Legs of Iron, part 1

The Scriptures Identify the Transition from Legs to the Feet.
The date of John’s vision is contained in the Scriptures.

The dating of the Book of Revelation has been a matter of no small controversy throughout the history of the church, some writers placing its authorship during the reign of Claudius (41 – 54 A.D.), others placing it during the reign of Nero (54 – 68 A.D.), and others placing it in the reign of Domitian (81 – 96 A.D.). In the realm of eschatology, Preterists choose an early date, while Dispensationalists and Historicists choose the later. It is not a matter that can be resolved by external testimony, because the external testimony itself is contradictory. But the internal evidence is quite compelling.

We propose that the matter of the dating of the Apocalypse of John can be resolved by internal evidence if we first endeavor to understand the chronological limits of the Iron period of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in Daniel 2. Once the dates of the Iron period are known, the internal evidence from Revelation places the date of authorship squarely in the reign of Nero. Historicists and Dispensationalists have generally been reluctant to allow the early dating out of fear of granting any credibility to the Preterist school. Ironically, however, the early dating of Revelation actually militates against the Preterist position, as we will show.

Let us first briefly touch on a small sampling of the external evidence, starting with Irenæaus (d. 202 A.D.). Irenæus appeared to assign the date of John’s vision to the reign of Domitian:

“We will not, however, incur the risk of pronouncing positively as to the name of Antichrist; for if it were necessary that his name should be distinctly revealed in this present time, it would have been announced by him who beheld the apocalyptic vision. For that was seen no very long time since, but almost in our day, towards the end of Domitian’s reign.” (Irenæus, Against Heresies, Book V, chapter 30.3)

Jerome, too, understood that John had seen the Revelation during his banishment under Domitian:

“[F]or he saw in the island of Patmos, to which he had been banished by the Emperor Domitian as a martyr for the Lord, an Apocalypse containing the boundless mysteries of the future.” (Jerome, Against Jovinianus, Book I, chapter 26)

Had we only Irenæus and Jerome, perhaps the matter could be settled. But other writers have suggested or claimed much earlier time frames. Tertullian (155 – 240 A.D.), for example, while not explicitly dating the Apocalypse, appears to place John’s exile in the reign of Nero. According to legend, John was said to have miraculously survived what would have been a martyr’s death when he emerged unharmed from a vat of boiling oil. In relating the incident, Tertullian seems to place the boiling oil incident chronologically prior to Paul’s martyrdom under Nero, just as Jesus’ passion was chronologically prior to Peter’s. Tertullian describes Rome as the city where Peter imitated Christ in death, and where Paul imitated “a death like John’s,” even though John’s “death” was unsuccessful:

“Where Peter endures a passion like his Lord’s! Where Paul wins his crown in a death like John’s where the Apostle John was first plunged, unhurt, into boiling oil, and thence remitted to his island-exile!” (Tertullian, Prescription Against Heretics, chapter 36)

The Muratorian Canon, dated in the late 2nd century, places the Apocalypse of John chronologically prior to Paul’s epistles, and has Paul imitating John’s pattern of writing in Revelation. The Muratorian Canon‘s reference to John’s letters to the seven churches can scarcely refer to anything else than the Apocalypse, and it represents John as laying down therein a rule that Paul followed after him:

“[T]he blessed Apostle Paul, following the rule of his predecessor John, writes to no more than seven churches by name…” (Muratorian Canon, 3)

There are other writers who explicitly place John’s exile to Patmos earlier than Nero. Epiphanius (320 – 403 A.D.) dates John’s gospel to “his old age,” but has his Apocalypse written under the reign of Claudius (41-54 A.D.):

“…the Holy Spirit compelled John to issue the Gospel in his old age when he was past ninety, after his return from Patmos under Claudius Caesar, and several years of his residence in Asia” (Epiphanius, Panarion, Book II, Heresy 51, 12,1)

“He foretold it prophetically by the mouth of St. John, who prophesied before his falling asleep, during the time of Claudius Caesar and earlier, when he was on the isle of Patmos.” (Epiphanius, Panarion, Book II, Heresy 51, 33,9)

Thus we can see that the external evidence of the date of the Apocalypse is far from unambiguous. We can hardly blame renown historian Philip Schaff, therefore, for changing his position in his revised edition of The History of the Christian Church. He once held to the  later date, but after considering the evidence, switched to an earlier date:

“On two points I have changed my opinion—the second Roman captivity of Paul (which I am disposed to admit in the interest of the Pastoral Epistles), and the date of the Apocalypse (which I now assign, with the majority of modern critics, to the year 68 or 69 instead of 95, as before).” (Schaff, Philip, The History of the Christian Church, volume 1, Preface to the Revised Edition, (1882))

Were we left with no other devices we might suppose that the date of  Revelation simply could not be determined. The diversity of the evidence and the wavering of a great church historian hardly bodes well for such an endeavor. But there is a way the date can be narrowed down to the reign of a particular Roman emperor, and it is provided for us within the Scriptures. The answer lies in the Iron Legs of the statue of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream.

In his interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, Daniel specifically identified the meaning of the Iron Legs and Iron & Clay Feet of the famous statue. The Iron Legs refer to a time when Rome was singularly irresistible as an empire:

“And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise.” (Daniel 2:40)

But there would come a time when the kingdom, while retaining the strength of Iron, would also show weakness in the same way that Iron & Clay would be weak when mixed together:

“And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.” (Daniel 2:43)

When the Iron & Clay feet are finally separated chronologically into Toes, it is because the Iron Kingdom, having descended into Iron & Clay Feet, was finally and ultimately broken into fragments or pieces of Iron & Clay Toes. The Toes signify that “the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken” (Daniel 2:42).

Thus, three chronological phases may be understood from Daniel’s depiction of the Roman Empire. The Iron Legs, the Iron & Clay Feet, and the Iron & Clay Toes. If the dream is to be understood chronologically, there must be some discernible aspect to the chronology so that we may understand the periods Daniel is describing. In other words, we ought to be able to understand from the Scriptures when the Legs transition to Feet, and when the Feet transition to Toes. We are clearly able to understand when the Head of Gold transitioned to the Breast and Arms of Silver, and when the Breast and Arms transitioned to the Belly and Thighs of Brass, and when the Belly and Thighs transitioned to Legs of Iron. Just so, we ought to be able to understand the transition from Legs to Feet to Toes.

As we showed in The Single Frame Hypothesis, the Brass period may be bounded by Alexander’s victory at the Battle of the Persian Gate in 330 B.C. and the death of Pompey in 48 B.C. We include this entire period within the Brass Kingdom because in chapter 11 Daniel describes the events between 11:4 and 11:45 as the distribution, “plucking up,” and related conflicts between the remnants of Alexander’s divided empire. The entire narrative from start to finish encompasses events after Alexander’s empire is “divided toward the four winds of heaven” (Daniel 11:4) but before Julius Cæsar became permanent dictator. It is the Greek period that is in view for the whole chapter, and that period concludes with the death of Pompey. What occurred within the time frame of Daniel 11 is that all four of the successor kingdoms were subsumed under the republican rule of the Roman Senate. Macedonia in the west succumbed to Rome, both Asia Minor and Egypt were bequeathed to Rome, Tigranes conquered the Seleucids in Syria to the East, and Pompey then conquered Tigranes. The rise and fall of the Greek era occurs entirely within the period described in Daniel 11.

Pompey died in 48 B.C. just as Rome was about to complete its transition from Republic to Empire when Julius Caesar would be declared Dictator perpetuoDictator in Perpetuity, in 44 B.C.. It is then that the Empire of Rome finally had its first “king.” Julius was its first “emperor”—in function if not yet in name. He would be assassinated only two months later, but his descendants and relations would govern the Empire for the greater part of the next century.  Daniel 11:45 marks the end of the Brass period of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, and Julius Cæsar marks the beginning of the Iron Period—the Iron Legs of the statue.

That Iron Period of course would not endure, for eventually those Iron Legs would become Feet of Iron & Clay. Daniel marks the transition for us by saying that “the iron mixed with miry clay” signifies that “they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men” (Daniel 2:41,43). There is therefore something that is true about the period of the Feet that is not true of the period of the Legs, and the difference is in the mingling of “the seed.” Because seed bears a genetic connotation, we need only examine the genetic lineages of the preceding empires as described in Scripture to understand how “the seed” would be mingled.

In spite of their internecine warfare, debauchery and intrigue, the preceding empires were not “mingled” outside of royal genetic lines. The Babylonian empire was ruled by a succession of royalty descended from Nebuchadnezzar, for his son was king after him (Daniel 5:2). Then the Medes reigned, passing the kingdom from father to son, for Darius was “the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes” (Daniel 9:1), and then the Persians reigned passing the kingdom from father to son (see Ezra 4:5-6 and this list of Persian Kings). The Greek empire was then ruled by Alexander, and notably he serves as the sole exception to this rule. The Scripture points out the exception for us: Alexander is notable because he left his kingdom “not to his posterity” (Daniel 11:4). His kingdom was left to his generals and to their descendants—most visibly to the warring Ptolemaic and Seleucid families as each king left his portion of the fragmented kingdom to his son.

None of these preceding kingdoms—Babylonian, Median, Persian or Greek—are characterized as “mingled with the seed of men.” There was a tremendous amount of internal wrangling between family members and their descendants, and yet none of those empires are characterized as “mingled” the way the Feet are considered “mingled.” When Rome was in its ascendancy, it exceeded all the preceding empires in military prowess (Daniel 2:40), and it was not “mingled” either. From Julius Caesar through most of the first century A.D., the Roman Empire simply appears to be in the phase of the Iron Legs. It is not in any sense a kingdom displaying any weakness at all. It is Iron to the core.

But there came a point when the Roman Empire took a sudden turn—from Legs to Feet—and we can identify that point by evaluating the dynastic succession of the Roman empire from Julius, its first “king.” The next six “kings” were related to him, and thus, as with the empires before Rome, the royal line remained “unmingled”:

Julius Caesar,  (declared Dictator perpetuo in 44 B.C.)
— Civil Wars (44 – 27 B.C.) —
Augustus (27 B.C. – 14 A.D.), Julius’ grand-nephew
Tiberius (14 – 37 A.D.), Augustus’ step-son
Caligula (37 – 41 A.D.), Tiberius’ grand-nephew
Claudius (41 – 54 A.D.), Caligula’s uncle
Nero (54 – 68 A.D.), Claudius’ grand-nephew
Galba (68-69 A.D.), related by marriage and adoption

The succession of these first seven rulers of the Roman Empire bears a resemblance to the succession of kings of Babylon, Medo-Persia and Greece in that the succession was kept within a single family line. Galba, the last of them, was related only distantly to the preceding six, and his wife, Aemilia Lepida, was also related by marriage to the Julio-Claudian Dynasty.

After Galba, the Caesars began to come from much more diverse and frequently common and non-Roman lineage. It is with Galba’s successor that the imperial line became “mingled”:

Otho (Jan – Apr 69 A.D.), Etruscan (non-Roman) lineage
Vitellius (Apr – Dec 69 A.D.), of Latium or possibly common lineage
Vespasian (69 – 79 A.D.), a commoner
Titus (79 – 81 A.D.), Vespasian’s son
Domitian (81 – 96 A.D.), Titus’ brother
Nerva (96 – 98 A.D.), Coceii family, distantly related to the Julio-Claudian dynasty
Trajan (98 – 117 A.D.), of Hispanic and Italian stock
Hadrian (117 -138 A.D.), of Hispanic, possibly Italian stock
Antoninus (138 – 161 A.D.), from Nimes (southern France)

We will leave it to our readers to research the family lines of the rest of the Roman emperors. Our point here is simply to show that the first seven emperors of the Roman empire followed the pattern of the preceding empires in that kingly succession was kept within the family in a distinguishable line, or “seed”—civil wars and political intrigues notwithstanding.

After the first seven emperors, the rulers began to come from a much more diverse genetic and family lineage. This is what we believe Daniel had foreseen when he said that the Iron & Clay period signifies that “they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men” (Daniel 2:43). According to Daniel, there would be a significant and observable transition from the Legs to the Feet, and that transition took place in 69 A.D. when Galba was assassinated. The succession of emperors from that point forward was mingled “with the seed of men.” The emperors of Rome were no longer exclusively descended from Julius, and were not even exclusively “Roman.”

It is by this means that we may define the Iron Legs as the period of the first seven Roman emperors. The Iron Legs span the period from Julius Cæsar to Emperor Galba in 69 A.D.. Likewise, we assign the succeeding emperors to the period of Iron & Clay Feet when “they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men.”

Because John’s Apocalypse is so thoroughly Danielic in its imagery, we believe that John had that approaching transition in mind when he referred to the first Seven Emperors of the Roman Empire: “there are seven kings” (Revelation17:10). He was referring to the period of the Iron Legs, and here John reveals for us the proper dating of the Apocalypse. The Revelation to John was given during the reign of the sixth emperor of the Iron Legs period, just prior to the seventh and last, whose reign would be comparatively short:

“And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.” (Revelation 17:10).

The phrase “and one is” can refer to none other than Nero, placing the writing of Revelation during the reign of the sixth emperor of the period of the Iron Legs of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. Galba was the seventh, the last emperor to be related to Julius, and his reign lasted only a few months. With his death, the Iron Period came to a close,  and with Otho, the Iron & Clay period began.

Historicists and Dispensationalists typically eschew this dating because the early date for the authorship of Revelation ostensibly lends too much credence to the Preterist position which identifies Nero as the Antichrist. But that concern disappears once the significance of John’s Danielic language is understood. Revelation was written in Nero’s reign which was during the period of Iron Legs, making Nero chronologically prior to the emergence of the Toes of Daniel 2 or the Horns of Daniel 7. And since Antichrist must arise after the Toes of the Statue have formed, and after the horns of the Fourth Beast have emerged, the Preterist position of necessity requires that Nero’s reign occur during the period of the Feet rather than during the period of the Legs. Yet John has Nero plainly reigning in the period of the Iron Legs, entirely ruling him out as a candidate for Antichrist. In the end, an early dating of the book of Revelation does not lend credence to Preterism at all, but rather disproves it by assigning Nero to the period of the Iron Legs—a period during which it was impossible for Antichrist to rise.

