Was the Church Prophesied in the Old Testament?

August 31, 2012 at 8:56 AM 8 comments

It always boggles my mind a bit when I read Preterists or Covenant/Reformed Theologians who thoroughly believe that the Church was prophesied in the Old Testament (the Hebrew Bible).  It tends to annoy me because their exegesis appears to be so wrong.  Of course, if you are a Preterist, Covenant, or Reformed Theologian, then you’ll likely take umbrage at my comments.  Sorry about that.

I was reading one individual’s statements the other day to learn (once again) that the idea that the Church was not prophesied in the OT is based on the “postponement theory.”  This is the idea, generally speaking, that some believe that God had to put Plan B into effect on numerous occasions throughout Scripture because of alleged “failure,” either on His part or on the part of humanity. [Sigh...]

The truth of the matter is that while humanity has demonstrably failed too many times to mention, God has never once failed!  To assume or imply this is ludicrous.  God simply has not, nor is capable of failure.  To think that is to denigrate God Himself.

Then why, for instance, are their two advents of Jesus?  Why did He come the first time, only to have to leave and come back (at some point in the future) if there was no failure?  This idea is predicated on the belief that “…Jesus came intending to establish an earthly kingdom, but his plans were thwarted by the disbelieving Jews. So instead he established the church as a temporary ‘Plan B’ until he could come again and give his plans for a kingdom another try.” [1]

That comment angers me.  If there are people who actually believe that God was incapable of completing His plans in Jesus the first time He came to this planet, they are – forgive me – complete morons and do not understand the power of God.  There was no Plan B here.  It does not exist.

Jesus came, lived a completely sinless life, died a terribly painful death on Calvary’s cross, and rose again because death could not hold Him.  He uttered the words “It is finished” from the cross, indicated that He had done everything He needed to do and the Father was fully pleased with Him.  The redemptive purposes of God were fully met.

This is biblically indisputable.  Yet, apparently, we have people who actually believe that God has failure in His plans, necessitating Him to come up with various backup plans that help Him in a pinch, when things don’t go according to His original plans.  What absolute garbage, based completely on human arrogance and hubris!

God never has need for a Plan B, C, or D.  His first plan is always the best plan and it will always come to fruition!  It may appear to puny man that God puts in plan B, but that is truly never the case.

Let’s go back to the Garden of Eden.  God set it up perfectly, created two human beings who were esthetically perfect, but had not yet been “tested.”  Did God wait on the sidelines with wringing hands asking the other members of the Godhead and the angels, “Oh, what will Adam and Eve do?”  Did He, in the counsel of the Godhead say, “Okay, here’s what we will do if/when they fall”?  How absolutely absurd to even think it.

God knew beyond doubt that Adam and Eve would succumb to the Tempter’s snare.  He knew it would happen and that was part of Plan A.  God did not have to “go with Plan B” after the infraction had been accomplished.  What an insult to God to say otherwise.

It is the same with the Church.  Did Jesus not truly complete what He was meant to complete during His first advent, requiring Him to put Plan B into effect so that He made plans to return again in the future to complete what He started 2,000 years ago, but failed to complete then?  Again, this type of thinking is patently ABSURD.  Either He is God who knows all and controls all, or He is not.

Here’s the type of reasoning we get from the Preterist/Covenant crowd:  “The idea that Jesus is coming again to set up an earthly kingdom is premised on the belief that his first mission to earth was a failure. He wanted to set up that kingdom the first time, but he failed, and instead we got the church.”

WRONG!  WRONG!  WRONG!  The idea that Jesus is coming again has NOTHING to do with any belief that His first mission was a failure!  The idea that Jesus is coming again has everything to do with what we are told in Scripture.  There are too many places to note where either Jesus Himself said He was coming again (physically – every eye will see Him, cf. Matthew 24), or someone else said it!  The Second Coming has nothing to do with any purported or assumed failure on Jesus’ part.  He did NOT fail.

The Second Coming is not some “Plan B” that God opted to put into action, once it was determined that the first coming failed to complete the mission.  Jesus completed that mission and the Second Coming is a separate mission altogether in which He will establish His physical rule over the earth, from His human father’s (David) throne.

The same writer I have quoted twice now makes this comment:  “The church has always been part of God’s plan.”  [3]  Of COURSE it is!  Like the fall of man, the two advents of Jesus, the Church has always been part of God’s glorious plan!  However, does this mean that the Church was prophesied in the Hebrew Bible (the Old Testament)?  Not on your life!

Here’s a point to consider:  whatever God tells humanity, He also winds up telling Satan.  Just because the Church was always part of God’s wonderful plan, does NOT mean that God felt the need to broadcast it before its time.

