Netanyahu’s whirlwind visit – a sign of urgency

https://www.newsmax.com/newsfront/netanyahu-pompeo-mohammed-bin-salman/2020/11/23/id/998293/

We may be sure that at least part of the motivation behind this whirlwind visit is the mutual threat of an increasingly empowered Iran, particularly in view of Biden’s anticipated commitment to resurrect the Iran nuclear deal. Mutual interests, not only of opportunity but of urgency, are creating new bonds between historic enemies, right on time!

Prophecy is clear that a disarming illusion of lasting security must come to the region before the outbreak of the final, unequaled tribulation (Isa 28:15, 18; Eze 38:8, 11, 14; Dan 8:25; 9:27; 11:21, 23-24; 1Thes 5:3). Recognizing this, many are watching the historic “Abraham Accords” with due attention.

Until very recently, nothing could have seemed more improbable. This has never happened before in history, but it is right in line with what prophecy leads us to expect.

We know that the Antichrist (AC) will exploit this new state of affairs till he sees his advantage (Dan 11:23, 31). Toward the middle of the week, he will secretly, behind the scenes, form a counter alliance that will, without warning, strike Israel with irresistible, overwhelming force.

Those who know the scripture will see this developing in advance. They will recognize the imperatives of prophecy that must precede the AC’s invasion of Israel. As some will most certainly “see” the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet, this means there must first be a restoration of the “daily sacrifice”, which demands a new temple (Isa 63:18; Dan 9:27; 11:31; 12:11; Mt 24:15-16; 2Thes 2:4; Rev 11:2).

Since this development can hardly be missed, believers in the literal fulfillment of prophecy will have a precious advantage to see the approach of this ultimately transitional event, as well as the march of events that lead up to it, as seen in Isa 28:15, 18; Eze 38:8, 11, 14; 39:26; Dan 9:27; 11:21-31; 1Thes 5:3).

As these signal developments progress, watchful believers who “understand” the times and the meaning of these events will know to prepare for the great transition that will come when the Antichrist will make the normal means of buying and selling an impossibility for believers (Rev 13:16-17).

It is sobering to contemplate what this will mean for professing Christians caught completely off guard. To be caught off guard and thus exposed to the unparalleled deception of “those days” will owe in no small part to professing believers’ neglect to follow Jesus’ express command to read and “understand” Daniel’s prophecy concerning this particular event (Mt 24:15; 2Thes 2:4-5).

And, where care has been taken to study Daniel’s prophecy in light of Jesus’ Olivet prophecy, and Paul’s reference to the man of sin (compare Dan 11:31-37 with Mt 24:15; 2Thes 2:3-4), a survey of the history of interpretation will confirm that no other topic of prophecy has engendered greater disagreement among scholars, and hence greater confusion and ignorance among pastors and their congregations.

Jesus well knew that an accurate knowledge of this event would reveal, not only what follows from it, but a notable sequence of foretold details that must lead up to it (Dan 11:23-31). Knowledge of these necessarily preceding conditions and events will prove a critical, God ordained blessing of advance warning to those who have followed Jesus’ decisive command in Mt 24:15, “whoever reads (the readers of Daniel’s prophecy of this particular event), let them understand.”

A comparison of Eze 38:12-13; Isa 19:1-25; Joel 2:1-3; and Dan 11:41-43 will strongly indicate that some of the moderate Islamic nations of the Arabian peninsula (e.g., ancient Sheba and Dedan – Eze 38:13) will express fearful foreboding at the Antichrist’s invasion of Israel. Shortly after this, Egypt will also be overrun and profoundly savaged.

It is not unreasonable to infer that such rage and fury will be due to Egypt’s friendly relationship with Israel. This will doubtless be viewed by the northern Islamic nations, who are hostile to the peace, as an act of betrayal, portending that Egypt’s fate may also be the fate of other nations near and far who have supported the peace with Israel. So, the strategic gap between north and south appears to be widening, exactly as anticipated in prophecy.

It is more than incidental that the very alignment depicted in prophecy has come so lately and swiftly into place. Until very recently, nothing could have seemed less probable. Consider how Egypt has flipped from the rabidly hostile Morsi government to the much more friendly government of al-Sisi, ‘from foe to friend’ overnight. Who knew?

Then there is the once-friendly Turkey (Eze 38: 2-6) that has gone ‘from friend to foe’ under Erdogan, also almost overnight. And now, the Gulf States are softening in their onetime non-negotiable disavowal of Israel’s right to exist, endorsing a new policy of “normalization” in the new “Abraham Accords”.

