Featured Message

The Church's Tribulation Fullness



Recent Posts



The Constraining Nature of the Land Promises

The Constraining Nature of the Land PromisesI woke up this morning with a lot of things stirring in my spirit about the Land promise and its guiding use by God to [more]

The Two Seeds

The Two SeedsHardly enough could be said about Gen 3:15. It is the seed bed, not only of the gospel but of the whole comprehensive mystery of [more]

The Shattering of the Power of the Holy People

The Shattering of the Power of the Holy People"I was at ease and He shattered me, and He has grasped me by the neck and shaken me to pieces; He has also set [more]

On Matthew 24 and Luke 21

On Matthew 24 and Luke 21@MysteryofIsrael - Question: Do you see a distiction between the audiences in Mt 24 and Lk 21? No. I see both manifestly parallel accounts to be [more]

On Evangelism in "Apocalyptic Evangelism"

On Evangelism in I believe we are using the word, "evangelism" in the apostolic sense of the word, which necessarily included the context of a revealed mystery to [more]

Where God Is Taking The Church

Where God Is Taking The Church[...] Just as the virgin birth was a divine ‘by-pass’ of natural fertility, so is every aspect of the salvation of God. God is supremely [more]

The Mystery of Iniquity

The Mystery of IniquityOn Sat. night you made a remark in passing about the Proto-Evangelium ["the first gospel"] in Genesis. I think you said that the "unpacking" of [more]

The Mystery of the Younger

The Mystery of the YoungerWe find in the pattern of God that He continuously picks the least. Abel was exalted over Cain in that his offering was accepted, but [more]

"Behold, I Was Shapen in Iniquity..."

Do you know how long the Jews have not believed in Adamic sin being imputed? How modern is that notion? You ask an interesting question on [more]

The Mystery of Anti-Semitism

The Mystery of Anti-Semitism“. . . there is no doubt about one hard and fast conclusion: the grip of anti-Semitism on the inhabitants of Planet Earth 70 years [more]

The Mystery of Israel [Video]

The Mystery of Israel [Video]"I would not that ye be ignorant of this mystery brethren." - We caught Reggie and Travis reflecting on the mystery of Israel, the Messiah [more]

Zion's Inviolability: Jerusalem as a Place of Refuge?

Zion's Inviolability: Jerusalem as a Place of Refuge?This guy believes that there will be a remnant physically and spiritually saved during the Great Tribulation in Jerusalem. What is your take on this? Revelation [more]

When is The Hour & Who is Kept from It

When is The Hour & Who is Kept from ItI appreciate so much your willingness dear brother, so these are my questions: 1.- Acts 3:21 says "The heaven must receive Lord Jesus until the [more]

He Shall Become Strong With a Small People

He Shall Become Strong With a Small PeopleWould you go as far to say that this is the type of figure (see the linked article) we are looking for to fulfill the [more]

"In That Day..." - [Video]

In this message Reggie Kelly and Travis Bennett seek to provide clarity to the timing and nature of the "the Day of the Lord." Specific [more]

Jerusalem: The Cup of Trembling [Video]

Jerusalem: The Cup of Trembling [Video]From a Conference at Mt. Zion Church in Bemidji, MN at the 2012 Feast of Tabernacles Convention, Reggie brought this Message: ReggieKellyFOT2012lite3 from Mt Zion [more]

Thoughts on Samson and the Church in the Last Days [Video]

Thoughts on Samson and the Church in the Last Days [Video]This is a 3 minute segment from a recent Bible Study, in which Reggie makes a succinct and powerful statement on how God can take [more]

Thoughts on Priestliness and Rest - [Video]

Thoughts on Priestliness and Rest - [Video]This is a 2 min excerpt on the subject of priestliness and living out of the place of rest and security in God. Taken from [more]

Thoughts on Faith

Thoughts on FaithThe grace of believing God is a supreme gift that is beyond our natural ability, but it is also not left up to us. Though [more]

I Will Remove the Iniquity of that Land in One Day - [Video]

