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Thread: separating Israel and the Church

  1. #1

    separating Israel and the Church

    Sorry, this is long, but includes a number of other similar subjects being addressed...

    We need to separate the biblical references to OT Israel and to the NT Church. What we need to recognize is that God promised Abraham a multiplicity of nations that would share his faith in the one true God. And out of those nations, He would begin with a single nation--the nation Israel. To keep them in the faith God gave them the Law of Moses. It was a primitive law in the sense it was similar to other primitive cultures, and as such, it was certainly intended to be limited in duration. For example, the prohibition against pork was certainly time-dated, since it no longer has either pagan or health significance. The modern world no longer acknowledges such uses.


    But the Law did keep Israel confined to a single stream leading to redemption. It required obstacles be set up between God and men. And maintaining relations with God had to be regulated by certain symbolic rituals, which nevertheless were required.


    All of the Scriptures in the OT era, therefore, were directed primarily to Israel, and not to the future Church. Everything having to do with any era beyond the Law was phrased in a unique way that did not detail the enormous change that was in store. Jesus said that "until heaven and earth pass away not a single detail of the Law would change, ie until everything be fulfilled."


    Now this verse sounds very much like the Law would never change until the earth and heaven completely passes away, which essentially means the Law would *never* change. However, what Jesus seems to me to be saying is that the Law cannot change until it is actually "fulfilled." In other words, if the Law is fulfilled *prior to* the passing of heaven and earth, then indeed the Law can change. Until then, however, it is irrevocable!


    So we do not find Ezekiel's future temple couched in NT terms. It is a temple with real animal sacrifices. We hear Isaiah speaking of a future temple of God. It remains described in OT terminology. The future promise of Israel continues to have "priests." They appear as genuine Levitical priests.


    However, I think all of these things, as pertains to the NT future, are merely couched in OT terminology. In reality we know that the Law was fulfilled, and that now these things have changed. The temple is no longer a temple of stone. The priesthood has passed away in favor of Jesus, our "great high priest." And the laws of God now are better expressed as the words of Christ, who commanded us to simply be faithful to God, and to love one another.


    When speaking of the NT era in his Olivet Discourse, therefore, Jesus was still in the OT era and speaking to OT Israel. As such he was speaking primarily only to them and of their NT experience as a people. They would suffer the loss of city and temple in 70 AD. This would be the beginning of their troubles as a people, for they would be dispersed throughout the earth, without a national home and without a relationship with their God. This, I believe, Jesus called the "Great Tribulation." You can read about it in any of the synoptic accounts of this Discourse, but particularly in Luke 21, where it is spelled out in greater detail.


    There are two parts to this Great Tribulation, the beginning, which took place in 70 AD, and the 2nd was the Dispersion, which encompasses the rest of the NT period. Both these things constitute for Jesus the Great Tribulation. And the tribulation is called "great" simply because of its great duration. It is literally unsurpassed in duration, and well beyond any previous time of Jewish tribulation prior to that time.


    The Great Tribulation, therefore, is not the same thing that we commonly refer to as the Great Tribulation, which is the period of Antichrist's Reign. Antichrist reigns for 3.5 years and we commonly refer to this period as the Great Tribulation. But that is not what Jesus called the "Great Tribulation" in Luke 21.


    What we have in Antichrist's Reign is the end of the "great tribulation" of the Jewish People, which is perhaps a final effort by Antichrist to destroy the Jewish People. This time is "cut short" so that the elect--the Christian representatives among the Jewish People--will be saved. They will be saved as "firstfruits" so that later the entire nation can be rebuilt in accordance with their example.


    None of this means that the international Church has no part in the time of Antichrists' Reign. Rather, the Christians among the Jews are involved, as I said. But the international Church is involved as well, since the Antichrist controls a 10 nation confederacy, and persecutes the Church throughout this region. Furthermore, it appears he makes war with other countries on earth. After all, the reign of Antichrist ends with the "Battle of Armageddon," which I believe to be a world-wide nuclear war. It will be finished in a single hour, according to Scriptures.


    So, the book of Revelation is not just for Israel alone, but also for the entire Church. But you can also read in the book of Revelation references to the OT temple. Here, we recognize that the OT superstructure was indeed meant to be symbolic of a NT change, fulfilled in NT terms. The temple of stone is now "God and His Christ." The "two witnesses" are NT prophets indicating the need for submission to a new Christian order. The priesthood is something done purely by the Lamb, and not by the Levitical priesthood.

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    Re: separating Israel and the Church

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    We need to separate the biblical references to OT Israel and to the NT Church. .
    On the contrary; we do not need to separate the promises made to ancient Israel and todays Christians, because we are the inheritors of those promises. Ephesians 1:11, Romans 9:24-26, Isaiah 49:5-12, Isaiah 56:1-8, +

    A nation that bears the proper fruit: Matthew 21:43

    Who are the "legitimate heirs" of God's promises? They are people, from every tribe, race, nation and language, saved by His power and grace, who will occupy all of the holy Land in the last days. They are the people of God who will be there when the Anti-Christ briefly takes over the new nation of Beulah:
    Daniel 7:25 He will defy the Most High and conquer His holy people….. Zechariah 14:1-2
    Revelation 13:7 The Beast was allowed to wage war on God’s people and to defeat them………. Revelation 12:13

    I'm reluctant to refer to them as "Righteous Christians" or the "Israel of God", because both of these terms "Christians" and "Israel" have become corrupted by too much sin among too many of their respective communities. Christians can be anyone who enters a church and Israel is usurped by the Jewish State.
    Paul doesn't cite either term in his comments about this matter in Ephesians 2:11-22. He refers to this new unified "body" of "reconciled" individuals, who are either Jews or Gentiles, as "members of the household of God" (vs 19), or as they are identified in other texts as "the people of God" or as the "sons of the Living God".
    Paul makes it clear in several texts that God is bringing together a new group of "righteous" individuals to whom God will give His promised blessings.
    Isaiah 51:1-2 Listen to me, all you who keep the Laws of God, all you who seek Him and who follow righteousness. Remember the quarry you were hewn from, your spiritual origin, Abraham is your father and Sarah gave you birth. When God called him, he was but one, God blessed him and now his righteous seed are many.
    Romans 2:29 The person who belongs to God is not outwardly a Jew, physically circumcised, but one who is spiritually circumcised of the heart……

