Against Dispensationalism

Against Disp

Truth Matters… The truth will make you free (Jn 8:32)

2-9-2012 G.J. Harloff, Ph.D.

North Olmsted, Ohio 44070

Abstract

This pamphlet examines the veracity of Bible teaching based on literal interpretation and spoof-texting. Spoof-texting is a teaching method that employs a word-search- approach to present lots of scriptures without time for thought. It is concluded that man-centric literal interpretation, including spoof-texting, leads directly to the different literal system discussed herein. This literal system is dispensationalism and is in wide spread use today.

MacArthur asks for Biblical proof (in GC 70-16 tape) that the Old Testament Israel is the church. This booklet is partly about illustrating this proof and attempts to show: (1) the Bible teaches that there is a continuation between spiritual (individual believing) Israel and the church, (2) the mystery in the New Testament is not that there is a church, but rather that Gentiles are fellow heirs of the same body and partakers of His promise in Christ, (3) believing Gentiles historically joined Israel in the Old Testament, (4) the “new man” in the New Testament is comprised of believing Jews and Gentiles, (5) those who believe in Christ (that Christ is the Messiah, died for our sins, and was resurrected to eternal life) are children of Abraham and all believers are part of the “olive tree” nourished by Christ, (6) the Old Testament prediction of the New Covenant “But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the LORD, “I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people .” (Jer 31:33) is synonymous with the New Covenant announced by Christ at His last supper, and (7) salvation in Christ is the same in both the Old and New Testaments because no one comes to the Father except through Christ.

Introduction

This pamphlet compares the assumptions of a literalistic system with reformed theology and scriptural references are cited. Of course reformed theology and or the different literal system may both be wrong. The literal system rejects the continuation of the Old Testament believers into the New Testament church and instead assumes that Israel “temporarily” forfeited the privilege of being “the people of God”.

We are instructed by scripture to oppose incorrect teaching (Gal 2:11-14), and to search the scripture daily to test its true interpretation (Acts 17:11). We need to be in the Word daily to discern the truth with the help of the Holy Spirit. Continue reading

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Eschatology by Ethos: Why the “Optimism” vs. “Pessimism” Paradigm Doesn’t Work

Pessimism-or-optimism-small

Why the “Optimism” vs. “Pessimism” Paradigm Doesn’t Work

Kim Riddlebarger

Anyone familiar with the in-house feud between Reformed postmillenarians and Reformed amillenarians knows that the debate between these two positions is often framed in terms of “optimistic” postmillenarians vs. “pessimistic” amillenarians. Despite the widespread use and apparent utility of these labels, I remain unconvinced that one can formulate a proper and biblical eschatology merely by identifying a position’s distinctive ethos and then choosing the most “optimistic” of the various options.

To avoid being labeled an “eschatological pessimist”—a negative label that postmillenarians have successfully pinned on dispensationalists—a number of Reformed amillenarians self-consciously identify themselves as “optimistic” amillenarians. In making this identification, the optimistic amillenarian attempts to co-opt the attractive rhetoric of cultural progress and transformation used by postmillenarians, while at the same time avoiding the serious exegetical problem associated with postmillennialism—a rather embarrassing shortage of biblical passages in the New Testament that teach such a view.

While I am “optimistic” about the kingdom of God and the progress it will make during the interadvental age (and would likely qualify to be an “optimistic” amillenarian), I’m not so sure an unqualified affirmation of “optimism” is the best way for Reformed amillenarians to respond to those who determine the soundness of one’s eschatological position using the optimism/pessimism paradigm. Here’s why.

No Christian who truly believes that the resurrection of Jesus Christ inaugurates the new creation and guarantees the final victory over Satan and his kingdom at the end of the age wants to be identified as a “pessimist.” No doubt, the New Testament is crystal clear about who wins in the end. God will save his elect, usher in the age to come, consummate his kingdom, raise the dead, judge the world, and make all things new. These truths are certainly reason enough to be optimistic about the eventual outcome of the present course of world history, especially when one considers what Jesus Christ did to secure our redemption from sin’s power and consequence. Through his death and resurrection, Jesus Christ removes the curse and defeats our greatest enemy, which is death. No small thing and a very good reason to be optimistic. Continue reading

The Antichrist

Man of sin anti christs

By Kim Riddlebarger

Perhaps no subject broached by contemporary Bible prophecy teachers engenders more speculation and less sound Biblical exegesis than does the subject of Antichrist. This is certainly due to the mysterious nature of the subject itself, as well as to the fact that no other aspect of Bible prophecy lends itself so nicely to speculation regarding the identification of one specific individual who will become the very personification of evil and the archenemy of Jesus Christ and his gospel.

