Matt 13

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Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
Mat 13:47 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind:
Mat 13:48 Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away.
Mat 13:49 So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just,
Mat 13:50 And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

I am interested in how the credo-Baptist interprets this passage. I never noticed this as clearly as I do now? Comments?
 

Wannabee

Obi Wan Kenobi
I think the parable of the tares explains this pretty well.

Be carefull here. The Kingdom is like a net, not like what the net catches.
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
[quote:6314d1fa2a="Wannabee"]I think the parable of the tares explains this pretty well.

Be carefull here. The Kingdom is like a net, not like what the net catches.[/quote:6314d1fa2a]

Hi Joe,

Mat 13:47 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind:
Mat 13:48 Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away.
Mat 13:49 So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just,

Mat 8:11 And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven.
Mat 8:12 But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Matthew Henry writes:

"First, A strange sentence passed; The children of the kingdom shall be cast out; the Jews that persist in unbelief, though they were by birth children of the kingdom, yet shall be cut off from being members of the visible church: the kingdom of God, of which they boasted that they were the children, shall be taken from them, and they shall become not a people, not obtaining mercy, Rom. xi. 20; ix. 31. In the great day it will not avail men to have been children of the kingdom, either as Jews or as Christians; for men will then be judged, not by what they were called, but by what they were. If children indeed, then heirs; but many are children in profession, in the family, but not of it, that will come short of the inheritance. Being born of professing parents denominates us children of the kingdom; but if we rest in that, and have nothing else to show for heaven but that, we shall be cast out."


The kingdom is likened to a net. Nets catch things. You cannot explain this any other way. In the net (kingdom) are good and bad (fish). So, In the kingdom are good and bad people; believers and unbelievers. At the end of the age, Christ and His angels will sift through the items in the net. Same thing with the tares, Let them grow together..........
 

Wannabee

Obi Wan Kenobi
Hi back Scott, :bs2:

I see what you're saying. Can we really say that those born of the sons of the kingdom are actually in the kingdom though? For instance look at Matt. 7:21-23.

[i:fe3ccf857f]Not everyone who says to Me, "Lord, Lord," shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My father in heaven.[/i:fe3ccf857f]

Seems pretty clear to me.

[i:fe3ccf857f]Many will say to Me in that day, "Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?[/i:fe3ccf857f]

Perhaps born of the kingdom, professing to be of the kingdom, but not necessarily of/in the kingdom. The Jews were a typical example of this. They "sat down with Abraham," they claimed the kingdom, but were not truly of/in the kingdom.

[i:fe3ccf857f]And then I will declare to them, "I never knew you: depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!"[/i:fe3ccf857f]

Even Matthew Henry says that, "though they were by birth children OF the kingdom, yet shall be cut off from being members of the visible church."

I would make a distinction between being children of the kingdom and being of/in the kingdom. To claim otherwise one really has to deal with Matt 7:21. One can claim Jesus. One can know of and about Jesus. One can even proclaim Jesus. But, that doesn't mean that one knows Jesus. Only those who are in Him and He in them truly have a place IN the kingdom of God.
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
Yes Joseph, that distinction is called the internal and external church.

Uhh don't forget this verse:

John 15:2 Every branch [b:b85fe03ff9]in me[/b:b85fe03ff9] that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
 

Wannabee

Obi Wan Kenobi
The parable of the vine has been beaten to death lately. Those that grow out of the vine are not necessarily of the vine. Correct me if I'm wrong, but hasn't that been established clearly? One is either in or out, regardless of their claims.

Am I missing your point?
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
[quote:eaee854150="Scott Bushey"]Yes Joseph, that distinction is called the internal and external church.

Uhh don't forget this verse:

John 15:2 Every branch [b:eaee854150]in me[/b:eaee854150] that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.[/quote:eaee854150]

Actually, for precision's sake, the distinction is called the visible and invisible church. This parable is an excellent example of the necessity of that distinction.
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
Thanks Fred. Where did I get that from???

Joe,
Actually, this has not been [i:5728839bb5]beaten to death[/i:5728839bb5]; It is a passage that has been avoided. No one on your side of the issue has adequately dealt with the passage. Alot of chasing one's tail, in my opinion.

Notice that the paasage say's, 'Every branch [b:5728839bb5]in me[/b:5728839bb5] that beareth not fruit he taketh away'. IN ME! How can someone be in Christ at one moment and at another, not in Him? This can only be reconciled from a covenantal perspective.

'He taketh away...'. How do you reconcile this? In this case, unless one accepts the visible/invisible precept, you would by default assault the doctrine of perseverance and Christs claim of 'losing none...'.

You mentioned Henry's quote.
"though they were by birth children of the kingdom, yet shall be cut off from being members of the visible church: the kingdom of God,"

He admits that the Pharisee's were 'children of the kingdom' by birth; a part of the visible church, ultimately, not the invisible; they were, as the passage shows, in him, eventually to be pruned and burned.
 

Wannabee

Obi Wan Kenobi
You're getting a bit agressive there brother.

As for "your side" and "my side," it's a fuzzy distinction. If we're both truly "IN HIM," then I'd prefer to say we're in the same camp.