We will continue on this theme next week.

64 thoughts on “Legs of Iron, part 1”

  1. Tim, this stuff is fascinating. This seems a sound refutation of the Preterist position. But I get shivers when I read the lineage of the Emporors in Roman Empire and the John 17:10, the breadth and perfection of scripture. Fascinating. Nero is not Antichrist, he didnt put himself up in the Temple as God. How clear can it be. Through biblical history, when God wanted to communicate things, He gave clear signs. The rainbow with Noah was clearly seen, as many other things. Anyone who doesnt see the pope as Antichrist is under strong delusion. K

    1. TIM–
      You said: “The dating of the Book of Revelation has been a matter of no small controversy throughout the history of the church, some writers placing its authorship during the reign of Claudius (41 – 54 A.D.), others placing it during the reign of Nero (54 – 68 A.D.), and others placing it in the reign of Domitian (81 – 96 A.D.). In the realm of eschatology, Preterists choose an early date, while Dispensationalists and Historicists choose the later. It is not a matter that can be resolved by external testimony, because the external testimony itself is contradictory. But the internal evidence is quite compelling.”

      Even the authorship of Revelation is questionable. Here is something I found from the USCCB:
      The author of the book calls himself John (Rev 1:1, 4, 9; 22:8), who because of his Christian faith has been exiled to the rocky island of Patmos, a Roman penal colony. Although he never claims to be John the apostle, whose name is attached to the fourth gospel, he was so identified by several of the early church Fathers, including Justin, Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian, Cyprian, and Hippolytus. This identification, however, was denied by other Fathers, including Denis of Alexandria, Eusebius of Caesarea, Cyril of Jerusalem, Gregory Nazianzen, and John Chrysostom. Indeed, vocabulary, grammar, and style make it doubtful that the book could have been put into its present form by the same person(s) responsible for the fourth gospel. Nevertheless, there are definite linguistic and theological affinities between the two books. The tone of the letters to the seven churches (Rev 1:4–3:22) is indicative of the great authority the author enjoyed over the Christian communities in Asia. It is possible, therefore, that he was a disciple of John the apostle, who is traditionally associated with that part of the world. The date of the book in its present form is probably near the end of the reign of Domitian (A.D. 81–96), a fierce persecutor of the Christians.

      You also said: “That Iron Period of course would not endure, for eventually those Iron Legs would become Feet of Iron & Clay. Daniel marks the transition for us by saying that “the iron mixed with miry clay” signifies that “they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men” (Daniel 2:41,43). There is therefore something that is true about the period of the Feet that is not true of the period of the Legs, and the difference is in the mingling of “the seed.” Because seed bears a genetic connotation, we need only examine the genetic lineages of the preceding empires as described in Scripture to understand how “the seed” would be mingled.

      There is a flaw in your reasoning. And it comes with your own definition “seed bears a genetic connotation”. Genetics connotes blood heredity. Let’s look at the relationships of theJulio-Claudian Dynasty:

      Julius Caesar, (declared Dictator perpetuo in 44 B.C.)
      — Civil Wars (44 – 27 B.C.)
      —not considered Emperor, but last ruler of the Roman Republic. Maybe only semantics but history shows a difference. The Roman Republic could be construed as a separate “kingdom” than the Augustus Empire.

      Augustus (27 B.C. – 14 A.D.), Julius’ grand-nephew
      –blood relative of Julius Caesar.
      Tiberius (14 – 37 A.D.), Augustus’ step-son
      –not a blood relative of Augustus (constitutes a mingling of seed if genetic heredity is concerned)
      Caligula (37 – 41 A.D.), Tiberius’ grand-nephew
      –blood relative of Augustus
      Claudius (41 – 54 A.D.), Caligula’s uncle
      –blood relative of Augustus
      Nero (54 – 68 A.D.), Claudius’ grand-nephew
      –blood relative of Augustus
      Galba (68-69 A.D.), related by marriage and adoption
      –adopted by a distant relative of Livia, Augustus’ wife–no blood relation. (constitutes a mingling of seed if genetic heredity is concerned)
      Strictly speaking there is a “mingling of seed” in the legs of iron and only six emperors. Julius Caesar is not considered an emperor. But then again, this is only my observation of your theory.

      Your interpretation of the internal evidence is, to me, only somewhat compelling.

      1. Thank you, Bob. A couple observations.

        “[T]he seed which the LORD shall give” of Ruth (Ruth 4:12) was called “a son born to Naomi” (Ruth 4:17), and in fact is called her “kinsman” (Ruth 4:14), even though Naomi was not related to him except as a step-grandmother by what may technically be called an adoption. That adoption overcame the fact that the child of Ruth was in fact a Moabite and was not genetically related. The Law says “the Moabite should not come into the congregation of God for ever” (Nehemiah 13:1), but Ruth’s Moabite child was the grandfather of David (Ruth 4:17). Thus Naomi’s grandchild by a practical adoption was effectively her seed and kinsman in such a way that the adoption superseded the Moabite-ness of the offspring.

        In Leviticus 18:6, marital relations between blood kin were forbidden, for to approach “any that is near of kin to him, to uncover their nakedness” would be sin. Interestingly, if a man sleeps with his father’s wife, he has uncovered not her nakedness, but his father’s nakedness: “the man that lieth with his father’s wife hath uncovered his father’s nakedness” (Leviticus 20:11), so closely related are the husband and wife, being one flesh.

        These observations are simply to show that relations by marriage and adoption cannot be so easily dismissed, and in some cases may be legitimately substituted for blood relationship in the eyes of the law, so adoption and marriage would count here. The marriages and adoptions within the Julio-Claudian line would not nullify the concept of unmingled seed during that period. The ascent of Otho definitely put an end to it, though. He was well outside the Julio Claudian line.

        Regarding Julius, he is not considered an “emperor,” but as of 44 B.C., Dictator in Perpetuity, a title that elevated a Republican elected dictator to the level of a monarch. A remarkable title for a Republican government that despised the very idea of a king. Given that Julius’ rise coincided with Pompey’s demise, and Daniel 11 ends on Pompey’s demise which heralds the end of the Greek Era, Julius appears to be the first actual “king” of the Roman Empire, the Fourth Beast.

        Thanks for your thoughts.

        Tim

        1. TIM–
          Again you said: “Because seed bears a genetic connotation, we need only examine the genetic lineages of the preceding empires as described in Scripture to understand how “the seed” would be mingled.”

          You are the one who said “genetic”. Genes are passed on through bloodline, not by marriage alone or adoption.

          You said: ““[T]he seed which the LORD shall give” of Ruth (Ruth 4:12) was called “a son born to Naomi” (Ruth 4:17), and in fact is called her “kinsman” (Ruth 4:14), even though Naomi was not related to him except as a step-grandmother by what may technically be called an adoption. That adoption overcame the fact that the child of Ruth was in fact a Moabite and was not genetically related. The Law says “the Moabite should not come into the congregation of God for ever” (Nehemiah 13:1), but Ruth’s Moabite child was the grandfather of David (Ruth 4:17). Thus Naomi’s grandchild by a practical adoption was effectively her seed and kinsman in such a way that the adoption superseded the Moabite-ness of the offspring.

          Yeah but you see the verse actually says:
          “And let thy house be like the house of Pharez, whom Tamar bare unto Judah, of the seed which the LORD shall give thee of(or by) this young woman,”–meaning Ruth.
          Obed was the blood son of Boaz and Ruth which still gives him Israelite genetics. The adoption makes him kinsman to Naomi as far as legal heirship, but there is no blood relation. The seed of Boaz makes the Israelite(Hebrew) genetics unbroken to David. Boaz “begat” Obed. Call it what you will, but it is in the plain text of the bible. By adoption, Christians are co-heirs with Christ, but their is only one “begotten” Son of God.

          “Regarding Julius, he is not considered an “emperor,” but as of 44 B.C., Dictator in Perpetuity, a title that elevated a Republican elected dictator to the level of a monarch. A remarkable title for a Republican government that despised the very idea of a king. Given that Julius’ rise coincided with Pompey’s demise, and Daniel 11 ends on Pompey’s demise which heralds the end of the Greek Era, Julius appears to be the first actual “king” of the Roman Empire, the Fourth Beast.

          I guess “appears” is the operative word here. He actually became dictator in 49 BC, resigned it after 11 days, then elected again in 48 BC for 2 years and then again in 46 BC for another 10 years and then for life in 44 BC and then was killed two months later. The Roman Republic lasted another 17 years as a triple-dictatorship:
          “Octavian was named in Caesar’s will as his adopted son and heir. He, Mark Antony, and Marcus Lepidus formed the Second Triumvirate to defeat the assassins of Caesar. Following their victory at Philippi, the Triumvirate divided the Roman Republic among themselves and ruled as military dictators.” –Wikipedia

          One “king” to three “kings” by your logic. And it kinda throws off your timeline a little. But you must keep up “appearances”, right?

  2. I read the first paragraph with the solid presupposition based upon Tim’s standard claim that he does not use tradition or secular authority to interpret scripture. His whole thesis is that he is one of the only men in history of scripture interpretion to use scripture only as his source for correcting all past and modern historicists, preterists, dispensationalists, all reformerers, all church testimony and other “unlawful” physical courts who have ruled since they use only tradition and history as there source. The few paragraphs make the incredible claim that his competitors use only tradition to date revelation but Tim is going to solve this controversy once and for all using only scripture and internal evidence to date revelation. People read his blog and be blown away on the hypocracy that he uses only internal evidence to date revelations contrary to the others he criticised for dating to support their eschatology views. I’ve never before in all my reading of any courts, confessions, catechism, creed, reformed minister, etc seen someone use so much secular history to define scripture than Tim.

    I hope others see it as the sinful pride of this “bible only” implied author criticising every one else for using only tradition to date revelation as their source when his mountain of secular sources seek to define his eschatology and dating is incredibly disengenuous at best and hypocritical at worst.

    1. Walt,

      You may note that I simply said that the matter will not and cannot be resolved by external testimony. It simply cannot be. If we insist on making the external testimony determinative, all we are left with is choosing to elevate one fallible man over another. But the scripture does have something to say on the matter. If we can determine the transitions from gold to silver to brass, then we can determine the transition from iron to iron and clay, from legs to feet to toes.

      That does not appear to me to be an unreasonable or prideful position. I am surprised that you think it is.

      What I find interesting is that in the Clark-van Til controversy, the accusation against Clark was that he believed that the Scriptures could be understood and were not inherently contradictory. For maintaining that position he was labeled prideful and arrogant, thinking that he could resolve a matter that had puzzled great men before him. But all he had assumed was that the word of God is perspicuous and can be understood by men.

      I believe that Daniel’s revelations as explained to us in Scripture can be understood, and therefore the transitions between the metals and the Clay can be understood as well.

      Tim

  3. Dear Walt,
    Get a life. I have quietly watched this unending and silly controversy between you and Tim. Why are you here? He has been nothing but kind to you and you, from what i can see have been hyperbolic in your rhetoric and invective. I am Reformed Presbyterian, I do not celebrate Romanist holidays, i hold to a lose subscription to the WCF. Gillespie, Boston, Ridgely are some of my favorites. I too followed Rushdoony, I am well aware of the covenanter tradition. So what? Sola Scriptura does NOT mean that you cannot make ad hominem appeals to secular history; anymore than it being a denial of sola scriptura to make an appeal to the Nag Hamadi Old Testament text, pre-Masoretic. Or are you know going to defend the divine inspiration of the vowel points in the Masoretic text with John Owen? You are being ridiculous. If you are so incensed by Tim’s assertion use the analogia fidei to counter him. Dont accuse him of hypocrisy. First you set up a straw man, then you attack him, and announce him vanquished. You remind me of an RPCNA minister of my acquaintance, who being caught in a public heresy refused to apologize publicly unless the session compelled him to do so. Straining at gnats and swallowing camels!

    Dr. Gus Gianello
    Issachar Biblical Institute

    1. Gus,

      Your criticism is always welcome as an rpcna pastor against me. However, while you are convinced of my alleged straw man arguments, I’ve got others who privately agree with me that anyone in history claiming to be the only one who is using scripture to interpret scripture to prove their theory of eschatology deserves to be questioned about their public claims. If you believe Tim is using scripture alone to interpret his theories, then that is fine. He has been brilliant at demanding I reject other historical testimony to prove or deny his interpretive skill of eschatology, but those who have been reading his blog for a long time know what I’m saying. As an rpcna pastor I suspect we don’t have to determine what sole scriptura means.

  4. Walt, i wasnt going to say anything else to you, but I want to refute your assertion. Where in Tim’s presentation does he ” claim to be the only one in history” to use scriptures only? Ive already asked you this, but you post and run recently, just dumping your ad hominems and NOT dealing with my questions. Where has he ever said that he doesnt take tradition into consideration? Answers please ?? For instance, in todays article he distinguishes his position on dating using scripture versus other theories. Where did he say others have not used scripture? And if it were his conclusion that other theories were based on tradition, so what. Thats something I would want to know, wouldnt you. Even if Tim thought he was Coprinicus, so what. Does that negate a solid biblical attempt at understanding eschatolgy. Luther stood up to tradition and you are Reformed. Are you a hypocrite for following his ” bible only” approach. You are acusing Tim of the same thing Rome acused Luther. Here is the point Walt, your opinion on Tim’s posture is a value judgment, it doesnt matter, got it, it dont matter. Make an argument against his position from scripture if you have one. Because Tim isnt in submission to your value judgments, or those of your church, so whether you think he is playing fair with tradition is imatterial if he isnt violating Refomrmed doctrine. And when you suggest that he couldnt stand in the courts to make his claim without getting treated like the Anabaptists were treated, you harken back to papal Rome. Unless you have proof that Tim is violating his church doctrine by his position on eschatology, then knock off the petiness. I dont intend to say anything else to you. Blessed New Year. K

    1. Kevin,
      I think the issue is, at least partially, that Walt has been accused of holding to his “magisterium” to the exclusion of Scripture, when he has merely been deferring to a source that he/I believe to have demonstrated a faithful interpretation of Scripture in the past. After then having been accused of that, the posts then go on to largely use history to interpret Scripture. I do not think that this makes Tim necessarily wrong, but to then dismiss Walt for quoting a historical source seems to me like a double standard.

