Faith without Dispensationalism

Part Two of

Futurism – What it does to your Faith

In the Messianic/Hebrew Roots there is a problem. We are being divided on the issue of salvation. There are those among us who believe quite sincerely that Jewish salvation is different from Gentile salvation. Where there is such a disagreement we need to step back and look at where such an idea comes from. We need to look at the hermeneutics.

Once we decided that the core Dispensational teaching that “the law has passed away” is invalid. Why some of us continued in the rest of the hermeneutical teachings remains a mystery? Last week we look at their core teaching and explained how they did not line up with the plain reading of the text. This week is about the alternative.

There are two other schools — Covenant Theology, and Progressive Revelationism.

Covenant Theology

This teaches that there are two covenants. The Old Testament Jewish Law, and the New Testaments Grace.

Our problem with this is that we see only one covenant. The promise of a Son/Redeemer/Messiah. The new” part is that we look back on the events of the Messiah’s life where Abraham, Moses et al. looked forward. The reality of the events however happened out side of space and time as the book of the Revelation states.

The Lamb was slain before the foundation of the universe. Rev 13:8b

Progressive Revelationism

We purpose a return to the teaching of the Reformers. There will be only two objections to this from the Futurist. As they well tell you the Progressive Revelationist teach that;

  • The Popes are the Antichrist
  • We are the date setters

Neither charge are exactly truthful. Like all false teachers we are presented by the futurist with just enough inaccuracy to be discounted out of hand, kind of the way we presented covenant theology.  Straw-men are always easier to deal with than the whole truth.

The Antichrist Accusation:

This term Antichrist has been so abused over the centuries by those who want to conceal the truth or attack a political enemy that it is hard to get people to look at the Text and see the truth. The truth is that it only appears in 1-2 John, it is never capitalized as a proper noun, it never suggest that there is ONE “Antichrist.” John taught that there were MANY antichrists and that THEY were present in the first century [1 John 2:18-25; 4:1-6; 2 John 1:7].

What we do teach is that by the time the church/congregation is in the 5-6 century the bishop of Rome is in charge and massive amounts of false teachings are allowed and even encourage by these corrupt men. When challenge they created the INQUISITION and killed all those that opposed them, making it clear for all to see that they were fulfilling the prophecy of the Little Horn of Dan 7 and the Beast for the Earth in Rev 14. They were “wearing out the saints”. The Reformer realized this and began clearing out the Babylonian influences that the Church of Rome had allowed in. There is plenty more to be removed. However as our Doctrinal Statement says many have been satisfied by what their fathers cleared away and never cleared any more. All that is Babylon must be discovered and put out. The job is way to great for any one generation. It is a never ending problem. however the more we clear of the corruption the more will begin to see the hidden Kingdom of Heaven.

The Date Setting Accusation:

Yes, we set dates. Truth be told so far all of our dates have been accurate. The problem is that some people do not understand the nature of the dates. They are often are under the mistaken opinion that the dates means the Return of our Lord. However all the passages that have formulae that reveal dates are about the fall of Gentile powers and not the Return. All the passages about the Return of the Lord provide no such formulae.

Progressive Revelation 

We believe God reveals himself to man in a series of Progressive Revelations. These revelations have been made though His work: Ps. 19:1, Rom 1:18-23, His Word: Jn 1:1-5, and His Son: Heb 1:1-4. A fourth revelation of God, His Glory: fuller and more perfect than any other, is yet to be revealed in Rev 22:4.

The entire Bible presents one grand underlying story of one great covenant. That the Messiah should suffer and rise again defeating the serpent and that this great act should be preached to the nations bringing may to repentance and remission of their sins. That the telling of His humiliation, exaltation, and reign is the whole history of the Kingdom of God.

We believe that with study we can discover more of God’s Plans and Purposes than those who came before us. Because we can have the greater light of fulfilled prophecy we can more easily see what the unfulfilled might mean.

FYI: God doesn’t literally have plans and purposes. This is just a simplified way of trying to make an Omniscient God understandable in finite human language.

Progressive revelation is like an artist painting a picture. He knows what His painting will look like when finished however the onlookers see the work as it progresses. “One stroke” or revelation at a time, the Lord brings into sharper focus the final image or a fuller understanding of prophesied events.

Examples of this progressive nature of revelation is in the Messianic prophecies:

Gen 3:15 Enmity between the woman’s seed and the serpent

Gen 9:25-27 Blessed be Shem

Gen 12:3 By you all the families of the earth shall bless themselves

Gen 49:10 The scepter will not depart from Judah

Duet 32:18 The Rock that begot you

Ps 118:22 The rejected cornerstone

Is 7:14 Virgin birth

Is 11:1 Coming from Jesse

Is 42:2-3 A willing sacrifice

Is 53:4-6 Our iniquity fell upon Him

Is 55:3-5 He will come from David

Is 59:20 He comes to Zion as Redeemer

Dan 9:24-27 Daniel reveals the timing of the Messiah

Hos 11:1 Messiah comes out of Egypt

Zech 9:9 Describes the triumphal entry into Jerusalem

Is it any wonder that in all of Israel there were only two people (Simeon and Anna, Lk 2:25-38) waiting in the Temple when Messiah arrived during the purification rites of His mother? If you only had these prophetic artist’s strokes, could you have recognized the complete picture and been waiting with Simeon and Anna? The rest of the Jews had the preconceived notion that Messiah would come and destroy Rome and set up a Jewish kingdom to rule the world. They felt so strongly about this that they missed the hour of their visitation. Progressive Revelationist seek to be like Simeon and Anna and not like the Pharisees. We must not get our preconceived  notions of what the prophecies might mean to get in the way of what happens when it happens.

