A Case for Israel as God's Chosen People

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Thermodynamics, Jun 7, 2009.

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  1. Thermodynamics

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    There has been some debate on this forum and debate in general as to the status of the Jewish People in our current age. As you know if you have read any of what I wrote in that debate, I believe that the Jewish People remain a "Chosen People" in the eyes of God. I hope that stating that at the outset does not cause those of you who do not agree with me to tune me out at this point.

    I believe there are several lines of reasoning that support the idea that the Jewish People are still God's "Chosen People" and I will attempt to use just a few of those lines of reasoning to build a case. I also hope that I will be able to dispel some misconceptions along the way.

    WERE THE JEWS EVER GOD'S CHOSEN PEOPLE?

    It is fair to ask at the outset if the Jewish People were ever God's "Chosen People." After all, if they weren't there is no point in going any further.

    "For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth." Deuteronomy 7:6

    The above verse should suffice to show that the Jews enjoyed a special relationship with God that was not shared by other nations. At this point you may wonder when this special relationship was established and why.

    This relationship was established between God and Abraham c. 2000 BC:

    "And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed." Genesis 12:2-3

    Why did God select the Jewish People as His special people?

    "The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people:
    But because the LORD loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt
    ." Deuteronomy 7:7-8

    God did not choose the Jews because they were a great people or because they were an especially righteous people, His selection was an act of unwarranted Grace.

    A BIBLICAL CASE:

    When God established His covenant with Abraham He promised Abraham that it was an "everlasting" covenant.

    "And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee." Genesis 17:7

    God reiterates that this covenant would apply to Issac and Issac's descendants.

    "And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him." Genesis 17:19

    God refers to the Jews is "My People" in c. 1450 BC.

    "Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt." Exodus 3:10

    God refers to the Jews as His people even when the are disobedient or have forgotten Him completely.

    "Can a maid forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire? yet my people have forgotten me days without number." Jeremiah 2:32

    "For my people is foolish, they have not known me; they are sottish children, and they have none understanding: they are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge." Jeremiah 4:22

    God refers to Israel as "My People" at the time of the "latter days" in His prophecy of Gog and Magog.

    "And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against my land, that the heathen may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes." Ezekiel 38:16

    So we see that God called the Jews His people in 2000 BC during the time of Abraham, in 1450 BC during the Time of Moses, in 575 BC during the time of Jeremiah, and even in the still future time of the Battle of Gog and Magog.

    A HISTORICAL CASE:

    There is no record of any group of people being destroyed and scattered in ancient times and managing to retain any form of cultural identity, much less re-establish their nation. However, this is just what Israel did in 1948 with the creation of the modern state of Israel. This remarkable event was foretold in Ezekiel 37 as well as other places in the Bible.

    A CULTURAL CASE:

    In AD 70 Jerusalem and the Jewish Temple were destroyed by the Roman general Titus, after this the Jews were dispersed to all areas of the globe. They were to remain strangers in foreign lands for 1900 years. During that 1900 year period the Jewish People were able to maintain their special cultural identity.

    My own ancestors came to America from Germany in July 1900, by the time I was born 71 years later only the silghtest hints of our German heritage remained. Cultural identity does not last very long when you are living outside of your culture. It is just not possible that a people could maintain such an identity for 1900 years without God's direct intervention.

    FAQ:

    Does this mean that Jewish people don't need Christ?

    Not at all, Jews need the saving grace of Christ just like the rest of us do, Jesus made that clear in John 14:6.

    "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." John 14:6


    Does this mean that God favors Jews over Christians?

    No, the Jewish People are God's special chosen people, but we as Christians are God's adopted children.


    Is God promise to Abraham that He will "bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee" still in effect?

    Yes, God made it clear that this was an everlasting promise.


    Does this mean that if a Christian sins against Israel or the Jews that the Christian will be punished?

    God has promised Israel special protection, so it is very unwise for anyone Christian or otherwise to act against Israel.


    Are you saying that God will side with an unbelieveing Jew over a believeing Christian?

    No I am not. I am saying that God has made it clear that it is wrong to act against Israel. If you are a Christian and you sin, God will punish you, He does this to correct your behavior because He loves you.

