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  1. #1
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    Thoughts on II Peter 3:15&16

    As I was reading through II Peter trying to gain a better understanding of the 'End Times', I came to a verse near the end that caused me to stop and meditate upon the significance of it.

    Stepping back into time, I thought of Peter, who walked and talked with Jesus, the one whom Jesus called the Rock, upon whom He would build His church, the one whom He told to feed His sheep if he loved Him; also the one who agonized over denying his Lord three times. This is the man who wrote the first and second epistles of Peter, who wrote the verse that is the object of my thought.

    II Peter 3:15 & 16 says ' consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation- as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures.'

    The significance this verse gives to the relationship that Peter had with Paul is very insightful to me. Peter’s epistle was written in the mid 60’s AD and Paul’s epistles are dated from the late 40’s to early 60’s AD, so it appears Peter had first hand knowledge of Paul’s epistles to the churches, giving credence to the veracity of Paul’s writings being God inspired, and totally accepted by Peter, the Rock, one of the disciples who walked with Jesus the Son of God.

    It is also plain to see that people were already trying to twist and change Scripture, ending in their own destruction.

  2. #2
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    Rose, as we study and contemplate the letters of what we call "The New Testament", it is evident that there is a distinction between those things written by Paul, and, those things written by those who followed after Paul; the writer of Hebrews, James, John and Peter.

    As we study the Acts of the Apostles, we see that there was a definitive adjustment between Paul and the apostles in Jerusalem. These matters, to some who argue that it shows a division within the body, and, then, to some, who say that it is important to follow either in one direction or the other, are important to all of us who seek to hear accurately what the Lord is saying to His body.

    Paul takes considerable time to explain that our standing with God (justification) is not a matters of our works, or efforts, to please God. It is purely a matter of the sacrificial "works" of Christ, and His faith.

    The following writers, James and John and Peter, focus on matters of works that follow faith.

    What may appear to be an argument between them is actually a completion of our faith.

    We cannot do anything that would cause God to owe us "salvation" (Paul's view).
    But, we are to demonstrate that our faith produces corresponding "works" (the view of the others).

    Joel

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by joel View Post
    Rose, as we study and contemplate the letters of what we call "The New Testament", it is evident that there is a distinction between those things written by Paul, and, those things written by those who followed after Paul; the writer of Hebrews, James, John and Peter.

    As we study the Acts of the Apostles, we see that there was a definitive adjustment between Paul and the apostles in Jerusalem. These matters, to some who argue that it shows a division within the body, and, then, to some, who say that it is important to follow either in one direction or the other, are important to all of us who seek to hear accurately what the Lord is saying to His body.

    Paul takes considerable time to explain that our standing with God (justification) is not a matters of our works, or efforts, to please God. It is purely a matter of the sacrificial "works" of Christ, and His faith.

    The following writers, James and John and Peter, focus on matters of works that follow faith.

    What may appear to be an argument between them is actually a completion of our faith.

    We cannot do anything that would cause God to owe us "salvation" (Paul's view).
    But, we are to demonstrate that our faith produces corresponding "works" (the view of the others).

    Joel
    Hi Joel,

    Great to see you here!

    I agree that there is a distinction in style between Paul and the other Apostles, and that it helps to discern their differences in emphasis. But in that process, some have erred and taught that the later epistles are contrary to Paul and not even addressed to Christians. I first ran into this idea at a Berean Church in Seattle, which teaches that "rightly dividing the word of truth" means that we need to discern between books addressed to Gentile Christians (Paul's letters only) and those addressed to "Jewish Christians." Have you encountered this idea? What do you think of it?

    The worst case scenario is the extreme error amongst some messianics who want assert we are still supposed to "keep Torah" and who actually deny Paul altogether, calling him a "false apostle."

    When I read Rose's post, it makes me appreciate the integrity of the Bible. Peter walked with Jesus and he bears witness of Paul as both a Christian brother and prophet of God who wrote inspired Scripture. For me, it is a great joy to see one part of Scripture bearing witness to another part.

    Richard

  4. #4
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    Amen, Richard. And it is good to be here.

    (Richard said....)
    "I first ran into this idea at a Berean Church in Seattle, which teaches that "rightly dividing the word of truth" means that we need to discern between books addressed to Gentile Christians (Paul's letters only) and those addressed to "Jewish Christians." Have you encountered this idea? What do you think of it?"
    ---------------------------------

    Yes, I am familiar with those who separate Paul's teachings as to those of the nations, and, the teachings of the others, as to those of the circumcision.