Of course, to natural eyes, these remarkable trends can always be explained by natural causes. But to the eyes of faith that see through the prism of prophecy, many of the outstanding pieces of the prophetic puzzle that once seemed so remote are falling into place at a remarkable pace.

That these things should follow upon one another in such a close succession further suggests the realistic possibility of the fulfillment of a view that has been held by many over the centuries. This is the well-known, well-documented view that the return of Jesus would introduce the 7th millennium of sabbatical completion, ending the 6 millennia given to human government.

This is not a recent view but has been maintained by a significant number over the centuries. Some, even within the early part of the last century have interpreted the “two days” of Hos 6:2 as answering to the two millennia that should elapse between Israel’s fall and Jesus’ return (Isa 8:14; 28:16; Ro 9:33; 11:11-12; 1Pet 2:8; Ps 110:1; Mt 23:39: 24:30; Zech 12:10; Acts 3:18-21; Ro 11:26; Rev 1:7), with the third day answering to the millennium that follows upon Israel’s long awaited national resurrection (Isa 25:7-8; 26:19; Hos 13:14; Eze 37; Dan 12:1-2).

There are many other compelling arguments from scripture that further support this interpretation of a long parenthesis of “many generations” between the two comings (Isa 61:4; Eze 38:8; Hos 5:15-6:2; Mic 5:1-4; Mt 23:39).

Not only was Israel to become a “nation” again after “many generations” of exilic desolation (Isa 61:4; Dan 12:1), “always a continual waste” (Eze 38:8), but upon their return, the once desolate wastelands would become a coveted prize of wealth and prosperity (Eze 38:11-13; Dan 11:24; Joel 2:2).

It is remarkable to observe that just before the Antichrist’s invasion that precipitates the day of the Lord (Joel 2:1-3; 3:1-2, 9-17), the prophet Joel compares the Land to Eden for its beauty (Joel 2:3). With the invading forces of the Antichrist (the “northern army” compared to a devouring plague of locusts, Joel 1:4; 2:20, 25), the verdant Land of Edenic beauty is turned suddenly into “a desolate wilderness” (Joel 2:2-3). This agrees perfectly with Eze 38:11-13; Dan 11:24, etc.

Whether this view of a prophetic terminus corresponding to Hosea’s prophecy of the “three days” will be confirmed remains to be seen. Of course, longstanding political mountains would have to move almost overnight, but the recent events that have fallen so providentially into place certainly merit our closest attention, as we earnestly pray “Thy kingdom come”; “Come soon, Lord Jesus!”

Consider this brief summary of relatively recent significant developments:

–> the return to the Land in 1948

–> the recovery of Jerusalem as the Jewish capital in 1967

–> the very recent alignment of the nations in perfect accord with prophecy

–> the amazing beautification of the Land

–> the burgeoning prosperity of Israel and the region

–> the peace initiatives that promise the kind of “tranquility” in the region that will pave the way for the opportunism of the AC (Dan 8:25; 11:23-24)

–> the preparations and loud demands for equal access to the Temple Mount

–> the rise of anti-Zionist Islam obsessed with the apocalyptic vision of recapturing Jerusalem and possessing the Land, in fulfillment of what the prophets call the “ancient/ everlasting hatred” (Ps 83; Isa 34:4-8; 63:1-4; Eze 25:15; 35:5; 36:5; Obad; Mal 1:4)

–> the extreme and swift departure from the apostolic faith in the professing church

–> the ominous resurgence of world antisemitism.

All of this, and so much more, cries out for sober preparation and urgency.

In a way distinct from any other time in history, with many more essential details now in place that were conspicuously absent at the Roman destruction of the second temple in 70 A.D., the days of ultimate, all-inclusive fulfillment are fast upon us. An alignment now exists of nations and circumstances essential to the fulfillment of the last very interdependent cluster of events that prepare the way for Jesus’s return.

We may prefer to err on the side of caution, but who will not at least agree that it is hard to conceive it mere happenstance that all of this should seem to be coming into such swift alignment so near to the closing of the second millennium since Israel’s fall and Jesus’s ascension?

Can it be too lightly dismissed that by Hosea’s “three days” prophecy, God has indeed foretold the time between the advents? Many over the years have thought so. The case fully made – and heard – is quite compelling. In fact, few have really heard it. Many will yet say, “What difference does it make?”, and “Doesn’t this imply the forbidden setting of a date?”, and many other popular non-sequiturs that throw cold water.

