2016: Todd Dennis - Preterist Idealism, A
Hermeneutic for Today
The Epistle to the Hebrews was written by the eternal Spirit for the whole Church of God in all ages. It shows us on what footing we are to stand before God as sinners; and in what way we are to draw near as worshippers. (The Rent Veil)
THE WORD "JERUSALEM" IS ONE OF THE MOST THEOLOGICALLY-CHARGED TERMS IN THE ENTIRE BIBLE
The city of Jerusalem, in particular, is thereby given greater significance as a representative of the heavenly body of Christ. Christians have long recognized that the historical fall of Jerusalem was given as a broader warning against hard heartedness. Preterists likewise recognize much of the same imagery associated with that event, yet typically stop short of consistently teaching how the revelations of things past are to be examined for the betterment of today's Christians.
As an exercise in recognizing the proper usage of the historical workings of the Lord, this article will consider how the city of Jerusalem is to be utilized as a picture of the human condition and the state of one's soul.
To begin, it is instructive to recognize the curious way in which biblical writers spoke of the city of Jerusalem. The following verses declare that Jerusalem is where the Lord dwells:
Even though, on the surface, the presence of the temple of God within the gates of the city is intended by these declarations, there is an element of higher value to be apprehended by considering the way in which the Lord dwells within His people through the person of the Holy Spirit. The fundamental assumption in this study is that the entire Bible is inspired by the Holy Spirit, who speaks of deeper truths in order to generate righteousness in the reader.
Seeing the descent of new life into the hearts of Christians behind these declarations begins to unlock their true spiritual value. This understanding can then be used to enrich one's spiritual walk. Jesus' declaration that "the kingdom is within," coupled with Paul's identification of the "Jerusalem which is above" coming to our innermost place, is the methodological key to unlock this mystery.
Therefore, using this method of amplifying surface meanings for spiritual value, we can consistently see throughout the Bible the historical aspects of Jerusalem's history reflect the condition of the "heart" and soul.
And so, a framework for reading the Bible with new eyes emerges. In the case of the city of Jerusalem, the method is revealed as teaching two states of being:
This proposition can be tested in the Old Testament prophets most clearly. In that collection of heavenly-minded books we are shown these two aspects of Jerusalem. To keep the references manageable, only a few selections from the minor prophets are cited below. If you understand the Holy Spirit's message in the verses below, then you will see the importance of the method.
The rejoicing Jerusalem is surely shown to reflect (1) the blessed progress of righteousness promised to those who are born again in Jesus Christ:
Conversely, we have Jerusalem presented in the prophets as a picture of hard hearted opposition to the transformative work of Jesus Christ. Also presented is that internal aspect of the saved which remains in rebellion to God. And so, what is reflected is (2) the desolation of what remains outside of the the new life offered by Jesus.
The entirety of the Bible abounds with references of Jerusalem that are clearly -- for those willing to see -- to be taken in a personal sense regarding the presence of the Lord and kingdom growth within His people.
Moving to the New Testament, we have in the ministry of Jesus an amplification of the prophecies of the Old Testament. In order to test the idealist method, let us notice particularly the "triumphal entry" of Jesus into Jerusalem. One of the verses presented above (Zech. 9:9) was regarded so highly by Jesus that during His Advent He made a point of amplifying its meaning so that Jerusalem could be presented as a picture of the inner man.
"And when they drew nigh unto Jerusalem, and were come to Bethphage, unto the mount of Olives, then sent Jesus two disciples, Saying unto them, Go into the village over against you, and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose them, and bring them unto me. And if any man say ought unto you, ye shall say, The Lord hath need of them; and straightway he will send them. All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass."
And yet, even though the fulfillment of this verse in its most external sense is given to point to something greater regarding the Lord's entry into the innermost being of a person. Notice how this works by comparing the accounts in Matthew and Mark:
This, compared to other declarations of Jesus, shows that this event should be understood as being directly connected to other revelations of the internal kingdom of Christ:
To complete the imagery, Jesus gives us a view of those who will not have him. In speaking to the natural-minded religious leaders of His day, Christ declared to them, "For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord" (Matt. 23:39). In other words, until Jesus enters them in humility, and comes to them making His abode with them, they would not see Him again. This direct connection between Christ's historical triumphal entry, and the ultimate meaning in his spiritual entry serves as the backdrop for the remainder of this study.
