The Staunch Calvinist

"Absolute sovereignty is what I love to ascribe to God." - Jonathan Edwards


You searched for 'Chapter 12'

I've found 12 results!

1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 31: Of the State of Man after Death and Of the Resurrection of the Dead - Commentary

... heavy hail” connected with the appearance of God and of these things.

Isn’t it strange, we have already seen two Final Judgments in Revelation. The first one was in 6:16-7:17 and the second we just read about in 11:15-19. How could this be, if we should read the Apocalypse literally and chronologically? How many ends does the world have? Obviously one. But what do we do with, until now, two “End of the World” being described? The only satisfying solution to me is that they’re both describing the same event. But if this is the case, then the book of Revelation is not to be read chronologically, but cyclically. Further proof for this is Chapter 12.

Vision 4: Revelation 12-14

We just had a vision of the Last Judgment and the consummation of all things in Revelation 11:15-19 at the sounding of the seventh trumpet at whose time the mystery of God was fulfilled (Rev. 10:7). But the vision which we get in Chapter 12 is very strange if the Apocalypse is to be read chronologically.

Chapter 12 describes the birth of a male child who is to rule all the nations. A great sign appears in heaven, which is a woman clothed with the sun, has the moon under her feet and is crowned with twelve stars, recalling Joseph’s dream (Gen. 37:9). The twelve stars symbolized the twelve sons of Jacob who make up Israel, the people of God under the Old Testament. The woman here is the faithful remnant of Israel which lived close to God and was waiting for the birth of the Messiah. Satan, knowing that what God promised in Genesis 3:15 was about to come to pass, goes after the woman to destroy the child which is born of her. The woman gave birth to a child who was destined “to rule all the nations with a rod of iron” (Rev. 12:5). This is clearly the Lord Jesus Christ, but what does the birth of Jesus have to do with the Final Judgment and consummation we just read about with the blowing of the seventh trumpet? Obviously, we cannot read the visions of the Apocalypse chronologically. We clearly see that they present huge problems to us, such so that you would have to go from the Final Judgment and at once to the birth of Christ, which is very strange. It is strange only if one insists upon reading the Apocalypse chronologically, rather than cyclically.

The Male Child is then “caught up to God and to his throne” before the Dragon was able to destroy Him. This is a reference to Christ’s Ascension in which He was seated at the right hand of God (Rev. 3:21; Ps. 110:1; Acts 2:33; 5:31; 7:55; etc.). While the Male Child is caught up to the throne of God, the woman, still symbolizing the people of God, but now out believing Jews and Gentiles, flees to the wilderness, which is a place “prepared by God, in which she is to be nourished for 1,260 days” (Rev. 1:6). 3,5 years was also the time of her persecution (Rev. 11:2) and testimony (Rev. 11:3, 7), but it is also the time when the Church is in the wilderness. This clearly is based upon the 40 years of wilderness wandering of Israel in which God provided for their needs. The Lord provided manna for Israel the whole time they were in the wilderness, caring for them and bearing them on His wings, but the day they entered Canaan was the day that the manna stopped (Josh. 5:12). The wilderness symbolizes also that this is a time of trial, as Israel was tried by the Lord. It is a time of difficulty, not easiness. Even though all these things are true, the wilderness is designed by God for the good of God’s people, even if it...

1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 3: Of God's Decree - Commentary

...ted, they were considered as fallen in Adam and in need of redemption. They were not considered as innocent. But as those who were in need to be holy and blameless (Eph. 1:4). Those who were elected are effectually called (chapter 10), justified (chapter 11), adopted (Chapter 12), sanctified (chapter 13) and are kept by his power (chapter 17through faith (chapter 14). God bestows every spiritual blessing upon those who are in Christ (Eph. 1:3) to bring them in Christ and to keep them for and in Jesus Christ (Jude 1:1). Only the elect are redeemed by Christ. Other people may appear to have redemption and to be called and justified. We are often deceived by hypocrites, but they cannot deceive God. These spiritual blessings enumerated here belong to the elect alone.

