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The Timing of Ezekiel 38 and 39

The Timing of Ezekiel 38 and 39Ezek.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; [more]

More Thoughts on the Law

More Thoughts on the LawWe started a study on Galatians here and I watched the first part of your Galatians study. At some point you say smthg like "The [more]

Old Testament Proofs of Messiah's Rejection by His Own

Old Testament Proofs of Messiah's Rejection by His OwnWhen I noticed Isa 49:7 was not listed in this brother's fine work charting Messiah's rejection, particularly by His own nation (see 1st link above), [more]

The Prophetic Timeline in Hosea - [VIDEO]

The Prophetic Timeline in Hosea - [VIDEO]Reggie discusses the prophetic framework (and yes... even timeline) upon which the mysteries of the faith do [more]

A Woman Shall Encompass a Man

A Woman Shall Encompass a ManJer 31:22 How long wilt thou go about, O thou backsliding daughter? for the Lord hath created a new thing in the earth, A woman [more]

The Apostolic Approach to Evangelism

The Apostolic Approach to Evangelism[...] The approach builds around the well known story of Joseph, as type and parable of both comings of Christ to Israel. The idea is [more]

After Two Days He Will Revive Us...

After Two Days He Will Revive Us...Originally published in Oct of 2013, we are bringing this article back to the front page for reference of an up-coming article. "After two days He [more]

Pre-Wrath vs Post-Trib

Pre-Wrath vs Post-TribI was recently talking with someone about the Pre-Wrath view. The way I understand it, it seems so close to Post-trib with maybe a few [more]

The Sure Mercies of David

The Sure Mercies of DavidIn reading 2 Samuel 7:14 KJV, I came across a passage that took me aback: "I will be his father, and he shall be my [more]

The Prophetic Necessity of a Third Temple (Even Before the Destruction of the Second)

The Prophetic Necessity of a Third Temple (Even Before the Destruction of the Second)The Jews who read Daniel as inspired prophecy would have understood that the temple that God commanded the returning exiles to rebuild (see Hag / [more]

Not of Works, But of Him Who Calls

Not of Works, But of Him Who CallsSo long as I have a sense of uncompleted or failed stewardship of what I've been entrusted, an imminent prospect of going home isn't greeted [more]

Perspectives on Israel: What's at Stake?

Perspectives on Israel: What's at Stake?Reformed theologians emphatically maintain that their Covenant Theology is not Replacement Theology. I have read their arguments in support of their position over and [more]

What Hope of a Pre-trib Rapture Requires One to Also Believe

What Hope of a Pre-trib Rapture Requires One to Also BelieveSomeone recently gave me a commentary on Daniel by Arno Gaebelein written in 1909. After reading his comments on the 70th week, and then Daniel [more]

Daniel and the "Big Picture" - [VIDEO]

Daniel and the Reggie discusses what Daniel would have inherited from Moses, the Psalms, and the prophets that preceded him, and how this would have been interpreted in [more]

Democracy, the Jerusalem Question, and the Coming Kingdom

Democracy, the Jerusalem Question, and the Coming KingdomDec 31, 2016 - Secretary of State, John Kerry recently made a statement that has caught the attention of many. Though not at all in [more]

Where God Is Taking The Church

Where God Is Taking The Church[...] Just as the virgin birth was a divine ‘by-pass’ of natural fertility, so is every aspect of the salvation of God. God is supremely [more]

Amos 9 and the Order of the Return

Amos 9 and the Order of the ReturnWhat do you make of the fact the week the British mandate ended and Israel became a nation, May 14 1948, the Torah portion reading [more]

Shut Up to the God Who Raises the Dead

Shut Up to the God Who Raises the DeadAs it is written, I have made you a father of many nations... before Him whom he believed, even God, who quickens the dead, and [more]

Understanding God's Purposes with Israel (with Joel Richardson) - [VIDEO]

Understanding God's Purposes with Israel (with Joel Richardson) - [VIDEO] The Underground Episode 44: Understanding God's Purposes With Israel with Reggie Kelly from Joel Richardson on [more]

More Thoughts on the Restrainer

More Thoughts on the RestrainerI have heard you say that Satan is the "restrainer". How can this be? Wouldn't this put the timing of the end into Satan's hands [more]

Thoughts on the Timing of the Lord's Return (with Joel Richardson) - [VIDEO]

Thoughts on the Timing of the Lord's Return (with Joel Richardson) - [VIDEO]Reggie had a good discussion recently with Joel Richardson concerning the timing of the return of the Lord in relation to the Millennium: Pre-mill, Post-mill, [more]

What Hope of a Pre-trib Rapture Requires One to Also Believe

Posted: March 11th, 2017, by Reggie Kelly

Someone recently gave me a commentary on Daniel by Arno Gaebelein written in 1909. After reading his comments on the 70th week, and then Daniel 11, it was easy to see that he could be classified as a Dispensational, Pre-trib, Premillennialist. But, I know that he had a heart for the Jewish immigrants that were pouring into to New York at that time, and even ministered the gospel to them. So how would you reconcile his position?

