2 THESSALONIANS 2
1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
The "Gathering" of the Saints, and the Manner of It
The Scriptures do not throw much light on the subject.
...We know that when the Lord returns, His people (living and dead) are "gathered to him" (2 Thess, 2:1; 1 Thess. 4:16; Luke 19:14); and there can be little doubt that the power at the command of the Heavenly Court will be employed in the conveyance of such as are cited to appear.
But the question is, as to the form it will take. Angels will be employed. The Lord at his coming is attended by myriads of them (Matt.25.31; Luke 9:26); and what more appropriate function for them as
"ministering spirits sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation" (Heb. 1:14).
than that they should be "sent forth" to gather them to the presence of the Lord? This seems to be the teaching of the words of Christ himself:
"And He shall send His angels and gather His elect from the four corners of heaven."-(Mark 13:27).
Still there is room for the idea of some, that the gathering will be a natural process. Angels were sent to deliver Lot and his daughters from Sodom; yet Lot walked out of the place, and was told by the angels as a reason why he should make haste to the hills, that they could do nothing till he was safe.
The angels may come to the saints and merely expedite their departure in a natural way. The statement about being "caught up" (1 Thess. 4:18) is not decisive against this; it is figurative and elliptical, and applicable to whatever compulsory mode may be adopted in the removal of the saints.
The employment of the angels in the transaction is against the idea of the saints being wafted as Philip was to Azotus. Their participation in the matter implies that directions have to be given, which would not be necessary if removal were to be by divine afflatus. The spirit may be thus employed at the final stage, when the instructions of the angels have been received and complied with. We shall see.
It is a matter of the smallest consequence, and undeserving of serious controversy. A man invited to see the Queen at Windsor does not spend much thought on the question of how he is to get there, especially if he knows a royal commissioner will call on him at the right time to give him all needed information on the subject. This is our case.
We are under an arrangement for a meeting with the King. The place, the time, the mode of conveyance will be told when the moment arrives. The great concern is, how will the King receive us at the end of the journey?
Upon this problem, let all our attention be bestowed. Its solution will turn upon present doings.
The Christadelphian, Sept 1871
Our gathering together unto him
...we are waiting and preparing. It will certainly come. We have to make war with our senses in this matter. There are many things in which our senses cannot be trusted. Understanding and memory have come to the aid of our senses, and tell us things our senses for the moment would deny.
How otherwise would we know that we were once puling babes in the cradle, nay, that we once were not at all? How otherwise could we know that we shall certainly pass away from this scene in due course?
Those who trust merely to their senses are victimized on both points, and behave with the pride and forgetfulness that are foolish and destructive.
... "our gathering together unto him" is a certainty, as certain as the ending of life, and a certainty we have the same reason for entertaining, viz., that it is part of a process going forward before our eyes.
...It is the part of wise men, therefore, to seek to realise the bearing of this stupendous fact. Christ has not died or changed since the day he
"showed himself alive after his sufferings by many infallible proofs."
He has not ceased to be the glorious personage that appeared to persecuting Saul on the road to Damascus, changing him into
"our beloved brother Paul, with labours more abundant"
than all the apostles. He has not ceased to live since the day he declared to John in the Isle of Patmos,
"I am he that liveth and was dead, and behold I am alive for evermore."
... Get rid of the hallucinations of sense, the narrow-minded language of the eye, which requires interpretation. Open the heart fully to the invigorating power of the Truth, that he who was once "despised and rejected of men," and nailed to the "accursed tree," raised from the dead, and removed from the earth during a season of preparation, will by the same Word come again at the appointed end of the preparation, and take to himself his great power and reign.
It is then we may look for "our gathering together unto him."
2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
'The day of Christ' - his second appearing with power to set up the kingdom
Here is a plain evidence that Paul, late in his life, recognised and familiarly taught that certain events had to transpire in the ecclesiastical sphere before the appearing of Christ was a possibility in the purpose of God...
The events of the first century [Lk 17-the olivet prophecy] had a bearing on the friends of Christ who were contemporary with his life in the flesh; and this bearing he could not, and did not ignore; but, at the same time, he discoursed of them in a way that admitted of an application to the remoter crisis coming, even the time of the end afterwards foreshadowed in the Apocalypse, when a watching class would be waiting his re-appearing under the sixth vial -- even now.
