Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Two crucial hermeneutic principles

Carrying on from yesterday's meta:
  1. "Jesus" is not God's way of saying "I can fudge on My promises and covenants" — to say the least.
  2. "For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory" (2 Corinthians 1:20) is not a Biblely way of saying that "all the promises of God find their Fooled ya! in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Ah! ya got me! to God for his glory."
Sometimes a squirrel is a squirrel.

Discuss.

107 comments:

Jack said...

Agreed Agreed 100.00% Agreed. What is there more to discuss? Lol.

Al said...

"What is there more to discuss?"

200 years of Godly men with a different hermeneutic?

al sends

Al said...

What is there more to discuss?

Nuts...

2000 years of Godly men with a different hermeneutic?

DJP said...

Testing.

Can anyone still see this?

Thanks.

Robert said...

Yes...reading it now...

Word verification: retrodu...as in my wife says my hair is starting to make me look like I'm from the Reformation 8o)

Fred Butler said...

Al writes,
200 years of Godly men with a different hermeneutic?

Let's be frank.

I believe you stated yesterday that you're a self-described postmillennialist. Postmillennialism was not articulated in any meaningful way until Unitarian Daniel Whitby wrote his book on the subject in the late 1600s to early 1700s. That's just a fact in spite of the historical revisionism Mathison, Chilton, and Gentry try to pass off upon the unwashed masses.

The Reformers were articulating a historical-grammatical hermeneutic through out all of their writings. Heck, even some of the earlier Scholastics were too until the pope slapped their hand. Historical-grammatical hermeneutics do not yield the the idea of what Dan's is saying here. It takes Augustine trying to synchronize his Philonic-Originistic alchemy with the Bible to produce such hermeneutical Jedi mind tricks.

DJP said...

Exactly.

If the Reformers had done to the OT what they did to Christ and Paul, they'd be at least close to the dispensational camp.

Al said...

Fred... I think your quoting my typo was the stongest argument yet against postmillennialism

:-)

al sends

Richard said...

1. I agree
2. I agree

...this from someone who is very much not a dispensationalist!

Al said...

Fred and Dan,
Perhaps the reformers looked at the OT and much of the typology (or allegorical interpretation if you are worried about being branded an alchemist) and said... Okay.

And if you don't think the H/G method operates as a secret decoder ring for some folks, then you have never heard a good sermon on locusts as Apache helicopters in Revelation...

al sends

DJP said...

Still better than an amill, vastly so. Respecting the text enough to look for a real-world fulfillment is worlds better than the "Jesus, church, whatever" decoder-ring text-denial approach.

Matt Waymeyer said...

I used to refer to the covenantal approach to the OT as the Claude Monet School of Hermeneutics in which the interpreter blurs his eyes and gives his general impression of what he sees in the passage rather than worrying about those pesky little details. Of course, it failed to build bridges, so now I keep my humor to myself.

Mark Patton said...

Dan,
WOW the meta in the last post exploded after I looked. I can't remember where I heard this first (I think it was you), but the same hermeneutic that God recently (about 5 years ago) used to bring me to a clear understanding of His sovereign grace is the same one that leaves me a dispy. Someone should preach a sermon entitled something like why Calvinist should be premil.

Any way, when God was graciously using certain people to greatly inform me in my soteriology, I was tempted to throw the baby out with the bath water and then God's providence led me here and I was reminded of consistent interpretation (long sentences are bad -- I know). Coupled with Fred's blog, you guys have greatly encouraged.

Thanks.

Fred Butler said...

Al writes,
I think your quoting my typo was the stongest argument yet against postmillennialism

Yes. I noticed that a bit later after you corrected yourself. I thought about offering a correction, but my facts still stand.

DJP said...

Well-put, Matt.

It kind of makes you wonder why the prophets (and the Holy Spirit) went to the trouble of using all those pesky word-thingies.

Fred Butler said...

And if you don't think the H/G method operates as a secret decoder ring for some folks, then you have never heard a good sermon on locusts as Apache helicopters in Revelation...

One of those hysterical, Gary North survivalist messages comes close.

Pierre Saikaley said...

I've had Amillennialists tell me that the word "restore" in Acts 1:6-7 actually means "destroy"-and that in a serious voice without breaking a sweat and scholarly support!

Tradition has a way of making God's WORD of no effect.

p.s. I was gonna predict that this meta would hit 50 by lunch time and I'd get a free, signed copy of Dan's new book as a reward. (@:

DJP said...

I've just thought of a way to express something better.

Watching amills/postmills make fun of some of the connections made by folks who do take prophecy seriously feels like watching peacenik war-protesters watching news footage and mocking soldiers for occasionally missing.

DJP said...

Oy.

Or you can't beat Calvin, saying that "every word" of the apostles' question in Acts 1 was wrong - though they (unlike Calvin) had just attended a lengthy eschatology seminar conducted by the Lord Jesus, and even though He (unlike Calvin) did not correct nor fault the premise of their question.

Al said...

Fred... Gary North got his hysteria from reading the news paper literally, not the OT prophecy allegorically.

But, as long as this appears to be a snark heavy thread and any allies I have are curiously silent, may I just say that I am going through Dan's list of the 25 stupid things folks say about Dispies and I am trying hit them all. I considering it being a fool for Christ. Which makes me more spiritual than y'all (#9)

al sends

DJP said...

It's thankless work, but someone has to do it. You're a hero, Al!

(c:

Brad Williams said...

As a historical premil guy, I cannot help you, Al.

I will only say that since all the promises of God in Christ are yes and amen, then I should logically receive everything promised to Israel.

I'm trying to get mad at DJP so we can get lively, but I can't find where my ox got gored.

So, I'll just insult myself. Historical Premil guys are just a bunch of sissies who live to have their cake and eat it too.

DJP said...

Premised on what? That you're Israel? You're not. That every promise God made anyone is suddenly yours? You think Paul meant that? So you're pregnant and going to give birth to Christ? You're an apostle? You're going to do miracles in Egypt and bring Israel out? Your wife is going to die but you mustn't mourn? You're going to have a dynasty of physical sons sitting on the physical throne of Israel? You can dip in Jordan and be cleansed of your leprosy?

