BIBLICAL FULFILLMENT
Fulfilled Prophecy
I am Jessie Mills, Ph.D.
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Fulfilled Prophecy

 

Introduction

Revelation 21:14, offers many challenges to the modern man who would seek to learn the truth of the written word.  Especially since 1999 is so far removed from the first century, and the last writing of the Bible.

Romans 12:2, God instructs man to prove His will.  To prove what we teach, this can only be done through the prophets of the Old Testament.  They foretold the New, and the New fulfilled the Old.  So much study to prove what the will of God is that many use the crutch of traditional lessons that are more popular.  But in this sense the Gospel, along with Christ, were never popular.

Example of tradition:  On Jan. 9, 1999 CBS aired a live news cast from Jerusalem where some twenty five thousand people have arrived on the spot where the Temple once stood; they will wait there for the “second appearing of Christ.  “When He will return to bring salvation to the Jews and rebuild the Temple.”  This event posed such a security risk to the Israeli government that the nation alerted its armed forces, and further asked the nations of the world to forbid their people the right to come to Jerusalem.

A little study to prove God’s will would have prevented this event, as well as future ones.  This lesson will point up such gross misunderstandings of the “Second Appearing,” and its purpose.  God once said, “My people go into exile for their lack of knowledge.”  Isa. 5:13, Is not the same thing happening today?

In this lesson we find several subjects which demands a methodical system of study in order to arrive at the truth contained in Rev. 21:14. Therefore, we must follow God’s rules for all study of His word.

 

Rules:

1 Pet. 1:20 21, “But know this first of all, that no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke by God.”

Every person who would study God’s word and teach the same must apply this rule to his study.  Peter bound it on earth, God accepted it in Heaven.  Matt. 16:19.

Thus we have already found the root of our problem in 1999 tradition and each man having his own interpretation.  And so we shall move into those events and happenings of Rev. 21:14, and study by God’s rule. 1 Pet. 1:20, 21. This is a methodical study which demands a root study of each thing that John is shone in Rev. 21:14.

 

1. First we must consider the New Heaven and Earth and its spiritual implications.  To do this we must look at the words used in other passages.  Isaiah chapter 13, is the classic example where both Heaven and Earth is used against the impending fall of Babylon.  Notice verse 6, “The day of the Lord is coming.”  Verse 10, “For the stars of Heaven and their constellations will not flash forth their light.”  Verse 13, “Therefore I shall make the Heavens tremble, and the Earth will be shaken from its place.  We have no record of the earth being shaken out of place.  Babylon was shaken out of place its power and government destroyed, therefore, the symbol of Heaven and earth denotes the powers of nations when used by the Prophets and Apostles in events such as this one, and that of 2 Pet. 3.  See Joel 2:28-32. Fulfilled in Acts 2:16-21. Zeph. 1:14, Verse 3, “I will remove all things from the face of the earth.”  Verses 12-18, v. 18, earth devoured, a complete end.  In this event it was Jerusalem and the Temple.  See Haggai 2:20.

To follow God’s rule we must examine the covenant of the Old Testament and that of the New, for the Old foretold the New, and the New is the fulfillment of the Old.  Matt. 5:17, Luke 19:12-15, Luke 21:20-32, Luke 24:44, Rev. 21:6.

To continue we must examine the promise of God to Abraham.  Gen. 12:1-3, Gen. 16:1-15, God’s promise to Hagar.  Gen. 17:18-21, God’s promise to Abraham in regards to Ishmael was physical.  To Isaac would go the spiritual promise and covenant.

So we find then a physical covenant world which Hagar and Ishmael represents.  The Apostle Paul speaks of this event in Gal. 4:22-31. Verse 22, “Two sons, one by the bondwoman and one by the free woman.”  Verse 24, “This contains an allegory, these women are two covenants one proceeding from Mt.  Sinai bearing children who are slaves, she is Hagar.”  Verse 25 and corresponds to the present Jerusalem who are in slavery.”  From this account and from the law and covenant given at Mt.  Sinai we are to understand that this covenant was physical and temporary.  Verse 30, “This woman and her son cast out, has no part with the covenant world of Isaac which is Spiritual.  When Jerusalem was destroyed in AD 70, the reign of Ishmael ended.  This was the end of the covenant world (or age) that both Mat. 24:3 and Heb. 8:13 speak of. 

How do we know this?  Simply because the writer of Hebrews (Paul) said that Christ died “in the end of the world” or “at the consummation of the ages” (Heb. 9:26, KJV and NASB resp.).  This is the same Greek phrase found in Matt. 24:3 for “the end of the world” (or age).  Paul says Jesus died at “the end of the world” (Heb. 9:26).  That forces the “end of the world” to be something within the generation of Christ’s contemporaries, otherwise Christ really did not die at the end of the world.  The “end of the world” in the context of Hebrews 8-9 is certainly the “near vanishing” (8:13) of the Old Covenant sacrificial system at AD 70, and is the very same “end” that the disciples were asking Jesus about in Matthew 24:3. 

