Dr. Brown Answers Your Questions

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Is it ever right for Christians to take one another to court? What is the meaning of “word of wisdom” and “word of knowledge” in the New Testament? Is the church using modern explanations for homosexuality rather than biblical ones? Listen live here 2-4 pm EST, and call into the show at (866) 348 7884 with your questions and comments.

 

 

Hour 1:

Dr. Brown’s Bottom Line: There is turmoil around us. There is moral insanity around us, which means be sober, be vigilant, and keep your eyes fixed on the Lord.

Hour 2:

Dr. Brown’s Bottom Line: Righteousness shines! Righteousness cannot be defeated, and truth will never be overcome!

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Other Resources:

How to Test the Spirits

Cessationist Call-In Day

Dr. Brown Debates Homosexuality with Prof. John Corvino and Then Discusses Mean-Spirited Communication in the Body (and More)

572 Comments
  1. Benjamin,

    Just popping your bubble 🙂 I have just read a little over half of the article. The author takes many liberties with the passages he quotes or mentions. There are straw-man arguments and false dichotomies and false joining of terms to be equal. There are stretches in application and downright misrepresentations. I’ll read the rest and see if it gets any better.

    Chesed veShalom

  2. Benjamin,

    Done. It didn’t get much better. It is mostly a mixture of truths that are then mixed with a theology that is in error to produce a poor representation of the actual facts. I am still thinking about if it is worth my time and energy to answer it point by point. It may not even be appropriate on this thread. I could start my diatribe and have it cut short by the powers that be. I may post a response to a little of it later. If there is some specific point or statement that you would like my take on, let me know. I do think that you need to be careful not to use Fruchtenbaum so much as the basis of or mouthpiece for your stance.

    Shalom

  3. Bo,

    Just so that I understand (forgive me, sometimes I’m a little slow): do you believe that we have to keep all 613 commandments (that’s the Rabbinic enumeration, I believe)? Do you / your group keep the Sabbath, refrain from non-kosher food, practice circumcision, etc?

  4. Bo,

    I am not looking for major dialogue on this topic since I feel in the end we would have to agree to disagree. I just couldn’t let your view go un-responded to 😉

    My bubble is still wet and floating. I didn’t expect you to think the pdf was good. I knew you wouldn’t. It was more for others own perusing.

    Shalom to you my friend.

  5. Nicholas,

    The Rabinical 613 do not matter to me. Every word of YHWH does. Man shall not live by bread alone, even Eucharistic bread, but by every word of YHWH. And yes we keep the kosher food laws as found in the scripture and the Holy days and Sabbaths and new moons and circumcision and head coverings and tassels. And we do it all because we have been bought with an extremely high price. We do not do these things to obtain salvation, but because we are saved…out of gratitude.

    Shalom

  6. Sheila,

    Just so that I know where we stand in our discussion, was there any point that I failed to address? I’m not sure if I’ve been keeping track very well, and you’ve raised several issues.

    Thanks.

  7. Nicholas,

    No, it is not Judaizing. Judaizing is salvation by works. I do not, in any way, think that salvation is by works. Here is what Paul said:

    Galatians 5
    2 Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.
    3 For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.

    But he circumcised Timothy:

    Acts 16
    3 Him would Paul have to go forth with him; and took and circumcised him because of the Jews which were in those quarters: for they knew all that his father was a Greek.

    So how are these two things reconciled? By reading one more verse in context…

    Galatians 5
    4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.

    So I am not justified by the law, and neither was Timothy, who Paul circumcised. But I do obey Messiah and His Father and I expect that YHWH is a “rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.”

    Matthew 4
    4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

    Matthew 5
    19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

    Hebrews 11
    6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

    James 2
    20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

    We are not saved by works, but we are saved unto good works…that were before ordained that we should walk in them. Where were these good works before ordained? In the Scriptures that Timothy knew from his childhood.

    Ephesians 2
    8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
    9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
    10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

    Timothy, who Paul circumcised, was stationed in Ephesus. Paul wrote to him about where we are to learn about good works. What good works is Paul speaking of?

    2 Timothy 3
    14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;
    15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
    16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
    17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

    We are to learn them form the scripture that Timothy knew from his youth. The “New Testament” was not in existence then. So Timothy was to teach those in Ephesus the good works that the law of YHWH stipulated.

    Paul condemned salvation by works, but he explicitly commanded living out what the scripture of his day stipulated as good works and righteous actions.

    You did not comment on the passages I quoted from John and James and Peter and Paul. They all expected that those that were living in the new covenant would be keeping YHWH’s commandments. They all thought that those that did not were apostatizing. Read my post, especially the scripture quotes, again and see for yourself.

    You see, having YHWH’s law written upon our hearts means that we want to do it. The new covenant is supposed to do that…change our hearts. The law of YHWH will not change until heaven and earth pass away. If we do not want to do it, you are not living in the new covenant…we are carnal. YHWH’s law does not change…the place that is written changes. It was written on stone, but it is now supposed to be written on our hearts.

