The Battle of the Veil [VIDEO]

You may have seen this video in the LIVE Stream of the 2019 Elijah Convocation. Here we cleaned up the first 10 minutes that were technologically very rough, and we used recorded footage instead of the stream. Even if you have seen it, it is worth the time to look at it again.

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The Mystery of Iniquity [VIDEO]

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The Blind Servant

Isaiah 43 and Deut. 32:8. (Isaiah 43:1, 2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14-15, 16, 17-18, 19, 20, 21-22, 23, 24, 25-26, 27-28)

I am reeling under what you just sent, Gary. That is indeed a remarkable and revealing pairing of scripture portions, and then the reminder of the blind servant who opens many eyes that we’ve discussed so richly in times past, literally reeling.

The wandering Jew is indeed the blind servant in our midst. (Isa 42:19, 43:10) Isa 43 comprehends the whole story of the exile from its beginning to its end, underscoring that a mere remnant could never realize the promise. Even when Moses spoke these words, “Yet the Lord hath not given you an heart to perceive, and eyes to see, and ears to hear, unto this day” (Deut 29:4), even then there was a remnant of the Spirit, made up of those comparative few who had circumcised hearts, indwelt and endowed, or filled with the Spirit (Gen 41:38; Ex 28:3; 35:31; 36:1; Deut 10:16; 30:6; 34:9; Num 11:17, 25, 29; 14:24, 27:18; Ps 51:10; Prov 1:23; Jer 4:4; Eze 18:31; Dan 4:8; 5:11; Jn 3:3, 10; 1Pet 1:11, 23).

This is OT language for the provision of the regenerating, renewing power of the Holy Spirit that was presently available to the true remnant of faith. This perennial remnant stood in contrast to the larger nation whom Moses would describe as a perennially “perverse generation … children in whom is no faith” (Deut 32:5, 20). Because this would be the often predominant condition of most of the larger nation, so long as this condition persist, it forbids long or secure tenure in the Land.

Deut 4:26
I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that ye shall soon utterly perish from off the land whereunto ye go over Jordan to possess it; ye shall not prolong your days upon it, but shall utterly be destroyed.

Deut 30:18
I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish, and that ye shall not prolong your days upon the land, whither thou passest over Jordan to go to possess it.

Yet, Moses well understood that nothing short of ‘eternal possession’ was promised. This would not be immediately forth coming. Therefore, something very big had to happen to move this mountain of the Jewish condition, which, of course, is nothing more than the human condition, albeit with the great advantage of the light of revelation and the entrustment of the holy oracles. So like Abraham and the patriarchs, Moses knew that something big had to give! What would that be?

What would be sufficient to move this mountain of unbelief and release an entire people to an eternal Jubilee by an abiding holiness that would persevere and guarantee abiding continuance in the Land, the promised “everlasting righteousness” that would extend, not only to a remnant, but now to the whole of the nation (Jer 31:34; 32:40), so that “from that day and forward” (Exe 39:22, 28-29), no invader could menace (2Sam 7:10; Isa 54:15-17), and no curse could light, so that never again would THIS people in particular (“my covenant with THEM”; Ro 11:27) be plucked out of the Land (Amos 9:15), or subjected to the judgment of exile?

And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of THEIR land which I have given THEM, saith the Lord thy God.

What would accomplish something so radical? A new existence in another world? This has been the answer of the church, but it is not the answer of the scripture. Rather, Moses looks ahead to see an age ending (not earth ending) apocalyptic resolution. He understands this great dilemma of covenant obedience to be solved, not in transfer to another realm or sphere, but in a national regeneration that takes place at the end of a final ‘great tribulation’ in the latter days, when Israel will be brought to the end of their power (Deut 4:29-30; 30:1-6; 32:36; Dan 12:7).

The problem of blindness and therefore covenant obedience through a regenerate faith was the abiding great dilemma that demanded an apocalyptic resolution. Even before the successive line of prophets would use the precise language of a coming great ‘day of the Lord’, Moses would look ahead to an ultimately transitional great tribulation. This would be “in the latter days” (Deut 4:29-30) when, not only a small part, but the whole of the nation, and all of their children afterward would receive the circumcision of the heart that would accomplish the ‘whole heart’ of covenant demand, and therefore the ‘new heart’ of covenant promise.

Moses, and all the prophets following understood that THE day must come when, not a mere remnant, but “all Israel” will lie down in safety (in the Land!) and none make them afraid again forever (). That’s final security in the Land!

Why? because that was the promise as attested in plan language and plainly understood by all.

