Are the OT Believers part of the Body of Christ?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Yeshua1, May 17, 2013.

  1. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1
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    or was that reserved for just those saved under rhe new Covenant? the Church?
     
  2. Jope

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    Hey there.

    I believe that many (not all) of the OT saints are now a part of the Church, because of Christ's preaching to the spirits in prison (1Pet. 3:19). They ascended with him into the third heaven (Eph. 4:8). I say many, and not all, because David is not ascended into the heavens (Acts 2:34), and Matthew 27:52 only says many and not all "bodies of the saints which slept arose" (KJV). I believe that they are a part of the body of Christ because they have a heavenly home (Lev. 25:23; 1Chron. 29:15), joint together with the Church (Philipp. 3:20), and, Hebrews 11 tells us that some, at least, of the OT saints, are to be made perfect with the Church (v. 40).

    As for those Jews who will live through the tribulation (Rom. 11:28-29), they will inherit the land promise of Genesis 13:15 (viz. "For all the land which thou [Abraham] seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever", KJV).
     
    #2 Jope, May 17, 2013
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  3. Jope

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    Perhaps, seeing as the millennium will be that dispensation wherein all things in heaven and earth will be gathered together into Christ (Eph. 1:10); the elect in heaven and on earth (Mark 13:27), there will be an earthly and an heavenly body of Christ.

    Matthew 25 tells us that "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my [Jewish] brethren, ye have done it unto me [Christ]" (v. 40, KJV). It seems that the Jews would be a part of the body of Christ in this judgment (while the Church is in heaven).

    Also, it is to Abraham's seed, which is Christ, that is given the land promise (Gen. 13:15; Gal. 3:16). If the Jews who are to be present on earth during the 70th week of Daniel aren't to be a part of the body of Christ, how are they to inherit the land, seeing as Christ is the inheritor of it?
     
