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Sound of Grace, Issue 193, Dec 2012 - Jan 2013

Sound of Grace, Issue 193, Dec 2012 - Jan 2013

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Christ, Our New Covenant Prophet, Part 5 - John G. Reisinger
The New Covenant - A. Blake White
Free Will, Determinism and Alternative Possibilities - Steve West
"The Law of Christ", Chapter 12 - Charles Leiter
The Cross and the Lord's Day, Part 1 - Steve Carpenter
Under the Elemental Spirits of the World - A. Blake White
What Happened on Nov. 6, 2012? - John G. Reisinger
When is Premillennialism not Premillennialism? - A. Blake White
Christ, Our New Covenant Prophet, Part 5 - John G. Reisinger
The New Covenant - A. Blake White
Free Will, Determinism and Alternative Possibilities - Steve West
"The Law of Christ", Chapter 12 - Charles Leiter
The Cross and the Lord's Day, Part 1 - Steve Carpenter
Under the Elemental Spirits of the World - A. Blake White
What Happened on Nov. 6, 2012? - John G. Reisinger
When is Premillennialism not Premillennialism? - A. Blake White

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Published by: Sound Of Grace / New Covenant Media on Aug 29, 2013
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were bestowed with the Spirit.
As theleaders went, so went the nation. Stephen Wellum writes,
Despite remnant themes and an emphasis on individual believers, the OT pictures God working with his people asa “tribal” grouping whose knowledge of God and whoserelations with God were uniquely dependent on speciallyendowed leaders. Thus, the strong emphasis on the Spirit of God being poured out, not on each believer, but distinctivelyon prophets, priests, kings, and a few designated specialleaders (e.g., Bezalel). Given this hierarchical structure of the covenant community, when these leaders did what wasright, the entire nation bene
ted. However, when they did2 See James M. Hamilton, Jr.,
God’s Indwelling Presence: The Holy Spirit in the Old and New Testaments
(Nashville, TN:B&H Academic, 2006), 27-34. In his conclusion to thatchapter, Hamilton writes, “The Spirit came on such peopleto differentiate them from the rest of the nation and empower them for their task,” 55.
In this series of studies we have been discussing Christ, our New CovenantProphet, Priest and King. This is the
fth article on Christ as our New CovenantProphet. The key text on this subject is the promise made in Deuteronomy15:15-19. Christ perfectly ful
lls that prophecy. He is the promised prophet whowould replace Moses in his role of prophet and lawgiver. Christ would “be like”Moses in some ways and very unlike Moses in other ways. The major differenceis the authority of Christ to speak with the personal authority of God the Son.Moses, and all other prophets, must say, “Thus saith the Lord,” but our Lordalone can say, “But I say unto you.”The whole subject of the relationship of law and grace is involved in un-derstanding the ful
llment of the prophecy of Deuteronomy 15:15-19. A shortreview of God using Moses as a mediator in
Issue 193 December 2012 - January 2013
… It is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace … Hebrews 13:9
Christ, Our New Covenant Prophet— Part 5
John G. Reisinger
Allusions to and prophecies about the new covenantare abundant in the Old Testament,
but Jeremiah 31 is
 crucial passage for our understanding of the new covenant.The new covenant passage (31:31-34) is preceded by ashort but important proverb: “In those days they shall nolonger say: ‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and thechildren’s teeth are set on edge.’ But everyone shall die for his own sin. Each man who eats sour grapes, his teeth shall be set on edge” (31:29-30 ESV). This proverb refers to the“tribal” nature of the old covenant. During the Mosaic era,only Israel’s leaders (usually prophets, priests, and kings)
1 E.g., Ezek 11:19-20, 36:26-27, 37:14, 39:29; Joel 2:28-29;Deut 30:6; Jer 32:39-40; Isa 32:15, 44:3, 55:3, 54:13. Thenew covenant is also referred to as the everlasting covenant(Jer 32:36-41, 50:2-5; Ezek 16:59-63, 37:15-28; Isa 24:5,55:1-5, 61:8-9), the covenant of peace (Isa 54:1-10; Ezek 34:20-31, 37:15-28), new heart and new spirit (Ezek 11:18-21, 18:30-32, 36:24-32).
The New Covenant
A. Blake White
Reisinger—Continued on page 2White—Continued on page 12
In This Issue
Christ, Our New Covenant Prophet 
Part 5 
 John G. Reisinger1
The New Covenant 
A. Blake White1
Free Will, Determinism and Alter-native Possibilities
Steve West3
"The Law of Christ" -Chapter 12 
Charles Leiter5
The Cross and the Lord's Day -Part 1
Steve Carpenter7
Under the Elemental Spirits of theWorld 
A. Blake White13
What Happened on Nov. 6, 2012?
 John G. Reisinger15
When is Premillennialism not Premillennialism?
