You are hereFour misconceptions about the kingdom Jesus announced

Four misconceptions about the kingdom Jesus announced

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By Virgil - Posted on 03 August 2009

How Does the Kingdom [of God] Come? Its creation is a co-operative task involving both God and man. The pattern of a redeemed society is the thought of God. Its achievement is through the spiritual energy imparted by His spirit in human hearts, but its final consummation comes slowly through the joint efforts of God and man, working side by side, in the struggle to create a new and divine order and to make His will be done on earth as it is in heaven...”This statement appeared in Beliefs That Count, a book published in 1961 by Georgia Harkness, a prominent theologian in the Methodist church. It was used for adult Christian education. That was a while ago, but I find its description of the coming of God´s kingdom quite contemporary, using images that I´ve noticed again and again while talking with Christians from a variety of backgrounds, Presbyterian, Catholic, Mennonite, and others. This statement also clearly illustrates two common misconceptions about the kingdom that Jesus announced.

1. The kingdom of God is coming slowly, gradually. I´m not quite sure where this idea originated. It may have been influenced by the work of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, a popular Catholic theologian and paleontologist in the mid-1900s, whose theology was heavily influenced by the scientific evidence and theories about evolution. The idea also fits well with the ongoing work for social progress, which has had great success achieving scientific, technological, political, and economic improvements in small steps, over a long period of time.

But Jesus seemed to speak of the kingdom of God in a more immediate way, announcing that the long-awaited time of God´s kingdom had arrived:


“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand.” (Mk 1.15)

“If it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.” (Mt 12.28)

“The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed; nor will they say, `Lo, here it is!´ or `There!´ for behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst.” (Lk 17.20-21)

This was (and is) startling good news, almost unbelievably good news. But Jesus´ amazing life demonstrated that something incredible was actually happening, that the kingdom of God was real and present. And he was inviting all of us into it, if we would only follow him. The life of the kingdom, the life that was seen in Jesus, could be ours—now. This announcement makes any ideas about a kingdom coming slowly and gradually seem like nothing in comparison, much less than the reality that Jesus demonstrated and offered us.

And if “slowly and gradually” refers to the fulfillment of the kingdom of God at Jesus´ second coming, why say “slowly” when Jesus said “like lightning” (Mt 24.27) and “suddenly like a snare,” with “the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory” (Lk 21.27-35)?

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RiversOfEden4's picture

The Kingdom of God was nothing more than the restoration of David's rule over the 12 tribes of Israel:

"Now therefore, you shall say to MY SERVANT DAVID ... I took YOU ... to be ruler OVER MY PEOPLE ISRAEL ... I (God) will appoint a place for MY PEOPLE ISRAEL ... I will raise up YOUR DESCENDANT after YOU (David) and I (God) will establish HIS KINGDOM ... he shall build a HOUSE FOR MY NAME ..." (2 Samuel 7:8-17)

"This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, THE SON OF DAVID" (Matthew 1:1)

"There shall come forth a ruler who will shepherd MY PEOPLE ISRAEL" (Matthew 2:6)

"Jesus replied ... I was sent ONLY to save THE LOST SHEEP OF ISRAEL" (Matthew 15:24)

"In the Kingdom, you will sit upon TWELVE THRONES to judge THE TWELVE TRIBES OF ISRAEL" (Matthew 19:28)

"Jesus saved others ... he is THE KING OF ISRAEL" (Matthew 27:42)

"Blessed is the KINGDOM OF OUR FATHER DAVID" (Mark 11:10)

"... and Jesus will reign over THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL ... and his KINGDOM ..." (Luke 1:33)

"Blessed be THE LORD GOD OF ISRAEL ... he as visited US and accomplished redemption FOR HIS PEOPLE" (Luke 1:68)

"John said ... so that Jesus could be MANIFESTED TO ISRAEL, I came pouring with water" (John 1:31)

"Jesus ... appeared to the apostles ... speaking and teaching of the things concerning THE KINGDOM OF GOD ... so when they came together, they asked Jesus, Lord, is it at this time that you are RESTORING THE KINGDOM TO ISRAEL?" (Acts 1:3-6)

"MEN OF ISRAEL ... regarding Jesus the Nazarene ... the partriarch DAVID both died and was buried ... but God had sworn to seat ONE OF HIS DESCENDANTS ON HIS THRONE ... Jesus ... let ALL THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL know that God has made Jesus both Lord and Christ" (Acts 2:22-36)

"With this the words of all th prophets agree ... I WILL REBUILD THE KINGDOM OF DAVID which has fallen and REBUILD ITS RUINS AND WILL RESTORE IT" (Acts 15:16-18)

Virgil's picture

So how do you restore the physical Kingdom of David "in your hearts?" How does that work?

Barry's picture

IMO you nailed it.
Barry

we are all in this together

RiversOfEden4's picture

It was very simple.

Peter and James explained to the elders of the church that God poured out holy spirit upon the whole house of Israel in order to demonstrate that there would no longer be any distinction between the houses of Israel and Judah:

"Peter said ... MEN OF JUDEA ... this is what God spoke through Joel the prophet ... in the last days ... I will pour forth (i.e. baptize) my spirit upon all of YOU and YOUR SONS AND DAUGTHERS ... and it shall be that EVERYONE OF THEM who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved ... MEN OF ISRAEL" (Acts 2:14-21)

"Peter stood up and said ... and God WHO KNOWS THE HEART, testified to them GIVING THEM HOLY SPIRIT and He made no distinction ... CLEANSING THEIR HEARTS BY FAITH" (Acts 15:7-9).

