[We are] not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. (Romans 1:16)

Saturday, February 18, 2006

The Darkness Outside

by Antonio
ADDITION: For MORE on this subject, see my blog here:

The Judgment Seat of Christ : The Bema Seat of Christ

And see the Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society:

A Call to the Wedding Celebration: An Exposition of Matthew 22:1-14
The 'Outer Darkness' in Matthew and its Relationship to Grace


Matt 22:1-14
And Jesus answered and spoke to them again by parables and said: "The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who arranged a marriage for his son, and sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding; and they were not willing to come. Again, he sent out other servants, saying, 'Tell those who are invited, "See, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and fatted cattle are killed, and all things are ready. Come to the wedding."' But they made light of it and went their ways, one to his own farm, another to his business. And the rest seized his servants, treated them spitefully, and killed them. But when the king heard about it, he was furious. And he sent out his armies, destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. Then he said to his servants, 'The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. Therefore go into the highways, and as many as you find, invite to the wedding.' So those servants went out into the highways and gathered together all whom they found, both bad and good. And the wedding hall was filled with guests.

"But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment. So he said to him, 'Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?' And he was speechless. Then the king said to the servants, 'Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'

"For many are called, but few are chosen."

Observations:

1) Jesus is speaking in parabolic language; is telling a parable.

2) The guest without a wedding garment (from now on GWWG) is distinguished from those who “were not willing to come” in verses 11:3-8, who were destroyed by the army of the King.

3) GWWG, who was invited to the wedding feast, was both willing to come and obviously accepted the invitation.

4) GWWG in the kingdom, for he is found in the wedding feast, having responded affirmatively to the wedding invitation.

5) As far as my eschatology goes, there will be no unsaved people at the beginning of the Millennial Kingdom. GWWG was willing to come, accepted the invitation, and in the parable, is found in the kingdom.

6) At the judgment of the Sheep and Goats, all unsaved people will have been weeded out (Matt 25:31-46). Here in the parable, “the king… sent out his armies, destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city” (Matt 22:7-8), which is a picture of the judgment of the goats, the lost. GWWG is not in this group.

7) The interpretation that the wedding garment is the righteousness of Christ is untenable considering the above: GWWG is willing to come, accepted the invitation, is in the kingdom, is distinguished from those who were destroyed.

8) The GWWG did not prepare himself and come to the feast in the proper wedding garment. This wedding garment is not the righteousness of Christ but his own preparation of himself. The wedding garment corresponds to the Christian’s perseverance in faithfulness and works:

Rev 19:7-8
Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready." And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.

The wedding garments here in Rev 19:8 “is the righteous acts of the saints.” This understanding fits the context much better in Matt 22.

9) The wedding feast in this parable corresponds to Jesus Christ’s intimate band of overcoming companions who will co-rule/co-reign with Him forever. To be in the wedding feast is to be identified with the fellowship of reigning servant kings with Christ, based upon their faithful endurance until the end of their Christian lives.

10) GWWG did not prepare himself for the wedding feast (for the intimate band and fellowship of co-rulers with Christ). He is not allowed into this fellowship but is thrown out into the “darkness outside” (to skotos to exoteron). This is parabolic language. In biblical times wedding feasts were held at night in well-lit banquet halls. This man is thrown outside of the banquet hall, into the darkness that resides outside the banquet hall. This corresponds to the fact that the Christian who doesn’t prepare himself for his future eternity in the kingdom will be outside of the intimate fellowship of Christ’s servant kings.

11) GWWG is bound hand and foot: this again is parabolic language. This corresponds to the fact that Christians who are unprepared for the special privileges in the kingdom will be under severe restrictions. They will not be allowed to be active for their Lord in the experience of joint-heirship; he will be unable to serve in the Lord’s government.

