IN THIS ISSUE
2. A PRAISE FROM OUR PRO-LIFE MINISTRY!
3. LEVI’S DOCKERS AD PREACHES BETTER THAN MANY PREACHERS!
4. REVIEW AND RESPONSE TO CHUCK AND NANCY MISSLER’S, “THE KINGDOM, POWER & GLORY: THE OVERCOMER’S HANDBOOK (REVISED)” [PART 1]
In our Lord’s Day sermons, we have been studying Ephesians 5; in the afternoon I have been preaching through Proverbs 31. You may find these sermons (audio and video) online. Or join us live every Sunday. http://www.kingdombaptist.org
We will also be meeting on New Year’s Eve, at Kingdom Baptist, God willing, to look at Bible prophecy, and stir ourselves concerning the soon coming of our Lord.
A PRAISE FROM OUR PRO-LIFE MINISTRY!:
Our weekly ministry in front of an abortion clinic in Fort Worth is very sad. But when we see people waving and crying, and changing their minds about killing their little ones, it is very refreshing. One recent report is especially encouraging. On one of the coldest mornings, we left with sorrow after preaching. Sister Lynn, however, later got a call from a dear friend (Sister Jan). Sister Jan (70 years old) puts many younger folks to shame. She has for years witnessed in front of schools, and often joins us to hand out tracts and witness at homosexual events, etc. (Perhaps we should say that we join her!). She called Sister Lynn that morning with news that her great-grand-daughter, and her boyfriend, had actually showed up (unawares to her family), at the abortion clinic where we were testifying. The boyfriend, after hearing our reproofs, said he could not go through with the abortion; he said they could hear the prayers from the Christians outside. Sister Jan’s little great-grandbaby was saved. May the Lord be thanked and glorified!
LEVI’S DOCKERS AD PREACHES BETTER THAN MANY PREACHERS!:
I read the following advertisement from Levi’s as part of my latest sermon on Ephesians 5. I hope you enjoy it. When preachers flee, and quit preaching, God can speak through Pilate’s wife, or even Balaam’s donkey. How sad that Levi’s appears to discern the times better than many Christians today. It is a gimmick of course. But they have also made a somewhat prophetic statement concerning the times, and they were willing to take the risk to make it. I have been preaching the same observations for over ten years (but seriously). Other preachers have been awake much longer. Too many others are still asleep. Here is the ad:
“Once upon a time, men wore the pants, and wore them well. Women rarely had to open doors and little old ladies never crossed the street alone. Men took charge because that’s what they do. But somewhere along the way, the world decided it no longer needed men, disco by disco, latte by foamy non-fat latte, men were stripped of their khakis and left stranded on the road between boyhood and androgyny. But today, there are questions our genderless society has no answers for. The world sits idly by as cities crumble, children misbehave, and those little old ladies remain on one side of the street. For the first time since bad guys, we need heroes. We need grown-ups. We need men to put down the plastic fork, step away from the salad bar and untie the world from the tracks of complacency. It’s time to get your hands dirty. It’s time to answer the call of manhood. It’s time to WEAR THE PANTS.”
REVIEW AND RESPONSE TO CHUCK AND NANCY MISSLER’S, “THE KINGDOM, POWER & GLORY: THE OVERCOMER’S HANDBOOK (REVISED)” [PART 1]
This book was first published in 2007, but was recently revised in October, 2009. The first chapter of my book, “The Rod: Will God Spare It?” (2003) is titled, “The Accountability Awakening.” It quotes numerous Christian leaders in previous ages who believed that a vast remnant would begin to awake to their responsibility before God (in relation to warnings and rewards for believers), just before the return of the Lord. Chuck Missler is the latest Christian author to begin to stir in regard to this vital doctrine of accountability. It is my continual prayer that there will be many others.
