Let's be reasonable with one another, shall we?

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Why Your Church Is Dispensational

I read these posts a while ago on a blog called anti-itch meditation. I asked the blogger, Jeff, if I could post them here. I thought today would be a good time, after yesterday's quiz.

Why All Christians Are Dispensational
The fact that we are called “Christians” proves it. The name “Christian” was not applied to the people of God until Acts 11:26 in Antioch. The disciples of Jesus were called Christians. Even in that one verse you see a shift in recognition--no longer “disciples” but Christians. God’s people were called different things throughout the thousands of years of history. Psalms calls them “godly” a few times. They are called “righteous” a number of times. Of course, once Israel was established as a nation they are called “Israel,” “my people,” “children,” and various other terms. The fact that we call ourselves Christians today is a relatively new thing. If you call yourself a Christian you are at the same time admitting that there are differences in God’s relationship to His people over the years, which is called dispensationalism, whether you want to admit it or not.

Why All Christians Are Dispensational: Part 2
The fact we believe in a person named Jesus Christ proves it. People have always been saved by faith. Romans 1:17 says the just shall live by faith and it has been that way from “faith to faith.” There have not been different faiths, but there has been a different responsibility on man’s part in exercising that faith. Adam and Eve did not believe in “Jesus Christ.” They believed in one who would come and bruise Satan’s head (Genesis 3:15). Noah did not believe in a man called “Jesus Christ.” He believed that God delivered his people and would ultimately do so in a Deliverer who was to come. In fact, Noah was a picture of Christ--who delivered his people BEFORE the world-wide judgment, by the way. Abraham did not believe in “Jesus Christ.” He believed that God was going to give him a nation that would deliver all nations thru one Seed. Abraham’s faith allowed him to act on God’s command to sacrifice his son, another picture of Christ (Genesis 22). Moses did not believe in “Jesus Christ.” He believed that God’s nation was to be delivered and he was another picture of Christ in that he delivered his people. The Nation of Israel placed their faith in the Messiah, who did not have the name “Jesus Christ” given to them anywhere in Scripture. Faith in “Jesus Christ” was only something for those in Jesus’ day and thereafter. The name Jesus doesn’t even show up in Scripture until the Gospels. If you say you believe in Jesus Christ, you are admitting there is a distinction in God’s program through the ages, which means you are a dispensationalist, whether you want to admit it or not.

Why Your Church Is Dispensational
The fact you have a Church proves it. You don’t think so? Consider the following: Where did Adam and Eve go to church? Where did Noah go to church? Where did Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph go? Where did Moses go? Where did Israel go? Where did Jesus go to church?Throughout the ages man has done different things to worship and learn about God. Adam walked and talked with God. Noah spent some time hearing God’s blueprint for a floating box. Moses got a burning bush. Israel went to the tabernacle followed by the temple. Jesus spent time with his followers wherever he felt like it. The concept of “church” is a dispensational distinctive. If you are not a dispensationalist, then you better start walking and talking with God, building big boxes to float around in, talking to burning bushes, going to the temple, and talking and walking with Jesus. You have to do all of those now if you don’t think there are distinctions in God’s program. If you don‘t do any of these, you just might be a dispensationalist.

Why is your church dispensational? The seating arrangements prove it. Just consider the tabernacle or temple seating arrangement. Only the High Priest could get close to the altar where God was. Only Jewish folks could get close. The women had to be behind the men. Not a Jew? Tough luck pal, you sit way in back. Does your church seat people like this? If not, you just may be a dispensationalist.

Now tell me why he's wrong.
the END

71 Comments:

  • Dispensationalists do like to use this argument. You may have noticed I used a variation on it last sunday in a particular context referred to in my Bible Prophecy blog.

    To be fair, I am not sure it is always all that helpful.

    Being a Dispensationalist involves more than simply recognising changes in God's dealing with the world. It involves recognising that God has a distinct plan for Israel, a disitnct plan for the nations and a disitnct plan for the Church.

    Covenant theologians present the theme of the salvation of the elect through Christ as central to the Bible. For them, there are three main characters in the Bible, the redeemer, the redeemed and those who are not redeemed.

    In contrast, Dispensationalists hold that the Bible is not primarily about salvation, but about God's glory being presented in His dealings. God has different dealings for the world, for the nations, for heaven, for Israel and for the Church.

    For the Covenant theologian, Israel was under a different dispensation in the Old Testament, but essentially, he or she holds Israel to be the Church under a different dispensation.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 12/14/2005 12:56 PM  

  • Rose,

    All the analogies, metaphors and anectdotes a person may come up with can't overcome a faulty premise. Dispensationalism rests on a faulty premise.

    To help some of our friends understand what it was they were believing about dispensations, we used the following illustration, namely, that of a soda dispenser at the local junk food hut.

    The underlying concept of dispensations is that of turning one "off" and another "on". This is exciting to our fallen fleshly nature. We start to believe that we can control our religious/spiritual environment by simply saying that while one flavor is being dispensed, the rest are not and consequently, those other flavors have nothing to do with us at this time. Scripture does not agree with this thinking. The letter from James is a good example.

    Yes, you can dispense different flavors into the same cup, albeit one at a time. But you end up with a drink that doesn't taste like anything and is usually too sweet. Many of the so-called "Messianics" have done this. It is not a good mix as far as I am concerned.

    Enough of that. How about a quick point for point. I'll label them according to the original post's system.

    Part 1: What the people of YHVH are called.

    It is instructive to note that YHVH is not on record as calling His people "Christians". Consider this portion of Acts;

    Act 24:2 "When he was called, Tertullus began to accuse him, saying, "Seeing that by you we enjoy much shalom, and that excellent measures are coming to this nation,
    Act 24:3 we accept it in all ways and in all places, most excellent Felix, with all thankfulness.
    Act 24:4 But, that I don't delay you, I entreat you to bear with us and hear a few words.
    Act 24:5 For we have found this man to be a plague, an instigator of insurrections among all the Yehudim throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Natzratim." (Nazarenes)

    As far as the Jews in Jerusalem were concerned, Sha'ul and his friends were known to be part of a sect of Judaism called the "Nazarenes".

    a small portion of Sha'ul's response:

    Act 24:14 "But this I confess to you, that after the Way, which they call a sect, so I serve the God of our fathers, believing all things which are according to the law, and which are written in the prophets;
    Act 24:15 having hope toward God, which these also themselves look for, that there will be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust."

    Please read the entire chapter to get a better understanding of what was taking place. Sha'ul was standing in his own defense for his life and when accused of belonging to a sect called "Nazarenes", he did not argue or complain about the association by stressing that he was really a Christian. I know that commentators have pooh pooed all this away, but it is something to think about.

    Part 2: believing in Jesus Christ.

    there have been many over the centuries who have claimed to be the Christ, the Messiah. But they have come in their own name.
    Yeshua came in His Father's name. That Adam and Eve, Abraham, Moses and others did not believe in "Jesus Christ" is a meaningless point to argue. All of those people mentioned understood that it would be YHVH who would save them through the redemption He had promised to provide. A redemption that would be for them as well as for their children. As spoken of in the Torah and the Prophets. Which, btw, point to a man who was to come. A man whose name meant salvation.

    Here is where the concept of a separate dispensation of grace causes such deep divisions among the believers. Is there really a distinction in YHVH's program? This always brings us back to the parlor question - was Moses saved? How about Abraham? If they were, how? Held in a type of purgatory, not knowing when they would be released, until the Messiah came and set them free? Sha'ul seemed to think that if you were absent from this physical body here on earth, then you would be present with the Lord. But Yeshua said that for a man to do that he would have to be born again. By the Spirit. How would this be accomplished under the "dispensation of the Law"?

    This type of "dispensation of grace" rabbit trail goes for miles, having been carved out over the years by those who want to remain where their religion tells them it is safe. And my response is getting too long.

    Part 3: the empty conclusion.

    " You have to do all of those now if you don’t think there are distinctions in God’s program."

    This type of argument is the same as "Jesus didn't drive a car, so you shouldn't either if you only want to do what He did".

    Oh Please.

    Because you sit in the seating provided in the building you go to on Sunday mornings, or whenever, you may be a dispensationalist? What if the seating was arranged in a circle? Then what would you be? Suppose your church sells the best seats to the rich, then what would you be?

    I would love to explain why the high priest alone was allowed to enter the most holy place, and why the arrangement of Levites was the way it was in the tabernacle, but space does not permit it. But there is order in heaven. Shouldn't we want the same type of oder here?

    To sum up: the covenants of YHVH are continuous as well as progressive. One is not "turned off" as another is "turned on". If that were true, then women would not have trouble and pain in childbirth. If the consequences remain, so do the conditions. Some call it original sin.

    Human beings like to feel that they are in control of their lives, their faith, because so much of life seems to be out of control most of the time. It is a natural tendency to want to define the conditions of our eternal destiny in ways that we can understand and control. The fact that YHVH's plans for the redemption of mankind are much larger and more involved than we can immediately assess, we, as children, quickly come up with what works for us in the time we are living in, while "turning off" the relevant parts of His historical covenants so that they will not interfere with the plans we are putting together. (Those are my thoughts about it anyway).

    Again a good subject. Well worth exploring. More scriptures should be applied though. Let's see how it develops, perhaps that opportunity will present itself.

    Shalom

    By Blogger Ephraim, at 12/14/2005 1:29 PM  

  • Hi Ephraim! Hey, I left you this comment on the Dyspraxic Fundamentalist's blog, but I don't think you ever went back and looked at it, so here it is:

    Ephraim,
    I read your comments with interest, but it is unclear what your teaching IS. You have no blog where we can read your thoughts in a cohesive setting. Why don't you start a blog?

    I hear what you are saying about this post, here. I thought it was kind of fun. The main point is, God works in different ways in different times. All scripture is FOR us, but not all scripture is TO us. If you think that believers in Yeshua or Jesus must be under the law to find salvation, then I have no hope, for I am not a good law keeper. Then again, I am not really sure that is what your teaching is, as I mentioned above. Perhaps the comment section of my blog is not the best place to expound a really long and detailed, original theological view point. BUT ... you are welcome to comment! I just think you would be better served if you started a blog. Comment on if you wish, though.

