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Thread: Historicism

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    New Responses to Tomas

    Tomas,

    I believe that you have raised some most interesting observations. Nonetheless, I have some 'contrary' observations that are challenging and I hope will be worthy of your consideration.

    So why then do I think that God will chose to save the great majority of Jews? It is not because of Gods special love for them for he is no respecter of persons. It’s not because of the value of their theology I also believe that Talmudic Judaism is an abomination. It is because of his love for the church.

    This logic would also suggest that God has chosen to save the great majority of all mankind (regardless of religion or race). Hence your post-millenialism.

    If my understanding is correct (and if history is any guide it might not be). I think the same church that started, as a tiny group huddled together in the upper room, through the preaching of the true Gospel and the power of the Holy Spirit will be privileged to see the once mighty Judaism that rejected their king and persecuted them completely disappear and it’s adherents morn bitterly for him they pierced.

    But this scripture was fulfilled at the crucifixion and its immediate influence among the Jews--as I'm sure you, a student of scripture, are already aware (John 19:37). If the gospel is no respecter of persons or nations, the power of the Holy Spirit will accomplish a mighty work everywhere in the world. But this work will not save and never has saved the majority.

    Not only that but I think we will before our Lord’s return see the overthrow of the Harlot Roman Church and her daughters the hierarchical semi Christian sects. (Revelation: 17-18).

    But what form will this 'overthrow' take? A complete end to all those organizations? This is certainly possible--but I think it is speculative to assume that such an end is the absolute and invevitable outcome of God's unique and special work (in our time). God may indeed leave false church organizations in place; in order to send the reprobate a strong delusion.

    We will get to celebrate the downfall of not only the Papacy but also the end of the demon inspired Muslim religion (Revelation: 19-20). All this will happen because our King really is all-powerful and he will continue to rule and put all of his enemies under his feet. The world will know that the Spirit truly is mightier than the sword of sinful man. And the gates of hell will not prevail against his Bride.

    The question is, when? And under what circumstances? Is Rev. 19 the final Advent of Christ--or a pre-Advent victory in the historical process?

    Only the hidden apostasy of freewillism(2nd Thessalonians:2) will remain to be destroyed by the appearance of his coming. Because it can hide so well among the true Church Like tares among wheat. But at the proper time even it will be destroyed by just the breath from his mouth.

    Why do you think that only free-willism will be left until the last judgment before it is destroyed? Just wondering. You have given some clue of your answer ('because it can hide so well'). Personally, I do not believe that any particular heresy is destined to wait until the last judgment for its destruction. But that is my unique perspective on the Bible!
    I got four things to live by: don't say nothin' that will hurt anybody; don't give advice--no one will take it anyway; don't complain; don't explain. Walter Scott

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    Re: Historicism

    WOW!!! I bit off more than I could quickly chew! I am formulating a response, but it would have to be a book now. I would like to say a couple of things now though. Bill, I do NOT believe that an unrepentant, Christ-rejecting Jew will ever be saved. All the elect are given faith in Christ alone as their judge and deliverer, I do not believe as some do that Jews are saved a different way than gentiles. Brandon, please offer proof of your statement "Modern day Jews probably don't even have a genetic link to the old Hebrew Jews. The vast majority of them are Europeans that converted to Talmudic Judaism when the remaining Jews who weren't slaughtered were scattered across Europe after Rome destroyed Jerusalem." Samuel Davies for one would not agree with the statement. I will provide his quote in my fuller response. I am preparing to be gone for at least a week, Lord willing, and will be busy when I return home so it may be awhile before I post again. I am not ignoring you all. BTW, I am not a dispensationalist either.

    Michael
    "God Himself, in His divine person, is the sole moving cause of every good motion and good work in us. He is the only stimulator, inspirer, animator, instigator, influencer, and director of real worship."



    William Huntington S.S.