I Will Remove the Iniquity of that Land in One Day - [Video]Reggie Kelly opened chapters 3 and 4 of the book of Zechariah in this session from the 2013 Convocation. He struck a number of chords, [more]

Featured Article: One or Two Peoples of God? Reflections on the Mystery of Israel and the Church

Featured Article: One or Two Peoples of God? Reflections on the Mystery of Israel and the ChurchBy Reggie Kelly (This post is a "reprint" of one of the original articles of this site) The time of the rapture is really a secondary [more]

The Logic of the Covenant [Audio]

The Logic of the Covenant [Audio]In this conversation, Reggie unpacks what he calls "The Logic of the Covenant," a bullet point of one of the "Apocalyptic Evangelism" Outlines. (37min) Right Click to [more]

The Constraining Nature of the Land Promises

Posted: October 14th, 2014, by Reggie Kelly

I woke up this morning with a lot of things stirring in my spirit about the Land promise and its guiding use by God to not only inform but to shape and even constrain what we might call, ‘the eschatology of the covenant’. This is because the Landward side of the promise in particular, would crowd the later prophets to many necessary inferences that would become revelatory in the developing eschatology of Israel. The Land, with other key elements of the promise, would demand for its fulfillment the coming in of an ‘everlasting righteousness’, not for a few (the remnant) but for every remaining survivors of the last tribulation. This miracle of grace would continue forever, without interruption, extending to every child born to Jewish parentage. It is the Landward side of the promise that would underscore the necessity of an eternal salvation that would guarantee the abiding and irreversible regeneration of ‘all Israel’ throughout the millennium (see Isa 4:3; 45:17, 25; 54:13; 59:21; 60:21; 66:22; Jer 31:34; 32:40; Eze 39:22;

Through the landward side of the promise, Abraham would see Jesus’ day, as we discussed. Joseph would give commandment concerning his bones. Moses would see the tribulation of the latter days that would accomplish the great national turning and transformation that would come at the end of Jacob’s power (Deut 32:36 with Dan 12:7). The veil is significantly lifted at the end of power, such a crucial principle here.

At the outskirts of the Land, soon to be entered on the basis of divine gift alone, apart from any righteousness of their own (Deut 9:4-6), Moses protests to Israel that their days on the Land will not be prolonged, because he knows that “to this day, the Lord has not given you an heart” (Deut 29:4). Yet, it is Moses that sees ahead to the time of an ultimate, ‘great tribulation’ (Deut 4:29-31) when the nation would receive that corporate circumcision of heart that would secure abiding inheritance of the Land (Deut 4:29-31; 30:1-6). This is how covenant conditionality is not able to prevent the unconditional certainty of the promise, because it is God Himself who is the true source of all true doing of the law through the power of the Holy Spirit. In this way, no flesh can glory.

You see then how the problem of eternal inheritance of the Land would tend to shut the reflective OT believer up to the necessity of an eternal regeneration that must extend to all the nation. It is Abraham’s conviction of the literalness of the Land promise that shuts him up to the expectation of his own bodily resurrection. The promise of eternal possession of the Land is not only to Abraham’s seed but to Abraham personally as well. The Land of his sojourn would become his as an everlasting possession, not now, since he would die in a good old age, but later, after his yet unborn son’s family returns after an absence of four hundred years. This is how I believe Abraham saw Jesus’ day.

Remember, when Abraham is commanded to offer Isaac, it is after the covenant promise of Gen 15 that the nation that would proceed from the promised son would spend four hundred years in another country. How does a man die and yet inherit a literal tract of Land together with this son and his son’s progeny after an absence of four hundred years? Not only so, but how else could Abraham have reckoned that such a promise could be fulfilled if the seed of promise is put to death? We know that Abraham reckoned on the resurrection of Isaac, in no small part, we may infer, because he reckoned on his own resurrection sometime after the four hundred years, according to the promise of Gen 15. Remember, the promise of the Land is not only to Abraham’s surviving children but also Abraham personally, “to you and your seed.” This sets up the dilemma through which Abraham saw ahead to Jesus’ day.