    One term that could be used to refer to this new body of people, is Nazarenes. That word is used extensively in the Middle east for Christians and it means : the set apart ones or the people dedicated to God. But God will give them an new name: Isaiah 62:1-5, Beulah, meaning: ‘the Lord will delight in you’.
    The very many prophesies God has made about His people living in peace and security in all of that area given so long ago to Abraham and his seed, have never been fulfilled. They will be, God will not forget His Land: Isaiah 49:14-16 it is inscribed onto His hands…. or His righteous people, Isaiah 65:9 I will give heirs to the Patriarchs, My chosen ones will take possession of the Land and those who serve Me will live there. John 15:16, 1 Peter 2:9-10

    THIS is the next great promise we look forward to, fulfilling our destiny of being the people of God and is what we Christians have been chosen and prepared for:
    Isaiah 49:8, These are the Words of the Lord: In the time of My favour, I will answer your call, Acts 2:21, and protect you. I formed you and destined you to be a light for the nations, restoring the Land and living in its now desolate areas.
    Isaiah 43:10 You are My witnesses, you are My servants chosen by Me. To believe in Me and to know that I am God.
    Isaiah 43:19-21 Behold, I shall do new things, they will happen. I will make a way through the desert and water for My people to drink. This people I have prepared for Myself and they will proclaim My glory. Isaiah 35:1-10
    Jeremiah 33:10-12 See this Land, it lies in ruins without people or animals. [This is how the entire Middle East will be after the devastation of the Lord’s Day of fiery wrath] Yet in this place will once more be heard to sounds of joy and gladness, of bride and bridegroom, of voices shouting: Praise to the Lord God, for His love endures forever….
    Then, all that is prophesied to occur before the glorious Return of Jesus must happen and it will be the survivors of Beulah who will greet Jesus as He comes for His Millennial reign.

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    Re: separating Israel and the Church

    liked a lot of the first part alot; disagreed with some of the latter part...will reply more in full later.

  4. #4

    Re: separating Israel and the Church

    Quote Originally Posted by Keraz View Post
    On the contrary; we do not need to separate the promises made to ancient Israel and todays Christians, because we are the inheritors of those promises.
    What is unmistakable and uncontroversial to me are the following distinctions:
    1) Israel under the Law was distinct from the pagan Gentiles.
    2) Israel as a nation was distinct from other nations.
    3) Israel as a nation is distinct from the Church as an international body.
    4) The church in the nation Israel is distinct from the Church in other nations, eg there is the church in Israel, the church in the UK, the church in the US, and the church in India, etc.

    Just saying Israel is a metaphor for the Church is confusing! Now that Israel is a nation again there is a church in Israel, a church in the UK, etc.! The church in Israel *cannot* be the universal Church!

    But what I'm talking about is how we interpret OT prophesies that applied to the nation Israel. If you translate "Israel" into "the Church" these prophecies will not make sense. Many of them were fulfilled for the nation Israel in OT history, such as in the Babylonian Captivity or in the Persian Restoration. The OT prophets directed some of their prophesies to these things, and thereby to the nation Israel, and not, metaphorically, to the Church!

    Referring to the nation Israel among the OT Prophets is not even directed at *believers* in Israel. Quite often these prophesies were directed to both believers and unbelievers in Israel, and sometimes only to unbelievers, ie *not* the Church! They cannot even be applied metaphorically to the Church! Unrepentant unbelievers in Israel were doomed to eternal destruction by the OT Prophets! For example, Dan 12.2 refers to unbelievers in Israel who will rise to a destiny of eternal judgment. This "Israel" cannot refer to the Church!

  5. #5

    Re: separating Israel and the Church

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    What is unmistakable and uncontroversial to me are the following distinctions:
    1) Israel under the Law was distinct from the pagan Gentiles.
    2) Israel as a nation was distinct from other nations.
    3) Israel as a nation is distinct from the Church as an international body.
    Agreed.

    4) The church in the nation Israel is distinct from the Church in other nations, eg there is the church in Israel, the church in the UK, the church in the US, and the church in India, etc.
    Not sure exactly what you mean by this. From God's perspective there is ONLY ONE BODY -- the Church -- which includes all redeemed Jews and Gentiles since Pentecost, regardless of nationality or culture or language.

    There will be a future redeemed and restored kingdom of Israel ON EARTH after the second coming of Christ. At the same time the Church will dwell eternally in the heavenly city New Jerusalem. There will also be save nations on earth alongside Israel.

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    Re: separating Israel and the Church

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    What is unmistakable and uncontroversial to me are the following distinctions:
    1) Israel under the Law was distinct from the pagan Gentiles.
    2) Israel as a nation was distinct from other nations.
    3) Israel as a nation is distinct from the Church as an international body.
    4) The church in the nation Israel is distinct from the Church in other nations, eg there is the church in Israel, the church in the UK, the church in the US, and the church in India, etc.
    Just saying Israel is a metaphor for the Church is confusing! Now that Israel is a nation again there is a church in Israel, a church in the UK, etc.! The church in Israel *cannot* be the universal Church!
    Your 4 points are quite correct. But you fail to properly identify who are the true 'church', the Ekkelasia of God. Since Jesus came, EVERYBODY who believes in Him, John 3:16, from every race, nation and language, are the God's people, His chosen ones. Paul says in Galatians 6:16.... those who walk by the Christian rule are the Israel of God.

