Tribute to Philip Haney

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Contrasting Views on Israel and the Church

What’s your view on John MacArthur’s teaching on Israel?

We share MacArthur’s pre-millennial futurism and therefore agree on Israel’s corporate, national calling and election, and millennial destiny.

We agree that a remnant of penitent survivors of the great tribulation will be ‘‘born’ into holy, millennial nationhood ‘in one day’ (Isa 66:8; Eze 39:22; Zech 3:9), when “they shall look upon Me whom they pierced” (Zech 12:10; Mt 23:39; Ro 11:26; Rev 1:7). This will fulfill the glorious type of Joseph’s self-disclosure and reunion with his estranged brethren (Mic 5:3-4).

So on Israel’s distinctive election and destiny as an integral part of the everlasting covenant, we are quite agreed. We further agree on Israel’s unique stewardship over the literal Land of promise in the future millennial kingdom.

Where we differ, rather radically, is MacArthur’s view of the church as a separate people of God, occupying a parenthesis between Pentecost (the church’s presumed ‘birth day’) and the pre-tribulation rapture, which they place a full seven years (Daniel’s 70th week; Dan 9:27) before Jesus’ return to destroy the AC.

In contrast, we see every born again Jew and gentile as belonging to one unified people of God in Christ. In contrast, MacArthur sees the born again saints of the tribulation period, with all the Jews who come to faith after the supposed pre-trib rapture, as NOT belonging to Christ’s body. Rather, he sees all who are saved during the tribulation and beyond as belonging to a completely separate and distinct people of God. Even though blood washed and born again, they are NOT to be reckoned as part of the body of Christ.

In contrast, we would see the church of this present age in continuity with what Paul calls, “the remnant according to the election of grace”, the elect children of the Spirit in every generation. This was and remains the “Israel within Israel”, so to speak. And as Paul would speak of “Israel after the flesh” (1Cor 10:18), we would hold that there has always been an “Israel after the Spirit” (Ro 9:2:28-29; 9:6), the ‘Israel within Israel’, the true “Israel of God” (Ro 9:6; Gal 6:16). This is the part of the good olive tree that was never cut off but remain connected to the root and sap, which is to say those in living union with the Holy Spirit, who did in fact indwell the OT righteous (1Pet 1:11 et al).

Though not yet ‘revealed’ as the body of Christ, or the ‘one new man’, it is into this “true” (NOT “new”) ‘Israel of God’ (the “holy seed”; Isa 6:13), that the living gentile members of Christ have been ingrafted to become fellow-heirs with all the saints, equal citizens of the household of God and the commonwealth of Israel, the true seed of Abraham, the true circumcision (Phil 3:3), royal priesthood and holy nation (1Pet 2:9), and “the people” (Ro 9:24-26; 1Pet 2:10)

Theologically speaking, how can one be “in Christ” and NOT be “in Israel”? As the born again spirit belongs to a body that is not yet resurrected, yet no less claimed for future resurrection, we believe the body of Christ is an organism that exists internally within Israel. Regardless of how it’s ranks may swell with countless numbers of gentile believers, the organic union remains. The Lord’s Jewish humanity qualifies all who are in His body to inherit all things promised in the everlasting covenant made exclusively with Israel.

The gentile believer is no less part of the good olive tree, grafted “IN AMONG” (Ro 11:17), and therefore covenantally bound to natural Israel, as distinct but not separate, just as the living branches are distinct but never separate from a deep sense of identification with what touches the nation, whether for weal or woe until the day when the whole of the tree will have only living branches.

Saved Jew and saved gentile are needfully distinct for the sake of all the purposes that God has invested in causing and preserving that distinction. Yet, they are no less one.

Inextricably intertwined, they share a common hope and destiny of glorious inheritance of all things in Christ, albeit with certain temporary distinctions necessarily maintained for the unique demonstration and purpose that God has invested in preserving the visibility of the distinction for the sake of His mystery and the full outworking of His purpose, both now and in the millennium to come.

Like the prophets and the righteous remnant of Israel, and like Jesus and His Jewish apostles, the true body of Christ is spiritually and covenantally bound to even the spiritually dead nation, waiting for the day when every Jew on this earth (without exception; Jer 31:34) will be saved, and therefore no less a living member of Christ’s body (see 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; 39:22, 28-29; Zeph 3:13, 15, 19-20; Zech 8:23; 14:16-19, et al). This amazing phenomenon of millennial covenant fulfillment is what Paul is envisioning when he says, “and so then ALL Israel shall be saved …” (Ro 11:26).

So to conclude: we believe the church, so far as it is the true and living members of Christ’s mystical body, is in a relation to the blinded nation, it’s fortunes and fate, it’s experiences in history and it’s millennial destiny, in the same way the weeping prophets, and all the righteous remnant were related. Bound in covenant and hope, the righteous stood in a relation of priestly identification and intercessory travail, knowing that when the veil over the heart of this one nation is removed, it will be removed from all nations (Isa 25:7; Eze 39:21-23; Rev 10:7), so that not only will Israel know abiding peace and security in the Land, but all nations will beat their swords into plowshares and study war no more. So in this way, the body of Christ is a kind of first fruits and forerunner of what an all saved Jewish nation will be to the nations during the millennium.

