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.

Posted in The Everlasting Covenant, The Law | Comments Off on How Faith in Jesus Fulfills the Law Once and Forever

The Final Chapter of God’s Work [Audio]

This message was given by Reggie Kelly in 2010 in Texas.

 

(1hr:25min)
 

Right Click to Download The Final Chapter of God’s Work – by Reggie Kelly (39mb)
 

Posted in Apocalyptic Evangelism, Audio, Avoiding False Alarms, Bible Study, Daniel, Matthew | 1 Comment

The Timing of Ezekiel 38 and 39

Ezek.38 and 39 is on the spot now.
I can see that is about what happens in the end of the tribulation.
But 38 is little confusing; is this in the end of millennium?
What are your thoughts about that?

Because of its parallel in essence and character, I believe the Spirit is applying to the end of the millennium, by way of analogy, only ‘some’ aspects of the battle that even John would have certainly understood to be fulfilled primarily at “the great day of God Almighty” (compare Eze 39:8 with Rev 16:14-17; and Eze 39:4, 17-20 with Rev 19:17-18). So much of the detail simply cannot be made to fit with the post-millennial destruction of Gog and Magog, which I believe is being used as a type and symbol for a post-millennial reiteration of what has taken place before the millennium, but with important differences.

For one thing, the seven months burying of the dead, and seven years burning of weaponry (Eze 39:10, 12-14) does not fit with the sudden termination of the millennium and immediate revelation and descent of the perfected city of God (Rev 19:9-21:2). But perhaps most telling of all is that the Israel that Gog attacks in Eze 38-39 does not yet know the Lord; whereas the Israel that is threatened (but not successfully invaded), at the end of the millennium have known Him a thousand years.

By divine design, we are piecing together a mystery that requires utmost caution and careful attention to detail, and certainly a trembling dependency on the Spirit’s merciful help. Because of Revelation’s post-millennial application of some aspects of the Gog Magog phenomenon, and because Eze 36 that precedes the vision is clearly millennial, as Eze 37 also ends in millennial glory, and not least because some of the language of security in the Land is so strikingly similar to it’s use elsewhere in the prophets, many interpreters conclude that the security of Eze 38:8, 11, 14; 39:26 is the final security of millennial promise.

This can be very misleading, because the security of Eze 38 & 39 is disrupted by the northern invader BEFORE the great day of God Almighty (compare Eze 39:9 with Rev 16:14-17), before Armageddon (Eze 39:4, 17-20 with Rev 19:17-18), and therefore before the surviving remnant of Israel comes to faith and lasting security in the Land, a security that though momentarily threatened, will “never again” be successfully disrupted (2Sam 7:10; Isa 54:14-17; Rev 20:9). Note that in context, the famous ‘no weapon that is formed against you will prosper” is a promise to millennial Israel. In contrast to God bringing the nations down at the time of Antichrist, the millennial promise is clear that the gathering of the nations at the end of the millennium is NOT by God’s hand (in the sense of judgment upon His own people). “Behold, they shall gather together, but NOT by Me …” (Isa 54:15).

No, the security described of pre-tribulational, pre-millennial Israel in Eze 38 is NOT the security of millennial righteousness, because it is not UNTIL Gog’s destruction (the Antichrist according to Eze 38:17) that all Israel (the surviving remnant) will know the Lord “from that day and forward” (Eze 39:22, 28-29). What day? Manifestly, the day of the Lord (compare Eze 39:8, 13 with Rev 16:14-17). On the contrary, this is the false peace of Dan 8:25; 11:23; 1Thes 5:3, and the “covenant with death and hell” of Isa 28:15, 18. It is the delusive false security that will prevail during the first half of Daniel’s 70th week. A correct translation of Eze 39:26 confirms that this is a peace that was sinfully abused and presumed upon, a situation hardly characteristic of redeemed Israel. “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.