12) That this will be the experience of those un-prepared Christians who face their Lord at the Bema of Christ, the Judgment Seat of Christ, it is reasonable to see that those who will have such restrictions put on them will be sorrowful, severely remorseful and regretting. They will “weep” and “gnash their teeth”. Such is the oriental expressions of severe sorrow. Such things as this went on in the culture of Jesus’ day when loved one’s died, in other words, when one experienced great loss. To be excluded from Christ’s intimate band of servant kings is to experience incalculable and eternal loss.

Matt 16:25-27
For whoever desires to save his life (psuche) will lose it, but whoever loses his life (psuche) for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul (life/psuche)? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul(life/psuche)? For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.

The GWWG figured that saving his life in the present (living for himself) was compensation for losing his life (in the future kingdom). What a tragic and inestimable error! Christ is coming to reward each Christian according to his works, and this man is rewarded with great loss.

Mark puts it this way:

Mark 8:35-38
For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel's will save it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels."

Jesus Christ will be ashamed of those Christians who do not prepare themselves with the proper wedding garments; who do not live out life with the proper eternal perspective; who live for self and not for Christ.

1 John 2:28
And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.

13) “For many are called, but few are chosen”: All Christians are called to the intimate fellowship of Christ’s overcoming co-reigners/co-rulers; Christ’s co-heirs. Yet only those who have prepared themselves for the privilege and opportunity will be chosen.

35 Comments:

  • Ok Dillow, I mean Antonio ;-), but to follow your logic through, or the logic that scripture presents here--where does this man fit in as the bride of Christ? To follow this imagery through, which I believe is more than analogical (according to Eph 5), the marriage imagery--this seems to create two classes of people within the bride. One who for eternity expriences intimacy and one that can only wish that they could. This almost seems to border on polagamist thinking (i.e. two Brides, to get really allegorical, Rachel and Leah).

    This is where I start having trouble with Dillow, and I guess you, Antonio. It seems to make this parable walk on all fours.

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at Saturday, February 18, 2006 3:39:00 PM  

  • There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth in heaven? I find that nowhere in Scripture...

    Also, you said He is speaking parabolically -- I agree, and His audience would have been Jews... I come from the Jewish culture, and weeping and gnashing of teeth NEVER means heaven (at least in none of the parable/story/rabbinical teachings that I have ever heard), rather it always refers to the opposite...

    Would the Messiah actually use an example that was muddled and confusing?

    The problem I have with this interpretation is that it discounts who the hearers would have been and seems to place a later interpretation back into that context and culture...

    So, I am assuming that you would assign the 'outer darkness' in the parable of the talents to this same place? I am unsure of how you get there...

    By Blogger Ray, at Saturday, February 18, 2006 4:21:00 PM  

  • I realized after I left the last comment that it might be perceived as a 'hit-and-run' comment without any information -- So in order to provide some light for where I am coming from let me provide this:

    The outer darkness -- Gehenna, was considered by most Jews as a place where God would assign the Gentiles (aka non-belivers), at the end of times -- NOT a place for 'some' believers.

    Weeping and gnashing of teeth -- This signifies anger and sorrow... there are rabbinical teachings regarding these emotions being felt by the souls who are NOT going to be found righteous... The sorrowful would be those who are found to be unrighteous... The unrighteous do not inhereit heaven in my understanding...

    This is where I am viewing this parable from, therefore I do not accept the rather complex explanation that was provided. It would have been COMPLETELY missed by the original hearers of the parable...

    By Blogger Ray, at Saturday, February 18, 2006 4:38:00 PM  

  • Bobby,

    This is a parable. We are not talking about a literal wedding feast, a literal wedding garment, a literal being bound hand and foot, etc.

    This is merely a parable with spiritual correspondences.

    Those who do not overcome are still Christians, still enter the kingdom, and are heirs of God's unconditional promises. Those who overcome are this AND co-heirs with Christ, heirs of the conditional promises.

    I don't know where you get this two bride thing.

    Christ will have an intimate fellowship, where He will allow certain people to sit with him in His kingdom. Others, who were unfaithful, He will not.

    There is nothing wrong with two classes of people. Jesus had his apostles, and had many, many more disciples who He was not as intimate with. Then there was the three, Peter, James, and John, who were even MORE intimate with Jesus.

