The Messianic/Hebrew Roots movement seems to be schizophrenic. On the the surface we have given up dispensationalism; in that we reject the idea that “The Law has Passed Away”, (and rightly so). However many have never address the consequences of what that does to the rest of our tenets. When it comes to prophecy we often fully embrace the dispensational hermeneutic that gives us Futurism i.e. the Tribulation, Rapture, and a political antichrist. Belief in these fictional future events is just the same as holding to christmas or easter, and just as harmful. The Messianic movement needs to go back and reread the prophecies just as carefully, as they have gone back over Romans and Galatians.
The entire reason the church created dispensationalism with its eschatological view of Futurism was to get rid of the law so they could explain away their corruptions. Dispensationalism was created by those who did not want the Reformation to take hold. These so called church leaders wanted to continue in their religious adulteries, (after all they were making lots of money). They disagreed with the Reformers who were calling for the removal of the Babylonian apostasies. Where the Law had condemned all religious extortion, now that “the Law had passed away” under the present dispensation i.e. the church age, they were free to lord over their parishioners.
Their greatest tool in this fight was fear. They preached on and on about how the Protestants were wrong and condemned all who followed them to the fires of hell (both rhetorically and literally, with many being burned at the stake). When that wasn’t enough, they created the eschatological view of Futurism with its tribulation. With a future tribulation coming, they could frighten the average parishioner into compliance. They could remove the stain of the present Babylon and the Pontifex Maximus to a future political antichirst. The rapture came later, as a way to bribe the faithful. They if they did this or that, they could escape from this terrible (how be it fictional) fate.
One of the distasteful consequences of this false teaching of dispensationalism is that Jews can not be saved as Jews because their Law is gone, so they must become Christians and eat pork. (We have all experienced this, so we all know it is true.) This false hermeneutic teaches that only in the next dispensation will the Jews be able to be saved as Jews, because as they teach it, the temple will be back. The sad thing is, is that it makes salvation different for Jews and Gentiles, and many Messianics have been deceived by these lies. Whole congregations have been brought into confusion and division. Even though the text clearly states that now there is neither Jew nor Greek [Gal. 3:28]. We are all one. There will continue to be confusion until ALL that is dispensational is removed.
This was not the hermeneutics of the Reformers, they did not believe in a future antichirst, they did not see a seven years tribulation in the text, they never heard the word rapture as applying to a future event. They were not dispensationalist, rather they were Progressive Revelationist. They believed that God reveals more of His plan and purposes as the ages pass. They believed that the church had sunk into great antichristian filth. They were trying to reform the church, by cleaning out all that was antichrist. The Messianics movement condemns Luther for not adopting the Shabbot. While at the same time, we have adopted the very teachings of antichrist, a future dispensation designated the tribulation, with a political antichrist and a rapture. We boldly examine the source of other teachings. Why are we not examining these? What is the hold that these nonsenses have?
No, the Reformers did not finish the great task set before them. It is disappointing that they did not completely reform the church. So we must complete the task that proved too overwhelming for them. We must continue in the cleaning. Instead some have gone back, refusing to get rid of the bad. Clinging on to the dispensational teachings that have lead so many away from the full sufficiency of the cross for salvation. Leave the darkness and continue moving toward the Light.
The Great Pilgrim father John Robinson—
“The Pilgrim Fathers were determined to follow the increasing light that God had for them This is clearly expressed in the parting counsels of their pastor, John Robinson (ca. 1575-1625), in 1620, just before they started on their long journey to the New World. He had ministered to a church near Norwich until he was suspended for his Puritan tendencies. In 1604 he ministered to church of dissenter at Scrooby. In 1608 he and his flock escaped to Amsterdam, Later in the year he went to Leyden, and there in 1611 established a church. In 1620, after his memorable sermon, he saw them set sail for America. Referring to the solemnity of the parting, and admonishing them to follow him “no further than he followed Christ,” Robinson declared himself: very confident that the Lord had more truth and light yet to break fourth out of His holy Word.” And after deploring the condition of the Reformed churches that “would goe no further than the instruments of their Reformation,” he illustrated his point thus.”
‘As for example, the Lutherans they could not be drawne to goe beyond what Luther saw, for whatever part of Gods will be had further imparted and revealed to Calvin, they will rather die then embrace it. And so also, saith he, you see the Calvinists, they stick where he left them: A misery much to bee lamented; For though they were precious shining lights in their times, yet God had not revealed his whole will to them: And were they now living saith hee, they would bee as ready and willing to embrace further light, as that they had received. Here also he put us in mind of our Church-covenant (at least that part of it) whereby wee promise and covenant with God and one another, to receive whatsoever light or truth shall be made known to us from his written Work: but withall exhorted us to take heed what we received for truth, and well to examine and compare, and weigh it with other Scriptures of truth before we received it; For siath he It is not possible the Christian world should come so lately our of such thick Antichristian darknesses, and that full perfection of knowledge should break fourth at once.’
The Prophentic Faith of Our Fathers; Le roy Edwin Froom page 20
See Also: Dispensations, what are they?