Saturday, April 27, 2013

“The Prophets Speak of the Church”

The Prophets Speak of the Church”

Surely the LORD God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secrets unto his servants the prophets.  
(The Prophet Amos, Amos 3:7)

The peace of our Savior Jesus Christ be yours to the salvation of your souls. I trust that this letter will find you well and enjoying the good things of God. My prayer is also for your children whom the Lord has given you, both physical, and spiritual. Give them my love and peace, for truly my affection is toward them as I have begotten them through you.
In continuing my correspondence on the subject of Kingdom Theology it is needful to establish firmly in your hearts and minds just what the Kingdom is.
Dispensationalism sees the Church as only a parenthesis in God’s program of redemption; therefore, does not accept the Church as the prophesied Messianic Kingdom of the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament). According to these teachers of fables, God will establish His Kingdom upon the earth only with the physical nation of Israel—after the Church has been removed from the equation. In this view, God’s primary program is exclusively with physical Israel. According to them the Church is nowhere seen in the promises of the Hebrew Scripture (the Old Testament), nor in the book of Revelation after chapter four, verse one. In this view the Bride of Christ is but an afterthought of God; an, “Oh, by the way...” event. Something for God to do while the Jews come to their collective senses: repent and return to Him. At that time, according to Dispensationalism, God will dispatch of the Church (i.e. the rapture) and turn again to be Israel’s loving husband. At that time, resuming the kingdom program that He suspended when He divorced her, at the time she had murdered Him. (Never mind that the law of God forbids a husband to take back a wife once divorced – Deuteronomy 24:1-4.)
It seems to me that such a doctrine borders on blasphemy. It relegates the Bride of Christ to second class, plan B, status. Because Dispensationalism sees all Israel as temporarily rejected and cast away, it sees the Church as the afterbirth of the Holy Spirit’s miscarried pregnancy with Israel. Of course the disciple of Christ must feel the affront this teaching presents to the Church. God is omniscient, knowing the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:9-10), there is no plan B with Him!
These teachers make two assumptions that are both false: assumption number one is that the church is never spoken of in the Old Testament; assumption number two is that all kingdom promises of the Hebrew Scriptures can only be fulfilled in, and by, the physical nation of Israel. These assumptions constitute the Wall of Defense that encloses Dispensationalism’s teachings of: pre-tribulation rapture; seven year tribulation; first and second resurrection – former for the saints, latter for the wicked; and a literal thousand year reign of Christ upon the earth. It is to this wall that I intend to marshal the machinery of war and set the battering rams to work.
First, that the Seers of the Hebrew Scriptures did not see the Lord’s Church is a thought unthinkable. For the prophet Amos tells us that the Lord will do nothing unless He reveals it first to His prophets (Amos 3:7). Now, since the Church has maintained a presence in the earth for 2000 years, one of two things is true, if Dispensationalism is valid. Namely: 
  1. Amos was wrong and is therefore disqualified as a true prophet; in which case the veracity of the entire Bible is brought into question. Or,  
  2. Amos is a true prophet and the Church is not a work of God in the earth – in which case it is a work of the devil. 
But, since all concerned do, in truth, accept Amos as a true prophet, consequently the wall enclosing Dispensationalism begins to shake.
If the Church is the work of God in the earth, the prophets must have seen it and written concerning it. So, we turn our attention to the ancient Seers. What did they see?!
No less than four of the premier prophets stand forth and man the engines that slam against the defenses of Fable town. Each of the four addresses both components of the wall: namely, 1) that the Church is never spoken of in the Old Testament, and 2) that all Kingdom promises of the Old Testament can only be fulfilled in, and by, the physical nation of Israel.