    Yes, discernment is needed to see where ethnic Israel or Judah are specifically mentioned in the Prophesies and their fulfilment of their being conquered and dispersed, etc. But for what remains unfulfilled; the New Testament teaching is unmistakable; we Christians are the heirs of God's promises to Israel.
    WE are the people who will fulfil God's desire to have a nation, Matthew 21:43, in His holy Land, being His witnesses, Isaiah 43:10 and His Light to the nations. Isaiah 49:8

  7. #7

    Re: separating Israel and the Church

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel567 View Post
    Agreed.
    Not sure exactly what you mean by this. From God's perspective there is ONLY ONE BODY -- the Church -- which includes all redeemed Jews and Gentiles since Pentecost, regardless of nationality or culture or language.

    There will be a future redeemed and restored kingdom of Israel ON EARTH after the second coming of Christ. At the same time the Church will dwell eternally in the heavenly city New Jerusalem. There will also be save nations on earth alongside Israel.
    I'm only speaking of distinctions, Daniel--not about the problem of unity. If we make logical distinctions as I describe then it is also logical to find such distinctions made in the Scriptures. If, for example, Israel had been distinguished as a nation under the Law from pagan nations elsewhere then certainly the Scriptures are making a distinction between Israel and the other nations!

    It may sound weird to describe the "church of Israel" as a logical distinction. We certainly wouldn't find it illogical to distinguish the Church of England from the Catholic Church in France. My point is that as long as we distinguish between nations, nations under law from those not under law, it is also logical to distinguish between a Christian nation and other nations who may or may not be Christian.

    Do we actually find this in the Scriptures, though? My point here is very simple. The Scriptures began the program of Christian expansion with a single nation, Israel, even before Christianity is born. At that time the complete set of saints, or what will later become Christians, is confined to a single nation.

    These saints in Israel, therefore, who were obedient to the Law, were distinguished in Scriptures from all other nations, simply because all other nations were pagan. And if Israel began as a nation distinguished from other nations, then it is logical that other nations, after converting to the Christian system, can also be distinguished from other nations who either are Christian or not.

    I couldn't agree more with your belief that the Church is one in spirit. But it is not and never has been unified internationally and in terms of organization without making national distinctions. National distinctions have therefore remained an important part of God's program, and is not opposed to the idea of spiritual unity. Spiritual unity does not require organizational unity. In fact, the imposition of organizational unity internationally can become as oppressive as any imperial political system.

  8. #8

    Re: separating Israel and the Church

    Quote Originally Posted by Keraz View Post
    Your 4 points are quite correct. But you fail to properly identify who are the true 'church', the Ekkelasia of God. Since Jesus came, EVERYBODY who believes in Him, John 3:16, from every race, nation and language, are the God's people, His chosen ones. Paul says in Galatians 6:16.... those who walk by the Christian rule are the Israel of God.

    Yes, discernment is needed to see where ethnic Israel or Judah are specifically mentioned in the Prophesies and their fulfilment of their being conquered and dispersed, etc. But for what remains unfulfilled; the New Testament teaching is unmistakable; we Christians are the heirs of God's promises to Israel.
    WE are the people who will fulfil God's desire to have a nation, Matthew 21:43, in His holy Land, being His witnesses, Isaiah 43:10 and His Light to the nations. Isaiah 49:8
    There is no question that genuine Christians are the true heirs of Israel's promises. But this is, I believe, only in the sense of our *common heritage.* All Christians inherit the redemption of Christ, and the promise of eternal life. We all inherit the promise of righteousness and immortality. We all are guaranteed a place on the new earth forever and ever, and the promise of eternal fellowship with God and with one another.

    However, I believe there were certain promises made to Israel *as a nation.* As such, these specific national promises by their very nature cannot apply to other countries. Of course other countries can receive their own specific promises from God as well. And I think this has been fulfilled in the Western concept of the "genius of nations."

    The only way other nations can receive Israel's specifically-national promises is if we completely alter the meaning of "Israel" to metaphorically refer to all nations. And this is Replacement Theology, which I reject. If this is your belief system I mean no offence. Most of Christianity in history has held to this kind of system. It's just that I believe it was relatively unimportant in history until Israel was reborn as a state in 1948. Now, I believe, Israel's specific promises from God have reacquired their importance!

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    Re: separating Israel and the Church

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    There is no question that genuine Christians are the true heirs of Israel's promises. But this is, I believe, only in the sense of our *common heritage.* All Christians inherit the redemption of Christ, and the promise of eternal life. We all inherit the promise of righteousness and immortality. We all are guaranteed a place on the new earth forever and ever, and the promise of eternal fellowship with God and with one another.

    However, I believe there were certain promises made to Israel *as a nation.* As such, these specific national promises by their very nature cannot apply to other countries. Of course other countries can receive their own specific promises from God as well. And I think this has been fulfilled in the Western concept of the "genius of nations."

    The only way other nations can receive Israel's specifically-national promises is if we completely alter the meaning of "Israel" to metaphorically refer to all nations. And this is Replacement Theology, which I reject. If this is your belief system I mean no offence. Most of Christianity in history has held to this kind of system. It's just that I believe it was relatively unimportant in history until Israel was reborn as a state in 1948. Now, I believe, Israel's specific promises from God have reacquired their importance!
    What it really boils down to is: Who is ethnic Israel today?
    Is it just those people currently living in a part of the holy Land, plus another few million Jewish people still in diaspora?
    Bible teaching is plain; Israel will be as many as the sands of the sea, they will receive promises of greatness and prosperity during their exile from the holy Land. In the last days, the two nations, Israel and Judah will rejoin, Ezekiel 37, and they will go together back to the holy Land. Jeremiah 50:4-5 [Please read those verses ]
    Ezekiel 39:21-29 is another prophecy that says God will gather ALL of Israel. All those of the Northern tribes that lost their identity, but have now become Christian. An amazing truth, demonstrating the incredible depth of God's plan for those who love Him.

