Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Revelation Chapters 21-22 Discussion Continued

The most frequently requested Christ in Prophecy television show episodes on Revelation have been pulled out of the vault and re-released!

Over the six episodes, Dr. David Reagan and guests Don McGee of Crown and Sickle Ministries and Dennis Pollock of Spirit of Grace Ministries go chapter by chapter through the book of Revelation, explaining that the book of Revelation isn't difficult to understand, rather it is difficult to believe. But, if you will believe it for its plain sense meaning, you will understand it. For anyone who's been born again and has the Holy Spirit residing within them, Revelation can become very clear.

We'll continue on in our journey through the great book of Revelation as our teachers try to solve one of the greatest biblical mysteries from Revelation 21. Feel free to watch, listen, or read along by clicking one of the icons below.

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Revelation: Discussion of Chapters 21-22

[Read Chapters 21-22 in the NASB version via Biblegateway.]

McGee & Pollock

Dr. Reagan: In Revelation 21 we have one of the greatest mysteries of Bible prophecy. In verses 24-27 it mentions that on that New Earth there are going to be nations living outside the New Jerusalem on the New Earth. There's going to be sin it appears among these nations, and they will not be allowed to come into the New Jerusalem. It even mentions that there's going to be the leaves of the Tree of Life which will be used for their healing.

Who in the world are these nations living outside the New Jerusalem on the new planet? This is a great mystery of Bible prophecy.

Dennis Pollock: We don't have any idea, and you know we don't, but I will say this — it shows us something exciting. It shows us that in God's process of creation and working and all that He's doing doesn't come to an end when we go to be with the Lord and reign with Him. There's going to be an ongoing work of God, both in the New Earth and who knows, throughout the universe. God is a creative God and He's a busy God. He's going to be doing stuff for all of eternity.

There's one other word that we need to throw in, in terms of talking about serving Him. We talked about seeing His face. One other thing that the scripture mentioned — we will reign with Him. R-E-I-G-N. We will reign!

Dr. Reagan: We're told that over and over. We're going to reign with Him eternally. Doesn't that imply that you have to reign over somebody?

Dennis Pollock: Well, that's right, there's going to be somebody to reign over. It implies government. It implies administration. It implies activity. So, it's going to be more than just singing. It's going to be more than just playing a harp. There's going to be all kinds of stuff to do. Believe me, we will not be bored.

Don McGee: I think we could go back to Matthew 25 and at least get a glimpse of what this might be like. We can't be dogmatic about it, but I think it can give us some room to think about this. In that chapter there's the judgment of the Sheep and the Goats, and Jesus is going to say to those of you who gave me water when I was thirsty and clothes when I was naked, I want you to come over here at my right hand, and those of you who didn't at my left hand. The Sheep will be on the right, the Goats on the left.

I've heard some folks talk about this judgment and say that's the Great White Throne Judgment. Well, it's not the Great White Throne Judgment, and the reason is because, number one, believers are present in that judgment in Matthew 25 and you don't see any believers at the Great White Throne. And, number two, there's a third group of people there, the "my brethren." I believe that it's possible that the Sheep nations of Matthew 25 could be associated with the nations that we find here in the book of Revelation because of the way they treated the Jewish people, Jesus' "my brethren" during the terrible time of Tribulation that's coming on.

Dr. Reagan: Well, no one knows for sure. This is going to be one of those things that we'll only find out when we stand face to face with the Lord, where we look through that mirror dimly right now.


In the final part on this series on Revelation, our teachers will leave us with a great hope in the very last promise Jesus gave in the Bible.


Resource

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68 comments:

DrNofog said...

Dr. Reagan said...
In verses 24-27 it mentions that on that New Earth there are going to be nations living outside the New Jerusalem on the New Earth. There's going to be sin it appears among these nations, and they will not be allowed to come into the New Jerusalem.

I ain't buying that at all!

There is no more sin after Revelation 20:15!
Revelation 21:27 is no different than 21:8, 22:11, and 22:15. They are recaps of Revelation 20:15; "And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire."

All of those verses are just reassurances that we will never, ever again see the ugliness of sin. The nations outside are the redeemed of all nations that are not part of the Body, the Bride of Christ, which IS the New Jerusalem. See Revelation 21:2, 9 & 10.

Nathan Jones said...

This was the first I heard of sin continuing into the eternal state.

I believe that the Great White Throne Judgment is the final time in history where we'll see unredeemed sinners and that eternity will be sin free.

The eternal nations could just be gatherings of believers in glorified bodies. Or, they could be new creations, as God likes to create. As Dr. Reagan said, these nations are a mystery and we can only speculate.

hartdawg said...

dr nofog and nathan...what i`m going to say is to be accepted as truth:) seriousely tho, there are only 2 possibilities 1)after seeing the new earth john goes further into describing the new jerusalem during the milleneal state. this is confirmed by the phrase "outside are the dogs..." these "dogs" are no longer in the eternal state so it cant be the eternal state. also the "healing og the nations" is not necessary in the eternal state.

hartdawg said...

the 2nd possibility is this: the redeemed live on in their natural bodies AFTER the milleneum into the eternal state but once sin is judged God supernaturally removes mans sin nature and its effects so they live forever in their natural bodies like adam and eve before the fall just as God intended. its gotta be one of the two.

Mitchell said...

Nathan says, "I believe that the Great White Throne Judgment is the final time in history where we'll see unredeemed sinners and that eternity will be sin free."

I agree Nathan. I believe that the choice we've made prior to the Second Advent will be actualized by our translation at the gathering of His elect. For all mortals who are granted entrance into or are born into the Millennial Kingdom, theirs will be actualized at the end.

Expected Imminently said...

Hang on a tick!
The New Jerusalem is also called ‘the bride’ coming down out of heaven that’s our ‘dwelling’.

Don’t forget God’s eternal promise to Israel! These nations who are not of Israel, Gentiles, will be ruled by Israel (the remarried wife of Jehovah?) with Christ as King and consort. These nations are people who are saved, originating from the separate company known as ‘the Tribulation Saints’, the ‘sheep’ that Jesus separated from the goats after the Trib. (Postie Alert!) :)Vs. 24 says ‘the saved’ shall walk in the light of it. In this context, the ‘saved’ are NOT The Church, but the descendants of the Tribulation saints.imo

At the end of the mil when Satan stirs up the final battle and the armies are destroyed; it nowhere suggests that EVERY member of every nation agrees to follow Satan. There is nothing about ‘sin’ (harpazo); and don’t forget certain animals and creepies are ‘unclean’, and won’t be within the Holy City, or things like poo, or anything of question that might be deceptive e.g. an juicy apple not a sour crabapple – or something?
Only those (people) written in the book of life will be allowed in and out through open gates. IMO

Vs. 24. And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.

I am very hot and bothered so I hope I have made sense. And I do so wish my neighbour would turn down the volume on his blinking electric piano!

Expected Imminently said...

Oops, sorry pardon, just testing ;)

Sin is 'harmartia' - to miss the mark. (It's not there).

Mitchell said...

EI says, "(the remarried wife of Jehovah?)"

Are you saying that the Father divorces Israel and gives her to His Son? (Mal 2:16, "I hate divorce," says the Lord God of Israel...). Or, could it be that Israel is in fact betrothed to the Son all along?

EI says, "These nations are people who are saved, originating from the separate company known as ‘the Tribulation Saints’the ‘sheep’ that Jesus separated from the goats after the Trib."

Can you show me where you find the word "tribulation saints" in Scripture? And if they are "saints" then how can some of them be 'goats'?

EI says, "In this context, the ‘saved’ are NOT The Church, but the descendants of the Tribulation saints.imo"

In my opinion, you are close. :) This is explained quite well here and here.

DrNofog said...

Dawg, a little problem here...

The New Jerusalem coming down here cannot be the Jerusalem of the millennium because its description is completely different and it has no temple in it, no sun, and no night. Revelation 21:22-25 And it is clearly after "the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea." Revelation 21:1

The millennial kingdom will be standard earth conditions restored to Genesis 1 & 2.

