Hyper-Dispensationalism

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HYPER-DISPENSATIONALISM

by: Dr. David E. Walker

� Copyright David E. Walker

This article is a chapter taken from the book The Bible Believer’s Guide to Dispensationalism

 

 

 

Their Founding Fathers

As detailed previously, hyper-dispensationalism (or ultra-dispensationalism) arose primarily from the teachings of E.W. Bullinger (1837-1913), and was later Americanized by J.C. O’Hair, Charles F. Baker, and Cornelius R. Stam (1908-2003).  Modern day “Bereans” believe those men “recover[ed] the truth of Pauline revelation.”[1]  The Berean Bible Society publishes the hyper’s periodical: The Berean Searchlight. 

 

“Ultra” or “Hyper”                                         –

Whether you use the Greek prefix (hyper) or the Latin (ultra), makes no difference.  Shelton Smith (editor of The Sword of the Lord) creates his own definition by differentiating between an “ultra,” and a “hyper” dispensationalist: “By my definition, an ultra dispensationalist is somewhere between a dispensationalist and a hyper dispensationalist.”[2]  Smith’s label is aimed at Bible believing, soul-winning Baptists, who reject the “saved the same” scenario.  Smith knows they are not “hypers,” but he disagrees with them; hence, the label “ultra.”

Classic hyper-dispensationalism is a dead end divergence that kills any real “Bible Study.”  Articles in The Berean Searchlight include such titles as: “Are the Twelve Apostles in the Body of Christ,” “No Other Doctrine But Right Division,” “Why Paul,” “The Confession of Sins,” “Paul, The Apostle of Grace,” “At What Age was Jesus Baptized,” and “The Devil and the Mystery.”

 

What is “Paul’s Gospel?”

Instead of “Paul’s gospel” including the message of salvation by “grace through faith,” (with an emphasis on the mystery of the body of Christ and the rapture) hypers attribute the doctrine of substitutionary atonement to Paul alone.  Ricky Kurth of the Berean Bible Society answers the question: “Did Philip preach ‘Christ died for our sins’ to the Ethiopian eunuch?”

It is tempting to think that Philip preached this to the eunuch when we read that he “preached unto him Jesus” from Isaiah 53 (Acts 8:26-35).  However, this message that was later given to the Apostle Paul (1 Cor. 15:3,4) had not yet been revealed.  Thus we know that Philip rather preached Christ according to the kingdom program.[3]

The “Issue”                                        –

A person can easily be identified as a hyper by their unorthodox view of when the body of Christ began.  In fact, this is “the issue.”[4]

Stam states their position:

 

We believe, and are sure, however, that the present dispensation began, not with Peter and the eleven at Pentecost, but with Paul, to whom the risen, glorified Lord later reveled His will and program for our day. [5]

Ryrie correctly notes that most “Dispensationalists say that the church began at Pentecost, while ultra dispensationalists believe that it began with Paul sometime later.”[6]  Whether or not they hold to the “Acts 28” view (Bullinger), or the Acts 18 view (O’Hair) or the so-named “mid Acts” view (Acts 9 – Stam and Sadler) makes no difference.  They all add an extra dispensation between Acts 2 and Paul.  This is done to eliminate water baptism.  [Bullinger, and his followers also did away with communion since they only held Paul’s prison epistles (of which 1 Cor. 11 is not included) as doctrine for the Church Age.]

Ironside, in his classic pamphlet Wrongly Dividing the Word of Truth, categorizes the errors of hypers who took Bullinger’s position:

1.     The “four gospels are entirely Jewish.”[7]

2.     The church in the book of Acts “is simply an aspect of the kingdom and is not the same as the Body of Christ.”[8]

3.     Only Paul’s prison epistles are Church Age material.  “Paul did not receive his special revelation of the mystery of the body until his imprisonment in Rome.”[9]

4.     “The entire book of Revelation has to do with the coming age and has no reference to the Church today.”[10]

[Note:  The fact that some of the doctrinal verses in Rev. 1-3 teach a person can lose his salvation imposes at least a primary application to the Tribulation, with a historical and devotional relevance to the Church Age.  See: Rev. 4:1- “things which must be hereafter.”]

