Saturday, April 28, 2012
Lord, I am so sorry!
The beginning of my trek out of error began with an in depth online Bible study through the Book of Hebrews. Many of my convictions of spiritual truths were made stronger which often happens when I debate scripture. Many of the ones on this study were pastors and teachers and the debate got rather heated at times which is OK because iron sharpens iron and fire refines and removes the dross. I often blame my fiery attitude on being a red headed Irish person but the real reason is that I am a highly committed person to Christ and the doctrinal truths revealed to us in scripture. Or, so I thought.
Heated debates through the first 9 chapters brought me closer to and more convinced of the truths scripture reveals of our Lord and Saviour. Then the bomb when off and I was totally undone. The awesome power of the Word of God exploded in my mind and heart completely destroying a hermeneutic theology I had held tightly to for 25 years. All it took was looking intently at one verse in scripture.
(Heb 10:29 KJV) Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?
It is a sad thing when people undermine the power of the written Word of God for through it God transforms us from faith to faith into the image of His Son. I don’t think this reality of truth would have happened to me if it were not for this study of His Word. It tears away at the error in our minds which we have when we listen only to other peoples interpretation of scripture or even to the error we have in our minds about what we ‘think’ the scripture says to us.
The hermeneutic theology I spoke about is Dispensationalism, or for those who are not familiar with this word, it is the theory (and it is a theory) of the Last Days and the second coming of Jesus Christ. Even when caught up in dispensationalism there was always a question in my mind, one of those ‘something is not right here but I can’t put my finger on it’ type of things. Well, this study revealed to me what that ‘something’ was. My question was, “Why would God set up another temple and sacrificial system in the Millennium?” I found the answer – He won’t! According to this verse in 10:29 that would be anathema and blaspheme to Him, it would be trampling underfoot the Son of God and the blood of the New Covenant and insult Him.
After I was regenerated (born again) I read completely though the Bible and discovered the wise men were not at the birth of Christ. I had been lied to. This made me wonder how many other times I had been lied to and spurred me into a study of the Bible which took 6 to 8 hours a day for 6 years. I found amazing things during that study. This one verse in Hebrews did the same thing. For the next years I studied scripture and everything I could get my hands on to help me see the truth about dispensationalism and I found amazing things.
In my study I was confronted with the many verses which Jesus talked about ‘this generation.’ I found He was, indeed, talking about THAT generation, not THIS generation 1900+ years in the future. Wow, a generation in scripture is 40 years and by no stretch of the imagination can we make it mean a generation of 1970+ years. DING, DING was going off in my head.
Then came these verses where Jesus is talking to His disciples:
Matthew 10:23 (NKJV) "When they persecute you in this city, flee to another. For assuredly, I say to you, you will not have gone through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes.
Matthew 16:27-28 (NKJV) "For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works. 28 "Assuredly, I say to you, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom."
Matthew 24:34 (NKJV) "Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place.
Either we have almost 2000 year old disciples still going through the cities of Israel or Jesus did exactly what He said He would do in THAT generation.
But what made me realize I had been calling Jesus a false prophet and liar (unintentionally) was this quote I found by C S Lewis:
"Say what you like,” we shall be told, “the apocalyptic beliefs of the first Christians have been proved to be false. It is clear from the New Testament that they all expected the Second Coming in their own lifetime. And, worse still, they had a reason, and one which you will find very embarrassing. Their Master had told them so. He shared, and indeed created, their delusion. He said in so many words, ‘this generation shall not pass till all these things be done.’ And he was wrong. He clearly knew no more about the end of the world than anyone else.”
It is certainly the most embarrassing verse in the Bible.
C.S. Lewis, The World's Last Night: And Other Essays, p.97
This caused me to repent and change my mind about dispensationalism. Other things as well, such as realizing that dispensational theology hinges upon two things – The late date of the book of Revelation and the literal rendering of the millennium in that book. I found the late dating of Revelation (96AD) which is accepted as gospel truth all went back to one man, Irenaeus . Because of the writing of one man most everyone believes Rev. was written in 96AD. Kind of like most everyone believes in evolution because of one man, Darwin. I found there is much internal and external evidence (historical writings) that Rev. was written before the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in 70AD. Once I got this figured out all the verses which I had to force to fall in place before simply began falling in place without my forcing them to.
The main thing Dispensationalism prides itself on is its literal interpretation of scripture. But they don’t do this, they don’t take literally the words of Christ and they have to take out of context and twist many, many scriptures in order to make them fit their theory. They take many prophecies of the Old Testament and twist them to make them prophecies for this age. Prophecies which were fulfilled in the Old Testament they take and make them apply to today. That is wrong.
In my studies I have evaluated all the eschatology theories such as Dispensationalism, Amillennium, Historicist, and Preterist. I have come to the conclusion that Preterism is the most faithful to the scriptures. I haven’t got it all figured out yet, but I will. I don’t really know for sure if I fall into the Full Preterist or Partial Preterist camp but that will come.
All I know at this point is I would rather ditch everything I believe about the Last Days than continue to make Jesus Christ into a false prophet and deceptive liar.
Lord, I am so sorry I ever did this!