Chatting with a Dispy – 5

mount-olives-split-2A brother in the Lord asked if I would discuss dispensationalism and Zechariah 14 with a blogger who owns a bible prophecy website.  I gladly accepted the inviation and will provide to the reader the discussion as it occurred.I have changed the web site owners name to “Brother” for the sake of his privacy, and each of my responses are italicized and indented for clarity sake.

With that introduction,  lets continue our chat with a “Dispy.”  We pick up in continuing my previous response to statements on his web site.

I’m sorry, I’m the one who owes you an apology.  I did not see, I was blind, I did not see that you noted that passage DID mention the “trump of God”, but that your position had nuances that I did not detect right away.  More often than not, I get people who claim the text does not contain the words it does contain, and the debate is rather simple, yet they will still refuse to admit error.

I can see this discussion may be very good.  Now I will admit confusion further, as to the nature of how you reason and argue.

Repeatedly, you are saying to me to not “build doctrine on silence”, yet, when the text of 1 Thess is silent on the issue of whether the trumpet is sounding, you build upon that, and use that silence as somehow enough proof to discern a difference of significance.

Well, when do you apply your standard, and is your standard Biblical, because it does not seem to me that you are consistent here in applying it.  In other words, you appear to be grasping at gnats, but swallowing a camel.

Since you make a big issue over the “different” trump reference in 1 Thess 4 vs. 1 Cor 15, but the entire lack of a trumpet in Zech 14 and Rev 19 seems to not bother you at all, as if you are willing to “swallow” the idea that there is a trumpet in passages that do not mention it, and yet, claim that there is enough of a difference in the trumpet in 1 Thess 4, that it’s somehow significant of something?

Brother

I am glad that we can continue with our discussion.  I do hope that in the midst of our discussion you may see more than just comments on the Text, but a desire to edify and build each other up in the faith.

Now I will admit confusion further, as to the nature of how you reason and argue.  Repeatedly, you are saying to me to not “build doctrine on silence”,

Agreed

yet, when the text of 1 Thess is silent on the issue of whether the trumpet is sounding, you build upon that,

My intent is to point out that your comment “Both chapters also teach the resurrection and of the trumpet blast” is not accurate.  The second passage – (1 Thess) does not mention any noise from the trumpet.  Just that the Lord is “coming with… the trump of God”

and use that silence as somehow enough proof to discern a difference of significance.

The significance is minor, but I only sought to draw to your attention a point you may want to edit on your site.

Well, when do you apply your standard,

As to a standard to apply, I assume you are referring to my understanding passages within the Word.  I seek to be as literal as possible unless the context demands I consider a symbolic/poetic/spiritual interpretation.  You see, I was a very good dispensationalist for much of my Christian life.  One of the items I believed was that every prophecy of the first coming of the Lord Jesus in the OT was fulfilled literally in the NT.  I believed that passionately for many years.  I was so convinced that I assumed it was unassailable.  Then I began a study a few years back on how the apostles interpreted the OT showing the messianic fulfillment in Jesus.  This study began my reconsidering of my literalistic interpretive methods.


Please visit next time as we continue to discuss issues that arise between my dispensational friend and myself.

Thanks for visiting and as always, I love getting comments from those who read this blog.


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Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

 

Chatting with a Dispy – 4

mount-olives-split-2A brother in the Lord asked if I would discuss dispensationalism and Zechariah 14 with a blogger who owns a bible prophecy website.  I gladly accepted the inviation and will provide to the reader the discussion as it occurred.I have changed the web site owners name to “Brother” for the sake of his privacy, and each of my responses are italicized and indented for clarity sake.

With that introduction,  lets continue our chat with a “Dispy.”  We pick up in continuing my previous response to statements on his web site.

I’m open to discussion to the extent that the Bible commands; I’m to try to be able to give a ready answer to all who ask for the reasons for my faith; and yet also, given the limited amount of time in life, I’m also directed to not waste time with people who are unworthy, or who are blind, or people who simply are not yet able to bear truth.

1 Corinthians 3:2  I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.

That being said, to discern what kind of person you are, I have one basic question; why did you write the following:

RE: Disagree

1 Corinthians teaches that “the trumpet shall sound” and 1 Thessalonians that the Lord descends “with…the trump of God.”  Only 1 Cor specifically teaches the sounding of the trumpet.

Can you read the following, and why didn’t you see it, or do you have an explanation, or apology?  Or, how do you react when proven wrong?

1 Thessalonians 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

See, it’s one thing to be ignorant, it’s another to be willfully ignorant.  In the first case, people just don’t know where in the Bible it teaches about the rapture.  In the second case, like yours, you have known for 30 years, and you specifically claim that the Bible does not say what it so clearly does.  What can explain that kind of willful blindness?  I’m very curious.

Sincerely, Brother

Brother – I am a little confused – the text in 1 Thessalonians is merely stating that the Lord is descending with the trump of God.  (He may be blowing it, but 1 Thessalonians doesn’t specifically say that! – As a matter of fact, 1 Corinthians doesn’t say that the Lord will be blowing the trump, just that the trump sounds …”at the last trump, for the trumpet shall sound”….)

