Observations from the back row of the 2010 Council on Dispensational Hermeneutics

The third Council on Dispensational Hermeneutics was held on September 22-23, 2010 at the Baptist Bible Seminary in Clarks Summit, PA. There were approximately forty council members and nearly that many observers.

The council members present were not introduced to the observers although they did have nameplates at their tables. The council members sat at tables facing the speaker’s podium and the observers sat in (uncomfortable) chairs behind them. Casual observation revealed members (all male) from Faith Bible Baptist College and Seminary, Dallas Theological Seminary, Grace College and Seminary, Friends of Israel, Grace School of Theology, Central Baptist Theological Seminary, Maranatha Baptist Bible College and Seminary, Tyndale Theological Seminary, Western Seminary, The Master’s Seminary, Word of Life Bible Institute, the Pre-Trib Research Center, Shasta Bible College, College of Biblical Studies and of course the host seminary. Several pastors were also on the council.

The theme was “Dispensationalism, Language, and Scripture.” Over the two days, ten papers were presented. Each presenter had thirty minutes to read his paper, and an hour of discussion followed each. Attendees were each given CDs containing .pdf files of the presentations. No hard copies of the papers were distributed. As the presenters read each paper, the text was projected on a screen behind them.

Papers averaged about twenty-five pages in length. Some presenters had to skip sections to stay within the time limit. Although they realized the difficulty of controling information in our digital age, two of the presenters asked that their material not be widely disseminated because of soon to be published books containing the information. The materials from the previous council meetings are available online (http://www.bbc.edu/council/), and I assume this years’ will eventually be also.

Dr. Mike Stallard, Dean of the seminary and a member of the steering committee, moderated the meeting. Dr. Stallard also presented two papers and read a paper from Dr. Mal Couch, who could not attend for health reasons. Dr. Stallard also gave each of the attendees a copy of his recently published commentary on 1 & 2 Thessalonians. We were also given a CD containing files from the Barndollar Lecture Series, which occurred at the college the same week. The theme was the “History of the Doctrine of the Rapture,” and the speaker was Dr. Thomas Ice.

As I expected, this was a technical gathering. Most of the observers (excluding myself) had advanced degrees. Many had PhDs or were working on them. It is good for a pastor’s ego to occasionally be the dumbest guy in the room. Although some of the presentations and discussions were over my head, I enjoyed them and benefited from them. It was good to be exposed to the scholarly side of dispensationalism.

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What about the New Covenant?

If memory serves correctly, didn't they agree last year that this year they would be working on coming to a dispensational consensus regarding the fulfillment of the New Covenant? Did they say anything about it?

Faith is obeying when you can't even imagine how things might turn out right.

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Council meeting

We observers (non-council members) were only present for the readings. I am assuming there were other meetings and discussions that we were not privy to.

Greg Wilson

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New Covenant

Carpenter,

There will never be real consensus on the issue of the New Covenant. I do know that a book is in the works from a strictly classical dispensational perspective on three views of the NC...

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Never?

Well, "never" is a pretty long time. Sometimes common enemies can bring previously contentious positions together.

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Exciting

This conference offers a fantastic opportunity for dispensationalists. I hope to be there next year.

The views I express are purely my own. However, I am happy to promote the great ministries with which I work: I minister for www.SermonAudio.com/Whitcomb. I do freelance writing for www.RegularBaptistPress.org. I speak through www.IMISOS.org.

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Never?

Never is just too long. I realize that there are a bunch of people a lot smarter than me working on this, but from my seat it seems like the New Covenant is the piece that won't fit the dispensational puzzle. Or to put it another way, I don't see how dispensationalism can be seen as a cohesive and contiguous system of theology and interpretation without a consensus on this point. The fact that dispensationalists themselves can't agree on where to put it seems to be a weakness of the entire system. I can agree on many of the salient points, but their are other schema out there claiming integrity that hold to those other points - doxological approach, difference between Israel and church, literal herm., etc.

Of course, depending upon where the New Covenant ends up, it just might open up a new round of cessationist debates. That should be fun.

Personally, I'm disappointed if they didn't address this. I was really hoping they'd come up with something.

Faith is obeying when you can't even imagine how things might turn out right.

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What's so hard about the New Covenant?

The consensus among most dispensationalists I know is that it is a covenant with Israel -- just like Jeremiah and Ezekiel said. Not sure why it would break apart dispensationalism. That IS dispensationalism...the church is not Israel.

The views I express are purely my own. However, I am happy to promote the great ministries with which I work: I minister for www.SermonAudio.com/Whitcomb. I do freelance writing for www.RegularBaptistPress.org. I speak through www.IMISOS.org.

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Consensus

I don't know anyone who disagrees that the New Covenant was made with Israel. However, there seems to be a wide range of opinions regarding the degree of the church's participation in the New Covenant, if any. Does the role of the Spirit in the life of the believer have nothing to do with the NC? What is Paul's hermeneutic in 2 Cor. 3? (I've read some pretty strained exegesis on that one.) Does much of Hebrews have no direct relevance to Gentile Christians? If Christ fulfilled the Old Covenant and is the mediator of the New Covenant, how do those who are in Christ (in whom there is neither Jew nor Gentile) participate in the blessings of the latter?

I don't intend to debate an answer to these questions, but to maintain consistency, a dispensational system should have an answer. But that's just my opinion. It doesn't seem to bother too many other people.

Faith is obeying when you can't even imagine how things might turn out right.

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Don't disagree

A -- I do not disagree with you. However, I think the "problem" passages in the NT get resolved pretty quickly upon closer inspection from a dispensational persepective.
Yes, there are several views that are accepted among traditional dispensationalists. My own view is that the church simply has no relation to the NC, although we do receive blessings similar to those that Israel will receive from the NC, and these are all based in the same source -- the death of Christ.
It might be difficult to implement some type of "political" consensus among all professing dispensationalists, I agree, but I am not going to lose any sleep over it. My view is the same as Darby's -- so I think I am in the mainstream of historic dispensationalism.
(DTS really opened this can of worms back in the early decades of the 20th century with its two NC view -- but that has long since passed from the scene.)