The writer I’ve been quoting seems to lack understanding.  He states, “Ephesians 3 tells us that ‘the church’ was established according to ‘the eternal purpose’ of God in Christ to make known his manifold wisdom. You cannot read Ephesians 3 and come away believing that the church was an accident.” [4]

I have absolutely no qualms with that statement above.  None.  However, the writer makes an error in judgment by implying that because the Church was always part of God’s plan, God must have broadcast that idea at some point before Jesus.  This is simply not true.  There was no broadcast.  There was no prophecy about the Church.  The only way a person can arrive at such a conclusion is to allegorize Scripture until it means something it does not mean.  Too many Preterists, Covenant, and Reformed Theologians do just that.

This same writer then goes into the book of Daniel and extrapolated numerous verses and sections in that book in an attempt to prove that Daniel was actually talking about the Church and not the restored nation of Israel.  He specifically refers to Daniel 7:13-14, claiming that this “kingdom” referenced here is the Church.  What absolute nonsense!

The idea that men like Daniel, Isaiah, or Ezekiel were actually talking about the Church (and not a restored Israel) is ludicrous.  Again, this can only be assumed when the interpreter allegorizes Scripture, making it say something it does not say.

The problem has to do – in my opinion – with the way people view God and what they believe to be His highest purpose.  For many, salvation/redemption is God’s highest purpose.  For these people, this is why He does anything.  He loves humanity so much that He designed a plan that finds its fulfillment completely in the atonement process.  This is completely egocentric.

Yes, salvation is extremely important.  The process of redemption is wonderful.  It is beautiful.  It showcases our God who loves us so much that He is willing to do whatever it costs to free us from our sin-laden life and nature.  The importance of this should not be undermined.  However, I do not believe that this is God’s highest purpose at all.

I believe God’s highest purpose in anything and everything He does is related to one thing and one thing only:  to bring glory to His Name.  This is why He does what He does.  Yes, He loves us and determined a way to offer salvation to the lost and dying.  BUT, He did so not so that we can sit around thinking how important and worthy we are that God obviously did not want us to go to hell.  He did so because in the end, the entire universe along with every creature will bring full glory to Him for who He is and for His perfect character!

It’s not about PEOPLE.  It’s not about US.  It’s not about humanity!  It’s about God.  People have a problem with this because they wrongly believe that if this was God’s highest purpose, wouldn’t it smack of egoism?  If we were talking about human beings, the answer is without equivocation, yes.  We are not talking about human beings.  We are talking about Infinite, Holy, Just, Perfect, Omniscient, Omnipresent GOD!

How can God NOT know all things from the beginning?  How can God NOT know that Adam and Eve would fall?  How could God NOT know that Jesus would be rejected (which was actually part of His plan)?

Come on, people.  There is NO Plan B (C, D, or E) with God.  It’s ALL Plan A.  The way some theologians teach it, the Church existed in the OT simply because Paul tells us in Ephesians that the Church was always part of His plan.  Just because the Church was always part of His plan, does NOT mean that He prophesied about it.  Again, the only way you can arrive to that conclusion is by allegorizing Scripture and the writer I’ve quoted does that consistently, using Daniel, Isaiah, and many other books from the Hebrew Bible to attempt to “prove” that the Church is known there.  It’s foolhardy.  By doing this, Israel has no validity any longer.  The nation’s leaders rejected Jesus roughly 2,000 years ago, so God’s patience came to an end and judged Israel, never to deal with them again as a nation.  Instead, He now deals with the Church.

The Church and Israel are not mutually exclusive unless the interpreter allegorizes them away.  That’s the only way this can be accomplished.  This is also predicated on the belief that God’s highest purposes are found in salvation.

For more, I would recommend my book His Highest Purposes, which can be downloaded free of charge (as a PDF) here:  http://studygrowknow.com/highest.html.  It can also be purchased as a soft cover if that is preferred, but why not avail yourself of the free version?  It’s completely free and you don’t even need to register or send me an email.  Just click on the PDF icon and download to your computer.

It is tragic that so many people seem to have such a low view of God.  We tend to want to understand things from humanity’s perspective instead of simply agreeing to agree with God even when we don’t fully understand what is happening.  That makes sense, doesn’t it?  After all, we are dealing the Infinite and our finite minds simply cannot comprehend all that God is and does.

May we endeavor to strive (through His Spirit) to understand what His Word tells us and where we cannot understand it, simply accept it.

[1] http://www.thywordistruth.com/Church/Lesson06.html

[2] ibid

[3] ibid

Entry filed under: 9/11, alienology, Atheism and religion, Barack Hussein Obama, Barry Sotero, Communism, Demonic, dispensationalism, Eastern Mysticism, emergent church, Gun Control, Islam, Islamofascism, israel, Judaism, Life in America, Maitreya, new age movement, Posttribulational Rapture, Pretribulational Rapture, Radical Islam, rapture, Religious - Christian - End Times, Religious - Christian - Prophecy, Religious - Christian - Theology, salvation, Satanism, second coming, Sharia Law, Socialism, temple mount, Transhumanism, ufology. Tags: , , , , .

