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Thoughts from The Theocratic Kingdom: Proposition 20

Posted On January 24, 2016

In Proposition 20, George Peters states:

“To comprehend the subject of the kingdom, it is necessary to notice the belief and the expectations of the more pious portion of the Jews.”

What Peters is noting here is the need to note the differences in expectation of the coming of the kingdom that existed in Scripture, most notably among the Jews. Some anticipated a military incursion through which the hated Romans would be pushed out of the land. Those who took this perspective misunderstood the purpose of Jesus and the kingdom he came to usher in or completely ignored the entire issue altogether. The more pious Jews on the other hand, those who had a better understanding of the nature of the kingdom, while perhaps still to some degree misunderstanding all of what Jesus had come to do, at least had the proper foundational perspective of a literal kingdom and the actual personal reign of the Messiah on the earth.

The most notable observation Peters presents in Proposition 20 is the following:

“It is noticeable, that in all the rebukes given to the Jews by John the Baptist, by Jesus and the apostles, not one refers to their belief and expectations concerning the Kingdom. The rebukes pertain to their superstition, traditions, bigotry, hypocrisy, pride, ostentation, violation of duty, etc., but nothing is alleged that they misapprehended the Kingdom of the prophets in its fundamental aspects. This is indeed abundantly taken for granted by theologians, but without the least proof to sustain it. The student will see, as the argument proceeds, that such supposed ignorance would reflect severely upon the covenants, prophecies, and preaching of the first preachers of “the Gospel of the Kingdom.”

This is a valuable observation as we seem to have the tendency to believe Jesus rebuked every single thing everyone believed. As Peters notes, Jesus did not rebuke their basis understanding of the kingdom. He certainly elaborated on the doctrine and corrected what assuredly were some misconceptions, but he did not rebuke them for holding firm to this doctrine.

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