Nazareth Revisited Ch 47
3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
...he set himself up as the VICAR OF CHRIST; that is, the Divinely deputed substitute of Christ, as indicated by the word Antichristos, from anti, in the place of, christos, the Anointed One, or Christ
... the Man of Sin substitute for Christ ... an order of ecclesiastical rulers, a Name, or Body, with its Eyes, Mouth, and subordinate members. Being an imperial spiritual human power, its chief ruler would be a man, the supreme representative for the period of his reign... "the god of the earth"... whom they create they worship.
4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
This in few words is highly descriptive of the popes. "God" in the passage signifies a ruler of whatever kind, for "God" in the Scriptures is applied to angels, magistrates, and the whole nation of Israel; as,
"I said, ye are gods; but ye shall die as one of the princes;" and, "worship him ye gods;"
the former being addressed to Israel, the latter, to the angels concerning Jesus. The "temple of the god" is St. Peter's at Rome. Now, the history of the papacy shows the applicability of the description to the popes, and to them exclusively.
They have systematically opposed and exalted themselves above every ruler, whether emperors, or kings, and above all bishops and priests; so that they have sat in St. Peter's as gods, exhibiting themselves thus, because they claim to be gods upon earth. The incarnate devilism of these blasphemers of God's name, and of His people (Rev. 13:6, 7; 18:24), and murderers of His saints, cannot be surpassed by any power that could possibly arise.
They are essentially sin corporealized in human shape, and therefore most emphatically the order of the man of sin; as "the holy, apostolic, and Roman Catholic Church" is the "mother of harlots, and of all the abominations of the earth."
Paul styles this dynastic order, the lawless one; and because of its destiny,
"the son of perdition."
In the apocalypse, it is represented by an eighth head (Rev. 17:11) of the beast, which divides "the habitable" with the dragon. Of this head, the Spirit saith, "it goeth to perdition."
It is a head, which exercised both civil and pontifical dominion over the west; and when resolved into other symbol, its conjoint dominion is represented by a two-horned beast (Rev. 13:11, 14, 15), and an image of the sixth head of the seven-headed beast (Rev. 17:3); the former symbolizing the Austrian power; and the latter his ally, the lawless one.
Elpis Israel 1.3.
That he would set himself up above all that is called god, or a power to which homage is paid; and that as a supreme power he would sit in the Temple of the Power, showing himself that he is a supreme power or god. The nucleus of this power had just been born [AD 313], as the Man-child of the Catholic Woman; and, although an unbaptized emperor, sat in the temple and exhibited himself there as the supreme power, or god.
He presided in the Nicene and other Councils, and made laws for his church; and punished with severe pains and penalties those who conscientiously refused submission to his decrees. He was constituted "Head of the Church," and determined all matters of discipline; and acted in all respects as the spiritual vicegerent of the Deity.
... He ordered the observance of martyr-festivals; dedicated churches with great solemnity; preached discourses in them; ordered the sacred observance of Sunday, to which he added that of Friday also, as the week-day of the crucifixion; and taught the soldiers of his army to pray by a form made for their use.
7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let [will hinder -YLT], until he be taken out of the way.
For the mystery of lawlessness [rebellion against divine authority and the coming reign of lawlessness] is already at work; [but it is restrained] only until he who now restrains it is taken out of the way - AMP.
...between the A.C. 312 and A.C. 324. the devil and satan-power in its purely Pagan constitution, was cast down from the heavenlies of the Roman state. To that time, it was τὀ κατεχων, the hindering power; which, so long as it possessed the dominion of the habitable, prevented the political development of the apostacy, as we now see it to exist in the Roman west, with the seven-hilled city for the pontifical throne of its kingdom.
The power remains, but its constitution has been changed. Instead of being purely Pagan, it is catholic of the Greek and Latin type; the development of which has, and will hereafter be to its consummation, κατ̀ ενεργειαν του Σατανα,
"through the working of the enemy with all power, and prodigies, and false miracles."
This Catholic devil and satan-power is successor to that which was the "accuser of the brethren," from the crucifixion to its ejection from power by the armies of Constantine, surnamed "the great." The Pagan constitution of the devil and satan has been destroyed; the Catholic continues, and is ripening fast for judgment.
A BIBLE DICTIONARY - Begun But Never Finished - Bro THOMAS
The Christadelphian, Aug 1872
... these manifestations were late in the apostolic day... both Paul and John counselled increased strictness on account of these manifestations.-(See 2 John, 9, 10; 1 Tim. vi. 3-5; Gal. vi. 9-12.).
