Posts tagged ‘Scriptures’

November 14, 2022

Reflections on The Holy Spirit


The Holy Spirit’s Pronouns


“Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you…
However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.” 
– John 16:7;13 [NKJV]


 

“The Paracletic Version” 

paracletic: (adj.) relating to a paraclete or Paraclete

A paraphrase of the Scriptures called ‘The Paracletic Version (TPV)’ might reasonably translate the apostles’ epistolary greetings as follows:


[emphasis for reference only: The Father/The Son/The Holy Spririt]

Romans 1:1-7

The Holy Spirit through Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures, concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.

Through Him we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith among all nations for His name, among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ.

To all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.


Jonathan Edwards suggests that the Spirit is not usually mentioned by name in the standard apostolic greeting of “Grace to you…” because the Spirit – proceeding from the Father and the Son as the Nicene creed says – IS the grace…


1 Corinthians 1:2

The Holy Spirit to the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours; Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.


2 Corinthians 1:1

The Holy Spirit through Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God and Timothy our brother, to the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints who are in all Achaia: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.


That the Holy Spirit spoke through the apostles is confirmed in 1 Corinthians 2:12-13: Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.


Galatians 1:1-3

The Holy Spirit through Paul, an apostle (not from men or through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised Him from the dead), and all the brethren who are with me, to the churches of Galatia: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

The apostles spoke from God. …knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. (2 Peter 1:20-21); and not just prophecy – All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness… That the Holy Spirit is the divine author of all Scripture is Self-attested to by the following Scriptures:

Mark 12:36 – “For David himself said by the Holy Spirit: ‘The LORD said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool”‘.

1 Peter 1:12 – To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven – things which angels desire to look into.

Mark 12:36 – “For David himself said by the Holy Spirit: ‘The LORD said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool”‘.

Hebrews 10:15-16 – And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying, “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds,”

To assure verbal precision, God, in communicating His revelation, must be verbally precise, and inspiration must extend to the very words. This does not mean that God dictated every word. Rather His Spirit so pervaded the mind of the human writer that he chose out of his own vocabulary and experience precisely those words, thoughts and expressions that conveyed God’s message with precision. In this sense the words of the human authors of Scripture can be viewed as the word of God. [LaSor, Hubbard, and Bush, Old Testament Survey, p.15]


Ephesians 1:1-2

The Holy Spirit through Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God , to the saints who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ JesusGrace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.


Philippians 1:1-2

The Holy Spirit through Paul and Timothy, bondservants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus  who are in Philippi, with the bishops and deacons: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.


Colossians 1:1-2

The Holy Spirit through Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints and faithful brethren in Christ who are in Colosse: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.


1 Thessalonians 1:1-2 / 2 Thessalonians 1:1-2

The Holy Spirit through Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, to the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus ChristGrace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.


The Holy Spirit likewise speaks through Paul in his letters to individuals: Timothy, Titus, Philemon – all three ministers having commission and work much the same as that of the apostles – to plant churches, and water the churches that were planted. Timothy was instructed how to discharge his duty as an evangelist at Ephesus, to perfect the good work which Paul had begun there. The Holy Spirit also spoke through Paul to Titus in much the same way, as Titus was also a convert of Paul and his companion in labors and sufferings. The epistle to Philemon is placed the last of those with the name of Paul to them, perhaps because the shortest, and of an argument peculiar and different from all the others; even so, it is such as the Spirit of God, who indited it, saw would, in its kind, be very instructive and useful in the churches.

The epistle to the Hebrews, regardless of its human authorship, with its lofty strains of rhetoric, and many things hard to understand, contains a sweetness which makes abundant amends for all the pains we take to understand it. Indeed, if we compare all the epistles of the New Testament, we shall not find any of them more replenished with divine, heavenly matter than that of the Holy Spirit to the Hebrews.


