Archive

Archive for March, 2010

S. Lewis Johnson Teachings

March 31, 2010 1 comment

Here is a brief excerpt from the first message in S. Lewis Johnson’s “Life of David” series, an 8-part series he taught in the late 1970s.  He did this series at the same time as the Genesis series, which he makes reference to.  He had recently preached through the section on Esau and Jacob, as here he likens Saul to Esau, the more likeable guy that we could relate to  — in contrast to Jacob and David.  Johnson also makes reference to the Dallas Cowboys’ Roger Staubach.

It’s possible that a man like Abraham excelled David in faith because when we think of Abraham we think of the great exemplar of faith.  He was the great man of faith, and he is the one who is used as the illustration of faith in the New Testament.  Probably Elijah excelled him in forcefulness because Elijah was the prophet of fire, and no doubt some could make a good case for Moses excelling him in communion with the Lord.  But when you look at David as a versatile man, it’s probably doubtful that any of these men excelled David in versatility for he was a man who had numerous talents and gifts given him by God.  He was a man of faith.  He was a forceful man.  He was a warrior.  He also was a man who spent a great deal of time in fellowship and communion with the Lord.  And so he’s a well rounded man of God.

From S. Lewis Johnson’s Acts series, Acts 21, on the matter of Paul’s attitude towards the Mosaic law:

To put it in the words of one of the finest New Testament commentators, “A truly emancipated spirit, such as Paul’s is not in bondage to its own emancipation.”  We are free to put ourselves under law, for a particular reason, Paul says.  But that doesn’t mean that we are not free.  We are free.  We are free to be under the law.  We are free from the law, or we are free for the exercise of the law upon occasion.

But, now, when it comes to the gospel that’s a different matter.  If, for example, our action of being under law compromises the principle of grace, then the apostle will not submit to a legal requirement.  And the finest illustration of this is the passage in Galatians chapter 2, and Titus’ circumcision.  Timothy is desired to be circumcised, in order that they might have ministry and freedom of it.  But in Titus’ case, where the issue was circumcision as a means of salvation, listen to what Paul says about that.

Galatians 2, verse 1, “Then fourteen years after I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also.  And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them, which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain.  But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised:  And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage.”

Advertisements

Gideon and Samson

March 25, 2010 Leave a comment

Currently I’m working through S. Lewis Johnson’s Old Testament topical characters: Gideon and now Samson. These are short series: 3 for the life of Gideon, and 4 for Samson, and so I’m almost through, with an 8-part series of the life of David, and a 7-part series on Elijah, coming up soon. Johnson did the two characters from Judges in a set, in 1978.

A few good nuggets of Bible teaching from these:

Judges chapters 6, 7 and 8 show different portrayals of Gideon: first the hesitant, more fearful Gideon; then Gideon the confident warrior; and then the Gideon that stumbled into sin. S. Lewis Johnson often asked the Gideons, of Gideon International, if they follow the Gideon of Judges 6, Judges 7, or Judges 8. Predictably, he usually would get a blank stare from them. Even though the Gideons (rightly so) emphasize Bible reading, they are not that aware of the specifics of these chapters.

Judges 8 is a painful reminder that, though we are secure in salvation, we are never secure from stumbling while in this body. Here, Johnson expands on the point with a few stories of great preachers, such as F.B. Meyer (preacher / commentator), who for a period of 9 years stumbled and failed to clearly preach the gospel. Yet we also know that Gideon is among the heroes of the faith listed in Hebrews 11. But like Lot, affirmed as a righteous man in the New Testament, Gideon’s stumbling brought about his own share of personal tragedy with his own family life — as evidenced in Judges 9, the generation after Gideon.

As a side note regarding Israel’s idolatry, a topic of Judges 8, S. Lewis Johnson makes an interesting point concerning Hosea 4:17 — which says “Ephraim is joined to idols; leave him alone!” Commentators often see that as God giving up and abandoning Ephraim, but SLJ notes the problem with that view, because later on in Hosea God clearly says that He has not abandoned them, and He promises to restore Ephraim (see Hosea 11:8-9, and chapters 13 and 14). We need to understand that Hosea is writing to Judea and telling Judea: Ephraim is full of idolatry, don’t have anything to do with them and their idolatry. Hosea 4:17 is a call to separation — separate from the ungodly and idolatrous. Here I recall that I have heard other preachers reference Hosea 4:17 in the popular manner (as in John MacArthur’s message, “When God Abandons a Nation”) and thus again the reminder to always search the scriptures; and listening to different preachers and their differing commentaries also helps.

