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Full Preterism and The Church

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By SuperSoulFighter - Posted on 08 October 2003

by John McPherson
Those (including myself) who subscribe to the Fulfilled Eschatology position, hold a uniquely historical perspective on the Scriptures and the entities revealed therein. This perspective guides the hermeneutical approach of the Full Preterist (FP hereafter) exegete. The goal is to read and understand the text from the viewpoint of one of the original recipients of the written revelation of God – the holy Scriptures. This is accomplished in large measure by careful, rigorous analysis of the text itself via cross-referencing passages and individual verses with other texts in both Testaments. The result is a thoroughly contextual understanding of any given portion of Scripture, in both the most immediate and broadest senses. Historical relevance is paramount, and personal application is a far lower priority than with most futurists (including Partial Preterists).Those (including myself) who subscribe to the Fulfilled Eschatology position, hold a uniquely historical perspective on the Scriptures and the entities revealed therein. This perspective guides the hermeneutical approach of the Full Preterist (FP hereafter) exegete. The goal is to read and understand the text from the viewpoint of one of the original recipients of the written revelation of God – the holy Scriptures. This is accomplished in large measure by careful, rigorous analysis of the text itself via cross-referencing passages and individual verses with other texts in both Testaments. The result is a thoroughly contextual understanding of any given portion of Scripture, in both the most immediate and broadest senses. Historical relevance is paramount, and personal application is a far lower priority than with most futurists (including Partial Preterists).In terms of the subject at hand in this article, “the church” (Gk. “ekkleisia”) has no clear textual support in terms of its perpetuation as an entity for time indefinite, beyond the First Century era (pre-70 AD in particular). The passages dealing with “church structure” and authority, as well as the goal and hope of “the church”, in its various metaphorical incarnations as both “the Body” and “the Bride” of Christ are clearly time-limited in nature, and have as their focus the saints of the NT period of history. A very specific number of people/saints were “elected” to make up the membership of that foundational generation of the New Covenant Kingdom of Christ. THEY were the “Body of Christ” and His “Bride”. WE are not. As FPs, we believe that the “Marriage Supper of the Lamb” and His “Bride” occurred @ AD 70. There is, of course, ample evidence of the fulfillment of ALL prophecy in the Scriptures at this time, and it is not the goal of this article to elaborate on the fundamentals of this position. However, it is instructive to note that the metaphor of “the Bride” is directly associated with this historically accomplished event, and thus it is plain that this spousal metaphor has no application to any corporate gathering of the saints today (within the FP paradigm).

Likewise, “the Body of Christ” was composed of various specific saints of that period fulfilling clearly defined roles within their local gatherings and memberships. Those roles were defined by the HOLY SPIRIT, who was uniquely outpoured upon THEM. That outpouring was for the pre-AD 70 period of New Covenant Kingdom history and has no direct relationship to or parallel within our experience as saints of the Kingdom today.

The “burden of proof” in terms of substantiating either the position presented above or the one commonly held among the adherents of “Churchianity” today lies upon the latter group. The traditional, natural understanding of ANY historical literary work involves applying the injunctions pertaining to entities of that period to those directly identified within that text. One cannot read the works of Tertullian, Aristotle, Eusebius, Origen, Socrates, Confucious, and others and assume that they relate directly to entities and circumstances of our time. Even great thinkers and theorists in more recent times spoke and wrote from the perspective of their OWN historical period. The propositions of Marx, Darwin, Hegel and other nineteenth-century theorists were limited to projections and scenarios derived from entities existent and influential in THEIR day. They built on the concepts and paradigms of their contemporaries, as well as those who had gone before. Thus, to truly understand their writing and thinking, a certain amount of careful research must be done to determine WHAT the influential entities and paradigms of that era WERE.

Likewise, a rigorously historical approach to the text of the Scriptures provides us with a more accurate understanding of the ORIGINAL INTENT of the Word of God, in accordance with the nuances and inferences popular and familiar in the day in which it was revealed. The primary concern of the modern exegete must be “What did God intend to communicate to the original recipients of this text?” NOT “What did/does God want to communicate to me?”

In Hebrews 8:6-13, we read the following, “6 But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises. 7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second. 8 Because finding fault with them, He says: "Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah-- 9 not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they did not continue in My covenant, and I disregarded them, says the Lord. 10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 11 None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,' for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them. 12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more." 13 In that He says, "A new covenant," He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away. “ (NKJV).

Two things are readily apparent in the immediate context of this passage. First, the New Covenant and the People having their origins in it are under consideration (see vss. 6,7). The “house of Israel and the house of Judah” references the New Covenant People (Spiritual) who had their origins in that Covenant. The original members of the New Covenant Kingdom of Christ were, of course, primarily Israelites/Jews. The New Testament Christians (and those who would be their descendants, spiritually) were the “house of Israel and Judah” who are the focus of this passage. Second, the nature of the Covenant as described in vss.10-12 specifies the CHRISTIAN’S experience with God, directly, via interaction with His Spirit and Word.

Note VERY carefully that v.11 CLEARLY indicates there is no longer any need for teachers/preachers within this New Covenant Kingdom. The “provisional church structure” of the New Testament period was evidently intended to pass away when the Old Covenant Nation was terminated forever (70 AD). The NT Church was uniquely provided to THOSE saints for maintenance of the fledgling faith in its fetal stages, as a “spiritual incubator” of sorts. When the intense persecutions of the Great Tribulation of those days were brought to an end, the need for any kind of formally structured “religious body” meeting together regularly also passed away. As that which was “obsolete” actually “vanished away” (v.13), so did the need for a “church”.

Christ Himself, in comparing the attitudes and inner qualities of those aspiring to leadership in His Kingdom with the despotic, tyrannical tendencies of the Phrarisees had this to say:

“8 But you, do not be called 'Rabbi'; for One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren. 9 Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. 10 And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ. 11 But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” (Matt. 23:8-12, NKJV).

These injunctions mesh perfectly with the stated intent of God with respect to His emerging Spiritual Kingdom, in Hebrews 8. God, ultimately, desired (and still desires) a “leaderless” Kingdom (in terms of human leadership). He wants the Kingdom to be characterized by self-sacrificial service to one another and those around us, on a very basic, interpersonal level. The huge “church” budgets and buildings of today are, quite simply, outside of God’s perfect Plan for His People today, as the spiritual descendants of the original “house of Israel and Judah”.

Let’s re-commit ourselves to determining the primary, originally intended interpretation/application of the Scriptures as understood by their original “target audience”. Only in this kind of approach is God’s glory truly manifested in His historical revelation of Himself via His interactions with His People, in ancient history. And let’s remain true to God’s original intent in providing us with the written revelation of Himself that we have today.

Serving the Truth,

John McPherson

Jer2329's picture

[John McPherson]
> Note VERY carefully that v.11 [of Heb. 8]
> CLEARLY indicates there is no longer any need
> for teachers/preachers within this New Covenant
> Kingdom. "And they shall not teach everyone his fellow citizen, and everyone his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,' for all shall know Me, from the least to the greatest of them." (Heb. 8:11)That verse does not say that there are no teachers in the New-Covenant Kingdom. It says that they no longer teach one another in the Kingdom to "know the Lord." It means that there is no evangelism within the New-Covenant Kingdom.

The Kingdom was purged of unbelievers in 70, (Matt. 13:41) and now all the sons of the Kingdom "know the Lord." They don't teach their fellow citizens to "know the Lord," because they all already know Him. (Rev. 21:27) That was not the case within the kingdom in the old-covenant age.

Heb. 8:11 says nothing about teaching in the Kingdom beyond the evangelical teaching to "know the Lord." It says nothing about believers teaching each other things beyond "know the Lord."

[John McPherson]
> “8 But you, do not be called 'Rabbi'; for One
> is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all
> brethren. 9 Do not call anyone on earth your
> father; for One is your Father, He who is in
> heaven. 10 And do not be called teachers; for
> One is your Teacher, the Christ. 11 But he who
> is greatest among you shall be your servant.
> 12 And whoever exalts himself will be humbled,
> and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
> (Matt. 23:8-12, NKJV).

As you said, the Lord uttered those injunctions in the context of those who were, "aspiring to leadership in His Kingdom with ...despotic, tyrannical tendencies."

The terms "Rabbi," "Father," "Teacher" / "Leader" are not taboo and forbidden words. "Father" and "teacher" are later used in Scripture in reference to Christians. Paul felt free to use those words in the light of the Lord's injunction, because Paul did not interpret Him to be forbidding words for Christians. The Lord was forbidding a certain usage of those words.

The context of Matt. 23:8-12 is about doing deeds to be noticed by men, (Matt. 23:5) of loving places of honor and public tributes. It's about loving the praise of men (Matt. 23:6,7) and exalting oneself to greatness in the eyes of men. (Matt. 23:11,12)

What is forbidden is self-exaltation, not words. It is the usage and context of the words that give those words their sinful meaning. The Lord was not abolishing teachers or even fathers in the Kingdom (depending on the usage of those words). He was abolishing the arrogant ABUSE of such words.

[John McPherson]
> ....God, ultimately, desired (and still
> desires) a “leaderless” Kingdom (in terms of
> human leadership).

If by "human leadership" you mean tyrants, self-exalters, hypocrites and natural men, then Matt. 23:8-12 agrees with you. But if you mean that mature, spiritual and learned men are not meant to guide and teach assemblies of believers, and that every son of the Kingdom is absolutely equal, then Scripture disagrees with you:

The Scriptures do not give a picture of the Kingdom of God as being an amorphous
community of equal brothers. The New-Covenant Kingdom consists of "greater" and "lesser" sons. (Matt. 11:11; 18:4; Lk. 7:28; Heb. 8:11) And the greater sons are considered great by virtue of their servanthood toward their brothers. And their servanthood toward their brothers is biblically defined as humbly keeping and teaching God's commandments. (Matt. 5:19)

[John McPherson]
> He wants the Kingdom to be characterized by
> self-sacrificial service to one another and
> those around us, on a very basic, interpersonal
> level.

No one disagrees with that. That is not antithetical to the existence of authority and structure. If "self-sacrificial service" is opposed to authority and structure, then the 1st-century church could not have been "characterized by self-sacrificial service," because of the existence of authority and structure.

Dave
http://www.preteristcosmos.com

judge's picture

So should we do anything different?
If so ...what?

all the best

SuperSoulFighter's picture

Thankyou for asking such a simple, straightforward question, judge. I will seek to be equally plain and straightforward in my response.

I believe we need to be actively involved in the "world" of unregenerate mankind around us, demonstrating integrity and high moral and ethical conduct within the social and cultural environments in which we find ourselves. Active membership in the Spiritual Kingdom of Christ Jesus does NOT necessitate any involvement with or membership in any so-called "church" or religious organization of any kind.

Rather, we can freely draw upon the spiritual resources available directly to us in Christ Jesus and allow HIM to mentor and tutor us directly through His Word and by His Spirit. We are free to learn from each other, of course, as we happen to come into contact with people of like faith and mind, but there is no need for any kind of organized format for this to be accomplished.

Do you remember how Christ guided Paul to Ananias, and also to minister to the Macedonian believers (in a vision) - Acts 16:9? Obviously, these events had a unique quality to them, as they were during the period of God's outpouring of His Spirit and the final days of the OC "world". At the same time, God has demonstrated throughout the history of His Covenant People that He loves to interact directly with INDIVIDUALS and guide them personally and individually. Thus, if He wants us to interact with someone or pursue a certain course of action, He will make it plain. It is part of the growing relationship we are to have with Him that we develop a sensitivity to this intuitive leading, based on an appropriation of His wisdom in our hearts and minds from meditation upon and study of His Word.

I guess that sums it up - but not as succinctly as I'd hoped (in comparison to your own, brief query). I hope that helps, judge!

Parker's picture

JM:
I believe we need to be actively involved in the "world" of unregenerate mankind around us, demonstrating integrity and high moral and ethical conduct within the social and cultural environments in which we find ourselves.

Parker:
Why? On what scriptures do you base this conclusion? Certainly not on the NT, which you assign as exclusively pertaining to AD 30-70. Cite your scripture support.

JM:
Active membership in the Spiritual Kingdom of Christ Jesus does NOT necessitate any involvement with or membership in any so-called "church" or religious organization of any kind.

Parker:
Again, what makes you think YOU are a member of the AD 30-70 Kingdom of Jesus Christ? Using your own presuppositions, you cannot be in the Spiritual Kingdom of Jesus Christ, for that was an AD 30-70 construct. Please cite NT scriptures that are directly supporting your belief that you today can be in the AD 30-70 Kingdom or have any relation to it whatsoever. Cite your scripture and we'll see if it speaks of you today.

JM:
Rather, we can freely draw upon the spiritual resources available directly to us in Christ Jesus and allow HIM to mentor and tutor us directly through His Word and by His Spirit.

