You are hereDe-universalizing the Gospel

De-universalizing the Gospel

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By SuperSoulFighter - Posted on 08 March 2008

by John McPherson
One of the texts viewed as most foundational to the Christian gospel (and, in effect, encapsulating it in condensed form) is John 3:16. This verse is routinely quoted, in isolation, as an expression of the gospel in summary form. It reads as follows, in the New King James Version of the Bible, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” It has been routinely assumed that this reference to God’s love for the “world” and the usage of the seemingly all-inclusive “whosoever” confirm the universal nature of the gospel, and its relevance for all of mankind. Certainly, a cursory reading of this text would seem to prompt such a conclusion. But let’s look at it in its context.
One of the texts viewed as most foundational to the Christian gospel (and, in effect, encapsulating it in condensed form) is John 3:16. This verse is routinely quoted, in isolation, as an expression of the gospel in summary form. It reads as follows, in the New King James Version of the Bible, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” It has been routinely assumed that this reference to God’s love for the “world” and the usage of the seemingly all-inclusive “whosoever” confirm the universal nature of the gospel, and its relevance for all of mankind. Certainly, a cursory reading of this text would seem to prompt such a conclusion. But let’s look at it in its context.
The immediate context begins in v.1 of chapter 3. Nicodemus, a First Century Jewish religious leader goes to Jesus secretly, by night, to engage him in discussion involving various aspects of the spiritual economy within which they both lived, and over which Nicodemus was one of the “rulers”. Jesus immediately confronted him with information concerning the necessity of spiritual rebirth “via water and the Spirit” in order to gain entrance to the Kingdom of God (i.e. eternal acceptance with – and the approval of - the God of Israel, manifested in the reception of eternal life).

9 Nicodemus answered and said to Him, "How can these things be?" 10 Jesus answered and said to him, "Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things? 11 Most assuredly, I say to you, We speak what We know and testify what We have seen, and you do not receive Our witness. 12 If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things? 13 No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven. 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.

Note Jesus’ words to Nicodemus, above. He appeals to the lengthy tradition of the prophetic ministration of Truth to the Israelites throughout their history, only to be met with unbelief and rejection. Jesus drew a direct analogy between His own death on the cross and Moses’ lifting the serpent in the wilderness, in order to provide physical healing and salvation to those Israelites who had been bitten by deadly snakes. Notably, the ENTIRE CONTEXT of John 3 is focused on Israelite spiritual realities and distinctives – the faith element manifested in unique ways during the Old Covenant “world”’s existence. To really understand that “world” and its relationship to the First Century gospel, however, we need to consider the broader context of this chapter.

Going back to chapter 1 of John’s Gospel, we read the following:

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.
5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. 6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. 8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. 9 That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. 11 He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: 13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. 14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

Note the direct parallelism in vss. 10,11, above. John used the phrase “the world” (Gk. “cosmos”) to refer to God’s Covenant People (“His own”, v.11). The parallel is inescapable. The “world” or “cosmos” of the People of Israel is in view in this chapter, NOT the entire human race (as most theologians/expositors would have us believe). Going back to the first verses above then, we find it permissible to paraphrase the text as follows: the Word was “in the beginning [of the Israelite “cosmos”] and the Word was with God and the Word WAS God [YHWH of the Israelites, who established/created their “cosmos” in the giving the Law to Moses]. “All things [within that “world/cosmos”] were made through Him and without Him nothing [in that “world/cosmos”] was made that was made”. “In YHWH was life, and the life was the light of men [who were citizens of that OC “world”]. And the light shines in the darkness [the spiritual darkness unique to the Israelites/Jews who rejected their own God and His Law] and the darkness did not comprehend it [see vss. 10,11 below]. There was a man sent from God whose name was John. This man came for a witness [to the Jews/Israelites, and THEIR “world” specifically], to bear witness of the Light, that all [of the “elect” within the OC “world”] through him might believe. He was not that light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which gives light to every man coming into the “world” [either being born as an Israelite/Jew or gaining citizenship therein via becoming a proselyte]. He was in the world [the Israelite/Jewish “cosmos”] and the world [Israelite/Jewish cosmos] was made through Him, and the world [Israelite/Jewish cosmos] did not know Him [as their Messiah]. He came to His own [the OC People, specifically “the elect” WITHIN that “world” and Nation] and His own [OC “elect”] did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood [through physical heredity as a Jew/Israelite], nor of the will of the flesh [through adherence to the Mosaic Law], nor of the will of man [through personal effort and self-righteousness of any kind], but of God. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us [the First Century Israelites/Jews], and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”

I believe the paraphrase above represents, essentially, the originally intended meaning in this passage, and it sets the tone and establishes the focus for the rest of the Book. The next verses further reinforce the focus of this Gospel on the Old Covenant Mosaic spiritual economy of the First Century:

15 John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, "This was He of whom I said, 'He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.' " 16 And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. 17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

Further down in the chapter, we find John making some very specific statements concerning the relevance of Christ Jesus to the First Century Israelites/Jews and THEIR “world”.

29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, "Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is He of whom I said, 'After me comes a Man who is preferred before me, for He was before me.' 31 I did not know Him; but that He should be revealed to Israel, therefore I came baptizing with water."

Note that John specifically states that Jesus was to be revealed TO ISRAEL, NOT to the entire human race, per se. Jesus Himself confirms this focus in His earthly ministry in Matt. 15:24, “But He answered and said, "I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel."

In referring to Christ Jesus as the “Lamb who takes away the sin of the world”, John was emphasizing His fulfillment of the blood sacrifice “type” belonging to Old Covenant Mosaic Judaism. The redemptive element in Christ Jesus’ Messianic role in this regard is revealed as exclusive to Old Covenant Israel in Hebrews 9:15, “15 And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.”

Thus, we see that John 3 is prefaced by the contextual establishment of an exclusively Old Covenant Jewish/Israelite “world” focus and framework of understanding. The applicability of John 3:16 to all of mankind universally, therefore, is really not permissible when due consideration and weight is given to the context.

“For God so loved the world [of His Covenant People, particularly the “elect”] that He gave His only begotten Son [as THEIR Messiah], that whosoever [among them, within the OC “world”] believeth in Him should not perish [at the destruction of their “world” in 70 AD, and the Great Day of Judgment upon them as a People], but have everlasting life”.

In saying this, I do not mean to suggest that the First Century gospel was not instrumental in bringing an eternal “cosmos” into being which has universal, eternal ramifications and involvement with mankind as a whole. But the gospel texts so commonly used to support modern evangelistic efforts and “gospel preaching” are, as has been demonstrated above, wrested out of their context and made to mean something never intended.

The eternal New Covenant Kingdom established in and through the First Century saints has direct involvement with mankind today, on this planet – but the means of access to that Kingdom by faith (as a spiritual proselyte) must be carefully distinguished from the First Century gospel declared in texts such as John 3:16.

John McPherson
Gold River, BC
CANADA

Barry's picture

Hi JM,
I wanted to deal with these particular points of yours separately. It is a very important issue that would otherwise just be lost in too long a post if included with the other points.
The constant ripping of these texts in Revelation out of their actual setting and context is something that many “full preterists” do very often to try and get around what the rest of the New Testament is obviously saying concerning the end of the age.

I will very shortly be answering your other points in the original place underneath your last response to me. Thanks in advance for your patience in this matter.

Quote Barry:
Christ came WITHIN sectarianism to FINISH SECTARIANISM [as one would stand apart from or independent from another]. Christ came WITHIN ethnicity to FINISH WITH ETHNICITY [as one would stand apart or independent from another]. To bring the diversity of identity of “the natural” into a ONE WHOLE where the diversity lives in harmony as part of the whole in common value worth and love. First the natural and then the spiritual.
AND SUCH WAS THE ENDING OF THE TYPES AND FIGURES FROM ADAM.
End quote.

Quote JM:
This is a nice theory, Barry, but it really doesn't match the reality. Yes, WITHIN the Kingdom there is no longer any sectarianism or difference between "Jew" and "Greek". But there will ALWAYS be a distinction between the spiritual Israelites of the Kingdom of Heaven and the remainder of mankind. That's an eternal situation. I could direct you to numerous texts in this regard, but one of the better ones is found in Rev. 21:22-27, 22 But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23 The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light. 24 And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it. 25 Its gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there). 26 And they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it. 27 But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. The New Jerusalem - the heavenly City of Zion - sounds pretty exclusive to me, Barry. The capital City of the heavenly Kingdom only permits those whose names are in the Lamb's Book of Life entrance to it. Interesting, eh? That should tell you alot about the nature of that Kingdom and how non-inclusive and sectarian it really is. Here's another one for you:

14 Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. 15 But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie.
16 “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.”
17 And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.
End quote.

First of all (as I will cover in greater length in my next post) there is NOW NO JEW AND GENTILE (or Greek by comparison) once THE END OF THE AGE and the passing away of types and figures and the PASSING AWAY OF THE LAW TAKES PLACE. You cannot have a Jew and Gentile in post end of age judgment. One can “think” that there is such “between the ears” but there is NO VALID TYPE OR FIGURE to make SUCH A DISTINCTION. The law did not pass away for the believer only. I view this as a grave error on your part.
There is no remaining valid type and figure to maintain the validity of such ethnicity and sectarianism.

Somehow "magically" some scriptures in Revelation change THRUST and SETTING from all of their surroundings. These very select scriptures in Revelation somehow, magically begin to say something that NO OTHER SCRIPTURES ANYWHERE ELSE INDICATE (when read in context). They magically become the "proof texts" for which all other scripture is weighed against.

Rev 21:27 And there shall IN NO WISE ENTER INTO IT any thing that defileth, neither [whatsoever] worketh abomination, or [maketh] a lie: BUT THEY WHICH are written in the Lamb's book of life.

This is NOT post end of age ongoing judgment. Not at all. Rather John is at this point reiterating or repeating what he has been saying FROM THE BEGINNING and THROUGHOUT.

John constantly BACKS UP and REPEATS HIMSELF in DIFFERENT WAYS throughout Revelation to reestablish his points. We recognize this MOST OF THE TIME but when it comes to the last chapters we tend to abandon this PATTERN of constant reiteration.
John does not keep a strict time line in his writings. Revelation Chapter 20 is a great example of this jumping around that he does. But we wont touch on that at this time.

The old in the END OF THE AGE JUDGMENT of the old, NEVER GETS INTO THE NEW to produce a perpetual efficacy that the New Jerusalem does stands for and performs.

The Kings of the earth that bring their glory into the NJ is most likely in this context THE FIRSTFRUITS.
Rev 1:6 And hath MADE US KINGS and priests unto God and his Father; to him [be] GLORY AND DOMINION for ever and ever. Amen.
Rev 5:10 And hast made us unto our God KINGS and priests: and we shall REIGN ON THE EARTH.

Rev 3:12 Him that OVERCOMETH {that world} will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: {perpetual efficacy}
and I will write UPON HIM the name of my God, and THE NAME OF THE CITY of my God, [which is] NEW JERUSALEM, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and [I will write upon him] my new name.

Mat 25:31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
Mat 25:32 And before him SHALL BE GATHERED ALL NATIONS: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth [his] sheep from the goats:
Mat 25:33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
Mat 25:34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

As a matter of END OF AGE JUDGMENT the NATIONS THAT ARE SAVED bring their glory into the NJ.

21:27 And there shall in NO WISE ENTER enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or MAKETH A LIE: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.

Meaning that such never got in to make a perpetual efficacy therein. Such was the CONCLUSION of THE LAKE OF FIRE.

THE “LIE” IS WELL EXPLAINED IN REVELATION:

21:27 And there shall in NO WISE ENTER enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or MAKETH A LIE: but THEY WHICH ARE WRITTEN IN THE LAMB'S BOOK OF LIFE

1Jo 1:6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in DARKNESS, we LIE, and do not the truth:
1Jo 2:8 (NKJV) Again, a new commandment I write to you, which thing is true in Him and in you, because THE DARKNESS IS PASSING AWAY, and the true light is already shining.
So then we have the “lie” and the TIME RESTRAINT for that lie and concerning that lie.

Rev 2:2 I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and HAST FOUND THEM LIARS:
Rev 2:5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I WILL COME UNTO THEE QUICKLY, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.
We have the context of the LIAR, as false apostles and false prophet and the time restraint of his coming within the general context.

Rev 2:9 I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and [I know] the blasphemy of them which SAY THEY ARE JEWS, and ARE NOT, but [are] the synagogue of Satan.
Rev 2:10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast [some] of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.
Rev 2:11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; HE THAT OVERCOMETH SHALL NOT BE HURT OF THE SECOND DEATH.

The lie is bound to that age. The lie is attached to that age. Such was the CONCLUSION of THE LAKE OF FIRE.

Rev 3:9 Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which SAY THEY ARE JEWS, and are not, BUT DO LIE; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.
Rev 3:10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
Rev 3:11 Behold, I COME QUICKLY: hold that fast which thou hast, THAT NO MAN TAKE THY CROWN.
Rev 3:12 HIM THAT OVERCOMETH will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, [which is] new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and [I will write upon him] my new name.

We have the “lie” which is attached to that age, and the strict time restraint on it.

Rev 22:10 And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.
Rev 22:11 He THAT IS UNJUST, LET HIM BE UNJUST STILL: and he which is filthy, LET HIM BE FILTHY STILL: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.
Rev 22:12 And, behold, I COME QUICKLY; and MY REWARD [IS] WITH ME, to give EVERY MAN ACCORDING AS HIS WORK shall be.
Rev 22:13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.
Rev 22:14 Blessed [are] they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.
Rev 22:15 For without [are] dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and MAKETH A LIE.

The setting and time restraint could not be any clearer!

Rev 19:20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he DECEIVED THEM THAT HAD RECEIVED THE MARK OF THE BEAST, and them that worshipped his image. These both WERE CAST ALIVE INTO A LAKE OF FIRE burning with brimstone.

Rev 20:10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the FALSE PROPHET [are], and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
Rev 20:11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
Rev 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, WHICH IS [THE BOOK] OF LIFE: AND THE DEAD WERE JUDGED OUT OF THOSE THINGS WHICH WERE WRITTEN IN THE BOOKS, ACCORDING TO THEIR WORKS.

Rev 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and THEY WERE JUDGED EVERY MAN ACCORDING TO THEIR WORKS.
Rev 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
Rev 20:15 And whosoever WAS NOT FOUND WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF LIFE WAS CAST INTO THE LAKE OF FIRE.

The counter part of perpetual efficacy is historical shaming. Such is the subject behind the “lack of fire”.
Perpetual efficacy and historical shame in and through the END OF AGE Judgment are common themes throughout scripture.

Here are some verses on historical shame in the historical demise of the SELF DEFINED EGO.

Eze 16:63 That thou mayest remember, and be confounded, and NEVER OPEN THY MOUTH ANY MORE BECAUSE OF THY SHAME, when I am PACIFIED TOWARD THEE FOR ALL THAT THOU HAST DONE, saith the Lord GOD.

Forgiven but an historical implication laid down for what THE EGO WAS IN ITS HISTORICAL DEMISE. And so no perpetuating efficacy as the "never open thy mouth any more" indicates.

Rev 18:23 And the light of a candle SHALL SHINE NO MORE AT ALL IN THEE; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride SHALL BE HEARD NO MORE AT ALL IN THEE: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for BY THY SORCERIES WERE ALL NATIONS DECEIVED.

And so once again the “lie” is dealt with in the consummation of the age. The old never got in, the lie never got into the NJ to produce any perpetual efficacy.

NOTE: The “old” had nothing more to say. The liars had nothing more to say. The lie was then speechless. YOU WOULD HAVE TO HAVE REMAINING VALID TYPES AND FIGURES FOR THE VOICE OF THE OLD TO HAVE ANYMORE TO SAY!!
And THIS is “full preterism”

Jer 23:39 Therefore, behold, I, even I, will UTTERLY FORGET YOU, and I will forsake you, and the city that I gave you and your fathers, [and cast you] OUT OF MY PRESENCE:
Jer 23:40 And I will bring AN EVERLASTING REPROACH UPON YOU, and a PERPETUAL SHAME, which SHALL NOT BE FORGOTTEN.

"Utterly forget you" is the historical opposite of perpetual efficacy. They are forgiven AS PEOPLE but the historical shame upon the AUDIENCE RELEVANT "ego IDENTITY" is historically never forgotten.

Same point in: "the worm never dies". IT IS NOT TAKEN OUT OF HISTORY.

And here:
Rev 14:10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:
Rev 14:11 And the SMOKE OF THEIR TORMENT ASCENDETH UP FOR EVER AND ever: and THEY HAVE NO REST DAY NOR NIGHT, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

This is speaking in audience relevance to the historical demise of the self defined ego. What "it" cherished is the very thing that "it" COULD NOT HAVE.

Jud 1:7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, SUFFERING THE VENGEANCE OF ETERNAL FIRE.

The self defined self that stood in types and figures had not perpetual efficacy.
As we see here:
Lk 12:4-7 “And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who KILL THE BODY, and AFTER THAT have NO MORE THAT THEY CAN DO. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, AFTER HE HAS KILLED, has power TO CAST INTO HELL; yes, I say to you, fear Him! “Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.

Mat 24:34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, TILL ALL THESE THINGS BE FULFILLED.
Mat 24:35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but MY WORDS SHALL NOT PASS AWAY.

Such things did not relate to post mortem eternal security. Such things did relate to perpetual efficacy that the consummation of the age did decide.

And so then these commonly misused scriptures if Revelation did not relate to an ongoing end of age judgment. But rather to those were then “outside”.

Mar 4:10 And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked of him the parable.
Mar 4:11 And he said unto them, UNTO YOU IT IS GIVEN TO KNOW the mystery of the kingdom of God: but UNTO THEM THAT ARE WITHOUT, all [these] things are done in parables:
Mar 4:12 That SEEING THEY MAY SEE, AND NOT PERCEIVE; and hearing they may hear, and NOT UNDERSTAND; LEST AT ANY TIME THEY SHOULD BE CONVERTED, and [their] sins should be forgiven them.

Rev 22:10 And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.
Rev 22:11 He THAT IS UNJUST, LET HIM BE UNJUST STILL: and he which is filthy, LET HIM BE FILTHY STILL: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.
Rev 22:12 And, behold, I COME QUICKLY; and MY REWARD [IS] WITH ME, to give every man according as his work shall be.
Rev 22:13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.
Rev 22:14 Blessed [are] they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.
Rev 22:15 FOR WITHOUT [ARE] DOGS, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and MAKETH A LIE.

Blessings Barry

we are all in this together

SuperSoulFighter's picture

Hi, Barry! Sorry this took so long to respond to. I did a response and then accidentally lost it. I haven't had a chance to repost the response. But here it is now.

Hi JM,
I wanted to deal with these particular points of yours separately. It is a very important issue that would otherwise just be lost in too long a post if included with the other points.
The constant ripping of these texts in Revelation out of their actual setting and context is something that many “full preterists” do very often to try and get around what the rest of the New Testament is obviously saying concerning the end of the age.

Wow. Far be it from any Full Preterist to "rip texts in Revelation out of their actual setting and context" to "try and get around" other NT texts involving the end of the age. That's quite the accusation, Barry, since as Full Preterists we pride ourselves in our contextual treatment of the Scriptures. Let's see if your charge has any merit.

First of all (as I will cover in greater length in my next post) there is NOW NO JEW AND GENTILE (or Greek by comparison) once THE END OF THE AGE and the passing away of types and figures and the PASSING AWAY OF THE LAW TAKES PLACE. You cannot have a Jew and Gentile in post end of age judgment. One can “think” that there is such “between the ears” but there is NO VALID TYPE OR FIGURE to make SUCH A DISTINCTION. The law did not pass away for the believer only. I view this as a grave error on your part.
There is no remaining valid type and figure to maintain the validity of such ethnicity and sectarianism.
Somehow "magically" some scriptures in Revelation change THRUST and SETTING from all of their surroundings. These very select scriptures in Revelation somehow, magically begin to say something that NO OTHER SCRIPTURES ANYWHERE ELSE INDICATE (when read in context). They magically become the "proof texts" for which all other scripture is weighed against.

What there is, now, is a Covenantal and a NON-Covenantal person, Barry. While it may be true that there is no longer any such thing as a "Jew" or a "Gentile", there IS such a thing as a spiritual Israelite and son of Abraham (by faith). Those who are NOT his seed by faith are NON-Covenantal. This situation may well have been typified in the old Jew/Gentile distinction of the Old Covenant "world". Regardless, your understanding of the nature of "types" and "figures" and their purpose appears to be a little skewed, Barry. Perhaps you could clarify for us what your understanding of their nature and purpose was.

And let's hope that your own treatment of any passages in the Book of Revelation doesn't "magically" reduce them to a shambles as a result of a highly subjective examination thereof.

Rev 21:27 And there shall IN NO WISE ENTER INTO IT any thing that defileth, neither [whatsoever] worketh abomination, or [maketh] a lie: BUT THEY WHICH are written in the Lamb's book of life.

This is NOT post end of age ongoing judgment. Not at all. Rather John is at this point reiterating or repeating what he has been saying FROM THE BEGINNING and THROUGHOUT.
John constantly BACKS UP and REPEATS HIMSELF in DIFFERENT WAYS throughout Revelation to reestablish his points. We recognize this MOST OF THE TIME but when it comes to the last chapters we tend to abandon this PATTERN of constant reiteration.
John does not keep a strict time line in his writings. Revelation Chapter 20 is a great example of this jumping around that he does. But we wont touch on that at this time.

Actually, there is a chronological progression through the last chapters of the Book of Revelation, forming a conclusive summary for the Book and the historical revelation of God's consummation of the OC "world". Perhaps you could explain further how John "jumps around" in Rev. 20. I think it might be a good idea to actually touch on that at this point.

The old in the END OF THE AGE JUDGMENT of the old, NEVER GETS INTO THE NEW to produce a perpetual efficacy that the New Jerusalem does stands for and performs.

I'm not sure what this statement was intended to mean exactly, Barry. Perhaps you could explain further. Thanks.

The Kings of the earth that bring their glory into the NJ is most likely in this context THE FIRSTFRUITS.
Rev 1:6 And hath MADE US KINGS and priests unto God and his Father; to him [be] GLORY AND DOMINION for ever and ever. Amen.
Rev 5:10 And hast made us unto our God KINGS and priests: and we shall REIGN ON THE EARTH.

That's certainly possible. We'll leave it at the speculative "most likely" then, for now.

Rev 3:12 Him that OVERCOMETH {that world} will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: {perpetual efficacy}
and I will write UPON HIM the name of my God, and THE NAME OF THE CITY of my God, [which is] NEW JERUSALEM, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and [I will write upon him] my new name.

What is needed, at this point, is a very clear definition of what the phrase "perpetual efficacy" means to you, Barry. You seem to like the phrase, and use it frequently in various contexts with various implied meanings, seemingly. I'd appreciate further clarification please.

Mat 25:31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
Mat 25:32 And before him SHALL BE GATHERED ALL NATIONS: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth [his] sheep from the goats:
Mat 25:33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
Mat 25:34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
As a matter of END OF AGE JUDGMENT the NATIONS THAT ARE SAVED bring their glory into the NJ.

Who are these "nations that are saved", Barry?

21:27 And there shall in NO WISE ENTER enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or MAKETH A LIE: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.
Meaning that such never got in to make a perpetual efficacy therein. Such was the CONCLUSION of THE LAKE OF FIRE.

Some were excluded (from whatever "perpetual efficacy" means in this context). In other words, according to this text, those who have certain moral and spiritual characteristics NOT in conformity to God's character and Person (such as being a defiler, abominator or liar) are both unwelcome and uncomfortable in a place of eternal fellowship with the God of Israel. C.S. Lewis' great tale "The Great Divorce" gives what I believe is some Scriptural insight in this area.

The lie is bound to that age. The lie is attached to that age. Such was the CONCLUSION of THE LAKE OF FIRE.

Actually, nowhere do the Scriptures specify that "liars" and those who "make a lie" are exclusive to that pre-70 AD Old Covenant "age". The texts you've presented above do not explicitly indicate this, nor do they even imply it. The "lake of fire", by the way, was a place of spiritual incineration. It represented the death of the soul and spirit of every one of God's enemies who were condemned to annihilation there. Their physical bodies were already dead. This is why it is known as the "second death".

Rev 22:10 And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.
Rev 22:11 He THAT IS UNJUST, LET HIM BE UNJUST STILL: and he which is filthy, LET HIM BE FILTHY STILL: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.
Rev 22:12 And, behold, I COME QUICKLY; and MY REWARD [IS] WITH ME, to give EVERY MAN ACCORDING AS HIS WORK shall be.
Rev 22:13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.
Rev 22:14 Blessed [are] they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.
Rev 22:15 For without [are] dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and MAKETH A LIE.
The setting and time restraint could not be any clearer!

I agree, except for the fact that this text does NOT indicate any sort of "time restraint" on the nature of this City. One very important consideration you've overlooked here is found in v.14. Those who have access to the city and the tree of life do so by RIGHT. They/we have the LEGALLY ESTABLISHED Covenantal right to enter and partake of the tree of life. Those who do not have that Covenantal right have no access. It's actually very clear and explicit.

The counter part of perpetual efficacy is historical shaming. Such is the subject behind the “lack of fire”.
Perpetual efficacy and historical shame in and through the END OF AGE Judgment are common themes throughout scripture.
Here are some verses on historical shame in the historical demise of the SELF DEFINED EGO.
Eze 16:63 That thou mayest remember, and be confounded, and NEVER OPEN THY MOUTH ANY MORE BECAUSE OF THY SHAME, when I am PACIFIED TOWARD THEE FOR ALL THAT THOU HAST DONE, saith the Lord GOD.

You're really jumping all over the place now, textually, Barry. Ezek. 16:63 has nothing to do with a "self-defined ego". Rather, it establishes (in consideration of the context) God's New Covenant with Israel and the fact that those who rejected it WERE - yes - under eternal condemnation and shame, unforgettable to the New Covenant saints who had it recorded for them/us in the Word of God and in historical documentation.

Forgiven but an historical implication laid down for what THE EGO WAS IN ITS HISTORICAL DEMISE. And so no perpetuating efficacy as the "never open thy mouth any more" indicates.

I'm increasingly convinced that you have no firm understanding what "perpetual efficacy" actually means, Barry. It has a highly flexible, elastic range of meanings in your usage of it.

Rev 18:23 And the light of a candle SHALL SHINE NO MORE AT ALL IN THEE; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride SHALL BE HEARD NO MORE AT ALL IN THEE: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for BY THY SORCERIES WERE ALL NATIONS DECEIVED.