Missler acknowledges his indebtedness to Joseph Dillow, an author who is also published by my publisher (Schoettle). I am happy that Missler’s book (and Dillow’s) rightly applies many of the warnings and promises that are addressed to believers – to true believers. It advocates eternal security and salvation by grace through faith alone. It avoids the extremes of the Arminians and Calvinists, wherein both sides miss the mark. The Arminian is correct in applying the Christian warnings to true believers; yet he goes too far in interpreting them as a loss of salvation. The Calvinist applies the various Christian warnings to false professors, thereby obscuring the Gospel, and making assurance of salvation dependent upon how good a person believes himself to be (the humble will always feel themselves to be lost in such a system). Missler has begun to discover the truth that both sides are wrong, in part. I am thankful for his boldness and humility to change his view of this subject after so many years of ministry. There is therefore much that is edifying and praiseworthy in his book.
On the other hand, Missler has adopted a position that many others have advocated in recent years. His book rightly applies the warnings to true believers, in relation to the Millennial Kingdom. However, it then neutralizes these warnings by using allegorical interpretation. I am convinced that many modern Evangelicals are growing increasingly confused on the subject of literal interpretation. Missler rightly believes in literal interpretation in regard to the premillennial coming of Jesus to set up His 1000-year Kingdom. Yet, by interpreting the warnings in relation to the Kingdom in an allegorical fashion, he shakes the whole foundation of premillennialism.
I can understand how his new position is far more comfortable than the position I advocate. It is a “wading in the water,” so to speak. Ironically, Missler’s new position is also railed against as “Purgatory” by his emotional, rash opponents. He admits this and argues against it on page 90 of his book. Therefore, he is not really gaining anything by the figurative view. Instead, he creates a number of inconsistencies and insurmountable problems which we will examine.
Missler’s new position (though figurative) contains many strengths. It allows the Gospel of grace to remain unadulterated. It strengthens eternal security. It adds additional, powerful motives to the believer to live holy. The fact that it stirs a great revival in Christians (that is not present in the classic Arminian/Calvinist positions) can be seen in the numerous testimonies Missler has already received from Christians who have read his book. Modern Christians are so famished in regard to accountability, that even applying the warnings to them in a figurative sense will cause many to revive (while others choke in shock).
On the other hand, Missler’s new position also contains some grave errors. For brevity sake, I will refer to his book as simply “Missler’s (understanding that his wife is also a co-author).
His Preface begins by showing the sad state of much of modern Christianity. He then writes:
“Despite the fact that we have always maintained a ‘high view’ of inspiration, and have generally followed a very literal hermeneutic, we have been shocked to discover how many ways we have failed to appreciate the practical, day-to-day need to become ‘overcomers’…”
Praise God. But I do hope Brother Missler will discover some other ways he is still failing to apply the Bible literally, as I will reveal.
Next, he writes:
“…we also continue to be dismayed by the blind prejudice and hostility that has been generated among some traditional quarters from this book…What do you suspect was the reaction of the pastor of the Laodicean Church when he received John’s missive from Patmos?…”
Amen. I have certainly experienced this blind prejudice. I had one Christian leader refuse to even read my book, as he quickly dismissed it as “Baptist Bride;” yet there is hardly anything to do with the rapture or the local church position in my 465 page book. There is indeed an amazing stubbornness to anything that has to do with accountability. But it has been this way for all of God’s leaders who attempted to warn His people through the ages. We should expect that it will be worse today. I pray that Brother Missler will see that the same blind prejudice that keeps others from seeing what he now sees, may also keep him from taking the time to give Govett, Pember, Nee, etc., or the scores of other writers quoted in my own book, a fair hearing.
In the first chapter of his book, Missler writes:
“…After being Christians for more than fifty years, what we have learned during the past couple of years in our research…has totally revolutionized our present walks with the Lord. We consider the truths that you are about to read to be some of the most life-changing principles we’ve encountered since our new births…passages we never saw before as millennial are now jumping off the page.”
“If intense warfare is any indication of the importance of a spiritual message, then this has to be one of the most important messages we have written.”