It seems evident that Abraham conceived of Isaac as the seed of the woman whose sacrifice and resurrection would accomplish the reversal of the fall and the power of death. I believe it was precisely when Isaac was spared that Abraham could see ahead to the more perfect sacrifice who would not be spared. In the receiving again of sacrificed Lamb, the seed of the woman destroys the work of Satan and of death through sin. The power of the fall is reversed so that Abraham, together will all the seed of promise, can be raised to inherit the Land forever through a righteousness that is forever. This is Abraham’s faith in the God who raises the dead. The logic of all is the revelation of God’s own righteousness imputed to us, living and working in us and through us through the sacrifice of the woman’s seed.

Apart from this conviction of the promise of eternal inheritance of a literal land by means of bodily resurrection through the reversal of the fall by the seed of the woman, none of the promises to Abraham would have pointed so clearly to the later developments of the promise through Moses and the prophets. If Abraham was wrong; if the promise of a literal Land was not the catalyst to so many holy inferences pointing to the coming of the Just One, it is hard to see what is not also wrong in the eschatology of the covenant and the hope of a future post-tribulational day of the Lord deliverance of Israel to real, physical national inheritance, so manifestly expected by all the prophets.

When the law is fulfilled in the new heart and new spirit, not only by the remnant, but all the nation, then and only then can Israel lie down in permanent safety with none making them afraid anymore again forever. That’s the goal of the covenant and it is the promise of the Land and real physical, literal inheritance of the Land that makes sense of the whole. It is the ‘necessary’ eschatological salvation of ‘all Israel’ whereby an all righteous “Jewish” nation (‘natural branches’) is able to preserve themselves and their children’s children on the Land without interruption of further threat of curse or exile “forever” The rule is this: To inherit the Land forever, Israel must have a righteousness that is forever. This is exactly how I understand Paul’s understanding of that much disputed phrase in Ro 11:26, “and so all Israel shall be saved.” It is not a mere addendum to God’s abiding will that more Jews be saved; it is a covenant necessity! God’s Name and Word is bound up with their salvation and return to the Land. Until the time comes when every Jewish person on the earth is saved (Jer 31:34), the everlasting covenant, secured in the Savior’s blood, has not reached its full goal in the salvation of ‘all Israel’.

The revelation of the day of the Lord that secures the eternal inheritance of the Land is the climactic solution and eschatological resolution to what we might call ‘the dilemma of the covenant’. By definition, Jacob’s trouble, the ultimate travail and tribulation of Zion, is the last stage of covenant curse and discipline threatened in the law. Until then, Israel remains under covenant jeopardy so long as the disposition to backslide continues to threaten curse and exile. What will end this threat? Answer: the coming in of an ‘everlasting righteousness’ (Jer 32:40; Dan 9:24), not for a remnant only, but for the entirety of the nation, from the least to the greatest, i.e., ‘all Israel’ (Jer 31:34). As surely as Jer 31 follows chapt 30, this extravagant promise, so often spiritualized as too fantastic to be conceivable for historical fulfillment, is here on earth AFTER Jacob’s trouble.

Only as the nation is saved in its entirety in a way that preserves them in abiding covenant obedience (new heart and spirit), can the chronic problem of backsliding be finally overcome. That is why the regeneration of a mere remnant can never be sufficient to guarantee an end to the curse that must always follow sin and the continued threat of judgment and exile. Unless and until ‘all Israel’ is saved eternally, even the righteous remnant is subject to the cycles of judgment and exile, as in the case of Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel.

Of course, we know that the DOL is only the partial solution to the dilemma of the broken covenant. The basis for all is the mystery of the gospel, which addresses not only the future of the promise but the very foundation of God in the calling out of His elect throughout all ages by an atonement that was eternally established before creation in the counsel of the Godhead. As we said last night, this means that many enjoyed the working of the Spirit that was based retroactively on an atonement that was not yet accomplished in time but counted as accomplished from the standpoint of God’s eternal predestination. Since the mystery of the gospel was not yet revealed, this means they enjoyed the benefit of much more than they understood.