In following God’s rule for study we must examine the covenant God made with Isaac Gen. 17:18-21. Then we find in Jeremiah 31:30-34, thus a New covenant, not with old Israel but with Spiritual Israel, ‘which covenant would incorporate those promises made even to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  The New Jerusalem, the Spiritual Jerusalem which Sarah represented.  All through the years of the Old Covenant was waiting to come down out of Heaven to dwell among men.  The City of God which Abraham looked for himself.  Heb. 11:10. And to which Paul states in Heb. 13:14, “For here we do not have a lasting city, but we are seeking the city which is to come.”  Fulfilled in Rev. 21:14.  Christ, the gospel, resurrection, judgment was all incorporated in the covenant made to Isaac.

Cleansing of the earth, casting Satan from his domain, the earth. John 12:31,16:11.  Removing all his power and works. 1 John 3:8, Heb. 2:14.  Annihilating his rule and power forever. Dan. 7:26,27.  Thus allowing Christ to become the new administrator of earth, and ruler over all the Kingdoms of earth.  Rev. 11:15, Mat. 28:18. Casting Satan into the lake of fire forever.  Rev. 20:10-15. This covenant allows for the influence of the (people) of Satan to continue in order that man may remain a free moral agent; choosing good or evil.

When the fleshly covenant of Ishmael ended, and Satan bound in the lake of fire forever, and then Christ was given Heaven and earth as His domain Rev. 11:15, and He took New Jerusalem as His Bride, Rev. 19:6, then truly Christians can enjoy the reality of fulfilled prophecy in the New Heaven and Earth.  And can know that the covenant made to Isaac and fulfilled in 70 AD began a new covenant world, the age of Christianity.  Now the conditions of Eden have been restored.  Isa. 51:14, Isa. 52:1-9.

 

2. Verse 2 says this city has never before been on earth, it is a spiritual City that has encompassed Heaven itself.  It is the city Abraham looked for.  Heb. 11:10, “For he was looking for the city which has foundations whose architect and builder was God.”

Heb. 13:14, “For here we do not have a lasting city, but we are seeking the city which is to come.”  God showed Ezekiel this great place on earth Ezek. 40:1,2, 43:7, and informed Ezekiel that this was the place of the soles of His feet.  Abraham was looking, Paul was writing, John saw it coming down, Christians today have it in reality.  It is here among us, inside us. 

Under the covenant of Ishmael, that covenant provided that God alone should dwell in the Holy Of Holies temporarily.  Therefore Israel had God’s presence temporarily but did not enjoy the New Jerusalem nor the city of God.  The covenant of Isaac provides for the presence of God among His people, henceforth forever.  Joel 3:17,21, Zech. 2:10,11, 2 Cor. 6:16.

Paul places in contrast of Ishmael.  Heb. 12:18-21. The covenant of Isaac.  Heb. 12:22,23. Under the first covenant, “But you have come to Mount Zion, and to the city of the living God, the New Jerusalem.”

Remember this was said to early Christians in Jerusalem.  Remember what Paul said, Heb. 13:14, “We are looking for the city which is to come.”  It came, Rev. 21:2.  Look at Rev. 21:6, “It is done.”  It is finished it is fulfilled.  Look at Rev. 3:12, you will no longer wonder what verse 12 means.  You have the truth now, rejoice and be glad, and understand that God has not misled His people, indeed He has fulfilled all prophecy.  Matt. 5:17, Luke 19:12-15, Luke 24:44, Luke 21:21-32, Rev. 16:17. The seventh angel said “It is done,” finished, fulfilled Rev. 21:6, God said, “It is done.”

3. Verse 3. “The tabernacle of God is among men, and God, Himself shall be among them.”  Verse 5. “Behold I am making all things new.”  Now we can have a better understanding of Heb. 8:13, when He said, “A new covenant, He has made the first obsolete.  But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear.”  This made way for the covenant of Isaac and for all that it provided.  Many people has been misled into believing that the book of Revelation is prophecy regarding the end of the physical World.  Christ coming to bring salvation to the Jews and to rebuild the temple.  Nothing is further from the truth.

4. Notice the statement by Peter who had the keys to the kingdom Matt. 16:19, Acts 2:39, “The promise is to you and your children, and for all who are afar off.”  The Gentiles at this time were those who were afar off.  This promise was fulfilled to the Gentiles in Acts 9:1-15, and 10:1ff.  Christ appeared to both parties, but salvation was even at this time in promise.  Christ had not yet taken His Bride, at which time the promise would be complete.  Fulfilled.  The complete end to Judaism would come.