As far as the visible and invisible church goes, I don't have any problem with putting it that way. I think we might just have a different picture of what that means. It's not a clear biblical concept though. Would a simple definition be that the visible church are those who "profess" Christ, and the visible church consists of those "truly in" Christ?

What do you want from John 15? Those cut away are not saved. It's as simple as that. To claim otherwise to to claim that one can lose their salvation. They are false professors, wolves, tares, bad fish, fruitless branches. No one who is truly born again is allowed to fall away. If one is truly born again he will bear fruit.

[i:3a05387007]He who says, I have known Him, and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. (1Jo 2:4)[/i:3a05387007]

Just because you don't agree with the conclusions some have made on John 15 doesn't mean it hasn't been treated well. Do you want a complete exegesis from someone who is not covenantal in their theology? Be specific, what exactly are you looking for? Make specific comments as to what you think so we something to work from.
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
[quote:8b19a7a3d3="Wannabee"]You're getting a bit agressive there brother.

As for "your side" and "my side," it's a fuzzy distinction. If we're both truly "IN HIM," then I'd prefer to say we're in the same camp.

As far as the visible and invisible church goes, I don't have any problem with putting it that way. I think we might just have a different picture of what that means. It's not a clear biblical concept though. Would a simple definition be that the visible church are those who "profess" Christ, and the visible church consists of those "truly in" Christ?

What do you want from John 15? Those cut away are not saved. It's as simple as that. To claim otherwise to to claim that one can lose their salvation. They are false professors, wolves, tares, bad fish, fruitless branches. No one who is truly born again is allowed to fall away. If one is truly born again he will bear fruit.

[i:8b19a7a3d3]He who says, I have known Him, and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. (1Jo 2:4)[/i:8b19a7a3d3]

Just because you don't agree with the conclusions some have made on John 15 doesn't mean it hasn't been treated well. Do you want a complete exegesis from someone who is not covenantal in their theology? Be specific, what exactly are you looking for? Make specific comments as to what you think so we something to work from.[/quote:8b19a7a3d3]

Joe,
There's a big difference between vigor and aggression. I am being vigorous with you.........

[quote:8b19a7a3d3]As for "your side" and "my side," it's a fuzzy distinction. If we're both truly "IN HIM," then I'd prefer to say we're in the same camp.[/quote:8b19a7a3d3]

This is true in that regard; however, that is not what we're discussing.

[quote:8b19a7a3d3]As far as the visible and invisible church goes, I don't have any problem with putting it that way. I think we might just have a different picture of what that means. It's not a clear biblical concept though. Would a simple definition be that the visible church are those who "profess" Christ, and the visible church consists of those "truly in" Christ?[/quote:8b19a7a3d3]

Joe,
It is a clear biblical concept. This passage proves it. Do a word study on the kingdom of God, the kingdom of Heaven and you will see. So you agree that there are unbelievers in the church? Making a profession does not make one a believer- right?

[quote:8b19a7a3d3]What do you want from John 15? Those cut away are not saved. It's as simple as that. [/quote:8b19a7a3d3]

Joe, but the pasasage says that these branches are [i:8b19a7a3d3]in Him[/i:8b19a7a3d3]; how can that be? Are you saying that there are people in the vine which are not believers?

As far as what I am looking for, respectfully, I am looking for the credo camp to sufficiently deal with this passage. I have had to deal with it in the past myself. keep in mind Joe, and no disrespect meant, but you were not forced to entertain me with your participation; you willfully joined the discussion right? Don't get offended, please. Lets just deal with the text.
 

Wannabee

Obi Wan Kenobi
That's good Scott. I apologize for not understanding your "vigor." :handshake:

I'm not offended. There was some discussion on the thread before the forum went down the other day that was lost. I had piped in, so I thought I'd make a comment again. :bs2:

I'm having some difficulty because you're refuting me without clearly making a statement. That's why I asked for specifics. What exactly do you want? What is your position? You've refuted some of my statements, but not in a way that makes your intention clear. What exactly do we disagree on?

So. Let's get the things we agree on out of the way. There are non believers in the "visible" church, right? Man cannot lose his salvation, right? You have not agreed that the saint's persevere. Can one be truly saved and lose their salvation? You seem to be claiming that they can.

I know this is somewhat of a shotgun approach. Please read through and steer this conversation in the direction you're looking for.

The symbolism of the vine is known to be Israel (Ps. 80; Is. 5, 27; Jer. 2; Ez. 15, 17 19; Hos. 10; Joel 2; Zech. 8; Mal. 3).

[i:4ca431cebe]Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. You shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles? Even so every good tree brings forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree brings forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruits, nor can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that does not bring forth good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you shall know them. (Mat 7:15-20)[/i:4ca431cebe]

The branches that are not fruitful represent the unregenerate. [i:4ca431cebe]For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to good works, which God has before ordained that we should walk in them. (Eph 2:10)[/i:4ca431cebe]