5.     The bride of Jesus Christ is NOT the body of Christ, but “Jewish.”[11]

6.     “The Christian ordinances . . . Have no real connection with the present economy.”[12]

Ruckman outlines the teachings of hyper-dispensationalism as follows:

1. There is a period of time called “THE GRACE OF GOD” which began in Acts 9 (Stam, Baker, Moore, Watkins) or in Acts 18 (O’Hare and others) or in Acts 28 (Bullinger . . .

2. Water baptism is not for “THIS AGE” since “THIS AGE” began in Acts 9 or Acts 13 or Acts 18 or Acts 28.

3.  Bible-believing Baptists are heretics who do not follow PAULINE teaching (1 Ti. 1:16).

4.  Since Paul did not COMMAND anyone to be baptized, it is UNSCRIPTURAL.

5. Since Paul was not “SENT TO BAPTIZE,” water baptism is PRE-PAULINE (1 Cor. 1).

6. The “ONE BAPTISM” of Ephesians 4 automatically cancels water baptism .[13]

 “In The Body Or Out Of The Body?”                 –

As we have demonstrated before (see The Transition Periods) the Bible does not “chop up” as neatly as the hypers would have you to believe.  They want the so-called “Dispensation of the Grace of God” to begin with Paul so they can seemingly get away from the different plan of salvation found in Acts 2:38.  Note Sadler’s flawed comment:

 

The early chapters of Acts are merely a continuation of the earthly ministry of Christ to Israel. . . We must ask, who of the Acts 2 persuasion, preaches Acts 2:38 as the terms of salvation today?[14]

Well, who of the “mid Acts” position (following Paul) preaches Acts 19:6 as the terms of receiving the Holy Ghost?  Biblical facts show four different “plans of salvation” (or “ways to get the Holy Ghost”) in the book of Acts before and after Paul’s conversion (see: Acts 2,8,16,19).  All four “plans of salvation” fall under ONE dispensation.  Hypers confuse the dispensing of truth with the revelation of truth during the transition from Jew to Gentile (see Romans 11) in Acts!

The beginning of the body of Christ is easy to determine when the Bible is taken at face value, instead of the understanding of men (i.e. Paul being “revealed” the mystery).  The way for the spiritual body of Christ was made at Calvary (Eph. 2:14-16), even though it “hinged” upon the glorification and ascension of His physical body.  While it found full manifestation on the day of Pentecost, it did not necessarily begin there, and certainly did not begin after Pentecost.  Ruckman:

The “ONE BODY” did not begin with Paul at all.  The verse (vs. 16) says that the reconciliation of Jew and Gentile (see “the mystery” given in 3:4-6) began at CALVARY: “in the one body by the cross.”[15]

Observe the following verses:

 

Eph 2:14-16

14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;

15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;

16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:

 

John 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.

John 7:39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

John 17:21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

Luke 24:49 And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.

 

Acts 1:4-5

4 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.

5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost . . .

1 Cor 12:13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

The fact that believers were “added to the church” (Acts 2:47), and also “added to the Lord” (Acts 5:14) before Paul’s conversion, indicate that the body existed priorto Paul.  [Stam does NOT comment on Acts 5:14 in his commentary,[16] nor does Sadler in his booklet The Historical Beginning of the Church!]  Additionally, 1 Cor. 12:13 proves that Paul was preaching the mystery of the body before Acts 18!  Other verses that prove conclusively that the body of Christ was present before Paul are listed below:

Rom 16:7 Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen, and my fellowprisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me.

Gal 1:13 For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews’ religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it:

Acts 9:5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: . . .