James 1:1

The Holy Spirit through James, a bondservant of God and the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad:

In this general epistle, the Spirit of wisdom puts forth many excellent and practical truths to exhort sincere and humble believers to patience under tribulations and oppression, to which He points the original hearers particularly, by minding them of approaching judgment.


1 Peter 1 1:1-2

The Holy Spirit through Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the pilgrims of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus ChristGrace to you and peace be multiplied.


2 Peter 1 1:1-2

The Holy Spirit through Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus ChristGrace and peace be multiplied to you…

The “fiery trials” through which the early church was passing during the latter years of Nero’s reign leading up to the “end of all things” in 70AD were foretold by the Spirit of prophecy. The saints, then and now, are exhorted to faith, obedience, and patience, in view of the truth of the gospel and the certainty of salvation in Christ.


2 John 1:1 / 3 John 1:1

The Holy Spirit through The Elder…

There is no greeting inscribed, nor did John put his name to the first epistle of the Holy Spirit through him, which confirms the great fundamental doctrine of Christianity. In his second and third epistles the apostle is “the elder”, being also a bishop or overseer of all the Asiatic churches. In the second epistle the Spirit testifies to the value of Christian love and belief through John’s regard for and exhortation to a certain pious matron and her children. The third epistle of the Holy Spirit through John to “the well beloved Gaius”, supplies us with valuable criterion for Christian life and character.


Jude 1-2

The Holy Spirit through Jude, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to those who are called, sanctified by God the Father and preserved in Jesus Christ: mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you.

There can be no true mercy, peace, and love where there is not true Grace; and where Grace goes before, these will follow.


Revelation 1:4-5

The Holy Spirit through John, to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace  to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ.

The Divine blessing given in this greeting is in the name of God, of the Holy Trinity; it is of preeminent adoration. The Father is first named; He is described as the Yahweh who is, and who was, and who is to come, eternal, unchangeable. The Holy Spirit is referenced as the seven spirits, the perfect Spirit of God, in whom there is a diversity of perfect gifts and operations. The Lord Jesus Christ was from eternity, a Witness to all the counsels of God.

“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” This expression occurs at the close of each of the epistles addressed to the seven churches in the book of Revelation (2:7, 11, 17, 29; 3:6, 13, 22) – the revelation of Jesus Christ to the apostle John. The Holy Spirit may be regarded either as speaking through the Savior, or as imparted to John, through whom He addressed the churches. In either case it is the same Spirit of inspiration.

As Christ, the Son, spoke not of Himself in opposition to the Father, so the Spirit speaks not of Himself in opposition either to the Father, or the Son, but in perfect agreement with both; being, as of the same nature and essence, power and glory, so of the same mind, understanding, and will; and as they agreed and wrought jointly and harmoniously in the works of creation and providence, so in the economy of grace and salvation… whatsoever the Spirit shall hear, that shall He speak; as Christ Himself did; and such as ear has not heard besides; secretly transacted in the council and covenant of peace, and agreed upon by all the three Persons; things which concern the salvation of men, the Gospel church state, another world, and the glory of all the divine Persons. [John Gill on John 16:13]

This Paracletic perspective of Scripture, especially in this new covenant age, also recognized as the age of the Holy Spirit, helps preserve our perception of the divine dignity of God the Spirit, who, in the words of the Nicene creed, is the Lord and giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son; who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets.

Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says, “Today, if you hear His voice…” -Hebrews 3:7

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen. -2 Corinthians 13:14

June 2, 2022

Guidance from God’s Word

It is now abundantly clear that the coronavirus was never a medical emergency. It was just the convenient excuse and the catalyst for the ‘New World Order Great Reset’. It always was [as per World Economic Forum Founder Klaus Schwab] “a rare but narrow window of opportunity to reflect, reimagine, and reset our world.” … The NWO controllers want to remake you in their image, as a synthetic worker-slave on their digital smart network. This [in addition to their depopulation agenda] is why they are trying desperately to get at your genetics. The next battleground is inside your body – your DNA. Whether it’s toxic GMO food or toxic gene-editing ‘vaccines’, it is vital to realize that the human genome is now being targeted. -ActivistPost.com

