An Open Response
Steve C. Halbrook’s “Beware of Ted R. Weiland”
For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. (Matthew 7:2)
Dear Mr. Halbrook,
I find the necessity of responding to your article “Beware of Ted R. Weiland” a lamentable task. Not so much because you repeatedly libel me, but because of what it says about your character.
The first time I read something of yours, I was very much impressed and praised Yahweh1 for your bold stand for King and kingdom. I subsequently subscribed to your blog. However, after doing so, I found your submissions a mixed bag, particularly in the way you so often attack others when you personally disagree with their beliefs.
Now that I’ve been a victim of your poisoned pen which misrepresented my beliefs and maligned my character, I can only imagine how many others you’ve done the same to. Someone, after seeing your attack of me, commented on Facebook something to the effect that you’re not doing things right if you haven’t been attacked by Stephen Halbrook. What a sad commentary on your reputation (Proverbs 6:16-19). Obviously, anyone who would do this is not the advocate of Yahweh’s law (at least, not the Ninth Commandment) that he otherwise purports to be.
Although I’m tempted to ignore your hatchet job, I believe this is an opportunity to teach truth and advance the kingdom for those who have eyes to see and ears to hear. Therefore, I proceed with the hope of advancing Yahweh’s Word.
First, a note to readers:
Because many of you will not be personally acquainted with me or my beliefs, please be advised:
He who gives an answer before he hears, it is folly and shame to him.... The first to plead his case seems just, until another comes and examines him. (Proverbs 18:13, 17 NASB)
In other words, after reading Mr. Halbrook’s piece, before drawing any conclusions, it’s incumbent upon you to come back and read my response. Biblical law (Deuteronomy 19:16-18) allows every man to defend himself, especially against blatant misrepresentations and/or outright lies.
Additionally, please keep in mind that I am much more intimately acquainted with my beliefs than is Mr. Halbrook. Therefore, when I say that something Mr. Halbrook has declared about me is untrue, I suggest that, without further evidence, it would be prudent to believe me rather than him. Unless Mr. Halbrook can demonstrate I am, in fact, a liar, it is incumbent upon him to publicly repent of libeling me and if, he will not repent, it is then incumbent upon his local body to discipline him for his calumny. This is Biblically required (for Mr. Halbrook’s sake) whether or not his local body agrees with me doctrinally.
Mr. Halbrook, near the beginning of your article, you point out that “this is not the first critique of Weiland from a Reformed theonomist perspective” and that in “the May/June issue of Chalcedon’s Faith for All of Life, Martin Selbrede and Archie Jones penned a critique of Weiland in an article titled ‘Faithful in Little Things?’”
(For anyone interested in my response to that article, it’s entitled “An Open Response to Martin Selbrede and Archie Jones’ “Book Review” of: Bible Law vs. the United States Constitution: The Christian Perspective.” In fact, I recommend you lay this response aside and read that one first. I’m confident you’ll find it enlightening. It may very well prepare you to better understand this response.
It should also be noted that not everyone who read Mr Selbrede and Mr. Jones’ book review was of the same opinion of it as Mr. Halbrook. I was contacted by several Reformed leaders who were unimpressed with the review and thought the authors had done me a disservice not only in how it had been handled but also in that they refused to print my response. Read their book review first2 and then my response and decide for yourself.)
Salvation by Baptism
Early on, Mr. Halbrook, you accuse me of heresies—that I “peddle a false gospel of works and race”—and that I have done so in such a way as to not only subvert the Christian faith but also to blaspheme God. Let us see if this is, in fact, true.
Your eighth paragraph reads: “Ted R. Weiland teaches that water baptism saves.”
