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

Charles Haddon Spurgeon: Preacher of Free Grace, or Religious Idiot?

Spurgeon Freeness-of-Grace

Grant Swart

Of course there are those who do not regard Charles Haddon Spurgeon as a preacher of solely the truth. Admittedly, no man can be perfect by his own means, and even perfect holiness is acceptable to God only through Jesus Christ. There are also those who ignorantly rummage about in the published works of Spurgeon in the hope that they will find some shards of support for their own deceived religious belief system, and thereby falsely portraying the famous and well-beloved preacher as a will-worshipping Arminian, like they themselves have been misled to be.

While many Christians have had the misfortune of making the acquaintance of some unrepentant religious idiots, nevertheless, they do exist in larger numbers and their written works proliferate throughout the digital media – their presence is evidenced clearly by the overabundance of their deceitful and misrepresentative contributions. Now, please don’t get me wrong, I do not refer to them as religious idiots because I regard my own capabilities as superior to theirs in any way. I would not dare do that, because in all honesty, many of them are highly intelligent people and some are even academic giants, with qualifications way beyond my own.

Neither do I refer to them as religious idiots because I harbour some form of hatred for them, quite to the contrary, I must have compassion for their lostness. Why would I resent them? For financial gain or for fame? No, I refer to them as religious idiots because they ascribe false man-made doctrines to the Scriptures and then they promote and cling to a damning form of religion, which is set worlds apart from Christianity. I refer to them as religious idiots because they oppose Christ. Continue reading

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

John Calvin: Murderer?

Jerry Johnson discusses those who claim that John Calvin murdered Michael Servetus.

Also refer to these articles listed here on our blog:

Against the World – Calvinism is Satanic

The Truth About Calvin and Servetus

Hyper-Calvinism: the perennial misnomer

Arminianism DEBUNKED – Arminian Theology Destroyed – Calvinism Affirmed

Thundering Truth !!

The Christian’s Sufficiency In Christ

What Theology is This?

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

Doctrines Of Grace – Categorized Scripture List

By Monergism

God has recently given us the opportunity to discuss some theological issues with other Christians who believe differently than we do on a number of points, most notably the doctrines of grace. In such a circumstance, given the overwhelming supply of scriptural evidence that comes to bear on the topic, it seemed to me that the best approach would be a simple categorized scripture list: the fact that the entire paper would be scriptures, with the exception of a few brief explanatory notes, would underscore the truth that this is God’s own word and teaching; and the fact that it would be categorized would facilitate the ready comparison of scripture with scripture so as to lead one to a full-orbed understanding of the biblical teaching. Although I found a few good scripture lists of that nature available online, none of them was laid out in quite the progression that I was looking for, and so I developed my own. I’m posting it here with just the scripture references. Below, for your convenience I have provided a condensed version and a full version of the study. Continue reading

But Spiritual Discernment is Wholly Lost Until we are Regenerated

by John Calvin

The following selection by John Calvin was taken from book 2, chapter 2 parts 18-21 ofThe Institutes of The Christian Religion, translated by by Henry Beveridge, Esq. A must read for all Christians who aspire to better understand the Bible’s teaching on man’s spiritual impotence prior to the regeneration of the Holy Spirit.

18. The limits of our understanding

We must now explain what the power of human reason is, in regard to the kingdom of God, and spiritual discernments which consists chiefly of three things – the knowledge of God, the knowledge of his paternal favour towards us, which constitutes our salvation, and the method of regulating of our conduct in accordance with the Divine Law. With regard to the former two, but more properly the second, men otherwise the most ingenious are blinder than moles. I deny not, indeed, that in the writings of philosophers we meet occasionally with shrewd and apposite remarks on the nature of God, though they invariably savour somewhat of giddy imagination. As observed above, the Lord has bestowed on them some slight perception of his Godhead that they might not plead ignorance as an excuse for their impiety, and has, at times, instigated them to deliver some truths, the confession of which should be their own condemnation. Still, though seeing, they saw not. Their discernment was not such as to direct them to the truth, far less to enable them to attain it, but resembled that of the bewildered traveller, who sees the flash of lightning glance far and wide for a moment, and then vanish into the darkness of the night, before he can advance a single step. So far is such assistance from enabling him to find the right path. Besides, how many monstrous falsehoods intermingle with those minute particles of truth scattered up and down in their writings as if by chance. In short, not one of them even made the least approach to that assurance of the divine favour, without which the mind of man must ever remain a mere chaos of confusion. To the great truths, What God is in himself, and what he is in relation to us, human reason makes not the least approach. (See Book 3 c. 2 sec. 14, 15, 16.) Continue reading

Does God So Love the World?

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

John MacArthur – Grace to You

Love is the best known but least understood of all God’s attributes. Almost everyone who believes in God these days sees Him as a God of love. I have even met agnostics who are quite certain that if God exists, He must be benevolent, compassionate, and loving.

All those things are infinitely true about God, of course, but not in the way most people think. Because of the influence of modern liberal theology, many suppose that God’s love and goodness ultimately nullify His righteousness, justice, and holy wrath. They envision God as a benign heavenly grandfather-tolerant, affable, lenient, permissive, devoid of any real displeasure over sin, who without consideration of His holiness will benignly pass over sin and accept people as they are.

