Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Coming - A Second Passover

The essence of Christian theology is the anticipated return of Jesus Christ at the end of the age, an event foreshadowed by the Creator of the universe coming as the man Jesus nearly two thousand years ago. So within the broad scope of Christian thought, an end to the world that we presently know is prophesied—and when this end is more closely examined within canonical Scripture, a thousand year long reign by Jesus Christ will serve to contrast the six thousand year long reign by the prince of this world. Still more closely examined, a seven year long period of tribulation marks the transition between the reigns of the prince of this world, and Christ Jesus, with the territory over which both reign being the mental topography of humankind. Thus, neither the prince of this world now nor Christ Jesus in the future will reign as President Bush does, or as any human leader does. Rather, they will reign through controlling the territory from which thoughts sprout and grow as weeds or wheat. The contrariness, the latent rebellion, the disobedience of human nature—all come from the prince of this world and his influence on or control of human nature. And here is where a differing reading strategy than usually employed by Christians opens up Scripture through the creation of a hypertext that is the same text taken upward into the realm where the prince of this world now reigns, and from where Christ Jesus will reign upon His return.

Taking meaning from Scripture through typology [typological exegesis] suggests that the prophetic endtime recovery of Israel from the North Country (Jer 16:14-15; 23:7-8) is similar to but of more significance than the recovery of ancient Israel from Egypt. As such, Israel’s recovery from the North Country would be preceded by a second Passover liberation of Israel, a reality suggested by the prophet Isaiah (43:3-4) and a reality that involves the revealing of the Son of Man (Luke 17:26-30). And if this second Passover liberation again sees the lives of men given as ransom for the release of Israel from [moving up to the level at which the prince of this world reigns] indwelling sin and death through Israel being filled with the Holy Spirit as foreshadowed by what happened on that day of Pentecost following Calvary, then worldwide catastrophes on a scale not previously imagined will occur: two plus billion people will suddenly die, a truly incomprehensible reality that will not only rock the foundational constructs of human society, but will focus every person’s attention on supernatural powers perceived today to be merely ancient myths.

God will suddenly seem real. He will have gotten the world’s attention, and He will be blasphemed for causing the deaths of so many “innocent” people. And here is where the figurative rubber meets the road: Israel consists of those individuals who, by faith, keep the precepts of the law, thereby causing both outwardly circumcised and uncircumcised persons to be counted as circumcised of heart and mind; for all of endtime Israel has hearts circumcised by the Holy Spirit (Rom 2:26-29). So it isn’t the entirety of the Christian Church that is Israel, nor is it all of Judaism. Rather, endtime Israel is that portion of the Christian Church that keeps the precepts of the law by faith, and that portion of Observant Judaism that by faith professes that Jesus is Lord and believes that the Father raised Him from the dead (Rom 10:6-9). Therefore, the difference between a Christian Israelite and a Jewish Israelite is not inward but only outward in the flesh, for both will live by every word that has proceeded from the mouth of God. And both will be persecuted for what they believe by the greater Christian Church as well as the remainder of the world. Both will see friends and colleagues slain. Both will be in constant danger of being killed themselves.

The transition between this present world and Christ Jesus’ Millennium reign are seven years of tribulation that begin with a second Passover slaughter of firstborns not covered by the blood of the Lamb of God. This slaughter of firstborns was foreshadowed by the ancient slaughter of Egyptians when the first Passover was instituted, and this slaughter foreshadows a third of humankind being slain when the four angels are released from where they are bound at the River Euphrates [the sixth Trumpet plague]. And as Egypt was devastated by the first Passover liberation of Israel, the world will be devastated by the second Passover liberation of Israel. In a figurative sense, the world will be hit below the belt. With one punch, God will double over and wobble the reigning kingdom of this world. With a second punch about halfway through the seven endtime years, God will topple Babylon. The kingdom of the world will be given to one like the son of man (cf. Dan 7:13-14; Rev 11:15). But three and a half years of very difficult living by faith remain before the Millennium begins; however, once the kingdom of the world is given to the Son of Man, the Holy Spirit will be poured out on all flesh, thereby producing the situation that all who endure to the end shall be saved (Matt 24:13). And it is this good news that must be proclaimed to the world before the end comes (v. 14).

While others practicing differing reading strategies will take differing meanings from the same texts, if typological exegesis is valid and a second Passover liberation of Israel occurs as typology suggests that it will, then what can be done?

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