Parker:
Please cite any NT scripture that teaches you that such a belief is correct. What makes you think that YOU have His Spirit, which was an AD30-70 construct to close out Israel's covenant history. The Spirit was poured out on THEM, not you.

JM:
We are free to learn from each other, of course, as we happen to come into contact with people of like faith and mind, but there is no need for any kind of organized format for this to be accomplished.

Parker:
Why are you free to learn from another? I thought that the spiritual kingdom was a place where "no one need teach another." Everyone already knows, so why teach? No, you are clearly NOT free to learn from another, for such implies that God is not your teacher (using your presuppositional illogic).

JM:
Do you remember how Christ guided Paul to Ananias, and also to minister to the Macedonian believers (in a vision) - Acts 16:9? Obviously, these events had a unique quality to them, as they were during the period of God's outpouring of His Spirit and the final days of the OC "world". At the same time, God has demonstrated throughout the history of His Covenant People that He loves to interact directly with INDIVIDUALS and guide them personally and individually.

Parker:
You are amazing. You throw away the entire Church because you say it is an AD 30-70 construct, then you turn around and use ancient works of God from the AD 30-70 period as your contemporary model -- amazing.

JM:
Thus, if He wants us to interact with someone or pursue a certain course of action, He will make it plain.

Parker:
What scripture says you should think of God in such terms? Please cite it, and we'll examine it to see if it is speaking of you. Consistently applying your own hermeneutic will reveal that you may not think such of God's work in your life.

JM:
It is part of the growing relationship we are to have with Him that we develop a sensitivity to this intuitive leading, based on an appropriation of His wisdom in our hearts and minds from meditation upon and study of His Word.

Parker:
You are just making stuff up in your own wishful thinking. Scripture doesn't explicitly teach you this, for scripture is speaking of HISTORIC situation--have you forgotten? You are failing to understand the historic nature and context of Israel and the bible, which was for back then, not for you personally today.

This response demonstrates the utter absurdity of your hermeneutic when applied fairly and consistently. For it cuts both ways. You can't claim that the Church is bound to an AD 30-70 reality, and then turn around and create a prescriptive "kingdom" for today--it's unscriptural. Remember, the bible isn't talking about you!

SuperSoulFighter's picture

Parker: "This response demonstrates the utter absurdity of your hermeneutic when applied fairly and consistently. For it cuts both ways. You can't claim that the Church is bound to an AD 30-70 reality, and then turn around and create a prescriptive "kingdom" for today--it's unscriptural. Remember, the bible isn't talking about you!"

Slow down there, Parker!! You're gonna pull a muscle or something. I have NEVER said NOTHING in the Scriptures applies to us, nor did I EVER say that the eternal Kingdom of Christ Jesus ceased to exist on this planet in 70 AD. I have consistently maintained that THE EXTERNAL, FORMAL REPRESENTATION OF THE KINGDOM IN ITS FETAL, FORMATIVE STAGES ceased to exist in 70 AD. THE CHURCH ceased to exist - NOT the Kingdom. Believe it or not, there IS a Biblical difference and distinction between the two.

The New Covenant "world" (Spiritual Kingdom of Christ Jesus) is eternal in both this realm and the spiritual one. But before I go further and respond to your latest challenges (delivered with your customary lack of humility and grace, I see), I must insist that you do what I asked you to do in my response to you on a different discussion here.

And that is - respond contextually and appropriately (in other words, with integrity) to both of the passages cited in my original article. This is my challenge to you. I have consistently responded to your objections and attacks with sound Biblical replies, and now I expect the same of you.

Parker's picture

JM:
I have NEVER said NOTHING in the Scriptures applies to us, nor did I EVER say that the eternal Kingdom of Christ Jesus ceased to exist on this planet in 70 AD.

Parker:
Using your hermeneutic, the scriptural discussion of the Kingdom was for THEM, not you. Please stop using God's ancient dealings with the historic Israel/Church as if they somehow apply to you. Be consistent.

JM:
I have consistently maintained that THE EXTERNAL, FORMAL REPRESENTATION OF THE KINGDOM IN ITS FETAL, FORMATIVE STAGES ceased to exist in 70 AD. THE CHURCH ceased to exist - NOT the Kingdom. Believe it or not, there IS a Biblical difference and distinction between the two.

Parker:
Anyone can see the double standard you are applying here. Nope. The Kingdom they spoke of was an historic reality for them, NOT FOR YOU. Please remember the historic context of the scriptures. They were not speaking about YOU. Be consistent.

JM:
The New Covenant "world" (Spiritual Kingdom of Christ Jesus) is eternal in both this realm and the spiritual one.

Parker:
It existed in THEIR realm, not YOURS. Please remember to read the bible in its clear grammatical and historic contexts. YOU are nowhere discussed in those texts on the Kingdom.

Parker's picture

Leaderless kingdoms?

Leaderless families?

Leaderless businesses?

Leaderless countries?

Leaderless educational systems?

Leaderless Internet publishing?

Leaderless leaderlessness?

There are words for such forms of evil and self-destruction in the world today: anarchy, lawlessness, chaos, hyper-protestantism.

Virgil's picture

And your solution is an old uninspired guy telling us all to conform to his theology? I am not buying that either...

SuperSoulFighter's picture

You're misinterpreting me and taking my words out of context, Parker. "God, ultimately, desired (and still desires) a “leaderless” Kingdom (in terms of human leadership)."

I stated that God desired a "leaderless Kingdom" in terms of HUMAN authorities. His Kingdom has ONE leader. ONE Teacher. ONE Authority. It's right there in the statements of Christ Jesus Himself. Your argument isn't with me, it's with Him.

Earthly organizations need human leadership, obviously, but the Spiritual Kingdom of Christ Jesus doesn't. It is a Theocracry.

Parker's picture

SuperSoul:
You're misinterpreting me and taking my words out of context, Parker. "God, ultimately, desired (and still desires) a “leaderless” Kingdom (in terms of human leadership)."

Parker:
God never did desire such, and never will desire such. In scripture, there is no such thing as "human leadership." Biblical leadership is established in God-ordained offices, providing government and order for the unity, preservation, and effectiveness of the People of God. True Israel is Christ's own body, the perpetual incarnation and presence of God in the world (via Israel, the Church). "Christ in us"--the realized glory.

SuperSoul:
I stated that God desired a "leaderless Kingdom" in terms of HUMAN authorities. His Kingdom has ONE leader. ONE Teacher. ONE Authority. It's right there in the statements of Christ Jesus Himself. Your argument isn't with me, it's with Him.

Parker:
Scripture teaches no such thing. My argument is not with Him, it's with your misrepresentation of the biblical facts. The same Lord that commanded them to call no one "Rabbi, teacher," set teachers in the Church. And, we must recognize that this was not a new or "unique" action. It was carried over into the New Covenant Church from Israel's historic understanding of the preservation of God's law and truth.

Presumably, in your model, "the bible" is the leader. Yet scripture itself affirms no such transfer of authority out of the historic Church and into a book. And by the way, the "church" did not begin at Christ--it began with Moses and stood for the faithful remnant of Israel down the ages.

SuperSoulFighter's picture

Parker: "God never did desire such, and never will desire such. In scripture, there is no such thing as "human leadership.". Biblical leadership is established in God-ordained offices, providing government and order for the unity, preservation, and effectiveness of the People of God."

God: "8 It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man. 9 It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes." (Psalm 118:8,9 KJV)

"4 Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto Ramah, 5 And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations. 6 But the thing displeased F34 Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed unto the LORD. 7 And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them. 8 According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt even unto this day, wherewith they have forsaken me, and served other gods, so do they also unto thee." (1Sam. 8:4-8, KJV).

Israel's choosing a human king to reign over them was the equivalent of their rejection of God Himself as their King, in God's eyes. Yes...God used Samuel, Joshua, Moses and other human leaders to act as His representatives to the Israelite Nation, but THIS WAS AN IMPERFECT, "BETA VERSION" OF THE SPRITUAL NATION. Old Covenant Israel was but a flawed "prototype" of the eventual, perfect Spiritual Kingdom which God would bring into being. So THEIR human leadership was simply one of the imperfect, unsatisfactory (to God) aspects of their flawed, temporal "comos" or world.

Parker: "True Israel is Christ's own body, the perpetual incarnation and presence of God in the world (via Israel, the Church). "Christ in us"--the realized glory."

SSF: The metaphor of the "Body" breaks down when its expansion is limitless, timeless and universal/global in essence. The "Body" metaphor had in view very specific, limited local groups of believers who manifested specific characteristics associated with specific ministry roles. So His "body" was manifested in various locations within local fellowships. Even so - the sum total of believers in THAT day were considered to be ONE, distinct, unique "body". The timing of THEIR redemption involved anticipation of the events which occurred in 70 AD. Note the following:

"19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. 20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, 21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. 23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our BODY." (Romans 8:19-23, KJV)

Paul uses the singular form of "body", above, signifying a corporate sense in this statement. The "creation" was the Old Covenant "world" and the "creature" made subject to vanity was/were the Old Covenant saints who were awaiting the resurrection in Sheol. They eagerly awaited the resurrection and completion of the redemption of the "body" of NT saints, at which time they would be glorified together WITH them.

Yes, we are the earthly manifestation of the glory and wisdom of God as His People. But this reality does not require that we be viewed as members of Christ's "Body". The suffering of His "body" was time-limited in nature, and came to an end in the final redemption of His People from the Old Covenant "world" and its persecutions/antagonism.

Parker: "The same Lord that commanded them to call no one "Rabbi, teacher," set teachers in the Church. And, we must recognize that this was not a new or "unique" action. It was carried over into the New Covenant Church from Israel's historic understanding of the preservation of God's law and truth."

SSF: Again, this provision of "teachers/preachers" was TEMPORARY and PROVISIONAL for that unique period of history. As Paul himself put it, "For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known." (1Corinthians 13:12, KJV). THEY "saw through a glass darkly", and had not yet experienced the fulfillment of their hopes and the prophecies and promises made to them concerning the end of THEIR "world". They had rough ideas about the nature of the coming New Covenant "world", but no clear picture and view. They didn't even have the entire canon of Scripture to guide them. It was still being written. So THEY needed teachers and preachers. WE do not. THEY lived within the era still governed and dominated by the imperfect Old Covenant "world", which was characterized by flawed, sinful, prideful, even wicked human leadership. God brought all of that to an end in 70 AD (including the need for human leadership over His People).

Paul clearly limits the "body" metaphor to a specific group of saints - the NT believers - in 1Corinthians 12:27-31, "27 Now YE [the Corinthian believers] are the body of Christ, and members in particular. 28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? 30 Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret? 31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way."

Paul was about to reveal THE defining characteristics of the emerging SPIRITUAL Kingdom. These characteristics are fundamentally INTERNAL and SPIRITUAL. They are in no way, shape or form governmental in nature. Faith, hope and love. 1Corinthians 13.

Note very carefully Paul's words in 1Cor. 13:8-10, "8 Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect has come, then THAT WHICH IS IN PART WILL BE DONE AWAY."

WE enjoy citizenship today in "that which is perfect", Parker. "That which was in part" has been done away - including the suffering "Body of Christ" empowered by the Spirit Who had brought about their conception as a People at Pentecost and was nurturing the founding generation of the Kingdom of heaven in the "fetal" stage of their history. The "church" was the "womb", Parker - the "spiritual incubator". It's time to recognize it for what it was and what its purpose was. The birthed and mature Kingdom and New Covenant People no longer need the formal structure so necessary to the spiritual lives of the NT saints.

Historical perspective is critical on this, Parker, but so is spiritual discernment when evaluating the role and function of modern so-called "churches". In all honesty, I can see where the "church" has done as much (perhaps more) harm as/than good among mankind, historically. Western "churches" are essentially religious social clubs. This in itself does not necessitate complete withdrawal from involvement with them out of hand, but acknowledgment of their true, fundamental nature must be part of that involvement. We should not make them out to be more than they really are.

I also suspect that attempts to establish Western-style Christianity in a somewhat formally organized form have been the catalyst for the modern persecutions of Christians in many "closed countries". Organized Christianity (i.e. "Churchianity") has ALOT to answer for, Parker. Praise God He delivered my wife and I from involvement with it several years ago, and that I chose NOT to go on to pursue the missionary/pastoral career I embarked on so many years ago. NO-ONE in ANY of these positions today is "ordained" to them, Parker. That is a fallacy that must be addressed by ourselves as FPs, and others who understand the basics of truly historical hermeneutics.

God's New Covenant People are answerable to God alone, Parker. THAT is a Biblical fact. God is fully capable of governing and instructing His People without the interference of human "authorities" (self-proclaimed). There are NO "God-ordained offices" on this planet today, nor HAVE their been for almost 2,000 years (with the exception, perhaps, of the parental role within the family unit). In terms of any kind of government over one another, however, that is all a thing of the past.

Parker: "Presumably, in your model, "the bible" is the leader."

