Right Division of the Bible PROVES PreTrib Rapture

February 14, 2018 Leave a comment

Dr. Mike Johnston

The Bible presents God overseeing two overarching programs: one for heaven, the other for earth (Gen. 1:1). God’s program for heaven was unknown. It involves the mystery Body of Christ and our inheritance there in heaven with Christ (Eph. 1:3, 20; 2:6) “kept secret since the world began” (Rom. 16:25). His program for earth, however, was well known. It involves prophecy for Israel concerning the Davidic Covenant Kingdom (2 Sam. 7:16), aka the Millennial Reign of Christ, prepared “from the foundation of the world” (Matt. 25:34) that has progressively unfolded “by the mouth of the prophets since the world began” (Luke 1:70; see Acts 3:21). The prophets exposed and explained five Jewish Covenants God made with Israel to guard her and guide her earthly pilgrimage beginning with the calling of Abraham through the inauguration of the Kingdom. Moses, who first prophesied of a coming Tribulation for Israel also linked it to renewed obedience to the Covenant (Deut. 4:30-31; see Exod. 2:24; 19:5; Lev. 26:41-46) which he warned was the key to continued blessing and possessing the Covenant Land required for the Kingdom (Lev. 26; Deut. 28). However, timing for this Covenant Kingdom was unknown until Daniel codified the final 490-years into a prophecy calendar of seventy weeks of seven years with two stipulations: it MUST be fulfilled by “thy people” (Israel), and it MUST involve “thy holy city” (Jerusalem). (Dan. 9:24-27).

When the Lord Jesus came to earth 2000 years ago, it was precisely as Daniel – and the prophets – had predicted (Dan. 9:24-27; see Matt. 26:56; see Acts 3:18-26). His mission was to inaugurate the Davidic Covenant Kingdom (Luke 1), so He preached the gospel of the kingdom to the lost sheep of the house of Israel (Matt. 4:17, 23; 15:24). However, Kingdom prophecy was put on hold when the King was “cut off” (Dan. 9:26) precisely at Daniel’s 70th week. This left one final seven-year period still to be fulfilled by Israel before the Kingdom can begin. Christ clarified the 70th week in the Olivet Discourse (Matt. 24:21, 29) where He called it “great tribulation.” This same phrase was later used by John in the Book of Revelation (Rev. 7:14) which describes its commencement (Rev. 6) through to its conclusion (Rev. 19) and the return of the Lord of Glory – Israel’s Messiah –  to earth to establish His Kingdom “immediately after (Israel’s) Tribulation” (Matt. 24:29; 25:31-34; Rev. 19:11).

Now herein lies the crux of our thesis: Prophecy assigns the Tribulation to Israel (Deut. 4:30; Isa. 24; Jer. 30-31; Joel; Zephaniah; Matt. 24; Rev. 6-19) as purification and punishment before the Kingdom. The Body of Christ – which is positionally seated “in heavenly places in Christ” (Eph. 1:3; 2:6) was unknown to the prophets and hidden from their prophesies. We have no place or purpose for being here. In fact, there isn’t a verse anywhere in the Bible clearly identifying the Body of Christ here for a single moment of “Jacob’s trouble” (Jer. 30:7; Dan. 12:1; Zeph. 1:15) without redefining words like “saints” and “elect” which refer to Israel. That said, we must reiterate that this is Israel’s Tribulation easily understood when the trilogy of Daniel, the Olivet Discourse, and the Book of Revelation are properly studied in their Jewish setting.

Books promoting right division available at: http://pmiministries.com/books.htm


The Body of Christ (church) is NOT on earth during Israel’s Tribulation

February 11, 2018 Leave a comment

Dr. Mike Johnston

The Bible presents God overseeing two overarching programs: one for heaven, the other for earth (Gen. 1:1). God’s program for heaven was unknown. It involves the mystery Body of Christ and our inheritance there in heaven with Christ (Eph. 1:3, 20; 2:6) “kept secret since the world began” (Rom. 16:25). His program for earth, however, was well known. It involves prophecy for Israel concerning the Davidic Covenant Kingdom (2 Sam. 7:16), aka the Millennial Reign of Christ, prepared “from the foundation of the world” (Matt. 25:34) that has progressively unfolded “by the mouth of the prophets since the world began” (Luke 1:70; see Acts 3:21). The prophets exposed and explained five Jewish Covenants God made with Israel to guard her and guide her earthly pilgrimage beginning with the calling of Abraham through the inauguration of the Kingdom. Moses, who first prophesied of a coming Tribulation for Israel also linked it to renewed obedience to the Covenant (Deut. 4:30-31; see Exod. 2:24; 19:5; Lev. 26:41-46) which he warned was the key to continued blessing and possessing the Covenant Land required for the Kingdom (Lev. 26; Deut. 28). However, timing for this Covenant Kingdom was unknown until Daniel codified the final 490-years into a prophecy calendar of seventy weeks of seven years with two stipulations: it MUST be fulfilled by “thy people” (Israel), and it MUST involve “thy holy city” (Jerusalem). (Dan. 9:24-27).

When the Lord Jesus came 2000 years ago, it was precisely as Daniel – and the prophets – had predicted (Dan. 9:24-27; see Matt. 26:56; see Acts 3:18-26). His mission was to fulfill the Davidic Covenant Kingdom (Luke 1), so He preached the gospel of the kingdom to the lost sheep of the house of Israel (Matt. 4:17, 23; 15:24). However, the Kingdom was put on hold when the King was “cut off” (Dan. 9:26) precisely at Daniel’s 70th week. This left one final seven-year period still to be fulfilled by Israel before the Kingdom can begin. Christ clarified this future period signs in the Olivet Discourse (Matt. 24:21, 29) where He called it “great tribulation.” This same phrase was later used by John in the Book of Revelation (Rev. 7:14) which describes its commencement (Rev. 6) through to its conclusion (Rev. 19) and the return of the Lord of Glory – Israel’s Messiah –  to earth to establish His Kingdom “immediately after (Israel’s) Tribulation” (Matt. 24:29; 25:31-34; Rev. 19:11).

Now herein lies the crux of our thesis: Prophecy assigns the Tribulation to Israel (Deut. 4:30; Isa. 24; Jer. 30-31; Joel; Zephaniah; Matt. 24; Rev. 6-19) as purification and punishment before the Kingdom. The Body of Christ – which is positionally seated “in heavenly places in Christ” (Eph. 1:3; 2:6) was unknown to the prophets and hidden from their prophesies. We have no place or purpose for being here. In fact, there isn’t a verse anywhere in the Bible clearly identifying the Body of Christ here for a single moment of “Jacob’s trouble” (Jer. 30:7; Dan. 12:1; Zeph. 1:15) without redefining words like “saints” and “elect” which refer to Israel. That said, we must reiterate that this is Israel’s Tribulation easily understood when the trilogy of Daniel, the Olivet Discourse, and the Book of Revelation are properly studied in their Jewish setting.

Books promoting right division available at: http://pmiministries.com/books.htm

Dave MacPherson’s the Rapture plot: weighed and found wanting

February 7, 2018 Leave a comment

by Frank Marotta

Since the early 1970’s, Dave MacPherson has aggressively attacked the pretribulation rapture by attributing its origin to Margaret MacDonald, whom MacPherson considers to be occult influenced. He claims J.N. Darby derived the pretribulation rapture from her and this was done secretly, lest the true origin of the rapture be discovered. MacPherson develops this idea in his books The Incredible Cover-Up and The Great Rapture Hoax. It has been successfully demolished in works by R. A. Huebner, Thomas Ice, and Gerald Stanton, 1 to name a few.

MacPherson’s Seventh Version

MacPherson’s latest book is The Rapture Plot. It claims to reveal “. . . the most astounding historical revisionism of the past century” (p. 138). The plot is that brethren scholar William Kelly used his periodical The Bible Treasury to conceal that J.N. Darby took the pretribulation rapture from the Irvingites. This was accomplished by alleged misrepresentations of Irvingite prophetic views in Kelly’s 1889-1890 articles on the Catholic Apostolic Church. In these same articles Kelly is alleged to have created a smoke screen by emphasizing Irvingite heterodoxy. Then in 1903 (13 years later), having discredited the Irvingites, Kelly was able to credit Mr. Darby with pretribulationism in his article, “The Rapture of the Saints, Who Suggested It, or rather on what Scripture?” This “plot” is considerably more dull than his Margaret MacDonald material and is equally lacking in any substance. That an orthodox Christian such as William Kelly should write articles exposing a contemporary heterodox sect should surprise us no more than a Christian periodical of today printing articles exposing Mormonism. Nor is it shocking that an ardent pretribulationist as Kelly would defend the history and doctrine of the rapture. We fail to see any plot at all.

In our research on Catholic Apostolic and Irvingite works, we have never found a claim that anyone outside their group “stole” their doctrines. Consider the Catholic Apostolic apologist William Bramley-Moore, a contemporary of William Kelly. In his work The Church’s Forgotten Hope, (asignificant work never discussed by MacPherson) Bramley-Moore skips over Margaret MacDonald and credits John Asgill in 1703 as “. . . the only individual who, since the Reformation [until 1830] had given a clarion testimony” to the hope of translation (p. 251)! We will not manufacture a “plot” or “cover-up” regarding the failure of MacPherson and others to credit Asgill. (Asgill taught that individual translation was possible, similar to Enoch or Elijah. His view is distinct from pretribulationism.) More relevant to our discussion, Bramley-Moore never claimed the brethren or anyone else “stole” the Irvingite prophetical views.

Recently, the most extensive critical analysis ever produced on Irvingite doctrine declared that they were still primarily historicist, while Darby and the Brethren had become futurist. Further, Columba G. Flegg notes that the Brethren teaching on the rapture and the present invisible and spiritual nature of the church,

were in sharp contrast to Catholic Apostolic teaching, . . . There were thus very significant differences between the two eschatologies, and attempts to see any direct influence of one upon the other seem unlikely to succeed-they had a number of common roots, but are much more notable for their points of disagreement. Several writers [referring specifically to MacPherson] have attempted to trace Darby’s secret rapture theory to a prophetic statement associated with Irving, but their arguments do not stand up to serious criticism.2

Historical Deficiencies

MacPherson professes to be a historian (p. 233). His work is lacking in historical method. Consider his claim that William Kelly, as editor of Darby’s Collected Writings, manipulated them. Regarding Darby’s Notes on Revelation (1839) MacPherson writes:

We’ve previously noted that a chart (listing no artist or date) accompanying this work shows the church in heaven no later than Revelation 4 -additional manipulation and further contradiction of Darby’s Revelation 12 basis! (p. 152)

I have inspected a xeroxed copy of the 1839 edition of this work published by Central Tract Depot, London. The chart in question is there and shows the church in heaven in Revelation chapter 4! MacPherson’s speculation is without foundation. A true historian would inspect the original source materials before making the claims that MacPherson does. He is governed by an agenda, not a desire for unbiased historical research.

Here are a few of the many deficiencies that I found in The Rapture Plot:

  1. MacPherson states that the key symbol of the pretribulation rapture for Margaret MacDonald is the catching up of the two witnesses of Revelation 11 (p. 47-49). If this is true, one wonders if MacPherson has ever read Revelation 11. Before the witnesses are caught up (verse 12), the beast makes war with them and kills them (verse 7). Thus the two witnesses go through tribulation before they are killed, raised and caught up. So if MacDonald’s teaching is based on this passage, she is certainly posttribulational! Actually, there is no doubt that the woman who said, “The trial of the Church is from Antichrist” was posttribulational.

Morgan Edwards and the Rapture

  1. Recently it has come to light that the 18th century Baptist Morgan Edwards held to a pretribulation rapture (see Pre-Trib PerspectivesSept/Oct 1995). If MacPherson were to regard Morgan Edwards as pretribulational, then both his MacDonald “cover-up” and his Kelly “plot” would be for naught. In The Rapture Plot he recklessly labels Edwards a posttribulational historicist. He writes: “. . . it’s obvious that Edwards interpreted these 1260 days [of Revelation 11] as years” (p.266). This is a blatant falsehood. Edwards wrote in his Two Academical Exercises:

When these witnesses will appear is hard to say; for though their time of prophesying in saccloth [sic] is 1260 days or three years and a half (allowing thirty days to a month) yet they may preach out of sackcloth long before; for the 1260 days refer only to the time that the holy city and the outer court of the temple shall be trodden under the foot of the Gentiles (or Antichrist and his army) viz. 42 months, which make exactly 1260 d

ays, allowing 30 to a month (Rev xi.2). . .” (p. 19)

It is clear from the above that Edwards does not believe the two witnesses had appeared yet. The preaching in sackcloth are 1260 literal days; if they were years (clearly they are not from the context) then they had not as yet begun, which is unlike historicism in any form. The “prophesying out of sackcloth” that Edwards speculates the two witnesses will perform is before Revelation 11:2. Edwards is futurist and literal in his consideration of prophetic time in Revelation 12:7-11 (p. 8), Daniel 8:14 (p. 20), Daniel 12:12,13 (p. 21), Revelation 12:14 (p. 23), and Daniel 12:11 (p. 23).

