Jump to content

The Protestant Community

Welcome to Christforums the Protestant Community. You'll need to register in order to post your comments on your favorite topics and subjects. You'll also enjoy sharing media across multiple platforms. We hope you enjoy your fellowship here! God bless, Christforums' Staff
Register now

Christforums

Christforums is a Protestant Christian forum, open to Bible- believing Christians such as Presbyterians, Lutherans, Reformed, Baptists, Church of Christ members, Pentecostals, Anglicans. Methodists, Charismatics, or any other conservative, Nicene- derived Christian Church. We do not solicit cultists of any kind, including Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, Eastern Lightning, Falun Gong, Unification Church, Aum Shinrikyo, Christian Scientists or any other non- Nicene, non- Biblical heresy. God bless, Christforums' Staff
Register now
Sign in to follow this  
William

Why Should One Leave Dispensationalism?

Recommended Posts

Joe Vusich

 

 

I graduated from The Master's Seminary, one of the leading Dispensationalist seminaries of our day. It's a fine school, I received a good education there, and I love John MacArthur and the other professors. But as I continued to study theology and the Scriptures after graduating (I was still a Dispensationalist for four years after finishing my studies), I began to see some big problems with the overall system, which left me concluding that Dispensationalism is based on a biblically and theologically unsound method reading of the Bible. I left Dispensationalism behind, and here are some of the more significant reasons why I did:

 

1. In the way it develops and systematizes its eschatology, Dispensationalism often a) utilizes a wooden and arbitrarily-applied literalism; b) does not adhere to the Reformed hermeneutic of the analogy of faith; and c) often misses how all the Bible points to Christ (promise and fulfillment). Because of these significant hermeneutical errors, Dispensationalism gets bogged down with an obscure, disjointed apprehension of redemptive history, and a faulty understanding of how OT prophecy is fulfilled in Christ (e.g., teaching that there will be bloody animal sacrifices in a future millennium; concern about "unfulfilled land promises;" general lack of Christological focus that leaves Dispensationalists baffled with verses like Matt. 2:15).

 

2. Dispensationalism artificially organizes redemptive history around dispensations instead of the biblical covenants, which is how the Bible does things.

 

3. Dispensationalism denies (at least selectively) that the shadows, types, and figures of the Old Testament must be interpreted in the greater light of the New Testament. At times this is flipped on its head, and (according to Dispensationalists) the NT is to be interpreted in light of the OT.

 

4. Dispensationalism teaches that the Church and Israel are separate and distinct entities, rather than the Church being the global expansion of Israel and of the Abrahamic Covenant (1 Pet. 2:9, compared with Exod. 19:6; Rom. 11:16-18; Eph. 2:12-13; Gal. 3:7-8, etc.). Ironically, Dispensationalism advocates a form of Replacement theology, even as it wrongly accuses Covenant theology of promoting the same.

 

5. Dispensationalism denies that Christ's coming is a single event. According to Dispensationalist teachers, Christ will descend from Heaven to earth, gathers His people in the Rapture, then return to Heaven, then descend back to Earth again in judgment seven years later.

 

6. Dispensationalism denies that the resurrection of the dead is a single event. Dispensationalist teachers separate the general resurrection of all the dead into two or three separate events, contra John 5:28-29 and Daniel 12:1-2, and contra the universal creeds of the church.

 

7. Dispensationalism teaches that there is a time coming after Christ's return when sinners will still be present on the Earth. On the contrary, the Bible teaches that the Final Judgment of all men will happen when Christ appears in glory (Acts 17:31; Jude 1:14-15, 2 Thess. 1:6-7, etc.).

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I couldn't agree more with all the above points, and so I myself have left Dispensationalism (long before reading that article, though). Sound doctrine isn't just an academic exercise. Bad doctrine has bad consequences, and Dispensationalism has had monstrously bad consequences for the lives of Christians around the world. Here's one example that the doctrine of dispensationalism facilitated.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The OP has its facts about dispensationalism wrong. It's no wonder people don't like it: They don't know what it is. Dispensationalism is more than just about time and times; it is about stewardship. In fact, the two words are synonymous. I wrote about the falsehoods af what dispensationalism is already. For example, we go to Christ IN THE AIR in the rapture, whereas, the second coming is where Christ comes TO THE EARTH with His saints (where did they come from if not for the rapture?) This ought to be titled "Why One Should Read the Bible and Let the Spirit Do the Teaching." Know what you criticize before criticizing it.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I couldn't agree more with all the above points, and so I myself have left Dispensationalism (long before reading that article, though). Sound doctrine isn't just an academic exercise. Bad doctrine has bad consequences, and Dispensationalism has had monstrously bad consequences for the lives of Christians around the world. Here's one example that the doctrine of dispensationalism facilitated.

 

Just for FYI, Joe Vusich is a Minister at Emmanuel Reformed Church, and a Facebook friend. I asked for his permission to post the above, like always, he graciously obliged. In the same debate which this thread is titled, "why should one leave dispensationalism" someone posted, because, "Dispensationalists say: We have no idea who owns the cattle on the 1,001st hill." Thought that was rather hilarious, but it will make a person cross eyed once dispensationalists addresses 2 Peter 3:8-13

 

 

The OP has its facts about dispensationalism wrong. It's no wonder people don't like it: They don't know what it is.