"James answered and said ... with this THE WORDS OF THE PROPHETS AGREE, just as it is written ... I WILL REBUILD THE KINGDOM OF DAVID which has fallen ... and I will RESTORE IT, so that the rest of MEN may see the Lord, and THOSE GENTILES WHO ARE CALLED BY MY NAME ..." (Acts 15:14-18)

"The Lord God said to ABRAHAM ... I will make a COVENANT with YOU AND YOUR DESCENDANTS AFTER YOU ... and I will make YOU (Abraham) THE FATHER OF A MULTITUDE OF GENTILES ..." (Genesis 17:1-8)

The Kingdom of David was rebuilt and restored when the holy spirit was poured out and the hearts of all the nations (gentiles) of Israel turned back to God and believed in Christ. The fact that God was "restoring" and "rebuilding" shows that He was only dealing with people who had previously been a part of David's Kingdom (which were only the 12 tribes of Israel).

Virgil's picture

I am really not getting this at all. Jesus never discerned between Jews and Gentiles getting into the Kingdom. You are talking about the genetic makeup of human beings which is irrelevant in the Kingdom of God. in fact, Jesus told the Jews that prostitutes and tax collectors will enter the Kingdom before they did.

Sorry, but I think you may be missing the point of what the Kingdom of God is...just my opinion.

RiversOfEden4's picture

Virgil,

I think you are misunderstanding that the "Kingdom of God" began with David (2 Samuel 7) to whom God promised a "descendant" (Jesus) who would rule over "Israel" in his place in the future.

The "house of David" included only the 12 tribes of Israel who were God's only chosen people (Deuteromony 7:6; Amos 3:1-2) for whom He exclusively announced the "new covenant" (Jeremiah 31:31-34) after many of them had been scattered throughout the world for their sins (Ezekiel 34).

The only reason that Jesus spoke of "the world" was because there were "devout Jews FROM EVERY GENTILE (i.e. nation) UNDER HEAVEN" (Acts 2:5-11) who were eligible to receive the promises but had not heard the gospel because they were not living in the Land where Jesus appeared.

plymouthrock's picture

ROE,

So let's just pretend your assertions are true. What now? Why waste time on these sites? Why waste time trying to teach people anything about a dead kingdom?

In other words, what does one do (how does one approach life) after accepting what your selling?

Is God still involved in the affairs of men? Why or why not?

plymouthrock!

Ed's picture

it's because he cares about us. He wants us miserable, without god in this world. Just like him.

ed

Papa is especially fond of us

RiversOfEden4's picture

PlymouthRock,

Because people on these sites claim to be interested in "truth" and sound biblical interpretation and exegesis. I haven't done anything but quote directly from scripture to express my views, therefore my contribution should be highly appreciated.

First of all, I'm not selling anything and that is the main reason I don't have to be afraid of putting forth the plain sense of the biblical text. You aren't going to get the "truth" from those $$$-preachers-$$$ who are selling their books and buying their retirement here.

Second, I live a great life simply because I make the right decisions. There are a lot of people who live better than I do because they make better decisions. And, of course, there are weak and stupid people who seldom make the right decisions and pay the consquences.

Third, based upon the historical record of the people of God I find in scripture, there is no reason to think that the God of Israel has any covenant obligation to "love" anyone after He fulfilled His love for Israel at the parousia.

plymouthrock's picture

So, what's God up to these days? What's he doing now? What is our relationship/obligation to him now?

plymouthrock!

Ed's picture

Nothing. Nothing. and None.

Go and do likewise.

ed

Papa is especially fond of us

plymouthrock's picture

So, what's God up to these days? What's he doing now? What is our relationship/obligation to him now?

plymouthrock!

plymouthrock's picture

So, what's God up to these days? What's he doing now? What is our relationship/obligation to him now?

plymouthrock!

RiversOfEden4's picture

The Bible history and testimony about God ends just before the parousia so there simply isn't any information about what He is doing after that time, nor is there any evidence that He has manifested Himself to any other people.

Scripture plainly stated God "became all in all" at the parousia when the Kingdom was completed and the Law completely fulfilled (1 Corinthians 15:24-28).

Ed's picture

Except that Uriah the Hittite was a member of David's kingdom. Or are you going to tell me that he was an Israelite too?

ed

Papa is especially fond of us

Virgil's picture

Where do you see the Kingdom of God beginning with David?

You need to sit down and write all this down in a logical and progressive way so we can understand your argument. The CAPS and random OT references that you are quoting are not making sense to me, at least not apologetically. So yes, you are probably right...I am really not understanding where you are coming from.

RiversOfEden4's picture

Virgil,

David was the first King that God appointed for Israel and the one to whom He promised a permenant throne culminating in the reign of Jesus Christ (2 Samuel 7; Acts 2:22-36).

This is why Revelation 20:4 identifies the 1,000 years period (from the time of David, 950 BCE, to Jesus AD 50) as the Kingdom reign that was consummated at the parousia when the final judgement of all inhabitants of the Kingdom took place (Matthew 16:27-28).

As I noted with many scriptures at the beginning of this thread, the apostles undertood that Jesus was the "son of David" who would "rule the people of Israel" as God's Kingdom.

Virgil's picture

Well, now I see why you are saying what you are saying. There are a few problems with what you are saying:

- many things are presented as being "forever" in the Scripture; that doesn't mean they will literally exist for a period of time that has no end. It's a figure of speech - David is no longer alive, he is no longer King, there is no throne in Jerusalem, etc.

- the thousand years mentioned in Revelation is not a literal thousand years; it rather seems to point to the period of time between the ministry of Jesus and the destruction of the Jewish temple in AD 70.

