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The Vessels of Wrath

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By Virgil - Posted on 29 December 2003

Recently, I was directed to an article at Living Presence Ministries which summarized a presentation Tim King made on the subject of the fate of the "vessels of wrath" in the First Century. Sadly, as an example of Transmillennial exegesis, Tim’s exposition of the relevant texts (as specified second-hand, by the writer of the article at Living Presence Ministries) left much to be desired.
I am deeply concerned that this new movement appears to be on very shaky ground exegetically, if this is how eschatologically-related portions of the Scriptures are treated. I’d like to evaluate Tim’s ideas in this article, and present what I believe are the exegetical and logical shortcomings in his interpretive treatments of certain key texts underlying his position, as well as introduce several texts which clearly contradict his views. We are under an obligation to one another to hold each other accountable to the highest standards in our handling of the Scriptures, and it is out of this desire for exegetical integrity among those espousing Full Preterism that I undertake the following critique.

A TWO-SIDED COIN: “In this Sept 17th webcast, Tim King examines both the judgment and mercy of God upon the people of Israel, revealed at the fall of Jerusalem in AD 70. Continuing his exposition of Romans 11:26, King claims Paul meant that "All Israel would be saved."
But how does that square with Romans 9:22-23, where Paul speaks of two classes of people, those "objects of wrath that are made for destruction" and those "objects of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory"?
King says that wrath and mercy need not be read as referring to ones 'eternal stance' with God, but rather one's condition approaching the Great Revolt. The vessels of wrath were those Jewish believers who held fast to the world 'below' of 'works' and 'law-observance,' while the vessels of mercy were those in Christ who refused to participate in the great Jewish revolt.



Let’s see if King’s views square with Scripture, concerning the fate of the “vessels of wrath” - the First Century Jews who were God’s enemies and attempted to undermine the fledgling faith of Christianity in its fetal stages.


Jude 1:4, “4 For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.” The “certain men” in this text were the Judaizers whose goal was to infiltrate and destroy the fledgling New Testament Church from within. The entire ensuing diatribe against these men, in Jude, expresses God’s hatred of them and His intended, ultimate destiny for them. Here is how it culminates, in vss. 12-15, “12 These are spots in your love feasts, while they feast with you without fear, serving only themselves. They are clouds without water, carried about by the winds; late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the roots; 13 raging waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame; wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever. 14 Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, "Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints,
15 to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.
"


I see eternal judgment clearly indicated in v. 13, above. This is an echo of Paul’s words in 2Thess. 1:6-10.

6 since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you, 7 and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, 8 in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, 10 when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed.



“Everlasting destruction” sounds completely dissimilar to Tim King’s suggestion that these people who were “vessels of wrath” were only in God’s “bad books” in terms of the Great Revolt and their positional relationship to its outcome. In actual fact, eternal perdition and damnation is reiterated throughout the New Testament in relation to the fate of these “vessels of wrath”.


“Then He will also say to those on the left hand, 'Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matt. 25:41, NKJV) – The term “angels” here, in the Greek, carries the inference that this was a reference to the devil’s servants - rather than the “fallen angels” or demons of the spirit realm. These “servants” were none other than the rebel Jews of the First Century, when the context of Old Covenant judgment in Matt. 25 is given its due weight. Note that their “end” is described as EVERLASTING fire. Eternal damnation is the unmistakably intended meaning here.

9 Then He began to tell the people this parable: "A certain man planted a vineyard, leased it to vinedressers, and went into a far country for a long time. 10 Now at vintage-time he sent a servant to the vinedressers, that they might give him some of the fruit of the vineyard. But the vinedressers beat him and sent him away empty-handed. 11 Again he sent another servant; and they beat him also, treated him shamefully, and sent him away empty-handed. 12 And again he sent a third; and they wounded him also and cast him out. 13 Then the owner of the vineyard said, 'What shall I do? I will send my beloved son. Probably they will respect him when they see him.' 14 But when the vinedressers saw him, they reasoned among themselves, saying, 'This is the heir. Come, let us kill him, that the inheritance may be ours.' 15 So they cast him out of the vineyard and killed him. Therefore what will the owner of the vineyard do to them? 16 He will come and destroy those vinedressers and give the vineyard to others." And when they heard it they said, "Certainly not!" 17 Then He looked at them and said, "What then is this that is written: 'The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone'? 18 "Whoever falls on that stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder." 19 And the chief priests and the scribes that very hour sought to lay hands on Him, but they feared the people*--for they knew He had spoken this parable against them.” (Luke 20:9-19, NKJV)



The “vinedressers” (the Jewish religious leaders – “vessels of wrath”) would be DESTROYED by God (the inference being eternal destruction).


There are various other texts that could be included here, but the implication, I believe is clear. The First Century Jews who rejected Christ and sought to destroy His Church/Bride were the “vessels of wrath” and faced eternal damnation. There can be no equivocation on this. The Scriptures are simply too clear.

”He asks, Isn’t it possible that these objects of wrath and mercy have to do with the first century covenantal transition that is taking place? King claims the wrath was a prelude to mercy. The wrath of God on Israel was an outward judgment that came in taking away Israel's external pride, their temple city, their priesthood and their Old covenant righteousness.
In this scenario, King claims the role of wrath is the revealing of God’s affirmation of and his victory through Jesus. Put simply, Jesus was right, the Herodian Jewish aristocracy of his time was wrong about the fate of the nation before God.
Therefore, the vessels of wrath are those who fell in Jerusalem's destruction, but in this, King claims, it need not be taken to mean that they were eternally lost. To wrap up the study, King turns to 1 Cor. 3:11-15 and Romans 5:18 to explain how one could lose everything, but still be saved as though through fire.”



On the contrary – I find the Scriptural position very clear on the eternal fate of the Old Covenant Jews who refused to make the transition to the New Covenant relationship with God. The Old Covenant rebel Jews whose hearts were eternally hardened against the Truth were eternally damned. THAT is the Scriptural position. Mr. King’s propositions and suggested views fly in the face of the Scriptural evidence. It appears that he may be seeking to legitimize some kind of Covenant relationship the modern so-called “Jews” of today supposedly have with the God of Israel. In actual fact, as every good student of the Scriptures knows – the “Jews” were disinherited forever by God, and their spiritual economy came under an eternal curse. This is why the post-AD 70 “Jews” (Gentile proselytes to the emasculated parody of ancient Mosaic Judaism) have suffered so much persecution and horrific suffering. They are unwittingly associated with an accursed “faith”. They have no relationship to the God of the Bible whatsoever and are attempting to perpetuate that which He has eternally condemned (those who practice the “Jewish” faith and religion). It is no wonder that Kabbalistic Judaism (occultism in Jewish form) plays a highly significant role in the rabbinic tradition (as I have found out firsthand, having had a rabbi pronounce a Kabbalistic curse on me, personally).


But let’s take a look at King’s supporting texts. Perhaps he can make a Scriptural case for his views, somehow creating a completely contradictory meaning in the Word of God between the texts introduced by myself, above, and the ones he proposes in support of his ideas.

11 “For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one's work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one's work, of what sort it is. 14 If anyone's work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone's work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.” (1Cor. 3:11-15, NKJV)



Quite frankly, at this point I am literally embarrassed for Mr. King. This is tragic. What an appalling abuse of the context and clear meaning of the sacred text. I don’t think even futurists are capable of such blatant disregard for the intended meaning and inferences of the Word of God (although Dispensationalists are capable of anything). Paul, in the passage above, is contextually (check the surrounding context) discussing the preaching of the Christian gospel. He is not discussing the fate of the Judaizers or the “vessels of wrath”. He is discussing the judgment which would be passed on the efforts of CHRISTIANS who were preaching the gospel either in its purest, truest form (“gold, silver, precious stones”) or in a sullied, perhaps legalistic form (with impure, self-aggrandizing motivations guiding them – the “wood, hay, straw”). The Judaizers and First Century Jews were not capable of “building on the foundation of Christ Jesus” since THEY REJECTED HIM OUTRIGHT. They are NOT under consideration in this passage at all. Again, the surrounding context dictates that these verses be viewed as exclusive to the efforts and preaching/teaching of CHRISTIANS. Note that the judgment in which some would be "saved, yet so as through fire" applied to the judgment of CHRISTIANS at the Bema Seat of Christ. This had nothing to do with the Great White Throne judgment of the rebel Jews ("vessels of wrath").

18 Therefore, as through one man's offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man's righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. 19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man's obedience many will be made righteous. (Romans 5:18,19 NKJV)



Again, the context defeats Mr. King’s argument. Staying true to the context is critical in all Scriptural analysis. It is fundamental to the Full Preterist paradigm and the historical/contextual hermeneutic which is the cornerstone of Full Preterism. In the verses above, we see that the free gift of salvation in Christ Jesus CAME to all men. We cannot infer from this statement that “all men” of that day responded favorably to that gift. In fact, we know for certain that many, many rejected the gift of eternal life in Christ Jesus. And this is borne out in the very next verse (Rom. 5:19). It states that “many were made sinners” and likewise “MANY will be made righteous”. The world “ALL” is not used here. “Many” is not all-inclusive. We could get into a discussion of the use of “many” in relation to the results of Adam’s sin, but time and space will not permit that. Suffice it to say for the present that the use of this term is indicative of a select number from within the larger group (“all men”) who would respond positively, in saving faith, to the gospel.

