All Articles For Engelsma, David

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Previous article in this series: October 1, 2015, p. 16. Introduction The previous articles in this series on premillennialism presented part of premillennialism’s explanation of the important teaching about the last things in Revelation 20. According to premillennialism, the millennium will be a literal period of one thousand years of future earthly history. The purpose of the millennium will be God’s establishment of the earthly nation of Israel as His glorious kingdom in this world. He will bless Israel with abounding material wealth, which will then spill over to all the nations. He will make Israel a world power, ruling...

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Previous article in this series: April 15, 2015, p. 323.    Introduction Premillennialism explains Revelation 20:1-10 as predicting a “golden age” of a thousand years of earthly power, prosperity, and peace for the nation of Israel. Reigning over this earthly kingdom will be the risen, glorified Jesus Christ in the body on a throne in Jerusalem. This earthly glorification of and dominion by the restored Old Testament nation of Israel is the millennium of Revelation 20 in the theology of premillennialism. The age, or dispensation, of the millennium, with its glory for Israel, is supposed to be the goal of...

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By Faith Alone: Answering the Challenges to the Doctrine of Justification, ed. Gary L. W. Johnson and Guy P. Waters. Foreword by David F. Wells. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2006. Pp. 213. $17.99 (paper). [Reviewed by David J. Engelsma.]   For the Book: Defense of Justification There is something to be said for this book: it is a defense of justification by faith alone against the denial of this cardinal truth by the New Perspective on Paul (NPP) and by the Federal Vision (FV). The book contends that justification in Romans refers to one’s legal standing before God the judge, rather...

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Previous article in this series: March 15, 2015, p. 276. Introduction The preceding article in this series began setting forth the premillennial explanation of the passage of Scripture that is fundamental to all millennial doctrine, that is, all doctrine that predicts a “golden age” in future, earthly history, namely, Revelation 20. In the preceding article was laid out all that must immediately precede the events of Revelation 20 on the premillennial understanding of the passage. These preliminary events include the rapture out of the world of the believing church, including those who have already died—a first resurrection of the dead;...

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Out of the Frying Pan… Five congregations in Illinois have completed the process of leaving the Reformed Church in America (RCA) and joining the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA). I mentioned in an earlier report about the exit of these congregations from the RCA that I hoped they would explain the grounds for their action sometime in the future. Ben Kappers, lead pastor of the First PCA of Lansing, IL (formerly First RCA), explained why he and his congregation left the RCA in an article published on February 12, 2015 (before the March 1 publication of my previous report but...

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Previous article in this series: February 15, 2015, p. 227. Introduction Every doctrine of the last things—eschatology—must take Revelation 20:1-10 into account, prove itself the truth according to the teaching of the passage, defend itself in light of the passage, and offer an explanation of the passage in its entirety. This is true even though a particular doctrine of the end does not take its lead from Revelation 20 or base itself mainly on this passage. This is true even though a particular doctrine of the end declares that it is not mainly about Revelation 20. Every doctrine of the...

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Previous article in this series: January 15, 2015, p. 180. “The doctrine of the future is the best known element in dispensational theology, and at the same time, the least important…. [The] underlying concept [of dispensational theology] is the difference between Israel and the church.” “[Separating Israel and the church, dispensationalists] fundamentally misunderstand the Bible…. Dispensationalism… divides the people of God…. It divides the people of God into the endless future…. This proves that dispensationalism is not a biblical doctrine but is, in fact, anti-biblical at its essential level.” “Dispensationalism…destroys the salvation message.” – John H. Gerstner, “Primer on Dispensationalism”...

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Previous article in this series: December 1, 2014, p. 111. “Chiliasm is not of Christian but of Jewish and Persian origin.” “Chiliasm…comes in conflict with Christianity itself. In principle it is one with Judaism and must get to where it attributes a temporary, passing value to Christianity, the historical person of Christ, and his suffering and death, and it only first expects real salvation from Christ’s second coming, his appearance in glory. Like Judaism, it subordinates the spiritual to the material, the ethical to the physical, confirms the Jews in their carnal-mindedness, excuses their rejection of the Messiah, reinforces the...

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Previous article in this series: November 1, 2014, p. 58. “Jesus only knows of two aeons [ages]: the present and the future aeons. In the present aeon [age] his disciples cannot expect anything other than oppression and persecution and must forsake all things for his sake. Jesus nowhere predicts a glorious future on earth before the end of the world…. Only in the age to come will his disciples receive everything back along with eternal life.” “Nowhere in the New Testament is there a ray of hope that the church of Christ will again come to power and dominion on...

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“Every idea of a Millennial Dominion with its throne established in Jerusalem, in connection with previously resurrected Jews and Gentiles, converted unto Him, is contrary to the entire economy of the Sacred Scriptures, and as such must be rejected…and thus be destroyed root and branch in the heart of the brethren.” Abraham Kuyper, “Chiliasm or the Doctrine of Premillennialism” “All prophecies, which speak of Israel, Jerusalem and Zion, and which even after the coming of Christ, still await their fulfillment, must…be understood…as pertaining to the spiritual glory of the true church of the Lord after His return. Any other interpretation of...

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