A Son Perfected Through Suffering: A Purified Bride Translated and Caught Up

Sometime back, I did a short essay called, “Where God is Taking the Church” I believe it touched on this question:

Do you guys have anything on the the theme of testing/purification/refining of the saints during the great tribulation and the end of the age in general?

In contrast to dispensationalists, we believe the saints of the last tribulation are the body of Christ. Clearly then, Daniel’s vision of the refining, whitening, and purification of the saints of that particular, ‘unequaled’ tribulation expects something climactic and unique, distinct from the more common experience of tribulation in general, as characteristic of the age in general.

We know God’s vision for post-tribulational Israel. What is less considered is His perfecting purpose for the church of the last generation. God has not finished with His intention to educate the powers through the church, “the pillar and ground of truth”. It is that holy entity that is called to walk in the path of the Servant, demonstrating the wisdom of the cross before principalities and powers, answering most especially at the end, “have you considered My servant …”

If God will have an all saved Jewish nation, miraculously born and cleansed “in one day” (Isa 66:8; Eze 39:22; Zech 3:9), then God is able to perfect the church unto climactic translation, not only because the chronological clock has struck, but because the church has been brought to something unprecedented, that can only be compared to the translation of Enoch and the catching up of Elijah.

Unlike tribulation in general, as the church by definition is a tribulation people, the ‘great’ tribulation is much more particularly the great transition between this age and the age to come. This is why the great tribulation is compared to a final travail unto the birth of the new age of covenant promise. Also called the time of Jacob’s trouble and ‘Zion’s travail’, the unequaled tribulation ends with the birth of Israel and the translation of the church. This is very significant, because this convergence is not only because Jesus returns at this time, but because of what God has accomplished in these two, elect entities.

In the case of Israel, the beleaguered remnant according to the election of grace has been brought finally, and fully to “the end of their power” (Deut 32:36; Dan 12:7) in preparation to look upon Him whom they pierced when He comes in the clouds (Zech 12:10; Mt 23:39; 24:30; Acts 3:21; Ro 11:26; Rev 1:7). In the case of the church, a process of revelation and experience of divine power in the furnace of affliction has brought the corporate body of Christ to its promised eschatological perfection (Dan 11:32-33, 35; 12:3, 10; Jn 17:23; Eph 4:13; Heb 4:9; 1Jn 4:18; Rev 12:11; 19:7).

This twin event of birth and resurrection at Jesus’ return begins the liberation of the creation described in Ro 8:20, which we see as realized in two stages, pre and post millennial (Isa 24:22; Ro 8:20; Rev 20). All of this means the end of the age is not only waiting on the completion of His purpose to bring Israel back to Him, not only His intention to fully reveal the mystery of iniquity, but His intention to perfect His corporate servant, the church, in a final demonstration before principalities and powers. I call this the ‘final straightening of the church’.

The tribulation, with its clearly marked certainty of the time, and abundance of unsealed revelation and prophetic fulfillment, will function as a kind of birthing canal, emptying not only Israel but the church of their power. This is why I believe we should see the enormous use that God has invested in the first half of the week.

What God has invested in giving the church the critical preparation of the first half of the week is exactly WHY the church will be straightened and prepared for the great transition that takes place at the beginning of the second half. This time will mark Michael’s clearing the heaven of Satan’s hindering presence (Rev 12:7-14 with Dan 12:1).

This brings Satan down for his ‘short time’ (Rev 12:12), but it also signals the time that the two witnesses receive their power, but not ONLY the two witnesses, but a whole body of ‘maskilim’ who receive strength and power at precisely the same time that Michael is evicting Satan (Rev 12:10-11). These who “love not their lives unto the death” are shown in Daniel’s prophecy to be receiving this power to “be strong and do great exploits and instruct many” at the very time the abomination is being placed that begins the unequaled time of trouble (Dan 11:31-33; 12:1-2, 7, 11). It is no accident that THIS is the very time the two witnesses are receiving their power for final tribulation witness.

I hope we can see this. It cannot be too greatly stressed that this great transition at the mid-point of Daniel’s final week is, not only the time that Satan is being thrust out of heaven and confined to earth for his ‘short time’ of unparalleled destruction; it is the same time the daily sacrifice is being taken away and the abomination of desolation placed in Judea to begin the great tribulation, just 3 1/2 years before “the end” (Dan 9:27; 12:7, 11). We must not miss this connection! Michael’s heavenly victory results, not only in woe for the earth, but in great anointing of power coming upon the church for the final testimony that results in a multitude beyond human ability to count coming out of ‘the tribulation, the great one’ (Rev 7:9, 13-14).

