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Daniel and the Picture [Transcript]

Daniel and the Picture [Transcript]Daniel and the Big Picture Reggie Kelly (transcribed from this video by Rob Weiss; facilitated by Tom Quinlan) I have some thoughts… you know – like I [more]

Restitution of All Things

Restitution of All ThingsThis verse has long fascinated me. I find the words "must" and "all" most compelling. Could you elaborate and shed more light? "Whom the heaven [more]

Untenable Tenets of the Dispensational System

Untenable Tenets of the Dispensational SystemIt is not the new birth, or even special empowerment by the Spirit that dispensationalists deny to the saints of the tribulation. How could they? [more]

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

A Son Perfected Through Suffering: A Purified Bride Translated and Caught UpSometime 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 [more]

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

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 [more]

The 4th Beast of Daniel 8

The 4th Beast of Daniel 8I would love to know your thoughts on the Islamic Caliphate (700 ad) as the the fourth beast of Daniel rather than the traditional interpretation [more]

Israel Today and Everlasting Security in the Land

Israel Today and Everlasting Security in the LandI'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 [more]

How Faith in Jesus Fulfills the Law Once and Forever

How Faith in Jesus Fulfills the Law Once and ForeverMy own view is that vital regeneration puts one in the New or Everlasting covenant, which is the sure and continuous fulfillment of the standard [more]

The Final Chapter of God's Work [Audio]

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 [more]

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]

Defining the “Apostolic”

Posted: November 4th, 2007, by Reggie Kelly

Dear Reggie, Is it possible to pass on to me a concise plain speaking explanation of the word APOSTOLIC without losing too much of its meaning. Bless you. Shalom.

The definitive paradigm for true apostleship is Isaiah (ch 6). The dynamics are all there. You will see it in the devastated twelve, the devastated Peter, and the devastated Paul. All were emptied and raised to be sent. The transformation is in the seeing (Zech 12:10; Jn 6:40; 2Cor 3:18), a seeing that seems to follow a process of travail and the annihilation of self-dependency, which seems to be the strength of the veil of unbelief (“I travail in birth till Christ be formed in you”). This is the pattern; and it is the great need of the church if it is to be apostolic. An apostle is one that represents in himself the corporate calling of the church of the indwelling Apostle and High Priest of our profession (no less true of the OT apostle; see 1Pet 1:11; “the Spirit of Christ which was IN them”). Like salvation, this call and this sending does not come by the flesh or by the will of man (Gal 1:12), but awaits God’s own chosen time and initiative (“But when it pleased God … to reveal His Son in me;” Gal 1:15-16). Therefore, true apostleship must be more than a certain kind of gifting; it is the product of a divine working that answers to a definite pattern of death and resurrection, of travail unto birthing, predicated on a transforming vision, or revelation of Christ that devastates carnal confidence. Where this pattern is lacking, the greater the gifting, the greater the snare of become a false apostle. I don’t know if this fits the prescribed criteria, but it’s all that comes to mind right now.

Sincerely, Reggie

Observing the Sabbath

Posted: October 26th, 2007, by Reggie Kelly

Dearly esteemed Brother Reggie!

I am a christian of gentile origin but I am deeply into the jewish way of thinking and I would dare to call myself a hebrew christian. Salvation and the gift of righteousness through faith is a precious gift which I embrace with vigour and zeal. Still I have a deep reverence for celebrating the sabbath on saturdays…not in a legalistic way but in the way of freedom and love for God. This day was indeed sanctified at the creation of the world and the law was given much later. How would you think I can honour this day without falling into that which Paul warned the galatians about. Could you plese bestow some of your wisdom and give me some instructions how to celebrate without going wrong here.

Truly yours in Messiah Yehoshua

It seems to me, that as long as you make the distinction that you so passionately express here, there’s little risk that your love of the Sabbath would ever spill over into some of the errors that are beginning again to plague the church.

Contrary to some suspiciously labored qualifications by some teachers, Paul makes this a matter of liberty and personal conscience, not to be judged by another. So you are free to use your Shabbat blessing as you choose, as a sweet offering to the Lord, and as refreshment to your soul, your family, and as many as are inclined to observe with you. It is unto the Lord that you regard the day; and He is honored by what’s in your heart. After all, the day was not made for its own sake, but for you. However, mark well that IF we were still under the law as a binding administration, this would not be so. It would then be a very particular matter indeed, and no part of all the appurtenances of Sabbath observance could be left undone without spoiling the whole.