The triumphal entry of Jesus Christ is just one example of unlocking the power of the Bible's Jerusalem imagery by seeing it as a revealed finally in our personal lives. Throughout scripture we find multitudes of similar references to Jesus entering the scene, such as "Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in" (Ps 24:7). In the case of Wisdom, "She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words" (Pr 1:21). Likewise, the new Jerusalem is revealed as being the new heart of Christ given by God to reside within his people:
If we choose to build a method upon this concept, the reality of the Lord's transformative work can hit home for every single person born again in Jesus Christ. Continuing on with the description of the New Jerusalem, we can meditate upon this work in our lives:
There are many ways that a more spiritual point of view will help us in our walk with the Lord today, if we resist the urge to externalize the Bible. Making the Scripture about "then" (be it future or past) puts much distance between us and the message of the Holy Spirit for us today. If we insist that these promises are intended only for external things they become distant historical events instead of internal, present spiritual realities in Christ.
Expanding our expectations will yield glorious results. If we can perceive that the Spirit is speaking to the churches even today, and that the Bible's imagery is given for a present purpose, not only will our comprehension of the Word be increased, but our personal relationships will flourish. It may be taken as a fundamental rule that whatsoever is revealed in the entirety of Scripture and in the entirety of natural Israel's history is given to point to the eternal spiritual realities of our "world without end" in Jesus Christ:
When approaching Scripture we are told to try to get into the mind of the original writer. However, this can only take us so far in the ultimate understanding of the Word. Though many think of inspiration as the Spirit telling the author what to write about his day, I believe a broader understanding will be helpful.
Spiritual inspiration operates in a transcendent sense, existing beyond the intent arising from the writer's mind alone. We know that this is true particularly with Messianic prophecies, which used historical accounts of the prophets' days to bespeak realities in Jesus Christ (cf. Isa. 7:14 "a virgin shall conceive"). The Psalms are filled with aspects of spiritual inspiration beyond the writers' intent. In many cases, this inspiration even placed what would only much later be seen as key prophecies of Christ's passion.
There is a tendency to limit this application in the claim that the Bible was written for us, but it was not written to us. This is assuming that the Word of God is simply that which was understood by the original author and the original recipients. Getting into the mind and intent of the original writer only reveals that which was contemplated by that author. However, if we recognize that through inspiration the author is actually the Holy Spirit, then license is given to read spiritual realities which apply directly to every reader.
Many do not like the idea of greater revelation beyond
what the original author intended. Benjamin Jowett represents that
lot well in writing, "First, it may be laid down that Scripture has one
meaning, - the meaning which it had to the mind of the prophet or evangelist
who first uttered or wrote to the hearers or readers who first received it.
Scripture, like other books, has one meaning, which is to be gathered
from itself, without reference to the adaptations of fathers or divines, and
without regard to a priori notions about its nature and origin. The office
of the interpreter is not to add another [interpretation], but to recover
the original one : the meaning, that is, of the words as they struck on the
ears or flashed before the eyes of those who first heard and read them.'
(Essay on the Interpretation of Scripture, § i. 3, 4.)
In reference to uninspired literature, we may well be able to "nail down" the intent of the writer and declare a meaning of the passage in question. With the Bible it is not so. The reason for this is that with Scripture the historical penman is not who determines the meaning of what has been written. Put another way, the true Word is the Living Word, not the written word. Though some would fashion the biblical writings (the original autographs?) as the "written word of God" it will be helpful to remember that the Logos is truly the "Living Word of God".
J. Nelson Kraybill, writing in Christianity Today, captured this concept well regarding the Apocalypse of John: "Because
Revelation is poetry and metaphor, it is inappropriate to "nail down" a
precise meaning for every image. It is possible, though, to discern overall
contours of what the book meant to the first readers. Then we listen to what
the Spirit is saying to the church today through the same images." (10/25/99)
JESUS IS THE FOCUS EVEN OF FULFILLED PROPHECY
It is certainly less preterist and more idealist to focus on the eternal realm for the ultimate intent of prophecy. This method sees natural fulfillment as being only a shadow of spiritual things in Christ. As seen with the triumphal entry, the historical fulfillments themselves are given a revelatory role. Another example of this scriptural approach is see in the land promises to natural Israel.