And so once again the “lie” is dealt with in the consummation of the age. The old never got in, the lie never got into the NJ to produce any perpetual efficacy.

I hope this isn't one of those phrases that can mean virtually whatever you want, according to the immediate need of the situation. It may seem to lend an element of intelligence to your statements, Barry...unless one really attempts to determine what is meant by it.

Jer 23:39 Therefore, behold, I, even I, will UTTERLY FORGET YOU, and I will forsake you, and the city that I gave you and your fathers, [and cast you] OUT OF MY PRESENCE:
Jer 23:40 And I will bring AN EVERLASTING REPROACH UPON YOU, and a PERPETUAL SHAME, which SHALL NOT BE FORGOTTEN.
"Utterly forget you" is the historical opposite of perpetual efficacy. They are forgiven AS PEOPLE but the historical shame upon the AUDIENCE RELEVANT "ego IDENTITY" is historically never forgotten.

When God told his People that He would "utterly forget them", "forsake them" and "cast them out of His Presence"...He was indicating alot more than the imposition of historical shame upon them. These people were forever damned, annihilated and eliminated as a People. God is very plain and clear in the language used in Jer. 23:39. "Utterly forget you" has nothing to do with "perpetual efficacy" (whatever that means) that I can see here. Perhaps you could elaborate further.

Same point in: "the worm never dies". IT IS NOT TAKEN OUT OF HISTORY.

And here:
Rev 14:10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:
Rev 14:11 And the SMOKE OF THEIR TORMENT ASCENDETH UP FOR EVER AND ever: and THEY HAVE NO REST DAY NOR NIGHT, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.
This is speaking in audience relevance to the historical demise of the self defined ego. What "it" cherished is the very thing that "it" COULD NOT HAVE.
Jud 1:7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, SUFFERING THE VENGEANCE OF ETERNAL FIRE.
The self defined self that stood in types and figures had not perpetual efficacy.

Your observations here have no sense of coherence or cogency, Barry. There is no clear, consistently rational paradigm being advocated. Your understanding of the nature of "types and figures" and their purpose seems to be as foggy as your understanding of "perpetual efficacy" and whatever it is that is supposed to mean.

Mat 24:34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, TILL ALL THESE THINGS BE FULFILLED.
Mat 24:35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but MY WORDS SHALL NOT PASS AWAY.
Such things did not relate to post mortem eternal security. Such things did relate to perpetual efficacy that the consummation of the age did decide.

Good grief. Eternal security? Yes, I advocate eternal security for the believer as being an accurate soteriological representation of the Scriptural teaching on the subject. Spiritual regeneration is irreversible. Once a new creation always a new creation. Calvinism is wrong. Do we agree on that? Is that what you're getting at in your usage of "perpetual efficacy" or do you have a more universal, ongoing application of the NT gospel in mind? I think you're somehow trying to undermine the arguments presented in my original article here, but I'd be very surprised if anyone following this discussion thus far can really understand your position at this point.

And so then these commonly misused scriptures if Revelation did not relate to an ongoing end of age judgment. But rather to those were then “outside”.

Mar 4:10 And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked of him the parable.
Mar 4:11 And he said unto them, UNTO YOU IT IS GIVEN TO KNOW the mystery of the kingdom of God: but UNTO THEM THAT ARE WITHOUT, all [these] things are done in parables:
Mar 4:12 That SEEING THEY MAY SEE, AND NOT PERCEIVE; and hearing they may hear, and NOT UNDERSTAND; LEST AT ANY TIME THEY SHOULD BE CONVERTED, and [their] sins should be forgiven them.

Rev 22:10 And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.
Rev 22:11 He THAT IS UNJUST, LET HIM BE UNJUST STILL: and he which is filthy, LET HIM BE FILTHY STILL: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.
Rev 22:12 And, behold, I COME QUICKLY; and MY REWARD [IS] WITH ME, to give every man according as his work shall be.
Rev 22:13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.
Rev 22:14 Blessed [are] they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.
Rev 22:15 FOR WITHOUT [ARE] DOGS, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and MAKETH A LIE.

I see the point you're trying to make here, Barry...but I'm not advocating an "ongoing end of the age judgment" either. Yes, the unbelievers of the pre-70 AD era were "those outside" of the Kingdom, but just because these people existed at that time does not mean that there would never again be anyone "outside the Kingdom". That is the eternal nature of the Kingdom. It is distinct from the remainder of mankind. Nothing you've presented thus far refutes that reality.

I'm looking forward to further clarifications concerning "the nations" and "perpetual efficacy". Thanks in advance Barry!

John

davo's picture

SuperSoulFighter: It represented the death of the soul and spirit of every one of God's enemies who were condemned to annihilation… …God's New Covenant with Israel and the fact that those who rejected it WERE - yes - under eternal condemnation… These people were forever damned, annihilated and eliminated as a People.

John, as a related side issue… you seem to be advocating BOTH "annihilation" AND "eternal condemnation" [ECT???] – from your previously stated belief in "reincarnation", how exactly do either of these positions stack up with your view/s on reincarnation?

davo

SuperSoulFighter's picture

John, as a related side issue… you seem to be advocating BOTH "annihilation" AND "eternal condemnation" [ECT???] – from your previously stated belief in "reincarnation", how exactly do either of these positions stack up with your view/s on reincarnation?

Hi, Dave! Good question! Here's a brief (but hopefully adequate) answer. I can flesh it out a little more later if you like, but hopefully this will suffice for now.

The "second death" was exclusively for the Israelites/Jews who forever rejected their own God and His Law in eternal rebellion against Him. They were the "servants of Satan" who were condemned to this ultimate annihilation, as revealed in Matt. 25:41-46,

41"Then He will also say to those on His left, 'Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels [or servants];

42for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink;

43I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.'

44"Then they themselves also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?'

45"Then He will answer them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.'

46"These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."

The Israelites took upon themselves some very unique curses in their original Covenant commitment with their God. Deut. 27,28 are just a couple of passages that indicate the horrific curses which were part and parcel of their pact with God, should they violate his Law and utterly forsake Him and His commandments. I believe Matt. 25 indicates that the eternal fire was reserved specifically for these violators of God's Covenant.

Thus, my position concerning the reincarnation of the remainder of mankind (non-Covenantal) remains a separate issue. The annihilation of God's Israelite/Jewish enemies in the "lake of fire" was particular and exclusive to their "world" and spiritual economy which came to an end in 70 AD.

davo's picture

Great thanks John... can you then expand and explain your thoughts on the following:

Thus, my position concerning the reincarnation of the remainder of mankind (non-Covenantal) remains a separate issue.

davo

SuperSoulFighter's picture

Sure, Dave!

The reincarnation of non-Covenantal mankind is not really part of the discussion involved with the judgment and annihilation of God's Old Covenant Israelite/Jewish enemies. Those citizens of that OC "world" who rejected the God of Israel and His New Covenant in Christ Jesus were eliminated in a very unique way. They had had the secret things of God revealed to them in a way that the rest of mankind had not, and STILL they rejected Him. Thus, their condemnation was far worse.

The post-mortem expectations of non-Covenantal mankind are far different from those belonging to the pre-70 AD Israelites and Jews. Unfortunately, illegitimately universalizing ancient Israelite/Jewish spiritual realities and the distinctives of their spiritual economy and "world" has made a mess of our understanding of the bigger picture and what God's intentions have been all along for mankind in relation to His Covenant People.

I hope that helps clarify things somewhat, Dave. Is that what you were asking?

John

davo's picture

SuperSoulFighter: The reincarnation of non-Covenantal mankind is not really part of the discussion involved with the judgment and annihilation of God's Old Covenant Israelite/Jewish enemies. … The post-mortem expectations of non-Covenantal mankind are far different from those belonging to the pre-70 AD Israelites and Jews. … I hope that helps clarify things somewhat, Dave. Is that what you were asking?

Ok John I understand what you are saying regarding Israel, so no need to expand on that. What I'm interested to know and get some clarity on are your thoughts as to your belief in the "reincarnation of non-Covenantal mankind" and how you've come to this conclusion along biblical lines, i.e., your rationale and particular texts etc.

davo

SuperSoulFighter's picture

Hi, davo! I'll get into this in some detail in an upcoming article. Without getting too specific at this point, I'll just say that the Scriptural support for this view is obviously somewhat thin, but what we do have, coupled with some other evidence and considerations certainly provide food for thought in this area. At this stage, my views are certainly more theoretical than a fully substantiated, air-tight position.

JM

davo's picture

Ok John no worries… looking forward to what you have to say on this. It's not a proposition I hold to "on the surface" myself, but there is to my knowledge at least one verse that comes to mind that could be construed somewhat that way; but I'll wait and see what you come up with.

davo

tom-g's picture

John,

I do not wish to intrude in your current discussion but I wonder if you would reply to my last comment in the discussion we were having on John 3:16.

If you choose to end that discussion or continue, either way, I would like to know. If you choose not to respond above then I will take that as an indication that you do not wish to continue.

Tom

SuperSoulFighter's picture

You bet, Tom! Thanks for your patience! I have a partially completed response and will post it today sometime.

John

Patronius's picture

In your conclusion you said:
"but the means of access to that Kingdom by faith (as a spiritual proselyte)must be carefully distinguished"
Can you please address how Believers (because universalism is wrong) access that kingdom today!- In other words do you believe that one just comes to faith by reading the Bible and believing that Jesus is the Son of God?

SuperSoulFighter's picture

Hi, Patronius! Welcome to the discussion.

I went into this subject in some detail in my article "The Seed of Abraham", but to sum up briefly, yes - faith in Jesus Christ as God the Son is the primary criterion for citizenship in the Kingdom of Heaven. The fact that He established an eternal, spiritual, Covenantal Kingdom of which people can choose to become members is part and parcel of our understanding of Christ and His accomplished work, but the fundamental item of faith essential to Kingdom citizenship is belief in His Godhood/divinity - God and man in perfect union.

I trust that helps answer your question somewhat, Patronius! Please have a look at my "Seed of Abraham" article for a more detailed explanation.

JM

Englishman's picture

John,

I have read your analysis that suggests that John 3:16 should be limited to a demographic Israel. But I think historic Christianity has been quite correct on the wider application of John 3:16.

John begins by setting the scene for us when he takes us to a time that long predates the history of Israel. John 1:1-3. (You have pressed us to see a "local Israel" application, but John here does differently.)

When we come to Chapter 3, a contrast is set forth in John 3:14-16 between the love administered through Moses and the love administered through Christ.

God *so* loved the world. The "so" here has reference to the love manifested in the earlier verse 14. And "the world" here is a term of contrast declaring a distinction with the demographic setting of v 14 and that is consistent with the scene set in 1:1-3.

The following paraphrase captures the substance: "God, through Moses, manifested His love to the Israelites by preserving life for a number of them in the wilderness. And God, through Christ, so loved us Adamites by preserving life for us when He was slain for us from the foundation of the world."

When referring to Christ as the Lamb who takes away the sins of the world, you say that John was emphasizing His fulfillment of the blood sacrifice type belonging to "Old Covenant Mosaic Judaism". Well, the Apostle reveals something quite cogent on this point. He says that the true typical Lamb was slain "from the foundation of the world". And history attests to this because we see the "coats of skin" placed upon Adam and Eve in Genesis. So the true typical sacrifice occurred long before the Mosaical system even existed. And the record shows that this Sacrifice was to benefit Adam and his posterity (not merely Jacob and his posterity). From this I would conclude that the love mentioned in John 3:16 is not a "Israel cosmos" love, but that it is a "Garden cosmos" love.

I noticed that you do not deny an ultimate application to a "wider cosmos", but it just appears that you want to say that John 3:16 should contextually be limited to a narrower cosmos.

Well, I can certainly understand why historic Christianity has held to the wider view.

Englishman

SuperSoulFighter's picture

Greetings, Englishman.

John begins by setting the scene for us when he takes us to a time that long predates the history of Israel. John 1:1-3. (You have pressed us to see a "local Israel" application, but John here does differently.)

Ultimately, what I understand you to be saying here is that you reject my reverse analysis of the terminology used in those first verses in chapter 1, and choose to interpret them as a reference to the creation of this planet and all life upon it. Do I understand you correctly?

When we come to Chapter 3, a contrast is set forth in John 3:14-16 between the love administered through Moses and the love administered through Christ.
God *so* loved the world. The "so" here has reference to the love manifested in the earlier verse 14. And "the world" here is a term of contrast declaring a distinction with the demographic setting of v 14 and that is consistent with the scene set in 1:1-3.

The comparison is not one of contrast so much as similarity. The "as" of v.14 declares a similarity between Christ's being "lifted up" on behalf of the sinning Israelites who respond to Him in faith and repentance, and the serpent on the pole that Moses lifted up before wicked, sinning Israelites.

The "contrast" you are attempting to draw between v. 14 and the "world" of v.16 really has no basis in the passage itself, Englishman. Rather, you are referencing back to a conclusion drawn (without any clear, exegetical basis) concerning the nature of John 1:1-3 and its focus.

The following paraphrase captures the substance: "God, through Moses, manifested His love to the Israelites by preserving life for a number of them in the wilderness. And God, through Christ, so loved us Adamites by preserving life for us when He was slain for us from the foundation of the world."

When referring to Christ as the Lamb who takes away the sins of the world, you say that John was emphasizing His fulfillment of the blood sacrifice type belonging to "Old Covenant Mosaic Judaism". Well, the Apostle reveals something quite cogent on this point. He says that the true typical Lamb was slain "from the foundation of the world". And history attests to this because we see the "coats of skin" placed upon Adam and Eve in Genesis. So the true typical sacrifice occurred long before the Mosaical system even existed. And the record shows that this Sacrifice was to benefit Adam and his posterity (not merely Jacob and his posterity). From this I would conclude that the love mentioned in John 3:16 is not a "Israel cosmos" love, but that it is a "Garden cosmos" love.

The Levitical priesthood, in the Mosaic Law, was instructed in great detail concerning blood sacrifices for the atonement of sin. This detailed approach to propitiatory sacrifice was particular and unique to the Old Covenant "world". From its very foundation at Mt. Sinai in the giving of the Law to Moses. In fact, in numerous places we are reminded of this, but nowhere more clearly than in Heb. 9, particularly v.15,

"11 But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. 12 Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. 13 For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, 14 how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? 15 And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.

Note the heavy emphasis on the Old Covenant Mosaic sacrificial system in direct correlation with the redemptive work accomplished by Christ on the cross, Englishman. The two are inextricably linked and, as v.15 clearly states, that redemptive work accomplished a purpose exclusive to those who had "committed transgressions under the first [Mosaic] covenant". The fact that the Mosaic covenant is in view is very clearly demonstrated by the sacrificial system itemized in this passage.

I noticed that you do not deny an ultimate application to a "wider cosmos", but it just appears that you want to say that John 3:16 should contextually be limited to a narrower cosmos.

Well, I can certainly understand why historic Christianity has held to the wider view.

There certainly IS an "ultimate application" and significance where mankind as a whole is concerned, but we need to be exceedingly careful in our handling and treatment of the sacred text. The gospel passages and texts routinely used to express God's intentions where mankind as a whole is concerned are simply not applicable within that context, and Christians do a great disservice to the Word of God when these texts are misused in this way.

JM

Englishman's picture

SuperSoulFighter writes: "Note the heavy emphasis on the Old Covenant Mosaic sacrificial system in direct correlation with the redemptive work accomplished by Christ on the cross, Englishman. The two are inextricably linked and, as v.15 clearly states, that redemptive work accomplished a purpose exclusive to those who had "committed transgressions under the first [Mosaic] covenant". The fact that the Mosaic covenant is in view is very clearly demonstrated by the sacrificial system itemized in this passage."

You are pressing me to consider that Christ's sacrifice was to solve a sin problem that was attending those Israelites ("exclusively" those Israelites) that were under the Mosaical economy. Well, if that narrow application of Christ's death is true, then the sacrifice of Christ is of no value to me. For the very simple reason that I was never bound to the Mosaical economy. Not even for one minute. Again, since I never sinned under that law system, then any remedy under that law system is meaningless for me. So with your exegesis of Hebrews 9 I would have to conclude that I am wholly excluded from the benefit of Christ's death.

I know you say that you hold to a "wider cosmos" view, but unfortunately I have not yet had the benefit of seeing how you migrate from "narrow" to "wide".

I do see, however, that there is a tendency in your exegesis to adopt an exclusively "demographic Israel" application with those texts that have historically been applied to support a wider reach.

The primary text in your opening post is John 3:16. So when you go to another author (in the book of Hebrews) to explain John 3:16 you must be alert to something to avoid an improper syllogism.

Have you ever noticed that the book of Hebrews speaks so frequently about the Levitical/Mosaical priesthood? "Consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession", etc., etc. Well, there appears to be an explanation for this emphasis. In the first century the Mosaical priesthood was quite extensive and fully active. For example, we read that Zecharias, the father of John the Baptist, was of the "course of Abia". This was one of the 24 priestly courses set up by King David years earlier and these courses were still very much active in their priestly functions.

Now an import piece of history comes to the surface. In Acts 6:7 we are told that "The word of God increased: and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly: and a great company of priests were obedient to the faith." These priests were in the process of abandoning their Mosaical roots and abandoning their annual and daily assigned priestly duties. For them it was a dramatic and emotional change in lifestyle. If any particular class of early Christians needed special instruction and encouragement it would have been the large company of priests. All indications are that the book of Hebrews was written especially to encourage and support those priests in their transition from the Mosaical to the Melchisedek priesthood.

The point is this. By design, the book of Hebrews was primarily addressed to a "narrow" Israelite audience. There was no need, in that book, to go beyond that need. So in Hebrews when such and such Israelites are shown to be saved by explanation of the types and shadows of Moses then that salvation should be understood to be "inclusive", not "exclusive". It would be an improper syllogism to insist that if a part has been shown to be saved for one purpose, then automatically all others are excluded for the same or any other purpose.

If I understand Paul correctly, the far reaching inclusiveness of the Gospel was not readily apparent among the first century Hebrew scholars. It had to be opened up and revealed.

Actually, the broad reach of the Gospel can be discerned in the 9th chapter of Hebrews. Hebrews 9:26 says: "For then must He often have suffered since the foundation of the world." When the author says "since the foundation of the world" he is taking our eyes away from the Mosaical shadows and directing our eyes to the substance. We are being taken to an event that long predates the history of demographic Israel. The author is here saying that the true suffering sacrifice was in the Garden all this time. It was in the Garden that the Son came forward. In the Garden, the Son made a covenant. In the Garden, the Son was slain. In the Garden, coats of skin were woven. In the Garden, love embraced. On Calvary that covenant became known.

Paul was emphatic. The very purpose, calling, and promise of God was not from Sinai, nor from Abraham, nor from Noah, but from "before the world began". (2 Tim 1:9 and Titus 1:2) What took place in the Garden (not on Sinai) is now being opened up by the Gospel. The secret is out. The Gospel is larger than demographic Israel. The secret is out. There is a cure for our condition in Adam.

And Jesus himself takes us back to a point of essential history. Does Jesus take us back to Mt. Sinai? No, but before Sinai. To the birth of Jacob? No, before Jacob. To Abraham? No, before Abraham. To Noah? No, before Noah. To the gates of Eden? Yes! For Jesus, speaking to the enemies, says "That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar." (Matt 23:35). So here we see the vindication of Abel. And Abel was not an Israelite.

"For God so loved the world (Adamites), that He gave (to these Adamites) His only begotten Son, that whosoever (among these Adamites) believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life".

Englishman

SuperSoulFighter's picture

Well, I'm finally able to get to these good responses with a few of my own. I was out of town yesterday and have been struggling with my PC and some of the issues it's having lately. I'm pretty sure I need to install more RAM, for one. Anyway, I trust these delays in my responses aren't too aggravating for those involved. Again, thanks for your patience.

Englishman...you made these comments in response to my observations, as cited above:

You are pressing me to consider that Christ's sacrifice was to solve a sin problem that was attending those Israelites ("exclusively" those Israelites) that were under the Mosaical economy. Well, if that narrow application of Christ's death is true, then the sacrifice of Christ is of no value to me. For the very simple reason that I was never bound to the Mosaical economy. Not even for one minute. Again, since I never sinned under that law system, then any remedy under that law system is meaningless for me. So with your exegesis of Hebrews 9 I would have to conclude that I am wholly excluded from the benefit of Christ's death.

Yes and no. The conclusions you've drawn are partially correct, Englishman. The death of Christ on the cross and his resurrection are not necessarily personally and directly applicable to us as post-70 AD saints - not in the way we have been led to believe. Rather, they form part of the foundation of our current spiritual economy and the eternal Kingdom of Heaven. The ministry accomplished by Christ in His earthly life, death and resurrection enabled the establishment of the Kingdom of which we may become citizens by faith in Him. Christ's accomplished work also brought about the final judgment - and eternal annihilation - of the Old Covenant "world" and the spiritual system forming its structure and foundation. Thus, while Christ's death and resurrection are not without tremendous significance to Kingdom citizenry, they do not have the same application to us as they did to the First Century saints and the "world" of Spiritual Israel which He died to redeem from within Old Covenant physical Israel.

I know you say that you hold to a "wider cosmos" view, but unfortunately I have not yet had the benefit of seeing how you migrate from "narrow" to "wide".

Please take a look at my article "The Seed of Abraham", for one. This will clarify my overall position better for you, Englishman.

I do see, however, that there is a tendency in your exegesis to adopt an exclusively "demographic Israel" application with those texts that have historically been applied to support a wider reach.

Absolutely, but only as warranted - and required - by a careful treatment of both the immediate and broader contexts of Scripture.

The primary text in your opening post is John 3:16. So when you go to another author (in the book of Hebrews) to explain John 3:16 you must be alert to something to avoid an improper syllogism.

I don't know if there is such a thing as a "proper syllogism" which I should consider employing as a reasoning tactic, Englishman...but my introduction of Hebrews 9 was intended to further clarify and reinforce an interpretation already adequately and satisfactorily established via my treatment of John 1-3 alone. My intent was neither to confuse nor deceive those who are considering my thoughts on this subject. I hope that my intentions are clearer here.

Have you ever noticed that the book of Hebrews speaks so frequently about the Levitical/Mosaical priesthood? "Consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession", etc., etc. Well, there appears to be an explanation for this emphasis. In the first century the Mosaical priesthood was quite extensive and fully active. For example, we read that Zecharias, the father of John the Baptist, was of the "course of Abia". This was one of the 24 priestly courses set up by King David years earlier and these courses were still very much active in their priestly functions.

Now an import piece of history comes to the surface. In Acts 6:7 we are told that "The word of God increased: and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly: and a great company of priests were obedient to the faith." These priests were in the process of abandoning their Mosaical roots and abandoning their annual and daily assigned priestly duties. For them it was a dramatic and emotional change in lifestyle. If any particular class of early Christians needed special instruction and encouragement it would have been the large company of priests. All indications are that the book of Hebrews was written especially to encourage and support those priests in their transition from the Mosaical to the Melchisedek priesthood.

The point is this. By design, the book of Hebrews was primarily addressed to a "narrow" Israelite audience. There was no need, in that book, to go beyond that need. So in Hebrews when such and such Israelites are shown to be saved by explanation of the types and shadows of Moses then that salvation should be understood to be "inclusive", not "exclusive". It would be an improper syllogism to insist that if a part has been shown to be saved for one purpose, then automatically all others are excluded for the same or any other purpose.

Unfortunately for your argument here, Englishman, you are employing a little specious reasoning for the sake of reducing the impact of the text I introduced in my article. "All indications are that the book of Hebrews was written especially to encourage and support those priests in their transition from the Mosaical to the Melchisedek priesthood."? All indications should naturally include such a particular focus in the introduction to the book. And yet we see no such indication. We see the author introducing no such limited focus and application to the Book anywhere. The priestly focus is nowhere established clearly, and so we must conclude that you are "reading in" an inference in an unjustifiable, eisegetical manner, Englishman. This does nothing for the credibility of your argument.

If I understand Paul correctly, the far reaching inclusiveness of the Gospel was not readily apparent among the first century Hebrew scholars. It had to be opened up and revealed.

As I understand the nature of the Scriptures, they were written by God the Holy Spirit via human scribes. God fully understood the full nature of the gospel's "inclusiveness" and what that really entailed. Thus, the statements made by Him via the Hebrew scribes are fully credible and accurate to the highest degree possible.

Actually, the broad reach of the Gospel can be discerned in the 9th chapter of Hebrews. Hebrews 9:26 says: "For then must He often have suffered since the foundation of the world." When the author says "since the foundation of the world" he is taking our eyes away from the Mosaical shadows and directing our eyes to the substance. We are being taken to an event that long predates the history of demographic Israel. The author is here saying that the true suffering sacrifice was in the Garden all this time. It was in the Garden that the Son came forward. In the Garden, the Son made a covenant. In the Garden, the Son was slain. In the Garden, coats of skin were woven. In the Garden, love embraced. On Calvary that covenant became known.

You continue to jump to the untenable and textually unsupported conclusion that "the foundation of the world" refers to the Genesis account of the creation of this planet and all physical life upon it. I have not seen one shred of evidence in favor of this view to which you adamantly hold, Englishman, so perhaps this would be a good starting point for further discussion.

Paul was emphatic. The very purpose, calling, and promise of God was not from Sinai, nor from Abraham, nor from Noah, but from "before the world began". (2 Tim 1:9 and Titus 1:2) What took place in the Garden (not on Sinai) is now being opened up by the Gospel. The secret is out. The Gospel is larger than demographic Israel. The secret is out. There is a cure for our condition in Adam.

Again, your "say so" that "the secret is out" and "what took place in the Garden (not on Sinai) is now opened up by the gospel" are simple statements of your opinion. They are not evidentiary in any sense of the word, except perhaps as proof of a tendency to rely more on rhetoric than textual analysis and contextual treatment of difficult passages.

And Jesus himself takes us back to a point of essential history. Does Jesus take us back to Mt. Sinai? No, but before Sinai. To the birth of Jacob? No, before Jacob. To Abraham? No, before Abraham. To Noah? No, before Noah. To the gates of Eden? Yes! For Jesus, speaking to the enemies, says "That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar." (Matt 23:35). So here we see the vindication of Abel. And Abel was not an Israelite.

This is as close as you've come so far in presenting a Scriptural argument of sorts, Englishman. So let us look at the context of Matt. 23:35. 31 “Therefore you are witnesses against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. 32 Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers’ guilt. 33 Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell? 34 Therefore, indeed, I send you prophets, wise men, and scribes: some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city to city, 35 that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. 36 Assuredly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.

