- Apr 27, 2017
I will compile something to explore this more deeply re Israel Vs Church because I do believe there are some differences ala the fact that the HS dwells in the believer in the New Covenant versus not in the old. Therein the greater gravity under the new.
Under the Old Covenant
2 Chronicles 7
14 if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 15 Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place. 16 For now I have chosen and sanctified this house, that My name may be there forever; and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually. 17 As for you, if you walk before Me as your father David walked, and do according to all that I have commanded you, and if you keep My statutes and My judgments, 18 then I will establish the throne of your kingdom, as I covenanted with David your father, saying, ‘You shall not fail to have a man as ruler in Israel.’
19 “But if you turn away and forsake My statutes and My commandments which I have set before you, and go and serve other gods, and worship them, 20 then I will uproot them from My land which I have given them; and this house which I have sanctified for My name I will cast out of My sight, and will make it a proverb and a byword among all peoples.
21 “And as for this house, which is exalted, everyone who passes by it will be astonished and say, ‘Why has the Lord done thus to this land and this house?’ 22 Then they will answer, ‘Because they forsook the Lord God of their fathers, who brought them out of the land of Egypt, and embraced other gods, and worshiped them and served them; therefore He has brought all this calamity on them.’ ”
- God sovereignly works with corporate Israel, according to the promises made to Abraham, then Isaac and Jacob. Even though only a remnant is saved, God will still honour His oath to them
- God led Israel into captivity (Babylon for Judah/ Assyria for Israel) because they turned to other gods. 70 odd years for Judah and around 430 years for Israel if I recall correctly. This is because they turned from God and began serving other gods.
-It wasn’t a pleasant time for them. With Jerusalem surrounded and under months long siege, the women and men began eating their own offspring. Many people died before Jerusalem capitulated.
-During this time God still had his prophets in amongst the people, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Isaiah etc. rebuking the people for their sins and their turning from the Lord. But He also gave them hope that this would not be forever, because of His mercies, and that one day he would restore them. And this He did.
-Individuals (within Israel) could also turn from their wicked ways back to the Lord during this time. However they themselves might be saved, they were under corporate captivity. A saved Jew under Babylonian rule. At this time Israel could not perform the daily, monthly and annual sacrifices. This could not be done because they no longer had the temple. No longer had God’s presence dwelling with them.
-Do I believe that someone (a Jew) who for a season served and worshipped Baal and then had a change of heart and returned to the living God, then my opinion is that this person would be restored as per 2 Chronicles 7v14 above.
- And the reason is that the law was a tutor but they did not have the indwelling presence of the Lord God as does the church today. Today the law is written upon our hearts and the Holy Spirit is the HELPER. Back then they had only Flesh and Soul. Today we have Flesh, Soul and Spirit. And it’s the Spirit that makes all the difference.
- The closer you are to God’s presence the swifter the judgment – it is the very reason the Annanias and Sapphira were immediately stuck dead for lying to the Holy Spirit. Its because the presence of the Holy Spirit was very strong and tangible in the church in those days. It is also the reason why Eli and his sons (1 Samuel) were allowed to contravene the laws of God without much repercussion in those days, because the word of the Lord was scarce in those days.
Which brings us to the present day.
-We have an indwelling Holy Spirit. In some sense we are in a similar position to Ananias and Sapphira (Holy Spirit with), but less so in the fact that today we find the church more in the state we found Israel in 1 Samuel. I believe the “True” Word of the Lord is scarce these days. We all know that the Holy Spirit is not moving in the same way as He did at the very birth of the church in the book of Acts. Why? Because by and large although we have the numbers in the church today, I don’t believe there exists the same zeal, excitement and total surrender that you had in the early days in the Book of Acts.
- And this is probably a good thing in ONE respect. There would be a lot more slain Annanias and Sapphiras (even on this forum).
-But there is one thing that God won’t compromise on His Word. And that is the scriptures. If you had tasted the heavenly gift and the powers of the age to come, if you fall away, to be renewed again unto repentance, because you crucify the Son of God all over again. This is the truth. And for this it means a GENUINE believer who turns their back on God. I cannot tell whether your friends were ever serious about God. If they weren’t then they were not saved to begin with and they could theoretically flip flop. If they were serious, then turned, well then there is no way back according to the scriptures.
-To give you an example of the standard of Grace versus the Law we can compare the following: under law you had to physically commit adultery, under Grace you just had to think it to be committing adultery. Under law you had to physically murder someone to be guilty of murder. Under Grace you just had to hate someone.
- Under Grace the standard is HIGHER. And this is why Apostasy under Grace is so much more punitive.
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