Liberal thinking about God’s love also permeates much of evangelicalism today. We have lost the reality of God’s wrath. We have disregarded His hatred for sin. The God most evangelicals now describe is all-loving and not at all angry. We have forgotten that “It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31)We do not believe in that kind of God anymore. Continue reading

The Truth About Calvin and Servetus

The Facts about Calvin and Servetus:

Those who throw out these charges against Calvin would do well to actually study the issue as opposed to bearing false witness.

1. Michael Servetus taught many unorthodox heresies: astrology,pantheismNeo-PlatonismSemi-Pelagianismrejected the Trinity,rejected the Deity of Christ.

2. Servetus was convicted by the Inquisition in France for his heresies, but he escaped before sentencing.

3. Calvin warned him not to come to Geneva because he was would not be welcomed by the Church or the government.

4. Servetus ignored the warnings of Geneva and arrived basically as an attempted revolution of the State.

5. The Geneva City Council believed that blatant heresy was punishable by death. Continue reading

Calminianism, Armalvinism, or somewhere in the middle?

Thank you Amy and Mike for permission to place this interesting discussion and it is edifying indeed !!!

Faith, Podcast | February 14, 2012 by

Today we are talking about something a lot of us don’t discuss much: Calvinism and Arminianism. These are two very different schools of thought in Christian theology, and at times those who are firmly planted in one camp are at odds with those who are staunchly firm in the other. There seems to be Scripture supporting both. Continue reading

Thundering Truth !!

“The old truth that Calvin preached, that Augustine preached, that Paul preached, is the truth that I must preach today, or else be false to my conscience and my God. I cannot shape the truth; I know of no such……thing as paring off the rough edges of a doctrine. John Knox’s gospel is my gospel. That which thundered through Scotland must thunder through England again.” ~Charles H. Spurgeon

Continue reading

John Calvin’s , Christmas Observance

By Bob Vincent

Many people who profess to be Calvinists are surprised to learn that while John Calvin was opposed to the bad things that have sometimes come to be associated with Christmas, he wasn’t against keeping the holiday as a celebration of the birth of Christ and saw it as a matter of liberty for the churches and the individual.

We can gain insight into Calvin’s views by reading two letters, one written on January 2, 1551; the other in March of 1555.  The relevant portions are below, followed by the full contents of both letters.  One may observe that Calvin’s understanding of the Regulative Principle of Worship is not so much focused on the kind of uniform, narrowly limited kind of worship that came to be the legacy of Puritanism, but on protecting the liberty of local congregations and individuals.  One must never forget that liberty of conscience, under the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ speaking in the Scripture, is a fundamental of fundamentals for John Calvin.

Continue reading

The Christian’s Sufficiency In Christ

John Calvin

Institutes of the Christian Religion

We see that our whole salvation and all its parts are comprehended in Christ [Acts 4:12]. We should therefore take care not to derive the least portion of it from anywhere else. If we seek salvation, we are taught by the very name of Jesus that it is “of him” [1 Cor 1:30]. If we seek any other gifts of the Spirit, they will be found in his anointing. If we seek strength, it lies in his dominion; if purity, in his conception; if gentleness, it appears in his birth. For by his birth he was made like us in all respects [Heb. 2:17] that he might learn to feel our pain [cf. Heb. 5:2].

Continue reading

Great theologians on the subject of animals

Grant Swart

John Calvin devoted much time in his extensive (exhaustive) teachings to animals and nature. Here is one link which describes this briefly, there are more, of course: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3817/is_199903/ai_n8845145/?tag=mantle_skin;content

It becomes obvious from this, and from much work of other similarly great theologians, that far too little attention is given to teaching on these matters in the church. People have become obsessed with human earthly matters and how to deal with those things from the point of view of the church. Adaptation to a comfortable life while attempting to conform to biblical standards.

This is a reality, even though the natural world is a subject which affects every moment of Christian’s lives, as we play our part in all of creation. It is also a very common topic of informal discussion among church members. I feel it deserves far more attention from the Continue reading

Why I Am a Calvinist, Part 5 – 8 of 8

by Phil Johnson – Grace to You

Why I Am a Calvinist, Part 5

. . . and why every Christian is a Calvinist of sorts.

Part V: Why this issue is really a lot simpler than most people think

At the end of the previous post, I described how even in my Arminian days, I affirmed an awful lot of truth about the sovereignty of God: I would have affirmed with no reservation whatsoever that God is God; that He does all His good pleasure; that no one can make Him do otherwise; that He is in control and in charge no matter how much noise evildoers try to make; and not only is He in charge, He is working all things out for my good and His glory. As a matter of fact, my confidence in the promise of Romans 8:28 was what motivated my prayer life.

That’s Calvinism. If you believe those things, you have affirmed the heart of Calvinism, even if you call yourself an Arminian. Those are the basic truths of Calvinism, and if you already believe those things, you are functioning with Calvinist presuppositions.

In fact, the truths of Calvinism so much permeate the heart of the gospel message, that even if you think you are a committed and consistent proponent of Arminianism, if you truly affirm the gospel you have already conceded the principle points of Calvinism anyway.

Continue reading