WHO murdered "righteous Abel", Englishman? As we know, it was his brother, Cain. What relationship does Cain have to the wicked predecessors of the First Century Jewish religious leaders against whom Christ directed this diatribe in Matt. 23? These are the kinds of questions we need to ask ourselves in reviewing texts such as these and the relationship they may have to the consideration of other passages (lest we find ourselves falling into the syllogistic trap you accuse me of setting in Heb. 9). Very simply (and obviously), the consideration Christ is setting forth here is twofold - there has always existed a life and death conflict between the "wicked" and the "righteous", from humanity's very beginnings. Those who responded to God in faith and conformed to His desires and Will were very special to Him, while those who resisted Him and inwardly (and outwardly) rebelled against Him did not receive His favor. Thus, just as wicked Cain murdered Abel over God's favoritism towards him, in the same manner (and within a much more demographically limited context), the Jewish religious hierarchy manifested the same attitude towards those who were God's by faith during the Old Covenant period of Israelite history. Thus, this overall attitude of hatred towards the righteous would be judged with finality and in a very public manner by the One they pretended was their God. In reality, of course, these Jewish leaders were subservient to Satan by this point in their history, who had usurped YHWH's role and authority over these leaders.

"For God so loved the world (Adamites), that He gave (to these Adamites) His only begotten Son, that whosoever (among these Adamites) believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life".

You haven't come even remotely close to establishing this interpretation of John 3:16, Englishman. Keep working on it. You have some very intensive labor ahead, in order to make any kind of case favoring the reading you've suggested, above.

JM

Englishman's picture

SuperSoulFighter,

Shortly before the Crucifixion, when Jesus and the disciples were all gathered together, Jesus said: "For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins." (Matt 26:28).

1) Was this blood/remission only for some first-century Israelites?

2) Are you suggesting that it is doctrinally incorrect for a Christian living in the year 2008 to say "I am redeemed by the blood of Christ that was shed on the Cross some two thousand years ago."?

After studying your article on "The Seed of Abraham" I am inclined to say that you would answer both of the above questions in the affirmative. This is because there was no description, in that article, of the elements of that "faith of Abraham" that would be the common song of each and every one of his adopted children.

I have been reminded that if Abraham saw His Day, then all of Abraham's children see that Day also. And we all know what Abraham saw on Mt. Moriah.

"For God so loved the world (many nations), that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever (from among the nations) believe in Him (even as Abraham believes in Him) should not perish but have everlasting life."

Yes, the Abrahamic covenant is vital.

And John 3:16, with its very broad demographic reach, is a banner over that very covenant.

Englishman

SuperSoulFighter's picture

Englishman, you asked:

Shortly before the Crucifixion, when Jesus and the disciples were all gathered together, Jesus said: "For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins." (Matt 26:28).

1) Was this blood/remission only for some first-century Israelites?

2) Are you suggesting that it is doctrinally incorrect for a Christian living in the year 2008 to say "I am redeemed by the blood of Christ that was shed on the Cross some two thousand years ago."?

To the first, my response is that His blood was shed for the remission of ALL Old Covenant saints (including the First Century ones) who lived and died under the Old Covenant system. Those who were of the Abrahamic "household of faith" were those for whom He died and for whom His blood was shed redemptively. To your second question, I would answer YES. Definitely. You read my "Seed of Abraham" article correctly, and your conclusions were correct. Note that in Matt. 26:28, Jesus stated that His blood was shed for MANY for the remission of sins. There is no all-inclusive, all-encompassing, universal sense to his words here. Rather, He had the Old Covenant saints in view when He made the statement you cited, in Matt. 26:28.

No, Englishman...Abraham's blessing and Covenant with the God of Israel did NOT encompass "all nations" in a planetary, global, universal sense where all of mankind is concerned. Rather, THROUGH Abraham an eternal Covenant Nation was brought into being that has the capacity to manifest the wonder and glory of God's grace, wisdom and perfection to the remainder of mankind. Do you see the difference in perspective? It's not that God couldn't care less about mankind as a whole. It's just that His chosen means of reaching the human race is less confrontational and more invitational. He won't impose Himself upon mankind. Rather, THROUGH His Covenant People he invites others to join that People and Nation. As a Covenant People we should attract others to the Kingdom, or at least represent a stable, ordered, well-balanced approach to life in a Biblically godly sense.

It's not just about prompting others to respond to God in faith, either. It's also about demonstrating the perfection of Covenant relationship with Him as a form of condemnation and judgment of other spiritual paths and lifestyles. The condemnation is not overt. Rather, it touches the conscience and inner workings of the hearts and minds of the non-Covenantal people who encounter Kingdom citizens. They are forced to acknowledge and respond, either positively or negatively, to the Truth before them.

John 3:16 is a banner over a demographically (and historically) limited gospel. We need to handle it as such, thereby demonstrating integrity in the way we interpret and apply God's Word.

JM

Englishman's picture

SuperSoulFighter writes: "Note that in Matt. 26:28, Jesus stated that His blood was shed for MANY for the remission of sins. There is no all-inclusive, all-encompassing, universal sense to his words here. Rather, He had the Old Covenant saints in view when He made the statement you cited, in Matt. 26:28."

Well, when Jesus here uses the word "many" I must say that I do not see the slightest suggestion to limit the blood/remission to "Old Covenant saints". The faith of Abraham that I see on Mt Moriah knows nothing of this limitation.

However, I see a "non-inclusion". I have studied and considered this long-standing decree: "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." (Genesis 3:15).

So when Jesus speaks of His blood being shed for "many" (not "all") it seems to me that He is being ever mindful that the Serpent and his seed had entered this world. (John 8:44) Full of lust, a murderer from the beginning, and no truth in him. Was this serpent seed entitled to the benefits of Christ's shed blood?

Here is how we have it. You are not including the "post 1st-century Christians", and I am not including the "serpent and his seed". So I think you are excluding the wrong group from the benefits of Christ's blood.

One more observation. All of the saints have a license to see themselves as "legally in Isaac" by virtue of Galatians 4:28. Well, I remember that a blood sacrifice was made on Mt Moriah. And it was made *for the benefit of Isaac*. And it just is not the style of the good children of Abraham to forget that sacrifice. Not even after the first century.

In conclusion, I want to thank you for all of your observations as it is helping me to better see the issues.

In Davo's recent responses to you I think he raises a very good point about synthesizing the "firsfruits". It is not just a pre-mortem, post-mortem dichotomy everywhere in view.

For me, it will make for some interesting new study.

Englishman

davo's picture

Englishman: Again, since I never sinned under that law system, then any remedy under that law system is meaningless for me. So with your exegesis of Hebrews 9 I would have to conclude that I am wholly excluded from the benefit of Christ's death.

I know you say that you hold to a "wider cosmos" view, but unfortunately I have not yet had the benefit of seeing how you migrate from "narrow" to "wide".

G'day Englishman… possibly you may not agree with some of my inclusive conclusions but I do believe that I have actually provided a schema for how one can see a transition from "narrow to wide" in my initial response to John's article – even though John himself interestingly enough rejects my proposition.

Englishman: The point is this. By design, the book of Hebrews was primarily addressed to a "narrow" Israelite audience. There was no need, in that book, to go beyond that need. So in Hebrews when such and such Israelites are shown to be saved by explanation of the types and shadows of Moses then that salvation should be understood to be "inclusive", not "exclusive". It would be an improper syllogism to insist that if a part has been shown to be saved for one purpose, then automatically all others are excluded for the same or any other purpose.

If I understand Paul correctly, the far reaching inclusiveness of the Gospel was not readily apparent among the first century Hebrew scholars. It had to be opened up and revealed.

I would venture to say that to many it is STILL "not readily apparent" – those being "saved for one purpose" were the first-fruit saints, and that purpose was Israel's redemption as promised through the prophets, a narrower and national redemption yet with a more purposeful wider world [Adamite] reconciliation in view.

davo

mazuur's picture

Englishman,

"You are pressing me to consider that Christ's sacrifice was to solve a sin problem that was attending those Israelites ("exclusively" those Israelites) that were under the Mosaical economy. Well, if that narrow application of Christ's death is true, then the sacrifice of Christ is of no value to me. For the very simple reason that I was never bound to the Mosaical economy. Not even for one minute. Again, since I never sinned under that law system, then any remedy under that law system is meaningless for me. So with your exegesis of Hebrews 9 I would have to conclude that I am wholly excluded from the benefit of Christ's death."

No, because you are missing the context of both the OT and NT. The entire OT focus is the restoration/resurrection of Israel. So, how does that benefit us Gentiles you ask? You have to remember we gentiles share in Israel's "spiritual things" (Romans 15:27). Davo has an excellent article addressing this understanding. While I do disagree with a small portion of his article, his conclusion concerning the elect that he states like this (which you'll come to in the article):

"This then broaches the issue of ELECTION. From the perspective of pantelism election had naught to do with future post mortem position, but everything to do with the redemptive purpose of God in this life"

the other 95% of the article is right on.

See it here
http://www.pantelism.com/Election.htm

Also, concerning John 3, I think another article addressing this same topic could clarify things and this discussion.

Take a read here:
http://beatenbrains.blogspot.com/2006/08/eschatology-of-being-born-again...

What is really interesting about this article is it's was written by a futurist. God is truly starting to open the eyes of men.

-Rich

-Rich

Englishman's picture

mazuur,

Thanks for the references.

I did get something out of Davo's article on Election. (The first reading was a literary challenge, but the second reading was much more fruitful.)

On that born again article, well I think the context is clearly "personal". It just is not necessary to press a "corporate" view into that particular discussion. One key to understanding that narrative is to fully recover, exegete, and synthesize the meaning of the "serpent lifted up" because that historical event is the "as… so is" element that defines, fixes, and amplifies the entire discussion from start to finish.

Thanks to your encouragement, I now desire to read a good and thorough treatise on realized *redemption*.

(Observation: By very definition, "redemption" is not redemption until it is realized. My initial impression is that if the blood of Christ means anything then all Adamites – not just Israelites – have already been fully redeemed, whether they know it or not.

Question for a theologian: When was this Redemption fully realized? At the Cross? At the Parousia? In the future? When I do something?

Do I come to Christ so that He can redeem me? Or do I come to Christ because He has redeemed me?

Mr. Theologian, have you been reluctant to inform someone that he or she has been redeemed by Christ because in your mind you are not sure whether or not he or she has yet been so redeemed? Do you think that you might possibly get caught saying something untruthful if you told such and such person that he or she has already been redeemed by Christ?

Do I have to "overcome worry" about whether or not I am "elect" in order to be absolutely sure that I have been redeemed? If I am an Adamite does that singular fact entitle me to the benefits of Redemption? Suppose that I am a lineal descendant of one of the 12 tribes, will that help me? If not, then what are the minimum requirements to be among that class known as "redeemed by the blood of the Lamb"?)

I trust that there is a thorough treatise out there somewhere…

Again, thanks

Englishman

tom-g's picture

Hey Englishman,

I am particularly enjoying this dialog with John.

Tom

Barry's picture

Hi JM,
Quote JM
Neither Tim nor I is "stuck in the transition of the ages" either, Barry. Rather, you have made a transition to a Biblically unsubstantiated position, as we understand the Scriptures. But let's take a closer peek at the texts you explore here seemingly in support of your view.
End quote.

I did not say that you were JM. I did mirror back to Tim, a little of his own tone. And then just a little. [Even you had to part ways with the way he used the “children of Satan” card.]
But now that you bring it up… :)

JM, several times you speak of my universalizing texts. That is indeed a bit of a presumption and overgeneralization. The thrust of my post was not to prove a universalizing of the text but rather to prove a time frame and time restraint. You are correct however that I come to universal conclusions. But I do recognize that many scriptures are focusing on how that “world” was headed up. Wherein covenant was always for an outward benefit and impact.

We do however have a covenant God that is God of all.

JM, IMV what I’ve seen so far in your post here is the very common physical verses spiritual dichotomy. Permit me to carry on in this line of presumption for just a moment please.
Usually this equates the term “natural” with “physical”. Often it creates an escapism mentality. Like the physical world is a God created “trap” or “prison” and now we have to find a way out. Most religions do this. Most so called Preterists do this to the extent that they hold onto annihilation or ECT in what becomes then a partial preisterist post mortem futurism as on going postmortem REPLACES the end of the age judgment in scripture. Futurism does it, Reincarnation often does it, Buddhism comes very close, and so on.

“Man shall not live by bread alone”. Does not attempt to define life or “live” in a dichotomy or dualism but as a “whole” or “wellness” or “healed” and thus completed state for man to live in and as. “Man” was in need of “healing”. How we define that healing becomes another side discussion. :)

Thus the “natural man” had NOT a physical problem but an EXCLUSIVITY problem.
That which passed away and was thrown down in AD 70 what not representative of the physical but rather of the “ego”. The temple “made with hands”. The egocentric view that God can be served through human potential. Thus making God in our own image in the exclusivity of the natural “mind set”. Thus, why “types and figures” were given in the first place.

MOVING FURTHER ON TO ADJACENT POINTS:

This problem was not unique to Israel. All of the offspring were told to repent. Just as Israel was set apart from all other peoples they headed up the problem of all other peoples.
One can argue the there being set apart was local. And it was.
One can argue that their influence over other peoples was local, and it was.
Once can argue that the “world” of that influence had geographical limits, and it did.

Sufficient was this however to show forth a comprehensive solution by way of an historical revelation.

Act 17:22 Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars' hill, and said, [Ye] MEN OF ATHENS, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious.
Act 17:23 For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore YE IGNORANTLY WORSHIP, him declare I unto you.
Act 17:24 God that made the world and ALL THINGS THEREIN, seeing that he is LORD OF HEAVEN AND EARTH, dwelleth not in TEMPLES MADE WITH HANDS;
Act 17:25 Neither is worshipped with MEN'S HANDS, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to ALL life, and breath, and ALL THINGS;
Act 17:26 And hath made of ONE BLOOD all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;
Act 17:27 That THEY should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from EVERY ONE OF US:

NOW YOU CAN PLACE TERMS LIKE “ONE BLOOD” AND “ON THE FACE OF THE EARTH” IN A COVENANTAL FRAMEWORK, BUT YOU CANNOT DO IT TO THE EXCLUSION OF EVERYONE THAT HIS IS TALKING TOO. Both Jew and Gentile.

Act 17:28 For in him WE LIVE, and move, and have OUR BEING; as certain also of YOUR OWN POETS have said, For WE ARE ALSO HIS OFFSPRING.
Act 17:29 Forasmuch then as WE ARE THE OFFSPRING OF GOD, WE OUGHT NOT to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and MAN'S DEVICE.
Act 17:30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth ALL MEN EVERY WHERE TO REPENT:
Act 17:31 Because he hath APPOINTED A DAY, in the which he will JUDGE THE WORLD IN RIGHTEOUSNESS by [that] man whom he hath ordained; [whereof] he hath given assurance UNTO ALL [men], in that he hath raised him from the dead.

I agree that this is limited to the sphere of Israel’s influence as an outworking. But this is perfectly in line with Israel’s priestly application. The all men within its influence represent all men in totality.
The Gentiles were comprehensively judged in the day of the Lord at the end of the age. This is what Paul is saying.

Rom 2:1 Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, WHOSOEVER THOU ART that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.
Rom 2:2 But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things.
Rom 2:3 And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt ESCAPE THE JUDGMENT OF GOD?
Rom 2:4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?
Rom 2:5 But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath AGAINST THE DAY OF WRATH AND REVELATION OF THE RIGHTEOUS JUDGMENT OF GOD;
Rom 2:6 Who will render to EVERY MAN according to his deeds:

Rom 2:9 Tribulation and anguish, upon EVERY SOUL OF MAN that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;
Rom 2:10 But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:
Rom 2:11 For there is no respect of persons with God.
Rom 2:12 For AS MANY AS have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and AS MANY AS have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;
Rom 2:13 (For not the hearers of the law [are] just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.
Rom 2:14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:
Rom 2:15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their CONSCIENCE also bearing witness, and [their] thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)
Rom 2:16 IN THE DAY WHEN GOD SHALL JUDGE the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.

The as “many as sinned” is equal to “every soul”.
Judgment at the end of the age is not less comprehensive than sin itself!!!!!!!
Every Gentile and every Jew is getting judged in the day of the Lord.
EVERY JEW THAT DID NOT BELIEVE WAS DESTROYED.

Act 3:22 For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you.
Act 3:23 And it shall come to pass, [that] EVERY SOUL, which will not hear that prophet, shall be DESTROYED FROM AMONG THE PEOPLE.
Act 3:24 Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise FORETOLD OF THESE DAYS.

What they were “repenting” from was basically the same thing as seen in Acts 17. For what was happening as per the passing away of the then valid type and figure in the “temple made with hands” showed carried forth the same implication to the Greek’s “MAN'S DEVICE”.

The time restraint for which was the same time restraint. For, “he hath APPOINTED A DAY, in the which he will JUDGE THE WORLD IN RIGHTEOUSNESS” having “given assurance UNTO ALL [men], in that he hath raised him from the dead.”

This “all men” is all men and all nations that the gospel was preached too in the “world” of Israel’s influence.

Mat 24:2 And Jesus said unto them, See ye not ALL THESE THINGS? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.
Mat 24:3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what [shall be] the sign of thy coming, and of the END OF THE WORLD? {age}

Mat 24:13 But HE that shall ENDURE UNTO THE END, the SAME shall BE SAVED.
Mat 24:14 And THIS GOSPEL of the kingdom shall be preached IN ALL THE WORLD for a WITNESS unto ALL NATIONS; and THEN SHALL THE END COME.

But HE that shall ENDURE unto the END, the SAME shall be SAVED. THIS gospel of the KINGDOM shall be preached IN ALL the NATIONS. THEN shall THE END come.
For AS MANY AS HAVE SINNED, shall perish.

The word “world” is contextually driven. It can mean that which is headed up and that which the heading up has dominion over. One need only crush the head.

What most full preterists have not come to terms with is the full and complete impact of the PERISHING in the end of the age. The removal of types and figures as if only meaning a “particular significance for the Covenant People who were governed by that Covenant in those days” is untenable. That which the types and figures supported perished utterly in the end of the types and figures. [Adam himself was a figure of him to come.]

Luk 13:1 There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.
Luk 13:2 And Jesus answering said unto them, SUPPOSE YE that these Galilaeans were SINNERS above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things?
Luk 13:3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye REPENT, ye shall ALL LIKEWISE PERISH.
Luk 13:4 Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye THAT THEY WERE SINNERS above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem?
Luk 13:5 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye REPENT, ye shall ALL LIKEWISE PERISH.

As SINNERS they perished. ALL of them. ALL SINNERS perished as SINNERS. And THIS took place IN THE END. Headed up in Israel in the precedence of types and figures from Adam who was a figure. But then to the Jew first and also to the Gentile. This gospel of the Kingdom was preached to all nations within the sphere of Israel’s graphical influence.

1Jo 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
1Jo 2:2 And he is the propitiation for OUR SINS: and not for ours only, but also for [the sins of] THE WHOLE WORLD.

1Cr 1:18 for the word of the cross TO THOSE INDEED PERISHING IS FOOLISHNESS, and to us -- THOSE BEING SAVED -- it is the power of God,
1Cr 1:19 for it hath been written, `I will DESTROY THE WISDOM OF THE WISE, and the intelligence of the intelligent I WILL BRING TO NOUGHT;'
1Cr 1:20 where [is] the wise? where the scribe? where a disputer OF THIS AGE? did not God make foolish the WISDOM OF THIS WORLD?
1Cr 1:21 for, seeing in the wisdom of God THE WORLD through the wisdom knew not God, it did please God through the foolishness of the preaching to save those believing.
1Cr 1:22 Since also JEWS ask a sign, and GREEKS seek wisdom,
1Cr 1:23 also we -- we preach Christ crucified, to JEWS, indeed, a stumbling-block, and to GREEKS FOOLISHNESS,
1Cr 1:24 and to those called -- both Jews and Greeks -- Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God,
{Once the consummation of the age takes place there is no Jew or Greek, period for there is no type and figure to support it.}
1Cr 1:25 because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men;
1Cr 1:26 for see YOUR CALLING, brethren, that not many [are] wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble;
1Cr 1:27 but the foolish things OF THE WORLD did God choose, that the wise He may PUT TO SHAME; AND THE WEAK THINGS OF THE WORLD did God choose that He may put to shame the strong;
1Cr 1:28 and the BASE THINGS OF THE WORLD, and the things despised did God choose, and the things that are not, that the things that are He may make useless --
1Cr 1:29 THAT NO FLESH may glory before Him;

1Cr 7:29 And this I say, brethren, the time henceforth is HAVING BEEN SHORTENED -- that both those having wives may be as not having;
1Cr 7:30 and those weeping, as not weeping; and those rejoicing, as not rejoicing; and those buying, as not possessing;
1Cr 7:31 and those USING THIS WORLD, as not using [it] up; for PASSING AWAY IS THE FASHION OF THIS WORLD.

Of course the above text is dealing with the issues on an “ego” level of “self definition” from the precedence of types and figures, for which I will make a more dedicated post shortly.

The finality of this time frame is explicit.
Rom 2:5 But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath AGAINST THE DAY OF WRATH and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;
Rom 2:16 IN THE DAY WHEN GOD SHALL JUDGE the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.
1Cr 1:8 Who shall also confirm you unto THE END, [that ye may be] blameless in the DAY OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST.
1Cr 3:13 Every man's work shall be made manifest: FOR THE DAY SHALL DECLARE IT, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.
1Cr 5:5 To deliver such an one unto Satan for the DESTRUCTION OF THE FLESH, that the spirit may be saved IN THE DAY OF THE LORD JESUS.
2Cr 1:14 As also ye have acknowledged us in part, that we are your rejoicing, even as ye also [are] ours in THE DAY OF THE LORD JESUS.
Eph 4:30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto THE DAY OF REDEMPTION.
Phl 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform [it] until THE DAY OF JESUS CHRIST:
Phl 1:10 That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence TILL the DAY OF CHRIST;
Phl 2:16 Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice IN THE DAY OF CHRIST, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.
1Th 5:2 For yourselves know perfectly that THE DAY OF THE LORD so cometh as a thief in the night.
1Th 5:4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that THAT DAY SHOULD OVERTAKE YOU as a thief.
2Ti 1:12 For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him AGAINST THAT DAY.
2Ti 1:18 The Lord grant unto him that he may find MERCY OF THE LORD IN THAT DAY: and in how many things he ministered unto me at Ephesus, thou knowest very well.
2Ti 4:8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me AT THAT DAY: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
Hbr 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some [is]; but exhorting [one another]: and so much the more, as YE SEE THE DAY APPROACHING.
Jam 5:5 Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in A DAY OF SLAUGHTER.
1Pe 2:12 Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by [your] good works, which they shall behold, glorify God IN THE DAY OF VISITATION.
2Pe 2:9 The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust UNTO THE DAY OF JUDGMENT TO BE PUNISHED:
2Pe 3:7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire AGAINST THE DAY OF JUDGMENT and perdition of ungodly men.
2Pe 3:10 But the DAY OF THE LORD will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein SHALL BE BURNED UP.
2Pe 3:12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of THE DAY OF GOD, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
1Jo 4:17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness IN THE DAY OF JUDGMENT: because as he is, so are WE IN THIS WORLD.
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.

Notice carefully these points:
Romans 2 has both Jew and Gentile “treasuring up” wrath against the day of wrath where the conscience and secrets of men would be judged.
1 Thessalonians has Gentiles included in the subject of not being overtaken in that judgment.
1 Cor. 1: 8 Is about them being confirmed unto this coming END.
1Cr 5:5 Those deliver unto Satan where were delivered for the DESTRUCTION OF THE FLESH, that the spirit may be saved IN THE DAY OF THE LORD JESUS. All sinners perish in the end of the age. This we are told time and time again.
Phl 1:6-10 is very strong in the finality of the time frame. It is unto the day of Christ. A finished work, a completed work in this END.
2Ti 1:18 Is adamant in the time frame. Paul esencially prays for this person to have mercy IN THAT DAY.
2Ti 4:8 Speaks of the “time” in which Paul would receive his crown of life. At that day, and for all who loved HIS appearing.
It is a THE DAY OF JUDGMENT TO BE PUNISHED.
1Jo 4:17 Has them being made perfect in love that they may have boldness IN THE DAY OF JUDGMENT in reference to as then stood IN that WORLD.

All of these passages of scripture are in connect with the passing away of types and figures from Adam.

2Cr 10:4 (For the weapons of our warfare [are] not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
2Cr 10:5 CASTING DOWN IMAGINATIONS, and EVERY HIGH THING that exalteth itself AGAINST THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
2Cr 10:6 And having in a readiness to revenge ALL DISOBEDIENCE, when YOUR OBEDIENCE is FULFILLED.
2Cr 10:7 Do ye look on things after the OUTWARD APPEARANCE?

All disobedience in connect with every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God is deal with at this time. I’ll write more on this in my coming “self defined ego” post.

The time restraint is inescapable. It deals PARTICULARLY with the REMOVAL of types and figures FROM ADAM.

Quote JM [Caps are mine for emphasis]
Unfortunately, incorrect. The "lust" of the Old Covenant world involved, as stated above, an addiction to self-righteous law-keeping to the degree that the Israelites and Jews became, to a significant degree, inhuman in their treatment of each other and non-Israelites. THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO, DIRECTLY, WITH ADAM'S "FALL INTO SIN" and the subsequent "sin nature" passed on to all of mankind through him.
End quote.

This is untenable.
1Jo 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things [that are] in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
1Jo 2:16 For all that [is] in the world, THE LUST OF THE FLESH, and THE LUST OF THE EYES, and THE PRIDE OF LIFE, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
1Jo 2:17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
1Jo 2:18 Little children, IT IS THE LAST TIME:

Gen 2:17 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.

Gen 3:4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall NOT SURELY DIE:
Gen 3:5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and YE SHALL BE AS GODS, knowing good and evil.
Gen 3:6 And when the woman saw that the tree [was] GOOD FOR FOOD, and that it [was] PLEASANT TO THE EYES, and a tree to be DESIRED TO MAKE [ONE] WISE, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

Rom 5:11 And not only [so], but we are also boasting in God, through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom now WE did receive the reconciliation;
Rom 5:12 because of this, even as through ONE MAN THE SIN DID ENTER INTO THE WORLD, and through the sin the DEATH; and thus to ALL MEN THE DEATH DID PASS THROUGH, for that all DID SIN;

1Jo 3:8 He that committeth SIN is of THE DEVIL; for the devil sinneth FROM THE BEGINNING. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that HE MIGHT DESTROY THE WORKS OF THE DEVIL.