In that it says "were for the healing", past tense, I would venture to say these are references contrasting past things to the new state, again as recaps for reassurance.
2 "...and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations."
3 "And there shall be no curse any more: "
5 "And there shall be night no more; and they need no light of lamp, neither light of sun;"

I also think we have to see how God defines "outside" to keep it in perspective. Where Jesus mentions "outer darkness", Matthew 8:12, I see that anyone in the eternal state, outside of the presence of the Living God where you can see His face is the proper definition of "outside". And even though we have His indwelling presence in us, in our current bodies we would have to define ourselves as "outside" of His full presence. So again, I see all the afore mentioned verses as recaps for reassurance, and the "dawgs outside" are already in the lake of fire.
[...meaning you haven't changed my mind...]
;-D

Oops, sorry dawg, I meant "dogs", my fingers got all tangled on the keyboard in my haste to get outta here...
;-D

hartdawg said...

a coupla things nofog, 1)i`m suggesting (maybe)the new jerusalem is during the milleneal state but not on the earth, 2nd, you bring up a good point about the term "outside" 3rd, i lean more toward the 2nd possibility i mentioned. its in the etrnal state while people during the milleneum live on in their natural bodies minus the sin nature. what do you think?

hartdawg said...

what i mean, about the 1st point, is during the milleneum the church rules from the new jerusalem while the milleneal jerusalem is on earth. (i`m sure its not without its problems)

Expected Imminently said...

Ah! I knew that would catch our resident Postie.

Don’t be silly Mitchell! I said nothing of the sort. Israel is the wife of Jehovah (presently and regrettably divorced awaiting remarriage) and the Church is the Bride of Christ (engaged and awaiting the wedding with anticipation).

But I can see your problem as Posties see no DISTINCTIONS between Israel and the Church. Rather they are seen as Israel being the Church in the Old Testament and the Church being Israel in the New Testament. I have fought this battle too many times with Posties,and as we do not share the same book of interpretation - that’s yer lot! x

Mitchell said...

EI says, "Don’t be silly Mitchell! I said nothing of the sort. Israel is the wife of Jehovah (presently and regrettably divorced awaiting remarriage) and the Church is the Bride of Christ (engaged and awaiting the wedding with anticipation)."

Do we serve One God, or are we polytheistic? If One God, then why make God a polygamist?

EI says, "But I can see your problem as Posties see no DISTINCTIONS between Israel and the Church."

Because Scripture makes it clear that there are not two separate bodies, but one:

Eph 2:14-15,19-20 "For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, [that is], the law of commandments [contained] in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man [from] the two, [thus] making peace ... Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner[stone]"

Eph 3:1-6, "...through the Gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus"

1 Cor 12:12-13, "The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body -- whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free--and we were all given the one Spirit to drink"

As grafted in Gentiles, we are now a part of believing Israel, the ekklesia in the wilderness (Acts 7:36-38). In my view, we should not view believing Jews as being a part of the Church because they believe in Jesus, but rather it is we as Gentiles who are now a part of the Church because we believe in Yeshua.

Mitchell said...

To add to the thought above, let's look at the meaning of the 144,000. To begin, we need to first pay attention to the sequence of the 12 tribes in Rev 7 (the only place the list appears in this order.) In Hebrew they often named the child a word that had a phrase/meaning to the name. Normally the firstborn is listed first, but in this list Judah is listed first, not Reuben.

When we take the tribes as listed and then discover the meaning of and/or why those names were given, we get something interesting. Here is the list as ordered in Revelation and all the verses with the names (KVJ/NASB):

1. Judah -- Gen 29:35 And she conceived again, and bare a son: and she said, NOW WILL I PRAISE THE LORD...

2. Reuben -- Gen 29:32 And Leah conceived, and bare a son, and she called his name Reuben: for she said Surely THE LORD HATH LOOKED UPON MY AFFLICTION...

3. Gad -- Gen 30:11 Then Leah said, “HOW FORTUNATE!” So she named him Gad.

4. Asher -- Gen 30:13 And Leah said, HAPPY AM I for the daughters will call me blessed: and she called his name Asher.

5. Nepthalim -- Gen 30:8 And Rachel said, WITH GREAT WRESTLINGS HAVE I WRESTLED...

6. Manasses -- Gen 41:51 Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh: “FOR GOD HATH MADE ME FORGET ALL MY TOIL...

7. Simeon -- Gen 29:33 And she conceived again, and bare a son; and said, BECAUSE THE LORD HATH HEARD THAT I WAS HATED, HE HATH THEREFORE GIVEN ME THIS SON...

8. Levi -- Gen 29:34 “And she conceived again, and bare a son; and said, NOW THIS TIME WILL MY HUSBAND BE JOINED UNTO ME, because I have born him three sons...

9. Issachar -- Gen 30:18 Then Leah said, “GOD HAS GIVEN ME MY WAGES because I gave my maid to my husband...

10. Zebulon -- Gen 30:20 Then Leah said, “GOD HAS ENDOWED ME WITH A GOOD GIFT; NOW MY HUSBAND WILL DWELL WITH ME, because I have borne him six sons...

11. Joseph -- Gen 30:24 And she called his name Joseph; and said, THE LORD SHALL ADD TO ME...

12. Benjamin -- Gen 35:17-18 And it came to pass, when she was in hard labour, that the midwife said unto her, Fear not; THOU SHALT HAVE THIS SON also ...

Now when we take them all and put them in the order that the tribes appear, we get the following:

“Now will I praise the LORD, Surely the LORD hath looked upon my affliction, How fortunate!, Happy am I, With great wrestlings have I wrestled and I have prevailed, For God hath made me forget all my toil, Because the LORD hath heard that I was hated he hath therefore given me this son, Now this time will my husband be joined unto me, God has given me my wages, God has endowed me with a good gift; my husband will dwell with me, The LORD shall add to me, thou shalt have this son.”

Benjamin literally means “Son of My right hand” so another reading of the last portion could be “The LORD shall add to me the Son of [His] right hand.”

Con't

Mitchell said...

Now compare this to the prophecy in Hosea 2:14,16,19 regarding Israel, "Therefore I am now going to allure her (Israel) ... " In that day," declares the Lord, "you will call me 'my husband'; you will no longer call me 'my master... [and] I will betroth you to me forever."

Not only is it evident of the Divine inspiration of the Scriptures, it also points us to the understanding that Israel is the Bride of Christ.

Rev 21:9-12, "And there came unto me one of the seven angels... saying, come hither, and I will shew thee the bride, THE LAMB'S WIFE. And he ... shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem ... which had a wall great and high, and twelve gates... and names written thereon which are the NAMES OF THE TWELVE TRIBES OF ISRAEL."

The Bride of Christ is believing ISRAEL. It always has been, and what we see above is incontrovertible proof in my opinion. The way that the 12 tribes are listed in Rev 7 describes the Bride of Christ and the battle between good and evil. This is the complete story of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ marrying His bride after delivering her -- Israel (which we have been grafted into) -- from her affliction and is fulfillment of Hosea's prophecy.

Those of us who are Gentiles who now have a relationship with YHWH the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob have been "grafted in" to the household of God through Jesus Christ (Eph 2). As a part of Israel we experience the blessings of the New Covenant today. "National Israel" will experience her blessings when the fullness of the Gentiles comes in and she believes again. Then all of Israel is will be saved.

As believers in Yeshua ha'Maschiach we have become fellow citizens with the saints and are members of the household of God and "are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus" (Eph 3:6). Because of this it should be no surprise to us that after John describes the 144,000 that he then sees a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues standing before the throne and before the Lamb. We are the guests who will come out of the Great Tribulation that will be invited to this wedding (Matthew 22:9-10) and we are blessed. Revelation 19:9, "Then the angel said to me, 'Write: ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!’' And he added, 'These are the true words of God.'"

Indeed, and as the prophecy in Hosea concludes, "... Then I will say to those who were not My people, 'You are My people!' And they shall say, 'You are my God!'" (Hos 2:23b). Whether this is intended for restored national Israel who now believes, or to Gentiles that are grafted in, we'll have to wait and see. It may even allude to both.

