Dispensationalism - What is it???

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Postby jochanaan » Tue Aug 07, 2007 7:44 pm

Excellent posts, Natman. I agree with you totally--with this one quibble:

natman wrote:The problem with that reference (Matt 24:40) is not timing. It is context. IMHO, the verse is typically understood opposite from it's meaning. The verse in right in the middle of Jesus' discourse about the siege and destruction of Jerusalem. Typical of the use of the word "taken" throughout the rest of scripture, I believe Jesus is referring to those that will be taken into captivity by the Roman army. Those that are "left behind" are the ones that listened to Jesus' warnings and fled the city when the "signs" were present. Consequently, this reference has nothing to do with the "rapture" at all.

That, I think, exposes some interpretational differences between the two of us. I cannot quite accept that this Olivet prophecy was entirely fulfilled in 70AD when the Roman armies destroyed Jerusalem. The immediate context is: "And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?" (vs. 3) Also included in the discourse: "And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other...But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be." (vs. 31, 37) The whole passage appears to be about the circumstances surrounding Jesus' return, and it is apparent that Our Lord Jesus did not return in 70AD, nor has He done so yet...
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Postby nudjohn » Tue Aug 07, 2007 9:39 pm

1st off, the tribulation period is divided in two as seen in Daniel. The days are slightly different from each other. Jesus said except those days be shortened....
Jesus states when his coming is according to signs. these are the same signs talked about in Revelation. He also promises the 'faithful' church to keep them from the 'hour of temtation which is to come upon all the world.'
When the sun grows dark, and the moon turns to blood.....
Blood shall flow to the horses bridle.
Those who try to reason that this was wrought about by Rome around 70 AD have never given me satisfactory evidence that these have been satisfied. 'Then look up, for your redemption draweth nigh.'

We all agree that he is coming. The scripture also states 'every eye shall see him whom they have pierced.'

Jesus is coming!
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Postby natman » Tue Aug 07, 2007 11:07 pm

jochanaan wrote:That, I think, exposes some interpretational differences between the two of us. I cannot quite accept that this Olivet prophecy was entirely fulfilled in 70AD when the Roman armies destroyed Jerusalem. The immediate context is: "And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?" (vs. 3)


Actually, the question is ""when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?", not "end of the world". The Greek word used at the end of Matt 24:3 is "eon". The destruction of Jerusalem and it's Temple brought an end to the age of the Jewish sacrificial system, and it has never returned to this day.

Also included in the discourse: "And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other...But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be." (vs. 31, 37) The whole passage appears to be about the circumstances surrounding Jesus' return, and it is apparent that Our Lord Jesus did not return in 70AD, nor has He done so yet...


In a way He has, although, as I mentioned, it was not a physical return. In apocalyptic language, He "came on clouds" of judgement, poured out on Jerusalem and it's leaders for failing to acknowledge their own Messiah when He stood before them. This is the same language used over and over again in the OT when God poured out His judgement on His people. Whenever the Lord or His judgement were present there is mention of "clouds". See 2 Sam 22, Ps 18, Ps 77, Ps 97, Isa 5:30, Isa 19, Isa 30, Jer 4:13, Jer 10, Jer 51, Lam 2, Eze 1:4, Eze 30:3 Eze 30, Eze 34, Eze 38, Dan 7, Joel 2, Zech 1.
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Postby bn2bnude » Tue Aug 07, 2007 11:26 pm

natman wrote:But there is another, greater danger in believing a pre-tribulation rapture ... (Stuff Clipped)


I see other dangers beside the issues you mention around the state of Israel.

Primarily, I see a personal danger in the absolute belief of a pretribulation rapture... It affects the way you live out your live as a Christian. This is not exclusively to that one viewpoint, it affects almost any other end-times belief as well.

Since long before the dispensational and pre-trib theologies was popularized (as in the 1000s), there have been groups that have said "Christ is coming on [insert date/time here]". The one I remember most was the "88 reasons Christ will return in 1988". I have issues with the self promoting "prophets" who make these claims because they have avoided much criticism from the majority of American Christians. In Old Testament times, they would have been put to death (no, I am not advocating this).

I remember some 20 years ago, there were people walking around saying "I'll charge up my credit because Christ will return this year." Now, the popular theme I see among Christians who believe in this thought is anything that happens bad in the Middle East is something to rejoice in because "It brings us closer to the rapture".

