Two House Chronicles
The Insufficiencies of the Presuppositions of Covenantalism in Rendering John's Apocalypse
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(or Why I Do Not Want to Be a Covenantalist)
By Hope Helen, Marsue and Jerry Huerta
For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” Romans 8:29-30
Covenantalists hold a predestined salvation concerning individuals but until recent times have held little regarded for in order to maintain their traditional perception that God repented on Israel’s future destiny. Covenantalism still maintains The 18 and 19 century commentators John Gill and Adams Clarke express Covenantalism’s traditional perception of Israel’s future in their commentary of in Matthew 21:33-44.
“…. Though God may take away the Gospel from a people, as he did from the Jews; yet he does not, nor will he, as yet, take it out of the world: he gives it to another ‘nation’; to the Gentiles, to all the nations of the world, whither he sent his apostles to preach and where it must be preached before the end of the world comes, in order to gather his elect out of them: for not one particular nation is meant, unless the nation of God's elect, among all nations, can be thought to be designed.”
“ - Thus showing them, that to them alone the parable belonged. The kingdom of God shall be taken from you - the Gospel shall be taken from you, and given to the Gentiles, who will receive it, and bring forth fruit to the glory of God.
“ - As in Matthew 21:34; an allusion is made to paying the landlord in kind, so here the Gentiles are represented as paying God thus. The returns which He expects for his grace are the fruits of grace; nothing can ever be acceptable in the sight of God that does not spring from himself.”
Notwithstanding, 41:8-9; 43:10, 20; 44:1-2). the former election upon the biological descendants was grounded on merit and forfeited at the first advent
“ ELECTION, the treatment of which extends to the end of the eleventh chapter—‘Think not that I mourn over the total loss of Israel; for that would involve the failure of God's word to Abraham; but not all that belong to the natural seed, and go under the name of “Israel,” are Israel of God's irrevocable choice.’… the argument of this verse is, that ‘all Israel rejected, but only a portion of it, the remainder being “Israel” whom God has chosen in the exercise of His sovereign right.’ And that this is a choice not to mere external privileges, but to eternal salvation, will abundantly appear from what follows.”—better, ‘for not all they which are of Israel are Israel.’
Brown substantiates , which substantiates the distinction expressed in Deuteronomy 7:6-8. Covenantalist Thomas R. Schreiner inadvertently conceded said correspondence concerning the Church.
“All God's choice of a corporate group means is that God chose that all who put their faith in Christ would be saved. Those who put their faith in Christ would be designated the Church.
“Those who defend corporate election are conscious of the fact that it is hard to separate corporate from individual election, for logic would seem to require that the individuals that make up a group cannot be separated from the group itself.”
In Schreiner’s zeal to renounce Arminianism, which is the object of his essay, he inadvertently concedes the correspondence between corporate and individual election but fails to comprehend that it is at variance with Covenantalism’s perception that
C. Matthew McMahon has also inadvertently acknowledged in his analyzation of the Hebrew term , translated as in Deuteronomy 7:6. After producing the few extraneous uses of the word he analyzes where:
“… it is used of God to choose the ultimate destinies and eternal salvation of particular people or of the nation Israel… It is a specific choosing of a people who will be holy before Yahweh to do His will. This choosing or election is not based on their own merit but on God’s good pleasure and for His glory as seen in Deuteronomy 7:7.”
In McMahon’s book, , he percieves a hermeneutic that God expressed his will in more than one . Unless we accurately perceive these tension results in revelation and the truth does not prevail. McMahon develops a previous theologian’s work, Francis Turretin, as the hermeneutic of the compound and divided .
It is apparent that both McMahon and Moore agree with Brown’s perception that the election of the body of Israel pertained to , as distinguished from the reprobate mixed with them, which epitomizes individual and corporate salvific correspondence. In truth, their perception of God’s salvific calling in Deuteronomy 7:6-8 cannot be repented as it did not apply to the reprobate and conflicts with their notion that Israel forfeited its destiny to the Gentiles at the first advent. In truth, the narrative and citations of OT prophecy in the NT confirm the judgment and exile of the reprobates as prophesied by Ezekiel, Zechariah and many other prophets, which are presented in this essay. Furthermore, it is inaccurate to simply view the diaspora of the elect biological descendants as punishment when Christ declared:
“And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel's, But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.” Mark 10:29-30
Promised prosperity cannot be reconciled with the loss of inheritance and exile, but substantiates the gifts and calling of Israel as irrevocable, which is precisely what Peter and Paul (Ro 11:29) affirmed.
“Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.” 1 Peter 1:1-2
The objective evidence shows Peter addressed members of the ten northern tribes yet scattered, but to some degree were still aware of their heritage at that time, which truly overcomes any objections to the contrary. Part of the evidence is from the first century Jewish historian, Flavius Josephus, who wrote which also confirms fulfilment of the birthright of Israel’s fecundity, particularly Josephs’ branch (Ge 48:16; 49:22). But as previously mentioned, the circumstances were prophesied by Ezekiel and Zechariah concerning the house of Ephraim, also known as Joseph, Israel, and Samaria—as contrasted from Judah. As revealed, some Covenantalists like McMahon and Moore have made advances in viewing, “the gifts and calling,” of descendants of Abraham, “are without repentance,” (Ro 11:29) but have failed to grasp their view does not support that Israel forfeited its destiny at the first advent, specifically the destiny to covert the Gentiles.
Calvinists McMahon and Moore believe they have something more exact to relate concerning in scripture than earlier Covenantalists, although Moore does not use the same terminology. Coming from a determined compatibilist they rightly perceive that God does not repent on, which is why it is fallacious for them to also hold any form of change in destiny at the first advent. Further analysis of McMahon’s book, , reveals the fallacy, concerning 1 Peter 2:8, that the reprobate were ordained to reject Christ and at the same time he asserts they had choice.
“But Peter does not simply leave us to our imagination to decide what it means for those who reject Christ to ‘stumble.’ He says that they were appointed to stumble. God appoints men to stumble at Christ. The word “appoints” is τίθημι () which means “to set, put, place,” or “to establish, and ordain.” God appoints men to eternal damnation according to His good pleasure, just as He elects men to salvation accordingly as well….
“Peter says, “They [those whom God passes by] stumble because they disobey the message—which is also what they were destined for” (1 Peter 2:8)….
“God had told Abraham that he would be a blessing to many nations, and that the whole world would be blessed by him. The Pharisees, Scribes and rulers of Jerusalem should have taken up that commission to bless the nations with the Word of God, but they did not... they turned in on themselves, reveling in ethnic privilege rather than in converting the nations… Jesus gives His reaction to this when he says that their house has become “desolate” as a result of this hardness towards Him.”
McMahon has failed to grasp he has violated the rule of non-contradiction. He asserts the fallacy, those destined to be the lost “should have taken up that commission to bless the nations.” The commission to bless the nations was to the elect not the reprobate. McMahon shifts from a Compatibilist to an Arminian or Open Theist here. In the corporate the was irrevocably chosen as a people with an ultimate destiny and salvation, which McMahon acknowledged in his book. McMahon's use of adverbial phrase, “should have taken up that commission to bless the nations,” promotes the fallacy that the conversion of the Gentiles was the destiny of the reprobate, which they miscarried and God failed to foresee. McMahon simply cannot escape returning to the old Covenantalist misrepresentation that God on Israel’s destiny at the first advent and replaced them with the Gentiles. The only relief from such a fallacy is to concede the reprobates did exactly what they were ordained to do as it was not their destiny to convert the Gentiles; rather, it was the destiny of the biological remnant of Israel to convert the Gentiles, , which is precisely what happened. McMahon succumbs to Arminianism and even Open Theism in his assertion that the Jewish rulers’ choice determined their destiny when in truth, God preordained their destiny apart from the elect (1 Pe 2:7-8). Thus, McMahon is an example of a minority of Covenantalists attempting to maintain the contradiction that God does not on his elections—yet, due to the failure of the biological descendants to avow Christ they were replaced by the Gentiles who supplant the biological descendants’ destiny to convert the Gentiles. The only view that satisfies the Compatibilist perception is the Two House theological model. The Two House model is the object of this discourse and it will be substantiated as the only model consistently holding to the Compatibilist perception and sufficient in properly rendering the NT and John’s apocalypse.
grace in the wilderness,” as they were dispersed throughout the nations; and it was by this circumstance that they were to play the major role in converting the Gentiles (Jer 31:2). The phrase, Jeremiah 31:2 as well as Ezekiel 34:17-31, Hosea 2:14-23, Amos 9:9-10 and Zechariah 10:7-9 are but a few OT texts that prophecy Israel, specifically the biological descendants of the northern tribes, find , in exile, but they are not directly restored to the promised land when all said texts are properly examined. In anthropomorphic illustrations, the remnant of Israel are redeemed and then sown throughout the world, like the good seed in Christ’s parables of the sower and of the tares; the correspondence between the aforementioned OT texts and Christ’s parables is an integral object of this work and substantiates the Two House model.
