Abraham Booth "The Kingdom of Christ"

The "Kingdom of Christ" is the reign of King Jesus, the Government of the Messiah.

The Good News of "the Gospel" is the promise made to Abraham: that all the nations would obediently submit themselves to the Messiah's Kingdom and experience the temporal blessings of God (Galatians 3:8).

The article at left doesn't get this. In fact, it denies it. The article is referenced in the blog here:

Why PR2K? | Reformed Libertarian

which says:

We agree with the so-called NL2K (Natural Law, Two Kingdoms) that there is a sharp distinction between the Kingdom of God, which is spiritual (please consider Brandon’s notes from Abraham Booth here), and the kingdoms of this world to which everyone belongs and which is physical.  While we are to always speak truth to culture and States and communities which radically despise the Christian religion, we are to realize that our goal is not to redeem or conquer or exercise dominion over those who are not part of the kingdom of Christ.  As I have noted previously, we can be confident in speaking the Word of God to all that will hear, but in regards to wining the culture war and overcoming the world around us, Christ has already purchased victory and we await his glorious second coming.  We do not fight now so as to win.  There is nothing more to win.  The physical/spiritual distinction is radically unBiblical. There is no evidence in the Bible that "the Kingdom of God" has no jurisdiction over anything "physical." This is Greek philosophy ("neo-platonism"). When the Bible says that the Kingdom of God is "Spiritual," this is to speak of the Holy Spirit, not the immaterial or the non-physical.

Why would any Christian say that "our goal is not to redeem or conquer or exercise dominion over those who are not part of the kingdom of Christ." Isn't Christ a "Redeemer" who came to "redeem" the lost? Aren't we given a Great Commission to go into the world, teaching Christ's commandments, and discipling the nations, making the kingdoms of this world the Kingdom of our Lord and His Christ? And doesn't Christ extend His Kingdom as we (members of His Body) work to "win the lost?"

1 Peter 3:1
Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;

Proverbs 11:30
The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.

The Old Testament prophets promised that coming Messiah would redeem the entire world, and even the [physical] bells on horses would be made holy.

Zechariah 14:20
In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, Holiness Unto The Lord; and the pots in the LORD'S house shall be like the bowls before the altar.

Our goal is to redeem the world, conquer sin (but not using carnal weapons), exercise dominion over the earth, and build the Kingdom. We are to Christianize our families, our schools, our businesses, and every physical product of every human action.

We are to fight, agonize, and win the race. We are "overcomers."

Has this world-encompassing vision been narrowed, constrained, abbreviated, and truncated in the anemic New Covenant? No.

It is sinful to wait around for the Rapture.

  Franz Oppenheimer chronicled the rise of the State by distinguishing "political man" and "economic man."
  •  When "economic man" wanted an apple, he either planted an apple tree and brought an apple to harvest, or he produced some other good or mastered some service which he could trade for his neighbor's apple.
  • When "political man" wanted an apple, he invented "the State" and confiscated apples from his "subjects."

The Covenant God made with Israel was based on the "economic means," and had no place for the "political means." The "political means" were imported into Israel in 1 Samuel 8, when Israel demanded the "political means" "like all the nations."

It was plain from both the Law and the Prophets that apples were not to be secured by the sword. Swords were to be replaced with plowshares.

To say that Jesus or the New Testament repudiates the "political means" is not to say that Jesus repudiated apples. But this is the elementary mistake made by Abraham Booth (whoever he is) and the "Two Kingdoms" groups (NL2K and RP2K). No more apples; just "spiritual" stuff. Not stuff from the Holy Spirit, but non-physical.

Updated Nov 17th, 2014

[all typos are as found in in the original]

“The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ” (Revelation 11:15). 
43 Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.
45 And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard His parables, they perceived that He spake of them. (Matthew 21:43,45)

Which Kingdom was taken from the Pharisees? To whom was it given? It was given to the "nation" described in 1 Peter 2:9. It was the Kingdom described in the Scriptures. The same Kingdom. With the same "temporal blessings."