Romans 16:7 is so clear that hyper-dispensationalists must make a difference between being “in Christ,” and “in the body of Christ.”  Joel Finck writes in The Berean Searchlight:  “Being ‘in Christ’ is not necessarily the same as being ‘in the body’ of Christ.”[17]  This is a grave inaccuracy.  Paul said that the Corinthians were “in Christ” (1 Cor. 1:30) and also that they were “the body of Christ.”

1 Cor 12:27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.

Galatians 1:13 and Acts 9:5 confirm that the body of Christ was on the earth as “the church.”  Otherwise, how could Paul (as an unsaved man) persecute Jesus when He was at the right hand of God?  Hypers assume that the body of Christ could not exist until it was revealed to Paul.  What they do not understand, is that revelation of a truth has nothing to do with the reality of the particular truth.  For instance, the death of Jesus was an atonement for individual sinners, even though it was not revealed as such until Acts 8.  Paul never said the body of Christ began with him, he only said that the “mystery” of it was “revealed” to him (Eph. 3:3,4).

What hypers eventually do is invent another other “body” (one before Acts 9) called the “Kingdom Church.”[18]  Those in the “Kingdom Church” would include Peter, James and John.  Since Peter, James and John were baptized by the Spirit in Acts 2 (which would place them in the body), hypers are forced to “teach two or three baptisms of the Spirit.”[19]

Hypers fail to associate John 17:21 (“that they also may be one IN US”) with the promise of Luke 24:49 and Acts 1:4,5 (which see).  While Baker admits the apostles were baptized with the Holy Spirit, he denies that it placed them in the “body of believers, as described in 1 Corinthians 12:13.”[20]

Furthermore, hypers must get around the fact that Peter was writing to those “in Christ” (1 Pet. 3:16; 5:14), thus proving he was in the body.  Finck alleges that Peter uses the phrase “in a redemptive sense rather than the dispensational sense of being in the body of Christ.”[21]  He does this to discount Peter’s epistles for Church Age doctrine.

Hypers must also ignore plain references to other Jews (remember Paul was a Jew) living during Paul’s time that were said to be a part of the “one body.”

Rom 12:5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.

Finck comments:  “Paul is not saying in Rom. 12:5 that every believer living at that time was a member of the body of Christ.”[22]  Hypers invent a special class of “body mystery believers” converted under Paul.  According to their system Romans 12:5 might read this way: “So, those Gentiles who were converted after my conversion and revelation of the mystery, are one body, which is different than the kingdom body of Jewish believers who received a different gospel by Peter to the circumcision.”  They fail to remember that Peter’s GENTILE converts, were saved just like Paul’s converts (see Acts 10)!

 

 “One Baptism”        �                                     –

Their attempt to prove the body of Christ is not in Acts 2 is not their only impairment.  They insist: “water baptism ends”[23] in Acts 28 with the rejection of the gospel from Israel.  They assert: “Paul, the apostle of the Gentiles, the teacher of the Church, never once commands us to be baptized with water?”[24]  They answer the question, “Should I be baptized” with:

While many pastors would say “yes,” the Apostle Paul says “no.”  Water baptism was once a part of God’s program for His people Israel, but it is not a part of God’s program for His people today, the Body of Christ.[25]

Although Paul never answered that question in his writings, hypers emphatically answer “in his name.”  Paul answered with his works (he was baptized, and he baptized others)!

They lump baptism in with circumcision (Jewish), miracles (sign to the Jews), healing, and tongues.  They think the reason Paul was “thankful” that he did not baptize any more converts (other than Crispus and Gaius) was because he was NOT to do any more baptisms.[26]  They believe Eph. 4:4,5 cancels out any water baptism for this age.

Hung Up To Dry

Below are the Bible answers to this anti-baptism (dry-cleaning) fixation:

Answer One

The commission in Matthew 28 is NOT distinctly Jewish, or the word “nations” would not have been used.   [All the confusion over the different “commissions” overlooks the fact that Paul is the only apostle that fulfilled the “Tribulation commission” of Mark 16:16-18 (all except drinking the poison).]