As Jesus saw His appointed hour, those of understanding will see and prophetically apprehend the approaching test for all its unparalleled requirement. As the door of the last seven years is shut firmly behind us, many more of the awakening body of Christ will begin to foresee the evil and dig down deep, greatly hiding herself in Christ, knowing her natural inability to stand in the evil day. This will prepare and fit the church, not only for her final purification and perfection unto translation at Jesus’ return, but her ultimate testimony to the nations, more than at any other time moving Israel to jealousy.

As Jesus said of Peter, I believe it can be prophetically said of the church of the last hour, that another will take her and lead her where she would not have gone, even to a corporate cross of obedience unto death (Rev 12:11). So the purification of the saints of the last and unequaled tribulation is unto a divinely ordained perfection that ends in translation, with the removal of the veil cast over all nations (Isa 25:7-8; Rev 10:7). I am suggesting that the testing of the church, I would call it the great emptying of the church, is not unrelated to the veil that is spread over the nations being removed with the finishing of the mystery of God at Jesus’ return (Isa 25:7; Rev 10:7). There is something about the relation of revelation “at the end of power”, which is to say at the end of human self sufficiency, which must always removed as a necessary prerequisite for resurrection.

Posted in Apocalyptic Righteousness, Christ In You The Hope of Glory | Leave a comment

Reggie Kelly Testimony: The Anatomy of a Revelation [VIDEO]

This interview was recorded in preparation for “Covenant and Controversy II: The City of the Great King” by FAI Missions. It is included as an extra in the Special Edition, where it is still available at a higher resolution along with many other excellent clips.

We are grateful to FAI for permission to share this here.

The interviewer is Dalton Thomas of FAI Missions.

Posted in The Mystery of Israel, Video | Leave a comment

The 4th Beast of Daniel 8

I would love to know your thoughts on the Islamic Caliphate (700 ad) as the the fourth beast of Daniel rather than the traditional interpretation of Rome.

I have a different take on the nature of the beast kingdoms. I see them as a generic continuity of the kingdom of man, not so much replacing one another, though there are territorial and distinct character changes, but each kingdom is not so much replaced as living on in its successors. Whatever we understand of the 4th kingdom, it is paradoxically at once the last, and yet not the last. We know this because John sees Rome as the 6th, to be succeeded in the future by a 7th. I think the point here is that the 4th kingdom would be the last monolithic world dominion. Unlike the more contained 3 predecessors, the 4th (I think Rome) would be first divided and then fragmented and never again able to come into the kind of cohesion achieved by the earlier kingdoms, including Rome in its beginnings, and I think this fragmentation and division continues right through the Antichrist time, since he is never able to consolidate his kingdom into another world dominion, uniting only the ten, but then enforces economic but not absolute military dominance over many nations that continue to resist him right up to the end (Dan 11:40-45 with Rev 16:12-16, many scriptures bearing on this little considered fact).

So the Antichrist arises as a ‘little horn’ from the region of ancient Syria (Dan 8:9), amidst a very divided, diffused and fragmented end time form of the 4th kingdom, and actually constitutes both the 7th and the 8th from the standpoint of John’s fuller account of beast kingdoms, reaching back to include Egypt and Assyria in addition to Daniel’s four. For John the Antichrist is the 7th in his rise, but becomes the 8th as the risen 7th. As the 8th, he now embodies as the former 7, as the ‘composite beast’ . He is therefore at once the 7th and the 8th. As the 8th, he is the risen 7th, now become the full incarnation of Satan, the ultimate human embodiment of the mystery of iniquity, but that’s another discussion.

