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

...m as such, it is made subservient in the economy of grace to their spiritual advancement and to the best interests of the Kingdom of God.”[4]

A very important aspect of physical death is the fact that death fixes our eternal destiny. There are no second chances after death. Once you die, you will either go into the presence of God in glory, or out of the peaceful presence of God into misery. Hebrews 9:27 declares, “And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment,“ this means that the judgment which fixes our eternal destiny, not the Final Judgment, comes directly after death. Matthew Poole noted on that passage:

But after this the judgment: in order, after souls by death are separated from their bodies, they come to judgment: and thus every particular one is handed over by death to the bar of God, the great Judge, and so is despatched by his sentence to its particular state and place with its respective people, Rom. 14:12. At the great and general assize, the day of judgment, shall the general and universal one take place, Act 17:31, when all sinners in their entire persons, bodies and souls united, shall be adjudged to their final, unalterable, and eternal state, Rom. 14:10; 2Co 5:10; Jud 1:6; Rev. 20:11-15.[5]

Some take the judgment spoken of in Hebrews 9:27 to be the Final Judgment. To be sure, there is no definite article for “judgment" in the Greek and this is correctly translated by the ESV, in contrast to translations which supply a definite article (e.g. KJV, NKJV). The definite article makes the idea that this passage is speaking about the Final Judgment more appealing, yet the definite article is not in the original. But a stronger case that death fixes our eternity destiny can be made from Luke 16:19-31. There is a chasm which separates the saved in heaven and the damned in Hades in the Intermediate State. No one can cross over and this takes place after physical death. That’s why death should be terrifying to those who do not know God and who have not obeyed the Gospel of our Lord. There are no second chances. All that awaits those who have not put their trust in Christ is doom and misery.

The Souls Of The Righteous In Heaven

Already in the Old Testament believers were expecting a blissful existence with God after their physical death. David says, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever” (Ps. 23:6; cf. Ps. 16:10-11; 17:15; 73:24; 115:18). He expects to ever live in the presence of God. He did not only live with and for God in his earthly life, but he believes that God's presence will always be with Him. He will dwell in His house and this is said at a time when the Temple was not yet built. Elijah is said to have “went up by a whirlwind into heaven” (2Kings 2:11). Jesus shows that there will be a resurrection from the fact that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are living before the presence of God (Matt. 22:31-32; Luke 20:37-38).

But there is the greater revelation of this fact in the New Testament. There is general agreement amongst Christians that once they die, they will be in the presence of the Lord. (1) The Lord Jesus, before being crucified and going back to the Father, tells His disciples that He will go before them to prepare a place for them, and then come and take them to that place (John 14:1-4). The Lord Jesus, through His atonement on the cross and resurrection, made a place for His ...


1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 32: Of the Last Judgment - Commentary

...2 Timothy 4:2 says also the same. Paul says in Romans 2:16 that “God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus.” 2 Corinthians 5:10 says that “we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.” Matthew 25:31ff likewise records Christ as the One separating the sheep and the goats in the Final Judgment. When we read passages which speak about God being the Judge, that is absolutely true, because Christ is God and the Father wants all to honor the Son just like they honor the Father. Therefore, He has given the Son the authority to execute judgment.

All Men

Returning to our passage in Acts 17:31, we see the subjects of this judgment being the world. Scripture teaches that both believer and unbeliever will appear before God in the Last Judgment. This is evident from Ecclesiastes 12:14; Matthew 7:21-23; 12:36-37; 25:31ff; Acts 17:30-31; Romans 2:6-16; 14:10-12; 2 Thessalonians 1:5-10; Revelation 11:18; 21:11-15. Sometimes Scripture is so explicit that it refers to believers having to stand before the judgment seat of God (Rom. 14:10-12; 1Cor. 4:5; 2Cor. 5:10; Ps. 50:4-6). Other times, the Scriptures warns of the judgment against the wicked (Matt. 10:15; 11:22, 24; 2Pet. 2:9; 3:7), but they both will stand before the throne of God on the last day, that is what Scripture teaches. Not only men, but angels also will come into the Judgment (Matt. 8:29; 1Cor. 6:3; 2Cor. 2:4; Jude 1:6).