Answer Two

The mode of baptism in Matt. 28 is NOT the same as Acts 2:38.  All three names of the Godhead are used in Matt. 28 while only the name of “Jesus Christ” is used in Acts 2.

Answer Three

All three names (plural) are said to be a “name” (singular).  This is interesting, because in Acts 10:48 Gentiles are baptized by Peter, not in the name of Jesus Christ, but in the “name (singular) of the Lord” – “Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.”

Answer Four

Church history testifies to the fact of believers baptism (immersion) after conversion.  Hypers believe that the truth was missing all these years, and was finally revealed and “recovered.”[27]

Answer Five

Paul was baptized, and we are to follow Paul.  To this contention, hypers may respond, “Paul was circumcised too, but we should not get circumcised.”  This comparison is not justifiable.  For, Paul was circumcised as a Jew, but baptized as a believer in Jesus Christ.  Baptism was something NEW CONVERTS did!  Paul was a new convert, placed into the “one body,” and was baptized as a “new creature,” not a Jew or Gentile!  As Ruckman states, “Paul COMMANDED NO ONE to attend church, pass out tracts, proselyte Baptists who are already saved, or argue about water baptism.”[28]

Answer Six

Furthermore, Peter, James, and John were all baptized, and so was Jesus Christ.  Hypers claim that Christ’s baptism was his priestly “anointing.”[29]  They go to the Greek and are thereby confused with “washing” and “baptism.”  Jesus was not anointed as a priest on earth!  His earthly ministry was that of a prophet (John 1:25; 4:19; 6:14; 7:40; Deut. 18:18).  The priestly role of Jesus Christ took place after He died and rose again!  See: Heb. 2:17; 3:1; 4:14.

Answer Seven

Paul baptized his own converts, AFTER Acts 9!  The meaning of 1 Cor. 1:17 is clear if one adheres to the context.  A verse without a context is useless.  Christ did not send ANYONE just to baptize, but to preach!

Answer Eight

Just because the phrase “one baptism” is used, does not annul water baptism.  If it did, Paul would not have baptized anyone, and would have COMMANDED believers NOT to be baptized in water.

The context again clears up any misunderstanding.  Notice the framework is unity: “one another,” (vs. 2); “unity of the Spirit” (vs. 3); and seven “ones” in the passage (verses 4-6).  Paul is saying that there is only one “saving baptism.”  This would match Rom. 6:3; Gal. 3:27; Col. 2:12; 1 Cor. 12:13 and Matt. 3:11.  That must be the correct “interpretation,” since we know there are MANY “lords,” MANY “faiths” and MANY “spirits:”

1 Cor 8:5-6

5 For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,)

6 But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.

Mark 3:11 And unclean spirits, when they saw him, fell down before him, and cried, saying, Thou art the Son of God.

 

Confession of Sin  �                                     –

As alluded to earlier, hypers sever the word of God up into such thin slices, that ONLY Paul’s epistles (and maybe only his prison epistles) are allowed for Church Age doctrine.  Once that presupposition is taken, Peter, James, and John are not allowed in the body of Christ, although they are “in Christ” (1 Peter 3:16; 5:14).  To them, Peter’s epistles cannot contain ANY Church Age doctrine, nor can 1 John through Jude.

This brings us to an important question:  Should a Christian confess his sins to God for forgiveness according to 1 John 1:9?  While the hypers do not believe in sinless perfection (like some Holiness groups), they do, however, preclude a Christian confessing his sins, distort the Grace of God, and fail to understand the “standing and state” of the believer.

Hyper Ken Lawson, says that 1 John. 1:9 “has caused untold harm and detriment to the people of God.”[30]  He thinks a Christian should not feel guilty about his sins (after salvation) since “God wishes for us to enjoy the gift of salvation.”[31]  He claims that God will not “continue to show him [the believer] the cold shoulder”[32] if he “fails to confess wrongdoing.”

