Grace, mercy and peace be unto you from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. I hope and pray all is well with you and your bride according to the good pleasure of His will. We are mindful of you and remember you with love before the brethren and as the Spirit gives utterance before the throne.
I thank you for the article on eschatology. I read it carefully so as not to jump to any unfounded conclusions, although I have become quite proficient at making hasty comments and incoherent conclusions. The writer has quite carefully skirted all factions and derivations of the ‘main’ eschatological positions and has hit the high points in his attempt to engage his argument. Much time could have been wasted in disputing the side currents and eddies of these ideas that all that could be accomplished is to muddy the waters even worse. As to his position, I had never heard of a 2 millennium proposition.
My problem (this could be a long discourse if we were to engage in my problem!) with the whole issue starts with systematic theology. Man is not satisfied with the testimony as left to us in the written word and he has set about to further define and explain what God meant. This is absurd. I have not the mind of God for within me, that is in my flesh, where dwells no good thing. But after the inward man, the treasure within the earthen vessel, I delight in the law of God, if be that I am known of Him. This delight is because the Spirit bears witness with my Spirit from faith to faith, that I am a child of grace. We know these things if taught of the Spirit. What need or profit is there then to systematizing the written word so that the flesh might better understand? (Needless to say I have no time for dispensationalism either). John was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day when he was caught up into heaven to witness the revelation of Jesus Christ. Not the revelation of the beast or the anit-christ or even the end of the cosmos, but that of the Lord God Omnipotent. He saw things that it is unlawful to utter, for the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit, neither can he know them. He was given by the Spirit to write what he saw in a manner and for the purpose of bringing comfort to the 7 churches in Asia. He saw things that were not bound by time for he saw the Lamb as it had been slain from the foundation of the world. He saw the law and the prophets in the two witnesses and he witnessed God absolute sovereign control over the wicked one and all his minions.
Herein is wisdom for wickedness and corruption are the number of man. Herein is patience and joy for He has overcome and His children are sealed with the earnest of the Spirit. Herein is surety from the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth and His kingdom is now and forever.
The enactment of the covenants with the death of the testator meant death to those bound by the law in national Israel. Christ said, ‘your house is left to you desolate’ and John heard the cry, ‘Babylon is fallen’. The final manifestation was the destruction of the temple in 70 AD, ‘when all things written by the prophets be fulfilled’. Christ assured all of the immanent nature when He said that this generation would not pass away until all these things be fulfilled and cursed the fig tree that was without fruit as a testimony to the state of affairs in Israel. John was shown things which must shortly come to pass.
But His death also enacted the terms and conditions of the second covenant when He said, ‘this is the blood of the new covenant which is shed for you’. This is a covenant of life everlasting where He removes the heart of stone (Tablets of stone) and gives a heart of flesh, not after Adam, but after that which is born from above, the new man. This is the fulfillment of the land which Abram sought which has foundations whose builder and maker is God. It is not of this world, that is of this creation, or of the earth, that is carnal, for nothing that defiles or corrupts shall enter in. This is the place where the redeemed of the Lord sit together with Him in heavenly places now and forever more.
I do not know where that places me but I am sure there are plenty of people who would like to squeeze me into a category or two (As large as I am I may fit into several categories). I do not have the answers as to all the details of what John saw but I KNOW this. Our Elder Brother has completed the work the Father gave unto Him. The Father has seen the travail of His soul and is well pleased. He has raised up all that the Father has given Him in the waive offering and the sheave offering and as our High Priest, He has presented us before the Father. He is faithful in that, ‘ALL that the Father has given me I have lost none’. And He is seated at the right hand of the Father in His throne. Why would He leave the glories of the New Heaven and New earth to come back to the sands of Palestine? For what? There remains no more sacrifice therefore all who should be redeemed have been redeemed. Is there some other form of salvation for the Jews and millennial gentiles other than the blood of Christ? The stones of the altar have been made chalk. Where shall the ceremonial sacrifices be made and what could possibly compare to the precious blood of the Lamb of God which took away the sin of the world? If He acts as the King and High priest as Zachariah foretold, then it cannot be the Levitical Priesthood since our Lord sprang forth from Judah who has no right to the service of the tabernacle or the altar. What shall He build? A fourth temple? If we are to return to the purity for the law of Sinai, He should rebuild the tabernacle. But what of the temple? Did He not raise it up in three days as He said He would? Is not His temple His body, His bride His church? Has He another bride? Has He two bodies?
Christ said He saw Satan fall like lightning and John saw the star that fell from heaven. They both sound the same to me! Christ said no man overcomes the strongman but first he binds him and John saw Satan bound for a thousand years. Sounds the same again! Just because we and the gentleman from Texas cannot find it on some historical timeline to prove God was not lying does not make it true. Only God can call those things that are not as though they had already been. Christ said it is not for man to know the time of His return but (only) the Father which is in heaven. Is it not like Lucifer in Isaiah 14, who would try to be like the most High, for man to try to know the time and the season of His return? And what of this idea of a corporate departure? Did not Paul write, ‘every man in his order: Christ the firstfruits; afterwards they that are Christ’s at His coming’? (I Cor. 15:23). “And unto them that look for Him shall He appear a second time without sin unto salvation” (Heb. 9:28). What of a corporate resurrection? All of the household has been buried with Him in baptism and raised again unto newness of life. This is the first resurrection and it was corporate for all that the Father gave unto Him He raised up in the last day. “For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (I Thes.4:16). Sounds to me like there are some who shall not have a second resurrection but rather have a translation. “So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortality shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, ‘death is swallowed up in victory.” (I Cor. 15:54). Also sounds to me like it has nothing to do with, not even an inkling, of ever returning to this earth.
Dear brother, as one taught of the Spirit of Holiness I know that the doctrines of man are an unsure sound in your ears and the savor of death in your nostrils. May the Lord keep the truth and simplicity of the gospel forever in the imagination of the thoughts of your heart with all wisdom and spiritual understanding and establish your heart before Him by His grace. We are saved by hope.
Your servant in Christ,
Banner of Hope
Volume 2, No. 2 - August 2008