First off, one cannot have the passing away of the types and figures for believers only. This is completely and absolutely untenable in scripture.

Secondly, one cannot confine the impact of this passing away to those called out from all other peoples. Such is completely and absolutely untenable in scripture.

Thirdly, the finality of the end of the age will not permit any type of post mortem exclusivity configuration of the full impact of this passing away.
Ongoing judgment is untenable. One would most assuredly need more types and figures present to this day to establish any further ongoing judgment.
Even if one were to try and do this one could not have a finality of judgment in the passing away of types and figures in the end of the age and then have all those who lived through judged again at post mortem as if the types and figures would then again somehow pass away again when they died. And such is again the problem with a spiritual verses physical dichotomy imposed on scripture. Which is exactly what Pret-idealism tries to do to get out of the full impact of true full preterism.

The idea of a judgment of AD 70 following suit at postmortem is untenable is scripture.
First of all, none of the clear time frames support it.
Secondly, this would create a second judgment upon all that live through the end of the age.
Thirdly then the “unto the end” would not be the end of the age which it clearly is in scripture.
Fourthly, the time given for perishing and the crown of life would be a HORRIFIC PREMATURE CONCLUSION.

Such is the tip of the ice burg on this matter. There is considerably more evidence on these matters.

This is what usually happens though. One picks up on one particular point where they think they can disagree and then so dismisses the entirety of the information presented. Like proving full preterism to a biblical futurist. There is always a scripture somewhere that they feel disproves the whole of the position. One point somewhere where one feels they can disagree thus usually enabling the person to feel that a dismissal of the whole of the view is then warranted.

Another thing that often happens is the unanswered and the presumed. For example, “If this was final then what does that mean to us?” Since that has not been covered yet one may presume a conclusion that does not really fall in with the view at all. In presuming an unwarranted conclusion built from one’s own precepts one can easily feel justified in dismissing the whole of the view.
This often happens through the precept that salvation was for the purpose of eternal security. But such we will have to save for another time.

I will attempt to address the topic of the “self defined ego” this weekend and perhaps the issue of love and the gospel.

Blessings Barry

we are all in this together

Barry's picture

Hi there again JM.
This is my promised post on the self defined ego as per the texts that I used, and of course now more texts.
I have touched on some but not all of the points you have already made in your responce to me.

Quote JM
The texts cited above really do not address any question involved with a "self-defined ego" within mankind as a whole or the average (non-Covenantal) person's relationship to God. Only those who are "born of faith" - the faith manifested by Abraham - are God's "offspring". God's "offspring" are spiritual - NOT His physical creations in an all-inclusive, universal sense where all of mankind is concerned.
End quote.

I certainly beg to differ.
How one worships God or divinity is how one SEES themselves.

Act 17:22 Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars' hill, and said, [Ye] MEN OF ATHENS, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious.
{you are very religious}
Act 17:23 For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore YE IGNORANTLY WORSHIP, him declare I unto you.
{And ignorance is the key here. They were ignorant of their creator}

Act 17:24 God that made the world and ALL THINGS THEREIN, seeing that he is LORD OF HEAVEN AND EARTH, dwelleth not in TEMPLES MADE WITH HANDS;
Act 17:25 Neither is worshipped with MEN'S HANDS, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to ALL life, and breath, and ALL THINGS;
{How one worships God is directly attached to how one sees THEMSELVES.
Were the Jews created by a God that dwells in temples made by men’s potential?
I think not. But they worship through a “type and figure”. In declaring the ending of types and figure nothing less then declaring to the Jews and in all the world of their influence, that “you need to see your selves differently than you do” becomes a fundamental point.
Did they see themselves as able to serve God AS IF HE NEEDED ANYTHING?
I think so!! Thus appeasing their SELF DEFINED SELF as opposed to their GOD DEFINED SELF wherein God, their creator is not served through human potential AS IF He needed anything.
This text shouts “self defined self” from the mountain tops! Well certainly from Mars hill!!

Act 17:26 And hath made of one blood ALL NATIONS OF MEN for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;
Act 17:27 That THEY should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from EVERY ONE OF US:

{Now unless you want to make the claim as some so desperately try to do that all these Folk in Front of Paul are all dispora Israel and the word Gentile always means lost Isrealite anytime the Gospel is preached to them then you my friend IMV are very much stuck with what this text is clearly advocating.}

Act 17:28 For in him WE LIVE, and move, and have OUR BEING; as certain also of YOUR OWN POETS have said, For WE ARE ALSO HIS OFFSPRING.
Act 17:29 Forasmuch then as WE ARE THE OFFSPRING OF GOD, WE OUGHT NOT to THINK that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and MAN'S DEVICE.
{What these Gentiles thought about the Divine and so then serving through “man’s device” in graven images had everything to do with how they thought about themselves as Created beings. For this Paul’s argument.
God gave you life, breath, and movement. He is your God so you should understand him as your God. One is not to confuse man’s ignorance with what is.}

Act 17:30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth ALL MEN EVERY WHERE TO REPENT:
Act 17:31 Because he hath APPOINTED A DAY, in the which he will JUDGE THE WORLD IN RIGHTEOUSNESS by [that] man whom he hath ordained; [whereof] he hath given assurance UNTO ALL [men], in that he hath raised him from the dead.

The above text has “ignorance” written through and through. And the times of ignorance had passed because a day of judgment was coming. Now where did Paul get this?

Psa 24:1 A Psalm of David. To Jehovah [is] the earth and its fulness, The WORLD AND THE INHABITANTS IN IT.

Isa 42:1 Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, [in whom] my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: HE SHALL BRING FORTH JUDGMENT TO THE GENTILES.

Mat 24:2 And Jesus said unto them, See ye not ALL THESE THINGS? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.
Mat 24:3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what [shall be] the sign of thy coming, and of the END OF THE WORLD? {age}
Mat 24:13 But HE that shall ENDURE UNTO THE END, the SAME shall BE SAVED.
Mat 24:14 And THIS GOSPEL of the kingdom shall be preached IN ALL THE WORLD for a WITNESS unto ALL NATIONS; and THEN SHALL THE END COME.

But HE that shall ENDURE unto the END, the SAME shall be SAVED. THIS gospel of the KINGDOM shall be preached IN ALL the NATIONS. THEN shall THE END come.

1Cr 1:18 for the word of the cross TO THOSE INDEED PERISHING IS FOOLISHNESS, and to us -- THOSE BEING SAVED -- it is the power of God,
1Cr 1:19 for it hath been written, `I will DESTROY THE WISDOM OF THE WISE, and the intelligence of the intelligent I WILL BRING TO NOUGHT;'
1Cr 1:20 where [is] the wise? where the scribe? where a disputer OF THIS AGE? did not God make foolish the WISDOM OF THIS WORLD?
1Cr 1:21 for, seeing in the wisdom of God THE WORLD through the wisdom knew not God, it did please God through the foolishness of the preaching to save those believing.
1Cr 1:22 Since also JEWS ask a sign, and GREEKS seek wisdom,
1Cr 1:23 also we -- we preach Christ crucified, to JEWS, indeed, a stumbling-block, and to GREEKS FOOLISHNESS,
1Cr 1:24 and to those called -- both Jews and Greeks -- Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God,
{Once the consummation of the age takes place there is no Jew or Greek, period for there is no type and figure to support it.}
1Cr 1:25 because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men;
1Cr 1:26 for see YOUR CALLING, brethren, that not many [are] wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble;
1Cr 1:27 but the foolish things OF THE WORLD did God choose, that the wise He may PUT TO SHAME; AND THE WEAK THINGS OF THE WORLD did God choose that He may put to shame the strong;
1Cr 1:28 and the BASE THINGS OF THE WORLD, and the things despised did God choose, and the things that are not, that the things that are He may make useless --
1Cr 1:29 THAT NO FLESH may glory before Him;

As JUDGMENT is brought to the GENTILES the wisdom OF THAT AGE clearly touches on the WISDOM OF THE GREEKS. Thus the “self defined self” of the Gentile. That NO FLESH may GLORY BEFORE Him. The context of what Israel headed up in the VALIDITY OF TYPES AND FIGURES encompasses the GENTILES IN THEIR MIND SET in the “end of the age” judgment. The Greeks are thus included in the “wisdom of that WORLD” and the wisdom “of that AGE”.

So then, “and to those called -- both Jews and Greeks -- Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God”. For which Paul clearly advocates to these called ones:

2Cr 10:4 (For the weapons of our warfare [are] not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
2Cr 10:5 CASTING DOWN IMAGINATIONS, and EVERY HIGH THING that exalteth itself AGAINST THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
2Cr 10:6 And having in a readiness to revenge ALL DISOBEDIENCE, when YOUR OBEDIENCE is FULFILLED.
2Cr 10:7 Do ye look on things after the OUTWARD APPEARANCE?

All disobedience is revenged, when their obedience was fulfilled. Clearly the types and figures passed away. This in connection with the self defined self that stood in types and figures. And such was the first century “readiness” which Full Preterists like to ignore when it suits them.
The Gentiles were not judged independently of the validity of the types and figures but rather their like mentality was judged in connection to and with the passing away of the valid types and figures. The above texts are clear enough on the point. Hence Paul’s preaching to the Gentiles that God does not dwell in temples made with hands. Thus this brings us to a point of Repentance that you brought up on your first response to my “types and figures” post.

Repentance was for both Jew and Gentile in view of the impending end of the age judgment.

WHAT IS THE THRUST OF REPENTANCE?:
Repentance was FROM CONFIDENCE in the SELF DEFINED SELF that had its dominion in the precedence of types and figures.

Mat 3:2 And saying, REPENT YE: for the KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS AT HAND.

Mat 3:9 And THINK NOT TO SAY WITHIN YOURSELVES, We have Abraham to [our] father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.
Mat 3:10 And now also the AXE IS LAID UNTO THE ROOT OF THE TREES: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

Mark 1:
14) “Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the GOSPEL of the KINGDOM OF GOD,”
15) “And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the KINGDOM OF GOD IS AT HAND: REPENT ye, and BELIEVE the GOSPEL.”

One needed TO Repent TO believe.
Matt. 21:32 For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not; but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, REPENTED NOT AFTERWARD that YE MIGHT BELIEVE HIM.

These folks could not change their minds about themselves so they could not believe.

Act 3:16 And his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.
Act 3:17 And now, brethren, I wot that THROUGH IGNORANCE YE DID [it], as [did] also your rulers.
Act 3:18 But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled.
Act 3:19 REPENT ye therefore, and BE CONVERTED, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;
Act 3:20 And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:
Act 3:21 Whom the heaven must receive UNTIL THE TIMES OF RESTITUTION OF ALL THINGS, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.
Act 3:22 For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you.
Act 3:23 And it shall come to pass, [that] EVERY SOUL, which will not hear that prophet, SHALL BE DESTROYED FROM AMONG THE PEOPLE.
Act 3:24 Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have LIKEWISE FORETOLD OF THESE DAYS.
Act 3:25 Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall ALL THE KINDREDS OF THE EARTH BE BLESSED.

Repent and be converted. They could not be converted unless they changed their minds. Of those that did not all were destroyed. Of course this is speaking about that which is headed up in Israel. I’m not disputing that in this text. I’m saying that NONE of these survived through the passing away of the types and figures.

Hbr 6:1 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of REPENTANCE FROM DEAD WORKS, and of faith toward God,
Hbr 9:14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, PURGE YOUR CONSCIENCE FROM DEAD WORKS to serve the living God?

Luke 24:47 And THAT REPENTANCE and remission of sins should be preached in his name among ALL NATIONS, BEGINNING AT JERUSALEM.
Acts 17:30 And the times of this IGNORANCE God winked at; but now commandeth ALL MEN EVERYWHERE TO REPENT:

Mat 24:13 But HE that shall ENDURE UNTO THE END, the SAME shall BE SAVED.
Mat 24:14 And THIS GOSPEL of the KINGDOM shall be preached IN ALL THE WORLD for a WITNESS unto ALL NATIONS; and THEN SHALL THE END COME.

Creating a false exclusivity for these things cannot explain what is happening in the transition of the ages.

Act 2:16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;
Act 2:17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:

Peter did not know that the Holy Spirit had been poured forth upon the Gentile also.
Act 10:45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because THAT ON THE GENTILES ALSO WAS POURED OUT THE GIFT OF THE HOLY GHOST. {IE at Pentecost. Note: The pouring forth of the Holy Spirit was a one-time event in scripture at Pentecost. It was upon all flesh. What happened to Cornelius proved that the Holy Spirit had been poured forth at Penticost upon the Gentiles also. The Greek bears this out.}

Act 11:16 Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost.
Act 11:17 Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as [he did] unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God?
Act 11:18 When they heard these things, they held their peace, and GLORIFIED GOD, saying, Then hath GOD ALSO TO THE GENTILES GRANTED REPENTANCE UNTO LIFE.

THE SELF DEFINED SELF:
1Jo 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things [that are] in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
1Jo 2:16 For all that [is] in the world, THE LUST OF THE FLESH, and THE LUST OF THE EYES, and THE PRIDE OF LIFE, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
1Jo 2:17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
1Jo 2:18 Little children, IT IS THE LAST TIME:

Gen 2:17 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.

Gen 3:4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall NOT SURELY DIE:
Gen 3:5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and YE SHALL BE AS GODS, KNOWING good and evil.
Gen 3:6 And when the woman saw that the tree [was] GOOD FOR FOOD, and that it [was] PLEASANT TO THE EYES, and a tree to be DESIRED TO MAKE [ONE] WISE, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

They chose to define themselves for themselves. THIS is how sin entered into the world. Adam himself was a figure of the one to come. The one that came was the express image of God. The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. [I realize that the term “world” is often used for how the heading up in Israel is taking place, but such does not negate the comprehensive outreach within the sphere of Israel’s influence. I understand that salvation is OF the Jews.]

Mat 16:22 Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.
Mat 16:23 But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for THOU SAVOUREST NOT THE THINGS THAT BE OF GOD, BUT THOSE THAT BE OF MEN.
Mat 16:24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any [man] will come after me, LET HIM DENY HIMSELF, and take up his CROSS, and FOLLOW ME.
Mat 16:25 For whosoever will SAVE HIS LIFE SHALL LOSE IT: and whosoever will LOSE HIS LIFE for my sake SHALL FIND IT.
Mat 16:26 For what is a man profited, if he shall GAIN THE WHOLE WORLD, and lose his OWN soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
Mat 16:27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he SHALL REWARD EVERY MAN ACCORDING TO HIS WORKS.
Mat 16:28 Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.

Christ is in no way here guarantying a post mortem judgment for those who would loose their own soul who did not deny themselves in the precedence of types and figures.
They were told to loose their own like [soul] to find it in view of the promised kingdom of heaven.

Phl 3:2 Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision.
Phl 3:3 For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have NO CONFIDENCE IN THE FLESH.
Phl 3:4 Though I might also HAVE CONFIDENCE IN THE FLESH. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might TRUST IN THE FLESH, I MORE:
Phl 3:5 CIRCUMCISED the eighth day, of the STOCK OF ISRAEL, [of] the TRIBE OF BENJAMIN, an HEBREW OF THE HEBREWS; as touching THE LAW, a Pharisee;
Phl 3:6 Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in THE LAW, blameless.
Phl 3:7 But what things were gain TO ME, those I COUNTED LOSS FOR CHRIST.
Phl 3:8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things [but] loss for the excellency of the KNOWLEDGE of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do COUNT THEM [BUT] DUNG, that I may win Christ,
Phl 3:9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is OF THE LAW, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
Phl 3:10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made CONFORMABLE UNTO HIS DEATH;

1Cr 1:10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and [that] there be no divisions among you; but [that] ye be perfectly joined together IN THE SAME MIND AND IN THE SAME JUDGMENT.
1Cr 1:11 For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them [which are of the house] of Chloe, that there are contentions among you.
1Cr 1:12 Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I AM of Paul; and I OF Apollos; and I OF Cephas; and I OF Christ.
1Cr 1:13 Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized IN THE NAME of Paul?

1Cr 1:18 for the word of the cross TO THOSE INDEED PERISHING IS FOOLISHNESS, and to us -- THOSE BEING SAVED -- it is the power of God,
1Cr 1:19 for it hath been written, `I will DESTROY THE WISDOM OF THE WISE, and the intelligence of the intelligent I WILL BRING TO NOUGHT;'
1Cr 1:20 where [is] the wise? where the scribe? where a disputer OF THIS AGE? did not God make foolish the WISDOM OF THIS WORLD?
1Cr 1:21 for, seeing in the wisdom of God THE WORLD through the wisdom knew not God, it did please God through the foolishness of the preaching to save those believing.
1Cr 1:22 Since also JEWS ask a sign, and GREEKS seek wisdom,
1Cr 1:23 also we -- we preach Christ crucified, to JEWS, indeed, a stumbling-block, and to GREEKS FOOLISHNESS,
1Cr 1:24 and to those called -- both Jews and Greeks -- Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God,
{Once the consummation of the age takes place there is no Jew or Greek, period for there is no type and figure to support it.}
1Cr 1:25 because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men;
1Cr 1:26 for see YOUR CALLING, brethren, that not many [are] wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble;
1Cr 1:27 but the foolish things OF THE WORLD did God choose, that the wise He may PUT TO SHAME; AND THE WEAK THINGS OF THE WORLD did God choose that He may put to shame the strong;
1Cr 1:28 and the BASE THINGS OF THE WORLD, and the things despised did God choose, and the things that are not, that the things that are He may make useless --
1Cr 1:29 THAT NO FLESH may glory before Him;

1Cr 2:2 For I determined not to know any thing AMONG YOU, save JESUS CHRIST, AND HIM CRUCIFIED.

1Cr 2:6 Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet NOT THE WISDOM OF THIS WORLD, nor of the princes of THIS WORLD, that COME TO NOUGHT: {"are coming to nothing"}

1Cr 3:2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able [to bear it], neither yet now are ye able.
1Cr 3:3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas [there is] among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?
{Self defined men}
1Cr 3:4 For while one saith, I AM of Paul; and another, I [AM] OF Apollos; are ye not carnal?
1Cr 3:5 WHO THEN is Paul, and WHO [is] Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the LORD GAVE TO EVERY MAN?
1Cr 3:6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.
1Cr 3:7 So then neither is he that planteth ANY THING,
{as self defined}
neither he that watereth;
{as self defined}
but God that giveth the increase.
{as God defined}
1Cr 3:8 Now he that planteth and he that watereth ARE ONE: and EVERY MAN SHALL RECEIVE HIS OWN REWARD ACCORDING TO HIS OWN LABOUR.
{at the end of the age}

1Cr 3:18 Let NO MAN DECEIVE HIMSELF. If any man among you seemeth to be wise IN THIS WORLD, let HIM become A FOOL, that he MAY BE WISE.
1Cr 3:19 For the wisdom OF THIS WORLD is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.
1Cr 3:20 And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, THAT THEY ARE VAIN.
1Cr 3:21 Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours;

Rom 8:20 For the CREATURE was made SUBJECT TO VANITY, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected [the same] IN HOPE,

This touches the tip of the preverbal tip of the ice burg in regards to the “self defined ego” in the precedence of types and figures.

However what was transforming these folks within the transition of the ages is the understanding that they were LOVED FIRST.

And this is where healing comes from.
Blessings Barry

we are all in this together

SuperSoulFighter's picture

I certainly beg to differ.
How one worships God or divinity is how one SEES themselves.

I find it intriguing that you view worship of God as being directly involved with self-perception and ego-centricity, Barry. The question, in your mind, does not seem to be whether one is focussed on God vs. being focussed on oneself, but rather the accuracy of our self-focus and self-perception. In other words, you find nothing wrong with the idea that worship of God fundamentally involves self-awareness and, ultimately, self-worship. Is that close? I find such an idea highly objectionable, of course, as I see the Scriptures prompting worshipers to focus their minds and hearts on God alone as an expression and manifestation of who God intended them to be. Ultimately, it is GOD'S "ego" and Mind that are of paramount importance. All else is resolved naturally within the framework of achieving full compatibility with Him.

I'm not going to touch on every point you've made here, Barry, due to time considerations - but one or two of these stand out as requiring further response.

Act 17:26 And hath made of one blood ALL NATIONS OF MEN for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;
Act 17:27 That THEY should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from EVERY ONE OF US:

{Now unless you want to make the claim as some so desperately try to do that all these Folk in Front of Paul are all dispora Israel and the word Gentile always means lost Isrealite anytime the Gospel is preached to them then you my friend IMV are very much stuck with what this text is clearly advocating.}

Let's compare the text you cited, above (Acts 17:26,27) with another one you cite, further down.

Mat 24:2 And Jesus said unto them, See ye not ALL THESE THINGS? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.
Mat 24:3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what [shall be] the sign of thy coming, and of the END OF THE WORLD? {age}
Mat 24:13 But HE that shall ENDURE UNTO THE END, the SAME shall BE SAVED.
Mat 24:14 And THIS GOSPEL of the kingdom shall be preached IN ALL THE WORLD for a WITNESS unto ALL NATIONS; and THEN SHALL THE END COME.

But HE that shall ENDURE unto the END, the SAME shall be SAVED. THIS gospel of the KINGDOM shall be preached IN ALL the NATIONS. THEN shall THE END come.

When we compare Matt. 24:14 (noting that this promise is given in conjunction with - and in the same context as - vss. 2,3 of that chapter, we discover that "the world" is exclusive (and equivalent) to the Diaspora of the Jews of that day. Vs. 2 establishes the focus as being the Jewish Temple, representing their religious system (the foundation for their political and social structures). Note what Paul has to say about the promise of Matt. 24:14 in Col. 1:3-6, 23:

3 We give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, 4 since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of your love for all the saints; 5 because of the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, of which you heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel, 6 which has come to you, as it has also in all the world, and is bringing forth fruit...23 if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister."

We know, historically, that the gospel was not preached globally, on a planetary basis as a whole. Rather, the First Century apostles and evangelists preached the gospel throughout the Roman Empire of that day, to wherever the Jews of the Diaspora had been scattered and were living at that time. This Paul equates to the gospel being preached to the entire "world" and "every creature under heaven" hearing it.

Let's give further consideration to these things before pursuing the question of the "self-defined ego" further.

JM

SuperSoulFighter's picture

I should clarify further that my point concerning the gospel being preached to "all nations" indicates its being communicated to "all nations [tribes] within Old Covenant Israel". Likewise, then, "all nations of men" who "dwell upon the face of the earth" indicates the sum total of Israelites who were spread throughout the "earth" of the Diaspora. Whether there were Gentiles listening to Paul's speech on Mars' Hill or not is really not the point, Barry. He was speaking to the Israelites/Jews who WERE present, and THEIR particular spiritual, social, religious, historical and cosmological realities.

JM

Barry's picture

Hi JM.
Sorry for the little delay in my answer.

Quote:
I find it intriguing that you view worship of God as being directly involved with self-perception and ego-centricity, Barry.
End quote.

Quote:
The question, in your mind, does not seem to be whether one is focussed on God vs. being focussed on oneself, but rather the accuracy of our self-focus and self-perception.
End quote.

The two are inseparably linked together.

Gen 3:5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and YE SHALL BE AS GODS, KNOWING good and evil.
Gen 3:6 And when the woman saw that the tree [was] GOOD FOR FOOD, and that it [was] PLEASANT TO THE EYES, and a tree to be DESIRED TO MAKE [ONE] WISE, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

1Cr 1:20 where [is] the wise? where the scribe? where a disputer OF THIS AGE? did not God make foolish the WISDOM OF THIS WORLD?
1Cr 1:21 for, seeing in the wisdom of God THE WORLD through the wisdom knew not God, it did please God through the foolishness of the preaching to save those believing.
1Cr 1:22 Since also JEWS ask a sign, and GREEKS seek wisdom,
1Cr 1:23 also we -- we preach Christ crucified, to JEWS, indeed, a stumbling-block, and to GREEKS FOOLISHNESS,
1Cr 1:24 and to those called -- both Jews and Greeks -- Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God,

Repent from what?
Mat 3:2 And saying, REPENT YE: for the KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS AT HAND.
Mat 3:9 And THINK NOT TO SAY WITHIN YOURSELVES, We have Abraham to [our] father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.
Mat 3:10 And now also the AXE IS LAID UNTO THE ROOT OF THE TREES: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

Mat 23:27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which INDEED APPEAR BEAUTIFUL OUTWARD, but are within full of dead [men's] bones, and of all uncleanness.

Gal 2:18 For if I BUILD AGAIN the things which I destroyed, I MAKE MYSELF A TRANSGRESSOR.
Gal 2:19 For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.
Gal 2:20 I AM CRUCIFIED WITH CHRIST: nevertheless I live; YET NOT I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Phl 3:5 CIRCUMCISED the eighth day, of the STOCK OF ISRAEL, [of] the TRIBE OF BENJAMIN, an HEBREW OF THE HEBREWS; as touching THE LAW, a Pharisee;
Phl 3:6 Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in THE LAW, blameless.

Hbr 6:1 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of REPENTANCE FROM DEAD WORKS, and of faith toward God,
Hbr 9:14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, PURGE YOUR CONSCIENCE FROM DEAD WORKS to serve the living God?

Jam 1:10 But the rich, in that he is made low: because AS THE FLOWER OF THE GRASS he shall PASS AWAY.
Jam 1:11 For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withereth the grass, and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of THE FASHION OF IT PERISHETH: SO ALSO shall the rich man fade away IN HIS WAYS.

Mat 16:24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any [man] will come after me, LET HIM DENY HIMSELF, and take up his CROSS, and FOLLOW ME.
Mat 16:25 For whosoever will SAVE HIS LIFE SHALL LOSE IT: and whosoever will LOSE HIS LIFE for my sake SHALL FIND IT.

Luk 9:23 And he said to [them] all, If any [man] will come after me, LET HIM DENY HIMSELF, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
Luk 9:24 For whosoever will SAVE HIS LIFE SHALL LOSE IT: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, THE SAME SHALL SAVE IT.

Jhn 12:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.
Jhn 12:25 He that LOVETH HIS LIFE SHALL LOSE IT; and he THAT HATETH HIS LIFE IN THIS WORLD shall keep it unto life eternal.

Jer 23:39 Therefore, behold, I, even I, will utterly FORGET YOU, and I WILL FORSAKE YOU, AND THE CITY that I gave you and your fathers, [and cast you] OUT OF MY PRESENCE:
Jer 23:40 And I will bring an EVERLASTING REPROACH upon you, and a PERPETUAL SHAME, which SHALL NOT BE FORGOTTEN.

