Dayna’s Pre-Trip Rapture Post #2

In my last post, I covered some of my story about how I got to where I am in my understanding which included my awakening to the “seeker sensitive/church growth/emergent church” movement as well as the concepts of Calvinism and dispensationalism. (I’ll link my first post at the bottom of this post)

I left off talking about how Israel and The Church are NOT the same and how the coming Tribulation or Daniel’s 70th week is not meant for The Church – It is the time of Jacob’s Trouble (Jeremiah 30) and the purpose of it is for the salvation of the Jewish nation.

I want to talk about how God’s promises to the Nation of Israel are different than God’s promises to The Church and give more support for a pre-tribulation rapture.

However, before I do that, I wanted to spend just a little more time on the concept of dispensationalism.

This simple concept is so misunderstood, yet so vital to our understanding of scripture that it merits more time. There are current movements within Christianity such as the Hebrew Roots/Torah movement and the Sabbath Keepers and many others which are so easily seen to be false doctrine when we do as Paul wrote in his 2nd letter to Timothy: 2 Timothy 2:15 King James Version (KJV)

15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, RIGHTLY DIVIDING the word of truth.

I’d like to share with you a fun little article that is from a November 2000 Berean Bible Society newsletter. I’ve had a printout of it on my book shelf for many years and I remember that it was helpful to me when I was first trying to wrap my brain around a dispensational approach to scripture. This article is a short study on food in the Bible and how at different times God had different instructions for man about food. It’s so simple yet so profound! I pray that you enjoy it as much as I did and I pray that it blesses your understanding!

Here are some excerpts:

In this study we’re going to ask the same question, but this time we’re going to ask the Bible—`What’s for supper?’—and we’re going to see that God has given several different instructions in the Bible at different times about the food that He allowed His people to eat.

Our goal is not just to learn about God’s instructions about food in the Bible, but to get an understanding of how to understand the Bible. What we’ll learn about food is applicable to many other questions we could ask of the Bible.

WHAT GOD SAID TO ADAM ABOUT FOOD The first man we need to look at is the first man, Adam. When God created Adam, He told him what he was allowed to eat:

“And God said, `See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food'” (Gen. 1:29).

In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were vegetarians. God commanded that their food was to be the herbs and fruits, no meat.

WHAT GOD SAID TO NOAH ABOUT FOOD The next man we need to look at is Noah. There were about 1500 years between Adam and Noah. In Genesis 9 we read about Noah, after the great flood, receiving instructions from God concerning the food that he was allowed to eat:

“So God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them: `Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth. And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be on every beast of the earth, on every bird of the air, on all that move on the earth, and on all the fish of the sea. They are given into your hand. Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. I have given you all things, even as the green herbs. But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood'” (Gen. 9:1-4).

WHAT GOD SAID TO MOSES ABOUT FOOD The next man we need to look at is Moses, the Law-giver of Israel. In Leviticus 11, God gave Moses and Aaron a complete chapter of some 47 verses detailing which animals the Israelites could eat, and which were “unclean” and forbidden.

“And the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying to them, `Speak to the children of Israel, saying, These are the animals which you may eat among all the animals that are on the earth'” (Lev. 11:1-2).

Among the forbidden animals was the swine (Lev. 11:7) or pig, so pork was unclean. Forget about sausage or pepperoni pizza! The chapter lists the seafood that was allowed—fish with scales, and the seafood that was unclean—lobsters, shrimp, clams. The birds that were unclean—eagles, vultures, buzzards, even the insects that were allowed—the grasshopper, cricket and locust were kosher and allowed to be eaten!

The chapter ends with this instruction:

“This is the law of the animals and the birds and every living creature that moves in the waters, and of every creature that creeps on the earth, To distinguish between the unclean and the clean, and between the animal that may be eaten and the animal that may not be eaten” (Lev. 11:46-47).

Before we move on further, let’s review….

To Adam God said that his food was to be herbs and fruits. This instruction was in effect for about 1500 years.

Then to Noah God commanded that he and his descendants could eat every moving living thing: animals, fish and birds, meat, fowl and fish, along with the herbs. This instruction lasted about 1000 years.

In the Law of Moses God again changed His instructions concerning food—at least for the nation of Israel—now only certain animals, fish and birds were allowed to be eaten, the rest were unclean and not allowed for the Israelites to eat.

This instruction—the Law of Moses with its kosher and non-kosher food—was in effect all throughout the rest of the Old Testament, and all throughout the four gospels—Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John—and on into the early chapters of the Book of Acts. This brings us to the next man we need to study, Peter.

WHAT GOD SAID TO PETER ABOUT FOOD In Acts 10 and 11 Peter received a startling revelation from the Lord concerning food. One day Peter was hungry at about noon time. So while lunch was being prepared, Peter was up on a rooftop praying when he received a vision from the Lord.

“…Peter went up on the housetop to pray, about the sixth hour. Then he became very hungry and wanted to eat; but while they made ready, he fell into a trance and saw heaven opened and an object like a great sheet bound at the four corners, descending to him and let down to the earth. In it were all kinds of four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, creeping things, and birds of the air. And a voice came to him, `Rise, Peter; kill and eat.’

“But Peter said, `Not so, Lord! For I have never eaten anything common or unclean.’

“And a voice spoke to him again the second time, `What God has cleansed you must not call common'” (Acts 10:9-16).

WHAT THE LORD JESUS SAID TO PAUL ABOUT FOOD What Peter didn’t know in Acts 10, but we do, is that a new dispensation had begun in Acts 9. One chapter before Peter’s vision, something even more startling happened one day on the road from Jerusalem to Damascus. The Lord Jesus Christ saved a man who later called himself, the “chief of sinners,” and appointed him to become the Apostle Paul. And the Lord Jesus began to reveal to Paul a dispensation called the “dispensation of the grace of God” (Eph. 3:2).