In returning to the reaction of the biological descendants to Christ, have taken up that commission to bless the nations… but they did not.” McMahon exhibits the continuing influence of past Covenantalists who mistakenly viewed the end of the biological descendant’s administration of the kingdom of God in their interpretation of Matthew 21:43 and 23:38, as if the elect biological descendants merely ceased to exist and have no consideration as the singular, fruit bearing of Matthew 21:43. As stated, this conflicts with Moore and McMahon’s that God’s elections are inviolable. It also conflicts with the NT testimony of the common knowledge that there were great numbers of the descendants of northern tribes dwelling as exiles in communities scattered throughout the known world at the time (Jn 7:35; 11:51-52; Jas 1:1; Pe 1:1). The 19 century Covenantalist Adam Clarke is of some use here in that he conceded that the phrase, “ ” in John 11:52, pertained to the and not the Gentiles, differing from the view held by many of his fellow Covenantalists.
“John 11:52… - Probably John only meant the Jews who were dispersed among all nations since the conquest of Judea by the Romans; and these are called the dispersed, John 7:35, and James 1:1; and it is because he refers to these only, that he terms them here, the children of God, which was an ancient character of the Jewish people: see Deuteronomy 32:5; Isaiah 43:6; Isaiah 45:11; Jeremiah 32:1. Taking his words in this sense, then his meaning is this: that Christ was to die, not only for the then inhabitants of Judea, but for all the Jewish race wheresoever scattered; and that the consequence would be, that they should be all collected from their various dispersions, and made one body. This comports with the predictions of St. Paul: Romans 11:1-32.”
It speaks well of Clarke that he did not make the mistake many of his contemporaries who interpreted the phrase as the elect Gentiles; nevertheless, the epistles of James and Peter carry significant bearing on the issue and correctly render the phrase pertaining to the twelve tribes, properly addressed as Israel, as opposed to , as not all Israelites are Jews. Failure to recognize John 7:35, 11:52, James 1:1 and 1 Peter 1:1 as pertaining to the yet exiled northern tribes at the first advent is an anachronism that subordinates the accuracy of Covenantalism in interpreting the scriptures, specifically the NT; they apply contemporary perceptions to terminologies that must be rendered from the grammatical-historical point of view. Their contemporary view of the Jews as the nation of Israel cannot be reconciled to said texts, which affirms the other house of Israel, Ephraim, must be considered in eschatological phenomenon. Caiaphas spoke in terms of the tribes of Israel that had not dwelt as one sovereign nation in the promised land since the time of David and Solomon, but were still aware to some degree of their origins (Jn 11:51-52). Samaria has never been reoccupied by the ten tribes, which substantiates that Ephraim did not return with the Jews from the Babylonian captivity; the dominion of Samaria had been settled by foreigners who still dwelt in the land at the first advent. It strays from reason that Caiaphas’, a Pharisee, intent pertained to Gentiles. McMahon’s comment that the Jews “should have taken up that commission to bless the nations… but they did not,” violates the rule of non-contradiction, when one takes into account the other house of Israel had taken up the commission in fulfillment of Hosea 2:23 and Zechariah 10:7-9. Peter and James testify that the other house took the commission and it did not just cease to exist and have no consideration as the singular, fruit bearing of Matthew 21:43.
Matthew 10 and other NT evidence substantiate that the Messianic kingdom was not offered at the first advent as it was predetermined to be consummated only upon the return of the Son of man, the second advent. Matthew and Mark agree, Christ came —which affirms Christ’s first advent as the suffering redeemer, the (husband) entity in Hosea 2—who returns as king, depicted in Revelation 19. The evidence that Christ came not to be ministered unto undoubtedly defeats the presumption of a of the kingdom the Jews expected. The prophets grasped the phenomenon as the sole will of God at his appointed time; God must first before the consummation of the kingdom (Deuteronomy 30:6). Evidence that the kingdom was not offered is witnessed subsequently to the commission portrayed in Matthew 10, where Christ dismissed the impression, “the kingdom of God should immediately appear.” Luke 19:11-27. “Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come,” can only be interpreted as protracted phenomenon as conveyed in Luke 19:11-27. From said evidence the phrase, “the cities of Israel,” verse 23, achieves a greater than merely the cities of Judah, but develops to include wherever the descendants of Israel abide in the illustrated in Hosea 2:23 and Zechariah 10:9. The OT affirms they were to be scattered throughout the world in this age, which renders Christ’s testimony, “Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come,” as a greatly protracted phenomenon over the expanse of the world. Christ’s parables affirm this as the in which the good seed, the remnant of Israel, is planted.
Moore also exhibits the continuing influence of past Covenantalists who ignore the biological , lineage and heritage in the preordained administration of the kingdom of God in their misinterpretation of Matthew 21:43 and 23:38. In Moore’s essay, , he wrote:
“Covenant theologians argue that the future restoration of Israel will be fulfilled-but fulfilled in the church, a largely Gentile body that has “replaced” the Jewish theocracy since the nation rejected her Messiah at Jesus’ first advent… The future of Israel then does belong to Gentile believers but only because they are in union with a Jewish Messiah… The church, as Israel was promised, does now “bear fruit”-the fruits of the Spirit (Gal 5)-but it does so only because Jesus is the vine of Israel.”
