LOOKING TO PRAISE AND WORSHIP JESUS THE CHRIST, THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD. 18 No man has ever seen God at any time; the only unique Son, or the only begotten God, Who is in the bosom [in the intimate presence] of the Father, He has declared Him [He has revealed Him and brought Him out where He can be seen; He has interpreted Him and He has made Him known].

Monday, May 22, 2006

Matthew and Mark Talk About Dispensationalism

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...
Gayla, Dispensationalism is a theological system that makes a clear and consistent distinction between the Church and the nation of Israel. It favours a literal interpretation of the Bible and is committed to a Premillennial view of Christ's second coming.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

May 05, 2006 12:45 AM


Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...
Mark, the problem with Progressive Dispensationalism is that insists that the Church can be found in Old Testament prophecy. It refuses to accept that the Church is a mystery hidden in God.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

May 05, 2006 12:47 AM


Joe said...
Who are the major dispensers of Dispensationalism?

May 05, 2006 3:42 AM


bluecollar said...
Matthew: Here is what I am working on-- Romans 11:16-24- The Gentile believers (the wild olive tree) being grafted into the root and fatness, the cultivated olive tree. The olive tree existed before, back to Old Testament times. Now the Gentiles are being grafted in. One olive tree, one people of God, dating back to the Old Testament.

In Ephesians 2:11-22 Gentiles were aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenets of promise, but now are brought near by Christ, He made both one, He has created in Himself one new man, from the two, in one body...

In John 10:16- Jesus said that He had other sheep (Gentiles) that were not of this fold (Israel) that he had to bring in so that there would be one flock and one Shepherd.

In Galatians 3:28- We are all one in Christ, no more Jew and Gentile, Now Gentiles too are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise...

In short, I believe there has always been a one people of God, that has been His plan all along- Isaiah 53:6 The Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

May 05, 2006 4:16 AM


Gayla said...
Thanks~

May 05, 2006 6:48 AM


Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...
Mark, what is the Church?

Joe, historically, the Brethren, the Scofield Bible and Lewis Spencer Chafer did the dispensing.

More recent advocates include John Walvoord (deceased), Charles Ryrie and Robert Lightner.

Dallas Theological Seminary is the greastest centre of Dispensational theology, but it has toned it down since Progressive Dispensationalism came on the scene.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

May 05, 2006 9:12 AM


bluecollar said...
Matthew: I'm trying to understand your question to me. Please restate it and what it is that you are driving at.

Thank you for taking the time to communicate here.

Mark

May 05, 2006 9:35 AM


Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...
Mark, the question was very simple. What is the Church?

How we can discuss the subject of the Church in relation to prophecy unless we know we are talking about the same thing.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

May 05, 2006 2:21 PM


bluecollar said...
Matthew, when I say the following:
"Matthew: Here is what I am working on-- Romans 11:16-24- The Gentile believers (the wild olive tree) being grafted into the root and fatness, the cultivated olive tree. The olive tree existed before, back to Old Testament times. Now the Gentiles are being grafted in. One olive tree, one people of God, dating back to the Old Testament.

In Ephesians 2:11-22 Gentiles were aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenets of promise, but now are brought near by Christ, He made both one, He has created in Himself one new man, from the two, in one body...

In John 10:16- Jesus said that He had other sheep (Gentiles) that were not of this fold (Israel) that he had to bring in so that there would be one flock and one Shepherd.

In Galatians 3:28- We are all one in Christ, no more Jew and Gentile, Now Gentiles too are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise...

In short, I believe there has always been a one people of God, that has been His plan all along- Isaiah 53:6 The Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all." ...

What I am saying is very similar to the position that Wayne Grudem takes. It is a position that I arived at on my own. Then when I read Wayne Grudems systematic theology I was in complete agreement with him.

I believe the church is made up of believers from all time. Hebrews 11 is part of the church in my view.I notice that David called the Messiah his lord in Psalm 110. I notice that Abraham rejoyced when he saw Christ's day as we see in John 8. Jesus said that many kings and righteous men longed to hear and see the things (Himself) that the apostles heard and saw.

I shall write more later. I shall be at work and doing errands all day today.

May the Lord bless you my friend!

May 06, 2006 6:33 AM

May 06, 2006 6:58 AM


Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...
Mark, you seem to view the Church as the sum total of believers.

If this is so, in what sense are these believers gathered (that is what the Greek word Ekklesia means, a gathering or assembly)?

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

May 06, 2006 9:26 AM


Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...
Mark, it is very nice of you to post our conversation. I appreciate your interest in this subject.

God Bless

Matthew

May 06, 2006 9:27 AM


bluecollar said...
Matthew: I will be back later. I'm taking my wife out to dinner right now. See you then

May 06, 2006 2:56 PM


jazzycat said...
Mr. Bluecollar,
I think your explanation is correct about who the church is. Jesus pointed out that he is the fulfillment of the law and the prophets and that he did not come to abolish them. Dispensationalism apparently is evolving. Any work you can do to clarify the differences would be a help and a great resource for Christian Bloggers.

Jazzycat

May 06, 2006 6:31 PM


bluecollar said...
Matthew: In answer to your question I look at Deut. 4:10, as does Wayne Grudem. He points out here that the word "Gather" here is the Heb. qahal, where the Septuagint uses ekklesiazo- "to summon an assembly," the verb that is cognate to the New Testament noun ekklesia,"church".

