Celtic Coffee Roundtable: Dispensationalism, Israel, The Church, and Regeneration


Take a look behind the scenes of the "Why Calvinism" Conference. Before Day 2 of the conference, many of the speakers met at the Celtic Coffee house in the upper room to eat, drink and talk theology. The discussion opened with a question on dispensationalism, moved to the role of Israel and the role of the church, then to difference between the spiritual universal church and the physical church, and the last 15 minutes were on regeneration, when that happens, and if there is a time sequence. Enjoy! People featured in this video: Greg Moore Jr. of @deadmenwalkingpodcast Leighton Flowers of @Soteriology101 Keith Foskey of @ConversationswithaCalvinist Andrew Rappaport of @strivingforeternity6834 Braden Patterson of @openairtheology4524 Happy Addison of @openairtheology4524 Aaron Brewster Kevin Hay Tom Sheppard Dawson Long


I didn't even wear the shirt. I thought you were a Presbyterian. I thought you were a Presbyterian.
No, it all started... It was my Thanksgiving episode. I had the Westminster Standards. Because everybody's going around saying what they were thankful for.
Big Evil was thankful for smoke machines and laser lights. And all that. It's just superior theology. But when it came to the
Presbyterian, he says, I'm thankful for good cigars, a nice whiskey or something, and superior theology.
And I held up the Westminster Standards. And dude, that took off. Like, everybody thought that was great.
Because they were literally thankful for those things. PresbyCast, which is like... Because all us Presbyterians were like,
Finally! We've been saying this all along. And see, the only time that I thought that he was good with the
Presbyterian was when he did the martial arts one and recognized that Jiu -Jitsu is the superior theology, though.
Which, I love Jiu -Jitsu. I joked with him when we were doing the podcast together. I said, I go,
I was glad that you acknowledged that the Dispensational said the superior martial art of Jiu -Jitsu. Mixing the two.
And he's like, wait, what? Well, it's sad because I watch his videos and I go, oh, I'm a complete cliché.
Everyone who does the Presbyterian right down to the Jiu -Jitsu. I'm like, I'm not unique at all. I'm a real tool.
Because he's got me perfectly. Why do you think he's friends with you? No, no.
Tell them I'm telling the truth right now. I've called you before and said, hey, what would Presbyterian think about you? Because I want to be right.
So you are the avatar. So I don't know if you saw his one on Buffalo Wild Wings. We did that literally last year.
We were at the Buffalo Wild Wings. I think it was Greg that just goes, you know, how would a Methodist order?
And he's like, well, a Methodist would order the cauliflower. You can't have any meat. And so, at the end, it's the dispensationalist.
You see the clothes and he ditched paying the bill. And so, because people knew.
People were like, so Andrew didn't pay the bill? He had to go out. Andrew actually bought me lunch.
I almost started rapture theology. I woke up, there's no mattresses.
Everyone's gone. I'm like, what happened at Calvinist convention? Kirk, where are you?
It was only the Baptist that got raptured. Well, I told him, see, one thing people don't understand, you guys don't understand about the rapture, is that if you're sleeping, the mattress goes with you.
We didn't know that. You guys should have totally just left your clothes in there.
Yeah, I'd be more scared to be going downstairs with three naked guys. Well, wasn't that funny?
It's not funny now. Last year, one year ago today, apparently, that's you preaching.
And you look exactly the same. A GQ model. By the way,
Kevin, I had never met you before the day I walked into that room. When I walked into that room, the house, and I walked in and I met you, that was the first time.
The only other person I knew was Andrew. I want you to know that every single person who has talked to me about you since then, basically, they think you're hot.
I didn't say it out loud earlier, but I actually had the thought they picked the prettiest guy to talk to.
That's why we do that. All the women are just going to be going, yeah. Wait, wait, wait.
Are you saying that he is the Swiftie, or the
Taylor Swift of the Calvinists? To make conferences cool? In every boy band, there's the good looking one.
The heartthrob? He's the heartthrob. If I'm in this boy band,
I'm the anchor. I don't think that came out the way you expected it to.
No, I'm the anchor. If you're in a boy band, say no more.
You're the roadie that just got off parole. You ain't singing. You're carrying equipment.
Have you ever seen him floss? I'm just saying. I stick by my comment that I'm just glad Kevin canceled a few of his modeling contracts to be here.
Every year, he's got to move some stuff around. Calvin Klein calls. He's like, guys, I've got to go preach on drugs.
We all have to suffer for Christ in various ways. We're bearing the burden of beauty for all of us. The way
Justin Bieber looks nowadays happens. I said, the way
Justin Bieber looks nowadays happens. My first pastor, we had a situation where someone had an affair.
The pastor ended up disqualifying himself. He sits there and goes, sometimes
I just think I should shave my head and get fat so there's no temptation.
No woman would find me attractive. I said, I got that covered and I don't need to get fat. Is he alright?
Did he drop the plate or something? Yeah, he tripped. He ended up basically just setting the tray down onto the stairs.
He's a ninja. I can fall and keep the drink straight up. Do you want to get to your question?
Are we recording? We've been recording. We've been recording ever since we said
Calvin being an underwear model. I'm just trying to remember all
I've said to see what might be added out later. We were talking about dispensationalism and I said,
I've been accused of being a dispensationalist and having not studied dispensationalism much, I always go, I don't know why you're accusing me of that because I don't know that I'm saying a thing that's uniquely dispensational.
It may be my Southern Baptist roots, but I asked you and I wanted you to give a short, fairly short, paragraph long definition of what is dispensationalism.
You know who you're asking. You asked for a paragraph. A paragraph that's a page long.