As affirmed in 2:1, God is the Sovereign of this world Who moves it to His appointed end. It doesn’t just run on its own. So is it also with election, He doesn’t merely elect and leave it at that; He also ordains the means by which His elect will come to know Him. We saw that above with the Golden Chain of Redemption how the link of being predestined is followed by the effectual calling of the Spirit, and then justification. God ordains the means by which His people are brought into loving communion with the Trinity.

God has loved us, chosen us, sanctified us, sanctifies us and has called us through the proclamation of the glorious gospel of His beloved Son (2 Thess. 2:13-14). And as we have tried to do an exposition of the Golden Chain of Redemption, we saw that the effectual calling came after predestination. Those whom God has chosen for eternal life, He also calls through the proclamation of the gospel as is said in 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14. He doesn’t leave the elect to themselves, but He sends His messengers to proclaim the gospel to them, which is the power of God unto salvation (Rom. 1:16).

2 Thess. 2:13-14 But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth. 14 To this he called you through our gospel, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Notice the emphasis on justification, adoption, and sanctification in this passage. This has nothing to do with ideas of “being elect and doing whatever sin you want because you’re elect.” In fact, it is the opposite. We are to live holy lives unto the glory and honor of God, our Redeemer because we are chosen. We are to be “zealous for good works” (Titus 2:14). Notice that Paul is not ashamed to talk of election and evangelism side by side. He thanks God for His love for them and His election of them, but he also acknowledges that God called the Thessalonians through the proclamation of the gospel by Paul. He does not see a conflict between sovereign election and evangelism, and neither do Calvinists.

For more on God’s effectual calling see chapter 10; for justification see chapter 11; for adoption see Chapter 12; for sanctification see chapter 13.

The fact that God ordains both the ends as well as the means is not only logical but also Scriptural. By logical, I mean that a simple reflection on the passages which speak of God’s sovereignty over history (as in paragraph 1) would lead us to conclude that He must both ordain the ends and the means to the ends ordained. Such is the case with election as we saw from 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14. God elects and o...

1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 17: Of The Perseverance of the Saints - Commentary

..., can neither totally nor finally fall from the state of grace (e.g., John 10:28-29; 1 John 2:19). If we follow what was said in the previous chapters, as this paragraph begins by enlisting these things, we cannot but expect such a declaration. If God is absolutely sovereign over all things (chapters 3 and 5), even electing, calling, justifying, adopting (Chapter 12) and sanctifying us, how can it be that God could fail in His purpose and we be lost to eternal perdition? It cannot. The elect will certainly persevere in the state of the end. This is the essential difference between true and false faith. True faith perseveres to the end (1 John 2:19). This is because the gifts and callings of God are without repentance (Rom. 11:29), in other words, He does not change His mind. Therefore, the elect are safe and He will grant them all these things which are necessary for their final salvation and perseverance.

This does not mean that the journey will be easy. In fact, the Confession speaks of storms and floods that arise and beat us. Nonetheless, no one and nothing can shake us off that foundation and rock which by faith we are fastened upon. In these storms and floods and by the temptations of Satanthe sensible sight of the light and love of God may for a time be clouded and obscured for us (so also with our assurance, see chapter 18:4). This does not mean that God has changed; he is still the same. But we are being attacked by the enemy and are fighting or giving into temptation and are in need of restoration. Even in these storms and floods, we may be sure to be kept by the power of God unto salvation and the enjoyment of our purchased possession. The fact that the elect cannot lose their salvation is further shown from the fact that we are engraven upon the palm of His hands (Isa. 49:16) and our names having been written in the book of life from all eternity (Rev. 13:8; 20:15). All this is given for the confidence and encouragement of the believers in God’s faithfulness, goodness, grace, promise, and power. 