[i:4ca431cebe]Then Jesus said to the Jews who believed on Him, If you continue in My Word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. They answered Him, We are Abraham's seed and were never in bondage to anyone. How do you say, You will be made free? Jesus answered them, Truly, truly, I say to you, Whoever practices sin is the slave of sin. And the slave does not abide in the house forever, but the Son abides forever. Therefore if the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed. I know that you are Abraham's seed, but you seek to kill Me because My Word has no place in you. I speak what I have seen with My Father, and you, then, do what you have seen with your father. They answered and said to Him, Abraham is our father. Jesus answered them, If you were Abraham's children, you would do the works of Abraham. But now you seek to kill Me, a man who has told you the truth which I have heard beside God; this Abraham did not do. You do the deeds of your father. Then they said to Him, We are not born of fornication; we have one father, even God. Jesus said to them, If God were your father, you would love Me, for I went forth and came from God; for I did not come of Myself, but He sent Me. Why do you not know My speech? Because you cannot hear My Word. You are of the Devil as father, and the lusts of your father you will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and did not abide in the truth because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own, for he is a liar and the father of it. And because I tell you the truth, you do not believe Me. Which of you convicts Me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do you not believe Me? He who is of God hears God's Words. Therefore you do not hear them because you are not of God. (Joh 8:31-47)[/i:4ca431cebe]

His sheep hear His voice and follow. They bear fruit. [i:4ca431cebe]Jesus answered them, I told you and you did not believe. The works that I do in My Father's name, they bear witness of Me. But you did not believe because you are not of My sheep. As I said to you, My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give to them eternal life, and they shall never ever perish, and not anyone shall pluck them out of My hand. My Father who gave them to me is greater than all, and no one is able to pluck them out of My Father's hand. (Joh 10:25-29)[/i:4ca431cebe]

Hendriksen Commentary pp 295-96 "In no sense whatever do such passages as 15:2 and 15:6 suggest that there is a falling away from Grace, as if those who were once actually saved finally perish. [i:4ca431cebe]This allegory plainly teaches that the branches which are taken away and burned represent people who never once bore fruit, not even when they were "in" Christ.[/i:4ca431cebe] Hence, they never were true believers; and for them the in-the-vine relationship, though close, was merely outward... The true believers of chapter 15 are represented by those branches which, abiding forever in the vine, bear fruit, more fruit, much fruit. [i:4ca431cebe]These never perish![/i:4ca431cebe]

The branches that bore no fruit did not abide. They were "faithless."

It must also be kept in mind that this was just after Judas recently left them, a clear example of a fruitless branch.

Wow, I'm really droning on now. And we were talking about Matthew 13, weren't we?[quote:4ca431cebe]I am interested in how the credo-Baptist interprets this passage. I never noticed this as clearly as I do now? [/quote:4ca431cebe]To go much further than this seems like it will get repetitive and perhaps mundane. Again Scott, I really can't quite tell what you're after. I think that being in the vine means that they are of Israel. I hope you're not climbing on board with Wilkinson on this one (just kidding). :smug_b:
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
Joe,
[quote:2652c853ed]So. Let's get the things we agree on out of the way. There are non believers in the "visible" church, right? Man cannot lose his salvation, right? You have not agreed that the saint's persevere. Can one be truly saved and lose their salvation? You seem to be claiming that they can.[/quote:2652c853ed]

I trust in the doctrine of 'perseverance', Joe.

You previously have stated: [i:2652c853ed]There are non believers in the "visible" church, right?[/i:2652c853ed]
So for the record; are their unbelievers in the kingdom? Are there unbelievers in the new covenant? The church is made up of believers and non-believers?
 

Wannabee

Obi Wan Kenobi
[quote:84d6883f77="Scott Bushey"]You previously have stated: [i:84d6883f77]There are non believers in the "visible" church, right?[/i:84d6883f77]
So for the record; are their unbelievers in the kingdom? Are there unbelievers in the new covenant? The church is made up of believers and non-believers?[/quote:84d6883f77]In the Kingdom? I honestly don't know. It's obvious that there will not be, but I have not put enough time into studying the "Kingdom" to say whether or not there are unbelievers in the Kingdom today (although I'm inclined to think not).

In the New Covenant? Absolutely not!
[i:84d6883f77]Jer. 31:31-33; Mat 26:28 For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins; Mark 14:24; Luke 22:20; 2Cor. 3:6; Heb 9:15 And for this cause He is the Mediator of the new covenant, so that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first covenant, those who are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.[/i:84d6883f77]

The "local" church is made up of both saved and unregenerate members.
The "true" church consists only of those who are truly saved.

I know you're going to come back with some more questions in order to steer the conversation. I look forward to it. It really would help if you'd make a clear statement of your position on these issues though.
 

Puritan Sailor

Puritan Board Doctor
[quote:4df4a6173b="Wannabee"]What do you want from John 15? Those cut away are not saved. It's as simple as that. To claim otherwise to to claim that one can lose their salvation. They are false professors, wolves, tares, bad fish, fruitless branches. No one who is truly born again is allowed to fall away. If one is truly born again he will bear fruit.
[/quote:4df4a6173b]

If I may interject for a second, I think I agree with your conclusion. But I would like to know what you mean by those "cut away." As a Baptist, what were they "cut away" from if they were never truly part of it? And to tie it into the parable, what were the bad fish/unbelievers "cast" out of if they were never really in the net/kingdom in the first place? I think this is what Scott is getting at.
 