Finally (in this rant). I am going to step out on a limb -- a healthy one I hope -- and say from studying scripture, I honestly don't know the answer to what will happen. No matter what, I believe my role as a Christ Follower is to 1) Worship God (I am created for that purpose) and 2) Build the Kingdom of God. Anything else besides those things are distractions, no matter how pleasant they are.
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Postby natman » Wed Aug 08, 2007 10:06 am

I forgot to mention one other thing in my prior post responding to Johanaan. In Matt 24:32, Jesus says, "I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened."

In it's simple, literal meaning (as my Dispensational friends would say), "this generation" is referring to those that are alive at the time Jesus made the statement. This notion is also supported when Jesus addresses the Jewish leaders during His mock trial, accused of claiming to be the Christ, the Son of God, saying in Matt 26:64, "Yes, it is as you say," Jesus replied. "But I say to all of you: In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven." Jesus us directly addressing those standing before Him, persecuting Him. He is saying "YOU will see...", not some future generation 2000-plus years down the road.

In context, it does not make sense for Jesus to be talking about near-future events, the destruction of Jersalem and it's Temple, which prophetically came to pass in 70AD, undoubtedly witnessed by many of those persecuting Him and by many of His disciples, then in the middle of the discussion, jump to far future event. He is talking about the destruction of the Temple, then says "At that time..." (Matt 24:30), the time of the destruction.
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Postby natman » Wed Aug 08, 2007 10:40 am

bn2bnude wrote:I see other dangers beside the issues you mention...


I agree 100%. It is absolutely futile, a waste of precious time and resources, not to mention, counter to scripture to attempt to calculate the precise coming of our Lord. As you say, our primary purpose should be to live as Christ and to spread the Gospel. We are to live as if the Lord could come at any moment. Matt 24, is directly followed by Matt 25, the parable of the ten virgins, admonishing His disciples to ALWAYS be prepared for the coming "groom", and the parable of the talents, in which Jesus warns His disciples to use the resources He has given them to increase His kingdom.

I believe my role as a Christ Follower is to 1) Worship God (I am created for that purpose) and 2) Build the Kingdom of God. Anything else besides those things are distractions, no matter how pleasant they are.


This is true, however, the process of building the Kingdom must also be based on TRUTH. It is incumbent upon us to become so familiar with the truth of scripture that we will not easily be led astray by false doctrines. What good is it for us to lead someone to Christ, only to have them be drawn into a cult that teaches doctrine completely counter to the message of the Gospel or that presents a different representation of who God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are? We all know of denominations that deny the deity of Jesus, or ascribe Him as the first created being or the spirit-brother of Satan; denomination that use the same language while pouring different meaning into the words.

Out of love for God, God's Truth and our fellow man, we need to always "be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect." (1 Pet 3:15)

2 Tim 4:1-5"In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry."

We prepare by knowing God through His Word, and therefore His doctrines, not just His grace.
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Postby jochanaan » Wed Aug 08, 2007 7:31 pm

natman wrote:...We prepare by knowing God through His Word, and therefore His doctrines, not just His grace.

That statement gets no argument from me! :D
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Postby nudjohn » Thu Aug 09, 2007 10:52 pm

In a way He has, although, as I mentioned, it was not a physical return. In apocalyptic language, He "came on clouds" of judgement, poured out on Jerusalem and it's leaders for failing to acknowledge their own Messiah when He stood before them.


Chronicles 5:14
So that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud: for the glory of the LORD had filled the house of God.

Isaiah 19:1
The burden of Egypt. Behold, the LORD rideth upon a swift cloud, and shall come into Egypt: and the idols of Egypt shall be moved at his presence, and the heart of Egypt shall melt in the midst of it.

Ezekiel 10:4
Then the glory of the LORD went up from the cherub, and stood over the threshold of the house; and the house was filled with the cloud, and the court was full of the brightness of the LORD's glory.

Matthew 24:30
And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

Matthew 26:64
Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.

Mark 13:26
And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.

Mark 14:62
And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.

Acts 1:9
And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.

Hebrews 12:1
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

Revelation 1:7
Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.

Revelation 11:12
And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.

Revelation 14:14
And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.
Revelation 14:15
And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.
Revelation 14:16
And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.
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Postby arom » Fri Aug 10, 2007 8:56 am

This is a great thread. It seems as if everyone has done a lot of research to back up their opinions.