 

Strat, did you address the bulk of the OP or the various symptoms listed as resulting from the dispensational hermeneutic? I realize you submitted your personal interpretation as a rebuttal to point #5 in defense of dispensationalism, but did not address the errors that led you to that interpretation.

 

If you would like to debate or have a dialogue with Joe, then I could request him to come here. I'm sure he wouldn't mind if he has time, I can always invite him.

 

God bless,

William

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
For example, we go to Christ IN THE AIR in the rapture, whereas, the second coming is where Christ comes TO THE EARTH

 

The passages used to support the Rapture equate the event with the coming of the Lord. Even if it's a halfway and invisible coming, it's still the Lord's coming, which would be the second coming. And, then there's coming #3 after the Tribulation, according to Dispensationalism.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
someone posted, because, "Dispensationalists say: We have no idea who owns the cattle on the 1,001st hill." Thought that was rather hilarious, but it will make a person cross eyed once dispensationalists addresses 2 Peter 3:8-13

 

That is a good joke, I'm going to quickly share it with my pastor. I'd share it with more people, but more people probably wouldn't get it.

 

As for, 2 Peter 3:8-13, I guess after the Lord's coming, there won't be anyone left to face the 7 year Tribulation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What is literally in the Bible is not my personal interpretation. Second, 2 Peter 3:8-13 is talking about time as opposed to eternity, showing us how time to the Lord is irrelevant to Him since He is in eternity. The 1000 year reign of Christ doesn't read the same, does not address the same topic. Therefore, you cannot assume that just because the one deliberately is a figurative expression does not mean it applies to all times 1000 years is mentioned. That would be just plain ridiculous.

 

Dispensation is not synonymous with premillennial. They are two different topics. Oikonomia is the Greek for dispensation and in Luke 12:42, Luke 16:1-8, Titus 1:7, 1 Corinthians 4:1-2, and 1 Peter 4:10 it is translated "steward", "stewards", and "stewardship".

 

Premillennial refers to the timeline of end times events leading up to and including the 1000-year reign of Christ, the timeline I believe in from the Bible that I think you already know. Until this matter is understood by you and those who agree with you, it is pointless to argue about something misdefined in the first place.

 

Now, are you against dispensation or premillennialism? They are not the same thing, as I just showed. The apparent attitude of taking my belief as a joke is not a good idea. If you and Joe have read 1 Thessalonians 4, Matthew 24, Daniel 12, and the Revelation, you have my belief. Of course I believe in the whole Bible, but am referring specifically to this topic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

G'day Strat,

 

Point #4: Both Protestants and Catholic theologians outside of the dispensational position have said that the church includes both OT believers and NT believers in one church or one body of Christ (please refrain from using a guilty by association argument). Do you agree or not? Please address whether you believe God has two distinct separate purposes for Israel and the Church (progressive dispensational)? Also note, even in the non dispensational view, a person may hold that there will be a future large-scale conversion of the Jewish people, yet that this conversion will only result in Jewish believers becoming part of the one true church of God - they will be "grafted back into their own olive tree" - Romans 11:24

 

What is literally in the Bible is not my personal interpretation. Second, 2 Peter 3:8-13 is talking about time as opposed to eternity, showing us how time to the Lord is irrelevant to Him since He is in eternity. The 1000 year reign of Christ doesn't read the same, does not address the same topic.

 

Rather at times it attests to a lack of comprehension, and suggests no interpretation but only parroting what Scripture says. Second, as to 2 Peter 3:8-13 it asserts that God is sovereign over time and His perspective on time differs radically from ours. Verses 10 and 12 - "The day of the Lord", and "The day of God" - Which topic is not addressed?

 

8 But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you,[a] not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.[c]

 

11 Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, 12 waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! 13 But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

 

Therefore, you cannot assume that just because the one deliberately is a figurative expression does not mean it applies to all times 1000 years is mentioned. That would be just plain ridiculous.

 

Can you cite support for a literal thousand years based upon Biblical Prophecy? Please provide reason for rejecting the use of symbolism as addressed in Revelation 1:1 or even address the parallel from 2 Peter 3:8-13 to Psalm 90:4: "For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the night." Do you reject the allusion being made from 2 Peter (I'm curious)?

 

Dispensation is not synonymous with premillennial. They are two different topics. Oikonomia is the Greek for dispensation and in Luke 12:42, Luke 16:1-8, Titus 1:7, 1 Corinthians 4:1-2, and 1 Peter 4:10 it is translated "steward", "stewards", and "stewardship". Premillennial refers to the timeline of end times events leading up to and including the 1000-year reign of Christ, the timeline I believe in from the Bible that I think you already know. Until this matter is understood by you and those who agree with you, it is pointless to argue about something misdefined in the first place.

 

Dispensation is defined as “a stewardship, an administration, oversight, or management of others’ property…. This involves responsibility, accountability, and faithfulness on the part of the steward.”However, Dispensationalism as a system in present-day discussions is most commonly associated with and stems from premillennialism because of the emphasis of premillenarians on normal, literal, grammatical interpretation, which points to a clear distinction between Israel and the church.

