Welcome to the PMI Center for Biblical Studies

nameplate_stationery_ORIGINAL2
POB 177 – Battle Creek, MI 49016-0177 – (269) 282-9381

“An Independent, Fundamental, King James Bible Teaching Christian school offering College and Seminary level courses in Apologetics, Biblical Studies, Christian Ed, Counseling (Nouthetic), Creation, Ministry, Prophecy, Religious Ed, Scofield Bible, and Theology thru distance education since 1981”

–REFRESH YOUR BROWSER FOR LATEST UPDATES–

FREE ARTICLES, TRACTS, BOOKLETS, AND END TIMES NEWS
Our website: pmiministries.com
Please visit and follow our PMI CENTER BLOG
and our LATTER TIMES NEWS BLOG

Over 12,500 DECISIONS FOR CHRIST
since 2008 when we launched our Assoc Evangelist
Training and Licensing Program

We are praying all these decisions for Christ will become disciples of Christ!

How long can a man

SURVIVE  in PRISON

without hope, and without a friend?


Let’s face the facts . . .

Prisons are colleges for crime!

  • FACT: There are over 2 million prisoners currently attending these schools!
  • FACT: Criminal skills are taught to willing students by seasoned cons
  • FACT: 95% of all “students” will eventually “graduate” to walk the streets of America
    better trained with improved skills
  • FACT: Prisoners that are abandoned by their family and friends seek companionship within the seedy prison elements that by default are prepared to totally radicalize them!

Consider this

  • American penitentiaries are breeding grounds for concentrated forces of evil
  • 85%- or more- of America’s prisoners– have no relationship with Jesus           Christ
  • Increasing numbers of prison administrations are opposing Christian ministries while becoming favorable toward Islam
  • Biblically ignorant prisoners are being recruited by gangs, cultists, and Islamists- at alarming rates!
  • Chaplains that should be preaching and teaching the Word of God are forsaking Christ to become ecumenical religious facilitators
  • Sodomy is occurring more frequently amongst professing Christian prisoners
  • Prison rehabilitation is a $60 BILLION dollar scam! Of the 95% of PRISONERS that will one day be released, 75% will be back in prison within 48 months! (read more)

Government or God?

Through the years it has become painfully evident: Government programs costing billions of dollars haven’t worked. God’s program does work because it is Bible based. We know from over 30 years of contending for the faith (Jude 1:3) that if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new (2 Corinthians 5:17). That’s why the PMI Center chose in 1981 to provide life-changing TUITION-FREE distance Bible college level studies to prisoners in eight proven study program tracks (see Courses above menu) : Apologetics (2 years Biblical – Creationism), Biblical Studies (6 years), Nouthetic Counseling (2 years), Pastoral and Evangelism Ministry (2 years), Prophecy (Jack Van Impe- 2 years), Religious Ed (1 year ), Scofield Bible (2 years), and Theology (1 year PhD option from Calvary Christian Seminary).  All are soundly fundamental in doctrine (we use the Authorized King James Bible), practical in structure, and underwritten exclusively by the generous freewill offerings of those who believe in what we’re doing and support us. We’re proud to say that many of our 26,000 students have received their diplomas from PMI and degrees from our co-op colleges and have gone on to become devoted evangelists, pastors, teachers, counselors, church ministry workers, and all-around exemplary Christians. If you or an incarcerated loved one would like information on enrollment, please download the following Intro Pack with Application explaining everything:

ENROLLMENT INFORMATION FOR PRISONERS AND NON-PRISONERS – Write and request the first of 8 in the Foundations of Theology prerequisite study project!

Recommendations from students:

I thank God daily for you and the truths that you teach. I will take them into the ministry with me and teach them to the church of God without apology and without compromise. I cannot express how grateful I am for this opportunity that God has given me to learn and grow in my faith and in God’s Word through PMI under your leadership. May God bless you always. Curtis Fairchild (South Bay, FL).

Brothers and sisters, PMI teaches God’s Word verbatim, the studies have enlightened me, uplifted me, encouraged me, edified me, qualified me, and called me to a higher calling in Christ Jesus. Waiting for the trumpet blast. Steven Collins, 2 Tim 1:7-8 (Springfield, TN).

Thank you from the bottom of my heart. My goal when I get out of here is to work with prison ministry. I have seen first hand now how much of a presence Satan has in a prison. Learning has never been so interesting. Your lessons have given me a new look at things I have read many times before. James George (Ayer, MA)

Recommendations from well known friends:

Van-Impe-Reese-HarringtonHovind

LUTHER RICE COLLEGE AND SEMINARY: After a thorough review of our courses, we received the following response from the President of Luther Rice College & Seminary, the undisputed pioneer in distance education:

Dear. Dr. Johnston, Thank you for the follow-up letter of October 3. I did, indeed, receive the materials you sent and found them quite impressive. Of all the ministries that I have written, yours comes closest to what I was hoping to find.

When I am advised of students who are looking for high quality theological education but are unable to meet the financial requirements of Luther Rice Seminary, I will certainly recommend Promise Ministries.

Again, thank you for your concern and for the good work that you are doing.

In Him, J.M. Kinnebrew, Th.D.
Luther Rice Seminary

ENROLLMENT INFORMATION FOR PRISONERS AND NON-PRISONERS – Write and request the first of 8 in the Foundations of Theology prerequisite study project!

Categories: Misc, PMI Info

Introducing: Latter Times News Blog

November 1, 2012 Leave a comment

FREE SUBSCRIPTION to our newest blog Latter Times News featuring prophetic developments around the world relating to the inerrant, infallible, inspired Word of God.

Here’s the link- hope to see you there: http://lattertimesnews.wordpress.com/

Categories: Misc

“Christian” HATE in the Rapture Debate

August 26, 2016 Leave a comment

I posted this on youtube:

Shared publicly  –  Jun 22, 2016

The Body of Christ will not go through Israel’s tribulation. To begin with, Israel and the Body of Christ are not the same. Neither are God’s plans for them. God’s plan for Israel concerns Christ returning to earth in a spectacular event called the Revelation – to inaugurate His Kingdom in Jerusalem (Matt. 24-25; Rev. 19-20. This plan was “spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began” (Acts 3:21; see Luke 1:70). God’s plan for the Body of Christ is completely different. It concerns our heavenly inheritance, not an earthly kingdom. Jesus revealed this program to Paul only as a mystery “kept secret since the world began” (Rom. 16:25; see Eph. 3:3-9). In that it began as a mystery, it will likewise disappear in a mystery called the Rapture; an any moment event whereby Jesus returns for us in the air (1 Thess. 4:16-17), snatches us from earth, and takes us back to Heaven with Him (John 14:2-3) – when “the fulness of the Gentiles be come in” (Rom. 11:25). Then comes the time of Jacob’s trouble – aka tribulation.

The tribulation – as it is most commonly known (Moses: Deut. 4:30; Jesus: Matt. 24:21, 29; John: Rev. 7:14) – is part of God’s earthly program for Israel. It is also called “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jer. 30:7; Dan. 12:1; Zeph. 1:15), Daniel’s Seventieth Week (Dan. 9:26-27), and “the hour of temptation” (Rev. 3:10. It has no bearing on the Body of Christ, which will be gone before it begins. From the beginning it was prophesied to Israel (Deut. 4:30), and thus is primarily for Israel (Jer. 30-31; Dan. 12:1, Zeph. 1:15; Matt.24:21, 29). Its purpose is to punish sin and sinners (Jer. 30-31; Zeph. 1; Joel; Rev. 6-19), and prepare earth and Israel for the Revelation of the Messiah and the Jewish (Millennial) Kingdom promised to David in perpetuity through Covenant (2 Sam. 7:8-16), and sealed with an oath (Psa. 89:3-4, 20-37; see Luke1:31-33). While the prophets revealed the tribulation as a horrific but integral component in the Day of the Lord (Isa. 2:12, etc ), it was Daniel’s prophecy where its duration was revealed as the final week of seven years in his seventy week prophecy for Israel (Dan. 9:24-27; see Rev. 11:2-3; 12:14). To wit, while we can easily find Israel and the anti-Semitic Gentile nations on earth during “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jer. 30:7; Dan. 12:1; Zeph. 1:15), the heavenly Body of Christ – which has been promised deliverance from this divine punishment (1 Thess. 1:10; 5:9; 2 Thess. 2:5-7; Rev.3:10; see also Rev. 4:1) – is conspicuously absent (Rev. 6-19). There isn’t a prophecy or a single verse anywhere in the Bible conclusively identifying the Body of Christ on earth during Israel’s tribulation without pulling from context and redefining the words “saints” and “elect” – which in Daniel, the Olivet Discourse, and Revelation specifically refer to Israel. In light of these factors we are convinced that the Body of Christ will not go through Israel’s tribulation!

==========================================================================
The following is an actual, unedited reply from a “brother” in Christ who I believe may have honed his debating skills at the Tony Montana School of Public Policy. [snicker, wink]

herbbearingseed

Pmi Center, You are a liar. You forgot to post the pre-trib rapture verse that has the rapture before the tribulation. O Right … there is no pre-trib verse. For no lie is of the truth.All ya did was quote 100% post trib verses and CLAIM a pre-trib. That brings confussion. You are of the DEVIL>
==========================================================================
I will post more as I receive them🙂 -Dr Mike (2 Tim 2:2

 

INTRODUCTION TO PMI BIBLE STUDY METHODOLOGY

August 14, 2016 Leave a comment

Dr. Mike Johnston, Editor

 

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15)

 

INTRODUCTION TO PMI BIBLE STUDY METHODOLOGY

Copyright © 2012-2015 by Dr. Mike Johnston All rights reserved.

You may copy, quote, and distribute the material enclosed with two stipulations: you do not charge, and you provide proper credit for our publication.

 

Published by PMI Center for Biblical Studies

POB 177 Battle Creek, MI 49016-0177

PmiMinistries.com

All Scripture quotations are taken from the King James Version of the Holy Bible unless noted when directly quoting or refuting another source.

Works for Hebrew and Greek Word Clarification:

Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance by
James Strong, S.T.D., LL.D., 1890

(as found in e-Sword® Version 7.8.5 © 2000-2007

Rick Meyers All Rights Reserved Worldwide)

 

 

COLLATERAL READING ASSIGNMENT FOR PMI STUDENTS

  • Collateral reading and reporting is part of your required coursework. Read and explain (don’t opine) each of the SECTIONS BELOW in about 100+ words each.
  • Prepare a final 300-500 word report entitled: What I Learned From Studying (insert the title of this collateral)  (be sure to include truths contained in each of the sections above in support of your essay paper).

====================================================== 

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works (2 Timothy 3:16-17) 

Let’s be clear! Everything we need for doctrine and duty in our Christian life has been given to us in the Bible. That’s why Satan is waging an all out war against the Word of God in these last days just as he did in the garden some 6000 years ago: yea hath God said (Gen. 3:1)? [1]

The PMI Center has been committed since 1981 to helping some 26,000 students obey this wonderful mandate: Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15). However, we must bear in mind that when studying Scripture, wrong conclusions can be reached by employing improper hermeneutics. [2] Here are two possible lenses from which to view God’s Word: the first lens is called eisegesis, which means you read a passage with a preconceived agenda or outcome thus forcing the interpretation (heretics, new agers, and other cults are famous for this); or you will view it through the lens of exegesis, where you discard your agenda thereby allowing the Bible to say what it says. In light of employing the latter lens, here is a kind of template for evangelists, pastors and teachers desiring to undertake an honest inductive and deductive study of the Bible.

  1. View the Setting [3]
  • Who is writing or speaking and to whom?
  • What is the passage about? (or What problems were the recipients facing?)
  • When does this take place?
  • Where does this take place?
  • Why does the author write what he does?
  • How does this passage fit in with the context? (What goes before and after?)
  1. Understand the Theme

Look for commands and repeated words or phrases- which I often circle, connect with a line, and highlight in a certain color. These hold the key to intent and interpretation. King James haters often tell us it contains archaic words, and yet when you read it you will discover those words are often defined within the passage itself. Still, words you are unsure of provide you a perfect opportunity to expand your vocabulary with a good dictionary (I love my Webster’s 1828- FREE with e-Sword.com).

  • What does the immediate context suggest?
  • What does the broader context suggest?
  • What are the meanings of specific words? (English, Hebrew, Greek)
  • What do cross-references suggest? (need an exhaustive concordance)
  • What is the cultural meaning? (What did it mean to those to whom it was originally addressed?)
  • What do commentaries suggest (if available)?
  1. Develop an Outline

Take the main theme, and all subordinate verses into consideration. For instance, if I were going to outline John 3:16, I’d do it as follows: (this is a good skill for preachers to acquire)

Theme: Salvation

  1. Motivated by God’s love for the World
  2. Came to us through His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ
  3. Is available simply by believing
  4. Will last forever
  1. Draw an Application

This is where your heart (aka the soul– which is the seat of your mind, emotion, will) desires more than anything to line up with God’s Word (James 1:22-25, Matthew 7:24-27). But applying (aka obeying) the Word will not happen accidentally; it is the product of your volition (will). As the Spirit of God enlightens the spirit of the child of God from His Word, conviction is brought to bear on our soul (aka heart– mind, emotion, will) to do according to what God’s Word tells us to do. In the process, we ask ourselves the following questions:

  • Is there a sin to confess or avoid? (See 1 John 1:9)
  • Are there commands to obey? (See Joshua 1:8)
  • Are there promises to appropriate? (See Hebrews 6:12)
  1. Mature as a Christian

                Every Christian should memorize the Bible, beginning with this verse: All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Here’s a simple outline we’ll close with:

  • Doctrine: The Word of God is my Theological Text [4]
  • Reproof: The Word of God will tell me exactly where I’ve gone wrong
  • Correction: The Word of God will clearly tell me what I need to do to change
  • Instruction in righteousness. The Word of God will show me how to live
  • Perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works: The Word of God will mature me

All PMI students are required to read through the Bible one time for each academic year they’ve completed. Biblical Studies students read it 6 times; Ministry and Prophecy Students 2 times, etc.

Section: Prophecy and Mystery Overview
CR Stam                                                               

When the Bible was written it was divided into Old Testament and New Testament, but the Bible is basically divided into two more well defined, descriptive terms, and these are prophecy and mystery. Prophecy is basically the purpose God has for the earth and Christ’s reign upon it, which includes the nation of Israel and the city of Jerusalem (2 Peter 1: 16-19). This is the Kingdom of heaven that will in the future be set up on the earth, literally. The Mystery is that body of truth proclaimed by the Apostle Paul, concerning heaven and the exaltation of the Body of Christ in heaven, together there with Christ (Eph. 2:4-10, 3: 1-4).

