Saturday, April 22, 2017

Confronting Calvinism's Irresistible Grace

             We are utilizing a series of five blogs to address and subsequently refute the five basic precepts of Calvinism. Calvinism lies at the heart of the Protestant Reformation which developed in the late fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries in reaction to the heresies and corruption of the Catholic Church which had become anathema to the gospel of Christ as revealed in the scriptures. Through the course of our investigation what we are finding is that the prevailing doctrines found in Calvin’s theological system does not bring the church into a condition of recovery which aligns itself with the clear testimony of the Scripture. Calvinism prevailed during the period of the Reformation and those precepts have been handed down in large measure during the subsequent generations at least in part even unto this present time. There remains a viable alternative which would bring the Christian church into  much better alignment with the truth of the Bible. It was formulated in the teachings of James Arminius (1560-1609) and has come to be known as Arminianism. Its precepts stand in stark contrast to Calvinism.
            In pursuit of our current topic we will investigate the doctrine of Irresistible Grace. What is meant by this theological tenet of Calvinism and do we find a support for it in the scriptures? Outlining what is meant and how it is held will follow. Calvinists would assert that there is an efficacious call of the Spirit or irresistible grace. In addition to the outward general call to salvation which is made to everyone who hears the gospel, the Holy Spirit extends to the elect a special inward call that inevitably brings them to salvation. The external call which is made to all without distinction can be, and often is rejected; whereas the inward call which is made only to the elect cannot be rejected; it always results in conversion. By means of this special call the Spirit irresistibly draws the sinner to Christ. He is not limited in his work of applying salvation by man’s will, nor is he dependent upon man’s cooperation for success. The Spirit graciously causes the elect sinner to cooperate, to believe, to repent, to come freely and willingly to Christ. God’s grace is therefore invincible; it never fails to result tin the salvation of those to whom it is extended.
            Arminian doctrine presents the exact contrast in asserting that the Spirit’s call or conviction can be effectively rejected as a matter of the will and choice of the individual so convicted. The Spirit calls inwardly to all of those who are called outwardly by the gospel invitation.  He does all that he can to bring the sinner to salvation.  But as much as man is free, he can successfully resist the Spirit’s call and man’s free will limits the Spirit in in the application of Christ’s saving work. The Spirit cannot regenerate the sinner until he believes. Faith which is man’s contribution precedes and makes possible the new birth. Thus, man’s free will limits the Spirit in the application of Christ’s saving work.  The Holy Spirit can only draw to Christ those who will allow him to have his way with them.  God’s grace is therefore not invincible; it can be and often is resisted by man.
            As with all matters of sound doctrine we must look to the word of God for its validation and establishment.  At Acts 3:22-23 we read:” For Moses truly said  unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you.  And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.” (emphasis mine).
            Moving further into the Book of Acts in chapter seven we are given Stephen’s lengthy admonition to the Jewish Sanhedrim, i.e. the elders of Israel.  Concluding his summary of their history and transgression even to the rejection of their Messiah he states at verse 51 “Ye stiff necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost, as your fathers did so do ye.” As it isclear from the passage that Stephen is speaking to the plurality of the Jewish elders, and is it not also clear that he is speaking in the power of the Spirit? So then is it not obvious that they had the opportunity to receive his words. So then it is clear that there existed not only an unwillingness to receive the word but an exercise of the will to resist it? This does not support  Calvinist doctrine.
            Let us look at two passages in Hebrews which illustrate the fallacy of irresistible grace. “For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, if they shall fall away, to renew the again to repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.”(Heb.6:4-6   emphasis mine). Does this sound like irresistible grace or is it a willful act to fall away and depart through a choice favoring sinful activity or rebellion?(again emphasis mine).
            “He that despised Moses law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: of how much sorer punishment suppose ye, shall be thought worthy, who have 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 (insulted-Strg. Conc.) unto the Spirit of grace.” (Heb. 10:25-26). If grace is irresistible and election is unconditional how then is it possible to fall from a place of being sanctified by the blood  and being made a partaker of the Holy Ghost and then  to do despite unto the Spirit of grace? The context of this passage is clearly addressing anyone who has come to Christ and been regenerated but subsequently has turned aside and done despite to the Holy Spirit.  The passage affirms that such a one cannot be renewed to repentance and most certainly will be subjected to the judgement of God. “The Lord shall judge his people” (verse 30). Calvinist doctrine again miserably fails in its conclusions when measured by the testimony of Scripture.


