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Doctrine of Cornerstone

June 25, 2017

DOCTRINE OF THE CORNERSTONE (TWO FOUNDATIONS)

 

  1. Definition.
  2. The Bible must be interpreted in the time in which it was written.  There are two definitions of the cornerstone at the time of the writing of both the Old and New Testament.
  3. The Foundation.
  4. A cornerstone is defined as a stone built into one corner of the foundation as the normal starting point for construction.  The cornerstone is the foundation stone at the angle of the structure by which the builder fixes a standard for the bearing of the walls and the cross walls throughout the structure.
  5. Under the foundation connotation, the cornerstone is built into one corner of the foundation as the starting point for the superstructure.  In the great power experiment of the Hypostatic Union, Jesus Christ is the foundation for two spiritual buildings:  Israel and the Church.  While both have the same person as their foundation, they are entirely different buildings.  The Church is under construction today; Israel will not be constructed until the Millennium.
  6. At the beginning of the great power experiment of the Hypostatic Union (virgin birth), Jesus Christ became the foundation for the future spiritual building called Israel.
  7. At the termination of the great power experiment of the Hypostatic Union (resurrection, ascension, and session of Jesus Christ), Jesus Christ was seated at the right hand of the Father, at which point He received His third royal patent, making Him the foundation for the building now under construction, the Church.
  8. Because of Israel’s rejection of Christ during His First Advent, the construction of the building called Israel has been postponed until the Second Advent and the millennial rule of Christ.
  9. At the present time, the building called the Church is being constructed on the foundation of Jesus Christ by means of the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
  10. The administration of the fifth cycle of discipline to Israel in August of 70 A.D. means that at the present time, Israel is a foundation without a superstructure.  The fact that some Jews are in the land today has no Biblical significance at all.
  11. Jewish orientation to the present has two applications:

(1)  We are living in the times of the Gentiles, Lk 21:20‑24.  This means that no Jewish nation can be a client nation to God again until the Second Advent.  Now only Gentile nations can function as client nations to God.

(2)  In this dispensation of the Church, anyone who is Jewish by race and genes is integrated into the Church at the moment of personal faith in Jesus Christ, so that he is no longer a Jew.  Jewish believers are integrated into the body of Christ, the royal family of God through the same baptism of the Holy Spirit.

  1. The Superstructure Analogy.
  2. At the time of writing, a cornerstone was that stone at the corner of two walls uniting them.  Therefore, Jesus Christ as the cornerstone joins two walls in a structure.  One wall is Israel; the other is the Church.
  3. This analogy emphasizes the great power experiment of the Hypostatic Union in which Jesus Christ became the ruler of two different entities.  He is the ruler of Israel as the greater son of David; He is the ruler of the Church as the head of the body.
  4. The First Advent and incarnation is the basis for the superstructure connotation as noted by Peter’s message before the Sanhedrin.  In Acts 4:10‑12, the cornerstone was a part of his defense.  The Sanhedrin was a Jewish body composed of scribes, Pharisees, and Sadducees as the ruling council of Israel.  It decided all points of law.  Peter had to make a very strong defense in front of this body.

(1)  Acts 4:10‑12, “Let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ, whom you call the Nazarene, whom you have crucified, whom God raised up from the dead, by Him [Jesus Christ] this man [Peter himself] stands before you in good health. [Ps 118:22] ‘This one [Jesus Christ in the great power experiment of the Hypostatic Union] is the stone which was rejected by you, the builders, but which has resulted in becoming the head of the corner.’ Consequently, there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other person under heaven which has been given among men by which we must be saved.”

(2)  Peter emphasizes that the Jews are the builders.  In saying Jesus Christ is the head of the corner, Peter says that Christ is not only the ruler of Israel but is also the ruler of the Church, now in the process of formation.