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    Re: Historicism

    BTW, Dr. Gill, You must have forgotten what you wrote in your commentary on Romans 11:"what shall the receiving of them be but life from the dead
    ? By thereceiving of them is meant the conversion of the Jews in the latter day,
    when they will be received by Christ, on whom they will look with an eye
    of faith, and mourn in an evangelical manner for their sins against him; who
    casts out none that come unto him, but receives them into his arms in the
    most kind and tender manner; and when they will be also openly received
    into the house and family of God, into the visible church of Christ; and as
    the apostle afterwards says, “be grafted into their own olive tree”,
    (<451124>Romans 11:24); and this their restoration will be as “life from the
    dead”; which regards not so much the quickening of the Jews themselves,
    though their conversion will be, as the conversion of every sinner is, a
    resurrection from the death of sin to a life of grace, and is so represented in
    (<263701>Ezekiel 37:1-14), but rather the reviving the work of God among the
    Gentile churches, who having lain long in a dead, lifeless, lukewarm, and
    indifferent frame of spirit, will be aroused and quickened, at this wonderful
    work of grace upon the Jews; and besides it will be as unexpected by them,
    and as surprising to them, as a person's being raised from the dead would
    be; yea as joyful, and as welcome to them, as if a man received his nearest
    relation and friend from the dead; add to this, and which some of the
    ancients make to be the sense of the place, quickly after the conversion of
    the Jews, the fulness of the Gentiles being brought in, and nothing more to
    be done in a way of grace, the first resurrection from the dead will follow,
    and happy is he that will have part in it."
    "God Himself, in His divine person, is the sole moving cause of every good motion and good work in us. He is the only stimulator, inspirer, animator, instigator, influencer, and director of real worship."



    William Huntington S.S.


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    Re: Historicism

    Billtwise
    Let me start by making it clear how I came to the conclusions I shared in my last post it gets a little convoluted so bear with me

    1. Historicism leads me to believe that there will be a unique real fulfillment of the prophesies that I mentioned before the Finial Judgment.
    2. I don’t feel that they (and a few others) have been fulfilled completely as of yet
    3. New Covenant Theology causes me to totally reject Premillennialism with its carnal kingdom and Jesus setting on a literal throne in a palace in Jerusalem.
    4. This leads me to expect them to be fulfilled before Christ’s return.
    That’s my method in a nutshell now to your Questions


    This logic would also suggest that God has chosen to save the great majority of all mankind (regardless of religion or race). Hence your post-millenialism.
    The Bible doesn’t say that a majority of all mankind will be saved it only implies that we will make disciples of all the nations

    .

    But this scripture ”it’s adherents morn bitterly for him they pierced” was fulfilled at the crucifixion and its immediate influence among the Jews--as I'm sure you, a student of scripture, are already aware (John 19:37).
    John 19:37 is not about the mourning it’s about the piercing anyway Zechariah 12-14 seem to be implying a much more general repentance than happened in the 1st Century


    If the gospel is no respecter of persons or nations, the power of the Holy Spirit will accomplish a mighty work everywhere in the world. But this work will not save and never has saved the majority.

    The context of that passage (Romans 2:11) is Jews vs. Gentiles not individual people. I don’t know what percentage of the total population will be saved. That’s a God thing. But I would not put limits on the Spirit.

    But what form will this 'overthrow' take?I haven’t a clue I don’t think a Historicist in Isaiah’s time could foretell the cross but he might have known that the Messiah would suffer before he was glorified.

    A complete end to all those organizations? This is certainly possible--but I think it is speculative to assume that such an end is the absolute and invevitable outcome of God's unique and special work (in our time). God may indeed leave false church organizations in place in order to send the reprobate a strong delusion.
    I agree I might be wrong but Revelation 17-18 seem like a total overthrow to me.

    The question is, when? And under what circumstances? Is Rev. 19 the final Advent of Christ--or a pre-Advent victory in the historical process?
    I think Rev. 19 is giving a similar picture to Chapter 12:7-12 and Luke 10:17-23. Any time I see a battle scene in Prophecy I assume it’s a spiritual one and “the blood of the Lamb and the Word of their testimony” will win it. I think Rev 20:9 sounds more like the final advent to me.

    Why do you think that only free-willism will be left until the last judgment before it is destroyed?
    From my own experience it’s one of the few heresies you can hold and no one has to know it in fact from the outside a freewiller could look and act exactly like a true Christian only for all the wrong reasons.

