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The 144,000

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Ron Amnsn    184
Ron Amnsn
2 hours ago, JoeMo said:

That is not the case with the Messianic Jewish congregation that I occasionally worship with.  Everyone is invited to partake in their communion.  Everyone is invited to their Pesach.  Anyone can attend their Sabbath and feast day services.  Anyone who goes through their classroom instruction can become a member.  They sometimes have Gentile speakers.  They rent their facility to a Sunday keeping Christian church.

I've visited both kinds of Messianic congregations-- those where Gentiles are welcome to become full members, and those where Gentiles are second-class citizens unless they go through a full conversion  process approved by Orthodox Jews.  I think the difference between the two depends primarily on whether or not the leader of the congregation grew up in Orthodox Judaism. It makes sense that the leaders who grew up in Orthodox Judaism would want to create a congregation that would attract their Jewish relatives and friends to Jesus, so the distinctions between Jews and Gentiles that are present in Orthodox Judaism are maintained in those Messianic congregations.  Visiting this kind of congregation gives us, I think, a better understanding of the kind of Jewish/Gentile issues the apostle Paul was dealing with in his epistles.  It seems not much has changed.

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Ron Amnsn    184
Ron Amnsn
19 hours ago, 8thdaypriest said:

Paul said, "she does not commit adultery, though she marry another man."   So your wife CAN "marry another man" - IF you die. 

But you just said,

20 hours ago, 8thdaypriest said:

Besides we who believe "never die" in the eyes of God.   

So according to what you said, in God's eyes my wife would never be free marry another man because in God's eyes I would never die.

19 hours ago, 8thdaypriest said:

You are mixing the physical with what it symbolizes, concerning Christ and His church,

So, there are limits to what can be legitimately deduced about the physical from metaphorical or symbolic statements.  What criteria do you use to determine what those limits are?  Do you accept any and all conclusions drawn from metaphorical statements in the Bible as long as those conclusions agree with your own theories?  If so, that seems like a recipe for becoming self-deceived by one's own private interpretations.  What happens when the conclusions you draw from metaphorical statements contradict direct non-symbolic statements made directly by God through his prophets?  Do you set aside the direct non-symbolic statements of God's Word in favor of metaphorical interpretations you like better?  That's the trap a lot of Christians have been taught to walk into.  So when God says directly in Jeremiah, that he will not reject Israel or Judah while day and night continue, Christians have been taught to believe that such parts of God's Word are invalid because of some metaphorical interpretation that abuses the metaphor. 

Christians cherry-pick the parts of Paul's metaphor of the olive tree in Romans 11 and ignore the clear statement in the metaphor that some branches are "natural branches", even if they have been "cut off", while other branches are "wild", and that the cut off non-Gentile natural branches still have something that makes them more able to be grafted-in than a wild branch.  Even though Paul says the non-Gentile "natural branches" have a grafting-in advantage provided by their previous attachment to "their own" olive tree, people continue to assert the nonsense that there is no difference between the non-Gentile natural branches and the wild Gentile branches.

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8thdaypriest    1,168
8thdaypriest
5 hours ago, Ron Amnsn said:

But you just said,

So according to what you said, in God's eyes my wife would never be free marry another man because in God's eyes I would never die.

So, there are limits to what can be legitimately deduced about the physical from metaphorical or symbolic statements.  What criteria do you use to determine what those limits are?  Do you accept any and all conclusions drawn from metaphorical statements in the Bible as long as those conclusions agree with your own theories?  If so, that seems like a recipe for becoming self-deceived by one's own private interpretations.  What happens when the conclusions you draw from metaphorical statements contradict direct non-symbolic statements made directly by God through his prophets?  Do you set aside the direct non-symbolic statements of God's Word in favor of metaphorical interpretations you like better?  That's the trap a lot of Christians have been taught to walk into.  So when God says directly in Jeremiah, that he will not reject Israel or Judah while day and night continue, Christians have been taught to believe that such parts of God's Word are invalid because of some metaphorical interpretation that abuses the metaphor. 

Christians cherry-pick the parts of Paul's metaphor of the olive tree in Romans 11 and ignore the clear statement in the metaphor that some branches are "natural branches", even if they have been "cut off", while other branches are "wild", and that the cut off non-Gentile natural branches still have something that makes them more able to be grafted-in than a wild branch.  Even though Paul says the non-Gentile "natural branches" have a grafting-in advantage provided by their previous attachment to "their own" olive tree, people continue to assert the nonsense that there is no difference between the non-Gentile natural branches and the wild Gentile branches.

So when God says directly in Jeremiah, that he will not reject Israel or Judah while day and night continue

IMO, God has NOT rejected "Israel" or "Judah" - IF by "Israel" you MEAN those who believe in and seek to obey Yahweh, AND are led by His Spirit.  The rulers who called for the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, were ethnic Israelites.  But - they were not "led by His Spirit". 

I have no problem with the "natural branches" - those raised as part of cultural, historic Israel - being closer to/ or more easily grafted in.  They have a greater understanding of the history.  They already keep more of the commandments.  Their culture allows them to keep the commandments more easily (without pressure from their social support group) than those from Sunday keeping cultures, or non-religious cultural backgrounds, or even Muslim culture.   On the other hand, their is massive cultural opposition against any Jew who comes to believe in Jesus Christ AS Messiah.  Such belief separates them from their social support group. 

