Archive: bereans

WHO IS A DISPENSATIONALIST?

(1) Any person is a dispensationalist who trusts the blood of Christ rather than bringing an animal sacrifice.
(2) Any person is a dispensationalist who disclaims any right or title to the land which God covenanted to Israel for an everlasting inheritance.
(3) any person is a dispensationalist who observes the first day of the week rather than the seventh.

(Dispensationalism. Dr.Lewis Sperry Chafer. Highlight Loc. 37-40)


We do not believe Dr. Chafer is the final authority on dispensationalism. But his remark above is correct. In addition to the above we might add a practical note that every person who has a Bible with an “Old Testament” and “New Testament” division in it, is a dispensationalist. But when dispensationalism becomes an obsession that ignores “All scripture is given (not WAS) by inspiration of God, and is (not WAS) profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness” that is wrong division of the word of truth. That scripture comes from Paul’s prison ministry so lauded but misapplied by Hyper-Dispensationalists. (2 Timothy 3:16-17 KJB).


When I began to see the real Bible differences between Israel and the church which is the body of Christ, the difference between the first coming of Christ and His second coming, and the preaching of the coming Millennial Kingdom of Christ on earth as different from the preaching of the cross and the period known as the “church age”, I became the object of “Neo-Berean” (Hyper-Dispensationalism) recruitment. 


These proselyters, at the very beginning, were adamant in showing me that “water baptism is a Jewish tradition” and that I should immediately drop the name of Baptist, and stop baptizing converts. Without question, the issue of water baptism (in my case) was the first item; other issues came later, but the anti-water doctrine was the focal point of all I was supposedly doing wrong. I am persuaded this anti-water emphasis is the same as most of those courted by the rabid Hyper-dispensationalists.


Although they claimed the name, “Bereans”, these men did not resemble the Bereans of Acts 17 in any sense. Later, I discovered that more important doctrine was never mentioned compared to the incessant denial of water baptism . I baptize converts as an illustration of the believer’s faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ–not as a means of salvation or Christian service. Baptism is not a sacrament, but it is a figure of the gospel as described by inspiration in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4. My conviction of that has not wavered since then to this day.


Later, I learned why and how this particular tactic was used. It is of utmost importance to realize how Hyper-Dispensationalism (hereafter designated by a shorter form “Hyper-Disp”) gets a foothold on unsuspecting pastors and Bible students. It is also important to see that Hyper-Disp is a heresy, and that its adherents are professing Christians who sincerely believe some correct Bible doctrines. We do not question their salvation, but we do oppose their teaching methodology and the resultant errors.


In a nutshell, here is the type approach the Hyper-Disp uses on a Baptist:
Compare Peter’s statement in Acts 2:37-38 with Paul’s in Acts 16:30-31: 


37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. (Acts 2:38 KJB).


Compare this with Paul:

30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. (Acts 16:30, 31 KJB).


It will be pointed out that Peter was preaching to the “men of Israel” in Acts 2 and that when they asked, “what shall we do?” he required that these be baptized with water “for the remission of sins” as well as “to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost” just like John the Baptist in Mark 1. Then it will be compared to Paul, who preached (not to Israel in Acts 16, but to Gentiles. What they don’t mention is that Paul never connected remission of sins or receiving the Holy Ghost with water baptism to any Jews either!) in Acts 16:31. The Hyper-Disp will ignore or attempt to show how that Paul was baptizing just like Peter and continuing Peter’s ministry to Israel. Acts 16:31 has no mention of “for the remission of sins” or “ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost” but the Hyper-Disp presumes it does. The Hyper-Disp will show how Paul went to the Jew first in every area
during Acts. (None of them understand why Paul went to the Jew first in Acts, although it is clear in Romans 9-11).


I hasten to say that Mark 1:4 and Acts 2:38 and Acts 16:31 are absolutely correct in the KJB! The subject of understanding them and the reason for thedifferences is indeed one of “right division”. But we are not to correct them to make all of them say the same thing to fit our little theological box or amalgamate them by diminishing the words, changing the words, adding words, and subtracting words.