The titles “Old Testament” and “New Testament” are not accurate descriptions of the two sections in the Bible that they represent. The Old Testament is really the old covenant of the law and was later titled “Old Testament” or old covenant. This covenant of the law was not even made until 2500 years of human history had taken place. The covenant of the law was given through Moses (John 1:17). It was given to the people of Israel through Moses at about 1500 B.C. as seen in Exodus 19 and 20. But what was the system of government before Moses? What about the time from Adam to Moses? There was “no law” or “old testament” from the time of Adam until the time of Moses (Rom. 5:13-14). The covenant of the law had not yet been given in the period of time between Adam and Moses. Technically this means that the book of Genesis does not have one word of the Old Testament, or old covenant of the law, in it. There are some Jewish people today who believe that the Old Testament is for the Jews and the New Testament is for the gentiles. If that were true . . . then who is the book of Genesis for? Since Israel did not even begin as a nation until after she was delivered by God and Moses from Pharaoh and the Egyptian army.

Mankind lived under the Dispensation of Conscience from Adam to Noah and then the minor Dispensation of Human Government once Noah and his family survived the Great Flood and human government was set up for the first time. A dispensation is a program that God administers or dispenses out to mankind, the word “dispense” means to deal out. God never changes but the dispensations or programs He deals out to man have changed throughout human history.

The New Testament or new covenant in actuality was not made until the death of Christ on the cross, ” . . . He is the Mediator of the new testament (covenant) that by means of death . . . they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance” (Hebrews 9:15). Also in (Luke 22:20) “This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you”. This means that the major part of the four gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were all actually under the Old Testament rather than New Testament history and that the Lord Jesus and the disciples were all under the old covenant at that time. Both the old and new testaments were made WITH THE NATION ISRAEL. The new covenant only promises that Israel in the near future will render the obedience that was required of her under the old covenant (Deut. 5:1-3) (Jeremiah 31:31). The separating of the Bible between the Old Testament and New Testament is really not a very accurate division. The most descriptive, most accurate and most important division in the Bible is between “prophecy” and the great “mystery” which was proclaimed by the Apostle Paul. Again, “prophecy” is the purpose God has for the EARTH and Christ’s reign upon it. The “mystery” is that body of truth proclaimed by the Apostle Paul concerning the Body of Christ in HEAVEN.

The very first words in the Bible state: “In the beginning God created the HEAVEN and the EARTH” (Gen. 1:1). It does not say God created the UNIVERSE; it does not say God created the heavens and the earth as many people make the mistake of saying. It says God created the HEAVEN and the EARTH. This is because He has a special purpose concerning the earth which is completely different from His purpose concerning heaven. His purpose that concerns the earth has to do with Christ’s future reign upon it, and this is the subject of “prophecy” (2 Peter 1:16-19). His purpose for heaven and the exaltation of the Body of Christ there with the Lord Jesus Christ is the subject of the “mystery” (Ephesians 2:4-10, 3:1-4). This is why the Bible is really divided into two great subjects: Prophecy and Mystery

Prophecy

What is at the heart of Prophecy? The Messianic kingdom; that is, the “kingdom of heaven” which was spoken of by John the Baptist, the Lord Jesus Christ and the twelve disciples, which will be set up on the EARTH; (Matt. 3:1-2, 4:17, 10:5-7). Since the “kingdom of heaven” is not yet established on the earth, it will be set up in the near future when the Lord Jesus Christ, the Anointed One, the Messiah, returns to the earth on the Mount of Olives, then on to Jerusalem at the Second Advent and sets up His kingdom and reign upon THE EARTH for one thousand years. This is also called the Millennium. The main purpose or the main goal of prophecy is the establishment of the “kingdom of heaven” upon THE EARTH (Rom. 11:25-29). The Messianic Kingdom will be set up on THE EARTH: (Psalms 2:8) “I shall give Thee . . . the uttermost parts of THE EARTH for Thy possession”. (Jeremiah. 23:5) “A King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in THE EARTH”. The Lord Jesus Christ who is the second member of the Godhead, who is God, will rule as God, from Jerusalem and He will reign over the entire world. It will be a theocracy. “They shall call His name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us” (Isaiah 7:14) (Matt. 1:23). “And His name shall be called . . . The mighty God” (Isaiah 9:6). “The Lord shall be King over all THE EARTH” (Zech. 14:9).

 

Mystery

 

God’s purpose concerning HEAVEN and the exaltation of the Body of Christ there with the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Head of the Body, is the subject of “The Mystery”. What is the Mystery? There are many mysteries in the Bible, but this refers to “THE MYSTERY” which is that great body of truth given to the Apostle Paul by direct revelation from the Lord Jesus Christ, from heaven. The “kingdom of heaven” one day being set up on the earth and the coming Messiah was well known and prophesied by the holy prophets. But, the Body of Christ with its heavenly calling and position was not prophesied. Nothing, not even one mention can be found in the pages of prophecy about the Body of Christ. God kept this a complete secret until the proper time when He brought the Body of Christ into existence, revealing THE MYSTERY only to the Apostle Paul. (Rom. 16:25) “kept secret since the world began”. Then also in (Ephesians 3:9) “from the beginning of the world . . . hid in God”. “hid from ages and from generations” (Col.1:26).

The nation Israel was temporarily set aside along with the unbelieving Gentiles. “Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for” (Rom. 11:7). “Because of unbelief they were broken off” (Rom. 11:12). A new dispensation was slowly being brought in and mercy was shown to all. “For God hath concluded them all in unbelief that He might have mercy upon all (Rom. 11:32). “For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek (gentile)” (Rom. 10:12-13). No longer is the gospel of the kingdom proclaimed, but the gospel of the Grace of God, which is Christ’s finished work on the cross. The Apostle Paul declared “the ministry which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify THE GOSPEL OF THE GRACE OF GOD” and “THE DISPENSATION OF THE GRACE OF GOD which is given me to you-ward” (Acts 20:24) (Ephesians 3:2). [5]

The Prophetic Word and the Believers Today

 

All Scripture is equally important AS THE WORD OF GOD, and all is profitable to the Man of God. Yet the thoughtful student of the Word soon discovers that certain passages have a more DIRECT bearing upon other men than upon himself and are in that sense more important to those DIRECTLY involved.

 

The command to keep the Passover, for example DIRECTLY involved the Israelites under the law and was, in that sense, of greater importance to them than to us. In the same way prophecy (except Paul’s) deals DIRECTLY with Israel and the nations, not with the Body of Christ. While a deep interest in the prophetic word is commendable, we must not forget that here is never-the-less another great body of truth which more DIRECTLY concerns us.

 

When God finally sat the nation of Israel aside, He said, “BE IT KNOWN…THAT THE SALVATION OF GOD IS SENT UNTO THE GENTILES..” (Acts 28:28). Therefore, Paul says, by inspiration, “I SPEAK TO YOU GENTILES” (Romans 11:13). Thus, while Israel and the Prophetic program are temporarily set aside the Church of this age is made up pre- dominantly of Gentiles in the flesh, with Paul as their Apostle. This is why the Apostle speaks of “THIS MYSTERY AMONG THE GENTILES” (Colossians 1:27) and explains to the Gentile believers of today that blindness in part has happened upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles come (Romans 11:25). When GOD’S MYSTERY PROGRAM has run its course, God will again resume His dealings with Israel and bring the prophetic program to a conclusion, as we see in Romans 11:26 and 27. This interruption of the prophetic program must be borne in mind in any consideration of the importance of the prophetic Word. While prophecy is fully as important as any other part of the Scriptures, but we must remember that it deals DIRECTLY with Israel and the nations, not with the BODY OF CHRIST.

 

This is why it is PETER, not Paul, who speaks of Prophecy. Note Second Peter 1:19. It is also interesting that it is JOHN who writes about PROPHECY in his introduction to the Book of Revelation (Revelation 1:3). Prophecy will always be a blessing to any individual who studies ANY part of the Scriptures, but a special blessing will await those who study the BOOK OF THE REVELATION while keeping in mind that its precepts pertain to that day when the revelation of Christ, in His glory, will again be “AT HAND” to be made manifest here ON EARTH. Hence, it is important to remember that while all Scripture is FOR US, Paul’s epistles constitute our PRIVATE MAIL. It is Paul who was specially chosen of God as the Apostle to the Gentiles and the one through whom the Mystery was to be revealed.

 

What a pity that in this Dispensation of the Grace of God the Church abounds with PROPHETIC EXPERTS, while “Experts” in “THIS MYSTERY AMONG THE GENTILES” are so rare!

The Church
Clarence Larkin

 

“And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” Matthew 16:18.

 

  1. It is not a continuation of the “Jewish Dispensation” under another name.

As we have seen in the chapter on the Jews, the Jews have been shunted to a sidetrack that the “Main Line” may be clear for the passage of the Church. Jesus said-“The Law and the Prophets are until John.” If the Scriptures put Moses and Law in one Dispensation and Christ and Grace in another let us respect the Divine order and not join together what God has put asunder.

 

  1. It is not “The Kingdom”

John the Baptist came preaching that the “Kingdom of Heaven” was “at hand” and Jesus sent out the Twelve and the Seventy to do the same, but the Jewish people rejected their King, and the setting up of the Kingdom was postponed. There cannot be any Kingdom until the “Nobleman Farmer” who has gone into a “far country” to receive the Kingdom returns. Luke 19:11-13

 

  1. It is a “Mystery”

The Kingdom was no mystery. The Old Testament prophets describe it in glowing terms. But there was something that was a Mystery” to them, and that was what was to come in between the “Sufferings and Glory” of Christ. 1Pet. 1:9-11.

 

That is, between the Cross and the Crown. Jesus intimated that there was to be something that He called the “Church, ” but He did not say when it should appear, or what it would be like. Matt. 16:13-15.

 

The “Mystery of the Church” was first revealed to Paul.

“For this cause I, Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, if ye have heard of ‘The Dispensation of the Grace of God’ which is given me to you-ward; how that by revelation He made known unto me ‘THE MYSTERY’ which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto His holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; that THE GENTILES should be fellow heirs and of THE SAME BODY, and partakers of His promise in Christ by the Gospel….. according to the ‘Eternal Purpose’ which He purposes in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Eph. 3:1-3

 

  1. It is a “Called Out” Body

The word Church comes from the Greek word “ecclesia” which means “Assembly” or a congregation of “called out ones.”

 

But the word is not used exclusively as to the Church. Israel was an “ecclesia” or an Assembly of people “called out” from other peoples and nations, and is called in Acts 7:38, “The Church in the Wilderness.”

 

Any Assembly of worshipers banded together as a church or congregation is an “ecclesia.” Matt. 18:17; 1Cor. 14:19, 1Cor. 14:35.

 

While Israel is a “called out body” it is a “National Body, ” composed exclusively of the descendants of Abraham, but the Church is not a “National Body” for it is not composed of the people of any one nation, but of individuals from every kindred, people, tribe and nation.

 

That Israel and the Church are distinct and separate and cannot be blended, is clear from the fact that their “election” was made at different dates, and that the “election” of the Church antedates the “election” of Israel, for Israel was chosen in Abraham from the foundation of the world (Matt. 25:34), while the Church was chosen in HIM (Jesus) BEFORE the Foundation of the World. Eph. 1:4-6.

It is the “Body of Christ”

 

In Eph. 1:22, 23 we read- “And hath put all things under His feet, and gave HIM (Jesus), to be the HEAD over all things to the Church which is His BODY.”

 

The context shows (vs. 20), that this “Headship” was not possible until Jesus had been raised from the dead, and seated at the right hand of the Father. The Church, therefore, could not have been in existence before there was a Head, for God does not make headless things. The Church then is the Body of which Christ is the Head.

 

In 1Cor. 12:12, 13 we are told how this “Body” is formed. “For as the body is one, and hath many members; and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body; so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into One Body, whether we be Jew or Gentile, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into ONE SPIRIT.”

 

From this we see that it is the “Baptism of the Spirit” that incorporates us into the “BODY OF CHRIST.” Therefore there could be no Church until the “Day of Pentecost.” Acts 1:4-5; Acts 2:1-3

 

  1. It is to be the “Bride of Christ”

At present the Church is a virgin espoused. Paul said to the Church at Corinth, “I am jealous over you with godly jealousy; for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste VIRGIN to Christ.” 2Cor. 11:2.

 

In Christ’s day an espousal was as sacred as a marriage. The First Adam had his Bride, and the Second or Last Adam must have His Bride. In Gen. 2:18, Gen. 2:21-23, we are told how the First Adam got his Bride.

 

“The Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; and with the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made (builded) He a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called woman because she was taken out of man.”

 

Now Jesus during His life on the earth as a man, abode alone, but a deep sleep-the sleep of death-fell on Him, and out of His wounded side, as the result of the Atonement He made on the Cross, there came that from which the Church was formed, and to which the Holy Spirit gave life on the Day of Pentecost; so that, as Adam said of Eve-“This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh, ” so we can say of the Church-“We are members of His Body, of his Flesh, and of his Bones.” Eph. 5:29-31

 

The Time of Jacob’s Trouble (aka The Tribulation): If “all” the Church are to pass through the Tribulation, then instead of waiting and watching “for the Lord, ” we should be waiting and watching “for the Tribulation ” which is contrary to the teaching of Christ Himself Matt. 24:42-44

 

The Tribulation is not for the perfecting “of the Saints.” It has nothing to do with the Church. It is the time of “Jacob’s Trouble” (Jer. 30:7), and is the “Judgment of Israel, ” and it is God’s purpose to keep the Church Out Of It. Rev. 2:10. The Book of Revelation is written in chronological order. After the fourth chapter the Church is seen no more upon the earth until she appears in the nineteenth chapter coming with the Bridegroom “from” Heaven. The entire time between these two chapters is filled with appalling judgments that fall upon those that “dwell on the earth, ” and as the Church is not of the earth, but is supposed to “sit together in, “Heavenly Places” in Christ Jesus, ” (Eph. 2:6), she will not be among those who “dwell on the earth” in those days. [6]

Paul’s Gospel
William R. Newell

 

THERE are two great revelators, or unfolders of Divine Truth in the Bible—Moses in the Old Testament and Paul in the New.

 

Someone may say, “Is not Christ the Great Teacher?” In a sense this is true; but in a real sense Christ is the Person taught about, rather than teaching in the Gospels. The Law and the Prophets pointed forward to Christ; the Epistles point back to Him; and the Book of Revelation points to His Second Coming, and those things connected with it. The Four Gospels tell the story how He was revealed to men and rejected by them.* Christ, Himself, therefore is the theme of the Bible. Moses in the Law reveals God’s holiness, and thus by means of the Law reveals human sin and the utter hopelessness and helplessness of man. Paul in his great Epistles reveals Christ as our Righteousness, Sanctification, Redemption, and All-in-All.