Also, If I am correct to understand that the literal interpretation of scripture receive first priority, I see that the regathered Jews will be observing a somewhat modified Sabbath in the Land during the millennium, and that the nations will be obliged to honor the feast of tabernacles. This is clearly not required now, but will be then. At that time, the mystery of the gospel is no longer hidden from the entirety of the nation (Isa 8:14-17; 25:7; Ezek 39:22; Zech 12:10), since at that time, all will know Him, and so never again have occasion to evangelize a Jewish neighbor (Jer 31:34 et al.). I mention this because a return to certain elements of the law will then be safe from confusion among the Jews, because the unique test and demonstration designed for this current dispensation will have accomplished its purpose. For this reason, certain elements of the law are clearly not imposed, not even enjoined, upon the Gentile believers of this age only. The millennium will have its own distinctive requirements, stewardship, tests.

Such provisional ‘loosing’ of certain requirements of the law as evident in many scriptures can only be accounted for by a special divine intention unique to this time. Here’s where interpretations differ; but it seems undeniable that some kind of divine statement is being made to Israel, such as how the Spirit is received by faith alone, and this by non-observant Gentiles. Unthinkable! Exactly! The supreme stumbling block, and it was so intended.

As I’ve suggested elsewhere, the unique stewardship, or the test for the church of this time, is different for the sake of the testimony suited to this time, particularly as it pertains to the ‘mystery’ of the gospel. Though once and for all revealed, the gospel remains a mystery for the Jew where Christ is not acknowledged as ‘the LORD our righteousness’, as the only ground of an eternal justification. What then is included in such a divine statement that would justify what the writer of Hebrews calls “a change in the law?” What a radical challenge to Israel that Gentiles should be released from the law. What’s God’s point? The relationship of the covenants and the issue of continuity and discontinuity between the testaments is one of the most nuanced and difficult subjects in all of theology, particularly if you happen to be committed to a literal and therefore millennial view of prophecy.

Although there is a very clear ‘loosing’, or relaxation of the outward ordinances (called ‘carnal ordinances’ in Heb 7:16; 9:10, in manifest distinction to the law in the heart). Still, Paul is just as clear that there is freedom of conscience in this matter, so long as it doesn’t result in judgment of another brother’s liberty. Would to God we could recover the generous spirit of this apostolic balance. “Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty.” But that doesn’t mean liberty from stewardship, and certainly not from obedience, whether in the OT, now, or in the millennium to come. But rather the liberty to be ‘led of the Spirit’ and so fulfill the law of Christ. Therefore, if a brother or sister is so ‘led’ to observe Sabbath, whether the weekly, the eternal, or both in the true spirit of the ordinance, and not the mere form of the letter, then what believer would not rejoice?

I do not believe that the Sabbath can be regarded as ‘mandatory’ simply because it predates the law. The covenant of circumcision also predates the law (“not because it is of Moses, but of the Fathers”).

It is typically argued by Seventh Day Adventists that the Sabbath is exceptional to circumcision and other aspects of the outward ordinances of the law on the ground that it is a ‘creation ordinance’. By making a case for the pre-Sinaitic existence of the other ten commandments, it is held that the Sabbath should be regarded as just as binding for all time. The reasoning goes: If Sabbath observance pre-existed the law as an ‘everlasting’ ordinance, we might reasonably infer that it should be no less ‘required’ than any other of the ‘big ten’. As an ‘everlasting’ ordinance, the Sabbath transcends the more temporal imposition of circumcision and other features of the Sinaitic institutions. (Note, however, that circumcision was also called an ‘everlasting’ covenant; Gen 17:13).

The argument runs: If all other aspects of the moral law remain in force in the NT, shouldn’t the Sabbath also retain its eternal status as also defining and declaring something about the moral character of God? Never are any of the other commandments considered optional or a matter of liberty or personal conscience. Why, then, shouldn’t the Sabbath be just as mandatory? However, according to certain, albeit disputed, NT passages, Sabbath observance, unlike all other inward moral commandments, is no longer “required” in the sense of a punishable moral obligation, else Paul could not speak of the Sabbath in the liberal way he does. The other moral commandments of God are certainly NOT treated as optional, NOT a matter of liberty. So what has changed? And why should this be so? Particularly since regenerate Israel is shown in some clearly post-day of the Lord (millennial) passages as celebrating certain feasts and features of the law’s ancient institutions in the Land during the millennium? Of course, this is only a problem for us so-called ‘literalists’.

