Old and New Testaments

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  • Old and New Testaments

    It is virtually certain that your Bible has the heading “The Old Testament” right before the book of Genesis and “The New Testament” just before the gospel of Matthew. Those headings were not God’s idea. When God gave his word to “holy men of God” (2 Peter 1:21) he did not tell them to write “The Old Testament” before Genesis, nor “The New Testament” right before Mathew. Those headings were not in the original God inspired word (2 Tim 3:16). They were added by man as a convenience to the reader. As good as their intentions may have been, they have actually caused no end of confusion within the Christian Church.

    It is certainly true that one of the grand divisions of God’s story could be The Old Testament and The New Testament. There are other, more precise, ways to divide God’s time line, but broadly speaking, old and new testament work fine. It’s not so much the division itself that is a problem,but where they are placed in your Bible. They would lead you to believe that the Gospels are part of the new testament. I propose that the Gospels should be in the old testament. Furthermore, because the book of Revelations is the last book in your Bible, you are led to believe that Revelations is also part of the new testament. I propose that Revelations should not be considered as part of the new testament, but as closing out the old testament. Revelations is the final fulfilment of all the promises God made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the old testament.

    When viewed as suggested, the basic old testament Bible story would be seen as follows:

    Genesis to Malachi:
    • Adam and Eve in paradise.
    • Adam and Eve rebelled and were sent out of paradise.
    • God promised Adam and Eve that he would restore everything.
    • God promised Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob an everlasting kingdom.
    • Israel enters the promised land to set up the kingdom.
    • Israel blows it and they are led captive.
    • They are freed, but the kingdom is in shambles.


    The four gospels:
    • The redeemer comes for the first time to regain the kingdom.
    • Israel killed the redeemer, leaving the promised kingdom still unfulfilled.


    Revelations:
    • The redeemer comes again and this time sets up the promised kingdom.


    The above ordering makes a logical sequence of events. During this period God deals specifically with Israel under the law. The gospels should be part of the old testament because they deal with the personal presence of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ on this earth before the new birth, the hallmark of the new testament, became available. The law, abolished in the new testament (Rom 10:4, Eph 2:15), was still in effect during his first coming. Jesus specifically said he did not not end the law when he was personally present (Matt 5:18, Luke 24:44). Furthermore, it is evident that he came, not for the gentiles, but for Israel.

    John 1:11,

    He came unto his own, and his own received him not.

    Jesus was an Israelite (Heb 7:14) and that is who “his own” refers to. In the gospels, he came for Israel to fulfill the promises made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob which remained unfulfilled because of the continual disobedience of Israel (too many references to mention). He specifically said he did not come for the gentiles (Matt 15:22-28). However, the Jews were so far off the mark when the messiah finally came that they killed the king. Without a king there can be no kingdom. The old testament promises were therefore left unfulfilled. The Jew may have killed Jesus, but he was raised from the dead and ascended to be with the father. Just before that ascension he told his disciples that he would return again (Acts 1:11). That is when the events of the book of Revelations will commence. At that time he will make his second appearance and this time the kingdom will be established and the promises fulfilled.

    There are a couple of verses in the book of Isaiah that illustrates in a very succinct way all that has been said above.

    Isaiah 61:1-2,

    1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me [Jesus]; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;

    2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;

    Jesus quoted a part of these verses in one of his sermons.

    Luke 4:16-20,

    16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.

    17 And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,

    18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,

    19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.

    20 And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.

    With astute observation, it can be seen that Jesus actually stopped short of reading the entire passage as it was written in Isaiah. That was a very good thing. Had he read one word more, your entire Bible would fall to pieces!

    Isaiah 61:2: To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;

    Luke 4:19: To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.

    Why did Jesus stop short? The acceptable year of the Lord is his first coming. Since he was personally present on the earth, he could rightly say that part. However, the day of vengeance and the subsequent comfort is the subject of the book of Revelations and it was still in the future on the day that Jesus read the passage so he stopped reading right in the middle of the sentence. Talk about rightly dividing God’s word!

    The church of the body to which all born again believers belong (Col 1:18) is another story altogether different than that of the old testament. It is the subject of the new testament. The new testament story can be found in the book of Acts all the way through Jude. There is not a hint to be found in the old testament of the greatness of what God would accomplish in the new testament. In fact, God called it a mystery.

