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sod02I received the following question:

I am confused regarding the salvation of Israel during the Old Testament.  I appreciate your helping me clear up my misunderstandings.

Deut 6
24. And the Lord commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as it is at this day.
25. And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before the Lord our God, as he hath commanded us.

This verse seems to say that keeping the law will bring righteousness. Read the rest of this entry »

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I received the following question:

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1 Cor 9
19. For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.
20 And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law;
21. To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law.
22. To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.
23. And this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.

Hi Nathan, would you please explain this passage?  When Mid-Acts is presented with evidence that Paul was still operating under the Kingdom program during the Acts period, they use this passage to explain away things such as Paul preaching to the Jews, Paul performing signs and wonders, and Paul taking a Nazirite vow. Read the rest of this entry »

olives02I received the following question:

I found Sellers’ booklet on the “Good Olive Tree” confusing. Maybe I caused my own confusion because I thought that pure gentiles were being grafted to become Jews into the Good Olive Tree of Romans 11:

The Good Olive Tree, was Jesus Christ, and the gentiles partook of the blessings of believing, during the Acts period. When a pure gentile believed during the Acts period, it provoked the Jews into jealousy. But these two groups were kept separate. The pure gentiles were grafted into Israel’s blessings and became partakers of Israel’s spiritual things. The pure gentiles did not become Jews, no more than Cornelius and his household became Jews

The Lord would not graft an apple into an orange tree because that would be confusion and God is not the author of confusion. The gentiles stood in separate positions of blessings.

I was confused with the Good Olive Tree, but reading your Malta Omission and a few other Precepts truths you have written helped clarify my confusion. Thanks.  

I am not sure if you are asking me to explain this, or saying you already have it figured out from reading my Precepts. I do think that the “pure” Gentiles were being grafted into Israel’s olive tree of blessings in place of some of the Israelites, the natural branches, who were being cut off. Read the rest of this entry »

bouncer02I received the following question:

Hi Nathan, I was wondering if you’ve read any of the writings of Arnold Kennedy?  After reading some of your writings on the word Gentiles I was doing some web searches and ran across his free ebook book “The Exclusiveness of Israel” where he has a chapter regarding this same topic.  As far as I gather so far, he is saying that scripture including Paul’s writings pertains exclusively to the twelve tribes.  Have you ever heard this?

http://www.israelect.com/reference/ArnoldKennedy/

Kind Regards,

There is a lot of truth in what Mr. Kennedy is pointing out. Israel is God’s chosen people in much of the New Testament. However, he is totally missing the mystery and the fact that all nations are now equal and joint before God according to Ephesians 3:6. His explanation of the Gentiles grafted in in Romans 11 is wrong and shows a lack of knowledge of what Paul was talking about there. He denies that Gentiles means non-Jews, but doesn’t understand that it does mean “nations.” Read the rest of this entry »

I received the following question:

Nathan, in reviewing some of your material in early Acts I have a question.

We believe that it was not the masses of Israel but the leaders that had rejected and crucified Christ. We believe that it was a kangaroo court that convicted Christ and set Barabbas free.  They had convicted Him in the middle of the night with His rejectors in the crowd crying for His crucifixion.  

Why then is it that we see Peter in Acts 2 and 3 proclaiming to what seems to be the masses, their guilt of crucifying the Lord?  Your comments on these chapters don’t seem to address this.  Was wondering what I am missing.  

I understand that if your leadership commits a heinous crime, the populous can be considered guilty.  If our president took it into his own hands and nuked Canada, we as a nation would be considered responsible and would pay dearly for such an act.  Is that what is going on here?  

If as you so rightly teach, the masses that welcomed Him into Jerusalem at his triumphal entry could not possibly have turned on him in two days to call for His crucifixion.  Why then is Peter’s message to what seems would be this same crowd, so convicting of their guilt?

Yes, it was the leaders who rejected Christ generally, and not the common people. Of course, this is the rule, but this is not to say that there were not some among the leaders who received Him (like Nicodemus or Joseph of Arimathea) and among the people who rejected Him (like those in decapolis.) However, it was generally true that the leaders were the ones who rejected Him. Read the rest of this entry »

olive02I received the following question:

Have you done any work with Romans 11:, “the good olive tree”?

I am of the opinion that the good olive tree of Romans 11: were simply the akrobustia, the exiled Jews. Sellers learned about the akrobustia, the exiles Jews, late in his life. Had he lived longer I think he would have revised his booklet on the good olive tree to be the akrobustia.
 
Paul went to Rome to herald the gospel to the akrobustia and1/2 believed and 1/2 belived not. After all Jews had been reached with the messianic message clearly presented to them. The Lord changed direction and began the dispensation of grace.

I have not yet written on Romans 11, though I have talked some about it in articles 13 and 16 of my series on Dispensationalism.

I do not think you have the concept of akrobustia quite right. Every exiled Jew was not automatically akrobustia. There were both akrobustia and peritome in Rome. Paul was a Roman citizen, yet he was not akrobustia, for he was circumcised on the eighth day, according to the law of Moses. He grew up in Tarsus, yet he was still a circumcised one. His parents must have been wealthy enough to make the expensive trip to the temple to perform the law for him. Yet it is certainly true that for the majority of the Jews living outside the land, a trip to the temple in Jerusalem to perform the ritual for their children was not possible. Therefore, they were circumcised, but did not keep the Mosaic rule of presenting the child in the temple. This made them akrobustia in the minds of the Jews living in the land, who were able to keep the ritual, and did.