SSF: You presume too much. God is the sole Authority, as I've repeatedly stated here. Yes, He uses His Word to guide our understanding into paths of wisdom, but He also desires to create within us an inner sensitivity to His promptings. "8 I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye. 9 Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee. 10 Many sorrows shall be to the wicked: but he that trusteth in the LORD, mercy shall compass him about." (Psalm 32:7-11, KJV).

God wants us to develop the instinctive awareness of when He is viewing us with favor and when He is not. THIS is how He desires to interact with His People - on a VERY personal, intuitive level. HE instructs and teaches us through His Word AND He guides us, personally and individually. Do you have a problem with that, Parker? I sincerely hope not, for your sake.

Parker: "And by the way, the "church" did not begin at Christ--it began with Moses and stood for the faithful remnant of Israel down the ages."

SSF: I am basically in agreement with you on this, although I would refer to the Abrahamic household of faith as "the remnant" or "the elect" in their role within the Old Covenant Nation. It actually began with Abraham by the way - the Covenant "household of faith", evidencing the faith of our common spiritual ancestor - Abraham.

May the Truth be glorified in all of our deliberations here.

JM

Parker's picture

JM,

Psalm 118:8-9, if taken in the sense you mean it, would contradict perhaps hundreds of places in scripture where God instructs men to submit to authority. As you would have it, the author of Psalm 118, King David, was teaching his countrymen to not submit to human authorities in Israel. How obviously false. David was not even an anarchist towards Saul, nor did David permit rebellion against his own authority as king.

Also, what good would excommunication have been if an excommunicated man so judged that the rulers of Israel and later the apostles had no such governmental authority? Could such a man merely ignore those men and call it "obedience to God's Kingship"? Hardly. See also where Jesus expected his followers to do whatever the Pharisees said, even though they were personally corrupt (Matt 23:2). Why? Because they held a God-ordained office, occuping the seat of Moses over the nation. Moses was a prince in Israel, and his "chair" remained. Jesus expected them to respect the authorities. You, however, are an anarchist.

As to the appointment of a king to be the judge over Israel in 1 Sam 8, remember that Samuel himself had appointed judges/rulers over Israel (1 Sam 8:10), and God did not rebuke Samuel for that! Such totally contradicts your position. Furthermore, the following warning about a bad king was specific to Saul (1 Sam 8:10-9). Your attempt to make 1 Sam 8:7 some kind of universal statement about human leadership is untenable. That passage was neither understood nor applied in any such sense as you suggest. The Israelites' rejection of "God's Rule" over them was specifically in that they rejected God-ordained human authorities like Moses, the Judges and others, and sought after pagan nations and their god-kings (1 Sam 8:7-8).

Next, your statement that you are not part of Christ's body will be accepted at face value. You said it, not me. I, however, am a part of Christ's body. The people of God are Christ's body in mystery (Eph 5:30-32), and the very fullness of Christ Himself (Eph 1:22-23). Now, If you think you are part of the people of God (as you seem to), then you must be part of Christ's body.

Next, your statement that the "provision of 'teachers/preachers' was TEMPORARY and PROVISIONAL for that unique period of history" is more nonsense. 1 Cor 13 doesn't speak of some AD 70 "perfection." It speaks of being "perfect" per Christ's clear teaching on the matter (Matt 19:21; Matt 5:48; Lk 6:40; 1 Jn 1:4-6). The "perfect" of 1 Cor 13:10-11 is the same "perfect" of 1 Cor 14:20. To put it another way, 1 Cor 14:20 interprets 1 Cor 13:10-11. In case you lack of clarity over the correct interpretation of 1 Cor 13's "love and perfection", just read 1 Jn 2:3-6. Anyone that thinks that living after AD 70 makes one "perfect" in the biblical sense is fully misguided on the NT teaching of "perfect." Being "perfect" has everything to do with walking in the love and gnosis of Christ and his commands, not being born after AD 70.

Next, all your personal negative feelings about your experience in the protestant church are just that--your personal feelings. They must be rejected for biblical truth. Perhaps your churches have been religious social clubs. But the church founded by Christ and the apostles is not. Also, I believe your expressed feelings about the church expose your agenda. You are among the walking wounded of protestantism. As a result, you have turned to anarchy.

Parker
(Full Preterist)

SuperSoulFighter's picture

Rather than respond to your latest rant point-for-point I'm going to highlight an example of the weakness in your approach to the Biblical text, Parker, as demonstrated in your post, above.

Parker: "The "perfect" of 1 Cor 13:10-11 is the same "perfect" of 1 Cor 14:20. To put it another way, 1 Cor 14:20 interprets 1 Cor 13:10-11."

Here is 1Corinthians 14:20,
20 "Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men." (KJV)

Now. We are all going to enjoy the spectacle of seeing how you relate this text to the "perfect" of 1Cor. 13:10-11. Is this a mistaken reference? Are you trying to indicate that having the "understanding of children" equates with the "imperfect" or "that which is in part" of 1Cor. 13:10?? The connection you see between this text and 1Cor 13: 10-11 involves a reference to the spiritual maturity available to THOSE believers in THOSE days. Paul was inviting them to "grow up" spiritually, which was fully within their capability, as is obvious from the tone and force of his language.

But 1Cor. 13:10 speaks to an entirely different reality. Paul was clearly identifying a period of time when "prophecies" and "tongues", etc. would "fail" and no longer have validity. Even "knowledge" (as it was known in THOSE days) would "vanish away" (1Cor. 13:8). The statements concerning their "prophesying in part" (v.9) are clarified in v.10. The prophecies based upon "partial knowledge" and awareness would vanish away forever when the "perfect" (the fully revealed Spiritual Kingdom of Christ Jesus) was revealed. Verse 11 speaks to the spiritual maturity which Paul already POSSESSED and had achieved (past tense) in THOSE days. This maturity was what was required to fully comprehend the truths he was presenting to them. He was urging this same maturity upon THEM, so they could appropriate the "hope" he was setting before them in anticipation of the revelation and full manifestation of the "perfect" (the complete establishment of the Spiritual Kingdom in 70 AD).

Parker: "Anyone that thinks that living after AD 70 makes one "perfect" in the biblical sense is fully misguided on the NT teaching of "perfect." Being "perfect" has everything to do with walking in the love and gnosis of Christ and his commands, not being born after AD 70."

Once again you have completely misrepresented what I have been saying here. I am confident that those browsing these discussions would agree. Re-read what I've said, Parker, and start interacting with it in a manner characterized by integrity. I have never said anything about being "perfect" individually on the basis of post-AD 70 physical birth. Ridiculous!

Parker: Next, all your personal negative feelings about your experience in the protestant church are just that--your personal feelings. They must be rejected for biblical truth. Perhaps your churches have been religious social clubs. But the church founded by Christ and the apostles is not. Also, I believe your expressed feelings about the church expose your agenda. You are among the walking wounded of protestantism. As a result, you have turned to anarchy.

Don't patronize me, Parker. I have a broad range of experience within (and outside) of Protestant Evangelicalism (including exposure to it in other countries). I have witnessed a consistent pattern of politicized "fellowship" in EVERY so-called "church", and even the best, most sincere and seemingly most "effective" (in terms of "ministry") are prone to the failings and infighting indicative of organizations lacking God's "stamp of approval" and validation. I remain adamant in my sweeping rejection of modern "church structure" as being nothing more than representative of a humanly-constructed social environment. For those who have no recourse to other social outlets, this is not, perhaps a completely "bad" thing. But its "price tag" is. Churches, ultimately, demand commitment at a deeper and deeper level. The more fanatically committed their membership is, the stronger the organization is. These memberships take this as evidence of the "approval and blessing of God" upon them, when in reality, other "social clubs" (service clubs, Lodges, etc.) demonstrate similar characteristics. Strong commitment on the part of their members = a strong organization.

It's YOUR turn to interact with the Scriptures, Parker. You have managed to avoid those I included in my original article here, thus far. And now I'm challenging you to specifically address both passages in that article.

JM

JM

Parker's picture

JM:
We are all going to enjoy the spectacle of seeing how you relate this text to the "perfect" of 1Cor. 13:10-11. Is this a mistaken reference?

Parker:
You are mistaken to think it is a mistaken reference. See the comparision:

--COMPARE THIS--

1 Corinthians 13:10-11
and when that which is perfect may come, then that which is in part shall become useless. When I was a babe, as a babe I was speaking, as a babe I was thinking, as a babe I was reasoning, and when I have become a man, I have made useless the things of the babe

--TO THIS--

1 Corinthians 14:20
Brethren, become not children in the understanding, but in the evil be ye babes, and in the understanding become perfect

How could anyone with any biblical understanding question the relationship between these two verses? Some "spectacle."

The entire teaching about "perfect" comes from Jesus Christ (see Matt 5:48; Luke 6:40; Matt 19:20-21; 1 Jn 2:5). Paul was simply reiterating this teaching in 1 Cor 13.

In your answer, you claim that "the perfect" equates to "the the fully revealed Spiritual Kingdom of Christ Jesus" [AD 70]. That is a major error. The entire teaching about "perfect" comes from Jesus Christ (see Matt 5:48; Luke 6:40; Matt 19:20-21; 1 Jn 2:5). Paul was simply reiterating Christ's teaching in 1 Cor 13. In the New Testament scriptures, "the perfect" is not ever "the complete establishment of the Spiritual Kingdom in 70 AD" as you believe. To understand what "the perfect" is, please read Matt 5:48; Luke 6:40; Matt 19:20-21; 1 Jn 2:5.

You said, "I have never said anything about being "perfect" individually on the basis of post-AD 70 physical birth. Ridiculous!" Well, JM, perhaps I don't yet know what your full application is, but it is clear in this post of yours that you don't even know what "the perfect" is.

Finally, you said, " I remain adamant in my sweeping rejection of modern "church structure" as being nothing more than representative of a humanly-constructed social environment." Well, JM, that is incorrect as well. The Church is the reconstituted Israel under Christ's eternal New Covenant, consisting of the single college of shepherds ordained by direct succession from the apostles, and including the flocks of God to whom the shepherds are responsible. These ordained leaders of the single apostolate preach God's laws and carry out the governmental order for Israel as authorized from Jesus Christ and the apostles. This Israel is God-ordained and passed on throughout all generations world without end.

SuperSoulFighter's picture

Parker: "--COMPARE THIS--
1 Corinthians 13:10-11
and when that which is perfect may come, then that which is in part shall become useless. When I was a babe, as a babe I was speaking, as a babe I was thinking, as a babe I was reasoning, and when I have become a man, I have made useless the things of the babe
--TO THIS--
1 Corinthians 14:20
Brethren, become not children in the understanding, but in the evil be ye babes, and in the understanding become perfect"

What's intriguing is the distortion of the language, here, in whichever version you are using. This is likely part of your problem. It appears to be more of a paraphrase than a translation. It communicates the bias and interpretive presuppositions of the translator rather than the original intent of the original Greek. I've checked the major versions on this and your rendering isn't in any of them.

There is NO direct connetion between 1Cor. 13:10 and 14:20. 1Cor. 13:11 and 14:20 speak to the issue of spiritual maturity, but the tenses of the verbs in v.10 are FUTURE, speaking of future events. The translator attempts to tie vss. 10,11 (in YOUR version) together with the interpolated term "useless". His efforts ARE useless, however. The actual Greek should be transliterated most accurately "then that which is in part will be abolished" or "set aside". There is no passive sense to this. It ("that which is in part") is the object and recipient of the actions of an agency superior to it (God, in this case). God abolished or "set aside", forever, that which was "in part" - the Holy-Spirit-gifted Church, the ONLY "Body" of its kind in human history. The ONLY Church with apostolic authority, whose structure and history on this planet was brought to an end in 70 AD.

Parker: "Finally, you said, " I remain adamant in my sweeping rejection of modern "church structure" as being nothing more than representative of a humanly-constructed social environment." Well, JM, that is incorrect as well. The Church is the reconstituted Israel under Christ's eternal New Covenant, consisting of the single college of shepherds ordained by direct succession from the apostles, and including the flocks of God to whom the shepherds are responsible. These ordained leaders of the single apostolate preach God's laws and carry out the governmental order for Israel as authorized from Jesus Christ and the apostles. This Israel is God-ordained and passed on throughout all generations world without end."

You sound an awful lot like a Catholic, Parker. If this is, indeed, your unfortunate state and the religious bondage in which you find yourself today, may I just say that you have my sincerest pity - and the source of your skewed perspective on the Kingdom becomes painfully obvious.

On what Scriptures do you base your erroneous belief in a supposed "college of shepherds ordained by direct succession from the apostles"?? Chapter and verse please. Also, I would like to see textual support for the following: "These ordained leaders of the single apostolate preach God's laws and carry out the governmental order for Israel as authorized from Jesus Christ and the apostles."

I am also waiting for a response to the texts in my original article. Thankyou in advance for your anticipated analysis.

