EXPERIENCING THE POWER OF FULFILLED PROMISES
Michael F. Blume
© 2003 Michael F. Blume
All rights reserved
Many have heard the past fulfillment interpretation of the book of Revelation, also called Kingdom Eschatology, and reacted prematurely saying that such a thought renders Revelation irrelevant to the Church of our day and to each of us as Believers. Such a response is extremely incorrect. In fact, past fulfillment causes one to realize just how much more we should be doing for the Lord because of its implications. My entire concept has changed about my life as a Christian right in the here and now as a result of this understanding!
I also wish to address the thought that many people have who indicate they relegate Revelation and its information as not so important in their lives as, say, the need to win souls, for example. I propose that a futuristic interpretation and concept of Revelation has engendered just such a belief in the minds of these people. After all, if the events listed in Revelation have not yet occurred, then why be worried about them now?
To look at the events of Revelation, for the most part, as having already been fulfilled, implies a very vital truth. And it is this implication that has simply overhauled my own life as a Christian.
Let me begin by saying that if we were to relegate any past events of history as recorded in the Bible as irrelevant to our lives as Christians, then we had better throw out most of the New Testament! All four gospels are the history of Christ's ministry in this world. The crucifixion is a historical event! The book of Acts is the history of the early church. Much of the epistles speak about Paul's words concerning the problems with the various churches in that first century. Throw these books out, if history is irrelevant to our day today!
However, we all know such a thought is ridiculous! We need the accounts of Christ's life and crucifixion. We need the accounts of the Early Church in the book of Acts and the lists of problems and how Paul dealt with them in the Early Church period. Why? These events have IMPLICATIONS that affect our lives today as believers. I do not even have to explain the need for such implications, as that should be obvious to any believer today. But the Kingdom Eschatological approach to the book of Revelation is no less a valid point that should urge us to greatly value this book today.
The thought that the destruction of Jerusalem, for rejecting Christ and calling for pagan Caesar to be her king instead, as we propose is a great issue in the Book of Revelation, tells us that the destruction is all past and fulfilled. The implications to this proposition are enormous! We end up with the City of the New Jerusalem with a river of life flowing from it, and a tree of life with leaves for the nations' healing and fruit for meat. And just before John says "Amen," he wrote words inviting all who thirst to come to this very River of Life and drink, right now, of its waters!
We propose the City is the Church of Jesus Christ! Do we do so as the result of flights of fancy interpretation? Absolutely not. Jesus, Himself called us a city!
The writer of Hebrews synonymously called the Church the Heavenly Jerusalem.
Paul wrote about the mother, the Church, as Jerusalem which is above.
Jerusalem above is not going to be the mother of us all. She is and she was 2000 years ago in Paul's day! She "is" the mother of us all.
God foretold that His people would be called a city!
The Early Church viewed this prophecy as speaking about their day.
And Isaiah continues and reads:
People might say this has not been fulfilled, despite the words of Acts 13:47, but nobody can deny that these words are saying that it is the PEOPLE OF GOD that are to be called a City. Isaiah 62 plainly states this to be so!
What does this imply? What does this tell us if we are to understand that we are already in the New Jerusalem, in the form of the New Testament Church? It means a lot!
It means that we should be ruling and reigning as Kings right now. The dominion that everyone is waiting for to exert over the earth in the future, is a dominion we should be enjoying right now! This shook me to my very core! I was waiting for the millennium to begin and to one day rule as a king and priest. But I realized God already made us these things.
"Hath made" is past tense! We were made kings and priests. Hello, kings and priests!
So what does it mean, then, to rule over certain cities, if this is a "now" thing?
It means revival! Church, we should be ruling our cities by having such mighty revival that righteousness begins prevailing in our communities. To one is given ten cities. This means one member of the church has enough power and anointing and ministry to lead revivals in ten cities! Do you deny this? Would you not say God could do this? Church, this message has challenged my soul and pushed me towards greater victories and more powerful influence through my own ministry! I was shaken to the core when these thoughts hit me. I thought of how much time I have wasted! I was waiting for the millennium to rule and reign with Jesus. But I realized I can rule right now in victory over my own life, by enjoying power over sin. Paul indicated this in Romans 6 when he said, "Sin shall not have dominion over you."
I began to see how anemic the church has become!
If that city is the people of God right now, as all indications from the rest of the Bible seem to say, then I need to get off my backside and start ruling and overcoming obstacles and stepping out in faith for God to use me in revival! If my thoughts are correct, then there are thousands of churches that are wasting precious time in thinking they are not yet kings and priests, and cannot rule right now. They are satisfied to think they are a witness in their city, and so long as they have open doors on Sunday, for hungry souls to come if they really want Jesus, then they are doing God's will.
No, they are not!
We need to be conquering our cities. We need to be stomping out the effects of devils and unclean spirits in our towns, by starting to live victoriously in our personal lives! We have saints who can barely hold onto Jesus, let alone conquer temptation in their lives, and refuse to let sin have dominion over them.
Unbelief runs rampant! Please understand I am not trying to be mean and hard. It's just the truth! Paul said sin shall not have dominion over you, since you have been buried into Jesus' death, and have thereby caused the destruction of the old man, so we should not serve sin. Yet believers look at such a thing as impossible because "we still have this old flesh." However, Paul contended that, despite our mortal bodies, God's Spirit can quicken these bodies so that we should not live the rest of our days to the lust of the flesh and to the flesh. Paul did it!
What reason did Paul give for not having to be debtors to live after the flesh? It was because Christ's Spirit is in us to quicken our mortal bodies. That means that He can empower us right now while we have mortal bodies, so that we do not have sin reign over us.
He is contrasting sin ruling in our mortal bodies, with our mortal bodies being quickened to no longer live after the flesh!
Meanwhile, saints do not believe this is possible! This "old flesh" still holds us down so much, and we won't have victory until we are changed. No sir! Paul said that in this present life sin does not have to have dominion over us. We should dominate sin! We are, presently, kings and priests! And we shall rule in this world!
No, I am not speaking about KINGDOM NOW doctrine, that proposes we take over the government offices of Ottawa and Washington.
We've got churches where there are not any more gifts of the Spirit in operation than an occasional message in tongues and an interpretation of tongues, or a healing every few months, and yet we call ourselves "Apostolic!"
This message stirred me up!
The ramifications of the fact that the wrath and destruction in the Book of Revelation is fulfilled, leads one to realize that this City needs to be pumping out the River of Life so that all who are athirst can come and drink of its waters right now, not 2,000 years from now, or even 10 years from now!
Jesus clearly explained that the river of living waters is the Holy Ghost that is a well inside us!
How can we read these verses, and then interpret Revelation's river of living water as a literal and physical river of H20?
And the tree of life is in the Church, also.
I am glad that David wrote that the saint of God is like a tree whose leaf does not wither, because Revelation reads that those leaves are for the healing of the nations! This is speaking about saints of God who walk not in the way of sinners, nor sit in the seat of the scornful! Read the previous two verses in Psalm 1. And the fruit is brought forth in his season, just as Revelation stated that the fruit was yielded every month. This is figurative talk, just like Psalm 1:3 was figurative talk of the saints of God.
And this Psalm chimes in harmony with these words:
"...that they might be called trees of righteousness."
Jesus is inside us as the Holy Ghost, and pours forth the Rivers of Living water. Or rather, He should be pouring it forth from our lives. The fact is that many believers are defeated and the River is locked up within their souls and not pouring out.
Now, it has been said that such interpretations of Revelation are flights of fancy, without basis and foundation. However, I have quoted Psalm 1:3, which nobody would deny was not speaking figuratively about the saints of God. Psalm 1:1-2 says so! So I am simply making references of the things noted throughout Revelation, that I claim are figurative, to their established use of figures of speech in the rest of the Bible.
Revelation stated that the New Jerusalem had twelve foundations having a name of the twelve apostles in each foundation. Paul already interpreted that for us as follows:
Does It Matter If We Study Revelation Or Not?
I formerly noted that many relegate the study of Revelation to be a lesser issue of importance than other biblical issues. Such thinking is extremely wrong. Revelation is an entire book of the Bible! Would God have us relegate an entire book of the Bible to be something of lesser concern than the rest of the Bible? Think of it. God took time and inspiration to move upon His servant, John, to write an entire book that people are casting aside today as unimportant. Oh, they might claim it's important, alright, but not as important as other issues.
I disagree. God wants us to clearly understand the entire Bible. And the temptation to cast off any study of Revelation whatsoever goes hand in hand with the thought that it is not as important as other issues.
Let me address this concept of this book by asking whether or not realization of how much more we should be doing as the church today, in the way of seeing more dominion in our personal lives and churches, is important? I think all would respond with a resounding YES! Well, this is the sort of thinking that thundered in my ears and echoed for months after I began looking at Revelation in this light.
I suggest that the reason people cast Revelation aside as a lesser book, is due to the influence of Futurist Dispensational interpretation of this book. Since these events are not occurring yet, and are off in the future somewhere, even if only ten years away, then all we can derive from it is the hope that evil will be over one day. Meanwhile we go on our merry way and simply stay saved for the time being. And let's pray we never have to be around in this world when that judgment comes! "Come before the tribulation, Jesus!"
But if everyone felt that these things were fulfilled in the destruction of Jerusalem, and that the Church is spiritually standing on a sea of glass, shouting "Hosanna!" to Jesus, because we accepted Him whereas Jerusalem rejected Him, then this implies a great deal of truth. Revelation 7, in noting this picture, says that the saints serve God day and night in His temple. Are we not the temple of the Holy Ghost now? Do we not serve Him now?
When one realizes that a fulfilled concept of Revelation is true, the implications will impact us so heavily, that we will all feel compelled to loose the power of God out from within our lives so much more than what we presently are, and believe God for greater things than we have dared believe Him for before. I know, because this is what happened to me.
Has my ministry changed? Yes. I have seen more miracles in my ministry, more anointing upon my preaching, and more faith for greater things. I leave you with this as my personal testimony as to what a difference Kingdom Eschatology has done in my own life.
What are the fruits of this interpretation? The fruits are evident in my own ministry. And would not something be truly considered as correct if the results are that it urges one towards greater exploits for the Lord, and a deeper appreciation for what we already have provided for us because of the present experience of the new birth that the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ provided for us? I think so!
Michael F. Blume is a minister with Rightly Dividing the Word. He is assistant pastor Bible Truth Church, El Campo, TX. His website’s address is: www.mikeblume.com
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