In webcasts to come Kings plan to explore the pattern of the Major and Minor prophets, to see how Jesus' prophecy of Jerusalem's fall followed the same Old Testament prophetic pattern, ie. God's judgment is always followed by God's mercy.



I see Tim’s thinking on this subject being subtly guided by “Messianic Judaism” – the modern attempt to legitimize a syncretism between modern “Judaism” and Christianity. These two mix like oil and water – particularly in the New Covenant spiritual economy of God. They are darkness (“Judaism”) and light (Christianity). The two can never be reconciled to each other. “Judaism” is anathema to the Christian and must remain so, eternally.


In relation to the fate of the First Century Jews and their utterly corrupted observance of Mosaic Judaism, God warned the Jews/Israelites repeatedly throughout their history that there would come a day when HIS MERCY WOULD CEASE. There would be an eventual destruction WITH NO SUBSEQUENT RESTORATION. It would be final and complete. And this is what occurrred in 70 AD.

9 “Remember the former things of old, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, 10 Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done, Saying, 'My counsel shall stand, And I will do all My pleasure,' 11 Calling a bird of prey from the east, The man who executes My counsel, from a far country. Indeed I have spoken it; I will also bring it to pass. I have purposed it; I will also do it. 12 "Listen to Me, you stubborn-hearted, Who are far from righteousness: 13 I bring My righteousness near, it shall not be far off; My salvation shall not linger. And I will place salvation in Zion, For Israel My glory.” (Isaiah 46:9-13, NKJV)



From the very inception of the Old Covenant “world” (civilization) and its spiritual economy and Constitution (at Mt. Sinai), God made it very clear what their “end” would be, should they finally and completely reject Him as their God. In effect, He “declared the end from the beginning”. He foreknew and pre-blueprinted their history in accordance with the pre-determined reality that their “world” would be temporal and have a fixed duration. Deut. 28 is very, very clear on this. Verses 15-68 specify in lurid, vivid detail the precise curses which came upon the First Century Jews in 70 AD, in the form of their final destruction. There is NO suggestion whatsoever of ANY restoration of any kind at the end of this chapter. Nor is there any suggestion of an eventual restoration in Luke 21:24, when the “times of the Gentiles” being fulfilled, indicates clearly (within the surrounding context) that the completion of the eternal destruction of ancient Judaism by the Gentile Romans would effectively bring the “times of the Gentiles” to fulfillment.


I invite Mr. King and the other Transmillennnialists who evidently are considering compromising Full Preterist hermeneutics in an effort to incorporate “Messianic Judaism” into their movement, to interact with the Scriptures in a manner characterized by contextual accuracy and integrity rather than expediency. We have an obligation to uphold the highest standards humanly possible in our treatments of the sacred text. I fail to see such a standard in Mr. King’s views and handling of the Scriptures.


Should he wish to interact with this critique, he is more than welcome to defend his views here and provide us with further insight into the justification for his interpretations and ideas.


May our Saviour’s Truth be magnified and glorified in all things.


John McPherson

davo's picture

SuperSoulFighter: The determinations and conclusions of my article are Biblically valid, true and they stand as written. No challenges posted in any comments thus far have in any way undermined the validity of the conclusions derived from the plain, unequivocal pronouncements of the texts posted.

John, with all due respect, that is nothing but self aggrandizement and the blowing of one's own trumpet – it's your opinion, which is fine, but a gross over exaggeration none the less.

davecollins: We know that ALL these things were fulfilled in c70AD. The judgement and destruction of the ungodly, and also the glory of His presence and unshakeable,everlasting Kingdom.

Dave and John, where is the consistency. If you stick with your supposed "contextual setting" you have neither biblical credence nor precedence in dragging the fate of the wicked past AD70 – however it is you guys proportion such fate. You present cute illustrations as why "all" is potentially in your opinion "limited," yet without proper biblical exegesis; apart from saying that you believe it is so.

If you are as consistent as you seek to portray then the issue of "sin and its consequence" must needs remain within the bounds of Israel of that generation, AND thus have NO legitimate biblical criteria for imposing said sin on humanity as a whole thereafter – NONE!!

What I have acknowledged is that much in this issue IS Israel specific, though NOT to the exclusion of the rest of humanity – but that Israel was the 'test-bed' of the problem and hence its resolution or cure for it in Christ. You cannot mix and match as you do without doing great violence to the text as you have done.

You have NO biblical warrant to demand repentance and faith as qualifiers of mercy "today" when you limit the problem requiring resolution to "then" – and this IS what your position unequivocally advocates. To require that the wicked "change" or suffer post death dire consequences is to acknowledge a problem needing fixing – but on what biblical basis is the problem extended past Israel's borders of that generation. Seeing as "all" is according to your view is limited. You cannot with credibility "unlimit" all for sin as touching 'man' as a whole, then limit all as to touching God's grace for but a few – well you can and you do, but it is most unconvincing. Paul does not chop and change his context.

You have NOT refuted my "micro-macro" argument, just simply ignored it. Your theory is bogged down when it comes to "consistency" – stuck in the mud. You have not presented HOW post Parousia humanity is thus restored to God – how can you if the "problem" is limited to pre Parousia. You say sin is defeated yet you still have post Parousia the wicked being defeated by sin – go figure.

The Parousia changed the salvific landscape. How can you NOT in your desire to see a consistent "fulfilled" model SEE this? If the real issue of sin i.e., its separating power was ended in Christ, how on earth do you still advocate for sin's eternal supremacy – for that's what you are in effect doing. It was the power of sin wherein lay the crisis, and that the law.

Ed made this comment in an above post, with which I concur: "Why do preterists continue to ignore the passing away of the old covenant when it comes to soteriology? You diminish the work of God through your traditions."

Rom 7:8 …apart from the law sin was dead. [not non existent, but powerless]

Rom 5:12 …through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned-- [if this is Israel only, in stead of Israel primarily i.e., micro-macro, then the "all" of Rom 3:23 et al. is likewise only - you cannot with biblical consistency draw from it a wider application or use.]

Rom 5:15 …if by the one man's offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many. [if this is Israel only, in stead of Israel primarily i.e., micro-macro, then the "all" of Rom 3:23 et al. is likewise only - you cannot with biblical consistency draw from it a wider application or use.]

Rom 5:18 Therefore, as through one man's offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man's righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. [if this is Israel only, in stead of Israel primarily i.e., micro-macro, then the "all" of Rom 3:23 et al. is likewise only - you cannot with biblical consistency draw from it a wider application or use.]

What I've been proposing honors both the primary and beyond scope of the restitution of all things.

davo

SuperSoulFighter's picture

"John, with all due respect, that is nothing but self aggrandizement and the blowing of one's own trumpet – it's your opinion, which is fine, but a gross over exaggeration none the less."

Dave - with equally due respect - have you re-read my article recently? My comments were essentially an expression concern over the fact that the resultant commentary has shifted focus from the eternal fate of the First Century rebel Jews to the question of Comprehensive Grace and the eternal reconciliation of all of mankind in Christ. In all honesty, Dave, I don't see a direct connection between the two. I had hoped to avoid opening this can of worms until posting my article on grace. I didn't realize that addressing Tim King's obvious mistreatment of the texts relevant to the eternal fate of the OC pre-AD 70 Jews who rejected their God eternally would introduce this larger discussion. I think this has been taken in an unnecessary direction, but that doesn't mean I"m not prepared to discuss the CG position.

Just thought I'd clarify that, Dave.

Before we get all bent out of shape over the "fate of the wicked/lost" in the post-AD 70 era, etc. etc. we need to consider the nature of sin itself. How do the Scriptures define "sinners", contextually? As far as I'm concerned, the Law empowered the sin nature by giving it a specific, legal definition. Suddenly, for a very select group of people - a subset within the human race - their naturally rebellious tendencies which normally resisted the promptings of conscience had further restrictions and boundaries placed upon their bias towards wrongdoing and evil. God defined, in His Law, that which was "sin", behaviourally speaking. That was God's definition of it. He also made provision for dealing with that sin within His Law. "Sin" as defined within the OC Law had a unique power over the Covenant People, as they had exclusive access to the resolution of the "sin problem" and had the responsibility to either actively interact with the solution or reject it. For those who rejected it - the "light" that was within them (the OC Law, internalized as they were exposed to it) became "darkness" - and how great was that darkness!! It was eternal.

davo's picture

SuperSoulFighter: Before we get all bent out of shape over the "fate of the wicked/lost" in the post-AD 70 era, etc. etc.