Parker's picture

What's intriguing, JM, is that you are totally clueless about "perfect," and that you had no idea that 1 Cor 14:20 is Paul's very own APPLICATION of 1 Cor 13:10-11. So why do you guess when we have the apostle's own clear application? Why would you falsely assign "the perfect" to a full expression of the Kingdom at AD 70 when neither Paul nor Jesus meant any such thing?

Furthermore, both the Greek and the usage in the two passages are a direct match -- and, BTW, I used the Young's Literal Translation there. Not only is there a direct connection between 1 Cor 14:20 and 1 Cor 13:10-11, there is clear identity between the two. 1 Cor 14:20 is Paul's very own application of 1 Cor 13:10-11. Adjust your incorrect theology accordingly.

Finally, the NT is all about Christ setting up his government for the eternal New Israel. Jesus clearly tied the Kingdom to the Prime Ministerial office of Israel in Matthew 16:18-19, where Peter became the restored prime minister of Israel (a position formerly held by prior prime ministers to the king like Eliakim and Shebna -- cf. Mat 16:18-19 to Isaiah 22:15-24). Next, the 12 apostles became the 12 new patriarchs and judges over Israel's reconstitution (Matt 19:28/Rev 21:12-14). The 12 were ordained to unite the Israel and Judah houses, and they began to build the New Israel through the appointment of authorized bishops such as Titus and Timothy -- men directly ordained from the apostles through the laying on of hands (direct succession). These men in turn were authorized from the apostles to continue to appoint new bishops exactly as they themselves were ordained (Titus 1:5/2 Tim 2:2/1 Tim 3). The command to Timothy to ordain new bishops is especially instructive to us, since it was given to Timothy at the time of Paul's martyrdom in 67-68 AD (see 2 Tim 4:6). So here we have proof that Paul was setting up the ordination of bishops to continue to rule the Church, and his apostolic instruction was given in his final days and during the Parousia/tribulation. So we have the clear transmission of the apostolic witness and authority passed to the Bishops of the Church. The Church had finally been built (it took 40 years to build it), and the 12 apostles attained unto their heavenly rule on 12 thrones. The historic Church and its bishopric/episcopate is the authorized college of shepherds, ordained from the apostles and perpetuated by succession/laying on of hands.

SuperSoulFighter's picture

Parker: What's intriguing, JM, is that you are totally clueless about "perfect," and that you had no idea that 1 Cor 14:20 is Paul's very own APPLICATION of 1 Cor 13:10-11. So why do you guess when we have the apostle's own clear application? Why would you falsely assign "the perfect" to a full expression of the Kingdom at AD 70 when neither Paul nor Jesus meant any such thing?

I am truly astounded when considering your ideas involving "the perfect" and the Biblical basis you have provided for them, Parker. You're right. These eisegetical high-jinx are characteristic of Catholic theology I suppose. Also, there is NO grammatical connection between 1Cor. 13:10 and 14:20 whatsoever. I'm astounded, again, that YOU think there IS. Again, your Catholic hermeneutics are demonstrably eisegetical in nature (perhaps even "alchemical" to a degree).

You haven't proven that Paul did not intend to communicate the fully, perfectly established Kingdom in 1Cor. 13:10 in any way, shape or form. You have created a fanciful connection, in fact, between Jesus' teachings concerning INDIVIDUAL PERFECTION and Paul's usage of "the perfect" in a CORPORATE SENSE.

Really, Parker, your approach to the Scriptures verges on an abomination. This is from your previous comment.

Parker: "To understand what "the perfect" is, please read Matt 5:48; Luke 6:40; Matt 19:20-21; 1 Jn 2:5.

Here's Matt. 5:43-48, "43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? 48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect."

In Christ's entire preceding monologue he deals with INDIVIDUAL requirements and standards in the Kingdom. He is addressing the behaviour of the INDIVIDUAL, Parker. Come on. Look at it with your biases and eisegetical glasses off for a moment. There is NO connection whatsoever between the injunction to "perfection" on an individual basis in this passage (urged upon them as an act/result of active obedience), and "that which is perfect" as a corporate entity in 1Cor. 13:10. Your hermeneutics are completely NON-CONTEXTUAL. You are in NO position to instruct ANYONE in this area.

Here is the context of Luke 6:40, "37 Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: 38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again. 39 And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch? 40 The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master. 41 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye? 42 Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother's eye." (Luke 6:37-42, KJV).

Again, it is OBVIOUS to even the casual reader that Christ Jesus is speaking to the behaviour, attitudes and lifestyle of the INDIVIDUAL - NOT the nature and structure of a "corporate entity" (like Paul is, in 1Cor. 13:10). This is the most basic, elementary-level analysis, Parker and even at this level you fail. These things should be OBVIOUS to you, too. But I get the impression you've been spoon-fed a "bill of goods" that you are regurgitating here, verbatim.

Here is Matt. 19:20,21, "20 The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? 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."

Wow. It is painfully obvious to everyone else, here, I'm sure, that this passage deals with the obedience and lifestyle of an INDIVIDUAL would-be follower of Christ Jesus. This has NOTHING to do with the corporate "perfect" of 1Cor. 13, Parker. I'm embarrassed for you.

1John 2:5, "5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him."

Ouch. Using this text in relation to 1Cor. 13:10 forces it so far out of its obvious, immediate context it's just scary. We don't even need to examine your Young's paraphrase OR the original Greek, here, Parker. Your ideas involving any connection between the individual perfection of the believer and the passages addressing that issue, and the revelation of the fully established and "perfect" Kingdom as a corporate entity and Body are utterly nonsensical and completely disassociated from context and reason. You are abusing the Scriptures in an unwarranted and completely unacceptable fashion. You stand in need of extensive correction, and I know our Saviour is highly capable of very effectively meeting this need in your heart and mind.

Parker: "18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."

We see Peter being granted authority over the People of God in the First Century Jewish "world". Nowhere do we see a "Prime Ministerial office" identified or discussed. Your imaginative/creative treatment of this text is false and eisegetical to the highest degree.

Parker: "...a position formerly held by prior prime ministers to the king like Eliakim and Shebna -- cf. Mat 16:18-19 to Isaiah 22:15-24"

Shebna is identified as a TREASURER in Isaiah 22. Eliakim seems to have held an office similar to the description of Peter's role and office in Matthew. But again - it is NOT identified as a Prime Minsterial office. This is YOUR fabrication.

Parker: "You said, "I have never said anything about being "perfect" individually on the basis of post-AD 70 physical birth. Ridiculous!" Well, JM, perhaps I don't yet know what your full application is, but it is clear in this post of yours that you don't even know what "the perfect" is."

What is clear is that YOU have no clue in terms of accurate hermeneutics and exegesis characterized by integrity, Parker. Your imaginary understanding of "perfect" in the NT lies completely outside of any position remotely resembling exegetical accuracy and contextual consistency.

Parker's picture

As we have seen, Paul clearly interprets/applies 1 Cor 13:10-11 at 1 Cor 14:20, and it has nothing at all to do with AD 70. It has to do with being made perfect in love (1 Cor 13:1-3). Paul's own application of 1 Cor 13:10-11 is the only correct one, and your application is pure error. Let scripture interpret scripture. Paul knew exactly what "the perfect" of 1 Cor 13 was, and said so openly:

2 Cor 13:9,11
this also we wish, even your perfection...brethren, Be perfect...and the God of love and peace shall be with you.

1 Corinthians 2:6
Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect

1 Corinthians 14:20
Brethren, become not children in the understanding, but in the evil be ye babes, and in the understanding become ye perfect

1 Cor 16:13-14
act like men [not babes]...let all that you do be done in love.

Matthew 5:48
Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

1 Corinthians 13:1-3
If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing...

How much more clear could Paul be? In 2 Cor 13:9,11 Paul says he was wishing for their "perfection." Then he cites Matthew 5:48 as a command to them! Paul is consistent in his teaching of the "perfect."

Next, St. John interprets 1 Cor 13 as well, at 1 John 2:5. Again there we see that being "perfected in love" (cf. 1 Cor 13) has nothing to do with AD 70:

1 John 2:5
but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has been perfected.

There it is again, folks. There's the apostolic application of 1 Cor 13. St. John's interpretation of 1 Cor 13 is the correct one, and yours, JM, is pure error. But wait..there's more on this issue of the perfect and love from St. John:

1 Jn 4:12-13
if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in Him

Here again is St. John's clear commentary on 1 Cor 13 with regards to "the perfect" and love. St. John lifts this straight from Paul's teaching on "love" and "perfect." Their perfection had to do with love, not AD 70.

Face it. You screwed up big on this one. The apostolic applications of 1 Cor 13 trump your unbiblical presuppositions and speculations of what "perfect" might be or pertain to. We must hold to the apostolic teachings/interpretations of 1 Cor 13, and we must therefore reject your erroneous, unbiblical speculations. Let scripture interpret scripture. Now, please adjust your theology accordingly.

SuperSoulFighter's picture

I won't bother to continue haggling with you over what is patently obvious to the majority, here, Parker. You simply don't have the tools necessary to make a remotely adequate assessment of ANY Scripture, quite obviously. I sincerely pity you, and despise the leadership of your so-called "church" for what they have done to you. Your understanding if veiled in a way that God certainly never intended. It is pointless to try to argue these things further with you.

Here it is, for the last time.

8 "Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. 9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away." (1Cor. 13:8-10, KJV).

The "corporate body of saints" of those days and their inter-relationships with each other is clearly in view, in 1Cor. 13. Verse 11 is introduced as an aside, concerning the spiritual maturity necessary to appropriate, personlly, the teaching of this passage. The "prophecies", "tongues" and "knowledge" Paul is referring to in v.9 were all characteristic of THEIR "corporate fellowship". This whole chapter is directly involved with the preceding one (1Cor. 12), which is focussed on the ministry within the corporate "Body" which the NT saints enjoyed with each other.

YOU are divorcing 1Cor. 13 from its context and v.10, in particular, from even its immediate context (vss. 8,9). Verses 8-10, above, are CLEARLY devoted to a further consideration of the time-limitations of the "gifts of the Spirit" and the corporate "Body" (that which was "in part") existent at that time, and defined by those "gifts". The fact that you are incapable of seeing and comprehending this is further evidence of your own, tragic blindness and the delusional perception of Biblical Truth foisted upon you by your trusted "church" leaders.

The only one, here, with anything to "face", Parker, is yourself. You need to humbly approach the Throne of Grace and seek our Saviour's gracious mercy and instruction in His Truth. Divorce yourself from the deceptive organization with which you are affiliated, sir! The strictly "human-ordained" leadership and structure to which you are so devoted is unworthy of ownership of your soul. If you are truly born again of the Spirit of God, you are Christ's alone, and a citizen of HIS Kingdom (Spiritual).

Serving the Truth,

JM

Parker's picture

Deal with the scriptures, JM. You can't handle the truth.

The clear interpretation of 1 Cor 13:10-11 is 1 Cor 14:20. Furthermore, you can no longer deny St. John's own interpretation of 1 Cor 13 which is found at 1 Jn 2:5 and 1 Jn 4:11-12. I have posted those passages, and so the cat is out of the bag and your false understanding of 1 Cor 13 is exposed. Now that the choice has been given to either trust the clear interpretations given by Paul and St. John, or to trust in your wild speculations, all men must trust the apostles and reject your views.

Next, the statement that "love never fails" at 13:8 does NOT mean "love will not go away at AD 70," which is what your interpretation requires. Rather, in context, "love never fails" refers back to love's EFFICACY just spoken of in 13:4-7 in contrast to the failings of spiritual gifts just spoken about at 1 Cor 13:1-3:

Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things--love never fails (13:4-8).

The whole point of the chapter is to compare love's surpassing efficacy to the total futility of spiritual gifts apart from love. When Paul said spiritual gifts will "fail," he was referring back to his opening statement:

" If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing".

These are the "failings" of the gifts, in context--and such failures are being contrasted to the never-failing abilities of love. Nowhere in this passage is Paul remotely discussing AD 70, the second coming, the completion of the canon, or any other such nonsense.

To be "the man/the perfect" is not to "have arrived at AD 70," as your view requires. Rather, as Paul so clearly said:

1 Cor 13:10-11, 14:20
and when that which is perfect may come, then that which is in part shall become useless. When I was a babe, as a babe I was speaking, as a babe I was thinking, as a babe I was reasoning, and when I have become a man, I have made useless the things of the babe...Brethren, become not children in the understanding, but in the evil be ye babes, and in the understanding become ye perfect

So we see what "the perfect" is versus "the babe." It's so clearly laid out that only a man with an agenda could ever deny it. All readers can see the simplicity of merely letting scripture interpret scripture. In other words, let Paul interpret Paul. Let St. John even interpret Paul. Do NOT, however, let JM interpret Paul.

Finally, you have displayed overwhelming ignorance on the relationship between Matthew 16:18-19, where Jesus ties the Kingdom inseparably to the rule of the Church in citing Isaiah 22:15-25. In Isaiah 22, the keyholder...