    Shalom Elechem (is that right?) Elechem Shalom...

    By Blogger Rose~, at 12/14/2005 1:54 PM  

  • God bless you Rose! But I think we are theological opposites. I am a Christian but definatly NOT a dispensationalist! I think those argument shows there is a difference between the Old and New Testaments but that is by no means a dispensational distinctive.

    The terms used for the faithfull through out Redemptive History do not point to different dispensations and there are many terms used both of OT and NT believers. And some terms that we may think of being a certain the Bible uses also of the other.
    Take Israel for example. Paul in Romans 9:6 "For they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel" but the true Israel is those who believe, the children of faith. Abraham's true decendents, being those who believe the Church.

    Or how about the OT prophets referring Israel as God's bride. And what about the church being called the bride of Christ.

    The term elect is used both of Israel and the Church. In Romans 11:7 use of elects describes some Israel not just the church.

    Or how about a chosen nation,Holy Nation, a royal preisthood. These were terms applied to OT saints that Peter applies to NT saints in 1 Pet 2:9

    I don't say these things to make a case for Covenantalism since I dont suscribe to that either but to say you can't make a case for dispensationalism based on the differences in what OT saints an NT saints are called because there a tons a names that refer to both aswell.

    Besides was it Christians who coined the term Christian?

    That fact again that people believe in Christ is not something pecular to dispensationalists! It shows there was a time that OT saints did not fully understand what the Messiah would but it does not meam that points to dispensationalism. And how about Jews who believe and had many details about the Messiah from Isaiah 53 thats a pretty complete Gospel presentation there.

    The Church agains affirms the Bible, Christianity but not dispensationalism? Do non dispensationalist not go to church of course not! Does R.C. Sproul or the Puritans or others decide not to go to church because they are not dispensationalists and that would affirm a system they don't beleive?!? Of course not! The NT reality of the church does not affirm dispensationlism than any other system. I don't know of one non dispensationalist who does not go to chuch because it marks a dispensationalist thing! We have a church because its gathering of the redeemed of Christ and built on the foundations of the apostles not to simply break away from OT practices! The temple went from being in Jerusalem to the believer 1 Cor 6:19,20. The promise of God is not to a certain nation but to all who believe and they will gather together and be the church the bride of Christ but I don't see that affirming despensationalism over other Christian theologies.

    I agree with Ephraim dispensationalism rests on faulty premises. I don't look at redemptive history as having diffrent time periods, but all redemption history pointing to the same reality of God's grace for sinners.

    -John

    By Blogger John, at 12/14/2005 3:22 PM  

  • God bless you John!

    You said:
    The temple went from being in Jerusalem to the believer 1 Cor 6:19,20.


    Right there you give a fine example of a change in how God "dispenses his Grace"

    you said:
    The promise of God is not to a certain nation but to all who believe...

    Promises in the dispensation of law were to a certain nation, but in this age (or dispensation) we are in, it is going out to all who believe ...

    ... just like you have said!

    Things have changed!! Hallelujah, they have changed!

    By Blogger Rose~, at 12/14/2005 3:33 PM  

  • Rose,

    I did have a blog for a short time called "The House of Israel". I was simply outlining my understanding of how the the two houses will be reunited in these last days according to prophecy. I can't imagine that the folks who wander these halls would find much to get excited about, but, you never know.

    The expression "Shalom Alecheim" means "Peace be unto you". It would have been what Yeshua said when He appeared in the closed room with His talmadim (disciples). The typical response is to say it back with the emphasis on a different syllable in the second word. It then means, to use American slang, "right back atcha".

    The word Shalom is interesting. It means at the same time peace, well being, contentment, good tidings. In these crazy days, peace is often taken to mean simply an absence of war or conflict. Shalom is much more personal, more comprehensive of the state of the person to whom it is conferred.

    It may be worth noting in this context that what is commonly translated from the Hebrew into the English word "blessing" can also be easily stripped of its rich and powerful content.

    If I say to you, "the Lord bless you", or, "be blessed", that pronouncement contains only my desires and it is usually said with an eye cast toward heaven as if to mean "I hope the Lord blesses you with whatever you may need".

    But if YHVH gives me a blessing,(if you search through scripture you will find that it always involves a covenant and is given within the context of one), when and if I pass that blessing on to you, that is a different matter altogether. Then, what is called a "blessing", is really a prophetic statement of how YHVH will accomplish His plan and purpose through the agency of those to whom the blessing is given.

    These prophecies are not contained within "dispensations". That is, they cross all the lines we think we see and go forward through time to the end result for which they were spoken.

    More later, YHVH willing.

    Shalom

    By Blogger Ephraim, at 12/14/2005 3:58 PM  

  • Hi Rose~
    I am a dispensationalist because I took a test and that's what it said I am ;-)

    Other than that, it could be that I follow a consistent "normal" or "plain" hermeneutic throughout Scripture. I feel there are three important elements in coming to a proper interpretation: context, context, and context! The historical, grammatical, and the authors intent as it relates to the cohesiveness of the whole Bible.

    I believe in the perspicuity of Scripture (I don’t believe God is sending us coded messages or riddles). He means what he says and says what He means! Israel never means the church, and the church never means Israel, NEVER!!!
    Here is a quote for your Hebrew friend (or the one who seems to know some Yiddish and his Jewish Bible, BTW that is a good thing)… It comes from a respected theologian named Oswald Allis who is by no means a dispensationalist, he says, “If one takes the Bible literally one can not help but be a [futuristic] pre-millennialist”.
    Pastor Philip DeCourcy has also said that “…these are the keys for unlocking all of the doors in the Bible, you don’t need a different set of keys for prophesy.” I agree… I hope you do too.

    Hi John,
    I think you will find that in Romans 9-11 Paul is referring to two Israel s those in unbelief (all Israel), and those in belief (not all Israel). You may also check up on God referring to Israel as “bride” Israel is the called “the wife of Jehovah” and the church is called “the bride of Christ”.

    In Christ
    Brother John

    By Blogger J. Wendell, at 12/14/2005 4:10 PM  

  • "Right there you give a fine example of a change in how God "dispenses his Grace"

    you said:
    The promise of God is not to a certain nation but to all who believe..."

    "Promises in the dispensation of law were to a certain nation, but in this age (or dispensation) we are in, it is going out to all who believe ..."


    Well, not exactly.

    Exd 12:37 The children of Yisra'el traveled from Ra`meses to Sukkot, about six hundred thousand on foot who were men, besides children.
    Exd 12:38 A mixed multitude went up also with them, with flocks, herds, and even very much cattle.

    The "mixed multitude" consisted of Egyptians and whoever else wanted to go with the Israelites. There has always been a provision of grace for anyone who wanted to serve and worship the one true Elohim. That YHVH chose the descendants of Jacob (Israel) was His choice alone. But it was never to be an exclusive genetic club. The fact that it eventually turned into that was something that Yeshua took great exception to when He was here in the flesh.

    Look through Torah and you will see that believers from any nation could join themselves to Israel and they were to be treated as native born. Yes, there were some exceptions for certain groups of people who vexed the children of YHVH unnecessarily. That is His judgement.

    While there are some differences from then to now, I don't think there are as many as most believe.

    By Blogger Ephraim, at 12/14/2005 4:14 PM  

  • Anyone who eats bacon, lobster, or doesn't stone their children to death when they disrespect you, is a dispensationalist (tongue in cheek)

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at 12/14/2005 4:30 PM  

  • j.wendell,

    "He means what he says and says what He means! Israel never means the church, and the church never means Israel, NEVER!!!"

    I am guessing that you are saying that because you read your English bible and see different words used for the two and hence, you conclude that they must be different.

    Or, perhaps you see different descriptions of what you are calling the "church" and "Israel". Since the word "church" came into use long after the writing of the new covenant, what descriptions there are about it have come from man's understanding of its institutions and practices. That could also produce the statement you made.

    Or, maybe it is because, if you did a detailed study in the original languages and found that those differences do not exist, you may find yourself suddenly responsible for many things you had previously considered to be "none of your business". An unsettling thought to many.

    Because if what you are saying is true, then there must be some compelling evidence in scripture that would explain the creation and maintenance of two separate, parallel spiritual realities.

    Two salvations. Two heavens. Two Messiahs. Two sets of prophecies, one for the "church" and one for "Israel". Two returns. Two brides. Two new Jerusalems.

    The new Jerusalem described in Revelation must be for the "Jews", because the names of the 12 tribes are above the 12 gates, and everyone else will be living....where exactly? On earth? If that is true I hope you come to visit, but I don't see in scripture how that works. Since the new Jerusalem is "the Bride of Christ", why put the names of the 12 tribes above her gates? So those "wandering Jews" can find their way home? I don't think so.

    I have never heard of Oswald Allis or Philip DeCourcy.

    I know biblical Hebrew, not Yiddish. I know enough Greek to argue with someone who doesn't know any, but that's about it. I read different translations based on accuracy, not style.

    Biblical prophecy isn't locked unless YHVH says it is. And it becomes unlocked only when He says it is to be unlocked. That is His choice. That is why I occasionally mention the restoration of the two houses of Israel. That part of prophecy is now unlocked and there to see. And those realities have much more to do with you than you may think.

    But that is a good thing.

    Shalom

    By Blogger Ephraim, at 12/14/2005 4:44 PM  

  • Non-Dispensationalists simply fail to take account of the heavenly privileges of the Church. To regard Israel as part of the Church is to see the Church simply in terms of forgiveness for sin.

    No, the Church is a new work of grace, Jew and Gentile incorporated through union in Christ in heavenly places. The saved of the Old Testament were merely saved as individuals. However, the Church is the visible body of Christ on earth with aheavenly head. It is integrated by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in its members, both corporately and individually.