Just as Moses was the Law-giver for Israel, and his dispensation included instructions about food, so also Paul became the “dispenser” of the dispensation of the grace of God, and his dispensation also included instructions about food:

“Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving; for it is sanctified by the Word of God and prayer” (I Tim. 4:1-5).

Paul warns Timothy that in the latter times there will be teachers who will command the Christians to “abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving.” Paul says that this will be evidence of a departure from the faith, for in the dispensation of the grace of God, “Every creature of God is good meat, fowl, or seafood and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving.”

Today, for us living under grace (Rom. 6:14) and in this dispensation given to Paul by the Lord from heaven (Eph. 3:2), all animals, birds, and seafood are allowed to be eaten as food. Nothing is forbidden. For the past 2000 years, ever since the dispensation of grace began in Acts 9 with the salvation of this new apostle, godly people have been permitted to eat sausage and pepperoni pizzas with double cheese and mushrooms!

WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED ABOUT “HOW TO UNDERSTAND THE BIBLE?” Back to our purpose in this study …how do these things we have seen about God’s food laws in the Bible help us to understand how to understand the Bible?

First, we need to realize when we’re studying the Bible, that God has given different commands to different people at different times all through the Word of God. In regard to food, God gave one initial instruction to Adam and his descendants, then changed the instruction when He spoke to Noah. Then again a new set of instructions for Moses, that were completely changed when he called the Apostle Paul and revealed the dispensation of grace to him for us today.

The instructions would even seem to contradict each other…to Adam: herbs and fruits only, then to Noah: any living thing—animal, bird or fish—then to Moses: only some living things, then for us: “every creature of God is good for food.”

Unless we realize that God has different instructions for different people at different times, we would have to conclude that the Bible is full of contradictions.

Second: When we study the Bible, we need to be careful to “rightly divide the Word of truth” (II Tim. 2:15) to be sure that we are applying God’s instructions for us today, and not God’s instructions to someone living in another dispensation. Just dropping the Bible open and randomly putting our finger down on any verse is not “rightly dividing the Word of truth!” and is a good way to become very confused about how to understand the Bible.

Of course, the instructions about food are only part of the Word of God. But many other teachings in the Bible also have to be studied “dispensationally.” For instance, the Lord’s teaching about prayer for us in the dispensation of grace is vastly different from what He gave the twelve apostles during His earthly ministry in Israel.

To Israel the Lord said, “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.” And, “And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive” (John 15:7 and Matt. 21:22).

Many today have tried to “claim” these prayer promises, only to be sadly disappointed when they didn’t work—they didn’t get “what you desire” or “whatever things you ask.” Some have even lost their faith in the Bible at this point. They tried the “prayer promises for Israel” and found that they didn’t work, and so concluded that the Bible isn’t true.

What they failed to realize is that God’s instructions to different people living at different times have changed, about food and about prayer and about many other things. When we want to know what to eat, or how to pray, under grace, we turn to the letters of the Apostle Paul. And when we do, we learn that even the Apostle Paul did not get everything that he asked for—see II Corinthians 12:8-9 for one good example, and there are a number of others.

Third, we see that a Bible teacher may be “biblical” and “scriptural” but he will be wrong if he is not “dispensational.”

Biblical, in the sense that he is quoting Bible verses and passages, and teaching some portion of the Word of God and applying it to believers today. And scriptural, in the sense that he is quoting Scripture to prove his point. But if he is not dispensational, he will be teaching wrong doctrine for believers today.

Example: A preacher could easily preach that we should be vegetarians today—he could find several verses to base this doctrine on in the first few chapters of the Book of Genesis where the Lord commanded Adam to be a vegetarian. The preacher would be biblical and scriptural, but he would be wrong, because he wouldn’t be rightly dividing the Word of truth. Yes, Genesis is God’s Word, but not God’s Word to us today!

We live in a time of great confusion even among Bible believers and Bible teachers. In some neighborhoods there’s almost a church on every corner, and they’re all preaching something different, yet they all have their verses in the Bible to prove that they are right and the others are wrong! And because they disagree about how to understand the Bible, and how to apply the Bible to us today, they are divided into thousands of different denominations and groups. We have seen in our simple study about foods in the Bible how it would be very easy to become confused—and then become divided from other Christians.

One church may be following Adam’s instructions in Genesis 1 and 2. Another may focus on Noah’s, or Moses’, or Peter’s, or Paul’s—they would all have verses to prove that they were right, yet they would all disagree with each other, and none would be able to eat with the others!

We’ve been focusing on only this one area, foods, but the same principle applies to many doctrines in the Bible: salvation, eternal security, prayer, speaking in tongues, healings and healers, the Lord’s coming again, and many other areas of teaching. All of these areas of doctrine must be studied, not only biblically and scripturally, but also dispensationally—”rightly dividing the Word of truth”—if we really want to understand what God’s instructions are for us today.

Here is the simple answer to all the confusion that we find today in the Body of Christ, and the only way of having unity among all the members of the Body of Christ. We need to realize that the Lord Jesus Christ saved a new apostle, the Apostle Paul, for a special purpose, to reveal to him a new program called the “dispensation of the grace of God” (Eph. 3:2). Here is the key that opens up the Scriptures to our understanding.

As we have surveyed God’s different instructions to different people at different times throughout the Bible, the answer to the question—What’s for supper?—has seemed to be obvious, yet, sad to say, most Christians today have never seen this principle in the Bible. We hope that our study together has been profitable to you…that you have not only seen something new, or clearer in the Bible, but also will apply this simple Bible principle in your continuing study of God’s Word, and that you will want to share it with others.

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Podcast link to post #2



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