One thing is certain: Had the Lord foretold the time of His return in a less “cryptic” way, the world would have more easily anticipated it. It would not have been thief-like (1Thes 5:3; 2 Pet 3:10; Rev 16:15,  in light of Dan 12:10). But the very confusion and disagreement in the church over all things eschatological may well prove that God indeed has foretold us all things, including the duration of the mysterious interim, albeit in a way so as to remain sealed until the time of the end (Dan. 12:4, 9).

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Who Is the True Jew?

I fully agree that in Ro 2:26-29 Paul is putting the uncircumcised gentile who “keeps the righteousness of the law” (obviously regenerate) on an equal footing with a ‘true Jew’. A true Jew is a regenerate Jew. As in other debated passages of this kind, Paul is not necessarily redefining Israel or Jews, since he clearly maintains that obvious distinction elsewhere. Rather, in what might appear to be a new re-definition, many hold that Paul intends nothing more here than his usual insistence that those who are Jews in name only are not to be reckoned as heirs unless they are also regenerated (the inward circumcision of the heart).

This is exactly the distinction Paul is making in such texts as Ro 4:14; 9:6. But since Paul so clearly identifies believing gentiles as “Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Ro 8:17; Gal 3:29), some (I think not unreasonably), argue that Paul is indeed redefining the term, “Jew” in this context to include anyone who has the inward circumcision of the heart. I am one premillennialist who has no problem with that view, since, in my opinion, it is not crucial to the larger question. So who is a Jew?

Even if it is maintained that Paul is disqualifying the Jew who is only one outwardly from deserving of the name, and even if it could be certainly established that Paul is re-defining the term in this particular context to mean anyone who has the “inward circumcision of the heart, in the Spirit”, still, there are many contexts that will bear no such redefinition. Context determines usage.

Unlike many premillennialists who, because of abuse and misuse, are keen to avoid any reading that might lend support to so-called replacement theology, I am one among many premillennialists who believe that if gentiles can be reckoned as the true circumcision (Phil 3:3) and other such appellations once applied only to Jews (Ro 9:25; 1Pet 2:9-10), then it is no leap of faith for Paul to include regenerate gentiles among the true “Israel of God” (Ro 11:17; Gal 6:16; Eph 2:19). Whether anyone’s strong position will incline them to agree, it is only humility to see how easily these inferences can be made. For example, when we place Phil 3:3 side by side with Ro 2:29, it is difficult not to see the manifest parallel.

Phil 3:3: For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the Spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.

Ro 2:29: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God. Romans 2:29

If Paul can speak of an “Israel according to the flesh” (1 Cor 10:18), it becomes an almost necessary inference to understand that there must be an ‘Israel according to the Spirit’. While it may be reasonably argued that in some contexts Paul has included gentiles in his definition of what constitutes the true Israel of God, this bears nothing on the many other contexts in both testaments where a large remnant of Jews (unbelieving until that time), are yet predestined for future salvation on the basis of an abiding, irrevocable covenant election that remains outstanding and unfulfilled until “their fullness” (their full inclusion; Ro 11:11, 25-29). Will you concede that much?

I am not among those who believe that believing gentiles belong to some new, separate entity. It is rather the case that believing gentiles are “grafted in among them” (Ro 11:17), that is, into the “commonwealth of Israel”, which, in my view, is the living “Israel of God” (Ro 9:6; Gal 6:16). The living, and therefore persevering wild branches are one eternal body with the living Jewish branches that remain connected to the life-giving root of the good olive tree. So I’m miles from the usual dispensational position.

I see a continuity of one corporate, fully regenerate people of God, not only since Pentecost, but wherever saints (the remnant circumcised of heart) were ‘indwelt’ by “the Spirit of Christ” (2Cor 13:5; 1Pet 1:11). There is one fold and one Shepherd. This newly revealed (not newly existing!) “body of Christ” / “one new man” extends beyond the present age into, and all throughout, a yet future millennium.

Unlike dispensationalism’s two peoples of God, in our view, the penitent survivors of Israel will be no less the body of Christ on earth in the coming millennium, ‘brothers of the others’, albeit with a unique millennial stewardship for the sake of the covenant demonstration that God has reserved for that unique period. This poses no conflict with the one new man anymore than the abiding distinction of male and female, both in creation and the governance of the body of Christ, raises any question of disadvantage or inferiority. It is a question of stewardship and not of any presumed spiritual advantage or superiority.

