Paul's Passing Thoughts

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Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on January 4, 2015

What Calvinists Believe About Election is Worth Repeating

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on September 2, 2014

An excerpt from a reply to someone about election and covenants:

It’s perpetual  covenant renewal. By experiencing perpetual death and rebirth (“mortification and vivification”) you gain assurance of salvation, but you won’t know for certain that you are saved until the final judgement. Calvin held to three classes of election: the non-elect, the called (temporarily elected), and those who persevere (those who stand in the judgement). Calvin actually taught that the “called” were temporarily illumined by the Holy Spirit. Most Calvinists of the Neo-Calvinist resurgence are aware that Calvin believed this and hold to it.

 

Atonement, Covenants, and Law: The Potter’s House Home Fellowship

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on March 4, 2014

The New Covenant is For the Jews and the Old Covenant, and Has Always Been on Hearts

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on March 3, 2010

It’s truly amazing to look at all of the theological assumptions drawn from the fact that there is a New Covenant and an Old one as well, especially in regard to the law. Just because we don’t understand every law issued by Moses in the Old Testament and its purpose, complex systems supposedly need to be developed in an attempt to make it all fit together in logical fashion; then the theological conclusions become doctrine. Buyer beware. All of the latest rage is “New Covenant Theology,” which would have been rejected out-of-hand two decades ago by evangelicals at large for one reason and one reason only: it’s new. But in our brave new church era, new is good, and new doctrines are rivaled only by the latest diet fads. I think, maybe somebody should do a survey on that.

So, I have an idea; let’s go to the Scriptures and read where the New Covenant was first introduced. That would be the book of Jeremiah, chapter 31:

31 “The time is coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. 32 It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them, declares the LORD.

We note three things here about the new covenant. First, it is to all of Israel; both northern and southern kingdoms. Secondly, at least at the time Jeremiah is writing, it’s a future covenant. Thirdly, the major difference between the two covenants is that the first one was broken, and the second one won’t be. At this point, God is merely predicting that the covenant will not be broken, he doesn’t say why. God further clarifies in verse 33:

“This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time,” declares the LORD [What’s you first clue that this defines the new covenant?]. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.

First, theologians go wild and have written gazillions of books in regard to “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts.” This does seem to be a marked difference between the covenants. However, keep in mind that Old Testament believers could have the law of God written on their hearts:

“My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you prosperity. Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart” (Proverbs 3:1-3). Theologians can make all the hay they want to in regard to the law of God being written on tablets of stone rather than hearts etc. It is obvious that stone, parchment, and hearts could all contain the law of God in the Old Testament:

Deuteronomy 6:6

These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts.

Deuteronomy 10:16

Circumcise your hearts, therefore, and do not be stiff-necked any longer.

Deuteronomy 11:18

Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.

The only difference seems to be who is doing the writing. It is not a *different law* that has *never before been written on the heart.*

Jeremiah now goes on to explain when this New Covenant will be executed in verse 34:

“No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the LORD. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”

It is obvious that this time has not yet arrived. It is a time when all of mankind, from the least to the greatest, will know the Lord. Therefore, the full consummation of the New Covenant that God made with Israel is yet future. Get over it. Yes, yes, yes, I can hear the cat-cries right now: there are some Scriptures that speak of a “new” and “better” covenant. So what? Christ came offering a better kingdom, but it’s obvious that the kingdom is not in it’s final form. Jeremiah makes it clear when the New Covenant will take full effect, and it obviously is not today. God has taken a time-out to let a bunch of Gentiles in who are experiencing the blessings of this covenant (Romans 11:11,12); and are supposed to be aiding in the furtherance of the kingdom, rather than spending valuable time boasting against Israel (Romans 11:17-21).

But didn’t Israel forfeit the New Covenant by sinning? No, Jeremiah continues in verses 35-37:

“This is what the LORD says, he who appoints the sun to shine by day, who decrees the moon and stars to shine by night, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar— the LORD Almighty is his name: “Only if these decrees vanish from my sight,” declares the LORD, “will the descendants of Israel ever cease to be a nation before me.”This is what the LORD says: “Only if the heavens above can be measured and the foundations of the earth below be searched out will I reject all the descendants of Israel
because of all they have done,” declares the LORD.

The solar system is still working fine and I have not heard of anybody who can measure the heavens yet. Therefore, Israel is still under the New Covenant. Not only that, there is a strong sense in which the New Covenant solidifies the old:

“ 30 When you are in distress and all these things have happened to you, then in later days you will return to the LORD your God and obey him [The New Covenant]. 31 For the LORD your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your forefathers, which he confirmed to them by oath” (Deuteronomy 4:30-31).

This is an extraordinary verse of Scripture. God will not only remember Israel, He will not forget the covenant he made with Israels forefathers. What covenant was that? The answer is in 4:13,14:

“He declared to you his covenant, the Ten Commandments, which he commanded you to follow and then wrote them on two stone tablets. And the LORD directed me at that time to teach you the decrees and laws you are to follow in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess.”

Ouch! He’s talking about the so-called Mosaic Covenant. When the New Covenant is fully consummated, He will not “forget” the old one either. That messes up a bunch of systematic theology. One might also note that Paul said the following in Romans 9:3-5;

3For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, those of my own race, 4the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption as sons; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. 5Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of Christ, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen.

Note that Paul presents all of the above blessings in the present tense, including the covenants, and this also in plural form. The covenants belong to Israel, all of them, and God will not forget them. Israel or His covenants.

paul

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