On mRNA technology covid jabs, a Pharma official described them as “hacking the software of life and installing a new operating system.” Many of us have opted to stick with what God has given us and want no part of artificially changing it. While deaths and adverse reactions continue to mount from taking the shots (they are not “vaccines”, as no immunity is conferred by the injections which don’t stop infectious transmission either), the longer term effects of these experimental jabs are of course unknown. Concern has arisen that the so-called spike protein generated by the injected genetic code may be transmissible to non-injected persons, with harmful effects, in the majority of initial reports, on the female reproductive system.

And so we find ourselves in a situation that is difficult on an unprecedented level. How are we to bear up under this encroaching wickedness? It boils down to our worldview, i.e. where our ultimate faith lies.

Keep this precious truth near and dear to your heart: God is sovereign, and His word is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword (Hebrews 4:12)….

We are commanded to be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God (Philippians 4:6), and to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Let us not forget the privilege and power of prayer!

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). Not some things, all things; even the horrific developments brought about by the “plandemic”.

So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?(Hebrews 13:6).

God may deliver His people from this, or He may not, Even as we don’t want to die, we can be ready. Not to say that we shouldn’t keep informed and take whatever steps we can to deal with all this. There are difficult times ahead but these are not ‘the end times’. It may take another millennium, but the triumph of the sovereign, enthroned Lord Jesus Christ and His church over all opponents in time and history is inevitable. For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under his feet (1Corinthians 15:25); for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD as the waters cover the sea (Habakkuk 2:14).

Even so, it’s not looking so good on a worldly level for this generation, but our hope & prayer is that these catastrophic developments may be used to spark a revival and flourishing of the gospel, as many are awakened to realize that we are all standing on the precipice of eternity, and that this life is not all there is.

Furthermore, as per Psalm 46:
God is our strong refuge; He is truly our Helper in times of trouble. For this reason we do not fear when the earth shakes, and the mountains tumble into the depths of the sea, when its waves crash and foam, and the mountains shake before the surging sea. Selah. The river’s channels bring joy to the city of God, the special, holy dwelling place of the sovereign One. God lives within it, it cannot be moved. God rescues it at the break of dawn. Nations are in uproar, kingdoms are overthrown. God gives a shout, the earth dissolves. The LORD who commands armies is on our side! The God of Jacob is our protector! Selah. Come! Witness the exploits of the LORD, who brings devastation to the earth! He brings an end to wars throughout the earth; He shatters the bow and breaks the spear; He burns the shields with fire. He says, “Stop your striving and recognize that I am God! I will be exalted over the nations! I will be exalted over the earth!” The LORD who commands armies is on our side! The God of Jacob is our protector! Selah. {Psalm 46:1-11)

As more and more things are revealed, the faith of God’s people will be tested in the extreme. Shall we put such a high value on our own physical well-being that we shun some of our brethren? What the apostle Paul wrote to the Philippians is especially applicable to us today:
…stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel, and not in any way terrified by your adversaries, which is to them a proof of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that from God. For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake…Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like- minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. (Philippians 1:27 – 2:4)

And of course, the epistle to the Romans famously makes the greatest all-time commentary on almighty God’s everlasting love as the determining factor of how, then, we should live:
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:31-39).

~



May 28, 2022

Wanted

dead-or-alive

The proverbial “Wanted…” poster from the American “wild west” aptly describes the spiritual state of each and every human being created by God. That is, you are either dead to the Triune God and therefore self-centered; or you have been made alive by the power of the Holy Spirit in Christ Jesus to the glory of the Father.

