BIBLICAL PROPHECIES AND THE NATURE OF FULFILLMENT


We will never understand the narrative of the scriptures if we keep treating it as if it just dropped from heaven to our laps. It is to be seen as a collection of letters and books that have been passed down to us to see God’s eternal redemption plan in motion in bringing us to the realization of His heart desires.

In the words of Larry Siegle, below is statement from his note “Covenant and fulfillment” 

“The whole of redemptive history reveals the unfolding of God’s original intention in dealing with His covenant people.  The majesty of the seven day creative portrait was given to the covenant people of God to demonstrate that in its finality, His covenant creation would be “very good” (Gen. 1:31), and that “rest” with God would await them in His covenant with them (Gen. 2:2, 3; Heb. 4:1-6).

God chose to use a microcosm, a smaller redemptive picture, much like the aquarium, in working through the course of history through His dealings with a specific people, at a specific place, in a specific time, for a specific  purpose.  This was the case with Israel and the promises made to and through Abraham (Gen. 12:1-3; 17:7, 8).  This aspect of God’s “sworn oath” spoken first to Adam and Eve (Gen. 3:15), was carried through the means of Israel, leading to the arrival of Messiah who became the embodiment of the restoration of relationship with God.  God’s choosing and using of Israel was a means to an end and not an end in and of itself.  In order to save, redeem, restore, reconcile people, God had to provide the means through which the brokenness of relationship lost “in Adam” could be restored from within the terms made in His own “sworn oath” given to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.

Another “Adam” — one who was “born of a woman, born under the law” (Gal. 4:4), one who was likewise tested, tempted and tried, according to the terms of the covenant — is the only one who could restore in himself, what was lost in the first “Adam” (Heb. 4:15; I Cor. 15:22; 45).  The only possibility of restored relationship, based upon covenant, God’s “sworn oath,” required the victorious life, death, burial and resurrection of his son.  Jesus Christ entered, through his birth, into the covenant “world” — the environment where sin and death had entered through Adam (Rom. 5:12) — and removed the separation between God and covenant man (I Tim. 2:5).  Even as all covenant people were affected by the transgression of Adam and Eve in the Garden, even so all covenant people were affected by the obedience and sacrificial death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Jesus came as a “ransom for many” (Matt. 20:28; Mark 10:45; I Tim. 2:6).  The word “ransom” means a “corresponding price”–“what is given in exchange for another as the price of his redemption” [4]  Christ paid the covenant-price of what had been lost through Adam, thus satisfying divine justice, and restoring the broken relationship between God and His people (Matt. 1:21; John 1:29).  The issue of sin and death was lost “in Adam” and won “in Christ” on the battlefield determined by covenant and formed the very basis through which the “very good” declaration of God toward His covenant creation was made (Gen. 1:31).

The results of that restoration are entrance into the seventh day of His covenant creation “rest” (Gen. 2:1-3).  The arrival of the “new heavens and a new earth” (Isa. 65:17; 66:23; II Pet. 3:13; Rev. 21:1), represents both an end and a beginning for God’s covenant people.  With the Parousia of Christ comes His “presence” (Matt. 24:3).  The very meaning of the word “Parousia” means “presence” [5]  The covenant-established, covenant-determined, “sworn oath” of God comes in the form of His “presence” in the “tabernacle of God” through the New Jerusalem that descends “out of heaven” in order to benefit those who are in covenant with Him (Rev. 21:1-4).  “God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them.  And He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will be no longer any death. there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.  And He who sits on the throne said, ‘Behold I am making all things new.’  And He said, ‘Write for these words are faithful and true’” (Rev. 21:3-5).”

As Paul aptly puts it;
“For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.” (Rom 15:4)

When you study the topics of redemption, resurrection, God’s kingdom et all, it will amaze you how much has been fulfilled. Why are they fulfilled? So that we can live with hope in our present time that our world will eventually respond to the presence of Christ’s kingdom. That issues of our world will find their answers in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. That we will not seek an escape through a “a rapture” or expect a world ruler called “The Antichrist” to make it worse. That we will know that 

“”The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign for ever and ever.” (Rev. 11:15)

How will he reign? Through His body the church. How will the church reign?

“much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.” (Rom 5:17b)

If these letter were written over 2,000 years ago, it would be proper to study their fulfillment seeing the imminence of the events communicated in them. If they didn’t happen in their timeline then they must have been deceived. If they were deceived then why do we have hope. If Paul expected the resurrection to happen in their timeline, then they must have been deceived. 

In Acts 24:15 he said, “And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.” 

Translators, for strange reasons avoided translating this accurately. The words “shall be” come from the Greek Strongs #3195 méllō – properly, at the very point of acting; ready, “about to happen.” (Helps Word Studies; Analytical Greek Lexicon, p. 262; Arndt, p. 500; Thayer, p. 396). 

Paul also uses this same word tense méllō, in 2 Timothy 4:1, “I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who (is about to) judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom.”

If we study the progression of the fulfillment of Biblical events, we will be positioned to be on course to understand the agenda of God’s kingdom here on earth. Without it, we will be operating on a past syllabus for a today’s scheme of things. That’s just a recipe for failure to fulfill our mandate as the church. 

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