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wpm
Sep 12th 2008, 05:02 AM
Paul explains in Galatians 4:22-33: “it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband. Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. Nevertheless what saith the Scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman. So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.”

Romans 8:1-9 highlights the futility and impotence of seeing any merit in “the flesh,” and contrasts it to the blessing and destiny of “the Spirit.” He compares this by picking out two of Abraham’s Hebrewic progeny. Paul, in this reading is basically comparing between the spiritual and the natural, the real and the unreal, freedom and bondage. The saved are seen to be “the children of promise” and are expressly “born of the Spirit” and therefore “free.” The unsaved are merely natural and carnal and are simply “born after the flesh.”

Philippians 3:3 sums up what a true believer is, saying, “they have no confidence in the flesh.” They have basically given up any hope of making heaven of their own volition, abilty, race or efforts. Their confidence is in God and His provision for lost sinners – the Lord Jesus Christ.

Those that are merely born of natural Israeli pedigree hold no special favour with God. The only thing that brings that is the new birth. Those that rely upon anything other that the blood of Jesus are of their father the devil and under the wrath of God. Such people are not born of the Spirit are therefore outside of Christ, outside of the only vehicle God has ordained for salvation in this Gospel age – His body – the Church, and outside of hope. Jesus said in John 3:6-7 “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”

Paul continually differentiates between the Israelite according to “the flesh” and Israelite according to “the Spirit.” He frequently qualifies his use of the Israeli or Jewish label, showing that there is both a natural and a spiritual understanding in these designations. 1 Corinthians 10:18 says, “Israel after the flesh.” In Romans 9:3 he describes the natural Jew as “my kinsmen according to the flesh” and in Romans 9:5 describes them as Israelites “as concerning the flesh.” Romans 4:1 also declares: “What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found?”

God uses the terms “Israel,” “circumcision,” “Jew[s],” and “children of the Abraham” in both a natural and a spiritual sense in Scripture. When He uses them in a natural sense He is talking specifically about the natural Hebrewic descendants; when He uses them in a spiritual context He is referring exclusively of the elect of God – God’s true people, those that have entered into salvation by simple faith. The redeemed of God are all those that are found “in Christ” since the beginning of time. The lost are all those that are found “in Adam” from the beginning. The elect have two natures – being born from above, the wicked have only one – their old Adamic nature. Scripture makes clear, natural birthright means nothing in salvation. It is rather a broken and a contrite heart.

Men today from all nations are either viewed as walking “after the Spirit” or “after the flesh,” or, after their natural state or have risen above that to walk after God in newness of life.

Paul makes it clear in his writings that there is another Israel apart from Israel after the flesh.Paul especially develops this thought in Romans 9:6-8, which says, confirms this, saying, “for they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: neither, because they are the seed of Abraham (through the flesh), are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is, they which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.”

Here we see two Israels in view – one according to the flesh and one according to the Spirit. These are significantly identified in Romans 9:8 as “the children of God” or “the children of the promise.” The chosen seed obviously does not include all natural Israelis – as most, even in the Old Testament, seemed to rebel against God’s holy demands. Moreover, one could never call such “the children of the promise” unless they were of the family of faith.

True Israel was never simply the natural descendents of Abraham but the spriritual ones. Even after Jacob changed his name, there were always two Israels – one natural one redeemed. Whilst the redeemed group consisted of mainly natural Israelites in the old economy, natural Israeli pedigree was never the grounds for belonging to this favoured group – faith was. When Christ came and widened out the Gospel opportunity to all nations He removed the natural ethnic bias of the Gospel that strongly inclined towards natural Israelites and drew countless millions of Gentiles into that special chosen company.

Clearly, when Scripture indicates that salvation is found “in Isaac” (Romans 9:7) it has nothing to do with physical descent. If it did, then the promise would be restricted to Hebrews stock alone – namely all of the blood-descendents of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. There would be absolutely no hope for the Gentile. Of course that is not what Scripture is saying or what salvation is. Paul makes this clear when introducing this truth in Romans 9:6, saying, “for they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children.” What he is demonstrating is that salvation is not through the flesh. Romans 9:8 confirms this, indicating, “they which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.”

Some are constantly preoccupied with fleshly Israel that is outside of Christ, instead of spiritual Israel that is the true covenant seed of Abraham. They are always lauding the flesh, when God only works through a spiritual people. They elevate Israel as if physical circumcision carries some special preference. Jewish birthright commands no special favour from God when it comes to salvation. The only thing that carries merit with God is a penitent heart towards Christ. Sadly, the overwhelmingly majority of modern-day Israelis heart is hardened towards God – and His only provision for sin – the Lord Jesus Christ. This passage confirms that Christ-rejecting Israelis – “they which are the children of the flesh” – “are not the children of God.” Nothing could be clearer.

Nihil Obstat
Sep 12th 2008, 06:27 AM
Those that are merely born of natural Israeli pedigree hold no special favour with God. The only thing that brings that is the new birth. ... [Some Christians] elevate Israel as if physical circumcision carries some special preference. Jewish birthright commands no special favour from God when it comes to salvation. The only thing that carries merit with God is a penitent heart towards Christ.

Up until Nimrod's tower, all the people of the earth were one family. Eber the Sethite lived during this time, and "Eber" is where the term "Hebrew" comes from. Eber begot Peleg, who lived when the earth was divided by the confusion of the one language into many. From this, the people were spread out, and the one family made into many families.

The promised seed prophesied of in Gen. 3:15 had to come through one family, and God called Abram out from among his fellow Gentiles, promising him that if he would 1) go to the land that was already prepared for him (where Eden once was), and 2) be a blessing to others, then God would bless Abram and his descendants (the concern was specifically for a king); those who then blessed this Hebrew would in turn be blessed by God with the same blessing as He blessed Abram with.

After 1) going to the land, and 2) being a blessing to others (Lot and the kings), Melchizedek, the king of the future city of David and priest of the Most High God, "Possessor of heaven and earth", comes and blesses Abram as a faithful representative of God (not as a Christophany). It is then in that place that God makes covenant with Abram because of his faith, causing Abram to be unable to pass in between the sacrificed pieces, and God alone passes through, signifying that this covenant will remain forever, as it was not based on Abram's (or his seeds') faithfulness, but God's alone (cp. Gen. 50:24-26; Deut. 4:25-31; 1 Ch. 16:15-18; Luke 1:68-75; Acts 3:19-26; Heb. 6:13-18).

Later, after the covenant is ratified so that nothing to it can be added, God tells Abraham that the sign of this everlasting covenant is the circumcision of his and his seeds' flesh. Those who were not circumcised were not a part of this one family through whom would come the promised Seed. Circumcision was not about salvation, for all who blessed Abraham would receive the same blessing as God gave Abraham, and circumcision came after faith, however, it was about being in that family and inheriting the physical land promised him (ownership of the land was and is still unconditional, but possession of the land has always been conditional).

Now that Christ has come, who was circumcised according to the covenant, and has sprinkled our hearts after His death and resurrection at His ascension, ratifying the renewed covenant with natural Israel, the witness family is no longer known by circumcision of the flesh, but by the Holy Spirit (Eph. 1:13; 4:30). Note though that the story is still focused on Jews (a word which comes from exiled Judah), and that the door to salvation has not yet been understood to have been opened to the Gentiles. The question is not "How do Jews fit in?", but "How do Gentiles fit in?"

Salvation, or justification, has always been by grace through faith, and now by the inter-indwelling Holy Spirit, we can say that circumcision and uncircumcision are nothing when concerning that person's salvation, but only the Spirit. Circumcision is by the taking off of the old creation, and the Spirit within cries, "Abba, Father."

So has God cast off His people Israel? No, of course not, and that's not what you're saying - but are they still called in a distinct way that Gentiles are not? Well, to them alone was promised unconditionally forever a faithful remnant (Gen. 17:7; Deut. 29:10-15; 30:5); never does God promise this to Gentiles. What is the importance of this nation, that they not only remain, but remain distinct and separate throughout all generations?

Paul tells us that by their fall, the way was made for the Gentiles to be grafted in among them (it's their tree, their root, their fatness, their forefathers' promises); how much better then will it be at their acceptance and fullness?! Life from the dead for all creation! Why them specifically and not any other nation/family? It's because they are beloved for the sake of the patriarchs!

God made unconditional everlasting promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and to their natural descendants - they will never cease to be a people, a promise that must continue up until the Great White Throne Judgment. Their ethnic distinction is not important for their salvation, but for their preservation, unto the salvation of all other nations through their witness (Eze. 36:23)!

So is Israel any better than Gentiles? No, and neither are Gentiles better than Israel. Israel is the hardest nation to save, not the easiest; they alone as a corporate people have a veil over their hearts. God chose Israel for that very purpose: to prove His faithfulness, not theirs. And by that all nations are saved: not for the sake of Israel's faithfulness, but for the sake of God's faithfulness despite their faithlessness.

So do not seek to lower your brethrens' vision of the people of God, nor to hinder them from provoking Israel to jealousy, the very means of which they must be saved. If God is unfaithful to Israel, then what hope have we, for we are in their covenantal promises. Judging by Rom. 9:3, our view of them is not high enough...

- Lk.11

Nihil Obstat
Sep 12th 2008, 06:59 PM
The old, or rather, the "first" covenant (Heb. 8:13), is made obsolete by the new, or more precisely, the renewed covenant with natural Israel. But the old covenant is not the Abrahamic covenant (Gen. 12:1-3; etc.), nor the Land covenant (Deut. 30:1-10), nor the Davidic covenant (2 Sam. 7:12-16), but is the Mosaic covenant, or better known as the Law (Ex. 20; etc.). Only the Mosaic covenant is done away with in the new, and this is because Jesus, a Man born under the law, fulfilled the law, that those under the law would be redeemed from the curse of the law. The law was added to make dormant sin manifest in men, that they would see their inability to walk in covenantal obedience.

The law could not save a man, but could only condemn a man. Those who longed to have a right relationship with God and man loved the law for revealing the hidden sin in them (Ps. 119), and the law provided a means for their atonement. This atonement truly washed them of their sins (read carefully and understand Heb. 8:4 and 9:13), but these sacrifices could never take away from them their propensity to sin (Heb. 10:4); to make them perfect (Heb. 10:1). Perfection - becoming a new creation - can only come by fulfilling the law, something only the last Adam was able to do, for He was from heaven. Those in Him by the blood of the renewed covenant are born again, a new creation, from a heavenly city. The Mosaic covenant is now obsolete; it is the law written on our hearts which we are now to continually fulfill, and are enabled to by the inter-indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

When we say that Jesus fulfilled the law, we mean that the transaction has been made complete between God and man; there is no longer a need to make exchange, for it has already been made. To desire to attempt to fulfill the law will often, but not always (as I'll get to soon), reveal a person's refusal or ignorance of the fact that Jesus fulfilled it. It could be somewhat likened to going to buy a car from a dealer for a $1000; once the transaction has been made, it makes no sense for another to feel burdened to pay the $1000 - it's been made complete! In this way, the old covenant has been fulfilled by Jesus. At His ascension, He ratified a renewed covenant with His family according to the flesh (Jer. 31:31), and we Gentiles who share Abraham's faith are grafted in among Abraham's natural descendants. They are still His chosen people.

The natural branches cut off in Rom. 11 then are those who do not embrace the renewed covenant God made with them after the old was finished. The wild branches grafted in are Gentiles, Gentiles who partake of the Jews' forefather's promises. Because the law has been made obsolete, these Gentiles do not need to observe the law. Neither do the Jews who remain of the cultivated olive tree, and yet we see in Acts that Paul acknowledged and observed feast days (Acts 20:16; etc.), made Nazirite vows according to the law (which involved sacrifices; Acts 18:18; 21:17-26), and even circumcised Timothy (Acts 16:1-5). Why did he do this, all after the Jerusalem council (Acts 15), knowing even that Galatians was written before the council in Jerusalem?

I think the answer is that Paul the Jew was simply that: a Jew. He maintained his ethnicity, not for the sake of salvation, but that by his Jewishness, all would be provoked to holiness. To "keep the law" (Acts 21:24) for him was simply a matter of keeping his ethnicity, and not of meriting or guarding his adoption into the family of God. His ethnicity was important to him, and he expressed his ethnic distinctions for a purpose greater than his own, as I put forth in my previous post (found in bold).

What gets tricky, then, is when we remember that Jesus Himself was an ethnic Jew (Rom. 1:3; 9:5), is still a Jewish Man in a resurrected body, and will return again as a Jew. There are many Scriptures that speak of the Hebraic expressions to His future, earthly kingdom (for whether you believe in a future millennium or not, heaven is coming to earth). Jesus is a Jew, now and forever. Salvation - the renewed covenant - is of the Jews (John 4:22). The feast days are the Lord's feast days, the throne of David is the Lord's throne, and the temple was a shadow of the Lord's temple seen in heaven; the law brings us to Christ, sacrifices pointed to Christ, and all their covenants are fully realized in Christ.

We must come back to our Jewish roots, for it is only in that place that we can partake of the fatness of the cultivated olive tree both without hindrance and far removed from the danger of boasting against the natural branches who were cut off, which can only result in ourselves being cut off.

- Lk.11

IPet2_9
Sep 12th 2008, 07:28 PM
i pet 2:9 but you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to god, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

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wpm
Sep 12th 2008, 08:04 PM
When we say that Jesus fulfilled the law, we mean that the transaction has been made complete between God and man; there is no longer a need to make exchange, for it has already been made. To desire to attempt to fulfill the law will often, but not always (as I'll get to soon), reveal a person's refusal or ignorance of the fact that Jesus fulfilled it. It could be somewhat likened to going to buy a car from a dealer for a $1000; once the transaction has been made, it makes no sense for another to feel burdened to pay the $1000 - it's been made complete! In this way, the old covenant has been fulfilled by Jesus. At His ascension, He ratified a renewed covenant with His family according to the flesh (Jer. 31:31), and we Gentiles who share Abraham's faith are grafted in among Abraham's natural descendants. They are still His chosen people,.


Those that reject Christ are not His chosen people, only those that are saved. The rest, like all unsaved, are of their father the devil.

Jesus said to the Christ-rejecting Jews, in John 8:42-47, “If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not. Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me? He that is of God heareth God's words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.”

Nihil Obstat
Sep 13th 2008, 12:49 AM
My point is that the renewed covenant was made to natural Israel, who were again chosen, that through them all might be blessed. We Gentiles are grafted into their tree, and partake of their root and their fatness. To say this, one must necessarily acknowledge that the Jews are again the chosen family, that all the other families of the earth (Gentiles) might receive the same blessings. There is an unconditional promise that natural Israel would always have a faithful remnant, that should any Gentiles have faith in the God of Abraham, these Gentiles might be grafted in among them. The Jews are chosen for our benefit, and the benefit of all creation. Yes, some of them deny Jesus and the renewed covenant, but they as a family are still chosen, for salvation is of the Jews.

By my statement in bold, this is exactly what I mean. If the Jews are not God's chosen family, then by your own logic you must deny that the renewed covenant was made to them (Jer. 31:31), that you are brought into their promises (Rom. 11:17), that God would keep His unconditional promise to them (Heb. 6:13-18), and so in effect deny the new covenant is also for you, deny its promises are also for you, and deny any reliability in God's faithfulness to you. One cannot have salvation or God's eternal blessings apart from the fact that natural Israel is His chosen family, whom He made the new covenant with, by which we freely receive the Holy Spirit; hence, we need to acknowledge this fact. It's their family we're grafted into, for theirs is, not was, the adoption.

Not to say that if you believe that Israel is no longer specifically chosen you have in effect lost your salvation, but that your argument is self-defeating, for when carried to it's natural conclusion, it denies your own salvation. How else are we to understand Rom. 11's olive trees? Whose tree are we grafted into? The Jews' tree. That we might share in whose blessings? The Jews' blessings. How can you say they are no longer chosen, when it's their tree and their blessings, without laying the ax to your own branch?

- Lk.11

IPet2_9
Sep 13th 2008, 01:11 AM
Col 3:11 Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all. 12 Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience

Whether the Jews were once chosen and now they're not, or if they never were and it's always been God's faithful who are chosen....

However you arrive at it, the New Testament says on multiple occasion that Christians are God's chosen people.

Nihil Obstat
Sep 13th 2008, 01:18 AM
Yes, and you're proving my point. We're only chosen - chosen to be God's representatives - because we are grafted in among Israel, who are God's chosen ethnic family and who God renewed His covenant with (Jer. 31:31). If Israel were no longer "His people" (Rom. 11:1), then we cannot receive salvation, for salvation is of the Jews, nor should we expect to receive it from this God who was "unfaithful" to His unconditional promise made to Abraham.

When we have saving faith in Christ, He sprinkles our hearts with His blood, binding us to the renewed covenant, and we receive His Holy Spirit, which is the sign that we are in this covenant with God (Eph. 1:13). This new covenant was made with the Jews (Jer. 31:31), and we are grafted in among the Jews (Rom. 11:17), for it is their covenant, and not ours. It becomes ours by faith and Jesus' blood (Eph. 2:13), but it could never become our covenant if it wasn't first the Jews' covenant. God made an unconditional covenant with Abraham's natural, not spiritual, descendants, that there would in every generation be a faithful remnant of Israelites (Gen. 12:1-3; etc.), the purpose being this: God blesses Abraham's descendants, who are commanded to be a blessing to others; those who bless them in return will receive the exact same blessing from God that He gives Abraham's descendants. It is in this way that salvation is of the Jews. This is also why I say that to claim that God's chosen family is no longer Israel, will when carried to it's logical conclusion deny you your own salvation. Logically, this argument is self-defeating.

Emanate
Sep 13th 2008, 01:22 AM
Whether the Jews were once chosen and now they're not, or if they never were and it's always been God's faithful who are chosen....

However you arrive at it, the New Testament says on multiple occasion that Christians are God's chosen people.


can you name a place that says "Christians" are god's chosen people?

Nihil Obstat
Sep 13th 2008, 01:38 AM
His screen name, 1 Pet. 2:9, and the quote he shared, Col. 3:12, are two examples of Gentiles being referred to as God's chosen, or elect, people. (By "Christian" he undoubtedly meant it as it is used today, pertaining almost strictly to Gentiles in Christ, though in Acts 11:26 at its inception it was almost strictly used for the Hellenist, or Greek speaking, Jews in Christ; see v.20.)

IPet2_9
Sep 13th 2008, 01:56 AM
Col 3:11-12 isn't referring to Gentile Christians--it very specifically refers to just "Christians". 'There is no Jew or Gentile in Christ...therefore as God's chosen people...'. As far as I'm concerned, Jewish Christians and Gentile Christians don't exist. No such thing.

Nihil Obstat
Sep 13th 2008, 01:58 AM
Col 3:11-12 isn't referring to Gentile Christians--it very specifically refers to just "Christians". 'There is no Jew or Gentile in Christ...therefore as God's chosen people...'. As far as I'm concerned, Jewish Christians and Gentile Christians don't exist. No such thing.

Are there then such things as male Christians and female Christians... (Gal. 3:28)?

IPet2_9
Sep 13th 2008, 02:05 AM
Are there then such things as male Christians and female Christians... (Gal. 3:28)?

In Christ, no. Male or female has nothing to do with your salvation.

wpm
Sep 13th 2008, 02:13 AM
can you name a place that says "Christians" are god's chosen people?

1 Peter 2:9-10 declares, "ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy."

Jesus explicitly states in John 15:16, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.”

Ephesians 1:3-6, 11, says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved … In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.”

II Thessalonians 2:13-14 says, “But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Titus 1:1-2 says, “Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God's elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness; in hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began.”

2 Timothy 1:9 says that God “Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.”

Jesus said in John 15:26-27, “when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.”

Romans 9:10-21 says, “when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac; For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth; It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. For the *****ure saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth. Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?”

And continues, “What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory.”

wpm
Sep 13th 2008, 02:24 AM
Yes, and you're proving my point. We're only chosen - chosen to be God's representatives - because we are grafted in among Israel, who are God's chosen ethnic family and who God renewed His covenant with (Jer. 31:31). If Israel were no longer "His people" (Rom. 11:1), then we cannot receive salvation, for salvation is of the Jews, nor should we expect to receive it from this God who was "unfaithful" to His unconditional promise made to Abraham.


Salvation is a Christ-thing. We cannot attribute this exalted blessing to an ethnic race of largely Christ-rejecting Jews.

With your argument, are you saying we are now ethnic Jews?

Nihil Obstat
Sep 13th 2008, 02:32 AM
In Christ, no. Male or female has nothing to do with your salvation.

At least you're consistent. What do you make of Rom. 16:1; Gal. 3:14; Eph. 3:6; etc.? (We ought to soon return to the OP's main discussion, but this is good to discuss as well.)

IPet2_9
Sep 13th 2008, 02:48 AM
I don't see the common thread in those 3 verses? :confused

Nihil Obstat
Sep 13th 2008, 03:02 AM
Salvation is a Christ-thing. We cannot attribute this exalted blessing to an ethnic race of largely Christ-rejecting Jews.

Largely rejecting, but never fully, which does not negate the fact that the new covenant was made to them, and that we can only come into this covenant by being grafted in among them into their tree.


With your argument, are you saying we are now ethnic Jews?

Of course we're not now ethnic Jews. My point is that salvation, being a "Christ-thing", is inextricably also a "Jewish covenant-thing". We are saved, or rather in covenant with God, by the sign of the Holy Spirit; however, the Holy Spirit is a new covenant promise, and this covenant was made to the Jews (Jer. 31:31; Rom. 9:4). We receive the Spirit by being grafted in among them into their tree, their root, and their fatness, to share equally in these with them, though it is initially theirs. We do this by grace through faith, just as they do (Acts 15:11). We will automatically share in their gifts, but not in their cultural distinctives, because they remain Jewish and I a Gentile, just as my wife is still female and I male. I don't suddenly expect her to stand up to pee, just because "there's no female in Christ", do I? Of course not, that'd be ridiculous - I'm laughing out loud just writing that! In the same way, Paul corrects the Galatians for thinking they as Gentiles need to become Jewish through circumcision and keeping the law, which things were now merely their cultural distinctives. James later wrote that the Gentiles did not have to keep the law (Acts 15), yet asked Paul the Jew to show that he indeed keeps the law, which Paul agreed to do without argument (Acts 21:24), and if anyone would have stood up to James, it would have been him!

- Lk.11

Nihil Obstat
Sep 13th 2008, 03:04 AM
I don't see the common thread in those 3 verses?

You said there are no Gentile Christians, yet, for example, in Gal. 3:14 Paul makes mention of Gentiles in Christ Jesus. That's all.

IPet2_9
Sep 13th 2008, 03:24 AM
Well we certainly retain distinctives as individuals, let alone cultures, nationalities, race, etc.. A Kenyan Christian is quite different from me. But still, I don't see black, I don't see Kenyan, I don't see African. I see a Christian. The rest is just a uniqueness in God's creation that we should appreciate. Praise God that His people are not all monolithic!

If there truly is a such thing as a culturally-Jewish Christian, then it's just another unique individual in Christ. I'm not yet convinced, though, that there really is a such thing as culturally-Jewish, in the same way I don't think one could be "culturally" Muslim. You can be culturally Arab--that I understand. But--culturally Muslim? That would have to be rooted in Koran somehow.

wpm
Sep 13th 2008, 05:46 AM
We receive the Spirit by being grafted in among them into their tree, their root, and their fatness, to share equally in these with them, though it is initially theirs.

Among who? Are you talking about Jews generally, believing Jews before the cross, believing Jews after the cross?

Nihil Obstat
Sep 13th 2008, 03:43 PM
Among who? Are you talking about Jews generally, believing Jews before the cross, believing Jews after the cross?

The renewed covenant God made with Israel was spoken of before Jesus' incarnation, but was not cut (made valid) until after Jesus' death, resurrection, and ascension. Those we are grafted in among are those Israelites according to the flesh who, by faith (loving obedience), have their hearts sprinkled with Jesus' blood and have received the Holy Spirit, signifying their active covenantal relationship with God. Though God made this covenant with all Jews, only those Jews who have faith enter into covenant with God.

This covenant was not made with Gentiles, but we who have this same faith share in their covenant. The Jews are therefore still God's chosen people, though not all Jews choose God. Faithful Jews are not grafted into our wild olive tree, but we who have faith into their cultivated olive tree. And those natural branches that are cut off by unbelief are not then grafted into the wild tree, but are without root altogether. The cultivated tree with the roots being the Jewish patriarchs and the fatness being the promises made to them by God remains Jewish, and you being a wild branch grafted in among them remain a wild branch, but you now share in their promises.

- Lk.11

IPet2_9
Sep 13th 2008, 04:26 PM
The Jews are therefore still God's chosen people

They are not. When branches are cut off, that means they're cut off. Seriously.


Acts 3:21 He must remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets. 22 For Moses said, 'The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people; you must listen to everything he tells you. 23 Anyone who does not listen to him will be completely cut off from among his people.'

wpm
Sep 13th 2008, 05:22 PM
This covenant was not made with Gentiles, but we who have this same faith share in their covenant.

I disagree. Jesus said in Matthew 26:28: "For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins."

The new covenant was made with sinful men - irrespective of their nationality. Thank God we are among the many. This is not just a Jewish covenant as you suggest.

Ephesians 2:11-19 proves this, “Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God.And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.”

We learn much through the use of this word reconciliation. The very use of the word reconciliation tells us that there was a division between the two parties involved; in this case – God and man. The word reconciliation suggests that there was a preceding break-down that had to be restored. Remember, you don’t need to fix something unless it is broke. In this case it was man’s union and communion with God (not simply God and the Jews as you suggest).

But what happened? Man’s intimate relationship with God was broke in the Garden through sin. When Adam fell then his union with God was broke. Man needed someone to reconcile him to God.

Please note that Christ is the one that reconciles us to God. Christ was the only person qualified to reconcile God and man. Why? Because He was equal with both God and man. He could take God’s divine hand and our sinful hand and bring them together in love, grace and mercy.

But how did He reconcile us? Through His death.

Romans 5:8-10 says, “God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.”

At Calvary our sin was imputed or transferred to Christ; upon conversion His righteousness was imputed or transferred to us! Christ’s perfect once all-sufficient self sacrifice secured a full, real and perfect redemption for his own.

Colossians 1:21-22 says, “you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled. In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight.”



The Jews are therefore still God's chosen people, though not all Jews choose God. Faithful Jews are not grafted into our wild olive tree, but we who have faith into their cultivated olive tree. And those natural branches that are cut off by unbelief are not then grafted into the wild tree, but are without root altogether. The cultivated tree with the roots being the Jewish patriarchs and the fatness being the promises made to them by God remains Jewish, and you being a wild branch grafted in among them remain a wild branch, but you now share in their promises.
- Lk.11


How are the Jews considered God's chosen people if they reject Jesus Christ? We cannot differentiate between sinners. All Christ-rejecters carry the wrath of God and are of their father the devil, all saved Jews and Gentiles, are washed in the blood of Jesus are therefore under the favour of God. God’s chosen people are not the Jews, but Jews and Gentile who love Jesus. That is the biblical criteria for walking in the favour of God. God doesn’t choose anyone that doesn’t choose His Son. God’s chosen people are the redeemed Church of Jesus Christ throughout the ages.

As we know, God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:29, Romans 2:11, Galatians 2:6, Ephesians 6:9, Colossians 3:25, 1 Peter 1:17). The sinner (of all nationalities) enters exclusively into communion with God through regeneration and the new birth experience.

I John 2:22-23 solemnly asks, “Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ (or Messiah)? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.”

Mograce2U
Sep 13th 2008, 05:42 PM
They are not. When branches are cut off, that means they're cut off. Seriously.

Acts 3:21 He must remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets. 22 For Moses said, 'The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people; you must listen to everything he tells you. 23 Anyone who does not listen to him will be completely cut off from among his people.'

(Zec 7:11-14 KJV) But they refused to hearken, and pulled away the shoulder, and stopped their ears, that they should not hear. {12} Yea, they made their hearts as an adamant stone, lest they should hear the law, and the words which the LORD of hosts hath sent in his spirit by the former prophets: therefore came a great wrath from the LORD of hosts. {13} Therefore it is come to pass, that as he cried, and they would not hear; so they cried, and I would not hear, saith the LORD of hosts: {14} But I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations whom they knew not. Thus the land was desolate after them, that no man passed through nor returned: for they laid the pleasant land desolate.

To be cut off and sent back to the nations from whence they came may not turn them into wild branches, but it certainly leaves them in a place forsaken by the Lord.

(Isa 65:14-16 KJV) Behold, my servants shall sing for joy of heart, but ye shall cry for sorrow of heart, and shall howl for vexation of spirit. {15} And ye shall leave your name for a curse unto my chosen: for the Lord GOD shall slay thee, and call his servants by another name: {16} That he who blesseth himself in the earth shall bless himself in the God of truth; and he that sweareth in the earth shall swear by the God of truth; because the former troubles are forgotten, and because they are hid from mine eyes.

(Isa 66:4 KJV) I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear: but they did evil before mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not.

(Mat 20:16 KJV) So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.

(Rev 17:14 KJV) These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.

That only describes the ones who are a part of the Tree. The ones who have been cut off must AGAIN be called and respond in faith to be chosen, because to be cut off means that the one who was called and did not respond with faith was NOT chosen.

third hero
Sep 13th 2008, 06:59 PM
This is what I believe you believe, wpm. It is my opinion, after reading countless posts from you concerning the Israelites, that you believe that God has finished his relationship with them in totality. Somehow, God has decided to do away with his promises to both Abraham and David, who one is the father of the Jews and one is a son of a Jew, to replace all of the promises that were geared towards the Jew onto the Gentile.

This is simply not true, and Romans 11, disproves this. Paul knew exactly what God had done. Israel is now separated. There are the unbelievers, who are cut off from the promises and th e new covenant, and the believers, who were the first to gain the promises of the New Covenant. The Gentiles who believed were grafted into these promises. THe Gentiles did not replace the Jews as God's chosen, but merely added to Israel. The true Israel is the union of the believers that are JEW, and that of Gentiles that believe. THe Ethnic Jews who do not believe are cut off, and not the entire nation.

But here's why I say that you believe that the Jews were completely cut off with no chance of ever coming back to God's good gracs. You utterly reject Romans 11:23-28. These clearly state that ethnic Israel will believe, and that a Deliverer will come and purge Israel of his iniquity. You can not fathom how God can take a people that reject Him and bring them, all of them, (thus the term "All Israel shall be saved"), and remove the sins from them. If this is true of all amils, then you all have serious problems, especially since Paul's statement was not a lone-wolf one, but backed by Zechariah 12, among other verses in the Old Testament.

I must ask this question. What is it about Ethnic Israel that you so hate to the point that you say that God has removed them from their promises and inserted the Gentiles to take their place?

wpm
Sep 13th 2008, 07:26 PM
This is what I believe you believe, wpm. It is my opinion, after reading countless posts from you concerning the Israelites, that you believe that God has finished his relationship with them in totality. Somehow, God has decided to do away with his promises to both Abraham and David, who one is the father of the Jews and one is a son of a Jew, to replace all of the promises that were geared towards the Jew onto the Gentile.

This is simply not true, and Romans 11, disproves this. Paul knew exactly what God had done. Israel is now separated. There are the unbelievers, who are cut off from the promises and th e new covenant, and the believers, who were the first to gain the promises of the New Covenant. The Gentiles who believed were grafted into these promises. THe Gentiles did not replace the Jews as God's chosen, but merely added to Israel. The true Israel is the union of the believers that are JEW, and that of Gentiles that believe. THe Ethnic Jews who do not believe are cut off, and not the entire nation.

But here's why I say that you believe that the Jews were completely cut off with no chance of ever coming back to God's good gracs. You utterly reject Romans 11:23-28. These clearly state that ethnic Israel will believe, and that a Deliverer will come and purge Israel of his iniquity. You can not fathom how God can take a people that reject Him and bring them, all of them, (thus the term "All Israel shall be saved"), and remove the sins from them. If this is true of all amils, then you all have serious problems, especially since Paul's statement was not a lone-wolf one, but backed by Zechariah 12, among other verses in the Old Testament.

I must ask this question. What is it about Ethnic Israel that you so hate to the point that you say that God has removed them from their promises and inserted the Gentiles to take their place?

First of all, you build a strawman and then aim at him. You totally misrepresent the Amil understanding that God loves all nations equally today. We oppose the elevation of Israel above all other nations because it is unbiblical. You create a wall of distinction between the two, Christ came to demolish such (Eph 2). There are only 2 peoples in this world - saved and lost.

You say there is a difference between the Jew and Gentile, I say that is unscriptural. Surely there is only one body, known by the same name Christian? Why the division in your belief? The Bible says "there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek" (Rom 10:12), "there is neither Jew nor Greek" (Gal 3:28), and "there is neither Greek nor Jew" (Col 3:11), "no difference between us and them" (Acts 15:9), "us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles" (Rom 9:24), and "by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles" (1 Cor 12:13).

Whether we are Jews or Gentiles, we who trust Jesus have one common faith. As Paul put it "There is one body and one Spirit -- just as you were called -- one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all, and through all, and in all" (Eph. 4:4-6).

There should be no division in the body on ethnic grounds - none.

Nihil Obstat
Sep 13th 2008, 07:43 PM
I disagree.

Please note that Christ is the one that reconciles us to God.

How are the Jews considered God's chosen people if they reject Jesus Christ?

God doesn’t choose anyone that doesn’t choose His Son.

If you disagree with me, then you disagree with Jeremiah (31:31-34) and Paul (Rom. 9-11) and Jesus (John 4:22). Yes, we are reconciled to God through the blood of Christ, but the blood is the blood of the renewed covenant made with natural Israel. We are brought near to the commonwealth of who? Of Israel. We are grafted into whose covenant? Israel's covenant. They are chosen, not to be unconditionally in covenant with God irregardless of their decision, but chosen to be the family through whom all other families are blessed. It's the same blessings and the same promises and the same glory; they are not any different. They are God's covenant people, and they are His covenant people that we too may share in their covenant with God. Yes, Jesus' blood has the atoning power to expiate the entire world's sins (1 John 2:2), but they must first come into covenant with Him, which is by faith. Not all Gentiles have faith, nor do all Jews (Rom. 9:6-13), though it is their covenant we all freely share in.

- Lk.11

wpm
Sep 13th 2008, 08:14 PM
If you disagree with me, then you disagree with Jeremiah (31:31-34) and Paul (Rom. 9-11) and Jesus (John 4:22). Yes, we are reconciled to God through the blood of Christ, but the blood is the blood of the renewed covenant made with natural Israel. We are brought near to the commonwealth of who? Of Israel. We are grafted into whose covenant? Israel's covenant. They are chosen, not to be unconditionally in covenant with God irregardless of their decision, but chosen to be the family through whom all other families are blessed. It's the same blessings and the same promises and the same glory; they are not any different. They are God's covenant people, and they are His covenant people that we too may share in their covenant with God. Yes, Jesus' blood has the atoning power to expiate the entire world's sins (1 John 2:2), but they must first come into covenant with Him, which is by faith. Not all Gentiles have faith, nor do all Jews (Rom. 9:6-13), though it is their covenant we all freely share in.

- Lk.11

We have been grafted into the only Israel that matters - spiritual Israel (the elect). We are the Israel of God today. This choice body is not limited to natural Israelis that have come to faith – it is open to all the household of faith (irrespective of birthdate, nationality or colour). We Gentiles that were once hopelessly “without Christ” (or separated from Christ), are now graciously found “in Christ Jesus” through the Cross (Ephesians 2:13). We were “aliens” or estranged “from the citizenship of Israel”(Ephesians 2:12) but now are “no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God” (Ephesians 2:19). We were “strangers from the covenants of the promise” (Ephesians 2:12), but are now “fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel” (Ephesians 3:6). We were blind “having no hope,” but now we belong to “one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope” (Ephesians 4:4).

Nihil Obstat
Sep 13th 2008, 08:45 PM
We have been grafted into the only Israel that matters - spiritual Israel (the elect). We are the Israel of God today. This choice body is not limited to natural Israelis that have come to faith – it is open to all the household of faith (irrespective of birthdate, nationality or colour). We Gentiles that were once hopelessly “without Christ” (or separated from Christ), are now graciously found “in Christ Jesus” through the Cross (Ephesians 2:13). We were “aliens” or estranged “from the citizenship of Israel”(Ephesians 2:12) but now are “no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God” (Ephesians 2:19). We were “strangers from the covenants of the promise” (Ephesians 2:12), but are now “fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel” (Ephesians 3:6). We were blind “having no hope,” but now we belong to “one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope” (Ephesians 4:4).

If by "spiritual Israel" you speak only of those saved Israelites of natural descent, then we agree. If you include Gentiles in Christ when you use that phrase, then we disagree. Could you give commentary on Rom. 11:11-32 so that I can better understand why you believe what you believe, especially how you interpret "so all Israel will be saved"?

wpm
Sep 13th 2008, 10:04 PM
If by "spiritual Israel" you speak only of those saved Israelites of natural descent, then we agree. If you include Gentiles in Christ when you use that phrase, then we disagree. Could you give commentary on Rom. 11:11-32 so that I can better understand why you believe what you believe, especially how you interpret "so all Israel will be saved"?

I just showed you Scripture that proves we are spiritual Israel today yet you ignored it and simply denied it. You need to address my argument before so easily rejecting it. Tell me in what way it should be interpreted.

I will in turn address Rom. 11:11-32.

Mograce2U
Sep 13th 2008, 10:26 PM
TH, #26 (http://bibleforums.org/showpost.php?p=1786906&postcount=26)

I must ask this question. What is it about Ethnic Israel that you [Amils?] so hate to the point that you [Amils?] say that God has removed them from their promises and inserted the Gentiles to take their place?Could it be that the promises of God are only yea and amen in Christ? Or could it be that unless they turn from their unbelief, that God will NOT graft them back in again? Nobody hates Israel just because they see the true condition they are in in their unbelief - without hope in the world, because the promises & inheritance belong to Jesus.

This was once said of the Gentiles before faith came:

(Eph 2:12 KJV) That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:

It is now the condition of all who are still residing in their unbelief.

BroRog
Sep 14th 2008, 01:28 AM
First of all, you build a strawman and then aim at him. You totally misrepresent the Amil understanding that God loves all nations equally today. We oppose the elevation of Israel above all other nations because it is unbiblical. You create a wall of distinction between the two, Christ came to demolish such (Eph 2). There are only 2 peoples in this world - saved and lost.

You say there is a difference between the Jew and Gentile, I say that is unscriptural. Surely there is only one body, known by the same name Christian? Why the division in your belief? The Bible says "there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek" (Rom 10:12), "there is neither Jew nor Greek" (Gal 3:28), and "there is neither Greek nor Jew" (Col 3:11), "no difference between us and them" (Acts 15:9), "us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles" (Rom 9:24), and "by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles" (1 Cor 12:13).

Whether we are Jews or Gentiles, we who trust Jesus have one common faith. As Paul put it "There is one body and one Spirit -- just as you were called -- one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all, and through all, and in all" (Eph. 4:4-6).

There should be no division in the body on ethnic grounds - none.

Just for the record Paul, Third Hero wasn't arguing against the Amil Doctrine. He was arguing against your personal beliefs. Notice his or her opening statement,

This is what I believe you believe, wpm.

If we are going to be good exegetes of the Bible, we should also strive to be good exegetes of each other.

ShirleyFord
Sep 14th 2008, 01:46 AM
We have been grafted into the only Israel that matters - spiritual Israel (the elect). We are the Israel of God today. This choice body is not limited to natural Israelis that have come to faith – it is open to all the household of faith (irrespective of birthdate, nationality or colour). We Gentiles that were once hopelessly “without Christ” (or separated from Christ), are now graciously found “in Christ Jesus” through the Cross (Ephesians 2:13). We were “aliens” or estranged “from the citizenship of Israel”(Ephesians 2:12) but now are “no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God” (Ephesians 2:19). We were “strangers from the covenants of the promise” (Ephesians 2:12), but are now “fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel” (Ephesians 3:6). We were blind “having no hope,” but now we belong to “one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope” (Ephesians 4:4).

Amen Paul!

What an encouraging post and Scriptures. Thanks.

Shirley

IPet2_9
Sep 14th 2008, 01:50 AM
Scripture really doesn't leave much room for debate on the matter.


I Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.


Col 3:11 Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all. 12 Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

BroRog
Sep 14th 2008, 01:52 AM
Scripture really doesn't leave much room for debate on the matter.

Scripture doesn't leave much room, but picking verses out of context does. ;)

IPet2_9
Sep 14th 2008, 01:55 AM
Oh no no. That's why I picked two completely separate Scriptures, by two different authors. When it point-blank says, "You are God's chosen people", not once but twice, it just doesn't get any clearer than that. Go ahead, read the context. I'll help--here's more of Col. 3:

Col. 3:9 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 11 Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all. 12 Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

It point-blank says that a) there is no Jew in God's chosen people, and b) those who are born again are God's chosen people.

Mograce2U
Sep 14th 2008, 02:13 AM
Just for the record Paul, Third Hero wasn't arguing against the Amil Doctrine. He was arguing against your personal beliefs. Notice his or her opening statement,

This is what I believe you believe, wpm.

If we are going to be good exegetes of the Bible, we should also strive to be good exegetes of each other.Just for the record:

If this is true of all amils, then you all have serious problemsseems to indicate Amils or their doctrine is who he seems to be indicting.

BroRog
Sep 14th 2008, 02:36 AM
Oh no no. That's why I picked two completely separate Scriptures, by two different authors. When it point-blank says, "You are God's chosen people", not once but twice, it just doesn't get any clearer than that. Go ahead, read the context. I'll help--here's more of Col. 3:

Col. 3:9 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 11 Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all. 12 Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

It point-blank says that a) there is no Jew in God's chosen people, and b) those who are born again are God's chosen people.

