Promises and Secrets

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A website for those not afraid to examine their beliefs, compare them to the real world, and make sure they fit.

Israel Covenants


A "new interpretation" of the Bible and prophecy - Well, different, anyway.


The Bible tells us what is going to happen in the future, if we listen to what it actually says.


There are a lot of ways that laymen and scholars alike interpret the prophecy of the Bible. It is amazing how different the interpretations can be - not just between the laymen and the scholars, but between scholars, between pastors, and between the interpretations of the average Bible readers.

A fresh look - sort of

For example, something led me to a book the other day that surprised me. It is Israel and the New Covenant by Roderick Campbell. My surprise was actually twofold - the book was published in 1954 (actually started in 1941 and interrupted by the war) and it is full of statements like the following:

How then, it may be reasonably asked, do we explain the widespread rejection of the Christian message today? Perhaps the humbling truth is that Christendom has, in large part, abandoned the kind of Christianity which the Bible proclaims, and that those who turn away from the thing which they know as Christianity are wholly ignorant of what true Christianity really is.

Before you agree with this statement, and walk away smugly, be aware that it is Christians of whom he speaks who are rejecting the Christianity of the Bible. And with this statement, I heartily agree. Today's Christianity is wholly invented by most churches, and bears little resemblance to that of the Bible. And by "most churches", this means at least 98% of them.

If you know anything about my personality from reading these pages, you know why this surprised me - pleasantly so. Reviews of this book can be found at GoodReads, so you don't have to take my word for it. With a ton of notes made while reading it, it will be hard to include all my thoughts on this page. You will probably be happy that this page will include only a few of what I consider the most important parts here.

To summarize, this book is a "layman's" approach to the analysis of "today's" Christianty and the misinformation being delivered by many modern pastors in order to soften the true message of Christianity to make it more palatable to the skittish modern Christian. "Layman" means that the author has no advanced degrees, but is one who thoroughly researches the subject matter about which he is writing.

The pastors?

In short, the author clearly and accurately makes the point that modern pastors, and church leaders in general, have "dumbed down" Christianity to the point where God has been effectively removed from today's faith and an invented Jesus has been inserted in His place. Christians no longer feel the need to obey God's laws because they feel that Jesus obeys them all for everyone. While I agree with this premise, I disagree with much of his interpretation of prophecy, not necessarily because it is wrong, but because I cannot reconcile it with my own interpretations or with the words of the Bible itself. This admission puts me in the position to have to justify my interpretations, but that is exactly what this entire site it about, isn't it?

But, wait...

While Mr. Campbell recognizes the slipshod way that most people ignore what the Bible actually says, he then turns around and uses a totally unique method of interpreting the words of scripture - adding his own twists while sometimes ignoring the need to make his interpretations fit the rest of the Bible. To be honest, that is exactly what some say that I do, with the exception that I try to make any interpretations fit to scripture - with references so you can check out what I say and compare it to the source. You know, like the bereans did with Paul in Acts 17:11
11Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.


Well, everyone has an opinion

For example, as far as I can tell, Mr. Campbell says that, essentially, we are either currently in the Millennium and have been for the last 1900 years, or that there will be no Millennium because Christ has been reigning as King on this earth since He came the first time. Essentially, he says that Christ is reigning as King now, and will continue to do so after His second coming, so He is not on the earth with us now. This does not fit what I read in the Bible. While I do not interpret the words of the Bible as he does, who am I to doubt his interpretation unless it contradicts scripture? He is very thorough in his research and reasoning, so it is hard to discount his interpretation as frivolous, but it appears to be built on interpretations that only he seems to understand.

Let's start at the beginning

Let's start with a point of complete agreement between us. As Mr. Campbell said on page 42:

The absence of the basic Moral Law would bring chaos, anarchy, or death, into every realm of rational being. On the other hand, if there were no Law, there would be no sin, hence no sinners, and no room for Grace.

I highly recommend this book for anyone who wants a realistic summary of the way that modern churches make Christianity a way for "everyone to get to Heaven" regardless of their actions and beliefs. The Bible tells us exactly how to be included in the New Jerusalem if one just reads what it actually says instead of what they want it to say.

Here it comes...

Now to some points where I have to disagree with his scripture interpretation.