Seventh-day Adventism: Is there Really Anything Wrong With it? Mr. Obama is Likened to Jesus by DNC

8 Comments

  • 1. Simon  |  September 12, 2012 at 5:04 AM

    “God knew beyond doubt that Adam and Eve would succumb to the Tempter’s snare. He knew it would happen and that was part of Plan A… Come on, people. There is NO Plan B (C, D, or E) with God. It’s ALL Plan A.”

    If this is the type of God you believe in, can I say He sounds like a real jerk to me.

    Why didn’t God create human beings (Adam and Eve) who wouldn’t fail His test then? What sort of Being creates a test knowing the participants have no hope to pass it? And why create an elaborate plan of salvation, where God Himself has to come down and suffer when it was all avoidable? It makes no sense whatsoever.

    Is the history of the fall of Lucifer, then Adam and Eve, and then Christ’s role in salvation, some elaborate Hollywood-style play that God concocted for His own self amusement?

    And I assume we have no choice either in who gets saved and who goes to hell either? Again, I guess we are all just puppets?

    I prefer to believe that this terrible cruel world is not God’s Plan A. What an evil God you must believe in!

    • 2. modres  |  September 14, 2012 at 7:28 AM

      That’s because you have such a low view of God and His purposes. I don’t even see an emphasis on salvation on your blog site. You spend a great deal of time defending SDA beliefs instead.

      God’s highest purpose is not found in redemption (though that is a very high purpose). God’s highest purpose is found in bringing glory to Himself.

      EVERYTHING that happens in all of God’s Creation does this, whether you can appreciate it or not.

      All your argument does is lower God to the level of a fallen human being. You are completely unable to see HOW God works and WHY He works as He does.

      Puppets? Let’s say we are…who are YOU to define for God what He can and cannot do?

      It is clear from Paul (2 Thessalonians 2) that people perish because they hate the truth. At the same time, there is such a thing as election by God. You think you’re smart enough to marry those two seeming opposing doctrines?

      “And why create an elaborate plan of salvation, where God Himself has to come down and suffer when it was all avoidable? It makes no sense whatsoever.”

      The fact that you are unable to answer that question proves to me that you fully lack the faculties to understand God’s purposes. Wow, Simon, I will continue to pray for you.

      You have no wisdom, no discernment, and no understanding and your comments prove it.

  • 3. Lester Christy  |  August 31, 2012 at 9:49 AM

    Amen! There is no plan but A!!! Of course I may not always agree 100% with you on the details of interpretation. However there is so much more to our maturity then just salvation and belief. The very word belief comes from roots that mean belove and belive. What and who do we live and love? The next step is to know and then become.

    We shall be like Him in the fullness and stature of Jesus the Christ!

    As for Israel and the fellowships of Christ, Spiritual Israel includes ALL nations that have come into not only salvation but are coming to a fullness in Christ natural Israel eventually also. As for Jesus coming, many believe that He has come many times in many ways over the entire history of creation.

    I know 7th day Adventists that have been since childhood and are 80 years old. They are deeply committed to Jesus and the study of the word. The stumbling block of Saturday worship is really such a poison. It is not even kept as it was recorded in the first testaments and law of Moses. They cannot see that. It is a blindness.

    Anyway, keep on growin!
    Lester

    • 4. modres  |  August 31, 2012 at 9:59 AM

      Hi Lester,

      Thanks for your comments. I don’t agree with the “Spiritual Israel” concept, except when Paul talks about it and I believe he is comparing a natural-born Jew to one who is a natural-born Jew AND also an authentic Christian. Unfortunately, people tend to think that Paul is speaking of a non-Jew (or Gentile) who then becomes a “spiritual” Jew through salvation. I am a Gentile and will always remain a Gentile, just like I am a male and will always remain a male. When looking at the context of Romans 9 – 11, Paul clearly seems to be comparing ethnic Jews who are NOT Christians with ethnic Jews who ARE Christians. He is not – in my view – dealing with Gentiles at this juncture.

      Regarding Jesus’ coming again, it seems clear to me that Jesus promised to return physically. This appears to be confirmed in Acts 1 by the two “messengers” who tell the apostles to stop looking up because Jesus will return the same way He left. This ties into Christ’s own words about His return when He stated that every eye will see Him. As far as I can tell, the Bible only speaks of two advents of Messiah; His first coming and His second coming.

      We’re all blind in certain ways, Lester – including me. I do not have perfect knowledge yet and that won’t happen until after this life. The problem is that when our blindness is connected to salvation. Then we become imperiled because of it.

