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The Time of the Resurrection of Millennial Saints

Posted: December 10th, 2007, by Reggie Kelly

On Dec 10, 2007

Reggie,

Here is where I get really confused. Are you saying the resurrection [glorification] of believers, both Jew and Gentile, is at the end of the Millennium?

[Amazingly this will be accomplished in real history to flesh and blood people that have not yet put on final immortality. This will be the testimony of Israel to the nations. The bodily resurrection that happens to the church at the last trumpet (day of the Lord; Isa 27:13; Joel etc), doesn’t come for the ‘escaped of Israel’ nor for those that will be saved from among the nations during the millennium until the ‘second resurrection’ at the end of the millennium. Talk about a demonstration of grace!]

I have received so much understanding about this time frame from Mike Bickle [visited often by Art] who indicates the coming of Jesus will result in resurrection and glorification of the Church and remnant Israel, at the end of the tribulation.. the last trumpet, as we enter the Millennium.

Can you bring some clarity on this? Are you in disagreement with this timing?

Reggie, your teaching has been such a blessing to me. I believe I have archived nearly all your posts, but the above statement has ‘stunned’ me and I desperately need some clarity.

Many blessings,

Be comforted, my brother. Leave it to me to write some pretty ambiguous things on the fly like that. I should be more careful to read over what I write before releasing it. No, I’m at no variance at all with Bickle or Art or any other “historic” premill (as distinguished from the pre-tribulational pre mill) on the time of the rapture and resurrection of the church at the ‘last trumpet’. I share that view exactly. I am also at one with all premillennialists that recognize that there will be millennial saints in their natural bodies after Christ’s return. Israel receives the grace of repentance and the pouring out of the Spirit AT the point of Christ’s return (the ‘day of the Lord’ Isa 27:13; 59:21; 66:8; Ezek 39:22-29; Zech 12:10; Mt 23:39; 24:29; Acts 2:20; 3:21; 1Thes 5:4). This is the same time that the living church is translated into glorified immortality (compare 1Cor 15:50-54 with Isa 25:8; 27:13). In other words, the same age transitioning, revelational event that translates and raptures us at the time of His appearing, becomes a transforming revelation of mercy to the surviving remnant of Israel. That’s why they go apart to mourn, while we take our place with Christ and the rest of the “spirits of just men made perfect” in positions of rule. However, I believe that like the angels, the perfected spirits of the glorified redeemed are unseen to the natural eyes of the inhabitants of the millennial earth. That’s my view, as this alone makes sense of any literal reading of many things that scripture shows to be happening at the same time.

We therefore reason, that if Israel and the many that will come to Christ during the millennium are depicted in many scriptures as dwelling in mortal bodies and doing many things that show that they are not yet glorified, then there must be a point at which they too are resurrected unto glorified immortality. Now it is true that only the wicked that receive specific mention in connection with the ‘second resurrection’. However, on the basis of 1Cor 15:50, millennial saints have got to be resurrected sometime, and the logical moment would be the next great apocalyptic epiphany at the end of the millennium when the final revolt is quelled and the New Jerusalem is revealed with the new heavens and earth of final perfection. It is an inference; but one that is necessary on the basis of 1Cor 15:50. Furthermore, I believe it is the stock answer and understanding among premillennialists of all varieties. Hope this clarifies.

Appreciatively your brother, Reggie

Added Dec. 14th:

I wanted to be absolutely sure you understand some important distinctions. Lest my first attempt to clarify was as foggy as the original cause of puzzlement, I just felt I should double back and take a few extra pains to make sure that you’ve at least understood my position. Of course, I realize that it takes time and a fuller account of the evidence to process this difficult issue.

You asked,

“Are you saying the resurrection [glorification] of believers, both Jew and Gentile, is at the end of the Millennium?”