    I realize this response was very long thanks for looking at my arguments
    Peace

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    Re: "All Israel will be Saved"

    Well, the long and short of it can be summed up in this statement of Tomas:

    Zechariah 12-14 seem to be implying a much more general repentance than happened in the 1st Century.

    And that's the crux of the matter. Some believe that God fulfilled his Word as to the conversion of Israel in the first century. Others are not satisfied that the early conversion of many physical Israelites is sufficient. I am convinced that it was. In addition, being many centuries removed from the first century, I don't believe that we can be a proper witness to any nation if we are teaching that God still favors the nation of Israel (or America, for that matter) above others.
    I got four things to live by: don't say nothin' that will hurt anybody; don't give advice--no one will take it anyway; don't complain; don't explain. Walter Scott

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    Re: Historicism

    I understand your point. And your take is in the majority as far as the reformed world goes. That wasn’t always the case as the previous quotes from Gill etc. show. What I don’t under stand is just when this prophecy (the ingathering of the Jews) seems to be beginning to be filled right before our eyes instead of welcoming it with excitement we now say that we no longer expect it to happen. A few Facts more Jews have come to Christ the last 40 years or so than at any time since the first Century. In 1967 there were an estimated 2,000 believers among the Jewish people in 1990 a survey suggested that more than 1 million Jews in America alone express “some sort of faith in Yeshua”. Jews for Jesus have experienced phenomenal growth over the last few years. Israel itself has a thriving Christian community

    Ezek 36:24-28, (NAS)
    24 "For I will take you from the nations, gather you from all the lands and bring you into your own land.
    25 "Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols.
    26 "Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
    27 "I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.
    28 "You will live in the land that I gave to your forefathers; so you will be My people, and I will be your God.

    The Point was made earlier by WB that believers in historicism always thought that theirs was the end time by now you know that I don’t agree but I do think that our time is significant

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    Re: Historicism

    Quote Originally Posted by tomas1
    A few Facts more Jews have come to Christ the last 40 years or so than at any time since the first Century. In 1967 there were an estimated 2,000 believers among the Jewish people in 1990 a survey suggested that more than 1 million Jews in America alone express “some sort of faith in Yeshua”. Jews for Jesus have experienced phenomenal growth over the last few years. Israel itself has a thriving Christian community
    Tomas, I don't think you can use these facts as a basis for argument. These Jews may have all been converted to apostate freewill Christianity.
    This is my signature.

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    Re: Historicism

    Tomas, I don't think you can use these facts as a basis for argument. These Jews may have all been converted to apostate freewill Christianity.

    I hope I did not appear to be saying that I believed that ethnic Jews would be restored based on a survey that I had heard of. That would make me just like the dispensationists I know. I believe the prophecies have not yet been fulfilled for the same reasons as the Reformers and Puritans. The Bible portrays the Jews as a whole as rejecting Christ and the Gentiles as a whole accepting him (of course this is only at a national level).
    The reason I presented those facts was to make the point that after the Jews began to be brought back to the land they suddenly began to have a hunger at least to know about Jesus. The ingathering hasn’t happened yet. If it had we would know it.

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    Re: Historicism

    Quote Originally Posted by tomas1
    That would make me just like the dispensationists I know. I believe the prophecies have not yet been fulfilled for the same reasons as the Reformers and Puritans. The Bible portrays the Jews as a whole as rejecting Christ and the Gentiles as a whole accepting him (of course this is only at a national level).
    what does "as a whole" mean? what is the minimum number or percentage? and who makes this determination? who is the one who decides when it is actually fulfilled?

    Quote Originally Posted by tomas1
    The reason I presented those facts was to make the point that after the Jews began to be brought back to the land they suddenly began to have a hunger at least to know about Jesus. The ingathering hasn’t happened yet. If it had we would know it.
    but when you insert the land you're inserting carnal elements and shadows back into the new covenant where they do not belong. the new covenant is the age of fulfillment, reality, and antitype. the types are forever gone with the covenants that preceeded the new covenant. also would we say that the resurrection hadn't occurred because the majority of jews didn't recognize it? and who decides what number constitutes the whole and how do we even know for sure what paul means in Romans 11 et al? is it clear that he is speaking carnally? i just think there are too many unknowns to make such a claim with any certainty (i.e., that the "ingathering hasn't happened yet."). that is what happens when we decide, without any apostolic warrant, what is fulfilled when and in what way. i personally think that we can only be 100% about what is fulfilled based upon what has been explicated by the apostolic witness in the NT. so i don't support the notion of combing through the testaments (old and new) to arbitrarily decide what was fulfilled when and how. as i said in another thread, this seems no more precise than the methods of the soothsayers on Trinity Broadcasting Network (and please note here, i'm not calling you a soothsayer i just think we need to be careful in this area).
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    The Significance of 70 A.D.