    Jeremiah 31
    31 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:
    32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD:
    33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.

    The real New Covenant does a work in us that causes us to love YHWH’s law. We want to learn what it says and put it into practice instead of wanting a priest tell us what we are to do. Instead of having a carnal mind that is not able to agree with keeping YHWH’s law, we have a new heart that desires to keep it.

    Shalom

  8. Well, Bo, we believe (and when I saw “we,” I speak on behalf of my church) that the 10 Commandments are still in force. I have no problem with keeping the Commandments. Obviously, they were never done away with, they were never “spiritualized,” as some claim. I keep the Commandments. How could any Christian ignore them? But, regarding circumcision, didn’t Peter rule that this was not to be imposed upon Gentile converts? Moreover, if I’m not circumcised, would you say that I should be?

  9. Nicholas,

    I doubt that you keep the Sabbath as described in the scripture. So you really do not think that the 10 are in force. You have changed the day of the week that the scripture indicates.

    “Most Christians assume that Sunday is the biblically approved day of worship. The Catholic Church protests that it transferred Christian worship from the biblical Sabbath (Saturday) to Sunday, and that to try to argue that the change was made in the Bible is both dishonest and a denial of Catholic authority. If Protestantism wants to base its teachings only on the Bible, it should worship on Saturday.” Rome’s Challenge http://www.immaculateheart.com/maryonline Dec 2003.

    What are you going to do with the passages I quoted? Please explain why they do not mean what they say.

    Shalom

  10. Which passages, the scripture quotations?

    As I explained, keeping the 10 Commandments is not the same thing as maintaining that the Old Covenant is still in force.

  11. So if Timothy was supposed to be circumcised in order to keep the commandments of God, how is it that Paul circumcised him?

    Well we have our answer, it was because of the Jews. It had nothing to do with whatever God said about circumcision as if Paul did this to Timothy out of obedience to God, because of circumcision itself, or because of any commandment to circumcise.

    I say this for anybody who would think that Paul out of obligation circumcised Timothy because of one of God’s commandments, and this he did because the Jews at that time somehow reminding him.

    No, that wasn’t it at all.

    He and Timothy did this for several reasons. First of all it’s not wrong to have circumcision done. They had the liberty to do it, and by exercising that liberty, the gospel could be furthered, as it would be easier to be accepted as God fearing men in the minds of religious men whom they were coming into contact with, and there’s nothing wrong in doing that. I think it was a good thing for them to do in that situation.

    I believe it was along the lines of the saying “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.”

    A saying we don’t find specifically is scripture, but sometimes a good thing to do regardless.

  12. We are not under all of the ten commandment for the sake of righteousness, if we were we would all be required to keep the Sabbath (Saturday), but God doesn’t put that on us anymore. We are not under that one anymore.

    If men want to judge us on that one, they are wrong. Always.

  13. Bo,

    I’ll prepare a more thorough response for you tomorrow, based on #149. Regarding the Sabbath issue, Cardinal Gibbons was expressing his own opinion about the origin of Sunday worship but he does not speak for the whole Church. We understand that the day on which Christ rose from the dead, Sunday, the Eighth Day, is the Lord’s Day and the Sabbath of the New Covenant, which we keep holy. We are obligated to attend mass and rest on Sunday. Even the Didache makes reference to Sunday worship.

  14. My position on the millennial temple that Ezekiel saw is that Orthodox position which the Apostle John taught his disciples in Asia after his exile in Patmos ended. And what did he teach Papias and Polycarp and others? Literal temple, literal 1000 years, literal sacrifices, literal transformation of the deserts in the Holy Land into conditions like those in the garden of Eden.

    While Rome and Alexandra had been Apostle-less for many decades, the Apostle John was preserving true Orthodoxy in Asia. This is the true rule of the faith!

  15. Nicholas interesting question- loaded question – either way a response can be wrong, or right.

  16. Nicholas,

    So the Catholic church has changed the 10 commandments. The Sabbath command says to remember the 7th day to keep it holy.

    Exodus 20
    8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
    9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
    10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
    11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

    There is nothing about Sunday being a Sabbath in scripture.

    There is no commandment, circumcision or otherwise, that we are “obligated to for receiving salvation. This is what Paul and Peter taught. Abraham was saved before he was circumcised. One will not be able to enter the third temple described by Ezekiel without being circumcised in heart and in flesh.

    Eze 44:9 Thus saith the Lord GOD; No stranger, uncircumcised in heart, nor uncircumcised in flesh, shall enter into my sanctuary, of any stranger that is among the children of Israel.

    If the body of Messiah is the third temple, then one would have to be circumcised both physically and spiritually to enter. This would be similar to what the Judaizers were preaching. If there is a physical third temple then one may enter the body of Messiah without being circumcised…just like Peter, James and John and Paul said.