The rise of Islam is indeed huge and becomes THE primary force that will be exploited to overwhelm Israel and begin the tribulation. It is no accident of history that a 7th century fiction of Mohammed’s mid night journey from the temple mount should obsess the entire Arab world (people of the ‘everlasting hatred’), not with Medina or Mecca but Jewish Jerusalem. I also believe since a very young man that the ten kings will be Arab nations. So how do I make these to be an extension of Rome rather than the Islamic world? Good question. I ask that myself. I can only say that the ten are shown to issue out of the 4th in its final, fragmented stage, and certainly many of these nations were part of the ancient Roman world and its evolution through history. It seems the prophecy sees the 4th kingdom in a long evolution of division and fragmentation, reaching to the end, and thus ignores, on the gap principle, many of the kingdoms that would rise and fall within its parameters. But here’s the principal reason I can’t well negotiate skipping Rome as the 4th kingdom:

For me, it is Dan 9:26. Here is the “cutting off” of the Messiah (compare the same language in the Song of the Suffering Servant; Isa 53:8). This greatest event on the 70 week timeline significantly happens when Rome rules the world. Clearly, there is a gap between the 69th and 70th week, and thus between the time of Rome and the time of the final mystery of incarnation in Daniel’s “coming prince”, Paul’s ‘man of sin’. The ten kings are contemporary with the beast, but the beast and the ten are described as issuing out of the fourth. John sees all these beast as a single beast with many heads, and he clearly carries this beyond Rome, which he represents as the 6th of 8 heads.

Now here’s my thinking: In Lk 3, it is said that when John Baptist emerges out of the desert to begin his ministry on the Jordan, the scriptures says “all men were in expectation”. That phrase is huge! By any reckoning, the 70 weeks were nearly expired. It was time for the last events that would bring the kingdom. It was time for the Messiah, or at least his expected forerunner. Clearly, Rome was obviously the 4th, and to their experience manifested all the traits described of the 4th. The Messiah, though rejected, appears and makes the atonement that purchases the ‘everlasting righteousness’ of covenant promise. In this, the kingdom of God has come near and is announced as present. Am I to suppose that the kingdom of God in its inaugurated form as a mystery, but mighty in its working and accomplishment in the realm of the Spirit, did NOT come during the fourth kingdom? Or that Jesus’ death during the rule of Rome over Judea was not during the 4th kingdom? That’s just hard for me. Rather, it seems we are touching again on the heart of the mystery of the kingdom coming in stages, with the unexpected gap between the two comings at both ends of the long history of the divided and fragmented 4th kingdom. In other words, it’s the gap principle again where there is the partial, then the leap to the end and the full coming in of the kingdom to fill the whole earth.

I also believe that the same 4 that appear in Dan 2 is represented again in Dan 7 under the imagery now of beasts rather than metals. I base this on my personal conviction that the language of Dan 7:4 too clearly refers to Nebuchadnezzar’s insanity and humbling to dismiss. This means that the winged Lion is the head of gold, which for me is decisive that the same 4 beasts are in view in both visions only under different symbols. Now, can we really conceive that after Daniel’s vision begins with the 3 kingdoms that history confirms followed after Babylon, that Rome is skipped, the very kingdom that was ruling when Jesus announces the inaugurating presence of the kingdom and the great turn of history in His imminent cutting off as the curse reversing seed of the woman? That, for me, is too much to ask. No, Daniel is not skipping Rome anymore than John skips Rome in his vision of the 7 headed beast, but the 7th could well be one who emerges out of a later stage of the 4th, and perhaps this emergence is from the caliphate which took its rise within the 4th, but is not particularly distinguished from the 4th in its ten king stage.

Posted in Daniel, Jacob's Trouble, Revelation | Leave a comment

Israel Today and Everlasting Security in the Land

I’m very interested in the overall impression that you will get while there [in Israel]. One thing is for sure, like you said, “So much going on in the Spirit that is so intense over here.”

Just like when a child of God is out of order and God will lead that one into some test of adversity to cure them of their presumption, I see the spirit of Islam, raised up like a Pharaoh to send a prodigal son running back into the Father’s arms to receive, in great brokenness, a new heart and spirit.

In the meantime, I see divine tenderness in bringing them back again into their own Land with great tokens of blessing of ‘common grace’. This is a milestone of immense significance, and for that reason so much the greater reason to soberly listen to their own prophets. Why? Well, of course that they might attain to the revelation of the righteousness of God, but also because for 18 centuries, there has been no Jewish nation, particularly one that has only recently returned “after the desolation of many generations” (Isa 61:4; Eze 38:8). Even beyond the explicit references to the return, this is what all the prophets presuppose as the necessary setting “in the Land” for God’s final pleading with His people in their greatest and final crisis. Only since the modern return from “the desolations of many generations” has the stage been set for the far greater and complete return that comes only after the tribulation when the Spirit is poured out on the surviving remnant (Isa 66:8; Zech 12:10; Eze 39:22, 28-29).