...In the first instance, there was no middle ground. It was a plain issue-Yes or No; did Jesus rise from the dead? and is he the Messiah, Saviour of the world, and judge of quick and dead? And as in every other fresh and prosperous movement, there would not be acute discrimination as to those brought in; but as time rolled on, the inferior elements drawn into the ecclesia began to work like leaven.
False doctrine began to be ventilated, and (through familiarity) the authority of the apostles grew weak, while the influence of the brawling dogs (Phil. iii. 2) increased among the mediocratic majority. But this did not prove omission in the first instance, to exact from these a clear profession of their faith before immersion. It only proves that they came in "unawares," as a man may do under the strictest examination.
An examination only ascertains his conformity for the time being to the truth recognized. It does not detect the shallow or the fleshly-minded man, who afterwards proves weak, and easy to be an instrument of evil in the ecclesia.
Ambassador of the Coming Age, Aug 1868
The Mystery of Iniquity
Thus, we see, that while Godliness hath its Mystery, which is revealed in the preaching of the apostles, so has Iniquity. These two mysteries stand arrayed against each other; the one, the great Mystery of Godliness, God manifested in flesh; and the other, the Mystery of Iniquity, or Sin manifested in flesh.
The reason why the word Devil in the singular number does not even once occur, and the same word in the plural only four times (and then put for idols) in the Old Testament, and yet in the New Testament occurs about forty times in the Greek, is, because the apostolic writings are a revelation of the Mystery of Iniquity, as well as of the Mystery of Godliness; both of which were "hid from the ages and the generations" under the law.
Sin manifested in flesh is the basis of the Times of the Gentiles; and Obedience manifested in flesh, that of the One Body, and the Millennial Times of the Messiah. Whatever is not of obedience is unrighteousness; and
"all unrighteousness is Sin."
Hence, Sin has its Spirituals, as well as righteousness. The Sin-spirituals, as we have seen, are all who dabble in religion, being ignorant of the Word of the Kingdom; and will always be found to be the apologists for ignorance and disobedience on the ground of sincerity; which, with them sanctifies all kinds of absurdity and unbelief.
They talk much about the spirit, and are very apt at interlarding their discourse with pious words and phrases; and at delivering it with a holy tone and sanctimonious grimace. But this is all the pietism of their flesh and blood phrenology, the organs of which have all their appropriate pantomime; and their spirit, the electro-vital exhalation from their secerning membranes, which courses through and over their nervous system—the electro-magnetism of flesh, which, when operating upon their brains, is manifested as the spirit of disobedience, Sin's Spirit as opposed to the Holy and Eternal Spirit of Yahweh.
Sin's spirit is the overmuch righteousness, or superstition, of ancient and modern pharisaism; which delights in obscurity, and bears on its forehead "Mystery," being averse to any investigation tending to test its validity by the word. "The Spirit which is the truth" is the very contrary to all this. It rejoices in a Revealed Mystery; and encourages a close scrutiny of all that God has spoken by the prophets and apostles. Its language is
"Prove all things, and hold fast that which is good;" "Search the scriptures,"
and so forth. It is a free spirit, gendering to liberty of thought and action, ever eschewing licenciousness, and always in harmony with God.
Now these two systems, the one under the captain-generalship of ὁ ανομος, the Lawless One; and the other, under that of Him, "who was obedient unto death," are destined of God to meet in a conflict, the result of which shall be the triumph of the truth; and the expulsion of the world-rulers and the spirituals from the Heavenlies. This determiuation of God is expressed in these words;
—"The Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the Archangel [the Michael of Dan. 12:1.] and with the trumpet of God"—"the apocalypse of the Lord Jesus from heaven with angels of his power, with fire of flame, inflicting vengeance on those who know not God, and who hearken not to the glad tidings of our Lord Jesus Christ; who shall be punished with Aion-destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his might; consuming with the spirit of his mouth, and destroying with the brightness of his presence, the Lawless One; when he comes to be glorified with his saints; and to be admired in that day, by all that believe."
This conflict will be terrible; but the issue will not be doubtful. The world-rulers and the spirituals, the ministers of Satan, will contend to desperation, risking every thing in their struggle to retain their accustomed position in the heavenlies: but all to no purpose; for as the Satan they must fall into the Bottomless Abyss.
Herald of the Kingdom and Age to Come, Nov 1860
Signs characteristic of the end
Now we have been particular in the development of these things that the reader may be able the more readily to discern in what direction he must look for the signs of the times when these things are about to come to pass.
If he understand our premises, he will certainly not be peering into the meteorology of Yankeedom in 1780, or among the signs of the Zodiac, in search of Yahweh's signs. These belong to the political astronomy of the nations, not to the physical astronomy of the material universe.