  1. Qualification for being part of the superstructure of either spiritual building (Israel or the Church) requires personal faith in Jesus Christ.  In other words, only believing Jews will be in the superstructure.  As a result of the faith in Jesus Christ, the baptism of the Spirit forms the superstructure for the body of Christ, the royal family of God, the Church.  As a result of faith in Christ in Old Testament times and the Tribulation, those believers will be regathered at the Second Advent so that a superstructure will be constructed during the entire millennial reign of Jesus Christ.
  2. In His trial before the Sanhedrin, two false witnesses spoke up against Jesus Christ.  In the trial recorded in Mt 26:61, two witnesses finally agreed in accordance with Jewish jurisprudence for indictment.  They both declared independently, “This man [Jesus Christ] stated, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and rebuild it in three days.’”

(1)  This was the basis for the indictment for the crucifixion of our Lord.

(2)  Jesus did say this, but in a different context, referring to His own resurrection.  The context is Jn 2:18‑21.  While giving a message before the people in the courtyard of the temple, He was interrogated.  Verse 18, “The Jews answered and said to Him, ‘What sign do You show that You will do these things?’  Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.’”

(3)   He pointed to a real material temple where He was speaking at the time.  But what He was actually saying was that a spiritual temple of far greater importance could be erected in three days.  Verse 20, “Therefore, the Jews replied, ‘It took forty-six years to construct this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?’  But He was speaking about the temple of His body.”

(4)  He was speaking about the temple of His body: the body of Christ, the superstructure of the Church, built on the foundation of Jesus Christ.  In other words, Jesus Christ was speaking about His resurrection.  He was crucified on Wednesday, and was raised from the dead on Sunday to become the foundation for the Church.

  1. The superstructure of both spiritual buildings when completed is composed of believers in resurrection body.  When the first building, the Church, is completed, the resurrection of the Church occurs.  In resurrection, the spiritual building which was under construction now becomes a temple.
  2. During the Millennium, there will be an actual, material temple in Jerusalem in which animal sacrifices are offered.  But once the spiritual building of Jewish dispensational believers is completed, there is no longer a physical temple.  For all eternity, the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple, Rev 21:26.
  3. According to Eph 2:21‑22, the spiritual building of the Church is constructed in two phases:

(1)  The building phase, which includes anyone who believes in Jesus Christ during the Church Age.  The actual construction mechanics is the baptism of the Spirit.

(2)  The completed phase is the resurrection or rapture of the Church, converting the building into a holy temple to the Lord.

  1. The spiritual building of Israel is also constructed in two phases:

(1)  The construction phase, when the Jewish believers of the Old Testament and the Tribulational Jewish believers who died are resurrected, and the Jewish believers in the Tribulation who remain alive are brought into the Millennium (the basis for evangelism during the Millennium) and the Jewish believers of the Millennium ‑‑ all these are part of the construction of the building of Israel.

(2)  The final resurrection phase is when the Jews who have not yet received resurrection bodies will receive them at the end of the Millennium.  At that point, the building of Israel is complete and now becomes a holy temple to God.

  1. So for all eternity there will be two holy temples:  Israel and the Church.
  2. Two metaphors emerge:  the building metaphor and the temple metaphor.

(1)  The construction or formation of the royal family of God during the Church Age is part of the building metaphor.  With the resurrection of the Church, the royal family of God becomes a holy temple, part of the temple metaphor.  It will be a spiritual, invisible temple composed of all believers in Jesus Christ during the Church Age.

(2)  The regenerate of Israel form the true Israel (Rom 9:6) through personal faith in Christ.  This occurs in the Old Testament, the Tribulation, and the Millennium; this is part of the building metaphor.  The temple metaphor refers to when all resurrections of Israel are completed at the end of the Millennium, and Israel becomes a holy temple.  At the Second Advent, both Old Testament saints and Tribulational martyrs are resurrected.  At the end of the Millennium, Tribulational believers and Millennial believers are resurrected.  Upon their resurrection, the temple metaphor is completed.