This isn't serious hermeneutics. It's the abdication of serious hermeneutics.

RealityCheck said...

“What is there more to discuss? “

“2000 years of Godly men with a different hermeneutic?”

Maybe this is where a third hermeneutic principle should come in… especially for the laymen viewing from the sideline.

3. In deciding between the hermeneutics of two (or more) Godly men, it’s wiser to choose the one(s) whose hermeneutics maintain the promises of God the most.

Al said...

Christ is on the throne of David... Brad rules with Christ because he is in Christ.

Dan, do you think that there is going to be a new physical king in Israel? Will he rule of God's people?

al sends

DJP said...

Al, you don't get to ask more questions until you answer the question you missed yesterday. I'll graciously re-produce:

...please interpret Exekiel 42:2 — "The length of the building whose door faced north was a hundred cubits, and the breadth fifty cubits."

What's that mean?

Fred Butler said...

Gary North got his hysteria from reading the news paper literally, not the OT prophecy allegorically.

What about his Tyler TX buddies? James Jordan and David Chilton?

At any rate,

The reason Gary North is even off by himself in Texas is because he separated from Rushdoony on this very issue of allegory in the OT and how it is applied.

Brad Williams said...

Dan,

Premised on my being a descendant of Abraham as the Bible clearly teaches. I already told you, at the very least I am Israel's Uncle.

I could be physical Israel for all you and I know, since I suppose you believe that the promises of God come by DNA and not by faith alone. Which isn't serious hermeneutics, this is abandoning the Reformation! (I'll give hyperbole a try! It's fun!)

Word Verification: collectu As in, Jesus is going to collectu at the resurrection. Nice.

Brad Williams said...

DJP et all,

I am kind of controversied out a bit today. As much as I love to get thumped in my theological ear by Dan, I'm pooped. Last night, I had to deal with an email that was sent out to several church members that was rather terrible. It started with lambasting the doctrine of depravity and ended with saying that Calvinists worship a different Jesus. It's hard to get up for eschatology after that. Just saying I may be hit or miss today, and also slightly grumpy.

DJP said...

Well, I believe God more than I believe human trickery and twisty legerdemain. Or I'd still be a Religions Scientist. If you want to mock God's sworn, re-sworn- re-re-sworn (up through the NT right to the end) promises to ethnic Israel, that one's going to be on you and despite my best efforts.

It isn't abandoning the Reformation to apply grammatico-historical exegesis to all of Scripture. It's continuing it.

And you're Israel like you're Jesus. After all, sons of God, right?

DJP said...

But on total depravity, you are not combining A pus a socket-wrench; you're simply affirming the direct statements of Scripture.

Al said...

If you thought my answer to Jer. 31was long I would hate to get into the Temple in Ezek...

Would it be a copout to agree with Matthew Henry and say, "dang, that's hard."

I take it to be a spiritual, allegorical temple. The doors and the direction they face are pictures of something else. For me to do otherwise would be to call God a liar and Christ's death a wasted blood. For if this is a physical temple, to be revealed sometime after Feb. 16th, 2011 then you have to agree that bulls and sheep will be offered to God and he will be pleased as punch to receive them.

44:15 “But the Levitical priests, the sons of Zadok, who kept the charge of my sanctuary when the people of Israel went astray from me, shall come near to me to minister to me. And they shall stand before me to offer me the fat and the blood, declares the Lord GOD.

and

44: 26 After he has become clean, they shall count seven days for him. 27 And on the day that he goes into the Holy Place, into the inner court, to minister in the Holy Place, he shall offer his sin offering, declares the Lord GOD.

al sends

The Squirrel said...

"Sometimes a squirrel is a squirrel."

I like squirrels...

Literally...

Squirrel

Stefan said...

I'm just finishing up a course on the later (post-722 BC) prophets, and it was taught by a young Southern grad who is proudly both Law/Gospel and Amill. Frankly, I never appreciated just how seductively misleading those theological schools can be until I took this course.

On the plus side, our teacher loves the big-picture redemptive narrative, sees the crimson thread running throughout the whole OT, and he also reads Scripture with passion. On the other hand, we had one class to cover Joel...and one class to cover all of Ezekiel and Daniel. (I had to speak up and say something—respectfully—at the end of the latter class.)

The other thing is the whole course was about the redemptive big picture—about the sins of the nation 2500 years ago, and about already-not-yet fulfilment. But because of the Law/Gospel and WHI influence, there was absolutely no application of any these heavily convicting texts to the issue of personal sin in our lives here and now, or the ongoing call to repentance. (I had to speak up about that as well...it was burning me up inside.)

Jason Woelm said...

The OT sacrifices didn't take away sin, neither will the Millennial sacrifices. OT sacrifices = prophetic; Millennial sacrifices = memorial.

Lynda O said...

Al -- since you mention your problem with Ezekiel's temple.... do you also believe, like other amills and post-mills, that Satan is now bound?

If so, you have just as great of a conundrum as dispensationalists appear to have with explaining Ezekiel's temple. (and see also here). No doubt you've heard at least some dispensational explanations for Ezekiel's temple -- so how about explaining, from the postmill perspective, this equally perplexing difficulty with the present-day binding of Satan?

DJP said...

Al - ...you have to agree that bulls and sheep will be offered to God and he will be pleased as punch to receive them.

Does God receive Federal Reserve Notes from you today?

Why that and not those?

DJP said...

So, Al, there are verses in Ezekiel 40-48 that you do want to talk to because you imagine they're advantageous to the decoder-ring approach. I didn't ask you about them.

I asked you: ...please interpret Exekiel 42:2 — "The length of the building whose door faced north was a hundred cubits, and the breadth fifty cubits."

What's that mean? If you want to say it's an allegory, and you believe in plenary, verbal inspiration, what does that mean? What do those words mean?

Scooter said...

Considering my eschatology is a combination of the theologians Tim LaHaye, Jerry Jenkins and the creeds, I'll sit this discussion out while I attempt to read Dan's other articles.

And I prefer chinchillas over squirrels.

al said...

