Premillenalism: A Fundamental of the Fundamentalist Movement – KAU#188

PREMILLENNIALISM: A FUNDAMENTAL OF THE FUNDAMENTALIST MOVEMENT 
Luke 2:14 ….on earth peace, good will toward men. 
Ernest R. Sandeen, in his 1970 work, “The Roots of Fundamentalism: British and American Millenarianism, 1800-1930,” is correct when he maintains that Fundamentalism in the 1920′s was not a spur of the moment, uneducated reaction to Darwinism and Modernism (though its detractors often attempt to paint it as such). It was a religious movement; it was not spawned by socio-economic or geographical factors. Sandeen documents the connection between the premillennial movement (mostly urban and northern by the end of the 19th century) and the rise of 1920′s Fundamentalism. He writes: 
“For it is millenarianism [premillennialism] which gave life and shape to the Fundamentalist movement.” (p.xv) 
Why is Fundamentalism so greatly related to premillennialism in history? Notice the following reasons: 
1. Christians who interpreted all the Biblical prophecies concerning the Second Coming in a literal sense would obviously be inclined to interpret the Biblical passages concerning the Virgin Birth, the Resurrection, the Blood Atonement, the inspiration of Scripture, Creation, etc. in the same manner! To the degree that significant Second Coming passages are allegorized, will be the degree that other fundamentals of the faith are in danger of being allegorized. Indeed, when the Second Coming passages begin to be spiritualized, a crucial barrier is torn down between Fundamentalism and Modernism. If Christ’s words concerning His own return in Matthew 24 “actually” only refer to His sovereignty in world affairs in A.D. 70 (i.e. the destruction of the temple), then why not also “spiritualize” the Virgin Birth? If Christ’s RETURN in Matthew 24 is allegorical, why not also the details concerning Christ’s BIRTH? It was also prophesied (Isaiah 7). Likewise, if the bodily return of Jesus in Revelation 19 and the “thousand years” of Revelation 20:2 are figurative, why not also teach a figurative “Satan”? He is found in the same verse as the “thousand years.” In other words, if literal supernaturalism is to be replaced with spiritual supernaturalism in regard to significant Second Coming passages, why not do the same in regard to other Bible doctrines? Certainly, the differences between Christianity and naturalism become very small in such an interpretive system. 
2. If the prophecies concerning the last days, the falling away, the departing from the faith, the rise of the Whore of Babylon on seven mountains, the persecutions mentioned in the Book of Revelation, the Beast from the Sea, the Mark of the Beast, the one-world governments, the weather disasters, etc. are all behind us in history, it certainly would become easier for professing Christians to believe they are called to snuggle up to the world and immerse themselves entirely in social betterment and ecumenical activities. A cruise ship may offer many delights and enticements. Yet, the knowledge that it is sinking makes it much easier to despise its luxuries and abandon ship. 
3. The belief that evil will continue to increase (2 Timothy 3:13) and that man is not progressing (i.e. premillennialism) makes it much easier to see the falsehoods in evolution. However, if mankind is progressing, why not the whole natural world as well? 
These are some of the reasons why Fundamentalism and premillennialism were historically, largely synonymous. Exceptions do not overthrow a general rule. It is true that there were some non-premillennialists who were, nevertheless, very conservative in many aspects of Christianity. However, though there was some fellowship, it is also true that they purposely distanced themselves from the Fundamentalist movement. They had considerable trouble explaining why a move away from the Fundamentalists was not a move toward liberalism, especially since they interpreted the significant Second Coming passages in the same manner as the Modernists. 
Additional proof for the above assertions can be seen from examining the testimonies and actions of both Fundamentalists and Modernists in history. Premillennialism and Fundamentalism were largely synonymous. The whole Christian world at the start of the 20th century appeared to be drunk with postmillenialism and Modernism. Although popular British premillennialists such as D. M. Panton loudly called themselves “Fundamentalists” in the 1920′s (J. I. Packer was therefore wrong on this point in his “Fundamentalism and the Word of God,” 1958) the following history deals only with Fundamentalism in the U.S. These early Fundamentalists attacked postmillennialism as the river that flowed into the sea of liberalism. 
For example, I. M. Haldeman (1845-1933) was a fiery, Fundamentalist pastor of the First Baptist Church of New York City. He fought valiantly against feminism, worldliness, modernism and postmillennialism. A newspaper ad for the evening sermon (held at 8 P.M.) at his First Baptist Church reads: 
“Are the Pre-Millennialists pessimists? Does their doctrine of the imminent coming of Christ cut the nerve of missionary effort, discourage Christian activity and stop progress in the Church; or is it the Post-Millennialist who practically denies an inspired Bible, teaches ethical culture instead of Blood redemption and deceives the world with false hopes of peace? Dr. Haldeman will bring Post-Millennialism to the bar of Holy Scripture and demonstrate that it is the dry-rot of the Church today. At this service Dr. Haldeman’s new booklet, ‘Christian Science Unveiled in Its Own Words,’ will be given away.” 
In 1906, he authored, “The Coming of Christ Both Pre-Millennial and Imminent.” He wrote: 
“Some tell us, with no lack of rhetoric and emphasis, that the purple and the gold of these glad millennial days are on us now….Those who hold this view are known familiarly as Post-Millenarians….Does it matter whether Christ shall come before or after the Millennium?…the Second Coming is mentioned from one end of the Bible to the other….Examination will show that it is mentioned in connection with EVERY FUNDAMENTAL doctrine…It is bound up with every sublime promise….It is bound up with every practical exhortation. Does the Apostle exhort us to meet together on the Lord’s day and not to forsake by any means the assembling of ourselves together? He does so in view of the coming of the Lord….In fact, this Coming is declared to be the central chord of all vital Christian life….It is clear enough that if the Coming of Christ cannot possibly take place till a thousand years after the world’s conversion, then the event as a practical fact in the present life of the Christian is of little avail and cannot arouse him….The wicked servant belongs to the category of those who shall be ashamed before Him at His coming; who shall not receive an abundant entrance into the kingdom; who shall lose their crown and be shut out from participation in ‘the joy of the Lord,’ even His rule and glory on the earth. All this is an added evidence that at the Coming of our Lord He will not find a faithful, a perfect, a triumphant and millennial-producing church.” 
A few years later, in 1912, Fundamentalist writer S. S. Craig, in “Divine Wrath Impending,” wrote: 
“If the purpose of the present dispensation is to convert the world and introduce universal righteousness, as maintained by the great body of theologians and preachers, then not only is the Church at fault but Christianity is a greater failure than any of the heathen systems of the East….But this is impossible.” 
We already see that Fundamentalists were cutting the Modernist tree down at its root: its misunderstanding of the Great Commission and the progress of man in this age (before the physical return of Christ). The next year, in 1913 (directly before World War I!), an article by Craig appeared in “Watchword and Truth.” It was titled, “What is Truth?” Craig argues for nine FUNDAMENTALS of the faith that were currently under attack by cults and liberals: 
“I. That the whole human race was on probation in Adam and fell with him in his fall into death – temporal, spiritual and eternal… 
II. That Jesus Christ is the Eternal Son of God and the Son of Man, having two natures in one person forever, and that He by His Life, Death and Resurrection potentially redeemed and rescued the whole human race from its fallen condition… 
III. The method of redemption is redemption by substitution, by vicarious suffering of an innocent victim. It is redemption by Blood. It is by an atonement so infinitely meritorious that it puts away sin… 
IV. Regeneration is the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit, the Third Person in the Divine Trinity, whereby, on the condition of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, He imparts the very life and the very Nature of Christ to the believer by virtue of which he becomes a son of God and an heir of eternal glory… 
V. The Bible affirms that the devil is no myth but a veritable person possessed of marvelous wisdom and almost boundless resources… 
VI. The Bible affirms that Hell is a reality, a place as well as a condition….” 
Craig’s last three “fundamentals” reveal the great extent to which premillennialism and the Fundamentalist movement were synonymous: 
“VII. The Bible affirms that the progress of the human race is downward. They affirm that it is upward… 
VIII. The Bible affirms that the world-system, considered as a whole, is approaching its doom, and that it is going down under the wrath of God in the most fearful judgment ever recorded in the history of the race. Matthew 24:21; Revelation 16, 19. They deny this and affirm that the outlook for the race never was so bright as today. This is the devil’s gospel of optimism and delusion. In the last ten years, thousands upon thousands of Christians have been caught in these and other snares of the enemy. But there is no need for it. No true child of God need be deceived. 
IX. We must add one more proposition of boundless significance, namely, that the world’s hope and the hope of the Church centers wholly in the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ….” 
Craig argued that the liberal, postmillennial theology was as dangerous as the cults. In 1916, he authored, “The Dualism of Eternal Life.” It was a premillennial treatise on the Millennial exclusion and literal chastisement of carnal (though eternally secure) Christians. He wrote: 
“But the most significant sign on the world’s blooded horizon at the present time is not found in international politics…Where then? In the desperately corrupt condition of modern theology. Only a few days ago three young men, candidates for the Christian ministry, were being examined before the New York Presbytery with a view to ordination; and so says the report, they, verbally and in writing, affirmed their disbelief in the Virgin Birth of the Christ and in the Resurrection, and in this tremendously far reaching negation of the very foundations of Christianity they were substantially upheld by the Court. This has its significance in that it is symptomatic of a general condition throughout the religious world. Reviewing the history of Christendom for the last sixteen hundred years, there is one thing that men seem determined to do at any cost; and that is that they will NOT LISTEN TO WHAT THE GOD OF HEAVEN AND EARTH HAS SAID, AND IS STILL SAYING, CONCERNING THE CHARACTER AND COURSE AND DOOM OF MODERN CIVILIZATION. Politicians, economists, educationists, scientists, and last, but not least, THE THEOLOGIANS, vie with one another in their eulogy of the possibilities and perfectibilities of humanity….The two theories [premillennialism and postmillennialism]…are really two systems of interpreting the Bible and are as different and ANTAGONISTIC AS LIGHT AND DARKNESS….What will be, in the Day of Judgment, the penalty pronounced on those who are responsible for the fabrication and perpetuation of this deadly spiritualizing process of postmillennialism whereby the traditions of men are substituted for the living truths of God’s Word?” 
These types of writings set the stage for the vocal rise of the Fundamentalist movement. In their counter-attack against Modernism, they felt they were going for the throat of the system by contending against postmillennialism. 