9: Intro: Secularizing the Kingdom of Christ

This mistake of the Jews, respecting the kingdom of the Messiah, lying at the foundation os all the opposition with which they treated him, and of their own ruin ; it behoves us to guard with diligence against every thing which tends to secularize the dominion of Christ : lest, by corrupting the Gospel Economy, we dishonour the Lord Redeemer, and be finally punished as the enemies of his gov ernment. Our danger of contracting guilt, and of incurring divine resentment in this way, is far from being small. For we are so conversant with sensible objects, and so delighted with exterior show, that we are naturally inclined to wish for something in religion to gratify our carnality. Under the influence of that master prejudice, the expectation of a temporal kingdom, Jewish depravity rejected Christ; and our corruption, if we be not watchful, may so misrepresent his empire, and oppose his royal prerogatives, as implicitly to fay, " We will not have him to reign over us.”*
"Secularize" is defined as:
: to take religion out of (something) : to make (something) secular
: to transfer the ownership or control of (something) from a religious organization to the state

Is there really someone on planet earth who wants to take religion out of Christ's Kingdom, or give Christ's Kingdom to the State? Shame on him, whoever he is. I've never met him.

It's true there may be some who want the State to bow before Christ, but this is like expecting the Mafia to bow before Christ. It would be hypocritical for a Mafia boss to bow before Christ with every intention of returning to "the political means" (which is how the Mafia operates). Likewise the politician, who also lives by "the political means." To Christianize the State (or the Mafia)(which is the opposite of "secularize") requires the abolition of the Mafia and the State. This is surely our goal.

* "As the great source of the infidelity of the Jews was a notion of the temporal kingdom of the Messiah, we may justly fay, that the great source of the corruption of Christians,, and of their general defection, foretold by the inspired writers, has been an attempt to render it, in effect, a temporal kingdom, and to support and extend it by earthly means. This is that spirit of Antichrist;, which was so early at work, as to be discoverable in the daysof the Apostles." Dr. George Campbell’s Four Gospels Preface, p Iviu Second edition

"by earthly means" is clearly synonymous with "the political means," and as such is prohibited by Biblical Law from the beginning, in both Covenants. The "great source of the infidelity of the Jews" was not their belief that the Messiah would be Lord over every area of life -- even temporal areas -- even areas outside the heart -- but their adoption of the "political means" and their attempt to profit from it.

11 Christian gain no secular profit


He boldly avows himself a King yet, while advancing his title to the honours of roy alty, he tacitly informs Pilate, that the civil rights of Cesar had nothing to fear fro'm him f and that his own disciples had no advantages to expect, of a secular kind, as the result os embarking in his cause.

What on earth are "the civil rights of Caesar?"

13 General Providence vs Kingdom of Christ


The empire of Christ, indeed, extends to every creature : for " all authority in heaven and qn earth" is in his hands, and he is Head over all things to the Church." But the kingdom of which we treat, stands distinguished from that of general Providence, as well as from every political state. It must be considered, therefore, as consisting of those persons whom he bought with his blood, whom he calls by his grace, and over whom he reigns as a spiritual monarch. These con stitute what is serquently called, the Catholic Church, wherever the savoured indi viduals may reside. Of such also, or of those who make a credible profession of being such, all those particular churches consist} which constitute our Lord's visi ble kingdom — that kingdom of which we speak. Into the principal character istics of this holy empire, and into the genuine consequences of those criteria, we mall now inquire.

Again, "every political state" is outside Christ's Kingdom because it resorts to "the political means" to advance its agenda. The goal of Christ's Church is to call every political state to repentance, and to privatize all legitimate social functions which have been kidnapped by "political man" and return them to "economic man" -- kings and priests in Christ's Kingdom.

As there becomes no place for "political man" to stand, we may expect false professions of faith. But that's OK, as long as they don't commit an excommunicable offense and remain unrepentant. The "Supreme Judge of the World" will sort them out in good time.

It is a fatal error to say that only "those persons whom he bought with his blood" "constitute our Lord's visible Kingdom." There is no certain, visible, and infallible proof of election. It might be acceptable to say that only such "constitute our Lord's invisible Kingdom." But this is pure abstraction. There is no guaranteed visible connection between the elect and those who formally acknowledge the jurisdiction of the Messiah.

18 Contrast between the world and the kingdom of Christ


Such are the subjects of our Lord's kingdom : in opposition to whom, the New Testament represents the rest 6f our apostate race, as being " of the works of the law ; of the world ; of dark ness ;" and "of the devil."* Of the works of the law : seeking acceptance with God by their own imperfect obedi ence, which leaves them under a curse* Of the world : carnally minded, and in a state of enmity to God. Of darkness : ignorant of their perishing state* and un~-, acquainted with Jesus Christ. Of the devil : partakers of his image, subjects of his dominion, and performers of his wills So great is the contrast formed by Scripture, between those who are under our Lord's government, and the rest of mankind!