Since I believe that the sins of all believers(OT saints as well as NT saints) were laid on Christ (Isaiah 53:6), then I see in Hebrews 2:12-Jesus talking here,apparently at some point in the future,"In the midst of the assembly I will sing praise to You" and again"here I am and the children whom God has given Me".

I see the "assembly" here speaking of the whole of all believers, from every era.

I must admit that I like how Grudem includes the OT saints in his consideration of Eph.5:25. I also consider Acts 7:38 where Stephen refers to the ekklesia in the wilderness.

I thank you for taking the time to graciously interact here. You are a wise and respectable student of the word.

Thank you brother!
Mark

May 06, 2006 7:50 PM


bluecollar said...
Jazzy Cat: I would love your continued participation in these discussions!

Mark

May 06, 2006 7:52 PM


Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...
Is being the body of Christ essential to the Church's existence?

If so, were the Old Testament saints part of the body of Christ?

God Bless

Matthew

May 07, 2006 1:27 AM


bluecollar said...
Matthew: These are great questions that you ask.

You ask,"If so, were the Old Testament saints part of the body of Christ?"
------------
I will answer your second question first



In the many places in the New Testament which mention the body of Christ, i.e. e.g. Romans 12:5; 1Cor.12:12,27; Ephesians 4:11-16, it does not appear that Old Testament saints are included here. However,IMHO the linkage can be found in Hebrews 11:40. I see this verse as making New Testament saints inseparable from the Old. I also go back to Isaiah 53:6 and Hebrews 2:11-13. I also see in Hebrews 9:15 and Romans 3:25 how His sacrifice is applied to the Old Testament saints as well as us.

You ask,"Is being the body of Christ essential to the Church's existence?"
-------------
I would say yes

May 07, 2006 6:25 AM


Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...
If being the body of Christ is central to the Church's existence, then the believers in Old Testament times must have been part of the body of Christ or else the Church did not exist in Old Testament times.

Would you agree with this conclusion?

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

May 07, 2006 6:30 AM


bluecollar said...
Matthew: Thank you for graciously taking the time with me.

Yes, I would agree with that statement.

Bless you brother!
Mark

May 07, 2006 3:57 PM


Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...
Mark, I understand if do not wish to continue this discussion.

Given your affirmation of that conclusion, it would seem that you must hold that the Body of Christ was in existence in Old Testament times.

Does being the body of Christ have no relation to Christ's ascension into heaven and the descent of the Holy Spirit?

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

May 08, 2006 2:44 AM


bluecollar said...
Matthew: It would seem that the New Testament Saints were to experience a different kind of relationship with the Holy Spirit.

From my vantage point, God has always had a plan to call to Himself a people out of the hostile human race. The church,IMHO is that people and is made up of believers from all eras, Christ having created in Himself one new man (Jews and Gentiles)Eph.2:11-22.

Where as in the Old Covenent God's name was in Jerusalem, now His dwelling place is within believers.

IMHO Romans 11:17-23 teaches that Gentiles were grafted into Israel's Olive tree, a tree that existed since Abraham's time. see verse 16.

In the times before Abraham it would seem that Genesis 4:26 is an indicator that men began to call upon the name of the LORD in the days of Seth,Abel having been murdered, thus beginning the church. This "call(ing) on the name of the LORD" in the midst of a hostile human race, being the marks of the church, finds it's origins here.

I will continue this conversation every bit as long as you would like. You have been most gracious and kind.

Mark

May 08, 2006 4:57 AM


bluecollar said...
Matthew: One more thing- Roman's 11:23-32 seems to teach that God is once again going to do a mighty work amonst National Israel, bringing many to faith in Himself. He is not done with National Israel.

May 08, 2006 5:09 AM


jazzycat said...
Mr. Blue Collar,
Dittos and when God does this bringing of many to faith, they will be brought into one church.... The bride of Christ.

I would ask Matthew, who I am sure agrees that many Jewish people will respond (in some way) in that day, how can God be sure that it is going to happen unless God makes it happen?
Jazzycat

May 08, 2006 6:04 AM


Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...
Jazzycat, there is an interesting philosophical ssumption here. That God is not in control unless He makes things happen.

Now I believe God knows the future. He knows it because He is not limited by time as we are and sees the future in the eternal present.

God's Word says that a third of Israel will repent and believe on the day of Christ's return.

It is quite possible that God has foreordained that this will happen. He is sovereign and can do as He pleases. Or this may simply be a prediction based on His knowledge of the future. I am not going to limit God as Calvinists do. God is sovereign whether He ordains the future or not. He is infinitely wise an infinitely powerful. None can resist His will.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

May 08, 2006 9:37 AM


Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...
Mark, thankyou for your gracious response.

There is no reason to believe that the Olive Tree represents the Church.

There have been believers since Adam and Eve, but are they the Church?

I am really not sure how you understand the body of Christ concept.

Ephesians 2:15-16
'Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;
And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby.'

We see in this text that a new body is created by Christ's savign death that contains both Jew and Gentile. The body is established by Christ's work.

1 Cor 12:13
'For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.'

The Church is established as a body through the baptizing work of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Without the Holy Spirit's descent, I fail to see how there is a Church or a body of Christ on earth.

