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Old Testament Prophecies of Blessing to Israel


As I wrote yesterday the primary reason for posting the three chapters from Hebrews began because of the earlier post (Israel and the Church, Two Separate Destinies) which raised questions concerning, what I believe is a false teaching. And while it’s not by far the only false teaching in our Churches today, it is, in my opinion, one of (if not the most) important because of the dire circumstances it has created over the last 100 years: that being the loss of souls. After all, if you are taught (what I refer to as separation theology: separation of Jews and Gentiles now and throughout eternity) not only do you discount God’s word concerning all believers,

This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, (Romans 3:22)

For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body–whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free–and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. (1 Cor. 4:13)

For you are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, For you are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, (Galatians 3: 26-28)

Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that fears him, and works righteousness, is accepted with him. (Acts 10: 34-35)

but you’ll also see no need to personally evangelize lost Jews or support financially and with prayer, those who do. It nullifies Jesus’ command to “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature”  (Mark 16)

Since returning to the blog after my latest illness I’ve been reading a bit on the topic attempting to determine where this teaching originated from and by who. And, how it spread so quickly throughout the West. I touched somewhat on this in yesterday’s post. I’ve also read a few articles and books (with my bible along-side) and wanted to share portions of at least one of these. And let me say upfront, as usual there were portions in which I may not have agreed with the author. Nevertheless on many of the points he makes I did agree 100%. And it is primarily these I’d like to look at with you.

Folks, there are many other issues I could bring up related to this entire false teaching…some were actually touched upon within the comments under Monday’s post (The impossibility of a restoration of the earthly nation of Israel and other abolished shadows of the old covenant), even issues with National consequences, if you live in the West. And while these are important also, the lack of evangelizing a certain group of people is more important.

As is how we perceive the Church. What do I mean? Simply that Jesus died for the Church! And to teach or believe a teaching which portrays the Church he purchased with his own blood (see Ephesians 5:25 and Acts 20:28) in any other light, such as something “lesser”, is more then wrong: It is error to the highest degree. And many proponent’s of this separation theology do just that.

Anyway, moving on…

The online book I read most recently was Philip Mauro’s “The Hope of Israel: What Is It?”.

Just a few quotes from chapter (2) to start with concerning; HOW ARE THE O.T. PROPHECIES OF BLESSING TO ISRAEL TO BE INTERPRETED? 

The main purpose of the present chapter is to bring clearly to view the important truth that in Scripture the contrast is not between the spiritual and the literal, but between the spiritual and natural; for a passage of Scripture may refer, when taken “literally,” either to “that which is natural” or to “that which is spiritual.” In other words, the literal interpretation may call for a thing which exists in the realm of nature, or for the counterpart of that thing which exists in the realm of spiritual realities (1 Cor. 15:46). It is of the utmost importance that this be understood; for the advocates of modern dispensationalism have wrought confusion, and have succeeded in giving plausibility to many misinterpretations of Scripture, by first taking for granted (erroneously, as will be herein shown) that a “literal” interpretation necessarily calls for something material or natural, and by then insisting strenuously that all prophecies which refer to Israel, Jerusalem, Zion, etc., should be interpreted “literally.” It will not be difficult to show that this is a thoroughly unsound principle of interpretation, that it is based upon a false premise, and that its application has made havoc of many prophecies.

For example, those expositors who think the Bible teaches us to expect hereafter a millennium of earthly bliss, a golden age of world-wide peace and plenty, during which the Jewish nation will be reconstituted and will have the place of headship over a world occupied by God-fearing and peace-loving Gentiles, base that expectation upon certain Old Testament prophecies which, they think, are to be fulfilled “literally”; and since they cannot possibly be fulfilled in that manner during this era of the Gospel, there must needs be an age to come of an entirely different character from this day of gospel salvation.

This argument, however, is utterly fallacious, because [it is] based upon a false premise. Those who make use of it take for granted that in order to interpret a prophecy “literally” its fulfillment must be located in the realm of nature, and not in the spiritual [eternal] realm. Thus they assume that the “literal” interpretation is in contrast with the “spiritual” interpretation thereof; and they denounce and repudiate what they refer to disparagingly as “the spiritualizing” of the prophecies.