This claim is blatantly false. The fact is, I teach the precise opposite, as found in some of my material, which you yourself cite:
Baptism itself cannot save anyone. However, according to the Scriptures, Yeshua3
saves us through His blood-atoning sacrifice and resurrection from the grave....4
Baptism no more replaces Yeshua and His blood-atoning sacrifice than does faith or repentance. Only the blood of Yeshua can provide regeneration, remission of sins, spiritual birth, and salvation. The blood is what accomplishes these things, but Yahweh has a scriptural means, found in the sum of His Word, for contacting the blood—faith repentance, confession of Yeshua, and baptism for the forgiveness of sins.5
I wrote the following on the Theonomists’ Facebook Group (moderated by David New) as part of a response to a question you asked me regarding justification by faith (you subsequently requested, that as a result of my response, I be summarily removed from the group as a heretic):
Only the blood of Christ can save, justify, forgive, and redeem. You and I do not have an argument over this, except in your attempt to make it so. Where we differ is in what we believe is the Biblical methodology. I believe everything the Bible says is part of that methodology, you don’t.6
You have created this entire idea of heresy in your own mind, much the same as the Apostle Paul’s accusers did in Acts 24:14 and 25:7:
[T]here are no such things done as thou sayest, but thou feignest them out of thine own heart. (Nehemiah 6:8)
If you choose to disregard my statements above and persist in marking me a heretic, then why, Mr. Halbrook, should anyone accept your nearly identical declaration later in your piece: “Nowhere does the Bible teach that Water Baptism Saves”?
Let me state my position as clearly and succinctly as I can: Ted R. Weiland does not believe baptism saves. He does, however, believe that no one can be saved by the blood of Christ without being baptized. My reason for believing this is found in the following seven passages:
…he [Jesus] said unto them [His apostles], Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. (Mark 16:15-16)
Now when they [3,000 Judahites] heard this [the gospel and the fact that they were responsible for Jesus’ death], they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost…. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them [the early church comprised of the apostles] about three thousand souls. (Acts 2:37-41)
And now [Saul of Tarsus] why tarriest thou? Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord. (Acts 22:16)
Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. (Romans 6:3-4)
For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. (Galatians 3:26-27)
In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with him in baptism…. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses. (Colossians 2:11-13)
…God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein … eight souls were saved by water. The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (…the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:
(1 Peter 3:20-21)
Despite those statements of Scripture, you do not personally include baptism as a part of the process by which Yahweh saves us via the blood-atoning sacrifice and resurrection of Christ (that’s your prerogative). But for you to claim that I teach baptism by itself saves is as treacherous to what I believe as it would be if I were to claim you teach that repentance (and not the blood of Christ) saves because you believe (according to Luke 13:3, 2 Corinthians 7:9-10, 2 Peter 3:9, etc.) it is a part of the process, or that you teach that confession of Christ saves because you believe (according to Matthew 10:32-33, Romans 10:9-10, 1 John 4:15) it is a part of the process.
Later, you accuse me of teaching salvation by works. You might want to reconsider. Because you teach repentance and confession as part of the process, you condemn yourself by the same standard you condemn me. Because baptism is something a person submits to and doesn’t do to himself, the case could be made that either repentance or confession (the latter of which requires the working of one’s tongue) is more of a work than is baptism.
I, however, understand that you can accept and teach those six passages on repentance and confession for what they literally say—without being guilty of heresy for teaching salvation, justification, or regeneration by something other than the blood of Christ. Why can’t you do the same for me? After all, neither of us are basing our beliefs on extra-Biblical teachings, but instead upon what the Bible literally says.
I wonder if you likewise accuse the Apostle Peter of being a heretic for teaching that baptism saves? After all, in 1 Peter 3:21, Peter wrote, “baptism does also now save us.” I’m confident you don’t. In light of the sum of God’s Word on this issue, when 1 Peter 3:21 is taken in its entirety for what it literally says, it declares that it’s the resurrection of Christ that saves us when we are water baptized. In other words, Peter wasn’t teaching that the act of baptism saves but that the resurrection does.
If you don’t condemn Peter as a heretic, why do you condemn me as a heretic for taking him at his word? If you’re bound and determined to brand me a heretic, doesn’t consistency demand you label Peter a heretic as well?
I’m willing to give you the benefit of the doubt, that you didn’t read the previous statements of mine in the articles and books you cite. In that case, you should have kept reading so as to not to be guilty of Proverbs 18:13 (“He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.”). Had you done so, you wouldn’t now be guilty of such a glaring prevarication.
Even if this was merely an oversight on your part, you are still obligated to make a public retraction. If you are unwilling to do so, not only do you make everything else you write from this point on in time suspect, you should also be disciplined by your local body. If your local body is unwilling to discipline you, they become complicit in your sins (Psalm 1:1, Psalm 26:4-5, 1 Corinthians 5:6-7, etc.).