The Impossibility Of Final Apostasy For The Elect

The biblical and Reformed doctrine of perseverance is a great mountain, which gives the saints assurance and faith in God’s almighty power in overcoming sin in us and completely saving us. The doctrine does not teach, contrary to non-Protestant caricatures, that Christians after being saved can do whatever they want to do and still remain saved. Rather, the doctrine teaches that those who have the Spirit of God indwelling in them will persevere in the faith by the almighty power of God. The Lord will chastise, sanctify and lead them toward a holier life.

That the doctrine is true and biblical may be seen from many ways (see paragraph 2), including (1) the decree of election, (2) regeneration, (3) justification and (4) Christ’s obedience.

Election: It has pleased God from all eternity to select a particular people in the Lord Jesus Christ whom He will redeem from sin to be with Him forever without any consideration of foreseen faith or works, merely because of His good pleasure. Seeing that their salvation was not dependent upon them, how would their perseverance be (completely) dependent upon them? There is no debate among Calvinists about whether the elect can lose their salvation. Someone who accepts Unconditional Election must believe in perseverance. It is logically necessary, for to contend otherwise is to say that God has unconditionally chosen a perso...

1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 14: Of Saving Faith - Commentary

... is so because God poured out His wrath upon His Son and credits His Son’s righteousness to those who believe. Therefore, there is really no ground for God to be hostile toward those who believe in Christ and thus are in Christ.

Adoption: By faith, we become children of the living God. Not all are children of God. Only those who belong to Jesus, become sons of God. Galatians 3:26 says, “for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.” It is only in Christ that we are “sons of God” and this is “through faith.” See Chapter 12.

Perseverance: We are kept in the faith by faith. 1 Peter 1:5 beautifully says that we are they “who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” Albert Barnes explains the word kept or guarded which is used here:

That is, “kept” or preserved in the faith and hope of the gospel; who are preserved from apostacy, or so kept that you will finally obtain salvation. The word which is used here, and rendered “kept,” (φρουρέω phroureō,) is rendered in 2Co 11:32, kept with a garrison; in Gal 3:23, and here, kept; in Phi 4:7, shall keep. It does not elsewhere occur in the New Testament. It means to keep, as in a garrison or fortress; or as with a military watch. The idea is, that there was a faithful guardianship exercised over them to save them from danger, as a castle or garrison is watched to guard it against the approach of an enemy.[19]

See chapter 17.

Holy Spirit: Not only the Holy Spirit works faith in our hearts through regeneration, but through faith, we receive Him too! He comes to make His abode in us as His temple. John 7:38, which is a difficult text, says, “Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” But thankfully, we are not in the dark as to what it means because John explains it in the next verse: “Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive” (John 7:39). Everyone who belongs to Jesus Christ has His Spirit (Rom. 8:9). Galatians 3:14 explains that “in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles,” which is justification by faith. But why? The verse goes on to say “so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.” See also Galatians 3:2, 5; Ephesians 1:13.

Communion with God: By faith, the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in us. Through the Spirit, we have access to the Father and the Son. Romans 5:1-2 after saying that we have peace with God through faith, explains that “Through [Christ] we also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand” (see also Eph. 2:18, 22). Ephesians 3:17 teaches that Christ dwells in our hearts through faith.

Union with Christ: All the blessings of salvation find their beginning with our union with Christ. Let’s take for example Colossians 2:12. In this passage, union with Christ is expressed in the words “with him.” Therefore, Paul says that we were “buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith”. Charles Hodge explains, “To be in Christ, and to believe in Christ, are, therefore, in the Scriptures convertible forms of expression. They mean substantially the same thing and, therefore, the same effects are attributed to faith as are attributed to union with Christ.”[42] See chapter 27.

Inherit the promises: This is the great blessing which is attributed to the saints of old in Hebrews 11. In Hebrews 6:12, the Author calls his ...