So, hypers do not believe a Christian’s fellowship with Jesus Christ is based on their personal, holy walk.  Lawson’s arguments against the “Father, son, relationship” understanding of 1 John 1 are as follows:

It is based on a performance system of conditional blessing, and shifted my gaze away from Christ and His grace to my own faithfulness (or usually failure) to confess.[33]

Repentance, and confession of sin (both of which hypers snub) are CLEARLY a part of the believer’s fellowship with God the Father, in every dispensation!  Peter had to confess his love to Jesus Christ, before he could be restored (John 21), and we are not any better than him!  Who (but hypers) would think that sin was not acknowledged (Ps. 51:3) with Peter’s three confessions in John 21?

Over and over again, fellowship (not salvation) is predicated upon repentance  – the stem of confession.  Hypers do NOT believe in REPENTANCE.  Note the following verses:

Lev 5:5 And it shall be, when he shall be guilty in one of these things, that he shall confess that he hath sinned in that thing:

Isa 64:6-7

6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

7 And there is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee: for thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities.

Prov 28:13 He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.

Num 5:7 Then they shall confess their sin which they have done: and he shall recompense his trespass with the principal thereof, and add unto it the fifth part thereof, and give it unto him against whom he hath trespassed.

Lev 26:40 If they shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, with their trespass which they trespassed against me, and that also they have walked contrary unto me;

Neh 1:6 Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee now, day and night, for the children of Israel thy servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against thee: both I and my father’s house have sinned.

Ps 32:5 I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah.

Ps 38:18 For I will declare mine iniquity; I will be sorry for my sin.

 

Josh 7:19 And Joshua said unto Achan, My son, give, I pray thee, glory to the LORD God of Israel, and make confession unto him; and tell me now what thou hast done; hide it not from me.

Dan 9:4 And I prayed unto the LORD my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments;

 

Hos 5:15 I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early.

2 Sam 12:13 And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD. And Nathan said unto David, The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die.

Isa 6:5 Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.

Matt 3:6 And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.

1 Cor 11:31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.

 

Acts 19:18 And many that believed came, and confessed, and shewed their deeds.

 

The last two references are during the “dispensation of the mystery.”  How do you “judge” yourself without confessing and repenting of your sins?  Answer:  you cannot, and some do not, therefore, they fall under the chastening hand of Almighty God according to Hebrews 12 (which hypers disregard for the Church Age).

The real Berean who “rightly” divides, (instead of “wrongly shredding the word”) will notice that the people who confess in Acts 19 do so under Paul’s preaching.  If they confessed publicly to men, you KNOW they had to confess to God!  In fact Paul attributed God’s presence to himself while he was preaching and teaching the word.

 

2 Cor 2:17 For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.

 

1 Thess 2:13 For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.

 

The next problem that Lawson has with the word of God, concerns prayer and honesty:

If what I believed concerning confession was true, I was probably ‘out of fellowship’ much of the time, and so were most believers.[34]

Yes, “most believers” are “out of fellowship” with the Lord, for only through a constant “cleansing of ourselves” (2 Cor. 7:1) through PRAYER (1 Thess. 5:17) can we be “in fellowship.”  Notice Lawson’s excuse: “I had to honestly admit to myself that I found it extremely difficult to confess all my daily sins on a consistent basis.”  So, since prayer and confession is “difficult,” hypers find scriptural alibis to disobey 1 John 1:7-9, as well as Paul’s command to “pray without ceasing.”

Note also, that the verse does not stipulate confession of every sin.  It simply states a fact:  When you mess up, you can go to the Lord, confess, and the blood of Jesus (the basis for forgiveness) will clean you.

 

Heb 9:14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

Lawson (as all hypers do) reverts to Paul for a defense:

Paul, the apostle of the Gentiles, is silent in all his writings on confession of sins for forgiveness, parental or otherwise.[35]

Paul never forbad the practice either.  Should we not observe the omissions as well as the commands?  As pointed out earlier, Paul did NOT rebuke the Ephesians from “confessing” (Acts 19) when he preached.  In fact, Paul’s preaching pivoted upon the message of REPENTANCE (which is the heart of confession):

 

Acts 20:21 Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Acts 26:20 But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.