On page 34 Campbell has a list of points he wants to make about the Law of Moses, calling it the Old Covenant, as it was given in the desert after the Israelites left Egyptian captivity. His goal is to determine the function of the portion of the law that was added to the Ten Commandments in order to see if it can show us any value or profit in having the entire Old Testament. While describing 9 points showing that the Law of Moses was deliberate, constitutional, visible, audible, descriptive of how God wants to be worshiped, a prescription for redemption, educational, and complete for full function, the one attribute of the Old Covenant that he does not mention is that it is permanent.

The author slips in point 5 and states that the Law was "clearly preparatory and tentative", thus laying the groundwork for his argument to discard it. To me, that is akin to saying that the Constitution of this country was only to get things rolling, but now we have to change it to match the way society is changing rather than leave it as the guide that it has been. Now, there are people in this country to whom certain portions of the constitution does not seem to apply, such as those who run for office, but that doesn't mean we get rid of that part for the rest of us. It does apply to someone. The same with the Old Covenant - there are people that do not recognize Jesus and still cling to the old ways. If the Old Covenant was discarded, how would they stay within the commands of God?

Change God's word?

The notes at the bottom of pages 48 and 49 indicate that the Ten Commandments must be adapted to the New Covenant (the first paragraph under note footnote 5). The funny thing is that the fourth commandment, the one about the Sabbath day (Saturday, for you Sunday keepers), is "indirectly" upheld by the author's own references at the bottom of page 49 as permanent and applicable to the New Covenant (see last paragraph in the box below):

"They that understand the true use of the holy rest of the sabbath day, do know that it frees the soul, and makes it vacant from the earthly things for this purpose, that it may fully apply itself to the worship and contemplation of God, and... this wil not weigh heavy, will be no grievous task to it: it will embrace and gladly obey this fourth commandment, not only as a duty, but as a delight... Therefore not only they who profanely break, but they who keep it heavily and wearily, who find it rather a burden than a delight, may justly suspect that the love of God is not in them."

On the sabbath, as a sign of the Old Covenant, and its perpetuity under the New Covenant, see P. Fairbairn, Typology, Book III, Chap. II, Section 9 on "The Weekly Sabbath," and Appendix, Bishop Daniel Wilson, The Lord's Day, 1913 Edition, pp. 37ff, and generally;...

Oops, I think he slipped...

I say "indirectly" upheld because the discussion in the notes describes the reverence and value inherent in the observance of the weekly Sabbath, yet references to the second book in the notes denotes the day of which they intend to speak is not the Sabbath, but Sunday, which is not now and never has been the Sabbath. The reference in the title to "the Lord's Day" by the author is referring to Sunday, but that phrase in Rev 1:10
10 On the Lord's Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet,

is not even referring to Sunday but, much more likely, to the real Sabbath - the seventh-day Sabbath. (See my page Sabbath/Sunday for justification of this blasphemous statement.) What does that mean to the Sunday keepers...should they "justly suspect that the love of God is not in them", as stated in the first paragraph above (last line)?

Don't look at me like that. I didn't say it-he did.

On pages 56 and 57 of his book, Campbell lists seven points that he feels have not been "adequately recognized as basic factors in biblical interpretation". This seems to be the foundation for his objection to the current beliefs of Christianity.

Let's address these one at a time:

(1) The Messianic age which was predicted by the prophets has come. The final era, or dispensation, of history and time on earth-the "latter days" of the prophets-has arrived. In the objective sphere of religion, as in the personal life of the believer, "Old things are passed away, behold all things are become new" (2 Cor. 5:17).


Now to me, while he confuses the whole statement by including the last sentence, he seems in the first part to be speaking of the Millennium. The last sentence refers to the "old man" and the "new creation" man of 2 Cor 5:17
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

, twisting the context of the whole statement into combining the "new creation in Christ" with the Millennium and a new earth in a way not intended by the Bible. But, even aside from that, can we honestly say that we are we now in the Messianic age and living on a new earth? Here the author appears to be combining the passages in 2 Cor 5:17 and Rev 21:5, even though they are about completely different subjects - converted people and the much later re-creation of heaven and earth in the end times.

In Chapter 12 of his book on page 105, Campbell speaks of "The New Age", the era, or dispensation, as having begun some 1900 years ago. He calls this the "advent of Christ" and quotes Revelation 21:5
5 He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!" Then he said, "Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true."

to validate his statement. While I understand that he is trying to convince everyone that the current Messianic age (millennium?) is now in the middle of the process where God is "making all things new", this concept violates a clearly specified series of events that John follows in the book of Revelation. The "making all things new" statment comes later, after those events. In fact this comes after the white throne judgment, when it is far too late for any personal actions to make a difference in salvation. So, if we are living in the "millennium", and God is making things new, does that mean we all made it? Looking at the world around me, I certainly hope this is not the heaven we were promised.