21 Internal Blessings of the New Covenant


This admirably gracious Covenant is completely suited to a spiritual kingdom, and to the subjects we have been describ ing : for it announces no designs, makes no provisions, confers no blessings, but those that are spiritual and internal. The true knowledge of Jehovah, writing his law in the heart, forgiveness of all sin and perpetual relation to God, are the blessings for which it engages ; but there is not a word respecting temporal blessings, nor concerning any merely external relation to the Supreme, though these were the grand articles in the Covenant made at Horeb

It is almost blasphemous, and certainly Pharisaical, to assert that a "merely external" relationship to God was condoned, promoted, or made one of "the grand articles in the Covenant made at Horeb."

To say that "there is not a word respecting temporal blessings" in the New Covenant is flat out false. Paul, writing to "the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus" (Ephesians 1:1) includes "children," reminding them,

obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.
Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise;
That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.

"Live long on the earth" was a "temporal blessing" when this "first commandment with promise" was given, and it is still a commandment with a temporal blessing. There is no New Testament basis for understanding the phraseology of the Old Covenant in any other way.

Since this one verse completely refutes the claim by Booth that "there is not a word respecting temporal blessings" in the New Covenant, we may safely assume that all other commandments which were given with temporal blessings still bring temporal blessings under the new, improved, and expanded New Covenant.

23 Temporary Covenant Violated by Covenantees


and as a Covenant of everlasting efficacy, that secures the final happinesi of all to whom it relates, is better than one of a temporary nature, which was •violated by the covenantees, and is be come forever obsolete.

This is not a complete thought.

24 Israelitish Theocracy: outward


Very different then, is the kingdom, of Christ from the ancient Israelitish Theocracy. For, of that Theocracy, all Abraham's natural descendants were true subjects, and properly qualified members of the Jewish church; such only excepted, as had not been circumcised according to the order of God, or were guilty of some capital crime. To be an obedient subject of their civil government, and a complete member in their ecclesiastical state, were manifestly the same thing : because, by treating Jehovah as their political sovereign, they avowed him as the true God, and were entitled to all the emoluments of their National Covenant. Under that Economy, Jehovah acknowledged all those for his people, and himself as their God, who performed an external obedience to his commands, even though in their hearts disaffected to him.* These prerogatives were enjoyed, independent of sanctifying grace, and of any pretension to it, either in themselves, or in their parents.

There was never a "civil government" in Israel until 1 Samuel 8, because God repudiated the "political means."

Children and servants of Abraham were under the Covenant, as are children and servants in the New Covenant (Ephesians 6). They remain members of the Covenant until they are excommunicated. Nobody under the New Covenant is empowered or equipped to go behind "external obedience" except as such external evidence proved motivation, as it was under the Old Covenant, and as it is in secular law today. Both the old and new covenants require heart-felt obedience.



The state of things, however, under the New Economy, is extremely different. For the great Proprietor and Lord of the Christian church having absolutely disclaimed a kingdom that is "of this world*” [Was the kingdom of Israel “of this world?”] cannot acknowledge any as the subjects of his government, who do not know and revere him — who do not confide in him, and sincerely love him. Having entirely laid aside those ensigns of political sovereignty, and those marks of external grandeur, which made such a splendid appearance in the Jewish Theocracy ; he disdains to be called the King of the God, of any person who does not obey and "worship him in spirit and in truth.”

The Kingdom of Israel was never intended by God to be "of this world," or "like all the nations."

26-29 (infant baptism)


It is of great importance to the right interpretation of many passages in the Old Testament, that this particular be well understood and kept in view. Jehovah is very frequently represented as the Lord and God of all the ancient Israelites ; even where it is manifest that the generality of them were considered as destitute of internal piety, and many of them as enormously wicked. How then could he be called their Lord, and their God, in distinction from his relation to Gentiles, (whose creator, benefactor, and sovereign he was) except on the ground of the Sinai Covenant? He was their Lord as being the sovereign whom, by a federal transaction, they were bound to obey, in opposition to every political monarch, who should at any time presume to govern them by laws of his own. He was their God, as the only object of holy worship ; and whom, by the same National Covenant, they had solemnly engaged to serve according to his own rule, in opposition to every Pagan idol. 

