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Monthly Archives: February 2011

Thinking About Moving to the Middle? Think Again…


The Truthinator has been thinking about this thing about being in the middle of the road when it comes to Theological issues. Too often, in my opinion, we see the idea that the best way to operate is to move toward the middle of a discussion to look for common ground with your discussion counterpart(s) being deployed. This approach may work well in a Rotary Club meeting but is it the best way to conduct Theological debate? Let’s look at what happens to people who move to the middle in other aspects of life…

A tennis player who plays in the middle of the court will get caught in the net.

A golfer who shoots ‘par’ will miss the cut at most tournaments.

A football player who stands in the middle of a scrimmage setup will be penalized for being offsides.

A hockey player who plays the middle of the ice will miss 99% of the action of the game.

A rodeo clown who stands in the middle of the ring will get stuck by a bull.

An ice-skater who stays in the middle of the pond will risk falling through the ice.

A fowl hunter who stands in the middle of the hunting field will be shot.

A mailman who stays in the middle of the road will never be able to deliver the mail.

An antelope in the middle of a pack of lions will be eaten.

So it appears that the best way to go about life is to stay around its edges!

Now for the lesson. Where in the Bible is finding middle ground (compromise) in a Theological discussion talked about as being a good thing? Nowhere. In the Garden of Eden, Satan suggested that Eve compromise the clear and precise command that God had given. She did and the rest is history. All throughout the Old Testament, God’s chosen people continually moved away from the crystal-clear instructions God had given them in order to get closer to the pagan activities of other nations (moving toward the middle). How did this work out? Not well. In the New Testament, how many times did Jesus suggest that the best way to resolve differences with the Pharisees was to find middle ground with them and begin negotiations there? Zero. How many times did Jesus say that He had a guaranteed way to Heaven but there were other options if people desired to take a more ecumenical path? Zero. How many times did the New Testament writers under the guidance of the Holy Spirit say that Theological differences with those who teach a different message than the apostles should be met in the middle to agree on a compromise in order to keep the peace? Zero. And lastly, what does God say about those who are neither hot nor cold (those in the Theological middle)? They make Him sick at His stomach (Rev 3).

Wow! You would think that God must have meant what He said in His book, wouldn’t you? Compromise, moving to the middle, striking a deal, finding something you can agree on when you cannot agree on dogmatic Bible teaching and other such euphemisms for backing off the standard established by God in His word are NEVER mentioned.

Read the Bible, believe the Bible, do what the Bible says.

 
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Posted by on February 17, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Middle of the Road (Satire)


Are you being coerced into “broadening your church’s appeal” to the world? Ever thought about relinquishing your firm stance on doctrine in order to be seen as tolerant by those who do not hold to sound doctrine? Ever been encouraged to “find common ground” with theological combatants? Moving to the middle of the road results in being found squashed! Stand strong. God establishes, maintains, and perfects the faith of His own.
 
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Posted by on February 16, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Dispensational Thought for the Day #5 (part 3)


Dispensational Thought #5 (part 3) : The Rapture of the church is not mentioned by name in the Bible, so why do many people believe in it?

Please read parts 1 & 2 prior to this piece so that you will be up to speed on what we have discussed thus far. Without further ado, let’s begin.

Let’s dwell a bit upon the Church and her whereabouts during the tribulation. First off, yes, I believe there will  be a literal 7-year tribulation period. Why else would God communicate all of the information to John if He were not serious about it? To spiritualize the book of the Revelation to the point of rendering it meaningless is a grave and dangerous error. And another thing, the events of the tribulation period have not occurred before upon this earth. Please do not get caught up in spiritual mystery novels & religious science fiction. The Bible is to be taken literally unless it is obviously speaking in hyperbole or metaphor.

God mentions protecting the Church (Philadelphia) from the ‘hour of trial’ that will come upon the entire earth. Many believe the letters to the churches represent not only literal churches that actually existed but also types of ages that the Church will go through. Some may argue against this tack but, even if this method is not the correct way to deal with the material concerning the letters to the churches, there remains throughout the Bible adequate reason to support the rapture of God’s Church prior to the tribulation period. 