How? Because of the ‘coming in’ (not only for the remnant, but for ‘all Israel’) of “the everlasting righteousness” (Dan 9:24), from which not one Jew, or child born to a Jew will ever again depart (Isa 54:13; 59:21; 60:21; 61:9; Jer 31:34; 32:40; Eze 37:25). That’s the covenant! That’s how Paul was reading it when he said, “and so then all Israel shall be saved”. He is seeing the end of the covenant as a time when there will be a uniform;y saved Jewish salvation, with all nations under divine threat to respect God’s right to exalt the very people He so deeply abased and subjected to shame and spitting (many scriptures go here).

Only this abiding inheritance of the Land by an all saved, fully exalted nation can fulfill the promise, not somewhere in the great beyond of mystical, unverifiable transcendence, but here on this earth in the real stuff of time, all opposition to the contrary notwithstanding. Therein is the glory of the covenant. It’s all about grace, sovereign, discriminating, electing grace.

So from the beginning it is made clear that so long as this condition of blindness persists for Israel as a corporate whole, not only Israel, but the nations will not have abiding peace. “How much more THEIR fullness?!”

The blind servant exists in two distinct forms, personal and corporate. The blindness of the Servant (Messiah) is a holy blindness that sees only what the Father reveals, as Jesus never lifted Himself to know or see anything as of himself, being free through virgin birth of that powerful propensity of fallen self reliance. He was the perfect selfless servant, judging nothing after the sight of His eyes, yet in full and perfect knowledge of the mystery (Isa 53:11; “by His knowledge shall My righteous servant justify man”) of who He was and what He was sent to be and to do.

Conversely, the elect nation, no less elect in their blindness, is also a servant with an indispensable role for the sake of the world, but even more for the sake of the highest glory of God as open testament to undeserved, sovereign, discriminating grace. It is the role of one who is blind for the sake of the many. How can this be? It is the same as when God says to Israel, “I have given men for your life” (Isa 43:3-4). For there to be an election, there has to be a non-election. For this cause, God has ordained that Israel’s blindness serve as a profound, utterly humbling revelation and instruction for those, equally unqualified, whose eyes the Lord has chosen to open.

To what end? Ro 9:11 tells us expressly. “So that the purpose of God might stand, not of works but of Him who calls”. To THAT end God has bound all over to unbelief that when mercy comes at God’s appointed time, it can be seen to be wholly mercy, undeserved and unhurried by flesh. Then will the blind see that there is no difference between those who see and those who do not see except the sovereign grace of the Spirit that opens the eyes and changes the heart by a faith that is given, not on the basis of human readiness or seeking, though God will arrange the most earnest seeking, but on the basis of a divinely timed act of free grace that us utterly apart from anything of, in, or from man.

What offense this, but it is THE offense that explains so much that must remain hidden until this prerogative of God to judge, to kill or make alive, be acknowledged as just and right and holy.

Where is free will in this? It is nowhere because it does not exist. By the nature of its nature, the will is bound until liberated by a sovereign, free, completely unconstrained act of sovereign grace, and Israel is the great example of this much opposed and ever disputed reality that underlies all the theology of grace, which is just the theology of “not by might nor power but by My Spirit says the Lord,” the theology of the whole Bible in a verse.

Not ashamed, not afraid to offend, the repentant, but probably very dismissed and very poor Reggie Kelly, fearful flesh be hanged, no, ‘crucified’.

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Millennial Safety

Are there many scriptures you can think of regarding Israel lying down in millennial safety with no one to abuse them again?

When we read the below verses, we see that peace in the Land, and the ability to hold the Land, depends on fulfilling the Law. Given what the scripture says and history demonstrates of the nature of man, what hope can there be in an entire nation ever being truly and eternally safe in the Land of promise? What must happen for the Land to one day be inherited by all Israel in everlasting peace and security?

Anyone can see that a temporary and partial fulfillment of the law can never secure the everlasting inheritance promised in the unilateral covenant made with the Abraham, the patriarchs, and with David. This is how God intended to use the Land promise to teach Israel of the only ‘kind’ of righteousness that could secure them, all of them, as a living, all holy nation, in the Land forever.

What righteousness would this be? Certainly not the righteousness of a people prone always to backslide. Nor can such an inheritance be secure, even for the righteous remnant as long as the larger nation is still prone to eventually slide back into vanity and ultimately again into exile. Only an everlasting fulfillment of the law, not only by a righteous few, but of all the nation could ever secure abiding, everlasting felicity in the Land.

