jews. Thus the conclusion of this interpretation of the words ‘all Israel shall be saved’ is that they mean the total of all believing Jews in all ages and generations. the physical Israel. It will be like life from the dead. We can believe Romans 8 in spite of appearances: God’s purpose according to the election of grace. through the remnant. are we not. and I am among them.m. That is the everlasting gospel and there will never be another. is still being fulfilled. that anyone can be saved. No.15.PDF Abraham’s seed is not national.42. It will be astonishing and it will rejoice the hearts of believers then alive. when we try to re– introduce and perpetuate the distinction between Jews and Gentiles and to say that the promises are to literal. all whom God has foreseen shall infallibly be saved. There are some. It is by faith in Christ alone.Previous First Next -> http://67. We are violating Scripture. <. though thousands together may believe.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:15:09 p. physical Israel. will have to come into the kingdom by repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. the nation of Israel will not be differentiated from Gentiles. Abraham’s seed is all the children of faith. So at the end there will be the fulness of the Gentiles and the fulness of the Jews. Thank God that His purposes are sure and that what He has purposed will most surely come to pass.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt75.] . They will have to trust to the blood of Christ as I have had to and every other Christian has had to.

15. This. even now are there many anti–christs. there are references to the same power. The Bible. Let me underline once more the fact that we must approach it with humility. as we have seen. ‘the Antichrist’ is a term which is used only by the apostle John.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt76. knowing that when godly. it is also clear that in Daniel 7:8 and 7:15–28 and in the classic passage in Revelation 13:1–18 with its account of the beast from the sea and the beast from the earth. again. let me begin by referring you to certain specific statements in Scripture. there is the passage in 1 John 2 .m. in each passage the source. the origin. which. So as we come to consider the question of the Antichrist. First of all. especially verse 18 : ‘Little children. is clearly a description of the same person. teaches clearly that certain things will precede this and we have now arrived at the third of these. it is not a subject upon which we can glibly pronounce a final judgment. one which is the subject of much disagreement. First.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:15:10 p. is http://67. saintly and able men have confessed a difficulty. And finally. there are also incidental references in 1 Timothy 4 and in 2 Peter 2 and 3 . 2 Thessalonians 2 and Revelation 13 all refer to the Antichrist. Now let me give you my proof that Daniel 7 . Furthermore.] .’ Indeed.42. whereby we know that it is the last is a vital and interesting matter and. like the first two.PDF <. We have considered the fulness of the Gentiles and the meaning of Paul’s phrase ‘all Israel shall be saved’ and we come now to another important sign – the Antichrist. Then there is also the great passage in 2 Thessalonians 2:1–12 . it is the last time: and as ye have heard that anti–christ shall come.Previous First Next -> 11. The Antichrist We are still considering the question of the time of our Lord’s second coming. again. with caution and with reverence.

15. unlike the other ‘kings’ ( Dan. in Revelation the rule of the Antichrist is the last phase of the beast from the sea. The little horn in Daniel 7 is similar to. the beast receives his power and his great authority from the dragon (who is Satan) marching through pagan Rome.] . In Daniel 7:8 . 8:24 ). the others in that it is a religious power. and the ‘man of sin’ in Thessalonians shows both aspects. yet demands and receives worship. and the man of sin is revealed after the restraining power has been removed. the figure exercises religio–political power. while the man of sin from 2 Thessalonians is visible after the removal of the Roman Empire.PDF the same. The little horn is among the divided successors of the Roman Empire. 8:25 ). Fifth. Fourth. the little horn comes from the fourth beast. their end is the same. Third.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:15:10 p. yet ‘diverse’ from. The little horn has a ‘mouth that spake very great things’ ( Dan.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt76. Second. the time of the origin is the same.Previous First Next -> http://67. the figures in the three accounts show blasphemous presumption. We are told that the beast in Revelation <. 8:20 ).42. in each account. All three are destroyed at the second coming of Christ in final judgment. In Revelation 13 the beast wears a crown. ‘He shall speak words against the Most High’ ( Dan.m.

7:21 .m. ‘whose look was more stout than his fellows’ ( Dan. 2:4 ). in both Daniel and Revelation the time of their domination is the same: three and a half years.] . ‘Who is able to make war with him?’ ( Rev. and the man of sin sets himself up as God ( 2 Thess. But Paul in 2 Thessalonians gives no exact time. ‘Power was given unto him to continue forty and two months’ ( Rev.42. having seen the relationship between those three passages.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:15:12 p. Eighth. and as far as the beast in Revelation is concerned. In Daniel it is described as ‘until a time and times and the dividing of time’ ( Dan. 13:12 ). 8:25 ). and then he goes on to explain that certain things must happen first. 7:20 ).lt.15. Sixth. what does it all mean and what is Paul teaching in 2 Thessalonians 2 ? Well. And the man of sin in 2 Thessalonians works. 25 ).Previous First Next -> has ‘a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies’ ( Rev. 13:5 ). Seventh. So. all three wage war against God’s people. they have great power. http://67. Paul begins by saying that the ‘day of Christ’ is not as near as some people had been saying. the beast causes multitudes to worship him ( Rev. 2:4 ). in each passage divine homage is demanded: the little horn sets himself over the saints and times and laws of the Most High ( Dan. we are told.PDF <. ‘with all power and signs and lying wonders’ ( 2 Thess. while it is asked of the beast. 13:4 ). Of the little horn in Daniel we are told. while the man of sin exalts himself against God ( 2 Thess. 13:5 ).48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt77. 2:9 ) Finally.

which is the working of Satan. there will be apostasy –‘a falling away’. It is deliberate disobedience in which self–will is raised to the highest power.42.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:15:12 p. for he is already present and working.] . Paul then goes on to say certain things about him. but positive resistance against God. Sixth.PDF He is the Antichrist . Then ‘that man of sin’. We are told that he is lawless. ‘the son of perdition’. the wicked and lawless one will be revealed. he is opposed to God and to Christ and His kingdom and work. That must happen in the Church and will be the apostasy. Paul says that this is a mystery which. his presence is masked by lying pretensions and false miracles.m. This is not negative sin. yet is against the kingdom of truth which the name implies.Previous First Next -> http://67. Third. Fifth. but that at that point he will be revealed. and his fourth characteristic is self–deification –‘shewing himself that he is God’ ( 2 Thess. he sits in the sanctuary of God. who stands instead of Christ and takes the Christian name. and arrogating to himself the whole domain of faith.15. 2:4 ). as always in the New Testament. as Paul enumerates in verses 9 to 11 – ‘all power and signs and lying wonders’.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt77. Second. Notice that it is not that he will come . is only revealed to those who have spiritual understanding. making people believe a lie. <.

The politico–religious element. then. do these descriptions of the Antichrist refer? Three main explanations have been given. whose power was then removed. To what. they said. 8 ).42. is also present in the papacy. which corresponds with the biblical account of the origin of the Antichrist. and to the fact that the Council of Trent anathematised the true faith. One is that this has already happened: that it refers to the Jewish apostasy and rejection of Christ. 7 ). This was the view of the Protestant Reformers. The Reformers further suggested that the ‘restrainer’ refers to the Roman emperors. They pointed out that papal power began after the downfall of the Roman as we have seen. 2:4 ) which they said refer to the pope’s seat in the Church among God’s people. The third explanation is that the Antichrist passages refer to the papacy. This view also compares the ‘lying wonders’ with the large number of supposed miracles upheld by the Roman Catholic Church. the ‘spirit of his [the Lord’s] mouth’ in 2 Thessalonians 2:8 was the Protestant Reformation. 7 ) and that he is doomed to destruction at Christ’s coming: ‘whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth’ (v. they pointed to the words.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt78. for example. and so the ‘tenth part of http://67.m.15. Paul does not give the exact times. and they further maintained that there is an opposition to the gospel. However.PDF <. To support their argument. ‘He as God sitteth in the temple of God’ ( 2 Thess. unlike Daniel. But Paul also makes it clear that ‘the mystery of iniquity’ has already started – ‘doth already work’ (v. and as far as ‘believing a lie’ is concerned. they pointed to the faith in miracles. Others say that it is entirely in the future and refers to a Jewish or Gentile person who will set himself up in the restored Temple in Jerusalem and make war against the saints.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:15:14 p.Previous First Next -> Paul also says that the revelation of the man of sin is delayed by a restraining power (v. as is the demand for worship. to be seen most subtly in the denial of the doctrine of justification by faith only and in the exaltation of the Church.] .

and objections can be raised against all three views. I think. ‘We <. the Antichrist was already at work in the days of the apostles Paul and John. it seems to me. becomes a reference to the French Revolution.Previous First Next ->] . is the sense of their teaching and we must realise that we ourselves are confronted by such a power. Of some things. and the beast from the earth ecclesiastical. Possibly those two aspects may follow one another.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:15:14 p. and you find both in Revelation 13 .48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt78.m. with a terrible ecclesiastical power coming after an equally terrible political power. Furthermore. he will reach his fullest power immediately before the end of this age. with the beast from the sea symbolising political. As Paul wrote to the Ephesians. Finally.42. power. be certain that the Antichrist will ultimately be concentrated in one person. So much remains uncertain. are the possible interpretations of this tremendous subject of the Antichrist. Those. Paul emphasises the ecclesiastical aspect of his rule. We must not be guilty of over– simplification but we can be sure that from the beginning of the Church until the very end an evil power is at work within the Church. we can. As we have shown. however.PDF the city’ which fell. in Revelation 1:13 . who will have terrible power. then.15. Now this. and will be able to work miracles and do wonders in a way that will almost deceive the elect themselves. we can be certain. while Daniel shows the political aspect. but it is very clear that though there may have been many imitations of him.

parts of 1 Thessalonians 4 and 5 and also some verses in 2 Thessalonians. there are certain statements in Scripture that we must consider together. The Interpretation of Daniel 9:24-27 We are continuing with the subject of the time of our Lord’s second coming and let me emphasise again that I am not giving you a scheme or an exposition which I regard as perfect and which alone must be right.15. having done that. Other passages are Matthew 24 and 25 . I would not dare venture to say such a thing. quite inevitably. I shall continue to repeat this because it seems to me to be the most important point I can make in connection with this whole subject. In the last lecture we were considering together the biblical teaching concerning the Antichrist. One such passage is the ninth chapter of Daniel which we shall consider now. have great relevance to this subject. there is the book of Revelation. If I can somehow shake the glibness and the dogmatism that has characterised this matter I shall be most pleased. It may well betoken a period of blessing in the history of the Church. 12. and I thank God that there are signs and indications that people are prepared to consider this matter anew. the interpretation that most commends itself to my mind and to my understanding. as anyone who is concerned to teach the Scriptures must do. 6:12 ). before our Lord comes again. who. according to one interpretation at any rate. I am not. and in one case a whole book. Now.m. against powers … against spiritual wickedness in high places’ ( Eph. the man of sin.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:15:15 p. I am simply trying to put before you some of the various ideas and types of interpretation.] .lt. of course. the son of perdition. but against principalities. while indicating. and to be manifested. is to appear.Previous First Next -> wrestle not against flesh and blood.PDF <.42.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt79. http://67. Certain passages in particular. And then.

proposing to take you in detail through Revelation. So there is our programme. give their own interpretation and leave it at that. That is something that should be done. But we cannot deal with this great theme of the second coming without indicating how the book of Revelation is to be interpreted and. To expound a whole book would spoil the symmetry of a series of addresses. and can be done.Previous First Next -> I am quite sure. though there are many who do. Of course. it is not sufficient because there are other ideas. Now anybody who has ever studied this question of prophecy will.42. what to leave out.m.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:15:15 p. be in great sympathy with me from the standpoint that the books that have been written and the ideas that have been propagated with regard to the chapters to which I have referred.15. but not in discourses such as these on biblical doctrines. ‘This is the statement of Scripture and here are the lessons. in handling these prophetic questions. that is a very simple and nice thing to do! But to me. and people brought up on these ideas will want to know why they are being given a different interpretation.’ But in dealing with a subject like this it really is not enough to do that. It is an essential part of teaching that <. and what is wrong with their idea. I hope to do that. explaining the meaning of the words and showing its general tenor. There are many who. Now any man who preaches the gospel likes to read a passage and expound it. are so voluminous that it is indeed a great task to know how to organise one’s material.PDF however.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt79.] . and what to emphasise. simply stand up. saying. God willing.

there have been many sub–divisions and ramifications of the teaching proposed by Edward Irving and J. the evangelist. since then. and there were others. Moody. adopted J.15.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:15:19 p. almost notorious. But I cannot ignore what has happened since 1830. for the brilliance of his preaching. Indeed. But the teaching that has proved to be most popular and that has become widespread is the one that has come down from J.Previous First Next -> we should help one another as far as we can and. Now here is the difficulty. I cannot simply give a positive exposition. Thus you find two saintly. Darby’s teaching and.42. my problem. of course. Darby and the equally saintly George Muller who himself belonged to the Brethren but did not agree with Darby’s prophetic interpretation.m. W. becoming famous. N. would have been very much simpler. able men L. Edward Irving exercised a most amazing ministry in London. There was a real disagreement between J. giving you as much guidance and help as I can. Now those two men became the leaders of a series of conferences which were held to study and discuss these prophetic questions. Newton.] . A new school of interpretation came into being round about that date which has had a profound influence. http://67. one of the founders of the Brethren. they did not all agree from the start – I mention this just to show you the complexity of the problem. But he developed an interest in the second coming. a minister of the Church of Scotland who came to a church in London after having been the assistant of the great Dr Thomas Chalmers in Scotland.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt80. N. the Reverend Edward Irving. such as B.PDF <. Darby. Its two leaders were. much as I would like to. first and foremost. therefore. N. Of course. N. If I had been dealing with these matters before 1830. and began to attend conferences which were also attended by the saintly John Nelson Darby. D. and the outcome was a new school of teaching. Darby. my task. I shall have to give other views and beg of you to try to evaluate them.

and since one must always expound the Scriptures in a given situation. with verses 24 to 27 . So I come now to consider what exactly we find here in Daniel chapter 9 . the verses at the end of the chapter.m. The formation of the Moody Bible Institute popularised it still more and the publication of the Schofield Bible was possibly most influential of all.PDF because Moody was such a well–known man as a result of his evangelistic campaigns. this view is highly esteemed in many evangelical circles. any exposition of Daniel 9 which did not pay attention to this teaching would indeed be inadequate. Daniel starts the chapter by telling us that through the study which he has undertaken he has discovered that the captivity is to last for seventy years. ‘In the first year of the reign of Darius … I Daniel understood by books the number of the years whereof the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah the prophet. And we can read this reply in verses 22 to 27 . and I shall indicate the different views as we go along. goes to God in prayer and asks the obvious question: ‘What is going to happen now?’ He admits the sin. of course. but he wants to know: What of the future? And then the reply is given to him by the angel Gabriel.15. in the light of that.Previous First Next -> he admits that the nation has deserved all that has happened to it. It has its own particular interpretation of most of the chapters that I have mentioned. <.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:15:19 p. We are particularly concerned.] . The setting is this. it was popularised immediately.42. The children of Israel are in captivity in Babylon. As a result. but the time of the end of the captivity is drawing near.’ And Daniel. that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.

PDF <. There is a period of time referred to as ‘seven’. It may be argued that seven days make a week. http://67. What do the words ‘seventy weeks’ mean? Well. What happens to Israel is not something haphazard or accidental. but ‘seventy sevens’. He has determined that certain things will be done to them. before we come to interpret them.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt81. these words should not be translated ‘seventy weeks’. but it does not of necessity follow that here a week is meant. that in itself is open to discussion: does a day in prophecy always mean a year? And you will find that there are all sorts of disagreements. the exposition given there by Professor Edward Young of the Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. Those who know the IVF Bible commentary will notice that I shall be following. means 490 years. So here now we have a foreview. a foretelling. The literal meaning is ‘seventy sevens’. And now we immediately come up against the term seventy weeks . Prophecy includes foretelling – it is not only foretelling but it does include it.15. Now there are those who say that seventy weeks means just that: 490 days. but not in the other chapters. says that this is undoubtedly one of the most difficult passages in the entire Old Testament. in the main. The first thing we are told is that God has decided something with regard to the people: ‘Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city. the very words that are used. and there is no question about that. who gives a very fine interpretation and exposition after the traditional Protestant understanding of this chapter.] . let us look at the actual phrases. America. therefore. and there are going to be seventy of those particular ‘sevens’.Previous First Next -> I remind you again that there have been many different interpretations of this chapter. and that in prophecy a day always means a year. it is all determined by God. of necessity. is to understand that God has a plan for the people. and there are some who say that it does in chapter 9 . yes.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:15:22 p. So what are we told? Well.’ The first thing.m. himself a great Old Testament scholar. strictly speaking. Edward Young. so that seventy weeks. It is not simply preaching but tells what is going to take place.42. first of all. However.

certainly he was the greatest in Germany. If ever you see a book with the name of Hengstenberg on it.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt81. there is a sort of certainty about them. keep it and devour it! Hengstenberg said that these numbers in Scripture can be described as having concealed definiteness . Now I want to use a phrase that was used by a man who was perhaps the greatest evangelical commentator of the last century.] . our Lord’s second coming will happen at a definite time. I suggest to you that in prophecy numbers are symbolical. buy Such men said that the numbers are absolutely definite and they say they could tell us when a thing was going to happen. God wants us to know that the time is definite in His mind. There are indications which would make us think and be <.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:15:22 p.m. The great Bengel was guilty of that. That is a wonderful phrase: they are definite. one of the great expositors on this subject in the last century. and it is because people have not realised the concealed part of the definiteness that so many of the greatest names in the history of interpretation have arrived at definite conclusions which history has proved to be absolutely wrong.42. Gratton Guinness. was also wrong. a man called Hengstenberg.15. but you and I can never say the exact day. but they were always wrong and they will always be wrong.PDF I am led to the conclusion that it is unwise to regard the ‘seventy’ and ‘seven’ as exact terms. but are meant to convey an idea. but there is an uncertainty also. They are not meant to be exact. and yet not definite in the sense that you can say exactly when a thing begins and when it ends.Previous First Next -> http://67. Yes.

and they are all given in verse 24 . ‘to http://67. So seven times ten. which is. and before man can be reconciled to God. they will be sealed up. which is seventy. three negative and three positive. Man. the complete period. then.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:15:24 p. the exactness being concealed from us. Second. of course. The three negative things are: first. by sin. ‘to make reconciliation for iniquity’. has become estranged from God. but we can never say it must happen on such and such a date. I suggest to you.Previous First Next -> ready. which means. as is the number ten. the happier you will be in your reading of the Scriptures and the less liable to fall into error and bring the whole of prophecy into disrepute. but will come. it is a part of the prophecy.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt82.m. What. There is a need of reconciliation. his sin comes between him and God. ‘to bring in everlasting righteousness’. It is not here. they will be finished. which means to put it away. divided again into perfect periods suggested by the figure seven. But now look at the three positives. That leads to the third thing.42. The whole history of prophecy is strewn with the wreckage of the reputations of men who have not taken into account the fact of concealed definiteness: exact and yet not exact. suggests the complete era. The first is. What a wonderful phrase that is! Righteousness needs to be brought in. sin must be removed. an end will be made of them because they will have been dealt with. will happen during this period of seventy ‘sevens’? We are told that six things will happen.15.] . I leave it at that for the moment. therefore. Something will take place which will put iniquity on one side and man will again be reconciled to God. I shall go further later on. And I do suggest to you that the more you take hold of the idea that you must not press these figures too far but regard them symbolically. There are the negatives. that sins are going to be forgiven. that a good way of understanding these numbers ‘seventy’ and ‘seven’ is this: in biblical symbolism seven is always a perfect number. to put an end to it.PDF <. The second positive thing ‘to make an end of sins’. ‘to finish the transgression’.

] .PDF seal up the vision and prophecy’. that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks. Others say it means the twentieth year of Artaxerxes. But now we come to the vital questions: When and how is all this going to happen? And in verses 25 . to finish. ‘from the going forth of the commandment’. and other people have still other ideas. Those people who are anxious to make an exact 490 years are bound to differ among themselves as to the way in which they interpret this phrase. 26 and 27 we are given an answer.42. rather. and the wall. What is meant by this ‘going forth’ of the word? It is here that disagreement comes in.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:15:24 p.15. and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again. are the six things that we are told will happen during these seventy ‘sevens’. There is going to be an end to vision and prophecy. So in verse 24 we are given the programme. Some say that the going forth happened in the first year of Cyrus. which means 445 BC. ‘to anoint the most Holy’. But neither one party nor the other can provide proof. I am simply noting the things now.m. which means 538 BC.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt82. then. to fill up. is that a most holy person will be anointed. And the third positive thing is. All we know is that the <. even in troublous times. To seal up means to wind up. Those.’ Now the first thing we notice here is the phrase. We start with verse 25 : ‘Know therefore and but the suggestion. A few people would say that that means the most holy place. I shall leave the exposition until later.Previous First Next -> http://67.

’ says someone. there are sixty–two weeks to the coming of the Messiah the Prince. which is clearly a reference to the first advent of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. the Prince’. The Prince is none other than our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ Himself. and the remaining one week.15. but it does not of necessity follow that that was when it began to be carried out. I think. ‘of seven weeks and sixty–two weeks and.42. as Messiah. following that. most people are agreed. ‘the Messiah the Prince’. and most people are http://67.Previous First Next -> beginning is marked by the giving or the sending forth of the commandment. The Chaldeans had destroyed it. In the Revised Version. of course.m. Then. Rather that was when it was first mooted. There is not much difficulty about that. how dangerous it is to try to fix exact dates! All we know is that from the going forth of the first talk about this to the coming of the Messiah the Prince there was to be a period of seven weeks and sixty–two weeks. therefore. in verse 27 . The first seven covers the period of the actual rebuilding of the destroyed city of Jerusalem. anointed having the same meaning. of one week?’ The seventy weeks are divided up for us: seven. But it is interesting to notice that the person is described as someone who is at one and the same time an anointed prophet and a Prince. But we cannot prove it and. Now notice this term. when it was first indicated.PDF <. So clearly the first division of seven covers that. it is translated ‘the anointed. and that clearly fixes the One to whom it when God first showed that this was to be done. sixty–two.] . the city and the Temple. ‘But why this division. And on that point.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt83. and the remnant who went back rebuilt the walls. When was this? The most obvious interpretation is that it was the time when God first gave His command to Cyrus.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:15:26 p.

That is the first part of the statement.’ or ‘He shall cause the covenant to prevail. let us bear that in mind for the moment. We read that ‘After threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off.PDF prepared to agree. However.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:15:26 p. The traditional Protestant and Reformed exposition is that this is clearly a reference to the destruction of the city of Jerusalem by the Roman army in AD 70 during the reign of the Emperor Titus. But according to the new school of thought that started in 1830. nothing that He can claim as His own. Perhaps a better way of putting it is this: ‘He shall make the covenant firm. ‘… and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. there is no longer any agreement.’ The meaning is much stronger <. and go on to verse 27 : ‘And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week.’ And it is here that there is great division and disagreement. but not for himself.’ What is important is that we should not read it as. Verse 26 goes on to say. and that is how it is translated in the Revised Version. and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt83.’ Now that phrase ‘not for himself’ should read: ‘shall have nothing’. this is a reference to something that is yet to happen. Notice that in verse 26 these words come immediately after the statement that the Messiah will be killed – just as the events of AD 70 came soon after the death of our Lord.’ Now again that is not a very good He is absolutely alone.] . ‘He shall make a covenant. It means that He shall have none belonging to Him.Previous First Next -> http://67. He seems to have nothing. It is a suggestion that when the Messiah is cut off and is killed.m. But when we come to verse 26 . and the end thereof shall be with a flood. Everybody deserts Him.15.42.

and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate. ‘and upon the wing of abominations shall come One that maketh desolate’.’ Something is going to happen as the result of the action of this person which will put an end to the sacrifices and the oblation. shall wrath be poured upon the desolate or the desolater. but so often people interpret it as. We are also told in verse 27 that in the middle of the week. Now the and the argument turns upon this: When does the seventieth week take place? The prophet has told about the seven and the sixty–two. Starting at the very pinnacle. ‘upon the wing of abominations’ or. He is going to make it effectual.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt84.PDF <. The Authorised Version has confirmed which does give the right suggestion.’ And we are not told that.42. even until the consummation.15. the Temple is to be completely destroyed. ‘for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate. and the margin of the Revised Version is perhaps even better for that puts it like this: ‘Upon the pinnacle of abominations shall come One [or be One] that maketh desolate and even unto the consummation. That is an excellent translation. The Revised Version. ‘He shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease. The suggestion is that there was already a covenant in being which He will make firm.’ Those are the actual statements which confront us. but that only comes to sixty–nine. And the last thing we are told is that. ‘He shall make a covenant. The great question that arises is this: What is the interpretation of verses 26 and 27 ? There are two main schools of thought.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:15:28 p.] . reads. and that determined. When does the remaining week take place? Another question we ask is this: Do the events which are described in verse 26 take place in the seventieth week? All we are told is that they take place ‘after http://67.Previous First Next -> than that. He will establish it. ‘upon the pinnacle of abominations’ are surely a reference to the destruction of the Temple.m.’ Now here the Authorised Version is confusing. which is altogether superior.

48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt84. undermine belief in the inspiration of the Scriptures. is that they can easily expound all this by saying that the events have long since happened. Does that mean in the seventieth week? That is the great question.] .15. which means that the events take place after sixty–nine weeks. indeed. <. and of those who do not believe that prophecy ever means foretelling. All it actually says is that they will happen after week sixty–nine. The passage does not actually say that the events will happen in the seventieth week.m. they say. but remember that the threescore weeks and two come after the seven. is nothing but an account of what was done by a man called Antiochus Epiphanes. But we need not waste our time in considering that because it is simply based upon presuppositions which rule out the possibility of prediction and.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:15:28 p.’ Does that ‘he’ refer to the Messiah in verse 26 ? Or does it refer to the prince of whom we read in the second half of verse 26 ? Now the view of those who do not believe in the divine inspiration of the Scriptures.PDF threescore and two weeks’.lt. and even took place before the birth of our Lord and Saviour.42.Previous First Next -> http://67. And the third problem at issue is: Who is the ‘he’ at the beginning of verse 27 ? ‘And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week. This. nor does it say they will not happen then. with the anointed one being one of the priests of Israel who was killed by him.

