The metanarrative of the Kingdom of God
The Administration of the Kingdom of God
When the modern Christian hears the word "eschatology" he often immediately pictures the Antichrist, a seven year Great Tribulation, and the 1000 year Millennium! People will have some kind of mark of the Beast -- 666. After all the word "eschatology" does mean "study of last things." It makes exciting reading.
The “beast” is a central figure to the book of Revelation. The beast kills the two prophets (Rev 11:7). The beast brings desolation on the harlot and burns her up with fire (Rev 17:16). John says the beast,
“was given power to wage war against God’s holy people and to conquer them. And it was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation. 8 All inhabitants of the earth will
"the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction…" (2 Thess 2:3).
This is not usually the question asked. Usually, people ask who the “Antichrist” is. But Revelation doesn’t actually use the word “antichrist,” and John writes to first century believers in 1 John 2:18,
Central to the dispensational belief in a seven-year Great Tribulation is Daniel 9. It is commonly believed that the sixty-nine weeks of years starts with the decree by Artaxerxes to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem in 445 BC (Neh 2) and concludes with Christ's Triumphal Entry. Then there is a parenthesis that last for the church age. Following the church age there is the seventieth week, the seven-year Great Tribulation. So it is believed when Revelation refers to the 3 1/2 years or 42 months, John is referring to half of the seven-year Tribulation. But there are some problems with this interpretation.
Pactum Salutis means "Covenant of Salvation." Historically there have been two views within Reformed Theology. The first view is that the Pactum Salutis is a different covenant than the Covenant of Grace. The second view is that the Pactum Salutis and Covenant of Grace are one. In the second view, Jesus is the mediator of the Covenant of Grace. The Pactum Salutis refers to the Son's plan with the Father before creation to come and save sinners. In the first view, the Son is more than a mediator. He is the federal head of the elect who not only paid for the sins of the elect, but obeyed the covenant with the Father, as the Second Adam, and merited the eschatological glory the first Adam forfieted under the Covenant of Works. The Son administers the blessings He merited to the elect under the Covenant of Grace.
Covenant Theology that is faithful to the Scriptures recognizes the continuity and discontinuity of the covenants. To boil all covenants down to a relationship between God and man based on faith and obedience obliterates the Gospel. The Gospel is based on the contrast between the Covenant of Works and the Covenant of Grace. This does not deny that believers do good works! But the Scripture denies any mono-covenantal scheme.
Rabbis before Christ and theologians in the days since Christ have recognized the Covenant of Works between Adam and God. Though the word "covenant" is not used in the opening chapters of Genesis, the clear teaching of the rest of the Scriptures is that God created Adam in a Covenant of Works with Adam.
"Now all the tax collectors and the sinners were coming near Him to listen to Him. 2 Both the Pharisees and the scribes began to grumble, saying, 'This man receives sinners and eats with them.'" (Luke 15:1-2).
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Unless otherwise noted Scripture quotations are from NASB. Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995, 2020 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org
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