The end result of all of this is the mass confusion among the Hyper-Disp among even themselves, brought about by the guesswork that starts the body of Christ in Acts 9, 22, 28 or wherever they pick, and the gross assumption that Paul was ignorant of what he was doing in the book of Acts. Some Hyper-Disps call themselves “Mid-Acts” which simply means “We don’t know where the body of Christ started, but it must be somewhere in the middle of the Book of Acts.” These have the carnal impudence to refuse Christian fellowship with any Christian who disagrees with their ‘unknown’ body start! (God never states WHEN the Church age began or WHERE the body of Christ began). Some go so far as to make “two bodies of Christ”: one in Acts and a different one in the Prison ministry of Paul (Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians). Others have ‘found’ removal of world evangelism, practice of polygamy, homosexualism, and salvation of the devil and his angels, etc., in the Prison epistles. There is no end to their theological cancer. Just as Paul warned, “their word will eat as doth a canker.”


I was a third year student in graduate school when they first crossed my path. Upon graduation in 1970, I took a church of about 15 people in Alabama (Bible Baptist Church). Unbeknownst to me, a couple of these Hyper men had been teaching their doctrine to the pastor and people before me. The former pastor had resigned the church and went to another city to pastor a Baptist church, which within a short period, dropped “Baptist” and changed its name to a “Bible Church”. When I took the pastorate at Bible Baptist Church, the church barely paid the rent on the old building and had absolutely no funds for the pastor’s salary. My family of 7 lived on outdated meat from Zeigler packing company and the grace of God for the first 6 months. Evidently, the Hyper-Disp theology had managed to keep the church “high and dry” from growth and new converts. Although the “Bereans” contacted me once or twice, we were not too much of a prize with our small number and almost no finances at the beginning.


God blessed our “Baptist” ministry there and the church increased dramatically in both number and finances from 15 to about 120. We saw new converts come into the church and started a Christian school . When I resigned that church, we had bought a piece of property and were building a new building. My Assistant Pastor took the church and I accepted the call to pastor another rural church in Alabama where I had helped start a Christian school. (During my ministry in Alabama, I actually helped three other churches start a Christian school.) After starting the school in Millbrook, within a couple months, the pastor resigned and went into foreign mission work. (He was a good man and has continued for all these years). The church contacted and called me as pastor. I accepted, believing it was God’s will. This seemed to be so, and I do not doubt it, for souls were saved and I baptized converts every week for the first six months. Our high attendance there was over 350 on a special Sunday.


Without going into all details, the ministry at Victory Baptist Church was, and still is, a testimony of God’s grace. I pastored that church for a total of almost twenty years. I worked myself out of a job, resigned the church in 1993 to start Ends of the Earth Mission, which is now going into its twenty-first year. My Assistant Pastor at Victory took the leadership of that church when I left and has had a tremendous ministry there since I left. That church has faithfully preached the gospel and supported mission work all these years in many countries around the world. 


I mention these things because I am firmly convinced that had I fallen for any of the deceptive tactics of Neo-Berean, Hyper-Dispensationalism, Hyper-Calvinism, fanatical Charismatic errors, these ministries would never have happened. I do not presume to know all the reasons why some ministries grow and souls are saved, but after over 50 years in the ministry, my experience has been that if a man allows any restricted, narrow view of the Bible such as Hyper-Dispensationalism, Hyper-Calvinism, or any other ‘Hyper’ become the focus–God cannot bless it. The blessings came because of God’s grace and mercy, I take no credit! Every pastor knows that without godly men to help and under God’s mercy, he makes enough mistakes in the ministry to never do anything. But God uses men, and God’s preachers must work hard, believe God, and avoid a thousand pitfalls that come their way. Gimmicks like social programs, providing a “one stop” plethora to meet every community whim may attract numbers, but none of those convert souls and build solid church membership. Preaching the whole counsel of God with balance and without fear or favor does the job.


