Class Notes: 1/20/2010

The believer's relationship with TLJC, the metaphors of the vine and the building

John 1:14 - And the Word (undiminished deity) became flesh (true humanity), and dwelt among us (the Incarnation), and we (James, Peter, and John) beheld His glory (the visual manifestation of the Uniform of Glory), glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth (Bible Doctrine).

In our previous lessons we reviewed the doctrines that relate to TLJC in his first advent when he was incarnated via the virgin birth.

We started our study with a discussion of the doctrine of the virgin birth that was necessary for there to be no transmission of the OSN and then took up the doctrine of the hypostatic union that explains the mechanics of how undiminished deity and true humanity reside in the person of TLJC and then discussed the doctrine of the kenosis that defines God the Father's protocol for the deity and humanity of TLJC in hypostatic union.

In the context of these doctrines, we looked at some of the names and titles for our Lord Jesus Christ in order to see more clearly what God has done for us through him, so we can more completely understand who TLJC is and what he has done for us, and from our knowledge of him have our confidence established in him by being occupied with him. Heb 12:2;

We are now looking at how the believer's union and position in Christ establishes the believer's identity and provides them roles that are related to those of TLJC.

We are presently discussing the Lord's reference to himself as "the true vine" in John 15:1;

When we stopped last time, we were just getting into a brief discussion of the production that occurs when the branch, the believer in the analogy, abides in the vine.

Gal 5:22; But the production of the Spirit keeps on being love, joy, peace, patience,
kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control…

These nine characteristics that co-exist under the filling of the Spirit and can not be separated. The measure of their manifestation is based on the believer's capacity from spiritual growth that results from the doctrine they have learned.

They are not all manifested at the same time, but they are all manifested under certain conditions, and as the believer grows in the grace and knowledge of TLJC, they increase.

Love (agape) - impersonal, unconditional love for all mankind is characteristic of
the believer with a relaxed mental attitude in his dealings with their fellow man.

Joy (chara) - inner happiness that is derived from the filling of the Holy Spirit and

Peace (eirene) - includes overt prosperity as well as inner peace, which means
that the believer is content with whatever circumstances they find themselves because they trust God.

Patience (makrothumia) - forbearance and perseverance, that creates a gracious and lenient attitude toward others. It is the building of one's thought patterns and behavior patterns on something positive (Bible doctrine), rather than emphasizing the negative (human viewpoint).

Kindness (chrestotes) - generosity and graciousness toward others, being sensitive to their feelings and wishes. It includes thoughtfulness of others and respect for their privacy, property and rights. True kindness seeks to understand others and is mindful of their problems, giving them the benefit of the doubt.

Goodness (agathosune) - uprightness, generosity, and integrity. It means giving with no strings attached, expecting nothing in return.

Faithfulness (pistis) - doctrinal confidence, the ability to learn doctrine and apply it to life.

Gentleness (praotes) - humility, thoughtfulness, and courtesy. This means the believer functions in the grace policy of God by orienting to God's plan and establishes their attitude toward God and man.

Self-control (enkrateia) - self-discipline that is based upon humility and integrity. It means organizing one's life based on the right priorities. It is the organized person who is persistent and consistent in the PMA of Bible Doctrine.

An organized life is based upon having the right priorities, which means having a time for everything in the proper order.

Bible doctrine provides the capacity for believers to organize their life and have inner happiness with the right priorities. It is the organized person who is persistent and consistent in the perception of Bible doctrine.

Under the doctrine of election, there are no excuses because every believer has equal privilege and equal opportunity. The issue is simply the choices one makes. If the believer has the wrong priorities they will never advance to spiritual maturity.

This self control is taught in many passages including:

Prov 16:32; He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city.

James 3:2; For we all stumble in many ways. If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect (mature) man, able to bridle the whole body as well.

Rom 6:12; Therefore do no let sin reign in your mortal body that you should obey its

Gal 5:24-25 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh (OSN) with its passions and desires. If (Since) we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.

The results of the filling of the Holy Spirit include increased effectiveness in all areas of life.

This includes witnessing; Acts 1:8; "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you: and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.",

Prayer; Eph 6:18; "And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep praying for all the saints."

and blessings that flow to our fellow man; John 7:38; "Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.".

As the believer continues to grow and allow the Spirit to properly function, they begin have the same mind as Christ, 1Cor 2:16; and as a result to imitate God, Eph 5:1-2;

The Holy Spirit motivates the believer who abides in TLJC.

Phil 2:12; Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed-not only in my
presence, but now much more in my absence-continue to work out your salvation with
fear and trembling.

Phil 2:13; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.

Fellowship with God through the filling of the Spirit is the only foundation for the
virtue and self-discipline needed to execute the plan of God for the Church with it's protocol plan that means a right thing must be done in a right way for the right reason at the right time.

Hard work and sincerity is not enough. Rom 9:16; It is only by the grace and power of God.