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  4. Revmitchell

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    1 Peter 3:19



    By which - Evidently by the Spirit referred to in the previous verse - ἐν ᾧ en hō - the divine nature of the Son of God; that by which he was “quickened” again, after he had been put to death; the Son of God regarded as a Divine Being, or in that same nature which afterward became incarnate, and whose agency was employed in quickening the man Christ Jesus, who had been put to death. The meaning is, that the same “Spirit” which was efficacious in restoring him to life, after he was put to death, was that by which he preached to the spirits in prison.
    He went - To wit, in the days of Noah. No particular stress should be laid here on the phrase “he went.” The literal sense is, “he, having gone, preached,” etc. πορευθεὶς poreutheis. It is well known that such expressions are often redundant in Greek writers, as in others. So Herodotus, “to these things they spake, saying” - for they said. “And he, speaking, said;” that is, he said. So Eph_2:17, “And came and preached peace,” etc. Mat_9:13, “but go and learn what that meaneth,” etc. So God is often represented as coming, as descending, etc., when he brings a message to mankind. Thus, Gen_11:5, “The Lord came down to see the city and the tower.” Exo_19:20, “the Lord came down upon Mount Sinai.” Num_11:25, “the Lord came down in a cloud.” 2Sa_22:10, “he bowed the heavens and came down.” The idea, however, would be conveyed by this language that he did this personally, or by himself, and not merely by employing the agency of another. It would then be implied here, that though the instrumentality of Noah was employed, yet that it was done not by the Holy Spirit, but by him who afterward became incarnate. On the supposition, therefore, that this whole passage refers to his preaching to the antediluvians in the time of Noah, and not to the “spirits” after they were confined in prison, this is language which the apostle would have properly and probably used. If that supposition meets the full force of the language, then no argument can be based on it in proof that he went to preach to them after their death, and while his body was lying in the grave.
    And preached - The word used here (ἐκήρυξεν ekēruxen) is of a general character, meaning to make a proclamation of any kind, as a crier does, or to deliver a message, and does not necessarily imply that it was the gospel which was preached, nor does it determine anything in regard to the nature of the message. It is not affirmed that he preached the gospel, for if that specific idea had been expressed it would have been rather by another word - εὐαγγελίζω euangelizō. The word used here would be appropriate to such a message as Noah brought to his contemporaries, or to any communication which God made to people. See Mat_3:1; Mat_4:17; Mar_1:35; Mar_5:20; Mar_7:36. It is implied in the expression, as already remarked, that he did this himself; that it was the Son of God who subsequently became incarnate, and not the Holy Spirit, that did this; though the language is consistent with the supposition that he did it by the instrumentality of another, to wit, Noah. “Qui facit per alium, facit per se.” God really proclaims a message to mankind when he does it by the instrumentality of the prophets, or apostles, or other ministers of religion; and all that is necessarily implied in this language would be met by the supposition that Christ delivered a message to the antediluvian race by the agency of Noah. No argument, therefore, can be derived from this language to prove that Christ went and personally preached to those who were confined in hades or in prison.
    Unto the spirits in prison - That is, clearly, to the spirits now in prison, for this is the fair meaning of the passage. The obvious sense is, that Peter supposed there were “spirits in prison” at the time when he wrote, and that to those same spirits the Son of God had at some time “preached,” or had made some proclamation respecting the will of God. Since this is the only passage in the New Testament upon which the Roman Catholic doctrine of purgatory is supposed to rest, it is important to ascertain the fair meaning of the language here employed. There are three obvious inquiries in ascertaining its signification. Who are referred to by “spirits?” What is meant by “in prison?” Was the message brought to them while in the prison, or at some previous period?
    I. Who are referred to by spirits? The specification in the next verse determines this. They were those “who were sometimes disobedient, when once the long-suffering of God waited in the days of Noah.” No others are specified; and if it should be maintained that this means that he went down to hell (Hades), or to Sheol, and preached to those who are confined there, it could be inferred from this passage only that he preached to that portion of the lost spirits confined there which belonged to the particular generation in which Noah lived. Why he should do this; or how there should be such a separation made in hades that it could be done; or what was the nature of the message which he delivered to that portion, are questions which it is impossible for any man who bolds to the opinion that Christ went down to hell after his death to preach, to answer. But if it means that he preached to those who lived in the days of Noah, while they were yet alive, the question will be asked why are they called “spirits?”
    Were they spirits then, or were they people like others? To this the answer is easy. Peter speaks of them as they were when he wrote; not as they had been, or were at the time when the message was preached to them. The idea is, that to those spirits who were then in prison who had formerly lived in the days of Noah, the message had been in fact delivered. It was not necessary to speak of them precisely as they were at the time when it was delivered, but only in such a way as to identify them. We should use similar language now. If we saw a company of men in prison who had seen better days - a multitude now drunken, and debased, and poor, and riotous - it would not be improper to say that “the prospect of wealth and honor was once held out to this ragged and wretched multitude. All that is needful is to identify them as the same persons who once had this prospect. In regard to the inquiry, then, who these “spirits” were, there can be no difference of opinion. They were that wicked race which lived in the days of Noah. There is no allusion in this passage to any other; there is no intimation that to any others of those “in prison” the message here referred to had been delivered.
     