In the same essay he wrote:
In the latter quote Moore clearly concedes Israel’s irrevocable corporate election in his affirmation that the reprobate mixed with them were not regarded in the election. This is simply another way of affirming, God’s election of the corporate body of the biological descendants of Jacob were predetermined as , apart from the reprobate mixed with them.
One can concede the NT Gentile converts are perceived as joining , but in what are they according to Moore—or in what does Moore interpret the verb in texts such as Acts 1:6. The he eschews is the principal biological ; only the biological descendants can suffer loss, be for a time in Micah 5 and ultimately .
Therefore will he give them up, until the time she which travaileth hath brought forth: then the remnant of his brethren shall return unto the children of Israel.” Micah 5:3
Only the biological descendants of Ephraim can be in the capacity illustrated in Hosea.
“And I will sow her unto me in the earth; and I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy; and I will say to them which were not my people, Thou art my people; and they shall say, Thou art my God.” Hosea 2:23
In the only the elect biological descendants of the northern can be interpreted as the woman in Hosea and Micah that is at an appointed time. The phrase, , pertains to the of Covenantalist and Amillennialist Vern S. Poythress in his book, .
“The example shows that for most words there is something like a first-thought meaning, a meaning that one would naturally give when asked, “What does this word mean?” Not everyone might say exactly the same thing, but one sort of answer would usually dominate.”
There is no debate, the grammatical-historic interpretation is the or the woman was perceived in Micah and Hosea, which is rendered the elect biological descendants of Jacob, specifically the elect of the northern nation of Ephraim in the latter citation above. Poythress is not examining the term , above, but the word to argue that context can alter the meaning of words into other less used, or can become idiomatic of another word or phrase altogether.
Poythress is setting up the Covenantalist’s argument for radically altering the term by reason that the distant and earthshaking eschatological context warrants the drastic shift from the grammatical-historical, .
“The important question at this point is not about a specific passage but about principle, a principle of prophetic interpretation. I claim that there is sound, solid, grammatical-historical ground for interpreting eschatological fulfillments of prophecy on a different basis than preeschatological fulfillments. The Israelites of Jeremiah’s day should have absorbed (albeit often unconsciously) the earthshaking, transformational character of the eschatological coming of God. It is therefore a move away from grammatical-historical interpretation to insist that (say) the “house of Israel” and the “house of Judah” of Jeremiah 31:31 must with dogmatic certainty be interpreted in the most prosaic biological sense, a sense that an Israelite might be likely to apply as a rule of thumb in short-term prediction.”
Poythress violates the rule of non-contradiction when later he states this shift, “should not undermine or contradict grammatical-historical interpretation because of context,” even as it goes beyond its bounds.
“In other words, one must compare later Scripture to earlier Scripture to understand everything. Such comparison, though it should not undermine or contradict grammatical-historical interpretation, goes beyond its bounds. It takes account of information not available in the original historical and cultural context… True, grammatical-historical interpretation exercises a vital role in bringing controls and refinements to our understanding of particular texts. But we must also undertake to relate those texts forward to further revelation that they anticipate and prepare for.”
One must agree with Poythress, the distance and earthshaking event of the eschatological context and NT revelation does diminish, “the most prosaic biological sense,” the way the term Israel must be interpreted, but to maintain the context the altogether, unequivocally, “undermines or contradicts the grammatical-historical interpretation,” which is precisely what Covenantalists attempt concerning eschatological prophecy. Herein lies Poythress’s violation. In returning to Moore’s use of the term concerning Israel, the biological concerning this restoration cannot be omitted without, “undermining or contradicting the grammatical-historical interpretation,” which Poythress affirmed must be avoided, as perplexing as his statement is in light of the fact Covenantalists undermine the hermeneutic persistently. This is further supported by the truth the Gentiles, “were without Christ… aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world,” (Eph 2:12) and as such are not in the as the biological descendants.