Gaebelein was old school dispensational pre-trib. All I can say is that his view of Israel’s future, as based on a plain man’s plain reading of the ordinary sense of the prophecies (his hermeneutic) stood him well in seeing the centrality of Israel in the events of the end. But like so many since, the baby got mixed in with the bathwater of dispensationalism, with its view of the interim between 69th and 70th weeks as belonging to a completely UNFORETOLD mystery program that dispensationalists equate with the so-called “church age” that assumes the church begins at Pentecost and ends its sojourn on earth at the pre-tribulational rapture.

In order to maintain the present “age of the church” (a colossal misnomer in my view), dispensationalists argue that consistency demands that this age is the time of the mystery (as they see and define the mystery) that ends with the removal of the church from earth to heaven at the pre-tribulation rapture. Thus, the church, as they define the church, occupies the gap that they recognize between the 69 and 70th weeks of Dan 9:24-27. This provides that the ‘blessed hope’ of the church can be an imminent hope, with the ever present ‘potential’ that Jesus ‘could’ come at any moment. This why, in order for Christ’s return to be maintained as an ever imminent possibility, all the foretold signs that might interpose some necessary event between the believer and Christ’s return for His church, must be seen as taking place only on the other side of the rapture. There can be no outstanding event within this so-called age of the church that can stand between the believer and the ever imminent possibility that Christ might appear any moment.

Of course, this postulate raises so many questions, not least of which is how could the events that begin the 7 years have been possible during the many centuries of Jewish absence from the Land? Not only so, but far more than the 70 years of a single generation, Isaiah predicted that the Land would pass into “many generations” of desolation (Isa 61:4), and this fits with no other time in Israel’s history until the age long dispersion that began with the Roman destruction.

The time after the rapture, in its entirety, is held to be the Day of the Lord, thus, a continual day of wrath to which believers (of this age) are not appointed. This is a recent correction (innovation) to preserve the concept of imminence. In agreement with our view, Gaebelein put the DOL at the end of the tribulation, but since later post-tribulationists (such as Alexander Reese) would point out that believers of this age are instructed to look for, or hasten towards the DOL (e.g., 1Thes 5:2-6; 2Pet 3:10-12), it became obvious that a DOL that does not come till the end of the tribulation can hardly be looked for by believers waiting for a pre-tribulation rapture. The answer was to ‘expand’ the DOL to include the entirety of the 70th week, so that the DOL could start immediately with the pre-tribulation rapture.

In this way, believers could now look for the sudden, thief-like coming of the DOL, because it is seen to begin immediately with the Lord’s pre-tribulational return to catch up the church. In this way, the entire 7 years is made the DOL. Since believers are not appointed to wrath (1Thes 5:9), it is supposed that they cannot be thought to enter any part of the 7 years, which dispensational presuppositions make a seven year long ‘day of wrath’. The problem here is the clear evidence of scripture that saints in the tribulation are NOT under divine wrath. Divine wrath is only visited upon the wicked, but tribulation believers are not exempt from the wrath of man. So this argument fails since a believer’s presence in the tribulation does not imply exposure to divine wrath, demanding pre-trib rapture to escape. Are believers of the tribulation any more appointed to wrath than believers of this age? The answer is self evident, as also the contradiction of appealing to 1Thes 5:9 as support for exemption from tribulation.

Since Reese’s arguments, dispensationalists moved the DOL back seven years to begin with the rapture. This seemed to permit them to see the rapture as an imminent event. However, another, more modern post-tribulational writer, Robert Gundry, in his book, “The Church and the Great Tribulation, pointed out that Paul puts the revelation of the man of sin BEFORE the DOL (2Thes 2:2-3). How could the DOL be held as imminent if “THAT DAY shall come UNTIL the man of sin be revealed FIRST? This is, of course, an outstanding sign that precedes the DOL, precluding the notion that the DOL can happen suddenly, as a thief, with no predicted event preceding, as essential to the idea of imminency. This posed a real problem that was discussed intensely among the defenders of the pre-trib position, but the discussion remained mostly in scholarly journals behind seminary doors.