There was wickedness in the church at Corinth (see 1 Corinthians 5). This was not unlike the state of affairs in the "church in the wilderness" (Acts 7:38; 1 Corinthians 10:2).

But that National relation between Jehovah and Israel being long since dissolved and the Jew having no prerogative above the Gentile ; the nature of the Gospel Economy, and of the Messiah's kingdom, absolutely forbids our supposing, that either Jews or Gentiles are warranted to call the Universal Sovereign their Lord) or their God, if they do not yield willing obedience to him, and perform spiritual worship. It is, therefore, either for want of understanding, or of considering the nature, aspect, and influence of the Sinai Constitution, that many persons dream of the New Covenant, in great numbers of places where Moses and the Prophets had no thought of it, but had the Convention at Horeb directly in view. It is owing to the same ignorance, or inadvertency, that others argue from various passages in the Old Testament, for justification before God by their own obedience, and against the final perseverance of real saints. Because, to be entitled to national happiness, by performing the conditions of the Sinai Covenant, and to lose that right by backsliding into profligacy of manners, are very different things, from obtaining justification before God, and forfeiting an interest in the great Redeemer — so different, that there is no arguing from the one to the other.

There is now, under the New Covenant, only one legitimate "nation" (1 Peter 2:9), just as there was only one legitimate nation under the Old Covenant : "The Israel of God" (Galatians 6:16).



Being a member of "a New Testament church," or being "baptized upon credible profession," is very different "from obtaining justification before God."

Again : As none but real Christians are the subjects of our Lord's kingdom, neither adults nor infants can be members of the gospel Church, in virtue of an external covenant, or of a relative holiness. A striking disparity this, between the Jewish and the Christian Church. Of this difference we may be assured by considering, That a barely relative sanctity, supposes its possessors to be the people of God in a merely external fense ; that such an external people, supposes an external covenant, or one that relates to exterior conduct and temporal blessings : and an external covenant supposes an external king. Now an external king, is a political sovereign : but such is not our Lord Jesus Christ, nor yet the divine Father. Once, indeed, it was otherwise : for, concerning the Israelitish nation, it is written : " I," Jehovah, " will be thy king. Gideon said unto them, I will not rule over you, neither shall my son rule over you: Jehovah shall rule over you. Jehovah your God, was your king."* It was the peculiar honour and happiness of Israel, to have a sovereign who was the only object of their worship. For thus the Psalmist sings ; 

Christ exercises jurisdiction over false Christians and unbelievers. Look up every occurrence of the word "Kingdom" in the New Testament and see.
Booth seems to be equating "our Lord's kingdom" with "the gospel Church."

Jesus' Kingdom is "external" and "internal." It promises long life to children who honor their parents, the same promise made in the Old Covenant. That doesn't make it "political." This thinking is completely bogus. Christ's Kingdom is an external kingdom (as well as internal) and following Oppenheimer, an economic -- not political -- kingdom.

God was Israel's King, and Christ is King over all the earth.

"Blessed is the nation, whose (king) "Jehovah is their God !"'* Hence Jehovah's complaint ; " They have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.

Is this not still Jehovah's complaint? Will it not be addressed?

Yes, Jehovah, as a temporal monarch, stood related to the ancient Israelites, and entered into a federal transaction with them at Sinai, not only as the Object of their worship, but as their King. Their judicial and civil institutes, their laws of war and of peace, various orders respecting the land they occupied, and the annual acknowledgments to the great Proprietor of it, were all from God, as their political sovereign. Hence all the natural posterity of Jacob were Jehovah's people, on the ground of an external covenant made with the whole nation.

 All of the laws which govern all of our conduct -- all conduct without exception -- come from Christ our King. We can assume that Booth is not a savvy anarcho-capitalist, and doesn't understand how a Christian society can exist without a State, but we can still use his terminology:

our judicial and civil institutes, our laws of war and peace, various orders respecting land

indeed, orders respecting every area of life and thought -- there is nothing which  is not governed by the law of Israel's Messiah, Jesus Christ. We are "a holy nation," and we are going to conquer all other nations (false nations, with false kings) so that they repudiate their political delusions and become part of the one true Nation.