      1. Hi Dan, ” I think Walt has been acused of holding to his magisterium to the exclusion of scripture ” first Dan perspective starts from the beginning. The only holding to Walt’s magisterium that has gone on is Walt holding Tim’s difference in interpretation to it. The fact that you and Walt defer to a source that has demonstrated faithful interpretation of scripture in the past will get no argument from me. The Scottish Reformers and the Covenanters have great respect from me. But they are fallible, and the only infalibility they posess can only be as they have rightfully taught scripture. The infalibility is in the Spirit and the Word, not in men. But you know this. Eschatology isnt settled in Reformed theology ( correct me if Im wrong). The WCF left it open. Incidentally, Walt has been faulted for quoting an historical source here Dan. Cmom brother, I got a seminary degree from all the historical sources from the Scottish Reformers Walt has quoted here . And Tim has never dismissed Walt for quoting historical sources. Im my experience he has dealt with them tiresly and in detail. Walt just doesnt like Tim’s conclusions Dan. Its as simple as that. And when Walt disagrees he gets hyperbolic in his rhetoric, he gets ad hominem, and impugns character. I mean cmon Dan, Walt one week ago was going i n and on to me how he and Tim were so much in the same camp, until Tim came to some different conclusions. Now Tim is an idependent bible only non Presbyterian who apostated from Scottland. God bless you brother. K

        1. Kevin,

          The only holding to Walt’s magisterium that has gone on is Walt holding Tim’s difference in interpretation to it.

          The point is that Walt has been accused of holding to a “magisterium” to the exclusion of Scripture. But is holding to recognized faithful sources the same as holding to a “magisterium”? Walt has a position, and he is defending his position with his sources. Men who have been demonstrated to be faithful expositors of Scripture. And this is magisterium? Tim also has put forth a position. He also has put forth support from sources other than Scriptures. If we are going to be using the term magisterium so loosely, why is he exempted from this accusation? I mean, if we are being consistent here, is not what is good for the goose good for the gander?

          The Scottish Reformers and the Covenanters … are fallible, and the only infalibility they posess can only be as they have rightfully taught scripture.

          I don’t think that it can be argued (nor has been) that the Covenanters, or anyone else in history, has any infallibility of any kind. They were/are humans. Their words can fail. Inerrancy, however, is another question. If I say that Jesus Christ is the son of God, my words, insofar that they come from me, are inerrant, because they agree with Scripture. Being my words, they are not infallible. I’m not God.

          Eschatology isnt settled in Reformed theology ( correct me if Im wrong). The WCF left it open.

          To the best of my understanding, you are mostly correct. The exception to this is WCF Ch 25.6, which states,

          There is no other head of the Church but the Lord Jesus Christ. Nor can the Pope of Rome, in any sense, be the head thereof; but is that Antichrist, that man of sin, and son of perdition, that exalts himself, in the Church, against Christ and all the is called God.

          The Disponsational pre-mil position seems to be necessarily excluded if one holds to the WCF.

          Incidentally, Walt hasn’t been faulted for quoting an historical source here Dan.

          He hasn’t? He has been accused of clinging to his magisterium. That isn’t a fault?

          Cmom brother, I got a seminary degree from all the historical sources from the Scottish Reformers Walt has quoted here.

          Well, fortunately for me, God seems to like using idiots. : ) Personally, I’m just a lowly tradesman. No seminary here. Any understanding I have gotten has pretty much been because I’ve been forced to.

          Walt just doesnt like Tim’s conclusions Dan. Its as simple as that.

          So? I disagree with some of Tim’s posts too. Does that mean that I’m clinging to my magisterium too?

          Walt one week ago was going i n and on to me how he and Tim were so much in the same camp, until Tim came to some different conclusions. Now Tim is an idependent bible only non Presbyterian who apostated from Scottland.

          And why is this a problem? There is some seeming agreement and I can nod my head. A point on which I disagree comes up and I have to stand up and say ‘wait a minute’.

          Thanks for your consideration.

          1. Thanks, Dan,

            I don’t know that I can provide any additional clarification, but I will try. In my thinking I have been distinguishing between “citing a historical source” and “invoking the magisterium” as two different things. Apparently in the minds of some they are the same thing.

            If I say, for example, “Athanasius identified Milan as the chief metropolis of Italy as late as 358 A.D. (Athanasius, History of the Arians, Part IV, chapter 33),” I have not appealed to someone else’s or my own interpretation authoritatively and I have not appealed to tradition. I have simply made a statement and provided evidence that the statement is true. Someone may think Athanasius was wrong about Milan, or may think I am wrong about Athanasius. I find no fault in that. Corroborating or countervailing evidence is welcome here.

            If I say, “The traditional interpretation of Daniel 7:8 is that the three horns which were uprooted were three of the ten,” and then provide various early church and reformation era statements to that effect (as I did here), again I have not appealed to someone else’s or my own interpretation authoritatively. Modern examples could be provided as well. I believe it is a fair summary of the traditional interpretation of Daniel 7:8. Someone may think it is not a fair summary, and I find no fault in that. Corroborating or countervailing evidence is welcome.

            I trust that you can see, so far in the above examples, that I have not invoked a magisterial authority to claim something dogmatically. Athanasius really believed Milan was the chief metropolis of Italy as late as 358 A.D., and the traditional interpretation of Daniel 7:8 really is that three of the ten were uprooted.

            The crux of the current controversy, so far as I can tell, is that I believe the traditional interpretation of Daniel 7:8 is wrong. I believe it is wrong for several reasons, not the least of which is that Daniel never actually says three of the ten were uprooted, and further, there appear either to be three too few left over (seven) in the traditional interpretation or three too many (ten) left over at the end (Revelation 17) if three of the ten were removed. Here I have stated my opinion based on the Scriptures. I have not invoked myself as a determinative authority and I have not invoked a historical reference to prove that I am right. I have identified what I believe to be an inconsistency in the traditional interpretation, and that traditional interpretation is so widespread as to be well nigh universal.

            I have heard a lot of responses to such a position, and perhaps you will see why I do not consider them to be satisfactory. Some examples:

            “You must think you are the smartest person in the world to recognize what nobody has ever seen before.”
            “You must think everyone else is an idiot.”
            “You probably think you are the first person in history to use Scripture to interpret Scripture.”
            “If it is true, why are we only just now finding out about it?”
            “You are prideful and arrogant to say that every single Christian writer of the last two thousand years was wrong and you are right.”
            “You must think you are immune to tradition, and everyone else is not.”

            All of these are either ad hominem arguments, or invalid inferences or implicit appeals to the authority of a long standing tradition—what I call the magisterial argument. None of them deal with the question at hand: how do we know that the three horns uprooted in Daniel 7 are “three of the ten”?

            I think it is a fair question, and it is the question I am asking. Having asked it, I have long since provided evidence from history of a 13-way division of the Roman Empire, followed by the appearance of an entity that subsumed three of them unto itself, and rose up among the remaining ten and ruled the remnants of the Roman empire, which appeared to me to be the very thing prophesied. I have not invoked a tradition as authoritative, and I have not appealed to a magisterium as the basis for that interpretation, and I have not discovered a 13-way division of the Roman Empire and tried to read it into Daniel 7. It so happens, however, that if my argument is sound and that 13-way division of the empire is indeed what Daniel had foreseen, and three of the thirteen were uprooted such that the 14th entity came up among the remaining ten, then the rise of Antichrist occurred in the late 4th century rather than several centuries later where historicists typically place it. Thus, about 400 years of antichrist history are unfortunately mistaken to be 400 years of church history, which is unfortunate. That is what I believe to be true and I have provided my arguments for it. I don’t know how the argument can itself be characterized as an appeal to my own magisterium or an appeal to tradition. I have merely stated my position and provided evidence for it. I appealed to neither tradition or a magisterium to prove my position. Perhaps I have misread Daniel and Revelation, or perhaps I have misread the Notitia Dignitatum. Or maybe the Notitia Dignitatum is somehow corrupted. Corroborating or countervailing evidence is welcome here.

            But if someone responds, “That cannot be true unless you find some corroborating testimony from ecclesiastical or reformation writers to confirm your position,” the response appears to me to be an appeal to some unspecified magisterium. Or if someone says “That cannot be believed unless we can find some second reformation Scottish writers who concur with it,” that appears to me to be an appeal to a Scottish Magisterium. I have stated that I believe the traditional interpretation is wrong. To invoke the traditional interpretation as its own support is both circular and magisterial—as if the church or Tradition was somehow relevatory and determinative in matters of eschatology. That does not appear to be any different than the Romanism that we historicists collectively reject.

            I would in fact welcome a response that provided some resolution of the apparent inconsistency even if it came from Scottish reformers or early reformers or the early church. I do not consider well-reasoned arguments from Scripture to be appeals to the magisterium, and I don’t consider evidence from history to be an appeal to tradition. But appeals to the authority of a traditional interpretation for its antiquity or for the universality of its reception is a Magisterial argument. I have made no such arguments to my knowledge, but others have in response.

            I hope you can see the difference between

            “Here is my position which I believe to be true for the following reasons,”

            and

            “that cannot be true unless you find corroborating testimony from respected ministers”

            I would not categorize them both as appeals to a magisterium.

            Thank you for your thoughts and your patience, in any case.

            Tim

      2. Thank you, Dan. I think the issue is a little different than that. In fact I think there are four (or more) different issues at play. Walt can address or correct any of these observations if he likes.

        1) finding evidence of fulfilled prophecy in the historical record:

        By way of example: the Scripture nowhere identifies Alexander the Great as the prominent horn of the He-goat of Daniel 8. We have not elevated “history” over the Scripture to point out from the historical record that Alexander the Great was the fulfillment and that he arose at the time and from the place prophesied, and accomplished the things he was prophesied to accomplish. Nor have we used history to interpret Scripture. Scripture said it would be a king of Grecia who would accomplish the things Alexander the Great did. I don’t believe that I have violated sola Scriptura to show from the historical record that certain things came to pass as prophesied. When Jesus says, “Behold, I have told you before” (Matthew 24:25), He is telling people that the things He is foretelling will come to pass, and that the people will see His prophecies come true when the prophecies become “current events.” Eventually what Jesus prophesied should end up in “the newspapers,” so to speak. That does not make the newspapers a source of revelation, in my mind. I believe Walt has characterized me as relying on tradition to interpret the Scriptures at specific points when all I have done is point out from the historical record that certain things came to pass in the time period that they were foretold to occur. That is not the same thing as relying on tradition to interpret the Scriptures.

        2) using the historical record to show what the Early Church did or did not believe:

        As you know, I have written extensively on the Early Church’s view of the Lord’s Supper, Baptism, relics, Mary, images, Roman, Petrine and papal primacy, etc… In none of those articles did I derive my theology from the early church or say that we ought to do what they did. I have simply attempted to collect and display their beliefs to show that the Roman Catholic characterization of the early church is false. A typical criticism from Walt is that I am getting my doctrine from the Early Church and ignoring the second reformation. But all I have done is explain what the Early Church did not believe. Walt thought I should have instead focused on the teachings of the Second Reformation, but I believe the thoughts and practices of the early church ought to be determined from the primary sources, and that is what I tried to do. Walt has characterized that as me relying on “tradition,” but it is just research. In no case did I say, for example “the Early Church believed this, and therefore that interpretation ought to be normative,” which would have been an elevation of tradition over the Scriptures, but that is not what I did. Walt often assumes that a citation from the early church is an implicit invocation of tradition, but it reality, it is merely a citation from the early church.

        3) reasoning from the Scripture to determine its meaning

        I have on several occasions reasoned from the Scriptures to make a point. One example is the matter of the fact that there are ten horns depicted in Daniel 7, three are removed and yet in Revelation 12, 13 and 17, there are still ten horns depicted, even at the end. That inconsistency is largely overlooked in the commentaries—and I have not read them all, so perhaps there are some that address the issue—but the issue arises from a comparison of Scripture with Scripture. The inconsistency has bothered me for years, and I arrived at a position of a 13-way division of the Roman Empire long before I even heard of Diocletian’s 12-way division in the late 3rd century. I initially dismissed the 12 dioceses as the fulfillment of the prophecy of Daniel 7 because 12 is the wrong number, only to discover that during the 4th century, those 12 dioceses were reorganized into 13 and that the urbis of Rome was not among them. Imagine my surprise. I relied on no tradition to determine the meaning of Scripture. I determined the meaning of Scripture from Scripture, and then sought to find the fulfillment in the historical record. All the while I was convinced that the division of the Roman Empire ought to be as obvious to the uneducated reader (as I consider myself) as the four-way division of Alexander’s empire or the 2-way division of the Medo-Persian empire are. Walt believes that I relied on the tradition of the 13-way division of the Dioceses in order to arrive at the meaning of Scripture, but it is quite the opposite. I relied on the 13-way division of Rome as inferred from Daniel 7 and Revelation 12, 13 and 17 to arrive at the meaning of the Notitia Dignitatum which preserved the 13-way division in the historical record for centuries before it was rediscovered about a thousand years later.

        Along those same lines, I evaluated Daniel 9 from the Scriptures to determine that the prophecy is Mosaic rather than Messianic. I do not consider it a valid response to say that Daniel 9 is Messianic because it so obviously is. I’m not so sure. I suggest a closer reading, and I have provided many scriptural arguments to prove it. It is not sufficient to me to say “Daniel 9 is Messianic because so many great men have interpreted it as such.” A Scriptural argument for its Messianic fulfillment is an appropriate response to a Scriptural argument for its Mosaic interpretation. But typically the response I get is that I am arrogant and prideful to question the historical interpretation. That is suggestive to me of an infallible Protestant or Scottish Magisterium—often from the same lips that decry the infallibility of the Roman Catholic magisterium.

