THESE ARE THE DAYS OF ELISHA!


I may not be the only one who confused some of the events of Elijah with those of Elisha. I remember several years back when my wife and I were doing a Vacation Bible School skit on Elisha. She got the kids all excited, telling them that, if they are good they will be visited by Elisha! And that he has a story to tell. I could hear from out in the hall, wearing my long itchy robe, that they were getting all excited.


The first thing I said as I entered amidst much fanfare was “I am … Elijah”!


Oops!


My wife gave me that mildly amused you-blew-it look. I meant to say “Elisha”.
So why is this important? I believe that both Elijah and Elisha are types of the New and Old Covenants. Consider this:


“Elijah” means “My God is Jah” or “God Himself”. “Elisha” means “God is Savior”. (source: Young’s Concordance)


COMPARISON: Elijah and Elisha make an interesting study in comparison and contrast. Both miraculously provided for the material needs of widows with sons, respectively the Zarephathite and the Shunamite, in both case, significantly, I believe, involving a miraculously persistent supply of oil. In both cases the widows’ sons are miraculously brought back to life.


CONTRAST: But there are significant – and instructive – differences:
Elijah’s ministry seems to be associated mainly with violent miracles and fiery judgment. He first comes on the scene calling for a drought that lasts for three and a half years. He is also the one who, on two different occasions, calls down fire. First on Mount Carmel in the well-known showdown with the prophets of Baal. The fire’s immediate purpose was to light the drenched sacrifice of Elijah’s altar. The ultimate purpose was to show which of the two, Yahweh or Baal, were the true God, and who were the true worshipers. Elijah used this intervention of God to seize all the prophets of Baal and kill them. Toward the end of Elijah’s life he was arrogantly summoned to appear before the apostate King Ahaziah. A captain of fifty was sent to him saying,


“Man of God, the king has said, ‘Come down!'”

Elijah answers, “If I am a man of God, then let fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty men!”


And if this is, of course, what happens. It happens once more and, were it not for the discerning pleading of the third captain, it would have happened a third time.
The association of fire with Elijah is an enduring one. It may have been on the disciples’ minds when they desired Christ to rain down fire upon the village that remained unreceptive to the gospel message.


It is also natural for those who expect a literal future judgment of fire to come upon an unreceptive world to likewise expect Elijah’s fiery comeback.


But what about Elisha? Though his ministry is not without judgment and condemnation of sin, there seems to be a clear picture of New Testament mercies and grace. While Elijah’s acts often were calling down destruction, Elisha’s were for building up. These acts of Elijah’s successor seem more to point to Christ. His first two miracles were, as I said, similar to Elijah’s; the widow helped, the widows’ sons, respectively, revived. But after this we come to even greater contrast:


Elisha purifies the big communal pot of broth that someone inadvertantly put a poisonous herb into. After the broth was being prepared someone noticed – too late – the noxious ingredient! “There is death in the pot!” (How many times have we used that phrase back at Bible school!) Elisha sprinkles in a some meal into the broth and it is good to eat.


Another time (perhaps very soon after the above incident) Elisha finds himself suddenly needing to feed a hundred people with twenty (presumably small) barley loaves. But, like Christ, he makes this meager food stretch, and with plenty left over. 2 Kings 4:42- 44


He also heals a man (Naaman) of leprosy. This proves to be a means of judgment for his greedy servant Gehazi who, scapegoat-like, receives Naaman’s affliction on himself. Christ, also, brought judgment on those who pretended to serve God – but didn’t. (This healing calls for an article by itself, seeing that there are many parallels to Christ and to His message. How many people, like Naaman, are put off by the simple requirement of coming to Christ, just as he was, in a prefigurement of the gospel, put off by the command to bathe in the Jordan seven times?)


Elisha also is the one who makes the borrowed axhead float, so that the other prophet of humble means could retrieve it. Could this be a type of the resurrection? At any rate it is a miracle more fitting to Elisha than to Elijah.


