(from “Defending Dispensationalism”) by Mark Graeser, John Schoenheit and John Lynn
- A “covenant” is a solemn promise binding two parties in an agreement. In certain biblical covenants like the “New” Covenant, God binds Himself unconditionally by His love and grace to perform specific promises to specific people (Israel). These promises cannot be disannulled, and neither can they be “fulfilled” only in part; they must at some point be fulfilled completely or God’s righteousness would be compromised, and He found to be a liar. If the Church cannot “fulfill” the New Covenant, then it must be in a different relationship with God, (we are “in Christ/ in the Lord” and Israel cannot claim this relationship).
2. The covenant was made with Israel, the physical descendants of Abraham according to the flesh, and with them as a specific nation. Since the Church is neither Jews nor Gentiles (a “nation”), how can the Church fulfill this covenant?
- Since the Abrahamic covenant promises Israel a permanent existence as a nation (with a physical country), then the Church is not fulfilling Israel’s promises, nor is it “the New Israel” (or literally “the Israel of God”). The New Covenant properly belongs to the restoration of Israel as a glorious nation that is filled with a knowledge of God as “the waters fill the seas.”
- Because the Abrahamic covenant promises her permanent possession of the Promised Land, Israel must still come into possession of the land, which she has never fully possessed in her history, according to the precise specifications of that covenant. Old Testament prophecies confirm that Israel will have full possession of the land of Israel in the future, and Ezekiel 48 even describes which tribe will get which part of the land. In contrast, the Christian Church will never possess the land of Israel, and it has no “tribes,” so it cannot fulfill the prophecies of Ezekiel.
- The “New” Covenant is made with the same people as the “Old” Covenant, namely Israel.
- There is a distinction among personal promises to Abraham, national promises to Abraham’s seed and universal promises to “all the families of the earth.” The national promises can be fulfilled only by the nation itself. The language of the New Covenant is quite specifically directed to national Israel (Jer. 31:31-33).
- The Gospel of Christ is not a covenant, but the revelation of the salvation of God to all men.
- All the blessings that come to the Church today are based upon the blood of Christ, which was necessarily shed to make possible the New Covenant, according to Jeremiah 31. But just because the Church partakes of the blessings of the shedding of Christ’s blood (shed for the propitiation of the sins of the whole world –1 John 2:2) it does not mean that the Church therefore fulfills the New Covenant. The shed blood of Christ was a necessary condition for the formation of the Church, but was not sufficient for the fulfillment of the covenant. There is still the matter of land, material blessings, rest, Christ’s reign, a new heart for Israel, and so on, that were promised as a part of the New Covenant and have not yet been fulfilled. That’s why Hebrews 7: 22 says, “Jesus has become the guarantee (“surety”) of a better covenant”.
- Although we do not have the covenant made with us, we can have some of its blessings ministered to us, as well as be ministers of some of its blessings. This is the same principle as Peter’s Acts 2 citation of Joel 2:28-32 in reference to the giving of holy spirit on the day of Pentecost, a prophecy that actually refers to the still future “day of the Lord .” Peter had not been introduced to the truths of the “dispensation of the Secret” (Ephesians 3: 8) Although Peter did not then know the “secret,” his reference to Joel was relevant because each Christian now partakes of the holy spirit aspect of the future New Covenant with Israel. To me this is prevarication with the plain reading of the text. Peter absolutely DID NOT KNOW what he was talking about. Paul, in Romans 8:23 clears it up by saying we have the “firstfruits of the spirit”. It is easy to understand how people can have the blessings of a covenant ministered to them without being part of the covenant if one thinks of the Gentiles in the Old Testament. They were not part of the Old Covenant, but they could have covenant blessings ministered to them. Many non-Jews lived in Israel, apparently for that reason.
- As the Church receives blessings of the Abrahamic covenant by faith without fulfilling that covenant, so the Church may receive blessings from the New Covenant without fulfilling it.
- Israel must go through the Tribulation and be delivered by the Messiah before the New Covenant can be fulfilled (Rom. 11:26 and 27).
- Since the Tribulation, the second coming of Christ and the Millennial Reign of Christ are yet future, the fulfillment of this promise must also be future, and cannot be fulfilled now by the Church.
- The Messiah, who ratified this New Covenant with Israel, must return to the earth to complete the salvation, restoration and blessing of Israel that is promised them as a result of the New Covenant God promised them.
Most of us have heard about “fallen angels” even though the Bible does not literally support it. If you research “fallen” you will only find one reference to an angel in Is.14:12, which is a prophecy of something to come. This scripture refers the “the Shining One, the Morning Star.”
“How you have fallen from heaven,
O star of the morning, son of the dawn! NASU
(The KJV adds the name Lucifer, but there is no such name in the most correct manuscripts).