Angels

The Confession states that even the apostate angels will be judged. This is a Day of Judgment not only for men but also for angels. This is obviously based on Scripture. In Matthew 8:29, we read the demon speaking about a time in which he, along with his companions, will be tormented. In Jude 1:6, we read that “the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority”, God “has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day”. In 2 Peter 2:4, says that “God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment”. There is a time at which these angels will have to stand before the throne of Christ to be judged and condemned. Finally, 1 Corinthians 6:3 says, “Do you not know that we are to judge angels?” There are a lot of questions and speculations about this passage and the idea. Who are meant by the angels? Are good angels also included? Then this would probably be the only passage where good angels are subjects of judgment. Are they fallen angels? Then this will agree with other passages (2Pet. 2:4; Jude 1:6), therefore, it seems to me that the passage is speaking of fallen angels. But I cannot be dogmatic because generally the word "angel" is used positively. In other places where it means fallen angels, the context makes that clear (2Pet. 2:4 “angels when they sinned”; Jude 1:6 “angels who did not stay within their own position”). Therefore, I believe the NT is not clear whether good angels will be subjects for the judgment, although I doubt that they will be, but it is clear that fallen angels surely will.

What is the nature of this judgment? There are a lot of questions about this, but there is also a lot of speculation as Scripture does not seem to say how exactly the saints will judge angels. Most seem to think that this judgment will consist in approving the judgments of God made against the fallen ange...


Review of Dean Davis' The High King of Heaven on Amillennialism

...e, who is and who was, for you brought these judgments. Rev 16:6 For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and you have given them blood to drink. It is what they deserve!” Rev 16:7 And I heard the altar saying, “Yes, Lord God the Almighty, true and just are your judgments!”

Here the saints of the Most High look upon the judgments of God and He is praised for the judgments that He brought. Of important notice is the absence of “who is to come” in verse 5 and the past tense of “brought these judgments.” The rest of the chapter goes on to explain and show more pictures of this great Final Judgment.

The Judgment in Revelation 19

Rev 19:11 Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. Rev 19:12 His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. Rev 19:13 He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. Rev 19:14 And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. Rev 19:15 From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. Rev 19:16 On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords. Rev 19:17 Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and with a loud voice he called to all the birds that fly directly overhead, “Come, gather for the great supper of God, Rev 19:18 to eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all men, both free and slave, both small and great.” Rev 19:19 And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth with their armies gathered to make war against him who was sitting on the horse and against his army. Rev 19:20 And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presence had done the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur. Rev 19:21 And the rest were slain by the sword that came from the mouth of him who was sitting on the horse, and all the birds were gorged with their flesh.

This is no doubt the clearest picture of the Second Coming of our Lord in the Revelation. This is not the battle prior to the Millennium. This is the final battle. This is the Last Battle between Christ and Satan.

The birds are to feed upon the flesh of all (reprobate) men (Rev 19:19), the beast and false prophet are thrown in to the lake of fire (Rev 19:20), if anyone escaped he would be slain by the sword of Christ’s mouth and eaten by the birds (Rev 19:21). This is the total destruction of the wicked, there are no surviving wicked here.

The Interpretation of Revelation 20

If we are right about the structure of Revelation and the cycles, then this would have to be our final cycle. I will not go into great exegesis and stuff here, it is all provided in the book, go check it out, but I will lay a very basic case.

Before we start lets recognize the parallels that are with Rev 20:1-6 and Rev 12:9-11; 2Thess 2:1-12.

What the text says

People will find you crazy if you say that Satan is bound now, because they assume that it means ...