David Lance Dean                         website and blogs: authordavidlncedean.com

Friday, April 14, 2017

Confronting Calvinism's Limited Atonement

                     We have embarked upon a series of studies featuring the doctrines held by
multitudes who have embraced the teachings  of Calvinism whether in part or more or less completely? The theology has a nearly five hundred year history originating from the teaching of John Calvin and dating back to the mid-sixteenth century. It is to be noted that he was not alone in his convictions but shared them with contemporaries both at the time of his formalizing the doctrine and moving forward for literally centuries afterward. Truly the principal doctrines that emerged with the Protestant Reformation were more or less aligned with what we now understand as Calvinism. Because, as it will be seen as we progress, these theological concepts do not bear the scrutiny of scriptural examination.  They also stand in stark contrast to another much less acknowledged theological system identified as Armenianism. This writer through years of study in the Bible endorses strongly the later of these two theological opponents. In fact the apostate state of the Christian church today is a direct result of the credence given to John Calvin when he formalized his work in Institutes of the Christian Religion.
            This current discourse will be focused on a tenet of Calvinism which they would identify as limited atonement. By endorsing a doctrine of limited atonement they would assert that Christ’s redeeming work was intended to save the elect only and actually secured salvation for them.  His death was as substitutionary endurance of the penalty of sin in the place of certain specified sinners. In addition to putting away the sins of His people, Christ’s redemption secured everything necessary for their salvation, including faith which unites them to Him. The gift of faith is infallibly applied by the Spirit to all for whom Christ died, thereby guaranteeing their salvation.
         Note then from the above definition two very significant points. First that salvation was only intended to reach or apply to a selected number of elect people and was never extended for all men.   Also take note that faith is seen by them as a gift from God and not something which has any relevance to the exercise of faith by the individual. These conclusions would necessarily lead us to believe that God is a receptor of persons and his character includes neither mercy nor justice. Are we then to assent that God has caused multitudes of people to be created so that he can subject them to eternal punishment and they have no avenue for potential correction and are incapable of exercising either faith or repentance to escape His eternal wrath and judgement? How much Scripture does this render irrelevant?
            The Arminian view stands in stark opposition and complete contrast to this tenet of Calvinism. Let us examine some relevant scriptures to establish he truth and then some commentary supported by those scripture texts. At John 1:29 we read as follows: “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world.” Paul in his first letter to Timothy writes: “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who will have all men be saved, and come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and me, the man Christ Jesus. Who gave himself a ransom for all to be testified in due time.”(I Timothy 2:3-6).The evidence against limited atonement continues in Hebrews at chapter 2 and verse 9 where we read: “For we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.” We continue the argument at II Peter 3:9 with Peter’s revelation: “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness: but is longsuffering to us-ward not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” And at I John 2:12 we find: “And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”
            Summarizing from the above New Testament scriptures it becomes clear that the Calvinist doctrine of limited atonement does not stand up under an investigation of the scriptures. In fact we find that potentially the Lord’s death on the cross was sufficient for anyone and everyone who would avail themselves of its redeeming benefits through the exercise of faith and the fruit of faith which is obedience.
            Erroneous doctrines are the product of an incomplete examination of the entire scriptural record.  Biased conclusions are derived from taking scriptures out of a context which spans the entire scriptural record. Adding to or subtracting from the testimony of the entire word of God is error of the greatest consequences for it inevitably produces a distortion of truth that becomes a stumbling block to the unwary and she  uninformed. When the complete and entire body of scriptural truth is taken into account there is a reasonable and necessary purpose for the fact that the work of Christ in redemption is potentially available for every individual.  I suspect that at least some of that understanding would come when we realize that there is more than one resurrection. The eternal value of redemption goes beyond the first resurrection and the second death and will be found to extend beyond this age. I would suggest you review my March blog entitled A Better Resurrection which reaches truth beyond this age and encompasses all of the biblical record on the subject of resurrection.