The proposed solution was to once more adjust the time of the DOL to permit another gap of some unknown duration (probably very brief) in order to permit time for the Antichrist to be revealed AFTER the rapture, yet before the start of the DOL. So twice the DOL has been moved in reaction to errors pointed out in the system. This is well documented.

It should also be mentioned that old school dispensationalists such as C.I.Scofield and Arno Gaebelein, understood the OT righteous to go up in the rapture. But after the arguments of Reese in his book, “The Approaching Advent of Christ,” the resurrection of OT believers was moved forward to the end of the week (‘the last day’). This would mean that Job, Isaiah, Daniel, and all the righteous dead of the OT would remain sleeping in the dust of the earth (Dan 12:1-2) for an additional 7 years after the church has been taken away to heaven. In that sense, they too are ‘left behind’. :-)

All’s to say, dispensationalism stands or falls with the following two principal pillars: 1.) The doctrine of imminency (in the sense that Christ may appear for His church any moment since the earliest days of the church, particularly since Paul’s revelation of the secret rapture), and 2.) the doctrine of the church (ecclesiology), which assumes that the body of Christ did not exist until the Spirit came to indwell believers at Pentecost, supposing that He was only ‘with’ believers before this time and not ‘in’ them.

This is why dispensationalists interpret the restrainer of 2Thes 2:7 to be the Holy Spirit who must be removed before the man of sin can be revealed. However, they are instant to point out that this is not, of course, the Spirit’s removal from the earth, but only in the sense of His indwelling of believers of this age. Many leading dispensationalists, such as John F. Walvoord, defend this view by arguing for what he calls, “a reversal of Pentecost.” By this, he means that believers that come to faith after the rapture will be born again, of course, but that they will NOT be uniquely indwelt by the Holy Spirit, which dispensationalists believe is unique only to believers of this mystery age of the church.

To answer the many non-sequiturs of Dispensationalism is not something I can enter into now, but for many reasons that could be put forth, the whole edifice falls under its own weight. Any system that must make so many changes in reaction to admitted errors should be profoundly suspect. Yet, it is the leading view among most evangelicals that hold a favorable view of Israel’s place and purpose in the end times. Part of the reason is that most embracing the pre-trib rapture have been told only part of the story. They are not intimately familiar with its history and the principal pillars on which the system stands or falls. Many would blush if they only knew what their scholarly teachers understand to be essential to its defense.

How, particularly now, after the Spirit promised in Joel has been poured out on all who believe, now that Christ has been once and for all glorified (Jn 7:39), can it be imagined that there will be a retraction of Pentecost, so that those that come to faith in the tribulation or in the millennium to follow, are NOT reckoned as members of His body, are NOT baptized by one Spirit into the one Body? When the penitent survivors of Israel look upon Him whom they pierced and receive the Spirit (Zech 12:10), the very same Spirit promised by Joel that was poured out at Pentecost, will they be any less the body of Christ than the penitents of Pentecost? Will they be any less baptized by the promised Holy Spirit into the one Body that believers are baptized into now?

Dispensationalists say they will not. They hold that all who come to faith after the rapture belong to another people of God, with different promises and a different hope. So you can see that much more is at stake than simply where the rapture is placed. The very nature of what constitutes the body of Christ is put in question.

Not only does faith in a pre-trib rapture disarm the church for what it should be prepared to expect, but it robs God of the glory He has invested in the what He intends for the church’s role as prophetic witness to Israel and the nations, full of power, instructing many, and turning many to righteousness (Dan 11:32-33; 12:3; Rev 7:9, 13-14). But this assignment is NOT delegated to the 144,000 Jewish witnesses, unless they also belong to the “church of the living God, the pillar and ground of truth” (1Tim 3:15). Such a notion betrays a woeful ignorance of the nature and calling of the church. It makes the church merely a ‘speed bump’ (a parenthesis) on the way to a glorious millennium that is without the church on earth. How will the pillar and ground of truth be absent from the earth if the persecuted saints of the tribulation are not the body of Christ? It begs the question, what then is the body of Christ? How long shall it endure on the earth?

The whole conception of the nature of the mystery, as “fully foretold”, yet hidden within the prophetic writings (Acts 26:22; Ro 16:25-26; 1Pet 1:11), and the nature of the assembly of Messiah, as the revelation of His body, has been profoundly exchanged for something foreign and unheard of till the mid to late 19th century. As a dearest friend once exclaimed, “they’ve changed the story!”