  1. MacPherson writes on p. 267 of The Rapture Plot:

Edwards’ basis for holding to a rapture three and a half years before the second advent (and a future millennium) may well have been the Revelation 11 witnesses on whom he focused. This chapter has a period of three and a half days (verses 9, 11) that historicism can view as three and a half years. Since the spirits of these dead witnesses conceivably go to be with Christ during the same days, days preceding the final advent-historicist Edwards could see in this symbol a rapture three and a half years before the same advent.

Compare this with Morgan Edwards:

Another event previous to the Millennium will be the appearing of the son of man in the clouds, coming to raise the dead saints and change the living, and to catch them up to himself, and then withdrawing with them, as observed before. This event will come to pass when Antichrist be arrived at Jerusalem in his conquest of the world; and about three years and a half before his killing the witnesses and assumption of godhead. (Edwards, p. 21)

MacPherson’s speculation is without foundation; Edwards distinguishes the saints caught up from the two witnesses, both as to time (the saints caught up three years and a half before the witnesses killed) and identity. Edwards identifies the witnesses as Elijah and the Apostle John (Edwards, pp. 17-19); MacPherson fails to inform his readers of this fact. The catching up of the witnesses is after the three and a half days (verse 12), not before. MacPherson also fails to inform his readers of Morgan Edwards linking the rapture to I Peter 4:17, “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God” (Edwards, p. 7)

  1. MacPherson concludes his section on Morgan Edwards by writing:

Edwards’ scheme of a rapture three and a half years before the end of a 1260-year tribulation has the same tiny gap a futurist would have if he were to teach a rapture three and a half days before the end of a 1260-day tribulation! Since such a futurist view would be seen as a posttrib view, Edwards (who had the same small percentage) should be classified as a historicist posttrib! p268)

There is a footnote attached which states:

Edwards saw a rapture at the extreme end of the tribulation. The mathematics works out as follows: 3.5 years/1260 years = 0.0027 or 0.27% remaining. That means 99.73% of the tribulation was already past before the rapture. Hardly a pretrib rapture! (p. 268)

As already shown, Edwards did not teach anything like a 1260 year tribulation. Nor was he a historicist. Nor was he “posttrib.” But let us apply the same mathematics to some of his alleged pretribulationists. First, consider John Hooper, a contributor to The Morning Watch. MacPherson speaks of “Hooper’s pretrib rapture” (p. 200). He also writes of Hooper as “a historicist who saw the final advent in about 1868, Hooper had 37 remaining years where he could fit in between Revelation 16 and Revelation 19…” (p. 200). Let us perform a calculation: 37 years/1260 years = 0.0294 or 2.94% remaining. That means at least 97.06% of the tribulation was already past before the rapture (assuming Christ could come immediately). Hardly a pretribulational rapture! Perhaps Dave MacPherson will tell us at what number between 97.06% and 99.73% complete we transition from pretribulational to posttribulational. Or perhaps MacPherson could admit Hooper as posttribulational. Next, let us consider the woman whom MacPherson labels as the first pretribulationist: Margaret MacDonald. He wrote on p. 49 of The Great Rapture Hoax:

Margaret, however, had been influenced by historicism and the year-day theory involving 1260 years. . . If only one-tenth of 1260 years remained unfulfilled in her view, she could still believe in a future Antichrist; he would have a total of 126 years in which to do his dirty work.

MacPherson is gracious in allowing 126 years remaining in Margaret’s mind. Especially since she identified Robert Owen, a contemporary, as the Antichrist (The Rapture Plot, p. 53). But applying the same mathematical formula that would mean 90% of the tribulation was complete for her! Applying the same method MacPherson does to Morgan Edwards would make her “hardly pretrib!”

  1. The importance MacPherson places on The Rapture Plot reveals his spiritual condition. He writes on p. 234:

The real test is ahead. If pretrib promoters ignore or twist this book’s documentation, and if their only bottom line is a continuing flow of funds, then I won’t be surprised if God views them collectively as an “Achan” (Josh. 7) and allows a national or even international money collapse!

This statement is incredible. Ignoring The Rapture Plot leads to an international money collapse! This extreme notion indicates the mentality under which MacPherson operates.

It is significant that MacPherson is the lone “historian” who has argued a connection between MacDonald and Darby. Considering that there have been numerous historical examinations of both the Irvingites and the Brethren, yet MacPherson stands alone in exposing the “plot,” is rather a testimony to polemical bias, not the facts. Those anti-pretribulationists who have adopted MacPherson’s revision have done so merely on the basis of his word, not as a result of original research.


Dave MacPherson’s The Rapture Plot is a defective work which distorts history. There is no plot. It misrepresents godly men such as Darby and Kelly. It fails to prove the Irvingites were pretribulational in the 1830s. It is completely inaccurate concerning Morgan Edwards’ teaching. The Rapture Plot has the same character as MacPherson’s previous works. Christians who desire to feed their souls on truth would be well advised to avoid his works. W


1 R.A. Huebner, The Truth of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture Recovered (Millington, NJ: Present Truth Publishers, 1976). Huebner, Precious Truths Revived and Defended Through J.N. Darby, Vol. 1 (Morganville, NJ: Present Truth Publishers, 1991). Thomas Ice, “Why the Doctrine of the Pretribulational Rapture Did Not Begin with Margaret MacDonald,” Bibliotheca Sacra (Vol. 147; April-June 1990), pp. 155-68. Gerald Stanton, Kept From The Hour, 4th. edition, (Miami Springs, FL: Schoettle Publishing, 1991).

2 Columba Graham Flegg, ‘Gathered Under Apostles’ A Study of the Catholic Apostolic Church (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1992), p. 436.

Books promoting right division available at: http://pmiministries.com/books.htm



How to Study the Bible so you can Teach the Bible

February 6, 2018 Leave a comment

Dr. Mike Johnston

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)

Copyright © 2011-2018 by Dr. Mike Johnston All rights reserved.

You may copy, quote, and distribute the material enclosed, if you do so without charge and provide credit for this work as follows:


Published by

PMI Center for Biblical Studies

POB 177 Battle Creek, MI 49016-0177


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

Bible students interested in college and seminary level degree studies in Bible, Ministry, Prophecy, Religious Education, and Theology, may request application information.


 Complete all assignments in the text, as well as the following assignments:

  1. Prepare a series of 10 true or false (1/2 of each) from each of the 6 sections of the text.
  2. Prepare 60 multiple choice questions from this text. Multiple choice will be written with at least 3 choices, with the correct answer underlined as follows:

There is only one book every ministry worker needs:

(1)  Bible concordance like Strong’s

(2) A King James Study Bible (like an Old Scofield)

(3) Wilmington’s Guide to the Bible

  1. Prepare 5 essay questions from each of the 6 sections requiring at least 25 word answers.
  2. Write a 50 word paper entitled: 5-7 Ways This Text Will Assist Me In Future Ministry



 Studying the Bible is in Reality
Studying the Word and the
Words of Almighty God!

One of my favorite verses is often cited by applicants to our Bible school: 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).

“The Bible is the inerrant Word of God. Its sixty six books are not a collection of religious writings, advancing certain theories, but they constitute one body, breathing with life and power. From the first verse in Genesis to the last verse in Revelation there is a wonderful continuity of thought, without any clash of opinion; all is a harmonious whole. This fact necessitates one great Author, One who guided the thoughts of each writer and who is instructed them to write as they did. This guiding and supervising Author is the Spirit of God… 2 Timothy 3:16, 2 Peter 1:21.” — Arno C. Gaebelein

“Education is useless without the Bible. The Bible was America’s basic text book in all fields. God’s Word, contained in the Bible, has furnished all necessary rules to direct our conduct.” – Noah Webster (1758-1843) — The Schoolmaster of the Nation.

“The Bible is the best of all books, for it is the word of God and teaches us the way to be happy in this world and in the next. Continue therefore to read it and to regulate your life by its precepts.”

— John Jay (1st Chief-Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court)

“We have staked the future of American civilization upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.” — President James Madison

“The great reservoir of the power that belongs to God is His own Word – the Bible. If we wish to make it ours, we must go to that Book. Yet people abound in the Church who are praying for power and neglecting the Bible. Men are longing to have power for bearing fruit in their own lives and yet forget that Jesus has said: ‘The seed is the Word of God’ (Luke 8:11).” — R.A. Torrey.

This study booklet is built upon this unchanging Biblical truth which makes the Word of God a most worthy object of our life’s devotion for the following reasons.

The Bible is a Unique Book

THE B.I.B.L.E. is: Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth

Why do we call our Sacred Book the Bible when that name doesn’t appear in the King James Version? The word is taken from the Greek word, biblos, meaning book, and what a book it is. It consists of a most miraculous and extraordinary compilation of 66 separate writings in original Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek that have been translated by scholars into our own language. From cover to cover it is truth and fully trustworthy in its narratives, history, biographies, theology, prophecies, and scientific data, all which have stood fast against every assault known to man. No other book in history can make these claims my friend.

The Bible is without question the most amazing Book on the face of the earth. However, one must bear in mind that it is- for the most part- a veiled writing to a majority of the world:          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 (1 Corinthians 2:14). Most people complain they can’t understand the Bible. That is by design for it was written by God for His people. If you try to read it on your own, without God’s Spirit guiding you, it will have about the same impact as reading a cereal box. Now, why would that be, and what does that mean to us? It means that an unregenerate (unsaved) person won’t be able to comprehend the deep truths contained in it.

The Bible is a Perfect Book

The Bible is prophetically perfect. One third of it is prophecy and has never failed- not even once. Jesus Christ, for example, fulfilled over 300 predictions to the letter- including the very day He would present Himself in Jerusalem as the King of the Davidic Kingdom (Dan. 9:25). No one could have orchestrated that but Almighty God.

The Bible is perfect historically. Someone estimated there to be some 23,000 archaeological digs related to the Bible and none have ever disproved a thing in Scripture. Honest scholars- even if they are unbelievers- have to agree that Jesus, Paul, King David, King Solomon, the Philistines, and countless other persons mentioned in the Bible were real people. And of course Luke’s details about Roman officials such as “Sergio Paulus of Cyprus,” “Gallio, the proconsul of Achaia,” “Herod the Great,” “Pontius Pilate,” and “King Agrippa,” are easily verifiable from Roman historical records.

The Bible is a Living Book

      The Word of God is quick (alive) (Heb. 4:12). When God breathed into Adam he became a living soul (Gen. 2:7). He likewise breathed into Moses, David, Isaiah, Malachi, Matthew, John, Paul, Peter and dozens more to produce the living Scripture: All Scripture is given by inspiration of God (2 Timothy 3:16). The Greek word for inspiration is theopneustos which literally means God-breathed.

While profound, the way this happened is laid out for us by the Apostle Peter: For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost (2 Peter 1:21). This means God Personally led the authors of the Bible to write His concepts, His thoughts, and His doctrines in their own style while maintaining an error free document in the original autographs. Some of the writers wrote word for word: Take thee a roll of a book, and write therein all the words that I have spoken unto thee against Israel . . . (Jeremiah 36:2). Others described their visions, dreams or experiences as the Lord shared them, like John on the Isle of Patmos with the Revelation Christ gave him: Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter (Revelation 1:19). Regardless, every Word is flawlessly accurate (Prov. 30:5) and marvelously alive.

The Bible is a Unified Book

Several years ago a man I witnessed to deflected my arguments with a well worn yet feckless façade: “The Bible contradicts itself.” I handed him my Sword and asked him to show me one. Of course, he couldn’t. While Bible scholars do admit to a few copyist or translation errors, there are absolutely no contradictions, discrepancies, misrepresentations, or disunity in the Word of God. It is consistent in all its theology, themes, and thinking.

It is unified in both Old and New Testaments

The terms “old” and “new” testaments are used to distinguish between the Old and New Covenant. A covenant is an agreement between two or more parties and in this setting, it’s between God and His chosen ones. The Old Testament records God’s original covenant or agreement with Israel. The New Testament records the new covenant made by God through His Son, the promised King, Jesus Christ. Essentially, both concerned restoring sinful man to right relationship with God which can only be done through blood sacrifice: without shedding of blood is no remission (Hebrews 9:22).