Amen again! When printing “The Rod,” one of the printing companies burned down! This is just one of the attacks I experienced.
“The Millennial Kingdom that we will be talking about is not heaven…Most Christians…have absolutely no idea as to what criteria is required (if any) to enjoy a significant role there. We certainly didn’t. We asked one young believer recently, ‘Does what you do here on earth as a believer influence your position in the coming kingdom?’ He immediately responded, ‘Oh yeah, we get rewards or something like that.!’ That was the extent of his understanding. To be honest, that was the extent of our own understanding until a few years ago. many of us have not been taught about the Millennium.”
So far, he is right on target.
“…the Bible teaches us that overcomers are the only ones who will inherit the Millennial Kingdom…”
“What we are saying is that all Christians will enter the Millennial Kingdom…We have eternal security. But only the ‘faithful overcomers’…will inherit and possibly rule in that kingdom.” (p.28)
Now we have a great big error! Missler is right in teaching that the warnings to believers are to be applied to true believers (not professors). He is right about eternal security. But he quickly brings up the Eternal Kingdom (eternity) while he is discussing the Millennial Kingdom. Let us test his view that all believers will “enter” the Millennial Kingdom. Let us see if this is true:
Matthew 5:20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.
The Lord has been discussing what happens to believers (salt of the earth; light of the world) who break the least of the commandments. These who break the small commandments get into the Kingdom; but they have lowered positions:
Matthew 5:19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
But then the question naturally arises: What will happen to those who break the bigger commandments? Jesus teaches us that they do not even enter the Millennial Kingdom (Matthew 5:20)! Therefore, Missler’s view of higher and lower positions in the Millennium is partly correct. But according to Jesus, higher and lower positions in the Kingdom are actually based on keeping or breaking the “least” of the commandments. Jesus calls tithing, and such like, the lesser things (Matthew 23:23). But devouring widow’s houses, murder, and such like, are “greater” things. Paul tells us continually that believers that do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. Missler believes that this means they get into it, but they have no authority. But the Scripture teaches in 1 Corinthians 6 and Galatians 5, that the reward for breaking large commandments (murder, and such like) is to not inherit the Kingdom of God itself. It does not say in these verses, merely, that they will have no inheritance “in” the Kingdom. It says they will not inherit the Kingdom. Does this mean that they still enter? Jesus teaches otherwise.
The Lord teaches us plainly in Matthew 5:20 that anyone who commits such sins, will not enter the Kingdom. This is very clear. But we are not limited to this one verse:
Matthew 7:13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
Notice again that “entrance” is the subject, and entering the Kingdom is the same as entering into “life,” in contrast to experiencing destruction. This does not sound like unfaithful disciples “enter,” but only lack inheritance! Those who do not enter experience destruction. Yet, there are other verses that are even clearer:
Matthew 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
Missler actually references this verse with the following statement:
“..1 Corinthians 6:9-10 says that if we are unrighteous, we will not inherit the kingdom…All born-again believers will enter, but only the triumphant overcoming Christians will rule and reign.”
But what does this verse (Matthew 7:21) actually say? It says that these unfaithful disciples will not “enter.” Missler actually quotes this verse on page 27:
“Overcomers are those faithful and obedient Christians who not only talk about doing the will of God, but who also do it. ‘Not every one that saith unto Me, ‘Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of My Father which is in heaven’ (Matthew 7:21). By doing God’s will, we are able to overcome the world, the flesh, and the devil.”
This is great commentary! However, the verse Missler quotes actually teaches against his view that all believers enter into the Kingdom. The idea that unfaithful believers enter into the Millennial Kingdom, but only lose an inheritance therein, is a modern twist on the classic overcomer/accountability doctrine taught by such men as Govett, Pember, Panton, Poynder, Tilney, Fry, Nee, Craig, Rader, Ketcham, etc. It softens the view, and makes it more “acceptable” to this pampered generation. And they are so spoiled, many even choke on Missler’s view! But we have no right to soften anything for pragmatic purposes.