  5. Revmitchell

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    II. What is meant by prison here? Purgatory, or the limbus patrum, say the Romanists - a place in which departed souls are supposed to be confined, and in which their final destiny may still be effected by the purifying fires which they endure, by the prayers of the living, or by a message in some way conveyed to their gloomy abodes - in which such sins may be expiated as do not deserve eternal damnation. The Syriac here is “in Sheol,” referring to the abodes of the dead, or the place in which departed spirits are supposed to dwell. The word rendered “prison,” (φυλακῇ phulakē,) means properly “watch, guard” - the act of keeping watch, or the guard itself; then watchpost, or station; then a place where anyone is watched or guarded, as a prison; then a watch in the sense of a division of the night, as the morning watch. It is used in the New Testament, with reference to the future world, only in the following places: 1Pe_3:19, “Preached unto the spirits in prison;” and Rev_20:7, “Satan shall be loosed put of his prison.”
    An idea similar to the one here expressed may be found in 2Pe_2:4, though the word prison does not there occur: “God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;” and in Jud_1:6, “And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains, under darkness, unto the judgment of the great day.” The allusion, in the passage before us, is undoubtedly to confinement or imprisonment in the invisible world; and perhaps to those who are reserved there with reference to some future arrangement - for this idea enters commonly into the use of the word prison. There is, however, no specification of the place where this is; no intimation that it is purgatory - a place where the departed are supposed to undergo purification; no intimation that their condition can be affected by anything that we can do; no intimation that those particularly referred to differ in any sense from the others who are confined in that world; no hint that they can be released by any prayers or sacrifices of ours. This passage, therefore, cannot be adduced to support the Roman Catholic doctrine of purgatory, because:
    (1) the essential ideas which enter into the doctrine of purgatory are not to be found in the word used here;
    (2) there is no evidence in the fair interpretation of the passage that any message is borne to them while in prison;
    (3) there is not the slightest hint that they can be released by any prayers or offerings of those who dwell on the earth. The simple idea is that of persons confined as in a prison; and the passage will prove only that in the time when the apostle wrote there were those wire were thus confined.
    III. Was the message brought to them while in prison, or at some previous period? The Romanists say that it was while in prison; that Christ, after he was put to death in the body, was still kept alive in his spirit, and went and proclaimed his gospel to those who were in prison. So Bloomfield maintains, (in loc.,) and so (Ecumenius and Cyril, as quoted by Bloomfield. But against this view there are plain objections drawn from the language of Peter himself:
    (1) As we have seen, the fair interpretation of the passage “quickened by the Spirit,” is not that he was kept alive as to his human soul, but that he, after being dead, was made alive by his own divine energy.
    (2) if the meaning be that he went and preached after his death, it seems difficult to know why the reference is to those only who “had been disobedient in the days of Noah.” Why were they alone selected for this message? Are they separate from others? Were they the only ones in purgatory who could be beneficially affected by his preaching? On the other method of interpretation, we can suggest a reason why they were particularly specified. But how can we on this?
    (3) the language employed does not demand this interpretation. Its full meaning is met by the interpretation that Christ once preached to the spirits then in prison, to wit, in the days of Noah; that is, that he caused a divine message to be borne to them. Thus, it would be proper to say that “Whitefield came to America, and preached to the souls in perdition;” or to go among the graves of the first settlers of New Haven, and say, “Davenport came from England to preach to the dead men around us.”
    (4) this interpretation accords with the design of the apostle in inculcating the duty of patience and forbearance in trials; in encouraging those whom he addressed to be patient in their persecutions. See the analysis of the chapter. With this object in view, there was entire propriety in directing them to the long-suffering and forbearance evinced by the Saviour, through Noah. He was opposed, reviled, disbelieved, and, we may suppose, persecuted. It was to the purpose to direct them to the fact that he was saved as the result of his steadfastness to Him who had commanded him to preach to that ungodly generation. But what pertinency would there have been in saying that Christ went down to hell, and delivered some sort of a message there, we know not what, to those who are confined there?

    Barns Commentary
     
  6. Revmitchell

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    We really need to be sober minded with passages like this.
     
  7. Jope

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    ...But this is the language that the Apostle uses...

    ...Since Christ did descend to Hades/Sheol (Acts 2:27-31), and since a different righteousness, apart from the Mosaic Law, is now revealed (Rom. 3:21-22), I see no reason why Christ wouldn't have preached this righteousness by faith of Christ to the spirits in prison, and not only to those disobedient antediluvian spirits (cf. John 5:24-29).

    If it is by faith of Christ that one is saved (John 3:16-18; 5:24-31), when are those that dwell in Sheol/Hades (Eccles. 9:10) to hear of this salvation? Especially since the mystery of Christ was not revealed in ages past (Rom. 16:25; Eph. 3:1-6), people not even knowing the name of Him (Prov. 30:4)?