The reason this verse is still future is because Rev. 12:9 is still future.
9 And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.
“The fallen angels” refers to those mentioned in Jude 6 and 2Pe.2:4.
And angels–those who did not keep the position originally assigned to them, but deserted their own proper abode–He reserves in everlasting bonds, in darkness, in preparation for the judgement of the great day. Weymouth. This seems to be a free will decision to abandon (desert) their own dwelling place and because they did,
2 Peter 2:4
For God did not spare angels when they had sinned, but hurling them down to Tartarus consigned them to caves of darkness, keeping them in readiness for judgement. Weymouth
Because of their own actions, God cast them out of Heaven; they didn’t fall, they were thrown out!
What sin did they did commit to cause this? For those who may not know we can find that answer in Genesis.
Now it came about, when men began to multiply on the face of the land, and daughters were born to them, 2 that the sons of God (angels) saw that the daughters of men were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves, whomever they chose. 3 Then the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh; nevertheless his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.” 4 The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown. NASU
4 The Nephilim were on the earth in those days and also later. That was when the sons of God had sexual relations with the daughters of human beings. These women gave birth to children, who became famous and were the mighty warriors of long ago. NCV
The offspring of these angels were/are the Nephilim. Goliath was a Nephilim, a member of a super race of people, continually evil, mighty warriors and famous men of renown. Nimrod was another. This is the sin that these particular angels committed. They have been in Tartarus ever since the Flood.
Some things Christians believe never fail to amaze me. One of them is what is named “the New Covenant.” Covenants have been and always will pertain to Israel, not the Church of God in Christ Jesus.
The Book of Hebrews will be a lot more familiar to a Hebrew than to a Gentile. The language and the words used will be much more understandable to them. Nevertheless, this “new” covenant mentioned in detail 14 times from 8:6 to 13:20 will leave even former Gentile, now Christian believers, with no doubt to whom this covenant applies.
8:6 tells us that Jesus will be the mediator of this new covenant. Verse 8 begins a quote of Jeremiah 31:31-34 which goes like this:
31 “Behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah,……NASB
It is pretty clear “to whom” this new covenant applies. This prophecy is yet to come to be fulfilled.
8:10 and 10:16 says “After those days,”—-after what days? “Those days” aren’t just any days, but refer to the Day(s) of the LORD, the days of the vengeance of our God.
And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in “those” days!
And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake “those” days shall be shortened.
Immediately after the tribulation of “those” days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
Yes, after these days of the Great Tribulation, will this new covenant be enacted for the faithful of Israel who live through it and those who are raised from the dead at the First Resurrection, that of the Just.
Covenants apply to Jews, not Gentiles nor the Church of God. God Bless!
Fred S. Wolfe
” Islamo Nazi’s are in for a big surprise!”
IMHO, I believe the biggest lie in practically all world religions is that there is “Life immediately after Death.” Muslims for example pattern much of what they believe after the Old Testament of the Bible and specifically the Torah. Christians and Jews each believe in the Resurrection of/from the Dead. What would be the point in believing in the resurrection of the dead if the dead were already alive in Heaven or as some believe in Paradise?
From what I have read Jesus Christ, the “monogenetic” son of God, is the only human being whose flesh was not allowed to rot in the grave, Sheol. Until the Administration of the Secret, all any believer had to look forward to after death was the resurrection of the Just; it was the Jews one, big hope. I think Martha said it best when speaking to Jesus of her dead husband Lazarus, “Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”–John 11:24–KJV
In John 11, Lazarus had been dead 4 days and stunk to high heaven! But, why wasn’t he already in heaven or Paradise? Heck, he was one of Jesus’ best friends. If one of the malefactors crucified with Jesus was going to be in Paradise immediately after his death, surely Lazarus would be too, right? If someone who robbed people by threatening their lives was going to be in Paradise immediately following their death, certainly a righteous believer whom the Lord Jesus loved would be. But, the fact of the matter is, neither of them were. And no one who has ever drawn breath on this earth besides Jesus is!
1 Cor 15:20-23–But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept (dead in the grave, Sheol). For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. (When?) But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming. Aside from the Gathering Together, episunagoge, of the Church of God, the resurrection “at his coming” will be that of the Just. Luke 14:14–And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just. KJV
Acts 24:14-15–But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets: and have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust. This means that someday everyone who has ever lived will raised from the dead, some to everlasting life and others to the 2nd death. Rev 20:5-6 says,
But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection (the Just): on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. KJV
Islamic extremists who kill themselves while murdering others have nothing to look forward to but the second death. They will certainly be among those who are treated to a swim in a heated pool after the resurrection of the Unjust. Rev 20:12-14
And I saw the dead (not the living), small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell, sheol, delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. (Can you see where the dead are? They are not in heaven or paradise). The dead are in the sea or on land, in the grave, nowhere else.