    You will search in vain for these privileges in the OT.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 12/14/2005 5:22 PM  

  • I would disagree with much of the post--primarily on grounds of how certain words are used.
    Such as Dispensation--there is a reformed use of this word, and it is not the same as dispenastionalists use it-although it is is connected in a way.
    Also how we define "Church" matters.
    Our word Church means called out ones/separated ones.
    In that sense the Church has existed longer than 2000 years.
    So Adam, Eve, Noah, Moses, et al all "went to Church"-
    Remember the Church is the poeple.
    When the Jews gathered to worship that was the Church--the ones called out by God-separated from the World for His purpose.
    The outer appearances may change-the form of administration may change, etc. But Christ fulfilled a lot of stuff they did. That's a big part of the book of Hebrews.

    But ultimately, when all is said and done--dispensationalists are still brothers & sisters in the Lord if they truly believe the Gospel.

    By Blogger pilgrim, at 12/14/2005 6:01 PM  

  • Hi Rose,
    BTW...I like your post!

    Hi Ephraim,
    I know a little Greek, a little Hebrew, and yes, some Yiddish too! I did not make my statement of the difference between the ecclesia and and nation of Israel lightly. My arrival at this interpretation is far removed from your assumptions about how I got there. I hold to this view because of the clear contextual study of the the whole counsel of God which is basically what I stated in the paragraph just before.

    BTW, I am aware that there are good men, godly men, who disagree on this, in fact. The two I mentioned couldn't be further apart theologically, but God has used them both in my life and in the ecclesiea of God for His purpose.

    In Christ,
    brother John

    By Blogger J. Wendell, at 12/14/2005 6:48 PM  

  • John W.,

    I haven't read Rose's article yet, but will do soon. Hope things are going well in mail delivery I was thinking of you in the snow storm today.

    "He means what he says and says what He means! Israel never means the church, and the church never means Israel, NEVER!!!"

    This is quite quoteable, I'll ponder more and write you back more after some study.

    I'll think about this more and research and get back to you.

    When you also discuss the "normal" or "plain" hermeneutic.

    With this approach does it take into consideration the way the new testament church applied the old testament to them.

    Shouldn't we approach the old testament like the new testament saints do, in which they seem to have a Christ hermeneutic in interpretation. Is this the normal or plain method as well.

    By Blogger Shawn L, at 12/14/2005 7:36 PM  

  • Hi Rose~
    I truly enjoy your readership!

    Hi Antonio~ I appreciate your scholarly evaluation on this topic ;)

    Hi Shawn~
    interestingly the way I approach the OT seems to be the way Matthew and John (apostles), Mark and Luke (prophets) must have approached it. The Christological passages were taken with a literal Savior in view. A literal Messiah, a literal virgin birth, a literal death, a literal resurrection. My children and I have just concluded a study on these OT prophecies and NT fulfillments. They were all literal!

    In Christ,
    brother John

    By Blogger J. Wendell, at 12/14/2005 8:25 PM  

  • John,

    Yes, I agree. I'm just talking about when the new testament author quotes the old testament. To me it's a very interesting study....literally...

    Shawn

    By Blogger Shawn L, at 12/14/2005 8:47 PM  

  • Excellent point Shawn. For example, is Matthew quoting the OT "literally" when he writes, "Out of Egypt I called my son" (Matthew 2:15; cf. Hosea 11:1)? An honest answer would have to be, "No."
    One would have an especially hard time supporting a literal approach to the OT if one were to examine how John alludes to it in the Book of Revelation. Rather ironic, since those who argue for a literal approach to the Bible are especially vehement about applying it to this book!

    Mark

    By Blogger Mowens, at 12/14/2005 11:13 PM  

  • Matthew is quoting the OT literally here. ... and so does John in the book of Revelation. It's interesting that those who are given to the allegorical approach want a literal salvation but not a literal millenial reign of Christ on this earth. He promises both.

    By Blogger J. Wendell, at 12/14/2005 11:17 PM  

  • Yes, someone recently said "why does the literal Israel get a literal curse, but all the promises that were made to Israel go to the "spiritual" Israel, the church?"

    By Blogger Rose~, at 12/14/2005 11:23 PM  

  • My friend Ephraim. Using a soda dispenser to help your friends who have a "dispensational" view of scripture will not help them understand dispensationalism any more than it has helped anyone else. It's really quite useless because none of the dispensational view suggests simply turning on or off just one spicket or the other. The "curse" spicket and the "promise" spicket would have to both still be on full bore, and a mess would ensue, and I don't think that accurately reflects the what anyone viewing scriptural things dispensationally is thinking. It certainly would dipict a mess. It's true, scripture would not agree with that thinking. And I believe, if we use that soda dispenser model, that your view would have to be all of them are running. And that would make any soda dispenser model one big mess. Moreover, the field of Psychology doesn't seem to be helping the situation with your trying to psychoanalize and discipher what these people using this puzzeling dispensational truth is either. Your assertion that "Dispensationalism is built on a faulty premise" is simply not made clear by your comments.

    Your point about Paul's lack of response to the label "Nazarene", to me is an odd point because Paul's lack of response, on the one hand, would seem to fit the lack of seriousness he gave to the insipid remark, and on the other, why would he object to his association with the town his Savior was considered to have grwon up in? Perhaps that was not one of the things Christ had told Paul, "To name them Christians", or some such thing, and so he felt no importance to do it. I'm a little dissappointed that you didn't tell what God finally did go "on record"(as you said) calling His people who were not of the nation of Israel. That's a pretty thick book for there not to be any distinction at all as to how to refer to ourselves as believers.

    Your being at odds with Dispenationalism is sincere. But the dispensational views you are citing are not commonly accepted dispensational views and views that are just not well stated by you. A little too much "putting words in other peoples mouths".

    The retort to your "empty conclusion" is not logical and should be used in the "parlor" only. I would hope you would have something more well rounded to say in reply to your "empty conclusion" proposition.

    You've taken this opportunity to characterize everyone but yourself in these comments of yours. That's easy to do but hardly worth taking your time. You actually sound like a Dispensationalist yourself much of the time before you trail off about how and why others believe what they do, and that there's something that they don't know which would change their thinking that your not going to tell them. That's not useful. It wasn't until I noticed in some later post you made that you are prone to sort of take cover in even more obscure assertions of language and translation vagaries that can be known only by the most studied. Don't fall into that trap. A nice literal Greek rendering of the old testament was accepted by the Jews long before their Messiah confirmed it. And don't fall prey to the way the sophomoric from boths sides of every issue have changed the language. With a strong desire for the Truth you can cut right through the junk easily and not find yourself working with the minced and mashed leftover meanings of words not even from scripture.

    So while I see you have a heartfelt concern with the dispensational view issue I've not seen you support your bold "faulty premise" propostion. Well, thanks to the Lord that peace abides then in all of us who know Him brother. And have a nice day.

    By Blogger Todd, at 12/14/2005 11:47 PM  

  • In my church, they all fight over who gets to sit as far from the "pulpit" as possible.

    What does that make us (besides contentious)?

    By Blogger Joe, at 12/15/2005 7:07 AM  

  • Dear John,
    I think we are using the word "literal" differently. I'm basically suggesting that there are times when what is written in the Bible does not exactly correspond with what plays out in history. I'm guessing you are using the word "literal" to convey the notion that you affirm what the Bible says. It is the difference between an intentional view of truth and a propositional view of truth. You would hold to the latter, while I would hold to the former.

    Regarding the example I gave, note that in Hosea 11, the son is Israel; in Matthew 2, the son is the "true Son," Jesus Christ. Regarding your comments about Revelation, I think it is entirely appropriate to hold salvation is "literal" and other passages are not. As you say, it is a matter of "context, context, context."

    Please don't take this as a lame excuse, but I simply don't have enough time to engage in another lengthy discussion. Antonio is taking me away from my thesis enough as it is:-)
    That said, I would be glad to point you to some helpful resources written by godly men who know a lot about the book of Revelation and how to faithfully interpret it. I'm sure you would agree that there are some issues when it comes to the Bible that we cannot be certain about and this is one of them. Therefore, it is important to be a good student of the Word and explore the views of others who might disagree with what we hold "near and dear" at the time.

    Mark

    By Blogger Mowens, at 12/15/2005 10:23 AM  

  • John Wendell,

    Interesting stuff. I guess I have a side comment about dispensationalism which I find to be most disturbing trend in it.

    Do you guys believe you are to ask God for forgiveness as believers. I was talking to a friend who was a dispensationalist and he said no we don't have to ask God for forgiveness anymore as that our redemption is accomplished so we must not continually cry out to God for forgiveness as a believer and our life of repentence isn't the life of a Christian.

    Of course the redemption is accomplished but dispensationally I don't understand why we wouldn't continue to Cry out today in our sin and ask for mercy today. I know of course that if I die and am saved will go to heaven even for sins I didn't confess but we are to confess them continually to God.

    By Blogger Shawn L, at 12/15/2005 1:14 PM  

  • Josh,
    Thanks for your thoughts. I share some of them. I also think that Ephraim should start a blog so he can more fully expound his doctrine instead of just telling us we're wrong.

    Antonio,
    You're silly sometimes, but I guess that is good since sometimes you must be so valiant and intense.

    Joe,
    Your pithy comments are so full of meaning! We have that same fight in my church sometimes, too. It is silly, why don't we move down to the front?

    J. Wendell,
    My heart is with you!

    Shawn,
    Dispensationalists confess their sins just like it says in 1st John. If we are saved, we know we are justified and we don't have to worry about whether we are chosen or not. I guess that might have been what the friend was trying to get across to you, although that is a Lordship/Calvinism discussion and not necessarily a Dispensational issue. Maybe J. Wendell will have more to say on the later.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 12/15/2005 1:22 PM  

  • Hey! Thanks Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, Pilgrim, and MOwens for visiting and for your contributions.

    Pilgrim,
    I'm glad you can see that Dispensationalists are Christians, too. :~)

    MOwens, I will tell J. Wendell you left a communication for him when he gets home from work.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 12/15/2005 1:25 PM  

  • todd,

    "A nice literal Greek rendering of the old testament was accepted by the Jews long before their Messiah confirmed it."

    It is always disappointing to me to find someone lumping together all "Jews" as if they were some homogeneous aggregate of people who all believed and acted the same. You have done some reading but you haven't done your homework.