Undoubtedly our natural bias is in favor of the so-called “literal” interpretation of the prophecies in question; for to the natural man the things that are seen are the real things; and to that view we are disposed to cling tenaciously, notwithstanding the plain teaching of the New Testament that the seen things are but the fleeting shadows of things unseen, the latter being the spiritual and eternal realities with which the promises of future blessing have mainly to do. For the New Testament Scriptures state, in most unambiguous language, that “the seed of Abraham,” to whom “all the promises of God” belong, are those who believe the gospel of Jesus Christ (Gal. 3:7, 29; 2 Cor. 1:20). Further, in the New Testament it is plainly revealed that, even as “Abraham had two sons” (which might make it uncertain whether the descendants of Ishmael or those of Isaac were to inherit the promises) so likewise there is a natural “Israel,” “Zion” and “Jerusalem” and also a spiritual counterpart of each; and that just as Ishmael preceded in time the true heir (though eventually he was to be “cast out” and not to be “heir with the son of the free woman”) even so the natural Israel, Zion, and Jerusalem preceded the respective spiritual realities to which those names properly belong. For God’s invariable order of procedure, in the working out of His eternal purposes, is “first – that which is natural, and afterward that which is spiritual” (1 Cor. 15:46).

If, therefore, an O.T. prophecy of blessing, intended for the true Israel (that “holy nation” of 1 Pet. 2:9), be interpreted as applying to “Israel after the flesh,” the interpretation is not “literal” (i.e., according to the letter) except in the sense in which “the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life” (2 Cor. 3:6); for obviously in this case the “literal” interpretation destroys the prophecy completely. And it is specially to be noted that, in the passage from which this Scripture is quoted, Paul is explaining the great differences between the Old Covenant (which was of the letter) and the New Covenant (of the Spirit); and, moreover, he is comparing the ministry of Moses, which had to do with things that are seen (an earthly sanctuary and its vessels of service, animal sacrifices, etc.), with the ministry of himself and others whom God had made “able ministers of the New Covenant; not of the letter, but of the spirit.” Also it should be noted that the apostle there speaks of the Old Covenant (under which promises were made to the natural Israel) as “that which is done away”; whereas the New Covenant is “that which remaineth,” that is, abideth eternally (v. 11).

From this Scripture alone it is evident (and the same truth is set forth at greater length in Gal. 4:21-31 and Hebrews Chapters VIII-X) that all future promises of glory and blessing for Israel and Zion must belong to the true Israel and the heavenly Zion. And, in this very passage, we are admonished to “look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen” (4:18); which admonition, however, is habitually disregarded in the interpretation of prophecies relating to these very subjects.

We ask the reader specially to note that in the above quoted passage, the apostle speaks of the old covenant as “that which is done away” (v. 11), “that which is abolished” (v. 13). This shows that the old covenant, under which the earthly nation of Israel had been constituted, was already, in Paul’s day, a thing of the past.

Evidently then our difficulty in understanding prophecies of the class referred to above is due to our lack of faith and our spiritual dullness. For, in respect to the things which are not seen, faith takes the place of sight; for faith has to so solely with things not visible to the natural eye; and hope likewise, for “hope that is seen is not hope” (Rom. 8:24). Wherefore it is written that, “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”; and “through faith we understand” (Heb. 11:1,3).

Hence, to understand the prophecies it is necessary, and vitally necessary, that we believe the revelations of the New Testament; that we accept as “literally” true that there is now, at this present time, a realm of spiritual realities, into which our risen Lord is actually entered, and we in Him; that “the substance of things hoped for” is there, not here; and specially that God’s purposes concerning His City, Temple and People are being fulfilled at this very time, in that spiritual realm, though the natural eye cannot see what is going on there.

The writer of these lines can testify from experience that, by the simple process of believing what is written in the New Testament concerning the actual present existence, among the things not seen, of the true Zion, of the city of the living God the heavenly Jerusalem, of the holy nation which is a royal priesthood, and of other spiritual realities, the main difficulty in the understanding of the Old Testament prophecies which speak of a glorified state of the things named above, vanishes away.