You are pretty much wrong on all points in my opinion...sorry...so we'll have to agree to disagree.

RiversOfEden4's picture

Virgil,

You are right. The words translated "forever" in scripture do not refer to a literal period of time. Rather, they refer to an indefinite period of time or permenance that continues beyond what is perceptable.

With regard to the 1,000 years in Revelalation 20:4, I do think it is a literal reference to the period of time that began with King David and was consummated with Jesus Christ. This was the duration of the fulfilment of the covenant promise YHWH made with David in 2 Samuel 7.

I don't have any problem agreeing to disagree ... unfortunately, there seem to be a few people on this forum who can't handle it. I'm glad you are not one of them.

RiversOfEden4's picture

Virgil,

Jesus plainly stated that he "was sent ONLY to save the lost sheep OF ISREAL" (Matthew 15:24). There is no reason to think that the Jewish prostitutes and tax collectors were not Israelites, so they were certainly part of God's elect people.

When Jesus and the apostles spoke of the wicked Pharisees and Scribes, they were also talking to Israelites who were forfeiting their election by denying that Jesus was the Christ. God only loved Israel (Amos 3:1-2), but there were both believers and unbelievers within Israel that were to be separated at the final judgement (Matthew 25).

chrisliv's picture

It was simple, Rivers.

But you distort it.

Let's look at Joel, which Peter cites in Acts 2:

"And it shall come to pass afterward, that THAT I WILL POUR OUT MY SPIRIT ON ALL FLESH [not just Jews]; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:" Joel 2:29

You try to impose a false premise about Pentecost as if God wanting to join two supposedly separate Houses of Genetic Jews/Israelites by pointing to Acts 2 and saying, "Look the Holy Spirit fell on Jews, or MEN OF GENETIC ISRAEL, nobody else, see I'm right."

Yes, of course Jews were the first to hear the Gospel and have the Holy Spirit fall on some of them, first. You might even know that the disciples were Jews and Israelites. WOW!

But, as I already pointed out, John the Baptist and Christ Himself, much earlier, already said that God was getting ready to allow Judea and the Jewish/Israelite way of life be snuffed out, with the Temple being leveled. Which did happen in 70 AD

So, your premise doesn't follow, logically.

And you quote Acts 15:14-18 in such a way to make it seem as if it has excludes everything but Jewish DNA, when the verses and context show quite the opposite.

Did you think nobody knows that you're distorting the text?

Here it is, Acts 15:8-17:

8 And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare THEM [Gentiles] witness, giving THEM the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto US [Jews];

9 And put no difference between US [Jews] and THEM [Gentiles], purifying their hearts by FAITH [not Jewish DNA].

10 Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?

11 But WE [Jews] believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ WE [Jews] shall be saved, even as THEY [Gentiles].

12 Then all the multitude kept silence, and gave audience to Barnabas and Paul, declaring what MIRACLES and wonders God had WROUGHT AMONG THE GENTILES [believe it or not] by them.

13 And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me:

14 SIMEON HATH DECLARED HOW GOD AT THE FIRST DID VISIT THE GENTILES, to take out of them a people for his name.

15 And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written,

16 After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up:

17 That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, AND ALL THE GENTILES, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things.

So, you've suggested that Acts is saying the opposite of what it actually does.

And you go on to use a bad translation of the Abrahamic Covenant and Promise.

As I already pointed out "DESCENDANTS" is BAD, like the NASB has it, is improper in both Genesis and Galatians, as Paul argues the exact point:

"Now to Abraham and his SEED [the play on the word must be able to be taken as a singular, not just a plural] were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds [can't be translated as an exclusive plural], as of many; but as of one, And to thy Seed, which is Christ." Gal. 3:16

So, the New Covenant Promise and Blessing that was to come upon ALL THE FAMILIES OF THE EARTH was not made to the plural or genetic DESCENDANTS of Abraham. They were made to Christ, and all those who joined themselves to Him as Paul tells the Gentile Galatians within the same Chapter:

28 There is NEITHER JEW NOR GREEK, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for YE [Gentiles] ARE ALL ONE in Christ Jesus.

29 And if YE [Gentiles] be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed [yes, plural, without regard to Jewish DNA], and heirs according to the Promise.

No, Rivers, if you don't want to hear what the NT has to say about who the Seed of Abraham is, then you can never understand what the Restored Tabernacle of David implies.

Take a note: It has nothing to do with Jewish DNA or a strip of Middle Eastern sand.

Peace to you all,
C. Livingstone

chrisliv's picture

The Good News According to the New Testament:

"For God so loved the world [Jew and Gentile included], that he gave his only unique Son, that whosoever [Jew or Gentile] believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16

The Good News According to the carnal-minded and Rivers:

"For God so loved only Jews with a pure enough DNA strand, that he gave his only non-Divine Son, that whosoever among those Jews with a pure enough DNA strand, and who believed in him within the short period between 30-70 AD should not perish, but have everlasting life, except that that everlasting life would be terminated after 70AD, for those Jews lucky enough to have enjoyed it for a little while." RiverofEgypt 3:16

Peace to you all,
C. Livingstone

Ed's picture

ROTFLOL.

excellent summation, Chris

ed

Papa is especially fond of us

RiversOfEden4's picture

Livingstone,

The accurate quotations from scripture would be these:

"For BOTH ... ARE ALL FROM ONE FATHER ... Since the CHILDREN OF ISRAEL SHARE IN FLESH AND BLOOD, Jesus himself likewise PARTOOK OF THE SAME FLESH AND BLOOD ... for assuredly he does not help angels, BUT HE GIVES HELP TO THE DESCENDANT OF ABRAHAM" (Hebrews 2:11-16)

"Jesus was born of a woman, BORN UNDER THE LAW, so that he could REDEEM THOSE WHO ARE UNDER THE LAW" (Galatians 4:4-5)

"... to MY BLOOD-RELATIVES (kinsmen)... who are the ISRAELITES ACCORDING TO THE FLESH, to whom BELONGS THE COVENANTS, THE ADOPTION OF SONS, THE LAW, ... and THE PROMISES ... FOR THE SAKE OF THEIR FATHERS" (Romans 9:3-5).

chrisliv's picture

Rivers,

Your methods of ignoring a context and concrete thinking seem to revel that you are either slow or are dishonest.