    How would Christ lead captives into the third heaven (Eph. 4:8-10) without first preaching to them? Especially since it is only by faith of Christ that men are to be saved (Acts 4:12; John 3:16-18). Which righteousness was not revealed in dispensations past (Rom. 3:21-22; 16:25-26)?

    Ephesians 4 ESV
    8 Therefore it says,

    “When he ascended on high he led a host of captives,
    and he gave gifts to men.”

    9 (In saying, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower regions, the earth? 10 He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.)​

    Here is something interesting I thought I might add:

    Justin the martyr believed the same as me:

    "...from the sayings of the same Jeremiah these have been cut out: ‘The Lord God remembered His dead people of Israel who lay in the graves; and He descended to preach to them His own salvation.’"

    - Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho, Chap. LXXII. — Passages Have Been Removed by the Jews from Esdras and Jeremiah, line 171.​

    He believed that the Jews cut out some scriptures. That's some Justin Martyr for you anyway (I'm not saying that I necessarily agree with him, that it has been cut out...by the way).

    Not if it is only by faith in Christ that a man is to be saved, which faith was not revealed in ages past.

     
  8. Jope

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    I think that dispensationalism might be able to answer this. I do not know presently why he makes special reference to these antediluvian persons, but (again), I think that there might be a dispensational answer to this.
     
  9. Yeshua1

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    I hold that the OT believers were saved by Grace of the Cross , but that they were not part of the Bride of Christ, the Church...

    So when will they be resurrected/glorified?
     
  10. canadyjd

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    Interesting thought. I don't think O.T. Saints and N.T. Saints will be divided into separate groups. Where does scripture support either idea?

    In Rev. 19:8, scripture tells us the Bride of Christ is clothed in "...the righteous acts of the saints." The Bride is the "saints" and is clothed in their righteous acts. There is no division here between O.T. and N.T. saints.... (such thinking would have been foreign, IMHO, to either O.T. or N.T. saints)

    Thinking......

    peace to you:praying:
     
  11. Revmitchell

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    I just do not understand questions like this? And it seems there have been several lately.
     
  12. Yeshua1

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    Wre the OT believers just as we are in the NT, saved and baptized into body of Chrsit, or were they part of another program of God?

    When jesus has his second coming, will BOTH OT/NT saints resurrect at that time, or just those of His church/body from NT times?
     
  13. Yeshua1

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    I was taught that at the second coming, NT saints arise and go to heaven, while OT saints resuurect and go into the Millinium...
     
  14. canadyjd

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    I have heard that before. I don't believe it is supported by scripture. I believe Eph. 2 specifically teaches that both Jews and Gentiles have been put together as one new man. (v.19) "So you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saint's, and are of God's household."

    I don't think scripture supports the idea of a different eternal life for O.T. saints and N.T. saints.
     
  15. Revmitchell

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    That would have been a much better op.
     
  16. Yeshua1

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    What do you think the answer would be?
     
  17. Jope

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    Hey Yeshua. I know that there may be some who believe that. I however, believe differently because of what I have already shown in previous post(s).

    I am dispensational by the way. Pre-mil, pre-trib.

    I believe that many of the OT saints are now in heaven (cf. Lev. 25:23; 1Chron. 29:15), to be made perfect with the Church (Heb. 11:40; Philip. 3:20).

    I emphasized many, because, David, for example, is not ascended into the heavens (Acts 2:34); and Matthew 27:52-53 only says many. It doesn't say all of the "bodies of the saints which slept arose" (v. 52, KJV).

    Here's why David is not ascended into the heavens:

    B. The Jewish Branch of Government

    1. David: The King and Prince

    The absolute monarchy of the Messiah will extend to Israel as well as to the Gentile nations. But directly under the Messianic King, having authority over all Israel, will be the resurrected David, who is given both titles of king and prince. He will be a king because he will rule over Israel, but he will be a prince in that he will be under the authority of the Messiah. Just as all the Gentile nations will have kings, so will Israel. The difference is that the Gentile kings will all have their natural bodies, while David will have his resurrected body.