    Take some time to discover the huge differences in beliefs and lifestyle that existed between the Hellenized Jews in the diaspora and the Jews who lived in and around Jerusalem. Then realize that Sha'ul (Paul) was not a "Hellenized Jew".

    Those in the diaspora were called "Hellenized" for a reason. (No, I am not going to go into that here, sorry). And who was it that commissioned the writing of the Septuagint? The request did not come from the Jews in Jerusalem. You may also want to take a look at some of the textual "difficulties" that exist in that translation as well. (Again, I am not going to elaborate. I only mention it because you brought it up).

    "I'm a little dissappointed that you didn't tell what God finally did go "on record"(as you said) calling His people who were not of the nation of Israel."

    I'm sorry. I thought that was obvious and well known. He calls His people Israel. That name does not mean a "man" a "genetic group" or a distinct and separate nation of which only "Jews" are a part. Scripture calls everyone else on the planet (those who are not a part of His Israel) Gentiles. Again, see Eph ch. 2 for a description of the condition of anyone who is outside of Israel. The English word "gentile" comes from the Hebrew word "goyim" which means "nations". In other words, those from other nations (or people groups if you prefer). Put in the context of the blessing given by YHVH to Abraham, YHVH told him that he would be the father of many "gentiles" or "nations", the goyim. From those people, or nations, YHVH would gather His people Israel and they would be one people with one Shepherd.

    Given that we are Abraham's children by faith in Yeshua, and that Abraham is the father of Jacob, whom YHVH called Israel, and that YHVH has made His covenants with Israel, and that Yeshua is called "Israel" and will be the Shepherd of Israel, the following prophecy was made and then later copied into Matthew's gospel.

    Mat 2:6 'You Beit-Lechem, land of Yehudah, Are in no way least among the princes of Yehudah: For out of you shall come forth a governor, Who shall shepherd my people, Yisra'el.'"

    Do you not claim Jesus as your Great Shepherd? Scripture says that He will shepherd Israel. You are either a part of Israel through faith in Messiah Yeshua or you are part of the other "nations" outside of Israel. Or do you tack on a qualifier to the end of that prophecy that adds and includes the "Church"? That would promote the idea of a dispensation of the "Church" where the "called out chosen ones" would congregate apart from the Israel of YHVH. Back to the two separate spiritual realities.

    Scripture descibes Him as the Shepherd of Israel, but the "nations" He will rule with a "rod of iron".

    If you cast aside earthly affiliations and all the names that men give each other, what are you left with according to scripture? From YHVH's perspective there are the ones He has called out and chosen, and there are all the rest. Is that not what we are talking about here? The "called out chosen ones"?

    If you want to say that dispensations are simply a way of categorizing how YHVH deals with man in different times of history, fine. Ultimately it probably matters little how you work the problem. But the answer you arrive at is important.

    Do you think that you are "spiritual Israel"? That is difficult to accept since we will be judged according to the deeds done in our physical bodies. And a careful reading of scripture will show that there has always been a spiritual component to the people of YHVH. I wonder why some folks are so quick to try and separate them.

    So let me ask you a question. Suppose that for a time you searched the scriptures with the idea that you might just be part of Israel. The real physical/sprititual Israel. And you found that it was true. Not based on genetics, but on the "seed" of promise.

    What would you do? How might that affect your beliefs, your worship, your fellowship?

    I have been reading and commenting on these (reformed?) blogs for almost a year now, trying to understand what the beliefs and concerns are, how scripture is interpreted. My taking the time to do so has enriched my own experience of faith. I think of that as a blessing from YHVH.

    Shalom

    By Blogger Ephraim, at 12/15/2005 1:40 PM  

  • Rose,

    I am not here just to tell you that you are wrong. If that were the case I would be rather heartless and just having fun at everyone's expense.

    But that is not the case.

    And I am told quite often here that I am wrong as well. I take that as being the nature of these discussions.

    Perhaps a blog of my own would be a good idea. But I was wondering, by your bringing it up these three times, should I take that as being shown the door? :-|

    By Blogger Ephraim, at 12/15/2005 1:54 PM  

  • Rose~ I really like the rose avatar.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 12/15/2005 2:51 PM  

  • "Shown the door" ... absolutely not, Ephraim!! Of course not. I just think it would be nice to read some of your thoughts in a different forum. ... you know, a forum where YOU set the agenda - not me. You would probably be (or seem) less reactionary that way.

    Shalom Alecheim, Ephraim
    where's Mannaseh? - just kiddin' ;~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 12/15/2005 4:03 PM  

  • Rose,
    I appreciate that.

    Ephraim,
    Could you explain why you refer to the author of such writings as the letter to the Romans as "Sha'ul"?

    Mark

    By Blogger Mowens, at 12/15/2005 4:31 PM  

  • Rose,

    You said "Dispensationalists confess their sins just like it says in 1st John. If we are saved, we know we are justified and we don't have to worry about whether we are chosen or not."

    Agreed, I wasn't even indicating or talking about election though, my fellow sheep. All saved people are elect in Christ. I'm talking about Christianity in general.

    I think it is very much a question of dispensationalism as why else would someone state that crying out to God for mercy is not needed today. A life of repentence is the life of Christians (whether or not we believe all Christians repent is a different discussion for Lordship debates).

    I'm not debating, but am trying to figure out dispensationally how someone would come to this conclusion reading the bible.

    By Blogger Shawn L, at 12/15/2005 4:48 PM  

  • Nowhere after the death and resurrection of Christ do we find a beliver asking for forgiveness for their sins. If they are justified in Christ's completed work and are sat down in heaven with Him, there is no possiblity of their coming into eternal condemnation. There is no need for them to ask for pardon.

    If we fail to confess our sinfulness and do not walk in the light of God's Spirit within us, then we render ourselves liable to God's parental chastisement. However, as we are justified and freed from condemantion and the law has no power to condemn us; we do not ask for forgiveness. We are not debtors to the law and so need not pardon for breaking it.

    I will post on the subject of the Lord's prayer on my blog soon.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 12/15/2005 4:54 PM  

  • matthew,

    I guess you don't teach your kids that prayer along with the Lord a pattern of prayer that includes what Jesus prayed.

    John/Rose,

    I guess I'm mixing up Brethren teaching with dispy stuff.

    By Blogger Shawn L, at 12/15/2005 5:03 PM  

  • Scofield Bible's notes maintain the same teaching. It is consistent Dispensationalism. To teach that Christians are debtors to the law is to confuse Jewish and Christian ground.

    God Bless

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 12/15/2005 5:11 PM  

  • Ephraim:

    In that you are trying to educate me, I greatly appreciate it, or if you are merely trying to state your point of view, I appreciate it either way. Thanks for taking note of my comment to you.

    I am a fan of the Proverb which says "Like stone on stone, men sharpen each other". I need sharpening and enjoy this venue to do it.

    Your immediate conclusion to my remark on the Septuagint was that I was lumping together all Jews. My understanding of the Jewish nation then was that it was possible for any man from any nation to be either ritualized into the nation of Israel through circumcision and etc. or to become a sort of fringe member known as a "God Fearer" or some such. even among all of the regional identities you described. Whether I have the label or the rituals involved precise isn't important, but that the composition of the nation of Israel was not exclusively genetic. I'm not sure how you arrived at the "lumping together" by my remark on the Septuagint.

    I'm not concerned that the Septuagint was commissioned by the Egyptian gov't. I'm concerned with whether it was reliably translated into Greek by the Jewish participants. We have a copy of it, and I am satisfied. The Jewish nation accepted it in all its main points. There is always hair splitting but, just as in the Bible, non germane. God would not have asked us to split hairs. The nation of Israel could not do essentially anything that was asked of them, therefore he is not going to rely on them to write His book, He's going to get it done Himself. If that's not true, then we are all with no hope. So I think we must rely on our original manuscripts, otherwise we are left with our own imaginations. And God has said nothing to us. I would ask that you consider that.

    Correct, God told Abraham he would be the father of many nations and that is how us gentiles know that the promise applies to us. In the end, I believe, everyone will have to come to God through Christ. Everyone will therefore be under on Shephard. In the meantime though scripture tells me He is showing favor to the Gentiles, the nation of Israel has been set aside, being made jealous, punished for their disbedience to Him from beginning to end of the old testament, and they will be judged according to the Law unless they know that Jesus is their Savior. But Israel will always be looked after and maintain an individual identity with God.

    Now at some point Jesus was the Messiah of the Jewish people. He could not be Israel's Messiah and the Savior of the world at the same time. He was at that time available to be the Shepherd of Israel and some day will be. But Israel rejected Him and they were set aside.

    In the transition from offering the Messiah to Israel only and then salvation to the whole world through Christ, the age of Grace had began. For the Church, which is simply the term for the spiritual Body of Christ. Israel is still under the Law until they come to Christ. There is a distinction between Israel and the Body of Christ. Israel is still Israel and will always be Israel. I can't quite conceptualize it as "two spiritual realities". It certainly doesn't need to be that.
    The Messiah was framed within the context of the Jews and their laws and prophets. Those still apply to anyone choosing to live under them. We Gentiles are free to refer to Him in our own language as the Savior from God, apart from the nation of Israel, and Israel is in fact seperate right now and still living under the Law. Christians are not Israel. And then, in Rev. God only knows what exactly will happen, and it's plain He did not intend for us to know to much, but more than enough for us to pin our hope on.

    As you said, however we arrive at our answers, they are important. But your statement that "we will be judged according to the deeds done in our bodies" has a different meaning to Christians now than it does to Israel under the Law. Different covenants, or a dispensing of a particular unique new and different element in God's progressive plan, one being under the Law, and the other, under the covenant of Christ's blood. Thus, the use of the word dispensation, to help explain the difference in how you handle God's directives according to their context. If those terms have been tortured to death and contorted by some then so be it to only their detriment. It doesn't get in my way but surely can be a hindrance to discussion and render many fruitless.

    I cannot be a part of the physical Isreal which is based on genetics.
    Spiritually, I am a descendent of Abraham in a narrow sense, but moreso in that he was reconcilled by faith in God and I am reconcilled by that faith as well through His Son. I don't consider myself spiritually akin to Israel now because they don't have the saving gift of the Spirit of God in them. There always has been a spiritual component to Israel in that the Dispenser of the Spirit, their God and ours, the One and Only, has most of the time been nearby them, guiding His chosen people by the use of the Spirit Who would indwell a specific prophet for a specific purpose. Much different than the indwelling of the Spirit in belivers in the new testament.