As you quote a verse from Galatians 4 and suggest that the New Covenant applied only to Jews, don't you think anyone has read the preceding chapter, which argues the exact opposite of what you are promoting.

Galatians 3:

14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles [non-Jews, Goyhim] through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the Promise of the Spirit THROUGH FAITH [not Jewish DNA].

16 Now to Abraham and his SEED were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds [i.e. DESCENDANTS is an improper translation], as of many; but as of one, And to thy Seed, which is Christ.

26 For YE [Paul is speaking to Galatian Gentiles] are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are ALL ONE in Christ Jesus.

29 AND IF YE BE CHRIST'S, THEN YOU ARE ABRAHAM'S SEED, and heirs according to the Promise.

See, the Jews were not Abraham's Seed according to the Promise, unless they put their faith in Christ, just like the Gentiles. That's what John the Baptist was telling the leading Jews, that they had to be baptized just like a dirty Gentile who wanted to be a proselyte of the congregation of Israel, if they every wanted to be in Messiah's Kingdom, and that their Jewish DNA was useless. Remember, John told them, "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."

You do the same with Romans 9, which says the exact opposite of what you suggest it does:

5 Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.

6 ¶ Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For THEY ARE NOT ALL ISRAEL, WHICH ISRAEL: [of course Paul is not arguing a lack of genetic purity]

7 Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham [in the plural, genetic sense], are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called.

8 That is, THEY WHICH ARE THE CHILDREN OF THE FLESH, THESE ARE NOT THE CHILDREN OF GOD: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.

Paul says the same to the Gentiles of Ephesus, at Ephesians 3:

11 ¶ Wherefore remember, that YE [Paul referring to Gentiles, as a Jew] being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;

12 That at that time YE [Gentiles] were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:

13 But now in Christ Jesus YE [Gentiles] who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

14 ¶ For he is OUR [Paul includes himself with Gentiles] peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;

In Hebrews, we're told Abraham refused to even build a house in Canaan, because he, through Faith, looked forward to the BETTER, HEAVENLY country, which was a dimension in the Holy Spirit made by Christ, and not something that boasts itself as being "Israel" or the "Seed of Abraham" and which is centered on a strip of Middle Eastern sand, inhabited only with people of a genetically pure enough Jewish DNA strand, as you suggest.

Rivers, you can try to frame verses out of their context, try to suggest that they should be viewed in concrete or carnal-minded terms, or try to redefine Gentile to mean an Uncircumcised Israelite, but you won't be kidding anybody, except maybe yourself.

Peace to you all,
C. Livingstone

RiversOfEden4's picture

Livingstone,

I don't find your interpretation of Romans or Galatians persuasive simply because you are missing the places where Paul explicitly identifies his audience as fleshly Israelites. The letters must be understood within that context (especially since Jesus made it clear that he came "only to save the lost sheep of Israel"):

"For we have already said that BOTH JEWS AND GREEKS are ALL under sin ... (quoting various Psalms about Israel) ... for WHATEVER THE LAW SAYS IT SAYS TO THOSE WHO ARE UNDER THE LAW (... so that ALL THE WORLD may become accountable ... for there is NO DISTINCTION for ALL have sinned ... What shall WE say that ABRAHAM OUR FATHER ACCORDING TO THE FLESH has found?" (Romans 3:9 - 4:1).

"to MY BLOOD-RELATIVES (kinsmen) ... who are THE ISRAELITES AFTER THE FLESH, TO WHOM BELONG THE COVENANTS, THE ADOPTION OF SONS, THE LAW ... AND THE PROMISES ... FOR THE SAKE OF THEIR FATHERS" (Romans 9:3-5)

These passages plainly identify BOTH the Jews and Greeks of the Roman audience as fleshly descendants of Abraham who were under accountability to Law of Moses that was exclusively given to the "sons of Israel" and no other people (see Amos 3:1-2; Psalms 147:19-20).

Paul makes the same points in Galatians where he says that Jesus was born under the Law for the specific purpose of redeeming his fellow Israelites who were under the Law. The Law of Redemption in Leviticus only made provision for fellow Israelites:

"If YOU or ONE OF YOUR FELLOW ISRAELITES becomes poor and sells his property, HIS NEAREST BLOOD-RELATIVE may REDEEM what his FELLOW COUNTRYMAN has sold" (Leviticus 25:25)

Please notice that Paul explains in Galatians that the "children" he is talking about were the ones who were under the tutoring of the Law and needed to gain full sonship by means of adoption under the Law:

"So when WE WERE CHILDREN, WE were in slavery under the basic principles of the world. But when the time had fully come, GOD SENT JESUS, born of a woman, BORN UNDER THE LAW, TO REDEEM THOSE UNDER THE LAW so that WE COULD RECEIVE THE ADOPTION OF SONS" (Galatians 4:3-5).

