Post by Michael J Loomis on Dec 22, 2009 20:20:04 GMT -5
sorry I missed this sooner. Good luck with that one.
Consider 1 Peter 1:1-2 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,
To the pilgrims of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace be multiplied.
The only diaspora that I am aware of were those of the 10 northern tribes from the Assyrian captivity.
Also consider Ephesians 2:11-22, in light of Hosea 8:8 and the promises of restoration of both houses of Israel and Judah under the new covenant. Hosea 8:8 says that the house of Israel had been swallowed up, Now they are among the Gentiles. Like vessels in which is no pleasure. Which sounds an awful lot like the vessels of wrath spoken of in Romans 9:22.
This is where it gets a little sticky though. Romans 9 and Ephesians 2 speak of Jews and Gentiles as "being made one." And this is where in some sense I see the gospel having gone out to the gentile world as being for the purpose of restoring the 10 northern tribes.
Ephesians 2:11-13 says, "Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh—who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands— that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ."
Acts 2:39 For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.
I believe Don Preston has also fleshed this one out somewhere. The preaching of the gospel was the restoration of the "Whole house of Israel," fulfilling Ezekiel 37.
Thank you, Mike! I'm sure it will be a great help... if the conversation resumes. His last reply to me was very general, not addressing anything I said and providing only personal opinion rather than biblical references. It's the type of reply you often get when either you've gone deeper than they are accustomed to going in scripture or they realize they can't counter so back down gracefully. In this case it might be a combination of the two.
Since I'm related to this person (he's my brother-in-law, though one I've never met in person), I've decided to not probe the issue and let the discussion end if that is his desire.
Bev ------- God ... desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth: For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus (1 Timothy 2:3)
This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. (John 17:3)
For us there is one God, the Father ... and one Lord, Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 8:6)
32 “Learn from the story of the fig tree. When its branch becomes tender and it sprouts leaves, you know that summer is near. 33 In the same way, when you see all these things, you know that he is near, at the door. Matthew 24:32-33 (GW)
29 Then Jesus used this story as an illustration. “Look at the fig tree or any other tree. 30 As soon as leaves grow on them, you know without being told that summer is near. Luke 21:29-30 (GW)
Luke expounds upon Matthew. The point Christ is making is not about a fig tree, as though that alone symbolizes Israel. He is, rather, making a point about knowing when Jerusalem is going to be destroyed. He says these words in this context:
20 “When you see armies camped around Jerusalem, realize that the time is near for it to be destroyed. 21 Then those of you in Judea should flee to the mountains. Those of you in Jerusalem should leave it. Those of you in the fields shouldn't go back into them. 22 This will be a time of vengeance. Everything that is written about it will come true. Luke 21:20-22 (GW)
The "fig tree" in Matthew 24 and Luke 21 symbolizes that which would mark the "season" for the destruction of Jerusalem. It is not - in this context - about Israel's restoration.
What stormcrow presents mirrors my own understanding on this as well. I myself was raised in the teaching that the fig tree here spoke of the new nation of Israel, and they simply turned a blind eye to Luke's inclusion of all the other trees. The passage is about "seasons" and the recognition of changing times, not about a specific nation.