The millennium is pretty well defined in the Bible

If you read Revelation 19, starting with the physical return of Christ in verse 11, then (Rev 20:4) there is a period of 1000 years (whether literal or figurative does not matter for this discussion), then (Rev 20:7-9) there is another battle after the 1000 years are over, then (Rev 20:11-12) comes the final judgment, then (Rev 21:1) there is a new heaven and a new earth, and then (Rev 21:5) the "making everything new" Revelation 21:5
5 He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!" Then he said, "Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true."

statement by the one on the throne, you get a sense of sequence here. The wording of the Bible makes it clear that this is a succession of events - not a simultaneous mix of spiritual thoughts that we can interpret however we want or even spiritualize it to minimize our responsibility to learn what God is actually saying to us.

Oh, and one more minor point. If we are in the Messianic age, where are those resurrected souls who are to reign with Christ (Revelation 20:5-6
5 (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.

)? I suppose he thinks they will wait until after the Second Coming, but according to John the Revelator, that's when the 1000 years in which we are supposedly now living is supposed to begin. Or perhaps they are among us, but there are so few of them that they are unknown to the rest of us. Does this mean that Jesus came when we weren't paying attention??? That was one of the reasons for Paul writing to the Thessalonians in 1 Thes 4:13-17
13 Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord's word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.

, to show the order of events that would prove that Jesus had not already come and left them behind.

Now let's move to point 2 of his 7 points:

(2) The "heavens" and the "earth" of the Old (Sinai) Covenant have been dissolved; the "new heaven and new earth" predicted by Isaiah are now here (Isa. 65:17; 66:22).

Campbell covers this topic in Chapter 13, where he starts out by saying that we could take the "easy" method of avoiding difficulties with this topic by just accepting what the Bible says - that this is all in the future at the end times. Well, guess what my reaction is to that logic? Yep, we could and should do just that. However, Campbell goes on to attempt once again to tie the 2 Cor 5:17
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

statement to the renewal of the "earth" and "heaven". His quote on page 113 is:

The New Earth is contemporaneous in time with the new creation. Indeed, the New Earth is the earthly, or lower, plane of the new universe (or environment) in which the new creation lives.

Sounds pretty metaphysical, doesn't it? However, the "new creation" phrase he uses is from where Paul is referring to the new believer of 2 Cor 5:17
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

, not the earth and heaven. Not to be too mundane about this, but did you notice any changes in the real, physical world when you first believed in Christ? And did the new real-world creation change just for you, or did everyone else see it? Did you notice a change in the world when your best friend became a Christian, but you hadn't yet? You can spiritualize this to the point where each man can view it as he wishes, but how does that draw the brotherhood of believers into a united community? When each member of the community can think of Christ or the Holy Spirit as his personal guru, One who gives him personal messages that differ from those given to everyone else, where is the Truth? This concept makes the Bible merely a book of suggestions which people can take or leave, not a description of the Reality that matters as directives from God.

Now on to point 3 of 7:

(3) Old Covenant Israel-the theocracy-has found its historical culmination and successor in the living community of Hebrew men and women who recognized in Jesus of Nazareth their long promised Messiah. This community of pious Jews forms the nucleus of the new theocracy-the new and the true "Israel of God" (Gal. 6:16
Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule--to the Israel of God.


I'm afraid our author narrows the context of this verse to the point where it does not, in his expressed view, seem to include the Galatian Gentiles to whom the letter was addressed. I read the verse in his reference as including all who follow His rule as "the Israel of God". While there were Jews in the new community, they were not the ones that the "Judaizers" were trying to get to undergo circumcision in order to be saved. The meaning of the phrase "Israel of God" means to me all who believe in Christ, thus becoming spiritual Israel and children of Abraham (Galatians 3:7
7Understand, then, that those who have faith are children of Abraham.

), whether Jew or Gentile.

Moving on to point 4 of 7:

(4) The Messianic kingdom spoken of in psalm and prophecy has found its fulfilment in Christ and has been progressively manifesting itself in history, both in judgment and mercy, since the day of Pentecost.