 

The twelve Apostles (Matthias by Divine appointment taking the place of Judas) were to be the “witnesses” (Acts 1:22) of Christ’s resurrection—that is, of the fact of it. They were not to unfold fully the doctrine of it as Paul was. The twelve were with Jesus personally and knew Him as a man, and when He died they saw it. When He was buried, they knew it personally as eye-witnesses. And when He was raised, they found it out experimentally, visiting His actual tomb and seeing that it was empty. They were also to see and handle the physical, risen body of our Lord. And it was with them that our Lord abode on earth forty days after His resurrection, “shewing Himself alive [physically, in a body] by many infallible proofs” (Acts 1:3).

 

This great fact—that is, that the Person whom the Jews themselves well knew they had crucified and buried, was risen from the dead and ascended to Heaven—this tremendous fact the twelve Apostles witnessed to Israel at Jerusalem and everywhere else. Thus we find the opening chapters of the Book of Acts filled with the single testimony that Jesus of Nazareth had risen from the dead and that remission of sins was through Him. But unto none of these twelve Apostles did God reveal the great body of doctrine for this Age. Just as God chose Moses to be the revelator to Israel for the Ten Commandments and all connected with the Law dispensation, so God chose Saul of Tarsus to be the revelator and unfolder of those mighty truths connected with our Lord’s death, burial, and resurrection and His ascended Person. And all the “mysteries” or “secrets” revealed to God’s people in this Dispensation by the Holy Spirit are revealed by Paul. Finally, Paul is the unfolder of the great company of God’s elect, called the Church, the Body of Christ, the individuals of which Body are called members of the Body of Christ—members of Christ Himself. No other Apostle speaks of these things. Peter himself had to learn them from Paul (2 Pet. 3:15-16). When Paul finishes his thirteen great Epistles (Romans to Philemon) those which belong to the Church, God indeed permits him to give a message then to the Hebrews. This is not part of the Church’s doctrine, but is simply explaining to Hebrew Christians the character, the real application, the typical meaning, of their Levitical system—that is, how it pointed forward to Christ.

 

James addresses his Epistle to “the twelve tribes”—that is, his Epistle has special reference to the Jewish Christians in the early days and to such throughout the Dispensation, for that matter. Peter writes to “the strangers who are sojourners of the Dispersion,” that is, to the dispersed Jews who acknowledge Jesus as the Messiah. In the second chapter of Galatians we are distinctly told by Paul that James, Cephas, and John were to go to the circumcision, while Paul tells us that his message was to the Gentiles. Since then the testimony by the Jewish Apostles to the Jews was duly given, there is now no distinction between Jews and Gentiles; and Paul’s message holds good for the world, both Jews and Gentiles. So that we find Paul finally sets the Jewish nation aside in the last chapter of the Book of Acts and opens his great Epistle to the Gentile’s center of the world with the statement that “there is no difference” between men; for “all have sinned,” and there is again “no difference,” for “whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved,” since the same Lord is “Lord of all” (Rom. 3:22-23; 10:12).  God does as He pleases, and it pleased Him to choose —first to save people in this Dispensation through “the foolishness of preaching” [the “preached thing”]—that is, through the message about the Cross and what was done there (See 1 Cor. 1:21). And second, it pleased Him to choose Paul to be the great proclaimer and revealer of just what the Gospel is for this Dispensation.

 

You can judge any man’s preaching or teaching by this rule—Is he Pauline? Does his doctrine start and finish according to those statements of Christian doctrine uttered by the Apostle Paul? No matter how wonderful a man may seem in his gifts and apparent consecration—if his Gospel is not Pauline, it is not the Gospel; and we might as well get our minds settled at once as to that. Paul calls down the anathema—that is the curse of God Himself—upon anyone who preaches any other Gospel than that which he declared (Gal. 1:8-9).

Not for one moment are we to believe that James, Peter, and John were at variance with Paul—not in the least. They were given certain things by the Spirit to say to certain classes of people. They do not conflict with Paul. And their words are included in the statement that “All Scripture is profitable” (2 Tim. 3:16).

 

But nevertheless, Paul is the declarer and revealer of the Gospel to us. Take Romans to Philemon out of the Bible and you are bereft of Christian doctrine. For instance, if you were to take Paul’s Epistles out of the Bible, you cannot find anything about the Church, the Body of Christ, for no other Apostle mentions the Body of Christ. You cannot find one of the great mysteries, such as the Rapture of the Church (1 Thess. 4; 1 Cor. 15) or the mystery of the present hardening of Israel (Rom. 11). No other Apostle speaks of any of those mysteries. Paul alone reveals them—the great doctrines such as Justification, Redemption, Sanctification. And what is perhaps the most tremendous fact of every real Christian life, that of his personal union to the Lord in glory. Paul is the great Divinely-chosen opener to us of truth for this Age.

 

The great doctrines that Paul reveals may be outlined as follows—

 

  1. The unrighteousness before God of all men.

 

  1. The impossibility of justification by works before God— that is, of any man’s attaining a standing of righteousness before God by anything done by him. Do what a man may, he is a condemned sinner still.

 

  1. The fact and the Scripturalness of righteousness on the free gift principle—that is, of Divine righteousness, separate from all man’s doings, conferred upon man as a free gift from God.

 

  1. Propitiation—that satisfaction of God’s Holy Nature and law for man’s sins rendered by Christ’s blood.

 

  1. Reconciliation—the removal by Christ’s death for man of that obstacle to righteousness which man’s sin had set up between God and man.

 

  1. The plan of the actual conferring of the gift of righteousness upon all who believe, without any distinction. This change of a sinner’s standing before God, from one of condemnation to one of righteousness, is called Justification. Negatively, it is deliverance from guilt on account of Christ’s shed blood and deliverance out of the old creation by identification in death with Christ on the Cross. Positively, it is a new standing in the risen Christ before God.

 

  1. Redemptionthe buying back of the soul through the blood of Christ from sin; from the curse of the law—even death, involving exclusion from God under penalty; from the “power of death,” which involves the hand of the enemy; and from all iniquity.

 

  1. Forgiveness—the going forth of Divine tenderness in remitting the penalty for sin in view of the blood of Christ trusted in, and in complacency and fellowship to creatures who before were necessarily under Divine judgment.

 

  1. Remission of sins—that is, the actual removing of transgressions or trespasses from the sinner, so that for all time and eternity his sins shall not again be upon him.

 

  1. Identification—(see above, Justification). The great fact that those who are in Christ were united with Him at the Cross by God’s sovereign inscrutable act and were crucified with Christ and buried with Him, so that their history is now ended before God. And when Christ was raised up as the Firstborn of the new creation, they also were raised up with Him and their history began as new creatures in God’s sight in Christ, the Last Adam. Of course, in the experience of the Christian there comes a time when he is actually made partaker of this new life—that point of time when he is, as we say, saved, or converted, or born again, etc. Nevertheless, the life that is in every Christian came up out of the Tomb, and it is in Christ Jesus that a man is created anew.

 

  1. Incorporation—This tremendous doctrine Paul alone mentions, and he makes it practically the foundation of all his exhortations to the saints with regard to their conduct and life. By “incorporation” we mean the fact that all those who are really saved and are new creatures in Christ Jesus become members of one organism (called “the Body of Christ”), which is more real than the very earth we tread upon—Christ Himself in Heaven being the Head of this Body and every real Christian a member of it. So that believers are thus members of Christ in Heaven and also members one of another here on earth. No wonder Paul is able to exhort the saints to love one another when they are members one of another! (Rom. 12; 1 Cor. 12; Eph. 4).

 

  1. Inhabitation—The wonderful fact that the Body of Christ and each member of it individually is inhabited, indwelt, by the Holy Spirit Himself, and not only so, but that the Church is being “built together” as a great temple of God so that in the future God’s actual eternal dwelling place will be this wonderful, mysterious company built into a building called “a holy habitation of God in the Spirit.”

 

This mystery is a great and marvelous one—the fact that we are saved, are partakers now of the life of the Lord in glory, that the Holy Spirit indwells us.

 

  1. Divine Exhibition—That is, that through the Church in the ages to come is to be made known that which God counts His “riches,” even His Grace (Eph. 2:7; 3:10).

 

The failure or refusal to discern the Pauline Gospel as a separate and new revelation and not a “development from Judaism,” accounts for two-thirds of the confusion in many people’s minds today as regards just what the Gospel is. Paul’s Gospel will allow no admixture with works on the one hand or religious pretensions and performances on the other. It is as simple and clear as the sunlight from heaven. The end of man is where God begins in Romans 3, at what might be called the opening of the Pauline revelation. Most unsaved people today believe in their hearts that the reason they are not saved is because of something they have not yet done, some step that remains for them to take before God will accept them. But this is absolutely untrue. When Christ said, “It is finished” (John 19:30), He meant that He had, then and there, paid the debt for the whole human race. “He gave Himself a ransom for all” (1 Tim. 2:6).

 

Now Paul in his wonderful revelation declares that God hath reconciled the world to Himself; that God was in Christ (at the Cross) reconciling the world unto Himself (2 Cor. 5:19). Men do not know this, but they conceive that something stands between them and God before God will accept or forgive them. If you tell a man that God is demanding no good works of him whatsoever, no religious observances or church ordinances, that God is not asking him to undertake any duties at all, but that God invites him to believe a glad message that his sins have already been dealt with at the Cross, and that God expects him to believe this good news and be exceedingly happy about it. If you tell an unsaved man such a story as this, he is astonished and overwhelmed—yet this is the Gospel!

Dispensationalism Defined and Described

 

PUBLISHER’S NOTE: One of my best investments was an Old Scofield Bible. The reason for the existence of so many denominations is eisegesis usurping exegesis resulting in not rightly dividing the Word of truth (2 Tim 2:2). A thorough study of God’s work through the ages- aka Dispensationalism- helps immensely. –Dr. Mike

 

  • Dispensationalism [7] is more than just one doctrine. It is a doctrinal system.
  • Doctrine refers to something taught.
  • Bible doctrine is something that is taught in scripture no matter how simple or complex.
  • A major doctrine is a doctrine about which the Bible says much, like the blood atonement or prayer.

 

The seven dispensations in the Old Scofield Study Bible [8] and which appear by majority reckoning to be: Innocence,  (Gen_1:28).  Conscience, (Gen_3:23). Human Government, (Gen_8:21).  Promise,   (Gen_12:1).  Law, (Exo_19:8).  Grace  (Joh_1:17). Kingdom,   (Eph_1:10).

 

Dispensationalism deals with all of the above but is none of the above. It is a doctrinal system. This is an organized framework designed to give greater meaning to the entire body of biblical doctrine. It acts as a lens through which the truth of scripture is viewed. [Editor’s note: The Old Scofield Bible  is designed from the dispensational viewpoint].

 

In all doctrinal systems, there is an element of human invention. In other words, God has not done all the organizing for us. Man may attempt to organize Bible doctrine with all honesty and integrity, but he cannot avoid being human. So, whereas the text of scripture is infallible, no doctrinal system can make that claim.

 

This means that no doctrinal system can be used to interpret scripture. Rather, scripture must be used to define and refine the system. Much trouble arises when the system rises to the place of interpreter and removes the Holy Spirit from the office of Teacher. No system should be used as a substitute for thinking, studying, or praying.

 

Doctrinal systems are built around some unifying theme (ie, Christology, Ecclesiology, Eschatology).  Dispensationalism declares that the most central purpose of history is to bring glory to God. Dispensationalism looks at history as a series of tests in which man is given a particular set of circumstances. Each set of circumstances is different from all that have come before it and in each man is given an opportunity to serve God and know Him. In each testing period, mankind fails and rebels against God. But God gets His glory in the judgment He bestows and in the remnant who are saved by His wondrous grace and love.

 

Rightly Dividing the Word

 

What does it mean to rightly divide the word of truth? First, this statement tells us that there are divisions that must be made in scripture if we are to understand God’s truth. That is the essence of dispensationalism. But this act of dividing scripture must be done rightly. That means that it can be done wrongly. We must be very careful to rightly divide God’s word lest we wrongly divide it. Dispensationalism is rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15 says, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” This verse teaches that we must study God’s word in order to be approved by Him as a workman. And His word must be rightly divided. Specifically, God is talking to preachers but it applies to all believers. If you do not rightly divide the word you will wrongly interpret it.

 

Consider also the exact grammar of the command. There is a reason God said rightly dividing the word instead of finding right division. The word dividing is a verb in the active tense and the word rightly is an adverb that describes the way in which the word should be divided. Rightly dividing is dynamic. It is an active work requiring the active assistance of the Holy Spirit. God must give you the wisdom to rightly divide His word. Rightly dividing the word is the work of spiritual men and women. It is a spiritual art. [Editor’s note: see 1 Cor. 2:14].

 

However, many of the dispensationalists you meet today talk a lot about right division. They stress the importance of knowing right division. By statement or by implication, they communicate the idea that you can learn the right places to draw the lines in scripture and you will automatically interpret the scriptures correctly. The word division is a noun and the word right is an adjective describing the kind of division to be made. There is significance to this. The concept of right division is static. It assumes a solution that can be written in a set of laws and given as a set of mental concepts from the teacher to the student. There is no great need for the teaching of the Spirit of God. It is a science and not an art. Just learn where to draw the lines and you will have the answers.

 

But God does not give us right division. He does not give a set of solutions or laws that answer all of our questions. Rather, He tells us to rightly divide His word. We cannot determine whether something applies to us or does not simply by what book of the Bible it is found in. The book where a passage is located gives us help in interpretation. But it does not solve all problems. It does not tell us what this verse teaches us. To do this, we need the leading of the Spirit of God. We need Him to teach us.

 

What Dispensationalism Teaches

 

Dispensationalism   teaches us that God gives different demands and responsibilities to the people living in different ages. Some people have trouble with that. But the truth is that anyone who believes anything about the Bible is dispensational to some degree. How many people are still trying to do all of the Old Testament sacrifices? Dispensationalism means that God has had a purpose throughout history. In each age He accomplishes a particular work as a part of His eternal plan.

 

Some sincere believers are frightened from dispensationalism because they fear that it takes a great portion of the Bible from them. True dispensationalism does not take the Bible away from you; it gives the Bible back to you. It makes you understand what is applicable to you and how to apply and use things in the right way without being afraid of scripture. It turns on the light in a dark room helping you know where you can freely walk and where you need to make a detour for the furniture.  This is the major benefit of dispensationalism. God works different ways at different times. Before the flood, people were vegetarians, but that does not mean that I cannot eat meat today. Neither do I need to put myself under the dietary laws given to the Old Testament Jews. Dispensationalism shows me that these laws- all 613 of them- were given specifically to Israel and are not mandated for the church which is under a completely separate dispensation. This allows the Bible student of dispensational hermeneutics to see the spiritual and practical applications of these laws without being compelled to practice them. Dispensationalism brings a liberty from things like the law, yet gives greater weight to the spiritual applications for today.