"has the government of Israel committed into his hand" (v. 21)

"is a papa/father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and the house of Judah" (v. 21)

"has the key of David so that what he opens none shall have permission to shut" (v. 22)

"and shall be for a glorious throne to his father's house" (v. 23)

"and the riches and glory of the father's house were to hang on him" (v. 23-24)

This is precisely what Jesus meant when he applied this Isaiah passage to Peter at Matthew 16:18-19, when he appointed St. Peter as the KEYHOLDER and reinstituted this office and goverment for the Kingdom of God:

Matthew 16:18-19
thou art Peter (lit. "rock" - see Jn 1:42); and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give to thee [to Peter] the keys of the kingdom of heaven [cf. Isa 22:22]. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.

Now, since you are too ignorant of the scriptures to have known Matt 16:18-19's connection to Isaiah 22's Eliakim and Shebna, and since you STILL do not know what office and authority Eliakim and Shebna held in Israel, let the following quotes instruct you, since it is obvious God is not teaching you and you need a teacher:

SCHOLARLY CONSENSUS ON ISAIAH 22/MATT 16

"And what about the 'keys of the kingdom'? The keys of a royal or noble establishment were entrusted to the chief steward or majordomo; he carried them and they served as a badge of authority entrusted to him. About 700 B.C. an oracle from God announced that this authority in the royal palace in Jerusalem was to be conferred on a man called Eliakim...(Isa 22:22). So in the new community which Jesus was about to build, Peter would be...chief steward." --F.F. Bruce, The Hard Sayings of Jesus.

"Isaiah XXII 15 and follwing undoubtedly lies behind this [Matthew 16:19] saying. The keys are the symbol of authority, and Roland de Vaux (Ancient Israel, tr. by John McHugh [New York: McGraw-Hill, 1961], 129) rightly sees here the same authority as that vested in the vizier, the master of the house, the chamberlain of the royal household in ancient Israel. Eliakim is described as having the same authority in Isaiah...and Jotham as regent is also described as 'over the household' (II Kings xv 5)." -- W.F. Albright and C.S. Mann, The Anchor Bible: Matthew, (Doubleday, 1971), 196.

I could also provide lengthy quotes from John Calvin on this that state the same thing, only more emphatically. So much for your assertion that I just made this stuff up about Peter, Eliakim, Shebna, etc.

JM, you have been displaying your ignorance of scripture throughout this entire discussion, and I sincerely hope that we can get you to a level of education on the scriptures so that a productive and enlightening conversation may proceed. It's always challenging have useful discussions with folks whom you must first educate.

Lesson over. Now, let's carry on...

SuperSoulFighter's picture

Your intolerable foolishness and arrogance will henceforth be completely ignored. Don't bother addressing me in future comments and posts, Parker, because there will be no reply from me.

You have dismally failed to "rightly divide the Word of Truth" and are an example of what NOT to do when conducting an analysis of the Scriptural text.

You citations of scholarly support, while interesting and of some value, are NOT the equivalent of accurate, effective exegesis of the Scriptures. And the scholarly quotes you presented in NO WAY contradict anything I have posted here. I, in fact, agreed that there SEEM to be parallels between the description of Eliakim's position in Isaiah 22 and Peter's in Matt. 16. You are instructing me in NOTHING (but foolish, empty rhetoric).

You have FAILED to provide me with a response to my original article and the texts (and my commentary on them) included in it. So YOU are a "banging gong" - a meaningless, disruptive noise in this Forum. May the Lord rebuke you.

Parker's picture

It is good to see the record is written out here. People may read through these posts, with bible in hand, and see who has correctly expounded the scripture.

I am confident that scripture-loving people will reject your views as fully unbiblical.

judge's picture

Yes..it seems it may not be a question of structure versus no structure but which kind of structure is best, and which kind is best in which place at which time even

Parker's picture

John McPherson says:
"In terms of the subject at hand in this article, 'the church' (Gk. 'ekkleisia') has no clear textual support in terms of its perpetuation as an entity for time indefinite, beyond the First Century era (pre-70 AD in particular)."

The Apostle Paul says:
"Unto him be glory in the Church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end." (Ephesians 3:21)

also of note...

Ephesians 3:10
so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the Church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places.

Ephesians 1:22-23
[God] hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the Church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that fills all in all.

Ephesians 2:7
That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

Virgil's picture

I decided to look at the greek for this one...my transliteration:

"auto 'e doxa en te ekklesia kai en Cristo Iesou eis pasas tas geneas tou aionos ton aionon, amen"

His glory in the church and in Christ Jesus into all of the generations forever (into the age of ages), amen

This is very interesting since you can't really tell if the author's intent was to say that the glory is His in the church AND in Christ, forever, or His is the glory in the Church (at that time), and then in Christ Jesus forever. Right now, I would lean towards saying that the glory would be His in both the Church and Christ Jesus into all ages (forever); at least that's the first impression you get when you read the passage.

BibleStudentActivist's picture

Can someone tell me what they understand the relationship between Revelation 20:1-6 and Revelation 20:7-15 to be? I mean, if 20:1-6 is point "A" is not the loosing of Satan and the attack against "the camp of the saints and the beloved city" point "B"?? Someone tell me where they think point "A" is historically? Pentecost of A.D.33? Or the Destruction of A.D.70? If it is the former, than point "B's attack against the church makes sense as an A.D.66-70 occurence. But that would mean that the beheading of the saints by the Beast and False Prophet had to happen EARLY in the ministry of the Apostles--even during Christ's ministry. Brothers and sisters, do any of you feel that Scriptures corroborate Revelation 20:1-6 (POINT A) as finding its historical setting during Christ's ministry? If you do, you have solved one problem (what to do with Revelation 20) but you have created another problem, to wit, if the events happened in 30-33, did they repeat themselves in 66-70? Now the reason I brought this up is because having Revelation 20:1-6 posited at 30-33 hides some very important truths. Namely this: According to 2 Thess. 2, which was written in the late 50's, the Man of Sin had not been revealed yet. If Paul could say that in the late 50's how could the Beast have slain Christians BEFORE the 50's?? That is a major problem, is it not? But if Rev.20:1-6 "A" is posited at A.D.70 then it pushes Revelation 20:7-15 OUTSIDE of A.D.70 and begs the question as to what event future to 70 was in store for the "camp of the saints and the beloved city". Now watch this: Let's, just for arguments sake and sharing ideas assume the second option, ie. that "A" goes at A.D. 66-70 and "B" goes beyond A.D.70, what would this mean? It would mean that
1)Satan was bound in the bottomless pit AT Christ's second coming in A.D.70 but was going to be loosed "for a little season" at some yet future time.
2)It would mean that all prophecy was not fulfilled by A.D.70 and the use of Luke 21:22 to say so is no better than pitting the little picture against the big picture. When Jesus was on the Cross and said,"It is finished." he could not have meant that the whole redemptive process was over and done with then and there without his return in 70. No more than all prophecy could be fulfilled by 70 when John specifically said that future vississitudes would soon REAPPEAR to challenge the church on earth.
So 3) It would mean that future to A.D.70 there would be a camp of saints and beloved city ON EARTH for him to attack.
And, 4)It would possibly lead us to historical information which would tell us of an assault against the church and what was the organization of that church AFTER 70.
Do we have anything like this in history? We do.
But this information goes directly against Full Preterist dogma about the finality of A.D.70 in terms of Bible prophecy. But if words mean anything, the Full Preterist understanding of Revelation 20 and the cessation of the Church as an entity on earth is a misleading and confusing claim.
If it could be shown that the present Full Preterist interpretation of Rev.20:1-6 belonging to 30-33 is false it would necessitate that those same verses be moved up to 66-70 and therefore "B" to be moved too. Then "B" would speak of a separate event out and away from the A.D.70 destruction. It would also indicate that from A.D.70 on to at least the next assault a "camp" and a "beloved city" stood in danger of being attacked by Satan after he was released from his prison.
Revelation 20:9 from what I can historically see, was fulfilled in A.D.132-135 when Bar Kokhba arose and with the help of over a half million Jews and Gentile sympathizers surrounded Jerusalem, executed the Jewish BISHOPS and killed all the Jewish Christians who would not confess Bar Kokhba to be the Messiah. The fact that the Jewish Church was headed by bishops in the 7th decade after the Destruction and the fact that Revelation calls the Christians (and their organization) "the camp of the saints and the beloved city" and that it can be known from historical accounts that bishops existed at that time tells me that our present discussion is more complicated than we would like it to be. It also tells me that on the claim of Full Preterist that the doctrine of FP is following history rigorously is not accurate at all. But what would this mean if the ultimate end wasn't 70 but 135?
It would mean that the Second Coming of Christ in A.D.70 is not one and the same as the Great White Throne Judgement which would happen when the Jewish State disappeared. Historically the Jewish State disappeared, not in 70 but in A.D.135 when the Second Rebellion was put down.
It would mean that Ezekiel 38-39 represents the Jew's final messianic war, a war where the Zealots who had been shipped out to prisons in 70 came back to the land of Israel like a cloud to cover the land in 132. And thus the A.D.70 terminus is an artificial construct and SOME of the conclusions arising out of that construct are artificial as well. Now the events of Revelation 21 comes at the heels of the Second Jewish Revolt and show God's bride COMING DOWN FROM GOD OUT OF HEAVEN and taking her place ON EARTH. Throughout the rest of the Bible she is shown to be the Bride the Lamb's WIFE--21:9. Is she on earth or not on earth? Is she the same entity that Christ died for and Paul spoke of in Ephesians 5:23,31-32? I welcome your comments on this. God bless.

~Mark

SuperSoulFighter's picture

Considering the events of AD 70 to be the ultimate, compelete fulfillment of ALL prophecy DOES seem to be "restrictive", doesn't it Mark? It seems to be too final, too specifically defined. On the other hand, you seem to bump the date of the "final fulfillment" of all prophecy to the AD 135 date.

I'm curious about a couple of things. I'm not clear on why you believe that the FP position necessitates the view that Rev. 20:1-6 was fulfilled in AD 30-33. Why do you see this as required in maintaining our position?

Also, I would like to know why you see Rev. 20:4 as chronologically concurrent with the events of vss. 1-3. From my perspective, the "beheadings of the witnesses to Jesus" could have occurred at ANY point during Satan's binding and the (non-literal) "1,000-year" period.

You asked a couple of questions at the beginning of your post (before you got dogmatic ;) ). I'd like to provide you with answers to one or two of those.

I believe point "A" occurred either at Pentecost or shortly thereafter. The "1,000-year period" (millennium) of Rev. 20:1-6 occurred between Pentecost and the early 60s AD. Our "clue" concerning the release of Satan for "a short time" is in 1Peter 5:8-11, "8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 9 Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.
10 But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. 11 To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen."

By the time Peter penned these words, SATAN HAD BEEN RELEASED FOR A SHORT WHILE, to deceive "the nations" or "tribes" of Israel in the Diaspora. This ushered in the final events of Rev. 20:7-15.

"Pushing the date of the fulfillment" of the latter part of Rev. 20 really isn't justified according to my own reading of the text. The actual "reigning with Christ" by the saints also occurred pre-AD 70, as we read in Rev. 1:5,6.

"and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood,
and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen." (NKJV)

I trust the Scriptural evidence in favor of the FP timelines and chronologies of fulfillment is a little more clearly substantiated for you, Mark.
I find your own proposed chronology intriguing, certainly, and worthy of consideration. But at present I remain convinced of the FP AD 70 view as articulated above.