Going further from the truth, Lawson tries to prove 1 John 1 is not relevant to a Church Age saint, because “A believer cannot walk in darkness any more than an unbeliever can walk in the light.”[36]  Has he failed to read the favorite book of hyper-dispensationalists – Ephesians?

Eph 5:8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:

Eph 5:11-14

11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.

12 For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.

13 But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.

14 Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.

If the Lord commands us to “walk as children of light” (Eph. 5:8), then obviously there are believers who are NOT “walking in the light.”  The “sleeper” in Eph. 5:14, is NOT an unbeliever, he is a Christian.  Paul often edified the believer to “walk in the light” instead of darkness:

Rom 13:11-13

11 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.

12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.

13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.

1 Thess 5:4-8

4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.

5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.

6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.

7 For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.

8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.

While it is true that positionally, every child of God is “in the light” (in Christ, in heavenly places), practically 1 John 1 applies along with Paul’s epistles (Ephesians, Romans, and 1 Thessalonians) in a doctrinal manner to the New Testament saint.  [Hypers forget that good “sound doctrine” (1 Tim. 1:10) refers not only to the revelation of the “Pauline mystery,” but to BEHAVIOR!  Read 1 Tim. 1:9]

Some hypers may not believe in “sinless perfection” (like some Holiness groups) but they do believe in “constant fellowship.”  Notice Lawson again:

If any believers were living in a state of broken fellowship, it was the Corinthians.

A. There were carnal divisions and contentions among them (1 Cor. 1:10-13; 3:1-3).

B. They were infatuated with worldly wisdom (1 Cor. 1:28-2:5; 3:18-23).

C. They were judging things which they should not and failing to judge things which they should (1 Cor. 4:1-5; 5:6).

D. They were allowing sexual immorality in the local church and were proud of it (1 Cor. 5:1,2).

E. They were taking each other to court before the unbelievers (1 Cor. 6:1-12).

F. They were visiting harlots (1 Cor. 6:13-20).

G. They were proud of their knowledge and causing weaker brethren to stumble (1 Cor. 8).

H. They were questioning Paul’s authority and apostleship (1 Cor. 9:1-6)

I. They were prone to idolatry by lusting after evil things (1 Cor. 10).

J. They had disorders at church, including making a mockery of the Lord’s Supper (1 Cor. 11).

K. They were enamored with the spiritual gifts but were failing to exercise them in love (1 Cor. 12-14).

L. They were doubting the resurrection (1 Cor. 15:12-19).

M. If all this was not enough, they were stingy in their contribution to the poor saints (2 Cor. 8:9).

. . . . Moreover, there is no command to confess their sins in order to receive forgiveness and restoration to fellowship.  On the contrary, Paul assures them that ‘God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of His son Jesus Christ our Lord’ (1 Cor. 1:9).  It is a fellowship based upon God’s faithfulness.[37]

So, basically, Lawson is teaching that the immoral living Corinthians were in sweet fellowship with a holy God.  Anyone who can read the letter to the Corinthians from Paul, and get that summation, would probably think the Koran contains good marital advice!  Read the following verses and note how they drive at confession and repentance: 1 Cor 3:1-4; 1 Cor 3:17; 1 Cor 4:2; 1 Cor 4:6; 1 Cor 4:14; 1 Cor 4:18-20; 1 Cor 5:1-2; 1 Cor 5:6-7; 1 Cor 5:13; 1 Cor 6:5; 1 Cor 6:18; and on and on.

The very fact of their repentance (given in 2 Corinthians) stipulates confession:

2 Cor 7:9 Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing.

 

2 Cor 7:11 For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.

2 Cor 12:21 And lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and that I shall bewail many which have sinned already, and have not repented of the uncleanness and fornication and lasciviousness which they have committed.