Expected Imminently said...

Mitchell

The Church became ‘one new man’ as a result of being baptised INTO the Body of Christ by The Holy Spirit. That could not happen until AFTER the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ by The Holy Spirit and that began on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2. As we are saved by faith in Christ, we are each baptised into the Body called The Church consisting of both Jews and Gentiles as One New Man.

Israel is not the Church and the Church is not Israel. We only have one God and He is Triune.

The majority of visitors to ‘Lamb and Lion’ will clearly see the faulty reasoning of Gnostic Progressive Dispensationalism and Postie propaganda put forth in your defective dialectic. Not long now, and the discussion will be nailed by the Pretrib Rapture of the Church. We will be delighted to see your happy face along with ours on our upward ascent. Praise The Lord.

Mitchell said...

In my view, the Church (the assembly of believers who have been called out of darkness) began with believing Israel. This is why Jesus said the following in Matthew 18:15-17 when resolving conflicts:

Matt 18:15-17, "If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that 'every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.' If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church (ekklesia G1577); and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector...."

You believe that Jesus was addressing this teaching to a Jewish audience, yet here He is calling them the church. Since the church (as it is taught by traditional dispensationalism) was not yet formed, then what was Christ referring to?

Acts 7:36-38, "He brought them out, after that he had shewed wonders and signs in the land of Egypt, and in the Red sea, and in the wilderness forty years. This is that Moses, which said unto the children of Israel, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear. This is he, that was in the church (ekklesia G1577) in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and [with] our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us"

In Matthew 16:18 Jesus said "I will build my church (ekklesia G1577)", not create it from anew. The Greek word for "build" is "oikodomeō" and it carries with it the meaning to build up from the foundation, to restore, to rebuild or repair and I believe this to be the intended meaning because the foundation had already been laid. Because of Christ Jesus, Gentiles would be added to His Church and would no longer be foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household, built on the foundation of the apostles AND PROPHETS, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. This is reinforced when Jesus clearly references "the stone that the builders rejected" (Mark 12:10; cf Ps 118:22-23).

We are grafted in to the Olive Tree and become an "extension" of believing Israel. We do not replace Israel like Covenant Theology teaches, nor are we a completely separate entity like traditional dispensationalism teaches. Rather, we are One in Yeshua.

Gnostic? Propaganda? Defective? No my sister, it is the clear teaching of Scripture in my opinion. Romans 9:6b says, "... For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel" because "A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man's praise is not from men, but from God" (Rom 2:28-29). We should not view believing Jews as being a part of the Church because they believe in Jesus, but rather it is we as Gentiles who are now a part of the Church because we believe in Yeshua. It is all about Messiah.

Mitchell said...

Put another way, Christianity represents the maturation of Judaism. The New Testament Church does not replace Israel, but is an extension of it. We are added to Israel. The Old Testament is the context for the New Testament, even as they are both fully and completely Jewish. Therefore, Biblical doctrines are Jewish in nature (the Jewish people were a chosen, called-out people of God. Christ was Jewish as was the apostles and none of them ever renounced Judaism or became a Gentile. In fact, no Gentile can be saved unless they understand that the Jews are God's people and that they too want to be considered part of this special group through Messiah that are defined as being the children of Abraham).

Rom. 11:28-29, "From the standpoint of the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but from the standpoint of God’s choice they are beloved for the sake of the fathers; for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable."

John 4:22 "You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews."

Those that follow the Messiah and become Christians are the true descendants of Abraham. They are truly Jewish in the best sense of the term.

Gal. 3:27-29 "For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise."

Paul is saying that Christians are "spiritual Jews" and (now as part of God's family) even calls them "the Israel of God." Christianity therefore represents a "new creation" as compared to Old Covenant Judaism. The New Testament Church is this new creation and it represents the second stage of Judaism.

Gal. 6:15-16 "For neither is circumcision anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. And those who will walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God."

Paul repeats this same point in Romans.

Rom. 9:6-7 "But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel; nor are they all children because they are Abraham’s descendants, but: 'through Isaac your descendants will be named.'"

Therefore it is clear that those that have the faith of the Gospel are the true children of Abraham. Messianic Jews and Gentile Christians are the true Israel of God. They are "true Jews" that will be granted entrance into the Kingdom of God.

Rom. 9:8 "It is not the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise are regarded as descendants."

Moreoever, Paul is clear that both the Old and New Covenants are made with the house of Israel. In other words, there is no "Gentile Covenant". Nor is there any Gentile god, law, doctrine, or Judgment. The New Covenant is given only to those that received the Old Covenant. It is only made with Jews, not Gentiles.

Heb. 8:8 For finding fault with them, He says, 'Behold, days are coming, says the Lord, when I will effect a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah''

The Gospel, meaning both the Old and New Covenants, is written and administered by Jews. There is nothing Gentile about it. The Christian Faith is therefore 100% Jewish, no matter the doctrine. Just like the Old Covenant is 100% Jewish. The entire Bible is Jewish, not Gentile. The Gentiles are brought into fulfilled Judaism, which is Christianity. They are grafted into the Jewish paradigm, not into a Gentile one.

"Physical" Jews who do not yet believe in Messiah will be grafted back in when He sets His feet upon the Mount of Olives and they again believe. At that time, ALL Israel will be saved.

Expected Imminently said...

I fear we are back again to Mitchell claiming to be a ‘Jew’! It’s a shame, but it must be said AGAIN.

1)Revelation 2:9
I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the BLASPHEMY of them which SAY THEY ARE JEWs, AND ARE NOT, but are OF THE SYNAGOGUE OF SATAN.

2)Revelation 3:9 Behold, I WILL MAKE THEM OF THE SYNAGOGUE OF
SATAN, which SAY THEY ARE JEWS, and are NOT, BUT DO LIE; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.

Mitchell these Scripture state that the claims you are making is a lie which comes from THE SYNAGOGUE OF SATAN.

We have explained this to you before, and I fear The Lord may not tolerate this from you for much longer. Take care bro.

Mitchell said...

EI, out of curiosity, why end the post by referring to me as "bro" if you believe that I (or anyone else who does not share the traditional dispensational view) am from the synagogue of Satan? Obviously you did not fully read (or perhaps understand) what I had posted, which is very evident from your unfortunate accusation. But I forgive you.

The word "synagogue" is from the Greek word "synagōgē" (G4864) meaning "assembly of men" or "congregation," and was used much like the English word "church." The "synagogue of Satan" is therefore an assembly or "church" comprised of those who "say they are Jews, and are not." The term "Jew" is used here in a spiritual sense.

According to Scripture in Romans 2:29, a spiritual Jew is "a Jew who is one inwardly, and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God." It is not one's race that counts here, but rather their spiritual condition (Gal 3:27-29; Rom 4:16). True Christians are spiritual Jews because Jesus says in John 4:22 that "Salvation is of the Jews."

Those in the "synagogue of Satan" pretend to be real Christians (spiritual Jews) but are not. This type of false church had already started to form during John's time disguising itself as God's true church in the cities of Smyrna and Philadelphia in Asia Minor.

One of the trademarks of Satan is deception, especially by falsely imitating the things of God. "For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers [servants] transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works" (2 Cor 11:13-15).

Jesus says in Matt 24:5 that in the last days "many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many." And indeed, many have come and continue to come today claiming that Jesus is the Christ, yet just look at their doctrines. They deceive others and are themselves deceived. Jesus says in Matt 7:15-20 that we will know them by their fruits. Therefore, we need to make sure that any church we attend and its ministers are following Biblical doctrines, not the traditions of men and doctrines of devils that we often hear of from the likes of, for instance, Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, The Boston Church of Christ, and even Roman Catholicism. Otherwise, it may well be a "synagogue of Satan."