A. Blake White19
Page 2 Dec 2012, Jan 2013 Issue 193
Sound of Grace
is a publication of SovereignGrace New Covenant Ministries, a tax exempt501(c)3 corporation. Contributions to
Sound of Grace
are deductible under section 170 of theCode.
Sound of Grace
is published 10 times a year. Thesubscription price is shown below. This is a paper unashamedly committed to the truth of God’ssovereign grace and New Covenant Theology.We invite all who love these same truths to prayfor us and help us
nancially.We do not take any paid advertising.The use of an article by a particular person is notan endorsement of all that person believes, but itmerely means that we thought that a particular article was worthy of printing.Sound of Grace Board: John G. Reisinger, DavidLeon, John Thorhauer, Bob VanWingerden andJacob Moseley.Editor: John G. Reisinger; Phone: (585)396-3385;e-mail: reisingerjohn@gmail.com.General Manager: Jacob Moseley:info@newcovenantmedia.comSend all orders and all subscriptions to: Soundof Grace, 5317 Wye Creek Drive, Frederick,MD 21703-6938 – Phone 301-473-8781 Visit the bookstore: http://www.newcovenantmedia.comAddress all editorial material and questions to:John G. Reisinger, 3302 County Road 16, Canan-daigua, NY 14424-2441.Webpage: www.soundofgrace.org or SOGNCM.orgScripture quotations marked (NIV) are takenfrom the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATION-AL VERSION® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by Permis-sion. All rights reserved.Scripture quotations marked “NKJV” are takenfrom the New King James Version. Copyright ©1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by Permis-sion. All rights reserved.Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from TheHoly Bible, English Standard Version, copyright© 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rightsreserved.ContributionsOrdersDiscover, MasterCard or VISAIf you wish to make a tax-deductible contributionto Sound of Grace, please mail a check to: Soundof Grace, 5317 Wye Creek Drive, Frederick, MD21703-6938.Please check the mailing label to
nd the expira-tion of your subscription. Please send payment if you want your subscription to continue—$20.00for ten issues. Or if you would prefer to have a pdf 
le emailed, that is available for $10.00 for ten issues. If you are unable to subscribe at thistime, please call or drop a note in the mail andwe will be glad to continue
Sound of Grace
freeof charge.
 —Continued from page 1
Reisinger—Continued on page 4
establishing the Old Covenant withthe children of Israel at Mount Si-nai will not only help us understandChrist as our New Covenant Prophet, but it will also help in understandingthe larger issue of law and grace. Itis essential that we have a clear un-derstanding of the radical difference between the covenant God made withAbraham and the covenant he madewith the children of Israel at MountSinai. This will involve seeing exactlyhow Jacob’s (Israel) children becomethe covenant nation of God and howMoses became that nation’s Lawgiver.First, we must distinguish betweenIsrael as a nation, or body politic, andthe children of Israel as merely thechildren of Jacob. The terms
 of Israel” and
of Israel” will become synonymous but they did not begin that way. Jacob’s children werenot a nation—a body politic—prior to God entering into a special andspeci
c covenant with them at MountSinai. They were not a nation—a body politic—when Joseph brought themdown to Egypt nor did they becomea nation while in Egypt. The childrenof Jacob became a
at MountSinai. It was there that Jacob’s chil-dren of 
cially became a nation or a body politic. Up to that point in timethe children of Israel were not yetconstituted a nation or body politic,they were merely the children of Ja-cob (Israel). Abraham never becamea physical nation even though he wasthe grandfather of Jacob, the man who became the father of the nation. Nei-ther Abraham, Isaac, nor Jacob was a prophet, priest or king. The three of-
ces of prophet, priest and king are as-sociated with the nation of Israel andher covenant with God. The covenantat Sinai that constituted Israel as a na-tion is not the same as the covenantwith Abraham.The
rst use of the word “nation”in Scripture is God’s promise to Abra-ham.
 Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country,and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will  shew thee: And I will make of thee a great 
and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing …
God promised Abraham that hewould not only have a seed, he would become the father of many nations.His son Isaac, born to Sarah, would be the seed line that would bringforth the Messiah. His grandson Ja-cob would not only become a great physical nation, he would also becomethe spiritual seed that constitutesthe spiritual nation, the true churchof Christ. Ishmael, Abram’s son byHagar, Sarah’s handmaid, would also become a great nation
but would notin any sense be a spiritual nation aswas Jacob (Israel). Hagar mothered atrue son to Abraham named Ishmael but both mother and child were “castout” without receiving the inheritance(Gen. 21:10, cf. Gal. 4:30).The
rst use of the word “Israel”in Scripture is when God changed Ja-cob’s name from Jacob to “Israel.”
 And he said, Thy name shall becalled no more Jacob, but Israel …
(Gen 32:28).