John, what I raised in my previous post about "all" wasn't a CG versus non CG contention. You brought up the issue, as you have on a number of different occasions now, stating that Paul's context cannot be all inclusive outside of OC Israel etc etc. I have shown how to a degree I agree, but also where, how and why I differ. I simply challenged your notion and asked – how do you therefore biblically and with consistency apply anything past the pre Parousia time frame. Thus far you still have not ventured a response around this. So let me ask you this:

[1] What is your understanding of the "fate of the wicked/lost" in the post-AD 70 era?
[2] How do you ascribe a "fate" to those you designate as "wicked" post Parousia, if you hold to the view that all and sundry were relative to the pre Parousia world etc?
[3] And what Scriptural evidence do you show for this?

davo

preteristdave's picture

davo: "If the real issue of sin i.e., its separating power was ended in Christ, how on earth do you still advocate for sin's eternal supremacy – for that's what you are in effect doing. It was the power of sin wherein lay the crisis, and that the law."

Davo, I have to admit that some of what you and Ed are saying does make a lot of sense. Apart from the law (which was destroyed in 70AD) sin is dead and the spiritual death which reigned before (from Adam until Moses) and after the giving of the law was also destroyed in 70AD. If what you say is true, that Christ paid for the sins of all people and not just His New Covenant people, how do you understand these post-70AD verses?

Isa 33:20 Look upon Zion, the city of our appointed feasts; Your eyes will see Jerusalem, an undisturbed habitation, A tent which will not be folded; Its stakes will never be pulled up, Nor any of its cords be torn apart. 21 But there the majestic One, the LORD, will be for us A place of rivers and wide canals On which no boat with oars will go, And on which no mighty ship will pass-- 22 For the LORD is our judge, The LORD is our lawgiver, The LORD is our king; He will save us-- 23 Your tackle hangs slack; It cannot hold the base of its mast firmly, Nor spread out the sail. Then the prey of an abundant spoil will be divided; The lame will take the plunder. 24 And no resident will say, "I am sick"; The people WHO DWELL THERE will be forgiven their iniquity.

Jer 31:33 "But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days," declares the LORD, "I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 34 "They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, `Know the LORD,' for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them," declares the LORD, "for I will forgive THEIR iniquity, and THEIR sin I will remember no more."

Thank you for your time.

David

davo's picture

Preteristdave: If what you say is true, that Christ paid for the sins of all people and not just His New Covenant people, how do you understand these post-70AD verses?
[Isa 33:20-24; Jer 31:33-34]

Dave, a little further back through the posts someone asked what biblical proof there was that God was going to save historic Israel – or words to that effect. These two passages are but two of the many that speak to this. There was a "delivering" [salvation] process taking place in that generation – the elect, the first-fruit believers, the predestined, were working or bringing to fullness that which Christ established through the Cross [Col 1:24; Jn 14:12].

The New Covenant was for all Israel - inclusively; those who embraced it were the first-fruit offerings on behalf of the whole harvest - historic OC Israel, so Paul could say, in context "…all Israel shall be saved" Rom 11:26. Note also the rest of verse 26 and that of verse 27 – OT promises to historic Israel. The purpose then of being elected was to administer this NC to Israel, which in line many OC promises was to include the Gentiles – hence the Israel specific AND beyond nature of the Gospel [Jn 4:22; Eph 2:12].

As for how this fits in with election: "election" had naught to do with any post death position of Heaven or Hell, but with the redemptive purpose of God. We also know that "election" has nothing to do with post death judgment as Paul indicates that the issue of "works" whether good or bad was not the point.

Rom 9:11 …for the children not yet being born, nor having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works but of Him who calls,…

The outworking of redemption by those elect would cost many their lives. Likewise the rejection of the NC would also cost many their lives. The cost was not only the loss of physical life in the LoF of AD70, but also the greater loss of "reward" come the Resurrection of that time. ['The resurrection' was the hope of OC Israel]. Some [Jn 5:29] rose to total [eternal] contempt while others rose to embrace life in a totality [eternal] we do not understand. Either way, the designation of such was to those of that generation. And further – it was "their works that came under judgment as can be seen by many scriptures that mention "judgment" – they revolve around the fruit, not the fruit-bearer, though obviously the fruit-bearer received or lost accordingly – chastisement or praise. Example Rom 2:5-7; 2Tim 4:14.

Remember Jesus said:

Mt 16:25-26 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?

The "soul" of a man is his identity. Their identity under the old covenant was who they were. That identity however in God's redemptive plan was changing. Those who clung unto to the OC identity would lose that life identity in the LoF [Mt 10:28]. Those who lost their lives in Christ's NC would in spite of temporal loss be rewarded. It would profit the man of the OC nothing, even if he was to gain all that the OC "world" could give him, for it was coming down.

It was the wicked of the likes of Hymenaeus, Philetus, Alexander or the incestuous believer of Corinth that Paul handed over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh - that they might learn not to blaspheme [1Cor 5:5; 1Tim 1:20]. Any professed "believer" that acted as an unbeliever and would not turn from his corrupt ways was to be considered as an unbeliever [1Cor 5:11; Mt 18:17]. And thus they would suffer loss accordingly; it would be comprehensive in nature, but any idea of ECT or annihilation does not come into the picture; they were to "learn not to blaspheme." Paul's intent was remedial and restorative, not punitive and perpetual. The "destruction of the flesh," possibly meant excommunication [for a period] from "the Body" [of believers] - though being "saved" in the Lord's Day. The grace of God extends way past our boundaries. So serious though was it to turn from the faith that even Jesus said to those that had: "you are of your father the devil" Jn 8:44, which becomes evident from verses 31-32ff of the same chapter.

Sorry Dave I've digressed. Basically the vessels of honor and vessels of dishonor are both in and from the same house – Israel. Both were used in the redemptive plan of God to bring about the restoration of Israel to God, and hence from that the world. Spiritual Israel were the first-fruits on behalf of their brethren OC Israel. Why else were some [the first-fruits] going through the baptism of suffering [1Cor 15:29-31; Mk 10:38-39] on behalf of the dead i.e., OC Israel.

It also would be a gross misunderstanding however to think that this has anything to do with placating present day messianic Judaism – far from it.

davo

PatchouliJudy's picture

Davo,
I however did not argue your micro/macro argument as I believe it as well.

Are you forgetting that while sin was not imputed until the law, death still reigned from Adam to Moses?

One must, MUST have the SEED of God planted within their being in order to be one of His. That has not changed.

I don't believe that people are born in sin. I believe that teaching to be a lie. But when we choose to wilfully rebel against God in order to be our own god, we suffer spiritual death in the same way Adam did.

The door is open, but one must still eat the flesh and drink the blood of God in order to be in Him. This is the sustenance of life.

What do you believe IS reconciliation?
I believe it is the restoration of fellowship between man and God. Do you believe that ALL men are in fellowship with God? How do you explain the outer darkness that exists outside the gates?

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

davo's picture

Judy: What do you believe IS reconciliation?
I believe it is the restoration of fellowship between man and God. Do you believe that ALL men are in fellowship with God? How do you explain the outer darkness that exists outside the gates?

Judy, this may be a bit simplistic to say, but: Reconciliation has restored the relationship between God and man, it is salvation in Christ that builds that fellowship with God.

As for the darkness outside the gates – it our joy to share that light that helps dispel that darkness. Or as I believe Mother Theresa "don't curse the darkness – light a candle."

davo

PatchouliJudy's picture

No kidding. Who ever said curse the darkness. We were all darkness. I was evil.

What do you mean by restored relationship. Do all men HAVE it, or do all men have the ability to have it? So do you believe that God has relationship with those who are out of His will?

I believe all men have the ability to have it. If the reconciliation is restoration of relationship, would that not be pre-fall, in other words, PRE rebellion? BTW, I don't believe men are born in sin.

How do you define salvation in Christ?

Is salvation, being saved from the carnal mind which feeds the lust? To put on the mind of Christ? Therefore doesn't one need to put on the mind of Christ before he can be in Him? Wouldn't one need to believe and have faith in God to be able to wear His image?

Can a person be antiChrist and still be a child of God? Is not being a child of God being part of God? Being His nature? The Word of God grew and multiplied?

Thanks in advance for helping me understand what you believe.

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

davo's picture

Judy, I've touched on some of these questions in various post here, and in particlar in both CG threads in the forum area - have you been over there. Plus, have you been to my site pantelism.com and read my article based on this?

Judy: What do you mean by restored relationship. Do all men HAVE it, or do all men have the ability to have it?

Sin fractured and broke the relationship between man and his Maker - Christ restored it, just not all are aware of it.

Judy: So do you believe that God has relationship with those who are out of His will?