First, 1Peter is written to the Diaspora, as I explained before. Thus, when he says, "you are a chosen people" he takes it as a given, not as if he is telling them something new.

Second, your translation of Col. 3:9 causes Paul to speak a contradiction. To say there is no Greek or Jew in Christ is to contradict the concept of a chosen people. His readers can not be both "a chosen people" and "not a chosen people" at the same time.

Both the NASB, the KJV, and the NET Bible translators rendered Colosians 3:12 in terms of being "the elect of God" not "God's chosen people." The distinction between the two concepts is large and significant.

Paul's point in Colosians 3:12 is to say that individually, each believer is one of God's elect because "putting on the new self" is a renewal in which there is neither Greek nor Jew. This individual, personal renewal is the same for each of us.

The phrase "chosen people" does not speak to the status of individuals but speaks to the disposition of "a people", which, in Biblical usage, indicates members of a family line. The term certainly has this meaning in Deuteronomy 7

For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession.

In this context he says of Jacob's family,

7 The LORD did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. 8 But it was because the LORD loved you and kept the oath he swore to your forefathers that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt.

Notice that he defines the people by their common experience of being redeemed from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. It would be a total blunder for me if I did not recognize the people as the sons and daughters of Jacob who came out of Egypt at the mighty hand of God. In this we understand that God chose an entire family line to keep his oath to their forefathers, an oath that he did not make to my family line.

I would not be a good Bible student if I failed to understand the distinction between being an "elect child of God", which is a choice to save people one individual at a time, and being a "chosen people" a choice to covenant with an entire family line.

In my opinion, many of wpm's arguments fail to maintain that distinction.

Mograce2U
Sep 14th 2008, 02:43 AM
First, 1Peter is written to the Diaspora, as I explained before. Thus, when he says, "you are a chosen people" he takes it as a given, not as if he is telling them something new.

Second, your translation of Col. 3:9 causes Paul to speak a contradiction. To say there is no Greek or Jew in Christ is to contradict the concept of a chosen people. His readers can not be both "a chosen people" and "not a chosen people" at the same time.

Both the NASB, the KJV, and the NET Bible translators rendered Colosians 3:12 in terms of being "the elect of God" not "God's chosen people." The distinction between the two concepts is large and significant.

Paul's point in Colosians 3:12 is to say that individually, each believer is one of God's elect because "putting on the new self" is a renewal in which there is neither Greek nor Jew. This individual, personal renewal is the same for each of us.

The phrase "chosen people" does not speak to the status of individuals but speaks to the disposition of "a people", which, in Biblical usage, indicates members of a family line. The term certainly has this meaning in Deuteronomy 7

For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession.

In this context he says of Jacob's family,

7 The LORD did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. 8 But it was because the LORD loved you and kept the oath he swore to your forefathers that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt.

Notice that he defines the people by their common experience of being redeemed from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. It would be a total blunder for me if I did not recognize the people as the sons and daughters of Jacob who came out of Egypt at the mighty hand of God. In this we understand that God chose an entire family line to keep his oath to their forefathers, an oath that he did not make to my family line.

I would not be a good Bible student if I failed to understand the distinction between being an "elect child of God", which is a choice to save people one individual at a time, and being a "chosen people" a choice to covenant with an entire family line.

In my opinion, many of wpm's arguments fail to maintain that distinction.Yet the distinction which the NT makes is that this has all changed with the coming of Messiah. The called, chosen AND faithful are those in Christ - and no one else.

BroRog
Sep 14th 2008, 02:46 AM
Just for the record:
seems to indicate Amils or their doctrine is who he seems to be indicting. Notice that Third Hero's statement about the Amil position was conditional and hypothetical.

The conditional can go either way. The statement, "If this is true of all amils, then you all have serious problems" implies that if it is untrue, then you all don't have problems. (or at least you don't have the problems in question.)

I don't mean to belabor this point, but I think Third Hero is right to avoid the assumption that wpm speaks for the entire Amil school of thought. I certainly wouldn't make that assumption and I think it would be unfair for anybody to assume it. The question we might ask is, Does wpm lead us to believe that he speaks for the entire Amil school of thought? Or does he make it clear that he is giving us his own best analysis of the text at hand, making it clear that he speaks for himself?

BroRog
Sep 14th 2008, 03:02 AM
Yet the distinction which the NT makes is that this has all changed with the coming of Messiah. The called, chosen AND faithful are those in Christ - and no one else.

The thing is, I don't agree that this distinction is lost in the New Testament. And since 1Pet2_9 is willing to examine the scriptures with me, I am willing to dialogue too. I believe that a fair examination of the scriptures will reveal that the distinction is not lost.

For instance, in Romans 4, the Apostle Paul argues that justification has always been by grace through faith, citing Abraham as his case example. In his treatise on National Israel, he cites God's word to Moses that God will "have mercy on whom he will have mercy", indicating God's will to save individuals on a case-by-case basis. And so, we know that this distinction had always been there even before the New Testament revelation was given. God has both a chosen family line with which he has developed an interpersonal relationship he describes as matrimonial, and he chooses individuals for salvation on a case-by-case basis. Both of these are true at the same time, and both are seen in the Bible from the beginning.

third hero
Sep 14th 2008, 03:59 AM
First of all, you build a strawman and then aim at him. You totally misrepresent the Amil understanding that God loves all nations equally today. We oppose the elevation of Israel above all other nations because it is unbiblical. You create a wall of distinction between the two, Christ came to demolish such (Eph 2). There are only 2 peoples in this world - saved and lost.



What I have in bold letters is exactly what I am talking about wpm. I do not believe that YOUR view is the view of the Amil crowd. I believe that it is YOURS and yours alone. This is exactly what I was saying about you. You call what you have written, what I have said about you, a straw man, and then go on to prove exactly what I was saying in the first place. You DO eliminate Israel from the equation, and in my opinion, that includes those of Israel that are saved. This is what I oppose.

I am what you call a Judeo-Christian. I am not a Jew, nor do I want to be one. I believe in the union of the religion between the OT Judaism, (not the Pharisaic version that most unbelieving Jews cling to now), and Christianity, which is the New Testament. It is my belief that God had went to Israel first to give them the key to Salvation. The original 11 did exactly that, a they received the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven. They represent TRUE ISRAEL, the union between those of the flesh and those of the Spirit, such as Paul and Peter represented. I believe, as Paul clearly writes in Romans 11, that Israel is splintered, due to sin. Those who claim to be Israel of the flesh, being descendents of Jacob, are both found in believing and non-believing circles. They are still all Jews, however. The Believers are the TRUE ISRAEL while the non-believers are the "Israel of the flesh". Ethnic Israel is not done away with just because there are non-believing Jews in the midst of them. Instead, they are now split in half, with one side belonging to Lord Jesus, and the other to Satan.

The mistake you make, wpm, is that you insist that God has thrown all of Israel away due to the disobedience of the Hiarchy there, and that simply is not the case. Those who do not believe are no longer Jews in the eyes of God, and this point I actually share with you. However, it seems to me as though you seem to think that a believing Jew has to give up his Jewishness in order to be a Christian. That simply is not true.

Take circumcision, for instance. The ritual of circumcision is the confirmation of the land covenant that God made with Abraham and his descendents. As you can clearly see, God is still honoring that covenant, because even though the majority of religious Jews in Israel are serving Satan, God has still chosen to allow them to go back to the place He promised Abraham. This has never had anything to do with Salvation, and Paul points that out repeatedly in his epistles. The Judaizers felt that in order to be saved, (this would include Gentiles), that all had to bow to the ritual of the land covenant, which was circumcision. This would definitely be nothing less than an abomination. Something other than faith in Lord Jesus as key to salvation? Paul, and rightly so, resisted all of that, and vehemently rejected it, as all of the disciples eventually agreed. Being circumcised ritually does not cause a person to lose their salvation, unless they believe that their salvation is based on the Mosaic laws, which would only bring to them condemnation.

Let me reiterate my original point. God did not do away with Israel, as you claim, wpm. Israel, the children of Jacob that believe that Lord Jesus is their Messiah, are True Israel. We, the Gentiles, once we believe, we are grafted into TRUE Israel, but we of ourselves do not represent Israel. They do. We represent those Gentiles who have been grafted into the promise, and adopted into the Kingdom of Heaven. We are under no oblligation to honor any of the rituals that the Jews had to, because we are not them. They, ethnic believing Jews are Jews. This is the point that Paul made in Romans 11.

One other thing. God does not see those who are of the seed of Jacob that do not believe as being Jews, because a TRUE JEW believes in Lord Jesus. Therefore, when Paul states that "all Israel shall be saved", he knows that all of the Israelites that he is talking about will end up becoming Christians, retaining their Jewishness while serving Lord Jesus.

Paul also recognized that there is scripture that prophesies that all of the remnant of Israel will mourn and be bitter over their and their forefather's sin that caused the separation in the first place, the piercing and rejection of Lord Jesus as their Savior. Each of them, according to Zechariah 12, when Jerusalem is attacked by the nations of the world, each Israelite will mourn for their mistake, and that mourning, that repenting of their sins communally, will be what will save all of Israel. Those who lived without belief in Lord Jesus will die, and they will suffer the fate of the sinner. But to those who believe, they, even if it is an entire nation, will be saved, whether you want to believe that God can do this or not.

God will save all of Israel, and there will not be needed another covenant to do so. God has already prophesied in the Bible that they will be saved, and the scenario in which will cause them to be saved. (Zechariah 12 and Revelation 11-12). And even if you do not like the fact that God still has a soft spot for Israel, the truth can not be denied.

No one has to be Jewish in order to be saved, but at the same time, God has not done away with Israel. This is what I believe you need to understand, because this is the truth. There will be no "new covenant" that will cause the Jews to be saved in any other way than what we had to do. They, the remnant of Israel that will escape the slaughterhouse in Jerusalem at the advent of the Beast, will receive the Holy Spirit, upon their mourning, confessions, and repentence of their sins, just like the rest of us. They shall not be saved after Christ comes, but before the Second coming, and they shall be saved.

And to your last point, there is no dividing line. God will save all of Israel, because God wil do as He has done since before Creation, and that is honor every single one of His promises. If a Jew follows the dietary laws, thast is not going to save him, or condemn him. Those laws are so that they remain distinct among the nations, as it was written in the Torah in the first place. None of their laws can give out salvation, nor are any of them required for salvation, or to maintain it. Jesus compressed all of the laws of Moses into two commands: Love God with all our heart, strength and might, and love each other as ourselves. Nothing else is necessary to fulfil the law, as Jesus has taught all of us.

However, even as He has taught us that, He has not folded up Ethnic Israel and thrown them away. No, they still have a place in Him, the believers do, and not the unbelievers. I have customs that ensure that people understand where I come from. They are not required for salvation, but these customs make me unique, as to show my culture, which Paul did as well. He, like me, know that these rituals are nothing more than rituals, and that does not separate us from being believers. Israelites have the right to be circumcised, eat kosher foods, and follow their old customs, and still be saved, as long as they realize that their customs hold NO weight when it comes to salvation.

third hero
Sep 14th 2008, 04:11 AM
TH, #26 (http://bibleforums.org/showpost.php?p=1786906&postcount=26)
Could it be that the promises of God are only yea and amen in Christ? Or could it be that unless they turn from their unbelief, that God will NOT graft them back in again? Nobody hates Israel just because they see the true condition they are in in their unbelief - without hope in the world, because the promises & inheritance belong to Jesus.

This was once said of the Gentiles before faith came:

(Eph 2:12 KJV) That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:

It is now the condition of all who are still residing in their unbelief.

I am sorry that I did not respond fast enough, becuase my last post clears that up. Mograce, it is my opinion that the AMIL crowd actually believes that Israel will one day be saved, and it is also my opinon that you all believe as I do, that the only way for all of Ethnic Israel to be saved is to repent of their sin, like we did, and acknowledge Lord Jesus as THEIR Messiah.

It is my opinion that most of you believe that there are teachings out there that say that Israel shall be saved, but they infer that another covenant is what God will do. I think that that portion is found mostly in the pre-trib/dispensational teachings. I, like you, oppose that. And I am certain that many TRUE JEWS do too, because they, like me, have seen in scripture the exact scenario when all of the remnant of Israel will be saved.

So, I understand where wpm is coming from, and if he could only learn what actually happened to Israel, he would have a clearer understanding of what I am talking about, and thus will become a wiser teacher of the Word. I am not saying that he is not wise, but I am saying that, like I have done in this forum in my threads to everyone in here, including the amils, have received correction when the evidence is presented and undeniable. I believe that this made me wiser, and thus in this case, with Israel in particular, I know that I am right, because of Romans 11. I know that when wpm understands it, he will become wiser, and understand that we are not elevating Israel at all, but rather, we are recognizing Israel's role in God's plan. That's all.

third hero
Sep 14th 2008, 04:16 AM
It point-blank says that a) there is no Jew in God's chosen people, and b) those who are born again are God's chosen people.

And here's where I say that you are wrong. There are Jews in God's chosen people. There are Egyptians in God's chosen people. There are Venezuelans in God's chosen people. There are people of all races, ethnicities, backgrounds, and creed in God's chosen people, and that is because they all have done the same thing, and that is that

tHEY HAVE ALL BEEN BORN AGAIN, BOTH JEW AND GENTILE.

third hero
Sep 14th 2008, 04:20 AM
Just for the record:
seems to indicate Amils or their doctrine is who he seems to be indicting.

The Key word in that quote is "IF". There is a reason why I used that word, if. Because IF the amils believed as wpm did, then there is a serious problem that HAS to be addressed.

when you read my posts here in page 3, you will understand exactly where I am coming from, and also understand that I was writing and confronting wpm's PERSONAL beliefs, and not that of the AMIL POV. But I have to thank bro'Rog for pointing that out, because what he said was the entire truth of my post. It was not an indictment against Amillennialism, but an indictment against wpm's personal beliefs concerning Israel.

Nihil Obstat
Sep 14th 2008, 05:05 AM
I just showed you Scripture that proves we are spiritual Israel today yet you ignored it and simply denied it. You need to address my argument before so easily rejecting it. Tell me in what way it should be interpreted.

I will in turn address Rom. 11:11-32.

Take care not to speak out of both sides of your mouth, one post saying third hero used a straw man, then the next using one yourself. I saw and understand the Scriptures that you cited, and agree that we are "fellow citizens" with believing Jews in the household of God (cp. Isa. 56:3-8). But what did this have to do with our unfolding discussion? Are you by it attempting to declare the "elect" of Rom. 11:7 to include Gentiles? The overly clear context alone (in my mind) would obliterate that as a viable claim, hence my having asked you to share your mind on this passage. And because you claim I simply ignore and deny the Scripture you quote (which I did because I knew it was meant to lead away from the pressing material being presented), why do you ignore and deny Jer. 31:31, or Deut. 30:6, 8, or Eze. 36:23, seeing as they truly are massively important to our discussion? I don't see, and couldn't see, how this conversation could progress positively until you gave your view on Rom. 11, so if you would be so kind, please explain to me what you believe the cultivated olive tree stands for. It would be most helpful.

- Lk.11

wpm
Sep 14th 2008, 05:33 AM
Take care not to speak out of both sides of your mouth, one post saying third hero used a straw man, then the next using one yourself. I saw and understand the Scriptures that you cited, and agree that we are "fellow citizens" with believing Jews in the household of God (cp. Isa. 56:3-8). But what did this have to do with our unfolding discussion? Are you by it attempting to declare the "elect" of Rom. 11:7 to include Gentiles? The overly clear context alone (in my mind) would obliterate that as a viable claim, hence my having asked you to share your mind on this passage. And because you claim I simply ignore and deny the Scripture you quote (which I did because I knew it was meant to lead away from the pressing material being presented), why do you ignore and deny Jer. 31:31, or Deut. 30:6, 8, or Eze. 36:23, seeing as they truly are massively important to our discussion? I don't see, and couldn't see, how this conversation could progress positively until you gave your view on Rom. 11, so if you would be so kind, please explain to me what you believe the cultivated olive tree stands for. It would be most helpful.

- Lk.11

We are now citizens of Israel. Not national Israel, but spiritual Israel. We are the circumcision today; we are the children of Abraham. We the redeemed Church today have entered into “the citizenship of Israel” through the work of in Christ. We have become fellow citizens of the Israel of God today. The Greek word politeia (Strong’s 4174) means citizenship.

wpm
Sep 14th 2008, 05:48 AM
The mistake you make, wpm, is that you insist that God has thrown all of Israel away due to the disobedience of the Hiarchy there, and that simply is not the case. Those who do not believe are no longer Jews in the eyes of God, and this point I actually share with you. However, it seems to me as though you seem to think that a believing Jew has to give up his Jewishness in order to be a Christian. That simply is not true.

Take circumcision, for instance. The ritual of circumcision is the confirmation of the land covenant that God made with Abraham and his descendents. As you can clearly see, God is still honoring that covenant, because even though the majority of religious Jews in Israel are serving Satan, God has still chosen to allow them to go back to the place He promised Abraham. This has never had anything to do with Salvation, and Paul points that out repeatedly in his epistles. The Judaizers felt that in order to be saved, (this would include Gentiles), that all had to bow to the ritual of the land covenant, which was circumcision. This would definitely be nothing less than an abomination. Something other than faith in Lord Jesus as key to salvation? Paul, and rightly so, resisted all of that, and vehemently rejected it, as all of the disciples eventually agreed. Being circumcised ritually does not cause a person to lose their salvation, unless they believe that their salvation is based on the Mosaic laws, which would only bring to them condemnation.

I Corinthians 7:17 declares, “Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing"

Galatians 5:2 declares, “Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing."

Galatians 5:5 declares, "For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love."

Colossians 3:11 declares, “there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all."

Romans 2:28-29 plainly states, “For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter.”

Galatians 6:13 declares, “For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh. But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ"

Paul explains in Philippians 3:3, speaking of the Church, “For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the Spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.”

Here we have it! We the redeemed Church are the true circumcision today. That is Scripture speaking, not man's opinion.


Let me reiterate my original point. God did not do away with Israel, as you claim, wpm. Israel, the children of Jacob that believe that Lord Jesus is their Messiah, are True Israel.

I agree. I don't know where I have said otherwise.


We, the Gentiles, once we believe, we are grafted into TRUE Israel, but we of ourselves do not represent Israel. They do. We represent those Gentiles who have been grafted into the promise, and adopted into the Kingdom of Heaven. We are under no oblligation to honor any of the rituals that the Jews had to, because we are not them. They, ethnic believing Jews are Jews. This is the point that Paul made in Romans 11.

We have Israeli citizenship today. It can't be clearer than that. Plainly, we enjoy the same spiritual hope and are made subject unto the same “covenants of promise” as our Old Testament counterparts. For “in Christ” we have become fellow citizens of the Israel of God. We used to be “without God in the world” (or godless in the world) but now no longer. This privileged transformation having been secured for us “by the blood of Christ.”


One other thing. God does not see those who are of the seed of Jacob that do not believe as being Jews, because a TRUE JEW believes in Lord Jesus. Therefore, when Paul states that "all Israel shall be saved", he knows that all of the Israelites that he is talking about will end up becoming Christians, retaining their Jewishness while serving Lord Jesus.

You need to read Romans 9 and see the context to his comments. Let us establish what "all Israel" is from Paul's introductory remarks in Romans 9:6-8, which confirms, “for they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: neither, because they are the seed of Abraham (through the flesh), are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is, they which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.”

Here, Paul explains who "all Israel" are not and who they are. Expressly, "all Israel" are not all the natural seed of Israel, but the spiritual seed. Salvation has never ever been by race, always by grace.

That is the only Israel that was the apple of His eye. The Christ-rejecter was never His. The Israeli that trusted in God's grace by faith was. The same applies today. God still has a remnant in Israel - as He has in every nation. They are the true Israel. They love Christ and have trusted in His shed blood at Calvary. Those in this group or who will come into this group are God's true elect, just like we the NT Church are also. The rest belong to Satan and can never be viewed as elect, chosen or saved. They are not under blessing but wrath.

Jesus said, in John 3:36, “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”



Paul also recognized that there is scripture that prophesies that all of the remnant of Israel will mourn and be bitter over their and their forefather's sin that caused the separation in the first place, the piercing and rejection of Lord Jesus as their Savior. Each of them, according to Zechariah 12, when Jerusalem is attacked by the nations of the world, each Israelite will mourn for their mistake, and that mourning, that repenting of their sins communally, will be what will save all of Israel. Those who lived without belief in Lord Jesus will die, and they will suffer the fate of the sinner. But to those who believe, they, even if it is an entire nation, will be saved, whether you want to believe that God can do this or not.

God will save all of Israel, and there will not be needed another covenant to do so. God has already prophesied in the Bible that they will be saved, and the scenario in which will cause them to be saved. (Zechariah 12 and Revelation 11-12). And even if you do not like the fact that God still has a soft spot for Israel, the truth can not be denied.

No one has to be Jewish in order to be saved, but at the same time, God has not done away with Israel. This is what I believe you need to understand, because this is the truth. There will be no "new covenant" that will cause the Jews to be saved in any other way than what we had to do. They, the remnant of Israel that will escape the slaughterhouse in Jerusalem at the advent of the Beast, will receive the Holy Spirit, upon their mourning, confessions, and repentence of their sins, just like the rest of us. They shall not be saved after Christ comes, but before the Second coming, and they shall be saved.

And to your last point, there is no dividing line. God will save all of Israel, because God wil do as He has done since before Creation, and that is honor every single one of His promises. If a Jew follows the dietary laws, thast is not going to save him, or condemn him. Those laws are so that they remain distinct among the nations, as it was written in the Torah in the first place. None of their laws can give out salvation, nor are any of them required for salvation, or to maintain it. Jesus compressed all of the laws of Moses into two commands: Love God with all our heart, strength and might, and love each other as ourselves. Nothing else is necessary to fulfil the law, as Jesus has taught all of us.

However, even as He has taught us that, He has not folded up Ethnic Israel and thrown them away. No, they still have a place in Him, the believers do, and not the unbelievers. I have customs that ensure that people understand where I come from. They are not required for salvation, but these customs make me unique, as to show my culture, which Paul did as well. He, like me, know that these rituals are nothing more than rituals, and that does not separate us from being believers. Israelites have the right to be circumcised, eat kosher foods, and follow their old customs, and still be saved, as long as they realize that their customs hold NO weight when it comes to salvation.


The passage you build your future hope upon has already been fulfilled. In fact, the New Testament proves that Zechariah 12 was fulfilled at the cross.

John 19:30-37 says, “When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost. The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him. But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs: But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water. And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe. For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken. And again another scripture (Zechariah 12:10) saith, they shall look on him whom they pierced.”

wpm
Sep 14th 2008, 05:58 AM
It is my opinion that most of you believe that there are teachings out there that say that Israel shall be saved

Yes, but "all Israel" is all true Israel the elect. Please see my post above re Rom 9:6.

ananias
Sep 14th 2008, 09:06 AM
Whether the Jews were once chosen and now they're not, or if they never were and it's always been God's faithful who are chosen....

However you arrive at it, the New Testament says on multiple occasion that Christians are God's chosen people.

Christians are God's chosen people because we "are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God," (Eph.2: 19).

We have become ABRAHAM'S seed - not the seed of the Pope or even the seed of the apostles. Who is ABRAHAM'S seed? The people/nation Paul called "the Olive tree" in Rom.11: 17, when he said we are garfted into this Israel AMONG its remnant.

Jesus Himself said,

"And I have other sheep who are not of this fold. I must also lead those, and they shall hear My voice, and there shall be one flock, one Shepherd." (Joh.10: 16).

"This fold" is Israel. The "other sheep" are the Gentiles who are grafted into the fold among the remnant. The fold (Israel) did not come into being at the time of the crucifixion of the Messiah - it came into being at the time of God's calling and eternal election of (BELIEVING) Abraham and his (BELIEVING) descendants, when God promised to be God to Abraham and his descendnats forever.

God's promises to Abraham can only be receeived by those to whom it was promised through faith in the Word of God - and this is the only reason why those who did not believe were broken off

(a) When their bodies fell in the wdilderness before they had entered the promised land; and

(b) When the vast majority of the ten Northern tribes were exiled into the nations in the Assyrian empire - never to return. (A remnant had already feld into Judah, and ALL twelve tribes are represented in the return from Babylonian exile).

(c) When the majority perished at the time of the Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem; and

(d) When the majority were broken off at the time of the crucifixion of the Messiah.

Gentiles are grafted into Israel among the remnant. There is no "New Testament Israel". Only Israel, and the majority of the natural seed are still broken off - for the moment.

ananias

ananias
Sep 14th 2008, 09:16 AM
Salvation is a Christ-thing. We cannot attribute this exalted blessing to an ethnic race of largely Christ-rejecting Jews.

With your argument, are you saying we are now ethnic Jews?

"We cannot attribute this exalted blessing to an ethnic race of largely Christ-rejecting Jews"

That's 100% true.

But can you explain to us, then,

(a) Why in Rom.11: 1-5, Paul mentions the remnant of "ethnic Israel" who DID believe, and then in Rom.11: 17 states that the Gentiles who believe in Jesus are grafted in among that remnant, to share with them in the root and fatness of Israel or the olive tree; and

(b) Why Paul says in Rom.11: 23-24 that the unbelieving ethnic descendants of Abraham who repent of their unbelief will be grafted back into their own olive tree again - yet Paul says tmerely that the believing Gentiles are "grafted in" - he deosn't say that the believing Gentiles are "grafted into their own olive tree again"?

ananias

ananias
Sep 14th 2008, 09:42 AM
Scripture really doesn't leave much room for debate on the matter.
Quote:
I Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
Quote:
Col 3:11 Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all. 12 Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.


It's true that in Christ - with regard to salvation - there is neither Jew nor Gentile.

So if you are in Christ, please don't EVER call yourself a male, a female, an American, a South African, a Kenyan etc etc - because the distinctions have diappeared - they're and illusion - no such thing - your wife isn't a woman, and you're not a man. The guy born in Kenya to an African family isn't black or African. It's all an illusion. The natural descendant of Abraham who believes in Jesus isn't a Jew, and the unnatural seed of Abraham who have been grafted into Israel among the remnant aren't Americans, men, women, Kenyans etc etc.

It's all an illusion.

Sound rediculous? But that's the logical implication of your interpretation of the above scriptures, 1Pet.2: 9! (Hope you understand that I'm only saying it this way to try and get the point accross! :) )

ananias

BroRog
Sep 14th 2008, 05:24 PM
We are now citizens of Israel. Not national Israel, but spiritual Israel. We are the circumcision today; we are the children of Abraham. We the redeemed Church today have entered into “the citizenship of Israel” through the work of in Christ. We have become fellow citizens of the Israel of God today. The Greek word politeia (Strong’s 4174) means citizenship.

If, as you say, the sum total of all believers are citizens of "spiritual" Israel. This would mean that God did not keep his promise to Abraham to make him a father of many nations, since he would be the father of a single nation as you propose. How do you account for this?

wpm
Sep 14th 2008, 07:18 PM
If, as you say, the sum total of all believers are citizens of "spiritual" Israel. This would mean that God did not keep his promise to Abraham to make him a father of many nations, since he would be the father of a single nation as you propose. How do you account for this?

Exodus 19:5-6 says, “Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.”

Paul, referring to Deuteronomy 32:21, in Romans 10:19-21, says, “Moses saith, I will provoke you (natural Israel) to jealousy by them that are no people, and by a foolish nation (the mainly Gentile New Testament Church) I will anger you.”

This “foolish” nation that has graciously found God, without first seeking him, is His blood-bought elect – His Church – throughout all time. Those of all kindred’s, tongues and tribes, who have come to God through Christ in true repentance. That elect people are NOT a physical earthly nation but a spiritual invisible Kingdom.

1 Peter 2:9-10 declares, whilst exclusively addressing the Church of Jesus Christ, “ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light. Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.”

Nihil Obstat
Sep 15th 2008, 08:12 AM
..."all Israel" is all true Israel the elect. Please see my post above re Rom 9:6. -> "We are now citizens of Israel. Not national Israel, but spiritual Israel. We are the circumcision today; we are the children of Abraham. We the redeemed Church today have entered into “the citizenship of Israel” through the work of in Christ. We have become fellow citizens of the Israel of God today. ... Salvation has never ever been by race, always by grace. ... God still has a remnant in Israel - as He has in every nation. They are the true Israel. They love Christ and have trusted in His shed blood at Calvary. Those in this group or who will come into this group are God's true elect, just like we the NT Church are also."

Am I correct in believing that you are stating that this cultivated olive tree represents "spiritual Israel", "the elect", "God's chosen people", terms which include Jew and Gentile alike? My response requires a several points:

1. There was only one family in the earth up until God confused the languages at the Tower of Babel. Eber, the father of Peleg (Gen. 10:25), lived at this time, and in the same way that Shem was the father of all the children of Eber (Gen. 10:21), Eber was the father of Abram, for Abram was an Eber-ew (Hebrew; Gen. 14:13). All men were Gentile until God called Abram out from among his father's house to be a distinguished family, through whom all the other families of the earth would be blessed with the same blessings (Gen. 12:1-3).

2. God made four eternal, unconditional covenants with natural Hebrews / Israelites / Jews that He did not make to Gentiles. These are the Abrahamic covenant (Gen. 12:1-3, 7; 13:14-17; 15:2-21; etc.), the Deuteronomic / Land covenant (Deut. 28-32; esp. 29:1-30:10), the Davidic covenant (2 Sam. 7:11b-16), and the New / Renewed covenant (Jer. 30-33; esp. 31:31-34; 32:37-42; 33:14-18, 25-26). I say unconditional, for the Lord is certain of the end despite their propensity to break covenant with Him (cp. Gen. 15:13; Deut. 29:14-29; 2 Sam. 7:14-15; Jer. 30:11-15; etc.), though none can deny that these promises are made not to all of ethnic Israel, but only to those ethnic Hebrews who lovingly obey the God of Abraham (Gen. 15:6; 18:19; 26:5; 35:2).

3. There has always been made a way for Gentiles to be fellow members with Israel, first by circumcision of the flesh, being the outward sign of the inward reality, not being salvific in and of itself (Gen. 17:12-14), and then later by observing the law of Moses, being the Mosaic (Old) covenant, given to make manifest otherwise dormant sin, which could not make a man righteous but instead designed to keep him leaning upon God for mercy (Deut. 29:11, 25; 30:10). These Gentiles were not second-rate citizens (cp. Isa. 56:3-8; Eze. 47:22-23; etc.), but neither were they "true" Israelites, as you put it. Fellow citizens, yes, but not "Israel". goyim was a non-Israelite, or a Gentile, and a Gentile convert to Judaism by circumcision and keeping the law was changed to gerim, not 'Ibriy (Hebrews), or Yisra'el (Israelites), or Yahuwda'iy (Jews).] Now, Christ has fulfilled the "Old" covenant, the law of Moses, and has ratified the promised New covenant with His blood shed for all mankind (1 John 2:2), and therefore Gentiles are no longer required to obey the law, nor are Jews, for it has been made obsolete. Jews may keep it for tradition, and ought to still remain distinct by it, but it cannot be fulfilled again nor can they by it obtain salvation; it still awakens sin and reveals God's character, but the Holy Spirit more so. Circumcision has also been made obsolete, for the sign of the New Covenant is no longer circumcision of the flesh, but the inter-indwelling Holy Spirit (Eph. 1:13; 4:30), though it like the law still retains "lesser" benefits (cp. Rom. 3:1-2). The four covenants mentioned previously, however, are all eternal and are recognized in Christ.

4. Though in point three I declared that Jesus' blood has power to expiate the sins of the entire world, pay close attention to these couple Scriptures: we were once "aliens from the [citizenship] of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise" (Eph. 2:12); it's by Jesus' blood that we are brought near, or rather, become fellow citizens with Israel, that we might share in their covenants of promise. Here's another one to closely examine: "you [sprinkled Gentiles], being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them [the holy branches of Israel], and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree" (Rom. 11:17); by Jesus sprinkling our hearts with the blood of the new covenant (Isa. 52:15; Luke 22:20) - the new covenant made "with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah" (Jer. 31:31) - we become fellow partakers with Israel of their covenantal blessings. These two, and many others, plainly state that it is to Israel that God covenanted with, and that Gentiles are grafted into the Jews' covenants. Jesus' blood brings us near to their covenants.

5. Ethnic Israel is promised a remnant throughout every generation up until the Great White Throne Judgment (if you're amil, take that to mean, "up until Jesus' return and victory"; if premil, "even throughout the millennial reign of Christ"). Not only this, but in the generation of Jesus' return, ethnic Israel alone is prophesied to fully turn to the Lord, both in quantity and quality - this is not said of the Gentiles. One of the reasons that we know that Paul in Rom. 11:26 meant natural descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob by "Israel" (apart from the context of Isa. 59:20-21) is because of the Deuteronomic covenant, where God promises that in the Day that He gathers natural Israel to the land promised them when they would possess it forevermore, never again to be dispersed, that in that Day He will circumcise their hearts "to love the Lord [their] God with all [their] heart and with all [their] soul, that [they] may live. ... And [they] will again obey the voice of the Lord and do all His commandments" (Deut. 30:6, 8). This circumcision of the heart is not apart from their free will, though it is predetermined; the last days will unfold in such a way that all surviving ethnic Jews will willingly choose to love Jesus, the one whom they pierced.

6. The purpose of all Israelites being saved is that all remaining Gentiles would be saved by the Jews' testimony (Eze. 36:23). Hence, the importance of Israel remaining separate from the nations. Their distinction as a people has no intrinsic eternal value, but it will play out that by their keeping the Jewish traditions, they will be preserved as a people, unto their final conversion, unto the Gentiles' salvation, unto all of fallen creation experiencing eternal "life from the dead" (Rom. 11:15)! It is in this way they are still, once again at Jesus' ascension, called the chosen people of God. In Gen. 12:1-3, Abraham was chosen to be the family through whom all the other families would enter into covenant with God. It was a four step process: 1) God blesses Abraham, 2) Abraham blesses others, 3) and those who bless Abraham in return 4) are also blessed by God with the same exact blessings God gave Abraham. Abraham is chosen, but we are not second-rate citizens, any more than the father of a child is second to the mother simply because the mother is the one who gave birth.

7) Because Israel is still "His people" (Rom. 11:1), to deny this is to logically, not eternally (though Paul gives warning; Rom. 11:21-22), deny 1) the covenantal promises you walk in now and have hope to walk in in the resurrection, 2) the sign of the covenant, namely the Holy Spirit, 3) the faithfulness of God despite our weaknesses and propensity to sin, and many other things that you surely do not desire to turn from. Do not call Jews "Christ killers" unless you identify with crucifying Jesus with them, for the cross is for those who reject Him, and He loved you while you were still a sinner. And do not call yourself "the Israel of God" unless you want to physically take on their traditions, such as circumcision, observing the law, and even present day traditions, meant only to distinguish themselves from Gentiles, and not as the works of the law (I speak of Messianic Jews); however, to do so for you would be redundant, and more than likely a burden to you, though you would not be condemned (or justified, for that matter) for doing these things.

Be blessed in searching the Scripture with prayer and fasting, cultivating a vibrant and a teachable spirit, all unto the glory of Christ Jesus manifest by unity with the brethren and care of your family. - Lk.11

David Taylor
Sep 15th 2008, 12:29 PM
If, as you say, the sum total of all believers are citizens of "spiritual" Israel. This would mean that God did not keep his promise to Abraham to make him a father of many nations, since he would be the father of a single nation as you propose. How do you account for this?

The composite is made up of many believers "from" all nations.

Abraham is the "father" (by faith) of believers from Argentina to Zimbabwe, from Zaire to Armenia.

Romans 4:16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all, (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations)

Joyfulparousia
Sep 15th 2008, 01:01 PM
I believe the contradiction in these 2 beliefs isn't Spiritual vs. Natural. I think it boils down to: Tangible or Intangible. Spiritual doesn't mean intangible. Many times people say, "Spiritual" but what they really mean is "metaphorical". This is an error. When the scripture refers to something as spiritual, it doesn't mean that it is intangible or metaphorical, it means that what is an antitype in heaven that is manifest in type on the earth.

BroRog
Sep 15th 2008, 02:45 PM
The composite is made up of many believers "from" all nations.

Abraham is the "father" (by faith) of believers from Argentina to Zimbabwe, from Zaire to Armenia.

Romans 4:16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all, (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations)


I see a difference between "a father of many nations" and "a father of one nation comprised of many people."

Now, if God meant to say, "Abraham, you will be the father of a new nation populated with people from many nations", then Paul couldn't make the argument he made in Romans 4. Moreover, his conclusion would support God's word.

However, Paul's conclusion does not agree with the second premise that Abraham would be the father of one nation comprised of many people as you suggest. In verses 11 and 12 Paul speaks of two groups of people, not a single united group:

11and he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while uncircumcised, so that he might be the father of all who believe without being circumcised, that righteousness might be credited to them,

12and the father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision, but who also follow in the steps of the faith of our father Abraham which he had while uncircumcised.


I take note of two things here. First, all believers have the same father of faith. Whether a man's father has circumcised him or not, Abraham is the father of all who believe. Second, while all believers share the same father, not all believers follow in his foot steps and accept circumcision for their sons. We all have the faith of Abraham, but we don't all share God's command to circumcise our sons and every male in the household.



When Paul says Abraham became the father of the circumcision, he doesn't argue, at the same time, that God's plan through circumcision is over.

Mograce2U
Sep 15th 2008, 03:08 PM
1. There was only one family in the earth up until God confused the languages at the Tower of Babel. Eber, the father of Peleg (Gen. 10:25), lived at this time, and in the same way that Shem was the father of all the children of Eber (Gen. 10:21), Eber was the father of Abram, for Abram was an Eber-ew (Hebrew; Gen. 14:13). All men were Gentile until God called Abram out from among his father's house to be a distinguished family, through whom all the other families of the earth would be blessed with the same blessings (Gen. 12:1-3).

Which shows us the elective purpose of God in choosing a people thru whom He would bring His Son into the world. A people He would keep in His care, so that the whole world would be blessed by Him.



2. God made four eternal, unconditional covenants with natural Hebrews / Israelites / Jews that He did not make to Gentiles. These are the Abrahamic covenant (Gen. 12:1-3, 7; 13:14-17; 15:2-21; etc.), the Deuteronomic / Land covenant (Deut. 28-32; esp. 29:1-30:10), the Davidic covenant (2 Sam. 7:11b-16), and the New / Renewed covenant (Jer. 30-33; esp. 31:31-34; 32:37-42; 33:14-18, 25-26). I say unconditional, for the Lord is certain of the end despite their propensity to break covenant with Him (cp. Gen. 15:13; Deut. 29:14-29; 2 Sam. 7:14-15; Jer. 30:11-15; etc.), though none can deny that these promises are made not to all of ethnic Israel, but only to those ethnic Hebrews who lovingly obey the God of Abraham (Gen. 15:6; 18:19; 26:5; 35:2).

The land promise was first contained in the Abrahamic covenant and fulfilled in the days of Joshua. The Mosaic covenant was given for how they were to live in the land until Messiah arrived. They were not laws that the whole world was to come under, but laws given because of sin. These laws set them apart for God and from the heathen nations whose land they were given. They were thus kept under law until faith came. The nations that would be blessed by Abraham's Seed would follow him in his faith which was before the law.


3. There has always been made a way for Gentiles to be fellow members with Israel, first by circumcision of the flesh, being the outward sign of the inward reality, not being salvific in and of itself (Gen. 17:12-14), and then later by observing the law of Moses, being the Mosaic (Old) covenant, given to make manifest otherwise dormant sin, which could not make a man righteous but instead designed to keep him leaning upon God for mercy (Deut. 29:11, 25; 30:10). These Gentiles were not second-rate citizens (cp. Isa. 56:3-8; Eze. 47:22-23; etc.), but neither were they "true" Israelites, as you put it. Fellow citizens, yes, but not "Israel". goyim was a non-Israelite, or a Gentile, and a Gentile convert to Judaism by circumcision and keeping the law was changed to gerim, not 'Ibriy (Hebrews), or Yisra'el (Israelites), or Yahuwda'iy (Jews).] Now, Christ has fulfilled the "Old" covenant, the law of Moses, and has ratified the promised New covenant with His blood shed for all mankind (1 John 2:2), and therefore Gentiles are no longer required to obey the law, nor are Jews, for it has been made obsolete. Jews may keep it for tradition, and ought to still remain distinct by it, but it cannot be fulfilled again nor can they by it obtain salvation; it still awakens sin and reveals God's character, but the Holy Spirit more so. Circumcision has also been made obsolete, for the sign of the New Covenant is no longer circumcision of the flesh, but the inter-indwelling Holy Spirit (Eph. 1:13; 4:30), though it like the law still retains "lesser" benefits (cp. Rom. 3:1-2). The four covenants mentioned previously, however, are all eternal and are recognized in Christ.

Not only are they "recognized" in Christ, they are fulfilled in Him. We do not circumcise our flesh because the entire old man has died with Him and was buried in baptism. The law does not apply to the new man who is alive and risen in Christ; the law applied only to the body of flesh which we reckon dead - the new man has no sin. The Holy Spirit who dwells in us, leads and guides us into the truth of Christ and knowledge of Him that we might bear fruit to His glory.

The Inheritor of the mountains of Israel is the Lord Jesus. (Isa 65:9; 57:13) We have our inheritance in Him. He is the word made flesh who keeps the oracles of God alive in us by His Spirit. The crown has been removed from the nation of Israel and given to Another (Ezek 21:26).



