“What is the best safeguard against false doctrine? The Bible regularly read, regularly prayed over, regularly studied.” — J. C. Ryle
“I’m not lost.” — Frank Churchill
“Question everything but Scripture.” — Geoff Botkin
“The world is a book, and those who do not travel, read only a page.” — St. Augustine
“Every post is honorable in which a man can serve his country.” — George Washington
"When a Christian shuns fellowship with other Christians, the devil smiles. When he stops studying the Bible, the devil laughs. When he stops praying, the devil shouts for joy." — Corrie ten Boom
“Dreams don’t work unless you do.” — John C. Maxwell
“[T]he ministry of Satan is employed to instigate the reprobate, whenever the Lord, in the course of his providence, has any purpose to accomplish in them...” — John Calvin (Institutes 2.4.5)
“Some people get an education without going to college; the rest get it after they get out.” — Mark Twain
“I will keep the ground that God has given me and perhaps in his grace, he will ignite me again. But ignite me or not, in his grace, in his power, I will hold the ground.” — John Knox
“Drag and Drop for Windows users: DRAG your peecee off your desk, and DROP it in the trash.” — some forum member’s tagline
“Be as careful of the books you read as of the company you keep, for your habits and character will be as much influenced by the former as by the latter.” — Paxton Hood
“A lot of men have a wishbone where they ought to have a backbone.” — Unknown
“Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.” — Sir Richard Steele
“I have enough money to last me the rest of my life, unless I buy something.” — Jackie Mason
“Self-righteousness is being more aware of and irritated by the sins of others than you are conscious of and grieved by your own.” — Paul Tripp
“We should never do what we cannot pray God to bless.” — James Smith
“Paul’s life was a prophetic book for Jews to read and see how to be saved, so our lives should be an easy to read book for the lost on how they can easily be saved.” — Ken Ham
“TV. If kids are entertained by two letters, imagine the fun they’ll have with twenty-six. Open your child’s imagination. Open a book.” — Unknown
“The cold water of persecution is often thrown on the church’s face to fetch her to herself when she is in a swoon of indolence or pride.” — C. H. Spurgeon
“Man does not need to know exhaustively in order to know truly and certainly.” — Cornelius Van Til
“The happiest people don’t have the best of everything, they simply make the best of everything they have.” — Unknown
“When she married you, she gave you her life to spend. Are you spending your life wisely?” — Dan Horn
“Non-Christian investigators of nature are as successful as they are because they work with stolen capital.” — Cornelius Van Til
“If you don’t fear God, you’ll fear everything.” — Dan Horn
“You don’t have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.” — C. S. Lewis
“One proud, surly, lordly word, one needless contention, one covetous action, may cut the throat of many a sermon. Take heed to yourselves, lest your example contradict your doctrine.” — Richard Baxter
“The measure of a great teacher isn’t what he or she knows; it’s what the students know.” — John C. Maxwell
“Heaven is eternity in the presence of God through a Mediator. Hell is eternity in the presence of God with no Mediator.” — Tony Reinke
“Thanks, modest girls. Appreciated by a male whose time studying the ground is proportional to each degree of rising temperature.” — Unknown
“People will not look forward to posterity who will not look backward to their ancestors.” — Edmund Burke
“Television is an invention that permits you to be entertained in your own living room by people you wouldn’t have in your house.” — David Frost
“Luther once said, ‘The devil hates goose quills,’ and, doubtless, he has good reason, for ready writers, by the Holy Spirit’s blessing, have done his kingdom much damage.” — C. H. Spurgeon
“I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.” — Martin Luther
“True education is not giving in the answer, it’s in showing them how to find it.” — Kelly Crawford
“Even if you are on the right track, but just sit there, you will still get run over.” — Will Rogers
“People who have time on their hands will inevitably waste the time of people who have work to do.” — Thomas Sowell
“People fall in private, long before they fall in public. The tree falls with a great crash, but the secret decay which accounts for it, is often not discovered until it is down on the ground.” — J. C. Ryle
“A ship in the harbor is safe—but that is not what ships are built for.” — John Shedd
“My dear friend, when grief presses you to the dust, worship there.” — C. H. Spurgeon
“The very familiarity of blessings sometimes makes us insensible to their value."— J. C. Ryle
“Music is a discipline, and a mistress of order and good manners, she makes the people milder and gentler, more moral and more reasonable.” — Martin Luther
“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." — Edmund Burke
“I began my education at a very early age—in fact, right after I left college.” — Winston Churchill
“I find television very educational. Every time someone turns it on, I go in the other room and read a book.” — Groucho Marx
“Good government generally begins in the family, and if the moral character of a people once degenerate, their political character must soon follow.” — Elias Boudinot
“[N]ot one particle remains to man as a ground of boasting. The whole is of God.” — John Calvin (Institutes 2.3.6)
“The glory of great men should always be measured by the means they have used to acquire it.” — La Rochefoucauld
— August 2nd, 2012 —
There is a great debate today over the meaning of Matthew 24 and Revelation 20, two passages central to any discussion of eschatology. Does Matthew 24 prophesy a Great Tribulation or a premillennial return of Christ? Does Revelation 20 describe a millennial age on earth, or in heaven? Will the nations be converted before the coming of Christ?