    He promised Abraham several things. One was to be the father of many nations. He is the father of the nation of Israel as well as the father of my nation, and Ismael's nation. Many nations. I am not and never will be of the nation of Israel so I'm not related in that sense. Spiritually, once inside the body of Christ, I will be related to others there. Even Israelites who are their.

    I give you a lot of credit for your tenacity of the past year. You're going to be sujected to a lot of confusion in these blogs. Not this one certainly but many. Every wind of doctrine that comes along is out there and it all sounds as convincing at face value. There is so much bad and even false teaching out there that it's difficult to even talk about and enjoy scripture with other Christians who may go to a different church. Well thanks for the stimulating questions you posed. Hope we've both been sharpened with this exchange. With blogs like this one there is plenty to be hopeful for in the blogsphere. The love of Christ truly to you. Todd

    By Blogger Todd, at 12/15/2005 5:25 PM  

  • Todd,
    With blogs like this one there is plenty to be hopeful for in the blogsphere.

    Thank you.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 12/15/2005 5:55 PM  

  • todd,

    see, here's that "lumping" thing I was talking about:

    "The nation of Israel could not do essentially anything that was asked of them, therefore he is not going to rely on them to write His book, He's going to get it done Himself."

    To say that the "nation of Israel" could not do "anything" they had been asked to do is similar to someone saying that the Chinese have rejected the gospel, therefore God has rejected the Chinese nation. All or nothing. Israel sinned so all Israel is condemned? Scripture says that each man will bear the consequences of his own sin.

    The judgement of nations is a separate subject.

    or how about:

    "The Jewish nation accepted it in all its main points." (meaning the Septuagint).

    Unless the Sannhedrin had endorsed the translation, the Jews in Judaea would have rejected it completely. Which they did. Greek was not spoken in the synagogues in Judaea. Aramaic in the north around the Galilee, sure, that was how Peter was recognized when he spoke up in the temple. But a Greek translation of the TaNaK, nope. (TaNaK is an acronym for what is commonly the OT).

    btw, the Septuagint was based on scriptures written by who and in what language?

    So I consider your "Jewish nation" concept as "lumping". I was going to put an example of Christian "lumping" here, but decided not to. Maybe someone else could.

    As far as Israel being under the condemnation of Torah (the Law), who isn't? You're right, of course, until one, anyone, is redeemed by faith in Messiah, that is their plight. But it is not exclusively the fate of what you are calling "Israel".


    mowen,

    Sha'ul is the Hebrew name that the writer of those letters was given by his parents. I only add the apostrophe as a pronounciation guide. It is also correctly spelled Shaul. As with many other names, the Greeks, due sometimes to the limitations of their language, had trouble with Hebrew names, and changed it to something they could read, write and accept, hence, the name Paul has come down to us from them. Call him Paul. Call him Shaul. Call him whatever you like. He is not here to accept or reject the results. Historical accuracy means something to me personally, but it may not cut the grass for anyone else.

    Such is life.

    Thanks Rose for the invitation. I knew you liked me :-))

    Shalom

    By Blogger Ephraim, at 12/15/2005 6:25 PM  

  • Ephriam:

    I'm starting to worry about your willingness to accept simple truths illustrated by God in your old testament. If the Chinese were God's chosen people to reveal Him to the rest of the world,like Israel was, and they treated that responsibility in the manner that Israel did, then they too would have suffered the same curse as the people of Israel and be set aside for a time. And now God offers salvation to individuals from all nations, just as He had promised to your father Abraham. Not to nations, but to individuals of all nations. Circumventing the need to any longer go through the nation of Israel to get to God. Scripture does not say anyone or any nation was rejected by Him, scripture does not say "all or nothing" about Israel's being set aside, and I did not say that. It just said they were set aside. don't keep putting things in my mouth which I did not say.

    Thank you for confirming that the Sannhedrin had accepted the Septuagint as being acceptable. Although it does not matter what they thought, but rather what the manuscripts that we have found, say in their text. We can know that it was a authentic attempt by well intentioned capable Jewish representatives at a translation from Hebrew to Greek, both languages the translators were fluent in. The fact that Greek was not spoken in the synagogues is meaningless. The people in the synagagues are the last place we are going to refer to to understand the meaning of God's word. We care about the writings themselves. And we have very capable bilingual Jews whom God chose in Paul, James, Peter, etc. to help us with any difficulties and they did a fine job.

    You seem to have this sensitivity about exactly how Israel is referred too by me or and my summing up of what it appears to me that scripture is saying regarding their treatment in God's plan in the future, without having an inkling yourself as to what that plan might be. Good luck with that. Seriously, the problems you are still having with what I have said are telling me we are wasting our time.

    What you told Mowen about Paul's name is not correct. Paul's name was changed by the Christian community (perhaps Christ Himself I don't know)after his conversion and did not come down to us from some Greek linquists looking for an easier spelling. Just as Peter was named Cephas by Christ, Paul took on a new name as an apostle of Christ. Of course it goes much further than that because he "put off the old man and put on the new", but his name was no longer Saul. And your gloating about your own personal historical accuracy does not reflect well on your historical knowledge or your temperment. This is the kind of discussion that is not worth either of our time. I'm sure you'll agree.

    Peace, Todd

    By Blogger Todd, at 12/15/2005 11:19 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    Sorry I'm late joining in your discussion, I've been rather busy! But for the record, I think Dispensationalism has their thinking exactly backwards. As demonstrated by the quotations in your post, they try to show different ways in which man related to God over time, (a.k.a. different ‘dispensations'), for they claim things have changed periodically over the years.

    But let's think this through from a heavenly perspective. God isn't following us, but we're supposed to be following Him. So wouldn't this really mean that God Himself is the One who has been changing over the years? (Mal 3:6). And if He's perfect but then He changes, what would that mean? It could only mean that He became less than perfect. Or was it simply a case that His life and abilities were always limited, and He could only do so much at once, and was therefore compelled to shift from mode to mode to focus on some things while having to neglect others? No matter how you look at it, this doesn't reflect very well on God. So as long as we're making points from names, how would dispensationalism relegate the name El Shaddai to the past, "God Almighty", and then explain to us the difference?

    It's really very simple. Everything before Christ points toward Him, and finds it's fulfillment in Him (ex: Gal 3:24). Everything from His lifetime onward points back toward Him to explain His significance. In the sense of the fulfillment having come in Christ Himself, we are now in ‘the dispensation of the fullness of times' (Eph 1:10). Those who were before Christ were not made perfect without us, nor shall we be made perfect without them (Heb 11:40); but all things were created through Christ and for Him, and this has never changed (Col 1:16; Heb 13:8).

    But I especially dislike the dark side of dispensationalism. Did you know that nothing Jesus taught us matters anymore? That's because He taught in an ‘old dispensation' that no longer applies to us. For we are now under the dispensation that Paul spoke of when he said ‘my gospel' (Rom 2:16; 16:25; 2 Tim 2:8). So it is safe to ignore Jesus Himself, and everybody else in the Bible, unless you can find Paul saying something similar. (In fact, under the logic that you quoted in your post, if you call yourself a ‘Baptist' now, it could very well mean that even Paul can be safely ignored.)

    In other words, Dispensationalism is more about what you don't believe than what you do believe. It teaches you to pick and choose from the Scriptures, and set the vast majority of it aside, rather than accepting all of God's word as true. But I believe God's constant and true character is shown throughout (Luke 6:45).

    Or did you know that Jesus failed in His mission on the earth? According to dispensationalism He was supposed to set up the kingdom of Israel, but the Jews crucified Him instead (see John 6:15). So were you also aware that the crucifixion was a mistake, and that God was simply making the most out of a bad situation? Lucky for us Gentiles! But even so, Jew and Gentile remain separate in Christ and it's supposed to be that way (see Rom 10:12; Eph 2:14-16). So either salvation isn't the important thing to them, or else they are saved in some other way than we are (Acts 15:11).

    And speaking of the church, did you know that the church itself is an anomaly, an unplanned afterthought that God never intended? So much for the eternal bride of Christ, which is a point that is actually downplayed (see Gen 2:24/Eph 5:31-32).

    It's midnight, sorry to rush but I need to try for some sleep (But I certainly hope this opens some other eyes!)

    In Him,
    -Loren (Cleopas)

    By Blogger Cleopas, at 12/16/2005 1:10 AM  

  • Cleopas,
    I have no problem with the so-called dark side of Dispensatioanlism that you identify. I find it very liberating and provides a much better way of understanding the Scriptures.

    The mission of Jesus was not a failure. That is a gross caricature of Dispensationalism. It was foreordained that Christ woudl be crucified. This was God's plan. Christ came with the offer of the fulfillment of God's Kingdom promises to Israel, which they rejected and had Him crucified. This was God's hidden counsel. The Jews hearts were hardened while Christ was on earth, so that they would not repent.

    After the Resurrrection, the Kingdom was again offered to Israel at Pentecost and through the preaching of repentance by the Jewish Church. However, the Jews refused to repent, apart from a remnant and they persecuted the Church. The Jewish dispensation was thus closed at the stoning of Stephen. God then brought the Gentiles into the Church, His body on earth.

    The Church Age was a mystery known to God. However, it is a parenthesis. It is not predicted by OT prophecy int he slightest. To see the Church as a subject of OT prophecy would be to bring the Church down to an earthly carnal level. The Church is an heavenly people connected with Christ's presence in heaven. Israel, in contrast is an earthly people, connected primarily with God's dealings with the earth.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 12/16/2005 3:56 AM  

  • Cleopas (loren),
    I agree with Matthew, that you have presented a charicature of Dispensational thought. I view the scriptures through this lens so maybe I can help you see where you are wrong in your understanding of it.
    Disp. doesn't say that God is limited!!! No way! It recognizes that God has tailor-made a plan that is designed to bring about a glorioius consummation.
    It doesn't seek to set aside scriptures as irrelevant to me. It only tries to explain how all scripture is true, even though there may be mixed messages. (All scripture is FOR ME to learn about God and His plan, but all scripture is not TO ME and is not His plan for me - surely you would agree with that?)
    You seem to be ignoring a rather large point also when you say that we paint God as "surprised" over the different dispensations, including the church. People are participants in this plan, He has made legitimate offers (all the while knowing the end of it). eg. - the tree in the garden, the covenant of law, the offer of the kingdom that Jesus made. Dispensationalists don't paint God as being surprised!!! It is a way to view the unfolding mystery of God's plan. His plan has been a "mystery" to the people through the ages, not to Himself.