JM

BibleStudentActivist's picture

JM,
Please don't mind my dogmatics, ok? It is a pleasure to be able to exchange ideas and to have the joy of having others consider them. Thankyou for giving me some feed back. But I noticed that, although you dealt with "A" you did not deal with "B". You asked, "I would like to know why you see Rev. 20:4 as chronologically concurrent with the events of vss. 1-3..." You feel that Revelation 20:1-3 do not lead to verse 4? From what I can discern it appears that Satan, along with the Beast and the False Prophet converged together making a unholy trinity as the Second Coming of Christ drew near--Revelation 16:13-15. This seems to be as the time had finally arrived for Jerusalem to be judged and destroyed--Revelation 16:19. Then Satan, the Beast, and the False Prophet where used by the providence of God to destroy Jerusalem--Revelation chapters 17, 18, 19. But in chapter 19 AFTER Jerusalem was destroyed (and therefore after the 9th of Av 3828 Jesus came back in glory to destroy the Beast and the False Prophet--Revelation 19:19-21. It was then that the angel came down to harness Satan and to bind him in the bottomless pit--Revelation 20:1-3. Now as far as the saints of Revelation 20:4 are concerned, Revelation 12:8 has Satan CAST OUT OF HEAVEN-NOT THE BOTTOMLESS PIT-JUST BEFORE the rise of the Beast and the False Prophet (See Revelation 13). How can we tell this casting out of heaven was not something that happened 40 years earlier than A.D.70 or even further back in time? Well, Revelation 12:8-10 links it with the announcement that the kingdom of God had finally arrived, which, according to Luke's report of the Olivet Discourse, would place it squarely during the 66-70 period--Luke 21:31.
Furthermore, the events of Revelation 13 occur after the woman had fled to the wilderness-Revelation 12:13-17, 13:1ff. Now notice that in Revelation 13:1ff The Beast arises and soon after the False Prophet. It is this duet that contrive the Mark of the Beast--Revelation 13:15-18. In chapter 13 it is said that the Sea Beast was given power to continue 42 months--this seems to answer to the 66-70 period, would you agree? But notice that, going back to Revelation 12 Satan was in heaven (the prince of the power of the air) before this...he was not bound during the 30 to 66 period!! Now the mark of the beast and the punishment inflicted on those who would not receive the mark of the beast was all accomplished within a 42 month window (66-70) which covers Revelation 11-19. And it is in chapter 19, AFTER the DESTRUCTION OF JERUSALEM that the Beast and False Prophet are taken out of the picture. Now chapter 20 goes on to talk about Satan going from the EARTH to the BOTTOMLESS PIT--Compare Revelation 12:8 to Revelation 20:1-2. The Angel came down from heaven to get Satan who had BEEN cast down to earth a mere 42 months earlier, see?
Now the people of Revelation 20:4 suffered the way they did because of everything Satan did after he was cast out of heaven in A.D.66, when he saw that he had only a short time. Since none of these things happened from 30-33 A.D. all this seems to mean that "A" --Revelation 20:1-4 must be posited immediately AFTER the Destruction of Jerusalem. But that means that we have to do something Scripturally and historically logical with the remainder of the chapter. And I believe and feel and think that Full Preterism is not dealing with this, not because I want something to happen in MY future and not because it's any sweat off my brow for it to all be fulfilled in 70. Whatever way makes sense is exactly what I want to believe. Which is the only reason I think FP is not dealing with a huge problem staring the theory in the face. Here is some information about new troubles that arose in Judea on a truly gigantic scale within 70 years of the Lord's return:
As far as the fate of ancient Judaea is concerned, I believe the Second Jewish Rebellion represented the Ultimate end. Let me see if I can quickly find you a tantilizing quote. . .ok, I have something here by historian Gedaliah Alon, The Jews in Their Land in the Talmudic Age. I hope you save and print this because this will be a little lengthly, ok?

This is from a chapter called The Riddle of Hadrian and talks about the causes of the Second Jewish Rebellion and what the early Christians said about it.

"Hadrian. . .found the city (Jerusalem) desolate, therefore (sic!) he was angry with the Jews and seized them and took them to the market in Hebron where he sold tham as slaves. . . at the price of four for a measure of barley. . .

The chronological confusion should not prove surprizing; it is characteristic of most of the Christian writers. We find it in Epiphanius and in the Syriac chronicle, as well as the dialogues here quoted. But that should not misled us into discarding this tradition as altogether worthless. Let it therefore be noted that this dialogue states that "Hadrian began to build the city and its walls, but not the Temple." That is approximately what we heard from Epiphanius.
Another early Christian chronicler, Alexander the Monk, writing probably around the middle of the ninth century, says:
When (Hadrian) went to the Holy City and saw it in ruins, accept for one small Christian church, he gave orders that the whole city be rebuilt, save for the Temple. When the Jews heard of this they streamed thither from every direction, and before long the whole city was rebuilt. But once again an evil spirit entered into them and agitated them, and they rebelled against Rome. They set over themselves a commander called Bar Kokhba. . ."

We have no way of knowing where Alexander got his information. But he does say explicitly that Hadrian's decree led to the settlement of large numbers of Jews in Jerusalem, and in his opinion this concentration had something to do with the outbreak of the Bar Kokhba War. In any event, it is clear that this settlement, if it took place, coudl have had no connection with the foundation of Aelia Capitonlina in the year 130 (or possibly 135).
From the tenth century bishop of Alexandria, Eutychios, also known as ibn Batriq, we have a very similar report:
'Hadrian came to Jerusalem and found it in ruins except for one Christian church. He gave orders that the city be built around the Temple. When the Jews heard of this they hastened to Jerusalem from every city and from every land, until Jerusalem was filled with them. And when their numbers grew great, they made Bar Kokhba king etc. etc. . .'

When he published a translation of the passage just quoted, the French scholar Clement Ganneau pointed out that it must be based on sources no longer available to us. But as we have just seen, Eutychios is not the only one who tells it in almost exactly the same way. Almost all oriental Christian chroniclers do.
So much for those sources whose account of what happened is clear and straightfoward, but whose date of composition is long after the events themselves. What these sources net us is about as follows:
a)It was widely believed among Christians in the Middle East that at one time Hadrian had ordered the recontruction of Jerusalem as a Jewish city (by contradistinction to the pagan city which he actually did rebuild there at end of his reign). Some of the sources connect the project with Aquila. Most of them exclude the Temple from the plans, but some of them include it. It seems that the most widely disseminated Christian tradition spoke of the rebuilding of the city alone, to the exclusion of the Temple.
While it is reasonable to assume that most of the Christian accounts that have come down to us were derived from a common source–whether it was the lost Dialogue between Jason and Papiscus, or some other work–nevertheless, the fact that no one of them was itself written any earlier than the fourth century, and there is so much disagreement between them, and such confusion about details–all this reduces their credibility more than somewhat. Still, I would not say that they are completely without historical value.
b)The second thing we have learned is that there was also a Jewish tradition about a plan in Hadrian's time to rebuild the Temple–a plan which was subsequently revoked. There seem to have been two strands to this story, one about the city of Jerusalem, and the other about the Temple itself. In this case, too, the source is a late one, and the obviously added elements woven into the texture of the story are not calculated to inspire confidence in the historicity of the whole.

BARNABUS

Now let us turn our attention to sources of the second kind–closer to the events, but cloudier in their meaning. The first of these is an early patristic document known as the Epistle of Barnabus. Most scholarly opinion dates this work, written apparently in Alexandria, to the early years of the second century. It purports to be a letter, after the style of the Pauline epistles, by a member of Paul's own circle.
The main purpose of Barnabus is to counter any Judaizing tendencies among the Christians of his day (he himself is clearly a gentile). In this respect, he carries the Pauline doctrine much further. Paul conceded that the Torah and the commandments had been a valid part of the Old Covenant; they had been replaced by the crucifixion. But Barnabus argues that the mitzvot, indeed the whole halakhah, had always been a perversion of the divine word, close to idolatry. The Sabbath and circumcision, the sacrifices and the Yom Kippur fast–these had never been intended as anything but allegories–spiritual symbols. By taking them literally, and turning them into observances, the Jews forfeited their right to the Covenant, which had passed to the Christians.
Our present interest in Barnabus is in the context of the search for sources dealing with Hadrian and the rebuilding of Jerusalem. In this respect, the following may prove relevant:

"I will speak to you concerning the Temple, and show how the wretched men (the Jews) erred by putting their hope on the building, and not on the God who made them, and is the true house of God. 2. For they consecrated him in the Temple almost like the heathen. But learn how the Lord speaks, in bringing it to naught, "Who has measured the heaven with a span, or the earth with his outstretched hand? Have not I? saith the Lord. Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool, what house will ye build for me, or what is the place of my rest?" You know that their hope was in vain. 3. Furthermore he says again, "Lo, they who destroyed this Temple shall themselves rebuild it." That is what is happening now. For owing to the War (in A.D.70, Mark Mountjoy) it was destroyed by the enemy; at present even the servants of the enemy will build it up again. Again, it was manifest that the city and the Temple and the people of Israel were to be delivered up. For the Scripture says, "And it shall come to pass in the last days that the Lord shall deliver the sheep of his pasture, and the sheepfold, and their tower to destruction."
There can be scarcely any doubt that verses 3 and 4 refer to something that was happening at the time the epistle was written. The trouble is, the author is too vague about it, leaving room for all kinds of conflicting interpretations. Almost all modern Christian scholars reject the idea that these verses refer to a plan to rebuild the Temple at the beginning of Hadrian's reign. On the other hand, only a small number of them think that Barnabus is talking about the "Temple of the Spirit"–ie. the Church Universal, which gentile Christians were then counting on to replace the old Jewish Temple.
To be sure, this interpretation fits in nicely with the entire outlook of the author. After all, his main point is that no physical structure can serve as God's house; those who destroyed the visible Temple–ie. the Romans–will be the very ones to build the new sanctuary, the spiritual one. Who are the "servants of the enemy"? The Christians.
However, this theory has been rejected by Christian scholars themselves, who point out two main objections. First, the verses quoted by Barnabus cannot by any stretch of the imagination be made to refer to anything but the actual physical Temple. Secondly, it is scarcely conceivable that the author would call Christians "servants of the enemy." Although he does mean gentile Christians, the gulf between them and the vey pagan Rome of his day was still vast. The phrase would have been simply too incongruous.
Because of these objections, most recent scholarship assumes that the 'temple' mentioned in the Epistle of Barnabus means the pagan temple of Jupiter which Hadrian ordered built at Aelia Capitolina (as he renamed Jerusalem) in the year 130, (or 135). But we will have to confess that this solution is not much better. Even if we ignore the reading of the Codex Sinaiticus, it is more than a little difficult to force the text into the precrustean bed of this interpretation.
Perhaps the best approach to this problem is to put oneself into the position of the author of this epistle. He wanted Christians to believe that the old Temple in Jerusalem, even when it had stood there, had no value; and that there was no point in looking forward to its restoration. Just imagine how he would have reacted to the news that the Romans were putting up a temple to Jupiter (or planning to put one up) on the Temple Mount! Would he not have pointed to this as proof positive that the Jewish Temple was finished once and for all? Indeed later on, when Bar Kokhba had been defeated and Jerusalem destroyed for the last time, that was exactly the line taken by Christian authors. One after another they reasoned that the fate of the Jewish sanctuary proved that the old Israel had been rejected, and Christianity had emerged triumphant.
The failure of Barnabus to make the same argument is striking. Even more startling is his need to invoke the prophecy from Enoch about the ultimate downfall of the people and the city and the sanctuary. Apparently things were not going his way, and he needed to shore up his belief by a prophecy of things to come.
I think, therefore, that the most likely explanation is this: the author of Barnabus found himself in a quandry about an event that upset his deepest beliefs. So he tried to prove to himself–and his readers–that it had all been foreseen, and that it would not last. There were prophesies still to be fulfilled (he urged) showing that the present events were merely a temporary aberration. In any event, (he said) neither holiness nor the Shekhina had ever dwelt in the Temple; and ancient prophecies tell us that it will ultimately be destroyed forever, So the hope of the Jews that it will be rebuilt is really meaningless.
The event that would fit all this most exactly would be a decree by the Emperer Hadrian ordering the rebuilding of Jerusalem. The prospect would excite eager anticipation among the Jews, but trepidation and dismay among the Christians. The author of the Epistle sets out to allay the alarm in the Christian ranks, as we have demonstrated. To be surem he speaks haltingly, because events seem to be going the other way. But his faith buoys him up. " From pages 446-451.
Now, if we think back on the 30-66 period, the troubles in the church that cost lives began with Steven and carried all the way into the 66-70 period. The information above tells us that a new, but short, period of adversity arose for the church from A.D.132-135. This is history, not something Mark has made up. And if Revelation 20:1-4 answers to "A" and must go into the 66-70 scenario then something has to be done with John's prophecy that Satan would be loosed again to bring a massive horde against the still very young church in the land of Israel. Let me know what you think. God bless.

~Mark

SuperSoulFighter's picture

I would tend to agree, Virgil. At the same time, since the New Testament Church exists, forever, in heaven with Christ, this text conceivably refers to THAT eternal situation. In other words, contrary to the wishes of those who would like to treat this text as evidential of God's provision for an eternally existing "church" on this planet, the actual language in this verse is focussed exclusively on the NT Church (contextually).

SuperSoulFighter's picture

I'm very familiar with Eph. 3:21, Parker. It is the GLORY of Christ Jesus as manifested in His dealings with the NT Church which endures throughout all ages via the historical documentation of it available to us in the Sciptures. This does NOT state that the Church should be perpetuated on this planet "throughout all ages". In fact, the original Church and the members thereof are all continuing to glorify God in the heavenly Land of Promise right now, so this text is fulfilled in this way also.

And it is the "WORLD" (the New Covenant "cosmos" brought into existence via the NT Church) which has no end. Nowhere in this text do we see the Church's perpetuation specified. Not in this realm.

Eph. 1:22,23 simply affirms the fact that Christ was "head over all things to the NT Church", who were His "body" the fullness of Him that filled everything in THEIR experience in those days.

Eph. 2:7 actually substantiates MY case, Parker. In OUR "ages" ("the ages to come" to Paul and the NT saints), God would show (and DOES show) to US His kindness toward THEM in THOSE days, via the written record of His dealings with them. It's really quite clear.