No, not at all. 1Thes 4:13-17 with 1Cor 15:23 makes clear that all those that “belong to Christ” are to be raised and changed at the last trump (52). “We shall ‘all’ be changed” (51). I see this “last trump” as none other than the trumpet that gathers the elect “immediately after the tribulation of those days” (Mt 24:29-31; and Rev 10:7; 11:15; Isa 27:13). Without question, this is the time that living believers are changed and “caught up.” It is also the point at which the Antichrist is destroyed (2Thes 2:8), the surviving remnant of Jacob’s trouble delivered (Isa 59:21; Dan 12:1; Ro 11:26-27), and the righteous dead of both testaments raised (12:2). So that much is clear. The only saints that I see being raised (changed according to the requirement of 1Cor 15:50) are those that were not ‘changed’ at the last trump, which is the post-tribulational rapture of the church. Now admittedly, this raises some difficult questions.

In my view, the problem can be reconciled by understanding that the same sudden (“in a moment”) ‘revelational’ event that translates the church also opens the spiritual eyes of the remnant of Israel. When the Lord returns, the beleaguered remnant receives a revelation that is far more than mere physical sight, as they ‘look upon’ the one whom they pierced (Zech 12:10; Mt 23:39). But rather than being translated at that moment with the church, the remnant goes apart to mourn. This event is best compared to what happened to Paul on the Damascus Road. Now filled with the Spirit, a nation of Paul’s is quickened to become the priestly apostolic witness to the nations, as the Word of the Lord goes out from a restored Jerusalem. There is a goodly collection of scriptures that give evidence of evangelism taking place throughout the millennium, and also of gentile participation in bringing the Jews back to their land AFTER their deliverance at the day of the Lord.

I need to assemble the scriptures to make the case for this clear, but believe me, any literal reading and application of many scriptures demand it. Indeed, a host of passages depict the restored nation and the descendants of those left from among the nations as acting in many roles that show that they are still in their natural bodies. Now nothing is explicitly stated concerning the time of the resurrection of those that become saints either AT the time of the Lord’s return (as in the case of Israel), or as the result of an ongoing millennial evangelism. In fact, only the wicked are explicitly mentioned in connection with the ‘second resurrection’. But according to the rule established in 1Cor 15:50, it is manifest that any final and everlasting glorification requires the “change” that Paul describes. Hence, we must posit a change at some point as an absolutely ‘necessary inference’. The only question is when? It seems there can be little question that this would be most likely expected in connection with the next great revelatory transition at the end of the millennium according to the implications of 1Cor 15:24 and Rev 20:5.

You also reproduced the statement that caused the puzzlement:

[Amazingly this will be accomplished in real history to flesh and blood people that have not yet put on final immortality. This will be the testimony of Israel to the nations. The bodily resurrection that happens to the church at the last trumpet (day of the Lord; Isa 27:13; Joel etc), doesn’t come for the ‘escaped of Israel’ nor for those that will be saved from among the nations during the millennium until the ‘second resurrection’ at the end of the millennium. Talk about a demonstration of grace!]

Here, I am referring to the amazing way that those who are saved at the end of Jacob’s trouble are kept and preserved without defection or further apostasy for a thousand years. The is true for all the children that shall be born to them (Isa 54:13; 59:21; Jer 31:34; 32:40; applied by Jesus in Jn 6:45). My point was that this would not be so remarkable if these promises applied only to the glorified redeemed of a resurrected immortality, as typically taught in replacement theology. But on the contrary, these promises are describing Spirit filled Jews living on the millennial side of the day of the Lord, still in the weakness of the their natural bodies, yet without an instance of apostasy among them or their children after them ‘forever’. Wow! That’s awesome to contemplate; but that’s the end of the covenant. No wonder interpreters want to transfer such a miracle of grace to heaven. How could such a thing be on earth? This will be a burning bush of divine testimony to the nations that will be impossible to ignore, and is no doubt the cause of the envy that breaks out in open rebellion at the end of the millennium.

I add this to my previous effort to clarify only because this subject is too involved to expect it to be easy, particularly at first. I hope that with this additional clarification you will at least know that I’m in no disagreement as to the time of the church’s change, and perhaps this will add a little better clarity on my position concerning the why and the when of the resurrection of those saved subsequent to the Lord’s return. I realize, of course, that you will want to see the fuller evidence for your better consideration of these seldom considered distinctions.

In brotherly love, Reggie

When was the book of Revelation written?