    This post was really supposed to more tongue in cheek than anything. I do think that it makes a good point, though. If you think all scripture is TO YOU, then you have a lot to change in your life, I'm sure. ... better start tying the knots on your prayer shawl. ;~)


    Hallelujah for the grace of God that brings salvation.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 12/16/2005 7:56 AM  

  • Loren,
    You say : But I especially dislike the dark side of dispensationalism. Did you know that nothing Jesus taught us matters anymore?

    This is simply not true and unfair. Do you really think that is what I believe?

    You say: Everything before Christ points toward Him, and finds it's fulfillment in Him (ex: Gal 3:24). Everything from His lifetime onward points back toward Him to explain His significance.

    This is also true for dispensationalists. Christ is the all in all.

    21Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22 Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, "Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession."
    23Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, "Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us."
    24He answered, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel."
    25The woman came and knelt before him. "Lord, help me!" she said.
    26He replied, "It is not right to take the children's bread and toss it to their dogs."


    The idea of the different "dispensations" is right here in this passage.

    Loren, have you ever read a book about D. written by a D.? I suggest a very small booklet written by C.I. Scofield called "Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth." Email me your address and I will send you a copy. I think you would be surprised at how helpful it is ... and you would be surprised that it is NOT the charicterization that you have stated.

    This was the first Christian book I ever read. I read it the month after I was saved and I was reading through the Bible for the first time. I found it IMMENSLEY helpful.

    Your friend! Rose~

    By Blogger Rose~, at 12/16/2005 8:48 AM  

  • Listening to Cleopas brought this to mind. Dispensationalism seems to me to be an outline that God has used. A construct. When misunderstood or not understood it will not help an individual. Dispensationalism, like every thing in the world, has been bent, folded around and mutialated at times for any number of normal reasons. In my mind, that is a result of poor, misguided and even false teaching. I don't know if that will help anyone cut through all the confusion or not.

    By Blogger Todd, at 12/16/2005 9:15 AM  

  • Well that just figures.

    I understand exactly what cleopas is saying. In fact, I would probably have tried to make the same points if I hadn't already used so much bandwidth.

    What cleopas did was to take the dispensationalists beliefs (however varied they may be), and push them out to their logical conclusions. When seeing these conclusions in writing, the typical reaction of the person subscribing to them is one of shock. Something like, "how could you say that?", or, "I don't believe that way!".

    But in this life everything has a begining and an end. Whatever is started will continue until it stops. That may be a short or long time from our perspective, but it is true.

    When an idea becomes a teaching and the teaching becomes a doctrine and the doctrine becomes a religion, we need to look at where it started and where it will lead. Sometimes the root is hard to find. Sometimes the logical conclusion is even harder. But it is always worth the effort.

    Cleopas, correct me if I'm wrong, but is that not what you were trying to communicate? The logical conclusions of dispensational beliefs? If not I apologize for misunderstanding.

    todd,

    "You seem to have this sensitivity about exactly how Israel is referred too by me or and my summing up of what it appears to me that scripture is saying regarding their treatment in God's plan in the future, without having an inkling yourself as to what that plan might be. Good luck with that. Seriously, the problems you are still having with what I have said are telling me we are wasting our time."

    You don't know anything about my inklings. Or my sensitivities.

    And your statements, such as the one I've quoted here, tell me that you do not have a legitimate argument, only a problem with what I am saying and how I choose to say it.

    Perhaps at this time we may well be wasting our time. That is, if coming to some agreement is the purpose of the exchange. So I will not take apart your words and try to show you the discrepancies. Rose is right, this is her blog.

    btw, Rose, my brother Manasseh ran into some serious trouble awhile back and what was left of his tribe was rolled up into mine. Then at the end of the age we both get rolled back up into our father's tribe, Yosef (Joseph). A small part of my "inkling".

    Shalom

    By Blogger Ephraim, at 12/16/2005 12:51 PM  

  • Ephraim,
    you said: at the end of the age
    ... you are a dispesationalist after all!
    Feel free to expound on the passage I asked "Cleopas" about.
    See you around the campus! ;~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 12/16/2005 1:11 PM  

  • Rose,

    I assume you mean the one from the gospel of Matthew. It is an interesting exchange to be sure, but it becomes problematic when divorced from the background which lead to those statements being made by Yeshua.

    You said:

    "The idea of the different "dispensations" is right here in this passage."

    If these verses promote the idea of dispensations, then this one would promote the just the opposite.

    Jhn 12:32 "And I, if I am lifted up from the eretz (earth), will draw all people to myself."

    Of course, whether or not you think these verses do either would depend upon your definition of:

    a) "only the lost sheep of house of Israel"

    and

    b) "all people"

    Like everyone else here I have my thoughts and scriptures about the meanings of these statements made by Messiah Yeshua. But perhaps it may be better to hear from others first before making an offering of my own.

    I am interested in how these seeming contradictions fit into reformed (or not reformed) theology.

    Shalom

    By Blogger Ephraim, at 12/16/2005 3:59 PM  

  • Loren (Cleopas),
    I wish you would respond back to me.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 12/16/2005 8:39 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    Allow me to suggest a bit of role reversal. You’ve posted an article and said, “Now tell me why he’s wrong.” So allow me to do likewise and tell you some of my own thoughts, based on the heavenly perspective, and please tell me where I’m missing it.

    Jesus Christ has always existed, and the church’s own, eternal identity may be found in Him. For God foreknew His church before time began:

    “God . . . visited the Gentiles to take out of them a people for His name . . . known to God from eternity are all His works.”
    (Acts 15:14-18)

    Thus when God said of Adam and Eve, “they two shall become one flesh” (Gen 2:24), He patterned their oneness after Christ and His beloved church, making them an earthly ‘copy’ of the original relationship, in the heavenlies:

    "‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.”
    (Eph 5:31-32).

    This brings us to the question of exactly what the church is. Is it a governing institution, as so many of it’s objectors have assumed? No, but rather, Christ Himself is the governor of the church, and He lovingly rules over us all, as a man is head over his wife (1 Cor 11:3; Eph 5:23). Even those in the church who become leaders must do so as servants, in following His example over themselves (Is 42:1). So the church is best understood as a collection of persons who have united themselves with the Lord through believing, and not as an ecclesiastical institution.

    As such, the church is foretold in the Old Testament very, very often. In Acts 15:14-18, quoted above, James recounts how the church was foretold by the prophet Isaiah (with reference to Isaiah 11:10). But here is my favorite prophecy:

    “Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples. And I will wait on the LORD, who hides His face from the house of Jacob; and I will hope in Him. Here am I and the children whom the LORD has given me! We are for signs and wonders in Israel from the LORD of hosts, who dwells in Mount Zion.”
    (Isa 8:16-18)

    So the church was not ‘unprophesied’ in the Old Testament, as Matthew (and Scofield before him) have claimed, nor is it a ‘parenthesis’ or an after-thought. Nor is it the unseen valley between two distant peaks (yes, I’ve read more about it than you may think). But rather, the church has always been so central to God’s heart that all is love is shed abroad through us, making the church the fullness of Him who fills all in all (Eph 3:19; 1:23).

    This brings us to an important distinction. God is not bound by time in the same manner as we, for He is “the High and Lofty One who inhabits eternity” (Is 57:15). In fact, the spirit realm in general is unconstrained by time in the same sense that we are constrained on the earth (ex: Luke 4:5). So we must ask ourselves a very fundamental question. Are we to measure an eternal truth by an earthly limitation? Or must we allow our horizon to be challenged, to think of it as He does?

    This distinction is important for another reason. If God is unconstrained by time, then why would He be constrained to work through seven dispensations? The Lamb was slain from before the foundation of the world, so what else would He need? Only the manifestation of this truth in our own world remained, when Jesus came in the flesh to make an earthly representation of this eternal, heavenly truth, in our midst.

    With this natural division in mind, based on the time of His coming, everything that was spoken in the Old Testament ultimately pointed toward Him, and everything that followed in the New looked back to explain the meaning of His life. And with Him in view, their testimony was identical, not dispensational.

    Remember that for thirty years after Pentecost, none of the New Testament had yet been written. The first ‘New Testament’ of the church was the Old Testament’s Messianic prophecy, and Paul found such unanimity that he "[witnessed] “both to small and great, saying no other things than those which the prophets and Moses said would come.” (Acts 26:22).

    If a new dispensation was introduced, would it not mean that the old was passing away? But Paul himself told us that we are to build on both testimonies together:

    “having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone.
    (Eph 2:20)

    In other words, whether Old Testament or New, the testimony of Jesus is the chief cornerstone of the Scripture’s meaning. The two are not at odds, but are complimentary when we are looking in them for Him:

    “Then He said to them, "These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me." And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures.”
    (Luke 24:44-45)

    This is not to say that God has replaced Israel with the church. He has not cast away the people whom He foreknew (Rom 11:2). He still has plans for the nation of Israel, and the kingdom that will one day be established is, and always has been, in His own power (Acts 1:6-7). He could easily have established the kingdom while on the earth if He had been minded, but it was simply not His time for that. (In fact, He actually acted to prevent it -- see John 6:15), so it is untrue to think that a failure occurred, making a ‘Plan B’ necessary, resulting in an unprophesied church as an interim or parenthesis (Amos 3:7).

    But even though God still has plans for the nation of Israel, these plans will not include salvation unless and until they believe in Christ. When this occurs, they will be saved in the same manner as we (Acts 15:11). They will not be saved by some separate covenant.