Have you ever been out of the will of God? When you were [assumingly] did your relationship with Him cease to exist - like was He still your Father? Or did perhaps your sense of fellowship with Him suffer?

davo

PatchouliJudy's picture

Davo,
While I don't believe in Tim's claims about national Israel I am however starting to wonder....

If sin and death were conquered and satan was crushed (satan being the power of the ungodly to acts as God's rep on earth),

If the seed of the woman (the second Adam, the life giving spirit) crushed the seed of the first Adam, then how could we be born in sin?

Therefore I do wonder about the condition of man post 70ad.

Unless Israel was never about Israel

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

davo's picture

PatchouliJudy: ...I am however starting to wonder....

If the seed of the woman (the second Adam, the life giving spirit) crushed the seed of the first Adam, then how could we be born in sin?

Therefore I do wonder about the condition of man post 70ad.

"then how could we be born in sin?" - post AD70. That's a good question, how in deed - what are your thoughts?

davo

PatchouliJudy's picture

Davo,
I wanted to let you know that I have done a heck of a lot of soulful prayer of this all and I am starting to see some things that I didn't see before.

For instance, perhaps it isn't the idea that have things HAVE BEEN reconciled but that God is very active in each and everyone of our lives in doing that, both through the bad and good circumstances that present themselves to us. Somewhat like the prodigal son story.

I look forward to John's next article. Perhaps I will write to you soon too. I do have some thoughts I want to share, but my thoughts are a little too scattered at the moment. Thanks for your persistence..
Judy

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

Ted's picture

I have no interest in taking sides from an "historical/contexual" exegetical perspective, partially because my own hermeneutic of faith is closer to Lindbeck's "cultural/linguistic" model, and partially because I'm a lousy exegete.

What I find curious is the way in which preterists claim an enlightened understanding of apocalyptic language and yet cling dogmatically to a conventional understanding of things like eternal life and salvation. Is it possible that our understanding of how ideas and language were used and developed in the ancient world, how story and narrative were employed, is separated by a gulf much wider than we previously thought? Much wider than a re-thinking of apocalyptic language alone can bridge?

Is it possible that we blast premillennialists for literalism in the area of eschatology and fall into a similar trap in other areas of our faith?

davo's picture

Ted: Is it possible that we blast premillennialists for literalism in the area of eschatology and fall into a similar trap in other areas of our faith?

That Ted is hitting the nail on the head.

davo

SuperSoulFighter's picture

That IS my concern, Ted. All of us who are attempting to systematize our paradigm beyond a simple eschatological position into all other areas of doctrine and faith are wrestling with the texts and relevant issues in an effort to consistently analyze the Word of God according to our hermeneutic.

The difference between ours and yours is not so great as you might imagine, but your point is valid, perhaps, and one that should be (and will be) given due consideration.

davo's picture

Ed: God has never, will never, and does not now limit Himself in any way. The God, "who was reconciling all things (including humanity) unto Himself through Christ" is not limited by our understanding, our acceptance, our belief, our unbelief, our stupidity, our ignorance, our arrogance, our endless foolish blathering. God is God. He does not operate as you and I do. He is above us. His ways are not our ways, His thoughts are above our thoughts.

Well Ed, instead of standing toe-to-toe ;) I'll stand shoulder to shoulder with you and give a hearty Amen!!

God has never been restricted to performing His will within the limits of man's ability to embrace truth. Man's inability to embrace truth has restricted many from walking in the completed work of Christ. Our inability to believe and understand has not stopped the completed work of Christ from having its affect in the life of every human being on the face of the planet, world without end – whether they appreciated it or not.

Virgil: Yes, that's exactly what I said, so you are not disagreeing with me anywhere. Paul was not describing the resurrection we all experience today when we are saved, he was rather describing the resurrection that took place in AD 70.

So Virgil, what Scriptures do you use to validate such resurrection "today" post Parousia? if what Paul was describing was the resurrection then.

Virgil: The problem is not the passing of the old covenant, the problem is your failure to see the need for Abraham-like faith that is necessary to enjoy the TRUE promises of the old-covenant (which by the way was not destroyed, but fulfilled).

Romans 4:16- For this reason it is by faith, in order that it may be in accordance with grace, so that the promise will be guaranteed to all the descendants, not only to those who are of the Law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all, (as it is written, " A FATHER OF MANY NATIONS HAVE I MADE YOU") in the presence of Him whom he believed, even God, who gives life to the dead and calls into being that which does not exist."

Virgil, can you not see that in the very verse you quote is the abundant evidence that the "grace" and "promise" was "guaranteed to all, of whom Abraham was the father of all i.e., those of faith and those not. Those of faith were the elect predestined first-fruit believers who being of Abraham's faith would be the ones through whom the redemption outworked – on behalf of the entire harvest i.e., their fellows.

SuperSoulFighter: I don't believe that God "reconciled humanity to Himself", but He certainly made it possible for individuals to respond to His Truth by faith and enter into New Covenant relationship with Him, thereby enjoying eternal life with Him now and after physical death.

You don't have to, but you have no say in the matter John:

2Cor 5:20 …God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

Now I know you say "the world" is not global but applies only to those of "faith" of that day. You have no scriptural validation however to then extend or lift this or other scriptures of similar "global" nature out of their context and thus make "faith" a prerequisite beyond AD70 – and likewise the consequence of non-faith ECT or annihilation, or what other theory you propose. Now I believe in faith beyond the Parousia, but not for the reasons you espouse.

What I'm saying is that such global passages are indeed bound to that generation BUT, through that generation there application encompasses all humanity. What God was doing in the microcosm of Israel was on behalf of the macrocosm of the world – so in this very real sense 2Cor 5:20 does encompass all humanity – and was always meant to. Otherwise you are left with Israel being an end in herself, but then having to invent theories as to "how" Israel-specific texts apply otherwise – like Jn 3:16; Rom 3:23 et al, etc. What you are saying IMO is therefore inconsistent and flawed.

davo

SuperSoulFighter's picture

"Now I know you say "the world" is not global but applies only to those of "faith" of that day. You have no scriptural validation however to then extend or lift this or other scriptures of similar "global" nature out of their context and thus make "faith" a prerequisite beyond AD70 – and likewise the consequence of non-faith ECT or annihilation, or what other theory you propose. Now I believe in faith beyond the Parousia, but not for the reasons you espouse."

Well, Dave, I haven't dealt completely and thoroughly with this particular subject yet, but hopefully I can allot some time to further explaining my views on this. I actually DO have other Scriptural validation and support for my interpretation of "world" as a reference, exclusively, to the New Covenant "world" God brought into being in the First Century (which reached completion and full reconciliation in 70 AD). Anyway - I understand that this is a sensitive, volatile issue and don't want to push it beyond where we've taken it thus far (at least, not until my article on "Grace" is posted).

The passages where "world" is used are NOT global, Dave. They are not universal and while there may be a continuing faith principle that has since grown and developed wherever the Kingdom of Heaven has been established on this planet, the fact remains that the intended primary application of this text was to the saints of the First Century. It references THEIR spiritual experience with God.

And by the way - neither John 3:16 nor Romans 3:23 have a post-AD 70 application. Check out my article on "De-Universalizing the Gospel" concerning my understanding and treatment of the first text. The latter one is, as far as I'm concerned, CLEARLY (as dictated by the context) limited to the First Century Jews exclusively. "All" of the Jews/Israelites had sinned and "fallen short of the glory of God". Check out the context, Dave. It's not a universal text referencing all of humanity's spiritual condition.

davo's picture

G'day John,

The point I'm making is this. God IS infinitely interested in ALL of His creation - always has been. The restoration of humanity from sin-chaos came through Israel. So although much "worldly" language is indeed Israel specific, its intent was on a wider plane – hence what I said about the micro/macro cosmos.

Which brings me to the issue of "election," as per your article. I think evangelicalism has erred in ascribing "election" and "predestination" past AD70. I also think evangelicalism has erred in ascribing "election" and "predestination" as defining post death destinies. And thus the lack thereof meaning a supposed ECT or annihilation of "the wicked" - which basically applies to all who have not confessed Christ and evidenced such confession with "righteous" works. Post death issues from a biblical perspective are actually pretty slim. They are there - but "we" give them a "utopian" or "infernal" slant according to religious tradition.

Election and predestination as used buy Paul IMO are about the administration of redemption [how God did it – and those He used]. And has NOTHING to do with post death destinies, period. It was specific to them of that time and that which led up to it – on behalf of all for all time [cause and effect or action and consequence]. Does what we do in this life affect life beyond? – maybe, maybe not [I personally think it does], but what is a certainty is that what we do in this life affects this life. That's why post Parousia, "salvation" is the transformation that outworks the righteousness already imputed. It was the same in that transitional generation as well BUT, "salvation" for them also carried the greater issue of "deliverance" from the LoF of AD70, which also was wider than just Jerusalem, as the whole country was going up in smoke – those who harkened to Jesus' words got out and were quite literally "saved."