    Shalom

  17. Nicholas,

    No, you’re good. I have some now though. Are you familiar with the various interpretations of the Protestants concerning the Millennium? Which do you fall under?

    Let me just outline them for you. It’s a bit confusing for those outside the realm of labels…

    I thought I’d give you just a little background on the Protestant views, which vary greatly, on the Millennium and a Third Temple. Speaking of a 1000 year reign of Christ is perhaps a misnomer as His reign is an everlasting one. The thousand years are as a prelude to eternity. As you probably know, there are three more popular and differing views on the Millennium. One group would deny that it’s to be taken literally, they are the A-millennialists. Perhaps the Catholic Church is of that opinion, I haven’t had the time to research it. Since Revelation is the only place where we hear of a specific number of years of Christ reigning on earth, some suggest it should be seen as allegorical. I don’t see why that would be the case though. Actually there’s no need to give a number at all if that’s what the Lord had meant by “a long, long time.” He could have said it differently, I would think. But He knows we like to stay busy figuring things out…so…here we are. Oh, and I don’t see why, in their view, we would need a temple at all.

    Then there’s the post-millennialist understanding. They hold to the view that the Church will continue to grow throughout the earth and with the spread of the Gospel we will enter into a period of relative righteousness with Christ reigning from heaven and only returning after the thousand years for the final judgement. I don’t exactly know how they deal with the tribulation spoken of in Revelation. For our purposes it doesn’t really matter. It seems they wouldn’t miss the temple either.

    Lastly, there are the pre-millennialists. They believe that Christ will return before a literal thousand year reign and that He’ll not execute the final judgement until the thousand years are over. There are, however, within this camp varying views on when the Church is raptured (caught up to be with Christ).

    There are those who look to be raptured off the earth before any tribulation takes place and they believe that they will return with Christ when it’s all over and He comes from Heaven to begin His 1000 year reign. They believe in what’s known as a Pre-tribulation Rapture, made most famous by Tim LaHaye and another fellow, can’t remember his name. The Rapture is another word for the catching away of the saints as spoken of in the NT in 1Th 4:17 We also have the mid-tribbers under the pre-millennialist banner as well. They believe the Church is raptured mid way through the tribulation and I can see where they get that from even though I don’t believe they’re right. Finally, we have the post-tribulation rapturists. They understand that the Church won’t be raptured until the tribulation is over and Christ returns.

    I believe in a literal thousand year reign so I’ll have to include myself with a label of pre-millennialist. I also believe in the post-tribulation rapture. In other words, I believe the tribulation happens before Christ returns and that when He does we are resurrected and/or changed into our eternal bodies regardless of whether we’re dead or alive at the time and that the saints will reign with Him for a thousand years. Only those in Christ are resurrected when He first returns. At the time I was studying the Bible, I had no idea in what category I fit into so it’s not that I was trained in any one particular school of thought. It just happened that that’s where the chips fell.

    So, that’s the background that has to do with the literal reign of Christ and the resurrection of the saints (the rapture) when He returns to earth. This is in anticipation of whether or not there will be a literal third temple when He returns. Or, could it be that it’s built after He returns, or is there no temple at all? On that I’m not sure and that’s why we’re discussing it. Is Ezekiel’s temple real or not? Is the thousand year reign literal or not? What is the Biblical basis for either one?

    Are you worn out yet?! 🙂

    I haven’t had a lot of time to compile the verses yet but I’ll make some time this evening. Hang in there it gets clearer from here. Well, I hope so anyway! At least you’ll have an idea of where I stand so the verses I interpret should make more sense to you.
    Honestly, I can see where some of the confusion arises. Some though, is just wishful thinking (pre-tribbers) and making mountains out of molehills by misinterpreting Scripture to fit already conceived notions. That’s my personal opinion based on my studies. Sorry, Benjamin, I thought I’d get it out of the way up front! 🙂 Maybe prophecy is like butter, sometimes it’s spread a little too thin.

    Perhaps having a set dogma concerning the millennium would be a relief in a way but then that would take the challenge out of our discussions about it. It’s not at all a matter of salvation so it’s not of grave concern that I can see. Nevertheless, when persecution comes we need to be prepared to stand strong in our faith! So perhaps it should be of more concern afterall.

    Another question. Do you believe in a period of tribulation?

  18. Nicholas,

    Let me say that I also believe that the book of Revelation can be understood as following the formula of what I call “near/far” prophecy. It was meant for those in John’s day as well as a more thorough time yet future just as most prophets spoke for those in their time and those yet future. Also, the book of Revelation is absolutely full of prophecies that parallel those of the First Testament. It’s couched in symbolism that was disguised for only those in the know, is what I understand.

  19. Bo,

    God himself chose Sunday as the day for his Son’s resurrection. That’s good enough for me.