AN ILLUSTRATION FROM ZECHARIAH

Zechariah is one of the books that is frequently referred to as containing prophecies which await a “literal” fulfillment in a future dispensation.

Zechariah, with Haggai, prophesied during the rebuilding of Jerusalem and the temple, after the return from Babylon of some of the deported Israelites; at which time “the elders of the Jews builded and they prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo” (Ezra 6:14). But, as all are agreed, the prophet looks beyond what those men were building, to a temple and a city that were to be far more glorious. He records the word of the Lord concerning Zion: “For, lo I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the Lord. And many nations shall be joined to the Lord in that day and shall be My people; and I will dwell in the midst of thee” (2:10,11). And the prophet goes on to speak of a priest, Joshua, who was clothed at first with filthy garments, but to whom it was said, “Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe the with change of raiment” (3:3,4). This Joshua and his fellows were to be “men wondered at; for, behold, I will bring forth my servant the Branch. For behold the stone that I have laid before Joshua” (vv. 8,9).

There is no difficulty in recognizing in this passage a prophecy of the coming of Christ as the Branch of Jehovah and as the Foundation Stone of the true Temple of God; for Peter (quoting a similar prophecy by Isaiah) writes to those who have been “redeemed… by the precious blood of Christ,” saying:

“Wherefore also it is contained in the Scripture, Behold I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious”; and he had just said in the preceding verse, “Ye also, as living stones are [being] built up, a spiritual house, an holy priesthood” – as typified by Joshua’s change of garments – “to offer up spiritual sacrifices” (1 Pet. 2:5,6).

Thus by Peter’s application of the prophecy we are given plainly to understand that it relates to “spiritual” things, and that it is now being fulfilled in the spiritual realm.

It will greatly help us in our efforts to understand the class of prophecies above referred to, if we give due heed to the facts stated in the above quotation from Peter (and stated also in Hebrews 12:22-24, and in the Epistle to the Ephesians as pointed out below) that God’s “spiritual house” is in course of erection now, that it is being built “in Sion”, and that the believers in Jesus Christ are “living stones” therein, and are also a “royal priesthood.”

Zechariah refers again (6:12-15) to “the Man whose name is The BRANCH,” and who “shall build the temple of the Lord”; and says of Him that “He shall bear the glory, and He shall sit and rule upon His throne; and He shall be a priest upon His throne.”

None will dispute, in the light of New Testament Scriptures, that this prophecy is being fulfilled now (Heb. 2:9; 8:1, etc.). And the prophet goes on to say that crowns shall be given also to certain men, whom he names, and that “they that are far off” (a scriptural designation of Gentiles, see Acts 2:39 and Eph 2:13), “shall come and build in the temple of the Lord.” Furthermore, in Zechariah 9:9 we have the familiar passage: “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion… behold, thy King cometh unto thee”; and we know to a certainty, from Luke 19:38, that that prophecy was fulfilled when Christ came to Jerusalem to die for our salvation.

In Zechariah 13:7-9 the atoning death of Christ is foretold in the words, “Awake, O sword, against My Shepherd, and against the Man that is My Fellow, saith the Lord of hosts. Smite the Shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered” (See Matt. 26:31).

And what was to follow as regards the Jewish people is foretold in these words: “And it shall come to pass that in all the land, saith the Lord, two parts shall be cut off, and die; but the third part shall be left therein.” And in agreement with this, the two great parties, the Pharisees and the Sadducees, were “cut off”; but a third part, the disciples of Christ, were left. And as to these, the prophecy goes on to say: “And I will bring the third part through the fire and will refine them as silver is refined” (See 1 Pet. 1:6 and 4:12); “they shall call on My Name and I will hear them. I will say, It is My people; and they shall say, The Lord is My God” (See Rom. 11:1,2).