There may be saved individuals, but they are not one body, as the Church is.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

May 08, 2006 9:48 AM


jazzycat said...
Matthew,

Point well taken. I could have worded that a lot better. Could I please have mulligan.
Actually, I agree with your last paragraph so much I will accept it with but a small addition of a verse and comment. (Isaiah 46:10 I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand,
and I will do all that I please.)

While you are right in that he does not have to always ‘make things happen’, he has ordained all that comes to pass including the future and he can use the free will of man to accomplish this without having to ‘make it happen’. Calvinists are not the ones limiting God. We believe he is sovereign and in control of everything including salvation.

Jazzycat

May 08, 2006 11:40 AM


bluecollar said...
Matthew: I see the church in the Olive Tree:

The root is Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

The branches are the Jews-It is their tree.

Some branches were broken off- unbelieving Israel.

Gentiles (wild olive tree) were grafted in among them and become partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree.

We (Gentiles) don't support the root, but the root (Abraham etc.) supports us.

Remember, in my earlier comments I acknowledged a different relationship with the Holy Spirit for the New Covenant saints than with the Old.

You ask,"There have been believers since Adam and Eve, but are they the Church?"
------------

I dealt with that issue yesterday when I said,"In the times before Abraham it would seem that Genesis 4:26 is an indicator that men began to call upon the name of the LORD in the days of Seth,Abel having been murdered, thus beginning the church. This "call(ing) on the name of the LORD" in the midst of a hostile human race, being the marks of the church, finds it's origins here."
-----------------------
You say,"There may be saved individuals, but they are not one body, as the Church is."
------------------------
I believe that Isaiah 53:6 and Ephesians5:25 are what links the Old Testament saints with the New Testament saints.

You must remember, I believe it to be impossible for anybody to be a believer in any era without the Holy Spirit's working. I believe the fall brought about hostility towards God from EVERY individual.

I see in Romans 2:29 that a true Jew is one who is one inwardly, the circumcision is of the heart. It is the work of God's Spirit that has brought people to faith in Him since the earliest eras.

From my vantage point there is the Particular Redemption, Wherein Christ died for a specific people, From the Old Testament times as well as the New, hence my appeal to Isaiah 53:6.

All have been brought to faith by the same Holy Spirit and their sins have been paid for by the same sacrifice of Christ on the cross. The Old Testament saints looked forward to the cross, while we look backwards to the cross.

I know the temptation of some to say that the Old test. saints didn't have enough revelation to look forwards to the cross. Let us not rule out the Holy Spirit's illuminating ministry here. Remember, David "spoke by the Spirit" when he wrote of Christ in Psalm 110; Simeon was told by the Spirit that he would see the LORD's Christ before he died; The unborn John the Baptist lept in his mother's womb because of the Holy Spirit's work-- see Luke 1:15.

Thank you for your gracious attitude here Matthew. I have alot of respect for you.

Mark

May 09, 2006 5:28 AM


Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...
Mark, thanks for your repsonse.

You keep talking about soteriology. It is all well to say that God was saving people in the Old Testament and to talk about the glory of that salvation and its character.

However, this does not actually deal with the question of whether the church includes the redeemed of the Old Testament.

If you were to ask me if I thought Christians are of the seed of Abraham I would answer yes, ABSOLUTELY.

However, were Old Testament believers part of the body of Christ? That is a quite different question and the answer seems to be in the negative.

I believe the church to be a body of Jews and Gentiles who are united by the death, resurrection and ascension of Christ and by the baptism of the Spirit at Pentecost. Such a body could only exist from New Testament times.

No Christian denies God's saving work in the OT, but these men were not incorporated into the one mystical body of Christ.

Mark, I am still in the dark as to how you undestand the body of Christ concept and how it relates to the work of our Lord and of His Holy Spirit.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

May 09, 2006 11:52 AM


bluecollar said...
Matthew:Thank you for your patience.

Let me start in the New Testament first.

I agree with your statement, "I believe the church to be a body of Jews and Gentiles who are united by the death, resurrection and ascension of Christ and by the baptism of the Spirit at Pentecost."

However, when I read Romans 11:11-32,I see that the church is part of a single plan, not separate from it. I used to hold to a distinction between the church and Israel view. In fact i did so for years. However, when I came across this passage in Romans on my regular sweeps through the Bible I always felt that view challenged. It made me uncomfortable to see that view challenged, I had held it so long and so did the pastors that influenced me; but yet, I was becoming more and more unsettled in my heart with that view.

Then came the day when I decided that the only way that my conscience would be satisfied would be to relinquish the Israel/church distinction view. I knew that many of my friends over the yearswould disagree with me for doing this, but I simply had to for conscience sake. Then my personal stand was bolstered by Galatians chapter 3. In this chapter again I see a single plan of God being worked out from the Old Testament right on through to the New, a seemless plan from the schoolmaster Old Covenant to the being brought to Christ in the New Covenant. Then the whole thing ties together in verse 3:29 "And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise"

Matthew, you are agracious and wise brother in the Lord. Thank you.

May 10, 2006 5:06 AM


jazzycat said...
Mr. Bluecollar,
Your view makes perfect sense to me and is supported by numerous 'clear Scriptures'. I wish Matthew would explain his view with Scripture support.

Jazzycat

May 10, 2006 4:34 PM


Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...
Mark, if the church is united by the work of Christ and by the baptism of the Holy Ghost atr Pentecost, then surely it was not united before those events.

If the church was not united, then it was no church at all, for the word means to gather.