Wannabee

Obi Wan Kenobi
Thanks Patrick,

Your question is fair, and I'll respond. I do request that this doesn't become a tag team though, with you guys coming at me from different angles. First, I'm a little slow :think: . Second, I just can't invest the time to try to address several different issues. :book:

In the case of the vine, I think the parallel with the nation of Israel explains that those who were born Jewish are not necessarily children of God. They, although the covenant people, were not truly elect and are therefore cut away for destruction. The context seems to lend itself to this interpretation, as well as the symbolism of the vine representing Israel (as I mentioned above, with references).

The tares were sown by the Devil, Jesus makes that clear. They were not truly part of the elect, as I know you'll agree. They were planted among the elect in order to contaminate them. They are in the field, but not from the field.

With the fish it seems that the kingdom gathers the fish in order to sort them. To use this verse to claim that unbelievers are in the kingdom seems to me to be quite shakey. I don't know if I'd rule it out, but I'd need much more to go on that what is available in this passage.

As an analogy consider this; you know that there are armed criminals in a certain group of people. They are the enemies. The unarmed people are of your nation. You gather all of them and imprison them within your country's prison. Does that make them all of your country? You don't need to hack away at the illustration, it's got lots of shortfalls. Just the basic thought has some merit though. Just because the kingdom gathers the elect as well as regenerate does not make the regenerate part of the kingdom.

I'm a bit puzzled. How can one claim that they are part of God's kingdom and yet not saved? I might claim to be an American. I might have the I.D. to prove it. However, if I am not truly born in America I am not American (ignoring all the technicalities). I cannot be born into God's kingdom of myself. It's by Him "begetting" me that I am born into His kingdom. Any profession of citizenship is a lie.

Likewise, any who claim to be in the New Covenant that are not truly born again are liars, and the truth is not in them. The verses I quoted earlier show clealry that those in the New Covenant have God's Word written on their hearts, only those who are called receive the promise of eternal inheritance. They are redeemed. I can't see how we could possibly get away with claiming that anyone in the New Covenant could fall/be cut/be cast away without claiming that one could lose their salvation.

From this thinking I would have to conclude that anyone who "claims" to be in covenant with God and is not actually elect is fooling themselves. Only the elect can truly be in covenant with God because it is a One sided covenant. We can't even begin to obey His commandments unless He regenerates our hearts.

Well, I said more than I meant to. Perhaps we can take it one step at a time.

Thanks
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
Joe,
I apologize if I have been cryptic. It was not my intention to literally lay a snare; My thinking is systematic because of where I have theologically come from. This thread is not intended to stress anyone out. I considered leaving things lie after your last post. You can choose whether or not you want to continue friend. I'll try and be more to the point.

You previously wrote:

[quote:d2d3421c49] In the case of the vine, I think the parallel with the nation of Israel explains that those who were born Jewish are not necessarily children of God. They, although the covenant people, were not truly elect and are therefore cut away for destruction. [/quote:d2d3421c49]

Can you reiterate? Acknowledging that Jesus was not speaking in past tenses are those in the vine in the covenant or not?

Thanks Joe.
 

Wannabee

Obi Wan Kenobi
Thanks Scott. I appreciate your sensitivity. I really am enjoying this, but want to be careful that it isn't an "us vs. them" sort of discussion. I've always enjoyed our debates (although there was a bit of polarity and tension after you fell :smug_b: off the fence :bs2: ) I'm capable of systematic thinking, and find it stimulating and necessary, but unlike you have not delved into the study of the systems very deeply. I may be wrong, but I think that, while this gives you many advantages as we work through this, it may leave me with greater freedom because my preconceptions are less likely to be under labels.

By the way, I'm not stressed. It's just difficult to know how to proceed when I'm not sure where you're trying to go or what you're trying to say. :puzzled: Patrick helped a little, I think.
[quote:95325e52ae]Can you reiterate? Acknowledging that Jesus was not speaking in past tenses are those in the vine in the covenant or not?[/quote:95325e52ae]
I think I see where this is headed, and I don't see any way around it. Not that I necessarily wanted to avoid it, but it may lead to an impasse (sp?).

Is this question a substantial part of what you were after in the first place?

It depends what covenant you are talking about.
Abrahamic? No! Unconditional, God elect.
Mosaic? Yes! Although it had already been broken (Jer. 31). Conditional. God promised blessings based on obedience. They failed to obey and were disciplined. Revealed the hardness of man and his utter inability to obey unless regenerated by God. Those who obeyed were elect, those who disobeyed were unregenerate. Obedience to the law was not salvific, but rather a result of salvation, just as in the NC.
New? Of course not. Unconditional, God elect.

Just for the record. I refuse to place myself into a system. I have found that I cannot label myself dispensational, although much of my theology is. If I do then assumptions are made that are false. I am obviously not covenantal, although I lean that way more so than many who hold to similar beliefs. Progressive Dispensationalism and NCT have many fine attributes, but again I cannot box myself in. I only say this so that you do not jump to conclusions based on my responses. Please find out where I am based on what I say rather than labeling me based on what others say.

And, again Scott, you have not made a statement, but rather asked another question. I can keep on answering them, but I keep on having to make general answers because I'm just not certain exactly what your point is. Don't worry, I'm not frustrated or defensive. You are keeping me at a disadvantage and in a somewhat defensive posture though, without giving me a clear target.
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
Joe,
For the record, this subject of our discussion is the [i:5954da0a83]covenant[/i:5954da0a83] and whether the new is really new or just 'refreshed'; and whether the unregenerate are included in that covenant. Hope this clears the fog....

