Archive for the ‘eschatology’ Category
Well I just posted the same type of message by JD Farag. The new caliphate ISISL or IS will be a short duration kingdom. As it forms the Lords anger is kindled and the day of the Lord is birthed. It is a day of wrath when God turns the whole world against Israel to avenge their passed misdeeds.
The time is short eloquently speaks Mr. Gary Stearman and if you do not know Jesus it is getting late to do so.
On this prophecy update JD Farag covers the Muslim ISISL that is sweeping Iraq. On a side note today Israel bombarded the Gaza in retaliation to the rocket attacks coming from this territory.
Some of the rockets were capable of reaching Tel Aviv which is a new development in the area.
It looks that the summer is getting very hot and not only for the weather.
The theme of these series of posts is the Bible and its proper interpretation. For those in the majority, me included, there is a lack of proper instruction in the right way to go for the study of scripture. If you are lucky to be born in Greece the Greek language is second nature to you and you do not have to worry about the proper translation of the New Testament as the original is in Greek.
The Old Testament was written in Hebrew and the same principle applies. If you lack the knowledge of Greek and Hebrew you have to rely on translations. Thanks to Pastor Bob he has devoted his time to the education and sharing of his vast years of accumulated knowledge and insight in the Word. This is not to say that us readers are not required to scrutinize his work against the Bible, but in my opinion he is a source of vast experience and knowledge. Thanks Pastor Bob.
Pastor Bob (4 May 2014)
“Bible Interpretation – 1“
All:Some thirty years ago I suddenly realized that our English Bible translations do not always do a thorough job in translating the Greek and Hebrew to English in a clear understandable way for us and thus, created or added to the confusion and cause more questions that go unanswered for us to say, “I got it now.”I am not a strict literalist and I will explain in this series. I thought the readers might enjoy a little clarity to understanding their Bible. The issue that divides so many people, churches, denominations, and society resolves to a single issue of what is commonly known in theological schools as “Hermeneutics”The larger issue is knowing what the “keys” are and “how to use them”. The most important Bible prophecy text is Daniel 9:24-27, and yet is so confused by those trying to interpret the Bible for others and themselves. In this series you will get a seminary or good Bible college level course on “Hermeneutics”. All without the exams and tests. Might I add at no dollar cost.The Bible is made up of five basic kinds of genre or writings:1. Narrative2. Epistles3. Wisdom Literature4. Poetry5. ProphecyUnderstanding the meaning is not as simple as so many seem to believe or postulate. The Apostle Paul in dealing with the issue of tongues (languages) in 1 Corinthians state “God is not the author of confusion”. (1 Cor. 14:33).According to Proverbs 25:2, “It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honor of kings to search out a matter.”Most of humanity’s problems arise out of communications problems. This I believe every Dove could agree upon. That said, it requires serious diligence, and fidelity to the Word of God.to glean its whole truth.The understanding of Scripture is far more complex than most folks are aware of or are ready to admit; and I suggest that doctoral division and differences often are the result of poor training in foundational hermeneutics. The Lord Christ Jesus gave to the disciples specific “keys” of interpretation, which they used in interpreting the Old Testament. Discovering “Apostolic Hermeneutics” in a day when men will not hear sound teaching demands a lot of patience.Hermeneutics is both a science and an art.God has spoken to His people the Israelites. Whenever man communicates, the exercising of interpretation, whether it is art, music, law, history, poetry, or literature; it calls for the ability of an enlightened informed interpreter.Consider the ways that God has spoken through His Word:Dreams (Numbers 12:6; Joel 2:28; Matthew 1:20)Visions (Numbers 12:6; Joel 2:28; Acts 2:17; Acts 9:10,12).Angel of the Lord (Genesis 18; Exodus 3; Judges 6 & 13)Similitudes (Deuteronomy 4:12,15,16; Daniel 10:16; Hosea 12:10; Romans 5:14; Hebrews 7:15)Figures (Romans 5:14; Hebrews 9:9,24; 11:19; 1 Peter 3:21)Type (Romans 5:14; 1 Corinthians 10:6,10)Shadow (Colossians 2:17; Hebrews 8:5; 10:1)Example (1 Corinthians 10:6; Hebrews 4:11; 8:5; 2 Peter 2:6; Jude 7)Pattern (Exodus 25:9; 1 Chronicles 20:11,12,19; 1 Timothy 1:16; Hebrews 8:5)Sign (Exodus 3:12; Isaiah 7:11,14; Matthew 12:39; John 20:30)The Holy Spirit (John 12:33; 18:32; 21:19; Acts 11:28; Revelation 1:1)Allegory (Galatians 4:24)Mystery (Ephesians 1:9; 3:9; 5:32; 1 Timothy 3:16; Revelation 1:20)Dark Sayings (Numbers 12:8; Psalm 49:4; 78:2; Proverbs 1:6; Daniel 8:23)Riddle (Judges 14:12; Ezekiel 17:2)Proverb (Proverb 1:6; Luke 4:23; 2 Peter 2:22)Parable (Matthew 13:3,10,13,34,35; Mark 3:23; Luke 8:10)Audible Voice of God (Genesis 3:8; Numbers 7:89; Deuteronomy 5:22-28; Psalm 103:20)Prophecy (Proverb 1:6; Luke 4:23; 2 Peter 2:22)Writings (Exodus 31:18; 33:16; 1 Chronicles 28:19; 2 Chronicles 35:4; Daniel 5:5)These are merely some of the examples and there are many more that we don’t obviously notice when studying the Word of God. There are over 200 linguistic and grammatical tools employed by God in the 1189 chapters of the Bible. Most people are totally unaware of the depth of the Scriptures. Very few notice the nuances of the text, the idioms and idiomatic expressions. God has encoded within the text constructs and truths that evade the average church going individual, and in many case, even the pastor they trust with their spiritual guidance.Most pastors today are not trained sufficiently to be good interpreters of the Word. This is the reason for the growing apostasy and heresy in the church, i.e., the prosperity gospel; name it and claim it; the word of faith movement; health, welfare, and prosperity; the emergent church movement, even the seeker friendly church; and others. They originated in a misuse or violation of Biblically sound hermeneutics. This is why you have the mega ministries of Benny Hinn, Joel Ostein, Paula White, Joyce Meyers, and a host too many to name of mammon leaches.The heart of interpretation the Bible is well established in the Old Testament surprisingly. There are between the Old Testament and New Testament, about 14 different words that speak to the discipline of hermeneutics.There are qualifications of an interpreter of the Word of God that one must have. Otherwise, hermeneutics becomes a source of confusion, rather than order. False cults have developed systems of hermeneutics by which the Word of God is misinterpreted, and heresy is forced out of truth, and darkness is presented as light.The Scriptures speaks about three categories:1. Legal interpretation2. False interpretation3. True interpretationExamples of:1. Legal (Acts 13:27; John 18:28; John 5:39,40)2. False (2 Corinthians 4:2; Ephesians 4:14; 2 Peter 3:16)3. True (Luke 24:27; Job 33:23; 2 Timothy 2:15)Remember, these are references to what we refer as the Hebrew Bible or Old Testament; the Scriptures of which the early church was reading.Predicated on whether the interest is there I will follow up with what defines the qualifications of an interpreter. There are many and they are all Biblical. I don’t want to do more unless the interest exists. I have served too many churches whose idea of Bible study was a mile wide and an inch deep.Today, hermeneutics falls into five basic categories of methods of interpretation, each having its own set of rules and principles. These are the:1. Allegorical method2. Mystical method3. Devotional method4. Rational method5. Literal methodIn this post we will examine the first category: the Allegorical method.The Allegorical method, originated through the union of Greek philosophy and religion. With the rise of philosophy, the Greeks began to realize that they could not interpret their religious writings literally and still hold to their philosophy. The Apostle Paul issued a warning about listening to the vain philosophies of men. If both were taken literally they would be contradictory. Because of their new found loyalties to the philosophies they had to conclude, in order to reconcile the two, that their religious writings meant something other than what they literally said. The method they created to do this was called allegorism. I used to teach once a year at a Bible college, a course on “Philosophy from a Christian Perspective”. I will share a little tidbit of knowledge about philosophy. Most of the known philosophers were recruited into the secret societies of the Illuminati, Freemasonry, Jacobins, or the Perfectobilists.The allegorical method presumes that beneath the plain and obvious sense of Scripture lies its true meaning. It believes that what the words of Scripture literally say are only external “chaff” which hides the true spiritual “what” of the Word. In allegoricalization, a passage with obvious literal meaning is interpreted using a point-by-point comparison, which brings out a hidden spiritual meaning not evident in the plain language of the text. This method has been applied to the whole of Scripture by allegorists both ancient and modern day. As an example, Pope Gregory, the so-called great interpreter of the book of Job said, “The patriarch’s three friends denotes the heretics; his seven sons are the twelve apostles; his seven thousand sheep are God’s faithful people and his three thousand hump-back camels are the depraved Gentiles.”Centuries have proven the allegorical method to be quite inadequate in the interpretation of Scripture. The error of this method begins at its foundational assumption: that what God said in plain language is not really what He meant.It is a dangerous method in that there are no Scriptural boundaries to guide its implementation. Without any doubt, this is the reason for the great variety of contradictory theological positions among allegorists. Through the allegorical method Scripture is interpreted apart from its grammatical-historical meaning. What the author was trying to plainly communicate is almost totally ignored and what the interpreter desires to say is forced upon it. An excellent example is Revelation 20 where we find the expression “a thousand years”. The allegorist rejects the idea of it means what it says. They argue their bloomers off saying it means simply a long time, an infinite period, but it certainly does not mean 1,000 years. Elsewhere, they will agree that it means 1,000 days, like in the passage where the Tribulation is 1,260 days.My response to this kind of babble is the highest form of ignorance is when you reject something you don’t know about.The Greek word “Chilioi” is that of a number for 1,000 and it represents a literal 1,000. In classical Greek it was used from the time of Homer and means “a thousand”. Herodotus used it of “a thousand” horses. As his demonstration of love for God, Solomon offered “a thousand burnt offerings” to the Lord, found in 1 Kings 3:4. In the New Testament Peter used “Chilioi” to describe the timeless dimension of God “one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” -(2 Peter 3:8). It is used six times in Revelation 20, and it is used three more times elsewhere in Revelation. It means there will be a millennium age and it will be a thousand years long, 1,000, What do you suppose that people do not understand?!Allegoricalism obscures both the literal and figurative elements in Scripture. By exalting the interpreter’s intentions and ignoring the author’s intended meaning, the allegorical method fails to reach the basic goal of interpretation and must be discarded.Extreme Typology borders on allegoricalization. However, it must be recognized that these two are not always synonymous. The interpreter must also be careful not to confuse the practice of allegorization with figures of speech called allegory.As I stated previously, this method is widely used by preachers and pastors in churches that trace their heritage back to the Reformation. Luther waged a war on behalf of the issue of “Justification by faith”, yet he brought with him a lot of baggage to Rome’s daughter churches. Chiefly among the baggage Luther passed on to the reformation churches that followed, the idea of “Replacement” Theology where the church replaced Israel in God’s Master Plan. He brought with him the entire method of allegoricalization of Scripture. This included Bible prophecy.I have made it clear that Steven “Mark” Wohlberg of the SDA cult violates the interpretation over and over to the point an individual is totally confused about dozens of topics. He is like trying to pick up mercury.All of the denominations that broke from Rome in 1541 and following, retained the allegorical method of interpretation. It comes as no real surprise when you have studied church history as to why there are so many divisions and it all results from a faulty hermeneutics. The ecumenical movement has further conflicted the Protestant churches which really don’t protest anything anymore. It has only been a decade since the Lutheran churches stopped calling the pope the antichrist. If my memory serves me correct, it was 1996 or 1997 when the official Lutheran position stopped calling the pope the antichrist.I’ve been debating JW’s and SDA’s for years. The day John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas, I was washing my new car and debating two JW’s. If you figure that it comes to fifty years and I’m not allegoricalizing a bit. That’s fifty years or 50!In hermeneutics we used the journalistic method of inquiry: who, what, when, where, and why? YOu can’t be fooled by the counterfeits when you utilize a standard of analysis. In my formal seminary education I was required to outline the particular book of the Bible being used in class. For example my course on the Gospel of Mark, the class had to outline the English text, using appropriate Greek grammatical tools and be able to defend specific points with the Greek nuances.When I was in elementary school, 7th & 8th grade English, I never thought or even imagined that I would have to use those skills ever again. I was so wrong. You couldn’t get church folks to come to this type of Bible study today even if you paid them to come.If you stay with me, I will cover the other four methods of interpretation, known as Hermeneutics. I just need to know there is an interest in your learning Hermeneutics. You will never be deceived by the “Replacement” Theology crowd ever again.There will be a “Millennium” and it will be a thousand years, 1,0000 years. Don’t be deceived those who reject the true meaning of the Greek word “Chilioi“.Pastor Bob
Pastor Bob (18 May 2014)
““Bible Interpretations -2″“
All:The interpretation of the Bible is by far one of the least understood disciplines outside of theological academia. Different institutions, Bible colleges and theological seminaries have their favorite approach to the discipline. In some cases these institutions have a predisposition to a particular denominational bent. Because most of the readers at this site are mostly untrained minds, I wanted to provide you an overview summary as well as a comprehensive foundation that will permit you to be able to hold your own when doing your own Bible study. Whether you study alone, with a family member, a spouse, or a small group, or perhaps a church group, what I share will facilitate your ability to offer guidance to others as well.
After all, if you don’t have meaningful and appropriate tools, the task, whatever it be, requires a lot more effort and expense of time, money, and resources. If you have ever done any carpentry or construction, you know what I am talking about. Trial and error is a poor teacher and a terrible waste of time, money, and resources.
In the first part of this series of posts, I noted the five most common categories in the discipline of Bible Hermeneutics. For review, these included:
1. Allegorical method.
2. Mystical method.
3. Devotional method.
4. Rational method.
5. Literal method.
Based upon what I shared in part one you can begin to see how people came to making assumptions, and the drawing of conclusions; and furthermore why we have such diversity about beliefs concerning the Bible and its content. This is especially true if one has not been given some training, as for example, a study Bible, or a competent teacher at church or your Sunday school. I covered a basic overview of the “Allegorical” method in part one. It is the preferred and most common found in among Catholics, as well, mainline Protestant denominations.
We turn now to the second method of interpretation of the Bible. The “Mystical” method is closely associated with the “Allegorical” method of interpretation. Some Bible scholars even view the two as synonymous. The origin of the “Mystical” method can be traced to the Jewish Hagadic method of exegesis (explanation by exposition and deductive logic). The “Mystical” method was developed during the inter-testamental period (the 400 years between Malachi and Matthew, a time in which God did not speak to the Israelites.
The “Mystical” method like the “Allegorical” method take discretionary liberties by reading into the text interpretations of meaning not plainly there. The “Mystical” method presumes that hidden beneath the surface of the words and their plain sense interpretations. Using the “Mystical” method, a passage of Scripture with obvious literal meaning is interpreted to have a number of exalted spiritual meanings. Because of the professed desired to reach beyond the letter into the spirit of the word much can be lost. The function of this method has also been called or referred to “Spiritualizing” the text.
History has proven the “Mystical” method to be misleading and of little value in the interpretation of Scripture. The error in its foundational assumption goes beyond that of the “Allegorical” method in that it often presumes that a Scripture may have any number of meanings, and it may be in fact true. In other words, in the authoring Scripture, it meant many things other than those he actually said. The objection to this is, that if God did not mean what He said, then how can the interpreter discover what He did mean? Instead of regarding Scripture as a sensible communication from God, mystics turn it into a riddle and make it say almost anything other than what God meant for it to say. Differing from the “Allegorical”, which tend to follow some comparison, spiritualizers are more erratic, not bound by any law. They each become a law of interpretation to themselves. By exalting the interpreter’s intentions and ignoring the author’s intended meaning, the “Mystical” method fails to reach the basic goal of interpretation and must be discarded if you intend to have clarity of communication.
The third method of interpretation is known as the “Devotional” method. Like the “Mystical”, the “Devotional” method of interpretation originated with the Hagadic style of exegesis of the same inter-testamental period. In seeking to apply the Scriptures to their lives, Jewish scribes began to interpret them in the light of their own life situations. In their zeal for application they produced faulty interpretations in church history.
This method had its greatest emphasis among the Pietists of the Post-Reformation period. Thus, it has also been known as the Pietistic method of interpretation.
The “Devotional” method believes the Bible was written for the personal edification of every believer and that the personalized hidden meaning can only be revealed by the shinning of a greater inner spiritual light. 1st John 2:2 is often used as a proof-text for this: “But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.” It searches the Scripture to discover meaning that will build up the spiritual life. In interpretation that which is most important is not what God said to others, but what He is saying to the interpreter. Thus, to interpret the Scriptures “Devotionally” is to search beyond their plain obvious meaning for spiritual meaning applicable to the believer’s life. As an example of “Devotional” interpretation, some well-meaning Christians have interpreted Matthew 10:9,10,19 to mean that in their evangelizing they should neither take any material provision nor make any spiritual preparation.