As stated above, one can concede Poythress’ assertion, “the earthshaking, transformational character of the eschatological coming of God,” has its effects on how Israel is perceived, but only in the that in Christ elect Jews and are no longer held to the OC (Old Covenant) laws prohibiting intermarriage (Dt 7:3-5; Gal 3:28; Eph 2:13); even so, in another they still remain the biological descendants and maintain that God’s elections are irrevocable as they are , by whom the Gentiles are blessed (Ge 12:3; 18:18; 26:4). Certainly, this is one of, “the earthshaking, transformational,” changes, “of the eschatological coming of God.” In Christ, Jew, Ephraimite and Gentile become corporately perceived as one, but in the biological women remain women as Ephraimites remain biological heirs of Abraham no matter how diminished that biological becomes, due to the end of the prohibitions against intermarriage and concern for genealogies is quashed (1 Tim 1:3; Titus 3:9). Moreover, the Covenantalist’s perception omits the birthright of fecundity passed down from Jacob to the descendants of the northern tribes (Gen 48:3-4, 16-20), which renders them a copious people in Providence, much greater than the hardened Jews who Covenantalists perceive as the only Israelites. 1 Samuel 15:29 affirms God, “is not a man, that he should comprehending the term in scripture, specifically eschatological prophecy. the biological descendants’ commission to bless the nations at the first advent, even as their biological identity diminished; in a , it becomes the means to bless the nations. It is precisely this perception that does no harm, nor of Judah and Ephraim and accounts for, “information not available in the original historical and cultural context,” of the prophets, as Poythress expressed it, above. Any principle in determining how one discerns the term in eschatological context must avoid tension between OT and NT revelation, which Poythress subsequently expressed, perplexing as his expression may be.
Poythress’ work is described as perplexing because in truth, Covenantalism does not maintain the while preserving correspondence between Old and NT revelation. As previously mentioned, it violates the rule of non-contradiction to maintain Gentiles are in the same as the biological descendants of Ephraim, or that the free will of the reprobate shepherds of Judah determined the destiny of the elect biological descendants of Israel. The Covenantalist’s perception of the tile in eschatological prophecy also violates the rule of non-contradiction concerning the omniscience and omnipotence of God when Covenantalists acknowledge these attributes but maintain prophecy as conditional. The perception of violates OT revelation that when a prophet spoke for God it must come to pass, which is deduced from Deuteronomy below.
“When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor , that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.”
Eschatological prophecy was essentially linked to the immediate predictions of the prophets, Jeremiah being a salient example. The seventy years of exile determined upon Judah was promptly fulfilled, while the promise and prophecy of the institution of the NC (New Covenant) was eschatological in relation, dealing with the distant future as affirmed by NT revelation (Jer 29:10; 31:31-43; Heb 12:24). Texts such as Jeremiah 7:1-7, 18:7-10 as well as the book of Jonah are cited by Covenantalists to assert that all promises and prophecies concerning Israel were conditional or contingent, that God is restrained by man’s will, in contradiction to the perception of God’s omniscience and omnipotence. In truth, the perception of contingency in prophecy stems from a Libertarian and Open Thesis view of free will,which is incompatible with the Compatibilist’s view. Compatibilists claim causal direction concerning human action, which Libertarians repudiated at some lengths on the grounds of indifference; freedom and moral accountability must remain indifferent to causation. Modern Libertarians have abandoned indifference and conceded causal direction but claim it must be under man’s sole direction to maintain their perception of free will. Since Open Theism is built upon the Libertarian perception of free will, if the Libertarian concept of free will is repudiated then contingency in regard to prophecy is also repudiated. In truth, Libertarian perception of free will was repudiated by Paul in his epistle to the Romans in the texts below.
“For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.” Romans 7:15-23
Paul affirms that ultimately man has no power over his CN (carnal nature); it causes sin even when the will resists. The CN efficaciously circumvents the will to consummate sin; this repudiates Libertarianism. First, man’s will is not in complete control of his actions; the CN also directs man and resists his will. Secondly, man is conscious of sin, it troubles his conscience as Hebrews 10:2 states, which verifies accountability. Paul clearly affirms the mind is aware when it wrongs. The Incompatibilist’s arguments pertaining to accountability and causal determination are eradicated by Paul’s testimony. Furthermore, Old and NT revelation affirms we do not die for Adam’s sin, but for our own; death follows sin.
“Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth [it] not, to him it is sin.” James 4:17
“The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.” Ezekiel 18:20
This also concurs with the Calvinist perception that the elect are called by God and not vice versa, as the converse suggests the sinner calls on God, who then answers man.
“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” Revelation 3:20
Arminianists and Open Theists think they stand at God’s door and knock and he answers to their beckoning. But only the causal direction of, “the law of the Spirit of life in Christ,” emancipates man from the CN and allows him to answer God’s call.
“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Romans 8:2-4
Calvinist’s perceptions of God’s foreknowledge, in texts such as Romans 8:29-30, indicate God was familiar with the elect before creation (Jer 1:5; Eph 1:4), which also concurs with his foreknowledge of how they respond to what appears to man as contingencies (conveyed appropriately as anthropomorphic shepherding). In summary here, scripture affirms sin is caused by an organic influence capable of overpowering the will, while maintaining accountability, which repudiates the perception of free will by Libertarianism and contingency in regards to prophecy.
