Catacomb Resident Blog

Discerning Covenant Boundaries

19 April 2022

God is eternal. The universe is not. Don't buy into the mythology of how those truths interplay. We are limited in what God will reveal about such things, but the Aristotelian mythology about God and eternity has really spoiled how we approach the question. It has generated a collection of a priori assumptions contrary to Scripture. We need to embrace the Ancient Near Eastern understanding of such things.

Even the Apostles struggled with this issue at first (Acts 1:7).

Let's say for a moment that you have a prophetic calling and a burden for China. So you seek the Lord according to your convictions and want to know if He will reveal to you what will happen to China. If you approach the question with Aristotelian mythology, you will assume that God has forecast China's fortunes already. That's not how God is portrayed in Scripture, which is part of the wider Ancient Near Eastern context.

The Ancient Near Eastern concept is that God always gets what He wants in the end, but that He acts toward that goal interactively with humanity in some ways. If some particular pivotal leader chooses one path, then it comes with some twists and turns God has established. But another path will have different twists and turns. The outcome may or may not be the same as we view such things, but they will be the same from God's perspective.

Don't assume your curiosity and questions are consistent with how God views things.

Has God decreed certain economic and political outcomes for China? Don't count on it. Such things are not likely essential to God's plans. It's more likely that we do not comprehend what matters to God in such questions. Understanding this helps to make better use of the prophecies already recorded in Scripture and how things turned out.

A primary example is the prophetic word to Daniel regarding the empire he served at that time, and those that followed. It also helps us to make better sense of what God said about the 70 Weeks prophesy. You need to be a lot more sensitive to the kinds of things God considers important, and not try to squeeze out of it answers to your human curiosity.

Here's my own prophetic analysis of China: Some things have not yet been determined at our level. I can warn you on a purely intellectual level that her economy is both worse and better than is commonly described in the MSM. There are ways in which China could still rise and replace the West as the dominant economic power of the world. There are ways in which the dominance could be very shaky. What I want to warn you against is buying into any huckster who claims to know all the answers because "God has decreed" this or that.

What I am utterly certain has been settled is that the West is going down the tubes. It won't disappear, but it will lose its dominance. Later on it's quite possible that the identity of the West will cease to be meaningful, but it really won't matter, since we are due any day now for a micro-nova that wipes out civilization altogether. And since the US was never a covenant nation, but has become a beacon of moral darkness, it has no significant future value at all. Consider it doomed even before any major solar events. A far more sensible focus is how we will preserve His Covenant message regardless of what happens. We must build the Covenant shalom.

What matters most to God is His Covenant message. That message is transmitted via His Covenant people. People who embrace that message and Covenant are allowed to see His plans, inasmuch as it pertains to their missions. He always has at least a few covenant folks with whom He shares His plans. People outside the Covenant boundaries have no clue, only their best estimate from an intellectual approach. Sometimes it's right, and sometimes it's not. Worse, it makes no real difference at all, since they aren't engaged in Covenant business.

Thus, the fortunes of nations, civilizations, etc., are just a subsidiary interest to God. He reveals to His Covenant people whatever they need to know about such things as it pertains to their calling to serve the message. God can use any nation to create the proper background for His message, and when He decides His message needs one thing or another, there may be more than one candidate for that use.

In the wider scope of things, China's persecution of churches is hardly a serious threat to His message. Too many Chinese churches are effectively a front for something besides His Covenant. Nothing in the Covenant requires the current manifestation of Christian religion in China. Nothing in the Covenant requires provoking the Chinese authorities on a large scale. These are not real covenant communities. Genuine covenant communities could expect God's protection because there's no need to compete with government demands openly. What we see is some other mission dressed up in Bible verses.

Granted, there are very real people of faith involved, but the churches tend to reflect a cultural "Christianity" they learned from western churches. They stand outside the Covenant hedge, where Satan can maul them at will, the same as he does everyone else. Whether China is actually interfering with the Covenant gospel is rather doubtful, so don't assume it's a special threat from Satan. That would pervert your expectations about what God will do there. You'll be looking for wrath and retribution that isn't coming. The same goes for the reported oppression of the Muslims in western China; it's no special offense to God.

The same goes for prophetic expectations about the rest of the world. Persecution of Christians in Africa? How often did we find out later that some Christian organization was a front for political activism? Even the 700 Club's work there (Operation Blessing) turned out to be a front for CIA operations, and I'd say it was with the full knowledge and blessings of the 700 Club's leadership. Spare me protestations of "doing God's work". It was not about the Covenant, that's for sure.

All the prophetic talent and gifts God might give you cannot help you if you are not consciously pursuing the Covenant. You will be unable to process for sharing the messages you get until you make the Covenant first in your commitments.

Once you become cynical enough about the Harlot Church, your efforts to perceive prophetic truth stand on much more solid ground. There's a host of a priori assumptions that simply don't match the biblical standard. God is not concerned about anything but His Covenant people. Everything else is just a matter of tools to be used and discarded when they wear out. His real treasure in this world is His Covenant people. The question is whether you can discern His Covenant boundaries.

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