    Think about it this way, if you steal from an atheist who hates God, God will still punish you for stealing. He doesn't do this because He holds the atheist in higher regard than a Christian, but because He loves the Christian and wants to correct his bad behavior.
     
  2. OldRegular

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    The Mission of the Nation Israel in the Work of Jesus Christ

    Charles Ryrie [Dispensationalism, page 39] states that the basic theological test that defines a dispensationalist is whether they consistently distinguish between Israel and the church. Ryrie [page 130] in discussing the salvation of pre-Abrahamic Saints poses the question: “If God were saving people before the call of Abraham, why did He call out and mark off a national group?” Given the dispensational insistence that God has two separate people, Israel and the Church, is a divisive force in the Christian community the answer to this question is particularly significant.

    The culmination of God’s creative activity was the first man and woman, Adam and Eve, whom He created upright, or righteous, fully capable of freely choosing between good and evil. God made a special place, a garden called Eden, where God would fellowship with this first family. He also gave instructions as to their responsibility.

    Genesis 2:16,17, KJV
    16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
    17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.


    Sadly Man rebelled against God; Eve yielded to temptation, Adam disobeyed with deliberate intent [Genesis 3: 1-6].

    God took the initiative, sought out Adam and Eve, and, by grace, provided a covering for their nakedness, their sin. That covering required the shedding of innocent blood, in this case the blood of animals. This covering was only provisional, foreshadowing the perfect sacrifice that was to come. God gives mankind the initial promise of a redeemer, that perfect sacrifice, the seed or offspring of woman who would bruise the head of Satan, that is defeat him.

    Genesis 3:14-15, KJV
    14 And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou [art] cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:
    15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.


    This revelation, and the initiation in time of the Covenant of Grace, is veiled to say the least and could not be understood without the continuing revelation of God. But God does not leave us without hope. As the Biblical history of man unfolds so does God’s purpose of redemption.

    If the Redeemer was to be born of a woman and that birth was to take place in history the way must be prepared. The Redeemer must be identified with God since He was to reconcile sinful man to God and since He was a man, the seed of a woman, He must be identified with the people of God. It was necessary, therefore, that God call out a people for His Name to whom would be given the oracles of God [Romans 3:2] and through which would come the promised Redeemer.

    God called out of idolatry a man named Abram [Genesis 12:1-3], changed his name to Abraham [Genesis 17:5] and promised that in his seed all the nations of the earth would be blessed [Genesis 22:18]. The Apostle Paul tells us that seed of Abraham was Jesus Christ.

    Galatians 3:16, KJV
    16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.

    In time the lineage of the ‘seed of woman’ was further defined: Abraham’s son Isaac to the exclusion of Ishmael [Genesis 17:18-22], Isaac’s son Jacob to the exclusion of Esau [Genesis 28:10-15]. Out of Jacob would come twelve sons and the infant nation Israel which God moved to Egypt. In Egypt the lineage of the ‘seed of woman’ was further defined: Jacobs son Judah to the exclusion of the eleven [Genesis 49:8-10].

    Under God’s care that nation of some 70 people [Genesis 46:27] grew to a great nation of several hundred thousand people. In time these people were placed in servitude to the Egyptians [Exodus 1:8-14], causing them to cry out to God for deliverance [Exodus 2:23-25]. Under the leadership of Moses the children of Israel returned to Canaan, the ‘promised land’, after residing in Egypt for about 400 years.

    God brought the children of Israel into a covenant relation with Himself when He delivered them from bondage in Egypt . As with Abraham the covenant was unilaterally imposed by God with the promise:

    Exodus 19:5, KJV
    5 Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth [is] mine:

    and the requirement:

    Exodus 19:6a KJV
    6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation.

    God gave the Hebrew nation the Ten Commandments, the Ark of the Covenant, and the tabernacle with its ordinances that they might become a ‘holy nation’ in a pagan world . The remainder of the Old Testament Scripture shows the utter failure of the nation Israel to meet the requirements of the covenant. Yet Scripture also shows that for ~1800 years this people were under the providential care of God. Within that nation Israel there was at all times a people faithful to God, spiritual Israel, the Church in the wilderness [Acts 7:38].