The Historicist View of Prophecy

The Historical, Historicist or Presentist view interprets the book of The Revelation as symbolic and in the process of fulfillment. We see the fulfillment of prophecies, in the history of the church/congregation beginning in John’s day through this present age of time. This view has been popular since the time of Berengaud (9th cen.), and Joachim (12th cen.). Wycliffe, Luther, Joseph Mede, Isaac Newton, Bengel, Barnes and others who also held to it. Most would agree that the Bishop of Rome is the “antichrist” and that, “Babylon the Great” is the Roman Catholic Church. Every commentator until the end of the sixteenth century held to this view.

Historicists hold to the tenet that the prophecies of Daniel and The Revelation are being fulfilled progressively throughout history. Nebuchadnezzar’s dream [Dan 2] of a great, metallic statue symbolically portrays four gentile empires beginning with Babylon. Each successive empire giving way to the next, progressively unfolding without any gaps in time.

The majority of the prophecy of The Revelation concentrates on the ten kingdoms, or toes, the little horn out of Rome, and the whore of Babylon. John’s visions accurately provide the identity of the beast out of the earth, which is the clay, found in the feet of the Metal Man.

The great image of gold, silver, brass, iron and iron mixed with clay represent the same kingdoms as represented by the vision of the beast, the kingdoms of Babylon, Medio-Persia, Greece, and finally Rome. These gentile empires are assigned the duration of seven times or 2520 years and are referred to as The Full Times of the Gentiles.

Daniel is told at the end of his prophecies to seal up the scroll. Further explanation of the Full Times of the Gentiles was concealed until the time of the end. In the book of The Revelation John is taken to the throne room and sees the Lamb that had been slain unseal the scroll. The remainder of the prophecy, from John’s time on, is now revealed.

Cliff Notes Version, for easy reference.

HISTORICIST’s 

Four points of Interpretation

1 That in symbolic prophecy a day is put for a year and a time for 360 years.

2 That Daniel’s prophetic vision of the fourfold metallic image and of the four beasts has been fulfilled in the histories of the Babylonian, Persian, Grecian and Roman Empires.

3 That “Babylon the Great” in Rev 17 is the Roman Catholic Church.

4 That the little horn of Daniel 7 represents the Papal dynasty, and the little horn of Chapter 8 is, as to its final form, the Mohammedan power, the one arising out of the Roman Empire, and ruling in Western Europe; the other arising out of one of the divisions of the Greek empire, and ruling in Eastern Europe and in Asia.

HISTORICISTS

Do Not Believe:

1. In a seven-year tribulation at the end of the Church Age preceding the millennium. Therefore, there is no separation between Daniel’s 69th and 70th week.

2. That the abomination of desolation will be fulfilled in a future antichrist who will declare himself god in a rebuilt temple.

3. That most of the book of The Revelation is future, yet to come. We do not believe that the Kingdom is delayed but rather here in the present. It is a hidden kingdom that must be sought out.

4. In wild speculation concerning future events, dates, etc. We prefer to wait till the fulfillment of the event is written in the New Papers and History Books.

The Effect

If the Messianic/Hebrew Roots community were to totally abandon Dispensational Futurism the feuding and infighting about the salvation of the Jews that is doing so much damage would cease to be an issue. Everyone of the seven points of Dispensationalism will pass from our congregations to be replaced by the Progress Revelationism of the Reformers. We can then get back to a place where we are discovering and removing those things that came to us from Babylon.

1. Their teaching of a restored temple  and temple worship clouds the Biblical teaching that we are the temple and not some future building. We are the Many Mansions that are being built [John 14:16]. Our hearts are being changed here and now as a house for the Spirit of the Living God. (We have become Beit Ha Ruach)

2. The law has not passed away. Before the Dispensational plague befell the church/congregation all taught that the sabbath must be keep. Now granted most of them taught that the day had changed to Sunday but they still taught that it was an active commandment. There were “blue” laws everywhere.

3. Salvation is from the Lord to the Jew first then the Gentiles. We are all children of Abraham. There is no difference [Rom. 1:16; Gal. 3:7].

4. Only those who look upon Him whom we have pierced will be save. Jewish blood lines have nothing to do with a guarantee of salvation [I Timothy 1:4].

5. The Great Seventy Weeks prophecy of Daniel 9:24-27 is about the coming of Messiah in the first century. It is a testimony to the Jews, that the dispensationalist have smeared with a false antichirst and tribulation. How can we reach the Jewish people while destroying the very proof that Yeshua is the only fulfillment possible by inserting a gap?

6. The Kingdom is not delayed. We are to seek for it even though it is hidden, it can be found. Our prayer every morning is not Thy Kingdom will come in some future time and place. But rather Thy Kingdom come in our hearts and lives today. That instead of waiting for His will to be imposed on others, that His will should be revealed to us this day so that we may act upon it. One cannot have a victorious Christian Life if we are not looking to achieve it in our lifetimes but have delayed it to some fantasy future.

7. The Bible is it own best commentary. If one is looking at a hard passage to understand the solution is not to make something up out of our personal feelings but rather to look at similar word and phrases in other parts of the Bible. For the author is the same throughout the whole. The words and phrases explain themselves if one takes the time to read.

The Solution

Cast out this new teaching, and return to the teaching of those who suffered fire, dungeons and swords. Remember what was handed down at so great a price.

Sola Scriptorium -The Scriptures are Supreme

Quod non est Biblicum, non est Theologicum – If the quote is not in the Bible, it is not Theology

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2 thoughts on “Faith without Dispensationalism

  1. Pingback: The Effects of Futurism | Israel & The Church in the Last Days

  2. Pingback: The Effects of Futurism - Israel & The Church in the Last Days

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