So where is the Church? In chapter4, John gets translated into Heaven to watch the events of the end unfold. Some have claimed that this represents the rapture but it does not. The act of John getting translated into Heaven was exactly that. He gets taken into Heaven to see the events that will unfold before him. Last time, I mentioned that when he gets there, he sees a great multitude dressed in white robes and is told that these were taken out of great tribulation (Rev 7). Similar Greek wording for ‘taken out’ is used for how these people get to Heaven as compared to the wording for the church of Philadelphia’s being kept from the hour of great trial back in chapter 3. The people in chapter 7 are most likely people who are saved and martyred during the tribulation period. These people made a transition from living on earth to living in Heaven. The similar wording with chapter 3 would suggest that the chapter 3 people made a transition as well.

Notice in chapters 4 & 5 when John goes into Heaven, he sees 24 elders worshipping God. When the Lamb of God (Jesus) appears to open the title deed to God’s Creation, the elders worship Him and sing a song of redemption to Him. Notice in chapter 5 how they sing that Jesus has redeemed them with His blood. Exactly whom has Jesus redeemed with His blood. ONLY THOSE WHO ARE SAVED a.k.a. the Church. No one can sing a song of personal redemption except those who are personally redeemed. This represents the Church being in Heaven at the time that John arrives to witness the events of the end.

This group cannot be redeemed Israel since the nation is not yet redeemed. The tribulation saints are yet to be mentioned (chapter 7). Since there is no mention of the Church anywhere else in Revelation during the tribulation period, the 24 elders must represent the complete body of the redeemed that were taken into Heaven prior to the beginning of the tribulation period.

So, this area of scripture tells us about the Church’s location during the tribulation. Chapter 7 talks about the sealing of 144,000 of the tribes of the children of Israel in order for them to be able to do God’s work during the tribulation period. Next, the tribulation martyrs are mentioned. So, if the church is still on earth, where is she mentioned? Nowhere. There is no reason at all to believe that the Church will ride out the tribulation on earth. The church will be otherwise occupied singing redemption’s song before the throne of God!

The entire Bible is a book about redemption. God has redeemed those who are saved via grace through faith in Christ. To think that God would allow His Church, the body of Christ, to ride out the tribulation period on earth with no mention of any type of protection mechanism or discussion of her duties or transition into Heaven is absurd. I am sorry but that is the truth. Please do not get caught up into fantasy stories about how this group is really another group and this time is really another time and this filter has to be used here and that filter has to be used there and so on… Just read the Bible and understand it as it was written! Praise God for his word!

Join me next time for more discussion.

 
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Posted by on February 14, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Dispensational Thought for the Day #5 part 2


Dispensational Thought #5 (part 2) : The Rapture of the church is not mentioned by name in the Bible, so why do many people believe in it?

There is no mention by name that the rapture will occur and no direct details on how or when it will occur in precision form. So what? There is also no mention of the law of gravity nor is there an explanation of how gravity works but does that mean there is no gravity on earth? Of course not.

The Truthinator believes in the Rapture for several reasons and I will begin with this one. I believe the Bible implies that God will keep His Church safe during the tribulation by removing her as opposed to keeping her safe in the midst of it. I see God keeping His remnant safe during such trials as the flood, lop-sided wars, lion’s dens, furnaces and so forth under the old covenant. He indeed preserved His people through many horrific events.

When Christ died (gave up His spirit) on the cross, the temple veil was torn through from top to bottom. Everything would change. God would now deal with a Church (Body of Christ) that would be composed of recipients of grace under a new covenant. Jews, Gentiles, slave, free, rich, poor, fat, slim, and you get the picture. Christ rose, appeared to many, ascended, and sat down at the right hand of the Father sending the Holy Spirit to indwell believers!

This is a totally new way of interacting with His people. Now, when we look at Revelation  3:10 where God promises to keep the church of Philadelphia ( a real church and a type of church) out of the hour of trial that is due to come upon the entire world, the Greek word Ek is used for “out” . Ek has several forms and each form connotes action resulting in removal from a place of origin or movement from a beginning point. God did not promise to keep them through the world-wide trial that was coming. A possible word for keeping them safe throughout the great trial could have been ‘di’ or ‘dia’ among others. He could have said that He would keep them safe during or throughout the trial but He did not. He promised to keep them out of the coming world-wide trial.

Also look at Rev 7. God seals 12,000 of each of the 12 tribes of Israel. What did He do for the Church? Nothing because the Church is no longer on earth (IMHO). Look at verses that follow. John sees a multitude of every nation and type arrayed in white robes. The angel later tells John that these are the ones who came out of the great constriction or trial. The Greek word, Ek, is used again. Also notice that John gets translated into Heaven and the Church is already there… and they were taken out of the great trial that would be world-wide. Pretribulation rapture!

