Jack Kelley’s supernatural insight
Lyn Leahz posted an article on Idealists, Preterists, And Futurists written by dispensationalist Jack Kelley. In the article Kelley expressed his opinions on the comments by James in Acts 15:13-18 on a prophecy found in Amos 9:11, about the tabernacle of David. James applied the prophecy to the church.
Kelley stated about the Jews, who reject the Christian Gospel:
Their problem with God is not that they put the Messiah to death. Their problem is that they refused to allow His death to pay for their sins, and in so doing rendered His perfect sacrifice as being of even less value to them than the actual lambs that could only temporarily set their sins aside. It was an unbelievable insult to God that has left them dead in their sins and out of fellowship with Him for nearly 2000 years.
Because of this, James announced that Israel was being set aside while the Lord took for Himself a people from the gentiles. When He has finished doing that, He’ll turn His focus again to Israel and fulfill the remaining 70th Week (Acts 15:13-18). This was the first time on earth that a gap between the 69th and 70th weeks of Daniel’s prophecy had been revealed. This is what gave gave rise to the idea that God is not finished with Israel and there’s a lot of Bible prophecy yet to be fulfilled. Paul confirmed this in Romans 11:25.
Kelley’s statements seem to find things in Acts 15:13-18 that are simply not there. There is no mention of Daniel’s 70 weeks prophecy, and much less any mention of a gap, that I can see. But Kelley says this is the first time a gap in the 70 weeks was revealed. Really? In my opinion, it is as if Jack Kelley is drunk, having imbibed too much the dogma of dispensationalism, causing a kind of intoxication, figuratively of course. This metaphor was employed by the prophet Isaiah.
But they also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment.
In Isa. 29:9-10 the prophet explains further, “they are drunken, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink. For the Lord hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered.”
Like alcoholics, many dispensationalists are hopelessly addicted. Kelley is evidently an example. He is become so drunk, figuratively, in the sense described in Isaiah’s prophecy, he finds support for his dispensationalist dogma in scriptures that are actually powerful evidence against it. In Acts 15:15-18 James interprets Amos 9:11, and identifies the Christian church with the tabernacle of David. This is fatal to dispensationalism. Kelly, however, is evidently oblivious to this, rather like a person who is drunk, whose perception of reality is distorted.
James did not say that Israel has been set aside; but Peter said, in Acts 3:23, that Jews who do not believe the Gospel are cut off; they are “destroyed from among the people;” no longer Jews, or Israel. Paul said, “For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel.” [Rom. 9:6] He described them as branches broken off their olive tree, while Gentiles who believe are branches grafted in. Gentiles who believe in Christ are “brought nigh to the commonwealth of Israel” and the covenants of promise by the blood of Christ. [Eph. 2:12-13]
For the record, below is the scripture that was cited by Kelley. The prophecy James referred to was from Amos, not Daniel. I find no hint of any “gap” in the 70 weeks of Daniel mentioned in these verses, as Kelley asserts.
And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me:
Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name.
And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written,
After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up:
That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things.
Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.
The so-called “parenthesis” doctrine of dispensationalism says the present age of the church was unforeseen by the prophets, which is contradicted by the statement of James in verse 18.
But Wait There’s More
There are other prophecies that confirm the idea that Israel’s options were open. For example, 750 years before the fact, Isaiah spoke of the coming Messiah.
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this (Isaiah 9:6-7).
There’s no indication of a gap in the middle of this prophecy’s fulfillment. Absent any other information a rational person would conclude that the two paragraphs are connected, with the second immediately following the first.
Kelly correctly states there is no indication of any gap in time between the two verses. The child in Isaiah’s prophecy was Jesus, born of the lineage of David, and he reigns on David’s throne “from that time on and forever.” But dispensationalists like Kelley deny that this part of the prophecy has come to pass. They claim Jesus has not yet received the throne of David he was promised. In this they agree with unbelieving Jews, who Paul said have been blinded. Even though Jesus said he was a king, when he appeared before Pilate, and he was crucified and rose from the grave as foretold by David in Psalm 16, and in other prophecies, and ascended to the throne of his Father in heaven, they do not believe that he reigns on David’s throne. That is why Kelley tries desperately to find gap, in Scriptures where none exists. He wrote:
Likewise, when Gabriel announced the Lord’s coming to Mary, he promised that her child would be called the Son of God. He would sit on David’s throne and reign over the house of Jacob forever (Luke 1:30-33). Gabriel didn’t mention a 2,000 year gap between the child’s birth and His ascension to David’s throne either.
Gabriel didn’t mention a 2,000 year gap, because Jesus was “made Christ,” by God, as promised, when he ascended to the throne of his Father in heaven. This means the prophecies about the Messiah applied to him, including Isaiah’s prophecy that he would reign on David’s throne forever, which was also confirmed by the angel Gabriel who appeared to Mary.
Isaiah said, the mountain of the Lord’s house would be established in the top of the mountains; this “mountain” is a symbol of the promise of a Messiah and his kingdom.
The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.
And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.
And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
Isaiah’s prophecy applies to Jesus and the Christian church that he is building in the present age. Jerusalem is the heavenly city where he reigns as king. Hebrews 12:22 says, “But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem.” Those who believe in Christ have come to the heavenly mount Zion, where Jesus reigns. God said through David, “Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.” [Psa. 2:6] What folly it is to deny it!
Kelley wrote on Isaiah 9:6-7:
Both of these prophecies have only been fulfilled in part. The child was born, the son was given and He is called the Son of God by many. But because Israel rejected Him, He hasn’t been seated on David’s throne, He is not Israel’s King, and the Earth is not experiencing everlasting peace. By inserting a gap between the part that has been fulfilled and the part that hasn’t, you can see that what could have been the past to us has become the future and the meaning of the prophecy remains just as clear as it would have been without it.
The angel Gabriel said to Mary, “He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David.” [Luke 1:32] Receiving David’s throne does not depend on Jews accepting or rejecting Jesus as their king; God gave it to him. Peter said to the Jews, “God hath made the same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.” [Acts 2:36]
Jews who do not hear Christ, and believe in him, and reject him as the Christ, have been cut off from Israel, and “destroyed from among the people,” Peter said. [Acts 3:23] Few dispensationalists believe this.
Can You See It?
Only when we really dig into these prophecies with supernatural insight can we see that the preterist view requires a departure from a strict literal translation. I say we need the assistance of supernatural insight because as far as we can tell not one of the Jewish scholars “saw” the gap between the 69th and 70th weeks into which the Church Age so neatly fits. The Apostle Paul was arguably the most intellectually gifted of the New Testament writers, and had been educated by Gamaliel, who was revered as a pre-eminent Hebrew scholar (Acts 22:3). Yet even Paul did not understand this until it was revealed to him by God Himself. He said it was a mystery not made known to men in other generations (Ephes. 3:2-6).
Futurists who adhere to a literal interpretation of Scripture accuse preterists of spiritualizing some prophecies in order to give them a historical fulfillment. For example, most preterists cling to the opinion that God is finished with Israel. They say prophecies that futurists see as pertaining to Israel’s future have been inherited by and fulfilled in the Church. In this they are like others who embrace replacement theology. (Replacement Theology is the false teaching that the Church has replaced Israel in God’s plan.)
It is interesting that Kelley says a supernatural insight is required to “see” the gap that dispensationalists have proposed. But what kind of “insight” is this? Paul wrote: “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.” [1 Tim. 4:1]
Not all supernatural “insight” is of God. Paul did not teach that there is a gap between the 69th and 70th weeks of Daniel. Dispensationalists may be the victims of delusion, and “seducing spirits” that Paul foretold.