Hence all the natural posterity of Jacob were Jehovah's people, on the ground of an external covenant made with the whole nation.

The word "external" is so annoying. God's covenant was a covenant with the heart, not just the body. King Jesus has jurisdiction over our family, our business, and every external action we take -- along with our heart, mind, and soul -- and it is a covenant made with "a holy nation."

The "natural posterity of Jacob" could still be "cut off" from the kingdom. The natural posterity of every Christian is God's covenant child, but can still be excommunicated. What is this if not an "external covenant?"

30-33 External presence of God = external holiness (of everything)

By the latter [God's divine presence among them], they had a kind of local nearness to God, which conferred a relative sanctity; as appears by various instances. When, for example, Moses with astonishment beheld the burning bush, the ground on which he stood was pronounced holy, because of Jehovah’s peculiar presence there.  

…And why was part of the ancient sanctuary called “the most holy place,” but because Jehovah, in a singular manner, and under a visible emblem dwelt there. Hence it is manifest, that the Divine Presence, whether under the form of an august personage, as in the cafe of Joshua ; or under the emblem of devouring fire, as in the bush, and upon mount Sinai ; or under the milder appearance of a luminous cloud f as over the mercy-seat, and at our Lord’s transfiguration, confers a relative holiness. It is also equally plain, that this miraculous presence of God being withdrawn, from the several places to which we have just adverted, they have now no more holiness than any other part of the earth.

So the Israelites, being separated from all other nations for the worship of Jehovah as their God, to the exclusion of all idolatry ; avowing subjection to him as their King, in contradistinction to all other sovereigns ; and he residing among them in the sanctuary, as in his royal palace ; there was a relative holiness attending their persons, and almost every thing pertaining to them. For not only Jehovah’s royal pavilion, with all its utensils and services ; the ministers of that sanctuary, and their several vestments ; but the people in general, the metropolis of their country, the houses of individuals, the land cultivated by them, and the produce of that land, were all styled holy (see Exod 28: 2,4; 29:1; Lev 19:23, 24; 20:26; 25:2, 4; 27:14, 30; Num 16:3, 38; 35:34; Deut 7:6) As we saw above, everything on earth is to be made holy. Whereas under the Old Covenant, holiness was localized, and the world got uncleaner as we moved away from the Holy of Holies, under the New Covenant, holiness spreads outward and cleanses the earth. We no longer have to worry about touching the unclean. We make them clean by our touch.

…Thus the holiness of the people, equally as that of places, was derived from the external presence of God.” Now, as the Divine Presence had a local, visible residence over the mercy-seat, which was the throne of Jehovah ; as that Presence among the Israelites had such an extensive operation upon their state, both in respect of privilege and of duty ; as the whole nation was a typical people, and a great part of their worship of a shadowy nature ; we need not wonder, that in such an ecclesiastico-political kingdom almost every thing should be esteemed, in a relative sense, holy. Under the Gospel Dispensation, how ever, these peculiarities have no existence. For Christ has not made an external covenant with any people. He is not the king of any particular nation. He dwells not in a palace made with hands. His throne is in the heavenly sanctuary ; nor does he afford his visible Presence in any place upon earth.

We all acknowledge that the "shadowy" temple-worship and rituals of blood in the Old Testament have seen their fulfillment in Christ's work on the Cross.

I repeat, the Kingdom of God in the Old Covenant was not a "political" kingdom. Admittedly, many Old Testament figures committed the sins of "political man."

There's that annoying neo-platonic word "external" again. As though Christ does not have jurisdiction over anything done by our hands, only the thoughts of our hearts. Christ is the King of "a holy nation," but not any political nation. He does not afford his "visible" Presence in any place on earth, but He is everywhere on earth (Matthew 28:18-20). Christ lives in us, and makes His Presence with us, His Temple (Revelation 3:12; Ephesians 2:21; 2 Corinthians 6:16; 1 Corinthians 6:19; 1 Corinthians 3:16-17). His presence is just as "visible" as God's Presence in the temple in Jerusalem. But Christ's is a world-wide temple.


The Covenant made at Horeb having long been obsolete, all its peculiarities are vanished away - among which, relative sanctity made a conspicuous figure. That National Constitution being abolished, Jehovah's political sovereignty is at an end.