Regardless, if you refuse to repent, you will one day have to answer to Yahweh for falsely accusing me (Psalm 101:5). I hope it doesn’t come to this. Personally, I hold no animosity toward you and would like nothing better than to work together with you in the areas where we agree.
You next wrote that in an article entitled “The Purpose of Baptism” I assert that “the Bible clearly and unequivocally asserts the following about baptism....” You then list the six things I bullet in that article. Because I’ve added to that list since publishing the book Baptism: All You Wanted to Know and More (free to anyone who requests it7), let me provide here the more comprehensive list:
- Baptism is when we are saved in Jesus Christ.
- Baptism is when our sins are forgiven.
- Baptism is when our consciences are cleansed.
- Baptism is when we receive the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
- Baptism is when we begin to drink of the Holy Spirit.
- Baptism is when our hearts are circumcised.
- Baptism is when we begin to walk a new life in Christ.
- Baptism is when we are quickened in Christ.
- Baptism is when we become children of God.
- Baptism is when we put on Christ.
- Baptism is when we are added to the church of Christ
You leave your readers with the impression that these are ideas I came up with on my own. You do mention that I provided Scriptures (the ones cited above), but you offhandedly dismiss them by identifying them as my “barrage of proof texts.” Do you then likewise consider Romans 3:28, 29; 4:1-12; 5:1; John 3:16; Philippians 3:9, etc. (which you provide later in your piece for justification by faith) a barrage of proof texts? If not, why? Why are my seven passages a barrage of proof texts and your seven are not?
Do you consider John 3:16, Hebrews 11:6, etc. proof texts for faith? Do you consider Luke 13:3, 2 Corinthians 7:9-10, etc. proof texts for repentance? Do you consider Matthew 10:32-33, Romans 10:9-10, etc. proof texts for confession? Consistency demands that if you’re going to identify the Scriptures that speak just as plainly about baptism as proof texts that you do the same for those that require faith, repentance, and confession.
You conveniently fail to mention that the bulleted statements are not my ideas but what those alleged proof texts, when taken for what they say, literally declare. This is incontestable. If anyone still doubts this, please lay aside any preconceived notions and go back and carefully read those seven passages quoted above for what they literally say.
In a follow-up paragraph, you declare that those statements are my interpretations. Not at all. I often share those passages with no comment whatsoever. If you take them for what they literally say, they don’t need interpretation. Instead, Mr. Halbrook, it is you who reinterprets these passages by denying everything they declare about baptism. Because your theology on baptism is determined by your denomination’s tenets rather than the Bible, your doctrine demands you reinterpret them.
You may respond, “Well, they shouldn’t be taken for what they literally say!” But, even if you’re correct, should I and others be condemned as heretics for embracing all seven passages for what they literally declare? I think most people would consider this dangerous policy—that is, to condemn someone as a heretic for accepting what the Bible says, especially when, in this instance, all seven passages perfectly agree with each other.
In your next paragraph, you employ Matthew 23:15 to label me as akin to a Pharisee and a scribe because of my eagerness to share with others what I believe the Bible teaches. Wouldn’t consistency demand that you too are then akin to a Pharisee and a scribe? You seem awfully eager in this piece, so much so that you’re willing to violate the Ninth Commandment.
In the same paragraph you falsely accuse me of promoting the heretical teaching of “baptismal remission”—that is, that I teach that the act of baptism is what remits a person’s sins, not the blood of Christ. I agree this would indeed be heresy, but that is not what I teach as evidenced in my quotations above, any more than you teach confessional remission, per Romans 10:9-10.
That said, do I accept what the Apostle Peter, Ananias, and the Apostle Paul taught about when a person’s sins are remitted by the blood of Christ? Indeed and without apology!
Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
And now why tarriest thou? Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord. (Acts 22:16)
In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses. (Colossians 2:11-13)
Once again, it is incontestable that, when these passages are taken for what they literally say, these three men all identify baptism as the moment when one’s sins are remitted by the blood of Christ. I can’t help but wonder, since you condemn me as a heretic for accepting these three men at their word, why you don’t condemn them as heretics for being the reason I believe what I do?