    There is no problem with different degrees. There will be degrees from mere citizen (one who merely enters the kingdom) all the way to those who will be in Christ's intimate band.

    I hope this helps...

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Saturday, February 18, 2006 4:50:00 PM  

  • Ray,

    It would be interesting for you to refer us to the rabbinic literature that discusses this particular phrase "weeping and gnashing of teeth". There are 6 occurrences of this phrase in the N.T. Greek. It is found no other place in all Koine Greek literature.

    We have all been so trained by Traditionalistic interpretation that begins with many presuppositions.

    The parable that I have expounded is quite simple.

    The man was in the kingdom

    He was willing to come

    He accepted the invitation

    in conjunction with the Rev passage which shows that the garment is "righteous deeds of the saints"

    This is simple, and I fail to see anyone show me the error of my observations.

    All I see is assertion and objection. Nothing at all substantial with the text at hand.

    Jesus had been talking to His disciples PLENTY about the privileges and conditional blessings of ruling in the Kingdom.

    We have just been so accustomed to the Traditionalistic interpretations that say that all Christians will persevere, all Christians will be rewarded, all Christians will reign with Christ.

    This teaching makes Christians lukewarm and places a lack of emphasis on faithfulness.

    What good is a reward that everyone receives?

    Why did Paul buffet himself and run the race thus:

    1 Cor 9:24-27

    Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. 25 And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. 26 Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. 27 But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.
    NKJV

    He did not want to be disqualified! Bobby, here we see that there are those who are qualified for rewards, and those who are disqualified. Sure sounds like two "classes" to me (although I do hate that word when used of relation here. They are all Christians, children of God, just some will have the superlative privileges, others will not).

    "One should remember, in connection with 'weeping and gnashing of teeth' that the Oriental is very demonstrative in the expression of grief. The phrase only sounds extreme to reserved Westerners" (Zane Hodges, Grace in Eclipse, 119).

    These men and women who will not reign with Christ, and experience the superlative glories of being in Christ's intimate fellowship, will experience severe loss!

    Weeping and gnashing of teeth is merely an expression of severe sorrow, like the loss of a loved one, a wife or husband.

    The knee-jerk reaction of this phrase to mean hell is just not warranted its colloquial usage.

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Saturday, February 18, 2006 5:06:00 PM  

  • Ray and Bobby,

    for more exposition on this thread of thought, with the Bema of Christ, weeping and gnashing of teeth, and the darkness outside, see my blog here:

    The Bema of Christ

    You will find more useful information there.

    Antonio

    PS: I am going out on a date with my wife! Lobster!

    By Blogger Antonio, at Saturday, February 18, 2006 5:10:00 PM  

  • Antonio,

    you're the one who tied this parable in Rev 19 to the "literal" non-parabolic marriage supper feast of the lamb. The marriage to Christ is real "union" I Cor 6:17, Eph 5, etc. not parabolic or figurative.

    You stated:"I don't know where you get this two bride thing."

    From you, Antonio reductio ad absurdem! I'm just taking what you're arguing to its logical conclusion. That's why I stated that you're interp. makes this parable walk on all fours when you tie it to the non-parabolic wedding in Rev 19.

    How do we end up in heaven with an intimate bride of Christ, and an non-intimate bride of Christ? Esp. when eternity, while couched in a marital relationship, is defined in Jn 17:3 by growing in inimacy with the Savior. Your argument leads to the opposite conclusion for the 2nd class/"disobedient" Christian.

    I have no problem with there being degrees of reward or punishment, but identifying what that might be (i.e. heir and co-heir), is purely speculative/experiemental exegesis conditioned heavily on a particular theological construct.

    The near context also should determine the identity of the man "cast" out--and if this is so, looking at both Mt. 21 and 23, the surrounding pericopes, Jesus is chastising those who should've accepted the kingdom in Christ and didn't--the Jews. You're right the robes of righteousness aren't Christ's but their own self-righteous works (see Mt 23:25).