Really Dan? Did the tithe bring me into fellowship with God the Father in the way that laying my hand on a bull, confessing my sin and slitting its throat as my representative, then burning the various parts that I might be made a sweet aroma and ascend in the smoke up to God did? Really?

God destroyed the Temple in AD 70 for a reason! There no longer remains a sacrifice for sin outside of Christ. He is the final sacrifice.

At the end of Ezek 43 the Lord says that at the end of the sacrifices He will accept Israel. Does that mean that the blood of bulls and goats is required to get close to God?

Man, I am more convinced of the wrongness of a strict H/G method than every. If there is no room for typology and her lesser cousins we are all in big trouble.

al sends

DJP said...

Oh, Al: "Argument failing, bluster louder."

You say, There no longer remains a sacrifice for sin outside of Christ.

"No longer"?

Ah, you covenant theologians with your two gospels, two ways of salvation.

See, we dispensationalists have always believed that there is only one way of salvation. The blood of bulls and goats have never taken away sin.

Tsk.

Matt Waymeyer said...

"I take it to be a spiritual, allegorical temple. The doors and the direction they face are pictures of something else."

I do think it's a fair question to simply ask what that "something else" actually is.

Brad Williams said...

Al and DJP,

You know, for a second there, I was going to say that Al sounds more like a dispy than a dispy in the approach to the OT sacrifices. Correct me if I am wrong, but I was under the impression that old school, Scofield type dispensationalism taught precisely that there were "7" dispensations of God's grace. Perhaps I have misunderstood.

Brad Williams said...

DJP,

I meant to ask, do you believe that the promises of God are subject to DNA now? As in, Jewish DNA?

Al said...

Grammatically, within the vision they mean that the wall Ezekiel saw and reported, measured 150 x 50 cubits. Roughly 225 feet long and 75 feet wide. It had a door that faced North. He saw it in a vision. God was walking in its midst (Chapter 43). I assume this to be Jesus Christ. Is He Yahweh in your grammatical/historical understanding of the text?

As to what that means in full I will have to study much more than I have on this topic. As I said earlier... this is hard.

Of course since Yahweh mentions the end of Israel's sin in chapter 43 and the presence of Jesus Christ, I am going to go ahead and say this has something to do with the perfected time, when all Israel will be gathered into the Church.

al sends

(word verification "mundorks" which I think is a creature out of Harry Potter)

DJP said...

A note to the fans:

Brad, truly wonderful brother (and favorite commentator) that he is, says: ...Al sounds more like a dispy than a dispy in the approach to the OT sacrifices. ...I was under the impression that old school, Scofield type dispensationalism taught precisely that there were "7" dispensations of God's grace. Perhaps I have misunderstood.

Spectators should factor that in to your rejection of dispensationalism. This is not an arcane concept that we only disclose to people who've had the Secret Inner Temple ritual and know the Secret Handshake.

Yes, like all Christians without exceptions, dispensationalists believe in dispensations. That's why we can eat ham sandwiches to the glory of God.

See further here.

DJP said...

Oops sorry.

As to "of the grace of God," I don't know what you mean. If you mean 7 different ways of salvation, no, dispensationalism has never taught that.

Steve said...

A Squirrel is a squirrel is a squirrel...except when it's Jesus...

--Steve

Robert said...

I thought that the desctruction of the temple was God's judgment against the religious system that was in place.

Al said...

Dan... tsk indeed... I mean that the same way Paul means it. Given your hermeneutic I understand how you might be confused.

Hebrews 13:10 We have an altar from which those who serve the tent have no right to eat. 11 For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the holy places by the high priest as a sacrifice for sin are burned outside the camp. 12 So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood.
al sends
PS... Brad, I expect better from you :-)
PSS my word verification this time: fredan as in Free Dan from this wooden understanding of scripture. I think it is a sign.

DJP said...

Free me from what you are calling a wooden hermeneutic (i.e. believing that what Scripture says, God says) and you will free me from the authority of Scripture, and will find an ex-Christian.

Which is inconceivable to me.

And on this, I am not joking. Jesus saved me from that kind of mangling of Scripture. I am not going back. I don't know how to say it more clearly or emphatically.

DJP said...

So Al's come back to saying the blood of bulls and goats never took away sin.

How does that make it that "Jesus" actually is God's way of saying "I can fudge on My promises and covenants"?

(Trying to get back to the post.)

Al said...

Saying that Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of those promises is far from fudging.

Clearly we are at an impass (who would have thought it?)

I will check back in with you on this topic after the resurrection. In about 5,000 years or so.

al sends

Brad Williams said...

DJP,

I'll have to read your article after I clear some stuff up here at the office. I'm banning myself from further commentary until I finish reading a few things. Perhaps I have a mangled view of your view due to the reading of too many books and not enough sources. It can happen pretty easily. Here's what I can affirm:

1) I believe there will be a literal Temple and probably memorial sacrfices. Why not? We get to eat them, right?

2) I believe in a literal reign of Jesus over all nations on Earth.

3) I do not believe that Satan is bound at this time.

4) I believe that I am a son of Abraham.

5) I believe in a 1,000 year reign, give or take a year.

6) I believe a great deal of Jews will be grafted at the time of Great Tribulation, as there will be from every other tribe.

7) I believe that my view is probably not far at all from a post-trib premil dispy position other than I do not see the point in the hard distinction in the church and Israel.

8) I believe that my confession on number 7 is enough for Dan to pity me in my errors. :)

Love,

Brad

DJP said...

Al: Saying that Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of those promises is far from fudging.

Saying that Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of those promises, if by that you mean that the promises AS STATED are no longer valid, so that now you're relieved from dealing with them AS STATED, is the very heart and soul of fudging. If "Israel will never cease from being a nation before Me" now means "Israel absolutely will cease from being a nation from before me because — hey, Jesus!" -- that's fudging.

We will find no such model of interpretation in Jesus, to be sure. To Him, the very wording was pregnant with His Father's authority, and not to be played games with.

jmb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jmb said...

Brad:
Scripture throughout makes a distinction between Jews and Gentiles. So, yes, DNA is a factor in God's promises.