        4) Searching the Second Reformation instead of the Scriptures to see if what the Scriptures say is true:

        In two particular cases, I have made arguments from Scripture alone, with no appeal to the historical record, and Walt has responded that such arguments cannot be valid unless they are attested by two witnesses from the Second Reformation. Here is one of those arguments from Scripture alone:

        TIM: “Thus can be found in Scripture evidence for a prophetic day (1 year), a prophetic week (7 years), a prophetic month (30 years) and a prophetic “time, times and the dividing of time” (1,260 years) but not a prophetic “year” of 360 years. “Year” simply means a literal “year” and means “year” every time it is used.””

        WALT: “This is interesting. Do you know any other reformers that took the same position on the definition of “year” being literal rather than figurative? … If you have support from other ministers on it, and no contradiction from great ministers, I think you have something.”

        In some cases, I am challenging what the Second Reformation writers actually believed and wrote (some of them had taken a “year” to be a “prophetic year” of 360 years), and when the Second Reformation writers are in question, their own statements affirming their position and rejecting mine cannot be taken as determinative judgments to prove that their own statements are infallibly true. Note what Walt said: the test of true interpretation of prophecy is “no contradiction from great ministers.” I refuse to submit to the alleged universal consent of “great ministers” as a standard of judgment when the teachings of the “great ministers” are themselves in question on the basis of what the Scriptures say. That may seem prideful to those who believe that the “great ministers” have delivered an inerrant tradition to us. I do not believe they have. To appeal to them as a final or determinative authority appears to me to be an appeal to a magisterium. I reject that appeal.

        I hope you can see the difference between “appealing to the historical record to show that the events prophesied actually came to pass” vs. “appealing to the Second Reformation to determine if an inference from the Scripture is valid.” They are not the same thing. As I showed in a previous comment, Elliott believed that we can assume that the Little Horn was destroyed by the flames in Daniel 7:11, “I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame.” And yet Daniel 7:11 does not say the Little Horn was destroyed by the flame—it says the fourth beast’s body was. From the Scriptures (Revelation 13:1-2) we can show that the Little Horn is the three preceding empires, and the three preceding empires were granted a prolongation of life in the form of the Little Horn after the body of the fourth beast was destroyed. Again, an argument from Scripture, and Elliott appears to have missed the significance of two judicial movements. Does Elliott overturn the Scriptural testimony? And can his position satisfactorily refute the Scriptural argument without reducing to “It is so because Elliott says so”? My arguments cannot stand if the Scriptures can prove them wrong. But to say “Elliott is right and Tim is wrong because Elliott says so, and Elliott is a Second Reformation writer,” sounds an awful lot like the followers of E. G. White or to an infallible magisterium. I believe the great reformers have missed the two judicial movements by not harmonizing Daniel 2 and 7, and in fact I showed how inconsistent the testimony of the Early Church was on this very issue—some saying the Stone referred to Christ’s first advent, some to His second, with no consistent testimony among them. It’s not an appeal to tradition. It is an appeal to the Scriptures.

        5) Searching the Scriptures to determine the meaning of “mingled with the seed of men”

        As I showed in this week’s article, “mingled with the seed of men” appears to me to be a reference to the fact that with one notable exception that the Scripture highlights for us (Alexander), all of the preceding empires were handed father to son, which bears some genetic significance. The Scriptures indicate this to us. I sourced Scripture to prove it, and in once case where scripture referred to a father and son, but did not explicitly identify them as such, I showed from the historical record that the persons mentioned were in fact father and son. Thus the Babylonian, Median, Persian, and post-Alexandrian Greek empires all passed from father to son and were genetically unmingled. I hope we can all agree on at least that. Daniel divides the Roman Empire into sections, and one significant division is between the Iron period, and the Iron & Clay period, the latter of which is intended to signify that at that time, they mingled with the seed of men. Since it is a divergence from the past, I looked to the past to see what the Scriptures said about the previous empires and looked for a similar attribute in the Roman. I found it. The historical record shows the first seven emperors to be of Julius’ family line. Then a sudden turn, and Emperors were not always from Rome or from noble lines anymore. This appears to me to be consistent with Daniel’s indications. If there is countervailing evidence, I will gladly hear it. I do not consider the historical record to be infallible or inerrant. This is not relying Tradition to arrive at a conclusion but using Scripture to find the meaning of a Scriptural phrase, and then reasoning from the Scriptural meaning. If I am wrong, I expect to be proven wrong from the Scriptures, not from the tradition of the Second Reformation. Saying “the historical record is that the first seven emperors were from Julius’ line” does not seem to me to be the same as saying “the Second Reformation disagrees with you and the opinion of Second Reformation writers is determinative in matters of prophecy.” The fact that Walt has acknowledged that fact that “the opinion of Second Reformation writers is NOT determinative” in eschatology and prophecy has confused me because he appears to require the consent of Second Reformation writers with “no contradiction from great ministers” at the same time that he acknowledges that the courts have not judged on matters of eschatology and therefore no consent from Second Reformation writers is necessary. It is not, as you have suggested, Tim appealing to evidence from the historical record, and Walt appealing to the historical record. It is, in fact, Tim appealing to the historical record for evidence of a claim, and Walt appealing to the Second Reformation for an authoritative interpretation. If it is the Second Reformation opinion that I consider to be in error, you can hopefully understand why I do not take their opinions as authoritative when their opinions are in fact the matter in question. I do not consider appealing to the historical record to be the same as appealing to the Second Reformation as an authoritative interpretation.

        Although my own judgment as to my own motives may itself be impaired, I have never required consent or affirmation from anyone on these matters as a condition of fellowship, and I have not demanded abject submission to me as an infallible revelator of God’s will for mankind. Nor have I ever claimed that I am the first or only person in the history of the world to use Scripture to interpret Scripture. I have called great men to task for overlooking implications of the Scripture. If that makes me a prideful, arrogant deceiver—I may in fact be all those things—then so be it. That nonetheless leaves the questions on the table: how are we to resolve the inconsistency of the extra three horns? How are we to resolve the matter that Jeremiah, Daniel and Gabriel all make their arguments from Mosaic literature, and the prophecy points to a Mosaic fulfillment? How are we to resolve the matter that Daniel 2:35 has all the preceding empires destroyed, but Daniel 7:11 has their lives prolonged? how are we to resolve the matter that Daniel 8 and 11 both appear to have their intended fulfillment in the Greek period, and Daniel 11 appears to be written in a Single Alexandrian Frame of Reference? How are we to confront the fact that we have been able to determine with precision the transition from Gold to Silver to Brass to Iron, but cannot seem to determine the transition from Legs to Feet to Toes?

        Let’s just assume for the moment that I am an arrogant, prideful, conceited deceiver who thinks he is the first person in the history of the world to arrive at the truth. Ok. I am willing to stipulate all of those things in order to get an objective answer. Is the Scottish Reformation our only hope, even if they themselves have overlooked something, and were not aware of the Notitia Dignitatum or the fact that the southern coast of Asia Minor was Ptolemaic at the most critical juncture in the division of Alexander’s empire? Even if they were ignorant? The depth of my concern is that Walt and some of his advisors consider the teachings of the Scottish Magisterium to be relevatory, which makes the Church the source of Truth. It simply cannot be so, for the Scottish Magisterium has been known to err and its traditions are themselves contradictory.

        I hope this makes sense. Forgive me if it does not.

        Thanks,

        Tim

        1. Hi Tim, and thanks for your reply.

          1) finding evidence of fulfilled prophecy in the historical record: … That is not the same thing as relying on tradition to interpret the Scriptures.

          I would agree with your first point. I do not accuse you of using tradition for your analysis, and have found much of it to be very eye-opening. I have had to shift my views on a number of things because I have been convinced by the weight of historical testimony. In all honesty, I don’t think Walt believes that you are using tradition either, he is simply trying to make a point. More on that in my further response.

          2) using the historical record to show what the Early Church did or did not believe:

          This has been an area of your posts which I have found particularly enlightening and helpful. I have no dispute with using this method.

          Walt has characterized that as me relying on “tradition,” but it is just research. In no case did I say, for example “the Early Church believed this, and therefore that interpretation ought to be normative,” which would have been an elevation of tradition over the Scriptures, but that is not what I did. Walt often assumes that a citation from the early church is an implicit invocation of tradition, but it reality, it is merely a citation from the early church.

          I will get into a response on this in my reply to point four.

          3) reasoning from the Scripture to determine its meaning

          This is also an acceptable practice, and one which I have no issue with. However, this is also a point which I will touch on in my response to your fourth point.

          I do not consider it a valid response to say that Daniel 9 is Messianic because it so obviously is. I’m not so sure.

          And neither do I. Nor, I think, anyone else here (except, perhaps, our RC/Methodist friends). If you did, it would be relying on tradition.

          But typically the response I get is that I am arrogant and prideful to question the historical interpretation. That is suggestive to me of an infallible Protestant or Scottish Magisterium—often from the same lips that decry the infallibility of the Roman Catholic magisterium.

          If it is merely that, an accusation of pride for posing a question, then I would agree with you. But, if it is a question of, ‘these men said thus, what say you?’, then I would disagree. If you approach something in the scientific realm that has pretty much been accepted, the burden of proof is on you to prove that it is not so and that the commonly accepted idea is wrong. In my mind, it is the same here. You have many very learned men who have demonstrated great care and wisdom in their interpretation of Scripture in the past. Now, you have ‘some random internet guy’ if you will, who is coming forward and saying that they are wrong in some areas. Is it possible? Yes, very much so. They were human beings and thus subject to error. They were not infallible. However, I think that you need to produce (within reason) ‘indisputable evidence’ that they were wrong. In some cases I think you have already done that. In others, not so much, at least as of yet. But to label some people as ‘clinging to their magisterium’ because they default to known and trusted interpretive sources is, I believe, unfair. Also, I no one on this site (and I know for sure not Walt) has labeled the Scottish Covenanters as “infallible”. There is a huge difference between calling someone infallible and calling them inerrant on a topic.

          4) Searching the Second Reformation instead of the Scriptures to see if what the Scriptures say is true:

          There is no one here who has suggested this. It is not an either/or proposition. It is a both/and.

          TIM: “Thus can be found in Scripture evidence for a prophetic day (1 year), a prophetic week (7 years), a prophetic month (30 years) and a prophetic “time, times and the dividing of time” (1,260 years) but not a prophetic “year” of 360 years. “Year” simply means a literal “year” and means “year” every time it is used.””
          WALT: “This is interesting. Do you know any other reformers that took the same position on the definition of “year” being literal rather than figurative? … If you have support from other ministers on it, and no contradiction from great ministers, I think you have something.”

          I think your interpretation of what Walt said is off. He was asking if you had anyone else that agreed with you on your statement. He also was searching if any well-known and trusted sources actively disagreed with you. I once heard it put this way.

          Although tradition does not rule our interpretation, it does guide it. If upon reading a particular passage you have come up with an interpretation that has escaped the notice of every other Christian for two-thousand years, or has been championed by universally recognized heretics, chances are pretty good that you had better abandon your interpretation. – R.C. Sproul

          Now, is this always the case? No. You have put forth many things already that are less/unknown, and they make a great deal of sense and seem to fit the Bible well. But, Walt even more than most, tries to do his due diligence in searching these things out using all available resources. And I think that you would agree, in territory such as this, it behooves us to act with great care.

          … and when the Second Reformation writers are in question, their own statements affirming their position and rejecting mine cannot be taken as determinative judgments to prove that their own statements are infallibly true.

          Again, no one is arguing for infallibility from the Second Reformation ministers. But I would agree that them versus you as such is not evidence that they were correct.

          Note what Walt said: the test of true interpretation of prophecy is “no contradiction from great ministers.”

          I do not think that is what he said. He said that it does lend a deal more credibility to your position if they did not actively disagree with you.

          I refuse to submit to the alleged universal consent of “great ministers” as a standard of judgment when the teachings of the “great ministers” are themselves in question on the basis of what the Scriptures say.

          Then challenge them as such. Don’t criticize those who yet believe them to be correct. Show from Scriptures where and why they are wrong.

          That may seem prideful to those who believe that the “great ministers” have delivered an inerrant tradition to us. I do not believe they have. To appeal to them as a final or determinative authority appears to me to be an appeal to a magisterium. I reject that appeal.

          Not necessarily. Merely one that thus far has been found completely agreeable to Scriptures. They are not inerrant because of who or what they are, they are inerrant because what they wrote has thus far not been found to disagree with Scripture. Can there be growth in understanding going forward? Yes. Can there be further reformation? Yes. But until that the ‘new’ information has been shown to be consistently agreeable to the Scriptures, please pardon those of us who treat it with a degree of suspicion.

          I hope you can see the difference between “appealing to the historical record to show that the events prophesied actually came to pass” vs. “appealing to the Second Reformation to determine if an inference from the Scripture is valid.” They are not the same thing.

          Ah, but they are both appealing to something outside of Scripture. Now, I have no problem with the first, and as long as it is based in understanding, I have no problem with the second. Let me explain myself. When I say ‘yes and amen’ to the Westminster Confession of Faith, why am I doing so? I am doing so because I have read it, and because I have found it to be agreeable to Scriptures. As such, if I appeal to it, it is because I am acting under the premise that it is agreeable to Scriptures and does not contain error. If say ‘yes and amen’ to the confession having not read it, or not understood it, then I am relying on man’s word, I am relying on tradition to tell me it is reliable. See the difference? If I read your blog, then start repeating what you have said because I think it sounds good, has not Tim become my tradition?

          Again, an argument from Scripture, and Elliott appears to have missed the significance of two judicial movements. Does Elliott overturn the Scriptural testimony? And can his position satisfactorily refute the Scriptural argument without reducing to “It is so because Elliott says so”?

          You have determined, from your examination of Scripture and historical evidence, that he is wrong. Not necessarily a problem. However, that needs to be shown, not simply claimed. You have done a lot of research on this topic thus far and have come to your conclusions. Remember, some of us have not been looking at these concepts as long, and have not developed the same presuppositions that you have. Just because we still view these men to be correct and think we can appeal to their testimony does not mean that we are appealing to a magisterium. Simply to known and trusted sources.

          And can his position satisfactorily refute the Scriptural argument without reducing to “It is so because Elliott says so”?