 

Dispensationalism takes God’s word literally. It solves many apparent contradictions. Dispensationalism answers many doctrinal heresies. If you understand dispensationalism you will not be caught up in many false doctrines. You will understand that much false doctrine comes from trying to obey scriptural commands that were given to people of another age but are not given to the New Testament believer.

 

Dispensationalism comprehends the Bible as a whole. People in the Bible are lost. Dispensationalism unfolds God’s purpose in history and makes sense of His overall plan for reaching and dealing with them. Every dispensation sets up the next one. Each one develops God’s purpose and plan a bit further. Dispensationalism exalts God’s glory as the ultimate goal. God gets the glory and not man. We need to get believers back to a solid understanding of dispensationalism in this age of ignorance and confusion.

Premillennialism Proponents
(Moody Magazine)

 

The Doctrine of the Lord Jesus Christ’s return prior to His thousand-year Millennial Reign is not only scriptural but an ancient belief that was held by the overwhelming majority of notables of Church History. Although their views on this important doctrine varied, they nevertheless believed Jesus Christ would return BEFORE the thousand-year reign of Christ. Premillennial ism is in conflict with Roman Catholic eschatology. Some enemies of this doctrine imply that it is a recent invention.

 

Found in the January 1914 issue of “The Christian Workers Magazine” of the Moody Bible Institute of Chicago

By “Premillennial ism” is meant the teaching that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ will come again to this earth personally and visibly, and that this coming will take place prior to that period of a thousand years of which the Scriptures speak, when peace and righteousness shall prevail upon the earth. In other words, it is the coming of our Lord that shall introduce this period and make it a possibility. As to the details of the event opinions differ among Godly students of the Bible, but in broad outline the foregoing is a sufficient definition for our present purpose.

In the language of Dr. James H. Brookes, one of the most distinguished Bible teachers our country has known, “The Premillennial  advent was the common heritage of both Jewish and Gentile Christians, and passed from the Jewish Christian to the Gentile Christian church precisely in the way the gospel passed. It was as fragrant at Antioch as at Jerusalem, at Rome as at Ephesus. History has no consensus more unanimous for any doctrine than is the consensus of the apostolic Fathers for the Premillennial  advent of Christ.”

Passing from the apostolic period to that of the early Christian fathers, we have a witness, equally eminent, in Dr. H. Grattan Guinness, of England, who says: “It cannot be denied that for three centuries the church held the doctrine of the Premillennial  coming of Christ. I think I have gone through all the writings of the Fathers for three centuries pretty carefully, and I do not know of an exception unless it be Origen. It was the faith of Barnabas, Polycarp, Clement, Ignatius, Papius, Tertullian, Justin Martyr, Nepos, Irenaeus, Victorinus, Methodius, Lactantius, Hermas and many others-all were at one.”

To the above might be added the name of Dr. Bengel, author of Gnomon Novi Testamenti, who says, “The Early Church fully believed that it (i. e., the Second Coming) would precede, or usher in, the thousand years of His reign with His saints. A general change of view came in after the establishment of Christianity under Constantine, and when corruption in doctrine and practice had begun.”

To come to modern times, it is to be noted that many divines of the Westminster Assembly were Premillennial ists, and that according to Charles A. Briggs, D. D., in the new Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia, “In America Premillennial ism has appeared in three different camps: Christian scholars, the Adventists, and Evangelists.”

We have been asked by several to publish a list of eminent exponents of Premillennial ism, living or dead, of different nations, with their denomination and professional connections. We undertook the task with pleasure, feeling that it would redound to the glory of God in the strengthening of the faith of some and the quickening of their hope in the Second Coming. On going into the matter, however, we found a much greater task than we had expected, the difficulty being not to discover the exponents but to reduce their number to a workable list.

We began by eliminating the early Christian fathers, of whom there were many. Then we were obliged to reduce the number in the Reformation Period. Coming to the Missionary Era of the last century, so many witnesses were found that it was difficult to make a selection. The same may be said of the modern era of Evangelism, for practically all the evangelists of the United States and Great Britain are Premillennial ists. In taking a census of pastors at present in the active ministry, we were again embarrassed by the number of whom we heard. Finally it became necessary to entirely eliminate the long list of distinguished Christian laymen who have borne more or less notable witness to the Premillennial  coming of Christ.

[PMI Editor’s Note: Not only did the early church fathers teach Premillennial ism, they also taught the PreTrib rapture. Historical preservationists using modern technology now make it possible to access and study ancient documents 24/7 that easily refute the false allegations made by the self aggrandizing enemies of the rapture. Dr. Hutchings disclosed that Edward Gibbons on page 187 of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire describes the clear imminent expectation of Christ held by the early church. [9] Along with that, Clement, Polycarp, Barnabas, the Didache, Shepherd of Hermes, Dialogue with Trypho, Ephraem the Syrian, and many more all attest to a belief in the imminent, PreTrib rapture of the church. Dr. Walvoord quotes the Didache- a compilation of the Apostle’s teachings- dated about 100-120 A.D., containing the exhortation: “Watch for your life’s sake. Let not your lamps be quenched, nor your loins unloosed; but be ye ready, for ye know not the hour in which our Lord cometh.”

In his book Maranatha Our Lord, Come Dr. Renald Showers [10] writes: [11] “The early church holding this Premillennial  view looked for the imminent return of Christ as witnessed by the writings of Papias, Irenaeus, Justin Martyr, Tertullian, Hippolytus, Methodus, Commodianus, and Lactantius.”

Adolph Harnack, although a member of the liberal theological school, out of sheer honesty as an historian, has written:”In the history of Christianity three main forces are found to have acted as auxiliaries to the gospel. They have elicited the ardent enthusiasm of men whom the bare preaching of the gospel would never have made decided converts. These [include] a belief in the speedy return of Christ and in His glorious reign on earth …. First in point of time came the faith in the nearness of Christ’s second advent and the establishing of His reign of glory on the earth. Indeed it appears so early that it might be questioned whether it ought not to be regarded as an essential part of the Christian religion.”

 

Jesse Forest Silver, in his excellent book The Lord’s Return has written of the Apostolic Fathers: “They expected the return of the Lord in their day …. They believed the time was imminent because their Lord had taught them to live in a watchful attitude.” And concerning the Ante- Nicene Fathers, he says: “By tradition they knew the faith of the Apostles. They taught the doctrine of the imminent and Premillennial return of the Lord”. [12]

 

 

Intro to Typology
Dr. Mike Johnston, Editor

 

A type is a divinely purposed illustration of some truth. It may be: (1) a person (Rom_5:14); (2) an event (1Co_10:11); (3) a thing (Heb_10:20); (4) an institution (Heb_9:11); (5) a ceremonial (1Co_5:7). Types occur most frequently in the Pentateuch, but are found, more sparingly, elsewhere. The antitype, or fulfillment of the type, is found, usually, in the New Testament. -Old Scofield Study Bible

 

A Bible type is like a metaphor or a symbol. How should we identify and study Bible types? What are some examples of Bible types?

 

One of the things that make the Bible so convincing is that it hangs together so well. Written over many centuries, by many authors, this Book remains consistent and true. The parallels between the Old and New Testaments are astounding. Some of the links within the chain of continuity and consistency are Bible types. A type is like a metaphor or a symbol. Throughout the Bible hundreds, if not thousands of types connect the themes and truths of the Bible. How should we identify and study Bible types? What are some examples of Bible types?

 

In some ways, Bible type studies are word studies. Generally, objects are used as types. The object serves as a metaphor for what is being described. We study the characteristics of the object and gain understanding of the type. There are three basic kinds of types, the direct reference type, the implied type and the interpreted type. Using the type, “rock”, we can look at examples of each type. Start any type study with a direct type.

 

Christ is referred to as a rock on a number of occasions in the New Testament. One example where He clearly refers to Himself as a rock is found in Matthew 7:24: “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:” Here, Christ is saying that building our faith on Him is like building a house on a rock, both have strong foundations. Christ has the characteristic of strength that a rock has. He also implies that He is our house, the place where we will be safe. This is an example of a direct type.

 

In Balaam’s fourth blessing, he says: “And he looked on the Kenites, and took up his parable, and said, Strong is thy dwelling place, and thou puttest thy nest in a rock.” (Numbers 24:21) A strong reference to Christ is implied here, especially if we consider surrounding verses in this passage that also imply the Christ. Here again Christ is compared to the strength of a rock. Again there is also the reference to the rock being the safe place to dwell. Though Christ is not speaking here and referring to Himself as a rock or a safe dwelling, there is an obvious metaphor that is intended to be taken figuratively. For this reason, we can be certain that this use of the word rock is a definite type.

 

In Proverbs, Solomon talks about small things on the earth that are wise. One of the references in his list may be a type using the word rock to again describe the Christ. The interpretation is reinforced by the use of another reference to a rock as a safe dwelling. “The conies (small rock badgers) are but a feeble folk, yet make they their houses in the rocks;” (Proverbs 30:26) This is only possibly a type because there is no direct reference and the passage is not a clear metaphor.

 

Clearly, not all references to rocks in the Bible are types of Christ. Sometimes rocks are just rocks and other times rocks are types for something else entirely. When studying types, caution should be used, especially with types that are not direct. If a type is misinterpreted, the student is misled and may make serious errors in the understanding of doctrine. This is how schisms and cults form and how entire churches are divided.

 

But the study of types is valuable to the serious Bible student. By studying types, we gain deeper understanding of the Word of God and are able to apply it to our lives with more confidence. We are better witnesses when we have a deep understanding of the Bible and as we learn more, our relationship with God deepens.

 

Beyond the intrinsic values of Bible study, type studies help us connect themes that are carried throughout the Bible. There are valuable life lessons for us all through the Bible, some of them are very clear and some of them are a puzzle. The entire book of Revelation is a puzzle filled with types, lessons and warnings. The Bible is our instruction book from God on how we should live. Through the study of types, we get a better picture of what God wants for us and promises us.

 

Some types weave consistently through the Bible, evidencing a particular point such as the example of Christ as our solid foundation and safe haven. Other types only appear once or a few times, with or without the same meaning each time. Individual occurrences of types and chains of types are worth studying. When we gain understanding of the metaphor, parable or figure that God has presented us, we get His meaning and can apply it to our lives.

 

When you first begin to learn about types, it’s best to stick to direct or pure types. Type studies are made much easier with electronic Bibles that allow word searches. Looking for each instance of a word can also be done using Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance. Sort out those instances that appear to be direct types and record them in a study notebook or electronic document.

 

With each instance, take a close look at the type. Look for comparisons, contrasts, likeness, characteristics and opposites. What you’re trying to do is grasp the deeper meaning in the metaphor. Using the example of a rock as a type of Christ, look at the following:

 

  • A rock is strong and solid

 

  • Rocks make a strong foundation and a strong house

 

  • Rocks are good hiding places

 

  • Rocks are unchanging

 

These are all qualities that we attribute to Christ. Perhaps the least obvious is the hiding place. We hide keys under rocks; we hide behind rocks or in caves. We are hid in Christ, too. Christ shields us from the punishment of sin, which is death. When we ask Him into our lives, He becomes our safe shelter; He protects us from spiritual death.

 

This is only a starting point. There are many kinds of types, not all of which are objects. People are often types, too. Consider Joseph as a type of Christ and look at the similarities in their lives and the impact of their lives on others. This can serve as a beginning type study.

 

It’s helpful to have good reference materials when you plunge into Bible study at this level. Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance is an excellent reference for any Bible study. For type studies try “A Dictionary of Bible Types” by Walter Wilson for reference. It’s also wise to share your study and the interpretations you arrive at with a pastor or spiritual advisor with more experience.

 

Your time will not be wasted as you pursue type studies. A whole new world of understanding will open up to you and your interest and excitement with the Bible will grow. Don’t forget to ask God for guidance with your study, too. You’ll be amazed at the directions He leads you as you tackle deeper understanding.

 

Wilson’s Dictionary of Bible Types

Lesson One

The student should first decide whether the word under consideration is used by the Spirit as a type. Not all objects are types. Care should be used in arriving at a conclusion on this matter lest one distort the Word of GOD and thus arrive at decisions which were never intended by the Lord.

 

A safe rule is to ascertain whether an object is said plainly to be a type. When Paul wrote in 1Co_10:4, “They drank of that spiritual rock … and that rock was Christ,” we know that the rock in the wilderness was a true type of CHRIST.

 

When we read of the good and bad fish in Mat_13:47, we know that these fish are types though the passage does not say so. The story is a parable intended to teach a lesson. It is needful therefore to learn just what they do represent and also what the net represents.

 

When we read of the “Red Sea” or “the Jordan,” we know this to be a type just because it teaches so many very interesting and profitable lessons.

 

But even though we decide that an object is a type there still remains the problem of learning what it represents. Here great care is needed. Let us ask, “What constitutes a type?” Let us seek an answer by a series of comparisons:

 

– There is likeness of appearance as “clouds” and “dust.” (Nah_1:3)

– There is likeness of action as “the leopard” and “Alexander the Great.” (Dan_7:6)

– There is likeness of effect as “rain and snow” and “the Word of GOD.” (Isa_55:10)

– There is likeness of relationship as “nurse” and “Paul.” (1Th_2:7)

– There is likeness of value as “gold” and “the Lord JESUS.” (Isa_13:12)

– There is likeness of position as “head” and “Israel.” (Deu_28:13)

– There is likeness of character as “the spider” and “the sinner.” (Pro_30:28)

 

Lesson Two

Certain principles and processes are essential in the study of Typology. It is Scriptural to study this subject for the writers of the Scripture and our Lord Himself used types constantly for teaching great lessons. As a good knife is of most value in the hands of a skillful surgeon, so the Word of GOD is most effective when used by those who best understand its hidden meaning. The study of types is illuminating, for the Spirit uses the things which are seen, to teach us concerning the things which are unseen. The study of types equips us with a handy means and method of presenting the truth of GOD, for types are about us on every hand ready to be used.

 

Some suggestions for the study of types:

 

Think of the opposite of that which is under consideration;

 

– as the golden city (Rev_21:18) and the gilded city (Rev_18:16);

– the lion (Rev_5:5) and the lamb (Rev_5:6);

– the woman clothed in red (Rev_17:4) and the woman clothed in white (Rev_19:8).

 

Think of comparisons:

 

– great Goliath and little David;

– Joseph of the Old Testament and JESUS;

– the river in Ezekiel 47 and the river in John 7.

 

Look up the several occurrences of the type to ascertain how it is used.

Learn whether this type is referred to anywhere else in the Scripture as a type. Consider the characteristics of the type being studied as the sea with its greatness, its depth, its restlessness, its size, its waves, its commerce.

 

Think of the lessons which may be learned from the type as the leaves in Isa_64:6,

 

– how they fade,

– how they reveal the kind of tree,

– how they show whether young or old,

– how they fall from the tree or hold on.

 

By considering these various thoughts, the student will be enabled to quickly and easily learn lessons from the subject under consideration.