    I believe that there is some validity in considering the differences in these messages.

    On the other hand, it is becoming increasingly evident, that, as we approach the end of this current era, we are to identify the unity between them, in contradistinction to the differences.

    The revelation that may be impending is the understanding of what the nation of Israel is called to accomplish, and what the body of Christ is called, in the celestial realm, to accomplish.

    Is one the bride (Israel) on the earth, and, the other (those called out of the nations, in the dispensation of Paul), the body of Christ?

    In one realm, that which applies to the earth, the relationship between the man and woman, the bridegroom and the bride, may apply specifically to Israel, as a nation.

    In the other realm, that which applies to the heavenlies, the relationship between the man and woman is dissolved. There is no distinction between male and female in the heavenly realms. Consequently, the body of Christ is comprised of the members, and the head.

    These are matters which are of great importance, and, your input, as the administrator of this site, are so vital to help us in our joint quest of truth.

    Joel

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by joel View Post
    Amen, Richard. And it is good to be here.

    (Richard said....)
    "I first ran into this idea at a Berean Church in Seattle, which teaches that "rightly dividing the word of truth" means that we need to discern between books addressed to Gentile Christians (Paul's letters only) and those addressed to "Jewish Christians." Have you encountered this idea? What do you think of it?"
    ---------------------------------

    Yes, I am familiar with those who separate Paul's teachings as to those of the nations, and, the teachings of the others, as to those of the circumcision.

    I believe that there is some validity in considering the differences in these messages.
    It would be good to explore that more. I know that one primary point they stress is that God revealed the idea of the "Body of Christ" only through Paul. But I would have to do a little research before commenting more, since I don't know where they try to go with that idea. I mention it because I notice it relates to your comments below.

    Quote Originally Posted by joel View Post
    On the other hand, it is becoming increasingly evident, that, as we approach the end of this current era, we are to identify the unity between them, in contradistinction to the differences.
    One interesting point here. As far as I know, folks who divide between Paul and the "Hebrew epistles" group the book of Hebrews with the latter, for obvious reasons. And this is one point that the structure of the Bible Wheel impacts, since we have a large-scale symmetry only when we consider Hebrews a "Pauline Epistle." Here is the pic of the symmetry. Its from page 98 of the Bible Wheel book, which I still need to translate into html and post. If there are 14 Pauline epistles, then their is a common divider across all three cycles between Spokes 14 and 15.



    Quote Originally Posted by joel View Post
    The revelation that may be impending is the understanding of what the nation of Israel is called to accomplish, and what the body of Christ is called, in the celestial realm, to accomplish.

    Is one the bride (Israel) on the earth, and, the other (those called out of the nations, in the dispensation of Paul), the body of Christ?
    Well ... I've never thought of that possibility. I've always thought that the Church was both the Body and the Bride of Christ, and that those were just two different metaphors. But if we press them to be literal descriptions, then I guess we would have a bit of a conundrum! Its definitely worth pursuing ... the truth needs to be clarified.

    Quote Originally Posted by joel View Post
    In one realm, that which applies to the earth, the relationship between the man and woman, the bridegroom and the bride, may apply specifically to Israel, as a nation.

    In the other realm, that which applies to the heavenlies, the relationship between the man and woman is dissolved. There is no distinction between male and female in the heavenly realms. Consequently, the body of Christ is comprised of the members, and the head.
    Well, one immediate challenge to that view is the fact that the marriage of the lamb takes place in heaven:

    Revelation 19:1 And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God: ... 6 And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. 7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.

    Quote Originally Posted by joel View Post
    These are matters which are of great importance, and, your input, as the administrator of this site, are so vital to help us in our joint quest of truth.

    Joel
    Yes Joel, you are absolutely correct, these are very important, and intriguing questions that touch up many different aspects of our biblical understanding. I'm glad you brought them up! I can see you are going to be a great asset to our community.

    Richard

  6. #6
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    Bride and Body

    Hi Joel and Richard!

    This is a really interesting thread. You raise postulations that show a great deal of insight and breadth of understanding. I am very impressed, and grateful for the sharing.

    Joel, like you I see a distinction between the Body of Christ and the Bride of Christ, and along similar lines as you. My understanding is that we, the Spirit-filled believers, form the Body of Christ; and that Israel is the Bride of Christ. When I say Israel I don't mean the nation state of Israel. I mean the 12 tribes of Israel, and the nations they have become today, which includes America (in fact, is mainly America). I follow your thoughts, as you have expressed them, and am intrigued by your reasoning.