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at Saturday, February 18, 2006 5:46:00 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger bobby grow, at Saturday, February 18, 2006 6:50:00 PM  

  • Let me place an addendum, and correction on my previous post. The cast out wouldn't be the Jewish leadership, that would've been those who initially rejected the invitations.

    Rather the man cast out would've been representing those (in the roadways) on the outer fringe of society. Nevertheless, to press this interpretation to the point you do, Antonio, IMO, is unwarranted. Also to read into this passage that the cast out is one who is "saved" is again to push this parable beyond its contextual parameters.

    vs.22:14. "For many are called, but few are chosen."

    This parable serves as a simple illustration of this verse. "Many"=Those initially invited; "Few"=people still part of the "class" of the "many"; "Chosen"=those who actually respond appropriately.

    Notice Leon Morris here:

    "Many are called classes him with the other guests; they had all heard the gracious invitation of the royal host, and they were all where they were because of his generosity. But Jesus sounds a warning. Those who hear God's call and know of his grace must not think that a call is the same as a response. . . ." (Leon Morris, The Gospel According To Matthew, USA, Eerdmans Publishing House, 552)

    Bobby

    Hope your time spent with wife was good!

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at Saturday, February 18, 2006 7:11:00 PM  

  • Great post Antonio!

    I think it is our democratic/egalitarian cultural goggles that cause discomfort with the idea that there will be some more relationally near to the Lord than others.

    I see this as what Paul was conserned about losing through being disqualified.

    However, we will all see him and be like Him!

    Praise God that no one can pry us from that future blessing!!

    By Blogger H K Flynn, at Saturday, February 18, 2006 9:01:00 PM  

  • Antonio,

    Actually I have several references to weeping and gnashing of teeth -- I can produce them, but unless you want to go read rabbinical literature in depth you will not care... My point was not to put before you rabbinical literature, but to share with you the context in which the Messiah was speaking.

    You say that 'we' have all been so indoctrinated in 'traditionalist' teaching (whatever that means), but my statement was not about 'traditionalists' rather it was about the persons that Messiah was speaking to -- they would have had definitive understanding of what the 'outer darkness' was, and what weeping and gnashing of teeth was... I can produce the requested passages, but I think the point was missed...

    I was attempting to point out that it is, in fact, you who are adding later ideas into 1st Century Jewish teaching...

    My statement was not about how many times a phrase was in the NT, it was rather about understanding the fact that the common man of the day was used to parabolic teaching, and KNEW what outer darkness meant, and what weeping and gnashing of teeth meant. Your description is alien to that thought process...

    While Jewish concepts of the 'outer darkness' are too complex to put into a simple comment, the bottom line is that Gehenna meant something SPECIFIC to the people that Messiah was talking to.

    By Blogger Ray, at Saturday, February 18, 2006 9:03:00 PM  

  • Hi Ray,

    Hope I can cut in here.

    I think it would be very helpful to see those passages!

    I'm sure no one thought you were arguing they were authoritative ;)

    Jodie

    By Blogger H K Flynn, at Saturday, February 18, 2006 10:17:00 PM  

  • HK said:

    "I think it is our democratic/egalitarian cultural goggles that cause discomfort with the idea that there will be some more relationally near to the Lord than others."

    HK the implication of what Antonio is stating is that this is a static state, at least this is how I read it. In other words, there are two classes of people in heaven those who are "heirs" and those who are "joint-heirs"; those who are always on the outside circle and those who are in the inner circle.

    Please don't assert that this is a result of some sort of emotional anachronistic reaction; it's a reaction to some exegesis that I don't think is supportable from the text.

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at Saturday, February 18, 2006 11:16:00 PM  

  • Well, while Bobby is thinking about what kind of rules we might use to egage on the matter of grace and faith, this blog would be a great place for this group of people to "think out loud" about the matter of baptism.

    I know I sound like a one-note tuba on this, but all the other stuff that Antonio has said so far ignore at least two concrete examples in the NT of things that those who have faith in Christ ought to to: baptism and the Lord's table.