 

If questions should arise in regard to any of the suggestions given, the reader may feel free to address an inquiry to the author. Such communications will receive prompt attention.

 

Lesson Three

 

Quite often an object is used as the same type or a type of the same thing by several writers. This repetition confirms the object as a type and assures us of his true meaning.

 

– Moses uses the rock as a type of CHRIST in Num_20:8.

– David uses the rock as a type of CHRIST in Psa_18:2.

– Isaiah does the same thing in Isa_32:2.

– The Lord Jesus also refers to Himself as the Rock upon which the church is built in Mat_16:18.

– Balaam used trees to represent the nation of Israel, Num_24:6

– David used a tree to represent a godly man in Psalm 1.

– Jeremiah follows the same plan in Jer_17:8.

– Daniel used a tree to represent the king in Dan_4:10. He received this message from GOD.

– Isaiah used the same type for the eunuch in Isa_56:3.

– Jesus used the tree as a type of the people of Israel in Luk_13:6. It is well also to note that an object cannot be a type of certain things.

 

I heard a preacher use “Joseph’s coat of many colors” as a type of the doctrine of sinless perfection. It was a very grotesque comparison, utterly without foundation or truth.

 

Leaven is often used as a type of the Gospel which, of course, it could not be. The contexts concerning leaven all through both the Old Testament and the New indicate clearly that it is a type of some evil which should be removed. It will be most helpful for the student to ask himself certain questions in regard to the study of types and this will guide him in his investigation.

 

How is this object or subject first used in the Scripture? What meaning does it have in the first place where it occurs? To what does this object or subject refer in the last passage where it occurs in the Scripture? What are the characteristics of this object or subject which make it a suitable type?

 

CHRIST is compared to a lion in Revelation 5. In Isaiah 53, CHRIST is compared to a lamb.

 

As the characteristics of these two animals are studied, then the likeness will be more clearly understood. This plan should be followed in each case.

 

Types should be grouped according to that which they represent.

 

There are types of CHRIST, Israel, the nations, the Christian, the hypocrites, the worker, the state of the soul, Satan, and many others.

 

Types may also be grouped according to their character.

 

There are types taken from the mineral kingdom, the animal kingdom, the vegetable kingdom, the celestial kingdom, the human family, human actions, human attitudes, postures, etc. It will help the student to understand types more fully if these groupings are made while the study is being pursued.

 

Hermeneutics

General Rules of Biblical Interpretation

 

DEFINITION: Biblical hermeneutics is the science of studying and interpreting the Bible. It is perhaps summarized best by 2 Timothy 2:15: Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

 

Scripture is divided into Old and New Testaments for reference purposes. However, this dichotomy has produced an plethora of unsavory results with include hundreds of denominational divisions and cult deceptions. Students choosing to rightly divide the Word are quick to admit that the Gospels through mid Acts are actually a continuum of the OT and as such are demonstrably Jewish. Those wrongly dividing it generally impose teachings upon the church that were specifically meant for Israel alone (ie the Law, the Sabbath; the tribulation or Jacob’s trouble (Jer. 30:7) to name a few.

 

Several things must be at the forefront of a student’s mine when studying the Scriptures. For example, a psalm should often be interpreted differently than a prophecy. A proverb should be understood and applied differently from a law. This is the purpose of Biblical hermeneutics – to help us to know how to interpret, understand, and apply the Bible.

 

The most important law of Biblical hermeneutics is that the Bible should be interpreted literally. Literal Bible interpretation means you understand the Bible in its normal/plain meaning. The Bible says what it means and means what it says. Many make the mistake of trying to read between the lines and come up with meanings for Scriptures that are not truly in the text. Yes, of course, there are some spiritual truths behind the plain meanings of Scripture. That does not mean that every Scripture has a hidden spiritual truth, or that it should be our goal to find all such spiritual truths. Biblical hermeneutics keeps us faithful to the intended meaning of Scripture and away from allegorizing and symbolizing Bible verses and passages that should be understood literally.

 

A second crucial law of Biblical hermeneutics is that a verse or passage must be interpreted historically, grammatically, and contextually. Historical interpretation refers to understanding the culture, background, and situation which prompted the text. Grammatical interpretation is recognizing the rules of grammar and nuances of the Hebrew and Greek languages and applying those principles to the understanding of a passage. Contextual interpretation involves always taking the surrounding context of a verse/passage into consideration when trying to determine the meaning.

 

Some mistakenly view Biblical hermeneutics as limiting our ability to learn new truths from God’s Word or stifling the Holy Spirit’s ability to reveal to us the meaning of God’s Word. This is not the case. The goal of Biblical hermeneutics is to point us to the correct interpretation which the Holy Spirit has already inspired into the text. The purpose of Biblical hermeneutics is to protect us from improperly applying a Scripture to a particular situation. Biblical hermeneutics points us to the true meaning and application of Scripture. Hebrews 4:12 declares, “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Biblical hermeneutics is keeping the sword sharp!

 

Prerequisites for Proper Biblical Interpretation:

 

  • Be saved, filled with and dependent on the Holy Spirit to guide you (John 16:13)
  • Sola Scriptura- the Bible alone! Romanists eschew this which allows their papist heresies to flourish
  • Understand the Bible is inerrant, infallible, and inspired. If it says it, THAT settles it!
  • Study from a King James Bible! Not only is the manuscript authority reliable, but the best resources are KJ Bible compatible. If possible, get a fundamentally sound Old Scofield Study Bible.   Dr. Mike has preached the Scofield notes over 30 years.
  • Study the text first. Study all key words in a concordance with Hebrew/Greek Definitions
  • Place evidence above experience by allowing the Bible to interpret itself (exegesis) rather than forcing an interpretation based upon prejudicial notions or experiences (eisegesis)
  • While church historical teachings add light, they are not equal to Scripture
  • Remember, God unfolds His truth in progressive revelation rather than all at once

 

Grammatical Rules of Biblical Interpretation 

 

  • Scripture has only one meaning but can have many applications
  • Take Scripture as normal language; “plain sense of the language”
  • Interpret words and Bible Books in light of the author’s times
  • Interpret according to the context
  • If an inanimate object describes a living being — then it’s figurative
  • If an expression is out of character with the thing described — it’s figurative
  • Parables are heavenly stories earthly meanings. Many on “Christian” television assign meanings to them the Lord never intended which causes deception in the church
  • Prophetic statements are to be taken literally and normally — unless the context compels otherwise

 

Historical Rules of Biblical Interpretation 

 

  • Interpret in light of Biblical historical context
  • Revelation is basically Jewish and is progressive; later revelation explains earlier
  • Events of history become spiritual truths only if Scripture designates

 

Theological Rules of Biblical Interpretation 

 

  • Any text without a context is a pretext
  • Scripture must be understood grammatically before it can be interpreted theologically
  • A doctrine is not Biblical unless it sums up all that Scripture says (The Old Scofield Bible offers many of these doctrinal summaries making for great study)
  • No contradictions in Scripture
  • An implied teaching must have support in another passage
  • If a verse seems to contradict established truth, the passage must be contextually evaluated to be rightly understood (this is where cults become egregious)

 

Dispensational Rules of Biblical Interpretation      

 

  • Paul tells us we must rightly divide the Word of truth in order to understand it. Viewing it through a dispensational lens- the most widely accepted hermeneutic- allows us to do that. The Old Scofield Study Bible provides a great framework for studying these seven specific periods of time whereby God deals with mankind- and more specifically Israel, Gentiles, and the Church. If you can understand this indispensable truth, you will possess a most important Bible study tool.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PUBLISHED BY

POB 177 – Battle Creek, MI 49016-0177 – (269) 282-9381 – PmiMinistries.com

[1] This attack includes use of the heretical Alexandrian Manuscripts which omit thousands of words. These documents are the foundation for cult translations as well as every version on earth except the King James. That includes the NIV, NASB, CEV, NLT, and even the New King James! PMI uses the KJV only.

[2] The science of proper Biblical interpretation.

[3] We have a tract discussing The 7 Dispensations that may be of some help to you

 

[4] One main reason we use the Old Scofield Study Bible is its theological soundness and faithfulness to the Scriptures. We have these Old Scofield Study Bibles in bonded leather, KJV, available for a gift to PMI of $34 to help us minister to you and others. Please remember, when you order from us, you help support us. Stamps are welcome.

 

[5] Adapted from Things that Differ- Cornelius Stam

[6] Adapted from Clarence Larkin’s great book, “Dispensational Truth” chapter 11

 

[7] Adapted from Pastor David F. Reagan- http://www.learnthebible.org/dispensationalism001_need.htm

[8] We have these Old Scofield Study Bibles in bonded leather, KJV, available for a gift to PMI of $34 to help us minister to you and others. Please remember, when you order from us, you help support us. Stamps are welcome.

 

[9] Page 189 of Why So Many Churches?

[10] Unless otherwise noted, all quotes for Renald Showers are from his book Maranatha, Our Lord Come.

[11] Dr. Showers also says the ante-Nicene fathers were committed to imminence.

[12] I have quoted several excerpts from Stanton and others found at: http://www.focusonjerusalem.com/thedoctrineofimminency.html

The Truth About Temptation

August 14, 2016 Leave a comment

Dr. Mike Johnston

Temptation: a solicitation to sin.

         Sin: Doing what God does not want us to do, or not doing what He does want us to do. The first constitutes the sins of commission, which grieve the Spirit (Eph. 4:30); the second represent sins of omission, that quench the Spirit (1 Thess. 5:19).

Temptation is a tool Satan uses to lure you into sin and to keep you from experiencing the abundant life that is in Christ Jesus (John 10:10). And regardless of who you are, as long as you live in human skin, the solicitation for evil will greet you every day with a wink and a smile. When it does, are you prepared to deal with it before it deals with you?

Jesus-who is the truth (John 14:6; Eph. 4:21), offered us the best news for victorious Christian living to be found anywhere: Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free (John 8:32).

Satan is the evil force behind all temptation!

Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man (James 1:13).

Satan is a highly skilled soul winner (Psa. 97:10; Rev. 18:13) and he hates God with his entire being. Not surprising, the Satanic kingdom (Matt. 12:26) is the polar opposite of God’s. God is truth, Satan is a liar (Ex. 34:6; John 8:44). God is light, Satan is darkness (1 John 1:5; Col. 1:13), and so on.

Here’s his scam . . .

Satan’s goal is disobedience to God!

         And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel (1 Chronicles 21:1).

Please understand everyone gets tempted (1 Cor. 10:13). While Satan is the father of and force behind all sin (John 8:44; 1 John 3:8), he wants us to believe he is far more like God than he really is.

Bear in mind that Satan is the god of this world (2 Cor. 4:4), and of course has a measure of earthly authority. But he isn’t God!  First, Satan isn’t omniscient, so he can’t read your mind. Second, he isn’t omnipresent, so he can’t be everywhere at once. And third, he isn’t omnipotent, so he can’t make us do anything we don’t want to do.

What he can do, however is written for our correction, for instruction in righteousness that (we) might be equipped (2 Tim. 3:16). For instance,  he is well organized. As the prince of the power of the air (Eph. 2:2) he oversees principalities and powers, rulers of darkness, and spiritual wickedness in high places (Eph. 6:12) to assist in his diabolical efforts. These fallen angels apparently do his bidding as designated spirits that rule in the lives of those walking in disobedience to the Lord causing them to live as Paul warned: in the desires of the flesh and of the mind (Eph 2:2-3). They also are said to wreak havoc on nations (Dan. 10:13), or individuals like you and me. Be cautious my friend. Satan is able to appear before God with illegal accusations against us (Job 2:1; Rev. 2:10), while  also making ongoing contact throughout earth. Peter warned:

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8).

The depth of his strategies

Now don’t miss the depth of his temptation strategies. The word devour (above) is from the Greek word kat-ap-ee’-no which means to literally be eaten up by something (Rev. 10:9-10).  Note the gaping implication here, friend.

While involving immediate disobedience, Satan reaches beyond that. He wants us so engrossed in sin we become absolutely consumed by it, leaving us unable to effectively unction, let alone minister to anyone  But there’s more. As you study the lives of great saints in the Bible, it becomes all too apparent one of Satan’s greatest delights is to bring down someone who has or is walking in close fellowship with the Lord. Aaron turned to idolatry; David murdered a friend to cover up adultery; Peter denied Christ. In all honesty, this can happen to anyone—I know! (If you’ve agonized over previous failures, please order my tract: Failure isn’t Final).

One way of attracting attention is through his uncanny ability to masquerade himself. He disguises himself as an angel of light (2 Cor. 11:14), so we hardly suspect him until its too late.

Lucifer’s “Light”

From the beginning, the anointed cherub Lucifer (Ezek. 28:14), the light bearer, was part of God’s host and inner circle of trust and authority. What a dazzling spectacle he must have been up on the Lord’s Mountain amidst the stones of fire (Ezek. 28:13). Like Narcissus who fell in love with his own reflection, perhaps Lucifer became enamored with himself and while strutting his stuff in full view of the angelic host he thought: “Hey, I’m popular, I’m powerful, and I’m oh so pretty”: I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High (Isaiah 14:13-14).

My friend, please be sure of one timeless truth: Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall (Proverbs 16:18). The moment you begin thinking more about your purposes than God’s, it’s tumble time!

Every Sin Begins in the Mind!

For from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly (Mark 7:21-22).

Sin doesn’t suddenly jump from the shadows to grab us. It waits, watches, and works it’s way into the core of our being through the channel of our unprotected minds. It begins with a passing thought from something you see, read, or hear, and if not confessed and repented of it secretes feelings of forbidden pleasures you secretly entertain. Be honest, you’ve had these  and so have I. Perhaps they are simmering there like soup on a back burner. Beloved, please hear me: Unconfessed sin is never of benefit to the Christian life.  James warns: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death (James 1:14-15).

Spirit, Soul, and Body

Satan is the tempter (Matt. 4:3). He knows human nature and how God created us tripartite: spirit, soul and body (1 Thess. 5:23). He understands how each of these work in synergy: The spirit (pneuma) is where we have conscience, conversion, and communion with God. It feeds on the Word and connects our spirit to the Holy Spirit. Satan can’t touch this, but he can exercise influence through the 5 senses to make us fall or keep our spirit man from growing!

The soul (psuche) is the seat of mind, emotion, and will. The Bible also calls it the heart which is deceitful and desperately wicked (Jer. 17:9). Unlike the spirit, the soul is sensual, and takes what we see, hear, smell, touch, and taste—at face value—and places it in our mind for daily decision making. As you may surmise, the soul and the spirit are motivated by very different factors. The former looks around, while the latter looks up; one pleases himself, the other, God. One is feelings based, the other is faith based. Satan’s underlying objective can be summarized like this: For to be carnally (soulish) minded is death (Romans 8:6). Naturally, if the heart is left to itself without being influenced by the spirit, it will lust for earthly pleasures that lead to death (1 John 2:15-17). Therefore, if Satan is to properly tempt us, to do evil, he must first condition us by what we know, and how we feel about it.