4. Though in point three I declared that Jesus' blood has power to expiate the sins of the entire world, pay close attention to these couple Scriptures: we were once "aliens from the [citizenship] of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise" (Eph. 2:12); it's by Jesus' blood that we are brought near, or rather, become fellow citizens with Israel, that we might share in their covenants of promise. Here's another one to closely examine: "you [sprinkled Gentiles], being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them [the holy branches of Israel], and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree" (Rom. 11:17); by Jesus sprinkling our hearts with the blood of the new covenant (Isa. 52:15; Luke 22:20) - the new covenant made "with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah" (Jer. 31:31) - we become fellow partakers with Israel of their covenantal blessings. These two, and many others, plainly state that it is to Israel that God covenanted with, and that Gentiles are grafted into the Jews' covenants. Jesus' blood brings us near to their covenants.

The last Adam has restored what the first Adam forsook. The promise given to Abraham was not overturned by the coming of the law. We don't come into Israel by law but by the faith which began that nation thru Abraham. The covenantal blessings which Israel was given have moved onto a higher plain in Christ for a heavenly city and country - this Abraham believed. Israel was brought into this new covenant to bring her back into the everlasting Abrahamic covenant and promise and out of the temporal law of Moses which was given because of sin. We don't come thru Israel into this promise, we come thru faith in Christ. First the Jew, then the Gentile. The everlasting covenant which Abraham was given is one that is for all men - and that was the promise he was given before Isaac was even born. The seal of circumcision for the promise which Abraham was given was to sanctify his whole household. Jew and Gentile was always the plan!



5. Ethnic Israel is promised a remnant throughout every generation up until the Great White Throne Judgment (if you're amil, take that to mean, "up until Jesus' return and victory"; if premil, "even throughout the millennial reign of Christ"). Not only this, but in the generation of Jesus' return, ethnic Israel alone is prophesied to fully turn to the Lord, both in quantity and quality - this is not said of the Gentiles. One of the reasons that we know that Paul in Rom. 11:26 meant natural descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob by "Israel" (apart from the context of Isa. 59:20-21) is because of the Deuteronomic covenant, where God promises that in the Day that He gathers natural Israel to the land promised them when they would possess it forevermore, never again to be dispersed, that in that Day He will circumcise their hearts "to love the Lord [their] God with all [their] heart and with all [their] soul, that [they] may live. ... And [they] will again obey the voice of the Lord and do all His commandments" (Deut. 30:6, 8). This circumcision of the heart is not apart from their free will, though it is predetermined; the last days will unfold in such a way that all surviving ethnic Jews will willingly choose to love Jesus, the one whom they pierced.

And the last remnant of Israel who saw the coming of the Lord received all that was promised to them in that generation. The apostates who were scattered into the nations in that day were not promised anything else for their future. In fact their land was to become desolate and a habitation for devils. But the Christians who were scattered spread the glory of the Lord into the world to gather their brethren to Christ. And the promise continues to be given to those who believe in Jesus as their Redeemer.

There is no faithful remnant being kept by God among an unbelieving people whether Jew or Gentile. There was such a remnant in the 1st century however who did not yet know that Jesus was Messiah. They were the ones who had to look upon the One they had pierced and believe the gospel - from the ones who witnessed His coming, His death and His resurrection. Faith now comes by the hearing of the gospel - not to a foreordained elect who were called to that hope thru covenant, but to all who call upon the name of the Lord. Israel as a nation in unbelief is not under any covenant promise at all - because she forsook the Lord who bought her and her covenant thru Moses passed away.

They therefore have no covenant whereby they can be kept under until faith comes. But when she turns to Christ, she can have a part in the new covenant promise with the rest of us. Until then her people will continue to die in their sins as do all those in the world who are under condemnation because of sin and unbelief.



6. The purpose of all Israelites being saved is that all remaining Gentiles would be saved by the Jews' testimony (Eze. 36:23). Hence, the importance of Israel remaining separate from the nations. Their distinction as a people has no intrinsic eternal value, but it will play out that by their keeping the Jewish traditions, they will be preserved as a people, unto their final conversion, unto the Gentiles' salvation, unto all of fallen creation experiencing eternal "life from the dead" (Rom. 11:15)! It is in this way they are still, once again at Jesus' ascension, called the chosen people of God. In Gen. 12:1-3, Abraham was chosen to be the family through whom all the other families would enter into covenant with God. It was a four step process: 1) God blesses Abraham, 2) Abraham blesses others, 3) and those who bless Abraham in return 4) are also blessed by God with the same exact blessings God gave Abraham. Abraham is chosen, but we are not second-rate citizens, any more than the father of a child is second to the mother simply because the mother is the one who gave birth.

You fail to consider that the testimony of the Jews to the Gentiles was accomplished thru the Jewish Apostles and early Jewish disciples. An apostate nation is not designated for this task. Abraham was chosen for the Seed he was to bring forth. This is the one Seed we see was not the nation, but the Lord Jesus. The called, chosen and faithful are the ones who are the children of God. He has no apostate children. Only the brethren of Christ are included in this heavenly family.


7) Because Israel is still "His people" (Rom. 11:1), to deny this is to logically, not eternally (though Paul gives warning; Rom. 11:21-22), deny 1) the covenantal promises you walk in now and have hope to walk in in the resurrection, 2) the sign of the covenant, namely the Holy Spirit, 3) the faithfulness of God despite our weaknesses and propensity to sin, and many other things that you surely do not desire to turn from. Do not call Jews "Christ killers" unless you identify with crucifying Jesus with them, for the cross is for those who reject Him, and He loved you while you were still a sinner. And do not call yourself "the Israel of God" unless you want to physically take on their traditions, such as circumcision, observing the law, and even present day traditions, meant only to distinguish themselves from Gentiles, and not as the works of the law (I speak of Messianic Jews); however, to do so for you would be redundant, and more than likely a burden to you, though you would not be condemned (or justified, for that matter) for doing these things.

Which only shows that such things have absolutely no value at all for those who think they must do them. Israel is not being kept righteous under the law of Moses because they cannot keep it. The nation's link to the promise of Abraham did come thru the law. Circumcision and Sabbath were signs that it was the Lord who sanctified them. Neither of these signs are in effect anymore. Righteousness does not come thru the law, it comes thru faith. Israel does not have the faith of Abraham because she rejects the One who holds the promise. The Lord has chosen another people to display His glory. The ones to whom He gave the record of His Son.


Be blessed in searching the Scripture with prayer and fasting, cultivating a vibrant and a teachable spirit, all unto the glory of Christ Jesus manifest by unity with the brethren and care of your family. - Lk.11
(Eph 1:17-23 KJV) That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: {18} The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, {19} And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, {20} Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, {21} Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: {22} And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, {23} Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

David Taylor
Sep 15th 2008, 03:46 PM
I see a difference between "a father of many nations" and "a father of one nation comprised of many people."



However, Paul's conclusion does not agree with the second premise that Abraham would be the father of one nation comprised of many people as you suggest.

Abraham was the father of one nation of many people; all who partook/partaking/will partake of the true circumcision.

The circumcision of the heart. (which is by faith, not race)

John146
Sep 15th 2008, 05:33 PM
Of course we're not now ethnic Jews. My point is that salvation, being a "Christ-thing", is inextricably also a "Jewish covenant-thing". We are saved, or rather in covenant with God, by the sign of the Holy Spirit; however, the Holy Spirit is a new covenant promise, and this covenant was made to the Jews (Jer. 31:31; Rom. 9:4). We receive the Spirit by being grafted in among them into their tree, their root, and their fatness, to share equally in these with them, though it is initially theirs. We do this by grace through faith, just as they do (Acts 15:11). We will automatically share in their gifts, but not in their cultural distinctives, because they remain Jewish and I a Gentile, just as my wife is still female and I male. I don't suddenly expect her to stand up to pee, just because "there's no female in Christ", do I? Of course not, that'd be ridiculous - I'm laughing out loud just writing that! In the same way, Paul corrects the Galatians for thinking they as Gentiles need to become Jewish through circumcision and keeping the law, which things were now merely their cultural distinctives. James later wrote that the Gentiles did not have to keep the law (Acts 15), yet asked Paul the Jew to show that he indeed keeps the law, which Paul agreed to do without argument (Acts 21:24), and if anyone would have stood up to James, it would have been him!

- Lk.11Are you saying that you believe that Jews, including Christian Jews, are still required to keep the law? Paul only did what he did because he tried to be all things to all men and not because he was under obligation any longer to keep the law.

1 Corinthians 9
18What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel. 19For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.
20And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law;
21To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law.
22To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.
23And this I do for the gospel's sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.

IPet2_9
Sep 15th 2008, 05:37 PM
Are you saying that you believe that Jews, including Christian Jews, are still required to keep the law? Paul only did what he did because he tried to be all things to all men and not because he was under obligation any longer to keep the law.

I'm curious if the same goes for Muslim Christians. Do they still have to keep the Koran?

John146
Sep 15th 2008, 05:58 PM
7) Because Israel is still "His people" (Rom. 11:1), to deny this is to logically, not eternally (though Paul gives warning; Rom. 11:21-22), deny 1) the covenantal promises you walk in now and have hope to walk in in the resurrection, 2) the sign of the covenant, namely the Holy Spirit, 3) the faithfulness of God despite our weaknesses and propensity to sin, and many other things that you surely do not desire to turn from. Do not call Jews "Christ killers" unless you identify with crucifying Jesus with them, for the cross is for those who reject Him, and He loved you while you were still a sinner. And do not call yourself "the Israel of God" unless you want to physically take on their traditions, such as circumcision, observing the law, and even present day traditions, meant only to distinguish themselves from Gentiles, and not as the works of the law (I speak of Messianic Jews); however, to do so for you would be redundant, and more than likely a burden to you, though you would not be condemned (or justified, for that matter) for doing these things.God's people are those who believe in His Son. Whether one is Jew or Gentile, male or female, bond or free, makes no difference (Gal 3:26-29). All Gentile believers should call ourselves part of the Israel of God because we were once aliens from the commonwealth of Israel (the Israel of God) but are made near to be fellowcitizens of the Israel of God by the blood of Christ (not by tradition). Being a part of the Israel of God has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with taking on the traditions of the nation of Israel. It has to do with faith in Christ.

Romans 9
6Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:
7Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called.
8That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.

Galatians 3
26For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
27For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
28There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
29And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

God's people are not determined by nationality. They are determined by whether or not one has faith in Christ Jesus. This is what Paul clearly taught in passages like the ones above and many others.

John146
Sep 15th 2008, 06:06 PM
If, as you say, the sum total of all believers are citizens of "spiritual" Israel. This would mean that God did not keep his promise to Abraham to make him a father of many nations, since he would be the father of a single nation as you propose. How do you account for this?Romans 4
13For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.
14For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect:
15Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression.
16Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,
17(As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.

This passage shows that Abraham is the father of all believers and that is the meaning of the fulfillment of him being made the father of many nations. It doesn't mean that many nations would naturally descend from him. It means that he would be the the father of people from all nations who had faith like he had and they would be included in the promises made to Abraham and his seed, which is Christ (Gal 3:16) and all who belong to Christ (Gal 3:29). We know this because we see Paul directly relating his statement that Abraham is the father of us all to his quoting ("As it is written") of the scripture that said God would make Abraham a father of many nations.

Nihil Obstat
Sep 15th 2008, 06:39 PM
The land promise was first contained in the Abrahamic covenant and fulfilled in the days of Joshua.

Please explain how this is possible. My guess is you're only saying this because you heard someone else say this, but have never done the research yourself. What you claim here is an impossibility.


Not only are they "recognized" in Christ, they are fulfilled in Him.

Everlasting covenants aren't "fulfilled" in the same way that the temporal Mosaic covenant, which was the old covenant, was; rather, they're eternally received.


The covenantal blessings which Israel was given have moved onto a higher plain in Christ for a heavenly city and country - this Abraham believed.

They haven't moved; they've always been heavenly, which is why they're eternal covenants. But heaven is coming to earth (Isa. 62:4; Eph. 1:9-10; Rev. 21:1-3), which is why Abraham dwelt in tents in the promised land.


Israel was brought into this new covenant to bring her back into the everlasting Abrahamic covenant and promise and out of the temporal law of Moses which was given because of sin. We don't come thru Israel into this promise, we come thru faith in Christ. First the Jew, then the Gentile. The everlasting covenant which Abraham was given is one that is for all men - and that was the promise he was given before Isaac was even born. The seal of circumcision for the promise which Abraham was given was to sanctify his whole household. Jew and Gentile was always the plan!

I agree. Unless by "for the Jew first, then the Gentile" you mean Jews are finished, and now God's on to the Gentiles.


And the last remnant of Israel who saw the coming of the Lord received all that was promised to them in that generation. The apostates who were scattered into the nations in that day were not promised anything else for their future. In fact their land was to become desolate and a habitation for devils. But the Christians who were scattered spread the glory of the Lord into the world to gather their brethren to Christ. And the promise continues to be given to those who believe in Jesus as their Redeemer.

By "apostates ... not promised anything else for their future", if you are claiming that by the Jews' unfaithfulness, God has rejected His promises to them, then you did not check the Scriptures I cited. These covenants are eternal, and they are certain despite their unfaithfulness, for the covenants are about God's much more abounding faithfulness (cp. Gen. 15:12-17 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis%2015:12-17;&version=50;); Deut. 29:14-29 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deuteronomy%2029:14-29;&version=50;); 2 Sam. 7:14-15 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2%20Samuel%207:14-15;&version=50;); and Jer. 30:11-15 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Jeremiah%2030:11-15;&version=50;); 31:3 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Jeremiah%2031:3;&version=50;) in context to their respective covenants).


There is no faithful remnant being kept by God among an unbelieving people whether Jew or Gentile. ... Faith now comes by the hearing of the gospel - not to a foreordained elect who were called to that hope thru covenant, but to all who call upon the name of the Lord. Israel as a nation in unbelief is not under any covenant promise at all - because she forsook the Lord who bought her and her covenant thru Moses passed away.

Please don't take this the wrong way, but this makes no sense whatsoever. There most certainly is a remnant being kept by God's sovereign grace in natural Israel, to say otherwise causes a question to rise in me as to how familiar you are with your Bible, for there are a multitude of passages concerning this, both Old and New Covenant. How do you expect to be saved apart from you being a remnant of your own people? Your argument is self-defeating. Also, your understanding of how people came into God's covenants is lacking; did you read the Scriptures I gave (cp. Gen. 15:6 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis%2015:6;&version=50;); 18:19 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis%2018:19;&version=50;); 26:5 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis%2026:5;&version=50;); 35:2 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis%2035:2;&version=50;) in their contexts)? Covenant with God has always been by faith, and never by "a foreordained elect" - God only foreknows those who freely choose to love Him (Rom. 8:28; 1 Cor. 8:3). Though they (and we, daily) forsook the Lord, He did not and will not ever forsake them as a chosen family, for if He did to them, forsaking even His longsuffering, what hope have in His faithfulness apart from perfect legalism (and so cp. Matt. 9:13)?


You fail to consider that the testimony of the Jews to the Gentiles was accomplished thru the Jewish Apostles and early Jewish disciples. An apostate nation is not designated for this task. Abraham was chosen for the Seed he was to bring forth. This is the one Seed we see was not the nation, but the Lord Jesus. The called, chosen and faithful are the ones who are the children of God. He has no apostate children. Only the brethren of Christ are included in this heavenly family.

"Accomplished", you say? You fail to consider the severity of such a statement. God's covenants, the Abrahamic, Deuteronomic, Davidic, and New, are all eternal and certain, and are all made to Abraham's descendants according to the flesh (Rom. 9:3-5). To deny this is to logically deny your own inheritance in the New Covenant and its sign, being the Holy Spirit, which is not logical at all, and therefore must be denied itself.


Which only shows that such things have absolutely no value at all for those who think they must do them.

I know; that's why I used the word "redundant", which means "without value". But no one is claiming that Jews' salvation is found in keeping the law and circumcision as tradition. The point I am making here, and it's a good one, is that by their keeping these traditions in the near two thousand years they were dispersed among the nations - a sign and a wonder to anthropologists worldwide - has preserved them as a people, one day unto the glorification of all creation (Rom. 11:12, 15). So to say these cultural distinctives have "absolutely no value at all" is to say that God's plan to redeem all creation is worthless, and that His word is subject to your spiritualized interpretations. Paul himself wrote that circumcision has, not had, much value (Rom. 3:1-2).


The Lord has chosen another people to display His glory.

If this is true, then where is hope? It to has been rejected. Where is God's faithfulness and longsuffering? It has become but a memory, having been depleted, and God has ceased to be God. No, God has not chosen another people, for His covenants are still with Israel, and we as Gentiles are still able to be grafted in among them, all receiving by grace through faith the exact same blessings, for there are no second-rate people groups in the house of God.

Much love. - Lk.11

Nihil Obstat
Sep 15th 2008, 06:54 PM
Are you saying that you believe that Jews, including Christian Jews, are still required to keep the law? Paul only did what he did because he tried to be all things to all men and not because he was under obligation any longer to keep the law.

No, and I'm not sure how you came to think such things from my post. I am trying to be overly and abundantly clear in my message, so I will say it yet again. No Jews are required to keep the law in hopes to obtain salvation, nor are Gentiles. The law and circumcision is now, by the blood of the new covenant, only a matter of remaining Jewish; they have become cultural distinctives, which is why Paul had no qualms about keeping the law (Acts 21:24). These are simply unto remaining separate from other families so as to retain their Jewishness throughout their dispersions.


I'm curious if the same goes for Muslim Christians. Do they still have to keep the Koran?

Again, no. Cultural distinctives have their advantages, but in and of themselves are not salvific.


God's people are those who believe in His Son. Whether one is Jew or Gentile, male or female, bond or free, makes no difference (Gal 3:26-29). All Gentile believers should call ourselves part of the Israel of God because we were once aliens from the commonwealth of Israel (the Israel of God) but are made near to be fellowcitizens of the Israel of God by the blood of Christ (not by tradition). Being a part of the Israel of God has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with taking on the traditions of the nation of Israel. It has to do with faith in Christ.

Yes, I know, that's what I'm saying. But you need to realize that "the Israel of God" is speaking only of natural Israelites who are circumcised of heart, and not of Gentiles. The burden of proof is on you to make a case for saying such things, not me, though I will defend and prove victorious. You can't explain away 4000 years of history by the cross as if the cross was something alien to the unfolding events in history. The cross only makes sense if it is in relation to the historical account of Israel, which it was (Luke 1:46-55, 67-79; 2:25, 29-32, 38; etc.), and indeed had to be.

God bless you both with wisdom and revelation. - Lk.11

BroRog
Sep 15th 2008, 06:55 PM
Romans 4
13For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.
14For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect:
15Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression.
16Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,
17(As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.

This passage shows that Abraham is the father of all believers and that is the meaning of the fulfillment of him being made the father of many nations. It doesn't mean that many nations would naturally descend from him. It means that he would be the the father of people from all nations who had faith like he had and they would be included in the promises made to Abraham and his seed, which is Christ (Gal 3:16) and all who belong to Christ (Gal 3:29). We know this because we see Paul directly relating his statement that Abraham is the father of us all to his quoting ("As it is written") of the scripture that said God would make Abraham a father of many nations.

There is no doubt that Abraham is the father of the faithful from various nations and people groups from around the world. But that isn't Paul's point in Romans 4 and it isn't God's point in Genesis 12.

In fact, he is making the exact opposite point you, David, and wpm are making. According to wpm, Abraham is NOT the father of many nations, but the father of a single nation he calls "spiritual Israel." The apostle is not saying that Abraham is the father of a single nation, but the father of many nations, which is to refute those who say that all believers must be under a single nation.

If your point were true, Paul wouldn't have argued his case from Genesis 12 in which God changes Abram's name from Abram to Abraham, declaring that " I will make nations of you, and kings will come forth from you." In Genesis 12, God isn't talking about a multitude of persons from different nationalities which Abraham will form into a unified single nation. Rather, Abraham will be the father of many nations. In particular, one nation will consist of the circumcised and follow in the foot steps of Abraham, and the other nation will consist of those who do not circumcise their sons but have the faith of their father Abraham. Paul is arguing for a multiplicity of nations, and that is why he cites the passage that Abraham will be the father of more than one nation, i.e. many.

You want Paul to argue that Abraham is the father of many people all under one nation, which is the opposite of what Genesis 12 says. God wasn't saying to Abraham, "you will be the father of a nation comprised of a representative sample from every people group."

John146
Sep 15th 2008, 07:05 PM
Yes, I know, that's what I'm saying. But you need to realize that "the Israel of God" is speaking only of natural Israelites who are circumcised of heart, and not of Gentiles.That is simply not true, as illustrated by the following passage:

11Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; 12That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
13But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

This passage is clearly not referring to the nation of Israel. This Israel is one that they once were aliens from but not were brought near by the blood of Christ. A few verses later it says "Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints". Fellowcitizens of the commonwealth of Israel, which is the Israel of God.


The burden of proof is on you to make a case for saying such things, not me, though I will defend and prove victorious.You will defend and prove victorious? Okay. I think you could stand to be a bit more humble by acknowledging that we are both sharing our opinions here and no matter how strongly we hold these opinions we aren't necessarily proving anything. We're giving scriptural support but it still comes down to how each person interprets the scripture.


You can't explain away 4000 years of history by the cross as if the cross was something alien to the unfolding events in history. The cross only makes sense if it is in relation to the historical account of Israel, which it was (Luke 1:46-55, 67-79; 2:25, 29-32, 38; etc.), and indeed had to be.I'm not explaining anything away. I'm explaining my interpretations of scripture.

Nihil Obstat
Sep 15th 2008, 07:09 PM
John146, take care not to misread wrong emotions into my posts; I am very much enjoying this conversation, am being blessed by you in it, and hope to be a blessing to you in turn. Much love. - Lk.11

John146
Sep 15th 2008, 07:16 PM
There is no doubt that Abraham is the father of the faithful from various nations and people groups from around the world. But that isn't Paul's point in Romans 4 and it isn't God's point in Genesis 12.How do you figure? Immediately after Paul says that Abraham is the father of us all he says "As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations". He directly relates Abraham being the father of us all with Abraham being the father of many nations.


In fact, he is making the exact opposite point you, David, and wpm are making. According to wpm, Abraham is NOT the father of many nations, but the father of a single nation he calls "spiritual Israel."The father of people from many physical nations who are brought together as one spiritual nation.


The apostle is not saying that Abraham is the father of a single nation, but the father of many nations, which is to refute those who say that all believers must be under a single nation.He is the father of many nations and the father of us all. That includes you and me.


If your point were true, Paul wouldn't have argued his case from Genesis 12 in which God changes Abram's name from Abram to Abraham, declaring that " I will make nations of you, and kings will come forth from you." In Genesis 12, God isn't talking about a multitude of persons from different nationalities which Abraham will form into a unified single nation. Rather, Abraham will be the father of many nations. In particular, one nation will consist of the circumcised and follow in the foot steps of Abraham, and the other nation will consist of those who do not circumcise their sons but have the faith of their father Abraham. Paul is arguing for a multiplicity of nations, and that is why he cites the passage that Abraham will be the father of more than one nation, i.e. many.

You want Paul to argue that Abraham is the father of many people all under one nation, which is the opposite of what Genesis 12 says. God wasn't saying to Abraham, "you will be the father of a nation comprised of a representative sample from every people group."It doesn't matter what I want Paul to argue. What matters is that he did argue that Abraham being the father of us all fulfilled him being made the father of many nations. I believe you are not allowing Romans 4:16-17 to speak for itself.

Nihil Obstat
Sep 15th 2008, 07:19 PM
That is simply not true, as illustrated by the following passage:

11Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; 12That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
13But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

This passage is clearly not referring to the nation of Israel. This Israel is one that they once were aliens from but not were brought near by the blood of Christ. A few verses later it says "Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints". Fellowcitizens of the commonwealth of Israel, which is the Israel of God.

Clearly *not* referring to the nation of Israel??? What? The cultivated olive tree represents the family of Israel, not saved Israel. Natural branches that, if having future unbelief are cut off, grew there from conception. The wild olive tree represents all other families, being ethnic Gentiles, and not the unsaved. Wild branches grow there from conception as well. Because the two trees are family trees, we are grafted into their family by faith, and those natural branches who are without faith are cut off. We who are "goyim" become "gerim" (converts), not "Israel".


You will defend and prove victorious? Okay. I think you could stand to be a bit more humble by acknowledging that we are both sharing our opinions here and no matter how strongly we hold these opinions we aren't necessarily proving anything. We're giving scriptural support but it still comes down to how each person interprets the scripture.

Surely you believe in absolute truth, and that it can be known?

Mograce2U
Sep 15th 2008, 07:20 PM
Please explain how this is possible. My guess is you're only saying this because you heard someone else say this, but have never done the research yourself. What you claim here is an impossibility.
(1 Ki 8:56 KJV) Blessed be the LORD, that hath given rest unto his people Israel, according to all that he promised: there hath not failed one word of all his good promise, which he promised by the hand of Moses his servant.


Everlasting covenants aren't "fulfilled" in the same way that the temporal Mosaic covenant, which was the old covenant, was; rather, they're eternally received.
...
They haven't moved; they've always been heavenly, which is why they're eternal covenants. But heaven is coming to earth (Isa. 62:4; Eph. 1:9-10; Rev. 21:1-3), which is why Abraham dwelt in tents in the promised land.
(John 3:5-7 KJV) Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. {6} That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. {7} Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

I agree. Unless by "for the Jew first, then the Gentile" you mean Jews are finished, and now God's on to the Gentiles.Has the Lord finished gathering His saints into the kingdom? That means both Jews and Gentiles can still be saved in this day of salvation. All they need do is call upon the name of the Lord - whether they call Him Yeshua or Jesus.

By "apostates ... not promised anything else for their future", if you are claiming that by the Jews' unfaithfulness, God has rejected His promises to them, then you did not check the Scriptures I cited. These covenants are eternal, and they are certain despite their unfaithfulness, for the covenants are about God's much more abounding faithfulness (cp. Gen. 15:12-17 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis%2015:12-17;&version=50;); Deut. 29:14-29 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deuteronomy%2029:14-29;&version=50;); 2 Sam. 7:14-15 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2%20Samuel%207:14-15;&version=50;); and Jer. 30:11-15 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Jeremiah%2030:11-15;&version=50;); 31:3 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Jeremiah%2031:3;&version=50;) in context to their respective covenants).Not only eternal but secured by Christ. The one Seed Abraham was to produce. All the promises of God are yea and amen in Him. Israel could not hang onto any of the promises they were given - which is why the Lord swore an oath by Himself. Jesus thus holds fast all the promises the Father gave them.


Please don't take this the wrong way, but this makes no sense whatsoever. There most certainly is a remnant being kept by God's sovereign grace in natural Israel, to say otherwise causes a question to rise in me as to how familiar you are with your Bible, for there are a multitude of passages concerning this, both Old and New Covenant. How do you expect to be saved apart from you being a remnant of your own people? Your argument is self-defeating. Also, your understanding of how people came into God's covenants is lacking; did you read the Scriptures I gave (cp. Gen. 15:6 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis%2015:6;&version=50;); 18:19 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis%2018:19;&version=50;); 26:5 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis%2026:5;&version=50;); 35:2 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis%2035:2;&version=50;) in their contexts)? Covenant with God has always been by faith, and never by "a foreordained elect" - God only foreknows those who freely choose to love Him (Rom. 8:28; 1 Cor. 8:3). Though they (and we, daily) forsook the Lord, He did not and will not ever forsake them as a chosen family, for if He did to them, forsaking even His longsuffering, what hope have in His faithfulness apart from perfect legalism (and so cp. Matt. 9:13)?I don't want to disrail this over election. But when the 10 tribes were scattered by the Assyrians, the tribes of Judah & Benjamin were promised to go into captivity in Babylon to be kept safe there because a faithful remnant was found in Judah. Abraham was given a prophecy about Israel going into Egypt where they would be kept safe until the sin of the Amorites reached their fullness and the time came to deliver them and take them into the promised land. None of the ones delivered made it - including Moses, but their children went in with Joshua - because of the promise to their fathers given to Abraham. When God keeps a remnant, He keeps them in FAITH.


"Accomplished", you say? You fail to consider the severity of such a statement. God's covenants, the Abrahamic, Deuteronomic, Davidic, and New, are all eternal and certain, and are all made to Abraham's descendants according to the flesh (Rom. 9:3-5). To deny this is to logically deny your own inheritance in the New Covenant and its sign, being the Holy Spirit, which is not logical at all, and therefore must be denied itself.Yet you must deny that WE have any of these things in Christ, because Israel is residing in unbelief. If the Holy Spirit is dwelling within then you have Life. The Holy Spirit is not merely a sign, it is His presence that will see you pass thru death.

(Rom 3:3 KJV) For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?


I know; that's why I used the word "redundant", which means "without value". But no one is claiming that Jews' salvation is found in keeping the law and circumcision as tradition. The point I am making here, and it's a good one, is that by their keeping these traditions in the near two thousand years they were dispersed among the nations - a sign and a wonder to anthropologists worldwide - has preserved them as a people, one day unto the glorification of all creation (Rom. 11:12, 15). So to say these cultural distinctives have "absolutely no value at all" is to say that God's plan to redeem all creation is worthless, and that His word is subject to your spiritualized interpretations. Paul himself wrote that circumcision has, not had, much value (Rom. 3:1-2).I don't know what you mean by "preserved as a people". Preserved for what exactly? How many millions have died in their sins and gone to their eternal damnation? Don't make the mistake that what you see with your eyes is the same as being the truth of what God has said. God showed the ones He approved and it was not those who rejected Jesus as Lord.


If this is true, then where is hope? It to has been rejected. Where is God's faithfulness and longsuffering? It has become but a memory, having been depleted, and God has ceased to be God. No, God has not chosen another people, for His covenants are still with Israel, and we as Gentiles are still able to be grafted in among them, all receiving by grace through faith the exact same blessings, for there are no second-rate people groups in the house of God.

Much love. - Lk.11They have no hope, that is the point.

John146
Sep 15th 2008, 07:33 PM
Clearly *not* referring to the nation of Israel??? What?Yes. I didn't mistype.


The cultivated olive tree represents the family of Israel, not saved Israel. Natural branches that, if having future unbelief are cut off, grew there from conception. The wild olive tree represents all other families, being ethnic Gentiles, and not the unsaved. Wild branches grow there from conception as well. Because the two trees are family trees, we are grafted into their family by faith, and those natural branches who are without faith are cut off. We who are "goyim" become "gerim" (converts), not "Israel".I completely disagree. Jew and Gentile believers are no longer separate but have been made one in the good olive tree. There are no unbelievers in the good olive tree. People were cut off due to unbelief and people are grafted in due to belief. All people in the good olive tree are equal and are there because of faith in Christ and not because of nationality. You don't seem to be understanding that we are fellowcitizens in the commonwealth of Israel. You still seem to want to keep Jew and Gentile believers as separate groups, but scripture says there is no difference between us.


Surely you believe in absolute truth, and that it can be known?Yes, I do. But it just so happens that what you believe is absolute truth is something that many fellow believers disagree with you on. As strongly as you feel you have the truth on this, I feel just as strongly as you that my view is the truth, yet we disagree. So, try to have more respect for your fellow Christians by not making blanket statements about these kinds of things. If you want to say that Jesus is the only way to salvation and you will be victorious over anyone here who tries to say otherwise, feel free, because we all agree with you on that.

IPet2_9
Sep 15th 2008, 07:53 PM
You still seem to want to keep Jew and Gentile believers as separate groups, but scripture says there is no difference between us.

Yes, Scripture does say that. But to put it another way: if a Mom and Dad have two kids: one by birth, and one adopted--are they to show favoritism to the one who was not adopted? You ask most anyone who was adopted, and they will tell you their adopted parents are their real parents.

But even that is a moot point--the Jews were adopted, too, anyway.

wpm
Sep 15th 2008, 08:15 PM
2. God made four eternal, unconditional covenants with natural Hebrews / Israelites / Jews that He did not make to Gentiles. These are the Abrahamic covenant (Gen. 12:1-3, 7; 13:14-17; 15:2-21; etc.), the Deuteronomic / Land covenant (Deut. 28-32; esp. 29:1-30:10), the Davidic covenant (2 Sam. 7:11b-16), and the New / Renewed covenant (Jer. 30-33; esp. 31:31-34; 32:37-42; 33:14-18, 25-26). I say unconditional, for the Lord is certain of the end despite their propensity to break covenant with Him (cp. Gen. 15:13; Deut. 29:14-29; 2 Sam. 7:14-15; Jer. 30:11-15; etc.), though none can deny that these promises are made not to all of ethnic Israel, but only to those ethnic Hebrews who lovingly obey the God of Abraham (Gen. 15:6; 18:19; 26:5; 35:2).


This is where I have to disagree. God's promises are always governed by conditions. So I reject the rest of your conclusion.

Paul

wpm
Sep 15th 2008, 08:18 PM
If, as you say, the sum total of all believers are citizens of "spiritual" Israel. This would mean that God did not keep his promise to Abraham to make him a father of many nations, since he would be the father of a single nation as you propose. How do you account for this?

Exodus 19:5-6 says, “Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.”

Paul, referring to Deuteronomy 32:21, in Romans 10:19-21, says, “Moses saith, I will provoke you (natural Israel) to jealousy by them that are no people, and by a foolish nation (the mainly Gentile New Testament Church) I will anger you.”

This “foolish” nation that has graciously found God, without first seeking him, is His blood-bought elect – His Church – throughout all time. Those of all kindred’s, tongues and tribes, who have come to God through Christ in true repentance. That elect people are NOT a physical earthly nation but a spiritual invisible Kingdom.

1 Peter 2:9-10 declares, whilst exclusively addressing the Church of Jesus Christ, “ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light. Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.”

Joyfulparousia
Sep 15th 2008, 08:29 PM
This is where I have to disagree. God's promises are always governed by conditions. So I reject the rest of your conclusion.

Paul


Wow this cleared up so much for me on your view.:hmm:

And so what do you make of the covenant made in Gen 15:17 by God with Abraham?

Joyfulparousia
Sep 15th 2008, 08:31 PM
Exodus 19:5-6 says, “Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.”

Paul, referring to Deuteronomy 32:21, in Romans 10:19-21, says, “Moses saith, I will provoke you (natural Israel) to jealousy by them that are no people, and by a foolish nation (the mainly Gentile New Testament Church) I will anger you.”

This “foolish” nation that has graciously found God, without first seeking him, is His blood-bought elect – His Church – throughout all time. Those of all kindred’s, tongues and tribes, who have come to God through Christ in true repentance. That elect people are NOT a physical earthly nation but a spiritual invisible Kingdom.

1 Peter 2:9-10 declares, whilst exclusively addressing the Church of Jesus Christ, “ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light. Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.”

Isn't it this jealousy that Paul says in Romans 11 will provoke the Jews and ultimately lead to Israel's salvation (vs 26)? Turning ungodliness away from Jacob?

David Taylor
Sep 15th 2008, 08:34 PM
And so what do you make of the covenant made in Gen 15:17 by God with Abraham?

It was made between God and Abraham, and Abraham's Seed which Paul tells us is Christ, not ethnic prodigeny who reject God.

Paul tells us Abraham's Seed is Christ singular; and that those who are in Christ, (the faithful only) are Abraham's Seed.


So the covenant God was making with Abraham, in a nutshell, was that because of the faith that Abraham had, he was chosen of all the peoples of the world living at his time, for the future Seed, the Christ, to come through; and that Seed, the seed of Abraham-Christ; through Him would all nations be blessed.

As we see today, His name is glorified and raised up throughout all nations; and those faithful people who number the stars of the sky have most certainly been blessed by the wonderfully promised Seed of Abraham.

John146
Sep 15th 2008, 09:07 PM
Isn't it this jealousy that Paul says in Romans 11 will provoke the Jews and ultimately lead to Israel's salvation (vs 26)? Turning ungodliness away from Jacob?They were blinded in part, not blinded completely while being shut off from salvation until a later time. The Deliverer came to turn ungodliness away from Jacob long ago:

Acts 3
25Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.
26Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.

third hero
Sep 15th 2008, 09:36 PM
Why is it that whenever I make points that are more than substanially valid, I get responses such as this:

wpm writes:

Quote:
Originally Posted by third hero http://bibleforums.org/images/buttons/viewpost.gif (http://bibleforums.org/showthread.php?p=1787307#post1787307)
The mistake you make, wpm, is that you insist that God has thrown all of Israel away due to the disobedience of the Hiarchy there, and that simply is not the case. Those who do not believe are no longer Jews in the eyes of God, and this point I actually share with you. However, it seems to me as though you seem to think that a believing Jew has to give up his Jewishness in order to be a Christian. That simply is not true.

Take circumcision, for instance. The ritual of circumcision is the confirmation of the land covenant that God made with Abraham and his descendents. As you can clearly see, God is still honoring that covenant, because even though the majority of religious Jews in Israel are serving Satan, God has still chosen to allow them to go back to the place He promised Abraham. This has never had anything to do with Salvation, and Paul points that out repeatedly in his epistles. The Judaizers felt that in order to be saved, (this would include Gentiles), that all had to bow to the ritual of the land covenant, which was circumcision. This would definitely be nothing less than an abomination. Something other than faith in Lord Jesus as key to salvation? Paul, and rightly so, resisted all of that, and vehemently rejected it, as all of the disciples eventually agreed. Being circumcised ritually does not cause a person to lose their salvation, unless they believe that their salvation is based on the Mosaic laws, which would only bring to them condemnation.

I Corinthians 7:17 declares, “Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing"

Galatians 5:2 declares, “Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing."

Galatians 5:5 declares, "For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love."

Colossians 3:11 declares, “there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all."

Romans 2:28-29 plainly states, “For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter.”

Galatians 6:13 declares, “For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh. But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ"

Paul explains in Philippians 3:3, speaking of the Church, “For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the Spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.”

Here we have it! We the redeemed Church are the true circumcision today. That is Scripture speaking, not man's opinion.

Seriously, what's your point? Are you restating what I have already said using scripture? Why not just say, "I agree". Also, The quotation that you used from me happened to have the following statement in it:

This has never had anything to do with Salvation, and Paul points that out repeatedly in his epistles. The Judaizers felt that in order to be saved, (this would include Gentiles), that all had to bow to the ritual of the land covenant, which was circumcision. This would definitely be nothing less than an abomination.

And yet, I get arguments from people saying that I knoweth not what I am talking about when they end up repeating using scripture what I have already stated? Come on, this is irritating! It appears that straw-man tactics are what I have to deal with here, and frankly, I think it's low-brow.

Now, onward to the issue at hand. wpm, we are NOT ISRAEL. The Israel that exists right now on earth is not the same Israel that we are members to. To say that we are members is to basically exclude the actual reality of the nation of Israel and supplant your version as being the actual nation, which is completely untrue. We are members, citizens, of the kingdom of heaven, which is in heaven, and not of this world. This is why Paul uses the word "Spiritual". He knew then the difference between the actual nation, and the nation of believers.

1. Israel is going to be saved. Physical Israel is going to be saved, whether you want it to happen or not.

2. God still has a soft spot for Israel, hence Him letting the unrepentant, ethnic Israelites return to their land after almost 2000 years of exile.

3. God has a scenario involving two witnesses who will show signs and wonders in Jerusalem, while the Beast is gaining strength, and willl point Israel to Lord Jesus (Revelation 11). The Beast will kill them before His advent. When He reveals himself, the people will believe in what those two prophets were saying, and will either be slaughtered, or saved (literally) by the Mount of Olives splitting in half. Paul understood this scenario, and thus said in Romans 11:26, that all Israel shall be saved.

How did He come to this conclusion? Read these scriptures, and please do not figurate them. Zechariah 12, Zechariah 14, Ezekiel 38-39. These scriptures alone prove my point.

Raybob
Sep 15th 2008, 09:49 PM
Many people on this thread are forgetting something very important about "national" Israel. God's promises were conditional and because Israel didn't keep their end of the bargain, God divorced national Israel. National Israel means nothing to God any more, since they disregarded the Lord.

Jer 3:8 And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also.

Raybob

BroRog
Sep 15th 2008, 10:46 PM
Many people on this thread are forgetting something very important about "national" Israel. God's promises were conditional and because Israel didn't keep their end of the bargain, God divorced national Israel. National Israel means nothing to God any more, since they disregarded the Lord.

Jer 3:8 And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also.

Raybob

In this instance, the term "Israel" refers to the Northern Ten tribes who seceded from the nation. An examination of this chapter will reveal that God refers to the Northern Ten Tribes as "Israel" and the Southern Two Tribes as Judah. God divorced Israel, not Judah. It should be noted also that God announced through the prophet Ezekiel that he would reunite the North and South in the future.

BroRog
Sep 15th 2008, 10:51 PM
This is where I have to disagree. God's promises are always governed by conditions. So I reject the rest of your conclusion.

Paul

Of course, this is not true. In the case of God's covenant with Abraham as specified in Genesis 15, God was the only one to pass between the cuttings signifying that his covenant with Abraham had no contingency.

wpm
Sep 15th 2008, 11:14 PM
Of course, this is not true. In the case of God's covenant with Abraham as specified in Genesis 15, God was the only one to pass between the cuttings signifying that his covenant with Abraham had no contingency.

The arrangement actually had the condition of faith attached to it. Galatians 3:6-7 tells us: "Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham."

The true seed of Abraham believe in the Almighty through Christ. Notwithstanding, God needed no help in making the sacrifice you refer to, no more than He needed help with the cross-work.

wpm
Sep 15th 2008, 11:23 PM
Why is it that whenever I make points that are more than substanially valid, I get responses such as this:

wpm writes:

Quote:
Originally Posted by third hero http://bibleforums.org/images/buttons/viewpost.gif (http://bibleforums.org/showthread.php?p=1787307#post1787307)
The mistake you make, wpm, is that you insist that God has thrown all of Israel away due to the disobedience of the Hiarchy there, and that simply is not the case. Those who do not believe are no longer Jews in the eyes of God, and this point I actually share with you. However, it seems to me as though you seem to think that a believing Jew has to give up his Jewishness in order to be a Christian. That simply is not true.