The “Devotional” interpretation is by and large the most common method of Bible study found in churches, men’s groups, women’s groups, and particularly – liberal churches.
Time has proven the devotional method to be quite dangerous as a system of interpretation. The chief danger of this method is that in seeking to apply Scripture personally the interpreter may ignore the plain literal sense of what God was saying to those in particular historical setting, and thus apply Scripture self-centeredly. The “Devotional” interpretation falls prey to “Allegorizing” or excessive Typology, and often become a substitute for requisites for exegetical and doctrinal studies of the Bible.
This does not rule out “Devotional” practical, and edifying use of Scripture. Certainly, this is a prominent part of and purpose of Scripture, and the Word of God is of no value to the believer unless it is applied to his/her life practically. The interpreter must recognize that Scripture is meant to be applied devotionally, but that this can only be properly done after it has been interpreted literally and historically. “Devotional” interpretation must also be harmonized with doctrinal interpretation.
You have no idea as to how these first three methods of interpretation influence and shape a church’s beliefs and doctrine. When I left the the United Methodist Church and went Non-Denominational, I candidated at many different churches in a three-state area. During that time I did pulpit supply, worked for funeral homes, served various short-term interim pastor positions. As a result of this experience, I have preached in some four hundred different churches. Just as an example, I candidated at a church, going through multiple interviews in the process. I pulled the plug on a “call” once I learned the church board did not permit their pastor to marry couples where one or both individuals had a previous divorce. It was part of their charter. I have experiences enough to know that no two churches are alike for hundreds of reasons.
Next time, I will deal with the remaining two methods of interpreting Scripture. Once we move past the most common methods of interpretation, we will begin to examine the many principles that enhance your understanding of God’s Holy Word. As you grow in the knowledge of the tools I share, you will find your vision and use of the foundational principles broaden your depth and perspective on God’s Word will expand exponentially.
Pastor Bob (1 June 2014)
““Bible Interpretation -3″“
All:There was an interesting post on ‘Prophecy News Watch’ on May 19th by a Kelly Givens. It was entitled “Why aren’t we teaching Christians how to study the Bible?” Her reflections and questions are both genuine and reflective of a serious problem that exists in Christendom. Kelly hit the nail on the head when she noted that many church leaders are about telling people what to believe about finance, gender roles, healthy relationships, purity, culture wars, but not about what it says, what it means, and how it should change them. She notes, “or perhaps we have assumed that kind of knowledge isn’t really that important.” Truth be known, most sermons today are not Biblically based or exposited.
This bright lady’s words are insightful, ‘So we continue to tell people this is what you should believe about marriage and this is what you need to know about doctrine and this is what your idolatry looks like. But because we never train them in the Scriptures, they have no framework to attach these exhortations to beyond their church membership or their pastor’s personality or their group leader’s opinion.”
She continues, “More importantly, they have no plumb line to measure these exhortations against. It never occurs to them to disagree with what they are being taught because they cannot distinguish between our interpretation of Scripture itself, having little or no firsthand knowledge of what it says.”
Another statement that speaks volumes, “but spending time wrestling with Scripture on our own should be paramount. And knowing how to spend time in the Word should be a lesson taught in every Christian church and a priority of every Christian leader to pass on to those whom God has given them to lead.”
Her words were music to my ears. In my years of pastoral ministry I was driven in impressing upon my folks it was just as important that they knew why they believed what they believed. The lady who authored the article went on to suggest some sources for people to draw upon, one of which she named was Kay Arthur of Precept Ministries. Kay Arthur is a rock solid expositor of the Word, advocate of the “Inductive Method” of Bible Study. Kay Arthur’s web site offers a library of Bible study material and I would encourage the reader to check out her site.- “Precept Ministries” if you are not familiar with her.
In this installment we want to look at the last two primary methods of understanding the Bible. Heretofore I have covered the first three of the most basic methods of hermeneutics.
The fourth method is known as the “Rationalistic” method. It has its seeds in ancient history. The “Rationalistic” method bloomed during the post-Reformation period and is still strong today. Through recent centuries the seat of rationalism has been in Germany, where the schools of higher criticism have attempted to undermine the authority of Scripture. There are many different methods that fall under this category because of their common characteristics. Following the Franco-Prussian War and the devastation of Europe, German schools of theology fell sway to people like Julius Wellhausen. He influenced a whole generation of church leaders that followed a path we know as the “Social Gospel” Emphasis was on “social justice” and “social welfare”, and it virtually transformed Europe and America as theologians influenced by Wellhausen filled the academic chairs of America’s seminaries.
It was the early 1920’s when new Bible colleges and seminaries were founded to counter the Wellhausen doctrines and returning focus to the message of making disciples for the Lord Christ Jesus. Wellhausen from the last few decades of the 19th century and well into the 20th century took the Christian church into what we know as “liberalism”. He and his followers could not bring themselve to believe that a loving God would have permitted the devastation of the continent that came with the Franco-Prussian War. He threw out the proverbial “baby with the bath water”.
He came up short in answering for himself the four significant questions we all have to ask sooner or later, that being: Who am I? Why am I here? Where am I going? and How am I going to get their?
The rationalistic method presumes that the Bible is not the authoritative inspired Word of God. It interprets Scripture as a human document in the light of human reason. With the rationalist, “nature is the standard, and reason is the guide.” If the Bible can be made to harmonize with the knowledge of the interpreter, then it is to be understood as meaning what it says, but if not, it is to be regarded as mythical, or used by way of accommodation to underpin a rational view of something else.
Thus, a sort of educated modern mentality is used to judge and interpret Scripture. As an example of rationalistic thinking/interpretation, and to explain away the supernatural, Lazarus is said to have gone into a coma rather than having died, and Jesus is said to have only appeared to have walked on water; to undermine the authority and the veracity of Scripture, historical events such as the crossing of the Red Sea and the Transfiguration of Jesus Christ are explained as either fanciful exaggerations or contrived myths. We now know this to be not true, and since the mid-1990’s that Exodus crossing of the Red Sea is factual and based upon the work of Dr. Lennert Moller, documented in his book ‘The Exodus Case’ Surprisingly, many of the Rationalist school of interpretation of the Bible do not want to even read the work of Dr. Moller because it is revolutionary scholarship. Prior to the publishing of his book the world did not have one stitch of evidence to prove the Bible story of the Exodus was factual. Belief of the Exodus event had to be strictly on or by faith! Pastors of this line of hermeneutics refuse to look at the evidence. I will share an example of my experience on this issue.
After leaving full time pastoral ministry in 1998, I went non-denominational after leaving the United Methodist Church. I pursued a non-traditional form of evangelism. Because my style was unique, it was difficult at first to open pastors up to it. I offered a presentation to churches within about a 75 mile radius of my home. The presentation is called “Mining the Diamonds and Nuggets of the Bible.” As I developed it and built the presentation it became such that I had to develop several formats for its presentation. Most pastors open to it were troubled by the length, saying their people would not sit for longer than 45-minutes. The reality was that people would not only sit for 45-minutes, they would sit for two hours, and then at the close, they would stay around for two more hours of questions and answers. The full-blown presentations were such that I had to do it in a variety of weekend or week long format almost like the old days when a revival service lasted a week or two. I have a 13-block program that proves the Bible is Truth, and is the Word of God.
The point of this is to note that in the Rationalistic method pastor’s mindset, the “Supernatural” is dismissed or rejected completely. The evidence relative to the Exodus crossing event, is so profound that the “Supernatural” cannot be denied. The key thing about the crossing at Yom Suph at the Waddi Watel, there is a underwater landbridge that spans the eleven miles across the Red Sea point where the Jews crossed over. The underwater landbridge is approximately 250 meters below the surface of the water, and on either side of the half-mile wide landbridge the water depths drops off between 5,000 and 8,000 feet in depth on the other sides of the landbridge. When you consider the landbridge portion is still 250 meters below the surface, you still have to explain away the issue of how could the water be parted to permit the crossing at all. Dr. Moller’s book is filled with hundreds of color photos, including those taken by underwater remote cameras showing chariot wheels, and other debrise of the Egyptian period of the time of the Exodus. As I said, until Dr. Lennert Moller’s research came to light, we had absolutely no proof of or evidence that the Exodus crossing was a historical event. You simply believed by faith.
No longer is that the case. What I discovered about pastors was they aren’t interested in knowing the whole story because it upsets their theological construct. They were so engrained with the “Rationalistic” concept of interpreting the Bible they were tripped up by what was obviously “Supernatural”.
Several generations have proven this method to be little more than the method of unbelief. In fact, rationalistic exegesis could be better termed “Exit-Jesus”. If you ever heard of the “Jesus Seminar” group that used to meet in the 1990’s; they used color balls to vote upon what Jesus said and what Jesus did not say, is a manifestation of this Rationalistic school of interpretation. When the Jesus Seminar group concluded their many meetings, they had concluded that most of what Jesus said, recorded in the Scripture, He never said!
Although claiming the title “Rational,” this method is probably the most irrational. It is virtually uninterested in what the writers literally said, but cares only for what the interpreter thinks they should have said. It exalts the god of reason above the authority of the Word of God. By it the interpreter sets himself up as the standard of truth and only sees value in Scripture as it confirms his conclusions. For the interpreter who views Scripture as the inspired Word of God, the rationalistic method in all its forms must be rejected.
My wife works as a part-time church secretary for a United Presbyterian church that has a woman pastor. Her constant theme is being an “open-accepting-loving” church. With her “tolerance is a virtue”. She is a case-study in why the UPCUSA is in rapid decline. The UPCUSA headquarters are in Louisville, KY. Several years running now they have announced staff layoffs. Things are so bad, that last year the UPC moved out of the National Council of Churches facilities in NYC, and the NCC itself is in rapid retreat for its very existence. It moved last year out of New York to a United Methodist office in Washington, DC as I recall.
The fifth basic method of Hermeneutics is the “Literal” method. In terms of Scripture, the Literal method of interpretation of the Bible is the oldest in existence. It is said to have originated with Ezra, and called the father of hermeneutics. The progress of its history tracks through the Palestinian Jews, Jesus Christ, the Apostles, the School of Antioch, the Reformers, to the Fundamentalist Conservatives of today.
The “Literal” method of interpretation assumes that the words of Scripture in their plain evident meaning are reliable; that God intended His revelation to be understood by all who believe; that the words of Scripture communicate what God wants man to know; and that God based the communication of Truth on the regular law of governing written communication, thereby intending for it to be interpreted by those same laws. This is not to deny the Holy Spirit’s involvement in both the production and interpretation of the Bible.
The expression “literal sense” may be defined as: The usual, customary, and socially accepted meaning conveyed by words or expressions in their particular contexts. It involves that which a particular word meant to the original writers and readers. It recognizes that a word may have different meaning in different contexts and thus be interpreted in light of its contextual usage. It contends that though a word may possibly have several meanings, in any one particular usage it generally will have but one intended meaning. This method is also called the Grammatico-Historical method because, in order to determine the normal and customary usage of Bible language, the accepted rules of grammar and rhetoric must be considered and the historical and cultural aspects of Bible times must be taken into consideration.
The literal sense does not exclude the figurative aspects. Some interpreters have used the term figurative in opposition to the term literal, as though the figurative meaning of words were opposed to the literal sense. However, in that figurative language is a part of normal conversation, it also is encompassed by the literal system of interpretation. In fact, the figurative such a idioms, idiomatic expressions are quite common in the Greek and Hebrew. This is an aspect of understanding the Bible that few Christian have any knowledge of, something that comes from who they learn the Bible from. Ferreting out the “hidden in plain site” meanings is a challenge to the pastor, as a result of inadequate training or the absence of learning in the Biblical languages. It becomes a real challenge because Bible colleges and seminaries simply have downgraded curriculum and excluded this aspect of Bible teaching. You have people who attack the “Hebrew Roots” movement of teaching the Torah. We have much to learn, however, it does not imply we are to become like Jews of old in order to benefit from the rich material available to the student of the Word. Recently, Jim Bramlett posted a post that linked to a video revealing the Virgin Birth in the Hebrew text. If you haven’t viewed it, do so, go back to the posts of Memorial Day weekend and take advantage of the deeper study of the Hebrew text. We can benefit greatly, despite that few of us have the functional working use of the Hebrew the speaker has. I have been studying Hebrew and Greek for thirty years and it would likely be at least thirty more years before I could teach as the gentlemen on the video that Bro. Jim linked the Doves to.
The Literal method does not exclude the spiritual meaning. Some interpreters have used the term spiritual in opposition to the term literal as though the spiritual meaning of Scripture were opposed to its literal meaning, Under the title of the “Spiritual” method, some interpreters have “spiritualized” Scripture to mean something other than what it says. The Literal method, while rejecting “spiritualization”, does admit the spiritual substance and nature of the Scriptures. The criticism of those that “spiritualize” Scripture is due to their extending it to virtually mean every word and passage, when that is obviously incorrect. The fact is the Bible is a spiritual book conveying spiritual Truth and therefore must be spiritually interpreted. This can be done by accepting as sufficient the luminated literal meaning of the words.
The Literal method does not exclude application. Some interpreters confuse interpretation with application. The task of the literal interpretation is first to discern the meaning of God’s Word, and then, upon that basis, to apply it. A general rule of the literal method is: “There is one interpretation, but many applications.” While as I understand the Bible, in particular, any book, this is not a hard and fast rule. I say this in light of the deeper understanding the Hebrew “PARDS” concept of unpacking the text. This is a subject for later explanation once we have got enough foundational understanding under our belts.
The Literal method does not exclude depth of meaning. In that God is the virtual author of Scripture, some Truths therein are patent, outward, and obvious, while in others are latent, inward, and hidden. Historical events do have spiritual significance, like the Exodus, and certain figures of speech, such as Types, Symbols, Parables, and Allegories, do have hidden meanings is solidly based on the earthly sense of the words and necessitates that interpretation remain within the proper boundaries of Truths plainly revealed in God’s Word.
In conclusion, the Literal method stands out among the rest as the only sound, safe, sensible approach. It is much maligned, largely because it is so correct in bringing people to a place where they can know God. What else could we expect from God’s nemesis Lucifer, but to attack anything that would lead us to the Father, through the Son. Each of the other methods have proven inadequate in that they lack God-given and well-defined boundaries.
As you can see, from learning the five basic methods of interpretating Scripture is not an art nor a science, one or the other situation, it is both a science and an art. Many people will argue for one or the other, but one has to maintain a balance or tension, such as to avoid falling into a trap. We have looked at the major theological interpretative methods used by the Christian world. I was going to take up next the more controversial methods being used throughout the church around the world, but upon second thought, I decided to side step that topic for later. Most of those came on the scene in the last seventy years or so. This includes the “Word-Faith” movement; the Prosperity movement, the “Charismatic” movement, the Purpose Driven” movement, the “Emergent” church movement, the “Kingdom-now” movement, its sister the “Dominion” movement, and so many more that you should be aware as not to be duped or drawn into cult-like groups. I do hope this series of posts are helpful in broadening your understanding of how the Bible is understood by different people and for the reasons they do so.
God bless until the next time,
Pastor Bob (15 June 2014)
““Bible Interpretation -4″“
All:In my next post I was going to deal with the history of hermeneutics in the universal church from Pentecost forward, but I thought we would begin with an ancillary aspect of this topic first, because of the times in which we are living and the interest in Bible prophecy, that being the churches understanding of how prophecy has been understood over the centuries. Everyone is interested in prophecy, and we are aware of how the SDA cult uses this topic as a fishing expedition to catch the innocent.
We live in what I consider to be the culmination of the ages. Following this church history thread we will broaden our understanding in the larger panorama of how the church understood its relationship throughout time in history. Our word “history” is really [His-Story]. I would gamble that college history majors are oblivious to this fact since secular academic institutions filter out any references to Christian roots of culture.
Most Christians are unaware of the diversity of opinion, understanding, and interpretation of history of prophecy. I majored in history at a Christian college as part of my pre-ministry program at a United Presbyterian college. Historically, the church from the time of Pentecost has went through major shifts, even being whipsawed at times, from the forces of tyranny and geo-political events from wars and its aftermath.
The heart of the matter of one’s view regarding Bible prophecy is the system as an integral part of hermeneutics, or in the principles upon which Scripture is interpreted. Since the Bible claims to be verbally inspired, and every word is God-breathed, it must be interpreted according to the rules of grammar and context, and in complete harmony with the rest of the inspired record. 2 Peter 1:20 reads, “No prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation.”
Unfulfilled prophecy must be treated in a similar fashion to fulfilled prophecy, and this means that a literal interpretation is the only legitimate method. Symbolism in Scripture has its God-given interpretation. No Scripture should be taken allegorically without specific Biblical evidence, that God has intended it as such.
Historically speaking, church historians will acknowledge that the predominant view among Christians in the Post-Apostolic period of the second and third centuries AD was that Christ Jesus’ coming would be Pre-Millennial, and that He would establish a literal kingdom on Earth lasting 1,000 years.