Hence, regardless of whether God has one plan or 20 separate plans, then there was no church before Pentecost.

Did the church exist before Pentecost and if it did, in on what basis was its gathering?

We all agree that Christians are the seed of Abraham, but you have not proven that being the seed of Abraham makes one part of the church.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

May 11, 2006 9:19 AM


bluecollar said...
Matthew,

To answer part of your question I will repeat something I said earlier: "Matthew: In answer to your question I look at Deut. 4:10, as does Wayne Grudem. He points out here that the word "Gather" here is the Heb. qahal, where the Septuagint uses ekklesiazo- "to summon an assembly," the verb that is cognate to the New Testament noun ekklesia,"church"."

I will couple that together with what I find in Galatians 7-29. The law shut us up and kept us under guard and led us to Christ as a school-master.

It is funny that you say that the burden of proof is on me. Remember, I once held to that view of the Israel/church distinction. Then my continued meditation upon Romans 11 eroded that view away into oblivian. I would say the burden of proof is on you instead.

May 12, 2006 3:51 AM


bluecollar said...
that was supposed to be Galatians 3:7-29

May 12, 2006 3:53 AM


Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...
Again, as I said with regard to our being the seed of Abraham, this is not the same as being the body of Christ.

In fact, I would say it is by far a more glorious and wondrous thing to be the body and bride of Christ.

We are only the body of Christ through His completed work and by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit which unites us. This is a NT reality that was a mystery in the OT (Eph 3:5).

With regard to gathering, yes there was gathering in the Old Testment. But this was the gathering of Israelites.

We are gathered as those who are united to Christ (Eph 2:6).

The truth of the body is connected to Christ's resurrection and ascension (Eph 1:20-23). You cannot have the Church on earth without Christ seated in glory in heaven as the risen Lord.

Your patience with me is awe-inspiring, Mark.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

May 12, 2006 7:53 AM

25 Comments:

Blogger bluecollar said...

Matthew: I would have to explain here by going the long way around.

When David's sin was uncovered by Nathan God told Nathan to tell David that his sin was forgiven. Was not Christ's future sacrifice the basis for God being able to forgive David?

When Jesus encountered those lowering that man down through the roof He told him that his sins were forgiven. Was not Christ's future sacrifice the basis of that forgiveness?

Christ is the "Lamb slain from the foundation of the world".

God has always had a plan to call a people to Himself, and it was all based on the sacrifice of Christ.

As I look in Ephesians 2:12 I see Paul saying to the Gentiles that they were once aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, but now they are brought near by the blood of Christ, verse 13. I see in these verses a continuation of a plan, not a new and separate begining.

Then Paul goes on to talk about the further unfolding of that plan in verses 2:14-19 of making one new man of Jews and Gentiles..."having broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity,that is the law of commandments contained in ordinances".

As I look at Ephesians 2:11-19 I can not help but see here an unfolding of a plan to bring Gentiles in to be "fellow citizens with the saints (the Jews Old and New Testament).

Now, Eph.2:19 talks of the church being built on the foundation of the Apostles and prophets...

In Matthew 16:18 Jesus says that upon Peter's statement "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God" that he would build His Church. I would agree with you that the building of His Church was yet future at this point. Here is where New Covenant Theology differs from Covenant Theology as many of them hold that the Old Testament saints are added to the church after the fact and that the church is just a part of the Olive tree mentioned in Romans 11, and not the whole tree. However,as I see in Acts 7:38 Stephen refers to the "congregation in the wilderness", speaking of the Old Testament saints or called out ones. I see where the New Cov. people are coming from so I am now torn between the two to be honest.

May 22, 2006 7:58 AM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Mark, do you believe that saints born during the Millennium will be part of the Church?

If so, will they be part of the Bride of Christ?

God Bless

Matthew

May 22, 2006 8:35 AM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

Matthew,I am unresolved on that matter. I have been wrestling with that question for a while. I have been also wrestling with whether or not that I belong in the Postmill camp; but then there is Revelation Chapter 20 to deal with. I can not answer your question. Sorry.

What are your thoughts on that question?

May 22, 2006 9:40 AM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

Remember though, that anybody who is saved is added to the Olive tree in Romans 11.

May 22, 2006 11:07 AM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Mark, those saved in the Millennium are certainly not part of the Church. The Bride of Christ is gathered at Christ's coming. The fulness of those saved in the Gentile dispensation are brought in.

Mark, why do you think that the Olive Tree represents the Church?

May 22, 2006 2:56 PM

 
Blogger Bhedr said...

I have to say Mark, that you are dead on. I understand your being torn. You have made the case well and supported it with solid scripture. I too have believed this way for quite some time now. In fact for me I actually see the New Covanent promised at the dawn of time and Christ fashioning for himself a bride as being the whole purpose for his creative/redemptive work.

Another thing that stongly supports our view is the end of Revelation in chapter 21 speaking of the New Jerusalem. Dispensationalist seperate this up, but clearly God brings it all out as one single body, one single home. Do you understand the implications of verses 12-14? WE have the twelve tribes of Israel named on the wall and the foundation of the city is the twelve Apostles. Selah. The tribe names on the walls are built on the Apostles foundation, which of course we know they stand as the Work of Christ. The Rock on which he would build the Church. I discovered this on my own..not by reading any system and in fact to the contrary I was raised to believe more so of Matthews system.