Fundamental Baptist preacher, William B. Riley, was a frequent speaker at the Philadelphia Prophetic Conference in 1918. In his sermons, he stated: 
“The most marked religious movement of the 20th century is the revival of Chiliasm [premillenialism]….Today it is in the ascendant, and for the first time since Daniel Whitby diverted men from this truth, it is accredited deserved emphasis….Along with this new emphasis there has risen a passionate opposition….When the suggestion is made that the Government ‘investigate the teachings of the premillennialists’ with a view to lodge, if possible, some indictment of disloyalty, it is not difficult to imagine the day when another portion of Gospel word shall find fulfillment, ‘And brother shall deliver up brother…’…To speak of the Lord’s return as a mere figure of speech that is to know no literal fulfillment, is little less sacrilegious than the total denial of inspiration….” 
In the 1920′s, Fundamentalist preacher R. E. Neighbour (1872-1945) began the Baptist Bible Union with J. Frank Norris and other Fundamentalists. The B.B.U. was in many ways at the center of Fundamentalism. Neighbour was on the executive committee: 
“It was apparently during the Indianapolis convention of 1922 that Dr. R. E. Neighbour actually called the meeting to establish another protest organization….In conversation, [R. T.] Ketcham recalled positively that R. E. Neighbour was the one man really responsible for the founding of the Baptist Bible Union, and Riley in 1924 named both Neighbour and Van Osdel…The first confession of faith was distributed in March 1923….The last statement was clearly and openly premillennial.” 
(Robert George Delnay, “A History of the Baptist Bible Union,” 1963) 
T. T. Shields, who accepted the first presidency of the B.B.U. would, in later years, become a staunch opponent of premillennialism. Yet, it can be seen by the B.B.U. confession of faith that premillennialism was viewed as a “fundamental” of early Fundamentalism. R. E. Neighbour, who founded the B.B.U., was a strong advocate of the system of literal interpretation. As a premillennialist, he also believed in the Millennial exclusion and literal chastisement at the Judgment Seat of carnal Christians. By his writings, there is no doubt that Neighbour linked premillennialism with Fundamentalism itself. As early as 1910, he authored “Pre and Post Millennialism: Vital Issues At Stake.” The title says it all. It was recommended by R. A. Torrey as one of the best yet written on the subject. Neighbour also wrote “The Kingdom Idea.” I. M. Haldeman wrote the introduction to this booklet. In this booklet, Neighbour writes: 
“Vast and vital issues are at stake….Christ’s return and His reign are spiritualized or else altogether repudiated….People who are concerned with the ‘coming civilization of brotherly love’ through the conquests of the Church will not concern themselves with the coming of the Son of Man in the clouds of heaven….People who place the Lord’s coming after the establishment of the kingdom, thus indefinitely deferring the hour of His return, will not be ‘watching’….The whole Bible centers around Christ, crucified, risen and coming again. The cross is the focus of faith; the risen Christ is the focus of love; and the coming Christ is the focus of hope. A full gospel must include this three-fold vision of our Lord. The third phase of the gospel holds a large place IN THE GREAT FUNDAMENTALS OF THE FAITH….There is not, and there can not be, any possible imminent coming to those who are seeking to ‘set up the kingdom.’….let those who cling to the apostolic faith, beware of the Kingdom Idea which for the past two hundred years (since Daniel Whitby) has been steadily gaining ground, until today the ripening product of that departure has all but swept the Church from her true testimony….Professed believers and confessed unbelievers vie with each other at the card table, the dance, the theater, and the lodge hall with its pagan rites. The lust for gold, the love of fashion and the lure of pride seem to hold saint as well as sinner in subjection….All this the Kingdom Idea [postmillennialism] has accomplished….The Kingdom Idea thus led the Church to pitch her tent, step by step, toward Sodom, until she finally forsook the plain altogether….it presses its conception of ‘Christianizing the nations.’ The money must be gotten, even if the sins of the rich must be condoned….Worldly amusements, un-rebuked, reign in the place of prayer….The Kingdom Idea [postmillennialism] has broken down the wall of separation….As the age nears its close, Satan’s wrath waxes hotter and hotter….Temples where the deism of man is declared, and where sociology, socialism, social service and kindred fads are proclaimed, are the ‘synagogues of Satan.’…enthusiasts who are seeking to put down Satan’s rule, may sincerely love the ‘Lord of glory’ – yet if they follow the Kingdom Idea they must, inadvertently, at least, be helping to further the cause of their enemy….The Kingdom Idea is steadily drifting toward ‘another gospel which is not another.’ Some of its followers have left the faith altogether….Farewell to the gospel of Christ – a new message is demanded…Farewell to the story of His coming – a sad farewell. Farewell to the method of Christ – a new method is imposed….Farewell to pastors and teachers – a sad farewell….The message of the Kingdom Idea is ‘another gospel, which is not another.’ The key note of its message is this: ‘American Protestantism is adjusting itself to the modern world, by laying special stress upon the social implications of the gospel.’….Has the modern world a different heart than the ancient world had?….Has the world really changed?….She is just as far from God as were the peoples of old….Preach the same old story! Plead with sinners the same old way!…Let the Churches cease to demand men who preach ‘smooth things.’….We insist: men who stand in the pulpit and preach ‘Kingdom Optimism’ are ‘blind, leaders of the blind.’….Do not shun a pessimistic message! Preach the truth!…’Be not dismayed at their faces!’…Preach the dark side! Christ did so. Preach the gloom! Paul did so….What care you for the taunts of false teachers – beware, lest God shall humble you!…Preach the glory side!….Christ is coming back again….[But] the Kingdom Idea must compel Protestantism to vie with Rome in setting up a political-religious power.” 
Although premillennial Fundamentalists were not agreed as to how much Christians should participate in political efforts to oppose liquor, etc., (Baptists such as Riley and Norris were more involved in such endeavors) they were unanimously agreed about the main responsibility of Christians and the fact that evil would wax worse and worse until the literal coming of Christ. Neighbour’s words reveal that Sandeen’s thesis (i.e. that premillennialism is the root of 1920′s Fundamentalism), if anything, is understated! 
After the B.B.U., in the early 1930′s, J. Frank Norris and others began the “Premillennial Baptist Missionary Fellowship.” Again, we see evidence that early Fundamentalists believed that premillennialism was a “fundamental” of Fundamentalism, as well as a wall against Modernism. 
The final proof that premillennialism and Fundamentalism were synonymous is found in the Modernists themselves. Harry Emerson Fosdick (1878-1969) was a liberal preacher. On May 21, 1922, at the First Presbyterian Church in New York City, he preached his infamous sermon, “Shall the Fundamentalists Win?” In this sermon, Fosdick proclaimed: 
“It is interesting to note where the Fundamentalists are driving in their stakes to mark out the deadline of doctrine around the church, across which no one is to pass except on terms of agreement. They insist that we must all believe in the historicity of certain special miracles, preeminently the virgin birth of our Lord; that we must believe in a special theory of inspiration – that the original documents of the scripture, which of course we no longer possess, were inerrantly dictated to men a good deal as a man might dictate to a stenographer; that we must believe in a special theory of the atonement – that the blood of our Lord, shed in a substitutionary death, placates an alienated Deity and makes possible welcome for the returning sinner; and that we must believe in the second coming of our Lord upon the clouds of heaven to set up a millennium here, as the only way in which God can bring history to a worthy denouement [resolution]. Such are some of the stakes which are being driven, to mark a deadline of doctrine around the church….has anybody a right to deny the Christian name to those who differ with him on such points and to shut against them the doors of the Christian fellowship? The Fundamentalists say that this must be done….In such an hour, delicate and dangerous, when feelings are bound to run high, I plead this morning the cause of magnanimity and liberality and tolerance of spirit….I do not believe for one moment that the Fundamentalists are going to succeed…” 
Fosdick listed the “fundamentals” of the Fundamentalists. Notice that premillennialism was included. Fosdick argued that NONE of these items were fundamental! The same year, a book was published from a Fosdick lecture entitled, “Christianity and Progress.” In it, he argues: 
“The Book of Daniel must be explained by the tyrannies of Antiochus Epiphanes, the Book of Revelation by the persecutions of Domitian, the present recrudescence [i.e. state of becoming sore again] of pre-millennialism by the tragedy of the Great War….At last, in the nineteenth century…Evolution became a credible truth. No longer a dim conjecture, it was established in biology, and then spread its influence out into every area of human thought….Growth became recognized as the fundamental law of life…The plain fact is that human history is a strange blend of progress and regress…While history as a whole, from the CroMagnon man to the twentieth century, does certainly suggest a great ascent, it has not been automatic levitation….we believe that we can tell that the river of human history is flowing out toward the kingdom of our God….in the theology of recent years we have taught a very mild, benignant sort of deity. One of our popular drinking songs sums up this aspect of our new theology: ‘God is not censorious, When His children have their fling.’ Indeed, the god of the new theology has not seemed to care acutely about sin; certainly he has not been warranted to punish heavily; he has been an indulgent parent and when we have sinned, a polite ‘Excuse me’ has seemed more than adequate to make amends…Here, then, are the three perils which tempt the believer in progress: a silly underestimate of the tremendous force of human sin, which withstands all real advance; superficial reliance upon social paliatives to speed the convalescence of the world, when only radical cures will do; flippant irreverence toward the past….” 
Fosdick is simply doing his best to restore faith in postmillennialism after World War I. The liberal’s dream appeared shattered. Postmillennialism would gather momentum again only to be crushed in the U.S. again by the Great Depression. Every time it raised its head, it was answered with worldwide calamity. However, each time the calamity subsides, and there is peace once again, a greater number of Christians grasp at the postmillennial dream with renewed fanaticism, making it increasingly difficult to bust the bubble again. With the year 2003 now upon us, postmillennialism and preterism are “evolving” into a form of “positive thinking” that is undeterred by wars and natural disasters: 
2 Peter 3:3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, 
4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. 
To awaken the saints, and contend for the faith, modern Christians must rediscover the power of Fundamentalism and its connection to premillenialism. History has now proven that although early Fundamentalists were not always perfect in speech, they were certainly NOT over-reacting to sin and error. The moderates (no doubt shaken by liberals such as Fosdick) who objected to premillennial confessions, hard preaching against worldly amusements, and applying warning/judgment passages to the saints, have been proven WRONG by the 20th century! 
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ORDER “THE ROD: WILL GOD SPARE IT?” at http://www.kingdombaptist.org 
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Joey Faust’s Reply to Jack Van Impe