The children of Israel, as a people,are promised by God at Mount Sinaithat if they would obey the covenanthe was about to make with them, theywould become a holy and special na-tion, a body politic, bound by specialcovenant to God. God proceeds toenter into this special covenant withthe children of Israel at Mount Sinaiin Exodus 20.
 In the third month, when the chil-dren of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt, the same day camethey into the wilderness of Sinai. For they were departed from Rephidim,
1 For a study of Abraham’s seeds see my
 Abraham’s Four Seeds
(Frederick,Md. New Covenant Media, 1998).
Issue 193 Dec 2012, Jan 2013 Page 3
West—Continued on page 8
turn even if the
rst time they hadturned left. Determinism demandsexactly one possible future (so the fu-ture is ‘closed’); libertarianism allowsfor different futures (so the future is‘open’).The key for libertarianism is thatdepending on whether the agent turnsto the right or to the left, new pos-sibilities open. Let us say the choiceis to turn left and see the roses. After strolling a few hundred feet there isanother fork in the road. Again, thechoice emerges between left or right.Again, left is chosen. Every time one particular fork in the road is chosen,that cuts off former possibilities, andopens up new ones. If the originalchoice had been right instead of left,the subsequent choices would
have been different. Free will and alterna-tive possibilities mean that you reallycould end up on the far North-eastside of the garden, or the extremeSouth-west side. In determinism, onthe other hand, if you end up in the North-east section of the garden thatwas inevitably the only place youcould really go.The Principle of Alternative Possi- bilities has been a vigorously con-tested principle amongst philosophersdiscussing free will. For libertariansit is a virtual necessity, whereas for determinists it is an impossibility.The basic line for libertarians is thatif we do not have the ability to turnright instead of left, we do not makeour choices freely. What freedomcan there be in my choosing to turnleft if I was determined to choose thatway? Likewise, if it was a matter of necessity that I would turn right, whatfreedom did I have in that decision?Before moving forward to discussthe shape of this debate, one signi
-cant point is worth bringing up again.The concept of determinism neces-sitates exactly one possible future. If you recall, the Rollback Argumentmaintains that if God rolled back timeand then let it move forward again,libertarianism can envision the pos-sibility of a different future, whereasdeterminism guarantees exactly thesame events will occur as they did the
rst time (or the thousandth time— everything in time will replay itself identically no matter how many timesthe clock is reset). Now, the Rollback Argument is designed to show thatif people act in different ways on thesecond or third (or thousandth) runthrough, their behavior is really amatter of luck and they are not free,even if indeterminism obtains. Butthe point to carry forward here is thatlibertarian freedom requires at leastthe theoretical possibility of differentfuture outcomes stemming from theexact same past conditions.This has sometimes been picturedas a garden of forking paths. Think about entering an expansive
ower garden, covering acres and acres of well manicured land. There are manydifferent winding paths which branchout in various directions. Everyoneenters under one main archway, andfollows a wide path for a few hundred paces. At the end of this initial paththe horticulturalist is confronted witha choice: they have to either take a path to the left to see the roses, or a path to the right to see the daisies. Ina deterministic model, the individualwill always choose the same option;it was guaranteed before they evenentered the garden that they wouldturn the way they do. For libertarians,however, the choice is truly open.They can choose to turn right or left,and if the universe was rolled back one year and then replayed forward,they might very well actualize a rightAlternative possibilities do not givea suf 
cient condition for libertarianfree will all by themselves. This is because, to say it again, indetermin-ism by itself is insuf 
cient to groundfreedom and responsibility. Imagine,for example, that our visitor to thegarden stands at the initial fork in the pathway. A totally indeterministic process in the brain causes a maverick quantum particle to create a slightdisturbance which sends repercussionsthrough the brain, resulting in a turnto the left. The visitor diligently goesleft, but only because of a random,uncontrollable process. Where is thefreedom there? Indeterminism canreduce us to a non-responsible statusas easily as determinism can.The big question, however, iswhether alternative possibilities arerequired for freedom at all. Havingthem does not guarantee freedom(because indeterminism may benecessary for freedom, but by itself it is not suf 
cient for it), but does
having them rule out freedom? Amassive, ever-growing, and ever morecomplicated (perhaps to the point of  being wearying and sometimes silly) body of work is used in this debate. It began with a thought experiment byHarry Frankfurt, and now all subse-quent case studies that trade in thesame vein are referred to as Frankfurt-cases, or Frankfurt style examples.Actually, the original Frankfurt-case preceded Frankfurt by severalcenturies, and came courtesy of JohnLocke. Locke imagined a man lockedin a room, with no way of getting out.This rules out the alternative pos-sibility of him leaving the room—hisstaying in the room is determined or necessary. The man loves his room,and decides he never wants to leave
 Free Will, Determinism, & Alternative Possibilities
Steve West

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