After over twenty years in foreign missions we have been able to help scores of folk get into “closed countries”, start two resident Bible schools and several extension schools in the Philippines, started and built over one hundred independent Baptist, King James Bible churches in remote areas. (I believe every word in the King James Bible but I don’t harp on it in every message or claim those who have some other’ Bible’ are lost. When some half-baked nut claims it has errors, we correct him in the proper setting. Preach the Book; It will take care of Itself!) Again, apart from the mercy and grace of God–how well we know this–none would have been possible. But I mention these experiences because I know that had I allowed any of the Hypers to creep into my ministry–none of this would have happened.


I have discussed with the Hypers all these errors of which I write. My information is not second-hand. I know their tactics and the deception because I was a target. I seriously considered and studied their claims face-to-face and in written, as well as recorded material from their taped lessons and books. Names could be given but no benefit will come from that. Some of these men have gone on to meet the Lord, but many of their parrots remain. Some of the doctrine they believe is sound but too much is speculation. I do not doubt their salvation, but even a saved man can be snared by the devil and wreck havoc.


More important to all the building, and sending, training, and–yes–‘right division’ is that quite literally, thousands of souls have come to know the Lord from simply believing what the Book says. Jesus came “to seek and to save that which was lost” and that fact can never be divisively manipulated away. With all of my being, I am firmly convinced from experience and the Bible that Hyper-Dispensationalism is one of the most deadening heresies to evangelism and Christian growth. All the ‘Hypers’ during this age before the Rapture have done irreparable harm to the cause of Christ. Hyper-Dispensationalism is more dangerous than any cult because it is a heresy that has enough truth in it so as to make it appear doctrinally sound.


The very “table” of Israel became a snare to them (Romans 11:7-10) and the grace of God, if misused can be a snare in this age. Method of teaching is just as important as the message. Using a doctrine with a skewed dispensational method can overthrow the faith of others.


“15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 
16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. 
17 And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; 
18 Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.

24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach,
patient, 
25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; 
26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will. (2 Timothy 2:15-18, 24-26 KJB)


–Dave Reese January 2015

(Dr. Reese’s book Deception of Hyper-Dispensationalism may now be purchased here.

Hyper-Dispensational Assumptions

Notice: The book on “Hyper-Dispensational Hair-Splitters” has been delayed due to several unavoidable issues. I do plan it to be available in late October, assuming there are no more delays. –Bro Dave

Hyper-Dispensational Assumptions

Here is another example of the many heresies of the Hyper-Dispensationalists. Although Cornelius R. Stam has already gone on to glory, the BBS continues to put these old heresies on their website (September 2014). You have to watch them: their twists and turns are as crooked as a rattlesnake with an epileptic fit.

Is Water Baptism A Testimony? by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


“Let us suppose that you have been saved, but live a careless life and bear a poor testimony before the world. Would water baptism change this? What would it be worth?
But suppose you have been saved and live a godly, consistent life before the world. Is a water-confession necessary? How much is it worth? Don’t be afraid to answer this question honestly. How many “baptized converts” there are who cannot even give a word of testimony for their Lord among the lost!

In a sense, however, the baptism of believers by water in this age is a testimony — a bad testimony. When the Galatian believers submitted to circumcision it was a bad testimony (Gal.5:2,3). Circumcision, while a part of Peter’s “gospel of the circumcision” had no place in “the gospel of the uncircumcision” committed to Paul (Gal.2:7). And just as circumcision was connected with “the gospel of the circumcision” so water baptism was con-nected (sic) with “the gospel of the kingdom” (See Matthew 3:2,6; 10:5-7; cf. John 1:31; Matthew 28:19; Mark 16:16; Luke 24:47; Acts 2:36-38; Acts 3:19-21).

We solemnly declare that the present day practice of water baptism is a reflection on the grace of God and a confession of a lack of appreciation of the finished work of Christ, and the believer’s completeness in Him (See Ephesians 1:6; Colossians 2:10). Furthermore, it betrays a poor understanding of the heavenly character and position of the Church of this age (See Ephesians 2:6; 1:3; Colossians 3:1-3).

Be a Berean. Search the Scriptures and see whether these things are so.”


This is what is known among men of reason as “making a mountain out of a mole hill”. Let us take Stam’s first question and supply some acts he did, and ask the same question: “Suppose that you have been saved, but live a careless life and bear a poor testimony before the world. Would the mere ritualistic acts of going to church on Sunday, Wednesday night, praying, studying your Bible, witnessing, singing hymns, observing the Lord’s Supper–which you do, change this? What would these be worth?”