This is going to be the most Puritan paragraph you've ever seen in your life. There won't be a
Puritan. This is a Pauline paragraph. He's the only guy that can run out of digital recording.
Hey, you're talking to me here. That's true. Our theory,
I think this conference is giving Leighton about a year's worth of material. I did a three minute comment on Leighton and it was a 20 minute response.
I responded to that with an hour. I did a 20 minute response and it was like three hours.
It takes a lot longer to clean up a mess than it does to make a comment. That was good.
He's been waiting for that. Truly, I don't know what dispensationalism is. Here's the number one thing.
When someone comes to me and says, oh, you're dispensationalist? I immediately know they don't know what dispensationalism is.
Because premillennialism is a byproduct of dispensationalism.
It's not what it is. Essentially, in short, it's a hermeneutical system. What did you just say?
Premillennialism is a byproduct of dispensationalism. You just lit the dock on fire. We were here first.
I'm going to defend him now. He's not saying that you have to be dispensational to be premillennial.
He's saying to be dispensational results in premillennialism for him. None of us.
We did not come out of you. We did not come out of you. Calm down,
Kelly. I already had Jeremiah. You're talking about the love of God.
Practice it. We almost saw the good old boy. What was it you prophesied?
What was it you prophesied? Okay. I think it was a prophecy when you said if he asked that question,
I'm never going to be able to get a paragraph out because everyone's going to interrupt. You pretty much called it.
Really what it comes down to is it's a hermeneutical system. There's basically three main points of it that make it different.
We could say it's a normal or literal. Now I'm starting to use the word literary interpretation.
In other words, you're following the rules of grammar, of literature in the interpretation.
So you take it in a natural sense unless it doesn't. If I say I'm so hungry I can eat a cow, obviously. You go, well, that's an idiom.
Grammatical, historical. So you're saying if you're dispensationalist, you're an idiom. No. I'm saying
I don't make idioms out of everything and spiritualize it. So it comes down to whether we spiritualize or take it in a more literal sense.
A second distinction is going to be that we would take it as a we look at things in light of a view that Israel and the church are two separate groups.
There is some overlap between God's people that you're going to have between Israel and the church, but there's also the difference is they're two separate groups.
And then the third is really, and this is where the Presbyterian might disagree with me, but we would see that the overall arching of Scripture is doxological and not
Christological. So I'm not looking for Christ in every passage of Scripture, I'm looking for God's glory. So if you edit out all the interruptions, then
I probably did it shortly, just for the record. And we have to repeat it for Michael. So you repeat it to see if Michael can understand it.
That's good. I would love to understand it. They think they take the Bible more literally. They think Israel and the church are separate.
And what was the last one you mentioned? And they don't see Christ in every passage of the Old Testament. That's the ugly and short version.
That's why I like omni, because our explanation is kingdoms now wait for Christ. That's it.
Let's go. So your omni -position, you interpret the
Bible by your end times position, is that what you're saying? No. I interpret the
Bible by the rules of literature and then because of that, become a pre -mill. May I add a little bit, because I think you did a great job in being dispensationalist.
I do agree with everything you just said. I think another even simpler way to identify it is to look at what the dispensations are.
By the way, dispensations are tied to a covenant, so we're more covenantal, just for the record.
Oh my gosh. Oh my God. Brandon. I'm turning loose my bulldog.
You better watch it, Brandon. I know all the small hands. I'm a virgin.
We're all going to get you. I'm making a shirt. You're going to catch these small hands. I'm making a shirt.
You guys make a distinction between an amillennialist who would interpret the Bible through the lens of Christ, meaning you're interpreting the
Old Testament through the lens of the New. Whereas a dispensationalist would interpret the
Old through the lens of the New. What I was about to say is that you see that God interacted with people in different ways at different times.
He doesn't interact with us the way you would interact with God. He doesn't interact with the Church the same way you interact with Israel. I'm oversimplifying.
So those different dispensations are the times in which God related to his people in slightly different ways, both consistent throughout
Scripture. So with that said, there is no attempt to see the
Old and the New in light of each other, but to see the Old and the New for what they are in and of themselves as a standing document as it's revealed
God's interactions with mankind over time. Obviously we do.
The Scriptures are cohesive. So yes, the Old doesn't form the New. The New informs the Old. But we don't feel the need to interpret one or see one in light of the other to allow it to grow as it was written.
Did you want to add to that? Yeah, no, I was just going to say I think that except in those areas where the
New Testament clearly is quoting from the Old Testament directly, and then also in terms of the distinction between the
Church and Israel, I would just say only so far as to say there are promises that God specifically made to the
Jewish people that have yet to be completely fulfilled. Amillennialists and others would probably say that they all have already been fulfilled in Christ.
But Romans 9 -11 I think is the passage that you look at to follow the grammatical historical interpretation.
If you do that, then you have to conclude that Paul is still clearly talking about an ethnic
Jewish people. So I'm always careful to define those terms because it even sounds strange to hear, well, we think they're two different groups, or God deals differently.
I just think Scripture is a progressive revelation, and so I don't even like the term dispensation just because it's always been by grace through faith, but the way in which we've seen that unfold has our eyes have been increasingly open to see
Christ and all that God is doing. With each dispensation, what it is, I'm joking with it, but each dispensation, each economy, is really based in the covenant relationship that changes.
So each time God has a covenant with his people, he's saying, okay, this is how I'm going to deal with you.
And so, just like I wouldn't say that, you know, Noah's family wouldn't be
Israel. There's a distinction there, because there's a different way that God says, I'm going to deal with you people this way.
Here's your rules. You're so crazy. Yeah. Okay, so this doesn't actually affect him.
I'm curious to get all of the covenants. I have a quick question. You said that you think you're more covenantal than me.