    Richard has added further to our understanding through the Bible Wheel. It offers graphic evidence to Joel's postulations. I find Richard's cutout of the Bible Wheel compelling. I agree with the Pauline nature of Hebrews being verified through the Bible Wheel. What is even more fascinating is that the Bible Wheel divides the Pauline epistles from the following epistles along the Post-Exilic axis. This is a tremendous insight!

    I had never contemplated the idea that Paul's epistles serve a different function to those it precedes. The Bible Wheel appears to support this position. I say that because the Post-Exilic letters that follow are part of a schema that runs through all three levels of the Wheel. If there's any single aspect that rubber-stamps the veracity of the Bible Wheel, then this is surely it.

    Now, if we are to make a distinction between the Pauline epistles / Post-Exilic epistles along the lines of Body of Christ / Bride of Christ, we have a very interesting thematic shift that ties in with the subject of who Israel is today. It follows that if Paul is writing to the church, the Body of Christ, then James and Peter must be writing to Israel, a nation which is yet to come out of exile! Two distinct entities, related though not the same.

    Richard, as you know from another thread, I oppose replacement theology, which says that the church is Israel. This aspect of distinguishing between the Pauline and the Post-Exilic epistles along the lines of the intended audience is evidence that I wished to introduce at some later stage. This thread, and the sharing between Joel and yourself, has preempted that discussion.

    I believe the Post-Exilic epistles are intended chiefly for the Bride, i.e Israel. That's not to say that they are not intended for the church, too. Of course, all the epistles are intended for all believers to learn from! What I am saying, though, is that they have a more fundamental purpose. That purpose is to address biblical Israel once she has finished the exile begun under Tilgath-Pilneser III, whose reign began in 745 BC. Israel was to serve her 'seven times' punishment first, as prescribed in Leviticus 26, specifically verses 27 and 28 (note the change in voice and severity in these two verses). This punishment was to last seven (times), being 7 x 360 = 2520. More on this some other time.

    It so happens that America dates from 1776, exactly 2520 years from when Tilgath-Pilneser III acceded to the throne of Assyria, founding the neo-Assyrian Empire. It also just happens that 1 Peter begins with the words 'Petros apostolou' which sum to 1776. It also just happens that much of the imagery in 1 Peter is taken from scriptures relating specifically to Israel, its origins as the people of God, its exile, and its reformation in the fullness of time. It also just happens that 'Petros apostolou' means 'stone set apart', or 'commissioned stone'. It also just happens that there is a stone set apart over the pyramid on the Great Seal. It also just happens that Peter quotes Psalm 118:22,23; a stone that has become both a corner-stone and a head-stone ... in other words, an apex or zenith.

    I could go on and on from 1 Peter, and probably will do so at another time. The point I would like to make is this. The Bible Wheel distinguishes between Pauline epistles and Post-Exilic epistles. It is possible that it does so along the lines of dividing epistles specifically intended for the church, and epistles addressing the post-exilic Israel - a yet future event at the time of their writing. Moreover, the Bible Wheel informs us that there are groups of Books intended to be understood in the context of post-exilic. I have quoted 1 Peter, but the Bible Wheel tells us that on spoke 16 there are supplementary Books in Nehemiah and Zechariah. And when these supplementary Books are examined, they only reaffirm through their symbolism that (chiefly) America is post-exilic Israel, the ten-tribed Northern Kingdom, the sinful nation that God cast off, calling her Lo-Ammi, Not-My-People, the daughter of a harlot; the nation to whom God also said that, in the fullness time, He would call My People once more, the nation that would accept the call to take the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to the ends of the Earth.

    The Bible Wheel actually supports the belief that 1 Peter may have been written specifically to America! In this respect, it is an epistle of a thoroughly prophetic nature, a miracle in its own right when understood in this light. Small wonder, for the Lord Jesus Christ himself prophesied very specifically of America over 17 centuries before the nation ever came into existence!

    Stephen

    PS: 1 Peter opens 'Petros apostolos Ihsou Xristou', summing to 37 x 112 (YHWH Elohim). The two nominals, 'Petros' and 'Ihsou', sum to 1443 = 37 x 39; and the two titles, 'apostolos' and 'Xristou', sum to 2701 = 37 x 73. Also, as stated, 'Petros apostolos' sums to 1776; and 'Ihsou Xristou' sums to 2368 = 37 x 64. There is deep numerical integration in the opening words of Peter, the 'stone set apart of Jesus Christ'.

