Bible Options

Section 3Section III

AppendicesAppendices

Section IV

 

Legalism,

Lawlessness,

and Losers

 

Examining Dispensational Divisions and Defeatism

 



Dispensational Defeatism

 "We preached defeat, and we got it!"

 

Dispensationalists' own admissions of their defeatist outlook:

 

"In fact, dominion - taking dominion and setting up the kingdom for Christ - is an impossibility, even for God. The millennial reign for Christ, far from being the kingdom, is actually the final proof of the incorrigible nature of the human heart, because Christ Himself can't do what these people say they are going to do. . . ." - Dave Hunt[1]

 

"I just can't buy their [postmillennialists'] basic presupposition that we can do anything significant to change the world.  And you can waste an awful lot of time trying." - Harold Hoehner of Dallas Theological Seminary[2] 

 

"God sent us to be fishers of men, not to clean up the fish bowl." - Hal Lindsey[3]

 

"You don't polish brass on a sinking ship." -J. Vernon McGee[4]

 

"It's a question, 'Do you polish brass on a sinking ship?' And if they're working on setting up new institutions, instead of going out and winning the lost for Christ, then they're wasting the most valuable time on planet earth right now, and that is the serious problem in his thinking." - Peter Lalonde[5]

 


"North and other postmillennial Christian Reconstructionists label those who hold the pretribualtional rapture position pietists and cultural retreatists. One reason these criticisms are so painful is because I find them to be substantially true.  Many in our camp have an all-pervasive negativism regarding the course of society and the impotence of God's people to do anything about it.  They will heartily affirm that Satan is Alive and Well on Planet Earth, and that this must indeed be The Terminal Generation; therefore, any attempt to influence society is ultimately hopeless.  They adopt the pietistic platitude: `You don't polish brass on a sinking ship.'   Many pessimistic pretribbers cling to the humanists' version of religious freedom, namely Christian social and political impotence, self-imposed, as drowning men cling to a life preserver." - David Schnittger[6]

 

"The present age is one in which the gospel is preached to all the world.  Relatively few are saved.  The world becomes, in fact, increasingly wicked as the age progresses.  The premillennial view... presents no commands to improve society as a whole." - John F. Walvoord[7] 

 

"We will never be able to redeem  society" - H. Wayne House and Tommy Ice[8]

 

"But if Bahnsen is complaining that when people are converted from postmillennialism to premillennialism they quit trying to establish the kingdom, he is correct. . . ." - H. Wayne House and Tommy Ice[9]

 

Dispensational Defeatism observed by others: 

"Your guess at the number of the beast, your conjectures concerning a personal antichrist - it seems to me to be the veriest drivel to be muttering about an Armageddon - forgive me, I count them but mere bones for dogs; while men are dying and hell is filling, generation after generation of them have been proved to be in error by the mere lapse of time." - Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892) 

 

"It would be easy to show that at our present rate of progress the kingdoms of this world never could become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ. Indeed, many in the Church are giving up the idea of it except on the occasion of the advent of Christ, which, as it chimes in with our own idleness, is likely to be a popular doctrine. I myself believe that King Jesus will reign, and idols be utterly abolished; but I expect the same power which turned the world upside down once will continue to do it. The Holy Ghost would not suffer the imputation to rest upon His holy name that He was not able to convert the world." - Charles Spurgeon 


"David was not a believer in the theory that the world will grow worse and worse, and that the dispensation will wind up with general darkness, and idolatry. Earth's sun is to go down amid tenfold night if some of our prophetic brethren are to be believed. Not so do we expect, but we look for a day when dwellers in all lands shall learn righteousness, shall trust in the Savior, shall worship thee alone, O God, `and shall glorify thy name.'  The modern notion has greatly damped the zeal of the church for missions, and the sooner it is shown to be unscriptural the better for the cause of God. It neither consorts with prophesy, honours God, nor inspires the church with ardour. Far hence be it driven." - Charles Spurgeon[10]

 

"And it is precisely this change in thinking, from premillenialism to postmillenialism, under the influence of Christian Reconstructionism, that has made possible the religious right and the political mobilization of millions of otherwise fatalistic fundamentalists." - Fredrick Edwords and Stephen McCabe in The Humanist[11]  

 

 Amillennialists Join the Dirge: 

 

"Amillennialism agrees with premillennialism that the Scriptures do not promise the conversion of the world through the preaching of the gospel." - Robert Strong[12]

 

"Premillenarians believe the world is growing increasingly worse, and that it will be at its very worst when Jesus returns.  Amillenarians agree with the premillenarians on this point." - William E. Cox[13]

 



The History of Dispensationalism

and its Effects on the Church

 