"... who are the ISRAELITES AFTER THE FLESH, TO WHOM BELONGS ... THE ADOPTION OF SONS and THE LAW" (Romans 9:3-5).

chrisliv's picture

Rivers,

Restating your same position after it has been refuted doesn't give it new strength.

When Paul says "WE", it's inclusive in the text, not exclusive. He's equating himself, covenantally speaking, with non-Jews, which was a comfort them, because some of the Jewish Christians were telling the Gentiles that they have to get circumcised and become Jews first, in order to become Christians.

Of course, Paul stated that those people should should just cut off their whole penis.

Rivers, this is the third or fourth time we've gone around and around on this topic. Of course, you can read into the New Testament a carnal-minded Kingdom for Jews-only if you like, but it is obviously juvenile or deceptive on your part, as even a brief overview reveals that your position is refuted, when compared to who Christ considered was the children of Abraham, or to the Pauline epistles, or the Prophetic imagery of the OT, and the admonitions of John the Baptist.

So, if you think you have an audience for your position at this website, I think you're further mistaken, and for good reason.

Peace to you all,
C. Livingstone

Starlight's picture

Chris,

I remember some welcoming ROE to the Big Pasture here on PP. I think some may now reconsider the wisdom of letting Rivers run wild on the open range with everyone trying to chase his elusive nothings down. It just wearies everyone so perhaps it’s time to put him back over in his separate pen again. ;-)

Norm

RiversOfEden4's picture

Livingtone,

God plainly stated that the "new covenant" was made with "THE HOUSES OF ISRAEL AND JUDAH" who were the same people that were the elect under the old covenant (Jeremiah 31:31-34). There is nothing deceptive or ambigous about that.

Also, Jesus himself plainly stated that he was "sent ONLY TO THE LOST SHEEP OF ISRAEL" (Matthew 15:24). I also don't see anything deceptive or ambiguous about that.

Even Paul plainly stated that "THE COVENANTS, THE ADOPTION OF SONS ... AND THE PROMISES" belonged to "ISRAELITES AFTER THE FLESH" (Romans 9:3-5). Again, I don't see anything deceptive or ambiguous about this either.

chrisliv's picture

Rivers,

You're using your carnal mind to interpret Jeremiah 31.

In the NT, were are told that that imagery was talking about a New Israel of Faith, and a New Jerusalem, and Mount Zion that had nothing at all to do with geography or genetics.

Yes, the Israelites had some temporary promises about geography and filling the land, which were all fulfilled by God, but they also broke that covenant and finally bore the curse that it contained, when some of those Jews cannibalized their own children who starved to death at 70 AD, probably at Masada, too.

Paul is talking about the irony, sadness, and tragedy that Genetic Israel was, with their rich heritage of fulfilled temporal promises about being multiplied in the land and dwelling there:

"And the LORD gave unto Israel all the land which he sware to give unto their fathers; and they possessed it, and dwelt therein." Joshua 21:43

But, still, to this day, only a small remnant of Jews receive Christ Jesus as the Holy One.

Like Christ Jesus said about geographic Jerusalem and the so-called HOUSE of genetic Jews:

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

"Behold, your house is left unto you desolate." Mat. 23:37 & 38

There was never any intention of God to "rebuild" a literal "House of David" from any so-called "ruins".

The new House that God was talking in the OT prophetic imagery was People of Faith, in Christ.

Paul tells the Gentile Corinthians that, "For ALL THE PROMISES [of the New Covenant] of God in Him [Christ] are Yea [The Body of Christ, both Gentile and Jew], and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us. 2Cor. 1:20

Paul tells the Gentile Galatians that, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us [Gentile and Jew] with ALL SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS in heavenly places in Christ: Gal. 1:3

Paul goes on to make it abundantly clear to the Galatians and anybody who reads his Epistle at, Chapter 2, that, Rivers, you are trying to distort the truth:

11 ¶ Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past GENTILES IN THE FLESH [that's right, no way to twist them into Israelites], who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;

12 That at that time YE [non-Israelites] were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:

13 But now in Christ Jesus YE [non-Israelites] who sometimes were far off [not literally in a geographic sense] are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

14 ¶ For He [Christ] is OUR [Paul, a Jew, includes himself with Gentiles, in a covenantal sense] peace, who hath made BOTH ONE [yes, Jew and Gentile on equal footing, coventally speaking], and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between US [yes, Jew and Gentile, as God never was a respecter of persons or DNA];

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;

16 And that he might reconcile BOTH unto God in ONE BODY [made up of only believing Gentiles and Jews] by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:

17 And came and preached peace to you which WERE AFAR OFF [PAST TENSE], and to them that WERE nigh [BUT NO LONGER].

18 For through Him [Christ] WE [Jew and Gentile] BOTH have access by one Spirit unto the Father.

19 Now therefore YE [Galatian Gentiles] are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the Household of God;

20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;

21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an Holy Temple in the Lord:

Rivers, somebody must have torn those pages out of your Bible, or you really must want to spread lies about Christ's Kingdom and the character of God.

Peace to you all,
C. Livingstone

mazuur's picture

Chris,

You seem to be missing Rivers' point. When the NT makes reference to "gentiles" these are fleshly decedents of Abraham (according to Rivers), maybe just not decedents of Issac or Jacob/Israel (they did have brothers).

Or perhaps it goes back further than Abraham. What about the decedents of Cain vs. Seth's? Maybe the decedents of Cain became the "Gentiles" while Seth's (the righteous line) decedents became the Jew's. Even there, the righteous line of Seth separates as his decedents have offspring.

Who are the "others" that Cain was afraid of in Genesis 4:14? Seems we might have a 3rd category showing itself there.