In your next paragraph, you correctly point out that the Bible (Romans 3:28, 29; 4:1-12; 5:1; John 3:16, Philippians 3:9, etc.) teaches justification by faith alone, but you then employ these seven texts in a way that pits them against the seven passages that teach baptism as part and parcel of the salvation process. Why not instead try to see if they can be harmonized—as you do with the passages that teach repentance and confession of Christ as part and parcel of the salvation process? Instead of trying to negate the one set of Scriptures with the other set of Scriptures, you might just be surprised at how easily they are harmonized. This will eliminate the need to reject either set of passages or to put the heretic label on anyone who accepts both sets of passages for what they say.
Psalm 119:160 (NASB) informs us that the “sum of thy [God’s] word is truth.” When it comes to what the Bible teaches about faith and baptism, your theology is anything but a summation of what’s found in God’s Word. Yours is a reduction and negation of God’s Word. It denies all seven previous passages on baptism for what they say. And then you furthermore condemn as a heretic anyone who accepts them at face value.
It is also worth noting that Greek lexicons define pistis and pisteuo—the Greek words most often translated faith—as to “believe in,” “adhere to,” “trust in,” “rely on,” and “fidelity.” In other words (and I’m confident you’ll agree), Biblical faith is much more than merely the easy believism common in modern churches. Therefore, when biblical faith is understood for all that it is, faith alone is sufficient for salvation because this word includes a total adherence to the one in whom you believe and all He requires—including repentance, a confession that Christ as the Son of God is Lord, and being baptized for the forgiveness of sins. I’m confident you already accept two of these under the umbrella of faith.
In Acts 19, Paul went so far as to use “believed” and “baptized” interchangeably:
He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism. (Acts 19:2-3)
After these men responded, Paul asked them unto what they had been baptized, not what they had believed. Paul obviously equated belief and baptism, just as Christ commissioned in Mark 16:16 (“He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved....”)? Those twelve men then proceeded to be baptized “in the name of the Lord Jesus,” which from Acts 2:38 and 10:47-48 we know was a water baptism.
You later claim that some of the seven passages I cite do not have water baptism in view. Let’s see if this is, in fact, true:
In Acts 2:38 we are informed that baptism in the name of Jesus Christ is for the forgiveness of sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit. This was in obedience to Jesus’ commission following His resurrection, found in Mark 16:15-16, in which He stated “he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.” Jesus’ commission and Peter’s preaching harmonize perfectly (salvation and forgiveness of sins are all but interchangeable) and in both instances, they are water baptisms. This is proven in Acts 10:47-48 where Peter commanded Cornelius and his household to be baptized in water in the name of the Lord:
Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized…? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord…. (Acts 10:47-48)
Baptism in the name of Jesus Christ (Acts 2:38) and baptism in the name of the Lord (Acts 10:48) are obviously the same baptism. If one baptism is a water baptism, then it goes without saying they were both water baptisms. Therefore, Christ and Peter in Mark 16:16 and Acts 2:38 were not referring to a figurative or metaphorical baptism. Instead, it was a water baptism they affiliated with salvation, the forgiveness of sins, and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
Furthermore, salvation (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:40-41, 1 Peter 3:21), forgiveness of sins, and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38; Acts 22:16) occur simultaneously when a person is circumcised in heart (Colossians 2:11-13), begins to walk a new life (Romans 6:3-4), becomes a child of God (Galatians 3:26), puts on Christ (Galatians 3:27), and is added to the body of Christ (Acts 2:41, 47; 1 Corinthians 12:13). Therefore, all of these passages refer to water baptism as well.
Water baptism is also specified in Acts 8:36 when the eunuch inquired, “See here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized,” and in 1 Peter 3:20-21 that declares “wherein … eight souls were saved by water. The like figure [to what occurred in Noah’s day] whereunto even baptism doth also now save us ... by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.”
You claim I teach a different gospel than that found in the New Testament and that, according to Paul in Galatians 1, I should be accursed. If this is true, then Christ, Peter, Paul, and Ananias (from whom I derive the gospel I preach) likewise preached a different gospel and should likewise be accursed. You can’t have it both ways. Because you reject what’s literally found in all seven of those passages, one should be asking who’s really preaching the different gospel.
Your next section is entitled “Ted R. Weiland’s Racism.” This is another serious charge and one I categorically deny.