Now please consider this carefully: When temptation whispers your name, it’s show time! Whichever you have been feeding—spirit or soul—is going to decide what you do. If you are weak spiritually, you will fall every single time. This is a reflection of the old days—before we came to Christ, when we were spiritually dead (Eph. 2:1,5), slaves to sin (Rom. 6), children of the devil (John 8:44; 1 John 3:10), and following after the whims of a wicked and disobedient spirit (Eph. 2:1-2). Paul pointed out that folks like that live in the vanity of their mind, Having the understanding darkened . . . through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness (Eph. 4:17-19).

4 Steps from Victim to Victor!

Sin can’t keep you bound unless you choose to let it! With every temptation, God provides a way out (1 Cor. 10:13). The following steps in Psalm 51:1-14 were the very ones taken by David after confessing his infamous incident with Bathsheba:

STEP 1: Ask God for mercy- Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. No sin is so horrible that the blood of Christ can’t perfectly remove (Eph. 2:13).

STEP 2: Ask God to forgive and cleanse you- Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.

STEP 3: Ask God to restore you- Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.

STEP 4: Ask God to use you- Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee . . . thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness. Remember my dear sorrowful friend: the gifts and calling of God are without repentance (Rom. 11:29).  

Releasing Strongholds

Unconfessed sin can take over your life. This is known as a stronghold: Heed carefully Paul’s encouragement: For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:4-5). Once again, it is all in your mind!

Build up your resistance: Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (James 4:7). Before a victim can hope for victory, a heart determination must be made to totally sell out to God. If you aren’t a Christian, that means turning to Christ in humble repentance: That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved (Romans 10:9). A simple faith prayer is all that is required: Lord I’m sorry for my sins. Please come into my heart and save me and live through me. In Jesus Name, amen! If you decide to do that, please write us for FREE help.

Feed your spirit spiritual food: Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh (Galatians 5:16).  The Holy Spirit is the spirit of truth (John 14:17) and He always applies the Word of truth (Eph. 1:13) to life’s situations. That’s why we memorize Bible passages. If no truth is stored, He will have nothing to assist you with when tempted. Here is a regimen to help you build up your faith (Rom. 10:17): Praise God consistently (Psa. 150). Read and memorize the Word daily (Psa. 119:9,11; 2 Tim. 2:15). Confess your sins quickly (1 John 1:9). Fellowship with other believers in chapel regularly (Heb 10:25). Share your faith unashamedly (Acts 1:8). Having done all– stand!

Guard your heart with your entire being: Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life (Proverbs 4:23). Don’t ever forget that the heart (mind, emotion, will) is the gateway of the devil. When it’s dirty, he will control you. If it’s clean, he has no authority. You must choose what you read, view, and listen to. Please memorize Phil. 4:8.

Focus yourself on the eternal and not the temporal: If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God (Colossians 3:1-3).

Won’t you begin today?

 

 

Categories: Collateral Studies

Jew, Gentile, and the Church of God

August 14, 2016 Leave a comment

 

Dr. CI Scofield 

 

But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine (Titus 2:1)

PUBLISHER’S NOTE: Amos warned about a coming spiritual famine involving God’s Word (Amos 8:11). Jesus warned about false prophets in the last days (Matt. 24:11, 24) to which Paul revealed as seducing spirits bringing doctrines of devils. To safeguard you against their intrusion, the PMI Center is proud to publish this booklet as part of our Sound Doctrine Series. We trust it will bless you.

from
Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth
by Dr. C. I. Scofield
Key text: Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God (I Corinthians 10:32).

WHOEVER reads the Bible with any attention cannot fail to perceive that more than half of its contents relate to one nation: the Israelites. He perceives, too, that they have a distinct place in the dealings and counsels of God. Separated from the mass of mankind, they are taken into covenant with Jehovah, who gives them specific promises not given to any other nation. Their history alone is told in Old Testament narrative and prophecy; other nations are mentioned only as they touch the Jew. It appears, also, that all the communications of Jehovah to Israel as a nation relate to the Earth. If faithful and obedient, the nation is promised earthly greatness, riches, and power; if unfaithful and disobedient, it is to be scattered among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other” (Deut. 28:64). Even the promise of the Messiah is of blessing to “all the families of the Earth.”

Continuing his research, the student finds mention in Scripture of another distinct body, which is called the church. This body also has a peculiar relation to God and, like Israel, has received from Him specific promises. But similarity ends there, and the most striking contrast begins. Instead of being formed of the natural descendants of Abraham alone, it is a body in which the distinction of Jew and Gentile is lost. Instead of the relation being one of mere covenant, it is one of birth. Instead of obedience bringing the reward of earthly greatness and wealth, the church is taught to be content with food and raiment, and to expect persecution and hatred; it is perceived that just as distinctly as Israel stands connected with temporal and earthly things, so distinctly does the church stand connected with spiritual and heavenly things.

Further, Scripture shows the student that neither Israel nor the church always existed; each had a recorded beginning. The beginning of Israel he finds in the call of Abram. Looking then for the birth of the church he finds (contrary, perhaps, to his expectations, for he has probably been taught that Adam and the patriarchs are in the church) that it certainly did not exist before, nor during, the earth life of Christ, for he finds Him speaking of His church as yet future when He says (Matt. 16:18), “Upon this rock I will build my church.” Not, have built, nor am building, but will build.

He finds, too, from Ephesians 3:5-10, that the church is not once mentioned in Old Testament prophecy, but was, in those ages, a mystery “hid in God.” Scripturally, he finds the birth of the church in Acts 2, and the termination of its career on the earth in I Thessalonians 4.

The student also finds, in the scriptural division of the race, another class, rarely mentioned, and distinguished in every respect from either Israel or the church: the Gentiles. The comparative position of the Jew, the Gentile, and the church may be briefly seen in the following Scriptures: the Jew (Rom. 9:4-5; John 4:22; Rom. 3:1-2); the Gentile (Eph. 2:11-12; Eph. 4:17-18; Mark 7:27-28); the Church (Eph. 1:22-23; Eph. 5:29-33; 1 Pet. 2:9).

Comparing, then, what is said in Scripture concerning Israel and the Church, he finds that in origin, calling, promise, worship, principles of conduct, and future destiny that all is contrast. Compare first the calling of Israel with that of the church.

THEIR CALLING

ISRAEL

“Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house unto a land that I will show thee” (Gen. 12: 1).

“For the LORD thy God bringeth thee into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths that spring out of valleys and hills; a land of wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig-trees, and pomegranates; a land of oil olive, and honey; a land wherein thou shalt eat bread without scarceness” (Deut. 8:7-9).

“And he said, I am Abraham’s servant. And the LORD hath blessed my master greatly, and he is become great; and he hath given him flocks, and herds, and silver, and gold, and men-servants, and maid- servants, and camels, and asses” (Gen. 24:34-35).

“The LORD shall cause thine enemies that rise up against thee to be smitten before thy face: they shall come out against thee one way, and flee before thee seven ways” (Deut. 28:7). “And the LORD shall make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath” (Deut. 28:13).

CHURCH

“Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling” (Heb. 3: 1).

“For our conversation is in heaven” (Phil. 3:20).

“And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head” (Matt. 8:20).

“To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you” (I Pet. 1:4).

“Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwelling-place” (I Cor. 4: 11).

“And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God” (Mark 10:23)!

“Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him” (James 2:5)?

“They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service” (John 16:2).

“Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 18:4).

Of course it is not meant that a godly Jew did not, at death, go to heaven. The distinction is that the incentive to godliness in his case was earthly blessings, not heavenly. It should be needless to say that, in this dispensation, neither Jew nor Gentile can be saved otherwise than by the exercise of that faith on the Lord Jesus Christ whereby both are born again (John 3:3, 16) and are baptized into that “one body” (I Con 12:13) which is “the church” (Eph. 1:22-23). In the church the distinction of Jew and Gentile disappears (I Cor. 12:13; Gal. 3:28; Eph. 2:14. So in writing to the Ephesians the apostle speaks of them as “in time past Gentiles” Eph. 2:11; 1 Cor. 12:2, also says, “ye were Gentiles”.

The contrast between Israel and the church further appears in the rules given for the conduct of each.

THEIR CONDUCT

ISRAEL

“When the LORD thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast out many nations before thee . . . thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them: thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor show mercy unto them” (Deut. 7:1-2).

“Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe” (Exod. 21:24-25).

CHURCH

“But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you” (Matt. 5:44).

“Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it: being defamed, we entreat” (I Cor. 4:12-13).

“But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also” (Matt. 5:39).

See also: Deuteronomy 21:18-21 and Luke 15:20-23.

In the appointments for worship we still find contrast. Israel could worship in but one place and at a distance from God-only approaching Him through a priest. The church worships wherever two or three are gathered, has boldness to enter into the holiest, and is composed of priests. Compare Leviticus 17:8- 9 with Matthew 18:20, Luke 1:10 with Hebrews 10:19-20, Numbers 3:10 with I Peter 2:5.

In the predictions concerning the future of Israel and the church, the distinction is still more startling. The church will be taken away from the earth entirely, but restored Israel is yet to have her greatest earthly splendor and power. See what Scripture says as to

ISRAEL

“And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: and he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end” (Luke 1:31-33). (Of these seven promises to Mary, five have already been literally fulfilled. By what rule of interpretation are we authorized to say the remaining two will not be also fulfilled?)

“Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name. And to this agree the words of the prophets, as it is written: After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up” (Acts 15; 14-16).

“I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree; how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive tree? For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob” (Rom. 11:1,11, 24-26).

“And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people…. And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth” (Isa. It: It – 12).

“For the Lord will have mercy on Jacob and will yet choose Israel, and set them in their own land: and the strangers shall be joined with them, and they shall cleave to the house of Jacob” (Isa. 14:1).

“Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that it shall no more be said, The Lord liveth that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; but, The Lord liveth that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the lands whither he had driven them: and I will bring them again into the land that I gave unto their fathers” (Jer. 16:14-15). “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely; and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS” (Jer. 23:5-6).

“Behold, I will gather them out of all countries whither I have driven them in mine anger, and in my fury, and in great wrath; and I will bring them again unto this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God” (Jer. 32:37,38).

“Sing, 0 daughter of Zion; shout, 0 Israel; be glad and rejoice with all the heart, 0 daughter of Jerusalem. The LORD hath taken away thy judgments, he hath cast out thine enemy: the King of Israel, even the LORD, is in the midst of thee: thou shalt not see evil any more” (Zeph. 3:14-15).

CHURCH

“In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also” (John 14:2, 3).

“For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive, and remain unto the coming of the Lord, shall not prevent [precede] them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (I Thess. 4:15-17).

“For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.” (Phil. 3:20, 21).

“Beloved, now are we the sons of God; and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is” (I John 3:2).

“Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb” (Rev. 19:7-9).

“Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years” (Rev. 20:6).

It may safely be said that the Judaizing of the church has done more to hinder her progress, pervert her mission, and destroy her spiritually than all other causes combined. Instead of pursuing her appointed path of separation from the world and following the Lord in her heavenly calling, she has used Jewish Scriptures to justify herself in lowering her purpose to the civilization of the world, the acquisition of wealth, the use of an imposing ritual, the erection of magnificent churches, the invocation of God’s blessing upon the conflicts of armies, and the division of an equal brotherhood into “clergy” and “laity.”

ONE FINAL WORD ABOUT TOMORROW

Thank you for reading this booklet. But can I ask you a personal question? Do you know for sure that when you die, you’re going to heaven? The Bible promises you assurance but you need to know a few things first.

  1. You are a sinner, worthy of death: There is none righteous, no, not one (Romans 3:10). For the wages of sin is death (Rom. 6:23).
  1. Christ paid the price for us to go to Heaven: But God

commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Rom. 5:8). For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him (2 Cor. 5:21).

  1. You can be saved now by calling on Christ to be your Saviour and Lord: But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name (John 1:12). For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved (Rom. 10:13).

Please pray this simple prayer with me and settle the question once and for all of where you will spend eternity. I prayed this prayer 4/24/75 at 7:30 in the morning, and NOW, you can too:

“Heavenly Father, I know that l am a sinner worthy of death. But Lord, I believe You sent Jesus to die for my sins. Please forgive me of my sins Lord Jesus, and come into my heart right now and live Your life through me. Thank you for hearing my prayer and saving me. Now, I know for sure that when I die I will go to Heaven to be with you. In Jesus Name, Amen.”

If you just prayed that prayer, you just made THE MOST IMPORTANT DECISION OF YOUR LIFE, and you are NOW A CHILD OF GOD! The devil will try to tell you that you’re too bad to go to Heaven- BUT DON’T LISTEN TO HIM. Remember, the Bible says: For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved (Rom. 10:13). 

Please write for a Foundations Lesson 1 of 8 to assist you in your exciting new life in Christ.

==========================================

This material was taken from Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth by CI Scofield. We have Old Scofield Reference Bibles in bonded leather, KJV, available for a gift to PMI of $30 + $4 s/h (prices can change) to help us minister to you and others. Please remember, when you order from us, you help support us.

Stamps are welcome.  

COLLATERAL READING ASSIGNMENT:

  • Summarize this booklet in 200-300 words
  • Reduce your summary (above) to a 10-15 word statement

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

POB 177 – Battle Creek, MI 49016 – (269) 282-9381  PmiMinistries.com

10 Reasons Why I Believe the Bible is the Word of God

August 14, 2016 Leave a comment

Dr. RA Torrey

PMI CENTER SOUND DOCTRINE SERIES  

But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine (Titus 2:1) 

PUBLISHER’S NOTE: Amos warned about a coming spiritual famine involving God’s Word (Amos 8:11). Jesus warned about false prophets in the last days (Matt. 24:11, 24) to which Paul revealed as seducing spirits bringing doctrines of devils. To safeguard you against their intrusion, the PMI Center is proud to publish this booklet as part of our Sound Doctrine Series. We trust it will bless you.
I had no satisfactory answer. I determined to go to the bottom of this question. If satisfactory proof could not be found that the Bible was God’s Word I would give the whole thing up, cost what it might. If satisfactory proof could be found that the Bible was God’s Word I would take my stand upon it, cost what it might. I doubtless had many friends who could have answered the question satisfactorily, but I was unwilling to confide to them the struggle that was going on in my own heart; so I sought help from God and from books, and after much painful study and thought came out of the darkness of skepticism into the broad daylight of faith and certainty that the Bible from beginning to end is God’s Word. The following pages are largely the outcome of that experience of conflict and final victory. I will give Ten Reasons why I believe the Bible is the Word of God. WAS brought up to believe that the Bible was the Word of God. In early life I accepted it as such upon the authority of my parents, and never gave the question any serious thought. But later in life my faith in the Bible was utterly shattered through the influence of the writings of a very celebrated, scholarly and brilliant skeptic. I found myself face to face with the question, Why do you believe the Bible is the Word of God?