Just throwing about thoughts. I think we need to take another look at Paul's (the NT) usage of "gentile".

Now, I am not necessarily agreeing with Rivers' whole scheme. In the NT it still ends with those of faith in Christ entering into the Covenant, and becoming the true Israel of God. Surely God's goal was to save the entire world (all people groups, Jew, Gentile, "others" [what would the Indians living here in the US be labeled?]).

Maybe there is some truth into what Rivers is seeing. Don't be so quick to dismiss it all.

-Rich

-Rich

dwhochner's picture

Guys, I've known ROE and we agree a lot of stuffs. The Bible is the history of the "seedline" from the time of Adam (Alpha) until the parousia of Christ (Omega), the beginning and the end of God's people, not about the whole mankind and the universe.

The word "Jews" (see 2 Kings 16:6) began after the division of the kingdom of Israel and they belong to the house of Judah (Judeans). The house of Israel were scattered among the nations ("Gentiles"). This is what God made a promise to both houses with a new covenant so that they would reunited into one body of Christ, thus all Israel saved/judged/raised at the parousia of Christ.

So, the Bible is silent about the rest of the mankind and the creation of the universe and also post-parousia of Christ.

mazuur's picture

"The word "Jews" (see 2 Kings 16:6) began after the division of the kingdom of Israel and they belong to the house of Judah (Judeans)."

So, are the other decedents of Abraham referred to as "gentiles"? What does one call those of the other tribes (the northern Kingdom)?

-Rich

-Rich

dwhochner's picture

Rich,

Can you define what “gentiles” mean to you?

For me, it is unbiblical term and it should be called “nations”. It was first mentioned after the flood which the descendants of Noah were divided into different “nations”. Eventually Abraham was the father of the Hebrews. Abraham’s grandson, Jacob became Israel and then his sons and their descendants became the 12 tribes of Israel. After the division of the kingdom of Israel, there were two groups, the house of Judah (Jews) and the house of Israel ("gentile" Israelites). The house of Judah was still in covenanted with God (and still called "Israel")while the house of Israel scattered among the nations and they were considered not “His people”, “without hope”, and “divorced by God”. The Jews considered them as unclean and ones of those nations. In Jesus’ time, they were reunited into one through death and resurrection of Jesus, their Kinsmen/Priest/King/Messiah/Prophet/Redeemer/Shepherd. Jesus redeemed them from the curse of the Law. The gospel already preached all to their world (kosmos), not all mankind on the planet Earth. You should know about the parable of the Prodigal Son (it is talking about both houses of Israel). Abraham was the father of many nations within the history of the Bible (or within the four corners of the earth [land]) as Gen. 1-2; 15-21; Rev. 21:16 described. Israel was chosen by God over all other nations as ROE gave some passages in above.

Another thing to keep in mind that Peter, James, and John was sent to the circumcised/Jews while Paul was sent to uncircumcised Israelites ("nations"). See Gal. 2:7-9. Bear that in mind while you read one of those in the epistles.

RiversOfEden4's picture

Rich,

In addition to what dwhochner said earlier ...

Please notice that, in Acts 15, when Peter and the Eleven "circumcision" apostles first met with Paul at Jerusalem to hear his testimony regarding the salvation of the "gentiles", it was decided that the inclusion of the "gentiles" was the fulfillment of Amos' prophecy regarding the restoration of David's kingdom:

"James said ... Peter has related how God first concerned Himself with about taking from the GENTILES a people for His name. With THIS the words of the Prophets agree, just as it is written ... I WILL REBUILD THE KINGDOM OF DAVID WHICH HAS FALLEN AND I WILL REBUILD ITS RUINS AND RESTORE IT ..." (Acts 15:13-16).

The "house of David" consisted only of the 12 tribes of Israel that occupied the Promised Land (i.e. from the Nile to the Euphrates rivers) and was governed by the Law of Moses. This had nothing to do with any other people. The only "gentiles/nations" that God elected were the ones that came from the loins of Abraham (Genesis 17:1-8; Deuteronomy 7:6; Amos 3:1-2; Pslams 147:19-20).

dwhochner's picture

ROE,thanks.

Rich,

You know, we all have some journey as we have been learning from the Bible and I’m sure when we discovered about the preterist view, it affect all areas of systematic theology, right? Like for instance, I used to believe in Trinity, Satan/fallen angels, eternal Hell, future coming of Christ, end of the world, worldwide flood, in the beginning was about the universe and the earth, and others. Some Christians thought there is something wrong with me or I am in error, big time. In fact I am still learning with an open-minded and I’m trying to be sincere with everyone, whether they agree with me or not. What I am hoping is that everyone in this forum is to be respectful.

Anyway, ask yourself about the “Gentiles” in Eph. 2:11-22 and Romans 11, are they referring to non-Israelites or “gentile” Israelites (house of Israel) when they became one with the Jews/Israel (house of Judah)? Was the new covenant fulfilled for both houses of Israel (Jer. 31:31-34) during the first century? Who were the house of Israel during that time?

Starlight's picture

Rich and Chris,

It seems that John in Revelation bonds the two groups together much as Paul did in Ephesians 2. All Israel (Rom 11:26) is saved and “Sealed” and “after this” the Great multitude from every nation, tribe, peoples and languages that were found clothed in white robes. I don’t think it can be spelled out any clearer than that concerning the inclusion of faithful Israel with the unlimited faithful of the Gentile world.