David Lance Dean               Visit my website and blogs: authordavidlance dean.com

Monday, April 10, 2017

Confronting Calvinism's Unconditional Election

            This is the second of a five part series exploring the tenets of Calvinist doctrine. Since Calvinism breaks down into five major areas or punts claiming to have the authority of scripture it is necessary to examine each one to arrive at a clear understanding of the truths presented in the word of God. This system of theology was prevalent after the Protestant Reformation and has had a strong and continuing influence even unto the present time. It was formalized by the writings of the theologian John Calvin in the sixteenth century. It then received confirmation through a gathering in the early seventeenth century known as the Counsel of Dort (1618-1619)lasting seven months. This gathering convened in Dort, Holland and was attended by a significant number of participants from across Europe. Also at issue were five remonstrances or objections to this theology formalized and presented by those who were proponents of Arminianism.  James Arminius had died only of few years prior to the counsel.
            The first of this series dealt with the total depravity of man doctrine held by Calvinism even to the extreme that a man had any capability to embrace God by or through his own act of the will. This is opposed directly by Arminius’s doctrine of free will. For details and related scripture you will need to refer to the previous posting. We will now move on the second assertion of Calvinism which has been described as unconditional election.
            Pure Calvinism would assert that God has made a choice in selecting out from among mankind an elect number of people according to his own sovereign will. It would deny that faith is exercised by any individual as a prerequisite to his choosing, but that his faith itself is planted in the heart of the elected person. It is not then a matter of the sinner’s choice of God but rather God’s choice of the sinner apart from any action to repent or believe on the part of the one who has been chosen. We see this doctrine manifest dramatically in dispensational theology as concerns Jewish Israel for they contend that Jews are God’s ‘chosen’ people and are thus destined at a future time to believe collectively and establish a kingdom on the earth. They must revert to scriptures in the Old Testament in an attempt to support this view for it is entirely refuted by the content of the New Testament epistles as well as the prophets including Christ.
            Before looking at scriptures bearing on the subject we need to examine the Arminian view which we will entitle conditional election. God’s choice of certain individuals unto salvation before the foundation of the world was based on His foreknowledge.  He selected or elected only those who He knew in advance would respond freely of their own will to His convicting work and calling. Election was therefore determined by what he foreknew any individual would do. The faith which is the requirement of election and salvation is not therefore a gift of God but that which is exercised as a result of free will. Let us now look at some scriptures explaining the complete contrast of these two opposing theological views.
            Peter begins his first epistle at verse two stating: ”Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ; grace be unto you , and peace be multiplied.” The verse gives us the proper sequence leading to the salvation of the soul. It begins with election but that determination being in accordance with God’s perfect foreknowledge and then leads to the process of sanctification which is seen to be the result of obedience not to the law but to the Spirit.  Each one who is consistently obedient to the Spirit experiences the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit which brings grace and peace. Grace and peace follow after and are the reward of one’s obedience.
            In the epistle to the Romans, chapter eight, we see the same order of the sanctifying work of the Spirit. “For whom he did foreknow he did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn of many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” (vss. 29-30). The prerequisite for this work of the Spirit in any one is clearly set forth in the early portion of chapter eight, i.e. in summary it is that we learn obedience to the Spirit and walk after His directives.
            The mandate for our sanctification and conditional election are found in numerous places in Scripture. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, pace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its affections and lusts.  If we live in the Spirit let us also walk in the Spirit.”(Gal.3:22-
24). Is it not clear that the tenets of Calvinism not only run contrary to the Scripture but deny the opportunity to obtain and partake of the fruitful sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit?