For me, the single truth acknowledged in dispenstational theology is the distinction between Israel and the Church. The Church is part of God's plan, as well as the people of Israel. God made numerous very specific promises to Israel and God does not lie. If you chose to interpret the New Testament to read that God has replaced Israel with the Church then orthodox dispenstational theology will not make sense.

The important thing for all of us to understand are the three absolute commandments given to us by Jesus Christ.

36 "Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?" 37 He said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. 38 This is the greatest and most important commandment. 39 The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commandments." (Matt. 22:36-40 HCSB).

18 Then Jesus came near and said to them, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age." (Matt 28:18-20 HCSB)


God Loves us, and it is His command to us to teach everyone about this love.

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Postby natman » Fri Aug 10, 2007 12:44 pm

arom wrote:If you chose to interpret the New Testament to read that God has replaced Israel with the Church then orthodox dispensational theology will not make sense.


This is the most important point with which I am having trouble. In my understanding, I do not see the "Church" as "replacing" Israel. I see it as the continuation of Israel, God's chosen people. I think that is the point of the many references to the "remnant" throughout the OT and to Paul's address to the Galatians.

The "remnant" of Israel is mentioned in 2 Kings 19 & 21, 2 Chron 34 & 36, Ezra 9, Isa 10, 11, 28 & 37 and Jer 6, 23, 31, 42-44 & 50, Ezek 9 & 11, Mic 2, 4, 5 & 7, Zeph 2 & 3, Hag 1 & 2, Zech 8. In the NT, Paul addresses the name "remnant" in Romans 9 & 11.

Rom 9:25-29
"As he says in Hosea:
"I will call them 'my people' who are not my people;
and I will call her 'my loved one' who is not my loved one," and,
"It will happen that in the very place where it was said to them,
'You are not my people,'
they will be called 'sons of the living God.' "

Isaiah cries out concerning Israel:
"Though the number of the Israelites be like the sand by the sea,
only the remnant will be saved.
For the Lord will carry out
his sentence on earth with speed and finality."

It is just as Isaiah said previously:
"Unless the Lord Almighty
had left us descendants,
we would have become like Sodom,
we would have been like Gomorrah."


Rom 11:1-6
"I ask then: Did God reject his people? By no means! I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin. God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew. Don't you know what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah—how he appealed to God against Israel: "Lord, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars; I am the only one left, and they are trying to kill me"? And what was God's answer to him? "I have reserved for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal." So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace."

The entire dissertation of Romans 11 indicates that those that have been in-grafted are as much Israel as those born into Israel , thereby based on their relationship with God, not on their bloodline.

Also, Paul makes it abundantly clear that not all that are descendants of Israel are Israel, God's chosen people in Romans 9.

Rom 9:6-8
"It is not as though God's word had failed. For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham's children. On the contrary, "It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned."In other words, it is not the natural children who are God's children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham's offspring."

He clarifies this in Gal 3.

Gal 3:16
"The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. The Scripture does not say "and to seeds," meaning many people, but "and to your seed," meaning one person, who is Christ."

As such, the "Church" was not a new development beginning in the first century, but rather, it has been here since Seth, the son of Adam, and will continue until Christ returns.
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Postby bn2bnude » Fri Aug 10, 2007 11:44 pm

natman wrote:
arom wrote:If you chose to interpret the New Testament to read that God has replaced Israel with the Church then orthodox dispensational theology will not make sense.


This is the most important point with which I am having trouble. In my understanding, I do not see the "Church" as "replacing" Israel. I see it as the continuation of Israel, God's chosen people. I think that is the point of the many references to the "remnant" throughout the OT and to Paul's address to the Galatians.


I would even suggest a different viewpoint.

As you read through the books of the law, you see that yes, Israel was to be separate. They were also, however, to show God's mercy and grace through the law God gave them. (I can't find the reference but a verse in I think Deut. states that the law they were given was easier than those around them).

Israel was also given the command to convert the nations around them as they showed them the "easier" law. The did not do so well here.

When Christ fulfilled the law, it brought this closer. The chru didn't replace Israel, it is the fulfillment of God's plan for Israel. I don't think it was an accident that Paul went to the Jews in a town then, when tossed out of the synagoue, would then go to the Gentiles.
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Long Post

Postby arom » Thu Aug 16, 2007 7:37 am

According to the Apostle Paul the church was a mystery not known in the Old Testament.