He has declared that there shall be signs in the heavens; in the Sun, and in the Moon, and in the Stars; for the powers of the heavens shall be shaken; and that afterwards they shall see the Son of man coming in a cloud (of warriors) with power and great glory. We are told that this manifestation of judgment shall be in "the time of the end," and that they are blessed who watch the signs, and are prepared for the Apocalypse; for "Behold!" saith the Lord, "as a thief, I come!"
But how can a man watch the signs unless he know them? And how can he know them if the sure word of prophecy have no place in his understanding? It is impossible. Therefore the apostle Peter exhorts us, saying,
"Ye do well that ye take heed to the sure word of prophecy, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until The Day dawn, and the Day Star arise in your hearts."
And the reason is this, that Yahweh has therein informed us of certain things that are to exist in the time of the end; and which, when in being, are the signs that the great consummation we have been contemplating, is at hand.
The word of prophecy is light. It is the light God has given us to see by, and which he expects us to use, when he exhorts us to watch. It is the oil he has furnished us with which to trim our lamps. He that is ignorant of the prophetic word has no oil in his vessel, and his light has gone out. Dress your lamps, then, beloved friends, that when the shout of the Archangel echoes through the world, ye may not be taken at unawares.
Well, Yahweh has told us of certain signs characteristic of the end. Not to keep you in suspense, we will present them at once in the following summary:
1. Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge be increased;
2. Darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the peoples;
3. At the time of the end there shall exist a King of the South, or Egypt; and the Land be remembered;
4. The Political Euphrates drying up;
5. A Frog-Power in existence, contemporary with a Dragon-Power, a Beast-Power, and a False-Prophet-Power;
6. The nations enraged, and in perplexity.
7. Preparation of the Bride.
These are signs of the times which, with the exception of the last two, are fully developed. Any one can see them, if he look into the present situation of the old world by the light of prophecy, and the Revealed Mystery.
Herald of the Kingdom and Age to Come, Nov 1860
5. Frog: France - intriquing among European governments, Dragon: Gog's dominion to include Constantinople, Beast: Of Europe uniting under papacy [EU?] False prophet: The pontiff
8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
'...the kingdom promised to the saints could not be established so long as the Man of Sin Power were undeveloped; and, secondly, that the Man of Sin Power could not be manifested upon the scene of the fourth beast habitable so long as the constitution of this beast-dominion continued pagan. The former necessity of the situation is thus expressed by Paul:
"He that now hinders will hinder until he be taken out of the way; and then shall the Lawless One be revealed."
When Paul wrote these words the Power that hindered the manifestation of the Lawless One he had described in a previous verse, and whom he styles "the Man of Sin, the Son of Perdition," was the same power that exiled John to Patmos -- the Pagan Roman. It was necessary that the Pagan Roman power should be "taken out of the way."
Now, Paul teaches in 2 Thess. ii that the Man of Sin-power to be developed after the taking out of the way of the pagan Roman, should continue till the time for its consumption and utter destruction by the glorious manifestation of the YAHWEH NAME -- "whom the Lord shall consume," saith he, "with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy by the manifestation of his presence."
9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
The serpent was a subtile, charming, and seducing creature. It could talk about God, and charm its victim with a spiritual interpretation of the word; and so can the "christian spirit" so much lauded by godly infidels, and pious sinners, who will believe anything, and do anything, but what the word enjoins.
Beware, then, of this spirit, for it is no part of the "divine disposition;" but inimical and subversive of the truth.
Herald of the Kingdom and Age to Come, Mar 1857
10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
There is the darkness that is native to the unenlightened human understanding, there is the darkness that comes from the perverted action of the human propensities tending to diabolism, and there is the superadded darkness of tradition and of the strong delusion that God sent upon the Gentile community to whom His Word came by apostolic hands,
" because they received not the love of the Truth."
The whole forms an impenetrable veil and reduces mankind everywhere to a state of barbarism - more tolerable than the barbarism of cannibalism but still barbarism whose hideousness becomes visible when the light of the new man shines.
THE HARLOT OF THE EPHAH - Zech 5.
When John was in Patmos, the Judaic apostasy as leaven was leavening the whole lump. It was on this account that the seven letters were written to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea. It was an era of contending elements, from which a new civil and ecclesiastical order of things was to
"be established and set upon her own foundation in the land of the Great Iron Teeth."