    PSS: Richard, the term 'apostolos' has very interesting roots. The prefix 'apo' means 'to separate one thing from another; to make a distinction'. These resonate precisely with the meaning of 'badeel', as in 'haAben haBadeel' in the hands of Zerubbabel, found in Zechariah 4. There is some dense post-exilic stuff in that chapter that finds its outlet in 1 Peter, and its prophecy for America. The second root is 'stello', meaning 'to place, to prepare'.

  7. #7
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    Stephen, I look forward to fellowship with you, and Richard, and others on these matters of consequence. YOu obviously have important input. Thanks, Joel

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen View Post
    Hi Joel and Richard!

    This is a really interesting thread. You raise postulations that show a great deal of insight and breadth of understanding. I am very impressed, and grateful for the sharing.

    Joel, like you I see a distinction between the Body of Christ and the Bride of Christ, and along similar lines as you. My understanding is that we, the Spirit-filled believers, form the Body of Christ; and that Israel is the Bride of Christ. When I say Israel I don't mean the nation state of Israel. I mean the 12 tribes of Israel, and the nations they have become today, which includes America (in fact, is mainly America). I follow your thoughts, as you have expressed them, and am intrigued by your reasoning.
    Hi Stephen,

    This is something I want to pursue with both your and Joel. It doesn't make any sense to me.

    The New Testament explicitly likens the Church to both the Body and the Bride in a single passage:

    Ephesians 5:22-32 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. 25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. 28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: 30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. 31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. 32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

    There it is. The Body of Christ is the Wife of Christ is the Church, all in the same passage.

    I would really like to know the origin and proof of the idea that Israel, as opposed to the Church, is the Bride of Christ.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen View Post
    Richard has added further to our understanding through the Bible Wheel. It offers graphic evidence to Joel's postulations. I find Richard's cutout of the Bible Wheel compelling. I agree with the Pauline nature of Hebrews being verified through the Bible Wheel. What is even more fascinating is that the Bible Wheel divides the Pauline epistles from the following epistles along the Post-Exilic axis. This is a tremendous insight!
    Yes, I find that quite astounding too! Especially since the "Epistles to the scattered - James, 1,2 Peter - align with the Post-Exilic history and prophecy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen View Post
    I had never contemplated the idea that Paul's epistles serve a different function to those it precedes. The Bible Wheel appears to support this position. I say that because the Post-Exilic letters that follow are part of a schema that runs through all three levels of the Wheel. If there's any single aspect that rubber-stamps the veracity of the Bible Wheel, then this is surely it.
    I see it as one of many such confirmations

    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen View Post
    Now, if we are to make a distinction between the Pauline epistles / Post-Exilic epistles along the lines of Body of Christ / Bride of Christ, we have a very interesting thematic shift that ties in with the subject of who Israel is today. It follows that if Paul is writing to the church, the Body of Christ, then James and Peter must be writing to Israel, a nation which is yet to come out of exile! Two distinct entities, related though not the same.
    But where do we get such an idea in the first place? What in the text would suggest that the catholic epistles are for "Bride" versus the "Body" of Christ? I never would have gotten the idea from just reading the text. I always feel that Paul, James, Peter and John are speaking with one voice to the Body/Bride of Christ.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen View Post
    Richard, as you know from another thread, I oppose replacement theology, which says that the church is Israel.
    You know Stephen, I would be really interested to know where you got your understanding about the definition and meaning of "replacement theology." Can you quote any "replacement theologians? Do you have any sources of people who profess those ideas? I feel like I'm working in a bit of a vacuum. Its like talking about "Calvinism" without a single quote from Calvin, Spurgeon, Sproul, James White, or any of the authorities who claim to be Calvinists.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen View Post
    This aspect of distinguishing between the Pauline and the Post-Exilic epistles along the lines of the intended audience is evidence that I wished to introduce at some later stage. This thread, and the sharing between Joel and yourself, has preempted that discussion.