So basically, if election and predestination were this generation issues, so then was non election and non predestination. They were about purpose - redemption; not position - Heaven or Hell.

davo

PatchouliJudy's picture

Good Morning Davo,
I believe wholeheartedly, that each individual human is a microcosm of Israel. The Old/New man. What happened to them on an corporate level, now happening to each living being. I believe we experience Parousia, the exact same one they did, because although it happened in time past, it happened on a spiritual plane that is outside of time. Our lives were also hidden with Christ and when He returned, we were with Him.

As per election, I believe those pre 70ad were elected and also made up the fulfillment of Ezekiel's temple vision.

I am also starting to believe a very different picture of salvation if we want to call it that. I don't believe that righteousness is imputed in those who don't follow Jesus. Read John Chapter 6 about the eating and drinking of His flesh and blood. About them being life. His words are His flesh and blood and they are life and give life.

But I also believe that the idea of a physical blood covering was never the issue. In the Old Covenant, people were forbidden to eat blood because it was the life force of the FLESH. However the LIFE Jesus sacrificed was not his flesh. It was his relationship to the Spirit. YHWH had to turn His back on the body he prepared for Himself for the period of time that body bore the sins of His people. The covering that his true blood provides which is spirit, is the power and enablement for us to be light. For if He truly lives in us, then we are extensions of He.

To be saved, is to find God. To be given life. It is not the idea of life after death, because eternal is outside of time. It is the idea of taking on by absorbing the NATURE of God. Acts 12:24 says the Word of God grew and multiplied and God can not dwell amongst sin. To love Him and seek Him with all our heart and soul and mind causes us to mature in Him and eventually to see Him in the mirror.

I see a very different picture than most do in the Bible. Many point to Jesus and say, He did it all, I am just a man, but I see a message that says KILL the man. Die to it. DEAD to the old man, alive to the Spirit. Walk in the spirit and you WILL NOT feed the lust of the flesh.

So when a good chunk of the world lives in order to live by "survival of the fittest, "dog eat dog", screw like bunnies with whoever whenever, "the world is MY oyster", and of course, "What's in it for ME" how can I look at that and say, God is in you?

This isn't an issue of limiting God, but God still calls people to Himself, and those who love Him pay the price of self sacrifice. Remember the disrobing and washing of feet. It was the example of life according to God. It is real life, a life of love, caring and servitude.

I noticed yesterday in Leviticus, there was an offering to God for their souls. They gave their gold and silver and jewels etc. I thought that was pretty significant. It is only through living as Jesus did with the spirit driving, projecting that out where it flows to others around that lives around us will change, and that is really what this is all about. Healing the world and drawing those around us to TRUTH.

Happy New Year. May it be blessed.

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

Paige's picture

Judy,

You wrote,"So when a good chunk of the world lives in order to live by 'survival of the fittest', 'dog eat dog', ... how can I look at that and say, God is in you?"

You can't. That is not the message I hear coming from Tim King either. What I'm seeing in CG is that the Kingdom of God encompasses all. When God did away with the covenant of death, the law, and came to dwell here in the fulness of His Kindom, He declared all to be his. This includes all humanity. I see that all are in Christ, but Christ is not in all. When we realize what God did for us and give ourself back to Him in gratitude, then He indwells us. The life we live, we no longer live for ourselves. More importantly, "it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure." Phil.2:13.

Eternal life is knowing God, abundant life is knowing God. Coming into this concept, I had to ask myself this question; "If there is absolutely nothing for anyone beyond the grave, is it still worth it to give your life to Christ (die to self)? I say yes emphatically! Now, when I look at people who have no clue to what real life is all about, I don't see them as enjoying themselves or benefitting in any way. They are full of emptiness, pain, and hopelessness. They need Jesus and that is what I want to show them. If there is any Hell to experience, they are already experiencing it!

This concept of CG has become more of a motivator for me to live for Him, not less.

In Christ, Paige

PatchouliJudy's picture

Paige,
Hi. I am not so sure that there isn't life beyond the grave. I wrestled with that one too, until my husband reminded me of the thief on the cross. And it isn't that it is beyond death, it is just that it is. When I understood eternal was outside of time, all of a sudden, so many questions were answered.

The issue that brought up this article was Tim King's teaching that all of national Israel was used as vessels of wrath, but that they were saved (spiritually). In essence, that is to say that those who played the role of antiChrist had spiritual reconciliation.

One must have Christ to have life. It is that life that was the reconciliation. Jesus said to fear He who could destroy both the body AND the soul. Being saved from the destruction of Jerusalem was only a part of the issue.

Tim also said that the belief that the church was Israel is replacement theology. That is propaganda in so many cults like messianic judaism. It really surprised me to hear a scholar who is supposed to have such Godly insight make such a claim. The initial believers were Jews and Israelites.

Anyhow to believe that antichrist was reconciled to God, is just way too out there for me to fathom, and I was brought up a jew. God gives us the ability to face human nature and the hard truths in the Bible.

These people howled for His murder, begged for the release of a murderer, accused Pilate of not being a friend of Caesar's when he begged for the release of Jesus, called Caesar their only king, persecuted and tried to crush the church. There was NO repentance, no remorse, nothing but hate for our king and we are supposed to swallow this idea that they had reconciliation? How? Can you please tell me how?

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

SuperSoulFighter's picture

Excellent response, Judy! I couldn't agree more with your statements here. You and I are definitely on the same page, sister. Your continued excellent input here is appreciated.

Paige's picture

Judy,
All I can say is that was not up to us, it was up to God. How could God put up with alot of what He witnesses today? Why doesn't He just wipe us all off the planet and be done with it? God's ways are higher than man's ways. I'm grateful that this is so.
In Christ, Paige

PatchouliJudy's picture

I am not saying that it was up to us. I am asking where in Scripture there is any indication of National Israel being saved. I see wrath and being cast out of heaven. Heaven being the place of fellowship. There was no longer any covering for their sin after the expressed disbelief.
If they were to turn their hearts, and believe in faith, they would be grafted back in. But that was on an individual basis, as the door was now only open on that basis. The added grace that was given to them as a people group was removed. If I could be shown differently, I will believe it, but to this day, this is what I see through the word.

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

Paige's picture

Judy,
If turning our hearts to belief in Christ is necessary for forgiveness, then our forgiveness is all based on what we do, rather than what Christ has done. Do you not recall Saul of Tarsus' heart condition when Jesus got a hold of him on the Damascus road? He was in no way repentant, he was bent on murder, and you know good and well that if he had been in Jerusalem at the time, he would have been yelling "crucify Him" along with all the rest. I think Paul always kept this in his mind and was amazed that God could forgive him. Whats more, if we are bound to your criteria, then God was completely out of line in forgiving and choosing Paul at all. I'm sure there were many more deserving individuals He could have put in his place. We, on this side of the Cross/Parousia forget that we had the same heart condition as those that put Christ on the cross...PRIDE. Not one of us can guarantee that put in their place, we would not have done the same thing. Not one of us can guarantee that in the Garden, we would have obeyed. Aren't you glad your forgiveness is not based on whether or not you would have passed that test?
Follow your line of thinking out to the end, and you get works based theology. I know, I've been there myself.
In Christ, Paige

davecollins's picture

Dear Sister Paige,
The basic problem I have with your theory,is not that God is UNABLE to deliver the whole Human race by His grace, for we all know He is Awesome and Marvelous in all He does,however the problem I see is contextual.Promises are taken out of context.
The texts' used to demonstrate CG actually contain gauranteed promises for a particular people. These " already, and not yet" promises were given to Christians during the transitional period pre-70 AD . When a letter(s) is addressed to "elect" "called to be saints" "beloved of God" "church of God" "all the saints in Christ Jesus" "to the faithful brethren" it follows that only these, and those which would join with them, would be the designated recipients of these promises.
To read into these letters a redemption or salvation for anyone apart from God's choosing, calling,& sanctifying through repentance and faith you must ignore the distinction between those connected and alive in Christ, and those separated and dead in their sins.
Revelation 7& 14, shows the 2 parts of one particular people, standing and worshipping in the presence of God and the Lamb. There are 1.)"144,000" children of Israel and 2.) a great multitude redeemed out of every " nation, kindred, people, and tongues.(Vessels of mercy)

I believe these 2 groups represent the elect out of the nation of Israel, and the elect from the gentile nations who were in, or grafted into believing Israel's olive tree, together making up the true Israel of God.

Romans 9:22f What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted for destruction: And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?
The scriptures teach that our Father the Potter has authority to do what He will with the clay.We don't have to think it is fair,or even logical...We are His creation designed to give Him glory..
Paul prayed; May we be counted worthy of this calling and fulfill all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power ..... "And to you who are troubled, rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them who know not God,and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ; Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power; When He shall come to be glorified in His saints, and to be admired in all them that believe."2 Thess.

We know that ALL these things were fulfilled in c70AD. The judgement and destruction of the ungodly, and also the glory of His presence and unshakeable,everlasting Kingdom.