At the epoch of the Apocalypse, the Iron Teeth were a pagan power, and ready to rend all that were not pagans. The Jews were divided between the Synagogue and the Church, and though the former boasted in Moses and the latter in Jesus, the Iron Teeth regarded them all as Jews and was the enemy of both.
But in John's day, the Jews of the Church were divisible into two classes; first, those who were Jews inwardly, without regard to flesh, and secondly, those who said they were Jews, but were liars. The first class were in scriptural fellowship with the apostle, but rapidly falling into the minority, so that in Sardis, for example, only "a few names" remained undefiled. It was the second class of Jews that constituted the great majority of those who passed current by the name of Christian.
It was these who labored indefatigably in building a house for the Harlot of the Ephah. They became a powerful political faction in the land of the enemy, and having found a warrior to their mind in Constantine, they placed themselves under his leadership, and in A.D. 324 became the sole ruling power "in the land of Shinar," as defined.
The twelfth chapter of the Apocalypse opens with the exhibition of Jezebel, the Prophetess, tricked out with the paraphernalia of royalty-not the royalty of the Kingdom of God, but the royalty of the "Twelve Cœsars."
In this chapter the two classes of Jews are necessarily comprehended in the same symbol, until the birth of the Man Child, after which a separation ensues, or rather is symbolically manifested.
Those who are Jews inwardly are represented by the fugitive woman, a persecuted community, defended by "the earth," and nourished in the wilderness for 1260 years. But the Jezebel faction, commonly styled "Catholic" and "Holy Catholic Church," had become the Harlot of the State.
Her palace was built in the land of the Enemy's Tooth, for the Fourth Beast dominion had become her habitation to dwell in.
But she was not content to be subject to the civil power. She aimed to be The State, and the State she at length became. Her growth was rapid, and her power became supreme over the kings of the earth. She is brought out in this relation in Apoc. 17: and 18.
There she is seen in her house, or kingdom, as the Great Harlot, ruling over peoples, multitudes, nations and their kings, drunk with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the witnesses of Jesus, and saying,
"I sit a queen, and am not bereft, and sorrow can not at all behold."
Such is the Harlot of the Ephah in the Apocalyptic manifestation of Zechariah's vision. She is a ruling element in that "great mountain" which is to become a plain before Zerubbabel, according to the vision of the Lamp and Olive Branches-the anointed ones that stand before the Ruler of all the earth.
Herald of the Kingdom and Age to Come, June 1858
11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
The Gentiles did not gladly and modestly enjoy the privilege brought to them by the ministry of the apostles, and Paul foretold that, for this cause, God would send them strong delusion that they should believe a lie.
The principle illustrated in this general and large way, is without doubt, of individual application. Where men despise the goodness of God, or arrogantly make use of the powers bestowed upon them, whether of faculty or of control of means, sooner or later, God may work against them and impel them into courses that will bring about their own destruction, after the example of the seven nations of Canaan, utterly destroyed by the sword of Joshua.
The Ways of Providence ch 12.
12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
"A man who is an heretic after the first and second admonition, reject; knowing that he who is such is subverted, and sinneth, being self-condemned:"
even one sinner destroyeth much good.
The truth is a life-spring of health, refreshing thirsty souls with the sure mercies of David; those who accept it in the love of it, as all their salvation and desire, will be like God; they "will not turn from it."—(Psalm 132:11.)
The "strong delusion" sent upon the first-century heretics consisted in blindness, judicially inflicted by the God of heaven, because, loving unrighteousness, they had not received the truth in the love of it. What happened then may happen again. The wise will take warning.—(2 Thes, 2:11.)
Seductive influences will have no chance except with such as walk after the flesh. Those whose walk is exclusively after the Spirit will not be decoyed from their steadfastness even by the prospect of riding in chariots, or satiating their outward man with good things.
Enmity is the Spirit's ensign, pointing to where the battle rages between the seed of the serpent and the seed of the woman.—(Gen. 3:15.)
The Christadelphian, Dec 1873
13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:
In this he tells them, that by a separation of spirit and faith, that is, by a holy disposition created in them through the truth believed, they had been chosen of God for deliverance from the wrath to come upon those who know not God, and hearken not to the glad tidings of the Lord Jesus Christ, and for sharing with him in the things covered by the phrase, "his kingdom and glory."
