The ‘Shape’ of the Mountain of God in Scripture

“Har Magedon – well named, this heavenly mount, the mountain of
God. For it is the mount of gathering in multiple senses. Primarily and
forever it is the temple-mount, the assembly place of the worshipping
celebrating entourage of the King of glory a myriad congregation of
angels and men (cf. Heb 12:18-29; Pss 479; 48; 102:21,22 [22,23]). Here is the council chamber where God assembles the heavenly elders for
deliberation (cf. Ps 82:1). This celestial mount is the paradise to which God’s exiled people of every nation are regathered (cf. Deut 30:3-5; Isa
27:12,13; 43:5; Jer 32:37-41; Ezek 11:17-20; 36:24). “Har Magedon is
the palace-fortress against which Satan’s antichrist, aspiring to the throne on this mountain, gathers his hordes in the final battle of Har Magedon (cf. Ezekiel 38-39; Rev 16:14-16; 19:19; 20:8), an event which, from the perspective of God’s sovereignty, is a divine gathering of the nations to Zion for their final judgment (cf. Joel 3 [4]; Zech 12:3; 14:2; Matt 25:31,32). This Mount of Assembly is the heavenly hearth to which the Lord gathers his elect, one by one in their passing from the earthly scene (cf. Isa 26:20; Luke 16:22; Rev 6:9-11) and as a
resplendent multitude raised from the dust in resurrection glory at his final harvesting of the earth at his parousia (Dan 12:2; Matt 13:30; 24:31; Mark 13:26,27; 2 Thess 2:1; Rev 14:14-16).” -Meredith Kline, God, Heaven, and Har Magedon, 56-57

The Kingdom of God in its Current Form

“For now, the kingdom of God is God’s people (all of those joined to Christ, living on earth as citizens of heaven) in God’s place (the temple being built with living stones, the church) under God’s rule (the blessings of the new covenant). For now, the kingdom of God is a community of sinners washed clean by the blood of the King, seeking to please the King, longing for the return of the King.” -Nancy Guthrie, The Son of David: Seeing Jesus in the Historical Books, pp. 25-26.

Epochal Elucidations: Once More, What is Pentecost?

Perspective on Pentecost “The controlling point in the position taken here is that Pentecost is to be understood first of all as part of the once-for-all accomplishment of redemption (historia salutis) rather than as a part of its ongoing, continual application (ordo salutis). Obviously the two are intimately related and inseparable, but they must not be confused. To do so necessarily jeopardizes the absolute sufficiency and finality of Christ’s work. As I have already tried to show, the baptism with the Holy Spirit at Pentecost is a unique event of epochal significance in the history of redemption. Therefore it is no more capable of being repeated or serving as a model for individual Christian experience than are the death, resurrection and ascension of Christ, with which it is so integrally conjoined as part of a single complex of events (see again Acts 2:32f.).” Richard Gaffin, Perspectives on Pentecost: The New Testament Teaching on the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, pg. 22.

Epochal Elucidations: What is Pentecost?

Perspective on Pentecost “Pentecost is nothing less than the establishment of the church as the new covenant people of God, as the body of Christ. The Spirit given at Pentecost constitutes the body of Christ as a dwelling place of God in the Spirit (Eph. 2:22), as the temple of God in which the Spirit of God dwells (1 Cor. 3:16). Accordingly, all who have been incorporated into that Spirit-baptized body and have a place in it share in the gift of the Spirit (1 Cor. 12:13).” Richard Gaffin, Perspectives on Pentecost: New Testament Teaching on the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, pg. 21

Epochal Elucidations: Why Pentecost Matters…

Perspective on Pentecost“The New Testament, then, provides a dramatic, historical perspective basic to understanding the work of the Spirit. It is fair to say that everything said in the New Testament about the Spirit’s work looks forward or traces back to Pentecost; everything pivots on Pentecost (along with the death and resurrection of Christ).” Richard Gaffin, Perspective on Pentecost: New Testament Teaching on the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, pg. 14

BW COMMENT: So, whenever you read in the New Testament something about the Spirit working in you, realize this passage could not have happened if it weren’t for Pentecost in Acts 2 (and that couldn’t have happened if it weren’t for the death, resurrection, and ascension of the Son of God).

