Monday, October 24, 2011

"The Church is now all of the specific things that Israel never became."

A long, long time ago—back in May—I launched a series on the relationship between the major biblical covenants. Initially rooted in arguments from this book, we more recently (July!) interacted with John Reisinger's Abraham's Four Seeds. And that's where we'll land, finally, in this post and another scheduled to publish soon.

Reisinger published a chart on pages 114-115 that was designed to compare and contrast the nation of Israel with the body of Christ—two nations, two covenants, related to one another under "God's one single goal." I've reproduced it below, not because it indisputably resolves all the issues (I actually think it doesn't), but because it's an enlightening glimpse at the issues from one particular angle that I've seldom heard discussed:

Reisinger argues that the chart is rooted in five biblical facts. He expands on and defends them (115-117); I'll merely list them:

1. The physical nation of Israel was given the specific promise of becoming the true holy nation of God if the people would obey the covenant of law given at Mount Sinai (Ex. 34:27, 28).

2. Israel, as the physical nation of God, was brought into being, as a nation or "body politic," by the Law Covenant at Sinai (Deut 4:13). Their national existence and special relationship to God were based on their obedience to that legal covenant and all its ceremonial and civil accruements.

3. The physical nation of Israel was cast off and the special national covenant relationship was totally ended when Christ came (Matt. 21:43)

4. The spiritual nation, the Body of Christ, was "born in a day" [an allusion to Is. 66:8] and has become all of the very things Israel never became. . . . It is impossible not to see 1 Peter 2:5-9 as the word-for-word fulfillment of the promise made to Israel at Sinai in Exodus 19:5, 6.

5. The Church inherits the true spiritual blessings promised to Israel in the law covenant at Sinai simply because her Lord has kept the covenant for her. Christ earned every blessing the law covenant promised by being born under that covenant (Gal. 3:24-4:7), and then rendering to it the perfect obedience that it demanded (Phil. 2:5-11 and Rom. 8:1-4). This was the only way that he could earn (for us) the righteousness that was necessary to inherit the blessings that the law covenant promised. Christ also endured every curse that same law covenant threatened when he died on the cross under the judgment of God. [. . . and I hope we can all say amen to that . . .]

His final conclusions soon to come . . .


Anonymous said...

Ben, I love Reisinger. You gotta check out:


I think his chart is very well done. Last year I was able to ask John about Jer 31. Specifically, I asked him about the end of the chapter where God said the measurement and order of creation would be done away with before the NATION of Israel would cease to exist. I asked him about the connection between that promise and the New Covenant, which does not condition Israel's existence and land upon obedience but God's promise.

I don't have the quote in front of me, but he said that he couldn't rule that out. He is an amill, but doesn't rule out that premill is true, even premill with an Israel nation in her land.

Anonymous said...

I found it. He posted this at Dan Phillips' blog.

"I do not have bad views of the millennium simply because I do not have ANY view of the mil... I was a pre-mil, went to A-mil, went to pan-mil (will all pan out), went to pro-mil (if there is one I am for it.) I am now, and have been for a while, an existential milllennialist, (I have given up hope of finding the answer).

If 'pre-mil' means there must be an earthly mil...or God's promises are not fulfilled then I cannot be a pre-mil. If you say, "The Bible teaches there will be no earthly mil"...I cannot be an a-mil. Where does the Bible say there will be no mil...? I feel about the mil...the same as I feel about the gifts of the Spirit being revived (or an earthly mil...), but I see nothing in Scripture to prevent there being a mil and even some possibility there might be. I would be happy to share my fixed view if you so desire.

John Reisinger"