16. symbolise things that would actually happen.15. When I come to give my positive exposition. I hope that will become still more evident.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:15:30 p. then you will see that the book will have a new meaning and a new function and will provide you with glorious comfort and uplift. The Spiritual Historicist View We come now to the historicist position and there are three main divisions. but it seems to me that it is a view we cannot hold because it is too precise and has some of the defects which I shall elaborate in connection with the next sub–division. and go on until the end. The seals. it is quite impossible to hold the continuous http://67. as we saw earlier. Having dealt with this second sub–division. that the things recorded here. The continuous historicist view teaches. Most of the Protestant Reformers took that view. these visions given to John.] .Previous First Next -> these things as it was prophesied. According to this view. make a précis of it in order to have the complete history in a smaller form.PDF <. it is estimated that we are now roughly in the time of the sixth vial or bowl which is described in Revelation 16 .m. you remember. There is the so–called church historicist view which says that the book of Revelation is nothing but a kind of précis of church history. So if you reject the interpretation which divides Revelation into three and says that the bulk of it has nothing at all to do with Christians. for the sake of convenience. You may read a great history book and then.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt106. which is the continuous historicist view. Now there are those who have thought that that is the nature of this book. we can perhaps return briefly to the church historicist Now as far as I am concerned.’ This was their book. of this view. the trumpets and the vials represent historical events that follow each other in chronological order.42.

and another fixes <. But if the continuous historicist view is correct. there can be no going back to the beginning again. Chapters 10 and 11 describe the final judgment and the end of all things.] . Yet you will remember that in the last lecture we saw that chapter 12 goes back to the First Next -> http://67. Yet that view demands a detailed knowledge before the book can be edifying: surely a serious defect.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt106.15. I suggest to you that chapter 12 alone is sufficient to prove that this view cannot be right. for this book was written for Christian people. I think. Then another defect of the continuous historicist view is that it obviously demands a detailed knowledge of the history of the centuries. That is. Perhaps another way of putting that same point is to say that if you read the writings of those who hold the continuous historicist interpretation of Revelation. sufficient to demonstrate that that cannot be the true interpretation of Revelation. then. One person fixes on one great event in history to fit one particular sign.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:15:30 p. and the Christians who have benefited by it throughout the centuries have not by any means been great historians or experts in world history. we can only derive benefit from reading this book if we are experts in the total history of the whole world.42. most of whom were not well educated. If all these things have reference to particular historical events. as Christian people. you will find an almost endless diversity of opinion as to what the symbols mean.m.PDF historicist view.

m. But. ‘after these things’. but they do mean that the things which were shown to John would start happening very quickly. But as far as I am concerned. The word ‘hereafter’ means.Previous First Next -> looked. ‘I will shew thee things which must be after this’. chapter 22 . therefore. which seem to me to be quite conclusive. and they are yet to be completed. to something that happened when our Lord first came into this world.15.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:15:31 p.42. That in itself is surely sufficient to refute the futurist view. behold …’ Why do we ask that the same two words should have an entirely different meaning at the beginning and the end of the verse? Surely John is told. Chapter 12 belongs to history and the It is the final end.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt105. Time shall be no more. I would again remind you that the words spoken by the voice do not mean that the things were all going to happen suddenly or immediately. the most conclusive argument is the argument of chapter 12 . You cannot say that the whole of this book from chapter 4 to the end is entirely in the future when there is an outstanding description of the birth of our Lord and what happened to Him and what happened round about that time. I shall not go into details about this chapter now. In verse 6 and verse 10 we read http://67.PDF <. That is quite impossible from the futurist standpoint. I simply want to ask: Is it not quite obvious that that chapter gives us a description of something that happened at the incarnation? Now that is a very important fact because in chapters 10 and 11 the story is taken right up to the end of the age. in chapter 12 . there are expressions in the last chapter of the book.] . we go back to the beginning. And I want to suggest to you – and I come to a positive explanation – that they did start happening very quickly. the same meaning running all the way along. finally. and. things which are shortly to happen. They began and they continued. And yet.

‘We are going through <. He is told to ‘shut up the words. 12:4 ). and of course the history of the Church proves that. That is given in the general introduction in chapter 1 and it is repeated in the summary at the end.’ Now contrast that with what Daniel is told at the end of his book. ‘And he saith unto me. that an interval was to pass. There it is again. I suggest to you that this book is one.42. on the very threshold. The command to ‘seal up the book’ made it quite plain to Daniel that the things he was shown were not to happen in his day and generation.15. even to the time of the end’ ( Dan.m.PDF statements that are of extreme significance: ‘And he said unto me. So for these reasons. it is a unity.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:15:31 p. the very expression that is in 1:1 . and others said. the Puritans. The Covenanters. and we know that almost five centuries did pass before they took place. This is a very powerful argument. ‘things which must shortly come to pass’. These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done’ (v. they are about to take place.Previous First Next -> http://67. it is meant for and has relevance for Christian people in every subsequent age. God’s people in all times of affliction and adversity have recognised their situation in these things and have gained strength from this book. The entire book was meant for and had relevance for the people of John’s 6 ). they are things that are at hand. and seal the book. But here John is deliberately and specifically told not to seal up the book and the reason is added: ‘for the time is at hand’. Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt105. Thus this great book ends in exactly the same way as it began – the things that are contained here are things that are shortly to come to pass. in chapter 22 .] . Again in 22:10 we read. a complete whole.

and the remainder of the book of Revelation.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:15:34 p. Yet it is essential to this view to say that chapters 2 and 3 only deal with things that ‘are’ and have nothing to do with things that shall be ‘hereafter’. Now at this point there is a slight self–contradiction in the futurist view. Now. The word is not qualified at http://67. Then we come to the second phrase: ‘ the things which are ’.lt. That brings me to the last statement: ‘ the things which shall be hereafter ’. And as we have seen.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt104.] . not simply one thing. you are in trouble. the messages to the churches.15. Sardis representing the time of the Protestant Reformation and the letter to the church of Laodicea being descriptive of the Church at the present time. given an entirely novel meaning. of course. It starts by saying that this phrase has a reference to the condition of the seven churches of Asia and yet.Previous First Next -> to send it all . Surely that is more or less a conclusive argument.m. If that is so.42. starting at the beginning and going on. of course.PDF <. That is how I would answer the tendency to break up the statement in this verse into three separate books or messages. once more. because it is no longer ‘things that are’. the letters to the seven churches do not simply describe things that are but also ‘that shall be hereafter’. So the view contradicts itself. we must indicate that the word ‘hereafter’ is. according to this view. But also. Not at all! There is no suggestion whatsoever that each one of these follows chronologically after the previous one and that they take us up to the end of the Church age. you remember. The fact that this instruction is given before the vision seems to me to indicate quite clearly that it is a general introduction to the whole book: the vision. There is nothing which says that with Ephesus you have the state of the Church at that time and that the letter to the church at Smyrna describes the Church at a later period. the moment you introduce that suggestion. it also says that the messages – the letters to the churches – cover the entire course of church history. There is nothing here to tell us that ‘hereafter’ in this case means after a tremendous interval of time. the futurist view is entirely wrong for this reason: nothing in chapters 2 and 3 tells us that the letters to the seven churches are progressive.

But wait a minute! In a most amazing manner. it just says ‘hereafter’. ‘I <. after the whole of the Church era. after the Church has been raptured. Yet you see the weight that is attached to this? The word ‘hereafter’ must mean. not things that are about to happen.15. and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me. Everybody agrees that ‘after this’ at the beginning does not mean after two thousand years because John would no longer be on earth and this happened to John while he was still alive and in the body. behold. very rightly. just before our Lord’s final’ There it is. Weymouth in his translation translates it like that.Previous First Next -> http://67.’ says John. a door was opened in heaven. ‘After this. And surely that means ‘following’. In the Greek the words are meta tauta which is literally ‘after these things’.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:15:34 p.PDF all. and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter . but this tremendous gap of the Church period – ‘hereafter’ spans the centuries. Come up hither. the two Greek words translated by the word ‘hereafter’ at the end of the verse are also at the beginning of the verse – translated this time by ‘after this’. after the things he has just been describing. the same word again. and. which said. That brings us to the first verse of chapter 4 : ‘After this I looked.] .48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt104. And once more the same signification is attached to it – it is said to mean after that tremendous long view of history. ‘the things that shall follow’. Surely it is straining the meaning of a word to ask it to carry such a signification without any indication that this is being done.42.m.

15. He reigns in the Church. ‘The Revelation of Jesus Christ.] .html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:15:35 p. The kingdom of God is already present.42. ‘I John. or ‘speedily’. The kingdom of God is where Christ reigns and He reigns in the hearts of all His people. a great difficulty as far as I am concerned. It is not right to relegate the kingdom or to postpone it to the future. are the general objections to futurist teaching. If that is so. It is yet to come in a then. the invisible Church. external form. was in the isle that is called Patmos. Now let us come to certain particulars.’ Now if you take the Greek word translated ‘shortly’ and follow it right through the Scriptures. to show unto His servants things which must shortly come to pass. Those. The Church is a part of the kingdom. and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ. There is a difficulty here. you will find that it is always translated as either ‘shortly’. but that what is contained in the book must start shortly and will continue. they are very important and full of interest.Previous First Next -> Indeed. but it is already here.’ There is John himself saying that he is in the kingdom of Jesus Christ. Not only that. we are in the kingdom already. Any view that relegates the kingdom to the future seems to me to violate these statements in verses 6 and 9 of this first chapter. and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John. why should it suddenly be given the meaning of something which is to happen in. together with the Christian people to whom he is sending his message. and the kingdom of God is coming. John says that explicitly in verse 9 . or ‘quickly’. This does not mean that everything will happen shortly. which God gave unto him. or ‘soon’. look at the statement in the third verse of the introduction to the http://67. two thousand years or even more? The book opens with ‘ must shortly come to pass’. The first verse of the book of Revelation reads.PDF <. the true Church. who also am your brother and companion in tribulation. perhaps.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt103. the spiritual Church.

and the things which are. What thou seest.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt103. and not only the vision that he was later given of the Lord Himself. and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia. is the sheet anchor of the futurist view. ‘at hand’ means after an interval of perhaps two thousand years of the Church age. I am Alpha and Omega. they were to do something about it.15. the first and the last: and. It is about to happen shortly. as I have indicated. and keep those things which are written therein. and heard behind me a great voice. this is a reference to the contents of the whole book.’ Now notice that in verse 10 John says.m.PDF book: ‘Blessed is he that readeth’ – and remember that applies to the people of John’s time. which. have some relevance to them – ‘and they that hear the words of this prophecy. Here. as of a trumpet.’ Now. he is told to write this in a book and to send it to the seven churches. Now a view which has to give an entirely new and hitherto never used meaning to these words must justify itself very powerfully in some other ways before we can be expected to believe it. and then he adds. and unto Smyrna …’ John is told to send what he has seen to all these churches before he sees the vision. No. ‘I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day. write in a book. in general.Previous First Next -> http://67. you will notice that the people of John’s age were not only to read the book and to hear it but they were to ‘keep those things which were written therein’.42. But it is at hand. surely. and the things which shall be So John’s message is not only the message to the seven churches. therefore. they were to be blessed as the result of reading John’s words. ‘for the time is at hand’.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:15:35 p. says John. But if the futurist view is right. unto Ephesus. But let us go on to verse 19 . saying. He is <. which surely. You remember the threefold vision: ‘Write the things which thou hast seen. It applied to them.] .

if you are governed by the principle of the analogy of scripture. and is alive’ ( 2:8 ). for instance. I think I can prove to you that there is an essential unity to the whole book in this way: the vision in chapter 1 is closely connected with the letters to the seven churches in chapters 2 and 3 . Again this description is borrowed from what we are told about Him in chapter 1 . These things saith the first and the last. Another general objection to the futurist view is that it destroys the unity of the book of Revelation by virtually turning it into three books: ‘things which thou hast seen’.42. 2 and 3 . Surely there can be very little doubt that this book is one.Previous First Next -> against God’s people in Scripture. These divisions are unnatural. and that chapters 2 and 3 are quite different. there is a unity. who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks’ ( 2:1 ). and perhaps more.] .PDF <. That is a description taken from chapter 1 .html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:15:37 p. No. ‘things which shall be hereafter’. And it is the same with each letter.m. Take. So. write.15. which was dead. The same Lord appears in chapters 1 . between the second and the third sections. We are told: ‘Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write. No. the first church. And there is an interval of almost two thousand years. If you look at the way in which the letters to the seven churches start. you will see that in each one there is a description of our Lord. it is quite impossible to accept that the events of Revelation 13 will be crowded into this short space of time. ‘things which are’. do not suddenly crowd their activity into seven years. Then move on to the second church: ‘Unto the angel of the church in Smyrna.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/ So I suggest to you that you cannot artificially divide the book and say that the vision in chapter 1 is one thing. some of them extend over centuries. and it is most interesting and important to notice that each description is borrowed from what we are told about Him in the vision in chapter 1 . To hold such a view is to deny the ordinary method of Scripture itself. These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand. http://67.

lt. the kingdom has already come.PDF But still more striking is this: the same terms are even used in three verses in chapter 19 . which reads in the Authorised Version. when He was here preaching. as it were.’ We have already been made a kingdom. a view or an interpretation which divides it up into three surely does violence to it. therefore. we must consider this view before we accept it.Previous First Next -> http://67. however. In 19:12 we are told. that our Lord.m. that with it He should smite the nations’. about the kingdom and there will be none until the end. ‘And hath made us a kingdom. surely. and because they rejected it. Take Revelation 1:6 . priests unto God and his Father. and. It says.] . it was put into abeyance and the Church age came in. which sword proceeded out of his mouth’ – references to 1:16 . This reads.42. and in 19:21 . it is averred. It says that the kingdom of God has not yet come. There is no more talk. and He is depicted in the same way.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt102. It is not three separate books. Now surely that ought to be sufficient to establish the essential unity of the book. it is the same idea. let me remind you. ‘And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse. ‘Out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword. In 19:15 we read. But. ‘His eyes were as a flame of fire. The book is a whole. No.’ Undoubtedly.’ That is taken from 1:14 .html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:15:37 p. this is the Church age. ‘And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father. three separate messages that were simply stitched together. it is the same person. Then the last general objection is that the futurist view postpones the kingdom to the future.15. <. the Revised Version is better. offered the kingdom to the Jews.

When the things that were prophesied actually come to pass. a word of prophecy made yet more sure. http://67. This is my beloved Son. in whom I am well pleased’ ( 2 Pet. how exactly does it help me in my fight now? Still more to the point. But then he goes on.’ says Peter in effect. the apostle Peter has been comforting the Christians.’ Prophecy is designed for the purpose of strengthening the faith of the people who see its fulfilment.m. ‘We have also a more sure word of prophecy. how could it have helped the people in John’s own age and generation? Yet the book clearly was meant for the people to whom it was written. It does not have very much comfort even for us. believers see something on which they can rest their feet as on an impregnable rock.PDF <. whereunto ye do well that ye take That is my evidence. I can give you proof. ‘We have not followed cunningly devised fables …’ ( 2 Pet. says Peter. ‘You need not base your faith upon my testimony. Let me give you an illustration. Yet the futurist view of the book of Revelation seems altogether to deny to prophecy its task of strengthening faith because if it is true to say that all Christians will have been taken out of the world before the events come to pass. That’s the thing to strengthen faith.15. If the bulk of the book is to be transferred to the future.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:15:39 p. 1:16–17 ). And his proof is that he and his two fellow disciples went up the holy mount with our Lord and were ‘eye–witnesses of his majesty. ‘See how they prophesy the coming of the Son of God. In his second epistle. and he says.42. when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory. Read your Old Testament prophecies.] . and then look at the facts. as unto a light that shineth in a dark place’ (v. 1:16 ). says Peter. 19 ). For he received from God the Father honour and glory.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt101. very similar. general objection is that there can be no doubt at all but that the main function of prophecy is to strengthen our faith by showing us that the things which have been foretold really come to pass.Previous First Next -> subsequent ages. Another. ‘There is something even better.’ he says.

The third general objection is that this view contradicts what we may call the analogy of the Scriptures. I to function and then to disappear. Other interpretations do not produce any such necessity and that view is therefore suspect at this point.] . this book has and can have no value whatsoever. according to the futurist interpretation. therefore. they will have gone out of the world. that this view runs contrary to the general function and purpose of prophecy. takes quite a long time to appear. I tried to show that the first beast in Revelation 13 is identical to the fourth beast in the seventh chapter of Daniel. By this I mean that scriptures dealing with the same subject should be compared and should not contradict each other. to develop. But. So the people who take the futurist view have to say that the Roman Empire will be reconstituted. So from the Christian standpoint. But that should surely make us pause. these forces. Now the book of Daniel tells us that the fourth beast is the Roman Empire. the beasts that are described in Revelation 13 have to come into being and do all that they do in the space of some seven years and perhaps not even that.42. In an earlier lecture.m.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt101. Take also the descriptions in the book of Daniel of the beasts and the kingdoms represented by the beasts.15. But these powers.Previous First Next -> http://67.PDF how can any Christian possibly be helped? The prophecies will be of no value at all to them because they will have been taken up. that operate <. these dynasties represented by the beasts. and everybody is agreed about that because the descriptions are so similar.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:15:39 p. Each one of these empires.

it cannot be right to say that it only refers to events confronting the early Christian Church and things which would come to an end when the Roman Empire became officially Christian. We look at these things because we believe that God has given them to us. as God’s people. We are not interested in times and seasons as such. then.PDF <.] . As I pointed out to you in the last lecture. and we can well understand his motives. There is no need therefore to waste any further time with preterist teaching. you must agree that this cannot possibly be the correct interpretation. ‘those who spend a good deal of their time in investigating and examining the dustbins of biblical prophecy’. http://67. First. but rather that. we study this subject that we may be strengthened in our faith to face the enemy that is confronting us. and the things that are lying in store for us. It seems to me that the view is clearly impossible in terms of the book of Revelation itself.Previous First Next -> So we come now to try to evaluate these different views because we must do so if we are to arrive at any conclusion at all. We need not spend much time with this. but we are concerned that we should have the full benefit of what God has graciously been pleased to give us. It takes us on to the destruction of the devil and all his powers. For the book takes us on to the very end of time and even tells us ‘that there should be time no longer’ ( Rev. Revelation deals with that final obviously. If you take the book of Revelation and let its message speak to you.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt100. Above all.15. 10:6 ). not merely that we may be animated by some morbid carnal curiosity. the battle that we are already waging. not merely that we may be interested in times and seasons. His purpose was to direct attention away from the Church of Rome and the Protestant identification of the papacy with certain of the symbols in the book. That is surely an utterly unscriptural. not to say an unchristian.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:15:41 p. the preterist view was put forward by a Jesuit. and the instruments that he uses – the dragon himself and the various beasts. we may have an understanding of the times. let us look at the preterist view . view of biblical prophecy and of our interest in it.42. I am sure that we all feel that we are engaged in something that is vital. and that we do not recognise ourselves in the description.m. so.

‘the things which shall be hereafter’ are those events which. were going to happen at least some two thousand years later. after the tremendous interval of the Church era. but the important question is: What do we make of it? I have given you the futurist interpretation of Revelation 1:19 and 4:10 . it has no comfort to offer to the people of John’s age. to the people of <. First. where John writes that he heard a voice saying. ‘Come up hither and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter. ‘the things which thou hast seen’.‘ the things which are’ are given in chapters 2 and 3 and we are told that this is a progressive history of the Christian Church leading up to the very end of the Church age. the words. they say. You remember that futurists also base their argument on Revelation 4:1 .15.Previous First Next -> http://67. to encourage and to strengthen them. and I would divide them into general and particular objections. or.m.’ So let us consider some objections to the futurist view.PDF So we consider next the futurist view. But according to the futurist view. indeed. refer to the vision recorded in chapter 1 . Obviously John was writing to the men and women in the Church at that time and his book was meant to comfort. I reminded you that this was first put forward by another Jesuit in the early part of the seventeenth century. In Revelation 1:19 .html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:15:41 p. from John’s standpoint. Then. This view seems to rob the book of its main value for the saints of John’s own age.] . the general objections.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/

For instance.m. This view maintains that Revelation is not a book which is meant to teach us some detailed continuous historical process. that the Christian Church is to live and to endure here on earth.15. it is said. not so much a description of particular things that have happened and will happen as a picture of the forces and the powers that are inimical to the best interests of the kingdom and are fighting against it. It is an unfolding of the history of the kingdom of God to its ultimate climax. giving a synopsis of things that http://67. there is no difference at all in principle between the persecution of the Christian Church by the Jews or by the Roman Empire or by certain powers in the Middle Ages or by the Roman Catholic Church or by political forces.Previous First Next -> that I would be right if I said that it certainly does seem to have been becoming more popular recently. or any particular nation or country. and this third interpretation. is to show us the principle. Neither is it. As we have seen. She is always subject to oppression and persecution – now there is the first beast in Revelation. or by false and apostate churches. a kind of précis of church history. The real function of the book.] .html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:15:44 p. the kind of life. very largely influenced by the events of the two world wars and by various other things that are happening in the world at the present time.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt99. Many people. as the Reformers taught. Luther and the Reformers believed that Revelation was a précis. This is sometimes called the spiritual historicist teaching. No. Supporters of this view say: Do not try to attach that beast to any particular government. such as the Inquisition. Now I have given you the illustration of the beast in order to bring out the difference between the church historicist and the continuous historicist it is said. but some people prefer to call it the philosophy of history as outlined in the book of Revelation.PDF <. have given up the futurist position to adopt the continuous historicist view.42. That brings me to the last sub–division of the historicist view. It stands for the principle. it is an account of the principles which govern the life and the history of the Christian Church between the two advents.

there are.] . which says that everything in the book happened in the first three centuries of the Christian era. and the historicist view. <. 15. that chapter 9 gives an amazing account of the whole attack of the Muslim dynasty upon the Christian Church. and finally the spiritual historicist view which maintains that Revelation gives the main elements in the life and history of the Church. while the continuous historicists say that the book describes in detail actual nations and historical events. let me remind you.PDF had actually happened. Because the book prepares us in principle for whatever may actually be happening. They believe.15. the continuous historicist teaching which says that Revelation is an actual chronological history.42. three main schools of interpretation: the preterist .48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt99.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:15:44 p.m. which can itself be divided into three sections: the church historicist view that the book is a précis of history. But the third view teaches that Revelation is a book which puts forward principles. we are able to understand it and to be encouraged and the futurist . which teaches that everything after chapter 4 is yet to happen. for example.Previous First Next -> http://67. The Preterist and the Futurist Views As we continue with our consideration of the book of Revelation.

that which is described in the first seal is to take place. fifth and sixth seals. but teaches that the book of Revelation is a prophecy of the history of the kingdom of God from the first to the second advent. sub–division of historicist teaching is the continuous historical view . was taught by Luther and the there is no explicit mention of a gap between weeks sixty–nine and seventy. however. is the futurist view of the book of Revelation. That. perhaps. then in the third. in Daniel 9 . which teaches that the book of Revelation is a book of history without a break. The visions which are given here deal with the history of the Church in chronological order.42. In Revelation 6 we are given a vision of the opening of six seals. followed by the events in the second seal. Then we come to the seventh seal which. The preterist view puts the main contents of the book entirely into the past. of putting it is to say that the book of Revelation is not detailed history but a kind of précis of the phases of church history between the first coming of our Lord and His second coming.] . the futurist teaching puts the events entirely in the future. They said that the main purpose of the book of Revelation is to give us some account of the chief phases in the history of the Church. A better way. First of all. This is followed in Revelation 8 to 11 by a vision about seven trumpets and in Revelation 16 there are seven vials. instead of telling us some specific thing in http://67. But Scripture does not say that.Previous First Next -> long period’ or ‘after nearly two thousand years’.15. One view. Now here again there are sub–divisions. as we saw. The historicist view does neither. Let me show you what I mean. these passages are prophecies of what will happen to the Church in series and in order. in Revelation 8 the seventh seal is opened. Similarly. and more popular.m. A second. which is generally called the church historical view . It is a prophecy of the detailed history of the Christian Church and there is no overlapping between its various visions.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:15:46 p.PDF <. The third view is called the historicist or the historical view . fourth. According to this teaching.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt98. but historicist is a better term. each one following the previous one.

the final judgment. and the end of all things. and then we come right to the end.PDF itself.] .lt. at the present time. As the seventh seal included and introduced the seven trumpets. third. I believe <. the events take place. fifth and sixth vials. which is followed by the events in the next five trumpets. So what happens in the seven trumpets follows on from the sixth seal.42.15.m. That is followed by the second. in the period of the sixth vial.Previous First Next -> http://67. They claim to be able to identify all these things with particular historical events and so they bring us right down through the centuries and the long history of the Christian Church. so the seventh trumpet now includes and introduces the seven vials. Next comes the first event in the first trumpet. and then by the seventh trumpet.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:15:46 p. is an introduction to the seven trumpets. They say that everything prophesied in the six seals and the six trumpets has already taken place. Now they say that we are on the threshold of the day of the Lord. and the friends who hold this view do not hesitate to say that we are undoubtedly. The continuous historicist position has been popular at various times and has had many great protagonists.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt98. When the first vial is poured out. Of course. it makes a great appeal to many people. fourth. following on from the events in the sixth trumpet. Now I must repeat and stress that according to this teaching everything happens in chronological and historical sequence.

For instance. always coming to different conclusions. it was perfect. People have done this throughout the centuries. you are in grave danger of turning from the spiritual to the material. we do not even think of Napoleon. I would also argue that this school of interpretation opens a very dangerous door. whom he identified with one of the symbols in Revelation. It was certainly Hitler.15.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt107. In the end you feel that you do not know what to believe.] . was suffering Surely at that point the book has ceased to be edifying. and a certain detail had been discovered by somebody that established it beyond any doubt. in the time of Napoleon they were absolutely certain that certain things here pointed unmistakably to Napoleon and could not possibly refer to anybody else. Indeed. In the twentieth century people were quite sure that Hitler was meant.42. As I have emphasised many times. We all know how easy it is to persuade ourselves that we can match certain statements in Scripture with certain facts. they thought. In his sermon he had made a great announcement that certain secret information had come his way to the effect that Stalin. and the whole effort to understand is futile. I think it is true to say that most of the conversation or lecturing of many friends who belong to both the futurist and the historicist schools does seem to be more political than spiritual. of course.m. Now any scheme of interpretation which produces such a result cannot be the true interpretation.PDF <. It not only leads to confusion but it tends to bring the entire book into disrepute. I am increasingly convinced that large numbers of Christian people have ceased to read this book because they feel that explanations of it have become almost ridiculous. But we no longer think that. so that you are in a state of confusion. I remember a few years ago going to preach in a place where a friend of mine who belonged to the futurist school had been preaching about a month before.Previous First Next -> upon another event. The moment you try to attach the teachings of this book to particular persons or events.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:15:48 p. But in our time.

I would say that in general the same thing <. you see. I observed at once that he was carrying in his right hand a copy of The Times and a On another occasion.] .15. And I was correct! He was going to a meeting to give an address on prophetic questions and he carried the symbols in his hands: not only the Bible but also The Times . and I was able to forecast exactly what he was going to do.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:15:48 p.m. Now I feel that considerations like that are surely sufficient to make us reject the continuous historicist view and. he understood The Times from the Bible.Previous First Next -> http://67.PDF from a growth in his stomach and would soon die. because.42. when I was travelling by train to preach in a certain place. again. at a station where the train stopped a young man got on. in particular events and in political events. almost imperceptibly you find that you are doing the same thing. and unconsciously your emphasis is there rather than upon the spiritual content of the book. Now I do not think that Stalin did die of a growth in his stomach but I am saying this to illustrate the point that here was a man of God who seemed to have spent most of the evening talking about Stalin! I repeat that once you begin to interpret this book along futurist or continuous historicist lines. You become interested in times and seasons.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt107. What he had been reading in The Times was in the Scriptures and he was going to give his congregation The Times as well as the Scriptures! Yet Revelation is a spiritual book with a spiritual message.


