Purpose

The purpose and intent of this site is twofold:

1. Share the Word of God as found in the Bible.

2. Comment on current events as they relate to Bible prophecy


Monday, July 27, 2015

Out With the Old & In With the New: Part 2



OUT WITH THE OLD AND IN WITH THE NEW
 The New Covenant: Part 2

What is the distinction between the Father and the Son?  The Church of today should have a different perspective concerning the distinction than did the disciples.  They spoke to Jesus and heard Him refer to God the Father.

If you have known me, you will know my Father too. And from now on you do know him and have seen him." Philip said, "Lord, show us the Father, and we will be content." Jesus replied, "Have I been with you for so long, and you have not known me, Philip? The person who has seen me has seen the Father! How can you say, 'Show us the Father'?  (John 14:7-9 NET)

Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father is in me, but if you do not believe me, believe because of the miraculous deeds themselves.
(John 14:11 NET)

They were starting to understand the implications of the divinity of Jesus and even called Him Lord.  Although Jesus demonstrated His deity (or the power of God) through the disciple’s personal observations of His miracles, they saw him often praying to the Father. In addition, they heard him speak of the Father and they saw his submission to the Father. The distinction between the Father and the Son, at least in the company of Jesus, was something they appeared to grasp but not completely.

It can be understood that the disciples were having difficulty comprehending the divinity of the Son in relation to the Father. They perceived by sight that Jesus and the Father are not the same entity, and they understood a past quote of Jesus saying, “Trust in God, trust also in me.” During a discussion as described in scripture, Jesus presented an apparent contradiction to their current thinking - to see Jesus is to see the Father according to John 14:9.

Do we actually view the God of the Old Covenant and the Son of God, which is Jesus, the God of the New Covenant as being the same God?  Some believe that but without any actual proof that I am aware of.  No one has seen God in His pure spiritual form, but many saw Jesus.

Are the 10 Commandments Part of the Law of Moses?
Many people today are so uninformed concerning scripture and the word “law” that when they view a verse in scripture or other writing referring to doing away with the law, they ignorantly believe it is referring to the Ten Commandments.  The Mosaic Law and the Ten Commandments are two distinct sets of laws although the Laws verbally given to Moses contain all the elements of the Ten Commandments.

The 10 commandments were written by God on stone tablets (twice) and were to be placed inside the Ark of the Covenant.  On the other hand, the Mosaic Laws were spoken to Moses by God over a period of time.  They were written in a book (or scrolls) and placed within a pocket or pouch on the side of the Ark.  The Mosaic Law is also known as:  The Law of Moses; the Ordinances; the Ceremonial Law; and the Sacrificial Law.  Sin is defined as the 10 Commandments and the ceremonial remedy (atonement) for that sin can be found within the Mosaic Law.  Sacrifices and the ceremonial law, after the death and resurrection of Jesus, is no longer necessary.  The New Covenant of the Kingdom of God permits one to repent of their sin directly to God without the need of a priest or a physical sacrifice.  At the crucifixion of Jesus at His last words, “it is finished” the temple curtain was torn in half signifying the end of the sacrificial, ceremonial section of the Mosaic Law.

(Hebrews 9:1 NET)
Now the first covenant, in fact, had regulations for worship and its earthly sanctuary. (11) But now Christ has come as the high priest of the good things to come. He passed through the greater and more perfect tent not made with hands, that is, not of this creation, (14) how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our consciences from dead works to worship the living God.  (15) And so he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the eternal inheritance he has promised, since he died to set them free from the violations committed under the first covenant.

In the previous article, Defiled or Undefiled: New Covenant Part 1, it was denoted that the New Covenant replaced the Old Mosaic Laws which I consider no longer valid.  It can rightfully be said that God gave the ceremonial laws to Moses and Jesus as the Son of God gave the Sermon on the Mount.  Jesus said, “Repent and follow Me for the Kingdom of Heaven (or God) is at hand”.  God gave the Hebrew Israelites laws to teach them the definition of sin along with the procedure to atone (through sacrifice) for those sins.  The key point is atonement of sin requires a sacrifice.

