One People. Two Entities? (Followup)

Thanks for that response Reggie. It was very precious and revealing. The thing that confused me with Kaiser is that he seems to share more of our views about the OT and the Church and Israels restroration etc. Just differences in eschatology (especially the rapture). He and I have been talking back and forth and I asked him how Jacobs trouble fits into the promise plan. To which he said very little, I dont think he had considered it. So I reformulated my question.

But the reason I asked was this, one of the main “mountain top” verses that he uses in the OT plan is Jer. 31:31, 32. He focuses alot on the land, the seed (or King), the nations (or evangilism), and the people (or my people). Yet it seems so much of that is, well, almost being vindicated in the events surround Jacobs trouble and culminating in the Day of the Lord. Certainly this covenant made with Israel is after the Day of Jacobs trouble. So I suggested that history and the future (scripturally and historically) indicate that the land will not be permanently dwelt in by a remnant, that for it to be possessed would require a nation set apart. Which brings in the need for a new heart, which scripture seems to anticipate in Deutronomy (and other places I am sure). The resoration of Israel is all to God’s glory which will be known by the nations, for then they shall go up to Isreal to know her God! So it brings up the issues of my people, and the nations. Finally the King, it is the Kings coming when the look on Him whom they have pierced that ties everything together. “For you shall not see me again till you say blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord.” I think understanding that leads to a clearer and more precise reading of Romans 11:25 and 26. It seems as though the fullness of Gentiles is triggering an awesome release. Then all Israel is saved, and it speaks of the covenant mentioned in Jer. 31:31 and 32 in Romans 11:26. Or atleast thats how I read it. Regardless we know Isreal sight is not restored until after Jacobs trouble, that when her sight is restored it coincides with a new heart etc. So to see the fullness of Gentiles coming in before the Day of the Lord does not make sense, if that comes in before Jacobs trouble and Israels blindness is removed Jacobs trouble is unjust.

Also the arguement against the indwelling Spirit does not make sense in light of what God accomplishes to His glory in Jacobs trouble. With the writing of the law in the inward parts, and outpouring of the Spirit upon the house of Israel in Ezekiel 39:29 after a final gathering. So even if it were possible to say the Church was not present during Jacobs trouble it would be impossible to argue against the indwelling Spirit!

Anyway just some thoughts,

I am with you, Aaron. You’re getting the order straight, and it DOES matter, particularly in its time and place. I thought Kaiser was with us in his view of the rapture. Are you sure there’s a difference there? If so, what is its nature? Also, I think I see what Kaiser is saying that you’re (I think rightly) questioning. Tell me if I’m correct. He sees only a remnant of Jews inheriting the Land together with the church, as part of the church, but without particular Jewish distinction. Is that correct? Whereas, we would see a surviving remnant coming to faith at the end of the great tribulation (“Jacob’s trouble”), but this remnant necessarily constitutes the beginning of a holy nation that has a unique stewardship over the Land, and special calling of priestly service (evangelism) to the nations, which seems more in keeping with the order and literal tenor of the prophet’s language. Am I correct?

What does he mean by the remnant? How is he understanding that? Certainly I agree that God intends that restored millennial Israel be a “nation set apart” (I like that phrase). That is certainly essential for God to make the public statement that He intends through Israel. Without Israel’s distinctiveness, the whole point of God’s initial distinction and division in the family of Abraham loses its force. So the Land must be distinctly and uniquely Israel’s, but an Israel made holy by the new heart, which comes, as you rightly point out, only after Jacob’s trouble at the day of the Lord.

This is why I don’t see glorified immortals co-inhabiting the Land with the saved nation, which scripture clearly shows to enter the millennial earth in natural bodies, building houses, bearing children, burying the bodies and burning the weapons of the last war, all very literal stuff, IF interpreted literally (the great question of hermeneutics). Whereas I believe it is necessary to infer that the glorified redeemed (church of this age) seems to occupy heavenly places of rule over angels and cities that transcends the limitations of natural bodies. Whatever the nature of that rule, it is clear that the glorified saints are participants in Christ’s spiritual rule over the nations of the millennial earth.

Due to the manifest difficulty of reconciling so many of the seemingly conflicting details between the two testaments, many sign off in despair. Perhaps that is why it is so difficult for many to be impressed that some of these seemingly laborious details and distinctions can be quite decisive and important. Simply because some of these issues bear directly or indirectly on the glory that God has invested in the events of the last day’s, as demonstration and vindication of a great deal that the church has too little considered, but will consider.

Finally, and perhaps of greatest importance, is what so clearly surfaces in your exchange with the Kaiser, namely, the timely issue of Jacob’s trouble. Kaiser is one of the church’s finest, so when an OT theologian of his quality shows ambivalence on that point, it certainly underscores the great deficit that exists in most of the church’s consciousness concerning this all important matter. Here’s where the church so needs the scholarship (labor in research and writing), as well as the earnest heart and vision of young brothers like yourself. You can see what “homework,” cries to be done on this crucial topic.

If there’s anything I’m sure of, it is that the early apostolic church moved with great urgency under the shadow of an imminent destruction of Jerusalem, which they clearly associated with the onset of a final unequaled time of distress that they expected to immediately precede Christ’s return. This context and framework of the mystery is all but lost. Even where it is in some general sense expected, the church is typically absented from the scene, and hence from the responsibility. Jacob’s trouble becomes ‘Jacob’s problem’. Yet there it is: After millennia of comparative silence, Jerusalem is a modern cup of trembling threatening to “literalize” the language of the prophets. Only now, the church has moved so far away from the covenant and apocalyptic perspecitive and expectation of the early Jewish church that we’ve lost the perspective and with it the urgency as well. And not least is Israel’s relationship to how we understand the nature and context of the gospel itself, and there too lies great work to be done in these days of critical restoration. These are good questions.

Yours in the Beloved, Reggie

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