It is unified around 9 major themes

      The Bible reveals the mysteries God wants us to know under the following headings:

  1. The Scriptures: their inerrancy, infallibility, and inspiration.
  2. Israel: her history and her hope
  3. God the Father: His omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence.
  4. God the Son, the Lord Jesus: The Old Testament concealed Him, the New revealed Him (cp Luke 1:47; Isa. 43:3), the Holy One and Redeemer of Israel (Isa. 48:17; Heb. 9:15).
  5. God the Holy Spirit: His great ministries and manifestations
  6. Angels (including fallen): their mission and their messages.
  7. Man: his rebellion, redemption, and rewards
  8. The church: her disciples, her duty, and her destiny
  9. Prophecy: past, present, and predicted

It is unified throughout 7 dispensations

The Old Scofield Study Bible [1] says: “The Scriptures divide time (by which is meant the entire period from the creation of Adam to the “new heaven and a new earth” of Rev. 21: 1) into seven unequal periods, usually called dispensations (Eph. 3:2), although these periods are also called ages (Eph. 2:7) and days, as in “day of the Lord.”

These periods are marked off in Scripture by some change in God’s method of dealing with mankind, or a portion of mankind, in respect of the two questions: of sin, and of man’s responsibility. Each of the dispensations may be regarded as a new test of the natural man, and each ends in judgment, marking his utter failure in every dispensation. Five of these dispensations, or periods of time, have been fulfilled; we are living in the sixth, probably toward its close, and have before us the seventh, and last: the millennium. [2]

Each dispensation, begins with man being divinely placed in a new position of privilege and responsibility, and each closes with the failure of man resulting in righteous judgments from God. In simple terms, if you went to church this past Sunday without a sacrificial Lamb, you are a dispensationalist.

Once again I allude to the wonderful Old Scofield [3] Study Bible notes describing the Seven dispensations:

The Innocence Stage (Gen 1:26-3:6): Man was created in absolute innocence; that is, he was free from the defilement of sin. He knew no guilt because fellowship with God had not been broken by disobedience. This stage revealed man’s total depravity and God’s matchless grace.

The Conscience Stage (Gen 3:7-8:14): Man was found guilty of sin, charged, and expelled from the garden. He now needed a covering for his sin, which God promised (Gen 3:15), and also provided (3:21; John 1:29), in Christ. This stage again demonstrated man’s failure to control himself through the mind (conscience), and God’s unmerited favor (grace) to Noah and his family.

The Human Government Stage (Gen 8:15-11:32): After destroying the world by flood, God made a covenant with Noah never to do it again (Gen 9:8-16). Man was charged once again, with the task of filling the earth (9:1), dominating all creation (9:2), and something new; governmental rule with capital authority (to execute murderers– 9:6).

The Promise Stage (Gen 12:1-Ex 18:27): Beginning with the call of Abraham, this stage stretches into the giving of the Law at Sinai. Its stewardship basis is our obedience to the covenant God made with Abraham. This stage ended in the failure of man, and necessitated the law (schoolmaster) that would bring us to Christ (Gal 3:24).

The Law Stage (Ex 19:3-Acts 1:26): Beginning with the institution of the Law, this stage extends to the pouring out of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. The Law aggregately consisted of three divisions:

(1) The Commandments signify God’s will for His covenant people- (Ex 20:1-26). (2) The Judgments monitor the social affairs of Israel- (Ex 21:1-24:11).        (3) The Ordinances established the Jews’ religious requirements- (Ex 24:12-31:18).

It should be remembered that the Law was never given in order to provide man with a method of righteousness, but rather to bring about the consciousness of sin and the need of a Saviour (Rom 3:20; Gal 2:16). [4] The failure of this stage is still evidenced by man’s obstinate determination to make himself presentable to God by rules and regulations, rather than by faith (Eph 2:8-9).

The Church Stage (Acts 2:1-The Rapture): Also known as the dispensation of grace, it begins with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the church and ends at the rapture. Although post-millenarians believe this age will ultimately produce a world devoted to holiness, one prophetic look around proves the futility of this concept (1 Tim 4:1-3; 2 Tim 3:1-9; 4:2-4; 2 Pet 2-3).

The Kingdom Stage (Second Coming, Matt 24; Rev 19-Millennium): Beginning with the rapture, this stage begins at the Last Day (John 6:40) and continues for one-thousand years. During this time, Satan will be bound, providing mankind an unprecedented opportunity for peace, prosperity, and technological promotion. Once again, however, man’s sinfulness will manifest in worldwide rebellion at the close of this stage and one final Great White Throne Judgment.

The Bible is a Life Sustaining Book

As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby (1 Peter 2:2). God has programmed us from the moment of our spiritual birth to want to fellowship with Him. In fact, His Spirit bears witness with us and cries out from within us to that end (Rom. 8:15-6; Gal. 4:16). Just as a newborn baby in the natural world needs physical nourishment, a person who is spiritually reborn needs spiritual nourishment. The food for this spiritual growth and development is the Word of God: beginning with milk and moving to meat (1 Cor. 3:2; Heb. 5:12). Those who think they can live for Christ while bypassing a daily feeding from the Word are heading for disaster. It cannot be done. Jesus said: Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4 see Deut. 8:3).

Without question, the Bible is unique, perfect, living, life sustaining

The Attack on the Word
and Words of God
Dr. Terry Watkins

God has placed a lot of importance upon His words.

Matthew 24:35 reads, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my WORDS shall not pass away.”

Psalms 138:2 says, “. . . for thou hast magnified thy WORD above all thy name.”

Psalms 119:89 says, “For ever, O LORD, thy WORD is settled in heaven.”

The spiritual life-blood of the human race is the word of God.

It brings salvation: “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God. . .” (1 Peter 1:23)

It produces faith: “. . . faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17).

It produces spiritual growth: “. . .desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:” (1 Peter 2:2)

Jesus Christ said in John 6:63, “. . .the words that I speak unto you, they are SPIRIT, and they are LIFE.” And the first time Satan attacks the human race was a direct attack on the word of God!

Genesis 3:1 says, “Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, YEA, HATH GOD SAID. . .?”

Satan planted a small seed of doubt into the mind of Eve. And as Eve questioned the truthfulness of God’s Word – the fall of mankind was only a bite away.

Satan’s aim of attack hasn’t changed!

In Luke 8, Jesus Christ tells the parable of the sower, verses 11,12 read, “Now the parable is this: The SEED is the word of God. . . THEN COMETH THE DEVIL, and taketh away the word. . .”

Satan knows – if he can supplant even a small seed of doubt in God’s word – MANKIND WILL LOOK ELSEWHERE!

Never in history has such doubt and confusion over the Bible existed as is today. And nothing has flamed the fire of confusion and doubt over the Bible more than the scores of different translations flooding the scene. Time magazine (April 20, 1981 p.62) reports, “. . . there is an UNPRECEDENTED CONFUSION of choices in Bibles. Never have so many major new translations been on the market.” Since 1880, over 200 different translations have appeared. Every six months a new English version appears!


The question has to be asked – is God the author of this flood of new versions? Is God the author of CONFUSION in His word? 1 Corinthians 14:33, clearly states, “God is NOT the author of CONFUSION.”

BUT SATAN IS! He knows, if he can plant the smallest seed of doubt and confusion – that individual will not take God’s word serious!

God promised to preserve His word…

God promised in Psalms 12:7 that He would preserve His word, “Thou shalt KEEP them, O LORD, thou shalt PRESERVE them from this generation FOR EVER.”

And God keeps His promise! I believe, without a doubt, the King James Bible is the preserved word of God. And the new versions are satanic counterfeits to cast doubt, cause confusion and ATTACK THE LORD JESUS CHRIST!

And I’m going to prove that on the remainder of this message! If you’ve come this far, please keep reading – what you’re about to read – may be the most important words YOU WILL EVER READ!

Are the new versions different?

Most people believe the different versions are basically the same. They believe the newer versions are just “harmless” updating of words and made easier to understand.


One of the clearest verses in the Bible proclaiming the deity of Jesus Christ, that Jesus was God in the flesh, is 1 Timothy 3:16. The King James Bible reads, “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: GOD WAS MANIFEST IN THE FLESH. . .” The King James says, clearly, “GOD was manifest in the flesh”.

The New International Version (NIV) says, “HE appeared in a body”. The NIV, NASV, RSV, NRSV, etc, change “GOD” to “HE”. “He appeared in a body”? Big deal! Everyone has “appeared in a body”! The KJV is clear and definite, “GOD was manifest in the flesh”. “He” is a pronoun that refers to a noun or antecedent. There is no antecedent in the context! The statement does NOT even make grammatical sense!

An attack on the Deity of Jesus Christ!

In Philippians 2:6, The KJV again, clearly declares the deity of Jesus Christ: “Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery TO BE EQUAL WITH GOD” The new translations completely re-word the verse to deny the deity of Jesus Christ! The NIV, RSV, NASV, NRSV, NKJV(1979 ed.), etc. reads, “Who, being in very nature God, DID NOT CONSIDER EQUALITY WITH GOD something to be grasped,”

Someone is attacking the most important doctrine in the Bible – the deity of Jesus Christ!


They attack the virgin birth!

In Luke 2:33, The King James reads, “And JOSEPH and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him.” The NIV, NASV, NRSV, etc. reads, “The CHILD’S FATHER and mother marveled at what was said about him.” The “CHILD’S FATHER”? Do you believe that Joseph was Jesus’s father? Not if you believe the virgin birth! Not if you believe John 3:16, that Jesus Christ was the Son of God! A subtle, attack at the virgin birth.

Think these are just isolated cases? NOT BY A LONG SHOT! There are over 6,000 changes!

They remove the Blood!

Consider Colossians 1:14: the KJV reads, “In whom we have redemption THROUGH HIS BLOOD, even the forgiveness of sins:” The NIV reads, “In whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” The NIV, NASV, RSV, NRSV and co. rip the precious words “THROUGH HIS BLOOD” out! Friend, salvation is only “THROUGH HIS BLOOD”. That old song says, “What can wash away my sins, NOTHING BUT THE BLOOD OF JESUS!”

They attack John 3:16!

And something has to be done with John 3:16! So the NIV and company reads, “For God so loved the world that he gave his ONE AND ONLY SON, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” – removing the critical word “BEGOTTEN”! If Jesus was “the one and only” then what happens to the wonderful promise to believers like 1 John 3:2, “Beloved, now are we the sons of God. . .”? AN OBVIOUS CONTRADICTION APPEARS!

They tell lies!

A blatant error is found in the NIV, NASV, NRSV and “buddies” in Mark 1:2,3: “It is written in Isaiah the prophet: I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way -a voice of one calling in the desert, Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.” It is NOT written in Isaiah! “I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way” – is found in Malachi 3:1! The King James correctly reads: “As it is written in the PROPHETS”

A better translation! Easier to understand! A LIE!

Psalms 119:160 says, “Thy word is TRUE. . .” John 17:17 says, “. . . thy word is TRUTH.” Titus 1:2 clearly says, “. . . God that CANNOT LIE”

How could the God of Titus 1:2 be the God of Mark 1:2,3 in these new versions? Either the translators of the NIV, NASV, RSV, NRSV, “crowd” can’t read or have never read Isaiah nor Malachi (which is likely!) or somebody is deliberately tampering with God’s Word to DISCREDIT IT!


I’ll give you a hint – he’s called the “A LIAR, and the father of it” in John 8:44!

Oh, by the way, did you think David killed Goliath? Not according to the NIV, NRSV, NASV, and “boys”. In 2 Samuel 21:19, they erroneously read, “. . . Elhanan son of JaareOregim the Bethlehemite killed Goliath the Gittite, who had a spear with a shaft like a weaver’s rod.”

They make Lucifer and Jesus Christ – THE SAME!

In Isaiah 14:12, the father of the new versions removes his mask. The King James reads, “How art thou fallen from heaven, O LUCIFER, son of the morning!. . .” The NIV, NASV, NRSV etc. reads, “How you have fallen from heaven, O MORNING STAR, son of the dawn. . .” The new per-versions change “Lucifer” to “morning star”. According to Revelation 22:16, the “morning star” is the Lord Jesus Christ! What blasphemy! What perversion! And there’s no basis whatsoever for the change! The Hebrew word for star (kokab) is not even found in Isaiah 14:12! Is there any doubt who is the “daddy” of these new versions?

They removed hell!

If Satan is the author of these new versions, one subject he will aim his attack, is the place the Bible calls hell. And the new versions go “into loony land” removing it!

Many times they change “hell” to “grave” or “death”, but the word “hell” is far and few in the new versions! Like Psalm 9:17: in the King James reads, “The wicked shall be turned into HELL. . .” The NIV, reads, “The wicked return to the GRAVE. . .” We ALL “return to the GRAVE”!

Many times when the new versions come to the obvious word “hell” – they replace it with the Greek word “Hades” or Hebrew “Sheol”! (See Matt. 16:18, Luke 16:23, Acts 2:31 and many, many more, the NEW King James does this 29 times!) Rather than translate into the obvious word hell – THEY REFUSE TO TRANSLATE IT!

