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Church-State Relations and the Book of Revelation
An Introduction to The Parousia: A Careful Look at the New Testament Doctrine of the Lord's Second Coming
by James Stuart Russell (1878) // Written by
Todd Dennis, Curator

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Ovid Need, Jr.

Ovid Need Study Archive | Debate on Israel's Identity | Inside the Mind of Christian Identity | Identifying Identity | Israel Restored | A Review of "The Parousia" and "Beast of Revelation" | Tongues: A Biblical View | Matthew 24 | A Review of "The Rapture Plot" | A Postscript to "The Death of Victory" | A Lawless Religion: CI Scofield | Mistaken Identity | Preterism & Israel | The Hope of Israel | Justin Martyr - Israel | John Gill - Divinity

     My thing has never been "Prophecy." I have found far too much other material in Scripture to deal with than to worry about "Prophecy." Personally, I believe the emphasis must be on searching the Word of God and applying what we find into every area of life. Furthermore, I suppose that the overabundance of prophetic speculation, e.g., "89 reasons why..." & Jack Van Impe, has made me kind of leery of entering into that field of study. I do realize that one's view of "Prophecy" must certainly influence his activities for Christ. However, though I have not made it a matter of study, I have found more evidence in Scripture for what is called the "Preterist" view (without knowing what the view was called) than for any other view. Though no system of Eschatology is without weak points and even holes, I have found overwhelming Biblical evidence for the "Preterist" view. In my mind, it is the most consistent with what I have found in Scripture.

     I have had several people contact me concerning good books I could recommend along the line of "Prophecy." Two books have come to my attention recently that I feel I can recommend as basically faithful to the Word of God, considering the many books and ideas I have encountered over the years.

     "The Parousia"

     First, "The Parousia, A careful look at the New Testament doctrine of our Lord's Second Coming," by James Stuart Russell (1816-1895). It contains 561 pages, soft-bound. I miss an index not being in it, but it does have a comprehensive Table of Contents. He "served as pastor of the Congregational Church in Bayswater, England during the years 1862-1888. He earned his M.A. degree from King's College, University of Aberdeen. Then after this book was published, they honoured him with a D.D. degree. Two editions were published, the first in 1878 and the second in 1887, both in London. This is the most popular introduction to and defense of the preterist view of Bible Prophecy in print today. It is a 1996 reprint by Kingdom Publications, 122 Seaward Ave, Bradford, PA 16701. $17.00 post paid from Kingdom Publishers" toll-free, (888) 257-7023, and they accept MasterCard and VISA.

     Mr. Russell convincingly presents the Preterist view from the many New Testaments - from Malachi and Matthew through the Revelation - passages we hear used in "Prophetic" teaching today. (It appears to me that most prophetic teachers fail to realize that prophecy is from the time the passages are written, not from the time they are read.) Though Russell goes further in some areas than I would (spiritualizing some things I would not), I must admit that he deals with the many New Testament "Prophetic" passages in the most consistent manner I have encountered: His arguments concerning the "Prophetic" passages are hard, if not impossible, to refute by those of us who accept Scripture as the final authority - that is, who use Scripture rather than history to interpret Scripture. An usual point I found about Mr. Russell, not often found in Bible teachers, is that when he encounters a passage he cannot answer, he tells us he has no answer. Many teachers seem to think that when they admit they do not have all the answers, they have lost their ability to teach.

     I am thankful to the man who brought this book to my attention, and I can readily recommend it to any interested in serious study of Scripture. "Parousia" is an excellent book for those disillusioned by "date setting."

     I suppose that Mr. Russell wrote "Parousia" to counter the then rising tide of dispensational millennialism that started gaining worldwide momentum after about 1850.

     "The Beast of Revelation"

     Second, "The Beast of Revelation 666," by Kenneth Gentry, 1989, Institute for Christian Economics, Tyler, Texas. It is a 1994 reprint with corrections, 209 pages with an exhaustive index of both Scriptures used and of subjects covered. It is obtainable from your local book seller or $10.00 mail order from Dr. Kenneth Gentry, 46-N Main St., Conestee, SC 29636. Dr. Gentry does an excellent job presenting the preterist view, offering abundant evidence for the identity of the beast, and for an early dating of the Revelation. Dr. Gentry goes almost identical to the conclusions I have had to reach concerning 'Prophetic' passages through several years of serious Bible study. Dr. Gentry book, "Before Jerusalem Fell" is also being reprinted, and is due in February, 97.

     The above books deal with "Prophecy" well enough that there is no need for me to deal with it.

     Ovid Need, Jr.

[Permission to post graciously granted by "The Biblical Examiner," available on-line.]

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