This “everlasting righteousness” is exactly what the prophets expected as necessary to fulfill the promise made to Abraham. It is why they knew this could only be accomplished by God Himself on the basis of a New Covenant that did not depend on man, anymore than the unilateral covenant God made with Abraham when he was in a deep sleep depended on human participation. They knew this predestined certainty of an unconditional promise guaranteed a radical, apocalyptic intervention of God, even the miraculous birth of a nation in “one day” (Isa 66:8; Zech 3:9). THEN will ‘all Israel’ (the penitent remnant and all their children after them) “lie down safely, and none would make them afraid”, according to covenant promise, now eternally secure to ‘all Israel’.

As you will see in the below verses, the promise of security in the Land had a past, partial and temporary fulfillment, but the ever present peril of what we might call “covenant of jeopardy” always compelled the prophets to look ahead to an eschatological miracle of radical and complete national transformation. They saw this taking place after an unprecedented time of national travail and tribulation when they would be delivered from all their enemies and through the grace of a New Covenant, made to inherit all that stood written in the covenants, promises, and prophecies.

Had there never been mention of a thousand years, this period of salvation and everlasting blessing in the Land was always seen to take place on the earth, with the restoration of an all saved Jewish nation forever secure in their own Land. This national deliverance would predestined (the “set time”) to take place at one time only, namely, the great day of the Lord, never before!

The coming of Jesus did nothing to change this fact. Nothing in the apostolic writings can justify a program of re-interpreting such plain, obvious language, This is to denude and void these texts of their plain meaning in their historical context and manifest intention. Is this a question of hermeneutics (how a text should be interpreted?), or is it more ultimately a question of belief? Do you believe the text as it stands written or don’t you? It is a marvel to me how theologians, admitting that the day of the Lord is yet future, can so confidently affirm that God will NOT make good on these promises concerning the Jewish people and the future of the Land. How do they know He will not? What in the gospels, letters, or the Revelation says He can’t?

The mystery of the gospel would reveal two, distinct comings of the Messiah, with eternal salvation being accomplished in two distinct stages. What is new in the revelation of the gospel is not whether the day of the Lord will accomplish all that remains of what has been promised to Israel. It is the discovery that the promised Deliverer who will one day turn away ungodliness from Jacob will be the returning Jesus of Nazareth.

The revelation of the gospel has brought to full light the wisdom of God in accomplishing eternal salvation for Jew and gentile alike, but nothing of His good promise to the natural branches is capable of failure. It is simply postponed ‘UNTIL’ His return.

Leviticus 26:5-6
And your threshing shall reach unto the vintage, and the vintage shall reach unto the sowing time: and ye shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely. And I will give peace in the land, and ye shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid: and I will rid evil beasts out of the land, neither shall the sword go through your land.

Leviticus 25:18-19
Wherefore ye shall do my statutes, and keep my judgments, and do them; and ye shall dwell in the land in safety. And the land shall yield her fruit, and ye shall eat your fill, and dwell therein in safety.

Deuteronomy 12:10
But when ye go over Jordan, and dwell in the land which the Lord your God giveth you to inherit, and when he giveth you rest from all your enemies round about, so that ye dwell in safety;

Deuteronomy 33:27-29
The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy them. Israel then shall dwell in safety alone: the fountain of Jacob shall be upon a land of corn and wine; also his heavens shall drop down dew. Happy art thou, O Israel: who is like unto thee, O people saved by the Lord, the shield of thy help, and who is the sword of thy excellency! and thine enemies shall be found liars unto thee; and thou shalt tread upon their high places.

1 Sam 12:11
And the Lord sent Jerubbaal, and Bedan, and Jephthah, and Samuel, and delivered you out of the hand of your enemies on every side, and ye dwelled safe.

2 Sam 7:10
Moreover I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more; neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more, as beforetime.

1 Kings 4:25
And Judah and Israel dwelt safely, every man under his vine and under his fig tree, from Dan even to Beersheba, all the days of Solomon.

Proverbs 1:33
But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.

Isaiah 14:30
And the firstborn of the poor shall feed, and the needy shall lie down in safety: and I will kill thy root with famine, and he shall slay thy remnant.

Isa 54:14
In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee.

Jeremiah 23:6
In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, the Lord our Righteousness.

Jer 30:10
Therefore fear thou not, O my servant Jacob, saith the Lord ; neither be dismayed, O Israel: for, lo, I will save thee from afar, and thy seed from the land of their captivity; and Jacob shall return, and shall be in rest, and be quiet, and none shall make him afraid.

Jeremiah 32:37
Behold, I will gather them out of all countries, whither I have driven them in mine anger, and in my fury, and in great wrath; and I will bring them again unto this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely:

Jeremiah 33:16
In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The Lord our righteousness.

