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Category Archives: The Anatomy of the Apostolic
[…] The approach builds around the well known story of Joseph, as type and parable of both comings of Christ to Israel. The idea is to begin with a couple of key portions of Old Testament prophecy in order to establish a simple outline of the prophetic future, particularly as it pertains to the relationship of Christ’s two comings to Israel. This will provide a convenient frame of reference that can enable and equip any believer to make the case for the mystery of the gospel in the Old Testament, particularly in its relationship to Israel and the events that conclude the age.
To introduce the subject matter, I sometimes begin with people’s universal familiarity with the story of Bethlehem as an opportunity to show them the amazing prophecy in Mic 5:2, pointing out its great antiquity (8th century contemporary of Isaiah). I then call their attention to an even less known feature of that prophecy in the next verse. “Therefore shall He (Yahweh) ‘give them up’ UNTIL the time that she who travails has brought forth; then shall the remnant of His brethren return to the children of Israel (Mic 5:3). It is the age long “giving up” of Israel, but we want to identify the cause of this abandonment as something more ultimately provoking of divine displeasure than covenant failure in general. […] Continue reading
[…] In this sense, ‘apostolic sending’ is itself ‘an apocalyptic phenonmenon’, theologically speaking. Because the secret is more than new information. It is an event not only of divine disclosure but of spiritual quickening. It at once kills and makes alive. The revealed secret, as only apprehended by the Spirit, completely shatters the pride of self-reliance and gives an open heaven of revelation and power. A full and true apprehension of the mystery of God in Christ designs not a knowledge by which one may glory above another (1Cor 4:7), as in gnosticism. But rather a freedom in love that casts out fear and enables a selfless obedience unto death. “And they loved not their lives unto death” (Rev 12:10). The power that loves the enemy, and the freedom from the fear of death are the tests that prove the value of any knowledge or any mystery (1Cor 13:2).
Ever since Pentecost the secret has been the ‘open secret’, but whether it has been apprehended by the Spirit is shown by one thing only, namely, the presence and power of the life of the age to come, Christ revealed in the church (Jn 13:35; Eph 3:21), with the result that “now is come salvation, strength, the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ” (Rev 12:10). Thus the ACTS of the apostles (Dan 11:32-33). […] Continue reading