Or more covenantal than a covenant. Because you only have three covenants. No, there's more than three covenants.
Oh, I agree there's more than three. The point that I wanted to ask you, though, is one of the distinctions of the new covenant in Hebrews chapter 8.
I'm going to ask you if you think this is started at the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, but in that text it says that he's the mediator of a better covenant and better promises, not like the covenants of old.
It says that this is the covenant I will cut with the house of Israel and the house of Judah for they did not continue in my covenant when
I took them out of the land of Egypt for I did not care for them. This is the covenant that I will cut with Israel. I will be their
God. They shall be my people. I will teach each one his brother, saying, Know the Lord, for they will all know me. For they will be my people.
I will be their God. I will forgive their sins. I will remember them. Is that a covenant right now that is with the church?
Or is that with a future Israel? Ezekiel 36? No, so that's quotation from Jeremiah Okay, so it's
Jeremiah, okay. So Jeremiah, and I would argue Ezekiel 36 and 37 is also talking about Yeah, Ezekiel 36
Jeremiah they both are, I would say they're the new covenant. So is that right now? I would say it right now, but I would also say that God is going to do something with Israel again.
So let me flip it and ask it this way. Do you believe that the church is
Israel? Yes. Do you keep the Passover? No. Are you breaking the commandment to Israel to keep the
Passover forever? No. I have to interject. Do you think a Messianic Christian is required to keep the
Passover? According to Paul's argument in Galatians that that has passed away.
That's actually an issue I'm struggling with. Because I'm looking at it, it becomes a question of am
I supposed to keep that as someone who is Jewish? And am I supposed to be? Because that would be for me.
Andrew, why would that be so hard to look at? Why would you go back to look at the types of shadows that point to Christ that have been fulfilled in Christ?
Why do you have the Lord's Supper? To commemorate what He has done. He commanded us to But I would say
Passover is the same as the Lord's table. And I agree. It's a memorial. And we've always looked back to other than the first time.
But every Passover Seder is looking back and memorializing what happened back at the first Passover.
No different than the Lord's Supper. I know Michael's not here to explain it. Does the historic pre -mobilization necessitate a church's distinction as well?
Does Michael hold to that? No. That's historic pre -mobilization.
They were still covenantal theologians. Where do you guys land on that statement? I was just going to circle back to what you were saying.
You have acknowledged that covenant theologians, you see the church and Israel are doing the same thing.
I'm going to postulate something. I'm not making a condemnation or even saying this is exactly how it happened.
I'm just curious. It's something that I've noticed. So, the prosperity gospel. One of the things that they frequently get wrong, the basis of their theology is that they can reach to any promise that God made to his people from anywhere in the scriptures and apply that to the now.
This is why all of the material blessing which God actually promised to the Israelites, there is legitimate justification for saying that those promises also apply to us.
He will bless us physically as we serve him. Those promises are all throughout the
Old Testament. There is an intrinsic link between that and covenant theology because you can't do that if you're a dispensationalist.
We see that God, the church, Israel and the church, two very different things. Those promises made to Israel do not apply to us.
And so I found that there is a really interesting crossover relationship between the theology of covenant theology and the theology of the prosperity gospel because they have that concept in common.
And because if you're going to do that, again, if the church and Israel are the exact same thing, what is your argument that says that all the promises made to Israel in the past don't apply to the church today?
So, I think the big thing is that we're also talking about English, right? So the word church didn't exist until New Covenant time, right?
That's not true. That's not true. The Septuagint uses Ecclesia for the assembly of the
Old Covenant. The word church was in the Old Testament. In the inspired author of Hebrews, Hebrews chapter 2 and 3, it uses
Old Testament quotation referring to the congregation of Israel and it calls it the Ecclesia. I'm saying it's a
Greek word. And so what I'm trying to get to with it is that we would say, or I would say, that the church is any group of believers in Yahweh and the promises in the
Old Testament. So in the garden, Israel, church. People that believe in God. And that's the continual thread that goes to God.
So the ethnic people of Israel, there were many that didn't believe in Yahweh. You could go neighbor to neighbor and say you know the
Lord. But that's the difference between being a part of the New Covenant is that everyone knows Him. I'm sorry,
I have to say this. It's going to blow this conversation up. So what you're saying is that the church consisted of the believers.
So it is the Sethite view of the Nephilim. Because the argument of the
Sethite view of Genesis 6 is that the daughters of men or the sons of God are the covenant people and the daughters of men are the ungodly.
And the issue there is not that there's angels coming down from heaven and intermarrying with women, but rather it's the godly intermarrying with the ungodly.
And this is why I'm dispensational. I just read that.
I don't read Seth into it. I can't remember what was next. Sorry. What I believe is the root idea that flourishes and breaks off in the covenant theology is also a root idea that makes the prosperity gospel what it is.
Because it takes those promises that were made to Israel and applies it to the church. And I'm curious how you guys understand that.
Let me stop it there because I'm going to first expand it and then say why
I wouldn't use that argument. That's not an argument, it's a question. It goes beyond, because every cult if you look at the theology of almost every cult it's based in the
Old Testament. They take historical narratives of the Old Testament and make that.
Which they couldn't do if they were dispensational. Well, they don't even think of those ideas as dispensational.
Randy will stop you. So wait, I want to hear Randy's answer on this.
I want to clarify. Covenant theology and prosperity gospel has this common thread of you have to believe in these promises that were made in the covenant.
And all the cults do, but it's a logical fallacy. The promises in the covenant can go away but the covenant still stands.
Here's 11 it says that they looked forward to the promise but never received it apart from us.
And that's a present term. So the point of that is that they were longing for a country not of their own.
They receive it in heaven. I would point to every blessing that they have in the Old Testament is fulfilled in Christ in one way or another.