And this is a better translation? And these new versions are “easier to read” and “understand”? Who in their right mind thinks Hades or Sheol is “easier to understand” than hell? Why didn’t they leave in the Greek word “Ouranos” for heaven? It’s obvious! Because someone is trying to remove and cast doubt on the place called hell!

In Isaiah 14:15, the King James Bible condemns Lucifer to hell: “Yet thou shalt be brought down to HELL . . .” The new versions refuse to send Lucifer to hell! The NIV reads, “But you are brought down to the GRAVE. . .” The NASV, NRSV, NEW King James (NKJV) places him in “Sheol”! hmm. . . I wonder which one the Devil prefers?

The Lord’s or The Devil’s Prayer?

An alarming display of Satanic perversion is found in Luke 11. The “The Lord’s Prayer” is subtly (see 2 Cor. 11:3) transformed into “The Devil’s Prayer”.

The King James Bible in Luke 11:2-4, reads, “. . .Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.” Incredibly, the NIV, NASV, NRSV, etc. take out: “WHICH ART IN HEAVEN. . . Thy will be done, AS IN HEAVEN, so in earth. . . but DELIVER US FROM EVIL.” Heaven is completely removed! The “father” of the new versions is NOT IN HEAVEN and DOES NOT DELIVER FROM EVIL!

I wonder who it could be? (hint: see John 8:44)

Are you getting the picture? Do you see how subtle (see Genesis 3:1), seemingly, harmless the changes are – AND YET HOW DEADLY THEY ARE TO THE INTEGRITY OF GOD’S WORD!

They attack the Lord Jesus Christ!

  • They attack the plan of salvation!
  • They glorify Lucifer!
  • And they deny hell!

Yes friend. Satan has launched an attack on your Bible!


Did you know, the King James Bible is the only English Bible in the world that has a command to “study” your Bible! That’s right! 2 Timothy 2:15, “STUDY to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” – has been changed in every English Bible on the face of this earth! BUT ONE!

They take out whole verses!

In Acts 8:37, the King James reads, “And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” The NIV, NASV, RSV, NRSV and “buddies” reads – ZIP! NOTHING! THEY TOOK THE WHOLE VERSE OUT! One of the best verses in the Bible on salvation through Jesus Christ and they rip it out! Why?

Why is it that every time a sinner is saved by grace in the book of Acts – THEY ATTACK IT? In Acts 9:5,6: Paul is getting saved, and they take out 20 words! In Acts 16:31 when the Philippian jailor is getting saved, the word “CHRIST” is delicately removed! Why do these new bibles so fiercely attack God’s wonderful plan of salvation?


Several times the Lord warns against “adding and taking away” from His Word.

Deuteronomy 4:2 reads: “YE SHALL NOT ADD unto the word which I command you, NEITHER SHALL YE DIMINISH ought from it . . .”

Proverbs 30::6, reads, “ADD THOU NOT unto his words . . .”

And just in case you missed it, GOD’S LAST WARNING is Revelation 22:18,19, “. . . IF ANY MAN SHALL ADD unto these things. . . And if any man shall TAKE AWAY FROM THE WORDS of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life. . .”

And despite these clear warnings, the new versions, take out and add text, over and over! One of the greatest verses in all the Bible, Matthew 18:11: “For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.” – THEY TAKE IT OUT!


They take out: Romans 16:24, Mark 11:25, Acts 15:34, Luke 23:17, Acts 28:29, John 5:4, Mark 7:16, 9:44,46 and many, many more – as your Bible is literally cut apart!

Jesus Christ says, in Luke 4:4, “. . . It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by EVERY WORD OF GOD.” Not according to the NIV, NASV, NRSV and crew! In fact, the even “tear out”the last half of Luke 4:4 – “BUT BY EVERY WORD OF GOD”!

Yes, but the new versions have the deity in other places. They contain the plan of salvation in other places. There is good in them. Did you know ONE tiny, microscopic AIDS virus will “defile” a whole batch of perfectly “good” blood? It has some “good” in it – BUT IT WOULD BE DEADLY!

Would you “inject” it into your child, loved one or congregation? And would you “inject” them with a Bible that is “defiled” because it has some “good”? It could be far more costly than their physical life – THEIR ETERNAL SOUL! Galatians 5:9 says, “A LITTLE leaven leaveneth THE WHOLE lump.”

But aren’t the new versions easier to read?

One of the lies used to promote these per-versions is “they’re easier to read and understand”. But according to a Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level research study, The King James Bible is by far the easiest! Out of 26 different categories – the King James graded easier in a whopping 23! (New Age Bible Versions, Riplinger, pp.195-209)

But haven’t “older and more reliable” manuscripts been discovered?

But haven’t “older and more reliable manuscripts been discovered” since the King James Bible. Dr. Sam Gipp writes, “The fact is, that the King James translators had ALL OF THE READINGS available to them that modern critics have available to them today.” (The Answer Book, Gipp, p.110) Not only that, but most of the recent discoveries support the King James Bible! And furthermore, it is a well documented fact that 85 – 90 per cent of all readings agree with the King James Bible! SO WHY ALL THE CHANGES? See Genesis 3:1.

What about the “ORIGINALS”?

Your King James Bible is attacked by preachers, some intentional and some simply out of ignorance, by “correcting” it with “THE ORIGINALS”. There is one itsy-bitsy problem. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS “THE ORIGINALS”! We don’t have the “originals” Moses, or Paul, or David wrote. There are no set of “ORIGINALS” on the face of this earth! The ghost of “THE ORIGINALS” is a LIE! See John 8:44!

Preachers, by the thousands, will stand weekly in the pulpit and “correct” your King James Bible by saying, “This is an unfortunate translation” or “a better reading would be” or “this word in the ‘Greek’ can also be translated. . .” Friend, where is the Lord God? The One that “spoke” the worlds into existence – can He not preserve His word as He promised in Psalm 12:7 and Matthew 24:35? Did God Almighty NOT know what He was “inspiring”? Does the Lord need these “Bible correctors” to “help” Him “straighten-out” His word?

As God promised, He has preserved His word for the English people in the King James Bible. Proverbs 16:10 says, “A divine sentence is in the lips of the KING. . .” Ecclesiastes 8:4 says, “Where the word of a KING is, there is power . . .” King James. “James” is not an English word but a Hebrew word. Did you know the Hebrew word for James is Jacob! You’ll never guess what Psalms 147:19 says, “He showeth His WORD unto JACOB . . .”

2 Timothy 2:9, reads, ” . . . the word of God is NOT BOUND.” Anybody can freely (there’s that word Eve omitted in Genesis 3:2) print, distribute, and reproduce the King James Bible, without asking anybody for permission! All other translations are “bound” by © copyright laws. New American Standard, – copyright© Lockman Foundation, New International Version – copyright© New York International Bible Society, New King James Version – copyright© Thomas Nelson Publishers. Who with a brain, would seriously think the word of Almighty God is “BOUND” by copyright laws?


Fundamental Conditions of the Most Profitable Bible Study
Dr. R.A. Torrey


  1. The student must be born again.

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)].

It requires spiritual sense to make a man a competent teacher of the Bible.

  1. A love for the Bible.

Job_23:12 [“Neither have I gone back from the commandment of His lips; I have esteemed the Wordsof 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)].

Abounding life means abounding hunger for the Word.

Study of the Word stimulates love for the Word.


  1. A willingness to do hard work.

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)].

Intellectual laziness lies at the bottom of a large percent of fruitless Bible reading.

One pound of beef well chewed and digested and assimilated, will give more strength than tons of beef merely glanced at.

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.

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)].

It is simply impossible to get the largest profit out of your Bible study until you surrender your will to God.

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.

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)].

Truth obeyed leads to more truth. Truth disobeyed destroys the capacity for discovering truth.

Use, and you get more; refuse, and you lose all.

Whatever duty you find commanded in the Bible, do it at once.

Truth not lived and stood for, flees.

  1. A child-like mind.

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)].

A child is not full of its own wisdom.

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.

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.

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) 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.

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).

What new light shines from an old familiar text as you bend over it in prayer.

Prayer will do more than a college education to make the Bible an open and a glorious Book.

Rightly Dividing the Word and Words
Between Prophecy and Mystery

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.


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).


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]

15 Principles of Biblical Hermeneutics

Now that we know it is the King James Bible that contains the pure Words of God, we can feel confident in committing ourselves to studying it, memorizing it, and, of course, teaching it. It is obvious to most serious Bible students that God never revealed all of His purposes at any one time to any one person. Instead they are given to us as a progressive revelation requiring us to diligently search them out: The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law (Deuteronomy 29:29). Hermeneutics is the tool we use for excavating these rich resources.

      Hermeneutics is a fancy word we’re going to define as “the science of Biblical interpretation employing immutable rules that when consistently applied will result in exegesis [6] of a passage rather than eisegesis. [7]

      We’ve identified 15 principles that will help to ensure we stay on track as we study to shew ourselves approved unto God. 

The Dispensational Principle A dispensation is a particular way in which God deals with man in respect to sin and man’s responsibility.

The Covenantal Principle This principle is the one in which the interpretation of a verse or a group of verses is determined by a consideration of its covenantal setting. These covenants refer to the agreements or contracts made between God and man.

The Ethnic Division Principle This principle has to do with rightly dividing the Word in relation to the three ethnic groups mentioned in scripture:

  1. The Jew;
  2. The Gentile;
  3. The Church.

The Typical Principle J. Edwin Hartill, in his book Principles of Biblical Hermeneutics states “A type is a divinely appointed illustration of some scriptural truth.” The safest position to take is to use those types which come from the Old Testament that are specifically and clearly revealed in the New Testament.

The First Mention Principle “This is the principle by which God indicates in the first mention of a subject, the truth with which that subject stands connected in the mind of God.” (Hartill)

The Progressive Mention Principle “This is the principle by which God makes the revelation of any given truth increasingly clear as the Word proceeds to its consummation.” (Hartill)

The Full Mention Principle “This is the principle by which God declares all that we need to know upon any subject vital to our spiritual life.” (Hartill) This principle is seen as the ultimate end of The First Mention and Progressive Mention working in harmony to reach a logical conclusion.

The Context Principle “This is the principle by which God gives light upon a subject through either near or remote passages bearing upon the same theme.” (Hartill) You begin this process by consulting the context of the verse; then the passage; then the book, etc.

The Agreement Principle “This is the principle under which the truthfulness and faithfulness of God become the guarantee that He will not set forth any passage on His Word which contradicts any other passage.” (Hartill) In other words, no scripture will contradict another.

The Gap Principle “This principle is defined as that principle of divine revelation whereby God in the Jewish Scriptures ignores certain periods of time, leaping over centuries without comment.” (Hartill) This is seen numerous times throughout scripture when 2 events seem to bookend a gap in time that is not addressed.

The Double Reference Principle “The Double Reference Principle is that peculiarity in the writings of the Holy Spirit, by which a passage applying primarily to a person or event near at hand, is used by him at a later time as applying to the Person of Christ, or the affairs of His kingdom.” (Hartill) Compare Hosea 11:1, which speaks to the nation of Israel as God’s son in their calling out of Egypt and the same passage being used in Matthew 2:14-15 to speak of Christ’s return from Egypt after the death of Herod.

The Christo-Centric Principle- This principle is defined by six points: The mind of Deity is eternally centered in Christ; All angelic thought and ministry are centered in Christ; All Satanic hatred and subtlety are centered at Christ; All human hopes are, and human occupation should be, centered in Christ; The whole material universe in creation is centered in Christ; The entire written Word is centered in Christ.

The Comparative Mention Principle “This is the principle by which a certain verse or group of verses may be interpreted by comparing and/or contrasting it with another verse or group of verses.” (Conner and Malmin, Interpreting the Scriptures) Compare: “To bring things together in order to examine the close relationship they bear to each other, especially with the view of ascertaining their agreement or disagreement; points of resemblance or difference.” (Conner and Malmin) Contrast: “To place together in view things widely differing from each other, though of the same category or class, in order to make the difference more vividly marked.” (Conner and Malmin)

The Moral Principle “This principle is the one by which the interpretation of a verse or passage is determined by the discerning the moral it contains.” (Conner and Malmin) Every scripture has one interpretation but many applications.

The Parabolic Principle “This principle is the one by which any parable is interpreted by discerning its moral and interpreting its elements insofar as they are meant to be interpreted.” (Ramm) Guidelines for use: Determine whether or not the passage is indeed a parable; A parable is a comparison between the natural and the spiritual realm; Every parable is designed to conceal and reveal one fundamental spiritual truth; Since parables are drawn from the cultural background of their authors, the interpreter should research the manners, customs, and material culture involved in the parable he is interpreting. [8]

Basic Steps to Studying the Bible

And I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship (Exodus 31:3). Knowledge is the accumulation of facts. Understanding puts knowledge in its proper place. But wisdom takes both knowledge and understanding and uses them for the glory of God. This should be your ultimate goal every waking moment: So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom (Psalm 90:12).