Jehovah has jurisdiction over all politicians, and all who use the "political means." This is "political sovereignty." What is Booth trying to accomplish by denying God jurisdiction over the nations?

36-38 Relative Sanctity/Holiness - infants, Palestine, etc


And, indeed, how should it? Since, by its commencement, the whole Sinai Constitution became obsolete ; the partition wall was broken down ; the special relation between God and Abra ham's natural feed ceased, and left no difference of a religious kind between Jews and Gentiles — no difference, in re spect of nearness to God and communion with him, except that which regeneration and faith in Christ produce. For, under the present Dispensation, "Christ is all and in all." We may therefore safely con clude, that were tire Jews converted and re-fettled in Palestine, both they and their infant offspring would be as entirely des titute of the ancient relative holiness, as those Mohammedans are who now reside in that country.

So what?

But did an external holiness now exist, we should be obliged to consider it as very different from that of the ancient Israelites : for it appears, by what has been said, that the grounds of their exte rior ianctity make no part of the Chris tian Economy. Besides, their holiness extended to the whole nation : but in what Utopia shall we find all the inhabitants possessed of this relative purity? Theirs continued as long as they lived; except they committed some enormous crime, by which they forfeited their lives, or were cast out of the congregation ; for it did not wear out by age, nor was it lost merely by continuing in a state of unregeneracy. Whereas, that external holiness for which so many plead, is not generally considered by them as extend ing beyond the time of infancy. But why should any contend for the relative holiness cf infants, who deny a sanctity of that kind, to places of worship, to cleri cal habits, and to various other things? For it is plain that the Jewish external purity, whether of persons, of places, or of things, originated in the same Nation al Covenant, and in the same relation of God to Israel; and, consequently, must have the same duration in one case, as in another. We may therefore justly conclude, that the federal and relative holiness of which so many speak, agrees neither with the laws of Judaism, nor with the nature of Christianity ; and if so, it cannot belong to the kingdom of Christ. 

1 Corinthians 7:14
14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.

Holiness is now covenantally contagious. Unbelievers who join with believers are sanctified. Children of believers are holy until proven otherwise. The promises made to Abraham are made to Christians "and to your children" (Acts 2:39).

National Church

 If by "national church" or "national religious establishment" is meant "church employing 'the political means,'" or "religious establishment enforced by 'the political means,'" then it is agreed that such institutions are contrary to Biblical Law.



The Kingdom of Christ extends beyond "the parish register." But it also includes it. Those who register submit to the King, and He will be their Judge. And we are to judge them.

Further : If all the subjects of Christ be real saints, it may be justly queried, whether any National religious establishment can be a part of his kingdom. That multitudes of individuals belonging to such establishments are subjects of the King Messiah, is cheerfully granted, and the thought gives us much pleasure : but is it not plain, that a National church is inimical to the spirit of our Lord's declaration, "My kingdom is not of this world"? Does not that comprehensive and important saying compel us to view the church and the world in a contrasted point of light? And does not the idea of a National church lead us to confound them? Does it not manifestly confound the church of the first-born, which are written in heaven;" with " the world, that lies in wickedness," whose names are entered in parish registers ?*

42 Congregational church


The tenour of the New Testament, however, agreeably to our Lord's maxim, leads us to consider particular churches as Congregational ; and as consisting of those who make a credible profession of repentance and faith. Such congregations, wherever they be, constitute the visible kingdom of Christ — . That the apostolic churches were Congregational, is clear from the sacred Records ; and that there was no National church for the first three hundred years, is equally evident.

Here again is the confusion of "elect" and "under the jurisdiction of the visible kingdom of Christ."

The kingdom of Christ is not of this world with regard to the means he employed in its first establishment, and those he appointed far its enlargement and support.

Agreed. This does not change our position on eschatology or Theonomy.

51 Take up swords


Were the Messiah's kingdom " of this world," his loyal subjects might lawfully take the sword, to repel assailants and guard against his enemies : for, without the liberty of such defence, no secular state can long subsist. This, however, he absolutely prohibited ; which prohibition is founded in the peculiar nature of his kingdom. For thus he speaks, to one who thought of defending his person and cause by force ; " Put up thy sword into the sheath." Soon after, on another occasion, he said, "Is my kingdom were of this world* then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews : but now is my kingdom not from "hence." As by the particle now our spiritual Sovereign apparently refers to his kingdom among the Jews ; so he seems to distinguish his dominion in the Gospel Church, from that over the Israelitilh nation.