Praise God and the Lamb forever! dave

Paige's picture

Dave,
I understand where you are at and know that you are still studying as I am. I am at this point convinced, though, that as Ted said above, we are spiritualizing in places concerning eschatology and we need to open our eyes to all the rest in scripture. Many places where the Bible uses the word everlasting, in reality, should be "age-abiding" or "age-during". We have put a spin on certain scriptures that we need to re-examine.

Most people's problem, it seems to me, seems to be the unfairness of God to redeem mankind, including those vessels of wrath. Judy asked me how I could explain that God could possibly forgive those unrepentant murderers who put Christ on the cross. For us, this is extremely hard to swallow and yet she believes that Jesus' words are Life. I believe that Jesus is God. When He gave us the Beatitudes, He was showing us how we could live that Life as God Himself would. I asked if forgiveness was contingent on our asking for it, was it not then a work? I'll go even farther than that: If God won't forgive until He's been asked, then we too, should not forgive until we've been asked. We are to be imitators of God if we are believer's. If God doesn't love His enemies, then we shouldn't either. If God doesn't bless those who curse Him, then we shouldn't either. The whole passage of Matt.5:43-48 comes alive when we realize that this is our God! He operates this way and wants us to also.

Forgiveness is a gift. God is so loving and so generous that we can't even begin to imagine His depth. Thanks for your kind response.

In Christ, Paige

davecollins's picture

Dear Paige,
This is where it gets a little sticky....

You comment;"Many places where the Bible uses the word everlasting, in reality, should be "age-abiding" or "age-during". We have put a spin on certain scriptures that we need to re-examine."

Couldn't Jesus and the Apostles say "age-abiding" or until the end of the age, if that was the meaning?

Paige, I haven't lookd at all the places where eternal or everlasting was used, but I did see that in John 3:16 it's the same word that was used in 2 Thess1:9 for "eternal destruction." Now if this means "age- abiding or age-during" does this mean the Apostle John meant those who believe will not perish, but will have eternal life only during their "age-abiding" era?

To me this seems contrary to the idea of ressurrection Life, and the promise Jesus made to those in "whosoever believes in Me, even if they die, yet shall they live" This seems to speak of a spiritual Life far surpassing an "age-abiding" definition.
Just some thoughts from a fellow student at the Masters throne,dave

Ed's picture

Couldn't Jesus and the Apostles say "age-abiding" or until the end of the age, if that was the meaning?

Dave,
They did say it. It was the church who was trying to "keep folks in line" that introduced the modern vernacular. The word translated "eternal" is in fact age-during, or age-abiding, meaning "of a limited or finite duration". Jesus and the Apostles knew exactly what they were talking about.

ed

Papa is especially fond of us

Paige's picture

Here is something else to consider: Why didn't Peter just come out and say the old covenant was being destroyed? Instead, he said the "elements would melt with fervent heat", "the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire" etc. For seven years I've been trying to get a grasp on the proper interpretaion of apocalyptic language. Now I see I need to get a firmer grasp on Biblical language in general. There is a lot in God's Word that I wish was written in my natural understanding rather than theirs.

It's hard to face that I spent my first 17 years as a christian thinking everything about the Bible was basically easy to interpret and so cut and dried, only to struggle in the last 7 years and face up to the fact its not so. Lately, I've been challenged on every front and this is real work to weigh it all and search for proper understanding.

In Christ, Paige

Paige's picture

Dave,
I realize this is sticky. Thats why I believe we have to go back to the drawing board on so many of the beliefs we have held to for so long a time. I personally believe there is more for us betond physical life, but we are going to have to support that with other scriptures than what we have traditionally used. We may need to explore the idea that belief may not have to be bound to physical time and existence.

I like what Davo has to say on this topic. If we believe that every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess, we can't limit that to physical existence because many die without that confession. 1 Cor.12:3 says that "no one can say that Jesus Christ is Lord except by the Holy Spirit". Anyway, just some more things to consider or re-consider (as if we didn't have enough already).

In Christ, Paige

PatchouliJudy's picture

Paige,
Beatitudes
Blessed are the PURE in heart for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God
Blesses are they which are persecuted for righeousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blesses are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, amd shall say all manner of evil aginst your falsely for my sake
It ends with:
And if you salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? Do not even the publican so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

The call is to men who HEAR His voice. The call is to be light.

Jesus was light to those who dwelt in darkenss, but unless the darkness comes to the light, it is still darkness.

Luke 11:34-36 (KJV)
34 The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness. 35 Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness. 36 If thy whole body therefore be full of light, having no part dark, the whole shall be full of light, as when the bright shining of a candle doth give thee light.

John 3:19-21 (KJV)
19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. 21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

We know that the Jewish authority who had the position of being the principalities in high places were cast out into the outer darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth.

There are still lots of people in the world who love that realm of darkness. Do they need to be reached out to? YES, loved? YES, condemned? Not our job, however I still see the act of being converted to the mind of Christ as a requirement as actually being one of His.

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

Paige's picture

Judy,

Another thought on the Beatittudes:
Matt.5:4- Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Rev.1:7- Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen

In Christ, Paige

Paige's picture

Judy,
I believe you ignore something I said earlier, Jesus tells us to love our enemies because our Heavenly Father loves His enemies. The whole concept of being cast out had to do with no longer being in the service of God which was a humiliation to the Jew. Read some of G. Campbell Morgan's comments on those passages, I think they are very enlightening.

Can we imply that people who love darkness today, at this point in time, are somehow beyond the reach of God?

In Christ, Paige

SuperSoulFighter's picture

Just an item or two of clarification here, Paige. Paul's conversion is NOT a model of the conversion experience and spiritual interaction with God that can be expected for EVERY person. He was one of the "elect". They were highly UNIQUE. God went way, way out of His way to make sure His "elect" were saved. They existed ONLY during the active history of the Old Covenant "world" (pre-AD 70) and the NT saints (many of them) were the LAST of the "elect". So using Saul/Paul as an argument for God's forgiveness of the Jews who persecuted and despised Christ Jesus and His New Testament saints is fallacious reasoning. Saul/Paul was the EXCEPTION - not the rule. The exception does not negate the rule, but rather reinforces it. Paul was astounded that he turned out to be one of the "elect" and marvelled at God's sovereign choice to legislate his conversion, personally. This motivated him to the highest degree of service and devotion to Christ and His gospel humanly possible. His ministry was BEYOND human ability - it was supernaturally empowered by the Holy Spirit.

Judy's arguments are excellent and well-founded on the Scriptures. Sorry, Paige. The Transmillennialists and Tim King are wrong on this issue. They have no Biblical basis for their position. The determinations and conclusions of my article are Biblically valid, true and they stand as written. No challenges posted in any comments thus far have in any way undermined the validity of the conclusions derived from the plain, unequivocal pronouncements of the texts posted.

Paige's picture

John,
I don't believe that I implied Saul's conversion was typical of every person. If forgivenes is withheld until asked for, then is it not then a work? Something we must earn?

Actually, if I remember correctly, you quoted Matt.25:41 in reference to their eternal state. Check the rotherham(sp) or young translation on that vs. It does not appear to me to be speaking of eternal destiny.

Anyway, on this we will have to agree to disagree for now.

In Christ,Paige

davo's picture

PatchouliJudy: This isn't an issue of limiting God, but God still calls people to Himself, and those who love Him pay the price of self sacrifice. Remember the disrobing and washing of feet. It was the example of life according to God. It is real life, a life of love, caring and servitude.

G'day Judy. You're absolutely right, God calls us to serve - those of us who are "saved" are so to "serve."

2Cor 5:15 and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.

The above verse shows that Christ died for all i.e., reconciliation, and thus not limited. The "those that live" are as you say those that find God i.e., salvation - becoming aware of their redemption - limited. That they "should not live to please themselves but for Christ" is the reason why some are called into this knowledge of redemption - to serve as a priesthood of believers before God on behalf of our fellows - ministering the healing of God as found only in Christ.

davo

davecollins's picture

G'day Davo,

Thanks for presenting a clear look at Comprehensive Grace. I have been studying this view, with your help and insights, and will continue to do so.

To me, this view only fits Scripture if we forget that these New Testament letters were written to the elect, saints and church. Only if we change the context from believers to all humanity will CG work. I suppose that myself, John, Judy, Virgil,etc...
seem a little narrow minded, but we all want to be true to our understanding of the Scripture. Anyway, brother, I'm still looking to know God and His truth better every day.
Thanks Davo, for your service in the Kingdom!

davo's picture

Hey Dave, I appreciate your thoughts, of course I hold slightly different conclusions, but there ya go. No, I don't think you or John, Judy, Virgil etc are narrow minded at all - just on slightly differing tracks, but we all are to varying degrees. It's our collective wisdom/input that helps us all grow - and sometimes that means being rubbed the wrong way. But I think we should all be used to that, believing as we do in the "fulfilled" frame work :)

Blessings mate!!

davo

Virgil's picture

So Virgil, what Scriptures do you use to validate such resurrection "today" post Parousia? if what Paul was describing was the resurrection then.

Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life. - John 5:24

Imagine that, having to BELIEVE in order to have eternal life?!

Virgil, can you not see that in the very verse you quote is the abundant evidence that the "grace" and "promise" was "guaranteed to all, of whom Abraham was the father of all i.e., those of faith and those not. Those of faith were the elect predestined first-fruit believers who being of Abraham's faith would be the ones through whom the redemption outworked – on behalf of the entire harvest i.e., their fellows.

No I can't see that, probably because I am not a calvinist. The promise was guaranteed to the two groups of people (Jews under the Law, and Jews at heart, gentiles with Abraham's faith) - I can't see by any stretch of the imagination how you can see "all human beings" included in the verse I quoted. Don't let your theology cloud your exegesis... If Paul wanted to say ALL HUMANS he would have said "all humans"

Paul repeatedly described two groups merged into one, which resulted into the New Israel of God. In the process "branches were broken off" so that "new branches can be grafted in". Can you not see all the broken-off branches? How can you take Paul's clear and unambiguous description and turn it into universalism is beyond me...

Oh, and concerning 2 Cor. 5:20, NASB puts a whole new spin on your theology:

"Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. "

The Christian Bible renders it as follows:

"So then, I am a delegate for the Annointed One; it is as though God is continually encouraging people through me; I am continually petitioning on behalf of the Annointed One, "You must be reconciled to God!"

Their translation rings free of any theological presupposition, and it actually directly contradicts your understanding of this verse.

I would be happy to provide you with my rendering as well if you insist. From just a quick glance, it appears that katallagete is in the vocative case (or possible aorist, imperative), making Paul's statement a direct address to the audience, a direct advice, encouraging them to be reconciled to God. It does not appear to be a factual presentation that all mankind is reconciled to God. Again, you guys are failing to show evidence to even take the argument into consideration.

Give me something that will make me sit down and scratch my head...

davo's picture

Virgil: Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life. - John 5:24

Imagine that, having to BELIEVE in order to have eternal life?!

Of course one believes unto eternal life, that is not in dispute. "Eternal Life" is a knowable relationship with God in this life Jn17:3 – imagine that.

Virgil: The promise was guaranteed to the two groups of people (Jews under the Law, and Jews at heart, gentiles with Abraham's faith) - I can't see by any stretch of the imagination how you can see "all human beings" included in the verse I quoted. Don't let your theology cloud your exegesis... If Paul wanted to say ALL HUMANS he would have said "all humans"

So you're telling me that from the verse you quoted, Rom 4:16, you cannot see that Abraham was the father of the two groups - and that the promise being fulfilled was to them both. And consequently as a result of that all the nations would be blessed [Gal 3:8] – go back and carefully read the middle of the verse. And how might that work? By the inclusion of the Gentiles into the commonwealth of Israel Eph 2:12. It was the first-fruit believers – "spiritual Israel" that took over [Mt 21:43; 1Pt 2:9-10] and were inclusive of historic Israel [the rest of the harvest - Rom 11:26-28] that ministered the outworking of the redemption Christ wrought through Calvary on behalf of the world.

Virgil: Paul repeatedly described two groups merged into one, which resulted into the New Israel of God. In the process "branches were broken off" so that "new branches can be grafted in". Can you not see all the broken-off branches?

Yes, those broken off were not fit to minister the reconciliation and thus perished in the LoF of AD70 – where though do you go further in saying that that judgment means either ECT or annihilation? The scriptures you've trotted out in the past in relation to this you've simply read such into them. The "eternal" nature of such judgment was simply total and complete – they lost their lives.

Virgil: Oh, and concerning 2 Cor. 5:20, NASB puts a whole new spin on your theology:

"Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. "

The Christian Bible renders it as follows:

"So then, I am a delegate for the Annointed One; it is as though God is continually encouraging people through me; I am continually petitioning on behalf of the Annointed One, "You must be reconciled to God!"

Their translation rings free of any theological presupposition, and it actually directly contradicts your understanding of this verse.

Well that's nice, but if you check my post you'll see I mentioned 2Cor 5:19, not verse 20 – did you really read it, or was it a quick glance too? Verse 20 however is no contradiction. Paul's injunction means this: "you have been reconciled, now come into the reality of it!!" – have a look at Rom 5:10.

Virgil: From just a quick glance, it appears that katallagete is in the vocative case (or possible aorist, imperative), making Paul's statement a direct address to the audience, a direct advice, encouraging them to be reconciled to God. It does not appear to be a factual presentation that all mankind is reconciled to God. Again, you guys are failing to show evidence to even take the argument into consideration.

So Virgil, who in the "world" do you apply verse 19 to? - if Paul's "reconciliation" was thus limited to his audience, on what legitimate grounds do you use it post AD70?

As for katallagete, it must have been a quick glance, as it is not in the 'vocative,' but definitely in the "passive" voice meaning the subject being acted upon – hence, coming into that which is already established, or as above "you have been reconciled, now come into it!!" i.e., come and really experience the reality of. That's what salvation was all about – being transformed because they were already reconciled. Like if you hadn't noticed, Paul was writing to Christians, "imagine that" - believers.

Virgil: Give me something that will make me sit down and scratch my head...

That might come down to how prepared you are to challenge your own paradigms, much like I assume you might have when you first considered covenant eschatology.

davo

Virgil's picture

Davo,

1. In error, you referenced 2 Cor. 5:20 and quoted 5:19. My mistake was to take your comment at face value assuming that what you quoted was verse 20 rather than 19. I won't make that mistake again...

2. katallagete is an aorist passive but is in the imperative mood, which does not support your exegesis of the passage. God is doing the reconciling, no question about it, but Paul is literally BEGGING them , asking them to be reconciled. It is not "you have been reconciled, so now come into it" as you are suggesting, rather "reconciliation is available ONLY to those who are in Christ (v. 17), so BE RECONCILED! (i.e. be in Christ!)". There is no need for Paul to give ANYONE advice to be reconciled if the reconciliation is universal...it would be ridiculous to even ask them to do so! The requirement is to "be in Christ" (v. 17), which obviously presents the possibility that there are some that are not in Christ, therefore there are some are NOT reconciled.

3. The comments section here is no longer suitable for this line of arguing, so I will address these issues in more detail in a soon-to-come column.

davo's picture

Virgil: 1. In error, you referenced 2 Cor. 5:20 and quoted 5:19. My mistake was to take your comment at face value assuming that what you quoted was verse 20 rather than 19. I won't make that mistake again...

Virgil, you are absolutely correct - my apologies to you.

davo

Ed's picture

I will say this, and it will be my last comment in this thread, so you all can pick it apart and twist it to your own desires.

God has never, will never, and does not now limit Himself in any way. The God, "who was reconciling all things (including humanity) unto Himself through Christ" is not limited by our understanding, our acceptance, our belief, our unbelief, our stupidity, our ignorance, our arrogance, our endless foolish blathering. God is God. He does not operate as you and I do. He is above us. His ways are not our ways, His thoughts are above our thoughts.

I cannot believe that anyone here or elsewhere who considers themselves a Christian can make the claim that God is limited, even by Himself. There is not one single scriptural proof of this. God is totally in control of all that happens, He is still on His throne.

If I boast, let me boast in the LORD. Some trust in (pet theologies), some in (their own opinions), but I will remember the LORD our God.

ed

Papa is especially fond of us

SuperSoulFighter's picture

Ed: "God has never, will never, and does not now limit Himself in any way. The God, "who was reconciling all things (including humanity) unto Himself through Christ" is not limited by our understanding, our acceptance, our belief, our unbelief, our stupidity, our ignorance, our arrogance, our endless foolish blathering. God is God. He does not operate as you and I do. He is above us. His ways are not our ways, His thoughts are above our thoughts.

I cannot believe that anyone here or elsewhere who considers themselves a Christian can make the claim that God is limited, even by Himself. There is not one single scriptural proof of this. God is totally in control of all that happens, He is still on His throne."

Well, Ed, sadly - this is where you and I definitely part ways. I am a whole-hearted, adamant proponent of "Open Theism" (or my version of it which I have labelled "Autonomism"). I will present an article on the Attributes of God which, I believe, refutes your position and CLEARLY indicates that God's knowledge, Presence and power ARE limited. The unlimited "god" you describe is NOT the God of Israel, the Creator of this universe and the revealer of Himself in the text of Scripture. The God of the Bible is a COMPREHENSIBLE God (to a much higher degree than you suggest, anyway). THIS is the purpose of the Scriptures - to reveal God, His will, Mind and Person to man in order to make Himself known and (to a considerable degree) understood.