    Remember that the church is the body of Christ. In His own body, on the cross, Jesus made one new man from the two (Jew and Gentile), thus making peace. And He Himself is our peace (Eph 2:12-16).

    Rose? Any disagreements?

    By Blogger Cleopas, at 12/16/2005 10:10 PM  

  • P.S.

    I'll try to come back and answer some other objections soon, I do have soe other plans for the rest of the evening.

    By Blogger Cleopas, at 12/16/2005 10:15 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    I’m back (at least for a while, with a little insomnia,) so I’ll try to answer some of your specific objections.

    I am honestly not sure what you mean when you say ‘all Scripture is for you, but not to you’, but as I think I understand your meaning, I believe I would have to reach an opposite conclusion:

    “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
    (2 Tim 3:16-17)

    Old or New Testament, the Scriptures were written from a certain, basic perspective: “from the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” (Luke 6:45). Because of this, God’s character may be seen everywhere throughout His word, and it is my goal to know Him as well as possible (Jer 9:24; Phil 3:10). This includes many lessons from the law of Moses, which is good if one knows how to use it lawfully (1 Tim 1:18). I wrote a series of four articles about this, which you can see by clicking here, then following the ‘next lesson’ links. They explain how not one jot or tittle of the law has passed away, but all is fulfilled in Christ (Matt 5:17-19), and in us as a new creation in Him (Rom 3:31).

    Obviously, in my first comment I was stating some things in a very naked light in order to make some points about them. You called them ‘caricatures’ and that’s what they were meant to be: an unflattering perspective on the same core concepts that Scofield might have portrayed in a flattering perspective. I know you well enough to believe this would shock you, and make you think about the further implications of his concepts. You drew a line, and that’s all I was really hoping for. I know you would never disregard Jesus in any way!

    By the way, thanks for your kind offer for a copy of Scofield’s book, but it is actually available free online here. I’ve been reading some of it.

    You also quoted Matt 15:21-26, with the Canaanite woman. I know this passages troubles a lot of people but let’s look at it fairly. If this is an example of a dispensation being enforced, we must note that at the end of the matter Jesus ‘violated’ the dispensation anyway, based on the woman’s faith (the ‘new’ dispensation, which had not yet begun), and He granted her request.

    The truth was simply what Jesus had stated it to be: He was given a commandment by the Father to go to the lost sheep of the House of Israel (Ezek 34:22-23,30-31), though the scope of this ministry was always designed to go further (Is 53:6). Remember that even in the Old Testament, thought the oracle and covenants were given to the Jews, the stranger would also be accepted by God in coming to Him; and for many years after Jesus came, the Apostle Paul would still begin his outreach, in each city, in their synagogue if possible, that it may be ‘to the Jew first and also to the Gentile’. This is really a matter of priority rather than of dispensation, and it has always been this way.

    It’s four in the morning and I’m trying to catch up on some of the comments on this post. Hello Ephraim, I just read your comment and I think you did do a good job of capturing my intention (to shock, to provoke further thought). I read some of your earlier comments too, and it’s a pleasure to meet you. I think we think alike in many ways.

    Rose, I’d better try for some more sleep, but I surely hope I haven’t caused you to lose any.

    Your friend (yes!)
    Loren

    By Blogger Cleopas, at 12/17/2005 4:57 AM  

  • Loren,
    1. Where in the OT do we find teachign about the Body of Christ?

    2. Where in the OT do we find teachign about Jew and Gentile being united in one body, with the disinctions in relation to God being broken down?

    3. Where in the OT do we find teaching on the Gentiles having a part as the Bride of Christ?

    4. Why is the Church seen as a mystery if it is prophesied in the OT?

    God Bless

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 12/17/2005 6:19 AM  

  • Loren,
    You said:
    in my first comment I was stating some things in a very naked light in order to make some points about them. You called them ‘caricatures’ and that’s what they were meant to be: an unflattering perspective on the same core concepts that Scofield might have portrayed in a flattering perspective. I know you well enough to believe this would shock you, and make you think about the further implications of his concepts. You drew a line, and that’s all I was really hoping for.

    I’m so surprised!! I did not know you to be so manipulative. Hmmm … I’m going to have to be more careful around you … I’m such a naïve thing… :~)

    You said:
    … the church has always been so central to God’s heart that all is love is shed abroad through us, making the church the fullness of Him who fills all in all (Eph 3:19; 1:23). Not that I am looking for something to nitpik about, but I think that Christ is so central to God’s heart and so those of all ages who look to the Messiah, future or past (which is irrelevant to God) have become partakers of that accepted position with God, through the savior, the all-important one.

    You said:
    so it is untrue to think that a failure occurred, making a ‘Plan B’ necessary, resulting in an unprophesied church as an interim or parenthesis…

    Silly again. No dispensationalist ever claims that the church is a “plan B,” that I remember. The failure is only on man’s part, and we always fail, that is why Christ came to save us. However, it seems clear to me that the unprophesied church as an interim or parenthesis is sure. … unprophesied to the Israelites, who had the Book! We are talking about what has been revealed to man, not what all is in God’s mind! The Bible is the Word of God to man, but it does not contain the complete MIND of God. So, of course God knew about the church, but the Israelites didn’t, until it happened and they were the first ones to be “members.” Beautiful!

    I agree with what you have said about the OT and NT being important both to us. I am not of the ilk that would dismiss the OT. I have been in so many arguments with Catholic family over that … they think the OT is not for us to read, it is all irrelevant. (although they don’t read the NT either!) I contend that it is relevant, because, like you say, it can help us to know God and His workings with man. I do see Christ in the OT, just as you say! I just don’t believe the law of Moses is something that I must keep to find redemption. I think it is a mirror that makes me appreciate the mercy I’ve been shown.

    You said:
    I am honestly not sure what you mean when you say ‘all Scripture is for you, but not to you’, but as I think I understand your meaning, I believe I would have to reach an opposite conclusion…

    One time when I still lived with my stubborn Catholic mother, in the home where all 7 of us children grew up, I marched around this home at midnight 7 times praying that the walls of religious pride would fall down.

    Did I really believe that this would work? No. I had read Joshua 6 and took it to heart:

    Now Jericho was tightly shut up because of the Israelites. No one went out and no one came in. Then the LORD said to Joshua, "See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men. March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days. Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams' horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets. When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have all the people give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the people will go up, every man straight in."

    I was only doing it out of a desperate attempt to do something!

    But… one could get into trouble if they read any passage in scripture and think that God is saying the thing He said to another person under another circumstance (or dispesation) “to me.” This could even happen reading the NT.
    I could be seeking God, trying to know what His plan for me is and … then turn to Acts 9 and read, "Who are you, Lord?" Saul asked. "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting," he replied. "Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do." If I thought all scripture was “to me” I could be very troubled over this and wonder what God is trying to say to me, how am I persecuting Him?

    That is all I mean by this. Of course all scripture is profitable for correction, training in righteousness, reproof, doctrine … but if I want a direct message from God to me, I must look for instructions for believers in Christ in the church age. That is all I am saying. … I call it reading the Bible with some common sense.

    You said:
    You also quoted Matt 15:21-26, with the Canaanite woman. I know this passages troubles a lot of people …

    It doesn’t trouble me, because I know that Jesus was the ALL IN ALL who reaches over to the chosen people of the Covenant with one hand and reaches “across the aisle” to the Gentiles on the other side. He is God! He can and did do that! He is the completion of the Law and the bringer of the free offer of salvation to all peoples. He is prophet, priest and king. King of the Jews, just like it said on his cross.

    Loren, I don’t want to fuss with you. Dispensationalism is not a wacky or dismissive approach to the Bible. I hope you will read the whole “Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth” so you can see that Dispensationalists are not people that you need to dispute with.

    I did not know that book was online! How cool … thanks for sharing that with me. Now, don’t be so tricksy with me again, trying to make “naked” statements to get a reaction from me! Of all the cheek!

    Your friend! Rose~

    By Blogger Rose~, at 12/17/2005 9:58 AM  

  • Hi Matthew,

    The concept of the body of Christ being the church springs from our being joined with Christ as His bride, “they two shall become one flesh” which Paul addressed from an Old Testament perspective in Eph 5:31-32, and which I referred to above.

    Paul also says that the Gentiles becoming part of the same body was not revealed in other ages (Eph 3:5-6), but in the same passage he declares that the fellowship of this mystery was hidden in God from the beginning (vs 9). So it is eternally true from God’s perspective, which is the one that really matters.

    But even so, in the sense of revelation being available to man through the Scriptures, the Old Testament contained plenty of hints that might satisfy your curiosity:

    "In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice." (Gen 22:18)

    God does not say, "in your seeds," as of many, but as of one, "In your Seed," who is Christ. And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. (Gal 3:16,29). Also, He does not say ‘by your seed’ which would allow for distinctions in how different people groups were handled, but ‘in your seed’ which envisions a gathering into Himself, again with reference to the bride typology. For “He who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him” (1 Cor 6:17). For God says in another place:

    “Do not let the son of the foreigner who has joined himself to the Lord speak, saying, "The Lord has utterly separated me from His people" (Isa 56:3)

    The same passage goes on to say that in gathering the outcasts of Israel, God will gather others with them (vs 8). And here are some other passages you may want to consider: Deut 32:43; Psalm 117:1; Isaiah 11:10; 42:6; 49:5-6; Amos 9:12; Mal 1:11, most of which are quoted elsewhere in the NT.

    It is also curious to note that there were Gentiles in the earthly lineage of Christ (Matt 1:5). So in the sense that Jesus was human, the Gentiles already had a presence in His own body. But if this seems too remote, lets recall that the prophet foretold Jesus as “a Rod from the stem of Jesse . . . for the Gentiles shall seek Him.” (Isaiah 11). Jesse, who was the grandson of Boaz and Ruth, and the great grandson of Salmom and Rahab, was almost 40% Gentile himself.

    Finally, why is the church seen as a mystery? It is only meant to be a mystery in a certain sense, which is explained in 1 Cor 2:7-9.