  10. #10

    Re: separating Israel and the Church

    Quote Originally Posted by Keraz View Post
    What it really boils down to is: Who is ethnic Israel today?
    Is it just those people currently living in a part of the holy Land, plus another few million Jewish people still in diaspora?
    Bible teaching is plain; Israel will be as many as the sands of the sea, they will receive promises of greatness and prosperity during their exile from the holy Land. In the last days, the two nations, Israel and Judah will rejoin, Ezekiel 37, and they will go together back to the holy Land. Jeremiah 50:4-5 [Please read those verses ]
    Ezekiel 39:21-29 is another prophecy that says God will gather ALL of Israel. All those of the Northern tribes that lost their identity, but have now become Christian. An amazing truth, demonstrating the incredible depth of God's plan for those who love Him.
    I'm going to go to a little farther extent to explain to you my view on this. It really is, in my opinion, worth discussing, and it is worth the time to get it right. So let me just set up by establishing how far God's promises can go and how much they can be narrowed to a particular application.

    How far can the promise of Israel's national existence go? God promised Abraham with an *eternal covenant* that Israel would evolve out of his biology and come to exist in perpetuity in the promised land. Could a temporary captivity destroy this promise from God? I don't believe so. And so I think God's promise concerning Israel's physical existence in the promised land continues, despite the Jewish Diaspora that has existed for more than 2000 years!

    How strictly can we apply promises to national Israel? Can all of these promises apply to the international Church as well, or can they be applied strictly only to national Israel? I believe that there were *many promises* made to national Israel that could only have been fulfilled in national Israel, and not in the future Church. That's because many of these promises made specifically to Israel have *already been fulfilled!* This means they cannot be fulfilled in a future Church!

    For example, God made promises to Israel regarding the Babylonian Captivity. 1) It would happen. They would be conquered by the Babylonians, and they would be deported by the Babylonians. And they would be kept in captivity for 70 years. 2) Israel would be restored after 70 years. And this would be done by Cyrus. This restoration, ultimately, would lead to a decree, made by Artaxerxes, and a 490 year period would ensue, leading to the coming of Messiah. 3) Israel would be desolated by the "abomination of desolation," mentioned in Dan 9.27. This would take place following the appearance of Messiah--in fact within the generation of Messiah. This was fulfilled in 70 AD when the Romans destroyed both Jerusalem and the temple. All these things could only have been fulfilled by literal, physical Israel, and not by some "spiritual Israel" we call the universal Church!

    So yes, ethnic Israel is what Jesus predicted would go into dispersion following the destruction of the temple in his own generation. And these same people would be restored to their land, in accordance with God's eternal promise made to Abraham. Their existence in their ancient promised land does constitute "ethnic Israel," no matter how mixed they may be with other ethnicities. The fact they hold to their old religion is what qualifies them as "Jews." And it is their religion that has maintained a high level of authentic Jewish race in these people!

    And so, the fulfillment of Israel as a spiritual people and as a numerous people in the totality of the land of Israel is still in process of fulfillment. It is not finished yet, because Jesus said they would achieve their fulfillment *after* his coming. Paul said the same thing in Romans 11. The "times of the Gentiles" precede the "restoration of Israel."

    The joining of Northern and Southern kingdoms in Israel was long completed by the time of Jesus' earthly ministry. Judah came to absorb Israelites from all the other tribes, and they became known collectively as "Jews"--even though they were not all descended from Judah. There are still Jews from other tribes in Diaspora. But Jews today are no longer known, for the most part, as separate tribal entities. Rather, they are all called "Jews," and they do constitute "Israel," a single political state. There is therefore no further need for fulfillment of Ezekiel's prophecy of the union of North and South!

    Same with Jer 50--the union of the two states was already accomplished by the time of Jesus. What remained after that time was the restoration of the nation following the events of 70 AD! And that has taken 2000 years! So this is very significant in that it shows God is true to His eternal promise to Abraham! And it shows that literal Jewish ethnicity is involved, and not some kind of symbolic Church from all nations!

    We are here witnessing the greatest act of faithfulness and love I can conceive of! After 2000 years God has forgiven a people completely resistant to Him, out of faithfulness to His friend Abraham! At least that's how I see it.

    Are the Jews still recalcitrant and resistant to Christianity? Yes, of course. They still do not see. And they can't be held accountable for what the 1st generation did to Jesus! But rejecting Christianity as a culture they have unfortunately come under the curse of God. God cannot but curse those who as an ethnic group reject Christian truth. God has put all of His blessings in one bag--in Christ himself! And so, those who reject Christ turn themselves away from God's blessings--even though God still loves them and reaches out to them for Abraham's sake.

    What encouragement this should be for us as fathers and grandfathers! God will keep His promises to us, if we live respectable lives, obey Him, and live a Christian life! We can be sure that God will cause our fruit to endure forever! Nothing can stop it! Anyhow, that's how I see it.

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    Re: separating Israel and the Church

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    Sorry, this is long, but includes a number of other similar subjects being addressed...

    We need to separate the biblical references to OT Israel and to the NT Church. What we need to recognize is that God promised Abraham a multiplicity of nations that would share his faith in the one true God. And out of those nations, He would begin with a single nation--the nation Israel. To keep them in the faith God gave them the Law of Moses. It was a primitive law in the sense it was similar to other primitive cultures, and as such, it was certainly intended to be limited in duration. For example, the prohibition against pork was certainly time-dated, since it no longer has either pagan or health significance. The modern world no longer acknowledges such uses.

    But the Law did keep Israel confined to a single stream leading to redemption. It required obstacles be set up between God and men. And maintaining relations with God had to be regulated by certain symbolic rituals, which nevertheless were required.
    I don't think the law was given to "keep" Israel in the faith of God. The law was given because they had no faith. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had no law or temple. They had faith. Thus the Holy Spirit lived within them, just as He does with us today. He is the one to convict us of sin and keep us straight. Without the Holy Spirit a law is the handicapped version of salvation by works.

    All of the Scriptures in the OT era, therefore, were directed primarily to Israel, and not to the future Church. Everything having to do with any era beyond the Law was phrased in a unique way that did not detail the enormous change that was in store. Jesus said that "until heaven and earth pass away not a single detail of the Law would change, ie until everything be fulfilled."

