By WOODROW KROLL, Th.D.
In that compendium of wisdom we call the book of Proverbs, authored under Divine inspiration by the wisest man who ever lived, King Solomon admonishes us: “Do not remove the ancient landmark which your fathers have set” (Prov. 22:28).
Landmarks were important in antiquity, just as they are today. A stone erected at the corner of a field told a farmer where his field ended and his neighbor’s field began. Ancient landmarks marked boundaries; they told you how far you could go—and where you could go no farther. They established order and made for good relationships.
What was true for Hebrew farmers in the Old Testament is equally true for anyone who handles God’s Holy Word today. There are landmarks for people of faith established by God that we dare not move if we want to enjoy His blessing. These landmarks represent theological boundaries which we must preserve. There are many, of course, but here are four such ancient boundaries that our fathers have set.
Landmark No. 1—The Supremacy of God
In a world where battle lines over which god is the true God are being drawn in blood, it is important that the Christian, “Remember the former things of old, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me” (Isa. 46:9).
Moses said it this way: “Therefore know this day, and consider it in your heart, that the LORD Himself is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath; there is no other” (Deut. 4:39). Similar sentiments about the supremacy of the God of the Bible are expressed in 1 Kings 8:60; Isaiah 45:5, 6, 14, 18, 21, 22; Daniel 3:29; Joel 2:27; and Mark 12:32. There is but one supreme deity and His name is Jehovah. This ancient landmark must not be removed.
Landmark No. 2—The Authority of God’s Word
In ancient times, God often spoke directly to people in an audible voice. Examples would be: Adam and Eve (Genesis 3); Noah (Genesis 6); Abraham (Genesis 17); Moses (Exodus 3); Job (Job 42); David (1 Chronicles 14); Solomon (1 Kings 3); Hosea (Hosea 1); and a host of other prophets, such as Elijah, Micaiah, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Amos and Zechariah.
But the prophets are dead and Jesus is in Heaven at God’s right hand, so how do we hear from God today? Through God’s Word. Paul commended the Thessalonian believers “because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God” (1 Thess. 2:13). The authority of God’s voice today is found in His Word, not in dreams, revelations, church traditions or other unreliable sources. This ancient landmark must not be removed.
Landmark No. 3—The Deity of Jesus Christ
There are plenty of non-Biblical but historical references to the early Christians’ belief that Jesus is Messiah and God. This is mentioned by historians like Tacitus, Josephus, Suetonius, Pliny the Younger, Thallus and more. But better evidence for the deity of Christ is found in the Bible itself.
The Bible specifically claims that Jesus is God (cf. John 1:1-3, 14; 20:28; Rom. 9:5; Heb. 1:7-8), but it also uses expressions that define Jesus as God (cf. Phil. 2:5-6; Col. 1:15; Heb. 1:1-3). The Bible ascribes Divine attributes to Jesus and depicts Him doing things only God can do. This ancient landmark must not be removed.
Landmark No. 4—The Imminent Return of the Lord
While theologians have devised various systems by which to understand future events, ultimately we must never remove the landmark of our Lord’s imminent return. “Imminent” means pending, about to happen, or just around the corner. Our Lord’s return could happen at any moment. That is the point of the parable of the wise and foolish virgins in Matthew 25. Jesus sums up this parable with the words, “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming” (v. 13).
As we serve the Lord in these last days, we must always remember to live lives of continuous blamelessness (cf. 1 Thess. 3:13) so “that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming” (1 John 2:28). After all, it could happen today. This ancient landmark must not be removed.
Ancient landmarks provided clarity as well as protection. Much of the unclear theological thinking today is likely due to those who have removed one or more of these ancient landmarks. That is why Solomon’s advice is still valid and necessary: “Do not remove the ancient landmark which your fathers have set” (Prov. 22:28).
Dr. Woodrow Kroll is a world-renowned author, speaker and Bible teacher, and the leading champion of Bible literacy. He currently serves as president of Woodrow Kroll Ministries, where he is involved in providing theological education to untrained pastors in the developing world. We are privileged to welcome him as a contributing author to Dispensational Publishing House.
Copyright © 2015 by Dr. Woodrow Kroll. Used by permission of the author.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®.
Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.