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Saturday, 26 March 2016

The lethal "futuristic" interpretation of Revelation Chapters 2-3 by Randy White

Many shall purify themselves and make themselves white and be refined, but the wicked shall act wickedly. And none of the wicked shall understand, but those who are wise shall understand. (Daniel 12:10-11)

Randy White became the pastor of a small congregation at Taos First Baptist Church in New Mexico in 2015 following his previous possition for 12 years as pastor at the First Baptist Church in Katy TX. He has created the Dispensational Publishing House based in Taos to become the "go to" source for dispensationalism. Surprisingly for such a claim, he fails to define dispensationalism in any detail.{1} 

I do not intend going into the complexities of the various strands of dispensationalism in this post, but I do wish to identify a very serious problem with Randy White's article: The Seven Churches of Revelation: A New Look in which he states " .....the letters to the seven churches of Revelation 2-3 are entirely future, only directly relevant to seven congregations of Jewish believers that will exist after the rapture of the church and unbelievers!" 
https://randywhiteministries.org/articles/the-seven-churches-of-revelation-a-new-look/

Randy White: "I think it is worthy of consideration that the seven churches of Revelation might be future congregations of Jewish believers living in the renewed age of the Law (the final seven years which has been decreed but never fulfilled, Daniel 9:24-27). If read in light of the Law, we would not directly apply them to the church today (just as we would not apply the Old Testament or even the Gospels to the church). If this change of focus is made, the seven letters become a message to seven groups of Jewish believers in the Day of Jacob’s trouble, giving new light and relieving us of some challenging exegesis." 

The above statement places Randy White firmly in the camp of extreme dispensationalism, a dangerous teaching which has a number of variants e.g. Hyper-dispensationalism, Mid-Acts Dispensationalism, Ultra-Dispensationalism, Bullingerism etc. Dispensationalism originated in the nineteenth century with the Father of Dispensationalism, John Nelson Darby (1800-1882). Darby's dispensational theology evolved out of the controversial pre-tribulation rapture theory which he claimed as his own, although actually there is strong evidence that it originated with the the Irvingites.{2} Dispensationalism has gained widespread acceptance within evangelicalism mainly through C.I. Scofield's Reference Bible (published in 1909). The "new" teachings of John Nelson Darby were marked as heretical by many well known church leaders and scholars of his time, including Charles Spurgeon, George Muller, Samuel P Tregelles, R.L. Dabney, and L.L. Warfield. Benjamin Wills Newton went as far as voicing his concern that Darby was working for the Jesuits!{3} 

Modern scholars and leaders of note, such as Joe Schimmel, John Haller, Dave Macpherson etc. also castigate the extreme views of Darby. The DVD by Good Fight Ministries, Left Behind or Led Astray is an excellent well researched presentation of the pre-tribulation rapture history.{4}   

Hyperdispensationalists and ultradispensationalists emphasise that Israel and the "mystery church" i.e. the Body of Christ are two mutually exclusive groups with two different gospels and two distinct ways of salvation. They view the four gospels and the gospel preached by Peter in the early part of the book of Acts as a works based gospel relevant only to the Jews. Only the Pauline epistles are relevant to the church because they are the only books that teach that salvation is by grace through faith in Christ. As such, most hyper/ultradispensationalists view water baptism and the Lord’s Supper as ordinances uniquely applicable to these early Jewish New Testament believers. Similarly, the books of  Peter, James, Jude, Hebrews and the epistles of John were addressed to the Hebrew church and are not for the Body of Christ. They also teach that the Book of Revelation is addressed exclusively to the Jewish church of the tribulation.

Randy White: "If the letters to the churches are future, then we would not apply the letters to these churches to our own age and our particular church any more than we would do so for the remainder of the book of Revelation, taken futuristically. For example, while it is insightful to know that a coming one-world leader will have an economic system that requires his mark for buying and selling, a believer today who holds to a pre-trib, pre-millennial interpretation will not spend fruitless time worrying about what this mark is or how they will put food on the table. These issues are non-starters for a pre-trib dispensationalist, and the doctrine taught in the book of Revelation is knowledge of the coming 'Day of Jacob’s Trouble,' relating to Israel and the nations of the world during the tribulation." {5} 

