09 November 2015

Dead vs. Living Stones

While I'm not endorsing this website, this article recently brought to my attention is a good read.

Just a couple of weeks ago I was teaching on 1 Peter 2 and thinking about the Temple Mount and the Wailing Wall. It struck me in light of the passage that these people are putting their faith in dead stones. The image is striking to me. Our Temple is made of living stone and it must be contrasted with these dead ones. Judaism's devotion to a temple of dead stone is the basis of their rejection of the Messiah. The doctrine of the Living Temple, the very person of Jesus Christ becomes a stumblingblock and occasion for offense.

Dispensationalism or as it is called in this link 'Christian Zionism' rejects the Apostolic Hermeneutic. Are they literalists as they claim? Not at all. They need to be reminded of this. They reject what the Apostles teach about the Old Testament and most importantly 'how' to read the Old Testament. The veil Paul speaks of in 2 Corinthians 3 likewise lies over their hearts when they read the Old Testament.

They greatly err in establishing all their doctrinal foundations in Old Testament readings. When the New properly elucidates their true meaning and import we find they were literally true but in poetic and symbolic and often typological form. The centerpiece of Scripture was not the plan concerning Hebrew Israel. The center of Scripture is Jesus Christ of which Hebrew Israel and its temple was but a small symbol... and thus necessarily incomplete and flawed. It was the shadow, not the substance. Christ is the hermeneutic by which we understand the Old Covenant age. We cannot properly understand the Old without the New.

Dispensationalism rejects this, makes Israel the substance and thus while proclaiming Spiritual liberty they are in fact captured by a form of bondage... like the Hasidic Jews praying before dead stones. They profess to follow Christ but they still worship at the temple made of dead stone.

They reject the Christocentricity revealed to us in the New Testament. Christ and the New Covenant are for them a stumblingblock.

Of course the Living Stone doesn't just build the New Covenant Temple, providing a way of life to the lost world. The Temple is also a proclamation of coming judgment. The Stone that is life to some will be death to others. The Stone in Daniel's image smashed the idolatrous statue that depicts the empires of this world. The Stone did so in the first century with the cry of 'It is finished'. The actual event has been delayed because of the longsuffering of God.

When Christ returns the Danielic prophecy already fulfilled in Christ will be brought to fruition 'in time'. The eschatological reality will be imposed on the cosmos, on this age. And then in the Age to Come we will experience the joy of the New Heavens and New Earth where there is no longer a Temple. We will have Christ Himself, full Spiritual union, the joys of righteousness in eternity.