David Lance Dean                    website and blog access: author davidlancedean.com

Friday, April 7, 2017

Confronting Calvanism

          Having written extensively on the errors and heresies of dispensational theology, I have purposed to delve further into its roots in the concepts of Calvinism dating backinto the sixteenth century. John Calvin (1509-1564) was themost prominent and influential theologian of the second generation after the  onset ofthe Protestant Reformation. Born in France his original training was in the law. His major lifetime works were the volumes entitled Institutes of the Christian Religion. His profound effect on the development of Protestantism cannot be overestimated. The theology of Calvinism was subsequently broken down into five major points summarizing the massive writings propagating his conclusions which were spread widely over Europe. Each of his five points was subsequently challenged by Janes Arminius who was a godly Dutch professor of theology. There occurred a few years after the death of Arminius a large gathering at what became known as the Counsel of Dort convened in Holland in 1618 and lasting a period of seven months in which the major issues of these two opposing views of theology were discussed and debated. Followers of Arminius presented a series of remonstrances (objections) to each of the five points of Calvinism. The final result of this lengthy theological debate was that Calvinism was established as the standard of Christian thought and has been projected historically in one form or another for centuries in the Christian churches. Armenian thought was greatly restricted after the Counsel of Dort, but was still held by some of note including John Wesley. This reality of the prevalence of Calvinism is a centuries old impediment to the development of sound Biblical truth. We will prove the forgoing statement through an extensive search of the Scriptures concerning each of the five punts.  In each case we will present the Calvinist tenet and then arguing from the Scriptures the inherent errors represented.  We will then present commentary based on the Bible showing that James Arminius had developed a sound foundation for the emerging Protestant church which unfortunately was largely rejected and did not obtain a place of dominance.
            The first and basic tenet of Calvinism is that of total depravity. Adherents of the doctrine would say that because of the fall and the original sin of Adam, man is totally unable of himself to savingly believe the gospel. The sinner is dead, blind and deaf to the things of God. His will is not free, but is in bondage to his evil nature; therefore he will not—indeed cannot choose good over evil. It takes much more than the Spirit’s assistance to bring him to Christ.  It takes a gift of enablement sovereignly bestowed and the man has nothing to contribute.
            Armenian doctrine would contest this view adamantly by asserting while agreeing that man’s nature has been corrupted completely and he has become sinful, fallen and separated from God. This condition has not, however, deprived him of his free will. God graciously enables a sinner to repent.  The sinner can respond to the Spirit’s conviction upon his conscience and he can exercise the act of repentance. He is able to believe and exercise faith unto regeneration.
            Having outlined these two opposing views it will be necessary to find out what the Scriptures say. Early in the gospel of Matthew we find the words of John the Baptist speaking to the Pharisees and the Seduces “ O generation of vipers who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance.” (Matthew 3:8-9). Is it not clear that these sinners could in fact repent?
            At John 7:17 Jesus says: “If any man will do his will, he shall know the doctrine, whether it be of God or whether I speak of myself. One can then respond
to the ministry of the word  assenting in his will to align himself with the will of God and thus to know that which has been communicated to him.
            “And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now comandeth all men everywhere to repent.” ( Acts 7:30) Notice that it is all men everywhere.
            “And showed first unto them of Damascus, and Jerusalem, and throughout the coasts of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.” (Acts 26:20).
            “Wherefore as the Holy Ghost saith, Today if you hear his voice harden not your hearts…”(Heb.3:7).  When the Holy Spirit speaks we not only can but must respond.
            “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And him that heareth say, come. And him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely.” (Rev. 22:17).
            There are many other like scriptures in both the New and the old testaments which make it clear that man’s will is free to choose, and although he is certainly lost in trespasses and sin God has made available forgiveness and ultimately the possibility of salvation.
            “Now the Spirit speaks expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared  with a hot iron.” (I Timothy 4:1=2). It is sad to say that the modern day church has largely come to this state.