The last miracle that comes to mind is when the city Elisha is in is surrounded by Syrians, Elisha’s servant is clearly upset, but Elisha prays for God to open his eyes and he sees the armies of God surrounding and outnumbering the puny armies of man. Christ is the one who opens eyes.


This last event may also be a hint of the future epoch-ending confrontation in Jerusalem. The city was surrounded by the Roman legions but, as recorded by Josephus, Tacitus and others, there was seen in the skes above the city a heavenly army. This is similar, perhaps, to the wonder seen in the time of Elisha.


Resurrection truth is clearly shown in Elisha’s ministry. Elisha, in an astonishing prefigurement of the resurrection and new life in Christ, gives life through his death. Remember the story? In 2nd Kings 13 a burial detail was surprised by a gang of raiders from Moab so they hurriedly bury their dead man in Elisha’s grave, that prophet having died that year. Here is the rest of the story:
“So it was, as they were burying a man, that suddenly they spied a band of raiders; he revived and stood on his feet.” and they put the man in the tomb of Elisha; and when the man was let down and touched the bones of Elisha,

Elijah at the Mount of Transfiguration

But why, Elijah, and not Elisha. Elisha, the prophet with the double supply of the Holy Spirit, the prophet who took the place of his mentor? It is just because Elisha, not Elijah, points to Christ. The whole point of the experience on that Mount was to teach the disciples that Christ fulfills the purpose and mission of both the Law (Moses) and the Old Testament Prophets (Elijah).

Elijah also points to a person in the New Testament – John the Baptist. There was no prophet “born of women” greater than John the Baptist, Matt. 11:10-11. But “he that is little” in the New Covenant is greater than him.

It is ironic and sad that so many Christians expect and teach the future return of Elijah. His return would also imply the return of the Old Covenant he represented, the Covenant that Christ fulfilled and did away with.


I am sure that there other things that could be written here. It is ironic that Christians nowadays sing “These are the Days of Elijah” when they clearly aren’t. These are the days of Elisha.


Better yet, these are the days of the Christ to whom Elisha pointed more clearly than did Elijah. Elijah had the preparatory glory of the Old Covenant, Elisha clear flashes of the New.


It is also ironic that the eschatology of so many requires Elijah to come back, when Christ clearly pointed out John the Baptist as the post-type of Elijah.
Elijah is not coming back. John did all that. Christ told His disciples – and tells us – that the same wisdom that recognizes Him as the Christ recognizes John as having come in the spirit of Elijah, Luke 7:31-35; Matt. 17:10-13.


Like the Jews, many are looking for the Jewish prophet, for the Jewish temple, for the Jewish sacrifices to recommence, for the Jewish Kingdom to be set up. Jesus did all that, and is all that. Furthermore we know that the Kingdom of Christ is now, spiritual and eternal, blood-washed, blood-bought, and that our King and Priest needs no other bloody sacrifice (of any type) or earthly, crumbly temple.


Article from May, 2007, updated January, 6, 2022.

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All Israel will be Saved: Romans 11:26

Asterisktom's Blog



Did you catch the misquote in the title? No? Just wait, we will get to that.

This passage is one of the most (deservedly) famous of verses in the Bible. I don’t know how many sermons I have heard, books and web sites read, over the years that made good – or ill – use of these words in Romans 11:26.

THE POPULAR VIEW: FUTURE MASS CONVERSION OF NATIONAL ISRAEL
The most usual interpretation that I heard takes into account the verse before:

“For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in” Rom. 11:25

The most-common explanation of the passage is that at the time of Paul’s writing and up through our time God had switched His attention…

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Apologetics Valid in Ministry?

Asterisktom's Blog

Is Apologetics a valid component of Christian ministry?

Yes and no. A distinction must be first made between evidentialist versus Biblical apologetics. Biblical apologetics will be discussed below.