 

Now, are you against dispensation or premillennialism? They are not the same thing, as I just showed. The apparent attitude of taking my belief as a joke is not a good idea.

 

Again, you have addressed the OP as wrong and ignored the system of interpretation that Dispensationalism applies to Scripture. Lets not address attitudes, okay? Try to address the Scriptures in the OP. Lets address the Dispensational hermeneutic. I went and tried to find the most "neutral definition" I could find in comparison to Covenant Theology:

 

Dispensational Hermeneutic:

 

The notion of progressive revelation has lead Dispensationalist to interpret the Bible, to look at biblical history and interpret where you are in the Bible, very differently than the way Covenant theologians look at the Bible. The tendency in Covenant Theology is to look for uniformity; there is one Covenant of Grace that spans virtually the entire Bible. So there is a tendency to see this uniformity; there is one people of God. In Dispensationalism the mindset is very different. It is instead to notice discontinuity, differences in how God relates to people depending on the revelation that is given at that particular time. It is much more attuned to the discontinuities between various dispensations and to respect those, to be careful not to interpret something in this dispensation as you are reading it from a different time period. So you are not being respectful of what it means here. Charles Ryrie no doubt overstated it in his book, Dispensationalism Today, but he gave this threefold sine qua non (a Latin phrase meaning without which there is none) of Dispensationalism or the essential markings of Dispensationalism. One of them is a literal hermeneutic. He didn’t mean you interpret poetry literally. John kicked the bucket means that John died; that is the way you are supposed to interpret it. He didn’t mean literal in the sense of ignoring metaphorical poetic meanings or terms. What he meant by that is, when reading the Bible, understand what an author intends to say within the historical context of when he is writing it, so that you don’t read back into it things from the future or read forward of things in the past. You take care to read it within its own dispensation. That is what he meant by literal hermeneutic; to understand what the author meant then and there as he spoke at that time.

 

After reading the above does your method of interpretation align according to your use of Dispensations or the various forms of the word used some 20 times throughout Scripture? Will you address the use of Covenants... a word used around 310 times throughout Scripture? What leads you to rejecting Covenant Theology and the Amil position? What leads you to Dispensationalism? By all means, please, address dispensationalism's hermeneutic and apply its method towards your interpretation of Scripture and demonstrate HOW you came to your interpretation? Please do not say, "I get my interpretation from the Holy Spirit, as if none of you do".

 

If you and Joe have read 1 Thessalonians 4, Matthew 24, Daniel 12, and the Revelation, you have my belief. Of course I believe in the whole Bible, but am referring specifically to this topic.

 

Is there any question about that? Are you suggesting that none of us believe in the whole Bible? Are we not addressing this topic?

 

God bless,

William

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Please do not say, "I get my interpretation from the Holy Spirit, as if none of you do".

Are you suggesting that none of us believe in the whole Bible?

 

You said it--I didn't.

 

In fact, you say a lot of things I don't say and don't seem to grasp what I do say. I give up! Believe what you want. You've really changed since you left that Calvary Church. I almost was going to check out a Presby Church, but not if it has this kind of effect on people. And for someone who claims to have been weak in eschatology, you sure have gotten bogged down in dogma about it in a very short time. I can't stand it anymore.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I can't stand it anymore.

 

Are you leaving the forum Strat?

 

God bless,

William

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I at least need to take a hiatus for a spell. Too much friction has built up and I need to let things cool down, maybe change topics. There are things we agree on, but never discuss. Even with Cornelius there are some agreements, but I keep getting slammed with anti-dipsensationalism and against my essential eschatology beliefs. To be honest, the site is more a home for Presbyterians than Protestants in general, or non-denominationals, IMO.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Strat,

 

We should keep that in mind when discussing, debating, or engaging in dialogue with others. Including those from the Catholic, Arminian or Universalist camps. No matter how wrong we believe someone to be, we can learn a lesson from this. Obviously, you my friend have embraced your doctrine to the point where we can't discuss, debate, or dialogue about it because when facing opposition it becomes too personal. I ask that you refrain from participating in Eschatology until you have a change of heart or can divorce your emotion from the topics. I am well aware that on several occasions you have almost left because of these discussions.

 

You've really changed since you left that Calvary Church.

 

Yes, I followed a calling from out of Calvary Chapel. When my then Pastor said he would not even debate the "unbliblical" charges against Arminianism, or address the questions I had concerning Calvinist soteriology. How am I to interpret that action? Am I not worth discussing doctrine to if my doctrine is bad? Am I not editable as a member of the congregation to the elders? I attended Calvary Chapel for Six years, and I attended 3x a week, to this day I still have no idea concerning Calvary Chapel's form of church government, and I had no awareness of any doctrine at that time (over 2 years ago) of my departure. Calvary Chapel's mentality is that over emphasis on doctrine should be avoided as to not cause a division in the body of Christ. My response today to that statement, "No kidding, doctrine does cause division especially essential soteriology".