Now, you didn't answer my last question;You previously stated:

"In the case of the vine, I think the parallel with the nation of Israel explains that those who were born Jewish are not necessarily children of God. They, although the covenant people, were not truly elect and are therefore cut away for destruction."

Joe, in regards to the passage where Jesus spoke of the vine, was Jesus speaking in the present tense or was He referring to something that was to pass away?
 

pastorway

Puritan Board Senior
John 15 is fulfilled in Romans 9-11. The [i:77e1c2dc83]parable[/i:77e1c2dc83] finds those members of the nation of Israel, who are not at the same time spiritual Israelites, being cut away from the Olive tree and replaced by the Gentile believers that are grafted in.

There are none in Him who are not saved, for those told to depart are told that He NEVER knew them.

Let's not rely on parables to support a systematic at all costs! :)

Phillip
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
Phillip,
But the parable says "In Him".

John 15:1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
John 15:2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

Every branch [i:776de55b4d]in me[/i:776de55b4d].......

And the net? "good and bad".
 

Wannabee

Obi Wan Kenobi
Thanks Phillip.

And you too Scott.

I think Jesus is referring to the same thing Phillip pointed out. The NC had not yet been manifested though. It was effectual, but not "finished." The Jews were born into the vine. They were not necessarily elect in a salvific sense. Those who bore not fruit, i.e. were not elect, were cut away. I would conclude that Jesus was speaking of the present. All those who claimed to be of God, and/or claimed to be followers of Christ, but were not truly elect would be cut away unto eternal punishment.

I hope that was clear.

As for the NC, it is a partial fulfillment of the Abrahamic Covenant.

Thanks again Scott. Although still a tad hazy, the fog has lifted. You're still answering me with questions though. :think:
 

Puritan Sailor

Puritan Board Doctor
[quote:d60cebfde3="Wannabee"]Thanks Patrick,

Your question is fair, and I'll respond. I do request that this doesn't become a tag team though, with you guys coming at me from different angles. First, I'm a little slow :think: . Second, I just can't invest the time to try to address several different issues. :book: [/quote:d60cebfde3]
Hey, that's ok. I don't want to double team you. But you and Pastor Way are the only Baptists who responded so you get to take the brunt of the questions :bs2:
[quote:d60cebfde3]
In the case of the vine, I think the parallel with the nation of Israel explains that those who were born Jewish are not necessarily children of God. They, although the covenant people, were not truly elect and are therefore cut away for destruction. The context seems to lend itself to this interpretation, as well as the symbolism of the vine representing Israel (as I mentioned above, with references).

The tares were sown by the Devil, Jesus makes that clear. They were not truly part of the elect, as I know you'll agree. They were planted among the elect in order to contaminate them. They are in the field, but not from the field.

With the fish it seems that the kingdom gathers the fish in order to sort them. To use this verse to claim that unbelievers are in the kingdom seems to me to be quite shakey. I don't know if I'd rule it out, but I'd need much more to go on that what is available in this passage.
[/quote:d60cebfde3]
But if we consider another possibility, then these passages may make sense. Perhaps if we look at these picutres of the kingdom as a covenantal sense instead of whether or not they are elect or not, the meaning will be fuller. It is possible to be in a relationship to God, enjoying many benefits, and yet not be in a saving relationship to God. Consider the benefits listed in Roms 3 and 9 of those unebleiving Jews within the people of God. They are raised and fed under the Word and in some ways, though not completely, they are protected from some of the vices in the rest of the world. So if we look at the kingdom and covenant not in the sense of election, but in the sense of the public or visible people of God then it does make sense that some will be cast out even though they may have even served God in the visible church (i.e. Matt 7:23).

[quote:d60cebfde3]
As an analogy consider this; you know that there are armed criminals in a certain group of people. They are the enemies. The unarmed people are of your nation. You gather all of them and imprison them within your country's prison. Does that make them all of your country? You don't need to hack away at the illustration, it's got lots of shortfalls. Just the basic thought has some merit though. Just because the kingdom gathers the elect as well as regenerate does not make the regenerate part of the kingdom. [/quote:d60cebfde3]
Yet the enemies will still be tried under the same laws as the citizens. Which ties in above. Those members of the visible church will be held accountable to the God they claim if they should prove to be fruitless in the end (i.e. not elect).


[quote:d60cebfde3] Likewise, any who claim to be in the New Covenant that are not truly born again are liars, and the truth is not in them. The verses I quoted earlier show clealry that those in the New Covenant have God's Word written on their hearts, only those who are called receive the promise of eternal inheritance. They are redeemed. I can't see how we could possibly get away with claiming that anyone in the New Covenant could fall/be cut/be cast away without claiming that one could lose their salvation. [/quote:d60cebfde3]
Though I agree that none of the elect will lose their salvation, the issue comes down to what we as a visible body must do. We can't see the elect. We can only have a good idea who they are. That's one of the reasons why these parable are so important. They force us to examine ourselves, to make sure we are not the false professor, and therefore subject to the judgments beginning first with the house of God. Certainly, the kingdom, at the last day will only contain the elect, but that is because of the purging process within the kingdom that the parables speak about. Until then, there appear to be both good and bad within, both being accountable to the God they claim/profess as their own. Just some thoughts.

