Paul's Passing Thoughts

Second Epistle of Andy to “Trevor”

Posted in Uncategorized by Andy Young, PPT contributing editor on February 17, 2016

Some time ago I relayed the account of a Facebook interaction I had with an individual I called “Trevor”.  Trevor is a young man in his early twenties.  I’ve had the privilege of having long conversations with him regarding theology and Biblical matters in general.  Trevor goes to a local church and has made a profession of faith, so giving him the benefit of the doubt (since it is not my place to make a judgment otherwise) I regard him as a brother in Christ.

Last Friday, Trevor and I got into another discussion, this time about the Law and how it pertains to believers.  Since he was pressed for time and our conversation was growing increasingly in depth, Trevor asked if he could pose some specific questions via a Facebook message to which I could then compose a more in-depth reply.  What follows is my response to Trevor.  His questions are included in the body of the response in bold italics.  I hope that you find it edifying!

Read the entire post here

Christ’s Bride is the City of Love, Not the Church

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on June 4, 2013

ppt-jpeg4“The church is part of God’s plan to bring history to that event, but it is hardly the Bride. Such a notion is merely Gentile visions of grandeur.”

The apostle Paul endeavored to explain in many different ways that the law is not a standard for the righteousness that justifies us. The law informs our sanctification, but it has never been a standard for justification. God didn’t add more law to human history to better define righteousness, He had no problem declaring people righteous hundreds of years before Mt. Sinai (GAL 3:17). The problem with law, especially as a covenant, is that it has terms. That’s a problem. It invites man to review the terms presented by God, and then to agree or disagree. The most important covenant, the Abrahamic covenant, the covenant that all of the other covenants contribute to towards a final goal, was based on promise and one entered into that covenant by believing God in regard to those promises. Trust in God is the issue. Noteworthy is the fact that God asked Israel to enter into a covenant with Him at Mt. Sinai before they had any idea what was going to be in the covenant. He did state the goal of the covenant: to make them a kingdom of priests and a holy nation set apart for His glory before the nations (EX 19).

Paul used many human examples to solidify the idea that law and justification are mutually exclusive. He describes the law as a marriage covenant (ROM 7), a will (HEB 9), an offspring (GAL3), a slave woman (GAL 4), and among other examples, a city:

Galatians 4:21 – Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not listen to the law? 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by a slave woman and one by a free woman. 23 But the son of the slave was born according to the flesh, while the son of the free woman was born through promise. 24 Now this may be interpreted allegorically: these women are two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai, bearing children for slavery; she is Hagar. 25 Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia; she corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. 26 But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother. 27 For it is written,

“Rejoice, O barren one who does not bear; break forth and aloud, you who are not in labor! For the children of the desolate one will be more than those of the one who has a husband.”

28 Now you, brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise. 29 But just as at that time he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so also it is now. 30 But what does the Scripture say? “Cast out the slave woman and her son, for the son of the slave woman shall not inherit with the son of the free woman.” 31 So, brothers, we are not children of the slave but of the free woman.

The Bride is the ultimate goal of the Abrahamic covenant. Human history apexes at the Lambs wedding feast. The church is part of God’s plan to bring history to that event, but it is hardly the Bride. Such a notion is merely Gentile visions of grandeur.

Abraham sought a city built by God (HEB 11:10l), and Peter stated that we are not ultimately looking for the rapture, but a new heaven and new earth were righteousness dwells (2PET 3:13). Peter stated that is “according to the promise.” The promise is the Abrahamic covenant which is based on promise and not law. The righteousness that will dwell in the new heavens and new earth is God Himself—He will then have what he wanted at Mt. Sinai as depicted by the tabernacle in the wilderness, an abode with man on earth in peace and love. God will reconcile with mankind and then vacate heaven and make an abode with him. Emmanuel, “God with us.” The tabernacle represented the ultimate goal and the means.

Hence, in Revelation, many of the judgments come from that very tabernacle via the angels who are the enforcers of that covenant (GAL 3:19):

Revelation 8:3 – And another angel came and stood at the altar with a golden censer, and he was given much incense to offer with the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar before the throne, 4 and the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, rose before God from the hand of the angel. 5 Then the angel took the censer and filled it with fire from the altar and threw it on the earth, and there were peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning, and an earthquake.

And,

Revelation 11:15 – Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.” 16 And the twenty-four elders who sit on their thrones before God fell on their faces and worshiped God, 17 saying,

“We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, who is and who was, for you have taken your great power and begun to reign. 18 The nations raged, but your wrath came, and the time for the dead to be judged, and for rewarding your servants, the prophets and saints, and those who fear your name, both small and great, and for destroying the destroyers of the earth.”

19 Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen within his temple. There were flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail.

Shortly before Christ comes to subdue the earth:

Revelation  19:9 – And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.”

And finally,

Revelation 21:3 – And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

Then the Bride is introduced. This is contrary to the earthly Jerusalem that represents Hagar and slavery, this is the church’s “mother” representing Sarah, but it is Christ’s Bride:

Revelation 21:9 – Then came one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues and spoke to me, saying, “Come, I will show you the Bride, the wife of the Lamb.” 10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great, high mountain, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, 11 having the glory of God, its radiance like a most rare jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal.

The only thing that we have now that will continue in that city is love:

1Corinthians 13:8 – Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

That is why faith working through love (GAL 5:6) is so important in the here and now, and the law informs us of that work, but it has never had fellowship with justification. In the same way that those who are under the law violate all of it by one infraction (JMS 2:10), those under grace fulfill the whole law by one act of love (ROM 2:8-10, ROM 13:8-10).

These considerations are serious issues. There are no “non-essential issues.” We will either add to God’s word or take away from it. Love and error do not walk together.

paul

Addendum: 

The church is the friend of the Bridegroom: John 3:28-30, Matthew 9:14,15.

We are also children of Sarah who is depicted as the heavenly Jerusalem: 1Peter 3:6, Galatians 4:26.

Jerusalem citizens represent the saved while those outside Jerusalem represent the lost: Revelation 22:14,15.

We are friends of the Bridegroom, children of Sarah, and citizens of Jerusalem, but we are not the Bride.

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