It may well be that when the false peace comes, many jubilant Jews will presume that this is perhaps the beginning of the covenant promise of security in the Land. This will be answered by warnings from the remnant that no peace can last that is based on human agreements and trust in man (Isa 28:14-18 with Rev 11:2; note the eschatological ‘treading down’ of Jerusalem). Those of understanding will protest the vain presumption that lasting security in the Land can never be realized apart form the promised “everlasting righteousness” of God (Isa 45:17, 25; Jer 32:40; Dan 9:24), which righteousness can brook no mixture with the righteousness of man. This is God’s ancient controversy with His people come to its climax, and the presumption of security in Eze 38 is the prelude to the deepest shaking of that presumption that Israel has ever experienced.

What will it mean when, against all odds, what has been so long in coming is here at last, only to be so quickly and suddenly stripped away? (see Isa 63:18; 64:10-12). It is beyond conception the depths of anguish and shock that Israel will feel when lifted so high to be plunged so low, as the great landmarks of the covenant, so long awaited, and so recently restored, are destroyed once again before their eyes. It is then that the great gap between supply and demand will be closed, as the Lord will have His saints prepared to explain these things to an amazed and shattered people (Deut 32:36; Dan 11:33; 12:7).

Only amid such shaking, and in the full light of prophecy, can Israel begin to consider what (with man) has been impossible till now. “In the latter days you will consider it” (compare Isa 42:23-25 with Jer 23:20). It is the fruit of that long awaited consideration that will be life from the dead and exponential blessing to the nations.

O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear

Posted in Bible Study, Ezekiel, Gog, The Last Days, The Millennium | Comments Off on The Timing of Ezekiel 38 and 39

More Thoughts on the Law

We started a study on Galatians here and I watched the first part of your Galatians study. At some point you say smthg like “The Law is related to the flesh”, which 9ch is profoundly true. This is why Paul uses the metaphor of the dead old nature and says the Law has no bearings on those who are dead (Romans 7:2-4).

Are we to assume (as many others) that the first chirch with all these “tens of thousands of Jews who believed and who also fervently keep the Law” was not aware of the change that occured and the principle in Rom 7:2-4? I can perhaps summarize like this – could the first Christian Jews NOT KEEP the Law? Could they? What was the take of Art?

I just went over to our website and saw over to the side a link entitled, ‘Thoughts on Torah Observance‘ or something like that. The article was one that Art liked and had posted to the old BI site.

Also, there is a recording entitled, Paul’s Vehemence Against the Law, that took place in Pearl’s trailer with others interacting. Art’s break through convictions were greatly influenced by a book I had recently given him, which you will want to get if you can find it. It is, “Of God or Man?: Light from Galatians”, by John Metcalfe. Art did indeed observe Friday night ‘shabbat’ but not with the religious seriousness or zeal distinctive of adventists and others who see it as a make or break requirement of the believing life.

Scripture recognizes that what has come about in the revelation of the mystery of the gospel has brought a unique dispensation of responsibility towards the law. Any Jew who could read or hear Acts 13:38-39 would, or SHOULD know that the law can contribute NOTHING towards justification, nor towards the receiving of the Spirit. Nor can the failure of Jew or gentile to observe any of its requirements change their position in Christ, as forever dead and forever married to another. So clearly, even if some continued to keep the law as an issue of stewardship, and not of justification, it was crucial to understand that the law could play no role in either causing or measuring one’s standing in Christ. It could not contribute to justification, just as circumcision and sabbath keeping could not be used as a measurement to test if one were indeed justified.

It is a wholly different matter where the fruits of the Spirit are concerned. Though the fruits of the Spirit are fruits, and therefore not the cause of salvation, still, every believer will agree that they are a sure result of salvation, and therefore, in that sense, an indicator of true regeneration. This is NOT true of the law, because the law is something that man can (‘seem’) do in his natural power. That is why to depend on the law is to depend on self, and this is Paul’s great concern. In order for grace to be grace, nothing within human reach or power can be permitted to contribute anything towards regeneration. This is axiomatic for Paul. Nothing possible to the flesh can be permitted to contribute or assist in the miracle of regeneration. Otherwise, grace is mixed and the glory of an unilateral covenant is shared with something that of or from man, and this can never be, as Paul makes clear that even faith is a gift of divine working.