Dennis said...

other manuscripts don't say (of them which are saved) But rather:21:24 the nations shall walk in the light of it., or shall walk by means of its light. what or who is the means-24:23b the glory of God did lighten it, the Lamb is the light thereof. Praise God. Rulers of the nations in what ever form God sets them will bring honour into it, (the new Jarusalem) one can say we don't give tithe and offerings in bowls at church no more, but directly to God amen. No funny money this time around. lol 25-God the ultimate security system. seriously though, don't gota lock any gates cause ain't no night there(in the city itself) 26 reafirms 24. It important and will happen. willing unlike now. simular to Zec 14:16. I agree drnofog. 27 is showing what isn't apart of this world anymore, at least on the surface, but in the lake of fire resides all these. I believe God is giving us a glimspe of what wounders await, and these wont be apart of it. REREAD 21:4-6 if God is to accomplish vs 4, sin I believe WILL NOT be alive no more. I think sometimes major scholors are just so educated they can really mess up what God is simply saying. I am not speaking of brother Reagan or you Nathan but you've seen 'em on tv.
well thats my take on it.

MARANATHA

Dennis said...

and as ya'll can see, I ain't so well educated, my spelln and use of werds n all. But i'm all for education, but really sometimes the most educated make it so needlessly diff, diff, diff........HARD!

God Bless you brothers and sisters. Good night

Expected Imminently said...

Mitchell My Brother!

Thanks for your concern for my lack of ability to understand your monotonous tirade – again, and again, and again – if not by your self, then by others of like ilk. Have to admit, you surely do love the ‘sound’ of your own ‘voice’ and it really does ‘grate’ on the senses. In particular your weak grasp of Greek (again) that is so easy to check and dispel even by a moron like me.

You really are working very hard at proving and presenting a deceitful analysis of Scripture to try and win followers to your private interpretation of Scripture. You deceive yourself and by trying to deceive others as you do, I wonder how long The Lord will tolerate your crafty expositions.

He IS so long suffering, but He may decide to ‘give you over’ to your deception – if he hasn’t already done so? Which will mean you will lose out on rewards at the Bema seat, thus denying Christ’s rightful honour due.

Mitchell said...

EI, it is very sad to see such an attitude portrayed here on Lamb & Lion. It is my hope that in the future you can engage in addressing the arguments themselves, instead of lowering the discussion to personal attacks against someone who views non-essential items differently than you. According to such 'reasoning' the Church throughout history is dishonorable, lost, deceitful, and "given over" to Satan because they did not share the 19th century doctrine than you hold on to so firmly.

I pray that our Lord blesses you in spirit and in truth always, that in His time He will expand your understanding in all areas of His choosing, that He will expand your horizons. May He bless you and keep you, make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you and lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace.

Expected Imminently said...

Mitchell
The timing of the Rapture is anything but superfluous when it results in the type of scripture twisting that Post-Tribulationism deals in regarding the doctrine of the Church and Israel, which is essentially replacement theology, born of Covenant Theology in its various guises.

This erroneous teaching is why Post-Trib has to meander its way through a maze of misapplied Scripture in an attempt to validate its erroneous position. This is why one’s eschatology is not superfluous, too much important doctrine based on ‘distinctions’ is suspended from it, among other things. For the last time from me, to you, and for the benefit of new readers, the Pretribulation Rapture of the Church is an imminent event expected by the New Testament Church. The oft repeated fabrication of ‘19th Century doctrine’ of a pretrib Rapture will never make it true, and yes “the greater part of the visible church throughout history is dishonourable, lost, deceitful, and "given over" to Satan”.

Nathan had assured me from the start of my time here that he would remove any post of mine that was offensive in any way. If I have harmed or offended ‘Lamb and Lion’ for standing against this persistent, unwanted error, then I will remove myself from their company with no feelings other than love and respect for their generous hospitality.
Maranatha and as always, Expected Imminently!

Mitchell said...

EI, you are free to believe what you wish. Aside from the fact that Christ will return again, there is not one eschatological view that is an essential Christian doctrine, even though you repeatedly have elevated your position to such a level. I sincerely hope that one day you are able to reconsider the labels you've applied to the historical Christian church.

DrNofog said...

Mitchell said...
Can you show me where you find the word "tribulation saints" in Scripture?

Can you show me the word "trinity" in Scripture? Why taunt her? You know clearly what she was saying!

Or do you...?

And if they are "saints" then how can some of them be 'goats'?

Another classic example of your reading/comprehension problem " identified here.", and
Here !

She put it clearly enough!

"In my view, the Church (the assembly of believers who have been called out of darkness) began with believing Israel. This is why Jesus said the following in Matthew 18:15-17 when resolving conflicts:"
And,
"...tell it to the church (ekklesia G1577);..."

Matthew 18:15-17 comes after Matthew 16:18 - "...and upon this ["foundational"??] rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.", and was already answered here!

the Church... ..began with believing Israel.?!?

So there were no "saints" before Israel??? Or do they fall into yet another interesting category?...

Mitchell said...
"When we take the tribes as listed and then discover the meaning of and/or why those names were given..."
Another "cut & past" from 2008...

I have soooooo got to to build a "cut & past" database! Then I too can have my troll-bot randomly post gems a over forums...
;-D

Mitchell said...

Hi DrNofog, yes a "cut & paste" database can save a lot of time, I recommend it!

Judging from the rest of your post, it is very obvious that you have not expanded your studies to include progressive dispensationalism. When you have time I recommend reading through the article The Future of Dispensationalism. There are other articles that go in depth as well. I may also recommend "Darby, Dualism, and the Decline of Dispensationalism" by Ronald M. Henzel.

"In Darby, Dualism, and the Decline of Dispensationalism, Ron Henzel argues that traditional Dispensationalism’s current plight can be traced back to its founder, John Nelson Darby (1800–1882), although not for the reasons that non-Dispensationalists have generally assumed. Dispensationalism’s critics have tended to focus on Darby’s excessively literal approach to the interpretation of biblical prophecy, but Henzel offers a new paradigm for understanding Darby, one that has far-reaching consequences for those who would attempt to understand both Dispensationalism and its problems without first consulting the writings of its primary architect."

Anonymous said...

Hey Doc Nofog,

I think the reason they call it progressive dispensationalism is because PDers progress to CT ;-)

rg

DrNofog said...

Mitchell said...
"...article The Future of Dispensationalism."

Old from the last time you posted it. Had I known, I would've taken notes and pre-written most of the following:

I really don't have the time to verify anything about Dr. John Master since the given link, http://www.etsjets.org/meetings/2002/future-of.PDF, is a "404", and for all I know, Dr Master could be a weak link who makes a great poster child, a whipping boy for PDs, but Mr Warner's flair for drama is certainly amusing [Not!]

He begins the set-up for his diatribe by whining of unfairness in the very first paragraph: "...you find a plethora of articles denouncing PD by traditional dispensationalists.", - "dispensationalists are quite afraid of this development within their system, and are seeking to squash it at all costs.", and on into the 2nd paragraph...- "There are few clear and balanced expositions of [PD]"..., - "A fair treatment of PD by the other side is virtually non-existent." etc., ad nauseam!
And to top it off he blames the [Big Guns of PTR] "chief culprits... Zola Levitt...[BTW, is having the last laugh in glory.] the Pre-Trib Research Center,...Thomas Ice and Mal Couch"!

Having gained our sympathy and establishing himself as Mr "Fair & Balanced", Warner, in this article, states what he 'thinks' Master 'claims', rather than giving any direct 'quotes', and as I cannot verify anything of Master, it leaves me wondering: Is this endemic of PDs,... and haven't I seen this somewhere else?

But then, I really didn't intend to write an essay critiquing Mr Warner's article, so I'll un-Mitchelly-like "cut it short"...

Mr Warner proudly states [of this end time apostasia]: Progressive dispensationalism is very quickly replacing traditional dispensationalism. Sure, there are some hold-outs...to their dying breath. But, the younger generation is not so locked into tradition."

Anonymous said...

Speaking of Henzel's article, the folks at American Vision are an interesting bunch. See their "About" page. Good ol' Gary DeMar and them dominionists.

PD may be becoming more popular according to Master but so are a whole bunch of other things I wouldn't recommend. Relevance?

rg

Mitchell said...

DrNofog says, "Mr Warner proudly states [of this end time apostasia]: Progressive dispensationalism is very quickly replacing traditional dispensationalism. Sure, there are some hold-outs...to their dying breath. But, the younger generation is not so locked into tradition."