This is how the day of the Lord ends the age long ‘discipline of the covenant’. Not only does it realize an abiding righteousness whereby the Land may be inherited safely forever; it also subdues and brings under the rod iron rule of Messiah the pride and power of the gentiles, forever ending the divinely allotted ‘times of the gentiles’ in the restoration of the kingdom to Israel, the time of “their fullness” (Ro 11:12). The day of the Lord brings a final end to what we might call ‘covenant jeopardy’ since it ends the threat of the broken covenant by the gift of the Spirit and new heart that keeps it in truth forever.

This means a mere remnant is not enough, else the problem of backsliding and judgment remains. What the promise requires is a nation that is entirely holy, not in the part but the whole. This alone can guarantee abiding inheritance without fail unto children’s children (Isa 59:21), By a guaranteed preservation through the ‘everlasting righteousness’ that is made sure to all the seed, the Land is assured of abiding inheritance, forever free from covenant jeopardy, because eternal regeneration fulfills the law and secures abiding blessing, not off in an invisible heaven, but here in open demonstration through Spirit filled saints dwelling securely in the Land without threat of invasion or any of the curses of the broken covenant, as threatened in Lev 26 & Deut 28-32.

This is how Israel’s hope developed along the lines of the inviolable covenant law of the blessing and the curse but in the context of an unconditionally certain everlasting covenant that supersedes all human weakness through the determination of God to overcome all conditionality by real and actual fulfillment in our mortal bodies through grace by the imputation of Christ’s righteousness and the indwelling Holy Spirit.

Now it remains to show how and why the post-tribulational deliverance of Israel is no less the church’s hope, and how and why the foundation of all is the atoning death of a twice coming Messiah. Then there are the questions that rise concerning the new covenant believer’s relation to the law and how Israel’s unique and abiding election to millennial headship over the nations agrees with the revelation of the one new man, etc. The answer to these questions will materially affect how we conceive of the church’s role towards Israel, always, but especially the last seven years and the unequaled tribulation of the last 3 1/2 years in particular.

The Two Seeds

Posted: October 11th, 2014, by Reggie Kelly

On Sat. night you made a remark in passing about the proto-evangel in Genesis. I think you said that the “unpacking” of Gen 3:15 is found in Daniel. I wonder if you could expand on that for me. I’ve been teaching on the everlasting gospel starting there in Genesis and I’d like to hear your perspective as it relates to Daniel.

Hardly enough could be said about Gen 3:15. It is the seed bed, not only of the gospel but of the whole comprehensive mystery of God that is finished with the 7th trumpet (Rev 10:7). The two seeds establish the two lines of men by which the plan of redemption can be traced from beginning to end. It is more than Messiah and Satan. It anticipates the line of the ungodly making up the city of man, mystery Babylon, and the line of the children of the Spirit who are headed up in the Messiah who form corporately the city of God, the heavenly Zion.

These two lines are really two natures, the nature of Satan in fallen man and the nature of God in His saints. These two natures that run through the whole of humanity come to their fullness and perfection in a personal incarnation in the two princes of Dan 9:25-26. Both the seed of the serpent and the woman’s seed are ordained to come to ultimate perfection and final manifestation in a personal incarnation. Paul will speak of the “mystery of godliness” (1Tim 3:16) and its antithesis, the “mystery of iniquity” (2Thes 2:7). The mystery of iniquity that is presently working, comes to final revelation in the ‘man of sin’ after the one who is restraining is removed. As Jesus would be the ultimate Seed of the woman who perfects in His humanity the mystery of godliness, so also the seed of the serpent must come to a similar fullness of Satan in the flesh. Thus, the two princes of Dan 9:25-26 fulfill two distinct mysteries that bound the present age between the two comings of Christ.

As an aside, the “revelation” of the Man of Sin implies something much more than merely identifying who he is by his actions, as popularly taught. Scripture shows many recognizable events that lead up to his abominable act in the temple (Isa 28:15, 18; Dan 8:25; 9:27; 11:21-31). These will identify him well before the time of his ‘revelation’ as the Man of Sin. The revelation of the Man of Sin concerns, not mere identification, but the transitional moment that Satan fully enters the mortally wounded beast as he ascends from the abyss to become the “beast that was, and is not, and yet is” (Rev 11:7; 17:8).