After the body of Christ has been revealed (not newly existing, but newly revealed), the one new man (the regenerated man of the Spirit) exists without distinction or superiority in one place only, “in Christ”! Notwithstanding, the scripture itself recognizes an abiding distinction between Jew and gentile in the creation, just as there remains a distinction in the role of male and female in the natural order. This distinction is preserved, actually quite miraculously, across the ages for a very important purpose. That purpose is to publicly vindicate in open display God’s abiding, covenanted commitment to the “natural branches” “For this is My covenant with THEM when I shall take away THEIR sin ….”

Their covenanted election, and the sovereign power manifested in their corporate salvation will be put beyond all question for a thousand years of open display, as God makes of this people the great object lesson of history. In the salvation of ‘all Israel’ (in the sense that Paul intends that phrase), God is vindicating openly and publicly in the sight of all nations His very purpose in first setting Jacob apart before birth or before behaviour. This was “in order that the purpose of God might stand, not of works but of Him who calls” (Ro 9:11, 16). There it is! God has preserved the visibility and abiding distinction of the Jewish race for this one primary purpose. That purpose is to show in them His ability to bring in, finally and forever, the very people He first brought out (Num 14:11-21).

This He will do by bringing them to the end of their power in the final time of unequaled trouble (Deut 32:36; Dan 12:1, 7), and to the place of regeneration by faith, thus securing their ability to remain safely and permanently in the Land without further threat of the curses of the broken covenant. Only by an ‘everlasting righteousness’ (Dan 9:24; Jer 32:40), that is NOT their own (Isa 45:25; 54:17; Jer 23:5-6), extending not only to a remnant, but to ‘all Israel’ (regenerate Israel) “unto children’s children” (Deut 30:6; Isa 59:21; 65:23; Eze 37:25). Only then can Israel keep their covenanted Land forever in abiding safety and peace. Only by such an eternally secure righteousness can the abiding threat of covenant jeopardy be overcome forever. The thousand years is set apart to mark and make much of this open spectacle of covenant fulfillment.

Only a righteousness that is forever can possess the Land forever. This is the point that God is determined to press upon the nations in an open, visible, undeniable display of sovereign, electing grace and power that will continue unabated for one thousand years before concluding His purpose for this earth in the final perfection of new heavens and new earth. He has a point to make through the Jewish people that is dear to His heart. It is a point that is directed against all forms of pride and self righteousness. How? “They will look upon Him whom they pierced (Zech 12:10; Mt 23:39; Rev 1:7). When?  “From that day and forward” (Eze 39:8, 22, 28-29), “they will all know Me from the least of them to the greatest” (Jer 31:34).

Not only will the penitent survivors of the last tribulation all know Him “from that day and forward”, but this uniformity of salvation will continue “unto children’s children, without fail or exception throughout all their succeeding generations. Sound fantastic, unheard of, inconceivable? Read it there in the scriptures (Isa 4:3-4; 45:17, 25; 54:13; 59:21; 60:21; 61:9; 65:23; 66:22; Jer 31:34; 32:40; Eze 20:40; 37:25; Zeph 3:13, et al).

This is what Paul means when he says, “and so then (when the Deliverer comes to turn away ungodliness from Jacob), ALL Israel shall be saved.” Then will an all-holy nation of penitent survivors be “born in one day” (Isa 66:8; Eze 39:22; Dan 12:1-2; Isa 59:20-21; Zech 3:9; 12:10). Now begins the millennial demonstration of the everlasting covenant that still stands irrevocably with THEM (i.e., the “natural branches”; Ro 11:25-29), thus fulfilling a vast host of OT promises connected to an inviolable, eternal covenant promise that must be fulfilled on this earth with this people (Daniel’s people) in particular (Dan 2:44; 12:1).

This great revelatory seeing of Jesus (not by mere sight, of course, but by the Spirit of revelation, as with Paul on the Damascus road) will secure for the surviving remnant of Israel the everlasting righteousness of the everlasting covenant that is now, according to the revelation of the mystery, available to every penitent believer in the resurrected Jesus. Yet, this revelation must at length break upon the understanding of a final remnant from among the natural branches. This is in order to fulfill all that God promised to that nation in particular. This takes place at no sooner time than the return of Jesus to raise the dead (Dan 12:1-2; Mt 24:29-31). This is the “set time” that He has chosen to “favor Zion” (Ps 102:13). It is the time that His people will have been made “willing in the day of His power” (Ps 110:3).