Because of the fashion in which the term “racism” is employed today, particularly by the media, it’s imperative it be defined. Without a working understanding of what constitutes racism, people will inevitability jump to the wrong conclusions.
Hopefully, we all agree it is ungodly for anyone to hate or judicially discriminate against someone of another race (or nation, if you prefer), and that such a person could be rightly identified as a racist. The same is true of anyone who would elevate any race or ethnic group over others merely because of the color of their skin or mental facility. Let it be known that Ted R. Weiland denounces any such racism or white supremacy under the strongest of terms.
I doubt there is another minister in the state of Nebraska that has sent more free Bibles, books, and sermons to black African nations then I have via Mission to Israel Ministries. A few years ago, I was also personally responsible as a juror for keeping a black man from being railroaded and found guilty when he was clearly innocent. When one uses the term “racist” to describe someone today, these are not typically the kind of actions that come to mind. Perhaps, Mr. Halbrook, you’d like to consider a less defamatory term to describe my beliefs.
With this in mind, let me pose some questions that should hopefully illustrate what is not racism:
1) Is it racist to believe God chooses to work His sovereign covenantal purposes through one nation over other nations?
2) Is it racist to believe God generally chooses to segregate this same nation from others?
3) Is it racist to believe God requires ethnic purity for that same nation?
If you would answer “yes” to any of these questions, you’ve probably just condemned yourself as a racist because you probably believe Yahweh did all of these things under the Old Covenant (with some exceptions).
Hopefully, we’re all Biblically astute enough to know that the three things listed above are precisely what Yahweh did and required of the Israelites under the Mosaic Covenant (Exodus 33:16; Leviticus 20:24-26; Numbers 23:9; Deuteronomy 32:8; 1 Kings 8:51-53; Nehemiah 9:2, 10:28-29; Hosea 7:8-9; Acts 17:26; etc.). Therefore, to label any of those things as racism is to identify Yahweh as a racist.
What if Yahweh chose to make the New Covenant with a remnant of physical Israelites in fulfillment of dozens of Old Testament prophecies? If He did this, would it not stand to reason that He also requires the same things listed above from those same people under the New Covenant? If that is so, is someone a racist for merely believing what he believes the Bible teaches?
Most people would agree that Yahweh discriminated nationally and ethnically under the Old Covenant. But when the same standard is applied to the New Covenant, it is often met with accusations of racism. If it is racist under the New Covenant, it was racist under the Old Covenant, and if it was not racist under the Old Covenant, then it cannot be racist under the New Covenant. Otherwise, we would need a new commandment under the New Covenant (which we do not have), repudiating Yahweh’s former discrimination. Yahweh’s morality does not change like man’s. Yahweh’s laws, reflecting partiality and requiring segregation, are today identified as racist because of man’s fickle “morality.”
The true effect of race knowledge is not to feed our vanity or rouse our boastfulness; rather, it should arouse a profound sense of responsibility…. I lay it down as a rule that whenever the thought of race leads us to boastfulness or contempt, there is something false in it….
The Bible is not a history of the human race at large, but one distinct strain of people amongst the family of races. All the other races are considered with reference to it…. The Bible deals with one race [more properly nation] which flows like a gulf Stream through the ocean of humanity. As the actual gulf Stream touches two continents and blesses the nations, so this race, in its origin, history and destiny, was selected and equipped for the service of the [other] nations….
Of course, many people still have their own ideas about this, and that creates a difficulty. For when people get their own ideas about things, it always leads to confusion. A man will rise and demand, “By what right does God choose one race or people above another?” …God’s grading is always upward. If He raises up a nation, it is that other nations may be raised up through its ministry. If He exalts a great man, an apostle of liberty, or science, or faith, it is that He might raise a degraded people to a better condition. The Divine selection is not a prize, a compliment paid to the man or the race—it is a burden imposed. To appoint a chosen people is not a pandering to the racial vanity of a “superior people;” it is a yoke bound upon the necks of those who are chosen for a special service. (William John Cameron, lecture in Dearborn, Michigan (1933), quoted in The Covenant People (Merrimack, MA: Destiny Publishers, 1966) pp. 2-9.)
