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 Re: prophecies of the Church

Stever asked

Quote:
When Christ comes to separate the Sheep from the Goats, at his second coming, then why would he even need to separate them? The rapture would have taken care of the situation automatically when the rapture takes place?

There may be something wrong with my logic here, but when Christ has said something, that is the piece of knowledge I would not tamper with, especially if I don't understand it.

Compared with a theory which has been constructed by man, which is not clearly stated anywhere in scripture, I'd go with the Lord's word every time. He says it will endure for ever and to build on any other, is like building your house on sand. If I'm building on rock, then I can afford to risk a storm.

Thank you for picking up on the last question in last my post. It really needs to be taken with the others, (although they may not play into a single answer). I have kept in mind roadsign's original question, regarding the Church in OT prophecy.

 2005/7/24 23:36
roadsign
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Joined: 2005/5/2
Posts: 3776


 Re: thanks for your comments

Quote:
I think the 'new man' is much more than a fusion of jew and gentile into a new fellowship. It is a new nature and stands in contrast to the 'old man'



I really like this, Philologos. In other words there is a death, whether Jew and Gentile before a new life is formed. Like Paul, who died to his heritage. So the old separations/distinctions don’t mean anything in this new life form. Maybe that’s why genealogies of Israel’s descendants were not continued after Christ. That is not important in the spiritual, eternal perspective. Only being in Christ is. (Rom. 2) If we don’t get this, I believe that we will run into danger of heresies.

Re this brand new creature. I see no reason to exclude the OT saints from this, because the new creature (the Bride) is not a phenomena limited by the finite, temporal. Heb. 11:40 “God had planned something better for us so that only ,together with us would they be made perfect.” Is this not saying that through Christ their salvation has been made complete, making us one with them.

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I am not sure that a local assembly can ever be a full expression of the 'new man' any more than it can ever be a 'bride'. What do you think?


As I ponder over the responses, I see the Church pictured as a big puzzle made of thousands of pieces. Many people in the past saw a clear view of a small piece of the puzzle, but not the whole. Still today, I believe that no one can see, or even comprehend the whole. If we accept our limitations, I think that we will avoid trying to make complete puzzles with only a few pieces.

Ps 22 is an incredibly explicit empathetic identification with Christ’s suffering - even giving more details than the New Testament offers. I never before viewed :22 as a prophetic reference to the NT church, but it makes sense. Thanks for that. I suspect there is more hidden away in the OT that I, as yet, cannot see.

The Prophets did not receive enlightenment through rational process of thought – as we receive most of our information, but through divine revelation, including identification in the midst of intense suffering and persecution. Maybe when we’re in that position, (which may come soon) we’ll understand a whole lot more of the prophetic message in Scripture – and we’ll see better what the OT prophets could see.

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Were there 'plain predictions' in the OT? Well, were there plain predictions of Jesus of Nazareth? Yes, but they were not plain enough for most to see.


Good point, and we should take heed to these words. Are we better than the Pharisees who missed what should have been the obvious? Just maybe we have a certain degree of blindness too. Am I offending anyone by saying that?

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My point is they were joined at calvary

This would be a prophetic picture of the Church – not seen in the natural realm, and meaningless apart from spiritual awareness. I believe this perception deeply affect the way we live our lives. It certainly should help us resist defining ourselves according to church membership, ritual, etc etc .



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Assembly, company, congregation, multitude

Is not the word, eglesia used to define any gathering of people, not merely those who are believers?

I think that a key word that defines the Church is: COVENANT. This word puts parameters on the meaning of the true Church - collection of God’s people in light of their relationship with their Creator – through the Spirit.

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Is 60
3. And the GENTILES shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising. 4. Lift up thine eyes round about, and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to thee: thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side.


I have come to believe that for now, we do not see the real nature of this gathering, but it is happening, nevertheless in Spirit. Here is a small example of a small gathering: I was once in a email discussion forum where someone was moved to pray for me. She did not know anything about me, and was from the other side of the globe. Nevertheless the nature of her prayer, and the timing was perfect. God even gave her my name. Now that was a precious oneness, a unity in Christ, initiated by the Spirit a unity not separated by time and space.
At another time I was moved to pray for someone named Suzanne. I knew no “Suzannes”, nevertheless, I prayed as I was prompted. A few weeks later I found out who she was (but never met her) and learned about her crisis. Clearly the Spirit had prompted me regarding her condition.
I could give many other examples. Now isn’t that the CHURCH in its true function under the New Covenant – as prophesied in Jer 31. – surpasses time and space through the Spirit. This is the same Spirit who gave revelation to the OT prophets!