Eze 16:15 But thou didst TRUST IN THINE OWN BEAUTY, and playedst the harlot BECAUSE OF THY RENOWN, and pouredst out thy fornications on every one that passed by; his it was.
Eze 16:63 That thou mayest remember, and be confounded, and NEVER OPEN THY MOUTH ANY MORE because OF THY SHAME, WHEN I AM PACIFIED TOWARD THEE FOR ALL THAT THOU HAST DONE, saith the Lord GOD.

Repent toward what?
Matt. 19: 16 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, WHAT GOOD THING SHALL I DO, THAT I MAY HAVE ETERNAL LIFE?
Matt. 19: 21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go [and] sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come [and] follow me.
Mat 19:24 And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
Mat 19:25 When his disciples heard [it], they were exceedingly amazed, saying, WHO THEN CAN BE SAVED?
Mat 19:26 But Jesus beheld [them], and said unto them, WITH MEN this is IMPOSSIBLE; but WITH GOD ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE.

As I said the two are inseparably linked together:
Mat 22:35 Then one of them, [which was] a lawyer, asked [him a question], tempting him, and saying,
Mat 22:36 Master, which [is] the great commandment in the law?
Mat 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
Mat 22:38 This is the first and great commandment.
Mat 22:39 And THE SECOND [IS] LIKE UNTO IT, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Mat 22:40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

Why is “the second [is] like unto it”??

Gen 1:27 So God created man in his [own] image, IN THE IMAGE OF GOD CREATED HE HIM; male and female created he them.

Luk 10:29 But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And WHO IS MY NEIGHBOUR?

1Cr 13:12 for we see now through a mirror obscurely, and then FACE TO FACE; now I know in part, and THEN I SHALL FULLY KNOW, AS ALSO I WAS KNOWN;
1Cr 13:13 and now there doth remain faith, hope, love -- these three; and THE GREATEST OF THESE [is] love.

The hypocrisy of religion within the self-defined self is to make one’s own knowledge and one’s own faith a means to itself. And then pretend that such is “the knowledge of God”.

Hsa 4:1 Hear the word of the LORD, ye children of Israel: for the LORD hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because [there is] NO TRUTH, NOR MERCY, nor KNOWLEDGE OF GOD in the land.

Hsa 6:6 For I DESIRED MERCY, and not sacrifice; and THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD more than burnt offerings.

Rom 11:31 Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.
Rom 11:32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, THAT HE MIGHT HAVE MERCY UPON ALL.
Rom 11:33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and KNOWLEDGE OF GOD! how unsearchable [are] his judgments, and his ways past finding out!

2Cr 10:5 Casting DOWN IMAGINATIONS, and every high thing that EXALTETH ITSELF AGAINST THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

2Pe 1:2 GRACE AND PEACE be multiplied unto you THROUGH THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD, and of Jesus our Lord,

Quote JM
I find it intriguing that you view worship of God as being directly involved with self-perception and ego-centricity, Barry. The question, in your mind, does not seem to be whether one is focussed on God vs. being focussed on oneself, but rather the accuracy of our self-focus and self-perception. In other words, you find nothing wrong with the idea that worship of God fundamentally involves self-awareness and, ultimately, self-worship. Is that close?
End quote.

Quote JM
Let's give further consideration to these things before pursuing the question of the "self-defined ego" further.
End quote.
Make up your mind JM. :)

Quote:
Ultimately, it is GOD'S "ego" and Mind that are of paramount importance. All else is resolved naturally within the framework of achieving full compatibility with Him.
End quote.

Gen 1:27 So God created man in his [own] image, IN THE IMAGE OF GOD CREATED HE HIM; male and female created he them.

Yes in the “knowledge of God” and not in the belief that God is on an ego trip and needs US to serve HIM for his own EGO BENEFIT. Where God is allegedly saying, “Believe in me so that I can really love you or I will kill you for not loving me”. This is man’s attempt to make God in man’s own self-defined self.

Rather it is God saying, “It is time to come in line with my thinking and my love.”

Quote.
We know, historically, that the gospel was not preached globally, on a planetary basis as a whole. Rather, the First Century apostles and evangelists preached the gospel throughout the Roman Empire of that day, to wherever the Jews of the Diaspora had been scattered and were living at that time. This Paul equates to the gospel being preached to the entire "world" and "every creature under heaven" hearing it.
End quote.

That is what I have been saying. [Read my posts about the geographical limits.] The Diaspora is attached to Israel’s geographical influential limits and outreach. But, you apparently are making the Gentiles in Act’s 17 Diaspora exclusive and THIS CANNOT BE DONE. Paul is not reaching the Diaspora by preaching to them in an EXCLUSIVE FASHION, rather he is effectually and affectionately reaching out to them by preaching to ALL MEN within the SPHERE OF ISRAEL’S INFLUENCE, to the Jew first and also to the Gentile. This is not the same thing.

The Diaspora is used as a springboard to reach out to “all men”.

There is not a one verses the other in the outreach to the Gentiles. There is a SIMULTANEOUS. Hence the weakness of you view here:
Quote:
Whether there were Gentiles listening to Paul's speech on Mars' Hill or not is really not the point, Barry.
End quote.

Act 17:16 and Paul waiting for them in Athens, his spirit was stirred in him, beholding THE CITY wholly GIVEN TO IDOLATRY,
Act 17:17 therefore, indeed, he was reasoning in the synagogue with the Jews, and with the worshipping persons, and in the market-place every day with those who met with him.
Act 17:18 And certain of the Epicurean and of the Stoic philosophers, were meeting together to see him, and some were saying, `What would this seed picker wish to say?' and others, `Of strange demons he doth seem to be an announcer;' because Jesus and the rising again he did proclaim to them as good news,
Act 17:19 having ALSO taken him, unto THE AREOPAGUS they brought [him], saying, `Are we able to know what [is] this new teaching that is spoken by thee,
Act 17:20 for certain strange things thou dost bring to our ears? WE WISH, then, to know what these things would wish to be;'
Act 17:21 AND ALL ATHENIANS, and the STRANGERS SOJOURNING, for nothing else were at leisure but to say something, and to hear some newer thing.
Act 17:22 And Paul, having stood IN THE MIDST of the Areopagus, said, `MEN, ATHENIANS, in all things I perceive you as over-religious;

Such was the world of Israel’s influence.

Rom 2:1 Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, WHOSOEVER THOU ART that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, THOU CONDEMNEST THYSELF; for thou that judgest doest the same things.
Rom 2:2 But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things.
Rom 2:3 And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt ESCAPE THE JUDGMENT OF GOD?
Rom 2:4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?
Rom 2:5 But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath AGAINST THE DAY OF WRATH AND REVELATION OF THE RIGHTEOUS JUDGMENT OF GOD;
Rom 2:6 Who will render to EVERY MAN according to his deeds:

Rom 2:9 Tribulation and anguish, upon EVERY SOUL OF MAN that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;
Rom 2:10 But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the JEW FIRST, and ALSO TO THE GENTILE:
Rom 2:11 For there is NO RESPECT OF PERSONS WITH GOD.
Rom 2:12 For AS MANY AS have sinned without law shall also PERISH without law: and AS MANY AS have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;
Rom 2:13 (For not the hearers of the law [are] just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.
Rom 2:14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:
Rom 2:15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their CONSCIENCE also bearing witness, and [their] thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)
Rom 2:16 IN THE DAY WHEN GOD SHALL JUDGE the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.

General observations:
Christ came WITHIN sectarianism to FINISH SECTARIANISM [as one would stand apart from or independent from another]. Christ came WITHIN ethnicity to FINISH WITH ETHNICITY [as one would stand apart or independent from another]. To bring the diversity of identity of “the natural” into a ONE WHOLE where the diversity lives in harmony as part of the whole in common value worth and love. First the natural and then the spiritual.
AND SUCH WAS THE ENDING OF THE TYPES AND FIGURES FROM ADAM.

The only reason for any of the sociological advancement we have made over the last 2000 years is in and due to, a growing CONSCIOUSNESS of COMMON WORTH AND VALUE. In such, stands ALL advancements in human rights.

IN which people do not “BECOME” or “OBTAIN” a value BUT RATHER “accept” it and learn to apply it.
We do not make Unity, we REALIZE IT.
And such was the “CALLING” of the covenant people. To spread the Good News of the then "at hand", "Kingdom of Heaven".

I am astounded at the LACK of Sovereignty that so many Christians have allotted THEIR God. Imagine a God that is not sovereign over his creation? And this in the name of “covenant”? I hope not. What a feeble “cross” IMV.

It is to confuse the means through which God works through with the fact that HE IS GOD!!
The God of Israel is the God of all. One’s own IGNORANCE does not change who God is. Nor can we say that only a select few are made in “God’s own image”.
And we give all this up when we make the salvation spoken of in the scriptures, equivalent to eternal security.

When one sees the true, “God of all”, then one’s LOVE FOR ALL will be an instrument of God. As it stands now Christendom [not all mind you] is trying to push the horses with the cart of self-importance.

2Cr 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that EXALTETH ITSELF AGAINST THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
2Cr 10:6 And having in A READINESS to REVENGE ALL DISOBEDIENCE, when YOUR OBEDIENCE IS FULFILLED.

Any comments are welcome.
Blessings Barry

we are all in this together

SuperSoulFighter's picture

Quote [JM]:
The question, in your mind, does not seem to be whether one is focussed on God vs. being focussed on oneself, but rather the accuracy of our self-focus and self-perception.
End quote.

[Barry]The two are inseparably linked together.

We can view our approach to faith and God as either a self-focussed process of self-realization and -actualization, Barry, or as an exercise in raising our own awareness of WHO GOD IS and what he requires of man. Our increased understanding of God's Mind and Will inevitably result (in most cases) in our deepened appreciation for His Person and a desire to be more like Him. He meets that desire with an enabling, empowering transformation thus making it possible for us to further pursue conformity to Him. Thus, the more our focus is on Him and who He is, the less we are focussed on ourselves and who we should be (or hope to become). The former is the truly healthy spiritual state God intended for man to enjoy, the latter is self-defeating, ultimately, and injurious to oneself.

In other words, there is no accuracy of self-perception apart from accuracy in our God-perception, that being our primary focus.

Your random citations of chunks of Scripture without accompanying explanation (according to your view), other than capitalized words, really do little to further clarify or substantiate your views, Barry. I really don't see how most of these texts (Gen. 3:5-6; 1Cor. 1:20-24; Matt. 3:2,9,10; 23:27; Gal. 2:18-20; Phil. 3:5,6; Heb. 6:1; 9:14; James 1:10,11; etc. etc.) pertain to the point you're attempting to make, above, other than that you seem to be implying that the "wisdom of this world" and "purge your conscience from dead works", etc. etc. all supposedly have some kind of universal application and implication where all of mankind is concerned. Is that what you're attempting to establish here? Because, if so, the context, actual language in those texts, and their inference do not support that understanding at all. There is a lack of coherence in your arguments, Barry. Perhaps you could be more specific and provide better exegetical commentary in support of your ideas. Thanks in advance!

Quote JM
I find it intriguing that you view worship of God as being directly involved with self-perception and ego-centricity, Barry. The question, in your mind, does not seem to be whether one is focussed on God vs. being focussed on oneself, but rather the accuracy of our self-focus and self-perception. In other words, you find nothing wrong with the idea that worship of God fundamentally involves self-awareness and, ultimately, self-worship. Is that close?
End quote.

Quote JM
Let's give further consideration to these things before pursuing the question of the "self-defined ego" further.
End quote.

[Barry]Make up your mind JM. :)

I DID make up my mind, Barry. I'd appreciate further clarification of your understanding of "all nations of the earth" in Scripture, before we explore the ideas involved with man's transformed ego and his ability to come to terms with it better as a result of Christ's accomplished work.

Yes in the “knowledge of God” and not in the belief that God is on an ego trip and needs US to serve HIM for his own EGO BENEFIT. Where God is allegedly saying, “Believe in me so that I can really love you or I will kill you for not loving me”. This is man’s attempt to make God in man’s own self-defined self.

Rather it is God saying, “It is time to come in line with my thinking and my love.”

Rather, it is God saying "conform to my thinking and my love - to ME - or face the inevitable, natural consequences [death]".

Since Acts 17 seems to form the bulk of your Scriptural argument at this point, I'm going to go through the context in that chapter carefully. Here's where we find out if your position holds water or not, Biblically.

16 Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him when he saw that the city was given over to idols. 17 Therefore he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and with the Gentile worshipers, and in the marketplace daily with those who happened to be there. 18 Then certain Epicurean and Stoic philosophers encountered him. And some said, “What does this babbler want to say?”
Others said, “He seems to be a proclaimer of foreign gods,” because he preached to them Jesus and the resurrection.

Let's start from the top here, Barry. WHY was Paul "provoked in his spirit when he saw that the city was given over to idols"? This was a city in a Gentile, pagan nation after all. We find the answer to that in the very next verse. He immediately went TO THE SYNAGOGUES, and reasoned with the worshippers there, both Jewish and Gentile. WHY? Because within the Old Covenant spiritual system and "world" governed the Mosaic Law (and represented by those synagogues), idolatry was big taboo. Big time. Thus, the devotees of the synagogues SHOULD have been extremely resistant to the idolatry of Athens. There should have been much less of it as a result of their influence. Instead, we find rampant idolatry. Implication? Very likely, those same devotees of Mosaic Judaism were also participants in the idolatry, along with the pagans. In fact, Romans 1 informs us that this was the case (more on that another time).

The Epicurean and Stoic philosophers were curious, of course, because Paul's revolutionary (to them) message clearly countered this rampant paganism among both those governed by the Mosaic Law and those who were supposed to be influenced by the OC Law-keepers. They wondered what sort of impact he was hoping to have on the OC Law-keepers with this message.

19 And they took him and brought him to the Areopagus, saying, “May we know what this new doctrine is of which you speak? 20 For you are bringing some strange things to our ears. Therefore we want to know what these things mean.” 21 For all the Athenians and the foreigners who were there spent their time in nothing else but either to tell or to hear some new thing.

Note that THEY brought PAUL to Mars' Hill to lecture them on the nature of the gospel message and its significance. Paul did NOT seek out this venue or audience himself.

22 Then Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, “Men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are very religious; 23 for as I was passing through and considering the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Therefore, the One whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you: 24 God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. 25 Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things. 26 And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, 27 so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us;

Paul begins by referencing the "Unknown God" worshipped by the Athenians and that God's - the God of Israel's - relationship to His Covenant People (vss. 24, 25 referencing the Temple and all items of worship associated with it). The "preappointed times" and "boundaries of their habitations" are direct references to the fore-ordained termination of the OC "world" of the Diaspora of those days, and the limits of that "world" which God had also pre-established.

28 for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’ 29 Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man’s devising. 30 Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, 31 because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.”

Within the purposes and plan of God, the OC People of that day existed and lived according to pre-established boundaries and principles, all culminating in an impending (in those days), catastrophic, apocalyptic termination of that "world". Paul's argument that they (the OC people) were God's "offspring" indicated that God had brought them into being for a specific purpose, as an intelligent, volitional act on His part. The repentance required by God involved a rejection of idolatry on the part of the OC People, and a return to faithful observance of God's Law outwardly AND inwardly. The NC gospel of grace provided the inward transformation necessary to achieve that ultimate conformity to, and fulfillment of, the Law according to its true, original intent. The "assurance to all" that was given by Christ's rising from the dead is a reference to the verification of the authenticity of the gospel to the JEWS/ISRAELITES who faced the transition from the Mosaic Law system to the NC grace system. THEY were the ones required to repent of their reliance upon that Mosaic Law for salvation, and, ultimately, their perversion of it (to the point that they even permitted idolatrous worship per the Athenian problem).

Paul's focus, throughout, is upon the Old Covenant "world" of that day and the need of its citizenry and devotees for repentance and deliverance from that system of bondage and corruption (in its perverted, First Century form).

Do you see how that passage breaks down, Barry? It's really not about an "all-inclusive" consideration of mankind's spiritual state on a universal basis and God's plan for transitioning all of mankind into a new state of being and relationship to Him. Rather, it all had to do with the dissemination of the gospel coupled with warnings concerning the impending, final, ultimate destruction of that OC Mosaic Law "world".

Romans 2 is a diatribe against the JEWS who rebelled against their God and His Law per the details of Romans 1:18-32. For better understanding of the context of Rom. 2, take a closer look at vss. 17-24.

Christ came WITHIN sectarianism to FINISH SECTARIANISM [as one would stand apart from or independent from another]. Christ came WITHIN ethnicity to FINISH WITH ETHNICITY [as one would stand apart or independent from another]. To bring the diversity of identity of “the natural” into a ONE WHOLE where the diversity lives in harmony as part of the whole in common value worth and love. First the natural and then the spiritual.
AND SUCH WAS THE ENDING OF THE TYPES AND FIGURES FROM ADAM.

This is a nice theory, Barry, but it really doesn't match the reality. Yes, WITHIN the Kingdom there is no longer any sectarianism or difference between "Jew" and "Greek". But there will ALWAYS be a distinction between the spiritual Israelites of the Kingdom of Heaven and the remainder of mankind. That's an eternal situation. I could direct you to numerous texts in this regard, but one of the better ones is found in Rev. 21:22-27, 22 But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23 The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light. 24 And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it. 25 Its gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there). 26 And they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it. 27 But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. The New Jerusalem - the heavenly City of Zion - sounds pretty exclusive to me, Barry. The capital City of the heavenly Kingdom only permits those whose names are in the Lamb's Book of Life entrance to it. Interesting, eh? That should tell you alot about the nature of that Kingdom and how non-inclusive and sectarian it really is. Here's another one for you:

14 Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. 15 But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie.
16 “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.”
17 And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.

Apart from partaking of the Water of Life by faith , at the invitation of the Spirit and Bride, there is no access to the Kingdom of heavenly City of Jerusalem, Barry. Without partaking of that Water and experiencing the transformation consciously and volitionally, you have no access. That's the reality as revealed in the Scriptures.

The only reason for any of the sociological advancement we have made over the last 2000 years is in and due to, a growing CONSCIOUSNESS of COMMON WORTH AND VALUE. In such, stands ALL advancements in human rights.

In reality, it is the strengthening of the eternal Kingdom of Heaven and its influence upon mankind that is the source of these advancements, Barry. The sociological evolution of Western man in particular is directly attributable to the unseen influence of the invisible, eternal Kingdom.

IN which people do not “BECOME” or “OBTAIN” a value BUT RATHER “accept” it and learn to apply it.
We do not make Unity, we REALIZE IT.
And such was the “CALLING” of the covenant people. To spread the Good News of the then "at hand", "Kingdom of Heaven".

The message was not that people were ALREADY in the Kingdom simply by virtue of their existence as human beings, but rather that they needed to COME to the Kingdom in FAITH and acceptance of Christ as God and King. People don't want accountability to God, Barry. People don't really trust God and don't want to know Him. This is the obstacle they must overcome in order to exercise faith in Him and gain entrance to the Kingdom as one of its citizenry. There is no such thing as default citizenship for all of mankind universally. Such an idea is a fanciful concoction not supported by the Scriptures at all.

I am astounded at the LACK of Sovereignty that so many Christians have allotted THEIR God. Imagine a God that is not sovereign over his creation? And this in the name of “covenant”? I hope not. What a feeble “cross” IMV.

God is sovereign over the principles of the natural creation sustaining this planet and all life on it. He is NOT "sovereign" in the sense of governance as divine Monarch over all of humanity. He only holds that position of authority over HIS PEOPLE, exclusively. And even over THEM (us), that sovereignty does not violate our free will/volitional independence/autonomy. God does not violate ANYONE'S autonomy (with the exception of the "elect" during the historical period governed by the Old Covenant). And if you think He does, or that the Scriptures indicate such to be the case, we have a whole different discussion to engage in. Never mind the nature of the "cross" in relation to mankind's involvement with the God of Israel. There is NO significance for mankind universally, where the "cross of Christ" is concerned. Get over it. Rip "The Old Rugged Cross" (along with some other hymns) from your hymnbook. It's blasphemy anyway, and anyone with an ounce of sense and understanding of the Scriptures should have realized that all along.

It is to confuse the means through which God works through with the fact that HE IS GOD!!
The God of Israel is the God of all. One’s own IGNORANCE does not change who God is. Nor can we say that only a select few are made in “God’s own image”.
And we give all this up when we make the salvation spoken of in the scriptures, equivalent to eternal security.

No, Barry, he is NOT the "God of all". He is the CREATOR of all, but He is only the God of those who worship and acknowledge Him as such, by faith. This was always the situation. Go back and check your Old Testament. The nations surrounding Old Covenant Israel had THEIR OWN "gods". Their "gods" were weaker and essentially impotent when in conflict with the God of Israel, but note the designation - YHWH was the God of ISRAEL, NOT the God of all of humanity. Note God's words to Moses in Exodus 6:6-8, "6 Therefore say to the children of Israel: ‘I am the LORD; I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, I will rescue you from their bondage, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments. 7 I will take you as My people, and I will be your God. Then you shall know that I am the LORD your God who brings you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. 8 And I will bring you into the land which I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and I will give it to you as a heritage: I am the LORD.’”

Note also Ex. 7:14-16, "4 So the LORD said to Moses: “Pharaoh’s heart is hard; he refuses to let the people go. 15 Go to Pharaoh in the morning, when he goes out to the water, and you shall stand by the river’s bank to meet him; and the rod which was turned to a serpent you shall take in your hand. 16 And you shall say to him, ‘The LORD God of the Hebrews has sent me to you, saying, “Let My people go, that they may serve Me in the wilderness”

Repeatedly, throughout the OT, God identifies Himself to the Israelites as "THEIR God". The God of the Hebrews. Very simply, Barry, your case holds no water, Biblically. It's not a Scriptural view and position. God's People and Kingdom will ALWAYS distinct and unique as a SUBSET within the human race. Always. Forever. Like the stars in the heavens surrounded by the darkness of space. Spiritually transformed citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven - Christians - shine in the spiritual darkness of the rest of the human race. We manifest the wisdom, love and grace of the God of Israel thus, in the glorious manner He always intended from the day He made His Covenant with Abraham, our spiritual forefather.

When one sees the true, “God of all”, then one’s LOVE FOR ALL will be an instrument of God. As it stands now Christendom [not all mind you] is trying to push the horses with the cart of self-importance.

We need to avoid cheapening and degrading the Kingdom to no more than an improved sense of self-worth and state of "higher consciousness". There is no valid basis for reducing the Kingdom to a simple state of acceptance of all of humanity as being of equal worth and significance to God. I understand the perceived need to adopt this mentality, Barry, but God is not that kind of God. You have invented a "god" who does not match the one revealed in the Bible as the God of Israel. The "love" you seek to express and envision everyone adopting is that of the Flower Power generation - NOT that governing the Kingdom of Heaven as revealed in the Word of God. We are NOT consumed with "self-importance". Rather, we glory in the unique, glorious, exclusive (and yet welcoming) eternal Kingdom of God. And most of all, we worship, honor and serve the God who reigns supreme within that Kingdom. We don't have a problem with your rejection of Him and His Kingdom if that's not what you're looking for, Barry. Everyone evolves to a spiritual state where they're prepared to accept these spiritual realities at their own pace. Take your time. Give it lots more study, prayer and consideration. No rush.

2Cr 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that EXALTETH ITSELF AGAINST THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
2Cr 10:6 And having in A READINESS to REVENGE ALL DISOBEDIENCE, when YOUR OBEDIENCE IS FULFILLED.

A great starting point for your further study would be to stop ripping texts like the one above out of its true context. Sound good? I hope so. Apart from handling the Scriptures with greater integrity, contextually speaking, your understanding of the Kingdom and God Himself will never improve, Barry. I certainly hope, for your own spiritual well-being and development, that you choose to do so.

Serving the Truth,

JM

Barry's picture

Hi again there JM. Sorry for the delay. Here are a few of my thoughts:

Quote:
No, Barry, he is NOT the "God of all". He is the CREATOR of all, but He is only the God of those who worship and acknowledge Him as such, by faith.
End quote.

Quote:
This is a nice theory, Barry, but it really doesn't match the reality. Yes, WITHIN the Kingdom there is no longer any sectarianism or difference between "Jew" and "Greek".
End quote.

I believe that there is a tendency to try and impose man’s ego on God.
Faith is for the benefit of the “created” NOT FOR the benefit of the Creator.
[And such relates very strongly to the fact that God does not dwell in temples made with hands.]
The One and Only that gives life to All IS THE GOD OF ALL?
Otherwise the “false gods” would not be called “dumb idols”. It is to confuse one’s ignorance with reality.
Those who had been converted in the transition of the ages knew that they were loved first. This however is something that they came to know and came to an understanding of.

When was Christ the “Lord” of Saul? ONLY WHEN Saul ACCEPTED him as Lord? No that simply would not work in this text.

Act 9:4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, SAUL, SAUL, WHY PERSECUTEST THOU ME?
Act 9:5 And he said, WHO ART THOU, LORD? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: [it is] hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
Act 9:6 And he TREMBLING AND ASTONISHED SAID, LORD, WHAT WILT THOU HAVE ME TO DO? And the Lord [said] unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee WHAT THOU MUST DO.

Paul did not know that he was speaking to his Lord and savior. But that is exactly who was speaking to him.

1Ti 1:13 Who WAS BEFORE A BLASPHEMER, and A PERSECUTOR, and INJURIOUS: but I obtained mercy, BECAUSE I DID [IT] IGNORANTLY IN UNBELIEF.
1Ti 1:14 And the GRACE of our Lord was EXCEEDING ABUNDANT with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
1Ti 1:15 This [is] a faithful saying, and worthy of ALL acceptation, THAT CHRIST JESUS CAME INTO THE WORLD TO SAVE SINNERS; of whom I AM CHIEF.

IF God was not THE “GOD of Saul” WHEN he was “ignorant” in “unbelief” then he could not be both God and Savior.
Saul did NOT become a “believer” because he heard Steven and repented! “Saul” became “Paul” because God OVERWHELMED Saul in his “IGNORANCE”!!

JM, there is often a tendency to put a lot of “faith” in man’s “free will” and thus MAN’S SOVEREIGNTY over THE IMAGE that he was CREATED IN as if man HIMSELF may DEFINE and establish HIS OWN IMAGE and thus IDENTITY.