    Hi Rose,

    Oh, I see what you mean about ‘not all scriptures written to you’ with the Jericho example. Yes, I would definitely agree with that perspective. You also made a good catch with Christ being so central to God’s heart. Of course, this is the primary perspective and His feelings for us are best understood in light of it.

    By Blogger Cleopas, at 12/17/2005 1:38 PM  

  • Paul also says that the Gentiles becoming part of the same body was not revealed in other ages (Eph 3:5-6), but in the same passage he declares that the fellowship of this mystery was hidden in God from the beginning (vs 9). So it is eternally true from God’s perspective, which is the one that really matters.'


    You have basically conceded my point. Dispensationalists certainly hold that the Church was part of God's eternalplan. That it was not revealed in the OT shows that it is not a subject of prophecy and is disconnected to God's promises to Israel, exxcept in terms of the benefits it derives from the New Covenant promised to Israel.

    'The same passage goes on to say that in gathering the outcasts of Israel, God will gather others with them (vs 8). And here are some other passages you may want to consider: Deut 32:43; Psalm 117:1; Isaiah 11:10; 42:6; 49:5-6; Amos 9:12; Mal 1:11, most of which are quoted elsewhere in the NT.'

    These passages concern the salvation of gentiles, but in the context of the Millennial kingdom not the Church. Remember, that the conversion of Gentile nations will occurr in the Millennium.

    Seeing the Church in the OT depends upon the separation of kingdom promises from their kingdom fulfillment in the Millennium. These are earthly promises concerning earthly nations, not he Church which is the mystical body of Christ, heavenly in nature and transcending earthly distinctions.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 12/17/2005 3:22 PM  

  • Hi Matthew,

    Ummm, we're Gentiles -- or at least I am, are you not? So are you saying none of us Gentiles are saved yet?

    The Spirit bears witness with my spirit that I am a child of God, though of course, you must conclude what you will for yourself.

    By Blogger Cleopas, at 12/17/2005 5:36 PM  

  • God's salvation is through Christ, however it is realized in different ways in the various dispensations.

    I think you misunderstood me. A different set of Gentiles will be converted and saved in the Millennium through the witness of redeemed Israel.

    This group will not be a party to the heavenly privileges of the Church and will remain in eternity as God's earthly people, fulfilling God's purposes for the nations and the renewal of His original creation.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 12/17/2005 6:22 PM  

  • >It teaches you to pick and choose from the Scriptures, and set the vast majority of it aside<

    Amen brother. I don't know how I could have been so blind about this before.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 12/17/2005 10:06 PM  

  • You people are totally misunderstanding Dispensationalism. Totally. It is sad to hear you say that other Christians, who use this system to help them understand the Bible, are setting aside scriptures. ... then "amen"s to that. That makes me really sad.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 12/17/2005 10:32 PM  

  • Why not read the current post about how to treat one another? Maybe then you would at least say "hi" to me Brian, when you visit a post after 55 comments, pick something out that says I dismiss the Bible, and say "amen" to it. That really blesses my heart. Thanks.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 12/17/2005 11:11 PM  

  • Oh, nice Brian. Everyone knows there are people out there who like to just hurl insults. If that is your business then what does that advance in the body of Christ? If I didn't take a Dispensation approach I would ask you how you intend to inherit the Kingdom of God with your anger?

    By Blogger Todd, at 12/18/2005 12:05 AM  

  • Hey Rose and Todd,

    Peace guys:-) I didn't realize how peaked everyone was. Sorry I haven't made a comment. I've been busy playing and singing Josephs part in the Cantada. Wow guys. Angry? Didn't even cross my mind. I guess I was offering Loren some encouragement as well as being thankful for his input as well as Shawns and Ephraim. There were some things I used to ignore in scripture, but they made some comments in the past that helped open my eyes to what I couldn't see. It will come to some of you guys in time.

    Rose, I already saw your post on love and I was trying to find a way of commenting without you thinking that I was somehow hypocritical or something as I was already sensing some tension. Phew. Really guys I am not angry at all. Wow, I guess I kinda hit a nerve.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 12/18/2005 12:35 AM  

  • Brian,
    Challenge anytime or make disagreeable statements. As long as we do it in familial love, then it is a good thing. I was just sensitive to the way that last statement came across, when I opened the email notification. I am a very sensitive person. (John says I am a "touchy turtle.") It kind of seemed condescending to me, that's all. Todd was probably just trying to be supportive. He's a nice blogger. PEACE :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 12/18/2005 7:43 AM  

  • I am not sensitive to being challenged, or I wouldn't post such things that I do. I guess I just like to be treated "nice" when I am challenged. When I feel personally "ignored," I get touchy. Loren challenged me, and I never felt bad because he was nice to me. (Maybe this has something to do with being the 6th out of 7 children in a stoic family, while I am not a stoic.) Thanks for your understanding. :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 12/18/2005 8:25 AM  

  • Brian,

    I get tired of these blogs sounding like your average political talk show. Everyone can see the body of Christ is divided and not of one mind, and it probably always will be, but it's still our responsibilty to strive to be of one mind. So let's get on with that. Anything else is a waste of time and probably a feast for our flesh.

    By Blogger Todd, at 12/18/2005 9:42 AM  

  • Ok guys. Please take note that I was not accusing anyone. I've actually had to eat some humble pie in admitting to some errors I held to in the past. So it was not about you guys at all. I don't see where I was accusing. I was actually admitting to fault and being thankful for gaining understanding through their ministry. You are correct that Loren has a loving way. Please know that I was not accusing anyone, yet in my enthusiasm of seeing some truths perhaps I wasn't taking note of others, so forgive me.

    Go visit Chad Bresson's site. There are some helpful things there that have helped me as well. I wish the best for you guys in discovering truth. Actually I see in Loren's exposition some Covenental Theology if we would define it that way. Anyway its all there for us and written to us as all of Scripture is the fulfilment of Christ and we are in Him and desire to know Him more.

    Consider Hebrews 7 and the fulfilment of the tithe down through generations yet unpaid still in the loins of Abraham. I am finally discovering all of this and it is bringing God Himself so much closer than I ever realized he could be. I wish the same for you guys and I think that a good thing not bad or off any evil intent. In one sense growing up, some doctrines hid some things from me and I wish for them not to be hid from you, so it is a good thing. Thanks though as this is very eye opening to me and a sign of how difficult it is going to be in the days ahead. Loren brother please pray that I will gain wisdom not only in blogging but in the days ahead among my own body of believers. There is indeed much I have had to learn about myself as well as others, but I still desire wisdom and wish to hold fast to what He has committed unto me.

    once again, I am sorry to hurt you and Todd in any way.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 12/18/2005 3:51 PM  

  • Brian,

    Peace pal.

    You entered into the discussion, implied we dispensationalists were blind, as well as fools for, as you see it, the setting aside of much scripture, and then left. Doesn't make for a very civil discussion. But I see how that was not your intention. It will be fascinating and edifying to read about the things that you are studying and finding as you share them in your blog. Thanks for that. Your friend trusting in Christ, Todd

    By Blogger Todd, at 12/18/2005 7:04 PM  

  • Todd,

    You said>as well as fools for,<

    Please show me wherein I have said this to you. Again I feel somewhat puzzled about all of this and what I have been charged of.

    Ephraim I would consider you to be one to be objective here and if you feel there is any guile then seriously let me know as I want to know. From your perspective(as you have never shyied in the past of letting me know) have done wrong here?

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 12/18/2005 11:36 PM  

  • Hi Brian!!
    You have met Ephraim before? How cool.

    Todd said:
    But I see how that was not your intention. It will be fascinating and edifying to read about the things that you are studying and finding as you share them in your blog ...

    Let's just let it go. I'm sorry I got so touchy, okay? Love one another. PEACE, as you said. PEACE ... :~) SMILES... :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 12/18/2005 11:50 PM  

  • Brian,

    One thing I have learned on these blogs is this:

    always read, re-read and then read again what you have written before hitting the L&P button. And not just for spelling. It is a rare time indeed when I don't catch myself saying something poorly, or worse, something I really didn't mean in the first place. If I'm not paying attention and send it, I usually end up dancing with someone with no music playing. Not a pretty sight.

    Brian, you have good heart brother. I have read your postings for some time now on many different blogs, and your heart is always towards the Father. But, as I've said to you before, much of that good stuff in your head doesn't make it successfully into the written word. Your heart is full and you are excited about the truth. That is way cool. Just slow it down, shift into a lower gear, use more words than you think you need to for clarification when you try to explain what you are so excited about, and you will see a difference in how well you communicate.

    YHVH has put precious things inside you. As He has in each of His children. Let them out slowly, and you will find that a thirsty soul will have an easier time being refreshed with small drinks, than with a deluge.

    Hi Rose,

    This has been an interesting exchange on this topic. And you are a good moderator. I look forward to future conversations.

    Shalom

    By Blogger Ephraim, at 12/19/2005 1:46 PM  

  • >If I'm not paying attention and send it, I usually end up dancing with someone with no music playing. Not a pretty sight.>

    That's pretty funny. Good advice as well. My mother and my wife tell me this as well so it is good. I guess I'm a little bit like snow in harvest aren't I:-)

    Oh and my brother has given me this advice as well. Are you sure you are not him? Sometimes you sound so much like him.

    Take care Russ,

    Brian...And to Rose and Family-Peace and Goodwill toward man.

    P.S-Shawn, I picked up a copy of Pilgrims Progess today while shopping with my wife. Dad used to read it years ago to us, but I had forgotten so much. The first Chapter just shocked me as to how much alike Christian is to me and Christianna my wife, but thank God I believe both my wife and I are finally hearing the call and following.For so many years we both doubted yet didn't know it and ironically God used our sins against each other to quicken us. Lets pray for one another that we all see the truths found in this Allegory that is so helpful in unlocking what we all struggle to understand as in many cases it may be our grave clothes that inhibit us from fully understanding. I still haven't arrived folks and neither do I claim to have.

    Shalom

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 12/19/2005 11:14 PM  

  • Ephraim,
    If you should happen to read this, I just want you to know that I have really appreciated your comments and your attitude in general. I really wish you would start a blog. :~)

    (Is your name 'Russ'?)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 12/22/2005 8:37 AM  

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