Unfortunately, white supremacists (under many names) use such knowledge to their own profane ends. However, the truth regarding the people with whom the New Covenant was made cannot be abandoned because this knowledge is sometimes used for ungodly purposes.8
Mr. Halbrook, if you wanted to accurately represent my beliefs, don’t you think you should have shared the previous portion from Bible Law vs. the United States Constitution: The Christian Perspective (a book you cite elsewhere)?
Despite Jeremiah 31:31-37, Romans 9:3-4, and Hebrews 8:8-9, I understand that many contemporary Christians do not believe the New Covenant was made with Israelites. Nevertheless, if you would not identify yourself as a racist for believing the same about the Old Covenant, why would you identify others as racists for believing the Bible teaches the same under the New Covenant? Furthermore, unless you’re prepared to identify everyone who believes today’s Jews are Israelites as racists, why do you accuse me of being a racist merely for teaching there’s been a case of mistaken identity?
You label me as racist not because I hate the other races or because I believe someone can be saved by their ethnic makeup (I do neither), but because you reject the plain statements by Jeremiah, Paul, and the author of Hebrews, which declare that the New Covenant was made with a remnant of physical Israelites from both houses of Israel:
“Behold, the days come, saith YHWH, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith YHWH.... Thus saith YHWH, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night.... If those ordinances depart from before me, saith YHWH, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever. Thus saith YHWH; If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith YHWH.” (Jeremiah 31:31-37)
For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants.... (Romans 9:3-4)
For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt....” (Hebrews 8:8-9)
There is no mention of non-Israelites in any of these passages. This is because both Old and New Covenants alike were marital covenants exclusive to Yahweh’s people Israel.9 However, this is not to say that non-Israelites cannot be proselytes to the New Covenant—just as they were under the Mosaic Covenant.
Your false accusation that I’m a racist and white supremacist once again boils down to the fact that I accept those passages for what they say and you do not. Until you’re willing to embrace these passages for what they declare, you have no standing for judging me or anyone else for believing the New Covenant was made with physical Israelites and any other beliefs derived as a result. You can’t hope to have a proper perspective of the issues at hand when you deny the plain statements of Scripture as found in the three passages above. Once again, your theology on this issue, like that on baptism, is regrettably based upon a reduction and negation of Scripture.
As I initially did when first confronted with the passages above, someone is likely to suggest that none of these passages are to be taken literally because under the New Covenant the door for salvation was opened to non-Israelite gentiles. But even if the gentiles are who you think they are, it does not alter in the least that, according to Jeremiah, Paul, and the author of Hebrews, the New Covenant was made with a remnant of physical Israelites. Just like the Scriptures that teach faith cannot be pitted against the Scriptures that teach baptism, the Scriptures that teach about the gentiles cannot be pitted against Jeremiah 31:31-37, Romans 9:3-4, and Hebrews 8:8-9, etc.
That said, there is much more to the gentile issue than meets the eye. And it is particularly pertinent to the discussion at hand. For example, if you believe the gentiles in the Bible (the goyim in the Old Testament and the ethne in the New Testament) refer exclusively to non-Israelites, you will be surprised to discover this is not true. Without understanding this, you’ll never be able to fully appreciate Yahweh’s New Covenant relationship with the Israelites as depicted in Jeremiah 31, Romans 9, and Hebrews 8.
If anyone is interested in a study regarding the true identity of the “gentiles,” I will be pleased to send him a complimentary copy of the 200-page book The Mystery of the Gentiles: Who Are They and Where Are They Now?10
How ironic that you raised the question of whether I believe in God’s sovereignty over salvation, when, in fact, you are the one who clearly denies His sovereignty by your rejection of whom the Bible declares the New Covenant was made with and by identifying anyone who accepts the Bible’s unequivocal New Covenant declarations as racist. It would seem your god is not sovereign at all, as he unable to fulfill what he promised to the Israelites in Jeremiah 31:31-37, etc.
Your article includes additional misrepresentations and issues of doctrine concerning what I teach and, more importantly, what the Bible teaches about the Israelites and their relationship with other nations that could and should be addressed, but I will leave that for another time. Suffice it to say that the other disagreements principally reflect your rejection of Jeremiah 31:31-37, Romans 9:3-4, and Hebrews 8:8-9 and numerous related Old Testament prophecies. It should not be overlooked that to deny the plain teaching of God’s Word (whether regarding the New Covenant, baptism, or any other issue) is to deny God to that same degree.