Take circumcision, for instance. The ritual of circumcision is the confirmation of the land covenant that God made with Abraham and his descendents. As you can clearly see, God is still honoring that covenant, because even though the majority of religious Jews in Israel are serving Satan, God has still chosen to allow them to go back to the place He promised Abraham. This has never had anything to do with Salvation, and Paul points that out repeatedly in his epistles. The Judaizers felt that in order to be saved, (this would include Gentiles), that all had to bow to the ritual of the land covenant, which was circumcision. This would definitely be nothing less than an abomination. Something other than faith in Lord Jesus as key to salvation? Paul, and rightly so, resisted all of that, and vehemently rejected it, as all of the disciples eventually agreed. Being circumcised ritually does not cause a person to lose their salvation, unless they believe that their salvation is based on the Mosaic laws, which would only bring to them condemnation.

I Corinthians 7:17 declares, “Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing"

Galatians 5:2 declares, “Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing."

Galatians 5:5 declares, "For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love."

Colossians 3:11 declares, “there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all."

Romans 2:28-29 plainly states, “For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter.”

Galatians 6:13 declares, “For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh. But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ"

Paul explains in Philippians 3:3, speaking of the Church, “For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the Spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.”

Here we have it! We the redeemed Church are the true circumcision today. That is Scripture speaking, not man's opinion.

Seriously, what's your point? Are you restating what I have already said using scripture? Why not just say, "I agree". Also, The quotation that you used from me happened to have the following statement in it:

This has never had anything to do with Salvation, and Paul points that out repeatedly in his epistles. The Judaizers felt that in order to be saved, (this would include Gentiles), that all had to bow to the ritual of the land covenant, which was circumcision. This would definitely be nothing less than an abomination.

And yet, I get arguments from people saying that I knoweth not what I am talking about when they end up repeating using scripture what I have already stated? Come on, this is irritating! It appears that straw-man tactics are what I have to deal with here, and frankly, I think it's low-brow.

Now, onward to the issue at hand. wpm, we are NOT ISRAEL. The Israel that exists right now on earth is not the same Israel that we are members to. To say that we are members is to basically exclude the actual reality of the nation of Israel and supplant your version as being the actual nation, which is completely untrue. We are members, citizens, of the kingdom of heaven, which is in heaven, and not of this world. This is why Paul uses the word "Spiritual". He knew then the difference between the actual nation, and the nation of believers. I have said this repeatedly, and yet it continues to fall on deaf ears, (really, I shouldn't be surprised, but I still am).

There is a difference between spiritual and physical, a difference that you, wpm, want to nullify. Well, no matter how deluzed you may be, the realities can not be overlooked.

1. Israel is going to be saved. Physical Israel is going to be saved, whether you want it to happen or not.

2. God still has a soft spot for Israel, hence Him letting the unrepentant, ethnic Israelites return to their land after almost 2000 years of exile.

3. God has a scenario involving two witnesses who will show signs and wonders in Jerusalem, while the Beast is gaining strength, and willl point Israel to Lord Jesus (Revelation 11). The Beast will kill them before His advent. When He reveals himself, the people will believe in what those two prophets were saying, and will either be slaughtered, or saved (literally) by the Mount of Olives splitting in half. Paul understood this scenario, and thus said in Romans 11:26, that all Israel shall be saved.

How did He come to this conclusion? Read these scriptures, and please do not figurate them. Zechariah 12, Zechariah 14, Ezekiel 38-39. These scriptures alone prove my point.

God actually has a soft spot for all nations equally since the cross. John 3:16 connfirms: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

wpm
Sep 15th 2008, 11:26 PM
Isn't it this jealousy that Paul says in Romans 11 will provoke the Jews and ultimately lead to Israel's salvation (vs 26)? Turning ungodliness away from Jacob?

I agree. The Jews have been coming into that tree for 2,000 yrs, and will continue to come into this international family of the redeemed along with all the saints of all nations.

IPet2_9
Sep 15th 2008, 11:31 PM
God actually has a soft spot for all nations equally since the cross.

I would say the same, yet I would also say the exact opposite--that God could care less about nations. Nations are nothing more than silly man-made entities that artificially divide us. In fact, He discouraged Israel from even becoming one, back when they "had" to have a king. It was actually in their sin and hard hearts that they even became a nation in the first place. Look at a satellite view of earth. Do you see any national boundaries like you would see on a map? I don't. Welcome to God's vantage point.

Political borders change. Land--God can MAKE land. One snap of the fingers. It's the people whom God cares about.

Nihil Obstat
Sep 16th 2008, 12:46 AM
This is where I have to disagree. God's promises are always governed by conditions. So I reject the rest of your conclusion.

Well I reject your having rejected this point. I said that there were conditions, citing Gen. 15:6; 18:19; 26:5; and 35:2, but also said that the covenants were certain to remain throughout all generations despite their unfaithfulness to those conditions, and I cited Gen. 15:13; Deut. 29:14-29; 2 Sam. 7:14-15; and Jer. 30:11-15, all of which are in the midst of the covenants given, acknowledging well beforehand that though Israel will reject God, He will never reject them, and that in the end they will fully turn back to Him. It is in this way that these covenants are unconditional. The very purpose of the New covenant was that Israel was unable to be faithful, and so God made a new covenant with them that would enable them to be faithful, that the blessings promised them would be given them forevermore.

Nihil Obstat
Sep 16th 2008, 01:24 AM
(1 Ki 8:56 KJV) Blessed be the LORD, that hath given rest unto his people Israel, according to all that he promised: there hath not failed one word of all his good promise, which he promised by the hand of Moses his servant.

This doesn't prove anything, and it's taken out of context. This hardly proves that Israel was in the land forever, and they certainly hadn't received all of the covenantal promises made to their forefathers. If they had, why is there mention of them again during Jesus' life and even afterward (cp. Deut. 4:25-31; Luke 1:72-75; Acts 3:25-26; etc.)? Why is this same phrase stated in Joshua's day (Jos. 21:45; 23:14; cp. Heb. 4:8-9), and yet David still believed in a future fulfillment concerning the land (1 Ch. 16:15-18)? The author of Hebrews states clearly throughout ch.11 that none of the patriarchs received the promises (also 6:13-18). If the promises were fully received in Solomon's day, then why did Israel cry out for their land citing the covenant during their captivity over and over again?, Clearly, the land will still be given them in the future, for the promise still awaits its fulfillment.


I don't want to disrail this over election. But when the 10 tribes were scattered by the Assyrians, the tribes of Judah & Benjamin were promised to go into captivity in Babylon to be kept safe there because a faithful remnant was found in Judah.

It sounds as if your Bible History book only goes up until 722 BC, because the prophets who were sent afterward still spoke of the regathering of the northern kingdom of Israel (Jer. 31:31, for a major example).


Yet you must deny that WE have any of these things in Christ, because Israel is residing in unbelief.

In part, yes, but never in full. We are by faith grafted in among the faithful of Israel.


I don't know what you mean by "preserved as a people". Preserved for what exactly?

God made covenants with natural Israel. If one of the parties involved in a covenant die, Israel in your reckoning, then the covenant is made void (cp. Rom. 7:1). We, who are called Uncircumcised (Eph. 2:11) - Gentiles - were brought near to the commonwealth of the Circumcised - Israel - by the blood of Jesus. By faith, His blood brings us into the covenants He made with Israel, and we become fellow citizens and members with faithful Israel. But if Israel is no longer chosen by God, then the covenants are void, and you are still dead in your sins, but what's more frightening, God is a liar (according to your logic). Therefore, ethnic Jews are preserved unto several things: God's faithfulness and our justification, namely, but ultimately unto all of creation being made new. Pray for the salvation of natural Israel.

- Lk.11

IPet2_9
Sep 16th 2008, 01:34 AM
The very purpose of the New covenant was that Israel was unable to be faithful, and so God made a new covenant with them that would enable them to be faithful, that the blessings promised them would be given them forevermore. Are you teachable?

Matthew 22 tells a different story.


Matthew 22

The Parable of the Wedding Banquet

1 Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying: 2 "The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. 3 He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come. 4 "Then he sent some more servants and said, 'Tell those who have been invited that I have prepared my dinner: My oxen and fattened cattle have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.'
5 "But they paid no attention and went off—one to his field, another to his business. 6 The rest seized his servants, mistreated them and killed them. 7 The king was enraged. He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city.
8 "Then he said to his servants, 'The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come. 9 Go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.' 10 So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, both good and bad, and the wedding hall was filled with guests.
11 "But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. 12 'Friend,' he asked, 'how did you get in here without wedding clothes?' The man was speechless.
13 "Then the king told the attendants, 'Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'
14 "For many are invited, but few are chosen."

Nihil Obstat
Sep 16th 2008, 01:49 AM
The Jews have been coming into that tree for 2,000 yrs, and will continue to come into this international family of the redeemed along with all the saints of all nations.

Jews do not "come into the cultivated olive tree" by faith, but by faith are re-grafted in - they come in again (Rom. 11:23), for it is their family tree; they begin there, but remain only by faith in Jesus. Gentiles, on the other hand, do "come into that tree" by faith (Rom. 11:19, 24), for our family is not derived from Abraham, Issac, or Jacob (the root; Rom. 11:17). The Uncircumcised (Gentiles) are brought near to the Circumcised (Israel) by Jesus' blood, becoming fellow members with the Circumcised, sharing in the covenantal promises God made with the Circumcised (Eph. 2:11 ff). To deny that we enter in to their promises is to confirm that the covenants have been made void (cp. Rom. 7:1), and so therefore you are logically dead in your sins.

- Lk.11

Nihil Obstat
Sep 16th 2008, 02:42 AM
Matthew 22 tells a different story.

Actually, it doesn't. Do you understand this parable? Jesus is telling the Pharisees, answering their murderous hearts (v.1) with a provoking parable, where by it He prophesies of the destruction in 70 AD for Jerusalem's leadership turning away the entire city from celebratory intimacy with Jesus. The man without a wedding garment represents those who attempt entrance into the blessings of the Father without loving the Son. Note that all are gathered afterward, both good and bad, a phrase used several times in ch.13 to refer to the final days. This has little to do with our discussion here. Perhaps you should explain why you quoted this parable?

And if you disagree with what I wrote to wpm concerning the new covenant, then perhaps you should prayfully read through Heb. 8-10. Blessings! - Lk.11

Mograce2U
Sep 16th 2008, 03:33 AM
Jews do not "come into the cultivated olive tree" by faith, but by faith are re-grafted in - they come in again (Rom. 11:23), for it is their family tree; they begin there, but remain only by faith in Jesus. Gentiles, on the other hand, do "come into that tree" by faith (Rom. 11:19, 24), for our family is not derived from Abraham, Issac, or Jacob (the root; Rom. 11:17). The Uncircumcised (Gentiles) are brought near to the Circumcised (Israel) by Jesus' blood, becoming fellow members with the Circumcised, sharing in the covenantal promises God made with the Circumcised (Eph. 2:11 ff). To deny that we enter in to their promises is to confirm that the covenants have been made void (cp. Rom. 7:1), and so therefore you are logically dead in your sins.

- Lk.11I think I get it. Are you saying that Israel is born into that tree, at some point is cut off because of lack of faith, and later is grafted in again when they turn to faith in Christ? And you think this applies to the nation today? Have you read that Abraham has children of the flesh who are in bondage? The earthly Jerusalem is represented by Hagar and the law. But the children of the promise - the free woman Sarah, are those who are of Jerusalem that is above. Now which Jerusalem are ethnic Jews born into today?

wpm
Sep 16th 2008, 04:41 AM
Well I reject your having rejected this point. I said that there were conditions, citing Gen. 15:6; 18:19; 26:5; and 35:2, but also said that the covenants were certain to remain throughout all generations despite their unfaithfulness to those conditions, and I cited Gen. 15:13; Deut. 29:14-29; 2 Sam. 7:14-15; and Jer. 30:11-15, all of which are in the midst of the covenants given, acknowledging well beforehand that though Israel will reject God, He will never reject them, and that in the end they will fully turn back to Him. It is in this way that these covenants are unconditional. The very purpose of the New covenant was that Israel was unable to be faithful, and so God made a new covenant with them that would enable them to be faithful, that the blessings promised them would be given them forevermore.

They are either conditional or unconditional, they can't be both at the same time. One is the antithesis of the other.

wpm
Sep 16th 2008, 04:44 AM
To deny that we enter in to their promises is to confirm that the covenants have been made void (cp. Rom. 7:1), and so therefore you are logically dead in your sins.


Please explain this statement.

IPet2_9
Sep 16th 2008, 04:48 AM
Actually, it doesn't. Do you understand this parable?

Yes. That is EXACTLY Israel whom Jesus is talking about. God chose the tribes of Israel for His wedding banquet. They made every excuse in the book and didn't go. God sent them the prophets and even His own son, and they murdered them. God opened up the wedding banquet to the Gentiles, and those of Israel who made all the excuses don't deserve to be there, and they are not there. The King sent His armies to destroy their city, Jerusalem, in 70 AD--exactly as the parable says. When those same Jews saw everyone enjoying themselves at the wedding feast, the Judaizers came along and tried to join in, but the King saw that they weren't wearing their wedding clothes, and threw them out.

There is waaaay too much obsessing over Romans 11 (and people's big, elaborate, bombastic interpretations of it) here. There are 259 other chapters in the New Testament.

John146
Sep 16th 2008, 03:44 PM
Jews do not "come into the cultivated olive tree" by faith, but by faith are re-grafted in - they come in again (Rom. 11:23), for it is their family tree; they begin there, but remain only by faith in Jesus. Gentiles, on the other hand, do "come into that tree" by faith (Rom. 11:19, 24), for our family is not derived from Abraham, Issac, or Jacob (the root; Rom. 11:17). The Uncircumcised (Gentiles) are brought near to the Circumcised (Israel) by Jesus' blood, becoming fellow members with the Circumcised, sharing in the covenantal promises God made with the Circumcised (Eph. 2:11 ff). To deny that we enter in to their promises is to confirm that the covenants have been made void (cp. Rom. 7:1), and so therefore you are logically dead in your sins.

- Lk.11In my opinion, I believe you are making a big mistake in interpretation here. And that mistake is that you are calling the root of the good olive tree "Abraham, Isaac, or Jacob". I couldn't disagree more. The root of the tree is Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

Isaiah 11:10 And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.

Rom 15:12 And again, Esaias saith, There shall be a root of Jesse, and he that shall rise to reign over the Gentiles; in him shall the Gentiles trust.

Rev 5:5 And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.

Rev 22:16 I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.

The promises were made, not to Abraham and the nation of Israel, but to Abraham and to Christ and all who belong to Christ, whether Jew or Gentile. The following passages shows this clearly.

Galatians 3
16Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.
26For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
27For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
28There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
29And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

BroRog
Sep 16th 2008, 03:48 PM
The arrangement actually had the condition of faith attached to it. Galatians 3:6-7 tells us: "Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham."

The true seed of Abraham believe in the Almighty through Christ. Notwithstanding, God needed no help in making the sacrifice you refer to, no more than He needed help with the cross-work.

No, Paul. The covenant did NOT have the condition of faith attached to it. The verse you cited comes before the covenant was made.

Nihil Obstat
Sep 16th 2008, 04:04 PM
No, Paul. The covenant did NOT have the condition of faith attached to it. The verse you cited comes before the covenant was made.

Actually, Gen. 12:1-3 does have two conditions; 1) leaving the land of the Chaldeans and his father's house, and 2) being a blessing to others (a command in the original Hebrew). But he did (and continued to do) both those things, and after his faith saved him in 15:6, it was then that God alone passed between the pieces. God kept his promises to Abraham after his death, and so natural Israel is beloved for the sake of him (cp. Rom. 11:28-29).

Nihil Obstat
Sep 16th 2008, 04:07 PM
In my opinion, I believe you are making a big mistake in interpretation here. And that mistake is that you are calling the root of the good olive tree "Abraham, Isaac, or Jacob". I couldn't disagree more. The root of the tree is Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

I appreciate your point of view and your supporting verses, but in keeping true to the context, Jesus would actually be a branch here (Rom. 1:3; 9:5). Selah. The trees signify human ancestry, not spiritual.

John146
Sep 16th 2008, 04:16 PM
I appreciate your point of view and your supporting verses, but in keeping true to the context, Jesus would actually be a branch here (Rom. 1:3; 9:5). Selah. The trees signify human ancestry, not spiritual.I believe I did keep true to the context. Gentile believers are not grafted into the human ancestry of the nation of Israel. We are grafted into the Israel that is not of the nation of Israel (Romans 9:6-8), which is called the commonwealth of Israel in Ephesians 2:12 and the Israel of God in Galatians 6:16. The root of the tree is Christ. He is not a branch of the tree. Did He need faith? The branches of the tree who were not cut off as well as the branches that were grafted in were there because of their faith. The branches that were cut off were cut off because of unbelief (Rom 11:20). Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are not the root of the tree, but are natural branches of the tree.

John 15
1I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
2Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
3Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
4Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
5I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
6If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.

Mograce2U
Sep 16th 2008, 05:56 PM
God made covenants with natural Israel. If one of the parties involved in a covenant die, Israel in your reckoning, then the covenant is made void (cp. Rom. 7:1). We, who are called Uncircumcised (Eph. 2:11) - Gentiles - were brought near to the commonwealth of the Circumcised - Israel - by the blood of Jesus. By faith, His blood brings us into the covenants He made with Israel, and we become fellow citizens and members with faithful Israel. But if Israel is no longer chosen by God, then the covenants are void, and you are still dead in your sins, but what's more frightening, God is a liar (according to your logic). Therefore, ethnic Jews are preserved unto several things: God's faithfulness and our justification, namely, but ultimately unto all of creation being made new. Pray for the salvation of natural Israel.On the one hand you see the covenants being kept with the faithful of Israel - believing saints thru the blood of Christ; yet on the other hand you say these same covenants are for unbelieving Israel because of her ethnic relationship to Abraham. Covenants which He has not yet kept with them?

This brings a couple of questions to my mind.

If God delivered Judah into captivity at Babylon and promised to return them all to the land 70 yrs later; if some of them refused to return at that time - did God keep His promise by returning some of them? And then after those men die in exile, what happens to God's promise to them? Did God fail them because they chose to do otherwise? For them the promise is over is it not? And the promise passed to their children, but the same scenario must be considered to distinguish between who receives the promise and who does not.

Now fast forward several centuries into the first century with Jesus' arrival. He brought the promise given to Abraham for eternal life which He gave and continues to give to all who believe in Him. He inherited the land promise and passes that inheritance to the believing saints. It passes thru the hands of no other because Jesus is risen, therefore it is His and His alone to give. No other sons of Abraham are holding this promise to pass to their sons. Jesus alone holds this covenant which He purchased with His own blood.

Now how are you going to give this promise to ethnic Israel without bypassing Jesus and the cross to do so? The sons of God have been called and those who respond in faith are the ones chosen for the inheritance. We don't need ethnic Israel anymore to have a part in this covenant because we have Abraham's Seed - Jesus. And the only sons He has are those He adopts to be His brethren that the Father gives Him.

Now if Jesus were not risen, I could see your point. But since He is, how are you going to pass the covenant down the line? I don't see how you can, and Jesus certainly hasn't given His glory to ethnic unbelieving Israel.

(Col 1:27 KJV) To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

(Isa 46:13 KJV) I bring near my righteousness: it shall not be far off, and my salvation shall not tarry: and I will place salvation in Zion for Israel my glory.

Just as He promised to do!

BroRog
Sep 16th 2008, 07:46 PM
Actually, Gen. 12:1-3 does have two conditions; 1) leaving the land of the Chaldeans and his father's house, and 2) being a blessing to others (a command in the original Hebrew). But he did (and continued to do) both those things, and after his faith saved him in 15:6, it was then that God alone passed between the pieces. God kept his promises to Abraham after his death, and so natural Israel is beloved for the sake of him (cp. Rom. 11:28-29).

My point, of course, was that the covenant God made with Abraham in chapter 15 was unconditional and not contingent on anything at all, which is the significance of the drama of God passing alone between the cuttings or the entire episode is pointless.

But, of course, the drama was not pointless. God required Abraham to trust him beyond his lifetime. Before the terms of the covenant could be realized and actualized in history, Abraham would be dead and buried. Possession of the land is an unconditional, non-contingent covenant with Abraham. It has nothing at all to do with Abraham's faith, since Abraham wouldn't be alive to see it. It has nothing at all to do with the faithfulness of Israel or her people, since the covenant was made before their time. The land promise is perpetual and can not be rescinded.

wpm
Sep 16th 2008, 07:53 PM
I appreciate your point of view and your supporting verses, but in keeping true to the context, Jesus would actually be a branch here (Rom. 1:3; 9:5). Selah. The trees signify human ancestry, not spiritual.

I think you need to re-read Romans 11:17. Jew and Gentiles today are now united in gaining nourishment from the root - Christ. It says, "thou (the Gentiles), being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them (natural Israelis), and with them (natural Israelis) partakest of the root and fatness (Christ) of the olive tree"

Jew and Gentile actually joinly partake of the root today - Christ.

Revelation 5:5 confirms: "the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David"

wpm
Sep 16th 2008, 08:06 PM
Possession of the land is an unconditional, non-contingent covenant with Abraham. It has nothing at all to do with Abraham's faith, since Abraham wouldn't be alive to see it. It has nothing at all to do with the faithfulness of Israel or her people, since the covenant was made before their time. The land promise is perpetual and can not be rescinded.

No. I disagree.

Moses warned the children of Israel in Deuteronomy 11:16-17, “Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived, and ye turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them; And then the LORD's wrath be kindled against you, and he shut up the heaven, that there be no rain, and that the land yield not her fruit; and lest ye perish quickly from off the good land which the LORD giveth you.”

Deuteronomy 28:9 says, and then warns, "The LORD shall establish thee an holy people unto himself, as he hath sworn unto thee, if thou shalt keep the commandments of the LORD thy God, and walk in his ways. And all people of the earth shall see that thou art called by the name of the LORD; and they shall be afraid of thee. And the LORD shall make thee plenteous in goods, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy ground, in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers to give thee. But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake The LORD shall send upon thee cursing, vexation, and rebuke, in all that thou settest thine hand unto for to do, until thou be destroyed, and until thou perish quickly; because of the wickedness of thy doings, whereby thou hast forsaken me. The LORD shall make the pestilence cleave unto thee, until he have consumed thee from off the land"

Deuteronomy 28:63 continues, “And it shall come to pass, that as the LORD rejoiced over you to do you good, and to multiply you; so the LORD will rejoice over you to destroy you, and to bring you to nought; and ye shall be plucked from off the land whither thou goest to possess it. And the LORD shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other; and there thou shalt serve other gods, which neither thou nor thy fathers have known, even wood and stone. And among these nations shalt thou find no ease, neither shall the sole of thy foot have rest"


In Deuteronomy 29:24-28, Moses predicted how the land would be taken off Israel in judgement if they rebelled against the precepts of God. He also explained how others would perceive such a drastic development. Obedience and possession of the land was therefore synonymous. Moses warns, “all nations shall say, Wherefore hath the LORD done thus unto this land? what meaneth the heat of this great anger? Then men shall say, Because they have forsaken the covenant of the LORD God of their fathers, which he made with them when he brought them forth out of the land of Egypt: For they went and served other gods, and worshipped them, gods whom they knew not, and whom he had not given unto them: And the anger of the LORD was kindled against this land, to bring upon it all the curses that are written in this book: And the LORD rooted them out of their land in anger, and in wrath, and in great indignation, and cast them into another land, as it is this day.”

However, he then solemnly prophesies against them, saying, “Therefore it shall come to pass, that as all good things are come upon you, which the LORD your God promised you; so shall the LORD bring upon you all evil things, until he have destroyed you from off this good land which the LORD your God hath given you.When ye have transgressed the covenant of the lord your God, which he commanded you, and have gone and served other gods, and bowed yourselves to them; then shall the anger of the lord be kindled against you, and ye shall perish quickly from off the good land which he hath given unto you”(Joshua 23:15-16).

Here, in similar language to Moses, Joshua links ‘obedience to God’ with ‘retention of the land’ and solemnly prophesies the loss of the land.

After Solomon had finished building the Temple, a few verses later, in verses 17-20, the Lord warned him about the consequence of disobedience. It is interesting to note that the retention of the land was again inextricably linked to the obedience of the people: “if thou wilt walk before me, as David thy father walked, and do according to all that I have commanded thee, and shalt observe my statutes and my judgments; Then will I stablish the throne of thy kingdom, according as I have covenanted with David thy father, saying, There shall not fail thee a man to be ruler in Israel.Butif ye turn away, and forsake my statutes and my commandments, which I have set before you, and shall go and serve other gods, and worship them; then will I pluck them up by the roots out of my land which I have given them; and this house, which I have sanctified for my name, will I cast out of my sight, and will make it to be a proverb and a byword among all nations.”

This they did and therefore paid the consequences.

Rather than walk in God’s covenant and remain in that land of promise the children of Israel disobeyed God with their sin.

Jeremiah 32:21-23 says that God“hast brought forth thy people Israel out of the land of Egypt with signs, and with wonders, and with a strong hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with great terror; and hast given them this land, which thou didst swear to their fathers to give them, a land flowing with milk and honey; and they came in, and possessed it; but they obeyed not thy voice, neither walked in thy law; they have done nothing of all that thou commandedst them to do: therefore thou hast caused all this evil to come upon them.”

Verse 26 records, “they were disobedient, and rebelled against thee, and cast thy law behind their backs, and slew thy prophets which testified against them to turn them to thee, and they wrought great provocations. Therefore thou deliveredst them into the hand of their enemies, who vexed them: and in the time of their trouble, when they cried unto thee, thou heardest them from heaven; and according to thy manifold mercies thou gavest them saviours, who saved them out of the hand of their enemies.”

Ezekiel 13:9 says, “mine hand shall be upon the prophets that see vanity, and that divine lies: they shall not be in the assembly of my people, neither shall they be written in the writing of the house of Israel, neither shall they enter into the land of Israel; and ye shall know that I am the Lord GOD.”

Amos 7:17 says, “Therefore thus saith the LORD; Thy wife shall be an harlot in the city, and thy sons and thy daughters shall fall by the sword, and thy land shall be divided by line; and thou shalt die in a polluted land: and Israel shall surely go into captivity forth of his land.”

Everlasting means without end. Israel have been without their Promised Land for a long time. They are about to lose even more. Why? They have been in rebellion against God since the cross.

BroRog
Sep 16th 2008, 09:18 PM
No. I disagree.

Paul, the scriptures you cited speak about living in the land, not possession of the land. God's punishment was exile, first for 70 years, and then for 1878 years. Israel is back in the land now awaiting the last of her people to return. Then God will pour out his spirit on them.

wpm
Sep 16th 2008, 10:42 PM
Paul, the scriptures you cited speak about living in the land, not possession of the land. God's punishment was exile, first for 70 years, and then for 1878 years. Israel is back in the land now awaiting the last of her people to return. Then God will pour out his spirit on them.

What was the condition for possessing the land?

BroRog
Sep 16th 2008, 11:33 PM
What was the condition for possessing the land?

There is no condition for possession. There is only a condition on living in the land, which is obedience to the covenant.

And since the promise has no contingency, God will meet the condition himself as he pours out his spirit on them. Once he does this, they will meet the conditions of living in peace and prosperity.

God's hesed will lead to Israel's shalom.

Mograce2U
Sep 16th 2008, 11:47 PM
My point, of course, was that the covenant God made with Abraham in chapter 15 was unconditional and not contingent on anything at all, which is the significance of the drama of God passing alone between the cuttings or the entire episode is pointless.

But, of course, the drama was not pointless. God required Abraham to trust him beyond his lifetime. Before the terms of the covenant could be realized and actualized in history, Abraham would be dead and buried. Possession of the land is an unconditional, non-contingent covenant with Abraham. It has nothing at all to do with Abraham's faith, since Abraham wouldn't be alive to see it. It has nothing at all to do with the faithfulness of Israel or her people, since the covenant was made before their time. The land promise is perpetual and can not be rescinded.And that perpetuity is especially significant in that Jesus is the One who received the promise. The everlasting promise to Abraham culminates in his Seed who lives forever being its recipient.

BroRog
Sep 17th 2008, 12:57 AM
And that perpetuity is especially significant in that Jesus is the One who received the promise. The everlasting promise to Abraham culminates in his Seed who lives forever being its recipient.

Last I heard, Jesus is sitting at the right hand of the Father, not living in Palestine.

Nihil Obstat
Sep 17th 2008, 02:57 AM
They are either conditional or unconditional, they can't be both at the same time. One is the antithesis of the other.

Nothing to say concerning this right now - I'm swamped. But I needed to make time to ask your forgiveness for continually relating to you wrongly. I sinned against you by transposing onto you a motive you didn't have and then questioning you for it, as well as attempting to create in the minds of others a doubt concerning your teachability. With all sincerity, please forgive me. I was the one acting with deceptive motives, and by my impatience was the one who was rejecting the Lord who has hope to teach me patience. All sin is a break down of relationship, and that's what I agreed with by my remarks against you earlier. I recognize my having missed the mark of covenantal relationship with you, and so repent once more. Bless you!

wpm
Sep 17th 2008, 05:12 AM
There is no condition for possession. There is only a condition on living in the land, which is obedience to the covenant.

And since the promise has no contingency, God will meet the condition himself as he pours out his spirit on them. Once he does this, they will meet the conditions of living in peace and prosperity.

God's hesed will lead to Israel's shalom.

Israel resides in Palestine in rebellion against God. They still reject Christ. Nothing has changed in 2,000 yrs. Anyway, they only reside in a small and getting smaller bit of earth in the Middle East.

Jesus said, in John 3:36, “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”

Jesus said, in John 10:1, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.”

wpm
Sep 17th 2008, 05:16 AM
Nothing to say concerning this right now - I'm swamped. But I needed to make time to ask your forgiveness for continually relating to you wrongly. I sinned against you by transposing onto you a motive you didn't have and then questioning you for it, as well as attempting to create in the minds of others a doubt concerning your teachability. With all sincerity, please forgive me. I was the one acting with deceptive motives, and by my impatience was the one who was rejecting the Lord who has hope to teach me patience. All sin is a break down of relationship, and that's what I agreed with by my remarks against you earlier. I recognize my having missed the mark of covenantal relationship with you, and so repent once more. Bless you!

We are brethren and need to be gracious with each other. I accept your comments and trust that we can both engage in a fruitful manner for His glory. Thanks.

BroRog
Sep 17th 2008, 02:45 PM
Israel resides in Palestine in rebellion against God. They still reject Christ. Nothing has changed in 2,000 yrs. Anyway, they only reside in a small and getting smaller bit of earth in the Middle East.

Jesus said, in John 3:36, “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”

Jesus said, in John 10:1, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.”

The facts speak for themselves. Israel is in the land now. And all I can do is follow my Lord who did not judge by what he sees, but according to righteousness. If my God says that he will bring the bones together and put flesh on them and then fill them with the spirit, I must not judge based on what I see now, which are bones with flesh attached to them. If my God says that he will give them his spirit, then I will wait to see his miracle.

Nihil Obstat
Sep 17th 2008, 03:11 PM
Col 3:11-12 isn't referring to Gentile Christians--it very specifically refers to just "Christians". 'There is no Jew or Gentile in Christ...therefore as God's chosen people...'. As far as I'm concerned, Jewish Christians and Gentile Christians don't exist. No such thing.

I know that this is from the first page, but because you said this less than a week ago, I thought I'd point this out to you afresh: You quoted Col. 3:11-12 to say that there is no distinction between the Circumcised and the Uncircumcised, and this is true, but the passage is speaking about justification which is by faith alone, something which no one here is disputing. This is not to say, however, that distinctions are done away with. You had read Colossians three eleven, but you did not read four eleven, when Paul made a distinction between his fellow Jews (4:7-11) and his fellow Gentile brethren (4:12-14), calling his faithful brethren according to the flesh his "fellow workers for the kingdom of God who are of the circumcision" - does this help you to see what Paul meant when he said that there is 'no distinction' previously in the chapter?

wpm
Sep 17th 2008, 06:44 PM
I know that this is from the first page, but because you said this less than a week ago, I thought I'd point this out to you afresh: You quoted Col. 3:11-12 to say that there is no distinction between the Circumcised and the Uncircumcised, and this is true, but the passage is speaking about justification which is by faith alone, something which no one here is disputing. This is not to say, however, that distinctions are done away with. You had read Colossians three eleven, but you did not read four eleven, when Paul made a distinction between his fellow Jews (4:7-11) and his fellow Gentile brethren (4:12-14), calling his faithful brethren according to the flesh his "fellow workers for the kingdom of God who are of the circumcision" - does this help you to see what Paul meant when he said that there is 'no distinction' previously in the chapter?

But their Jewishness means nothing spiritually today. Paul was only mentioning this to show the reality of two different natural people. There is a difference between Nigerians and Irish in the natural, but in Christ there is no difference. Nationality carries to favours today. There is indeed neither Jew nor Greek.

BroRog
Sep 17th 2008, 07:22 PM
But their Jewishness means nothing spiritually today. Paul was only mentioning this to show to different natural people. There is a difference between Nigerians and Irish in the natural, but in Christ there is no difference. Nationality carries to favours today. There is indeed neither Jew nor Greek.


Who said anything about favors Paul?

David Taylor
Sep 17th 2008, 09:21 PM
The facts speak for themselves. Israel is in the land now. And all I can do is follow my Lord who did not judge by what he sees, but according to righteousness. If my God says that he will bring the bones together and put flesh on them and then fill them with the spirit, I must not judge based on what I see now, which are bones with flesh attached to them. If my God says that he will give them his spirit, then I will wait to see his miracle.

And your same God who gave Ezekiel the words to write, fulfilled them in the beginning of the book of Acts 2000 years ago for all the House of Israel. He gave them His Spirit, and they went out unto all nations and changed the world.

BroRog
Sep 18th 2008, 12:36 AM
And your same God who gave Ezekiel the words to write, fulfilled them in the beginning of the book of Acts 2000 years ago for all the House of Israel. He gave them His Spirit, and they went out unto all nations and changed the world.

David,

What does "each man and his neighbor" mean to you?

IPet2_9
Sep 18th 2008, 12:53 AM
Actually, I'm going to say the Ezekiel passage about restoring the bones was fulfilled a good 500 years before that--in the book of Ezra. Israel was restored in 537 BC.

If there is a single prophecy about Israel being "restored" that occurred after that time when Israel indeed WAS restored, I would love to know about it. But Ezekiel is not one of them.

BroRog
Sep 18th 2008, 01:09 AM
Actually, I'm going to say the Ezekiel passage about restoring the bones was fulfilled a good 500 years before that--in the book of Ezra. Israel was restored in 537 BC.

If there is a single prophecy about Israel being "restored" that occurred after that time when Israel indeed WAS restored, I would love to know about it. But Ezekiel is not one of them.


Can you show me from the Book of Ezra, or Nehemiah an outpouring of God's spirit?

IPet2_9
Sep 18th 2008, 01:28 AM
Surely you can't seriously be prepared to say there was no outpouring of the spirit then.

Nihil Obstat
Sep 18th 2008, 01:37 AM
I think I get it. Are you saying that Israel is born into that tree, at some point is cut off because of lack of faith, and later is grafted in again when they turn to faith in Christ? And you think this applies to the nation today? Have you read that Abraham has children of the flesh who are in bondage? The earthly Jerusalem is represented by Hagar and the law. But the children of the promise - the free woman Sarah, are those who are of Jerusalem that is above. Now which Jerusalem are ethnic Jews born into today?

Well, though I see what you're asking, I think the question needs to be asked differently, not because it isn't a good question, but because you have mixed these two analogies into one, when they are actually speaking of different things. In other words, the two cities / mountains in Galatians 4 is not the same "parable" as the two olive trees in Romans 11, just as the two olive trees in Romans 11 isn't speaking of the same thing as Revelation 11's two olive trees. Context is absolutely necessary when quoting passages (something I'll dive into in a later post when discussing Rom. 9). The two cities in Gal. 4 is speaking about two covenants (v.24, 29) - the old (flesh) and the new (Spirit), whereas the two olive trees in Rom. 11 is speaking about two people groups (natural Jews and natural Gentiles).

What are ethnic Jews born into? The ethnic Jews are natural branches who are born into the cultivated olive tree. Because all the covenants were made with all ethnic (natural) Jews, they are born into all the covenants God made with their forefathers (though this does not make certain they will remain, for to remain they must have faith). Jesus, the One in which the Davidic covenant would be fully realized, was of the physical seed of David, something which literally came to pass; in the same way, the literal descendants of Abraham own the physical land promised them. Now, do they dwell in all the blessed land promised them yet? - no, but we can be sure that it will literally come to pass. Why is this harder to believe, than it is of God becoming a Jewish Man to make full His promises to the Jews? The very fact that the "most difficult" prophecy has come to pass literally, ought to settle our hearts over the literalness of the rest of the covenantal promises, regardless of how impossible they may seem.

I'd say more, but truly the disconnect comes from our conversations focusing on the culmination of Romans, rather than starting from the beginning. I plan on soon writing on this, focusing mostly on Rom. 8:28 through the end of ch.11, as this passage is the point of all the previous material Paul systematically unfolds. I have hope that we can agree by the end of this discussion, and by agree I don't mean everyone agrees with me, but rather with the Scriptures, and by this neither do I mean that I already have this nailed down. We'll be plumbing the depths of God's word together for eternity! I'm learning new things daily, both refining and adding to my thoughts continually concerning this subject. I've been studying it for about nine months now, and as you can see, labor can be quite messy!

- Lk.11

Nihil Obstat
Sep 18th 2008, 02:59 AM
In my opinion, I believe you are making a big mistake in interpretation here. And that mistake is that you are calling the root of the good olive tree "Abraham, Isaac, or Jacob". I couldn't disagree more. The root of the tree is Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

Isaiah 11:10 And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.

Rom 15:12 And again, Esaias saith, There shall be a root of Jesse, and he that shall rise to reign over the Gentiles; in him shall the Gentiles trust.


I think you need to re-read Romans 11:17. Jew and Gentiles today are now united in gaining nourishment from the root - Christ. It says, "thou (the Gentiles), being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them (natural Israelis), and with them (natural Israelis) partakest of the root and fatness (Christ) of the olive tree"

Jew and Gentile actually joinly partake of the root today - Christ.

Thank you both for pointing this out, so that I could address it. Be cautious of mixing similar pictures; the context of Rom. 11 and the context of Isa. 11 are not the same, though they both use the imagery of a tree's root system. In Isaiah 11, we have the conclusion to a longer story, and we need to know the story to understand the conclusion. In 9:8-10:4, Isaiah prophesies against the northern kingdom of Israel, rebuking them for their wickedness. Then in 10:5-14, the Lord calls Assyria His rod of correction to judge Israel. In that passage, Isaiah prophesies of Assyria's haughtiness, and so 10:15-19 describes Assyria's destruction by the Lord. Finally, in 10:20-27, the Lord promises that despite Israel's outright wickedness, He will save a small remnant among them, calling that time "in that day" (v.27).

Isaiah, in 10:28-12:6, goes on to describe Assyria then turning against the southern kingdom of Judah, highlighting specifically the God-Man he described and prophesied of in 9:6-7 before speaking of any of this. In 10:28-32, the Assyrian army makes its way to Jerusalem, and in v.33-34, the Lord cuts off by His own hand the haughty army (described in Isa. 37:36-38). Jerusalem is then promised a righteous King who will gather the remnant of Judah "in that day" - but when was Judah prophesied to go into exile that they needed to be regathered? In 10:10-11 (though Jerusalem would be destroyed by Babylon, and their kings cut off). The word for "stem" in Isa. 11:1 means "a tree which had been uprooted and newly planted". Basically, the kingly line of David will have seemed to have failed, which is why it's Jesse, David's father, who is spoken of. But the Lord will cause the uprooted tree to again both branch out and take root (cp. 53:2). By "root", then, Isaiah means "established". Established again where? - His resting place will be in the Lord's holy mountain, Jerusalem.

Paul in Romans 11 is not talking about a King or a kingdom, but a people from which the coming King will branch out from, namely, from Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Jesse, and David (to name a few). Jesus is not the root; the patriarchs are, as they are specifically mentioned several times in Rom. 9-11, while Jesus is only explicitly once, and that in His humanity, not His divinity (as if the two could be separated, but you hopefully get what I mean; cp. Rom. 1:3-4). Romans 15:9-12 follows v.8, which only further proves my point. If nothing else, take from this post that context is everything. The tree in Isa. 11 speaks of Jewish kings and their promised kingdom, while Rom. 11 speaks of the Jewish people - not the same thing, and a complete mistranslation of "root" in Isa. 11 has, I believe, caused this confusion. Bless you!

- Lk.11

Nihil Obstat
Sep 18th 2008, 03:15 AM
"To deny that we enter in to their promises is to confirm that the covenants have been made void (cp. Rom. 7:1), and so therefore you are logically dead in your sins." Please explain this statement.

My point is that 1) a covenant is made between two parties; 2) an outsider has no claim to the covenant's promises, nor does an outsider have the burden of keeping the covenant's regulations - they have no part in it at all, for good or bad; 3) God made covenant with Abraham and his descendants according to the flesh, and not the Spirit (Rom. 9:1-5 is clear); 4) if his descendants are cut off from the covenant - and by that I mean no longer chosen by Him as He promised Abraham - then the covenant is made void (Rom. 7:1); 5) yet, Gentiles claim to benefit from this so-called "annulled" covenant (annulled if Israel is no longer chosen as a corporate people regardless of faith, for that was God's covenant) - an impossibility if this is true; 6) the covenantal promises include the Holy Spirit, forgiveness of sins, and eternal life; 7) therefore, if you reject Israel's elect calling as a nation [or, as a people], then you must logically reject your own salvation (and not only this, but God's faithfulness, and indeed, His claim to be God).