  1. Paul, in his message to the Athenians, made reference to this concept in Acts 17:24‑25.  As he was standing in front of the Altar of the Unknown God, he said, “The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is the Lord of the heavens and the earth, He does not dwell in temples made with hands.  Neither is He served by human hands [referring to pagan sacrifices] as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all life and breath and all things.”

 

  1. The Prophecy of the Cornerstone.
  2. Isa 28:16, “Therefore, thus communicates Adonai Jehovah [God the Father], ‘Behold I am laying in Zion a stone [Jesus Christ as the foundation for spiritual building Israel laid in the great power experiment of the Hypostatic Union], a tested stone [impeccability of Jesus Christ in the prototype divine dynasphere], a valuable [honorable] cornerstone.’  He who believes in Him will not panic [be disappointed].”
  3. Anyone who believes in Jesus Christ in any dispensation will not be disappointed because that person has eternal life.
  4. This passage was quoted in Rom 9:33 as pertaining to Israel, and in 1 Pet 2:6 as pertaining to the Church.
  5. Ps 118:22 is the anticipation of the Jewish rejection of Jesus Christ during His First Advent.  “The stone [Jesus Christ] which the builders [Jews during great power experiment of the Hypostatic Union] rejected has become the chief cornerstone.”  This is quoted in Mt 21:42, Mk 12:10, Lk 20:17, Acts 4:11, and 1 Pet 2:7.
  6. The Hebrew noun PANAH means “corner.”  It is used for the cornerstone of the world in Job 38:6.

 

  1. Jesus Christ is the Foundation of the Church.
  2. The prophecy of the foundation of the Church was given in Mt 16:18 (proving that the Church had not yet started).  Jesus is speaking to Peter (then called Simon) when He says: “Furthermore I say to you, you are PETROS [piece of rock, Peter].  And on this PETRA [gigantic rock, Jesus Christ, the cornerstone, the foundation] I will build My church, and the gates of hell will not overpower it [royal family in Church Age].”
  3. We are all PETROS, chips off the giant rock of Jesus Christ, stones in the building.  Christ is our foundation, our chief cornerstone.
  4. The future tense of OIKODOMEO proves that the Church did not yet exist (and so covenant theology is wrong and blasphemous).
  5. The gates of hell can never prevail against you, no matter what a loser you are, because at the moment of your salvation, you were entered into union with the giant rock, and now you are a PETROS too.  All believers in the Church Age are in the superstructure.  Even losers will not be overpowered by hell; i.e., they cannot lose their salvation.
  6. This prophecy is confirmed in 1 Cor 3:11.  “No man can lay a foundation other than the one that is already laid [through the great power experiment of the Hypostatic Union] which is Jesus Christ [chief cornerstone, foundation].”
  7. This doctrine is amplified in 1 Pet 2:4‑7.  (Peter understood this doctrine.)
  8. Verse 4, “And coming to Him as a living stone, rejected by men [Israel in the great power experiment of the Hypostatic Union], but elect and precious in the sight of God.”

(1)  The first phrase, “and coming to Him” goes back to the promise in John, “He that comes to Me I will in no wise cast out.”  You come to Jesus Christ by simply believing in Him.

(2)  Israel was elected, since Moses, to execute the ritual plan of God, sustained by being a new racial species.  Christ was elected to fulfill the salvation plan of God.  He functioned under the great power experiment of the Hypostatic Union.  Then the Church was elected as an extension of the great power experiment of the Hypostatic Union into the Church Age, to execute the protocol plan of God.  Israel and the Church have in common the fact that Jesus Christ is the foundation for both of them.

  1. In verse 5, Peter refers to both himself (PETROS) and all of us, for we are all little stones in the building.  Jesus Christ is the foundation as PETRA, the gigantic rock.  “You also as living stones [living, spiritual structure of the Church] are being constructed into a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”

(1)  Being a holy priest means you are separated unto God forever under the royal priesthood.  Your priesthood is invisible!  You do not offer up physical sacrifices but spiritual sacrifices, which include the execution of the protocol plan of God through post-salvation epistemological rehabilitation and the utilization of divine omnipotence.  That is your spiritual sacrifice, your life as a priest in privacy.  You have the option to grow in grace and become a winner.