David Lance Dean             Visit my website and blogs at: authordavidlancedean.com

Thursday, March 30, 2017

A Better Resurection

           The following is the fourth segment of a four part series examining the
scriptural truths related to the subject of resurrection.  My motive and purpose
for writing is to  enlarge upon  and bring additional light  to the generally held  and accepted theological concepts .The Christian community at large would say that there is  just one resurrection of the dead occurring tat the end of the age.  There would be conflict and argument among them as to whether it occurs before the tribulation period or after that prophesied event.
            Before considering the present topic let us just briefly review what has been covered. First we examined Seventy Weeks Are Determined to establish beyond any question  that the ‘seventy weeks’ of Daniel’s prophecy were fulfilled completely with the advent, ministry and crucifixion of Christ and the subsequent ministry of the apostles to Israel. This destroys the concept that the last or the seventieth week has application to national or ethnic Israel at the end of the age.  Next the subject of Rapture or Resurrection? was subjected to scriptural exposure to prove that there is no pretribulational ‘rapture’ of the body of the church as a whole.  The central passage used to prove that erroneous concept (IThesl.4:13-17) is actually describing the resurrection after the tribulation. The third segment dealt with the twelfth chapter of Revelation for the purpose of showing that a faithful remnant of saints will be caught up into heaven just prior to the onset of the tribulation (3 1/2 years and not 7 as asserted by dispensationalists). Its title was The Woman and the Man Child. The first twelve verses of chapter eleven and all of chapter twelve fit to together showing that the large body of the church will necessarily go through the tribulation and suffer persecution and martyrdom. Then the resurrection occurs immediately after the tribulation. This is revealed in verses 11 and 12 of chapter eleven.
            The current topic will now require that we explore the truth that there is more than one resurrection in addition to the translation of a faithful remnant before the tribulation. The phrase… that they might obtain a better resurrection… appears late in chapter elven of Hebrews after recounting at length the demonstration of faithfulness by a  significant number of the  old testament saints. This statement triggers the necessity of further investigation as to what is meant. At Revelation 20:6 we read: Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and Christ and shall reign with him a thousand years.” The passage is enlightening for we see that besides these the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were completed. We also see from verse five that this is the first resurrection.   This truth raises some extremely significant spiritual issueswhich the theological world clearly does not understand and Its implications are enormous both for Christians and non-Christians as well. The apostle Paul sheds additional light on the subject at Phil. 3:10-11 where we read “That I may know him , and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; if by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.”  The word used for resurrection here in the Greek has a special emphasis. (Exanastasis-meaning literally ’the out resurrection from among the dead’). Did Paul question his faith? No, but he understood that there would be more than one resurrection. He sought to partake in the one described at Rev. 20:6 recognizing that there was a prerequisite for that applying to him which he states in the context of this passage. This reality is completely obscure to those who are preaching today’s version of the gospel. Paul wholeheartedly sought after ‘a better resurrection’, i.e.’ the first resurrection;. Today’s apostate church has no comprehension of this reality.
       Calvinistic thinking totally prevails within the church today with its precepts of ‘unconditional election’ and ‘the perseverance of the saints’. So if God’s covenant in Christ is unconditional for those who are among the elect, and there is no possibility that we might fail  of the grace of Godin  the performance of faithfulness then there is no room or reason for more than one resurrection. However, if these tenets cannot be supported by the scriptures (and they cannot) then we must examine the truth at a deeper level to reveal the consequences of both unbelief and unfaithfulness.
            Consider the scriptural evidence for more than one resurrection. Again Rev.20:6 states in part ‘on such the second death hath no power’ and in verse five  “but the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.”  At revelation 2:26 we read: "And he that overcometh, and keep my works unto the end (a condition) will I give power over the nations. And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken in shivers…. What about those alleged Christians who do not ‘keep my works unto the end’, and what becomes of the nations broken as a potter’s vessel? Moving beyond the judgement (Rev.20) we find much additional spiritual activity which is ignored in today’s apostate churches. At Rev. 22:2 we see “in the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bear twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month, and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.”         
            The tenets of Calvinism, part of which have been adopted by dispensationalists (unconditional election and perseverance of the saints), have been used to effectively destroy the truths of the scriptures and make   ineffective the gospel of Jesus Christ as revealed in the Word of God.  There is indeed more than one resurrection and every believer in Christ should adopt the wholehearted commitment expressed by Paul for there are dire consequences for unfaithfulness and failure to continue steadfast unto the end. God cannot be mocked and indeed Christian friend it may be that you will not attain unto the first resurrection out from among the dead…a better resurrection.