I'm seated with him in the heavenly places. If I'm making something physical, that's an issue with me not an issue with the framework of covenant theology.
That's an issue with me as an interpreter. So it would be wrong for me to take what you just said and to understand it as God actually was interacting with those people.
He was promising them things that he doesn't promise us. He was promising them. I enjoy what
Habs said. He was teaching theological, heavenly realities through physical creation to tell them about the better.
And so like the promise of the land, that's what he always talks about, right? That they long for a country not of their own and they were looking and longing for heaven.
That's what they were looking for. And so the physical hope of the land was fulfilled in what we have in Christ.
Let me just point one thing out. When we make a logical argument, just because you see a similarity doesn't mean it's causation.
So to make the argument you're making, yeah, they may both have where they interpret things in a more spiritual way.
I agree with you on dispensationalism. I don't agree with that argument because I don't think it's logically valid.
You keep making the statement that I'm making an argument and I've never made an argument. I actually started by prefacing that I'm not saying that these things are related.
I just wanted to understand because with the individuals with whom I interact, a lot of them are covenant and a lot of them fall in other categories,
I see the things that they have in common, which makes me ask questions and I find out, and I've heard a lot of the prosperity guys talking like covenant theologians.
But the only observation I wanted to make to the last thing you said was that it almost sounds a little dispensational what you're saying because you're just throwing words.
I don't appreciate it. Because you recognize the fact that, okay, so God did promise that group of individuals something that we don't get.
No, I'm saying that we do get that. But he actually promised them like, I will send rain on you if you do right.
Which is the part that's already not yet also, right? That sounds dispensational.
Exactly. Letting the kingdom. Why can't the covenant remain the same, but the results will change?
Exactly. Even Hebrews 8, it says that the temple was a copy of the true temple.
It's typological. It's always pointing in. Can we agree though that when the
Jews did obey God, he did send rain and they weren't conquered. When they disobeyed, they were conquered.
He didn't send rain. We don't have that today. We don't have that. We cannot say, okay, we're
Christian nationalists and we get our county. We knew that was going to come up somewhere.
We submit to God that we don't have to worry about our weather. We don't have to worry about our financial loss because God promised that if we're all submitting that we're going to have these meteorological and financial benefits.
None of us believe that because we recognize the fact that God made that promise to the Jews. He didn't make it to us. I will say that I do think that there is a distinction, especially with the prosperity gospel.
I do believe that even if the people of God, or more specifically God's creation, is not willingly submitting to Yahweh, I also believe that because we submit to the commandments of God, found in Scripture, if we're keeping the principles of God's word, even if the society or nation as a whole is not
Christian, we will still reap the reward from that. I think that's so true.
Like the nation of Israel, not all believed in God, and yet they reaped the reward, not necessarily just for their ethnic inheritance, but also because they were actively keeping in obedience with God's commands in light of not believing in God.
I think that's ultimately how a lot of nations today are ultimately going to thrive.
Like the nation of Israel. For the record, he's got a MacArthur Study Bible up in there. Just for the record. I just heard they can be part of the covenant and not be saved.
Let me take it a different way. Let me take it a different way because I find this to be helpful for folks.
Does everyone here agree that we can... That's as far as you can get.
What did you say? I think everyone's going to agree with this one. Although we've got to give
Leighton kudos. He managed to make this all about differenciation. Deflect.
If you get surrounded by a bunch of Calvinists, just throw that out there. Just throw eschatology out there.
Throw out the hot seat. That's an inside baseball. So we would see the church.
When we say church, I think each of us understands that there's the invisible or universal church, the local or visible church.
Do you understand these terminologies? IFB, though. IFB does not make that distinction.
The only thing that exists is the local church. We will not use church as a reference.
I've heard it. What? I don't think so. Are you
IFB? I go to an IFB seminar. They're all Baptists. Maybe some groups don't.
Independent Baptists. They don't say that the local church is the only true church.
That there is no such thing as a universal church. Ask Spencer Smith. You may hold a different position, but I'm saying this is taught within IFB circles.
Okay. I don't know if that's true. Thank you.
I have a church of Christ view that a membership in a local congregation totally equates to membership in the universal body.
That's where I've debated. They say the word church doesn't apply universally. Here's the thing
I'm getting to. We understand the distinction, though, that there is a spiritual church that is all believers everywhere in the world, universal, invisible.
We know that there's a local body of believers that gather together that are made up of there's a local body that is made up of believers and unbelievers.
Wheat and tares. Correct? All I do is I take that same thing and apply it to Israel.
A lot of the problems that people have that I see when I discuss it with Covenantalists is the fact that they look at things that I would nail granted.
Invisible, invisible is not in Scripture. This is us in history having to clarify it.
This is what they preached about yesterday. Well, I'm now trying to clarify Israel the same way in saying that there is a spiritual
Israel, the universal Israel made up of all those believers, and then there was a local
Israel, the nation of Israel that's made up of believers and unbelievers. I think when we look at it that way we can then do an apples -to -apples comparison.
When we're saying, when we say we see similarities and we see covenants that are for all believers everywhere throughout time,
I think we can agree. But I think the struggle is when you have people that are referring to the local
Israel to the universal church, and that becomes the mix because one group is talking about believers and unbelievers and one's talking just to believers.
There's a big difference. There is a huge difference. Because in the old covenant the people of God was a nation, was the nation
Israel as a whole. Inside that nation there were unbelievers and believers. Just like the local church.
No. The local church, the new covenant is made up of people who have been bought by the blood of Christ.
But you just made my argument. You just made my argument. You just compared spiritual
Israel with... The covenant is not made up of a mixed congregation.
But the local church is. So compare local church with the nation. Okay, then you can't compare it to the nation which is made up of unbelievers and believers.