- Lk.11

Mograce2U
Sep 18th 2008, 03:16 AM
astrongerthanhe,
You seem to be overlooking that Jesus is the Inheritor of the mountains of Israel and the One thru whom the inheritance now passes.

(Isa 65:9 KJV) And I will bring forth a seed out of Jacob, and out of Judah an inheritor of my mountains: and mine elect shall inherit it, and my servants shall dwell there.

(Gal 3:18 KJV) For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.

(Gal 3:16 KJV) Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.

(Heb 1:4 KJV) Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.

(Col 3:24 KJV) Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.

Mograce2U
Sep 18th 2008, 03:19 AM
My point is that 1) a covenant is made between two parties; 2) an outsider has no claim to the covenant's promises, nor does an outsider have the burden of keeping the covenant's regulations - they have no part in it at all, for good or bad; 3) God made covenant with Abraham and his descendants according to the flesh, and not the Spirit (Rom. 9:1-5 is clear); 4) if his descendants are cut off from the covenant - and by that I mean no longer chosen by Him as He promised Abraham - then the covenant is made void (Rom. 7:1); 5) yet, Gentiles claim to benefit from this so-called "annulled" covenant (annulled if Israel is no longer chosen as a corporate people regardless of faith, for that was God's covenant) - an impossibility if this is true; 6) the covenantal promises include the Holy Spirit, forgiveness of sins, and eternal life; 7) therefore, if you reject Israel's elect calling as a nation, then you must logically reject your own salvation (and not only this, but God's faithfulness, and indeed, His claim to be God).

- Lk.11Who here rejects Israel's calling as a nation to bring forth Messiah? The only ones who have rejected that calling is Israel herself!

Nihil Obstat
Sep 18th 2008, 03:22 AM
astrongerthanhe,
You seem to be overlooking that Jesus is the Inheritor of the mountains of Israel and the One thru whom the inheritance now passes.

(Isa 65:9 KJV) And I will bring forth a seed out of Jacob, and out of Judah an inheritor of my mountains: and mine elect shall inherit it, and my servants shall dwell there.

(Gal 3:18 KJV) For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.

(Gal 3:16 KJV) Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.

(Heb 1:4 KJV) Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.

(Col 3:24 KJV) Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.

No, I agree with Paul that we the Uncircumcised are brought near to the commonwealth of the Circumcision by the blood of Jesus (Eph. 2:11 ff), but we must see and understand that His blood brings us near to the covenantal promises God made with the Circumcision, though this is not by mutilation of the flesh, but by faith that all, Jew and Gentile alike, will inherit the promises made to the Circumcision.

- Lk.11

IPet2_9
Sep 18th 2008, 03:39 AM
Who here rejects Israel's calling as a nation to bring forth Messiah?

I think I do. While I see Israel's calling as a FAMILY to bring forth a Messiah, I don't particularly see a calling as a nation. I mean, hello, Israel wasn't even a nation when the Messiah came.

Nihil Obstat
Sep 18th 2008, 03:48 AM
Who here rejects Israel's calling as a nation to bring forth Messiah? The only ones who have rejected that calling is Israel herself!


I think I do. While I see Israel's calling as a FAMILY to bring forth a Messiah, I don't particularly see a calling as a nation. I mean, hello, Israel wasn't even a nation when the Messiah came.

Sorry for the confusion with terminology. By "nation", I simply meant "people" or "ethnicity", as the thread has been mostly focusing on. I'll fix my post.

IPet2_9
Sep 18th 2008, 03:50 AM
The distinction between nation and heritage is an important one, because a key point in ETC is over whether Israel as a political nation in 1948 is God-ordained or not.

Nihil Obstat
Sep 18th 2008, 04:03 AM
The distinction between nation and heritage is an important one, because a key point in ETC is over whether Israel as a political nation in 1948 is God-ordained or not.

The thing is that it is Israel's heritage to be a nation, a kingdom ruled by a King from their capital city Jerusalem. Was 1948 / 1967 God ordained? He had some part to play in it, that's for certain. But though this may be a key point in ETC, it isn't in this particular thread. If you started a new thread on this, I'd love to jump in.

IPet2_9
Sep 18th 2008, 04:17 AM
The thing is that it is Israel's heritage to be a nation, a kingdom ruled by a King from their capital city Jerusalem.

Not true. God never wanted Israel to have a king in the first place. That was sin right from the start.

Nihil Obstat
Sep 18th 2008, 05:15 AM
Not true. God never wanted Israel to have a king in the first place. That was sin right from the start.

I think you're mistaken. In God's promise to Abraham that he would have a seed, Abraham was concerned for a physical descendant because he understood rightly the facets of God's promise to him: Abraham was being given a land, and a land was ruled by a king, which was why Abraham was concerned about a physical descendant rather than a "spiritual" descendant. If having a king to reign over Israel is a sinful desire, than God Himself is committing that sin, for Jesus will rule as King in Jerusalem, which is why He is called the Son of David (cp. also Mark 11:10 with Luke 19:39-40 and Matt. 22:41-46).

Could you expound on what you mean by this? Are you talking about Saul (1 Sam. 8 ff)? Remember: what's the context?

IPet2_9
Sep 18th 2008, 06:04 AM
Yes, Saul. Like you said, it's all about context. God never wanted Israel to have a king--God was to be their king. He never intended Israel to be a nation in the same sense that all of their neighbors were nations. That was something THEY wanted--not God.

Thus history repeats itself....

Raybob
Sep 18th 2008, 06:48 AM
.... God never wanted Israel to have a king--God was to be their king. He never intended Israel to be a nation in the same sense that all of their neighbors were nations. That was something THEY wanted--not God.

Thus history repeats itself....

Amen.

1Sa 12:12-15 And when ye saw that Nahash the king of the children of Ammon came against you, ye said unto me, Nay; but a king shall reign over us: when the LORD your God was your king. (13) Now therefore behold the king whom ye have chosen, and whom ye have desired! and, behold, the LORD hath set a king over you. (14) If ye will fear the LORD, and serve him, and obey his voice, and not rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then shall both ye and also the king that reigneth over you continue following the LORD your God: (15) But if ye will not obey the voice of the LORD, but rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then shall the hand of the LORD be against you, as it was against your fathers.

Raybob

wpm
Sep 18th 2008, 03:56 PM
Thank you both for pointing this out, so that I could address it. Be cautious of mixing similar pictures; the context of Rom. 11 and the context of Isa. 11 are not the same, though they both use the imagery of a tree's root system. In Isaiah 11, we have the conclusion to a longer story, and we need to know the story to understand the conclusion. In 9:8-10:4, Isaiah prophesies against the northern kingdom of Israel, rebuking them for their wickedness. Then in 10:5-14, the Lord calls Assyria His rod of correction to judge Israel. In that passage, Isaiah prophesies of Assyria's haughtiness, and so 10:15-19 describes Assyria's destruction by the Lord. Finally, in 10:20-27, the Lord promises that despite Israel's outright wickedness, He will save a small remnant among them, calling that time "in that day" (v.27).

Isaiah, in 10:28-12:6, goes on to describe Assyria then turning against the southern kingdom of Judah, highlighting specifically the God-Man he described and prophesied of in 9:6-7 before speaking of any of this. In 10:28-32, the Assyrian army makes its way to Jerusalem, and in v.33-34, the Lord cuts off by His own hand the haughty army (described in Isa. 37:36-38). Jerusalem is then promised a righteous King who will gather the remnant of Judah "in that day" - but when was Judah prophesied to go into exile that they needed to be regathered? In 10:10-11 (though Jerusalem would be destroyed by Babylon, and their kings cut off). The word for "stem" in Isa. 11:1 means "a tree which had been uprooted and newly planted". Basically, the kingly line of David will have seemed to have failed, which is why it's Jesse, David's father, who is spoken of. But the Lord will cause the uprooted tree to again both branch out and take root (cp. 53:2). By "root", then, Isaiah means "established". Established again where? - His resting place will be in the Lord's holy mountain, Jerusalem.

Paul in Romans 11 is not talking about a King or a kingdom, but a people from which the coming King will branch out from, namely, from Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Jesse, and David (to name a few). Jesus is not the root; the patriarchs are, as they are specifically mentioned several times in Rom. 9-11, while Jesus is only explicitly once, and that in His humanity, not His divinity (as if the two could be separated, but you hopefully get what I mean; cp. Rom. 1:3-4). Romans 15:9-12 follows v.8, which only further proves my point. If nothing else, take from this post that context is everything. The tree in Isa. 11 speaks of Jewish kings and their promised kingdom, while Rom. 11 speaks of the Jewish people - not the same thing, and a complete mistranslation of "root" in Isa. 11 has, I believe, caused this confusion. Bless you!

- Lk.11

Christ is the root. That is clear from Romans 9. You deviated off from the passage we were discussing without acknowledging that fact. The root is where it starts, not the branches. Revelation 22:16 records a mystery, “I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.”

In this reading the Lord reveals a great mystery but yet also a great truth, how He is both before and after King David. (1) He is after David in that He is of his natural “offspring” according to the flesh. However, equally, He is likewise before Him in that He is the spiritual “root of David” (Revelation 5:5, 22:16). Christ was before the incarnation. He was the eternal son of God, and therefore before David. Jesus testified in John 6:62, “ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before.” The Lord testified in John 8:58, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am." Jesus declared, in His great intercessory petition to His Father, in John 17:5, " And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was." Through these we understand the great mystery of the two aspects of Christ’s nature – His humanity and His deity.

On the same vein, Christ asked the Pharisees, in Matthew 22:42-46, “What think ye of Christ (or Messiah)? whose son is he? They say unto him, The Son of David.” He then quoted Psalm 110:1, saying, “The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool?” He asked them, “If David then call him Lord, how is he his son?” The Pharisees were bewildered at Christ’s question. The reading states, “And no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions.”

Christ was here specifically referring to the great mystery of His eternal Sonship (or His pre-existence in all eternity) – a truth that evidently perplexed the religious Pharisees. The religious Pharisees had absolutely no grasp of that great truth. They had no comprehension that He was both before and after David. The answer to the enquiry was that He was before David (being the root of David) in His divine office as the eternal Son of God; therefore, David called Him Lord. Nevertheless, He was also his offspring in a natural sense, through the incarnation at Bethlehem, and was therefore a son of David by way of lineage.

It is clear from Matthew 22:42-46 that Christ applies this text to Himself thus rightly claiming the dualistic divine offices of king and of priest for Himself. It was still prior to His atoning death and glorious ascent to the throne, but He explicitly draws their eyes towards His person. In doing so, He was also revealing the duality of His nature. As the Son of David He was showing them His humanity, as the Son of God He was revealing His Deity. This discourse also revealed Christ’s eternal Sonship. Notwithstanding, such teaching confused the religious Pharisees.

BroRog
Sep 18th 2008, 04:06 PM
Surely you can't seriously be prepared to say there was no outpouring of the spirit then.

You say there was. I'm asking for evidence.

IPet2_9
Sep 18th 2008, 04:28 PM
You say there was. I'm asking for evidence.

Come on, man. You know there was an outpouring of God then. Just the fact that the books of Ezra and Nehemiah even exist attests to that--let alone what is written in them. You may also want to check out Haggai.

Mograce2U
Sep 18th 2008, 04:54 PM
No, I agree with Paul that we the Uncircumcised are brought near to the commonwealth of the Circumcision by the blood of Jesus (Eph. 2:11 ff), but we must see and understand that His blood brings us near to the covenantal promises God made with the Circumcision, though this is not by mutilation of the flesh, but by faith that all, Jew and Gentile alike, will inherit the promises made to the Circumcision.

- Lk.11The covenant made with Abraham and sealed with the sign of circumcison was for him to father many nations and to give eternal possession of the land to his seed. Beginning in Abraham and ending in Christ, the covenant confirmed in oath and sealed in circumcision is renewed in the blood of Christ and faith in Him. It is not required now that one be part of Abraham's seed according to the flesh; rather one receives his inheritance thru faith in Christ. This is how many nations can have their portion in the Kingdom of God rather than the earthly kingdom of Israel. It is how Israel's portion in the land becomes eternal.

And the key to Abraham's faith was his hope in the resurrection. That is why he could dwell in the land of Canaan as a pilgrim knowing that that land was not his home because he looked for a city built by God. This is also the same hope given to Israel, not for an earthly kingdom - except during that time they waited for Messiah to arrive under Moses' covenant.

This is the mistake that keeps being made over Israel's covenant for the land. They are in the land now for 60 years and yet still do not have the promise. Because the promise is held by Christ. The covenant with Moses is over because the new covenant has come. Their hope to dwell with God forever is now secured in that new covenant - not in the one given to Abraham nor Moses nor even David. Because Christ has fulfilled them all so that the eternal kingdom can be our inheritance for which He has given us eternal life in His name.

There is nothing left for God to do for Israel that He has not done in Christ. All they need do is believe and put their faith in Him to receive it. We were made a part of their hope, now they need to come into our Hope, lest they die in their sins and face condemnation instead.

Which unfortunately is the only promise that the unbeliever has to look forward to. Unless one's hope is in God now thru Christ, there is no other hope to give him. Abraham believed this, as did Moses and David. Now Israel herself must believe because all the promises of God are yea and amen IN CHRIST AND HIM ALONE.

BroRog
Sep 18th 2008, 06:04 PM
Come on, man. You know there was an outpouring of God then. Just the fact that the books of Ezra and Nehemiah even exist attests to that--let alone what is written in them. You may also want to check out Haggai.

Just as I thought. You have no evidence.

John146
Sep 18th 2008, 06:22 PM
Thank you both for pointing this out, so that I could address it. Be cautious of mixing similar pictures; the context of Rom. 11 and the context of Isa. 11 are not the same, though they both use the imagery of a tree's root system. In Isaiah 11, we have the conclusion to a longer story, and we need to know the story to understand the conclusion. In 9:8-10:4, Isaiah prophesies against the northern kingdom of Israel, rebuking them for their wickedness. Then in 10:5-14, the Lord calls Assyria His rod of correction to judge Israel. In that passage, Isaiah prophesies of Assyria's haughtiness, and so 10:15-19 describes Assyria's destruction by the Lord. Finally, in 10:20-27, the Lord promises that despite Israel's outright wickedness, He will save a small remnant among them, calling that time "in that day" (v.27).

Isaiah, in 10:28-12:6, goes on to describe Assyria then turning against the southern kingdom of Judah, highlighting specifically the God-Man he described and prophesied of in 9:6-7 before speaking of any of this. In 10:28-32, the Assyrian army makes its way to Jerusalem, and in v.33-34, the Lord cuts off by His own hand the haughty army (described in Isa. 37:36-38). Jerusalem is then promised a righteous King who will gather the remnant of Judah "in that day" - but when was Judah prophesied to go into exile that they needed to be regathered? In 10:10-11 (though Jerusalem would be destroyed by Babylon, and their kings cut off). The word for "stem" in Isa. 11:1 means "a tree which had been uprooted and newly planted". Basically, the kingly line of David will have seemed to have failed, which is why it's Jesse, David's father, who is spoken of. But the Lord will cause the uprooted tree to again both branch out and take root (cp. 53:2). By "root", then, Isaiah means "established". Established again where? - His resting place will be in the Lord's holy mountain, Jerusalem.

Paul in Romans 11 is not talking about a King or a kingdom, but a people from which the coming King will branch out from, namely, from Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Jesse, and David (to name a few). Jesus is not the root; the patriarchs are, as they are specifically mentioned several times in Rom. 9-11, while Jesus is only explicitly once, and that in His humanity, not His divinity (as if the two could be separated, but you hopefully get what I mean; cp. Rom. 1:3-4). Romans 15:9-12 follows v.8, which only further proves my point. If nothing else, take from this post that context is everything. The tree in Isa. 11 speaks of Jewish kings and their promised kingdom, while Rom. 11 speaks of the Jewish people - not the same thing, and a complete mistranslation of "root" in Isa. 11 has, I believe, caused this confusion. Bless you!

- Lk.11I disagree. I believe you are making all of this unnecessarily convoluted.

Romans 11
16For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches. 17And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree;

Does the holiness of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob ensure that the branches of the good olive tree are holy? No. They aren't even holy in and of themselves. Our righteousness is as filthy rags. That includes Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, who are not the root, but are fellow branches in the tree with us. It is Christ's holiness that makes us holy. We are made holy and clean by His blood and through His Word.

John 15
1I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
2Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
3Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
4Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
5I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
6If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
7If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

Jesus is the vine. He is the root. His followers are the branches. Anyone who doesn't abide in the vine and the root is "broken off" (Rom 11:17) and "cast forth as a branch" (John 15:6). He is the root of His olive tree. He is the head of the body and the cornerstone of the church. He is the reason why the olive tree can be called "good" rather than "wild". The good olive tree is the body of Christ, the church, the Israel of God.

1 Corinthians 12
12For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.
13For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
14For the body is not one member, but many.

We know that Christ is the head of the body, which is made up of many members, including Jew and Gentile believers.

Now let's change the wording of that passage a little bit by replacing the word "baptized" with "grafted", the word "body" with "good olive tree" and the word "members" with "branches".

1 Corinthians 12 (Romans 11 version)
12For as the good olive tree is one, and hath many branches, and all the branches of that one good olive tree, being many, are one good olive tree: so also is Christ.
13For by one Spirit are we all grafted into one good olive tree, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
14For the good olive tree is not one branch, but many.

Regardless of what terms are used, the same concept that is taught in Romans 11 is also taught in these passages from John 15 and 1 Corinthians 12. Christ is the head of the body, the church (Col 1:18, Eph 5:23). He is the true vine of the vineyard. He is the root of the good olive tree.

IPet2_9
Sep 18th 2008, 07:48 PM
Just as I thought. You have no evidence.

No, it's not that at all. If you truly are going to take the position that there was no outpouring of God when the second temple was restored, we are at an impasse. It is so obvious from even a 5-minute honest reading of Ezra or Haggai, I shouldn't even have to debate that point.

Besides--are you REALLY going to say that there was no outpouring of the Spirit when the second temple was established, but that means if we build a third, there will be?!??

BroRog
Sep 18th 2008, 08:58 PM
No, it's not that at all. If you truly are going to take the position that there was no outpouring of God when the second temple was restored, we are at an impasse. It is so obvious from even a 5-minute honest reading of Ezra or Haggai, I shouldn't even have to debate that point.

Besides--are you REALLY going to say that there was no outpouring of the Spirit when the second temple was established, but that means if we build a third, there will be?!??

How can something so obvious be so difficult to prove? Just cite the passages.

BroRog
Sep 18th 2008, 09:05 PM
Regardless of what terms are used, the same concept that is taught in Romans 11 is also taught in these passages from John 15 and 1 Corinthians 12. Christ is the head of the body, the church (Col 1:18, Eph 5:23). He is the true vine of the vineyard. He is the root of the good olive tree.

I don't know what Astrongerthanhe will say, but I'm wondering whether you see these passages as parallel because they are, indeed, saying the same thing, or if you have already decided, ahead of time, that each instance of a vine metaphor must necessarily have the same referent?

Nihil Obstat
Sep 18th 2008, 11:54 PM
Christ is the root. That is clear from Romans 9.

What verse in Rom. 9? Where is Christ's divinity discussed? Only His humanity is focused on here, and He is said to specifically have His lineage in the Jewish patriarchs (9:5). Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are spoken of as from whom the seed would sprout, being the twelve tribes and those born of them (cp. 11:1). Check out 11:28 and 15:8 as well. Clearly, when we stick to the book of Romans, the root is the patriarchs, and the fatness is the promises made to the patriarchs. I don't care what other authors and speakers use "root" to mean when in the analogy of trees. Isaiah, John the Baptist, Jesus, Paul, and John all used the word somewhat differently, but only Paul wrote Romans. If you can prove your point from Romans, then I'll change what I believe (though I believe I already have proved my point, while you must scrounge in other books by other authors for your "proof"). I do not deny nor have I overlooked that Jesus is called "root" in other books and by other people to speak of His divinity, but we're talking about Romans 9-11. Can you prove your point from Romans? If not, we should drop it and move on to more pertinent matters. - Lk.11

Nihil Obstat
Sep 19th 2008, 03:00 AM
I disagree. I believe you are making all of this unnecessarily convoluted.

Romans 11
16For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches. 17And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree;

Does the holiness of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob ensure that the branches of the good olive tree are holy? No. They aren't even holy in and of themselves. Our righteousness is as filthy rags. That includes Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, who are not the root, but are fellow branches in the tree with us. It is Christ's holiness that makes us holy. We are made holy and clean by His blood and through His Word.

Here is a good question, and exactly what I was waiting for one of you to bring up. First Paul speaks of the firstfruit of the lump. What does the firstfruit here represent? The remnant of natural Israel according to the election of grace (11:5). And if these are holy, then the lump from which they were taken are holy. This does not mean that the lump retains its holiness if touched by something unclean (such a leaven), but the firstfruit has already been offered up and accepted as holy. In other words, a faithful remnant of the whole of Israel is promised by God in every generation. As for the root and its branches, the same basic principle applies. Though Israel is like a cultivated olive tree, those who do not lovingly obey the Lord are cut off, for the tree is holy. Paul speaks of these realities in 9:25-33.

We find in Rom. 8:28 that an individual's love predicates God's foreknowledge and predetermination of that individual (cp. 1 Cor. 8:3). I know that the subject of election is highly debatable, but it must be touched on. A person who is predestined is not predestined apart from loving God in return, for it is only by our reciprocated love for Him that we are predestined to be conformed to the image of Jesus, for this is promised to the faithful (do not think of faces and individuals, or even of entire nations, but rather nameless and faceless ones who by their choices fall under the banner of "the faithful").

Paul follows this by saying that Jesus is interceding for us, and that nothing can separate us from the perfect love of God. Ignore the chapter break - it's not inspired, I guarantee it - and understand that all of Israel, though God loves them and has chosen them for the sake of their fathers (11:28) and for the good of all creation (11:15), not all of them love Him back, though they have a zeal for God yet without knowledge (10:1), for they seek His righteousness by the works of the law (9:32). Again, this is not all Israel, but most of them. God chooses Abraham's natural descendants even today because He has loved all the families of Israel (the twelve tribes) "with an everlasting love" (Jer. 31:1, 3).

He did not choose Ishmael, though Ishmael was of Abraham's loins and was even circumcised, but God chose Isaac even before he was born (what's that say to you about faith being a prerequisite for natural Israel to still be chosen?) - Rom. 9:9. Nor does sins committed have any bearing on Israel being chosen as a people, for God chose Jacob and not Esau before any sin could have been committed by either of the two babies in the womb. Yet by Edom's long history of wickedness against their brethren the Jews, Edom will be a perpetual place of burning, called the Territory of Wickedness, but Israel will be the eternal dwelling place of God (Mal. 1:2-3 ff).

Then Paul reminds us of how the Lord told Moses that He has mercy and compassion on whomever He wills, and He says this immediately after Aaron molds a golden calf and the people all deny that God brought them out of Egypt! Moses had broken the two tablets of the testimony at the foot of the mountain (Ex. 32:19), and after the Lord told Moses of His mercy, He gave to him two new ones. Again, Israel's sin has absolutely no bearing on their chosen-ness before God.

Need I go on? The lump and the root are holy because God loved Abraham and called him His friend, even calling Himself "the God of Abraham"! The root is not Jesus, but is the fathers of all the Jews, and not of the Gentiles. We can speak of why these holy branches are cut off later if you like, but I think you understand that; I just wanted to clear some things up that were a bit fuzzy for everyone.

- Lk.11

wpm
Sep 19th 2008, 04:45 AM
What verse in Rom. 9? Where is Christ's divinity discussed? Only His humanity is focused on here, and He is said to specifically have His lineage in the Jewish patriarchs (9:5). Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are spoken of as from whom the seed would sprout, being the twelve tribes and those born of them (cp. 11:1). Check out 11:28 and 15:8 as well. Clearly, when we stick to the book of Romans, the root is the patriarchs, and the fatness is the promises made to the patriarchs. I don't care what other authors and speakers use "root" to mean when in the analogy of trees. Isaiah, John the Baptist, Jesus, Paul, and John all used the word somewhat differently, but only Paul wrote Romans. If you can prove your point from Romans, then I'll change what I believe (though I believe I already have proved my point, while you must scrounge in other books by other authors for your "proof"). I do not deny nor have I overlooked that Jesus is called "root" in other books and by other people to speak of His divinity, but we're talking about Romans 9-11. Can you prove your point from Romans? If not, we should drop it and move on to more pertinent matters. - Lk.11

I refer you back to my totally ignored last post.

wpm
Sep 19th 2008, 04:51 AM
Paul speaks of the firstfruit of the lump. What does the firstfruit here represent? The remnant of natural Israel according to the election of grace (11:5). And if these are holy, then the lump from which they were taken are holy. This does not mean that the lump retains its holiness if touched by something unclean (such a leaven), but the firstfruit has already been offered up and accepted as holy. In other words, a faithful remnant of the whole of Israel is promised by God in every generation. As for the root and its branches, the same basic principle applies. Though Israel is like a cultivated olive tree, those who do not lovingly obey the Lord are cut off, for the tree is holy. Paul speaks of these realities in 9:25-33.

Jesus said in Revelation 22:13, "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last."

Raybob
Sep 19th 2008, 05:08 AM
Here is a good question, and exactly what I was waiting for one of you to bring up. First Paul speaks of the firstfruit of the lump. What does the firstfruit here represent?

1Co 15:20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.


... As for the root and its branches, the same basic principle applies. Though Israel is like a cultivated olive tree, those who do not lovingly obey the Lord are cut off, for the tree is holy. ...

Joh 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

Raybob

Nihil Obstat
Sep 19th 2008, 02:14 PM
I refer you back to my totally ignored last post.

I didn't totally ignore your last post. We're talking about Romans 9, and you said that it's clear from Romans 9 that Jesus is the root. But you didn't talk about Romans 9, but instead about other chapters from other books by other authors. That's be like turning in the winning lottery numbers not from one ticket but from five, and expecting to get paid - it doesn't work. Prove your point from Romans as I did, or let's move on.

David Taylor
Sep 19th 2008, 02:41 PM
That would be true, if there was no consistency between those other passages and the one from Romans.

However, the Bible is full of consistencies; where themes and premises premeate from book to book; chapter to chapter, and writer to writer.

To say that Paul's analogy of the tree and its good and bad fruit is different and not associated to other passages of scripture that make a similar analogy puts the premise itself into question to proove it isn't to be received in harmony with the rest of the similar scriptures.

Saying 'proove it alone from Romans' is like saying proove the Resurrection by only using the book of Jonah.

Much more difficult, than when using all the other available inspired books that also address the topic.

I guess what I am trying to say, is why would you think Paul is creating a disharmony in Romans that would be analogus to the other similar writings outside of Romans about this topic?

John146
Sep 19th 2008, 02:47 PM
Here is a good question, and exactly what I was waiting for one of you to bring up. First Paul speaks of the firstfruit of the lump. What does the firstfruit here represent? The remnant of natural Israel according to the election of grace (11:5). And if these are holy, then the lump from which they were taken are holy. This does not mean that the lump retains its holiness if touched by something unclean (such a leaven), but the firstfruit has already been offered up and accepted as holy. In other words, a faithful remnant of the whole of Israel is promised by God in every generation. As for the root and its branches, the same basic principle applies. Though Israel is like a cultivated olive tree, those who do not lovingly obey the Lord are cut off, for the tree is holy. Paul speaks of these realities in 9:25-33.

We find in Rom. 8:28 that an individual's love predicates God's foreknowledge and predetermination of that individual (cp. 1 Cor. 8:3). I know that the subject of election is highly debatable, but it must be touched on. A person who is predestined is not predestined apart from loving God in return, for it is only by our reciprocated love for Him that we are predestined to be conformed to the image of Jesus, for this is promised to the faithful (do not think of faces and individuals, or even of entire nations, but rather nameless and faceless ones who by their choices fall under the banner of "the faithful").

Paul follows this by saying that Jesus is interceding for us, and that nothing can separate us from the perfect love of God. Ignore the chapter break - it's not inspired, I guarantee it - and understand that all of Israel, though God loves them and has chosen them for the sake of their fathers (11:28) and for the good of all creation (11:15), not all of them love Him back, though they have a zeal for God yet without knowledge (10:1), for they seek His righteousness by the works of the law (9:32). Again, this is not all Israel, but most of them. God chooses Abraham's natural descendants even today because He has loved all the families of Israel (the twelve tribes) "with an everlasting love" (Jer. 31:1, 3).

He did not choose Ishmael, though Ishmael was of Abraham's loins and was even circumcised, but God chose Isaac even before he was born (what's that say to you about faith being a prerequisite for natural Israel to still be chosen?) - Rom. 9:9. Nor does sins committed have any bearing on Israel being chosen as a people, for God chose Jacob and not Esau before any sin could have been committed by either of the two babies in the womb. Yet by Edom's long history of wickedness against their brethren the Jews, Edom will be a perpetual place of burning, called the Territory of Wickedness, but Israel will be the eternal dwelling place of God (Mal. 1:2-3 ff).

Then Paul reminds us of how the Lord told Moses that He has mercy and compassion on whomever He wills, and He says this immediately after Aaron molds a golden calf and the people all deny that God brought them out of Egypt! Moses had broken the two tablets of the testimony at the foot of the mountain (Ex. 32:19), and after the Lord told Moses of His mercy, He gave to him two new ones. Again, Israel's sin has absolutely no bearing on their chosen-ness before God.

Need I go on? The lump and the root are holy because God loved Abraham and called him His friend, even calling Himself "the God of Abraham"! The root is not Jesus, but is the fathers of all the Jews, and not of the Gentiles. We can speak of why these holy branches are cut off later if you like, but I think you understand that; I just wanted to clear some things up that were a bit fuzzy for everyone.

- Lk.11This post was supposed to clear some things up? How so? Sorry, but I can't make any sense out of your post. What exactly do you believe is the identity of the good (cultivated) olive tree? The nation of Israel? If so, that can't be the case as Gentile believers are not grafted into the nation of Israel, but into the true Israel of God.

BroRog
Sep 19th 2008, 02:47 PM
No, it's not that at all. If you truly are going to take the position that there was no outpouring of God when the second temple was restored, we are at an impasse.

I'm hoping that we are not at an impasse and that you will continue to think about the scriptures with us.

There was not a great outpouring of the Spirit in the days of Ezra and Nehemiah. Rather, as we read in Zechariah, God poured out his spirit on two men, pictured as candlesticks being fed by olive trees, Joshua the High Priest and Zerubbabel the King.

wpm
Sep 19th 2008, 04:05 PM
I didn't totally ignore your last post. We're talking about Romans 9, and you said that it's clear from Romans 9 that Jesus is the root. But you didn't talk about Romans 9, but instead about other chapters from other books by other authors. That's be like turning in the winning lottery numbers not from one ticket but from five, and expecting to get paid - it doesn't work. Prove your point from Romans as I did, or let's move on.

You did actually ignore my post. You are missing the principle that governs all doctrine - interpreting Scripture with Scripture.

Secondly, I meant Romans 11 instead of Romans 9. Let us look at it. I think you need to re-read Romans 11:17. Jew and Gentiles today are now united in gaining nourishment from the root - Christ. We must recognise in this illustration that the branches are Israelites. The root is Christ. Whilst the branches are cut off, the root is never cut off. Romans 11:15-20 says, “For if the casting away of them (unbelieving Israelites) be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them (unbelieving Israelites) be, but life from the dead? For if the firstfruit (Christ) be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root (Christ) be holy, so are the branches (Old & New Testament saints). And if some of the branches be broken off (unbelieving Israelites), and thou (the believing New Testament Gentiles), being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them (believing Israelites), and with them (believing Israelites) partakest of the root and fatness (Christ) of the olive tree; Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root (Christ), but the root (Christ) thee. Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in. Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear.”

Nihil Obstat
Sep 19th 2008, 08:19 PM
So long as you see that the cultivated olive tree is the Circumcision, and the wild olive tree the Uncircumcision, which you do, then my point is proved. Jews are cut off by unbelief from the cultivated olive tree because they grew from there, and by belief are grafted in again to their tree. This is not said of the Gentiles, because the two trees are family trees; (c) the chosen family of Jacob, being the twelve tribes of Israel, and (w) those not of Jacob's loins. Do we agree on this?

wpm
Sep 19th 2008, 09:07 PM
So long as you see that the cultivated olive tree is the Circumcision, and the wild olive tree the Uncircumcision, which you do, then my point is proved. Jews are cut off by unbelief from the cultivated olive tree because they grew from there, and by belief are grafted in again to their tree. This is not said of the Gentiles, because the two trees are family trees; (c) the chosen family of Jacob, being the twelve tribes of Israel, and (w) those not of Jacob's loins. Do we agree on this?

It is an Israeli tree, but one that only sustains true Israel. Today, since the cross, the good olive tree consists of circumcised believers and uncircumcised believers. Faith is the key to being of this chosen tree.

John146
Sep 19th 2008, 09:17 PM
So long as you see that the cultivated olive tree is the Circumcision, and the wild olive tree the Uncircumcision, which you do, then my point is proved.The cultivated olive tree only has branches that are circumcised of the heart, in the spirit.

28For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:
29But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.


Jews are cut off by unbelief from the cultivated olive tree because they grew from there, and by belief are grafted in again to their tree.It's not their tree. It's Christ's tree because He is the root of the tree.


This is not said of the Gentiles, because the two trees are family trees; (c) the chosen family of Jacob, being the twelve tribes of Israel, and (w) those not of Jacob's loins. Do we agree on this?The cultivated olive tree is for the family of believers, whether Jew or Gentile. The wild olive tree represented Gentiles. It's not right to say that the two trees only represent two different types of people: natural Jews and natural Gentiles. Both trees had both believing and unbelieving branches. The unbelieving branches of the good olive tree were cut off. The believing branches of the wild olive tree were grafted in. Why? Because the good olive tree was always meant only for believers, regardless of nationality.

Nihil Obstat
Sep 19th 2008, 09:30 PM
This is going nowhere fast. I vote we move on.

Nihil Obstat
Sep 19th 2008, 09:33 PM
It's not their tree.

Rom. 11:24 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans%2011:24;&version=50;).

I still vote we move on, but understand it's the Jews' tree. wpm acknowledges it, so perhaps you two can continue discussing it. I'd like to move on.

wpm
Sep 19th 2008, 10:10 PM
Rom. 11:24 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans%2011:24;&version=50;).

I still vote we move on, but understand it's the Jews' tree. wpm acknowledges it, so perhaps you two can continue discussing it. I'd like to move on.

Do you now accept that Christ is the root and the Jew and Gentile believers are the branches?

Merton
Sep 19th 2008, 11:52 PM
Do you now accept that Christ is the root and the Jew and Gentile believers are the branches?


Sorry to disagree, (not really)


The Father of Jesus Christ is the root of the tree.

Jesus is the tree which grew out of the roots. ( a new branch which became a tree, into which both believing Jews and gentiles are joined into by the Spirit.

The branches which were cut off, were that of the old above ground part of the tree which is cut off at the root level, and this included ALL who ever believed as being part of that old above ground tree.

This is very scriptural and is the only understranding which complies with ALL scripture.

The old tree (the visible above ground parts) was temporary and was not eternal but was for the living only, but Jesus Christ is forever and the old testament faithful are not even now joined into the eternal tree, but they will be, as they qualify for it.


Heb 11:39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:
Heb 11:40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.


Any new nation of mortal believers must be joined into this new (and only) tree under the new covenant now in operation and there is absolutely NO requirement that any of them be from any particular race or nation.

Christ is the express image of the invisible God, and God is not a Jew of OT origin.

Here under is described the new covenant nation of believers of the millennium, who are the children of Zion, the Heavenly woman of Rev.ch 12 :1 and of the book of Ephesians.

Rev. ch 7 gives first the description of the Heavenly Zion of this age completed before Christ returns and revealed with Christ at His return, and Her children gained by Her before Her resurrection with Her after the resurrection.

I need not post it, it is Rev.ch 7 and all we need to know is in the detail of that chapter and its references throughout the Bible.

Ok carry on.


Merton.

Nihil Obstat
Sep 20th 2008, 12:11 AM
Do you now accept that Christ is the root and the Jew and Gentile believers are the branches?

No, I do not accept that Christ is the root, and no one is debating against the fact that branches either remain, are grafted in, or are re-grafted in due to faith alone. But who the root stands for has little to do with our discussion. You and I agree that the cultivated tree is an Israeli tree. Because you agree with me on this, then logically you must concede that it is the Jews' covenants that believing Gentiles are grafted into. The Jews were, and are still, chosen by God due to His promises to Abraham - chosen to be the one family through whom all other families can be blessed would they have the same saving faith in the God of Abraham. For you to say all of Israel is no longer chosen, but then to admit that it is the Israeli tree we are grafted into, is a contradiction. We can't be grafted into their tree if they are no longer chosen, even if most (not all) of them become cut off through unbelief. If you consider yourself saved, then you must (logically) consider all Israel to still be chosen by God. This is the heart of our discussion.

wpm
Sep 20th 2008, 12:33 AM
No, I do not accept that Christ is the root, and no one is debating against the fact that branches either remain, are grafted in, or are re-grafted in due to faith alone. But who the root stands for has little to do with our discussion.

I disagree. It has a lot to do with it. Who the root is will influence where the source of our holiness comes from. To you natural Israel is the root, to Amils it is Christ. This is a major difference in our theology. We cannot just paper over this as a minor issue.

You are circumventing the text and difficulty for your belief in Romans 11:17. It says, "thou (the believing New Testament Gentiles), being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them (believing Israelites), and with them (believing Israelites) partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree."


Here you have it Jew and Gentile branches have actually been grafted together to partake of the root. So, this has to be another entity than Israelis. It has to be Christ the source of our holiness.




You and I agree that the cultivated tree is an Israeli tree. Because you agree with me on this, then logically you must concede that it is the Jews' covenants that believing Gentiles are grafted into. The Jews were, and are still, chosen by God due to His promises to Abraham - chosen to be the one family through whom all other families can be blessed would they have the same saving faith in the God of Abraham. For you to say all of Israel is no longer chosen, but then to admit that it is the Israeli tree we are grafted into, is a contradiction. We can't be grafted into their tree if they are no longer chosen, even if most (not all) of them become cut off through unbelief. If you consider yourself saved, then you must (logically) consider all Israel to still be chosen by God. This is the heart of our discussion.

You are missing the fact that it is not merely natural Israel in view here but the Israel of Israel (Romans 9:6). Ephesians 2:11-19 declares, “Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth (or citizenship) of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God.And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.”

This passage speaks of God bringing natural Israelis together with natural Gentiles into the exact same standing and privildeges. In fact, they are classed in this reading today as “one body” and “one new man.” How can this be? What are the grounds for this union? Is it speaking of a natural or spiritual reality? There can be no doubt by the clarity and straightforwardness of this narrative that Jews and Gentiles are unified together in this passage on the sole grounds of “the blood of Christ.” This is the only means of cleansing and freedom God knows or accepts. A Gentile is said to be united to the true Israelite. They are said to be “fellowcitizens.”

The kingdom has been taken from Israel as a nation and given to another nation – the largely Gentile New Testament Church – comprised of all believers (whether Jew or Gentile). Paul confirms in Romans 11 that all who part of the Church are grafted into the good olive tree – the Israel of God. This discourse showed these unbelieving religious Jews that because of their wanton rejection of Himself, Christ would extend His mercy to all nations. The near exclusive favour that natural Israel had formerly enjoyed would now be graciously widened to include the previously darkened Gentile people. Paul, speaking to the mainly Gentile church in Rome says, in Romans 11:20, “because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou (the Gentiles) standest by faith.”

While God used the physical nation of Israel to be His sole national witness throughout the Old Testament period, the nation as a whole has not, or ever had, any divine favour, promises or salvation outside of Christ. He is man’s only Saviour. He is Israel’s great Messiah. He is the very essence of what Israel is all about. Christ is the fulfilment of every promise made unto Abraham and the redeemed Church throughout time. There are thus no promises or inheritances outside of Christ or His people, for through Him the Church throughout time has become “the children of promise” and the recipients of every spiritual blessing in Him.

The Olive tree represents a believing Israeli group - the Israel of God. We the redeemed of God have been grafted into it to join the OT saints. All who come to Christ - Jew and Gentile will be grafted into this tree. There is hope for all who will accept Christ. That hope still stands for the people of Israel.

Moreover, this choice body is not limited to natural Israelis that have come to faith – it is open to all the household of faith (irrespective of birthdate, nationality or colour). We Gentiles that were once hopelessly “without Christ” (or separated from Christ), are now graciously found “in Christ Jesus” through the Cross (Ephesians 2:13). We were “aliens” or estranged “from the citizenship of Israel”(Ephesians 2:12) but now are “no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God” (Ephesians 2:19). We were “strangers from the covenants of the promise” (Ephesians 2:12), but are now “fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel” (Ephesians 3:6). We were blind “having no hope,” but now we belong to “one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope” (Ephesians 4:4).

Nihil Obstat
Sep 20th 2008, 03:29 AM
You are missing the fact that it is not merely natural Israel in view here but the Israel of Israel (Romans 9:6).

In Rom. 9:6, Paul is not making reference to Gentiles. I've proved this here (http://bibleforums.org/showpost.php?p=1332452&postcount=25). And Rom. 9:1-5, 7-13 explain this truth as well.


Ephesians 2:11-19 declares, “Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth (or citizenship) of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God.And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.”