The mystery that I believe the Spirit intends to convey is that the same beast that descends into the abyss upon the event of the mortal wound, ascends with its healing to become the “beast that was, and is not, and yet is.” This means that the 8th beast that “must continue a short space” is none other than the risen 7th. Upon his rising, he becomes the composite beast (Rev 13:2; 17:11), now endowed with “all power” and signs and lying wonders (2Thes 2:9). As uniquely begotten Son was given the Spirit without the measure (Jn 3:34) so that in Him should dwell all the fullness of God (Col 1:19; 2:9), just so, by a miraculous transition, the Antichrist will fill up the full measure and image of his father, the Devil.

By observing the clear parallel between the time that Michael stands up to begin the unequaled tribulation in Dan 12:1, and Michael’s heavenly victory that casts Satan down to earth to begin his ‘short time’ (Rev 12:7, 10, 12), we can see that Satan’s eviction happens at the same time the mortally wounded beast is ascending from the abyss to begin the last 42 months of the desolation of Jerusalem and persecution against the saints (Rev 11:2; 13:5). Manifestly, Satan’s ‘short time’ and the ‘short space’ that the revived beast ‘must continue’ (Rev 12:12; 17:10) is the brief period of the unequaled tribulation.

Michael’s eviction of Satan marks the great transition point in heaven that very closely precedes the abomination of desolation on earth that starts the great tribulation (Dan 9:27; 11:31; 12:1, 11 with Mt 24:15, 21; Rev 12:7-14). If the casting out of Satan and the revival of the mortally wounded beast intersect to bring forth the beast that was, and is not, and yet is, this suggests that the temple is entered by a man who has only very recently risen from the dead. The revelation of the long working mystery of iniquity means that the man of sin now incorporates in himself all the fullness of what the former beasts were only in part, just as Jesus filled up in His holy person all the fullness of God. This is how the ‘prince that shall come’ fulfills the mystery of iniquity as the incarnation of the serpent’s seed, which is necessary before Jesus can return (2Thes 2:3, 7-8). Thus the revelation of the Man of Sin is not merely the point at which he can be identified, but much more particularly the moment that Satan becomes fully incarnated in the revived “beast that was, and is not, and yet is” (Rev 17:8).

Significantly, the time of Satan’s ultimate exposure in the Antichrist, with the casting down of the accuser of the brethren, is also the time that the two witnesses receive power, and not only the two witnesses, but we notice from a number of passages that this is also the same time that a great anointing is shown to rest on maskilim (the wise who have understanding; Dan 11:32-33; 12:3, 10 with Rev 11:3, 12:10-11). It is amazing to contemplate that the most manifest and abundant fulfillment of prophecy since Messiah’s first advent will accompany the greatest empowerment of the church since Pentecost. This will result in the evangelization of a multitude too great to number that will come out of ‘the tribulation, the great one’ (Dan 11:32-33; 12:3 with Rev 7:9, 14).

So the great transition that takes place in heaven affects more than the revelation of the Man of Sin. The casting down of the accuser will also accomplish an unparalleled release of the Spirit and power upon the godly remnant. The first half of the week will have been crucially instrumental in crowding the godly remnant to the kind of intercession that will receive the help of Michael in displacing the one who hinders. Besides ‘the accuser of the brethren’ (Job 2:4; Zech 3:1-2; Rev 12:10), Satan is also called the one who hinders, withstands, or resists (Dan 10:13; Zech 3:1; Ro 1:13 with 1Thes 2:18; 2Thes 2:7).

As you know, it is my view that Satan is the restrainer whose position in heaven is holding back the revelation of the mystery of iniquity, which is holding back the day of the Lord (2Thes 2:2-3, 7-8). So long as his place in heaven can be retained, the day of the Lord cannot come, the kingdom cannot come (Rev 12:10; 11:15), and the mystery of God cannot be finished (Rev 10:7). This is why Satan is in no hurry to bring forth the Antichrist, as popularly supposed.