Excuse me, but did someone just enter the room defending a "secular state?"

Or any "state" at all?

Our job as Christians is to call all states to repentance, to join the One True State, the non-political Kingdom of Christ.

God was a Spirit in the Old Testament. His Kingdom had jurisdiction over every farm and every business.
God is a Spirit in the New Coveoant. "Our Spiritual Sovereign" has jurisdiction over every farm and every business.


The military service of a Christian, as such, is entirely- of a spiritual nature. It is a " good fight of faith :" a striving against sin," in himself, and in the world around him : a " holding fast the profession of his faith," in spite of all opposition.


71 No temporal consequences for excommunication


But as, by the laws of our heavenly Sovereign, their admission to visible fellowship was entirely for spiritual purposes, their exclusion from it does not include any temporal disadvantages. Their situation as men, and as the subjects of a political slate, not being altered by their church relation commencing; they should not be affected, in those respects, by the dissolution of that relation.

If a child is promised long life if he obeys his parents (Ephesians 6:1-3), are there no temporal disadvantages if he disobeys? Certainly the disadvantages are meted out by God rather than by a Pope or President or General, but there are temporal disadvantages. Further, we are not to break bread with the excluded, as an incentive to their repentance.

1 Corinthians 5:5
To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

72 Excommunication in Israel


Here we perceive another disparity between the Jewish and the Christian church. Under the Old Economy, the laws of religion were sanctioned by temporal penalties, and frequently those of the 'severest kind/* To be cast out of the congregation, or to be forbidden access to the sanctuary worship, (except for ceremonial pollution) was to be deprived, not only of ecclesiastical privileges, but also of civil rights. The church and the state being co-extended, and including the same persons, an exclusion from the former was an expulsion from the latter ; whether it was by a sentence of capital punistiment, or in some other way. But this, like many other things, was peculiar to that Dispensation. It was founded in the National form of their church state, and in their Theocracy. Thence it was that blasphemy and idolatry were punished with death, as being high treason against their divine Sovereign. That Economy being abolistied, the church of God has taken a new form,

This is a modern, secular, political analysis of Israel. Not a Biblical one.

"Capital punishment" was not "judicial" or "civil," but "ceremonial." Strictly speaking there was no "judicial law" in Israel. There is still no "judicial law" in the Kingdom of Christ, and the shedding of a murderers blood is no longer required.

If you begin with a proper understanding of the Old Covenant, you are less likely to have an erroneous neo-platonic understanding of the New.



The laws of admission, and of exclusion, must therefore be very different ; as well as those pertaining to public worship. Now, to understand these laws, we must study — not the Pentateuch of Moses much less the Provinciate of Lyndwood, the Codex of Gibson, or the Jus Ecclesiasticum of Boehmer, but — the New Testament of Jesus Christ. To reason from the constitution and form, the laws and government, the privileges and rites of the Jewish, to those of the Christian church ; is to adopt a capital principle of Papal depravity, and grossly to corrupt our holy religion.

"Our holy religion"

Strange, that any Protestant church should avowedly claim a "power to decree rites or ceremonies" in the solemn service of our divine Lord ! As if he were not the legislator in his own king dom !


78 Decorating Worship


But confine them there, and by no means think of decorating the kingdom, or of prompting the cause of Christ, by any thing similar. Were any man to lacker gold, and paint the diamond, to increase their lustre, he would certainly be considered as insane. Yet the conduct of those persons is more absurd, who borrow the trappings of secular kingdoms, to a- dorn the spiritual kingdom os Jesus Christ. As to p/aces of wor/hip, conveniency is all that is wanted, and all that becomes the simplicity of Christianity.


83 Worldly tabernacle vs spiritual worship


Hence the tabernacle is called " a worldly sanctuary and the rites performed there, "elements of the world." To these, the heavenly sanctuary, into which our Great High Priest is entered, and the spiritual worship os the Christian church stand opposed.


85 Cathedral vs barn


yet I may venture to assert, that an assembly of princes in a splendid cathedral, with an arch-prelate appearing in canonical pomp, may insult the Divine Majesty, and* be utterly unworthy the name of a church; while a congregation of day-labourers, with an illiterate min ister in the meanest habit, convened in a barn, may be a spiritual temple, enjoy the, Divine Presence, and perform the Chris tian worship in all its glory.