-MY REPLY TO JACK VAN IMPE, By Joey Faust (12-20-03)

Part I:

-INTRODUCTION

-VAN IMPE AND ROME

-WHAT DOES ROME BELIEVE ABOUT PURGATORY?

Part II:

-THE ADVOCATES OF MILLENNIAL EXCLUSION

-VAN IMPE FORGETS WHAT HE BELIEVES ABOUT MATTHEW 25:30!

-VAN IMPE AND T. T. SHIELDS

-VAN IMPE’S PLIABLE VIEW OF CONDEMNATION

-THE BEMA SEAT ONLY A SPORT’S TERM?

-CONCLUSION

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MY REPLY TO JACK VAN IMPE, By Joey Faust

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INTRODUCTION

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Jack Van Impe Ministries has produced a new video called “The Protestant Purgatory.” It is over 100 minutes in length. The actual video will be available to the public within a few weeks. It would, of course, not be practical to respond to this whole video. But I have done my best to deal directly with the main parts.

A great many of my detractors often read only the first paragraph of each chapter, or the bold headers in my book! In this, I am reminded of the words of George N. H. Peters, who wrote the mammoth, “Theocratic Kingdom.” His tireless research was a great inspiration to me in writing my book. Peters, who contended for the literal Messianic kingdom in the face of much opposition, wrote in his introduction, in 1883:

“The doctrine discussed in the following pages being within the field of controversy…it will become in its turn, owing to its antagonism to the prevailing theology, the legitimate subject of criticism. Of this we do not complain, but rather commend the fact. ‘History repeats itself,’ and in such a repetition we do not flatter ourselves to escape the usual fate of our predecessors in authorship. Indeed, we already have had sad foretastes of the same, confirming the teaching of Scripture, and corroborating the experience of good men, that no exercise of wisdom, caution, and prudence will be able to wholly avert the evil tongues and pens of others….We do not quarrel with those who have inherited a taste for ‘bitter herbs.’ Expressing ourselves candidly and fairly toward our opponents, we dare not return the epithets so liberally bestowed upon us….Simple candor requires us to say, that some of our opponents write against us in a style that forcibly reminds us of the Popish bulls against heretics….But we console ourselves with Rothe’s declaration…’He whose thoughts rise a little above the trivial must not be surprised if he is thoroughly misunderstood by most men.’….HUMAN NATURE ALWAYS PRODUCES A CLASS WHO THINK THAT WHAT THEY DO NOT KNOW IS NOT WORTH KNOWING, OR WHO SUPPOSE THAT, FROM THE KNOWLEDGE PROFESSED, THEY ARE EMINENTLY QUALIFIED TO JUDGE OF THOSE THINGS NEVER EXAMINED OR STUDIED. The latter are illustrated by the professor of Church history…who, when questioned as to the writings of the Apostolic Fathers, and the Apologists of the second century, replied, that he knew nothing of the writings, but ‘what with the Bible in one hand, and human consciousness on the other, he knew very well what must have happened in that century.’…..THE TENDENCY [in modern times] IS TO DESPISE LABORIOUS RESEARCH AND TO SUBSTITUTE TINSEL….When the dreams of fallible man, now so universally held as the prophetic announcements of God, are swept away by stern reality…then will the doctrine of the kingdom, as here taught, be regarded worthy of the highest consideration, and then will it also become a solace, hope, and joy under tribulation….”

