In Proposition 43, George Peters states:
“The disciples sent forth by Jesus to preach this Kingdom were not ignorant of the meaning to be attached to the Kingdom.”
This proposition is a logical extension of a previous one made by Peters regarding John the Baptist. If consistence and unity of message is to be averred and it must based on the biblical evidence, then if John the Baptist understood the purpose of his message then it goes without saying the disciples did as well. Furthermore, given they received their instruction as disciples from the great Teacher of the Kingdom Himself, the Messiah, to propose ignorance on their part is nothing short of absurdity as Peters aptly notes.
The most notable observation Peters presents in Proposition 43 is the following:
“It is freely admitted that there were many things that these disciples, when preaching the Kingdom, did not then know, but it was not requisite to know them for the simple reason that, before the decided postponement of the Kingdom, it was no part of their mission to preach them. Thus e.g. they did not know that the Jewish nation would refuse to repent, that the representative men would conspire to put Jesus to death, that the Messiah would be crucified, that the Kingdom would be postponed to the Second Advent, that the Gentiles would be called, etc., and, more, all these things had nothing to do with their commission. They were not to preach the death of Jesus, or things then unknown to them; they were commissioned to preach the Kingdom conditioned by repentance – to offer it to the Jewish nation – and thus far they were instructed and had knowledge of the truth. This preaching of the Kingdom was (Props 54 and 55) necessary at that time, while a knowledge of the other things was not only unnecessary, but would have, if imparted, actually disqualified them for their important mission. This exquisite arrangement of truth in the mission of the first preachers is, to our mind, most forcible evidence of inspiration.”
There are some who likely will balk at the idea the disciples were not ignorant of the meaning of the kingdom, using as their proof that the were clearly not aware of many other aspects that can rightly be construed as related to this doctrine. As Peters saliently notes, understanding all facets of the kingdom was not necessary. If it were necessary, we would have to question our ability to preach this same message of the kingdom given we do not comprehend even at this stage in salvation history all aspects of doctrine related to the kingdom. The message remains one of repentance. Knowing the Messiah came, died, and rose again just adds a bit more “punch” if you will to our message.