(2)  The Greek word LITHOS is another word for stone.  Though LITHOS would have been easier to use, Jesus called Peter PETROS.  Why?  Both kinds of stone are in the structure, but LITHOS refers to losers while PETROS refers to winners.  Losers are little stones in the foundation; winners are larger stones in the building.

(3)  Peter uses LITHOS here because he was speaking to a congregation of loser believers.

  1. In Verse 6, Peter quotes Isa 28:16, “For in the Scripture it says, ‘Behold, I lay in Zion an elect stone [Jesus Christ], a precious cornerstone, and he who believes in Him will never be disappointed.’” Notice how the two analogies are present here.  The elect stone is part of the foundation.  The precious cornerstone is part of the superstructure.
  2. Verse 7, “Therefore, this precious value is for you who believe; but for those who do not believe, ‘The stone which the builders have rejected has become the very cornerstone.’”
  3. The construction of the Church on the foundation of Jesus Christ began with the apostles, Eph 2:20, “You have been constructed on the foundation by means of the apostles and prophets.”
  4. The foundation being constructed by means of the apostles and the prophets means that the royal family of God is built as a spiritual building through perception of Bible doctrine, i.e., post-salvation epistemological rehabilitation.  The structure demands evangelism and Bible teaching.
  5. The initial communication of mystery doctrine was accomplished by two categories of temporary gifts:  apostleship and prophecy.  These gifts were terminated by 96 A.D.  The two communication gifts of pastor-teacher and evangelist are now extant in this period of the Church Age.  So the royal family of God is constructed and built through perception of doctrine, not through Christian works.  Production is a result of spiritual growth.
  6. The original communication of the mystery doctrine was accomplished in two ways:

(1)  Verbal communication by apostles and prophets to their contemporaries.

(2)  Written communication by apostles, including all writers of the New Testament epistles, to all future generations of the Church Age.

  1. As a result of the great power experiment of the Hypostatic Union, Jesus Christ is the foundation of two spiritual buildings, He being the chief cornerstone.  The two buildings are Israel and the Church.
  2. Remember that in the analogy of Jesus Christ as the chief cornerstone of the two walls or superstructures, He divides Israel and the Church forever in His great power experiment of the Hypostatic Union.  The two are always separate.  First one functions on the earth, then the other.  The two different buildings have a common foundation in Jesus Christ.
  3. On the foundation of Jesus Christ, the Church is being constructed today.  On the foundation of Jesus Christ, Israel will be constructed in the future.

 