    Now this verse sounds very much like the Law would never change until the earth and heaven completely passes away, which essentially means the Law would *never* change. However, what Jesus seems to me to be saying is that the Law cannot change until it is actually "fulfilled." In other words, if the Law is fulfilled *prior to* the passing of heaven and earth, then indeed the Law can change. Until then, however, it is irrevocable!
    The law will never change. Nor will a single jot or tittle pass away from it UNTIL heaven and earth pass away. By that point, there will be no need of it. Before heaven and earth pass away, all of it will be fulfilled. Jesus did not change the law one iota. Food restrictions, etc. were never written for people of faith, but those without faith. Salvation by faith alone was not a "new" concept when Jesus came. The men of Ninevah, for example, whom Jesus claimed repented and were saved. The new covenant did not replace the old. Just as the Davidic covenant did not replace the Mosaic covenant or Abramaic covenant. God is capable of more than one contract at a time.

    There are always two peoples. Those with faith and those without. This is critical to understand when we get to the topics below. See what Paul wrote in Galatians 3-4. The freewoman and the bondwoman. The freewoman has faith the other does not. Both have covenants! This is precisely why understanding the rapture is so important. When all those of faith, the freewoman, are removed from the earth, only the bondwoman remains. These will be subject to the same covenant of slavery the comes with the law. Salvation by faith is no longer possible AFTER the rapture when Jesus gets up to close the door to the wedding. He has been seen by everyone in His glory. "Every eye will see Him." It isn't possible to have faith in something seen, only the unseen. After the coming of Jesus in glory for the rapture all those counted unworthy by God will again be subject to the law. That is why Jesus always encouraged them to keep it, even in the NT. It isn't passing away for those without faith.

    So we do not find Ezekiel's future temple couched in NT terms. It is a temple with real animal sacrifices. We hear Isaiah speaking of a future temple of God. It remains described in OT terminology. The future promise of Israel continues to have "priests." They appear as genuine Levitical priests.
    This is only a mystery if we do not accept what is written. There can be no one to build Ezekiel's temple accept Jesus. It even talks about the door which the Lord entered being sealed so no one else can enter by it. Even the Jews, who very little understanding of the scriptures, understand the Messiah will build the temple. Where else would we expect the King of kings to rule from?

    1 Chronicles 17:11 And it shall be, when your days are fulfilled, when you must go to be with your fathers, that I will set up your seed after you, who will be of your sons; and I will establish his kingdom. 12 He shall build Me a house, and I will establish his throne forever. 13 I will be his Father, and he shall be My son; and I will not take My mercy away from him, as I took it from him who was before you. 14 And I will establish him in My house and in My kingdom forever; and his throne shall be established forever.

    There is no honest way to make this passage about Solomon. His kingdom didn't last five minutes after his death, let alone last forever. The only son of David that could possibly be described here is Christ. It plainly says He will build the temple. Notice where is says "seed." This is the same seed, singular, that Paul talks about in Galatians 3 as the Christ.

    Now, if indeed Jesus is going to build a temple and accept sacrifices, we should understand why. This concept is foreign to those of faith, just as it would have been for Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The key goes back to the two covenants Paul talked about in Gal 4. Let's get straight to it.

    Galatians 4:30 Nevertheless what does the Scripture say? “Cast out the bondwoman and her son, for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.” 31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman but of the free.

    Pretty harsh, but that is what Paul said. Compare to what Jesus said:

    Matthew 8:10 When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to those who followed, “Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel! 11 And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. 12 But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

    We have a huge distinction between those with faith and those without. Those with faith clearly have the better deal. But, those without faith, even though they are cast out and not heirs with the freewoman, can still be saved. Though they will not be honored according to the book of Enoch. From the vantage point of heaven where the raptured saints are taken to the wedding, those left on earth are in outer darkness weeping in sorrow for missing the invitation, or gnashing their teeth in anger because they thought being part of the lucky sperm club was enough. Sorry, it takes faith, whether Jew or Gentile, to enter the narrow door to the wedding of the Lamb.

    Further, I find no solid evidence that the raptured saints return to this earth with Jesus. We might, we might not. I can totally understand why we would not return. What would be the point? We are already saved. Jesus can handle to bondwoman. The freewoman is born from above and will remain there, best I can tell from scripture. That is why we are looking for the heavenly city. The Millennium is not for the freewoman, but the bondwoman. It is the fulfillment of God's covenants and building of huge multitudes of nations and people which the freewoman will rule over in the NHNE, I believe. Perhaps they will understand the spirit of the law when Jesus is there to teach them.

    Think about this. Abraham is a friend of God according to Isaiah 41:8. The OT constantly talks about the fear of the Lord and serving Him with obedience. Then Jesus comes and calls His disciples friends after the believe in Him. Before that, Jesus called them servants. They were still of the bondwoman. Once the had faith, Jesus called them friends. Friends of the bridegroom are much greater than servants of the Lord. This distinction is huge. This is an enormous reward for faith, as I see it. Here is another example of friend vs servant.

    Exodus 33:11 So the Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. And he would return to the camp, but his servant Joshua the son of Nun, a young man, did not depart from the tabernacle.

    Isaiah 41:8 “But you, Israel, are My servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, The descendants of Abraham My friend.

    Here is the huge distinction again. Israel/Jacob is the Lord's servant. The descendants of Abraham are the Lord' friends. The descendants of Abraham are those of faith!! See Romans 4. That's us! The concept of two peoples is constant throughout scripture, although not easily understood I admit. Once we know the two peoples and who they are, hopefully the Millennium temple and sacrifices make sense. God is merciful indeed to both His friends and servants.