This passage speaks of God bringing natural Israelis together with natural Gentiles into the exact same standing and privildeges. In fact, they are classed in this reading today as “one body” and “one new man.” How can this be? What are the grounds for this union? Is it speaking of a natural or spiritual reality? There can be no doubt by the clarity and straightforwardness of this narrative that Jews and Gentiles are unified together in this passage on the sole grounds of “the blood of Christ.” This is the only means of cleansing and freedom God knows or accepts. A Gentile is said to be united to the true Israelite. They are said to be “fellowcitizens.”

Do you understand this term "commonwealth"? Israelis are not "brought together with" Gentiles, but Gentiles with Israelis, and that is important to the meaning of the word "commonwealth", for it is "the commonwealth of Israel", i.e., of the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands (cf. 2:11) - not the commonwealth of Gentiles, and not the commonwealth of Christ and His kingdom. We believing Gentiles become fellow heirs, members, and partakers of the Father's promise to all of natural Israel. But because this is received by faith, unbelieving Jews do not receive the promises, though the promises were made to them. Those Jews who remain are "the Israel of God".

Let me give an example from Scripture. Paul was a Jewish man, and a citizen of Tarsus (Acts 21:39). However, he was also born a Roman citizen (22:25-29). Paul, though he was born into the commonwealth of Rome, did not by his Roman citizenship become a Gentile, but remained a Jew in a Gentile community, receiving the exact same benefits as Gentile Roman citizens. In the very same way, we Gentiles who by Jesus' blood become Israeli citizens do not suddenly by our citizenship become Jews. Believing Gentiles are not the Israel of God.


The kingdom has been taken from Israel as a nation and given to another nation – the largely Gentile New Testament Church – comprised of all believers (whether Jew or Gentile).

When Jesus said that the kingdom would be taken from Israel and given to the Gentiles, He could not have meant that Israel was no longer His chosen vessel through whom the Gentile nations would be blessed by Him, for His twelve apostles and Paul were all Jewish, as He Himself was! Rather, He meant it just as Paul used the phrase in Acts: "But when [the Jews in Corinth] opposed him and blasphemed, he shook his garments and said to them, 'Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.' And he departed from there and entered the house of a certain man named [Titus] Justus, [a Gentile,] one who worshiped God, whose house was next door to the synagogue" (Acts 18:6-7). Why did Paul go to the Gentiles? To provoke the unbelieving Jews to salvation (cp. Rom. 10:19; 11:13-14, 25), as we see happens in the next verse: "Then Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his household. And many of the Corinthians, hearing, believed and were baptized" (18:8). All carriers of the gospel (including the Holy Spirit - Acts 2) went to the Jew first, and then the Gentiles, for this very reason. When all natural Israel is saved, only then will all of creation be restored (Rom. 11:12, 15; cp. 8:19-21).

- Lk.11

wpm
Sep 20th 2008, 03:57 AM
In Rom. 9:6, Paul is not making reference to Gentiles. I've proved this here (http://bibleforums.org/showpost.php?p=1332452&postcount=25). And Rom. 9:1-5, 7-13 explain this truth as well.



Do you understand this term "commonwealth"? Israelis are not "brought together with" Gentiles, but Gentiles with Israelis, and that is important to the meaning of the word "commonwealth", for it is "the commonwealth of Israel", i.e., of the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands (cf. 2:11) - not the commonwealth of Gentiles, and not the commonwealth of Christ and His kingdom. We believing Gentiles become fellow heirs, members, and partakers of the Father's promise to all of natural Israel. But because this is received by faith, unbelieving Jews do not receive the promises, though the promises were made to them. Those Jews who remain are "the Israel of God".

Let me give an example from Scripture. Paul was a Jewish man, and a citizen of Tarsus (Acts 21:39). However, he was also born a Roman citizen (22:25-29). Paul, though he was born into the commonwealth of Rome, did not by his Roman citizenship become a Gentile, but remained a Jew in a Gentile community, receiving the exact same benefits as Gentile Roman citizens. In the very same way, we Gentiles who by Jesus' blood become Israeli citizens do not suddenly by our citizenship become Jews. Believing Gentiles are not the Israel of God.



When Jesus said that the kingdom would be taken from Israel and given to the Gentiles, He could not have meant that Israel was no longer His chosen vessel through whom the Gentile nations would be blessed by Him, for His twelve apostles and Paul were all Jewish, as He Himself was! Rather, He meant it just as Paul used the phrase in Acts: "But when [the Jews in Corinth] opposed him and blasphemed, he shook his garments and said to them, 'Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.' And he departed from there and entered the house of a certain man named [Titus] Justus, [a Gentile,] one who worshiped God, whose house was next door to the synagogue" (Acts 18:6-7). Why did Paul go to the Gentiles? To provoke the unbelieving Jews to salvation (cp. Rom. 10:19; 11:13-14, 25), as we see happens in the next verse: "Then Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his household. And many of the Corinthians, hearing, believed and were baptized" (18:8). All carriers of the gospel (including the Holy Spirit - Acts 2) went to the Jew first, and then the Gentiles, for this very reason. When all natural Israel is saved, only then will all of creation be restored (Rom. 11:12, 15; cp. 8:19-21).

- Lk.11

Salvation is no longer operated through a nationalistic theocracy in this New Testament era, neither is it restricted to one lone nation. The cross changed all that. What altered was that Christ’s exclusive focus upon natural Israel was widened out to include all nations equally. The lost and rejected throughout the Gentile world have been availed an equal opportunity to freely enter into salvation through the atoning work of the cross. The grace of God embraces all nations today. The Lord removed the natural Israeli boundaries that existed to reach the nations. All nations, tribes and peoples today are therefore viewed the same by Christ. Israel’s previous favoured position no longer exists today. It has been eternally removed by Christ and the new eternal covenant arrangement. God now works through a spiritual nation that transcends all the national borders of the world and embraces all nations. This is his only structure on this earth; it is the only spiritual edifice that He recognises and uses for His glory.

Dispensationalism racially discrimates between humans. It place Jewish sinners in a superior plain to Gentile sinners. It holds to a spiritual apparteit. Jews outside of Christ are viewed differently than Gentiles outside of Christ. Unsaved Jews are looked upon as God’s chosen people despite the fact they reject Christ. This cannot be. In fact, this is forbidden by Scripture. We cannot differentiate between sinners. All Christ-rejecters carry the wrath of God and are of their father the devil, all saved Jews and Gentiles, are washed in the blood of Jesus are therefore under the favour of God. God’s chosen people are not the Jews, but Jews and Gentile who love Jesus. That is the biblical criteria for walking in the favour of God. God doesn’t choose anyone that doesn’t choose His Son. God’s chosen people are the redeemed Church of Jesus Christ throughout the ages.

Nihil Obstat
Sep 20th 2008, 03:22 PM
Salvation is no longer operated through a nationalistic theocracy in this New Testament era, neither is it restricted to one lone nation. The cross changed all that.

Not true. God literally fulfilled His covenantal promise to the Jews that they would have a King from the lineage of David, one who Isaiah called Mighty God (Isa. 9:6-7), which is the "most impossible" of all the promises He's made. Because this one happened literally, we ought to expect and have faith the His other promises to the Jews will be literally fulfilled as well, especially since they are "more probable" than God becoming a Jewish Man forever. We should then understand that when Paul says we believing Gentiles are brought near to the commonwealth of Israel, he means just that. Though we become Israeli citizens, we do not become Jews. But because Israeli citizenship is by faith, unbelieving Jews lose the citizenship they were born into. This is the basic principle of the Romans 11 olive trees. The two trees are family trees, or perhaps better put, concern themselves with citizenship in Israel, for the covenants and promises pertain only to Israeli citizens, despite one's natural lineage.


Dispensationalism racially discrimates between humans.

Just for the record, I'm not a Dispensationalist. I would think that one who believes God is now finished with the Jews is a Dispensationalist, not the other way around? And if believing all Jews to be chosen by God, though not all of them choose God in return, is Dispensationalist, then Paul himself is a Dispensationalist. And because we know this is not true, then to believe all Jews are chosen by God despite their response cannot itself define Dispensationalism. Perhaps you should re-read through some of my posts to see what I mean by "chosen"?

- Lk.11

drew
Sep 20th 2008, 04:30 PM
In Rom. 9:6, Paul is not making reference to Gentiles. I've proved this here (http://bibleforums.org/showpost.php?p=1332452&postcount=25). And Rom. 9:1-5, 7-13 explain this truth as well.
I have read some of the posts in this thread and I think I believe that wpm is on the right track. Paul does indeed move between two categories: "national Israel" and "true Israel".

I have not read your referenced link - I will though. For the moment, I will simply make a few points. While it is true that Paul appears to be describing a subset of national Israel in the verse 7-13 block, I think it is pretty clear that he is talking about a category, "true Israel" that includes both Jew and Gentile.

In 9:6, Paul is referring to this "true Israel", including, but not limited to that subset of national Israel that partly constitutes "true Israel". I think the important stuff is later on:

22What if God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction? 23What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory— 24even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles?

In Romans 9 to 11, Paul is answering the following question which his argument in the first 8 chapters would stimulate:

"If the true people of God - "true Israel" - was always constituted by those with the faith of Abraham ,whether Jew or Gentile, what are you (Paul) saying about "national Israel" and its place in the purposes of God?"

And Romans 9 is part of the answer.

In verse 6, Paul is saying this "The fact that some members of national Israel have not believed is not a sign that God's covenant has failed. Why? Because the promises never were for all of Abraham's "genetic descendents" (that is, national Israel).

And in the text I posted above, he completes the thought by asserting that the recipients of the covenantal promises were, from the very beginning, a group constituted by both Jews and Gentiles.

So when Paul says "not all descended from Israel are Israel", he is really saying this: "Not all the genetic descendents of Abraham are members of this other category, "true Israel", a category consisting, as I will point later in verses 22-24, of both a subset of the genetic descendents of Abraham and some Gentiles.

Mograce2U
Sep 20th 2008, 04:51 PM
astrongerthanhe,

Let me give an example from Scripture. Paul was a Jewish man, and a citizen of Tarsus (Acts 21:39). However, he was also born a Roman citizen (22:25-29). Paul, though he was born into the commonwealth of Rome, did not by his Roman citizenship become a Gentile, but remained a Jew in a Gentile community, receiving the exact same benefits as Gentile Roman citizens. In the very same way, we Gentiles who by Jesus' blood become Israeli citizens do not suddenly by our citizenship become Jews. Believing Gentiles are not the Israel of God.
(Phil 3:20 NIV) But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ,

There is a new house of God as Ephesians 2 reveals. One which the apostles and prophets built up the foundation, but of which Jesus Himself is the cornerstone. We are not a house as Israel once was, built on the law of commandments contained in ordinances - for these were nailed to the cross with Christ. We don't come to Christ and become a part of His Body thru the old covenant - which was the way the OT saints came into the promise given to Abraham.

You seem to keep forgetting what Israel's hope in Messiah was about. It was that they might have faith in the hope of eternal life in the resurrection thru the redemption of sin. And the OT saints waited in death for our Hope to arrive so that we all could be perfected together.

(Rom 7:4 KJV) Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.

(Rom 12:5 KJV) So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.

(Eph 3:6 KJV) That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:

(Col 2:12-14 KJV) Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. {13} And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; {14} Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;

(Heb 10:9-10 KJV) Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. {10} By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

(Gal 3:22 KJV) But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.

According to your doctrine, we must still identify ourselves with ethnic Israel in order to be part of the body of Christ. Yet Israel herself must be identified with Christ else she has no way into the promise which was given to Abraham, now that her covenant with Moses has ended. The true Israel of God is not formed thru the flesh at all anymore. And we see that all Israel in Paul's day was concluded under unbelief so that the promise and mercy of God could be given thru faith in Jesus to Jew and Gentile alike. There is no other house built upon the promise in existence apart from this one that Christ built.

IPet2_9
Sep 20th 2008, 05:25 PM
No, I do not accept that Christ is the root, and no one is debating against the fact that branches either remain, are grafted in, or are re-grafted in due to faith alone. But who the root stands for has little to do with our discussion.
I disagree. It has a lot to do with it. Who the root is will influence where the source of our holiness comes from. To you natural Israel is the root, to Amils it is Christ. This is a major difference in our theology. We cannot just paper over this as a minor issue.

I absolutely agree.

John 15:5 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=50&chapter=15&verse=5&version=31&context=verse)
"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

This is not just an End Times issue, this is core to Christianity. Israel can be, and is, a false idol just as much as money, or Baal, or a golden calf.

Nihil Obstat
Sep 21st 2008, 03:29 AM
An excellent point has been made about our citizenship being in heaven (Phil. 3:20). This is true, and even Abraham looked for the city which has foundations built by God's hand, and not man's hand (Heb. 11:10). If our citizenship were to the earthly Jerusalem alone, then what can we say of the benefits the believing church received during the past 2000 years when there was no state of Israel or city of Jerusalem?! But at the same time, can we say that the great cloud of witnesses who dwell in the Jerusalem above have received all the promises, being as they presently live in the heavenly city of their citizenship (Heb. 12:1)? No, for even these will "not be made perfect apart from us" (Heb. 11:40). Therefore, the Jerusalem above alone is also not enough either. The two must become one, as Paul wrote, that God will "gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth - in Him" (Eph. 1:10). Our citizenship in Israel is only in part until heaven comes to earth in all its fullness. In the meantime, during these progressive steps, we can never receive the promises made to us in full, but only in part.

- Lk.11

IPet2_9
Sep 21st 2008, 04:21 AM
can we say that the great cloud of witnesses who dwell in the Jerusalem above have received all the promises, being as they presently live in the heavenly city of their citizenship (Heb. 12:1)? No, for even these will "not be made perfect apart from us" (Heb. 11:40). Therefore, the Jerusalem above alone is also not enough either.

I could maybe go along with you on the "not all promises are fulfilled" part, on these grounds:


Revelaton 11:18 The nations were angry; and your wrath has come.
The time has come for judging the dead,
and for rewarding your servants the prophets
and your saints and those who reverence your name,
both small and great—
and for destroying those who destroy the earth."


Revelation 6:9 When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. 10 They called out in a loud voice, "How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?"


But what's that got to do with an earthly Jerusalem? It's the opposite: it has to do with a new Jerusalem, and wiping away the old.

edit: ooooh. you mean when New Jerusalem comes to earth then it fulfills some promises. That's fair enough.

Raybob
Sep 21st 2008, 04:52 AM
...Our citizenship in Israel is only in part until heaven comes to earth in all its fullness.

I don't understand where you would get the idea that heaven will come to earth. The bible clearly tells us, more than once, that this earth and heaven will burn up with fervent heat when Jesus comes and we will get a new earth and a new heaven.

Isa 65:17 For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.

2Pe 3:12-13 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? (13) Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.


Rev 21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

Raybob

the rookie
Sep 21st 2008, 06:27 AM
In regards to the above question, my request is that you start a new thread if you would like to pursue that line of questioning, and let this one continue on its present course.

Thanks much!

CFJ
Sep 21st 2008, 10:32 AM
If, as you say, the sum total of all believers are citizens of "spiritual" Israel. This would mean that God did not keep his promise to Abraham to make him a father of many nations, since he would be the father of a single nation as you propose. How do you account for this?

As I see Scripture, the Israel of God (Psa 73:1; Isa 45:25; Hos 1:10; Rom 2:28-29; Gal 6:16), is an everlasting concept. In the Old Testament, the Israel of God consists of 12 tribes. Not every member in all of these tribes, have been part of the Israel of God (Rom 9:6). In the New Testament, the Israel of God is still the exact same concept (Eph 2:11-12), but they are from all nations (Rev 5:9).

BroRog
Sep 21st 2008, 05:10 PM
As I see Scripture, the Israel of God (Psa 73:1; Isa 45:25; Hos 1:10; Rom 2:28-29; Gal 6:16), is an everlasting concept. In the Old Testament, the Israel of God consists of 12 tribes. Not every member in all of these tribes, have been part of the Israel of God (Rom 9:6). In the New Testament, the Israel of God is still the exact same concept (Eph 2:11-12), but they are from all nations (Rev 5:9).

I totally understand this view. But I can't make this view line up with the scriptures. As I go and study each of the passages you cited and others, I just don't see that concept there. In fact, some of Paul's arguments break down and fall apart if what you say is true.

Raybob
Sep 21st 2008, 05:32 PM
I totally understand this view. But I can't make this view line up with the scriptures. As I go and study each of the passages you cited and others, I just don't see that concept there. In fact, some of Paul's arguments break down and fall apart if what you say is true.

How about this one:

Jer 3:8 And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also.

BroRog
Sep 21st 2008, 06:00 PM
How about this one:

Jer 3:8 And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also.

How does this passage speak to the picture of an "Israel of God", which exists alongside or among a national Israel at large?

wpm
Sep 21st 2008, 07:16 PM
How does this passage speak to the picture of an "Israel of God", which exists alongside or among a national Israel at large?

There are two Israels - natural and spiritual. It is spiritual Israel that is His people. We the NT Church have been grafted into tyhe citizenship of spiritual Israel

drew
Sep 21st 2008, 07:21 PM
I don't understand where you would get the idea that heaven will come to earth. The bible clearly tells us, more than once, that this earth and heaven will burn up with fervent heat when Jesus comes and we will get a new earth and a new heaven.

Isa 65:17 For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.

2Pe 3:12-13 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? (13) Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.


Rev 21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

Raybob
As far as "heaven coming to earth", I think this text from Revelation endorses that view:

2I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them.

I understand your position on the "new heaven and the new earth", but I think the overall scriptural picture is one where earth is not destroyed but is rather transformed. Now I see how the language in the above texts endorses your position, but it is arguably also consistent with the "transformation" model as well. Remember that the New Testament writers were heir to a tradition where "over the top" apocalyptic imagery" is used to vest more "mundane" events with their true significance.

Thus we have Jesus using imagery of stars falling to earth and the cosmose being shaken to really refer to the events of 70 AD. There is a lot of scriptural evidence for use of apocalyptic imagery in this mode.

And we have texts like this one from Romans 8, which (to me) clearly indicates that the present world will in fact not be done away with, but will be rather reclaimed:

The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. 20For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21that[i (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans%208;&version=31;#fen-NIV-28123i)] the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God


I do not see how this text can be made to work with the view that the earth will be destroyed and replaced.

And there are other texts and arguments that I may provide if this line of discussion goes further.

God is redeeming His entire creation. He is not saving mankind out of it, only to then toast it. His creation is described as very good. And it falls under the great plan of redemption to which we humans are, thankfully, also heir.

Raybob
Sep 21st 2008, 07:34 PM
How does this passage speak to the picture of an "Israel of God", which exists alongside or among a national Israel at large?

God divorced "National" Israel many years ago but "spiritual" Israel is and always has been the true "God's elect." National Israel means nothing to God especially since the cross.

Raybob

BroRog
Sep 21st 2008, 08:34 PM
There are two Israels - natural and spiritual. It is spiritual Israel that is His people. We the NT Church have been grafted into tyhe citizenship of spiritual Israel

I don't see how your statement is a comment concerning the passage Raybob quoted.

BroRog
Sep 21st 2008, 08:37 PM
God divorced "National" Israel many years ago but "spiritual" Israel is and always has been the true "God's elect." National Israel means nothing to God especially since the cross.

Raybob

Again, where are you getting the idea that an "Israel of God" exists within the nation of Israel from the passage you cited?

Richard H
Sep 21st 2008, 09:29 PM
God divorced "National" Israel many years ago but "spiritual" Israel is and always has been the true "God's elect." National Israel means nothing to God especially since the cross.

Raybob

Hi Raybob,
You are correct about God’s divorcing Israel, but He did not divorce national (the country of) Israel.
He divorced the northern kingdom – which was called “Israel” afterward in Scripture.

The division: 1 Kings 11:26-39
The divorce: Jeremiah 3
The dispersion: 2 Kings 17:40

The country of Israel is occupied by Jews – those from the tribe of Judah – who He did NOT divorce.
They were thereafter known as “Judah” in Scripture.

As some wise one here (BroRog) pointed out to me –
The “elect” refers to Jacob – meaning: the WHOLE house of Israel. Both Israel AND Judah.
Isa 45:4 For Jacob my servant's sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me.
Isa 65:9 And I will bring forth a seed out of Jacob, and out of Judah an inheritor of my mountains: and mine elect shall inherit it, and my servants shall dwell there.

So, Judah (national Israel) is still part of God’s plan. He never divorced them.

IMHO
Personally I think Judah is the woman who gets taken into the desert.
Judah brought forth the Lion of the Tribe of Judah – Jesus.
We – Christians – are now Israel, since those tribes are scattered and have lost their identity.

Richard

Richard H
Sep 21st 2008, 09:55 PM
To clarify my theory:

A remnant of Judah is protected from the antichrist in the desert.
She is not eligible for the rapture because she is not born of the Spirit – not having been born again.
Christians are “raptured” at the seventh trumpet before the wrath, but after the first resurrection.
The time of the bowls of wrath will be cut short, so that some of Judah will survive. 1335 days (Dan 12:12)

The place they are protected? Bozrah, Edom. (southern Jordan)
Bozrah means: "sheep-pen"

Judah will be in the desert until He comes (after the rapture).
The remenent will turn to He whom they have pierced and will then repopulate national Israel. (The raptured and the raised dead cannot bear children.)

She is the part of the "Elect" - still yet flesh for whom the days will be cut short.

Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save.
Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat?
I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment.
For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come.
And I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me; and my fury, it upheld me.
And I will tread down the people in mine anger, and make them drunk in my fury, and I will bring down their strength to the earth.
Isa 63:1,6

Raybob
Sep 22nd 2008, 12:52 AM
Again, where are you getting the idea that an "Israel of God" exists within the nation of Israel from the passage you cited?

I don't get it from that, I get it from many other passages that speak of God always having a "remnant" that lived by faith in Him. John the Baptist is a prime example. John the Baptist was from "national Israel" but he was also a part of the "Israel of God" as one of the faithful that lived by faith in God.

Mograce2U
Sep 22nd 2008, 01:37 AM
Hi Raybob,

I don't get it from that, I get it from many other passages that speak of God always having a "remnant" that lived by faith in Him. John the Baptist is a prime example. John the Baptist was from "national Israel" but he was also a part of the "Israel of God" as one of the faithful that lived by faith in God.Sounds like something not possible to say for any who lived after the first century. The only faithful remnant that the Lord is keeping today is those who have already placed their faith in Christ. Just thought I would add this distinction.

Raybob
Sep 22nd 2008, 02:08 AM
Hi Raybob,
Sounds like something not possible to say for any who lived after the first century. The only faithful remnant that the Lord is keeping today is those who have already placed their faith in Christ. Just thought I would add this distinction.

Amen Robin. Actually, after the cross, the only remnant are those that have Jesus as the Lord of their lives.

CFJ
Sep 22nd 2008, 12:32 PM
I totally understand this view. But I can't make this view line up with the scriptures. As I go and study each of the passages you cited and others, I just don't see that concept there. In fact, some of Paul's arguments break down and fall apart if what you say is true.

Hi BroRog,

Which arguments of Paul, are you refering to...?

BroRog
Sep 22nd 2008, 02:37 PM
I don't get it from that, I get it from many other passages that speak of God always having a "remnant" that lived by faith in Him. John the Baptist is a prime example. John the Baptist was from "national Israel" but he was also a part of the "Israel of God" as one of the faithful that lived by faith in God.

I must have misunderstood your post #179 in which you cited Jeremiah 3:8, seemingly to speak to the issue of my response to CFJ, who said he saw, in scripture, "the Israel of God" as a subgroup of true believers inside the main, national country of Israel.

It's one thing to say, as Paul and Isaiah do, that Israel has always contained a small fraction of the population that has "not bowed the knee to Baal." It's another thing to confuse the issue by attempting to use the term "Israel" with respect to that fractional part, when the Bible reserves the term "Israel" to refer to the country as a whole.

BroRog
Sep 22nd 2008, 02:41 PM
Hi BroRog,

Which arguments of Paul, are you refering to...?

His treatise on Israel in Chapters 9 through 11 of Romans for starters. If you like, I can go point by point and show you how his entire argument breaks down.

David Taylor
Sep 22nd 2008, 03:01 PM
It's another thing to confuse the issue by attempting to use the term "Israel" with respect to that fractional part, when the Bible reserves the term "Israel" to refer to the country as a whole.

The word 'Israel' is used many different ways in scripture. It isn't used only 1 single way.

Some ways it is used, off the top of my head; probably not all...



Jacob, son of Isaac
the name of the descendents of Jacob
the name of the nation until the death of Solomon
the name of the Northern Kingdom tribes
the name of the returnees from Assyrian/Babylonian exile
Messianic reference to Jesus Himself
Christians

the rookie
Sep 22nd 2008, 03:18 PM
The word 'Israel' is used many different ways in scripture. It isn't used only 1 single way.

Some ways it is used, off the top of my head; probably not all...



Jacob, son of Isaac
the name of the descendents of Jacob
the name of the nation until the death of Solomon
the name of the Northern Kingdom tribes
the name of the returnees from Assyrian/Babylonian exile
Messianic reference to Jesus Himself
Christians




At the risk of opening up a can of worms, can you give clear scriptural precedents for "Israel" in the Bible being a term used to speak of Christians? I would ask that you do so apart from the "Israel of God" reference in Galatians 6:16, as it is disputable that Paul was speaking of Christians in that passage. We can examine and debate that if you would like, but it seems like a difficult passage to establish a precedent for "Israel" to be a NT designation for "Christians".

Thanks!

John146
Sep 22nd 2008, 04:04 PM
At the risk of opening up a can of worms, can you give clear scriptural precedents for "Israel" in the Bible being a term used to speak of Christians? I would ask that you do so apart from the "Israel of God" reference in Galatians 6:16, as it is disputable that Paul was speaking of Christians in that passage. We can examine and debate that if you would like, but it seems like a difficult passage to establish a precedent for "Israel" to be a NT designation for "Christians".

Thanks!I hope David doesn't mind, but I'd like to answer this.

Ephesians 2
11Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;
12That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
13But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
14For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
15Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;
16And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:
17And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.
18For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
19Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
20And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
21In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: 22In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

This passage equates "the commonwealth of Israel" with "the household of God". The household of God is clearly a reference to the church, wouldn't you agree? The Gentiles in the flesh who were once "without Christ" and "aliens from the commonwealth of Israel" were "made nigh by the blood of Christ" and were then "no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God". They were once aliens from the commonwealth of Israel but now they were fellowcitizens of the commonwealth of Israel. They were now Christians along with the Jewish Christ followers. The commonwealth of Israel refers to the church and only Christians are part of it. So, there is one passage that refers to Christians as being Israel or at least being a part of Israel.

Then there is this passage:

Romans 9
6Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:
7Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. 8That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.

This passage clearly refers to two different Israels. Agree? It is saying that they are not all Israel (what I would call the Israel of God) which are of Israel (the nation of Israel). Now, is this only speaking of a subset of people from the nation of Israel and calling them Israel? What is the criteria for being part of the Israel of which not all natural Israel is part? It says "In Isaac shall thy seed be called" and "the children of the promise are counted for the seed". So, who are the children of promise who descend from Isaac? Israelites or Jews only? Or Christians in general, whether Jew or Gentile?

In Isaac shall thy seed be called

Galatians 4
22For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman.
23But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise.
24Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar.
25For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.
26But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.
27For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband.
28Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.
29But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.
30Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman. 31So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.

Paul was speaking to Christians in general here and he says that we, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. In Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is referring to the spiritual seed of Isaac. That would include you and me. The heavenly Jerusalem is the mother of us all. We are all part of the heavenly Jerusalem and the heavenly Israel. As Paul said in Romans 9:8, the children of the promise are counted for the seed. Who are the children of the promise? We are. Christians.

Galatians 3
26For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
27For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
28There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
29And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Notice in Romans 9:8 that it says they which are the children of the flesh (referring to natural Israelites) are not the children of God. The way that one becomes a part of the Israel which is not of Israel is not by the flesh or by one's nationality. As it says in Galatians 3:26, we are the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. Therefore, it is faith in Christ Jesus, whether one is a natural Jew or natural Gentile, that brings us into the Israel (of God) which is not of Israel (the nation). It is by belonging to Christ that one becomes Abraham's seed, a child of the promise and a member of the Israel of God.

Eric

the rookie
Sep 22nd 2008, 04:17 PM
I hope David doesn't mind, but I'd like to answer this.

I know that I don't mind.

What I am looking for is whether or not we are saying here that Paul's explanation related to how Gentiles who were estranged, now being able to be a part of the household of God as true "spiritual" seeds of Abraham, means that Israel = Christians.

These are passages that help Jews and Gentiles in the first century understand how a group that was once radically set apart from can now be inclusive of (though it is highly questionable in context that Rom. 9:6-7 has any Gentiles in view). The Gentile "God-fearers" had been a part of but never fully joined; now they were able to be fully joined to a family in a way that was radically different than what they were taught.

Paul brilliantly lays out a scriptural apologetic for "full citizenship" without "full outward participation" (meaning, of course, the circumcision). This is different, however, from saying that "Christian" (as a hermeneutical rule) today equals "Israel", even in Paul's thinking. I would think that Jews and Gentiles are together a part of something that transcends Israel - that being the kingdom of God. As one new man we are a part of the family of God that is broader and higher than the family of Israel, IOW.

CFJ
Sep 22nd 2008, 04:50 PM
His treatise on Israel in Chapters 9 through 11 of Romans for starters. If you like, I can go point by point and show you how his entire argument breaks down.

BroRog,

Lets start with Romans 9...


Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.
(Rom 9:6-8 KJV)
Surely, there is and must be a diffirence between Israel in the flesh and Israel of the promise...? In Galatians, Paul also says about Christians and this exact same promise...


Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman. So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.
(Gal 4:28-31 KJV)
Can one really negate Israel of the promise, as an everlasting concept before God...?

BroRog
Sep 22nd 2008, 04:54 PM
I know that I don't mind.

What I am looking for is whether or not we are saying here that Paul's explanation related to how Gentiles who were estranged, now being able to be a part of the household of God as true "spiritual" seeds of Abraham, means that Israel = Christians.

These are passages that help Jews and Gentiles in the first century understand how a group that was once radically set apart from can now be inclusive of (though it is highly questionable in context that Rom. 9:6-7 has any Gentiles in view). The Gentile "God-fearers" had been a part of but never fully joined; now they were able to be fully joined to a family in a way that was radically different than what they were taught.

Paul brilliantly lays out a scriptural apologetic for "full citizenship" without "full outward participation" (meaning, of course, the circumcision). This is different, however, from saying that "Christian" (as a hermeneutical rule) today equals "Israel", even in Paul's thinking. I would think that Jews and Gentiles are together a part of something that transcends Israel - that being the kingdom of God. As one new man we are a part of the family of God that is broader and higher than the family of Israel, IOW.

Yes, this is exactly the kind of thing I had in mind. And I especially like how you succinctly summarized the issue in terms of '"full citizenship" without "full outward participation".'

John146
Sep 22nd 2008, 04:55 PM
I know that I don't mind.

What I am looking for is whether or not we are saying here that Paul's explanation related to how Gentiles who were estranged, now being able to be a part of the household of God as true "spiritual" seeds of Abraham, means that Israel = Christians. Yes, I know, and I believe I showed that in my post. Would it be possible for you to address specific points that I made in my post? When it says "In Isaac shall they seed be called" what do you believe that means? When it says the children of the promise are counted for the seed, what do you believe that means? Remember, those statements are being directly related to the Israel which is not of Israel.

Also, what do you believe is the identity of the Israel which is not of Israel? Who is in that Israel? In the same vein, what is the commonwealth of Israel and who is part of it?

the rookie
Sep 22nd 2008, 05:34 PM
Yes, I know, and I believe I showed that in my post. Would it be possible for you to address specific points that I made in my post?

I did. Was my analysis unsatisfactory? It would probably be easier if you responded to my response rather than have me "re-respond". :lol:

As I noted, in Galatians 4:21-31 Paul was addressing an issue that the Galatians were wrestling with related to a demand that they participate with the Mosiac covenant by appealing to the "transcendent" covenant God made with Abraham. The Gentiles could be fully joined without observing the Torah in the outward sense. This does not mean that "Christian" = "Israel".




Also, what do you believe is the identity of the Israel which is not of Israel? Who is in that Israel? In the same vein, what is the commonwealth of Israel and who is part of it?

You kind of reversed th scriptural order in your question, which makes it awkward for me to respond to related to Paul's grammatical flow. I hope you don't mind me "switching back".

Paul is addressing the Gentile believers in Rome and helping them understand that the word of God had taken root to a measure versus being of "no effect". Within Israel there was a faithful remnant - as had always been from the time of Abraham. In other words, within "Israel" was "faithful Israel" related to the manner in which Paul's ethnic brethren (clearly the subject of the discussion from Rom. 9:3-4) carried the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God, and the promises.

The rhetorical question that Paul is answering is, if he is lamenting the condition of his ethnic brethren to whom pertain the above list (9:4), how could there be any hope for the future related to the above list? Paul states emphatically that the hope of the above list is knit to the manner in which the word of God has taken effect within the ranks of the faithful remnant. He is not talking about Gentiles here - but those among the Jews who have constituted the faithful remnant from the days of Isaac forward.


When it says "In Isaac shall they seed be called" what do you believe that means? When it says the children of the promise are counted for the seed, what do you believe that means? Remember, those statements are being directly related to the Israel which is not of Israel.

Paul continues to highlight his point about faithful Israelites carrying those promises, (and the rest of the list) by highliting God's choice of Jacob after Isaac versus the firstborn, Esau. One was faithful, the other was not - and that faithfulness enabled the promises to go forward. Thus when Paul answers another rhetorical question about the righteousness of God it is related to His "rightness" in choosing from amongst faithful and unfaithful Israelites in moving those promises forward.

This theme continues (choosing faithful versus unfaithful) through history to Paul's day, and a most shocking "choice" - God would now show mercy to the Gentiles, who were "not His people". Thus in Rom. 9:30-33, Paul himself makes a distinction between the "Gentiles" whom God would show mercy towards in the "attaining of righteousness" and "Israel" who would not attain righteousness. Why? "Because they (Israel) did not seek it by faith" and had thus stumbled - yet Paul would still emphatically declare his hearts desire that they would be saved despite their ignorance and their rejection.

Paul's own salvation was proof that God had not "cast away His people", as Paul himself (as the Romans somehow forgot) was an Israelite!

Paul is not using this designation to mean "Christian", and to make it so is to make the whole progression fairly confusing. For Paul would be asking in 11:1 if God had cast away faithful Gentiles! Paul emphatically states again that God has not cast away "His people" whom "He foreknew" would trangress and reject the gospel. Again, this makes no sense if "Israel" = "Christians".

John146
Sep 22nd 2008, 05:59 PM
I did. Was my analysis unsatisfactory?Yes, it was completely unsatisfactory. You are, of course, not obligated to answer in any other way than what you want, but I certainly don't feel that you specifically addressed much of anything from my post.
It would probably be easier if you responded to my response rather than have me "re-respond". :lol:Why is that? Is it unreasonable for me to ask for a bit of clarification from you first before I respond?


As I noted, in Galatians 4:21-31 Paul was addressing an issue that the Galatians were wrestling with related to a demand that they participate with the Mosiac covenant by appealing to the "transcendent" covenant God made with Abraham. The Gentiles could be fully joined without observing the Torah in the outward sense. This does not mean that "Christian" = "Israel".What about Ephesians 2:11-22? Can you tell me your interpretation of that passage? What is the commonwealth of Israel and don't you believe that passage says that Gentile believers are fellowcitizens in the commonwealth of Israel?


You kind of reversed th scriptural order in your question, which makes it awkward for me to respond to related to Paul's grammatical flow. I hope you don't mind me "switching back".

Paul is addressing the Gentile believers in Rome and helping them understand that the word of God had taken root to a measure versus being of "no effect". Within Israel there was a faithful remnant - as had always been from the time of Abraham. In other words, within "Israel" was "faithful Israel" related to the manner in which Paul's ethnic brethren (clearly the subject of the discussion from Rom. 9:3-4) carried the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God, and the promises.

The rhetorical question that Paul is answering is, if he is lamenting the condition of his ethnic brethren to whom pertain the above list (9:4), how could there be any hope for the future related to the above list? Paul states emphatically that the hope of the above list is knit to the manner in which the word of God has taken effect within the ranks of the faithful remnant. He is not talking about Gentiles here - but those among the Jews who have constituted the faithful remnant from the days of Isaac forward.Do you not believe that Galatians 4 has any relation to Romans 9? Particularly, when it says "we, as Isaac was, are the children of promise" (Gal 4:28) you don't see that as having any relationship to Romans 9:6-8 which says "In Isaac shall thy seed be called" and "the children of the promise are counted for the seed"?


Paul continues to highlight his point about faithful Israelites carrying those promises, (and the rest of the list) by highliting God's choice of Jacob after Isaac versus the firstborn, Esau. One was faithful, the other was not - and that faithfulness enabled the promises to go forward. Thus when Paul answers another rhetorical question about the righteousness of God it is related to His "rightness" in choosing from amongst faithful and unfaithful Israelites in moving those promises forward.

This theme continues (choosing faithful versus unfaithful) through history to Paul's day, and a most shocking "choice" - God would now show mercy to the Gentiles, who were "not His people". Thus in Rom. 9:30-33, Paul himself makes a distinction between the "Gentiles" whom God would show mercy towards in the "attaining of righteousness" and "Israel" who would not attain righteousness. Why? "Because they (Israel) did not seek it by faith" and had thus stumbled - yet Paul would still emphatically declare his hearts desire that they would be saved despite their ignorance and their rejection.

Paul's own salvation was proof that God had not "cast away His people", as Paul himself (as the Romans somehow forgot) was an Israelite!

Paul is not using this designation to mean "Christian", and to make it so is to make the whole progression fairly confusing. For Paul would be asking in 11:1 if God had cast away faithful Gentiles! Paul emphatically states again that God has not cast away "His people" whom "He foreknew" would trangress and reject the gospel. Again, this makes no sense if "Israel" = "Christians".What differentiates someone from being in the Israel which is not of Israel as opposed to being part of the nation of Israel? Doesn't one have to be a Christian to be in the Israel which is not of Israel? If not, then what qualifies someone to be in the Israel which is not of Israel? Clearly, being a natural citizen alone doesn't cut it. Agree? So, what is the difference between those who are in true Israel and those who are not? Faith in Christ, isn't it? What are those who have faith in Christ called? Christians.

the rookie
Sep 22nd 2008, 06:17 PM
Yes, it was completely unsatisfactory. You are, of course, not obligated to answer in any other way than what you want, but I certainly don't feel that you specifically addressed much of anything from my post. Why is that? Is it unreasonable for me to ask for a bit of clarification from you first before I respond?

Well, I apologize. I thought I could take all of those words and craft a more succinct response to save us time. Then I thought I would add a "laughy" icon to lighten up the response. Both were unhelpful, I suppose.


What about Ephesians 2:11-22? Can you tell me your interpretation of that passage? What is the commonwealth of Israel and don't you believe that passage says that Gentile believers are fellowcitizens in the commonwealth of Israel?

Sure, but that doesn't mean that, hemeneutically, "Israel" = "Christians". Paul was not crafting a hermeneutical rule, he was giving a theological explanation of God's plan to unite two previously antagonistic groups into a new entity, or "one new man". Thus the final product is something that transcends Israel - it isn't called Israel.


Do you not believe that Galatians 4 has any relation to Romans 9? Particularly, when it says "we, as Isaac was, are the children of promise" (Gal 4:28) you don't see that as having any relationship to Romans 9:6-8 which says "In Isaac shall thy seed be called" and "the children of the promise are counted for the seed"?

Hmmm. I thought I addressed that - did I miss something? It seems you think that Paul's two references to Isaac means that "Israel" = "Christian" instead of how I had previously explained (twice now) Gal. 4.


What differentiates someone from being in the Israel which is not of Israel as opposed to being part of the nation of Israel?

Maybe you cold "re-ask" this as you may have unintentionally made this question a bit more complicated than you meant to.


Doesn't one have to be a Christian to be in the Israel which is not of Israel? If not, then what qualifies someone to be in the Israel which is not of Israel? Clearly, being a natural citizen alone doesn't cut it. Agree? So, what is the difference between those who are in true Israel and those who are not? Faith in Christ, isn't it? What are those who have faith in Christ called? Christians.

You seem to be missing Paul's point in Rom. 9 and using the passage to make a different one. In doing so, you are applying your own logic to how one could end with the conclusion that "Israel" = "Christian", but again that is different than saying that: "In the Bible, the word Israel at times means 'Christian'".

I do realize that my question cuts right to the heart of this discussion, but while I believe that I have been grafted into Israelite promises and an Israelite covenant, that does not make me "Israel". It makes me a citizen of a kingdom that is "not of this world" that is soon coming here, by which I am and will be joined to a faithful remnant of Jewish brethren to become something wholly new and glorious, in which time that which is in part will be fully expressed, and that which was divorced will become fully reconciled in Christ. That, to me, is much more than being part of, or identified as, or with, Israel.

BroRog
Sep 22nd 2008, 06:20 PM
This passage equates "the commonwealth of Israel" with "the household of God". The household of God is clearly a reference to the church, wouldn't you agree?

No, I don't agree. However, this is a good case example of a place in which Paul's argument will break down and become fallacious if the church is equated with the commonwealth of Israel. In other words, if we assume that the Gentiles are being taken into the commonwealth of Israel, we are forcing Paul's argument into the logical fallacy of ambiguity, otherwise known as equivocation.

Equivocation comes about when a word, in this case "Israel" assumes two different meanings in an argument, when it is clear that it should have one or the other.