    However, let's assume for a minute that I am wrong and that these two actions are not requirements of believers. If they are not required of believers, then what does the NT say about baptism and the Lord's table relative to those who are in the church, called to be saints?

    Expounding on that topic will demonstrate more about the method being used here to read the NT than on any other topic, and it will expose the central weakness of Antonio's arguments to date.

    By Blogger centuri0n, at Sunday, February 19, 2006 4:59:00 AM  

  • Antonio, I think your interpretation is plausible, but I do not think it fits the context.

    This parable is a message to the Jews, not to the disciples.

    As a Post-Tribulationalist, I disagree with your view that only those already saved enter the Millennium. There will be a remnant of Israel who will be protected and sealed by God during the Tribulation, but who will not be converted until the appearing of Christ.

    These people will mourn and weep when they see Christ (Zech 12:10-11).

    I would suggest that this parable refers to the unsaved remnant of Israel who will be disowned by Christ at His coming, but who will be lead to repentance and will enter the Millennium in natural bodies.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Sunday, February 19, 2006 7:37:00 AM  

  • Bobby,

    Thanks for hanging in there with me, buddy.

    All I am inclined to say at this point is that there is an observable thread of conditional heirship all through the Bible (Dillow's book is a great resource pointing these out). When we read Jesus' interactions with His disciples we are often met with conditions for intimacy that not all Christians will share (much teaching in the upper room discourse) and the conditional nature of rulership in the kingdom (parables of the minas/talents, just to name a few).

    My interpretation views this parable, first off, in its obvious features. You say that I am making the parable "walk on all fours". How so? That I am emphasizing what can clearly be demonstrated by the parable? It obvious features jump out at me:

    The man is a "guest"
    The king called him "friend"
    The guest was willing to come and accepted the invitation to the feast
    The parable is obviously talking about an end time judgment scenario.
    The guest is NOT in the group of unsaved who were destroyed by the kings armies.
    The guest is in the kingdom.
    He is found at the wedding feast unprepared.
    The wedding feast is in a well-lit hall.
    Anything that would reside on the outside would be relatively dark in comparison to the hall.
    The man wasn't killed like the unsaved.
    The man wasn't thrown into some jail.
    The man was put on the outside of the wedding fellowship.

    These observations are very easily gained.

    Bobby, I would encourage you to read the link that I give of my post in conjunction with these two great articles concerning this very parable.

    I will give you the links here in order for easier access.

    Bobby. The traditionalistic interpretations of key passages in the gospels have ossified in history. My interpretation seems far off because of our conditioning.

    It may take a while of showing the many clear passages that basically teach the same thing as here in order to jar us from our traditional understandings. I do not say this to patronize you, but to ask you to reserve judgment on this aspect of my theology until you have a greater understanding of the great number of texts we use to arrive at this understanding.

    I think I will be spending most of my time in blogging concerning the conditional aspects of heirship in the kingdom.

    Here are the links for your viewing. They get into very great detail concerning this passage, and the link to my post is a corrollary to the teaching presented here.

    Please take the time and view them:

    A Call to the Wedding Feast Gregory Sapaugh

    The 'Outer Darkness' in Matthew and its Relationship to Grace Michael Huber

    The Judgment Seat of Christ (The Bema) Antonio da Rosa

    You will find these three articles engaging. Let me know what you think about them.

    In the meantime, I will continue on this thread, and hopefully address the points that may be coming into your thoughts.

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Sunday, February 19, 2006 7:41:00 AM  

  • I have no plans to write a post on baptism.

    I do not really understand why you think baptism is problematic for Antonio's position.

    Antonio, could you please explain where you stand on the questions that Centurion has asked? Do you understand what he is getting at?

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Sunday, February 19, 2006 7:41:00 AM  

  • Frank,

    Holiness is required of believers, faithfulness is erquired of believers, observance of Christ's commands are required of believers.

    Many things are required of believers.