    The lineage of the ‘seed of woman’ was preserved and further defined eventually leading to David, a man after God’s own heart, all under the care of Sovereign God. As the lineage was further defined so was the mission and identity of the ‘seed’. He would be born of a virgin, fulfilling the promise made in Eden [Genesis 3:15].

    Isaiah 7:14, KJV
    14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

    He would establish a kingdom that would stand forever [not a kingdom that would last only one thousand years]:

    Daniel 2:44, KJV
    44 And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, [but] it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.

    And He would suffer for the sins of His people:

    Isaiah 53:4-6, KJV
    4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
    5 But he [was] wounded for our transgressions, [he was] bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace [was] upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
    6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.


    Now all this was prophesied to take place in history and did take place in history. God, through the writers of the New Testament speaks. The Apostle Matthew writes:

    Matthew 1:21, KJV
    21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

    Luke tells us that the virgin conceived through the power of God and that the fruit of her womb, this ‘seed of woman’, was the promised redeemer, the Son of God.

    Luke 1:26, 27, 35, KJV
    26 And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,
    27 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name [was] Mary.
    35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.


    The Apostle Paul in his letter to the Galatians writes:

    Galatians 4:4, KJV
    4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,

    The promised Redeemer, the Son of God, the ‘seed of woman’ promised in Eden, is born of the virgin Mary to be rejected and crucified by ‘national’ Israel. Israel’s action in the crucifixion of Jesus Christ was according to the eternal purpose of God: Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:[Acts 2:23, KJV]. The Kingdom they mistakenly thought was exclusively for them was taken away and given to another people:

    Matthew 21:43, KJV
    43 Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.

    What nation was to be the recipient of the Kingdom of God? The obvious answer is the Church. However, for certainty we turn to Scripture. We read in the Gospel of Luke:

    Luke 12:32, KJV
    32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

    The ‘little flock’ is the Church, the ‘called out’ ones, who would bring forth the fruits of the Kingdom. For those who would insist that the Church cannot be identified as a ‘nation’ we turn to the writings of the Apostle Peter in which he uses the language of Exodus 18:5,6 to describe the Church:

    1 Peter 2:9, KJV
    9 But ye [are] a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

    There is no Scripture in the New Testament that indicates that the judgment pronounced against Israel in Matthew 21:43 was or ever will be revoked. Therefore, it still stands. The Kingdom belongs to the little flock, the Church. The mission of the nation Israel in God’s purpose of redemption had been accomplished.
     
  3. Grasshopper

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  4. Grasshopper

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    Part 2


    Gog and Magog refer to the past, not the future:

    http://www.americanvision.org/article/the-magog-invasion/

    http://www.americanvision.org/article/the-battle-of-gog-and-magog-prophetic-deja-vu/

    http://www.amazon.com/Why-World-Your-Future-ebook/dp/B0020HRJYG/ref=sr_1_11?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1244420291&sr=1-11


    What verses in Eze. 37 to you refer?? Where else is this supposed prophecy found?


    All geneaolgical records were destroyed in AD70. So no one knows which Tribe they came from and what does ones culture have to do with the topic? What about those who are descendants of converts to Judaism who claim they are Jews?

    http://www.faqs.org/faqs/judaism/FAQ/07-Jews-As-Nation/section-5.html


    1Pe 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

    Perhaps a word study of "everlasting" would be beneficial to you.


    Exo 12:14
    And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever.


    It is this kind of thinking that leads to a self fulfilling prophecy of Armaggedon.Christian Zionist running foreign policy, dangerous stuff.


    What is the punishment for promoting the Synagogue of Satan?


    Jews do not practice "Old Testament religion;" they are not almost Christians, lacking only acceptance of the Messiah and the New Testament. They do not worship the true God, not even the “God of the Old Testament” Jesus was quite adamant: If they had believed Moses, they would believe Him. (John 5:46-47) They don't believe the Old Testament either. The religion of Judaism is a Talmudic faith, not Biblical. Those who support, as the majority of premillenialists do, the secular nation of Israel at this time, simply because they are so-called Jews, and claim the premillenial system relies on Israel as a pivotal aspect of itself, give succor to apostates and enemies of Christ, and actually encourage them in their unbelief.