    There are several passages that speak of David as being king over Israel and prince under King Messiah, such as Jeremiah 30:9. Not only will Israel in the future serve Jehovah their God, but they will also serve David their king.

    Another passage is Ezekiel 34:23-24. When the restoration of Israel comes, it will no longer be in the form of two kingdoms with each one having their own king. They will be a reunited nation with only one head, and that head will be the resurrected David, who will serve as their prince. So while Jehovah will serve as their God and absolute King, David will serve under Him as God's prince over Israel.

    Later, in Ezekiel 37:24-25, Ezekiel reiterates the fact that they will have David to function as the king of Israel. He is to be their prince and shepherd. Under his guidance, Israel will be able to keep the righteous commandments of God. The Land will be restored to them as well as David their king.

    One final passage that points to this aspect of the government of the Millennium is Hosea 3:5. Making the same points as Jeremiah and Ezekiel, Hosea states that in the future restoration, Israel will not only be subservient to Jehovah their God, but also to David their king.

    While all these passages are often explained as actually referring to David's greater Son, nothing in the text indicates that David is to be taken symbolically. If the prophets wanted to refer to the Messiah in connection with David, they used terms such as "Root of Jesse," "Branch of David," "Son of David," or "Seed of David." None of these expressions are used here. The text simply states, David. In keeping with literal interpretation, it is best to take the text as it reads, meaning the literal David, who, in his resurrected form, will function as the king over Israel and as a prince in subjection to the King of the world. It is in this sense that David will serve both as king and prince. From the viewpoint of Israel, David will be their king ruling over them. But from the viewpoint of the Messiah, David will be a prince.

    Fruchtenbaum, A. (n.d.). Premillennialism in the Old Testament (Part 2), III. The Government of the Messianic Kingdom. LAMBERT DOLPHIN's library, retrieved from http://www.ldolphin.org/otpremill.html
     
  18. canadyjd

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    IMHO, you are misreading Acts 2:34. Peter is saying that Jesus was exalted to the right hand of God (v.33) not King David (v.34) to which David testifies in the Psalms (v.25-28 and 34-35).

    He is not saying David didn't make it to heaven, only that David didn't "ascend" into heaven as Christ did after His resurrection (v.31) to receive the position at the right hand of the Father which was prophesied in the Psalms of David.

    The passages in Jeremiah and Ezekiel speaking of King David as once again ruling Israel are referring to the Messiah (Jesus) as the descendent of David, not a literally resurrected David.
     
    #18 canadyjd, May 24, 2013
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  19. Yeshua1

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    that is why as a Dispy, see it as the church having heavenly rality in tiem of Millinium, while saved Jews from OT times raised to go into Millinium, to be aprt of the kingdom/ruling of jesus upon earth at that time!
     
  20. Dennis324

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    This is an interesting topic of discussion. :thumbs: I'm not going to post a long thing here that's hard to read, but I do have some questions.

    In Luke 16: 19-31 Jesus tells the story about the Rich man and the beggar Lazarus. When the beggar died, the angels came and carried him to Abraham's bosom or Abraham's side. The rich man goes to hell and while there calls up to Abraham.

    If Abraham is asleep, or whatever, who is the rich man actually calling to? Abraham is apparently active and in some sort of heaven isn't he?

    In another example, Hebrews tells us that Enoch apparently did not die but was carried off. He is likely not asleep in the ground waiting for the second coming is he?

    Wasn't Elijah was carried off in a whirlwind into heaven 2 Kings 2: 11-12?

    Did not both Moses and Elijah both appeared at the Transfiguration and talked with Jesus in Luke 9: 11-12?

    I don't know if they are "the body of Christ" as in Christians...but apparently they believe. I don't think they are asleep. I think they are in Paradise as Jesus termed it. :)
     
    #20 Dennis324, May 27, 2013
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