David Lance Dean                        For a more complete explanation of the content
                                                          summarized above there is an entire chapter  in
                                                       my book These Prophets and the Revelation. See
                                                       authordavidlancedean.com

                                                                        

Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Woman and the Man Child

                 The subject of this writing has the purpose of bringing a new understanding
to a portion of scripture which has been misinterpreted and completely corrupted. My reference is to the twelfth chapter of the Book of Revelation.  This falls within the context of end time prophecy and it has a connection to a four part series in which I am seeking to cover the subject of resurrection in much detail. We began with Daniel’s prophecy of the ‘seventy weeks’ with the purpose of proving that the prophecy has been completely fulfilled and has no application to the teaching that the final week occurs at the end of the age. This foundation had to be laid for the purpose of proving that there is no pretribulational rapture of the church as is held by those who endorse dispensational theology. The second blog was a detailed account establishing that the resurrection occurs after the tribulation and there is no pretribulational rapture of the entire body of the church.  The text of I Thessalonians 4:13-17 was explained to be the description of that resurrection event when compared with other scripture and not  a description of the so-called rapture. This leads us to our current topic.
            The text in chapter twelve of Revelation describes a great wonder seen in heaven consisting of a woman clothed with the sun and the moon under her feet and on her head a crown of twelve stars. This of course is a metaphor which needs to be understood. Where then does the metaphor come from and how do we interpret it? The metaphor is drawn from Joseph’s dream recited from Genesis 37:9-10. From that text we can discern that the sun, moon and stars represent the whole household of God as it existed at that time and is represented by the family of Jacob (Israel). So by application of the Revelation text we can see that the woman along with her offspring represent metaphorically all of God’s people, i.e. the church. We further see that the woman is with child and is in travail ready to give birth. Then the text reveals to us the dragon (Satan)  is operatung through his instrumentality the beast having seven heads and ten horns. This entity is more thoroughly described in Revelation 13:1-2 and we glean from other scriptures  as detailed in Daniel 7:7 & f that this beast in both texts is one and the same and represents the final worldwide kingdom under the control of Satan at the end of the age. In modern vernacular that is the “New World Order” which will prevail universally at the end of this age. Then we see in verse four that the woman is in travail and ready to give birth. The dragon seeks to devour her offspring as soon as it is born. In verse five of the text we read that she “brings forth a man child which is to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child is caught up to God and to his throne.”  We now need to know how to interpret the text up to this point.
            The woman who is clothed in the metaphor is the entire church living on the earth at the end of the age.  She is in the travail of birth for within her resides a people who have been perfected and purified by the workings of the Holy Spirit in them. Through their faithful responses to Christ he has been thoroughly formed in their hearts. We do not know their number. We only know that Christ has been formed in them through their enduring faith.  Thus, this remnant out from the church as a whole is “caught up (to snatch or seize violently, to take away by force-Strong’s Concor.) to God and to the throne.” The preparatory text for understanding this phenomenon is found at Rev. 11:1-2 in the measuring of the temple (the house of God, i.e. the church) finding those who are worshiping  in truth therein in contrast to the court without which is given unto the Gentiles to be trodden under foot forty and two months. This divides the people of God into two spiritual conditions and prepares our understanding as to why a remnant (the man child) is caught to the throne. Then we see in verse seven that the woman (the church) ‘fled into the wilderness’ finding a place which God has provided to sustain her for a thousand two hundred and three score days (the period of the duration of the tribulation).
                This catching up of the man child precipitates warfare in the heavenly realm.
The Lord has procured the spiritual ground through the man child to evict Satan from any access to the heavenly realm which he has retained continuously since the fall of man. “… the dragon fought and his angels, and prevailed not; neither was there place found any more in heaven…..he was cast out of heaven, and his angels were cast out with him.” (portions of verses 7, 8, and 9). “And I heard a loud voice. Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame hum by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony: and they loved not their lives unto the death.” (Rev. 12:10-11).
            We then see the devil as cast down to the earth having great wrath for he knows he has but a short time. “And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed (the church remaining on the earth during the tribulation), which keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.”(Rev.12:17).
            The purpose of this series of blogs is again to clarify and explain the extreme confusion in the church on the subject of resurrection and in the case of the ‘man child’ a translation (catching up of living and faithful saints into the heavenly kingdom) prior to the three and one-half year tribulation.
            A fourth presentment will be made soon to finalize and summarize this study on the subject of resurrection. You would profit to read them all as well as chapter twelve. It is recognized by the writer that this account of the text is entirely new to almost everyone who will read it. Obtain my book These Prophets and the Revelation for an entire exegesis of end time prophecy.