Ok, that is enough for today. What I have told you thus far is not an exhaustive treatment of the issue. I will continue next time with more of my thoughts on the issue. Am I dogmatic on this issue? Well, yes & no. I thoroughly believe what I have told you but I concede to you that there is room for discussion. More tomorrow…

 
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Posted by on February 10, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Dispensational Thought for the Day #5 part 1


Thanks for your viewership thus far, the numbers for these posts have been huge! Please respond if you wish.

Dispensational Thought #5 (part 1) : The Rapture of the church is not mentioned in the Bible, so why do many people believe in it?

This is part one of probably several posts that will talk about the rapture. First of all, there are no verses or chapters that tell us about the rapture directly. As a matter of fact, I do not believe any verses directly address the rapture. Many Dispensationalists will disagree with me on this but that is OK. I just do not see where there is a lesson on the rapture in scripture of a direct nature. So, why do I believe there will be a rapture? Great question.

Let me digress for a moment and I will begin to answer the question in the 2nd part of this post series. It is critical to retain proper thinking when interpreting scripture. You can NEVER pull a verse and use it out of context with the chapter and book in which it is found. I will give you an example. Matthew 18:20 is often quoted prior to congregational prayer; however, the verse is in a section of a chapter that deals exclusively with church discipline! To say that God hears our prayers whenever two or more are gathered together misleads people into believing that God does not hear individual prayers and that prayers offered by groups are always superior to individual prayers which is never mentioned nor implied anywhere in scripture.

Another point to be made here is that the Bible often corroborates itself by reinforcing principles in more than one place within the body of scripture. Be careful of points of interest that seem to stand alone. Many think the rapture is such a point. They do not see it mentioned and do not see a corroboration anywhere else in scripture. Then why would I believe in such a concept as the rapture? Tune in next time for the beginning of my explanation.

 
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Posted by on February 8, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Dispensational Thought for the Day #4


Continuing with the information discussed in item #3, please consider

#4 The use of the allegorical hermeneutic by the Reformed people is tricky and even risky.

My Reformed friends aren’t going to like hearing this but it is true. Keep reading… Look, the use of allegory can be a train wreck if the person controlling the switch flips it too quickly or keeps it flipped for too long. And how does a person come to know how and when to flip the allegory switch? Think about the railroad switchmen who flipped the heavy levers that moved the small section of traintrack allowing a train to modify its course. Boy, if they made an error of timing, catastrophe would result.

The Reformed people use a fairly large allegory filter to view scripture. They see Israel transmogrify into the church at some point and cease to be a nation yet there is enough New Testament talk about Israel and the church to place their hermeneutic in question (note: all Reformed people may not do this but many do).

Look carefully at Romans 11 for example. I am not saying that Romans 11 is easy for Dispensationalists to translate and understand but scripture seems to be clearly continuing the distinction between Israel, the Church, and Gentiles. Some people from the nation of Israel become members of the Chruch along with some Gentiles by God’s grace is the idea. That does not eliminate the nation from possible future salvation in part or in whole.

Then there is the book of the Revelation. To use allegory here can allow a person to make scripture mean practically anything. We will zoom in upon individual details later but suffice it to say that the Truthinator does not understand the sweeping use of allegory as a justifiable hermeneutic.

I see the Bible being written in order for people to be able to read it and understand what is possible for them and to take on faith the futuristic information based upon God’s power and ability to deliver what He has promised. The Dispensational framework uses a “take the literal stuff as literal and the obviously symbolic stuff as such” if you will pardon my paraphrase. I do not believe the Bible was written as a code that would have to be deciphered later. This would give much too much power to the supposed holder of the deciphering key thus placing us back into Roman Catholicism again. I do not believe any of the writers wrote in code. Why not? Because none of the human tools for taking down God’s inspired word knew the result of their efforts would eventually become the Bible. They were writing to a primary audience.

The writers were writing letters and keeping records. Do people write their letters and keep their records in some kind of code? Maybe sometimes but not usually. They usually want people to be able to understand what they write. Also, the Bible itself places strong warnings against adding to and taking away from its message.

Please consider what I have written and respond if you like. We will continue with another installment soon. Thank you for your kind attention.

 
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Posted by on February 2, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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