1689 Second Baptist Confession of Faith Highlighted

... beg pardon, and renew their faith and repentance. 3 
  1. Matt. 6:12; 1 John 1:7-2:2; John 13:3-11
  2. Luke 22:32; John 10:28; Heb. 10:14
  3. Ps. 32:5; 51:7-12; Matt. 26:75; Luke 1:20
  1. The justification of believers under the Old Testament was, in all these respects, one and the same with the justification of believers under the New Testament. 1
    1. Gal. 3:9; Rom. 4:22-24

Chapter 12: Of Adoption [Return] [Commentary]

  1. All those that are justified, 1 God vouchsafed, in and for the sake of his only Son Jesus Christ, to make partakers of the grace of adoption, by which they are taken into the number, and enjoy the liberties and privileges of the children of God, have his name put upon them, 4 receive the spirit of adoption, have access to the throne of grace with boldness, are enabled to cry Abba, Father, 5 are pitied, protected, provided for, and chastened by him as by a Father, yet never cast off, but sealed to the day of redemption, and inherit the promises as heirs of everlasting salvation.7
    1. Gal. 3:24-26
    2. 1 John 3:1-3
    3. Eph. 1:5; Gal. 4:4-5; Rom. 8:17, 29
    4. Rom. 8:17; John 1:12; 2 Cor. 6:18; Rev. 3:12
    5. Rom. 8:15; Eph. 3:12; Rom. 5:2; Gal. 4:6; Eph. 2:18
    6. Ps. 103:13; Prov. 14:26; Matt. 6:30, 32; 1 Peter 5:7; Heb. 12:6; Isa. 54:8-9; Lam. 3:31; Eph. 4:30
    7. Rom. 8:17; Heb. 1:14; 9:15

Chapter 13: Of Sanctification [Return] [Commentary]

  1. They who are united to Christ, effectually called, and regenerated, having a new heart and a new spirit created in them through the virtue of Christ’s death and resurrection, are also farther sanctified, really and personally, through the same virtue, by His Word and Spirit dwelling in them; 4 the dominion of the whole body of sin is destroyed, and the several lusts thereof are more and more weakened and mortified, and they more and more quickened and strengthened in all saving graces, to the practice of all true holiness, 5 without which no man shall see the Lord. 6 
    1. John 3:3-8; 1 John 2:29; 3:9-10; Rom. 1:7; 6:1-11; 15:16; 2 Cor. 1:1; Eph. 1:1; Phil. 1:1; Col. 3:12; Acts 20:32; 26:18; 1 Cor. 1:2, 6:11
    2. 1 Thess. 5:23; Rom. 6:19, 22
    3. 1 Cor. 6:11; Acts 20:32; Phil. 3:10; Rom. 6:5-6
    4. John 17:17, Eph. 5:26; 3:16-19; Rom. 8:13
    5. Rom. 6:13-14; Gal. 5:17, 24; Rom. 8:13; Col. 1:11; Eph. 3:16-19; 4:22-25; 2 Cor. 7:1
    6. Heb. 12:14
  1. This sanctification is throughout the whole man, yet imperfect in this life; there abideth still some remnants of corruption in every part, whence ariseth a continual and irreconcilable war;the flesh lusting against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh. 3
    1. 1 Thess. 5:23; 1 John 1:8, 10; Rom. 7:18, 23; Phil. 3:12
    2. 1 Cor. 9:24-27; 1 Tim. 1:18; 6:12; 2 Tim. 4:7
    3. Gal. 5:17; 1 Peter 2:11
  1. In which war, although the remaining corruption for a time may much prevail,yet through the continual supply of strength from the sanctifying Spirit of Christ, the regenerate part doth overcome; and so the saints grow in grace, perfecting holiness in the fear of God, pressing after an heavenly life, in evangelical obedience to all the commands which Christ as Head and King, in His Word hath prescribed them. 3
    1. Rom. 7:23
    2. Rom. 6:14; 1 John 5:4; Eph. 4:15-16
    3. 2 Peter 3:18; 2 Cor. 3:18; 7:1; Matt. 28:20

Chapter 14: Of Saving Faith [Return] [Commentary]

  1. The grace of faith, whereby the elect are enabled to believe to the saving ...

1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 29: Of Baptism - Commentary


Chapter 29: Of Baptism

What is baptism? What does it symbolize? Can I be saved without being baptized? Are professing believers alone to be baptized? What about infant baptism? What is the baptismal formula? How is baptism to be performed? Is it by sprinkling, pouring, or immersion?