In his “solemn” declaration, Stam lumps the gospel accounts of baptism and circumcision with Acts: “…And just as circumcision was connected with “the gospel of the circumcision” so water baptism was con-nected (sic) with “the gospel of the kingdom” (See Matthew 3:2,6; 10:5-7; cf. John 1:31; Matthew 28:19; Mark 16:16; Luke 24:47; Acts 2:36-38; Acts 3:19-21).”

Then, Stam runs to the “Prison Epistles” (Ephesians and Colossians) that do not mention water baptism in order to create the smoke and mirror Hyper heresy that circumcision and all water baptisms are connected. Along with this, he ASSUMES all baptisms in the NT are the same, and have the same meaning, mode, and message. This is the methodology of all Hyper-Dispensationalists. Neat trick, but it just doesn’t fit the facts.

As soon as someone questions this conclusion of a Hyper, the Hyper will go to Paul’s Acts ministry and try to prove that in Acts Paul was partially informed, gradually learning salvation by grace, or ignorant of what he later wrote in prison. They will point out that he took a vow, circumcised Timothy, went to synagogues, all of this to prove Paul was carrying on a Kingdom Gospel program like Peter, baptizing like Peter, or some partial version of it. But in prison, the Hypers claim Paul discontinued all this, and became a Hyper like them. Voila! That’s their proof water baptism is a “bad testimony”.

Press them further and they will quote what Paul said in Ephesians 4, there “is one baptism.” Of course in the same passage Paul said there is “one Lord “one faith” “one body” “one God” “one hope” “one Spirit”. Anyone who believes the KJB ( or any English or Greek Bible) knows there are more than “one” (numberwise) of all those TODAY. If Paul is saying there is only “one Spirit” in existence now–what happened to the “spirit” of man, angels who are ministering spirits, and the devil himself? And, when they run to whatever “Greek” they choose, we will answer the fool according to his folly and remind them that ALL Greek manuscripts have NO CAPITAL LETTERS for nouns or pronouns. We will also remind them that the KJB is absolutely correct in placing a capital letter “Spirit” since there is only one spirit that is essential and deserving of the capital: the Holy Spirit”. We will also remind them that there are at least three “faiths” in this age: the “faith of man”, “faith” that is a body of doctrine, and “the faith of Jesus Christ”–all easily seen if you believe what you read, and only one of these faiths is ESSENTIAL, the faith of Jesus Christ. If Paul meant there is only “one baptism”– numerically in this age that God accepts, the Bible record is flawed. Like the other “ones” of Ephesians 4, Paul refers to those that are ESSENTIAL or EFFECTUAL, by no means does he limit the number of spirits, baptisms, faiths, hopes, bodies, lords or gods to only one of each in existence. He is dealing with Quality not quantity. All Bible believers know that man’s faith wavers but the faith of Jesus Christ does not–but neither does that mean men should not have faith in God. And, all that are not trying to pull the wool over someone’s eyes, know that water baptism is not essential for salvation in this age. Bible believers also know that Paul, although he baptized believers, never condemns water baptism or repents of doing it at any time. However, they do know that if a person has not been baptized by the Spirit into the body of Christ–that person is none of Christ’s. (1 Corinthians 12:13; Romans 8:9-11).

All Campbellites and Hyper-Dispensationalists who think Paul would baptize with the same mode, meaning, and message as John the Baptist and Peter “..for the remission of sins”, while preaching: “And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. (Romans 11:6 KJB)” are more eligible to work in a carwash where they can baptize and wipe water away all day, rather than in the pulpit or classroom.

Furthermore, Paul plainly says circumcision in this age is “dung” but he never repents of baptizing anybody, or even hints he may have been ignorant or half informed during his Acts ministry. Read the Bible reason for his Acts ministry on the “Remnant” in our coming book. All the Hyper guesswork and assumptions of connecting baptism with circumcison, vows, etc., are proven for what they are: heresy. The Hypers are more fouled up than Hymenaeus and Philetus that “rightly divided” the resurrection right out of this age!