    1Cor 2:7-8,

    7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory

    8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

    Why would the devil not have killed Jesus had he known about the mystery? When Jesus was on this earth there was exactly one Jesus and therefore only one righteous person. After the day of Pentecost in the book of Acts things changed dramatically. The result of the new birth, made available for the first time on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2), is that now wherever there is a born again believer there is Christ Jesus. Wherever you are, Christ is there. That must drive the devil crazy!

    Col 1:27,

    To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

    What a fantastic truth! When you are born again (Rom 10:9-10) Christ dwells within you. Now, instead of just one Jesus the devil had to contend with, there are millions of Christ’s that he must contend with. No wonder the devil would not have killed Jesus if he had known the mystery!

    There is a comma in Isaiah 61:2 that I would like to consider at this time. Now I know that there was no punctuation in the original Hebrew or Greek texts. Nonetheless, in this case it certainly doesn’t hurt putting it in there for clarification to the modern English reader. The sense of the passage is in no way altered by adding that comma. That is not always the case, but it is indeed the case here.

    All the books in the new testament, Acts to Jude, are represented by that little comma in Isaiah 1:2, immediately after the words “year of the Lord.” Everything written between Acts and Jude was kept secret from the foundation of this world. It was the mystery hidden in God.

    Rom 16:25-26,

    25 Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my [Paul’s] gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,

    26 But now [in the new testament, not the old testament] is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:

    That comma in Isaiah 61:2 represents the mystery which no man knew until it was revealed to the apostle Paul. Nobody in the old testament, not even Jesus, knew it would be Christ in you (Col 1:27) after the day of Pentecost, some 50 days after the all important resurrection of Jesus. That is when the period represented by that comma, the new testament, began and it will end when born again believers are caught up to meet the lord in the air prior to Christ’s second coming to this earth to finally establish the promised kingdom.

    1 Thes 4:17,

    Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

    Born again believers will be spared the events of Revelations that finish off the promises God made to Israel in the old testament.

    1 Thes 1:10,

    And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.

    What a wonderful promise that is! The day you were born again your fate was sealed. You need have no worry or fear of your future. There is nothing but sunshine ahead for the born again believer! If that’s not the case, word have no meaning. The words say we have been “[FONT=Impact, serif]delivered us from the wrath to come.” A very simple assertion. It’s beyond me how such a simple and beautiful message can get twisted to mean anything other than Christians are spared the future wrath outlined in the book of Revelations (Rev 6:17).[/FONT]

    The new testament, Acts to Jude, can be considered a parenthesis. As such you can get the old testament story by skipping over this parenthesis, by reading from the end of the gospel of John and going straight to the book of Revelations. The parenthesis is the mystery and was not made known until God revealed it to the apostle Paul. It began on the day of Pentecost and ends with the rapture. During this new testament period, God has placed Israel in a “holding pattern.” He will resume his dealings with Israel in the book of Revelations when he fulfills all the promises he made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the old testament.

    As yet one final support for my proposition I would only point out that there is nothing in the book of Revelations that is not found throughout the old testament. Revelations is the fulfillment of all the promises God made in the old testament to Israel. There is certainly no shortage of verses in the old testament that speak of God’s promises to Israel. Many of the old testament prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, etc) read almost exactly like the book of Revelations. God says nothing in the book of Revelations that he doesn’t over and over again to Israel in the old testament. Unlike the mystery, he never kept it a secret that he would destroy the devil and set up an everlasting kingdom. In fact, that was pretty much the first thing he told Adam and Eve after their expulsion from Eden. If we have no trouble seeing Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, or Daniel as being part of the old testament, then there should be no trouble seeing the book of Revelations as also old testament.

    To summarize:
    • Old testament story begins with Genesis, goes through the 4 gospels and closes out with the book of Revelations. In the old testament God deals mainly with Israel.
    • The new testament begins with the book of Acts and ends with the book of Jude. God deals with the church of the Body, i.e. the born again Christians which were neither Jew nor Gentile (Eph 2:11-15).


    Now your Bible will fit together like it’s never fit before.