1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 19: Of the Law of God - Commentary

.... 12-13, James gives the conclusion on this matter: we are to act and be doers who will be judged by the law of freedom and liberty. By the Law which brings freedom, not bondage and condemnation. Christians will be judged by the law of liberty not to determine their eternal destiny (for they are saved by grace alone, Jas. 1:18; see the exposition of James 2:14-26 here), but their rewards from God (Ps. 19:11; see here for more on works at the Final Judgment). The one who shows mercy demonstrates that he has received mercy from God, that’s why the Scriptures call us to show forgiveness and love as our Lord did (e.g. Eph. 4:32). On the other hand the one who shows no mercy, demonstrates that he received no mercy from God and is still in his sins.

In conclusion, the royal law here is the supreme law on which all our duty toward our fellow man is based. It is the summary of the Decalogue, particularly the Second Table. If one violates any commandment of the Decalogue, he breaks the whole Decalogue, for the Law of God is one unity and indivisible whole. This unity should be expressed in love for our neighbor which flows first of all from love for God.

James 4:11-12 – Doers Of The Law

Jas. 4:11-12 Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. 12 There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?

The “law” which James refers to here is the same Law of God which he spoke about in James 2:8-11, which was summarized in “the royal law” which says “you shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Lev. 19:18). “By the law here is meant the moral law, that law the summary of which is, ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself;’ and which St. James designates ‘the royal law’ (Jas 2:8). He who in a censorious spirit judges his brother, sets at nought this law of love, and thus speaks evil of it, or undervalues it.”[83]The one who speaks evil of their brother or sister, that is, their neighbor, speaks evil about the law. Why is that? Because “he judges the law” and to speak evil about and judge the law is to do the same about the Lawgiver. By speaking evil of another and by slandering we break the ninth commandment (Ex. 20:16) and we do not show love to our neighbor, thereby breaking the whole law (Jas. 2:10). James calls us not to be judges, but doers of the Law. The Law is not something that is antithetical to the Christian life, rather, we should be doers of it, we should follow the commandments of God and keep them, for they are given for our own good to lead us into liberty of living as God desires. There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, but if we break the Law, we thereby judge the Law and place ourselves in the place of God! When we break the Law we put ourselves in place of God and defy His authority over our lives. By despising and disobeying His Law, we despise and disobey Him. “To speak against a brother is to scorn the law of love.”[98] Albert Barnes notes on v. 11:

But if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge. It is implied here that it is the simple duty of every Christian to obey the law. He is not to assume the office of a judge about its propriety or fitness; but he is to do what he supposes the law to require of him, and is to allow others to do the ...


1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 22: Of Religious Worship and the Sabbath Day - Commentary

...he scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, 10 and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.”

This is the song of redemption. This is the proper response in worship and adoration for the work of Christ. Heaven sings the song of Moses (which is not found in the Psalms) and the song of the Lamb (which is likewise not found in the Psalms) in Revelation 15:3-4, though the ideas are heavily depended upon the Psalms, obviously. The same is the case in Revelation 11:16-18 in response to the coming of the end and the Final Judgment. Crampton writes:

Dr. Coppes maintains that the songs found in the book of Revelation (e.g., chapters 4, 5, 7, 11) support the use of more than the 150 Psalms in formal worship. After all, we in the New Testament church have, through our Mediator Jesus Christ, already entered into Heavenly worship (Hebrews 2:12, 13; 9:24; 10:19-22; 12:22). He writes, “the Biblical standard for song in worship is faithfulness to what has been revealed and not inspiration.... Wherefore, the regulative principle does not obviate the use of uninspired songs in worship whether private or public.” As long as an uninspired hymn is Biblically correct and appropriate for worship, it should be allowed in the public worship of God.[33]

If singing non-Psalms in heaven is good, so likewise we on the earth can sing non-Psalms which are theologically faithful to God’s revelation and are proper responses to His work in and for us.