Concerning the Millennial Temple, John C. Whitcomb has written that, more than as a memorial, the sacrifices will be effective "only in terms of the strict provision for ceremonial (and thus temporal) forgiveness within the theocracy of Israel." They will be for national, not individual transgressions, and will "[restore] theocratic harmony." I realize that this raises a lot of questions, but it's something to consider. Whatever we decide, we can't pretend to know the precise reasons for future animal sacrifices.

Dan:
Thank you for your "two crucial hermeneutic principles." I also appreciate your analogy of the war protesters and the soldiers who occasionally miss their targets.

Al said...

OK one more... David stated the LORD dwells in Jerusalem forever. John says there is a New Jerusalem that at the center of which the Lion of the Tribe of Judah currently reigns. Now, if I say that the promise David gave us is fulfilled in Christ how is that fudging?

Jesus is Israel… Jesus will be before the Lord always. I am united to Christ, grafted into Israel by faith and I too am before the Lord.

Brad, if you thought I was akin to a dispie in my argument earlier I am sure you are reminded of Rome in those who would argue for a memorial animal-sacrificial system that is pleasing to the Lord. Shoot, at least Rome tries to cover the blood up with some Aristotelian bait and switch.

al sends

DJP said...

So when God the Holy Spirit moved Jeremiah to write this:

“If this fixed order departs
from before me, declares the LORD,
then shall JESUS cease
from being a nation before me forever (though the offspring of Israel will cease from being a nation before me forever).”

37 Thus says the LORD:
“If the heavens above can be measured,
and the foundations of the earth below can be explored,
then I will cast off JESUS
for all that He has done (though I will in fact case off all the offspring of Israel for all that they have done),
declares the LORD” —

what He really meant was:

“If this fixed order departs
from before me, declares the LORD,
then shall the offspring of Israel cease
from being a nation before me forever.”

37 Thus says the LORD:
“If the heavens above can be measured,
and the foundations of the earth below can be explored,
then I will cast off all the offspring of Israel
for all that they have done,
declares the LORD”

?

And Jeremiah and his readers all would have winked and known that?

Merciful heavens, what a nightmare. Except for the specifics, I might be sitting back in a Religious Science meeting.

"See, 'Christian' means 'Christ one,' so if we are all Christians we are all Christ, because 'Christ' really means the principle of Divine Sonship which is in all of us; as Jesus said, 'Our Father,' showing that we are all sons just as he was a son...."

Brrr.

Al said...

JMB: "Concerning the Millennial Temple, John C. Whitcomb has written that, more than as a memorial, the sacrifices will be effective "only in terms of the strict provision for ceremonial (and thus temporal) forgiveness within the theocracy of Israel." They will be for national, not individual transgressions, and will "[restore] theocratic harmony." I realize that this raises a lot of questions, but it's something to consider Whatever we decide, we can't pretend to know the precise reasons for future animal sacrifices.

Thanks for this..

Perhaps you have this at your fingertips, but can someone point me to a non dispensationalist theologian who believes there will be blood Sacrifices that expiate the sins of nation without reference to individuals? For that matter someplace in Scripture?

These sin offerings will be effective, doing as much if not more than the blood offerings of the Old Covenant.

my heart hurts.

al sends

Webster Hunt (Parts Man) said...

Al,

I'm not as well versed as Dan in scripture and dispensationalism, but I do have one question:

If God literally fulfilled His promises to David, Abraham, Noah, etc. etc. etc., then why doesn't He follow that same literal fulfillment formula toward the nation Israel?

DJP said...

Web, it's very complicated. Be sure to have your secret glasses and decoder ring at the ready. Forget what the words actually say, that's for knuckle-draggers. Get your White Letter Bible out.

Al said...

Webster,
As I have mentioned before, and I don't this is really controversial, there are immediate fulfillments of Scripture and there are fullness of time fulfillments.

Hosea said, that When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son.

Matthew applies that to Mary's Son Jesus, the new Israel. He makes an exodus from Egypt after hiding in her midst from a murderous king, just as Moses did. He is tested in the wilderness and succeeds where the old Israel failed. He is the ultimate and yet there is something smaller and yet significant that occurs well before Jesus.

al sends

Al said...

Oh, and could someone point me to the word "memorial" in Ezek. 38ff.?

Of course the Jews would just naturally understand that these were different than the Sacrifices they conducted on the other side of the Jordon. Dispie decoder rings for everyone.

al sends

DJP said...

Because — and this is critical for Al's dodge — animal blood actually saved people before Christ.

Or Al's entire dodge collapses.

Al said...

well this has gotten silly... I am arguing for a literal understanding of sacrificial language (always with Christ in mind) and Dan is arguing for some allegory to it all.

done.

Thanks again Dan.

al sends

DJP said...

That's a slander. Find one argument for allegory. Just one.

Robert said...

Al,

That New Jerusalem is part of the new earth after God pours out His wrath on the earth and purges it.

And for the post/amillenial crowd, what did Jesus mean when He said that the sun will be darkened and the moon won't give light and stars will fall from the sky? (Matthew 24:29) I haven't seen or heard any of this in the history of the world. And then there is Isaiah 65:25 where wolves and lambs graze together, lions eat straw, and snakes eat dust. And Isaiah 11:6-8 gives more of these types of descriptions. Anybody seen fulfillment of these?

Al said...

seriously dan... slander?

My appologies. i should have quite awhile ago.

blessings,

al sends

Jason Woelm said...

Back to the original post...:)

"For all the promises of God find their Yes in him."

Exactly. Christ--the promised Davidic King, the Messiah (who proved it in his 1st coming)--will come again, fulfill Rom. 11:26 (save all of literal Israel, as it has always, consistently been defined in Scripture), rule on a literal throne in the same city David did (imagine that), and fulfill all of the promises the Triune God made to Israel by dispensing them through His installed King--Jesus.

See, how hard was that? :)

Stefan said...

Can I just...what!?

Al wrote:

"Jesus is Israel...."

Jesus is the King of Israel—He shall be their King, and they shall be His people.

"I am...grafted into Israel by faith...."

I can't argue with this. This is straight-up Romans 11.