    I believe the Post-Exilic epistles are intended chiefly for the Bride, i.e Israel.
    Before we get to that, I want to the idea that Israel is the Bride of Christ derived and supported from the Bible. The problem right now is that I'm not aware of a single verse being put forward in support of this idea. We need to focus on the foundation right now.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen View Post
    That's not to say that they are not intended for the church, too. Of course, all the epistles are intended for all believers to learn from! What I am saying, though, is that they have a more fundamental purpose. That purpose is to address biblical Israel once she has finished the exile begun under Tilgath-Pilneser III, whose reign began in 745 BC. Israel was to serve her 'seven times' punishment first, as prescribed in Leviticus 26, specifically verses 27 and 28 (note the change in voice and severity in these two verses). This punishment was to last seven (times), being 7 x 360 = 2520. More on this some other time.
    I don't get it. My understanding of Scripture says there is no Jew or Gentile, no "commonwealth of Israel" separate from the Gentile believers because we are one new man, as it is written:

    Ephesians 2:11 - 3:1 11 ¶ Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; 12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel [= all Israel = the Circumcision], and strangers from the covenants of promise [note the promise was first to the Jews/Israel then to the Gentiles], having no hope, and without God in the world: 13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. 14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one [no more Israel vs Gentile, we are ONE], and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; 15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man [Jew/Israel + Gentile = ONE], so making peace; 16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: 17 And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. 18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. 19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints [we are ONE PEOPLE OF GOD], and of the household of God; 20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; 21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: 22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen View Post
    It so happens that America dates from 1776, exactly 2520 years from when Tilgath-Pilneser III acceded to the throne of Assyria, founding the neo-Assyrian Empire.
    That's interesting .... there could be a meta-fulfillment of prophecy here. But it still seems wrong to suggest that that actual people are the actual descendants of actual Israel (in the 12-tribe sense). The Gospel went to the whole world, God is not interested in one ethnic group, Jesus is the Saviour of the World.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen View Post
    It also just happens that 1 Peter begins with the words 'Petros apostolou' which sum to 1776.
    That is striking! Especially given the symbolism of the Pyramind (Stone/Petra) and Spoke 16 (Zechariah upon one stone, Capstone, etc) and its alignment with 1 Peter. Very tight stuff.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen View Post
    It also just happens that much of the imagery in 1 Peter is taken from scriptures relating specifically to Israel, its origins as the people of God, its exile, and its reformation in the fullness of time. It also just happens that 'Petros apostolou' means 'stone set apart', or 'commissioned stone'. It also just happens that there is a stone set apart over the pyramid on the Great Seal. It also just happens that Peter quotes Psalm 118:22,23; a stone that has become both a corner-stone and a head-stone ... in other words, an apex or zenith.
    We're definitely tracking here. You just said what I wrote before I got to this part of your LOOOONNNGGG note!

    The idea of Petros Apostolos is interesting, but I'm not sure I could commit to its meaning the way you put it. Apostolos is from the root meaning "sent" not "set apart." And the Greek word for the cornerstone quoted from PS 118:22 is lithos rather than petros. Sure, the meanings overlap, and are coherent, but the connections is not as strong as you made it seem.


    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen View Post
    I could go on and on from 1 Peter, and probably will do so at another time.
    Please do! That would be a valuable addition to our knowledge.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen View Post
    The point I would like to make is this. The Bible Wheel distinguishes between Pauline epistles and Post-Exilic epistles. It is possible that it does so along the lines of dividing epistles specifically intended for the church, and epistles addressing the post-exilic Israel - a yet future event at the time of their writing.
    We really need to find a reason from Scripture to even be talking about post-exilic Israel as having any role to play in anything. This is the missing foundation stone in the whole edifice you are presenting to me. I have been reading the Bible for many years, and this idea never has occurred to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen View Post
    Moreover, the Bible Wheel informs us that there are groups of Books intended to be understood in the context of post-exilic. I have quoted 1 Peter, but the Bible Wheel tells us that on spoke 16 there are supplementary Books in Nehemiah and Zechariah. And when these supplementary Books are examined, they only reaffirm through their symbolism that (chiefly) America is post-exilic Israel, the ten-tribed Northern Kingdom, the sinful nation that God cast off, calling her Lo-Ammi, Not-My-People, the daughter of a harlot; the nation to whom God also said that, in the fullness time, He would call My People once more, the nation that would accept the call to take the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to the ends of the Earth.
    I understand your assertion, but where is its biblical support? I want you to quote me chapter and verse. To paraphrase Luther, my heart is captive to the Word of God. If you can't prove it to me from the Bible, then I can not change my point of view.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen View Post
    The Bible Wheel actually supports the belief that 1 Peter may have been written specifically to America! In this respect, it is an epistle of a thoroughly prophetic nature, a miracle in its own right when understood in this light. Small wonder, for the Lord Jesus Christ himself prophesied very specifically of America over 17 centuries before the nation ever came into existence!