 

After your response, I have reexamined myself and my post. And I must admit after observing various debates with Arminians, Universalist, and Catholics, I attempted to head you off by writing what you quoted. For that I am sorry, as for my intent, at that time I was trying to avoid a repetitious and lacking defense of doctrine when confronted. I had the feeling it may draw out a negative response from you, and for ignoring that....

 

I apologize brother. I hope you will receive my apology as sincere, and reconsider participating in doctrinal debate and discussion that may disturb or provoke you, but it shouldn't be to the point of emotional or rather unhealthy responses. I am sorry that it may of caused you to be distraught. You're a long time internet friend, and someone I have grown in faith with. I'd hate to lose a cherished relationship to what I consider our first major disagreement on non-essential or secondary doctrine.

 

God bless,

William

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Of course you are forgiven. We all make mistakes or say things that don't come out like we mean them. This is especially so on the Internet or any written page. I do need to take some restoration time, however.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

William, I was staunchly dispensationlist for over 30 years before I realized what you came to realize. When I investigated the underpinnings of its foundational claims I found there was absolutely nothing that required that the scriptures used by dispensationalists mandates the understanding dispensationalists give them.

 

This took a good month of honestly looking at all sides of the topic and evaluating every claim. It was like peeling back the many layers of an onion until I finally got to the most basic, fundamental, foundational claims. As as the legs of stool fell apart, so did dispensationalism

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The OP has its facts about dispensationalism wrong. It's no wonder people don't like it: They don't know what it is. Dispensationalism is more than just about time and times; it is about stewardship. In fact, the two words are synonymous. I wrote about the falsehoods af what dispensationalism is already. For example, we go to Christ IN THE AIR in the rapture, whereas, the second coming is where Christ comes TO THE EARTH with His saints (where did they come from if not for the rapture?) This ought to be titled "Why One Should Read the Bible and Let the Spirit Do the Teaching." Know what you criticize before criticizing it.

 

 

If you would like to discuss this further, I can share what I learned that dismantled this belief system.

 

For instance, we who go to meet Christ in the air do not prevent - ie do not go before - those who have died are are resurrected first.

 

The catching up in the air and the 2nd Coming are one and the same event - the dead are resurrected, the living are caught up in the air - the clouds Jesus returns on, when every eye shall see Him.

 

There is no secret coming of Jesus.

 

 

What is literally in the Bible is not my personal interpretation. Second, 2 Peter 3:8-13 is talking about time as opposed to eternity, showing us how time to the Lord is irrelevant to Him since He is in eternity. The 1000 year reign of Christ doesn't read the same, does not address the same topic. Therefore, you cannot assume that just because the one deliberately is a figurative expression does not mean it applies to all times 1000 years is mentioned. That would be just plain ridiculous.

 

Dispensation is not synonymous with premillennial. They are two different topics. Oikonomia is the Greek for dispensation and in Luke 12:42, Luke 16:1-8, Titus 1:7, 1 Corinthians 4:1-2, and 1 Peter 4:10 it is translated "steward", "stewards", and "stewardship".

 

Premillennial refers to the timeline of end times events leading up to and including the 1000-year reign of Christ, the timeline I believe in from the Bible that I think you already know. Until this matter is understood by you and those who agree with you, it is pointless to argue about something misdefined in the first place.

 

Now, are you against dispensation or premillennialism? They are not the same thing, as I just showed. The apparent attitude of taking my belief as a joke is not a good idea. If you and Joe have read 1 Thessalonians 4, Matthew 24, Daniel 12, and the Revelation, you have my belief. Of course I believe in the whole Bible, but am referring specifically to this topic.

 

Dispensationalism is a form of premillenialism which is a form of millenialism or also called millenarianism.

 

Dispensationalism teaches Christ will return before the millenial period to set up a literal 1000 year reign of Christ on earth. That is premillenialism. And that is what dispensationalism teaches. To divorce them from each other is to cut dispensationalism off from one of its most basic, fundamental teachings.

 

Darby is the father of dispensationalism and taught as a cornerstone tenent of dispensationalism Chirst will return to usher in the millenial period of peace - this is indeed premillenialism.

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.

(1 Corinthians 15:51-52 ESV)

 

A mystery is something that has been hidden in the past but is now being revealed. The resurrection of the dead wasn't a mystery because it was revealed in the Old Testament. The rapture is something new that was first revealed to Paul. A resurrection only affects those who are dead. The resurrection will involve all believers, living and dead.

 

https://clydeherrin.wordpress.com/2011/11/20/the-resurrections-and-the-rapture/

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.

(1 Corinthians 15:51-52 ESV)

 

A mystery is something that has been hidden in the past but is now being revealed. The resurrection of the dead wasn't a mystery because it was revealed in the Old Testament. The rapture is something new that was first revealed to Paul. A resurrection only affects those who are dead. The resurrection will involve all believers, living and dead.

 

https://clydeherrin.wordpress.com/2011/11/20/the-resurrections-and-the-rapture/

 

In spite of the popular translation of 1 Corinthians 15:51, the Bible doesn't teach the Rapture. And, the mystery Paul reveals isn't a Rapture, but is our transformation from perishable to imperishable bodies.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

In spite of the popular translation of 1 Corinthians 15:51, the Bible doesn't teach the Rapture. And, the mystery Paul reveals isn't a Rapture, but is our transformation from perishable to imperishable bodies.