But to be clear, we're in a transitional age right now, when God's people consists of a tiny remnant of those who are heirs to His Old Testament promises, together with a large number of grafted-in Gentiles, who have become fellow heirs. There is a great age yet to come, however, when all of God's promises will see their fulfilment, and while Christ ground, means, and object of God's great promises and covenants, He is not Himself the sole subject or fulfilment of all of them.

(Wow, does this mean I'm actually a posttrib dispy!?)

Webster Hunt (Parts Man) said...

Al,

Why wouldn't the redeemed people of the nation of Israel receiving all that God has promised them through the ages be a fullness of time fulfillment of those promises (if that is what you're arguing against)?
Don't we as gentiles grafted in receive the benefits of those promises made to Israel, and not replace them according to Scripture (if I understand your position correctly)?

CR said...

Dan,

I know you've been asking Al about Eze 42:2, but I'd sure like to hear your thoughts. What and when is this temple to be built and since we all agree that the sacrifices were never meant to pay for sin what would the sacrifices in this new temple be for?

Halcyon said...

I came to see if the meta go "explodey" yet and YAAAAAH! EXPLODEY!

DJP said...

My novel interpretation of Exekiel 42:2, CR, is that the length of the building whose door faced north was a hundred cubits, and the breadth fifty cubits. And that that is what that verse means.

It's a description of the Millennial Temple. Paul says that the Temple will be rebuilt (2 Thessalonians 2:4), Jesus confirms (Matthew 24:15), and Revelation describes it (Revelation 11). But this isn't that. It doesn't fit the dimensions or situation of any temple that has ever been built.

Well, I don't approach the Bible assuming I'm smarter than it or more spiritual than any portion of it. So I don't pit one author against another; I let them both teach me.

I don't read in John 1:1 that the Word is God, set in stone that God is Spirit, then read in John 1:14 that the Word became flesh, and conclude that "flesh" must mean something other than "flesh" because "spirit" can't become "flesh." I let both teach me.

So here are eight extremely detailed chapters detailing a temple that has never existed. It is God's Word. This temple will exist, and the activities described will be carried out. The presence of the glory of Yahweh puts it in the last days (Ezekiel 43:2-4, etc.). Isn't this side of the Trib, isn't the Trib temple, isn't the eternal state (Revelation 21:22).

Conclusion: it's the Millennial temple.

There are many lengthy studies of Ezekiel 40-48 from a believing perspective; the one in the Expositor's Bible is a good one. I like Charles Feinberg's question: why should the Church get a memorial of Christ's death, but Israel doesn't?

And as brothers have tried and tried to remind Al, the blood bulls and goats never did take away sin.

I let God teach me what worship pleases Him. I don't dictate to Him. Seems to me that's what a disciple should try to do.

DJP said...

LOL, Halcyon. Spectator.

CR said...

Thanks, Dan. Very helpful, definitely a keeper. A common refrain from non-dispensationalists is "why would dispensationalists want to go back to the 'Old Testament sacrificial system'?" But I don't here dispensationalists saying that. I'm reading what Eze and you're saying as God instituting a form and place of worship and as you noted it's very difficult to spiritualize mathematical dimensions and the Lord does get to dictate what worship pleases Him.

jmb said...

Al - You quoted me and then made some comments:

"JMB: Concerning the Millennial Temple, John C. Whitcomb has written that, more than as a memorial, the sacrifices will be effective 'only in terms of the strict provision for ceremonial (and thus temporal) forgiveness within the theocracy of Israel.' They will be for national, not individual transgressions, and will '[restore] theocratic harmony.' I realize that this raises a lot of questions, but it's something to consider Whatever we decide, we can't pretend to know the precise reasons for future animal sacrifices."

Thanks for this..

Perhaps you have this at your fingertips, but can someone point me to a non dispensationalist theologian who believes there will be blood Sacrifices that expiate the sins of nation without reference to individuals? For that matter someplace in Scripture?

These sin offerings will be effective, doing as much if not more than the blood offerings of the Old Covenant.

my heart hurts."

First of all, I hope your heart feels better.

"These sin offerings will be effective, doing as much if not more than the blood offerings of the Old Covenant."

If you mean by this that the blood offerings of the future Temple will save a single human being, I will say that they will save as many as "the blood offerings of the Old Covenant." In short: None. "For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins." (Heb. 10:4. Also verse 11.)

"[C]an someone point me to a non dispensationalist theologian who believes there will be blood Sacrifices that expiate the sins of nation without reference to individuals? For that matter someplace in Scripture?"

If by "expiate" you mean take away or pay for the sins of nations such that every individual in that nation would receive salvation, I would hope that no theologian, dispy or not, would subscribe to that. (I'm not counting Rom. 11:26.)

What the animal sacrifices did was to restore the individual Jewish person's right relationship to the theocracy of Israel after committing a sin (e.g. Lev. 5:1-10).

This also applied to the nation as a whole. Probably the best example is the Day of Atonement (Lev. 16:16,21,33), in which Israel's sins were atoned for (covered) for one year. I doubt that a theologian of any stripe would reject this.

None of this has to do with salvation. It has to do with temporal physical blessings. For instance, if a sinner did not atone, it could mean that he would no longer be permitted inside the camp of Israel, which would almost certainly lead to death.

So the sacrifices in the future Temple would also have nothing to do with salvation. If the ones before Christ's incarnation had nothing to do with it, it's obvious that the ones after it wouldn't either.

In the Millennial Temple, there seems to be sacrifices for individuals (Ez. 45:18-20) and for the nation (Ez. 45:15-17), much like those in Solomon's Temple.

Rachael Starke said...

Halcyon beat me to it.

Nothing I did in chem lab today made my brain say "ouchie" as much as these last couple metas. I need two aspirin and an OT commentary.

Or, maybe just the aspirin. :)

Rachael Starke said...

Halcyon beat me to it.

Nothing I did in chem lab today made my brain say "ouchie" as much as these last couple metas. I need two aspirin and an OT commentary.

Or, maybe just the aspirin. :)

Ex N1hilo said...

Why should the Church get a memorial of Christ's death, but Israel doesn't?