This is where the church has it turned just around. We tend to think it is Satan’s great ambition to bring forth the Antichrist, but this is the last thing he wants, because his exposure in the Man of Sin will mean that his time is short. (This is why Satan must go after the woman with an urgent and desperate fury when he sees that his time is short, because he knows that the preservation of a remnant from among the Jewish race is indispensable to the public vindication of God’s irrevocable covenant with them.)

Satan’s eviction by Michael in the middle of the week is very much to be compared to the resistance of the demon prince of Persia who “withstood” the angelic messenger until he was taken out of the way by this same Michael (Dan 10:13). Doubtless, this is the background of Paul’s thought on the much disputed question of the identity of the restrainer. It is also strongly confirmed by John’s depiction of Michael’s forceful removal of Satan as a prior necessity before the kingdom of God can fully come on earth with the finishing of the mystery of God (Rev 10:7; 11:15; 12:10).

Notice how the same event that signals great woe to the earth dwellers (Rev 12:12) marks a mighty break-through of heavenly glory and victory for the saints (Rev 12:10-11). “”Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ.” Why? Because the accuser of our brethren is cast down …” (Rev 12:10). Daniel then becomes a type of the ‘maskilim’ (wise / understanding) of the last days (Dan 11:32-33; 12:3, 10) when a pre-determined sequence of foretold events will move the godly remnant to a place of ultimate urgency and intercessory travail that will be answered in Michael’s pre-tribulational victory over Satan. Thus setting in motion the tribulation that MUST precede the day of the Lord and the full coming in of the kingdom of God on earth (Dan 12:1, 11; 2Thes 2:3, 7-8; Rev 12:10; 11:15).

John’s sea beast who rises from the abyss with the healing of the mortal wound (Rev 11:7; 13:1-3; 17:8) who persecutes the saints for 42 months (Rev 13:5), is surely the man of sin who reveals the mystery of iniquity as the incarnation of the serpent’s seed. It is important to see that this trans-historical (Rev 17:10), multi-headed, multi-horned beast is ultimately embodied in a man, I believe a resurrected man, the man of sin.

Those who want to make Jesus the one who confirms the covenant in Dan 9:27 argue that is not the ‘prince that shall come’ but Messiah, the anointed prince who is cut off (Dan 9:26), who stops the sacrifice by His death in the middle of the week. There are a number of problems with this view, not least is the observation that in every other mention throughout the book of Daniel, it is always the evil prince that stops the regular sacrifice (Dan 8:11; 11:31; 12:11). Moreover, the desolation of Jerusalem described in Dan 11:31; 12:11 comes approximately 3 1/2 years before the end in Dan 12:11, and this is consistent with the sacrifice being stopped in the middle of the week. It is particularly inconsistent to make the ‘consummation’ / ‘end’ described in Dan 9:27 to be merely the end of the city in 70 A.D., whereas in every other mention, ‘the end’ has in view the post-tribulational deliverance of Daniel’s people and the resurrection of the dead (Dan 12:1-2, 13; Mt 24:21, 29-31; Rev 12:7-14).

In summary, if the final week of years has in view the Antichrist as “the prince that shall come,” then we must infer a gap between Messiah’s atoning death at the end of the 69th week and His return after the Antichrist has fulfilled the mystery of iniquity in the last half of the 70th week. The first 69 weeks brings us to the beginning of the gospel and the 70th is preserved to bring in His return. If the 70th week concerns the revelation of the mystery of iniquity and the finishing of the transgression, then it is impossible that 70th week could have followed the 69th week in unbroken succession as argued by those who want to make Jesus the one who confirms the covenant and stops the sacrifice. The much maligned “gap” is in perfect keeping with the greater mystery of the gospel, which reveals a hidden age between these two polar mysteries, the mystery of godliness and the mystery of iniquity that bound the present age.

