A former church friend has been posting a series of articles on Facebook that claim that God's law was nailed to the cross and no longer applies. In the course of our discussions, I've sent him a series of questions to help him ponder his position. Perhaps these same questions can help other believers who have been deceived.
Dispensationalism is the teaching that history has been divided into seven different sections, or dispensations, in which the people of God in each time period have a different testing for sin and a different method of judgment by God. It dates back to the 1800’s, and is widely taught and believed among most Christian denominations today.
The idea of a pretribulation rapture has been around for awhile, and gained popularity when the fictional “Left Behind” series was written. The idea is that Jesus will come snatch his people from earth before all of the final tribulation and plagues detailed in the book of Revelation, thus saving us from having to endure these events. The people who are “left behind” will then either repent and be saved at the second coming, or face hellfire in the end. Let’s investigate to see if this idea is scriptural.
“Take heed that no man deceive you.” These are the first words out of our Saviour’s mouth when his disciples asked him about the sign of his second coming. Matthew 24:4. He warns that many shall be deceived. In Matthew 7:14 he told us that his way to life is a narrow way which few find. If we believe the Bible, we must realize what this means for us. If you are following the majority instead of the few, you probably need to rethink your path.
Jesus made several statements about himself, referencing the fact that the Old Testament was about him. John 5:39-47 is one such passage. Here He states both that “the scriptures” (which in His day consisted solely of the Old Testament) “testify of me”, and that Moses “wrote of me”. Luke 24:25-27 records that after his resurrection, on the road to Emmaus, he began “at Moses and all the prophets” and “expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.”
Most Christians automatically assume that we are living in New Covenant times, mostly because of the manmade way the Bible was divided into Old and New Covenant (Testament) sections. Everything beginning with Matthew is regarded as referring to the time of the New Covenant. Yet, when looking at the wording of the new covenant, you’ll find two startling facts: 1) the language is all future tense, despite Hebrews 8 having been written well after the death and resurrection of the Messiah, and 2) the events that define the new covenant are events that have not yet occurred.
Recently in this column, it was shown that God’s law, and the idea of being saved by faith rather than works of the law, is consistent in both the first and the new covenants. (You can see that aticle here: http://nailedtocross.com/index.php/articles/law-and-grace/13-old-law-new-grace) As a reminder, the new covenant states in Hebrews 8:10, “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, said the LORD; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people.” It is God’s law in our hearts and mind that make us part of this new covenant.
Are you familiar with the concept of something being “lost in translation” when two languages are being used? Seldom is everything cut and dried with a single definitive translation. Therefore, one of my favorite methods of Bible study involves studying the original language (Hebrew for Old Testament, Greek for New Testament) to better determine what a verse is saying. Often you can shed much light on a confusing or controversial interpretation of a text when you delve into the original language.
There is much confusion today as to what the term “Israel” means in Scripture, and for good reason, as it is used to mean a number of different things. Yet, understanding the meaning of the word is instrumental in understanding the prophecies that apply to Christians living in the final days of this earth’s history.
Until 1924, heroin was a legal drug, produced by the same company that still gives us Bayer Aspirin today. It was used as a cough suppressant, and the Boston Medical and Surgical Journal in 1900 assured us that there was “no danger of acquiring a habit”. Yet, by the time heroin was outlawed, an estimated 98% of all drug addicts were addicted to it.
At least two different Jewish organizations are preparing for the building of a new temple in Jerusalem. These groups have been busily preparing for construction by assembling building materials and temple implements. The rebuilding of the temple is also highly anticipated by many Messianic believers (Christians who recognize that Jesus is the Hebrew Messiah who intended to preserve the institutions that God gave to the Hebrews, rather than a generic Messiah who came to start a new religion called Christianity). Unfortunately, I believe that many Messianic teachers are making a fatal error in their interpretation of Scripture, which could end up with their congregations being eternally lost.