    Romans 2:28-29, "For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God."
     
  5. HankD

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    I don't believe that it is that obvious when compared to other scriptures.
    The "little flock" were all Israelites before the formation of the church.

    There are many Scriptures which indicate that the nation of Israel will be part of the future Kingdom of God:

    Luke 22
    28 Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations.
    29 And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me;
    30 That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.​

    In this passage the apostles are told that they would have a position of authority in this kingdom and specifically function as judges over "the twelve tribes of Israel".​

    Immediately after this statement Jesus predicted Peter's denial so obviously this position of leadership has to be after His death burial and resurrection.​

    In Revelation we see the renumeration of the 144,000 children of Israel in Revelation 7:1-8 "sealed" with their tribes specifically named.
    In Revelation 7:9 we see the rest of the gentile world.​

    Even in the eternal state, signified by the New Jerusalem, Israel is kept distinct (but not separate) from the church:​

    Revelation 21
    12 And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:
    13 On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates.
    14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.​

    Dispensationalist hold that "another nation" of Matthew 21:43 is redeemed Israel (Jews who believe in Jesus Christ) before and/or after the church age who will not only exist but have a place of authority in the millenium, the future kingdom of God on earth.​

    Isaiah 2:1 The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.
    2 And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD'S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.
    3 And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

    4 And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.

    Ezekiel 37
    Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land:
    22 And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all:
    23 Neither shall they defile themselves any more with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions: but I will save them out of all their dwelling places, wherein they have sinned, and will cleanse them: so shall they be my people, and I will be their God.
    24 And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them.
    25 And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and their children's children for ever: and my servant David shall be their prince for ever.
    26 Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore.
    27 My tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
    28 And the heathen shall know that I the LORD do sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for evermore.


    I understand that there is a need to discern the figurative and allegorical from the literal. ​

    Jesus spoke of the "times of the Gentiles":​

    Luke 21

    24 And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.

    What happens after the "until" requires a study of the Scripture.​

    These passages from both the NT and OT are only a few among many supporting the literal view that one day Israel will be redeemed and that all nations will flow unto her.​



    We do not believe that these literal promises to Israel are specifically fulfilled by the church. There are just too many loose ends.

    Granted, dispensationalism has its problems as does every eschatological system.​



    I do respect the preterist view as a possibly valid view among many concering eschatology and encourage believers to exercise their nobility in Christ and to do their own search of the Scriptures daily to discern the truth.​


    It is certaintly not helpful to end up verbally abusing each other because of our differences concerning "last things" - an area of teaching which may have the widest latitude of views of any of the contemporary elements of systematic theology.​



    HankD​
     
  6. Me4Him

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    Mt 22:2 The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son,

    3 And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come.

    4 Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage.

    5 But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise:

    6 And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them.

    Mt 23:37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!

    If Israel was "predestine" to reject Jesus, than all of the above is a "LIE".

    I'd suggest you learn the difference between "predestination" and "Foreknowledge".
     
  7. OldRegular

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    Hank

    I would simply point out that you omitted a significant part of your quote from Revelation regarding the New Jerusalem:

    Revelation 21:9-14, KJV
    9 And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife.
    10 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,
    11 Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;
    12 And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:
    13 On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates.
    14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.


    We see from Revelation 21:2 that the New jerusalem is the Church, the Bride of Jesus Christ. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

    Please note that what is being described metaphorically by the 12 gates and 12 foundations in the above passage is also the Bride of Jesus Christ, the Church.

    Regarding the passage from Revelation 7:1-8 please note that all 12 tribes are not included indicating this passage is not to be interpreted literally. Also there is nothing in the remainder of the chapter indicating that the “great multitude” consists only of Gentile believers. Surely you are not telling me that the Saints of the Old Testament are not in heaven.

    I would also point out that in Hebrews 11:8-16 the patriarch Abraham looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. not for an earthly city. Rather they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.

    That city for which Abraham looked is the New Jerusalem, the Bride of Jesus Christ which includes the believers out of every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation redeemed to God by the blood of Jesus Christ.