In this section we’ll discuss the steps I believe are necessary for gaining knowledge, understanding, and wisdom.


When it comes to pure Bible study, I prefer the Old Scofield Study Bible (1917 notes) in the blessed King James Version. Not only is the KJV completely trustworthy, [9] but since I’ve devoted over thirty years to studying and memorizing it, I’m very familiar with verses and words comprising it which makes comparing Scripture with Scripture much easier and more expedient during study. I suggest you invest yourself in a lifetime study of the KJV as well my friend.

Prepare your heart FIRST!

My students- including you- know that I  believe prayer prepares our hearts for study and service. That’s why       I purposed to begin every morning between 4-5 am with an hour or more of prayer. [10] Just before I open God’s Word I pray this Scripture to Him: Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law (Psalms 119:18). God’s Word is truth (John 17:17). God the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:3-4), also known as the Spirit of truth (John 14:17; 15:26; 16:13), inspired the Scriptures from cover to cover (2 Timothy 3:16-17). He not only beareth witness with our spirit that we are the children of God (Rom. 8:16), but He personally guides us into all truth (John 16:13). Prayer invites Him into the study process.

Let’s be honest. Every morning there are a dozen things staring you in the face that have to be done NOW- or else! Then you get this “feeling” like a faint whisper: Hey I know, I’ll just skip prayer and Bible study this morning and get these things done.” And off you go. However, the committed man of God says: “Wow! I have so much to do today, I’m going to devote my first couple of hours to God in prayer and the ministry of the Word” (Acts 6:4). This man will be blessed in his deed!

What it comes down to is this: Prayer is the discipline of your flesh. If proves who you are going to depend on the rest of the day- and if you continue daily- the rest of your life: Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness (Romans 6:16)? Listen! You can’t ignore this and expect to be of any value to the Lord- or everything you do will be in the flesh. Sadly, we’ve got a bunch of momma boy prima donna preachers today who think they’re smarter than God; that if they just throw their Bibles against the wall it will open to a page they can preach and people will fall all over them. Hardly! The fact is nothing of eternal value is ever accomplished outside of prayer. Therefore, if you think bypassing your spiritual acts of worship and service will garner His blessing, you’re living in a Luciferian dream world. He won’t! The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law (Deuteronomy 29:29).

Prepare your study tools

Every workman needs tools; Bible study is no different. While you may later add to this list, I’ve included these items I surely would not want to be without.

  1. Study Bible- I would never be without my Old Scofield Study Bible [11] (KJV w/1917 notes). This is by far the finest and most complete study Bible I’ve ever owned. The notes, outlines, book intros, dictionary, indices, concordance and full color maps make this a seminary education under one cover.
  1. Bible Handbook- Halley’s Bible Handbook (Dr. Henry Halley), What the Bible is all About (Dr. Henrietta Mears), Willmington’s Guide to the Bible (Dr. Harold Willmington) are all excellent.
  1. Exhaustive Concordance- All Hebrew Greek words are listed in English for easy reference and word study. Strong’s is one of the best known but it is NOT based solely upon the Textus Receptus and thus you will find some mistranslation from the Greek.
  1. Bible Dictionary- I recommend Unger’s or Smith’s.
  1. Bible Commentary (OT and NT)- The Believer’s Bible Commentary (William MacDonald). (We have these for those with sponsors).
  1. Bible Doctrines- A Survey of Bible Doctrine (Dr. Charles Ryrie). (We have these for those with sponsors).
  1. Lexicons- OT Hebrew: Brown Driver, Briggs. NT Greek: Thayer’s (Remember, these are not based on the Textus Receptus where we get our King James, so the Greek will be vary in many places)
  1. Computer/printer- I put this last, but it easily could be acquired sooner. Once you have a computer, purchase MS Word or MS Office (eBay has listings of older versions). If these are too expensive, get MS Works or download a superb “knock-off” from OpenOffice.org. Also be sure to get a FREE download from brother Rick Meyers at e-sword.com. And check all the helpful links and references at: pmiministries.com/links

Prepare your Bible

  • Mark your table of contents. When searching for a specific Book (at church or home), if you aren’t familiar with the order of the 66 Books, be sure to use the Table of Contents. I suggest putting a yellow stick note on that page with about 1/2 inch sticking over the top of the page. This will help you get to it fast.
  • Understand verse references. New Christians generally have no idea how to locate all the wonderful promises of Scripture. Take John 3:16 for example. John is the “Book” and chapter 3 verse 16 is the exact reference. If I quote to you John 3:16-18 it means that you read from verse 16 through verse 18. If I quote John 3:16, 18; 5:24 it still means that you read from John, you read verse 16 and 18, then turn to chapter 5 verse 24. Try it now with Romans 3:10, 23. 10:9-10, 13; Ephesians 2:8-9
  • Highlight important texts. Now I’m going to ask you to do something very important: abandon your hang-ups about marking it up, or highlighting passages. It’s your Sword- use it friend. It will serve you many years if you become familiar with it. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve looked for a particular verse knowing just where it is located on a particular page because I’ve highlighted it, or underlined it for easy location. I promise, this instant recall works!

Prepare to learn

            I live in my Bible and I’ve filled all of them with quotes and notes, cross references, underlining, and brightly lit pages of highlights I see every time I open it. I also have notebook pads that are filled with outlines, verses, and thoughts the Lord has given me during my studies. When the Lord speaks to my heart about some specific thing, I often put the date next to the passage. This serves as a trail of His hand on my life and I want to savor it. What I’m saying is, don’t be afraid to record insights and tidbits you discover in your Bible. This includes, but is not limited to verse references, word studies [12] and more.

STUDY TOOLS: In order to prepare for uninterrupted study, when possible you need to get some tools to keep next to you when digging into God’s Word:

  • Pads of paper, preferably 8.5 x 11.
  • A 6” ruler.
  • A few black ink pens because they work best for underlining and note taking in the Bible.
  • 4-5 highlighters in light red, orange (optional), blue, green, and yellow. Don’t worry, while there is some bleed-through they will dry and they do fade a bit over time.
  • Sticky notes for placing in sections you need to refer to often (ie Table of Contents, Concordance, Indices, various verses, etc).
  • File folders, a 2-drawer file cabinet or two, and an alphabetical filing system. (To permanently store the results of your studies: Salvation by Faith, or Israel’s History, etc).

Prepare your time

The way of the slothful man is as an hedge of thorns: but the way of the righteous is made plain (Proverbs 15:19). Rising early has many benefits. One of which is the opportunity to get with God before people get to you! My friend, we’re old enough to know there are just too many distractions in life to let our circumstances influence our daily devotional time. Paul lamented the devil’s hindrance of spiritual progress in his life (1 Thess. 2:18) so rest assured he’ll oppose Bible study in yours, too. Take charge over your spiritual growth by establishing the habit of top of the morning meetings with the Saviour. It will bless you I promise!


Out of heaven he made thee to hear his voice, that he might instruct thee (Deuteronomy 4:36). Now there were in the church . . . certain prophets and teachers (Acts 13:1).

There is a certain confusion today when it comes to understanding the difference between inspiration and illumination. Inspiration describes the way in which the Scriptures were communicated to us: For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost (2 Peter 1:21). Illumination is the Holy Spirit’s insight into inspiration as explained by Paul: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened . . . (Ephesians 1:18). This is best facilitated by adhering to the following study principles:

Study systematically

Teachers are a gift of the Spirit (1 Cor. 12:28) placed in the church to equip the saints for the work of ministry (Eph. 4:11-12). They do this by diligently studying and communicating the basic truths of Scripture known as doctrine (Acts 2:42; 5:28). As these principles are rightly divided (2 Tim. 2:15) precept upon precept, line upon line (Isa. 28:10) they will ultimately culminate in an aggregate body of sound doctrine (Titus 2:1) Bible scholars refer to as systematic theology. [13] This is part of rightly dividing the truth.

  • Read slowly through the section you’ve chosen.
  • Pause to consider: what did I just read? What was really being said here? Who are the persons addressed in this passage? What is the key verse? Is there a teaching here about Christ? Is there a sin I must confess, or a truth I need to embrace?
  • Share what you just learned with someone else as quickly as you can. This will bless them, bless you, and bless the Lord!

Look for repetitive words or phrases

      The Holy Spirit inspired the Bible from cover to cover (2 Tim. 3:16-17). Therefore every word of God is pure (Prov. 30:5) and every verse and phrase. I have found that those who dig for these treasures like a gold miner will be richly rewarded by the Lord (Heb. 11:6). Let me offer an example. I read the Bible thru annually. I hope you do, too. I also read Proverbs thru each month. [14] One morning I noticed the reappearance of the word wicked. After searching it in my e-Sword Bible software, I discovered that it appears 325 times in the KJV, 87 of which are in Proverbs. I decided to circle the word, and in Proverbs 10 I drew 12 circles. What interesting insight I now had. Just when I thought I had discovered the “last of the gold,” I noticed a particular phrase in the same chapter- of the wicked. I counted 10 appearances of it: mouth of the wicked (v6), name of the wicked (v7), heart of the wicked (v20), fear of the wicked [15] (v24) and so on. I underlined all of them thinking that was probably it. It wasn’t. One of those phrases- mouth of the wicked is repeated three times (vs. 6, 11, 32), so I highlighted it in bright orange so every time I’m in Proverbs 10, I am quickly reminded of some of the treasures I have discovered there. My friend, God filled Scripture with these kinds of nuggets, but you won’t find them by neglecting His Word. You must study to shew thyself approved unto God (2 Tim. 2:15).

Anchor Verses for important topics

As you study, you’ll find verses that define and/or describe specific subjects. Knowing where to find them later is vital to a sound preaching and teaching ministry. Therefore, you’ll want to remember where you store them in what I call anchor verses. For years I’ve used John 1:1 as my anchor verse for all references I find proving Jesus is God. In the margin by John 1:1 I have listed the following: 1 John 5:20; John 20:28; 1 Tim. 3:16; and many more. As I found these references through years of study, I recorded them in John 1:1; I then put John 1:1 next to the verse showing I’ve noted it in my key verse listing. This has been a choice blessing and a wonderful habit I challenge you to replicate my friend.

Relate Scripture to the proper dispensational setting or historical context

Historical interpretation means that we take into account the historical background of the author and the recipients. The Bible was written to common people, and is understandable to anyone possessing the Spirit (1 Cor. 2:14). However, it was written thousands of years ago to a different culture under a variety of circumstances addressing a host of problems. I’m convinced much of today’s doctrinal differences are the result of church leaders who assign passages to the church that were written for the Jews (ie, the ability to speak in a language one has never learned- aka unknown tongues- which was intended to be a sign to unbelieving Israel, never for the church- 1 Cor. 14:21-22).  Therefore, as modern readers, we have to try to recover a general sense of the meaning of words, the audience they were directed to, and the phrases and concepts- all in their ancient settings.

Therefore, the first question we ask is: “what did this writing, verse, or passage mean to those whom it was originally written?” Only after that is answered can we expect to apply that meaning to our contemporary circumstances.

  • 2:12-13 – Pergamum was the center of the worship of Aesclepius.
  • I Cor. 11:4-6 – Shorn hair was typical of Aphrodite priestess-prostitutes; shaven heads were typical of convicted adulteresses (vs. 5).

Study methodically

Hermeneutics is the science of properly studying, understanding, and applying Biblical information. We’ll discuss some of these laws shortly. It is comprised of certain rules that allow for a complete and consistent approach to exegesis. If you’ve ever listened to Chuck Swindoll expound a passage, you understand the benefits of this in the lives of congregants. Almost immeasurable.


When studying a passage of the Bible, great care must be taken to properly interpret it in order to apply it. The following suggestions will enable you to arrive at a critically sound interpretation of any passage while maintaining a highly consistent message throughout the Bible (aka systematic theology). [16]

Interpret in light of the context of the passage [17]

When approaching the meaning of Scripture two options are available: exegesis searches the text within its context for the intended meaning while eisegesis forces an interpretation according to a desired outcome. Follow the thought development in the book you are reading, and make sure your interpretation flows along with the general direction of argument. Sudden changes in subject are unusual. If you have the thought development of a book centering on one subject, suddenly switching to another, and then back to the first, your interpretation is almost certainly wrong.