Posted: November 28th, 2007, by Reggie Kelly

Can you tell me why I should accept a late date (96AD) for the writing of Revelation, without quoting Irenaeus?

I’ve never studied the matter closely, probably because I can’t see where it would make a lot of difference. Sure, it’s a ‘make or break’ for preterism. They absolutely MUST defend the early date with all their might, and you know the power of a subjective interest. But that is only because they are content with a hodge podge of inconsistent exegesis. For example, if we make Nero the Beast, then how can we NOT make him Paul’s man of sin, which is obviously Daniel’s ‘willful king’ (11:36) ‘little horn’ (7:21) and beast (7:11)? Since this figure is clearly destroyed at no time short of Christ’s return (whether mystically or literally conceived), then you have a real problem, because Nero meets his ‘apocalyptic‘ demise quite some time before Jerusalem is destroyed by Titus, (the other so-called return of Christ in ‘mystical’ apocalyptic judgment) some years later. So what’s wrong with this picture? Exegetically everything! The Beast is slain and the millennium of the martyred souls is believed to begin with the death of the Nero, the Beast, some years before the siege and fall of Jerusalem. It’s silly. In the real world of biblical exegesis, the brief tenure of the Beast’s career coincides with the final desolations of Jerusalem as perfectly concurrent . So early dating John’s Apocalypse assists nothing for the preterist’s cause. I have no problem with an earlier date, because I have no problem that the book might have had a very beneficial early circulation, bracing both Roman Christians in the north of the empire and Jewish Christians in the south for two very horrific but distinct periods of tribulation, both having much of the essence of the final tribulation that closes this age with the “actual’ return of Christ.

Reggie

True Prophetic Authority

Posted: November 4th, 2007, by Reggie Kelly

I was listening to a tape of Art’s about prophetic speaking, in which he states that prophetic speaking must be preceded by Godly seeing, a “seeing as God sees.” I remember him also saying that priestliness must come before propheticness. I remember reading a passage on how the priests had there ears touched with blood. So I am wondering allowed if priestly sanctified listening precedes, proper seeing which precedes prophetic speaking. Which are all forms of death. Would it be an exaggeration to say that prophetic speaking is crucified speaking? In the sense that it must come out of death and resurrection and can itself often be a death?

Hi Aaron. I just finished an answer to a question that came up on the word ‘apostolic’. I’m sending you that since it reflects on your question here as well, as your own concluding remarks also anticipate very well.

It is significant that many of the prophets were also priests. I used to say that unless the prophet is first priestly in his identification with ‘the blind, the ignorant, and the out of the way’ (Heb 5:2), as one who feels the infirmity of the weak (Heb 4:15), his ‘propheticness’ does something more than break the rock; it breaks the bones. Therefore a prophet that is not first priestly can become a liability to the church, because he misrepresents the character of Christ who did not “quench the smoking flax, or break the bruised reed” (Isa 42:3; Mt 12:20). Zechariah shows that Christ (“the branch”) will be a priest upon His throne (Zach 6:13). Priestliness is the necessary pre-qualification for purity of the kind of authority that reflects the character of divine rule (2Sam 23:4; Ps 72:4, 6, 12-13).

The exercise of true prophetic authority assumes a depth of priestly identification. Thus it is that only one that has been processed through tribulation to become priestly (reflected in a brokenness of identification with human weakness) can be entrusted with true prophetic authority, which is far more than accurate preaching or even accurate prediction. Such authority comes by being “in touch” with God as God, which puts one in touch with man as man. This is why the prophets of the OT and the apostles of the NT were not only faithful to ” root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down …” But also to build, and to plant. The first four belongs to the office of the law, and the last two belongs to the ministry of the gospel. A true gospel in balance with the whole counsel of God is hard to come by, just as true apostles and prophets are hard to come by. It seems to me that our only safe hope to recognize and distinguish the true from the false, is to deeply and truly know the Lord. This means we are personally exercised in the laws and patterns of His ways in our own lives. Otherwise, even our estimation and evaluation of what would count as “fruits” will be just as faulty as our knowledge of God. So, once again, the burden is on the priesthood of every believer.

Sincerely, Reggie