You’re accusation of blasphemy would be comical if it were not so serious a charge. You would do well to consider Christ’s depiction of blasphemy in Matthew 12—that is, attributing the qualities or actions of God, Christ, or the Holy Spirit to the devil. With this definition in mind, a case could be made that your accusation is closer to blasphemy than the statement of mine you quoted (out of context). In context (albeit, perhaps not well stated), I was upholding Yahweh’s faithfulness to His word (as stated in Numbers 23:19; Isaiah 14:24-27; Isaiah 55:11, etc.). My point was that therefore if He didn’t uphold His word (whether in relation to Jeremiah 31:31-37 or any other prophecy), He would therefore be an impotent liar:
The New Covenant was Yahweh’s means of fulfilling the prophecies (Isaiah 62:2-4; Hosea 1 and 2, etc.) in which He promised to remarry a remnant of physical Israel (Isaiah 10:20-22, 11:11, 16; Romans 9:25-27, 11:5; etc.). To change the recipients of these prophecies under the New Covenant effectively makes Yahweh a liar. Yahweh’s election of one people for this special relationship does not nullify it as an act of grace.11
Of course, our God is not an impotent liar, which is what makes Him different from all other counterfeit gods. Sadly, men such as yourself, who deny Jeremiah’s prophecy and its historical fulfillment, make Him appear a liar before others. To take what I said and try to force blasphemy into it, only exposes the length to which you will go in your efforts to defame me.
A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing
You conclude your piece by warning your readers that I’m a wolf in sheep’s clothing. It should be apparent from this response that you have not proven your accusation.
For King and kingdom,
Ted R. Weiland
1. YHWH, the English transliteration of the Tetragrammaton, is most often pronounced Yahweh. It is the principal Hebrew name of the God of the Bible and was inspired to appear nearly 7,000 times in the Old Testament. It was unlawfully deleted by the English translators. In obedience to the Third Commandment and the many Scriptures that charge us to proclaim, swear by, praise, extol, call upon, bless, glorify, and hold fast to His name, I have chosen to memorialize His name here in this response. For a more thorough explanation concerning important reasons for using the sacred name of God, see “The Third Commandment.”
2. To read Mr. Selbrede’s and Mr. Jone’s review of BL vs. USC, go to www.chalcedon.edu. After logging in or opening an account, click the button on the top of the page that reads “Faith for All Life.” About halfway down the page, under “Faith for All Life Archives,” click on the May/June 2012 magazine cover, then scroll down to the article “Faithful in Little Things?”
3. Yeshua (Yah saves) is the English transliteration of our Savior’s given Hebrew name, with which He introduced Himself to Paul in Acts 26:14-15. (Jesus is a second-generation English transliteration of Iesous, the Greek transliteration of the Hebrew Yeshua.) For a more thorough explanation regarding the sacred names of God, see “The Third Commandment.”
4. Baptism by the Scriptures.
Baptism by the Scriptures, Fifty Objections to Baptism Answered, and Baptism: Sprinkling, Pouring, or Immersion? have been combined into a booklet entitled Baptism by the Scriptures: Everything You Wanted to Know and More that is free to anyone who requests it. Provide me your address via the contact button on our home page at missiontoisrael.org or bibleversusconstitution.org, or email me, and I’ll be pleased to get a copy to you, postage paid.
5. Fifty Objections to Baptism Answered
7. Baptism by the Scriptures: Everything You Wanted to Know and More
8. Chapter 24 “Amendment 15: Colorblind Voting” of Bible Law vs. the United States Constitution: The Christian Perspective.
9. For a more thorough explanation regarding Yahweh’s marital relationship with the Israelites under both covenants, The Mystery of the Gentiles: Who Are They and Where Are They Now? may be read online, or I’ll be pleased to send a complimentary hard copy of the book to anyone who requests it.
10. Provide me your address via the contact button on our home page at missiontoisrael.org or bibleversusconsconstitution.org, or email me, and I’ll be pleased to get a copy to you, postage paid.
11. Chapter 23 “Amendment 14: First Birth vs. Second Birth Citizenship” of Bible Law vs. the United States Constitution: The Christian Perspective.