What is also garnered from the circumstance of the CN, is that the power of the flesh was sanctioned until an appointed time, when manumission would be made possible for the elect by the crucifixion of Christ, at the inauguration of the Israel’s NC. Calvin affirms this appointed time in his commentary on Daniel, below; yet, he failed to grasp the ramifications of the appointed time being calculated from the Babylonian captivity. The dependency reveals Jeremiah 8:7-10 contingent only from the perception of man. From God’s perception he had already ordained to, “pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy,” the nation as the means to determine the appointed time of Christ’s first advent.
“We shall now treat the sense in which the going forth of the edict ought to be received. In the meantime, it cannot be denied that the angel pronounces this concerning the edict which had been promulgated about the bringing back of the people, and the restoration of the city. It would, therefore, be foolish to apply it to a period at which the city was not restored, and no such decree had either been uttered or made public. But, first of all, we must treat what the angel says, until the Christ, the Messiah Some desire to take this singular noun in a plural sense, as if it were the Christ of the Lord, meaning his priests; while some refer it to Zerubbabel, and others to Joshua. But clearly enough the angel speaks of Christ, of whom both kings and priests under the law were a type and figure”
The presented evidence concurs with the foreknowledge of Israel’s ordained responses in what appears as contingencies to man. Where man perceived contingencies—God perceived his power over the CN to carry out his plans to free man from his fallen nature but only at an appointed time.
The appearance of contingences in Jeremiah 18:7–10 and the book of Johan, from whence Covenantalists draw their conclusions concerning contingency in regards to prophecy, are only contingencies as they appeared to man, but as they appeared to God they were ordained to affirm man was incapable of complying with his declarations without his causal direction (Ps 37:23; Pr 3:6; Jer 31:9, 28; 2Th 3:3; 2Pe 2:9).
“Lord, thou hast heard the desire of the humble: thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear.” Psalms 10:17
“A man's heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.” Proverbs 16:9
God ordained that Israel would ultimately fail to comply with the law under the SC without his direction. This evidence substantiates that the warnings under the SC appeared to man as contingency, but are perceived by God as ordained; he either moves against the CN or allows it to run its course, the former case being the example of the book of Jonah. In Jonah God moved the wicked Ninevites and the prophet to act contrary to their CN, which demonstrates Compatibilism, as opposed to Open Theism. It is man’s perception of contingency in prophecy that leads to the misapprehension of Open Theism. Covenantalists C. Matthew McMahon properly analyzed the narrative in Jonah as giving, “us a glimpse of God’s true intention for the Ninevites through Jonah’s actions (the compound sense), while the stated text exhibits His coming wrath against the city in forty days (the divided sense).” McMahon developed the 17th century Calvinist’s work of Francis Turretin in his hermeneutic tools of the compound and divided senses, which substantiates all the previous evidence on contingency in regards to prophecy. In Jonah the compound sense perceives God moving against the CN of Jonah and the Ninevites in performance of his will, while the divided sense, the way man sees it, contingency is perceived in regards to prophecy. Jonah demonstrates God’s sovereignty over the city-state as in the prophecy in Revelation 17:17, where God puts his will into the hearts of the ten kings to, “give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.” Texts such as Jeremiah 7:1-7 and 18:7-10 are conveyed in divided sense, the appearance of contingency, as only God can cause them to amend their ways and their doings to dwell in Jerusalem. The assertion of contingency in prophecy stems from the fallacy the declarative law could be complied with without the need of the NC but Paul makes it very plain the SC was never intended as such, but was a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ and justification (Gal 3:24). The doctrine of contingency in prophecy is a fallacy. Prophecy is preordained, the foreknowledge of God, his compound will and the decretive sense (Isa 41:21-23; 42:9; 44:7; 45:11; 46:10; 48:3,5,6; Jer 1:5; Act 15:8; Rom 8:29).
God knows how man will respond beforehand, which appears to man as contingency but is mere appearance. All the prophets anticipated Israel would fail to comply with the SC but then God would intervene at an appointed time to establish the NC and would impart the ability to comply with God’s law before the consummation of the kingdom (Jer 31:31-34; Ez 11:14-21 ). Romans 9-11 affirms that in God’s judgments upon Israel he hardens some and intervenes for the elect remnant.
“Except the LORD of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah.” Isaiah 1:9
“What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?” Romans 9:22-24
At the first advent the vessels of wrath were ordained to reject Christ (Ps 118:22-23; 1Pe 2:7-8), while those who avowed him were chosen, “before the foundation of the world,” (Ro 8:29-30; Eph 1:4). This affirms only the appearance of a contingent offer of the kingdom. It is this perspective that informs us . Covenantalists maintains the fallacy that the reprobate Jews who were appointed to wrath (Ro 9:21) were offered the kingdom they were never destined to inherit, which is due to the appearance of contingency in prophecy.