Evidentialists (like John Montgomery*, C.S. Lewis, or Harry Rimmer, Josh McDowell, Norm Geisler, Hugh Ross, Ravi Zacharias, William Lane Craig and many more, alas!) are those who attempt to convert people by statistics, historical references, historical precedents, etc. Though many evidentialists profess to hold the Word in high regard, they don’t seem to hold it in *highest* regard. But can evidence sway a person who is unswayed by the Word? Take a look at Luke 16:27- 31:

27. Then he [that is, the doomed rich man] said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house:

28. For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest…

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My Other Blogs and Websites

I have other blogs and websites that may interest visitors here:

https://wordpress.com/view/fromnowhere2nowhere.wordpress.com
Travel photo-blog describing our various trips in Asia, Europe, the Americas, and North Africa. (As of this date the Africa part is not posted yet).

https://wordpress.com/view/asterisktomato.wordpress.com
Other general posts involving current events, politics, history, etc.

https://flickr.com/photos/asterisktom
Thousands of photos from various places and times.

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Wisdom is Justified by her Children: Matthew 11:19



A Lesson in Discernment: The same wisdom that recognized the Christ in Jesus,
likewise, discerned in John the Baptist Elijah already come.



Here is the background text, Matthew 11:2-19. Please see further comments below.

2. And when John had heard in prison about the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples
3. and said to Him, “Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?”
4. Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and tell John the things which you hear and see:
5. The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them.
6. And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.”
7. As they departed, Jesus began to say to the multitudes concerning John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind?
8. But what did you go out to see? A man clothed in soft garments? Indeed, those who wear soft clothing are in kings’ houses.
9. But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I say to you, and more than a prophet.
10. For this is he of whom it is written:

Behold, I send My messenger before Your face,
Who will prepare Your way before You.’

11. Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
12. And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.
13. For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.
14. And if you are willing to receive it, he is Elijah who is to come.
15. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!
16. But to what shall I liken this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to their companions,
17. and saying:

‘We played the flute for you,
And you did not dance;
We mourned to you,
And you did not lament.’

18. For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’
19. The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a winebibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ But wisdom is justified by her children.”

Is Elijah still coming? Consider the following:
Having heard once again, in a recent sermon, that Elijah is still coming I thought about this very passage in Matthew. There is here a connection that is often overlooked, an application that deals both with Elijah and with the very nature of God’s fulfillments.

A little overview first. Christ, in the passage above, commends John the Baptist and his ministry. He also shows the limitations of the dispensation under which he labored: the Old Covenant. It was in the very nature of John’s occupation that he would “work himself out of a job”, so to speak. His purpose was to announce the coming of the Messiah. This was foretold in Malachi, the very last of the Old Testament prophets.

It is interesting that Christ’s scenario here contrasts two events; the one with mourning, the other with joyful music and dancing. Some commentators have seen in this references to, respectively, a funeral and a wedding. A few commentators (Godbey’s is one I happened to see recently) even go so far as to say that the funeral is that of the Old Covenant, personified as a woman; and the wedding as that of the New Covenant. That does seem appropriate, though perhaps it is reading too much into the text.

Much more could be written about this passage, but I want to focus on what I believe is all too often overlooked today. Two points:

1. The “wisdom is justified by her children” metaphor has to do with both Christ and John the Baptist.
2. There is no need for any other Elijah to come in the future. This passage, in fact, does away with the possibility of that.

1. The same wisdom that recognizes Jesus as the Christ, the Messiah, also recognizes John as Elijah. To recognize the fore-runner, the messenger – John – is to also recognize the Person of his message – Christ.

John proclaimed loudly, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”

Once Christ came and completed His mission there was no need anymore for that particular messenger, because that message has already been given. The message now is the Gospel. The messengers now in need are Christians. That’s us!

Anyone who has any doubt about Elijah’s ministry being completed in John needs only to read Malachi’s prophecy concerning him, Malachi 4. Or one can consider the Transfiguration, that dramatic demonstration of the passing of the Old and the visible establishment of the New Covenant, shown by Christ’s transcendency of the ministries of both Moses and Elijah: the Law and the Prophets. They faded away – just as did the Law they were associated with – only to be replaced by Christ. Hear the Father’s finalizing words: This is My Son. Hear Him.