Israel does have a memorial of Christ's death. It's called "the Lord's Supper"; and was instituted by Jesus Christ when he took the cup and said "This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood." (Luke 22:20 ESV) He made this covenant with Israel and Judah. (Jer. 31:31)

If a portion of Israel refuses to do as the Lord commanded because of the partial hardening that God sent them (Rom. 11:25), it does not invalidate the memorial for that portion that does observe it.

Al said...

This must be how crack addicts feels… or perhaps someone with low self esteem who continually enter relationships where they are abused… either way, let me try one more time.

Let me clear something up first, do the OT sacrifices save anyone? Christ saves and Christ alone. Of course I never said that they did "save" anyone. In fact I argued against that very position. The dispensationalist author quoted by fellow dispensationalist JMB said that the offerings in Ezekiel , "will be effective 'only in terms of the strict provision for ceremonial (and thus temporal) forgiveness within the theocracy of Israel.' They will be for national, not individual transgressions, and will '[restore] theocratic harmony.'"

Now I am not sure what he means by temporal forgiveness, but JMB says he means that Israel's sins will be forgiven or covered as they were in the OT sacrifices. I think this is not just wrong, but dangerously so. The OT sacrifices looked forward to Christ and in that they were effective. To say that they will be effective by looking back on the once for all sacrifice does away with Christ in the same manner that Rome's abomination of the Mass does.

Dan, being the good Baptist, goes to the other extreme… The sacrifices of the Millennial Kingdom will be memorials of Christ's death, you know like the Lord's Supper. I am going to be careful here and ask the question instead of assuming a position as I did earlier and was accused of slander. Dan, do you believe the OT sacrifices were memorial in essence?

al sends

DJP said...

I swear, Al, you've retired more times than Sinatra. I'd be more okay with it if I felt you were going somewhere rather than just defending your needs-to-be-reformed tradition with every drop of your blood.

First: great. Now you can be counted on always to defend dispensationalists from the charge that we preach different ways of salvation? Because your wording did say exactly that, just as surely as older dispensationalists' wording did. Yet CT's had said the same or worse; but modern wanna-be critics still raise the slander periodically.

Second: so you think 1 John 1:9 adds to Christ's sacrifice, evidently? And Matthew 6:12 is contrary to the Gospel? No? Then obviously the thought of something restoring fellowship without supplementing or denigrating Christ's sacrifice isn't that foreign to you.

Third: it shouldn't surprise me, but does weary me a bit, that you seem not to have been helped in any way by my February 16, 2011 5:36:00 PM comment, or you'd not try that Roman Catholic crack again. You'd understand that the all-important difference is that RC practice flatly contradicts express Scriptural teaching, whereas believing that Ezekiel means what Ezekiel says and fitting it into the whole of Scripture affirms express Scriptural teaching.

Hope that advances the conversation.

Al said...

"more times than Sinatra"

Perhaps I don't have low self esteem. Perhaps am an ego maniac. Either way I suffer greatly...

Now, Christ says in Matthew 26, "27 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, 28 for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins."

MMs, Millennial Memorialists, because of their desire to "just say what the Bible says," want Jesus to find the blood of goats and bulls as acceptable as the blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. This view of additional animal sacrifice, which is effective in getting us temporal forgiveness like our confession of sin to God through Christ, "flatly contradicts Scripture" and I think points to a deficiency in how you read the text.

I wonder if we could have a joint service where the Church and Israel come together and bread is broken along with a bird's neck. Where wine is shared and a goat's throat is slit and its blood splashed on us.

MMs have taken us back to elementary school and Paul wanted us to graduate by now (Galatians 4 and Hebrews 6).

al sends

Brad Williams said...

Al,

But dude, we get to eat them. Baptist have bird all the time right after communion. We call it "fried chicken."

There is a lot I'd like to say here, but I vowed a vow to save commentary until I read that link from Dan. Alas, time has failed me.

But briefly, because I am both a liar and a compulsive commetator, I will say that this Israel/Church mix up seems to me to go back to where Dan and I see the promises to Israel coming from. He sees it as a promise to the nation of Israel, physical descendants of Jacob, and I get that.

I see the promise of God to Israel as the same promise made to Abraham. Therefore, I see that as a son of Abraham, not necessarily "Son of Israel", the Gentiles who believe with Abraham inherit the same promises as the later offspring, Israel. This is evident in the OT in that Gentiles could become Israel after so many generations after conversion.

So, while I can see that nations will still remain distinct in the millenium and beyond, the promises to the Jew and Gentile are the same. Further, Israel is inferior to the Church in the same way that the OT is inferior to the NT.

There now, my errors are abundantly clear. I lied about not commenting. I am somewhat sorry about that.

Lynda O said...

So, while I can see that nations will still remain distinct in the millenium and beyond, the promises to the Jew and Gentile are the same. Further, Israel is inferior to the Church in the same way that the OT is inferior to the NT.
Do you believe the Old Testament texts that tell us that, during the Kingdom, Israel will have prominence / a higher position than the other nations?

How would you reason that "Israel is inferior to the Church... the OT is inferior to the NT"? I don't see that at all in the scriptures. Both Jesus and the apostles frequently quoted the Old Testament as completely authoritative -- it was the only Bible they had and it stands equally with the NT. And certainly nothing in the Bible says that either Israel or the Church is inferior/superior to the other.

As to the land promises... from what I understand so far, I think I agree with S. Lewis Johnson who maintained that, at the end, as one people of God, both Jew and Gentile believers will inherit all the promises of Abraham -- Gentiles are "grafted in" to the olive tree (the Abrahamic covenant) and in this way inherit all the blessings of that covenant including the land. (Ezekiel 47 also suggests this, at least in reference to the mortal, non-glorified people who enter into and/or live during the millennium... not sure how we from this age, by then in our glorified bodies, fit in to all that....) But that's different from saying that Gentiles "become" Israel, or that any of us Gentile believers today "could be Israel" due to genealogy issues.