Daniel and the “Big Picture” – [VIDEO]

Posted: February 13th, 2017, by Tom Quinlan

Reggie discusses what Daniel would have inherited from Moses, the Psalms, and the prophets that preceded him, and how this would have been interpreted in light of his questions and the new light he was receiving.

Democracy, the Jerusalem Question, and the Coming Kingdom

Posted: December 31st, 2016, by Reggie Kelly

Dec 31, 2016 – Secretary of State, John Kerry recently made a statement that has caught the attention of many. Though not at all in the context of his intention, it stood out to me as ironically and profoundly correct. “Israel can either be democratic or it can be Jewish; it cannot be both.”

That’s really a true statement! Democracy is no better than its fast deteriorating ability to build on ideals and values borrowed from a Judaeo Christian heritage. But the kingdom of God is not a democracy! And, unbeknownst to the world, the crisis of Israel is divinely set to be the issue of the coming of that kingdom to earth.

The biblical story is built around the prophetic history and fortunes of an elect people, and the irrevocable divine gift of a specific land as ‘their’ everlasting possession. As go the people, so go the Land, but the gift is irrevocable and its ultimate destiny secure through the pre-determination of ‘the God who raises the dead’. This disturbing conviction, held by a few Christian and Jewish ‘fundamentalists’ is naturally looked upon, not merely as an antiquated world-view that is out of step with modernity, but a very dangerous threat to the progress of a peace that is based on the ‘democratic’ ethic of what ‘seems’ most humane and fair to the largest possible number.

Those claiming divine authority for their views concerning Israel’s existence and future will be seen as the enemy of progress and even hope from the standpoint of an humanistic ethic that presumes to be based on the best that is in man to unify and pacify the greatest number. Therein lies the collision. It is the age old question, originally put by the serpent, “Hath God really said?”

But since the nation’s beginning, it was the uniform understanding of the Hebrew prophets that this age would end around an international controversy over ‘the Jerusalem question’, which is really the age concluding resolution of the much older ‘Jewish question’, or, as some have called it, ‘the Jewish problem’. But what does it all mean?

It is interesting that the age would end here just where it does, in the way it does. Think about it. Why should it not be sufficient that the age end around only the question of Jesus and the gospel and perhaps a final persecution that proves the faithfulness of believers under pressure? Why should it so necessarily include the Jewish question? Yet, according to the uniform witness of all the Hebrew prophets, the resolution of this question is where all roads have been leading since God first gave the Land to Abraham’s descendants.

The question of Jerusalem is ultimately the question of ‘whose land?’, and the further question of the basis of ‘divine right’ to the Land. But here’s what I want to say: The question of divine right to the Land, for all its significance to underscore God’s prerogative to choose as He will choose, is really just the shell of a much more ultimate and decisive question.

It is not enough to know that the age ends in just the way prophecy shows. It is crucial that we understand why it ends in just this way. In other words, we need more than the ‘what’ of prophecy; we need to understand the ‘why’. What is God saying through these particular foretold events? What’s His point in it all? This is where we so often ‘lose the forest for the trees’.

We must see that the Mideast crisis, as climax and finale of an ancient family feud, designs the much deeper question of God’s right choose on a basis that has no point of intersection with anything in man or of man. In that sense only, the Land question becomes the question of righteousness, which leads to the Jesus question. Thus, the purpose and meaning of the Mideast crisis is completely missed unless it has sent us to this much more core question, specifically, the nature and basis of an “everlasting righteousness” that is nothing other than the righteousness of God Himself, His own divine nature, as perfectly incarnated in the Son, and only because of the Son, partially incarnated in the believer through the Holy Spirit.

The Mideast crises exists to evoke this much deeper and decisive question: how can a chosen nation (that remains no less chosen despite its historical track record), come at last to rest in abiding security from all their enemies round about? Answer that question and we will have moved much nearer to understanding the meaning of developments in the region where it all began and is destined very shortly to end.

Through the Jewish people, God is demonstrating before men and angels a magnificent drama intended to reveal and define the meaning of grace, as the sole basis of a righteousness that lasts forever. Because only a righteousness that is forever can secure a chronically disobedient people in the Land forever, which is what the everlasting covenant promised from the beginning.

This is how the Jerusalem question is inseparably connected to the Jesus question. Through the victory of the curse reversing seed of the woman, the ‘blood of the everlasting covenant’ is revealed to be the eternal ground and basis of the only kind of righteousness that can give Israel secure and enduring rest in the land. In this, the Word of God is finally and publicly vindicated, and sovereign, electing grace defined, as utterly apart from human merit. That is at once the glory but also the ‘rub’ of Israel that occasions either offense or humble prostration before the God who elects.

Reggie Kelly