House Church Talk - Re: Baptisms and Administrations: Star of Bethlehem

Bruce Woodford bwood4d at
Sun May 2 13:13:21 EDT 2004

Hi Ross,
When I asked,"What passage of scripture that deals with the new covenant 
speaks of Israel  as priests???" responded:"1 Peter 2:5,9"

Dear brother, I Peter 2:5 and 9 speaks of believers who are priests, NOT the 
NATION of ISRAEL!Israel is a nation composed of believers and unbelievers. 
Under the old covenant, believers and unbelievers of the tribe of Levi were 
priests, but under the new covenant no unbeliever can be a priest!  Notice 
that no description of those addressed in I Peter  could be true of 
unbelievers, nor are any of these descriptions applied exclusively to 
Israelite believers!!  In fact, other scriptures absolutely require that 
they include Gentiles!
In I Peter, they are called all of the following:
(1)"the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, 
and Bithynia,  Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, 
through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the 
blood of Jesus Christ"  (1:1,2)
(2)"you,  Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation 
ready to be revealed in the last time." (1:4,5)
(3)"obedient children"  (1:14)
(4)"you, who by him do believe in God"  (1:20,21)
(5)"born again"  (1:23)
(6)"Ye, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house"  (2:5)
(7)"you which believe "  (2:7)
(8)"my people, which were not my people"  (2:25)
(9)"beloved, which was not beloved"  (2:25)      (These two descriptions 
would NOT be true of a group who were exclusively Israelites  as they speak 
of Gentiles who were not part of Israel!)
(10)"ye are a chosen generation"   (2:9)
(11)"a royal priesthood"  (2:9)
(12)"an holy nation"  (2:9)
(13)"a peculiar people"   (2:9)
(14)"ye which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God" 
(15)"ye which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. "  (2:10) 
These two descriptions cannot be deescriptions of Israelites only, but also 
include Gentiles!  This is very evident from two passages in Romans:
       (a)(Romans 9:22-26 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to 
make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath 
fitted to destruction:  And that he might make known the riches of his glory 
on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,  Even us, 
whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles? As he 
saith also in Osee, I will call them ; and her .And it shall come to pass, 
that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there 
shall they be called the children of the living God.)
      (b)Romans 10:19  But I say, Did not Israel know? First Moses saith, I 
will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no people, and by a foolish 
nation I will anger you.)
(16)Dearly beloved"  (2:11)
(17)"the servants of God"  (2:16)
(18)"the brotherhood"  (2:17)
(19)"the righteous"  (3:12; 4:18))
(20)"in Christ"   (3:16)
(21)"a Christian"   (4:16)
(22)"the house of God"   (4:17)
(23)"the flock of God "   (5:2,3)
(24)"God's heritage"    (5:3)
(25)"brethren"  (5:9)
(26)"you all that are in Christ Jesus"   (5:19)

When I'd written about your view that the Magi,  FROM WHAT THEY HAD LEARNED 
FROM THE DISPERSION IN PERSIA, concluded that the star which they had seen 
in the east was the star of the King iof the Jews:"Brother, can you explain 
to me how they would come to such a conclusion??  Why would any new star be 
immediately connected by them to Num.24:17???  What would make them think 
that this particular star was associated with the  prophecy of Num.24??"... 
you responded:"It would only be my guess but they apparently thought the 
star was significant enough to associate with Israel. Putting the OT 
prophecies together to come to that conclusion does not seem out of the 
question in the least."

But brother, you have said that all of their knowledge of such things would 
have come from the Jewish people of the dispersion who lived among them, but 
then you also said that those Jews would not have been familiar enough with 
the scriptures to know where Christ should be born!!!     You can't have it 
both ways!!!

The following is what you wrote to me in your last post...!  "Their was 
indeed a large Jewish population in Persia as there was in every city of the 
Roman empire. To expect the locals of Persia to know where the house of 
bread was in Israel is like expecting me to know where a particular small 
town in another state is located."

Brother, it was NOT, that those Jewish people did not know the location of 
the little town of Bethlehem!  Whoever the Magi had contact with did not 
even know that Christ was to be born IN BETHLEHEM!!!  They were not familiar 
with Micah 5!!!

You had written, "The lawyers lived in Jerusalem so there would be no one 
with  any more knowledge in the dispersion than the magi themselves."

So brother, there goes you claim that the Magi got their information from 
Jewish people in the dispersion!!

Re your belief that..."prior to Abraham's call by God, God would reveal 
Himself to anyone, regardless of nationality. But  after God called Abraham, 
God purposed that ALL of His revelation of Himself  to mankind would then 
EXCLUSIVELY"....   I asked:"are you aware of  any scriptures which 
explicitly teach this doctrine? Or is this one of the  "deductions" which 
you believe are just as valid or even more valid than  explicit statements 
of scripture??? "

But rather than quoting EVEN ONE SUCH SCRIPTURAL STATEMENT, you responded as 
follows:"Not any other Scriptures than those concerning the subject. I don't 
see how you can pit your interpretations of "explicit statements of 
scripture" as being any more or less valid than my "deductions" from the 
"explicit statements", plus the context, plus the history, plus the use of 
language, as well as whatever other sources of evidence might be available. 
You can shoot yourself in the leg and stick your other one in a bear trap 
and try to travel, but I will use every available resource God has provided 
whether that be a Chevy or a Lear jet. We don't have to be afraid of the 
helps we have nor do we have to hide from the facts just because the 
scholars find them for us."

Dear brother, I've never claimed that our bedrock foundation must be "MY 
INTERPRETATION OF  explicit statements of scripture"!  I have claimed that 
our bedrock foundation for what we teach must be EXPLICIT STATEMENTS OF 

But, if your view is that we must be dependent on...
- "explicit statements",
-plus the context,
-plus the history,
-plus the use of language,
-as well as whatever other sources of evidence might be available"....  my 
question is this: What "explicit statements" are you referring to relative 
to the doctrine stated above???

Dear brother,  do you consider that the Bereans of Acts 17:11 were, in fact, 
"shooting themselves in the leg and sticking the other one in a bear trap"  
by searching THE SCRIPTURES whether the doctrines that Paul taught were so?

The facts of your own testimony, which you have apparently gleaned from "the 
scholars" seem to be as follows:
-It is a fact that the Magi came from Persia.
-It is a fact that Daniel,who was intimately acquainted with the Hebrew 
scriptures, was the undisputed link.
-It is a fact that the Magi got ALL OF THEIR INFORMATION, relative to 
revelation from God, from Jewish people in the dispersion in Persia.
-It is a fact that those Jewish people in the dispersion in Persia knew no 
more than the Magi, themselves.
If this be the case they certainly could not have been the channel of divine 
revelation to the Magi!!!

Brother, the bottom line seems to be that the dispensational view which you 
have embraced ( i.e. that after Israel became a nation, God did not reveal 
Himself to ANYBODY  apart from using the nation of Israel as the channel of 
that revelation)  is simply not found in scripture NOR is it corroborated by 
reputable scholarship!

While we have certainly strayed far from the topic of baptism, my claim from 
the start of this discussion has basicly been that dispensationalism, 
regardless of the individual differences of opinions among 
dispensationalists, is a false and faulty system of interpretation of 
scripture which is based on contrived presuppositions which lead it's 
followers to many false conclusions.

things are not unique to dispensationalism either!  They are true of the 
system of "Covenant theology", of "Calvinism", of "Arminianism",  or any 
other system or "ism" which seeks to make scripture say what it does not 

Your brother in Christ,

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