 

 

I agree Cornelius. The word rapture isn't even found in the Greek. The word "rapture" came from a Latin translation and was misappropriated by Darby, many believe in response to his acceptance of a young woman's ecstatic trances where she proclaimed this supposed "truth." Up till then, no one had even heard of a "rapture" which was entirely novel.

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
the mystery Paul reveals isn't a Rapture, but is our transformation from perishable to imperishable bodies.

But isn't that what the Rapture is?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But isn't that what the Rapture is?

 

Actually no.

 

The "rapture" is a novel teaching by Darby which uses this passage to teach, not what Paul taught, but something else, a secret coming of Christ.

 

Paul never taught a secret coming of Christ.

 

Paul taught we are caught up in the air at Christ's Second Coming when all eyes will see Him.

 

 

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But isn't that what the Rapture is?

 

When we are resurrected, we get new bodies and we're caught up to be with Jesus.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

When we are resurrected, we get new bodies and we're caught up to be with Jesus.

The Rapture is more than just a resurrection; both the living and the dead are included in it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's what some of the early reformers believed before the popular Rapture theology crept into the church:

 

John Calvin on 1 Corinthians 15:51: Hitherto he has included two things in his reasoning. In the first place, he shows that there will be a resurrection from the dead: secondly, he shows of what nature it will be. Now, however, he enters more thoroughly into a description of the manner of it. This he calls a mystery, because it had not been as yet so clearly unfolded in any statement of revelation; but he does this to make them more attentive. For that wicked doctrine had derived strength from the circumstance, that they disputed as to this matter carelessly and at their ease; (127) as if it were a matter in which they felt no difficulty. Hence by the term mystery, he admonishes them to learn a matter, which was not only as yet unknown to them, but ought to be reckoned among God’s heavenly secrets.

 

51.We shall not indeed all sleep. Here there is no difference in the Greek manuscripts, but in the Latin versions there are three different readings. The first is, We shall indeed all die, but we shall not all be changed. The second is, We shall indeed all rise again, but we shall not all be changed. (128) The third is, We shall not indeed all sleep, but we shall all be changed. This diversity, I conjecture, had arisen from this — that some readers, who were not the most discerning, dissatisfied with the true reading, ventured to conjecture a reading which was more approved by them. (129) For it appeared to them, at first view, to be absurd to say, that all would not die, while we read elsewhere, that it is appointed unto all men once to die. (Heb 9:27.) Hence they altered the meaning in this way — All will not be changed, though all will rise again, or will die; and the change they interpret to mean — the glory that the sons of God alone will obtain. The true reading, however, may be judged of from the context.

 

Paul’s intention is to explain what he had said — that we will be conformed to Christ, because flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God. A question presented itself, (130) what then will become of those who will be still living at the day of the Lord? His answer is, that although all will not die, yet they will be renewed, that mortality and corruption may be done away. It is to be observed, however, that he speaks exclusively of believers; for although the resurrection of the wicked will also involve change, yet as there is no mention made of them here, we must consider everything that is said, as referring exclusively to the elect. We now see, how well this statement corresponds with the preceding one, for as he had said, that we shall bear the image of Christ, he now declares, that this will take place when we shall be changed, so that mortality may be swallowed up of life, (2Co 5:4,) and that this renovation is not inconsistent with the fact, that Christ’s advent will find some still alive.

 

We must, however, unravel the difficulty — that it is appointed unto all men once to die; and certainly, it is not difficult to unravel it in this way — that as a change cannot take place without doing away with the previous system, that change is reckoned, with good reason, a kind of death; but, as it is not a separation of the soul from the body, it is not looked upon as an ordinary death. It will then be death, inasmuch as it will be the destruction of corruptible nature: it will not be a sleep, inasmuch as the soul will not quit the body; but there will be a sudden transition from corruptible nature into a blessed immortality.

 

(127) “Par maniere de passe-temps, et tout a leur aise;” — “ By way of pastime, and quite at their ease.”

(128) This is the reading of the Vulgate. Wiclif (1380) translates the verse as follows: Lo, I seie to you pryuyte (secret) of holi things, and alle we schulen rise agen, but not alle we schulen be chaungid. — Ed.

(129) “Qui leur estoit plus probable;” — “Which appeared to them more probable.”

(130) “Il y auoit sur ceci vne question qu’on prouuolt faire;” — “There was a question as to this, which might be proposed.”