Anyway, here we are having the exact same conversation as almost a year ago, so obviously none of this discussion is going to change one's views on these (comparatively minor) points. We have much in agreement, in reference to the overall premillennial futurist understanding, as compared to the numerous errors of some other professing believers I interact with locally.

Brad Williams said...

Lynda O.,

Thanks for the response. I'll try to answer as briefly as I can, and hopefully clearly enough to be understood if not agreed with.

Do you believe the Old Testament texts that tell us that, during the Kingdom, Israel will have prominence / a higher position than the other nations?
No, I would not say it like this. The book of Revelation teaches that all believers in Christ will sit on the throne with Jesus without distinction. Will Israel be different than other nations? Probably. Will they have a "higher position"? Not if you mean what I think you mean by that.

Israel, as they were in the OT, is inferior to the church b/c the Church is now Spirit-filled in a way that Israel was not, it is more inclusive where Israel was less so. In the church, we are all priests and can go into the Most Holy Place, for example. Israel, under the OT, did not enjoy many of the privileges that she now enjoys as a member of the church. Israel is now in the church and always will be.

Brad Williams said...

Lynda O,

Gah, this meta-is getting too long. I missed something in the scrolling.

To answer one more question you put to me, I would emphasize that I have no interest in becoming "Israel" because I don't see that it makes any difference.

Here's a thought/question that might help you understand my thinking about the Scriptures. First, what, Biblically does it take to make someone "Israel"? We know that not all "Israel" is "Israel". So it must be more than mere genetics (but not less, necessarily). And, what I meant by genetics for myself is that I don't know my family tree very far back. I have no idea whether or not I have any Jewish genes. If I did, how much does it take? What, exactly does it take to be Israel by definition?

That's not as easy to me, Biblically, as some make it sound. Gentiles could join and become Israel in the OT. Some people who are Jewish today may not have a drop of Abrahamic blood.

Anyway, not sure how helpful some of those observations are beyond thinking about how we even begin to define "Israel" in the the first place. What I know is that I am a joint-heir with Christ, I am not a second-class citizen, and that God will not bar me from the Most Holy Place due to my ethnicity and parentage. So, in the millennial kingdom I will have full access, whether or not I am physically of Israel, of the tribe of Levi, from the seed of Zadok.

Lynda O said...

In reference to Israel being different from the other nations and having a place of prominence: Zechariah 14 and Isaiah 60 especially come to mind, referring to the nations all coming to Jerusalem, and blessing Israel. Isaiah 19 also indicates that Egypt and Assyria will also be blessed in a three-way grouping with Israel, as above the other nations on the earth during the millennium.

I agree about Israel under OT law being "inferior" to the church age. What I was referring to was the distinction between Jews and Gentiles both now and in the coming age. When you said the OT was inferior to the NT, I guess you were also referring to the Mosaic economy versus now, rather than to the OT and NT scriptures.

rwt said...

There has been a great deal of discussion of DNA and genetics as it respects the nation of Israel. Here are some things to consider:

Israel was chosen out from every other nation on the planet. Jews received the promises of God. Jews were the people from whom the prophets were chosen. Jews, with limited exception, wrote the scriptures. Jews were given the law. Jews comprised the 12 disciples.

When the Old Covenant was instituted, it was established with the Jews. When the New Covenant was proclaimed at the last supper, there were no gentiles sitting at the table. When the church began, it was comprised of Jews.

Jesus was incarnated as a Jewish man with a Jewish mother. Jesus has Jewish DNA. Consequently, there is a Jewish man presently seated at the right had of God the Father in Heaven. Every knee will one day bow to this Jewish man. He will be Jewish for all eternity.

Therefore, I conclude that God has chosen to elevate the Jews to serve Him in some special way. That doesn't make me a second-class citizen; God has a place of service for me in the kingdom as well, but I will not be fulfilling Israel's place, nor will they fulfill mine.

God made this distinction to bring glory to Himself and I praise Him for it. I am glad that one day ethnic Israel will be saved and that Jesus will rule over them on the throne of His father David in Jerusalem.

witness said...

You know what's awsome? Somehow all of this is glorifying God!

Brad Williams said...

Lynda O,

I agree with almost everything you said if I understand you correctly.

rwt,

Ditto. Israel certainly has much to glory in with regards to the grace that God has shown them. No question or argument here at all.

Phil said...

You are so dead Al. Just wait till the literal woman from Revelation 12 appears. "And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars."

She is literally wearing the sun as clothing, standing on the moon. If you try to run from her fire power wrath(pointless, because she doesn't need air to breathe) she will fly after you, see v14 "But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle so that she might fly"

Give in to dispensation! Let her be your ally. Don't make her destroy you!

DJP said...

Right: because if anything is symbolic, everything must be!

Brilliant.

Gov98 said...

You are so dead Al. Just wait till the literal woman from Revelation 12 appears. "And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars."

IF ONLY John had used some word, some way for us to know that this wasn't literal if only he had clarified that this was a picture of something else if ONLY we could be sure that this language was symbolic, then maybe we could dispense with this comment.

I'm a little lazy though could some one look up what the word Sign means for me?

Al said...

Hey look... I am not alone!

Time to leave the shadow of the broom tree.

Phil's comment, Dan's response and another I read early about how these debates never really change anyone's mind, got me thinking about the value in these back and forths.

Dan is probably not going to change my mind. I will probably not change Dan's, but those who have questions about either position might get those questions answered. Our fan boys (or fan boy in my case - thanks Phil) will be built up in understanding of why they believe like they say they believe.

It may sway one who does not know what they believe about this issue one way or another, but no matter what - it has been good to open up God's word and read what God says.

Thanks again Dan.

al sends

Phil said...

But the gun points both ways doesn't it? If anything is literal, then everything is.
Which was my point about the failing of the dispies.

DJP said...

Ah, then it was a misfire. Sounds like you've never actually read a "dispie" - or not well. Dispensationalists are full aware of signs and similes and metaphors. The difference is they locate them textual considerations, not out of loyalty to the attempt to prop up an extra-textual human tradition.

jmb said...

Al, I see what you're saying, but we have passages like this to deal with:

Ezek. 45:17b - "He [the prince] will provide the sin offerings, grain offerings, burnt offerings, and fellowship offerings to make atonement on behalf of the house of Israel."