          Just because you say that the Scriptures say thus, does that make it so? Why should I take your word over his? Or are you saying that Elliot (and others) just glances at a passage and makes a pronouncement as to its meaning? Your words are subject to the same scrutiny that you say his must have put to them. Remember, we have already examined many of these men against the Scriptures and, to the best of our understanding, they have been proven faithful. Now you come along and say they are wrong. I beg your pardon for going back to sources that I currently believe to be reliable in my examination your words. You have the chance to prove them wrong, but until you do, I am going to default to them.

          But to say “Elliott is right and Tim is wrong because Elliott says so, and Elliott is a Second Reformation writer,” sounds an awful lot like the followers of E. G. White or to an infallible magisterium.

          If anyone was saying that I would agree. But what is being said is more along the lines of, ‘Elliott says this and Tim says that. Tim needs to present a strong case for me to take his word over Elliott’s because Elliott has been shown to apparently be correct over and over again in the past’. The reformers were correct when they questioned Rome. Perhaps you will be shown to be correct in your questioning of the Second Reformation teachers. Time and continued study will tell.

          As I showed in this week’s article, “mingled with the seed of men” appears to me to be a reference to the fact that with one notable exception that the Scripture highlights for us (Alexander), all of the preceding empires were handed father to son, which bears some genetic significance. The Scriptures indicate this to us.

          Yes, and as such your interpretation is worthy of careful consideration.

          The fact that Walt has acknowledged that fact that “the opinion of Second Reformation writers is NOT determinative” in eschatology and prophecy has confused me because he appears to require the consent of Second Reformation writers with “no contradiction from great ministers” at the same time that he acknowledges that the courts have not judged on matters of eschatology and therefore no consent from Second Reformation writers is necessary.

          I think I have already addressed most of the content here but in recap, eschatology hasn’t been ruled on for the most part, and Second Reformation writers have weighed in on the subject and their opinion is considered the default until shown that it should not be.

          It is not, as you have suggested, Tim appealing to evidence from the historical record, and Walt appealing to the historical record.

          My intention was to point out that you are not appealing solely and completely to Scriptures for your interpretation. I do not think you have appealed to anything that you ought not to have, but you have appealed to other things than purely the Bible.

          If it is the Second Reformation opinion that I consider to be in error, you can hopefully understand why I do not take their opinions as authoritative when their opinions are in fact the matter in question.

          I do understand your position. But please understand that we, at least currently, do not share your opinion. Just because we do not share your view, please do not dismiss us deferring to the opinion of men like these as ‘appealing to tradition’.

          … I have never required consent or affirmation from anyone on these matters as a condition of fellowship, …

          This is a matter of eschatology, I don’t see how one could. Unless one were, say, Dispensational Pre-Mil or something.

          … and I have not demanded abject submission to me as an infallible revelator of God’s will for mankind.

          You are a mere man, your words can not be infallible. We both already know that. But do you not view your posts to be inerrant? I mean, if you think your posts contain error, why not change them so that the error is removed? Or if you cannot make your free of error, why post them?

          I have called great men to task for overlooking implications of the Scripture.

          And that is perfectly acceptable. Do not be surprised, however, if people do not merely take your word that they have overlooked said implications.

          That nonetheless leaves the questions on the table: how are we to resolve the inconsistency of the extra three horns? Etc.

          Whether or not I wind up agreeing with you, I have read enough here to believe your opinion to at least be worthy of consideration. That is why I am still here. That is why Walt is still here. If we didn’t consider your posts to be worthy of consideration, we wouldn’t be here. But if we disagree with something, we will challenge it. And we will be using sources that we believe to have been shown to be reliable through the years. Prove them wrong if you will, but it will be because you actually showed it fourth from Scripture, not because you dismissed them as some sort of ‘magisterium’.

          Let’s just assume for the moment that I am an arrogant, prideful, conceited deceiver who thinks he is the first person in the history of the world to arrive at the truth.

          I don’t recall ever saying, implying, or even thinking that, but if we want to say that for the sake of argument, go ahead.

          Is the Scottish Reformation our only hope, even if they themselves have overlooked something, and were not aware of the Notitia Dignitatum or the fact that the southern coast of Asia Minor was Ptolemaic at the most critical juncture in the division of Alexander’s empire? Even if they were ignorant?

          No, the Scottish Reformation is not our only hope, but I think they have been shown to be our best hope thus far. Just because we hold them to be the “high water mark” of Scriptural attainment thus far does not mean that they can’t be improved upon. It is just a lot harder than, say, the Methodist church. (Yes, I know, that was a deliberate shot. 😀 )

          The depth of my concern is that Walt and some of his advisors consider the teachings of the Scottish Magisterium to be relevatory, which makes the Church the source of Truth.

          I don’t think that you can make that argument. They merely believe them to be inerrant to the best of our current understanding. And why are they inerrant? Because, again to the best of our understanding, their writings agree with Scripture. We consider their writings to be subordinate to the Bible. If they can be show to be inconsistent with the Bible, then they will be thrown out. Period.
          If I say that God is a Trinity, my statement is without error. If a Unitarian takes exception to my statement says that I’m wrong, am I wrong just because he said I am? Am I right because I have said I am? No, my statement is inerrant solely because it agrees with the Word of God, and to convince me otherwise, one would have to show me indisputable evidence from the Bible that it was not the case.

          It simply cannot be so, for the Scottish Magisterium has been known to err and its traditions are themselves contradictory.

          To keep calling them the “Scottish Magisterium” because you don’t like people appealing to the wisdom of these men is rather disingenuous. If I am debating an atheist, I don’t stop using the Bible in my apologetic because they don’t like it. If you don’t like some of the leaders of the Second Reformation, then show them to be wrong from Scripture and cut the feet out from under the whole argument. Don’t simply complain and name-call when someone does appeal to them.

          I hope this makes sense. Forgive me if it does not.

          I hope my reply to your reply makes sense as well. You appear to be very studied in this area, and I for one have had to shift my view on a number of things since I started reading your blog a little more than a year-and-a-half ago. As I said before, I think that your posts are at least worthy of consideration or I would not be here, and I look forward weighing them against the Scriptures first and foremost, but also against the works of those whom I believe to have been faithful in their interpretation of Scripture, and history.
          And now I see that you have given me more to respond to. Do you ever sleep? Thanks for considering my reply, and I will try to respond to your new stuff as soon as I can.
          Dan

          1. DAN–
            You said: “No, the Scottish Reformation is not our only hope, but I think they have been shown to be our best hope thus far. Just because we hold them to be the “high water mark” of Scriptural attainment thus far does not mean that they can’t be improved upon. It is just a lot harder than, say, the Methodist church. (Yes, I know, that was a deliberate shot. 😀 )”

            Touche’! Yes, just like I have come to expect from this crowd. If I can dish it out, I can take it as well.
            And a Happy New Year to you too, Dan!

          2. Thank you, Dan. I appreciate these thoughts very much. Your points are well taken.

            Best regards,

            Tim

          3. Dan said:

            “Just because you say that the Scriptures say thus, does that make it so? Why should I take your word over his? Or are you saying that Elliot (and others) just glances at a passage and makes a pronouncement as to its meaning? Your words are subject to the same scrutiny that you say his must have put to them. Remember, we have already examined many of these men against the Scriptures and, to the best of our understanding, they have been proven faithful. Now you come along and say they are wrong. I beg your pardon for going back to sources that I currently believe to be reliable in my examination your words. You have the chance to prove them wrong, but until you do, I am going to default to them.”

            While Elliot as a pre-mill historicist was not consistent with what I am becoming much more convinced is a bible based post-mill historicist position, I agree with the principle above.

            Scriptural principles should be guiding our presupposition to interpreting the Scriptures. Learning (and practicing) the principles revealed in the Word of God should be the fundamental basis for all bible ‘experts’ or at least those of us who claim to be using it solely for our interpretative belief system.

  5. Tim says:

    “But the scripture does have something to say on the matter. If we can determine the transitions from gold to silver to brass, then we can determine the transition from iron to iron and clay, from legs to feet to toes.”

    So are you saying that you have determined that by your using scripture alone to interpret scripture you have solved the contoversy on accurately dating of revelation? If indeed this is your alleged claim against the others who disagree with you (since you claim they do it only for reasons to avoid preterism eschatology), then can you please rewrite your blog post and take out all the secular references that you claim are the basis of your interpretive timeline. Please just use scripture alone to interpret scripture. I don’t want to see the hyprocracy.

  6. Tim said:

    “What I find interesting is that in the Clark-van Til controversy, the accusation against Clark was that he believed that the Scriptures could be understood and were not inherently contradictory. For maintaining that position he was labeled prideful and arrogant, thinking that he could resolve a matter that had puzzled great men before him. But all he had assumed was that the word of God is perspicuous and can be understood by men.”

    Of course Tim. Clark (and I assume yourself) have been the select few in secular history to claim they can understand scripture and we’re labeled arrogant and prideful. Great source reference to place you among the very elite and select few who have been falsely charged with pride and arrogance over claiming to use scripture to teach the truth.

    I hope others see what I’m saying.

  7. Walt, how is Tim putting forth his theory on eschatology mean “: he has solved the controversy of acurately dating of revelation” that controversy will always exist, and your blaming Tim for purporting to solve it. Its become obvious to many on this site this is personal to you. You dont have to he a RPCNA minister to understand that. Ever since he said that Jesus has no earthly kingdom, you have been in attack mode. In fact unless Tim bows the knee to the Covenaters and comes into order under their magisterium he is a heretic. Sound like anyone you know Walt? Hint, a big tiarra. K

  8. Van Til, perfect example. Of course there is no pride coming out of the Covenater camp. It makes me ” chuckle” that those who make acusations of pride and arogance are the poster child for it. MacArthur once said in a sermon, you want to know what a man struggles with the most, listen to what he complains about all the time. ” out of abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. ” God bless k

  9. “It is an old Rule and generally received; That a rational doubting of things is a good preparative to the right understanding of them: and on the contrary, that nothing is more prejudicial to sound knowledge, then to sit down with confidence upon our own opinions, and repose ourselves in the things we hold or know, without making doubt of the truth or sufficiency of our knowledge: Whereby it often comes to pass, that we embrace clouds of our affected ignorance, in stead of solid and substantial learning.” Covenanter Zechariah Crofton, Bethshemesh Clouded, 1653.

    “The current literature of modern times abounds in misrepresentation of the character of our forefathers, and the cause for which they suffered…And even amoung parties making a serious profession of religion much prejudice exists, both against the Reformers and the principles of the Reformation. It is, therefore, of great importance that we be well acquainted with the history of the Church, in order to understand what the principles of the Reformation really are, and how much we are indebted to those by whom they were maintained. In prosecuting this study we will discover the vast expense at which these principles have been transmitted to us, and the inestimable benefits which they have been the means of conferring on the land. It is an historical fact, that all the great and beneficial reformations which have been accomplished in this country have been brought about by means of the Protestants, Presbyterians, and Calvinistic principles of the covenanted Church of Scotland…. The constitutional principles by which God produced that great work, the reformation from Popery. If any one shall choose to say my principles will do so and so, we say to him the Protestant, Presbyterian and Calvinistic principles of the Covenanted Church of Scotland were those which produced the greatest and the best work that has been accomplished since the days of the apostles; and when a greater and better work shall be produced by other principles; but not till then. (“On the Duty and Advantage of Being Acquainted with the History of the Church of Scotland” in The Original secession Magazine, 1848)

    1. ” that nothing is more prejudicial to sound knowledge than to sit down with confidence upon our own opinions, and repose ourselves in the things we know or hold, without making the doubt of the truth and sufficiency of our knowledge” I agree with the old rule. Why dont you apply it to yourself when you question not a man’s position, but his motives. Man sees the outside, God knows the heart. Just because Tim purports a new take on eschatology doesnt mean he hasnt followed the old rule. For unless I am convinced by the scriptures or sound reason….. In Christ K

  10. An Useful Case of Conscience, Learnedly and Accurately Discussed and Resolved, Concerning Associations and Confederacies with Idolaters, Infidels, Heretics, Malignants or any other Known Enemies of Truth and Godliness.

    The treatise was used by the Covenanters and seems to have been originally published in Holland in 1693. There is reference to the treatise at a “general meeting of Society people … at Edinburgh 28 May 1683.” The treatise expressed the opinion that Scotland should not support Charles I without some restraint placed on relatively absolute royal power and without assurance the Presbyterian religion could be maintained.[11] The documents seems to have been presented to the Society either by Hugh Binning’s son, John, or his widow, Barbara Gordon (who remarried about 1657 to James Gordon; he was born in Ireland and became a minister at Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland.) (An Useful Case of Conscience, fulltext). In the treatise Binning writes:

    Where God hath given us liberty by the law of nature, or his word, no king can justly tie us, and when God binds and obliges us by any of these, no king or parliament can loose or untie us.[10]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugh_Binning

    No king or parliament, but those who claim to be independents can teach anything as “bible only” without dealing with any tradition. It is worth a chuckle.

  11. For many of you this will all be non-biblical, tradition written by mere men of no standard or authority, and filled with error, and the only “bible only” opinions are allowed by only one or two modern teachers in 2015 located on “Out of His Mouth” blog….all Covenanter “tradition” is forbidden as below!:

    (The National Church—The Magistrate’s Power Circa Sacra 1)

    For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. (1 Tim. 2:2)

    Question.—What are the duties of the magistrate under the New Testament? Answer.—As God has committed to magistrates the duty of keeping the public peace, Eccl. 8:2-5; so, too, we are to seek our peace in the peace of the nation in which we reside, Jer. 29:7. Magistrates are to achieve this peace in a twofold way:

    First, By seeing that all men live honestly through the upholding of the second table of the law of God, Rom. 13:9. In this, men seek to maintain a conscience void of offense toward men, Acts 24:16.

    Second, By taking care that men live godly, or in accordance with the first table of the law, Ex. 20:10.

    Question.—Wherein does it appear that the Lord has committed to magistrates the care of religion?

    Answer.—If Christians are to pray for kings that they might lead peaceable lives in godliness, then the magistrates stand under a command to that end, Ps. 72:1. Now, to those to whom ends are committed, all things necessary to achieving those ends are also allowed by command, Acts 17:2.