98 Gary North vs Abraham Booth


Now, as the immunities, grants, and honours, bestowed by the King Messiah, are all of a spiritual nature, his faithful subjects have no reason to wonder, or to be discouraged, at any persecutions, afflictions, or poverty which may befal them. Were his empire "of this world" then indeed it might be expected, from the goodness of his heart and the power of his arm, that those who are submissive to his authority, zealous for his honour, and conformed to his image, would commonly find themselves easy and prosperous in their temporal circumstances. Yes, were his dominion of a secular kind, it might be supposed that an habitually conscientious regard to his laws would secure from the oppression of ungodly men, and from the distresses of temporal want. Thus it was with Israel under their Theocracy. When the rulers and the people in general were punctual in observing Jehovah's appointments, the stipulations of the Sinai Covenant secured them from being oppressed by their enemies, and from any remarkable affliction by the immediate hand of God. Performing the conditions of their National Confederation, they were, as a people, warranted to expect every species of temporal prosperity. Health and long life, riches, honours, and vic tory over their enemies, were prom ised by Jehovah to their external obedience. (Ex 25:25,26; 28:25-28; Lev 26:3-14; Deut 7:12-24; 8:7-9; 11:13-17; 28:3-13) The punishments also, that were denounced against flagrant breaches of the Covenant made at Horeb, were of a temporal kind.*

In general, God promises temporal blessings for obedience.
There are exceptions, but the general promises are still there.

In this respect, however, as well as in other tilings, there is a vast difference between the Jewish and the Christian Economy. This disparity was plainly in timated, if I mistake not, by the opposite modes of divine proceeding, in establishing Jehovah's kingdom among the Jews, and in founding the empire of Jesus Christ.


*Lev. xxvi. 14—39. Deut. iv. 25, 26, 27* xi. 9.7. xxviii. 15— 68. xxix. 22— 28, See Dr. Erskine's Theological Dissert. p. 22-- 29. External obedience. — Punishments of a temporal kind. These and similar expressions in this essay are to be underwood, as referring to the Sinai Covenant strictly considered, and to Jehovah's requisitions as the king of Israel. They are quite consistent, therefore, with its being the duly of Abraham's natural seed to perform internal obedience to that sublime Sovereign, considered as the God of the whole earth; and with everlasting punishment being inflicted by him, as the righteous desert of sin.

Societies which are more Christian are more temporally prosperous than societies which are less Christian. This has been true for 2,000 years, around the world, as Booth acknowledges below. There are exceptions, of course, but the covenantal promises of temporal blessing and cursing are still there.

It must indeed be acknowledged, that, as vicious tempers and immoral practices have a natural tendency to impair health, distress the mind, and waste the property ; so the exercise of holy affections, and the practice of true godliness, have the most friendly aspect on a Christian's own temporal happiness, (except so far as persecution intervenes) and on the welfare of society. But then it is evident that this arises from the nature of things, and from the superintendency of common Providence, rather than from the dominion of Christ as a spiritual monarch ; for, so considered, spiritual blessings are all they have to expect from his royal hand.

I think this analysis is evil.
It is certainly heretical to distinguish "providence" from "the dominion of Christ."
As if God the Father honors obedience with temporal blessings but Christ the Son does not.

Galatians 3:8
And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed

How did Abraham understand the promise of "blessing?" What evidence is there that the meaning of this term has been downgraded under the New Covenant?

Mark 10:30
But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.


103 affliction


The most uniform subjection to his authors, and the warmest zeal for his honour, that ever appeared upon earth, were no security from bitter persecution, from pinching poverty, or from complicated affliction. Our divine Lord, considered as a spiritual sovereign, is concerned for the spiritual interests of those that are under his government. His personal perfections and royal prerogatives, his power and wisdom, his love and care, are therefore to be regarded as engaged, by both office and promise, — not to make his dependants easy and prosperous in their temporal concerns ; but — to strengthen them for their spiritual warfare ; to preserve them from finally failing by their invisible enemies ; to make all afflictions " work together for their good to render them, in the final issue, ** more than conquerors * over every opposer ; and to crown them with everlasting life.

Of course there is no automatic "security." God is sovereign, and His ways are higher than ours. But there is nothing in the New Covenant which requires us to presume it to be more niggardly than the Old.