I think that part of the answer is that in this dispensation the stress is placed on the Spirit, and the coming in of the eternal realm of the new creation (the so-called ‘age to come’). So in order to enforce the divine testimony that the outward forms have now realized their prefiguring goal and fulfillment in Christ, the outward is removed (‘loosed’) only to demonstrate that the inward and eternal has come as everlasting fulfillment. The eternal life of the resurrection is demonstrated, not by outward diet or ritual, or observance of a particular feast or day, but by the signs of the Spirit, as beyond mere natural human ‘do-ability’. Thus, the true goal of the law is fulfilled by Christ in the believer in things that are incapable of fulfillment apart from the power of His life, proof of incarnation. This kind of commandment fulfillment is beyond human reach, and less capable of confusing the chasm that exists between nature and grace. To underscore this new centrality of the now revealed secret, some of the outward forms are temporarily (or permanently, depending on your view of the millennium) suspended in order to stress the issue of the Spirit through Christ. This puts the Jew on the spot as nothing else, but only if the Christian is not provoking him to jealousy by demonstrating the evidence of the Spirit’s power, otherwise, it is the supreme stumbling block, and serves rather to support him in his unbelief. It would almost seem as if God doesn’t play ‘fair’, putting the burden of proof on the church, and making Israel’s destiny to be bound up with what is manifest only “through the church.”

Sorry if I strayed from the topic a bit; but your question provoked some of my own reflections and questions, as there are still outstanding issues in this whole area about which I remain tentative. But this is my general view as it now stands.

Yours in the Beloved, Reggie

Response from a reader on Oct 27, 2007:

I really appreciated your article on the Sabbath. It is beautifully put and strikes chords that are stirring in my own heart. I am curious about a sentence in the next to last paragraph. Did you really mean “not” provoking? If you did would you elaborate?

I meant ‘not’ provoking. Because when we ‘fail’ to demonstrate the compelling evidence of the Spirit’s power, the Jew is all the more reinforced in his view that believers are ‘illegitimately’ liberated from the Law by those nefarious Jewish apostates, Jesus and Paul. We believe on the other hand that we are legitimately liberated from the law, not because the Word of God has changed, but because through Christ, we are the walking fulfillment of the law as new creations, showing the law’s goal through love shed abroad in the heart by the Holy Spirit, and in order that the issue not be blurred but pressed home, there is the actual ‘loosing’ of New Covenant believers from some of the old forms.

When the Jew sees the power of the Spirit in undeniable manifestation, this gives serious pause to the boldness of their rejection. When they see the signs of the Spirit performed in Jesus’ name, it sends shock waves through all of their categories. That said, however, I believe that the truest and fullest witness to the Jew takes even more than the manifestation of the miraculous; and it should! I say this because I’ve heard many of the ultra orthodox dismiss Jesus’ miracles on the basis of Deut 13:1-10. Jesus was a self-deceived false prophet with the power of sorcery, actually raised up by God to test the hearts of the righteous remnant concerning their devotion to the law. If you read that passage, you’ll see that this is also likely the text in mind that justified the stoning of Stephen. As I’ve pointed out elsewhere, ‘this generation’, the generation that killed the prophets, has by no means passed away. All that is lacking is political power to manifest again this kind of house cleaning. This is where the miracle of Christian love for the enemy (albeit beloved enemy) shines through the most brightly, as in Jesus’ words from the cross, in Stephen’s impassioned plea, and Paul’s will to absorb their curse in himself. That’s the love that has redeemed you and me; may it shine in us towards Israel, as it shines towards our detractors who are actually servants to our calling to test and mature this kind of love in us, the inimitable love of the Father.

Appreciatively, in His precious service, Reggie

The Deeper Conversion of the Converted

Posted: October 25th, 2007, by Reggie Kelly

To: Mr. Reggie Kelly,
How are you?
I have a question. Upon reading “Apostolic Conversion” and having understood what “Many saved, few converted” meant, I raised a statement during one of my class discussion at a university I am attending at the moment in my Church History class, when asked by the professor: “Was Constantine ever saved?”. Many people answered both sides, some said that he was saved and some said that he was not saved. The topic for discussion for that day was, “The Conversion of Constantine”. I raised my hand and made the statement that there are perception of “many saved, few converted”, perhaps to state that Constantine was maybe saved but not fully converted. When I made this statement, the professor pointed out that she kind of understood where I was going with this, but strongly stressed that that was not Biblical, expressing that the New Testament’s definition of “repent” meant a 180 degree turn from the previous lifestyle apart from Christ and that the Old Testament in the Shema was simply to believe on the Lord and nowhere in the Bible does that term or concept of “many saved, few converted” existed. Can you fully explain how I am supposed to answer others when faced with this dilemma?