  1. Jesus Christ is the foundation for Israel.
  2. The failure of Israel to accept Jesus Christ as ruler and Messiah is taught in Rom 9:30‑33, “Therefore, to what conclusion are we forced, that the Gentiles who did not strive for righteousness [they didn’t have the Mosaic Law] have attained righteousness, that is, the righteousness from God from the source of faith [imputed perfect righteousness].  But Israel, who pursued the Law with human self‑righteousness, has not accomplished the purpose of the Law because they did not pursue it by means of faith, but as it were, by works; they stumbled over the stumbling stone [Jesus Christ].  Just as it stands written [Isa 28:16], ‘Behold, I lay in Zion a stone of stumbling [a stone which causes the unbeliever to stumble], and a rock of offense [a rock which arouses opposition].  However, the one who believes in Him will never be disappointed [humiliated].’”
  3. There are two spiritual buildings in history.  Those who are in those two buildings as the superstructure will never be disappointed, whether winners or losers, whether Israel or the Church.
  4. God’s plan in every dispensation starts with faith in Christ as the means of salvation.  That salvation can never be lost or cancelled or reversed.
  5. As the chief cornerstone, Jesus Christ in Hypostatic Union is the foundation for two spiritual, invisible buildings.
  6. The Church as a building is in the process of construction right now.  At the Rapture, the Church becomes a spiritual temple forever.
  7. Israel has the foundation of Christ, but because they rejected Him during His First Advent, there is no construction of Israel until the Second Advent.  Then the believers of the Age of Israel, Tribulation, and Millennium become part of the superstructure during the Millennium.  This structure is completed at the end of the Millennium.  Then they become a holy temple for all eternity.
  8. At His First Advent, Jesus Christ became the foundation for Israel.  At the resurrection, He became the foundation for the Church.  During the Church Age, Israel is a foundation without a superstructure.
  9. God gave the Jews a forty year period of grace prior to the final administration of the fifth cycle of discipline in 70 A.D. to get into the new superstructure, the new program:  the protocol plan of God.  They were warned by the temporary gift of tongues that a new building was under construction.  Now they are no longer to look to Jerusalem, but instead to believe in Jesus Christ and become a part of the royal family of God forever.
  10. Jesus Christ in resurrection, ascension, and session is the starting point for the Church.  Jesus Christ in His Second Advent is the starting point for the spiritual building of Israel.
  11. The Jews had every opportunity to understand the First Advent from their rituals.  Their rituals showed that the great power experiment of the Hypostatic Union was the key to everything.
  12. For example, they said weekly, “SHAMA JISRAEL, ADONAI ELOHENU, ADONAI ECHAD,” i.e., “Hear O Israel, Jehovah is God, Jehovah is unique.”  ELOHENU refers to the deity of Christ in the great power experiment of the Hypostatic Union; ECHAD refers to Jesus Christ in Hypostatic Union (undiminished deity and true humanity in one person forever), the foundation for the new spiritual building called Israel.
  13. This is comparable to what was said in Rev 1:8, 21:6, and 22:13 when Jesus Christ said, “I am Alpha and Omega.”  Alpha is the first letter in the Greek alphabet; omega is the last letter.  Alpha refers to Jesus Christ as eternal God.  Omega refers to His incarnation, First Advent, the great power experiment of the Hypostatic Union.  As alpha and omega, Jesus Christ at His Second Advent will construct the spiritual building called Israel.
  14. The Jews should have also understood the great power experiment of the Hypostatic Union by their feast schedule (Lev 23).

(1)  The Passover portrays the saving work of Christ on the cross.  1 Cor 5:7, “Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.”  This actually occurred during the great power experiment of the Hypostatic Union around 14 April 30 A.D.  The cross must come before the crown.  The only true Israel is the Jew who believes in Jesus Christ, following the pattern of Abraham.

(2)  The Feast of Unleavened Bread occurred for one week immediately after the Passover, between 15‑21 April 30 A.D.  This feast portrays fellowship with God by believers only, Lev 26:6‑7.  In Hypostatic Union, our Lord revealed Himself as the bread of life.  The unleavened bread represents the impeccability of Jesus Christ as He went to the cross to be judged for our sins.  His humanity remained inside the prototype divine dynasphere under the omnipotence of the Holy Spirit, Heb 9:14.  He used +H (sharing the happiness of God) as His problem solving device while on the cross, Heb 12:2.

(3)  The first Sunday after the Passover was the Feast of the First Fruits.  This portrays the resurrection of the humanity of Jesus Christ at the termination of the great power experiment of the Hypostatic Union.  1 Cor 15:20, 23, “But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who sleep, . . . but each in his own battalion:  Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming.”

(4)  Pentecost occurred fifty days after the Passover, sometime in the first week of June.  Pentecost represents the last administration of the fifth cycle of discipline to a Jewish client nation.  (There have been three administrations of the fifth cycle of discipline, i.e., to the Northern Kingdom of Israel, the Southern Kingdom of Judah, and Judea.)  So Pentecost represents the removal of Israel as a client nation to God until the Second Advent.