So while return to the Land is indeed a miraculous modern fulfillment of prophecy, the presence of an implacable enemy, still possessed of what Ezekiel calls, “the old hatred” (Eze 25:25) and “the everlasting hated” (Eze 35:5), should be sober reminder that though they are back home, they are not yet “home free”. But this is not the first time this situation has existed for Israel. Consider: When the Jews returned from Babylon, there was “a little reviving” (Ezra 9:8-9) . Notwithstanding, the prophets of the return, anticipating the inevitable drift back into apostasy, would continue to speak of the inexorable approach of an ultimate day of the Lord that would be preceded by an unequaled time of trouble, not only for Israel but the whole world. Nevertheless, according to Daniel’s prophecy, Israel’s deliverance would not come before the end of the 70 weeks. This would mean that for nearly 5 centuries the Jews would be back in their Land, but because of the partiality of their repentance, the nation would continue to reel under the cycles of persecution and occupation of successive kingdoms. Still, then as now, there would be extended periods of what we might call, ‘common grace’, which is the grace that God has on the poor, benighted condition of the natural man, as space for repentance is granted in divine patience, pity and love.

But where Israel is concerned especially, God cannot forever settle for this middle ground of in the Land, but never able to realize lasting security or guaranteed permanence in the Land apart from the promised righteousness of the everlasting covenant. As much as everything in our nature would like to avoid that day, it must come, because it is only an entirely regenerate nation that can fulfill the Abrahamic and Davidic covenants, as necessary for the kingdom of God to come on earth, and this cannot happen apart from “the bringing in of the everlasting righteousness”, not only for a remnant, but for the entirety of the nation (Isa 4:3; 45:17, 25; 54:13; 59:21; 60:21; Jer 31:34, et al.). That’s the part that so few are really seeing. God’s going for broke here. Can He pull this off? “Has God really said?” Can He, without going to a more ‘cooperative’ people, take the same people He first brought out, and not only bring them in, but keep them in the Land forever, without further threat of covenant jeopardy ever surrendering them again to the will of their enemies?

This is the great test God has appointed for Himself, as He has chosen to bind up His Name and covenant oath with making good on this miracle promise, which is nothing less miraculous than Isaac’s or the Savior’s own miraculous birth (compare Gen 17:21; 21:2 with Ps 102:13; Isa 66:8). This is the great question that the millennium is given to settle openly and forever, in public vindication of the everlasting covenant, as it pertains to Israel in particular (the “scandal of particularity”).

What will make this so remarkable and manifestly miraculous is that this will be the experience of a nation that is NOT yet physically raised to glorified immortality, but newly born, filled with the Spirit, albeit still in their natural bodies. The uniform salvation of every Jewish survivor and every child ever born thereafter to Jewish parentage, will be a burning bush of standing witness to the nations of sovereign, electing grace, simply because while there will be great, unprecedented salvation and evangelistic outreach to the nations, in only one Land and among only one people will there be uniform salvation from the least to the greatest, so that not one of mature age need ever be taught to know the Lord, since they will ‘all’ know Him. This is precisely what Paul meant when speaking of the salvation of ‘all Israel’ when the Deliverer comes out of Zion.

If this divinely ordained demonstration did not require flesh and blood embodiment on this earth, it is hard to see why a millennium would be required after the Lord’s return, which is exactly why so many cannot conceive of an earthly millennial reign, though it is everywhere demanded throughout the OT and spelled out in particular in Revelation. They don’t understand the covenant, at least as it pertains to THEM (i.e., the natural branches), as essential to the great point that God is determined to make through the Jew. What is that point? It is the very purpose for which Jacob was first set apart. It is “SO THAT the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of Him who calls” (irrevocably). The Jew exists as distinct, not only to preserve the holy oracles and give the world Jesus (and then to have no further purpose?), but they are miraculously preserved, against all odds, as distinct among the nations, that through them, by real embodiment of real, preserved ethnic identity, God might make this very point, and send it home for a thousand years of open, public witness.

Still, there will be pockets of contempt and envy against Israel’s election, until the earth has become full again of covenant haters, election despisers, showing that even under the most compelling and auspicious conditions, the wicked are unwilling to behold the majesty of the Lord.

“Let favour be shewed to the wicked, yet will he not learn righteousness: in the land of uprightness will he deal unjustly, and will not behold the majesty of the Lord. Lord, when thy hand is lifted up, they will not see: but they shall see, and be ashamed for their envy at the people; yea, the fire of thine enemies shall devour them” (Isa 26:10-11).