Rev 21:8–But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death. ESV
Death is an enemy and always will be. Death will not be destroyed until after the Millennial Kingdom as you see above. We were not created to die, but to live forever. When we make Jesus, Lord and believe God, YHWH, raised him from the dead we will receive eternal life. After death, we will all sleep with our father’s, just like everyone else, but Jesus! God bless!
This will be my shortest Post ever. I am curious what you think we should be praying for more than anything else. One of the things I think should be a #1 concern is that the US Dollar remain the World Reserve Currency. If it ever loses that lofty position, it could lose 50-75% of its value overnight, if not more. When things lose value, it takes more of them to get less. What do you think is the most important thing to prayer for?
(As you can see, it does not pay to take verses out of their context).
Paul was not saying, “hey let’s all go out and put ourselves in a dangerous place where we could to get killed, cuz, hey, then we will be with Christ!” What he was saying was that he himself was torn between wanting, desiring for the gathering together to be with Christ and continuing to do what he was doing, for their sake; not that he or us has any control over the return anyway. Paul goes on to say:
Phil 1:23 But I am pressed by both, having the desire for (the) departure and being with Christ, [for] [it is] very much better, Darby
More of the context of Philippians: Phil 2:16 Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain. KJV
Paul goes on to say in Phil 3:7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. KJV
Phil 3:10-11 That I may know him, and the power of his ability to raise the dead, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the rising from the dead. AT
Phil 3:20-21 for our commonwealth has its existence in [the] heavens, from which also we await the Lord Jesus Christ [as] Saviour, who shall transform our body of humiliation into conformity to his body of glory, according to the working of [the] power which he has even to subdue all things to himself. Darby
2 Thess 2:3 Let no one deceive you in any way. For it (the day of the Lord) will not be, unless the departure comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of destruction, WEB
Death is an enemy and will be an enemy until it is destroyed: 1 Cor 15:26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. KJV
Do you remember that Paul said in 1 Thess 4:13-17 that the dead are sleeping in Christ? Where are they sleeping? In Sheol, the grave. This is where the apostle Paul is now, and Peter and David and Moses as well as everyone who has ever lived and died, except Jesus Christ. Some are awaiting the Gathering Together of the Church of God, the Body of Christ; others are awaiting the Resurrection of the Just, some the Unjust and still others have no idea that they are waiting for anything. But, the fact remains, that they are dead and don’t even know it. Anyone who was ever any good for God, who are dead, are no longer. Death will find us all soon enough without us going out looking for it!
Whatever your hand finds to do, verily, do it with all your might; for there is no activity or planning or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol where you are going. NASB
In the preceding 3 posts I have established beyond any doubt that the miscalled “churches” in The Apocalupsis of John are in reality assemblies or congregations of Jews, members of the Nation of Israel. To give you an example of how unsound some believers can be, a woman, whose blog I used to follow, said to me, “If Jesus called them churches, then that’s what they are!” Unfortunately Jesus has had nothing to do with how translators have chosen to translate most of the words in the Bible. Out of 17 Bible versions or translations in my PC Bible program only these 3 translate ecclesia properly:
John to the seven assemblies that [are] in Asia:
YLT- Young’s Literal Translation
4 John to the seven assemblies
4 John, to the seven assemblies that are in Asia:
WEB- World English Bible
If you are a serious workman of the Word or want to be you must invest in some PC Bible program or buy a lot of Bibles! On my way home from NY last Sunday by way of Chicago I had the opportunity to sit next to a young Jewish girl who had recently become a Christian. She was very well versed in the “mainstream” doctrines of Christianity. She was surprised to hear many things I had to say about beliefs she held and took a copious amount of notes on her phone. I was able to show her from the Scriptures (on her phone) passages which substantiated what I had to say, but she could not find one Scripture to substantiate anything she believed! Everything she believed hear-say and much of that was heresy!
She was even astonished to see from 1 Corinthians 10:32 that the apostle Paul established that there are only 3 types of people in the world; Jews, Gentiles and the Church of God. She was equally surprised to see these verses:
There 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.
29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
She was insisting that she was a Jew for Jesus. What an absurd belief. I tried to explain to her that once a Jew or a Gentile became born again of the spirit of God by confessing Jesus as their Lord and believing God raised him from the dead, they became members of the Church of God. She could not let go of her ancestry and she could not understand how I could be of the seed of Abraham. She really imploded when I told her that Abraham was a Gentile and not a Jew!
Abram is first mentioned in Ge. 11:26; his name was changed to Abraham in Ge. 17:5. Jacob isn’t mentioned until Ge. 25:26 and his name was not changed to Israel until Ge. 32:28. The word Jew is not mentioned until the book of Esther and then it applied to a descendant of Judah. Abraham is called a Hebrew in Ge. 14:13 which means a descendant of Eber. Eber is first mentioned in Ge. 10:21. Eber lived 464 years; see Ge. 11:16.
