A Future and a Hope
Enclaves of Fulfillment in a World under Judgment
“For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the Lord,
“plans for prosperity and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jer. 29:11
At all times, the promises of God are sure and faithful. And by “promises,” I refer to God’s promises to His people concerning this life. I am not talking about future glorified life (though that is where all ultimate fulfillments are to be realized).
A conflict of faith exists wherein, while on one hand, we inwardly know God has made promises to us of many things concerning this life, yet on the other, we see nothing but a world culture going down in flames, destroying any context by which our promises could ever find any present realization. Death, disease, war, multi-culturalism, global corporatism, moral insanity, tyranny and artificial intelligence are taking over all the only venues in this life we have for conceiving of God’s fulfilment of His present promises.
Is there a resolution to this conflict?
Perhaps the first point of understanding we should embrace is that God’s personal promises will never contravene or alter God’s macro purposes for His people on their march toward glorified life; yet He makes all His personal promises in full awareness of those macro purposes such that they are not at odds.
By macro purposes, I am talking about those huge epochal shifts God brings forth characterized by massive societal upheaval. On their face, such shifts appear to destroy any possibility for realizing divine personal promises that otherwise inherently depend on societal stability to find fulfilment.
Consider the Flood, for example. We don’t know what personal promises Noah or his family received from God long before the Flood or the knowledge of their calling to have to build an ark. Prior to such knowledge and calling, any promises would only have been conceived to be fulfilled in their present society. But in the end, any such long term promises would have found their fulfilment on the other side of the Flood under new conditions of societal living built from scratch. There they were, having passed through the Flood, still alive, and able to see God complete whatever He had promised them however long ago before the Flood.
Consider likewise the Exodus with its promise of freedom. It is doubtless (at least to me) that prior to Moses, Israel’s groaning for freedom from tyranny was expressed (maybe prophesied among them?) in terms of replacing Pharaoh and the Egyptian system, or otherwise to repair the system back to the way it was when they had favor under Joseph. They would have hoped God might raise up a Pharaoh once again with the heart of Joseph, perhaps even “one of their own.” But they would not have envisioned gaining freedom by means of (heaven forbid) leaving Egypt with all its good things, it’s wondrously stable society, and of course, the delicacies of its “fish, cucumbers, and melons and leeks and onion and garlic!”
But God’s promise for Israel’s freedom was planted within His macro purpose for their exodus. And with the Exodus came nothing but upheaval. This upheaval brought unimaginable pressure of plagues, oppression with yet more tyranny; and it surrounded them with death and destruction of their originating societal context. Yet the freedom was fulfilled in this life after all.
This brings us to consider Jeremiah’s word wherein God promises “a future and a hope” to the captives in Babylon. This is one of the most prized promises we embrace today as God’s people, especially under personal pressure of any kind. This promise is indeed a present tense promise for the things of this life. But this promise is given under the contortion of God’s macro purposes affecting the whole nation. It was given under conditions of forced transition to captivity.
God was really saying, “Under conditions of national upheaval leading to multi-generational captivity, I still offer you a promise and a hope for prosperity. I still have a way to fulfil My personal promises to you.”
The context in which this promise was given is very significant. For throughout the chapter, God through Jeremiah also contends both with those now in Babylon and those yet in Israel who wanted to deny and to reverse God’s decreed macro purpose of the captivity. In this, God was specifically targeting both false prophets still in Israel prophesying national salvation from complete captivity, and those now in Babylon prophesying imminent national salvation back out of Babylon (the same ones who first prophesied “Israel will never fall to Babylon”).
The point again for this article is just this: God had a way to fulfil His personal promises to His people despite their irreversibly-decreed subjection to captivity in Babylon. There was no way they could turn back that subjection and punishment. Nevertheless, God yet provided in Babylon an “enclave” wherein He would fulfil His present tense promises to them in this life. The captivity was not to signal their complete loss of a future and a hope. It was only to signal a different context of living wherein that hope would be prosperously realized.