Another point I wanted to make is that NEVER before have such a number of often overlooked details of prophecy existed in such perfect alignment, some that have only fallen into place the last few years. Not only can Jesus NOT come until the man of sin is first revealed, but preterists and amillennialists should be apprised that only now, for the first time, the right enemies are in the right place for the final and plenary fulfillment of prophecy. Not Rome, but Gog and Magog and the distinct nations listed in Eze 38:5-6. Titus was no ‘little horn’! The early church fathers would caution against associating any of the Caesars with the final beast in the absence of the ten kings. Yet, the ten kingdoms mentioned in Ps 83 include the very territories that are ranged against Israel now, who harbor to this day “the everlasting hatred” that the scripture depicts as alive and well at the time of the day of the Lord and Israel’s deliverance for kingdom glory (Obad; Eze 35-36, et al.). It is these nations in particular that all the prophets show to be bringing the final siege upon Israel when the great day of the Lord comes in all its finality. It is Lebanon, Edom (modern Jordan), Assyria (modern Iraq), Persia (modern Iran) and so on we could go.

In only the last few years, even less, the nations that prophecy shows to be belligerents against Israel are turning from an only recent posture of friendship to open hostility. We see this with Turkey, the Togarmah of Eze 38. Conversely, other nations mentioned in prophecy as NOT opposing Israel in the final conflict, but instead being threatened and overrun by the Antichrist, have only very recently moved in the opposite direction. For example, the book of Ezekiel is most prolific in its mention of Egypt. Yet, when we come to the list of nations that are led by the principality, Gog, against the Land of Israel, Egypt is significant for its non-mention. How far this seemed from probable only a short while ago when the radical Muslim brotherhood Morsi government was leading Egypt towards absolute, obsessive belligerence against Israel. Not only so, but Egypt is particularly described in Dan 11:42 and in Isa 19 as being a special object Antichrist rage, no doubt for their policy of moderation towards Israel. Note too that Egypt is overrun in Dan 11:42 only AFTER the abomination has been placed in Dan 11:31, showing this to be AFTER the middle of the week, making clear that Egypt was NOT one of the ten aggressors confederated with the Antichrist in his invasion of Israel.

Another compelling instance is Saudi Arabia (biblical Sheba and Dedan). Mutual regional strategic and economic interests have brought these one time bitter enemies into just the kind of common cause that makes the Antichrist invasion of Israel an occasion for Saudi consternation (Eze 38:13). Not only are the Saudis not supportive of the Antichrist invasion of Israel, they are threatened by it. All of these developments are very recent, but necessary to fulfill many, often overlooked details of prophecy.

Thus we can say that there are many nations that will support the peace arrangement that the Antichrist disrupts in the middle of the week. It is incorrect to suppose that ‘all’ nations go against Israel. They do not! It is the Antichrist with his ten that break the peace and flood the Land of Israel with overwhelming forces. The onlooking nations, unable to repulse his advance (Dan 11:31 with Rev 13:4) are aghast and imperiled. They will be impotent to resist (Dan 11:31 with Rev 13:4). Dissenting nations will soon come under great pressure to capitulate to his demands. Evidently, he does not have complete military control over all the nations, certainly not at ‘the end’ (see Dan 11:40-45), but is able to use his strategic advantage over the flow of vital resources to exert control over the nations through economic sanctions. Besides the sweeping power of unrestrained deception, his chokehold on the world’s economy appears to be a primary means to manipulate compliance with his demands.

The hearts of men will be ultimately tested as to whether they will bow to his demands, and we may be sure that part of the price to escape economic strangulation will be the handing over of the Jews.

All’s to say, these conditions have never existed until now. These developments are remarkably new. So what does this mean for where we are at the moment? How long will the present status quo hold? When we look at the scriptures and the modern situation since Israel’s remarkable return and achievement of statehood, one does not get the impression that the tribulation is that far removed from Israel’s preliminary return in unbelief, coupled with great prosperity and beautification of the Land.