You have to do an apples to apples comparison. See, but I don't think it's apples to apples. Because I'll be honest with you.
Ephesians 2, it says the commonwealth, what does it mean to be a part of the commonwealth? Hold on, hold on.
Let's get one conversation at a time. Ephesians chapter 2, it talks about the commonwealth. And it says that through the body of Christ, he's broken down the dividing wall between the two, both
Jew and Gentile. And now the Gentiles are a part of the same commonwealth. And so if commonwealth meant
Israel, I don't think it's an apples to apples comparison. I think it's an apple. Like it's all
Israel. We've been engrafted into the olive tree. I'm considered
Israel because I'm in Christ. And I got a question too. So when it comes to the nation of Israel, alright, so that was composed of ethnic
Jews, right? Am I right? Not in totality. Well, okay, so but was a Samaritan in Israel?
In Israel? Anybody could become part of the Jewish community. No, no, Rosalites could be thrown in that way.
But circumcised. And yet you could also have believers outside. But generally speaking, yes. You know, many would say that Nebuchadnezzar was a believer.
Rahab's a good example. Yeah, Rahab's a good example. Yeah, because that's a clear example. Good point. So there's one people of God.
Would everybody agree with that? When we speak of the universal, yes. There's one bride of Christ.
Yeah. But God has interacted historically with those, with the individuals within that universal group in different ways.
And that's all the dispensationalist is acknowledging. Yeah. And we acknowledge it within the church as well. I would say there's implications that come out of that, though.
For instance, the rapture or dispensationalism is to remove the church and have God focus it back upon Israel. You would agree?
Yeah. Okay, so with that, you're distinguishing... Well, I wouldn't say they're focusing on Israel. I would say that the church is the premise.
Well, I would say there's going to be a new covenant. But the leaving Jews will be raptured out too, so it's not... See, and that's a big issue for me.
Okay, so God is focusing back upon Israel. Does that mean that the Jews who are now in Christ are no longer a part of Israel?
Well, so... There's still ethnic Israel. I'm not trying to be argumentative. But they're part of the body of Christ.
I would point out they're part of the body of Christ when they're regenerated, so that's... Okay, so Old Testament believers not part of the body of Christ.
Yes, they are. Yeah, I would say... They will be raptured. Post -Cross, I mean, that's what you have. Okay, so only after the cross does the
Jewish Gentile does the Jewish church distinction matter in regard to the rapture? Well, it wasn't revealed to us at that point, so that's where progressive revelation comes in.
Okay, so if somebody was in Christ in the Old Testament, somebody's in Christ now, they get raptured.
But if they're Jewish by birth, that doesn't matter before Christ because they're going to be raptured. It matters only...
What do you mean when you say Jewish by birth? Ethnic Jewish. So you are actually like believers?
No, no, no, I'm saying the focus goes back to ethnic Israel. Well, only because he still has promises for the ethnic
Jews. Of course we disagree on that, but... But in a dispensational view, when that happens, those who are
Israel, going to the Millennium Kingdom, are all believers, right? So they are part of the church and their
Israel distinction does no longer matter? So the issue... So going into the kingdom, right?
First off, anyone who's not a believer ends up being killed. Right? They die.
Not killed, but die. Whoa, whoa. Because it's only believers that enter into the
Thousand Year Kingdom in a dispensational view. Not all dispensationalists believe that. Really?
And there's some that... Well, there's Gentiles... I thought the main view is the other way. There's believers and unbelievers. But where does the rebellion come from?
The children are born of the believers. I've heard much different.
I've heard that unbelievers go into the Millennium Kingdom... No, the nations. There's nations that go in, but that doesn't mean they're unbelievers.
Y 'all just making stuff up. My name is chomping at the bit. I want to go back to the observations.
So, about Pervenia Grace. So, let's talk Pervenia Grace. That's what a dispensationalist gives all the time.
If you don't mind, you could encapsulate your question from a few minutes ago. You basically were talking about the rapture and the church and so on and so forth.
I'm an antagonist. My only answer to that is this. And everybody claims this.
I'm going to start eschatology one -on -one. I'm going to have a thousand hour videos on why you're wrong.
Everyone is going to claim exactly what I'm about to say. Any potential...
Not just... Any potential on the surface, maybe even contradiction, or what doesn't make sense and what about that?
It comes solely from the fact that we're trying to allow the scriptures to talk for itself. It does say that this is going to happen.
We don't need to spiritualize that. It does say that these promises are going to be fulfilled to the nation of Israel. We don't need to spiritualize that.
It isn't just what it is. Therefore, when God says He's going to take the church, He's going to take the church. When God says that He's going to fulfill the promises to Israel, He's going to do that.
In Kings, when it says I have fulfilled all the promises I made to Moses, that's not to be taken literally.
Joshua 21 and 23? There are passages where it doesn't say the promises that God made to Moses have been fulfilled.
My point is I could take that literally. I would have to before I answer that.
I guess my only point is that what
I think we all need to be careful of is interpreting the scriptures via our system.
We want the scriptures to teach us the system. As we do that, we're going to find things where we're like, everyone sitting here at this table believes in the
Trinity, right? God's people didn't always at least to the same degree that we do, their understanding.
It's progressive and there's growth and people have worked in conventions and creeds and councils to come to this point where we are today.
That's because they allowed the scriptures. We see that this person is 100 %
God or totally, fully God all the way down the line. This is what we see.
This is what the scriptures say. We have to believe that. We have to accept that and anyone who would say other is wrong because every heresy has come from the fact that someone has looked from the scriptures and goes,
I don't like that. That, I think, would be whatever question you end up asking is part of that.