 

Matthew Henry:

 

To confirm what he had said of this change,

I. He here tells them what had been concealed from or unknown to them till then - that all the saints would not die, but all would be changed. Those that are alive at our Lord's coming will be caught up into the clouds, without dying, 1Th 4:11. But it is plain from this passage that it will not be without changing from corruption to incorruption. The frame of their living bodies shall be thus altered, as well as those that are dead; and this in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, 1Co 15:52. What cannot almighty power effect? That power that calls the dead into life can surely thus soon and suddenly change the living; for changed they must be as well as the dead, because flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God. This is the mystery which the apostle shows the Corinthians: Behold, I show you a mystery; or bring into open light a truth dark and unknown before. Note, There are many mysteries shown to us in the gospel; many truths that before were utterly unknown are there made known; many truths that were but dark and obscure before are there brought into open day, and plainly revealed; and many things are in part revealed that will never be fully known, nor perhaps clearly understood. The apostle here makes known a truth unknown before, which is that the saints living at our Lord's second coming will not die, but be changed, that this change will be made in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, and at the sound of the last trump; for, as he tells us elsewhere, the Lord himself shall descend with a shout, with a voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God (1Th 4:16), so here, the trumpet must sound. It is the loud summons of all the living and all the dead, to come and appear at the tribunal of Christ. At this summons the graves shall open, the dead saints shall rise incorruptible, and the living saints be changed to the same incorruptible state, 1Co 15:52.

 

II. He assigns the reason of this change (1Co 15:53): For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. How otherwise could the man be a fit inhabitant of the incorruptible regions, or be fitted to possess the eternal inheritance? How can that which is corruptible and mortal enjoy what is incorruptible, permanent, and immortal? This corruptible body must be made incorruptible, this mortal body must be changed into immortal, that the man may be capable of enjoying the happiness designed for him. Note, It is this corruptible that must put on incorruption; the demolished fabric that must be reared again. What is sown must be quickened. Saints will come in their own bodies (1Co 15:38), not in other bodies.

III. He lets us know what will follow upon this change of the living and dead in Christ: Then shall be brought to pass that saying, Death is swallowed up in victory; or, He will swallow up death in victory. Isa 25:8. For mortality shall be then swallowed up of life (2Co 5:4), and death perfectly subdued and conquered, and saints for ever delivered from its power. Such a conquest shall be obtained over it that it shall for ever disappear in those regions to which our Lord will bear his risen saints. And therefore will the saints hereupon sing their epinikion, their song of triumph. Then, when this mortal shall have put on immortality, will death be swallowed up, for ever swallowed up, eis nikos. Christ hinders it from swallowing his saints when they die; but, when they rise again, death shall, as to them, be swallowed for ever. And upon this destruction of death will they break out into a song of triumph.

 

1. They will glory over death as a vanquished enemy, and insult this great and terrible destroyer: “O death! where is thy sting? Where is now thy sting, thy power to hurt? What mischief hast thou done us? We are dead; but behold we live again, and shall die no more. Thou art vanquished and disarmed, and we are out of the reach of thy deadly dart. Where now is thy fatal artillery? Where are thy stores of death? We fear no further mischiefs from thee, nor heed thy weapons, but defy thy power, and despise thy wrath. And, O grave! where is thy victory? Where now is thy victory? What has become of it? Where are the spoils and trophies of it? Once we were thy prisoners, but the prison-doors are burst open, the locks and bolts have been forced to give way, our shackles are knocked off, and we are for ever released. Captivity is taken captive. The imaginary victor is conquered, and forced to resign his conquest and release his captives. Thy triumphs, grave, are at an end. The bonds of death are loosed, and we are at liberty, and are never more to be hurt by death, nor imprisoned in the grave.” In a moment, the power of death, and the conquests and spoils of the grave, are gone; and, as to the saints, the very signs of them will not remain. Where are they? Thus will they raise themselves, when they become immortal, to the honour of their Saviour and the praise of divine grace: they shall glory over vanquished death.

 

2. The foundation for this triumph is here intimated, (1.) In the account given whence death had its power to hurt: The sting of death is sin. This gives venom to his dart: this alone puts it into the power of death to hurt and kill. Sin unpardoned, and nothing else, can keep any under his power. And the strength of sin is the law; it is the divine threatening against the transgressors of the law, the curse there denounced, that gives power to sin. Note, Sin is the parent of death, and gives it all its hurtful power. By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, Rom 5:12. It is its cursed progeny and offspring. (2.) In the account given of the victory saints obtain over it through Jesus Christ, 1Co 15:56. The sting of death is sin; but Christ, by dying, has taken out this sting. He has made atonement for sin; he has obtained remission of it. It may hiss therefore, but it cannot hurt. The strength of sin is the law; but the curse of the law is removed by our Redeemer's becoming a curse for us. So that sin is deprived of its strength and sting, through Christ, that is, by his incarnation, suffering, and death. Death may seize a believer, but cannot sting him, cannot hold him in his power. There is a day coming when the grave shall open, the bands of death be loosed, the dead saints revive, and become incorruptible and immortal, and put out of the reach of death for ever. And then will it plainly appear that, as to them, death will have lost its strength and sting; and all by the mediation of Christ, by his dying in their room. By dying, he conquered death, and spoiled the grave; and, through faith in him, believers become sharers in his conquests. They often rejoice beforehand, in the hope of this victory; and, when they arise glorious from the grave, they will boldly triumph over death. Note, It is altogether owing to the grace of God in Christ that sin is pardoned and death disarmed. The law puts arms into the hand of death, to destroy the sinner; but pardon of sin takes away this power from the law, and deprives death of its strength and sting. It is by the grace of God, through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus, that we are freely justified, Rom 3:24. It is no wonder, therefore, (3.) If this triumph of the saints over death should issue in thanksgiving to God: Thanks be to God, who giveth us the victory through Christ Jesus, our Lord, 1Co 15:57. The way to sanctify all our joy is to make it tributary to the praise of God. Then only do we enjoy our blessings and honours in a holy manner when God has his revenue of glory out of it, and we are free to pay it to him. And this really improves and exalts our satisfaction. We are conscious at once of having done our duty and enjoyed our pleasure. And what can be more joyous in itself than the saints' triumph over death, when they shall rise again? And shall they not then rejoice in the Lord, and be glad in the God of their salvation? Shall not their souls magnify the Lord? When he shows such wonders to the dead, shall they not arise and praise him? Psa_88:10. Those who remain under the power of death can have no heart to praise; but such conquests and triumphs will certainly tune the tongues of the saints to thankfulness and praise - praise for the victory (it is great and glorious in itself), and for the means whereby it is obtained (it is given of God through Christ Jesus), a victory obtained not by our power, but the power of God; not given because we are worthy, but because Christ is so, and has by dying obtained this conquest for us. Must not this circumstance endear the victory to us, and heighten our praise to God? Note, How many springs of joy to the saints and thanksgiving to God are opened by the death and resurrection, the sufferings and conquests, of our Redeemer! With what acclamations will saints rising from the dead applaud him! How will the heaven of heavens resound his praises for ever! Thanks be to God will be the burden of their song; and angels will join the chorus, and declare their consent with a loud Amen, Hallelujah.