I am a New Covanent believer. The law of Moses which came later did not ratify it but merely brought to the surface the intended work of Christ. Ephesians 2:11-18

Now let me close with these verses of Davids hope who came before yet was clearly after as he said YHVH said to my Adonai:

"I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things for the churches. I am the *root* and the *descendent* of David, the bright and morning star."(He is the root, yet is the descendent)

"The Spirit and the Bride say "Come" And let the one who *hears* say, "Come" And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price." Revelation 22:16-17


Wayne Grudem appears to get dangerously close to the truth and I don't know much about him, but I am not in concert with Federal Theology which clothes Christ with the Mosaic Law. That is where I differ strongly. He came from Judah and Moses spoke nothing of Judah, thus the link to the Mosaic law is missing.

May 22, 2006 5:32 PM

 
Blogger Bhedr said...

Aggh! Away with all these legalistic systems. My heart can hardly bear the attempts of man to seize what a beautiful Hope we now have in the Finished Work and the Person of Christ.

"Rise up my love, my beautiful love, and come away with me!"

May 22, 2006 5:35 PM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Brian, it is clear from Rev 21 that not all of those in the eternal state inhabit the New Jerusalem. We see nations who live in the light of it, but who do not actually live in it. These are the earthly Millennial nations who will experience the earthly blessings of God's promises. They include the Israel of the Millennial period, whose descendents will inhabit the land of promise eternally.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

May 23, 2006 3:43 AM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

Brian: I see where you are coming from.

As I look at Ephesians 2:20-22 I see the ultimate plan of God for mankind this side of the eternal state.

" having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone,
in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord,
in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit."

This to me seems like the ultimate plan of God for mankind from the outset - as I said, on this side of the eternal state. It was what was prophesied about in the prophets, the New Covenant, Jeremiah 31:31-34; Ezekiel 36:25-28. Jesus said,"this is the new covenant in My blood..." In John 4 Jesus said that the Father was seeking those who would worship Him in Spirit and truth.

Back to Eph. 2:20-22; this is God's prize,His ultimate plan. I cannot see where in scripture God has any other plan for mankind on this side of the eternal state.

May 23, 2006 7:01 AM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

Matthew: Any Jewish person saved from Abraham to the very last to be saved is part of the Olive tree. The church is at least part of, if not the whole Olive Tree. The Olive Tree represents a one people of God, His plan being to call to Himself a people from among the rebellious, hostile and unregenerate human race.

As I see Ephesians 2:11-22 there is no teaching of two people of God. That is nowhere in the Bible.

Of the church, the one people of God, it is written, "you also as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ." and also, "But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;". 1 Peter 2:5-9.

Matthew,there is only one people of God, not two. The people mentioned in the above verse, us, are an extension of Old Testament Israel, not separate from it or instead of it, but an extension of it.

May 23, 2006 7:31 AM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Mark, thankyou for that answer.

So it seems you do not identify the Olive Tree as the Church and you do not necessarilly regard Israel and the Church as being the same thing.

I understand the Olive Tree to be the sphere of God;s blessing and privilege, which the Gentiles have been brought into.

Through faith we are the seed of Abraham. As Abraham beleived God and was justified by faith, so is the believing Gentile.

However, the Bible refers to different seeds of Abraham. There is Christ, who is the seed of Abraham (Galatians 3:16) and the physical descendants of Israel. Thus, it is not a certain conclusion that saved Gentiles are the seed of Agraham in the same way as Israel.

The promise of justification (Gen 15:6, Gal 3:6) was not one of the terms of the Abrahamic Covenant, but was personal to Abraham and communicated separately from the Covenant.

If we look at the terms of the Abrahamic Covenant in Genesis 17, it is clear that it relates only to the physical descendants of Abraham who are circumcised. It is a promise of eternal inheritance of land.

Paul does not in any way indicate that saved Gentiles are parties to the Abrahamic Covenant. If he did, it would have violated the very meaning of that Covenant.

Thus, though Jews are saved in the same way as Gentiles, by faith; Israel as a nation has collectively an inheritance that is altogether different from that of the Church. The Church has its inheritance in heaven (1 Peter 1:4), while Israel has its portion on earth, in the land of promise.

On this basis, I cannot see that Israel and the Church have the same relationship with God, though Jews saved in this dispensation are brought nigh into the Church and into God's heavenly blessings.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

May 23, 2006 10:10 AM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

"Back to Eph. 2:20-22; this is God's prize,His ultimate plan. I cannot see where in scripture God has any other plan for mankind on this side of the eternal state."

Certainly, the Church is at the heart of God's plans though it was kept hidden and secret.

However, God has other plans. The establishment of a New Earth, in which the nations will receive physical blessings. The complete restoration of Creation.

There is also God's plan for Israel. God can never forget His promise to bless Israel in the land of Canaan. These are quite distinct from God's plan for the Church.

"It was what was prophesied about in the prophets, the New Covenant, Jeremiah 31:31-34; Ezekiel 36:25-28."

Both of those passages refer to Israel in the land of Canaan. They say abosolutely nothing about the Gentiles. One must depart completley from literal interpretation in order to make them prophecies about the Church.

It is true that the Church receives some of the spiritual aspects of these promises, but that is not the subject of prophecy. Rather it is a mystery application of it. Something hidden in God's own deep counsels.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

May 23, 2006 10:21 AM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

Matthew: I thank you for responding!