Philip Schaff, in his ‘History of the Christian Church’, vol. 2, page 614, notes that Barnabas, Papias, Justin Marytr, Irenaues, Turtullian, Methodius, and Lactantius who wrote from the late 2nd century to the early 4th century, ALL held to a literal 1,000 year reign of Christ Jesus following His Second Coming. It was also generally held that just before Christ Jesus came there would be a time of great tribulation during which the Antichrist would reign. I would add that Dr. Schaff, himself, was an opponent to pre-millennialism, actually reflective of the time in which he wrote.
There is no doubt that Irenaeus (102-202 AD), a disciple of Polycarp, who in turn had been a disciple of the Apostle John were Pre-Millennial. In chapter 29 of his book ‘Against Heresies’, Irenaeus wrote: “When in the end the church shall be suddenly caught up from this, it is said, there will be tribulation such as has not been since the beginning of time, neither shall be… There is therefore in the beast, when he comes, a recapitulation made of sorts of iniquity…”
There is no doubt that Iranaeus firmly believed in the Pre-Millennial return of Christ Jesus, and it could be argued that he believed the church would be caught up before the Tribulation. Such evidence refutes the disingenuous attempts by some to deceive people into thinking that the concept of a Pre-Tribulation Rapture began with Margaret MacDonald and Charles Darby in the mid-to-late 1800’s. That is a lie, a deception, and an intentional piece of disinformation to demean as well as detract from the Pre-Millennialism/Dispensationalism approach of understanding the Bible.
The issue of whether the church would go through the Tribulation did not figure prominently in the second and third centuries AD writings.
The fierce persecuton of the Post-Apostolic period suggest that the church would go through the terrible time. This was known to church historians as the “ten pagan persecutions”, period and believers might well be excused for thinking the Tribulation had already begun. In the Apostle Paul’s day the Thessalonian church thought that they were going through the Tribulation and Paul had to correct their wrong teaching -(2 Thessalonians 2:2-3). The Apostolic New Testament writers of the first century, however, clearly taught that the Rapture would occur before the Tribulation.
It wasn’t until the late 4th century that the literal interpretation of Scripture began to be replaced by an allegorical interpretation which “spiritualized” the great promises made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as well as Moses and David. The nation of Israel was seen to be the church in the Old Testament, and all prophecies of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, and Zechariah, which foretold a literal Messianic Kingdom ruled by the Lord Jesus from the throne of David in Jerusalem, were applied in a symbolic way to the church. You can understand the misapplying of Scripture because where earlier believers saw themselves in relation to the prophecies.
This change in outlook was influenced by the events within the Roman Empire after 313 AD when Emperor Constantine gained control over the church. Christianity became a “state” religion of the Roman Empire. To many it appeared as if the Kingdom of God had arrived, as the Emperor appointed bishops, presided over church synods, and determined orthodox doctrine. No longer did the church leaders see the coming of the Lord as the hope of the church, but drunk with ecclesiastical authority and power they interpreted the promises of a literal kingdom, yet to be fulfilled, as the union of church and state.
Augustine was not the first to deny a literal kingdom on earth. Origen (230 AD) allegorized Scripture and attacked the “Chiliasts” who held to a future literal kingdom of Christ of 1,000 years on earth. Origen also taught that Christ was a created being, and mingled Greek philosophy with Christian teachings.
Around 360 AD, Dionysius of Alexandria “prepared the ground for the rejection of the book of Revelation” at the Council of Laodicea. He also allegorized the Scriptures.
Even after the fourth century there were still those who held to the Pre-Millennial return of Christ, but Christendom was sinking into apostasy and the predominant view became Amillennial.
Augustine was initially Pre-Millennial prior to writing his book, ‘The City of God’, between 413 and 426 AD. He referred to others of his time who continued to hold onto the Pre-Millennial view.
However, the grand vision of the Roman Empire as the Kingdom of God was shattered, for within a hundred years Imperial Rome imploded from corruption from within, and the last emperor finally vacated the throne in Rome in 476 AD. The eastern portion of the Roman Empire continued on with Byzantium (Constantinople) as its capital, until it was overrun by the Ottoman Turks in 1453 AD.
As Rome crumbled before barbarian hordes a different explanation was required by the official church that has departed from the absolute authority of Scripture. If the Kingdom of God was not the secular Roman power, then it must be, in a “spiritual” sense, be expressed as the Catholic church.
Around this time Augustine published his famous book, ‘The City of God’ (413-426 AD), in which he “spiritualized” the literal promises of a Kingdom of God on earth and applied them to the church. Later he added the teaching that one church should enforce adherence to its doctrines, and this teahing gave rise to the Inquisitions and the Crusades. The Roman Catholic church accepted Augustine’s philosophy of history, and Protestant reformers likewise accepted the Amillennial (no Millennium) view expressed in ‘The City of God’ , except that they held the view that the Kingdom of God was the Reformation church.
As a history major in college, I had to read Augustine’s works and then again in seminary. Placing yourself in a Medieval Europe setting it becomes quite evident how powerful the thinking of Augustine quickly took over the church. Protestant Reformers added to Augustine’s “Amillennial” view and doctrine that the Papacy was the Antichrist. Having done this, they then had to explain the book of Revelation, inserting the Papacy into the 13th chapter of Revelation. Then the chapters before and following needed a historical explanation. Thus arose the historist view of prophecy, which endeavored to see the history of the Middle Ages described in the book of Revelation. The unscriptural “year-day theory” was thus used to explain all of this.
Basically, historicism denies the Antichrist will be an individual and asserts that the “man of sin” is really the Papacy (a system). It dates the rise of the Papacy to secular power at 538 AD in the days of Pope Virgilius, and then count 1,260 years (instead of days) to 1798 AD, when Rome was captured and made a French Republic and Pope Pius VI was taken a prisoner to France, where he died in 1799 AD. This was supposed to be the deadly wound of the Beast which was healed in Revelation 13:3. Seventh Day Adventists hold a very similar view.
>From this information, again we see absence of clarity of Bible prophecy with each generation of Christians and it aids in our understanding of why different ages believed differently.
The start date of Papal secular rule is generally regarded as 538 AD, however, some historians disagree. Many reputable secular historians place the commencement as the reign of Pope Gregory the Great (590-604 AD), because he assumed temporal power to drive out the Lombards who had attacked Rome in 592 AD; prior to this he saw the church as subservient to the state.
The SDA movement began with a monumental blunder using the year/day theory. William Miller claimed the 2,300 days that the Temple was to be defiled by Antiochus Epihanes (171-165 BC) was a prophecy of Christ’s Second Coming. He thought the “70 weeks” prophecy of Daniel 9 was part of the prophecy of Daniel 8, and got the wrong start for the 70 weeks at 457 BC, instead of 445 BC. He then calculated 2,300 years from 457 BC to 1843 AD. When Christ did not appear, he (Miller) changed the date to Autumn of 1844 AD. When this date failed he admitted his error, however, Ellen G. White, unwilling to admit failure of the year/day theory, claimed the calculations was correct but that the prophecy really meant that in 1844 Christ would enter the sanctuary in the Temple in heaven to begin an “Investigatory work” which will continue unil the Second Advent.
Between 1844 and the Second Coming Christ is supposed to be checking all records to see who is worthy of the first resurrection. Her blasphemous doctrine of the sanctuary teaches that our sins are being transferred to the sanctuary in heaven and Christ will cleanse it when He takes our sins and places them on Satan, who will ultimately be punished for them! This “make it up along the way” theology became a face-saving explanation of a massive blunder in prophetic interpretation and had been a complete denial of the substitutionary work of Christ who has already borne our sins in His body on the cross! This is one of several reasons that places the SDA’s in the category as a cult. The SDA cult see Ellen G. White as God’s prophet.
In all of the attempts to explain history, church leaders, repeatedly, failed to go back to the Word of God. They misunderstood the Pilgrim nature of the church and envisioned a state church. They were blind to God’s great plan for the nation of Israel, and totally missed the Blessed Hope – the Rapture of the church. An honest exegesis of Romans 11 and Ephesians 3 could have opened their eyes.
Historicism also confuse the Harlot woman – “MYSTERY BABYLON THE GREAT” of Revelation 17, with the Beast. Religious Rome or the Papacy, RIDES Political Rome, and is utimately destroyed by the Antichrist and his ten kings in the second half of the Tribulation -(Rev. 17:16 to 18:24). THE WOMAN CAN’T BE THE BEAST.
The Reformers opposition to Rome influenced their understanding to such a degree that identification of the Papacy as Antichrist became the main feature of their eschatology. If they were right, how do you explain the last two hundred years of Roman Catholicism? Why is the Beast’s “deadly wound” at the END of Papal dominance (1798) and not BEFORE the 1,290 days as indicated in Scripture?
Two factors need to be borne in mind:
1. The Reformers were emerging from the terrible “Dark Ages”, and they saw the need to be justified by faith alone, and that the Scriptures was the sole authority in matters of doctrine, they nevertheless carried much of the baggage of Rome into the Reformation: Infant baptism, the priestly system of church government, the union of church and state, vestments, anti-Semitism, and many other relics of Rome went unchecked by the Reformers.
2. Prophetic truth was sealed up until the last days, and it was difficult for many Christians through the centuries to appreciate just how far they had progressed in God’s plan. Daniel did not underestimate his own prophecies, and was told: “Shut thou up the vision“, for it shall be for many days … and I was astonished at the vision, but none understood it.” -(Daniel 8:26-27). At the conclusion of his book, he writes: “I heard, but I understood it not….and he said, go thy way, Daniel: for the words are sealed up till the time of the end
.” -(Daniel 12:8-9).Since we are approaching the end of the age we expect that prophetic truth will become clearer now than it was five hundred years ago. This is especially so in light of such amazing event as the re-estabishment of the nation of Israel, the revival of the Roman Empire (EU), the fundamentalist Islamic revolution, the rise of the USA (“Young Lions” of Tarshish) as a world power, the population explosion, world travel, etc.
The Amillennial and historical interpretations of Scripture were the product of the apostasy of the Middle Ages. The modern era Amillennial teaching is largely linked to Roman Catholicism’s Augustinian thinkers and Calvinistic Reformed Theology, and is particularly antagonistic towards Dispensational Pre-Millennialism.
In the 1700’s non-conformist Christians began to understand the prophetic significance of the seven letters to the seven churches of Revelation 2 and 3. They saw themselves as the Philadelphia church, and taught the Pre-Trib Rapture. The period produced an abundance of preachers and teachers, that foresaw the restoration of Israel and their conversion during the Great Tribulation. The Blessed Hope of the church again has burned brightly, and multitudes now listened for the imminent trumpet call, when the church will be “caught up” to meet the Lord in the air before the Day of the Lord.
The Reformation had made the Scriptures available to the everyday man in the street, and Christians could now search “the scriptures daily, whether these things were so.” -(Acts 17:11). As early as 1560 AD the Geneva Bible taught in the marginal notes of Romans 11 the future conversion of Israel. Ian Murray stated that from the first quarter of the 17th century, belief in a future conversion of the Jews became common place among the English Puritans.
The 1700’s and 1800’s were centuries of great revival and missionary activity. The Word of God was highly esteemed and believed in its literal sense. The result was that the prophecies concerning Israel’s return to the Land and the establishment of Christ’s Kingdom on earth came to the forefront. In addition, there was a clearer understanding of the true nature of the church as the body of Christ. The old ecclesiastical system was seen to be contrary to what the Word taught. Once believers distinguished between the Jew, the Gentile, and the Church, and understood the priesthood of believers, the whole Pre-Millennial teaching became obvious. Premillennial teaching went hand-in-hand with vigorous evangelism, tract distribution, and personal witnessing. The thought that Christ could come at any moment to snatch away His bride, the church, before the Tribulation begins, motivated the church for evangelism.
Beginning around the early 1900’s there came a new influence into the church known as Pentecostalism, or Charismatic Christianity. What people seem to miss is the root of this came out of Catholicism and it eventually spread to all denominations as well. The main feature of this movement is to receive direct revelation from God, either by speaking in unknown gibberish, receiving a word of knowledge, or seeing visions. This is what are called extra-Biblical revelation, that is, revelation from outside the Bible. The Charismatic movement, initiated by the Jesuits in contemplative prayer, and non-traditional church music, has provided the underpinnings of a global universal church for which Rome will sit atop.
The prophecies that have been recorded from such experiences frequently proclaim a system of eschatology which is in conflict with sound exegesis of Scripture. One would be consistent with what had already been revealed in the Word, and would be in agreement with each other. Experience shows that this is not the case. Such prophecies are by false prophets and are part of the last days deception. The Bible warns against adding to, or taking away from the words of Bible prophecy. “If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written of in this book.” -(Revelation 22:18).
At the time of the Reformation, a Spanish Jesuit of Seville, Alcazar, taught the Preterist view which holds that all the prophecies of the book of Revelation were fulfilled in 70 AD, and that Nero was the Antichrist. Historians suggest that this also was to counter the Reformation teaching that the Papacy was the Antichrist. To support this teachng, modern-day Preterists claim an early date for the writing of the book of Revelation; after all, Revelation could not be written in 96 AD if it foretold the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. There is a big problem with Preterism, but mot people in the church could be deceived. No one reads those old writings of the early church fathers anymore.
Irenaeus (120-202 AD) states that John wrote the book of Revelation at the end of the reign of Emperor Domition, which places it at precisely 96 AD. He states that John lived to the reign of Emperor Trajan who began to rule in 98 AD. Other writers, namely Eusebius and Jerome, confirm and agree with Irenaeus.
There has been a revival of Preterism teachings in the last twenty-five years. It claims that Jesus foretold His return in the days of the Apostles, yet John spoke of Christ’s future return after the other apostles had died. If Jesus returned during the days of the apostles there is no recorded historical documents to that effect. None!
It would have been noted somewhere in the historical record. There is an abundance of secular writings of the era, far more than what you might think. It is hard to imagine that Christ Jesus’ returned in the first century AD without so much as a byline by Roman, Jewish, or Christian groups.
The awful destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD is seen by Preterists as the Great Tribulation, although Scripture clearly states that Christ Jesus would come “immediately after the Tribulation”. -(Matthew 24:29-30). It is hard to see how anyone could consider such a view today. The main thrust of the Preterists seems to be that of attacking the Dispensational theological hermeneutic.
The Pre-Millennial view is the only system of eschatology which consistently follows these hermeneutical principles. Amillennialists, who hold to a verbally inspired Bible, take a literal approach to prophecies of Christ’s first coming, yet when they come to eschatology they abandon these essential rules and then wander in the maize of speculation, imagination, and spiritualization. The allegorical method is used to support their eschatology; it permits the twisting of Scripture to reinforce a preconceived system.
Pre-Millennialism is not only the historic faith of the church, but it is also the only view that rightly dividing the Word of Truth.
Pastor Bob (22 June 2014)
““Bible Interpretation -4 (Addendum)”“
All:In Part 4 of this series of posts I need to clarify an aspect of the 20th century Pentecostal and Charismatic movement.
It is always problematic about how comprehensive to be, what to include or exclude. If you get too detailed, interest may be lost, and if you get too brief, detail can be lost.
The Greek word for “tongues” in Acts 2 is “ethnos” or languages. It is not the undecypherable ramblings associated with many pentecostal or charismatic groups. There is another Biblical word for a heavenly prayer language, “glossolalia” which is a more correct rendering elsewhere it is found in Scripture. The text in Acts 2 refers to the former when those present at the delivery of the Holy Spirit baptism, they spoke in up to 15 different languages, representative of areas from where they came. Paul talks of the latter as somehing that should be done in private. Its not to be used as a sign of super-spirituality, as often found in the United Pentecostal Church denomination.
Visions, real or fake, cannot be verified and this is always subject to legitimate debate. Ellen G. White of the SDA group claimed her visions were ALL from God and yet every prophecy she made in her lifetime was totally false or proven to be in error sooner or later in her lifetime. A Biblical prophet had to be 100% right, and just one mistake disqualified a person as a prophet of God in the Bible. Such a strict requirement obviously was for very good reasons.
Words of knowledge, in my understanding, is valid and can be validated by the coming to pass of what ever that word of knowledge is or given. I have experienced in my life time, many times, a word of knowledge. We associate this with what we know as “Intuition”. I find when this happens to me a bit scary, because most of us do not operate in the spiritual world as we ought to, largely due to the distractions and our busy world of activities. I usually receive them [word of knowledge] between 3 am and 5 am. I try to write them down immediately when awaken because after two or three hours it is easy to forget.
In modern day parlance, we refer to this as listening to the “right” brain hemisphere for men. Women have a greater gift of “Intuition” because of the physiology of what takes place at birth on the 8th day of delivery of the male child. 80% of the sensory wiring between the “left” and “right” hemispheres of the brain are burned off when the male baby is bombarded with Prothombrin or Vitamin K (a blood clotting agent), which actually prevents a male child from bleeding to death as a result of circumcision conducted at a Jewish ceremony, which had to be performed precisely on the 8th day following birth. As a result of all this, the male child is “brain-damaged” from this event in terms of being able to later in life to listen to “Intuition”. I’m serious, we are “brain-damaged”. Female babies do not experience this flooding of the body” with Vitamin K and therefore retain all the fibers that connect the Left and Right hemispheres of the brain. This also explains the ability of women to be better multi-taskers, whereas men are not good multi-taskers. Men have to train themselves to learn to tap into the right brain where “Intuition” originates. Unless a male is trained to learn how to tap into their Intuition they go through life unaware. It can be done and takes years of discipline to do. Circumcision in the Bible was a sign or symbol between God and man/woman relationship. It was to serve as a reminder of the spiritual relationship that exists between humans and their Creator. Today, circumcision has a whole set different set of meanings and purpose.