In this case, Paul identifies his readers as "Gentiles in the flesh", which is a reference to the fact that the Gentiles were not physically circumcised. The significance of this lack of circumcision has its locus in the theocracy of Israel at the time of writing. Contrary to modern democratic societies, Israel of that time period was a theocracy, ruled by a religious elite and governed by judges who enforced the Mosaic Law. To become a citizen in this theocracy, among other things, a non-Israelite was required to accept the rite of circumcision and agree to put themselves under the law of Moses.

When Paul says his readers were aliens to the commonwealth of Israel, he speaks in terms of their nationality, not their spirituality. The polity of Israel includes but is not limited to being physically circumcised and keeping Moses. He wants to argue that, in spite of the fact that his readers were non-citizens, which kept them from access to God via the temple, they now have access to God via the spirit. In order to make his case, he acknowledges the supposition that the Gentiles were on the outside looking in, due to the fact that they were non-citizens. Not having the rights of a citizen, they were not allowed to offer sacrifices or enter the temple grounds to make prayers or petitions to God. Given that situation, God provided another way to gain access, i.e. through the cross of Christ, which according to God, transcends national boundaries.

Now, if Paul's use of the phrase "commonwealth of Israel" is not intended to indicate the theocracy of national Israel, then his argument begins to break down because his statement that the Gentiles were not circumcised becomes a trite statement, adding nothing to this argument. His comment that two groups are made into one in Christ makes no sense given that the Jews and the Gentiles are not actually different with respect to their inward spirituality. They only exist as separate groups in need of unification, if the issue is what outwardly makes them unique.

The fact that they are not circumcised, not members of the polity of Israel, not under the Law of Moses, etc. is what makes them unique from the Jews living as citizens of Israel. If Paul's argument does not understand the outward differences between these two groups, then his point concerning the fact that the separation wall kept Gentiles away from the Temple is another trite and meaningless point. The wall of separation never kept anyone from spiritual access to God.

John146
Sep 22nd 2008, 06:36 PM
Sure, but that doesn't mean that, hemeneutically, "Israel" = "Christians". Paul was not crafting a hermeneutical rule, he was giving a theological explanation of God's plan to unite two previously antagonistic groups into a new entity, or "one new man". Thus the final product is something that transcends Israel - it isn't called Israel. What is the commonwealth of Israel then?


Hmmm. I thought I addressed that - did I miss something? It seems you think that Paul's two references to Isaac means that "Israel" = "Christian" instead of how I had previously explained (twice now) Gal. 4. You didn't address it in a way that made any sense to me. Do you see any connection that can be made between Galatians 4:28 and Romans 9:6-8 or not? That's all I'd like to know.



Maybe you cold "re-ask" this as you may have unintentionally made this question a bit more complicated than you meant to. No, I don't think it was complicated at all but I'll simplify it this way. Assume for the sake of argument that the Israel that is not of Israel = the Israel of God. My question then is: what makes someone a part of the Israel of God and, contrastly, what makes someone a part of the nation of Israel?


You seem to be missing Paul's point in Rom. 9 and using the passage to make a different one. In doing so, you are applying your own logic to how one could end with the conclusion that "Israel" = "Christian", but again that is different than saying that: "In the Bible, the word Israel at times means 'Christian'".

I do realize that my question cuts right to the heart of this discussion, but while I believe that I have been grafted into Israelite promises and an Israelite covenant, that does not make me "Israel".You don't believe you are a fellowcitizen in the commonwealth of Israel?

wpm
Sep 22nd 2008, 06:39 PM
Well, I apologize. I thought I could take all of those words and craft a more succinct response to save us time. Then I thought I would add a "laughy" icon to lighten up the response. Both were unhelpful, I suppose.

Sure, but that doesn't mean that, hemeneutically, "Israel" = "Christians". Paul was not crafting a hermeneutical rule, he was giving a theological explanation of God's plan to unite two previously antagonistic groups into a new entity, or "one new man". Thus the final product is something that transcends Israel - it isn't called Israel.

Hmmm. I thought I addressed that - did I miss something? It seems you think that Paul's two references to Isaac means that "Israel" = "Christian" instead of how I had previously explained (twice now) Gal. 4.

Maybe you cold "re-ask" this as you may have unintentionally made this question a bit more complicated than you meant to.

You seem to be missing Paul's point in Rom. 9 and using the passage to make a different one. In doing so, you are applying your own logic to how one could end with the conclusion that "Israel" = "Christian", but again that is different than saying that: "In the Bible, the word Israel at times means 'Christian'".

I do realize that my question cuts right to the heart of this discussion, but while I believe that I have been grafted into Israelite promises and an Israelite covenant, that does not make me "Israel". It makes me a citizen of a kingdom that is "not of this world" that is soon coming here, by which I am and will be joined to a faithful remnant of Jewish brethren to become something wholly new and glorious, in which time that which is in part will be fully expressed, and that which was divorced will become fully reconciled in Christ. That, to me, is much more than being part of, or identified as, or with, Israel.

As you know there are many names for God's elect in the OT and the NT. The term Christian is obviously a new NT term that began at Antioch. It simply refers to a Christ-one or a follower of Christ. As we know, there has never been salvation outside of Christ, whether before or after the cross. So whilst that is a new term in the NT we should for the sake of argument use more commonly used biblical terms like redeemed, believer or saint (that are found in both testaments) to progress this discussion.

John146
Sep 22nd 2008, 06:43 PM
No, I don't agree. However, this is a good case example of a place in which Paul's argument will break down and become fallacious if the church is equated with the commonwealth of Israel. In other words, if we assume that the Gentiles are being taken into the commonwealth of Israel, we are forcing Paul's argument into the logical fallacy of ambiguity, otherwise known as equivocation.

Equivocation comes about when a word, in this case "Israel" assumes two different meanings in an argument, when it is clear that it should have one or the other.

In this case, Paul identifies his readers as "Gentiles in the flesh", which is a reference to the fact that the Gentiles were not physically circumcised. The significance of this lack of circumcision has its locus in the theocracy of Israel at the time of writing. Contrary to modern democratic societies, Israel of that time period was a theocracy, ruled by a religious elite and governed by judges who enforced the Mosaic Law. To become a citizen in this theocracy, among other things, a non-Israelite was required to accept the rite of circumcision and agree to put themselves under the law of Moses.

When Paul says his readers were aliens to the commonwealth of Israel, he speaks in terms of their nationality, not their spirituality. The polity of Israel includes but is not limited to being physically circumcised and keeping Moses. He wants to argue that, in spite of the fact that his readers were non-citizens, which kept them from access to God via the temple, they now have access to God via the spirit. In order to make his case, he acknowledges the supposition that the Gentiles were on the outside looking in, due to the fact that they were non-citizens. Not having the rights of a citizen, they were not allowed to offer sacrifices or enter the temple grounds to make prayers or petitions to God. Given that situation, God provided another way to gain access, i.e. through the cross of Christ, which according to God, transcends national boundaries.

Now, if Paul's use of the phrase "commonwealth of Israel" is not intended to indicate the theocracy of national Israel, then his argument begins to break down because his statement that the Gentiles were not circumcised becomes a trite statement, adding nothing to this argument. His comment that two groups are made into one in Christ makes no sense given that the Jews and the Gentiles are not actually different with respect to their inward spirituality. They only exist as separate groups in need of unification, if the issue is what outwardly makes them unique.

The fact that they are not circumcised, not members of the polity of Israel, not under the Law of Moses, etc. is what makes them unique from the Jews living as citizens of Israel. If Paul's argument does not understand the outward differences between these two groups, then his point concerning the fact that the separation wall kept Gentiles away from the Temple is another trite and meaningless point. The wall of separation never kept anyone from spiritual access to God.I believe you are making this too complicated. First, these Gentile believers are said to have been in the past "Gentiles in the flesh" and "aliens from the commonwealth of Israel". Then later it says they are no longer strangers and foreigners. No longer aliens. Then it says they are fellowcitizens of the household of God and it goes on to describe the church. I don't see how you can not equate the commonwealth of Israel, which these Gentile believers were only formerly aliens from, and the household of God, of which these Gentile believers were made fellowcitizens. Paul could just as easily have said these Gentiles were strangers and foreigners to the commonwealth of Israel and then later said they were no more aliens, but fellowcitizens in the household of God. The household of God and the commonwealth of Israel are the same thing. Both refer to the church.

the rookie
Sep 22nd 2008, 06:48 PM
What is the commonwealth of Israel then?

I think that BroRog just addressed that point well.


You didn't address it in a way that made any sense to me. Do you see any connection that can be made between Galatians 4:28 and Romans 9:6-8 or not? That's all I'd like to know.

Yes and no. Paul is using one biblical example to make two different points, depending on the argument he is refuting (Gentile converts must keep the Mosaic law) or the illustration he is making (about the faithful remnant). Though there is a common thread between the two conversations (faith) these are two different conversations.


No, I don't think it was complicated at all but I'll simplify it this way. Assume for the sake of argument that the Israel that is not of Israel = the Israel of God. My question then is: what makes someone a part of the Israel of God and, contrastly, what makes someone a part of the nation of Israel?

It doesn't really matter what I think if someone doesn't understand something I ask :lol:, but thanks for clarifying your question.

As I said earlier, it is debatable that the "Israel of God" term in Gal. 4:16 means what you think it does. Even so, your question still seems to be ignoring context and mixing two conversations together that addressed separate issues.


You don't believe you are a fellowcitizen in the commonwealth of Israel?

Nope.

the rookie
Sep 22nd 2008, 06:51 PM
As you know there are many names for God's elect in the OT and the NT. The term Christian is obviously a new NT term that began at Antioch. It simply refers to a Christ-one or a follower of Christ. As we know, there has never been salvation outside of Christ, whether before or after the cross. So whilst that is a new term in the NT we should for the sake of arguement use more commonly used biblical terms like redeemed, believer or saint (that are found in both testaments) to progress this discussion.

Point taken. My apologies if I moved the thread off of the OP.

wpm
Sep 22nd 2008, 06:53 PM
No, I don't agree. However, this is a good case example of a place in which Paul's argument will break down and become fallacious if the church is equated with the commonwealth of Israel. In other words, if we assume that the Gentiles are being taken into the commonwealth of Israel, we are forcing Paul's argument into the logical fallacy of ambiguity, otherwise known as equivocation.

Equivocation comes about when a word, in this case "Israel" assumes two different meanings in an argument, when it is clear that it should have one or the other.



What in your opinion is the good olive tree?

BroRog
Sep 22nd 2008, 06:54 PM
BroRog,

Lets start with Romans 9...


Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.
(Rom 9:6-8 KJV)
Surely, there is and must be a difference between Israel in the flesh and Israel of the promise...?

There is. According to Paul, the Israel of the promise will be populated with the sons of Jacob of God's own choosing. Notice how he makes his case. First he starts with two of Abraham's sons: Isaac and Ishmael. Between these two physical sons of Abraham, which son is a child of promise? Isaac is the obvious answer. Next, to continue with the same point, he raises the issue of Jacob and Esau. Between these two physical grandsons of Abraham, which one is a child of promise? The child of God's own choosing. Thus we learn that the Israel of the promise will consist of those physical sons of Abraham that God will choose according to his own purpose.

I see no evidence that, with respect to a national promise God made with the nation of Israel, Paul argues for Gentile inclusion. Instead, he argues for individual election with respect to God's mercy and justification. But in terms of a national promise to save each and every person in Israel, which is a national promise to Israel, not a personal promise to individuals, God is sorting between the physical sons of Jacob.



In Galatians, Paul also says about Christians and this exact same promise...


Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman. So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.
(Gal 4:28-31 KJV)
Can one really negate Israel of the promise, as an everlasting concept before God...?

In Galatians, Paul is making an entirely different point. We understand his statement concerning our being a child of promise in the context of a debate he is having with those who say salvation is predicated on being one of God's covenant people, i.e. circumcised and under the law of Moses. His argument is this. Just as Isaac was a child of promise before God made a covenant with the nation of Israel, then Gentiles can also be children of promise and remain outside the purview of a national covenant.

Paul's argument in Romans 9 - 11 concerns a national covenant God will make, not individual salvation. He is attempting to answer a rebuttal to his gospel that couches the debate in terms of a promise God made through the prophet Jeremiah to save "each man and his neighbor", which had not happened at the time of his writing the letter to the Romans. Paul needed to answer why, in Paul's time, a man might come to faith in Jesus but his neighbor might not. And for this reason, the fact that God was saving some Jews but not "each man and his neighbor", called for an explanation.

As I understand his argument, Paul is saying that God will indeed save the nation as a group, but God reserves the right to sort through all the Jews and pick the ones he wants to save.

wpm
Sep 22nd 2008, 06:57 PM
Point taken. My apologies if I moved the thread off of the OP.

I think your enquiry is legitimate. I just feel that the rare usage of the term Christian in the NT may make it difficult to progress either position. A more general term may be more apt.

John146
Sep 22nd 2008, 07:06 PM
I think that BroRog just addressed that point well.Not in my estimation. Can you tell me what you believe the commonwealth of Israel is in your own words and do you believe it is the same as the household of God?


Yes and no. Paul is using one biblical example to make two different points, depending on the argument he is refuting (Gentile converts must keep the Mosaic law) or the illustration he is making (about the faithful remnant). Though there is a common thread between the two conversations (faith) these are two different conversations. So, by Paul saying that we, as Isaac was, are the children of promise had no direct relation to him saying "In Isaac shall thy seed be called" and "the children of the promise are counted for the seed"?




It doesn't really matter what I think if someone doesn't understand something I ask :lol:, but thanks for clarifying your question.

As I said earlier, it is debatable that the "Israel of God" term in Gal. 4:16 means what you think it does. Even so, your question still seems to be ignoring context and mixing two conversations together that addressed separate issues. Regardless of what we want to call it, you agree that there is an Israel that is not of Israel, right? So, let's call that Israel #1. The nation of Israel is Israel #2. What enables someone to become part of Israel #1?




Nope.Can you explain why? It says these Gentile believers used to be aliens from the commonwealth of Israel. Would you agree that they are no longer aliens from the commonwealth of Israel because of being brought near by the blood of Christ? Later it says these same Gentile believers are no longer strangers and foreigners. Isn't Paul saying they are no longer aliens from the commonwealth of Israel? If not, why not? After that he says they are fellowcitizens in the household of God. Therefore, I see no difference between the commonwealth of Israel and the househould of God, which we can see from Eph 2:19-22 is a reference to the church.

wpm
Sep 22nd 2008, 07:09 PM
I think that BroRog just addressed that point well.



Yes and no. Paul is using one biblical example to make two different points, depending on the argument he is refuting (Gentile converts must keep the Mosaic law) or the illustration he is making (about the faithful remnant). Though there is a common thread between the two conversations (faith) these are two different conversations.



It doesn't really matter what I think if someone doesn't understand something I ask :lol:, but thanks for clarifying your question.

As I said earlier, it is debatable that the "Israel of God" term in Gal. 4:16 means what you think it does. Even so, your question still seems to be ignoring context and mixing two conversations together that addressed separate issues.



Nope.

What in your opinion is the good olive tree?

the rookie
Sep 22nd 2008, 07:13 PM
I think your enquiry is legitimate. I just feel that the rare usage of the term Christian in the NT may make it difficult to progress either position. A more general term may be more apt.

Got it - in other words, rather than saying "Israel" = "Christian" (as Dave Taylor noted) it would be more helpful to say that, for the sake of discussion, "Israel" = "believer" or "saint".

In my mind, I was doing that - and that the term "Christian" helped clarify the conversation. But for the sake of discussion, I'll shift gears.

So yes, it is confusing to state that in the NT (or OT, but that goes without saying) "Israel" = "believer".

Raybob
Sep 22nd 2008, 07:16 PM
No, I don't agree. However, this is a good case example of a place in which Paul's argument will break down and become fallacious if the church is equated with the commonwealth of Israel.

Jesus was God before the creation of the earth. Those Israelites faithful to Him before He came to earth in the form of a man are just as much a part of the church as those faithful to Him after the cross. The bible called those people the "church".

Act 7:37-38 This is that Moses, which said unto the children of Israel, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear. (38) This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us:

BroRog
Sep 22nd 2008, 07:27 PM
I believe you are making this too complicated. First, these Gentile believers are said to have been in the past "Gentiles in the flesh" and "aliens from the commonwealth of Israel". Then later it says they are no longer strangers and foreigners. No longer aliens. Then it says they are fellowcitizens of the household of God and it goes on to describe the church. I don't see how you can not equate the commonwealth of Israel, which these Gentile believers were only formerly aliens from, and the household of God, of which these Gentile believers were made fellowcitizens. Paul could just as easily have said these Gentiles were strangers and foreigners to the commonwealth of Israel and then later said they were no more aliens, but fellowcitizens in the household of God. The household of God and the commonwealth of Israel are the same thing. Both refer to the church.

I admit, my explanation sounds complicated, but I think this is due to the fact that I am required to not only refute one interpretation of the text but offer another interpretation that fits the text better.


I don't see how you can not equate the commonwealth of Israel, which these Gentile believers were only formerly aliens from, and the household of God, of which these Gentile believers were made fellowcitizens.

I don't equate them because Paul's argument hinges on the difference between the two. In essence, I believe Paul argues that Gentiles enter the household of God and become fellow citizens with the saints WITHOUT also becoming a naturalized citizen of Israel, physical circumcision being a prerequisite to becoming a citizen of the commonwealth.

Paul argues, for instance, that Christ has united the two, i.e. circumcised citizens of the commonwealth, and uncircumcised citizens of other polities, into a "New Man", which has no political affiliation at all. Had Paul been using the term "commonwealth" in a metaphorical sense, he would have suggested that Christ brought the Gentiles into an "already existing man", i.e. the spiritual polity that already existed in Israel. But he doesn't make this argument. Instead, he argues for a completely different and new group consisting of both Jews and Gentiles united in Spirit.

Again, had Paul been using the term "commonwealth" as a metaphor for the sum total of all believers, his line of thought concerning the wall of separation would be a non-sequitor, since that wall has significance only in the natural world among the natural citizens of Israel. For Paul to say that his Gentile believers were kept from the temple by a statute, which Christ abolished in his crucifixion, comes out of the blue if the central focus of the argument has nothing to do with the statues and regulations of a real country. What does it matter that the Gentiles were kept from the temple? The wall of separation never kept the Gentiles from gaining access to God. So why would Paul bring it up if it added nothing to his main point?

John146
Sep 22nd 2008, 07:56 PM
I don't equate them because Paul's argument hinges on the difference between the two. In essence, I believe Paul argues that Gentiles enter the household of God and become fellow citizens with the saints WITHOUT also becoming a naturalized citizen of Israel, physical circumcision being a prerequisite to becoming a citizen of the commonwealth.

Paul argues, for instance, that Christ has united the two, i.e. circumcised citizens of the commonwealth, and uncircumcised citizens of other polities, into a "New Man", which has no political affiliation at all. Had Paul been using the term "commonwealth" in a metaphorical sense, he would have suggested that Christ brought the Gentiles into an "already existing man", i.e. the spiritual polity that already existed in Israel. But he doesn't make this argument. Instead, he argues for a completely different and new group consisting of both Jews and Gentiles united in Spirit.

Again, had Paul been using the term "commonwealth" as a metaphor for the sum total of all believers, his line of thought concerning the wall of separation would be a non-sequitor, since that wall has significance only in the natural world among the natural citizens of Israel. For Paul to say that his Gentile believers were kept from the temple by a statute, which Christ abolished in his crucifixion, comes out of the blue if the central focus of the argument has nothing to do with the statues and regulations of a real country. What does it matter that the Gentiles were kept from the temple? The wall of separation never kept the Gentiles from gaining access to God. So why would Paul bring it up if it added nothing to his main point?The way I see it is that those Gentile believers were once "Gentiles in the flesh" (and nothing more than that), were "without Christ", were "aliens from the commonwealth of Israel", were "strangers from the covenants of promise", had "no hope" and were "without God in the world". But because of the blood of Christ they were no longer just Gentiles in the flesh, no longer "without Christ" but now belonged to Him, no longer "aliens from the commonwealth of Israel" but were made fellowcitizens of the commonwealth of Israel, they were no longer "strangers from the covenants of promise" but were now taking part in the covenants of promise, no longer had "no hope" but now had hope in Christ, and no longer "without God in the world" but were included among the people of God.

Why would Paul have been saying they were aliens from the nation of Israel? At the time he wrote the letter they were still aliens from the nation of Israel. He was talking to believers in Ephesus. He was implying that they were once aliens from the commonwealth of Israel but no longer were. That doesn't describe their relationship to the nation of Israel but to their relationship to the true Israel of God, which is the church.

wpm
Sep 22nd 2008, 07:57 PM
Got it - in other words, rather than saying "Israel" = "Christian" (as Dave Taylor noted) it would be more helpful to say that, for the sake of discussion, "Israel" = "believer" or "saint".

In my mind, I was doing that - and that the term "Christian" helped clarify the conversation. But for the sake of discussion, I'll shift gears.

So yes, it is confusing to state that in the NT (or OT, but that goes without saying) "Israel" = "believer".

Please remember, there are 2 Israels (2 circumcisions, 2 types of Jew, 2 types of children of Abraham). One is identified with natural birthright and one with spiritual birthright. It is the last that is entered by faith and a living relationship with God. What I believe Dave T was saying is that there is an Israel that is identified with the redeemed, the saints the believer (irrespective of ethnicity). This Israel includes believing Jews and Gentiles.

wpm
Sep 22nd 2008, 08:05 PM
I admit, my explanation sounds complicated, but I think this is due to the fact that I am required to not only refute one interpretation of the text but offer another interpretation that fits the text better.



I don't equate them because Paul's argument hinges on the difference between the two. In essence, I believe Paul argues that Gentiles enter the household of God and become fellow citizens with the saints WITHOUT also becoming a naturalized citizen of Israel, physical circumcision being a prerequisite to becoming a citizen of the commonwealth.

Paul argues, for instance, that Christ has united the two, i.e. circumcised citizens of the commonwealth, and uncircumcised citizens of other polities, into a "New Man", which has no political affiliation at all. Had Paul been using the term "commonwealth" in a metaphorical sense, he would have suggested that Christ brought the Gentiles into an "already existing man", i.e. the spiritual polity that already existed in Israel. But he doesn't make this argument. Instead, he argues for a completely different and new group consisting of both Jews and Gentiles united in Spirit.

Again, had Paul been using the term "commonwealth" as a metaphor for the sum total of all believers, his line of thought concerning the wall of separation would be a non-sequitor, since that wall has significance only in the natural world among the natural citizens of Israel. For Paul to say that his Gentile believers were kept from the temple by a statute, which Christ abolished in his crucifixion, comes out of the blue if the central focus of the argument has nothing to do with the statues and regulations of a real country. What does it matter that the Gentiles were kept from the temple? The wall of separation never kept the Gentiles from gaining access to God. So why would Paul bring it up if it added nothing to his main point?

The "citizenship of Israel" mentioned here is spiritual. The Gentiles that were nearly all pagan before the cross have been availed the wonderful opportunity to come to salvation through the victory of the cross and the consequential defeat of Satan. This is confirmed in Ephesians 2:11-19.

Our predictiment in the OT was: "at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth (or citizenship) of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world."

Ther good news in this NT era is: "But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ ... ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God."

This tells us that we were once "aliens from the citizenshipof Israel" but now we are "no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God."

the rookie
Sep 22nd 2008, 08:13 PM
Please remember, there are 2 Israels (2 circumcisions, 2 types of Jew, 2 types of children of Abraham). One is identified with natural birthright and one with spiritual birthright. It is the last that is entered by faith and a living relationship with God. What I believe Dave T was saying is that there is an Israel that is identified with the redeemed, the saints the believer (irrespective of ethnicity). This Israel includes believing Jews and Gentiles.

It would be helpful to review exactly what Dave T said:


The word 'Israel' is used many different ways in scripture. It isn't used only 1 single way.

Some ways it is used, off the top of my head; probably not all...



Jacob, son of Isaac
the name of the descendents of Jacob
the name of the nation until the death of Solomon
the name of the Northern Kingdom tribes
the name of the returnees from Assyrian/Babylonian exile
Messianic reference to Jesus Himself
Christians




Thus, in Dave T's presentation, "Israel" is used at times in the Bible to mean "Christians", or "believers", or "saints". It seems to me that "Israel" never means "believers" anywhere I can find. Neither is there ever a hermeneutical principle established by which we can safely interpret "Israel" as "believer".

One has to lay out a series of logical steps that either reframes or ignores Paul's statements to establish such a principle.

In direct opposition to your OP, it seems as if the zeal that some have for ethnic Israel has biblical precedent in Rom. 9-11, as it both echoes Paul's own zeal for his ethnic brethren as well as takes seriously Paul's charge to give his life as an apostle to the Gentiles that his own brethren (ethnic Jews) would be provoked to jealousy that their "acceptance" would equal "life from the dead" - related to "riches for the world" and "riches for the Gentiles".

In other words, Paul's whole case in Rom. 11 is that it is in our best interests to see a particular ethnic group come into the fullness of their gifts and calling, which would make it odd for us to "boast against the branches." More than odd - Paul cautions us to be careful how we speak about the branches that were not spared; for one thing God is able to grat them in again, for another it is possible that we ourselves might be cut off as well.

John146
Sep 22nd 2008, 08:15 PM
Got it - in other words, rather than saying "Israel" = "Christian" (as Dave Taylor noted) it would be more helpful to say that, for the sake of discussion, "Israel" = "believer" or "saint".

In my mind, I was doing that - and that the term "Christian" helped clarify the conversation. But for the sake of discussion, I'll shift gears.

So yes, it is confusing to state that in the NT (or OT, but that goes without saying) "Israel" = "believer".The Israel which not all natural Israel is part of only includes believers. Agree? So, a better thing to say would be that Israel = the body of believers. Call it true Israel, spiritual Israel, the commonwealth of Israel, the Israel of God or whatever you want to call it. It's a separate Israel from the nation of Israel. Agree? If so, what do you believe makes someone a part of that Israel? Do you think one's nationality is the basis or at least part of the basis for being included in that Israel?

wpm
Sep 22nd 2008, 08:16 PM
It would be helpful to review exactly what Dave T said:



Thus, in Dave T's presentation, "Israel" is used at times in the Bible to mean "Christians", or "believers", or "saints". It seems to me that "Israel" never means "believers" anywhere I can find. Neither is there ever a hermeneutical principle established by which we can safely interpret "Israel" as "believer".

One has to lay out a series of logical steps that either reframes or ignores Paul's statements to establish such a principle.

In direct opposition to your OP, it seems as if the zeal that some have for ethnic Israel has biblical precedent in Rom. 9-11, as it both echoes Paul's own zeal for his ethnic brethren as well as takes seriously Paul's charge to give his life as an apostle to the Gentiles that his own brethren (ethnic Jews) would be provoked to jealousy that their "acceptance" would equal "life from the dead" - related to "riches for the world" and "riches for the Gentiles".

In other words, Paul's whole case in Rom. 11 is that it is in our best interests to see a particular ethnic group come into the fullness of their gifts and calling, which would make it odd for us to "boast against the branches." More than odd - Paul cautions us to be careful how we speak about the branches that were not spared; for one thing God is able to grat them in again, for another it is possible that we ourselves might be cut off as well.

Ok, if there is only one type of Israel and there is no Israel defined according to faith, exegete Romans 9:6-8, “for they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is, they which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.”

the rookie
Sep 22nd 2008, 08:18 PM
The Israel which not all natural Israel is part of only includes believers. Agree?

No. I don't even agree with how the question is worded. :lol:


So, a better thing to say would be that Israel = the body of believers. Call it true Israel, spiritual Israel, the commonwealth of Israel, the Israel of God or whatever you want to call it.

I don't want to call it any of those things, as I believe that you are misinterpreting what Paul was saying.


It's a separate Israel from the nation of Israel. Agree?

In terms of the transmission of the promises, sure.


If so, what do you believe makes someone a part of that Israel?

Either faith or God's choice, depending on one's theological bent.


[Do you think one's nationality is the basis or at least part of the basis for being included in that Israel?

Nope.

BroRog
Sep 22nd 2008, 08:21 PM
What in your opinion is the good olive tree?

That's a good question. To start, I am reminded of what my teachers said with regard to analogies: not every aspect of an analogy needs to have a corresponding analog. As I attempt to understand Paul's analogy, for instance, I must be open to the possibility that the Olive Tree, by itself doesn't refer to anything at all. It's possible that Paul intended to communicate his idea through the relationship between the elements, not with the elements themselves.

For instance, he compares a cultivated olive tree to a wild olive tree. It's possible that he intends for the reader to focus on the difference between cultivation and wildness, not the fact that the tree is an olive species. If so, his point would be well taken if instead of the olive tree he spoke of a grape vine, a rose plant, or any other cultivated plant that farmers enrich with a grafting from a wild variety.

Regardless of the plant species, we get the picture of a farmer's care and skill to produce a crop that is suitable to his or her purposes, through the process of cultivation. By analogy then, the picture might represent God's relationship with Israel, not that the Olive tree itself represents Israel, but that the act of cultivation represents God's act of training Israel to hear and understand his word to them.

Paul also makes use of the parts of the plant to make another point. In his analogy the tree root gives nourishment and support to which, he says, the wild branches are grafted. Some of the natural branches were cut off to make room for wild branches. The farmer keeps branches that take nourishment and support from the root, and removes branches that don't. And the difference, by analogy, between the branches that remain and the branches that the farmer removes is the faith of the branches.

In my study of the NT, I have come to discover that faith commonly interacts with God's word. We are saved by grace in view of our faith, but it isn't just any faith with empty content. To believe in just anything doesn't save me. Saving faith believes the word, oracles, and promises of God, even if that promise, as Paul suggests, is implied in the natural world. If I believe Elvis is still alive, that doesn't save me. But if I believe that God sent his son to forgive me of my sins and free me from my moral ineptitude, and given that this is true, my faith has saved me.

So, if I were to assign an analog to the root of the tree, I would think the root is the Bible, the revealed word of God. Some people take nourishment and support from the word of God as they trust it, believe it, and act on it. By analogy then, it matters not whether a branch is attached to the root if the branch is not being fed by the root; and if the root is analogous to the Bible, then it matters not that I have access to the word of God if I don't believe it or trust it. Faith keeps the branches attached to the root because the word of God must be accompanied by faith. (Romans 10)

As Paul says earlier, the advantage of being circumcised, the advantage of being a Jew, is having access to the word of God. The fact that they had the word of God but didn't believe it, Paul says, won't keep God from being faithful to his covenant promise to them. While all men are liars, God is not.

So, since Paul doesn't say the Olive Tree is anything other than an Olive Tree, and since he makes his point with a comparison between that which is natural and that which is wild, and another point with a reminder of how branches relate to the root, I don't think the Olive tree, by itself, represents anything.

John146
Sep 22nd 2008, 08:22 PM
The "citizenship of Israel" mentioned here is spiritual. The Gentiles that were nearly all pagan before the cross have been availed the wonderful opportunity to come to salvation through the victory of the cross and the consequential defeat of Satan. This is confirmed in Ephesians 2:11-19.

Our predictiment in the OT was: "at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth (or citizenship) of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world."

Ther good news in this NT era is: "But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ ... ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God."

This tells us that we were once "aliens from the citizenshipof Israel" but now we are "no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God."
Seems clear to me. The commonwealth (citizenship) of Israel = the household of God = holy temple in the Lord = habitation of God through the Spirit.

the rookie
Sep 22nd 2008, 08:23 PM
Ok, if there is only one type of Israel and there is no Israel defined according to faith, exegete Romans 9:6-8, “for they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is, they which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.”

Paul is stating that there was always a faithful remnant within the national entity that God sovereigly chose to transmit the promises through the ages. That is very different than saying that "Israel" = "Christian", or "saint", or "believer".

wpm
Sep 22nd 2008, 08:28 PM
Paul is stating that there was always a faithful remnant within the national entity that God sovereigly chose to transmit the promises through the ages. That is very different than saying that "Israel" = "Christian", or "saint", or "believer".

What will be call this Israel for the sake of discussion - maybe true Israel or spiritual Israel or believing Israel or faithful Israel or all of these?

John146
Sep 22nd 2008, 08:31 PM
That's a good question. To start, I am reminded of what my teachers said with regard to analogies: not every aspect of an analogy needs to have a corresponding analog. As I attempt to understand Paul's analogy, for instance, I must be open to the possibility that the Olive Tree, by itself doesn't refer to anything at all. It's possible that Paul intended to communicate his idea through the relationship between the elements, not with the elements themselves.

For instance, he compares a cultivated olive tree to a wild olive tree. It's possible that he intends for the reader to focus on the difference between cultivation and wildness, not the fact that the tree is an olive species. If so, his point would be well taken if instead of the olive tree he spoke of a grape vine, a rose plant, or any other cultivated plant that farmers enrich with a grafting from a wild variety.

Regardless of the plant species, we get the picture of a farmer's care and skill to produce a crop that is suitable to his or her purposes, through the process of cultivation. By analogy then, the picture might represent God's relationship with Israel, not that the Olive tree itself represents Israel, but that the act of cultivation represents God's act of training Israel to hear and understand his word to them.

Paul also makes use of the parts of the plant to make another point. In his analogy the tree root gives nourishment and support to which, he says, the wild branches are grafted. Some of the natural branches were cut off to make room for wild branches. The farmer keeps branches that take nourishment and support from the root, and removes branches that don't. And the difference, by analogy, between the branches that remain and the branches that the farmer removes is the faith of the branches.

In my study of the NT, I have come to discover that faith commonly interacts with God's word. We are saved by grace in view of our faith, but it isn't just any faith with empty content. To believe in just anything doesn't save me. Saving faith believes the word, oracles, and promises of God, even if that promise, as Paul suggests, is implied in the natural world. If I believe Elvis is still alive, that doesn't save me. But if I believe that God sent his son to forgive me of my sins and free me from my moral ineptitude, and given that this is true, my faith has saved me.

So, if I were to assign an analog to the root of the tree, I would think the root is the Bible, the revealed word of God. Some people take nourishment and support from the word of God as they trust it, believe it, and act on it. By analogy then, it matters not whether a branch is attached to the root if the branch is not being fed by the root; and if the root is analogous to the Bible, then it matters not that I have access to the word of God if I don't believe it or trust it. Faith keeps the branches attached to the root because the word of God must be accompanied by faith. (Romans 10)

As Paul says earlier, the advantage of being circumcised, the advantage of being a Jew, is having access to the word of God. The fact that they had the word of God but didn't believe it, Paul says, won't keep God from being faithful to his covenant promise to them. While all men are liars, God is not.

So, since Paul doesn't say the Olive Tree is anything other than an Olive Tree, and since he makes his point with a comparison between that which is natural and that which is wild, and another point with a reminder of how branches relate to the root, I don't think the Olive tree, by itself, represents anything.Wow. I think you may be all alone with this view. The good (cultivated) olive tree doesn't represent anything? Does this mean the root or the natural branches don't represent anything, either? Does the wild olive tree also not represent anything? Do the wild branches represent nothing that is grafted in to nothing?

BroRog
Sep 22nd 2008, 08:31 PM
Jesus was God before the creation of the earth. Those Israelites faithful to Him before He came to earth in the form of a man are just as much a part of the church as those faithful to Him after the cross. The bible called those people the "church".

Act 7:37-38 This is that Moses, which said unto the children of Israel, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear. (38) This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us:

In the OT the term we translate as "Church" simply meant "the assembly" and that's all it meant. The assembly was merely the nation of Israel meeting at a prearranged designated place to worship God together. In the NT, the term came to be used in reference to the congregation of believers and eventually to the entire set of believers throughout the world.

Given this transformation of usage over time, it is unfair and not prudent for us to read this meaning backward in time, since the original meaning would be lost to us if we did.

wpm
Sep 22nd 2008, 08:35 PM
Either faith or God's choice, depending on one's theological bent.


So you admit there is another Israel that is distinct to natural Israel (all natural Israelis) that is defined by faith. This is contrary to what you previously argued. You had previously stated:



Thus, in Dave T's presentation, "Israel" is used at times in the Bible to mean "Christians", or "believers", or "saints". It seems to me that "Israel" never means "believers" anywhere I can find. Neither is there ever a hermeneutical principle established by which we can safely interpret "Israel" as "believer".


If we lay aside for a moment the issue of whether a Gentile can be part of this 'Israel of faith' you concede to, you must admit that there is an Israel that is specifically defined by faith. So your concluding statement is actually in error and runs contrary to the biblical definition you have just admitted to. Maybe you meant to say 'It seems to me that "Israel" never means "all believers" anywhere I can find. Neither is there ever a hermeneutical principle established by which we can safely interpret "Israel" as "all believer".' Although I would differ with this position also.

Can you clarify this?

John146
Sep 22nd 2008, 08:38 PM
Paul is stating that there was always a faithful remnant within the national entity that God sovereigly chose to transmit the promises through the ages. That is very different than saying that "Israel" = "Christian", or "saint", or "believer".Is the total extent of that Israel only a remnant of Israelite believers then? Gentiles cannot be a part of that Israel? Even though Paul said in Galatians 4:28 that "we, brethren (speaking to a group that included Gentile believers), as Isaac was, are the children of the promise"? It says in Romans 9:8 that the children of the promise are counted for the seed. The seed of what? The Israel that is not of Israel.

wpm
Sep 22nd 2008, 08:50 PM
That's a good question. To start, I am reminded of what my teachers said with regard to analogies: not every aspect of an analogy needs to have a corresponding analog. As I attempt to understand Paul's analogy, for instance, I must be open to the possibility that the Olive Tree, by itself doesn't refer to anything at all. It's possible that Paul intended to communicate his idea through the relationship between the elements, not with the elements themselves.

For instance, he compares a cultivated olive tree to a wild olive tree. It's possible that he intends for the reader to focus on the difference between cultivation and wildness, not the fact that the tree is an olive species. If so, his point would be well taken if instead of the olive tree he spoke of a grape vine, a rose plant, or any other cultivated plant that farmers enrich with a grafting from a wild variety.

Regardless of the plant species, we get the picture of a farmer's care and skill to produce a crop that is suitable to his or her purposes, through the process of cultivation. By analogy then, the picture might represent God's relationship with Israel, not that the Olive tree itself represents Israel, but that the act of cultivation represents God's act of training Israel to hear and understand his word to them.

Paul also makes use of the parts of the plant to make another point. In his analogy the tree root gives nourishment and support to which, he says, the wild branches are grafted. Some of the natural branches were cut off to make room for wild branches. The farmer keeps branches that take nourishment and support from the root, and removes branches that don't. And the difference, by analogy, between the branches that remain and the branches that the farmer removes is the faith of the branches.

In my study of the NT, I have come to discover that faith commonly interacts with God's word. We are saved by grace in view of our faith, but it isn't just any faith with empty content. To believe in just anything doesn't save me. Saving faith believes the word, oracles, and promises of God, even if that promise, as Paul suggests, is implied in the natural world. If I believe Elvis is still alive, that doesn't save me. But if I believe that God sent his son to forgive me of my sins and free me from my moral ineptitude, and given that this is true, my faith has saved me.

So, if I were to assign an analog to the root of the tree, I would think the root is the Bible, the revealed word of God. Some people take nourishment and support from the word of God as they trust it, believe it, and act on it. By analogy then, it matters not whether a branch is attached to the root if the branch is not being fed by the root; and if the root is analogous to the Bible, then it matters not that I have access to the word of God if I don't believe it or trust it. Faith keeps the branches attached to the root because the word of God must be accompanied by faith. (Romans 10)

As Paul says earlier, the advantage of being circumcised, the advantage of being a Jew, is having access to the word of God. The fact that they had the word of God but didn't believe it, Paul says, won't keep God from being faithful to his covenant promise to them. While all men are liars, God is not.

So, since Paul doesn't say the Olive Tree is anything other than an Olive Tree, and since he makes his point with a comparison between that which is natural and that which is wild, and another point with a reminder of how branches relate to the root, I don't think the Olive tree, by itself, represents anything.

So the whole context of Romans 9-11 should be ignored? The whole wording and build-up of Romans 11 about the apostasy of Israel and Paul relating this to the removal of "natural branches" in regard to this fall should be ignored? The grafting in of believing Gentiles to this tree means nothing as the tree means nothing? I cannot in any way see how you could come to such a conclusion.

BroRog
Sep 22nd 2008, 08:56 PM
Wow. I think you may be all alone with this view. The good (cultivated) olive tree doesn't represent anything? Does this mean the root or the natural branches don't represent anything, either? Does the wild olive tree also not represent anything? Do the wild branches represent nothing that is grafted in to nothing?

As I said, Paul's point is taken even as the individual elements of his analogy have no analog, due to the fact that his point relies on the relationship between the elements of his analogy, not the elements themselves. It is enough that some of the branches are from a cultivated tree (nothing is said about it being a "good" tree) and some branches are from a wild tree. His point would be the same whether the tree was an olive species or a grape species. His meaning relies on the concepts of cultivation, and wildness which would apply to a variety of plants.

Do you not understand this?

Are you familiar with Aesop's fables?

Wikipedia relates the story of the "Fox and the grapes" in this way.


The protagonist (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protagonist), a fox (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fox), upon failing to find a way to reach grapes (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grape) hanging high up on a vine (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vine), retreated and said: "The grapes are sour anyway!" The moral (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral) is stated at the end of the fable as: It is easy to despise what you cannot get.

It so happens that other cultures use other stories to make the same point. The concept being communicated with these stories is expressed in the moral of the fable. Whether it's a fox that can't reach grapes, or a cat that can't reach meat, the meaning is still the same because each story illustrates an example of rationalization. It doesn't matter what the fox represents by itself, but only that the fox can not reach the grapes. The story works on the relationship between the fox and the unapproachable grapes, or the cat and the unattainable meat. Some agent, whether it is a fox or a cat, is unable to attain a desired item, whether it be grapes or meat, and the agent wishing to attain the item rationalizes that the item is not actually desirable after all.