David Lance Dean                                     website: authordavidlancedean.com

Monday, March 13, 2017

Rapture or Resurection?


            My most recent post was entitled Seventy Weeks Are Determined.  It summarizes and explains the fulfillment of the very important prophetic text of Daniel 9:24-27. Understanding that the fulfillment of that text was consummated in the ministry, death and resurrection of Christ, and the subsequent carrying of the gospel by the twelve apostles to Israel is of utmost importance and contradicts the widely accepted view that the final “week” of the seventy weeks is yet future.  In fact the prevailing interpretation of that text is the springboard for a complete distortion of subsequent New Testament revelation. I intend to prove in a series of four blogs the truth of the foregoing statement and uncover all of the scriptural truths related to the subject of resurrection. I suggest that you read and understand the content of that previous posting as a prerequisite for the current one and the two additional ones which are to follow.
            Dispensational theology which was popularized over a century ago by the introduction of the Scofield Reference Bible with its numerous notes has thoroughly corrupted an accurate interpretation of many of the most important truths of Scripture. Let’s begin with their theological aberration that there will be a rapture of the entire body of the church prior to a period of tribulation which they say will last for seven years. The tribulation is according to various texts of Scripture is only three and one-half years in duration. After they have completely corrupted the text of Daniel 9:24-27 by introducing a supposed covenant between the Jews and the Antichrist which is subsequently breached by him; they then would proceed by having us to believe that the church has already been “ruptured” prior to the tribulation and God’s dealings are now solely focused on the Jews or national Israel. Leaping from this completely erroneous interpretation of the Daniel text they would take us to I Thessalonians 4:13-17 in the New Testament and identify that text as the supposed support for this pretribulational “rapture”.  That text reads as follows: “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that we sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. If we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which ae alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which ae asleep. 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: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.” If you would then notice the context following it states that the day of the Lord comes as a thief in the night. So the day of the Lord follows immediately after the resurrection (not a supposed rapture) which is described in detail in the foregoing text. The day of the Lord is that execution of judgment coming upon the earth after the tribulation and then subsequently after the resurrection. It is not that which follows the supposed pretribulational rapture. The fact that this Thessalonians text is speaking of the resurrection and not a falsely fabricated rapture can be verified by many other scriptures. Compare Matthew 24:29-31 as describing the same event. “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened and the=moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken. And then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven………….and he shall send his angels with a great sound of trumpet, and they shall gather together  his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” This is the resurrection immediately after the tribulation. Compare also Luke 21:27-28, I Cor. 15:51-52, Rev.11:11-12.  These texts all describe in some manner the resurrection occurring after the tribulation. The concept of a pretribulational “rapture” of all of the church is a theological aberration fabricated by the adherents of dispensational theology and completely endorsed in the notes in the Scofield Reference Bible.
            What dispensational theology has done by transferring the seventieth week of Daniel’s prophecy to the end of the age proclaiming its fulfillment in a seven year tribulation results in the denial of the anointing and ministry of Christ to Israel of old. Again please see my previous post Seventy Weeks Are determined to gain the true interpretation of the seventy weeks of Daniel’s prophecy. Numerous other misinterpretations of the word of God have resulted directly from this wresting of the Scripture by dispensational adherents. There is much more to be discovered on the subject of resurrection and we will examine those truths in subsequent posts.

