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ccchhhrrriiisss
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Joined: 2003/11/23
Posts: 4582


 Re:

Hi BranchinVINE,

Please allow me to add a few things.

Quote:

From 70 AD to this present day, without the temple and the priests, Old Covenant worship is NO LONGER POSSIBLE. How then can God honor the OC and bless anyone physically?



I'd cautiously point out that there is a difference between the LAW and the COVENANT.

- The Covenant was made with Abraham.
- The Law was made at the time of Moses.

At the time that God spoke to Moses from the bush (that did not burn) at Sinai, more than HALF A MILLENNIUM (around 600 years) had passed since God made his covenant with Abraham.

In fact, when God spoke to Moses at Sinai, He said, "I have certainly seen the oppression of MY PEOPLE who are in Egypt, and have heard their outcry..." (Exodus 3:7).

I would point out that the Temple was ransacked, looted and forgotten several times between Solomon and the diasporic Captivity. While there were several restorations of the Temple and Temple service (by Josiah, Hezekiah, etc.), these eventually became temporary for Judah (and nearly all of Israel was in rebellion almost the entire time).

At one point, King Hezekiah had to pray for forgiveness for the people because they didn't follow the purification rules of the sanctuary and still ate the Passover (II Chronicles 30:18-19). This was (partially) because there was just so few priests and Levites and the practice of the Law (including the feast observances) was forgotten.

After King Hezekiah prayed for forgiveness, the Bible says, "So the Lord heard Hezekiah and healed the people" (II Chronicles 30:20).

My point is very small, but the Temple is not required for the Covenant to exist. While the Law (which is sometimes rhetorically intertwined with the "Covenant" and even called as much), the Covenant predates the Law. They aren't exactly one and the same. Before the Temple, there was a Tabernacle. Before the Tabernacle, there was simply faith in God's promise.

I would point out that Romans 11 makes it very clear that Israel has not been rejected. Moreover, it is clear in context that Paul is referring to physical Israel. In fact, after mentioning how Israel had faltered and done wrong, they did not "fall."

Paul wrote, "I say then, they did not stumble so as to fall, did they? Far from it! But by their wrongdoing salvation has come to the Gentiles, to make them jealous" (Romans 11:11). It is in this context that Paul mentions how believers who are "chosen" Gentiles are "grafted" into the olive tree (verse 17). In other words, this "tree" of that promise STILL EXISTED so that we could be grafted into it.

There is a verse in this chapter that is often cited (especially by Calvinists) -- but often out of context. It stated, "...for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable" (Romans 11:29). In context, it is clear that Paul is referring to physical Israel:

Quote:

For I do not want you, brothers and sisters, to be uninformed of this mystery—so that you will not be wise in your own estimation—that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written:

“The Deliverer will come from Zion,
He will remove ungodliness from Jacob.”
“This is My covenant with them,
When I take away their sins.”

In relation to the gospel they are enemies on your account, but in relation to God’s choice they are beloved on account of the fathers; FOR THE GIFTS AND THE CALLING OF GOD ARE IRREVOCABLE.

For just as you once were disobedient to God, but now have been shown mercy because of their disobedience, so these also now have been disobedient, that because of the mercy shown to you they also may now be shown mercy. For God has shut up all in disobedience, so that He may show mercy to all.



Notice that Paul says that "in relation to God's CHOICE they are beloved." I feel that this is in reference to being chosen as a people due to God's promise to Abraham.


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Christopher

 2021/5/5 12:16Profile
TMK
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Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 5832
NC, USA

 Re:

//And do not think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.
Matthew 3:9-10//

Chris- It is verses like this that give me pause as to what you are saying.

Sure they have an old Covenant but it gets them *nothing* unless they repent and believe in Jesus Christ. Of course if they do that they are obviously “in.”

Right now they are dangerously “out.”

I think it is dangerous language to say that non-believing Jews are somehow in God’s favor because of an OC promise. They are no more in God’s favor than atheists or any other “-ist” or “ism”.


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Todd

 2021/5/5 13:32Profile
ccchhhrrriiisss
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Joined: 2003/11/23
Posts: 4582


 Re:

Hi TMK,

Please don't think that I said that the physical seed of Abraham don't need to repent and believe in Jesus Christ. I think that this is exceptionally clear. In fact, I don't think that the Covenant -- based upon the promise to Abraham -- has anything necessarily to do with eternal salvation.