  • #2
    Originally posted by rrobsr View Post
    The above ordering makes a logical sequence of events.
    Hello rrobsr,

    Doesn't Jesus already make a logical sequence of books in Luke 11:51? Jesus references the OT as it was already completed in the Jewish Canon, that is, from Abel to Zechariah. In Luke 24:44 the OT is further broken down between the Law of Moses, the Prophets and Psalms. So my question is if any order is to be used should we not be using Jesus' order which referenced the Jewish Canon?

    Lastly, I do not know whether you're familiar with typology? But it just seems that the OT should be before the NT because the OT types and shadows come to light and full fruition in the NT. The NT consists of the fulfillment of what was laid out for Christ's coming that could be seen by the faithful OT Saints that looked forward to His coming.

    God bless,
    William

    P.S. Welcome to CF!
    Comment>

    • #3
      Hi rrobsr, first off, WELCOME TO CF :)

      You make some interesting propositions, particularly about Revelation being part of the OT (I'll have to consider that one a little bit more), but along with William, I've always considered the OT to be what the Jews (and Jesus) refer to as "The Law & the Prophets" (which does not contain the Apocrypha or the Gospels/Epistles/Revelation).

      Some sort of division between the Gospels and the Epistles might be helpful concerning the issue/confusion about salvation by the Law vs by Grace, but I'm wondering if separating the Gospels from the Epistles might not add even more fuel to the anti-Pauline, red letter text only approach to the NT?

      Anyway, some interesting thoughts to be sure.

      Yours in Christ,
      David
      Simul Justus et Peccator ~Martin Luther

      "We are justified by faith alone, but the faith that justifies is never alone" ~John Calvin

      "The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us." ~C. S. Lewis

      "The secret is Christ in me, not me in a different set of circumstances" ~Elisabeth Elliot

      "The law is for the self-righteous to humble their pride; the Gospel is for the lost to remove their despair. ~C. H. Spurgeon
      Comment>

      • #4
        Thanks for your reply.

        As I said in my original post, there are other ways to divide God's time line. However, their can be little doubt that when Jesus was still here man was still under the law and the penalty of death for not following it was still in force. Until Christ rose from the dead there was no salvation. That didn't change until the day of Pentecost and the new birth became available. At that day the new birth by grace became available. Obedience to the law was required from Gen all the way through the gospel of John. It will once again be in effect in Revelations. We are incredibly fortunate to have been born during an age where believing, not law, is the yardstick of righteousness. It's about as humbling as anything can be. Surely you can see the difference. I hope so. It sure makes this life full of joy and minus fear, doubt, and worry.

        Do you understand the mystery spoken of in Ephesians? Without an understanding of the mystery, you will miss the incredible greatness of what Christ wrought by his death and more importantly his resurrection. The mystery is really everything. Funny though, I've never heard a sermon on the mystery. Maybe someday.

        God bless!



        Comment>

        • #5
          Originally posted by rrobsr View Post
          Thanks for your reply.

          As I said in my original post, there are other ways to divide God's time line. However, their can be little doubt that when Jesus was still here man was still under the law and the penalty of death for not following it was still in force. Until Christ rose from the dead there was no salvation. That didn't change until the day of Pentecost and the new birth became available. At that day the new birth by grace became available. Obedience to the law was required from Gen all the way through the gospel of John. It will once again be in effect in Revelations. We are incredibly fortunate to have been born during an age where believing, not law, is the yardstick of righteousness. It's about as humbling as anything can be. Surely you can see the difference. I hope so. It sure makes this life full of joy and minus fear, doubt, and worry.

          Do you understand the mystery spoken of in Ephesians? Without an understanding of the mystery, you will miss the incredible greatness of what Christ wrought by his death and more importantly his resurrection. The mystery is really everything. Funny though, I've never heard a sermon on the mystery. Maybe someday.

          God bless!
          G'day rrobsr,

          Is it your position that men were not Regenerate until Pentecost? Perhaps you can clarify in an already established thread: What does "Rebirth", "Born Again", "Born from Above" or "Regeneration" Mean? -Christforums

          Furthermore, it seems that you're suggesting that Pentecost is a fulfillment (typology) of the types and shadows which OT Saints had demonstrated by faith, or are you rejecting any faith by OT Saints in God's promises and in the coming Messiah? Just to clarify, are you suggesting that OT Saints had not experienced the Holy Spirit before Pentecost, and if so how, and please share how this differs afterwards? Just to be crystal clear you do not believe OT Saints like Isaiah were saved?