    Although I most definitely do not subsribe to Preterism as an all-inclusive system that unlocks all the mysteries of prophecy, I nonetheless believe that it has a number of correct tenets and assumptions. For me, 70 A.D. was the dividing line on Israel vs. the Gentiles. Romans was written well in advance of that event. After 70 A.D. the Israel/Gentile distinction is entirely removed. At that time elect Israel was fully and completely exiled from the Jewish land and absorbed into the universal community of believers. After that, Talmudic Judaism constitutes those 'not of Israel' in the Romans 9 sense--the wrath of God has come upon them to the uttermost. They will never have a resurrection. Brands will be plucked from their hell-fire (as occurs with Islam, Hinduism, etc.) but they will never be restored en-masse to the favor of God.

    We must adore the fulfillment of prophecy in this as well as any other manifestation of God's glorious wrath, not complain that God still needs to 'keep his Word' in a manner that we think is the only way he can possibly keep it. The whole manner in which Christ fulfills the Old Testament evidences this same exact principle.
    I got four things to live by: don't say nothin' that will hurt anybody; don't give advice--no one will take it anyway; don't complain; don't explain. Walter Scott

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    Re: Historicism

    I realize that this is only an opinion and if Jesus comes back today I will be happy to say that I misunderstood the Prophecies about the Jews. I wont have been the first one to do that but I came to this conclusion by studying the text not by guesswork or judging for myself whether or not God had fulfilled his word.

    Acts 28:24Some believed the things which were spoken, and some disbelieved. 28:25When they didn't agree among themselves, they departed after Paul had spoken one word, "The Holy Spirit spoke rightly through Isaiah, the prophet, to our fathers, 28:26saying,
    'Go to this people,
    (who is this if not ethnic Jews) and say, In hearing, you will hear, But will in no way understand
    In seeing, you will see, But will in no way perceive. 28:27For this people's heart has grown callous. Their ears are dull of hearing. Their eyes they have closed. Lest they should see with their eyes, Hear with their ears, Understand with their heart, And would turn again, And I would heal them.' 28:28"Be it known therefore to you, that the salvation of God is sent to the Gentiles. They will also listen."
    (Who is this if not us) 28:29When he had said these words, the Jews departed, having a great dispute among themselves.
    Zec12:10I will pour on the house of David, and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplication; and they will look to me whom they have pierced; and they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for his only son, and will grieve bitterly for him, as one grieves for his firstborn. 12:11In that day there will be a great mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon. 12:12The land will mourn, every family apart; the family of the house of David apart, and their wives apart; the family of the house of Nathan apart, and their wives apart; 12:13the family of the house of Levi apart, and their wives apart; the family of the Shimeites apart, and their wives apart; 12:14all the families who remain, every family apart, and their wives apart.

    This must mean ethnic Jews unless there is a spiritual family of the Shimeites and Levi that I don’t know about.
    I was wondering do you also think that Rev Chapter 17 and Isaiah 66:20-25 have already been completely fulfilled?

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    Re: Historicism

    Quote Originally Posted by tomas1
    I realize that this is only an opinion and if Jesus comes back today I will be happy to say that I misunderstood the Prophecies about the Jews. I wont have been the first one to do that but I came to this conclusion by studying the text not by guesswork or judging for myself whether or not God had fulfilled his word....This must mean ethnic Jews unless there is a spiritual family of the Shimeites and Levi that I don’t know about.
    I was wondering do you also think that Rev Chapter 17 and Isaiah 66:20-25 have already been completely fulfilled?
    i'm not sure how you're reading the acts text. perhaps you could elaborate because i'm confused as to what it's supposed to prove. thanks!
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    Re: Historicism