This brings us to our present focus and application. We who have lived under the past stability of western society, and especially that of America, have throughout our lifetimes received many wonderful personal prophecies for this life. Any reader can fill in the blank on those promises: perhaps a home, or a marriage, or a family, or a business, or a calling of desire. Anyone living prior to the present has ever only envisioned fulfilment of such promises in terms of the stable society we all once knew.
But stability has been replaced by culture-wide volatility and turmoil—chaos of such magnitude as to destroy all hope for realizing God’s personal promises in this life. This upheaval is due to God’s macro purposes to set His people free into the next realm of life itself (glorified immortality), but which nevertheless leaves many to remain subject to the conditions of this life in mortality.
This macro purpose contains the dreaded age-climaxing specter of the Great Tribulation with its global tyranny and complete destruction of the world’s systems—the edge of which we have already touched. That purpose, as described in the book of Revelation, actually depicts the Exodus we have already described, while embracing the effect of Noah’s Flood we also described, cited by Jesus in Mt. 24:37.
But what was true for Noah through the Flood, and for Israel through the Exodus, and for Israel through Babylon’s captivity, is now true for us on the eve of the Tribulation. This is what God wants us to receive in order to make sense of all the personal prophecies that now offer no hope or future of ever coming to pass amidst all the cultural collapse.
God would have us know that even through the Great Tribulation, He has a future and a hope of prosperity to bring His faithful people in fulfilment of His present personal promises. We do not need to know how He will do this. It is only enough to know that in passing into the Rev. 12 wilderness and through the Flood, he will have enclaves of stability and safety prepared for us in which He will still masterfully bring to pass long awaited present promises.
There will still be gladness as He brings forth rivers in the desert. There will still be places to live and families to bring forth and callings to be realized. There will still be legacy to pass on to the next generations in this world. He really does have a future and a hope for us.
The end of the age does not mean all earth life goes extinct, that everybody belonging to God is translated to heaven, or that all God’s people are martyred, and that everybody else dies and goes to hell. There will still be protected survivors of both God’s people and of all nations—especially of Israel!—who proceed on into the next age under mortality. And there too will many personal prophecies prior to the Tribulation find their fulfillment!
But in order to maintain a true vision for the true hope and future God has under the macro instability shift, there are definite mentalities we must shed and rebuke. They are the mentalities of false prophetic hope and no prophetic hope.
False prophetic hope is that which we have prosecuted throughout this ministry. It is all the false prophecies and faith declarations predicting cultural “turnaround,” cultural “revival” and national “salvation” while continuing to deny we are under judgment or will come under judgment.
On the other hand are those who offer no prophetic hope. These prophesy nothing but world destruction, the wiping out of the whole church in martyrdom, and deny God has anything earthly to fulfil of His promises or a legacy to preserve unto further generations here below. These feed on nothing but tales of evil, being devoted to nothing more than exposing all the hidden works of satan.
(In between are those who oddly comprise both!)
Lastly, for those of us dedicated to pursuing glorified immortality: as much as the evil spurs us on to this hope more fully, we must remain aware that, as long as we remain, we are here to help prepare the way of the Lord for all here below. As a true “Elijah” people, we are always preparers of the way below as well as preparers for translation above.
We are preparing therefore not just for glorified immortality, but for God’s people at whatever point of faith they are. (Someone has to prepare that place for the woman in the wilderness—Rev. 12:6!) And until God proves otherwise by our translation, we must hold fast to our own personal promises from Him for this life. Preparing for either glorification or martyrdom should never lead us to abandon His promises for future hope here below.
May these meditations establish, strengthen and settle us ever more firmly as we continue making our way through the corridor of this time.
New Meadow Neck, Rhode Island, USA
First Love Ministry
- a ministry of Anglemar Fellowship
Page created August 25, 2023