Watchman Nee, the home missionary to China back in the early 1920’s wrote a book called ‘The Spiritual Man’ and he devoted a whole chapter, some 40+ pages on the topic of Intuition being the means by which God spoke to man. I can tell you that whenever I failed to pay attention to intuition, I got in a heap of hot water. Every time I paid heed to the intuitional tug I was blessed. Some may call it conscience, but none the less this is a medical fact as to why men really need a help mate.
Everything in the Bible regarding the phenomena as to what is heard from God, required witnesses to validate such experiences as being genuine.
Ellen G. White and her cult followers have been responsible for putting guilt trips on millions without substance simply because she declared she had heard or received a vision or a dream from God. It is a known fact that all of her prophecies were totally wrong. The SDA church/cult considers her words, and writings, to be equal to Scripture.
My point is that all too often people listen to the messenger, but fail to practice the principles of Acts 17:11. Remember, false teachers like Benny Hinn take in as much as $475-million dollars a year, from people naive enough to believe that he is a prophet of God. The Bible is our plumb line, not our emotions. Always test the spirits from where such dreams, visions, words of knowledge, come from.
Pastor Bob (29 June 2014)
““Bible Interpretation -5″“
All Doves:My last post in this series focused on how the universal church dealt with interpreting the prophetic message of the Bible over the past two thousand years. My focus was narrowed in scope to enable the reader to understand a bit of church history. Where we stand today provides us a 20/20 view when we look backwards in time. This look back is important because matters of interpretation have not always been with such clarity when you understand the world as it existed, in any time period of the past. The world is not static and particular religious views were not made nor did they exist in a vacuum. Church leaders made decisions, good or bad, based upon their perceptions of their world around them. This is evident in the issue today when it comes to “Replacement” theology.
It is equally obvious in the Roman Catholic Church, where the church formally never admits it is wrong. This is not to say the Vatican may issue an apology about clergy-abuse of children and women but it never really changes, or initiates policies and practices to reform or rectify its past and even present wrongs concerning abuse. It still continues to move its priests accused of molesting children, youth, and women. It has paid out in legal damages, nearly $2-billion, over the past fifteen years, yet seek to paper-over these issues instead of coming clean and reporting the perpetrators to law enforcement. Many cardinals flat out state they have no responsibility to report to the civil authorities the heinous acts of their priests.
History serves to show the origin, progress, and development of Hermeneutical principles. It gives as well, a working knowledge of the different periods, schools of thought, and methods of Biblical interpretation. In addition, it shows what external forces and internal pressures were brought to bear upon the interpreters of the Scriptures.
Without question, communications can become a nightmare between two parties over something very minor. I see that when I watch the local police blotter they call the local news. How, much more, communications has muddied the waters of faith when most clergy today are not even trained in the Biblical languages. Today, perhaps 5% of clergy are fluent in Greek and Hebrew. Most of them could not conjugate a Hebrew or Greek verb if their paycheck depended upon it. And yet people will continue to argue, in spite of the overwhelming evidence that they are right concerning the three occurrences of “He” of Daniel 9:27, even when the evidence clearly shows they are completely wrong.
One may look at the search by God’s people through the centuries to discover what God meant by what He said. A knowledge of the history of Biblical Hermeneutics can be a valuable safeguard, and at times, a guideline, in helping the interpreter avoid the problems faced by previous interpreters. The more one understands the proper principles of interpretation, the better qualified he/she will be able to handle the Word of God as an interpreter of the Divine Communication.
Since the fall of man he has by nature been spiritually and mentally dull concerning the things of God. The Scriptures attest to this fact: Isaiah 6:9-10; Matthew 13:13-17; Jeremiah 5:21; Ezekiel 12:2; 2nd Peter 3:16; Luke 24:45; etc. Think about it, sin cut off fellowship with God by the giving His Word. That message must be interpreted for man.
The history of hermeneutics has been more fully studied by amply qualified men, and in greater depth than I care to go into. As in part 4, I’m not interested in cataloging history, but rather prefer to interpret it. It will be seen that the prevailing attitude toward the Scriptures during any particular period generally affected the methods by which the Scriptures were interpreted.
The First Hermeneutics were those of the Jews, covering the period from 457 BC to 1975 AD. It was basically the literal and allegorical methods. Ezra was the Father of Hermeneutics. Jews of those early centuries saw themselves as the chosen people but for all the wrong reasons. They saw their actions and behavior without any sense of accountability. They saw their actions with impunity. However, when they lost the three most important things to them as a nation they were crushed.
When the Jews lost these three things they were psychologically and religiously devastated:
1. The Torah
2. The Temple
3. The Land
The “Seventy” years of captivity in Babylon were devastating in every conceivable way imaginable. In captivity, the Jews resorted to the sacred writings for comfort and strength. The Law and the Prophets became their refuge when bereft of all the externals of the Mosaic religion. At the close of the “seventy” years of captivity in Babylon, a remnant of the Jews returned to Palestine, less than 50,000 in number. Far more remained behind in the land of their captivity because they had acclimated to a culture where they had spent their entire life.
Today, Christians and non misunderstand the real meaning of the Torah or what is commonly known as the “Law”. Torah, means a lot more than “Law”, and correctly understood means “teachings”. Obedience to the “Law” was much like telling a child not to touch a hot stove top, because of what it meant in consequences or self harm. For 3,500 years man, Jew and Christian or Gentile have interpreted “Law” “nomos” as an inviolate “legalistic” form of obedience. For example, when Martin Luther went to Rome to obtain copies of the Greek Scriptures, because he needed it for his role in teaching his students, he experienced an “aha” moment. Luther originally was studying for the legal profession before his spiritual crisis, where he was nearly killed by lightning under a tree. Luther was fluent in Latin, not Greek or Hebrew. His understanding of the the “Law” biased his understanding of the Greek Scriptures. When he read Romans 1:17 in Greek, his life was transformed in the blink of an eye. You see, the Greek word for where it refers to the “righteousness of God” and that it is imparted by God through faith was the Latin word “justice”. In Latin, the word for “righteousness” is “Iustitia” and it means “justice”.
The meaning of the two words, one Latin and one Greek are about as far apart as night and day. You might even say that the Reformation began over Luther’s new understanding of what the expression “justified by faith” really meant. While he was in Rome, he witnessed the debauchery of the Vatican which greatly troubled him of the Church’s selling indulgences or “get out of hell free” cards as if it was a game of Monopoly.
When the remnant of Jews returned from Babylon to rebuild the Temple, the Babylonian Jews had learned to speak Aramaic, not Hebrew. This added to a language gap between them and their Scriptures. Ezra the scribe, and along with him a number of Levites, undertook the task of translating and interpreting the sacred writings.
All of this heretofore goes to my point that illustrates that in interpretation it is essential to first bridge the linguisitic gap. All hermeneutics is first based on translation. You can easily begin to understand why the strict “legalists” become perplexed with correct linguistics and grammar of the text. Luther’s transformation set into motion a chain of events that cost millions their lives, and then following with the Jesuit Counter-Reformation
So we see in the efforts of Ezra and the Levites the first intimation in Scripture of Jewish interpretation and formal exposition of the Word of God. The books of Ezra and Nehemiah show how the area of the Law pertaining to mixed marriages, observances of feasts and fasts were interpreted quite “literally” to the people by the great priest and scribe. In summary, Ezra established a “literal” and practical method of interpretation. The literal interpretation is the most natural and common sense method.
With no Temple, it became pragmatic to form the synagogue, much like a home church, where Jews gathered for worship and religious study. The synagogue dates to the time of the Babylonian captivity. The Great Synagogue, in Jewish history was an assembly or Council of 120 members, which later came to be known as the Sanhedrin. I don’t need to go into the organization structure other than to note they set about to put “a hedge about the Law”. The centralized ecclesiastical authority originated with noble motivation, but it degenerated to the point where it defeated its original purpose. By missing the “Spirit” of the Law they descended into only a position of defending the “letter” of the Law. We have numerous comments in the Gospels where Jesus confronted the legalism of the Pharisees and the Scribes. You see the same thing today in these groups that enslave folks into the bondage of legalism. They revel in getting their kicks by their boasting over-zealousness in implying they are super-spiritual.
In the generation succeeding Ezra and Nehemiah, and with the end of the prophetic voice with the Prophet Malachi; Various schools of interpretation emerged in the “silent years” between the Old and New Testament where God was silent towards His people.
In the efforts to place “a hedge around the Law’, they formulated an authoritarian interpretation while they guarded the Law to the letter, they also accommodated numerous traditions which they placed alongside the Law. This became to be known as the “Oral Law” which over the centuries gained equal status with the “Written Law” in authority. The “Oral Law” came out of Babylon when they returned from captivity. Jesus Christ rebuked them for this because the “Oral Law” made the “Word of God” “null and void“.
Over the next few centuries the Jews originated a false tradition, teaching that Moses had received the Oral Law at Mt. Sinai. They claimed that he (Moses) passed it on to Joshua, who then gave it to the elders. The elders passed it on to the prophets, and later it came into the hands of the rabbis with codification of the Mishna, then came the Babylonian Talmud, which attacked Jesus Christ, his mother, Christians, etc. Rabbis began to write commentaries on the Mishna, which were known as the Gemara.
The situation then has been repeated in the 20th century by endless books on pet issues. The error became so manifest that it became to be known as “Letterism“, which sees great significance in the minutest of details. This arose when men began to worship the Scriptures and forget their author. Historically, the pendulum swings from one extreme to another. I have my own pet expression that has been core with me:
Truth without Grace is simply “Legalism”
Grace without Truth is merely “Sentimentalism”
After the siege of Jerusalem, the destruction of the Temple, and the dispersion of the Jews in Israel led to cultural and sectarian division within Judaism. The Palestinian Jews accepted the inspiration and authority of Scripture. They developed some sound principles in relation to the Literal interpretation of the Scriptures They failed to produce sound exegesis because of their yielding to traditionalism, letterism, and exclusivism..
The Alexandrian Jews in Alexandria, Egypt were Hellenized and developed a system of hermeneutics distinct from the Palestinian Jews. They were saturated with Greek culture, philosophy, and it was followed with the admittance of apocryphal books into the Septuagent. The Septuagent proved to be important in that it was published between 275 and 250 BC. It actually proved to be reliable enough to validate the Old Testament accuracy nearly a thousand years later. Unfortunately, the Alexandrian Jews fell under the spell of Greek philosophy. They translated the Septuagent Scriptures back into Hebrew from the Greek, but they followed a liberal hermeneutic.
They proceeded to add books of philosophy, fiction and legend to the Scriptures. They rejected Greek religion but began to adopt Greek philosophy. They adopted the Greek “allegorical” interpretation. It was the “Golden Calf” that was to them a perfect marriage which we might consider them to be like carnal Christians today. Scripture was largely platitudes and self enhancement, showing how proud they were about their religion.
There were smaller groups of Jews, such as the Kararites, the Cabalists, the French Jews, and the modern Jews. With the exception of the Kararites, that followed the Biblical Agricultural calendar, most of the rest were afar from the Scriptures.
I want to move on to the Apostolic Hermeneutic period, which lasted from 26 Ad to 98 AD. The period of the Apostolic Hermeneutics reaches from the ministry of Jesus Christ unto the death of the Apostle John in 98 AD. The Apostolic Hermeneutic period was a time when the “Literal” method prevailed. By the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the New Testament writers infallibly interpreted the Old Testament in their writings.
Jesus Christ, the perfect interpreter, the Living Word Himself could infallibly interpret the written Word. He was the personified interpreter of the Old Testament: the Law, the Psalms, and the Prophets. During His ministry, He interpreted to His disciples, from the Scriptures, the things concerning Himself. He opened their understanding accordingly. Rules or principles of interpretation were part of His very nature and being, for He was God’s Word to man, incarnate; He was the bridge between God and man. The communication gap were bridged in and through HIm. Because of the purity of His hermeneutics, Jesus was able to expose all corrupt interpretation. He condemned the Halachic and Hagadic tradition of the Jewish elders because they had made the Word of God of no effect -(Matthew 15:1-9; Mark 7:1-9). He reproved the Pharisees and scribes, the authorized interpreters of the Law, for their legalistic handling of the Scriptures, which brought the people into total bondage. -(Matthew 23:1-33). Christ also rebuked the Sadducees for their ignorance of the power of God and of the Scriptures -(Matthew 22:29).
One can gain a whole new insight of Christ Jesus merely by studying the passage that dressed-down or reproved the religious elite of His day. They became meaningful in pastoral ministry that few pastors latch on to. The religious leaders of His day were blinded by unbelief and false hermeneutics; thus they crucified the very Messiah whose coming their own Scriptures foretold. -(Acts 13:27).
The following is a list of examples of the principles Jesus Christ used in His interpretation of the Old Testament.
1. The Context Principle: -(Matthew 22:41-46) – Jesus interpreted Psalms 110:1 in the light of the whole context of the Old Testament, which attests to the Deity of the Messiah.
2. The First Mention Principle: -(Matthew 19:3-9) – Jesus used the first mention of marriage in Genesis 2:24 to interpret the Mosaic commandments concerning divorce.
3. The Election Principle: -(Matthew 12:15-20) – On the basis of the election principle, Jesus interpreted Isaiah 42:1-4 to be a reference to His own election as the chosen servant of God.
4. The Covenant Principle: -(Matthew 12:1-4) – When dealing with the violation of the Sabbath Day, Jesus brought in David, a covenant man, as a witness. Because David was involved in a higher covenant, as was Jesus, he was able to transcend the ceremonial law of the Mosaic Covenant.
5. The Ethnic Division Principle: -(Matthew 10:5,6) – In commissioning the twelve apostles to go only to “the lost sheep of the House of Israel,” Jesus used the ethnic principle to interpret and apply an Old Testament prophetic thread. -(Jeremiah 23:1-4; 50:6,17; Ezekiel 34:1-19).
6. The Chronometrical Principle: -(Luke 21:20-24) – Jesus utilized the chronometrical principle to interpret a certain prophetic portion of Daniel -(Daniel 11:33).
7. The Christo-Centric Principle: -(Luke 24:27-44) – On the road to Emmaus, Jesus used the Christo-Centric principle to interpret portions of the Law, the Psalms, and the Prophets to the two disciples.
8. The Moral Principle: -(Matthew 24:36-39) – Jesus used the moral principle to interpret the days of Noah and draw them into a spiritual lesson.
9. The Symbolic Principle: -(Matthew 21:42-44) – In interpreting two statements from the Old Testament, it seems apparent that Jesus used the symbolic principle to refer to the rock as being symbolic of Himself.
10. The Parabolic Principle: -(Matthew 13:1-9; 18-23) – With the parabolic principle Jesus interpreted His own parable of the sower.
11. The Typical Principle: -(Luke 11:29,30) – Jesus identified Jonah’s experience as typical and then interpreted it using the typical principle.
Interestingly, the disciples, were inspired interpreters. The Lord Christ Jesus poured out His Spirit upon His apostles. There is no doubt that great understanding and illumination came to them by the Holy Spirit -(John 16:9-16; Luke 24:27,44; 2 Corinthians 3:14-18). They became the infallible interpreters of the Old Testament writings. This is seen by their use of the Old Testament in the New Testament. The Apostles rejected the “allegorical” interpretation of the Old Testament as practiced in the Alexandrian school. Paul condemned Jewish fables, Jewish traditions, endless genealogies, false knowledge, Greek philosophy and the Jewish Midrashim. He (Paul) knew of these things and counted them all refuse for the knowledge of God in Christ Jesus. -(Colossians 2:8; 1 Timothy 1:4; 4:7; 6:20; 2 Timothy 2:14-16; 23). The following list are examples of some of the Principles the Apostles used in their interpretation of the Old Testament.
1. The Context Principle: -(1st Peter 2:4-10) – In verse 6, Peter quotes Isaiah 28:16 and then interprets it by drawing from the context of the Old Testament other relative statements) -(Psalm 118:22,23; Isaiah 8:14; Exodus 19:5-6; Hosea 1:6,9,10).
2. The First Mention Principle: -(Hebrews 6:20-7:21) – In interpreting the statement from Psalms 110:4 concerning the Melchisedec priesthood, the writer of the Hebrews (most likely was the Apostle Paul) uses the first mention of Melchisedec priesthood the writer to Hebrews uses the first mention of Melchisedec in Genesis to prove his identity.
3. The Comparative Principle: -(Romans 3:1-23) – In verse 4 Paul quotes Psalm 51:4 and substantiates his interpretation by comparing it with other references from the book of Psalms.