2. No need for a future Elijah.
Wisdom is justified by her children. We are the children of the God of all wisdom. As such, we have the ability now to recognize the things of God. We need only to fix our attention on the guidance in His Word and the illumination of His Spirit. The reason why there is not more unanimity among Christians in these things, I am convinced, is because we are so prone to lean on tradition and human authority. And tradition – at least the tradition of the last two hundred years – has led us to expect another Elijah (superfluous, according to Scripture) to perform a ministry (contrary to Scripture).

Not recognizing Elijah and Christ are part of the same spiritual problem.
Another reason why this topic is important is that the church nowadays, to a degree unrecognized, has taken up with the very spirit of the first-century Jews.  Those Jews let their Messiah pass through their midst unrecognized because their eyes were fixed on the physical, to the exclusion of the spiritual.

They waited for a physical Messiah: A powerful and beneficent Savior.
They waited for a physical largesse. The feeding of the 5000 greatly prompted their desires for Him as king – on their terms.
They waited for a physical deliverance from Rome’s galling dominion.
They waited for a physical salvation, involving an Earthly Kingdom, grandiose worship with visible and magnificent assurances and favor.

This is what they wanted. But what did they get?

A Messiah that not only did not deliver them from Rome, actually taught the necessity of going the extra mile with them. One who not only did not deliver Israel from them, but was seemingly unable to save Himself by coming down from the Cross.
A Messiah who taught the necessity of eating His flesh and drinking His blood.
A builder of an invisible Temple.
An inauguration of an invisible Kingdom, one that “comes not with observation”.

Should it be any wonder that they – like many today –  did not have the wisdom to recognize Elijah?

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We Know so Little about God

But we use big words as if we didn’t (know so little).

Every statement from us about Christ is bound to be an understatement (because of verses like Isa. 55:9). Even if we have the words right (and that is usually when we are closest to just using Scripture) we still understate in the sense that we don’t really understand the concepts we use of God.

I am not yet speaking about God, but of the words themselves. Words, in the final analysis, are pitiful instruments to tell of the wonderful truths of God – or many other things in this life. Very often, whether in some other branch of knowledge or in theology, we use words, not to come to grips with something hard to understand – but to make it go away. We do this with a semblance of “having tackled the problem”.

We give a name to the strange force of electricity. We tag it and bag it with eleven letters and neatly slot it away from our consciousness. But what is this electricity? Really?

Gravity?

Music?

Color?

Photosynthesis?

Such knowledge is too wonderful for us.

Eternity?

I have a chart, for instance, I had used both in teaching at church and at school to show that we don’t really fathom what is involved by glibly saying God is infinite.

The demonstration works like this: I first ask them a “stupid” question, as one of my students might have categorized it: “How many infinities are there?” They almost invariably say “one“.

Then I draw an X/Y chart on the board, showing, first of all, how there is an infinite number of positive numbers from zero to infinity. This is a no-brainer.

Then I draw another line from zero backwards to negative infinity. Heads start scratching here – the more insightful ones. This, after all, is another infinite set, and we have only drawn two lines!

I can then show them that there seems to be ( I stay away from the indicative mode at this point. I want conclusions to come from them, or not at all) an infinite number of sets.

We have an infinity of all odd numbers,

Of all even numbers,

Of all multiples of, say, 8

And this can go on, well, ad infinitum, each set trailing off into its own domain of infinity. All separate yet, so it seemed at first, equal.

An infinite number of infinities!

I finally end my demonstration with putting a large circle around the whole X/Y chart, saying that this represents all that we can fathom about infinity. Then I write a large “G” in front. And a large “D” at the other end, spelling “GOD”. This clumsily visualizes the truth that God is bigger than we can ever imagine.

(I have since found out that my “discovery” on infinites has long been made by a mathematician of two centuries ago, George Cantor, and that there is a whole branch of math called “set theory”.)

We say God is “infinite”. But we are saying much more than we can comprehend.

How is God infinite?

Infinite in time: Eternality: Moses said of Him (Psalm 90:2) “From everlasting to everlasting You are God.” (“everlasting to everlasting”= Eternal). Only God is truly eternal. Though Christians have eternal life, it is only so from this time forward, not backward. See also Deut. 32:40; 1st Tim. 6:16.