Though God's people were promised a great number of external things that were fulfilled externally to the letter, these promises still ultimately spoke of Jesus Christ. Though there was an appearance in the promises to Abraham of an ultimate fulfillment in reference to the possession of a particular tract of land in history, we know from New Testament revelation that the intent was regarding spiritual things in Christ applicable to all nations and generations.
Another example of this promise is found in the book of Exodus:
These promises were totally fulfilled in their most outward, natural show:
Though we may be tempted to consider the case closed on the promises, the greater revelation found in the New Testament shows that this fulfillment was not the ultimate intent of the promise.
Adam Clarke commented on the promises by pointing out that the natural pointed to the spiritual, and was not the substance itself:
"(Genesis 17) Verse 8. Everlasting possession] Here µlw[ olam appears to be used in its accommodated meaning, and signifies the completion of the Divine counsel in reference to a particular period or dispensation. And it is literally true that the Israelites possessed the land of Canaan till the Mosaic dispensation was terminated in the complete introduction of that of the Gospel. But as the spiritual and temporal covenants are both blended together, and the former was pointed out and typified by the latter, hence the word even here may be taken in its own proper meaning, that of ever- during, or eternal; because the spiritual blessings pointed out by the temporal covenant shall have no end. And hence it is immediately added, I will be their God, not for a time, certainly, but for ever and ever." (Adam Clarke, Genesis 17:8 Comment)
This same principle is true of all visible, historical examples, including circumcision (which was a physical sign of spiritual things, Ro 4:11), the resurrection of Christ (which was a physical sign of spiritual things, Mt 12:39), and the fall of Jerusalem (which was also a physical sign of spiritual things as the sign of the Son of Man in heaven).
Paul refers to the promises to Abraham as actually being a revelation of "the gospel":
Both Ephesians and Revelation reveal the "city" in question as being the body of Christ, the church:
By applying some Berean determination, we can see how natural promises have always been given to reveal spiritual realities available in our day. Jesus Christ is always the context in every single revelation of the Word. Even so, the fulfillment of the visible, historical events are very important to "fulfill all righteousness" (as in the case of the visible baptism of Christ Mt 3:15). Or, to use the saying of Paul:
In other words, natural events are types, shadows, signs, parables, and examples. They all have spiritual -- not mere natural -- significance behind them. Focusing, then, more closely on the true significance of prophecy, we can see earthly Jerusalem itself as a "historical picture" of greater spiritual realities today.
EARTHLY JERUSALEM & HEAVENLY JERUSALEM
There should be no surprise that Scripture refers to two separate cities of Jerusalem -- an old and a new. One is of Earth and the other of eternity. The transcendent Jerusalem is referred to by a number of different names, many of which we have already seen. Examples of this identification are seen as Jerusalem is called "heavenly", "above", "new" and the like:
letter to the Galatians, Paul equates both views
of Jerusalem with heart conditions: liberty vs.
bondage of the soul. By doing so, he illuminated the distinctions between
the inward states of those with and without
Jesus Christ. Messianic meaning, he declares, was the intended context of the historical "allegory". Lest we
try to externalize Paul's intent in Galatians 4,
he gives a clear indication of
context: "And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father." With such overt
references, its a wonder that anyone could fail
to see how the Spirit is likewise fully speaking to us
today through the historical "allegory" of the
history of the old Jerusalem.
THE HEART AS JERUSALEM
Consider, for instance, how the heart of mankind is pictured by Jerusalem throughout the Bible. The Old Testament is filled with personifications of Israel and Jerusalem, making specific reference to the "heart" and the thoughts and intents of the nation:
And in what is perhaps the most important confirmation of all, Jesus Himself provides the hermeneutical key proving that Jerusalem is the heart:
OUR HEARTS AND FIRST CENTURY JERUSALEM
Our hearts are very much like the Jerusalem of the first century. We all have our humble places, and our high places. Each of us has a powerful (and corruptible in the 'flesh') innermost sanctum of our heart which is the source of all sins. Isn't the usefulness of the "last days" generation profound, regarding our own walk in Christ? Absolutely! Here we see the consequences of sin, and cleansing of righteousness by the Holy Spirit.
