What’s Past is Prologue

“What’s past is prologue.” Shakespeare, The Tempest, Act 2, Scene 1.

For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
1 Corinthians 4:18b


A guy was talking with his friend while they were grilling one Sunday afternoon.

“You know, every time my wife and I get in an argument, she gets historical.”

His friend asked, “Don’t you mean, hysterical?”

“No,” he answered, “I mean historical. She keeps bringing up my past mistakes!”

The past is something we can’t change. Our history is something we must live with in the present.

And while there isn’t anything we can do about the past, we can learn from the past.

That’s the point – or at least part of the point – of Shakespeare’s line about the past being prologue.

One of my favorite quotes about the past is by Jorge Agustín Nicolás Ruiz de Santayana y Borrás, better known as George Santayana, who said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

The past, history, is important. Our personal histories can form the foundation of who we are or can be.

The God of Heaven and Earth

Frank Viola, in his latest book Insurgence makes this very case.

He says that “the Old Testament story is the prologue of the insurgence…. [to] rightly understand the gospel of the kingdom, we must” read through the Hebrew Scriptures.

Starting with the story of Adam and Eve, we see how we were meant to live. That is, in an intimate relationship with God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth.

But because Adam and Eve decided to follow the rebellious example of Satan, that relationship was destroyed.

Throughout the rest of the Old Testament, God raises up chosen people to foreshadow the restoration of that relationship.

Abraham, the Children of Israel, King David, all point to the restoration.

Interestingly, Viola points out that whenever “Israel is in the land of Canaan, God is called ‘the God of Heaven and Earth.’ But when Israel is exiled from the land [because they follow Satan instead of God], He is just called ‘the God of heaven.’” (Insurgence, page 88).

The Turf War

In Acts 3:21 it says that Jesus will remain in heaven “until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago.”

Still, Jesus came to earth once. He was born in Bethlehem to establish the beachhead of the insurgency. His perfect life was for us. His death forgives all the sins of all people of all time. Jesus’ resurrection from the dead assures us that we will rise from the grave one day.

In the meantime, we are called by God to follow his ways and not Satan’s. We are to be members of the kingdom of God, forsaking all other kingdoms, emperors, and even our own pleasures!

We are in the midst of a turf war with Satan. A war he has lost but still continues to battle. By the power of the Holy Spirit, we can overcome his battles and continue the insurgency until Christ returns.


Heavenly Father, we want you to be our God as you are the God of heaven and earth. You call us by the Gospel of Christ to be your people. Give us the power of repentance, forgiveness, and all the gifts that the Holy Spirit gives us to be a part of the insurgency. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

© 2018 True Men Ministries

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