          I'd like to move this to the discussion already present in the above link as to not derail your thread.

          As for Ephesians you'll have to clarify what you're talking about.

          God bless,
          William
          Comment>

          • #6
            Thanks for your questions. You make me think about God's word and that can only be a good thing! I guess you move this thread? Or do I move it? Either way is fine.

            God dealt with Israel in a completely different way than he deals with Christians, most notably he expected Israel to follow the law for salvation whereas we lucky Christians are saved by grace. We are saved not by our good works, but by mercy and grace. That is a HUGE difference. It's the only way I'd have made it!

            During the OT there were many Jews, as well as gentiles, whom God considered righteous because their innermost heart was aligned with the law even though nobody followed it perfectly until Jesus came on the scene. Isaiah would most assuredly be one of them. He will be with God for eternity in the end, but he was not born again because the new birth was not available before the day of Pentecost. The new birth is exactly what Pentecost was all about.

            I am definitely saying Pentecost was in no wise foreshadowed in the OT. My original post shows several verses that speak of the mystery and Pentecost is part of that mystery. I explain that God kept the mystery secret from the very beginning of the universe. Nobody knew about it in the OT. Had he made it known, the devil would not have killed Jesus. I gave the verse for that wonderful truth. The crux of the new birth is "Christ in you." I also gave the verse for that equally wonderful truth (I suppose every verse in the Bible is a wonderful truth!). I explained that when Jesus was here there was only one Jesus for the devil to contend with. Today Christ is wherever there is a born again believer.

            One of the major benefits of being born again is that God has already judged us and found us to be as righteous as him (Rom 3:22). I'm not trying to tell you you are as righteous as God. But God is! The words in the verse are very easy to understand. Just read it and believe it. I'm not saying it won't go against beliefs you may currently hold, but the words are simple. You just have to decide what you believe, man's doctrine or the simplicity of God's word. I guarantee God has better ideas than man on how things aught to be!

            We as Christians face no more judgement. Ephesians says he chose us in him before the foundation of the world (Eph 1:4) We will meet the Lord in the air before the events of Revelations. Revelations begins at that time. Once again, God will deal with men as under law. No more being saved by grace. We are incredibly lucky to be born at this time as opposed to the OT.

            Isaiah did not have Christ in him because it wasn't available. Jesus had to die and be resurrected before that could happen. But it is certain that he, Daniel, Moses, Joshua, etc will be resurrected in the first resurrection (Rev 20:4-6). Those in that resurrection will not suffer the second death (Rev 20:11-15). In other words he will live forever in the new heaven and earth just like Christians. The only difference is how we get there.

            I know I was pretty sparse with verses in this post. Of course the scripture are the final authority. Certainly not me! Therefore, if you are interested, I'll be more than happy to give you actual verses that I'm confident will make it all clear. I would also encourage to spend some time studying my original post. Look up all the verse references. I didn't give nearly all the verses that explain my assertion.

            I have little doubt that if you spend some time finding other verses that are pertinent to the subject in my original post you will see more of the true greatness of God's word than you'll find in most churches. I can lead you to some of these great truths, but you have to make it your own.

            Have you ever heard a sermon on the mystery? If what I say is true about the mystery, how could they have not told you about it? To me, it's mind boggling. They are supposed to teach God's word, not tradition. I know tradition differs with my assertion. To that I would only encourage you to look in the gospels to see what Jesus thought of tradition. I can tell you that he wasn't a real fan of it!

            God bless William and thanks for your work this forum. I'm sure God notices!
            Comment>

            • #7
              Originally posted by rrobsr View Post
              God dealt with Israel in a completely different way than he deals with Christians, most notably he expected Israel to follow the law for salvation whereas we lucky Christians are saved by grace. We are saved not by our good works, but by mercy and grace. That is a HUGE difference. It's the only way I'd have made it!
              Lemme check your premise, because I believe you're building on a false premise:

              The Apostle Paul dealt with an issue in Romans 4 that helps us answer this important question, "Are OT Saints saved the same way as NT saints". Paul used the Old Testament to show salvation has always been by God’s grace and can only be received through faith. While addressing those who thought they could save themselves by adhering to the Law of Moses, Paul made a brilliant argument:

              What then shall we say that Abraham our father has found according to the flesh? For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt.