    Disciple:
    Although I have truly enjoyed this topic so far I do understand that this is something that Christians can and do disagree about. This is surely a disputable matter so I am not passing final judgment one way or the other. The broader point I would like to address is do prophecies have any relevance to the Church Age or are we just to assume that there is nothing left to happen except the Final Advent and not even that if we are to believe the hyperpreterist. I think a valid argument against Amillennialism either in its preterist or Idealist forms is the fact that there are things that have not been fulfilled as yet.
    That being said I’ll try to explain what I was trying to prove by the Acts reference
    I feel that Acts 28:24-and following is an encapsulation of the entire book It seems to me that Paul’s strategy when he arrived at a destination was always to proclaim the Gospel to the Jews first (Romans 1:16) then when the inevitable rejection came he turned to the Gentiles who are seen as humbly accepting it. Of course there were exceptions but this is the pattern that repeats itself over and over just as Jesus had said it would happen. (Mat: 21:43)
    With this in mind I don’t see how you can say that the ethnic Jews of the 1st Century accepted Christ and “mourned for Him they pierced”. I think this is what Billtwisse and you are saying. Please correct me if I am mistaken. To me this can only be a future event.
    It appears Zechariah (and Romans chapter 11for that mater) is plainly foretelling a time when it will no longer be said of ethnic Jews

    Acts 28:27 For this people's heart has grown callous.

    Or again from Ezekiel:

    Ezek 36:24-28, (NAS)
    24 "For I will take you from the nations, gather you from all the lands and bring you into your own land.
    25 "Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols.
    26 "Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.


    Notice that verse 24 says this will happen after they are finally brought to their own land! His words not mine.

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    Re: Historicism

    Quote Originally Posted by tomas1
    Disciple:
    Although I have truly enjoyed this topic so far I do understand that this is something that Christians can and do disagree about. This is surely a disputable matter so I am not passing final judgment one way or the other.
    indeed. as i've said often before, eschatology is not an area that i spend inordinate amounts of time on and will probably be the last area of theology that i'll get actually hammered out. all that i know right now it what i don't find tenable.

    Quote Originally Posted by tomas1
    With this in mind I don’t see how you can say that the ethnic Jews of the 1st Century accepted Christ and “mourned for Him they pierced”. I think this is what Billtwisse and you are saying. Please correct me if I am mistaken. To me this can only be a future event.

    It appears Zechariah (and Romans chapter 11for that mater) is plainly foretelling a time when it will no longer be said of ethnic Jews

    Acts 28:27 For this people's heart has grown callous.
    but where do we get the idea that it has to be a majority and where do we find out what majority even means? i guess that's my basic question. if we're going to be dogmatic about ethnic Jews being saved en masse, then we need to be certain and precise here. furthermore, it must be recognized that nearly all of the early church was made up of ethnic jews to start off.

    personally, i would perhaps allow it to still be a future event but i still have problems with the way people go about interpreting this. if it is a future event (from not only paul but even of our time) then i don't know of any text that delineates that it must be majority and defines what this would mean and look like. the only text that people press is Romans 11:26 where it says that, "all Israel will be saved" where they think this means that ethnic jews will be saved en masse. but i think what is often ignored is what comes after that as proof for the statement, "26...just as it is written, "The Deliverer will come from Zion, He will remove ungodliness from Jacob." 27 "This is My covenant with them, When I take away their sins." first of all, what does paul mean by "all israel"? in addition, when it says "and so all Israel will be saved...". the adverb "so" is hOUTW which means "in this manner". a better translation might be, "and all israel will be saved in this way:..." the rest of v. 26 and v. 27 tells us in what way all israel will be saved.

    but the main question is, has this happened yet? does John 1:29; Hebrews 8:12-13, 10:4, 11, 17; 1 Jn 3:5 have anything to do with this (v. 27)? and what is this "covenant" spoken of in Romans 11:27? is it a different covenant than the "new covenant"?

    Quote Originally Posted by tomas1
    Or again from Ezekiel:

    Ezek 36:24-28, (NAS)
    24 "For I will take you from the nations, gather you from all the lands and bring you into your own land.
    25 "Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols.
    26 "Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.


