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On Revelation

With this short note I am announcing the posting of an outline on the book of The Revelation of Jesus Christ. Entries will begin posting on November 19, 2018. The comments and notes will include a historical section and an essay dealing with some of the prominent theories on the book’s date of publication. A bibliography will also be included. Where certain works were consulted during the preparation, credit was given. Some entries are footnoted, some blocked in Italics or bracketed. I pray that…

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Fire from Heaven

Revelation 20:9 states “…and fire came down from God in heaven and devoured them.” This is the only thing comparable to a battle that is found among the final passages from the last book in the Bible. Yet there is no trace of armies and warfare. It says God will have the only weapon (“fire from heaven”), and that he will destroy all who had not worshipped Christ: “the Lamb of God.” So, the final judgment will be completely one…

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The Restoration Movement (4) The Influence of the Enlightenment

The Age of Enlightenment had a significant influence on the Campbell movement. Thomas Campbell was also a student of the Enlightenment philosopher John Locke. While he did not explicitly use the term "essentials" in the Declaration and Address, Thomas proposed the same solution to religious division as had been advanced earlier by Herbert and Locke: "[R]educe religion to a set of essentials upon which all reasonable persons might agree." The essentials he identified were those practices for which the Bible…

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The Restoration Movement (3) Alexander Campbell

Thomas' son Alexander came to the US to join him in 1809. Before long, he assumed the leading role in the movement. The Campbells worked within the Redstone Baptist Association during the period 1815 through 1824. While both the Campbells and the Baptists shared practices of baptism by immersion and congregational polity, it quickly became clear the Campbells and their associates were not traditional Baptists. Within the Redstone Association, some of the Baptist leaders considered the differences intolerable when Alexander…

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The Restoration Movement (2) The Cane Ridge Revival

The Cane Ridge Revival In 1801, the Cane Ridge Revival in Kentucky planted the seed for a movement in Kentucky and the Ohio River valley to disassociate from denominationalism. In 1803 Stone and others withdrew from the Kentucky Presbytery and formed the Springfield Presbytery. The defining event of the Stone wing of the movement was the publication of Last Will and Testament of The Springfield Presbytery, at Cane Ridge, Kentucky, in 1804. The Last Will is a brief document in…

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The American Restoration Movement (1)

During the late Middle Ages, dissenters such as John Wycliff and Johann Huss called for a restoration of a primitive form of Christianity, but they were driven underground. As a result, it is difficult to find any direct links between such early dissenters and the restoration movement. From the Renaissance, intellectual roots become easier to discern. At the heart of the Reformation was an emphasis on the principle of "Scripture alone" (Latin: sola scriptura). This, along with the related insistence…

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One of Many Digressions (Close)

You and I must be baptized/immersed into Christ (Acts 2:38, Gal. 2:27, Mark 16:16, Acts 22:16, etc. etc.). We must “put on Christ.” Once that is accomplished, Christ promised that all will receive “the gift of the Holy Spirit” (which is what was promised to ALL disciples), but that has nothing to do with what many think is a baptism, an envelopment, an overwhelming, an immersion or any other gifts or some internal personal possession of the Holy Spirit. It…

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One of Many Digressions (Pt 4)

The examination of the events in Acts 18 should serve to undermine the teaching or notions that the baptism of John was somehow different from baptism into Christ. All scriptural immersions were to the same end: Looking to Christ as “baptism into Christ” and as a “baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.” The difference being that one looked toward the cross and was to prepare believing Jews for the coming of the Messiah, while the other looked through…

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One of Many Digressions (Pt 3)

Based on the previous examinations, without dentifying another detail, we should have drawn some conclusions. With what we know of this situation, the scriptures teach us: 1) These men had never heard of either Christ’s coming or the Holy Spirit, as they had said. Then they stated that they had been baptized “into Johns’ baptism.” Due to this response to Paul's question: 2) We know they had not been taught by John, nor by any true disciple. As is apparent…

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One of Many Digressions (Pt2)

There are some who have put forward the notion that there was a difference between what John had baptized for and what Jesus’ disciples later baptized for. Then some extract from that: those who were baptized by John must have needed to be baptized again to be baptized “into Christ.” Such notions move in and out of a shadowy scriptural world where less is really said than might at first be thought, but where what was said is more than…

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