              But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness . . . . Does this blessedness then come upon the circumcised only, or upon the uncircumcised also? For we say that faith was accounted to Abraham for righteousness. How then was it accounted? While he was circumcised, or uncircumcised? Not while circumcised, but while uncircumcised. . . . Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all (Romans 4:1–5, 9–10, 16)
              To demonstrate his point that salvation comes through faith instead of works, Paul referred to Abraham, the forefather of the Jewish people. He cited Genesis 15:6, which reveals that Abram (Abraham) “believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.” Circumcision was not introduced to Abraham and his descendants until Genesis 17—more than 10 years later.

              I am contending that OT Saints were saved by Grace through Faith the same way as NT Saint are, another words, OT Saints had a forward looking faith towards the Messiah's coming, just the way we NT Saints have a historical looking faith of Him already having come. This is despite any Eschatological Soteriology.

              Lastly, in John 3 the conversation between Nicodemus and Jesus the question had surfaced, exactly what did Jesus mean when He asked “Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you do not understand these things?" Another words, Nicodemus should have known this (men needed to be born from above) throughout the OT. The gospel is not an exclusively New Testament message. The Old Testament contained it as well: “The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: ‘All nations will be blessed through you.’ So those who have faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith” (Galatians 3:8-9, quoting Genesis 12:3).

              As early as Genesis 3:15, we see the promise of a coming Savior, and throughout the Old Testament there are hundreds of promises that the Messiah would “save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21; cf. Isaiah 53:5-6). Job’s faith was in the fact that he knew that his “Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth” (Job 19:25). Clearly, Old Testament saints were aware of the promised Redeemer, and they were saved by faith in that Savior, the same way people are saved today. There is no other way. Jesus is “‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the capstone.’ Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:11-12, quoting Psalm 118:22). - Gotquestions.org
              God bless,
              William

              P.S. You're very welcome rrobsr, I hope your stay is pleasant here despite any brotherly opposition. If there is anything you may suggest that will help me serve you better in our great commission please do not hesitate to bring it to the staff's attention in the Suggestions and Questions category.
              Comment>

              • #8
                Originally posted by rrobsr View Post
                Have you ever heard a sermon on the mystery? If what I say is true about the mystery, how could they have not told you about it? To me, it's mind boggling. They are supposed to teach God's word, not tradition. I know tradition differs with my assertion. To that I would only encourage you to look in the gospels to see what Jesus thought of tradition. I can tell you that he wasn't a real fan of it!
                Again I have ask you which mystery, because the greatest mystery to me is why God would forelove a wretched sinner like me when I was altogether an enemy to Him and dead in sin and trespasses? Ephesians 2:5 (regeneration precedes faith) and Ephesians 2:8-9 (monergism).

                Soli Deo Gloria,
                William
                Comment>

                • #9
                  You are right that ultimately believing is what saves all people, OT and NT alike. God always said those in the OT had to follow the law, but he really has a soft heart and as long as they made a good effort, they would live in the new heavens and new earth. He knew that even David would break the law , but he still said David was a man after his own heart.

                  Acts 13:22 And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will.

                  Nonetheless, they will have to go through the first judgement in Revelations. They will undoubtedly be found worthy, but hey still have to stand before the judgement seat of Christ. As I pointed out, we Christians have already been judged and found righteous. Christ is the end of the law for us so there is no need for future judgement to the Christian (Rom 10:4)

                  Nobody in the OT was born again. The ones who believed God and did their best to follow his will, will make it in the end, but they are nonetheless not born again by grace. That unbelievable privilege was reserved for those who live between the day of Pentecost and the gathering together just before Revelations begins.

                  Here are some verses on the mystery. Now I know God speaks of other things being a mystery, but he specifically gave Paul an administration of "the mystery."

                  Rom 16:25,
                  Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,

                  Easy read. The mystery was a secret.

                  1Cor 2:7,
                  But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our [our glory, not OT people. This was written to the Corinthians after Christ resurrected] glory:

                  Another easy read. The mystery was ordained before the world began.

                  Eph 1:9-11,
                  9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:
                  10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:
                  11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:

                  Study on what is the dispensation of the fullness of times.

                  Eph 3:3-4,
                  3 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words,
                  4 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)

                  There it is again, the mystery, not a mystery.

