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Monday, July 1, 2019

Creeping Legalism Among Dispensationsalists

The problem of law-keepers has plagued the visible church since Paul revealed the Mystery after the Acts Age. We've touched on this a number of times before, but my sense from recent personal interactions is that the problem is mushrooming out of control.

It appears that dispensationalists (who should know better) are getting caught up in the frenzy. I spoke this past week with two people looking for the "pre-trib rapture" who have become enamored of Jewish laws. As one who embraces the truths of the Mystery age revealed by Paul, I am not a traditional "classical" dispensationalist. But, in general, we all have some of the same basic understanding of scripture.

First and foremost is the distinction between a gentile "church" and Israel. While not overtly abandoning that truth, many classical dispensationalists have abandoned the right division of the gospel accounts (the Lord's earthly ministry) and the application of the New Covenant to Israel.

Darby, Kelly, Chafer, and other key figures in the classical mold presented the New Covenant as the scriptures present it (Jer 31, heb 8, etc.) as for the House of Judah, for Israel. It is clearly future at the time of the writing of Paul's epistle to the Hebrews. This is long after Pentecost.

“Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah— not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they did not continue in My covenant, and I disregarded them, says the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” In that He says, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away. -Heb 8:8-13

You can hardly find a dispensationalist today who doesn't apply the NC to the current age and who does not regularly teach from the synoptic gospels. This is even true among the Plymouth Brethren who were the stalwarts of classical dispensationalism for generations.

These are dangerous changes.

One woman told me there are blessings attached to keeping the Passover. Sure. FOR ISRAEL, when they are in the center of God's plan in his land. She was concerned she may not be keeping it correctly. I didn't see the blood of a lamb on her hands, so I'm guessing no. They might argue the sacrifice is only for those "in the land," but I doubt they even understand that much and the additional problems that creates for them in regard to Israel.

In this age, Paul is clear:

So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a [feast day] or a new moon or sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ. Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility -Col 3:16-18

These things are connected to Israel and earthly promises. Our citizenship is in heaven. Our hope is in the far above the heavens. We have no need for the rudiments of this world.

As noted, I expect these dangerous trends among the sacramentalist and Replacement Theology churches. It's just disturbing to see dispensationalists embracing the danger. It will take them where millions of professed Christians end up: in slavery or in pride. In either case, reward will be lost and the world will not see the grace of God.

I recommend this series on the current movement towards "Messianic" Christianity: CLICK HERE