So only the believer's decisions that result in the persistent filling of the Spirit that will have the desired results.

Once the believer has learned the doctrine of how to "abide in the vine" through the persistent filling of the Holy Spirit they have taken a major step towards glorifying God in time.

Eph 3:14-21; For this reason, I bow my knees before the Father,

v15; from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name,

v16; that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man;

v17; so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love,

v18; may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth,

v19; and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.

v20; Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us,

v21; to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.

Jesus Christ is fruitful vine that is the source of the life of the branches. All life flows through the vine; the branch can do nothing apart from it. The fruitfulness of the believer is the direct result of the believer abiding, with faith, with receiving.

It is never the result of working with human strength. It is only when believers are abiding in Christ through the filling of the Holy Spirit and the PMA of his Word that they bear fruit.

Jesus is "the true vine" and in union with him, believers are the branches, and apart from him we can do nothing. John 15:4-5;

Previously in our study we saw the TLJC described as the Chief Cornerstone. Matt 21:42;1Pet 2:6-8; Eph 2:20;

The Chief Cornerstone and the stones of the building picture the church as the invisible, spiritual temple being built by Jesus Christ.

1Peter 2:5-9; you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

v6 For {this} is contained in Scripture: "Behold I lay in Zion a choice stone, a precious corner {stone} and he who believes in Him shall not be disappointed."

v7 This precious value, then, is for you who believe. But for those who disbelieve, "The stone which the builders rejected, this became the very corner {stone,}"

v8 and, "A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense"; for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word and to this {doom} they were also appointed.

v9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for {God's} own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.

Israel had a temple, the Church is a temple, "a dwelling of God in the Spirit."
Eph 2:22; in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.

The cornerstone aligns and ties the entire building together. Believers are related to each other as stones, built on Jesus Christ as the foundation or cornerstone.

1Cor 3:11; For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

It takes many stones to make a building and all are dependent on each other. The stones themselves do not do anything, except allow themselves to be fitted together by the builder.

Matt 16:18; "And I also say to you that you are Peter and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades shall not overpower it. At the time the Bible was written there were two uses of the word "cornerstone"

A cornerstone is a stone built into one corner of the foundation as the normal starting point for construction. The cornerstone is also the foundation stone at the angle of the structure that the builder uses to establish a standard for the construction of the walls throughout the structure.

In the foundation connotation, the cornerstone is built into one corner of the foundation as the starting point for the superstructure.

TLJC in Hypostatic Union is the foundation for two adjacent spiritual buildings; Israel and the Church. While both have the TLJC as their foundation their construction is different.

The Church is under construction today; Israel will not be constructed until the Millennium.

We have seen that the virgin birth was the beginning of the Dispensation of the unglorified Humanity of TLJC in Hypostatic Union when Jesus Christ became the foundation for the future spiritual building called Israel.

At the termination of the Dispensation of the unglorified Humanity of TLJC in Hypostatic Union, that occurred with the death, resurrection, ascension, and session of Jesus Christ, He was seated at the right hand of the Father, where He received His third royal patent, making Him the foundation for the church, the spiritual building that is presently under construction.

Because of Israel's rejection of their Messiah during His First Advent, the construction of the spiritual building called Israel has been postponed until the Second Advent and the millennial rule of Christ.

At the present time, the spiritual building called the Church is being constructed on the foundation of Jesus Christ through of the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

The administration of the fifth cycle of discipline to Israel in August of 70 A.D. means that at the present time, Israel is a foundation without a superstructure.

The fact that some of the Jews have returned to the land of Palestine land today and established the present day nation of Israel is of no Biblical significance.

At the present time, we are living in the times of the Gentiles, described in Luke 21:20-24.

This means that no Israelite nation can be a client nation to God until TLJC personally restores them to the land after the Second Advent. Jer 31:7-8;

In the dispensation of the Church, anyone, regardless of race or nationality is integrated into the Church at the moment of personal faith in Jesus Christ.

This means that if a person who is Jewish believes in TLJC today, they are longer a Jew. Jewish believers are integrated into the body of Christ, the royal family of God through the same baptism of the Holy Spirit as all other believers regardless of race, gender, socio-economic status or nationality.

At the time of writing, a cornerstone was that stone at the corner of two walls uniting them. Therefore, Jesus Christ as the cornerstone joins two adjacent walls in a structure. One wall is Israel; the other is the Church.

This analogy emphasizes TLJC in the Hypostatic Union where he became the ruler of two different entities. He is the ruler of Israel as the greater son of David; He is the ruler of the Church as the head of the body.

The First Advent and incarnation is the basis for the superstructure connotation as noted by Peter's message before the Jewish leadership that is recorded in Acts 4:8-12;

v10 Let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ, whom you call the Nazarene, whom you have crucified, whom God raised up from the dead, by Him (Jesus Christ) this man (Peter) stands before you in good health. (Ps 118:22) `

v11This one (Jesus Christ in Hypostatic Union) is the stone which was rejected by you, the builders, but which has resulted in becoming the head of the corner.'

v12 Consequently, there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other person under heaven which has been given among men by which we must be saved."