 

 

John Calvin on 1 Corinthians 15:52:

 

52.In a moment This is still of a general nature; that is, it includes all. For in all the change will be sudden and instantaneous, because Christ’s advent will be sudden. And to convey the idea of a moment, he afterwards makes use of the phrase twinkling (or jerk) of the eye, for in the Greek manuscripts there is a twofold, reading — ῥοπὣ (jerk,) or ῥιπὣ (twinkling.) (131) It matters nothing, however, as to the sense. Paul has selected a movement of the body, that surpasses all others in quickness; for nothing is more rapid than a movement of the eye, though at the same time he has made an allusion to sleep, with which twinkling of the eye is contrasted. (132)

 

With the last trump. Though the repetition of the term might seem to place it beyond a doubt, that the word trumpet is here taken in its proper acceptation, yet I prefer to understand the expression as metaphorical. In 1Th 4:16, he connects together the voice of the archangel and the trump of God: As therefore a commander, with the sound of a trumpet, summons his army to battle, so Christ, by his far sounding proclamation, which will be heard throughout the whole world, will summon all the dead. Moses tells us, (Exo 19:16,) what loud and terrible sounds were uttered on occasion of the promulgation of the law. Far different will be the commotion then, when not one people merely, but the whole world will be summoned to the tribunal of God. Nor will the living only be convoked, but even the dead will be called forth from their graves. (133) Nay more, a commandment must be given to dry bones and dust that, resuming their former appearance and reunited to the spirit, they come forth straightway as living men into the presence of Christ.

 

The dead shall rise What he had declared generally as to all, he now explains particularly as to the living and the dead. This distinction, therefore, is simply an exposition of the foregoing statement — that all will not die, but all will be changed “Those who have already died,” says he, “will rise again incorruptible.” See what a change there will be upon the dead! “Those,” says he, “who will be still alive will themselves also be changed.” You see then as to both. (134) You now then perceive how it is, that change will be common to all, but not sleep. (135)

 

When he says, We shall be changed, he includes himself in the number of those, who are to live till the advent of Christ. As it was now the last times, (1Jo 2:18,) that day (2Ti 1:18) was to be looked for by the saints every hour. At the same time, in writing to the Thessalonians, he utters that memorable prediction respecting the scattering (136) that would take place in the Church before Christ’s coming. (2Th 2:3.) This, however, does not hinder that he might, by bringing the Corinthians, as it were, into immediate contact with the event, associate himself and them with those who would at that time be alive.

 

(131) It is stated by Semlr, that some in the times of Jerome preferred ῥοπὟ, but Jerome himself preferred ῥιπὟ is derived from ῥέπω, to tend or incline to. It means force or impetus. It is used by Thucydides (v. 103) to mean the preponderance of a scale. In connection with ὀφθαλμοῦ, (the eye,) it would probably mean, a cast or inclination of the eye. ̔ΡιπὟ, (the common reading,) is derived from ῥίπτω, to throw. ̔ριπὟ ὀφθαλμοῦ is explained by Nyssenus, (as stated by Parkhurst,) to mean — επιμύσις —the shutting or twinkling of the eyelids.

(132) “Pour ce que quand on se resueille, on cleigne ainsi des yeux;” — “Because, when persons awake, they twinkle in this way with their eyes.”

