Kenneth Greatorex

The writings of Kenneth B. Greatorex

- Return to Kenneth Greatorex's Title Index -

Alternate Image - Your Flash isn't working!
Greater Emmanuel Website
Which Intertestamental Period?
Kenneth Greatorex

Many will answer this question with the reply that there was only one such one period, which was the period of time between the last OT prophet Malachi, and the New Testament. I had the pleasure of teaching an evening Bible School course on this very interesting period in the history of ancient Israel and while there is plenty of evidence to support this concept, it is not what I am calling the TRUE INTERTESTAMENTAL Period.

The INTER concept means, occurring between and refers to a time of changeover. What I am writing about is not a natural but a spiritual transition. The commonly accepted IP was a time of spiritual silence between Yahweh and the very mixed group of people who considered themselves to be Israel, and who carried on a form of the religion of Moses. There was a dead SPIRITUAL SILENCE from Malachi until John the Baptist burst upon the scene with the proclamation: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."

Many years ago I was surprised when I heard that the OT didn’t end at Malachi, but rather at the end of the Gospels. That is correct! The New Covenant in the precious blood of Jesus only came into being then. Jesus lived and ministered under the Law of Moses. Furthermore, the phasing out period of the OT Covenant lasted close to 40 years. As Hebrews 8:13 says, "A new covenant," He has made the first obsolete. But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear.” That is, to be gone and never to be restored, not a part of it. Some believe otherwise, which makes mockery of the New Covenant in effect by Christ’s blood, as if it isn’t good enough.

The Epistle to the Hebrews clearly was written prior to the events of 70 AD as it makes reference to various sacrifices, and temple rituals as then still happening. This is why it speaks of the OLD as being, as Jonathan Mitchell’s translation puts it, “In thus to be saying "new," He has made the first OLD, and that growing old and obsolete (failing of age), near of disappearing (vanishing away). It was progressively on the way out.”

Since we know that the New Covenant was in effect, why would the Old still be around? It seems to have been a time of transition, a special time of grace, for what is called “natural Israel,” to become a part of Spiritual Israel before the devastation to soon come. Without going further into this topic, we are reminded in Hebrews 10:9 that, “He takes away the first in order to establish the second.”

Those who want to live, in whole or in part, under the OT, in effect, show contempt toward the New Covenant Jesus established. It is one or the other, not both, as I have previously said, “You cannot be both a Jew and a Christian.” To mix the two is not of God, and such mixture, destroys the purity found only in Christ. This is the curse we have today called “Judeao-Christianity,” which has weakened the purity of the Christian faith.

Years ago a brother told me that he only reads the words of Jesus, and then made reference to the time when Jesus had come down from the mount of his glorification and the disciples had wanted to build three tabernacles. He repeated Matthew 17:5, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.” To him only the words of Jesus mattered, the rest didn’t have much value. This kind of thinking appears to not know that Jesus ministered, with rare exception, to those under the Law, in a Roman occupied and governed land.

In Revelation Chapter One, the Son of God tells us that we need to have “an ear to hear what the Spirit would say.” In other words, Jesus didn’t go silent after Acts Chapter One. Paul reminds us that, “ All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” 2 Timothy 3:16.

I am reminded that John Wycliffe, the first man to translate the Bible into English, gave some simple rules to follow to understand scripture:

It will greatly help you to understand scripture,
If you mark,
Not only what is spoken or written,
But of whom,
And to whom,
With what words,
At what time,
To what intent,
With what circumstances,
Considering what goeth before,
And what followeth.

There are unique times when the Spirit will emphasis a word or a phrase to bring a lesson to us. However, failure to understand the simple rules Wycliffe gave has led to much misapplication of scripture. Paul in 2 Timothy 2:15 said, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.” The word “accurately” means to cut straight. Jonathan Mitchell’s NT puts it his way: “continually cutting with the Word of truth in a straight direction; constantly making a straight cut {or: wound} with the speech of the Truth; also = dealing straightforwardly with the discourse of the Truth; repeatedly dividing and marking out straight boundaries by the Word of Truth).”

Now, let me share a time when God sovereignly used a verse out of context. While attending the American Soul Clinic, the story was told: “A very obese man had been witnessed to repeatedly, and nothing turned him to the Lord. However someone had given him a Bible and one day he opened it and read, “all the fat belongeth to the Lord.” That did it, he turned to Christ.” My counsel has always been, “Don’t try using that kind of scripture when speaking to an obese person as it could get you into trouble, but the Holy Spirit can do as he wills.

Periodically we are told that we should try to follow certain teachings of Jesus, such as the Sermon on the Mount. Who can deny the precious truths found here? However, this is an example of impossible living. Don’t try to do it, as your human efforts will become legalistic works if you succeed in the least. You will become self-centered, rather than Christ centered. Yet, there is hope! When HE who is the Spirit of Truth works in our lives, nothing is impossible. Some call this: “Him-possible!”

This is the secret of the victorious life: NOT I BUT CHRIST! We have been conditioned to a system of religion that is a mix of the old wine (OT) with the new wine. We wonder why it won’t work, and are encouraged to do good things like pray more, read more Bible, follow the Ten Commandments which Jesus cut down to two, praise more, talk in tongues more, plus of course all the legalisms of do and don’t behavior.

It is imperative that we get out from this spiritual INTERTESTAMENTAL so-called Christian life that appeals to our soulical nature. Human efforts please the flesh and bring glory only to the flesh. Human judgements passed on to others as being spiritual, are based upon the spirit of legalism, harm many and reflect poorly on the Christ they claim to serve. All such activities and attitudes are the wood, hay and stubble, the fire of the Lord desires to burn up within us.

The First Man, Adam was made to be a “living soul.” The Tree of Life representing Spiritual Life was there for him to partake of only in our Father’s timing. But not then as he wasn’t ready for it. In 1 Corinthians 15:45 we read that, "The First Man, Adam, became a "living soul." The Last Adam became a "life-giving spirit.”“

The Last Adam is the fullness, the completion of Adam who came from God, lived upon this sod, blew it, suffered, died, and in time, within the limitations of humanness (Jesus) passed all the tests, died with the old Adam within, was raised, ascended, glorified, and having received of the glory is now The Life Giving Spirit designed in accord with the plans within Father's heart now being expressed in a vast family of Adam-sons.

Our prayer is that the Spirit of God separate, the wheat from the chaff, the soulish from the spiritual, bring us past the Intertestamental “law and order” religious bondage and into the continuous life making Spirit of Christ working within all of us.

Return to Greater Emmanuel or Kenneth Greatorex's Title Index
Email Kenneth Greatorex