Rev 7:4-9 And I heard the number of the sealed, 144,000, sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel: (5) 12,000 from the tribe of Judah were sealed, 12,000 from the tribe of Reuben, 12,000 from the tribe of Gad, (6) 12,000 from the tribe of Asher, 12,000 from the tribe of Naphtali, 12,000 from the tribe of Manasseh, (7) 12,000 from the tribe of Simeon, 12,000 from the tribe of Levi, 12,000 from the tribe of Issachar, (8) 12,000 from the tribe of Zebulun, 12,000 from the tribe of Joseph, 12,000 from the tribe of Benjamin were sealed. (9) AFTER THIS I LOOKED, AND BEHOLD, A GREAT MULTITUDE THAT NO ONE COULD NUMBER, FROM EVERY NATION, FROM ALL TRIBES AND PEOPLES AND LANGUAGES, STANDING BEFORE THE THRONE AND BEFORE THE LAMB, CLOTHED IN WHITE ROBES, with palm branches in their hands,

Norm

RiversOfEden4's picture

Norm,

The problem with your theory is that Paul had already identified the inclusion of the "gentiles" within the context of "all Israel":

" ... I do not with you to be uninformed, brethren, that a partial hardening has happened TO ISRAEL until THE FULNESS OF THE GENTILES comes in, in this manner THE WHOLE ISRAEL will be saved ... and ungodliness will be removed from ISRAEL" (Romans 11:25-29).

The "fulness of the gentiles" is quoted from Genesis 48:19-20 where Jacob was talking about the sons of Ephraim who were Israelites. Since God had promised to restore both houses of Israel and Judah into "one" nation, both the Jewish and Gentile Israelites had to be restored to fellowship in one body:

"But, I will have compassion ... yet the number of THE SONS OF ISRAEL will be like the sand of the sea ... and THE SONS OF JUDAH AND THE SONS OF ISRAEL WILL BE GATHERED TOGETHER, and they will have ONE RULER" (Hosea 2:10-11)

"Thus says the Lord God ... I will search for MY SHEEP and seek THEM out ... I will bring THEM out from the nations and GATHER THEM ... and I will set over them ONE SHEPHERD, MY SERVANT DAVID ..." (Ezekiel 34:11-24)

"Jesus said ... I WAS SENT ONLY TO THE LOST SHEEP OF THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL" (Matthew 15:24)

Starlight's picture

Rivers,

So you are just going to ignore John's indepth explanation of the fullness of the Gentiles and All Israel standing there together?

And I heard the number of the sealed, 144,000, sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel: ... AFTER THIS I LOOKED, AND BEHOLD, A GREAT MULTITUDE THAT NO ONE COULD NUMBER, FROM EVERY NATION, FROM ALL TRIBES AND PEOPLES AND LANGUAGES, STANDING BEFORE THE THRONE AND BEFORE THE LAMB, CLOTHED IN WHITE ROBES,

Oh I forgot Yes that is standard Operating procedure for you to ignore any logical explanation whatsoever.
What a waste of time it is to respond to you.

chrisliv's picture

Yeah,

Rivers tries to redefine Gentile to mean the exact opposite of what the Bible context clearly defines it as in order to try to create his ridiculous position that God covets Jewish DNA above all others.

I mean, to me, that suggests that Rivers may be trying to impugn the character of God and Christ's Kingdom, and not just share his so-called "truth".

What could motivate an effort like that? Is Rivers a sneaky Satanist? Was he molested by a pedophile Priest? Did his mother or father cruelly and mentally abuse him with the Bible?

Peace to you all,
C. Livingstone

dwhochner's picture

Hey, hey, that's below the belt. You don't know him very well. Let's stick with the scriptures, not personal attacks, okay?

chrisliv's picture

No,

That wasn't a personal attack.

Just a few sincere speculations about motivation.

Rivers is free to endorse or deny any of them.

Peace to you all,
C. Livingstone

Ed's picture

Chris,
my question is: why do you have to refrain from personal attacks? ROE has used them with me, and since he is a functional atheist, believing that there is no consequence to our actions, no accountability to this "god of the jews and israelite gentiles," then name-calling is fair game. I mean, what standard do we have to live by in ROE's world?

ed

Papa is especially fond of us

dwhochner's picture

Ed, yeah he shouldn't do what he did but aren't you going to love him and forgive him? You seems still bitter, aren't you?

Ed's picture

Bitter? No, just confused. You seem to be saying that there is some reason that we should refrain from "hitting below the belt." I cannot see what basis you have for believing that, since there is no accountability, God does not care how we live our lives. We are all ceasing to exist post-mortem anyway, right? That's what you two teach! I am not misstating your position at all. Yet, you seem to think it wrong for me or Chris to say mean things to ROE.

In re: to what he said to me. I'm thankful, it gave me the motivation to lose 50 lbs. I've been maintaining the weight loss for several months now, and in fact over that time lost an additional 8 lbs to reach the 50 lbs mark.

So, I'm not bitter. Sometimes it takes rude comments from a**holes like ROE to motivate someone. Me, in this instance.

ed

Papa is especially fond of us

chrisliv's picture

Well,

Rivers has been pretty good with me, even as we've had some stimulating debate.

Besides, my intention and manner is to keep things pretty Stoic and objective.

Name calling is counter-productive. I mean, I think I've snuck in a sarcastic slur on Rivers' call name, by phrasing it as "Riverof Egypt". But, that's about as much teasing as I want to do.