Consider the broader context as well

As someone wisely observed: “Any text without a context is a pretext.” That said, never view a passage in isolation from its surroundings. The context should be considered the most important kind of evidence in the interpretation of a passage. Ask yourself who the author is, which group is being addressed (Jews, Gentiles, Church, heathen). Which Testament or covenant are we in? Usually context supplies all we need to know. We should turn to other explanations only when we can find no critically feasible interpretation based on the English text in context. Anyone who claims to see a break in context bears the full burden of proof.

  • 16:28 – Referring to the transfiguration (in context of passage)
  • I Cor. 14:34 – Means to disrupt (see I Cor. 11:5 – context of book and passage)
  • I Cor. 3:17 (thought development of the passage limits interpretation)

Interpret in light of ongoing or “progressive” revelation (Heb. 1:1-2)

While God’s purpose for man has never changed, His strategy in accomplishing that purpose has. He has dealt with man under different “covenants,” (promises) and dispensations (periods). Therefore, it is important to ask “Under which era or program was this written?” Primary application of the passage will be to the people operating under that dispensation, but not necessarily to others. There may be secondary applications for other programs based on principles which have universal application. Note special problems here in connection with the ministry of Christ before the cross.

  • Polygamy was permitted in the Old Testament, but forbidden in the NT (I Tim. 3:2)
  • Theocracy was commanded in Old Testament, but secular government is promoted in the New (Rom. 13:1-7; Mt. 22:21; II Chron. 7:14)
  • Animal sacrifices, dietary laws, Sabbaths, holy days, festivals, priests and liturgy have all been fulfilled in Christ and are thus obsolete (Col. 2:16,17; Heb. 8).

Interpret in the spirit of intended meaning

  • The book of Proverbs contains many general maxims, but not all are absolute promises. Not every child will go right, but most will (Proverbs 22:6).
  • Gentle words help but do not guarantee to turn away wrath (Proverbs 15:1).

Interpret Scripture by comparing Scripture with Scripture

Since the Bible is inspired by God, it does not contradict itself. If a Scripture seems to teach something other than the majority teaches, it must be interpreted in light of meaning something else. This is especially true of doctrines such as eternal security and the second coming of Christ. One must discover the meaning for a passage by relating it to other Scriptures.

  • Acts 2:38 could either be referring to baptismal regeneration, or simply adding baptism as a desirable adjunct to the minimum requirement for salvation (i.e. faith).
  • Ephesians 2:8-9; Phil. 3:9; Titus 3:5 and others teach that works have no part is saving us. Therefore Acts 2:38 cannot be teaching baptismal regeneration.

Interpret hazy passages in light of those that are very clear

Scripture teaches every major, essential truth clearly and many times. Never build a doctrine on an unclear passage.

  • Luke 16:9 is used by Roman Catholics to support indulgences.
  • I Cor. 15:29 mentions an obscure, unknown practice used in Corinth. Today the Mormon church uses this passage to elevate dead ancestors to a higher status in the afterlife.
  • I John 5:16 The sin unto death is never defined. Don’t base a doctrine (for instance of falling away- Gal. 5:4) on such a notion or passage.

Interpret literally whenever possible

Literal interpretation [18] is by far the most reliable approach to understanding Biblical meaning. Without it, we become lost in hyper esotericism beyond human reach. Weird interpretive concoctions have arisen in light of those who cast shadows on literal meanings. One great example is the word day in the creation account of Genesis 1. If you understand a day is simply a day, there is no problem. Dr. Ryrie makes the case very well:

“If God be the originator of language and if the chief purpose of originating it was to convey His message to humanity, then it must follow that He, being all-wise and all-loving, originated sufficient language to convey all that was in His heart to tell mankind.  Furthermore, it must also follow that He would use language and expect people to understand it in its literal, normal, and plain sense.  The Scriptures, then, cannot be regarded as an illustration of some special use of language so that in the interpretation of these Scriptures some deeper meaning of the words must be sought.”  [Charles C. Ryrie, Dispensationalism (Chicago: Moody Press, 1995), 81.]

Interpret in reliance upon the teaching ministry of Holy Spirit

  • Proverbs 3:5 “Lean not unto your own understanding” means we should avoid approaching the Bible on a primarily analytical level.
  • Since the Bible is quick and powerful (Heb. 4:12) the interpretation of a passage may be different for different people.
  • Unless we approach God’s word with a deep reverence for God and a passion to know His will for our lives, we may often get the wrong interpretation.
  • If the rules of interpretation give one answer and the Holy Spirit shows another, we should choose the latter.
  • We should pray before studying that God will enable us to understand the passage.


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 (Joshua 1:8).

Several years ago a major soft drink company ran a successful ad campaign with two unforgettable words: “dew it!” That, my friend, is where we are now in this teaching of How to Study the Bible So You Can Teach the Bible. Thus far we have learned how to make the proper preparation for gaining a right interpretation of the Bible, which leads us to our final goal in the diligent study of the Scriptures: dew it.

Let me leave you with the following inspired Words from David and James I think you’ll agree speak for themselves:

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper (Psalms 1:1-3).

But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. 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: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed (James 1:22-25).

A Life-Changing Challenge

Through the years distraught men and women have written me with their problems including sin they just can’t get victory over. My question is simple: Are you praying and reading God’s Word every morning and through all 66 Books every year? If not, I want to ask you to join me in the greatest adventure of my life. In these last days, I believe the Lord is calling us to a greater understanding of His Word and His will than ever before. In light of that—to all with ears to hear—this will take on a very special urgency as we meditate on 2 Tim. 2:15.

Here’s my challenge to you:

  • READ AND STUDY SPECIFIC BIBLE BOOKS: I love reading through the 6 chapters of Ephesians, sometimes weekly. Monday chapter 1, Tuesday chapter 2 and so on through Saturday. What blessing.
  • READ COLLATERALLY. Read other books and booklets by doctrinally sound authors including CI Scofield’s Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth, and Sword of the Lord Publishers including Prophecy Proves the Bible is Absolutely Reliable by Dr. John R. Rice, The Book We Call the Bible by Dr. Shelton Smith to name a few. In my opinion these authors are must reading for every serious Bible student.
  • READ THRU THE BIBLE THIS YEAR. All student requirement! PMI will send you a Thru the Bible in a Year reading schedule when you write requesting one. Also, Our Daily Bread provides your daily Scripture references to take you completely through in 365 days. It’s ok to begin at any time of year. Keep a pen and pad close at hand.
  • READ PROVERBS daily according to the day of the month. For instance, on the 1st, I read Proverbs 1, the next day, Proverbs 2, etc. I’ve benefited greatly from this study.

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






































[1] We have these Old Scofield Reference Bibles in bonded leather, KJV, available for a gift to PMI of $30 + $4 s/h to help us minister to you and others. Please remember, when you order from us, you help support us. Stamps are welcome.

[2] CI Scofield, Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth.

[3] We have these Old Scofield Reference Bibles in bonded leather, KJV, available for a gift to PMI of $30 + $4 s/h to help us minister to you and others. Please remember, when you order from us, you help support us. Stamps are welcome.

[4] My booklet Saved and Sealed Forever explains this thoroughly.

[5] Adapted from Things that Differ- Cornelius Stam

[6] Exegesis is the process of approaching Bible interpretation with a humble spirit, and an open mind.  In order to gain a true understanding of God’s Word, one must be willing to allow God’s Word to speak for itself, and be willing to abandon cherished beliefs if they are in conflict with God’s Word.

Exegesis is not merely an intellectual exercise we do all alone.  God tells us that in order to properly understand His Word, we need the help of a) the Holy Spirit and b) others who have strong theological training.  We are also cautioned to be careful about who we allow to influence us.

[7] Eisegesis is the approach to Bible interpretation where the interpreter tries to “force” the Bible to mean something that fits their existing belief or understanding of a particular issue or doctrine.  People who interpret the Bible this way are usually not willing to let the Bible speak for itself and let the chips fall where they may.  They start off with the up-front goal of trying to prove a point they already believe in, and everything they read and interpret is filtered through that paradigm. Stated another way, they engage in what the Bible refers to as “private interpretation”.

[8] Adapted from: http://www.preachingpoints.com/2009/01/biblical-hermeneutics/

[9] For more discussion, please order our tract entitled The Facts About the Manuscripts.

[10] For more info, we have a tract entitled: How to Pray for an Hour a Day.

[11] 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.


 [12] To learn how to do this, write for our FREE report entitled: How To Do a Word Study.

[13] Chafer’s Systematic Theology is one of the very best. It’s original 8 volume set has now been reduced to 4 volumes.

[14] Thirty one chapters makes it extremely accommodating.

[15] These make superb teaching and preaching outlines.

[16] I highly recommend Systematic Theology by HC Thiessen, or Basic Theology by Charles Ryrie. Also, the Scofield Study Bible notes are an excellent resource as well.

[17] Adapted from Grammatical-Historical Hermeneutics For Lay Readers by Gary DeLashmutt and Dennis McCallum

[18] The Roman church has condemned this method of interpretation leaving the final truth within the decrees of the popes. Please write for our FREE booklet entitled Catholic Heresies.


Dave MacPherson’s FAKE NEWS about the history of the PreTrib rapture EXPOSED!

January 19, 2018 Leave a comment


Dave MacPherson is an individual who loves to hate pretribulationism. In fact, he has thought up new ways to express his distain for pretribulationism by fabricating a false history of the pre-trib rapture. For the last thirty-plus years, MacPherson has dedicated his life to full time rapture hating in an attempt to participate in anything that he believes will obstruct its spread.


MacPherson believes that the key elements of the doctrine of the pretribulational rapture originated with a young Scottish girl named Margaret Macdonald in Spring of 1830. This is the thesis put forth in a number of books and publications for over thirty years by MacPherson, a newsman turned rapture researcher. MacPherson’s major book The Rapture Plot(Millennium III Publishers, 1994), is only one of the latest in a series of revisions of his original discourse The Unbelievable Pre-Trib Origin (Heart of America Bible Society, 1973). His books include the following: The Three Rs: Rapture, Revisionism, Robbery (P.O.S.T., 1998), The Great Rapture Hoax (New Puritan Library, 1983), Rapture?(New Puritan Library, 1987), The Incredible Cover-Up (Omega Publications, 1975), The Late Great Pre-Trib Rapture (Heart of America Bible Society, 1974).

Dave MacPherson is convinced that the popular Pre-Trib Rapture teaching of today was really instigated by a teenager in Scotland who lived in the early 1800’s. (Hoax, p. 7.) If Christians had known all along, bemoans MacPherson concerning the historical beginnings of the pretrib rapture, the state of Christianity could have been vastly different today. (Hoax, p. 180). He does not think that this research has been mere historical oversight, but rather a well-orchestrated “cover-up” which has been carefully managed by clever pretrib leaders each step of the way, even alleging that Dallas Seminary was grooming and commissioning Hal Lindsey for the purpose of popularizing the pretrib rapture for the Jesus Movement in the early 70’s. (Incredible Cover-Up, pp, 131-32). Jim McKeever, in the forward of the book, compares this pretrib cover-up to the Watergate cover-up. Before we get into the background of the pretrib rapture lets run a background check on MacPherson.

MacPherson has dedicated his life to the cause of disrupting belief in the pretrib rapture, since, according to his interpretation, it has been the cause for great disruption in his own life. Back in 1953 I had a jolting encounter with the Rapture, is the opening sentence in MacPherson’s Rapture Hoax (p. 3). This is a reference to his expulsion from a Christian College in California (BIOLA) for propagating views that conflicted with pretribulationism. He suggests that this experience was so devastating that it accounts for a setback in his Christian life. Because of his discouragement, MacPherson and a friend went out and got drunk in Mexico and passed out. MacPherson says this was a brush with death because of the many dangers that could befall someone in such a condition in Mexico. Later, he was involved in a wreck with a car while riding his motorcycle and almost lost his left arm. But these were not the beginning of his nor his familys troubles because of the pretrib rapture.

Robert L. Sumner has noted that MacPherson has a bad habit of attributing all kinds of personal tragedies to the pre-trib teaching: his mother’s death, his sister’s inability to have more children, his own failure to follow through on his calling as an evangelist, and other matters. (Looking For The Blessed Horrible Holocaust! A book review of The Late Great Pre-Trib Rapture in The Biblical Evangelist (May, 1975), p. 8.) Sumner cites another illustration of how paranoid he has become concerns his conclusion that his lovable dog, Wolf apparently became demon possessed just about the time MacPherson was about to write his first anti-pretribulation book, savagely biting his writing hand several times. (Hope? Or Hoax? The Biblical Evangelist (Feb., 1984), p. 7.)