In the same way, neglect of the outward ordinances and institutions by gentiles (as “loosed” from circumcision, sabbath, temple ritual, etc.) is not regarded by the apostles as an indication that one does not have salvation, obviously. But what does this mean for Jews? Do Jews have a different stewardship of responsibility from gentiles? We know for sure that they do in the coming millennium, but what of now? Regardless of whether the Jew felt conscience-bound to the law as to his stewardship as a Jew, it was NOT permitted by apostolic revelation for him to conceive of that stewardship as contributing anything towards his justification. But what about the works of the law being an indicator that a Jew was regenerate in the same way that the fruits of the Spirit are an indicator that one has the Spirit? Paul seems to leave this question open to conscience as long as this does not become a source of dependency for salvation or to exalt above other believers of different persuasion, (“let every person be fully persuaded in their own mind”; and “whatever is not of faith is sin”; Ro 14:5, 14, 23).

So how far is one “free” from the law, not as a means of salvation, of course, but as a measurement of whether one is saved? I ask this because we know that to be completely devoid of the fruits of the Spirit is a sign that one is destitute of the Spirit. And since the fruits of the Spirit have much in common with the moral demands of the law, what can be the difference? That difference is ALL the difference, and it is Paul’s primary point. One is possible apart from the Spirit and the other is not. However short it may fall of the law’s full intention (perfection), it is possible for an unregenerate person to keep the law’s requirements to some (obviously imperfect) extent. Of course NT revelation makes clear that such imagined fulfillment of the law falls terribly short of what the law is really requiring. In contrast, the fruits of the Spirit is only possible by the power of the Spirit. There’s the great difference. It’s the difference between the living and the dead, and this is Paul’s point. He’s not at war with the law but the presumptions of humanism.

Note also, the Spirit is only possible and lawfully conferred where the sacrifice is perfect, which alone can justify from all sin, not only momentarily and provisionally, as in some “Christian” thought, but this is a righteousness that pre-supposes an entirely different source and residence. Already translated into the age to come, the born again believer is once and for all “sit down” (an idiom for finished finality) with Christ at the Father’s right hand, forever positioned far above all principality and power. This is a wholly other realm of existence. This new, eternal life of that subsists in union with God’s own life, exists entirely outside and beyond the reach of principalities and powers. It is “hid with God in Christ”. The proof of this reality is the manifest life and fruits of the Spirit. The presence and power of this life, the true seed, born of the Word and the Spirit, is sure and certain guarantee against lawless behavior, or disregard for the law, or any part of God’s holy government. This becomes logically impossible (“how …?; Ro 6;2), since the very Spirit who commanded all these things is one in vital union with the spirit of the “true”, and therefore overcoming believer. So there is no danger of ‘anti-nomiansm’ that declares “freedom” from the law (in that perverse and misguided sense).

So as long as Jews were not depending on the law, which is to say themselves for their justification, or looking to their own powers to keep themselves in the straight way of the Lord, it was perfectly acceptable for them to continue in all the ordinances of the law, just as Daniel and the faithful exiles had done, even in the absence of the temple. But to enjoin this upon gentiles would be a serious regression. It would be to undo all that had come about to release even Jewish believers from the yoke of an unattainable standard. But especially in the case of the gentiles, to put on them the yoke of the law would be especially reversionistic, because the law was never given to them in the first place. It was only given to Israel. (see below note).

I labor this point, because I see no discrepancy with a dispensational responsibility or stewardship towards the law, as with Israel before the cross, and Israel again in the millennium, and the many who, though under the law as a stewardship, were never “under” the law as a means of life or justification. Though under the law as a stewardship of responsibility, David , even as David, though ‘under the law’ was not ‘under the law’ as to righteousness (Paul’s point in Ro 4). Jews in the millennium are a perfect example of the principle I am pointing out. They will be gladly and gratefully engaged to fulfill distinctive commandments and ordinances intended for them in particular (a different dispensation of responsibility / stewardship from millennial gentile believers). Yet, they will be perfectly secure in their assurance of righteousness by faith and the preserving power of the Spirit through to the end of the millennial without apostasy or defection from a perfectly secure, eternal covenant.