There are more verses that teach that all Christians will not enter the Millennial Kingdom:
Matthew 18:1 At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?
2 And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them,
3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
These disciples (whom the Lord says have their names written in heaven in Luke 10:20) are inquiring, like Brother Missler, about positions of authority “in” the Kingdom. The Lord answers them with a grave warning about not even “entering” it if they do not humble themselves! The Lord then continues – still speaking to His disciples:
Matthew 18:8 Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire.
The word “enter” is again used. The teaching that Christians can be destroyed by God in this day of the Lord’s patience and grace – but not on the actual day of judgment – is a false teaching that has wrought all manner concupiscence.
Some notice the word “everlasting” in Matthew 18:8, and maintain (against the context) that the warning must apply to unbelievers. But the unregenerate could live perfectly for the rest of their lives, and they will still go to hell. Romans 3-5 makes this clear. The warning (as the context reveals) must therefore apply to believers. Yet it is not a loss of eternal salvation that is implied. Everlasting/eternal fire destroyed Sodom (see Jude). The fire that “could not be quenched” also destroyed ancient Jerusalem (2 Chronicles 34:25, Jeremiah 7:20). Being cast into everlasting fire at the coming of the Lord is not the same as eternal damnation. Believers can never perish eternally, like the unbelievers. But there are numerous, other examples that show believers can actually miss the Millennial Kingdom:
Matthew 19:23 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Would Missler maintain that this is only a warning to rich unbelievers? He believes that every believer enters the Kingdom. But what about those Christians who are choked with the riches of this world? What about those who appear faithful until they are brought to the evil day where they have to choose between the Lord and mammon?
The context in Matthew 19 continues:
Matthew 19:25 When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved?
26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.
27 Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?
28 And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
29 And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.
30 But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.
Notice how Jesus links inheriting everlasting life with entering the Kingdom. To not inherit life, is to inherit death. The context refers to the disciples, including Peter. This again speaks of not inheriting the Kingdom; and it defines it as experiencing destruction outside the Kingdom.
Notice another verse:
Mark 9:47 And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire:
48 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
49 For every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt.
50 Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his saltness, wherewith will ye season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another.
Again, the warning is about not entering. And to not enter the Kingdom is to go to a really bad place! Yet, the whole warning is addressed to John, whom Jesus says belongs to Christ (v.38, 41). The different levels of authority in the Kingdom are only for those who are found worthy to enter the Kingdom; and they are based on the degree of attention given to the least of the commandments. But the judgment for breaking the greater commandments – and not repenting in time, in the fear of God, is to be cast out of the Kingdom.
Luke 13:23 Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them,
24 Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.
25 When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are:
26 Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets.
27 But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.
28 There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.
29 And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God.
30 And, behold, there are last which shall be first, and there are first which shall be last.
The context is the Millennial Kingdom. The danger is to be cast out; the prize is to be granted entrance. Believing the Gospel is only part of our responsibility. We must also strive in obedience. Again, the danger is more than simply losing inheritance. To lose Kingdom inheritance is to lose entrance into the Kingdom at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
Acts 14:22 Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.
But what will happen to those who do not endure tribulation? The above verse teaches that they do not enter the Kingdom. If the Lord allows tribulation for us, we must not compromise our convictions to avoid it:
Revelation 2:10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.
What if they are not faithful? What if they become unfaithful to avoid tribulation (as Peter did when Jesus was led away)? How can they still enter, if they do not repent in time?:
1 Thessalonians 3:4 For verily, when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation; even as it came to pass, and ye know.
5 For this cause, when I could no longer forbear, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter have tempted you, and our labour be in vain.
2 Thessalonians 1:4 So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure:
5 Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer:
If they do not endure the persecutions in faith and patience, how shall they enter the Kingdom, in light of Acts 14:22, and these other Scriptures? “Enter” means “enter.” The Bible teaches that disobedient Christians (who do not fear God and repent in time) will not enter the Millennial Kingdom. It teaches this in plain words, and in typology. For example, Missler writes:
“The Old Testament gives us some graphic examples of believers who inherited the land and those who did not.”