Hypers teach Satan (not the Lord) burdens the believer with conviction of sin and guilt:

Guilt is a killer, a killer of our joy, our peace, and our enjoyment of intimacy with God.  If Satan can use guilt (which our Lord has already taken away) to use as a wedge to separate us from God, his strategy to take us as a captive in the battle is secure. . . . Our fellowship with Jesus Christ our Lord can never be broken.[38]

They disregarded Paul’s comment:  “ye sorrowed after a godly [not devily] sort” (2 Cor. 7:11), and the repercussion of broken fellowship in the life of the believer – the Judgment Seat of Christ.  Why the Judgment Seat of Christ, if a believer is never out of fellowship?  Adam was saved by “grace” and “the blood of a lamb” (Gen. 3:21) and he was OUT OF FELLOWSHIP with God!  Hypers abandon the distinction (“rightly dividing” right?) between the Christian’s standing and state.  Scofield appositely comments:  “Positionally he [the believer] is ‘perfected forever’ (Heb. 10:14), but looking within, at his state, he must say, ‘ Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect’ (Phil. 3:12).”[39]

This “unfatherly grace” of hypers culminates with a hollow answer to the problem of sin in the life of a believer:

. . . .even the most mature Christians do sin.  When this happens, the first thing to remember is our complete forgiveness in Christ Jesus.  This will prevent us from going on another guilt trip. . .[40]

Was the “godly sorrow” (2 Cor.) just a “low self esteem” guilt trip?  Or, was it true repentance and confession of sin?  Lawson continues:

When a Christian sins, we should agree with God’s Word that it is wrong (confess) and forsake the behavior or attitude . . . So we confess our sins, not in order to receive forgiveness, but because we wish to be properly attuned to grace and to thus glorify Him who has forgiven us all trespasses.[41]

What is all this “behavior,” and “attitude” garbage?  Is it Bible?  “We wish to be properly attuned?”  After writing two articles with the intent of impeding the confession of sin to God, Lawson says that we should confess our sins (but not for forgiveness)!  Do you think the Corinthians just “properly attuned” themselves, or did they actually CONFESS THEIR SINS because they wanted restored fellowship?  How could they “repent” without confession?  A hyper no more believes in repentance for today (Church Age) than he does sabbath worship.

Lawson’s conclusion about the doctrinal meaning of 1 John 1:9 is as shallow as a teardrop:

Our key verse in 1 John 1:9 is found to be a salvation verse for Israel looking for the return of Christ to establish His earthly, Davidic, Millennial Kingdom . . . In conclusion, 1 John 1:9 is a salvation verse which fits ‘hand in glove’ with the Prophecy program of the Gospel of the kingdom.[42]

If it is a salvation verse for Israel in the Tribulation, why is the word “all” used in 1 John 1?  Note: “all sin” (vs. 7); “all unrighteousness” (vs. 9).  Rev. 14:11 explains that there is NO REMEDY (confession or otherwise) for taking the mark of the beast.  A person will no more be washed from “all sin” in the Tribulation by the confession of it, than a person NOW can be saved by the golden rule!

If 1 John 1:9 is a salvation verse for Israel in the Tribulation, why are the believers in 1 John said to be “sons of God” awaiting the “appearing” (not advent) of the Lord.  No Tribulation saint will “be like him” (1 John 3) because no Tribulation saint will be a member of the body of Christ.

“The blood of Jesus Christ” did NOT cleanse anyone during the gospel of the kingdom message in Matthew, Mark or Luke.  1 John cannot be applied to Israel.  [This brings up a difference between the “gospel of the kingdom” prior to the cross, and “the gospel of the kingdom” after the cross, preached during the Tribulation.  In the Tribulation, the “gospel of the kingdom” will include the “faith of Jesus” (Rev. 13:10; 14:12).  That is, a person must believe that Jesus Christ is not only Messiah, but the Saviour.  Belief in the substitutionary atonement of Christ is crucial to a person’s salvation in the Tribulation period.]