The good olive tree was Israel. I do not think it mattered at the time Paul wrote Romans whether one was peritome or akrobustia. If one was part of God’s Israel, which at that time meant believing in Jesus Christ, then one was part of the olive tree. That could be Jews living in the land or exiled Jews living outside the land. The representatives of that olive tree in Rome, of course, were all exiled Jews living outside the land. Yet the whole of the olive tree was Israel, not just the part living in Rome.

I received the following question:

If the Jews in the dispersion became as the Gentiles, then what if they feared God and worked righteousness? Of course they still wouldn’t be in the covenants, but would they obtain a spot in the kingdom? Would outer darkness simply be outside of the covenants, and the weeping and gnashing of teeth be the resulting bitterness? Then, how would everyday life be for the expelled Jew?

A Jew who broke his relationship with God would either have to enter back into that relationship, or he would be out of relationship altogether. There was no starting over with a new, Gentile-type relationship. That would be like a couple who had been married and divorced deciding they wanted to start over as friends. That is not really reasonable, and it is not going to work. You cannot go from a relationship like a marriage back to a mere friendship. And one could not go from being an Israelite to having a relationship with God like a Gentile did. It was just not possible, and God would not cooperate in any such attempt. One must either come back to the relationship God desired from every Israelite, or not have a relationship with Him at all. Read the rest of this entry »

I received the following letter:

(A mutual friend) sent me a booklet you had written about the tribes of Israel and their occupancy of the holy land. You say that the Israelites that Assyria had removed from Israel returned to their homeland. But 2 Kings 17.24 expressly states that Assyria brought men from Babylon… “and placed them in the cities of Samaria instead of the children of Israel, and they possessed Samaria and dwelt in the cities thereof.

We know too that Josephus says the ten tribes never returned – Antiquities Book 41 Chapter 5. – “There are but two tribes in Asia and Europe subject to the Romans, while the ten tribes are beyond Euphrates till now, and are an immense multitude, and not to be estimated by numbers.”

This, I think you must agree, undermines your assertion.

There has been a great deal of research done on the monuments and subsequent history of these people, notably by Davidiy. He traces them from the Caucasian region northwestwards across Europe to the British Isles and the fringes of Europe, with subsequent migration to the west and to the east, and to the north, and to the south. Gen. 28.14. They would be a blessing to all the families of the earth.

Thank you for your comments to me. I am not sure what you read, but perhaps it was my article on the “Ten Lost Tribes of Israel”? Either that or my recently published booklet on the “Jigsaw Bible.” You mention a booklet, so perhaps this is what you are referring to. That was not really the topic of my booklet, so my dealing with it was brief. I would encourage you to read my article on the subject at https://precepts.wordpress.com/2010/05/17/the-ten-lost-tribes-of-israel/ Read the rest of this entry »

I received the following question:

Why does it seem that God accommodates to what the Reubenites an Gadites want as far as their land on the other side of the Jordan?  

Don’t forget the half-tribe of Manasseh!

I think it is because God DOES accommodate what they want. They asked Him if they could do this, and He basically said they could. Of course, they had to follow the stipulation that they would still go into the land and fight to conquer it with their brothers before returning to their chosen home. Yet ultimately, He allowed it when they asked, and because they asked.

Of course, there were problems with asking God to follow your own plan rather than His. The Jordan River formed a natural boundary for Israel on their east that helped defend them from the Edomites, the Moabites, and the Ammonites. The tribes to the east of Jordan were more vulnerable. They also were the first to be carried away into captivity. So there definitely were downsides to their plan.

Yet God did grant them their request, and allowed them their land on that side of the river simply because they asked it. He is a God Who is willing to respond to the requests of His people, as long as they ask with honest hearts and in faith. It is not useless or pointless to ask Him anything, as He is going to do what He wants regardless. He can and did change His plan based on the request of these two and one-half tribes.

The following article is in response to an article of the same name, posted on the website “Devoted To Truth” at http://ecclesia.org/truth/chosen.html. Please compare the two articles as you read my paragraph-by-paragraph response to what is there written. Perhaps you could print that article so you can compare the two directly as you read my response.
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Introductory paragraph 1:

Calling dispensationalism a “system” is meant to accuse it of being an idea forced upon the Scriptures, rather than one drawn from them.  The fact is, though, that any means of interpreting the Scriptures is a “system.”  As soon as one passes beyond merely reading what the Bible says to trying to understand what it truly means, one will find that it is necessary to develop a means of doing so.  If one is at all honest, this means will be systematic, and will not involve “flying by the seat of your pants” and interpreting one thing one way and another thing another depending upon your own feelings about a particular subject.  The best system, of course, is one that maintains the integrity of Scripture, and that is drawn from its pages rather than forced upon it from our own ideas.  The question, then, is what kind of system of interpretation is dispensationalism?  To just say that a “system” is wrong, however, is to deny the student any logical and honest means of interpreting the Scriptures altogether. Read the rest of this entry »