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tends also to apply to the church historicist view. You are up against the same difficulty of trying to identify particular historical events with the things that are recorded in the pages of Revelation. So that leads us to consider the spiritual historicist view , the view which teaches that Revelation is a book which presents the spiritual principles concerning the life and the conflict and the final triumph of the Church of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The exact historical detail is not given, but the great principles are illustrated. These illustrations applied in the days of the early Church, they apply now, and will be relevant until the end, the final judgment. Let me, then, try to give you some sort of a positive explanation of the spiritual historicist view of the book of Revelation in order that we may compare and contrast it with the preterist, futurist and historicist views which I have already put before you. So let us make an experiment. Let us imagine that we have no theories at all, that we do not belong to any school but have come to read the book of Revelation for the first time. We take up the book and read right through. Let us observe certain general impressions that the book makes upon us. Now these, I suggest, are inescapable if you allow the book itself to speak to you directly. The first impression is that Revelation is a book about the Lord Jesus Christ and His Church. It starts off with the revelation that God gave to John and which he passes on: ‘The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw’ ( Rev 1:1–2 ). That is the great theme. And as we go through the book we see it everywhere. The Lord Jesus Christ is before us the whole time; His Church is before us the whole time. Revelation was written to the Church. It is written about (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:15:51 p.m.]


the Church. And it is written to help, to comfort, to stimulate and to edify the Church, for John goes on to say, ‘Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein’ (v. 3 ). Now never forget that! Some people seem to think that the book of Revelation is just a question of prophecy, of giving facts and details which can be fitted into a jigsaw puzzle. But always remember that we are told this: not only ‘Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy,’ but also those who ‘keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand’. There is a great deal of moral exhortation here. That is our first impression. The second thing that I would emphasise is that it is a book of revelation. It is a book that is meant to reveal something to us; it is the apocalypse – the unveiling. It is a book in which the veil is drawn back and we are given insight and an understanding of certain things. I am very anxious to impress that because the interpretations which we have been considering seem, I suggest, to have almost the exact opposite effect. They land us in a state of confusion, so much so that people say, ‘I don’t know where I am. I’m absolutely muddled by these theories and by these details and by the way things are added which I don’t see in the text, and by all this historical knowledge. I’m really so bewildered that the book says nothing to me.’ And yet the book was not meant to lead to confusion, quite the opposite. There was the early Church suffering persecution and the Christians were bewildered. They did not understand. So the book
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was given to them specifically and especially to open their eyes to what was happening to them and to what was going to happen. Yes, but I must hasten to add that the way in which Revelation gives us this unveiling and knowledge is by means of symbols, and signs. Did you notice a word in that first verse of the book – ‘The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass’ – then –‘and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John.’ Now some of the more recent translations talk about ‘making known’, but there is no doubt, once more, that this old Authorised [King James] Version is very much nearer the original meaning. It puts ‘signified’ because the Greek word that is used here comes from the Greek word that means a sign or a symbol. So here at the very beginning it is stated that the revelation is given by means of signs. The meaning is not put absolutely plainly and directly. It is a revelation, but it is a revelation that also partly conceals. As we read through the book we come across this sort of expression, ‘And I saw another sign in heaven’ ( Rev. 15:1 ); John constantly refers to signs. Now obviously this is a most important principle in the interpretation of Revelation. Revelation starts off with lampstands, then talks about seals and trumpets and bowls and beasts and things like that. Truth is conveyed, but conveyed in a pictorial manner. And I think that so much of the trouble with regard to the interpretation of the book has arisen because people have tended to forget that. There is an innate desire in us to literalise everything. We do not see that the book itself tells us at the very beginning that it is an unveiling in this particular symbolical manner. Not only does Revelation use visual symbols, it also uses symbolical numbers. We cannot read this book without being struck by the frequency of numbers. The number seven, for instance, is used fifty–four times in the book: seven heads, (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:15:53 p.m.]


seven eyes, seven seals, seven trumpets, seven bowls, and so on. Now clearly these figures and other figures like, ‘time, times, and half a time’; three and a half years; forty–two months; 144, which is twelve multiplied by twelve; ten; and ten multiplied by ten multiplied by ten, meaning a thousand, and so on, make it obvious that we are dealing with a book which conveys its truth by means of symbols. The figures are obviously not meant to be literal figures. The trouble arises when we forget and say that a figure must mean the exact number that it says – one thousand, for instance, or, ‘and his number is six hundred threescore and six’ ( Rev. 13:18 ). Surely, if we read the book as a whole, we will see that at certain points we simply cannot, and are not meant to, take those figures literally. It is not merely 144,000 people who will be saved. No, that is a complete number – twelve squared – as is one thousand, which is a cube of ten. There are figures of completeness here and figures of a partial character: three and a half is half seven. That is the prophetic way, as we saw in our hurried consideration of Daniel’s prophecy, in which prophetic scripture always conveys its truth. It does not use a mechanical, literal exactness but gives us exact knowledge in a symbolical manner. We are given principles without being given detailed, particular knowledge. I suggest that the book of Revelation does exactly the same thing as our blessed Lord and Saviour did when He used parables. Parables at one and the same time reveal truth and yet, as it were, conceal it. They do make straightforward statements
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of truth, but they were not clear to the outsider. They were not always clear to the disciples either, and when our Lord was on His own they would ask Him what he meant. That is the characteristic of a parable. It is meant to convey some great truth, and it does do that, but in a symbolic manner, by means of a picture, by a figure, by a sign. So when we are reading a parable we are not meant to press all the details. I think you have probably either read or heard examples of the kind of foolish and almost fatuous position at which you arrive if you begin to apply all the details in a parable. When I was a boy I heard a man preaching on the parable of the prodigal son. He took hold of every single detail in the story and gave it a spiritual meaning. But the poor preacher ran out of time and had to give up. He told us that perhaps he would continue with the parable the next time he came to us, and deal with the fatted calf! Let us, then, take hold of the great principle that our Lord is unveiling the truth here in Revelation but is choosing a particular way to do it. Of course, this should not surprise us at all. John was writing to the early Christians who were living in the Roman Empire and were suffering because of that. He wanted to strengthen them in their suffering but obviously he could not write openly because of the consequences, not so much to himself, perhaps, as to his readers. So he had to deal with the subject in principle, and he did this by means of symbol. The early Christians would understand his meaning by the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, but the Romans reading it would understand nothing; and the same thing has applied throughout the centuries. The truth is here in principle. We can apply it to particular facts. We do not say that the book is dealing with those particular facts, no, but there is a common principle in these forces that work against the Church and are antagonistic to our blessed Lord. My final point under this general heading is that we must never lose sight of the fact that the book of Revelation is meant to edify. It is not merely meant to give us interest; it is not merely meant to excite us or to play up to our curiosity and to (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:15:55 p.m.]

lt. And as I have already reminded you. ‘Of course. and are on the lookout for odd things.’ That satisfies one’s intellectual curiosity. bracing Christians for what they had to face.15. and we may appear to be very clever. It is not a book that is meant to enable you or me or anybody else to be able to say. with the object of comforting. this is what I read of in the book of Revelation and I can tell you of all the current events and find it here. this book has been the strength and the support and the sustaining power of God’s people in times of fearsome persecution. We hear or read in a book about some person whom most people have not yet heard of. No. If you read the book. that is not the function of this book. We say. and you will find that they were enabled to go forward because they saw here in principle the very thing that was happening to them. ‘Haven’t you heard it? It’s marvellous!’ People have been doing that sort of thing throughout the centuries.42.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:15:55 p. who is said to be the coming Antichrist. exhorting. the <. as we have seen.PDF our interest in political events. I think you will be forced to come to the conclusion that Revelation should not arouse a kind of unhealthy and almost morbid curiosity and make us more interested in persons and events than we are in the truth of God.m. but all who would subsequently read this book.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt110. and not only the first Christians.Previous First Next -> http://67. consoling.] . Read again the story of the Reformers and the Covenanters and the Puritans and others. We become interested in times and seasons. giving instruction. living on an island somewhere in the Mediterranean. Revelation was written.

we cannot fail to be struck by the fact that it has certain natural divisions – natural. and we must look for the edification that we are to derive. ‘The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt111. then. But remember that the numbers in Revelation are symbolic. Unto him that loves us. we must bear these things in mind. who is the faithful witness. ‘And from Jesus Christ.Previous First Next -> truth concerning our blessed Lord and His Church and the great purpose of God for the Lord and the Church throughout the ages and right up until the very end. and washed us from our sins in his own blood. and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. if you like. because the Church is divided into churches. The Lord Jesus Christ is thus shown in the Church. But go on to verse 7 : ‘Behold. so the seven churches. let us look at the outline of the book. Seven is one of the perfect numbers. divisions. Then. We start with that great vision of Him among the lampstands which we are told signify the churches. I suggest to you. The Lord Jesus Christ.] . Obviously. As we read through.PDF <.lt. second. and the seven golden candlesticks.m. as we come to an interpretation. I want to put them before you now for your consideration and study. and the prince of the kings of the earth. We must remind ourselves of its deliberate symbolism. Take the first three chapters. and the first begotten of the dead. As you read this book.15.42.’ This starts with the blood of Christ. in the midst of the churches.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:15:58 p. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches’ ( Rev. stand for the Church as a whole. Now the danger is to think that seven churches means seven particular churches. and not artificial. Notice also that this first section seems to span the entire history of the Christian era. In verse 5 of the first chapter we read. the death and the resurrection. do you not feel that these three chapters obviously go together and have a particular message? We see here the Lord Jesus Christ in the midst of the Church. he cometh with clouds. and every eye shall see him. 1:20 ).’ http://67.

] .lt.PDF The beginning of the Christian era is the death and resurrection of our Lord.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:15:58 p.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt111. crucified and risen again. and notice that we find the same things again. He has triumphed. but He is risen also. ‘Weep not: behold. Now those are the essential characteristics of the first three chapters. the end of the Christian era is the final judgment. We are not to forget that. And again we are made to look at Him. which runs from chapter 4 to chapter 7 . And not only that. ‘a Lamb as it had been slain’ (v. as we saw in the first section. Then comes the announcement by the angel. there is teaching here about the redeemed and about the lost. of history.15. But go on to the second section. but He has this great book of history which nobody else can unfold. That is the message which <. He not only controls the life of the Church. which form the first section of the book. He alone can break the seals. and again He has a message for the Church.Previous First Next -> http://67. 5 ). In chapters 4 and 5 there is a wonderful picture of the Lord Jesus Christ: the great scene in heaven in chapter 4 and then in chapter 5 consternation because there is nobody big enough in heaven or earth to open the seals of the book. The Lord Jesus Christ is in the centre of the second section as He was in the first section. He is the Lord. And what is the message? It is that He is the One who controls history.42.m. 6 ). the Lion of the tribe of Judah …’ (v. So here in the second section we meet our Lord once more. the Master.

and the moon became as blood. even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs … And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together.PDF <.42.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt112. And so you find Him breaking the seals and unfolding the history. and the rich men. Do you not see that.] . and the mighty men … hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains. and the chief captains. a picture we have already seen in chapter 5 . and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair. and the stars of heaven fell unto the earth. the second section is an exact repetition of the first section? The Lord is again revealing things to His Church.Previous First Next -> He gives here to the Church. and His revelation goes from the beginning right up to the end of the era. and every mountain and island were moved out of their places … And the kings of the earth. lo there was a great earthquake. And what about this history? In chapter 6 we are told that it is history that goes right on to the very end of the age and to the final judgment: And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal. These people have come up out of great tribulation and have washed their robes. and we are shown the difference between the redeemed and the lost.15. As a result.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:16:00 in essence. and said to the mountains and rocks. bearing our petitions and our prayers up to God. and this again forms a distinct section on its own. our High Priest. and. and who shall be able to stand? Revelation 6:12–17 The end of the age is also dealt with in Revelation 7:3–17 where there is a marvellous picture of the redeemed. and the great men. Chapters 8–11 constitute the next section. Fall on us … For the great day of his wrath is come. In 8:1 we are told that after an interval of half an hour in heaven something fresh is again given and at the beginning of chapter 8 we are shown a wonderful picture of the Lord Jesus Christ. to the final judgment. and we come to http://67.m. certain things are done.

in chapters 10 and 11 we find a description of the Church. we again go on until the final judgment. His seed.PDF the extraordinary vision of the seven trumpets.’ With this prophecy we are obviously again dealing with the end. referred to as ‘a man child’ ( 12:5 ). the opposition. how He was raised up into heaven and the beginning of the Christian era. but on the other hand. all these enemies of the Church.Previous First Next -> http://67.15. His death and resurrection. in chapter 14 there is a marvellous description of the redeemed. Read right through and once more you will find that. <. We start with His beginning. the final judgment. the beast to which he gives power. His people. the final judgment.42. Here again we go back right to the beginning with an extraordinary description of the birth of our Lord. But again the story goes right on until the final judgment.] . the redeemed and the lost. and are shown the opposition to Him.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt112. Once more we are obviously dealing with the same things – the Lord and His Church and what happens to them in the world. A trumpet is always a warning and those seven trumpets are warnings of judgments. In essence we are once more looking at the same thing: the Lord Jesus Christ in the centre. the redeemed and the lost.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:16:00 in 10:7 and 11:15–19 . In chapter 14:8 we read.m. Then the opposition comes in – the devil. having started with the Lord in chapter 8 . On the other hand. and Babylon. the day of judgment. ‘Babylon is fallen. The fourth section runs from chapter 12 to chapter 14 .

the brightness of His face. The particular features here are the final doom and destruction of the devil himself and. and there is still a great distinction between the redeemed and the lost. Once more we arrive at the last judgment.m. in chapter 16 .48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt113. but are open to certain broad impressions. and He with them. the redeemed appear as the Bride of Christ. the final triumph of the Church. a kind of parallelism. And that brings us to the last Here we come. Here the theme is once more the way in which the enemies of our Lord and of His redeemed people are dealt with. is sufficient. which is the sixth section. There is an account of the final destruction of Babylon. to the amazing description of the bowls of judgment. and the city of God coming down. and are always with Him. the final judgment has arrived once more. the eternal glorified state ushered in. and again we read about the Lamb. and. and again we find the same elements. The great marriage feast takes place. Again this starts in heaven. So that is what we find if we read through this book without concentrating overmuch upon any details. We suggest that in the different sections of this book there is a principle of repetition and recapitulation. riding His white horse.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:16:02 p. of the two beasts and all their followers.PDF <. and that common features are to be http://67. on the other hand. the vials of wrath that are poured out. and see the same distinction between the redeemed and those who are finally lost.Previous First Next -> We find the fifth section in chapters 15 and 16 . So the sixth section again has the same essential characteristics. The Lamb is in the midst of the city. opposed to that. and the final great battle of Armageddon.42. Then we go on to chapters 17 to 19 .] . In chapter 19 the Lord Himself appears in His glory. which runs from chapters 20 to 22 . The whole thing is finished and complete. and His people who were with Him. with the sword coming out of His mouth.15. the seventh. and there is no need for the sun or the moon because His light.

If you do this.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:16:02 p. try to forget anything in particular. it certainly is meant to tell us about the conflict between the Lord Jesus Christ and the devil and his powers. And as we look into the book more closely. 20 to 22 . The Suffering and Safety of the Redeemed We looked in the last lecture at what we considered to be the natural divisions of the book of Revelation and it is important that we keep these in mind. 8 to 11 .15.Previous First Next -> which is certain and assured. <. His Church and His people on the one hand.PDF found running right through. We see Christ Himself with His people. 17. It portrays the conflict between the Lord Jesus Christ. 4 to 7 . To remind you. Try to forget theories. 17 to 19 . I think you will conclude with me that whatever else this book is meant to do. and allow these broad impressions to be made upon you. I think that I was able to establish that in these sections there is an obvious parallelism. it has continued ever since. 15 and 16 . So I do plead with you once more to read the book in the way that I have indicated.42. a repetition of the elements of the story of the Christian Church from the first coming of Christ to the second coming.m. and those other terrible forces on the other. It began with Herod. we shall see that that conflict began when our Lord came into this world. and will continue until His final victory.] . they are chapters 1 to 3 .48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt113. 12 to 14 .

What has already been said in one form is being said again in a different form. and lastly the river Euphrates in the sixth trumpet http://67. So the same figures are used. There are certain other repetitions. to substantiate it. and in verse 14 we have ‘time. for instance. that is. And in chapter 13:5 there is also a mention of forty–two months. the final judgment. Then comes the seat of the beast in the fifth trumpet and in the fifth vial. and times.15. We can therefore lay it down that there is parallelism in a number of sections. In the original Greek this is called the battle. therefore. We find references to that in Revelation 16:14 . Then another striking piece of evidence and. and the sun in the fourth trumpet and in the fourth vial. those who are against Him.260 days. Certain other facts support that contention and ought. the rivers and the fountains in the third trumpet and exactly the same in the third vial.PDF <. we find that exactly the same things are referred to: the earth in the first trumpet and the earth in the first vial.260 days. which is actually forty–two months. the sea in the second trumpet and also in the second vial.] . and half a time’. two years and half a year–three and a half years again. is that if we read the accounts of the blowing of the trumpets in chapters 8 and 9 and the pouring forth of the vials in chapter 16 . The same battle is spoken of on the three occasions but in different settings. the same symbols representing time are used in chapters 8 to 11 and in chapters 12 to 14 . and.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:16:05 p.260 days appears again.m. perhaps.Previous First Next -> certain experiences they undergo. A further example of the principle of repetition lies in the references to a great battle which is to be fought. in Revelation 11:2 there is a reference to forty–two months and the third verse talks of 1. Then in Revelation 12:6 the reference to 1. I repeat. most convincing of all. or 1. the same duration is indicated for what I suggest to you are the same events. For example. 19:19 and 20:8 . or forty–two at the end of each section. there is a parallelism.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt114.42. a year.

Why is it that the same things are affected? It is a very powerful argument in support of the contention first. Now that is typical of the prophets.m.Previous First Next -> http://67. Take. Now that picture has reference to precisely the same thing as the four beasts in Daniel 7 . and so on. for instance. together with this supporting and additional evidence.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:16:05 p. and second. the book of the prophet Daniel.PDF and in the sixth vial. that in Revelation there is a principle of repetition or recapitulation or parallelism.] . the chest and arms. Why did Daniel use two images? Why did he say the same thing in two different ways? It is because he has additional things to say in chapter 7 over and above what he had said in chapter 2 . and everybody is agreed about that. Both these chapters obviously describe the same great empires.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt114. They make a bold <. I am establishing this principle of parallelism. that this is a book in which the different sections are about the same things but looked at in slightly different ways in order to bring out particular and differing aspects of the truth.15. But there are so many who accept that repetition in the book of Daniel and cannot see it here. In Daniel 2 there is an account of a great image which is divided into different sections: the head. Now that is something that ought to engage our attention at once. I do trust that as a result of the evidence which I put before you in the last lecture.42. It is very interesting to observe that parallelism is not unusual in prophetic

42. I suggest to you. the saints of the Old Testament and the saints of the New Testament era – all of them brought together. Four. But they were concerned about the old world and the new.] . and God the Holy Spirit. There are twelve tribes in the Old Testament and twelve apostles in the New Testament. and. Now ten is always a number of completion in Scripture. You may ask: What is the meaning of this 144. in other words. It means the saving work of the blessed Holy Trinity. So ten cubed. clothed with white robes.m.15.Previous First Next -> But I need scarcely remind you again that this is a book of symbols and again in case somebody may think that verse 4 gives a description of literal Israel. whether Jews or Gentiles.’ So the number in verse 4 is a symbolic figure and it is really almost ridiculous to suggest that it means 144.000.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:16:07 p. Twelve multiplied by twelve comes to 144. the Father. the four beasts. They are all saved and they are all with Him and will spend their eternity in His holy presence. 18. The Trumpets http://67. a great multitude. that 144. lo. and palms in their hands. it does not matter. stood before the throne. read verse 9 : ‘After this I beheld.000? And how is it arrived at? Let us look at the customary meaning given to symbolic numbers in the Bible. which represents God. the whole of mankind. and people. and kindreds. for instance. Chapter 7 . that is. a completion. represents the whole earth.000 is the culmination of all that. Son and Holy Spirit concerned about the whole world. and before the Lamb. of all nations.PDF <. Whatever nation or kingdom or language or tribe they have come out of. which no man could number. is a description of all the glorified spirits in heaven. As you work through this book keep your eye on this figure and you will find that it always represents a therefore.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt120. perfect and complete. represents absolute completion. Multiply three by four and you get twelve. We start with the number three which stands for the Trinity – God the Father. they are Christ’s people. God the Son. 1.000 Jews. and tongues.

but not in and of themselves. and a third part of the rivers and the fountains.42. and not alone.] . The incense. As we have already seen. it is only partial. That is the section which runs from chapter 8 to the end of chapter 11 and it is a most important section. and all green grass was burnt up’ (v. It is the same with the others. Our prayers go through Him. The destruction is not total. and a third part of the ships. of our prayers to God that the trumpet series begins. we read that ‘The first angel sounded. is added to the prayers. Here we no longer deal with the seals but we have come to the sounding of the trumpets. a third part of the sea.15. the seventh seal introduces the trumpet series. and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood. It is as the result. It is interesting to notice the sequence that follows. and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up. through the incense of His person and of His perfect work. For instance.Previous First Next -> http://67.m. yes. which is provided by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. We <. our prayers are covered by the incense of the Lord Himself and so are acceptable to God. as it were.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:16:07 p. 7 ). Now it is important to observe certain things about this trumpet series. in chapter 8 we are given a picture of the prayers of the saints ascending up to and a third part of the creatures which were in the sea. so that as we pray. You will notice that all along the devastations that follow the blowing of each trumpet only affect a third part of the environment and the ships.PDF We come now to the third sub–section of the first half of the book of Revelation. First of all.

m. and who shall be able to stand?’ ( Rev. All these scenes in Revelation 6 are an account of what happens to Christian <. thank God. and said to the mountains and rocks’ – what? –‘Fall on us. Then we go on to the fifth seal. and from the wrath of the Lamb: for the great day of his wrath is come.42. we go on to the sixth seal where we are given a great and dramatic picture of judgment upon the terrible powers that are opposing Christ and His people. and every free man. those who have received the word that He sent out. and hide us from’ – who? An amazing answer –‘from the face of him that sitteth on the throne. hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:16:10 p. This is very natural. We read about the sun becoming as black as sackcloth – often used in prophecy as a picture of judgment – and the moon becoming as blood. That is the message of the six seals.15. This is a dramatic way of describing a great cataclysmic judgment with the sky departing like a rolled–up scroll. Thus with the opening of the six seals in Revelation 6 we have been given a picture of what happens to God’s people throughout the whole of the Christian era. and the stars of heaven falling. 6:15–17 ). Christian people who have been martyred for their faith cry out. 10 ). Here is a wonderful assurance that though all these great and http://67. They describe the suffering of the followers of the Lord Jesus Christ. ‘How long is this to continue? How long will you allow those enemies to do this to your people?’ How inevitable this cry is! How naturally it follows! And then. leading up to the final judgment. which is still a part of this second section.Previous First Next -> great clashes of belief in which Christians are involved.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt119. and the chief captains.] . and the great men. and the rich men. But we are also given a glorious statement in chapter 7 . and every bondman. ‘And the kings of the earth. O Lord?’ (v. and every mountain and island moved out of their places. and the mighty men. ‘How long. and we are given a picture of certain souls under the altar crying out. Then we read.

a seal is to be put on the forehead of each Christian.42. And I saw another angel ascending from the mighty and terrible things are going to happen. to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea.m. having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels. ‘that’s Israel after all.’ <.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt119. not Christian people.] . nor on the sea. holding the four winds of the earth. How many are there? This is what we are told: ‘And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel’ (v. 4 ).’ you say.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:16:10 p. God’s people are to be kept safe. neither the sea. ‘But. saying [this is the promise]. Revelation 7:1–3 In other words.Previous First Next -> http://67. Hurt not the earth. God knows His own. till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. before these last judgments come upon the world. nor on any tree. that the wind should not blow on the earth.15. nor the trees. Before the seventh seal is broken we read this: And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth.

It does not symbolise a great general war. are being persecuted. They were going through terrible things. No. This horse is red.PDF <. John then brings but he told them: Your Lord is there and He is in control of history. and its rider is given a ‘great’ sword (v. ‘set a man at variance against his father. Our Lord is the rider and that is why His horse is white. and do you think that John simply wrote to tell them of something that might happen after two thousand years had passed? How would that help them? It would almost be to mock them. even killed. He prophesied that the effect of His coming was going to be division. ‘Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace. He said. the red horse is a picture of the way in which Christian people. He would. The people to whom John wrote were told that. because they are Christians. The Greek word here for sword carries the idea of slaughtering. 10:34 ). Now our Lord had already told us what to expect.m. At one time they were being persecuted by the Jews. and now the persecution by the Roman Empire had started. and the daughter against her mother’ (v. but a sword’ ( Matt. What does this mean? Well. It is a short sword. 2 ). In the first seal we see a rider with a bow on a white horse (v. 110:1 ). John was writing to tell them what was already happening. So here in Revelation He comes with a bow on His white horse.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:16:13 p. as it were. 35 ). with the gospel. He is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. and that He is reigning until all His enemies shall be made His footstool ( Ps. And has that not followed? Did it not happen to the Christians in the early centuries? Were they not butchered and massacred simply because they were http://67. in chapter 6 .Previous First Next -> He is the Master. 4 ).] . and they needed to be told.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt118. but persecution of the saints. a broad sword used for a personal. He sets out. and He sends out His word. The rider on the white horse is followed by a second horse.42. He said to His disciples. direct attack.15. to the opening of the seals. Now I suggest to you that this rider is none other than the person who is described in a similar way in chapter 19 . even unto death.

no. Many others lost employment because they would not say. So the picture here suggests shortage and poverty. but is a vivid picture of suffering as the result of poverty. Then the third horse.42. That is the order.’ says Paul to his young follower and disciple.15.’ ‘Not many wise men after the flesh. after the opening of the fourth seal. Timothy. In the early Church Christians were very poor people. Christianity began among the slaves and the poor and when difficulties arose they did not have the money to pay for the wine and the oil. ‘Yea. the <. ‘and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution’ ( 2 Tim. not many mighty.] . At the beginning. and if you read the long history of the Christian Church you will find that Christians have often had to suffer poverty.’ says the apostle Paul ( 1 Cor.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:16:13 p. then comes the opposition. The rider on the red horse follows the rider on the white horse. yes. as some interpreters would have us believe. says our Lord in John 16:2 .PDF Christians? Here in Revelation our Lord warns that it will happen. 3:12 ).lt. not many noble are called. most of them were slaves. This is not persecution so much as literal war – sometimes religious war.Previous First Next -> http://67. is not a picture of famine. There is wheat and there is wine and oil. The word goes out. 1:26 ). ‘Caesar is Lord. is of war leading to death. which comes with the opening of the third seal.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt118. And the next picture. but only the rich can afford it. Some people will even think they are serving God when they put you to death.m. No.

