Monday, October 13, 2014

I'm a Dispensationalist, but a different kind

I agree that not all saved are part of The Church, and The Church age is from Pentecost to The Rapture.  I agree the Church is a distinct Covenant from Israel, but not as completely separate a people often say.  Their destinies are linked.

I agree The Church is distinct from the Mosaic Covenant, and the Circumcision Covenant of Genesis 17.  Most Dipsensaitonlists agree that Abraham's Genesis 12 makes all of the Saved the spiritual Seed of Abraham (including those not part of either Israel or The Church).

However I do believe The Church is derived from the Genesis 15 Covenant just as much as the Mosaic one is.  And Jesus' promise to the 12 to rule the 12 Tribes of Israel makes The Church linked to the Davidic Covenant.

People get confused by what Paul says about The Church being a Mystery (Mysterion in Greek) in Ephesians 1:9 and 3:3-9, and other passages.  It does not mean The Church is completely absent from The Hebrew Bible, or not originally part of God's Plan.  Mysterion means that which was hidden.  Pieces of The Church doctrine are all over the Hebrew Bible, from the Pentecost Holy Day itself, to The Rapture allusions in Isaiah 26 and Joel 2:15-16, to the New Covenant promised in Jeremiah 31, And Joel 2:28-32 foretelling the out pouring of The Holy Ghost.  And of Course the Brides who are types of The Church like Rebecca and Ruth.

In II Samuel 7 David is told his Son not him will build The Temple.  This is viewed as a double fulfillment Prophecy, Solomon and his Temple as the first, and The Messiah Ben-David and the Messianic Temple described in Ezekiel 40-47 as the true final fulfillment.

1 Kings 5:3 tells us the reason David couldn't build The Temple was because he fought Wars.  Solomon's name is derived from Shalom, the Hebrew word for Peace.  The Temple has to be built by The Prince of Peace.  It occurs to me a potential problem exists with The Christian view of Messianic Prophecy that I'm surprised I haven't seen Jewish critics point out.  Jesus fulfills the roles of David and Solomon both.  How can that be possible?

I think the way Jesus gets around this is He builds His Temple first, then fights The Wars.  And I think that's part of the reason for the gap between the Two Advents.  The last thing he does at the First Advent is lay the foundation for The Temple.  The first thing he'll do at the Second Advent is remove his Temple to a safe place before His Wrath is poured out.

That The Church is The Temple of God is an important part of New Testament theology.  But because of the errors made by most Dispensationalists, they fail to see the Messianic Temple foretold in The Hebrew Bible as that same Temple.  But I have argued elsewhere that Ezekiel 40-48 corresponds to Revelation 21-22 not 20.

I can add to that the question of who resides in Jerusalem in Ezekiel?  It's not part of what's allotted to any of the 12 Tribes.  And even the portions of The Holy District given to the Priests, Levites and The Prince (probably David based on Ezekiel 33-36) are distinct from Jerusalem.  The simple answer might be that as The Capitol it has people of every Tribe.  Well that agrees with my belief that it is The Church, The Church has people from all of The Tribes as well as many Gentiles.

We are grafted into Israel as Romans 11 says, but not into one of the already existing Tribes, we're like a 14th Tribe.

None of that contradicts there being a literal structure with the design Ezekiel saw.  But that Tabernacle is the Heavenly One having descended to Earth (I believe it'll be on or near Mt Gezrim).  And has always existed, Moses saw it in The Wilderness, John saw it on Patmos.  And I suspect it had been on Earth once before, in The Garden of Eden before The Fall.  So it's construction isn't part of Prophecy.

As for how this effects the Rapture timing debate.  I agree with Chuck Missler that The Church is a unique entity.  I disagree that God can't or won't deal with Israel (and thus begin the 70th Week) while The Church is still here.  He dealt with Israel in 70 AD and and has again in 1948 and 1967.

He is correct based on Romans 11:25 that Israel's National Spiritual Blindness won't be lifted until The Fullness of The Gentiles has come in.  But that Blindness is only partial and does no contradict the 144,000 being Church Age believers.  When the Abomination of Desolation happens is when the blindness begins to be lifted, when they see that what Jesus foretold was correct and flee as he warned them to.

Chuck Missler is correct that up to verse 24 Luke 21 is about 70 AD.  Where Preterists stumble is in verse 24, after describing the captivity and diaspora.  "Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled." and then The Second Coming begins in the following verses, verse 27 makes clear he comes on a Cloud not a White Horse, so it's The Rapture.  Preterists want to make that "trodden under foot" period end with the Fall of Jerusalem even though Jesus clearly says that's where it begins.

The Rapture connection makes it very logical to see this "times of the gentiles" as corresponding to Paul's "fullness of the gentiles".  Luke is often defined as the most Paulian of The Gospels.

Revelation 11 describes the end of this period.  It makes clear that during the first half of the 70th Week while The Temple will be standing the Outer Court will still be Trodden under the foot of The Gentiles.  This is also clearly contemporary with the ministry of The Two Witnesses.  And after this 3.5 year period is the 7th Trumpet.

So that's pretty solid proof that the first half of the 70th Week is still The Church Age.

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