Jer 46:27
But fear not thou, O my servant Jacob, and be not dismayed, O Israel: for, behold, I will save thee from afar off, and thy seed from the land of their captivity; and Jacob shall return, and be in rest and at ease, and none shall make him afraid.

Ezekiel 28:25-26
Thus saith the Lord God; When I shall have gathered the house of Israel from the people among whom they are scattered, and shall be sanctified in them in the sight of the heathen, then shall they dwell in their land that I have given to my servant Jacob. And they shall dwell safely therein, and shall build houses, and plant vineyards; yea, they shall dwell with confidence, when I have executed judgments upon all those that despise them round about them; and they shall know that I am the Lord their God.

Ezekiel 34:25
And I will make with them a covenant of peace, and will cause the evil beasts to cease out of the land: and they shall dwell safely in the wilderness, and sleep in the woods.

Ezek 34:27-28
And the tree of the field shall yield her fruit, and the earth shall yield her increase, and they shall be safe in their land, and shall know that I am the Lord, when I have broken the bands of their yoke, and delivered them out of the hand of those that served themselves of them. And they shall no more be a prey to the heathen, neither shall the beast of the land devour them; but they shall dwell safely, and none shall make them afraid.

Ezekiel 38:8
After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely ALL of them.

Ezek 38:11
And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates,

Ezek 38:14
Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say unto Gog, Thus saith the Lord God; In that day when my people of Israel dwell safely, shalt thou not know it?

Ezek 39:26
After that they have borne their shame, and all their trespasses whereby they have trespassed against me, when they dwelt safely in their land, and none made them afraid.

Hos 2:18
And in that day will I make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven, and with the creeping things of the ground: and I will break the bow and the sword and the battle out of the earth, and will make them to lie down safely.

Amos 9:15
And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the Lord thy God.

Mic 4:4
But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the Lord of hosts hath spoken it.

Zeph 3:13
The remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity, nor speak lies; neither shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth: for they shall feed and lie down, and none shall make them afraid.

Zech 14:11
And men shall dwell in it, and there shall be no more utter destruction; but Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited.

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Further Thoughts on Divine Right to the Land

God gave Abraham and his descendants the Land as an everlasting possession. He did this when Abraham was in a deep sleep, to show the unilateral and therefore, unconditional nature of the promise. Yet even Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob dwelt as strangers in a Land that they never possessed, but dwelt in tents as sojourners (Acts 7:5; Heb 11:9). The patriarchs knew they were in for a considerable wait (Gen 15:13-16, 50:25), Abraham’s promised inheritance of the Land with Isaac and all his descendants ultimately requires bodily resurrection, most particularly for the elect ‘seed’ of promise, meaning the regenerate children of God. So, this battle over the Land for ultimate fulfillment of the promise was always going to be a very long range struggle, requiring an eschatological conclusion.

Such an eschatological conclusion would not, of course, be required if the Land promise is not to be interpreted literally. But without going into all the details and implications, when understood literally, as manifestly understood by the later prophets, the promise requires an ultimate inheritance by those whom Paul calls the ‘natural branches’, inclusive not only of Christ but also of the Land. However, the Land would never be Israel’s to retain in secure permanence until all the people are righteous by the gift of the Spirit, and preserved in that righteousness forever (“never depart”; Isa 59:21; Jer 32:40).

Time does not permit, but a rather invincible case can be made that this is how the prophets interpreted the promise. It is why Paul will speak of the salvation of “all Israel”, not just the rounding out of the full number of elect Jews, but the time when there would not be a single unsaved Jew alive on the earth – in the millennial age (see Deut 30:6; Isa 4:3; 45:17; 25: 54:13; 59:21; 60:21; 66:22; Jer 31:34; 32:40; Eze 20:40; 37:24-25; 39:22, 28-29; Zeph 3:13, etc).

In the first place, the presently much-debated “Divine right” to the Land was never  based on Israel’s ability to enter it  –  or, once having entered, to retain it. Deut 9:4-6 makes very clear that Israel’s righteousness has nothing to do with their ability to enter the Land and possess it; this is God’s decision, based on His covenant with the Patriarchs, and nothing else. Furthermore, even before Israel enters the Land, Moses tells them they would not be able to hold it long.

Deut 4:26
I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that ye shall soon utterly perish from off the land whereunto ye go over Jordan to possess it; ye shall not prolong your days upon it, but shall utterly be destroyed.