Let me try to suggest to you some other broad headings which may be of value in a detailed interpretation.Previous First Next -> political events. churches and conditions among Christian people corresponding to what is described in the letters to the seven churches. in essence. then. the Lord Jesus Christ with His Before the Protestant Reformation there was Laodicea to perfection and Laodicea has been true of the Protestant Church many times since. There are churches today like the church at Smyrna. periods and epochs? I suggest that they are neither. All the churches of Revelation 1 to 3 are always present. We have here a picture of the Lord Jesus Christ among the churches.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:16:15 p. then. and I was tempted to leave it at that.PDF <.42. No. in the light of all this. There. What. then. And it seems to me to be monstrous to suggest that the Laodicean state of the Church is only now being entered into. and thus it becomes one of the most practical and vital day–to– day books in the whole canon of holy Scripture. It has warning and instruction as well as consolation.] . Laodicea is not the condition of the Church only at the end before our Lord comes. are they descriptions of the general state of the Church in different eras. That.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt117. asking you to work out the details for yourselves. But let me go a little further. we find in the Church universal on earth. I am quite certain that in any congregation today there are people who correspond to the description of the seven churches. And I will go further. and all the rest of them. The Church in this country before the evangelical awakening of two hundred years ago was typical Laodicea. as some would have us believe. here we are given an account of the whole state of the Christian Church from the first to the second coming. Look at the first section.15. And that is why the letters to the seven churches are always up to date. are these seven churches? Are they seven particular churches that were in existence then. it is a spiritual book that speaks to your heart and to your experience and that helps you to live from day to day. or. is a general analysis of the book of Revelation. but that since seven is the perfect number. When we read back through the history of the Church. http://67. chapter 1 to 3 . is the first section. Today there are also churches like the church at Ephesus.

lt.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt117. And I know nothing more consoling. He is its Master. Yes.PDF What about the next section – chapters 4 to 7 ? In chapters 4 and 5 we are given the great and glorious scene in heaven and see some dim picture of the glory and the might and the majesty and the greatness and the holiness of God. That is what makes this book of Revelation so wonderful.m.] . 8–9 ). Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him. who is the great King eternal. He is in control. 6 ). It is all right. as Paul tells us in the second chapter of Philippians: ‘He humbled himself. glorified Lord. who is the Conqueror. hath prevailed’ ( 5:5 ). that <. even unto the end of the world’ (v. even the death of the cross. 18 ).html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:16:15 p. it starts by reminding us that our Lord is on the throne. and what does he see? A ‘Lamb as it had been slain’ (v. 20 ). In other words. it is the crucified Lord who is risen. We find the same teaching at the end of Matthew 28 : ‘Lo. Before it begins to tell us of the things that will happen to us as Christians. in chapter 5 we are told that our Lord is the Lord of history. the Root of David. ‘The Lion of the tribe of Judah. So John looks for this Lion to appear.Previous First Next -> http://67. the angel tells John when he begins to weep because he cannot see anybody big enough and great enough to open the book.42. The angel says. I am with you alway. and became obedient unto death.15. He is the risen. He controls it. ‘All power is given unto me’ (v. Then arises the major question in the history of the world – the book with the seals and nobody strong enough to take off the seals. and given him a name which is above every name’ (vv.

lt. against the rulers of the darkness of this world. but we are not told that until we come to chapter 12 . The devil is not mentioned until chapter 12 .PDF <. But. We know what it is to be confronted by people who are unbelievers and anti–Christian. The Bible impresses upon us the truth that it is the devil who is fighting God.15. are but instruments of the great powers behind our world. these individuals. I think you will see at once that there is no more important book for us in the whole of the Bible than the book of Revelation. This second section thus takes us over the same history as the first section. the same history. Its ultimate object is http://67. we know all that. in which we are being used. against spiritual wickedness in high places’ ( Eph. we find not so much the struggle of Christ and His Church against unbelieving people. as against the evil powers that are behind the world. that is. Yes.m. and how difficult they can make life for us at times. but that is not the whole story. as the instruments. So in a very interesting way. we find that in this book of Revelation we are given both the surface picture and the deeper picture.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt116. It is the same struggle. become confused and cannot understand things. It is the same thing. therefore. What you and I see with our physical eyes is simply the visible part of a great spiritual war that is going on in another realm. Its theme is the unfolding of this great struggle. And how important it is that the Christian Church should understand this! We all of us know something about persecution. behind men and women. That is why there is the recapitulation. therefore. We need to be made aware of the fact that these men and women. He is there. thank God. as it were. 6:12 ). we see the struggle against the devil and all his assistants and associates. against powers.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:16:17 p. So often we fail to remember that and. but shows us the struggle at a deeper level. but in the first section we only see it in terms of human beings whereas in the second section we see it in terms of the fight ‘against principalities.Previous First Next -> beginning at chapter 12 .42. the book does not present itself to us merely in order to give us that picture. of course. If you look at it like that. the repetition and parallelism.] .

48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt116. It is the message we find in all the It is no longer a sort of jigsaw puzzle about times and seasons and dates which enables you to talk cleverly about <. And therefore Revelation is no longer a book merely for some people who will be here on earth after the saints have suddenly been raptured! It is a book which speaks to us in our present condition. And that is why this victory is shown in every single section. and though it may even kill us.15. dramatic manner tells us exactly the same thing as the apostle Paul in Romans 8 .PDF to show us the final triumph of the Lord Jesus Christ and His people. this will happen to you. you will find that you will understand it in an entirely new way because it not only tells you what is going to happen.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:16:17 p. The purpose of Revelation is to unfold to us the glory of the triumph that is certain to be ours.42. though the world may treat us very cruelly.Previous First Next -> http://67. it tells you what you must do in order to overcome. So Revelation is a book which in its own pictorial.] . If you read Revelation again in the light of all this. and thus it becomes a living and a real and a spiritual book. it can never separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. and the assurance that in the meantime. He is with you and you will triumph and prevail. but it is all right.m. We are not asked to wait until the end for the victory. We are told: Yes. It has spoken to Christians in all ages of the Church because they have all had to go through these things. and warns you what will happen to you if you do not carry out its precepts.

using slightly different terms or different symbols. But we are told that the Devil had decided even before the incarnation that he would try to kill Him the moment He was born.15. in chapter 12 . Here.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt115. 17 to 19 and 20 to 22 . Having gone so far. In other words.m.Previous First Next -> statement about something.42. the same events. I am not proposing to take you through the book of Revelation in detail. 2 and 3 . it is equally clear that the book can be divided into two sections. So I am trying to give an outline and a method of interpretation. Then the second division consist of the four sections: chapters 12 to 14 . especially in its relevance to the question of the time of the second coming of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.] . then. then come back to it and take it up. I am simply concerned that we may have the general message of the book. and the dividing point is the beginning of chapter 12 . chapters 4 to 7 and chapters 8 to 11 . and add to what they have already said. I say this because it seems to me that the book of Revelation demands this division. let me also state that while it is clear that the book is divided into seven sections which seem to be dealing with the same subject. the One who is described here as a man child who is brought forth. we see the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ and the failure http://67. leaving the details to be filled in. Is it not perfectly clear that this chapter takes us back to the beginning of the Christian era? It takes us back to the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 15 and 16 . of course. Take the twelfth chapter. So I suggest to you that you can think of the book in this way: the first major division consists of the first three sections: chapters 1 . May I remind you again of what I am attempting to do at the moment. the seven sections can be grouped again into two big divisions.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:16:20 p. that would be inappropriate in a course of addresses on biblical doctrines. And we remember. is what I would call a kind of general analysis of the book of Revelation. from the Gospels how he tried to do that through King Herod. That. then.PDF <.lt.

17 ). Then Revelation 12 goes on to say that the devil turns his venom and his wrath upon the woman and ‘the remnant of her seed’ (v. then.Previous First Next -> http://67.42. and the second eleven of the devil’s first attempt to kill Him. It clearly takes us back again to the beginning. That is the message of the first section. those who belong to the Son Himself. any difference in these two sections of the book? I suggest there is a marked and striking difference. The death and resurrection of our Lord were accompanied by the casting out of Satan from heaven to the earth. and Satan’ (v. Then we are told that this ‘man child’ is taken up into heaven.15. Is there. And in connection with that we are told that there is war in heaven (v. 9 ) is cast out. And our blessed Lord Himself has already said. This suggests very strongly that there is this major division: the first eleven chapters. which is obviously none other than Christian people. But when we come on to the second section. ‘that old serpent called the Devil. the man child whom she brought forth.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:16:20 p. So the devil begins to persecute the Church. ‘Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out’ ( John 12:31 ). 7 ) and that the great dragon.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt115. caught up unto God and to His throne – surely a perfect account of the resurrection and the ascension of our Lord.] . In the first section we have a great account of the struggle of Christ Himself and His Church against the world of men. Now that is surely the reading of chapter 12 . <. You see the correspondence? This did happen at that time. which it is most important for us to observe from the standpoint of the interpretation of the book.m.

Under the seals we saw the things that the world of men does to God’s people. Here. nor hear. the whole is affected. therefore. that they should not worship devils. I emphasise that because often we tend to think that the things that come upon the ungodly men and women of this world are more or less accidental and happen in the course of nature. and under the hand of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. now we are given a glimpse of what happens to these persecutors. and not merely a third. In the Scriptures trumpets always stand for a warning of judgment and a warning of punishment. They do not. Now we are given very definite proof of this. nor walk: neither repented they of their murders. so this whole trumpet series is an account of what happens to those who are opposed to God and to the Church. The interesting thing that we must observe. and idols of gold. What does the trumpet series represent? Surely there can be no question at all about this. nor of their sorceries. In that summing up at the end of the trumpet series we are told that the whole series has a reference to the godless people who are opposed to God and His Christ and the Church and Christ’s people. when the vials are poured out.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt121. is that all the things that are described here happen under the hand of God. These are signs of God’s judgment: both hail and fire happened at Sodom and Gomorrah. and of wood: which neither can see. When the first trumpet was sounded we are told that ‘there followed hail and fire’ ( 8:7 ). and stone.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:16:22 p. so that the things that happen to these people are ordained of ‘And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands. nor of their fornication. still more expressive.PDF <. hail and fire are mingled with blood.15. 20–21 ). http://67. and silver. nor of their thefts’ (vv.Previous First Next -> must bear that in mind because in chapter 16 . Towards the end of the ninth chapter we read. It is He who introduces the trumpets with their judgment and punishment.m.42.] . and brass. They occur very definitely as the result of an action taken by the Son of God.

diseases have come from polluted <. so God visited the Egyptians with various plagues of which these calamities in Revelation are reminiscent.’ said Moses to Pharaoh. There have been terrible events.15. Yes.m.] . calamities and pestilences.PDF ‘They were cast upon the earth: and a third part of trees was burnt up. but things have been happening to that world.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:16:22 p. 7 ). Now ever since the first coming of our blessed Lord and Saviour it has been a simple fact of history that the world of human beings has persecuted the Church.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt121. This whole trumpet series is a kind of parallel to the plagues with which Egypt was afflicted before God’s people went out in the Exodus. because the Egyptians would not listen to these preliminary warnings. some happening on the earth but some of them in the sea: that is the second trumpet. destruction came upon them. But Pharaoh would not. The people of Israel were taken out and Pharaoh and his entire army were destroyed in the Red Now in that symbolic way the book of Revelation – and all the Scriptures – tell us that calamities such as earthquakes. and all the green grass was burnt up’ (v. Then.42. Plagues have been visited upon the world of men and women. and some occur in connection with rivers and springs: the third trumpet. Let me give you an illustration. volcanoes and floods are under the hand of God and part of His way of punishing sin and of announcing to the world that it cannot persecute His people with impunity.Previous First Next -> http://67. He is the Lord and He will bring about punishment for such acts. ‘Let my people go.

in a sense. is a way of describing certain calamities that have happened to humanity as the result of things happening in the sky – meteors falling down upon the earth. as if every restraint of God were withheld and the devil and his forces were allowed to have free play among men and women in the world. He takes the history of the world and he tells us how. for example. and the third part of the moon. and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit.Previous First Next -> rivers and springs. Masses of people have been destroyed in these judgments of God upon the world when God has punished the sin of men and women and especially their sin of persecuting His saints. Here we are told that to a certain angel ‘was given the key of the bottomless pit.] . We read the results in Romans 1 : not only sin and immorality but foul perversions.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:16:30 p. Then we go on to the next trumpet. it is like the opening of the bottomless pit by the angel so that the stench of hell comes up without any let or hindrance. And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth’ ( 9:1–3 ). The apostle Paul teaches the same thing in the second half of Romans 1 . ‘The fourth angel sounded. and there arose a smoke out of the pit. and seems to cover the whole world. But when we go on to the fifth trumpet we find something which.m. and the third part of the sun was smitten. again.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/ <. and there have been floods. men lusting after men and women after women. which is much more striking: something that happens in the sky. And this.42. and the third part of the stars. because men and women began to worship the creature rather than the creator. Thunder and lightning and other terrible calamities have visited the earth from the skies. God withdrew His restraint and ‘gave them over to a reprobate mind’ (v.15. and the night likewise’ ( 8:12 ). as the smoke of a great furnace. Now at times these are used by God Himself in order to punish a godless and a persecuting world. Now this is what we sometimes speak of when we say that at certain periods of history it has been ‘exactly as if all hell had been let loose’. is still more sinister. http://67. and consuming masses of people. And he opened the bottomless pit. In other words. 28 ). so as the third part of them was darkened and the day shone not for a third part of it.

God gave them over to a reprobate mind. and I think that there is nothing more tremendous than the realisation of this. and felt they could make a paradise without God. it is God who does it. or even with thirty years ago. In this <. If we read the history of the world since our Lord first came into it. but He allows it to go unrestrained in order that men and women might be punished and come to their senses. but remember.Previous First Next -> http://67. But I repeat that sometimes this is allowed and almost caused by God. because we ourselves are undoubtedly living in such a period. and God’s cause seemed to be hidden altogether. Yes.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:16:30 p.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt122.PDF God permitted it. Compare today with a hundred years ago. And I have no hesitation in saying that the terrible moral problem of the twentieth century is undoubtedly God’s punishment for the pride and the arrogance of people in the nineteenth century when they began to criticise the Bible and to pit themselves against God with their learning and their science and their politics. He does not cause the sin.42.] . we find that there have been periods like that when sin and vice and immorality and foulness were rampant.m. Does it not seem as though someone has opened the bottomless pit? Day after day we see in the newspapers horrible foul things as if every restraint has gone and vileness and crime are abroad throughout the whole world. as it

It was God addressing humanity. The passage depicts some of the terrible wars of the centuries which have wiped out such masses of men and women.42. It is almost a description of modern warfare with armaments. punishing the world of men and women that would not http://67. The sixth trumpet is nothing but a picture of terrible war. But when they try. They were not caused by the Kaiser or Hitler. We are seeing one of the occasions when the fifth trumpet vision takes place. because you will see that God is controlling everything. If you read this trumpet series in this way. No.15. You see. I think you will be filled with great comfort. It is being verified before our very eyes. what a fatuous suggestion! They were not a matter of politics or economic conditions. it was much bigger than that. as I do repeatedly. they can live their own life and do what they want to do.Previous First Next -> century God is withdrawing the restraints. But this is not only a reference to modern no. and other modern instruments of war. with plate armour. Let me again emphasise that we are taught here that these great wars which have brought such calamities to humanity are sometimes God’s punishment.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:16:32 p.] . it is a most graphic picture. These are all pictures and. one cannot imagine a more powerful description of a horrible war. But remember that everything in this book is expressed in symbols.PDF <. what happens? They begin to fight one another and they destroy one another in masses. the idea of people of the world is always that if they can only get rid of God and of Christ and the Church. Read about the horses and the stings in their tails and all the rest of it ( 9:13–21 ).m.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt123. remembering that it was written in the first century. that the two world wars which we have had in this twentieth century are to be explained only in this way. with tanks. and for people to interpret the horses or the locusts in a literal sense is so pathetic as to be tragic. There have been terrible scenes on earth as the result of the great wars of history. I have no doubt in asserting. The symbolism suggests all that.

Yet notice what we are told here at the very end of chapter 9 – in spite of all this. ‘this will bring people to their senses. the book of Revelation tells us that men and women are not converted by calamities.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:16:32 These things have already been taking place in different forms at different epochs and eras in the history of the world. ‘Now.PDF listen to Him. but what about chapters 10 and 11 ? There again we are given a picture of the Church.’ Never! They became still more infuriated.’ they said.Previous First Next -> http://67. 9:20 ). So do not expect anything from wars and calamities and pestilences. and how antispiritual in our thinking! No. That. that they should not worship devils …’ ( Rev.m. History has verified this prophecy. Many thought it at the end of the Second World War. How materialistic we have become.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt123. They seem to harden men and women. brings us to the end of chapter 9 . In chapters 8 and 9 we are shown what happens to godless people who persecute the Church. Revivals have never come in that way. men and women will still not repent. they seem to infuriate them as they did here: ‘The rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands. It takes the Holy Spirit to save a soul. This is not something that will happen in the future. then. Yet so many Christian people think and expect that if there is a war or a terrible earthquake or some horrible disaster people will be so affected that large numbers will turn to Christ and there will be a great revival.42. but what of the <.] .

but it is followed by a kind of bitterness. It is a proof of our calling. Who are the two witnesses? Many answers have been given to that question and I cannot prove to http://67. it leads to persecution. and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution’ ( 2 Tim.42. It means that there is nothing so sweet in this world as the gospel of redeeming grace.m. I am giving you the broad principles. after they have finished speaking.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt124. It is not true! Do not be mistaken about this.’ It is a lie. That is a picture which we find in the Old Testament. But as surely as you have become a Christian. I have already shown you that in the seals and I have reminded you of Paul’s words to Timothy: ‘Yea. Christ came not to bring peace – in that sense – but a sword. In chapter 11 we see two witnesses who. We must not be upset and shaken in our faith when we find that because we have become Christians. it brings a sweetness which nothing else in this world can give. ‘Come to Christ and all will be well with you. As you are enjoying the sweetness of this glorious gospel of redemption. No. In chapter 11 the suffering experienced by Christians is shown in a still more specific manner.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:16:34 p. and when he ate it. You’ll never have another problem in your life. it was sweet in his mouth. Do not listen to people who tell you. The sweetness becomes bitterness in that sense.] . When you first see it and appreciate it and know it. are persecuted with terrible severity.PDF <. you will get trouble. It is not that the sweetness is gone. you will find that it leads to bitterness between you and someone who has always been very loving to you but has now turned against you.Previous First Next -> Church in the meantime? There is a very interesting statement in chapter 10 . I shall not go into all the details.15. 3:12 ).lt. but it became bitter in his belly. does it not? Every Christian knows that this is the simple truth. A book was given to John to eat. as I have said. The gospel leads to suffering. other people turn against us who used to be fond of us. rather we must expect it. So how glorious it is that we should be prepared for this. They are bitter towards us because we are changed and they are not. It always happens.

And here are the two witnesses: the law. And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them. indeed.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:16:34 p.PDF you that my suggestion is the right one. and the two witnesses are persecuted in a most terrible and terrifying manner. and shall send gifts to one another. Revelation 11:8–10 <.m.Previous First Next -> http://67. the law and the gospel that always go together.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt124. You cannot really understand one without the other. I suggest that the two witnesses are the Old Testament and the New Testament. However. where also our Lord was crucified. which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt [symbols again]. And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city. and the one needs the other. Christ sent the disciples out two by two ( Mark 6:7 ). because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth. And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and a half. we are told they are actually killed. The law prepares for the gospel and the gospel reflects its radiance upon the and make merry. You cannot prove these things.15. the gospel. Yes. Remember that there are always two witnesses. and the world at this point is full of rejoicing and exultation. and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves.] .42.

11:11–12 ). Read to the end of the chapter and you will see the woes that will come upon this world that in its blasphemy thought it had defeated God and put an end to His Christ and the glorious testimony of salvation. the world rejoices. But it will not be finished because we are told: ‘After three days and a half the Spirit of life from God entered into them [the two witnesses].html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:16:36 p. ‘When the Son of man cometh. Yes. The concluding verses of chapter 11 once more take us right on to the final judgment and the end of the world.] . and on how it has outgrown this folklore. indulging in a lot of braggadocio and ridicule. and they stood upon their feet. ‘The world is such a glorious place! We are so amazing!’ So let us not be surprised if even we live to see something of that persecution.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt125. and their enemies beheld them’ ( Rev. and great fear fell upon them which saw them. It is not quite as bad as that yet but we have known it up to a measure. It thinks that this is marvellous. Come up hither. A day is coming. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud. when it will almost look as if Christian witness and testimony has finally been destroyed. this utter ridiculing of us because we are Christians and still believe the Old Testament and the New. And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them. Then the world will congratulate itself on its development.m. Our Lord Himself once said. this childishness. prophesied by Him and prophesied here. Christ and His cross will have been and people will send presents to one another.PDF <. God will have been put on one side. Infidelity has been arrogant and boastful.42. ‘Marvellous!’ they will say. It has been doing this in the present century.Previous First Next -> Whenever the attack of the world and the flesh and the devil is powerful against the gospel. We came there at the end of the series of seals http://67. But it will get worse and worse before the end so that people will say that Christianity is finished. but things will get even worse. shall he find faith on the earth?’ ( Luke 18:8 ).15. We know something of the ribald laughter of the world. It makes fun of the Lord God Himself and of Christ and of Christian people.

Previous First Next -> http://67. Revelation 11:18–19 That. and on and on it goes. in exactly the same we come to that same end here at the end of the trumpet series: And the nations were angry. as I have already reminded you more than once. and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets. and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth. then. and great hail. leading to a great climax at the end.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:16:36 p. that they should be judged. small and great. And the temple of God was opened in heaven. We have been covering exactly the same period of history as we covered in the seals. 5:3 ). and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings. and voices. and the time of the dead.PDF and.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt125. But we are still only at the end of our first major division. and thy wrath is come. when they think they are triumphant.15. the threatenings and the judgments. is the trumpet series. goes on to deal with the same things again but shows us all this at a <.] . And then. ‘sudden destruction cometh upon them’ ( 1 Thess. and thunderings. There are the warnings. and to the saints. and them that fear thy name.42. The second half of Revelation. but this time our eye has not been so much upon God’s people as upon those who persecute them. but still they will not repent. we are far from being as the end of the book. and an earthquake.

lt. He is the son of Abraham. we go back to the incarnation. Persecution started with the Roman Empire and has continued in a measure ever since. but it does not succeed.PDF <. and is happening today. In chapters 12 to 14 there are descriptions of the great antagonists of the Lord Jesus Christ and His Church. And then in Revelation 13:11–18 we read of a second beast that comes out of the earth. What is it then? Undoubtedly this is the great secular power of the world that is opposed to Christ and His people.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt126. He is driven out of heaven and comes down upon the earth where he begins to attack. It has a curious mixture of lamb–like qualities and other qualities which contradict that. It has two horns like a lamb but does not speak like a lamb.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:16:39 p. But it is a composite picture. Then go on to chapter 13 where a beast is seen rising up out of the sea. the man child that is born of this woman. That is the woman who brings Him forth. That is.42. He was born ‘of the seed of David according to the flesh’ ( Rom. The description we are given corresponds to the fourth beast in the seventh chapter of Daniel. Read chapter 12 for an account of him. Israel. But He is taken up to heaven and then we are given a picture of the tremendous and mighty forces that are arrayed against Him. which is none other than the devil himself. At the beginning of chapter 12 . We shall go into this again in greater detail. a flood. And at once an attempt is made to destroy Him and eventually He is crucified.m. The first is the dragon. kings and princes and dynasties and empires and governments throughout the centuries that have persecuted God’s people. this other seed of the woman who is in the wilderness. 1:3 ). is sent after them to destroy them.15. Now before we move on.Previous First Next -> very much deeper level.] . His seed. ungodly secular authorities and powers. especially as He is represented by His people. It has two horns like a lamb and speaks like a dragon. A great spout of water. it is like that fourth beast but also has certain characteristics of the previous three beasts in Daniel 7 . What is this? It is undoubtedly false http://67. He is the son of David. let me give you something to consider. you remember. it stands for worldly governments.

but there are more. Babylon represents.Previous First Next -> http://67. the seductive power of the world and sin. followed by Islam and all these other At the very beginning Judaism persecuted Christianity terribly.15. They have always claimed and still claim to be able to work miracles and do marvels and in this way they entice people. They are all represented and symbolised in this beast that comes up out of the earth.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt126. it is a manifestation of the seducing. They are the great antagonists. the papacy.42. it may be noble idealism. the mother of harlots’ ( 18:5 ). False religions have ever persecuted the Church of Christ and the devil has used them. which is later described as ‘Babylon the great. How they have all hated the Christ and His people and how they have persecuted them! The devil has used all kinds of false religions – any false religion. We all know something about the way the world would seduce us and draw us from the simplicity and the purity that is in Christ. surely. He is able to make an image and appears to be able to perform miracles just like these false religions. everything in the world that tends to attract us and to entice us and draw us from God and from the Lord Jesus Christ. It is he that gives power to the beast.m. <. If it takes us from Christ. He is behind all the havoc they have wrought. attractive power of the great harlot. including.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:16:39 p. sometimes.] . it may be culture. Anything in the world that draws us away and entices us is equally bad. Then came emperor worship in the Roman Empire. The first beast gives power to the second – false religions. In chapter 14 we read of the fall of Babylon.PDF religion.

false religion.] . against the rulers of the darkness of this world. as members of the Christian Church. The devil controls commerce. So there is the description of it all. The apostle Paul. 18 and 19 . chapters 17 . as I have indicated. we shall come on to the glorious victory of the Lord Jesus Christ over every one of them and see how they are all ultimately cast into the lake of perdition.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt127. it is something much deeper. chapters 15 to 16 . http://67. we continue our study of the second half of the book. 19. otherwise the world will not look at you. and. ‘For we wrestle not against flesh and blood. and chapters 20 . but against principalities. 21 and 22 . Then. and we shall see how the Christ and His bride become one and enjoy one another in the eternal glory for ever and for ever. in the next lecture we shall go on to consider how these evil powers operate and what happens to them. the seductive power of the sin of the world. 6:12 ). The Final Judgment In our consideration of Revelation.PDF <. the devil. and men and women who belong to that realm. They are the opponents of the Church and they are headed up by the dragon. If you want to get on. you must have the mark.Previous First Next -> Lastly.42. who have the mark of the beast on their forehead and right hand. writing to the Ephesians.m. The devil uses secular power. against spiritual wickedness in high places’ ( Eph. Here. there are all the people who have the mark of the beast on their right hand or on their forehead ( 13:16–17 ).15. finally. That is the theme of the second half of this great book. This is not only a conflict against men and women. against powers. Let me remind you that it is divided into four subsidiary sections: chapters 12 to 14 . beginning at chapter 12 and going on to the end of the book. says. God willing.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:16:41 the theme is the conflict in which we find ourselves as God’s people.

and particularly of the second half because here. At the end of the last lecture.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:16:41 p.PDF Now I want to give a general exposition of the message of these four sections because I know of nothing that is of greater importance for Christian people at a time like this than to understand this particular message. there is nothing so encouraging.15.m. 3 ). The first great antagonist is none other than the devil himself. is the primary power that is opposed to us and to our Lord and to God. having seven heads and ten horns. in chapters 12 to 14 especially.Previous First Next -> http://67. They do not understand. Many people are full of forebodings and uncertainty. This links us up with the Old Testament and with the story of the fall and of the whole doctrine of the fall as we <. and behold a great red dragon. whether we like it or not.] . and Satan. I just noted them and told you to consider them. which deceiveth the whole world’. we are given an account of the antagonists that are behind the opposition faced by men and women. and wonder whether God has forgotten His promises. as Christian people we find ourselves subject to persecution and trials. Christian people are often depressed when they see the state of the Church and look at what is happening in the world. Certainly there is nothing that comforts one so much. There. Later on in chapter 12 he is described as ‘that old and seven crowns upon his heads …’ (v. because. called the Devil. Now the answer to all that is just this message of Revelation.42. they are bewildered.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt127. described in chapter 12 as the great dragon: ‘There appeared another wonder in heaven. and whether Christianity as we have known it is to come to an end. of course.

in this chapter. The devil does not only act himself. But God sent His Son – ‘a second Adam to the fight’. that is. and he produced the fall of man. the devil has sought to destroy God’s work by attacking the human race. In other words.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:16:43 p. in the remainder of chapter 12 we are told. this beast is meant to represent the secular powers of the world as they are used by the devil to frustrate God’s plans and destroy the Church. Supremely. and they are described in chapter 13 . that the beast in Revelation 13 is a composite picture of the four beasts described by Daniel. His earthly life.PDF <. All is well: we are not only given a picture of the antagonists but also given the assurance of our victory and the way to obtain it.Previous First Next -> have it in the book of Genesis. having seven heads and ten horns.m. But even there we are comforted and are shown that Christ’s people are enabled to overcome the devil ‘by the blood of the in symbolic language. all who are born of the Lord Jesus Christ and belong to Him. Therefore. It was the devil who rebelled against God before even the creation of the world and his one object has been to ruin all God’s work and all God’s plans. and upon his horns ten crowns. but uses certain agencies. and upon his heads the name of blasphemy’ ( 13:1 ).48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt128. upon the Christian Church. Now here is a beast that http://67. of the devil’s efforts to destroy the Church. but with this difference. we are told of the devil’s efforts to destroy the work of God. 5 ) and you remember that the dragon tries to destroy Him but He is taken up into heaven. First. In a very brief compass we are given a picture of our Lord’s coming. and here. But then the devil turns his attentions upon the seed of the woman. The four beasts in Daniel represent specific secular powers.] .42. His death and His resurrection. of course. Now it is agreed by practically everyone that the description of this beast is almost identical with that of the fourth beast in Daniel 7 . we have the beast that the prophet saw rising ‘up out of the sea. There is the picture of the woman giving birth to ‘a man child’ (v. and by the word of their testimony’ ( 12:11 ).

