church daniel dispensationalism eschatology

Guest Blog: The Crux (5 of 5)

Recently, blogger Marv (a.k.a asphaleia) posted an excellent series of discussion regarding his view of the redemptive plan of God. It winds up being a progressive dispensational model but was interesting enough to house here on the Bible Archive for consumption by friends and family. This is post 5 of 5.

Phase Four
The Father will determine at what time He will “restore the kingdom to Israel” (Acts 1:6). That this query from the disciples was not fatuous, as it is often purported to be, is clear enough from Jesus’ response not to substance but only to timing. However, in God’s redemptive plan the kingdom takes on a cosmic dimension. Abraham’s seed inherits not only the land of Israel, but the whole earth (Rom. 4:13, Matt. 5:5).

Israel continues to play a central role, but it is God’s means of transforming the kingdom of this world to the Kingdom of the Lord and of His Christ (Rev. 11:15). The Nation has played a role by occupying the axis of God’s redemptive plan and bringing Christ into the world, and then by being set aside, transverse to the axis of the plan, as the Messiah brings light to the nations.

At the appointed time, however, the axial shift is to be reversed and Israel’s “full inclusion” will bring far more riches to the world than their temporary and partial blindness (Rom. 11:11, 25-26). Each division, the Nation and the nations has now each played a dominant and a suppressed role in God’s plan, so that mankind might know the fullness of redemption in God’s plan.

For just as you were at one time disobedient to God but now have received mercy because of their disobedience, so they too have now been disobedient in order that by the mercy shown to you they also may now receive mercy. For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all.” (Rom. 11:30-32)

For the duration of phase 3, the axis has sat transverse to the national line of Israel at the junction of the sixty-ninth and seventieth seven. At the beginning of Phase 4 the seventy sevens chronology continues (faint white rectangle).

The meaning of Dan. 9:27 has been debated whether “he” refers to Christ or to another (anti-Christ):

And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator.”

By analogia fidei, Scripture interprets Scripture. What book would be the New Testament counterpart and commentary on Daniel? What book describes abominations and desolations with particular focus on half a “week”? What book signals to us over and over that it is the explanation for the final seven by its incessant focus on the number seven? Clearly, a main theme of the book of Revelation is to account for the final seven and in particular the final half of that seven.

That Christ returns and destroys the beast (Rev. 19:20), the man of iniquity (2 Thes. 2:8) shows that Christ’s return is a complex event and involves a major crisis of wickedness in the earth. Christ said it would be like the time of Noah or Lot (Luke 17:26-30). Peter tells us that “the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment.” (2 Pet. 2:9) During this time of God’s wrath, in His plan He will keep His people “from the hour of trial” coming on the world.

Does Christ preserve His Church from wrath (1 Thes. 5:9) through a kind of “ark” event in which His Body ascends to the heavens at the end of its earthly ministry (1 Thes. 4:17) as His body ascended to the heavens at the end of His earthy ministry (Acts. 1:9)? There are indications of this. (Matt. 24:33, Rev. 3:8 [c.f. v. 20], Rev. 4:1 [c.f. Rev. 11:12]???)

At any rate, at the conclusion of the final seven, Christ returns (Rev. 19:11) with His saints (Rev. 19:14 [c.f. v. 8]; 1 Thes. 3:13) and sits on His throne and begins to rule over the Nation and the nations [having bound Satan, so that he can no longer deceive the nations (Rev. 20:3)]. Yes, it is at THIS time that Christ is restoring the kingdom to Israel. Only He is not just Israel’s King, but King of kings and Lord of lords (Rev. 17:14, 19:16).

Nations will continue to exist as God has established them, but now all are under the rule of Christ, with the Nation at the head of the nations (Is. 2:1-4; Jer. 3:17). Though the axis of the redemptive plan has returned to national orientation, there is no retreat into the past. Now the warp and woof of the plan are combined and the kingdom is over all nations. This is represented by the brightened colors of each national ray.

The kingdom endures in this way until Christ has put all enemies under His feet, including death (1 Cor. 15:25-26). The vision of Revelation refers to a thousand years, during which resurrected saints will rule and judge with Him. At the end of this appointed time, Satan [after one final outrage (Rev. 20:7-9)] will be consigned to hell (v. 10), the remaining dead will be resurrected and the unredeemed will follow Satan into hell (Rev. 20:12-13, 15), and at last the enemy death itself will be destroyed (Rev. 20:14).

Then at the end Christ “delivers the kingdom to God the Father” (1 Cor. 15:24), and God establishes a New Heavens and New Earth, as represented here by the darkness changing to a solid light.

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