"If I can separate myself from God then I can in that way, glory in my having faith and accepting him."
"If I can reject his love THEN I CAN HAVE CONTROL OVER IT."
"If I have CONTROL OVER GOD'S LOVE then he can love me BECAUSE OF how I have defined myself".
The self defined self, which stands in the CONDITIONAL LOVE of God, thinks in circular logic. It does so for the sake of SELF PRESERVATION. However, love without condition UNDERMINES IT (the self defined or humanly defined, ego construct).

1Jo 4:17 Herein is our love made perfect, THAT WE MAY HAVE BOLDNESS IN THE DAY OF JUDGMENT: because AS HE IS, so are we IN THIS WORLD.
1Jo 4:18 There is NO FEAR IN LOVE; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. HE THAT FEARETH IS NOT MADE PERFECT IN LOVE.
1Jo 4:19 We love him, BECAUSE HE FIRST LOVED US.
1Jo 4:20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?

And such was played out in the transition of the ages. The love of God was hidden from those of the self-defined “old” identity. That God would finish with the flesh once and for all in the REVELATION of the KNOWLEDGE OF GOD. And thus the passing away of types and figures from Adam.
It is clear that the typical full preterist cannot answer to the above text. As such it is a self contradicting text when read with a prêt eristic consistency, combined with an ongoing judgment mindset. So then some parts must be brought forth and other parts PLAYED DOWN.
Typically then verse 20 is pitted against verse 18. For in the mindset of the preterist, verse 20 cannot be subject to the time restraints of verse 18. For in the mind of the preterist such would then mean that we no longer need to love our brother. Because IN THE MIND of the typical Preterist one is still judged covenantally at post-mortem when one fails in love.

But their love was being made perfect so that they would have boldness IN THE DAY OF CHRIST. The time restraint for the giving of the crown of life and the reward, which was WITH HIM. The judgment of the end of the age is a time restraint the preterists often play with in a picking a choosing fashion.

The healing that is now afforded man is done so with no covenental Judgment in front of him. For the self defined self that stood in the precedence of types and figures from Adam is historically dealt with and finished with.
We love because HE first loved us remains true in its healing context but not as an election within the old world setting. Thus we have before us CONSEQUENCE, but not judgment. Just as the firstfruits who lived through into the new age entered into consequence having judgment behind them and having received their reward and the crown of life which no consequence could take away.
For no one and nothing could then ever resurrect Satan, or Death, or Sin (separation), or the law, or the types and figures.

God is sovereign OVER his own image. But one may not know who they are as truly loved ones, until they see their creator face to face through the perfect.

Christendom has historically been a very sectarian religion. But the true seeds have been there. And slowly common DIVINE WORTH and common DIVINE IMPORTANCE are beginning to be seen.
And it is just such that is slowly transforming society at large. And the impact is not at all from what you have presented as the gospel. For the differences that have taken place in the last 2000 years have not at all been from a common worth EXCLUSIVE TO BELIEVERS but a COMMON VALUE AND WORTH TO ALL. For which democracy itself is founded upon and stands upon. Which is seen in the constitution of many a country. Which is in the bill of rights (or their equivalents) of many a country now.
For a common WORTH and common ONENESS and INTERCONNECTEDNESS exclusive within the so-called true believer CANNOT TRANSFORM SOCIETY AT LARGE. In this you have an inherent contradiction. Claiming an outward influence, which you say, is not inclusive toward the outward.
There have been neither Jew nor Greek for 2000 years now. It is that not everyone realizes this truth, yet.

And here we are seeing such before our very eyes. The interconnectedness as seen in modern travel, printing press, Internet, instant translation, global social awareness and so on. The growing pressure for human rights based on A COMMON SHARED WORTH and value. But it is just the beginning in our new beginning because everything was being made new to establish this new beginning.

Eph 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
Eph 2:14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath BROKEN DOWN THE MIDDLE WALL OF PARTITION [between us];
Eph 2:15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, [even] THE LAW OF COMMANDMENTS [CONTAINED] IN ORDINANCES; FOR TO MAKE IN HIMSELF OF TWAIN ONE NEW MAN, [SO] MAKING PEACE;

If such were true in the sense of inclusion in Christ in the transition of the ages, then how could there now be “Jew and Greek” once the law passes away?
Did the types and figures pass away for the believer only?

If THE LAW OF COMMANDMENTS [CONTAINED] IN ORDINANCES was the “enmity” between Jew and Gentile then how is it that you maintain the “enmity” once the law passes away in the end of the age?

As I said, Christ came within sectarianism to finish with sectarianism (as one would determine diversity as determinative of divine separation and divine worth).

Quote:
Romans 2 is a diatribe against the JEWS who rebelled against their God and His Law per the details of Romans 1:18-32. For better understanding of the context of Rom. 2, take a closer look at vss. 17-24.
End quote.

Rom 3:9 What then? are we better [than they]? No, in no wise: for WE HAVE BEFORE PROVED BOTH JEWS AND GENTILES, that THEY ARE ALL UNDER SIN;
Rom 3:10 As it is written, There IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NO, NOT ONE:

Rom 3:19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
Rom 3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall NO FLESH be justified in his sight: for by the law [is] the knowledge of sin.
Rom 3:21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
Rom 3:22 Even the righteousness of God [which is] by faith of Jesus Christ UNTO ALL AND UPON ALL THEM THAT BELIEVE: for there IS NO DIFFERENCE:
Rom 3:23 For ALL HAVE SINNED, and COME SHORT OF THE GLORY OF GOD;

Now when did Paul PROVE that both Jew and Gentles were sinners? Chapter 2 of course.

JM apparently you are just a one small step away from saying that ALL THE CONVERTED GENTILES WERE ALL DIASPORA. If that is what you are getting at then just say it so we can deal with it from there.
For if you maintain that the “Gentile” in Romans 3:9 is exclusive to the Diaspora then that is basically where you are headed IMHO.

Rom 1:13 Now I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that oftentimes I purposed to come unto you, (but was let hitherto,) that I might have some fruit among you also, EVEN AS AMONG OTHER GENTILES.
Rom 1:14 I am debtor both to THE GREEKS, and TO THE BARBARIANS; both TO THE WISE, and TO THE UNWISE.
Rom 1:15 So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome ALSO.

Gal 2:2 And I went up by revelation, and COMMUNICATED UNTO THEM THAT GOSPEL WHICH I PREACH AMONG THE GENTILES, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain.
Gal 2:3 But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised:

Gal 2:6 But of these who seemed to be somewhat, (whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me: GOD ACCEPTETH NO MAN'S PERSON:) for they who SEEMED [TO BE SOMEWHAT] in conference ADDED NOTHING TO ME:
Gal 2:7 But CONTRARIWISE, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as [the gospel] of the circumcision [was] unto Peter;
Gal 2:8 (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was MIGHTY in me TOWARD THE GENTILES:)

Gal 6:9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in DUE SEASON WE SHALL REAP, if we faint not.
Gal 6:10 As we have therefore opportunity, LET US DO GOOD UNTO ALL [men], especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

The Gentile outreach was toward an “all” as implied by their DOING WELL TOWARD ALL. In now way is such a Diaspora exclusivity.

SHORT STUDY IN 1 CORINTHIANS:

What was headed up in the old covenant chosen people IS DESCRIPTIVE OF ALL SELF-DEFINING IN ALL.
1Cr 1:12 Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I AM OF Paul; and I OF Apollos; and I OF Cephas; and I OF Christ.

1Cr 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to THEM THAT PERISH FOOLISHNESS; but unto us WHICH ARE SAVED it is the power of God.
The tenses here are “perishing” and “being saved”.

1Cr 1:19 For it is written, I will DESTROY THE WISDOM OF THE WISE, and will BRING TO NOTHING the understanding of the prudent.
1Cr 1:20 Where [is] the wise? where [is] the scribe? where [is] the DISPUTER OF THIS WORLD? hath not God made foolish the WISDOM OF THIS WORLD?

We have thus far a clear indication of that which these “CALLED OUT” ones were called out OF. That being from the WISDOM OF THAT WORLD and THAT AGE as seen in BOTH Jew and GREEK.

1Cr 1:21 For after that in the wisdom of God THE WORLD BY WISDOM KNEW NOT GOD, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.
1Cr 1:22 For the JEWS REQUIRE A SIGN, and the GREEKS SEEK AFTER WISDOM:

God’s PLAN and thus WHAT PLEASED HIM to show himself to the “world” INCLUDED THE GREEKS in THAT WORLD and in THAT AGE.
This COMPLETELY CONTRADICTS THE EXCLUSIVITY THAT YOU HAVE FORCED UPON THE SCRIPTURES to maintain your view of a SECTARIAN God.

1Cr 1:23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the JEWS a stumblingblock, and unto the GREEKS foolishness;
1Cr 1:24 But unto them which are called, BOTH JEWS AND GREEKS, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.
Being BOTH “called out” of THAT WORLD and THAT AGE.
For you do not have the old covenant people heading up a comprehensive problem from Adam, but rather a forced exclusivity with no outward function toward humanity at large.

1Cr 1:28 And BASE THINGS OF THE WORLD, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, [yea], and things which are not, to BRING TO NOUGHT THINGS THAT ARE:
1Cr 1:29 That NO FLESH should glory in his presence.

And you cannot get SUCH BASE THINGS TO BE ISRAEL EXCLUSIVE. You can only get such things as Israel “headed up”.

1Cr 2:4 And my speech and my preaching [was] not with enticing words OF MAN'S WISDOM, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:
1Cr 2:5 That your faith should not stand in the WISDOM OF MEN, but in the power of God.
1Cr 2:6 Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet NOT THE WISDOM OF THIS WORLD, nor of THE PRINCES OF THIS WORLD, that COME TO NOUGHT: {Correct tense is “coming to nothing”}
1Cr 2:7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, [even] the hidden [wisdom], which God ordained before the world unto our glory:
1Cr 2:8 Which none of the PRINCES OF THIS WORLD knew: for had they known [it], they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

The rulers of that age are the old covenant rulers. They ruled through the precedence of types and figures over a comprehensive problem. Paul is clearly addressing the problem from how it is HEADED UP in the OLD COVENANT CHOSEN PEOPLE, but not to the exclusion of the problem in general and how it was manifested among the Greeks and all those who were called out of that “world” IN ITS LARGER SCOPE.

1Cr 2:12 Now we have received, NOT the SPIRIT OF THE WORLD, but the spirit which is of God; that we might KNOW the things that are FREELY GIVEN TO US OF GOD.
1Cr 2:13 WHICH THINGS ALSO WE SPEAK, not in the words which MAN'S WISDOM TEACHETH, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
1Cr 2:14 But the NATURAL MAN receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know [them], because they are spiritually discerned.
1Cr 2:15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself IS JUDGED OF NO MAN.
1Cr 2:16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

The natural man is headed up and defined in the old covenant chosen people. But is indicative of a larger “NATURAL” STATE FROM ADAM.

1Cr 3:3 For ye are YET CARNAL: for whereas [there is] among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and WALK AS MEN?
1Cr 3:4 For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I [am] of Apollos; are ye not carnal?
1Cr 3:5 Who then is Paul, and who [is] Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?
1Cr 3:6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.
1Cr 3:7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.

1Cr 3:18 Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise IN THIS WORLD, let him become a fool, that he may be wise.
1Cr 3:19 For the WISDOM OF THIS WORLD is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.
1Cr 3:20 And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain.

1Cr 4:6 And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and [to] Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think [of men] ABOVE THAT WHICH IS WRITTEN, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another.
1Cr 4:7 For who maketh thee to differ [from another]? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive [it], WHY DOST THOU GLORY, AS IF THOU HADST NOT RECEIVED [IT]?

1Cr 5:1 It is reported commonly [that there is] fornication among you, and such fornication AS IS NOT SO MUCH AS NAMED AMONG THE GENTILES, that one should have his father's wife. {IE not named among the unbelieving Gentiles}
1Cr 5:2 And YE ARE PUFFED UP, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you.
1Cr 5:3 For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, [concerning] him that hath so done this deed,
1Cr 5:4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,
1Cr 5:5 To deliver such an one unto Satan for THE DESTRUCTION OF THE FLESH, that the SPIRIT MAY BE SAVED in the DAY OF THE LORD JESUS.

Judgment is being brought to the Gentiles.

Quote.
Let's start from the top here, Barry. WHY was Paul "provoked in his spirit when he saw that the city was given over to idols"? This was a city in a Gentile, pagan nation after all. We find the answer to that in the very next verse. He immediately went TO THE SYNAGOGUES, and reasoned with the worshippers there, both Jewish and Gentile. WHY? Because within the Old Covenant spiritual system and "world" governed the Mosaic Law (and represented by those synagogues), idolatry was big taboo. Big time. Thus, the devotees of the synagogues SHOULD have been extremely resistant to the idolatry of Athens. There should have been much less of it as a result of their influence. Instead, we find rampant idolatry. Implication? Very likely, those same devotees of Mosaic Judaism were also participants in the idolatry, along with the pagans.
End Quote.

You seem to be implying two different things JM.
Quote:
WHY was Paul "provoked in his spirit when he saw that the city was given over to idols"? This was a city in a Gentile, pagan nation after all.
End quote.

So if there were no synagogue then Paul would not have had any reason to be "provoked in his spirit when he saw that the city was given over to idols"? Did I get that inference right? “This was a city in a Gentile, pagan nation after all.”

And yet because there was a synagogue there SHOULD HAVE BEEN LESS IDOLATRY IN THIS CITY in a “Gentile, pagan nation” which nevertheless caused Paul to be “provoked in his spirit”. If this is your point you cannot have it both ways.

I do realize what you are saying about the influence of the Jews. In principle I accept it. However you seem to be distancing the text from Paul’s REAL REASON for being "provoked in his spirit”. Which was simply THE CONDITION OF THIS CITY AS A WHOLE. And such in reference to and with his mission to the Gentiles.

For which OF COURSE was to the Jew FIRST and also to the Gentile. Paul would not do anything different.

Quote.
The Epicurean and Stoic philosophers were curious, of course, because Paul's revolutionary (to them) message clearly countered this rampant paganism among both those governed by the Mosaic Law and those who were supposed to be influenced by the OC Law-keepers. They wondered what sort of impact he was hoping to have on the OC Law-keepers with this message.
End quote.

Quote:
Within the purposes and plan of God, the OC People of that day existed and lived according to pre-established boundaries and principles, all culminating in an impending (in those days), catastrophic, apocalyptic termination of that "world". Paul's argument that they (the OC people) were God's "offspring" indicated that God had brought them into being for a specific purpose, as an intelligent, volitional act on His part. The repentance required by God involved a rejection of idolatry on the part of the OC People, and a return to faithful observance of God's Law outwardly AND inwardly.
End quote.

Act 17:28 For in him WE LIVE, and move, and have OUR BEING; as certain also of YOUR OWN POETS have said, For WE ARE ALSO HIS OFFSPRING.
Act 17:29 Forasmuch then as WE ARE THE OFFSPRING OF GOD, WE OUGHT NOT to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and MAN'S DEVICE.

Dan 5:22 And thou his son, O Belshazzar, hast not humbled thine heart, though thou knewest all this;
an
5:23 But hast lifted up thyself against the Lord of heaven; and they have brought the vessels of his house before thee, and thou, and thy lords, thy wives, and thy concubines, have drunk wine in them; and thou hast praised the gods of silver, and gold, of brass, iron, wood, and stone, WHICH SEE NOT, NOR HEAR, NOR KNOW: AND THE GOD IN WHOSE HAND THY BREATH [IS], AND WHOSE [ARE] ALL THY WAYS, hast thou not glorified:

Job 12:10 Jay P Green literal.
10) In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, AND THE BREATH OF ALL FLESH OF MAN?

Epimenides: [quoted twice by Paul, Caps are my emphasis]
"They fashioned a tomb for thee, O holy and high one—
The Cretans, always liars, evil beasts, idle bellies!
But thou art not dead: thou livest and abidest forever,
For in thee WE LIVE AND MOVE AND HAVE OUR BEING.”

PHAENOMENA, TRANSLATED BY G. R. MAIR [caps are my emphasis]
[1] From Zeus let us begin; him do we mortals never leave unnamed; full of Zeus are all the streets and all the market-places of men; full is the sea and the havens thereof; always we all have need of Zeus. FOR WE ARE ALSO HIS OFFSPRING; and he in his kindness unto men giveth favourable signs and wakeneth the people to work, reminding them of livelihood.

Cleanthus hymn to Jupiter. [caps are my emphasis]
With Jove we must begin; nor from him rove; Him always praise, for all is full of Jove! He fills all places where mankind resort, The wide-spread sea, with every shelt'ring port. Jove's presence fills all space, upholds this ball; All need his aid; his power sustains us all. FOR WE HIS OFFSPRING ARE; and he in love Points out to man his labour from above: Where signs unerring show when best the soil, By well-timed culture, shall repay our toil, etc.

Paul is not establishing a point for point doctrinal acceptance of what their poets had said but rather is claiming that THEY GOT THIS POINT CORRECT as per Jehovah.

This is pretty much a “word for word” quote from ARATUS. Now unless “Aratus” was himself SPEAKING OF DIASPORA ISRAELITES and Epimenides was SPEAKING OF DIASPORA ISRAELITES then you points are mute.

For Paul is speaking on the basis of God is Creator of all.
Paul’s points are inescapable. He speaks of “offspring” of THE ONE AND ONLY TRUE God of ALL MEN THAT have BREATH of life.
For which both THEIR OWN POETS indicated and the “WRITINGS” OF THE HEBREWS.

Quote:
Your random citations of chunks of Scripture without accompanying explanation (according to your view), other than capitalized words, really do little to further clarify or substantiate your views, Barry. I really don't see how most of these texts (Gen. 3:5-6; 1Cor. 1:20-24; Matt. 3:2,9,10; 23:27; Gal. 2:18-20; Phil. 3:5,6; Heb. 6:1; 9:14; James 1:10,11; etc. etc.) pertain to the point you're attempting to make, above, other than that you seem to be implying that the "wisdom of this world" and "purge your conscience from dead works", etc. etc. all supposedly have some kind of universal application and implication where all of mankind is concerned. Is that what you're attempting to establish here? Because, if so, the context, actual language in those texts, and their inference do not support that understanding at all. There is a lack of coherence in your arguments, Barry. Perhaps you could be more specific and provide better exegetical commentary in support of your ideas. Thanks in advance!
End Qutoe.

Gen 1:27 So God created man in his [own] image, IN THE IMAGE OF GOD CREATED HE HIM; male and female CREATED HE THEM.

Gen 3:5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and YE SHALL BE AS GODS, KNOWING good and evil.
Gen 3:6 And when the woman saw that the tree [was] GOOD FOR FOOD, and that it [was] PLEASANT TO THE EYES, and a tree to be DESIRED TO MAKE [ONE] WISE, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

The subject matter here is to define one’s self FOR ONE’S SELF. To seek out an INDEPENDENT “IDENTITY” for one’s self. Hence the falsehood that man can make himself in his own independently defined image and identity.

What Christ as the express image of God did not do:
“IF THOU BE the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.”
“IF THOU BE the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written,”

The temptation of Satan was to self define for one’s self. Hence the meaning:
“But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.”
And so then:

Mat 16:24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any [man] will come after me, LET HIM DENY HIMSELF, and take up his CROSS, and FOLLOW ME.
Mat 16:25 For whosoever will SAVE HIS LIFE SHALL LOSE IT: and whosoever will LOSE HIS LIFE for my sake SHALL FIND IT.

Luk 9:23 And he said to [them] all, If any [man] will come after me, LET HIM DENY HIMSELF, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
Luk 9:24 For whosoever will SAVE HIS LIFE SHALL LOSE IT: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, THE SAME SHALL SAVE IT.

Jhn 12:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.
Jhn 12:25 He that LOVETH HIS LIFE SHALL LOSE IT; and he THAT HATETH HIS LIFE IN THIS WORLD shall keep it unto life eternal.

As seen in repentance:
Gal 2:18 For if I BUILD AGAIN the things which I destroyed, I MAKE MYSELF A TRANSGRESSOR.
Gal 2:19 For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.
Gal 2:20 I AM CRUCIFIED WITH CHRIST: nevertheless I live; YET NOT I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

In all the above texts it is clear that the person themselves as a human being as we commonly think of it in our western mind set is not in view. Rather it is “an identity” that is attached TO THAT AGE that is in view.
Hence the result in Paul in the transition of the ages, “nevertheless I LIVE; yet NOT I”.
How did one then “lose his soul to find it”?
It was that “soul-life” identity that was attached to THAT WORLD that is in question. For what does it profit a man to gain the WHOLE WORLD and lose his soul? As one found themselves defining themselves through that world. One would try and gain all that one could in that world. Hence “whose god is their belly”. As related to the precedence of types and figures.

Jam 1:10 But the rich, in that he is made low: because AS THE FLOWER OF THE GRASS he shall PASS AWAY.
Jam 1:11 For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withereth the grass, and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of THE FASHION OF IT PERISHETH: SO ALSO shall the rich man fade away IN HIS WAYS.

Notice in what WAY the “rich” one would PASS AWAY and thus when [Jam. 1:18 firstfruits imminence time restraint] the rich one would pass away or fade away.
He passes away in his being “made low”. “The first shall be the last.” It is in his ways that he fades away in the end of the age. The sun rising is representative of the full light of the kingdom of heaven in Christ.
It is this “identity” of himself that passes away. In “his ways” that are attached to “that age”.

Mat 3:2 And saying, REPENT YE: for the KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS AT HAND.
Mat 3:9 And THINK NOT TO SAY WITHIN YOURSELVES, We have Abraham to [our] father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.
Mat 3:10 And now also the AXE IS LAID UNTO THE ROOT OF THE TREES: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

“Think not to say within yourselves”.

Phl 3:5 CIRCUMCISED the eighth day, of the STOCK OF ISRAEL, [of] the TRIBE OF BENJAMIN, an HEBREW OF THE HEBREWS; as touching THE LAW, a Pharisee;
Phl 3:6 Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in THE LAW, blameless.

Hbr 6:1 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of REPENTANCE FROM DEAD WORKS, and of faith toward God,
Hbr 9:14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, PURGE YOUR CONSCIENCE FROM DEAD WORKS to serve the living God?

What plagued the conscience of man especially as headed up in the old covenant chosen people, was defining one’s self for one’s self. Thus covering one’s self through the works of this identity crises. As such then a “confidence in the flesh”. A confidence in an INDEPENDENT HUMAN POTENTIAL to be able to successfully be able to DEFINE ONE’S SELF THROUGH SUCH MEANS. As headed up in the old covenant identity, that found precedence in types and figures, “of the STOCK OF ISRAEL, [of] the TRIBE OF BENJAMIN, an HEBREW OF THE HEBREWS”. And so then “as touching THE LAW, a Pharisee”.
And so then a need in the transition of the ages for those who would then “serve the living God” to have a REPENTANCE FROM DEAD WORKS.

Mat 22:35 Then one of them, [which was] a lawyer, asked [him a question], tempting him, and saying,
Mat 22:36 Master, which [is] the great commandment in the law?
Mat 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
Mat 22:38 This is the first and great commandment.
Mat 22:39 And THE SECOND [IS] LIKE UNTO IT, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Mat 22:40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

WHY is “the second [is] like unto it”?
What limits have we now drawn in our own, “who is our neighbor?”

We are all in this together.
IMHO the more that realize this truth then the faster changes will come.

Blessings Barry

we are all in this together

SuperSoulFighter's picture

Thanks for the lengthy response, Barry. Due to the length of these comments, I won't be able to respond immediately to these thoughts. I've been putting in some extra-long OT shifts at work which has really cut into my response opportunities here. But I hope to get back to you on these things Wednesday.

Till then!

John

SuperSoulFighter's picture

I did not say that you were JM. I did mirror back to Tim, a little of his own tone. And then just a little. [Even you had to part ways with the way he used the “children of Satan” card.]

I realize your statement wasn't directed at me, Barry, but since Tim's position was quite close to mine, by extension I felt that it could be seen as applicable to my own view as well. And yes, I don't agree with Tim's usage of that phrase in relation to non-Covenantal people. But that's a bit of a side-issue here.

JM, several times you speak of my universalizing texts. That is indeed a bit of a presumption and overgeneralization. The thrust of my post was not to prove a universalizing of the text but rather to prove a time frame and time restraint. You are correct however that I come to universal conclusions. But I do recognize that many scriptures are focusing on how that “world” was headed up. Wherein covenant was always for an outward benefit and impact.

Yes, Barry, your statements did not explicitly express a universalizing treatment of the Scriptures in question necessarily, but the underlying, implicit intent (as I understood it from other comments and posts you've made in relation to this subject) was present. I was responding more to that intent and the direction you were headed with this.

Perhaps you could explain further what you mean by the Old Covenant "world" being "headed up" a certain way, and how the Old Covenant was intended to have an "outward benefit and impact" exclusively.

We do however have a covenant God that is God of all.

"Creator of all" does not equate to "God of all", Barry. Those who refuse to acknowledge Him as God - or His very existence - are not governed in any way by His Godhood. Those who do not worship Him as God have no relationship to Him whatsoever. The God of the Bible is the God of Israel - not the God of all mankind.

JM, IMV what I’ve seen so far in your post here is the very common physical verses spiritual dichotomy. Permit me to carry on in this line of presumption for just a moment please.
Usually this equates the term “natural” with “physical”. Often it creates an escapism mentality. Like the physical world is a God created “trap” or “prison” and now we have to find a way out. Most religions do this. Most so called Preterists do this to the extent that they hold onto annihilation or ECT in what becomes then a partial preisterist post mortem futurism as on going postmortem REPLACES the end of the age judgment in scripture. Futurism does it, Reincarnation often does it, Buddhism comes very close, and so on.

This line of reasoning could be developed a little further for the sake of clarity, Barry, but I think what you're getting at is that the contrast between Old Covenant, Physical Israel and New Covenant Spiritual Israel is not necessarily an adequate expression of the covenantal realities in Scripture, in your view. You interpret the progression of the redemptive process in terms of an "age transition" with certain psychological and spiritual outcomes for mankind as a whole rather than specific results pertaining primarily to Israel. Am I following your line of reasoning here more or less?

“Man shall not live by bread alone”. Does not attempt to define life or “live” in a dichotomy or dualism but as a “whole” or “wellness” or “healed” and thus completed state for man to live in and as. “Man” was in need of “healing”. How we define that healing becomes another side discussion. :)

Thus the “natural man” had NOT a physical problem but an EXCLUSIVITY problem.
That which passed away and was thrown down in AD 70 what not representative of the physical but rather of the “ego”. The temple “made with hands”. The egocentric view that God can be served through human potential. Thus making God in our own image in the exclusivity of the natural “mind set”. Thus, why “types and figures” were given in the first place.