I have no problem with this one, as long as we keep the kingdom spiritual where Christ reigns only in our hearts rather than physically on the earth. To suggest that He is on a real earthly throne (not the one in Heaven beside the Father) and now directly rules the world goes beyond believability or even common sense. Would we have the same problems on earth if Jesus Christ was actually in charge? The kingdom described in Revelation 20:6
6Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.

and Zechariah 14 is one where Christ reigns on the earth with a rod of iron, not only in the heart.

Next, I want to address both points 5 and 6 of his 7 points:

(5) The New Jerusalem which was seen in vision by John (Rev., Chaps. 21 and 22) is the Zion of the New Covenant age. The vision depicts temporal, spiritual and redemptive reality, and not eternal and ultimate glory. It depicts the glory of the grace of God in the redemption of man. It represents the true ideal for the community of the redeemed-the church on earth-rather than the condition of the company of the redeemed in glory.

(6) God's dwelling-place or sanctuary (tabernacle or temple) on earth is now with the living community of the true worshippers of God, in which every true believer is a priest. The inmost sanctuary, or Holy of Holies, is in heaven where Christ now reigns as our great High Priest. All this takes the place of the material temple and the symbolic priesthood of the old economy.

No New Jerusalem?

Mr. Campbell's concept indicates that he feels that there is no New Jerusalem that comes down from Heaven in the future because we are living in it right now with Jesus as King. That is another one of the places where he loses me. Once again the author goes to Revelation 21:3
3And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Look! God's dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God." (Rev 21:3)

to the series of events that happen after the Second Coming in order to describe how we are living in the New Jerusalem today if we are in Christ. Even if John is speaking symbolically about the New Jerusalem, it still cannot be what we see around us today. If that were so, and John says clearly that the dwelling place of God is with men (as it was in the days of Adam), then where is God? Again, you can spiritualize this, but when do we get to understand that God means what He says and does not need a translator with a fancy degree or some "special knowledge" not available to the rest of us? Remember, the apostles were simple men, like us.

If this is heaven...

In point 6, for Campbell to say that God is dwelling in our hearts, thus within the living community, and we are to take this symbolically and spiritually, then what of the gates of the "Heavenly Jerusalem" that John describes in the red words of Jesus in Rev 22:14-15?
14Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. 15Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.

Are these spiritual gates, keeping out the bad guys, that we somehow also cannot walk through today until something happens later to let us walk through?

Evildoers still among us?

Also, I am fairly sure that there are practicing gays, murderers, and thieves walking among us today. If you doubt me, at least regarding the gays (I live across the Columbia River from Portland, Oregon), go check the news from that city with regard to the "free expression of thoughts and actions" right on the television screens. Better yet, come visit and go downtown on Friday or Saturday night and watch it in action. An excerpt from a Time Magazine article from March of 2015, titled "The 10 Cities With the Highest LGBT Percentage in the U.S." says this:

The San Francisco metropolitan area has a higher percentage of adults who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender than any other city in the country, a new survey found.

Gallup's poll of the 50 largest metropolitan areas in the U.S. found that 6.2% of San Franciscans identify as LGBT, which is 2.6 percentage points higher than the national average. The city, named the "Gay Capital of the U.S." by LIFE magazine in 1964, has a long history of a politically active LGBT community.

The other high-ranking cities in the Gallup survey included Portland, Ore., Austin, New Orleans, Seattle, Boston, Salt Lake City, Los Angeles, Denver and Hartford, Conn.

If you hold that we are in the "pre-final" kingdom of Heaven, waiting for the Jesus-approved pass, but we can pass through the "spiritual" gates into the presence of God, we need to have a talk. At least one of us seems to be completely out of the loop.

Finally, Point 7 of 7:

(7) The promise to Abraham of a Seed and posterity in whom all the families, or nations, of the earth would be blessed, is having its fulfilment in Christ and His church, and will be completely fulfilled in this present age.

How can any blessing promised to all the faithful of the earth be fulfilled while so many of the ones who strived for it are still in the grave? Not only that, most those who profess to be members of "Christ and His church" do not even follow the commands of the Father and believe in a wimpy Jesus who does not exist. How does point 7 fit with the words of Jesus in Matthew 7:21
21"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven."