I mentioned that this beautification and prosperity of the Land comes “after many generations of desolation”. Think about it. When has this prophecy been fulfilled in the past? Is it the 70 years of captivity prophesied by Jeremiah? That was only ONE generation. Could it have been fulfilled anytime BEFORE Rome’s destruction of the temple when the Jews populated and tilled the Land all throughout the 490 years of Daniel’s 70 week prophecy? No, the only period long enough to account for this prophecy is the period since 70 A.D., especially since 132 A.D. It is only since then that the Land lay barren and untilled until the 19th century. Now observe: In Eze 38:8, the Antichrist invasion of the Land comes AFTER the Land has been for “many days … a continual waste”. This again refers to the long exile that answers to none other than the Roman exile since final Jewish eviction in 132 A.D. But while no definite time is given for how long the Jews will be in the Land and greatly prospering before the Antichrist invasion, it is hard to take the impression that the time can be very long from this preliminary regathering in unbelief to their ultimate regeneration and complete return when the face of God is no longer hidden and the Spirit poured out (Eze 39:22, 28-29).

It is also significant that this is AFTER the desolation of ‘many generations’ but BEFORE the brief desolation of the last 3 1/2 years. Joel describes the day of the Lord as coming to a land that is Edenic BEFORE it is attacked and turned into a “desolate wilderness” (Joel 2:3). This is exactly the condition of the Land that Ezekiel describes as existing just before the attack of Gog (Eze 38:12-13).
“Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the Lord cometh, for it is nigh at hand; A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations.A fire devoureth before them; and behind them a flame burneth: the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them” (Joel 2:1-3)

Upon the Lord’s return, the Land will be returned to its Edenic beauty during the millennium (Eze 36:35), but this is not to be confused with its pre-day of the Lord condition described by Joel and Ezekiel that is brought into ruin by the ravaging hordes of the Antichrist.

So we’ve come full circle. Jerusalem is again a cup of trembling, as the prophet says she must be just before her final deliverance and glory. It is the controversy of Zion again, only this time is the last time, because unlike former destructions and desolations, the players declared in the ‘fine print’ of prophecy are now, for the first time, even within the last few years, all now aligned in place. All that remains is a peace arrangement that provides for required recognition of Israel’s right to exist, and access for Jews to restore their ancient ritual and temple. This brings the really big question that has recently moved me to tears. What will THIS take and what will it cost?

As Dalton recently posted, and as confirmed by a friend that used to work within the intelligence community, all the other wars have been little wars compared to the big one that is presently building on the northern border. The missiles currently being stock-piled by Iran’s proxies, and now well concealed within Russian protected Syria, are not for self defense but for the day of strategic opportunity to destroy Israel, nothing less.

Knowing that the next US administration may not be so supportive, Israel may well decide to take preemptive action. It has long been my expectation that the changes required in the region to fulfill the final necessary requirements of prophecy will not come by any natural process of diplomacy. Nothing short of war, one that may well threaten Israel’s survival, could account for the kind of changes necessary to fulfill prophecy. Only a seismic re-balance and re-configuration of the whole political landscape could ever change the political deadlock that preserve the present status quo. Yes, it is a war that Israel will win but at what cost?

So how soon? How close are we? Note first that Israel has been in and out of the Land more than once since Jeremiah gave his prophecy concerning their final salvation at the end of the time of Jacob’s trouble (Jer 30:7 with Dan 12:1-2; Mt 24:21). What’s to say that after this return Israel may not dwell in the Land as a prosperous nation for many, many years yet to come? Well, no one text ‘says’ that Israel is only back in the Land a very little while before the great tribulation. However, ‘if’ the case is well enough made that the two days of Hos 5:15-6:2 are indeed symbolic, not of an indefinite short period of time (as most commentators) but as two definite millennia, to be reckoned from the Lord’s ascension. And ‘if’ the recent developments mentioned above are indeed preparation for the kind of conditions that will exist just before the Antichrist’s invasion, then we are looking at a short period of time for such seismic changes to take place.

When the prophecies are closely investigated, it seems clear that nothing on the present horizon, short of a regional, if not world war, could conceivably account for the kind of shift that would induce the Arab world to make the kinds of concessions that prophecy requires. Think about it. The Antichrist hates the covenant. He agrees to the peace only because it is expedient for the moment. From its very inception, he immediately begins to plot against the very covenant he confirms (Dan 11:23-31). This is the man who will bring the world of radical Islam with him in his attack on Jerusalem. Unless there was some unprecedented inducement, would such a man consent to a peace that he so deeply opposes?

