Thinking some things through



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  • Thinking some things through

    Hi everyone!

    I would like to mention a few things about myself and some of my understanding of the Scriptures. My views are closer to what is termed Mid-Acts Dispensationalism; although I have a couple of disagreements with some of them. At present they have over 3 hundred congregations in America.

    For those interested, a full explanation of what they believe can be found at the Dispensational Berean site. It was founded by Ben Web about 8 years ago and re-designed by Jeremy Lucas who also has his own Scripture discussion site. Mid-Acts Dispensationalism was not started by Ben but several years ago by such as C. R. Stam and his book “Things That Differ: The Fundamentals of Dispensationalism.”

    Several years ago as a new Believer I had marveled at how there could be some 300 + Christian denominations in America supposedly coming from the same text book. One of the first things I noted was the Old and New Covenants in our bible was incorrectly divided. The Lord when talking to a young man who inquired how to inherit eternal life was told:

    “…if you want to enter life, keep the commandments” (Matt. 19:16-17).

    But Paul said the exact opposite of his gospel.

    “But if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed” (Gal. 1:8, 9).

    From my earliest years, I well remembered Christians often quoting: “without the shedding of blood there is no remission.” Yet, it was sometime later when I began to put the above passages together with my earlier problem of harmonizing Paul’s teaching with the Lord’s words. The more I studied the situation from the Scriptures, the more I realized that the division between the Old and New Covenant in my Bible was incorrect.
    The Hebrews writer said of Christ:

    He is the Mediator of the New Covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance. For where there is a testament, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is in force after men are dead, since it has no power at all while the testator lives (Heb. 9:14‑17).

    And so we read in Gal. 4:4‑5:

    ...when the fullness of time was come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.

    I am sure we all know where redemption was accomplished, which means what is called the “gospels” without distinction of what was being offered and the Lord’s teaching was yet under the Law until sins were paid for at Calvary. The New Covenant starts with the book of Acts, not with Matthew.

    There is no contradiction between Paul and the Lord; but the mixing of two completely different covenants in which there can be no harmony in what each demands. The Lord was simply teaching what the Ten Commandments covenant demanded because the New Covenant could not begin until sins committed under the Old covenant were paid for at the cross.

    Yet we are told that the New Testament began before the Lord was even born. Hardly had the Apostles died when this erroneous teaching began which accounts for the present incorrect division.

    In his dialogue with Trypho, Justin (AD 150) explains the beginning of the New Covenant:

    Moreover, by the works and by the attendant miracles, it is possible for all to understand that He is the new law, and the New Covenant.

    His teaching was that Christ’s teaching, works, and miracles and was the beginning of the new law (Covenant), therefore, the old covenant of law ended with John the Baptist (Lk. 16:16); so did Irenaeus (AD 120-202) and many others follow Justin.

    Since, then, the law originated with Moses, it terminated with John as a necessary consequence. Christ had come to fulfill it: wherefore “the law and the prophets were with them until John. And therefore Jerusalem, taking its commencement from David, and fulfilling its own times, must have an end of legislation when the New Covenant was revealed.

    To keep this post short I will mention why and how the title Mid-Acts title came about. We believe the present Dispensation of Grace was given to and began with the Apostle Paul in Acts. 13:2, 46-47 when he started his first missionary journey to the Gentiles in fulfillment of Acts 9:15.

    We can discuss in later studies where Paul distinctly said his gospel, the present church, this present Dispensation of Grace and the Rapture was a mystery, unrevealed to those before him.

    I realize things I have said sound strange to the ears of most, but does that mean I am wrong? E. W. Bullinger spoke of Christians being like an animal on a tether. It cannot get one blade of grass beyond the end of it. That is what denominationalism and institutions have done to us.

    I realize most of the Lord’s people have to be led, but I wonder if it’s not time for us to get out of the box and start re-thinking for ourselves as to what the Scriptures really say.

    Several years ago when I started to write something about the improper division of the Testaments. Without effort other things began to come to mind and when I had finished, I had written a book of over 150.000 words.

    But then I began to wonder if I had made some horrible mistakes about many of my conclusions. How could I be correct when for two thousand years everyone said I was wrong? Believe me that had a sobering effect on my thinking. So I began to rethink what I thought I believed and come up with the same thing over and over.

    That went on for about two years and then one day I ran across the website “The Dispensational Berean by Ben Web mentioned earlier and many writers listed on his site. Talk about relief. I was not alone anymore. There were many others who never heard of me or the others yet God be thanked we had come up with the same thing.

    But how could such serious mistakes be found in the Holy Bible? How could all the Reformers and others since then almost without number, who spent a lifetime in poring over the Scriptures and written so many books, be so mistaken about something as obvious as the proper separation of the covenants as well as many other things? There could not possibly be a New Covenant until after the Lord’s death.

    The above remarks about the present division of the testaments is not what this post is about, but I used it just to show how we have been misled for two millennia and no one seems to even notice.

    A refusal to acknowledge the above truths, has spawned such as Seventh Day Advents, Seventh Day Baptists, etc, etc., and a whole host of people trying to gain favor with God and get to heaven by keeping the Mosaic Ten Commandments, that only applied to Israel before the cross. The church is not under the law. Neither could Israel keep the law; otherwise there would be no need for the Savior and a New Covenant.

    Not only did the Lord teach the necessity of keeping the commandments to have eternal life, but also instructed the disciples to do as the scribes and Pharisee’s taught.

    The Scribes and Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do (Matt. 23:2-3).

    Are we to do as the Pharisee say; keep the Sabbath, pay a tithe, and make animal sacrifices? Give a writing of divorce to our wife if she doesn’t please us. Without doubt, by questioning the paying of a tithe, some may respond by asking, are you saying we should not pay the pastor a salary? Of course not! What is being said is, nowhere in the NT is it said that we are to give 10 percent of our income to anyone. The teaching of the apostle Paul who founded the present church and Dispensation of Grace is, we are to give freely as the Lord has blessed us, and according to our conscience.

    Is the church composed of 12 tribes? If as the Amillennialists claim, we are the new Israel, to be consistent then, the church should be divided into 12 tribes. The tithe for the 11 tribes was for the upkeep of the tribe of Levi, who had no allotment of land in Israel when it was divided. And to be even more consistent, where is the allotment of lands for the eleven tribes of the church? Are they in America, or Israel, or if we are the kingdom, the world? The irrational and ridiculous can easily be seen when we turn the Scriptures into such fantasies through the amillennial teaching and present division of the covenants.

    I have written these things because I believe they are the truth of God according to His Word. So please, before you refuse to examine my findings according to the Scriptures I will provide for your consideration, don’t dismiss my words without due consideration. Anything I have said here or anywhere else later we can discuss at length and I will try to answer any and all questions as best I can.

    I must thank Steven Ray for his kind permission to post and discuss anything within the framework of Scripture and orthodox Christianity, and I pray the Lord will bless us with understanding and His acceptance of our discussions.

    In His grace


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