    Notice that verse 24 says this will happen after they are finally brought to their own land! His words not mine.
    but how do we understand "the land" in the NT and NC? and wasn't Israel in their own land in the NT? furthermore, the apostles considered this passage to be fulfilled in their own day (ezekiel 36 and jer 31 along with other prophets were the main texts used to prove the new covenant). nevertheless, i still have many questions myself and do not claim to have it figured out. i must confess that romans 11:27 (and the related texts) is a very difficult text. but i'm not convinced that it must speak to some future salvation of ethnic jews en masse.
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    Ezek. 36, the Land, etc.

    The focus of Ezek. 36, I believe, is the return from Babylon. So Israel was brought back into their own land way back then.

    Doug:
    in addition, when it says "and so all Israel will be saved...". the adverb "so" is hOUTW which means "in this manner". a better translation might be, "and all israel will be saved in this way:..." the rest of v. 26 and v. 27 tells us in what way all israel will be saved.

    Yes! Many expositors have taken this same position; the partial hardening and subsequent softening of Israel is parallel (in time) to the gathering of the non-Jewish nations under the gospel. Paul in Romans 11 is giving a rationale for how God deals with physical Jews under the New Covenant; not saying that their conversion will wait for 2000 years until after the nations are converted! The manner in which the 'real Israel' (Rom. 9:6) is saved, i.e., through God making them jealous of the conversion of Gentiles, is the focus of Paul.

    Rom. 9:6 is still the key to this issue. I have never seen an expositor of 'future' en-masse conversion of Jews do justice to it. The bottom line: God's purposes toward the physical descendants of Abraham are always twofold; salvation and reprobation. We would do well to keep this principle in mind when contemplating the dealings of God with ANY nation, people, or race. Even America, one of the most spiritually blessed nations of all time, has millions of citizens who are destined for the lake of fire. It was/is no different with the Jews.

    John 19:37 would be viewed as a 'puny' and out-of-context fulfillment of Zechariah's prophecy by those who promote a grandiose restoration of Judaism under Christ. But I would propose that we need to read the OT with different glasses than they do.
    I got four things to live by: don't say nothin' that will hurt anybody; don't give advice--no one will take it anyway; don't complain; don't explain. Walter Scott

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    Re: Ezek. 36, the Land, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by BillTwisse
    The focus of Ezek. 36, I believe, is the return from Babylon. So Israel was brought back into their own land way back then.
    i didn't think of that one. i was just thinking of that text from the way it seemed to be alluded to/quoted by Jesus and the apostles to apply to the new covenant. the texts that come to mind are John 3, 2 Co 3, Titus 3, perhaps texts in Hebrews, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by BillTwisee
    Rom. 9:6 is still the key to this issue. I have never seen an expositor of 'future' en-masse conversion of Jews do justice to it.
    but what we need to be careful of is taking israel in Ro 11:26 as exactly the same as that in Rom 9:6. their contexts are a little bit different and paul's usage of israel is not exactly the same as Rom 9:6 throughout all of Romans. i think it is clear from the context (cf. v. 7, 11-15, 25-26) that he is contrasting ethnic israel with ethnic gentiles (and not true israel with ethnic israel as he seems to be contrasting in 9:6) since that seems to be the question that is posed in 11:1.

    Quote Originally Posted by BillTwisse
    Even America, one of the most spiritually blessed nations of all time, has millions of citizens who are destined for the lake of fire. It was/is no different with the Jews.
    and it is interesting that many people seem to think that America is God's chosen nation or something...

