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Followers of Jesus Christ Mionistries/ UP WAY PUBLICATIONS    P.O. Box 1015 . Kailua, Hawaii 96734 . (808) 230-8683

VOL.2    No. 8                                                                                                                              September 20, 2003

If You Love the Lord Jesus Christ

Note for Apostolic Internet Seminary Students in MIN102-: Please click on the link to go to your Lesson Credit Quiz questions for this lesson.


 

What Did Our Lord Jesus Call and Anoint You to PREACH?

The discussion between myself and another brother on a Chat list I belong to got rather lengthy over the validity or heresy of the so-called Dispensation Doctrine, which in reality is a time-line heresy which runs in direct opposition to the study methods that we as Biblical purists use to refute other heresies recognized by any if not most true Bible scholars no matter what organization they belong to or whether they are independent.

The discussion finally, I hope,  ended when the list moderators and others tired of the subject since I feel my answers were both self-explanatory and more than adequate.  But because of the seriousness of the problem in undermining the very pillars of real, Berean style Bible Study I spent much time seeking the Lord for an irrefutable answer not only to that heresy but to others as well. 

The response came as the title question.  How did Satan succeed in tempting Eve?  By misquoting and challenging what God had said. Were we called to preach how God divided the way He has dealt with mankind from the Creation until now or the Gospel?  Were we called to preach a doctrine that even learned theologians disagree on and which cannot be found spelled out anywhere in the Bible?
Were we called to preach against one another, especially ministers within the same grouping such as Fundamental or Pentecostal, or did Jesus say we would be known by our love one to the other? Is a heresy that is not directly dealing with the question of the Plan of Salvation a less worthy heresy to be discussed and condemned than one which does deal directly with the Plan of Salvation?  How about a heresy that strikes at the very longsuffering love, mercy and Grace of God toward the individual believer? 

Let's consider the answers to the above questions one by one.  I would challenge anyone to find any scripture that states that God changed the way He deals with mankind as a policy matter.  True enough, He did destroy all mankind except Noah and his family in the flood, which flood, incidentally is in the narrative of virtually every race even those who have never heard the Gospel as we know it. And also, the National Geographic Society, a bastion of Evolutionary pseudo-science carried a major article about undersea explorer John Ballard discovering serious evidence of [and I here quote] "a flood of Biblical proportions...." But this was a personal extension of God's eternal Love, Grace, Mercy and Compassion to the one man and his family who were faithful to Him in the face of wickedness on every hand and the covenant between Noah and God in no way cancelled the covenant He had already made with Adam, contrary to what most time-line teachers would have you to believe. If God threw out the Adamic covenant when He made the Noahic Covenant, then the covenant for the Messiah became null and void and you could no longer point to the verse about the serpent bruising "His" - the promised Messiah's heel and the Messiah bruising his - Satan's head as a Messianic prophecy. Nor did the Mosaic Covenant or the Law nullify either the Adamic Covenant nor the Noahic Covenant as the "time line" or so-called dispensation teachers in effect teach.  Since virtually all other "Dispensation" beginnings and endings are widely disputed, even an effort to dispute them is fruitless. Even the beginning of the "Church Dispensation" or the "Dispensation of Grace" in which we still are supposed to be is disputed with some saying it began at the birth of Christ, others at His Death or Burial or Resurrection or Ascension back into heaven or on the Day of Pentecost.  On the other hand, we ARE told to go and preach the Gospel to every creature in the closing of the first three gospels in a progressive manner that leads directly into Acts 2:38.