David Lance Dan

For a complete understanding for the distortions and heresies of dispensational theology obtain a copy of my book Christian Zionism and the Scofield Reference Bible by visiting my website: authordavidlancedean.com

Seventy Weeks AreDetermined

            I have written on this subject frequently in the past as a full chapter in each of my three published books includes details of what has been termed as Daniel’s seventy weeks. My purpose in this blog is to add just a point or two of clarification. This passage has been badly misinterpreted by many who have been nurtured in dispensational theology and these distortions have resulted in the perversion of many other scriptures resulting in the formulation of a system of theology which departs in significant ways from the truths set forth in the Bible.
            The pivotal passage in question covered here in some significant detail is Daniel 9:24-27. Let us break down the phrases in the text and provide explanation and interpretation as we move through it. Before beginning with the text it must be stated unequivocally that there is no “gap” in the fulfillment of the prophecy but it sets forth seventy consecutive weeks from the point of beginning to the consummation of the period as it relates to Old Testament Israel, i.e. its application is solely “…upon thy people.” The “weeks” are weeks of years, that is to say that each week is a period of seven years as understood by the Israelites from their history and written records (See Leviticus 25:8-10). Thus seventy weeks is a total of 490 years (70 X 7) and is to be understood as measured by the Hebrew calendar. Therefore, we must determine precisely the points of beginning and ending.
            “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon the holy city,(this portion of the text is covered above) to finish the transgression and make an end, of sins, and to make reconciliation , and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.” Verse 24 0f the text provides us with a summary of what was accomplished in the person and work of Christ for he is the consummation and object of the prophecy and the accomplishment of all of the verse in his death on the cross and subsequent resurrection.   The final phrase of the verse to anoint the most Holy” is clearly fulfilled in the baptism of Christ by John the Baptist as recorded in the gospels. We see there that the Holy Spirit descended upon him and his anointed ministry to Israel began immediately.
            “Know therefore and understand that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks and three score and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times” Verse twenty five directs us to the restoration of the destroyed city of Jerusalem and the ministry of recovery of the tenets of the law. This was accomplished beginning with the arrival of Ezra the priest “ a ready scribe in the law of Moses…”(Ezra 7:6) “who had prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord, and to do it…”(Ezra 7:10). This is the beginning of the recovery of the testimony of the law under the precepts of the Old Testament covenant and it was accompanied by a lengthy decree written by Artaxerxes I, the king of Persia.  It is contained in this chapter and identifies the decree referred to in Daniel 9:25. This is the beginning point of the “seventy weeks”. This recovery period of ministry including the rebuilding of Jerusalem and the wall covered one week or forty nine years and later involved the ministry and work of Nehemiah in the building of the wall. (See the book of Nehemiah). He arrived about thirteen years after Ezra.
            “After three score and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince which shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.” In verse 26 we first see the reference to the crucifixion of Christ, i.e. “shall Messiah be cut off.” The rest of the verse is related to the judgement executed by God on Israel and Jerusalem with its destruction at the hands of the Roman prince Titus. According to history this happened in 70CE.
            “And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease…” Again this phrase gives us a confirmation of Christ’s death on the cross causing sacrifice and oblation to cease.  It also encompasses his ministry to Jewry covering three and one-half years and the subsequent ministry of the twelve apostles to the “lost sheep of the house of Israel “for an additional three and one-half years. A total of “one week”. The final phrases in the verse confirm the judgement to  be poured out on the desolate (Jewry) “for the overspreading of abominations” Many in Israel believed from the ministry of Christ and many more from the testimony of the apostles.
            The ending point of the seventy weeks is clearly seen in Acts, chapter seven with Stephen’s lengthy discourse addressing and condemning the seventy elders of Israel—the counsel—the Sanhedrin. This is a formal rejection by the recognized authority of the Israelites and because of their rejection and violent murder of Stephen they confirmed their position as to Jesus Christ.  In my writings I have used the date of 457BCE as the beginning of Ezra’s ministry authorized by the decree of Artaxerxes 1 and this would set Stephen’s sermon to the Sanhedrin at 34CE.  However, the secular calendar has been modified a couple of times and is not accurate or even really relevant to determine these seventy weeks. These weeks were determined in accordance with the Hebrew calendar and quantified precisely to equal seventy seeks or four hundred and ninety years measured precisely thereby.

David Lance Dean                         See my books The Israel Deception and Christian
                                                            Zionism and the Scofield Reference Bible       


Visit my website: authordavidlancedean.com