      Irvingites (followers of Edward Irving) and John Nelson Darby, a Plymouth Brethren, invented Dispensationalism around 1830.  Postmillennialism had been the predominant view of the Puritan's who founded America, of both Great Awakenings, and of the Church through most of nineteenth century America.  However, near the end of the nineteenth century, the social gospel movement arose.  This movement stressed improving society, like helping the poor and sick, but thought that these social causes did not need religion to justify these actions.  Also during this time, Darwin's myth of naturalistic evolution was gaining popularity, so people felt justified in saying that the world could improve without the help of God.  Thus Christianity's optimistic view of the triumph of the Kingdom of God became secularized.[14]  

Christians' one main attempt to transform social policy (with the support of liberal humanists) at the beginning of the twentieth century, Prohibition, failed.  The Scopes Monkey Trial provided publicity for the implications of Christianity for science, and William Jennings Bryan was regarded as a hero by conservative Christians throughout the United States for his defense of the Bible and creation.  But it also highlighted the fact that Christianity had no standing in the American establishment.  The scientific establishment had fully adopted Darwinism, and the media showed a thorough contempt for the "backward" beliefs of "fundamentalists."  The trial was the beginning of the media's overt anti-Christian bias.  Dispensationalism's escapist, doomsday outlook did not provide the motivation for a concerted effort by Christians to retake society for Christ.

As a result of Christianity's social mission being secularized and its public defeat in the media, the view that the world can only get worse and worse and that Christians' only duty is to pass out a few tracts until Jesus opens the Great Escape Hatch (rapture) became much more appealing.

Also, in 1909 C.I. Scofield published The Scofield Reference Bible, which popularized Darby's views.  Any Christian could now have the "authoritative" interpretation of any verse in the Bible simply by reading the notes at the bottom of the page of his Scofield.

However, when the Supreme Court banned school prayer in 1963 and legalized abortion in 1973, Christians of all eschatological persuasions began to realize that the Church had forsaken her responsibility to be salt and light to the world.  Also around this same time the work of Henry Morris and others at the Institute for Creation Research began to become more well-known, and Christians began to see that they did not need accept the Darwinian views of the Establishment, and that Christians could apply their faith to this so-called secular area of life.  Christian's began to get more socially active and rediscovered the Church's responsibility to apply God's word to every area of life. 

Many were, and are, slow to officially change their eschatology from Dispensationalism to postmillennialism; however, the actions of many people in the Church has became increasingly more consistent with the latter view of the future than the former.

 

But at this same time Dispensationalism experienced a boost of popularity with the sale of The Late Great Planet Earth by Hal Lindsey in 1970.  This book was the best selling book for the entire decade in the entire world except the Bible.  But in this final boost of glory was also Dispensationalism's seeds of defeat:  Hal Lindsey's date setting of Christ's return.  Hal Lindsey interpreted Matthew 24:32-34 to mean that the generation that saw the nation of Israel be born would live to see the Great Tribulation and Christ's Second Coming.  Israel became a nation in 1948.  A biblical generation is 40 years (cf. the Exodus). The Tribulation lasts 7 years.  Hal Lindsey and most Dispensationalists believe in a pre-trib rapture.  Therefore, the rapture should have taken place in 1981 (1948 + 40 = 1988. 1988 - 7 = 1981).  In an interview with Christianity Today, April 1977, Lindsey was asked, "But what if you're wrong?" He replied, "Well, there's just a split second's difference a hero and a bum. I didn't ask to be a hero, but I guess I have become one in the Christian community.  So I accept it.  But if I'm wrong about this, I guess I'll become a bum."  By his own admission, he's a bum.  Edgard C. Whisenant came out with 88 Reason's Why the Rapture is in 1988.  Double bummer. 

Christian leaders around the country vowed never to try to predict the time of Christ's return again, and Dispensationalism began to fall into disfavor.[15]  All the while, more and more Christians were recognizing and pursuing the Church's social responsibility in light of Christ's total authority over all life and studying the Scriptures to find that postmillennialism has much more biblical support than Dispensationalism.  Although doomsday speculation will probably never die out completely, God has destined His Church for victory in history and in eternity, in teaching and in action.

 



Cheap Grace

 

"There is a tendency, however, for dispensationalists to get carried away with compartmentalizing truth to the point that they can make unbiblical distinctions.  An almost obsessive desire to categorize everything neatly has led various dispensationalist interpreters to draw hard lines not only between the church and Israel, but also between salvation and discipleship, the church and the kingdom, Christ's preaching and the apostolic message, faith and repentance, and the age of law and the age of grace.

