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"There is reason for believing that an inadequate apprehension of the real grandeur and significance of such events as the destruction of Jerusalem and the abrogation of the Jewish economy lies at the root of that system of interpretation which maintains that nothing answering to the symbols of the New Testament prophecy has ever taken place."
New Heavens and Earth ;
End of the 'World')
(On Hebrews 12:25-29 ;
End of the 'World' ;
"It appears, then, that is Scripture be the best interpreter of Scripture, we have in the Old Testament a key to the interpretation of the prophecies in the New. The same symbolism is found in both, and the imagery of Isaiah, Ezekiel, and the other prophets helps us to understand the imagery of St. Matthew, St. Peter, and St. John. As the dissolution of the material world is not necessary to the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy, neither is it necessary to the accomplishment of the predictions of the New Testament. But though symbols are metaphorical expressions, they are not unmeaning. It is not necessary to allegorise them, and find a corresponding equivalent for every trope; it is sufficient to regard the imagery as employed to heighten the sublimity of the prediction and to clothe it with impressiveness and grandeur. There are, at the same time, a true propriety and an underlying reality in the symbols of prophecy. The moral and spiritual facts which they represent, the social and ecumenical changes which they typify, could not be adequately set forth by language less majestic and sublime. There is reason for believing that an inadequate apprehension of the real grandeur and significance of such events as the destruction of Jerusalem and the abrogation of the Jewish economy lies at the root of that system of interpretation which maintains that nothing answering to the symbols of the New Testament prophecy has ever taken place. Hence the uncritical and unscriptural figments of double senses, and double, triple, and multiple fulfillments of prophecy. That physical disturbances in nature and extraordinary phenomena in the heavens and in the earth may have accompanied the expiring throes of the Jewish dispensation we are not prepared to deny. It seems to us highly probable that such things were. But the literal fulfillment of the symbols is not essential to the verification of prophecy, which is abundantly proved to be true by the recorded facts of history." (vol. i. p.200).
I Peter 4:7 ;
The End of the 'World')
It is quite plain that in our Lord's prediction the expressions "the end," and probably "the end of the world," are used in reference to the entire dissolution of the Jewish economy. The events of that period were very minutely foretold, and our Lord distinctly stated that the existing generation should not pass away till all things respecting "this end" should be fulfilled, This was to be a season of suffering for all; of trial, severe trial, to the followers of Christ; of dreadful judgment on His Jewish opposers, and of glorious triumph to His religion. To this period there are repeated references in the apostolical epistles. "Knowing the time," says the Apostle Paul, "that now it is high time to awake out of sleep, for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand." "Be patient," says the Apostle James; "stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh." "The Judge standeth before the door." Our Lord's predictions must have been very familiar to the minds of Christians at the time this was written. They must have been looking forward with mingled awe and joy, fear and hope, to their accomplishment: "looking for the things which were coming on the earth;" and it was peculiarly natural for Peter to refer to these events, and to refer to them in words similar to those used by our Lord, as he was one of the disciples who, sitting with his Lord in full view of the city and temple, hears these predictions uttered.
The Christians inhabiting Judea had a peculiar interest in these predictions and their fulfillment. But all Christians had a deep interest in them. The Christians of the regions in which those to whom Peter wrote resided were chiefly converted Jews. As Christians they had cause to rejoice in the prospect of the accomplishment of the predictions, as greatly confirming the truth of Christianity and removing some of the greatest obstructions in the way of its progress, such as persecutions by the Jews, and the confounding of Christianity with Judaism on the part of the Gentiles, who were accustomed to view its professors as a Jewish sect. But while they rejoiced, they had cause to "rejoice with trembling," as their Lord had plainly intimated that it was to be a season of severe trial to his friends, as well as of fearful vengeance against His enemies. "The end of all things," which was at hand, seems to be the same thing as the judgment of the quick and the dead, which the Lord was ready to enter on- the judgment, the time for which was come, which was to begin with the house of God, and then to be executed fully on those who obeyed not the Gospel of God, the unbelieving Jews, in which the righteous should scarcely be saved, and the ungodly and wicked should be fearfully punished.
The contemplation of each such events as just at hand was well fitted to operate as a motive to sobriety and vigilance unto prayer. These were just the tempers and exercises peculiarly called for in such circumstances, and they are just the dispositions and employments required by our Lord when He speaks of those days of trial and wrath: "Take heed to yourselves," says our Lord, "lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and the cares of this life and so that day come on you unawares; for as a snare shall it come upon all who dwell on the earth. Watch, therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that are about to come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man." It is difficult to believe that the apostle had not these very words in his mind when he wrote the passage now before us." (Expository Discourses on 1 Peter, vol. ii. pp.292-294 ; vol iii, pp. 84-86 (1866))
(On Hebrews 10:25)
(On Hebrews 1:2)
(On I Peter 4:17-19)
"Double Fulfillment Theory")
"Commentaries generally belong to one of two categories. Either they aim at a devotional thoroughness which lays no great emphasis on the exact meaning of individual words, or they concentrate on such a detailed examination of the text that the spirit and power of the book is largely lost. Among the few commentators who stand between these two positions is Dr. John Brown of Edinburgh (1784-1858). By seeking to develop a style of exposition that was both edifying to his congregation and valuable to his divinity students, he produced commentaries which, in the words of Dr. William Cunningham, "formed a marked era in the history of Scriptural interpretation."