    You agree there is no commandment to which we are obligated for salvation. I do not have to be circumcised. Well, that’s good news. And yet you have stated your movement practices circumcision, in gratitude, or something like that. Do I have this correct? Moreover, we know God abolished the Kosher laws. In a vision to Peter, Christ declared all foods clean, and Peter then went ahead and ate previously unclean meats. So, why do you keep the Old dietary laws?

  20. Nicholas,

    Bo is going to argue that the Kosher laws have not been abolished, and that Peter never ate unclean meats. And that’s why Bo keeps the dietary laws.

  21. Sheila,

    Thank you for the background. I confess I don’t really know too much about the issue.

    Yes, we believe in the Tribulation. Catholic thought emphasizes this quite a bit, but the concept of the Rapture does not seem to have a place in our theology. I suppose we are A-millennialists, and I think this follows from Augustine, but the issue has never been officially resolved. I think I am representing the teaching of the Church when I say that, when Christ comes, this will mark the Day of Judgement and the Resurrection, and then there will be a New Heaven and a New Earth, and this is the crux of our eschatology.

    Now, John in Revelation explains that there will be no Temple in Jerusalem. How do you understand this? Dr. Brown spoke of this in the context of the Eternal Age. So, it doesn’t apply to Christ’s kingdom on earth?

  22. And I respect an individuals desire to be Kosher, though it is not a command of Scripture.

  23. Benjamin,

    But Peter did eat unclean meats. Isn’t that explicit in the text? As a Catholic, I’ll admit that sometimes we don’t know the verses very well. 🙂

  24. Nicholas, Yes it is. But Bo will put forth an argument to the contrary dealing with the words common and unclean, etc.

  25. GregAllen:” It’s _how_ you practice your sexuality that matters. Do you hurt people? Does it honor vows? Is it consensual? Does it provide a stable environment for children?”

    Gee, so what part of STDs, cant ever procreate and confusing Children about their gender not follow certain predilections?

    GregAllen:” I honestly don’t think he[God] gets freaked out if the body parts don’t fit exactly as he designed them.”

    Well thats an interesting theology. So do you support Bostons Children Hospitals Dr. Norman Spack removing them “body parts” of children? Thats among the awful end results of thinking if it feels good its somehow good.

  26. Hi Bo,

    Firstly, Christ qualifies the statement, “…not one jot and not one tittle shall pass away…” He explains, “until all is fulfilled,” as you quoted. What is this fulfillment of which he speaks if not the cross? Christ did not come to destroy but to fulfill. Which prophecies in the Old Testament have not yet been fulfilled? None. Christ has fulfilled the Torah and the Prophets. Nothing in the predictions of the Old Testament remains to be accomplished, except the Judgement. The Old Covenant has been replaced by the New. They cannot exist side by side. (“He sets aside the first in order to establish the second.”) Moreover, there are not two separate covenants: one for Israel and one for the nations, as some claim (I do not believe that you hold to this, but I wish to emphasize this point nevertheless). Furthermore (and I know that Dr. Brown will disagree strongly), the Kingdom of Israel, the Temple of God, all of this refers to the Church, which is the Israel of God (the people of God, the nation of God, and the only place in which the true sacrifice is offered). This is the bride of Christ. God is not a polygamist. He does not have two brides. There is only the Church. Otherwise, Christ did not accomplish anything, he did not refine the sacrificial system and establish the pure oblation, as per Malachi (the most problematic book in the Bible for Protestants, with all due respect to my dear separated brethren), and he is not the Messiah. Or, he actually accomplished something and he is the Saviour. So, choose between these two outcomes.

    I have to be very clear about something: the Commandments, and the whole Torah, these are summarized in the Decalogue, which is still in force. It is the ethic by which we live. Otherwise, we have no moral absolutes. But everything is fulfilled in Christ, the Sabbath and everything else. If we believe that we are obligated in some way to maintain the kosher laws, to practice circumcision, and to do whatever else, even if we do not believe that this has anything to do with our salvation, this goes against the revelation of the New Covenant, which is why Peter did away with circumcision and started eating with gentiles, at the encouragement of Paul. If you keep kosher, if you are circumcising your children, if you are waiting for a Jerusalem Temple with animal sacrifices, I got news for you: you are not a Christian!

    The Apostles will sit on 12 thrones to judge the 12 tribes. This will happen in the Resurrection. Obviously, the Apostles are no longer living, so this is a reference to events which will take place after the Second Coming.

    Anyway, you can continue to cite verses, but you will not agree with my interpretation, and I cannot agree with yours.

    pax vobiscum

  27. Nicholas,

    You still have not responded to the verses that I quoted. Just cut and paste them and tell us why they do not mean what they say.

    Shalom

  28. Hi Nicholas,

    You asked: “Now, John in Revelation explains that there will be no Temple in Jerusalem. How do you understand this? Dr. Brown spoke of this in the context of the Eternal Age. So, it doesn’t apply to Christ’s kingdom on earth?”