    Stephen
    Thanks again Bro - very helpful post. I really look forward to getting down to the bedrock on this question.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen View Post
    PS: 1 Peter opens 'Petros apostolos Ihsou Xristou', summing to 37 x 112 (YHWH Elohim). The two nominals, 'Petros' and 'Ihsou', sum to 1443 = 37 x 39; and the two titles, 'apostolos' and 'Xristou', sum to 2701 = 37 x 73. Also, as stated, 'Petros apostolos' sums to 1776; and 'Ihsou Xristou' sums to 2368 = 37 x 64. There is deep numerical integration in the opening words of Peter, the 'stone set apart of Jesus Christ'.
    Excellent numbers. If you like, we can follow them up in the Gematria section.

    Thanks again for a most interesting post!

    PS: I have to increase the size allowed for posts from 10,000 to 15,000 characters to post this reply! We gotta break things down into more "byte-size" pieces, if ya know what I mean.

  9. #9
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    Richard, you said;

    "The New Testament explicitly likens the Church to both the Body and the Bride in a single passage:

    Ephesians 5:22-32 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. 25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. 28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: 30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. 31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. 32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

    There it is. The Body of Christ is the Wife of Christ is the Church, all in the same passage.

    I would really like to know the origin and proof of the idea that Israel, as opposed to the Church, is the Bride of Christ."
    ----------------------------------------------------

    Richard, let's try to dissect the passage (Eph. 5:22-32) into components parts;

    (Wives)
    22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
    (Husbands)
    23 For the husband is head of the wife,
    (Christ)
    even as Christ is Head of the church:
    and He is the saviour of the body.
    (Wives)
    24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
    (Husbands)
    25 Husbands, love your wives, even as
    (Christ)
    Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
    (Christ)
    26 That he might santify it and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
    27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing: but that it should be holy and without blemish.
    (Husbands)
    28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies.
    (Husbands)
    He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
    (Husbands)
    29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it,
    (Christ, the Lord)
    even as the Lord the church:
    (Wives, and husbands, specifically, and all believers included)
    30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
    (Husbands and wives)
    31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined
    unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
    (Christ, and the church)
    32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
    --------------------------------------

    As we remain on the earth, in these bodies of flesh, and, we, as men and women, enter into a marriage, there is a definitive order concerning the roles of the men (husbands), and the women (wives).

    The woman is to be subject to her husband. This is appropriate concerning her role as a married woman. Her subjection is in accordance with her subjection to the Lord.
    The husband is the head of the wife in relation to their respective roles. His "headship" is reflective of the headship of Christ as the head of the church.
    In verse 23, in last section of the verse, there is introduced an additional truth; "....and he is the saviour of the body." This role is descriptive of Christ in relation to the church, which is his body. He is the saviour of the body.
    The husband is not said to be the "saviour" of his wife.

    As the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives are to be subject to their husbands, in every thing.

    The husband is then instructed to "love" his wife. In the same manner as Christ loved the church, he (Christ) gave himself for it (the church).

    Note that the wife's role is to be "subject to her husband".
    Note that the husband's role is to "love" his wife.

    Please note that in this section of Ephesians, he (Christ) is "the saviour of the body".

    Beginning in chapter 4 of Ephesians, Paul discusses our "walk" as we remain on the earth. God has placed us in different roles, as we learn to "walk", and in those roles we have relationship responsibilites that can be compared to
    the relationship responsibilities between members of his body, the called out "church" as it continues to function on the earth.

    The question is; do we conclude that the "Bride", and the "church", which is His body, are the same? If so, or, if not, is it important?

    I do believe that it is important. And, as we continue our search, let us look to other sections of scripture.

    Joel

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    Quote Originally Posted by joel View Post
    The question is; do we conclude that the "Bride", and the "church", which is His body, are the same? If so, or, if not, is it important?

    I do believe that it is important. And, as we continue our search, let us look to other sections of scripture.

    Joel
    Hi Joel,

    I agree with all the Scriptures you quoted, and I think you stated the big question well:

    Are we to conclude that the Bride is the Church?

    Of course, I already answered that in the affirmative.

    Let me explain my answer. There are many metaphors for the Church. She is called a "Temple" of God's Spirit and the "Body" of Christ, who is Himself called the "Temple" of God. This shows how the metaphors overlap and interrelate. We don't think about a physical bricks when Peter says we are "lively stones" being "built up a spiritual house" (1 Pet) or when Paul says "all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord" (Eph 2.21) Why then would we take the Bride metaphor "literally", and try to separate it from the metaphors of the Body and the Temple?

    Note also that the Bible mixes the metaphors of City, Bride, and Tabernacle in Revelation 21:2-3

    And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

    Richard

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