And he's correct. I staunchly held to traditional dispensationalism at one time myself (mainly because it was what I was indoctrinated into and it was the only view I've been exposed to, so anything else would have seemed like "heresy"), but no longer. In fact, many people often come to the same conclusions as PD on their own, without even realizing what the position was called (for example, the case with Rev. Jack Brooks).

With more and more Christians being able to easily study the differing positions (especially online) for themselves an increasing number are coming to their own conclusions regarding which position holds more water, and in increasing measure it isn't the problematic hole-ridden traditional view. ;)

By the way brother, just because one disagrees (which is fine) does not mean that they should therefore arbitrarily label a differing view as "apostasia". These are secondary doctrinal subjects, not essentia Christian doctrine for salvation. One could just as easily declare 19th century traditional dispensationalism an "end time apostasia", but you won't see that from me.

rg says, "PD may be becoming more popular according to Master but so are a whole bunch of other things I wouldn't recommend. Relevance?"

No. You and I would both agree regarding the problems with dominion theology, however in my view PD is much more Scripturaly sound and makes a heck of a lot more sense than TD and even CT.

Expected Imminently said...

I thought I could sense ‘the child catcher’ of Emergent waving its Gnostic net around. Seems like they are moving in like an amoeba to enfold the slow moving oldies now. First they wanted the olds to just die off. It would appear we oldies are causing too much trouble for them so they are now picking off the unwary ‘stragglers’.

What’s to understand about ‘dispensationalism’ (oikonomia)? It’s no more complicated than me running my household over the decades.

First dispensation: Me and hubby newly wed was simple to run our household.
Second dispensation: Pregnant me, household prepared adding two cots for twins arrival.
Third dispensation: Four children, very expensive with loads of ‘stuff’.
Fourth dispensation: Children as young adults, extra cars, more food, worry!
Fifth dispensation: Aging parents result in extra special changes.
Sixth dispensation: Young adults marry to start their own dispensation.
Seventh dispensation: Back to me and hubby, again allowance for grandchildren supplies.

You get the picture? God’s management of His affairs change according to His changing family arrangements which coincide with His additional Covenants. Presently we are in the ‘Dispensation of His Grace’ awaiting the final ‘Dispensation of Eternity’.

oikonomia –
1) the management of a household or of household affairs
a) specifically, the management, oversight, administration, of other's property
b) the office of a manager or overseer, stewardship
c) administration, dispensation

If one cannot grasp the simple and straight forward; then Emergent is very good at complicated. And THAT is a fact!

Expected Imminently said...

“…there is not one eschatological view that is an essential Christian doctrine…”

Eschatology is not an essential doctrine. However only ONE version is the TRUTH!

In this present situation with Mitchell, eschatology is being used as bait – a ‘Sprat to catch a Mackerel’ in order to hook folk into C.T. and its variants. ‘Come into my parlour said the spider to the fly’ here, here or here (in pretty blue letters).

Anonymous said...

My prediction from my limited observation is that (whether right or wrong) PD will reach a critical mass and many will migrate to CT and amillennialism. It's already occurring. This probably won't happen with guys like Mike Vlach but I consider him closer to CD than PD anyway.

In fact there's been a fairly strong movement within classic disp in terms of colleges and conferences. I don't see CD disappearing in a hurry despite what some may think.

rg

Billy said...

Mitchell said " In fact, no Gentile can be saved unless they understand that the Jews are God's people and that they too want to be considered part of this special group through Messiah that are defined as being the children of Abraham)."

Gee, I thought all you had to do was explained wonderfully in John 3:16. I guess I missed the part in there about also having to believe the Jews are God's people.

Billy said...

Mitchell said "EI, it is very sad to see such an attitude portrayed here on Lamb & Lion. It is my hope that in the future you can engage in addressing the arguments themselves, instead of lowering the discussion to personal attacks against someone who views non-essential items differently than you."

C'mon - get a grip! Any time one is engaged in lively discussion the tone can sometimes go negative. I'm not defending it, I'm just saying we are human. Aren't you, Mitchell? You never let hostility slip out? Perhaps you don't use the "personal attacks" that you accuse EI of, but you do use a passive agressive attack via lengthy replies that in my opinion are an attempt to intimidate by proving your superior intelligence. Hey, I'm calling it like I see it. So my advice to you is take a chill pill.

Mitchell said...

Billy said, "Gee, I thought all you had to do was explained wonderfully in John 3:16. I guess I missed the part in there about also having to believe the Jews are God's people.

Of course Billy. I think you may have missed the "through Messiah" part.

EI said, "Eschatology is not an essential doctrine. However only ONE version is the TRUTH!"

I agree in a sense, but I don't think any one version has everything 100% correct. Some things are going to unfold in ways we did not fully expect I'm sure. I am, however, now 100% certain that pre-tribism is completely unbiblical, imho.

rg said, "My prediction from my limited observation is that (whether right or wrong) PD will reach a critical mass and many will migrate to CT and amillennialism."

Heaven forbid. Then I'd have to start exposing the problems with CT and the anti-climactic position of amillennialism.

Billy said...

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."

Where's the part about "no Gentile can be saved unless they understand that the Jews are God's people and that they too want to be considered part of this special group through Messiah that are defined as being the children of Abraham)."

Mitchell said...

Billy said, "Where's the part about "no Gentile can be saved unless they understand that the Jews are God's people and that they too want to be considered part of this special group through Messiah that are defined as being the children of Abraham)."

Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons believe John 3:16 as well, right? Do you believe that they are saved? If not, then why not?

Gal 3:7-14, "Therefore know that [only] those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, [saying], "In you all the nations shall be blessed." So then those who [are] of faith are blessed with believing Abraham... Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, "Cursed [is] everyone who hangs on a tree"), that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith."

Billy said...

Mitchell,

You know as well as I that the "that whoever believes in him" of John 3:16 means believes in Him as the Son of God who died on the cross for the forgiveness of sins and was resurrected and will return and reign forever.

Jehova's Witnesses and the Mormons do not believe this. You know their messed up doctrine.

As far as your other point, at any time in your life have you ever heard anyone who was trying to bring someone to Christ say pray the following prayer to the effect of "Lord, I believe you died on the cross for my sins. Please come into my heart....oh and uh....I believe the Jews are God's people and that they too want to be considered part of this special group through Messiah that are defined as being the children of Abraham)."

You are saying that a Gentile does not add that part about the Jews in professing their belief in Jesus then they are not saved?

Expected Imminently said...

Billy

You have stunned me; I had completely missed that totally fallacious statement by Mitchell. (I tend to glaze over after a while). Well done you for sussing it out and exposing it.

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life”. NASB

This response to your challenge Quote “Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons believe John 3:16 as well, right? Do you believe that they are saved? If not, then why not?” un quote; is unbelievably ignorant (of the facts).

‘Believe’ - ‘pisteuo’, is a powerful word, it isn’t a casual ‘oh I believe that’! It means far, far, more. It is to be committed fully, and totally trust Jesus for eternal life.

Knowing ABOUT John3:16 is entirely different to putting FAITH into action and actually believing IN Jesus to save. This is claiming the gift of Salvation is faith plus a ‘work’; that would be boasting and it’s an anathema, really it is. Even the demons believe – and tremble.

Mitchell, I am truly shocked – really!

DrNofog said...

Mitchell said...
"...These are secondary doctrinal subjects, not essentia Christian doctrine for salvation."

Of course, and I had previously stated such in our other rants, and I have to agree with EI: Eschatology is not an essential doctrine. However only ONE version is the TRUTH!

"...does not mean that they should therefore arbitrarily label a differing view as "apostasia"..."

There are most certainly degrees of apostasia, and it can certainly turn one from expectantly watching, to the loss of rewards, not to the loss of salvation for the saved. But what the unsaved who is searching and is turned on to the slippery slope of CT, RT, and amill...?

Billy said...
Mitchell said " In fact, no Gentile can be saved unless they..."

Good catch Billy!
Now that's a departure from the Faith! I guess we can add that to our growing list here.