That is the characteristic of false religion.] . The Christian Church not only has to meet the devil in direct encounter and not only does it have to meet political and secular powers. something which has also been imitated by other religions. It has the appearance of true religion. Here.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:16:43 p. In the time of John. but there is always this contradictory element. you remember. and a false religion or a perversion of the Christian faith is as dangerous as a secular power. it was the Roman Empire.m. When we expounded 2 Thessalonians 2 we suggested that here we have a description of the papacy with its curious attempt to combine secular and spiritual power. but it is not a lamb because it speaks as a But then in a vision John sees a second beast and this time the beast rises up out of the earth. of course. But since then it has been many other secular powers. The second beast thus symbolises the secular and the spiritual combined to form one religious power.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt128. it always has to wage a war against false religion.Previous First Next -> http://67.15. and perhaps even before that the Jews themselves.42. The important thing is to realise that they all have the same object.PDF stands for all of them together – secular power itself. Now that is something which many people today <. As we have already indicated. this is undoubtedly a picture of false religion in whatever form it may chance to appear. they are all used by the devil. is a beast that first of all gives a suggestion of a lamb. It is not for us to compare these powers or to say which is the most dangerous.

there are still other antagonists. or in their foreheads’ ( 13:16 ). the 18 and http://67. The Roman Catholic Church would have us believe that the major opponent of Christianity is communism.15. rich and poor.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:16:45 p. finally.PDF <. posing as great a threat as communism or any other form of secular persecution. These people deny most of the cardinal articles of our Christian faith. to all who call themselves Christians.] . But wait a minute. to receive a mark in their right hand. Thus by understanding these symbols we are enabled to understand the times in which we live. yet they say that communism is the great enemy of religion. Patently. free and bond. both small and great. for instance.m.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt129. Then. Then there are people who hold a very liberal view of the Bible. Notice that in this thirteenth chapter we are also told about certain people who receive the mark of the beast on their forehead or on their right hand: ‘He causeth all. These people are just human beings who in their blindness and ignorance have failed to understand what is happening and make themselves the tools of both these enemies – the secular powers and the false religions – but they constitute a definite evil which we have to meet. we need be in no trouble about understanding what is meant here because in chapters 17 . no matter what they may happen to believe. the last enemy that we are concerned about is described in chapter 14 where we read about ‘that great city’ Babylon. not realising that according to this symbol Roman Catholicism itself is perhaps as great a danger.42. if we understand these verses we cannot stand together with all these so– called Christians because to align ourselves with false religion is simply to put ourselves into the camp of our ultimate enemy.Previous First Next -> seem to forget. who uses the one antagonist exactly as he uses the other. to ‘stand together’ against the common enemy of secularism or of communism. seemingly unaware that according to this teaching they themselves are enemies of the true faith. and can avoid the pitfalls that open before us – the call. Fortunately.

surely. So when the devil fails to destroy us by means of his military or secular power. and oftentimes when the devil has not been able to get God’s people down by active. but who became the victims of a love of wealth or a love of ease or of pleasure or of comfort. and could withstand open opposition. 4:10 ).’ says the aged apostle John ( 1 John 3:15 ). In the history of the Church there have been men and women who were ready to face death upon a stake. ‘Love not the world.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:16:45 p.42. neither the things that are in the world.’ says Paul.PDF part of 19 we are given a detailed account and description of the great harlot Babylon and it seems to me that there can be very little doubt about what it represents. It stands.15. and without realising it were held captive. The very term ‘harlot’ ( 17:5 ) suggests it all and if you read the detailed description in those other chapters you will see what a perfect picture it is. of anything like that that belongs to the world.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/ he has been able to bring them down by the enticements of the world.m. He knew the danger. ‘having loved this present world’ ( 2 Tim. Now you cannot know your Scriptures at all well without realising how frequently they warn us against worldliness. ‘Demas hath forsaken me.] . for the seductive power of worldliness. the power of the world to attract us and to draw us away from God and from the Lord Jesus Christ. Babylon represents a superficial charm that is devilish and foul and ugly and pestilential and yet is so seductive that it deceives God’s people. militant persecution. or his false <.Previous First Next -> http://67.

nor height. which is in Christ Jesus our Lord’ ( Rom. nor things to In this section it comes in that great fourteenth chapter. The best exposition of this passage in Revelation is that eighth chapter of Romans. It represents the whole body of the elect.PDF <. That is the great message of chapters 12 . our salvation is certain and sure. nor things present.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt130. but also gives us the comfort. who ‘follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. nor powers. 8:39 ). We have seen that every single time. shall be able to separate us from the love of God. nor angels. in His infinite grace and kindness. http://67. 13 and 14 but. Revelation 14 then concludes with a picture of the final judgment which it describes in terms of the sickle reaping the earth and of the winepress of the wrath of God. all God’s people. where Paul is persuaded ‘that neither death. being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb’ ( Rev. which is in Christ Jesus our Lord’ ( Rom.] . nor any other creature. and having defined it there we need not go back to it again. 14:4 ). 8:38–39 ). have become ineffective. nor depth.42.Previous First Next -> religions. nor life.15. he comes to us in this most pleasant and seductive manner. The antagonists are there in Romans 8 but the name of God is on our forehead and they cannot prevail. not only gives us a picture of the enemy and the difficulties. We know that in spite of all those enemies nothing ‘shall be able to separate us from the love of God. we have listened to him and. nor principalities. in every one of these divisions. for the time being. and perhaps suggests that we are working too hard or that we are being over strict or that we are really going too far and rushing to extremes.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:16:47 p. once more we are given encouragement. God.000 who were sealed and had the Father’s name ‘written in their foreheads’? We met this figure in chapter 7 . thank God.m. You remember the 144. before we realise what has happened. In this most plausible way he puts his case to us and. And what we are told about them is that they are safe. These were redeemed from among men.

lt.15. the cup is filled up. Now we see the end of their destruction. and over his image. Revelation goes on to tell us how these antagonists will finally be judged and overcome. the message of the remainder of the book from chapter 15 onwards. the punishment was only partial. and over the <.PDF Chapters 12 to 14 present us with a series of most important pictures and unless we understand them we cannot begin to understand church history. Fire always stands for judgment. Now we are going on to look at the final punishment. how from time to time God has visited and meted out punishments upon those who oppose the Christian Church. That is. in dealing with chapters 8 to 11 . But it was only a third part. great and marvellous.] . But further. Moreover.m. seven angels having the seven last plagues. indeed. ‘Them that had gotten the victory over the beast. we will not understand the Church today or in the future.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt130. for in them is filled up the wrath of God. Chapter 15 starts with a wonderful vision of heaven: ‘And I saw another sign in heaven. We have already seen. and over his mark. having in that way described to us the real antagonists face to face with Christ and the Church. But in that very context John also saw. This is the part of the book which is most full of comfort and consolation and all I want to do is show you the order in which the vision shown to the prophet gives us the truth so that we may know how to apply it to ourselves and to our situation.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:16:47 p.Previous First Next -> http://67.42. and we are reminded of that in these terms: ‘I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire’ ( 15:2 ).’ This is final.

but he cannot touch us.PDF <. even to the slightest extent. That does not mean that we may not have to go through many of them. That.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt131.15.42. on the sea of glass mingled with fire with harps in our hands and we are already singing the praises. just and true are thy ways. It does not mean that we may not have to suffer shipwreck. none of them can really touch us. We need never be filled with any alarm or terror because we have already passed from judgment into] . Now it is very marvellous that before we are given any account of the final judgment and the ultimate destruction of all these mighty antagonists. We are already saved from them. We are secure in Christ. 2:6 ). is the great message of chapter 15 and it is a chapter that we can never read too frequently. and it is the very essence of our comfort. affect our relationship to God and to our blessed Lord and Saviour.Previous First Next -> number of his name. safe from all harm. pestilence and many other things. 15:2–3 ). as it were. thou King of saints’ ( Rev. None of them can. but we need have no fear. we again have this blessed assurance that we who belong to Christ and are faithful to Him need fear none of these things. and safe from these judgments that God will visit upon His antagonists. As the apostle John puts it. http://67. but this is the truth: none of them can really harm us. in the language of the apostle Paul. that whatever may happen in this world. and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus’ ( Eph.m. ‘That wicked one toucheth him not’ ( 1 John 5:18 ). It is the whole essence of this vision. Great and marvellous are thy works. And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God. There we are standing.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:16:49 p. These things may affect us superficially but they will never affect us in the depth of our being because we are already in the position of safety or. He can often terrify us and alarm us. and the song of the Lamb. saying. Terrible things are going to happen on the earth. we need have no fear of it. having the harps of God. So here in the vision we are seen already standing around the throne. Read it and meditate upon it and realise this great message to you. earthquake. He has already ‘raised us up together. stand on the sea of glass. then. Lord God Almighty.

and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast. we have the instruction given to the angels: ‘Go your ways.Previous First Next -> http://67.15. Revelation continues with the account of the judgments. in a sense. John starts with the devil.PDF Then. and the thing to grasp at this point is the order in which they are meted out.] .48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt131. John reverses the order having given us that. and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth. In chapter 16:1–2 .’ Now when we dealt with chapters 8 and 9 we saw that in those two chapters exactly the same things are described as in this chapter: the trumpets are blown and certain devastations result. That is the interesting thing about this part of the book.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:16:49 p. But in giving an account of the final judgment and destruction. In describing the antagonists. and upon them which worshipped his image. First of all judgment starts with those who are least important. So he starts with the weakest and in chapter 16 we have an account of God’s meting out His final punishment upon men and women who have foolishly listened to the efforts of the devil and his assistants to draw them away from God and from His Christ and to lead them to destruction. and <. first of all on the earth. then on the sea. then comes down the scale. as it were.42. And the first went. and the least important are men and women who have the mark of the beast on their forehead or on their right hand. therefore. it is natural that he should do so because his purpose is to show us that every conceivable antagonist of whatever strength will be judged and destroyed.m. and poured out his vial upon the earth.

PDF <. and because they would not listen and because Pharaoh’s heart was hardened and he would not repent. So God may already have turned His back upon certain And you get that same principle here in Revelation. then upon the sun. a final consigning to perdition. But now we are told that all those are but shadows of what God is going to do.Previous First Next -> then in the rivers and the fountains. But as we have seen. First of all. is of very great significance. this time the destruction is complete. and certainly that will happen to all unbelievers. I do not know – this is partly speculative – but sometimes one is almost tempted to come to that conclusion. as if God’s patience has at last ended.] . He will punish with a terrible fulness. and that. God finally punished him. the next upon the rivers and the waters. It happened in the case of the flood. and the destruction that will happen in the world leaves all the catastrophes of the past as mere nothings. Here. but I believe that there are clear instances in the history of the world when terrible judgments have been inflicted. There was once a great and flourishing Church in North Africa but it is no longer there today.15. That is the principle. God sent ten plagues upon the Egyptians before He dealt with them in the judgment of the Red Sea.m. it is no longer a partial visitation. It is a principle that is constantly repeated and emphasised in Scripture that God always warns before He finally punishes. of course. An instance of that. is to be found in North Africa. But I do say that it is a principle running right through the Bible that when God has warned and has threatened and there is no response. We saw that in the case of Sodom and Gomorrah. God first of all sends particular judgments upon the world. The final judgment is yet to come. the plagues. pestilences and times of terrible immorality.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:16:52 p. He metes out a kind of final punishment. the first vial is poured out upon the earth. and so on. All who have died in persistent rebellion against God will be visited with a final punishment.42. the second upon the sea. That http://67. He has been doing this throughout the centuries – as we saw in the last lecture. It is seen in a very striking manner before the exodus out of Egypt. He has sent wars. it seems to me.

Look at it in the so–called society papers in particular and then. This is all the seduction of the world. devotes a good deal of attention to this The trumpets are a warning while the bowls represent the poured–out punishment and the shedding out of the wrath of God. look at it in the streets of any great city. Think of the world. Look at it reflected in the newspapers. Then in chapter 17 we come to the final judgment of Babylon – Babylon the great or Babylon the great harlot. John. but it is absolutely true.] . the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth. and here we are given a detailed and terrible description of how all that will be destroyed and brought to nothing. look at its pride in itself and in its great men and women. look at the wealth. It is almost incredible.PDF is the message of chapter 16 . Notice. <. look at the luxury. in a way. It occupies the whole of the seventeenth and eighteenth chapters and is the cause of the thanksgiving and the praise at the beginning of chapter 19 .m. think of worldliness. therefore. the importance of drawing a distinction between trumpets and bowls. Of course. I have already described the subtlety and enticement of the world. this is but natural. come and read these illuminating chapters. As we have already seen.42. because Babylon speaks directly to our own experience. the result of the action of the great harlot that calls kings and princes and wealthy merchants and ordinary people alike. as a seer and a prophet.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:16:52 p.Previous First Next -> http://67.15. having done that. mysterious Babylon the great.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt132. Look at the dress. look at the world’s vaunting of itself.

it will be ridiculed and shown in all its foulness for the hag that it really is. And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone. for God hath avenged you on her’ ( 18:20 ). Read these chapters time and again and see the discomfiture of all who lived for Babylon and all who believed in it and all who said that this was everything. if we only grasped this teaching we would never again be tempted by worldliness! We are told in Revelation 17:16 that even the world’s own devotees will turn against Babylon. the world that has pointed its finger at us. During a war. http://67. But suddenly it is destroyed. And the voice of harpers. They are bereft Then listen to the appeal that is made to us: ‘Rejoice over her. cramping and confining. the world that has dismissed our lives as narrow. Read how it will be destroyed utterly and absolutely. The world that has laughed at us. and ye holy apostles and prophets.m. and musicians. In air raid shelters there are very few differences between duchesses and and trumpeters. Oh. They have nothing left. its equipment. boasting of its food. saying. thou heaven. shall be heard no more at all in thee. you rather forget your fineries. and all its beauty and its glory. the world that has called us fools. hideous. and shall be found no more at all. its dress. So we are told. The paint and the powder will be taken off and it will be revealed in its awful nakedness and filth.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:16:54 p. boasting of its wealth. some of the so–called kings will turn against it. its carriages.] . and cast it into the sea. when there is an air raid and bombs are falling. Rejoice over her … for God hath avenged you on her.42. When they see things going wrong. but things will be infinitely worse in the future.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt133.Previous First Next -> We are given a perfect picture of the world outside Christ. they always do.15. Babylon will be stripped. Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down. But then read what will happen to it. its banquets. That is all shown here in Revelation. and has boasted about its marvellous life.PDF <. and of pipers.

And no craftsman. and of all that were slain upon the earth. all will be silenced. the drinking will finish. to complete this section of the general exposition. It is all passing away. ‘Love not the world.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt133.42.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:16:54 p. and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth. Revelation 18:22–24 What a mighty book Revelation is if you really understand its message! So John writes. The world and its things and its kings and its princes and all who belong to it will all be destroyed in this unutterable manner. of whatever craft he be. Then. the jazz will end. shall be found any more in thee.] . And in her was found the blood of prophets.Previous First Next -> http://67.15. for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.PDF Revelation 18:21–22 The bands will stop. neither the things that are in the world’ (1 John 2:15 ). at the end of chapter 19 we are given an account of the destruction of the two beasts: the beast that arose out <.m. and of saints. and the sound of a millstone shall be heard no more at all in and the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee.

PDF <.42. the destruction of the first beast and the destruction of the second beast.Previous First Next -> of the sea and the beast that arose out of the earth. and the spiritual view. So we must take great care as we look at it. and look at its teaching in a little more detail. at the centre of interest. I propose to return to this in the next two lectures. the post–millennial. especially because of the history of the different views with regard to in chapters 21 to 22 . the head and origin of it all. There are three main views – the premillennial.] . 20. and perhaps the best way of approaching the subject is to start with the most popular of the three – premillennialism or Chiliasm . and we are given a description of our final and eternal state in glory. Because of the significance of chapter 20 . So we have seen the destruction of the people with the mark of the beast.15. The last antagonist is judged and destroyed.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt134. the ultimate antagonist of God. the destruction of the great whore Babylon. Then we shall go on to consider the resurrection and our final and ultimate state in glory.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:17:02 p. But still one antagonist remains and he is given special treatment. We are told of the marriage of the Lamb and the bride. http://67. as His bride. the Church. there is nothing else left to do but to give a picture of the new heaven and the new earth ‘wherein dwelleth righteousness’. In the remainder of the book. Obviously this is a most important chapter and it is always. We are shown Christ’s people.m. Secular powers and all false religions will be cast into the lake of fire and destroyed for ever ( 19:20 ). The Premillennial View We come now to Revelation chapter 20 . Even he is taken and cast into the lake of destruction for ever and for ever. therefore. A fresh section starts in chapter 20 because there we are given an account of the judgment and the final destruction of the devil himself – Satan.

the elements of which we have already considered.] .lt. The Church is to evangelise the nations through the preaching of the gospel. and the Church. the Church will be gathered out of Jews and Gentiles. so the kingdom could not be set up and the Jews were punished and scattered abroad among the nations. <.15. But the Jews rejected both the kingdom and Christ as King. and this is His second coming. it is part of a body of teaching. In the dispensation of grace. ‘The kingdom of God is at hand’ ( Mark 1:15 ). intended to establish an earthly Jewish kingdom at His first advent. has nothing to do with Old Testament Israel. and at the end of this phase Christ will appear and the rapture of the Church and the raising of the dead in Christ will follow.42. They will be converted and will accept Jesus as their King. But now a mystery is revealed which the Old Testament saints had not dreamed of – the Church. it is taught. but essentially it is this.m.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:17:02 p. but Christ is the head of the Church and not its King. for instance.Previous First Next -> http://67. At this time the living will be judged. He says. it is said. but the whole world will not be evangelised.PDF Now what does this teach? Well.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt134. Therefore the kingly reign of Christ had to be postponed until the second coming. Then will come the time of tribulation and of the Antichrist and during this period the Jews will return to Palestine. At the end of the tribulation. Jesus and His saints will return to execute judgment on His enemies. Christ.

while others say that their conversion will happen The city and the Temple will be rebuilt and the ceremonial law with its altar and sacrifices will be restored. 11:6 ). the Antichrist destroyed. The results of sin will be removed and the leopard will lie down with the kid ( Isa. Darby says that it will be seven years. The saints who died during the tribulation will be raised and Christ will establish His throne in Jerusalem. the premillennial view teaches that the Jews will be great evangelists. Then the rest of the dead will be raised and judged and the Church will be translated to heaven. But most hold to the one thousand years – hence the term ‘millennialism’. and there will be tremendous conversions. bringing in the fulness of the Gentiles. But at the end of the thousand years. minor differences of opinion among those who belong to the premillennial school of thought and obviously we cannot go into them all in detail.42. This is the Messianic age which will last for a thousand years and it will be a period of great prosperity and blessedness. of course. and Satan will be bound for a thousand years. There is disagreement also about the thousand years.Previous First Next -> the sheep and the goats separated. J. Some say that the Jews will be converted before they return to Palestine.m. Satan will be let loose for a little while and Gog and Magog will make an onslaught on God’s kingdom. Now there are. Jesus will now be supreme over all the nations of the earth. But Israel will stay on earth and Christ will reign over them as their eternal King. But they will be destroyed by fire falling from heaven and Satan will be cast to perdition. Furthermore.15. http://67. N.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:17:04 p. All Israel also will be saved.PDF <.] . while Bengel thinks that two thousand is the number. with the desert blossoming as a rose and the solitary places rejoicing.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt135.

html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:17:04 p.m.PDF Furthermore. and will death still have its sway? But I have tried to give you a composite picture of what is held and believed by the majority. people disagree as to whether the risen saints will be in heaven or on earth – or both – during the thousand years. held. Premillennialism reappeared among the Anabapists at the time of the Reformation. but it was condemned by all the great Protestant confessions of faith. Then St Augustine silenced it by interpreting the thousand years as the era of the Church.] . So now I should like to put before you for your consideration certain objections to that teaching.15. though not universally. Now premillennialism clearly implies and involves certain things. Then it emerged again among the Fifth Monarchy Men of the seventeenth century and again in the nineteenth century.Previous First Next -> http://67. We have adopted this method right the way through in our consideration not only of this doctrine. but of all the other doctrines <. this view was originally Jewish–as seen among the Jews in the time of our Lord–and for the first three centuries of the Christian era it was quite commonly. It involves a literal interpretation of Revelation 20 . Will the propagation of the race continue? Will there be sin or not. It also teaches at least two resurrections and at least two Since then it has become a very popular view and is found in the basis of faith of many evangelical bodies without even an alternative being provided. Historically.

15. First of all – and this is very important – is the fact that it is a teaching which is found nowhere else in the Gospels or in the New Testament epistles. and in their descriptions (as I have tried to show you) of the glory of this earthly reign.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:17:07 p. having put premillennial teaching before you. as 2 Peter 3 shows us. We have tried. proponents of this view surpass one another in their attempts to paint its glory and wonder. That.42. you would have thought that there would have been some suggestion or hint with regard to it.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt136. say. of course. The teaching appears only in Revelation 20 . then if this earthly reign is an essential part of it. therefore. Oftentimes they are not even aware of the fact that there is another possible view and do not know that the view they hold has only come into being. But the fact is that there is not. the emphasis of this teaching is upon the earthly aspect of the kingdom with our Lord reigning physically here in this world. All are agreed about this. either in the teaching of our Lord Himself or else in the teaching of His apostles.PDF <. is obviously a serious point.Previous First Next -> also. whereas. about a hundred years ago. There are no other references to this idea of an earthly kingdom with our Lord reigning in person on earth for a literal thousand years. and the same emphasis appears in the epistles. is more lamentable than that people should only know one view. But it is still material and materialistic. to me. Nothing. we cannot but be struck by the fact that He constantly emphasises the fact that His kingdom is spiritual . Second. in order that we may be in a position to arrive at a balanced judgment as the result of prayer and a careful consideration of the teachings. to put all possible views forward. So then.] . let me suggest certain criticisms of it. It is an earthly conception. There are quite a number.m. when we read the Gospels and our Lord’s own teaching about His kingdom. So when the doctrine of our Lord’s second coming is dealt with in other parts of the Scripture. you must believe that the Scripture acts as a whole. if you believe in the unity of Scripture. ultimately there will be a http://67. giving the reasons for and against them. Now let us be clear about this: we do believe that.

48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt136. Whereas.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:17:07 p. and companion in tribulation. then. who also am your brother.42. surely. as I pointed out to you. So. 1:13 ). Christ is not King at the moment. but in another sense it has already come. <. So Paul writes that God has ‘delivered us from the power of darkness. it seems to me. on the other hand. is that premillennialism postpones the idea of the kingdom to the future. but is only the Head of the Church. ‘I John.15. Christians are already in the kingdom. It is said that we are in the Church First Next -> http://67. Yes. 1:9 ).PDF new heaven and a new earth. to postpone the whole idea of the kingdom to the future is to contradict scriptural teaching. and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son’ ( Col. and.m. the Scriptures themselves teach us that the kingdom is already present and that those of us who are Christians are already in the kingdom of God. the kingdom is still to come. Christ offered the kingdom when He was here in the world but it was rejected. We are already citizens of the kingdom of God. but that is after this present heaven and earth have been destroyed in the manner that Peter there describes. Then came this interregnum and there is no kingdom now but it will come during the millennial reign.] . John in the first chapter of Revelation says. talks about an earthly kingdom before that final reign. The premillennial view. In one sense. and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ …’ ( Rev. Then another objection.