Yes indeed. But at the same time it also gives us some graphic examples of believers who “entered” the land, and those who did not enter! The Israelites who were denied entrance were slain. The Bible is filled with this “exclusion” typology (remember Lot’s wife?). Missler writes:
“It very clearly shows us the distinction between simply being in the land and inheriting or owning the land.”
The verses he cites do not reveal this distinction. There are some verses that reveal that natural nations (flesh and blood bodies) will “inhabit” the Millennial Kingdom; and they will be ruled over by glorified, overcoming saints. But how does this prove that Christians from this age will enter the Kingdom but not rule therein? Every Christian that is granted entrance into the Millennial Kingdom will rule as a king over the natural nations, and he or she will also rule over other, reigning Christians who are under the glorified believer in rank. But all Christians who enter will rule and reign, to some degree; and their rank of authority will be based on their diligence in obeying the least of the commandments. However, those Christians from this age who disobey the great commandments and do not repent, are in danger of being cast out and denied entrance altogether.
“Joshua and Caleb were given the land…We, too, must be diligent to finish the work God gives us…so we can enter into His rest (possess the kingdom)…there were two million Israelite believers who were supposed to inherit the blessings of the promised land, but they failed to do so…They were saved…but they were unable to receive their inheritance and go into the promised land (a foreshadow of the Millennial Kingdom)…”
This is all very good. However, it proves what I have argued in, “The Rod,” and what so many other Christian writers in the past have argued. But it does not prove the Missler (i.e. Dillow, Hodges) position. It proves that unfaithful believers do not inherit the Kingdom; and not inheriting includes not entering! Missler himself proves this point by arguing that the vast majority were unable to “go into” the promised land. The Holy Ghost in Hebrews 3 and 4 makes this point clear:
Hebrews 3:10 Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways.
11 So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.)
12 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.
4:1 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.
11 Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.
How did they “fall after the same example”? They were denied entrance. They did not enter in to “inhabit” the land. They are not a picture of the Millennial, natural nations. They picture disobedient believers (1 Corinthians 10:11). They were killed in judgment (as the Gospels have clearly warned). Hebrews (like the OT type) defines this “fall” as death and exclusion:
Hebrews 10:28 He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:
29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?
30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.
31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
There is the death (as in the OT example). There is the “fall” (as in Hebrews 3:11). The warning is clear. True believers can refuse to believe the promises and warnings related to the Millennial Kingdom (“unbelief”). As they make excuses for their great sins, in unbelief of God’s power, they are in danger of being slain at the Judgment Seat of Christ, and denied entrance into the Kingdom:
2 Peter 1:5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:
11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Once more, we see that “entrance” is granted into the Kingdom for adding works to our faith. We are called to labor to make this calling and election “sure.” Notice that those who come back with Jesus are all chosen. They are all the faithful ones. The Judgment Seat has ended, and the overcoming believers have been determined. The unfaithful, non-chosen ones are not found to be with Jesus at His final descent to judge the Antichrist and the nations:
Revelation 17:14 These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.
These chosen ones have labored to make their election into the Millennial Kingdom sure by adding works to their faith. All of these saints that are with Jesus shall reign on earth:
Revelation 5:10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.
These overcoming saints are not only blessed, they are holy:
Revelation 20:6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
The rest of the believers will not be raised again until after the 1000 years:
Revelation 20:5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
They will indeed “live again.” At the Great White Throne, those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life will have all their tears wiped away, and there will be no more death or pain for them any more:
Revelation 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
Revelation 21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
The others (overcoming) have had their tears wiped away 1000 years before the Great White Throne (7:17, etc.).