Finally, the use of “psalms and hymns and spiritual songs” in Ephesians 5:19 (and also Col. 3:16) excludes Exclusive Psalmody. Here we must inquire what those three categories denote. Exclusive Psalmodists argue that these are three categories or types of Psalms and these titles were used in the LXX for the Psalms. Therefore, they maintain, the meaning still is that we should sing only the 150 Psalms. But is this the case? Stephen Pribble, who has written a careful response to Exclusive Psalmody, argues:

The fact that these words are used in a Greek translation of the Old Testament in reference to the Psalms does not prove that they invariably refer to the Psalms and cannot refer to anything else, or that Paul’s use of them in either context requires them to refer to the Psalter.[32]

Likewise, in a footnote, he reminds us that while the LXX was the Bible of the Apostles in the Greek, it was nonetheless a translation and not the original infallible and inspired Hebrew. Furthermore, the LXX had a

tendency toward free paraphrase, note that it adds titles for the following Psalms where none exist at all in the Hebrew (all English numbering): 33, 43, 71, 91, 93, 94, 96, 97, 99, 104, 105, 107, 114, 116, 117, 118, 119, 135, 136, 137, 146, 147 and 148. It omits “of David” where the Hebrew has it in the titles of Psalms 122, 124, 131 and 133; and “of Solomon” where the Hebrew has it in the title for Psalm 127. It adds “of David” where the Hebrew does not have it in the titles of Psalms 33, 43, 67, 91, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 104, and 137.[32]

Therefore, should our exegesis of Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16 really be resting upon a free translation? I am not denying the use of LXX to understand what the Apostles meant and from where they borrowed their words. But I am questioning whether Paul is making such a connection here. Furt...


2 Peter 3:8-9, not wishing that any should perish

...id="1_top" name="1_top" [1]

2 Pet. 3:9 not slow. That is, not loitering or late (cf. Gal. 4:4; Titus 2:13; Heb. 6:18; 10:23, 37; Rev. 19:11). patient toward you. “You” is the saved, the people of God. He waits for them to be saved. God has an immense capacity for patience before he breaks forth in judgment (cf. 2 Pet. 3:15; Joel 2:13; Luke 15:20; Rom. 9:22; 1 Pet. 3:15). God endures endless blasphemies against his name, along with rebellion, murders, and the ongoing breaking of his law, waiting patiently while he is calling and redeeming his own. It is not impotence or slackness that delays Final Judgment; it is patience. not wishing that any should perish. The “any” must refer to those whom the Lord has chosen and will call to complete the redeemed, i.e., the “you.” Since the whole passage is about God’s destroying the wicked, his patience is not so he can save all of them, but so that he can receive all his own. He can’t be waiting for everyone to be saved, since the emphasis is that he will destroy the world and the ungodly. Those who do perish and go to hell, go because they are depraved and worthy only of hell and have rejected the only remedy, Jesus Christ, not because they were created for hell and predetermined to go there. The path to damnation is the path of a non-repentant heart; it is the path of one who rejects the person and provision of Jesus Christ and holds on to sin (cf. Isa. 55:1; Jer. 13:17; Ezek. 18:32; Matt. 11:28; 23:37; Luke 13:3; John 3:16; 8:21, 24; 1 Tim. 2:3–4; Rev. 22:17). all should reach repentance. “All” (cf. “you,” “any”) must refer to all who are God’s people who will come to Christ to make up the full number of the people of God. The reason for the delay in Christ’s coming and the attendant judgments is not because he is slow to keep his promise, or because he wants to judge more of the wicked, or because he is impotent in the face of wickedness. He delays his coming because he is patient and desires the time for his people to repent.

The ESV Reformation Study Bible explains:  [2]

3:9 as some count slowness. See v. 4.

patient . . . all should reach repentance. Peter’s Christian readers must realize that the apparent delay of divine judgment is a sign of God’s forbearance and mercy toward them, particularly toward the believers in their midst who have been confused and misled by the false teachers. The repentance in view, for the sake of which God delays judgment, is that of God’s people rather than the world at large. God is not willing that any of His elect should perish (John 6:39).

The HCSB Study Bible explains:  [3]

3:9 The Lord has not yet returned, says Peter, because He is patient with you, not wanting any to perish. "You" is variously interpreted as a reference to the letter's Christian recipients (identified in 1:1) or else more broadly as all people. In chapter 1 "you" and "your" both refer back to the recipients identified in 1:1 (see 1:2,4,5,8,10,11,12,13,15,16,19,20). Peter's later use of "dear friends," (3:1,8,14,17) seems also to point back to those identified in 1:1.