    Actually, what John said was that he saw the “New Jerusalem” coming down from Heaven and that there was no need for a temple or need of light because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb was the temple and the light of it.

    Rev 21:22 But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.
    Rev 21:23 The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light.

    All Things Made New

    21:1 Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. 2 Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. 4 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”
    5 Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.”
    6 And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End.

    My understanding is that this happens only after the final judgement takes place and death and hell are cast out forever. We are then citizens of the New Heavens and the New Earth for all eternity and there will be no more curse. Of course, it’s true that we already live as citizens of Heaven according to Phillippians 3: 20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.

    Prior to this, however, we have the events leading up to the coming of the Lord or the “Day of the Lord” to work out. So we’re moving back now to “that day” when Christ will return “taking vengeance on those who do not know God.”

    As stated in 1 Corinthians 15, when the Lord returns we will at that time be resurrected or changed in an instant:

    50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. 51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

    2 Thess 1: 6 since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you, 7 and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, 8 in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, 10 when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed.

    That is part and parcel of the Day of the Lord. However, we still have the antichrist to work into the story as we are told what to expect him to do. According to 2 Thessalonians he will enter an earthly temple proclaiming himself to be God and only when the Lord returns does he get defeated. This is according to these verses:

    2Th 2:3 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day [the Day of the Lord] will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition,
    2Th 2:4 who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.
    5 Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things?
    6 And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time.

    So it seems to me that the antichrist will occupy an earthly temple for a time at the end.

    I’ll have to pick it up tomorrow when I’m better rested. But think on those verses and see how you would interpret them.

    Thanks!

  29. Bo, I already gave my response. The verses about the Commandments are redundant. I already explained that we do not believe that the Decalogue has been discarded. The kosher laws and circumcision, none of that is to be observed by those who are under the law of grace. Acts makes this very clear. That’s all there is to it.

    Thanks.

  30. Bo,

    Your question to Benjamin–

    Gal 2:11 Now when Peter [fn] had come to Antioch, I withstood him to his face, because he was to be blamed;
    12 for before certain men came from James, he would eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing those who were of the circumcision.
    13 And the rest of the Jews also played the hypocrite with him, so that even Barnabas was carried away with their hypocrisy.
    14 But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter before them all, “If you, being a Jew, live in the manner of Gentiles and not as the Jews, why do you[b] compel Gentiles to live as Jews?[c] 15 We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, 16 knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.

    17 “But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is Christ therefore a minister of sin? Certainly not! 18 For if I build again those things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor. 19 For I through the law died to the law that I might live to God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. 21 I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.”

  31. Nicholas,

    You wrote:
    “Firstly, Christ qualifies the statement, “…not one jot and not one tittle shall pass away…” He explains, “until all is fulfilled,” as you quoted. What is this fulfillment of which he speaks if not the cross? Christ did not come to destroy but to fulfill. Which prophecies in the Old Testament have not yet been fulfilled? None. Christ has fulfilled the Torah and the Prophets. Nothing in the predictions of the Old Testament remains to be accomplished, except the Judgement.”

    It seems that you answered your own question and then contradicted the answer. All is fulfilled, but not all…”the Judgement.” You cannot have it both ways. But actually there is much more. There the anti-messiah and other many things in Daniel. There is the promise to restore all the tribes of Israel to their land…so far we just have the tribe of Judah and a little of Levi and Benjamin. Messiah has not returned to the mount of olives and it has not been split in half. I could go on and on.

    You did not, of course, notice that that same passage that speaks of all being fulfilled included heaven and earth passing away. Until then, all is not fulfilled. Also Messiah says that we will be rewarded by how well we keep the smallest of the commandments in the law and teach others to do the same. You only want to do the big ones…or at least 9 out of 10 with a bit of tweak on graven images (icons). (Keeping the Sabbath on the wrong day is not remembering to keep the seventh day holy.) Also Messiah did not indicate that Sunday means anything special…nor does any scripture. He ascended as the first fruits from the dead to the Father on the Biblical feast of first fruits. (Lev. 23:11) That it was on Sunday has no Biblical meaning as to a change of Sabbath.

    You wrote:
    “God is not a polygamist. He does not have two brides.”

    True to a point. He calls both Judah and Israel His wives. They are still separate entities at this point but according to Ezekiel they will be made one again. (Ooops! There is another unfulfilled prophesy.) So what is the name of YHWH’s bride? Israel. It is not “Bride” or “Body” or “Church.” Those are titles. The name of the Bride is Israel.

    How about answering about the third temple not having anyone come into it that is not circumcised in heart and in the flesh? How can we be in the third temple if being uncircumcised is acceptable to be in the body of Messiah? Do you see the contradiction? Heart circumcision and flesh circumcision are so obviously different things everywhere in the scripture that Ezekiel is not being redundant or equivocating. So if the Body of Messiah is the third temple, we must all have to be circumcised in the flesh to enter or the body of Messiah is not the third temple.

