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
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.
“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)
“He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” (John 3:36 KJB)
How much simpler can it be? Believe on the Son and you have everlasting life. Two Jehovah Witnesses came to my door one day and said, “We want to share the good news of God’s coming Kingdom.” My reply, “I already have The Lord Jesus Christ, and all of God’s blessings in Him. I don’t need your ‘kingdom.”
Simplicity is the essence of God’s blessings upon man; organized religion is complicated, man’s added twists and wrinkles are created to insert man himself as God’s divine representative.
No matter how sweet, loving, and dedicated they may appear, men who put some effort, ritual or rule between “the Son” and “everlasting life” are nothing more than religious opportunists.
Those who require some religious law obedience to reach God or His blessings, are known as Pharisees. Even a perfect observance of the Law of Moses never gained acceptance with God. A heart that earnestly sought God, without the Law of Moses, was accepted before any person that sought God with sacrifices, rules, and offerings of the Law.
“1 At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the corn; and his disciples were an hungred, and began to pluck the ears of corn and to eat.
2 But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto him, Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the sabbath day.
3 But he said unto them, Have ye not read what David did, when he was an hungred, and they that were with him;
4 How he entered into the house of God, and did eat the shewbread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the priests?
5 Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless?
6 But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater than the temple.
7 But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless.” (Matthew 12:1-7 KJB)
The Pharisees in Jesus’ day put rules and regulations before “judgment, mercy, and faith”. Permit me to give other words Jesus said to the Pharisees in Matthew 23 in an abbreviated form:
“Then spake Jesus… Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat…
But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go…
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves…
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith…
Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.
Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres,…
Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity….
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!…
Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?”
That is a description of religion without God—access to the blessings of God, blocked by man’s rules. And, it shows us what God thinks about the practice. Read the whole chapter of Matthew 23 and see the full condemnation of the Pharisees.
The Pharisees are among us today. A Pharisee always places some work or deed they have invented before God’s salvation and/or blessings while claiming all is by grace, without works.
Roman Catholicism places the Pope, mass, confessional, baptism, purgatory, and money in the church coffers before God can be reached. While condemning the Roman system, Hyper-Dispensationalism places another form of the Pharisaical system before the sinner.
According to Hyper-Dispensationalism, you may be saved by grace BUT in order to get the best of God’s blessings, you MUST “rightly divide” the Bible as they define right division.
You MUST know the difference between Paul and Peter.
You MUST believe that the real church, the Body of Christ began with the revelation from God to Paul in prison.
The Hyper insists that this Body beginning is the key to all spiritual blessings from God, and that nothing of this Body was anywhere in any form in any inspired scriptures before Paul.
If you baptize–FOR ANY REASON–symbolic, illustrative, or otherwise, it is a sin.
If you call yourself by ANY NAME other than that the Hyper designates, you are following “tradition” and therefore, a sinner.
If you believe the Book of Psalms, the gospel of John, Genesis, etc., have just as much FORCE as Paul’s epistles, you are sinning.
Unless you recognize that EPHESIANS, PHILIPPIANS, AND COLOSSIANS by Paul, are of more FORCE, greater revelation, than even all of the other inspired epistles by Paul, you are ignorant, following traditions of men, and you will miss the “high calling of God” and get the lower rapture of 1 Thessalonians 4, being a lowly member of the Romans12 “body of Christ”, a lower rung of spiritual blessings in Christ.
Hyper-Dispensationalism has hijacked Bible dispensational study and created a Pharisaical monstrosity. Like the Pharisees of Matthew 23, they compass land and sea to find saved men and women in Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, and other Protestant churches where saved people may be, in order to gain proselytes. The Hypers do this without a shade of conscience or shame, even while the Books they claim are superior to all others, condemn their misuse of them:
My friend, if you have The Lord Jesus, you have One greater than all religions, the Temple, the cornfield, Catholicism, Campbellite, Charismatic, Berean and Baptist church! If you have accepted Christ, you already have all spiritual blessings in Christ. You are not required to learn at the “deep” theology of anybody, including the Hyper-Dispensationalists:
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.” (Ephesians 1:3 KJB)
As far as the Hyper-Dispensationalists go:
Paul does not exclude his prior epistles and even includes the things the Philippians had “seen” him do (baptism) during the Acts period. (The Philippians were not with him in prison!)
“Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.”(Philippians 4:9 KJB)
A sinner is “complete” in Christ not because he learns the system of the Hyper; the sinner is complete because he is IN CHRIST.
“8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:” (Colossians 2:8-10 KJB).
The only wonder more amazing than the Hypers’ brazen manipulation of Scripture to produce such lies and their own devilish “traditions” is the ignorance and superstition of the gullible proselytes to this Pharisaical heresy.