I guess there is truth to the saying: Give a person enough rope and they will eventually hang themselves...
;-D

DrNofog said...

Do I hear the sound of furious back-pedaling before the paddle boat goes over the falls??
;-D

Mitchell said...

EI says, "Mitchell, I am truly shocked – really!"

Make sure you're well grounded. :)

Billy says, "You are saying that a Gentile does not add that part about the Jews in professing their belief in Jesus then they are not saved?"

Billy, you should be well aware that to believe in Christ is to share the faith of Abraham. Abraham's faith looked forward to the promise of the Messiah to come. In that same faith, we look back to the Messiah who came. It matters not if one fully understands the theological meat surrounding this Truth. If they put their faith in Christ (the true Christ of the Bible, the Messiah of the Jews) and Him crucified, they are saved. They are of Abraham's seed and are heirs according to the promise (Gal 3:29).

Billy says, "You know as well as I that the "that whoever believes in him" of John 3:16 means believes in Him as the Son of God who died on the cross for the forgiveness of sins and was resurrected and will return and reign forever."

Yes, but that is not in John 3:16 Billy, and that is not the question you asked.

DrNofog claims, "There are most certainly degrees of apostasia, and it can certainly turn one from expectantly watching, to the loss of rewards, not to the loss of salvation for the saved."

I'm not sure that I can agree with that. In my view, "apostasia" is complete rebellion from essential Truth. It is heresy. Apostasy.

DrNofog says, "Do I hear the sound of furious back-pedaling before the paddle boat goes over the falls??"

You might want to paddle harder, those falls look dangerous! :)

Expected Imminently said...

Mitchell.
So you are not back paddling then! Instead you are trying to blur the edges with flip remarks! You really do believe this ‘other gospel’!

You are disregarding the doctrine on the Covenants, or perhaps you haven’t studied them yet? Judaism is a part of the Old Covenant, it no longer applies since mans rejection of it. Salvation through faith in Christ is a brand New Covenant – yes to the Jew first, but also to the gentile which the Old Covenant couldn’t fully do. Proselytes of the Old were not on an equal footing with Israel. Through the New Covenant of His Blood, Jews and gentiles are equal with the mystery of being baptised into One New Man.

This is serious, apostate error you are teaching Mitchell. This is exactly the reason for my concern, your ‘innocent’ debate on the timing of the Rapture, is being used to lure people into your sticky web of Covenant Theology (by another name). Until this moment I hadn’t realised exactly what it was we had by the tail; at last its teeth have emerged. I seriously hope this does not escape the attention of Nathan.

Expected Imminently said...

Galatians 6:16 & the “Israel of God”

6 Reasons Why the "Israel of God" Refers to Jewish Christians & NOT the Church as the New/Spiritual Israel

1) There is no reference in the earliest church literature that equates Israel to the Church. It was not until 160 A.D. that any reference was made to the Church being the Israel of God. That is nearly 100 years from the time Paul wrote Galatians to any mention of Galatians 6:16 being cited as a proof text to equate Israel with the Church. It seems odd that if Paul had meant to equate the Church with the Israel of God in Gal. 6:16, it took nearly 100 years for Christians to figure that out. It is much more likely that Gal. 6:16 speaks of 2 ethnic groups – saved Gentiles and saved Jews.

2) The epistle of Galatians is largely about the Judaizers seeking to force the Gentiles to follow the Law to obtain salvation. Thus it is only natural that Paul would commend the Jewish Christians specifically by not conforming to the accursed gospel proposed by the accursed Judaizers. If it was hard for Gentile converts to not conform to the Judaizers doctrine, how much more difficult would it be for the Jewish Christians not to conform to the accursed doctrine of the Judaizers since they were coming from that background? Therefore, a commendation to the Jewish Christians would only be natural and expected.

3) Paul has been dealing with 2 groups of people in the entire context of the book – Jews & Gentiles. This is seen in Gal. 2:7-9 when Paul speaks of the “uncircumcised,” the “Gentiles,” and the “circumcised.” This is repeated in Gal. 6:15 with the “circumcision” and the “uncircumcision.” Paul caps this off in the passage under question with “them” referring to the Gentile converts and the “Israel of God” referring to the Jewish converts. It seems more than reasonable to understand 6:16 as 2 groups of people since the previous context of the epistle has been referring to 2 groups.
4) The primary meaning for καὶ is the conjunctive “and!” This meaning of καὶ is used 99 % of the time in the New Testament. At other times, καὶ can be used emphatically as “especially” (Mark 16:7) or epexegetically/appositionally as “namely/even” (John 3:5 is a possibility). The omission of καὶ would be expected had Paul meant to equate “them” with the “Israel of God.” In fact, the RSV translates the passage without the καὶ. It is difficult to do honest exegesis and force the appositional use of καὶ when the primary meaning is conjunctive.

5) Israel is always used as an ethnic term referring to the people who have descended from the patriarch Jacob. Some refer to Rom. 9:6 as another reference to Israel as a non-ethnic term, but this is less held even in academic reformed circles.

6) Paul uses the preposition ἐπί before both “them” and the “Israel of God.” Paul does this on other occasions to distinguish 2 separate groups (cf. Rom. 3:30). If Paul were meaning to equate the two nouns with an appositional καὶ, then Paul would only use ἐπί before “them” and not before the “Israel of God.”

I understand that καὶ can be used appositionally. But the fact remains that the primary usage is a conjunction. That includes the passage in Gal. 6:16. It is hardly legitimate for Covenant Theologians to equate Israel and the Church, refer Gentile Christians as the new spiritual Israel, or make the Church the new spiritual Israel without Scriptural support. By using Gal. 6:16, they do not allow for the natural meaning of the text to rise out. A theological bias is placed upon the text and the interpretation is skewed to fit their own doctrinal conclusion.

Timothy L. Decker
“Debating Theological Issues”
http://debatingtheologicalissues.blogspot.com/2007/11/galatians-616-6-reasons-why-israel-of.html

Expected Imminently said...

Part 1.
The Mystery Character of the Church
A fundamental doctrine of the Church, the Body of Christ, is its mystery character. This character builds on the idea that the Church is a separate and distinct body of believers from all other ages and dispensations (cf. 1 Cor. 10:32). Before the mystery character can be examined, a brief overview of the meaning of the word “mystery” (μυστήριον) must be addressed first.

The word takes its roots form Ancient Greek dealing with secret teachings of religion and the likes. This then lead to the later idea of a truth “which transcends normal understanding.”[1] The primary definition by the time of Christ was “un-manifested [un-revealed] or private counsel of God.”[2]

This Greek word actually has the rare occurrence of having Scriptures to give a definition. Paul defines a “mystery” as “revelation…which has been kept secret for long ages past, but now is manifested…” (Rom. 16:25-26). First it should be noted that Paul’s use of the word μυστήριον is restricted to revelation – God unveiling His truth. Secondly, this revelation is kept a secret (un-revealed) in the past. The transition from age to another is seen in the words δὲ νῦν used in verse 26 (cf. 2 Tim. 1:10). Thirdly, this revelation is said to have been revealed “now.”

As pertaining to the mystery character of the Church, I am careful not to say that the Church is a mystery. While this may be true (and I believe it to be so) Scriptures do not make such a statement. Therefore, this article only deals with the 4 mystery aspects/characteristics of the Church.

1) The first and probably foremost mystery characteristic of the Church is the Jew/Gentile relationship into one body, the Body of Christ (cf. Eph. 1:22-23 & Col. 1:18), found in Ephesians 2-3.[3] This idea of Jews and Gentiles being “fellow-citizens,” “fellow-heirs,” “fellow-members,” and “fellow-partakers” was never seen in the OT. The idea of Gentiles being on a level plateau with Jews was unheard of. In the OT, Gentile proselytes had to come under Mosaic Judaism and the Law (of course not for salvation). Entrance into the Body of Christ is not contingent on ethnicity but faith in Christ (cf. Rom. 3:22, 1 Cor. 12:13, Gal. 3:28, and Col. 3:11). Christ intimated this concept in John 10:16 (notice the future tenses of Christ’s words placing the content into the future Church age). Paul also develops this concept of Jew/Gentile equality even more in Romans 11. The Jews (being the natural branches) are originally in the place of blessing (the olive tree). In their rejection of the Messiah some are temporarily broken off.[4] The unnatural branches (Gentiles) are grafted in to the place of blessing in the Church age. Thus you have some natural branches remaining along with many unnatural branches (11:17). And thus you have the Jew/Gentile body relationship unique to the Church age.