    When I was growing up, many things were required of me in my familial setting at home. I had to do chores, keep my room straightened, abide by rules. Yet the last 6 years I was at home I spurned these things. Did it show that I wasn't in my family? Did it show that I wasn't really a son of my father and mother?

    I paid consequences, Frank. It some aspects I still am. I can't take back what I didn't do, and I can't insert my own set of consequences to my actions.

    One who is regenerate ought to be baptized, ought to "observe all things that" Christ "has commanded".

    By Blogger Antonio, at Sunday, February 19, 2006 7:50:00 AM  

  • Excellent post Antonio and thanks for the links. You framed your argument quite well, as always IMO, and along with Matthew I too find it plausible. I appreciate the comments and other perspectives offered here as well and at present I honestly would lean toward Matthew’s understanding of this passage though I would not dismiss the possibility that yours is correct. I’m persuaded that none of the arguments here have been successful in refuting your position. Even though Jesus was certainly addressing the Jews I do not find that these parables the Lord used were ever very well understood by them and so I must dismiss the argument that the verbiage He used was expressly for their understanding. I do question the specific purpose for the parable. Was it purely prophetic or does the Lord have a specific application for daily living in it? Along with Bobby I question the intended depth of the analogy the Lord used.

    By Blogger Kc, at Sunday, February 19, 2006 9:08:00 AM  

  • Antonio said:

    "You say that I am making the parable "walk on all fours".

    The only reason I said this is because I don't believe you're letting the near context determine the intepretation. Do you or don't you tie this into Rev 19 to provide context for your interpretation of this parable? If so, you're making this parable do something it was not intended, by Matthew the gospel writer, to do.

    You do come across a bit patronizing, I didn't just fall off the turnip truck, Antonio ;). Lets see here, I've read Reign of the Servant Kings by Dillow, did a paper in college comparing and mostly contrasting MacArthur's: Gospel According to Jesus and Zane's Absolutely Free, had a 3hr meeting discussing the tenants and supporting exegesis of your position with the President and a "Finnish" :) professor at Chafer Theological Seminary (the hub for your theological perspective; and now I have read a few articles that you've linked me to.

    Not only that, but you make it sound like the only real blindness here comes from my conditioning as a "Calvinist". When in fact I'm not a Calvinist, but more in line with a Lutheran perspective on soteriology. Maybe its the other way around, maybe you've been so conditioned and ensconsed in the Free-Grace tradition that you can't see scripture outside of that perspective ;-).

    I do appreciate you Antonio, but I just disagree with you on certain fundamental areas. I'll keep engaging your position--but maybe you should be more willing to interact with other perspectives as well--instead of assuming that you're "absolutely" right, and everyone else is wrong!

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at Sunday, February 19, 2006 9:44:00 AM  

  • Antonio said:

    "9) The wedding feast in this parable corresponds to Jesus Christ’s intimate band of overcoming companions who will co-rule/co-reign with Him forever. To be in the wedding feast is to be identified with the fellowship of reigning servant kings with Christ, based upon their faithful endurance until the end of their Christian lives.

    Here's some irony, Antonio--it looks like you too are conditioned by Calvinism. While you condemn "Perseverance of the saints", and rightly so; you operate in the same framework. The only difference is that the Lordship Salvation guys link sanctification to justification--while the Free-Gracer links sanctification to glorification by way of emphasis.

    The consequence is the same--both systems end up being fundamentally man-centered. One is hoping to gain entrance into the eternal kingdom (Lordship)--one is hoping to be part of the inner circle of Christ in eternity. Both are motivated by concern for self, fundamentally, than being theocentric--in a methodological sort of a way.

    So you clearly, Antonio, have not made a clean cut away from Calvinism that you say you have--do you see my point?

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at Sunday, February 19, 2006 10:33:00 AM  

  • Antonio, I really like your explanation of the darkness outside. That sheds some whole new light on this picture.

    I think you are quite accurate in the context of this parable, however I would encourage you to continue finding more collaborative verses and pictures in scripture to solidify this view. Obviously when one position is dominant for so many centuries, it takes time and proper teaching to correct this.