JM

Parker's picture

SuperSoul:
I'm very familiar with Eph. 3:21, Parker. It is the GLORY of Christ Jesus as manifested in His dealings with the NT Church which endures throughout all ages via the historical documentation of it available to us in the Sciptures.

Parker:
But that is not what the scripture says. It is merely what you need it to say. The passage reads:

(YLT)
Ephesians 3:21
to Him [is] the glory in the assembly in Christ Jesus, to all the generations of the age of the ages.

(KJV)
Ephesians 3:21
Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. (or, "throughout all ages forever and ever").

The apostles considered the Church an eternal creation, being both a visible and invisible entity, with saints from both heaven and earth bearing the name of Christ (Eph 3:15). The Church is the "whole family in heaven and on earth" bearing Christ's name.

Finally, you twist but to no avail. Eph 2:7 does not say what you need it to say. Rather, it says that God would show the surpassing riches of His grace in (or during) the ages to come, which places the action beyond Paul's lifetime. The experience of the early Church was definitely "forward looking," being concerned with Israel of the "age to come." Christ and the apostles built that very Israel, and now a few preterists, presumably from a long line of anti-church protesters, wish to dissolve it. It's a chasing after the wind. The Church is the fullness of Jesus himself (1 Cor 12:27; Eph 1:22-23; Eph 5:30-32). If the Church goes, so goes Christ.

SuperSoulFighter's picture

It doesn't say what I need it to say, Parker. It says what it says. Read with discernment, and set your own, personal bias aside for a moment. I used to read and understand it in the same way you do, so I fully understand your line of reasoning.

The context in Ephesians 3 is EXCLUSIVELY First Century. Note the tone and time-orientation in the text itelf.
"...you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which was given to me for you, 3 how that by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already, 4 by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ), 5 which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has NOW been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets: 6 that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel, 7 of which I became a minister according to the gift of the grace of God given to me by the effective working of His power. 8 To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, 9 and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages [Mt. Sinai and the giving of the Law to Moses] has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ; 10 to the intent that NOW the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, 11 according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him. 13 Therefore I ask that you do not lose heart at my tribulations for you, which is your glory."

You and I obviously aren't included in the personal pronouns in this chapter (in boldface, above) Parker. The "mystery" hidden within the history of the Old Covenant Nation was the spirtiual (and physical) lineage of the "remnant" or "household of faith". Paul's repeated usage of "NOW" emphasizes the pertinence and relevance of the "church" to the spiritual scenario and milieu of THOSE days. The "principalities and powers in heavenly places" were both the human religious and political authorities of the Jewish First Century "world" AND the demonic forces and beings governing them, as Satan's overseers.

20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in US, 21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
Don't be so presumptuous as to assume that YOU are included in these pronouns, Parker. The contextual fact of the matter is that NONE of us is included in the "us" of v. 20, above. It follows, then, that the "church" of v.21 was the same entity already identified as unique to a specific, historical setting and milieu in the preceding passage. The glory of Christ Jesus which would endure to all generations for ever would be His accomplishments in His foundational generation of the New Covenant "world", that generation being known as the "church".

Again, in Eph. 2, it should be patently obvious to even the most casual browser of the text that you, me and everyone alive today (and for the last couple of millennia) are NOT included in the personal pronouns of that passage. It's not that we are EXCLUDED from similar spiritual experiences in terms of personal regeneration, it's just that WE aren't the focus of this passage. WE aren't included in the pronouns. Paul is testifying to the personal experiences of himself and the NT saints. Period. Verse 7 MAY refer to God's ongoing glorification in His NT Church in heaven, but it also just as possibly refers to the testimony provided to the saints living in the "ages to come" (according to the perspective of the NT saints) by the historical record of God's working in THEM as contained in the Scriptures. I, personally, believe that the latter understanding of the text is the most tenable and compatible with the language used in this text.

Parker: The experience of the early Church was definitely "forward looking," being concerned with Israel of the "age to come."

SSF: I'M certainly not denying that! I'm affirming it continually here.

Parker: Christ and the apostles built that very Israel, and now a few preterists, presumably from a long line of anti-church protesters, wish to dissolve it. It's a chasing after the wind.

SSF: Ah HAH! A nay-sayer in our midst! A non-Preterist (anti-Preterist?) heckler. Well well. Welcome to the fellowship of those who magnify the Truth above all strictly human tradition and interpretation. Hopefully the Truth, like the sun, will soften your heart to its influence, rather than harden it like clay.

Parker: The Church is the fullness of Jesus himself (1 Cor 12:27; Eph 1:22-23; Eph 5:30-32).

SSF: That should say "WAS the fullness of Jesus himself".

Parker: If the Church goes, so goes Christ.

SSF: That's something you'll have to sort out on your knees between yourself and God, Parker. But your spiritual situation and misconceptions are very much on my heart, and I sincerely hope that you will some day be granted true enlightenment and insight into the truly SPIRITUAL nature of the Kingdom of Heaven. It needs (and rejects) any external, physical, formally organized manifestation of it in this realm. Spiritual. Spiritual. Keep saying it until it sinks deep into your subconscious, Parker. Allow God to make the true nature of His Kingdom plain to you. There's really no need to "see through a glass darkly" any longer.

The Truth is served.

JM

Roderick's picture

We know the "church" was the bride of Christ, but there are some among us (especially pastors) that would have Christ yet waiting to be married to the bride. When did Jesus & His bride become one? I think futurists & preterists pastors alike better give some support for their authority to act as "under shepherds" to the Master Shepherd who has indeed returned and wed His bride. If these pastors want to keep their self-appointed esteemed positions, let them go back to the Roman Catholic Church where at least there is more consistency for their authority.

I love this part from your article Mr. McPherson:
Note VERY carefully that v.11 CLEARLY indicates there is no longer any need for teachers/preachers within this New Covenant Kingdom. The “provisional church structure” of the New Testament period was evidently intended to pass away when the Old Covenant Nation was terminated forever (70 AD). The NT Church was uniquely provided to THOSE saints for maintenance of the fledgling faith in its fetal stages, as a “spiritual incubator” of sorts. When the intense persecutions of the Great Tribulation of those days were brought to an end, the need for any kind of formally structured “religious body” meeting together regularly also passed away. As that which was “obsolete” actually “vanished away” (v.13), so did the need for a “church”.

But beware Mr. McPherson, because if some will be consistent, you shall now be considered setting yourself up as a "teacher", rather than what I believe us all to be, equals in the kingdom, simply sharing what we see from Scripture.

Thank you so much for writing this article Mr. McPherson. I would love to interact with you more on this and would like to be able to either call you or have you call me. Send me a private message if that is ok.

Roderick

PatchouliJudy's picture

Amen Rod and John. Woo hoo. (Wish there was that dancing banana from NJ message boards here). There is SO much stuff I see that I am going to be ripped to shreads on but I don't care. I am FREEEEEEEEE

Judy Miller
forGET REALity Multimedia
http://forgetreality.com

judge's picture

Thanks for the article John,
I hadn't really considered this view and I think it may deserve a look.

In what way are you saying the outporing of the Spirit of God was [i]unique[/i] in the period leading up to 70 a.d.?

SuperSoulFighter's picture

Thanks for the response, judge! I'm glad you appreciated my article and insights. I truly hope you do take a careful, prayerful, studious look at the Full Preterist perspective, not only from an Eschatological point of view, but also in terms of its broader ramifications, doctrinally.

I suspect that various "church leaders", particularly in early "church history" (post-70 AD) detected the "anti-establishment" tone and nature of this historical perspective on the "church" and doctrine in general - and quashed it as much as possible. I sense that there may very possibly be a similar backlash by established "church leaders" and authorities in OUR day when what I have proposed as the Biblical model of the Kingdom, here, becomes increasingly popular among the laity.

The "outpouring of the Spirit" during the NT period (particularly at Pentecost, and thereafter at every "mini-Pentecost conversion event") involved a direct fulfillment of the prophecy of Joel, as cited by Peter in Acts 2. This was one of the prophecies that was completely fulfilled during THOSE days, which culminated in the termination of THAT "world" in 70 AD. The manifestation of the Spirit's Presence experienced by the NT saints was also a fulfillment of Christ's promise to His disciples in Matt. 28:20, "...lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen." (KJV). Christ was with His First Century disciples in a highly unique way via His Spirit. The immediacy and power of His Presence confirmed their faith in its infancy, and shored up their hopes and the trust they put in His promises, that they would experience the fulfillment of them within their lifetimes. And so they did, throughout the final days of THEIR "world" (Gk. "cosmos").

Parker's picture

SuperSoul:
I suspect that various "church leaders", particularly in early "church history" (post-70 AD) detected the "anti-establishment" tone and nature of this historical perspective on the "church" and doctrine in general - and quashed it as much as possible.

Parker;
I suspect that the scripture nowhere teaches your private "anti-establishment" perspective, and thus such a view is necessarily quashed. You are an anarchist. Are you a consistent anarchist? Do you believe in familial, governmental, and societal anarchy in addition to your ecclesial anarchy?

SuperSoulFighter's picture

I believe in a theocracy governed by God alone, independent of any human agency. Is THAT what you refer to as "anarchy", Parker?

No, Parker, I do not believe in "anarchy" of any kind at the level of earthly society, civlization and familial inter-relationships. But we are NOT discussing an "earthly government" here. We are discussing the Kingdom of Heaven. Do you understand this? Do you understand the City of God? These are SPIRITUAL ENTITIES. They HAVE no physical, formally organized manifestation in this realm. The Kingdom of Heaven NEEDS no organized, human government to represent it and structure it in this realm.

Your misconceptions in this regard are the result of a non-contextual perspective on the New Testament Scriptures, Parker. Your understanding lacks true, historical context.

JM

Parker's picture

JM,

You do not believe in any "theocracy" as found anywhere in Holy Scripture. Your "theocracy" proposition, as you have defined it here, is uniquely yours--a product of your own wild imagination.

Furthermore, you abuse the term "spiritual" beyond all biblical bounds by making it non-incarnational, and assuming wrongly that "spiritual" things have no visible and physical referents in the world. How nuts. How unbiblical. Jesus said that Nicodemus, being a ruler/teacher of Israel, should have known and understood what it meant to be born of water and the spirit! (Jn 3:1-20). This shows clearly that Christ's precise grasp of "spiritual entities" was something alive and well within the Old Covenant system and even with the Patriarchs, systems replete with structures and authorities and tangible, human elements. In fact, perhaps all the NT sacraments and New Covenant distinctives were all defined as "heavenly" and "spiritual" throughout the NT scriptures-- yet they they were all decidedly tangible and incarnational. Christ's own physical, earthly mission and martyrdom was considered "spiritual" and "heavenly." None of that implied "invisible" or "non-incarnational."

Your thesis is wholly unbiblical. You've made major errors at your presuppositional level which have skewed the whole of you theological conclusions and outcomes. To answer your question, yes, I understand the City of God and the Kingdom of Heaven. The Kingdom did not begin at AD 70, but was alive and well in the OT and was even suffering violence in Christ's ministry years by usurpers that opposed Christ and his princes (Matt 23:13; Matt 11:12).

SuperSoulFighter's picture

Interact with the Scriptures, Parker. It is the Word of God withstanding your views and presuppositions.

"20 And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: 21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you." (Luke 17:20,21 KJV)

The clear, unequivocal language of this text indicates that the Kingdom of God is NON-PHYSICAL and NON-INCARNATIONAL in its ultimate fulfillment and manifestation, Parker. You will undoubtedly attempt to draw the conclusion from the above text that because the Kingdom is "within" a person, that it is therefore incarnated within and through them. But this is NOT what Christ is saying. He states that it DOESN'T come with "observation". You can't point it out as a physical "body" or "organization" and say "lo here! Here it is! or lo there! There it is!". It is visually and physically UNIDENTIFIABLE in organizational terms. It is unidentified and unaffiliated with ANY human organization of any kind. YOUR posit would have an entire bureaucracy of human religious authorities (as God's "representatives") dwelling within a person. Obviously, this was NOT what Christ Jesus was indicating here.

Parker: "Jesus said that Nicodemus, being a ruler/teacher of Israel, should have known and understood what it meant to be born of water and the spirit! (Jn 3:1-20). This shows clearly that Christ's precise grasp of "spiritual entities" was something alive and well within the Old Covenant system and even with the Patriarchs, systems replete with structures and authorities and tangible, human elements. In fact, perhaps all the NT sacraments and New Covenant distinctives were all defined as "heavenly" and "spiritual" throughout the NT scriptures-- yet they they were all decidedly tangible and incarnational. Christ's own physical, earthly mission and martyrdom was considered "spiritual" and "heavenly." None of that implied "invisible" or "non-incarnational."

I have REPEATEDLY stated that the physical, human authorities representing God's authority during the Old Covenant period were part of an IMPERFECT SYSTEM that was TEMPORAL. So all of your commentary concerning the physical representations of the spiritual realm that were identified as "spiritual" in the NT is moot. All of the physical representations of spiritual realities in both Testaments were intended to INTRODUCE and preface the ultimately SPIRITUAL Kingdom which was approaching and was fully established at the termination of the Old Covenant, PHYSICALLY-oriented "world", in 70 AD.

