It is not hard to look around and see not just the degradation and debasement of individuals, but increasingly of our culture as a whole. What Otto Scott referred to as the “thin veneer of civilization” is itself being eroded. Yet, as Christians, we need to keep this in perspective.
In December, we celebrated the incarnation of our Lord. An oft-quoted prophecy regarding His coming is in Isaiah 9:7:
Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.
It’s important to note that, though this verse is about the coming of Christ, it describes what only commenced with that advent. The prophecy was of the development of what would only begin with the coming of Christ. Isaiah prophesied an inexorable forecast at work in history since the birth of our Lord.
- The Kingdom of God began with Jesus: “henceforth.”
- His Kingdom would “increase”: No failure can be read into Isaiah’s prophecy, no long-term setback or gains by the forces opposing it. This is how we are to view history.
- His Kingdom would never end: “Forever” means just that. Christ won: Satan lost and remains the great cosmic loser. His only recourse is to make war with those “which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ” (Rev. 12:17).
- His Kingdom will be characterized by [His] peace, judgment, and rule: This is because the citizens of His Kingdom “keep the commandments of God.”
- His Kingdom is the true fulfillment of David’s Hebrew kingdom: The Kingdom of Israel was a prototype of the Kingdom of God, not its permanent manifestation. The Kingdom is no longer bound to a tiny slice of real estate or group of people.
- The guarantor of this development is the “Lord of hosts.” The word “hosts” refers to a massing of persons as in an army. Armies impose rule by force. The entire verse speaks of what will develop from the advent of the Messiah because of the decree of God.
When we look at what is being destroyed, we need to remember what is being developed to replace it. Living in a house while it is being remodeled is unpleasant; living in a culture that is being reconstructed for the increase of the government of our Lord is not always easy either. The question is: Are you helping or hindering that world of Reconstruction?
- Mark R. Rushdoony
Mark R. Rushdoony graduated from Los Angeles Baptist College (now The Master’s College) with a B.A. in history in 1975 and was ordained to the ministry in 1995.
He taught junior and senior high classes in history, Bible, civics and economics at a Christian school in Virginia for three years before joining the staff of Chalcedon in 1978. He was the Director of Chalcedon Christian School for 14 years while teaching full time. He also helped tutor all of his children through high school.
In 1998, he became the President of Chalcedon and Ross House Books, and, more recently another publishing arm, Storehouse Press. Chalcedon and its subsidiaries publish many titles plus CDs, mp3s, and an extensive online archive at www.chalcedon.edu.
He has written scores of articles for Chalcedon’s publications, both the Chalcedon Report and Faith for all of Life. He was a contributing author to The Great Christian Revolution (1991). He has spoken at numerous conferences and churches in the U.S. and abroad.
Mark Rushdoony lives in Vallecito, California, his home of 43 years with his wife of 45 years and his youngest son. He has three married children and nine grandchildren.
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