The point is, just as the fox doesn't have to represent anything by itself, the Olive tree doesn't have to represent anything by itself. Paul analogy works as long as we can understand the relationship between a tree and its branches and that, in horticulture, grafting of wild branches to a cultivated tree has implications we can understand and relate to his original point.

wpm
Sep 22nd 2008, 09:09 PM
It would be helpful to review exactly what Dave T said:



Thus, in Dave T's presentation, "Israel" is used at times in the Bible to mean "Christians", or "believers", or "saints". It seems to me that "Israel" never means "believers" anywhere I can find. Neither is there ever a hermeneutical principle established by which we can safely interpret "Israel" as "believer".

One has to lay out a series of logical steps that either reframes or ignores Paul's statements to establish such a principle.

In direct opposition to your OP, it seems as if the zeal that some have for ethnic Israel has biblical precedent in Rom. 9-11, as it both echoes Paul's own zeal for his ethnic brethren as well as takes seriously Paul's charge to give his life as an apostle to the Gentiles that his own brethren (ethnic Jews) would be provoked to jealousy that their "acceptance" would equal "life from the dead" - related to "riches for the world" and "riches for the Gentiles".

In other words, Paul's whole case in Rom. 11 is that it is in our best interests to see a particular ethnic group come into the fullness of their gifts and calling, which would make it odd for us to "boast against the branches." More than odd - Paul cautions us to be careful how we speak about the branches that were not spared; for one thing God is able to grat them in again, for another it is possible that we ourselves might be cut off as well.

What in your opinion is the good olive tree?

BroRog
Sep 22nd 2008, 09:15 PM
So the whole context of Romans 9-11 should be ignored? The whole wording and build-up of Romans 11 about the apostasy of Israel and Paul relating this to the removal of "natural branches" in regard to this fall should be ignored? The grafting in of believing Gentiles to this tree means nothing as the tree means nothing? I cannot in any way see how you could come to such a conclusion. Thankfully I have never heard anyone come out with this before.

At times like this, honestly, I can't tell how to proceed because I think, "surely he can't have gotten THAT from what I said, can he?" I'm worried that if I say anything else, I might confuse you even more. If I spend two hours typing out a detailed explanation of my view, and all I get is this kind of response, this feels like I'm about to drive 40 miles of bad road.

Maybe I should wait a day or two to give you time to think about it.

But to answer your questions directly, no, I'm not saying we ignore the context of Romans 9-11 etc.

For extra credit, why not show me in the context of Romans 11 where Paul gives the Olive Tree an explicit meaning or referent. Those who say, the Olive tree represents "Israel", or "Christ" or ?" are just guessing, when a guess isn't necessary. Not every element in an analogy needs to represent something specific, unless it's an allegory.

This is no allegory.

wpm
Sep 22nd 2008, 09:37 PM
At times like this, honestly, I can't tell how to proceed because I think, "surely he can't have gotten THAT from what I said, can he?" I'm worried that if I say anything else, I might confuse you even more. If I spend two hours typing out a detailed explanation of my view, and all I get is this kind of response, this feels like I'm about to drive 40 miles of bad road.

Maybe I should wait a day or two to give you time to think about it.

But to answer your questions directly, no, I'm not saying we ignore the context of Romans 9-11 etc.

For extra credit, why not show me in the context of Romans 11 where Paul gives the Olive Tree an explicit meaning or referent. Those who say, the Olive tree represents "Israel", or "Christ" or ?" are just guessing, when a guess isn't necessary. Not every element in an analogy needs to represent something specific, unless it's an allegory.

This is no allegory.

Context is: there are 2 peoples within Israel - the elect and the unsaved. One carries the favour of God, and is part of the good olive tree (by faith), and the other is under the wrath of God and has been cut off (through un belief) the tree.

Raybob
Sep 22nd 2008, 09:58 PM
In the OT the term we translate as "Church" simply meant "the assembly" and that's all it meant. The assembly was merely the nation of Israel meeting at a prearranged designated place to worship God together. In the NT, the term came to be used in reference to the congregation of believers and eventually to the entire set of believers throughout the world.

Given this transformation of usage over time, it is unfair and not prudent for us to read this meaning backward in time, since the original meaning would be lost to us if we did.

Yes, but I quoted the NT not the OT. The original Greek word used is the same one used all through the NT for the Christian church.

Act 7:37-38 This is that Moses, which said unto the children of Israel, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear. (38) This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us:

John146
Sep 22nd 2008, 09:59 PM
As I said, Paul's point is taken even as the individual elements of his analogy have no analog, due to the fact that his point relies on the relationship between the elements of his analogy, not the elements themselves. It is enough that some of the branches are from a cultivated tree (nothing is said about it being a "good" tree) and some branches are from a wild tree. His point would be the same whether the tree was an olive species or a grape species. His meaning relies on the concepts of cultivation, and wildness which would apply to a variety of plants.

Do you not understand this?I don't understand your view, but I do think I understand Romans 11. As far as nothing being said about a "good" tree, what about this:

Rom 11:24 For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert grafted contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?

In this verse Paul contrasts the wild olive tree with the good olive tree that the wild branches (Gentile believers) of the wild olive tree are grafted into.



Are you familiar with Aesop's fables?

Wikipedia relates the story of the "Fox and the grapes" in this way. Let's stick with scripture.


It so happens that other cultures use other stories to make the same point. The concept being communicated with these stories is expressed in the moral of the fable. Whether it's a fox that can't reach grapes, or a cat that can't reach meat, the meaning is still the same because each story illustrates an example of rationalization. It doesn't matter what the fox represents by itself, but only that the fox can not reach the grapes. The story works on the relationship between the fox and the unapproachable grapes, or the cat and the unattainable meat. Some agent, whether it is a fox or a cat, is unable to attain a desired item, whether it be grapes or meat, and the agent wishing to attain the item rationalizes that the item is not actually desirable after all.

The point is, just as the fox doesn't have to represent anything by itself, the Olive tree doesn't have to represent anything by itself. Paul analogy works as long as we can understand the relationship between a tree and its branches and that, in horticulture, grafting of wild branches to a cultivated tree has implications we can understand and relate to his original point.Huh? If the good olive tree doesn't represent anything then neither do the natural branches, the wild branches, the wild olive tree or the root. I can't make any sense out of anything you're saying, sorry.

Nihil Obstat
Sep 23rd 2008, 03:53 AM
Two days and five pages later, and the conversation has not moved an inch. I'm surprised that I'm surprised. I love it; seriously, I do! I mean, I love that Israel is being discussed and wrestled over - don't get me wrong - but I want to see unity in here in the midst of all this wrestling. I'm not talking of a "uni-mind" where we all robotically think and agree on the same thoughts about all things at all times, but instead of the like-minded-ness which Paul describes in Phil. 2:1-8. At those times in our discussions when we find ourselves agitated at others and consider ourselves superior by our knowledge of a particular subject, it is then that we need to remind ourself and each other of our consolation in Christ, our comfort of love, and have fellowship with the Spirit, having affection and mercy toward one another, making ourselves of no reputation and serving our brethren. When I became frustrated toward wpm, I apologized and only then was forgiven by God, for He never excuses sin, nor does sin diminish with time, but rather compounds. If you've wronged another member here, then you've sinned against Christ as well, and must seek the forgiveness of both parties, the sooner the better. True wisdom is not logical, but is foolishness; it is experiencing Jesus as He is. Knowing Jesus by ongoing experience with Him, and not by simply reading about Him, is true knowledge, for in that knowledge none can boast. So as we move on to discuss what we've been discussing, let us first make amends by acknowledging any sins committed. We don't get angry because of a situation; we get angry because we have anger in us, and need deliverance from it. This freedom happens progressively, but necessarily involves seeking the forgiveness of all those we've wronged. Feel the shame of your sin that you would feel the glory of your forgiveness. Amen? Amen!

BroRog
Sep 23rd 2008, 04:00 PM
Yes, but I quoted the NT not the OT. The original Greek word used is the same one used all through the NT for the Christian church.

Act 7:37-38 This is that Moses, which said unto the children of Israel, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear. (38) This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us:

Stephen is quoting the OT. In this context, the term "church" simply means "assembly" and does not imply anything about the spiritual status of those in attendance.

BroRog
Sep 23rd 2008, 05:22 PM
I don't understand your view, but I do think I understand Romans 11. As far as nothing being said about a "good" tree, what about this:

Rom 11:24 For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert grafted contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?

The KJV can be misleading in certain situations. In this case, the English phrase "good olive tree" is one Greek word indicating an olive tree that has been subjected to the practices of horticulture. Paul's contrast is between the branches of a cultivated olive tree and a wild olive tree.


In this verse Paul contrasts the wild olive tree with the good olive tree that the wild branches (Gentile believers) of the wild olive tree are grafted into.

Just to keep the conversation going, and in an effort to dialog about how Paul's argument works, let me ask you a question. Are individual Gentile branches grafted on to the tree one-by-one in view of their faith? Or Does God graft ALL Gentiles onto the tree initially, and once having believed, remain on the tree?


Let's stick with scripture.

I don't see why we need to stick with scripture. I tend to use examples from other forms of literature if the issue becomes a question of linguistics, since a familiar fairy tale or fable doesn't suffer from preconceived theological notions.


Huh? If the good olive tree doesn't represent anything then neither do the natural branches, the wild branches, the wild olive tree or the root. I can't make any sense out of anything you're saying, sorry.

As I said above, I attempted to explain how an author might communicate a complex idea by using some common experience from nature, such as a fox looking for grapes. In the fable, it's not important what the fox stands for or what the grapes stand for. What's important is the relationship of the fox to the grapes and how the fox feels about it.

In Paul's illustration, the Olive tree can stand for a number of things, all of which are appropriate, but none of which is definitive. The tree can stand for Jesus, or the Bible, or the Holy Spirit, or the Patriarchs. The only thing it can't represent is Israel, the church, the Jews or the Gentiles, since the branches represent those.

What is important, for Paul's point, is that the reader understand the basics of horticulture enough to associate that basic concept to his point about the Gentiles, whom he calls the "wild" olive branches. We understand that, unlike Israel whom God has been cultivating from the time of the Exodus to understand various significant theological concepts, God has left the Gentiles alone to grow up "wild", not training them to understand these concepts.

The Hebrews had the benefit of God's personal instruction. They knew, for instance, that The real God, was a transcendent being, and not just a superhero, super being like the Greek or Roman Gods. Through a personal interaction with the real God, mediated through angles, prophets and priests, the real God revealed his personality, desires, thoughts, goals, and purposes for mankind and the world. The real God had taught the Hebrews to expect a coming messiah, a king of righteousness that would rule the earth with a rod of iron, etc. What the Hebrews knew with certainty, the Gentiles only knew with speculation and fuzzy, hazy, philosophical reasoning. And while some Greek philosophers got pretty close, they couldn't match the knowledge the Hebrews gained from having a personal interaction with the real God.

Paul pictures God's interaction with the Hebrews as the process of horticulture in this passage. In Galatians, for instance, Paul describes the same concept with a student/teacher image, and a child/guardian image.

Now, by focusing on what the symbols represent, we can miss the significant aspect of the relationship between them, which Paul wants to highlight. Its easy to say, "well, the tree stands for Christ and the branches stand for believers. And everyone already knows the relationship Christ has with believers. So let's move on." But Paul doesn't want his readers to ASSUME the relationship between the root and the branches. Rather, Paul wants to highlight a specific relationship, not leaving it up to the reader to guess or assume anything.

Putting aside, for the moment, what the root and the branches represent, just focus on how the root and branches relate to each other in nature. The root, or trunk, supports the branches and gives them nourishment. The root draws water and nutrients from the ground to deliver them to the branches and it supports the branches.

Once we fix that concept into our minds, then we look back at the text to see what Paul makes of this concept to express his point. He is giving us two main ideas at the same time: horticulture and plant support. With regard to horticulture, he describes the branches in terms of cultivation, some being cultivated and others being wild. He explicitly associates the Gentiles with the wild branches. He exhorts the Gentiles not to arrogate themselves but to remember that the root supports them, not the other way around.

I need to stop right here, because the post is getting long and the time is short.

John146
Sep 23rd 2008, 06:35 PM
No. I don't even agree with how the question is worded. :lol:So, you believe that the Israel which is not of Israel includes unbelievers then? Can you explain that, please?


In terms of the transmission of the promises, sure.Okay, so you agree that Paul talked about two separate Israels. Which I would think is obvious since he said they are not all Israel which are of Israel.


Either faith or God's choice, depending on one's theological bent.You don't lean towards either of those options then? Regardless, you acknowledge that race or nationality has nothing to do with one being part of the Israel which is not of Israel. Glad we can agree on that.


Nope.This was in response to me asking you if one's nationality had anything to do with one becoming part of the Israel which is not of Israel.

Okay, so now that you've clarified your view a bit, I have a few questions.

Since being a part of this Israel which is not of Israel (the nation) has nothing to do with one's race or nationality, doesn't this mean that a Gentile can also become a part of the Israel which is not of Israel?

When it says in Romans 9:7, "In Isaac shall thy seed be called", what do you believe that means? Remember, you just said that one's race or nationality has nothing to do with it, so it can't have anything to do with being a natural descendant of Isaac, right? Personally, I believe it has a spiritual connotation and it's referring to those who would have faith like Isaac. The reason I believe that is in the very next verse it says the children of the flesh are not the children of God but the children of the promise are counted for the seed. Being a natural descendant clearly is not what determines whether one is a child of God and part of the Israel which is not of Israel.

But we see elsewhere in passages like Ephesians 2:11-22 and Galatians 4:22-31 that Gentiles too are children of the promise through faith in Christ. Therefore, Gentiles too are part of the Israel which is not of Israel. You agree that the Israel which is not of Israel is not limited by race or nationality. So I believe all who have faith like Isaac are part of it. As Paul says to both Jew and Gentile believers in Galatians 4:28, "We, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise". By relating Galatians 4:28 to Romans 9:6-8 I believe Paul clearly includes Gentile believers among the children of the promise who make up the Israel which is not of Israel.

It seems, though, that you see no direct relation between the following passages, but I do wonder why not?

Romans 9
6Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: 7Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called.
8That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.

Gal 4:28
Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.

Galatians 3
26For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. 27For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
28There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
29Andif ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

By putting the info we're given in these passages and others together, I come to these conclusions. One, they are not all Israel which are of Israel because one's nationality has nothing to do with it. There is neither Jew nor Greek in the church. The same is true for the Israel which is not of Israel. The children of the promise that are part of the Israel which is not of Israel descend in some way from Isaac. But it can't be by nationality because the children of the flesh (natural descendants) are not the children of God.

Instead, being a child of God depends on whether one has faith in Christ Jesus or not. By keeping Romans 9:6-8 in context, being a child of God and being a child of promise are the same thing. Paul explains in Galatians 3:26-29 that being a child of God and a child of promise is determined by having faith in Christ and belonging to Christ. As far as I can tell, that is the same criteria for being part of the Israel which is not of Israel.

John146
Sep 23rd 2008, 06:56 PM
The KJV can be misleading in certain situations. In this case, the English phrase "good olive tree" is one Greek word indicating an olive tree that has been subjected to the practices of horticulture. Paul's contrast is between the branches of a cultivated olive tree and a wild olive tree. Semantics aside, I believe the non-wild olive tree (I really don't care what anyone calls it) clearly represents the Israel of God, the church, because it includes both Jew and Gentile believers just as the church does. In other words, the way it is described is the same way we'd describe the church.

Clearly, when Paul referred to the natural branches being cut off, He was referring to Israelites who were cut off due to their unbelief. And when he refers to wild branches being grafted in, he was speaking of Gentile believers. The cultivated olive tree represents the church. The wild olive tree represents the Gentile nations, including believing and unbelieving Gentiles (before the believing Gentiles are grafted into the cultivated olive tree, anyway). The root holds it all together. That's why I believe it is Christ. He is "the root and the offspring of David" (Rev 22:16).


Just to keep the conversation going, and in an effort to dialog about how Paul's argument works, let me ask you a question. Are individual Gentile branches grafted on to the tree one-by-one in view of their faith? Or Does God graft ALL Gentiles onto the tree initially, and once having believed, remain on the tree? They are grafted on one-by-one when each individual puts their faith in Jesus Christ.


I don't see why we need to stick with scripture.That says a lot about the way you approach scripture. Why do we need anything else to help us understand Romans 11?


I tend to use examples from other forms of literature if the issue becomes a question of linguistics, since a familiar fairy tale or fable doesn't suffer from preconceived theological notions.Fairy tales and fables have nothing to do with scripture. If you could show they were divinely inspired, then maybe we could use them to make a point, but not otherwise.


As I said above, I attempted to explain how an author might communicate a complex idea by using some common experience from nature, such as a fox looking for grapes. In the fable, it's not important what the fox stands for or what the grapes stand for. What's important is the relationship of the fox to the grapes and how the fox feels about it.

In Paul's illustration, the Olive tree can stand for a number of things, all of which are appropriate, but none of which is definitive. The tree can stand for Jesus, or the Bible, or the Holy Spirit, or the Patriarchs. The only thing it can't represent is Israel, the church, the Jews or the Gentiles, since the branches represent those. The branches are individual believers that are members of the church. So, I don't see how you can say that the tree could not represent the church. And how can someone be grafted into the Bible or grafted into the Holy Spirit?


What is important, for Paul's point, is that the reader understand the basics of horticulture enough to associate that basic concept to his point about the Gentiles, whom he calls the "wild" olive branches. We understand that, unlike Israel whom God has been cultivating from the time of the Exodus to understand various significant theological concepts, God has left the Gentiles alone to grow up "wild", not training them to understand these concepts.

The Hebrews had the benefit of God's personal instruction. They knew, for instance, that The real God, was a transcendent being, and not just a superhero, super being like the Greek or Roman Gods. Through a personal interaction with the real God, mediated through angles, prophets and priests, the real God revealed his personality, desires, thoughts, goals, and purposes for mankind and the world. The real God had taught the Hebrews to expect a coming messiah, a king of righteousness that would rule the earth with a rod of iron, etc. What the Hebrews knew with certainty, the Gentiles only knew with speculation and fuzzy, hazy, philosophical reasoning. And while some Greek philosophers got pretty close, they couldn't match the knowledge the Hebrews gained from having a personal interaction with the real God.

Paul pictures God's interaction with the Hebrews as the process of horticulture in this passage. In Galatians, for instance, Paul describes the same concept with a student/teacher image, and a child/guardian image.

Now, by focusing on what the symbols represent, we can miss the significant aspect of the relationship between them, which Paul wants to highlight. Its easy to say, "well, the tree stands for Christ and the branches stand for believers. And everyone already knows the relationship Christ has with believers. So let's move on." But Paul doesn't want his readers to ASSUME the relationship between the root and the branches. Rather, Paul wants to highlight a specific relationship, not leaving it up to the reader to guess or assume anything.

Putting aside, for the moment, what the root and the branches represent, Why should we put that aside? If we know what they represent then we can know what Paul was trying to get across.


just focus on how the root and branches relate to each other in nature. The root, or trunk, supports the branches and gives them nourishment. The root draws water and nutrients from the ground to deliver them to the branches and it supports the branches.

Once we fix that concept into our minds, then we look back at the text to see what Paul makes of this concept to express his point. He is giving us two main ideas at the same time: horticulture and plant support. With regard to horticulture, he describes the branches in terms of cultivation, some being cultivated and others being wild. He explicitly associates the Gentiles with the wild branches. He exhorts the Gentiles not to arrogate themselves but to remember that the root supports them, not the other way around.

I need to stop right here, because the post is getting long and the time is short.Sorry, I can't make any sense out of what you're saying. Not much more I can say at this point.

Bing
Sep 23rd 2008, 07:52 PM
Semantics aside, I believe the non-wild olive tree (I really don't care what anyone calls it) clearly represents the Israel of God, the church, because it includes both Jew and Gentile believers just as the church does. In other words, the way it is described is the same way we'd describe the church.

Clearly, when Paul referred to the natural branches being cut off, He was referring to Israelites who were cut off due to their unbelief. And when he refers to wild branches being grafted in, he was speaking of Gentile believers. The cultivated olive tree represents the church. The wild olive tree represents the Gentile nations, including believing and unbelieving Gentiles (before the believing Gentiles are grafted into the cultivated olive tree, anyway). The root holds it all together. That's why I believe it is Christ. He is "the root and the offspring of David" (Rev 22:16).
This is correct. Now, it may also be correct to say that prior to the first century, God's Israel - the ecclesia, that group of believers through whom He worked - were almost exclusively Jewish. It ought therefore to be acceptable to say that the cultivated olive tree represents Israel; viz., the Jewish church to which David and Abraham and Joseph and Hezekiah and Isaiah all belonged.

It ought to be possible to claim that the cultivated olive tree is Israel, and that it is the Church, without fear of contradiction.

As you say, this tree's branches consist of faithful Jewish believers (Paul, for instance), grafted into true religion and the new covenant, while the branches stripped from the cultivated tree consist of those Jews who, while professing faith, had rejected Jesus. Likewise, I could accept that the wild branches are gentile nations and people, each with the potential to be re-grafted onto the tree.


They are grafted on one-by-one when each individual puts their faith in Jesus Christ.
Obviously. There is no such thing as corporate salvation.


Fairy tales and fables have nothing to do with scripture. If you could show they were divinely inspired, then maybe we could use them to make a point, but not otherwise.

The branches are individual believers that are members of the church. So, I don't see how you can say that the tree could not represent the church. And how can someone be grafted into the Bible or grafted into the Holy Spirit?
I understand what the other poster is trying to do. He's pointing out (quite rightly) that simply because an object is used symbolically in one passage, it does not necessarily mean the same in another passage. Such a promiscuous use of cross-referencing can lead one badly astray - for instance, we know that Jesus is the Lion of Judah...but does that mean that He is one with Satan, the roaring lion who goes searching for victims to devour? Blasphemy!

That said, while his caution is welcome, I think it is unnecessary in this case. I think that at worst, you are guilty of oversimplifying the interpretation, and I could see the tree signifying the Word of God, the Spirit of God, the ecclesia of God, or all, or a combination of several.


Why should we put that aside? If we know what they represent then we can know what Paul was trying to get across.

Sorry, I can't make any sense out of what you're saying. Not much more I can say at this point.
Again, I believe the other poster was simply trying (in a rather frustrated way) to make a point about hermeneutical consistency, and interpreting from context.

IPet2_9
Sep 23rd 2008, 08:35 PM
the Jewish church to which David and Abraham and Joseph and Hezekiah and Isaiah all belonged.

And to which the Pharisees and the hypocrites already did not.

BroRog
Sep 23rd 2008, 09:35 PM
Semantics aside, I believe the non-wild olive tree (I really don't care what anyone calls it) clearly represents the Israel of God, the church, because it includes both Jew and Gentile believers just as the church does. In other words, the way it is described is the same way we'd describe the church.

The only way a symbol can "clearly" represent anything is if the author explicitly says what it represents. Since Paul does not say what the root represents, the meaning must be deduced from the rest of the passage and is subject to interpretation.

I think your interpretation rests on various assumptions, which perhaps, you are not aware you are making. For instance, the very term "Gentiles" has two different but related meanings: 1) a man or woman not of the family of Jacob, or 2) a nation or nations other than Israel. It would appear, in your view, that you assume that Paul is using the term "Gentiles" in the first sense.

I think he is using the term in the second sense.


Clearly, when Paul referred to the natural branches being cut off, He was referring to Israelites who were cut off due to their unbelief. And when he refers to wild branches being grafted in, he was speaking of Gentile believers.

This reflects another assumption you make that needs to be examined. You are assuming, contrary to Paul's pattern in the rest of the chapter, that he is talking about individuals, i.e. individual Israelites and individual Gentiles. For Paul to maintain a consistent theology and to be consistent throughout his argument, Paul would need to be talking about nations, not individual people.

For instance, just a few short verses earlier, Paul talks about how the transgression of Israel became riches for the world. In a parallel statement he says that their failure has become riches for the Gentiles. In this we understand the parallel between "the world" and "The Gentiles", which speaks not about individuals, but the Gentile nations taken as a group.

Why then, when Paul enters into his Olive Tree metaphor, do we assume that Paul has switched his usage of the term "Gentiles" from "the world" to "individual non-Jewish believers?"


They are grafted on one-by-one when each individual puts their faith in Jesus Christ.

The fact that Paul has been using the term "Gentiles" to refer to "the world", which speaks broadly about them as nations and peoples rather than individuals, we must at least examine our assumption that the Olive Tree metaphor speaks about individual people or not. I don't think it does for several reasons. Let's pick up his rhetorical questions from verse 19.

You will say then, "Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in."

I take note of the fact that Paul continues to use the plural form of the word "branch" in his analogy. He has his rhetorical objector say "branches", not "a branch" was broken off. Secondly, From what I know of Paul's theology, he would not suggest that there was only so much room in the kingdom and that a new believer could not enter unless and until a person fell from the faith. We pick up the next verse,

Quite right, they were broken off for their unbelief, but you stand by your faith.

Here is a place where we can examine and compare two pictures. The first picture has God looking around the Gentile world for believers, and having found one, lops off a non-believing Jew to put on the believing Gentile. The second picture has God lopping off the nation of Israel, in order to attach the rest of the nations. Israel was lopped off due to unbelief. The rest of the world will stay on the tree as long as they continue to have faith. Continuing on . . .

Do not be conceited, but fear; for if God did not spare the natural branches, He will not spare you, either. Behold then the kindness and severity of God; to those who fell, severity, but to you, God's kindness, if you continue in His kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off. And they also, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again.

In this Paul specifies God's criteria for putting branches on the tree and taking them off. While Paul closely associates faith and unbelief with being on the tree or off the tree, he acknowledges that God has the ultimate say whether wild branches are grafted onto the tree, or whether natural branches are grafted back onto the tree. God acts according to his kindness, and is not obligated to mechanically put those of faith on the tree and lop unbelievers off of it.


The branches are individual believers that are members of the church. So, I don't see how you can say that the tree could not represent the church. And how can someone be grafted into the Bible or grafted into the Holy Spirit?

An author uses a metaphor when he or she wants to offer his or her readers a helpful illustration to clarify a point. The metaphor works as a comparison between two unrelated objects because the hard-to-communicate object has something in common with the easy-to-communicate object.

In this case, Paul draws upon the commonly understood practice of horticulture to illustrate God's relationship to the nation of Israel and to the other nations as it concerns his salvation efforts. To understand the metaphor properly, it's customary not to confuse the two halves of the illustration. Obviously people aren't grafted onto Bibles. That idea confuses the metaphor with its analog.

Paul expects us to find the similarity between the idea he has in mind and the image he presents. The first image is a farmer cutting branches off a tree, grafting other branches to a tree in the practice of horticulture. The second image is branches attached to a root. The first picture expresses the general idea of the progressive manipulation of nature to bring about a desired result. The second image expresses the idea of nutrition and support, which roots give to branches.

So then, Paul invites his readers to draw a comparison between a farmer's care to manipulate a plant to achieve a good result, and God's care to bring about a kingdom that suits his purposes. He also invites us to draw a parallel between the roots relationship to the branches, and the Gentiles relationship to something. And so the question is, what does God give to people, out of his kindness, that both supports and nourishes people.

As Jesus says to Satan, God not only feeds the body but he feeds the soul. He offers us not only bread, but his very word to feed us. "Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God." So then, we have Biblical precedent for the idea that God's word is what feeds and supports the believer.


Why should we put that aside? If we know what they represent then we can know what Paul was trying to get across.

I wasn't asking us to put them aside permanently. I meant we need to set aside our quest for the meaning of the symbols, while we attempt to understand the metaphor on it's own terms. What is the image Paul wants us to have? And how does one element of the metaphor interact with the others? For example, how does a root normally interact with a branch? Once we understand the interplay between the image elements, then we will be in a position to understand how Paul is using that image to make his point.

John146
Sep 23rd 2008, 10:04 PM
This is correct. Now, it may also be correct to say that prior to the first century, God's Israel - the ecclesia, that group of believers through whom He worked - were almost exclusively Jewish. It ought therefore to be acceptable to say that the cultivated olive tree represents Israel; viz., the Jewish church to which David and Abraham and Joseph and Hezekiah and Isaiah all belonged.

It ought to be possible to claim that the cultivated olive tree is Israel, and that it is the Church, without fear of contradiction.

As you say, this tree's branches consist of faithful Jewish believers (Paul, for instance), grafted into true religion and the new covenant, while the branches stripped from the cultivated tree consist of those Jews who, while professing faith, had rejected Jesus. Likewise, I could accept that the wild branches are gentile nations and people, each with the potential to be re-grafted onto the tree.


Obviously. There is no such thing as corporate salvation.


I understand what the other poster is trying to do. He's pointing out (quite rightly) that simply because an object is used symbolically in one passage, it does not necessarily mean the same in another passage. Such a promiscuous use of cross-referencing can lead one badly astray - for instance, we know that Jesus is the Lion of Judah...but does that mean that He is one with Satan, the roaring lion who goes searching for victims to devour? Blasphemy!

That said, while his caution is welcome, I think it is unnecessary in this case. I think that at worst, you are guilty of oversimplifying the interpretation, and I could see the tree signifying the Word of God, the Spirit of God, the ecclesia of God, or all, or a combination of several.


Again, I believe the other poster was simply trying (in a rather frustrated way) to make a point about hermeneutical consistency, and interpreting from context.:dunno: Thanks for sharing your opinions, Bing. I still stand by what I said before.

John146
Sep 23rd 2008, 10:17 PM
The only way a symbol can "clearly" represent anything is if the author explicitly says what it represents. Since Paul does not say what the root represents, the meaning must be deduced from the rest of the passage and is subject to interpretation.

I think your interpretation rests on various assumptions, which perhaps, you are not aware you are making. For instance, the very term "Gentiles" has two different but related meanings: 1) a man or woman not of the family of Jacob, or 2) a nation or nations other than Israel. It would appear, in your view, that you assume that Paul is using the term "Gentiles" in the first sense.

I think he is using the term in the second sense.Okay then. But since he was speaking of salvation, I believe it has to be in the first sense since salvation is by an individual basis.


This reflects another assumption you make that needs to be examined. You are assuming, contrary to Paul's pattern in the rest of the chapter, that he is talking about individuals, i.e. individual Israelites and individual Gentiles. For Paul to maintain a consistent theology and to be consistent throughout his argument, Paul would need to be talking about nations, not individual people.I disagree. He didn't say that all Gentiles were grafted onto the tree, including unbelieving Gentiles. If that was the case why would the unbelieving Israelites have been cut off? They were cut off because of unbelief. The ones who maintained their belief were not cut off. That is all determined on an individual basis, depending on whether one has faith in Christ or not.


For instance, just a few short verses earlier, Paul talks about how the transgression of Israel became riches for the world. In a parallel statement he says that their failure has become riches for the Gentiles. In this we understand the parallel between "the world" and "The Gentiles", which speaks not about individuals, but the Gentile nations taken as a group.

Why then, when Paul enters into his Olive Tree metaphor, do we assume that Paul has switched his usage of the term "Gentiles" from "the world" to "individual non-Jewish believers?"Romans 11
20Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:
21For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.

It should be clear from this passage that what determined whether or not one was on the tree was whether or not one had faith. Entire nations don't have faith. It was only some of the Israelites that were broken off because of unbelief. Therefore, it had nothing to do with the nation, but with only the individuals who did not believe. In the same way, only individual Gentiles who believe are grafted into the tree.


The fact that Paul has been using the term "Gentiles" to refer to "the world", which speaks broadly about them as nations and peoples rather than individuals, we must at least examine our assumption that the Olive Tree metaphor speaks about individual people or not. I don't think it does for several reasons. Let's pick up his rhetorical questions from verse 19.

You will say then, "Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in."

I take note of the fact that Paul continues to use the plural form of the word "branch" in his analogy. He has his rhetorical objector say "branches", not "a branch" was broken off. Secondly, From what I know of Paul's theology, he would not suggest that there was only so much room in the kingdom and that a new believer could not enter unless and until a person fell from the faith. We pick up the next verse,

Quite right, they were broken off for their unbelief, but you stand by your faith.

Here is a place where we can examine and compare two pictures. The first picture has God looking around the Gentile world for believers, and having found one, lops off a non-believing Jew to put on the believing Gentile. The second picture has God lopping off the nation of Israel, in order to attach the rest of the nations. Israel was lopped off due to unbelief. The rest of the world will stay on the tree as long as they continue to have faith. Continuing on . . .I have to stop you here. You seem to be making the assumption that the entire nation of Israel was cut off of the tree. Not so. Only those who were in unbelief. Israel was only blinded in part, not in full (Rom 11:25).


Do not be conceited, but fear; for if God did not spare the natural branches, He will not spare you, either. Behold then the kindness and severity of God; to those who fell, severity, but to you, God's kindness, if you continue in His kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off. And they also, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again.

In this Paul specifies God's criteria for putting branches on the tree and taking them off. While Paul closely associates faith and unbelief with being on the tree or off the tree, he acknowledges that God has the ultimate say whether wild branches are grafted onto the tree, or whether natural branches are grafted back onto the tree. God acts according to his kindness, and is not obligated to mechanically put those of faith on the tree and lop unbelievers off of it. I completely disagree with you. The criteria for being grafted into the tree is faith. Not the faith of nations. How can entire nations have faith? No, it is determined by the faith of individuals.


An author uses a metaphor when he or she wants to offer his or her readers a helpful illustration to clarify a point. The metaphor works as a comparison between two unrelated objects because the hard-to-communicate object has something in common with the easy-to-communicate object.

In this case, Paul draws upon the commonly understood practice of horticulture to illustrate God's relationship to the nation of Israel and to the other nations as it concerns his salvation efforts. To understand the metaphor properly, it's customary not to confuse the two halves of the illustration. Obviously people aren't grafted onto Bibles. That idea confuses the metaphor with its analog.

Paul expects us to find the similarity between the idea he has in mind and the image he presents. The first image is a farmer cutting branches off a tree, grafting other branches to a tree in the practice of horticulture. The second image is branches attached to a root. The first picture expresses the general idea of the progressive manipulation of nature to bring about a desired result. The second image expresses the idea of nutrition and support, which roots give to branches.

So then, Paul invites his readers to draw a comparison between a farmer's care to manipulate a plant to achieve a good result, and God's care to bring about a kingdom that suits his purposes. He also invites us to draw a parallel between the roots relationship to the branches, and the Gentiles relationship to something. And so the question is, what does God give to people, out of his kindness, that both supports and nourishes people.

As Jesus says to Satan, God not only feeds the body but he feeds the soul. He offers us not only bread, but his very word to feed us. "Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God." So then, we have Biblical precedent for the idea that God's word is what feeds and supports the believer. I can't make out what you're trying to say, sorry. I don't think much of what you're saying here relates directly to Romans 11.


I wasn't asking us to put them aside permanently. I meant we need to set aside our quest for the meaning of the symbols, while we attempt to understand the metaphor on it's own terms. What is the image Paul wants us to have?An image of Gentiles being able to be part of the same entity that was once home only to Jews. The believing Gentiles were once not a people but are now the people of God along with Jewish believers.


And how does one element of the metaphor interact with the others? For example, how does a root normally interact with a branch? Once we understand the interplay between the image elements, then we will be in a position to understand how Paul is using that image to make his point.I think it's best to understand what Paul is saying by identifying each element and not being overly concerned with understanding horticulture.

BroRog
Sep 24th 2008, 12:22 AM
Okay then. But since he was speaking of salvation, I believe it has to be in the first sense since salvation is by an individual basis.

Yes, salvation is granted on an individual basis. That is a given. But I'm trying to get you to follow Paul's train of thought. And I demonstrated from the text that Paul is using the term "Gentiles" in a corporate sense, not an individual sense.

Compare these two parallel sentences . . .

Now if their transgression is riches for the world

and their failure is riches for the Gentiles

Are these not parallel ideas expressed in the same sentence? I think so. The idea of "transgression" is being equated with the idea of "failure," and the idea of "the world" is being equated with the idea of "the Gentiles."

Now, let's back up a verse.

I say then, they did not stumble so as to fall, did they? May it never be! But by their transgression salvation has come to the Gentiles, to make them jealous.

When he says "salvation has come to the Gentiles" he speaks in general terms about the entire world. Salvation came to the entire world in that the gospel message has become available to the world through the evangelistic efforts of Paul and his fellow workers. He isn't saying that each and every Gentile individual has come to salvation. And of course, salvation has always been available to the Gentiles, even before Christ came and Paul spread his message to the world. But he speaks truthfully in that while God has never rejected a Gentile who wanted to be saved, it wasn't until after the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ that the goodnews message about Jesus Christ spread around the world like wildfire.

Anyway, in terms of our exegesis of this passage, we say that Paul is speaking in generalities about the Gentiles: that a national transgression from Israel has resulted in riches for the Gentiles.


I disagree. He didn't say that all Gentiles were grafted onto the tree, including unbelieving Gentiles. If that was the case why would the unbelieving Israelites have been cut off?


Your question is predicated on the idea that a "branch" is an individual person, which is an idea I reject. I believe Paul's analogy with the Olive tree continues to speak generally of the Gentiles, consistent with his flow of thought from verse 12 as he attempts to answer his question from verse 11. Just as the transgression of Israel has become riches for the world, even though individuals within the world do not take advantage of these riches, God has grafted the Gentiles onto the root of the tree, even as individual non-Jews do not take advantage of being on the root.


They were cut off because of unbelief. The ones who maintained their belief were not cut off. That is all determined on an individual basis, depending on whether one has faith in Christ or not.

Again, this is all predicated on the idea that each branch is a person and that the root is Christ. I understand that. But you don't seem to give much weight to my argument that if each branch was an individual, Paul's image violates the rest of his theology. I think he would be shocked and offended that we thought God had to wait for an individual Jew to fall to apostasy before he could put a believing Gentile on the tree.

In addition, if faith were the prerequisite for being put on the tree we have two additional problems with Paul's image. If faith were the prerequisite for being put on the tree, then how did unbelieving Jews get on the tree in the first place? Secondly, if faith is the prerequisite for being put on the tree, what does God's kindness have to do with it? God can be kind all he wants but if I have faith, he is obligated to put me on the tree no matter how he feels about it. He has no choice in the matter. As long as I meet the qualification, I deserve to be on the tree. It's not a matter of being kind. It's a matter of being fair.

Moreover, since faith is a prerequisite that anyone can meet, Paul's image of the "natural" verses the "wild" makes no sense. A Jew is no more naturally a believer than a Gentile. The Bible does not teach that faith is natural for a Jew but unnatural for a Gentile. I would think this implication to be repugnant to anyone who believes God's salvation is available equally to all, and that a person's race does not predict or affect whether a person comes to faith or not. Individually speaking, there are no natural believers.


Romans 11
20Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:
21For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.

It should be clear from this passage that what determined whether or not one was on the tree was whether or not one had faith.

This is VERY clear from the passage you quoted. However, once we read further, your position is not so clear. Further down, Paul makes God's kindness and severity the cause of being grafted or cut off the tree. And again, the act of putting an individual believer on the tree in view of his or her faith is not a matter of kindness; it's a matter of fairness since the alternative would be grossly unjust. Paul's argument doesn't hold water in terms of individual people. But it makes perfect sense in terms of giving the nations, in general, access to something they previously lacked.


Entire nations don't have faith.

That's true, but until Paul went on his missionary journeys, entire nations were kept in the dark with regard to God's word. He says this explicitly in Ephesians chapter 2, where he says that, as Gentiles, the Ephesians were alienated from Christ. Perhaps individual Ephesian citizens were aware of Jesus, but as a nation, it wasn't until Paul went to them, that they all learned of Jesus together. Also, earlier in Romans, Paul says that the distinct advantage of being a Jew, was not measured in terms of Jewish salvation, but in Jewish access to the oracles of God.

The most explicit statement Paul gives with regard to the idea that Israel was rejecting the Gospel while Gentiles were accepting it is found in Acts 13,

Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly and said, "It was necessary that the word of God be spoken to you first; since you repudiate it and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we are turning to the Gentiles.

This, I believe, is when God lopped off Israel and grafted in the Gentiles.


I have to stop you here. You seem to be making the assumption that the entire nation of Israel was cut off of the tree. Not so. Only those who were in unbelief. Israel was only blinded in part, not in full (Rom 11:25).

Yes, Israel was blinded in part, which indicates that some citizens of Israel were blind, while others came to saving faith. But the question is, where did God direct his missionary efforts after Acts 13?


I completely disagree with you. The criteria for being grafted into the tree is faith. Not the faith of nations. How can entire nations have faith? No, it is determined by the faith of individuals.


I think I miscommunicated or we're speaking past each other here. When I suggest that Paul is speaking in general terms about the Gentiles, I am not suggesting that entire nations are coming to faith. When an author makes generalizations about people it is automatically understood that the author isn't talking about each and every member in the group.

Again, I take us back to Paul's statment that the transgression of Israel became riches to the world. This is a generalization. When he says riches came to the world, he does not mean to say that each and every person in the world took advantage of these riches.


I can't make out what you're trying to say, sorry. I don't think much of what you're saying here relates directly to Romans 11.

Well, you only gave it about an hour or so to sink in. I would expect anyone to get what I'm saying in that short of a period of time.

An image of Gentiles being able to be part of the same entity that was once home only to Jews. The believing Gentiles were once not a people but are now the people of God along with Jewish believers.


I think it's best to understand what Paul is saying by identifying each element and not being overly concerned with understanding horticulture.

Okay, but we don't really understand Paul until we understand the relationship between each element. To say that the Tree is Jesus or spiritual Israel, ignores and does violence to the concept of "cultivation" and "nurishment" which is an essential aspect of Paul's metaphor.