Monday, November 27, 2017

Practical Ultradispensationalism

The following is an old article that was written by a preacher (now in heaven) that I know nothing about. I thought he made some excellent points, and so I decided to share it with you because it is very unlikely that you would ever come across it.

I have never met a man who admitted that he was an ultra-dispensationalist. I have never heard nor read a satisfactory definition of one. I know that the word has a synonym, "hyperdispensationalism," and the propagandist who enjoys resorting to the effective technique of name calling may have his choice of the Greek prefix "hyper" or the Latin "ultra" to hurl at his victim. I am aware that these terms are thrown about promiscuously by Bible teachers who have status in conservative circles, and they are repeated parrot-like by thousands who are simply seeking status among fundamentalists. Usually, an ultradispensationalist is one whose system of dispensational interpretation of the Bible goes beyond your own. That, of course, is the meaning of the prefix "ultra"—over, or beyond. If you are a dispensationalist, and your brother dispensationalist goes beyond the point historically or Scripturally that you do, he is, naturally, an ultra-dispensationalist.

But I would like to call attention to another and perhaps even more deadly ULTRADISPENSATIONALISM that is endangering us today that is receiving little rebuke from any of the publications dedicated to right division. This form of ultradispensationalism I like to think of as PRACTICAL ULTRADISPENSATIONALISM, rather than doctrinal. I submit to you that when we become guilty of any of the following practices, we are ultra in our dispensationalism; that is, we go beyond the Scriptures; the Practical Ultradispensationalist:

I. Makes a Sect of His Dispensationalism

That is, he refuses fellowship with any who do not agree with him in every facet of his teaching on right division of the Word. Not long ago, a lady called our home to inquire about our church services. She was fundamental in her beliefs, she was dispensational, to the point of the Scofield-Darby system, but she belongs to an independent fellowship of fundamental churches, and when she discovered that we were not affiliated with her organization and its system of dispensationalism, she became aloof and would not attend our meetings, even though we assured her of the soundness of the teaching and her welcome in our meetings. Though this lady's dispensationalism began the body of Christ with Pentecost in Acts 2, she was so ultra in regard to her organization and its system she could not see the many, many things we had in common and the sweet fellowshlp we could have enjoyed.

To be honest, we must admit that some of the most sectarian groups we have ever encountered were dispensationalists who took pride in the fact of their non-sectarianism. Many who boast in their being "non-sectarian Christians" are so hide-bound in their dispensationalism that they disfellowship any who vary the slightest from their norms.

II. Mutilates the Scriptures by His Dispensationalism

Foes of right division have often accused us of taking only a portion of the Word and casting the remainder aside. A well-known fundamentalist who has been loud in his condemnation of dispensational Bible study used to say that we took only a slice of the bread of God's Word, while he took the whole loaf. He was, of course, inconsistent, claiming as he did to preach the "Great Commission" of Mark 16, and at the same time attacking with all his might the "healing preachers" who were attempting to carry out the sign program of his commission. But the other side of the picture is that we have been guilty of preaching the mystery and other Pauline truths while neglecting or ignoring the rest of the Bible. The error is not in preaching the great truths of Paul's epistles; it is in failing to give a balanced message and leaving the appearance of disregarding or casting aside the rest of the Book. The revelation of truth concerning the body of Christ needs the background of the gospels; the gospels would not be understandable without the law, the psalms, and the prophets. We need the whole book. Let us not become so ultra in our emphasis on dispensationalism (where ever we find the boundary) that we neglect the rest of the Word.

III. Misses the Sweetness of Spiritual Applications

Closely associated with neglecting the word of God other than Paul's letters is the failure of getting spiritual applications from portions of God's Word that belonged to other companies or other dispensations, by interpretation. Dr. E. W. Bullinger, whose name is often synonymous with ultradispensationalism, said in his excellent book, How To Enjoy The Bible, "All the sweetness, all the blessing, all the truth can be obtained by a wise application, without in the slightest degree impairing the true interpretation. This may be left and preserved in its integrity, and yet something really spiritual may be appropriated by applications all, in fact, that can be desired, without doing any violence to the Divine Word ..." I think it was Dr. Henry Grube who called attention to the fact that I Corinthians 10:11 authorizes four types of Bible study: "Now all these things happened"—I can study any of the Bible as literally true, for these things happened; "unto them for ensamples (Gr. tupos, TYPES)" I can study the Bible for types and shadows: "and they are written for our admonition" I can study the Bible for spiritual applications; "upon whom the ends of the world (ages) are come" I can study the Bible to distinguish the ages, or dispensations. Surely some of God's elect from among the Plymouth Brethren have done the body of Christ a great service through their detailed studies, many still in print, of spiritual applicaticns of Old Testament truths. Who among us has not rejoiced with C. H. Macintosh in many of his studies in type and shadow? If we become so dispensational that we miss the sweetness of these great spiritual truths in type and shadow, we are ULTRA.

