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.

Those that believe in a difference in salvation are from the hermeneutical school of Dispensation/Futurism. There are two other schools — Covenant Theology, and Progressive Revelationism.

Futurism/Futurist

The Rapture, Seven Year Tribulation, and Political Antichrist

the-raptureThis is the source of our problem. Many Messianic/Hebrew Roots believers have been taught that these are future events and that they are as true as the virgin birth. However none of these are actually in the Bible. They stem from the Dispensationalist who teach that the prophecies of Daniel and The Revelation are primarily future. This modern interpretation views scripture through seven dispensations (some will have more, but they are almost always some multiple of seven). In these dispensations the covenants relationship with God changes. Although there are numerous views of salvation, a primary feature is that they view the redemption of Jews as being distinctive from that of Gentiles, that the Law has pasted away, and Kingdom of Messiah is delayed. This is in stark contrast to the Reformers. (Next post will be on what the Reformer taught.)

John Nelson Darby, Edward Irving and C.I. Scofield promoted this tenet, but its foundations originated with a 16th century Jesuit Priest, Ribera. Ribera’s writings were a Roman Catholic rebuttal to the Reformer’s view that the office of Pope was the “antichrist” that the 1260 days were to be interpreted according to Ezek 4 a day for a year. They never say a Rapture anywhere in the text, and only taught of a Resurrection.

This Futurist view moved from being a Roman Catholic doctrine to a common view among Protestants after the ecstatic utterances of Margaret MacDonald in 1830 Glasgow Scotland.  Originally it spoke of a 3 1/2-year tribulation, but by the time it had infiltrated the Protestant church, it had grown to 7 years.

Irving, originally a Presbyterian Minister translated another Jesuit’s writings. Manuel Lacunza’s who wrote pretending to be a Jew named Juan Josafat Ben-Ezra. Taking the pseudo Jewish book and adding the secret rapture from Margaret’s utterance he created what is now known as Futurism. Irving’s preaching from these writing eventually led to his dismissal from the Presbyterian church. When a further series of ecstatic utterances broke out in his and other London churches He continued to preach forming his own denomination i.e. the Catholic Apostolic Church.

This doctrine then became the litmus test for the Darbyites i.e. Plymouth Brethren, one literally cannot be a Plymouth Brethren without believing in the Futurist view. This became mainstream when C. I. Scofield incorporated this view into his notes in his Scofield Reference Bible.

Dispensationalism:

1. Covenantal promises that Israel will be literally restored, including a literal temple to be rebuilt and literal animal sacrifices reinstated. Totally dismissing the New Testament teaching that we are now the temple of the Holy Spirit [Acts 15] and our lives are a living sacrifice [Rom 12:1 c.f. 1 Pet 2:5].

2. With the passing of the Mosaic dispensation all the Law has passed away for the Church age.  It will be reinstated in the Millennium.

3. Jews are God’s chosen people; Gentiles are distinctive and experience redemption apart from Jews. Ignoring that we are one body [1 Cor 12:13].

4. All Jews will be saved. Ignoring that ALL in the Bible doesn’t alway mean all, sometimes it doesn’t even mean most. It often means “all that are supposed to”.

5. The Church age is a gap (before the 70th week of Dan 9:24-27) occurring between Israel’s rejection of Christ and national restoration. However when one takes the time to figure these numbers out there is no time left over. See Also: Tribulation?

6. Christ’s present Kingship has no relationship to the fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant and His Messianic rule; and the Church has no relationship to the Kingdom of God on earth, totally ignoring Matt 11:12.

7. Their uneven application of a hyper-literal interpretation of the symbolism in prophecy that allows for little figure of speech, typology, or foreshadowing of the Church as the mystery made manifest, leads to literal nonsense. They ignore all hyperbole. They jump from the figurative to the symbolic at will, and claim that they interpret the whole Bible literally. (Yet they all seem to still have both hands and both eyes [Matt 5:29].)

The Gaps:

In order to get around some of the self imposed complexities that all these dispensations cause. They have come up with gaps. They believe that there are one or more gaps in the chronology with in the scriptures.

  • Many have a gap between verse one and two of Genesis. (That’s were the dinosaurs are.)
  • There is a gap between the 69th and 70th weeks of Daniel 9.
  • Many groups have a gap of 3 1/2 or 7 years between the rapture and the Second Coming of Christ.
  • There is a gap between chapters 3 and 4 of The Revelation, making the bulk of that book apply to a short period of 7 years at the end of this age.

A Messianic Conundrum

While the Messianic / Hebrew Roots community has rejected the idea that the Law has passed away, many continue to hold on to many of the rest of this hermeneutic. Even though its validity is tenuous at best. It all rests on Margaret MacDonald being a prophetess. That is very shaky ground as she also prophesied that Robert Owens was the Antichrist.

The Problem:

Teaching that the Kingdom is delayed, and making the salvation of Jews and Gentiles different is causing the community to divide. This is caused by never actually reading the kingdom parables. Instead of the corrupted kingdom that John and Messiah taught they envisage one that is the pinnacle of perfection.

Because they have put off the kingdom to some future they rob the people of God from living what is called a Victorious Christians Life. It is only in the realization that the kingdom is here and it is corrupted can one even think that they can and will be victorious. These Futurists follow the teachings of the Pharisees as to the wonders of the kingdom. Because the Pharisees never got anything like the perfect Jewish kingdom they were expecting, The Futurists teach that the kingdom must have been delayed. Never mind that Messiah said they were not getting the kingdom they had fantasied about. Both John and Messiah said it was at hand and not delayed.

“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matt. 3:2

From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matt. 4:17

Further Messiah indicated it was present from John.

From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and men of violence take it by force. Matt. 11:12

The kingdom parables teach that the kingdom is partly corrupt and nothing like the perfect kingdom that the dispensationalist’s supposed.

nor will they say, ‘Lo, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.” Luke 17:21

It is a secret/hidden

And he answered them, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. Matt. 13:11

“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, Matt. 13:44a

Can be snatched away

When any one hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what is sown in his heart; this is what was sown along the path. Matt. 13:19

It corrupted with leaven

He told them another parable. “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven which a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, till it was all leavened.” Matt. 13:33 

The evil one has sewn evil seeds in it

. . . the field is the world, and the good seed means the sons of the kingdom; the weeds are the sons of the evil one, Matt. 13:38

It is not of this world

Jesus answered, “My kingship is not of this world; if my kingship were of this world, my servants would fight, that I might not be handed over to the Jews; but my kingship is not from the world.” John 18:36

There are many more kingdom passages. They are always about an imperfect corrupt kingdom.  Nothing of the perfect Jewish fantasy. So will the Millennium be a perfect wonderful place the preachers now tell us is our future? See Also: The Kingdom Parables

Passing away of the Law:

The ceremonial ritual law was always going to pass away Moses said so himself.

And the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, so that you will love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live. Deut. 30:6

. . . bind them on your fingers, write them on the tablet of your heart. Prov. 7:3

This is what Messiah brought us. A kingdom in our hearts. A temple of our flesh. We are in fact the Many Mansions. It is a hidden kingdom, it is not of this world.

Once we reject that, “The law has passed away” we must reject the whole Futurist’s teaching. Which leaves us with the only option of Progress Revelation.

Next week the Answer.

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One thought on “Futurism – What it does to your Faith

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

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