If you are feeling double teamed, then I'll drop out and watch. This thread just caught my interest.
 

Wannabee

Obi Wan Kenobi
You're fine Patrick. I appreciate your graciousness. Besides, it's only fair since Phillip joined in. One of the things I was concerned about is happening though. I wasn't sure how to answer Scott so I threw out a bunch of information, hoping to hit the target. You've commented on a bunch of it, which makes it hard to hone in.

I know that this is all closely related. But in order to make this easier and less time consuming, can we just take one issue at a time? I don't have all the answers, as you can see, and I just can't give so many angles the time they deserve.

Briefly, in your response to my comment about the fish - as I understand it, according to what you've laid out everyone is in the covenant. Everyone receives a measure of grace from God. God reveals Himself to all people. All are without excuse. Unless I missed something, your definition includes all humanity in the kingdom of God. If not, then how can you draw a line? As far as I can tell, any line you draw is based on speculation, with no clear biblical warrant.

I know I'm sounding critical. I really don't want to, but I think your comment to my analogy is erred. The enemies are not tried under the same laws as the citizens. Citizens have rights granted them by their Sovereign. Enemies have no rights whatsoever.

I'm glad we agree on the importance of the parables. It gives us good common ground in our indeavor to become more Christ-like. It also unites us beyond our theological differences.

Your comments regarding the kingdom are plausible, but I find them suspect. My concern here is in the lack of proof. If I'm missing the proof, show it to me. If not, then we can both entertain the possibility, but make no claims based on these considerations. Furthermore, we cannot build our theology on plausibilities, only on what we can know for certain. As I've said, I fail to see the kingdom as consisting of the unregenerate. Gathering is not necessarily grounds for claiming membership.

Hope that makes sense.
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
Joe writes:
[quote:1b09b3b001]Briefly, in your response to my comment about the fish - as I understand it, according to what you've laid out everyone is in the covenant. Everyone receives a measure of grace from God. God reveals Himself to all people.[/quote:1b09b3b001]

The 'net' is the gospel and the outward call; those whom respond to the call are true believers (the invisible church) and false believers (the visible church). These are those taken up into the net.

[quote:1b09b3b001]As far as I can tell, any line you draw is based on speculation, with no clear biblical warrant.[/quote:1b09b3b001]

Joe, The vine and the net lean into that which you say we speculate. The vine has branches that are 'in Him' yet, not true believers; these are those whom have made professions, but are unfruitful, later to be burned. They are in the visible church, [i:1b09b3b001] In Him [/i:1b09b3b001].

The net, as described above; the outward call and those whom answer.

Again, was Jesus speaking in the past tense or present? Why would he mention this to the apostles if in fact soon, it would be an obsolete rationale?
 

Puritan Sailor

Puritan Board Doctor
[quote:f8989b6430="Wannabee"]
Briefly, in your response to my comment about the fish - as I understand it, according to what you've laid out everyone is in the covenant. Everyone receives a measure of grace from God. God reveals Himself to all people. All are without excuse. Unless I missed something, your definition includes all humanity in the kingdom of God. If not, then how can you draw a line? As far as I can tell, any line you draw is based on speculation, with no clear biblical warrant.
[/quote:f8989b6430]

Sorry about the commentless quote. I had a browser/board flop.

Anyway, I'm not saying all men everywhere are in the kingdom. It refers to the visible church, where both elect and the false professor claim allegiance to Christ as King. Both are subject to His rule and judged by Him accordingly. The false professor then will be cast out in the end for his failure to bear fruit. The kingdom for now is mixed, but through the purging process at the end will be made pure. And regarding your comment about God giving grace to everyone, first it's not the same measure, second, it's not the same type. The fact that all men know God through natural revelation, is not the same as hearing the gospel and visibly (though maybe not in true faith) responding to it.
 

Wannabee

Obi Wan Kenobi
Hey Patrick. That's a great quote, but I missed the comment. :bs2:


Howdy Scott.

The verse says that the kingdom is like a net. You say that the net is the gospel. Are you saying that the kingdom is the Gospel and outward call?

As for the vine, do they have to have made professions? This could be anyone that has infiltrated the church, either in ignorance of what the gospel truly means or they think they know, or they could be subverting the work of Christ on purpose.

As Patrick noted, this parable is intended to make us examine our hearts. We must be careful not to take the meaning too far. Since Jesus is addressing Jews, His message addresses them in a way that would have more meaning to them. The illustation of the vine could not be lost on them. This truth transcends time. The illustration is valid for todays Jews as well. The principle is valid for all men. Yes, presently as well.

If my comment regarding the line of speculation is erred, show me. I'm not attacking what you believe, simply addressing my understanding of God's Word.
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
Joe,
Look again at what I wrote. The net is the gospel; The call goes out, people answer. Not everyone whom answers are elect.

Mat 13:19 When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not,


This is what the net drags in. All kinds, good and bad (fish). The contents of the net is the kingdom, validated in the fact that in the end, God will sift through the kingdom and remove all that does not belong there. This goes as well for the wheat and tares parable.....

Question Joe, Was Judas an apostle? Did he heal in the name of Christ? Perform miracles in the name of Christ? Did he not sit at the table? Did Jesus wash his feet? How can this be??? I'll tell you how, discipleship does not equate with regeneration; Just ask Demas!