In my neck of the woods - small town East Texas - social support groups like family, friends, work associates, clubs, your kids sporting events, etc. etc. -  are extremely important!!  Some folks choose to keep their new faith/beliefs a secret, rather than risk loosing their friends and family, and place in Southern society.  I personally know three women who have told me, "I'm with you Rachel.  I agree, what you've said makes a lot more sense.  I just can't get my family upset right now" (or ever).  One told me she would remain a "closet conditionalist". 

I can agree. There IS a DIFFERENCE concerning the difficulty involved in coming to believe in Jesus Christ, in making the commitment to serve Christ, in bearing witness to your faith in Jesus Christ - as the Son of God, and the only way to God the Father.   But the range of difficulty varies from individual to individual, and from culture to culture.  

Is it easier for a Jew to become part of a congregation praising Jesus as Messiah?  Or is it easier for someone from a Sunday keeping church, whose entire extended family attends that church, to suddenly decide that the 7th Day Sabbath IS part of the New Covenant?   Seems to me, both individuals face great difficulty.  

 

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Ron Amnsn    184
Ron Amnsn
On 8/16/2017 at 9:32 AM, 8thdaypriest said:

NIV  Hebrews 8:13 "By calling this covenant "new," he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear."

Words like "obsolete" and "disappear" don't make it sound like the New Covenant is added on to the Sinai Covenant.

The Sinai Covenant - written on stones - is REPLACED BY the New Covenant, written on the hearts of those who have believed.

You're saying something different here than what the Bible says.  You're saying that the covenant is written on the hearts.  However, Jeremiah and Hebrews both say that God writes his Law or Instructions on the hearts. 

The word "obsolete" is an English word translated from a Greek word that has other meanings.  The translators chose the meaning that matched their theology.  The words translated as "obsolete" literally mean "be made old". The author of Hebrews uses the same word in Hebrews 1:11 where it quotes Isaiah 51:6 speaking of the foundations of the earth which are obviously not obsolete but absolutely necessary to our existence.  Our modern culture is obsessed with "new" things and is quick to abandon old things as obsolete or out-of-date, but other cultures value old things (as in old wine and the age-old foundations that will be rebuilt).   God's covenants with Noah and Abraham are much older than the Sinai covenant yet they are still valid now.

The phrase "near disappearing" is another instance showing that the writers of the New Testament thought the return of Jesus was imminent as shown in 1 Cor 7:31 "For the present form of this world is passing away." and 1John 2:17 "And the world is passing away ..."

There are a number of things that continue from the original covenant into the renewed covenant:

  • YHWH.  It is the same God that is the initiator and primary party to both covenants.
  • God's part of the covenant, "I am YHWH your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt."
  • Israel -- the other party to both covenants.  The Sinai covenant was made with the descendants of Jacob and the mixed multitude that had come with Israel out of Egypt.  The renewed covenant is made with the "house of Israel" and the "house of Judah", which specifically refer to the two literal parts of the descendants of Jacob who were temporarily divided until the two houses are reunited.
  • The Ark of the Covenant  (see Revelation 11:19)
  • The  covenant document -- the Ten Words (erroneously known in English as the ten commandments). 
  • God's Instructions or Law that will be written on the hearts.
  • The definition for "iniquity" and "sins", which will be forgiven.

The promise of the new covenant makes it clear that the new covenant has not yet been implemented because the Israelites have brothers and neighbors that do not know the Lord.

I suppose it could be okay to speculate that the new covenant replaces the Sinai covenant, if you happen to be correct about that.  But since Scripture doesn't actually say that anywhere, it seems like a rather presumptuous assumption.

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Ron Amnsn    184
Ron Amnsn
On 8/16/2017 at 6:29 PM, 8thdaypriest said:

I have no problem with the "natural branches" - those raised as part of cultural, historic Israel - being closer to/ or more easily grafted in.

It appears that you are comfortable with cultural or social reasons, but not accepting of what the Bible teaches about the Israelite natural branches having an advantage in God's eyes because God designates them as "natural branches" as opposed to "wild branches" like the Gentiles.  In Romans 9:1-5 the apostle Paul says in the present tense about the disbelieving Israelites, "to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises."  The Bible doesn't say anything like that about disbelieving Gentiles.

After the Gentile "wild branches" become grafted-in to Israel among the natural branches, then there should be no difference between Israelite and Gentile believers because we are one in Messiah.

There isn't anywhere in the Bible where it talks about a "church" that separates itself from the literal descendants of Jacob.  In fact the Greek word "ekklesia" (which is erroneously translated as "church" in English Bibles) was already used (for nearly 200 years) to refer to the assembly of Israelites at Mt. Sinai in the Greek Old Testament (Septuagint) before the New Testament was written.

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The Wanderer    1,444
The Wanderer
3 hours ago, Ron Amnsn said:

You're saying something different here than what the Bible says.  You're saying that the covenant is written on the hearts.  However, Jeremiah and Hebrews both say that God writes his Law or Instructions on the hearts.

"The covenant" is not the law; however, both Old Covenant and New Covenant, are all about the law.

in the OC, we read:

Quote

"And all the people answered together, and said, All that the LORD hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the LORD." (Exodus 19:8)

And following the Old Covenant, we read about The New Covenant:

Quote

"But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people."  (Jer 31:33)

"The Covenant," was just that. An agreement about Gods law. In the OC, the people thought to do it on their own, as many of us try to do today. But in the New Covenant, the agreement changed; and God said: "I WILL..."

Old Covenant = "we will" (us speaking and promising)

New Covenant = "I will" (God speaking, and promising)

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