Trials and tribulation due to the pretrib rapture seems to run in the MacPherson family. Dave’s father, Norman, had planted a church in Long Beach, California and was doing quite well until a group of new people in the church caused a commotion over the timing of the rapture. Norman MacPherson was forced out of this prospering church because he had shifted from the pretrib to the posttrib view of the rapture. Norman S. MacPherson had authored posttrib books, Tell It Like It Will Be (privately printed, 1970), and Triumph Through Tribulation (by the author, 1944). He then started another, less successful church in Long Beach. Dave MacPherson displays a habit of blaming many of the personal tragedies in his life on the pretrib rapture teaching.

In 1983 MacPherson declared, Fifteen years ago I knew nothing about Pre-Trib beginnings. (Hoax, p. 47) He began his quest by writing to his father and received back an answer which indicated a lack of consensus among scholars, so I decided to do some research on my own. (Hoax, p. 47) MacPherson’s investigation gathered steam when he found a rare book in 1971 by Robert Norton, The Restoration of Apostles and Prophets; In the Catholic Apostolic Church(1861). The important part in Norton’s book, claimed MacPherson, is a personal revelation that Margaret Macdonald had in the spring of 1830. (Hoax, p. 47) MacPherson uses this finding to project the notion that the source of the pretrib rapture is of demonic origin through a 15-year-old Scottish lassie.

For MacPherson, his calling in life is a crusade to develop and sharpen his theory and to propagate it around the world. Operating as would any covert agent in hostile, enemy territory, MacPherson has made many trips onto the enemy turf of pretrib colleges and seminaries in order to dispense his material. His campaigns have led him to travel around the country with his message of the hidden story of the genesis of the pretrib rapture, which he believes if people knew, the doctrine would virtually become extinct. This mission has taken him to such places as Dallas Seminary, the great stronghold of the pretribs, where he speaks of distributing literature informing naive pretribers concerning their heritage. (I have retrieved two of his clandestine flyers from library books at the seminary.) As another typical example, he once blitzed a bus of students from Jerry Falwell’s college. John Walvoord has noted:

MacPherson made these charges against pretribulationism and then afterward went to great lengths to find historic verification. . . . Readers will be impressed that as a newsman MacPherson builds a strong case for his position, but will be less impressed when they begin to analyze what he has actually proved. (John F. Walvoord, The Blessed Hope and the Tribulation (Zondervan, 1979), pp. 42-43.)

MacPherson’s Claims

Irvingite Robert Norton included a handwritten account of Margaret Macdonald’s prophecy, which is said by MacPherson to be the fountainhead for J. N. Darby’s development into the pretrib rapture doctrine. MacPherson does not say that Macdonald’s utterance included a clear statement of the pretrib rapture, but that she separated the Rapture from the Second Coming before anyone else did. . (Hoax, p. 121) According to MacPherson, Darby pilfered this two-stage teaching from Macdonald, according to MacPherson, and then developed it systematically, skillfully passing it off as the fruit of his personal Bible study.

Macdonald’s so-called revelation that MacPherson cites to make his case revolves around two key phrases. Margaret dramatically separated the sign of the Son of man from the coming of the Son of man, (Hoax, p. 125) declares MacPherson based upon the phrase now look out for the sign of the Son of man. (Hoax, p. 128) MacPherson argues that she equated the sign with the Rapturea Rapture that would occur before the revealing of Antichrist. (Hoax, p. 129) He bases this on her statement, I saw it was just the Lord himself descending from Heaven with a shout, just the glorified man, even Jesus. (Hoax, p. 126)

MacPherson’s Errors

MacPherson makes at least three major errors in his attempt to argue that Margaret Macdonald originated the basis for the pretrib rapture. First, it is highly doubtful that the Macdonald “prophecy” contains the two-stage coming of Christ, as MacPherson advocates. Therefore, it would be impossible for this source to be the basis for a new idea if it did not contain those elements. MacPherson has misinterpreted Macdonald’s words by equating her use of “sign” with a rapture. Rather, she is saying that only those who are spiritual will see the secret sign of the Son of Man which will precede the single, posttrib second coming of Christ. In other words only those who have the light of the Holy Spirit within them will know when the second coming will take place because this spiritual enlightenment will enable them to have the spiritual perception to see the secret sign (not secret rapture). These are her own words:

. . . all must, as Stephen was, be filled with the Holy Ghost, that they might look up, and see the brightness of the Father’s glory. I saw the error to be, that men think that it will be something seen by the natural eye; but tis spiritual discernment that is needed, the eye of God in his people. . . . Only those who have the light of God within them will see the sign of his appearance. No need to follow them who say, see here, or see there, for his day shall be as the lightning to those in whom the living Christ is. Tis Christ in us that will lift us up–he is the light–tis only those that are alive in him that will be caught up to meet him in the air. I saw that we must be in the Spirit, that we might see spiritual things. John was in the Spirit, when he saw a throne set in Heaven. . . . it is not knowledge about God that it contains, but it is an entering into God . . . I felt that those who were filled with the Spirit could see spiritual things, and feel walking in the midst of them, those who had not the Spirit could see nothing. . . (Hoax, pp. 126-27)

Macdonald is clearly concerned with spiritual insights for the following reasons: 1) Stephen saw into heaven; he was not raptured or taken to heaven. 2) She clearly says that the sign will be seen only by the spiritually enlightened and that it would not be a natural or physical sign, but one perceived by spiritual discernment. 3) She is talking about the sign of his appearance, not an actual appearance. 4) Once a person has been so enlightened, they will have no need for direction from others, they will be guided directly by the living Christ. 5) The whole emphasis is upon seeing: John was in the Spirit, when he saw, those who were filled with the Spirit could see. Posttrib advocate D. H. Kromminga observes that Macdonald’s prophecies made it plain that the return of the Lord depended upon the proper spiritual preparation of His Church. (D. H. Kromminga, The Millennium in the Church: Studies in the History of Christian Chiliasm, (Eerdmans, 1945), p. 250.)

Anti-pretrib rapture advocate, John Bray, agrees that she was only teaching a single coming and not a two-staged event. The only thing new in her revelation itself seems to be that of just Spirit-filled Christian being caught up at the second coming of Christ following heavy trials and tribulation by the Antichrist, notes Bray. (John L. Bray, The Origin of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture Teaching (John L. Bray Ministry, n.d.), pp. 21-22) In other words Macdonald appears to be teaching a posttrib, partial rapture. Bray further explains:

It seems to me that Margaret MacDonald was saying that Christians WILL face the temptation of the false Christ (antichrist) and be in “an awfully dangerous situation”, and that only the Spirit IN US will enable us to be kept from being deceived; and that as the Spirit works, so will the antichrist; but the pouring out of the Spirit will “fit us to enter into the marriage supper of the Lamb”, and those filled with the Spirit would be taken while the others would be left. . . . Margaret MacDonald did teach a partial rapture, of course, but this did not necessarily mean that the teaching included a tribulation period FOLLOWING THAT for the other Christians. . . . It would not be right to take for granted that Margaret MacDonald believed in a tribulation period following the appearing of Christ unless she had definitely said so. Rather, it would be more logical to think that her view would have been the same as prevalent among the futurists at that time, that is, tribulation then the second coming. (Bray, Origin, pp. 20-21).

Another point MacPherson makes to support his opinion is that Margaret Macdonald was the first person to teach a coming of Christ that would precede the days of Antichrist. (Cover-Up, pp. 155-56.) This would mean, according to MacPherson, that Macdonald had to be teaching a two-stage coming. However, it is highly questionable, as noted above, that Macdonald was referring to the rapture as MacPherson insists. Also Macdonald was still a historicist; she believed the Church was already in the tribulation and had been for hundreds of years. Therefore, the Antichrist was to be soon revealed, but before the second coming. She said believers needed the spiritual sight, so that they would not be deceived. Otherwise, why would believers, including herself, need to be filled with the Spirit in order to escape the deception which will accompany the fiery trial which is to try us associated with the Antichrist’s arrival? Further, she certainly includes herself as one who needs this special ministry of the Holy Spirit as can be seen from this passage from her “revelation.”

. . . now shall the awful sight of a false Christ be seen on this earth, and nothing but the living Christ in us can detect this awful attempt of the enemy to deceive . . . The Spirit must and will be purged out on the church, that she may be purified and filled with God . . . There will be outward trial too, but ’tis principally temptation. It is brought on by the outpouring of the Spirit, and will just increase in proportion as the Spirit is poured out. The trial of the Church is from the Antichrist. It is by being filled with the Spirit that we shall be kept. I frequently said, Oh be filled with the Spirit–have the light of God in you, that you may detect satan–be full of eyes within–be clay in the hands of the potter–submit to be filled, filled with God. . . . This is what we are at present made to pray much for, that speedily we may all be made ready to meet our Lord in the air–and it will be. Jesus wants his bride. His desire is toward us. (Hoax, pp. 127-28)

Ryrie also notes a further misunderstanding of Macdonald’s “prophecy”: She saw the church (us) being purged by Antichrist. MacPherson reads this as meaning the church will be raptured before Antichrist, ignoring the “us” (pp. 154-55). In reality, she saw the church enduring Antichrist’s persecution of the Tribulation days. (Charles Ryrie, What You Should Know About the Rapture (Moody, 1981), p. 71.)

Further, there is no historical evidence that Macdonald, Edward Irving, or the Irvingites ever held to pretribulationism. So how could non-pretribulationists be the source of pretribulationism? Recently, one of the most extensive critical analysis ever produced on Irvingite doctrine declared that they were still historicist, while Darby and the Brethren had become futurist. Columba G. Flegg notes that the Brethren teaching on the rapture and the present invisible and spiritual nature of the church,

were in sharp contrast to Catholic Apostolic teaching, . . . There were thus very significant differences between the two eschatologies, and attempts to see any direct influence of one upon the other seem unlikely to succeedthey had a number of common roots, but are much more notable for their points of disagreement. Several writers [referring specifically to MacPherson] have attempted to trace Darbys secret rapture theory to a prophetic statement associated with Irving, but their arguments do not stand up to serious criticism. (Columba Graham Flegg, Gathered Under Apostles A Study of the Catholic Apostolic Church (Clarendon Press, 1992), p. 436.)

Second, in spite of MacPherson’s great amount of research and writing he has yet to produce any hard evidence that Darby was influenced by Macdonald’s utterance, regardless of what they meant. MacPherson only assumes the connection. If MacPherson’s suppositional approach were applied to the study of history, then we can make all kinds of connections between people and events. It would mean that you could prove that since Hubert Humphrey had a slick lawyer’s mind, was in Washington D.C. during the early 70’s, and was well-informed, he must have known about the Watergate break-in before it became public. Walvoord observes that,

Readers of MacPherson’s Incredible Cover-Up will undoubtedly be impressed by the many long quotations, most of which are only window dressing for what he is trying to prove. When it gets down to the point of proving that either MacDonald or Irving was pretribulationist, the evidence gets very muddy. The quotations MacPherson cites do not support his conclusion. (Walvoord, The Blessed Hope and the Tribulation, p. 44.)

Throughout MacPherson’s writings, he keeps dumping information about issues, developments, and beliefs from Great Briton during the early 1800’s apparently thinking that he is adding proof for his thesis, that the popular Pre-Trib Rapture teaching of today was really instigated by a teenager in Scotland who lived in the early 1800’s. (Hoax, p. 7.) Much of the information is helpful and interesting, but does not prove his thesis. If his research were represented as a river, it would be a mile wide (amount of information) but only an inch deep (actual proof). Even if Darby developed the pretrib rapture after Macdonald’s utterance, specific proof would be needed to make a link between Macdonald and Darby. Instead MacPherson only offers speculative guesses about how Darby used his training for the law profession to manipulate Christians by hiding the supposed true origins of the pretrib rapture. Perhaps MacPherson is using his investigative, journalism training and experience to publicly smear Darby. This leads to my final point.

Third, Brethren writer, Roy A. Huebner claims and documentshis belief that J. N. Darby first began to believe in the pre-trib rapture and develop his dispensational thinking while convalescing from a riding accident during December 1826 and January 1827. (R. A. Huebner, Precious Truths Revived and Defended Through J. N. Darby, Vol. 1 [Present Truth Publishers, 1991].) If this is true, and there is every reason to believe that it is, then all of the origin-of-the-rapture-conspiracy-theories fall to the ground in a heap of speculative rubble. Darby would have at least a three-year jump on any who would have supposedly influenced his thought, making it impossible for all the influence theories to have any credibility.

Huebner provides clarification and evidence that Darby was not influenced by Margaret Macdonald, Lacunza, Edward Irving, or any of the Irvingites. These are all said by the detractors of Darby and the pre-trib rapture to be bridges that led to Darbys thought. Instead, Huebner demonstrates that Darbys understanding of the pre-trib rapture was the product of the development of his personal interactive thought with the text of Scripture as he, his friends, and dispensationalists have long contended.