    Second, The examples of the magistrates under the Old Testament, especially those heathen kings, whose care for the welfare of the church was blessed by God’s people of old, Ezra 7:27. The hand of God was upon them, not in a typical but a moral way, to guide them to seek the good of the church, Neh. 2:8. The hearts of all kings as kings are held by God’s hand, Prov. 21:1; Ezra 6:22; because their power stands not in grace but in nature, even the nature of the office, Rom. 13:1. Nonetheless, only a Christian magistrate possesses the qualifications necessary to the right carrying out of this duty, Heb. 12:14.

    Third, The Gospel promises of the Old Testament concerning what magistrates should be under the New, Isa. 49:23. Even calling kings ministers, Isa. 60:10. Also warning those who will serve and predicting that they who would serve, or minister, would do so to the beautifying of the house of God in their respective nations, Isa. 60:12, 13. To this, we may add the exhortation to kings as kings to join themselves to Messiah with the kiss of peace, Ps. 2:10-12; adding that they must open their gates to Christ, Ps. 24:7-10.

    Fourth, Because Jesus Christ as Mediator has the kingdom and power over all things for the good of the church, Eph. 1:22. Therefore, those under Him must be subservient to Him and the ends for which He appoints all lawful use of power, Prov. 8:15, 16.

    Fifth, The fourth commandment, which is addressed to magistrates, Deut. 5:14; so it was enforced by Nehemiah, Neh. 13:15-22. But, if the time of worship belongs to the care of magistrates, then the worship itself must fall under his inspection, Ps. 122:9.

    Sixth, The flourishing of religion being the greatest security and safety of the commonwealth, magistrates must take care about the maintenance of the true religion, Ezra 7:23-26. The danger being great when true religion falls into disuse, it respects the magistrate, by reason of his office, to take order that religion be established in the nation, 2 Chron. 15:3-8.

    Question.—What are magistrates prohibited from doing in matters of religion?

    Answer.—Because the danger is great that magistrates take upon themselves too much in matters of religion, even entering into matters in sacris, 2 Chron. 26:18-21; the following things should be noted:

    First, Magistrates are not to do that which is good in their own eyes, but are to be guided by the revealed will of God, Deut. 17:18-20. He ought not to give preference to matters of state over matters of religion, 2 Chron. 7:14.

    Second, They are not to give themselves over to follow the dictates of other men, 1 Kings 12:6-14; but they are to stand upon their duty as declared by the Word of God, Ps. 2:1-3, 10.

    Third, They are not to compel any to a profession of the true religion, Ps. 110:3; though they may compel them to seek the Lord God, 2 Chron. 15:12, 13. It is one thing to make men attend the means of grace and another to make them believe the truth—God alone is the lord of conscience, Rom. 14:4.

    Fourth, Neither may the magistrate deprive the church of any of the privileges Christ has purchased by His blood, Acts 5:29. In civil matters, when reason requires, he may deprive men of their privileges, Ps. 82:3; 1 Pet. 2:17; but in matters of religion he must leave that which is indifferent as it is—indifferent, Gal. 2:4, 5.

    Fifth, The magistrate must not deny that indulgence, toleration or latitude to all the people of the Lord due to weakness, whether of judgment or conversation, which Christ would have all His people exercise one toward another, Eph. 4:2, 32.

    1. Walt, we learned from the Roman Church with the exhultation of the bishop and the squelching of the priesthood of believers a very sound lesson. Unfortunately, many of the Reformers who fought for our freedoms of only God binding a man’s conscience in the end ,” men of standard and authority” returned to many of the practices against the anabaptists and the like. The very thing Luther said, latter he went on to violate, probably a regret on his part. I consider the Scottish Covenanters as great men of the faith, carving out important ground. But they were not infalible in their pronouncements. K

    2. Walt, sounds good in theory, but in reality Christian liberty is always sacrificed. Ask Dirk Willems. Many say the Protestant state persecution of the re baptizers was much worse than anything in pagan Rome. We are reminded His kingdom isnt of this world. K

  12. 1 Peter 2:13 ” submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, or to govenors as sent be him for the pubishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right” a believer is to live in humble submission in the midst of hostile, godless, slandering society, for the Lord’s sake. Jesus showed us how to do this, as He was reviled but He reviled not. Though our true citzenship is in heaven, he still must live as an obedient citizen in this world so that God will be honored and glorified, and everytime Christians have violated this command, sin and arrogance and error has protruded. Rebelious conduct by a Christian brings dishonor to God, for it is God that raises leaders and brings them down. K

  13. To all you independent, “bible only” theorists!

    “There is then a catholic, a protestant and a reformed tradition. It would be false to disavow them. It would be presumptuous and even absurd to try to extricate ourselves from these traditions. We cannot do it and we should not attempt to.

    And we must bear in mind that these traditions of which we speak are not transmitted and carried on simply in the documents that enshrine and exemplify these traditions. In a highly real and important sense each tradition is established and perpetuated from generation to generation within the community and communion of those embracing and cherishing it.

    The family, the visible church, the school, to a certain extent even state institutions and various other organizations are instruments whereby these traditions are fostered and communicated.

    For example, a reformed community breathes in a certain atmosphere, is animated by a certain spirit, embraces a certain viewpoint, is characterized by a certain type of life and practice, maintains and promotes certain types of institutions.

    ****We call this the reformed tradition; it permeates the whole life of that community. When we pass on to another community of a different tradition, we immediately notice the difference. In these respects the fact of tradition and of its all-permeating influence on thought and life is undeniable.****

    Where it is a good tradition, it should be welcomed, embraced, cherished, promoted. It is the way whereby God in His providence and grace establishes and furthers His kingdom in the world.”

    From The Presbyterian Guardian, 1947, May 10 and 25 and reprinted in Collected Writings of John Murray – Vol. 4 Studies in Theology (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1982) pp. 264-273.

    http://www.the-highway.com/tradition.html

    1. WALT–
      You quoted from the Presbyterian Guardian, 1947, May 10 and 25 and reprinted in Collected Writings of John Murray exactly what Kirk was saying–that Sola Scriptura is a tradition handed down from generation to generation!

      Who told you the Bible is the inspired word of God? Or in Tim’s case “who first taught you the Bible was God-breathed?”
      Faithful Christians taught you that tradition, that’s who!

      It’s a part of Reformed tradition:
      IV. The authority of the Holy Scripture, for which it ought to be believed, and obeyed, depends not upon the testimony of any man, or Church; but wholly upon God (who is truth itself) the author thereof: and therefore it is to be received, because it is the Word of God.
      V. We may be moved and induced by the testimony of the Church to an high and reverent esteem of the Holy Scripture.–Chapter 1 Westminster Confession of Faith

      It’s a part of Roman Catholic tradition:
      101 In order to reveal himself to men, in the condescension of his goodness God speaks to them in human words: “Indeed the words of God, expressed in the words of men, are in every way like human language, just as the Word of the eternal Father, when he took on himself the flesh of human weakness, became like men.”
      102 Through all the words of Sacred Scripture, God speaks only one single Word, his one Utterance in whom he expresses himself completely:
      “You recall that one and the same Word of God extends throughout Scripture, that it is one and the same Utterance that resounds in the mouths of all the sacred writers, since he who was in the beginning God with God has no need of separate syllables; for he is not subject to time.”
      103 For this reason, the Church has always venerated the Scriptures as she venerates the Lord’s Body. She never ceases to present to the faithful the bread of life, taken from the one table of God’s Word and Christ’s Body.
      104 In Sacred Scripture, the Church constantly finds her nourishment and her strength, for she welcomes it not as a human word, “but as what it really is, the word of God”. “In the sacred books, the Father who is in heaven comes lovingly to meet his children, and talks with them.”
      105 God is the author of Sacred Scripture. “The divinely revealed realities, which are contained and presented in the text of Sacred Scripture, have been written down under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.” –Catechism of the Catholic Church

      And it’s a part of Methodist tradition:
      Sacred Scripture
      In early times and over many generations, the sixty-six books were thoughtfully used by faithful people. In the process their merits were weighed, and the community of believers finally gave them special authority. Tested by faith, proven by experience, these books have become sacred; they’ve become our rule for faith and practice.

      In Israel the Book of Deuteronomy was adopted as the Word of God about 621 B.C. The Torah, or Law (the first five books of the Hebrew Bible), assumed authority around 400 B.C.; the Prophets about 200 B.C.; and the Writings about 100 B.C. After a struggle the Christians determined that the Hebrew Bible was Scripture for them as well. The New Testament as we know it was formed and adopted by church councils between A.D. 200 and A.D. 400.

      God’s Word
      We say that God speaks to us through the Bible, that it’s God’s Word. This authority derives from three sources:
      –We hold that the writers of the Bible were inspired, that they were filled with God’s Spirit as they wrote the truth to the best of their knowledge.
      –We hold that God was at work in the process of canonization, during which only the most faithful and useful books were adopted as Scripture.
      –We hold that the Holy Spirit works today in our thoughtful study of the Scriptures, especially as we study them together, seeking to relate the old words to life’s present realities. –What We Believe: United Methodist Church

  14. Dear Tim, In the first paragraph of your blog entry you wrote:

    “It is not a matter that can be resolved by external testimony, because the external testimony itself is contradictory. But the internal evidence is quite compelling.”

    Then, approximately 25 paragraphs and numerous quotes from historic sources later, you said:

    “Because John’s Apocalypse is so thoroughly Danielic in its imagery, we believe that John had that approaching transition in mind when he referred to the first Seven Emperors of the Roman Empire: “there are seven kings” (Revelation17:10).”

    If I follow your own recommendation, are you suggesting that I ignore the content of paragraphs 2-24 (for its being contradictory) and base my assurance of a right interpretation of the dating of the book of Revelation upon the single phrase you provide from Rev. 17:10, namely, “there are seven kings”?

    Without the weight of the external testimony (your arguments from non-scriptural secondary sources) you lack any argument at all for persuading me of your interpretation of these four words offered up out of Revelation 17:10.

    What happened to “quite compelling.” internal evidence? I thought you were going to convince me from our primary source (Scripture) as to the date of the authorship of the book of Revelation….

    I will give you the benefit of the doubt in this post and hope that your “final say” proves your point next week. Thank you for your efforts to “continue on this theme next week.”

    Henry

    1. Thanks, Henry. My point regarding the contradictory evidence of the external testimony as to the dating of revelation is that the external testimony is contradictory and therefore is not determinative. One of Walt’s advisors appealed to Irenæaus’ testimony as determinative as follows:

      “As far as the dating of the book of Revelation, I think it is wrong, wrong, wrong. … other early fathers clearly understood the witness of Irenaeus (and Polycarp) to refer to John seeing the vision during the reign of Domitian (not only John being seen).”

      And yet Tertullian appears to suggest an earlier date, the Muratorian Canon was contemporary to Irenæaus and reports an earlier date, as cited.

      “[T]he blessed Apostle Paul, following the rule of his predecessor John, writes to no more than seven churches by name,” (Muratorian Canon, 3)

      External testimony from various early church sources cannot be determinative. Surely you agree. The testimony is inconsistent. That is why I do not offer external testimony. Yet Walt’s source offered Irenæaus as determinative as if Irenæus’ say was final. Do you think it was? Why choose Irenæus as a determinative source and ignore the Muratorian Canon? And Tertullian? And Epiphanius? Those three at least provide countervailing evidence to Irenaeus. That is why I do not believe the date of Revelation can be determined by external testimony. I do not rely on it.

      In any case, I suppose I should have included here what I included in an earlier article on a similar topic, which is that Jesus invokes Danielic imagery in order to explain to the Jews when their kingdom would be taken away during the period of Iron and Clay Feet. Here is what I wrote:

      From The Fifth Empire, part 4

      Feet of Iron and Clay

      We find support for this interpretation in a rather oblique reference to Daniel 2 in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. The chief priests, scribes and elders were pressing Jesus to identify who had given Him authority to teach what He was teaching (Matthew 21:23, Luke 20:1-2). He would not answer their question, but He took the occasion to speak the Parable of the Husbandmen. In this parable, the husbandmen were entrusted with the stewardship of the vineyard, but “when the time of the fruit drew near,” the husbandmen beat, killed and stoned the master’s servants. The master then sends his own son, saying, “They will reverence my son,” but when he came, “they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him” (Matthew 21:33-39, Luke 20:9-15). What then would become of the husbandmen? What would the lord of the vineyard do to them?

      “He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons” (Matthew 21:41, c.f., Luke 20:16).

      Jesus had just informed the chief priests, scribes and elders that they were the unfruitful, unfaithful husbandmen of the vineyard, that His Father had repeatedly sent His servants, the prophets, only for them to be rejected, and now He had sent His beloved Son. And He, too, would be rejected and killed by them. For this reason, “The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof” (Matthew 21:43). As the Matthew account reveals, those “other husbandmen” to whom the kingdom would be given were the harlots and tax collectors (Matthew 21:32) and the gentiles (Matthew 22:9-10). The saints of the Most High.

      It is in the midst of this confrontation with the Jews that Jesus invokes Psalms 118 and Daniel 2, not only to identify Himself as the Stone, but also to identify the period during which “the kingdom of God shall be taken from you”:

      “Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes? [Psalms 118:22-23] Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder. [Daniel 2:34-35]” (Matthew 21:43-44)

      Over the course of just a few verses, Jesus invoked the imagery of a Stone as well as the statue of Daniel 2 which is “broken” upon the first strike (Daniel 2:34), and then ultimately ground to dust at the second (Daniel 2:35). Not insignificantly, Jesus here separates the two judicial movements we discussed in the first three installments of this series, describing the first almost as if the Statue tripped over the Stone (breaking its feet), and the second as if the Stone had fallen upon the Statue, grinding it to powder. Even more importantly, He invokes this imagery in the context of the kingdom of God being taken away from the Jews and given to the Gentiles, which is what Daniel 2 and Daniel 7 had foretold. In both chapters, the saints are depicted as receiving a kingdom during the Roman empire:

      “And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.” (Daniel 2:44)

      “These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth. But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever.” (Daniel 7:17-18)

      Both of these passages, as we have noted for the last few weeks, refer to the Kingdom of Heaven being given to the saints during the Roman empire, and according to the Parable of the Husbandmen, it is from the Jews that the kingdom is taken, and it is to the harlots, tax collectors and gentiles that it is given. It was to be taken from the Jews and given to the saints, and this time the kingdom “shall not be left to other people.” Thus Jesus confirms for us that the saints of the Most High do not receive the kingdom from the Roman Empire, as Roman Catholic apologist Taylor Marshall concluded in The Eternal City. When Jesus interprets Daniel 2 for us, He shows the saints of the Most High receiving the kingdom from the Jews “in the days of those kings.” This is the Heavenly Kingdom that John, Jesus and His apostles had been commissioned to announce.