                  Eph 3:9,
                  And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:

                  Easy enough. Just read what's written. The mystery was hidden in the OT. Moses didn't know about it.

                  Eph 6:19,
                  And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,

                  Clearly a central theme in Ephesians is the mystery.

                  Col 1:26-27,
                  26 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:
                  27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

                  How about that! The riches of the glory of that mystery is Christ in you! The hope of glory refers to the future when we get gathered together with the Lord in the air. (In the Bible, hope always refers to something that is not currently available but is guaranteed to be so some time in the future. We believe for things that are available today, but hope for things God said we'd get in the future.)

                  Col 2:2,
                  That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;

                  How are Christians to be comforted and knit together in love? By acknowledgement of the mystery of God. How can one acknowledge something without knowing what that something is?

                  Do you want full assurance of understanding? This verse tells you how to get it. Too many Christians walk in doubt and fear as to their standing before God. They think it heresy to be as righteous as God (Rom 3:22), but that is what the word says and that is exactly what it means. Throw your shoulders back, lift up your head and say, "I'm a born again son of God and he has made me righteous. Now get out of my way and let me move with the greatness of God's word!"

                  I can hardly stay in my seat as I write! I want to get up and shout for joy so the whole world can hear me!

                  Col 4:3,
                  Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds:

                  Paul prayed that God would allow him to speak the mystery. Maybe we should do the same.

                  William, I am happy to be here and have the chance to hold forth God's word. It never returns void, but always accomplishes God's purpose (Is 55:11). I don't take anything personal when someone disagrees. I thank God for you and for your work in providing the soapbox.

                  God bless and love in Christ.






                  Comment>

                  • #10
                    Originally posted by rrobsr View Post
                    You are right that ultimately believing is what saves all people, OT and NT alike.
                    To clarify rrobsr, what comes first, regeneration or faith? If you're stating that man is capable of faith before regeneration, are you suggesting that man was not tainted by original sin and could will themselves to God without divine aide in the OT (Pelagianism)? If man can demonstrate faith before being reborn, then what purpose does regeneration serve? Just to be clear, if you contend that faith precedes regeneration then the apparent burden is to prove from Scripture that man is capable of righteousness, and that that righteousness is a prerequisite or condition of Regeneration. Mind you, the conversation between Nicodemus and Jesus, one cannot see or enter, let alone draw close to the object of our Faith Jesus Christ without being born again.

                    I don't know if you had time to review this thread, but I tried to my best to define the New Birth according to Scripture: What does "Rebirth", "Born Again", "Born from Above" or "Regeneration" Mean? -Christforums

                    I think sometimes one or more people can make reference to a term and mean different things.

                    Originally posted by rrobsr View Post
                    William, I am happy to be here and have the chance to hold forth God's word. It never returns void, but always accomplishes God's purpose (Is 55:11). I don't take anything personal when someone disagrees. I thank God for you and for your work in providing the soapbox.
                    :) Proverbs 27:17, let's edify one another, with the hope that others may also join in the discussion and likewise be edified.

                    God bless,
                    William
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                    • #11
                      Regarding the new birth, I'm speaking of Romans 10:9-10,

                      9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

                      10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

                      1 Pet 1:23,

                      Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

                      Adam and Eve started with incorruptible seed but they blew it and their seed corrupted as did everybody else's who were born since that day. You can tell it's corruptible because, with one major exception, people all die at some point. The exception? Jesus and all Christians who have confessed him as their lord and believed that God raised him from the dead (Rom 10:9-10). We are born again of incorruptible seed. That's why the Bible never says we will die. Instead it speaks of us as sleeping.

                      1 Thess 4:13-15,

                      13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.

                      14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

                      15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent [Greek word phthano = precede] them which are asleep.

                      When Christ returns he will first raise up all the Christians who have fallen asleep (what is normally considered "dead"). After that the ones who are still alive will be caught up in the air.

                      1 Thess 4:17,

                      Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

                      That is our fate. Revelations is for everybody else. We will not be judged in either the first or second resurrection in the latter part of Revelations. We don't need further judgement. We already have the righteousness of God by his mercy and grace (Rom 3:22).

                      We have already died in Christ Jesus. Luckily he raised us up though.

