Posts tagged ‘history’

April 28, 2019

Time, History and Eternity

The above graphic depicts an understanding of the phrases “this age” and “the age to come”, in their biblical/historical context. This understanding underlies the proper perception of our present situation, and affects our eschatological outlook. Satan is NOT “the god of this age” that we are in now. He was “the god of this age” when Paul wrote 2 Cor. 4:4; Gal. 1:4; Rom. 16:20, etc. Jesus crushed Satan’s head and bound him in the first century, cf. Matt. 12:29; Luke 10:18; Rev. 20:2; etc. Not to say that the evil one is not still active other than in wholesale deception of the nations the way he was before, but the Lord Jesus Christ is reigning now! cf. Ps. 2; Ps. 110; Dan. 7:13-14; 1Cor. 15:25; etc.

An “age” is a period of time. There is no other age that will follow the present age of Christ’s mediatorial reign (what the New Testament, written prior to the termination of the Old Covenant age with the destruction of the temple, refers to as “the age to come”). We are now in the final age of time and history, as the ascended Lord Jesus Christ reigns from on High and through His Spirit indwelling His people, living stones in the new living temple – His body. Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death (1 Cor. 15:24-26).

Premillennialists claim that there will be another age after Christ’s Second Coming, when He will reign upon the earth for 1,000 years prior to the final judgment, with a variety of flavors espousing a rebuilt temple, multiple resurrections, etc., etc. which is all patently unbiblical. An older version of postmillennialism taught that there will be a separate “golden age” in time and history after the present age and before the Second Coming; proponents of that view may have acquiesced to the lack of scriptural warrant for it.

Against “the age to come” as eternity

Ephesians 1:17-21:
…the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age (aion) but also in that which is to come.*
And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all. (NKJV)

*Note: the age “which is to come” here can hardly refer to eternity without conflicting with 1 Corinthians 15:28:

Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.
For “He has put all things under His feet.” But when He says “all things are put under Him,” it is evident that He who put all things under Him is excepted.
28Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.

The Ephesians passage presents the ages in time/history; the passage in 1 Corinthians presents the end: eternity. Jesus’ ascension took place in what were the last days of “this age” for the writers New Testament. In this final age now present (the “age to come” for the N.T. writers), Jesus is reigning from on High and by His Spirit indwelling His people, living stones in a living temple, His body; (He also rules over the nations with a rod of iron). By contrast, in eternity, we shall eat and drink with Jesus Himself, as we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is! (1 John 3:2) cf. Matthew 26:29.

Paul wrote in the last days of the old covenant age when the temple was still standing. The “age to come”, which was then at hand, is fully here now: the gospel age, the “millennium” of the mediatorial reign of the King Jesus.

In those same last days of the old covenant age when the temple was still standing, shortly before He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried; rose again from the dead; and ascended into heaven, Jesus said to the high priest: “I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.(Matt. 26:64) The hereafter our Lord foretold is the termination of the old covenant economy with the destruction of the temple in AD 70, the final end of that age, the outworking of AD 30 when Christ made the once-for-all sacrifice of Himself; which was also foretold by the angel Gabriel to the prophet Daniel:

“And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; and the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, and till the end of the war desolations are determined. Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; But in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, Even until the consummation*, which is determined, Is poured out on the desolate.” (Daniel 9:26-27)

*i.e. the consummation of the ages, the transition from the Jewish to the Christian: the mediatorial kingdom of the gospel age, the final age before the end, the millennial reign of the risen, ascended Lord Jesus Christ as written of in Ephesians 1.

(click to enlarge)

August 11, 2012

HIStory, the Here & How, and the Hope of Heaven

Some time around 1,982 years ago the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ ascended with the clouds of heaven up to the Ancient of Days (cf Daniel 7:13). Having been conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary, He left the glories of heaven and came to this sin-cursed earth, took on flesh and lived a sinless life — obedient unto death, even death on a cross. What a miracle of love: God became a man! That part of the blessed work of redemption, as determined since before the foundation of the world by intraTrinitarian Covenant (pactum salutis) was accomplished in the fullness of time, in accordance with divine decree. Christ came forth, to faithfully perform the atonement for the sins of His people, as typified in the old testament, by perfect righteousness and substitutionary propitiation; as He proclaimed upon the cross, “it is finished.”

The third day thereafter He rose from the dead, and that calls for a never ending chorus of hallelujahs. It behooves us not only to learn and study the terminology used to expound upon the revealed Word of God, but also to rejoice and to faithfully receive and meditate upon the blessed historical truth of the Holy Spirit inspired Scriptures. Worthy is the Lamb of God Who was slain. All praise and glory to God Who is blessed forever, amen.

With the glorified God-Man reigning at the right hand of Majesty on High, the Holy Spirit, Who proceeds from the Father and the Son, regenerates sinners to new life in Christ Jesus; comforts, counsels and empowers His people, and seals us for the day of redemption. How then should we live? Never forget that we’re now spiritually alive and well, with the Spirit Himself dwelling within us. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ (Ephesians 2:13). Therefore not only are you a part of His body which is a living temple, but also your body itself is a temple! Mindful of being thus set apart as Holy, we pray for God’s will to be done, on earth as it is in heaven. We are no longer slaves to sin, but rather bond servants of Jesus Christ. Let us go forth, not on our own strength, but abiding in Him, obeying His commandments. This indeed is a most gracious gift from above. For the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control (Galatians 5:22-23).