John 12:4 Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, which should betray him,
John 12:5 Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?


Mat 10:1 And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.
Mat 10:2 Now the names of the twelve apostles are these; The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother;
Mat 10:3 Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus;
Mat 10:4 Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.
Mat 10:5 These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:
Mat 10:6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
Mat 10:7 And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Mat 26:19 And the disciples did as Jesus had appointed them; and they made ready the passover.
Mat 26:20 Now when the even was come, he sat down with the twelve.

Judas even baptized........

John 4:1 When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John,
John 4:2 (Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples,)


[quote:725780ad30]As Patrick noted, this parable is intended to make us examine our hearts. We must be careful not to take the meaning too far.[/quote:725780ad30]

I can promise you, that is not what Pat meant........

[quote:725780ad30]As for the vine, do they have to have made professions? This could be anyone that has infiltrated the church, either in ignorance of what the gospel truly means or they think they know, or they could be subverting the work of Christ on purpose. [/quote:725780ad30]

Joe,
Does a profession prove one's validity? Infiltrated or not, subversion or not, they are part of the visible church. You yourself have said this.....look above. [i:725780ad30] This could be anyone that has infiltrated the church,....[/i:725780ad30]

Look:
John 6:57 As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.
John 6:58 This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.
John 6:59 These things said he in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum.
John 6:60 Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it?
John 6:61 When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you?
John 6:62 What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before?
John 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
John 6:64 But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him.
John 6:65 And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.
John 6:66 From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.

Disciples that [i:725780ad30]believe not[/i:725780ad30]; none the less, disciples!

Tape stuck on repeat:
Again, was Jesus speaking in the past tense or present? Why would he mention this to the apostles if in fact soon, it would be an obsolete rationale?
 

Puritan Sailor

Puritan Board Doctor
[quote:e6d318d632="Wannabee"]
As Patrick noted, this parable is intended to make us examine our hearts. We must be careful not to take the meaning too far. Since Jesus is addressing Jews, His message addresses them in a way that would have more meaning to them. The illustation of the vine could not be lost on them. This truth transcends time. The illustration is valid for todays Jews as well. The principle is valid for all men. Yes, presently as well.
[/quote:e6d318d632]

Just to briefly clarify what I meant, I don't think the parable was "intended" for self-examination. I believe it is teaching us what the kingdom is like until the end. Jesus is teaching that it is mixed until the bad are thrown out at his return. But I do believe that self-examination is a practical application of this text, to challenge people to examine their hearts to see what kind of kingdom member they are, good or bad, that is truly believing or just falsely professing.
 

Philip A

Puritan Board Sophomore
[quote:9b449a80c0="Wannabee"]There was some discussion on the thread before the forum went down the other day that was lost.[/quote:9b449a80c0]
No, brother, all is not lost :bs2: I type out my longer responses before I post them. I still have the bulk of my part of the discussion saved. Let me repeat it:



To take "In me" in the absolute sense is to fail to deal adequately, or even systematically, with the whole of scripture. There are other places where the state of being "in Christ" is discussed. In particular, we have these three:

[b:9b449a80c0]Romans 8:1[/b:9b449a80c0]
[i:9b449a80c0]There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.[/i:9b449a80c0]
[b:9b449a80c0]1 Cor 15:22[/b:9b449a80c0]
[i:9b449a80c0]For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. [/i:9b449a80c0]
[b:9b449a80c0]2 Cor 5:17[/b:9b449a80c0]
[i:9b449a80c0]Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. [/i:9b449a80c0]

So, from Paul's letters, we can make the following observations about what it means to be "in Christ":

1. He will not be condemned (not cast into the fire), but "shall be made alive".
2. He walks according to the Spirit, not the flesh (abides in Christ).
3. He is a new creation.

Yet, in John 15 Jesus says that some of those who are "in me" will be cut off. So does this mean that a person could be "in Christ", regenerated (a new creation), justified (no condemnation), walking according to the Spirit, and ultimately apostasize, fail to abide in Christ, and then finally be cast into the fire, rather than "be made alive"?

If both are taken in the true, absolute sense, then we have what seems to be a contradiction. [i:9b449a80c0]This is something that both the paedos and credos have to deal with.[/i:9b449a80c0]

How then shall we deal with it? The law of non-contradiction tells us that A can not be non-A at the same time and in the same sense. Because we all believe in the inerrancy of scripture both paedo and credo have only two choices: John 15 and the pauline passages I cited can either be:

1. Not concurrent, or
2. Not meant in the same sense.

The latter is what I am arguing for. The pauline passages are meant in the true, absolute sense, in that they speak of things as the actually are. In the passage from John, Christ is speaking of things in the apparent sense, in that he speaks of things as they appear to be. This is the only proper way to interpret them. One passage is didactic epistle, the other is analogy. To argue the absolute sense from the analogical over and against the didactic is terrible hermeneutics. It is the halmark of bad theology. This is how our Charismatic bretheren attempt to support their doctrines. They start in Acts first, where the literary style of historical record, taken in isolation, gives them more wiggle room to eisogete their doctrines. From there they go to the didactic portions of scripture and interpret them based on what they have already concluded from their reading of Acts. We cannot do the same thing. We cannot start with the anological ("the kingdom of heaven is [i:9b449a80c0]like[/i:9b449a80c0]", "I am the vine") and press it to the most literal and absolute sense, and force a contradiction with the clearer didactic passages of Paul's epistles.

