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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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

POLL: Who is the Antichrist?

 by Grant Swart

Speculation regarding antichrist, different antichrists and the Antichrist has always been rife. Discussion regarding the identity of the Antichrist has certainly not been limited to Christian circles, but is also the topic of countless conversations among non-believers throughout much of the world. A plethora of movies, books and even TV and computer games have been produced, which have portrayed the Antichrist in many different guises. It is a topic which has been the catalyst for many to employ overly-dramatized imagery, much poetic license and vivid imaginations.

The virtual or internet realm has brought an added dimension to the world’s fascination with Antichrist, some even believing that it will be through the medium of the internet that Antichrist will gain eventual control of our armies, finances, natural resources and the minds of people. Much of this has served, in large degree, to add even more speculation and undeserved mystery to the prophesied events surrounding the coming Antichrist. Even to the extent that the personality of Antichrist has been glorified and portrayed as being “an interesting and not really such a bad guy”, or simply someone who will be unfairly persecuted or demonized by Christians for their own ideals.

More often than not, popular secular adaptation of perceived coming events, portrays Antichrist as a perfect-looking Continue reading

POLL: Which three Books in the Bible are the most important to you? (Please choose 3)

Grant Swart

In a more light-hearted poll, we create a hypothetical situation which could leave some of us with a difficult choice. Although the scenario is totally fictional and most unlikely, it is nevertheless something to think about, and have a little fun with while watching how our fellow readers regard the various books of the Christian Bible.

For those who might have forgotten the numbers, there are a total of 66 books in the canon of the Christian Bible, 39 in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament. There are 1189 chapters in those 66 books containing 31,173 verses and approximately 773,692 words. The Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox versions of the Bible also contain a collection of uninspired books written during the “silent centuries” (400BC – 27AD). Christians reject the Apocrypha as having not been inspired by God and view all these books as secular uninspired history written by men without the aid of God. But, that is not the subject of this poll, as we covered the subject of the Apocrypha in another poll last year.

Our fantasy situation is this. You will be compelled by the ruling authorities to go to a foreign country for an extended period of time to pick pink striped bananas, count goats and to disprove reports which say that Elvis is selling second-hand pizzas in that country. There you will find yourself among a population consisting of mostly unbelievers and people who follow false religions. So, you will have to do some evangelizing and Bibles will be scarce. Continue reading

POLL: What do you believe about evolution?

There are three major origin-of-life worldviews, atheistic evolution (also commonly known as Darwinian evolution and naturalistic evolution), theistic evolution and special creation.

Atheistic evolution says that there is no God and that life can and did emerge naturally from preexisting, non-living building blocks under the influence of natural laws (like gravity, etc), although the origin of those natural laws is not explained. Special creation says that God created life directly, either from nothing or from preexisting materials.

Theistic evolution says one of two things. The first option is that there is a God, but He was not directly involved in the origin of life. He may have created the building blocks, He may have created the natural laws, He may even have created these things with the eventual emergence of life in mind, but at some point early on He stepped back and let His creation take over. He let it do what it does, whatever that is, and life eventually emerged from non-living material. This view is similar to atheistic evolution in that it presumes a naturalistic origin of life.

The second alternative of theistic evolution is that God did not perform just one or two miracles to bring about the origin of life as we know it. His miracles were constant. He led life step by step down a path that took it from primeval simplicity to contemporary complexity, similar to Darwin’s evolutionary tree of life (fish begot amphibians who begot reptiles who begot birds and mammals, etc). Where life was not able to evolve naturally (how does a reptile’s limb evolve into a bird’s wing naturally?), God stepped in. This view is similar to special creation in that it presumes that God acted supernaturally in some way to bring about life as we know it.

Special creation says that God created life directly, either from nothing or from preexisting materials, exactly according to the Genesis account over a literal six day period.

Share with us your views on which of these three is true of how, what we see today in the universe, came to be. Please feel free to leave us a comment on the subject, in support your view.

– Grant Swart

POLL: Do you believe animals go to heaven?

Grant Swart

This is a question which I posed to adult members of my family on many an occasion while growing up. More often than not, the answer which they gave me was based rather on that which they knew I wanted to hear, than on specific Scriptures.

It is also a question to which, when the verses pertaining to animals in the Bible are pondered on,  the answer does not immediately seem that clear. Animals are so very dear to the hearts of so many people, as they are to mine, that the mere suggestion that their beloved pets might not go to heaven, would be met with fierce opposition. Would that opposition be warranted?

Please tell us what you think in the light of the Scriptures such as: (Gen 1:25)  And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. Also (Isa 11:6)  The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together; and a little child shall lead them.

– Grant

POLL: How should the Apocrypha be considered by Christians?

The Apocrypha or Deuterocanonical books are a number of books which do not appear in the modern Protestant Bible, although they were part of the King James Version at one time. These books still form an integral part of the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Church Bibles.

The Apocrypha were written primarily in the period between the Old Testament and the New Testament. The books are named: 1 Esdras, 2 Esdras, Tobit, Judith, Wisdom of Solomon, Ecclesiasticus, Baruch, the Letter of Jeremiah, Prayer of Manasseh, 1 Maccabees, 2 Maccabees. The early Christian church debated the status of the Apocrypha and certain early church fathers held these writings in high esteem, while others rejected them as not being the inspired Word of God.

Tell us what you think:

Please take a few moments to vote in our poll below.

Your comments regarding why you think the Apocrypha should or should not be regarded as important would also be appreciated in the comment section below. They could be of assistance to other readers.

Many thanks

Grant Swart

  My apologies for the background picture (skulls!!!), I only noticed it after publishing!!