I am a little confused about who I owe an apology to?  I asked you some questions because a brother informed me that you were open to discussion and debate.  (I find it very profitable to engage with believers in discussion to sharpen my own understanding.)  When I am proven wrong I would like to think I accept it.  (Admittedly, I sometimes become quiet, but eventually realize that truth is more important than my ego or traditions.)  If I have offended you or caused you any conflict, I will not continue this discussion.  If you would like to continue, please do so, understanding that my concern is – “What does the text say!”

In any case, may God bless you and draw you into His love.

Carl


Please visit next time as we continue to discuss issues that arise between my dispensational friend and myself.

Thanks for visiting and as always, I love getting comments from those who read this blog.


Follow Considering the Bible on WordPress.com

Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

 

Chatting with a Dispy – 3

mount-olives-split-2A brother in the Lord asked if I would discuss dispensationalism and Zechariah 14 with a blogger who owns a bible prophecy website.  I gladly accepted the inviation and will provide to the reader the discussion as it occurred.I have changed the web site owners name to “Brother” for the sake of his privacy, and each of my responses are italicized and indented for clarity sake.

With that introduction,  lets continue our chat with a “Dispy.”  We pick up in continuing my previous response to statements on his web site.

Revelation 19

Of the many methods of interpreting Revelation, you have opted for the “futuristic” method. 

What is going on in Revelation 6:1-2? Could this be a picture of the Christ going out to conquer?

What about Revelation 7:15 – 17? I bring this passage into the discussion only due to the reference to the living waters, which I believe you may associate with the millennial kingdom, after the return of Christ.

What is Revelation 11:15-19 describing? Could this be a picture of the return of Christ? How can you place the return of Christ in chapter 19, when it also seems to be taking place in Revelation 11

What about Revelation 14:14-16? It seems that if I were to take this passage literally, the earth will have been reaped by the end of this passage. This is usually associated with the second coming(?)

Although chapter 19 is commonly thought of as being a picture of the return of Christ (and I think it is, for whatever it is worth), these other passages also have some merit to them.

My point is this – Revelation is a book of the revelation of Christ, and is apocalyptic in nature, which demands that we look at each passage carefully, considering each argument. With so many (valid) interpretive methods for the book of Revelation, it seems unwise to depend on a debatable passage to build a highly detailed doctrine.(ie. the return of Christ after the tribulation. (There is no absolute time line given in Revelation, nor should we expect one, since it is written in a highly symbolic form.)

Carl


Please visit next time as we continue to discuss issues that arise between my dispensational friend and myself.

Thanks for visiting and as always, I love getting comments from those who read this blog.


Follow Considering the Bible on WordPress.com

Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

 

Chatting with a Dispy – 2

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A brother in the Lord asked if I would discuss dispensationalism and Zechariah 14 with a blogger who owns a bible prophecy website. I gladly accepted the inviation and will provide to the reader the discussion as it occurred. I have changed the web site owners name to “Brother” for the sake of his privacy, and each of my responses are italicized and indented for clarity sake.

With that introduction, lets continue our chat with a “Dispy.”

There is no debate that Revelation 19 and Zechariah 14 teach on the physical return of the Lord Jesus Christ in power after the tribulation.

Disagree

There is much debate that both Revelation 19 and Zechariah 14 teach on the physical return of the Lord Jesus Christ in power after the Tribulation

Let’s discuss Zechariah 14 first. Zechariah is considered an apocalyptic book, with the last chapters containing visions that are difficult to understand, and is very similar, in some aspects as the book of Revelation. For Zechariah to mention that “His feet shall stand on the mount of Olives” and considering the highly symbolic nature of the vision (see below for considerations on the symbolic nature of the vision), it is difficult for me to take this completely literally.

It is important to compare scripture with scripture, so with that in mind, consider some of the OT prophets who spoke of similar circumstances – ie His feet on mountains….

Amos 4:13 – God “treads on the high places of the earth”

Does God literally walk on the mountains?

Micah 1:3-4 – states “the LORD cometh forth out of his place” and that He will “tread upon the high places of the earth” causing the mountains to be “molten under him” and the valleys “shall be cleft, as wax before the fire…”.(v4)

Will God literally come down out of heaven and walk on the high places causing the mountains to melt?

It seems Zechariah, along with many of the prophets, are describing future times of judgment (for at least the prophets current generation) in pictures that communicate to the Hebrew mind. (Remember that we live in a scientific, analytical age, that might not be as conducive to understanding the prophets as it is to understanding physics or mathematical concepts.)

Symbology of Zechariah

A few question to address if we take Zechariah in a literal manner

Zechariah 14:8 – the “fountain of living waters,” Could this phrase represent a spiritual truth? Zechariah 13:1 states “a fountain will be opened for the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for impurity”

If we understand the fountain literally, the natural conclusion would be that the waters cleanse from sin.