We can ask questions about the triune God, but most of the time what we snag in the way of answers are pieces of the infinite that will not fit through the finite pipeline of our own minds. The finite cannot process the infinite, and no apologies are needed.
Kenneth Kantzer, “John Calvin and the Mystery of the Trinity,” in Trinity Voices (Deerfield, IL: Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

A. E. Knoch:   In thinking of God—I mean the God of Christianity—there is not a single passage of Scripture that either teaches or intimates three Gods. That is a heresy which the evangelical church has always rejected. The true doctrine is monotheism—monos, one, and Theos, God—the doctrine of one God. The Bible clearly teaches that there is but one God. There is not a single passage of Scripture that either teaches or intimates Polytheism. The very first commandment of the Decalogue says most positively: “I am the Lord, thy God; thou shalt have no other gods before me.” This language can be interpreted in only one way—it teaches absolute monotheism. Elsewhere in the Scriptures we read: “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord” (Deut.6:4). Afterward Christ repeated and endorsed this very passage from Deuteronomy, quoting it verbatim (see Mark 12:29). Note Paul’s statement: “One Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all” (Eph.4:5,6). Thus it is clear that the doctrine of the Bible is Monotheism and not Tritheism.


Dispensationalism and the Church
I could be totally wrong but 20th century theological thinking has created a misinterpretation and misunderstanding in today’s exegesis (critical explanation or interpretation of a text, especially of scripture).  Some think, teach, and preach that Israel and the Church have different redemption plans.  To accompany this thinking they have concocted a premillennial pretribulation rapture plan to remove the Church from the world so that God can finish His redemption work with Israel.  It is as if the Church age is merely a passing worldwide redemption phase until it is removed and God can get back to Israel.

 However, there is only one redemption plan; it was manifested by Jesus, as the Son of God; and it will be finished by Jesus, as the Son of God.  There are not two separate plans.  Both Covenants were instituted by the one true God to the Israelites, however the majority of Israel did not accept the New Covenant, neither did they accept Jesus as the Son of God i.e. Messiah and it was then offered to the nations (gentiles) as well as the Israelites.  (Actually, it was always to be offered to the nations (gentiles).

What About the Israelites?
First, a few definitions:
·    Israelite – They were originally 12 individual tribes names after the 12 sons of Jacob.  When the tribe of Levi were designated as non-land holding priests, the tribe of Joseph was divided between his two sons, Ephraim and Manassas.
·    Judah – When the kingdom of Israel divided after the death of Solomon, the southern kingdom consisting mainly of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, along with the Levite priests and a few of the remaining ten tribes that did not desire to vacate the temple or the Jerusalem area.
·    Israel – The northern kingdom after the division consisting of the majority of the remaining 10 tribes.  They were destroyed and the majority led away captive into northern Syria where they were presumed to have escaped into Europe.
·    Jew – This name is a shortened form of Judah or a nickname.  When the Judean captives of Babylon returned to rebuild the city of Jerusalem and the temple, they were referred to as Jews even until now.  Many theories concern the Jews of today.  Some claim the majority of Jews are a Khazarian mixture; others claim they are of Edomite or Samaritan ancestry.

Most of the dispensational teaching concerning Israel can be found in Romans 11.  Paul states that all Israel will be saved.  Does that mean every Israelite from the Egyptian deliverance; from the founding of the nation of Israel; the message of the New Covenant by Jesus; or every living person calling themselves a Jew today?  Verse 27 states, “and this is my covenant with them”.  Will this be a different covenant.  No, I don’t think so.  It will be the same New Covenant as instituted by Jesus as the Son of God during the 1st century.  There is not a special covenant.  This covenant can be responded to today by anyone regardless of race or religion.

And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: "The Deliverer will come out of Zion; he will remove ungodliness from Jacob. And this is my covenant with them, when I take away their sins."  (Romans 11:26-27 NET)

Paul’s quote can be found in Isaiah 27:9.  I included the LXX rendition since I believe that Paul was using this text as his source.

Therefore shall the iniquity of Jacob be taken away; and this is his blessing, when I shall have taken away his sin; when they shall have broken to pieces all the stones of the altars as fine dust, and their trees shall not remain, and their idols shall be cut off, as a thicket afar off.  (Isaiah 27:9 Brenton LXX)

Abraham and Israel
Is Abraham and Israel the same?  Do the promises of God given to Abraham apply to Israel?  My answer would be no.  However, this is only my opinion and it may not be a majority opinion.  Even Ishmaelites (Islam in general) are descendants of Abraham.  The most quoted “Israel is special to God” verse can be found in Genesis 12:3 as shown below.

And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.  (Genesis 12:3 KJV)

God did not make that promise to the nation of Israel but to Abraham and the promise was fulfilled to Abraham and later to Isaac.  In the New Covenant, Jesus makes a similar pronouncement to all subjects of the Kingdom of God.  At the judgment of the sheep and goats, the self-righteous will ask why they are to be punished and the King will say, “'I tell you the truth, just as you did it for one of the least of these brothers or sisters of mine, you did it for me”  (Matthew 25:40 NET).  There is no reason to take Genesis 12:3 out of context and have it apply to the nation of Israel in 2015.