(133) “The trumpet shall sound, (1Co_15:52,) says the prophetic teacher. And how startling, how stupendous the summons! Nothing equal to it, nothing like it, was ever heard through all the regions of the universe, or all the revolutions of time. When conflicting armies have discharged the bellowing artillery of war, or when victorious armies have shouted for joy of the conquest, the seas and shores have rung, the mountains and plains have echoed. But the shout of the archangel, and the trump of God, will resound from pole to poles — will pierce the center and shake the pillars of heaven. Stronger — stronger still — it will penetrate even the deepest recesses of the tomb! It will pour its amazing thunder into all those abodes of silence. The dead, the very dead, shall hear.” — Hervey’s Theron and Aspasio, volume 2 page 66. — Ed.

(134) “Voyla donc ques les viuans et les morts;” — “Mark then how it will be as to the living and the dead.”

(135) “Non pus le dormir, c’est a dire la mort;” — “Not sleep, that is to say, death.”

(136) “La dissipation horrible;” — “The dreadful scattering.”

 

Another words, Paul is declaring that it will come to pass that those who will be found alive in the latter day will not descend into that corruption of the grave, but will be renewed with a sudden change, which change is very necessary. And he further states that the certain enjoying of the benefit and victory of Christ, is deferred to that latter time. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

 

God bless,

William

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
We shall not indeed all sleep. Here there is no difference in the Greek manuscripts

 

That shows Calvin was only familiar with the Majority texts. Most of the older Greek texts do not say "We shall not all sleep". But, Calvin was familiar with the Latin texts that also do not say "We shall not all sleep." At some point, a copyist moved the word "not" in the sentence between "[not] all sleep" and "[not] all be changed". Which direction the "not" moved is the question. Calvin would reasonably choose the Majority texts over the Latin texts, even though the Latin texts are based on older Greek texts, a translation is still an inherently imprecise copy. Modern scholars (many of whom don't believe in inerrancy, or even Christianity) generally favor the older texts over the Majority, but here they go with the Majority. They reason as Calvin, that someone probably changed the text to make it more satisfying, even though they modern scholars are familiar with the older texts. Modern scholars follow the rule that more difficult readings are to be favored, on the presumption that easier readings result from scribes trying to smooth over the text.

 

Regardless of the "not", 1 Corinthians 15 labors for many verses building the case that we all will die, such as v36 You foolish person! What you sow [your body] does not come to life unless it dies. Or, v22 which flat out says we "all die" in every Greek and Latin manuscript. We have 51 verses of the chapter building the case that we all die, all must die, to be resurrected, and be given imperishable bodies. And, then for Paul to suddenly say we won't all die comes out of no place and is inconsistent with the text. V52 is the only verse in the entire Bible that might say we won't all die (another verse in Thessalonians 4 might be interpreted to imply that we won't all die).

 

Calvin was an amil who did't believe in a pretrib Rapture. He did believe in a Second Coming at which time the saints alive would not die. That may be the case, but it has really nothing to do with the ridiculous pretrib Rapture teaching that we have today. But, my preference is to understand Paul to mean something other than there will be people who won't die. Maybe he did say "we shall not all sleep" but his meaning isn't what some think it is.

 

We will all die. In the past, death has shown to be a fool everyone who has doubted they would die.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

That shows Calvin was only familiar with the Majority texts. Most of the older Greek texts do not say "We shall not all sleep". But, Calvin was familiar with the Latin texts that also do not say "We shall not all sleep." At some point, a copyist moved the word "not" in the sentence between "[not] all sleep" and "[not] all be changed". Which direction the "not" moved is the question. Calvin would reasonably choose the Majority texts over the Latin texts, even though the Latin texts are based on older Greek texts, a translation is still an inherently imprecise copy. Modern scholars (many of whom don't believe in inerrancy, or even Christianity) generally favor the older texts over the Majority, but here they go with the Majority. They reason as Calvin, that someone probably changed the text to make it more satisfying, even though they modern scholars are familiar with the older texts. Modern scholars follow the rule that more difficult readings are to be favored, on the presumption that easier readings result from scribes trying to smooth over the text.

 

Regardless of the "not", 1 Corinthians 15 labors for many verses building the case that we all will die, such as v36 You foolish person! What you sow [your body] does not come to life unless it dies. Or, v22 which flat out says we "all die" in every Greek and Latin manuscript. We have 51 verses of the chapter building the case that we all die, all must die, to be resurrected, and be given imperishable bodies. And, then for Paul to suddenly say we won't all die comes out of no place and is inconsistent with the text. V52 is the only verse in the entire Bible that might say we won't all die (another verse in Thessalonians 4 might be interpreted to imply that we won't all die).

 

Calvin was an amil who did't believe in a pretrib Rapture. He did believe in a Second Coming at which time the saints alive would not die. That may be the case, but it has really nothing to do with the ridiculous pretrib Rapture teaching that we have today. But, my preference is to understand Paul to mean something other than there will be people who won't die. Maybe he did say "we shall not all sleep" but his meaning isn't what some think it is.

 

We will all die. In the past, death has shown to be a fool everyone who has doubted they would die.

 

 

 

 

 

 

There was no such thing as a "pre-trib rapture" when Calvin was alive as that was hundreds of years before Darby was even born and had a chance to invent it.

 

But if those who are alive when Jesus comes do indeed die, it will be but for an instant.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×