’ said our Lord to the Jews. There was nothing the apostle Paul in particular so gloried in as that there is ‘neither Greek nor Jew. to me. The Jews were natural branches but they were cut off and others were grafted in. http://67. there is no suspicion of any difference between Jew and Gentile even in this twentieth chapter itself. again to the Ephesians. Here is something which is very serious for it reintroduces that distinction between Jews and Gentiles which. 2:19 ) in this glorious kingdom of God. There is only one olive tree. ‘and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof’ ( Matt. has been abolished. surely. but that the Jews will be given a great position of preeminence.42.15. circumcision nor uncircumcision.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt137.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:17:09 p. Teaching about Jew and Gentiles has been imported into the chapter and is out of place there.PDF <. 21:43 ). I would have thought that the eleventh chapter of Romans in and of itself would be enough to squash any such idea. says Paul. that is gone once and for ever. it is said.’ wrote Paul ( Eph. ‘The kingdom of God shall be taken from you. and the Jews are grafted in again when they become Christians. Barbarian. 3:11 ). is that the Gentiles are ‘fellowheirs’ ( Eph. ‘He hath broken down the middle wall of partition. indeed. Even the book of Revelation teaches that and. 2:14 ). I must confess that I find it quite impossible to believe in a permanent separation of Jews and Gentiles. will last throughout the whole of eternity. wrote Paul. But the Gentiles were grafted into the one olive tree. There is no permanent distinction for all eternity between Jew and Gentile.m. Scythian. 3:6 ) and ‘fellowcitizens with the saints’ ( Eph.] . is one of the most serious of all: it is the view which tells us that not only will our Lord reign for a thousand years in the flesh. The whole glory of the gospel. bond nor free’ ( Col. But here is a teaching that reintroduces a vital distinction between Jew and Gentile which.Previous First Next -> Then I come to another objection which. The kingdom is now open to Gentiles as well as to Jews. The New Testament teaching is that all nations and tribes and tongues are to be in God’s

The premillennial view also teaches that there are at least two resurrections. you remember. Where is the evidence for more than one coming? We have already considered the argument against several future comings of our Lord. But if you do not hold that view.42.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:17:09 p. is that believers. Here again is something which it is important to consider for it seems to me that this teaching is a direct contradiction of the teaching of our Lord and Saviour Himself.Previous First Next -> http://67.PDF Then another point is that premillennialism teaches. if not three. the Christians. several comings of our Lord. as I have already suggested. The teaching. unto the resurrection of life. there are to be at least two comings – three. and are a premillennialist. ‘Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt137. in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice. Let me therefore come to something which we have not dealt with so thoroughly. But surely the New Testament teaches that there is only to be one second coming of our Lord – the one that will be associated with the general resurrection of the dead and the final judgment. and they that have done evil. and have looked closely at 1 Thessalonians 4 and 2 Thessalonians 2 . will be raised at the beginning of the thousand years’ reign but that unbelievers will not be raised until the end of that period and even a little beyond it. then there are two. they that have done good. He says. According to that view.m. unto the resurrection of <.lt. and shall come forth.15. In John 5:28– 29 . with an interval of at least a thousand years between the resurrection of the good people and the resurrection of the bad.] . If you hold the preliminary rapture view there are three resurrections. if you believe in the preliminary rapture.

’ Where is the interval of a thousand years? Surely our Lord’s words state clearly that there is to be one general resurrection for all people. the last day and the final judgment.] . the good. and in verse 54 . but should raise it up again at the last day.15.42. Yet when Saul of http://67. not only that. We find exactly the same teaching in John 11:24 . Both these groups will be living together. and not before. Then there is another objection to premillennial teaching. not at the beginning of some millennial period. 3:21 ) – and at the same time other Christians who have not yet died and are still in the flesh. but at the very end. the Christians. But then if we go on to the next chapter of John’s Gospel – chapter 6 – we find that our Lord Himself teaches that the good and the bad are to be raised up at the last day. ‘I know that he [Lazarus] shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. the believers. We find this first in verse 39 : ‘And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me. in verse 44 . Then He repeats this in verse 40 . and of the teaching everywhere in the New Testament with regard to the and our Lord adopted and used it.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:17:11 p. that of all which he both given me I should lose nothing.m. but the Lord Himself in all His glory will be living on earth with men and women.Previous First Next -> damnation. But I find that impossible to conceive. and it should present a very real difficulty in the minds of all of us. our Lord will raise those whom the Father has given Him.’ That was the current teaching. there are many premillennialists who admit quite frankly that it is a difficulty to them. good and bad together. Indeed.PDF <. If that teaching is right then we are confronted with this: at one and the same time there will be on the earth glorified saints – people who have died as Christians. Indeed.’ There is nothing after the last day: it is the last day and on the last day. Martha says to Him. and have been raised from the dead and whose bodies have been changed ‘like unto his glorious body’ ( Phil. So to say that there are two resurrections with an interval of a thousand years between them is a contradiction of what our Lord plainly teaches.

he fell on his back to the ground. remember. which is as numerous as the sand of the sea.15. here is another of these – it seems to me – insuperable obstacles. Gog and Magog. the but as the King of kings and Lord of lords. must be that they were enemies the whole time and that their sin was merely held in restraint.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt138. ‘Satan shall be loosed out of his prison.’ Are we asked to believe that by one stroke Satan can suddenly turn this tremendous multitude.m. is it conceivable that after a thousand years of Christ’s rule.42. surely. as numerous as the sands of the sea.] . into enemies of Christ? No. Another incongruity is that during this supposed glorious period surely there must be some people on the earth who are still sinners? I say that for this reason: if there are no sinners left. then how can the things which are described in Revelation 20:7-9 ever take place? We are told that when the thousand years have expired.PDF Tarsus had just a glimpse of Him. Satan can suddenly produce these hordes. and shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth. But not only that. these masses of people from all over the world. to fight Christ and to be bitterly and violently <. So this surely is a most serious difficulty.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:17:11 p.Previous First Next -> http://67. to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. So this period is not as glorious as our friends would have us understand. Is it conceivable that after our blessed Lord and Saviour has been living and reigning in this world for a thousand years (not now as the carpenter of Nazareth. in all His heavenly glory and with His limitless power).

48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt139. Peter says. to ask us to believe that such a thing is possible at all.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:17:15 p. in effect. 13 ). where. ‘everything is going on as it always has.PDF <. is going to come back. speaks in all his epistles ‘of these things’ but there is not the slightest hint of any premillennial teaching. Yet it is an essential part of premillennial teaching. ‘But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the http://67. All that Peter knows is that the day of the Lord will introduce a great conflagration which will mean the destruction of the world as we know it. ‘The heavens and the earth. You’ve been fooled. but let us turn for a moment to 2 Peter 3 . Now there are more objections. this Christ of yours. reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men’ ( 2 Pet. Notice also that Peter says. Peter was writing to comfort Christian people who were being bothered by scoffers who said. There is not a suspicion of a suggestion about a period during which sin will be kept in check and under restraint. And then there is the coming of ‘new heavens and a new earth. the objections are more or less gathered together for us in a very convenient and clear manner. let alone thought. It all happens at the same time that is all Peter knows.Previous First Next -> opposed to Him? Surely it is straining imagination.m. wherein dwelleth righteousness’ (v. It’s all nonsense. There’s no sign at all of His coming. Where is the evidence? Look around you.’ they said. which are now. none at all. 3:7 ). ‘You people say – and you’ve been saying it now for a number of years – that this King. by the same word are kept in’ So Peter writes to comfort the Christians on that very point.15. it seems to me.42. In verses 15 and 16 Peter refers to the writing of his ‘beloved brother Paul’ who. But there is not a word about any millennial reign. It’s a figment of your imagination. Peter says nothing whatsoever about a millennial reign.] . Evil and sin will be burnt right out of it. and he indicates that Paul also says nothing.

But how can all that come as ‘a thief in the night’ if it has been preceded by a thousand years of Christ’s presence in His glorified body here on the earth? We shall all be waiting for it. But now let me put before you certain objections which arise from Revelation 20 itself. 3:10 ). He exhorts us to look forward to the ‘coming of the day of God’ (v.m.42. Our world will be burnt up with fire. This premillennial teaching directly contradicts the teaching of this important chapter.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:17:15 p. Such people are ‘unlearned and unstable’ <. So far I have been dealing with what I would call general objections from the analogy of Scripture–and we are always to compare scripture with scripture. and then there will be a new heaven and new earth.15. 10 ).lt.Previous First Next -> http://67. in 2 Peter 3 Peter tells us quite plainly what we are to look forward to.] .48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt139. In 2 Peter 3:16 the apostle Peter tells us that there are some people who wrest the writings of the apostle Paul to their own destruction. So that surely this chapter ought to be sufficient in and of itself to cause us to question most seriously the premillennial interpretation of Revelation 20 . 7 ). and the day of the great conflagration when ‘the elements shall melt with fervent heat’ (v. and the world as we now know it will be destroyed.PDF night’ ( 2 Pet. says Peter. It will mean the end of the world as we now know it. Not only that. We shall have gone through the millennium and then through the short season when Satan is let free. 12 ) which will also be ‘the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men’ (v. and we shall know that the day of the Lord is at hand.

not on earth. in heaven. surely. we find a number of references to thrones and without a single exception the thrones are in heaven. so they put it in here. 1 ). still less is there a reference to Palestine. But the question is: Does John put it in here? Is there even a suspicion of a suggestion that it is meant to be here? I suggest to you that in the whole of Revelation there is nothing whatsoever which suggests earth or Palestine or Jews –the scene is in heaven.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:17:17 p. There are. The friends who hold the premillennial view admit the absence of references to an earthly Jewish kingdom. http://67. with phrases like. then. ‘And I saw thrones …’ Now as we read through Revelation. Surely as we read it. certain objections to this premillennial view in the chapter itself. Palestine.15.] . Not having a real knowledge of the Scriptures. they are ready to believe anything that is told them. and it must be here. it is a scene in heaven.Previous First Next -> ( 2 Pet. Jerusalem is not mentioned at all. but added to that.m. there is not a single reference to the earth in this chapter. as I have already pointed out.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt140. and let me support that argument. ‘And I saw an angel come down from heaven’ (v. and yet the premillennial interpretation puts the earth. So now we come back to Revelation 20 . and we must never interpret any one passage in such a way as to produce a blank contradiction of the teaching of other passages. should cause us to pause.PDF <. That. ‘And I saw…’The scene is. 3:16 ). The Jews simply do not figure here in any sense. the Temple and the Jews in a position of preeminence.42. it seems to me. Scripture is one. we must come to the conclusion that the scene depicted by John the seer does not take place on earth at all. If we go back through the book we will find that John starts most of his fresh sections in a similar rebuilt Jerusalem. They say that in the Old Testament there are prophecies about the glorious time that is coming. That is the rule by which we are working. John says in verse 4 . We avoid that by growing ‘in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord’ ( 3:18 ).

and they sat upon them. but above all a complete period – ten cubed. very cogent argument is this: again in verse 4 we read: ‘And I saw thrones. which is the Devil. and bound him a thousand years. If this chapter starts with symbolism why should it not continue in the same way? I would put this point to you: the numbers in this book. is a spirit. and judgment was given unto them’ – then notice –‘and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus …’John deliberately says that he saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the <. But from there on. The number one thousand. to me. and Satan. yes. ‘And I saw an angel come down from heaven. having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:17:17 p.Previous First Next -> http://67.] . So why should we suddenly literalise it here? Then another. suggests a period of completeness.’ Now even the friends who hold the premillennial view are prepared to agree that all this about the chain is obviously symbolical because Satan. as we have seen many times.42. It suggests a long period. are obviously symbolic. they reject the use of symbolism.m.PDF Then we read in Revelation 20:1–2 .48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt140. as we have And surely the same thing applies here in verse 4 . It is not the way of true interpretation to pick and choose to suit the convenience of a theory. There are many uses of the word ‘thousand’ in Revelation. But surely that is inconsistent! Surely everything we are dealing with here is symbolic. after all.15. a whole period. And he laid hold on the dragon. that old serpent. Turn them up again for yourself and you will see that elsewhere this number is always used symbolically.

Then another point which strikes anyone reading chapter 20 without any presuppositions must be that this period of a thousand years – whatever the interpretation of it may be – obviously precedes the final judgment. ‘the souls of them’. It may be argued that often in the Scriptures men and women in the flesh are referred to as souls.] . but he adds ‘of them’.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt141. according to their works. that is done sometimes. not to say http://67. Acts 7:14 says that the children of Israel who went down from Canaan to Egypt were ‘threescore and fifteen souls’. I would only draw the conclusion that he had not seen the body of that person. If he meant In Revelation 20 the final judgment comes after this thousand years. ‘I saw the person’? This again suggests that the scene is in heaven where John sees the souls of those who are in Christ. ‘And the sea gave up the dead which were in it. And I saw the dead. and him that sat on it.42.15. Therefore it involves supporters of premillennial teaching in the most serious.PDF <. If he had only said ‘souls’. then that would have been a possible explanation.Previous First Next -> witness of Jesus. why did he not say so? He says he saw their souls. Otherwise why did he not say.’ Then John goes on to say. which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books. 13 ). small and great. those who have been true and faithful and have suffered for the witness and the testimony of Jesus. from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away’ – how reminiscent of 2 Peter 3 that is –‘and there was found no place for them. but we cannot adopt that explanation here because John says. stand before God. In this chapter we do not come to the final judgment until verses 11 and 12 where we read.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:17:21 p. If someone said to me that he had seen the soul of a person. Yes. which surely suggests that the people were in a disembodied state. raised and in their glorified bodies.m. and the books were opened: and another book was opened. ‘And I saw a great white throne. and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works’ (v. He does not say that he saw those who had been beheaded for the witness of Jesus.

difficulties. the redemption of our body’ (vv. preaching after the healing of that lame man.42. waiting’ – for what? For the millennial reign? No –‘for the adoption. which have the firstfruits of the Spirit. even we ourselves groan within ourselves. 21 ).48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt141.] . Our hope lies in this final victory when the whole of creation has been rid of evil and of sin by this conflagration which is coming.m.15. Yet Revelation 20 is not only in line with 2 Peter 3 .html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:17:21 p. but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope’ – notice – cause the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. but ourselves also. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now’ ( Rom. and the new heaven and the new earth have been ushered in. ‘The whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. talks about the regeneration that is coming. 22–23 ). And not only they. not willingly. ‘the times of restitution’ (v.PDF impossible. No. 8:20–22 ). to wit. it is equally in line with the great teaching in Romans 8 about the creature being made ‘subject to vanity. And again in Acts 3:19–21 we get a reference to the period when Peter. <. ‘the times of refreshing’ (v.Previous First Next -> http://67. In Romans 8 Paul is comforting people who are having a hard time and the encouragement he holds out for them is not that there will be a glorious period of a thousand years’ reign with Christ on earth. he writes. because they have to reverse the order of events. 19 ).

till the thousand years should be fulfilled’ ( Rev. 9 ). and set a seal upon him. which is the Devil. indeed. and bound him a thousand years. it seems to me. This will lead us on to a brief consideration of the doctrine of the resurrection and the ultimate state of glory in which we who belong to the Lord shall spend our eternity. and cast him into the bottomless pit.] .lt. 21. at the end of the thousand years. Now if the interpretation of that is pressed to mean that there will be no sin and evil at all in this world during that great period. They teach that towards the end of the Christian era there will be a period of unusual and special blessing which will http://67. So there.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:17:25 p. and in order to save Christ and His people it is necessary for God to send down fire out of heaven (v.15. but that He will come as King at the end of the millennium. Proponents of this view do not teach that the millennium means a reign by our Lord in His glorified body on the earth. then. Surely when we come to the binding of Satan for a thousand years. This is generally known as the post–millennial view . so many people.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt142. that old serpent. Post–millennialism and the Spiritual View We come now to consider a view which is more or less directly opposed to the premillennialist view.m. but at the end of the thousand years. it is very difficult to explain how Satan can so easily.PDF <.Previous First Next -> And that brings me to the last of the objections which I find in the chapter itself. the premillennial view presses its interpretation too far. persuade so many people to obey him. the view which teaches that the second coming will take place. that he should deceive the nations no more. We are told that the angel ‘laid hold on the dragon. and Satan. and shut him up. 20:2–3 ). as I have already indicated. are the objections to the premillennial interpretation of the twentieth chapter of the book of Revelation. that it seems as if the Church and Christ will be almost overwhelmed. It remains now for us to consider two other possible interpretations and then to make a final statement about the question of the time of our Lord’s coming.42.

and from about 1720 <. In post–millennial teaching. as it were.42. there is no break between what is happening now and what is to happen in the millennium. they say. that the Jews will be converted and (as I have suggested) the great fulness of the Gentiles will also come in. such a tremendous outpouring of the Spirit. but it has certainly been most popular from about the early part of the eighteenth century. At the end of this glorious period. there will be a short season when the Devil will. There will be. but the present era will lead into this tremendous dwarf everything that we read of in Acts chapter 2 . It was popularised by a man called Whitby who lived in the early years of that century. is the post–millennial view.m. It is a view which is found now and again throughout the long history of the Church.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt142. trouble and trials which will be ended by the coming of the Lord and by the final judgment with the destruction of the heavens and the earth as they are now. It is during that period. they say. and the ushering in of the new heavens and the new earth ‘wherein dwelleth righteousness’. that most of the people on the face of the earth will be converted and will become Christians. That.] . others that the figures are symbolic. Some say it will last exactly a thousand years. essentially.Previous First Next -> http://67. Then there will be great persecution. as the waters cover the sea’ ( Is. be let loose. leading to such missionary and evangelistic activity. but they all agree that there will be a long period when ‘the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord. this golden age of the Church.15.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:17:25 p. 11:9 ).

that there is only one coming of our Lord. in glory and surrounded by holy angels in the clouds Go through your Scriptures again. Satan destroyed! The great judgment. the final judgment.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:17:28 p. There.15. and we believe that it will take place at the last day. 22. and perhaps even more.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt150.PDF <. I suggest to you. Consider the three views. or perhaps even three.m. when our Lord returns visibly.] . where the beast and the false prophet are. and in bodily form. The Resurrection of the Body We have been considering the doctrine of the second coming of our Lord at great length and our conclusion is that this will happen at the end of the age. Observe the correspondences which I have tried to indicate to you. God’s people. between the two main resurrections and I have already given you evidence to show that our Lord Himself taught that the good and the bad would rise together. testing them. the new heavens and the new earth and the eternal and everlasting state of the saints. and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever’ (v. 10 ). We have said that. is the third way of interpreting this great twentieth chapter of Revelation. As the creed puts it: ‘We believe in the resurrection of the dead’. with an interval of a thousand years. notable and marvellous things. and then see which view would give the greatest comfort to the first–century saints to whom the book was written and which is most likely to give comfort and encouragement to the saints who have lived ever since. ushers in the conflagration of 2 Peter 3 . humility as we consider these great. Which interpretation is most likely to encourage us in these days? May God give us all wisdom and understanding and. one of which is the resurrection of the dead. there is only one general resurrection of the dead. We do not accept the teaching which says that there are two. as we understand the teaching of the Scriptures.42. above all. and that that coming will be associated with certain events. which is at the last day.Previous First Next -> ‘cast into the lake of fire and brimstone.

then we can see very clearly how much that is plain and obvious to us could not possibly have been so clear at that time. then that would have been true.m. teaching. but also and particularly because there have been those who have tried to teach that there is nothing at all about the resurrection in the Old Testament. Somehow they could not receive it. or not very much. But there are many Christians who are rather stumbled by just that fact. of course. is just not true. and we begin with the Old Testament. And they seem to have <. they were in trouble. First of Let me give you one illustration: the curious inability of the disciples to grasp our Lord’s teaching about His death and resurrection. But if we can transpose our minds. It is there. They wonder why there is this difference in the teaching of the Old and New Testaments with regard to the resurrection. back to Old Testament times.15. of course.Previous First Next -> http://67.PDF of heaven.42. Every time He spoke to them about His death. and if we read the Old Testament with New Testament eyes and with a New Testament understanding. it does not constitute a problem at all because the whole doctrine of salvation is not as clear in the Old Testament as it is in the New. There is a striking difference but. We do that because the Old Testament is a part of Scripture. They could not understand it. That. as it were. we can find the doctrine in all sorts of places.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt150.] .html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:17:28 p. So we must approach this doctrine in the way we have approached all the other doctrines. If they had said that there is much less. to me. we must look at the scriptural evidence for the doctrine of the resurrection.

110:1 ). They are with Him in heaven which is far better. what does the thousand years’ ‘reign’ mean? Well. this is the teaching that we see at the end of Revelation 3 .15. the final judgment and the end of the world. ‘If we suffer. Go back again to Matthew 28 : ‘All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Surely it is all quite clear. but let me give you a passage of Scripture.’ That is what it means. ‘for he [the Lord Jesus Christ] must reign. and those who died in Christ go to be with Him and reign with Him during this very period.’ http://67. We find the same teaching in Philippians 2 : ‘Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him’ – in view of what He has done –‘and given him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow.’ He is not going to have this power – He has it! ‘Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him. In 1 Corinthians 15:25 we read. and am set down with my Father in his throne. of things in heaven. and things under the earth.42.PDF <. ‘Sit thou at my right hand. they are seated with Him. ‘Then cometh the end’ (v. We understand what Revelation 3:21 means when it says. God the Father says. Once again.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt149. He has fulfilled His promises to them. and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord’ ( Phil. Our Lord is now reigning and will reign until His enemies are made His footstool. ‘To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne. So then.] . The thousand years’ reign means our Lord Jesus Christ in heaven reigning over the earth. and will reign with Him for a thousand years. 2:9–11 ). until I make thine enemies thy footstool’ ( Ps. He is doing that now. I repeat.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:17:32 p. till he hath put all enemies under his feet. 24 ). This is the fulfilment of the prophecy in Psalm 110 which is quoted so frequently in the New Testament. even as I also overcame. I have already been suggesting its meaning. and things in earth. Here we are given an account of those who have believed in Christ and are born again with Christ. 2:12 ).Previous First Next -> means when he writes to Timothy.m.’ What a perfect description of what we have in this fourth verse of the twentieth chapter of Revelation. we shall also reign with him’ ( 2 Tim.

we are especially given an account of how Satan is taken.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:17:32 p. But the Scripture tells me that He is reigning now . between the first and the second comings. It tells us that the kingdom has not yet come. <. it seems to think that the world is in the hands of the devil now and that the Lord Jesus has no power and will not have until He comes again. and we have already seen that it is suggested in the second chapter of 2 Thessalonians.15.42. seated at the right hand of God. 21 ). then He will come and Satan and all the others will be taken.] . Of course.m. It is not a literal thousand years. at the end of this period there is to be a short time of persecution which will be very severe: Matthew 24 talks of ‘great tribulation’ (v. the souls of them that were beheaded and have not received the mark of the beast. There will be an intense period of tribulation at the end of this period while the Lord in heaven is reigning. is the thousand years? I suggest to you that it is a symbolical figure to indicate the perfect length of time. At this minute He has all power over heaven and earth. All things are in His hands and those who have died in Christ. we are told.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt149. then. We find the same teaching also in Luke 21 . known to God and to God alone. When all His enemies have been made His footstool. What. He will be bound and.Previous First Next -> http://67. are now enjoying the reign with Him. but the whole of this period while Christ is reigning until His enemies are made His footstool and He returns again for the final judgment.PDF My final objection to the post–millennial view is that it detracts from the glorious truth that Christ is reigning in heaven now. Here in Revelation 20 .lt.

But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. ‘They lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. ‘Whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die’ – and yet Christians do die. not these people in their glorified bodies. and the life.’ Now people are often stumbled by that. it is ‘the souls of them’.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:17:36 p. he that believeth in me. there is no mention of bodies. so we are not straining Scripture when we interpret these words in Revelation 20:5 in this way. Take John 11:25–26 : ‘I am the resurrection.42. and they sat upon them. So obviously He is not referring to http://67. They say that our Lord says categorically. But what does that suggest to us about them? Surely this is a way of describing regeneration. This is the first resurrection’? What is ‘the first resurrection’? Well. but they shall be priests of God and of Christ. but what exactly do verses 4 and 5 mean when they say.’ So the first death is a natural death in a physical sense. it is obviously something that applies to the ‘souls’ of these people reigning.m. Yes. ‘And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. These ‘souls’ who are reigning with Him are not in the body.15. This is the second death. yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. they are souls. no. Now in the Bible there are many descriptions of regeneration in terms of resurrection.Previous First Next -> Revelation 20:4 : ‘And I saw thrones. Another thing we know about it is that in the fourteenth verse we read. and shall reign with him a thousand years.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt148. ‘Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power. though he were dead. the second death is to be cast into the lake of fire.PDF <. and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded …’ Not ‘them’. They are the regenerate who have passed through death and have gone to be with but they are alive.’ And verse 6 tells us of these people.] . And the fact that they are sitting upon thrones clearly suggests that they are in heaven. Who are the people who have a part in the first resurrection? Only those who are not to be cast into the lake of fire.

looking at it like that.42. in Romans 6 we are told repeatedly that we have not only died with Christ but we have been buried with Him and are also risen with Him. hath quickened us together with Christ. This is a reference to spiritual death which leads to that second death. As we read in Revelation.m. in Colossians 3:1–3 Paul writes. Then we read in Ephesians 2:5–6 . 1:23 ). it is a way of describing the ‘new man’ in Christ who has been regenerated. Anybody who is regenerate has risen with Christ – and that is the first resurrection. but alive unto God’ ( Rom. ‘Even when we were dead in sins. Again.Previous First Next -> http://67. 1:21 ) because it means being ‘with Christ which is far better’ ( Phil. ‘Reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin.’ Now in those passages. That is the whole argument of that sixth chapter of we begin to understand what Paul means when he says that ‘to die is gain’ ( Phil. the term ‘resurrection’ is patently used to describe regeneration. ‘If ye then be risen with Christ’ – then – ‘… For ye are dead and your life is hid with Christ in God.15. (by grace ye are saved.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt148. 6:11 ). raised with Him. and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. Furthermore.PDF physical death. The resurrection of the body is to follow.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:17:36 p.) and hath raised us up together. We understand what he <. and we are seated with Him in the heavenly places. the souls of them were sitting on the thrones and reigning with Him. that is the second resurrection. It agrees perfectly.] . And so.’ We have been resurrected with Him. The phrase ‘the first resurrection’ refers to the spiritual resurrection.