4. The Progressive Mention: -(The writer of Hebrews quotes a phrase from Habakkuk 2:4 and then draws many examples from the context of the entire Old Testament to develop his interpretation.
5. The Election Principle: -(Romans 9:6-13) – Here Paul uses the election principle to interpret a phrase from Genesis 21:12 “In Israel shall thy seed be called”.
6. The Covenantal Principle: -(Hebrews 8-10) – In Hebrews 8:8-12 a quotation is made from Jeremiah 31:31-34. The writer then proceeds to use the covenantal principle to expound the meaning of the quotation.
7. The Ethnic Principle: -(Galatians 3:1-29) – In verse 8 Paul quotes Genesis 12:7 – “In thee shall all nations be blessed.” He then uses the ethnic principle to show the interpretation and fulfillment of that phrase.
8. The Chronometrical Principle: -(2nd Peter 3:1-13) – Peter quotes Psalms 90:4 in verse 8 and then interprets it by the chronometrical principle.
9. The Christo-Centric Principle: -(Hebrews 10:1-14) – The writer to the Hebrews utilized the Christo-Centric principle to interpret Psalm 40:6-8.
10. The Moral Principle: -(1st Corinthians 9:9-12) – In dealing with the commandment of Moses concerning oxen, Paul draws out the moral principle contained in it and applies it to this situation.
11. The Symbolic Principle: -(1st Peter 2:4-8) – In dealing with the symbol of the stone, Peter appeals to several Old Testament passages which interpret its meaning.
12. The Typical Principle: -(1st Corinthians 10:1-11) – Here Paul uses the typical principle to interpret the Exodus of Israel from Egypt.
13. The Allegorical Principle: -(Galatians 4:21-31) – In this passage, Paul develops and interprets an allegory using people and places from the Old Testament.
As this post has illustrated, the Apostolic Period, affirmed a “Literal” Interpretation from the days of Jesus Christ through the era of the Apostles, and ending with the death of the Apostle John in 98 AD. As is the case in much of life, the Second Law of Physics eventually takes over and comes into motion, whereas “Entropy” takes hold and things go from order to disorder. Entropy is just part of the curse on the Creation.
Pastor Bob just started a series on the Church the Bride of Jesus Christ and the Rapture of it to heaven.
I have the same belief as he does in a pre-tribulation Rapture. I will place his series in this blog also.
Pastor Bob (29 June 2014)
““The Biblical Theme of The Bride -1″“
All Doves:Studying the “themes” of the Bible offers one of the most rewarding and fulfilling ways of studying the Bible. It certainly offers some of the greatest examples for the reason which God gave us as a “hint” from Proverbs 25:2, “It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honor of kings is to search out a matter.” If for no other reason than to study the Bible thematically, one will discover a Supernatural nature or dimension to the Bible. I note this because it is easy to dissect the Bible much like a chemist or scientist. The need for rigorous exegesis and hermeneutics ought never be lost without a sense of balance with God’s dimension of the Spiritual or Supernatural.
There are about a hundred or so “key” themes in the Bible, and upwards of a thousand worthy of study and serious consideration. When I left the UMC in 1998, I did pulpit supply, filled in for vacationing pastors, sick leave, and interim supply, while I was candidating with churches searching for a pastor. I had free mornings and afternoons and I decided to take advantage of the idle time by doing something that I had wanted to do for a long time. This was doing independent research, in depth Bible research without accountability to a professor for time constraint reasons. I did a number of “theme” studies but none were quite as exciting as my study on the the “Biblical Theme of the Bride.” My study was exhaustive, lasting nearly a year, roughly about 1,800 hours in actual time spent. I had a two-foot high stack of yellow writing pads with notes.I discoverer that there are 850+ verses that have connections with the amazing “Theme of the Bride.” I was reminded of the words of Isaiah 28:10 & 13 regarding God’s Word (“here a little, there a little”). Since I first did my study in 1999, there have been others that have done similar studies and posted them on the Internet. The scope and degree of their comprehension level in detail varies, however, they all came to have the same conclusion as I had.
I could have posted this under my series: “Absence of Proof is Not Proof of Absence” but since I have so much more to share in the corroborating evidence that supports a Pre-Tribulation Rapture for that series, I decided since this thematic study of the Bride really is the “icing on the cake“, I decided to do it as a separate series. The “Theme of the Bride” motif will bless your socks off, especially if you are a believer in the Pre-Tribulation Rapture. You are in for a treat and it should eliminate any doubt as to why the Rapture will be “Pre-Tribulational”. The “Theme of the Bride” motif is God’s quintessential Biblical proof for the Pre-Tribulation Rapture doctrine.
To fully understand Bible prophecy about the return of Jesus Christ, we need to understand the ancient Jewish wedding. Because of our Western culture, we miss many of the nuances of Middle Eastern marriage customs and practices. We need to understand the Bride motif in the ancient Jewish wedding, as presented in Scripture, because Jesus Christ spoke of His return with many wedding analogies. Just look at Matthew 22 and 25; Revelation 19 and 21; Luke 12:36, “And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their Lord, when he will return from the wedding…” Many of our western marriage and wedding customs have their roots deep in the Biblical concepts of marriage customs.
The Bible says the Bride of Christ is the Church: Ephesians 5:25; 2 Corinthians 11:2; and Romans 7:4.
The wedding analogy shows the Pre-Tribulation Rapture because the union of the Bride and Groom (the Rapture) takes place at the start of the Bridal Week, which is a “type” of the Tribulation week. The word used for Bridal Week is used in Genesis 29 and Judges 14, and is the same word in Daniel 9:27. The word “week”, or “shavuah’ in Hebrew, simply means a “seven”; it means “seven” days or “seven years”. Furthermore, there are two Old Testament examples where a day from a prophetic “type” turns into a year of judgment: Numbers 14:54 and Ezekiel 4:6. The signature of Deity is all over the Bible when the number “Seven” is tagged. It’s like the tell-tail fingerprint. That was actually one of my other in-depth studies I conducted back then. If we are not Raptured out by the time I have finished this series, I will share the amazing study of “sevens” in the Bible, and it is far more than just the number itself. It extends throughout the Bible like a spider web in an incredible master framework.
Here are a few examples of the significance of the “Bridal Wedding” motif. The bride price is paid by the groom for the bride. Jesus paid for us with His life. The virgin girl shows that she accepts the written covenant agreement of the marriage by drinking a glass of wine, and this became known as the communion ritual that Jesus gave to the Church. The betrothed bride would also have a ritual cleansing bath, and this is like our baptism of water and spirit, or the cleansing of the Word in Ephesians 5. The groom departs to build the bridal chamber, where they will live together, and Jesus said in John 14:2, “In My Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you”. In the very next verse John 14:3, “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”
When finished the groom would return at a time unexpected “Of that day or hour no man knows” to fetch, or take away (rapture) his bride, like a thief in the night, which is a “type” of the action of the Rapture. At the end of Judges 21, there is a mass bridal abduction. In Deuteronomy 22:25-29 and Exodus 22:15-17 we see the penalty for taking a virgin (through force or seduction) is a permanent marriage with no divorce provision. This is like the “incorruptible immortality” as described 1st Corinthians 15:51-54. Thus, the intimate union between man and wife in the bridal chamber is a picture of being in Heaven with our Lord Jesus Christ after the Rapture. At the end of Bridal Week, the Bride and Groom emerge at the wedding feast or marriage supper. Even the slaughter at the marriage supper, or Armageddon, pictured in Judges 14 as Samson kills 30 Philistines.
Studies on this “theme” of the Bride motif vary in the specific steps identified; they vary between 8 and 13. That’s fine, however, I believe there at least 18 steps in the process of “connecting the dots” of the “hidden in plain sight” “Theme of the Bride” Motif.
In introducing the reader to the “Theme of the Bride” here, I will first list the eighteen steps so noted in this process. It really is enough for the believer to shout hallelujah and sing “The King is Coming” at the top of your voice. The full Scriptural details of each of these steps or detail will begin in the next post.
1. The Holy Spirit chooses the Bride, and brings people to God through repentance.
2. A Bride price (dowry) is established, Christ gave His Life to purchase and redeem us.
3. The consent: The Bride agrees and choose to accept her husband’s offer.
4. A written document, covenant, agreement, written registry is made.
5 The drinking of a glass of wine; a toast, a communion, seals the covenant agreement.
6. The betrothal: The Bride is espoused/engaged/promised.
7. A ritual cleansing bath: A “Mikveh” or baptism is performed.
8. Gifts are given to the bride.
9. The Bridegroom departed, going back to his father’s house to prepare the bridal chamber, apartment, closet (many mansions).
10. The Bride consecrates, set apart, and kept herself ready for the Bridegroom to return, and wore a veil which is like the blood of Jesus Christ covering our sins, the righteousness of the saints.
11. The Bridegroom comes for his Bride in “a day or hour no man knows, but my father only” with a shout, command, last trump, trumpet blast.
12. Jesus comes for (raptures) His Bride as a Thief.
13. Going through the open door into Heaven (at the Rapture).
14. The Bridal Week (a day for a year) in the wedding chamber as the Tribulation week of Daniel 9:27 begins.
15. The Marriage Supper/Wedding Feast commences when the Bride and Groom emerge from the Bridal Chamber at the end of “seven” days (seven years), and the Lord returns with the Bride at the end of the “seven” year Tribulation.
16. The slaughter at the marriage supper.
17. The Bride and Groom were seen as King and Queen, trumpet blasts herald the reign of a new King, at the Rapture at the trumpet blast, Christ and His people begin to rule in Heaven.
18. The Judgment Seat of Christ (pictured by the Feast of Trumpets), is a picture of the Messiah and the Rapture.
Again, you can begin to see the pattern or “Theme of the Bride” Motif, which to me, is just another confirmation of Proverbs 25:2. I would be kind by simply stating that only a fool and the Biblically illiterate dare proclaim there is no such event as the Pre-Tribulation Rapture. Its hard enough to have people tell you that the Rapture is not found in the Bible, but the problem doesn’t end there. Most of the Church (roughly 90%) today believe in the aberrant teachings and understandings offered up by very misguided people that “spiritualize and render the Bible as allegory”. The fact is the “Covenant/Reformed” hermeneutic obscures the truth from them.
The “Theme of the Bride” Motif is like a children’s connect-the-dots coloring book. I discovered 850+ verses in the Bible, beginning in Genesis and ending in Revelation, that all build a case for one of the most powerful themes in the Bible.
In case any of the readers still question whether the Rapture is Biblical, I will provide a basic lesson here to show that the Rapture is in the Bible. The Biblical word in Greek is “harpazo”, and it is found 14 times [7 x 2] in the New Testament, note the multiple of “7” that I have noted to be a pattern theme in the KJV Bible. The following passages are where the word ‘”harpazo” is found in the Bible. It is a verb.
The definition of “harpazo” means to carry off, take (or) snatch away, catch up, catch away, or seize.
This little lesson will illustrate how Greek or Hebrew words do not necessarily appear exactly the same way in English. It all has to do with the grammatical forms, which are based upon: Gender, Case, Voice, Tense, and Mood. I have included in the following list, the grammatical form for “harpazo” in (brackets) to the right of the English word used in the passage for each of the 14 occurrences of “harpazo”. The 14 occurrences of this word take 10 different grammatical forms. I don’t use the Greek and Hebrew fonts on my computer as a matter of efficiency in my typing. It simply takes too long to find them on an English keyboard.
Matthew 11:12 -the kingdom … and the violent take (harpazousin) it by force.
Matthew 12:29 -and carry off (harpasi) his property, (NASB)
Matthew 13:19 -catcheth away (harpazei) that which was sown in his heart.
John 6:15 -that they would come and take him by force, (harpazein)
John 10:12 -the wolf catcheth (harpazei) them, and scattereth the sheep.
John 10:28 -neither shall any man pluck (harpasei) them out of my hand.
John 10:29 -is able to pluck (harpazien) them out of my Father’s hand.
Acts 8:39 -The Spirit of the Lord caught away (herpasen) Philip.
Acts 23:10 -and to take him by force (harpasai) from among them,
2nd Cor. 12:2 -such an one caught up (harpagenta) to the third heaven.
2nd Cor. 12:4 -How that he was caught up (herpage)into paradise,
1 Thess. 4:17 -shall be caught up (harpagesometha) together with them.
Jude 1:23 -others save with fear, pulling (harpazontes) out of the fire;
Rev. 12:5 -child was caught up (herpasthe) unto God, and to the throne.
The most significant theological contribution of “harpazo”, “to seize, grasp, to snatch”, is the role in the New Testament reference to the “snatching or catching away” of believers at the return of Jesus Christ. But the term also occurs in other important contexts.
In the New Testament “harpazo” appears a total of 14 times, as noted. Most of them are not unusual and pose no special difficulties in understanding. The term functions literally in John 6:15 in reference to the peoples’ desire to make Jesus king “by force”. Similarly in Acts 23:10, the Roman captain instructed his soldiers to “snatch” Paul from the crowd of Jews who were about to tear him to pieces. The “evil one” “takes away” the Word sown in the hearts of listeners -(Matthew 13:19). In the Epistle of Jude the term depicts the rescuing of a sinner from the fire of hell -(vs. 23).
“Harpazo” characterizes the activity of the wolf who “seizes” the sheep when the hired shepherd deserts them -(John 10:12). Then it is echoed in Jesus’ statement that no one can “pluck” anybody out of the hand of the Good Shepherd, Jesus -(John 10:28,29).
Many opinions have been held about the meaning of “harpazo” in Matthew 11:12: “From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.” Some understand “harpazo” in the sense of “men seize the kingdom”. Others conclude that such “seizure” involves using violence against the Kingdom. Still others suggest that it is the kingdom of God itself which spreads and moves forward “forcefully”. The text must be considered in light of he parallel text of Luke 16:16.
In the remaining five places where the term appears, it stands for some kind of “supernatural transfer“. It carries three different meanings under these circumstances.
In 2nd Corinthinians 12:2,4, Paul related that he had been “caught up”, “harpazo”, into the third heaven -(vs. 2) and that he had been “caught up” into paradise -(vs. 4). Paul himself was unable to explain this phenomenon. He did not even know whether he was “in the body” or “out of the body”. But he considered his experience as some form of a “vision or revelation”. This may imply that Paul experienced a spiritual ecstasy similar to the experience of John on the Isle of Patmos -(Rev. 1:10).
In Acts 8:39, “harpazo” refers to a supernatural “relocation” from one place on the Earth to another place. Luke reported that the Spirit of the Lord “caught away” Philip. The eunuch did not see him anymore, but Philip reappeared in Azotus. Philip’s experience resembles the experience that Obadiah feared would happen to the prophet Elijah in 1st Kings 18:12.
1st Thessalonians 4:17 and Revelation 12:5 also contain the word “harpazo” and both of these passages convey a different perspective of transfer than the preceding texts. Whereas Philip was caught away from one location on Earth and relocated to another place, these texts refer to a “relocation” from Earth to the heavenly realm. Paul wrote of a transfer from the temporal to the eternal – to a new form of existence. The phrase in the book of Revelation is “caught up unto God, and to his throne.”
This “transfer” is a literal transfer like the one Philip experienced. The passage speaks of being “caught up in the air”; therefore, a totally new dimension has entered the picture. The events of the Old Testament, of Enoch -(Genesis 5:24, confirmed in Hebrews 11:5) and Elijah -(2 Kings 2:11) are similar events which may anticipate the events surrounding the Second Coming of Christ Jesus -(confirmed in 1st Corinthians 15:51,52).
“Harpazo” in this case denotes a movement from the earthly existence to the eternal condition or state which is a direct result of God’s intervention into the affairs of men. It will take place “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye” -(1st Corinthians 15:52). Just as Paul was “snatched away” from the murderous crowd that surrounded him, so, too, the Church will be delivered from its opponents -(2 Thessalonians 1:6). In fact, believers may actually be “snatched” physically away from the temporal and ushered into the realm of the eternal.
It is noteworthy that this expression never occurs in describing the ascension of Jesus. He was taken up or received; and the Greek word is “epairo” where he was lifted up; He ascended; but it is never said that He was “caught up” “harpazo”. When “harpazo” appears in Rev. 12:5 in reference to the male child who is “caught up” to the throne of God, we can be fairly certain that this is not a reference to the ascension of Jesus Christ. Revelation 12:1 and following describes a woman who gives birth to a male child which is a dragon that stands ready to devour. But the child escapes when he is “caught away” to heaven. It would seem to be inconsistent if Jesus, following His victorious death on the Cross and His triumphant resurrection, would be “snatched away” to heaven in order to escape the dragon, i.e., Satan. Jesus ascended to return to the Father and to show the victory of the Cross.
When Jesus was lifted up to heaven, it was witnessed by the disciples -(Acts 1:9). When the two witnesses of the last days ascend into heaven, their enemies will also watch -(Rev. 11:12). But when the Church is caught away “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye”, humanity will not see or recognize what is happening.
It is important that the reader recognize that the Greek language and even the Hebrew are quite specific in the manner and detail of our word “harpazo” or Rapture. Such specificity is not to be taken lightly or discounted as merely a play on words to describe an event for which we are waiting upon and can’t fully grasp in human understanding.