Let me explain. We don’t start out with a “clean slate”. Since Adam & Eve, humanity is fallen. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). Borrowing a term from information technology, it can be said that spiritual death is our “default” state of being. The standard theological terminology for this includes unregenerate; unconverted; dead in trespasses and sins. Conversely when one is made alive by the grace of God (cf Ephesians 2:1), that person is given new Spiritual life, and then said to be regenerate; converted; born again. This is the first resurrection (Revelation 20:5). Everyone will be raised from physical death on the last day, but only those who have had a part in the first resurrection will enter into the heavenly rest of eternal life. Unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God (John 3:3).

Almighty God, our Creator Who is blessed forever, has decreed these and all things according to the pleasure of His will and for His glory; He has revealed them to us in His word, the Holy Bible. Do you believe this? Well that depends on whether you are dead or alive. In fact, that is how you can know your spiritual state, if you embrace God’s word or not. But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved (Romans 10:9-10).

True Christians are those who have been made alive to the living God, those who bear the name of Jesus Christ… as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God (John 1:12-13). Indeed, the Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God (Romans 8:16).

All of God’s creation and creatures, made for His glory, are under His sovereign control since before the foundation of the world. Whosoever who would be quickened from the fallen state of spiritual death to new life in Christ Jesus was divinely predetermined in eternity past. This is a great act of mercy because no one deserves to be so saved. Without God acting first, salvation cannot be simply chosen by us, nor can it even be earned. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast (Ephesians 2:8). It should be obvious that no one who is spiritually dead is able to make a decision to be spiritually alive, just as that is confirmed by the obvious fact that not everybody is saved. This is known as the doctrine of election. So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy (Romans 9:16). Throughout history and continuing to the end of time God calls to Himself His people to pass from death into life.

The bounty hunters of the American pioneer towns were the agents for bringing in those wanted by the law. Analogously, God uses the preaching of His word by His people to lost (dead) souls as the means ordained to be instrumental in the Holy Spirit’s work of bringing many to be saved (alive). This miraculously transformational work which the LORD brings to pass in His own good time according to the purpose of His will is irresistible and undeniable to those so called. All people everywhere are in fact commanded to repent and believe this gospel, and everyone is likewise responsible to throw themselves upon God’s mercy and be saved, but some remain in proud rebellion against God’s word. These whom are passed over for salvation are vessels of God’s wrath; and most importantly, only salvation wrought by the Spirit of God delivers souls from an eternity of misery in Hell which is called the second death, when — after we die physically — it is too late to be saved. Therefore behold, now is the accepted time; behold now is the day of salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2)!

Our God and our Father, we pray that You will continue to let Your glory unfold mightily in the advancement of Your kingdom here on earth, by the individual conversion of many lost souls whom are dead in trespasses and sins, to be made alive by Your grace through faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ as revealed in Your word, by the power of the Holy Spirit. Let Your word go forth in power as Your people are made zealous for sharing these truths with the lost, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us (Acts 17:27), that they would search the Scriptures to see if these things are so, that they may be spared from Your just wrath and given the gift of faith that they may inherit eternal life. And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent (John 17:3). Amen.


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

May 28, 2022

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 in majesty on high at the right hand of the Father. 

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 mass physical 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 that 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, 18 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, 19 and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power 20 which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21 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.* 22 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” in Ephesians 1 can hardly refer to eternity without conflicting with 1 Corinthians 15:

22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. 23 But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterwards those who are Christ’s at His coming. 24 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. 25 For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy that will be destroyed is death. 27 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 of 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 of the New Testament. In this final age now present (the “age to come” for the N.T. writers), Jesus is still 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. This being the situation decreed for “not only in this age but also in that which is to come”, neither age can refer to the hereafter, as by contrast, in eternity, we shall eat and drink with Jesus Himself (cf. Matthew 26:29)! Our Forerunner will no longer be “far above”, having put an end to all rule and all authority and power; and we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is (1 John 3:2)! The position of Christ the head and his body/bride the church will, at the end (in the eternity of final glory), be manifestly changed from that of the here and now, the age of the church militant (referred to as “the age to come” in Ephesians 1).