42. This means that before our Lord’s first coming the nations were in absolute darkness.15.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/ Go ye therefore. and disciple the nations. Another thing that happened to the devil was that our Lord upon the cross put Satan and all his followers to an open shame ‘triumphing over them in it’ ( Col. Jews are ‘the nation’. I suggest to you that these verses can be explained in this way. resurrection and ascension of our blessed Lord?’ Yes. Not only that. Notice that we are told that ‘he should deceive the nations no more’. we read in Matthew 28:18–20 that at the very end our Lord said. ‘don’t these verses go on to say that Satan is bound and cast out and a seal set upon him so that he should deceive the nations no more “ till the thousand years should be fulfilled and after that he must be loosed a little season ” (v.’ says someone.m. The truth about God was solely to be found http://67. Who are the nations? Well. and of the Holy Ghost … and. I am with you alway. So we are told that the objective of this binding of Satan is so that he shall deceive the nations no more. ‘All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. even unto the end of the world. and of the Son.’ You see the picture? ‘All power is given unto me. all expositors are agreed that in prophecy the term ‘the nations’ always stands for the Gentiles in contradistinction to the Jews. put him to an open shame. 3 )? Are you suggesting that that is a description of what has been happening in this world since the first coming and the death. and teach’ – who? – ‘all nations.’ Go now. The Gentiles are ‘the nations’.] . baptizing them in the name of the Father.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:17:39 p. There is no question at all but that by His death upon the cross our Lord defeated Satan and. Jews are God’s nation.PDF <. The prince of this world is there cast out. our Lord says. exactly as our Lord has prophesied in the twelfth chapter of John. God’s holy people.Previous First Next -> ‘But wait a minute. 2:15 ). in a special manner. lo. the others are the nations.

is a verification of the statement that Satan has been bound.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:17:39 p. engage it. but from the Day of Pentecost something absolutely new began. Those. and it will eventually be completed. But as the result of our Lord’s first coming. and all Judaea. He had deceived them absolutely until then.15. Our Lord had told His followers that they should be witnesses unto Him ‘both in Jerusalem. the Christian era. and That was their condition right through the Old Testament.42.m.PDF among the Jews. and the devil. the message of the kingdom was to be preached to all the nations. then.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt147. the light of the gospel has permeated. So I would say that the history of the Christian period. Therefore it can be said with literal truth that ever since the nations of the world have not been deceived. and unto the uttermost part of the earth’ ( Acts 1:8 ).] . the news of the kingdom is preached in all nations and is continuing to be preached. and in Samaria. cast out. and the work that He did. I indicated to you in the last lecture that the word ‘souls’ is used deliberately in <. and cannot deceive the nations any longer in the way that he had been doing in the past. it has been going on ever since. are some of the preliminary questions. The history of the spread of the gospel is a proof of this statement in Revelation 20:3 .Previous First Next -> http://67. could no longer deceive them. the darkness of the nations was enlightened. of course. But now we come on to another question which often engages people’s attention. It began then. And He sent them out to disciple the nations in the power and the might and the authority of the Holy Spirit. who was defeated by the cross. The nations were deceived and bound by Satan in utter darkness.

but at this selfsame time the prince of this world will be cast out. He is binding Satan and rendering him incapable of continuing his work. Teaching about the destruction of Satan also appears in Hebrews 2:14 where we are told that our Lord had to take flesh and blood for this reason – ‘that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death.] . The disciples have come back from their first journey. that is. Satan. Our Lord applies to Beelzebub. about Beelzebub. and this is perhaps the most important and most significant of all. Hebrews tells us. Now . Now remember. This he said. In Luke 10:18 there is another reference to Satan. It is our Lord who says this. and there ‘destroy’ does not mean literally to end and cause to disintegrate but to not only will He die. ‘Even the devils are subject unto us. He says that when He casts out the evil spirit from the blind and dumb man. How often we forget these words of Jesus in John’s Gospel: ‘Now is the judgment of this world’ – notice – ‘now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And what is going to happen now? Well.’ And our Lord says to them.’ You notice the term – He beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. the devil. If I be lifted up from the earth. And I. the chief of the devils. will draw all men unto me.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt146.42. He is talking about His own death. and we have the same teaching here in the twentieth chapter of the book of Revelation. our Lord is talking about the devil. the very term. How can he be dealt with? There is only one way: somebody stronger must come and bind him.PDF <. the hour has come. signifying what death he should die’ ( John 12:31–33 ).’ Our Lord’s work when He was here on earth. not only will He be lifted up on the cross. But there is another reference. that is used here in Revelation 20 . was ‘to destroy’.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:17:42 p. Our Lord has sent them out to preach and to cast out devils and they return full of elation and say. ‘I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. ‘bind’.m. he is the strong man armed.Previous First Next -> 12:29 ). He says that hitherto the devil has ruled over all these evil spirits. he says.

you remember that this chapter describes the incarnation. he was cast out into the earth. the ‘binding’ of Satan began at our Lord’s first coming. ‘She brought forth a man child.m.] . and prevailed not. to render ineffective. called the Devil.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt146.15. ‘There was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon. And in connection with that. the child born of the woman. We find exactly the same teaching in 1 John 3:8 where we are told. and Satan’ – the same terms we find in Revelation 20 –‘which deceiveth the whole world. So what we have in the twentieth chapter of Revelation is precisely what is described in the twelfth chapter and repeats the teaching given in other New Testament passages. and to his throne’ (v. the downfall of Satan is also described in the twelfth chapter of the book of Revelation itself. and that is what Revelation 20:2 render null and void. who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:17:42 p. ‘The Son of God was manifested that he might destroy the works of the devil.42.Previous First Next -> http://67. <. 5 ). Clearly. then. that old serpent.’ And as we have seen. neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out. ‘And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon …’ ( Rev. When was this? Well. 12:7–9 ). and the dragon fought and his angels. and his angels were cast out with him’ ( Rev. 12:7 ).

First. Yes. The devil is so important – he has been the cause of all the trouble in God’s perfect world – that he is dealt with alone. I’m now going to deal specially with this one being and these are his names. not the people whom he has deluded – they have all been dealt with.’ Chapter 19 also describes the destruction and the throwing into the lake of perdition of those two beasts of whom we read in the thirteenth chapter: ‘And I saw the beast. that old serpent.Previous First Next -> nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.15.PDF <. The great whore and the people with the mark of the beast have already gone.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:17:44 p. So there is an end. and Satan …’ Notice the emphasis. surely. It is as if John is saying to us: ‘Now listen to what I’m saying. which sword proceedeth out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh. and this chapter is mainly given over to an account of his final punishment and destruction. Now certain problems at once arise when we come to the interpretation of Revelation 20 . So chapter 20 is parallel with all the other sections. not his emissaries. Similarly. verse 21 reads.’ That is the end.m. and I suggest to you that that is what we have in the twentieth chapter. This. which is the Devil. and their armies. John sees an angel coming down from heaven. is something which is so important that it merits treatment on its own. the last judgment.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt145. the end of all the forces against our Lord and the Church is shown in chapter 19 . but not the end of the devil. and against his army. and the kings of the earth. Chapter 20 gives an account of the destruction of the devil. He’s an http://67. gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse.42. not his assistants. 1 ). and them that worshipped his image. with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast. and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him. And the beast was taken. 19:18–20 ). ‘And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse. ‘having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand’ ( These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone’ ( Rev.] . This angel ‘laid hold on the dragon.

and shut him up. What. Our Lord has just cast out a dumb spirit from a man and some of the Pharisees standing by say. 20:1–3 ). then try to find something similar that will help to cast light upon it. <.Previous First Next -> http://67. and set a seal upon him. If ever you come across a difficult passage. by whom do your children cast them out? How do the Jewish exorcists do it?’ Then He goes further and gives the parable of the strong man who keeps his possessions safe. ‘How can one enter into a strong man’s house. ‘This fellow doth not cast out devils.15. Satan. Be quite clear as to who he is. we are obviously dealing with symbols.’ ‘… and bound him a thousand years. until a stronger man Jesus asks. that he should deceive the nations no more’ ( Rev. So the first question for us is: What does the binding of Satan mean? What does this casting of Satan into a bottomless pit mean? I reminded you in the last lecture that Satan. always. ‘if I’m casting out devils by Beelzebub.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:17:44 p.m. and spoil his goods. There is not a literal pit and a lid put over it. He asks. cannot be physical. that old serpent the devil. Is there any other reference in Scripture to Satan being bound? There is – this very term is used in Matthew 12:29 . and a very good one.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt145.42. But our Lord turns upon them and denounces them. and robs him. is he? Now when we deal with a difficult passage like this. is to search the Scriptures. there is not a literal chain – obviously not. Since he has no body. being a spiritual being. but by Beelzebub’ (v. surely the thing to do.PDF important person – the dragon. This is a rule of interpretation.] . in effect. 24 ). then. except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house’ ( Matt. and cast him into the bottomless pit.

Previous First Next -> be allowed to preach the gospel in perhaps most of the world. Now I find it very difficult to believe that there could ever be such a condition as that immediately after a tremendous golden period. which. a http://67. They saw a wonderful missionary movement and it looked to them as if the golden era of the Church was indeed at hand. is enough to put the post–millennial view right out. our Lord Himself constantly emphasised it. the whole post–millennial idea militates against our Lord’s clear teaching that the end will come in an apocalyptic manner. Indeed. and there will be awful and terrible warfare. But. when the Church is subjected to terrible trials. the New Testament suggests a sudden coming.] . men and women could so quickly and almost overwhelmingly suddenly turn against the gospel. there will be a time of great tribulation. No. rather.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:18:03 p. after such a period. It Is Luke 18:8 where our Lord says.PDF <. there is one verse. therefore. there will appear to be no faith at all left in the world. I feel. There is no suggestion of a gradual increase of the message leading to a golden era which will conclude with just a slight difficulty before the end. Furthermore.m.15. This idea of an apocalypse is surely everywhere in the New Testament. that on those grounds I cannot accept the post– millennial interpretation of Revelation 20 . apart from that. the difficulty that I personally find with the post–millennial view is that there seems to be such clear teaching in the Scriptures that far from there being a golden era just before the end.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt144. but if You read their works I think you will sense that an element like that came in and probably they were partly influenced by It is straining the imagination too much to ask us to believe that. one statement.42. I may be doing them an injustice. as far as I am concerned. He seems to prophesy there that when He comes. shall he find faith on the earth?’ And faith there means the faith. In the nineteenth century Christians could not see that. ‘When the Son of man cometh. We have already encountered this difficulty in connection with the premillennial view.

PDF dramatic and an apocalyptic coming.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:18:03 p. it is said. with each section describing the same thing. You remember I suggested that there are seven It is. then. Now I feel that post–millennial and premillennial teaching has failed to see that there is a definite ending at the end of chapter 19 . The third possibility is neither premillennial nor post–millennial. I would reply to this that chapter 19 takes us right up to the very end. this millennium (whatever it is) must be after or before our Lord’s coming. as we have seen in interpreting other parts of this book.15. Let me put it like this: I feel that very often the trouble with premillennial and postmillennial views is that their advocates have not accepted what we have called ‘the principle of parallelism or recapitulation’ which. ‘And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword. We read in verse 15 . what I would claim to be a spiritual interpretation . that with it he should smite the <. The book takes us from the beginning to the end of the Church age. It pays great attention to the symbolism of chapter 20 . and each section concludes at the second coming and the final judgment. That. and emphasises particularly the spiritual aspect. then. as it does to the symbolism of the whole book.42. is evident in Revelation. because we are told of the coming of the Lord in chapter 19 .48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt144.m. I find it difficult to reconcile the post–millennial interpretation with that.] . I have not considered it in such detail as the premillennial view because it is not so commonly held. I Suggest. is a brief review of postmillennialism. The tendency is to say that chapter 20 continues the theme of chapter 19 and.Previous First Next -> http://67.

Yes. post–millennialists say that Romans 11 confirms their view.Previous First Next -> until about 1830 it was easily the most popular view. The tendency is to say that the second chapter of the book of Daniel is enough in itself to support post–millennial teaching. which spreads until it makes all the dough rise.42.] .lt. will be extensive and world– wide and they point out that so far we have had nothing that corresponds to that. They also quote some of the parables in Matthew 13 : the parable of the yeast. Indeed. So. for instance. then. A. It tells us that the stone becomes so great that it finally fills the whole world and therefore. It was. for example. Then they quote many other passages such as the verse from Isaiah 11 that I have just quoted about the knowledge of the Lord filling the earth as the waters cover the sea. They say that these parables teach quite clearly that the kingdom. I pointed out that Dr Charles Hodge and others said that. A. Charles Hodge and by his equally distinguished son. And in the same way. Then they point to the parable of the mustard seed. The image is struck by a stone which begins to develop and grows so large that it becomes a mountain that fills the whole earth. as the result of the preaching of the gospel. when we were considering the interpretation of that great chapter. but it becomes a great tree and the birds of the air nest in its branches. it is said that there is a great deal. you remember. That is a direct prophecy of the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ and His kingdom – everybody is agreed about that. we read about the image that came in a dream to Nebuchadnezzar. the smallest of all the seeds. it was the view that was held by practically all the great Protestant and conservative evangelical commentators during the nineteenth century. Earlier. In Daniel 2 . the view of the millennium held by the great theologian.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:18:39 p.PDF <. Hodge. and so on.m.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt143. they say. what is to be said for the post–millennial view? Is there anything in the Scriptures to confirm or support it? Well. but post–millennialists add that we should notice what the passage says. according to their http://67. you must teach that the gospel and the kingdom must spread to cover the whole world.15.

Now I suppose it is almost inevitable that all of us in our interpretations of Scripture should be somewhat subject to influences from the times in which we live. 26 ) meant that in the golden era of the Church the Jews would be saved en masse.42. ‘ All Israel has been saved. They would all believe the message. If you had told them. they would not have believed that there would be two world wars and that in a hundred years people would be talking about ‘closing doors’ and would be saying that fields of opportunity were going and we must hurry because soon we would not <. but we are in the flesh and we are all human. was still growing. Those are the arguments that are generally put forward and.’ they said. Country after country was being opened up and the gospel was going to places where it had never been before. I know. they could not foresee what would happen in the twentieth century. Alas.Previous First Next -> http://67. So people felt that the millennium was not far off. which had started about 1804. ‘Just wait a few years. of course. many other scriptures seem to teach the same thing. the words ‘all Israel shall be saved’ ( (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:18:39 p.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt143. All the Jews then alive would come into the kingdom. Charles Hodge died in 1878 when the great missionary enterprise.’ They said that the same would also apply to the fulness of the Gentiles. We should not be. or at any rate. and no commentator or expositor is perfect. as it were. So I think there can be little doubt but that Charles Hodge and others were influenced by what was happening in the world when they lived.15. Yet it seems to me that post–millennialism is a point of view which we must also reject.PDF understanding.] . so many would believe that one would be able to say.m.

so I would not expect to find it there in a very plain and emphatic manner. Then take Psalm 17:5 : ‘As for me. if that was true even of the disciples. That is why they were all so miserable when they saw Him being crucified and after His body had been laid in the tomb. the fact was known. and ‘brought life and immortality to light through the gospel’.] . though my reins be consumed within me’ ( Job 19:25–27 ). and mine eyes shall behold.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt151. as it were. The fact was there. Take. Take the ninth verse of Psalm 16 in which the psalmist is speaking more directly about himself: ‘Therefore my heart is glad. by His own resurrection. the famous statement in the book of job.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:18:41 p.’ And verse 10 : ‘For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell.Previous First Next -> entirely ignored everything that He said about the resurrection. however. and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: and though after my skin worms destroy this body.m.PDF <. When He told them that He was going to be crucified. but our Lord brought it to light.’ quoted by Peter on the Day of Pentecost because it is such a wonderful prophecy of the resurrection of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. who had been with our Lord for three years. and not another. evidence of a clear belief in the resurrection in the Old Testament itself. a statement which is familiar to most of us: ‘For I know that my redeemer liveth. neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. for instance. Therefore you would expect teaching about the resurrection to be much clearer in the New Testament than in the Old. Then Psalms 16 and 17 give clear evidence of belief in the resurrection and for that reason they were quoted by Peter and Paul in their preaching in the early days of the Christian Church. I will behold thy http://67. And it is not – as the apostle Paul puts it in 2 Timothy 1:10 . There is. put it out of gear. but they did not grasp that. yet in my flesh shall I see God: whom I shall see for myself. who ‘abolished death’. and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope. how much less were the saints of the Old Testament able to receive the doctrine of the resurrection. He always went on to say that He would rise on the third day.42. It was the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.15.

And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt151. I shall be satisfied. But let us come to the New Testament because it is here that. and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever. quite inevitably. is very striking. we have the greatest amount of evidence for the resurrection. the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble. every one that shall be found written in the book. he had faith to believe that God could even raise him from the dead (v. when I awake. where we are told that when he was on the point of offering up Isaac. some to everlasting life.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:18:41 p. it is there. you find it in the words that we read about Abraham in Hebrews 11 . Indeed.m.PDF face in righteousness. starting in the teaching of <. surely.’ That. Then consider Daniel 12:1–3 : And at that time shall Michael stand up. So there is more than sufficient evidence to prove that this notion that the idea of resurrection was unknown in the Old Testament is quite wrong.Previous First Next -> http://67. And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament. with thy likeness. such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered.15.42. and some to shame and everlasting contempt.] . There is also further evidence in the book of the prophet Hosea. 19 ).lt.

so our Lord pointed to the evidence of the resurrection in the Old Testament.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt152.’ <. Moses said. This is a most important statement and I shall have to return to it again.m. For in the resurrection they neither marry. For now. 22:23 ). lest they also bid thee again.42.15. I am picking out certain places at random. and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead. the Scriptures there mean the Old Testament. neither thy kinsmen. A man again puts a question and our Lord says in reply.Previous First Next -> our Lord Himself in the Gospels. ‘When thou makest a dinner or a supper.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:18:43 p. so the second brother married her. But as touching the resurrection of the dead. I am the God of Abraham. our Lord’s argument is that when God proclaims Himself to be the God of Abraham and of Isaac and of Jacob. call the poor. saying. the maimed. the third brother married her. In other words. having no children. 22:23–32 ). And then they presented that famous case of the seven brothers who married the same women. and asked him. and a recompense be made thee. If a man die. There is a most important statement in Matthew where we read. But when thou makest a feast. and they asked their question: ‘Therefore in the resurrection whose wife shall she be of the seven? for they all had her?’ Jesus answered them. and raise seed up unto his brother’ ( Matt. nor thy rich neighbours. ‘Ye do err. but of the living’ ( Matt. for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just . When he died. It is His proof of the resurrection. He is proclaiming that Abraham. not knowing the scriptures’ – which you think you know so much about and of which you claim to be authorities –‘nor the power of God. the blind: and thou shalt be blessed. ‘The same day came to him the Sadducees. his brother shall marry his wife.] . Master. and so on. ‘Ye do err. Isaac and Jacob are to go on living in resurrected form. nor thy brethren. have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God. not knowing the scriptures …’ And. saying. but are as the angels of God in heaven. nor are given in marriage. remember. Take a statement in Luke 14:12–14 . The Sadducees thought that this really was going to be wonderful. call not thy friends. The first brother married the woman. and the God of Isaac. which say there is no resurrection. the lame. but then died.

in that he hath raised him from the dead’ ( Acts 17:31 ). I referred to them earlier. That was the kind of thing that they all preached. Paul in his preaching says that he had ‘hope toward God.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:18:43 p. When the disciples were sent out. or. of course. 40 . where our Lord keeps on saying He ‘should raise it up again at the last day’.lt. but they did not stop at that.15. <. we have the preaching and the teaching of the Christian Church after the resurrection and the Day of Pentecost. and it is staggering in its importance. 44 and 54 .PDF There are a number of statements in John’s Gospel.Previous First Next -> http://67. not only the resurrection of the Lord Jesus.] . ‘I will raise him up at the last day.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt152.m. Then. we come to the mighty evidence in all the Gospels about the fact of our Lord’s own resurrection. both of the just and unjust’ ( Acts 24:15 ).42.’ The evidence is there in great abundance and in the parallel passages in the other Gospels. as Paul put it in his famous sermon at Athens: God ‘hath appointed a day. but our resurrection also. whereof he hath given assurance unto all men. which they themselves [the Jews] also allow. in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained. they all preached ‘Jesus and the resurrection’ ( Acts 17:18 ). And when we go on to the Acts of the Apostles. that there shall be a resurrection of the dead. but let me remind you of them – chapter 5:28–29 and chapter 6:39 .

Previous First Next -> And then. of course. both in the Old Testament and in the New. ‘and so shall we ever be with the Lord’ (v. there is Philippians 3:20–21 : ‘For our conversation is in heaven.15. But Paul says that it is all right because ‘the dead in Christ shall rise first’ (v. that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body. Some of the Christians in Thessalonica were beginning to think that the dead were finished.42. from whence also we look for the Saviour. for sublimity of expression. is some of the evidence that is to be found in Scripture. 17 ). that they would not share in the glories of that great reign of Christ which is to come. both of those who are already dead and those who remain and will be changed.PDF <. So there.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:18:46 p. and for the profoundly moving character of the whole statement. What is the nature of the resurrection? When I talk about the biblical doctrine of the resurrection. We shall not go before them. and to cheer them with his great assurance about the resurrection. 16 ). They will rise first and then we shall rise. Further. So he writes to comfort them. But now let me come to deal with certain points about which people sometimes find themselves in difficulties. Surely there is no greater piece of literature in the world than that for thought. 13 ). as it were. according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself. I do not know what you feel.’ And we have the statement in 1 Thessalonians 4 in which the apostle is concerned that the Thessalonians were mourning and grieving as ‘others which have no hope’ (v. very inadequately. Resurrection is not only 1 Corinthians 15 .] . for argument. but for myself it would have been more than sufficient just to read that section of scripture. for the cogency of the case presented. then I confess I do not understand you. the Lord Jesus Christ: who shall change our vile body.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt153. If that does not warm your heart and make you feel like rising to your feet to praise God and to worship Him.m. what do I mean? And the answer is that I mean the literal resurrection of the body – your body and mine. we come on to that great and mighty chapter.

in the case of poor doubting Thomas. a spirit. and not merely something Yet they still think that they are believing the doctrine of the resurrection. They were frightened.’ said Thomas. for a spirit hath not flesh and bones. and see. that it is I myself: handle me.] . that He was still alive. Then our Lord appeared again and said to him. but all they say is that Jesus gave proof that He was still there. I will not believe. But they are not. He could see the scepticism in their faces. and what they mean by resurrection is that somehow or another we go on living after we die. and reach hither thy hand. Luke tells us. ‘Behold my hands and my feet.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt153. When He came to the disciples in the upper room on the evening of that first Sunday.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:18:46 p. In Luke 24 we read about some of our Lord’s resurrection appearances. ‘Reach hither thy finger.42. and thrust my hand into his side. there is the same argument in John 20 .15. Now that is not always made as plain as it should be. as ye see me have. There are many who hold that view about our Lord Himself. and they preach on the resurrection. but the continuation of the body as well. And. who was told that the Lord had risen and appeared. many people say it is only spiritual.Previous First Next -> http://67.m.PDF something spiritual. of course. They make a great deal of Easter Sunday. He said he would not believe it. and put my finger into the print of the nails. not only the continuation of the human spirit. they thought they were seeing a ghost. and behold my hands. so our Lord said. and thrust it into my side: and be not <. ‘Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails.’ That is enough in and of itself to prove that the resurrection is the resurrection of the body. They do not believe in what they call the nonsense and the rubbish of the empty tomb. they are denying it – the doctrine of the resurrection is a doctrine which asserts the literal raising of the body. Of course.

PDF <. and shall come forth. 15:22 ). and now is. the whole case.’ So that is the evidence for a physical resurrection of the body. I say unto you. I have already quoted Philippians 3:21 .15. there is one statement that is enough in and of itself to show that the physical body rises: ‘For as in Adam all die’ – and there Paul means mainly physical death – ‘even so in Christ shall all be made alive’ ( 1 Cor. The hour is that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body. where Paul says: ‘Who shall change our vile body. Our Lord’s body. to regeneration.’ That is undoubtedly spiritual. Verse 25 refers to this first resurrection. But in a very interesting way our Lord Himself draws a distinction between what may be called a spiritual resurrection. but then in verse 28 the resurrection is literal. in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice. they that have done evil. of course.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt154. if we go on to 2 Timothy 2:18 . This is not a discussion of some spiritual rising.42. we find that the apostle there deals with precisely the same matter. physical. And. bodily. referred to in chapter 20 of the book of Revelation. the whole wonderful argument that the apostle works out. what I spoke of in the last lecture as ‘the first resurrection’. There were some who were saying that the resurrection was past already.Previous First Next -> faithless. In John 5:25 . and Paul condemned this view. But go on to verse 28 and there we find: ‘Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming.] . when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. the same body. we read this: ‘Verily. They were trying to say it was spiritual. unto the resurrection of life. verily. 27 ). when the spiritually dead are raised. Indeed.m. had risen. and the literal bodily resurrection which we are considering now. is about our physical bodies. unto the resurrection of damnation’ – that refers to the body. It still had the mark and the imprint of the nails and the hole in the side. But why must we http://67.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:18:49 p. they that have done good. And then take the great argument of 1 Corinthians 15 . but believing’ ( Jn 20:25 .

When Adam and Eve sinned.15. ye are yet in your sins’ ( 1 Cor. the effect of sin was that it did something to their spirit.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:18:49 p. here is the answer: salvation is not complete without the resurrection of the body.42. ‘If you don’t stand in this faith which I preached to you when I first came to you. and the moment you get out of the body. When they fell. means escaping out of the body. as there are still.m.’ Christianity includes the resurrection of the body.Previous First Next -> http://67. That is why the apostle wrote that fifteenth chapter of the first book of The great thing is to escape out of the body. which taught that sin applies only to the body. 15:17 ) – there is no salvation. your faith is in vain. they fell in every part. to get rid of the flesh. He says in effect. and that salvation. That is the teaching of Hinduism and of Buddhism.’ says the apostle. ‘if Christ be not raised. then you’ve got nothing at all. The whole person suffered. but the redemption of the body.PDF insist upon this? And why must we say that it is terrible heresy and a denial of truth to reject it? Well. their soul and their body. you’re not saved and you’re not Christians. the body included. ‘But. it is said. That is the exact opposite of Christian salvation which teaches not the escape out of the body. and therefore to be complete. therefore. that sin is something physical. Why is that? It is because there were heresies in the world then. There were people going around who said that there was no resurrection of the physical body but the resurrection was only spiritual. salvation must include <.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt154.] . you leave sin behind.

So we must insist upon the resurrection of the body itself because otherwise our Lord’s work is not complete. ‘For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved.42. earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: if so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. came ‘that he might destroy the works of the devil’ ( 1 Jn 3:8 ) So Christ must redeem the body. http://67. the redemption of our body. that mortality might be swallowed up of life’ ( 2 Cor. and He will do the whole of 1 Corinthians 15 is a mighty argument to the effect that the body will be saved. 5:1-4 ). Then as I have been showing you. He will raise us. we have a building of God. eternal in the heavens. an house not made with hands. Take the eleventh verse. the apostle brings this teaching in again – how we tend to miss these glorious statements in the Scripture! The apostle says.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt155. but ourselves also. it is a guarantee of the fact that your very body will be quickened and be raised up and glorified. As He was raised Himself. There it is once more.PDF <.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:18:51 p. the works of the devil have not been undone. he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. ‘But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you. to wit. Christ. But in 2 Corinthians 5 . waiting for the adoption.] . The whole of that chapter deals with the same thing. Paul brings this out in a particularly clear manner in the important verses in Romans chapter 8 . And not only they. For in this we groan. which have the firstfruits of the Spirit.’ If the Holy Spirit is in you. If it does not. it is a part of our salvation. even we ourselves groan within ourselves. being burdened’ – notice this – ‘not for that we would be unclothed but clothed upon. that is the complete salvation. never forget that. And do not forget Philippians 3:21 .’ The body will be redeemed. Paul says this again in verses 22 and 23 : ‘For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together unto now.Previous First Next -> the body as well as the soul and spirit. we are told by John in his first epistle.m. For we that are in this tabernacle do groan.

One is that the Scripture teaches very clearly that our identity will be preserved. they would not have believed in the resurrection of the body.15. is a stupid argument because bodies buried in graves decay and worms come and devour them.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt155. The other thing that is quite obvious in the teaching is that there will be an organic connection between the body that is buried and the body that is raised. there are certain things we can say.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:18:51 p.] .lt. That. I will be myself and you will be yourself for ever and for ever.m. We know nothing that they did not know. of course. it is said. If people had known about things like that. People have always known about decomposition and putrefaction. My body will always be recognisable as my body. So that leads to the question: What is the nature of this resurrection body that we are speaking of? Now. In those days nothing was known about bombs which could blow a body to pieces.42. ‘Behold my hands and my feet. It is as our Lord said to the disciples in the upper room.Previous First Next -> http://67. and they also drowned in time past. that it is I myself’ ( Luke 24:39 ).PDF Some people are in trouble about this doctrine because they say that the old scriptural teaching of the resurrection of the body was believed in days when people died and were buried. Paul’s argument in 1 Corinthians 15 about placing the seed in the ground is an absolute <. to atoms.