? However, there is one point that Mr. Campbell made in his notes on pages 314-315 that I had not noticed before:

Whatever else Rev. 20:1-10 may mean, some things stand out clearly: there is no mention of a second or any other coming of Christ; there is no word about a personal reign of Christ on earth;

While the mention of Christ's return in Chapter 19 may have slipped his notice, he is correct in saying that there is nothing in Chapter 20 that says that Christ reigns on earth. However, to assume that means that Christ does all His reigning from Heaven ignores the words of Zechariah Chapter 14
The Lord Comes and Reigns

1A day of the Lord is coming, Jerusalem, when your possessions will be plundered and divided up within your very walls.
3I will gather all the nations to Jerusalem to fight against it; the city will be captured, the houses ransacked, and the women raped. Half of the city will go into exile, but the rest of the people will not be taken from the city. 3Then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights on a day of battle. 4On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south. 5You will flee by my mountain valley, for it will extend to Azel. You will flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the Lord my God will come, and all the holy ones with him.
6On that day there will be neither sunlight nor cold, frosty darkness. 7It will be a unique day - a day known only to the Lord - with no distinction between day and night. When evening comes, there will be light.
8On that day living water will flow out from Jerusalem, half of it east to the Dead Sea and half of it west to the Mediterranean Sea, in summer and in winter.
9The Lord will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one Lord, and his name the only name.
10Jerusalem will be raised up high from the Benjamin Gate to the site of the First Gate, to the Corner Gate, and from the Tower of Hananel to the royal winepresses, and will remain in its place. 11It will be inhabited; never again will it be destroyed. Jerusalem will be secure.
12This is the plague with which the Lord will strike all the nations that fought against Jerusalem: Their flesh will rot while they are still standing on their feet, their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongues will rot in their mouths. 13On that day people will be stricken by the Lord with great panic. They will seize each other by the hand and attack one another. 14Judah too will fight at Jerusalem. The wealth of all the surrounding nations will be collected - great quantities of gold and silver and clothing. 15A similar plague will strike the horses and mules, the camels and donkeys, and all the animals in those camps.
16Then the survivors from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King, the Lord Almighty, and to celebrate the Festival of Tabernacles. 17If any of the peoples of the earth do not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord Almighty, they will have no rain. 18If the Egyptian people do not go up and take part, they will have no rain. The Lord will bring on them the plague he inflicts on the nations that do not go up to celebrate the Festival of Tabernacles. 19This will be the punishment of Egypt and the punishment of all the nations that do not go up to celebrate the Festival of Tabernacles.
20On that day holy to the Lord will be inscribed on the bells of the horses, and the cooking pots in the Lord's house will be like the sacred bowls in front of the altar. 21Every pot in Jerusalem and Judah will be holy to the Lord Almighty, and all who come to sacrifice will take some of the pots and cook in them. And on that day there will no longer be a Canaanite in the house of the Lord Almighty.

. That's what I mean about making sure that your interpretation does not contradict other passages in the Bible. Note the name given at the top of the chapter. My NIV says "The Lord Comes and Reigns".

Of course, I could be misinterpreting this, but I tend to take the Bible at face value unless there is a contradiction of other verses. Of course, it could be just the opinion of the people who wrote the Bible, but I accept everything else they interpreted if it matches, so why not the summary statements? And don't just take my word for it. Take a look at Bible Study Tools, and read the first summary paragraph labeled Zechariah 14:1-21 in light blue text at the top of the page under the title "CHAPTER 14".

How do you figure...?

The only reason to make an issue of this book by Campbell is that a lot of people try to spiritualize the Second Coming and Christ's reign during and after the Millennium. My wife also does this a lot. However, after asking them where they got their idea, they give answers that vary a lot, but usually wind up with some personal philosophy and few, if any, Bible references. It's just the way they have been taught, and they say that my words do not have the ministry or pastorship behind them - only the Bible. There is nothing wrong with personal philosophy, but it is nice to have some Biblical references to give it some substance and keep it in line with the rest of the Book.

If you feel that way, tell everyone

Why do people hardly ever seem to take the Bible at face value, even when the text and meaning are clear as written? You will find on this site a number of pages where the facts are presented, interpreted in the context of the rest of the Book, and then presented for opposing opinions to point out where they may have gone astray. No one seems to want to take the time to actually find out why they believe something, they just call me wrong because their pastor says... OK, fine. Have him contact me to give his view to show the world the other side so that everyone can know his version of the truth.

Disagree? Find an error? Contact us at and give us your view.

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