    Where is my logic failing? How can there be a third choice?

    Shalom

  32. Bo, I don’t understand what you mean about the Third Temple. You believe in a literal Temple, correct? So, if it’s literal, then we don’t have to be circumcised, but if it’s spiritual, we do have to be circumcised?

    Anyway, we believe in a Temple that is literal. The Church has literal sacrifices: the Eucharist. These are offered on a literal altar. But there is also a spiritual component to it, since it is the Mystical Body of Christ.

    Also, God declares all foods clean. He does this in a vision to Peter.

  33. GregAllen:”Now we just have to get the Pentecostals on board with science!”

    Yeh, lets just make sure its the hard sciences and not the softy kind. Global warming…now its cooling…the oceans run out of fish by 2000…suddenly after supposedly being here for a couple billion years the earth now needs a bunch of grant seeking Darwinists? Keep trying

  34. Bo,

    Then why did Paul call him out–to his face?

    Certainly Paul had no problem with people eating pizza without pepperoni. 🙂

  35. Nicholas,

    Eze 44:9 Thus saith the Lord GOD; No stranger, uncircumcised in heart, nor uncircumcised in flesh, shall enter into my sanctuary, of any stranger that is among the children of Israel.

    Ezekiel says that to enter the third temple one must be circumcised 2 different ways. They must be circumcised in heart and in the flesh. The flesh, means that skin must be removed…physical circumcision. You think that the body of Messiah is the 3rd temple. Are all the males that enter required to be circumcised in the flesh? NO! Then the body of Messiah is not the 3rd temple.

    Do you understand that the requirement of physical circumcision is not the same as circumcision of the heart? Do you see that both must be true of the men that enter the sanctuary of the third temple according to Ezekiel? Do you see that Catholic church does not mandate circumcision to enter the Body of Messiah? Do you see that they are either in error to not demand physical circumcision or that they are in error to believe that the body of Messiah is the third temple?

    Shalom

  36. Good morning all,

    Bo, Sheila raises good points. But I will reference Acts 10 and 11, not to say that Peter ‘physically’ ate unclean meats, but the Apostle Peter understood God to be commanding him to do so ‘in the vision’. And later Peter understands the vision to be a reference to Gentiles and that he is not to withhold fellowship from them, he is to share the Gospel with Gentiles.

    Acts 10

    10 And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance,

    11 And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending upon him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth:

    12 Wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air.

    13 And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat.

    14 But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean.

    15 And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.

    So while indeed the greater meaning of the vision is Gentiles and not food, the command not to withhold fellowship makes sense only if “unclean” food is also allowed. The alternative makes no sense: “Eat these unclean foods, as a symbol for fellowshiping with Gentiles—but don’t really eat this food but still fellowship with Gentiles.”

    The reality of the symbolic command is important for the reality of the command it symbolized.

    And in the vision Peter understood God to be commanding him to ‘eat’ unclean foods as evidence in verse 14. Peter would have seen both clean and unclean food on the sheet, he could have easily went for one of the clean animals and prepared it for consumption himself (negating the argument that Peter wouldnt eat a clean animal because it wasn’t prepared correctly), but he understood that God was commanding him to eat everything (all kinds) on the sheet – “Not so, Lord!”.

  37. Sheila,

    EISEGESIS: the interpretation of a text (as of the Bible) by reading into it one’s own ideas- http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/eisegesis

    Peter was eating with the gentiles until the dudes from Jerusalem came. He was reprimanded for hypocrisy. For acting differently than the truth for the sake of looking good to the Jerusalem dudes. Nothing is said about anyone eating unclean animal meat. They may have been only eating bread or vegetables or Hebrew National Hot Dogs on bagels. The text does not say what they were eating. To insert into the text that Peter, or the gentiles for that matter, were eating anything unclean is eisegesis instead of exegesis.

    To this day the orthodox Jews have an issue with eating with a gentile whether or not any meat is at the table. They are quite concerned with things like any molecule of milk touching any molecule of meat and those molecules might have touched a knife and that knife might have been used to cut a carrot stick…and other similar things. These are not scriptural things, but commandments of men. Nothing in Torah says to not eat with gentiles.

    Ac 11:2 And when Peter was come up to Jerusalem, they that were of the circumcision contended with him,
    3 Saying, Thou wentest in to men uncircumcised, and didst eat with them.

    In acts 11 we find that the circumcision/Orthodox were upset because Peter ate with gentiles. Nothing is said about what they ate that time either. We do not know what they ate, but we know that there were some that were upset by the fact that he went into a gentiles home and ate.

    Ac 10:28 And he said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean.

    This law that Peter speaks of is a Jewish thing, not a scriptural thing. There is no such law in Torah.

    Please stick to what the text says instead of reading into it. Peter had been taught directly by YHWH not to consider all gentiles unclean. He deserved a sharp rebuke from Paul because he reverted to the Unbiblical Jewish idea for the sake of looking good. His prejudice/racism had come from the added Jewish commandments of men. Racism and hypocrisy in the body of Messiah were the issue, not what was being eaten.