The next time we will look at the Scriptural passages that affirms the “Theme of the Bride”. When I did my initial research and study back in 1999, I had just bought a new computer and Hermeneutika, a Bible software package which is considered the best and most costly Bible software for academic research.
I am not sure everyone has been on board with all of my posts, however, I have been posting material that clearly builds an iron-clad proof case for the Pre-Tribulational Rapture. I have been building a foundation for the Pre-Tribulation Rapture, block-by-block.
Part 2 of the Bride
Pastor Bob (29 June 2014)
““The Biblical Theme of The Bride -2″“
Marriage is a picture of Christ and His Church (believer’s). That picture has been threatened by Lucifer, and when the corporate institution known as the denominational church becomes threatened by the sodomite community you know the end cannot be too far away. That imminent “end” was even heightened more this past week in a sermon Pope Francis made on June 25th, where he said that “Salvation is to only through the Roman Catholic Church.”
We know that is a lie, but most people today are spiritually dull. This Jesuit pope has more “Twitter” fans than anyone in their right mind could fathom as being possible.
This is a “spiritual” battle as well as an earthly struggle against the physical forces of evil manifested in the judicial and societal systems. The mainstream Protestant churches have capitulated to Satan in its greatest attack waged against it heretofore. True believers must exit all churches that embrace, endorse, sanction, or wink at the sodomite agenda. True believers ought to run like you know what and not to return to those churches that have called God a liar!
Where do we draw the line on defining marriage? Is it based upon how someone feels or based on how God feels?
When the courts began to overturn the definition of marriage my thoughts shifted to the horizon in this matter. It will not be too long before the institutional church will be forced to marry sodomites and lesbians, at the risk of losing their 401(3)c tax exempt status, if they refuse.
Twenty years ago I was faced with a previous stage of this Luciferian war on the church. My UMC predecessor was a lesbian, she destroyed four churches, before being appointed to a denominational college position. I was not part of an issue between her and the congregation that I was appointed to as the pastor. She had destroyed the two churches that were involved. I was caught in the fray as the incoming pastor, when she wanted me to deliver an apology to the congregation for the treatment rendered her by certain members of the church’s leaders. In the process, I refused to do so since I was not part of the issue that preceded my appointment. My predecessor’s superintendent was also a female UMC pastor ordained in the UMC, and she demanded that I comply with my predecessor’s demands. I refused and my superiors demanded that my ordination be rescinded, or that I take “sensitivity” language training. To make a long story short, I refused, resigned, and left the United Methodist Church and have not gone back even when invited to speak.
Just last week a defrocked UMC pastor was reinstated because he officiated at his son’s sodomite marriage. This is just one of several examples that proves the UMC has gone, unofficially for now, the way of the United Presbyterian Church and others. The United Church of Christ is actually sponsoring a “gay” conference shortly. The sodomite agenda is Lucifer or Satan’s attack against God’s Bride. The Biblical metaphore for the collective body of believers in Christ Jesus is that of the Bride and the Groom. John the Baptist knew that Jesus Christ was the Messiah and would and could explain it in John 3, that He Who has the Bride is the Bridegroom.
The deeper issue of sodomy is that it is a distortion of God’s theme throughout the Scriptures. The “great counterfeiter” attacks humanity on every level of life, through presenting another false gospel.
Throughout the Bible, the gender of the church is always “She”, not “He”. WHY? It is because Jesus was a man. He is the Groom to His Bride, the believing church. Just as Adam was a man and Eve was a woman, they were a model of the first marriage in Genesis 1-2. Thus, logically, the relationship between Jesus and believers follows.
The Biblical picture of marriage is between “ONE MAN and ONE WOMAN”. It is the language for Christ Jesus and the Church (true believers). This was God’s “Mystery” of the Church made known to us that will play out throughout eternity.
Jewish wedding imagery plays a significant role in our understanding of the New Testament. In the following series of posts, we will go through the “word” pictures of this incredible theme that unpacks the overarching theme of the Father in the Bible. We have a hint in the fact that Jesus’ very first recorded miracle was to change water into wine at a wedding. What an appropriate and fitting choice to illustrate the “Principle of First Mention” by performing His first recorded miracle act and by focusing on the wedding. John 2 even records that the new wine was the best. It was a wedding practice to give the attendees watered-down wine at the end when they were too tipsy to recognize the diluted wine. Jesus gave the best wine possible when he transformed miraculously water into wine.
In the Bibliclal “Principle of First Mention” we have an indicator of immense importance and implication of Jesus’ over all Earthly ministry. This series on the Biblical Theme of the Bride provides a beautiful picture of Christ’s plan for His Bride, and that event is revealed in the Pre-Tribulation Rapture.
Keep awake, the sound of the trumpet is not far away,
Pastor BobNandoThe Bride part 3Pastor Bob (29 June 2014)
““The Biblical Theme of Te Bride -3″“
I’m now feeling the pressure of time because there is so much to share but too little time in the next three months.
This study shows that the Bride of Christ will be presented as a chaste virgin to Christ Jesus at the Pre-Tribulation Rapture, just before the “Seven” year Tribulation.
We should study very closely what the Bible says about Weddings and Marriage, before we are told that we are wed to Christ – a great mystery.
Ephesians 5:25 – “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it;”
Ephesians 5:31 – “For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they shall be one flesh.”
Ephesians 5:32 – “This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.”
1 Corinthians 15:51 – “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed.”
2 Corinthians 11:2 – “For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.”
And we should pay attention to the wedding stories and examples in the Old Testament because they are parallels and similitudes and prophecies of the end time.
Hosea 12:10 – “I have also spoken by the prophets, and I have multiplied visions, and used similitudes by the ministry of the prophets.”
1 Corinthians 10:11 – “Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon which the ends of the world are come.”
Romans 15:4 – “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.”
The doctrine of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture, and prophecy itself, is given for comfort and hope.
1 Thessalonians 4:18 – “Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”
2 Thessalonians 2:17 – “Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.”
1 Corinthians 14:3 – “But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification and exhortation and comfort.”
Titus 2:13 – “Looking for that blesse hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior
Particularly, we should also study parallels about the Feast of Trumpets, the new moon festival, to understand end time theology, because the Feast of Trumpets is also known as the “Wedding of the Messiah.” There are at least a dozen “word” pictures that speak to the theme of the Bridegroom.
Colossians 2:16 – “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holy day, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:”
Colossians 2:17 – “Which are shadows of things to come; but the body is of Christ.”
Yes, Christians should be married to Jesus, the one who is raised form the dead:
Romans 7:4 – “Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.”
So let’s study the Wedding of the Messiah and Weddings in the Bible, keeping in mind that Colossians 2:17 says that the Feast of Trumpets Wedding of the Mesiah is a “shadow of things to come”, a prophecy about the return of the Lord Christ Jesus. Also, according to 2 Corinthians 11:2, the Church and the Bride of Christ shall be presented as a chaste virgin to Christ.
There are 18 topical headings, noted in part 1 of this series of posts. 16 of these contain a major comparison between Old Testament verses and New Testament along the theme of Christ Jesus being wed to the Church. They are not necessarily in exact order. Remember the message of Isaiah 28:10,13.
Summary of the Wedding of the Bride of Christ:
1. The Holy Spirit chooses the bride, and brings people to God through repentance.
O.T.: Genesis 24:2-4,12-21,27; Judges 14:3,4; Deuteronomy 7:6,7.
N.T.: John 16:7,8; Matthew 22:14; John 15:16; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Peter 2:9.
2. A bride price (dowry) is established; Christ gave His Life to purchase and redeem us.
O.T.: Genesis 12:16; Genesis 29:18; Genesis 34:12,26,31; 1 Samuel 18:25; 2 Samuel 3:14; Ruth 4:10.
N.T.: Ephesians 5:25; 1 Corinthians 6:20; Matthew 13:44; Galatians 3:13; 4:5; Revelation 5:9.
3. Consent: the bride agrees and chooses to accept her husband’s offer.
O.T.: Genesis 24:8; Genesis 24:58; Deuteronomy 30:19; Joshua 24:15.
N.T.: 1 Peter 1:8; John 20:29; 1 Corinthians 2:9; Matthew 10:14; Mark 6:11; Luke 9:5.
4. Written document, Covenant agreement, written registry.
O.T.: Nehemiah 7:5; Malachi 2:14.
N.T.: Hebrews 12:24; 2 Corinthians 1:20; Mark 10:4; Matthew 5:31; 19:7.
5. Drinking a glass of wine, a toast, a communion, seals the covenant agreement.
O.T.: Genesis 34:6,8,20; 1 Samuel 18:20-25; 1 Samuel 25:36-39; Exodus 25:22.
N.T.: Luke 22:16-20; Matthew 26:28,29; John 2:1-11; 1 Corinthians 10:16; Luke 24:35; Acts 2:42; 20:7.
6. Betrothal [espoused/engaged/promised].
O.T.: Leviticus 19:20; Hosea 2:19.
N.T.: Matthew 1:18; Luke 2:5; Matthew 10:32; 2 Corinthians 11:2.
7. Ritual Cleansing bath; a Mikveh or Baptism.
O.T.: Leviticus 15:18; Ezekiel 16:9.
N.T.: Ephesians 5:25,27; Acts 1:5; 2:38; 8:38-40.
8. Gifts given to the Bride:
O.T.: Genesis 24:22,53; Genesis 34:12.
N.T.: Matthew 7:11; Luke 11:13; 1 Corinthians 2:9; 12:4; 14:1,12.
9. The bridegroom departed, going back to his father’s house to prepare the bridal chamber, closet, apartment (many mansions).
O.T.: Joel 2:16; Judges 15:1; Judges 16:9,12; Samuel 13:10,11; 1 Kings 1:15; Song of Solomon 1:4; 3:4.
N.T.: John 14:2,3.
(The chamber of the Temple is also a picture of Heaven, in which God’s people are hid).:
1 Kings 20:30; 1 Kings 22:25; 2 Thessalonians 2:4; Matthew 24:26; 1 Chronicles 28:11; Hebrews 9:6,7; Matthew 23:20-22; Hebrews 9:23,24; Psalms 27:5; 31:20; Isaiah 26:19-21.
10. The bride was consecrated, set apart, and kept herself ready for the bridegroom to return, and wore a vail which is like the blood of Jesus covering our sins, the righteousness of the saints.
O.T.: Genesis 24:64-67; Isaiah 1:18.
N.T.: Hebrews 10:20; Revelation 1:5; 1 John 1:7; Matthew 22:11-14; Revelation 7:14; Revelation 19:7,8; Romans 3:22; Philippians 3:9; Romans 10:6; Matthew 25:1-13; Mark 13:34-37.
A veil also covered the Temple, which is the body.
Exodus 26:33; Mark 15:38; Luke 23:45; 1Corinthians 6:19; Romans 12:1.
Christians are set apart from the world, as a bride is set apart, and supposed to be ready and watchful.
John 15:18,19; John 17:14,15; 1 John 2:15; 1 Corinthians 5:8-10; Matthew 25:1-13; Mark 13: 34-37.
11. Bridegroom comes for his Bride on a “day or hour no man knows, but my father only” with a shout, command, last trump, trumpet blast. This is an idiomatic expression that pointed to the 2-day Feast of Trumpets.
Matthew 24:36; Mark 13:32,33; 1 Thessalonians 4:15-18; 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11; Matthew 25:6; 1 Corinthians 15:52; revelation 4:1.
12. Jesus comes back to take His Bride as a Thief.
O.T.: Judges 21:19-25; Exodus 22:15-17; 1 Samuel 8:11-16; 2 Samuel 5:13.
N.T.: John 10:10; Matthew 24:43; Luke 12:39; 1 Thessalonians 5:2-4; 2 Peter 3:10; Revelation 3:3; Revelation 16:15.
13. Going through the open door into heaven, the wife being taken up by the groom as they cross the threshold of the door into the new house.
John 14:2,3; Revelation 1:4; Ezekiel 46:1; Matthew 25:10; Revelation 3:8,10.
14. The bridal week (a day for a year) in the wedding chamber as the Tribulation week of Daniel 9:27.
O.T.: Genesis 29:22-28; Judges 14:1-18; Joel 2:15,16; Numbers 13:34; Ezekiel 4:6; Daniel 9:24,27.
N.T.: Ephesians 5:29; Revelation 3:10.
The seven year Tribulation:
Daniel 11:31; Daniel 12:11; Revelation 13:4-7; Daniel 7:25; Daniel 7:21; Revelation 11:1-7; Revelation 12:6; Ezekiel 38,39; Ezekiel 39:9; Jeremiah 30:7; Daniel 4:16; Daniel 12:7; Revelation 12:14.
15. Marriage supper / Wedding Feast) when the bride and groom emerge from the bridal chamber at the end of the seven days, and the Lord returns with the Bride at the end of the seven year Tribulation.
O.T.: Esther 1:5,10,11; Joel 2:15,16; Psalm 19:1-6; Isaiah 61:2,10,11; Isaiah 62:5.
N.T.: Luke 12:36; Revelation 19:1,7-9,14; Zechariah 14:5; Jude 1:14; Revelation 21:2; Revelation 21:9-10; Colossians 3:4.
16. The slaughter at the marriage supper.
O.T.: Judges 14:12,19.
N.T.: Revelation 19:17,18.
17. The bridge and groom were seen as king and queen, trumpet blasts herald the reign of a new king, at the Rapture at the trumpet blast, Christ and His people begin to rule in heaven.
O.T.: Daniel 7:9; 1 Kings 1:34,39.
N.T.: Revelation 4:2; 5:3,10,12.
18. The Judgment Seat of Christ (pictured by the Feast of Trumpets), a picture of the wedding of the Messiah and the Rapture.
O.T.: Daniel 7:10; Nehemiah 8:1-5.
N.T.: 2 Corinthians 5:10; Romans 14:10; 1 Corinthians 3:13-16.
In my next post, I will go into the context of each of these topical headings, looking at the nuances and the skeleton design of this Biblical Theme of the Bride. There is much more than anyone could imagine.
Pastor BobNando endNando end
Mr Avi Lipkin is a very knowledgeable Jew about Islam and the political and military movements they are doing. Gary Stearman asks him point questions that go to the heart of the conflict.
Avi’s answers should resonate a call of wake up for the people of the world and specially for the USA of America. The enemy is already posed to strike again in this nation and the middle east is about to blow up.
Bible students who have visited these sites are well prepared and know that the church will be taken out of this world at the Rapture and that the Jews will fall under the protection of God to preserve a Remanent that could receive the Kingdom promised to Abraham and David.
The following I received via e-mail and it is so pertinent to the above that I am including it here.
Enemies in the White House!
For everyone who wanted change here we go… How about this for change?
Just the messenger!!! It’s up you to decide how you feel about this.
NOW, WHO’S NEW IN THE WHITE HOUSE?
Look who’s new in the white house!
Assistant Secretary for Policy Development for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Homeland Security Adviser
Special Envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference(OIC)
Obama Adviser and founder of the Muslim Public Affairs Council and is its current executive director
Imam Mohamed Magid-
Obama’s Sharia Czar from the Islamic Society of North America
Advisory Council on Faith-Based Neighborhood Partnerships
This is flat-out scary!!!
The foxes are now officially living in the hen house…
Now ask me why I am very concerned!!!
Do you feel OK with this???
How can this happen, and when will we wake up???
We are quiet while our Country is being drastically changed!!!
If you’re not CONCERNED, DELETE this.
Go to bed tonight…sleep well!
Otherwise, pass it on get the word out!
We’ve got to have some relief starting with the 2014 Elections!
Does this make you feel safe and happy about your country and this administration!?
June 30,2014 Dispensationalism as the history of mankind that culminates in the Rapture of the Church
Pastor Bob has been writing this series on Dispensation and I agree with it as the best way to look at the periods of God dealing with mankind since the creation of Adam and Eve. I also believe in a pre- Tribulation Rapture and in his interpretation of the Daniel prophecy of the 70 weeks of years that resulted in a gap of hundreds of years with the remaining week to become the Tribulation.
Pastor Bob (15 June 2014)
All:Any person who trusts in the Blood of Jesus Christ rather than bringing an annual sacrifice or any person who observes the first day of the week rather than the Sabbath is a Dispensationalist! That has to shock anyone that attacks Dispensationalism.
Christians for the most part do not understand what Dispensationalism really is and yet they attempt to attack it without little substance or knowing what it really is. They think of it as something to do with the Scofield reference Bible. I don’t have a copy of Scofield’s Bible. I recently checked Amazon and of the hundreds of books on the topic, 95% of the titles listed attack Dispensationalism. That tells me a lot.
Any understanding of it must understand that salvation is by grace through faith in every dispensation, found in the Bible. The essence of Dispensationalism is that God dealt with His creation in different ways during in each of the “seven” dispensations.
Dispensationalism is actually a multifacted system of thought. Dispensationalists believe the following:
1. The Bible is God’s inspired and inerrant revelation to mankind. Scripture provides the framework through which we interpret the past, present, and the future. God’s written Word tells us of His Plan for His creation, and His Plan will surely come to fulfillment.