We are called to "lift up our gates so that the king of glory may
come in", but we too often harden our hearts, seal our gates, and
defend them with utmost vigor. This is just what was revealed with earthly Jerusalem. We have the walls of pride we carefully sculpt,
protecting our forms of self-righteousness. Our "holy of holies"
can all too easily become idolatrous as we hoard wealth and position.
It is, in fact, the Lord's promise to His people to come and break down our idolatry so that not one filthy stone remains upon another. This is His merciful lovingkindness, by not abandoning us but separating the wheat from the chaff in our lives. Every generation of Christians must enter the kingdom through persecution, and not just the first. And, dear friend, doesn't your life in Christ manifest this trend of breaking up the fallow ground?
Refer back to the following verses to piece together the entire glorious methodology:
The simple gospel concept of reformation through the indwelling of the heavenly Jerusalem is surprisingly distasteful to many Christians who are used to nailing down imagery to the confines of the historical process. Just as with the "true believers" of the last days of Jerusalem, some will not abandon the walls and gates until they have been destroyed around them. Beware of such teachers and leaders!
Taking a closer look at Hebrews 12, though, we can see that the kingdom that was being given was not a nationalistic in nature. As Christ said, the kingdom is within. The throne is within, the temple is within, and all aspects of the eternal kingdom are spiritual in nature and therefore internal. Consequently, by reckoning it solely in a natural, external sense is a form of idolatry!
Clearly, the manifestation of that kingdom is given in external ways, such as the fall of Jerusalem in AD70 or the Byzantine Millenium. However, the closer means of identifying the kingdom on Earth is by the saying, "you shall know a tree by its fruits."
If, therefore, Hebrews 12:25-29 is not talking about an external kingdom but an internal one, then why wouldn't it be talking about heart-reformation in Jesus Christ? To confirm that it is, we must see the reason why it was quoted in the first place.
Hebrews 12:25-29 is taken from Haggai 2, which refers to the Spirit's internal work of refining:
The Holy Spirit is witnessing here that He is at work in His people, which is the proof of the indwelling kingdom's tremendous power. You should not separate the indwelling spirit and that kingdom which is sown within:
If we will broaden our understanding of the applicability of the Word to our walk today -- not being blinded by the shadows -- then I believe our spiritual lives will transform our lives. As we see how our hearts are the field into which the kingdom is planted, we receive blessed assurance of the Lord's work mercifully sculpting his garden. As we have seen, the kingdom is spiritually inside each of God's temples on Earth, which is the comprised of the entire church:
And lest one think that these verses speak of the body in a corporate, impersonal sense, we have Jesus identifying the temple as an individual body:
This internal operation of the Holy Spirit is revealed throughout the ministry of Jesus. One of the broadest views of this transformative work is seen in the parable of the mustard seed given by Jesus:
Here we have the innermost part of a person presented as the soil in a garden. Jesus said that the kingdom of God had already come and that it was going to keep on growing in "the soil" as the grain of a mustard seed. Though the kingdom comes in its fullness when the Holy Spirit comes to inwdell our bodies, we are still moved from old glory to new glory in refining process which burns up works of unrighteousness Put another way, though the kingdom FULLY arrives, its abundance and harvest within us has no end (Isa. 9:7).
Though revealed externally in the history of the old Jerusalem, that kingdom didn't come then to the world as a whole as if it were a new earthly kingdom. The kingdom comes to each when they are born again and sealed with the Spirit. It came to me, for instance, in 1979. That eternal, complete kingdom keeps coming to people as they are "born from above" and receive the kingdom or parousia/presence of Christ::
As we tweak our understanding of the fall of natural Jerusalem, we see that AD70 was not the
the heavenly city but its cleansing. His loving-kindness administers the same justice in us, so that we can walk
in the Spirit agreed, not putting our trust in the flesh.