Curiously, Daniel never uses the term, ‘day of the Lord’, but the unequaled tribulation and the “finishing of the transgression” (Dan 8:24; 9:24) is clearly the last stage in Israel’s long history of covenant discipline that ends in the day of the Lord. The age long discipline of the covenant foretold by Moses in Lev 26, Deut 28; 31-32, continues till the new heart is given at a time of “great tribulation” (Deut 4:29-30; 29:4; 30:1-6). The discipline of the covenant does not end with a probationary return to the Land. We see this in the fact that the return from Babylon still looks ahead to a future unequaled tribulation climaxing in the day of the Lord (Jer 30:7; Dan 12:1; Zech 14:1; Mal 4:1). Israel is not assured of secure preservation in the Land until the “bringing in of the “everlasting righteousness” of the “everlasting covenant”(Jer 34:40; Dan 9:24). This righteousness is ‘revealed’ in the gospel (Ro 1:17).

Daniel knew the prophecies of Isaiah, Jeremiah, and others who spoke of this righteousness that must come before the nation could be established in abiding security in their Land. Jeremiah had shown that in that day when Israel would dwell safely, the righteous Branch, Israel’s King, would be called, “the LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS” (Jer 23:5-6). I believe it is incorrect to suppose that this everlasting righteousness is only brought in at the end of the 70th week. Like “reconciliation for iniquity” (Dan 9:24), the everlasting righteousness came in for the church at the end of the 69th week. It will yet come in for ‘all Israel’ at the end of the tribulation, which, of course, is also the end of the 70th week.

This conforms perfectly to what was foretold by Isaiah in Isa 8:7-14. The teaching would be “bound up and sealed among my disciples” until God’s face is no longer hidden from the house of Jacob. Note that the face of God remains hidden from Jacob until the Spirit is poured out at the great day of the Lord (Eze 39:22, 29; Zech 12:10; Joel 2:28-29; 3:1-2, 16-17, 21). While the greater part of Israel would stumble, the mystery of the kingdom and the gospel (the sealed vision) would be revealed to the believing disciples, who await its revelation to the surviving remnant of Israel at the post-tribulational day of the Lord. It is that unveiling that births the nation ‘at once’ and ‘in one day’ at the end of a final time of national travail and great affliction (Deut 4:29-30; Isa 13:6-8; 26:17-18; 66:8; Mic 5:3; Hos 5:15; Jer 30:6-7; with Eze 39:22; Zech 3:9; 12:10; Mt 23:39; 24:30; Acts 3:21; Ro 11:26; Rev 1:7). The redemption of Israel is inextricably bound to the hope of resurrection (Ro 11:15), as all roads lead to that great transition called, day of the Lord, which the NT treats as a synonym for Christ’s return.

We see in Rev 12 that the seed of the woman is both corporate and personal. It is therefore a great error to limit the woman’s travail to Mary, or the man child only to Jesus. The figure of the woman and the man child is far more sweeping, envisioning, not only the personal Seed, but the corporate seed of the woman which includes not only the spiritual seed, but also the physical seed through whom alone the promise of the everlasting covenant can be fulfilled in an all holy Jewish nation as the theocratic head of the nations.

The end of the covenant that will realize the return of the natural branches (Ro 11:27) envisions the glorious convergence of the earthly and heavenly Zion at Christ’s return. The woman is an inclusive figure that includes the elect nation, I would say, even in its unbelief as the abiding object of an irrevocable election, and also the believing ‘remnant of her seed who keep the commandments of Jesus’. Thus, the woman represents both Israel and the church, as the righteous remnant within the still elect nation.

Now notice a great mystery: Isa 66:7-8 shows the astonishing anomaly of the birth of a man child BEFORE the woman travails. Then, only AFTER Zion’s travail, the nation is born in one day.

“Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she was delivered of a man child. Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children.”

This is the riddle that Rev 12 will solve. If we understand the woman to represent both the heavenly and the earthly Zion, we see that it is the heavenly Zion that brings forth the man child BEFORE the great tribulation. This stands in marked contrast to the earthly Zion whom Satan tries to exterminate before the covenant can be fulfilled in their return (Isa 59:21; Ro 11:27). Hence, there is one travail of the woman before the tribulation, and there is another travail of the woman that ‘IS’ the tribulation. It is only “when Zion travails’ that a nation is born in one day (Isa 66:8). This is in marked contrast to the ‘pre-tribulational’ travail that births the man chid BEFORE the pain of Israel comes in what is clearly the great tribulation (Isa 66:7 with Rev 12:1, 5-6). Obviously, the birth of the nation in one day refers to the post-tribulational day of the Lord, not May 14, 1948, as popularly taught.