"The age of law/age of grace division in particular has wreaked havoc on dispensationalist theology and contributed to confusion about the doctrine of salvation." - John MacArthur, Jr.[16]

 "In respect to the character of divine government, both the age before the cross and the age following the return of Christ represent the exercise of pure law; while the period between the two ages represents the exercise of pure grace.  It is imperative, therefore, that there shall be no careless co-mingling of these great age-characterizing elements, else the preservation of the most important distinctions in the various relationships between God and man are lost, and the recognition of the true force of the death of Christ and His coming again are obscured." - Lewis Sperry Chafer[17]

"The New Testament does not impose repentance upon the unsaved as a condition of salvation." - Lewis Sperry Chafer[18]

Repentance is a "false addition to faith." - Charles Ryrie[19]

"The message of faith plus commitment of life...cannot be the gospel." - Charles Ryrie[20]

The teachings of the Sermon on the Mount "have no application to the Christian, but only to those who are under Law, and therefore must apply to another Dispensation than this." - Clarence Larkin[21]

 

The Sermon on the Mount cannot be applied "primarily and fully...to the believer in this age." - Charles Ryrie[22]

"Where can one find a statement of the gospel in the Sermon?  A plain statement of the gospel [cannot be found] in the Sermon." - Charles Ryrie[23]

How about the wide and narrow gates? 

"As a dispensation, grace begins with the death and resurrection of Christ. ...The point of testing is no longer legal obedience as the condition of salvation, but acceptance or rejection of Christ, with good works as the fruit of salvation." - C.I. Scofield[24]

"With the call of Abraham and the giving of the Law...there are two widely different standardized, divine provisions whereby man, who is utterly fallen, might come into the favor of God." - Lewis Sperry Chafer[25]

"Normally one who has believed can be described as a believer; that is, one who continues to believe.  But...a believer may come to the place of not believing, and yet God will not disown him, since He cannot disown Himself." - Charles Ryrie[26]

John Darby was asked about 1 John 1:7 and said that the text deals with where you walk, not how you walked. When asked further, "Suppose a real Christian turned his back on the light (meaning deliberately and permanently)?", without hesitation, Darby replied, "then the light would shine upon his back."[27]

 

"Large assemblies today are being told fervently that the one essential qualification for heaven is to be an evil person, and the one sure bar to God's favor is to be a good one.  The very word Righteousness is spoken only in cold scorn and the moral man is looked upon with pity.  'A Christian,' say these teachers, 'is not morally better than a sinner.  The only difference is that he has taken Jesus, and so he has a Savior.'  I trust it will not be flippant to inquire, 'a savior' from what?   If not from sin and evil conduct and the old fallen life, then from what, and if the answer is, from the consequences of past sins and from judgment that comes, still we are not satisfied.  Is justification from past offenses all that distinguishes a Christian from a sinner?  Can a man become a believer in Christ and be no more than a skillful Advocate to get guilty sinners off free at the day of judgment?"   - A. W. Tozer[28]

 

Repentance required in New Covenant: 

Acts 2:38 ____________________________________________________________________________

Acts 17:30 ___________________________________________________________________________

2 Cor. 7:10 ___________________________________________________________________________

 

Salvation by grace through faith in Old:

Rom. 4:1-9 ___________________________________________________________________________

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John 3:10 ____________________________________________________________________________

Heb. 4:2 _____________________________________________________________________________

 

True sons of Abraham have faith in Christ, born again:

John 3:10 ___________________________________________________________________________

John 8:39,56 _________________________________________________________________________

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Gal. 3:16,29 __________________________________________________________________________

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Rom. 2:28-29 _________________________________________________________________________

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Phil. 3:3 _____________________________________________________________________________

 

"What use is it, my brethren, if a man says he has faith, but he has no works?  Can that faith save him?

But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless?"

- James 2:14,20

 



Use and Abuse of the Law

 

"Not understanding what [the Law] does not do, [Dispensationalists] fall into legalism in the Old Testament.  Not understanding what it does do, they fall into Antinomianism in the New Testament" - John H. Gerstner[29]

 

Abuse of God's Law ("Legalism")

1.      Attempt of sinful humans to justify themselves before God by trying to keep the Law better (Gal. 3:11; Gal. 5:4; Rom. 3:20).  This is the primary meaning of "legalism" and the one used above.

2.      Substituting God's Law with Man's Law (Matt. 15:1-9).

 

Antinomianism - rejection of the validity of law (from Greek, against [anti] the law [nomos]).    

Antinomians usually reject obedience to God's Law in the name of "love" ("no law but love") or "grace" (cf. Jude 4).  Antinomians claim  to reject all law, but people must make decisions and judgments by some standard. Therefore, the rejection of Biblical Law results in  the substitution of man-made law for God's law. Therefore, ironically, antinomians are legalists of the second type mentioned above.  (1 Tim. 1:8).[30]

 

Good uses of the law:

1.      To define and recognize sin (1 John 3:4; Rom. 3:20; Rom. 7:7,12), leading a person to Christ for forgiveness (Gal. 3:24,25). 

2.      The standard for Christian living (Rom. 7:12 with Matt. 5:5,10,17-20).  The fact that we have received God's grace does not mean that we can ignore God's Law (Rom. 3:8,21; Rom. 6:1-2; Jude 4). If we love God, we will obey His Law (John 14:15; 1 John 5:2,3).

3.      The guide for the civil magistrate's use of the "sword" (Gen. 9:6; Rom. 13:1-10; 1 Tim. 1:8-11; Matt. 15:3-4).

 


Christians who reject God's Law as the standard for criminal law are antinomians and legalists of at least the second type (for laws of some sort must be enforced; and if their basis is not God's Law, it must be humanistic). Antinomian pietists always form an implicit alliance with the first type of legalists, those who see government action as the answer to all life's problems, legislation as the means to salvation. The pietists say to the humanist statists, "Just give us heaven, let us have our church meetings and pass out a few tracts until the Rapture; and you can run the affairs of the world however you want." These modern pietists are like the unbelieving Israelites who preferred to live under Egyptian slavery where they had guaranteed welfare of fish, melons and cucumbers, rather than live responsibly under God and His Law (Num. 11:4-6); and like the Pharisees who rejected God's Law and Christ the King in favor of allegiance to Caesar and his protection (John 19:15).[31]

Therefore, it is no accident that the rise in popularity of Dispensationalism in the Twentieth Century has been accompanied by a rise in humanistic statism.  The spread of one-world, humanistic government can be seen not as a fulfillment of "end-time prophecy" but of Dispensationalism's self-fulfilling prophecy through their retreat from the civic sphere of life.  If God's law is not enforced, godless law will.  God's law or tyranny.

 

The Law in Galatians:

The specific laws that Paul is talking about are ceremonial  laws: circumcision (5:2) and ceremonial feasts (4:10).  These laws are no longer valid under the New Covenant not because people were saved by law under the Old and by grace under the New, for Paul clearly says that the Law was never meant to be a source of salvation (3:11, 21-22). The Law and promise of an inheritance in Christ coexisted in the same dispensation (3:17). Old Covenant saints, like Abraham and David, were saved by faith (Rom. 4:1-9) in Christ (John 8:56; Heb. 11:26). The members of the Hebrews 11 "Faith Hall of Fame" are all Old Testament believers. They were saved by looking forward  to what Christ would do (Hebrews 11:13,26), while we are saved under the New Covenant by looking back  to Christ's death and resurrection.


The Israelites did not offer sacrifices as a way to gain salvation by works, but as an expression of their faith  that the Messiah would come in the future to take away the sins of His people, just as Abraham offered up his son Isaac as an expression of his faith in God (James 2:21-23; Heb. 11:17-19).  In the same way, the New Covenant Church does not perform the Lord's Supper sacrifice (for it represents the our Savior's body and His blood, poured out as a sacrifice for our sins) as a work to justify us before God, but as an expression of our faith in what Christ did in the past (1 Cor. 11:23-26). To continue the Old Testament ceremonial laws is to reject Christ and accept obedience to the Law as means of salvation because it fails to recognize that the purpose of the ceremonial laws was to point to Christ's future, sufficient work of grace on the cross (Gal.5:2-4) - it is to pursue righteousness "as though it were by works" (Rom. 9:32).

Israelites who thought that they were saved simply because they were members of the nation of Israel, circumcised, and offered sacrifices are no different than people today who think that they are going to heaven simply because they are members of a church (God's new chosen nation - Matt. 21:43; 1 Peter 2:10), have been baptized (a form of circumcision - Col. 2:11-12), and take communion (Christ's sacrificed body).  You must be born again.  The teachers of Israel should have known that (John 3:10).

Although the Old Testament ceremonial laws may be invalid under the New Covenant, Paul does not entertain the notion that the moral  law is invalid for Christians under the New Testament. In Galatians, after listing a series of sins (things "against [the] law" - 5:23), Paul says that "I forewarn you...that those who practice such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God" (5:21).

 

Romans 6:14 - "You are not under law, but under grace."

Dispensationalists believe that this verse proves that because Christians have been saved by grace, we have no obligation to obey God's law any more (and that before the cross, salvation was by law rather than grace).  Taken to its logical conclusion, this would mean that Christians can kill, rape, and steal all they want because God has forgiven them.  This, of course, is absurd.  Paul emphatically denies such an absurdity in the very next sentence:  "What then?  Shall we sin because we are  not under law but under grace?  May it never be!" (v. 15).  And what  is sin?  "Sin is lawlessness" (1 John 3:4).  In fact, if one looks  at the rest of Romans 6, the person who is "under law" is a "lawless"  person (v. 19).  The person who is "under grace" is one who is "a slave  to obedience" to God (v. 16).


So what does "under law" and "under grace" mean?  It refers to sources  of salvation.  As Paul says earlier, "By the works of the Law, no  flesh will be justified in His sight" (Rom. 3:20).  No one obeys God's  Law perfectly.  Until God redeems us, we are all in rebellion to God's  Law (3:12; 8:7).  Apart from grace, the Law is a source of condemnation.   God's grace frees us from condemnation from the Law and  gives us  the spiritual power to obey the Law (8:4).  The Law merely written  on tablets of stone cannot bring obedience to itself, but the Spirit  empowers the Law by enabling obedience to it (2 Cor. 3:6-18).  Christians  obey the Law not as a source of salvation, but out of love for the  redeemer of our souls.  Obedience to the Law does not save us, but those who are saved obey the Law (James 2:14-26).  They still sin,  but their lives are not dominated by sin (Rom. 6:14).  The Christian  can confess, then, that "the Law is holy, and the commandment is holy,  righteous, and good" (7:12); "For we know that the Law is spiritual"  (7:14); and "I rejoice in the Law of God in my innermost being" (7:22).

 

The Secularism of the Dispensationalist View


Dispensationalists often complain that they really do not believe in salvation by works before the cross.  But the explicit  statements of leading  Dispensationalists and the logic of their system leads to  that conclusion:  1) The cross was an unintended detour in God's  plan; 2) the cross is a transition from pure Law to pure grace (not a transition from condemnation from the Law to obedience to the Law by God's grace); and 3) Old Testament ceremonial laws, such as animal sacrifices, continue in the Millennium, despite the fact that Christ's death is the fulfillment of those shadows.  Salvation by law is a secular idea.  It is adopted by all the world's false religions.  The Dispensationalists view of Christ's Kingdom Offer, that Christ intended to "save" the nation of Israel by military force and apart from redemption from individual sin is, in fact, the  Marxist "liberation theology" view of salvation.  Jesus declares such a view humanistic and Satanic (Matt. 16:21-23)!  Interestingly, Dispensationalist Dwight Pentecost describes the liberal view of the kingdom that Christ announced at His first advent as the same scenario as the Dispensationalist's:   "The liberal  view is that Jesus adopted the social and political aspirations of the people of His day and announced a kingdom in close conformity to that expected by Israel on the basis of the Old Testament  prophecies.  However, during the course of His life it became apparent  that Israel would not receive His offered kingdom and therefore He abandoned that expectation because of the opposition and subsequent discouragement."[32]  The only difference between this liberal view and Pentecost's own Dispensationalist view is that the Dispensationalists believes that the "political aspirations" were not just what the people expected and Christ adopted, but were aspirations based on what the  Old Testament prophets really foretold.[33]  Of course, the postmillennialist  believes that Dispensationalists have adopted the mistaken view that was held by many Jews of Christ's day, rather than what the Old Testament really teaches  (See Sect. I (cont.), "The Pharisaic Mistake Revived").

On the postmillennial view, all the covenants (Noahic, Abrahamic,  Mosaic, etc.) have as their object the redemption accomplished through Jesus Christ.  Thus they are covenants of one promise (Eph. 2:12).   Grace characterizes all the covenants, not just one, unintended dispensation.   The death of Christ was His means of establishing His kingdom, not postponing it.  Christ's wound was the means of crushing Satan's head  (Gen 3:15).  It was necessary for Christ to suffer in order to enter into His glory at the right hand of the Father in the heavenlies, as the King of kings, over all rule and authority in heaven and on earth (Luke 24:26; Eph. 1:19-23; Phil. 2:5-11; 1 Tim. 6:15).   His ascension was a coronation, not an exile.

It should be recognized, contrary to Dispensationalism, that even if everyone in Israel had accepted Jesus as the Messiah, Christ would still have had to die.  There can be no separation of the kingdom that Christ intended to bring, from redemption from personal sin, which could only have been accomplished  by the death of the sinless One.  "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God" (John 3:3).   By His death, He accomplished the work that He had intended from the beginning to do  (John 12:47, 17:4, 19:30; Luke 22:37).

 

Do you live by the Great Fear or the Great Faith?

Are you clothed in Rapture Robes, or the Whole Armor of God?

"The Great Fear . . . is a religious fact, and it is a manifestation of man's spiritual state.  As our Lord said, 'Men's hearts will fail them for fear'(Luke 21:26).   There is reason enough for that fear.  By their unbelief, men have destroyed the foundations of social order. . . .

The only thing that can counteract and overcome the deadly personal and social effects of the Great Fear is the Great Faith. . . .  The Great Faith manifests the power of God in history (John 1:12).  It declares, 'For whosoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith' (1 John 5:4).  The Great Faith declares, 'If God be for us, who can be against us?' (Rom. 8:31).  'Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us' (Rom. 8:37).  The Great Faith is not shopping for Rapture Robes but putting on the whole armor of God (Eph. 6:10-18)."

- Rousas John Rushdoony[34]


 


The Church and Israel

 

Dispensationalism teaches that the Church and Israel are two totally  different programs.  The Church is an alternative program, an unintended  parenthesis in God's plan for earthly Israel.  The Scriptures teach  different.  The Church was foretold in the Old Testament to be the fulfillment of the promises given to Israel.  Since the fulfillment has come, Old Testament Israel will never return (i.e., in the Millennium). 

 

Church foreseen by Old Testament Prophets

Luke 24:25-27 ________________________________________________________________________

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Acts 2:16-21 (Joel 2:28-32) ______________________________________________________________

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Acts 3:18 ____________________________________________________________________________

Acts 15:15-19 (Amos 9:11-12) ___________________________________________________________

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Acts 26:22-23 ________________________________________________________________________

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Luke 22:20 (Jer. 31:31-34) ______________________________________________________________

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1 Peter 1:10-11 _______________________________________________________________________

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"Mystery" doesn't mean fully  unknown: 1 Tim. 3:16 _________________________________________

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Romans 16:25-26  - The Gospel was a mystery to the nations, and but has now been made known "by the Scriptures of the prophets."

 


One Body, Same Promises

The Church has inherited the promises of Israel.  True believers from  the Old Covenant form one body with New Testament believers.

1 Peter 2:9-10 (Ex. 19:5-6; Isa. 61:6) ______________________________________________________

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Heb. 8:7-13 __________________________________________________________________________

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Heb. 12:22 ___________________________________________________________________________

Gal. 3:7,28-29 ________________________________________________________________________

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Phil. 3:3 _____________________________________________________________________________

Eph. 3:4-6 ___________________________________________________________________________

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Eph. 2:11-22 _________________________________________________________________________

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John 10:16 ___________________________________________________________________________

 

Rom. 11 - One tree, not two (God is not a polygamist; He only has  one wife); and the Deliverer comes out of Zion (v. 26), not to Zion  (cf. Heb. 12:22).

 

 

Unfaithful Israel divorced and God weds new bride, the Church

Unfaithful Israel was divorced for its continued adulteries (Matt. 5:32),  culminating in the murder of God's Son. 

Matt. 21:33-45 ________________________________________________________________________

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Jer. 3:8 ______________________________________________________________________________


Gal. 4:21-31 "Cast out the bondwoman" ___________________________________________________       _________________________________________________________________________________

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Rev. 18-19 Marriage supper after the harlot is destroyed (Lev. 20:10).   (See Sect. 3, "Jerusalem is the Harlot").   _______________________________________________________________________________

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Old Covenant ceremony obsolete

Heb. 8:13[35] _________________________________________________________________________

Heb. 7:17-28 _________________________________________________________________________

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Heb. 12:27 (with 9:11,24) _______________________________________________________________

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Jer. 3:16 _____________________________________________________________________________

 

Eze. 43:19-20 - Since temple and sacrifices are now obsolete, this temple and its sin-offerings must refer to the time after Ezekiel wrote this and before the New Covenant, or be a symbolic reference to the New Covenant period.[36]

 



The O.T. Foretold its Own Demise

 

Dispensationalists believe that the New Covenant prophesied in the  Old Testament (O.T.) was supposed to be a continuation of the O.T. ceremonial laws.   However, the O.T. predicted its own demise.  The O.T. predicted that  the New Covenant would bring a change in the ceremonial laws and the status of Israel.  The Old Covenant ceremonial laws which gave special status to the nation of Israel were never meant to be permanent, but  were a means to an end:  Christ and His trans-national kingdom (Gal.  3:23-29).  The main purpose of the book of Hebrews is to explain that  these changes were foretold in the Old Testament, especially in Psalm 110.   

 

The fact that the Messiah was the Lord God and a priest forever  (Psalm 110:1,4) indicates the end of the need for any human priests after Him (Heb. 1:5-13; 7:21-28).

The fact that He would be a priest who would sit down in God's  presence (Psalm 110:1), rather than continuously stand to offer sacrifices as the earthly high priest was required, indicates that the Messiah would offer a sacrifice that was final and sufficient (Heb. 10:1-3,  11-12).

The great Messianic passage of Isaiah 53 says that the sacrifice  would be Himself.  The priests of Levi were never commanded to kill themselves as a sacrifice, being were mere sinful mortals. Such a sacrifice and the subsequent resurrection were foreshadowed  by Abraham's offer of Isaac (Heb. 11:17-19); since Abraham is greater than Levi, this shows it to be a greater sacrifice than the Levitical  sacrifices (cf. Heb. 7:9-10).

Psalm 40:6-8 specifically says that, when the promised Messiah comes, the sacrifices required by the Law of Moses will not longer be desired by God, for they will be replaced by the offering of the body of the Messiah to God (Heb. 10:5-10).

The fact that He would be a king and priest in the order of Melchizedek  (Psalm 110:3ff), of the tribe of Judah (Gen. 49:10; Isa. 11:1), rather  than the tribe of Levi, indicates a change in the law concerning priesthood  (Heb. 7:11-16).

Even before Moses it was indicated that there was a priesthood  greater than the Levitical, because Levi's great patriarch Abraham gave a tithe to the priest-king Melchizidek (Heb. 7:4-10).


The writer of Hebrews says that Moses making the temple as a copy  of what was shown him on the mountain indicates that the heavenly  temple was the true one, the focus of true worship and truly effective  sacrifice for sin; consequently the earthly copy could be nothing  more than a temporary arrangement to instruct Israel about the true temple to come (Heb. 8:2, 5-6; 9:11, 24; 10:1).

That the high priest was himself sinful, offered the mere blood of animals, and had to do so continuously, indicates that the offerings did not truly take away sin and provide a way to holiness (Heb. 9:7-10, 10:1-4).

That only the high priest could enter God's presence in the Holy of Holies, and he only once a year, also indicated that the way to true holiness for God's people had not yet been revealed (Heb. 9:7-10;  cf. Matt. 27:51).

The O.T. foretold that God would make a "new covenant" that would  be "not like the covenant" made at Mt. Sinai (Heb. 8:8-12); thus the  word "new" indicates that the older covenant would become obsolete (Heb. 8:7-13).

The end of the importance of the Ark of the Covenant (Jer. 3:16).

The special holiness of the temple would end and break out into all creation (Exo. 28:36-38; Zech. 14:20-21).

Offerings to the Lord will occur throughout the earth, not the temple (Mal. 1:11; Isa. 19:19; cf. John 4:21).

Ezekial's clearly symbolic temple vision anticipates a temple that transcends the earthly temple (Eze. 40ff.; cf. Matt. 12:6, John  2:19-21).  (The symbolic nature of Ezekial's temple is indicated by:   the fact that it is a "vision," like Daniel's vision of beasts that represent nations; the tremendous size of the temple and city, too big to be actually built, shows the greater power and glory of the new age; the tribes' geometric arrangement is different from what  they were promised in Moses' time; water trickling from the temple becomes a great river; the river gives life to everything it touches.)[37]

The Gentile nations would become one with Israel in their standing  before God (Acts 15:7-19; Isa. 19:23-24).


The land of Israel was only a temporary means to the ultimate  fulfillment of God's promise to Abraham (Heb. 11:9-10, 13-16, 39-40),  which is Christ's heavenly kingdom, where He now reigns over all the  nations of the earth (Heb. 12:2, 2:5,8; Gal. 3:16,29).  And notice that the point of Hebrews 11 is not merely that the O.T. saints had great faith, but that they had faith that the promises made to them would have their ultimate fulfillment in Christ.

 

We see that the Dispensationalist view, that the new covenant promised  to Israel would be a continuation of the same ceremonial laws, is  totally without merit.  This refutes the Dispensational idea that  the Church Age is a postponement of the promised kingdom which will come when an Old Covenant Millennial Kingdom is established at the end of the Church Age.

 

 

Who Owns the Earth:  God or Satan?

Dispensationalists pick up on verses like, "the whole world lies in the power of the evil one" (1 John 5:19), "the ruler of this world shall be cast out" (John 12:31), and "you formally walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air" (Eph. 2:2), to say that Satan owns the earth, and therefore we should not try to redeem it, but only be concerned about getting to heaven. 

Psalm 24:1, however, says, "The earth is the Lord's, and all it contains, the world, and those who dwell in it."  Daniel 4:32 says, "the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind, and bestows it on whomever He wishes."  And this is before "the ruler of this world" was "cast out!"  God created the world.  He is the Landowner.  Satan is a squatter, allowed to prowl the earth because of Adam's rebellion.  But it was God's intention from the beginning to have the human race rule the earth under Him (Gen 1:26-28).  Jesus, King and Conqueror, came to put down the rebellion and restore the earth to the righteous (Matt. 5:5).  He came to "destroy the works of the devil" (1 John 3:8).  Jesus has "overcome the world" (John 16:33) and has been granted "all authority in heaven and on earth" (Matt. 28:18).  And "whatever is born of God overcomes the world" (1 John 5:4), for "greater is He that is in us then he that is in the world" (1 John 4:4). 

Jesus defeated the Devil definitively at the cross, and the Church will take back the world from the Devil as it carries out the Great Commission, until "the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea" (Isa. 11:9).  After a long period of universal blessing, "a short time" will be given the Devil to try to rule the world (Rev. 20:3).  But before he can launch his final attack on the saints, the crack of doom will sound, and the Devil will be cast out of God's creation for all eternity (Rev. 20:9-10).  Then the righteous will reign forever and ever in the new heaven and new earth (not different but renewed).[38]


 


Jesus is the True Temple

 

Dispensationalists claim that the Old Testament prophecies demand  that a literal temple be rebuilt in Jerusalem in the Millennium.   Even animal sacrifices will be performed there in accordance with  Old Testament law.  All other Christians believe that Christ is the  fulfillment of the Old Testament temple prophecies.  Christ is the  sacrificial lamb that ends all other animal sacrifices.  Dispensationalists  contemptuously call this "spiritualizing" the text.  However, that  Jesus is the true temple that replaces the Old Testament temple is  based on very literal statements in the New Testament.  In fact, the New Testament calls the material temple of the Old Testament a "shadow" or "mere copy of the true one" (Heb. 10:1, 9:24).  Jesus is the true  temple.  This is realization, not spiritualization.   

 

The earthly temple was destroyed forever and replaced by the true  temple:

John 2:19,21 _________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________

Matt. 12:6 ___________________________________________________________________________

Mark 14:58 __________________________________________________________________________

Matt. 21:42 __________________________________________________________________________

Matt. 27:51 __________________________________________________________________________

Matt. 24:2 ___________________________________________________________________________

Heb. 3:5-6 ___________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________

Heb. 13:10 ___________________________________________________________________________

 

In Christ dwells the fullness of God's glory, as the temple was that  dwelling place in the Old Testament:

John 14:1 ___________________________________________________________________________

John 14:9 ____________________________________________________________________________

Luke 2:32 ___________________________________________________________________________

Col. 2:9 _____________________________________________________________________________

Matt. 17:1-5 __________________________________________________________________________


_________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________

2 Peter 2:17 __________________________________________________________________________

Exodus 40:34 _________________________________________________________________________

 

Christ is the True Sacrificial Lamb:

John 1:29 ____________________________________________________________________________

Luke 22:20 ___________________________________________________________________________

Heb. 7:27 ____________________________________________________________________________

 

Christ is the True High Priest, replacing the Old Testament Priesthood:

Heb. 7:11 ____________________________________________________________________________

 

Christ is the True Manna:

John 6:51 ____________________________________________________________________________

Heb. 9:4 _____________________________________________________________________________

 

Christ is the True Source of Living Water:

John 4:14 ____________________________________________________________________________

John 7:37-39 _________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________

Eze. 47:12 ___________________________________________________________________________

 

Christ is the True Law-Word.  He writes His Law on our hearts, as He did  the Ten Words on stone, which was kept in the heart of the Temple, the Holy of Holies:

Heb. 8:10 ____________________________________________________________________________

Heb. 9:4 _____________________________________________________________________________

Matt. 5:17 ___________________________________________________________________________

John 1:14 ____________________________________________________________________________

Deut. 4:13 ___________________________________________________________________________

 


As members of Christ's body and in Christ, we are part of the True Temple:

1 Cor. 3:16-17 ________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________

1 Cor. 6:19 ___________________________________________________________________________

2 Cor. 6:16 ___________________________________________________________________________

Eph. 2:19-20 _________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________

1 Peter 2:5-9 _________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________

Rom. 15:16 __________________________________________________________________________

1 Peter 2:5 ___________________________________________________________________________

Rom. 12:1 ___________________________________________________________________________

Heb. 3:6 _____________________________________________________________________________

 

 

Will the Real Pro-Jewish Position Please Stand Up?

Some Dispensationalists have made the outrageous charge that postmillennialists are anti-semitic.[39]  They base this on the postmil's denial that the Old Testament Israel will reign over the other nations during the millennium and the denial that the modern unsaved Israel nation deserves special favor as "God's nation."  But saying that Jews and modern Israel are equal with other nations is not anti-semitic (cf. Isa. 19:24-25) - only placing them below others would be.  What matters is who honors God and His law.  Jesus called the unbelieving Jews of His day sons of the devil! (John 8:44)  Does that make Jesus an anti-semite?  Unsaved Jews today think Christians, including Dispensationalists, are anti-semites because we say that they must believe in Jesus to be saved.  But would it not be true racism to say that Jews will go to heaven just because they were born Jews? (cf. John 3:3-5; 8:31ff)  If a person is never born again, he is not one of God's chosen people.  The true Jew believes in Jesus (Rom. 2:29; Gal. 3:29).

In Nazi Germany Dispensationalists consented to the extermination of the Jews because they thought God had ordained it as a sign of the imminent return of Christ.  To oppose Hitler was to oppose God.[40]  Dispensationalists say that evangelistic success with Jews will be very limited until the Tribulation, during the Tribulation two-thirds of all the Jews will be slaughtered (Zech. 13:8) for no particular crime, and only then will the Jews be given their special status in the millennium.  According to postmillennialism, the Jews that were killed in the Tribulation around A.D. 70 were especially wicked and personally involved in killing the Son of God; now the Church is expectantly waiting, working and praying for the a massive revival among the Jews, which will bring in a period of unimaginable world-wide blessing (Rom. 11).  If you were a Jew, which scenario would you prefer? 


 

Section 3Section III

AppendicesAppendices