Class Notes: 6/21/2009
The Church is an entirely new creation
We are continuing in our study where we are discussing the relationship between the Jewish Feasts and the events of the First Advent of TLJC that launched the church age.
We have seen that the Jewish Feasts that relate to the events of the First Advent of TLJC are Passover, Unleavened Bread: First Fruits and Pentecost, the day that the Holy Spirit was sent to indwell and fill believers universally providing the power for unique spiritual life for believers in the church age.
We have seen that the model and precedence for this unique spiritual life was established by TLJC during his life on this earth in unglorified humanity at the beginning of the hypostatic union. Heb 10:5; Heb 12:2a;
At Pentecost God launched the church age and in view of this at this point in our study, we are briefly contrasting Israel and the Church.
Last time we ended with the idea that the Governing Principle of Israel was the Mosaic Law but the church functions under the direct mentorship of God the Holy Spirit. John 14:26;
Through Israel God demonstrated that the Law although perfect, it was by itself was insufficient because of man's OSN. Rom 7:12 Rom 8:3;
Through the church God demonstrates the power of the unique spiritual life as believers choose to function under the mentorship of God the Holy Spirit rather than the OSN. Rom 6:12-16;
Believers are instructed in 2Tim 2:15; KJV to "rightly divide the Word of truth." This passage commands the student of the Word to accurately interpret and apply the scriptures to their life.
When this is done, certain distinctions become obvious including the contrast between Israel and the church.
The nation Israel was the only nation ever founded on regeneration. Abraham began life as a Gentile but through salvation became the father of the new racial species, the Jewish race. Abraham had 'believed God' as he was revealed to him Gen15: 6; and so did Isaac and Jacob.
God often identifies Himself as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Exod 3:6; Because of this, certain unconditional promises were made to Abraham and his descendants.
These promises are called the Abrahamic Covenant that is composed of three promised parts: promises concerning land, promises concerning seed or descendants and promises concerning blessing.
In Gen 12:2; God tells Abraham, " I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing."
The great nation refers to the land that would later be designated, the great name refers to the descendants of Abraham, and the blessing indicates the production of faith in succeeding generations.
Later this basic covenant was amplified by three more unconditional covenants:
The Palestinian or the land grant promises, the Davidic or the seed promises, and the New Covenant or the blessing promises.
The fact that these covenants were given exclusively to Israel is stressed in Rom 9:4; where Paul states: "Who are Israelites; to whom belongs the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service to God, and the promises."
The Palestinian Covenant stated that although Israel was to be given possession of the land of Palestine forever with it's boundaries specifically defined, their occupation in that land in the devil's world was conditioned on their obedience, Deut 28:1-14; with their being scattered outside the land as the punishment for their disobedience. Deut 28:15-50;
The Davidic Covenant made provision for a qualified Administrator, TLJC, to rule over Israel in the land. He would be in the lineage of Abraham, be virgin born, and sit on the throne of David at a future time on earth in the Millennium. 2Sam 7:8-17;
It is only under the rule of TLJC that Israel will occupy the entire land forever.
The New Covenant provided for Jesus Christ dying on the cross for sins, and the subsequent blessing when the individual Israelite believer accepted Christ as personal savior.
Although these covenants pertain specifically to Israel, all believers benefit from the New Covenant by faith in Jesus Christ as stated in Gal 3:14. "in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith."
Although there were many believers in the Old Testament, some well-known, some obscure, there was no Church in the Old Testament.
We have seen In Matt 16:18; where Jesus said, "upon this rock I will build my church ..."
When he spoke this, the construction of the church was still future when He made this statement, looking forward, we find the Church beginning on the day of Pentecost, in Acts 2.
The fact that hat the Church began on that day can be proven by looking at Acts 1:5; where we have the unique baptism of the Holy Spirit that is the operation of the Spirit of God in placing believers into union with Christ as members of the body of Christ, His Church.
In Acts 1:5; this operation is described as occurring at a future time, but in Acts 11:15-16; Peter identifies that it actually happened on the day of Pentecost as the baptizing work of the Holy Spirit, placed individual believers into the body of Christ.
The vocabulary that is used in scripture differs when referring to the Church in contrast with Israel.
The terms "in Christ" and "Church" never occur in the Old Testament. There is no concept of a universal or local body of believers in the unique way that they are described in the New Testament. Also there are certain synonyms for the Church found in the New Testament.
For example, the last Adam 1Cor 15:45b; and the New Creation, Gal 6:15; Also mentioned is the Head and the Body Eph 5:23;, and the Shepherd and the sheep in John 10:11;
The description of the vine and the branches is used in John 15 to refers to TLJC and his relationship to the Church.
In Ephesians 2:20-22 ; He is described as the Chief Cornerstone identified with the stones of the building.
1 Peter 2:5-7 refers to the High Priesthood of Christ and the Church as an 'holy priesthood."
Then the Eph 5:25-27; passage uses the description of the Bridegroom and the Bride.
Israel is always identified with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph and Moses, the Church is not.
Israel is declared to be a 'servant' Isa 41:8; whereas the Church enjoys the status of friendship John 15:15;
Israel is referred to as the 'wife' of the Lord Jer 3:1; but the Church is described as the bride of Christ Eph 5:23-27;
To Israel, Christ is King, Immanuel, and Messiah.
But to the Church, Christ is savior, Lord, bridegroom and head.
The Church has many unique distinctions never equated with Israel including:
The baptism of the Holy Spirit 1 Cor 12:13; that was never an Old Testament operation.
Nor was the believer's position or standing in Christ a reality in the Age of Israel 2Cor 5:17;
The indwelling of the Spirit in every believer was not a fact before the Church Age, as we have seen, endeument in the Old Testament believer was for special purposes, and less than one per cent were ever endued.
The universal priesthood of every believer was not a reality in the age of Israel.
The canon of scripture was never completed during the Age of Israel, as in the Church Age. Also the unique controlling ministry of the Holy Spirit, every believer as an ambassador representing Christ, and the doctrine of spiritual gifts are exclusively New Testament.
The Church has an unique identification of personnel in contrast with Israel.
Gal 3:28 states, "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in Christ Jesus."
When one accepts Christ as savior in the church age, one's racial, economic, and gender identity become non issues from God's perspective.
When a Jew becomes a member of the body of Christ, they share in the heavenly blessings of the Church, not of the covenants given to Israel that mention many earthly benefits.
Ephesians 3:6, states "That the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body ... the church. " this statement was never made in the Old Testament.
Israelites who become believers in the Old Testament keep their racial identity, as they do in the tribulation and the millennium. Zech 8:22-23;
The word translated "nations" in verse 23 is the Hebrew word "gowy" and refers to gentile nations.
The Church was a mystery not revealed in the Old Testament scriptures. However the purposes of Israel are revealed there with great detail.
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