Bavinck on Word-Act Revelation

“The case, after all, is not that revelation only contains certain facts whose interpretation it leaves to our own insights. Revelation, rather, itself casts a peculiar light on these facts; it has, so to speak, its own view and its own theory about those facts. In the revelation of Scripture, word and fact, prophecy and miracle, always go hand in hand. Both are needed so that the human mind as well as being itself are re-created and the entire cosmos is redeemed from sin. ‘The light needs the reality and the reality needs the light to produce… the beautiful creation of his grace. To apply the Kantian phraseology to a higher subject: without God’s acts the words would be empty, without his words the acts would be blind’ (Vos). Word and fact are so tightly interwoven in revelation that the one cannot be accepted or rejected without the other.” (Bavinck, RD1, 366)

NOTE: What Bavinck describes as ‘fact revelation’ is that revelation which comes as historical action or event (the exodus, miracles, theophanies, etc.). Thus, ‘word and fact’ revelation is another way of speaking of ‘word and act’ revelation. This passage in Bavinck also serves as evidence that the Reformed doctrine of revelation is not the propositional model of revelation (see here for more info). While propositions are a necessary component of revelation, they are not a sufficient description of revelation in the Bible.

Meredith Kline, Kingdom Prologue, Section A: Creational Covenant

In Section A, Kline focuses on Genesis 1-3. In the introductory part of Section A Kline makes an initial argument for “regarding the pre-Fall kingdom as a covenantal affair.” Though the word berith, is not used in Genesis 1-3, Kline argues that the “substance” of a covenant takes shape in these chapters (he also points out the later biblical evidence that may itself speak of a covenant of creation in Isa. 24:5 & Hos. 6:7).

Kline first mentions the binding, covenantal nature of God’s word which takes the form of divine fiats in the creation narrative. The covenantal nature of these fiats implies that creation from the very beginning was covenantal (i.e., there was not first a creation, and then a covenant with creation). Yet, even prior to these fiats being given, we find the Glory-Spirit (full of oath-making and matrimonial overtones) hovering over the waters of creation.

Within creation, man as the image of God occupies the role of mediator & vice-regent. He ruled under the oversight of the Lord who had established sanctions structuring his relationship with his vice-regent (again suggestive of a covenant). The Sabbath stands as the sign of blessing sanction. Kline then goes into the significance of the Sabbath for man and for God the Creator.

Kline also points out the significance that both the old and new covenants repeatedly draw upon re-creative imagery, which is also suggestive that creation imagery is at its very root covenantal imagery. Further, the “two Adams” theology of the New Testament points towards an analogical relationship between the pre-Fall arrangement and the Covenant in Christ.

Lastly, Kline mentions the similarities in the structuring of the Genesis 1-3 to ancient Near Eastern treaties (or covenants).

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Kingdom Prologue can be purchased here.

Meredith Kline, Kingdom Prologue, Introduction

Kline begins by describing the purpose of the book which is to study Genesis using the Kingdom of God as an organizing theme, and covenants as administrations of that kingdom. When read in that way one sees how Genesis serves as a prologue to Israel’s prototypical kingdom. Kline gives attention to the definition of berith, drawing out the oath-swearing, the sanctions, and the legal and formal dimensions of a berith. Kline uses this to help define a covenant as a “divinely sanctioned commitment.” He then critiques differing views and conceptions of a covenant. He concludes by discussing some of the problems inherent in identifying covenants in Holy Scripture, and by giving a brief description of the nature and task of biblical theology.

Back to the Kingdom Prologue Table of Contents

Kingdom Prologue can be purchased here.