Peace to you all,
C. Livingstone

RiversOfEden4's picture

Livingstone,

My understanding of the "gentiles" as the fleshly descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob comes directly from numerous scriptures. Here are a few examples:

"The Lord God appeared to ABRAHAM ... and said to HIM ... I (God) will establish My covenant BETWEEN YOU (Abraham) AND ME ... and YOU (Abraham) will be THE FATHER OF A MULTITUDE OF GENTILES ... I will establish My covenants with YOU AND YOUR DESCENDANTS ..."(Genesis 17:1-6)

"Jacob said to Joseph ... YOUR SON (Ephraim) will become A FULNESS OF GENTILES ..." (Genesis 48:19-20, see Romans 11:26)"

"ISRAEL is swallowed up, THEY ARE NOW THE GENTILES ..." (Hosea 8:8)

"Now there were residing in Jerusalem, DEVOUT JEWS ... OF EVERY GENTILE UNDER HEAVEN ..." (Acts 2:5-11).

chrisliv's picture

No,

You can't rightly read into an English translation what you want the ancient Greek and Hebrew meaning for the words Gentile and Goyhim, in order to suit your own bias about who God intended a covenant to apply to.

You have to go to the Lexicon for those ancient definitions, and also pay attention to the Context of their usage.

We both know that, don't we?

For those that don't, I'll post the typical words used for Gentiles below.

The context of the Bible and the meaning of the words are clear that they always and everywhere refer non-Jews/Israelites in the Bible, even being a derogatory way of Jews to refer to humanity outside of the congregation of Israel.

So, Rivers, I don't see how you can seriously contradict the context of the Bible and the clear meaning of two ancient languages, while suggesting that the "truth" of the Bible is what you're promoting.

Peace to you all,
C. Livingstone

--------------------------------

1484 eynov ethnos {eth'-nos}

probably from 1486; TDNT - 2:364,201; n n

AV - Gentiles 93, nation 64, heathen 5, people 2; 164

1) a multitude (whether of men or of beasts) associated or
living together
1a) a company, troop, swarm
2) a multitude of individuals of the same nature or genus
2a) the human family
3) a tribe, nation, people group
4) in the OT, foreign nations not worshipping the true God, pagans,
Gentiles
5) Paul uses the term for Gentile Christians

------------------------------------

1672 ellen Hellen {hel'-lane}

from 1671; TDNT - 2:504,227; n m

AV - Greek 20, Gentile 7; 27

1) a Greek either by nationality, whether a native of the main
land or of the Greek islands or colonies
2) in a wider sense the name embraces all nations not Jews that
made the language, customs, and learning of the Greeks their own;
the primary reference is to a difference of religion and worship

------------------------------------

01471 ywg gowy {go'-ee} rarely (shortened) goy {go'-ee}

apparently from the same root as 01465; TWOT - 326e

AV - nation 374, heathen 143, Gentiles 30, people 11; 558

n m
1) nation, people
1a) nation, people
1a1) usually of non-Hebrew people
1a2) of descendants of Abraham
1a3) of Israel
1b) of swarm of locusts, other animals (fig.)
n pr m
1c) Goyim? = "nations"

RiversOfEden4's picture

Rich,

Just for clarification ... I understand the NT "gentiles" to be only referring to the physical descendants of Abraham that were to receive the blessings through Isaac and Jacob. I do not think that the "gentiles" refers to anyone living before Abraham, nor anyone who was not a blood-relative of Abraham. Here is the identity of the "gentiles":

"The Lord God appeared to ABRAHAM ... and said to HIM ... I (God) will establish My covenant BETWEEN YOU (Abraham) AND ME ... and YOU (Abraham) will be THE FATHER OF A MULTITUDE OF GENTILES ... I will establish My covenants with YOU AND YOUR DESCENDANTS ... FOR AN EVERLASTING COVENANT" (Genesis 17:1-6)

God later spoke to Joseph through his father, Jacob (Israel) and riterated that the "gentiles" were to be the descendants of his son Ephraim:

" ... and from (Ephraim) will come A FULNESS OF GENTILES" (Genesis 48:19-20, see Romans 11:26).

davo's picture

As usual ROE's conveniently loopy logic only works in one direction and in reality leaves a lot to be desired.

1] He will tell you ad nauseam that Jesus came "ONLY" for the lost sheep of the House of Israel, and that these lost sheep are his fabled "gentile-Israelites" – a term to be noted found NOWHERE in the Scriptures. This is important to high-light because one of ROE's constant rejoinders when confronted with theological evidence that undermines his private position is the pick out what he sees as a culprit phrase and in an attempt to save face will retort with something like "the words * you fill in the blank * appear nowhere in the text" and thus maintain that his argument therefore somehow magically still stands. Interestingly I am still yet to find his "gentile-Israelites" anywhere in the texts of Scripture, yet his posts in the forums are replete with this sort of nonsense.

But even if we follow ROE's strict and literal fundamentalist logic it leaves one wondering – IF Jesus came "ONLY" for the lost sheep of the House of Israel, which ROE maintains are northern tribes "gentile-Israelites", then strictly speaking according to ROE's rationale Jesus could NOT have come to deliver any southern tribe "Jews". Remember, according to ROE's stated paradigm – Jesus "ONLY" came for the supposed lost tribes of northern Israel i.e., his "gentile-Israelites"… go figure.

2] In an attempt to sure up his gentiles = Israelites i.e., "northerners" ROE appeals to Acts 2:5-11 and says "Now there were residing in Jerusalem, DEVOUT JEWS ... OF EVERY GENTILE UNDER HEAVEN ...". Again his rationale is that these "DEVOUT JEWS" were the scattered northern tribe Israelites. There is a MAJOR problem in his convolutions here that he's reading right over – these were "JEWS" i.e., southerners – ones that according to his own paradigm and UNLIKE the northerners, were "never lost"… again, go figure.

These are but a few among the many obvious errors being peddled by ROE and Co…

davo

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