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“I am God, and there is none like Me.  I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come.”[1]

That which would be revealed from the end was already seen in the beginning.  When the Lord God said, “Let there be light,”[2] and unveiled for all to see the creation that He had been brooding over, the Lord Himself saw everything in the Light of the Resurrection and not restoration.  All that would be made in that first creation of the stars, sun, moon and earth, all of that the Lord God already foreknew would be contaminated by sin and that His image would also be tainted by sin, as Adam would disobey and fall.

God has always known who He is and all that He is and that He would reveal Himself to His creation so that they might come to know Him.  Anyone who even presumed that what they knew of God was all there is to know of God, sadly, would make the error of underestimating God, even if their wisdom was full.  Being full of wisdom is not the same as being full of knowledge.  Wisdom allows you to use what you know wisely in the best possible and most profitable and hopefully harmless way, yet a wise man may know very little.

Satan, although perfect in beauty and full of wisdom,[3] did not have the fullness of the knowledge of God.  That privilege belonged only to God, who knew Himself to the fullness of His measure, as They had always known Each Other from the beginning, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  For all his wisdom, Satan did not realise he did not know enough of God to really challenge Him in open rebellion.  Hidden with God was the knowledge of Himself who knew that ‘I am who I am… the Resurrection.’  In the light of who He is, the Lamb of God who was slain before the creation of the world,[4] not to be restored but to be resurrected.

If God was only the restoration, then He could only trigger off a never ending cycle of His creation falling to sin and His creation being restored from sin, only to fall again.  For in a restoration, the order of things are not changed but merely returned to what it was from the beginning.  Since the order that existed in the beginning could not prevent the fall, which would come from sin, then a restoration would only mean the very order that allows the fall would be reinstated, so the cycle would start again.  That, by the way, is the wish of Satan – restoration so that there would be a never ending cycle of fall and reinstatement without a decisive endgame.  This desire is manifested in his false religions that speak of reincarnation and the so called circle of life.  Jesus said, “I am the Way… and the Life,”[5] and the way is not circular but as a voice of one calling, “…make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God,”[6] and concerning even Cyrus, whom God would raise up in His righteousness for God said, “I will raise up Cyrus in My righteousness: I will make all his ways straight.”[7]

All the ways of God are straight.  There is no going back.  There is no restoration as men understand restoration.  Even though God promised restoration throughout the Old Testament, as He promised to restore Moab and the Ammonites, He gave the first hint that His idea of restoration was different from that of men’s.  You see, in order to restore something, there must be a remnant of the old from which you work with, but He said, “However, I will restore the fortunes of Sodom…”[8]  Unlike the Moabites and Ammonites who had fugitives left from God’s destruction, no one had survived the destruction of Sodom.  Sodom’s destruction was so complete that all those living in the cities and also the vegetation in the land[9] was completely destroyed.  You cannot restore something that no longer exists.  You can only either make a duplicate of the original, which is a copy but still not a restoration, or rebirth the original in such a way that it is not a duplicate but a whole new creation – a new Sodom in which the old order of things would not exist, so that it would never be able to behave as it used to.  God’s idea of restoration was the ability to make new again without any of the old material.  The word for that type of restoration is resurrection, a concept to the world that did not exist in Isaiah 26:19 where it was written:  But your dead will live; their bodies will rise.  You, who dwell in the dust, wake up and shout for joy.  Your dew is like the dew of the morning; the earth will give birth to her dead. 

As such, the Jews had an understanding of resurrection as the raising of the dead, so that by Jesus’ time we had Sadducees who did not believe in the resurrection and who said there is no resurrection.,[10]  Even Martha had heard of it so that she responded to Jesus when He said, “Your brother will rise again,”[11] by answering, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”[12]  But their understanding of the resurrection was limited to the raising of the dead.  Indeed Paul wrote to the Corinthians:  But someone may ask, “How are the dead raised?  With what kind of body will they come?”[13]  So will it be with the resurrection of the dead.  The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonour, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.[14]  As such, Paul gave us the first hint of what God would declare clearly to John in Revelation after He showed him the New Heaven and the New Earth, which had no sea, and the New Jerusalem saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them.  They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God.  He will wipe every tear from their eyes.  There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.  I am making everything new!”[15]  Even the order of things about which the author of Hebrews wrote:  But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels…[16] would disappear.  That which is perishable is raised up imperishable.  That which would fall by sin is raised up unable to sin and therefore unable to fall or unable to fall despite sin.

It is in that Light of the Resurrection, which He is, that God proceeded with creation… a creation that would fall and cause Him much suffering… a suffering that would cause Jesus to suffer death and to be resurrected, so that it was as if God Himself had a change of the order of things within Himself.  The Author of men’s salvation was made perfect through suffering – Jesus, who being God, was perfect, yet was made perfect through suffering.  The revelation of God the Resurrection also introduced a new order in God… an order so new that now God could dwell with men without the need of a temple or tabernacle.  John wrote:  I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.[17] 

That is new and revolutionary.  There is no need for a building or a collection of clay jars.  It is not as if the saints in the city are the temple of God or the temple of the city, but the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb of God are the Temple of New Jerusalem.  It is no longer the temple of God in which God’s presence dwells, but rather it is… God is the Temple.  We are citizens of a city that has God as its Temple, not a city with a temple to worship God in.