      This bears significantly on the transition from the Iron Legs to the Iron and Clay Feet of Daniel 2 because Jesus invokes the imagery of the Stone the Statue and the transfer of a kingdom in regard to events that are yet future to Him and to His audience. At the time of the parable, the Jews have yet to reject the Stone, and they have yet to catch Him and cast Him out of the vineyard, and slay Him (Matthew 21:33-39, Luke 20:9-15), and the Lord of the Vineyard has yet to “miserably destroy those wicked men” (Matthew 21:41) and He has yet to take away the kingdom from them (Matthew 21:43). In fact, the language of taking away their kingdom, and giving the kingdom to another nation, is yet future, and is a reference to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.. It is only then that their kingdom is officially taken away. Jesus’ and John’s ministry of announcing the Kingdom of Heaven was in anticipation of this very thing, for the phrase, “The kingdom of heaven is at hand,” literally means “The kingdom of heaven draweth nigh” or “The kingdom of heaven approacheth.”

      The significance of this to our understanding of the Statue is that by appealing to the imagery of Daniel 2, Jesus has described the destruction of the Jewish nation in terms that place the event chronologically in the period of the Iron and Clay feet that we identified above. As we noted in our analysis of the emperors of Rome, the period of the Iron Legs ends with Galba in 69 A.D., and the period of the Iron and Clay Feet immediately follows. Within the year, Jerusalem would be destroyed.

      As you can see, Henry, that is an appeal to Scripture to understand both Daniel and Revelation. Taken together with Daniel, Matthew, Mark and Revelation, I believe the internal testimony to be quite compelling. You are not required to believe me as a condition of fellowship. I have not claimed that my “external testimony” is to be held as determinative, and I have not claimed that you must submit to a magisterium of my choosing. I have simply explained to you what I believe to be true from the Scriptures. Do you believe the Kingdom of God was taken away from the Jews in 70 A.D.? If not, why not? Do you think the imagery Jesus invoked was Danielic? Do you believe that I am allowed to reason from the Scriptures publicly?

      In any case, what you dismissed in paragraphs 2-24 included quotes from the Scriptures indicating that the Babylonian, Median, Persian and post-Alexandrian Greek kingdoms were handed from Father to son. Do you believe that Scriptural testimony to be incorrect? What are your thoughts on it?

      Do you believe there are two judicial movements depicted in Daniel 2:34-35? Why or why not? How do you resolve the matter of the three too many horns at the end (Revelation 17)?

      Thank you for your comment and for your thoughts,

      Tim

  15. Tim wrote:

    “The depth of my concern is that Walt and some of his advisors consider the teachings of the Scottish Magisterium to be relevatory, which makes the Church the source of Truth. It simply cannot be so, for the Scottish Magisterium has been known to err and its traditions are themselves contradictory.”

    It is either to elevate Tim to the teachings of the church, or to elevate the Church to the teaching of the church. Tim is an independent in practice, and therefore the church is always to be rejected over the opinions of the individual. That is why the independents always claim to be “bible only” and that any church court is unlawful and Romish tradition.

    The fact that Tim elevates his own tradition and secular tradition, with a little bit of sprinkled Scriptures to justify his “bible only” position as the source of truth, is hypocritical.

    Tim, by the way, I’m at a much hated (by you independents) small covenanter gathering this weekend and I have asked Dan and Henry to share their own responses since Kevin and Gus has been defending your traditions/opinions here. Please don’t blame them for responding since we worked till past 2am last night mapping out your “biblical” theories, and started comparing them to other ministers. Yes, I know that all the other ministers are “tradition” and you are “bible only” opinions, but it is helpful to map out the Scriptures and the “opinions” you each have…even though yours are allegedly “bible only” and theirs are allegedly “tradition”.

  16. Tim said:

    “Walt often assumes that a citation from the early church is an implicit invocation of tradition, but it reality, it is merely a citation from the early church.”

    David Murray says:

    “Where it is a good tradition, it should be welcomed, embraced, cherished, promoted. It is the way whereby God in His providence and grace establishes and furthers His kingdom in the world.”

    Amen. To claim that all truth is to be rejected in history and only Tim Kaufmann is the only source of truth is silly. Tim implies this view as all his opinions are bible only, and anything he quotes is not “tradition” but only “research”. Painful.

    1. Walt, you wrote,

      “To claim that all truth is to be rejected in history and only Tim Kaufmann is the only source of truth is silly.”

      It is silly, which is why I did not claim it. In any case, this whole discussion is about eschatology, something which you concede has not been ruled on in any lawful court. Lacking any ruling, which tradition are you recommending that I welcome, cherish, embrace and promote? That the flood of Revelation 12 is a flood of false doctrines? Or that it is a flood of men? You have offered or recommended both positions on this blog.

      Again, I am confused about your appeal to tradition when there is no official court ruling on eschatology. The Scots are clearly free to differ on matters of eschatology. Why am I not free?

      Thanks,

      Tim

  17. Dan, here is all you need to know about your buddy Walt ” Tim is an independent in practice, and therefore the church is always to be rejected over the opinions of the individual” This is what you get when you cant make an argument from your sources that contradict a position.,a sweeping character judgment. It wont suffice to say we have great infalible ministers from a long tradition. Thats been tried before. It is amusing for a Reformed Baptist type like me to see Tim hitting a nerve with you guys in oposing the second reformation eschatalogical positions. God bless. K

  18. Tim said ” the Scotts are free to differ on matters, why am not I free” thank you, this is what I have been consistently saying. It seems to me that the reason you are not free to is because your position has exposed the flaws in the interpretations of great inherent ministers of the Scottish tradition. They can continue to question your motives, or disqualify you as an ” idependent bible only” or then they can jump in and make an argument against your position. The attempt to disqualify your position based on the number of paragraphs used for scripture, compared to secular references, historical etc. wont fool the serious bible student. Blessings all. K

  19. I will not participate any further in any discussion concerning Tim’s motives and hypocrisy. Tim is no hypocrite simply because he disagrees with the Second Reformation and its champion Walt. Participation in such discussion is a violation of the 9th commandment–

    WLC 145 What are the sins forbidden in the ninth commandment? A. The sins forbidden in the ninth commandment are, all prejudicing the truth, and the GOOD NAME of our neighbours, as well as our own, especially in public judicature; giving false evidence, suborning false witnesses, wittingly appearing and pleading for an evil cause, out-facing and overbearing the truth; PASSING UNJUST SENTENCE, calling evil good, and good evil; rewarding the wicked according to the work of the righteous, and the righteous according to the work of the wicked; forgery, concealing the truth, undue silence in a just cause, and holding our peace when iniquity calleth for either a reproof from ourselves, or complaint to others; speaking the truth unseasonably, or maliciously to a wrong end, or PERVERTING IT TO A WRONG MEANING, or in doubtful and equivocal expressions, to the prejudice of truth or justice; speaking untruth, lying, SLANDERING, BACKBITING, DETRACTING, tale-bearing, WHISPERING, SCOFFING, REVILING, RASH, HARSH, and PARTIAL censuring; MISCONSTRUCTING intentions, words, and actions; flattering, vain-glorious boasting, thinking or speaking too highly or too meanly of ourselves or others; denying the gifts and graces of God; aggravating smaller faults; hiding, excusing, or extenuating of sins, when called to a free confession; unnecessary discovering of infirmities; raising false rumours, receiving and countenancing evil reports, and stopping our ears against just defence; EVIL SUSPICION; envying or grieving at the deserved credit of any, endeavouring or desiring to impair it, rejoicing in their disgrace and infamy; scornful contempt, fond admiration; breach of lawful promises; neglecting such things as are of good report, and practising, or not avoiding ourselves, or not hindering what we can in others, such things as procure an ill name. (WLC 1:145 WCS)

    Walt has consistently called Tim a hypocrite without justification. Jesus warns–21 “You have heard that it was said to those of old,`You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ 22 “But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother,`Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says,`You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire. (Matt. 5:21-22 NKJ). A hypocrite or “fool” is an individual who feigns a Christian profession out of ulterior and sinister motives. Judas was a hypocrite; the Pharisees were hypocrites; Demas who forsook Paul because he “loved this present world” (2 Tim. 4:10) was a hypocrite. It is one thing to say someone is inconsistent it is another thing to say he is a hypocrite. A sinning believer is never a hypocrite–only inconsistent. Gal. 6:1. Perhaps in the heat of the moment in the defense of the “precious truths” of the 2nd reformation Walt has gone further than he realizes. I will give him the benefit of the doubt.

    Apologize to Tim, please Walt. I call you to this as an officer of the church indivisible. In the name of Jesus Christ revoke your slander that he is a hypocrite and ask his forgiveness. You stated this in a public forum. This is slander–or to be more precise libel, because it is published. IF you do not you are no Christian.

    11 For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another, 12 not as Cain who was of the wicked one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil and his brother’s righteous. 13 Do not marvel, my brethren, if the world hates you. 14 We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death. 15 Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. 16 By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 17 But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? 18 My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. 19 And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him. (1 Jn. 3:11-19 NKJ)

    Show us that you are a Christian by ceasing your character assassinations and countering Tim by way of analogia fidei. Surely a covenanter should know Scripture well enough that he can use it primarily to counter Tim’s exegesis, and use second reformation sources only secondarily. Name calling is not becoming of a Christian. Failure to do so promptly, means you are not a Christian. I will therefore in such eventuality refuse to deal with you as a Christian. Further, if I thought there was a possibility of involving your local judicature and place a complaint of public scandal I would. But, having had personal dealings with the wickedness of the RPCNA pacific presbytery I hold little hope that it would be successful. Therefore it is enough for me that you repent, and if you do not do so, that I shun you–like a good Mennonite. In that at least they are very biblical. Frankly I am very tired as a professing Christian of 43 years standing of “professing Reformed Presbyterian” Christians who in the name of the Reformation engage in all kinds of lies and schemes. I am of the opinion the Augustine is correct when he says that we will be shocked when we get into heaven to see all the Christians who aren’t there. In the words of the ruling elder of a wee free church that i was well acquainted with, “nay, i will not go into the manse to fellowship with the pastor, because i hate him.” He was a strict sabbath keeper and PRIDED himself on only eating in hospitals when he travelled on the Sabbath. God’s judgement of this man was that he had a heart attack in his doctor’s office. Beware, Walt, lest a worse thing come upon you.

    Dr. Gus Gianello
    Issachar Biblical Institute,

    T.E.
    Oshawa Reformed Presbyterian Chapel

  20. Hi Dan, just so you know, I have confronted Walt about bearing false witness of me on Out of His Mouth before and basically Walt told me in order for him to consider the offense stated I would have to submit a 500 page statement to his church for him to consider it. IOW, it said to me if Im in another church I dont have to take your offense seriously. Your whole post to me was defending Walt against certain acusations made against him about holding to his magisterium, using his reliable sources, etc. When in fact it is Walt who has attached Tim’s character for the simple fact of his position stands in opposition to tradition on a subject that is unsettled. In fact, when Tim said Christ has no earthly civil reign currently,it seemed Walt intensified his assault. Dan, I attend a bible church and consider myself reformed. I can tell you that Tim Kauffman’s example of Christ and input in my life God has used to make me a more holy man. It has also made me to consider the Reformed Presbyterian church. On the other hand watching Walt’s unrepentant heart and ad hominem attacks make me wonder about ” if you have not love, you are but a clanging symbol. I want to tell you I can say this because I have been guilty of many of these things in my own life, and because of loving confrontation by a man who took the time ( Tim) I dont treat people that way anymore. In the end I will believe the best about Walt, I consider him my brother, and from he and Tim I have learned much. God bless K

  21. Dan, you said to Tim, ” however, I think you need to provide indisputable evidence that they were wrong.” I disagree. Tim must provide indisputable evidence from scripture that his position is correct or believable from scripture . Does he have to prove every eschatological position in history wrong to be right. No he does not. Its for each believer to apply his conclusions to historical evidence. Im sorry Dan, the argument that someone is an internet guy with no credentials that has to prove other opinions wrong is Roman Catholic thinking. Tim has NO obligation to second reformation minister’s position in an unsettled matter. He can if he chooses, but you guys make it sound like there is some law that requires this kind of test that must be overcome. Why dont you just say, in my mind this must happen. All scripture is profitable for every good work, including establishing eschatlogical truth. Scripture is tradition. The deposit of faith is the rule of faith. There is no tradition that Tim is beholden too in matters unsettled. Imho. K

    1. KEVIN–
      You said to Dan: “Does he have to prove every eschatological position in history wrong to be right. No he does not. Its for each believer to apply his conclusions to historical evidence. Im sorry Dan, the argument that someone is an internet guy with no credentials that has to prove other opinions wrong is Roman Catholic thinking.

      I like your thinking! Even the Pope can “apply his conclusions to historical evidence”. And maybe even a Methodist like me. Good thing we don’t have to prove everybody else wrong. And all the Pope has to do is declare infallibly to make it true, right? 😉

  22. Gus,

    I have not read your post above, but the first and last paragraphs. You seem to be pretty clear and precise about my allegations against Tim have no merit or fact. Therefore, since you have (I’ve heard from one other person who has read your comments) charged me with public sin, can you please provide me 1) either your email so that you can formerly charge me as a Presbyterian of public slander of Tim’s good name, and sin with detailed specific facts supporting your allegations, or (which may damage those who read your formal charges against me); 2) the public charges against me with specific facts that allegedly prove my comments about Tim have no warrant.

    Tim has a near perfect photographic memory, and can pull from hundreds of historical posts to justify his position, but while I have not had the time due to extensive global travel schedule, I am going to take time to dig extensively into Tim’s comments to defend my good name against my claims.