There is no "get out of Hell" card just because someone is a seed of Abraham. After all, even during the time of Moses, there were plenty of Israelites who did despicable things. The ground even opened up and, as Keith Green once put it, "had some of them for lunch." Later, Israel had kings who led the people astray. Not only did they NOT honor the Covenant and ignored the Law of Moses, but they even served other gods.

At one point, Elijah fled from Jezebel to Mt. Sinai/Horeb -- the birthplace of the Mosaic law. He went into the cave. After he heard the "gentle whisper" or "still small voice," Elijah covered himself and went to the mouth of the cave. For a second time, God asked him, "What are you doing here, Elijah?" (I Kings 19:9-13).

The rhetorical basis of this question isn't emphasized. The emphasis could be particular. For instance, consider this:

"WHAT are you doing here, Elijah?"
"What are YOU doing here, Elijah?"
"What are you DOING here, Elijah?"
"What are you doing HERE, Elijah?"

The question kind of takes a different meaning based upon the emphasis. It could be all of the above. However, I've been focusing on the latter ("What are you doing HERE, Elijah?").

I think that Elijah had effectively gone "back to the beginning" -- in the sense of the Law. After all, this was the "One of Sinai" speaking from the "Mountain of God" (Ezekiel 28:14; Exodus 24:13; Judges 5:1-5; etc.).

Elijah's response?

He said, "I have been very zealous for the Lord, the God of armies; for the sons of Israel have abandoned Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. And I alone am left; and they have sought to take my life" (I Kings 19:14).

God immediately responded to Elijah by telling him to return back -- and to reassure him that there were (or would be) 7,000 who had not bowed their knee to Baal (verses 15-18).

There are a couple of things that I get from this. For one, the Covenant of God existed even at a point when almost everyone in Israel had forsaken or forgotten God (and nearly all had bowed to Baal). However, I also think that God was pointing out to Elijah that the Covenant was not in the Mountain, its holy history or even in the law that was forged there.

In fact, I would ponder whether the Covenant required obedience at all. The Children of Israel were chosen and made heirs of the Covenant before the Law. However, even though they were "chosen," they still faced the consequences of their sins. They still needed salvation.

As such, the Covenant with Abraham did not place all such names in the Book of Life. Rather, it simply meant that God had chosen them.

As for the favor of God, the Scriptures address this when Paul wrote, "In relation to the gospel they are enemies on your account, but IN RELATION TO GOD'S CHOICE THEY ARE BELOVED on account of the fathers; FOR THE GIFTS AND THE CALLING OF GOD ARE IRREVOCABLE" (Romans 11:28-29).

Obviously, there is a question about the extent of what this means. As I said, it doesn't apply to salvation -- because no one can come to the Father except by the Son (John 14:6).

In fact, we often forget that when Peter was preaching on the Day of Pentecost and saying, "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far away, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself" (Acts 2:38-39), he was speaking directly to Jews in Jerusalem for the Feast of Pentecost.

However, we know that Gentile believers are grafted into this Romans 11:17 vine/tree of being "chosen." That tree existed and Gentile believers were grafted into it becoming "partakers with them." Gentile believers did not replace the vine/tree but, instead, were grafted into it. Paul pointed out that believing Jews would also be grafted back into it (verse 23-24).

In terms of salvation, those under the old Covenant must be saved. However, the Covenant -- obsolete that it is for believers under a newer and better Covenant -- was everlasting. It has not (yet) disappeared (Hebrews 8:13).

So, just as there is a difference between the Covenant and the Law, there is a difference between being a part of one side of that Covenant and being "saved." Does this make more sense?


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Christopher

 2021/5/5 15:04Profile
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Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 5832
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 Re:

Thanks Chris- nicely put.

What do you think the OC “guarantees” to Jews today?


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Todd

 2021/5/5 15:26Profile
ccchhhrrriiisss
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Joined: 2003/11/23
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 Re:

Hi TMK,

Quote:

What do you think the OC “guarantees” to Jews today?



To be clear: I don't know.

I will point out that the purest basis for the Old Covenant was not in the Law of Moses but in an actual promise that God made to Abraham.

This is found in Genesis 15:1-20.

In this chapter, God promises to Abraham that he would have a physical descendent -- and become a patriarch for many (verse 4). Abraham had been concerned that he was fatherless and that everything he owned -- all of God's blessings -- would simply go to a servant (Eliezer of Damascus).

So, in this covenant that God made with Abraham, he promised Abraham:

- Great reward (verse 1);
- A physical descendant (verse 4);
- Many descendants (verse 5);
- Land (verses 7 and 18-20).

The promise was verified by the covenant sacrifice of five animals -- a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old female goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtledove and a young pigeon (verses 8-11).