Infinite in Knowledge: Omniscient: (“all-knowing”).Psalm 139 describes this and the following two aspects of God (omnipotent and omnipresence). Verses 1- 6 refer to omniscience. Also Psa. 147:4- 5.

Everything God planned, He did from eternity past. He knows the future because His will is done in it and His wisdom and omnipotence brings it about.

Infinite in Power: Omnipotent: (“All-powerful”) “El Shaddai”. This is God’s total ability to achieve His perfect will. “Is anything too hard for God?” Jer. 32:17, 27

Infinite in Space (Immensity): Omnipresent: He is everywhere. Psalm 139:7- 12.

God fills every part of space with His whole Being! “Do I not fill heaven and Earth?”: I Kings 8:27. See also Isa. 66:1, Jer. 23:23- 24.

This is not pantheism. God is everywhere, but He is not everything. “Immensity” means not just that God is everywhere, but that He is surely present in every place.

All of God is in the room in which you, my friend, are reading these words, wherever you are.

Where can I go from Your Spirit?

Or where can I flee from Your presence?

If I ascend into heaven, You are there;

If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.

If I take the wings of the morning,

And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,

Even there Your hand shall lead me,

And Your right hand shall hold me.”Psalm 139:7-10

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Crypto-Sequiturs of Christ: Why Did He say THIS?

Non-sequiturs are responses to a previous comment that does not seem to follow logically to the topic being discussed. They are often both illogical and nonsensical. As Christians, we know that every word from Christ, seeing that He is God, is pure, Proverbs 30:5. Jesus Christ – unlike us – never gave random responses.

Yet we have several statements from Christ that do indeed seem – and to His enemies were in fact treated as – non-sequiturs. Those of us, however, who know and reverence our Lord know that every word from Jesus Christ certainly has purpose. That is why we could call these mysterious responses or actions crypto-sequiturs. “Crypto-” as in “hidden”. There is a connection, but not one that is immediately apparent. Other statements of Christ did seem to be logically connected but were actually, as far as His intended application, still hidden from His hearers. So Crypto-sequitur refers to responses that either seemed unconnected, or that were connected, but applied in a spiritual and totally unforeseen way.

Below are three of these crypto-sequiturs of Christ. The first two are fairly easy to understand, but the last one requires more careful examination to get to the application:

1. “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” John 2:15-21

(We backtrack a bit in order to pick up the context):

15. When He had made a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the changers’ money and overturned the tables.

16. And He said to those who sold doves, “Take these things away! Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!”

17. Then His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for Your house has eaten Me up.”

18. So the Jews answered and said to Him, “What sign do You show to us, since You do these things?”

19. Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”

20. Then the Jews said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?”

21. But He was speaking of the temple of His body.

This is an obvious example to start with, seeing that the text itself unlocks for us Christ’s intended application. The hostile Jews in this confrontation, having just seen Him (from their viewpoint) violate the sanctity of their temple, when they heard Christ’s words in verse 19 thought naturally of the physical temple. But He intended to draw their attention to the real and spiritual temple, His own Body – the Church of the Living God, a spiritual house of which this earlier structure was mere preparation.

To the Jews, Christ’s answer was a non-sequitur, as their hostile response clearly shows.

2. “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.” Matthew 16:5-12.

Here is another fairly straightforward example, seeing that the key to understanding it is given at the very end.

5. Now when His disciples had come to the other side, they had forgotten to take bread.
6. Then Jesus said to them, “Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.”
7. And they reasoned among themselves, saying, “It is because we have taken no bread.”
8. But Jesus, being aware of it, said to them, “O you of little faith, why do you reason among yourselves because you have brought no bread?
9. Do you not yet understand, or remember the five loaves of the five thousand and how many baskets you took up?
10. Nor the seven loaves of the four thousand and how many large baskets you took up?
11. How is it you do not understand that I did not speak to you concerning bread?—but to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”
12. Then they understood that He did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

We tend to be hard on the disciples for their slowness in understanding what Christ meant here, but we have the benefit of inspired explanation. We most certainly would have made our own share of blunders in understanding that all pupils make on their way to becoming actual students of the things of God.