Thank you.

Your servant in Christ,

Although knowing and appreciating Art’s meaning in that title, I used to tell him that it might have been more accurately entitled “FEW saved and even fewer converted,” that is, converted in the sense that Peter was ‘turned’ after the great blow to his presumption. I wrote an article entitled “the deeper conversion of the converted,” in which I showed the evidence that Peter was indeed regenerate (the common meaning attached to the word ‘converted’), but was not as yet completely ‘turned’ (broken and emptied of self-reliance) in the sense that Jesus uses the word in that instance.

When Peter asked “will those who are saved be few?” Jesus said the gate was exceeding straight and the way narrow, and only the few and not the many ever find it. The NT example of this truth is embodied in the episode of the ‘rich young ruler’. The Lord’s answer to the young man evokes an astonishment of despair in the disciples raising the question, “who then can be saved?” Rather than soothing their fears, Jesus presses the dread implications to their divinely intended conclusion with the statement, “with man this is impossible.” But lest despair of man end in despair itself, He adds the cheering and gracious good news that “with God nothing shall be impossible.”

So manifestly, biblical salvation is something much more than commonly assumed. Many have written on the distinguishing traits of true christian character, perhaps the classic on the topic is Jonathan Edwards’ “Religious Affections.” Whatever might have been lacking in Edward’s theology, he was a bright light on this issue. Most cannot bear to read a Bunyan or an Edwards because the fear of God burns so deeply in their writings, but also the sweetness of comfort shows through in Bunyan as few since Paul.

As to Constantine, if the story is true that he put off baptism till his death was certainly imminent (because of his belief in the early heresy of ‘baptismal regeneration’), then I have little hope of his eternal condition, despite any great works to his credit (Mt 7:21). I say this because this leaves little question that he did not understand the gospel at all. There is no difference between what Constantine does here with baptism and what the Galatians did with circumcision. A mixed gospel is no gospel at all. “A little leaven leavens the whole lump.” And the gate gets even more narrow when we understand that even a right intellectual grasp of the gospel (though itself rare enough) is not by itself sufficient apart from a living revelation quickened by the Spirit. It is the ‘quickened’ Word that saves, the Word that divides between soul and spirit. This alone puts pride and human self-reliance to death, so that the humbled (slain; Ro 7:11) sinner might be raised by nothing less than the power of God, as “revealed” in the gospel (Ro 1:16-17). In fact, the only real knowledge of God that counts is to know Him as “the God that raises the dead.” And as Paul shows, this knowledge comes only at the end of human self-reliance (2Cor 1:9). In the earliest church, only fruits giving evidence of authentic regeneration (Mt 3:8; Acts 8:37; 10:47) made one a candidate for the public seal of his confession in baptism. Otherwise, baptism avails nothing (Gal 6:15).

So I say that wherever the gospel is confused or distorted, hope of salvation is proportionately dimmed. This is where I see Constantine’s great danger. But as to the tile of Art’s booklet, I agree that even beyond initial regeneration, though true and vital (more rare than we know), there often remains a yet deeper work of the Spirit, where, through a personal ‘Jacob’s trouble’ – like experience (Gen 32:24-31; Jer 30:7), the residue of our ‘power’ and false dependency is more deeply shattered (compare Deut 32:36; Dan 12:7). Where, and to the measure this has occurred, there will be a proportionate incarnation of resurrection life in the now more deeply converted (broken) believer. An example would be the corresponding devastation and transformation that takes place only when Isaiah “SAW the Lord … (Isa 6) showing again the primacy of God’s sovereign initiative to reveal himself in the resurrection event of true regeneration (see 2Cor 3:18 with Jn 6:40 with Gal 1:15-16; Zech 12:10). So regardless of Constantine’s role in Christianizing the empire, and even his personal reformation after the sign at the Milvian Bridge, if he was as beclouded on the gospel as suggested by this account (I’ve not verified the story), then no amount of humanistic optimism can circumvent the evidence of scripture that such a view betrays a fatally misplaced trust (if Paul’s letter to the Galatians means anything). “I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus name.” The greatest grace is an undivided, undistributed trust in the completeness of Christ work for us, and the faithfulness of His work in us. But this is comparatively rare; because “with man this is impossible.”

Your brother in Christ, Reggie Kelly