I'm not absolutely sure if all of these promises are still binding in that covenant. However, Hebrews 8:13 indicates that the Covenant has not disappeared. So, if the basis of that old Covenant was "great reward," "descendants" and this specific promised "land," then I would argue that this may still be true.

There is a great deal of contention in the Middle East in the land that was promised to Abraham and his descendants.

At the time of the Captivity, few believed that the sons of Israel would ever return to the land that was promised (i.e., the "Promised Land"). Yet, in the Year of our Lord 1948, descendants of Abraham did return to that land. By 1967, the borders were back to what they had been under David (including the Golan parts of Syria).

Thus, there are many believers who believe that the specific promissory portions of the Old Covenant -- descendants for Abraham through Isaac and the Promised Land -- still apply.

Are these (still) guaranteed? I don't know.

However, it is anecdotal to see that not even a Holocaust and long-term diaspora following the Captivity was able to bring that promise to a close.

Moreover, Jesus was born, died and was resurrected in the land. When John had his revelation (in roughly 90 A.D.), he spoke of Israel and places in Israel in a future sense. This was nearly 60 years after Jesus was crucified and risen and about two decades after the Temple was destroyed.


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Christopher

 2021/5/5 16:06Profile
BranchinVINE
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Joined: 2016/6/15
Posts: 840
Australia

 Re:

docs,

Does Israel in Rom. 9:6-8 refer to the earthly nation of Israel or to the Church?

Rom.9:6-8 –
But it is not that the word of God has taken no effect.
For they are not all Israel who are of Israel, nor are they all children because they are the seed of Abraham; but, “In Isaac your seed shall be called.” That is, those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted as the seed.

Gal. 4:28 –
Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are children of promise.

Gal. 3:26-29 –
For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.
For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Gal. 3:7 –
Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham.

Rom. 2:28-29 –
For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh. But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God.


If you object to "new Israel" , how about "true Israel"?


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Jade

 2021/5/6 2:12Profile
BranchinVINE
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Joined: 2016/6/15
Posts: 840
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 Re:


Thank you, Christopher.

It is good that we are delving deeper into scripture.

The Bible is the only firm foundation.

I will reply when free.



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Jade

 2021/5/6 2:41Profile
docs
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Joined: 2006/9/16
Posts: 2400


 Re:

For that matter, where is the phrase "true Israel" found in the New Testament?" I understand what you are saying, but if one uses true Israel while meaning the same thing they meant when using new Israel, then what is the difference?

New Israel (or true Israel) has, in my opinion, come to mean that those of the Jews and Gentiles who have believed have now become the church and the church therefore replaces the nation of Israel in God's plan. Thus nullifying some of the very specific promises originally made to Abraham, especially in regards to an eventual LAND inheritance. In the midset of the western world and much of Christendom, land is seen as inferior to the spiritual or heavenly. This was not so in the biblical Hebrew mindset.

Quoting,

"The heavenly country is not a country IN heaven, but a country FROM heaven. The heavenly kingdom is the kingdom from heaven and not the kingdom in heaven...Though heaven is the happy abode of the disembodied righteous during the present age, in the age to come heaven comes to earth...This doctrine enables us to answer the best argument of both pre and post millennialists. What is this argument? It is the countless Old Testament and New Testament prophecies that clearly prophesy a future, earthly kingdom. In the past, those opposing millenarianism often failed to satisfactorily interpret such passages. They attempted to apply them to the church in the present age or to heaven. Such interpretations did not make sense to many good people. They shouldn't have! They were wrong. Only the doctrine of the new earth [Isa 65-66] provides a proper interpretation of such passages." (From "The End Times Made Simple" - Sam Waldron - copyright 1993, 225-41)

I don't believe everything Brother Waldron advocates today, but his quotes are a good example of a growing trend to re-examine how many Old Testament prophecies and passages have been historically interpreted in an over spiritualized over allegorical manner. Much of this type of interpretation came as a result of the belief that the church has replaced Israel. I believe God promised Abraham (later to become Israel through the 12 sons and tribes), a very specific promise of a Savior to come (in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed) and later a very specific land promise (Gen 15:18-21).