    It is really clear to me that you are either an actual Elder or Pastor of a church, or a lawyer or highly qualified doctor on Presbyterian government. I’m not of any, but the last time I formerly charged someone for sin I wrote an 80 page complaint with extensive detailed facts covering hundreds and hundreds of pages of testimony, and after 2 years of researching the subject reading many many second reformation source documents on mostly the distinction between toleration of sin vs. accommodation of weakness, with proof texts, and what are the grounds in Presbyterian court history permitting separation of a ministry (resulting in a 39 page reversal of my charges).

    If you indeed prove that my allegations against Tim are false, slander and sinful, I will reverse my position. I’ve done it many times before, but I need to read your detailed proofs and facts, and insure you have adequately reviewed all the posts since I started posting over a year ago. That is going to be my basis for my charges. Not the last two weeks.

    I’ll await your email or your formal public charges. I’m here for a couple weeks, then I’m off to Russia, central Asia and Malaysia so please try to get me these charges before I leave so I have time to adequately respond.

  23. Walt said ” people read his blog and be blown away by the HYPOCRISY that he uses” it doesnt take an 80 page formal letter to your church. You made a false acusation against a brother. You called him a hypocrite. Thats a statement about his character, not his position. K

  24. Hi Tim, as I am working through scriptures over the last couple years here at whitehorse blog, and as you have unfolded Daniel and Revelation so well, many questions pop up in my mind. Since eschatology theory is so diverse and unsettled, the need to be exact with scripture is so necessary. I think of the verse that now we see in a mirror and then face to face. Here is my question. Ive have settled in my mind I am Historist, but how would I approach chapter 20 ( or other scriptures) of Revelations to determine if the premill or post mill position is biblical? If Satan has been given to eathly dominion, does this mean things will get worse before the second coming. I just have a hard time believing that God will christianize institutions and things get better before 2nd coming? But, Im open to whatever scripture teaches. Do you care to opine in your eschatology? You have put the time in. Thanks, blessings in the New Year to all the Kauffman’s from my wife and I . K

  25. Tim, I was re reading a post you gave to Dan and I realized that because of the 2 judicial judgments Christ doesnt take earthly reign until his second coming, which has to mean that Satan is allowed coerce earthly institutions until Christ second coming when He puts them down with his heavenly armies. Would this theory put to rest the Hist. Postmills who believe that things will get better until the 2nd comibg? Because if I understand you right, Christ is ruling a spiritual kingdom from heaven thru his church ( indivisible), Christians on this earth will continue to be persecuted by the systems ruled by evil men, and true finality wont happen until Christ puts all things under his feet? Feel free to correct me where im wrong. I look at the world and see things getting worse? What day you ? K

  26. Dan, Kevin wrote to you the following:

    “Hi Dan, just so you know, I have confronted Walt about bearing false witness of me on Out of His Mouth before and basically Walt told me in order for him to consider the offense stated I would have to submit a 500 page statement to his church for him to consider it. IOW, it said to me if Im in another church I dont have to take your offense seriously.”

    I do not recall ever writing anything of the sorts to Kevin. It takes a significant amount of time to write 500 pages, and as you know the recent 500+ page book just published defending the covenanter terms of communion against false charges took significant time and work to publish. I cannot ever imagine telling anyone they have to write 500 pages as Kevin alleges.

    Kevin, I don’t intend to discuss with you on any topics on this site, but I would appreciate you providing to Dan the proofs in this allegation about me so he knows what you state are true, “Walt told me in order for him to consider the offense stated I would have to submit a 500 page statement to his church for him to consider it.”

  27. Hi Walt, I would have to go back and find the posts where I told you that you bore false witness of me, and I confronted you and you told me I would have to submit the charges to you in writing. I thought you said 500 pages, but I could be mistaken Walt on the amount. I wasnt bringing it up because I want an apology. I forgave you that day because I love you as my brother. The only reason I brought it up Walt is because I believe you attacked Tim’s character calling him a hypocrite. Tim has always treated everyone here with respect, never ad hominenm attacks. Brother, it seems to me that we should be quick to apologize and repent as believers. Gus has asked you to apologize and so have I, but I dont intend to say anymore. Its between you and God. You have so many wonderful qualities, and have been helpful to me. But God resists the proud Walt. You are surrounded by Godly men, and they have defended you, but they should not put up with the sweeping statements you have made about Tim. You judged him. Its wrong Walt, and I believe you know it. But I have only told you this because you have posted me tonight. I will say nothing else. I pray for you, you are my brother. I do hope you take Dr Gus seriously. God bless, hope you had a good trip. Blessings in the new year. K

  28. Kevin said:

    “I thought you said 500 pages, but I could be mistaken Walt on the amount.”

    You will never find such a statement I made on this site or elsewhere.

    “You judged him. Its wrong Walt, and I believe you know it.”

    There is nothing wrong with judging people. Yes, I know the literal interpretation that most take of Scriptures to “judge not, lest you be judged” is a great evil according to our generation, but Scriptures not only require us to judge others words and actions, but has established both civil and ecclesiastic judges to make determinations on what is true and what is false. The idea that we are suppose to check our minds and Scripture at the door to not judge others hypocritical statements is foreign to biblical principles.

    1. Walt, I could absolutely find the thread here where I called you out for bearing false witness of me and to which you told me to submit it in writing numerous pages of the charge in order for you to consider it. But, I wont because the bottom line is you were just rebuked publicly by Dr Gus, I called you out previously, and what cant be denied is in both instances you have used process to keep from doing what is right. Here is the fact, you called Tim a HYPOCRITE, I provided the quote, Gus called you on it, and so did I, yet you remain unrepentant. I imagine you are abformally educated man as myself and Dr Gus. You are blowing smoke asking for numerous pages of charges. This is what you do. Who can stand before pride, I cant, nor do I want to. I dont want to lose my priviledges here because I like Tim and am very involved in learning his eschatalogical position. Tim has been a mentor to me and has held me to godly behavior. I intend to stay this way. So whether you apologize or not, I dont care. Im fully capable of forgiving without an apology, because God has forgiven me much. If you have a problem with what I just said, submit a 10 page complaint to Tim and Ill consider it. God bless brother. K

    2. Especially if you have a slew of 2nd reformation authors. Even though they would be horrified at the misuse of their writings, in order to justify your recalcitrance. Be careful, that you dont end up like the Wee Free elder who hated his pastor’s guts.

      Gus

    3. Well, it seems everyone has agreed not to respond to each other any more, and that sounds like a good next step.

      Thanks,

      Tim

      1. Tim said:

        “Well, it seems everyone has agreed not to respond to each other any more, and that sounds like a good next step.”

        Agreed. It would be good for you to respond to Dan as it did make some valid distinctions that seem to have been overlooked by your guests here as our just banning together as Covenanters to support me. I did not have anything to do with Dan’s response as I was long gone by then, and he took it upon himself to very carefully, methodically and charitably clarify to you what I meant by what I said, and further to share with you the universally held standards of not only the most faithful reformed, but also most Covenanters who hold to our terms of communion. Some of those corrections to you seem to have been ignored by you, but picked up by your blog supporters as just a pure defense of me with no merit in truth or worthy response. That is sort of sad because I read it later after Dan posted it and was pleasantly surprised at how well it was articulated compared to what I generally read here from others who pop in to claim the “facts” and “truth” as to what Covenanters and myself have stated clearly. Thus, if you can try to carefully correct Dan’s errors as others seem to imply, it would give me a solid look into your position on what I meant by what I said.

        I suspect if you are accurate in your reading of Dan’s reply, I suspect it will leave the blog without further comment and allow your eschatological views to be continued unchallenged going forward. Someone recently wrote to me after reading your last post that now is the time to get off the train at this stop, and while I’m not easily one to walk away where I see error that is public, in light of the two guys you have defending you it is clearly best for me to get off on this train stop here. I hope my other brothers do as well to avoid the anti-Covenanter attacks I see coming soon.

        1. Walt, when were your ” other brothers ” ever on the train. They have posted from the train station. It is amazing how you can turn a rebuke from a Reformed Pastor in good standing, and a Reformed baptist like me into an attack on you and your covenanter brothers. You are good, man, real good. Incidentally, you said you dont easily walk away when you see public error. Oh so you only walk away from public rebukes. Here is what is interesting to me, you grandstand. Its one thing to accuse Tim of public error, its another think to prove it. And you and your brothers in the train station have made a feeble attempt. All you can do is post cut outs from the second reformation. Tim has been asking for an argument, when are you going to give one Walt, so we can compare. Until you do, your just allot of hot air. God bless k

        2. Walt, do I understand you correctly to say that someone wrote to recently to tell you to “get off the train” because of this week’s post on the dating of Revelation? Is the dating of Revelation the “error that is public”?

          Thanks,

          Tim

          1. Tim said:

            “Walt, do I understand you correctly to say that someone wrote to recently to tell you to “get off the train” because of this week’s post on the dating of Revelation? Is the dating of Revelation the “error that is public”?”

            No, it was based upon last weeks post. I did not read this weeks post as after reading all last weeks comments it is crystal clear for me of your positions. Dan’s response was awesome gently correcting you, and your short reply got kudos from your supporters.

            In my opinion, there is so much error in your current position that I cannot possibly engage with you here on this site…nor will I going forward.

            What you need is lofty praise and support for your weekly blog posts and not criticism of your views, opinions or interpretations. You have got a good committed following now that will encourage you post by post, and give you their genuine sincere praise. I’m not going to be able to do that any longer.

            I attempted for nearly one to two years (I’m guessing) to follow your threads, and although I had disagreements with certain aspects of your interpretations, I’ve now grown to have a much deeper understanding of your position (I’m not now going to label you what I believe you are as I do not want to start another viral attack by your followers about my labeling you and “sinning” against you) that I did not see before. I almost got the feel that any correction of you would be like speaking against the Pope himself publicly and the wrath in defense will pour out quickly. Watch what this post its garners from some of your supporters…and I did not really call you the Pope, I just implied that any correction will likely lead to an immediate response if I don’t support and praise your labors here.

            This is a gift from me to you as it will allow you to continue to receive the support you need to continue your ministry without my public resistance going forward. I’ll let CK and Bob stay on this train.

            The best thing…is that you will never have to see any reformers posted again on your blog, as we all know their testimony is foolishness as mere tradition…and what is tradition to an expert in Scripture? We know.

            Let me leave you with the following “tradition”:

            “Let none say, That what we have done here flows from ambition to exalt ourselves above others, for as we have great cause, so we desire grace from the Lord, to be sensible of what accession we have with others in the land, to the provoking of His Spirit, in not walking as becomes the Gospel, according to our Solemn Engagements, neither proceeds it from irritation or inclination (by choice or pleasure) to discover our mother’s nakedness or wickedness, or that we love to be of a contentious spirit.

            For our witness is in heaven (whatever the world may say) that it would be the joy of our hearts, and as it were a resurrection from the dead, to have these grievances redressed and removed, and our backsliding and breaches quickly and happily healed, but it is to exoner consciences by protesting against the defections of the land, especially of Ministers: and seeing we can neither with safety to our persons, nor freedom in our consciences, compear before the Judicatories, while these defections are not acknowledged and removed, so we must, so long decline them, and hereby do decline them, as unfaithful judges in such matters: in regard they have, in so great a measure, yielded up the privileges of the Church into the hands and will of her enemies, and carried on a course of defection contrary to the Scriptures, our Covenants, and the acts and constitutions of this our Church.

            And hereby we further protest and testify against whatever they may conclude, or determine, in their ecclesiastick courts by acts, ratifications, sentences, censures, &c., that have been, or shall be made or given out by them, and protest that the same may be made void and null, and not interpreted as binding to us or any who desire firmly to adhere to the Covenanted work of Reformation.”

            Covenanter John Macmillan, the “Cameronian Apostle,” through whom the majority of Reformed Presbyterian ministers trace their ordination.
            Protestation, Declinature and Appeal (1708), 5 as quoted from Ignorant Yes, Covenanter No, and here:

            JOHN MCMILLAN & JOHN MCNEIL; Given in to the
            Commission of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, September 29th, 1708.

            http://www.truecovenanter.com/mcmillan/mackmillan_mackneil_declinature1708.html

      2. Tim, I plan on responding to people. But in any relationship there must be trust and respect. If you havent gleaned this, Walt has no respect for you or your bloggers, evidenced in his post to me this morning ,because he has made it personal with you, Gus, and me. It may be one thing if he only attacked your position, but its personal. I mean I get we are outcasts to Covenanters.We have no standing, as evidenced by Walt’s response to Gus. Im here to learn and compare positions. Im learning allot from your unfolding this pisition. Maybe somebody can tell Walt to keep his personal attacks to himself and just discuss the material. Calling you a hypocrite and questioning your motives is not ” believes all things”. I said my peace, back to your article. Excellent job. I think you have made the case for 2 judgments. Can you answer my question from earlier today. Thanks. Blessings brother. K

  29. ” and he took it upon himself to very carefully, methodically and charitably clarify to you what I meant by what I said, further share with you the universally held standards of not only the most faithful reformed, but also most covenanters who hold our terms of communion” it is important Walt to have someone else explain what you meant by hypocrite when you called Tim that, otherwise we would have thought that it means hypocrite. Can you ask your buddies if they will come explain to my wife what I mean when I sin against her. And ask them if they can do it charitably and methodically for me. I have never had someone else explain what I mean when I acuse people, but it seems useful. Then you said this ” some of those corrections seem to have been ignored by you, but have been picked up by your blog supporters as a pure defense of me with no merit or truth or worthy response.” Let me translate for Tim’s ” blog supporters” ( i guess we can just file your 2 years of praise of Tim’s work as no longer a blog supporter ?), translation ” when im confronted by other believers of public sin, I will allow my friends explain what I mean, or tell them it has no merit or truth and not worthy of response. Ive got your terms of communion down. Thanks

  30. Walt says to TIM–
    ” I almost got the feel that any correction of you would be like speaking against the Pope himself publicly and the wrath in defense will pour out quickly.”

    Interesting. I kinda felt that way myself. Hmmm. Anathema anyone?

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