In light of all this, zeal for God’s glory ought to burn within us, as the Holy Spirit quickens us and fans the flames within our souls! Indeed man’s chief end is to glorify God, and how better to effectuate that purpose than to bring every thought, word and deed captive to Christ. His kingdom is advancing on earth, and we are the instruments. Onward Christian soldiers! Away with the all-too-typical attitude of the church at large today, that our tickets are punched for heaven so lets just get by until the end. No, no, no! People are perishing — where is your heart for the lost? Secular humanists are promoting their agenda more desperately than ever (without even realizing that their efforts are akin to spitting into the wind) — where is your respect for God’s law?  The anti-God forces are fervently promoting compromise of His word — where is your steadfastness in the truth? What, its not “cool” to stand on the timeless, true Word of God? Are you worried about how you are seen by the world’s eyes? Well I’m here to tell ya – it’s God’s eyes that count. For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea (Habakkuk 2:14). That’s in the Bible. Nevermind the news propaganda nor the latest political campaign lie — where is your faith?  OK so you went to Chick-Fil-A on appreciation day, you do well — but is that the extent of your activism? Bottom line is whatever you do, do it all to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31).

Now zealous exhortations notwithstanding, you can’t just go out and win arguments by yelling louder and being meaner than ungodly adversaries. We are the church militant, but our weapons are not carnal. We must overcome evil with good, hate with love. You’re absolutely right to think that you can’t do that. As a matter of fact, Jesus said “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). What does that mean? Well it means what it says, apart from Christ and His indwelling Spirit you can do NOTHING… but with God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26).

Let us close with the comforting contemplation of hearing those words “well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:23), after having lived a life dedicated to the glory of God, in His service towards the advancement of His kingdom. We may not see the fruition of a return to foundational principles in this country during our lifetimes, but it will happen. Not only here but all the nations shall be blessed, in the Seed of promise which is Christ Jesus. While we may be long gone from this place, having shuffled off these mortal coils; the triumph of the sovereign, enthroned Lord Jesus Christ and His church over all opponents in time and history is inevitable. Then comes the end, when all things shall be made new. No more sorrow. No more pain. No more sin. This is our blessed hope of glory, when we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is (1 John 3:2).

 

June 25, 2012

Best Laid Plans and Righteous Resources

In entering the blogosphere I am acutely aware of the Lord’s mighty hand on all things. Indeed He has brought about a confluence of circumstances leading me to establish this new blog, as I have become more and more zealous for the advancement of the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ in the here & now, and being on the “other side of the hill” so to speak, while living in a country that has regressed so far from the soundness and respectability of its founding documents which are based on biblical principles. The FaithFacts website has an excellent section on The Bible and Government which delineates this relationship. It is absolutely crucial that Christian Americans be aware of the revisionist bastardization of history that has been ubiquitously propagandized so as to impugn the motives of the earliest settlers of this nation who were Christian evangelicals! The postmodern “progressive” (actually regressive) agenda would have us forget that the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence acted on behalf of their posterity, “and for the support of this Declaration with a firm reliance on the protection of divine providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.” Beloved, though our weapons are not carnal, and we fight not against flesh & blood, the kingdom of our Lord encompasses every area of life and we must be similarly dedicated, faithful and prayerfully confident to prevail.

To that end let me heartily recommend some resources to start. As victims of public schooling, many of us have been taught many erroneous things about the European explorers of the new world (Christopher Columbus et. al.), as well as the “Indians”, the Pilgrims and the Puritans, etc. so as to denigrate our nation’s founding, even to the point that the chief executive of these United States has stated that we are “no longer a Christian nation”. Do a phrase search of the Bible for “all the nations” to see how the regressives are going the wrong way…  (not only this nation, but Yahweh told Abraham that “…in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed…” [Genesis 22:18]).

Which leads me to the first recommended resource: Berean Bible Study Freeware, aka BerBible, available here. Get the Free Bundle with ESV, NASB, KJV, and other Bibles (about 10 MB).

Secondly, there is a 4-sermon series recorded by Pastor Joe Morecraft III in mp3 format that comes on a CD for only $5 titled “Ideas Have Consequences”, available here. The promo says it all:  Watching the news or observing the American culture begs the question, “What went wrong?”.  We were founded as a Christian nation, fleeing persecution, and now we cannot pray in public or speak out against wicked behavior without being persecuted or even prosecuted.  Listen to these lectures filled with historical facts and presentations of attitudes of another era and you will understand “what went wrong”.

Thirdly, a book titled “The Light and the Glory” by Peter Marshall and David Manuel, subtitled “Did God Have a Plan for America?”. Here is the editorial review: For those of us who, like the authors, have been exposed mostly to the secular accounts of this period of American history, the information presented becomes a revelation of very great magnitude. … This book is important. I would that every professing Christian read Gods Holy Bible and this book. There are, of a surety, better and more comprehensive histories than this, but I would recommend none more highly to introduce the student to our Christian American roots as pertains to our beginnings on these shores. — Christian Forum Book Review. This book is available from amazon.com. Also let me take this opportunity to advise that many books are available in Kindle format at significantly lesser cost, and they can be viewed on any computer with the free Kindle reading app.

Lastly, a new friend of mine has recommended “Paradise Restored” by David Chilton, available as a PDF for free online here. Not having read it yet myself, but familiar with Chilton’s work (“Days of Vengeance”), and with the subtitle of “A Biblical Theology of Dominion”, I recommend “Paradise Restored” unhesitatingly. I also highly recommend my new friend Publius Huldah’s blog, accessible from the blogroll at the right or here… and I close with this as stated there (extrapolated from Galatians 3:28):

“There is no such thing as Jew & Greek, slave & freeman, male & female, black person & white person; for we are all one person in Christ Jesus.”

But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
To Him be glory both now and forever. Amen. (2 Peter 3:18)