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I believe that if the local church is gathering together truly in the name of Christ and including all of his people in that area (representitavly) then it is an expression of the New Man- it is an expression of Christ. If he is truly there the head then the body is truly manifest.


Any church has many unsaved in it (those who say Lord, Lord,), and it’s impossible to separate the wheat from the tares. I do not believe that a local church can attain this ideal expression of the Church, although, some evidence should surely show. Hypocrisy is a very pervasive in our Western society. We have not been purified by fire yet.

I suspect that the Is. 60 reference is also referring to the second advent – the full unity in heaven – the bride with Christ. It seems like the prophets could not easily separate the gathering of believers in its earthly existence from it’s eternal existence.

Quote:
Malachi 1:11
11. For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the GENTILES; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the Lord of hosts.

It seems Malachi is using his frame of reference (Old Covenant worship) to portray an incredible reality – the infiltration of the Good News all over the world - producing worshippers.


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Diane

 2005/7/25 21:32Profile
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Joined: 2003/7/18
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 Re:

roadsign

Quote:
Re this brand new creature. I see no reason to exclude the OT saints from this, because the new creature (the Bride) is not a phenomena limited by the finite, temporal. Heb. 11:40 “God had planned something better for us so that only ,together with us would they be made perfect.” Is this not saying that through Christ their salvation has been made complete, making us one with them.


I agree. I see no reason to exclude the OT saints from this, now. But the question is not 'now' but 'then'. If the OT saints were part of the Church 'then' the Gentile ingathering would be an 'addition'. I don't believe the Gentiles are 'added' to an existing entity. I believe a new entity was begun which, from its inception, potentially included 'two into one', not 'one' added to an earlier 'one'.

We have to ask the question too, as to whether there was any way out of the 'old man' until the 'new man' was established? I frequently make this point but I make it here again; the phrase is 'our old man' - with a plural possessive pronoun and a singular noun. I do not see that the bible teaches that an individual has their 'individual' old man; our old man is a collective term for the entity that is the human race outside Christ and under the wrong spiritual head. Correspondingly, 'the new man' is the collective term for an entity that is the human race 'in Christ', under the right spiritual head.

Quote:
Is not the word, eglesia used to define any gathering of people, not merely those who are believers?

I think that a key word that defines the Church is: COVENANT. This word puts parameters on the meaning of the true Church - collection of God’s people in light of their relationship with their Creator – through the Spirit.


'ekklesia' as a Greek word of the time was an 'elected council which represented a city state'. It is used in this sense Acts 19:32 Some therefore cried one thing, and some another: for the assembly (ekklesia) was confused; and the more part knew not wherefore they were come together.
Acts 19:39 But if ye enquire any thing concerning other matters, it shall be determined in a lawful assembly (ekklesia). ...where the word 'ekklesia' has been translated as 'assembly'. Our political use of the word 'election' has links here. Our 'elected' representatives are called out (ek-lected) from the general mass of people to act as that people's representative.

However, for the Greek speaking Jew, it had another connotation which is captured in Stephen's address:Acts 7:38 This is he, that was in the church (ekklesia) in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us: The phrase 'church in the wilderness' is a reference to Israel the nation becoming 'God's called out people', as you say 'joined to Him (and to each other) by covenant'. I referred to this in an earlier post, they became the 'church of Israel' or the 'church of Jehovah'.

The phrase "I will build my church' has a link and a contrast with the 'church in the wilderness'. The Jews of His day saw ominous implications in his teaching which they protested about; "you are his disciples, we are Moses' disciples". The 'church in the wilderness' becomes, like the Old Covenant, a point of comparison and a reference for contrast. As in all instruction we move from the known to the unknown, but once moved we can leave the initial reference point behind.


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Ron Bailey

 2005/7/26 2:47Profile
roadsign
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Joined: 2005/5/2
Posts: 3776


 Re:

Quote:
The phrase "I will build my church' has a link and a contrast with the 'church in the wilderness'.


Philologos, your words take some chewing. Our minds have difficulty wrapping around such apparently contradictory truths. Maybe that's where we get in trouble.