IV. Manifests the Spirit of Continuous Criticism

By the grace of God, I think that most of us have grown out of this to a degree, but who cannot remember the time when a believer who was new in dispensational truth was almost afraid to open his mouth around the older believers for fear of being criticized for his choice of words, choice of hymns, etc? We did not dare refer to the "Old Testament" or the "New" without a dissertation on just when the Old was replaced by the New. We dared not use the words "Christmas" or "Easter" lest someone think we were "observing days." It was heresy to sing "Stepping in the Light," because we surely were not "Trying to walk in the steps of the Saviour." In our zeal to stress the fact that our Lord Jesus Christ was a Jew according to the flesh made of a woman, made under the Law, living on Old Testament ground, and coming to die for our sins, not showing us the way but coming to be THE WAY, we forgot another side of the picture. While we do not follow our Lord in His Jewish religion, with its Sabbaths and ceremonies, we do (or should) strive to "let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus." As far as His humility, His kindness, His graciousness, and His love are concerned, we must remember that He left us an example, that we should follow in His steps—not to be saved, but because He lives within. In our zeal to "know Him no more after the flesh," we may have put a stumblingblock in the path of weak Christians who did not even know what we were talking about. If our life is a pattern of criticizing those who fail to speak what has become "dispensational jargon," we are ULTRA.

This message is not an appeal to minimize or de-emphasize the precious truth of right division; it is not designed to discourage anyone from making known the dispensation of the mystery. Surely, too few are doing enough to make these rich truths known. But I am convinced that Satan sometimes uses the friends of dispensationalism to be its greatest hindrance. This truth that was given to us by the risen Christ, through the Apostle Paul, was meant to stress the UNITY of the Spirit, the oneness of all believers in Christ: it is a sad commentary on our depravity that it has, through these forms of ultradispensationalism, become a source of division. A man of God of whom I have heard and whose sweet spirit has been an inspiration to me, even though I was never privileged to meet him face to face, was Brother Elmer Leake, father of Brother Paul Leake. He was quoted as having said, "Brethren, if a wall of separation or sectarianism is ever built between us and any other believers, let's let them do the building". In other words, this dear brother loved all believers and desired fellowship with them through the Lord Jesus Christ. Brother C. R. Stam once wrote, "We look forward to the day when, in God's grace, denominational walls will fall and we can all enjoy our oneness in Christ. Meantime, we seek what fellowship we can find with those who love and trust our Lord in truth, whatever their denominational affiliation."

This statement climaxed an article that this brother wrote on "The Practical Effects of the Mystery" in which he gave an impressive, clear cut message on the preciousness of the preaching of Jesus Christ according to the revelation of the mystery and showed the practical effects this message should have in our lives. When we become so concerned with the letter that we lose the spirit—or when we become so concerned with the minute details of dispensationalism that we lose the realization of our oneness in Christ—we have become ULTRA.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Thanksgiving is Convenient

Ephesians 5:1-4 
[1] Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; 
[2] And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour. 
[3] But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; 
[4] Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.

The words “becometh” and “convenient” have similar meanings. They refer to that which is fitting, proper, or suitable. In this passage Paul mentions six things that are not fitting, proper, or suitable for a Christian to partake in, and then he mentions something that is: giving thanks. Thanksgiving is an integral part of the Christian walk (Col. 2:6-7). An unthankful Christian is very inconvenient. 

In v.4 we are told what kind of talk is not convenient for saints, and the kind that is. The Christian walk is more about what we do than what we don’t do. Upon salvation God took us out of the old man (flesh) and put us in the new man (Body of Christ). By faith we are to practically put off the deeds of old man and put on the deeds of the new man in our daily walk (Eph. 4:22-24). This should show up in our words (Eph. 4:25, 29). 

Corrupt communication comes from a corrupt heart (Eph. 4:22; Matt. 12:33-35). Murmuring and complaining qualify as corrupt communication and foolish talking (Num. 11:1). In light of all God had done for Israel, how foolish it was for them to complain about anything! Their murmuring spread like a disease (1 Cor. 10:10). What about us? God has done even more for the Body of Christ! We should do all things without murmuring (Phil. 2:12-16). Murmuring is the opposite of thanksgiving. Jesting is also corrupt communication. It has to do with telling stories for the purpose of diversion and merriment. Much of what is called preaching today is full of jesting. Bad doctrine is also corrupt communication (1 Cor. 15:33; Titus 2:7-8). 