    God bless,
    Jim

    By Blogger Jim, at Sunday, February 19, 2006 2:32:00 PM  

  • Thank you all for your comments. I will continue to follow this thread through the N.T. and maybe we can see some things we haven't quite put together yet. This is my prayer.

    Bobby, thank you for your interaction. I do not like turnips, and if I can say you fell off any truck, it would be a Christian Publisher's truck.

    Matt, I can't wait for some of your posts on post-tribulationalism. I personally am a premil/pretrib classic disp who is too old to change his ways.

    Casey, thank you for peaceable comments.

    Jim, I am going to continue on this thread for quite a while and hit many scriptures.

    God bless you all!

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Sunday, February 19, 2006 5:40:00 PM  

  • Come on Antonio, I was trying to pick a fight with you :), and you had to be all gracious and everything :). You're a good brother, I look forward to futher interaction with you in the days to come.

    Like Antonio, Matthew, I'm also a pre-trip, but Progressive Disp., I too look forward to seeing your perspective on post-trib. (do you like George Eldon Ladd in this regard?).

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at Sunday, February 19, 2006 6:17:00 PM  

  • Hey Antonio,
    I finally had time to read your long post and length of comments.
    How fascinating! I must say, one thought came to mind several times as I read through the comments: parables are not really the best place to get doctrine! They are wonderful words from the Lord, but He is not spelling everything out for us in these parables, is he? However, they are good to think about, as I see you have done much.

    I appreciate your thoughts. You have caused me to think and that is always good. I have appreciated the comments here immensly. It is great to read you and Bobby go back and forth on this issue. I tend to see it Bobby's way, but I will still maintain an open mind and a teachable attitude about it.

    I love lobster.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Sunday, February 19, 2006 7:48:00 PM  

  • I especially appreciated what you have said to Centuri0n about his question.

    Hi Centuri0n!

    By Blogger Rose~, at Sunday, February 19, 2006 7:49:00 PM  

  • Bobby,

    I still think it's hard for egalitarians (especially compassionate ones) to be sympathetic toward a Kingdom where there are some with more authority and access than others.

    I don't deny, however, that we're all attempting to get what the Scriptures are teaching no matter where it leads us ... uhm, within reason! ;)

    By Blogger H K Flynn, at Sunday, February 19, 2006 8:48:00 PM  

  • Antonio, maybe having reached 24 and nearly 25 (March 7) I am also to old now to change my ways.

    Bobby, I think in the long run, the trend to Prog Dispism will lead away from Pre-Tribulationalism.

    I disagree with Ladd's Kingdom theology. I do not go with all of his escahtology and I reject completely his Covenant theology hermeneutics.

    I think his book on the rapture 'The Blessed Hope' is rather lackign in depth. 'The Church and the Tribulation' by Robert Gundry is a far better and reflects a pretty dispensational stance.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Monday, February 20, 2006 2:32:00 AM  

  • I don't know Antonio.

    Christ said in God's Kingdom there were many mansions.

    He didn't say..I will live in a mansion..you a two bedroom bugalow..and that wicked servant will live in a shack.

    By Blogger ambiance-five, at Monday, February 20, 2006 7:32:00 AM  

  • Ambiance, the word mansion does not have the same meaning in the Greek as in the modern English. Mansion did not refer to a physical structure but a position of relationship.

    God Bless

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Monday, February 20, 2006 9:35:00 AM  

  • John 14:1-2
    "Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 In My Father's house are many [dwellings]; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

    Is it not interesting that there are many dwellings already there, yet Christ is going to prepare a place for the 11 Apostles where it has already been said of them

    Luke 22:28-30

    28 "But you are those who have continued with Me in My trials. 29 And I bestow upon you a kingdom, just as My Father bestowed one upon Me, 30 that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel."
    NKJV

    There are already dwelling places there, but Christ is preparing places for those who will sit with Him at His table...