It's just answered in the fact that that's what the Bible says and the dispensationalist is not striving to understand it in a spiritualized type of figurative way.
We see it as being natural, as being like that's the actual interpretation of the text. God's going to take his people. There's going to be a thousand year reign and so therefore we have to submit our system to what the scriptures say.
I got a question. I have to be able to push back just for a bit? You said one, you don't want to interpret through a system and yet you're defending the system of dispensationalism so that it's still there.
The system's there. You're having to adjust what you say and say this is the literal interpretation because it agrees with my a priori assumption.
This has to be the literal interpretation because it agrees with me. I'm not being a jerk.
This is why I called it a literary interpretation. I would disagree with that observation but I understand why you're saying it. How can you disagree with that?
Your assumption, though, is that he's hermeneutic. Everyone, any person here that thinks they're hermeneutic is the
Bible. We all have a system. We all have a system.
The difference is it's the rules of interpretation. A dispensationalist uses the same rules of interpretation as any other type of literature.
That's the difference. We're not creating a new rules of interpretation. You're telling me in Revelations this dispensationalist doesn't make things literal that aren't?
You're saying they don't do that. They go, oh, no, it's all coded, allegorical, apocalyptic, so I'm going to interpret it
I'm just going to stop. I grew up with pastors that were telling me black helicopters were the beast.
What are you talking about? That's the locus. That's the danger, though, of taking a characterization that you've seen and applying that to everything.
I grew up through it, is what I'm saying. That individual could do that, though, and say
I'm being literal. That's right. That's the application.
I understand that, but I'm just trying to say if somebody can read Revelation 5 and say
I could see Jesus Christ as an actual lamb that I could pet, well, I would say that's obviously symbolic of him being the subject.
Because the genre dictates it. So why would I allow genre to let me say that's a substitutionary death of Christ for me there?
Well, when I come to Revelation 20, I'm going to say that the chain, everything else is literal. Because that's the genre.
You interpret historical narrative different than a pastoral epistle. The book of Revelation is the majority of it is not literal.
That's all it would, but the dispensation makes 90 % of it literal. You're saying, well, I don't do that as a dispensation.
No, no, no. You're not hearing me. It's poetic. I'm telling you, the majority of dispensationalists
I know take Revelation and make it literal, which is not the right interpretation of Revelation. On a thousand years?
I'm still confused when we said is there unbelievers in the millennial? He goes, absolutely not. He goes, what about the rebellion? He goes, well, the kids of the believers are unbelievers.
How can you say there's no unbelievers in the millennial? No, no. Entering. So here's the thing.
So you interpret a historical narrative different than you would a pastoral epistle, right?
Sure. A historical narrative, it can mention something, but if it doesn't say this is what you should or shouldn't do, it's just saying this is what happened.
Right? That is a rule for a historical narrative, different than when we're going to come to a pastoral epistle or wisdom literature.
You're going to interpret wisdom literature. You're going to go through the Psalms. You have to understand Hebrew poetry. You have to understand parallelism.
I disagree with that. We all disagree with that. I'm just saying non -religion doesn't apply that to Revelation for the majority of the time.
Yes, we do. Because it has its own rules. The thing that we're doing is just following the rules of grammar and language.
We're not saying this is a different... I want to hear Habs' response. He's been warned. I've got an honest question.
These covenant promises are still applied to Israel, and we look at Ezekiel 36.
Of course we have the new covenant right there. And we bleed over into 37 right there, where it's obviously now, not yet, the resurrection of the dead.
And it promises this to Israel that he's going to open their graves to Israel. And then put his
Holy Spirit inside of them. So is that apart from Christ? Is that what? I didn't hear what he said.
Is that apart from Christ? I didn't hear a word. Is it apart from Christ?
Oh, is it apart from Christ? So you're saying, are there Jewish people that are part of the new covenant?
Is that... At the resurrection of the dead. That's the question.
Any of the fulfillments fulfilled apart from Christ? That's what you're asking, right?
So we know the resurrection of the dead is actual. It's back. It's going to happen.
So when he comes and he resurrects the dead, and he's talking about Israel, is he talking about ethnic
Israel? Don't you dare. We'll throw in what you said.
That's not true. We can debate that. That'd be fun. We got about 10 minutes left.
I'll try to reword it for him. It's going back to my original point I was asking about covenant theology.
So if the promise in Ezekiel 37 is that you'll be raised from the dead and I'll put my Spirit within you, is that something that's right now taking place through you and I as believers, or is that something that's meant for Israel in the future and not for me as a believer?
It's a now, not yet. I would say that it is a fulfillment within that that is a judgment on the nation of Israel that they rejected the
Messiah, that the Gentiles have the Holy Spirit indwelling in them, but there is a future part that will be true for Israel, a nation that is just believers.
So when it says I will cut a covenant with the house of Israel, you're saying that didn't happen, the covenant was cut for the church and Israel being grafted into the church of Israel.
So we're in a new covenant and I personally, I can't support this biblically, I'm just going to support this by the fact of looking through the
Bible and historically, when God does He does it through a covenant, so I believe there will be a new covenant, another covenant that He'll make with Israel in the morning.
So there will be another cutting of the covenant. What? I believe that,
I think that when it comes to the Millennial Kingdom, there'll probably be, there could very well be new revelation where God does another covenant.
It wouldn't be outside of His character. I agree with that. No, I'm saying,
I can't support it. So here's my answer to that question.
When God promised that His covenant would be eternal and then the verse you quoted, right?
Did He go back on that promise? Does eternal always mean eternal though, because the food laws and everything else are called eternal as well.
But yeah, we know those had an expiration date. Hebrews 8 .13 very clearly says they become obsolete because they are fulfilled in the new covenant.