1 For this reason, I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles-- 2 you have heard, haven't you, about the administration of God's grace that He gave to me for you? 3 The mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have briefly written above. 4 By reading this you are able to understand my insight about the mystery of the Messiah. 5 This was not made known to people in other generations as it is now revealed to His holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit: 6 the Gentiles are co-heirs, members of the same body, and partners of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel (Eph. 3:1-6 HCSB)

While the Jewish people were called upon to be examples to the world as a nation of God, the mystery of Jews and Gentiles united in one body and coheirs of God’s blessings was not revealed until given to the New Testament apostles and prophets.
Christ also predicted the church to be future in His time.

16 Simon Peter answered, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God!" 17 And Jesus responded, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father in heaven. 18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the forces of Hades will not overpower it (Matt. 16:16-18 HCSB).

The following is from Norman Geisler’s Systematic Theology Volume IV, page 23.

Jesus had not yet built the church. Indeed, because His death and resurrection are the church’s foundation, it could not have yet begun, since He hadn’t yet died. Further, since all who are in Christ’s body are baptized into by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 12:13), it follows that the church did not begin before the baptism of the Spirit occurred (Pentecost—Acts 1:5; 2:1-3).

See also Eph. 2:19-20 and 1 Peter 2:4-7.

This quote is from Norman Geisler’s Systematic Theology Volume IV, page 26.

Objection One: From Covenant Theology

Since some covenant theologians claim that the New Testament church replaces Old Testament Israel, they deny that the church began at Pentecost and say that the church’s roots are in the people of God, beginning in the Old Testament and later known as the children of Israel. The New Testament church, supposedly, is really only a “spiritual Israel.”

Response to Objection One

…The church could not have been started at any time from Adam to Christ, since it involved a mystery not known in the Old Testament, not possible until Christ died and ascended, and not actual until believers were Spirit-baptized into His body, the church.
Of course, there were people of God before there was a church, but not all members of God’s family are members of the Christian Church. Just as there were believers in God before there was a theocratic nation of Israel, even so there were Israelites before there was a church of Christ. The kingdom of God is broader than Israel and broader then the church; while all members of Christ’s church are part of the broader kingdom of God, not all members of God’s kingdom are members of the church (cf. Matt. 11:11).
God’s family of all ages has many basics in common, such as one God, one Savior, one brotherhood as God’s children, one great plan of God, and one ultimate purpose to glorify God. Nonetheless, this overall oneness no more obscures the legitimate differences between various members of God’s family than humanness negates all national and geographical differences within the human race (cf. Acts 17:26).

In summary, the universal church of Christ was created by God at the Pentecost on the basis of Christ’s death and resurrection. The rejection of their King by Israel (fore-known by God and expected) did not force God to reject His chosen people, but to create a new entity, the Church of Jesus Christ where all are joint heirs with Christ; children of God the Father.

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Postby jochanaan » Thu Aug 16, 2007 11:33 am

Perhaps this "mystery" was not fully known in Old Testament times, but prophets certainly foresaw it:

"Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising." --Isaiah 60:1-3

"And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call." --Joel 2:28-32

Even in the LORD's command to Abraham to move to Israel there is the foreshadowing of the Church: "...in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed." --Genesis 12:3, my emphasis

It would appear that Covenantalism and Dispensationalism both see parts of the multifaceted truth. As much as I enjoy speculating along these lines, I am content to wait to learn what will really happen.

"LORD, my heart is not haughty, nor mine eyes lofty: neither do I exercise myself in great matters, or in things too high for me.
Surely I have behaved and quieted myself, as a child that is weaned of his mother: my soul is even as a weaned child.
Let Israel hope in the LORD from henceforth and for ever." --Psalm 131
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Postby arom » Thu Aug 16, 2007 12:17 pm

It would appear that Covenantalism and Dispensationalism both see parts of the multifaceted truth. As much as I enjoy speculating along these lines, I am content to wait to learn what will really happen.


Amen to that brother.