The epistles of Peter are fundamental in determining the the title is comprehend in eschatological fulfillment, specifically 1 Peter 2:10. The Covenantalist’s presuppositions in interpreting Israel in Peter fails to maintain the grammatical-historical hermeneutic and Calvin is a salient example. Calvin acknowledged the biological in the phrase, “in time past were not a people,” in Peter but applied it to the Jews, which omits the grammatical-historical, , concerning Hosea 1:10 and 2:23. The grammatical-historical principle maintains the texts from Hosea pertains to Ephraim, not Judah. Calvin described the Jewish condition in the same comment as, “they seemed to be no longer God’s people, no worship remained among them, they were become entangled in the corruptions of the heathens,”which can hardly be applied to the Jews of the time still scattered in the nations, as substantiated in Acts 2:5. The citation from Hosea pertains to the northern kingdom, the ten tribes of Israel, also called Ephraim, who were cast off and scattered by God because of their idolatry and because they entered into alliances with the Syria and Egypt, which was clearly anthropomorphically depicted by Hosea. No doubt Calvin misconstrued texts in 1 Peter such as 1:14,18, 2:9b-10 and 4:3-4 as the basis of his defective remarks. These same texts in recent times have been used by Covenantalists to assert Peter addressed his epistles to Gentiles moving even farther away from correspondence between Old and NT revelation. The mention of past in 1 Peter 4:3 has been used in their contemporary assertions Peter addressed his epistles to Gentiles, making his citation from Hosea 1:10 and 2:23 allegorical as opposed to actual execution. Such perceptions are wanting in the that the mentioned in Hosea pertained to the ten northern tribes taken captive by the Assyrians clearly conveyed in Hosea. Peter’s epistle was addressed to the elect descendants of these ten tribes that were still dwelling in great numbers in the provinces he mentioned and the Covenantalist’s perception is found wanting the .
Concerning Hosea 2 the grammatical-historical rule conveys a distinction between the biological descendants of the northern and southern nations, descended from Jacob. The anthropomorphic betrothal pertains specifically to the descendants of Ephraim, the northern nation. The most relevant in the NT is Romans 7:1-4, which alludes to Deuteronomy 24:1-4 and reveals that Ephraim’s release from the marriage contract (Jer 2:3; 3:14; 31:32; Eze 16:32) was required before they became eligible to return to the husband again, anthropomorphically depicted in Hosea.
“For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man. Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.” Romans 7:2-4
Judah was not divorced but also needed release from the covenant to be betrothed to Christ. It is apprehensible that in the Israelites were not allowed to see the particulars concerning release from the SC; nevertheless, they were aware of the prophecies of Hosea and aware of the impediment of Deuteronomy 24:4 conveyed by two of the prophets below.
“Her former husband, which sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after that she is defiled; for that is abmination before the LORD: and thou shalt not cause the land to sin, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.” Deuteronomy 24:4
Romans 7:1-4 provides the particulars in resolving the impediment as the death of Christ and his resurrection by which the elect biological descendants were released from the OC to be betrothed with Christ in the NC. This confirms the husband in Hosea that divorced Ephraim was Christ, before his incarnation. By deduction Christ is revealed as the entity that Israel married at Sinai, as it was he that had to die to release them. What is not apprehensible is that the Gentiles fulfill the prophecy in Hosea as they were not joined to Christ by the OC like Israel.
“Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision… being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world.” Ephesians 2:11-12
Only Ephraim fulfills the woman in Hosea 2 as it was only Ephraim that was divorced in Hosea’s narrative as well as Jeremiah’s and Isaiah’s above. Isaiah 50 pertains specifically to Christ and God’s call to Israel to obey his servant Christ.
“The Lord GOD hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back. I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting… Who is among you that feareth the LORD, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the LORD, and stay upon his God.” Isaiah 50:5-6, 10
Calvin failed to accurately account for the grammatical-historical interpretation, the pertaining to the query, in Isaiah 50:1.
the servant, who
Avowed Covenantalist and president of (ERLC), Russell Moore, states in his essay, (www.russellmoore.com/2009/01/09/is-there-a-future-for-israel): “Covenant theologians argue that the future restoration of Israel will be fulfilled-but fulfilled in the church, a largely Gentile body that has ‘replaced’ the Jewish theocracy since the nation rejected her Messiah at Jesus’ first advent.” Moore speaks corporately of the, “the Jewish theocracy” and its destiny to convert the Gentiles, forfeited at the first advent.
Ibid., pg. 39, “In fact it seems to me that those who insist that human freedom and individual faith must rule out divine determination of all things are those who end up subscribing to western logical categories.”