Ezek. 45:20 - "You must do the same thing [offerings described in preceding verses] on the seventh [day] of the month for everyone who sins unintentionally or through ignorance. In this way you will make atonement for the temple."

I don't see how we can see these offerings and sacrifices as anything but "effective." Effective for salvation? No. Possibly effective for restoring fellowship? Yes. As Dan pointed out, this does nothing to denigrate Christ's sacrifice.

By temporal forgiveness, I mean any forgiveness that is not eternal forgiveness. It doesn't cancel out eternal forgiveness; they can exist at the same time, as they do now.

Brad, you wrote: "I see the promise of God to Israel as the same promise made to Abraham. Therefore, I see that as a son of Abraham, not necessarily "Son of Israel", the Gentiles who believe with Abraham inherit the same promises as the later offspring, Israel. This is evident in the OT in that Gentiles could become Israel after so many generations after conversion.

So, while I can see that nations will still remain distinct in the millenium and beyond, the promises to the Jew and Gentile are the same."

I'm assuming that when you say that you're a son of Abraham, you are referring to Gal. 3:6-9, and, possibly, also vs. 29. The context of these verses is the fact that we are saved by faith. Verses 6 - 7: "Just as Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him for righteousness, so understand that those who have faith are Abraham's sons." So believing Gentiles are Abraham's sons because they, like Abraham, are saved by faith.

To go from this to saying that believing Gentiles also inherit promises made to Israel is quite a leap. You correctly said that Jews and Gentiles will remain distinct. Wouldn't that mean that the promises made to Jews and Gentiles will remain distinct also? (BTW, some of those promises are curses.)

"This is evident in the OT in that Gentiles could become Israel after so many generations after conversion." I'm not sure what you mean by this.

As to your contention that Israel is inferior to the church, as the OT is inferior to the NT: The OT is more than Israel, and the NT is more than the church. God's having separate plans for Israel and the church doesn't seem to have anything to do with inferiority or or superiority. If you merely mean that the NT is superior to the OT because the former contains additional revelation, particularly much more revelation about Jesus, I would, of course, agree.

I look forward to the day when the church is not seen as "spiritual Israel." I mostly admire Grudem's Systematic Theology, but, on page 862 (original edition), after referring to Heb. 8:8-10, he writes: "Here the author quotes the Lord's promise that he will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and WITH THE HOUSE OF JUDAH, and says that this is the new covenant that has now been made WITH THE CHURCH." (The emphases are his. Sorry, I still don't know how to use HTML for italics, or anything else.)

What? Where does it say this? Is he somehow equating "the house of Judah" with "the church"? It's amazing how, on this subject, respectable theologians often make conclusions that are not in Scripture.

Lynda O said...

Dispensationalists are full aware of signs and similes and metaphors. The difference is they locate them textual considerations, not out of loyalty to the attempt to prop up an extra-textual human tradition.

Exactly. Apply the definition (from Matt Weymeyer) regarding the specific characteristics of "symbolic language," which works very well to distinguish what is and is not symbolic language. Anyone who really is searching out the truth of scripture understands this.

Just to take the issue of the "1000 years" in Revelation 20, it fails the test of symbolic language:
1. Does it possess a degree of absurdity when taken literally? No -- there is nothing difficult here.
2. Does it possess a degree of clarity when taken symbolically? Symbolic language effectively communicates what it symbolizes.
We can look at all the literature, the differing ideas that amills/post-mills come up with when they try to take it symbolically. Since they all have such different ideas of what it means, this question also fails — a symbolic view of 1000 years does not possess a degree of clarity.
3. Does it fall into an established category of symbolic language? — figures of speech, etc. You have to be able to identify what kind of symbol you’re dealing with. Isaiah 55:12 is symbolic language, personification. The thousand years in Rev. 20 doesn't fit into any category of symbolic language; it cannot possibly be understood even as hyperbole for a "really really long time" when the church age has now lasted 2000+ years.

Regarding the woman in Rev. 12 -- just look back at the OT reference point, Genesis 37, and also apply those 3 questions above.

Ridiculing dispensationalists only shows one's own ignorance in understanding normal language and logical, rational thought processes, and is not helpful for advancing discussion of scripture. Such actions also do not glorify God.

Robert said...

Wow...this almost sounds like debating with continuationists. At least the charge of you're quenching the Spirit or don't judge me hasn't been thrown out there.

DJP said...

...YET!!!

Robert said...

I don't like your tone, there :*\

DJP said...

ROFL -- oh, the tear is precious!

Best laugh of the day so far.

Al said...

Gov98 -"I'm a little lazy though could some one look up what the word Sign means for me?"

Well, in Revelation 15 it means there will literally be 7 messengers from God with 7 literal plagues... or did you have something else in mind?

vs. 1"Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and amazing, seven angels with seven plagues, which are the last, for with them the wrath of God is finished.

al sends

DJP said...

All right, this is getting ridiculous. Look at all the effort poured into trying to counter the two initial principles, which I reaffirm:

1. "Jesus" is not God's way of saying "I can fudge on My promises and covenants" — to say the least.

2. "For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory" (2 Corinthians 1:20) is not a Biblely way of saying that "all the promises of God find their Fooled ya! in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Ah! ya got me! to God for his glory."

That those two simple assertions cause dogs to yelp, and yelp at such length, verifies their applicability. That folks don't take them to heart and revise their systems better to honor God's truthfulness and faithfulness to His promises is not, as the kids say, "on me."

Selah

DJP said...

All right, I'm reopening the meta to complain about my own tone.

When I say "dogs" I am not channeling Calvin and calling folks who disagree with me "dogs."

I am alluding to the common saying, "When you toss a rock, the dog who yelps is the dog you hit."

I say God means what He says and isn't a deceptive welsher, and look at all the argument.

The folks in this thread who disagree with the viewpoint that is the focus of the post are, as far as I know, good and fine brothers. I mean that sincerely.

However, the viewpoint which unworthily commands their loyalty is neither fine nor good.

I can mean both equally, in the same brain.

Hope that's clear enough.