an Exposition of the
Kingdom of God
with reference to
THE TIME OF THE END
and THE AGE TO COME
By JOHN THOMAS, m.d.
“For the hope of Israel I am bound with this chain.”—Paul
404 Shaftmoor Lane
Birmingham B28 8SZ
Elpis Israel was written over 100 years ago: it was a pioneer work. As appears from the Biographical Notes which follow the “Contents” page, it was written at the request of those who had heard Dr. Thomas’s lectures on the Bible, and particularly on Bible prophecies, while he was on a visit from the United States to get a closer view of the stirring events of 1848 and to lecture on the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. It is a testimony to Dr. Thomas’s extensive knowledge of the Bible that he was able in four months, away from his books and lexicons, to write a work so massive in its understanding of the revealed purpose of God. At the time when it was written, frank speech expressed in robust language was indulged in without offence, and in this matter the book reflects its age. The forthrightness of the writer is seen in the vigour of his words and modern readers must make some allowance for this. The main substance of the book has stood the test of study by four generations of believers in God’s Word. In the edition of 1903 some minor blemishes were removed, as explained under the heading of Publisher’s Notes.
As the title implies, great emphasis is given to the doctrine of the Kingdom of God, while the doctrine of the Atonement receives what might appear to be only incidental reference. Those who may criticize the balance of the work should bear in mind the conditions of the time when it was written. The doctrine of the Kingdom was neglected or misinterpreted; on the necessity of the Cross there was general agreement even though atonement was distorted into the appeasing of an angry Deity. The disproportionate emphasis in Dr. Thomas’s work is the converse of that prevailing at the time, and met a contemporary need. Were Dr. Thomas writing in the present conditions of widespread unbelief he would doubtless respond to the current needs with no less vigour of mind. In judging this work his immediate object must be kept in view.
The third part of the book deals with prophecy in relation to world affairs. Here understanding was influenced by an expectation of the Lord’s early advent, which proved premature, and much that has now to be treated with reserve derived from this outlook. Whilst some things looked for came to pass others did not; but it must be recognized that the world is conforming in general to the pattern expected, even though on a larger scale than was looked for 100 years ago. The whole world is knit together by modern means of communication: yet it is clear that as a result of the stresses of two world wars, the world is divided into two groups which might in general terms be called the land-mass group and the maritime group of nations. This is what was expected, and ...
About Elpis Israel
Elpis Israel was written over 150 years ago by John Thomas. It is the first Christadelphian writing written at the request of those who had heard Dr. Thomas lectures on the Bible and Bible Prophecy. Great emphasis is given to the doctrine of the Kingdom of God.