    Now please show me a place in scripture where anyone is eating unclean animal meat.

    Shalom

  38. Benjamin,

    Let’s start at the beginning.
    YHWH made some animals to be food for us shortly after the fall of mankind. He did it by giving permission to eat them. Before this we had no permission and so they were unclean to us previously. Noah knew the difference between clean and unclean animals when he gathered them. It is not a Mosaic law, but a law that was put in place for man originally after the fall.

    Acts 10
    9 On the morrow, as they went on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city, Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour:
    10 And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance,
    11 And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth:
    12 Wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air.
    13 And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat.
    14 But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean.
    15 And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.
    16 This was done thrice: and the vessel was received up again into heaven.
    17 Now while Peter doubted in himself what this vision which he had seen should mean, behold, the men which were sent from Cornelius had made enquiry for Simon’s house, and stood before the gate,
    18 And called, and asked whether Simon, which was surnamed Peter, were lodged there.
    19 While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee.
    20 Arise therefore, and get thee down, and go with them, doubting nothing: for I have sent them.

    Peter’s vision had a singular meaning. Also the voice did not say that anything that was unclean before was now to be eaten. It said, “What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.” It did not say that everything on the sheet was cleansed. The sheet represented the concept in Peter’s mind…his prejudice about gentiles…that they were all unclean. It was a wrong concept. Just like some animals were cleansed/sanctified to eat shortly after Adam and Eve were expelled from the garden and Noah knew what they were at the time of the flood, so now Peter was to get the point that some gentiles were cleansed and acceptable to YHWH.

    Get this straight! Nowhere in the scripture does it say that all men are acceptable to YHWH. Nowhere in the scripture does it say that all animals are allowed to be eaten. Only the gentiles that were cleansed and the animal meat that YHWH has permitted are clean.

    If all animals were cleansed at the cross, why is there not one word in scripturedescribing or teaching this? Why had Peter continued to not eat unclean animals to this point now 10 years after the cross? Because Messiah taught no such thing. Because the Spirit taught no such thing.

    Symbolic language is not meant to be taken literally. Peter’s vision was symbolic, not literal. It had a message. To take scriptural parables, dreams, and visions literally is a linguistic and theological mistake. To make them mean more than the scripture itself says they mean is to consider oneself smarter than the one that had the vision, the one that interpreted the vision, and the One that gave the vision.

    If Peter’s vision means that unclean animals are now cleansed, why do not the other visions, dreams and parables mean things different than the scriptural interpretation? Where is the precedent for such loose interpretation? Do Pharaoh ‘s dreams mean that skinny cattle are cannibalistic or that fat cattle are calorie free, since the skinny cattle didn’t look any better after eating the fat ones? Were there going to be real birds eating out of baskets on the chief bakers head? Could we look up into heaven and see the sun, moon and 12 stars literally bowing?

    Dr. Brown has no problem with believers eating unclean animals. He also realizes that the passage in question does not give us permission to do so. He knows that we are not allowed to take symbolic language literally.

    “Now, this has often been interpreted as a
    divine command for Peter to eat treif (i.e.
    unclean food), but the text says nothing of
    the kind. Rather, as Peter was soon to
    understand…”God has shown me that I should
    not call any man impure or unclean.” (Acts
    10:28b). But that is not the point I want to
    emphasize here. Rather, it is Peter’s earlier
    response to the visionary command to kill and
    eat unclean animals…If his Master and Teacher
    had revoked the dietary laws, as some have
    understood Mark 7:19, surely Peter would have
    understood, especially if Peter had been a
    primary source of mark’s information.”-Dr. Michael Brown, in “Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus”, volume 4, says this of Acts 10:9-16 on page 27-275:

    Out of the mouth of two or three witnesses let everything be established. If Dr. Brown and I agree on what this passage means, it must be true.

    And remember nowhere in the vision does it specify that all the animals on the sheet were cleansed. It only says not to consider the animals that have been cleansed to be unclean along with the others that are unclean…just like the interpretation was for Peter to not consider the gentiles that fear YHWH and work righteousness to be unclean along with the idol worshiping gentiles.

    If you are going to try to get some other message out of a vision that is not intended by the giver of that vision, at least be true to the details.

    And if you are going to take this vision literally, you should be consistent and do so with the other visions in the Bible.

    Judges 7
    13 And when Gideon was come, behold, there was a man that told a dream unto his fellow, and said, Behold, I dreamed a dream, and, lo, a cake of barley bread tumbled into the host of Midian, and came unto a tent, and smote it that it fell, and overturned it, that the tent lay along.
    14 And his fellow answered and said, This is nothing else save the sword of Gideon the son of Joash, a man of Israel: for into his hand hath God delivered Midian, and all the host.