(Both of the above assumptions are founded upon a misconceived premise, i.e. that all of Israel rejected Christ and was, therefore, rejected by Him; that, consequently, the Church was established with the Gentiles; in which case the Kingdom promises made to Israel are yet to be fulfilled. This is not true. A sharp distinction must be made between the Israel of Promise [Romans 9:6-8; Galatians 4:22-31] – also called the elect [Romans 11:2-5, 7], and the Israel of Unbelief [Romans 11:7-10, 23]. The Church was, indeed, established with the Israel of Promise [the elect] as the passages above show; therefore, the Kingdom promises of the Old Testament are either fulfilled, or being fulfilled in the Church – the true Israel of God [Galatians 6:16].)
  • Prophet One: Jeremiah. In Jeremiah 31:31-34 the prophet foretold of a “New Covenant” that the LORD would make with the “House of Israel” and with the House of Judah”. According to the author of the New Testament book of Hebrews this prophecy was fulfilled by Christ’s work on the cross of Calvary (Hebrews 8:6-12 compare to Matthew 26:28) and realized in the Church; which is the “House of Israel” and the “House of Judah”. That is to say: the covenant of Calvary was, indeed, made with Israel. Thus, the Israel of Promise was not rejected – only the Israel of Unbelief. The Church, therefore, is the covenanted Israel; the Gentiles have access only through a grafting process (Romans 11), or one could say: “adoption” (see Romans 8:15, 23; Galatians 4:5; Ephesians 1:5). 
  • Prophet Two: Joel. In Joel 2:28-32 the prophet tells of a time when Israel would be restored in a Messianic Age. According to Joel this would happen after the time of judgment. In this time of restoration the Spirit of God would be poured out upon “all flesh,” namely the Jews and Gentiles alike (see verses 28 and 32). According to the Apostle Peter this prophecy began to be fulfilled on the day of Pentecost AD 30. It was established with the Israel of Promise, called by Joel “the remnant.” Compare this to Romans 11:1-5 where Paul writes; “I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying, Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life. But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal. Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.” Thus, the birthday of the Church was in fact the fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy. According to the prophet Joel and the apostle Peter the restoration of Israel, and the establishing of the Messianic Kingdom, began on the day of Pentecost AD 30 as recorded in Acts 2.
  • Prophet Three: Amos. In Amos 9:11-12 the prophet foretold of a golden Messianic Age when the “tabernacle of David” would be rebuilt. At such a time the Gentiles would come to know the LORD. James, the half brother of our Lord, recognized the Church as the fulfillment of this prophecy (see Acts 15:14-17). According to the Prophet Amos and the Apostle James (the brother of Christ) the Church is, in point of fact, the “tabernacle of David”, i.e. the Messianic Kingdom. 
  • Prophet 4: Malachi. In Malachi 1:11-12 the prophet foretells of a time in the Messianic Kingdom when “in every place incense shall be offered” in the name of the LORD, “and a pure offering” would be offered. In verse 12 Malachi calls this pure offering the “table of the LORD”. According to the Apostle Paul this Messianic Promise is fulfilled each time members of the  Lord’s Church observe the Lord’s Supper (see  1 Corinthians 10:16-21). For a deeper look (beyond the veil) of Malachi’s prophecy and how it relates to the Christian Eucharist compare Romans 15:16 to 1 Corinthians 10:17-18 (see foot note #25). According to the Prophet Malachi and the Apostle Paul the church is the Messianic Kingdom establishing the name of the LORD among the heathen (Gentiles) by offering a “pure offering” (namely, Jesus Christ) “in every place” (throughout the earth). 
Having unleashed the force of the prophets and apostles against the walls of Dispensationalism it is evident, to even the casual student, that said walls have been breached. Future letters will proceed through the breach and clear the ground ahead, for the truth of Apostolic Kingdom Theology.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Bible Prophecy And The Spiral Staircas