3. “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery…”

Luke 16:14-18. This verse 18 in itself seems very clear, but what is odd – at first sight, at least – is the place we find this verse. Consider the whole context:

14. Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, also heard all these things, and they derided Him.
15. And He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God.
16. “The law and the prophets were until John. Since that time the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is pressing into it.
17. And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one tittle of the law to fail.
18. “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced from her husband commits adultery.


Does verse 18 have any connection to the previous passage? For that matter, does it have any connection to the verses that follow afterward? Either way, it seems to be an orphan; the idea of divorce and remarriage not fitting anywhere else in the context of which this verse is in the middle. Many commentators have picked up on this incongruity – and then proceeded to find some way to make the fit. A few even suggest that the verse has no place here, but was added by an unskillful later redactor.

It is true that God’s commands and restrictions concerning verse are an example of the law mentioned in verse 17, yet the incongruity and question remains: Why just single out this one command?

I believe that Christ, once again, is speaking spiritually – just as He did of the temple and of leaven in the previous examples. I believe that He is speaking of spiritual divorce in this passage, not a physical, personal one. A good cross-reference, I believe, is Romans 7:1-6:

1. Or do you not know, brethren (for I speak to those who know the law), that the law has dominion over a man as long as he lives?
2. For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives. But if the husband dies, she is released from the law of her husband.
3. So then if, while her husband lives, she marries another man, she will be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from that law, so that she is no adulteress, though she has married another man.
4. Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another—to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God.
5. For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were aroused by the law were at work in our members to bear fruit to death.
6. But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.


Don’t live your New Life with your Old Wife
In these last two passages, Romans and Luke, we have identical terms: Law, divorce, wife, adultery. I believe that the application is the same in both, both referring to spiritual adultery.

Paul told the Roman Jews that they were married to the Law, and that their marriage was for life. We have been set free from the law by death. It was literally “till death do us part“. That is exactly what happened; death – Christ’s death on the cross – is what killed the believing Jews – and us. New life in Christ means first that the old life – as the old wife – died. That first marriage was a tough, exacting one. There was no satisfying the requirements of that marriage. Thank God that all things are new and old things are passed away!

Now, both Jesus and Paul warn against the absolute sin of living the new life with the old wife: Law. According to Jesus every “jot and tittle” of the Law must be followed. According to Paul we are “adulteresses” if we try to live as if we were married to Christ yet still serving under the “dominion” of that old slave-driving first wife.

But once the demands of the Law are past, through death, Hebrews 9:16-17, the new life of the New Covenant come into effect. To try to live the new life the old way is adultery – and futile. To recognize the death of all that is the key to wholeheartedly living the new life.

There are several passages like the above, which do not seem to neatly follow from the previous context. I believe readers run too readily to commentaries and study Bibles. There is a place for these, but they should not be the first thing we consult. A better course would be to first study out the passages yourself, mixing prayer with perseverance, knowing that, just as God is one, so is His Word. It is in these seeming discrepancies that we often find most welcome and encouraging treasures.

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Full Preterist – Not Quite Full

I would consider myself a Full Preterist, although some other FPs would not consider me such. I thought about that when I came across the Wedding Feast parable of Matthew 22. Here is the passage with my comments below:

22 And again Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying, 2 “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son, 3 and sent his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding feast, but they would not come. 4 Again he sent other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, “See, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding feast.”’ 5 But they paid no attention and went off, one to his farm, another to his business, 6 while the rest seized his servants, treated them shamefully, and killed them. 7 The king was angry, and he sent his troops and destroyed those murderers and burned their city. 8 Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding feast is ready, but those invited were not worthy. 9 Go therefore to the main roads and invite to the wedding feast as many as you find.’ 10 And those servants went out into the roads and gathered all whom they found, both bad and good. So the wedding hall was filled with guests.11 “But when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there a man who had no wedding garment. 12 And he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. 13 Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot and cast him into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ 14 For many are called, but few are chosen.”