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VAN IMPE AND ROME

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Jack Van Impe has greatly departed from his commentary on the Book of Revelation (“Revelation Revealed,”1982). He now perfumes Roman Catholicism, and refers to Catholic priests as “Father” and “Brethren.” In his video, “Startling Revelations: Pope John Paul II,” he proves himself to be one of the greatest promoters of ecumenicalism in professing Christendom today. It is therefore to be expected that he would not approve of my book, “The Rod: Will God Spare It?.” One reason I wrote this book was to help hinder the falling away to Romanism that is rapidly occurring. The second sermon I ever preached years ago contained a long list of quotes from earlier generations, predicting, on the basis of Bible prophesy, that the time would soon come when Protestants would merge with Rome. I soon recognized that so-called “Lordship Salvation” (John Macarthurism, etc.) was greatly blurring the distinction between Rome’s false gospel of works and the true Gospel of eternal salvation by grace through faith alone. One proof of this was that J. I. Packer (who wrote the foreword to Macarthur’s book, “The Gospel According to Jesus”) signed the Evangelicals and Catholics Together. It did not take much investigation to realize that one main thing that is driving the “Gospel of works” are the various warnings in the Bible addressed to Christians. In Jack Van Impe’s video against my book, he openly declares that the warnings in 1 Corinthians 6, etc. about the “kingdom of God” are about HEAVEN (instead of the Messianic Kingdom), and that no true Christian can “continue” in sin, etc.:

“…they get drunk, and no drunkard enters HEAVEN. 1 Corinthians chapter 6, verses 9 and 10…If there’s no change, you’ve never been converted….He that liveth in sin, loveth sin, is of the Devil.”

This is, of course, similar to the Augustinian view upon which Romanism was founded. While it is unlikely that a true believer will be entirely fruitless, the judging of fruit becomes subjective. And we can actually lose the things we have wrought (2 John 1:8). Therefore, the Bible plainly teaches that a Christian can be “unfruitful” (1 Corinthians 3:15, Titus 3:14, 2 Peter 1:9, 1 Corinthians 3:3, etc.). He can DESPISE (ignore) God’s chastisements (Hebrews 12:5). Therefore, if he continues to ignore God’s verbal and physical warnings, he will meet with greater chastenings at the Judgment Seat (2 Corinthians 5:9-11). Thus, eternal salvation is free by grace through faith alone. But the Millennial Prize is through works (2 Timothy 2:12).

Years ago, I began to collect the sayings of all the popular preachers and Christian celebrities (Bill Bright of Campus Crusade for Christ, Packer, Macarthur, and dozens more), and I found that EVERYONE of them openly declared that a person knows he or she is a Christian by inspecting his or her FRUIT. After years of street ministry, I also found that it was almost impossible to find people who would believe that all they had to do was believe the Gospel to be saved in eternity (John 3:16). When questioned, almost all were basing their assurance on their works. In this climate of works, all Rome had to do was to begin to use “evangelical” language, and multitudes of Protestants and Evangelicals would be glad to unite and confess that there really is no difference in their views concerning the actual Gospel. While it might seem to some that applying the warnings to true BELIEVERS in a temporary sense (during the Millennium) is “similar” to a Catholic purgatory, it is, at the same time, actually LIGHT YEARS away from the false, Catholic “GOSPEL.” But when people attempt to distance themselves from “Purgatory” in a reckless manner, they end up having to move closer to Rome’s gospel of works (which is not a Gospel!). When one side goes up, the other side goes down! This is why some of the greatest defenders of the true Gospel, and some of the most able and vocal opponents of Romanism (in doctrine and prophecy) also applied the warnings to true believers (while holding to eternal security). They may have looked like they held a “sort of Protestant Purgatory” to their detractors, but they sure were FAR from a Catholic view of justification! All of this is documented in my book. Therefore, by defending the true, Biblical application of the warnings to Christians, and listing the abundant historical support for this view, the GIFT of salvation in eternity may be properly DIVIDED from the PRIZE of Millennial reign. Romanism and the ecumenical priests of Protestantism are thwarted by the consistent hermeneutic which recognizes this distinction throughout the Bible. This is why the Gospel-back-loaders, Gospel-front-loaders, and the ecumenical celebrities are all screaming the loudest against my book. When the warnings are rightly applied, the axe is applied at the root of their doctrinal trees. But let us begin evaluating the actual video transcript.

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WHAT DOES ROME BELIEVE ABOUT PURGATORY?

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JACK: “A few weeks ago God burdened my heart to preach on the Beam Seat of Christ, when rewards are going to be given to the faithful, and to call it a form of Protestant Purgatory. But then, God is always on time. I received a book hundreds of pages long called, ‘The Rod’ by J.D. Faust [shows book-cover on screen]. And lo and behold in the book he mentions that there were 300 scholars, and he gives the names, and I recognize many of them who covered 100 years of history and actually preached that those who were not right when they die, or who did not suffer for Christ while on earth, are during the thousand year reign of Christ placed into the underworld where there is fire.”

RESPONSE: My quotes actually span 2000 years of Christian history, not just 100 years as he states. The clearest explanations concerning what happens to unfaithful Christians are given during the first 300 years of Christian history, and then also during the 100-year period from about 1850 to 1950. Therefore, the golden ages of premillennialism and literal interpretation were also the ages when Millennial Exclusion was clearly seen. Yet, if Jack Van Impe studied my book as he claims, why does he leave out the early church writers? And why doesn’t he tell the reader that practically ALL of the premillennialists BEFORE the 19th century (1500-1800) believed that only martyrs and those with a “martyr-spirit” reigned with Christ during the Millennium? The Biblical teaching of Millennial Exclusion was revived and developed out of Mede’s selective resurrection in the 17th century, the same way the rapture was developed from Mede’s (and others) earlier “rapture” concepts.

JACK: “Well I kept reading that book, and I delved into it, and was literally shocked at what I had read. And Rexella, God said. ‘That’s why I gave you the title ‘The Protestant Purgatory.’ Now they constantly say this is not like the Catholic Purgatory, but as I’ve studied it, it is. And we want to delve into this now, and give you something to think about.”

RESPONSE: Yes, my view is “like” Catholic purgatory in the sense that it is a temporary punishment. But it is no more like the Catholic purgatory than the Biblical ordinance of the Lord’s Supper is “like” the Catholic mass! It is no more “like” the Catholic purgatory than the Saturday door knocking ministry of our churches is “like” the J.W.’s door knocking! The purposes and details have all been corrupted by Rome, as we will show. My book documents in detail the RISE of Rome’s purgatory OUT of the writings of the early Church fathers, of which the earliest held to entirely different ideas than Rome’s later perversion. I cannot improve upon the words of a recent letter, which sum up the issue:

“Mr. Faust, our in-house library has recently obtained a copy of ‘The Rod, Will God Spare It?’ It appears to be an interesting source of historical and bibliographic information on this subject. I am currently doing a study on the subject of purgatory, so I found Chapter 9, ‘A Protestant Purgatory?,’ very useful…The argument of my study will run something like this: 1) The Word of God speaks of the kingdom reward and dispensational punishment. 2) Although many early church fathers were not as explicit on this teaching as we would like, what they did say indicates that they believed something like it. 3) Some “fathers” deviated from the truth fairly early, and… (a few centuries pass here) 4) The heresy of purgatory is formalized. 5) Then the Reformers, as Lang said it, failed to ‘rescue the wheat from the chaff.’ Today’s evangelical Protestantism has, in fact, burned down the whole barn.” (John Campbell, Anaheim, CA)

Van Impe leaves out the historical facts, and is simply building upon the point that our view and Rome’s view both utilize possible temporary punishment. Yet, Van Impe himself will later state some obvious differences when he tells us that he would much rather go to Rome’s purgatory than suffer Millennial Exclusion! We think Van Impe should fear God and repent of his ecumenism, and get back to his earlier fundamentalism. Perhaps it was the weakness of his own “Bema Seat” view that has allowed him to practically kiss the toe of John Paul II without trembling before our Lord who is a consuming fire! The Bible teaches that we may lose more than rewards. We may actually RECEIVE for the wrong which we have done (Colossians 3:24-25, Luke 12:5, 46-47).

REXELLA: “Very, very interesting, believe me….Normally, when you think of Purgatory, you think about the denomination, the Catholic Church. And, uh, Jack, because I think we do MISUNDERSTAND what they believe, maybe it would be good to share with us, EXACTLY; now you read the new, updated catechism…so you know exactly what they believe about Purgatory. Share with us, will you please?”

RESPONSE: They are seeking to protect and sugar-coat Rome’s Purgatory from the documented facts in my book.

