On Dec 27, 2007
I just read your 8 pages on Difficult Rapture Questions. Powerful stuff, brother. It carried a breaking, and pounding, and burning (Jer. 23:29).
Ever pondered why it is that the House of Israel will not be able to acknowledge salvation, but upon seeing the returning Son? Does this not seem to be a lack of requisite faith, a conflicting with what Paul said in Rom 8:24?
Just Another Follower,
Hi, thanks for that encouragement.
As for the character of this “seeing” that transforms the Jewish remnant in one day into an enduringly holy nation (Isa 59:19-21; 66:8; Ezek 39:22; Zech 3:9; 12:10; Mt 23:39; Rev 1:7), we must be careful to distinguish what kind of ‘seeing’ this is. Many saw Christ in His human form and saw nothing that had any “form or comeliness.” Paul saw something much more on the Damascus road. In Jn 6:40 Jesus says “And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which sees the Son, and believes on Him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.”
Many who looked upon the Lord did not ‘see’ Him in this latter sense, because man is dead and impotent to receive this kind of ‘seeing’ apart from a quickening revelation unto regeneration and life, according to such passages as Mt 16:17; Ro 8:7; 1Cor 2:14.
So the key is not that Israel sees the Lord only because He has physically returned. Many see Him to their final damnation. But this ‘seeing’ is compared to Paul’s ‘apocalyptic’ conversion. There is a reason that Christ’s return has such a different effect on the beleaguered remnant of Israel than it has on those that have taken the mark. For them Christ’s return will be as the opening of the lid to the ‘Ark of the Covenant’. It is an unveiling of unbearable eternal damnation. But for ‘the escaped of Israel’, it is the ‘Spirit of grace and supplication’ unto repentance, because they see Him in the sense of 2Cor 3:16-18 – unto transformation.
It is like Paul when he said, “But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, to reveal His Son in me…” ( Gal 1:15-16). It comes by a sudden divine arrest at a pre-set time. “Thou shalt arise, and have mercy upon Zion: for the time to favour her, yea, the set time, is come” (Ps 102:13). It’s on a fixed divine schedule (see Dan 8:19; 11:27, 29, 35-36). It is what the old English divines called “distinguishing grace.”
Still, such a divine act is no less sovereign because it comes at the end of a divinely arranged process (compare Deut 32:36 with Dan 12:7). Significantly, it comes at the end of Jacob’s strength, just as it comes at the end of ours. Therefore, we see that Jewish hearts are prepared for this divinely predetermined event, and the church has a crucial part and role in that preparation as witness (see Dan 11:33), just as I believe that Stephen’s testimony and martyrdom had a preparatory influence for the predestined event of Paul’s revelation of Christ on the Damascus road.
So, this is no mere physical seeing. It is the Deliverer’s return out of Zion “to turn away ungodliness from Jacob” (Ro 11:26). Only He can. “Your people (Jacob) shall be willing in the day of Your power.” (Ps 110:3).
Yours in Christian service, Reggie