Philologos, can I ask you a favor: As you see, I am always trying to bring doctinal truths into the reality of our lives. Some time ago I put my thinking into an dramatical allegory. (It was inspired out of frustration.) I wonder if you could respond to this [url=http://www.thewayback.net/articles/divineperformanceone.htm]The Divine Performance[/url]- esp the third section where I share various applications of Old and New Covenants. Is it an appropriate application of the statement you made above, or am I 'out to lunch'?


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Diane

 2005/7/26 6:56Profile
philologos
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Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
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 Re:

Why don't we have a look at a few OT prophecies to see what we can see, with hindsight, as regards the Church? In my own understanding of these things I am somewhat in the middle between the two main views expressed. One view will be that the OT were part of the Church and therefore prophecies regarding the Church can be found throughout the OT. The other view is that the OT and NT are quite separate 'dispensations' and that the Church never comes into view in the OT; it was the 'hidden mystery'. Both these are over simplifications but it is a place to start. “Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.”
(1Pet. 1:10-12, KJVS) This is a fascinating passage of scripture for many reasons. The KJV uses the phrase 'the grace that should come'; this captures well the Greek phrase. The preposition 'eis' often implies the goal or direction of a thing. In this case the destination was 'you' and the subject matter was the 'grace towards you'. (peri t?s eis humas charitos). “Concerning the for you grace” (meant for you). It would seem that we are talking of salvation in all its fulness here. The evangel had reached them in the power of the Holy Spirit sent down from heaven.

What is clear is that those prophets had a revelation that what they were speaking was for a a future scene. It also shows that they did not understand the implications of their prophetic utterances, but sensed that there was a deeper meaning to their words. Of this passage Wesley writes: Of which salvation - So far beyond all that was experienced under the Jewish dispensation. The very prophets who prophesied long ago of the grace of God toward you - Of his abundant, overflowing grace to be bestowed on believers under the Christian dispensation. Inquired - Were earnestly inquisitive. And searched diligently - Like miners searching after precious ore, after the meaning of the prophecies which they delivered. There was plainly more in those OT prophecies than met the eye of the prophets themselves.

Peter summarizes the content of those prophecies in the phrase “the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow.” (1Pet. 1:11, NKJV) The NKJV correcting the KJV by putting 'glories' into the plural. This is where we are touching linear events and not just eternal truths. This is a good summary of Christ's mission; suffering and the glories that would follow. What were the glories that would follow? They were many, but Paul's word to the Ephesians comes to mind: “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” (Eph. 5:25-27, KJVS) Surely, His glorious bride, was one of the things for which he travailed. Is. 53:11 "He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities."

This quotation from Isaiah brings us to a powerful example of 'the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow'. Isaiah 53 is one of the most vivid descriptions of the 'sufferings of the Christ'. The passage changes its mood at verse 10 onwards and the change of mood continues into Isaiah 54. (there were no chapter divisions originally)“Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail with child: for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, saith the LORD. Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes; For thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left; and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles, and make the desolate cities to be inhabited. Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame: for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more. For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called.” (Is. 54:1-5, KJVS) This is another amazing passage of scripture; it speaks of some of the glories which follow the suffering. Who is this fecund mother who appears in Isaiah's prophecy? Well Paul has no doubt; “For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband. Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.” (Gal. 4:22-28, KJVS) It is the Church.

If we read on into the Revelation, we find “And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,” (Rev. 21:2,10, KJVS) The connections seem pretty seamless. The fecund mother, is Jerusalem above, and Jerusalem above is the one who is prepared as a bride for her husband. How can we say that the Church does not appear in the OT prophecy in the light of this kind of prophecy?


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Ron Bailey

 2005/7/26 7:59Profile
philologos
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Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
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 Re:

Quote:
I wonder if you could respond to this The Divine Performance- esp the third section where I share various applications of Old and New Covenants. Is it an appropriate application of the statement you made above, or am I 'out to lunch'?


Sorry, I took a look but couldn't quite get the measure of what I was supposed to be checking.


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Ron Bailey

 2005/7/26 8:06Profile
roadsign
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Joined: 2005/5/2
Posts: 3776


 Re:

Thank you for bringing the OT and NT scriptures to gether as you did. Let's not muddy what is a clear revelation of the Church.

I think this makes a fitting summery to the topic:

Quote:
The connections seem pretty seamless. The fecund mother, is Jerusalem above, and Jerusalem above is the one who is prepared as a bride for her husband. How can we say that the Church does not appear in the OT prophecy in the light of this kind of prophecy?


_________________
Diane

 2005/7/26 14:35Profile





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