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 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 image to enlarge]

May 27, 2022

The Last from the Past

The last days are not a future period of time leading up to the rapture of the church and the end of the world. Nor are the last days describing the full contemporary Christian era. It hardly seems consistent to associate the term “days” with two millennia of years! A closer look at the New Testament usage of the term will reveal that the last days represented a now historical period of time. It was a fitting description of the final days of the Old Covenant, a period lasting a little over forty years. The first century earthly ministry of Jesus ushered in these last days. In this way, the “last days” of the New Testament were actually the “first days” of the New Testament church.1

The prophet Joel described some miraculous activities that would characterize the last days (Joel 2:28-31). The apostle Peter used the prophetic words of Joel to explain the miraculous events that were occurring at that time (Acts 2:16-17). The fact that those events were ascribed as being a fulfillment of the words of Joel indicated that the last days had arrived. If the inspired prophet was referencing the entire Christian era from Pentecost until the present, would we not expect these same miraculous activities to still be genuinely occurring — “in the last days”?2

It is sometimes said that the whole period between the incarnation and the end of the world is regarded in the New Testament as ‘the end of the age’, but this bears a manifest incongruity in its very front. How could the end of a period be a long protracted duration? Especially how could it be longer than the period of which it is the end? More time has already elapsed since the incarnation than from the giving of the law to the first coming of Christ: so that, on this hypothesis, the end of the age is a great deal longer than the age itself.3

Those Last Days Now Past

“God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son…” (Hebrews 1:1)

A video presentation by a prominent creationist ministry, which promotes a biblical view of the earth’s age over and against the uniformitarian “millions of years” view, takes in to account the catastrophic effects of the global flood as recorded in the book of Genesis. However, the impact of the otherwise excellent production is weakened as the presenter states that today’s secular scientists whom disregard Scripture’s record of the Genesis flood are examples of the “scoffers” which the apostle Peter wrote would come in “the last days” (cf. 2 Peter 3:3-6). The devastating problem with this statement is that the inspired apostle wrote those words in the 1st century when the last days of the old covenant were at hand; so that the last days referred to were then, not now.

This is a major interpretive error made by modern-day Christians, which has become well ensconced in many hearts and minds, especially with the high volume of book sales along with seminary teachings by authors and professors based on the misapplication of the past to our present and near future. It is as if someone were to write in broad, non-specific terms about the last days of the Obama federal administration when they were (thankfully) nearing, and someone were to read it two thousand years or so from then, and assume the dynamics of the situation described to be directly applicable to the reader there and then, instead of relevant to the U.S.A. in the year of our Lord 2016.

When it comes to the Holy Bible which is the word of God, surely there is far-reaching application as well as eternal truth to be gleaned, but the correct interpretation must be gathered based upon the historical context and the understanding of the original audience. The last days from two thousand years ago cannot be the same last days today, or they would not have been the last days then. The realization that the “last days” were in the past, and that much of Bible prophecy (not all!) was fulfilled in the 1st century is key to sound discernment of the Scriptures.

Holy writ indeed informs us that the Lord Jesus Christ is reigning now. Peter also quoted Psalm 110:1 and said Jesus is exalted at God’s right hand (position of authority), to rule from the Majesty on High (cf Acts 2:34-36; Hebrews 1:3). Jesus Himself said, just prior to His ascension, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth” (Matthew 28:18). Hence, He is now King at God’s right hand, just as the Psalm prophesied. The apostle Paul further expounded that He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death (1 Corinthians 15:25-26). This has not happened yet, and of course we cling to the blessed hope of the resurrection of the body when the end comes and Jesus returns bodily in final judgment and to usher in the eternal state. Until then, the almighty, Triune God we serve is certainly to be victorious in time and history.