What Matthew Henry said about 2 Peter 3:9:  [4]

That what men count slackness is truly long-suffering, and that to us-ward; it is giving more time to his own people, whom he has chosen before the foundation of the world, many of whom are not as yet converted; and those who are in a state of grace and favour with God are to advance in knowledge and holiness, and in the exercise of ...


Unconditional Election, Sovereign Grace - Scripture List

...For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.[6]

The ESV Study Bible explains:

By grace refers to God’s favor upon those who have transgressed his law and sinned against him. But grace may also be understood as a “power” in these verses. God’s grace not only offers salvation but also secures it. Saved refers to deliverance from God’s wrath at the Final Judgment (Rom. 5:9); “by grace you have been saved” is repeated from Eph. 2:5 for emphasis. The verb form for “have been saved” (Gk. sesōsmenoi, perfect tense) communicates that the Christian’s salvation is fully secured. through faith. Faith is a confident trust and reliance upon Christ Jesus and is the only means by which one can obtain salvation. this. The Greek pronoun is neuter, while “grace” and “faith” are feminine. Accordingly, “this” points to the whole process of “salvation by grace through faith” as being the gift of God and not something that we can accomplish ourselves. This use of the neuter pronoun to take in the whole of a complex idea is quite common in Greek (e.g., 6:1); its use here makes it clear that faith, no less than grace, is a gift of God. Salvation, therefore, in every respect, is not your own doing.

Phil 1:29-30 For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake, 30 engaged in the same conflict that you saw I had and now hear that I still have.

2Tim 2:24-26 And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, 25 correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.

Heb 12:1-2 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

2Pet 1:1-2 Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained[7] a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ: 2 May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.


This content is taken from this document

[1] James White, The Potter’s Freedom (New Revised Edition 2009) p. 39

[2] “The Five Points of Calvinism: Defined, Defended, and Documented” Ed. 2, pp. 6.

[3] C.f. Ps 41:9

[4] C.f. 1Kg 22:1, Mal 1:2

[5] C.f. Isa 65:1

[7]

  • G2975 λαγχάνω lagchano (lang-khan'-o) v.
  • 1. to lot, i.e. determine (by implication, receive) especially by lot
  • [a prolonged form of a primary verb, which is only used as an alternate in certain tenses]
  • KJV: his lot be, cast lots, obtain
  • Jonathan Kristen Mickelson's Enhanced Strong's Greek and Hebrew Dictionaries. Taken from the Bible software The Word.

[8] Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publis...


Review of Wayne Grudem's Systematic Theology

...o; I have not studied this very deeply, but I cannot say that I agree. Dr Grudem argues that just because in Acts 2 tongues were actual languages, does not mean that that will always be the case because he believes that 1 Corinthians14 supports the idea of tongues not actually being a language sometimes.

I cannot say that now I'm fully a continuationist, but I can say that I see now more support for continuationism and weakness for cessationism.

The Doctrine of the Future

Part 7 of this Systematic Theology deals with the study of the last things, Eschatology.

Dr Grudem shows convincingly for me the support for the coming of Christ, the Final Judgment and Hell, the New Heavens and New Earth. With all these I agreed on most points, except the Millennium.

Dr. Grudem is a Classic Premillennial. He fairly represents the four major views today:

  1. Amillennialism
  2. Postmillennialism
  3. Classic Premillennialism
  4. Dispensational Premillennialsm

While he represents these views he argues against them and for Classic Premillennalism.

I remain an Amillennial.

Conclusion

If you don't have this book in your library, get it now! You will not be disappointed. I will go back to it.

I'm thankful for God's grace upon Dr Grudem's work and life and that he has produced such an excellent treatment of Christian doctrine faithful to the Holy Scriptures.

He has become an example for me and a hero of how I should handle the Holy Scriptures.

Footnotes

  1. ^ RC rightly says that everyone's a theologian ;)
  2. ^ Page 315.
  3. ^ Page 1050.
...