Was the land promise fulfilled?  According to some - under the kingdom of David and Solomon, it was fulfilled but sinful Israel eventually lost it all.  It may not have been fully realized but apparently it will during the Millennium.  The spiritual promise of a redeemer (or Messiah) was also fulfilled by Jesus as the Son of God and all the nations were blessed. 

Conclusion
After reading several articles and thesis concerning the nature of God, either as the Father, the Son, or the Holy Spirit, I have come to the conclusion that it is impossible for the finite mind of a human being to understand the true nature of God.  We can use terms such as: triune, trinity, hypostasis, and others but these terms are without merit and we are merely deluding ourselves.

There is only one God, not three gods.  Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Messiah, is God.  Jesus is the likeness and image of God as a man during His earthly years.  The Holy Spirit is God as the Spirit of God who does His work through believers.  If God desired to be the Messiah, which He is, it would be necessary to appear as a man, which He did.  If God needs to spiritually speak to believers, He does so as the Holy Spirit, not in the person of Jesus as a man or God the Father as a flaming fire.  As an example, although not a good one, we can look at the Matrix movies.  If the computer system needs to speak to a person, the computer must appear as a coded person.

The Old Covenant (that is the Mosaic sacrificial and ceremonial laws) is no longer valid as a means of obtaining righteousness, but it can continue to define sin as Paul stated and can continue to define good eating habits and practices.  Jesus gave us a New Covenant.  The New supposedly supersedes the Old, but many will disagree and others will only partially disagree.  It is a conflict that I cannot adequately reconcile.  Some Church people insist that all Old Testament feast days should be followed.  I actually don’t think that is necessary, nor do I believe it can scripturally confirmed in the New Testament.  All the promises to Abraham were fulfilled and they do not now apply or ever applied to the nation of Israel.  The laws verbally given to Moses applied until the New Covenant death and resurrection of Jesus, but now they do not.  At the death of Jesus the temple curtain was torn in half and the temple was completely destroyed in 70AD as prophesied by Jesus.  What more do they need to see, perhaps the temple rebuilt and the beast/antichrist declaring himself to be ‘god’.

For more information on the promises of God to Abraham go to The Promises of God to Abraham by Warren E. Berkley.
For more information concerning the difference  between the Ten Commandments and the Laws of Moses go to:  The 10 Commandments and the Ceremonial Law or Different Laws


1 comment:

  1. IS PRAYING TO GOD WORSHIP? BY STEVE FINNELL

    Is praying to God a form of worship? Yes, without a doubt. Is praying to men or women who are dead or alive worship? Yes, without a doubt.

    Who should men worship? Luke 4:7-8 "Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours." 8 And Jesus answered and said to him, "Get behind Me, Satan! For it is written, 'You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve."(NKJV)

    WHAT IS WORSHIP?

    Worship Defined: 1. (Ecclesiastical terms) to show profound religious devotion and respect to; adore or venerate (God or any person or thing considered divine) 2. to be devoted to and full of admiration for. 3. to have or express feelings of profound adoration......7. (Ecclesiastical) the formal expression of religious adoration; rites, prayers, etc. [REF. The Free Dictionary. http://www.thefreedictionary.com/worship]

    Praying to God is worship and men are to only worship God.

    A Costa Rican woman has told how she recovered from a brain aneurysm after praying to Blessed Pope John Paul ll ---the second miracle attributed to the pontiff, who died in 2005. [REF: catholicherald. co.uk]

    Praying to any man dead or alive is worship and to worship anyone but God is sin.

    Through the selfless "yes" of the Virgin Mary, Jesus Christ, our Savior, was brought into the world. It is appropriate, therefore , that we offer prayers of petition and praise to the Mother of God.

    43 ARTICLES IN: PRAYERS TO THE VIRGIN MARY-PRAYERS TO SAINT MARY, THE MOTHER OF GOD. Ref: http://catholicism.about.com/od/tothevirginmary/

    Praying to anyone is worship and to worship anyone but God is sin.

    WORSHIP IS RESERVED FOR GOD ALONE!

    YOU ARE INVITED TO FOLLOW MY BLOG. http://steve-finnell.blogspot.com

    Posted by Steve Finnell at 3:52 PM No comments:
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