JACK: “There are 2865 different points in the new updated Catholic Catechism, and I read it through twice, and I was amazed at some of the things I found, because WE have TOTALLY misrepresented many of our BROTHERS in the Catholic Church, and what they really teach; and Purgatory is one of them. For instance, the Catholic Catechism, point 1030, concerning Purgatory states: ‘All who die in God’s grace and friendship are indeed assured of their eternal salvation, but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of Heaven.’ Father Charles M. Carty and Father L. Rumble, add: ‘Purgatory is not a final destiny. Every soul that goes there is saved…Purgatory is not a place for repentance, but for purification.’ Rexella, as you can see, we have often misrepresented what Catholics REALLY believe about Purgatory. Many teach that they go there until all the venial sins are burned away and then they can go to Heaven, because that is how they obtain their final salvation. It is only, as the catechism says, for the elect; for the saved, to become purified.”

RESPONSE: Let us look at his words again: ‘All who die in God’s grace and friendship are indeed assured of their eternal salvation…’ The actual Catechism reads: “1030: All who die in God’s grace and friendship, but STILL IMPERFECTLY PURIFIED, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven.” Can Van Impe really be unaware that the words ‘die in God’s grace and friendship,’ refer in Roman Catholicism, to WORKING to be eternally justified? In Rome’s system, one does not ‘die in God’s grace and friendship’ by believing John 3:16!:

“2068: The Council of Trent teaches that the Ten Commandments are obligatory for Christians…the Second Vatican Council confirms: ‘The bishops, successors of the apostles, receive from the Lord…the mission of teaching all peoples, and of preaching the Gospel to every creature, so that ALL MEN MAT ATTAIN SALVATION THROUGH faith, BAPTISM AND THE OBSERVANCE OF THE COMMANDMENTS.’

“1023: Those who die in God’s grace and friendship and are perfectly purified live for ever with Christ…”

Is it not clear that in Catholicism there is no clear distinction between positional and practical sanctification? I, and every other writer I have quoted, believe that once a sinner places his trust in the Blood of Jesus for eternal salvation, he is at that instant declared perfectly righteous in the eyes of God. And this righteousness of Jesus can never be lost by any works or unfaithfulness. However, God deals with the saved sinner as a “son.” And a “son” in the New Testament sense will never be totally forsaken by God. Yet, he can be chastised and temporarily banished from the prize of the Millennium. In Catholicism, eternal salvation is by grace through works. And Purgatory is simply one final act of suffering by which a “believer” gains the RIGHTEOUSNESS to enter God’s presence for eternity. To be found “worthy” of Purgatory, a person must first WORK his way to “salvation”:

“162: Faith is an entirely free gift that God makes to man. We CAN LOSE this priceless gift, as St. Paul indicated….it MUST be ‘working through charity’…”

“1993: Justification…is expressed by the assent of faith to the Word of God, which invites him to conversion, AND in the cooperation of CHARITY…”

“2020: Justification has been merited for us by the Passion of Christ. It is granted us THROUGH BAPTISM…”

“161: …without faith no one has ever attained justification, nor will anyone obtain eternal life ‘But he who ENDURES to the end.’”

“1815: The gift of faith remains in one who has not sinned against it. But ‘faith apart from works is dead’: when it is deprived of hope AND LOVE, faith does not fully unite the believer to Christ and does not make him a living member of his Body.”

Van Impe is attempting to argue that Rome now teaches that Purgatory is for the “saved,” and not for the lost, so they may earn salvation by suffering. Yet, nowhere has he proven that Rome does not view purgatorial sufferings at redemptive and atoning, in the same manner as baptism or charity:

“2460: …Work united to Christ can be redemptive.”

“980: …Penance is NECESSARY for salvation for those who have fallen after Baptism…”

“1031: …The Church formulated her doctrine of faith on Purgatory especially at the Councils of Florence and Trent.”

“1475: In the communion of saints, ‘a perennial link of charity exists between the faithful who have already reached their heavenly home, THOSE WHO ARE EXPIATING THEIR SINS IN PURGATORY and those who are still pilgrims on earth….Thus recourse to the communion of saints lets the contrite sinner be more promptly and efficaciously purified of the punishments for sin.”

“620: Our salvation flows from God’s initiative of love for us, because ‘he loved us and sent his Son to be the EXPIATION for our sins…” [Now notice the use of the word "expiating" in #1475 above.]

“1472: …GRAVE SIN sin deprives us of communion with God and therefore makes us incapable of eternal life, the privation of which is called the ‘eternal punishment’ of sin. On the other hand every sin, even venial, entails an unhealthy attachment to creatures, which must be purified either here on earth, or after death in the state called Purgatory…”

Therefore, every professing Catholic must endure unto the end in abstaining from “grave sins,” or he will be incapable of eternal life. But the little, “venial” sins must be EXPIATED (i.e. atoned for!) in purgatory.

We have thus far only dealt with the Catechism, and it can already been seen that Van Impe’s whole argument is very deceptive. He does not tell his audience that Rome DEFINES dying in “God’s grace and friendship,” as getting baptized and remaining FAITHFUL to the end in what she defines as good works!

Now compare Rome’s system to what I (and the scholars whom I quote) believe. We believe that by grace through faith alone in the Blood of Jesus a sinner is forgiven and declared righteous positionally. He will never perish in eternity and is absolutely assured of eternal salvation, regardless of any grave, mortal or venial sins. To walk with His Lord in fellowship (here and in during the Millennial age of reward), the believer must obey God’s commandments and keep himself unspotted from the world. He should confess his sins to restore fellowship (not relationship) whenever he falls. If he refuses the reproof and correction of the Bible, he will receive chastisement. If he despises (ignores) chastisement, and does not repent, he will reap what he has sows, both in this life, and then later at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Yet, the suffering of temporary chastisements do not in any manner earn eternal salvation or purge away the eternal penalty of sin. Jack Van Impe finds my view to be similar to Catholic Purgatory because he appears to have adopted the Augustian system of salvation (Rome’s view), and is unable or unwilling to see the difference between “enduring to the end” to be eternally saved, and “enduring to the end” to please your Father in Heaven and be crowned with a Millennial Prize.

REXELLA: “You know I like that, don’t you? I mean, I always thought that Catholics believed that some of the people who went into Purgatory, could not even be a Christian, but go there, and be prayed out, by some loved one, praying for them here on earth. That’s not what this says. Everybody in Purgatory, according to the Catholic theology is a CHRISTIAN….”

RESPONSE: Yes, “everybody in Purgatory, according to the Catholic theology is a CHRISTIAN – that is, a “Christian” who has been baptized, abstained from any mortal sins, performed penance, confessed to a priest, and died in a Catholic “state of grace” with only SMALL sins left to be EXPIATED in Purgatory! According to the Bible, believers who break the “least of the commandments” will be the LEAST in the Millennial Kingdom (Matthew 5:19). They do not go to Purgatory! Believers who break the big commandments (such as seen in 1 Corinthians 6, Galatians 5 and Ephesians 5) will miss the Millennial Kingdom. Rome (and Augustine) says they will be eternally punished! And what the BIBLE says is a “believer” is one who receives the free gift of eternal salvation, who does not put his or her trust in anything other than the Blood of Jesus (not church, baptism, charity, enduring to the end, sacraments, priests, mass, confirmation, Mary, saints, alcoholic wine, etc.).

JACK: “Right, right. And of course MANY Protestants disagree with praying for the dead…Martin Luther opposed indulgences; but the POINT is, it is not to become saved, it is for the saved. Now, when we get into the Protestant Purgatory, from the book, “The Rod,” by Faust, we’re going to really be shocked.”

RESPONSE: What Van Impe calls “the saved” in the above quote are people who only committed “venial” sins, were baptized, abstained from mortal sins, and endured in a “state of grace” by working for salvation as good Roman Catholics! Van Impe appears to be doing his best to paint the Reformation as a minor argument over indulgences, but fails to mention the millions of Baptists and other “heretics” who died at the hands of Rome for these little “minor” points!