    Recall from Galatians 3:29 that all true believers are Abraham's seed. Certainly Abraham does not have two families, the Church a heavenly people and the Jews an earthly people, as Chafer and Ryrie claim. This is particularly nonsensical when you consider that according to Revelation 21:3,4 God is with His people, the Church.

    By the way I am not a preterist. I do believe that Matthew 24 discusses the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD as well as the Second Coming.
     
  8. OldRegular

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    I would suggest that you are too quick to characterize Scripture which you don't understand as a lie!
     
  9. Me4Him

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    There's still "one week" of Daniel's prophecy left for God to deal with Israel,

    It's called the "tribulation period", God isn't finished with Israel as you said.
     
  10. HankD

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    I agree concerning the "metaphorical" we differ in what exactly the details of the metaphor represent.

    In my view the New Jerusalem signifies the eternal state in which believers of the Old and New Covenants are viewed as distinct from each other howbeit both are citizens of the City not built with hands.

    There are other places in the Bible in which the 12 tribes are named differently and appears to leave a tribe (or half-tribe) out, so I don't believe that this is a valid objection.

    No, of course not. The point is that again, a distinction is made between Israel and the gentile world. Admittedly there is often times a difficulty in the Scripture in discerning earthly Israel from redeemed Israel and the promises of which Paul addresses this difficulty.

    Romans 9:6 Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:​


    I agree to half of this point, however Abraham had a double sided view of the promise of God. He had an earthly seed (Isaac) and an earthly blessing:

    Genesis 12:1 Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee:
    2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:
    3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
    4 So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran.
    5 And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came.
    6 And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Sichem, unto the plain of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land.
    7 And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him.​

    Genesis 22:17 That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven (heavenly), and as the sand which is upon the sea shore (earthly); and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;​

    Not all the earthly seed of Abraham would be blessed however as Jesus indicated to the pharisees:​

    John 8
    33 They answered him, We be Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?
    34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.
    35 And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever.
    36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
    37 I know that ye are Abraham's seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you.
    38 I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father.
    39 They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham.
    40 But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham.
    41 Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God.​

    So, while they were Abraham's earthly seed they were not of the heavenly seed because obviously they did not recognize Jesus as the Son of God.​

    All believers of either covenant are the heavenly seed of Abraham since we were grafted into the promise of the New Jerusalem.

    Yes, I gathered that from previous debates. My perception is that you are partial preterist. Am I wrong?​

    Thanks
    HankD​
     
    #10 HankD, Jun 9, 2009
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2009
  11. HankD

    HankD
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    Hi Me4Him,

    We all have a lot to contribute concerning our differences.

    The 70th week of Daniel is a difficult area of study and even those who hold to it have significant differences.

    Eschatological things do not out-weigh the greatest element of the Christian life:

    Love one another.

    I know that you love the brethren, sometimes we forget, I certainly have on occassion.

    OR is very knowlegeable about "last things" and I have learned from him.
    We need to learn each others views especially when we agree on the essentials.

    HankD
     
  12. OldRegular

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    1. I don't consider myself a partial preterist though some might. Looking at Sproul's comparison of full and partial preterism [page 156] in his book The Last Days According to Jesus the only thing with which I agree was that the destruction of Jerusalem was the judgment of God and is discussed in Matthew 24.

    2. I believe in the literal Second Coming of Jesus Christ in power and glory [Matthew 24:30,31; Matthew 25:31; Revelation 1:7].

    3. I believe in a general resurrection and judgment at the return of Jesus Christ [John 5:28, 29]

    4. I believe in an idealist interpretation of the Book of Revelation which generally regards the book as setting forth eternal truths concerning the conflict between good and evil and that the imagery of the book has no particular relation to any historical events.

    5. However, I also believe that the Book of Revelation was initially written for the comfort of the early Church enduring persecution and has meaning for them that we may not understand. Of course true believers are always subject to be persecuted.

    6. I believe that Revelation 20:1-10 is a recapitulation of the events described in Revelation and has nothing to do with an earthly millennial reign.