Then in Deut 9:24, he gives the reason why:
Yet the Lord hath not given you an heart to perceive, and eyes to see, and ears to hear, unto this day.  All the prophets assume that this condition of national blindness will persist until the Spirit is poured out on the surviving remnant, after a last and unequaled time of trouble ending in the day of the Lord (demonstrable through many scriptures). But they never interpreted this to mean that the Land would never be Israel’s till then, nor that judgment and expulsion could terminate the right of return, even before the eschatological righteousness of eternal promise, as seen in the return under Zerubbabel, Ezra, and Nehemiah.

So yes, Israel’s ability to dwell in the Land in unassailable security (2Sam 7:10; Isa 54:17; Amos 9:15) awaits an eschatological fulfillment of the law, in the revelation of the new covenant, but this obviously never stopped God from giving the Land, nor for sovereignly returning back to the Land a remnant that was manifestly short of meeting the conditions necessary for permanent tenure.

This still-defective condition is why the post-exilic prophet Zechariah, while acknowledging a ‘little reviving’ in the Land, would expect further apostasy in the future, bringing the ultimate judgments of the yet-future day of the Lord. Notwithstanding, the Jew’s homecoming was regarded as a partial fulfillment of covenant promise made ‘irrevocably’ to the fathers (Jer 30:3), even though those who returned for the larger part fell far short of the kind of repentant transformation that will describe the penitent survivors of the last and unequaled tribulation.

Clearly then, Israel’s presence and right to the Land is regarded as an irrevocable gift from God that is never finally revoked, but only temporarily suspended when the threshold of iniquity has reached the point of Divine intolerance.

The ability to hold the Land is not the basis for the gift. The Land is a lesson in the nature of righteousness, because the only way God could have given the Land to Jacob’s descendants as an everlasting possession is if He had already determined within Himself to also give them the only kind of righteousness that can keep it. This is what Daniel means by the “bringing in of everlasting righteousness”. It is God’s own righteousness wrought in His elect by the Spirit’s imputation of Christ’s righteousness.

The kingdom of God on earth waits for this great event. This is why the dilemma of the Land is really nothing more than the dilemma or crisis of the covenant in general. The great question was always how does a hopelessly unrighteous people inherit a final and secure inheritance that is conditional on their ‘permanent’ fulfillment of the conditions of the covenant? It is to ask the question that Gal 3:17 answers:

And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot dis-annul, that it should make the promise of none effect. For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.

Add as many conditions as you will. The promise is not afraid of conditions because it doesn’t depend on man! The gift could be as freely given to Abraham’s descendants as to faithful Abraham. Why? Because the gift never depended on Israel anymore than it depended on Abraham, but all is at best only partially and temporarily received in this age, pointing ever on to the necessity of ultimate, eternally imperishable resurrection, glorification, and the end of death (1Cor 15:26).

Abraham did not participate in the making of the covenant. This was to show that God Himself alone would see to the full and righteous fulfillment of all of its provisions. He would provide Himself, not only as the sacrifice but as the fulfill-er of all the conditions of the law, as He would become their only all-sufficient righteousness (Isa 54:17).

So the question, not only as to the ultimate salvation of “all Israel”, but no less, of their ‘everlasting’ inheritance of the Land, God most wisely puts on a basis that is manifestly wholly of grace, requiring nothing short of an event of resurrection life. Only then will a habitually backsliding people be able to keep the Land forever because of an indwelling righteousness that is forever, even “the Lord our righteousness” (Jer 23:5-6).

In the meantime, God has every right to give the Land to whom He will, despite their inability to hold it. He has been long-suffering with Israel all these years, whether in or out of the Land, and during the whole time of their exile, the Land has never ceased to be theirs by covenant promise, NOT by the conditions of the law, although the curse of the law upon disobedience would continue to threaten.

From the beginning God has made it obviously clear that Israel’s ability to inherit the Land in abiding peace and righteousness does not lie in an obedience that is in their power to supply. Rather, it lies in God’s predestined purpose to provide the required obedience on their behalf through His Son, and then in and through them by His Spirit at the appointed time, and never sooner! (Ps 102:13).

Until that time, the Land is regarded as theirs only because it is His to give as He wills, to whom He wills, and under the conditions that He grants (Joel 3:2). The entire end-time controversy is over the Land, and the nations are held to great account by their disregard of the covenant, proof of which is their willing, even celebratory instrumentality in the public exhibition of the final severity of covenant discipline upon Israel, to the point of arrogating the land to themselves.

This should tell us that God is using the Land to demonstrate something about the kind of grace that defines the nature of true gospel righteousness. It is a grace that doesn’t depend on man! The issue of the Land and the ability to possess and keep what God has irrevocably given is the Divinely-ordained test case that illustrates this.

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