REXELLA: “I’ve been very, very amazed to know that there have been renown men in the Protestant arena that believe in a kind of Protestant Purgatory….You are going to be as surprised as I was when Jack came to me with a certain book, and you can see it on the screen right now, ‘The Rod’ by J. D. Faust. And there is a question mark under that title, ‘Will God Spare It?’ Now he lists in this book 300 men or so who believed that there was a kind of purgatory, or at least I would call it a purgatory, for the Protestants, who are not totally right with the Lord, when they die….And according to some of the other theologians he will be quoting in this book, there is a temporary punishment for unfaithful Christians at the Judgment Seat of Christ, and during the Millennial Kingdom. Punishment. I never heard of that Jack. So actually, it’s a kind of Protestant purgatory. A punishment for unfaithful Christians. Boy, would you please share some of this right now?”

RESPONSE: The debate over Millennial Exclusion often dominated prophetic conferences. There has obviously been a great cover-up or at least a repainting of Christian history. But I must confess that I have a bit of trouble taking the above words seriously. Is she shocked at punishment? Why, THOUSANDS of those associated with TBN and her program are Charismatics and Catholics. They ALL believe that a believer can not only be punished, but punished ETERNALLY for backsliding. It is true that hyper-Calvinism and Arminianism have both adopted a sort of antinomianism in modern times (where you have to curse Jesus or something really horrible and continue in it to lose salvation or lose assurance that you are a true believer); yet, in principle Charismatics believe in a loss of eternal salvation. Why then be shocked at an unfaithful believer being punished for only 1000 years? Shouldn’t she have rather said, “Jack, I have heard of going to Hell for eternity if you backslide, and MOST of our viewers hold to this view, yet isn’t this very MERCIFUL? Imagine, an unfaithful believer only getting punished for 1000 years when we have trillions times trillions of years to spend with our Lord in bliss and glory!” But she did not say this. Instead she was amazed. I continue to be amazed as well at how slow people are to believe our Lord’s warnings and RIGHTLY harmonize them with His promises concerning eternity.

JACK: “And that they’re punished for 1000 years in the underworld, where there is fire. And they call it Millennial Exclusion. Listen. On page 408 in the book entitled “The Rod,” J.D. Faust states, ‘People in Rome’s purgatory suffer to become a child of God…’ Untrue as you just heard.”

RESPONSE: This is from the glossary, and I am using “child of God” in a Biblical sense. Rome’s “child of God” at times means every person in the world, and at other times means those people who have been baptized in the Catholic Church, and are therefore working their way to final salvation. My language here could have been better. But Jack is trying to imply that Rome’s “child of God” and the fundamental Christian’s “child of God” is the same. They are not the same.

[See part 2]

MY REPLY TO JACK VAN IMPE, By Joey Faust (12-20-03)

PART II:

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THE ADVOCATES OF MILLENNIAL EXCLUSION

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JACK: ‘This denies the Gospel.’ Yes, if it were so, but it isn’t. ‘On the other hand, the doctrine of Millennial exclusion protects and guards the Gospel, since the various warnings to believers are not applied to eternity, but only for 1000 years.’ Uh. Big deal. Only 1000 years of suffering. At least you can get out of the Catholic purgatory after some prayers. You can’t get out of this Millennial Exclusion thing for over 1000 years. God help us. To me Rexella, this is nothing but a Protestant Purgatory. Nevertheless, some 300 scholars, covering 100 years of history proclaimed this, both in America and Canada. Let’s continue. Who backed it? Dr. George W. Dollar, author of ‘A History of Fundamentalism in America’ promotes the book stating, ‘God’s going to send all the wicked, lazy, unprofitable Christians to outer darkness for 1,000 years, and there shall be a gnashing of teeth.’ Dr. Donald W. Gilmour III of Dallas Theological Seminary, states, ‘These truths have been held and taught throughout Church history.’ Watchman Nee warns: ‘To lose the crown is to lose Kingdom entrance.’ W. F. Roadhouse (1875-1951), and D. M. Panton (1879-1955) both declare, ‘Christians who do not repent before they die will be briefly punished at the Judgment Seat and the excluded from Christ’s future 1,000 year Kingdom.’ G. H. Pember (1837-1910) wrote, ‘Surely if they leave the world fully justified, but incompletely sanctified, it follows that they shall be hurt of the Second Death, though only temporarily.’ Yes, but that still amounts to a thousand years, Rexella. I don’t want any kind of that ‘temporarily’ believe me. Continue. Paul Rader, founder of the great Tabernacle in Chicago, said: ‘Everything that has to do with the 1,000 years must meet the most terrific fires of testing. Only that which can pass through the fiery test at the Judgment Seat can be admitted into this thousand years of Millennial splendor.’ Never thought that that man would teach something like that.”

REXELLA: Right, right.

JACK: What a great man he was. Oswald J. Smith of the People’s Church in Toronto Ontario for over 50 years and a personal friend, said: ‘If we suffer we shall reign with Him. This was the great motive to the Christians of the early church. Pastor D. M. Panton, widely known writer, and diligent student of prophecy spoke of a select or partial rapture and a partial reign.’ And the Dr. Smith continues, ‘This view I must say, I have no hesitation whatever in accepting.’ And what did Dr. Panton, and Dr. Smith believe? Whew! Panton OPENLY taught that, ‘Some Christians that miss the Millennium will be temporarily punished in the fiery underworld according to their works.’ Imagine!….J. D. Faust, in his book, ‘The Rod,’ again writes, and I believe this to be in total error, ‘Christians are warned about the danger of being temporarily hurt by this Lake of Fire…The fires of the underworld are real and terrible. And the disobedient Christian that does not repent in time may temporarily experience the fires.’”

RESPONSE: When I wrote my book, I wrote it to be read, not flipped through. I was unaware that there would actually be people that would critique the book without reading it through from left to right. In this I was green to the world of public controversy. In my book, I make a clear distinction (clear to anyone who reads it through) between the Lord’s fire at His Judgment Seat in the sky (which proceeds out of His mouth and throne) and the banishment to the underworld. In earlier editions I refer to this fire at God’s throne as “The Lake of Fire,” since, as I show in my book in LATER becomes this Lake at His second coming to destroy Antichrist. Careless critics, who assume they can understand a book by reading bold paragraph headings, miss the fact that I make a distinction between the Lake of Fire and the underworld (Hell). And I say carnal Christians are chastised momentarily by the Lord’s BREATH (and I provide full Biblical documentation), and then banished to the underworld throughout the duration of the Millennium. Detractors look for the most shocking quotes they can find. In my book I quote Govett and show some evidence that the Sea of Glass is the Lake of Fire at an EARLY STAGE. Critics often leave out much explanatory material – probably because they don’t read it in the first place! I boldly confess what any edition of my book asserts, that: Unfaithful Christians who do not repent are in danger of being slain by the Lord’s fiery breath at the Judgment Seat of Christ, and then being banished for 1000 years in the underworld according to their deserts.

JACK: “‘The underworld is the dark realm in the heart of the earth that the Lord uses as a prison until after the Millennium. It is under the earth. It is the same as Hell or outer darkness, and all unfaithful Christians will be imprisoned in this underworld until after the Millennium or after the thousand years. The suffering there will be according to their works. There will be differing degrees of chastisement.’ David Regan calls this a sort of Protestant Purgatory. And well he should Rexella, believe me. Stephen S. Craig in 1916 stated, ‘The prospect of punishment after death for some who are ultimately to be saved, savors of the Roman doctrine of Purgatory, where the fire purges.’”

RESPONSE: Craig was an advocate of Millennial Exclusion, and the above quote doesn’t belong to him. Van Impe has been very sloppy quoting from my book, and he has been twice as sloppy in refuting it. The above quote is actually by G. H. Lang who then goes on to show the DIFFERENCE between the views.