It's eternal in the sense of fulfillment, not eternal in the sense of always in place. In observance and action.
Eternal for Israel? The nation. So something was cut.
But not everything was cut. That's believers. I said, yeah, certain things were cut.
Okay, so God No, it's not cut out. He's saying when
I will make a covenant He's saying I will cut a covenant. I'm sorry. You're talking about...
So it's both. It's a quotation in the book of Hebrews from Jeremiah 31. And it says I, Yahweh, will cut a covenant with the house of Israel.
And then in Hebrews chapter 6 No, to make. So that's what the point of that is.
So that actually elevates the deity of Christ because that covenant was applied to Yahweh. And then
He related it to Christ. That's a great argument for Christ made
God of flesh. But it says Christ is a mediator. So meaning that this is
God. Christ is the blood of my covenant.
That covenant is the only covenant that talks about forgiveness of sins. So I would say anybody who's in the
Old Testament anybody in the Old Testament was saved in the New Testament. In the New Covenant.
Not New Testament. New Covenant. Because that's the only covenant that has forgiveness of sins. And that's why when it says
I will cut a covenant with the house of Israel I'm saying that is referring both to Abraham and me.
Anybody that's forgiven in Christ. That's Israel. That's the universal Israel.
Universal Church. And Israel. But it's not the nation of Israel and not the local church.
Those are subdivisions within Israel. That's the distinction. It's not all Israel. I would say that the majority of the prophecies fulfilled in Scripture are the ones that have yet to be fulfilled.
I was having this discussion with someone who is a pre -Maldivian. But they actually helped me understand a lot better in the eyes of what
Scripture teaches. What Pastor Jeff tells me. You can't take everything in the Bible that is literally.
You have to take it seriously. You don't look at the man who says the wicked man's heart is on his left.
The righteous is on his right. But what I did find unique is when I was talking about Revelation with him, is that this isn't literal.
This isn't talking about a literal lamb. We're seeing a beast of seven heads, ten horns, and ten diadems.
And then he tells me, actually yes, it is literal. I'm like, no it's not. And then he says yes in the way that God views the nations.
And whenever we see prophecies in Scripture, it's beyond our understanding in the sense that we can't understand it apart from God simpling it down for us and giving an interpretation for us.
So my question for you, because I'm still I'm still paying you. I'm still not set.
But I am curious, so what if you had to give an estimate, this is just random, it's not defended, what percentage of prophecies in all
Scripture including Revelation would you say would be a literal interpretation of how
God says it? I'd have to go through each one of them. It's hard to work that number out. Okay, Revelation.
Leighton has a question. Well, I don't mean to change the topic, but how many people in this room, just out of curiosity, because Calvinism isn't monolithic, so I know there's different views, obviously.
How many of you do affirm regeneration precedes faith? Everyone. You?
I have a different view. That's interesting, that's why I asked that question. I don't think it's chronological.
If one is regenerated prior to having union with Christ, do you believe, therefore, that one has the blessing of regeneration apart from Christ?
No, because logically there's a chronological order, but not a time distinction.
I think it happens at the same time. I think one is causal, logically causal, but not time distinguished.
So Cornelius, in Acts chapter 10, he was a
God -fearing man. Was he regenerate prior to coming to Christ? That's an interesting question and I do think there's a difficulty when we begin to distinguish looking at the
Old Covenant saints because it is a hard thing to consider the distinction of regeneration of the
Old Covenant and regeneration of the New Covenant. Cornelius falls into the Old Covenant. Though I do believe there is a work of God on the heart,
I think regeneration is a promise of the New Covenant, even though I know some of you guys are going to freak out when I say that because you would say, well, they have to be regenerated to come to faith.
I see the Old Testament language as the term circumcision of the heart rather than the word regeneration. That's the language we see there.
I would still say there was something that happened in his heart that caused him to be a God -fearer. I don't know if I would call it regeneration because it's a promise of the
New Covenant, but I would say there was something that God did in his heart that would give him the ability or desire to fear God.
Well, and for us, we're looking back at the cross and for them, they were looking ahead to the Messiah even though they didn't know all of the...
Cornelius was after the cross that he came. Yeah, but it was in that transitioning period where...
So he had that fear prior to the cross. Is that kind of what you're getting at?
No, no, I understand where Layton's coming from and the question is the issue of the time distinction between him fearing
God and him trusting Christ and he's saying is there a distinction between being born again and trusting in Christ and this same thing could be argued against Lutherans because Lutherans believe they're born again in baptism and yet they're not justified until they come to faith and that can be later, right?
And so there's this time distinction. But even modern day, like Lee Strobel's testimony or many of the testimonies around the table, I'm sure, where people began to seek the things of God for a time before they actually came to faith.
You know, Lee Strobel investigated for two years prior to coming to faith. And so what would lead that person, if not regeneration, what would lead that person to start seeking
God and really asking questions? I think that's the drawing of God. So nobody can draw him.
So drawing is not equal to regeneration? So drawing is not equal to regeneration?
No. Regeneration is the instantaneous thing where you remain alive.
So the drawing precedes regeneration. Yes. Can I use that in my debate with James White?
Because he says drawing is not equal to regeneration. You can quote Thomas Jefferson. Drawing is not equal to regeneration.
But I would say anybody that's drawn will be regenerated because all those that are drawn will be raised up. So what do you think drawing called synonymously?
Essentially, yeah. So one of the things I think that I find called synonymously is that what we don't focus on as much is the convictment of the
Holy Spirit. A lot of times we start with regeneration. But I think there is a work where God convicts people of their sin.
So somebody can please God who has not yet been regenerated. No, absolutely not. When you say please
God, I want to understand what you mean. So was Cornelius pleasing to God prior to coming to faith in Christ? No.