Thankfulness is a mark of true spirituality (Eph. 5:18-21). In light of ALL that God has done for us (Eph. 1-3), it is convenient for us to constantly be giving Him thanks both privately (Phil. 4:6; Col. 4:2) and publicly (1 Cor. 14:16-17).

It is possible to verbally give thanks without being thankful. Real thanksgiving comes from a thankful heart (Col. 3:15-17). Paul referred to being thankful about 40 times in his 13 epistles. He is our pattern. We should be giving thanks specifically, sincerely, and continually (1 Thess. 5:18). 

Monday, November 13, 2017

More Problems with the NKJV

That the New King James Version (NKJV) is not really a King James Version is proven by the fact that it makes an estimated 100,000 changes to the King James Bible (KJB). In the New Testament alone, the NKJV removes nearly 2,300 words from the KJB! 

In my last post I pointed out some problems with the NKJV. Here are a dozen more for good measure.

1) Gen. 1:1 – The NKJV changed “heaven” to “heavens.” There were not “heavens” (Gen. 2:1) until after the six days of Gen. 1:3-31. 

2) Gen. 2:18 – The NKJV changed “help meet for him” to “helper comparable to him.” I am sure the women libbers like that translation! It waters down the distinction between the roles God designed for husband and wife. The marriage relationship is to be 100/100, not 50/50 

3) Acts 17:22 – The NKJV changed “too superstitious” to “very religious.” In the context Paul was rebuking the men of Athens for being so given over to idolatry that they made an altar with an inscription, “TO THE UNKNOWN GOD” just in case they missed one. The NKJV waters down the rebuke to the point that the men of Athens could have taken it as a compliment! 

4) Rom. 1:18 – The NKJV changed “hold the truth in unrighteousness” to “suppress the truth in unrighteousness.” God’s wrath is revealed against those who POSSESS the truth and yet choose unrighteousness. Saying that it is only revealed against those who SUPPRESS the truth limits God’s wrath to falling on those who actively fight against the truth. 

5) Rom. 1:25 – The NKJV changed “Who changed the truth of God into a lie” to “who exchanged the truth of God for the lie.” Personally changing the truth of God into a lie is a more serious offense than exchanging it for a lie that was made by someone else. 

6) 1 Cor. 1:18 – The NKJV changed “the preaching of the cross” to “the message of the cross” and us which are saved” to “us who are being saved.” It is not just the message of the cross, but the PREACHING of the cross that is foolishness to them that perish. To say that we are “being saved” makes it sound like salvation is a process of works. 

7) 1 Cor. 1:21 – The NKJV changed “the foolishness of preaching” to “the foolishness of the message preached.” The unbelievers may think the cross is foolishness, but the NKJV has Paul calling it foolishness in this verse! Paul is not referring to the message of the cross in this verse, but to the act of preaching. 

8) 2 Cor. 2:17 – The NKJV changed “corrupt the word of God” to “peddling the word of God.” Both are wrong to do, but corrupting the word of God is worse than peddling it. The modern versions are guilty of BOTH. 

9) 1 Thess. 5:22 – The NKJV changed “Abstain from all appearance of evil” to “Abstain from every form of evil” which LOWERS the standard of Christian separation. 

10) 1 Tim. 6:10 – The NKJV changed “the love of money is the root of all evil” to “the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.” The love of money is covetousness. Evil began in the universe with the fall of Lucifer. Both “merchandise” and “traffick” are mentioned in connection with his fall (Ezek. 28:16, 18). The particular evil Paul is referring to in the context is that of false teachers. All false teachers are motivated by covetousness. By the way, this verse exposes the evil motive behind all of the corrupt versions of the Bible. 

11) 2 Tim. 2:15 - The NKJV changed "Study" to "Be diligent." This is the only verse in the Bible that plainly tells us to STUDY the word of God. It also gives us the key to Bible study: rightly dividing the word of truth. All of the modern versions change "rightly dividing," but the NKJV actually left that part alone. However, it still messes up this key verse by changing the word "Study."   
12) 1 Jn. 3:16 – The NKJV changed “Hereby we perceive the love of God, because he laid down his life for us” to “By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us.” The KJB clearly says that it was God who laid down His life for us. This is just one of many verses in the KJB that teach Jesus Christ is God. The NKJV is not as clear. 

More problems could be pointed out, but these should be enough to prove to any reasonable person that the NKJV should be rejected with the rest of the corrupt versions of the Bible. 

Monday, November 6, 2017

What’s Wrong with the New King James Version?