It's entertaining and sometimes even thought-provoking to engage in all kinds of speculative psychology in relation to spiritual scenarios and their historical basis. We could banter back and forth about the need for inner "healing" and the role of the "ego" in relation to the "types and shadows/figures" spiritual economy pre-70 AD vs. the post-70 AD age in which we now live. But what we really need is to inform our understanding of God's plan of redemption of His People via interaction with His Word, Barry. Speculative assessments with no clear, Scriptural basis, fall short of meeting the need for a deeper understanding of God's Truth.

The First Century Israelites/Jews (and their predecessors) didn't need "healing", per se. They needed repentance, faith, redemption and reconciliation with their God. They needed salvation and eternal life. These are Scriptural terms which more accurately and clearly express the true nature of their dilemma.

The "exlusivity problem" that the Israelites and Jews of the Old Covenant world had was not really of their own devising. Rather, their God had specifically instructed them as to how they were to maintain a distinction between themselves as a People and the surrounding peoples/nations. Likewise, the God of Israel established a priesthood ("the heavens") and a "laity" ("the earth"). There was an "exclusive" nature to these class distinctions and it was legitimate, according to the legal, governmental and systemic structure established by the God of Israel.

"Types and figures" were provided to a primitive desert people to illustrate visually, graphically and dramatically (since most of them were illiterate) certain key truths concerning their God and His relationship to them. These truths were not self-apparent, nor were they accessible via nature alone. They were revelatory truths.

The weakness of the Old Covenant Law system is that it tended to prompt people towards a self-righteous, legalistic mindset as a means of pleasing God. Those who were able to transcend this tendency and, by faith, respond to God Himself (and His People) according to the intent of His Law were His special People - true Israel, the "household of faith".

This problem was not unique to Israel. All of the offspring were told to repent. Just as Israel was set apart from all other peoples they headed up the problem of all other peoples.

I have a real problem with the identification of all of humanity as God's "offspring". The very fact that Israel was "set apart" from all other peoples indicates that the intention was not for them to "head up the problem [unidentified at present]" for all other peoples. Rather, they had their own, unique problems in relation to their own, unique Covenant with their God. God's intention was to illustrate to the rest of humanity - via Israel as his "showpiece nation" - the potential for loving, glorious, harmonious relationship with Him and each other within a Covenantal situation. Of course, God knew that the Old Covenant was imperfect from the outset - sort of a "beta version" or "beta release" of the ultimate, perfected, "debugged", final Covenant Kingdom. Thus, He blueprinted "the end from the beginning" of the OC Nation's history. He pre-drafted their entire history as a People from beginning to end, Himself being the "Alpha and Omega" of their "world".

One can argue the there being set apart was local. And it was.
One can argue that their influence over other peoples was local, and it was.
Once can argue that the “world” of that influence had geographical limits, and it did.
Sufficient was this however to show forth a comprehensive solution by way of an historical revelation.

The "comprehensive solution" was likewise localized and demographically limited to the Covenant People of God. "Comprehensive" does not equate to "universal". Just thought I'd clarify that point at this juncture.

In relation to Acts 17:22-27, you made this comment: NOW YOU CAN PLACE TERMS LIKE “ONE BLOOD” AND “ON THE FACE OF THE EARTH” IN A COVENANTAL FRAMEWORK, BUT YOU CANNOT DO IT TO THE EXCLUSION OF EVERYONE THAT HIS IS TALKING TOO. Both Jew and Gentile.

Since Paul is clearly speaking to Jewish/Israelite Covenant realities using language exclusive to THEIR "world", the true intent of his speech was directed toward them (i.e. the Jews among his listeners on Mars' Hill) and the approaching "day of judgment" upon THEIR "Covenantal world". As we know, God did not view the Jews and Gentiles as "one blood". We see this evidenced repeatedly throughout the OT. We see this particularly in God's genealogical requirements of the priesthood, in Neh. 7:64, but also in His preservation of the genealogies of His Chosen People in various places in the OT.

Act 17:28 For in him WE LIVE, and move, and have OUR BEING; as certain also of YOUR OWN POETS have said, For WE ARE ALSO HIS OFFSPRING.
Act 17:29 Forasmuch then as WE ARE THE OFFSPRING OF GOD, WE OUGHT NOT to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and MAN'S DEVICE.
Act 17:30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth ALL MEN EVERY WHERE TO REPENT:
Act 17:31 Because he hath APPOINTED A DAY, in the which he will JUDGE THE WORLD IN RIGHTEOUSNESS by [that] man whom he hath ordained; [whereof] he hath given assurance UNTO ALL [men], in that he hath raised him from the dead.

I agree that this is limited to the sphere of Israel’s influence as an outworking. But this is perfectly in line with Israel’s priestly application. The all men within its influence represent all men in totality.
The Gentiles were comprehensively judged in the day of the Lord at the end of the age. This is what Paul is saying.

I can see where you derive the idea that all of mankind are the "offspring of God", Barry. Unfortunately, the NT usage of terms like "appointed times" and "appointed a day" and the "judgment of the world" all involve the termination of the Old Covenant societal system and civilization. This was spread throughout the Diaspora and encompassing all Jews and Israelites. Their influence on the rest of the population within which they were immersed was, of course, recognized.

The assurance of Christ's "rising from the dead" had no bearing upon - or relevance to - all of humanity (Acts 17:31), directly. Likewise, the coming judgment upon the OC "world" would necessarily have an impact on the Gentile population - the Roman armies would be used by God to destroy the OC "world" in fact - but the "day of judgment" was upon that OC "world", not the rest of humanity. Thus, when we read seemingly all-inclusive, universal terms like "all nations of men who dwell upon the face of the earth" or "hath given assurance unto all [men]", we need to understand that Paul was speaking within the OC world's limited frame of reference.

I agree that this is limited to the sphere of Israel’s influence as an outworking. But this is perfectly in line with Israel’s priestly application. The all men within its influence represent all men in totality.
The Gentiles were comprehensively judged in the day of the Lord at the end of the age. This is what Paul is saying.

How were the Gentiles "comprehensively judged" in the day of the Lord at the end of the age? How were the Goths, Celts, Picts, etc. etc. judged at that day? The day of judgment was exclusive, rather, to those committed to abiding by - and being governed by - the Old, Mosaic Covenant. The Gentiles made no such agreement with the God of Israel, nor were they held accountable to that Covenant.

I'll respond to the remainder of your comments later, Barry. You make some interesting points, but I honestly don't see Scriptural validity or substance in the position you're taking here.

JM

tom-g's picture

Hey John,

I hope that others may also come forward with an exegesis that would represent the view you express in your statement:

"“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” It has been routinely assumed that this reference to God’s love for the “world” and the usage of the seemingly all-inclusive “whosoever” confirm the universal nature of the gospel, and its relevance for all of mankind. Certainly, a cursory reading of this text would seem to prompt such a conclusion."

Thanks John
Tom

SuperSoulFighter's picture

You're welcome, Tom!

Just out of curiosity...do you, then, agree with the overall perspective presented in this article?

tom-g's picture

No, John IMO I don't, but I will have to wait for someone else to present that alternate view.

Tom

SuperSoulFighter's picture

Okay, Tom! I can accept that forthright response! Thanks for considering my viewpoint in this area anyway!

As long as we are both seeking to honor God's original intent (as established by the context) in our handling of the Biblical text, then we have a common "meeting ground" for further dialogue.

John

tom-g's picture

Thanks

davo's picture

In saying this, I do not mean to suggest that the First Century gospel was not instrumental in bringing an eternal “cosmos” into being which has universal, eternal ramifications and involvement with mankind as a whole. But the gospel texts so commonly used to support modern evangelistic efforts and “gospel preaching” are, as has been demonstrated above, wrested out of their context and made to mean something never intended.Yes John… and such being the case that not every "all" means all inclusive and not every "world" means humanity in toto – BUT such being the case in juxtaposition quite clearly in the Scriptures there are place where both terms ARE far reaching and all inclusive – and this I believe is how this works:

Jn 3:16-17 For God so loved Israel that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever of Israel believes in Him should not perish in the Parousia but find life into the age about to come. For God did not send His Son into Israel to condemn Israel, but that Israel through Him might be delivered.

Thus as you pointed out "world" in THIS context fits accordingly with Israel. We know too that the gospel went out into "all [inclusively as they understood it] the world" – again, inclusively as they understood it to be BEYOND the confines of Israel's world. Now THIS "world" Paul makes clear was distinct from Israel's covenantal world, though directly and purposely divinely affected by it:

Rom 11:12, 15 Now if their [Israel's] fall is riches for the world [humanity], and their [Israel's] failure riches for the Gentiles [first-fruit saints Act 13:48; 15:14, 17], how much more their [Israel's] fullness!
For if their [Israel's] being cast away [by God] IS the reconciling of the world [humanity], what will their [Israel's] acceptance [by God] be but life from the dead?

There is just NO WAY "the world" in THIS context can be whittled away to less than the world of ALL mankind beyond Israel's world. Israel's resurrection i.e., redemption brought LIFE to the world. Thus as you pointed out above, this is HOW as I see it God used Israel as an: "instrumental in bringing an eternal “cosmos” into being which has universal, eternal ramifications and involvement with mankind as a whole." Or as Jesus said: "…for salvation is of the Jews".

davo

SuperSoulFighter's picture

Hi, Dave! I've been reviewing your material at pantelism.com and hope to have my article examining the pantelist viewpoint completed very soon. It's been very interesting, analyzing the relevant Scriptures in relation to your understanding of them in this context.

Rom 11:12, 15 Now if their [Israel's] fall is riches for the world [humanity], and their [Israel's] failure riches for the Gentiles [first-fruit saints Act 13:48; 15:14, 17], how much more their [Israel's] fullness!
For if their [Israel's] being cast away [by God] IS the reconciling of the world [humanity], what will their [Israel's] acceptance [by God] be but life from the dead?

There is just NO WAY "the world" in THIS context can be whittled away to less than the world of ALL mankind beyond Israel's world. Israel's resurrection i.e., redemption brought LIFE to the world. Thus as you pointed out above, this is HOW as I see it God used Israel as an: "instrumental in bringing an eternal “cosmos” into being which has universal, eternal ramifications and involvement with mankind as a whole." Or as Jesus said: "…for salvation is of the Jews".

I'm afraid this may end up being one of those "agree to disagree" issues. For example, my own paraphrase of the text you cited above would read:

Rom 11:12, 15 Now if their [ELECT Israel's] fall is riches for the world [The NC "cosmos" in its fetal stage at that time], and their [ELECT Israel's] failure riches for the Gentiles [non-Israelite spiritual proselytes whose conversion was intended to prompt the last of the elect to repentance], how much more their [ELECT Israel's] fullness!
For if their [ELECT Israel's] being cast away [by God] IS the reconciling of the world [the NC "cosmos" citizenry], what will their [ELECT Israel's] acceptance [by God] be but life from the dead?

I'll get into much more detail in the article I'm currently drafting, but you get a bit of the gist of the idea, I hope, above.

Thanks for the great response, Dave! And thanks for the invite to examine pantelism!

John

davo's picture

So John… by "ELECT Israel", do you mean OC Israel – as opposed to NC Israel "cosmos", or something else? Further, HOW are you determining that that which was ELECT did "fail" and "fall"? IF however you have the ELECT that failed and fell as NC Israel [can this happen Mt 24:24] this then becomes somewhat unmanageable.

IF then your "ELECT Israel" be OC Israel, WHAT THEN was the "acceptance [by God] be but life from the dead?" all about – like then what was that??

You see I find it difficult to read Israel as "OC Israel" but then have world being "NC Israel" WHEN that would have Paul saying something apparently nonsensical like: "For if their [OC Israel's] being cast away [by God] IS the reconciling of the world [NC Israel], what will their [OC Israel's] acceptance [by God] be but life from the dead?" Both Paul's "their" can be none other than OC Israel, of which formerly they were cast off, but only partially so, but NOW through the first-fruits ministry [Paul's stated "Israel of God"] fully accepted. Surely this can be none other than the fulfilment of Israel's promised redemption – the catalyst as I pointed out for the world's reconciliation.

As I see it – the first-fruit saints were "elect" Israel, into which certain of the Gentiles were also duly called and adopted, that TOGETHER [no dividing wall] they might become a kind of first-fruits of his creation [Jas 1:18]. The first-fruits being that which was offered ON BEHALF OF the entire harvest – that which made the whole harvest acceptable etc. Israel was a microcosm in types, shadows and patterns if you will, of what God was doing for the macrocosm of humanity.

That said… I can go with our agreeing to disagree etc. And thanks John for checking out my site – the funny thing is, in actuality I have shared way more my thoughts as they progress on these things here at PP than on my own site; thanks again Virgil and Co:).

davo

SuperSoulFighter's picture

So John… by "ELECT Israel", do you mean OC Israel – as opposed to NC Israel "cosmos", or something else? Further, HOW are you determining that that which was ELECT did "fail" and "fall"? IF however you have the ELECT that failed and fell as NC Israel [can this happen Mt 24:24] this then becomes somewhat unmanageable.

Actually, Dave, I'm referring to the subset WITHIN Old Covenant Israel who were variously referred to as "the remnant" or "the elect". They were the spiritual "seed of Abraham" referenced in Rom. 9:6-9. They were also the spiritual predecessors of the NT saints. The NT saints were the last of that Old Covenant "elect" household of faith. They were "predestined" and "elected" unto glory before their actual births.

We know that many of these "elect" did not, initially, respond favorably to Christ and His ministry. Paul is a prime example of this. God had to become very forceful with some of them in order to essentially co-erce them into acceptance of the gospel. In other words, at the point in time that Paul wrote the book of Romans, SOME of those "elect" were still in a "fallen" state of unbelief. They had rejected the gospel, initially, but they were in a unique position. God wasn't prepared to permit even ONE of them to remain in that state. They would all respond in faith and repentance, prior to the destruction of that Old Covenant "world". They were not "NC Israel" in their state of unbelief, but they were predestined to be citizens of that Kingdom. They were "elect Israel" - the foundation of "spiritual Israel" (NC Israel).

IF then your "ELECT Israel" be OC Israel, WHAT THEN was the "acceptance [by God] be but life from the dead?" all about – like then what was that??

As you can see, I don't equate "elect Israel" with OC Israel as a whole. The two were very different entities, the former a subgroup within the latter. They were "true Israel" in God's eyes.

You see I find it difficult to read Israel as "OC Israel" but then have world being "NC Israel" WHEN that would have Paul saying something apparently nonsensical like: "For if their [OC Israel's] being cast away [by God] IS the reconciling of the world [NC Israel], what will their [OC Israel's] acceptance [by God] be but life from the dead?" Both Paul's "their" can be none other than OC Israel, of which formerly they were cast off, but only partially so, but NOW through the first-fruits ministry [Paul's stated "Israel of God"] fully accepted. Surely this can be none other than the fulfilment of Israel's promised redemption – the catalyst as I pointed out for the world's reconciliation.

Allow me to revise that paraphrase thus: ""For if their [Elect Israel's] being cast away [temporarily, by God] IS the reconciling of the world [NC Israel], what will their [Elect Israel's] acceptance [by God] be but life from the dead?" Does that make more sense, Dave? I really see Paul's focus established exclusively, at the beginning of the chapter, on Elect Israel vs. New Covenant Israel.

John

davo's picture

SuperSoulFighter: I really see Paul's focus established exclusively, at the beginning of the chapter, on Elect Israel vs. New Covenant Israel.

G'day John…

Ok I see where you're coming from – I still might beg to differ on your particular ascribing as to who constitutes "Israel" the "Gentiles" and "the world" as per previously stated according to BOTH those verses discussed in chapter 11, though we are not that far apart in general. However…

My concern about making "Israel" in these verses 12 & 15 "pre-Christians" I think confuses the flavour of the greater [con]text and thus misses the function of the first-fruit saints ministry in following Christ in bringing the promised redemption – otherwise called "the resurrection". For example:

Rom 10:1 Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved.

Rom 11:1 I say then, has God cast away His people? Certainly not! For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.

Rom 11:28 Concerning the gospel they [Israel] are enemies for your [Gentiles] sake, but concerning the election they [Israel Deut 7:6] are beloved for the sake of the fathers.

I find it hard to conceive according to these texts HOW Paul's "Israel" can be anything but OC historic Israel herself – NOT the pre-Christian elect subset within it. Israel's history was replete with examples of the nation in toto being "cast away" and subject to bondage – it was then that certain elect ones chosen by God rose up and brought deliverance ON BEHALF OF the whole nation; Gideon and his band is but one of many examples.

Thus NOW in the end-of-the-age was there being gathered "…a remnant according to the election of grace." Rom 11:5. These were the "true Israel" or "true Jews" [Rom 9:6, 2:28-29] who like Nathanael had a passionate heart to follow God, of whom Jesus would in kind describe as "an Israelite indeed!" Jn 1:47 – true Jews who with circumcised hearts would join Christ in the outworking of Israel's deliverance; a deliverance that had a deeper restorative goal and impact beyond their nation alone. Israel had been called to be God's priests in God's world – but what evolved into religious self-centredness however would rob the nation of this calling [Mt 21:43]; this calling to be "the world's light" was subsequently "in Christ" given to the first fruit saints, those raised up to follow Christ and fulfil this priestly mandate.

Thus Paul's "elect" were those called from within OC Israel to bring deliverance [salvation] ON BEHALF OF the whole nation – the first-fruits sacrifice sanctifying the entire harvest [nation]. For me I find Israel's "first-fruits" imagery compelling in making the case for their role in preparing the way for the acceptance of the entire nation – just as was so often reflected in their redemptively progressive story.

Jesus was the FIRST of the first ones [fruits] to rise up out of the OC [Mosaic] "body" [Act 26:23]. The new covenant as promised, God established for Israel herself WAS THROUGH THESE – those obedient ones of faith following Christ. The great "mystery" was that the Gentiles were to be included in this. I was the Gentile first-fruits inclusion into Israel's exclusive priestly role that enabled "the world" then to be reconciled; thus fulfilling the promise given to faithful Abraham that in him [through his faithful seed] would all families of the earth be blessed.

davo

SuperSoulFighter's picture

Hi, Dave! This has been a busy few days for me so my responses have lagged a bit.

My concern about making "Israel" in these verses 12 & 15 "pre-Christians" I think confuses the flavour of the greater [con]text and thus misses the function of the first-fruit saints ministry in following Christ in bringing the promised redemption – otherwise called "the resurrection". For example:

Rom 10:1 Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved.

Rom 11:1 I say then, has God cast away His people? Certainly not! For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.

It's unfortunately easy to pick random verses and "hop, skip and jump" our way back and forth from passage to passage, even as Preterists, thereby missing the force and significance of linking statements and texts. Allow me to point out the significance of verses 13 and 14, for example, in relation to your point, above, Dave: 13 For I speak to you Gentiles; inasmuch as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, 14 if by any means I may provoke to jealousy those who are my flesh and save some of them. Note that Paul identified himself as being an Israelite of the tribe of Benjamin as evidence of the fact that he qualified as one of these on the basis of that particular criterion. The "elect" were predestined, divinely pre-selected and foreordained Israelites who had a specific role to play in the process of bringing His eternal Kingdom into being. Paul also points out that his ministry to the Gentiles was primarily intended to be a means of motivating the "elect Israelites" who had not yet converted to the gospel to do so before the end of their "world". Note also that Paul realized that he did not know WHO these "elect Israelites" were, specifically, but that they were Israelites and that only SOME Israelites would be saved (i.e. the "elect").

In that light, if you work in reverse and go back to chapter 10, his meaning in verse 1 becomes clearer. Paul's burden was, quite possibly, more all-encompassing where the physical nation of Israel was concerned because, for one, he didn't know WHO the "elect" were, specifically, and because he also knew that some of the "non-elect" would be included in the foundational generation (NT Church Body/Bride of Christ) of the NC Kingdom.

I find it hard to conceive according to these texts HOW Paul's "Israel" can be anything but OC historic Israel herself – NOT the pre-Christian elect subset within it. Israel's history was replete with examples of the nation in toto being "cast away" and subject to bondage – it was then that certain elect ones chosen by God rose up and brought deliverance ON BEHALF OF the whole nation; Gideon and his band is but one of many examples.

Even though Paul was writing these things under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, I don't believe he was privy to who, specifically, the unrepentant "elect" were at that time. Likewise, those who repented and responded to the gospel by faith among the "non-elect" were a huge unknown quantity also. Thus, we have Paul talking about "some of them" (his fellow Israelites) responding favorably to the gospel (11:14). He never anticipated that the OC Nation as a whole would repent. Nor did God anticipate this either. It was not part of His overall plan.

God's discipline and punishment of the ancient Israelite Nation was always predicated on the spiritual state of the "righteous" (per the pre-Israelite template judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah). They were His true concern. If their spiritual state began to decline to the point that they were in total rebellion against Him and were essentially indistinguishable from their fellow Israelites, He chose to punish the whole Nation in order to drive them back to a position of repentance and favor with Him. Romans 1 introduces the Book with God's diatribe against His OC People detailing their corruption and rebellion against Him. Unfortunately, even the "elect" had spiritually deteriorated to the point that they had forgotten the nature of true faithfulness to the God of Israel and the inward transformative intent of His Law.

Thus NOW in the end-of-the-age was there being gathered "…a remnant according to the election of grace." Rom 11:5. These were the "true Israel" or "true Jews" [Rom 9:6, 2:28-29] who like Nathanael had a passionate heart to follow God, of whom Jesus would in kind describe as "an Israelite indeed!" Jn 1:47 – true Jews who with circumcised hearts would join Christ in the outworking of Israel's deliverance; a deliverance that had a deeper restorative goal and impact beyond their nation alone. Israel had been called to be God's priests in God's world – but what evolved into religious self-centredness however would rob the nation of this calling [Mt 21:43]; this calling to be "the world's light" was subsequently "in Christ" given to the first fruit saints, those raised up to follow Christ and fulfil this priestly mandate.

No, Dave, there was no deliverance intended for the Physical Nation or Old Covenant Nation at all. The First Century New Covenant generation of saints was not a "priestly class" whose role was to prompt the rest of fleshly, Old Covenant Israel to repent. There was no reconciliation whatsoever intended for OC Israel. Deut. 28; 30:17,18 and Gal. 4:21-31 (among other texts) make this abundantly clear. God terminated that OC Nation forever in 70 AD. Those who were His enemies at that time were condemned to eternal damnation. His beloved saints - the Body/Bride of Christ - in conjunction with Christ Himself, ushered in the New Covenant Kingdom of Heaven. That, in essence, sums up the transition process from one Covenant to the next.

Thus Paul's "elect" were those called from within OC Israel to bring deliverance [salvation] ON BEHALF OF the whole nation – the first-fruits sacrifice sanctifying the entire harvest [nation]. For me I find Israel's "first-fruits" imagery compelling in making the case for their role in preparing the way for the acceptance of the entire nation – just as was so often reflected in their redemptively progressive story.

No, Dave, I don't see the Scriptures bearing out your position here at all. The First Century saints were not the "first-fruits" of the Old Covenant Nation. Rather, they were the "first-fruits" of the New Covenant Kingdom citizenry - the rest of whom were awaiting the resurrection in Sheol. And there was also a continuing "harvest" following the conversion of those who responded in faith at Pentecost, etc. The final "harvest" concluded with a sorting of the "wheat" from the "tares". Those who were not God's (by faith) were sorted from among those who were. Only those who were His Spiritual People (by faith and repentance) were saved.

Jesus was the FIRST of the first ones [fruits] to rise up out of the OC [Mosaic] "body" [Act 26:23]. The new covenant as promised, God established for Israel herself WAS THROUGH THESE – those obedient ones of faith following Christ. The great "mystery" was that the Gentiles were to be included in this. I was the Gentile first-fruits inclusion into Israel's exclusive priestly role that enabled "the world" then to be reconciled; thus fulfilling the promise given to faithful Abraham that in him [through his faithful seed] would all families of the earth be blessed.

You appear to be snatching texts at random here, Dave. As we know, that is not a healthy approach to the Word of God.

22 Therefore, having obtained help from God, to this day I stand, witnessing both to small and great, saying no other things than those which the prophets and Moses said would come— 23 that the Christ would suffer, that He would be the first to rise from the dead, and would proclaim light to the Jewish people and to the Gentiles.”

Sometimes it's easy to read in to a text what we WANT it to mean. Yes, Christ was the "first to rise from the dead", preceding the rest of the elect household of faith who were awaiting the resurrection in Sheol. No, not ALL of the predeceased Israelites were included in this. Just the "household of faith", such as Moses, the prophets, the judges, the kings who were faithful to God (David, Solomon, etc.) etc. etc. We are told that Christ would "proclaim light to the Jews and Gentiles" - not that this proclamation would ultimately result in the conversion of all of them.

There is nothing in Acts 26:23 indicating that Christ's resurrection was a precursor of the resurrection of the entire Mosaic "body" (Physical Nation brought into existence via the Law?).

The Abrahamic promise concerning the blessing of "all families of the earth" through him and his offspring (spiritual) is indicative of God's prescience concerning the exclusivity of the future Kingdom. The "lay people" or common people belonging to it ("the earth") would consistent of, exclusively, blessed ones - those whose spiritual state was characterized by blessedness and fellowship with the God of Israel. No longer would there be a duality - those who were God's "household of faith" dwelling among those who were His enemies. The New Covenant Kingdom would be populated, exclusively, by those whose hearts were in tune with God's.

I trust some of these thoughts prompt further consideration of these texts in a different light, Dave. I don't have all the answers on all of these things necessarily, but I do see some serious difficulties with your proposed interpretive position here, and I think there are other ways of handling these texts that may be truer to the contextually indicated intent.

John

davo's picture

SuperSoulFighter: The "elect" were predestined, divinely pre-selected and foreordained Israelites who had a specific role to play in the process of bringing His eternal Kingdom into being.

"The elect" were NOT exclusively Israelites as I pointed out:

Act 13:48 Now when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and glorified the word of the Lord. And as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.

Act 15:14, 17 Simon has declared how God at the first visited the Gentiles to take out of them a people for His name.
So that the rest of mankind may seek the LORD, even all the Gentiles who are called by My name, says the LORD who does all these things.’

SuperSoulFighter: Note also that Paul realized that he did not know WHO these "elect Israelites" were, specifically, but that they were Israelites and that only SOME Israelites would be saved (i.e. the "elect").