  12. #12

    Re: separating Israel and the Church

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony P View Post
    I don't think the law was given to "keep" Israel in the faith of God. The law was given because they had no faith. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had no law or temple. They had faith. Thus the Holy Spirit lived within them, just as He does with us today. He is the one to convict us of sin and keep us straight. Without the Holy Spirit a law is the handicapped version of salvation by works.
    Sorry, God gave the Law in faith and for faith. He had faith that at least some in Israel would obey and keep it. And He wanted through the Law for Israel to express faith in God through their obedience.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony P
    The law will never change. Nor will a single jot or tittle pass away from it UNTIL heaven and earth pass away. By that point, there will be no need of it. Before heaven and earth pass away, all of it will be fulfilled. Jesus did not change the law one iota. Food restrictions, etc. were never written for people of faith, but those without faith. Salvation by faith alone was not a "new" concept when Jesus came. The men of Ninevah, for example, whom Jesus claimed repented and were saved. The new covenant did not replace the old. Just as the Davidic covenant did not replace the Mosaic covenant or Abramaic covenant. God is capable of more than one contract at a time.
    Sorry, salvation by faith alone was always true, but not yet realized while as yet Christ had yet to come and win redemption. And so, the Law legitimately stood as the basis of faith for those who sought the salvation of God. The Law certainly was fulfilled and terminated in the coming of Christ. That's because Christ did what the Law could not do. He won eternal redemption for men. The Law could only buy a reprieve.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony P
    There are always two peoples. Those with faith and those without. This is critical to understand when we get to the topics below. See what Paul wrote in Galatians 3-4. The freewoman and the bondwoman. The freewoman has faith the other does not. Both have covenants! This is precisely why understanding the rapture is so important. When all those of faith, the freewoman, are removed from the earth, only the bondwoman remains. These will be subject to the same covenant of slavery the comes with the law. Salvation by faith is no longer possible AFTER the rapture when Jesus gets up to close the door to the wedding. He has been seen by everyone in His glory. "Every eye will see Him." It isn't possible to have faith in something seen, only the unseen. After the coming of Jesus in glory for the rapture all those counted unworthy by God will again be subject to the law. That is why Jesus always encouraged them to keep it, even in the NT. It isn't passing away for those without faith.
    Sorry, the Law has passed away for *everybody.* It has ceased to be used for anybody because it was geared towards those who God wanted to have faith. When those who had faith were given eternal life by the cross of Christ the Law ceased to be necessary. Those who had been under the Law were shown to have failed irretrievably under the Law by their rejection of Christ, thus causing the Law to be irretrievably broken. A covenant is destroyed when one of the parties fails irretrievably to do their part of the agreement.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony P
    This is only a mystery if we do not accept what is written. There can be no one to build Ezekiel's temple accept Jesus. It even talks about the door which the Lord entered being sealed so no one else can enter by it. Even the Jews, who very little understanding of the scriptures, understand the Messiah will build the temple. Where else would we expect the King of kings to rule from?
    The temple was built by Solomon. But Jesus has presented a very different kind of temple, the temple of his own body. And he is extending his body by building the Church as his temple.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony P
    1 Chronicles 17:11 And it shall be, when your days are fulfilled, when you must go to be with your fathers, that I will set up your seed after you, who will be of your sons; and I will establish his kingdom. 12 He shall build Me a house, and I will establish his throne forever. 13 I will be his Father, and he shall be My son; and I will not take My mercy away from him, as I took it from him who was before you. 14 And I will establish him in My house and in My kingdom forever; and his throne shall be established forever.

    There is no honest way to make this passage about Solomon. His kingdom didn't last five minutes after his death, let alone last forever. The only son of David that could possibly be described here is Christ. It plainly says He will build the temple. Notice where is says "seed." This is the same seed, singular, that Paul talks about in Galatians 3 as the Christ.
    This was undoubtedly Solomon's temple that was being referred to! It was not intended to last forever in a the sense of the physical temple lasting forever. Rather, it was Solomon's *throne* that was to last forever.

    Obviously, David's dynasty died out in the Babylonian Captivity. But a descendant of David survived who was heir to God's eternal throne--Jesus. His is the throne that Solomon established by building a physical temple.

    That temple, though destroyed, was rebuilt in the time of Zerubbabel. Later, in the time of Herod Jesus came to that physical temple, presenting himself as the true heavenly temple of God. Thus, Jesus assumed a heavenly throne--the one established by Solomon in a strictly physical form. Jesus was the intended heavenly fulfillment of what Solomon had established in a purely earthly form.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony P
    Now, if indeed Jesus is going to build a temple and accept sacrifices, we should understand why. This concept is foreign to those of faith, just as it would have been for Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The key goes back to the two covenants Paul talked about in Gal 4. Let's get straight to it.

    Galatians 4:30 Nevertheless what does the Scripture say? “Cast out the bondwoman and her son, for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.” 31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman but of the free.

    Pretty harsh, but that is what Paul said. Compare to what Jesus said:

    Matthew 8:10 When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to those who followed, “Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel! 11 And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. 12 But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

    We have a huge distinction between those with faith and those without. Those with faith clearly have the better deal. But, those without faith, even though they are cast out and not heirs with the freewoman, can still be saved. Though they will not be honored according to the book of Enoch. From the vantage point of heaven where the raptured saints are taken to the wedding, those left on earth are in outer darkness weeping in sorrow for missing the invitation, or gnashing their teeth in anger because they thought being part of the lucky sperm club was enough. Sorry, it takes faith, whether Jew or Gentile, to enter the narrow door to the wedding of the Lamb.
    The idea of two peoples, one of faith and one under the Law in the Millennium, is purely without merit. God does not have two separate systems for each of two peoples, with one people superior to the other, and both peoples being His own! That would make God double-minded! And He is not.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony P
    Further, I find no solid evidence that the raptured saints return to this earth with Jesus. We might, we might not. I can totally understand why we would not return. What would be the point? We are already saved. Jesus can handle to bondwoman. The freewoman is born from above and will remain there, best I can tell from scripture. That is why we are looking for the heavenly city. The Millennium is not for the freewoman, but the bondwoman. It is the fulfillment of God's covenants and building of huge multitudes of nations and people which the freewoman will rule over in the NHNE, I believe. Perhaps they will understand the spirit of the law when Jesus is there to teach them.