Moreover, the apostle Paul declares the same truth concerning the building of God’s true temple now as declared by Peter. He makes known that those who believe in Jesus Christ are even now “quickened together with Christ, – and raised up together, and made to sit together [i.e. on thrones] in heavenly places [Zion] in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:5,6); which plainly declares that we live and reign with Christ even now. This indeed is not perceived with the natural eye or realized in our conscious experience.

And furthermore, in the immediate context, Paul also declares the companion truth revealed by Peter, namely that the saints of this era, Gentiles as well as Jews, and being “built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone; in whom all the building, fitly framed together, groweth into an holy temple in the Lord” (vv. 20, 21).

The expression “in that day” occurs about twenty times in the book of Zechariah; and, as a judicious commentator says, “It is a synonym for the great Messianic hope.” The first of these occurrences we have quoted, “And many nations shall be joined unto the Lord in that day” (2:11). What was “that day”, then, is this day now, for “now is the day of salvation”; and “all the prophets from Samuel… as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days” (Acts 3:24).

And so, when Zechariah says (13:1) “In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleaness,” we understand clearly that he is foretelling the cross of Christ; as very plainly appears from verse 7, “Awake, O sword, against My Shepherd, and against the Man that is My Fellow, saith the Lord of hosts; smite the Shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered.” (Further reference to the prophecies of Zechariah will be found in Chapter X, The New Covenant.)

Enough has been said, however, to make evident that the prophecies of Zechariah referred to above, and hence other prophecies of like character as well, relate to things spiritual and have their fulfillment in this present era of grace.

But it will be profitable to follow a little further the subject of the building of God’s true temple. So we recall that, at our Lord’s first visit to Jerusalem, when He had driven the traffickers out of the temple which Herod had built and which was one of the wonders of the world; and when the onlookers demanded of Him what sign He could give in proof of his authority to do those things, He answered and said unto them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up” (John 2:19). The Jews understood this “literally”; that is to say, they took it as applying to that building of material stones which stood on Mt. Moriah; and had the record stopped there, it would doubtless be insisted by some in our day that that great edifice, which has been meanwhile destroyed so completely that not one stone remains upon another, is to be miraculously restored in the coming millennium. But, to the end that we should not be misled and also that we might have a key to the interpretation of prophetic utterances of this sort, the Spirit caused John to insert the explanatory note: “But He spake of the Temple of His Body.”

This is just one of the many indications scattered throughout the Scriptures, that God’s promises are to be fulfilled and His purposes are to be accomplished in the resurrection; that is to say, in the new creation.

Again, at a subsequent visit to Jerusalem, at the season of one of the feasts, “In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried saying, If any man thirst, let him come to Me and drink, he that believeth on Me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water” (John 7:37,38). We might well wonder what would have been made of this saying by those who insist upon “literal” interpretations, had it been left unexplained; and therefore we should be thankful indeed for the added words, “But this spake He of the Spirit, which they that believe on Him should receive; for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.” Those words put beyond all uncertainty the meaning of the phrase “”living water,” as used, for example, in Zechariah 14:8, “And it shall be in that day that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former (or eastern, marg.) sea [the Caspian], and half of them towards the hinder sea” [the Mediterranean] – in other words, both eastward and westward – “in summer and in winter it shall be” – that is, all the year round.

In the light of John’s explanation, we understand, therefore, that out Lord was foretelling, not some extraordinary physical phenomenon, which was to happen in a far off millennial age, but the then approaching era of the Holy Spirit, when there was to be an outflow of the gospel, “with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven” (1 Pet. 1:12), both eastward and westward from Jerusalem. Thus both the place whence (Jerusalem) and the time when (“in that day”) those living waters were to begin to flow out into all the world, both summer and winter, are plainly foretold in Zechariah’s prophecy. (Further explanations of the prophecies concerning the outflow of living waters from the Temple at Jerusalem will be found below (Chapter XIII) in connection with a discussion of Ezekiel’s temple and of the question, Where did the Spirit descend at Pentecost?”)

And again let it be noted that these explanations put us in possession of the general principle upon which all prophecies of the same sort should be interpreted. They harmonize fully with all other indications contained in the Scriptures; making it abundantly plain that all the prophecies of future glory and blessing for Israel, Zion, and Jerusalem, pertain to that “holy nation” (1 Peter 1:9) “the Israel of God” (Gal. 6:16), and to that heavenly “Mount Sion,” and to “the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem,” to which we already “are come” (Heb 12:22.).