My challenger on the "list" continually referenced back to various apostate theologians of past and even the present century - theologians whose word virtually all truly sincere Bible students reject on the subject of the Godhead and the plan of salvation, yet they go trotting back to them for the authority to divide God's dealings with mankind according to the level of wickedness of mankind and the amount of spelled out legality required to enforce what was God's will all along. In this, the argument was put forth that if the time-line or "Dispensation" was not changed from Adam to Moses, then Adam was responsible to keep the law of Moses even though it had not yet been written down. Let's be realistic. Why would you give your five-year-old child a detailed copy of the rules of the securities and exchange commission so that he would not commit fraud?  Of what use to him would it be?  Yet would it ever have been your will at any time from conception on that he commit fraud on the Stock Market?  It is both an absurd and ridiculous argument that if you don't teach "Dispensations" you make Adam responsible for the Ten Commandments and related laws given to the nation of Israel.  Of whom could Adam have been envious? Told lies on?  To whom would he have even been able to tell the lies?  Whose wife could he have committed adultery with? Since he had walked and talked with God in the Garden, and knew that God was his Creator, is it even remotely probable that without peer pressure he would have made or worshipped another god? So he was responsible to his conscience? And you aren't? 

Since when did we receive a commandment to study all the apostate teachers and all the heresies that Satan has fielded against the Word of God?  Are we responsible to know every teacher of error and when he lived and when, wheere and what he taught? If we were to study every philosopher and theologian and every doctrine that is not of God,  we would have no time for the Bible and effectual, fervent, travailing prayer. Worse yet, we would inescapably miss a few and if we were responsible to give account of all error ever taught by every theologian and philosopher when we stand before God's throne to give account, all of us preachers would be in a "peck of trouble!" The fact that the other brother had spent more time than I in researching who taught errors caused him to remark that I didn't know accurately the dates of heretics' heresies. Frankly, until I am 100 percent sure of the meaning of every word, sentence and phrase in the Bible, and have prayed until I am sure I have the leading of the Holy Spirit in every single thing I teach, what business do I have studying the teachings, definitions and commentaries of people we reject as heretic on the Godhead and Salvation? 

The most serious problem with the time line or dispensation doctrine is that it makes it seem that God does change in the ways He deals with mankind whereas the only scriptural difference was brought about by the fulfilling sacrificial death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ as the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world.

Basically, some questions you should ask about any doctrine is whether you can find it plainly spelled out in the Bible or is it like the Doctrine of the Trinity,  which even the staunchest supporters are forced to admit is not actually spelled out in the Bible, although they claim that the principle is and ditto the Dispensation Doctrine. A question I like to ask trinitarian apologists is, "Did the God who spelled out everything else so carefully somehow FORGET to tell us He is a Trinity? " or "While He was explaining His relationship to the Father,  why didn't Jesus ever tell His disciples He was the Second Person of the Trinity?" Or another one,  "Was Jesus confused in John 14 when He first said He would "pray the Father" and He would send us a Comforter, then that He, Jesus would send the Holy Spirit and finally that He, Himself, Jesus would come and indwell us as He had already promised the Holy Spirit would do?" So who do you say and teach little children to say is "in my heart?" Jesus? Of course. "I've got Jesus in my heart." As we have studied before,  Jesus statements to His disciples followed a progressive learning curve.  As they understood more, He explained more. And since presumably you who are reading this are ministers, many of you already know how to "read" the faces of your hearers and to know when the light bulb of understanding goes on! How much more so, our Lord Jesus Christ, who knew His Apostles' hearts.

And the role of the Holy Spirit as the empowerer of believers who also brings all things to our "remembrance" is spelled out in words descriptive of a Spirit not a person. 

So who are you going to study? Tertullian?  Athanatius of Alexandria?  The Cappadocian fathers?  Even the reformers, Martin Luther, John Calvin,  John Huss,  the Wesley brothers?  J. N. Darby? John Knox?  Will you be held accountable before God for knowing or not knowing what they taught?

Or are you going to study the Bible and pray earnestly with the desire to know what Jesus and His Original apostles would teach, preach and live if they were walking in your shoes today?  Are you, as a minister of the Godpel of our Lord Jesus Christ, responsible to know  what they taught?  I rest my case. You be "da judge."

--  S. M. S.
  Acts 17:11
Genesis 3:1-6
   National Geographic Magazine May 2002 
John 1:29, 36
  John 14:16-17,  John 14:18, 20  John 14:26 John 14:18
Acts 17:11, 2 Timothy 2:15
Yours for Jesus' sake,

Bro. Sam


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