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Previous article in this series: November 1, 2011, p. 52. At the conclusion of our last article we stated that Harold Camping’s foolish date setting was not the worst of his evils, serious though that was and is. There are others even worse. Before enumerating some of these evils, we would set forth what we consider to be the central evil of which Harold Camping has become guilty, namely, the devilish mischief of working to sever believers from the church of the past, or, if you will, from the “Church of All Ages,” with her rich heritage. This is but...

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Previous article in this series: October 1, 2011, p. 5. And so October 21 has come and gone, and no return of the Lord Jesus. No rapture either. Nor for that matter, did God’s final judgment fall with history-ending severity. One did not have to be a Bible scholar to have predicted that. Even the unbelievers ‘prophesied’ October 22 would dawn bright and clear. However (and this is what Christ’s church must continue to declare), the judgments of God that bring about this world’s end did and will continue to rumble through creation and the nations. Harold Camping or no...

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Happy Birthday, Confession of Faith (aka “Netherlands Confession” and “Belgic Confession”) esteemed firstborn of the Reformed family’s confessions. We commemorate the year of your birth—written as you were in 1561 and soon adopted into the Reformed family by our fathers in the nether lands. In 2011, you have now lived ten times longer than your author, martyred as he was at the youthful age of 45, in part because of you. What place his martyrdom had in the providence of God to endear you to us, God may show us some day. But we confess (by your lead), that “nothing happens in...

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“For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ and shall deceive many. …but the end is not yet…. Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets…insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Matthew 24:5, 23, 24 What are we going to say about this fellow? It was not enough that he misled thousands back in 1994. It was not enough that he by his foolish calculations and unfulfilled prediction of Christ’s return 17 years...

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The postmillennial dream of a “Christianized” world in history rests finally on Old Testament prophecy of a coming, glorious kingdom of Christ (see the editorial, “Those Glorious Prospects in Old Testament Prophecy,” in the Aug. 1, 1996 Standard Bearer). That Old Testament prophecy which more than any other is supposed to prove postmillennialism and refute amillennialism is Isaiah 65:17ff.: For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth . . . I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy…. There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled...

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The literal interpretation of Old Testament prophecy ends in a carnal Messianic kingdom. The literal interpretation of the prophecy of Isaiah 65:17ff., advocated by postmillennialist Christian Reconstructionism, ends in an earthly kingdom of Christ. Besides, a consistently literal interpretation leads to absurdity. Not even the most ardent advocate and practitioner of a literal interpretation of Isaiah 65:17ff. can carry it off, as was demonstrated in the previous editorial. But Old Testament prophecy of the coming Messianic kingdom may not be interpreted literally. To do so is, at best, to become a dispensational premillennialist, turning eschatology into the restoration of Old...

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Postmillennialism — the teaching about the last things that posits the earthly victory of the church and a coming “golden age” in history — rests its case, finally, on Old Testament prophecy. Emphatically not on New Testament doctrine about the days leading up to the coming of Christ. Old Testament prophecy forecasts glorious prospects for Judah and Jerusalem. One such passage is Isaiah 65:17-25. Jehovah creates new heavens and a new earth (v. 17). In this new world, Jerusalem will be a rejoicing and the citizens of Jerusalem, a joy (v. 18). None will die young, and old sinners will...

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It is those glorious prospects in Old Testament prophecy that are the real basis in Scripture for the postmillennial dream. The postmillennialists make a half-hearted appeal to Revelation 20 (see the editorial in the Standard Bearer, April 15, 1995). They refer to a stray text, here and there, in the New Testament. But their theory of the last things rests, in the end, on Old Testament prophecy, specifically, Old Testament prophecy of the coming, victorious, glorious Messianic kingdom. Here, in the Old Testament prophecies that hold out grand prospects for the future, is the bulwark of postmillennialism. Messiah’s rule over...

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Standing decisively against J. Marcellus Kik’s interpretation of Matthew 24:3-35, particularly verse 34, in his book, An Eschatology of Victory (Presbyterian and Reformed, 1971), are the following considerations drawn from the passage itself. 1) Kik’s interpretation ignores that part of the disciples’ question that asks about “the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world” (v. 3). Again and again in his explanation of Matthew 24:4-31 Kik presents the question that Jesus is answering as though it were only the question, “When shall these things (of the destruction of Jerusalem) be?” Kik begins his treatment of Matthew...

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Matthew 24, 25 is Jesus’ answer to the question of His disciples in 24:3. The question was, “When shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” The question combined the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem in A.D. 70 and the end of the world at Jesus’ second coming. Jesus’ answer likewise combines these two events. The reason for the combination of these two events in the great discourse by our Lord on the last things (eschatology) is that the destruction of Jerusalem was a historical type of...

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