This new order of things moves God along His own eternal path in a straight line so that even God Himself does not turn back or turn around.  He moves in His new existence as the Temple of New Jerusalem.  As to what it is, we do not yet know or understand.  But it is sufficient for us to see in the Light of the Resurrection that the path of God is straight, not circular and He does not turn back.

The ability to see the R/resurrection in its True Light must have escaped the eleven for they asked the Lord, “Lord, are You at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”[18]  Failure to see God’s agenda in the Light of the Resurrection can mean that our eyes are so used to seeing in the light of fear, turning God’s agenda to satisfy ours, so that even the eleven did only voice what their racial heritage allowed them to see – a Messiah to restore Israel to its kingdom and not the Son of God who would restore the Kingdom of Heaven to the Kingdom of God.  We forgot that Earth itself has its place in the Heavens, being a planet that orbits a star called the sun.  The fall of Earth and its inhabitants to the clutches of Satan is merely a by product of the war and rebellion that had taken place in Heaven.

Did some in the early church see the church itself as the instrument to restore Israel to its former glory?  Was that why James the Younger, son of Joseph, also son of David in the flesh, was given such authority in the Jerusalem church?  When James stood up in Acts 15 and inaccurately quoted Amos 9:11-12 saying, “ ‘After this I will return and rebuild David’s fallen tent.  Its ruins I will rebuild, and I will restore it, that the remnant of men may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles who bear My name, says the Lord, who does these things’ that have been known for ages.”[19]  Now look at what is written in the prophet Amos’ book:  “In that day I will restore David’s fallen tent.  I will repair its broken places, restore its ruins, and build it as it used to be, so that they may possess the remnant of Edom and all the nations that bear My Name,” declares the LORD, who will do these things.[20]  God spoke of a particular day when David’s fallen tent would be restored so that it would take possession of Edom and all the nations that bear His Name.  In the days of James the Younger, no nation except Israel bore His Name.  It would not be an event that would come to pass until nations have been baptised in the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, which was why Jesus commanded the church, “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…”[21]

James’ use of the words, “It is my judgment…”[22] reminds me of another son of David who once said, “If only I were appointed judge in the land!  Then everyone who has a complaint or case could come to me and I would see that he gets justice.”[23]  Absalom!  It sounded as if James had used his heritage as the son of Joseph, son of Jacob, son of Matthan, son of Eleazar, son of Eliud, son of Akim, son of Zadok, son of Azor, son of Eliakim, son of Abiud, son of Zerubbabel, son of Shealtiel, son of Jeconiah, son of Josiah, son of Amon, son of Manasseh, son of Hezekiah, son of Ahaz, son of Jotham, son of Uzziah, son of Jehoram, son of Jehoshaphat, son of Asa, son of Abijah, son of Rehoboam, son of Solomon, son of David to make a claim for the throne of Jerusalem, using the church as the vehicle.  As such, it would have been perfectly logical that we Gentiles who are now turning to God be placed under a simplified version of the Mosaic Law, thus making us second class citizens of the restored Israel, of which the Jews would be expected to observe the fullness of the Mosaic Law.  In this light of seeing the difference between restoration and resurrection, we can now understand how it came to be that by Acts 21:20, the Jerusalem church was full of thousands of Jews who have believed and all of them zealous for the Law, and how it seemed perfectly logical to have four men with us who have made a vow[24] that Paul was asked to join in their purification rites and pay their expenses…[25]?

The Jerusalem church had begun to use the old temple as if they were to have anything to do with it, as God had torn the curtain in that temple and now the Holy of Holies was the entire temple.  No Jew was supposed to enter it again, much less the church joining in with the temple worship of the old order of things.  The failure to see Jesus and His work in the Light of the Resurrection caused the Jerusalem church to circle back to the work of restoration, and Judaism and the practices of the Nicolaitans found a new home.

So no new creation manifested for the world to see.  The church at full power disappeared and was replaced with a bastardised version of the Mosaic Law – selective observations according to the customs of the land.  Following the example of the Jews, each nation that received the Gospel used it to restore their nation to glory to reach new heights and imperialism in the Name of Christ, which became the church’s history, and Jezebel became the queen. 

So what will happen when the King returns?

 


[1] Isaiah 46:9-10

[2] Genesis 1:3

[3] Ezekiel 28:11

[4] Revelation 13:8

[5] John 14:6

[6] Isaiah 40:3

[7] Isaiah 45:13

[8] Ezekiel 16:53

[9] Genesis 19:25

[10] Matthew 22:23

[11] John 11:23

[12] John 11:24

[13] 1 Corinthians 15:35

[14] 1 Corinthians 15:42-44

[15] Revelation 21:3-5

[16] Hebrews 2:9

[17] Revelation 21:22

[18] Acts 1:6

[19] Acts 15:16-18

[20] Amos 9:11-12

[21] Matthew 18:19

[22] Acts 15:19

[23] 2 Samuel 15:4

[24] Acts 21:23

[25] Acts 21:24

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