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Re: Long Post

Postby natman » Thu Aug 16, 2007 12:53 pm

arom wrote:According to the Apostle Paul the church was a mystery not known in the Old Testament.
... 5 This was not made known to people in other generations as it is now revealed to His holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit: 6 the Gentiles are co-heirs, members of the same body, and partners of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel (Eph. 3:1-6 HCSB)

While the Jewish people were called upon to be examples to the world as a nation of God, the mystery of Jews and Gentiles united in one body and coheirs of God’s blessings was not revealed until given to the New Testament apostles and prophets.


Take a step back one chapter to Eph 2:19-22 (Remember, the Bible was not broken up into chapter and verse until much later). Both of these verses indicate that the "prophets" were actively involved in the establishment of the Church in terms of laying the foundation and revelation. I do not see that Paul is excluding OT prophets here.

In fact, the OT prophets provided us with many many glimpses of the promise of the coming Messiah and the fulfillment of God's promise to His remnant chosen people, which have consisted of a mix of Jews (of the direct bloodline of Abraham) and gentiles, those mikvah'ed (baptised) into the faith, at least as far back as Jonah. Even though the word "church" is not used in the OT to describe the grouping of people who have been dedicated to the Lord, the premise existed in the phrase "remnant" and "chosen people, Israel". The revelation was not general, but was spoken about through the OT prophets. However, it was "realized" in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus as directly witnessed and reported by His apostles.

Christ also predicted the church to be future in His time.

... And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the forces of Hades will not overpower it (Matt. 16:16-18 HCSB).


The word used here is "oikodomeo", which literally means "I build" or "I edify". In the original text, no tense is given... "epi taute petra oikodomeo mou ekklesia", literally "Upon this boulder I build (or edify) My Church." Although all of the major translations add the word "will", presenting it as future tense, there is no reason not to also assume that it was meant in a present, on-going tense.

Jesus had not yet built the church. Indeed, because His death and resurrection are the church’s foundation, it could not have yet begun, since He hadn’t yet died.


In the verse above, we also see that the "prophets" were the foundation for the Church.

Further, since all who are in Christ’s body are baptized into by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 12:13), it follows that the church did not begin before the baptism of the Spirit occurred (Pentecost—Acts 1:5; 2:1-3).


Is this saying that the Holy Spirit was not active in the lives of believers prior to this point and particularly to the OT Saints? Here are some OT verses that refute that assertion:

Judges 3:10 "The Spirit of the LORD came upon him, so that he became Israel's judge and went to war. The LORD gave Cushan Rishathaim king of Aram into the hands of Othniel, who overpowered him."

Judges 6:34 "Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon Gideon, and he blew a trumpet, summoning the Abiezrites to follow him."

Judges 14:6 "The Spirit of the LORD came upon him in power so that he tore the lion apart with his bare hands as he might have torn a young goat. But he told neither his father nor his mother what he had done."

1 Samuel 10:6 "The Spirit of the LORD will come upon you in power, and you will prophesy with them; and you will be changed into a different person."

1 Samuel 16:13 "So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the LORD came upon David in power. Samuel then went to Ramah."

Ezekiel 11:5 "Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon me, and he told me to say: "This is what the LORD says: That is what you are saying, O house of Israel, but I know what is going through your mind."

Numbers 11:17 "I will come down and speak with you there, and I will take of the Spirit that is on you and put the Spirit on them. They will help you carry the burden of the people so that you will not have to carry it alone."

while all members of Christ’s church are part of the broader kingdom of God, not all members of God’s kingdom are members of the church (cf. Matt. 11:11).


Mat 11:11, taken in context, indicates that the kingdom of God is being advanced "forcibly" since the time of John the Baptist on. It does not indicate that it wasn't advanced prior to that point. Historically, we see that there is an explosion in the growth of the kingdom of God from the time that John the Baptist enters the scene and begins calling people to repentence.

Nonetheless, this overall oneness no more obscures the legitimate differences between various members of God’s family than humanness negates all national and geographical differences within the human race (cf. Acts 17:26).


The verse referenced does not address the differences of members of God's family beyond stating that it was God who determined their place and time. Geisler's assertion seems to fly directly in the face of verses that make it clear that God is not concerned about race or nationality. He is only and has always only been concerned about relationship to Him, through either looking forward to his promised Messiah (OT), or looking back at the realization of that Messiah, Christ Jesus (NT until the second coming).

Galatians 3:28 "There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise."

Colossians 3:11 "Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all."

1 Corinthians 12:13 "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."
SON-cerely,
Nathan Powers

Get exposed to the sun, and get exposed to the Son.
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