A surgeon weeps in private when he loses a patient-even one that went under the knife without much chance of survival–“Could I have done better? Was it my lack of training, dedication, skill?” An artist looks at a finished work and regrets he did not add a highlight there, or paid more attention to values there. An athlete looks at a replay of a dropped pass and wonders, “Did I do my best?” A divorcee thinks, “Could I have done better?” Fired from the job, an employee asks, “Could I have done better?” Every writer looks at a published work and laments, “I could have done better.” Any preacher who is worth his salt thinks after every sermon, “I could have preached a better sermon.” Every pastor, after years in the pastorate realizes he could have done better as a shepherd of the flock.
To those who say and mean, “Could I have done better?”, the answer is always “Yes, you should have.” It is not in the answer that the truth and benefit lies, but in the heart desire to wonder the answer; it means we are not satisfied with the past or present, but seek a better future result.
Learn from the past and always seek more wisdom and more skill in application of it. That earnest search will help us find the better.
Self-satisfaction, even in the midst of accolades by others, is the death of creative life. Only God can look at what he did and say “It is good” and only One has ever justly said, “It is finished.”
Our work is always imperfect and we must agree with the Apostle Paul,
“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14 KJB).
“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”
(John 16:33 KJB)
In this world are tribulations and hate
From Adam’s garden out through the gate.
With both feet in it, tossed about,
Our state is weak without a doubt.
But we are not of it;
Our Head arose above it!
In the darkest sin-laid hour
HE paid penalty and broke the power.
Although we’re not “of” this wicked mess,
We are found “in” midst of all of this.
But we have sweet rest of holiness,
Because IN HIM is where we rest.
—-Dave Reese March 2014
(This is the intro to our Bible Doctrines 1 Bibliology for our Philippine Bible schools. I want to share the message on our website with hopes it will encourage a Bible student somewhere.)
This is the most important section of the entire course of Bible Doctrines 1. Get this right and you will have the very heart of teaching and preaching with absolute authority. The remainder of this course has been revised (2013) from the original transcription of 1977 audio tapes. This was done in order to reflect the author’s own growth (hopefully) in Bible understanding and to correct as well what I see as inconsistencies of the modern “KJV Bible Believers” movement.
The student will notice some clarification and extended comments on the term “inspiration” and its relationship to “preservation”. God’s word never changes, but if we do not continually learn and have spiritual growth in the things of God, we become as clouds with little water. As a whole, all of us have allowed the idea of inspiration to be confined to the original manuscripts only, while using preservation to remain in the nebulous area of various manuscripts, propped up entirely by the immense number and the usage of them. Perhaps we used this, wishfully, to “prove” we had the very words of God; it is not essential.
The word of God does not allow preservation of its words to be totally dependent upon godly men or the vast number of manuscripts, which are in the same family, or generally alike. As I see it, that idea has been simply an attempt to meet the so-called “scholars” halfway in order to retain “verbal-plenary” inspiration of the Book in our hand, and not look as though we were ignorant and unlearned men. The number of manuscripts that agree are some confirmation of preservation—but that is not the critical factor. The following comments will surely raise the hackles on many AV1611 backs, but so be it.
I hasten to say these things were not learned overnight and that I remain a student who seeks the approval of God alone. I am closer to the Judgment Seat of Christ than many of my readers—this makes me “cut the bull” and do my best to speak the truth in love. A reluctant and rebellious boy and made to go to church by my mother, baptized at twelve, I was well on my way to hell at eighteen believing in God just like the devil believes. By the grace of God I married a good saved woman and through her prayers and Bible living, stopped looking for peace in the beer joints and hell-holes. I accepted Jesus Christ as my own personal Savior. I saw I was a sinner and that Christ died for my sins. For the first time I knew why He hung on that tree and that salvation was not in any church or system but that salvation is ONE PERSON, JESUS. Saved in 1963, at this writing I am 75 years old with 51 years behind me in what men call “the ministry”. I did not want to be a “preacher”, seek it, and was fearful of it when I read the same Book in 1963 that I have today. God would not leave me alone! I was like Amos: “I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet’s son…” (Amos 7:14). Every place I read in the Book it seemed God said to me “Go tell them what I’ve done.” Over fifty years later, I am assured I did the right thing.
Let’s be clear: I do not say a person should not read books, study, and get the best preparation you can. This is a Bible school course! I am certainly not opposed to the right kind of education. I went to schools and got a string of degrees behind my name. (But like a man said: “More curls in a pig’s tail doesn’t make the pork any better.”) God kept me on the main track. When a professor or preacher corrected the word of God, I let the Bible in my hand with its words correct him. I fell for some tricks along the way (we all do) but I believe the grace of God got me out of them before any real lasting damage was done.