God's self-limitation provided Him with the opportunity to interact with man in time and space as a free-will agent Himself. Any other construct or theology proposes a "god" who is no more than a trascendent, impersonal, utterly incomprehensible "automaton".

On this issue I DO become both adamant and direct, Ed. I give no quarter and my position is non-negotiable as far as I'm concerned. I have studied this thoroughly in the Scriptures and I know whereof I speak. The textual evidence for my position is, quite frankly, overwhelming. I'll introduce it in the article I mentioned earlier in the next week or so.

davo's picture

John,

If you understand "eternal/everlasting" in terms of totality in stead of not longevity post death, it makes sense.

If you understand "election/predestination" in terms of the ministration of redemption in the AD30-70 "this generation" transitional time frame, it makes sense.

If you understand the "many" [Rom 5:18-19] receiving righteousness as actually limited to a few, then the other "many" and preceding "all's" are likewise limited - seeing as you demand consistency and context, that might make for some interesting eisegesis. What texts get carried post Parousia and how do you do it? - seeing as according to you they relate exclusively to the "world" of that day.

davo

preteristdave's picture

Thanks Davo for your comments. I was going to say basically the same thing, but you said it for me. I to think that if you demand consistency in "ALL" scripture then the question remains. Does "ALL" mean "ALL"?. I think the answer to that should be clear to everyone. Concerning " Romans:5;18-19 then we must ask then why was I condemned because of Adams disobedience, it would seem I didn't even have a choice in the matter. So it is with what Christ did for "ALL" mankind. If we argue that the "MANY" in Romans 5:19 that were made sinners were "ALL" of mankind then we would also have to conclude the same thing for the "MANY" that were made rightous. If anyone here knows of anybody that was born without sin apart from Christ himself let me know, I would like to meet this man. Maybe it is Benny Hinn, he once told his audience that he was so close to God that it was impossible for him to sin anylonger. The challenge was made for Tim King to respond, hey John Mcpherson, I haven't been on His forum for a while but wouldn't it be better to post your aurguments on his forum then here? I certainly am struggling with it as well but when we tell our dispensationalist friends that "ALL" means "ALL" and then say in certain other context it doesn't really mean "ALL" then our aurguements are worthless. Just some thoughts from an average Joe.

SuperSoulFighter's picture

Hi, Sparky.

"The challenge was made for Tim King to respond, hey John Mcpherson, I haven't been on His forum for a while but wouldn't it be better to post your aurguments on his forum then here?"

I hadn't thought about posting this on his forum, but that's not a bad idea. I was under the understanding (reinforced by several members here) that Tim is a member on this site himself, and doesn't mind responding to public challenges of his views. I also understand that he is very busy, and may not have noticed my article as yet. So I'll probably take the step of moving this to his forum soon. Thanks for the suggestion!

"I certainly am struggling with it as well but when we tell our dispensationalist friends that "ALL" means "ALL" and then say in certain other context it doesn't really mean "ALL" then our aurguements are worthless. Just some thoughts from an average Joe."

I appreciate your honesty in admitting that you're having a struggle with Tim's position. May I just say, in relation to your concerns about the contextual treatments of "all" that the context still governs EVERYTHING - and if the context dictates that "all" is not intended as a universal reference to "all of mankind" - then we have full Biblical grounds for interpreting it within a limited sphere and application. Such an approach does NOT constitute a "worthless" argument. Rather, it proposes that we be good students of the Word, always keeping the context uppermost in our minds and understanding.

It's like this, sparky. If you were on a tour bus, and the tour guide made the announcement that "At the next stop, everyone will get a chance to stretch their legs, use the washroom facilities, have a snack, etc." - would you assume that the guide was referring to all of humanity in his use of "everyone"?? Of course not. Context dictates interpretation. That is the nature of human communications and God is as much aware of this as anyone (perhaps more so). God spoke within specific, limited contexts and He chose to communicate Truth and the nature of His Mind, Will and Person within those contexts. Thus, in Rev. 1:7 when the phrase "every eye will see him" is used, it does not automatically mean that every eye in the human race will see Christ's return. Rather, John was addressing the New Testament saints to whom the Book of Revelation was written, and stated that "every eye [among you to whom I am speaking/writing] will see Him". "Those who pierced him" are included as a separate group (which wouldn't be the case if all of humanity was intended in the "every eye" phrase).

Do you see how seemingly all-inclusive terms and phrases can very easily have very specific, limited application and meaning, sparky? Dispensationalists who have no regard for context will (of course) use our treatments of these seemingly (to them) universal pronouns and phrases to poke fun, ridicule and disparage our views. But their folly will fall flat on its face and be exposed for what it is, as the Truth in our position prevails in its consistency, logic, and accuracy.

Paige's picture

Thanks for the insight supersoulfighter. Some good things to ponder. I think Tim King takes this same approach as well,or something very similar. I think however some here are implying that Tim King is a universalist and that is simply not the case. I will look forward to see what he has to say.

SuperSoulFighter's picture

"If you understand "eternal/everlasting" in terms of totality in stead of not longevity post death, it makes sense."

I think I see what you're getting at here, davo. The problem with this is that "totality" (as the Scriptures define it in the texts introduced in my article) necessarily INCLUDES the element of "eternal longevity". In effect, these individuals (the "vessels of wrath") were so totally destroyed (physically AS WELL AS spiritually) that they would NEVER experience the mercy of God EVER, OR have an opportunity to repent. Jude clearly states that the "blackness of darkness" was reserved for them "forever". 1Thess. 1:9 speaks of their "everlasting destruction" - that is a destruction that is "total" IN AN ETERNAL SENSE. I honestly don't feel that Tim King gave adequate weight or consideration to texts such as these in developing his views in this area. Hence my concern and exposure of the eisegetical elements in his reasoning and treatments of the Scriptures.

davo: "If you understand "election/predestination" in terms of the ministration of redemption in the AD30-70 "this generation" transitional time frame, it makes sense."

Yes, davo, that IS exactly how I understand the principles of "election/predestination". We are agreed on this. The fate of those "elected unto wrath", however, does NOT include an "election of mercy", ultimately. THEY never experienced the redemption and mercy of God.

"14 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? Certainly not! 15 For He says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion." 16 So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy." (Romans 9:14-16, NKJV)

God was highly SELECTIVE in his administration of mercy. His mercy was NOT "all-encompassing".

"22 What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23 and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory, 24 even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?" (Romans 9:22-24, NKJV)

God endured the evil and corruption of the "vessels of wrath" as long as He did in order to ensure that ALL of the "vessels of mercy" (the "elect" who had been fore-ordained to experience His mercy) would experience His mercy and grace. God delayed His judgment - not simply to provide the "vessels of mercy" with the OPPORTUNITY for deliverance from the wrath which came upon the "vessels of wrath" but to ENSURE their deliverance and entrance into His New Covenant Kingdom of grace.

davo: "If you understand the "many" [Rom 5:18-19] receiving righteousness as actually limited to a few, then the other "many" and preceding "all's" are likewise limited - seeing as you demand consistency and context, that might make for some interesting eisegesis. What texts get carried post Parousia and how do you do it? - seeing as according to you they relate exclusively to the "world" of that day."

I alluded to this seeming paradox in my article, davo. I noticed the necessity to interpret the "many being made sinners" through Adam as a limitation of that concept to SOME of mankind rather than "all" being made sinners through Adam (which seems to contradict all of the other Scriptures indicating the universal effects of the "fall" in Genesis). What I'd like to note here (and I'm still studying this and looking into it further) is that the Old Covenant Jews/Israelites were under consideration here, and THEY were the "many" who were "made sinners" in a very unique sense. THEY came under a unique condemnation due to the sin nature inherited from Adam making it impossible for them NOT to violate the Old Covenant Law. So their condemnation based on OC Law breaking is directly linked to the original, Adamic violation of God's Law in the Garden, and the "sin nature" passed down to the Jews/Israelites.

Contextually, the focus is on the unique inability of the Jews/Israelites to keep the Law of God/Moses. Christ Jesus, on the other hand, fulfilled the Law and made it possible for "many" to escape the condemnation attached to Law-violation. THAT is the inference of Romans 5:19, I believe, davo - and I DON'T believe there is any element of "eisegesis" in my position on this text. If you feel otherwise, please feel free to comment.

I'm planning to continue my series on a "Biblically Balanced Soteriology" with an examination of the Biblical concept of "grace" in next week or so. I suspect that this will generate a certain amount of controversy and potentially heated discussion between the CGers here and those of us who hold a different position. I'd just like to say that I respect each of my Preterist brethren involved on this site currently, and whatever may be the outcome of our deliberations - I appreciate your sincere desire to treat the Scriptures with integrity and contextual accuracy.

Let us continue to uphold and magnifty the Truth in all things.

JM

P.S. I'll get back to you concerning the texts I see as relevant and applicable to us BEYOND 70 AD, davo, and why I see their applicability and relevance to us established in the text and surrounding context itself. Thanks for the good comments and questions!

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