He only pleased God through faith. Yeah, I would argue that either. But he was a God -fearing man that even the angel said when he came to him, a messenger came and said to him, even your prayers have come up as incense to the
Father. Right. And so seeming to please the Father prior to him coming to faith in Christ.
Now he had faith in God, Yahweh. And that's what I was kind of drawing the distinction between pre -faith regeneration and again,
I can understand the distinction between Old Testament and New Testament but there has to be something that happens in order for Cornelius to please
God and that seemed to happen prior to his knowledge of Christ or his coming to Christ. So if I may...
Oh, I'm sorry, I think you were gesturing to somebody. You've got two minutes. Faith is obviously seminally important to our relationship with God.
However, there are varying degrees of faith. Someone can believe that a supernatural being exists without...
now that person is not born again but they believe that a supernatural being exists without believing that that person is the
God of the Bible. So Cornelius had faith and belief in elements of who
God was pre -regeneration that were true of God.
But he did not have the complete totality of faith necessary to result in regeneration, believing in the key tenets of the
Gospel until after... not after regeneration, but until that point where he was regenerated.
So do I believe that God's common grace is at work in mankind and as he's drawing people to him and as they go from God doesn't exist, okay, well
I'm open to the fact that God exists. In that moment, is God pleased that that person is moving in that direction starting to trust more and more what the
Scriptures say, starting to believe more and more? I think it could be argued that he is. Well that's what I'm saying is Lee Strobel, he's seeking after and asking good questions it seems that that would be qualified as pleasing to God, but he's not regenerated.
Here's the thing, I know we're going to wrap up but, you know, Leighton, it's like you you're seeking, we're just waiting for you to get saved.
Alright, that's it. Real quick, I know this will be too long of an answer for the two minutes we have left, so what is it then if I'm in the camp of regeneration is the instantaneous waiting of the heart, wait, hold on, let me finish here.
Hey! The instantaneous regeneration of the heart that even allows me to seek and be drawn, because that's where I've always landed, so am
I in the minority here? You guys are sounding like you're saying, oh well no God draws, and you work up to it, and Lee Strobel's studying for Jesus, I've been arguing that regeneration to even be able to, because that's what happened to me,
I wanted nothing to do with God I was in rebellion, I was shaking my fist at Him, I said, F you
God I don't need you, right, and instantaneously there was a change but I was seeking, three, four years relationships changed, views changed and then my profession came three years later, but I believe my heart changed
That's the difference, because your heart attitude and the reasons that you were seeking were different If you'd have died during that time would you have gone to heaven?
Theoretically? No Here's the dilemma with all this
We are thinking as time -based creatures who are not infinite in our knowledge and, right so we have to put a distinction between when we speak of what
God's I'm saying this and it's wrong and I know it, but God's thinking because I don't know how else to explain
God's complete knowledge He's complete knowledge and He's eternal So to Him, that's why
He could say He elected us before the foundation of time To us there's this time thing, to Him there's none
But regeneration is a change of heart Oh, there definitely was for me Well, what I'm saying is, in that period of seeking you stayed until your heart was changed
So, I don't know exactly from you Well, you wouldn't seek until your heart was changed Well, not for the right reasons
It was pretty simple in the first few days It's like, I repent Repentance and faith are two sides of the same coin
So regeneration is what it breathes new life into You're a new creature in Christ and therefore now you have new desires, new affections that you love
God, you love Christ and now you're seeking because you love Him Versus other times, it's like I'm seeking because I want to be right
Or I'm seeking because I want I might be misrepresenting the draw there It was more of a who God is in that time after that very instant change of heart
I would say If you're saying that's when my heart was changed Hey, hey, he can go
Sorry about that, I didn't see your hand over there Handsome person My thinking on that is we can all fight within ourselves about doctrines in the
Bible and that can produce different things in our life If you're saying regeneration took place and you knew Christ and Christ knew you at that point in a salvific manner
There could be struggles here and there and growths following that As long as that regeneration happened there
For me it was the complete opposite I was called out of a cult and then I was seeking earnestly trying to figure out who
God is and all of a sudden it was open I couldn't deny Jesus Christ to my Lord and I didn't even know what hit me
To be honest, I didn't know what happened It's more the acceptance It's the acceptance of reality that Jesus Christ is
Lord as opposed to let me investigate this or like your story you're literally seeking
If I'm just being honest my theology struggles against my experience I never want to make my experience but at the same time
I did not want God It feels like I was forced It was like I wanted nothing to do with it
You mean like he dragged you? Yes But then it wasn't Are you saying it was irresistible?
You're saying it's irresistible That's what Keith thought Keith gets the final word Clean it up,
Keith, let's go There is a historic language that goes with this that is important. Dr. Jordan Cooper who is
Lutheran does explain this and maybe as Calvinists we might disagree somewhat but I think we at least would agree on the terms and that's the idea of illumination as opposed to regeneration in the sense of God illuminating the mind so there's pedagogical illumination there is legal or forensic illumination and then there is evangelical illumination
Pedagogical illumination would be like if you made an argument about God that satisfied me intellectually like as an atheist if you made an argument that satisfied me intellectually that's a type of illumination that God can bring to my mind that God may use in bringing me to himself and therefore that is not regeneration but that is something that God is using to illuminate my mind to overcome those obstacles within my mind
You should have said that a long time ago Intellectually I never understood and then forensic or legal illumination is when
I realize I'm a sinner and that's when I realize now I have a problem not only do I realize
God exists but now I realize an evangelical illumination is realizing Christ is the solution to that issue
Those things can appreciate To Layton's question that would please the
Lord those first steps would in theory please the Lord as people submit to that but not in a savings but not in a savings but he's so pleased by it
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