If this sounds novel to you, listen to Owen in Book IV, Chapter V of Death of Death, where he responds to the Amyraldian/Arminian argument from 1 Cor 8:11 :
[quote:9b449a80c0]...he that is said to perish is called a brother,--that is, a believer; we are brethren only by faith, whereby we come to have one Father. As he is said to be a brother, so Christ is said to die for him. That a true believer cannot finally perish may easily be proved; therefore, he who doth perish is manifestly declared never to have been any: "They went out from us, because they were not of us." If any perish, then, he was never a true believer. [i:9b449a80c0]How, then, is he said to be a brother? Because he is so in profession, so in our judgment and persuasion; it being meet for us to think so of them all. As he is said to be a brother, so Christ is said to die for him, even in that judgment which the Scripture allows to us of men. [/i:9b449a80c0]We cannot count a man a brother, and not esteem that Christ died for him; we have no brotherhood with reprobates. Christ died for all believers, John 17. So we esteem all men walking in the due profession of the gospel, not manifesting the contrary; yet of these, that many may perish none ever denied.... [i:9b449a80c0]We do not deny but that some may perish, and that eternally, concerning whom we ought to judge that Christ died for them, whilst they live and converse with us according to the rule of the gospel[/i:9b449a80c0].[/quote:9b449a80c0]
Later, in reply to claims made from 2 Pe 2:1, he says this:
[quote:9b449a80c0]Thirdly, Neither is it more certain that the apostle speaketh of the purchase of the wolves and hypocrites,[i:9b449a80c0] in respect of the reality of the purchase, and not rather in respect of that estimation which others had of them[/i:9b449a80c0],--and, by reason of their outward seeming profession, ought to have had,--and of the profession that themselves made to be purchased by him whom they pretended to preach to others; as the Scripture saith [of Abaz], "The gods of Damascus smote him," because he himself so imagined and professed, 2 Chron. 28:23. The latter hath this also to render it probable,--namely, that [i:9b449a80c0]it is the perpetual course of the Scripture, to ascribe all those things to every one that is in the fellowship of the church which are proper to them only who are true spiritual members of the same;[/i:9b449a80c0] as to be saints, elect, redeemed, etc. Now, the truth is, from this their profession, that they were bought by Christ, might the apostle justly, and that according to the opinion of our adversaries, press these false teachers, by the way of aggravating their sin. For the thing itself, their being bought, it could be no more urged to them than to heathens and infidels that never heard of the name of the Lord Jesus.[/quote:9b449a80c0]
And then he defends against the claims made using Hebrews 10:29 in this way:
[quote:9b449a80c0]That it was the manner of the saints, and the apostles themselves, to esteem of all baptized, initiated persons, ingrafted into the church, as sanctified persons; so that, speaking of backsliders, he could not make mention of them any otherwise than as they were commonly esteemed to be, and at that time, in the judgment of charity, were to be considered. Whether they were true believers or no, but only temporary, to whom this argument against apostasy is proposed, according to the usual manner of speech used by the Holy Ghost, they could not be otherwise described.[/quote:9b449a80c0]
So, to summarize, Owen says that:
1. Professors are to be considered bretheren based on profession, and if they prove to be reprobates, then it is manifest that they never had been true believers.
2. "...it is the perpetual course of the Scripture, to ascribe all those things to every one that is in the fellowship of the church which are proper to them only who are true spiritual members of the same..."
3. The only proper way to address apostates was "as they were commonly esteemed to be", and that this manner of speaking is "the usual manner of speech used by the Holy Ghost".

Confessional Reformed Baptists believe that only the elect are truly in the new covenant. Thus, as a Reformed Baptist, it is consistent with my theology to restate the above observations from Owen in this manner:
1. Professors are to be considered as being in the covenant based on profession, and if they prove to be reprobates, then it is manifest that they never had been true covenant members.
2. It is the perpetual course of the Scripture, to ascribe all those things to every one that is in the external fellowship of the covenant which are proper to them only who are true spiritual members of the same..."
3. The only proper way to address apostates was "as they were commonly esteemed to be" (in the covenant), and that this manner of speaking is "the usual manner of speech used by the Holy Ghost".

We can now apply this to John 15 and Matthew 13. Let me briefly summarize a confessional Reformed Baptist interpretation of these passages.

First, Matthew 13:
The Kingdom is like, but not identical to, the gathering of fish. Professors are brought into the fellowship of the covenant community. Some are truly members of it, some are only false professors, but all are "commonly esteemed to be" truly in the covenant kingdom. At the final judgment, those false professors will be sifted out, and Christ will say to them, "though you professed to know me, and though by charity and according to the example of scripture you were considered to be in me, truly I tell you, I never knew you, and you were never truly a part of the covenant."

John 15 is much the same:
"Every branch that associates itself with me, but is nevertheless not truly a part of me, and therefore does not bear fruit, He takes away... If anyone does not abide in Me, and thereby confirms that he never was truly in me, he is thrown away as a branch, and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned."
 
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