      Thanks again for writing and I’m very glad we agree that God only has Plan A! :)

      • 5. Simon  |  September 12, 2012 at 5:19 AM

        Who is a Jew? You do know that Judaism as we know it is only that faction of the Judeans (aka Israelites or whatever you want to call them) that were effectively the Pharisees, and then morphed into Rabbinical Judaism as we know it after the destruction of the Temple? The Sadducees, Essenes, Zealots and even Christians were originally types of ‘Jews’.

        The whole argument in Acts 15 and much of the NT was whether new Gentile converts had to become circumcised given the Jesus Movement still very much saw itself within the spectrum of Judean religion. Thus, what makes someone a Jew exactly today? Can you be a Jew and believe in Jesus?

        And are you ok with the idea of Jesus believing Jews, such as Messianic Jews, keeping the seventh-day Sabbath – or is it poison for them also do you think?

      • 6. modres  |  September 14, 2012 at 7:40 AM

        Jews are people that God created from the loins of Abraham, through Isaac, and Jacob.

        The Esssenes and Zealots were considered to be Jewish. Christians were MISTAKENLY considered to be part of Judaism because the first converts were Jewish in ethnicity.

        The only people who are Jews today are the same as those who were Jews of yesterday – they are BORN that way physically and ethnically.

        Of course Jewish people can become Christians. Doing so does NOT eradicate their physical Jewishness, Simon, no more than when I became a Christian, I stopped being Italian, or a male. I am still physically both, but now I am part of Jesus’ Kingdom and Body. It’s pretty simple.

        If a Jewish-Christian wants to continue to recognize the Saturday Sabbath because they WANT to do so (not because they believe they HAVE to do so), there’s nothing wrong with that at all. I think I’ve explained that clearly previously.

        Simon, I don’t care if you worship on Saturday or Wednesday. WHY you are doing it is the question and if you stop doing that, are you in danger of losing your salvation (according to your beliefs)? There are those within SDA who believe that they WILL be in danger of losing their salvation. They are living under the Law. You are doing nothing to help them because you spend all of your time attempting to prove that there are no legitimate concerns by people like me with respect to Seventh-day Adventism.

    • 7. Simon  |  September 12, 2012 at 5:13 AM

      Hi Lester,

      Yes, taking time every Friday night to Saturday night for the worship of God, cessation of business, and fellowship with family and friends truly sound like poison to me, especially compared with what the world has to offer for the average weekend – booze, sport, isolation and raves. Yes, just like that other Sabbath-keeping group called the Jews, and looked how they turned out – world’s smartest, most talented group of people.

      It is also true re how those 7th day Adventists keep the Sabbath. They certainly don’t even keep their Sabbath like the ways Jews do (if that is what you meant by not keeping it per ‘the first testament’ whatever that means). It is true, we don’t follow the rules of the Pharisees (that group of Jews that became Rabbinical Judaism after the destruction of the Temple). No we keep the Sabbath as Jesus taught, which I guess is pretty liberal in Jewish terms.

      It really must just be blindness. I can honestly say though that to me, the Sabbath is the most relaxing, funnest day of the week.

      • 8. modres  |  September 14, 2012 at 7:35 AM

        And Paul says that “One person regards one day above another, another regards every day alike. Each person must be fully convinced in his own mind,” Romans 14:5.

        He “appears” to contradict Jesus according to you, but we know that cannot be true. Jesus did not teach that the Sabbath must be kept. In fact, from the book of Acts, it is clear that the first century Christians met “on the first day of the week,” (Acts 20:7). That would be SUNDAY since the Jewish Sabbath was on Saturday (the LAST day of the week). Apparently, they were in rebellion to Jesus at that point…

        Paul’s words make it clear that if a person WANTS to regard Saturday as THE day to worship the Lord, wonderful. As long as they were not doing it for legalistic reasons, they were fine. At the same time, if a person chooses to recognize ANOTHER day or EVERY day as a day to set aside for the Lord, that was also perfectly fine.

        Unfortunately, the “fringe” within SDA didn’t get that memo, because they are the ones who tell me (and others) that I am lost and going to hell because I don’t worship God on the Sabbath.

        We are under Grace, not Law. The Law kills. Grace gives life.

        If you worship on Saturday because you WANT to, that’s fine and it’s up to you. If you worship because you HAVE to (as you imply) then you are doing it wrong. Moreover, there are 613 laws in the Hebrew Bible. While some are dedicated to the Levitical structure, the rest were to be obeyed by all Israelites. If you are going to obligate yourself to worshiping on Saturday, then you are obligating yourself to living under ALL the law.

        Jesus emphasized obeying God’s MORAL code found within the 613 laws of the OT. The moral code is summed up in loving God with all your heart, soul, and mind, and loving your neighbor as yourself.


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