So the Messianic kingdom has already been established, i.e. we are in the “millennium” now. The last days of the old covenant, including the great tribulation prophesied in Matthew chapter 24, were the days leading up to and including the destruction of the temple, the city of Jerusalem and apostate Israel when the Son of Man “came” with judgment in 70 AD. “The last days” are now in the past, and followed from the work that He “finished” in 30 AD (cf John 19:30). The once for all sacrifice of the Lamb of God has superseded the old system of animal sacrifices, and now its up to the church, with steadfast faith in the power of the Holy Spirit, to look forward to and work towards the building of the kingdom on earth as it is in heaven… for, also as it is written, the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea (Habakkuk 2:14).

The effectiveness of biblical apologetics as well as the fruitfulness of Christian cultural engagement efforts will be greatly increased by our faithful witness to the truth that the last days are in the past. The long haul to triumph will likely extend beyond the relatively short lifetimes of those of us alive today; there’s no time to waste. Let’s get busy using our talents in good and faithful service to our King (cf Matthew 25:23), leaving an example for future generations to follow. Keep the faith. Stand strong in the Truth. The worst is past and the best is yet to come.

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1 John M. Buttrey II, The Book of Revelation – A Brief Commentary and study Guide
2 Ibid
3 James Stuart Russell, The Parousia – The New Testament Doctrine of Christ’s Second Coming*
*Russel’s work teaches that Christ’s Second Coming took place in 70 AD, at which time the dead saints were resurrected and caught-up to Heaven, and the living saints were bodily caught-up to Heaven 😮. Even while not concurring with that startling conclusion, one can appreciate the many astute observations Russell makes such as the “manifest incongruity” of the end of the age being longer than the age of which it is the end of; akin to the “last days” lasting for thousands of years.

July 3, 2012

Government, Gospel and God’s Glory

A famous quip made by the 40th President of these United States which hit home and rings true today is “Government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem.” [listen] Previously having served as the 33rd Governor of California, it was Ronald Reagan who also astutely observed that “As government expands, liberty contracts.”

Indeed an out of control government, having undergone unprecedented expansion, now presents a practically insurmountable fiscal problem for this once prosperous nation, while personal freedom gives way to statist control. The highlight of the Obama economic record is a 43% increase in the Federal Debt which stands at an unspeakable $15.2 TRILLION, and all the so-called “stimulus” government spending has completely failed. Regardless as to whether this is a case of good intentions combined with pathetic incompetence; misguided ideology mixed with power-hungry narcissism; all Bush’s fault; or worst case – deliberate “Cloward-Piven Strategy”, it is undeniable that individual rights, which come from God, have correspondingly suffered and necessarily erode under bigger and more intrusive government.

So what is the solution? Even the limited government model established for our nation by its founders was and is dependent on the gospel of Jesus Christ. Everything is dependent upon, contingent to, defined by, and judged according to the gospel. The word gospel literally means “good news”. The gospel is really good news because it is the solution to a much bigger problem that all of mankind faces: the problem of sin. Why is sin such a big problem? Because it cannot be tolerated by our creator God, Who is infinitely holy and the sovereign judge of all. So why did God permit sin to come into the world? I’ll tell you exactly why: for His glory. Life is not about the ordinances of men. No matter what political philosophy is en vogue, all is meaningless outside of the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Its just so, you must know.

“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15)
By this gospel you are saved…that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time…(1 Corinthians 15:2-6).

Glory, glory and hallelujah for the Holy Bible which is the word of God. It affirms that Jesus Christ is God. The Holy Spirit inspired Scriptures are to be believed, as His word carries both instruction and authority for every area of our lives. We stand uncompromisingly on the authority of the Word of God! Our Lord Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Life. Pontius Pilate, when staring right into the face of Truth personified, pondered, “What is truth?”. We know Who the Truth is and we stand for Him even unto death. Jesus prayed to the Father for His disciples (and us), “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.” (John 17:17), which confirms that the Word of God – both the eternal Word Himself as well as the canon of Scripture (the Holy Bible) – is Truth. Amen!

If you don’t have the Bible, GET IT.

If you have the Bible, READ IT.

If you read the Bible, BELIEVE IT.

If you believe the Bible, LIVE IT.


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)