BIBLIOGRAPHY: J. Cairns, Memoirs of John Brown, Edinburgh, 1861; DNB, vii. 18-19.
2. John Brown of Haddington: Scotch Burgher minister; b. at Carpow, near Abernethy (on the Frith of Tay, 6 m. s.e, of Perth), Perthshire, 1722; d. at Haddington (12 m. e. of Edinburgh) June 19, 1787. He was poor and self-taught, but acquired no small amount of learning; was a herd-boy, pedler, soldier, and school-teacher; studied theology under Ebenezer Erskine and James Fisher of Glasgow; was licensed in 1750, and in 1751 settled as pastor of the Burgher branch of the Secession Church of Haddington, where he remained till his death, declining a call as professor of divinity in Queen's College, N. J. After 1768 he was professor of theology to the Associate Synod. His yearly income from his church never exceeded �50, and his professorship had no salary; nevertheless he brought up a large family, gave freely in charity, and wrote books (which brought him no pecuniary profit) not only popular but valuable. They include: Two Short Catechisms Mutually Connected (Edinburgh, 1764); A Dictionary of the Bible (2 vols., 1769; revised ed., 1868); The Self-interpreting Bible (2 vols., 1778; often reprinted); and A Compendious History of the Church of England and of the Protestant Churches in Ireland and America (2 vols., Glasgow, 1784; new edition by Thomas Brown, Edinburgh, 1823).
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Sketches of his life are prefixed to various editions of his works; the best is that by his son, prefixed to his Select Remains, ed. his Sons, J. and E. Brown, this edited by W. Brown, Edinburgh, 1856. Consult also DNB, vii. 12-14.
What do YOU think ?
Unfortunately, dead preterists were just as wrong as living preterists. The scholarly John Brown made the same basic mistake of relying on his mere personal opinions rather than relying on the complete and consistent typology that God provided as the ONLY key to understanding the NT in general and the first century in particular.
Dear Todd: Excellent material, but how many are able to comprehend such elementary truths? Men prefer to build their own systems and worship them at the expense of Truth. Bro. Bob Pelham, N. C. email@example.com
"Excellent material?" Far from it. This article is another example of what the second comment above refers to -- men building their own systems and worshiping them at the expense of truth. Man-made systems result from relying on mere personal opinions rather than relying on complete and consistent typology. Unfortunately, a link to a web site dealing with types that has just been posted on the Archive does more harm than good; the claimed difficulties in the understanding and use of types don't exist. The simple and utterly logical truth is that the natural journeys and battles of natural and temporary OT Israel were types of the spiritual journeys and battles of spiritual and eternal NT Israel (Christ and the church). The seven feasts of Lev. 23 are the God-given road map for those journeys but for 1,900 years Bible "scholars" have proudly and stubbornly refused to admit that they need such a map. Instead, their reliance on their inadequate personal opinions has sent them racing off in different directions and has resulted in a multitude of erroneous and conflicting "systems of theology." Christ's parousia occurred in the first century -- but NOT in AD 70.
Re: THE SEVEN FEASTS ---- David Curtis has a 5-part audio and text presentation (click on the 10-26-03 Birks/Cook item) in which he presents some useful information about the seven feasts of Lev. 23. However, Curtis stumbles when he tries to explain the first-century spiritual fulfillment of the last three feasts. First, he seems to be unaware that the fifth feast, rosh ha shanah or head of the year, celebrated on Tishri 1, marked the birthday of THE WORLD (Israel was born in the month of Abib or Nisan). Second, he seems to be unaware that the typifying natural fulfillment of the last three feasts in the case of OT Israel - and thus that nation's typifying complete natural redemption - did not occur until God enabled natural Israel, through the use of its natural weapons, to overcome the usurping NATURAL dominion of the pagan nations in its natural promised land (Canaan), which occurred AFTER the typifying 40 OT wilderness years. Therefore, in the first century the spiritual fulfillment of the last three feasts - and the complete spiritual redemption of spiritual Israel (the church) - did not occur until God enabled the church, through the use of its spiritual weapons, to overcome the usurping SPIRITUAL dominion of the pagan nations in its spiritual promised land (the world), which by typological definition had to occur AFTER the 40 fulfillment years (AD 30-70). That usurping, satanic spiritual dominion (overlooked by Bible "scholars" for 1,900 years) was the worldwide enforcement of the blasphemy of emperor worship by Rome, the spiritual Babylon of the book of Revelation.
Date: 04 Dec 2007
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