JACK: “J.D. Faust, in his book tries to put down some fundamental dispensationalists to try to prove they’re wrong, and states, “Now, there’ve been many dispensationalists who have not embraced selective resurrection or Millennial exclusion at the Judgment Seat. Among them were Doctors J. M. Darby, J.H. Brooks, C.I. Scofield, Clarence Larkin, and E.W. Bullinger…”

RESPONSE: Throughout this review, Mr. and Mrs. Van Impe will imply that I have stated that I am not a dispensationalist, and that Millennial exclusion cannot be harmonized with such a view. Of course, this all depends upon what one means by “dispensationalist.” My actual words were as follows:

“Within the confines of dispensational premillennialism there have been many advocates of kingdom exclusion. Many of these writers will be examined in the next chapter. Robert Govett (1813-1901) issued his futurist commentary on the Book of Revelation in 1843. Within a decade, he was also combining this literalist and futurist view with the doctrine of the pre-trib rapture (partial) at the secret coming of Christ. Govett is therefore one of the earliest writers to actually place in print the combination of these views. He was also one of the chief defenders of millennial exclusion. Many that held that true believers could be excluded from the pre-trib translation, the millennium (or both) used the term ‘dispensational.’ J. R. Graves entitled one of his books on rapture exclusion, ‘Dispensational Expositions of the Parables and Prophecies of Christ.’ H. W. Fry’s book, ‘God’s Plan in the Bible’ taught the danger of exclusion from both the rapture and the mil-lennium. It claimed to be a primer on ‘dispensationalism’ and was endorsed by Bullinger and many Darbyites! It is therefore erroneous to equate dispensationalism with only the views of Darby. He was simply a leading figure in a broader movement. At the time, prominent pastors such as Charles Spurgeon named Govett and Pember (both advocates of millennial exclusion) as the leaders in the movement. James Grant (1802-1879) gives Govett the principle credit for publicizing dispensational views. In America, the premillennial futurism of Joseph Seiss was certainly at the forefront of dispensational scholarship and influence. It is true that there have been many dispensationalists who have not embraced selective-resurrection or chastisement at the judgment seat (e.g. J. N. Darby, J. H. Brooks, C. I. Scofield, E.W. Bullinger, C. Larkin, etc.). Even so, such writers are only part of the history of dispensational thought. Many came from Reformed backgrounds and were inclined to teach that all true Christians are faithful Christians. They were therefore forced by this view to apply all the strong warnings to false professors. This argument was unacceptable to many premillennialists who argued that such a practice undermined literal interpretation itself.”

This is very different from how Van Impe paints the partial quote of my words.

REXELLA: “Well you know what, when Jack came to me, and he read that script to me, that he just gave to you, I wrote down several questions. I said Jack, I just have to ask you these questions. And I think maybe there are questions GOING THROUGH YOUR MIND, as he read this to you from the book, ‘The Rod,’ by J.D. Faust. This was my first question to him. And it was from a quote, Dr. George W. Dollar. He’s a great theologian….Now Jack, friends, I have heard, and I am sure you have heard the term outer darkness, and you’ve also heard gnashing of teeth. But I’ve never heard it applied to Christians!”

RESPONSE: So she’s never heard of the Methodists, Charismatics, Pentecostals, Church of Christ, Salvation Army, Assembly of God, Nazarene, Church of God, etc.? What does she mean that she has never heard outer darkness applied to Christians? It is probable that the majority of the people in her audience have preachers who apply it to CHRISTIANS – yet they refer it to absolute eternal punishment. Yet, the timing is the Second Coming of Christ. And premillenialists believe that Jesus comes to set up His MILLENNIAL Kingdom. What occurs to the banished servant AFTER the Millennium is not stated in the text. Yet, elsewhere we are assured that he will be raised up on the Last Day.

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VAN IMPE FORGETS WHAT HE BELIEVES ABOUT MATTHEW 25:30!

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REXELLA: “Uh, you know you’ve got to rightly divide the word of truth if you’re going to understand all the dispensations in the Bible, and who it applies to. Does this [Matthew 25:30] apply to Christians?”

JACK: “Absolutely not Rexella. 2 Timothy 2:15 says, study to shew thyself approved unto God…watch it. Rightly dividing the word of truth. Now to WHOM was the text given? To WHOM does it apply? Well in MATTHEW it has to do with the King, and the coming of the King….And it is the Gospel of the Kingdom of Matthew 24 verse 14. S Matthew 8:12, chapter 22:13, and CHAPTER 25 VERSE 30, IS TALKING TO THE JEWS, NOT TO CHRISTIANS. Oh, if people would only rightly divide the word of truth….”

RESPONSE: Van Impe next goes into a lengthy exposition on crowns, etc. to which we will return momentarily. However, during this exposition, he quotes EXTENSIVELY from Matthew 5-7 and applies this material DOCTRINALLY to believers! But what happened to his above view that “MATTHEW” is only for the Jews? Now watch how Van Impe ends this exposition:

“Oh, I want to be with that crowd. Oh how I HOPE it’ll be true Rexella, THAT JESUS WILL LOOK AT ME AND SAY, ‘WELL DONE THOU GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT, Matthew 25:21.”

Rexella then adds: “I’m sure he will Jack. I’m sure he will.” Van Impe later continues to apply Matthew 25 to HIMSELF. He can’t get away from it:

“Oh, I want my Savior to say unto me in that day, ‘Jack, well done, thou good and faithful servant.’ But the point is if he [Paul] could LOSE IT. YOU CAN. Live the life!”

Not to be outdone, Rexella ends the video with an appeal TO BELIEVERS:

“I’m talking to Christians first of all…the challenge today that Jack has presented to US, is to HEAR THE WORDS FROM HIS MOUTH, ‘WELL DONE, GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT.’”

Now my question is this: Does Matthew 25:21-30 APPLY to CHRISTIANS or not (according to Van Impe)?:

Matthew 25:21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
24 Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed:
30 And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Did not Van Impe confess TWO TIMES (even telling us the verse, “Matthew 25:21″) that he wants Jesus to say these words to him as a FAITHFUL servant? Yet, we are to believe that if he is UNFAITHFUL (which he assures us is a possibility since he states that Paul was concerned about it), that the VERY WORDS OF JESUS, IN THE SAME CONTEXT DO NOT APPLY? Why are we told that Matthew 25:30 does NOT apply to Christians, but to Jews, but that Matthew 25:21 DOES apply to Christians? It is clear that Van Impe HAS NO CONSISTENT interpretative key concerning the warning passages EXCEPT ONE: IF HE DOESN’T LIKE IT, OR IF IT’S TOO OMINOUS SOUNDING, HE GIVES IT TO THE JEWS! Van Impe quotes the Great Commission in Matthew 28 and applies it to modern Christians. Yet, in this very same commission our Lord commands His disciples to teach the GENTILES all the things He has commanded and taught His disciples! And that He will be with them unto the end of the world (Matthew 28:20). There are NO words in the later Epistles which negate or change our Lord’s warnings to His disciples (Matthew 25:30, Luke 12:47, etc.). On the other hand, there are many passages in the Epistles which CONFIRM them (1 Timothy 6:3, 2 Corinthians 5:9-11, Hebrews 10:27, Colossians 3:25, Ephesians 5:5-7, etc.).

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VAN IMPE AND T. T. SHIELDS

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REXELLA: “As Jack mentioned, he is a dispensationalist….Many of the names you read, Jack, to us a moment ago, back you up on this. Men like Doctors Darby…and then T. T. Shields, of course he really put this down by saying you’d need a psychiatrist if you believed it. We don’t go that far.”

JACK: “Oh no. I still love my brothers in Christ. But that was T. T. Shields. He was a fiery warrior for the Lord in his day.”

RESPONSE: They forget to tell you that Shields became an AMILLENNIALIST and had departed from premillennialism when he made the statement about Millennial exclusion. Pink attacked Millennial exclusion, and then also became an amillennialist. John Wilmot also attacked it and then left his premillennialism. The system of literal interpretation leads one to Millennial exclusion. This is why Robert Govett, a foremost defender of Millennial exclusion, shocked the world with his Revelation commentary called: “The Revelation of St. John, Literal and Future,” in 1843. This is why I have a chapter in my book called, “Safeguarding Literal Interpretation.”

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VAN IMPE’S PLIABLE VIEW OF CONDEMNATION

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JACK: “…because we became the righteousness of God in Christ we can have NO future suffering in a place called the underworld…for 1000 years. Because John 3:18 adds he that believes in Christ is not condemned.”

