Sjolander Road Fellowship

Declaring the God of Unconditional Love

Escaping Orthodoxy

When Jesus stated in the Revelation letter “behold I make all things new”, just how “new” were these “all things?” How are we to understand the apostle Paul’s statement as he discusses the rituals of the Law and declares they are “a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ?” Do we just shrug our shoulders at the apostle’s statement in Eph 1:3, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ?” If one studies the scriptures with an expectation of a physical fulfillment, he is bound to be disappointed. The physical illustrations in the Old Covenant are fulfilled in each case by the spiritual realities of the New. The second is a spiritual covenant with victory over spiritual slavery and spiritual death, bringing spiritual deliverance through a spiritual Passover resulting in our new spiritual life and spiritual salvation. All things that were typified by the physical under the old covenant were replaced by spiritual realities under the new.

Understanding the scriptures from a fulfilled, completed viewpoint affirms the spiritual to the exclusion of the physical in all matters pertaining to our salvation. This interpretation of scripture produces a peace of mind unknowable to those who believe in future, physical, end-time cataclysmic events.

To expect a coming physical kingdom focused on Middle Eastern real estate, or to require for any reason another “coming” of Christ, reflects misunderstanding of bible prophecy. First, it reflects a failure to understand that Old Testament types were all fulfilled in Christ’s completed first century mission to earth, including His departure and same-generation return. Second, it reflects a confusion of what is tangible and physical with what is real and spiritual. What is the real person- the physical body or the intangible soul? 2 Cor. 4:7,18 says “for we have this treasure in earthen vessels—So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” And we might add, not only eternal but spiritual as well.

Until we realize that the real things in God’s eyes are not the tangible things made of clay and dust, we will continue to hold to things tangible and material. However, these are only shadows of the realities. We do not understand what we have now if we still expect an interim period after physical death (like that which the Old Testament saints experienced), and then yet another coming of Christ and a future resurrection with a changed physical body to house the real beings which are us.

Third, the expectation of another coming reflects a lack of appreciation for (and lack of understanding of) what we now have through Christ – eternal life in God’s kingdom. A false expectation of another physical kingdom of fleshly descendants of Israel denies the reality of the spiritual kingdom in which we now live. The anticipation of a restored physical temple and sacrifice denies the finality of Christ’s sacrifice. He came to put an end to those physical things FOREVER. “the way into the Most Holy Place has not been disclosed while the outer tabernacle is still standing, which is a symbol for the present time.” (Heb. 9:8,9). The “present time” is first century. The “outer tabernacle” is the physical temple in Jerusalem. The “Most Holy Place” is the very dwelling place of God. The “outer tabernacle” was destroyed in A.D.70, opening the way for first century Christians to enter into the very presence of God, and no power on earth can remove us from the house Christ prepared for us. Fourth, to deny that the resurrection is past is to

say that death still reigns, for Paul said that only when the resurrection of the last day had been consummated could the saying that is written come true, “Death has been swallowed up in victory” (1 Cor. 15:54). The completed work of Christ freed us from the Law and the bondage of sin and death. These are truths that set us free, for we have the victory NOW, not just anticipation of victory in the future.

Moses the Lawgiver brought to his people a legal system consisting of ten commandants, each emphasizing, “Thou shalt”, and “Thou shalt not”. Centuries later, Jesus the Lifegiver established a framework for a new mode of life in a new Kingdom. In this Kingdom, the negative “Thou shalt not” laws were replaced with the positive “How happy are those who” principles. The new way of life doesn’t sound like a legal system for an earthly, physical kingdom, does it? The fulfillment of the ages was upon these people. The kingdom of heaven was at hand. In their generation, the old system would be destroyed and the new brought to maturity. The righteousness dwelling in the new kingdom would be measured in spiritual terms, in terms of heart attitudes, rather than in external terms measurable by the scribes and Pharisees. Jesus was fundamentally reinterpreting the law, replacing the old legal code with new spiritual principles. (remember, He said in the Revelation letter, “behold I make all things new”). In the new kingdom, the law of love would apply, and the fulfilling of this law would make all other regulations unnecessary. Please see the following scriptures for further study of the “love” principal. Gal. 5:13,14, Romans 13: 8-10, Matt. 22:36-40, John 13:34,35.

At some point in time, there had to logically be and end to the to the physical ordinances of the first covenant. A second covenant could not become valid until the first was fulfilled, (Heb. 9). We believe A.D.-70 was the termination point of the first covenant. At that time, the second was in full force and effect, a “new” creation in every sense of the word, the first covenant having been invalidated by its fulfillment. The Eternal Kingdom was begun, a spiritual new heaven and earth appeared, and the new Jerusalem in which there is no death was ready for entry by God’s people. The mansions He’d gone to prepare were ready, everything having been accomplished.

Today we take our part in the endless generations that can freely enter the new, spiritual Jerusalem. Nothing in this world can separate us from the love of God, for He is now with us and we live ever with Him, “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom. 8:38,39).