You are right about some things that dispensationalists are wrong about, but I believe you need to much more carefully consider whether you may be wrong about some things futurists (not necessarily pre-trib dispensationalists), may be right about. It’s the old tendency towards “guilt by association” that tends to toss out the baby (at least parts of the baby) with the proverbial bath water.  It is no wonder that Paul calls this a “mystery” (Ro 11:25), as it will invariably elude prideful self reliance. They will never see rightly who do not approach the revealed mysteries of God with genuine fear and trembling. I’m sure you agree.

Speaking of my intelligence, it may interest you to know that the last grade I finished was the 9th. I can’t imagine charging you, or any other earnest believer honestly seeking the harmony of scripture, with “tickling their intellectual fancies”. :-)

Cordially yours in His great name,

Reggie Kelly

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Reggie Kelly at CBETS [VIDEO]


From a breakout session at the Center for Biblical End Time Studies (CBETS) Symposium “The Glorious Return of Our King” in November of 2019. Thank you to CBETS for allowing us to post this clip here.

CBETS Home • https://www.ihopkc.org/cbets
Symposium Home • https://www.ihopkc.org/cbets/project/symposium-2019

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The Antichrist, the Millennium and the Kingdom

I would like to know if the restored Kingdom of Israel is the millennial Kingdom. And what is the connection between the antichrist and Islam? Do you believe he will come from there?

To answer your second question first, I have believed the Antichrist would arise from among 10 Arab / Muslim nations since the Yom Kippur War when the Lord revealed to me that the ten kings would be Arab / Muslim, obsessed with a militant hatred of what Daniel will call, “the holy covenant” (Dan 11:28, 30). The general territory from whence the Antichrist takes his rise to power is very clearly denoted in Dan 8:9.

He rises from somewhere within the expanse of territory that was under the Seleucid dynasty of the second century B.C. At its height, this would have reached from Damascus to Babylon. This makes it hard to pinpoint the location exactly, but it does limit the general region of his rise, as it rules out the greater part of the world. This will depend, of course, on a defense of my strongly held position that the ‘little horn’ of Dan 8:9 is none other than the “little horn” of Dan 7:8. Surprisingly, many, perhaps most of the commentaries take the position that the ‘little horn’ of Dan 7:8 is NOT the same person as the ‘little horn’ of Dan 8:9. Therefore, the clue of Dan 8:9 is very largely dismissed from having any future significance.

There are reasons why the list of aggressor nations in Ezk 38:5-6 are not exactly the same as those mentioned in Ps 83. That’s another discussion; but I have always believed that the 10 neighboring nations mentioned in Ps 83 are the very nations that will align with the Antichrist, albeit with the backing of other greater powers to the north.

It is an off topic note, but should we return to this discussion, it is important to note that Ps 83’s mention of the “Hagarenes” does NOT refer to Egypt (see Wikipedia). Egypt is conspicuous for its absence in the list of nations mentioned in Eze 38:5-6. Isa 19 shows why. This is because Egypt is savaged by the Antichrist shortly after he invades Israel.

I believe that Edom, Moab, and Ammon (united today as modern Jordan) “escape out of his (Antichrist’s) hand” (Dan 11:41) because they are sympathetic with his conquest of Israel and he favors them for their profoundly antisemitic, pro-Antichrist sentiment. I infer this on the basis of such scripture as Eze 35:15; 35:5, 10; 36:2-7; Obadiah; Mal 1:4. This is the “ancient hatred” that has boiled in the bosom of Esau since time immemorial.

Now for your first question. The answer is most certainly! The millennial kingdom is the restoration of the Davidic kingdom but now flourishing in the totality of the covenant promises made concerning a particular people and a particular Land. According to the language of the oft reiterated covenant promises, the destiny of the people and the Land are inseparable. God has a point to prove and He will openly vindicate His covenant word concerning Israel, as real ethnic Jews (“natural branches”) in the sight of all nations.

God is going to set forth this astonishing miracle of history on empirical, public display, as the ultimate public demonstration and embodiment of His covenant word, answering forever the great question first put by the Serpent, “hath God really said?” That’s what the cosmic war is all about, the veracity and power of God’s Word, most particularly His purpose “according to election” (Ro 9:11).

He will show His power to bring in, finally and forever, the very nation He first called out of Egypt. He will answer the question that Israel’s historical predicament so eloquently asks. How will a people of such proven inability ever sufficiently keep the requirements of covenant holiness in such a way as to finally realize lasting and secure residence and blessing in the Land?

How will God who first called them out of Egypt and gave them the Land cause them to abide in lasting peace, with no invader ever again threatening? (2Sam 7:10; Amos 9:15, and many more).