    Quote Originally Posted by BillTwisse
    John 19:37 would be viewed as a 'puny' and out-of-context fulfillment of Zechariah's prophecy by those who promote a grandiose restoration of Judaism under Christ. But I would propose that we need to read the OT with different glasses than they do.
    great point bob! seems to me that John was quoting zechariah for OT proof that this was prophesied. and i think you hit the nail right on the head when you say that we need to get some different glasses. and i think the glasses that we need to read the OT with can be found by looking at how the NT writers read it. and this reading is quite different from the contemporary dispensationally tainted lenses that are usually worn. and this is the fundamental problem. the presupposition of the interlocutor in Romans 11 is still a presupposition that many have in regards to God's promises to OC israel. my proposition is that this presupposition is fundamentally wrong headed and the way paul deals with that objection is Romans 11 is very instructive. basically his answer is thus:
    1. God has not rejected His OC people (understood by the interlocutor as ethnic Israel en masse; taken by paul as an elect remnant of Jews of any size)
    2. God continues and will continue to save His OC people (taken as ethnic Israel) and vv. 26-27 tells us how this happens (they are saved by faith in Christ like all the rest) and paul references the present situation and not a situation 2000+ years in the future (proven by his use of past and contemporary examples in vv. 1-4)
    3. The hardening of a part is so that the gospel would be spread to the Gentiles; nothing in the text except for a dubious interpretation of vv. 25-26 indicates that at the completion of this partial hardening that there will be a return to the OC nation (e.g., having a primarily Jewish church).
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    Re: Historicism

    and it is interesting that many people seem to think that America is God's chosen nation or something...
    Doug, I wish I had a nickel for every time I heard that from Americans... There are some that even believe in the absurdity that "if you're born in America you are automatically a Christian, therefore saved by birth". Believe it or not!

    Sorry to get off topic, but I had to interject this one!

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    A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. Prov 15:1
    A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver - Prov. 25:11

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    More on Israel

    Milt, always great to have you join in!

    Doug:
    what we need to be careful of is taking israel in Ro 11:26 as exactly the same as that in Rom 9:6. their contexts are a little bit different and paul's usage of israel is not exactly the same as Rom 9:6 throughout all of Romans. i think it is clear from the context (cf. v. 7, 11-15, 25-26) that he is contrasting ethnic israel with ethnic gentiles (and not true israel with ethnic israel as he seems to be contrasting in 9:6) since that seems to be the question that is posed in 11:1.

    Well, the 'glue' between the two for me is that both passages focus primarily on ethnic Israel when using the term 'Israel.' The 'true Israel' in Rom. 9 (the immediate, not broad context) is elect ethnic Israel, not all Christians as Israel, though other passages in Paul certainly refer to 'Israel' as all Christians. Rom. 9-11 is a unitary passage, however, in focusing on the issue of elect ethnic Israel vs. two entities: non-elect ethnic Israel and other elect Christians from the nations.

    I will be gone from the forum for 5 days. Grace alone and always.
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    Re: Historicism

    When the of Thessalonians thought the end was at hand Paul told them there were still things to happen before the day of the Lord. Likewise Jesus told the disciples that the wars soon to come to Jerusalem were not the end but only the beginning of birth pangs Matt 24:8-14.
    With this in mind and leaving aside the ingathering of the Jews for now do you see any prophecy not yet fulfilled or have we been in a holding pattern for almost 2000 years?

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    Re: Historicism

    Quote Originally Posted by tomas1
    When the of Thessalonians thought the end was at hand Paul told them there were still things to happen before the day of the Lord. Likewise Jesus told the disciples that the wars soon to come to Jerusalem were not the end but only the beginning of birth pangs Matt 24:8-14.
    With this in mind and leaving aside the ingathering of the Jews for now do you see any prophecy not yet fulfilled or have we been in a holding pattern for almost 2000 years?
    well if i were a preterist (which i'm not), i'd use this as a caricature to make fun of everyone because they are ignoring the time statements. actually, not to be cynical, but i don't think the supposed time statements really provide all that much help. many of the adverbs used are very relative terms and the only one that i know of that pinpoints any perhaps measurable time period is in mt 24 (et al) when the delimiter of "this generation" is given. but it is my personal belief that the answer that jesus gives in mt 24 is not to specifically address the final judgment of all nations where this created world/age is renewed. and it is my personal belief that all of the days since the crucifixion are the "last days." and whether or not there are any fulfillments to specific prophecies during this time is a question that i cannot answer with any certainty (since God has not given explicit revelation to tell us so). we might be able to guess but i'm very uncomfortable with this. i think to guess is to be like the prognosticators on Trinity Broadcasting Network. without a specific word from the Lord on it, pretty much any guess is up for grabs. i think when "the end" comes that there will be no questions. that's my two cents of rambling anyway...
    When I get a little money, I buy books; and if any is left, I buy food and clothes.
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