It seems clear that the one who will be leader of the ten nation confederacy that descends upon Israel would never countenance such a peace plan, particularly one that must necessarily include provisions for Jewish control of at least some part of the temple mount, unless Israel had attained an overwhelming advantage in the negotiations. It is this kind of advantage that I believe will come to Israel only after another war, sufficient to reshape the balance of power throughout the region and to profoundly revise opinion over how peace can be secured.

This will be particularly true if Israel’s survival is once more threatened by its attempts to accommodate outside pressure. It will produce in the Israeli’s another resolute ‘never again’ posture towards world opinion, as the moderate nations enter into a new phase of negotiations only after another bitter lesson of tragic cost. Of course, this will be the beginning of the end, precisely when things finally look hopeful after so many years of seemingly impossible deadlock and impasse. It will be mankind’s ultimate Babel of humanistic imagination that peace on earth can be attained short of kingdom righteousness, with an all saved Israel at its center.

Posted in Apocalyptic Righteousness, Jacob's Trouble, The Kingdom, The Millennium | Leave a comment

How Faith in Jesus Fulfills the Law Once and Forever

My own view is that vital regeneration puts one in the New or Everlasting covenant, which is the sure and continuous fulfillment of the standard of righteousness required under the law for life and blessing. The righteousness of the New covenant is the righteousness of Jesus indwelling the believer though regeneration of the Holy Spirit. True regeneration is manifest by an abiding delight in the law and longing for an evermore perfect conformity to its demand, which can be nothing less than Jesus; and through Him, the gift of the Holy Spirit quickening eternal union with the divine nature.

In both testaments, the transformation that the New Covenant secures is described as everlasting and irreversible by reason of an ontological change of nature (“partakers of the divine nature”) from which, by scriptural definition, it is impossible to be separated.

This means that where justification and vital union are concerned, the moment saving faith is quickened and one is made partaker of the divine nature (the indestructible seed of the Spirit and the Word), one has perfectly and completely fulfilled the law, once and forever by the imputation of Christ’s own righteousness. This imputation is not based only in Christ’s death (His ‘passive’ obedience) but also by His perfect keeping of the law throughout the whole balance of His spotless life (His ‘active’ obedience). This obedience was necessarily wrought out in our representative humanity, the last Adam.

So not only His death, but His life of perfect obedience to the law (the examined Lamb) is imputed in the full to the least believer in Jesus (not to be confused with the barren professor).

You see then how and why it is that every believer has perfectly and forever fulfilled the law and received its blessing and not its curse. Notwithstanding, this inward reality does not exempt, but rather more fully lends the believer to divine discipline when the law is presumptuously broken or slighted in the outward life and practice of those who have their standing in the grace of the new covenant (Ps 89:28-36)..

Living union with this new nature (i.e., the ‘holy seed’) guarantees fruit “after its own kind”. The impulse to love and keep the law is built right into the seed! It is the evidence of the indwelling Spirit of Christ.

This is manifest in the believer’s life by varying measure and degree, but where it is the real, ‘everlasting life and righteousness of God Himself’, it is not possible that this seed NOT bear some measure of fruit, whether 30, 60, or 100. There is no law against the fruits of the Spirit (“against which there is no law”), because it is only the Spirit’s fruit that fulfills the law. Whether Old or New Testament times, the law could never be kept by the dead!

The child of God may vary in maturity and fruitfulness, according to the purging, pruning, and the deep dealings of divine discipline (the true mark of sonship), but every child of God, regardless of stature, has finally and forever fulfilled the law through the resurrection miracle of vital regeneration. This eternal union of shared nature is mediated by the Spirt’s quickening of the revelation of the gospel, the lively Word that divides, that kills carnal confidence, even as it quickens the dead.

From this time of vital quickening (resurrection), the believer has been translated into the kingdom of God’s dear Son, is seated at Christ’s right hand, far above all principality and power, and secure for eternal glory, provided there has been a true, Spirit quickened resurrection out of a true, Spirit quickened death to carnal confidence.

This is not MADE true but PROVEN true by the day of testing. The test finds out whether the faith (there are different kinds of faith) is born of God, because of this rule: “that which is born of God overcomes the world.” It must; it cannot do otherwise, because it is born of God.

The proof and evidence of this new, indwelling divine nature is love of the law and holy longing to be evermore perfectly conformed to our law keeping Savior, since it is He who gave it by the mediation of angels.

So every believer is, by definition, and we could say ‘ontological necessity’, a lover, if not always a perfect keeper of the law, else he or she is not alive to God, as the day of testing will find out, or the day of final judgment expose.

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