Let me start with a personal testimony. I was born in Iraq to an Armenian (not Arminian) family. The church of the Armenian people is the Armenian Apostolic Church, which is an Orthodox church and it is very much similar to Roman Catholicism. Infants would be baptized around 40 days old or something around that time. That was not different in my case. Throughout my youth, I saw my infant baptism as the basis that I was a Christian. What made it also difficult was the fact that in Iraq, everyone would have their religion on their ID card. I even served as an altar boy in the church when I was little. But to be honest, I did not know the gospel, yet I was not ashamed to proclaim that I am Christian, but don’t ask me what the gospel is! Thus, throughout my youth, I saw my baptism as the ground that I am a Christian, even though I did not pray often or did not know why Christ died. The Armenian Church, by the way, believes in baptismal regeneration and baptism by dipping the infant thrice in a bowl of holy water. My family came to the Netherlands in 2008 and I finally knew what freedom was, but not the freedom of the gospel (yet). Two years or so after that, I met with an old friend and stayed with him for a few days. He saw that I did not pray before bed, so he questioned me. He told me about prayer and how proper is it to pray to God and thank Him for everything. I told him that I don’t want to be religious. He directed me to videos and episodes of Zakaria Botros (Arabic) who shares the gospel with Muslims via TV and exposes Islam. Through his videos and episodes, I came to know the true gospel and was saved by God’s grace. After that, there grew in me a desire to study His Word, so I bought Bibles and study Bibles and started reading the Scriptures daily. Around that time, I started attending a Baptist church. I did not know that it was a Baptist church. We went there with some friends of mine and by God’s grace, kept attending church on the Lord’s Day.

I started reading the Bible and I could not find anything about the baptism of infants or that baptism as the basis of my faith and all the things which I had simply assumed in my youth. So I set out to study this matter and came to the conclusion that infant baptism was unscriptural and what happened to me as an infant, was not biblical baptism. On a Saturday night, I fell on my knees and asked the Lord if He wanted me to be baptized that He would give me some sign. The next day, the Lord’s Day, the preacher talked about discipleship and following Christ no matter what and he said something like, “It doesn’t matter what your family will think of you if you want to be baptized”, which I saw as a sign from heaven. My family would not have been happy about my baptism because they think that my baptism as an infant was valid. Moreover, the Armenian Church is a national church. It does not get new converts, for example. Most infants are baptized and declared Christian, even if they know not the gospel. Therefore, the only baptism that is practiced and that I have heard of is infant baptism.

I still feel guilty for asking the Lord for a sign when I had already concluded that believers’...

1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 15: Of Repentance Unto Life and Salvation - Commentary

...lling (chapter 10)
  • Regeneration (chapter 11)
  • Conversion (chapter 14 Of Saving Faith and chapter 15, the current one on repentance)
  • Justification (chapter 11)
  • Adoption (Chapter 12)
  • Sanctification (chapter 13)
  • Perseverance (chapter 14)
  • Glorification
  • See this helpful picture by Tim Challies.

    It is important to note that here we are speaking of the logical order of salvation and not how we experience salvation. In chapter 11, I argued for “Regeneration Precedes Faith”. From our experience, the new birth and faith in the Lord Jesus happened at the same time. So, when we speak of the Ordo Salutis, we do not mean the order in time, but logically. This has to do more with causation and which one is dependent on the other. Repentance is in stage four. Repentance and faith together constitute conversion and they describe what conversion consists in. There would not be a conversion if there was no regeneration. There would be no regeneration if there was no effectual calling. There would be no effectual calling if there was no sovereign election in eternity past. One is dependent upon the other and springs forth from the other.