There are some who reject certain modern versions of the Bible (such as the New International Version,  NIV), but they think that other modern versions (such as the New King James Version, NKJV) are acceptable. In other words, they reject the more liberal versions but accept what they consider to be the more conservative versions. For example, the Berean Bible Society does not use the NIV, but it is now selling the NKJV in it’s bookstore. This is not surprising because while the Berean Bible Society has always used the King James Bible (KJB), it’s leaders haven’t really believed it. It is not enough to merely use the KJB, we must believe it. When you don’t really believe the Bible, it is only a matter of time before you start accepting the modern versions. 

While the NKJV is better than the NIV, it is far inferior to the King James Bible. The NKJV is a very dangerous Bible because the closer something appears to being the truth without actually being the complete truth, the more deceptive it is. The NKJV is a transition Bible that will likely lead people to more liberal translations. It takes just a little leaven to the leaven the whole lump. 

The NKJV claims to be an updated version of the KJB. In the preface to the NKJV the claim is made that this new version will unlock “for today’s readers the spiritual treasures found especially in the Authorized Version of the Holy Scriptures.” Sorry, but only the Holy Spirit can do that for a real Bible believer (1 Cor. 2:9-16). The NKJV does not unlock spiritual treasures; it hides them! 

One of the major doctrines that Christ revealed through the apostle Paul for this present age of grace is justification by the faith OF Christ (Rom. 3:22; Gal. 2:16; 3:22; Phil. 3:9). Christ accomplished salvation by His faith. The faith of Christ is perfect and proven. The moment we believe the gospel of the grace of God we are justified by the faith of Christ. That is why we are instantly and permanently justified the moment we believe and do not have to prove our faith by works in order to be justified in this age of grace (compare James 2:14-26). The NKJV hides this spiritual treasure by changing every reference to the “faith OF Christ” to say “faith IN Christ.” 

There are many problems with the NKJV. 

The NKJV demotes Jesus Christ in a number of passages.
                             NKJV                                                                    KJB 
Gen. 22:8.         “God will provide for himself the lamb”      “God will provide himself a lamb”
Matt. 18:26      “before him saying, Master”                          “and worshipped him, saying, Lord”
Matt. 20:20      “kneeling down”                                              “worshipping him”
John 8:35          “a son”                                                              “the Son”
Acts 3:13, 26    “His Servant Jesus”                                         “his Son Jesus”
Acts 4:27, 30    “holy Servant Jesus”                                       “holy child Jesus” 

The NKJV deletes important words from the Bible. It deleted “Lord” 66 times, “God” 51 times, “JEHOVAH” entirely, “blood” 23 times, “soul” 137 times, “damnation” entirely, “hell” 22 times, “heaven” 50 times, “repent” 44 times, “New Testament” entirely, etc…

The NKJV is supposed to be easier to understand than the KJB. So, why does it change:
“oak” (Gen. 35:4) to “terebinth trees” 
“sun was up” (Judg. 8:13) to “Ascent of Heres”
“tree” (1 Sam. 22:6) to “tamarish tree”
“fatherless” (Lam. 5:3) to “waifs” 
“princes” (Dan. 6:2) to “satraps”
“a penny” (Matt. 20:2) to “a denarius” 
“deputy” (Acts 18:12) to “proconsul”
“thousands” (Acts 21:20) to “myriads”
“riot” (Titus 1:6) to “dissipation”
“unruly” (Titus 1:6) to “insubordination” 

Do you really think the KJB is hard to understand because it says “thee” and “ye?” Actually, those words are very helpful in Bible study. In the KJB the words “thee,” “thou,” and “thine” are always singular, and the words “you” and “ye” are always plural. This makes a difference in understanding certain passages. The English of the KJB is superior to modern English. How come nobody wants to update Shakespeare? 

There are doctrinal problems with the NKJV. For example, it says “difficult is the way” to life (Matt. 7:14) instead of “narrow is the way.” It says that “God is Spirit” instead of “God is a Spirit” (Jn. 4:24). It says that we are to “Reject a divisive man” instead of a “heretick” in Titus 3:10. Christ was a divisive man in His earthly ministry, but He certainly was not a heretick (Lk. 12:51; Jn. 7:43; 9:16; 10:19)! It tells us to “imitate Christ” instead of following Him (1 Cor. 11:1) and to be “imitators of God” (Eph. 5:1). Satan is an imitator of God and his antichrist will imitate Christ! It changes the mark of the beast from being “IN their right hand” to being “ON their right hand” (Rev. 13:16). 

There are many other problems we could point out about the NKJV, but this should suffice in proving to you that it is a corrupt translation that needs to be rejected right along with the NIV, ESV, CEV, etc…

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