2. Because the Bible is God’s literal Word and His Plan for history [His-Story], we should interpret it literally.
3. The Bible reveals God’s Plan for history. God’s Plan includes different dispensations, ages, or epochs of history through which He tests His creatures (humans and angels). God is instructing His creatures through history as His creation progresses from the Garden of Eden to the Heavenly City.
4. All humanity fell into sin, so each person must individually receive God’s provision for salvation through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ by believing and trusting in the Gospel. Thus, Jesus Christ is the only way to a relationship with God.
5. Scripture teaches that because of mankind’s fall into sin, all humanity is naturally rebellious toward God and the things of God. This is why genuine believers in Christ Jesus are open to the teachings of the Bible. Thus, salvation through Christ Jesus is a prerequisite to properly understand God’s Word.
6. God’s Plan for history includes a purpose for the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob – that is, the Nation of Israel. This Plan for Israel includes promises that they will have the land of Israel, they will have a seed, and they will be a worldwide blessing to the nations. Many of the promises to National Israel are still yet to be fulfilled. Therefore, God is not finished with Israel.
7. God’s Plan from all eternity past until the close also includes a purpose for the Church. However, this is a temporary phase that will end with the Rapture. After the Rapture, God will complete His Plan for Israel and the Gentiles remaining.
8. God’s main purpose in His Master Plan for history is to glorify Himself through Jesus Christ. Therefore, Jesus Christ is the goal and hero of history.
Someone posted a statement last time, “Dispensationalism is neither here nor there. That’s because dispensationalism is sectarianism, thinly disguised.” Actually, whether that remark was intended as a ‘noun’ or and ‘adjective’, is in fact, irrelevant, since the term is Biblical. The term “dispensation” “oikonomia” is a means by which God uses to provide the believer with a Biblical World View. This is central to a Christian’s understanding of his or her world. The term is found four times in the New Testament. In fact, the Greek word above is found elsewhere and used in different renderings as well. First, the four uses of the word “dispensation” are found in Paul’s Epistles.
1. 1 Corinthians 9:17 – “For of I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the Gospel is committed unto me.”
2. Ephesians 1:10 – “That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:”
3. Ephesians 3:2 – “If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward.”
4. Colossians 1:25 – “Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God.”
As I stated, “dispensationalism” provides us a Biblical World View of history [His-Story]. It helps us develop a worldview for living in accordance with God’s will. A believer who has a divine perspective of the past, present, and future is thus able to know what God expects of him in every area of life in this present day.
In the current Church Age or Age of Grace, the New Testament teaches us how to live privately and publicly. Dispensationalists, for example, do not live in this Age of Grace as if we were still under the rule of the Mosaic Law. Instead, we understand that we are now under what the New Testament defines and calls the Law of Christ -(1 Corinthians 9:11; Galatians 6:2). Current dispensational obligations combined with responsiblities from previous ages provide a New Testament believer with a complete Biblical framework for understanding how to relate to God, to please God in every area of our life. Covenant/Reformed theology does not provide the believer a proper Biblical World View, which is absolutely essential for living the Christian life.
Dispensationalism is not the majority view within the universal church; however, it is, as I stated, Biblical and it can be identified throughout the Bible. Case in point, Covenant/Reformed theology identifies basically, 2 covenants in the Bible, the Old and the New. This is contrary to the Word of God and a gross over-simplification of the Word of God, whereas, God has revealed “seven” dispensations. The Bible defines “eight” covenants and not “two” as Covenant/Reformed theology and churches teach.
3. Human Government
6. Grace or the Church Age
In the next post we will identify the outworking of God’s Master Plan with humanity. Charles Ryrie suggests, “Dispensationalism views the world as a household run by God, in this household – world God is dispensing or administering its affairs according to His own will and in various stages of revelation in the process of time. These stages mark off the distinguishably different economies in the outworking of His total purpose, and these economies are the dispensations. The understanding of God’s different economies is essential for a proper interpretation of His revelation within those various economies.”
I previously noted the four uses of the word “dispensation” in Scripture. The same Greek word also appears in Luke 16:2; 16:3; and 16:4, but is rendered in English as “stewardship”. On two other occasions in Ephesians 3:9 and 1 Timothy 1:4 it is rendered “administration” The word “oikenomia” is derived from the word “oikos” (house) and “nemo”, (to deal out) or (to administer).
Those opposed to “Dispensationalism” misconstrue the understanding of what it means. ‘Vine’s comment is appropriate: “A Dispensation is not a period or epoch (a common, but erroneous, use of the word) but rather a mode of dealing with, an arrangement or administrator of affairs” . -(‘Vine’s Expository Dictionary).
To understand the Plan and Obectives of God throughout the ages, one must see the difference and relationship between a “dispensation” and a “covenant”. A “dispensation” is a temporary period of time based on a conditional test to determine if humanity will be faithful to the conditions of God. Scofield defined a “dispensation” as “a period of time during which man is tested in respect to some specific revelation of the will of God”. According to Charles Ryrie “A dispensation is a distinguishable economy in the outworking of God’s purpose. If one were describing a dispensation he would include other things, such as the idea of distinctive revelation, testing, failure and judgment.” Humanity has failed these various testings, and thus, each dispensation ended in judgment.
A Biblical covenant is an eternal agreement God makes with mankind, revealing what He will do for humanity. God made “seven” covenants with humanity, not “two” as Covenant/Reformed theology state, throughout history. Each covenant reveals principles by which God will relate to man. Man has the “free will” to reject the covenant or principles of God, but when he violates the covenant, he suffers the consequences.
There are certain essentials of “Dispensationalism”, and these distinctions are largely between Israel and the Church. This comes out of the dispensationalist’s consistent employment of normal or plain or historical-grammatical interpretation of the basic purpose of God in all His dealing with humanity as that of glorifying Himself through salvation and other purposes as well. Personal salvation is not the primary purpose of God, as most people seem to think. First and foremost, the primary purpose of God is to bring His own Glorification. You will find this fact out by reading the entire Bible. God leaves no doubt in the reader’s mind, God wants ALL the glory! If you doubt it, I can identify as many as 80 passages of Scripture that explicitly state such. This is the purpose of worship.
Keep watching and listening for the trumpet call!
Pastor Bob (29 June 2014)
All Doves:Picking up where I left off, I will address the three key essentials of Dispensational theology. It is important that the reader recognize that this view or interpretation of the Bible is the only view that offers a coherent systematic view of the Bible, where the Biblical narrative offers a connected and integrated grand panorama of His-Story. It begins with and ends with an overarching story, and is not simply a collection of fables or myths. It is a historical record of humanity.
The first essential of Dispensationalism is not just a literal interpretation, but more fully a consistent literal hermeneutic. It is an interpretation that does not “spiritualize” or “allegoricalize”as does Covenant/Reformed interpretation. Simply put, Dispensationalism “makes sense” of the overall puzzle, it’s like having the the box cover of a 1,000 piece puzzle to guide one through the assembling of the pieces in putting the puzzle together.
A literal interpretation is foundational to the Dispensational approach to understanding the Bible. It is really about common sense to first see it as God intended. This is not rocket science and does not require years of Biblical training. Some formal Bible education may even prove to be detrimental, and it really matter where that Biblical education comes from.
The second essential of Dispensationalism keeps Israel and the Church as distinct entities. Again, common sense makes sense. Anyone who fails to distinguish Israel and the Church consistently will inevitably wander aimlessly in attempting to make sense of what becomes nonsense. Dispensationalism is not complex at all.
Dispensationalists believe the Bible teaches that God’s single program for history includes a distinct plan for Israel and the Jews, and a distinct plan for the Church. God’s plan for history has two peoples: Israel/Jews and Church/believers. There is a third people, we call Gentiles but for now our focus is on the Dispensations and the rules for human life. They are not ways of salvation. There is only ONE way of salvation and that is by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.
The third essential of Dispensationalism is aptly summarized in a quote by Dr. Renald Showers, “The ultimate purpose of all history is the glory of God through the demonstration that He alone is the Sovereign God.” Certainly this point is well dispersed throughout the Bible. Citing Ezekiel 36:22, “Therefore say unto the House of Israel. Thus saith the Lord GOD; I do not this for your sakes, O House of Israel, but for mine Holy Name’s sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went.” This theme is found five times just in the book of Ezekiel: 20:9; 20:14; 20:22; 20:44; and 26:22. This point is explicitly found elsewhere in over 30 passages throughout the Bible.
We believe that Dispensationalism is a system of theology that has been properly developed from the Bible itself. It does not rest on any human before or now. Accusations by those opposed to the Dispensationalist hermeneutic often pontificate by stating that this is the creation of C.I. Scofield, then go on to tell the world had bad he was in their strawman attacks. They then attempt to buttress their words by attacking Dr. Tim LaHaye and Hal Lindsey, leading to the idea these men proclaim heresy about the Bible. Then they go on to attack the late Chuch Smith, Chuck Missler, and Jack Van Impe. The fact is most of those critics can’t begin to hold a candle to any of the names noted.
Dispensationalism is essential to correctly understand the Bible, and especially Bible prophecy. No one will be able to “rightly divide God’s Word” without understanding these great truths. Instead of being a hindrance to the “correct” understanding of God’s Word, as critics contend, Dispensationalism is merely a “human” label for the correct approach to and a understanding of Scripture.
Initially, I was not a member of this hermeneutical school of Dispensational theology. I attended and graduated from two theological seminaries that taught the exact opposite of Dispensationalism, they taught the Covenant/Reformed hermeneutic. When I graduated, I was “confused” to put it mildly. I could not offer a coherent understanding of the Bible and I had at that point seven years and thousands of dollars of education, that for all intent and purpose, that was useless babble from the schools of higher criticism. I read all the required readings of Karl Barth, Rudolf Bultmann, Juilus Wellhausen, and all the names associated with Christian theology. I saw classmates, drop by the wayside, some became atheists and agnostics, others became drunks and skirt chasers, all because of the nonsense from going to institutions that prided themselves for their academic excellence and superiority. This is often is poked fun of by referring to seminaries as cemeteries. During a personal crisis that resulted when I learned that my wife had a terminal brain illness, I left pastoral ministry in anger at God. In seven years of theological education and not once did anyone teach us why bad things happen to good people. I came to a point where I sat at a rural unprotected railroad grade crossing near my home, planning to take my life by driving in front on an oncoming freight train. That morning, for unknown reasons, the train traffic had stopped. Normally the busy line between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia/New York saw a train at least every fifteen to twenty minutes during the morning hours of 8 and 12 noon. I sat for three hours with not so much as a peep on my railroad scanner. I had picked the spot because it was two hundred yards from an obscure curve in a rock cut hillside. No train traveling at 50-mph can stop in such a short distance and I figured I would leave this world in a story byline that “I tried to beat the train to the crossing and lost”. I had plenty of life insurance that would have covered my children’s future, and after almost three hours of being parked in a convenient spot, I turned my car radio on and strangely as it was, the station was playing “Blessed Assurance” and I was instantly broken! My radio was never previously set to a Christian station, it was always tuned to a local 24-hour news station. I was a caregiver for twenty-five years before my wife died from Huntingdon’s Disease. I worked in the publishing business for two major New York publishers, and served a few small part-time churches before returning to to an Evangelical Seminary to do graduate work in church history and apologetics. As I renewed my study of the Bible, I began to see that everything that I had been taught in the Covenant/Reformed theology seminaries was all excrement. I came to the Dispensational hermeneutic on my own. I had not even heard of C.I. Scofield, would not have recognized his name. Out of curiosity, I came across a book a few years ago, written by someone down south that poisoned the opinions of others concerning C.I. Scofield, and then learned that it was all an effort to destroy and attack Dispensationalism, and it was done by attacking the messenger first.
The well of Hermeneutics was long ago poisoned by Roman Catholic false teachers, subsequently by the Jesuits, who infiltrated Protestant churches and schools, and finally into the Translation Societies. In the 19th century the heresies of the cults came along and further confused the laity of the church.
Getting back to our understanding what a dispensation is, it is seen as an administration of God’s economy that includes the following elements:
++Promises from God
++Commandments from God that test humanity’s obedience
++Principles for humanity to live by
++Humanity’s failure to keep God’s commands
++Progressive revelation of God’s plan for history
I noted the generally accepted periods or dispensations in the first part of this series of posts. For review, they include the following:
3. Human Government
The first dispensation is commonly referred to during the first period or Dispensations as the Edenic and Adamic Covenants. While they are not actually covenants, but for learning purposes, they can be discussed for comparison purposes.
1. The Edenic Covenant and the Dispensation of Innocence. The first covenant involved man’s physical existence on Earth. Adam had no history and therefore no knowledge of how to care for his physical needs. Rather than leaving man to experiment with ways to provide for his necessities, God revealed to Adam how he should care for his human needs. Mankind’s primary needs have not significantly changed throughout time.
When God created Adam sinless in the Garden, He gave Adam certain principles to follow. If Adam kept these principles, he would prosper:
1. Replenish the Earth with children -(Genesis 1:28).
2. Use nature (subdue the Earth) for food, shelter, and clothing -(Genesis 1:28).
3. Have dominion over animal life -(Genesis 1:28).
4. Eat fruit and vegetables -(Genesis 1:28).
5. Work for sustenance -(Genesis 2:15).
6. Obey God (abstaining from eating of the tree that God prohibited) the tree of the knowledge of good and evil -(Genesis 2:17).
The Edenic Covenant is tied to the Dispensation of Innocence, whereby God tested man to see if he would live by God’s conditions. God told man not to eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil -(Genesis 2:17. The Dispensation ended in man’s failure – Eve was deceived -(1 Timothy 2:14), and Adam deliberately disobeyed. As a result, the first man had personal and experiential knowledge of good and evil. What seemed like a simple, limited act of eating fruit ended in a broad, conscious knowledge of right and wrong. In the next Dispensation, the descendants of Adam were responsible for this new awareness of sin.
Because Adam could not keep the conditions of the first Dispensation, God judged him. The judgment was expulsion from the Garden. The first Dispensation – and the others as well – reveals that natural man is incapable of obeying or pleasing God. Man lost the benefits of living in the innocent environment of Eden. This point should be noted by those that think they will achieve God’s love from strict obedience to the Law will not earn them brownie points. Its a futile effort. But the Covenantal Principle would continue: Man was responsible to provide for his own needs. As a result of man’s failure, God placed cherubim at the entrance to the Garden to keep man from returning -(Genesis 3:24). What does this tell you about God’s character?
Next we will look at the Adamic Covenant and the Dispensation of Conscience. The second covenant grew out of man’s failure in the first Dispensation. The Adamic Covenant promised not only redemption for humanity but also judgment for the one who was responsible for the first sin.
2. The Adamic Covenant and the Dispensation of Conscience. The Adamic Covenant and the Dispensation of Conscience included:
1. God cursed the serpent, Satan’s tool, and reduced it from a beautiful creature to a hated reptile.
2. God promised destruction for Satan in a future blow to the head -(Genesis 3:15). Genesis 3:15 is the very first Biblical prophecy unfolding the master plan of redeeming mankind.
3. God promised that the woman would bear a seed, a redeemer for mankind who would destroy Satan -(Genesis 3:15).
4. God would provide for the physical necessities of life through hard and despised physical work -(Genesis 3:19).
5. God cursed nature (the creation). It reluctantly gives its fruit for man’s necessities, and its beauty is veiled -(Genesis 3:17-19).
6. The woman would have multiplied sorrow in childbirth and be submission to her husband -(Genesis 3:16).
7. The human race would experience physical death -(Romans 5:12).
Because man failed to live up to the test of the Dispensation of Innocence, God gave him a second Dispensational test. Mankind could not go back, so it went forward to its next test. As humanity entered a hostile environment outside the Garden, God gave a second set of conditions to live by. This Dispensation of Conscience is guided by the living by the limited knowledge of right and wrong that Adam and Eve experientially accumulated. God introduced the Adamic Covenant at the beginning of this Dispensation.
During the Dispensation of Conscience, man enjoyed long life but was still not able to follow his conscience. Humanity failed the test and revealed that it would not keep the general principles of goodness. Instead “every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” -(Genesis 6:5), and “it repented the Lord that He had made man” -(Genesis 6:6). The Dispensation of Conscience ended in the judgment of the Flood. In the last thirty years we have learned much from archeology, paleontology, medicine, and geology that fills in the gaps of history pertaining to the subject of Genesis 6, as to why God expressed regrets of His creating mankind. God destroyed humanity via the Flood chiefly because the gene pool of man had been polluted and corrupted by intercourse between fallen angels and women. We have evidence today that suggests God’s Flood did not eliminate all of the angelic beings. In fact, there are many examples of how the Genesis 6 account has been discovered to have greater substance than first thought.
After the Flood wiped out society and left only eight people alive, God introduced a new covenant with new promises. It came with a new Dispensation and new tests as well. The principles of the first and second covenant continue (people must provide for themselves and live by their conscience), but now man no longer lives as a private individual, responsible only to himself. We refer to this as the Noachic Covenant and the Dispensation of Human Government.