    7. I believe that Revelation 20:11-15 is a picture of the Great White Throne Judgment [as is also described in Matthew 25:31-46] before which all, the saved and unsaved shall appear. The judgment of the saved has already been taken by Jesus Christ and they shall enter into the Joy of the Lord. The unsaved will be cast into the lake of fire along with Satan.


    I believe the above 7 points are generally those that amillennialist believe.
     
  13. HankD

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    Thanks OR, I appreciate your willingness to share your views.

    In Christ
    HankD
     
  14. Pilgrimer

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    I believe there is an underlying issue that you have neglected to address that has tremendous bearing on this whole question, and that is simply this:

    What were the Jews "chosen" for?

    I believe the nation of Israel was chosen, set apart, and by the law made clean and holy in order that through them God might bring His salvation to the whole world.

    I also believe that purpose for which the nation of Israel was chosen was fulfilled in Christ.

    In Christ,
    Pilgrimer
     
  15. HankD

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    John 4:22 ... salvation is of the Jews.

    HankD
     
  16. Jedi Knight

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    John 4:23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
     
  17. Pilgrimer

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    Hello Hank, it is a pleasure to catch up with you again.

    Allow me to comment on something that may at first glance appear to be minor differences, but which can cause a tremendous shift in thinking on this whole issue on the question of the salvation of Israel. In your previous post you said:

    “Even in the eternal state, signified by the New Jerusalem, Israel is kept distinct (but not separate) from the Church.”

    My first point is that I don’t think it is correct to make a distinction like that between Israel and the Church. Redeemed Israel is not distinct from the Church but is in fact part of the Church, part of the New Jerusalem.

    Indeed, not only is redeemed Israel part of the Church, but redeemed Israel is the very foundation upon which the whole New Covenant Church is built! Without redeemed Israel, there would be no foundation walls for the redeemed Gentiles to be built upon nor gates through which the nations can enter the New Covenant. Dispensationalists get it backwards I think. They try to have redeemed Israel added to the Church at the end of the Church Age, and I think that is incorrect. After the chief cornerstone was laid, which is Christ, then it was the Apostles and Prophets which were added to that “temple not made with hands” that God began erecting, with the 12 Apostles being the foundation walls and the 12 Patriarchs being the 12 gates. This work was done first, before any Gentiles were ever added. That’s why the Gospel was “to the Jew first, and then to the Gentiles” and why Jesus told the disciples to preach the Gospel first in Jerusalem, then in Judaea, and then from there the Gospel (the Law written on men’s hearts) would flow out toward the uttermost parts of the earth like a mighty river of life. So I think Dispensationlism gets it backwards, placing Gentiles in the Church first and adding Jews (the foundation walls and gates) last, when in truth the foundation walls and gates came first and is what the Gentile stones are built upon.

    And second, I don’t think the New Jerusalem signifies the eternal state. The New Jerusalem signifies the Church, which exists in both this present age as well as in the world to come. The difference, or the distinction, is in the form in which it exists. In this present age the New Jerusalem exists in its spiritual, mystical form (ergo it is revealed as being “in heaven”), but in the eternal state the New Jerusalem will exist in its physical form (ergo it is revealed as “descending out of heaven” to the new earth). Again, I think the Dispensational model misses seeing the spiritual form in which New Jerusalem now exists and fulfills so very many of the Old Testament prophecies and instead applies all these prophecies to the Old City.


    In Christ,
    Pilgrimer
     
    #17 Pilgrimer, Jun 11, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 11, 2009
  18. Me4Him

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    How do you explain the Trib, rebuild Temple, 144000 Jews, plus the 'Two witnesses", Moses/Elijah,

    "IF" God is finished with Israel???

    (if that is what you're saying)
     
  19. HankD

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    Hi Pilgrimer.

    You know, after reading your post, I agree with almost all that you have said. In fact, I have always felt that modern dispensationalism puts too much emphasis on the "earthly" fulfilment of the Abrahamic Covenant promises.

    You are correct, the eternal should "trump" the temporal.

    And yes, we (gentiles) were grafted into the "tree".

    Returning to your response:
    Yes but that is why I used the word "distinct" and not "separate" because of your point that we (redeemed Israel and the Church) are both components of the New Jerusalem (Revelation 21 does not contain the word "church" - ecclesia). The binding connection is the Holy Spirit which was either with or in the members in time and shall be in all in eternity.