Missler continues in Chapter 1 by rightly showing how Satan hates this doctrine of accountability. But if Satan cannot tempt believers to ignore or misapply their warnings, he will tempt them to neutralize them by allegorical interpretation. It is his last chance. As an increasing number of believers awake from their foggy doctrinal slumber, he must act quickly to neutralize the warnings. Stripes must not be left to mean stripes. Fire must not mean fire. Death must not mean death.
Missler next states that God does not want to put fear upon us. He has a wrong view of 1 John 4:18. This verse teaches us that if we love our brethren, etc., we will not have to have post-sin fear (i.e. the torment that comes from knowing we have done wrong, as Hebrews 10 warns us about). But we must indeed have pre-sin fear – that fear of judgment that keeps us from sin:
2 Corinthians 7:1…perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
Isaiah 8:13 Sanctify the LORD of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.
For example, Missler writes:
“This study is in no way meant to be frightening…”
This is a terribly unbalanced statement. What happened to the “terror of the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:9-11)? What happened to Matthew 10:28? Certainly, there is a place for encouraging those who are broken. But there is also a place for warning the stubborn and rebellious who will not fear God, and who mock His warnings, and apply them to others. Shall they find mercy in relation to the Kingdom? God shows mercy to those that fear Him (Psalms 103:11); not to those who presume upon their privileges, and spurn their warnings (Jeremiah 7:4).
The first chapter concludes with some excellent points. Missler then writes:
“Both of us have been Christians for more than fifty years and we are only just now learning these things and seeing the ramification of what all this really means.”
Amen. We are all still growing. I praise God that Brother Missler has put his views in print. He could have kept them secret, etc. However, since he has made them public, his view that all Christians enter the Kingdom must be corrected. This softening of the Bible’s warnings can have great consequences in the midst of fiery temptation. For centuries, the warnings were taken literally by Christians in the midst of horrible trials. Many would leave off great sins, directly, if Missler sounded the alarm that they are in danger of totally missing the Kingdom, and can be temporarily slain at the Lord’s appearing. But they might be willing to stay in their sins, if they are taught that the only dangers they have to face are suffering mere shame, and loss of authority, as they are permitted to enter the wonderful Kingdom. We have no right to make any warning graver than the Bible presents it. But we also have no right to subtract from any warning by robbing it of its literal, physical implications.
In this first part of this review, I have provided some plain Scriptures and typology that prove that all believers will not enter the Millennial Kingdom. But we have not yet examined the fact that the Holy Spirit teaches us plainly, in the Scriptures, how to interpret parabolic warnings. In future parts of this study, God willing, I will document how the Holy Ghost reproves Missler’s figurative view by showing us, repeatedly, that parabolic warnings are always to be interpreted in a literal fashion. In literal interpretation, Bethlehem means Bethlehem (Micah 5:2, Matthew 2:5); and stripes mean stripes (Luke 12:47)!
Also, what does this figurative view of the believer’s warnings do to the unbeliever’s warnings? At the Second Coming, “judgment” only “begins” at the household of God (1 Peter 4:17). It then proceeds to “end” with the unbelievers. Therefore, what we do with the warnings describing the judgment of believers automatically effects the judgment of unbelievers! If stripes, and being cut asunder, etc., are not literal warnings, how can we then argue that unbelievers will be literally slain or suffer torment? The “stripes” of Isaiah 53 were literal in their fulfillment. It is therefore a grave error to interpret the warnings to believers in a figurative sense.
And finally, what we do with the warnings to believers effects the literalness of the promises to believers that are found in the same context. Missler takes the ruling of cities, etc., to be very literal. He believes that ruling means ruling. Cities mean cities. Kingdom means Kingdom. These rewards (and many others) are interpreted literally. On what ground, then, does Missler interpret the contrasting warnings to believers in a figurative sense? The reward is one. It is either positive or negative, according to our works:
Revelation 22:12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.
How can we interpret the positive aspect of this reward in a literal sense, and then interpret the negative aspect in an allegorical sense? That doesn’t make any sense!:
Luke 12:43 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.
44 Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath.
45 But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken;
46 The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.
47 And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.
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