Yes, I do identify the olive tree with the church. Covenant Theology and New Covenant Theology are similar here; the former saying that the olive tree is the church, and the later saying the church is part of the olive tree. I personally hover nearer covenant theology here, though, even though I am near to embracing New Cov. Theology.

My observance of New Covenant Theology (NCT) started in 2002. Since then I have been looking to see if I can fully embrace it. Many of my church mates have a problem with me here. However,I must follow what I see in the Bible for myself.

One day back then I was having an email discussion about NCT with a friend - yes, I typed even slower then, which is why I was glad to give typing up for 3 years before I entered blogdom - and it was a Saturday night. He told me that he wanted to talk to me about this after service the next day. Well, after service I went down stairs to talk, and there he was... with 4 other men. Needless to say I was ganged up on, and some of those guys were angry. They were more from the Progressive Dispensation (PD) position. I stood my ground though.

Since 2002 my eschatological positions are experiencing a complete over-haul. I am in a state of transition. I am now even looking at Postmill and even Amill, which would put me in a bad position with the Westminster Confession.

I can not escape my observation that Ephesians 2:20-22 is the realization of God's ultimate plan for mankind this side of the eternal state. If your position were the correct one - and I say this with the deepest respect - then the New Testament would have taught it, it being the final voice of God through Christ and His servants by the Holy Spirit. As I had tried to explain earlier in my appeal to 1Peter 2:5-9 I see that what the New Testament saints are experiencing is the extension of Israel, not its replacement. There is only one people of God. Yes, I believe Romans 11 teaches that God will once again do a mighty work in bringing many a Jewish person in Israel to their Messiah. What a glorious day that will be.

Matthew,do you believe that there are 2 New Covenants? I see that PD teachers have no problem including Gentiles in the Jeremiah 31 and Ezekiel 36 passages.

May 23, 2006 11:44 AM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

Matthew, You say,"However, the Bible refers to different seeds of Abraham. There is Christ, who is the seed of Abraham (Galatians 3:16) and the physical descendants of Israel. Thus, it is not a certain conclusion that saved Gentiles are the seed of Agraham in the same way as Israel."

I disagree here.The language of Galatians 3:6-16 is pretty conclusive here. Only those who are of faith,Jews and Gentiles, are sons of Abraham. And the promise of "In you all the nations shall be blessed" has its fulfillment here and only here.

In my new NCT hermaneutic I use the New Testament to interpret the Old. Therefore, if I do not find it taught in the New Testament I can not incorporate it into my belief system.

BTW, this post will stay up until YOU say that we are done.

May 23, 2006 12:13 PM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

"I am now even looking at Postmill and even Amill, which would put me in a bad position with the Westminster Confession."

I do not think Westminister takes a position on the Millennium. Most of those who drew it up would have been Postmill, I believe.

"Yes, I believe Romans 11 teaches that God will once again do a mighty work in bringing many a Jewish person in Israel to their Messiah. What a glorious day that will be."

Right. So, we need to look at what the Scriptures say about their conversion.

Romans 11:26 seems to identify the time of the Israek's final national conversion with the appearing of Christ. Zechariah 12:10 supports this conclusion.

Hence, Israel is saved after the rapture and after the Bride of Christ has been gathered. They are not incorporated into the Church, but remain on earth to experience the earthly blessings promised to them in the Old Testament.

God's dealings with them are of a quite different nature to those of the Church. Hence, it is quite unhelpful to treat them as being the people of God in the same way.

No, I do not believe in two New Covenants. I believe that the spiritual aspects of the New Covenant are mediated to the Christian through Christ, but the Christian is not a party to the New Covenant.

"I disagree here.The language of Galatians 3:6-16 is pretty conclusive here. Only those who are of faith,Jews and Gentiles, are sons of Abraham. And the promise of "In you all the nations shall be blessed" has its fulfillment here and only here."

Paul does not apply any of the terms of the Abrahamic Covenant to Gentiles. 'In you shall all the nations be blessed' is not a term of the Covenant. It is a quite distinct promise relating to Christ and those in Him. Surely, you agree that Christ is the seed of Abraham in a distinct way?

That Christ and those of faith are the seed of Abraham does not negate the definite application of the Covenant to Abraham's physical descendants. We can expect God to mean what He says.

"In my new NCT hermaneutic I use the New Testament to interpret the Old. Therefore, if I do not find it taught in the New Testament I can not incorporate it into my belief system."

The problem with this approach is that there is no particular verse in the New Testament that explains how to interpret the Old Testament. What one must do in order to take that approach is build up a speculative system of how the NT authors understood the OT. However, we have only a small portion of the OT interpreted in the NT.

The Dispensational approach instead assumes that the OT is meaningful in its own grammatical context and does not need some spiritualizing hermeneutic applied to it. It examines the OT in its immediate context and does not insert some speculative meaning into the text.

In order to take the approach that you favour, Mark, you will have to interpret vast portions of OT passages in a sense that deviates from its plain, literal meaning.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

May 23, 2006 2:25 PM

 
Blogger Gayla said...

You guys are over my head. LOL But I'm reading...

May 23, 2006 4:22 PM

 
Blogger Bhedr said...