Darbys pre-trib and dispensational thoughts, says Huebner, were developed from the following factors: 1) he saw from Isaiah 32 that there was a different dispensation coming . . . that Israel and the Church were distinct (Precious Truths, p. 17). 2) During his convalescence JND learned that he ought daily to expect his Lords return. (Precious Truths, p. 19). 3) In 1827 JND understood the fall of the church. . . the ruin of the Church (Precious Truths, p. 18). 4) Darby also was beginning to see a gap of time between the rapture and the second coming by 1827 (Precious Truths, p. 23). 5) Darby, himself, said in 1857 that he first started understanding things relating to the pre-trib Rapture thirty years ago. With that fixed point of reference, Jan. 31, 1827, declares Huebner, we can see that Darby had already understood those truths upon which the pre-tribulation rapture hinges (Precious Truths, p. 24).

German author Max S. Weremchuk has produced a major new biography on Darby entitled John Nelson Darby: A Biography(Loizeaux Brothers, 1992). He agrees with Huebners conclusions concerning the matter. Having read MacPhersons book . . . says Weremchuk, I find it impossible to make a just comparison between what Miss MacDonald prophesied and what Darby taught. It appears that the wish was the father of the idea (Weremchuk, Darby, p. 242).

When reading Darbys earliest published essay on biblical prophecy (1829), it is clear that while it still has elements of historicism, it also reflects the fact that for Darby, the rapture was to be the churchs focus and hope. Even in this earliest of essays, Darby expounds upon the rapture as the churchs hope.

In addition to the above points, there have been at least three pre-Darby rapture discoveries in the last decade. Evidence of pretribulationism surfaces during the early medieval period in a sermon some attribute to Ephraem the Syrian entitled Sermon on The Last Times, The Antichrist, and The End of the World. The sermon was written some time between the fourth and sixth century. The rapture statement reads as follows:

Why therefore do we not reject every care of earthly actions and prepare ourselves for the meeting of the Lord Christ, so that he may draw us from the confusion, which overwhelms all the world? . . . For all the saints and elect of God are gathered, prior to the tribulation that is to come, and are taken to the Lord lest they see the confusion that is to overwhelm the world because of our sins.

This statement evidences a clear belief that all Christians will escape the tribulation through a gathering to the Lord. How else can this be understood other than as pretribulational? The later second coming of Christ to the earth with the saints is mentioned at the end of the sermon.

Francis Gumerlock, an anti-pretribulationist, claims that someone named Brother Dolcino taught a form of the pre-trib rapture in 1304. The reason that Gumerlock believes that Brother Dolcino and the Apostolic Brethren taught pretribulationism is found the following statement:

Again, [Dolcino believed and preached and taught] that within those three years Dolcino himself and his followers will preach the coming of the Antichrist. And that the Antichrist was coming into this world within the bounds of the said three and a half years; and after he had come, then he [Dolcino] and his followers would be transferred into Paradise, in which are Enoch and Elijah. And in this way they will be preserved unharmed from the persecution of Antichrist. And that then Enoch and Elijah themselves would descend on the earth for the purpose of preaching [against] Antichrist. Then they would be killed by him or by his servants, and thus Antichrist would reign for a long time. But when the Antichrist is dead, Dolcino himself, who then would be the holy pope, and his perserved followers, will descend on the earth, and will preach the right faith of Christ to all, and will convert those who will be living then to the true faith of Jesus Christ. (Gumerlocks translation of the Latin text in Francis Gumerlock, A Rapture Citation in the Fourteenth Century, Bibliotheca Sacra (July-Sept. 2002), pp. 354-55.)

Gumerlock clearly believes that this is a pretrib rapture statement as he concludes:

Two things are fairly certain from The History of Brother Dolcino. First, Dolcino and the Apostolic Brethren believed that the purpose of the rapture was related to the escape of the saints from the end-time tribulation and persecution of the Antichrist. Second, Dolcino and the Apostolic Brethren believed that there would be a significant gap of time between the rapture of the saints to paradise and their subsequent descent to earth. Because of this The History of Brother Dolcino stands as yet another literary witness for the existence of pretribulationism before the nineteenth century. As such, it challenges evangelicals to reevaluate their thinking about the history of the pretribulational rapture, especially those views that place the origin of the teaching or its initial recovery within the last two hundred years. For this fourteenth-century text demonstrates that there were some in the Middle Ages who held a theology of the rapture that includes basic elements in pretribulationalism. (A Rapture Citation, p. 362)

Frank Marotta believes that Thomas Collier in 1674 makes reference to a pretribulational rapture, but rejects the view, (Frank Marotta, Morgan Edwards: An Eighteenth Century Pretribulationist (Present Truth Publishers, 1995), pp. 10-12.) thus showing his awareness that such a view was being taught. One could not have objected to something that did not exist.

Perhaps the clearest reference to a pretrib rapture before Darby comes from Baptist Morgan Edwards (founder of Brown University) in 1742-44 who saw a distinct rapture three and a half years before the start of the millennium. During his student days at Bristol Baptist Seminary in England (1742-44), Morgan Edwards wrote an essay for eschatology class on his views of Bible prophecy. This essay was later published in Philadelphia (1788) under the following title: Two Academical Exercises on Subjects Bearing the following Titles; Millennium, Last-Novelties. The term in the title “Last-Novelties” refers to what we would call today the eternal state; “novelties” refers to the new conditions of the future new heavens and new earth, not that he had a novel view of the Bible. Upon reading the 56-page work, it is evident that Edwards published it with only minor changes from his student days. Thus, it represents a view that he had developed by the early 1740s. Thus, we can date Edwards pretribulationism as originating in the early 1740s. The pretribulationism of Morgan Edwards can be see in the following statement from his book:

II. The distance between the first and second resurrection will be somewhat more than a thousand years.

I say, somewhat more, because the dead saints will be raised, and the living changed at Christ’s “appearing in the air” (I Thes. iv. 17); and this will be about three years and a half before the millennium, as we shall see hereafter: but will he and they abide in the air all that time? No: they will ascend to paradise, or to some one of those many “mansions in the father’s house” (John xiv. 2), and so disappear during the foresaid period of time. The design of this retreat and disappearing will be to judge the risen and changed saints; for “now the time is come that judgment must begin,” and that will be “at the house of God” (I Pet. iv. 17) . . . (p. 7; emphasis added; the spelling of all Edwards quotes have been modernized)

What has Edwards said? Note the following:

He believes that at least 1,003.5 years will transpire between resurrections.

He associates the first resurrection with the rapture in 1 Thessalonians 4:17, occurring at least 3.5 years before the start of the millennium (i.e., at least 3.5 years before the second coming of Christ at the start of the millennium).

He associates the meeting of believers with Christ in the air and returning to the Father’s house with John 14:2, as do modern pretribulationists.

He sees believers disappearing during the time of the tribulation, which he goes on to describe in the rest of the section from which the rapture statement is taken.

He, like modern pretribulationists, links the time in heaven, during the tribulation, with the “bema judgment of believers.

It is clear that Edwards believed in a two-staged return of Christ at least 85 years before Darby. Edwards pre-Darby statement is something that MacPherson cannot answer. I am not claiming that Darby was influenced by Morgan Edwards.


F.F. Bruce’s conclusion as to where Darby got the doctrine of the pretrib rapture appears to be correct. It was in the air in the 1820s and 1830s among eager students of unfulfilled prophecy, . . . direct dependence by Darby on Margaret Macdonald is unlikely. (F. F. Bruce, Review of The Unbelievable Pre-Trib Origin in The Evangelical Quarterly, (Jan-Mar, 1975), p. 58.) Dave MacPherson has failed to demonstrate that Macdonald’s prophecy contains latent rapture ideas, nor has he linked Darby to her influence with clear, historical evidence. This is why the doctrine of the pretribulational rapture did not begin with Margaret Macdonald. Perhaps Darby’s training at Dublin accounts for many of his views, especially his views of the nature of the church.

Walvoord concludes, any careful student of Darby soon discovers that he did not get his eschatological views from men, but rather from his doctrine of the church as the body of Christ, a concept no one claims was revealed supernaturally to Irving or Macdonald. Darby’s views undoubtedly were gradually formed, but they were theologically and biblically based rather than derived from Irving’s pre-Pentecostal group. (Walvoord, The Blessed Hope and the Tribulation, p. 47.)

Source: http://www.raptureready.com/dave-macpherson/

Books promoting right division available at: http://pmiministries.com/books.htm


Israel and the Church Body are NOT the same

January 19, 2018 1 comment

Dr. Mike Johnston

The premise of this thesis is simple. When the Bible is rightly divided, it shows that Israel and the church are not the same. In fact, they are as different as heaven and earth (Gen. 1:1), and mystery and prophecy; each with separate programs governing them (Rom. 16:25; Acts 3:21). It’s not difficult to see the divisive results from disregarding this God ordained distinction.

To begin with, Israel is God’s premier elect NATION on earth (Deut. 7:6; Isa. 45:4). She exists from prophecy spoken in “time past” by the mouth of the prophets “since the world began” (Luke 1:70; Acts 3:21; see Matt. 25:34). Bear in mind, prophecy enhances or explains events surrounding earth, and Israel’s divine appointment to earth’s destiny, featuring the King and His Kingdom. It is Israel to whom God’s prophets presented five covenants guiding and guaranteeing her future on earth, including a lineage, land, laws, and a Lord – King – that began with Abraham and will continue through the Millennium. It is for Israel that the earthly kingdom was “prepared from the foundation of the world” (Matt. 25:34) and through whom the Messiah was born and to whom He was presented, rejected, and yet one day will return to fulfill the Lord’s prophetic prayer, “thy kingdom come, thy will be done, in earth…” (Matt. 6:10). It is to Israel the Lord Jesus explained this Davidic Covenant Kingdom will be inaugurated following His visible Revelation in Jerusalem (Matt. 24; see Zech. 14; Rev. 1:7; 19:11-21) “immediately after the tribulation” (Matt. 24:21, 29).

The church, on the other hand, has NO inheritance on earth, and no sustaining purpose here (study Eph. 1-3; Col. 3:1-6). She is the Lord’s heavenly BODY (Eph. 1:3; 2:6); a mystery “kept secret since the world began” (Rom. 16:25), given to Paul alone by our heavenly risen Lord Jesus Christ (Eph. 1:20) in a personal post ascension revelation (Rom. 16:25; Gal. 1:12; Eph. 3:1-9). Currently the church occupies a temporary position on earth during Israel’s hiatus between Daniel’s 69th and 70th week (Dan. 9:24-27) to provoke her to jealousy (Rom. 11:11). The Body of Christ was unknown to any of the prophets (Col. 1:26) and therefore was never included in their earthly prophecies featuring Israel’s Davidic Kingdom, and tribulation (“Jacob’s trouble” – Jer. 30:7) preceding it.

To wit, while we can easily find Israel and the anti-Semitic Gentile nations on earth during the tribulation – aka “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jer. 30:7; Dan. 12:1), 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). In fact, if the Body of Christ (church) is present on earth during Israel’s tribulation (Deut. 4:30; Isa. 24; Jer. 30-31; Joel; Zephaniah; Matt. 24; Rev. 6-19), the Holy Spirit went to great lengths to keep us from knowing it. There isn’t a verse anywhere in the Bible clearly and unequivocally placing the Body of Christ on earth for a single moment of Israel’s holocaust without redefining the words “saints” and “elect” and “disciple(s)” which in Daniel, the Olivet Discourse and Revelation specifically refer to Israel.

Books promoting right division available at: http://pmiministries.com/books.htm



Grievous Wolves

December 17, 2017 Leave a comment

Acts 20:28-29 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. 29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.

A hungry wolf spotted a lamb drinking from a stream, and decided to make a meal of it. First though, he thought he should have a reason for devouring it. “Little lamb, why are you muddying the water I’m drinking?”

The lamb replied, “Oh no, sir, that can’t be. I am downstream from where you are drinking.”

Undeterred, the wolf snarled, “Well, then why did you call me bad names this time last year?”

To which the lamb replied, “That can’t be; I am only six months old.”

Angrily, the wolf said, “Well if it wasn’t you, it was your father,” and fell upon the lamb.

With his last breath the lamb bleated out, “Any excuse will suit a tyrant.”

The New Testament refers to people who attempt to infiltrate and pick off members of the Body of Christ as “grievous wolves.” The Apostle Paul warned the church that wolves would come in and would not spare the flock. Any excuse would suit them.

Those who wander away from the Good Shepherd, those who are out on the fringes – they are the ones who will be easy for the wolves to pick off.

Christian, where are you? Are you wandering out on the edges, flirting with the world? Does the grass seem greener in other pastures? Beware, for the wolves are lurking. You would do well to stay close to the protection of the Good Shepherd.

Shared from Dr. Jim Scudder Jr.’s Devotionals

Categories: Misc
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