      FIRST, on the ground of the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Many people accept the authority of Christ who do not accept that of the Bible as a whole. We all must accept His authority. He is accredited to us by five Divine testimonies: by the testimony of the Divine life He lived; by the testimony of the Divine words He spoke; by the testimony of the Divine works He wrought; by the Divine attestation of the resurrection from the dead; and by the testimony of His Divine influence upon the history of mankind. But if we accept the authority of Christ we must accept the authority of the Bible as a whole. He testifies definitely and specifically to the Divine authorship of the whole Bible.

We find His testimony as to the Old Testament in Mark 7:13. Here He calls the law of Moses the “Word of God.” That, of course, covers only the first five books of the Old Testament, but in Luke 24:27 we read, “And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, He expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself,” and in the forty-fourth verse He said, “All things must be fulfilled which were written in the law of Moses and in the prophets and the Psalms.” The Jews, divided the Old Testament into three parts–the Law, the Prophets, and the Psalms–and Christ takes up each of these parts and sets the stamp of His authority upon it. In John 10:35 Christ says, “The Scripture cannot be broken,” thereby teaching the absolute accuracy and inviolability of the Old Testament. More specifically still, it possible, in Matt. 5:18, Jesus says, “One jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law till all be fulfilled.” A jot is the smallest letter in the Hebrew alphabet–less than half the size of any other letter, and a tittle is the merest point of a consonant–less than the cross we put on a “t,”–and Christ here declares that the Scripture is absolutely true, down to the smallest letter or point of a letter. So if we accept the authority of Christ we must accept the Divine authority of the entire Old Testament.

Now, as to the New Testament. We find Christ’s endorsement of it in John 14:26, “The Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, He shall teach you all things and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” Here we see that not only was the teaching of the Apostles to be fully inspired, but also their recollection of what Christ Himself taught. We are sometimes asked how we know that the Apostles correctly reported what Jesus said–“may they not have forgotten?” True, they might forget, but Christ Himself tells us that in the Gospels we have, not the Apostles’ recollection of what He said, but the Holy Ghost’s recollection, and the Spirit of God never forgets. In John 16:13, 14, Christ said that the Holy Ghost should guide the Apostles into “all the truth,” therefore in the New Testament teaching we have the whole sphere of God’s truth. The teaching of the Apostles is more complete than that of Jesus Himself, for He says in John 16:12, “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit, when He, the Spirit of truth is come, He shall guide you into all the truth.” While His own teaching had been partial, because of their weakness, the teaching of the Apostles, under the promised Spirit, was to take in the whole sphere of God’s truth.

So if we accept the authority of Christ we must accept that of the whole Bible, but we must, as already seen, accept Christ’s authority.

      SECOND, on the ground of its fulfilled prophecies.

There are two classes of prophecies in the Bible–first, the explicit, verbal prophecies, second, those of the types.      In the first we have the definite prophecies concerning the Jews, the heathen nations and the Messiah. Taking the prophecies, regarding the Messiah as an illustration, look at Isaiah 53, Mic. 5:2, Dan. 9:25-27. Many others might be mentioned, but these will serve as illustrations. In these prophecies, written hundreds of years before the Messiah came, we have the most explicit statements as to the manner and place of His birth, the manner of His reception by men, how His life would end, His resurrection and His victory succeeding His death. When made, these prophecies were exceedingly improbable, and seemingly impossible of fulfilment; but they were fulfilled to the very minutest detail of manner and place and time. How are we to account for it? Man could not have foreseen these improbable events–they lay hundreds of years ahead–but God could, and it is God who speaks through these men.

But the prophecies of the types are more remarkable still. Everything in the Old Testament–history, institutions, ceremonies–is prophetical. The high priesthood, the ordinary priesthood, the Levites, the prophets, priests and kings, are all prophecies. The tabernacle, the brazen altar, the laver, the golden candlestick, the table of shewbread, the veil, the altar of incense, the ark of the covenant, the very coverings of the tabernacle, are prophecies. In all these things, as we study them minutely and soberly in the light of the history of Jesus Christ and the church, we see, wrapped up in the ancient institutions ordained of God to meet an immediate purpose, prophecies of the death, atonement, and resurrection of Christ, the day of Pentecost, and the entire history of the church. We see the profoundest Christian doctrines of the New Testament clearly foreshadowed in these institutions of the Old Testament. The only way in which you can appreciate this is to get into the Book itself and study all about the sacrifices and feasts, etc., till you see the truths of the New Testament shining out in the Old. If, in studying some elementary form of life, I find a rudimentary organ, useless now, but by the process of development to become of use in that animal’s descendant, I say, back of this rudimentary organ is God, who, in the earlier animal, is preparing for the life and necessities of the animal that is to come. So, going back to these preparations in the Bible for the truth that is to be clearly taught at a later day, there is only one scientific way to account for them, namely, He who knows and prepares for the end from the beginning is the author of that Book.

      THIRD, on the ground of the unity of the book.

This is an old argument, but a very satisfactory one. The Bible consists of sixty-six books, written by more than thirty different men, extending in the period of its composition over more than fifteen hundred years; written in three different languages, in many different countries, and by men on every plane of social life, from the herdman and fisherman and cheap politician up to the king upon his throne; written under all sorts of circumstances; yet in all this wonderful conglomeration we find an absolute unity of thought.

A wonderful thing about it is that this unity does not lie on the surface. On the surface there is oftentimes apparent contradiction, and the unity only comes out after deep and protracted study.

More wonderful yet is the organic character of this unity, beginning in the first book and growing till you come to its culmination in the last book of the Bible. We have first the seed, then the plant, then the bud, then the blossom, then the ripened fruit.

Suppose a vast building were to be erected, the stones for which were brought from the quarries in Rutland, Vermont; Berea, Ohio; Kasota, Minnesota, and Middletown, Connecticut. Each stone was hewn into final shape in the quarry from which it was brought. These stones were of all varieties of shape and size, cubical, rectangular, cylindrical, etc., but when they were brought together every stone fitted into its place, and when put together there rose before you a temple absolutely perfect in every outline, with its domes, sidewalls, buttresses, arches, transepts–not a gap or a flaw anywhere. How would you account for it? You would say:

“Back of these individual workers in the quarries was the master-mind of the architect who planned it all, and gave to each individual worker his specifications for the work.”

So in this marvelous temple of God’s truth which we call the Bible, whose stones have been quarried at periods of time and in places so remote from one another, but where every smallest part fits each other part, we are forced to say that back of the human hands that wrought was the Master-mind that thought.

      FOURTH, on the ground of the immeasurable superiority of the teachings of the Bible to those of any other and all other books.

It is quite fashionable in some quarters to compare the teachings of the Bible with the teachings of Zoroaster, and Buddha, and Confucius, and Epictetus, and Socrates, and Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, and a number of other heathen authors. The difference between the teachings of the Bible and those of these men is found in three points–

First, the Bible has in it nothing but truth, while all the others have truth mixed with error. It is true Socrates taught how a philosopher ought to die; he also taught how a woman of the town ought to conduct her business. Jewels there are in the teachings of these men, but (as Joseph Cook once said) they are “jewels picked out of the mud.”

Second, the Bible contains all truth. There is not a truth to be found anywhere on moral or spiritual subjects that you cannot find in substance within the covers of that old Book. I have often, when speaking upon this subject, asked anyone to bring me a single truth on moral or spiritual subjects, which, upon reflection, I could not find within the covers of this book, and no one has ever been able to do it. I have taken pains to compare some of the better teachings of infidels with those of the Bible. They indeed have jewels of thought, but they are, whether they knew it or not, stolen jewels, and stolen from the very book they ridicule.

The third point of superiority is this: the Bible contains more truth than all other books together. Get together from all literature of ancient and modern times all the beautiful thoughts you can; put away all the rubbish; put all these truths that you have culled from the literature of all ages into one book, and as the result, even then you will not have a book that will take the place of this one book.

This is not a large book. I hold in my hand a copy that I carry in my vest pocket and yet in this one little book there is more of truth than in all the books which man has produced in all the ages of his history. How will you account for it? There is only one rational way. This is not man’s book, but God’s book.

      FIFTH, on the ground of the history of the book, its victory over attack.

This book has always been hated. No sooner was it given to the world than it met the hatred of men, and they tried to stamp it out. Celsus tried it by the brilliancy of his genius, Porphyry by the depth of his philosophy; but they failed, Lucian directed against it the shafts of his ridicule, Diocletian the power of the Roman empire; but they failed. Edicts backed by all the power of the empire were issued that every Bible should be burned, and that everyone who had a Bible should be put to death. For eighteen centuries every engine of destruction that human science, philosophy, wit, reasoning or brutality could bring to bear against a book has been brought to bear against that book to stamp it out of the world, but it has a mightier hold on the world to-day than ever before.

If that were man’s book it would have been annihilated and forgotten hundreds of years ago, but because there is in it “the hiding of God’s power,” though at times all the great men of the world have been against it, and only an obscure remnant for it, still it has fulfilled wonderfully the words of Christ, though not in the sense of the original prophecy, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my word shall not pass away.”

      SIXTH, on the ground of the character of those who accept and of those who reject the book.

Two things speak for the divinity of the Bible–the character of those who accept it, and, equally, the character of those who reject it. I do not mean by this that every man who professes to believe the book is better than every man that does not, but show me a man living an unselfish, devoted life, one who without reservation has surrendered himself to do the will of God, and I will show you a man who believes the Bible to be God’s Word. On the other hand, show me a man who rejects the Divine authority of that book, and I will show you a man living a life of greed, or lust, or spiritual pride, or self will.

Suppose you have a book purporting to be by a certain author, and the people best acquainted with that author say it is his, and the people least acquainted with him say it is not; which will you believe? Now, the people best acquainted with God say the Bible is His book; those who are least acquainted with God say it is not.

Which will you believe?

Furthermore, as men grow better they are more likely to accept the Bible, and as they grow worse they are more likely to reject it. We have all known men who were both sinful and unbelieving, who by forsaking their sin lost their unbelief. Did any of us ever know a man who was sinful and believing, who by forsaking his sin lost his faith? The nearer men live to God the more confident they are that the Bible is God’s Word; the farther they get away from Him the more confident they are that it is not.

Where is the stronghold of the Bible? In the pure, unselfish, happy home. Where is the stronghold of infidelity? The gambling hell, the drinking saloon and the brothel. If a man should walk into a saloon and lay a Bible down upon the bar, and order a drink, we should think there was a strange incongruity in his actions, but if he should lay any infidel writing upon the bar, and order a drink, we would not feel that there was any incongruity.

      SEVENTH, on the ground of the

influence of the book.

There is more power in that little book to save men, and purify, gladden and beautify their lives, than in all other literature put together–more power to lift men up to God. A stream never rises higher than its source, and a book that has a power to lift men up to God that no other book has, must have come down from God in a way that no other book was.

I have in mind as I write a man who was the most complete victim of strong drink I ever knew; a man of marvelous intellectual gifts, but who had been stupefied and brutalized and demonized by the power of sin, and he was an infidel. At last the light of God shone into his darkened heart, and by the power of that book he has been transformed into one of the humblest, sweetest, noblest men I know to-day.

What other book would have done that? What other book has the power to elevate not only individuals but communities and nations that this book has?

      EIGHTH, on the ground of the

inexhaustible depth of the book.

Nothing has been added to it in eighteen hundred years, yet a man like Bunsen, or Neander, cannot exhaust it by the study of a lifetime. George Müller read it through more than one hundred times, and said it was fresher every time he read it. Could that be true of any other book?

But more wonderful than this–not only individual men but generations of men for eighteen hundred years have dug into it and given to the world thousands of volumes devoted to its exposition, and they have not reached the bottom of the quarry yet. A book that man produces man can exhaust, but all men together have not been able to get to the bottom of this book. How are you going to account for it? Only in this way–that in this book are hidden the infinite and inexhaustible treasures of the wisdom and knowledge of God.

A brilliant Unitarian writer, in trying to disprove the inspiration of the Bible, says: “How irreligious to charge an infinite God with having written His whole Word in so small a book.” He does not see how his argument can be turned against himself. What a testimony it is to the divinity of this book that such infinite wisdom is stored away in so small a compass.

      NINTH, on the ground of the fact that as we grow in knowledge and holiness we

grow toward the Bible.

Every thoughtful person when he starts out to study the Bible finds many things with which he does not agree, but as he goes on studying and growing in likeness to God, the nearer he gets to God the nearer he gets to the Bible. The nearer and nearer we get to God’s standpoint the less and less becomes the disagreement between us and the Bible. What is the inevitable mathematical conclusion? When we get where God is, we and the Bible will meet. In other words, the Bible was written from God’s standpoint.

Suppose you are traveling through a forest under the conduct of an experienced and highly recommended guide. You come to a place where two roads diverge. The guide says the road to the left is the one to take, but your own judgment passing upon the facts before it sees clear evidence that the road to the right is the one to take. You turn and say to the guide,

“I know you have had large experience in this forest, and you have come to me highly recommended, but my own judgment tells me clearly that the road to the right is the one we should take, and I must follow my own judgment. I know my reason is not infallible, but it is the best guide I have.”

But after you have followed that path for some distance you are obliged to stop, turn around and go back and take the path which the guide said was the right one.

After a while you come to another place where two roads diverge. Now the guide says the road to the right is the one to take, but your judgment clearly says the one to the left is the one to take, and again you follow your own judgment with the same result as before.

After you had this experience forty or fifty times, and found yourself wrong every time, I think you would have sense enough the next time to follow the guide.

That is just my experience with the Bible. I received it at first on the authority of others. Like almost all other young men, my confidence became shaken, and I came to the fork in the road more than forty times, and I followed, my own reason, and in the outcome found myself wrong and the Bible right every time, and I trust that from this time on I shall have sense enough to follow the teachings of the Bible whatever my own judgment may say.

      TENTH, on the ground of the direct

testimony of the Holy Spirit.

We began with God and shall end with God. We began with the testimony of the second person of the Trinity, and shall close with that of the third person of the Trinity.

The Holy Spirit sets His seal in the soul of every believer to the Divine authority of the Bible. It is possible to get to a place where we need no argument to prove that the Bible is God’s Word. Christ says, “My sheep know my voice,” and God’s children know His voice, and I know that the voice that speaks to me from the pages of that Book is the voice of my Father. You will sometimes meet a pious old lady, who tells you that she knows that the Bible is God’s Word, and when you ask her for a reason for believing that it is God’s Word she can give you none, She simply says:

“I know it is God’s Word.”

You say: “That is mere superstition.”