The body is. Do not think in that materialistic sense.Previous First Next -> proof of that. It is a scientific fact that the actual particles of our body are always changing. even though the particles are obviously not the same and they are not arranged in the same way. ‘flesh and blood’. the particular order of the particles. We do know that the cells of the body are constantly being broken down and disintegrating. The body must be thought of in terms of particles. It is not composed of the same particles as such.PDF <. Well. Some people teach that our bodies are absolutely changed every seven years. how is this possible?’ asks someone. ‘But wait a minute. or the http://67. There is an organic connection between the seed of grain that is sown and that which comes up. I do not have the same particles in my flesh that I had twenty years ago. You would not recognise it. in a sense. and yet I have the same body. That is an obvious fact. ‘But haven’t some already passed into other forms of life and perhaps been eaten by animals?’ they ask. the doctrine of the resurrection does not teach that the same particles will be raised.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:18:59 p. That illustration. ‘What about the case of a man who’s been cremated and his ashes are scattered and carried away by the wind?’ People try to ridicule the doctrine of the resurrection by asking whether we must believe that these particles will all be gathered together from somewhere.15.m. I think. but it is the same body.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt156. Not only that. That is not what makes my my body. enables us to see what is meant by the resurrection of the body. as Paul puts it. take a little child – a baby – and then think of that same person as an octogenarian.] . but it is the same body.

lt. <. but we are told nothing more.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt156. What will be the character of the body which we shall have after we have been raised? Now here I must just mention that it is remarkable that the Scriptures tell us nothing about the resurrection bodies of unbelievers. With regard to the actual constitution of the resurrected body.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:18:59 p. however. we do not know. told a great deal about the resurrection bodies of believers. The Bible writers are not interested in that.Previous First Next -> http://67. When it is analysed down to its ultimate component parts and elements. And there are all these odd things in the bodies – the different size of the two eyes. it is constantly changing in its elements.15. the distance from the corner of the eye to the corner of the lip even on the two sides of the same person’s face – all these make my body my body and they are not dependent upon the continuation of the same particles.42. that is what makes my body my body. it is the same in every one of us.PDF particular organisation of the particles. All we know is.m. and your body yours. We are. as we shall see in the next lecture. flesh and blood is the same and yet bodies are not the same. in its constitution. yet leads to life. But let me give you further evidence that will help to make this point clear. That is what will continue and that is what is asserted by the Scripture when its asserts the resurrection of the body. as happens in the grain of wheat that is buried and disintegrates. But surely the argument of Paul in 1 Corinthians 15 is to the effect that there will be a change in the constitution. yet the body remains a constant. The human body is very remarkable. that unbelievers are to be cast into the lake of destruction.] . and Scripture does not tell us. The body is not static.

Notice that there is evidently a difference between flesh and blood. I shall no longer be subject to age. I shall no longer be subject to death. it is raised in power’ (v. and flesh and bones. 43 ). like unto the body of His glorification. Paul writes.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt157. ‘Oh for a thousand tongues to sing my great Redeemer’s praise’! We are so weak. The greatest hindrance to my preaching is the weakness of my body. is there? We are poor specimens physically. that I covet more than that. but when we are raised. with a wonderfully glorious body. it is raised in glory’ (v. we shall be like Him.15. ‘It is sown in corruption. that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God. Second.’ That is verse 50 . ‘This I say. no vestige of weakness. So we know that the body will not be flesh and blood. But the body will be ‘raised in power’: full of power.Previous First Next -> Here I shall especially confine my attention to 1 Corinthians 15 . we are told in verse 42 that the resurrection body will be incorruptible. It is the result of sin. What. http://67.PDF <. 43 ). ‘our vile body’. in Philippians 3:21 can also be translated ‘this body of our humiliation’. My body will never decay . it is raised in incorruption. brethren. We are also told that the risen body will be a very powerful body: ‘It is sown in weakness. Yes. our Lord calls attention to the fact that He is flesh and bones ( Luke 24:39 ).42. a glorious prospect! The third thing we are told is that the resurrection body will be glorious: ‘It is sown in dishonour.m. There is nothing very glorious about our bodies. what a wonderful thing! There is nothing. Paul’s expression. that I had a body to preach! I can understand Charles Wesley crying out. that body will be incorruptible. but will be flesh and bones. we are so feeble.’ When I have received this resurrection body I shall no longer be subject to disease. Oh. neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.] . it will never change in any way. This body is in a sense.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:19:01 p. After His resurrection. Again.

html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:19:01 p.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt157. not knowing the scriptures. There is a natural body. is that the resurrection body will be a spiritual body: ‘It is sown a natural body. that there is not a body at all. One difference between the animal and the spiritual has been described by our Lord. it is raised a spiritual body. For in the resurrection they neither marry.] . in the risen. so that here we need and are given a natural glorified.Previous First Next -> http://67. resurrected body. 44 ). A natural body has the characteristics of an animal nature. What does Paul mean by that? What is the difference between the ‘natural body’ and the ‘spiritual body’? Remember that spiritual there does not mean. in His reply to the Sadducees about the seven brothers and the woman. Our physical nature is animal and it corresponds to the life that we live in this world.PDF The next thing. and there is a spiritual body’ (v. So you see the importance of emphasising these things? There are some people who think that if you are to be a really spiritual Christian you must <.15. nor are given in marriage. as we have seen. the animal part.m. but are as the angels of God in heaven’ ( Matt. and this is very important. But there will be no procreation in heaven. We are soul in this world and we live in relationships where the soul exercises itself. there will be a body but it will be a spiritual and not a natural body. No. But when we go to the glory we shall be in a spiritual realm and there we shall be given a spiritual body. nor the power of God. Ye do err. ‘Jesus answered and said unto them. There will be no sex life in heaven. this is the natural body. There is in this life. We are related to the animals. as I have been emphasising. we shall have no children there.42. 22:29-30 ).

‘We shall see him as he is’ ( 1 John 3:2 ). and the other instincts in us.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt158. God has given us these natural bodies and He means us to use them. But that is rank heresy. The last thing that we are told about these resurrected bodies of ours is that they will be heavenly: ‘As is the earthy. a doctrine against which all others should be understood. that because of this doctrine we shall know one another.m. And as we have borne the image of the earthy. He has put the sexual instinct. it will be you . You will not lose your identity. it seems to me that the lack of understanding regarding this particular subject is largely responsible for the lack of interest in doctrine today. because we ourselves shall be in heaven. says the apostle John in his first epistle. Oh blessed. your spirit already saved. 3:7 ) as they were exhorted to do by John the Baptist. It is because they do not http://67. we shall be in the spiritual realm and. ‘we shall be like him’! May I venture to add.PDF <. 15:48-49 ).html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:19:03 p. we shall not need the animal nature. therefore. thank God. of course. If men and women only realised the truth about this last judgment. they would ‘flee from the wrath to come’ ( Matt. your salvation completed.15. such are they also that are heavenly. the whole person entirely delivered from sin and evil. your body then also perfectly redeemed. such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly. A false asceticism is a denial of scriptural teaching and is condemned by Scripture itself. though you will be absolutely changed by an amazing miracle. and they are to be used in God’s way. The Final Destiny We have finally arrived at the last in this series of lectures on biblical doctrines. oh glorious day! Oh wonderful redemption! Oh ineffable Redeemer! 23. That must be so. and we now turn to the last judgment. Now. So when that day comes. Yes. by our Lord Himself and by all the apostles.] .Previous First Next -> not be interested in the natural body. Your identity will be But in heaven.42. we shall also bear the image of the heavenly’ ( 1 Cor.

’ they say. they feel. So if you believe that. Some people dislike the whole idea of judgment. There are others who think that the only judgment we face is the judgment that comes while we are in this life and that is meant to be remedial.PDF realise that the whole time they live and have their being they are under the eye of God and. but God in His love will save ‘God has been pictured as a judge. which is the view that everybody will at last be forgiven and will be saved. ‘That has been the difficulty in the past. But the vast majority of people do not even believe that. The popular notion today is what is called universalism . There are.] . you will not be interested in the doctrine of a last judgment. that men and women are so concerned about their own subjective moods and states and merely want something that will help them in this world.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt158.Previous First Next -> http://67.’ Some may believe in judgment in general. but there is. in a sense.m. I think. Those who take the so–called ‘liberal’ view in theology abominate the very concept. it is because of their failure to grasp this doctrine. but judgment is alien to any idea of God as a God of love. certain reasons for the general failure to pay attention to the doctrine of the last judgment. under the judgment of God. a sort of differentiation in this life between the good and the evil and they think that that will be perpetuated in the next. They think that all punishment should be remedial. This is an idea that comes in from the secular realm <.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:19:04 p. and that nobody will be punished in an ultimate sense.42.15.

and then a judgment will be arrived at. They assume that a charge will be made.’ they add.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt159. at any rate as far as God’s people are concerned?’ So for those reasons.15. ‘judgment happens while we are still here because you’ve already shown us that there is nothing in the Bible to substantiate the idea of a second chance or a period of probation beyond this world. It is not the occasion on which the verdict will be arrived at. However. But it is an utterly unscriptural idea. It is interesting to observe that many people whom one can describe as evangelical Christians are also in trouble about this question of judgment. there does seem to be some confusion with regard to this whole idea of a final judgment and. in this sense. You do not improve men and women by punishing them. they will attempt to reply. But it is not that at all. they are changed by grace. too. They say that surely one’s fate is decided in this world because one’s eternal destiny is determined by whether one does or does not believe on the Lord Jesus Christ unto salvation. It is simply the great occasion on which our fate is announced. in fact. is already http://67. and this has even crept into Christian thinking.m. They are perfectly right when they say that our fate. and the one who believes has already passed from judgment into life. There is nothing at all in the Bible to suggest that. quite the opposite.PDF <. perhaps the best thing for me to do is to define clearly what the Bible means by this.] . ‘And. when the verdict is promulgated. and their difficulty arises in this way. According to the Scriptures. The important thing is that the last judgment is not represented as something that will determine our Therefore where is there the need of a final judgment. the popular idea is that punishment is remedial.Previous First Next -> and it is the basis of the modern treatment of prisoners.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:19:06 p. therefore.42. and others. Now I think the misunderstanding about that is the cause of the questions and doubts of the Christians to whom I have just referred. and punishment is punishment. They think that the idea of judgment must of necessity involve people coming to the judgment with their fate uncertain and undetermined.

Previous First Next -> http://67. But He will not arrive at it then. when our bodies are resurrected. I emphasise the public aspect because many seem to have the idea that the last judgment takes place every time a person dies. it is over He will simply state it.PDF determined before we go out of this world. will not be complete until the glory of God is again finally and completely established.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:19:06 p. when the dead are raised.] . What is the purpose of the last judgment? There is only one answer: it is for the glory of God. he was attempting to detract from His glory.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt159. There is a sense in which our going out of this world into the next is a momentous event because by then our fate is sealed. The Bible says this. and redemption. but also in the punishment of those who have <. at the second coming. The last judgment is the occasion on which the fate of the saved and the lost will be pronounced by the judge eternal. again.15.m. but that is not the last judgment. It is the final assertion of the glory of God in the presence of those who have not given Him the glory. But the glory of God is supreme. the public pronouncement of the eternal and the final judgment. I repeat. And the glory of God is manifested not only in the salvation of those who belong to Him. is quite wrong.42. That will be right at the very end. salvation. It will be a great public occasion when the whole world will be assembled together and the fate of every single individual will be announced. The thing to grasp about the last judgment is that it will be a great public event. before the resurrection. It is. Of course that. and for this reason: the essence of sin is that it refuses to give glory to God. When Satan stood up against God.

was careful to point out to them as a part of his message that ‘the times of this ignorance God winked at.Previous First Next -> persisted in rejecting Him. Abraham asked. it is not something that happens when we die. of course. in Psalm 96:13 we read. as we have seen. in the which he will Judge the whole world in righteousness by that man whom he hath appointed. you can look them up for yourselves. when I say ‘the glory of God’ I mean the glory of God the Father. I shall not attempt to give you all the scriptures.m. definite and clear statements of the fact that there will be a day of judgment. God the Son.’ Why? ‘Because he hath appointed a day. but after this the judgment. in that he hath raised him from the dead’ – a great assertion of this last and final judgment. and God the Holy Spirit. but it will be a great public occasion. Two of the most important references are first of all. that His glory. nor is it a mere perpetuation of a division in this life. The judge of all the earth.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt160. an event which will take place and to which we are all moving. in preaching to those learned Athenians.’ God’s future judgment is made still more explicit in the New Testament. whereof he hath given assurance unto all men. ‘Shall not the judge of all the earth do right?’ ( Gen. And. explicitly in the twentieth chapter beginning at verse 11 . there is the famous statement in Hebrews 9:27 : ‘It is appointed unto men once to die.42. it is abundant.] .15. 18:25 ).PDF <.’ And in the book of Revelation.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:19:08 p. but they are to be found in the Old Testament as well as in the New. The next thing to establish is the scriptural basis of all that I am saying and. the subject of the last judgment is to be found everywhere. ‘For he cometh. of the final judgment is that ‘God may be all in all’ ( 1 Cor. for he cometh to judge the earth. Similarly. The purpose. I repeat. of course. but now commandeth all men every where to repent. the Stoics and the Epicureans. These are explicit. His majesty may be asserted in this striking and signal manner. 15:28 ). therefore. Acts 17:30-31 where the apostle Paul. http://67.

is sometimes called the economic Trinity (see volume 1.’ But it is still more explicit in John 5 which is very important in this respect: ‘For as the Father raiseth up the dead.m. even so the Son quickeneth whom he will. Yes. In the same way. and all the holy angels with him. then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: and before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another. The Father.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt160. Here One who is man as well as God and judgment has been committed to Him. as we have seen.] . He is the Saviour. specially of those that believe’ ( 1 has committed judgment to the Son because He is the mediator. but He saves through the Son. as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats.Previous First Next -> http://67.PDF That leads me to the next question: Who will act as the judge and make the great pronouncement? And here there can be very little doubt but that the judgment will be given by the Lord Jesus Christ. God will judge but He has deputed the actual judging to the Son. in some passages of Scripture we read that God the Father is our Saviour – ‘who is the Saviour of all men. then. That it is the Son who is to be our judge is taught in Matthew 25:31-32 : ‘When the Son of man shall come in his glory. God the Son ).42. and quickeneth them.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:19:08 p. This is the division of labour in what. For the Father judgeth no man. so as to preclude any possibility of people complaining that they are not having a fair opportunity because God is judging human beings. because He is the Son of Man. God the Father. but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: that all men should honour the Son. 4: 10 ).15. even as they honour the <.

PDF <. But surely that cannot be quite http://67. to the glory of God the Father. and it is only unbelievers who will be judged. and give him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow. and things in earth. As we have said. 21-23 ). When He returns. in preaching to Cornelius and his household. The mediatorial kingdom of the Son includes this element of judgment so that He may hand the kingdom back in its entirety and its perfection to the Father. there are some who say that believers will not be judged because they have already passed from death to life. who are to be judged? And here there is no universal agreement. and things under the earth.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt161. 26-27 ). because he is the Son of man’ (vv.] . and hath given him authority to execute judgment also. We are told that the Father has ‘given to the Son to have life in himself. He will exercise this judgment and then He will hand His perfect kingdom back to God the Father that ‘God may be all and in all’ ( 1 Cor.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:19:10 p.’ Now there this teaching is given in as explicit a form as you could ever wish to who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom.Previous First Next -> Father. says this: ‘And he commanded us to preach unto the people and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the judge of quick and dead’ ( Acts 10:42 ). and that every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. and the Lord Jesus Christ. 15:28 ). And the same idea is found in Philippians 2:9-11 : ‘Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him.15. of things in heaven. therefore. Then Peter. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent in’ (vv.’ Consider also 2 Timothy 4:1 : ‘I charge thee therefore before God. I have already reminded you of Acts 17:31 where Paul explicitly says that the judge is to be the Lord Jesus Christ.42. And if you read 1 Corinthians 15 you will find that it all links up together: the kingdom is being handed – for the time being –to the Son and He is waiting until His enemies shall be made His footstool.m. So the next question that arises is.

and judgment will be pronounced out of these records.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:19:10 is of the evil and the good together and at the same time. as we saw in the last lecture.] . and the symbol must stand for the judgment of two groups of people. believers and unbelievers will stand together. which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books. there is no difficulty about this. if you accept the idea that the final judgment is only the occasion of the promulgation of judgment. So taking all those things together. because.15. The final statement in Revelation 20 is: ‘And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire’ (v. or because of their temperament. Now according to our Lord in Matthew 25 . shall hear the words: ‘Well done. there will be some who will be very surprised to hear God say to them. Then you and I. but the symbol does stand for something.PDF right. as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. to start with. because they look so much at their own imperfections. 20:12 ).42. but for some reason – faulty teaching. according to their works’ ( Rev. ‘Well done. the resurrection. but in the twentieth chapter of the book of Revelation we are told that books were opened: ‘The books were opened: and another book was opened. This is quite wrong. 15 ). 25:21 ). of course.’ There are some Christians who never have assurance of salvation. this is symbolic. they have never really rejoiced and been sure of <. on this great day.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt161.Previous First Next -> http://67. Not only that. perhaps. And. Of course. it does seem to be clear that. they should have it. thou good and faithful servant’ ( Matt.

PDF <.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:19:13 p. and that seems to suggest some special kind of judgment for believers. that we must understand that the redeemed and the unredeemed. but though a man’s work may be burnt away like that. That is the importance of the announcement of the judgment. yet so as by fire’ (v. says Paul. in 1 Corinthians 3 and in 2 Corinthians 5 ? In Luke 12:47-48 our Lord speaks about servants being beaten with many stripes and few but it is very clear that judgment will be promulgated on the fallen angels.’ That is why we must be very careful how we build upon the only sure foundation. and so on. When they hear that they are among the redeemed. But it is also taught in Scripture that the fallen angels will be judged on the day of judgment. They will hear this wonderful word. ‘he himself shall be saved. ‘When did we do this?’ and our Lord will say. According to our Lord. What we do will be tried – every person’s work will be tried as by fire – and wood. very explicitly. ‘What about the judgments that we read of in Luke 12 . hay and stubble will all be burnt away. they will say. there will be nothing left. because we can build with wood and hay and stubble or with precious metals. http://67. I am sure that there is a question in the minds of many at this point. in 1 Corinthians 3:13 says. Now there is nothing in Scripture to suggest that the good angels will appear in this sense on that great day. 15 ). and will enter into the great glory that awaits them. They will know for certain. ‘Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it. There seems to be a differentiation in the sentence. It seems. the ungodly.42. such people will have this great surprise. 25:40 ). which is Jesus Christ and Him crucified. Then Paul. Yes.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt162.Previous First Next -> their salvation. on those who listened to Satan and who went after him and belong to him. will appear to hear the promulgation of the verdict and there will be a final separation. ye have done it unto me’ ( Matt.15. therefore. They say. ‘Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren. We are told in 2 Peter 2:4 that these fallen angels are ‘reserved unto judgment’.m.] .

Previous First Next -> http://67. Nevertheless. Ah yes. as we have seen. and they do count.’ Now Paul is clearly writing there to Christian people and has only Christian believers in his mind. <. It is our trusting to the Lord and His perfect work that redeems us and saves us. 41 ). 2:8 ). That is what saves us. not in our justification. We are saved by grace through faith ( Eph.] . we shall all be saved. How will he be saved? By the grace of God.15. Do not misunderstand me at this point.PDF Again. in 2 Corinthians 5:10 we read. ‘For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ. but in this matter of our reward. ‘he himself shall be saved’.m. Though a man’s work may be entirely burnt away. so Paul’s words must mean that there is a differentiation among believers. This is not from the standpoint of salvation – Paul has established that quite clearly in 1 Corinthians 3:15 . He is on the foundation which is Jesus Christ and Him crucified. We shall all be in glory. In 1 Corinthians 15 Paul puts it like this: ‘One star differeth from another star in glory’ (v. there is this clear teaching that our works subsequent to our salvation will be considered.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt162. we shall not all be identical or in identical but our works do make a difference. our works do not save us. Though we are all saved.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:19:13 p.42. Our actions. that every one may receive the things done in his body … whether it be good or bad.

no misery and no weeping. but it is clearly taught in Scripture that there will be a difference. http://67.PDF <.Previous First Next -> It is difficult for us to understand how we shall all be supremely happy when there is this difference. it is constantly being attacked. no sighing.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:19:15 p. In heaven there will be no sorrow. And it is right and good that as Christian people we should always bear this in mind. We shall all be perfectly happy and full of bliss and joy and yet there will be these differences. according to what we have done as Christians. It is because Paul knows that he must appear before the judgment seat of Christ and give an account of his stewardship as a preacher that he is so zealous and so constant in his labours.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt163. this differentiation. In Revelation 14 we are told of the blessed dead that ‘their works do follow them’ ( There is a danger. we persuade men’ ( 2 Cor. Again. the righteous judge.15. but it would be a very grievous thing if. no unhappiness. takes place in connection with the great day of judgment or afterwards. and that what you and I do as Christians in this world will have an effect upon our life in glory in the next world. 5:11 ). All we are told is that there is this discrimination. we fall into the error of forgetting this further differentiation on the basis of our works. 13 ). in asserting that.m. do not misunderstand me. And that is why the apostle Paul uses language like this: ‘Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord. of our faithfulness as Christian people. as we may describe it. We have to fight for the great doctrine of justification by faith. we in any way detracted from this other teaching which reminds Christian people that all their works are observed by the Lord. So let us keep those two ideas separately in our minds.42. I must not speculate. We are not told whether this judgment for rewards.] . We shall all have to give an account of ‘the deeds done in the body’. that in our emphasis upon justification by faith only. I sometimes think. and that is why I have to put it before you.

48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt163. I take the word ‘eternal’ to mean what it says. But let us not end on that note. is the biblical teaching on the last. but what a picture we are given <. of judgment. those who are in Christ. I gave you evidence which seemed to me to be sufficient to reject entirely the teaching about conditional immortality. outside the life of God. and they are ‘without’.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:19:15 p. and sorcerers … and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie’ ( Rev.15.PDF but I have sometimes wondered whether it means something like this: that the one who has been most faithful will be a little nearer to Him. We shall all see Him. wretched. is made plain and clear in the Scriptures. and here it is in all its glory. They are described as ‘outside’ – ‘For without are dogs. One of the great objects of the book Revelation is to help us to see the final fate of those who have believed. the final. There will be unbelievers and they will go to hell – the second death.m.] .Previous First Next -> http://67. There. First there will be the promulgation of the great sentence. unhappy. but perhaps some will be nearer than others. It is seen to perfection in that twenty–first chapter of Revelation. Remember that the language is symbolic. I do not know. We have already considered the question of eternal punishment so we need not go into it again. in essence. These are all who work abominations. 21:27 ). but that there is a difference.42. both as regards eternal life and eternal or everlasting destruction out of the presence of God. continuing in this sinful state and condition. leads to the final or the eternal state. who are liars ( Rev. and that. 22:15 ).

3: 10 ) and there will be a great disintegration. but it does seem to be quite clear that our heaven will be living in this perfect world where God has made His tabernacle with men and women. no sighing. Yes. the Lutherans have always taught a new creation of heavens and earth. 21:2 ) and it is there we shall live. entirely delivered from sin. because it will be so different. whereas the Reformers have generally taught that the present earth and heavens will be so delivered from evil and sin that they are virtually completely new. of course. and we cannot finally decide. we must avoid speculation about our future life. the complete person – body. We shall have been raised. wherein dwelleth righteousness’ (v. our bodies will have been raised and glorified. 13 ). What shall we do in this perfect state? Why is my body raised and redeemed? Evidently I shall be using it in this new earth under the new heavens.42.] .15. mind and spirit – will have been redeemed. But other say that what will happen will be that all evil and sin will be burned out of the present earth and heavens and the change will be so profound that it can be described as a regeneration. For those who are interested in the history of the debate.Previous First Next -> of ‘a new heaven and a new earth’! Peter has spoken of this in his second epistle in the third chapter: ‘We … look for new heavens and a new earth.PDF <. Again. which it is. The new Jerusalem descends on to the earth ( Rev.html (1 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:19:18 p. Remember that the present earth and heavens will be destroyed. And you and I shall be It does not matter.m.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt164. a perfect state of affairs. Some say that the entire present earth and heavens will be completely and finally destroyed and that God will create a new earth and new heavens. People have disagreed about this. in this wonderful city. The elements will ‘melt with fervent heat’ ( 2 Pet. The important thing to realise is that we shall dwell in the kind of condition that is described in Revelation 21 – no sorrow. a new beginning in a sense. Then will be fulfilled what Isaiah prophesied in chapter 11 of his prophecy and again in chapter http://67.

No need of a temple. ever enjoying the glory of God. and there is a sense in which we do not need to know. even nature itself. for what is important for us is to know that we shall ‘ever be with the Lord’ ( 1 Thess. we see men and women in Christ ransomed. glorified. and will live in a glorified body in a glorified world and God will be with them. forgiven. When He put Adam in Paradise at the beginning Adam fell. when nature will no longer be ‘red in tooth and claw’. 11:6-7 ). Whether we shall also share that ultimate heaven in which God dwells. reflecting it. my friends. No need of stars. And that is the destiny that awaits us if we are in Christ. growing in it. our final destiny.15. 4:17 ). 5:8 ). The <. The whole creation will have been delivered from the bondage of corruption and will be enjoying ‘the glorious liberty of the children of God’ ( Rom.42. we are not told. That will be our eternal state.m. but men and women are meant to live in the body. healed. and all fell with him. 8:21 ). but ‘the wolf also shall dwell with the lamb’ and ‘the lion shall eat straw like the ox’ ( Isa. No need of a sun. our everlasting and eternal condition. having started away back at the beginning with Adam and his fall and the tragedy of it all.Previous First Next -> http://67. perfected. ‘Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God’ ( Matt. No need of a moon. Everything will be glorified. Well there. And that seems to me to be the biblical teaching about the eternal state: that what we call heaven is life in this perfect world as God intended humanity to live raised. restored.PDF 65 . basking in it.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt164.html (2 of 2) [02/06/2004 11:19:18 p.] .

our aches and our pains. This is a part of God’s programme. and God Himself. we are going to that. condemned world which is to be destroyed.PDF <. are destined for that.] . the flesh and the Devil.Previous First http://67. my friends. Oh blessed day! May God grant us grace to see these things so clearly that we shall ever live in their light. and ever. with our groanings and complainings and perhaps even our mutterings and our our struggle against the world.html [02/06/2004 11:19:20 p. as those who are going to see Him. to be with Him and share His eternal glory with Him.48/~bible/theology/books/mlj/3/lt165. Amen. as children of God. you and I. our rebirth. May we live as children of the light and children of the day. this also is certain. <. live lightly and loosely to this passing. You and I here in the body with our feeble frames.42.Previous First Lamb in the midst.15. therefore. As certain as is our salvation. as certain as is our resurrection.

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