Featured Post

Introduction to Personal Bible Study - Videos (2007)

4 short introductory video studies First recorded in 2007, posted to GodTube in 2010  These short videos were made nearly 14 years ago. ...

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

This Reformed Chart Accidentally Confirms the Dispensational Position

Reformed extremists like to post this chart. Actually, it's one of the best arguments for the Right Division position! It's not perfect, of course, and it makes a few assumptions. I'll just point out one issue. 

Number 16 argues that Ephesians and 2 Cor teach the same body/bride. However, Corinthians teaches local bodies which have their own head and Ephesians teaches a single (male) body with Christ as the head.

And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 
-1 Corinthians 12:16

Ephesians uses the picture of the place of the wife, but it does not teach that the Body is the Bride. Let's look at their reference, 

Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

-Ephesians 5:22-24

This teaching is for wives to submit to the headship of their husbands AS Christ is head of the Church. It does not equate the wife with the Church. The passage states that Christ is head of "his Body." 

We'd have to go to the prophets and the Revelation from here to establish that Israel was and will be again the wife of the Lord ("Virgin Israel" again). Too much for this short study. Simply put,  we are the Body (singular) made up of Jew and Gentile (with no distinctions unlike in the Gospels and Acts Age) with Christ as the Head. The hope of the Body is "in the heavenly places" and not in the land nor in the New Jerusalem (which is figured as wife as it is the hope of the Overcomer in Israel). 

I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.

The New Jerusalem  ("the city whose builder and maker is God" that Abraham hoped for as taught in Hebrews 11) comes down to earth. It is a heavenly city, it is a reward, it has the names of the 12 tribes and 12 Apostles to the Circumcision (not Paul) on it. The 12 Apostles will "sit on 12 thrones judging the 12 tribes of Israel." It is an earthly hope. Our hope is in "the far above the heavens."

Jesus said to them, “Truly I say to you, in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on His glorious throne, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 

-Matthew 19:28

And now I stand on trial for hope in the promise made by God to our fathers, 7 to which our twelve tribes hope to attain, as they earnestly serve God day and night.  

-Acts 26:6-7

One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came to me and said to me, “Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.”  And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, having the glory of God, her light like a most precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. It had a great, high wall, with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and on the gates the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel were written: three gates on the east, three gates on the north, three gates on the south, and three gates on the west. The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb

-Rev 21:9-13

Note the verse in Acts is very late in the book. And at that trial, Paul testified that he taught nothing you could not find in Moses and the Prophets (the Hebrew canon). This differs from Ephesians wherein he writes under inspiration that he was given a special revelation unknown to  the Prophets. 

I continue to this day, testifying both to small and great, saying nothing but what the prophets and Moses said would happen  

-Acts 26:22

At the end of the Acts, Paul says he was in chains "for the hope of Israel." In Ephesians, after the "wall of partition" is removed, he says he is in prison "for you gentiles." 

The earthly hopes and promises (restoration of Paradise, the promised land) were revealed since the foundation of the ages, but the heavenly hope of Ephesians for The Body was hidden. 

To me [Paul], the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the incomprehensible riches of Christ, and to reveal for all people what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God, who created all things through Jesus Christ

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: according as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation [overthrow] of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love

The Kingdom hope was spoken FROM the foundation (overthrow).

Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world

As we have seen repeatedly, the promises to Israel (the Parousia of the Lord and the restoration of the Kingdom in Israel) spoken by the Prophets, spoken by Christ, promised by Peter in the Acts age, and expected in the Acts epistles of Paul are exemplified in the chart above. 

There are other assumptions in the chart we could dissect. For instance, the use of the word "church" is deceptive. The word ("ekklēsía") means a called out company and is used of a mob and of local councils in the Acts, but the translators try to hide the word as it conflicts with their theology. We also see this in James. In both places, the Reformed translators use the word "assembly." In the Acts they avoid the word "church" and in James they avoid the word "synagogue." Anything to deny Israel her promises and covenants. 

So, Israel was a called out company, the local gatherings of Jewish and grafted in Gentile believers were called out companies and "the body, the church" of this age is a called out company. And, again, if we understand the expectation and hope of the Acts age was the same as the earthly hope of Israel, the chart confirms the consistent dispensational position.