    Think about this. Abraham is a friend of God according to Isaiah 41:8. The OT constantly talks about the fear of the Lord and serving Him with obedience. Then Jesus comes and calls His disciples friends after the believe in Him. Before that, Jesus called them servants. They were still of the bondwoman. Once the had faith, Jesus called them friends. Friends of the bridegroom are much greater than servants of the Lord. This distinction is huge. This is an enormous reward for faith, as I see it. Here is another example of friend vs servant.

    Exodus 33:11 So the Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. And he would return to the camp, but his servant Joshua the son of Nun, a young man, did not depart from the tabernacle.

    Isaiah 41:8 “But you, Israel, are My servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, The descendants of Abraham My friend.

    Here is the huge distinction again. Israel/Jacob is the Lord's servant. The descendants of Abraham are the Lord' friends. The descendants of Abraham are those of faith!! See Romans 4. That's us! The concept of two peoples is constant throughout scripture, although not easily understood I admit. Once we know the two peoples and who they are, hopefully the Millennium temple and sacrifices make sense. God is merciful indeed to both His friends and servants.
    I see no basis for separating "servants" and "friends." These things are not mutually exclusive. We are both "friends" and "servants." Your theology is absolutely foreign to my thinking and to the thinking of Scriptures, in my opinion.

  13. #13
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    Re: separating Israel and the Church

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    Sorry, God gave the Law in faith and for faith. He had faith that at least some in Israel would obey and keep it. And He wanted through the Law for Israel to express faith in God through their obedience.
    The law has nothing to do with faith. It is the opposite of faith. That is why you won't find the word "faith" anywhere in the books of Moses, except this one, and it doesn't help your case.

    Deuteronomy 32:20 And He said: ‘I will hide My face from them, I will see what their end will be, For they are a perverse generation, Children in whom is no faith.

    Sorry, salvation by faith alone was always true, but not yet realized while as yet Christ had yet to come and win redemption. And so, the Law legitimately stood as the basis of faith for those who sought the salvation of God. The Law certainly was fulfilled and terminated in the coming of Christ. That's because Christ did what the Law could not do. He won eternal redemption for men. The Law could only buy a reprieve.
    Again you fight the scriptures saying the law was terminated. Jesus never remotely claimed to terminate the law. In fact, He said just the opposite.

    Exodus 12:24 And you shall observe this thing as an ordinance for you and your sons forever.

    Exodus 27:21 .... It shall be a statute forever to their generations on behalf of the children of Israel.

    Leviticus 6:18 .... It shall be a statute forever in your generations concerning the offerings made by fire to the Lord.

    There are dozens more which all state the law was forever. Jesus confirms this here.

    Matthew 5:18 For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.

    Has ALL the law been fulfilled? Ezekiel's temple and every word of scripture? Has heaved and earth passed away? No. Therefore it is still in effect for the children of Israel.

    Sorry, the Law has passed away for *everybody.* It has ceased to be used for anybody because it was geared towards those who God wanted to have faith. When those who had faith were given eternal life by the cross of Christ the Law ceased to be necessary. Those who had been under the Law were shown to have failed irretrievably under the Law by their rejection of Christ, thus causing the Law to be irretrievably broken. A covenant is destroyed when one of the parties fails irretrievably to do their part of the agreement.
    Why would God make a covenant that He knew would be broken? Those who have faith are indeed freed from the curse of the law. Those without faith are still bound by it.

    The temple was built by Solomon. But Jesus has presented a very different kind of temple, the temple of his own body. And he is extending his body by building the Church as his temple.
    One or two NT analogies about Jesus's body being the temple doesn't change the OT.

    This was undoubtedly Solomon's temple that was being referred to! It was not intended to last forever in a the sense of the physical temple lasting forever. Rather, it was Solomon's *throne* that was to last forever.

    Obviously, David's dynasty died out in the Babylonian Captivity. But a descendant of David survived who was heir to God's eternal throne--Jesus. His is the throne that Solomon established by building a physical temple.

    That temple, though destroyed, was rebuilt in the time of Zerubbabel. Later, in the time of Herod Jesus came to that physical temple, presenting himself as the true heavenly temple of God. Thus, Jesus assumed a heavenly throne--the one established by Solomon in a strictly physical form. Jesus was the intended heavenly fulfillment of what Solomon had established in a purely earthly form.
    If this is true, then God has two sons. Jesus and Solomon.

    12 He shall build Me a house, and I will establish his throne forever. 13 I will be his Father, and he shall be My son

    Jesus disputes that claim outright.

    John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son

    The idea of two peoples, one of faith and one under the Law in the Millennium, is purely without merit. God does not have two separate systems for each of two peoples, with one people superior to the other, and both peoples being His own! That would make God double-minded! And He is not.
    Failure to understand does not change reality. This has nothing to do with being double minded. Have you ever wonder why God seems so harsh in the OT and so gentle in the NT? There is a reason. What did Jesus have to say about two sons, each with different destinies? See Matt 21 or Luke 15. The parable of the two sons and the prodigal son.

    I see no basis for separating "servants" and "friends." These things are not mutually exclusive. We are both "friends" and "servants." Your theology is absolutely foreign to my thinking and to the thinking of Scriptures, in my opinion.
    Jesus certainly makes a clear distinction between the two.

    John 15:15 No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.

  14. #14

    Re: separating Israel and the Church

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony P View Post
    The law has nothing to do with faith. It is the opposite of faith. That is why you won't find the word "faith" anywhere in the books of Moses, except this one, and it doesn't help your case.
    You are so wrong! The Law operated through faith, requiring faith from those who obeyed. The Law was not designed for unbelievers who merely followed the Law for spurious reasons.

    Deut 11.13 So if you faithfully obey the commands I am giving you today—to love the Lord your God and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul...

    Heb 3.5 “Moses was faithful as a servant in all God’s house,” bearing witness to what would be spoken by God in the future.