15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.
17 And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus;
18 Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.
19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. (2 Timothy 2:15-19 KJB)

BIBLE BEREANS, DISPENSATIONALISTS, NEO-BEREANS, AND HYPER-DISPENSATIONALISTS

“10 And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews.

11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

12 Therefore many of them believed; also of honourable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few.” (Acts 17:10-12 KJV)

Bible Bereans are believers from the area of Berea (Acts 17) and bear no resemblance to the contemporary denomination that calls itself “Bereans”.

Dispensationalists, generally, are those who believe normal-literal interpretation of the scripture is a sound method of understanding the various differences, as well as the similarities, of Bible economies. Those who claim to be dispensational in their Bible study are found in various denominations.

Neo-Bereanism and Hyper-Dispensationalism are closely related in that both groups claim the prison epistles of Paul dominate all Biblical doctrine; they deny water baptism by any mode and for any reason. Historically, “Bereans” such as Darby, Bullinger, and Welch did get along with those who differed on some of their doctrine. They were not narrow on fellowship with those who differed. (Bullinger, although not agreeing with some writers, nevertheless placed many of their articles in his seven volume set, “Things To Come”) Neo-Bereanism DEMANDS agreement with their position on baptism, etc., for fellowship. This contemporary crowd are the new breed of “Bereans”. Hypers and Neos disagree among themselves as to where the body of Christ began, observance of the Lord’s Supper, and other doctrines and practice. Those differences among themselves are so important in their view that they have split and splintered into different churches, and severed individual fellowship even with their “Berean” compadres.

I am dispensational in my Bible study but have not wavered from identifying myself first, as a Bible believing Christian and secondarily, a Baptist, for over 50 years. Regardless of theological beliefs, a man denominates himself when he takes any part or whole of a theological position. Like politics, you may be “Independent” “Libertarian” “Democrat” or “Republican” or even differ from all or some of those tenets; you have already denominated yourself, it is the “nature of the beast”. Man may call himself, or be called a “cuddy” “neddy” “dicky” “moke” or “burro”. You may indeed be a member of the family “Equidae” but if you are of the subspecies, “E. a. asinus”, you are a verifiable, real jackass, no matter which moniker is hung around your neck. (Jeremiah 2:22-24)

In 1980 I designed a dispensational chart that illustrated one way to understand some of the different economies or programs found in various periods of Bible history. Following several precedents before me, I named these as “Innocence” “Conscience”, etc., for relevance and general description but indicated the Bible order of references for each period, leaving gaps between each to allow transition periods from one economy to the next. Since the beginning of my college Bible studies, although many confuse it with time, I understood the term “dispensation” did not refer exclusively to a period of time, but better defined by “economy” or “program”. To my knowledge, the unique design of my chart was the Bible references to each period exactly as they are ordered in the Bible. The chart is still available on this website and has been used worldwide in many places to help believers understand the supposed contradictions in the Bible. The Bible has no contradictions; contradictions lie in our attempt to fit the Bible to our thinking instead of simply believing the Bible is right and men are wrong.

Never have I insisted that this chart was the ONLY way to understand the Bible or to “rightly divide” it. It was designed as one tool among many ways to understand the word of God. Only a fool would claim to have discovered what millions of other Christians over centuries have never seen, or that his way was the ONLY way to study the Bible.

When I say “Bible”, the reference is to the King James Bible, commonly known as the Authorized Version of 1611. I differ somewhat (don’t we all) from others in that I believe the translation of the word of God into English was simultaneous with the development of the English language over a period of c. 500 years, reaching the peak in 1611. I do not believe that ONLY the “original manuscripts” were inspired and copies were merely “preserved”. In my understanding, inspiration and preservation are inseparable. Jesus said, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” (Matthew 24:35). Inspiration, if limited to the original manuscripts being God-breathed, then preservation means nothing more than the attempt to preserve dead words. Details of my view on inspiration may be found in my sermons and writings.

I believe normal-literal language communication is the only way we can understand each other, as well as understanding that which God has revealed in His Bible. The Bible does not hide, make difficult, or allow only the intellectuals to know the essential things a man must know about God, or what God wants man to do. God is more interested in your heart than your head. David was a man “after God’s own heart” and not a man after “God’s head”.