 

Fruits of Hyper-dispensationalism                           –

     The heresies of hyper-dispensationalists produce such “deep Bible study,” that its adherents drown under its influences.  Their teachings are inconsistent with the scriptures, and manufacture Christians inactive.  Wining lost souls to Jesus Christ is not the “drive” of hypers, even though it was for the apostle Paul.  They are obsessed with stopping water baptism, and “following Paul” nowhere.  As Dr. Ruckman suitably summarizes:  “The only theme song they have is “How dry I am, how dry I am,” and their teaching and preaching is as dry as their baptism”[43]


[1]  Sadler, Paul M. “From the Editor,” The Berean Searchlight 05/03: 4.

[2]  Smith, Shelton., “One Book Rightly Divided Reflects Ultra-dispensationalism,” The Sword of

   the Lord 07/05/02: 8B

[3]  Kurth, Ricky. “Question Box,” The Berean Searchlight  03/05:  21.

[4]  Ruckman, Peter S., Hyper-Dispensationalism (Pensacola:  Bible Baptist Bookstore, 1985)  6.

[5]  Cornelius R. Stam “True Spirituality,” The Berean Searchlight  02/05:  11.

[6]  Ryrie, Charles C., Dispensationalism (Chicago: Moody Press, 1995)  197.

[7]  Ironside, H.A., Wrongly Dividing the Word of Truth (New York: Loizeaux Brothers, 1938) 9.

[8]   Ibid.

[9]   Ibid.

[10]  Ibid.

[11]  Ibid.

[12]  Ibid.

[13]  Ruckman, Hyper-Dispensationalism,  20.

[14]  Sadler, The Berean Searchlight  03/03:  3.

[15]  Ruckman, Peter S., Ruckman’s Bible References (Pensacola: Bible Baptist Bookstore, 1997)

297.

[16]  Stam, C.R. Acts Dispensationally Considered Vol. I, II (Germantown Wisconsin:  Berean

Bible Society, 1954)  184-189.

[17]  Finck, Joel W.  “Are the Twelve Apostles in the Body of Christ,” The Berean Searchlight

08/03:  19.

[18]  Sadler, Paul M.,  The Historical Beginning of the Church (Germantown, WI: Berean Bible

Society, 1996)  15.

[19]  Ruckman, Hyper-Dispensationalism,  21.

[20]  Baker, Charles F. A Dispensational Synopsis of the New Testament (Grand Rapids: Grace

Publications, 1989)  33.

[21]  Finck, The Berean Searchlight  08/03:  19.

[22]  Ibid.

[23]  Stam, C.R. Water Baptism (Germantown Wisconsin:  Berean Bible Society, 1998) 10.

[24]  Ibid., 12.

[25]  Kurth, Ricky Now That I Believe (Part 2) (Germantown Wisconsin:  Berean Bible Society,

2004) 17.

[26]  Stam, Water Baptism, 14.

[27]  Sadler, Paul M. “From the Editor,” The Berean Searchlight 05/03: 4.

[28]  Ruckman, Hyper-Dispensationalism, 20.

[29]  Companion Bible (Grand Rapids:  Kregel, 1990)  1313.

[30]  Lawson, Ken, “The Confession of Sin,” The Berean Searchlight  01/03:  14.

[31]  Ibid., 16.

[32]  Ibid., 17.

[33]  Ibid.

[34]  Ibid.

[35]  Ibid., 18.

[36]  Ibid., 19.

[37]  Lawson, Ken, “The Confession of Sin Cont‘d,” The Berean Searchlight  02/03:  15, 16.

[38]  Ibid., 18, 20.

[39]  Scofield, C.I., Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth (New Jersey: Loizeaux Brothers, 1896)

53.

[40]  Lawson, Ken, “The Confession of Sin Cont‘d,” The Berean Searchlight  02/03:  21.

[41]  Ibid., 22.

[42]  Ibid., 17,22.

[43]  Ruckman, Hyper-Dispensationalism,  20.