In Proposition 16, George Peters states:
“This kingdom cannot be properly comprehended without acknowledging an intimate and internal connection existing between the Old and New Testaments.”
This is a truly important proposition. Far too many view the front and back halves of the Bible as completely separate and unrelated. The Old Testament was for Israel and the New Testament is for the church. Nothing could be further from the truth. To accurately grasp a concept such as the kingdom, all of Scripture must be understood as one continuous story line you will. Both parts are intimately connected and one cannot be fully understood without the other. You cannot speed right to the New Testament to understand the kingdom and you cannot solely root yourself in the Old Testament to fully understand the kingdom. One has to begin in Genesis and work their way through all of Scripture to Revelation, noting how the seed of the doctrine of the kingdom grows along the way and how God slowly but surely reveals the mysteries of this doctrine to His people. Ignore or relegate one part of Scripture as less important than the other and you do damage to the whole.
The most notable observation Peters presents in Proposition 16 is the following:
“The Kingdom being a leading subject of many portions of the Old Testament, a subject specially mentioned in covenant and prophecy, it is utterly impossible to understand it properly without passing over the same. This is realized the more, if it is considered that the doctrine originates in the Old Testament; that the New Testament in its opening takes a knowledge of the Old for granted; that in view of such a previous obtained information important details given in the Old are either slightly presented or omitted in the New; and that, aside from the Apocalypse, the most glowing and extended descriptions pertaining to the Kingdom, as God’s predictions relating to it receive an ample verification, are still found in the Old. It is not uncharitable to suspect, that one reason why so many meanings and contradictory definitions are given to the Kingdom, arises from the neglect – conscious or unconscious, designed or undesigned – of the Old Testament. Scriptures, or, from an artful, misleading, but well-intended exaltation of the New over the Old, as if some great and vital difference existed between them instead of their being inseparably one.”
I have given some other observations by Peters a hearty amen and to this observation I once again make that declaration. To some degree, it seems the ignoring of the Old Testament is both conscious and designed, especially within certain theological systems. As I noted earlier, the Old Testament is viewed by some as almost irrelevant, a product of a by-gone era no longer applicable in this so-called church age. What a shame that such a position is taken in regards to Scripture. Sin cannot be understood without the Old Testament. The need for redemption cannot be understood without the Old Testament. The need for the Redeemer cannot be understood without the Old Testament. Furthermore, the doctrine of the kingdom cannot be understood without the Old Testament. Can one have a bit of understanding of such issues? Of course, but it would be a very incomplete understanding at best. We are to be a student of the Bible in all its interrelated parts, viewing God’s Word as a whole from beginning to end. To understanding the kingdom, begin in Genesis, understand what was lost, and follow the trail through all of Scripture to the end to view the return of the kingdom and the bridegroom for his bride. From beginning to end and all points in between are vitally important to grasping in a full and complete way God’s plan of redemption. Remove pieces and you will get yourself into a serious theological pickle. Peters is harping on this fact and rightfully so.