The views I express are purely my own. However, I am happy to promote the great ministries with which I work: I minister for www.SermonAudio.com/Whitcomb. I do freelance writing for www.RegularBaptistPress.org. I speak through www.IMISOS.org.

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Probably redundant, but...

...I'll say it anyway.

Quote:
I don't see how dispensationalism can be seen as a cohesive and contiguous system of theology and interpretation without a consensus on this point.

In reality what we currently have in disp. is two or three options on how all the particulars of the NC relate to non Jews, the church, etc.
Though there is not agreement on all of those particulars, only one solution is needed to make a cohesive/self-consistent system. And we have several so... it's covered.

(What I mean is, it's kind of like having multiple alibis. The detective says where were you the night of Mr.X's murder? I can answer that a receipt shows i was out of town, an eye witness says I was out of town, and a phone record says I was out of town. Some think the receipt is forged and others think the eye witness is a kook. Another claims someone else used my phone. But I have three alibis to work with... my chances for "reasonable doubt" are pretty good).

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New Covenant & Dr. Decker

Perhaps this may be helpful to some.

http://www.bbc.edu/council/documents/New_Covenant_CDH_08.pdf

It is apparently a revision of the paper presented at that council.

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The New Covenant Is Not In Operation Today

A. Carpenter wrote:
If memory serves correctly, didn't they agree last year that this year they would be working on coming to a dispensational consensus regarding the fulfillment of the New Covenant? Did they say anything about it?

I believe that the issue of the New Covenant was the subject of discussion at the 2009 Council.

However, I would like to defend the position of the early dispensationalists when they taught that Christians do not partake of the New Covenant promised to the nation of Israel. In fact, according to Paul the fulfillment of that covenant remains in the future:

"And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins" (Ro.11:26-27).

Let us look at the conditions which will prevail at the time when the "everlasting covenant" is in force:

"Give ear and come to me; hear me, that your soul may live. I will make an everlasting covenant with you...Surely you will summon nations you know not, and nations that do not know you will hasten to you, because of the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, for he has endowed you with splendor" (Isa.55:3,5).

Certainly this does not describe what is happening at the present time.

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Aaron Blumer wrote: ...I'll

Aaron Blumer wrote:
...I'll say it anyway.
Quote:
I don't see how dispensationalism can be seen as a cohesive and contiguous system of theology and interpretation without a consensus on this point.

In reality what we currently have in disp. is two or three options on how all the particulars of the NC relate to non Jews, the church, etc.
Though there is not agreement on all of those particulars, only one solution is needed to make a cohesive/self-consistent system. And we have several so... it's covered.

(What I mean is, it's kind of like having multiple alibis. The detective says where were you the night of Mr.X's murder? I can answer that a receipt shows i was out of town, an eye witness says I was out of town, and a phone record says I was out of town. Some think the receipt is forged and others think the eye witness is a kook. Another claims someone else used my phone. But I have three alibis to work with... my chances for "reasonable doubt" are pretty good).

Well, I suppose this works if all you're aiming for is a negative answer - so dispensationalists agree on what the NC isn't. That's barely helpful if you're trying to understand what it is. I certainly need to do more reading on this, but it seems that each proposition has to arrange the other pieces of the system differently in order to make it work. And that must have hermeneutical ramifications, which, if taken through the exegetical spiral, may produce different results within the rest of the system. Different aspects are given different weight and priority, and I am curious as to what effect the fitting of the NC may have on the rest of the system.

Let me put it this way - because the NC seems to be one of the more difficult questions of the system, it comes at the end of the process. I want to know what happens when you make it fit, and then go through the process again, applying whatever principles you used to allow it to fit the first time around. The fact that different dispensationalists come up with different proposals shows that they are using different hermeneutics at that point. Allow the NC to fit itself into the puzzle, and then use those hermeneutics throughout the system. My guess is that you will come up with different dispensationalisms.

Case in point - the position that sees absolutely no participation of the church in the NC. What hermeneutics are they using to arrive at that conclusion? Obviously they see an utter disconnect between Israel and the Church. So then, how do some dispensationalists, who also affirm the disconnect, see any participation? If you allow some participation and then work that hermeneutic through the whole system, will you come up with the same disconnect? I doubt it, and probably so do those dispensationalists who see no participation. Personally, I believe that no participation is consistent with the disconnect, but I'm not sure it's consistent with Scripture, and so I begin to question the disconnect as I work it through the rest of the system.

I don't think that it's the same thing as having different alibis. If 3 people tell me you weren't there but can't agree on where you were, I'm going to start suspecting your witnesses.

Faith is obeying when you can't even imagine how things might turn out right.

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Jack Hampton wrote: A.

Jack Hampton wrote:
A. Carpenter wrote:
If memory serves correctly, didn't they agree last year that this year they would be working on coming to a dispensational consensus regarding the fulfillment of the New Covenant? Did they say anything about it?

I believe that the issue of the New Covenant was the subject of discussion at the 2009 Council.

I see that now. Yes, you are right, they discussed that in 2009. (Apparently, I'm missing a year! Scary.) I look forward to reading their materials. Likely they will deal with some of the things I've been talking about here. Thank you for your patience.

Faith is obeying when you can't even imagine how things might turn out right.

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The New Covenant is Corporate in Nature

A. Carpenter wrote:
Yes, you are right, they discussed that in 2009. (Apparently, I'm missing a year! Scary.) I look forward to reading their materials. Likely they will deal with some of the things I've been talking about here. Thank you for your patience.

Here is a link which will take to all the papers presented at the 2009 Council on Dispensational Hermeneutics:

http://www.bbc.edu/council/related_materials.asp

One of those papers was presented by John Master and he made a very important observation about the text in the OT which relates to the New Covenant:

"The context of the text relates to corporate Israel and not simply to individuals per se. It is dealing with national transformation not simply individual regeneration"[emphasis added ] (John Master, New Covenant Considerations, Sept., 2009; Presented at the 2009 Council on Dispensational Hermeneutics).

This is a fact that most people overlook. Individual Jews were being saved and having their sins forgiven before the Cross (Luke 7:48-50) even though it was to be the New Covenant promised to Israel which was to provide for a "forgiveness of sins" (Jer.31:34). Since individuals were receiving the forgiveness of sins prior to the ratification of the New Covenant it is obvious that the New Covenant applied to corporate Israel.

Rodney J. Decker writes that "the parties of the New Covenant are God and Israel. 'I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah' (Jer. 31:31). The promise speaks of one covenant and one people, even though the nation was divided and the Northern Kingdom was exiled at the time of this prophecy. The covenant anticipates a reunited and restored Israel as a national entity. This same theme is reiterated in verse 33: 'they will be my people' (singular). The covenant is not promised to any other group or nation. The Old Testament is unanimous in stating that the New Covenant will be made with Israel" [emphasis added ] (Decker, "The Church's Relationship to the New Covenant," Bibliotheca Sacra 152 [July-September 1995 ]: p.294).

There is a lot more evidence that the New Covenant is corporate in nature.

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End of Dispensationalism?

I wish that every other system of theology would be put through this type of scrutiny. Holes in theological systems are part of the nature of theological systems. There are no exceptions to this, I would venture to say. Did anyone in Israel really understand that the Messiah would be God the Son before Jesus was born? No system of theology will be able to set all the promises of God about the future in perfect order. We are however urged by Him to do as well as we can (Rev. 1:3). One of the people involved in the recent debate about the issue of the New Covenant is a close friend of mine. We are both Ph.Ds, we are poles apart on this issue, but both dispensationilists. Neither of us has our heads in the sand. We are both quite active in Bible exegesis in the original languages. My friend argues for the logical conclusions of Israel is not the church (I also am thoroughly convinced that Israel is not the Church). But after quoting "This cup is the New Covenant of my blood, which is shed for the sins of many," at hundreds of communion services, it is hard for me to believe this is not literally for Gentile, as well as Jewish Christians of this age. I find that when interpretation makes Bibel statements become very complex to explain, and to say what they do not appear to say, something is wrong with the interpretation: regardless of the system. Dispensationalism occasionally has that problem. Covenant theology has to resort to this method continually.

Jeff Brown

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Not Sent But Unto the Lost Sheep of Israel

Jeff Brown wrote:
My friend argues for the logical conclusions of Israel is not the church (I also am thoroughly convinced that Israel is not the Church). But after quoting "This cup is the New Covenant of my blood, which is shed for the sins of many," at hundreds of communion services, it is hard for me to believe this is not literally for Gentile, as well as Jewish Christians of this age.

Hi Jeff,

Since the Lord spoke of His death in regard to a New Diatheke as being for "many" and not for "all" it appears to me that the reference was strictly in regard to the party to which the Daitheke was made--the nation of Israel.

This idea is confirmed by the words of the Lord Jesus here:

"I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel" (Mt.25:14).

In the following verse we also see that according to prophecy the blessings which will enjoyed by the nation of Israel will be based on "promise" (the diatheke of promise, specifically the New Diatheke promised to that nation) while the blessings which will be enjoyed by the Gentiles will not be according to "promise" but instead according to "mercy":

"Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers: And that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy" (Ro.15:8-9).

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Jesus Blood shed for Israel

Hi Jack,

If Jesus meant that the cup represents only the blood that he shed for Israel, shouldn't we be instructing Christians that way? In fact, I have never heard this kind of instruction. Instead, I have heard the prayers of literally hundreds of Christians who have rejoiced that they can celebrate Jesus' demonstration of his love for them through the cup. Of all historical explanations I have read about communion, I don't recall any which made this kind of definition, namely, that when you partake of the bread and the cup, that you are celebrating for Israel in the future, but not for anything which has transpired in yourselves (I do not mean to say that I have read everything). Do you mean then, that nearly all Christians throughout history (not just those who celebrate the Mass) have never gotten the meaning of communion right? Are you saying that at communion, we need to tell Gentile believers: "You are not saved by the blood of any covenant?"

I would expect that if what you say is correct, that Paul would have made this plain to the believers in Corinth (who were not all Jewish). He certainly explained the theological meaning in 1 Corinthians 11. Yet he never says, this is about a covenant with Israel only, not with any Gentiles.

Truly, "Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God to confirm the promises made to the fathers." But one of the promises was that the Gentiles would believe and revere the same Messiah. Because of this, Paul says further in Romans 15, the Gentiles rejoice, praise the Lord, and hope in the Messiah. All of this, but Jesus the Messiah never talked about dying for them? And Jesus is neither a minister to you or to me, but only to Israelites in the future? James, using the LXX translation (or else Luke puts it in his mouth) says that the belief of Gentiles upon Jesus is to be expected on the basis of Amos 9:11-12. This is, indeed a promise to the fathers of Israel. In fact, Israel longed for the great day when the Gentiles would be converted.

Is Jesus not a minister to you and to me? If He is a minister only to Israel, what was he doing healing the daughter of the Phonecian woman, or the servant of the Roman centurian, or why did he cast demons out of the maniac of Gadara? Why did he feed a large crowd of 4000 that included gentiles? Does Mark 10:45 mean that Jesus only came to die for Israelites but says nothing about Jesus' death for Gentiles? Does it then also mean, that Jesus only ministered to Israelites and thus this passage has no direct bearing on leadership in Gentile churches?

Well, obviously I did not discuss all of these things with my friend. We have not had enough time. So I am posing the questions I would otherwise pose to him -- in response to what you have written.

Jeff Brown

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To Be Testified in Due Time

Jeff Brown wrote:
If Jesus meant that the cup represents only the blood that he shed for Israel, shouldn't we be instructing Christians that way?

What we have here is progressive revelation. At the time of the Last Supper the Apostles would understand that the blood of the diatheke was only in regard to those to whom the New Diatheke was promised--the house of Israel. That is what they would understand when the Lord spoke of it being "for many." That is exactly what He said at the time he walked the earth:

"Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many" (Mt.20:28).

It was not until later that it was revealed that He gave Himself a ransom for "all":

"Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time" (1 Tim.2:6).

So the facts are clear that Christ gave Himself a ransom for "all" men but the "blood" of the New Diatheke applies to "many" but not "all." It only applies to those to whom the New Diatheke was promised--the house of Israel. And the Apostles would understand that His death represented the earnest or seal of Israel's New Diatheke. Charles Spurgeon said that "the blood is the symbol, the token, the earnest, the surety, the seal of the covenant" (Spurgeon, Sermon delivered on September 4th, 1859,#273).

Quote:
I don't recall any which made this kind of definition, namely, that when you partake of the bread and the cup, that you are celebrating for Israel in the future, but not for anything which has transpired in yourselves (I do not mean to say that I have read everything). Do you mean then, that nearly all Christians throughout history (not just those who celebrate the Mass) have never gotten the meaning of communion right?

It was only later after Paul was converted that a fuller understanding of the significance of the Lord Jesus' death upon the Cross was understood. Evidently Paul received a special revelation ("I have received of the Lord...") to give him a fuller understanding of the meaning of the Lord Jesus' words spoken on the eve of the Cross:

"For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you...For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes" (1 Cor.11:23; NIV).

In the upper room the blood of a New Covenant was set in the context of the kingdom, and that is clearly in reference to Israel's New Diatheke:

"...for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins. But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father's kingdom" (Mt.26:28-29).

Paul specifically ties communion to the Lord's return at the rapture and not to the kingdom--"you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes."

This is clear evidence that Paul's words in regard to the Lord's supper are not in regard to Israel's New Diatheke but instead is in regard to the New Diatheke which is in operation today. Further proof that Paul received a special revelation from the Lord in regard to this sacrament is found in his words here:

"When we bless the cup at the Lord's Table, aren't we sharing in the benefits of the blood of Christ? And when we break the loaf of bread, aren't we sharing in the benefits of the body of Christ? Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf" (1 Cor.10:16-17; NIV).

David K. Lowery writes that "the one loaf of bread, of which all partake, pictured their unity as members of the one body of Christ" (Walvoord & Zuck, The Bible Knowledge Commentary; New Testament [Colorado Springs: ChariotVictor Publishing, 1983 ], p.527).

The truths concerning the Body of Christ were not known until Paul was converted. Charles C. Ryrie said: "In the Upper Room that payment is clearly related to the future fulfillment of the new covenant. This is to be expected since those gathered there did not understand that there would even be an intervening church age" [emphasis added ] (Ryrie, Dispensationalism [Chicago: Moody Press, 1995 ], p.172).

H. A. Ironside states that "The twelve were, as we have seen, connected primarily with the testimony to Israel. Paul, as one born out of due time, was selected to be the messenger to the nations, announcing the distinctive truths of the present dispensation" [emphasis added ] (Ironside, Mysteries of God, [Neptune, N.J.: Loizeaux Brothers, 1938 ], p.74).

Quote:
Are you saying that at communion, we need to tell Gentile believers: "You are not saved by the blood of any covenant?"

Our blessings do not come from any covenant made with man but instead we inherit under the "Last Will and Testament" mentioned here:

"For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth" (Heb.9:16-17).

Quote:
Yet he never says, this is about a covenant with Israel only, not with any Gentiles.

The author of the book of Hebrews said the following in regard to the New Diatheke made with Israel:

"The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says: This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds...Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more" (Heb.10:16-17; NIV).

Here the author of Hebrews changes the wording of the verse from the O.T. that speaks of Israel's New Diatheke so that the Jewish Christians would not be left with the impression that the blessings of Israel's New Covenant were being applied to them.

The words from the OT which read "This is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel" (Jer.31:33) are changed to "this is the covenant that I will make with them."

So the author writes that "the Holy Spirit testifies to us...this is the covenant that I will make with them." If the Hebrew Christians partake of the New Diatheke promised to Israel then here woould be the perfect place for the author of Hebrews to tell them that. But he went out of his way to make it plain to them that that diatheke does not apply to them.

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Ironside's view

Jack,

Ironside does not appear to parse these passages like you do. He was not sympathetic with dividing between "testament" and "covenant." Note this one,

"The new covenant is the will of our blesseed Lord whereby He decrees that all who put their trust in Him should receive part in that eternal inheritance which He gladly shares with all believers. By His death this testament came into force." -- Harry Ironside on Hebrews 9:11-23

Jeff Brown

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"many" and "all"

Another point, Jack,

So when did God reveal that Jesus had actually died for more than just Israel? I certainly believe, like you, that a massive amount of church truth was first communicated to Jesus' disciples through Paul (cf. 2 Peter 3:16ff). Your answers, and your use of this truth, however, raise a lot more questions for me. What did Jesus mean when he said, "God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in him will have everlasting life." Are you saying that "world" meant Israel until Paul gave it another meaning?

In addition, on what basis did Jesus tell the people of Sychar (John 4) that they could receive the water of life if Paul had not yet revealed that Jesus had shed his blood for them also? Samaritans were not part of the covenant: circumcision or no circumcision. Jesus said that they did not know what they worshipped. Even when the Samaritans turned in great numbers to faith in Jesus (Acts 8), Paul had not yet had any revelation that Jews were saved by the blood of the covenant, whereas others are saved by the blood of the testament at the death of the testator. So how did the Samaritans celebrate communion? What in the world would Peter and John have told them, if they believed that the "many" who are saved by the blood of the New Covenant are only Israelites? Paul had not yet revealed that there is another communion related to the rapture for the sake of the Samaritans (I am arguing according to your interpretation. I am not at all convinced by it).

Take this a step further, how did the church at Antioch even celebrate communion before Paul got there a long time after its beginning? The church was planted by Christians who fled Jerusalem TO GET AWAY FROM Paul. If they all beleived that the "many" in Matthew 26: 28-29 was only Israelites, communion would have been a non-starter. How did the Jewish believers even evangelize in Antioch if they had not yet been informed by Paul that Jesus had actually died for all?

Jeff Brown

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Church history and the Lord's supper

Jack, I need to repeat a question, because you did not seem to understand what I meant. Let me rephrase it. Look through the confessions of faith throughout church history (Catholic and Protestant ones are enough) to see what they say about the meaning of the Lord's supper. They repeatedly reference the words of Jesus in the Gospels about the first celebration. So, I ask again, have nearly all genuine believers throughout the church age gotten this point wrong? For they repeatedly point to Jesus' words "This cup is the New Covenant in my blood," as referring to themselves (like Harry Ironside did).

Jeff Brown

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Last Will and Testament

Jeff Brown wrote:
So when did God reveal that Jesus had actually died for more than just Israel? I certainly believe, like you, that a massive amount of church truth was first communicated to Jesus' disciples through Paul (cf. 2 Peter 3:16ff).

I believe that the truth that the Lord Jesus gave Himself a ranson for all men was first revealed by Paul.
Quote:
Your answers, and your use of this truth, however, raise a lot more questions for me. What did Jesus mean when he said, "God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in him will have everlasting life." Are you saying that "world" meant Israel until Paul gave it another meaning?

It is obvious that the words you quoted are not the words of the Lord Jesus but instead the words of John. The book of john was not written until many years after John had learned these things from Paul. How do we know that the words are John's and not the Lord Jesus'? It is obvious here that John is writing:

"And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven" (Jn.3:13).

This is referring to what happened after the Lord Jesus was crucified so therefore these words are not set in the time period of the Nicodemus sermon which occured before the Cross. These words are clearly the words of John's.

Quote:
In addition, on what basis did Jesus tell the people of Sychar (John 4) that they could receive the water of life if Paul had not yet revealed that Jesus had shed his blood for them also?

The same basis that the Lord Jesus told the woman that her sins were forgiven and that her faith had saved her (Lk.7:48-50). She did not know at that time that He was to die. Even those closest to Him did not even know that He was to die until shortly before the Cross.
Quote:
Samaritans were not part of the covenant: circumcision or no circumcision. Jesus said that they did not know what they worshipped. Even when the Samaritans turned in great numbers to faith in Jesus (Acts 8), Paul had not yet had any revelation that Jews were saved by the blood of the covenant, whereas others are saved by the blood of the testament at the death of the testator. So how did the Samaritans celebrate communion?

Who says that anyone other than the Jewish believers celebrated communion or even felt the need to before Paul revealed the truths about communion?
Quote:
What in the world would Peter and John have told them, if they believed that the "many" who are saved by the blood of the New Covenant are only Israelites? Paul had not yet revealed that there is another communion related to the rapture for the sake of the Samaritans (I am arguing according to your interpretation. I am not at all convinced by it).

The gospel that was preached in the early Acts period was the testimony that it is Jesus Who is the Christ, the Son of God. And all who believed that truth were born of God (1 Jn.5:1-5).
Quote:
Take this a step further, how did the church at Antioch even celebrate communion before Paul got there a long time after its beginning? The church was planted by Christians who fled Jerusalem TO GET AWAY FROM Paul. If they all beleived that the "many" in Matthew 26: 28-29 was only Israelites, communion would have been a non-starter. How did the Jewish believers even evangelize in Antioch if they had not yet been informed by Paul that Jesus had actually died for all?

The early Gentile believers were what is called "proselytes at the gate," and they were saved by the same gospel by which another proselyete of the same type, Cornelius (see Acts 10:37). That was the same gospel that was preached by Peter on the day of Pentecost.
Quote:
Jack, I need to repeat a question, because you did not seem to understand what I meant. Let me rephrase it. Look through the confessions of faith throughout church history (Catholic and Protestant ones are enough) to see what they say about the meaning of the Lord's supper. They repeatedly reference the words of Jesus in the Gospels about the first celebration. So, I ask again, have nearly all genuine believers throughout the church age gotten this point wrong?

The meaning that Paul placed on the words "New Testament" here are the same meaning that he would put them at another place in his epistles:

"After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, this cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me" (1 Cor.11:25).

Surely the same meaning of the words "New Testament" is the same as the words here:

"Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament ; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life" (2 Cor.3:6; KJV).

From the immediate context we can see that the "ministry" to which Paul made reference is in regard to a "testament" and not to a "covenant":

"Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God. But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord" (2 Cor.4:1-4).

Paul's words "this ministry" are obviously pointing back to the "ministry" of 2 Cor.3:6 and it is evident that his words "this ministry" are in regard to the "manifestation of the truth," or preaching "Christ Jesus the Lord"-- "the glorious gospel of Christ."

In a commentary on 2 Corinthians 4:1 Homer Kent, Jr., writes that "'This ministry' to which he referred was the ministry of the new covenant (3:6). It was the task of proclaiming and teaching the gospel of Christ, the glorious news that sins have been forgiven through Christ's death" (Kent, "The Glory of Christian Ministry: An Analysis of 2 Corinthians 2:14 -4:18," Grace Theological Journal 2.2 [Fall 1981 ], p.181).

Matthew Henry believed that the "ministry" spoken of in these verses is in regard to preaching the gospel: "Here the apostle makes a comparison between the Old Testament and the New, the law of Moses and the gospel of Jesus Christ, and values himself and his fellow-labourers by this, that 'they were able ministers of the New Testament,' that God had made them...the Spirit of the gospel, going along with the ministry of the gospel, giveth life spiritual and life eternal...the gospel is the ministration of righteousness: therein the righteousness of God by faith is revealed. This shows us that the just shall live by his faith. This reveals the grace and mercy of God through Jesus Christ, for obtaining the remission of sins and eternal life. The gospel therefore so much exceeds in glory that in a manner it eclipses the glory of the legal dispensation" (Henry, Commentary of the Whole Bible; Volume VI [Grand Rapids: Christian Classics Ethereal Library 2000 ], 957).

At another place Paul states in no uncertain terms that his "ministry" is in regard to preaching the gospel:

"But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God" (Acts 20:24).

Do you believe that the New Testament which Paul refers to at 2 Corinthians 3:6 is the same as the New Covenant promised to the nation of Israel?

Quote:
Ironside does not appear to parse these passages like you do. He was not sympathetic with dividing between "testament" and "covenant." Note this one,
"The new covenant is the will of our blesseed Lord whereby He decrees that all who put their trust in Him should receive part in that eternal inheritance which He gladly shares with all believers. By His death this testament came into force."

It is unfortunate that Ironside was unable to distinguish between a "Last Will and Testament" and a Covenant. Here the author of Hebrews likens the daitheke to a "Last Will and Testament":

"For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth" (Heb.9:16-17).

That is the same meaning which Paul places on the word when he speaks of the New Testament at 2 Corinthians 3:6. Here the gospel can be understood in the sense of a "Last Will and Testament":

"But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus" (Ro.3:21-24).

Here we can understand that the inheritance of the will is the righteousness of God apart from law. Those who inherit this righteousness are "all those who believe." And as in all wills, it is the death of the testator that makes it all possible--through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus--redeemed by the precious blood of the Lamb.

The Christian becomes a heir and his inheritance is spelled out in a "Last Will and Testament." His inheritance does not come through a covenant made with man.

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Jack,

Yes, in answer to your question, I do believe that the New Testament and the New Covenant in 2 Corinthians 3:6 is all the same thing. The KJV no doubt was influenced in its translation by the Vulgate. The word is Novem Testamentum. But The Vulgate uses the same word to translate Matthew 26:28: Novum Testamentum, for the New Covenant of which Jesus speaks at the Lord's supper. Obviously the Vulgate looked at them as being the same. In Greek, 2 Corinthians 3:6 uses kaine diatheke, the same word used elsewhere in the New Testament for "New Covenant." German Bibles likewise use the word Bund for this passage, meaning "Covenant." I would guess that many translations other than English translate the same way. The NIV translates 2 Cor 3:6, "new covenant." It would be hard for a person just reading his Bible to come up with something different, than that Paul believed himself and other ministers with him to be ministers of the New Covenant. So yes, that is exactly what I believe.

By the way, David Lowrey, whom you cited earlier, also looks at 2 Cor 3:6 as referring to the New Covenant. Likewise, Homer Kent is rather adamant in his comments on Hebrews 9, that there is no difference between "covenant" and "testament." He says that since the New Covenant includes an inheritance, it requires a testament. That is the point of Heb 9:16-17.

Jeff Brown

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If I understand you correctly

Finally, Jack, I hope I have understood you correctly about communion in the New Testament and the Gospel about the death and resurrection of Christ.

1. You believe that no non-Jews were ever told that Christ died for them until God revealed it to Paul after his conversion. Thus, they were saved and received the Holy Spirit without ever knowing that any blood was shed on their behalf (although they knew from reading the Old Testament that there is no forgiveness without the shedding of blood - and although the promises to Israel by the prophets inherently taught that the Gentiles would be saved when the New Covenant came into force).

2. You believe that there is a difference between being saved through the New Covenant and being saved through mercy. (even though Hebrews 8:12 says about the New Covenant, "For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.")

3. You believe that there were no communion services held in Gentile churches until they heard from Paul that Christ had died for their sins also.

4. You believe that after Cornelius received the Holy Spirit and was baptized he became a proselyte of the gate (although this was a term in Judaism about Jewish faith, not Christian)

If I have understood you correctly, Jack, then I have to say that I cannot in any sense accept what you are saying. The Gospel, according to Paul, included in its core the pronouncement that "Christ died for our sins." There is no indication anywhere in Scripture that the Gospel at any time changed: either before or after Paul's conversion. If Gentiles who were saved before they were taught by Paul, then of course they were saved without the preaching of the Gospel. The apostles and the early disciples were told to be witnesses to all nations: "it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, begining at Jerusalem." (Luke 24:46). It runs completely counter to the content of the Gospel, that any can be saved without believing that Christ shed his blood for them. It is counter to the New Testament, that anyone can be saved apart from the Gospel.

I will let you have the last word, Jack. And I will read what you say. I will not write any more on this topic. The more you explain yourself, the more you confirm me in my belief that from the time of the ascension of Christ to heaven, all men: Jews and Gentiles, have always been saved because they believed that Christ died for their sins, and were commanded by Christ to celebrate His death by the Lord's supper. Your writing further confirms to me that we as Christians participate in the blessings of the New Covenant, and are ministers of the New Covenant. I have enjoyed the exchange.

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Testifies to Us...The Covenant I Will Make With Them

Jeff Brown wrote:
In Greek, 2 Corinthians 3:6 uses kaine diatheke, the same word used elsewhere in the New Testament for "New Covenant."

Hi Jeff.

If the Apostle Paul wanted to convey the meaning of a "covenant" at 2 Corinthians 3:6 he certaily not have used the word diatheke but instead would have used the word suntheke. In his comments on the meaning of those words Louis Berkhof wrote:

"In the Septuagint the word berith is rendered diatheke in every passage where it occurs with the exception of Deut. 9:15 (marturion) and I Kings 11:11 (entole). The word diatheke is confined to this usage, except in four passages. This use of the word seems rather peculiar in view of the fact that it is not the usual Greek word for covenant, but really denotes a disposition, and consequently also a testament. The ordinary word for covenant is suntheke" (Louis Berkhof, Systematic Theology [Grand Rapids, 1949 ], 262-263).

Adolf Deissmann wrote that "There is ample material to back me in the statement that no one in the Mediterranean world in the first century A.D. would have thought of finding in the word diatheke the idea of covenant" (Adolf Deissmann, Light From the Ancient East, translated by Lionel R.M. Strachan [London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1927 ], 337-338).

Quote:
I would expect that if what you say is correct, that Paul would have made this plain to the believers in Corinth (who were not all Jewish). He certainly explained the theological meaning in 1 Corinthians 11. Yet he never says, this is about a covenant with Israel only, not with any Gentiles.

The author of Hebrews (who I believe is Paul) went out of his way to inform those who received that letter that they were not partakers of the New Covenant promised to the house of Israel:

"The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says: This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds...Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more" (Heb.10:16-17; NIV).

Here the author of Hebrews changes the wording of the verse from the O.T. that speaks of Israel's New Covenant so that the Jewish Christians would not be left with the impression that the blessings of Israel's New Covenant were being applied to them.

The words from the OT which read "This is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel" (Jer.31:33) are changed to "this is the covenant that I will make with them."

If Christians partake of the New Diatheke promised to the house of Israel then this would be the perfect opportunity for the author of Hebews to tell the Christians that they do partake of that daitheke but he did not. In fact, he went out of his way so he would not leave an impression in their mind that they do partake in the New Diatheke promised to the house of Israel.

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It is truly a marvel that

It is truly a marvel that dispensationalists still wrestle with this issue.

Jack, I had suspected you were a hyperDT. I suspect no more. That clears up a lot.

Moving right along, DTers failure to accurately deal with the NC has been embarrassing.

Eph 2:11-13 informs us of what Paul believed:

11 So then, remember that at one time you were Gentiles in the flesh-called "the uncircumcised" by those called "the circumcised," done by hand in the flesh. 12 At that time you were without the Messiah, excluded from the citizenship of Israel, and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, with no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus, you who were far away have been brought near by the blood of the Messiah.

What were the covenants of the promise? Well, since it is plural it cannot be limited to just the Abrahamic. The Mosaic Covenant was not based on promise according to Gal 4. That leaves the Davidic and New to go with the Abrahamic.

There are not 2 new covenants as Chafer and Ryrie falsely believed and unfortunately taught the masses who either didn't have Eph 2 in their Bible or were illiterate.

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Raised Up Together With Christ

James K wrote:

Moving right along, DTers failure to accurately deal with the NC has been embarrassing.

If you are saying that the Christian "draws near" because they partake of the New Diatheke promised to Israel then it is you who is embarrassing yourself.

"But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; 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: And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father" (Eph.2:13-18).

Paul says that the Gentiles have been "made nigh" by the blood of Christ (v.13). Due to the covenants of promise, the Israelites were considered to be "nigh" to God while the Gentiles were considered to be "far off." But now both the Gentile believer and the Jewish believer can "draw nigh unto God" (Heb.7:19).

This is referring to having "access...unto the Father" (Eph.2:18). When we examine the context we can see that Paul's words are pointing to the Christian's position as sitting with Christ at the right hand of the Father: "Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus" (Eph.2:5-6).

The Christian has been "made nigh" and because of this has the "boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus...Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith..." (Heb.10:19,22). Paul's words at Ephesians 2:13-18 are in regard to both the Jewish believers and the Gentile believers being made members "in one Body by the Cross" (v.16) which is obviously referring to the Body of Christ and not to national Israel.

You just quote selected verses from the chapter and leave out the parts that tell us exactly how the Christian draws near.

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Quote: This is referring to

Quote:
This is referring to having "access...unto the Father" (Eph.2:18).

Yes, but that isn't all that it is referring to. The whole contrast in this section is what the Jews have as a possession versus what the Gentiles lacked. At some point you have to be honest with the text and let that inform your position. You missed everything I said before and didn't respond to what the section I referred to says. I would encourage you to read the passage before responding next time.

According to the text, Gentiles:

1. Without Christ
2. Aliens from Israel
3. Strangers from the promise Covenants (Abrahamic, Davidic, New)
4. No hope
5. Without God

But now due to the death of Christ, we are brought near. Being near to Christ is what grants the Gentiles access to God, hope, members of the promise covenants, fellowship with Israel, and Christ.

Quote:
You just quote selected verses from the chapter and leave out the parts that tell us exactly how the Christian draws near.

In the course of responding to someone and being specific about an issue, it is required to cut off a passage at a certain verse. This nonsense should really stop. If I just posted Ephesians as the reference, you would ask for a verse(s). I get the tactic and am not amused. Demonstrate the ability to respond to a point without ignoring it and posting a bunch of other verses that you think prove something else. We really don't need more fundies who operate the Chicago way.

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To Us...With Them

James K wrote:
In the course of responding to someone and being specific about an issue, it is required to cut off a passage at a certain verse. This nonsense should really stop. If I just posted Ephesians as the reference, you would ask for a verse(s). I get the tactic and am not amused. Demonstrate the ability to respond to a point without ignoring it and posting a bunch of other verses that you think prove something else. We really don't need more fundies who operate the Chicago way.

I find it amusing that you just jumped into the argument with your assertions and just ignored what I said in the post before you jumped in. So I will repeat what I said in that post and perhaps you will address these points.

The author of Hebrews went out of his way to inform those who received that letter that they were not partakers of the New Covenant promised to the house of Israel:

"The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says: This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds...Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more" (Heb.10:16-17; NIV).

Here the author of Hebrews changes the wording of the verse from the O.T. that speaks of Israel's New Covenant so that the Jewish Christians would not be left with the impression that the blessings of Israel's New Covenant were being applied to them.

The words from the OT which read "This is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel" (Jer.31:33) are changed to "this is the covenant that I will make with them."

If Christians partake of the New Diatheke promised to the house of Israel then this would be the perfect opportunity for the author of Hebews to tell the Christians that they do partake of that daitheke but he did not. In fact, he went out of his way so he would not leave an impression in their mind that they do partake in the New Diatheke promised to the house of Israel.

Besdies, it is evident that the New Diatheke promised to Israel is not now in effect so it is impossible that anyone, including Christians, could be parting of that which is not even in effect. The following verse speak of the conditions which will prevail when that New Diatheke is in effect and it is certain that those conditions do not describe the state of things now:

"I will make an everlasting covenant with them. And their seed shall be known among the Gentiles, and their offspring among the people: all that see them shall acknowledge them, that they are the seed which the LORD hath blessed" (Isa.61:8-9).

Anyone with the slightest degree of Spiritual discernment knows that the conditions described in those verses do not match the state of things in the world today. The same can be said about this verse:

"Give ear and come to me; hear me, that your soul may live. I will make an everlasting covenant with you...Surely you will summon nations you know not, and nations that do not know you will hasten to you, because of the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, for he has endowed you with splendor" (Isa.55:3,5; NIV).

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Jack, I didn't ignore your

Jack, I didn't ignore your point. I saw it for what it was. You can post 1000 verses about how the NC was for Israel and I would agree. That is not the issue.

I posted Eph 2 to help you understand that although the NC was promised to the Jew, in this mystery the Gentile has been brought in as a full member. That is what verses 11 and 12 say, something you failed to address.

Of course there is so much about the NC that has not been fulfilled. All of that will be accomplished at the return of Christ, when Israel will embrace their Messiah (Rom 11).

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Full Member of the Commonwealth of Israel?

James K wrote:
I posted Eph 2 to help you understand that although the NC was promised to the Jew, in this mystery the Gentile has been brought in as a full member. That is what verses 11 and 12 say, something you failed to address.

Where in these verses does it say that the Gentile has been brought into the NC promised to Israel as a full member?

"Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world, But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ" (Eph.2:11-12).

Paul is not telling anyone that Gentiles are no longer "strangers from the covenants of promise" or else we must also believes that Gentiles are no longer "aliens from the commonwealth of Israel."

Do you believe that you are a full member of the commonwealth of Israel?

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Jack, go back and for the

Jack, go back and for the first time read post #30.

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James K wrote: Jack, go back

James K wrote:
Jack, go back and for the first time read post #30.

James, I have already read it. You said:
Quote:
But now due to the death of Christ, we are brought near. Being near to Christ is what grants the Gentiles access to God, hope, members of the promise covenants, fellowship with Israel, and Christ.

Now I will ask you again. Where does Paul say that the Christian is made a member of the promise covenants?:

"Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world, But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ" (Eph.2:11-12).

Paul is not telling anyone that Gentiles are no longer "strangers from the covenants of promise" or else we must also believes that Gentiles are no longer "aliens from the commonwealth of Israel."

Do you believe that you are a full member of the commonwealth of Israel? Evidently you do not because you say that now Christians merely have "fellowship with Israel."

Now I will ask you again. Where in those verses does it say that the Christian is made a member of the promise covenants?

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Jack, go back and reread post

Jack, go back and reread post #30.

When you read it, you will see that Paul outlined in Eph 2 that prior to Christ Gentiles have 5 things against them. But thanks to the work of Christ, they now have all 5 of those things. If Gentiles are not part of the NC, then they are still without Christ.

You further err continually in your understanding of being an alien from the commonwealth of Israel. By being in full fellowship with Israel within the body of Christ I share complete equality. Saved gentiles under the OC did not have complete equality.

I know the theological aberration you are coming from, so this all makes perfect sense to me. I just don't find any value in trying to repeatedly go back to actually reading the text of Scripture when you won't.

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James K wrote: Jack, go back

James K wrote:
Jack, go back and reread post #30.

When you read it, you will see that Paul outlined in Eph 2 that prior to Christ Gentiles have 5 things against them. But thanks to the work of Christ, they now have all 5 of those things. If Gentiles are not part of the NC, then they are still without Christ.


You are wrong. I have reread what you said in post # 30 and there is nothing in the verses which say that those in the Body of Christ partake of the covenant of promises.

Now I will ask you again. Where does Paul say that the Christian is made a member of the promise covenants?:

"Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world, But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ" (Eph.2:11-12).

Paul is not telling anyone that Gentiles are no longer "strangers from the covenants of promise" or else we must also believes that Gentiles are no longer "aliens from the commonwealth of Israel."

Do you believe that you are a full member of the commonwealth of Israel? Evidently you do not because you say that now Christians merely have "fellowship with Israel."

Now I will ask you again. Where in those verses does it say that the Christian is made a member of the promise covenants? If you are right then you should be able to tell me exactly where it says such a thing.

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Please Answer My Question!

Jack Hampton wrote:
James K wrote:
Jack, go back and reread post #30.

When you read it, you will see that Paul outlined in Eph 2 that prior to Christ Gentiles have 5 things against them. But thanks to the work of Christ, they now have all 5 of those things. If Gentiles are not part of the NC, then they are still without Christ.


You are wrong. I have reread what you said in post # 30 and there is nothing in the verses which say that those in the Body of Christ partake of the covenant of promises.

Now I will ask you again. Where does Paul say that the Christian is made a member of the promise covenants?:

"Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world, But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ" (Eph.2:11-12).

Paul is not telling anyone that Gentiles are no longer "strangers from the covenants of promise" or else we must also believes that Gentiles are no longer "aliens from the commonwealth of Israel."

Do you believe that you are a full member of the commonwealth of Israel? Evidently you do not because you say that now Christians merely have "fellowship with Israel."

Now I will ask you again. Where in those verses does it say that the Christian is made a member of the promise covenants? If you are right then you should be able to tell me exactly where it says such a thing.

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According to Paul, Gentiles

According to Paul, Gentiles had 5 things against them:

1. Without Christ
2. Aliens from Israel
3. Strangers from the promise Covenants (Abrahamic, Davidic, New)
4. No hope
5. Without God

You are willing to concede that Gentiles now have Christ, hope, and God. At the same time though youare unwilling due to your prior theological commitment to see that Gentiles are no longer strangers to the promise Covenants neither are they outside of fellowship with Israel.

I wonder if this passage would be considered a chiasm, which would pit it together like this:

1. Without Christ

2. Aliens from Israel

3. Strangers from the promise covenants

4. No hope

5. Without God

The point of a chiasm tends toward the middle issue(s).

If Gentiles are still strangers from the promise covenants, then they are still without Christ. This isn't a buffet where you get to pick and choose what you want to keep. It is a package deal. I hope you find this helpful and instructive. It was all right there in post #30 had you bothered to actually read it.

1 Kings 8:60 - so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD is God and that there is no other.

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Wed, 3/31/10
Posts: 361
The Gentiles Will Glorify God For His Mercy

James K wrote:
You are willing to concede that Gentiles now have Christ, hope, and God. At the same time though youare unwilling due to your prior theological commitment to see that Gentiles are no longer strangers to the promise Covenants neither are they outside of fellowship with Israel.

Please quote the exact words from the verses which you think say that "Gentiles are no longer strangers to the promise Covenants."

I do not see those words and I believe that your assertion that that is what those verses are saying is due to your preconceived ideas and not to what is actually said.

Now please quote the specific words which you think are saying that the Gentiles are no longer strangers to the promise covenants.

It is true that in the future the house of Israel will receives blessings based on the covenant promises but at the same time the bleessings of the Gentiles is described as being according to God's "mercy" and not according to any promises:

"Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers: And that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy" (Ro.15:8-9).

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Wed, 4/27/11
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Anyone else?

Anyone else believe the New Covenant is a Person? It's not a book, or scroll, or a law. The New Covenant is Jesus Christ!

Why is it dispensationalists have to correct each generation since the Cross? And yes, millions of Christians (true or in name only) have been deeply wrong concerning theology.

It is true that 'dispensations' seems to attract certain types of personalities - or it could be we are attacked SO much that we become defensive by nature. But if we give covenanters an inch, they demand a long mile...(that's pretty evident from some of the posts above).