Parker: "The Kingdom did not begin at AD 70, but was alive and well in the OT and was even suffering violence in Christ's ministry years by usurpers that opposed Christ and his princes (Matt 23:13; Matt 11:12)."

Yes, this is true, but it was NOT the Kingdom in its final, fully revealed form. This is obvious in both the teachings of Christ AND His apostles. They anticipated a future "coming" of the Kingdom (i.e. the "Lord's Prayer" Matt. 6:10; Luke 11:2).

Even in the texts you cited, above, it is evident that the Kingdom of heaven was fundamentally SPIRITUAL, and the religious leaders of that day had simply been entrusted with the responsibility of COMMUNICATING THE MEANS OF ACCESS TO IT. In this they failed, miserably.

"13 But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in." (Matt. 23:13, KJV).

These men weren't supposed to be introducing people to the LEVITICAL PRIESTHOOD or SCHOOL OF THE PHARISEES and/or SADDUCCEES. The intent of permitting them to occupy their positions of religious authority over the People of God was to enable them to effectively communicate the means of access to the SPIRITUAL KINGDOM. Because they were incapable of this, they further sealed the fate of this form of human, religious authority over God's People. Within the Kingdom of Heaven there is only ONE Authority - God. God alone reigns over His People.

Your resistance to these highly self-evident truths in the Scriptures both intrigues and saddens me, Parker. Your frantic rhetoric and invective (repeatedly referring to me as an "anarchist") concerns me. It is indicative of an unholy, ungodly attitude toward authority. You aren't by any chance a minister yourself, are you? Are you attempting to shore up your own ministerial authority, seeking to validate it in the face of all Scriptural teaching and injunctions to the contrary? I sincerely hope this is not the case.

Luke 11:2 does NOT speak directly to the case you are attempting to make, here, so I won't bother interacting directly with it unless you can somehow clarify better what you are attempting to communicate through your usage of it in this context.

JM

Parker's picture

JM,

Your attempt to make Luke 17:20-21 stand for an entirely invisible entity separate from any human authority or incarnation is silly. That the very authority of the Kingdom is related to the Church, and specifically to Peter and the apostolic leadership is shown in Matthew 16:18-19. Everyone knows that "binding and loosing" is governmental language, pertaining to the rulers of Israel and their authority to rule in Israel. Their rulership and entire ministries were incarnational expressions of the Kingdom.

Next, in response to my comment on John 3, you said:

I have REPEATEDLY stated that the physical, human authorities representing God's authority during the Old Covenant period were part of an IMPERFECT SYSTEM that was TEMPORAL. So all of your commentary concerning the physical representations of the spiritual realm that were identified as "spiritual" in the NT is moot. All of the physical representations of spiritual realities in both Testaments were intended to INTRODUCE and preface the ultimately SPIRITUAL Kingdom which was approaching and was fully established at the termination of the Old Covenant, PHYSICALLY-oriented "world", in 70 AD.

But you missed the point. Jesus was not at all saying Nicodemus should have known types and shadows. Jesus, standing there within the Old System, claimed that Nicodemus, being a ruler in OT Israel, should have known SPIRIT, and He rebuked him for not experiencing SPIRIT and KINGDOM. This totally contradicts your position, for you claim that this period was the "imperfect" system. You therefore have Jesus teaching of an "imperfect" and "temporal" SPIRITUAL THING as as mere "shadow." Your views simply cannot be imported back into the original contexts and make any sense.

Finally, my points on Matthew Matt 23:13 and Matt 11:12 really bust your balloon (I said nothing about Luke 11:2). The Kingdom was present within that old system, which you teach is impossible, for you think those men were merely trapped in a temporal earthly state with no access to SPIRIT or KINGDOM. The Israelites had access well before AD 30.

When are you going to start teaching that the OT God is the wicked evil god and that the NT God is the good God, like the rest of the gnostics teach? I can't wait for your lesson on it. Your inability to see the KINGDOM and SPIRIT prior to the 1st century is astounding, and your radical discontinuity between the NT and OT is just absolutely gnostic and unbiblical. Jesus sees continuity between the OLD and NEW, you do not. Jesus sees SPIRIT and KINGDOM existing within the OLD, you do not.

SuperSoulFighter's picture

Parker: "Your attempt to make Luke 17:20-21 stand for an entirely invisible entity separate from any human authority or incarnation is silly."

That's not even CLOSE to being good enough, Parker. You're going to have to do a whole lot better than that for your views and position to warrant any shred of respect. You're not demonstrating an iota of integrity in dealing with either the Scriptural text OR my commentary on it.

Parker: "That the very authority of the Kingdom is related to the Church, and specifically to Peter and the apostolic leadership is shown in Matthew 16:18-19. Everyone knows that "binding and loosing" is governmental language, pertaining to the rulers of Israel and their authority to rule in Israel. Their rulership and entire ministries were incarnational expressions of the Kingdom."

And you're obviously missing MY point AGAIN. I'm really growing weary of spelling this all out for you repeatedly, Parker, so this will be the last time. The "apostolic authorities" of the NT Church existed, and were granted that authority WITHIN THE PERIOD OF HISTORY GOVERNED BY THE OLD COVENANT AND ITS PHYSICALLY GOVERNING BODIES!! "Apostolic authority" does NOT exist today in any way, shape or form in ANY organization or at ANY level of any religious hierarchy. THAT is MY point. And that is GOD'S point, in His Word. Reconcile yourself to it, sir. You are in conflict with the Truth.

Parker: "Jesus, standing there within the Old System, claimed that Nicodemus, being a ruler in OT Israel, should have known SPIRIT, and He rebuked him for not experiencing SPIRIT and KINGDOM. This totally contradicts your position, for you claim that this period was the "imperfect" system. You therefore have Jesus teaching of an "imperfect" and "temporal" SPIRITUAL THING as as mere "shadow." Your views simply cannot be imported back into the original contexts and make any sense."

Rather, it is YOUR misunderstandings of the First Century religious milieu and its spiritual significance that don't make sense, Parker. Nicodemus was expected to understand the "spiritual realities" REPRESENTED (NOT "manifested") in the physical elements of the Old Covenant system of worship. Yes, the "spiritual realities" existed in conceptual and provisional form during this period, and the physical representations of them ANTICIPATED the "unveiling" of the full glory of those spiritual realities. But the imperfect REPRESENTATIONS of those entities and realities created a state of confusion at times in the minds of those governed by them (the "types and shadows").

Matt. 23:13. "13 But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in." I've already effectively dealt with this text in my previous post. It doesn't "bust my balloon" at all! Deal with THAT.

Matt. 11:12, "12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force."

The "kingdom of heaven" was under construction and "in part" or "imperfect" during the Old Covenant period, Parker. It existed in a primitive, incomplete form. The Old Covenant saints, or "elect" or "the remnant" were the founding members of it - and this included the NT saints as the FINAL generation of the "elect" from within the Old Covenant "world" or Nation. The violence against this Kingdom (the NC "world" in its fetal stages) escalated from the time of John the Baptist until Christ made that statement, and it continued escalating beyond that until the destruction of the OC "world" in 70 AD.

Parker: The Kingdom was present within that old system, which you teach is impossible, for you think those men were merely trapped in a temporal earthly state with no access to SPIRIT or KINGDOM. The Israelites had access well before AD 30.

You appear to be unable to read and comprehend (much less re-state in your own words) my statements, Parker, so I should probably just bring our interaction on this subject to a conclusion.

Parker: "Your inability to see the KINGDOM and SPIRIT prior to the 1st century is astounding, and your radical discontinuity between the NT and OT is just absolutely gnostic and unbiblical. Jesus sees continuity between the OLD and NEW, you do not. Jesus sees SPIRIT and KINGDOM existing within the OLD, you do not."

An utterly false mispresentation of my position. Our discussion (such as it has been) is obviously at an end. May the Lord, in His mercy, grant you some measure of insight - some glimpse - of the truly glorious nature of His Spiritual Kingdom at some point in the future. The pathetic caricatures and parodies of the NT Church and its entities we see in our so-called "churches" today are a mockery and a disgrace to the Name of Christ Jesus and His Kingdom. You bear the shame of those institutions yourself, sir, in defending them and attempting to establish their validity Biblically. You are only deserving of pity and correction, in the love of Christ Jesus. May His Truth be brought to bear upon your heart and mind in precisely that manner.

Serving the Truth,

JM

Parker's picture

JM:
The "apostolic authorities" of the NT Church existed, and were granted that authority WITHIN THE PERIOD OF HISTORY GOVERNED BY THE OLD COVENANT AND ITS PHYSICALLY GOVERNING BODIES!! "Apostolic authority" does NOT exist today in any way, shape or form in ANY organization or at ANY level of any religious hierarchy.

Parker:
Poppy*****. You are merely asserting that which you must FIRST PROVE. This is what I mean when I say that you have made errors at your presuppositional level that are skewing your absurd conclusions. You are presupposing that Israel and its government was a mere historic reality instead of a perpetual one. You are merely presupposing that it was time-bound. Apostolic authority most certainly does exist today. The apostles ordained the bishops as their successors to govern the Church and to serve and lead in the Israel of Christ. The bishops have direct and historic authorization from the historic apostles and Christ to govern and to rule the Israel of Christ in perpetuity. The bible is perfectly clear on this, and Christ is incarnate in the Church, which is HIS BODY and the fullness of Him that fills all in all. If the Church is gone, Christ is gone. They were building the Church in their generation, not so it would vanish, but that it would REMAIN, and remain forever.

Also, the Kingdom of Heaven prior to AD 70 was not "the imperfect." You fully misunderstand 1 Cor 13 and Paul's reiteration of Christ's teaching on "the perfect" (Matt 5:48; Luke 6:40; Matt 19:20-21; 1 John 2:4-6).

Roderick's picture

On top of that, may I add that Parker, you constantly referred to me as Deist -- simple definition -- someone who believes God is now taking an impersonal role and allowing the natural course to play out.

Well Parker, you would seem to fit that definition better than I. You seem to think that God is so incapable of being the head of His kingdom that He needs all these "under shepherds" to continue to help Him administer.

The Full Preterist conclusion is that we no longer have need for "sun & moon" when Christ is now the eternal light among us.

judge's picture

Thanks for the reply...and yes I will try to prayerfully consider it, but I'm still not sure in what way the outpouring of the spirit in this time was unique.
In what way do you think it may have been different back then (if in fact this is what you are saying)

Thanks again

SuperSoulFighter's picture

Ways in which the "outpouring of the Spirit" during the NT period of history was unique:

1. Its focus - the NT saints.

2. Its timeframe - the NT "era" (Acts 2:16-21)

3. Its magnitude and power

4. Its intent - the manifestation of Christ's Person and Presence within His People and the provision of an "incubator environment" for the emerging foundational generation of the New Covenant Kingdom of Christ.

5. Its characteristics - the genuine, supernatural "gifts" identified in 1Corinthians 12:27-30; Ephesians 4:11-16

I would like to make an additional comment or two concerning that latter text.

11 "And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to A PERFECT MAN, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head--Christ-- 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love."

There is a sense of "completion" and limitation to a specific number and group of people in the boldface and italicized portions of the text, above. These phrases do not refer to the sanctification of INDIVIDUAL saints. Rather, they signify the final perfecting and completion of the "elect" group of saints God had pre-selected to comprise the inceptive generation of the NC Kingdom as a corporate group or "body".

Roderick's picture

Amen John!!!!!

Ed's picture

Even the phrase "ekklesia" means "the called out ones". Called out of what? The Old Covenant.

However, John's points I think are well made, but am not certain of his conclusions. Is he saying that Jesus work was only for that first century audience, and therefore not for us today?

Is John saying that, the work of Christ is for all men, based on their decision. IOW, Christ's work is only effective if someone "free(ly) will(s)" to. Therefore Jesus has not saved anyone, only provided for man to save himself through his own free will.

Or, is John in agreement with me (hoping) that Jesus' work, while especially accomplishing a certain function within the first century, is now tremendously and comprehensively effective for all men, whether they believe or not. Is Jesus indeed "the Savior of all mankind" in John's scenario? To me that is the only logical conclusion of John's presuppositions.

ed

ed

Papa is especially fond of us

SuperSoulFighter's picture

I'll be presenting a full-length article devoted to a brief analysis of FP soteriology, Ed in the next couple of days, Ed. You will undoubtedly find your questions answered therein.

Thankyou for responding to my article and for these good questions.

JM

davecollins's picture

John, I agree about the big budgets and buildings,but how did the saints of the Kingdom become saints if not elected in this age also?The term Body of Christ and Bride of Christ, although for that era,why cant it be used to describe us also? Did they have a different salvation than ours? Thanks Dave

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