Therefore, for the above, and for other reasons set forth elsewhere in this volume, the writer reaches the conclusion that we are to look for the fulfillment of the prophecies in question – not to another age than this, but – to another locality; namely, to that spiritual realm, which Paul designates “the heavenlies”; where our Lord is gone to prepare a place for us, where the true temple is now in course of erection, and where already exists “the Jerusalem which is above, which is the mother of us all” (Gal. 4:26).

The idea of a future “dispensation” for the fulfillment of prophecies on the earth, abounds in difficulties, and moreover it contradicts many passages of Scripture; whereas the idea of another locality, a spiritual and heavenly realm where those prophecies are in course of fulfillment now, is free from all difficulty, and has, moreover, the support of many N.T. Scriptures.

Concerning the now-existing realm of unseen things enough is said in the Scriptures to make known that it is a region of great activity; that the “principalities and powers” therein are numerous and mighty – angels and demons, good spirits and evil – and hence we must infer that there are happenings there which are of immense importance and significance. For example, we read: “There was a war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels” (Rev. 12:7). Also, that “we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Eph. 6:12).

In this connection it were well to recall that the title of the last book of the Bible, “The Apocalypse,” means the unveiling; that is to say, the taking away of the veil that normally separates the realm of spiritual things from that of natural things. That the title indicates that the visions described in the book of “Revelation” bring into view things and happenings in the spiritual realm, whereof, except for this unveiling, we should be wholly unaware.

To be continued: 

Next, HOW THE O.T. PROPHECIES CONCERNING ISRAEL ARE INTERPRETED BY PAUL

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4 comments on “Old Testament Prophecies of Blessing to Israel

  1. This is just SO true! The ONLY future that exists is the HEAVENLY CITY. There is NO earthly city coming in the future which has the capacity to rescue a man, Jew OR Gentile, out of this present corruption. Those who look to an earthly city have believed a LIE even if that earthly city has been decked out with spiritual language and a multitude of scripture references. The ONLY alternative to the HEAVENLY CITY is ETERNAL DESTRUCTION and separation from God in the place he made for the devil and his followers. Thus dispensationalism and millennialism offer a false hope that will never be realized.

    “But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.” Heb 11.16

  2. Amen George! And thank you for commenting. I knew because this was an extremely long post most folks might not have the time to pour over it all. But i was hoping they’d get the ‘gist’ of it….and you sure did!! :-)

  3. PJ- It’s hard to believe that people cannot see through this as easily as you are seeing through dispensationalism. First off, Mauro is way off base on several issues. I have several of his works and he never hits the mark. He starts off by assuming what other people base their view on. He believes that a premillennialist only believes in a millennium because there are prophecies to be fulfilled that cannot be fulfilled in this age. This is not the case. The case is that there are prophecies which state that the Messiah will reign from Jerusalem over the nations after the period of His rejection. It is not a question of, “it doesn’t fit here so it must fit here,” it’s a question of, “scripture lays out a clear place in time for these prophecies to be fulfilled.”

    Mauro’s main point is one that he himself is guilty of. He believes that a premillennialist sees literal fulfillment as physical fulfillment instead of recognizing spiritual realities. The contrast is true and he is a chief offender. Just because there is a literal fulfillment with physical aspects does not mean there is not a spiritual aspect. Isaiah 2:2-4 is a chief example. Just because it is literal Mount Zion and literal Jerusalem does not negate the fact that there is a spiritual reorganization occurring here. Nations will no longer make war against each other. The law will go forth teaching all nations the true ways of God. The efforts which had been previously focused on hating other nations will be focused on cultivating the earth. These things would not happen had not the law of God gone forth to teach the nations to “walk in His path”. The physical fulfillments cannot be separated from the spiritual aspects here and Mauro is making a division that simply cannot be made. He is doing a sleight of hand trying to get you to think that physical fulfillment is ridiculous in light of spiritual fulfillment, but the two are intertwined.