    §2 God has mercifully provided that believers so sinning and falling be renewed through repentance unto salvation

    1. Whereas there is none that doth good and sinneth not, and the best of men may, through the power and deceitfulness of their corruption dwelling in them, with the prevalency of temptation, fall into great sins and provocations; God hath, in the covenant of grace, mercifully provided that believers so sinning and falling be renewed through repentance unto salvation. 3
      1. Ps. 130:3; 143:2; Prov. 20:9; Eccl. 7:20
      2. 2 Sam. 11:1-27; Luke 22:54-62
      3. Jer. 32:40; Luke 22:31-32; 1 John 1:9

    There is none that doth good and sinneth not; everyone sins (Ps. 130:3). This is the sad reality of fallen man and even of redeemed man. Even Christians, through the power and deceitfulness of their corruption dwelling in them...fall into great sins (David’s adultery in 2 Sam. 11). Those who underestimate the power of sin will certainly fall into it. Sin is powerful and deceiving and it calls us back to itself because it wants us to be its slaves again. But this is the good news when we fall into sin: God hath, in the covenant of grace, mercifully provided that believers so sinning and falling be renewed through repentance unto salvation (Jer. 32:40; 1 John 1:8-9). We are not saved again, but we are renewed and are back in a harmonious relationship with God. The promise of 1 John 1:9 is very dear to me: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” What a gracious and an amazing God we serve. He saved us from all kinds of corruptions and sins, forgiving it completely and keeps to forgive and renew us!

    Paragraph 1 dealt with unbelievers turning to Christ, now paragraph 2 deals with Christians turning back to Christ after sin and restoring their relationship to their merciful Savior.


    Christians can testify that they sin daily and seek God’s forgiveness for known and unknown sins daily. But sometimes we fall into greater sins. It is a greater sin to commit adultery in actuality, than in the heart, obviously. Both are a sin, but one is greater than the other. It is a greater sin to murder someone than to merely hate someone. It is possible for Christians to fall into the “greater” sins.  There have been believers who have ...

    Welcome To The Staunch Calvinist

    Welcome to The Staunch Calvinist. This is a place where Calvinistic Theology will be displayed. A place where the Doctrines of Grace will be explained and defended. This is a place where the Sovereignty of God is cherished and promoted. We hope you will be ministered to through the material on the website. Our goal is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ and honor Him. “May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” 2 Corinthians 13:14

    The following document may help you to understand the Biblical case for ‘Calvinism’: God’s Absolute Sovereignty – A case for Calvinism

    I have two sections dedicated to the Doctrines of Grace: defining the Doctrines of Grace & defending the Doctrines of Grace, which are taken from the document above. In the general section, you will find some book reviews and the resources from which I mainly drew the content of the “God’s Absolute Sovereignty” document.

    As a Reformed Baptist, I started the 1689 Confession section wherein I seek to explain the chapters and make a biblical case for what is said on a particular subject. As of 18/09/2016, the commentary is complete:

    1. Of the Holy Scriptures
    2. Of God and the Holy Trinity (the attributes of God and a case for the doctrine of the Blessed Trinity)
    3. Of God’s Decree (I make a case for predestination, election, reprobation and absolute sovereignty even over evil and sin)
    4. Of Creation
    5. Of Divine Providence
    6. Of the Fall of Man, Of Sin, And of the Punishment Thereof (Total Depravity)
    7. Of God’s Covenant (1689 Federalism)
    8. Of Christ the Mediator (including a case for the Substitutionary Atonement, Active and Passive Obedience of Christ, Definite Atonement and answers to passages used against the doctrine)
    9. Of Free Will (with the help of Jonathan Edwards, the consistency of moral agency being found in carrying one’s desires, the inconsistencies of libertarian free will, explanation of necessity and inability)
    10. Of Effectual Calling (with a case for infant salvation)
    11. Of Justification (faith is a gift and regeneration precedes faith)
    12. Of Adoption
    13. Of Sanctification
    14. Of Saving Faith
    15. Of Repentance Unto Life and Salvation
    16. Of Good Works
    17. Of The Perseverance Of The Saints (A positive case for the Reformed doctrine and responses to passages such as Hebrews 6 and the like)
    18. Of The Assurance Of Grace And Salvation
    19. Of The Law Of God (Threefold Division of the Law, the Decalogue before Moses, a brief exposition of the Decalogue, ceremonial and civil laws, the abiding moral law under the New Covenant in the OT prophecy and the NT, Threefold Uses of the Law, The Law and the Gospel)
    20. Of The Gospel, And Of The Extent Of The Grace Thereof
    21. Of Christian Liberty And Liberty of Conscience
    22. Of Religious Worship And the Sabbath Day (A case for the Regulative Principle of Worship and the Christian Sabbath)
    23. Of Lawful Oaths And Vows
    24. Of The Civil Magistrate
    25. Of Marriage
    26. Of The Church
    27. Of the Communion of Saints
    28. Of Baptism And The Lord’s Supper
    29. Of Baptism
    30. Of The Lord’s Supper
    31. Of The State Of Man After Death And Of The Resurrection Of The Dead (Intermediate State Hades, Sheol, Heaven; A Case for Amillennial Eschatology; critique of Premillennialism)
    32. Of The Last Judgment (Endless punishment in Hell contra Annihilationism)

    1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 1: Of the Holy Scriptures - Commentary

    ...anhedrin (6:6-14; 15:8), which is compatible only with a post-exilic date several hundred years after the book’s presumed historical setting.[41]

    Dr. Knuteson likewise writes that the Apocrypha is a source of some Roman Catholic doctrines:

    the books in the Apocrypha endorse many false doctrines that are totally at variance with the clear teaching of the Word of God. Suicide is justified in 2 Maccabees 14:41-46. Prayers to the dead are encouraged in Chapter 12, verses 41-45. Almsgiving is considered efficacious for the forgiveness of sins according to Tobit 12:9. The Book of Wisdom teaches the heresy of the pre-existence of souls in 8:19-20. The Book of Judith portrays her as using deception, guile and outright lying with the apparent approval of God (9:10-13). It is in these books that the Roman Catholic doctrine of Purgatory is found along with many other unscriptural concepts. The internal evidence is totally against the acceptance of these so-called “hidden and concealed” books as being a part of God’s holy and “breathed-out” Word (see 2 Timothy 3:16). Isaiah 8:20 sums up the proper attitude of all Bible-believing Christians regarding these spurious books. “To the law and to the testimony, if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.”[39]

    In light of these things, even when these books contain not only historical, geographical, but even theological errors, the Roman Catholic Church accepts them, because it lends support to her false doctrines.

    Geisler and MacKenzie give us several reasons not to accept the Apocrypha as Scripture:

    First, no apocryphal books claim to be written by a prophet. Indeed, as already noted, one apocryphal book even disclaims being prophetic (1 Macc. 9:27). Second, there is no divine confirmation of any of the writers of the apocryphal books, as there is for prophets who wrote canonical books (e.g., Exod. 4:1-2). Third, there is no predictive prophecy in the Apocrypha, such as we have in the canonical books (e.g., Isa. 53; Dan. 9; Mic. 5:2) and which is a clear indication of their propheticity. Fourth, there is no new messianic truth in the Apocrypha. Thus, it adds nothing to the messianic truths of the Old Testament. Fifth, even the Jewish community, whose books they were, acknowledged that the prophetic gifts had ceased in Israel before the Apocrypha was written (see quotes above). Sixth, the apocryphal books were never listed in the Jewish Bible along with the “Prophets,” or any other section for that matter. Seventh, never once is any apocryphal book cited authoritatively by a prophetic book written after it.[42]

    The Apocrypha not only should be rejected because it was not received by those to whom the Word of God was entrusted, neither appealed to by our Lord or His apostles, but also because it contains historical, geographical, and theological errors and contradictions.