Another thing is important: do not despise the days of small things. You may be an ex-Roman Catholic that is now saved. Your mother may have carried you to Mass, a Mosque, or to a church like my mother did. There’s some truth in many things. You wont go to heaven based on looking at a bug in a microscope but there is the truth of God in its design. You won’t become a Christian by sitting on a church pew anymore than you could be a car by sitting in a garage but there is some truth in many places and things. When I was a boy, I saw a picture of Christ on the cross in church that stuck in my memory and as I played music in the nightclubs, that picture would flash across my mind. It was a constant prick in my conscience. You may have been raised in Buddhism but even in that religion there is a witness, one thing is sure, it shows that God has put the desire to worship in all men; the difference lies in Whom you trust and not the label around your neck.
You may have graduated from one of the colleges, universities, seminaries, or Bible schools that professed to believe the Bible or that freely corrected it, or didn’t allow the Bible at all, but that is no reason to trash the school. If you are honest, you learned something that you needed. If you got absolutely nothing—you are hopelessly immune to ministering to a lost world and doomed to an isolated sinkhole of self-centered love.
The point I make is don’t become negative, sour, a person down on everybody and everything who does not agree with what you think you know now. The best of us are all students in God’s world and word. Love your mother and father and your fellow man for the good in them; that does not mean you agree with everything they have ever done or are doing. Spitting on a man or kicking him in the gut because he is not doing what you think he should, will not make him respect or listen to you.
This is a personal illustration. (After 50 years in the work, a man should have personal illustrations and not have to read all of them out of a book.) My father was unsaved when I accepted Christ. He came from middle Tennessee and had made it on his own since he was an orphan baby. He was rough, tough and ready. He was respectful to preachers but laughed at two great “soul-winners” who tried to win him. (The men were pastors at that time of the largest Baptist churches in the world.) They were sincere and did the best they could, but that didn’t get him. What got him was something else, 30 years later. He had thrown up a prayer to God in 1971 to heal our baby boy (Micah) who had a heart problem. He said “God, if you will spare the baby’s life, I’ll get right.” I didn’t know it at the time, but he was watching me to see if what I professed in 1963 had really changed “the wild side of me.” Early in those years, while I was following the “standards” set forth by my school, I made the mistake one day of criticizing his cigar smoking. He left our house and didn’t come back for 6 months.
One day, I realized God didn’t save clean, non-smoking, good living, outwardly religious clones—He died for sinners! I apologized to my father for my stupidity and realized how thankful I should be for his good qualities. He worked hard, paid his bills, and his word was gold. He taught me how to properly handle a gun, give a honest day’s work for your pay, work hard, keep your word, and tell the truth. But even if he had not done those things, he was still my father.
I’m so glad I grew up a little spiritually because over 30 years later, after God healed Micah, and after watching me for many years at 65 years of age, he accepted Christ and became a wonderful Christian man. He served the Lord faithfully until he went home at 83 years of age. “Honor thy father and thy mother…”
“For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?” (1 Corinthians 4:7)
A haughty attitude will eventually catch up with you. There is a former student who knew almost nothing about rightly dividing the Bible when he began Bible school. He knew nothing about the real Bible translation issues. He learned a little, copied this and that from one man and another, floated a loan and published a couple of fancy books.
Impressive to some who don’t know the facts, yet his testimony among many is that of being a self-promoter and very egotistical. He gives no credit to anyone and constantly gives notice of where he has been on radio and TV, etc. All of it is smalltime showmanship and not a few openly laugh behind his back. He is a perfect example of one who glories as if he did not receive anything from another man. What this man does not know is that he benefits from giving honor to whom honor is due—those he plagiarized don’t really benefit from his honor, nor do they seek it.
God help us to give honor to whom honor is due! The man or woman that you honor does not receive the greatest benefit—it is for our own benefit. All of us receive what we have from other men. God’s revelation is complete. He does not reveal to me or to you what other men do not know or have known. We may think we originated it but it has been around a long time. Just because we “find” something in the Bible does not make you or me a “revelator”. It was there before we took our first breath. And, most likely, it was in a book or lesson by some man long ago.
I learned first from my mother and father. Three brothers, men and women, friends, pastors, —folks I’ve only met in a book—and some saved, some lost, teachers. All truth is in the Bible and not all truth is outside it. But where there is truth outside the Bible, it is still God’s truth. Recently, a friend of mine shared something on his heart as we drove around the Colorado hills. As I listened to him, I realized he was helping me learn a spiritual truth that I did not have before. I have three earned doctorates: he has none, but he was my Bible teacher for those four hours we rode together. I learned more about mission work in two months from a lady in the Venezuelan jungle than I learned in 20 years in the ministry! Lets keep an attitude of gratitude and realize we may know some things but we know nothing yet as we ought to know.
“And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know.” (1 Corinthians 8:2)