    Heb 11.28 By faith he kept the Passover and the application of blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn would not touch the firstborn of Israel.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony P
    Deuteronomy 32:20 And He said: ‘I will hide My face from them, I will see what their end will be, For they are a perverse generation, Children in whom is no faith.
    This was a generalization about Israel's progression in sin. It didn't in the least mean that people in Israel who obeyed the Law were acting out of unbelief and as such were faithless with respect to God. Do you really intend to say that *all Israel* who were under the Law were perverse strictly because they were under the Law? Do you really wish to say they all had *no faith?*

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony P
    Again you fight the scriptures saying the law was terminated. Jesus never remotely claimed to terminate the law. In fact, He said just the opposite.

    Exodus 12:24 And you shall observe this thing as an ordinance for you and your sons forever.

    Exodus 27:21 .... It shall be a statute forever to their generations on behalf of the children of Israel.

    Leviticus 6:18 .... It shall be a statute forever in your generations concerning the offerings made by fire to the Lord.

    There are dozens more which all state the law was forever. Jesus confirms this here.

    Matthew 5:18 For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.

    Has ALL the law been fulfilled? Ezekiel's temple and every word of scripture? Has heaved and earth passed away? No. Therefore it is still in effect for the children of Israel.
    The Law was given as a covenant that was provisional. It depended upon compliance. Assuming there would be compliance the covenant remained in effect in perpetuity, until the time for its ultimate fulfillment. The Law had two aspects to it--its failure and its fulfillment. As a covenant Israel, it was predicted, would ultimately fail as a nation to achieve their promises. But as a fulfillment the Law would provide a means beyond its own laws for the fulfillment of those promises.

    Both were true. Israel failed under the Law, and the covenant was broken. This called for its annulment. Every covenant so failed is annulled.

    But Jesus did provide a way for the fulfillment of what the Law sought outside of the Law itself. He provided his own spirit as a means of getting past the curses of the Law to achieve national fulfillment.

    Claiming that heaven and earth would have to pass away before the provisions of the Law could be broken was correct. But they would be broken. And so Jesus said that the Law would remain in effect *until it was fulfilled.* And so Jesus provided in himself the means of fulfilling the Law *apart from the Law.* To say the Law is still in effect is to ignore New Testament theology, the book of Hebrews, the New Covenant theology of Paul, and the ripping of the veil at Jesus' death. Jeremiah said a new covenant would eventually save Israel--a covenant that was different from the Law. This means the Law would pass away in favor of this New Covenant.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony P
    Why would God make a covenant that He knew would be broken? Those who have faith are indeed freed from the curse of the law. Those without faith are still bound by it.
    The Law was given as a temporary measure, fully knowing it could not achieve redemption. It provided a righteous standard in the meantime, with a recognition that redemption had to come by some means if national salvation was to be achieved.

    The Law was depicted in the Prophets as a marriage covenant that failed, and is described as a "divorce." This is a *broken covenant.* And yet, the Prophets predicted this would not be the end of Israel's hope in God under Abraham's Covenant. There would be another means of eternal salvation, which we believe to have been achieved through Christ.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony P
    One or two NT analogies about Jesus's body being the temple doesn't change the OT.
    It is an important point that Jesus made, particularly if you see his claim up against his prediction that the temple itself would fall. This means that he alone would remain after the dust had settled in 70 AD.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony P
    If this is true, then God has two sons. Jesus and Solomon.

    12 He shall build Me a house, and I will establish his throne forever. 13 I will be his Father, and he shall be My son

    Jesus disputes that claim outright.
    God most certainly has more than two sons! He has a great multitude of them! But He has only one only-begotten Son--His Son from heaven. The passage we refer to referred to Solomon, who built the house of God which David had wanted to build. The eternity of this throne rested not upon Solomon alone, nor on the house he would build. Rather, it rested upon a descendant that would be raised up in his house, Jesus. He would establish a different house entirely--the Church.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony P
    John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son
    Failure to understand does not change reality. This has nothing to do with being double minded. Have you ever wonder why God seems so harsh in the OT and so gentle in the NT? There is a reason. What did Jesus have to say about two sons, each with different destinies? See Matt 21 or Luke 15. The parable of the two sons and the prodigal son.
    The Marcionite heresy also dealt with this supposed duality, and was condemned for it. He posited OT Israel vs the NT Church. He thought the OT God to be harsh and legalistic. The NT God, by contrast, was loving and full of grace.

    But this is a false dichotomy. The Law and Grace are not at odds with each other. It may appear as such because sin ultimately pollutes a nation. At the end a nation is sickened by its sin, and sin pollutes the entire society. And so, Israel under the Law made the legal system itself appear to look bad.

    But it wasn't. The Law God gave Israel in good faith so that they would be blessed by their obedience. This was to lead to a nation that achieves eternal salvation through Christ. And although that has not yet happened, I believe that will still happen, following a period of winnowing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony P
    Jesus certainly makes a clear distinction between the two.

    John 15:15 No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.
    Jesus often referred to Israel at the time of their failure under the Law. At that time they served God through the Law in a purely perfunctory way, hiding sins within, and privately indulging in sins that they sought to hide. This does not mean that all those under the Law were phonies. This was just a particularly bad time in Israel's history, designed to show the world that salvation will come through resistance to national sins.

    But this particular passage shows the change in God's People from the Law to the Age of Grace. Under the Law there had been requirements that kept people bound to the curse of sin and death. No matter what they did they were still found guilty of sin by the testimony of the Law--even as they offered sacrifices for forgiveness and sought temporary purification from uncleanness. People would still die, and the Law witnessed to that.

    But after Christ's resurrection, we no longer have need to serve a law of temporary redemption. We already have eternal redemption through our testimony to what Jesus has done for us. He has provided us with his own spirit so that we are viewed by his own unblemished record, and not by the record of our own sinful nature. We are now eternal sons, and not slaves to a law that could never completely free us from its mandates.

  15. #15
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    Re: separating Israel and the Church

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    We need to separate the biblical references to OT Israel and to the NT Church.
    I don't agree. The Bible speaks with one voice and all scripture is inspired. What would be the purpose of separating the two testaments except to give yourself permission to ignore one or the other?

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