Keeping the law as a stewardship is one thing. Keeping it as a means of life is quite another. Hope this gives some food for thought. It’s quite hurried and inadequate, of course. After all, the question of the law is perhaps the most involved and difficult of all questions. I believe Paul is a monergist who will permit nothing of man to contribute to his own salvation, nor anything of human righteousness to mix or enter upon a divine righteousness that is wholly other. This is the ground of his “apparent” vehemence and negativity towards law keeping. It is his war on humanism, and the tendency of man, unable to conceive of such an absolute sovereignty, to mix the un-mixable. Ro 11:6

(As an aside, we should note that although God did not give gentiles the law directly; He gave them Israel. Through them, the nations would have reinforced the moral sense in every person’s conscience. I may be alone in this, but I believe Paul is saying in Ro 2 that there were gentiles, even before the cross, that were regenerate and thus fulfilled the law in real measure. This was in contrast to Jews who had the law but did not fulfill it, being un-regenerate. (It is theologically preposterous to suppose that the OT believers, Jew or gentile, could be regenerate apart from the indwelling of the Spirit. What came at Pentecost was a unique fullness, and great advance in both understanding and power, but this is NOT the first time that believers had life and union with God by the Spirit). Also, when thinking about the law in relation to faith, it is well to keep in mind that for Paul, the issue of faith is never conceived apart from the work of the Holy Spirit to produce and maintain true faith. For Paul, as for John in 1Jn 5:4, the only faith that counts is a faith that is born of God, not mere belief, even ‘correct’ belief. That is why Paul can so closely associate the issue of faith with the issue of the Spirit, without implying thereby something that man is producing out of himself.

Posted in The Last Days, The Law | Comments Off on More Thoughts on the Law

Old Testament Proofs of Messiah’s Rejection by His Own

When I noticed Isa 49:7 was not listed in this brother’s fine work charting Messiah’s rejection, particularly by His own nation (see below link), I immediately suspected that it has suffered the same fate in translation as Isa 49:5. I knew it would only take a slight pluralizing of the singular, or some such adroit, ever so slight (perhaps even technically permissible) alteration, to obscure entirely the import and implication, so not surprised (see comparison of translations in below link).

If I didn’t know how much it pleases the Lord, and is even commanded, to show Messiah’s fulfillment of the OT prophecies, I would look for some other source of apologetic to convince Jews, such as love, NT revelation just on its own, or martyrdom, etc., because “the devil is in the details” of almost every significant translation question as well as in everything else. In fact, one invariably finds he’s already, long since, been on the job fixing everything up before you even get there.

All goes to convince me even further, that for all the mockery and dismissal it receives from the academic community, it’s so amazing how often the KJV gets it right, not just in Daniel but on messianic prophecy, especially in the delicate nuances of translation that militate against what I’m almost tempted to call a cover up (try seeing how that suggestion flies).

Quite convinced personally that God chose a particular translation, or at least a particular history of manuscript transmission (the martyr’s bible) to marvelously preserve against the odds. From the looks of it, He has pretty much let men have their way with some of the others that do not seem to demonstrate such marvelous preservation. Don’t tell anyone I said that, though; it wouldn’t be any use for them to know more of my unscholarly, unjustifiable dogmatism. :-) For sure, this war of words won’t be won by anything less than a mighty anointing, appropriately, a corporate anointing.

http://www.messiahrevealed.org/rejected.html
https://www.biblestudytools.com/isaiah/49-7-compare.html

Posted in Recommended Reading, The Messianic Secret, The Mystery of Israel | Comments Off on Old Testament Proofs of Messiah’s Rejection by His Own