Expected Imminently said...

Part 2.

2) The next important mystery characteristic of the Church is found in Colossians 1:24-27. The new revelation is the in-dwellment of Christ. To this, Fruchtenbaum rightly states, “This was a fact of the Messiah that the Old Testament never envisioned or predicted.”[5] Christ even intimates this union and sets it in the future when He says, “In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, “AND I IN YOU” – John 14:20 (emphasis mine).

3) The third mystery aspect of the Church is the Bride of Christ aspect of the Church found in Ephesians 5:25-32. The fact that this age is seen as the Bride of Christ, which is a term never used for any other dispensation, proves the extent of the mystery character of the Church. Some object and see Israel being the wife of Jehovah equal to the Bride of Christ thus diminishing the Church/Israel distinction. But there is a major difference between a wife and a bride. The Church is also the Bride of the 2nd person of the Trinity whereas Israel’s marriage is to Jehovah (no person is clearly identified).

4) The last mystery aspect deals with the Rapture of the Church and is found in 1 Corinthians 15:51-52. Though resurrection was not a new idea to the NT, the Rapture of the Church was absolutely un-revealed in the OT. This also draws a sharp distinction between the Rapture and the 2nd Coming. Since the Rapture is a mystery it must be seen as distinct and different from the 2nd Coming which has OT revelation (cf. Zech. 14:4).

In summary, Pentecost in commenting on the mystery aspect of the Church writes, “The existence of an entirely new age [due to the mystery aspect of the Church], which only interrupts temporarily God’s program for Israel, is one of our strongest arguments for the [Dispensational] pre-millennial position.”[6] The fact that the Church is un-revealed in the Old Testament cries loudly for the fact that the Church is a distinct program from Israel and thus not in any of the Old Testament ECONOMIES - (‘Oikonomia’ = ‘Dispensation’ - Sue)

Another issue to the mystery aspect of the Church deals with the extent of revelation being hidden. The popular Progressive Dispensational view (and some Covenant Pre-millennialists) would argue that Church revelation, while being a mystery, is only unrealized in the OT but not un-revealed.[7] To that, it must be noted Paul’s statement in Ephesians 3:9 – “the mystery which for ages has been “HIDDEN IN GOD” (emphasis mine). This revelation was not hidden in the OT and simply unrealized. In fact, it was hidden in God making any revelation of the Church restricted from the OT. This too argues for a distinct Church program.

Timothy L. Decker
-----------------------
[1] BDAG, pg. 662.
[2] Ibid.
[3] The primary content of this mystery relationship is elaborated in Eph. 3:5-6.
[4] Rom. 11:25 speaks of a PARTIAL HARDENING of the Jews making any theology of replacement null and void.
[5] Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum, Israelology, pg. 467.
[6] Dwight D. Pentecost, Things to Come, pg. 136.
[7] There are some more extreme views within the PD and Cov. Premil camps though. But for a few examples, cf. Robert L. Saucy, “The Church as the Mystery of God,” in Dispensationalism, Israel and the Church, pgs. 142-151 & J. Lanier Burns, “Israel and the Church of a Progressive Dispensationalists,” Three Central Issues in Contemporary Dispensationalism, pgs. 272-273+.
“Debating Theological Issues”

http://debatingtheologicalissues.blogspot.com/2007/11/galatians-616-6-reasons-why-israel-of.html

DrNofog said...

My my EI!
You musta got a real good nights sleep, too much coffee, or both...
You certainly are in rare form today!
Great posts!

We are all "expecting imminently" a reply from Mitchell to see if he continues to spin this or 'fess up to "stepping in it", as I pointed out to one of his "fans" here :)

DrNofog said...

EI,
Poor girl, if you go back there to catch up. Yer in for an all-nighter...'lessen ye skip over all the "postie" posts to save yer eyes and brain!
...And possibly yer sanity!
:)

Expected Imminently said...

DrNofog
A little white flag has just shot out of me ear and me remaining little grey cells are crying for mercy! I bin rittin an ritten like a good 'un with indigidination.

I've truly had a day and a half of it today. Yesterday we traipsed back and forth to the hospital in the blazing sun (I swear vultures were flying overhead). Trailed round the shops buying clean undies and wash things for sick friend. Today we went cleaning at friends insanitary house - roll eyes - and hubby threw up from it.

Dozed off and missed the ladies finals at Wimbledon, then MMMmmmm---itch--ell--and clone--urgg. So after all me scribing I am only going to say "hope deferred maketh the heart sick" and boy is Postie stuff sick n proper poorly! They are dead wrong about the 'blessed hope'.

By the way, he's gotta have a toe cut off due to mucky habits and gross neglect with diabetes.

Just to add this quick reaction.

"Joels Trumpet – ha! Well there you are then, that explains more about Postie than a library packed full of Grimm’s Fairy Tales. He too was SUCH a miserable blighter, Grimm by name and grim by nature. Hope-less!

Night night, God bless, Might see you pretty soon on the way up, the ME is simmering, MARANATHA! Did you see my gas warning? Zz!uhZ!ZZzzzzzzzggug-zzzzzzzzzzzzzz

DrNofog said...

EI,
Poor girl, I did warn you 'bout goin' back there... fer sanity's sake!
And now look what has slipped out in your moment of exhaustion: "indigidination"!

Now I'm thinkin' what strange British derivation could this be?
A quick search on "The Google" [AGore invented it, ya know...] turns up only *one* usage under:
"Games » Resident Evil » The code of survival"
http://www.fanfiction.net/s/2456139/9/The_code_of_survival.
"... He cried in indigidination while the sound of someone snickering in the background could be heard."

Not "Poor girl"... Bad girl!
You have been playing Resident Evil - The code of survival??? Whilst hubby was asleep?!? For shame! It's no wonder yer exhausted and doze off, - those games go on 24/7 without you!

"Did you see my gas warning?"...?!?
Nah! Can't see 'em from here, but not to worry though, yer about 4900 miles from where I am... Although I have heard rumors of complaints in some of your surrounding boroughs...
;-D

PS: We did pray for Donald.

Expected Imminently said...

!!INDIGIDINATION!!???

oer, that was no game playing -THAT - was slurring - an SSMA - a serious senior moment alert. Me little grey cells are in rebellion. Whine,cough, splutter, MMmm--itch--ell, he's done me in, me days are numbered........

Ah well, better get on, this will never get the Sunday Lunch cooked. :D x

Anonymous said...

EI, that’s good research regarding Gal 6:16. Here’s a link to an article by Dr S. Lewis Johnson on Gal 6. The short of it is that Paul isn’t calling the church the Israel of God at all. The full study of Gal can be found at –
http://www.believerschapeldallas.org/temp/bulletins/galatians/galatians.html

rg

Expected Imminently said...

Rg

Your praise for this ‘research’ can be added to mine - to The Lord! I was willing to try and get to grips with Mitchells recent faulty interpretation, and as always looked to The Lord to help me; but first I turned my attention to Googling for ‘Emergent’ stuff regarding my son; and that’s exactly how I found the site, while looking for something else! Praise The Lord!

Thank you for this great link. I have copied it onto my puter to give it my full attention tomorrow after some much needed sleep. The following caught my eye, and I thought ‘how apt’!

“He wrote the letter him - self, not bothering to secure the services of a secretary, as he usually did, because of his concern that the Galatians hear what he had to say ABOUT THE JUDAIZERS AND THEIR FALSE DOCTRINE”

Hugs x
Sue

DrNofog said...

EI said...
DrNofog, Can you help me please with a 'here'.