REXELLA: “Thank you so much Jack…”

JACK: “[To the Christian] Your’e not going to get away with your double standards! I’m watching. I’m keeping track. And some day, YOU’LL FACE IT ALL. The Bible teaches that? Yeah. 2 Corinthians 5 verse 10. We must all, that’s BELIEVERS, appear before the judgment seat of Christ that every one may receive the things done in his body according to that he has done, whether it be good or bad. I emphasize good or bad. Somehow we’ve come to a day and age, and I used to teach this but I’ve changed my mind about it, that the only thing that will come up at the Bema Seat happens to be the sins of omission….I believe we’re going to be judged for everything, good or bad….That’s why so many are going to be ashamed when they see Christ, but they’ll be there!….We’re going to have to give an account of everything we did, especially that which was never forgiven….’The next verse says, knowing the TERROR of the Lord…we persuade men.’ This is not going to be a Sunday school picnic….There’s going to be TEARS…. I hear people say, Oh boy, when we get to Heaven its going to be wonderful…there shall be no more sorrow…neither shall there be any more tears [Rev. 21:4]. But you’ve got your verse in the wrong place. That’s not for now. It’s not even for the 1,000 years….FOR THE SEVEN YEARS OF TRIBULATION, AND FOR THE 1,000 YEARS, FOR A TOTAL OF 1007 YEARS, BELIEVERS STILL WEEP. NOT CONSTANTLY. BUT SPONTANEOUSLY…. BECAUSE THEY FAILED HIM.”

RESPONSE: Van Impe (like most modern commentators) appears to simply take the warnings he likes. He does not think that crying often on in shame for 1007 years contradicts the “condemnation” of John 3:18; yet, he believes any other type of physical manifestation or pain (such as stripes or temporary banishment) does contradict John 3:18. But the context of John 3 is eternal salvation. No believer will be eternally condemned. Yet, 1 Corinthians 11 shows that believers may be made sick or KILLED in this life for their sins. There is no denial of John 3 in applying this principle of chastisement (as the Bible does) to the Judgment Seat of Christ and the Millennial Kingdom (which are in temporal time, and are said to end). This argument is made repeatedly in my book. If believers may be made sick or slain in this life, in the day of God’s patience, how much more can they be chastised when “judgment” must begin at the house of God at the Second Coming (1 Peter 4:17)? Van Impe attempts no interaction with the main proof texts and arguments in my book.

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THE BEMA SEAT ONLY A SPORT’S TERM?

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Van Impe makes much of “Bema Seat” being used in Greek games:

JACK: “God allowed him [Paul] to use a SPORT’S term when he came to that judgment of the believer’s service, and called it the BEMA SEAT….Why?”

RESPONSE: Van Impe leaves out that the word means JUDGMENT and is used in the Bible for Pilate’s Judgment Seat. Our Lord’s crucifixion was certainly not an olympic GAME!:

John 19:13 When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus forth, and sat down in the JUDGMENT SEAT in a place that is called the Pavement, but in the Hebrew, Gabbatha.

[o oun pilatos akousas touton ton logon hgagen ecw ton ihsoun kai ekaqisen epi tou BHMATOS eis topon legomenon liqostrwton ebraisti de gabbaqa]

Acts 25:10 Then said Paul, I stand at Caesar’s JUDGMENT SEAT, where I ought to be judged: to the Jews have I done no wrong, as thou very well knowest.

[eipen de o paulos epi tou BHMATOS kaisaros estws eimi ou me dei krinesqai ioudaious ouden hdikhsa ws kai su kallion epiginwskeis]

2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the JUDGMENT SEAT of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

[tous gar pantas hmas fanerwqhnai dei emprosqen tou BHMATOS tou xristou ina komishtai ekastos ta dia tou swmatos pros a epracen eite agaqon eite kakon]

So we are to believe that the Judgment Seat of Pilate and the Judgment Seat of Caesar can deliver the death penalty or stripes, but the Judgment Seat of our Lord (who is a consuming fire), which uses the same language, is only a SPORT’S TERM!

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CONCLUSION

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My own conclusion is that Van Impe does not know in a systematic fashion what he believes about the warnings, and that all this is new to him (as he confesses). He simply knows that he doesn’t believe what I believe (or what the great men whom I quote believe). He is probably still in shock that so many men believed something that he has never even heard of before. I pray he will reconsider these things. And I do pray that he would distant himself from Rome’s false Gospel and declare plainly to his audience that Roman Catholicism will damn people eternally, and that IDOLATRY is not simply a minor, doctrinal detail. But such boldness and plainness of speech comes with a price. yet, our Lord is able and willing to make up any losses a hundredfold!

http://www.kingdomBaptist.org

Railing: The Weakness of Anti-Rod Manifested

Another argument that the view of my book, “The Rod: Will God Spare It?” is true will be found in the type of responses of those who attempt to refute it.

Years ago, pastor T.T. Shields (1873-1955), an amillennialist from Canada, attempted to refute the teachings of the well-known British writer D.M. Panton. Notice his words: “It is sheer, unmitigated rubbish. We not only reject it, we repudiate it, and abhor it. In our view, anyone who could write thus, and equally those who believe it, need the services of a psychiatrist.”

Bullinger came close to the same railing when he went up against Pember and others.

In this late day and age, the same fleshly responses are made to accountability teaching: “Anyone who does [i.e. believe this doctrine] is a PURE IDIOT, MORON, zilch upstairs, 00 I.Q!” (pastor Doug Sehorne) Sehorne does not believe the “kingdom of God” in Paul’s epistles refers to the Millennium. We welcome discussion and holy disputation. Yet, this utter inability to control passions is an argument that either their position is weak, or they themselves are unable to defend it in the Spirit.

I have no hatred for Herb Evans. I continually remind my readers that we are like-minded on many issues. However, he has appointed himself to be the first general who leads the battle against kingdom exclusion and a temporary, fiery rod at the judgment seat for carnal Christians. Therefore, although I am saddened that he attempts to divide the brethren through calling this view “heresy” (worthy of disfellowship), I am more than ready to meet his arguments with Scripture. But, when I ready myself for the dispute, I find that Herb Evans is only interested in e-mail and random article debates, whereby he is able to duck points and arguments at will. When I pressed him to quit avoiding an answer, he responded that he was not in a debate and did not have to respond to someone he had disfellowshipped! Thus, he is free to boast himself in his objections without having to have their shallowness exposed. And what do we find in this barrage of e-mails from brother Evans? Do we find a great deal of substance? Do we find reasoned objections? No. Instead, we find PERSONAL ATTACKS. We find a constant attack on my motives, on my supposed intentions, etc. This often INTIMIDATES some brethren. Yet, many rightly see this as an obvious SIGN OF WEAKNESS in regard to his position. Herb Evans has been forced to embrace the idea that the warnings that Jesus Christ gave to Peter, John and His other disciples, on numerous occasions, do NOT apply to Christians today. Paul (a New Testament Christian) plainly reveals to us the rotten fruit that will result from such a teaching:

1 Timothy 6:3 If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, EVEN THE WORDS OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness;
4 He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, RAILINGS, EVIL SURMISINGS,
5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.

Herb Evans is growing increasingly near fulfilling this passage of Scripture. By teaching that the words of our Lord Jesus (when addressed to John and Peter) do NOT apply to Christians today, brother Herb has removed himself (and his followers) from some holy commandments and warnings that would be used by the Holy Ghost to restrain certain workings of the flesh. The apostle Paul teaches that the rotten fruit of this system of interpretation will be, among other things, RAILING and EVIL SURMISINGS.

Webster (1828) defines “surmisings” as: “To suspect; to imagine without certain knowledge.” Therefore, certain suspicions and character assassinations (with no certain evidence) are a sign of the flesh. Judging motives and railing are signs of the weakness in either a person’s views, or in his ability to defend them. At first, before Herb’s replies were countered with Scripture, he was unwilling to descend into evil surmisings. He wrote: “Now, your motives for such a doctrine are pure, and would be agreed on by both of us, but I think you are throwing the baby out with the bath water in this doctrine….Believe me, I am writing this letter to you as kindly as possible. I like you and much of what you post on Kingdom alert.” (7-23-01)

Nevertheless, when his refutations were answered with Scripture, he responded with a multitude of evil surmisings against me, personally. Brother Herb (more than once!) has had to retract his accusations publicly when I took the time to expose his errors in fact. Yet, since he will not submit to a formal debate, I will let his surmisings alone, and let them argue against his own view. If brother Herb, or any man, is able to offer a reasoned defense against the views of my book in formal debate, I welcome the dispute. May the Lord open all our eyes in any area where we are mistaken. (6-4-02)