Zechariah 14:10 – All the land shall be turned as a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem: and it shall be lifted up, and inhabited in her place, from Benjamin’s gate unto the place of the first gate, unto the corner gate, and from the tower of Hananeel unto the king’s winepresses.

I assume that if the Mount of Olives will be literally split, the same interpretive stance would be used to understand verse 10. If so, all of Jerusalem will be lifted up. Comparing scripture with scripture, I see Micah making some similar comments about Jerusalem (house of the Lord) in Micah 4:1

Micah 4:1 But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it.

Taken literally, the house of the Lord will be close to 6 miles above sea level (Mt Everest, at 29,000′ above sea level is 5.5 miles above sea level) How people will flow into this is hard to understand, with winds up to 177 mph, and temps dropping to -76^. (I hope the living water has antifreeze in it!)

I hope you understand that I am being a bit facetious, and I hope it is taken in with a “grain of salt”. (You see, even nowadays, we understand each other using phrases that are particular to our culture – ie a grain of salt.)

I find it to be a great challenge to try to understand the mindset of the OT prophet, and it takes time and patience to fit it all together.

One example is that when a prophet mentions “mountains” in a vision, he can sometimes mean a “kingdom. Check it out – it is a quick study that helped me in a somewhat better understanding of the Old Testament prophets.


Please visit next time as we continue to discuss issues that arise between my dispensational friend and myself.

Thanks for visiting and as always, I love getting comments from those who read this blog.


Follow Considering the Bible on WordPress.com

Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

Chatting with a Dispy – 1

mount-olives-split-2

A brother in the Lord asked if I would discuss dispensationalism and Zechariah 14 with a blogger who owns a bible prophecy website. I gladly accepted the inviation and will provide to the reader the discussion as it occurred.. I have changed the web site owners name to “Brother” for the sake of his privacy, and each of my responses are italicized and indented for clarity sake.

With that introduction, lets chat with a “Dispy.”

Brother

A friend directed me to your page and mentioned that you are open to discussion. If you don’t mind, I would like to challenge you on some of your teaching. I hope I do not come off as offensive or argumentative, but I do want to know what the Bible, and only the Bible says.

I have been a believer for many years and have spent much of my Christian life in the dispensational camp. Although many of your points are familiar, I do not want to assume too many things. I have spent the last 3-4 years considering alternate approaches to understanding the Word of God and have slowly pulled away from a literalistic approach for some passages.

What I intend to do is to copy some teaching from your website and comment within the text. (my comments are indented & italicized)

Rapture in: 1 Thessalonians 4, 1 Corinthians 15:

There is no debate that 1 Thessalonians 4, and 1 Corinthians 15 teach on the rapture.

Agree

Both chapters also teach the resurrection and of the trumpet blast.

Disagree
Actually 1 Corinthians teaches that “the trumpet shall sound” and 1 Thessalonians that the Lord descends “with…the trump of God” Only 1 Corinthians specifically teaches the sounding of the trumpet.

Neither chapter mentions anything about having to endure the tribulation before the rapture comes.

1 Corinthians was written in response to heretical teaching about the resurrection, 1 Thessalonians was written due to “their ignorance” (verse 13).

I do hope you are not going to build doctrine out of silence. It is true that neither chapter mentions anything about having to endure the tribulation, but it also doesn’t teach on the indwelling of the saints with the Holy Spirit. The apostle was addressing a specific issue, and his silence on other issues neither proves or disproves anything!


Please visit next time as we continue to discuss issues that arise between my dispensational friend and myself.

Thanks for visiting and as always, I love getting comments from those who read this blog.


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Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

Chatting with a Dispy – Introduction

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As many who follow this blog may know, I used to be a single minded, zealous dispensationalist.

My passion for “the truth” was unassailable, and I would keep myself from any teaching that might weaken my biblically pure understanding of “the truth”.

To be anything other than a “dispy” was a sign of theological weakness and compromise with the world.

Looking back at my attitudes and actions, I was an offensive blow hard that built walls around people, and tore down bridges of discussion.

I lived in this condition for decades and only by the grace of God, did I allow myself to consider other biblically based opinions.

Currently I consider myself a post dispensational Christian.

A more important lesson learned was not simply a theological understanding, but the manner of discussion when chatting with fellow believers of a different stance. The Word is clear, and provides a challenge for this writer!

Gracious words

Colossians 4:6

Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person

With Gentleness and Respect

1 Peter 3:15

…in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,

After this shift in my eschatological thinking and manner of discussion, a brother in the Lord asked if I would visit with a brother who held to the dispensational doctrines. The discussion was to center around Zechariah 14.

I gladly accepted the invitation.

This and following posts will provide to the reader the discussion as it occurred. I have changed the web site owners name to “Brother” for the sake of his privacy, and each of my responses are italicized and indented for clarity sake

With that introduction, lets meet together at our next post to begin chattin’ with a “Dispy.”

Thanks for visiting and as always, I love getting comments from those who read this blog.

Follow Considering the Bible on WordPress.com

Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.