                      Col 3:3-4,

                      3 For ye are dead [present tense, not some day, but right now], and your life is hid with Christ in God.

                      4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.

                      In Revelations Christ will not come for us like he will for the OT faithful. He's not coming for us but with us. Another huge difference between us and OT.

                      Gal 2:20,

                      I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

                      Before being born again our life force was soul life which is nothing more than breath life. In Genesis God breathed into man the breath of life and man became a living soul. Normally, life begins at our first breath and ends with our last breath. But we as Christians were crucified with Christ which, spiritually speaking, literately made us dead. But when Christ rose, we rose with him, never to die again. Some day you will fall asleep like you have thousands of times already on your life. The big difference will be that one day instead of waking up in the morning with a mortal body you will wake up with an immortal body. That's the hope I spoke of. Every morning I wake up excited to see if I have the new body. So far, no, but one of these days, yes! That's the hope of glory in Col 1:27.

                      Eph 2:6,

                      And hath [past tense] raised us [Christians] up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

                      Again, I'm not telling you that right now you are sitting together with Christ in heavenly places. Those are God's words, not mine, and they're simple enough. God always says what he means and means what he says. It might not look like we're in heaven, but who are you going to believe? God or your own two eyes? We should by faith (believing) not by sight.

                      2 Cor 5:6-7,

                      6 Therefore we [Christians] are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:

                      7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)

                      None of this was available in the OT. Not until the day of Pentecost when the new birth of incorruptible seed became available for the first time.

                      God bless...








                      Comment>

                      • #12
                        Originally posted by rrobsr View Post
                        Regarding the new birth, I'm speaking of Romans 10:9-10,

                        9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

                        10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
                        G'day rrobsr,

                        It doesn't appear that we are on the same page at all regarding the meaning of rebirth. It appears that you're defining it as the Resurrection? This will be a futile effort unless we can come upon some common ground about its meaning.

                        God bless,
                        William
                        Comment>

                        • #13

                          The new birth is the new birth and the resurrection is the resurrection. Two different things.

                          To tell you the truth, I'm not sure where we differ since I'm not exactly sure of your position. Perhaps you could tell me what the new birth is all about in your mind.

                          There are two different resurrections in Revelations, one at the beginning of the millennial kingdom and another at the end. Both are in Revelations 20. Those are for everybody other than Christians. That is because we have been born again of incorruptible seed. Because of the new birth we have already been judged.

                          Christians (born again) will not be resurrected. We will be raised. There is a difference.

                          To be sure the new birth is the miracle of all miracles. I don't know all about it, but I will someday when it's all over.

                          God bless
                          Comment>

                          • #14
                            Originally posted by William View Post
                            To tell you the truth, I'm not sure where we differ since I'm not exactly sure of your position. Perhaps you could tell me what the new birth is all about in your mind.
                            I have already made several attempts at presenting a biblical definition: What does "Rebirth", "Born Again", "Born from Above" or "Regeneration" Mean? -Christforums

                            We obviously do not align about the meaning for the theological terms in question. For example, I bring up Resurrection, and you bring up not only New Birth, but also Raise (Which is different than Resurrection), and throw another new term into the mix Born Again. I'm still back on post #4 trying to understand how you came to your conclusion that OT Saints did not experience the New Birth.

                            God bless,
                            William
                            Comment>

                            • #15
                              Hello William,

                              I read your post and it sounds good. I don't see why it goes against anything I've said with the possible exception of this:

                              When did the new birth become available? If it was before Christ's resurrection, then why did he have to die and be resurrected? If Moses, Abraham, Isaiah, etc. could have been born again, then why did God send his only begotten son? If not making the new birth available, then what did Jesus accomplish when on this earth?

                              Raised is the Greek word egeiro (Strong's number G1453)
                              Resurrection is the Greek word anastasis (Strong's number G386)

                              I'm sorry, but I didn't just make up those two different words. It was all God's idea. If he meant to use "raise" he used "raise", not "resurrect" and visa versa. Our job as workmen of the word is to find how he used them in his word (2 Tim 2:15). I assume you know how to use a concordance. Right? Look up the words in every verse where they are used and see if you can find the difference. I have a feeling it would be better for you to do that than for me to simply tell you the difference.

                              I thank God for your life and your hunger for God's word. It is the only thing worth living for. The more believers the better!

                              God bless



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