I think that if we neglect this deeper, internal witness of the Holy Spirit within ourselves, then we are liable to find ourselves besieged by fleshly motives and forms of self-righteousness. Conversely, if we are willing to look deep within the most hidden resources of ourselves, we can expose all hiding places of our pesky rebelliousness. Throwing aside all of the filthiness of the flesh will lead to the betterment of our lives and those of our family. Don't think this is possible? Give it a try! After all, if the Spirit is indeed speaking to each of us, and is indeed using the circumstances of history as instructional tools, then we will find ourselves equipped to discern all of God's work in our lives.
Going back to the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, consider how the event finds fulfillment in the light of the internal work of Christ in your own life. Isaiah 62, from which Matthew 21:5 is quoted in fulfillment, frames the true work of Christ within his people :
Tying this together with the reign of Jesus Christ in the midst of his people, we find connection to the many references which are generally accepted by all as having personal application. Here are just a few examples of the mercy of the Lord towards those who call upon His name:
Anyway, this is just one approach for applying a higher perspective to
prophecy and fulfillment. Feel free to use this approach to
meditate on your own history, seeing how the Lord has been mercifully stripping
away those unprofitable things in you so that your ultimate spiritual nature can
be revealed in all its glory.
Hebrews 12:25-29 And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire"
WHAT OTHERS HAVE SAID ON THIS SUBJECT
Saint Peter Damian (1998)
"For of what benefit is chastity of the body, of what benefit is chastisement or affliction of the flesh, if purity and cleanness be wanting? "Blessed," indeed, "are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." And so Jeremiah, using Jerusalem as a type, says to the soul that thinks harmful thoughts, "Wash your heart of malice, Jerusalem, so that you may become saved; how long will harmful thoughts remain in you?" (Letters: 91-120)
"The fourteenth chapter opens with a new scene, and commences a fresh series of emblems aud allegories. The apostle says, " and I looked, and lo! a Lamb stood upon the mount Zion." Griesbach, Lachmann, and Bloomfield have here " the Lamb," which is certainly a better reading; seeing the Lamb here mentioned is obviously the same as that which had been previously described, and which has been shewn to be a type of the human nature of Christ, viewed as distinct from his divine nature. The translation " stood" scarcely conveys accurately the sense here implied, for the verb is in the perfect participle, so leading to the inference that the action has been continued for some time past. The Lamb does not now for the first time stand upon the mount Zion, but has been long standing there, although the attention of the apostle is now for the first time called to this particular fact.
Seeing the Lamb is to be understood in an allegorical or metaphorical sense, it would be an obvious incongruity to take "the mount Zion" in a literal sense as referring to the hill of that name upon which the temple of Jerusalem stood; and this the more especially as we are, in other parts of Scripture, taught to regard the mount Zion of Jerusalem as a type or allegory.
The metaphysical meaning of this type is partly unfolded in Hebrews xii. 18—22, "For ye are not come unto the mount, that might be touched, and that burned with fire; but ye are come unto mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem." Here it is evident that the apostle places mount Sinai and mount Zion in contradistinction to each other—the former as representing the Mosaic, the latter the Christian dispensation. This explanation of the allegory is still further developed in Gal. iv. 22—26, " for it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bond-maid, the other by a free woman; but he of the bond-woman was born after the flesh, but he of the free woman by promise; which things arc an allegory ; for these are the two covenants, the one from mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children; but Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all." From this passage it is evident that mount Sinai is regarded as a type of the covenant of the law which was promulgated from its summit, but that mount Zion and the heavenly Jerusalem are typical of the covenaut of grace, and the scheme of salvation by Jesus Christ." (Journal of sacred literature, Volume 14, p. 21,22)
"[T]ropologically, the history of Jerusalem can be understood as a model for the history of the soul (secundum tropologiam). Just as David conquered Jerusalem and set up the Lord's throne there, so Jesus, His Son, conquers the inner city of the sinner and consecrates him as a saint, a holy one." (Ascent to Love, pp. 22)
Date: 11 Nov 2006
Todd, I think you have here, a fairly good answer to the question; 'What now?', but remember that John Calvin himself was a futurist and believed that Christ had yet to come and establish His Kingdom!
your brother in Christ,
Date: 13 Nov 2006
Under this line of thought, where we discuss scripture interpreting scripture, I want to post a few parallels. I will change up the topics as time goes on.