    The Spirit of God evidently wanted to keep them distinct in this final record of the finished work of the Triune God.

    I use the word "distinct" of redeemed Israel and the Church in the same way the orthodox short form definition of the Trinity uses the word: God is three distinct persons in one divine essence.

    The New Jerusalem consists of two distinct elements bound in the Spirit.

    Good to hear from you again pilgrim.

    Hebrews 11:13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.​


    In Christ

    HankD
     
    #19 HankD, Jun 12, 2009
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2009
  20. Pilgrimer

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    Hello Me4Him

    I understand the tribulation, the “time of Jacob’s trouble,” to have been fulfilled in the last days of the Old Covenant when the nation of Israel, the city of Jerusalem, the Temple, the Altar, the Sacrifices, the Priesthood, the feasts, the Sabbaths, the new moons . . . and everything that pertained to Old Covenant worship suddenly and violently came to an end, at exactly the time and in exactly the manner that the Law and the Prophets had foretold. It is no mere coincidence that the Old Covenant form of reconciliation and fellowship with God was destroyed and that way forever closed in the same generation that saw the coming of Christ and the institution of the New Covenant and the opening of a New Way of reconciliation and fellowship with God. Indeed, the Old Covenant being brought to an end in the generation that saw the coming of Jesus “confirms” the New Covenant and proves Jesus is the Messiah!

    The Old Covenant Temple will not be rebuilt. God is now dwelling in the New Covenant Temple, which is . . . the Church, which is . . . you! The Jerusalem that men and women must come to now to find the Temple of God and worship before the Throne is . . . the New Jerusalem, the New Covenant Temple, which is a spiritual building that requires one approach through the spirit. The Temple in which God dwells in this earth now is you, and me, and all those in whom the Spirit of God in Christ abides.

    The 144,000 are the Christian Jews who are already part of the Church. They are the “firstfruits” of the harvest of the Gospel, which is why the Gospel was for the Jew first, and afterward the Gentiles. If you study the New Testament a little closer you will see that immediately after the coming and the work of Christ there was a great soul harvest of the Jewish nation (remember Jesus saying the “fields were white already unto harvest” and told the disciples to pray that God would send workmen into the fields to gather in the harvest?). The nation of Israel was the first to hear the Gospel, beginning in Jerusalem, then in Judaea, then Samaria and even in the cities and nations of the world the Apostles and disciples went first to the Jewish synagogues and preached the Gospel to the Jews . . . first! So the 12,000 of each of the 12 tribes refers symbolically to the full number of Redeemed Israel, Christian Jews, that nation of Israel who are part of the New Covenant congregation of God. Which is why James, the Lord’s brother, in the letter he wrote to the Christian Jews who were scattered abroad because of the persecution by the Jewish authorities, addressed his letter “to the twelve tribes.” James recognized that under the New Covenant, the Christian Jews are the 12 tribes of Israel.

    The two witnesses are the Law and the Prophets. The Law and the Prophets testified of the coming of Christ and the beginning of the New Covenant, but they also testified of the end of the Old Covenant and the destruction of the Jewish state. The Law and the Prophets could not pass away until every jot and tittle were fulfilled. The last jots and tittles to be fulfilled was the judgment and destruction of the Jewish state and the Old Covenant commonwealth, which “finished” their testimony. This destruction of those things which belonged to the Old Covenant are symbolized in the Revelation as God’s two witnesses (the Law and the Prophets) being slain.

    I know for a fact that God is not finished with Israel! I am myself involved in several ministries to Jews, and work with and on occasion have opportunity to witness to Jews, many whom I count as friends as well as colleagues. God is absolutely still busy calling, redeeming, saving, and sanctifying Jews, and that calling and saving of Jews by the preaching of the Gospel, which began on the day of Pentecost, has not ceased in all these many generations, and will not cease until the end of time. So no, God is not finished with Israel, every day He is fulfilling to Jews the promise of salvation, and through faith in Christ, grafting them back into His Kingdom.


    In Christ,
    Pilgrimer

     
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