Mark,

You are right. This is the only interpretation I can agree with. I need to actually now read some NCT books. Do you recommend any? I don't see how there can be any other way. The Lord bless you in your seeking truth first via the word and Holy Spirit. I do see nuances that seem to surface in Covanental Theology that I agree with. Voss seemed to understand much, but then I have found some other stuff that I couldn't embrace. I guess at the end of the day...all we need is The Word. I still would be interested in getting a book and examining their thoughts. Ephesians 2:20-22 is solid evidence. I don't see how it can be overlooked and it also seems to reconfirm what I saw in Revelation 21

May 23, 2006 6:16 PM

 
Blogger Bhedr said...

Also this was stated by God at the dawn of time:

"Therefore man shall leave his father and cleave to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh."

Jesus reinforced it in the New Testement and Paul does as well in continuance in Ephesians 5:31

then he says:

"This mystery{hello! Clap Clap did he say mystery?} is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church." v. 32

This is one reason I am not fully a Calvinist and can see where Bobby Grows position on Affective Theology. In fact I think Satan will use any vice he can to get us husbands to not see that this is the whole plan and that interwoven in the Song of Songs is love one has for his wife with reflections of Christ and his bride. Not the sensual stuff. That is for our spouses, but there are reflections of Christs love. Some theologians say the interpretation of Song of Songs is either or, but I see both involed.

Really, I think this keeps many a Calvinist sometimes from seeing how priceless his wife is...not all of them, but I just believed if they saw this as the whole point of Redemption, then they as well as all of us would see why God hates divorce so much. I don't mean to step on any toes if any of you are divorced. That is not my intention, my point is just to show the tremendous love of God and his purpose in seeking a bride for himself to the point of death, and loving that which hated Him. It is really Amazing when you think about it. Therefore I cannot see how you can divide His work up..as you said Mark...this side of the eternal state.

May 23, 2006 6:26 PM

 
Blogger Bhedr said...

These systems of theology that divide up the Bride seem also to not understand fully what Christ says here in the same manner the Pharisees could not see it. Go read Luke 5:33-38

May 23, 2006 6:30 PM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

"I am now even looking at Postmill and even Amill, which would put me in a bad position with the Westminster Confession."

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

Matthew, I do not have my copy of "The Westminster" with me right now, but the last I looked I remember that they would not consider the "Amill" worthy of address.
--------------

I do not think Westminister takes a position on the Millennium. Most of those who drew it up would have been Postmill, I believe.

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

Matthew, those who drew up the Westminster would have hated me as a Baptist. Just very interesting.-------------------

"Yes, I believe Romans 11 teaches that God will once again do a mighty work in bringing many a Jewish person in Israel to their Messiah. What a glorious day that will be."

Right. So, we need to look at what the Scriptures say about their conversion.

Romans 11:26 seems to identify the time of the Israek's final national conversion with the appearing of Christ. Zechariah 12:10 supports this conclusion.

Hence, Israel is saved after the rapture and after the Bride of Christ has been gathered. They are not incorporated into the Church, but remain on earth to experience the earthly blessings promised to them in the Old Testament.

God's dealings with them are of a quite different nature to those of the Church. Hence, it is quite unhelpful to treat them as being the people of God in the same way.

---------------
Matthew, I see in Romans 11:23-24 that these, the people who come in during that great work of God, will be grafted back into their own tree.
---------------

No, I do not believe in two New Covenants. I believe that the spiritual aspects of the New Covenant are mediated to the Christian through Christ, but the Christian is not a party to the New Covenant.

--------------
Matthew, with all due respect, is that not double speak?
-----------

"I disagree here.The language of Galatians 3:6-16 is pretty conclusive here. Only those who are of faith,Jews and Gentiles, are sons of Abraham. And the promise of "In you all the nations shall be blessed" has its fulfillment here and only here."

Paul does not apply any of the terms of the Abrahamic Covenant to Gentiles. 'In you shall all the nations be blessed' is not a term of the Covenant. It is a quite distinct promise relating to Christ and those in Him. Surely, you agree that Christ is the seed of Abraham in a distinct way?

That Christ and those of faith are the seed of Abraham does not negate the definite application of the Covenant to Abraham's physical descendants. We can expect God to mean what He says.
-------------
Matthew,What I see in Romans 11:19-22 these branches were broken off due to unbelief, leaving only the believing Jews, the true sons of Abraham, being together with those who would believe later - us and the great future work of God.
--------------

"In my new NCT hermaneutic I use the New Testament to interpret the Old. Therefore, if I do not find it taught in the New Testament I can not incorporate it into my belief system."

The problem with this approach is that there is no particular verse in the New Testament that explains how to interpret the Old Testament. What one must do in order to take that approach is build up a speculative system of how the NT authors understood the OT. However, we have only a small portion of the OT interpreted in the NT.

--------------
Matthew, when we go about to expound on any of the New Testament scriptures, including those places where Old Testament verses are quoted, the immediate context of those verses, plus a comparison with other New Testament scriptures gives us the meaning of those verses. Hense,the New Testament authors spell out the Old Testament meanings.

I see the New Testament as the apex of God's revelation of Himself. In the words of NCT proponent Tom Wells, "In the NT we have the latest (and, indeed, the final) essential revelation of God for the church age, the age in which we live." and, "NT revelation, due to its finality, must be allowed to speak first on every issue that it addresses...the NT holds logical prioity over the rest in determining theological questions upon which it speaks."