Russell Moore, (www.russellmoore.com/2009/01/09/is-there-a-future-for-israel), January 9, 2009, “Covenant theology then (quite wrongly) sees great continuity between Old Testament Israel and the new covenant church-both are mixed bodies of regenerate and unregenerate members (believers and their children),
The distinction is found in the Westminster Confession, chapter 25: “The catholic or universal Church, which is invisible, consists of the whole number of the elect, that have been, are, or shall be gathered into one, under Christ the head thereof; and is the spouse, the body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all.”
“The visible Church, which is also catholic or universal under the gospel (not confined to one nation as before under the law) consists of all those, throughout the world, that profess the true religion, and of their children; and is the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ, the house and family of God, out of which there is no ordinary possibility of salvation.”
The salutation, , in the commencement of Peter’s first epistle, whose mission was to the circumcised, is best translated: , under substantive exegesis. The 18th century Bible commentator John Gill acknowledged a likely interpretation of 1 Peter 1:1 was, “the ten tribes carried captive by Shalmaneser, and of the two tribes by Nebuchadnezzar.” The dominions of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, Bithynia and Mysia were in northern-eastern Asia Minor, the latter is mentioned in Acts 16 as a dominion Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles, was inhibited to enter by the Holy Spirit. Peter’s epistle as well as that of James confirm Mysia and the other provinces were given to the apostles who ministered to the circumcised, as the NT clearly substantiate a division between the ministries of Paul and Peter (Gal. 2:7-9). John 7:35 and 11:51-52 substantiate the first century Jews were well aware great numbers of all the tribes remained exiles in foreign lands, which had at length been conquered by the Greeks before the Romans. Furthermore, recent archaeological evidence and discovered work of historians of the time, such a Flavious Josephus and Diodorus Siculus, placed many of the descendants of the of the ten tribes in the dominions mentioned in Peter’s epistle.
Compatibilism, in contrast to Libertarian free will, teaches that people are free, but defines freedom differently. Compatibilism claims that every person chooses according to his or her greatest desire. In other words, people will always choose what they want-- and what they want is determined by (and consistent with) their moral nature. Man freely makes choices, but those choices are determined by the condition of his heart and mind (i.e. his moral nature). Libertarian free will maintains that for any choice made, one could always equally have chosen otherwise, or not chosen at all.
“In libertarianism (not to be confused with the political ideology), free will is affected by human nature but man retains ability to choose contrary to his nature and desires. Man has the moral ability to turn to God in Christ and believe of his own "free will," apart from a divine, irresistible grace. Indeed, . Or, according to Arminianism, God chooses to save those whom he foresees will believe of their own free will.” (added emphasis) http://www.theopedia.com/free-will
, “Compatibilism, in contrast to Libertarian free will, teaches that people are free, but defines freedom differently... God is said to influence our desires, and thus is able to have exhaustive control of all that goes on.” http://www.theopedia.com/compatibilism
McMahon, C. Matthew, The Two Wills of God, Puritan Publications, 2005, pg. 86-87, 250, “In dealing with God’s will, we must then ask the question “Does God desire things He does not decree?” First, we must answer this question in the compound sense... God, in this sense, never desires anything He does not decree. All things are accomplished in the exact way— the only way— He has ordained from the foundation of the world. His pursuit of His own glory is fulfilled in the execution of His decrees concerning the compound sense, the wide angle lens, of His desire….
“However, in the divided sense, in His preceptive will, “Does God desire things He does not Decree?” Do we see things happening in the world around us that seem like God desires them, but has not actually decreed them to come to pass? Absolutely.”
Ibid., … “This passage is commonly explained so as to relate to Christ, as if it had not been applicable to the Prophet, because he afterwards says, that he had been beaten with rods, which we nowhere read was done to Isaiah.”
Biblical commentaries by John Calvin, translated by John King, “Zechariah 10:4 “If anyone asks when has this been fulfilled, my answer is, that some preludes of this were given when God raised up the Maccabees, and made the Jews again to live according to their own laws, and to enjoy their own rights; but no doubt the Prophet includes the whole course of redemption. As then God redeemed his people only to a small extent until Christ appeared, it is no wonder that Zechariah, in speaking of full and complete redemption, extends his words to the kingdom of Christ, and this was necessary. We hence learn, that the Church stands abundantly firm, and is also furnished with all needful things, while it continues under the protection of God, and that it is endued with sufficient power to resist all its enemies.”
Vern S. Poythress, , Presbyterian and Reformed Pub. Co., 1994, pg. 79, “The example shows that for most words there is something like a first-thought meaning, a meaning that one would naturally give when asked, “What does this word mean?” Not everyone might say exactly the same thing, but one sort of answer would usually dominate.”