It's my belief, and I believe the testimony of scripture, that one day, in God's heavenly kingdom come to earth, that the nation of Israel will become the theocratic head of the nations under the headship of a returned Christ (Isa 2:1-4 etc.). I don't believe that the believing church of today, made up of Jews and Gentiles, one new man, has replaced, cancelled, or nullified these literal promises. It's presumption and Gentile arrogance that has advocated that Israel has been replaced because we believe and they don't. God is a covenant keeping God and will yet open the eyes of blind Israel. All of the elect remnant of Israel are yet to be saved. What God promised to Abraham covenant will yet transpire. To get around this, fanciful spiritual sounding allegorical interpretations have CHANGED and REPLACED the original meaning of many prophecies. And all the while, Abraham and none of the prophets ever expressed the desire and belief that their final destiny was to one day go and abide in a far off celestial realm of existence. To them, the coming kingdom of God would be on the earth.

No Jew of that day will be part of the kingdom just because they are Jews or sons of Abraham. All will have to enter the kingdom by way of the cross, just like all have been required to do. It won't be a new Israel, but the same old Israel transformed inwardly by the new birth. They will be new in that sense.

Many years after his conversion, Paul was speaking to the Jerusalem mob and said,

"I AM INDEED A JEW, born in Tarsus of Cilcia, but brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel"...(Acts 22:3). He didn't say he wasn't a Jew because he was now in Christ where there is no Jew or Gentile. A Jew does not cease being a Jew when he comes to Christ where there is no Jew or Gentile. Something different must have been meant by that verse than what we have ascribed to it. Gentiles don't cease being Gentiles when they become part of the body of Christ. I believe it is the same with the ancient prophecies given to the Jewish nation, all to be fulfilled in a earthly context. They don't have their original meaning changed because there is now a believing church made up of Jews and Gentiles.

I didn't mean to go on this long. Sometimes it just happened. Blessings to you, thank you for your patience with me and I appreciate the time you have taken to reply and comment to me. Thank you.


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David Winter

 2021/5/6 13:22Profile
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Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 5832
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 Re:

David-

Per Gen. 15:18-21, didn’t God already fulfill this promise?


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Todd

 2021/5/6 13:45Profile
ccchhhrrriiisss
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Joined: 2003/11/23
Posts: 4582


 Re:

Hi BranchinVINE,

Thanks. I will something else to think about:

Quote:

Gal. 3:7 –
Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham.



I think that this is a mistranslation from the NKJV. The word "only" does not appear in any other major version.

KJV:
Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.

NASB:
Therefore, recognize that it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham.

NIV:
Understand, then, that those who have faith are children of Abraham.

Still, I think that it is a good context for the original Covenant between God and Abraham (from Genesis 15). I believe that Paul is explaining that the basis of the original Covenant is FAITH.

In context:

Quote:

1 You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified?

2 This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by works of the Law, or by hearing with faith?

3 Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?

4 Did you suffer so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain?

5 So then, does He who provides you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by works of the Law, or by hearing with faith?

6 Just as Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.

7 Therefore, recognize that it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham.

8 The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “All the nations will be blessed in you.”

9 So then, those who are of faith are blessed with Abraham, the believer.

- Galatians 3:1-9 (NASB)



Paul is citing the original Covenant that God made with Abraham in Genesis 15. Here is the basis of the Covenant in context:

Quote:

After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying,

“Do not fear, Abram,
I am a shield to you;
Your reward shall be very great.”

2 But Abram said, “Lord God, what will You give me, since I am childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?”

3 Abram also said, “Since You have given me no son, one who has been born in my house is my heir.”

4 Then behold, the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “This man will not be your heir; but one who will come from your own body shall be your heir.”

5 And He took him outside and said, “Now look toward the heavens and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.”

6 Then he believed in the Lord; and He credited it to him as righteousness.

- Genesis 15:1-6 (NASB)



In my previous posts, I attempted to differentiate between the Law (also known as the Covenant Law) and the original Covenant with Abraham. The Law of Moses was subsequent to the original covenants made between God and Abraham.

The Covenant Law of Moses was conditional to obedience. The original Covenant with Abraham was not. It was based upon faith (i.e., "Then he believe in the Lord; and He credited it to him as righteousness" [Genesis 15:6; Galatians 3:6]).

When God made this original covenant with Abraham, there were no "if" conditions attached to it. This covenant was created more than 600 years before the Covenant Law of Moses.

The original Covenant with Abraham was based upon faith. Therefore, we who believe God (via the Son) are grafted into the vine/tree on this same basis -- faith.

While the (Covenant) Law of Moses is made obsolete to those who believe, I assert that the original Covenant that God made with Abraham is not. In fact, the basis of that Covenant was faith; and, because we believe, we are blessed WITH Abraham (Galatians 3:9).


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Christopher

 2021/5/6 13:55Profile





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