I see that in the Dispensational approach that alot of speculation comes into play as well. That is why there is a difference between Classic Dispensationalists and the Progressives, one saying the church was a hidden mystery in the Old and the other saying no. I have noticed that Progressive's eschatology is more similar to New Cov. theology than is Classic. Why is that if speculation has not come into play, both in your approach as well as mine. No system can boast of being totally free from speculation. New Covenant Theology proponents,such as Fred Zaspel, openly admit that New Covenant Theology stands on the shoulders of both Covenant Theology and Progressive Dispensational Theology, in the hopes that the two can find common ground in the days ahead.
---------------


The Dispensational approach instead assumes that the OT is meaningful in its own grammatical context and does not need some spiritualizing hermeneutic applied to it. It examines the OT in its immediate context and does not insert some speculative meaning into the text.

In order to take the approach that you favour, Mark, you will have to interpret vast portions of OT passages in a sense that deviates from its plain, literal meaning.

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

I agree Matthew, it is an endeaver that must be approached with great care. However, as I said above, your system is open to vast amounts of speculation as well. If not then there would be more unanimity between Progressives and Classics, especially in regards to whether the church is a hidden mystery in the Old Testament.

Every Blessing in Christ

Mark

May 24, 2006 7:51 AM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

Brian: I find your honesty and transparency in trying to arive at what the Bible teaches very honorable. Thank you foryour contributions.

Mark

May 24, 2006 7:53 AM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

"Matthew, I see in Romans 11:23-24 that these, the people who come in during that great work of God, will be grafted back into their own tree."

The Olive Tree is not institutional, it is God's blessings not His people.

"I see the New Testament as the apex of God's revelation of Himself. In the words of NCT proponent Tom Wells, "In the NT we have the latest (and, indeed, the final) essential revelation of God for the church age, the age in which we live." and, "NT revelation, due to its finality, must be allowed to speak first on every issue that it addresses...the NT holds logical prioity over the rest in determining theological questions upon which it speaks."

The New Testament needs to be interpreted. In fact, how we interpret the OT affects how we interpret the NT. Therefore it is very unsound to assume that the basic meaning of OT prophecy can only be understood in the light of the NT. Until we understand the NT, we cannot use it to interpret the OT. And we need to use the OT in interpreting the NT.

The Dispensationalist begins from the assumption that the OT is the inspired word of God and can therefore be relied upon to yield its bascic grammatical meaning within its own context, unless the NT affirms a non-grammatical, non-literal meaning that is without dispute.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

May 24, 2006 12:55 PM

 
Blogger Bhedr said...

Thanks Mark, but I am going to sit back and read your thoughts, as I find myself constantly agreeing with you as well as learning that some of my own suspicions are being articulated out by you. You are kind of like unraveling a scroll that has been in my mind bound up...not always wanting to look because of some of my prejudicial teachings from the past. I will say however, that I am now more yeilded to this...in fact I find myself delighting in what you write. It all takes time brother. We all have to get past that intitial stage of being offended because some of our teachers may have been wrong. After that and when the pestles have been ground up more...soon the truth more easily reveals itself. I am enjoying this. I need to study some more on this before I talk more.

May 24, 2006 4:19 PM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

Matthew and Brian:
The book that provides the DESCRIPTION - DEFINITION - DEFENSE of New Covenant Theology is...
NEW COVENANT THEOLOGY By Tom Wells and Fred Zaspel, Copyright 2002 and is published by New Covenant Media.

Their reasoning is that Christ, being the Brightness of the Father's glory and the express image of His Person, is the supreme revelation of the Father. And since that event on the Mount of Transfiguration, when Moses and Elijah were speaking to Jesus about His mission to be accomplished in Jerusalem, suddenly the Father speaks and says' "This is My Beloved Son, Hear Him", at this point Moses and Elijah are no more to be found. Only Christ is there to be seen and heard. Christ is God's final, climactic self-disclosure. We have in Jesus Christ God's fullest-indeed, His final-revelation. God's chief ambassador to the world is no less than His own Son. He alone is to be seen and Heard.

In this system the New Testament is to be used to interpret the old.

Matthew, I can understand your concerns here. I respect you. This is a new system on the scene. It is still in developement, being worked on by Covenant Theologians as well as Progressive Dispensationalists. It is their hope that in the years to come the two schools can come together. The major proponents of this system realize that this system could take decades to completely develope. It is being worked on by people from completely different eschatological positions.

I am fascinated by this system though. The Lord willing, I shall buy more books on this system as they become available. I am watchfull to see if they come out with things I don't agree with. That is why I have not fully embraced it yet, even after 4 years of consideration. I am being watchfull, but so far I like what I see. I like the emphasis on the centrality of Christ, that He is the ultimate fulfillment of all the Old Testament Covenants. He alone is the object of our gaze. His word, spoken by He Himself, and by His Apostles, is the final authority. As we look at Him we see the Father. As we listen to Him we hear the Father. As we read the New Testament we see the Holy Spirit's testimony of Christ. As we look at Christ's words - the whole New Testament - we see His testimony of the Father. The Spirit testifies of Christ Who in turn testifies of the Father.

May 25, 2006 8:22 AM

 
Blogger Bhedr said...

Sounds Cool Mark. I'm struggling right now on that unity thing though. At what price and Jesus did say that He that gathereth not with me scattereth. It seems as though the opposite is being teached now. I don't know. Somehow we do need to strive for unity.

May 26, 2006 10:02 PM

 

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