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Monday, February 20, 2006 11:09:00 AM  

  • Matthew,

    is that because you think the trajectory of the Prog. Disp. program is leading to the amil position (I mean your view that prog. disp. is leading to post trib);)?

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at Monday, February 20, 2006 3:57:00 PM  

  • Well, the Prog Disp position does tend towards a greater overlap between the Church and Israel.

    To justify keeping the Pre-Trib rapture you will have to rely solely on exegatical gorund, which I think is extremely shakey for this doctrine.

    I actually think it is fine Dispensationally to have the Church present in the Tribulation, as most Dispensationalists identify the Tribulation as part of the Dispensation of Grace.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Tuesday, February 21, 2006 1:36:00 AM  

  • Antonio -

    You said:
    "5) As far as my eschatology goes, there will be no unsaved people at the beginning of the Millennial Kingdom. GWWG was willing to come, accepted the invitation, and in the parable, is found in the kingdom."

    Since there's no unsaved people in the Millennial Kingdom, then could it be that He's not refering to the wedding feast in the future, but the feast that's prepared for all believer's now.

    John 6:28-59
    54 "He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. 55 "For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink."

    It seems to me that if context is king, then you can't really speparate this parable from the groundwork laid in the previous parable. He was obviously talking to the Jewish leaders, the Jewish leaders recognized in that parable that He was talking about them and then He goes into this parable. So I would say there is a continuation of His message to the Jewish leaders.

    He reveals in the previous parable about the vineyard how the Jews treated the prophets and now how they are treating the Son. And then tells them plainly that the Kingdom is being taken away from them and is being given "to a people, producing the fruit of it." He's setting the stage for the fact that the kingdom is being given to all believers.

    In Matt. 22, He's reinforcing that assertion. The Jews, God's chosen people, were invited to come, but they're not worthy so the wedding is open to anyone who would come, "as many as you find, invite to the wedding."

    The GWWG, I would maintain, is someone who does not have the righteousness of Christ. Maybe he was invited to come, just like all the others that they found, but he's not a believer. I think Christ is demonstrating to the Jewish leadership that they need to have the wedding garments to be included in the wedding.

    Therefore, "Many are called, but few are chosen." They invited all that they could find, but that doesn't mean every Gentile will be or is attending the wedding.


    You say: "2) The guest without a wedding garment (from now on GWWG) is distinguished from those who “were not willing to come” in verses 11:3-8, who were destroyed by the army of the King."

    And I would say, yes he's distinguished from the Jews, who were not willing to come. He's a Gentile and he's not allowed into the wedding because He's not clothed in Christ righteousness.

    You say: "7) The interpretation that the wedding garment is the righteousness of Christ is untenable considering the above: GWWG is willing to come, accepted the invitation, is in the kingdom, is distinguished from those who were destroyed."

    That's based on Christ refering to the future kingdom. If He's refering to a present kingdom, then it makes sense that it's the righteousness of Christ.

    That's my two cents. Hopefully, I'm not barging in on the conversation.

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent.

    By Blogger nothingnothingnothing, at Tuesday, February 21, 2006 5:57:00 AM  

  • I understand your zeal Antonio! Salvation is truly by grace through faith alone! Christians will be reworded or will suffer loss of rewards at the Bema Seat. But there is no "outer darkness" and "gnashing of teath" for the Christian. Above mentioned passage speaks about jews. "Sons of the kingdom" are clearly jews. Millenial kingdom is in view! Dispensational and eschatological context of Mat24-25 brings that up very clearly. Mt 24 starts about second coming of Christ - all christians are coming with Him to the earth. It is after the rapture and after the Supper in Heaven. Mt 25:1-30 concerns jews. About gentiles it starting to be spoken in verse 32 - nations=gentiles. The passege Mt24-25 speaks about tribualtion and enrance of jews and gentiles into MILLENIAL KINGDOM on the earth. Otherwise, I really like Z.Hodges and His books. Lordship Salvation is total satanic heresy! God bless you! Petr

    By Blogger Petr, at Wednesday, November 21, 2007 1:58:00 PM  

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