A distinct millennial position and calling implies nothing of any thought of superiority, since the Jewish part of the body of Christ will be servants of all, a broken and contrite nation of priests, a kind of corporate “Ebed Yahweh” (Isa chaps. 40-55) to the nations. The only difference will not be one of superiority but of stewardship, just as a husband’s headship implies no superiority but only a distinction in authority and role.

Israel will be exalted in that day and the nations will be required to recognize the free and sovereign prerogative of God to choose as He will choose. There are a number of OT scriptures that show that not all nations will be equally willing, nor have the same delight in Israel’s exalted position in the millennium, so that then as now, God’s right to elect on a basis wholly independent of merit will be the calculated ‘rub’, divinely intended to test the heart concerning the very nature of grace.

We see this envy in Satan’s fall, in Cain’s envy against Abel, in Saul’s envy of David, and in so many instances throughout scripture, but especially in Jacob’s special love for Joseph and how this, together with Joseph’s prophetic dream of exaltation, stirred the greatest envy in the hearts of his brethren, even unto murder, despite the grief this would cause their father.

So it is now, and so it will be then in some quarters during the millennial earth. Election will always test the heart, exposing any presumption of claim on God’s freedom to give what He will, to whom He will, in the time of His own choosing, invariably on a basis utterly free from anything in, of, or from man that might move Him by anything outside His own free decision in grace. (compare Ps 102:13; 110:3; Gal 1:15-16).

I see this as the primary purpose for why God first set apart one distinct, miraculously preserved nation. It was ‘primarily’ to make this one great, openly visible demonstration of public exhibition in real, space time history on this earth. That is the free and incontestable sovereignty of His election, completely apart from human merit or deserving (Ro 9:11, 16).

As I see it, THIS is ‘a’, if not ‘THE’ primary purpose for the millennium. I think John MacArthur, perhaps more than others, would tend to agree.

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The Battle of the Veil [VIDEO]

You may have seen this video in the LIVE Stream of the 2019 Elijah Convocation. Here we cleaned up the first 10 minutes that were technologically very rough, and we used recorded footage instead of the stream. Even if you have seen it, it is worth the time to look at it again.

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The Mystery of Iniquity [VIDEO]

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The Blind Servant

Isaiah 43 and Deut. 32:8. (Isaiah 43:1, 2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14-15, 16, 17-18, 19, 20, 21-22, 23, 24, 25-26, 27-28)

I am reeling under what you just sent, Gary. That is indeed a remarkable and revealing pairing of scripture portions, and then the reminder of the blind servant who opens many eyes that we’ve discussed so richly in times past, literally reeling.

The wandering Jew is indeed the blind servant in our midst. (Isa 42:19, 43:10) Isa 43 comprehends the whole story of the exile from its beginning to its end, underscoring that a mere remnant could never realize the promise. Even when Moses spoke these words, “Yet the Lord hath not given you an heart to perceive, and eyes to see, and ears to hear, unto this day” (Deut 29:4), even then there was a remnant of the Spirit, made up of those comparative few who had circumcised hearts, indwelt and endowed, or filled with the Spirit (Gen 41:38; Ex 28:3; 35:31; 36:1; Deut 10:16; 30:6; 34:9; Num 11:17, 25, 29; 14:24, 27:18; Ps 51:10; Prov 1:23; Jer 4:4; Eze 18:31; Dan 4:8; 5:11; Jn 3:3, 10; 1Pet 1:11, 23).

This is OT language for the provision of the regenerating, renewing power of the Holy Spirit that was presently available to the true remnant of faith. This perennial remnant stood in contrast to the larger nation whom Moses would describe as a perennially “perverse generation … children in whom is no faith” (Deut 32:5, 20). Because this would be the often predominant condition of most of the larger nation, so long as this condition persist, it forbids long or secure tenure in the Land.

Deut 4:26
I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that ye shall soon utterly perish from off the land whereunto ye go over Jordan to possess it; ye shall not prolong your days upon it, but shall utterly be destroyed.

Deut 30:18
I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish, and that ye shall not prolong your days upon the land, whither thou passest over Jordan to go to possess it.

Yet, Moses well understood that nothing short of ‘eternal possession’ was promised. This would not be immediately forth coming. Therefore, something very big had to happen to move this mountain of the Jewish condition, which, of course, is nothing more than the human condition, albeit with the great advantage of the light of revelation and the entrustment of the holy oracles. So like Abraham and the patriarchs, Moses knew that something big had to give! What would that be?