Not at all. She is one of Christ’s sheep, and recognizes her Shepherd’s voice from every other voice. She is one of God’s children, and knows the voice which speaks to her from the Bible is the voice of God. She is above argument.

Everyone can have that testimony. John 7:17 (R. V.,) tells you how to get it. “If any man willeth to do His will, he shall know of the teaching, whether it be of God.” Just surrender your will to the will of God, no matter where it carries you, and you will put yourself in such an attitude toward God that when you read this book you will recognize that the voice that speaks to you from it is the voice of the God to whom you have surrendered your will.

Some time ago, when I was speaking to our students upon how to deal with skeptics, there was in the audience a graduate of a British University who had fallen into utter skepticism. At the close of the lecture he came to me and said:

“I don’t wish to be discourteous, sir, but my experience contradicts everything you have said.”

I asked him if he had followed the course of action that I had suggested and not found light. He said that he had. Stepping into another room I had a pledge written out running somewhat as follows:

“I believe there is an absolute difference between right and wrong, and I hereby take my stand upon the right, to follow it wherever it carries me. I promise earnestly to endeavor to find out what the truth is, and if I ever find that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, I promise to accept Him as my Savior and confess Him before the world.”

I handed the paper to the gentleman and asked him if he was willing to sign it. He answered, “Certainly,” and did sign it. I said to him:

“You don’t know there is not a God, and you don’t know that God doesn’t answer prayer. I know He does, but my knowledge cannot avail for you, but here is a possible clew to knowledge. Now you have promised to search earnestly for the truth, so you will follow this possible clue. I want you to offer a prayer like this: ‘Oh, God, if there be any God, and thou dost answer prayer, show me whether Jesus Christ is thy Son, and if you show me He is, I will accept Him as my Savior and confess Him before the world.'”

This he agreed to do. I further requested that he would take the Gospel of John and read in it every day, reading only a few verses at a time slowly and thoughtfully, every time before he read asking God to give him light. This he also agreed to do, but he finished by saying, “There is nothing in it.” However, at the end of a short time, I met him again, and he said to me, “There is something in that.” I replied, “I knew that.” Then he went on to say it seemed just as if he had been caught up by the Niagara river and had been carried along, and that before long he would be a shouting Methodist.

A short time ago I met this gentleman again, and he said to me that he could not understand how he had been so blind, how he had ever listened to the reasoning which he had; that it seemed to him utterly foolish now. I replied that the Bible would explain this to him, that the “natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God,” but that now he had put himself into the right attitude towards God and His truth, everything had been made plain. That man, who assured me that he was “a very peculiar man,” and that methods that influenced others would not influence him, by putting himself into the right attitude towards God, got to a place where he received the direct testimony of the Holy Ghost that this Bible is God’s Word; and, any one else can do the same.

Old Scofield Study Bible

Dr. Mike has preached the Scofield notes over 30 years. We have these Old Scofield Reference Bibles in bonded leather, KJV, available for a gift to PMI of $30 + $4 s/h (prices can change) to help us minister to you and others. Please remember, when you order from us, you help support us. Stamps are welcome
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fundamental Conditions of the Most Profitable Bible Study

August 14, 2016 Leave a comment

Dr. R.A. Torrey

  1. The student must be born again.
  1. 1Co_2:13-14 [“13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1Co_2:13-14)], Joh_3:3 [“Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (Joh_3:3)].
  2. It requires spiritual sense to make a man a competent teacher of the Bible.
  1. A love for the Bible.
  1. Job_23:12 [“Neither have I gone back from the commandment of His lips; I have esteemed the Words of His mouth more than my necessary food” (Job_23:12)], Jer_15:16 [“Thy Words were found, and I did eat them; and Thy Word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by Thy name, O LORD God of Hosts” (Jer_15:16)].
  1. Abounding life means abounding hunger for the Word.
  1. Study of the Word stimulates love for the Word.
  1. A willingness to do hard work.
  1. Pro_2:1-5 [“1 My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; 2 So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; 3 Yea, if thou criest afterknowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; 4 If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; 5 Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God” (Pro_2:1-5)], Psa_1:2 [“But his delight is in the Law of the LORD; and in His Law doth he meditate day and night” (Psa_1:2)], Jos_1:8 [“This Book of the Law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success” (Jos_1:8), Luk_2:19 [“But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart” (Luk_2:19)].
  1. Intellectual laziness lies at the bottom of a large percent of fruitless Bible reading.
  1. One pound of beef well chewed and digested and assimilated, will give more strength than tons of beef merely glanced at.
  1. Spend fifteen minutes on each word in Psa_23:1 [“The LORD is my Shepherd; I shall not want” (Psa_23:1)] or Php_4:19 [“But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Php_4:19)].
  1. A will wholly surrendered to God.
  1. Joh_7:17 [“If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of Myself” (Joh_7:17)].
  1. It is simply impossible to get the largest profit out of your Bible study until you surrender your will to God.
  1. A surrendered will do more to make the Bible an open Book than a university education.
  1. The student of the Bible who would get the greatest profit out of his studies must be obedient to its teachings as soon as he sees them.
  1. Jam_1:22-24 [“22 But be ye doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. 23 For if any be a hearer of the Word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: 24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was” (Jam_1:22-24)].
  1. Truth obeyed leads to more truth. Truth disobeyed destroys the capacity for discovering truth.
  1. Use, and you get more; refuse, and you lose all.
  1. Whatever duty you find commanded in the Bible, do it at once.
  1. Truth not lived and stood for, flees.
  1. A child-like mind.
  1. Mat_11:25 [“At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, LORD of Heaven and Earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes” (Mat_11:25)].
  1. A child is not full of its own wisdom.
  1. Do not come to the Bible full of your own ideas, and seeking from it confirmation of them. Come rather to find out what are God’s ideas as He revealed them there.
  1. Every time we open our Bibles we would do well to get humbly down before God and say, “Father, I am but a child, teach me.”
  1. Study it [the Bible] as the Word of God.
  1. 1Th_2:13 [“For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the Word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the Word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe” (1Th_2:13), Rom_9:20 [“Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to Him that formed it, Why hast Thou made me thus?” (Rom_9:20), Gen_5:24 [“And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him” (Gen_5:24)].
  1. Involves

(1) The unquestioning acceptance of its teachings when definitely ascertained, even when they appear unreasonable or impossible.

(2) Absolute reliance upon all its promises in all their length and breadth.

(3) Obedience — prompt, exact obedience, without asking any questions — to its every precept.

(4) Study it as in God’s presence.

  1. Prayerfulness.
  1. Psa_119:18 [“Open Thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of Thy Law” (Psa_119:18)], Jam_1:5-6 [“5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed” (Jam_1:5-6).
  1. What new light shines from an old familiar text as you bend over it in prayer.
  1. Prayer will do more than a college education to make the Bible an open and a glorious Book.

Panoramic View of the Bible

August 14, 2016 Leave a comment

Dr. CI Scofield

The Bible, incomparably the most widely circulated of books, at once provokes and baffles study. Even the non-believer in its authority rightly feels that it is unintelligent to remain in almost total ignorance of the most famous and ancient of books. And yet most, even of sincere believers, soon retire from any serious effort to master the content of the sacred writings. The reason is not far to seek. It is found in the fact that no particular portion of Scripture is to be intelligently comprehended apart from some conception of its place in the whole. For the Bible story and message is like a picture wrought out in mosaics: each book, chapter, verse, and even word forms a necessary part, and has its own appointed place. It is, therefore, indispensable to any interesting and fruitful study of the Bible that a general knowledge of it be gained.

First. The Bible is one book. Seven great marks attest this unity.

(1) From Genesis the Bible bears witness to one God. Wherever he speaks or acts he is consistent with himself, and with the total revelation concerning him.

(2) The Bible forms one continuous story – the story of humanity in relation to God.

(3) The Bible hazards the most unlikely predictions concerning the future, and, when the centuries have brought round the appointed time, records their fulfillment.

(4) The Bible is a progressive unfolding of truth. Nothing is told all at once, and once for all. The law is, “first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn.” Without the possibility of collusion, often with centuries between, one writer of Scripture takes up an earlier revelation, adds to it, lays down the pen, and in due time another man moved by the Holy Spirit, and another, and another, add new details till the whole is complete.

(5) From beginning to end the Bible testifies to one redemption.

(6) From beginning to end the Bible has one great theme -the person and work of the Christ.

(7) And, finally, these writers, some forty-four in number, writing through twenty centuries, have produced a perfect harmony of doctrine in progressive unfolding. This is, to every candid mind, the unanswerable proof of the divine inspiration of the Bible.

Second. The Bible is a book of books. Sixty-six books make up the one Book. Considered with reference to the unity of the one book the separate books may be regarded as chapters. But that is but one side of the truth, for each of the sixty-six books is complete in itself, and has its own theme and analysis. In the present edition of the Bible these are fully shown in the introductions and divisions. It is therefore of the utmost moment that the books be studied in the light of their distinctive themes. Genesis, for instance, is the book of beginnings–the seed-plot of the whole Bible. Matthew is the book of the King, & etc.

Third. The books of the Bible fall into groups. Speaking broadly there are five great divisions in the Scriptures, and these may be conveniently fixed in the memory by five key-words, Christ being the one theme (Lk 24:25-27).

PREPARATION

The OT

 

MANIFESTATION

The Gospels

 

PROPAGATION

The Acts

 

EXPLANATION

The Epistles

 

  CONSUMMATION

The Apocalypse

 

In other words, the Old Testament is the preparation for Christ; in the Gospels he is manifested to the world; in the Acts he is preached and his Gospel is propagated in the world; in the Epistles his Gospel is explained; and in the Revelation all the purposes of God in and through Christ are consummated. And these groups of books in turn fall into groups. This is especially true of the Old Testament, which is in four well defined groups. Over these may be written as memory aids:

REDEMPTION

 

Genesis

Exodus

Leviticus

Numbers

Deuteronomy

 

ORGANIZATION

 

Joshua

Judges

Ruth

I,II Samuel

I,II Kings

I,II Chronicles

Ezra

Nehemiah

Esther

 

POETRY

 

Job

Psalms

Proverbs

Ecclesiastes

Song of Solomon

Lamentations

 

SERMONS

 

Isaiah

Jonah

Jeremiah

Micah

Ezekiel

Nahum

Daniel

Habakkuk

Hosea

Zephaniah

Joel

Haggai

Amos

Zechariah

Obadiah

Malachi

Again care should be taken not to overlook, in these general groupings, the distinctive messages of the several books composing them. Thus, while redemption is the general theme of the Pentateuch, telling as it does the story of the redemption of Israel out of bondage and into “a good land and large,” each of the five books has its own distinctive part in the whole. Genesis is the book of beginnings, and explains the origin of Israel. Exodus tells the story of the deliverance of Israel; Leviticus of the worship of Israel as delivered people; Numbers the wanderings and failures of the delivered people, and Deuteronomy warns and instructs that people in view of their approaching entrance upon their inheritance.

The Poetical books record the spiritual experiences of the redeemed people in the varied scenes and events through which the providence of God led them. The prophets were inspired preachers, and the prophetical books consist of sermons with brief connecting and explanatory passages. Two prophetical books, Ezekiel and Daniel, have a different character and are apocalyptic, largely.

Fourth. The Bible tells the Human Story. Beginning, logically, with the creation of the earth and man, the story of the race sprung from the first human pair continues through the first eleven chapters of Genesis. With the twelfth chapter begins the history of Abraham and of the nation of which Abraham was the ancestor. It is that nation, Israel, with which the Bible narrative is thereafter chiefly concerned from the eleventh chapter of Genesis to the second chapter of the Acts of the Apostles. The Gentiles are mentioned, but only in connection with Israel. But it is made increasingly clear that Israel Song fills the scene only because entrusted with the accomplishment of great world-wide purposes (Dt 7:7).

The appointed mission of Israel was:

(1) to be a witness to the unity of God in the midst of idolatry (Dt 6:5 Is 43:10);

(2) to illustrate to the nations the greater blessedness of serving the one true God (Dt 33:26-29 1Chr 17:20,21 Ps 102:15);

(3) to receive and preserve the Divine revelation (Rom 3.1,2); and

(4) to produce the Messiah, earth’s Saviour and Lord (Rom 9:4). The prophets foretell a glorious future for Israel under the reign of Christ.

The Biblical story of Israel, past, present, and future, falls into seven distinct periods (dispensations): [1]

(1) From the call of Abram (Gen 12) to the Exodus (Ex. 1-20);

(2) From the Exodus to the death of Joshua (Ex 21 to Josh 24);

(3) From the death of Joshua to the establishment of the

Hebrew monarchy under Saul;

(4) The period of the kings from Saul to the Captivities;

(5) The period of the Captivities;

(6) The restored commonwealth from the end of the Babylonian

captivity of Judah, to the destruction of Jerusalem, A.D. 70;

(7) The present dispersion.

The Gospels record the appearance in human history and within the Hebrew nation of the promised Messiah, Jesus Christ, and tell the wonderful story of his manifestation to Israel, his rejection by that people, his crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension.

The Acts of the Apostles record the descent of the Holy Spirit, and the beginning of a new thing in human history, the Church. The division of the race now becomes threefold–the Jew, the Gentile, and the Church of God. Just as Israel is in the foreground from the call of Abram to the resurrection of Christ, So now the Church fills the scene from the second chapter of the Acts to the fourth chapter of the Revelation. The remaining chapters of that book complete the story of humanity and the final triumph of Christ.

Fifth. The Central Theme of the Bible is Christ. It is this manifestation of Jesus Christ, his Person as “God manifest in the flesh” (1Tim 3.16), his sacrificial death, and his resurrection, which constitute the Gospel. Unto this all preceding Scripture leads, from this all following Scripture proceeds. The Gospel is preached in the Acts and explained in the Epistles. Christ, Son of God, Son of man, Son of Abraham, Son of David, thus binds the many books into one Book. Seed of the woman (Gen 3:15) he is the ultimate destroyer of Satan and his works; Seed of Abraham he is the world blesser; Seed of David he is Israel’s King. “Desire of all Nations.” Exalted to the right hand of God he is “head over all to the Church, which is his body,” while to Israel and the nations the promise of his return forms the one and only rational expectation that humanity will yet fulfill itself. Meanwhile the Church looks momentarily for the fulfillment of his special promise: “I will come again and receive you unto myself” (Jn 14:1-3). To him the Holy Spirit throughout this Gospel age bears testimony. The last book of all, the Consummation book, is “The Revelation of Jesus Christ” (Rev 1:1).[2]

[1] For more info, please request a copy of Biblical Dispensationalism from PMI.

[2] This information taken from the Old Scofield Study Bible. We have these available for a gift of $34 to PMI. In an effort to help you own one of these wonderful study tools, we will take stamps and time payments and send your Bible when it is paid in full.

Categories: Collateral Studies
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 214 other followers

%d bloggers like this: