Posts Tagged ‘Israel’

DailyTheocentrism: . . . the purpose: His Holy Name.

DailyTheocentrism:The event of the Assyrian/Babylonian captivity for the nation of Israel was so significant that all the prophetic books are about it,the nation never fully recovered from it,the kings disappeared after it;the purpose:His Holy Name. How important is His name to us?

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Question on Dispensationalism, Israel and Continuity, part 2

Meagan wrote:

Rob,
how would you reply to the notion that dispensationalism is a relatively new (just over 100 years old according to some) belief, and that it is not biblical in origin? Also, why is it
so important to clarify whether the Bible is referring to Jews or Christians ( or both) when it speaks of the “church”?

Lastly, is the only passage from which to build a theology of the rapture, and specifically a pre-tribulational rapture?

ANSWER:

This second one is a very important question, in my opinion. The first answer must be that it is only important if the Text seems to make it important. I think the Text does indeed do this.

From the inception of the nation of Israel through Abram of Ur, God had designed a people to be distinct. For certain purposes, God made an “us and them” situation between Israel and everyone else. This distinctive puts Israel in a unique light by definition. Now, Paul works some of that out in by way of a side argument. This intersects what God is doing through the Gospel more in . It is this intersection that many interpret the “mystery” that Paul speaks of very often being the Church producing Gospel. This is heightened by that indicates a time and position distinction for Israel, offset from the Gentiles (everyone else).

The key is always remembering that when you say “Jew”, you must think of both the individual AND the nation. Read the rest of this entry »

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52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. (ESV)

3:1 Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the value of circumcision? Much in every way. To begin with, the Jews were entrusted with the oracles of God. What if some were unfaithful? Does their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God? By no means! Let God be true though every one were a liar, as it is written,

“That you may be justified in your words,
and prevail when you are judged.”

But if our unrighteousness serves to show the righteousness of God, what shall we say? That God is unrighteous to inflict wrath on us? (I speak in a human way.) By no means! For then how could God judge the world? But if through my lie God’s truth abounds to his glory, why am I still being condemned as a sinner? And why not do evil that good may come?—as some people slanderously charge us with saying. Their condemnation is just.

What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, 10 as it is written:

“None is righteous, no, not one;
11 no one understands;
no one seeks for God.
12 All have turned aside; together they have become worthless;
no one does good,
not even one.”
13 “Their throat is an open grave;
they use their tongues to deceive.”
“The venom of asps is under their lips.”
14 “Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.”
15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood;
16 in their paths are ruin and misery,
17 and the way of peace they have not known.”
18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

19 Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. 20 For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.

21 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. 26 It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

27 Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By a law of works? No, but by the law of faith. 28 For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law. 29 Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, 30 since God is one—who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. 31 Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law. (ESV)

9:1 I am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit— that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh. They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises. To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen.

But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring. For this is what the promise said: “About this time next year I will return, and Sarah shall have a son.” 10 And not only so, but also when Rebekah had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac, 11 though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls— 12 she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” 13 As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”

14 What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means! 15 For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” 16 So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” 18 So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.

19 You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?” 20 But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” 21 Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? 22 What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23 in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory— 24 even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles? 25 As indeed he says in Hosea,

“Those who were not my people I will call ‘my people,’
and her who was not beloved I will call ‘beloved.’”
26 “And in the very place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’
there they will be called ‘sons of the living God.’”

27 And Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: “Though the number of the sons of Israel be as the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will be saved, 28 for the Lord will carry out his sentence upon the earth fully and without delay.” 29 And as Isaiah predicted,

“If the Lord of hosts had not left us offspring,
we would have been like Sodom
and become like Gomorrah.”

30 What shall we say, then? That Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have attained it, that is, a righteousness that is by faith; 31 but that Israel who pursued a law that would lead to righteousness did not succeed in reaching that law. 32 Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as if it were based on works. They have stumbled over the stumbling stone, 33 as it is written,

“Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense;
and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”

10:1 Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved. For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.

For Moses writes about the righteousness that is based on the law, that the person who does the commandments shall live by them. But the righteousness based on faith says, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” (that is, to bring Christ down) or “‘Who will descend into the abyss?’” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. 11 For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. 13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” 17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

18 But I ask, have they not heard? Indeed they have, for

“Their voice has gone out to all the earth,
and their words to the ends of the world.”

19 But I ask, did Israel not understand? First Moses says,

“I will make you jealous of those who are not a nation;
with a foolish nation I will make you angry.”

20 Then Isaiah is so bold as to say,

“I have been found by those who did not seek me;
I have shown myself to those who did not ask for me.”

21 But of Israel he says, “All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and contrary people.”

11:1 I ask, then, has God rejected his people? By no means! For I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, a member of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew. Do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he appeals to God against Israel? “Lord, they have killed your prophets, they have demolished your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life.” But what is God’s reply to him? “I have kept for myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace. But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace.

What then? Israel failed to obtain what it was seeking. The elect obtained it, but the rest were hardened, as it is written,

“God gave them a spirit of stupor,
eyes that would not see
and ears that would not hear,
down to this very day.”

And David says,

“Let their table become a snare and a trap,
a stumbling block and a retribution for them;
10 let their eyes be darkened so that they cannot see,
and bend their backs forever.”

11 So I ask, did they stumble in order that they might fall? By no means! Rather through their trespass salvation has come to the Gentiles, so as to make Israel jealous. 12 Now if their trespass means riches for the world, and if their failure means riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their full inclusion mean!

13 Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry 14 in order somehow to make my fellow Jews jealous, and thus save some of them. 15 For if their rejection means the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead? 16 If the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, so is the whole lump, and if the root is holy, so are the branches.

17 But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root of the olive tree, 18 do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you. 19 Then you will say, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” 20 That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud, but fear. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you. 22 Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off. 23 And even they, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again. 24 For if you were cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, the natural branches, be grafted back into their own olive tree.

25 Lest you be wise in your own sight, I want you to understand this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. 26 And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written,

“The Deliverer will come from Zion,
he will banish ungodliness from Jacob”;
27 “and this will be my covenant with them
when I take away their sins.”

28 As regards the gospel, they are enemies of God for your sake. But as regards election, they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers. 29 For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. 30 For just as you were at one time disobedient to God but now have received mercy because of their disobedience, 31 so they too have now been disobedient in order that by the mercy shown to you they also may now receive mercy. 32 For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all.

33 Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!

34 “For who has known the mind of the Lord,
or who has been his counselor?”
35 “Or who has given a gift to him
that he might be repaid?”

36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen. (ESV)

25 Lest you be wise in your own sight, I want you to understand this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. (ESV)

Question on Dispensationalism, Israel and Continuity, part 1

Meagan wrote:

Rob,
how would you reply to the notion that dispensationalism is a relatively new (just over 100 years old according to some) belief, and that it is not biblical in origin? Also, why is it
so important to clarify whether the Bible is referring to Jews or Christians ( or both) when it speaks of the “church”?
Lastly, is the only passage from which to build a theology of the rapture, and specifically a pre-tribulational rapture?

ANSWER:

Ok, I am finally able to get to this – busy week! Now I do not want to just pass the buck here, or inundate you with more reading, but this is a Costco-size can of worms you opened, so a little reading will be necessary.
I want you to go here for a balanced approach at the truth that beliefs held within modern dispensationalism (well defined here) were also held by Church Fathers and many way before the 1800’s. This is more directly approached here (although I do not know this guy or this site very well, he is at least though provoking in the right direction.)
So, look at those in that order – but, as you do, think about this:
– Every system or school of though has a birth. Just because something is systematized more recently does not necessarily make it wrong. There were rocks here before Geology became the system that it is today. Systems classify things, if they are done well. Although it is usually a niche thing, they are still just to be a classificational tool. I mean are we to reject the thoughts and teachings of Calvinism because he was not in the beginning with God?
– Every system also has an off-label use and that is when things often go awry.  The system is supposed to be a helpful tool to take a wider breadth of data and be able to look at (parts of) it all at once. It is a “desktop organizer” that can potentially provide one with the insight needed to ask and answer broader questions based on comparative data. So, in Systematic Theology, the sub-categories are definitive of this fact – i.e. angelology, bibliology, ect. Angelology allows one to see all that the Text might say about angels, so one could potentially come to broader conclusions about angels from a more holistic, biblical point of view. But this is very complicated hermeneutically, in that these passages are being drawn from several genres, time periods, contexts – etc. Caution and time needs to be spent with liberty, or the system can be too quick to ask and answer WRONG questions – THEN the off-label use . . .
– The system at some point can stop being a tool and start being the standard. This is when someone takes the system and lays (at times forces) it back over the Text as a whole and then starts running all interpretations of all texts in all subjects through that system. This is unfortunate. It is in this sense that many dispensationalists to some degrees are rightly accused of eisegeting (putting into) the text from a strongly preconceived point of view.
So, all that to say, the system is new in it’s official and current form of organization. That does not in itself make it wrong, for the beliefs existed with many since the second century – just like many who held other beliefs. The problem is when the system gets out of place and is given a Red Bull and takes over. It, and all other systems, are tools and should be seen as such.
The 2nd and 3rd parts of your question to be answered in the coming days . . .

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52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. (ESV)

We want Shepherds like Him, but not Him . . .

Throughout the Old Testament, the most common themes are:

1. God is Sovereign and our provision and joy in life

2. Mankind wants to condescend Him and pervert His nature to be like us . . . recognizable and iconic

3. God alone is faithful

4. Mankind cannot be faithful

One of the most telling and horrifying  – even defining passages of the Old Testament is

The Lord said to Samuel, “Listen to the voice of the people in regard to all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from being king over them. NAU1 Sa 8:7

The deception that our mother, Eve, fell for still rings in our ears – go your own way. We want a king like us, for us, from us . . . the heart of idolatry is always self-worship.

I am indebted to some brothers for continually introducing me to more edifying music. Andrew Peterson is one of those musicians. This song is very enlightening. I hope you see it that way, too.

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And the Lord said to Samuel, “Obey the voice of the people in all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them. (ESV)

Ezekiel Grace Excursus

One reason WE have the stories of Israel is to serve as instruction on the requirement of obedient holiness and the need for grace.

Grace Excursus for Ezekiel

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