    Maybe you should start taking down your tent with barley cakes. Maybe not!

    To be continued below:

  39. Continued from above:

    Daniel 4
    19 Then Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, was astonied for one hour, and his thoughts troubled him. The king spake, and said, Belteshazzar, let not the dream, or the interpretation thereof, trouble thee. Belteshazzar answered and said, My lord, the dream be to them that hate thee, and the interpretation thereof to thine enemies.
    20 The tree that thou sawest, which grew, and was strong, whose height reached unto the heaven, and the sight thereof to all the earth;
    21 Whose leaves were fair, and the fruit thereof much, and in it was meat for all; under which the beasts of the field dwelt, and upon whose branches the fowls of the heaven had their habitation:
    22 It is thou, O king, that art grown and become strong: for thy greatness is grown, and reacheth unto heaven, and thy dominion to the end of the earth.
    23 And whereas the king saw a watcher and an holy one coming down from heaven, and saying, Hew the tree down, and destroy it; yet leave the stump of the roots thereof in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts of the field, till seven times pass over him;
    24 This is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree of the most High, which is come upon my lord the king:
    25 That they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and they shall wet thee with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over thee, till thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.
    26 And whereas they commanded to leave the stump of the tree roots; thy kingdom shall be sure unto thee, after that thou shalt have known that the heavens do rule.
    27 Wherefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable unto thee, and break off thy sins by righteousness, and thine iniquities by shewing mercy to the poor; if it may be a lengthening of thy tranquillity.

    28 All this came upon the king Nebuchadnezzar.
    Did a tree really reach up into the heavens that everyone could see? Was Nebuchadnezzar actually a tree? Did that literal tree get literally cut down? In case you are baffled, the answer to these questions is…NO!

    You see, symbolic messages from YHWH often have outrageous symbolism that grabs our attention. They trouble us. They cause us to wonder what they mean. We know that they cannot be literal. Peter knew it could not be literal. It troubled him. He was wondering what it could possibly mean because he knew it could not be true that he could be allowed to eat unclean animals.

    Acts 10
    16 This was done thrice: and the vessel was received up again into heaven.
    17 Now while Peter doubted in himself what this vision which he had seen should mean, behold, the men which were sent from Cornelius had made enquiry for Simon’s house, and stood before the gate,
    18 And called, and asked whether Simon, which was surnamed Peter, were lodged there.
    19 While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee…
    34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:
    35 But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.

    (Note: The words thrice and three in the above passage are related. Just like the 7 fat cattle meant 7 years and the 11 stars meant Josephs 11 brothers.)

    There was AN interpretation…and it had nothing to do with the literal aspects of the vision. We do not see any account of anyone eating unclean animals in the Bible after this vision. As a matter of fact the last book of the Bible still makes mention of unclean birds. If they were made clean back at the cross or in Acts 10, then someone should have told John or the messenger from heaven about it. What did the apostles think that Peter’s vision meant?

    Acts 11
    4 But Peter rehearsed the matter from the beginning, and expounded it by order unto them, saying,
    5 I was in the city of Joppa praying: and in a trance I saw a vision, A certain vessel descend, as it had been a great sheet, let down from heaven by four corners; and it came even to me:
    6 Upon the which when I had fastened mine eyes, I considered, and saw fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air.
    7 And I heard a voice saying unto me, Arise, Peter; slay and eat.
    8 But I said, Not so, Lord: for nothing common or unclean hath at any time entered into my mouth.
    9 But the voice answered me again from heaven, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.
    10 And this was done three times: and all were drawn up again into heaven.
    11 And, behold, immediately there were three men already come unto the house where I was, sent from Caesarea unto me.
    12 And the Spirit bade me go with them, nothing doubting. Moreover these six brethren accompanied me, and we entered into the man’s house:
    13 And he shewed us how he had seen an angel in his house, which stood and said unto him, Send men to Joppa, and call for Simon, whose surname is Peter;
    14 Who shall tell thee words, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved.
    15 And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning.
    16 Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost.
    17 Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as he did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God?
    18 When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.

    We know that the only thing that the apostles got out of the whole story was that gentiles could be saved. No mention of freedom to eat ham sandwiches and clam chowder. It would also be a bad hermeneutic to start eating gentiles since some of them are now cleansed  But if you want to go for a literal interpretation…

    Shalom

  40. Sorry for the bad spacing and nonworking smilies

    Here are some corrections:

    28 All this came upon the king Nebuchadnezzar.

    Did a tree really reach up into the heavens that everyone could see? Was Nebuchadnezzar actually a tree? Did that literal tree get literally cut down? In case you are baffled, the answer to these questions is…NO!

    Out of the mouth of two or three witnesses let everything be established. If Dr. Brown and I agree on what this passage means, it must be true 🙂

    It would also be a bad hermeneutic to start eating gentiles since some of them are now cleansed 🙂 But if you want to go for a literal interpretation…

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