J. Marcellus Kik provides great insight into these passages and the questions that surround them. He writes, ‘It is the habit of a few to read a few chapters of a book on prophecy to see which school of thought the author belongs. Then if they do not agree with his particular school it is cast aside and condemned. It is my hope that the reader will not use the norm of any particular school of prophecy but will use the Scriptures. Does the Word of God teach this or does it not?’” — from the back cover
Before I review the book, let me give a brief synopsis of my eschatological history, so you know where I’m coming from.
For me, eschatology has always been a sort of mysterious fog of bizarre imagery, doom, destruction, glory, and to top it all off, dissenting opinions about all of it and when it shall come to pass (if it even comes to pass at all).
Though my early thinking was rather lightly seasoned with premillennialism (I say lightly simply because I’d just accepted whatever I’d heard, not having had a chance to study it out for myself) I’d not really been steeped in any particular school of thought on eschatology. Reading The Last Sacrifice several years ago by Hank Hanegraaff and Sigmund Brouwer was my first exposure to the idea that the tribulation may well have been in AD 70 instead of sometime in the future under a world dictator. That exposure did two things for me. First, by throwing contrary ideas about the tribulation at me, it prevented me from keeping what few errant presuppositions I had and second, it began to prepare my mind for postmillennialism.
Again, since I’d not studied eschatology at all up to this point, but had just heard this or that, I had a rather clean slate regarding my doctrine of the end times. The next step I unwittingly took was when I read the first volume of R.J. Rushdoony’s Institutes of Biblical Law and had my first encounter with practical postmillennialism. As I read the book, I got a keen sense of the duty we Christians have here on earth regarding taking dominion in every area of life and advancing the Kingdom of God. I didn’t know it at the time, but that mentality was the practical, direct result of the eschatological school of thought known as postmillennialism.
J. Marcellus Kik’s An Eschatology of Victory was the first book I’ve ever read that deals specifically with the end times. With all the foregoing in mind, here’s my review.
Most of the book is divided in two. The first part deals with Matthew 24 (where Jesus speaks of the tribulation, and this generation not passing away, and the Son of Man coming in the clouds, etc.). Kik exposits the passage very ably and makes, in my opinion, a rather conclusive and exhaustive argument that the events of Matthew 24 did indeed come to pass before the generation then living—just as Jesus said would happen.
In the second portion, Kik exposits Revelation 20, wherein we find descriptions of the Millennium, the heavenly city, Satan being bound with chains, and other vivid imagery. This section was no less excellent than the first, but in a couple of areas, Kik challenged some of the ideas I’d held during my life. But I’m a firm believer that reformation cannot take place unless presuppositions are challenged—and if those presuppositions are sound, they’ll remain; and if they’re not, they’ll be reformed (Lord willing).
Right at the outset of the book, Kik succinctly summarizes the three main eschatological positions. This was especially helpful for me, someone just beginning to learn about these things:
As you know, the premil looks for the establishment of the millennial kingdom after the second coming of the Lord. As to the amil view we quote Prof. D. H. Kromminga: “The name literally means ‘no millennium’; while as a matter of fact its advocates believe that the millennium is a spiritual or heavenly millennium rather than an earthly one of a literal reign of Christ on earth before the final judgment.”
The postmil looks for a fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies of a glorious age of the church upon earth through the preaching of the gospel under the power of the Holy Spirit. He looks forward to all nations becoming Christian and living in peace one with another. He relates all prophecies to history and time. After the triumph of Christianity throughout the earth he looks for the second coming of the Lord. (pp. 3–4)
Now, what of those other eschatological positions? What about amillennialism and premillennialism? Kik’s purpose in this book is not to refute other positions as it is to make a Scriptural case for his own. As such, he doesn’t touch too much on the objections other perspectives bring to the conversation.
I recommend this book to anyone seeking to understand the end times. It’s this kind of book that I read and wonder, “This argument is so solid, how can anyone bring an argument against it?”
Highly recommended to me personally by Dr. Joe Morecraft.
AGE RANGE: As young as can understand it, but that range would probably begin with young men and women in their mid/early teens.