    At one point when Jesus was departing the Temple in Jerusalem His disciples pointed out the massive building with its impressive stone work. No doubt they did so with some amount of pride for after all this was the focal point of all Judaism. Jesus took the opportunity to impress upon them the seriousness of the time in which they lived. Christ informed them that not one of these impressive stones would be left standing upon another; but, all would be thrown down.

     This statement shocked the disciples for they knew that the destruction of the Temple of Judaism implied the destruction of Judaism as well. So with great consternation they proceeded to ask the question, "Tell us, when shall these things be?" Matthew chapter 24  records for us the signs that Christ instructed the disciples to look for: there should be false Christ, Jesus said; and wars and rumors of wars. Nation rising against nation and kingdom against kingdom. There were to be famines and pestilences and earthquakes in many different places. Then Jesus said that these were the beginning of birth pangs.

     I have always thought that that was an interesting statement "the beginning of birth pangs." One, of course, thinks of a woman having birth pangs just before delivering her baby. Jesus is saying that all of this trouble is going to come upon the earth (both geological, social, and political upheaval -- which Jesus called birth pangs) to announce the end  for the Jewish economy. Of course the end of one thing is most generally the beginning of another. And so it was with the destruction of the Temple: it was the end of Judaism and the beginning of the kingdom of the Messiah in the form of the Lord's Church.

     Some would say that the church began in A.D. 30 and the temple was not destroyed until A.D. 70,  How then could the destruction of the Temple signal the beginning of the Church? I believe the answer is quite probably found in the number 40 being the number of generation. Throughout the Bible the number 40 is also the number of testing and proving. Therefore, though the church was born on the day of Pentecost in A.D. 30 She did not prove herself or "come of age" until A.D. 70. It was at this time, with the total destruction of the Temple, and by extrapolation Judaism, that the Church transitioned into maturity by leaving the trappings of Judaism behind and bursting forth onto the landscape of the Gentile world.

     The signs that Jesus gave to look for were signs that announced, not only the end of one age, but, the birthing of another.

     Many point to the geological, social, and political upheavals of our present time and announced that these are the "signs of the time" that Jesus spoke of in Matthew chapter 24. Others say that this cannot be the case since all of those signs, according to Jesus, were fulfilled in the generation that was contemporaneous to Christ. It could be that the answer to this disagreement can be found in the very nature of prophecy. Prophecy has, what I like to call, a high and low application; or, an immediate and future relevance.

     In the case of the "signs of the end time" of Matthew chapter 24 it is quite likely that one should think in terms of a spiral staircase. (There are two philosophical worldviews in play in the western mind: one is  circular, which is  primarily eastern, and sees life as a great circle repeating itself in cycles; the other is linear, which is primarily western, and sees life as having a beginning and a termination point. It may be best to interpret Jesus's words concerning the birth pains with both philosophical worldviews in play. Therefore, a spiral staircase would be a very apt illustration. While the staircase has a beginning and an end there are still many cycles that one goes through between the two points.)

     Therefore, if we consider history as the circular cycle of life and also incorporate the linear view, than, we would place our self on the spiral staircase of time. Let us say that we opened our Bibles to the book of Matthew chapter 24 we lay that upon the floor at the foot of the stair case and begin our ascent to where the staircase terminates at the top. Each time we complete the cycle of the staircase we would look and see the prophecy concerning the birth pangs. Each time the same prophecy is viewed from a different position in time; each time it is viewed, it is applicable to that time and circumstance. One only views the prophecy from a certain position of the staircase but that position comes back time and time again. Each time the prophecy details the birthing of a new age and each time a new age is birthed.

     So, here we are, again, in that time when Matthew 24 seems to speak to us of the birthing of a new age. And so it is: the earth groans to be delivered. What will this new age be like? Could it be the thousand years of peace looked for, anticipated, preached about for so long in so many pulpits across the great expanse of the earth? And what form will it take? Will Jesus, as the King of Kings, come personally in a physical body and ascend a throne in Jerusalem to rule the earth from a central geographical location? Or, will the Lord's Church, His body, permit Him to have free course in its members and will that body excel to the place where Christ brings in the age of peace through His wisdom living and breathing in His church? If the prophet Daniel is a valuable witness it is the latter that is about to take place.

Apostolically Speaking
☩ Jerry Hayes 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Bishop Jerry Hayes,WATER BAPTISM #3. Questions 6-7m4v

Q&A, Water Baptism, #7

Q&A, Water Baptism, #7

Q&A Water Baptism #8

 Answers to questions: 18. What did Jesus say about the formula into which one is to be baptized? 19. What is the significance of being baptized INTO a name? 20. What is the significance of the word "INTO?" 21. What did the disciples of Jesus say about the formula (name) into which one must be baptized? 22.Why do some use the formula of Father, son, and HOly Spirit? 23. Are there biblical records of the use of the formula, Father, son, and Holy Spirit? 24. What is the earliest date for the use of Father, Son, Holy Spirit formula? 25. Is the Didache a reliable document? 26. Why is the Father, son, and Holy Spirit formula called the trine formula?