“Pin the tail” on the Antichrist is not merely an evangelical fascination. Indeed, such speculation has gone on almost from the beginning of Christianity. Irenaeus (130-200) argued that Antichrist would be a Jewish born, satanically inspired, usurper of God’s true glory, who would appear in the Jerusalem temple in connection with an end-times great apostasy. (1) The Protestant Reformers, of course, universally identified the papacy with the Antichrist, the Apology of the Augsburg Confession (1540) stating that “the papacy will also be a part of the kingdom of Antichrist if it maintains that human rites justify (XV.18).” The Westminster Confession (1647) contends that the Pope is “that antichrist, that man of sin, and son of perdition, that exalteth himself in the church against Christ, and all that is called God (XXV.6).” Rome, not to be outdone, has returned the favor, contending that antichristic Protestant “heresies have swept down from the North, where Calvin, Wycliffe, Luther and legions of Protestants are ravaging the flock of Christ.” (2)

But there is no doubt that much of contemporary speculation has taken the concept of identifying the Antichrist to new extremes. One of my favorite possessions is a booklet passed on to me by my grandmother, entitled The Time of Jacob’s Trouble (1939), wherein the author attempts to demonstrate that the revived Germany under Hitler in the pre-World War II years is the supposed last-days ten-nation confederacy predicted in Revelation 13. Of course, the author very deftly demonstrates how Mussolini is the false prophet and how Italian imperialism in Ethiopia is proof that Rome is the great harlot of Revelation 18 and compatriot of the German beast. I can still remember the fear instilled in me as a child, when I heard, one preacher declare that Antichrist was then living somewhere in the Middle East, probably still a child playing stickball in some crowded dusty street, awaiting the day when he would be possessed by the devil and allowed to wreck havoc on the world after the rapture. Continue reading

Rapture prediction: the effect on Christian Faith

Grant Swart

What follows here is another perspective on the possible effects, of giving heed to individuals like Harold Camping, could have on the perception of unbelievers regarding the Christian faith.

In South Africa, an advocate of Camping’s thinking, a certain Johannes Coetzee, received much radio and media coverage, in the days prior to 21 May 2011. In a society wherein a large majority of people are suffering from the devastating effects of the economic low and the falling away from true Faith, due to the ecumenical, secular and pagan beliefs of the majority of local society and government, the added result of Johannes Coetzee’s false predictions, has yet to be determined.

Taken from the article, James Boyett effectively states:

“What Harold Camping does, he gives people on the outside … it gives them ammunition to say ‘This man is a nut job; he’s a Christian. Christians are nut jobs. If you’re Christian, why should I listen to what you’re saying”

“My advice would be anytime you put too much faith in a fellow human, you’re going to be let down.”

“What Harold Camping said and what Harold Camping has taught is not the essence of Christianity.” Continue reading

Harold Camping & May 21 Judgment Day – Update!

By Ken Silva pastor-teacher on May 20, 2011

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty.

For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power.

Avoid such people. For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth. (2 Timothy 3:1-7)

Continue reading

Harold Camping prepares for Judgment Day

I was alerted earlier today to listen to a local radio talk about the infamous date 21 May 2011. The person who was interviewed was Johannes Coetzee on radio RSG. It grieves my heart to know there are actually people who believe this nonsensical rubbish. I believe every true Christian will by the Grace of God have discernment enough to shun this lie. There are sadly others who will blindly follow these False teachers. This led me to go back to Scripture and again it was made clear that Mat 24:36  “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. and also Mat 24:42  Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. Praise God for His mercy on our poor wretched souls. Praise God for the only truth we have: the Scripture. Continue reading