Sure! Here, here! Or was that s'posta be a 'hear, hear'! I was never sure which one it is... Kinda like that "hip hip huzzah" or "hip hip hurrah" thing. Heard it both ways and no one really knows where it all came from. And why the hip, of all body parts? Why not 'arm, arm' or 'foot, foot'? Hmmm, deep thoughts to ponder in the Cosmic All...

EI, Not a problem. I just didn't want to keep going back to an old thread if there's nothing really worth continuing.
It was getting so long [from UnoWho] that my slide bar on the right column was as thin as the blinkin' cursor...

Blessed Hope - Mitchell's comments
Here,
Here,
And Here,

I can dig back in older posts if it isn't what you need. Or,...you can always ask Mitchell. I'm sure he'll publish a small booklet here for you...
;-D

Anonymous said...

Gal 3:27-28 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

And yet here we have a distinction:

1Co 10:32 Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God

I suggest that Paul is referring to our salvation in Christ in which we are all one and in which there is no distinction between male and female, Jew and Gentile.

But other than that there is a distinction between male and female and English and Greek and national Israel and the church. Just because I'm a member of the church does not make me a Jew or a member of the nation of Israel. It's simple really.

rg

DrNofog said...

EI,
You wouldn't believe what a 'suitable help' a wife is in restraint... What am I saying??? You are a wife already...

My wife will tie my arms behind my Command Chair whilst she edits my posts and we bicker 'bout it til she lets me push the 'Send' button.
She struck off the last part in [brackets] of "Or,...you can always ask Mitchell, [and get it straight from the horses...Oh my, which way to go now...]!
For shame!

Fortunately, she didn't catch my reply to yer 'gas' warning, and was thoroughly mystified by all the repeated giggling & streams of tears!

But my humble apology EI,

I can't thank you enough! - BwaaaaaHaaaahaahaha! -sorry!
[Attempting to stifle, stifle failed: Hit enter to retry stifle...]

You gave me the greatest, the most "Classic" set-up I have ever seen in my entire life time!!! There was no amount of 'Grace' that coulda overcome that kind of temptation! [well..., no, yea, maybe, but I couldn't resist...]

I fell outta my chair multiple times; ROTFLMBO, just tryin' to get the strength enough to hit the 'send' button!
Thanx, I humbly bow at yer feet, m'lady!

Expected Imminently said...

Quote rg “Just because I'm a member of the church does not make me a Jew or a member of the nation of Israel. It's simple really”.

I quite agree rg; for if I stand in my garage, does that mean I am a car; and as a car I turn into a Cul-de-sac, do I then become one of following three options:

a. A dead-end street, which is a road or passage having no exit.

b. An impasse: literary e.g. "This was the cul-de-sac the year kept DRIVING me toward: MEN and WOMEN would always be AT ODDS " (Philip Weiss).(Seems Weiss had the same problem as we do?

c. Anatomy: A saclike cavity or tube open only at one end! :~/

Which ever, this could help to explain DrNofog’s gas and horse conundrum? :D

Expected Imminently said...

DrNofog

:D! You have just proved that Americans DO get ‘dry’ humour.

Fret not lad, I have ended up with hysteria many a time floored by posts. My hubby is my ‘restrainer’; he stands and just LOOKS at me and say’s ‘SUSAN’! Hehehe! You have proved that Americans DO get ‘dry’ humour.

Seriously so pleased with your ample links for me; that is really kind of you! Thank you.x

I just wanted to make sure I understood exactly where Mitchell was failing in his confused reasoning (apart from his usual comprehension failing). Otherwise he is like your Americanism of trying to ‘nail jelly to the wall’ as he slaloms betwixt the context while crashing ‘flags’ signal his miscalculations as plainly as the print on this post!
God bless you.

Expected Imminently said...

Nathan and all.

The Blessed Hope.

Paul was the bearer of Good News, the message that because of Jesus, there is now ‘hope for eternal life’.

By putting faith in Jesus to save and give us eternal life, hope becomes a reality. “Faith is the substance of things hoped for”. Faith is the substance of that hope. Eternal life is the object of hope. Eternal Life is the hope given to a fallen world.


Mitchell said ‘let us look at what the Bible says’. Good advice because he has niftily isolated the verses from Titus thus ignoring the literal context of the preceding and following verses resulting in the usual pretext.

Titus 1:2; 2:13; 3:7.

The Context of ALL the surrounding passages of Titus reveals that Paul was presenting THE GOSPEL which means telling the fallen world there is HOPE for eternal Life preached from when the world began. Hope of Eternal Life is Paul’s subject now available through Christ Jesus and the cross. Eternal life is the objective of the Hope.

Titus 1:1-4 Paul, a bond-servant of God and an APOSTLE of JESUS CHRIST, for the FAITH OF THOSE CHOSEN OF GOD and the KNOWLEDGE of the TRUTH which is ACCORDING to GODLINESS, in the HOPE of ETERNAL LIFE, which God, who cannot lie, PROMISED long AGES AGO, but at the PROPER TIME MANIFESTED, even HIS WORD, in the PROCLOMATION with which I was entrusted according to the commandment of God our Saviour. To Titus, my true child in a COMMON FAITH: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.

I must cut this as short as I can.
When we faith in Jesus to receive the HOPE OF ETERNAL LIFE. It is DONE. The true; invisible Church of Jesus Christ, HAS the promised hope of eternal life NOW. We have justification through God’s Grace. Because we have already received the hope of eternal life, then we will become (ginomai), heirs because that’s what the eternal hope promised us.

We do not hope for something we already have and we all share in the common FAITH – NOW!

So the context of ‘the blessed hope’ in Titus 2:13 is not directed to the unsaved about ‘eternal life’, rather it concerns what the Church still waits and hopes for which is the APPEARING epiphaneia OF Jesus Christ. imo.

Anonymous said...

Romans 11:26 And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written, "The Deliverer will come from Zion, he will banish ungodliness from Jacob";

Romans 11:27 "and this will be my covenant with them when I take away their sins."

Romans 11:28 As regards the gospel, they are enemies of God for your sake. But as regards election, they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers.

So if there’s a blurring in the distinction between the church and Israel, can Paul be talking about the church in these verses?

THE DUAL STATUS OF ISRAEL IN ROMANS 11:28

rg

Expected Imminently said...

rg

Thank you so much for yet another great link. I am slowly ‘dipping’ into the other when I get a spare moment with a cuppa. I admit I don’t find it an easy read, but its no bad thing to stretch my old noddle, bit by bit! (Apparently it’s a help against dementia?)

May I add that it is interesting that Arnold Fruchtenbaum doesn’t use Titus’ ‘Blessed Hope’ in ‘Footsteps’in his chapter on The Rapture. So it is encouraging to know that it isn't needed to support a Pretrib Rapture as there is plenty of evidence without it, particularly as he teaches from the Jewish perspective. :)

Anonymous said...

I've learned to appreciate Dr Frucht's teaching over the course of time. He doesn't always go into lengthy details but will often elaborate in e-mail communications. He's very approachable for a busy man.

rg

Expected Imminently said...

rg
I am pleased to say I agree. I met him on two of his trips to England and I was delighted to see there was no pedestal in sight. He has answered when I have written to him, very down to earth and encouraging me on, even saying 'I was probably right'! That blew my socks off, and noted he had taken my observation on board and included them in his teaching. That is the evidence of a truly decent,feet on the ground man with no airs and graces. A very genuine and generous man.

Anonymous said...

EI,

I've had the pleasure of meeting him as well and can back your comments. I was impressed not only by his depth of knowledge but his humility and sense of humor. He has a strong missionary zeal for both Gentiles and fellow Jews. He is also supported by his wife even though she cannot travel with him due to MS.

rg

Anonymous said...

I s'pose it's a bit late to post on this thread now. Everyone has gone to play somewhere else.

Just wanted to note that those (non-pretribbers) who want to jump onto the PD wagon in some effort to amalgamate OT Israel with the church cannot use current PD thought. My findings are that, according to historic premiller Craig Blomberg and Robert Saucy himself (in Feinberg's Continuity and Discontinuity) , both Bock and Saucy advocate a definite dichotomy between the two.

rg