(5)  The Big Gap, so called because there are no Jewish feasts between the first week of June and the first week of October.  This five month gap represents two coterminous factors:  the Church Age intercalated, and the times of the Gentiles in which only Gentile nations can function as client nations to God.  Intercalation connotes insertion; hence the insertion of the Church Age and the times of the Gentiles before the completion of the dispensation of Israel.

(a)  There are two terminations in Scripture:  that of the Church Age with the Rapture, and that of the dispensation of Israel at the Second Advent of Christ.  This coincides with Jesus Christ being the chief cornerstone, the foundation for the two spiritual buildings.

(b)  During this time of the Big Gap, the royal family of God is being constructed on the foundation of Jesus Christ through the baptism of the Spirit.

(c)  In the great power experiment of the Hypostatic Union, Jesus Christ also became the foundation for the spiritual building of Israel.  However, because of Israel’s rejection during the First Advent, construction on that building is postponed until the Second Advent when our Lord will supersede Satan as the ruler of this world.

(d)  For this reason, there is no prophecy in the Church Age as there was in Old Testament times.  Available to those in the Church Age is mystery doctrine, a category of truth unknown to Old Testament authors but now revealed to us, Rom 16:25‑26; Eph 3:1‑6; Col 1:25‑26.  Where the Church Age could have been mentioned in the Old Testament, it was also passed over in total silence under the principle of mystery doctrine.  For example, it could have been inserted between Dan 2:40( )41; 7:23( )24; 8:22( )23; 11:35( )36; Hos 3:4( )5.

(6)  The Feast of the Trumpets, Lev 23:23‑25, represents the termination of Israel’s fifth cycle of discipline.  At present, the population of Israel is scattered throughout the world.  But at the Second Advent, Israel will be restored and regathered as a client nation to God, Isa 5:26‑30, 10:19‑23, 11:11‑16.

(a)  However, only the regenerate of Israel enter the millennial rule of Jesus Christ.  Therefore, all Jewish unbelievers of the Tribulation are excluded through the baptism of fire, and they are removed from the earth.

(b)  This is the subject of many parables: the foolish virgins, the tares, or Matt 24:40 about one left and one taken from the field.

(7)  The Feast of Atonement (JOM KIPPUR) represents the fulfillment of the unconditional covenants to Israel (Abrahamic, Palestinian, Davidic, New).  For the fulfillment of these covenants to Israel, all Jewish believers of the Old Testament and Jewish regenerate martyrs of the Tribulation are resurrected, while Jewish believers who survive the Tribulation enter the Millennium to enjoy these as well.  Two categories of Jews will enjoy the fulfillment of these covenants: those in resurrection bodies, and those still in bodies of corruption.  The New Testament commentary on this feast is in Rom 3:23‑26.  There is an excellent discussion about it in Heb 9:24‑28.

(8)  The Feast of the Tabernacles, Zech 14:9, 16; Lev 23:33‑43, represents the millennial reign of Jesus Christ under perfect environment.

(9)  Having this eschatological calendar meant the Jews required very little explanation to understand God’s plan for them.

 

  1. Conclusion: Jesus Christ as the Chief Cornerstone.
  2. Jesus Christ fulfills the chief cornerstone principle during the great power experiment of the Hypostatic Union in two ways:
  3. Through the virgin birth, Jesus Christ became David’s greater Son, the ruler of Israel, both in the Millennium and forever.
  4. Through His strategic victory on the cross followed by His resurrection, Jesus Christ became the ruler of the royal family of God during the Church Age and forever.
  5. Therefore, Jesus Christ is the cornerstone and foundation of two spiritual buildings during the great power experiment of the Hypostatic Union: Israel and the Church.
  6. Jesus Christ is the cornerstone and foundation of the Church now under construction, Eph 2:20 (amplified in verses 21‑22).
  7. To the Jews during the great power experiment of the Hypostatic Union, our Lord was the stone of stumbling, Rom 9:32‑33.
  8. To Israel at the Second Advent, Jesus Christ is the headstone of the corner, Zech 4:7.