Yes John I have no beef with that – that however in no way discounts, discards or changes the FACT that Paul's "save SOME of them" was pertinent to national Israel as referenced in 10;1 & 11:1 that I quoted. Paul's desire was that they ISRAEL, his brethren according to the flesh, might be spared the coming wrath [1Thess 5:9], i.e., be saved from it. Thus Paul's "all Israel shall be saved" indeed can be viewed as pertinent to those specifically ones "called" to administer in the NC in that end of the age – AND for the purpose as laid out in verses 12 & 15 of chapter 11, for "the reconciling of the world", a world broader than Israel herself. Israel was specifically chosen to be God's priests and lights to the world – Jesus and the first-fruit saints [true Israel, Israel of God] fulfilled this mandate.

Now IF you are consistent with your "covenantal" hermeneutic of WORLD, of which Israel were the covenant people thereof, and then so according to YOUR "elect Israel" rendition, verses 12 & 15 MUST read as follows:

Rom 11:12, 15 Now if their [Elect Israel's] fall is riches for the world [ISRAEL], and their [Elect Israel's] failure riches for the Gentiles, how much more their [Elect Israel's] fullness!
For if their [Elect Israel's] being cast away [by God] IS the reconciling of the world [ISRAEL], what will their [Elect Israel's] acceptance [by God] be but life from the dead? [for ISRAEL].

Remember, with regards to Israel there was NOT two or more "elects" – what there was, was a refining of and within the elect to bring to fullness God's ultimate restorative purposes; what started with Israel was to end with the world.

Your position however John becomes dead in the water as Israel becomes an end in herself. In FACT THAT IS your position in that what you advocate is that Israel's story was only EVER to have any relevance for "the elect" ITSELF alone; YET this approach TOTALLY MISSES the function of the elect; being those "chosen" from within Israel to work her deliverance ON BEHALF OF Israel; NOT to be excluded from it. This reality is pictured and demonstrated throughout Israel's story – can you not see it John?

The "exclusive language" of the called was relative to their being sanctified as the first-fruits, which in itself then in fulfillment in the Parousia brought to fruition Israel redemption, according to the promise of resurrection – something attained in and because of the NC. I noticed John that you totally avoided this issue of the role of the first-fruits which IS the underlying basis of Paul's thoughts in Romans 11.

SuperSoulFighter: No, Dave, there was no deliverance intended for the Physical Nation or Old Covenant Nation at all.

C'mon John… what Bible are you using??? To WHOM were the promises and prophesies of deliverance of old made? The people of God only consisted of one entity, "Old Covenant Israel". It was THROUGH Christ THE first-fruit AND his first-fruit saints that these promises and prophesies found fullness ON BEHALF OF their nation, and then in divinely instigated consequence, the world beyond – and THIS came about through covenant renewal, i.e., the auspices of the new covenant:

Act 26:23 …that the Christ would suffer, that He would be the first to rise from the dead [OC Israel], and would proclaim light to the Jewish people and to the Gentiles.”

SuperSoulFighter: Yes, Christ was the "first to rise from the dead", preceding the rest of the elect household of faith who were awaiting the resurrection in Sheol. No, not ALL of the predeceased Israelites were included in this. Just the "household of faith", such as Moses, the prophets, the judges, the kings who were faithful to God (David, Solomon, etc.)

There is nothing in Acts 26:23 indicating that Christ's resurrection was a precursor of the resurrection of the entire Mosaic "body" (Physical Nation brought into existence via the Law?).

Again John you are being convenient – what text/s of scripture do you give that declares "No, not ALL of the predeceased Israelites were included in this." Israel's resurrection was a corporate resurrection, just read Ezekiel's "dry bones" etc. Further John… you are being mischievous – the resurrection was up out of the Mosaic body, it was NOT the resurrection OF the Mosaic body itself – but you knew that already John.

SuperSoulFighter: The First Century New Covenant generation of saints was not a "priestly class" whose role was to prompt the rest of fleshly, Old Covenant Israel to repent.

John… it is ONLY because of a spurious reading of "elect Israel" in place of "Israel", i.e., the plain reading of the text of Rom 11:14 that such a claim could be made – Paul WAS part of this first-fruits body appealing to his nation to avert the forth coming national tragedy; as prophesied by Jesus.

Israel's loss of the Kingdom [Mt 21:43; Mk 12:9] meant the loss of their divinely mandated role [Ex 19:5-6; Deut 7:6] as "priests", or administers of "the kingdom". OC Israel's lack of faith saw their privileged position as priests of the kingdom given to a nation [1Pet 2:8b-9; Jn 1:12] that would produce the fruit that God wanted i.e., the joyous proclamation of the reconciling of the world through the world's true Light, Jesus – Israel's Messiah. TOGETHER both Jesus and his first-fruit saints were "the light of the world" [Jn 8:12; 9:5; Mt 5:14]. As Paul said:

Rom 15:8 Now I say that Jesus Christ has become a servant to the circumcision [Israel] for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made to the fathers.

2Cor 1:20 For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us. [the first-fruit saints]

SuperSoulFighter: No, Dave, I don't see the Scriptures bearing out your position here at all. The First Century saints were not the "first-fruits" of the Old Covenant Nation. Rather, they were the "first-fruits" of the New Covenant Kingdom citizenry…

John with all due respect you're playing with words – they WERE rising up in that age out of the OC body to bring the LIFE of the NC, as promised Jer 31:31-34. The first-fruit saints, like Jesus had been, were being raised up out of that OC age-world as God's ministers of the new creation.

SuperSoulFighter: The final "harvest" concluded with a sorting of the "wheat" from the "tares". Those who were not God's (by faith) were sorted from among those who were. Only those who were His Spiritual People (by faith and repentance) were saved.

And this resulted how… the "wheat" who endured faithfully to end of the age were delivered i.e., saved [Mt 24:13] from Israel's 'lake of fire' – the Roman conquest; those disobedient ones, the "tares" perished in this same AD67-70 conflagration i.e., they were physically annihilated.

SuperSoulFighter: The Abrahamic promise concerning the blessing of "all families of the earth" through him and his offspring (spiritual) is indicative of God's prescience concerning the exclusivity of the future Kingdom.

Again John the "exclusivity" relates to those called into priestly service as "believers". In the Parousia the kingdom/s of this world became Christ's – wherein he then gave all to the Father to be "all in all". Thus God's kingdom knows no limits and includes ALL. Now within His kingdom He has those who serve Him. THAT was the pattern of national Israel… chosen from within humanity to be His servants and lights to the world. Exclusivity pertains to service, i.e., being saved to serve – very much a "this life" scenario.

davo

SuperSoulFighter's picture

We're covering alot of ground here, Dave, and for the sake of clarity and brevity, perhaps we should examine one or two individual points more in-depth.

SuperSoulFighter: No, Dave, there was no deliverance intended for the Physical Nation or Old Covenant Nation at all.

C'mon John… what Bible are you using??? To WHOM were the promises and prophesies of deliverance of old made? The people of God only consisted of one entity, "Old Covenant Israel". It was THROUGH Christ THE first-fruit AND his first-fruit saints that these promises and prophesies found fullness ON BEHALF OF their nation, and then in divinely instigated consequence, the world beyond – and THIS came about through covenant renewal, i.e., the auspices of the new covenant:

Act 26:23 …that the Christ would suffer, that He would be the first to rise from the dead [OC Israel], and would proclaim light to the Jewish people and to the Gentiles.”

My simple statement that you cited, above, can be verified by numerous texts, but I'll just quote one passage for now.

21 Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not hear the law? 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons: the one by a bondwoman, the other by a freewoman. 23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and he of the freewoman through promise, 24 which things are symbolic. For these are the two covenants: the one from Mount Sinai which gives birth to bondage, which is Hagar— 25 for this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children— 26 but the Jerusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all. 27 For it is written:
“Rejoice, O barren,
You who do not bear!
Break forth and shout,
You who are not in labor!
For the desolate has many more children
Than she who has a husband.”
28 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are children of promise. 29 But, as he who was born according to the flesh then persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, even so it is now. 30 Nevertheless what does the Scripture say? “Cast out the bondwoman and her son, for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.” 31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman but of the free.

The distinction is undeniable, Dave, as is the explicit nature of God's intentions where Physical Israel ("Hagar" in typical form, above) are concerned. God, through Paul, explicitly states that "the son of the bondwoman [physical Israel or Israel after the flesh] shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman [the children of promise - spiritual Israel descended, by faith, through Isaac]".

I can't see how you can maintain your position in regard to Israel as a whole in light of texts such as these.

I'll leave it at that for now, due to time constraints on my end, and get back to you in response to some of your other objections, later.

John

davo's picture

SuperSoulFighter: The distinction is undeniable, Dave, as is the explicit nature of God's intentions where Physical Israel ("Hagar" in typical form, above) are concerned. God, through Paul, explicitly states that "the son of the bondwoman [physical Israel or Israel after the flesh] shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman [the children of promise - spiritual Israel descended, by faith, through Isaac]".

John… what you are not seeing is that those called "according to the Spirit" were physical Israel just the same as were those "according to the flesh" physical Israel; the difference or "distinction" was relative to their calling as the ones through whom "the promise" would be fulfilled – Christ headed this up as THE first-fruit, those called into this son-ship role being "heirs" with Christ were the first-fruit saints; again John those called to sanctify the whole – remember, the "Jerusalem above" Paul inclusively stated was "the mother of us all". This was in kind to Paul's other inclusive "father of us all" statement where those of "faith" secured "the promise" ON BEHALF OF "all the seed" i.e., ALL Israel.

Rom 4:16 Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to ALL the seed, NOT ONLY to those who are of the law, BUT ALSO to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all.

Israel's "world" was inclusively redeemed through those first-fruit saints exclusively called to minister the redemption Jesus secured through the Cross. This had ramifications beyond Israel as was indicative by the entrance of Gentiles into this call to serve God in that end-of-the-age ministry.

davo

SuperSoulFighter's picture

Hi, Davo. Good thoughts, above. Whenever I encounter a single text used to substantiate a view, I invariably check the context. It's a habit I have now - a good habit I would suggest. In fact, I recommend it to all.

You cited Rom. 4:16 in support of your position, above. "Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to ALL the seed, NOT ONLY to those who are of the law, BUT ALSO to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all."

You interpret "so that the promise might be sure to ALL the seed" as meaning, essentially, that the promise of co-inheritance in the Kingdom would be shared equally by both those conformed to the Mosaic Law alone and those conformed to Christ and His New Covenant Law of Grace. What you failed to consider, apparently, Dave were the preceding two verses. Here they are:

13 For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. 14 For if those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise made of no effect, 15 because the law brings about wrath; for where there is no law there is no transgression.

Ouch. I see a very plain statement concerning the rejection of "those who are of the law" here, by the God of Israel. They failed to qualify before God, as worthy of receiving the inheritance with those who were "of faith". The "seed of Abrahamic faith" enjoyed this inheritance exclusively, just as Isaac - NOT Ishmael - received the inheritance. Just as Jacob - NOT Esau - received the inheritance.

Nowhere in the Scriptures do see physical Israel referenced as those "called according to the Spirit", Dave. That is simply false and I challenge you to demonstrate otherwise contextually and accurately, please.

Paul's inclusive reference to the Jerusalem which is above" being the "mother of us all" refers to ALL of the NT SAINTS to whom he was addressing the se words, directly. Period. There is no justification whatsoever for attempting to "read in" the rest of Old Covenant Israel into this statements in Gal. 4. Paul is painfully clear here. Old Covenant, physical Israel were "Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children".

23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and he of the freewoman through promise, 24 which things are symbolic. For these are the[d] two covenants: the one from Mount Sinai which gives birth to bondage, which is Hagar— 25 for this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children— 26 but the Jerusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all.

The "mother of us all [who?]". I say...all CHRISTIANS. You say...all Israelites/Jews, including the Jewish Christians.

28 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are children of promise. 29 But, as he who was born according to the flesh then persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, even so it is now. 30 Nevertheless what does the Scripture say? “Cast out the bondwoman and her son, for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.” 31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman but of the free.

Do you remember the story of Hagar and Ishmael, Dave? Is there any element whatsoever in that story that would suggest that Ishmael somehow ended up being a "co-inheritor" with Isaac? WHAT does "CAST OUT THE BONDWOMAN AND HER SON" mean to you? Paul CLEARLY and UNEQUIVOCALLY states that he and the NT saints were NOT "children of the bondwoman" [physical, law-keeper Israelites, reliant upon the Law for their salvation], but were "[children] of the free [woman]". Do you see the contrast, Dave? This is the death of your argument, right here. I can appreciate what you're trying to establish concerning the NT saints holding a "priestly" role in regard to the rest of Old Covenant Israel and being involved in some sort of reconciliatory ministry on their behalf. In fact, I can think of other texts which seem to suggest this, that I'm somewhat surprised you haven't introduced here so far.

Going back to Rom. 4:16 one more time, I would like to point out that in view of the context of verses 13-15, we must conclude that Paul's statement concerning the promise being "made sure" to both those of the Law and those of faith was a reference to the promise's validity and historic fulfillment being made manifest, ultimately (and very publicly) to BOTH parties - both the law-worshipping Old Covenant physical Israelites AND the NT saints (NC spiritual Israel). Do you see how context must govern our interpretations, Dave? There is no wiggle room left here. The context doesn't permit it.

John

davo's picture

SuperSoulFighter: The "seed of Abrahamic faith" enjoyed this inheritance exclusively, just as Isaac - NOT Ishmael - received the inheritance. Just as Jacob - NOT Esau - received the inheritance.

It is clear John straight off the bat that you are still struggling to understand this "inheritance" – yes it was through the promised line of Isaac and Jacob etc that it would be realised, but for what ends? – for the express purpose of blessing ALL. The "heirs according to faith" were those given to rule over the rest that make up THE ALL. And Jesus said that such should needs be "SERVANTS OF ALL" – this the first-fruit saints were. THIS explains how verses 13 & 14 lead up to the inclusive reality of verse 16 – ouch!! indeed. As long as you keep ignoring the function of the first-fruits part in SANCTIYING the whole you'll continue with this skewed notion of what exclusion was all about, John.

To be "cast out" or "hated" i.e., to be set aside, was in direct correlation to what it meant to be elected into the call of God to service – those chosen ones "called" to minister the redemption – again, in eschatological fulfillment the first-fruit saints ministered ON BEHALF OF the whole. Ishmael for example, though cast aside with respect to being a bearer of the redemptive promise of God, was in NO WAY cast aside from receiving the blessing of God:

Gen 16:10; 21:18, 20 Then the Angel of the LORD said to her, “I will multiply your descendants exceedingly, so that they shall not be counted for multitude.” …
Arise, lift up the lad and hold him with your hand, for I will make him a great nation.”…
So God was with the lad; and he grew and dwelt in the wilderness, and became an archer.

Likewise with Esau; God's hated was in the context and thus relative to NOT being chosen as the one to carry God's promised redemptive plan ON BEHALF OF His people ISRAEL – something ultimately fulfilled on Israel's behalf as I've said repeatedly, by Christ AND the first-fruit saints. John WHEN will you see this? In light of this it is important to note the significance of such strong "hatred" language, and NOT be carried away with all manner of assumptive logic with regards to WHAT preference means outside of or divorced from Israel's redemption – an assumptive logic IMO clearly driving your understanding of what being exclusive means.

Paul's language however is indicative of the singleness of purpose in seeing God's promised redemption OF ISRAEL established – so much so that such expressive and hyperbolic language IS used to make the point. BUT, run with a shallow and blinked literalism and you will wind up at the same ridiculous ends as demanding a fleshly adherence this same hated:

Lk 14:26 “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.

SuperSoulFighter: The "mother of us all [who?]". I say...all CHRISTIANS. You say...all Israelites/Jews, including the Jewish Christians.

Yes well John for someone who champions "context" it would pay to consider it – verse 21 lays out exactly WHO it was Paul was speaking DIRECTLY to, i.e., those hankering after law righteousness: "Tell me, you who desire to be under the law…". Paul was making the case that the "Jerusalem above" was the TRUE mother of them all for she was the one connected to the promise.

SuperSoulFighter: Do you remember the story of Hagar and Ishmael, Dave? Is there any element whatsoever in that story that would suggest that Ishmael somehow ended up being a "co-inheritor" with Isaac?

"Co-inheritor", no John THAT is NOT what I've been saying – inheritance was all about who reigns in Christ, something the NC saints did – and who do you suppose these saints had authority in Christ over? I'll give you a clue, over those not entering due to their adherence to law righteousness.

SuperSoulFighter: I can appreciate what you're trying to establish concerning the NT saints holding a "priestly" role in regard to the rest of Old Covenant Israel and being involved in some sort of reconciliatory ministry on their behalf. In fact, I can think of other texts which seem to suggest this, that I'm somewhat surprised you haven't introduced here so far.

John I'm glad you can see some of the relevance of what I'm saying, but if you're not actually connecting with first base first it would be a little premature to head off to bases two and three etc. But feel free to share which paticular texts you think I could use to further what you think I'm saying.

davo

SuperSoulFighter's picture

Hi, Dave! Sorry for the delay here. Easter long weekend has been way busier than expected....especially at work. My shifts have involved alot of overtime lately.

Anyway, I wanted to respond to some of your comments here, as I have had opportunity to think them over carefully now.

It is clear John straight off the bat that you are still struggling to understand this "inheritance" – yes it was through the promised line of Isaac and Jacob etc that it would be realised, but for what ends? – for the express purpose of blessing ALL. The "heirs according to faith" were those given to rule over the rest that make up THE ALL. And Jesus said that such should needs be "SERVANTS OF ALL" – this the first-fruit saints were. THIS explains how verses 13 & 14 lead up to the inclusive reality of verse 16 – ouch!! indeed. As long as you keep ignoring the function of the first-fruits part in SANCTIYING the whole you'll continue with this skewed notion of what exclusion was all about, John.

What I'm struggling to comprehend - and accept - Dave, is your notion of what "the inheritance" entailed. Here is what the Scriptures have to say on this subject:

10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.” 11 But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for “the just shall live by faith.” 12 Yet the law is not of faith, but “the man who does them shall live by them.”
13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”), 14 that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
15 Brethren, I speak in the manner of men: Though it is only a man’s covenant, yet if it is confirmed, no one annuls or adds to it. 16 Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “And to your Seed,” who is Christ. 17 And this I say, that the law, which was four hundred and thirty years later, cannot annul the covenant that was confirmed before by God in Christ, that it should make the promise of no effect. 18 For if the inheritance is of the law, it is no longer of promise; but God gave it to Abraham by promise.(Gal. 3:17-19)

The inheritance was given to Abraham and his "faith seed" (in Christ). It did not include those who were "of the law". They had no access to it. The "promise of the Spirit through faith in Christ Jesus" was part of that inheritance - the token of the individual's "right of inheritance" in Christ. This inheritance resulted in blessing coming upon the Gentiles via the presence of the Abramahic "household of faith", in Kingdom/National form, being established and manifested among them.

The "heirs according to faith" were not supposed to be the "servants of all [ OC law-keeper, carnal Jews]". Rather, they were to be the servants of all New Covenant saints! Servants of EACH OTHER. The NT saints were NOT the "first-fruits" of the entire Old Covenant Physical Nation. Rather, they were the "first-fruits" of the resurrected, glorified Abrahamic "household of faith" - Ezekiel's dry bones - who were awaiting the resurrection in Sheol. They were waiting for thousands of years (some of them) for the glorious manifestation of the "sons of God". The NT saints were the "first-fruits" of that spiritual Nation.

To be "cast out" or "hated" i.e., to be set aside, was in direct correlation to what it meant to be elected into the call of God to service – those chosen ones "called" to minister the redemption – again, in eschatological fulfillment the first-fruit saints ministered ON BEHALF OF the whole.

I see no evidence of that in Scripture whatsoever, Dave. I don't see Isaac acting as a priest on behalf of Ishmael. Nor do I see Jacob acting as a priest on behalf of Esau. Further, I see no evidence of the idea that the "first-fruit saints ministered ON BEHALF OF the whole [physical, carnal Israelite/Jewish Old Covenant Nation]".

The blessing Ishmael received from God in no way reflected his participation - in any way - in the Abrahamic Covenant inheritance. That's the difference here Dave.

Likewise with Esau; God's hated was in the context and thus relative to NOT being chosen as the one to carry God's promised redemptive plan ON BEHALF OF His people ISRAEL – something ultimately fulfilled on Israel's behalf as I've said repeatedly, by Christ AND the first-fruit saints. John WHEN will you see this? In light of this it is important to note the significance of such strong "hatred" language, and NOT be carried away with all manner of assumptive logic with regards to WHAT preference means outside of or divorced from Israel's redemption – an assumptive logic IMO clearly driving your understanding of what being exclusive means.

I'll "see" it when the Scriptures clearly indicate that your ideas have merit and substance, Dave. Unfortunately, they don't support the views you're presenting here. Esau had no involvement with the Abrahamic inheritance either. He was excluded from it. Jacob was not his intercessor in any priestly sense whatsoever. Nor was he working towards his [Esau's] redemption. The inheritance was, quite simply, eternal citizenship in the heavenly land of promise, as one of the "household of faith" or "seed of faith".

11 In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, 12 that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory. (Eph. 1:11,12)

The last of the "predestined saints" - the NT saints (those who first trusted in Christ) - OBTAINED the inheritance in Christ, Dave. That inheritance belonged to THEM alone, NOT to the OC Physical Nation as a whole. Nor is there any indication anywhere that the NT saints were the "first-fruits" of that OC Nation or were to act on their behalf in a priestly role.

17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, 18 the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power (Eph. 1:17-19)

The saints were CHRIST'S inheritance, just as HE was THEIRS. They inherited WITH Christ, the riches of God's glory and Covenantal grace.

15 Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, (Eph. 1:15)

Note that the saints had love for ALL THE SAINTS - NOT for "all of the Old Covenant Israelite/Jewish Nation".

5 For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not be partakers with them. (Eph. 5:5-7)

There is no sense in which these saints are being instructed to intercede on behalf of the "sons of disobedience" here, Dave. Rather, they are to SEPARATE and DISTINGUISH themselves from them, as the wrath of God's judgment was coming upon them.

There is NO "assumptive logic" driving my conclusions in relation to Old Covenant Israel's ultimate, eternal, final rejection by God. There was no reconciliation or redemption intended for that Nation at all. Ever. Go back and re-examine Deut. 28 in detail, Dave. Every one of those curses came upon that OC Nation in 70 AD. Note, at the end, that there is not one word indicating the restoration/redemption of that Nation that was so clearly, finally destroyed according to these specific details.

Paul's language however is indicative of the singleness of purpose in seeing God's promised redemption OF ISRAEL established – so much so that such expressive and hyperbolic language IS used to make the point. BUT, run with a shallow and blinked literalism and you will wind up at the same ridiculous ends as demanding a fleshly adherence this same hated:
Lk 14:26 “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.

The "hatred" referred to here involved separating oneself from ALL those who adhered, exclusively, to the old, Mosaic Covenant as their means of salvation and acceptance with God. That included, sadly, many of the NT saints' immediate family members. That same "hatred" dictated the need to for the NT saints to separate themselves form ALL OC carnal, fleshly Israelites/Jews.

Yes well John for someone who champions "context" it would pay to consider it – verse 21 lays out exactly WHO it was Paul was speaking DIRECTLY to, i.e., those hankering after law righteousness: "Tell me, you who desire to be under the law…". Paul was making the case that the "Jerusalem above" was the TRUE mother of them all for she was the one connected to the promise.

Dave Dave Dave. Come on. Paul is NOT speaking to OC unsaved Israelites/Jews who were "hankering after the law of righteousness". Please. Pay attention to context. I "champion context" because it is ALL-IMPORTANT when seeking to understand the intended meaning of any text or passage. Back up vss. 8-11 in that chapter: "8 But then, indeed, when you did not know God, you served those which by nature are not gods. 9 But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage? 10 You observe days and months and seasons and years. 11 I am afraid for you, lest I have labored for you in vain."

Paul was addressing CHRISTIANS who were being tempted to return to Old Covenant law-observance. He wrote this book to GALATIAN CHRISTIANS. It's very very clear in the context. Those who "desired to be under the law", then, in v.21 were the CHRISTIANS who hankered for being submitted to - and governed by - the Old Covenant Mosaic Law. The whole passage compares the Old Covenant and New Covenant as a means of highlighting the benefits and superiority of the New Covenant Nation and state of being.

"Co-inheritor", no John THAT is NOT what I've been saying – inheritance was all about who reigns in Christ, something the NC saints did – and who do you suppose these saints had authority in Christ over? I'll give you a clue, over those not entering due to their adherence to law righteousness.

Certainly, as we see throughout the Book of Acts, the NT saints had spiritual authority over the OC People. But their true inheritance was not just that authority. Rather, it was their eternal Covenant relationship with Christ.

SuperSoulFighter: I can appreciate what you're trying to establish concerning the NT saints holding a "priestly" role in regard to the rest of Old Covenant Israel and being involved in some sort of reconciliatory ministry on their behalf. In fact, I can think of other texts which seem to suggest this, that I'm somewhat surprised you haven't introduced here so far.

John I'm glad you can see some of the relevance of what I'm saying, but if you're not actually connecting with first base first it would be a little premature to head off to bases two and three etc. But feel free to share which paticular texts you think I could use to further what you think I'm saying.

One text that immediately sprang to mind, of course, is 1Peter 2:1-10,

1 Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, 2 as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby,[a] 3 if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.
The Chosen Stone and His Chosen People

4 Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, 5 you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture,

“ Behold, I lay in Zion
A chief cornerstone, elect, precious,
And he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.”[b]

7 Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient,[c]

“ The stone which the builders rejected
Has become the chief cornerstone,”[d]

8 and

“ A stone of stumbling
And a rock of offense.”[e]

They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed.
9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.

Note that this "royal priesthood" and "chosen generation" and "holy nation" were not just the priestly "subset" WITHIN the holy nation (that, in your view, would ultimately also include all of the OC Physical Israelite Nation). Rather, they WERE God's "special people" and "holy nation" - in toto. They were not just the priests of that nation - they WERE that Nation - a Nation of priests. They were very unique and distinct from the OC Physical Nation, for whom Christ was a "stone of stumbling and a rock of offense" representing the ultimate condemnation and judgment that would come upon that OC Nation.

Hopefully this will become clearer for you as we move along, Dave. As I said, I understand where you're coming from and why you've drawn the conclusions you have. I, however, simply do not see a Scriptural case for your position.

Thanks for your continued patience with my objections and counter-arguments!

John

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