 

Christ did through Paul promise to return a second time, not to bear sin but to bring salvation to those who eagerly awaited him for salvation.  Heb. 9:28. There are words in this passage that we need to look at in the Greek text before we go any further:  They are “appear” (Greek ophthesetai from horao) meaning “to be seen” and used in reference to Christ’s second appearance.  Vine’s, page 65, Wigram’s Lexicon, page 290, Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon, page 450.

Salvation,” Greek “soteria,” “of the future deliverance of believers at the appearing of Christ for His Saints, a salvation which is the object of their confident hope e.g. Rom. 13:11, 1 Thes. 5:8,9, where salvation is assured to them, as being deliverance from the wrath of God, destined to be executed upon the ungodly at the end of the age (1 Thes. 1:10, 2 Thes. 2:13, Heb. 1:14, Heb. 9:28, 1 Pet. 1:5, 2 Pet. 3:15, et al).  The word “salvation” is used inclusively to sum up all the blessings bestowed by God on men in Christ through the Holy Spirit.  Page 316.

Thus comes the end of the Jewish age.  See Zech. 14:1-9, “The end.”  So we look at the Greek word “end,” “telosVine’s, page 26, Wigram’s Lexicon, page 400, “brought to conclusion fully accomplished, fully developed, fully realized, complete, entire as opposed to what is partial and limited.”  Acts 2:39, clearly shows that on the day of Pentecost salvation was partial and limited by the promise.

Therefore, the salvation of Heb. 9:28, was to be a salvation from the wrath of God, Rom. 5:9, that was coming upon the world at the coming or appearing of Christ in the destruction of Jerusalem, when Christ would take His Bride.  Rev. 19:7, Rev. 21:2,3.  Thus all things would be “ended,” consummated, finished, completed, fulfilled.  See the promises that were made in Lk. 21:20-22, Lk. 24:44 in relation to the ones given in Acts 2:39.

 

Conclusion:

Perhaps if concluding questions are asked it may in some way help to better understand, Rev. 21:1-4.

 

Q. Rev. 3:12, “He who overcomes.”  In what way is this statement connected with Rev. 21:1-6?

A. Those who overcomes, and remain faithful will receive a crown of life, Rev 2:10. They shall be clothed in white garments.  Rev. 3:5. They shall eat of the tree of life in the Paradise of God.  Rev. 2:7. They shall become pillars in the Temple of God.  Rev. 3:12. They shall have a name written upon them, the City of God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of Heaven from God.  The city of God, New Jerusalem is the same city which has come down to dwell among men in Rev. 21:2

 

Q. “He who overcomes,” does this refer to living people, or a state of abode after biological death?

A. 2 Cor. 5:1-3, a new body a resurrection body.  Rev. 3:21, “He who overcomes,” after biological death.  Rev. 2:10.

 

Q. Is Christ the husband of New Jerusalem, or the church mentioned in Matt. 16:18?

A. Rev. 21:9, “Come here, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.”  Rev. 21:10. “And He carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the Holy City, New Jerusalem coming down out of Heaven from God.”  Heb. 12:22, “But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the Living God, the Heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriad’s of angels.”  Zech. 14:9,10. The church in Mat. 16:18, is representative of Christ, the gospel, the called out, all of which is the first door.  John 10:9, “I am the door,” into New Jerusalem.  One is made up of physical beings, the other Spiritual.  Christ is King over both.  Zech. 14:9. So Christ is wed to New Jerusalem.  However, the church mentioned in Matt. 16:18, is also represented from Col. 1:18, as Christ being the head of the body the church, from Eph. 4:4, as one body.  From Rev. 1:11, as churches.  Heb. 12:23, as the assembly, the church.  Revelation chapter two and three as churches.  In Rev. 21:3, as the tabernacle of God, where He Himself will dwell among His people.  1 Cor. 6:16 dwelling in the church, the people, not the building.  Matt. 18:20, “where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them.”

 

Q. Why was the city of God, the New Jerusalem delayed until after the destruction of physical Jerusalem, Sep. 10, 70 AD?

A. Heb. 8:13, the old was becoming obsolete and ready to disappear.  Heb. 9:8, the tabernacle stood only until 70 AD.  Heb. 10:9, “Behold, I have come to do thy will, He takes away the first in order to establish the second.”

 

Q. Where is God today?

A. Where ever His Tabernacle is God is there Rev. 21:3. Ezek. 40:1,2, Like a city.  Ezek. 43:6, earth the place of My throne.  Where God and Christ dwell today, Heaven is there.  This is reality.


 

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