Tag Archive | Israel

Reasons the Christian Church is not IN the New Covenant

(from “Defending Dispensationalism”) by Mark Graeser, John Schoenheit and John Lynn

 

  1. 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?

  1. 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.”
  1. 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.
  1. The “New” Covenant is made with the same people as the “Old” Covenant, namely Israel.
  1. 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).
  1. The Gospel of Christ is not a covenant, but the revelation of the salvation of God to all men.
  1. 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”.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. Israel must go through the Tribulation and be delivered by the Messiah before the New Covenant can be fulfilled (Rom. 11:26 and 27).
  1. 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.
  1. 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.

 

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The Company (School) of the Prophets

2. Prophet Samuel

2. Prophet Samuel (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Have you ever heard of “The Company (School) of the Prophets?”

After Saul was anointed King of Israel, the prophet Samuel prophesied several things to him which are recorded in 1Sam 10.

1 Sa 10:5
After that thou shalt come to the hill of God, where is the garrison of the Philistines: and it shall come to pass, when thou art come thither to the city, that thou shalt meet a company* of prophets
KJV
Samuel told Saul to join himself to them and he would become a new man:

1 Sa 10:6
And the Spirit of the Lord will come upon thee, and thou shalt prophesy with them, and shalt be turned into another man.
KJV
People say that things of this nature cannot be learned, yet here is a clear example that they can be.

1 Sa 10:9-10
And it was so, that when he had turned his back to go from Samuel, God gave him another heart: and all those signs came to pass that day.
10 And when they came thither to the hill, behold, a company of prophets met him; and the spirit of God came upon him, and he prophesied among them.
KJV
People were astonished by this! That this guy whom they knew all their lives and who knew his father could be prophesying among the band of prophets:

1 Sa 10:11
11 It came about, when all who knew him previously saw that he prophesied now with the prophets, that the people said to one another, “What has happened to the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets?”
NASU

Could this happen to you? I have personally felt this calling upon my life since I was born again in 1974. In the spring/summer of ’75 I served under the tutelage of a man with this function for 3 months, day in and day out. In August of that year I was sent to serve under another prophet for a year. After that year I moved in with him and his family and lived on the property with them for the next 3 years. At the end of that time, he united my wife and I in Holy Matrimony.

If you have read anything about the prophets you know that they were not particularly popular among the group they were called to prophesy to. Many were killed by them including our Lord. I know that there are some people reading this who feel this calling upon their lives and it is my intention to make this obvious to you and in turn, those to whom you personally minister, your sphere of influence.

The vast majority of the time a prophet prophesies, it is not foretelling the future, but forth-telling, calling God’s people back to His Word; showing them where they are OFF the Word (which few enjoy) and showing them how to get back ON the Word. This will prove to be an exciting venture.  I look forward to hearing from you.

God bless.

*OT:2256 chebel or chebel —

1) a cord, a rope, territory, a band, a company
a) a rope, a cord
b) a measuring-cord or line
c) a measured portion, lot, part, region
d) a band or company
(from The Online Bible Thayer’s Greek Lexicon and Brown Driver & Briggs Hebrew Lexicon, Copyright © 1993, Woodside Bible Fellowship, Ontario, Canada. Licensed from the Institute for Creation Research.)

SALVATION: get it now, while supplies last!

The Biblical Tetragrammaton, the Hebrew Name f...

The Biblical Tetragrammaton, the Hebrew Name for God the Father. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jesus once said, “Salvation is of the Jews.” Prior to Christianity, only Jews had the promise of Salvation. Their Salvation (as well as ours) was not only something in the future, beyond the grave, but something here and now as well. The word alone is used three times as much in the Old Testament as it is in the New. To the Jews it meant Deliverance, Victory, Rescue or Safety.

For anyone who has read even a little of the OT one can see how often Israel prayed for deliverance from their enemies and how many times YHWH delivered them. (Might not be a bad idea today as well.) I have read that Salvation in this day and age has relatively no value for one’s current circumstances, but, nothing could be further from the truth. Whatever it meant for Israel it certainly means for us who are born again, as well.

In Moses day, salvation could be seen: “But Moses said to the people, Do not fear! Stand by and see the salvation of the Lord (YHWH) which He will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you will never see them again forever. The Lord (YHWH) will fight for you while you keep silent.” NASU

The same was true of David: “And David spoke the words of this song to the Lord (YHWH) in the day that the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul. 2 He said, “The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; 3 My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge; My savior, You save me from violence. 4 “I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, And I am saved from my enemies.  2 Sa 22:1-4 NASU

WOW! Just look at these verses and realize the relevance of salvation for us today! In those days these words were used to describe everything attributed to God, Yahweh (YHWH). For us, they are also now attributable to Jesus, whom YHWH made both Lord and Christ. (I cannot help but explain something here for those who may not know: LORD in all capital letters in the OT is the proper name of God, YHWH. Some translation say Jehovah, but the most accurate is YHWH. There is a difference between Lord and LORD. Jesus is our Lord. His and our Father is our LORD.)

Jesus Christ was YHWH’s plan for Salvation to Gentiles who would be grafted in to fully share in the promises of God to Israel and their inheritance! This is exactly what it says in the gospel of Luke. This is what Simeon declared when Jesus was brought to the Temple some forty days after his birth:                            Lk 2:30-32, for my eyes have seen your salvation 31 that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, 32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.” ESV

All these aspects of salvation are available are available, now, today, to all who positively affirm what Romans 10:9 and 10 says, which is part of Paul the apostles prayer to God for Israel! Salvation is not something currently out of reach; it is readily obtainable. Get it now, while supplies last!

(See Chapter IV, page 19 of my new book at http://www.fredswolfe.com)

True Fellowship

A few lines of text from the Kaufmann Manuscri...

A few lines of text from the Kaufmann Manuscript, written in the Hebrew alphabet with Tiberian vowel diacritics (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last Sunday morning my wife and I went for coffee on the Venice Boardwalk to meet a friend. I took a copy of my new book in hopes of selling it. We ended sitting between 3 Israeli‘s. The girl on my right was reading a book in Hebrew; very easy to strike up a conversation. The man and his wife on the left of my wife recognized the picture of the front cover and he said, “that is the gate that Messiah will come through when he comes to redeem Israel.” He immediately asked to look at the book. In the meantime the girl reading the Hebrew book wanted to know what it was all about. Within minutes the six of us were all talking to one another at the same time some in Hebrew and others in English. The book cover alone brought us altogether in unison there on a Sunday morning for some true fellowship discussing the Messiah!

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