    Citing Abraham having two sons is the best place for a spiritualizer to start. After all, it is an allegory as Paul states in Galatians 4:24. The problem is that some people want to make everything an allegory even though no such allegory is meant. They want to take real historical events and make them all have spiritual meanings, because, after all, the spiritual focus is more spiritual, right? If you don’t have the spiritual focus, of course you are not spiritual (sarcasm intended). Spiritual lessons can be learned from physical events, but to discard future physical fulfillments of prophecy based on this approach is not what scripture intends. After all, was it a spiritual donkey that Jesus rode on? Spiritual Bethlehem? A spiritual virgin? Spiritually lame people made whole? Spiritually blind people receiving their sight? Prophecies at Christ’s first coming were fulfilled literally in a physical and spiritual way. Mauro is trying to divert people’s attention away from the physical when the two go hand in hand. He is creating a dichotomy in the scriptures that cannot be maintained if someone looks at the Bible with common sense.

    Mauro also does a real nice sleight of hand in II Corinthians 3. He tries to say that all promises to Israel now apply to the church because it states that the glory of the law is passing away. Now Mauro does not examine the exact phrasing here, but glosses over hoping that the ardent student will not dig in deeper and see what is going on. The Greek tenses of the verbs are passive participles, which means ongoing repeated action. The glory is being done away with. The reason why it is being done away with is not because it is null and void. It is because there is a greater, brighter glory shining more brightly than that glory. The later verses show that the reading of the old testament is still occurring amongst those that are blinded in the hopes that the Veil will be taken away, see verses 14-16. So the glory of the old covenant is still there, still condemning people of sin, Romans 3:19, still pointing people to Christ (since Moses wrote of Christ) John 5:46, Luke 24:27, acting as a guardian to bring us to the place of faith, Galatians 3:24; but it is being surpassed by a greater glory because God has written on the very hearts of His people.

    But notice the huge infraction that Mauro commits. After stating that the old covenant is completely gone, he states that all the promises made to Israel under the old covenant now apply to the church. Completely twisting the scriptures violating a scriptural principle on one hand and then in defiance of that violation stating that the fulfillment will still occur even though the scriptures have been negated. Now that’s audacious! So now let’s quote Mauro to see what he thinks of those who do not agree with him, myself included. “Evidently then our difficulty in understanding prophecies of the class referred to above is due to our lack of faith and our spiritual dullness.” So if you do not follow Mauro’s conclusions, it is because you lack faith and have spiritual dullness. Well, I guess I must have no faith and be pretty spiritually dull, cuz I’m just not feeling it.

    So now Mauro moves a step further into the life of Christ. Basically he states that because Christ came physically to literally fulfill the scriptures, that means all other prophecies must be fulfilled in the spiritual realm. Now he has a little more class than to word it that way. But this is the essence of what He is saying. Because Christ came physically, that’s all there is. So everything else must be fulfilled spiritually. To prove his point, he cites Zechariah and the prophecies which state that the Messiah will be a king and a priest upon His throne. He then spiritualizes the passage in making the temple to be a spiritual temple. This might be an interpretation if we did not have other scriptures which clearly show us the timing of when the Priest after the order of Melchizedek will sit upon the throne. Psalm 110 is our key passage quoted more often than any other passage in the NT. When will the Priest-King sit on that throne? Only after He has ascended to sit at the right hand of the Father and then be sent back in order that the enemies of the Messiah be made into a footstool. The fact that this is Messianic is proven by Christ Himself, see Matthew 22:41-46. Peter quotes this passage to show that the present time pictures the Messiah at the right hand of the Father until such a time comes that His foes be made into a footstool, see Acts 2:33-35. Peter also assures that the LORD Jesus will be sent back at the repentance of Israel, see Acts 3:19-20. So to say that this passage in Zechariah 6:13 must refer to a spiritual temple in the here and now is to ignore the overall framework of prophetic scripture. Further, Mauro creates another problem by showing that Jesus referred to His own body as a temple. So both spiritual applications cannot be true. Jesus did not come to build His own body. To take one allegory [such as the church is a temple or the body of Jesus is a temple] and just arbitrarily take a prophetic scripture concerning a temple is going to create a contradiction. Further, Paul stated that our physical bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, see I Corinthians 3:16-17, 6:18-20. All allegories cannot be true at the same time of the reality contained in the prophetic scriptures. Sorry, it just cannot happen. But Mauro hopes you just won’t notice the contradiction he just created.