There is a foolish consistency of some Full Preterists to conclude that, since they believe “all things are fulfilled” then, logically, there is no Judgment (capital J). It too (they maintain) is a thing of the past. We, on the sunny side of AD 70 need not concern ourselves with this. Some also even say that there is no such thing as sin. But this is not true. Consider the passage above.

1. The inhabitants of the city either had made light of the marriage feast or abused the messengers. The King sends troops against their city – Jerusalem. This clearly points to the Romans coming against and conquering Jerusalem. The city is burned.

But,2. We still have an invitation to a wedding feast – after the burning of the city. And we have a new crop of attendees, worthy and unworthy. The unworthy of these post AD 70 guests are different than those of the 1st century. They have the wrong attire. They did not put on Christ, His righteousness. They were within Christendom, but not in Christ.It is an exhilarating and challenging exercise for us Preterists to constantly weed out those tenets we were taught earlier. But now, more than ever, we need to distinguish between human tradition that makes God’s Word of no effect and foundational tenets of faith that would – if we deny them – would make our faith of no effect.

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How Many Times Did Jesus Die?

It is sad that when people start looking into Preterism and search the Internet they very often come upon the videos and writings of Don K. Preston. But his teaching is not in line with Scripture. Many of those who support him, I really believe, do not realize the full extent of his heretical views. Below are two quotes, one from Preston the other from Romans 6:10.

Do you see the problem?

Two, actually:Jesus did not die twice.Jesus did not die spiritually.To believe this is to believe in another Jesus.



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Hosea 6:7: Adam or “Men”?

Notes on Hosea 6:7 and the Unwarranted Reading of “Covenant” into Genesis 1

In light of two separate discussions on an imagined covenant in the time of Adam I thought it might be good to revisit the topic of Hosea 6:7, a verse that is often plucked out of context and made to prove something it wasn’t even referring to.

Whether or not we should understand the “adam” in Hosea to be “Adam” or not, the bone of contention is whether that gives any evidence of an actual covenant with Adam. The two possibilities I see:

1. If Adam, the man, is meant: Both Adam, on the one hand, and Judah and Ephraim, on the other, were entrusted with some blessing from God. Both parties here professed allegiance and proved themselves to be faithless to that allegiance.

2. If “adam”, “men” is meant: Judah and Ephraim, like all fickle and untrustworthy humans, proved themselves to be treacherous and unworthy of divine blessing.

At any rate, I don’t think the *city of Adam deserves serious consideration. That wouldn’t fit.

But to read this as a proof for a covenant back in the time of Adam is serious stretching, for several reasons. Perhaps the greatest is that it would be a strange omission indeed to keep this seemingly pivotal truth out of the divine record for so many centuries.

And yet we have a full record of God’s covenant with Noah in Genesis 8 and 9. Why the full record for Noah’s covenant and the silence for Adam’s covenant?

It is because there was no covenant with Adam.

The Hebrew word ‘adam‘ occurs well over 300 times in the OT. It seems to me that the translators chose “Adam” over “men” not out of linguistic necessity, but presupposition. Also interesting is that many who make much out of what the Hebrew *could mean in Genesis 1, suiting their purpose, are not nearly as eager to unpack the “adam” here. They are quite content to abide by the rendition of the KJV translators.

Like I said, if we are willing to feed our assumptions into Scripture we can convince ourselves of anything and everything. There is no need for a mention of covenant for Cain’s deed to be deemed a sin. And why are we looking only in those first two chapters? The answer is in the verse just before the actual murder, verse 7. Look at the whole context:

Gen 4:6 And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?
Gen 4:7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.
Gen 4:8 And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.”

God told Cain – foretold him – that sin would await him if he continues in his path.

That is why he was accountable. God had warned him. What need is there for a covenant?
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We do not know what God and Adam might have spoken about before the fall. But we do know that there was a profund disruption of communication and fellowship.

But none of this assumes or requires a covenant.

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