The Shattering of the Power of the Holy People

Posted: September 30th, 2014, by Reggie Kelly

“I was at ease and He shattered me, and He has grasped me by the neck and shaken me to pieces; He has also set me up as His target.” (Job 16:12)

“After many days you will be summoned; in the latter years you will come into the land that is restored from the sword, whose inhabitants have been gathered from many nations to the mountains of Israel which ad been a continual waste; but its people were brought out from the nations, and the were living securely (at ease), all of them.” (Ezekiel 38:8)

“The shattering of the power of the holy people” (Dan 12:7)

We might call it ‘pattern eschatology.’ It is both a soteriology and eschatology of the cross, not only for the uniquely begotten Son, but for all sons, and no less the elect national son, Israel, who must embody and demonstrate the wisdom of this pattern in the sight of all nations. You can well see in Job’s experience the pattern of Isaiah’s Suffering Servant. It is a statement of abject poverty and religious blindness if we cannot see the same pattern in the church, since it is that pattern that makes the church the church, if it is the church.

I think we lose the point if we do not see the parallel in both the experience of the corporate servant on his way to the transformation that makes him righteous (with the true and abiding righteousness of the Spirit), but also in the experience of a born again, but still naturally self reliant Jacob, or even with one so righteous as Job, who must pass through imponderable suffering on his way towards an even greater perfection and deeper ‘conversion’ that comes by the seeing of God, face to face precisely where His face is only ever seen, at the end of power (Deut 32:36; Dan 12:7).

Who can welcome such deep dealings of God unless divine love and the bright hope of glory has overcome the power of fear? Only by the sure hope of that coming glory, and the love that casts out fear, could Paul so willingly invite the high cost of what it means to be ‘conformed to His death.’ His apprehension of glory was of such a kind as to make many afflictions to seem as momentary and light, not even worthy to be compared. It was ‘for the joy set before Him’ that our Lord endured His cross and this is what we must have if we are to appropriately endure ours in these last days as God has determined to bring His church into fullness.

From the interpretation you obviously take of Ezekiel chapter 38, you are pointing out that it is significantly at the height of Israel’s religious and political success that the great shattering of Jacob’s trouble comes suddenly (“when they shall say peace and safety …”). If so, it underscores God’s commitment to further educate the onlooking universe of the high cost of humanistic presumption. But it also underscores again the great principle of the Spirit that Christ is formed in Israel in the same way He has taken root in all His saints, by the shattering of their power.

The shattering of power is most ultimately the crucifixion of confidence in the flesh. It comes only through crisis. It may be the crisis that the Spirit quickens when the Word comes with power, casting down, even as it raises. Or it may come through the crisis of inward and outward circumstances, but in every instance, Christ is revealed at the end of strength, where the veil of the flesh has been shattered. That is why Christ is the end (goal) of the law, because the law intends the bringing down of every false hope in man. When the law is quickened, it kills carnal confidence as it shuts one up to true resurrection through a personal and existential revelation of Christ to the heart.

The same pattern obtains in His saints as well as in His elect nation whom He has determined to bring to salvation. As much as God is resolutely determined to educate principalities and powers through the church, He must purge His people of the pride of presumption, even in its most minimal measure, as in the case of Paul. By the same rule, Israel must be emptied of its power, just as the corporate body of Christ, as also a kind of corporate of Job, will not be exempt of the cost of its own high calling, since the greater the calling, the greater the jealousy, the greater the cost.

In conclusion, God is at war with presumption, and He is most particularly jealous of His saints. This is dealt with by His gracious determination to bring down every high thing, since to leave anything of human self sufficiency is to be deprived of the greater apprehension and appropriation of eternal glory, and nothing of this temporal world is worth that loss! So, Lord Jesus, do as you must do; that we not fail or come short of any part of your highest glory and purpose for our short time in this world.

“Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward” (2 Jn 8).