    §4 The Authority of the Holy Scripture

    1. The authority of the Holy Scripture, for which it ought to be believed, dependeth not upon the testimony of any man or church, 1 but wholly upon God (who is truth itself), the author thereof; therefore it is to be received because it is the Word of God. 2
      1. 2 Tim. 3:15; 3:16; John 10:35; 13:18, 34-35; 19:34-36, 24; 1 John 5:9; Rom. 1:2; 3:2; 9:17; 15:4; Acts 1:16; 2:16, 24ff; Matt. 5:17-18; 4:1-11; 13:35; 22:32; 22:41ff; 26:54; Gal. 3:8, 16; 1 Cor. 10:11; Luke 16:17; 22:37; 2 Peter 1:19-21
      2.  Luke 15:27-31; Gal. 1:8-9; Eph. 2:2

    Extensive review of Jonathan Menn's Biblical Eschatology

    ...“the small and the great” refers to all believers, and in Rev 13:16 and 19:18 “the small and the great” refers to all unbelievers. On the other hand, as David Brown points out, “in the passage before us, the only party to whom ‘the small and great’ belong—as far as appears—is ‘the dead.’ Are we not irresistibly led, then, to conclude that the meaning intended is, the dead—universally, or at least indiscriminately?” (p. 316)

    In the rest of the chapter, he discusses the rest of Revelation (pp. 317-327).

    The Rest of the Book

    The last chapter is Chapter 12, “The Importance of Eschatology.” Funnily, this was the least important chapter for me. In this chapter, he researches the effect of eschatological thought to our actions.

    The rest of the book contains 7 appendices! Do not be fooled to think that they are short chapters, in these appendices he deals with some of the most discussed eschatological passages such as Ezekiel 40-48 (app. 3), Daniel 9:24-27 (app. 4), Zachariah 14 (app. 5), Romans 11:25-26 (app. 6), 1 Corinthians 15 (app. 7). There is also an appendix where the four millennial positions are laid out (app. 1) as well as a synthesis of the biblical data according to amillennialism. These appendices are invaluable and contain very helpful information. Appendix one summaries the four eschatological positions in a table! This is very nice when one wants a summary of what a certain position thinks about the rapture or Israel or something else. Among these, my favorite is appendix 7 on 1 Corinthians 15. That passage is a clearly amillennial passage which has been used by every amillennialist. The rest of the appendices discuss controversial prophecies and Dr. Menn brings out the best scholarship on it and tries to give the various available options.


    I initially thought that this review would be short, but it became more than a summary, and this is because I loved this book. I do think that it is the best book written on eschatology from an amillennial perspective and this is for several reasons among which are its clarity, scholarship, and comprehensiveness.

    While the book is built on solid scholarship, Dr. Menn constantly quotes and references various scholars (the bibliography of 20 pages is evidence of this), the book is nonetheless written for the church. This is seen in the fact that the book is filled with explanatory comments and square brackets within citations. Therefore, the size of the book should not be an indication that it is only written for academia. The size of the book indicates its comprehensiveness and its interactions with opposing views. Dr. Menn deals, I think, with every major biblical prophecy and eschatological issue which is what makes this book comprehensive.

    All in all, the only criticisms I had, are the ones I already voiced concerning the structure of the book (putting the discussion of the millennium and millennial positions after the discussion the second coming passages). This has its advantages obviously, but it is unusual.

    All in all, I highly recommend this book and it is certainly one to which I will often return.