3. The Noachic Covenant and the Dispensation of Human Government. The Noachic Covenant includes the institution of human government. Mankind is to live in a corporate society. Prior to this, people lived in extended families ruled by tribal heads. But as society became larger, people came to be organized under corporate government.
After the Flood, God made a Covenant with Noah and gave the Rainbow as a sign: “This is the token of the Covenant which I make between Me and you.” -(Genesis 9:12). The Noachic Covenant became the third period of time, the Dispensation of Human Government. God no longer allows the conscience of individuals to be the sole basis of human life. Mankind failed to live according to personal conscience, so God punished mankind through the universal Flood.
In the Covenant of Human Government, God confirms elements of of the previous covenants: man is to subdue the Earth and provide for his necessities -(Genesis 9:3), and the physical laws of the universe will remain ordered -(Genesis 8:22). God also adds a new promise. The Earth will never have another universal Flood -(Genesis 9:15). The core of the Noachic Covenant was the judicial taking of life -(Genesis 9:6), which is the ultimate expression of government.
The test of the Dispensation of Human Government was for humanity to divide into nations or societies and govern itself. The Bible does not tell us a whole lot about how men lived under its test. Most of the generatons of the sons of Noah, and Genesis 10 is only representative of this lengthy and mysterious period of time. However, the judgments that end this era are well known.
Humanity’s failure is evident from the Divine judgment of the Tower of Babel -(Genesis 11:6-8). Even though mankind failed the Dispensation of Government, God did not dissolve the principles He gave Noah. The principles of government and the principles from the first two covenant continued forward.
Everything heretofore is based upon a “Literal” reading of the text. In my next post I will continue with the remaining Covenants that make up the Dispensational Hermeneutic. The fact is that God said what He meant, and meant what He said. Once we begin to “spiritualize” away the “literal” meaning of the words of Scripture, we are in danger of telling “spiritual lies”. The Bible is a historical [His-Story] document with no equal in the story of humanity. It is also prophetic, and tells us how history will conclude. These points are not to be subject of debate because they are self-evident to even the casual reader of the Bible. At the conclusion of my posts on Dispensationalism, I will deal with the Covenant/Reformed theology for you to compare and decide for yourselves which position offers a Biblical Worldview of history and life.
Pastor Bob (29 June 2014)
All Doves:This is the continuation and conclusion of my post on Dispensationalism.
4. The fourth period is the Abrahamic Covenant and the Dispensation of Promise.
When God called Abram, the turning point of man experienced a dramatic turning point. God had previously dealt with all humanity in each of the Dispensations. But with Abram, God chose one man and planned to make from him a single nation as the center of His work. Through this single nation, God planned to save the world. People often ask, why did God choose the Jews. The answer may be in the fact the Hebrews were the only mono-theistic people of the nations all around them. That is offered up as just one reason, however, I believe there are others as well. But it is true, all the other peoples worshiped many gods and were poly-theistic.
The promises of the Abrahamic Covenant include:
1. God would make out of Abraham a great nation – a nation that would influence the other nations, a nation that would continue while others disappeared.
2. God would bless this nation with financial and spiritual prosperity -(Genesis 12:2).
3. God would make the name of Abraham universal and enduring.
4. God would bless Abraham – (Galatians 3:13-14).
5. God would bless the nations that bless the seed of Abraham.
6. God would bless all the families of the Earth all through Abraham’s seed, the Christ -(Genesis 12:3).
7. God led Abraham to that land -(Genesis 12:1) and then promised to give it to him -(Genesis 12:7). It is therefore called the Promised Land.
The most important aspect of God’s covenant to Abraham is its promise. This fourth period, the Dispensation of Promise, tested God’s people’s willingness and ablity to accept and live in light of the promise of God. They were to live in the Promised Land and trust God for the Promised Seed.
Each Dispensation included a test, and the fourth Dispensation reflects man’s inability to live by the Promise of God. The descendants of Abraham refused to live in the Land by faith, so they migrated to Egypt. This Dispensation’s final test and failure of God’s people (Israel) occurred when God attempted to bring them out of Egypt into the Promised Land. At Kadesh-Barnea, the people refused to trust God and enter the Promised Land. God judged them, and everyone of them who did not accept the Promise of God died in the wilderness. Only those of faith (Joshua and Caleb) and those younger than twenty years of age later were permitted to enter the Promised Land.
5. The Mosaic Covenant and the Dispensation of Law. The fifth Dispensation of Law is linked with the Mosaic Covenant. It was given on Mount Sinai where the Law was given to Moses. The Law demonstrated to each individual that he was a sinner before God. During the previous Dispensations, man was a sinner even when he did not have the knowledge of the Law. The Apostle Paul tells us, “Death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression.” -(Romans 5:14). That passage also points out that God uses such things as “similtudes”, “symbology”, “types”, “themes” and many other linguistic tools and object lessons to communicate He Word.
The Mosaic Covenant had three parts to it:
1. The commandments expressing the righteous will of God.
2. The judgments expressing the social life of Israel.
3. The ordinances directing the religious life of Israel.
Jesus called all these “The Law” -(Matthew 5:17), and Paul explained that it was a ministry of condemnation -(2 Corinthians 3:7-9). No one was ever saved by keeping the Law – it was simply God’s way of testing Israel. The nation’s failure to keep the Law ended in judgment, as did all the other Dispensations. Those today that have chose to go back under the Law have been deceived into believing a lie, furthermore, it reflects their ignorance of the Biblical message, since no one was saved by the Law, ever. Paul stated that it was a “schoolmaster” to communicate the hopelessness of trying to live under the Law. Today, many religious groups attempt to get people to believe that things will change if they return to the Law of Moses. This is very common with all the cults, even Jewish believers, in some cases. Salvation comes by ONLY ONE WAY – by the grace of God through faith in the Messiah Christ Jesus! It is Grace + nothing. Anyone that teaches you have to be baptized, be a church member, do good works, perform rituals, tithe, whatever is putting the person under the Mosaic Law which was a failure in itself. There is a real possibility that it nullifies salvation by grace through faith. I have found Biblicl evidence to validate that statement. There is another aspect of the Torah that people fail to know. The Hebrew word for Law is “nomos”, however, the meaning of Torah (referred to as the books of the Law) literally, means “teachings”.
The Dispensation of Law ended with Jesus Christ. He alone, kept the Law (fulfilled it perfectly) -(Matthew 5:17, and then nailed the Law to the Cross -(Colossians 2:14), and “abolished in His flesh the enmity, even the Law of commandments contained in ordinances” -(Ephesians 2:15).
Finally, just as principles from the previous covenants continued into the subsequent Dispensations, so the principles of the Law continue past the Cross of Jesus Christ. He did not take away the wisdom of the Law, or the “Spirit” of the Law, but rather the penalties of the Law. Legalists insist the keeping of the “letter” of the law at the expense of the “spirit” of the Law. Law-keepers may believe seriously they are in Covenant, however, this Dispensation applied strictly to the Jews alone. My experience over five decades has been that they use so-called Law-keeping as a badge of showing off to others, that they are super-spiritual. We see this with Sabbath-keepers, of all stripes. They are quick to boast and undercut those believers that worship formally on Sunday. I would recommend you go back and read my post “SDA Aberration -4″ which addresses this bogus spirituality associated with Sabbath observance. There is only way in dealing with Law-keeprs, or the “Legalists” which most of them are not, truly keepers of the Law, by the things that they continue to do on the Sabbath, and that is to know your Bible. There were more requirements of Sabbatarianism than just worshiping on the Sabbath.
6. The New Covenant is associated with the Dispensation of Grace. The Old Testament looked ahead to the New Covenant, “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a New Covenant with the House of Israel, and with the House of Judah” -(Jeremiah 31:31). Note that passage affirms the day when the two houses of Judaism will be reunited. Covenant/Reformed theology does not teach that and, for all intent and purpose, rejects the importance of the Jews. It is also called the Second Covenant, in contrast to the Mosaic Covenant of the Law: “For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the Second” -(Hebrews 8:7). The New Covenant is “better” than the Old Covenant:
1. It is unconditional. “I will make [a covenant] with the House of Israel” and “I will be to them a God” -(Hebrews 8:10).
2. God guarantees that men will keep its conditions. “I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts” -(Hebrews 8:10).
3. It extends to all, “For all shall know me, from the least to the greatest” -(Hebrews 8:11).
4. It will completely eradicate sin, “There sins and their iniquities will I remember no more” -(Hebrews 8:12).
5. It rests upon the sacrifice of Christ, the better Mediator, and assure eternal blessedness from those that accept it.
Jesus Christ predicted the New Covenant on the night of His death, when He instituted the Lord’s Supper. “This is my blood of the New Covenant [Testament] which is shed for many for the remision of sins.” -(Matthew 26:28). The results of the New Covenant apply primarily to the Dispensation of Grace/Church Age, but in the same way that the previous Covenants have all had eternal applications to the future Dispensations, the New Covenant provides the benefits of salvation for believers from previous Dispensations.
The Dispensation of Grace does not test legal obedience. Rather, the question is this: What will a person do with Jesus Christ? The believers in this Dispensation must accept Christ Jesus and live by Grace. The Dispensation of Grace will end with the professing Church rejecting Grace and slides into apostasy. The resulting Tribulation is God’s judgment that ends the era of Grace. The apostasy began with the Church surrendering to the abortion movement, and the recent cave-in to the sodomite movement that has been adopted by nearly all of the mainline Protestant churches.
7. The Davidic Covenant is associated with the Dispensation of the Kingdom. This Covenant is the least understood today by non-Dispensationalists. God’s Covenant with David is unique. An extended gap of time separates God’s past revelation of the Covenant to David from its future accomplishments. The Davidic Covenant had immediate implications for Israel, but it was the basis for a future Dispensation known as the Kingdom Age – the Millennium – when David’s Son will sit on the throne of Israel and rule from Jerusalem. We are talking here about Revelation 20. 90% of the Christian community dogmatically reject the idea of the Millennial earthly reign of Christ Jesus. Just ask people, do you believe Christ is coming back to rule and reign from Jerusalem?
Previously, God had promised Eve she would have a seed who would be the Redeemer -(Genesis 3:15). God later narrowed the line of Promise to the descendants of Shem -(Genesis 9:26), then the family of Abraham -(Genesis 12:3), and finally to the Tribe of Judah -(Genesis 49:10). Now the focus narrows even more and the Redeemer – the Seed of Promise to come from the descendants of David.
The Davidic Covenant -(Psalm 89:20-37) is conditional and based on the nature of God. God established His Nation through the Abrahamic Covenant. He provided laws for the people of the nation through the Mosaic Covenant, and He established a ruler over them in the Davidic Covenant. The Davidic Covenant has a fourfold Promise found in 2 Samuel 7:13.
1. God will establish David’s family line.
2. God will rule over His people through His Son, the Son of David.
3. God will establish His Kingdom.
4. God will recognize David’s reign forever.
This Covenant is perpetual and unbreakable: “My covenant will I not break … once I have sworn by My Holiness that I will not lie unto David” -(Psalm 89:34-35). When Israel disobeyed , God did not abrogate or cancel the Covenant. He only chastised His people for their disobedience. The chastisement came when the Kingdom divided under Rehoaboam. God confirmed the Davidic Covenant by an oath -(Psalm 89), later confirmed it to the Virgin Mary -(Luke 12:31-33), and Peter repeated it on Pentecost -(Acts 2:29-32).
We can know for certainty that God will fulfill this covenant in a future Kingdom. This seventh and last era of time to govern man’s life on Earth will follow the apocalyptic judgment at the end of the Church Age. Man will fail to please God even though He is giving man ample opportunity to do so. In this last Dispensation, man will live in a perfect environment, Jesus Christ, Himself, will rule mankind, and God will remove the curse on nature. But even in these ideal circumstances, man will still fail to please God. This explains why God will release Satan from the abyss for a short while.
The “Dispensation of the Fullness of Times” -(Ephesians 1:10) is another name for the future Kingdom, which David’s son will rule -(2 Samuel 7:8-17; Zechariah 12:8; Luke 1:31-33). This era will be filled with blessings:
1. Christ Jesus will take control of the Kingdom -(Isaiah 11:3-4) and put an end to anarchy and misrule.
2. God will reward mankind and provide rest -(2 Thessalonians 1:6-7).
3. God will glorify those who have suffered -(Romans 8:17-18).
4. God will save all of Israel -(Romans 11:26), cure her blindness -(Corinthians 3:4), and restore her -(Ezekiel 39:25-29).
5. The time of the Gentiles will cease.
6. God will lift the curse on the creation and nature will be magnified -(Genesis 3:17; Isaiah 11:6-8; 65:20-25; Romans 8:19-21).
Even the last Dispensation of ideal circumstances will end in judgment. The test will be for people to submit to the Son of David, Christ Jesus. He will rule with a rod of iron, which means He will be he absolute Ruler who will guide mankind with justice and equity. But at the end of the 1,000 year reign, a group will gather in rebellion against the King -(Revelation 20:7-9). God will judge them along with Satan -(Revelation 20:10). Then at the
final judgment of the ages (Dispensations), those who rejected God will be cast into the lake of fire along with Satan -(Revelation 20:11-15).
Thus God will have demonstrated that in every age (Dispensation), under every circumstance or test, man could not or would not live according to the principles expressed in the covenants nor keep the requirements of the Dispensations.
Those who live with God throughout eternity will do so by the Grace of God. Man has done absolutely nothing to merit salvation. GRACE is “God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense.” Those who suffer eternal separation will realize that God gave mankind multiple opportunities and different tests through which to demonstrate faith in Him. And in every Dispensation, humanity failed. Therefore, in future ages, no person will be able to say that God was unfair or unmerciful.
The Dispensations enabled us to correctly understand God’s prophetic timetable of history. The current era focuses on the Church as the instrument through which God works, not on Israel. Yet for the rest of Daniel’s prophecy -(Daniel 9:25-27) look for it to be fulfilled Literally in the same way the initial sixty-nine weeks were fulfilled, the Church must be removed from the Earth. This event is called the Rapture. It could happen at any moment and it will precede the last “seven” years of God’s decree for Israel, known as the Tribulation.
Dispensationalism is the only Biblical hermeneutic that provides a coherent, “World View”. If you have digested these posts on Dispensationalism, you may have discovered a clearer understanding of many questions that you may have had in the back of your mind. You can see why certain groups of people are so spiteful and hateful of the Dispensational hermeneutic, and anyone that holds to this way of understanding the Bible. It brings out the anger of those that claim they are the true church, or you have to observe the Sabbath, and a host of other things that get in their craw, such as the Pre-Tribulational Rapture!
Blessings from God,
The following article has a link to a fascinating program that answers very deep and important facts about Satan and the reasons for his rebellion.
It is a deep and profound theological dissertation covering creation of the Universe, the force that keeps it from de-sintegrading and the reason and destiny of mankind.
It is a long radio program, but it is worth hearing for any serious Christian that wants to understand the deeper meanings of scripture.
The concepts covered and the explanations given will make sense and will become a platform for further exploration.
Thanks to Charles Holler for the link.
Charles Holler (22 June 2014)
““The Pedersen Chronicles – Angel Wars and the Luciferian Rebellion (# 4)”“
Hi John and Doves,Here is the link and times for episode #4 of the Pedersen Chronicles with a small note from the staff.AgapeCharles Holler SrShow Times: 8PM ET / 7PM CT / 6PM MT / 5PM PTThe Pedersen Chronicles – Angel Wars and the Luciferian Rebellion (Show 4)Join Johnny Baptist, Kenneth and brother Loren Pedersen this evening for our new series of Bible Mystery Shows entitled “The Pedersen Chronicles”. Brother Loren Pedersen has spent a life time seeking the Lord on the deeper mysteries of the Universe and the hidden understandings of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ. We believe you will be edified and blessed, and your understanding of the depth of God’s creation will be expanded far beyond what you currently understand. Our only disclaimer is that you be a good Berean and search the scripture daily (Acts 17:11) to see if it is so. None of us will know the whole story until we stand before your King Yeshua Jesus the Messiah.Please Note: This is not a live broadcast and we will not have a chat room available. Also please disregard the message for the Host to Call Into the show.God Bless You – See you there!!
Every time Mr. Gary Stearman meets with LA Marzulli it is about the Nephilin and the new UFO information that these flying objects can be filmed using ultra red cameras.
The conversation is very interesting.
Cloak of Secrecy Part 1
This video below is the continuation of the one above
Trey Smith is the author of this exceptional video that covers a multitude of subjects.
If you are and advanced and very mature Bible Prophecy Christian you are probably familiar with many of the material that was shown or covered here. But even then many of the things presented will be new.
His presentation is dynamic and flows easily from one theme to another, from the present to the past and you would be hard pressed to see a disconnect of subject or theme in the whole video.
He has made a tapestry of the occult the spiritual and historical events and has covered seldom read or known books like the book of Enoch written by the seventh person from Adam.
Nephilim: TRUE STORY of Satan, Fallen Angels, Giants, Aliens
Covers the three myths of the middle east