… And from Samson’s story:

Samson’s mother shows great faith, as well as logical reasoning in women, with her statement in Judges 13:23, “If the Lord had meant to kill us, he would not have accepted a burnt offering and a grain offering at our hands, or shown us all these things, or now announced to us such things as these.” She likely had stronger faith and a closer relationship to the Lord than her husband had.

In Judges 14, Samson’s decision to marry a Philistine woman shows a clear violation of the law. Samson was clearly going against the explicit teaching of God’s word concerning intermarriage with unbelievers — and the application extends to us today in the New Testament . Several times Samson focuses on the woman being pleasing to him, showing that Samson’s priority is Samson, not God. Yet here we see the difference between God’s preceptive will — don’t marry unbelievers — and God’s decretive will, stated in verse 4: “His father and mother did not know that it was from the Lord, for he (the Lord) was seeking an opportunity against the Philistines.”

Shepherd’s Conference: Matt Weymeyer on Revelation 20

March 17, 2010 1 comment

I’ve been listening to some of the MP3 files from this year’s Shepherd’s Conference.  Matt Weymeyer’s “Thy Kingdom Come” is an especially helpful one, with great exegesis of Revelation 20.

Matt Weymeyer:

I think this is important, we need to be careful not to let the centrality of the gospel tempt us into a state of exegetical laziness or even what I like to think of as pious agnosticism when it comes to this issue of eschatology.  See, most people would readily agree that eschatology is one of the more difficult areas of systematic theology and, see what happens is, as a result of this, many Christians are self-proclaimed, sometimes even proud, agnostics when it comes to their view of the end times, and unfortunately, many of them seem to be content to remain in the dark when it comes to what God has revealed about the future… God has revealed too much about this issue for us to be content with being agnostic.

Following are some notes that follow his outline of five key questions concerning the passage Revelation 20:1-6.

1.  Is the timing of Satan’s binding present or future?

Revelation 20:1-3 describes Satan being completely cut off from having any influence; total removal from influence on earth

Satan is bound and locked into the abyss — prison for evil spirits; a real place in the spirit world — Luke 8; Revelation 9 and 11.

Charles Feinberg:  “One cannot have Satan bound and loose at the same time; the logic of language will not permit it.”

Response to amillennialists who claim Satan is only bound so that he will no longer deceive the nations:

1.  John’s use of the purpose clause (statement in verse 3)  does not preclude the possibility of other purposes or results of Satan’s imprisonment.   Example:  a prison warden has taken special care of a prisoner to put him in solitary confinement.  The warden issues a purpose statement concerning the prisoner’s safekeeping — the statement only mentions one thing, but that involves other restrictions as well.

2.  The New Testament teaches that Satan is active and involved in deceiving the nations in the present age.  See 2 Cor. 4:4, which contradicts Rev. 20:3.

2.  Is the nature of the first resurrection spiritual or physical?

Four reasons why the first resurrection does not refer to spiritual regeneration:

1.  The word translated resurrection is used 42 times in the NT and not once is it used to refer to regeneration; it is used to refer to physical resurrection. — the heavy burden of proof is on amillennialists here.

2.  The regeneration view requires that the Greek word azey-sun (spelling?) (verse 4) be understood in a completely different sense than the same Greek word in verse 5.

3.  The grammar of this passage indicates that the group in the first resurrection is raised at the beginning of the thousand years, and reign together with Christ for the entire period of time.  (This is not the same as the amillennial view of believers being regenerated throughout the thousand years and not reigning for the entire period of time.)

4.  According to amillennial and post-millennial view that the 1st resurrection = regeneration, the individuals described in verse 4 are not regenerated by the Holy Spirit until after they are martyred for their faith in Christ.

Most common objection from amills and postmills:  the premill view of 2 resurrections is a direct contradiction, they say, of biblical teaching of a single general resurrection of both righteous and wicked at the same time.  — John 5:28-29; Daniel 12:2; Acts 24:15

Response:  these passages do not preclude the possibility of two separate resurrections at different times.  These passages never state that these resurrections happen at the same time. The passages do refer to the resurrection of the righteous and the resurrection of the wicked, and always listed in that order.

My own note here:  See also Spurgeon’s sermon on this topic.

Also, later revelation gives more information.

The Old Testament did not explain a gap between the two comings of Christ.

Anthony Hoekema:  In the New Testament we find that what the Old Testament writers seemed to depict as one movement, must now be recognized as involving two.

The same is true concerning the resurrections of the righteous and wicked.

Wayne Grudem:  “all of these verses in the absence of Rev. 20 might or might not be speaking of a single future time of resurrection.  But with the explicit teaching of Revelation 20 about two resurrections, these verses must be understood to refer to the future certainty of a resurrection for each type of person without specifying that those resurrections will be separated in time.”

3.  Is the duration of the thousand years symbolic or literal?

Amillennialists:  the thousand years are symbolic of some large, undetermined amount of time; or, the thousand years is symbolic of completeness.

The truth concerning Revelation and numbers:  the vast majority (Weymeyer — about 95%) of the 254 numbers in the book of Revelation are intended to be understood literally.  Any time you find a number with a time indicator in Revelation, nothing in the context indicates that it’s symbolic.  Nowhere in scripture (even in 2 Peter 3) is a thousand years used as a symbolic designation.

Rules to follow concerning determination of symbolic language, general hermeneutical approach to take:

1.  Does it possess a degree of absurdity when taken literally?  Example: Isaiah 55:12 “the trees of the fields will clap their hands.”

2.  Does it possess a degree of clarity when taken symbolically?  Symbolic language effectively communicates what it symbolizes.

Isaiah 55:12 does possess a degree of clarity when taken symbolically.

3.  Does it fall into an established category of symbolic language?  — figures of speech, etc.  You have to be able to identify what kind of symbol you’re dealing with.  Isaiah 55:12 is a  Personification type of symbol.

The symbolic view of 1000 years in Rev. 20 fails these 3 questions.

Revelation 20 does NOT possess any degree of absurdity when taken literally — there is nothing difficult here.

Question 2 — look at all the literature, the differing ideas that amills/post-mills come up with when they try to take it symbolically.  Since they all have such different ideas of what it means, question 2 fails — a symbolic view of 1000 years does not possess a degree of clarity.

Question 3 — The symbolic use of 1000 years does not appear to fall into any clear category of symbolic language.

One post-mill answer:  compared the 1000 years to “hyperbole” as in “I’ve told you this a million times…”

Problem:  John’s use of 1000 years cannot possibly be understood as hyperbole, an exaggeration, of a time period now 2000+ years in length.

4.  Is the Location of the Millennial Reign Heaven or Earth?

1. An earthly reign of Christ is precisely what is promised throughout the Old Testament.

Numerous passages:  Jeremiah 23:5-6, among many others

2. Revelation 5:10 looks ahead to that time when saints will reign with Christ — they will reign upon the earth.

3. Revelation 20:9 — the saints who reign with Christ are said to be “on the broad plain of the earth.”

4.  Revelation 19 and 20 teach that Jesus will return to this Earth where He will then reign.

5.  Is the Chronology of Revelation 19 and 20 recapitulatory or sequential?

Compelling reasons to adopt the sequential view:

1.  Introduction to Chapter 20 — “and I saw”

2.  The overall context of Revelation 12 – 20 points to a chronological relationship between chapters 19 & 20.  Starting at Rev. 12:9, where Satan is cast down to the earth, chapters 12 – 18 describe the three members of the unholy trinity. They are defeated in chapters 19 and 20.  At the end of chapter 19, only two of the three have been defeated; Satan (third member) is defeated in Revelation 20; this again indicates a sequence:  Satan is thrown into the lake of fire, where the beast and false prophet already were.

3.  Use of the words “any longer” in Rev. 20 verse 3 — “any longer” indicates interruption of something that had been taking place.  Follows sequentially from events previously described in chapters 12 through 19.

4.  Content of Rev. 20:1-6 — it’s impossible to reconcile the contents of these verses with the present age.  Satan is not currently bound; first resurrection is physical; thousand years are best understood literally.

5.  The absence of compelling objections.  No compelling reason to abandon the sequential view.  You have to provide evidence for recapitulation, and those must be valid and compelling reasons.

The two main objections to the sequential view:

1.  The existence of the unbelieving nations in the Millennial Kingdom.

If Rev. 19-20 presents a sequence of events, and all the nations are destroyed in Rev. 19, where do the unbelieving nations come from in chapter 20:8, at the end of the thousand years?

Response:  The nations will arise from the offspring of nonglorified saints who originally entered the Millennial Kingdom.  (pre-trib or mid-trib view).

Amillennials object to the idea of glorified and unglorified saints existing together — reference Luke 24 and John 21, Christ in a glorified body interacting with non-glorified sinful

Also consider that even in our world, angels co-exist alongside us in this physical realm.  Just because we can’t see them doesn’t mean they aren’t there.

2.  Parallel between Rev. 12 and Rev. 20 — the casting down of Satan in Rev. 12:7-12 and casting down of Satan in Rev. 20:1-6.

recapitulation view:  clearly these must refer to the same event.

Problem:  amillennial view has focused on superficial points of continuity, to the virtual exclusion of specific points of discontinuity.

Three major, critical differences between the two passages, that are incompatible with each other.

1.  Rev. 12 — Satan is cast down from heaven to earth;

Rev. 20 — Satan is cast down from earth to the abyss.

amillennials neglect and don’t give enough attention to the study of the abyss in Rev. 20

2.  Expulsion of Satan from heaven (chapter 12) has exact opposite outcome from Rev. 20

Chapter 12 — Satan goes out and deceives the whole world.

Chapter 20 — opposite:  the casting down prevents him from deceiving the nations.

3.  Rev. 12 — “short time” — cast down to the earth for a short time

Rev. 20 — “short time” — Satan is first cast into the abyss for a long time, then he is released for a short time

Acts 3, The Prophets, and the Church Age

March 16, 2010 Leave a comment

In my last post I considered dispensationalism and ecclesiology, noting that the descriptions of the future kingdom, in the OT prophecies, do not agree with the assessment of the New Testament church age as described by the apostles.

Now that I’ve been following the (modified) Horner Bible reading plan for a year, I can definitely see a benefit:  really becoming familiar with what God’s word actually says.  After all, one year of this reading plan results in the following:  almost three readings through the Prophets, six readings through the New Testament Epistles, and over seven readings through the book of Acts.  From the Prophets I now notice several major themes, including the pattern of Israel’s apostasy, followed by God’s judgement, and then the wonderful hope of future restoration of Israel: into a right relationship with God, and the associated blessings of that — dwelling in the land in peace, safety and abundance.

In my current reading through Acts, Peter’s message in Acts 3 especially sticks out.  Notice verse 21 especially:

(Jesus) whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago.  (ESV)

My last post mentioned the overall differences between the Old Testament prophecies and the present church age.  This passage in Acts 3 is far more direct and to the point.  Jesus must remain in heaven (referring to this age) “until the time” (future) “for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago.”

Now, what did the prophets speak about, and what is meant by the restoration (the “restoring”)?  Acts 1:6-7, just two chapters earlier, answers the second part of this question.  After 40 days spent with Jesus post-resurrection, the apostles asked Him, “are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”  As has often been pointed out, if the amillennialists are right and this age is the kingdom, this would have been the perfect opportunity for Jesus to correct their understanding.  Instead, He simply told them that it was not for them to know “the times or dates” of when it would come.  Acts 3:21 clearly refers to the same thing, a future restoration that will come after the present time (while Jesus remains in heaven) — in other words, at our Lord’s Second Coming.

Back to the first question:  what did the prophets speak about?  Again, multiple readings through that section of the Bible (Isaiah through Malachi) show the very oft-repeated theme of apostasy-judgment-future restoration and blessing, and all of these relate to national Israel, with language concerning “the house of Judah and the house of Israel.”  The theme is so prevalent throughout these books, that it boggles my mind that anyone could conceive of the idea that the first two parts — apostasy and judgment — involve Israel, but the third part — future restoration and blessing — is something completely disjointed from the previous two and said to apply to the Church instead.  A strong, solid knowledge of the Old Testament prophets, and the book of Acts (plus the many descriptions of the current Church age as a good contrast) makes the truth plain.

Biblical ignorance — and sinful Gentile pride, the very thing the apostle Paul warned against in Romans 11– is behind that which now boggles my mind.  Such ignorance and pride itself are an indication of the underlying problems with the Church age, as yet more proof that the Church age is NOT the kingdom of God, is NOT the fulfillment of all that the prophets spoke of long ago.

In years past when my own Bible study was more lacking (casual reading through the Bible once a year, and listening only to what was taught at my own church), I likewise did not think about these issues so much — and at a superficial glance, it does sound good when a pastor skims over a few verses out of Isaiah or Jeremiah and says “this is talking about our age now.”  We know the great things that Christ did for us in His atoning work on the cross, and eternal life in heaven, and so, naturally, it sounds great to hear that the Church is the wonderful outworking of God’s plan.  We’re all Christians, and the gospel is going out victoriously into this age and changing lives, and so it seems natural that God is doing all this for us Gentiles in the Church Age.

With such general ideas, I once supposed that previous generations of the Church age were much better than now:  that people were really more godly, moral and church-going back in the middle 20th century, or the early 20th century, or other times before that, such as on the 19th century frontier, Victorian England, colonial America, etc.  Perhaps other times were more outwardly civilized, with the restraints of law and societal pressure, but the more I learn and read of history the more it truly agrees with what the Bible says about this current Church Age.  I have read many sermons from C.H. Spurgeon, delivered in the 1850s (150+ years ago), that one would surely think were talking about the early 21st century.  Then as now, most people did not really read their Bibles, did not take the time and effort and were more interested in magazines and popular literature.  Then as now, people were lazy with excuses regarding church attendance and with really living a good Christian life.  Then as now, only a few Christians spoke out against and contended against the constant barrage of errors and evils coming against the church.  Then it was Spurgeon; now it is leaders such as John MacArthur, and others at various points throughout church history.

Dispensationalism and Ecclesiology

March 12, 2010 5 comments

Michael Vlach, in his recent Shepherd’s Conference message highlighted the distinctives of dispensationalism, including one point I’ve often heard, that dispensationalism speaks to the matters of eschatology and ecclesiology.

In my studies over the last year and a half, I’ve mainly learned dispensational eschatology.  However, as I continue my daily (12-14 chapters) Bible reading and consider what scripture has to say concerning the Church Age, versus the ideas promoted by amillennialists, I understand more of what the ecclesiological issues are.

The New Testament speaks of this present evil age (Galatians 1:4), of how we wrestle against the spiritual forces of evil (Ephesians 6:11-12), of how we must resist the devil (James 4:7).  In Acts 20:29-30, Paul warns the Ephesian elders to be on guard, for “I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them.”

Horatius Bonar well said, in reference to this Church age:

With reference to the Church, the interval is evil, not good; dark, not bright. During all this period she is a little flock,—a lily among thorns. Her lot is tribulation, persecution, shame, and tears! As an oppressed widow, she cries against her adversary day and night, “How long, O Lord! how long?” Satan rages on every side, seeking to devour her. The world, like a flood, circles her about with its swelling waves. The haters of the Master are haters of the servant too. Nor does time soften the hostility or abate the persecution. The evil increases, the darkness thickens into deeper darkness as the crisis approaches. Satan pours forth his fiercest, fullest rage when the time of his binding draws near. And, besides all these, the absence of the Bridegroom keeps her sad and weary. So long as he is not with her, earth must be a wilderness, even though no enemy threatened, no sorrow wounded, and tempest wasted her. Nothing but His return can satisfy her.

Contrast this with the unbiblical ideas of amillennialists who say that this is the glorious millennial age, in which Satan is bound (a concept they redefine to something less than the words mean) and the gospel is going out triumphantly into the world.  Jeremiah (they say) wrote of our age, and they then quote words from the prophets — words about the future Millennial Kingdom — but claim that it’s really talking about our age.  But never does the New Testament speak of the Church Age in such terms, but to the very opposite, as demonstrated in the verses cited above (among many other passages).

Surely, if those Old Testament passages were really meant to be reinterpreted by our New Testament understanding, then the New Testament authors would at least agree with those reinterpretations, with New Testament statements affirming a more positive description of the present Church age.

Amillennialists are said to be the more pessimistic version of their close-cousin post-millennialists, but both groups give great credence to the unscriptural idea that the Church is now experiencing the blessings originally promised to Israel.  Since both groups spiritualize Old Testament texts that speak of Israel’s future kingdom and apply them to the Church — while conveniently ignoring the very plain, literal words of the New Testament regarding this age — both take an overly optimistic and unwarranted view regarding the impact of the gospel and the Church’s influence on the world.  Post-millennialists have the hubris to think that man can bring God’s kingdom to the earth,  but amillennialists are equally blinded and do not see the inevitable decline, failure and apostasy that must come to pass in the Church age, up to the time of the Second Advent.

Here indeed is the great divide between Covenant Theology / NCT, and dispensationalism, in the matter of ecclesiology.  To the one, the Church is the end all of God’s Divine Purpose, the complete fulfillment of God’s plans until His return, the resurrection and establishment of the New Heavens and New Earth.  The latter, however, looks at the whole counsel of God, to understand that in every age (or dispensation) man is given increasing advantages, yet every age reveals the complete failure of man — to the greater glory of God and His greatness;  along with a sober understanding that the Church is God’s plan for this age, but not THE final purpose, which will include a restored Israel along with saved Gentiles. “For God has bound all men over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all” (Romans 11:32).

Horatius Bonar on the Millennial Question

March 11, 2010 Leave a comment

From Horatius Bonar, Prophetical Landmarks:

There is no argument now used to show the absurdity or impossibility of the premillennial Advent, which might not have been urged with tenfold force by a Jew in his day, against Messiah’s first coming. What is the sum of these arguments? Just this: “We cannot reconcile a personal Advent and reign with the intercession of Christ in heaven. We do not see how Christ can be said to come with all His saints, if there are to be men converted after He comes. We cannot conceive how there can be an incongruous mixture upon earth as the risen saints, with their glorified bodies, and others still in mortal flesh. We cannot think of so degrading Christ as to bring Him down to earth to reign.”

This is the substance of anti-millennarian arguments. These are conceived to be such insuperable difficulties that, on account of them, we ought to give up the idea of a personal Advent and reign. But what are these in comparison with those which the Jews had to encounter? Absolutely nothing.

We deny that these difficulties are insuperable. We can see much further towards a solution of them than the Jew could towards a solution of his. Nay, we think we can explain them satisfactorily. But even though we could not, are we prepared to make these our reasons for not taking the Word of God in its plain and obvious sense? Are we prepared to say to an opponent, “No doubt, your view of the passage seems the more natural so far as the words and context go; but then it is irreconcilable with my ideas of the intercession of Christ, and of the dignity of Christ; and therefore I am forced to seek another meaning, even though that does not appear so natural.”
. . .
Upon anti-millennarian principles, I do not see how a Jew could have believed in a suffering Messiah. He must either spiritualize the passages which relate to His first coming, or be content to admit a difficulty which nothing but the event could fully solve.

We address an unbelieving Jew, and say to him, “Why do you not believe that Jesus of Nazareth is your Messiah? Do not all your prophets bear testimony to Him?” “Which of our prophets?” he might ask. We answer, “Isaiah, for instance, tells us that He was to be born a virgin; and Jesus was so born.” “But you know (he would reply) that is an impossibility, and therefore you must not take the text literally; it must mean something else.” Or, we point to the passage which speaks of His being marred more than any man; he still answers, that to take that literally is to contradict other passages, and therefore it must be explained in some other sense. Should we not, in such a case, take our stand upon the plain meaning of the words, and tell him that he was misinterpreting Scripture, and refusing to receive it because it was inconsistent with his ideas of the Messiah? We say, “May not your ideas be wrong? Are you not interposing your theory between Scripture and its natural meaning? May not your system of truth, by which you are measuring every passage, be inaccurate in some respects, or, at least, are you not overstretching it? May not these other texts, apparently contradictory, turn out after all to be quite in harmony with the others?” No. He will admit none of these suppositions. His system of truth, his theory of doctrine, is the rule he goes by, and in this balance he weighs each text that you adduce.

You Might Be A Dispensationalist If ….

March 11, 2010 2 comments

The 2010 Shepherd’s Conference sessions are now available as MP3 files to download.

From Michael Vlach’s session:  You Might Be A Dispensationalist If ….

1.  You believe the primary meaning of Old Testament passages is found in the Old Testament passages themselves.
2.  You believe that national Israel is not a type that finds its significance ended with the Church.
3.  You reject Replacement Theology.
4.  You believe that Jews and Gentiles can be unified in salvation and there is a future for the nation Israel.
5.  You believe that the nation Israel will be saved and restored with a role to the nations after the Second Coming.
6.  You believe that believing Gentiles can be the seed of Abraham without becoming spiritual Jews or part of Israel.

and ….
Covenantalists believe in dispensations, and Dispensationalists believe in covenants.