    Mauro writes, “The idea of a future “dispensation” for the fulfillment of prophecies on the earth, abounds in difficulties, and moreover it contradicts many passages of Scripture; whereas the idea of another locality, a spiritual and heavenly realm where those prophecies are in course of fulfillment now, is free from all difficulty, and has, moreover, the support of many N.T. Scriptures.”

    This is only a difficulty for Mauro who does not understand the infinite wisdom of God and His ability to create a new heavens and a new earth wherein dwell righteousness, see II Peter 3:13. God has ordered the earth as He chooses and He formed it to be inhabited, Isaiah 45:18. Before Him every knee will bow here on earth, see Isaiah 45:22-25. This is not some pie in the sky spiritual only reality. God intends to redeem creation itself since it is in groaning awaiting the manifestation of the children of God, see Romans 8:18-22. Just because there are spiritual realities that are fulfilled along with the redemption of creation, and the creation of a new heaven and a new earth, it doesn’t negate the physical aspect, but rather enhances it as the story of the garden of Eden shows. God created a physical place for His creation of mankind who were also spiritual creatures. In the same way, the new heavens and new earth will be inhabited by the children of God ruling with Christ over that creation as was intended from the beginning.

    It is my hope that you, PJ, or anyone else, will not give Mauro the time of day to create a system of interpreting the scriptures that is just as bad as dispensationalism. Instead of a false dichotomy between Israel and the church as dispensationalism insists, it is a false dichotomy between physical and spiritual fulfillments of scripture. In essence, Mauro states that because Jesus has physically come, all physical fulfillments have occurred, we now only look for spiritual fulfillments. And this is not the way the apostles interpreted the scriptures.

    Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13

    -The Orange Mailman

    • Hi Orange,

      If you noticed the date this particular work by Mauro was written or published was in 1922. From my studies of dispensationalism there have been a number of changes within this form of theology down through the years. Changes which have resulted in the branching out of numerous “types” of dispensationalism which we see today. Mauro could only write about what he saw in 1922.

      I happen to agree with many of his points, and it’s these im sharing…though as i stated earlier in a previous post, i couldn’t say i am in 100% agreement with every word in this particular book. But i’ve found there are very few theology books (if any) i ever agree with 100% :-)

      I understand we don’t see eye-to-eye on certain issues my friend…and accept that. So rather then respond to each and every issue you have with the author (im not here to defend anyone or argue a point, only to share, discuss, and learn together) i’ll just pick one and then allow others to make up there own minds concerning the author or the problems you see with him.

      So now Mauro moves a step further into the life of Christ. Basically he states that because Christ came physically to literally fulfill the scriptures, that means all other prophecies must be fulfilled in the spiritual realm. Now he has a little more class than to word it that way. But this is the essence of what He is saying. Because Christ came physically, that’s all there is. So everything else must be fulfilled spiritually.

      You are right, he doesn’t say that, and that isn’t what i took away from reading the book either. His point, or at least what i took from it, is pointing us to the fact that Jesus Christ came to fulfill the promises and old covenant requirements. Which he did! As far as saying now everything else must be fulfilled spiritually, i didn’t come away with that idea at all…only that after Christ came there was no further need for types and shadows. And as revelation progressed it moved forward from the lesser to the greater. The book of Hebrews points this out.

      Will revelation regress in the “last days” and/or future, back to types and shadows? No. I do not believe it will or more importantly that it is God’s plan for it to do so. As an example, this is why i will never be convinced that a temple will be built in which God sanctioned sacrifices will resume.

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Possessing the Treasure

Κατέχοντας ο Θησαυρός

paul the slave

2 Corinthians 1:6-9

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