Peter emphasizes that the Jews were the builders. When he said that Jesus Christ is the head of the corner, Peter states that Christ is not only the ruler of Israel but is also the ruler of the Church that now in the process of being built.

Qualification for being part of the superstructure of either spiritual building (Israel or the Church) requires personal faith in Jesus Christ. This means that only believing Jews will be in the superstructure of spiritual Israel when it is built.

As a result of the faith in Jesus Christ, the baptism of the Spirit forms the superstructure for the body of Christ, the royal family of God, the Church.

As a result of faith in Christ in Old Testament times and the Tribulation those believers will be regathered by TLJC at the Second Advent so that a superstructure can be constructed during the entire millennial reign of Jesus Christ.

In His trial before the Jewish leadership, two false witnesses spoke up against Jesus Christ. This is recorded in Matt 26:61, where two witnesses finally agreed in accordance with Jewish jurisprudence for indictment when they both declared independently, "This man (Jesus Christ) stated, `I am able to destroy the temple of God and rebuild it in three days.'"

This became the basis for their indictment of our Lord that resulted in His crucifixion.

Jesus had said this, but in the context He was referring to His own resurrection. John 2:18-21; He made his statement to the Jews after they questioned him about his clearing out of the courtyard of the temple.

v18, "The Jews answered and said to Him, `What sign do You show that You will do these things?'

v19 Jesus answered and said to them, `Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up."

He was speaking in the courtyard of the temple, but what He was actually saying was that a spiritual temple of far greater importance would be raised up in three days.

v20, "Therefore, the Jews replied, `It took forty-six years to construct this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?' But He was speaking about the temple of His body."

The body of Christ, the Church, the superstructure of the spiritual temple is built on the foundation of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ was speaking about His resurrection. He was crucified on a Wednesday, and was raised from the dead before sunrise on the following Sunday to become the foundation of the Church.

The superstructure of both spiritual buildings when completed is composed of believers in resurrection bodies. When the first building, the Church, is completed, the exit resurrection of the Church will occur. In resurrection, the spiritual building that was under construction during the Church Age now becomes a temple.

During the Millennium, there will be an actual, material temple in Jerusalem where animal sacrifices will be offered. But at the end of the millennium when the spiritual building of Jewish believers is completed there will no longer be a physical temple.

For all eternity, the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple, Rev 21:22;

According to Eph 2:21-22; the spiritual building of the Church is constructed in two phases:

The building phase, which includes anyone who believes in Jesus Christ during the Church Age. The addition of each individual component or member is the result of the baptism of the Spirit.

The completed phase is the exit resurrection or rapture of the Church that converts the entire building into a holy temple to the Lord.

Similarly, the spiritual building of Israel is constructed in two phases:

The construction phase occurs when the Jewish believers of the Old Testament and the Tribulational Jewish believers who died are resurrected and combined with the Jewish believers in the Tribulation who remain alive who are brought into the Millennium and become the basis for evangelism during the Millennium, along with all of the Jewish believers of the Millennium.

The final resurrection phase is when all the Jews who have not yet received resurrection bodies will receive them at the end of the Millennium. At that point, the construction of Israel is complete and it also becomes a spiritual holy temple to God.

So for all eternity there will be two spiritual bodies that comprise the spiritual holy temple of God: Israel and the Church, with Christ as the cornerstone, forming a wall that is shared by both.

Two metaphors emerge from this: The building metaphor and the temple metaphor.

The construction or formation of the royal family of God during the Church Age is part of the building metaphor. With the resurrection of the Church, the royal family of God becomes a spiritual holy temple as part of the temple metaphor.

It will be a spiritual, invisible temple composed of all believers in Jesus Christ during the Church Age.

Only regenerate of Israel are true Israel Rom 9:6; through their personal faith in Christ during the Old Testament, the Tribulation, and the Millennium they become part of the building metaphor.

The construction of Israel as a spiritual temple is complete at the end of the Millennium when the Israelite believers in the Millennium are resurrected and all of true Israel is resurrected and forming a spiritual holy temple.

At the Second Advent, both Old Testament saints and Tribulational martyrs are resurrected. At the end of the Millennium, believers who survived the tribulation and millennial believers are resurrected and the metaphor of Israel as a spiritual and holy temple is completed.

Paul in his message to the Athenians made reference to this concept in Acts 17:24-25; He was standing in front of the Altar of the Unknown God, when he said, "The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is the Lord of the heavens and the earth, He does not dwell in temples made with hands. Neither is He served by human hands (referring to ritual sacrifices) as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all life and breath and all things."

This is all consistent with our Lord's statement to the Samaritan woman in John 4:21-24;

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