They were separated or sanctified by faith, and "called," or invited, to their high destiny through the glad tidings they believed. The sanctification of spirit, or heart-purification, referred to by Paul, was
"righteousness, and peace, and joy, in the Holy Spirit,"
resulting from belief of the glad tidings of the kingdom; wherefore he saith, that
"the kingdom of God is not meat and drink,"
that is, the doctrine concerning it does not teach believers to concern themselves about distinctions of meats and drinks, saying,
"touch not, taste not, handle not;"
but it inculcates and developes in them who embrace it with honest and good hearts, righteousness, and peace, and joy in a Holy Spirit. This fruit of faith is the "Divine Nature," and essentially diverse from the nature common to pagans and all others ignorant of the truth. It is only produceable by
"the exceeding great and precious promises believed."
Belief that Jesus is the Son of God, in the modern Gentile sense, neither hath nor will produce it. The fruit of this believed is not righteousness, peace, and joy in a holy spirit; but, on the contrary, resistance to the righteousness of God, doubts and fears, and despondency in a faithless, perverse, and sordid spirit.
"By their fruits ye shall know them."
Having indoctrinated the Macedonians in Thessalonica with the glad tidings he announced to them, in writing to them he informs the reader, that they "received the word with joy of a holy spirit;" and that in consequence they
"turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; and to wait for his Son from the heavens, whom he raised from among the dead, even Jesus delivering us from the wrath to come."
Herald of the Kingdom and Age to Come, Aug 1857
It is the truth that will save us, not error, however innocently held. Paul says so:
...What is the truth? The answer is: The teaching of the inspired apostles and prophets of God (Ephes. 1:20). Is it needful for us to know the whole of their teaching in order to become the children of God or heirs of salvation? No, otherwise there would be no room for growing in knowledge, which is the life-long duty of saints (Phil. 1:9; 2 Pet. 3:18). What, then, have we to believe at the start? We are told:
"The first principles of the oracles of God" (Heb. 5:12: 6:1).
What are the first principles? We have no formal statement of them, but a very small amount of research will reveal them. The references to the apostolic presentment to the Gentiles of the gospel supply the information.
The preaching comprised the things concerning the only true and living God (Acts 17:23-28: 14:15; 1 Thes. 1:9); Jesus Christ, his death for sin, his resurrection, and temporary absence from the earth (Acts 18:28: 26:23; Rom. 10:9; 1 Cor. 1:18: 15:3-4; 1 Thes. 1:10; 2 Tim. 2:8); the kingdom of God (Acts 28:31); Repentance (Acts 26:20); Resurrection and Judgment (Acts 10:42; Rom. 2:16); Eternal life (Acts 13:46, 48: 11:18); Baptism (Acts 8:12); the extension of Israelitish promises to the Gentiles (Ephes. 6:19).
Let the comprehensiveness of all this doctrine be intelligently grasped, and there will be little complaint about the Christadelphians requiring too much in the way of knowledge from candidates for immersion.
Bro AT Jannaway
The Christadelphian, Sept 1900
15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.
Inspiration a First Principle
-The doctrine of the Inspiration of the Bible is a question naturally the very first of first principles. It is of no modern origin. It is an apostolic tradition that "all scripture is given by inspiration," and it is an apostolic command to withdraw from every man who refuses submission to apostolic teaching whether delivered by word or epistle-(2 Thess. 3:14.)
The Christadelphian, Feb 1886
18 Therefore thus saith Yahweh concerning Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah; They shall not lament for him, saying, Ah my brother! or, Ah sister! they shall not lament for him, saying, Ah lord! or, Ah his glory!
All Josiah's reforms and arrangements were soon swept away, and the illusion of national righteousness that had been maintained by the power of the king's zeal and influence dissolved before the ugly realities of hatred and bitterness.
The people made Jehoahaz, Josiah's son, king-but he lasted only 3 months. The king of Egypt took him prisoner and set up his brother Jehoiakim in his stead. A heathen presumed to designate the ruler of God's Kingdom! But Egypt was to pay dearly for this presumption. Foreigners were to set up her rulers (Eze. 30:13) and so it has been for over 2000 years.
Jehoiakim reigned 11 years, and Jeremiah had much to do with this ungodly man. In the first year of his reign Jeremiah was commanded to stand in the court of the Temple and proclaim to all the people that came to worship, that unless they put away their wickedness God would make the Temple a desolation and the city a curse to all the nations of the earth.
Exactly the same charges were brought against Jeremiah by the priests and false prophets as were brought against Christ-that he had spoken against and threatened the Temple of God. They said: "Thou shalt surely die." But at this time the princes and people saved him from the priests, for in God's purpose he had much work yet to do. This was just one year after Josiah's death-the first year of Jehoiakim.
Bro Growcott - BYT 4.17.