Education in the writings of men (secular and religious) will not necessarily make you closer to God but it may very well drive you away from God. Many “professing themselves to be wise, they became fools…”(Romans 1:20-22).

Above all things, salvation and service to God are personal matters. The salvation of your soul and how you serve Him are One-on-one, between God and you alone: Entre Dios y sólo a ti. No man is to have dominion over another man’s soul or be his Judge. The reason for these things are plain: all men are sinners and in the same boat before the Eternal God. In the course of living everyone must make “judgments” but before we undertake to condemn a man for his religion, we had better do a double-take on our own.

Since all men are liars in one way or another, and put on their pants just like all others do, one leg at a time, we must be very careful before swallowing any man’s words—hook, line and sinker. Absolute Truth resides in one place on this earth: the Bible. When men (liars as we are by nature) tell us what God means in the Bible, this is where it hits the fan. Red flashing lights should go on and “PROCEED WITH CAUTION” signs begin to blink.

“Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” (Matthew 7:20 KJV)

A simple story about spiritual fruitfulness: Bill and Joe, friends for many years, attended a gospel meeting out of curiosity. The preacher quoted the Bible and made a powerful but clear gospel message. Declaring that all men are sinners and that the wages of sin is death, the preacher said Christ came into the world to pay the penalty of sin, died on the cross, and that “Whosoever” trusted His finished work on the cross for salvation, would have everlasting life. Both men, realizing they had sinned and were sinners under the wrath of God, believed on The Lord Jesus Christ that night.

Bill and Joe began to study the Bible and rejoiced in all the blessings, peace with God, and joy they had. Joe began to study under a system called “dispensationalism” and listened, almost exclusively, to only a small group who referred to themselves as “Bereans” and claimed to “rightly divide” the Bible. Bill also listened to the dispensational views and saw some value in understanding but noticed the studies left a few critical questions unanswered. Their close fellowship began to fade as Joe became more and more involved in what Bill saw as Joe “splitting hairs” and making “mountains out of molehills”.

Joe finally declared that if Bill did not deny water baptism and believe the body of Christ (the Church) began with Paul, he would not have any more fellowship with him. He demanded many other “doctrines” such as: the Bible order of books was wrong, the New Testament was not Matthew through Revelation, water baptism was totally Jewish tradition, the grace of God came with Paul’s revelation, the body of Christ began after Paul got that revelation, those who believed Paul’s doctrines had a “high calling” and would be caught out before the rest of the “low calling” believers, etc.,,etc.

Bill tried to reason with Joe that these matters were not more important than their fellowship as members in the body of Christ. Both of them believed on Christ and salvation by grace, plus nothing and minus nothing. Bill did not believe water baptism saved or had any power to make a person a better Christian; he believed it was a sImple illustration or identification with the gospel message of the believer’s union with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection. He reasoned that Christ did not intend that they become virtual enemies over these lesser matters, but all of his pleas went unneeded by Joe.

Joe went on to become a pastor of a dispensational church that had split from another dispensational church across town–not because they baptized converts–both groups denied that. The church split because some believed the Lord’s Supper should be observed, while the splinter members did not. When Joe tore down his church sign and put “Berean Fellowship” removing the old traditional words “Calvary Church”, (because “Calvary” was not found in Paul’s letters) Bill tried again to reason with Joe that many words were not found in Paul’s letters but that did not mean Paul denied them. When Bill mentioned that Paul established many churches and even addressed his letters to them, Joe insisted that the word “church” had been ruined by old traditionalism and was no longer of any value. When Bill asked Joe if he was going to stop meeting in a building, throw out the “pews” “pulpit” and of course change or drop his “Sunday School” “morning Worship service” at 11-12 AM, and begin meeting only in houses, Joe was strangely silent.

The illustration is a real one except the names. Can any saved and reasonable Christian believe that Joe’s fanaticism is pleasing to God? Do you really believe that God sent His Son to the cross, saved Paul and gave His apostleship to bring about such “fruit”?

(to be continued….)

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