I could go on and on, but the point you need to see is that the word Hebrew had nothing to do with Jews or Israel originally; that Israel did not exist in Ge. 11. Therefore Abraham could not have been a Jew, but rather a Gentile.
The most astonishing thing that this young Jew for Jesus had to say to me was that no one could be a Christian or a member of the Church of God without confessing and believing that Jesus was God incarnate. I asked where she got this from in the Scriptures and she did not know precisely. I showed her Romans 10:9 where it says to confess Jesus as Lord which she said means God, because God is the “Lord” God. I proceeded to show here in Acts 2:36 that God had bestowed His title as Lord upon Jesus. Jesus is my Lord, my master. Nowhere in the Pauline Epistles does it talk about the Lord God or the Lord our God. They show God as our Father and Jesus Christ as our Lord! Lord is used 241 times in the Epistles which are written directly to the Church of God and never is the title attached to God!
To the Jew God will always be the Lord; but to the Christian, Jesus is our Lord, not our God. Here is what Lord means, in case it is not clear yet:
NT:2962 kurios, kuriou, ho
he to whom a person or thing belongs, about which he has the power of deciding; master, lord
a. used universally, of the possessor and disposer of a thing, the owner Matt 20:8
is a title of honor, expressive of respect and reverence, with which servants salute their master, Matt 13:27; 25:20,22; Luke 13:8; 14:22, etc.;
c. this title is given:
to God, the ruler of the universe Matt 1:22 (OT, Gospels and Revelation)
to the Messiah; and that:
to the Messiah regarded universally: Luke 1:43
to Jesus as the Messiah, Acts 10:36
d. of Christ (In the Epistles)
(from Thayer’s Greek Lexicon, Electronic Database. Copyright © 2000, 2003, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)
Don’t be afraid to comment; I will not delete any comments but will publish all.
(More on Revelation in the next post).
The following is copied from Bullinger, E.W. (2011-08-21). The Apocalypse or “The Day of The Lord”: Commentary on Revelation (Kindle Locations 402-404, 414-421). Trumpet Press. Kindle Edition.
THE CHURCH NOT THE SUBJECT OF OLD TESTAMENT PROPHECY.
“Closely connected with this foregoing point, that the book (revelation) is Hebrew in character, and intended specially for Hebrews, is another undoubted fact, that the Church of God is not the subject of the Old Testament , either in history, type, or prophecy. Passages, etc., may be found there and used to illustrate what is subsequently revealed. But this can be done only by way of application, and not by way of teaching or of interpretation. Because, of the “Mystery” or the secret concerning the Church of God, we are told that it “was kept secret since the world began” (Rom. xvi. 25). That “in other ages it was not made known unto the sons of men” (Eph. iii. 5). That is, “from the beginning of the world, hath been hid in God” (Eph. iii. 9). That it “hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to the saints” (Col. i. 26). These statements are “the true sayings of God,” and not our own. We have no choice but to believe what He says. If any hold that, in spite of all this, the Church was not “hid in God,” but was the subject of Old Testament prophecy, then we have nothing more to say to them; for, if they will not believe God, it is not likely they will believe us.
But, believing God, we ask whether the Church is likely to be the subject of prophecy in the Apocalypse, especially when its future is clearly foretold in the Epistles which contain the revelation of the Secret. There we learn what is to be the future and end of the Body of Christ. The members of that Body are merely waiting to be “received up in glory” (1 Tim. iii. 16). They are waiting for their “calling on high” (Phil. iii. 14). They are looking for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall change their vile bodies that they may be fashioned like unto His own glorious body (Phil. iii. 20, 21). But all this, we submit, takes place before the Apocalypse opens. There we have, not the coming of the Lord to take away His Church, but, the revelation of the events which shall take place after the Church has been “received up in glory.” These events will take place during “the day of the LORD,” when He shall come not in grace, but in judgement; not in mercy, but in wrath. But this brings us to our fourth point. What is the meaning of “the Lord’s Day,” in chap. i. 9?”–end quote
How could this be, you might ask? It’s really quite simple.When we choose to believe Romans 16:25, Ephesians 3:5, 9 and Colossians 1:26–-that this day and age in which we currently live was kept secret by God from everyone, from every preceding prophet—how could there be any prophecies concerning this time? There cannot be and there is not.one single Old Testament prophecy, which includes the 4 Gospels, that concerns the Church of God which no one prior knew anything about. As Mr. Bullinger says in the last sentence of the 1st paragraph, if you won’t believe what God said in the Epistles about the Secret, you more than likely will not believe me!