It is one thing to bring them in. It is quite another to keep them there! How will such a nation with such a history ever be secure in their own Land as an “everlasting” inheritance, particularly if they are yet in natural bodies as the scripture makes plain? The answer, of course, is the “everlasting righteousness” of the New Covenant (Isa 45:17, 25; 59:21; Jer 31:31-34; 32:40; Dan 9:24).

When this will be established, not only with a remnant, but with “all Israel” (the whole of the nation), then will Israel lie down in safety, none making them afraid again forever. Then will His covenant “with THEM” be satisfied of all its specific promises and implications.

When will He do this?

When the Deliverer comes out of Zion to end the times of the Gentiles (Isa 59:20-21; Dan 12:1-2; Zech 3:9; 12:10 Mat 23:39; Lk 21:24; Acts 3:21; Ro 11:25-26).

For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob.

This can only happen at the “set time” (Gen 17:21; 21:2; Ps 102:13; Dan 11:27, 35).

Psalms 102:13

Thou shalt arise, and have mercy upon Zion:
for the time to favour her, yea, theset time, is come.

This appointed time is everywhere shown to be the great day of the Lord, often described as “that day”. It is the day of great transition between this ‘present evil age’ and the millennial day of the thousand years. It is the time when “the mystery of God is finished” with His return at the last trumpet (Isa 27:13; Mt 24:31; 1Cor 15:52; Rev 10:7; 11:15-18).

Why will He do this?

There are two main reasons that are inseparably related:

The first is stated in Romans 11:27

For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.

The second is stated in 11:28-29, as further drawing out the implications of the great foundational purpose set down in Ro 9:11, 16, 18.

As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes. For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.

Romans 9:11

(For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of Him who calls)

Romans 9:16, 18

So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy. … Therefore He has mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom He will He hardens.

So covenant election is why God has loved, appointed, preserved, and yes, predestined Israel. They are His means of demonstrating that His salvation is conducted along the lines of an eternal purpose that is not based on works, but upon His sovereign prerogative to choose on a wholly independent basis. This, since only on this basis can the promise be made “sure to all the seed”. And since only in this way is the glory for the fulfillment of all the requirements and conditions of salvation God’s alone through grace alone.

He MUST fulfill His covenant with them on a basis that brings no credit at all to them, but all the glory to His special initiative in grace towards them in particular (Eze 36:22, 32),

Now here’s an exercise I highly recommend.

Go through the Old Testament. Look for every reference that speaks of the climax of the covenant with Israel, that great time of ultimate transition between their constant exposure to covenant discipline and the great reversal that redeems and exalts this blinded, profoundly chastened people once and for all. Invariably this will always be the day of the Lord, whether or not that specific term is used.

It is always found as the climax of an unparalleled time of affliction and distress, called by Moses, the prophets, and Jesus, the great “tribulation”, a time like no other, ending in the day like no other. This is very simple and plain.

Now do this: see the conditions that prevail before this time and mark how radically Israel’s experience on this earth changes after this time. Observe all the radically transformed conditions that are described in such notable detail. Now ask yourself. How can words be preserved of their original intent and meaning and all of this be transferred, either to a present mystical experience in the Spirit or to the new heavens and earth of final, imperishable perfection? It just can’t be done!

No, quite clearly, if plain, non-figurative language means anything, these unprecedented, never before fulfilled conditions are realized on this present earth. And this, of course, demands an intermediate period between this age and the final perfection, the very millennium of which John gives the duration.

But even before a definite duration was revealed, it would have been clear to anyone that these post-tribulational conditions can only be fulfilled on this earth, in the presence of abiding imperfections that point on to yet another stage of even greater change.

The question is, where and when are all of these highly descriptive details of prophecy and promise to be fulfilled? Is this in a mystical realm?, or a new heavens and earth of ultimate, final perfection? The question answers itself.

Just note what a massive volume of scripture is devoted to Israel’s restoration. Where and when do such conditions prevail that have never before existed? Unless we are willing to discount the plain meaning of plain words, these yet imperfect conditions prevail on this earth AFTER the great and notable day of the Lord.

This simple observation of the radical ‘line of demarcation’ between what lies BEFORE the DOL and what follows AFTER will go far towards keeping the interpreter on course. It will establish, to some real degree, the soundness of one’s hermeneutic (method of interpretation), as the only sensible means of demonstrating the credible harmony of the whole of scripture in what I am fond of calling, “the glory of the story.”

In His great grace, Reggie

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The Plumbline of Simplicity [VIDEO]

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