What would be sufficient to move this mountain of unbelief and release an entire people to an eternal Jubilee by an abiding holiness that would persevere and guarantee abiding continuance in the Land, the promised “everlasting righteousness” that would extend, not only to a remnant, but now to the whole of the nation (Jer 31:34; 32:40), so that “from that day and forward” (Exe 39:22, 28-29), no invader could menace (2Sam 7:10; Isa 54:15-17), and no curse could light, so that never again would THIS people in particular (“my covenant with THEM”; Ro 11:27) be plucked out of the Land (Amos 9:15), or subjected to the judgment of exile?

And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of THEIR land which I have given THEM, saith the Lord thy God.

What would accomplish something so radical? A new existence in another world? This has been the answer of the church, but it is not the answer of the scripture. Rather, Moses looks ahead to see an age ending (not earth ending) apocalyptic resolution. He understands this great dilemma of covenant obedience to be solved, not in transfer to another realm or sphere, but in a national regeneration that takes place at the end of a final ‘great tribulation’ in the latter days, when Israel will be brought to the end of their power (Deut 4:29-30; 30:1-6; 32:36; Dan 12:7).

The problem of blindness and therefore covenant obedience through a regenerate faith was the abiding great dilemma that demanded an apocalyptic resolution. Even before the successive line of prophets would use the precise language of a coming great ‘day of the Lord’, Moses would look ahead to an ultimately transitional great tribulation. This would be “in the latter days” (Deut 4:29-30) when, not only a small part, but the whole of the nation, and all of their children afterward would receive the circumcision of the heart that would accomplish the ‘whole heart’ of covenant demand, and therefore the ‘new heart’ of covenant promise.

Moses, and all the prophets following understood that THE day must come when, not a mere remnant, but “all Israel” will lie down in safety (in the Land!) and none make them afraid again forever (). That’s final security in the Land!

Why? because that was the promise as attested in plan language and plainly understood by all.

How? Because of the ‘coming in’ (not only for the remnant, but for ‘all Israel’) of “the everlasting righteousness” (Dan 9:24), from which not one Jew, or child born to a Jew will ever again depart (Isa 54:13; 59:21; 60:21; 61:9; Jer 31:34; 32:40; Eze 37:25). That’s the covenant! That’s how Paul was reading it when he said, “and so then all Israel shall be saved”. He is seeing the end of the covenant as a time when there will be a uniform;y saved Jewish salvation, with all nations under divine threat to respect God’s right to exalt the very people He so deeply abased and subjected to shame and spitting (many scriptures go here).

Only this abiding inheritance of the Land by an all saved, fully exalted nation can fulfill the promise, not somewhere in the great beyond of mystical, unverifiable transcendence, but here on this earth in the real stuff of time, all opposition to the contrary notwithstanding. Therein is the glory of the covenant. It’s all about grace, sovereign, discriminating, electing grace.

So from the beginning it is made clear that so long as this condition of blindness persists for Israel as a corporate whole, not only Israel, but the nations will not have abiding peace. “How much more THEIR fullness?!”

The blind servant exists in two distinct forms, personal and corporate. The blindness of the Servant (Messiah) is a holy blindness that sees only what the Father reveals, as Jesus never lifted Himself to know or see anything as of himself, being free through virgin birth of that powerful propensity of fallen self reliance. He was the perfect selfless servant, judging nothing after the sight of His eyes, yet in full and perfect knowledge of the mystery (Isa 53:11; “by His knowledge shall My righteous servant justify man”) of who He was and what He was sent to be and to do.

Conversely, the elect nation, no less elect in their blindness, is also a servant with an indispensable role for the sake of the world, but even more for the sake of the highest glory of God as open testament to undeserved, sovereign, discriminating grace. It is the role of one who is blind for the sake of the many. How can this be? It is the same as when God says to Israel, “I have given men for your life” (Isa 43:3-4). For there to be an election, there has to be a non-election. For this cause, God has ordained that Israel’s blindness serve as a profound, utterly humbling revelation and instruction for those, equally unqualified, whose eyes the Lord has chosen to open.

To what end? Ro 9:11 tells us expressly. “So that the purpose of God might stand, not of works but of Him who calls”. To THAT end God has bound all over to unbelief that when mercy comes at God’s appointed time, it can be seen to be wholly mercy, undeserved and unhurried by flesh. Then will the blind see that there is no difference between those who see and those who do not see except the sovereign grace of the Spirit that opens the eyes and changes the heart by a faith that is given, not on the basis of human readiness or seeking, though God will arrange the most earnest seeking, but on the basis of a divinely timed act of free grace that us utterly apart from anything of, in, or from man.

What offense this, but it is THE offense that explains so much that must remain hidden until this prerogative of God to judge, to kill or make alive, be acknowledged as just and right and holy.

Where is free will in this? It is nowhere because it does not exist. By the nature of its nature, the will is bound until liberated by a sovereign, free, completely unconstrained act of sovereign grace, and Israel is the great example of this much opposed and ever disputed reality that underlies all the theology of grace, which is just the theology of “not by might nor power but by My Spirit says the Lord,” the theology of the whole Bible in a verse.

Not ashamed, not afraid to offend, the repentant, but probably very dismissed and very poor Reggie Kelly, fearful flesh be hanged, no, ‘crucified’.

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