Consider the overwhelming parallel between these two chapters.
In Galatians 4:
Slave Woman = Old Jerusalem from Below = old covenant
Free Woman = Jerusalem from above (new covenant)
In Romans 7-8:
Slave to sin (flesh) = law of sin and death = old covenant
Slave to righteousness = In Christ = new covenant
Galatians 4:21 Tell me, you who want to be under the law, are you not aware of what the law says? 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave woman and the other by the free woman. 23 His son by the slave woman was born in the ordinary way; but his son by the free woman was born as the result of a promise. 24 These things may be taken figuratively, for the women represent two covenants. One covenant is from Mount Sinai and bears children who are to be slaves: This is Hagar. 25 Now Hagar stands for Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present city of Jerusalem, because she is in slavery with her children. 26 But the Jerusalem that is above is free, and she is our mother. 27 For it is written: "Be glad, O barren woman, who bears no children; break forth and cry aloud, you who have no labor pains; because more are the children of the desolate woman than of her who has a husband." 28 Now you, brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise. 29 At that time the son born in the ordinary way persecuted the son born by the power of the Spirit. It is the same now. 30 But what does the Scripture say? "Get rid of the slave woman and her son, for the slave woman's son will never share in the inheritance with the free woman's son." 31 Therefore, brothers, we are not children of the slave woman, but of the free woman.
Romans 7:14 We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do--this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. 21 So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God's law; 23 but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God--through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God's law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.
Rom 8:1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, 4 in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit. 5 Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; 7 the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so. 8 Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God. 9 You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you. 12 Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation--but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. 13 For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, 14 because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children.
Is it possible that the Jerusalem below was only there to represent the flesh and the magnification of the external?
Galatians 4:30 But what does the Scripture say? "Get rid of the slave woman and her son, for the slave woman's son will never share in the inheritance with the free woman's son." 31 Therefore, brothers, we are not children of the slave woman, but of the free woman.
And Romans 8: 14 because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children.
Since most preterists agree that the kingdom is within and written on the heart and that the Spirit brought us to life and into an eternal covenant (the new covenant on the heart), then isn't the description of the Jerusalem from above warranted and accurate as a portrayal of our heart in Christ vs. the Jerusalem from below as our heart under the law?
Date: 24 Feb 2007
Where do I start? I found your web site and what a find indeed....full of material that gives a scholastic foundation to eschatology. I turned away from futuristic thought years ago. It didn't have the ring of truth to me. Preterism captivates my attention but the extreme forms can and will lead to a quiet despondency and indifference if not checked. Your presentation of Jerusalem as an image of the heart brought me a deep sense of God's presence with me. I wept as I read your presentation leading up to Psalm 46 and applied it to my sometimes tumultuous life situation. Thank you my friend. I haven't sensed the beginning of a reformation of my heart quite like this for sometime. The words of Isaiah " Comfort ye, comfort ye my people" does indeed speak to me unlike it ever has before.
Date: 21 May 2007
May 21, 2007
This seems to me safe, reasonable, foundational material. I quickly agree with the majority on a first reading. In fact, nothing jumps out as error. I will follow with more detailed comments.
Jim Adams - In memory of Benjamin David Olsen
Date: 02 Feb 2009
This is deep, and more than just physical, My heart was touched. I have already begun to see these things, as I do my own studies in His word. Thank you for your concern for the souls of others.
Date: 24 Aug 2010
You made a number of good statements in this article. This I believe expresses the nut shell.
It is my working assumption, then, that the first century of believers were players in a supremely important generation -- but one which is held up as a pattern of all generations in Christ's Messianic Age.
I never defined myself as a preterist, although I firmly believe that the fulfillment of prophetic fulfillment concerning the old testament as concerning judgment, resurrection etc. are past. The acknowledgment of new testament blessings and kingdom expansion is ignored. I believe that Genesis 1 prophetically embraces all of these aspects and rests into an open ended Sabbath that never ends. The old and new testaments are both rich in instruction and and in meaning for today. You are right. The word is not just a historical (I am paraphrasing) narrative but it is spiritual life for us today.
Francis Febus www.fulfilledprophecy.net
John 15:19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. // 2 Tim 2:22 Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart. (KJV)
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