The above statement is highly irresponsible and it puts pretribulationist believers in a very vulnerable position during the 70th week of Daniel. The tribulation, the Antichrist and the mark of the beast may be "non starters" for pre-trib dispensationalists living in a fools paradise, but in the real world, these are extremely significant issues. "The Day/Time of Jacob's Trouble" (Jeremiah 30:7) is obviously specific to ethnic Israel. However, it does not follow that believers will not suffer the persecution of the Antichrist during the Great Tribulation. In fact the Bible says that believers definitely will suffer persecution during this time. Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. (Matthew 24:9) This refers to all believers, not just to Israel as the dispensationalists would have us believe. The 70 weeks of Daniel have been decreed for the Jewish Nation (Daniel 9:24), but the 70th week also has repercussions for the Gentile Church who are grafted into the New Covenant made with Israel (Jeremiah 31:31 cf. Revelation 12:17). The "tribulation" is never referred to as a seven year period in the scriptures. The Great Tribulation was defined by Jesus Christ and ties in with the mid point of Daniel's 70th week when the Antichrist will break his covenant and set up the abomination of desolation  (Matthew 24:15-21; cf. Daniel 9:27). The Time of Jacobs Trouble is a term that is related to the Day of the Lord and the Great Tribulation. In other words, the Time of Jacob's Trouble relates specifically to the final 3.5 years of the 70th week of Daniel and not to the final seven years. What is referred to as the "pre-tribulation rapture" is a fallacy that does not find one verse of scripture to support it, even the pretribulational leaders themselves are forced to admit this.

The traditional view of the seven letters of Revelation is that they were written to specific historical churches and are relevant to the universal church in all generations as well as relating to church history at different periods of time. The Jewish Messianic titles and the symbolism describing the seven churches strongly suggests that the letters were written to Messianic Jewish congregations. According to tradition, the Apostle John lived in Ephesus and led the churches in Asia Minor no later than 67 AD. {6} The seven letters do not claim to be prophetic in themselves and there is absolutely no scriptural evidence that they are "entirely futuristic". Randy White refers to Revelation chapters 2 and 3 as proof of his "new" futuristic teaching, but he fails entirely to take any account of the context and undeniable evidence that the seven churches were physical churches in specific locations in Revelation Chapter 1: 

John to the seven churches that are in Asia:  (Revelation 1:4)
John wrote in the present tense to the seven churches in the precise location of Asia (Asia Minor). At that time Asia Minor was a Roman province with Ephesus as its capital. The seven churches ceased to thrive in the centuries of Muslim control. However the archaeological remains of all seven locations currently exist in present-day Turkey.{7}

“Write what you see in a book and send it to the seven churches, to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.” (Revelation 1:11)

How could John send what he had written to the seven churches if the letters are entirely futuristic?

Write therefore the things that you have seen, those that are (present) and those that are to take place after this (future). (Revelation 1:19)

Ephesus: What Are The First Works?

Randy White:“Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.” (Revelation 2:5).  This message to the angel of the church of Ephesus sounds foreign to anything of the age of Grace.  Further, the angel of the church of Pergamum is told,  “Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.” (Revelation 2:16). The 'sword of my mouth' is seen in Revelation 19:15 and is the same sword by which the wrath of God judges the nations. How can the blood-bought and forever secure church receive the wrath of God?" 

Jesus Christ commended the church at Ephesus for their works in verse 2, but they were not their first works (Revelation 2:2). The letter goes on to reveal that something vital had been abandoned: But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. (Revelation 2:4-5)  When viewed historically these first works are the deeds which were done when the church was first established, deeds done in response to the grace of God i.e. the gospel (Ephesians 1:13). Contrary to Randy White's claim that these verses are foreign to the Age of Grace, they appear to be all about grace and do not concern works of the law (Ephesians 2:8-9).
  
Apart from all his other problems, Randy White also seems to be under the misapprehension that it is not possible for believers to fall from grace. However, the Bible clearly states that such a thing is possible, even as these letters to the seven churches themselves demonstrate! (cf. Matthew 25:12;  John 15:6; Romans 11:19-22; Galatians 5:5; 2 Peter 2:20-22 etc.) 

The Lethal Implications Of Randy White's False Teaching:

The implications of Randy White's manifest errors are hugely troubling. He assumes that during the fallacious "seven year tribulation", Israel will be living in "a renewed age of the Law", but isn't this the domain of the Antichrist?

How will Israel come to accept the Antichrist as their long awaited Messiah (John 5:43)?  The 70th week of Daniel commences when the Antichrist confirms the covenant with many for one week (Daniel 9:27). Since this covenant has some connection with the daily sacrifices being reinstated, theoretically, it may include a confirmation of the Mosaic covenant together with some counterfeit works based version of the gospel, just as the extreme dispensationalists now teach. When the Antichrist breaks the covenant at the mid-point of the 70th week and sets up the abomination that causes desolation, the awful truth will dawn upon Israel and they will flee (to Petra?) to avoid persecution. They will look upon me, the one they have pierced, is a clear reference to the cross. In other words, after the Antichrist breaks his covenant and comes after Israel, they will repent and turn from Law to grace.

And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son. (Zechariah 12:10 cf. John 19:37; Revelation 1:7; Joel 2:32) 

.....yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified. (Galatians 2:16; cf Galatians 3:24; Romans 3:20-22; Hebrews 7:19)  

Randy White has excluded the entire book of Revelation from the church on the pretext of extreme dispensationalism, a position which cannot be validated by the scriptures. I am unable to account for the reason that so many true believers, and even sound teachers in other respects, stick aggressively to the pre-tribulation rapture theory. It is so flimsy that I cannot imagine anyone in their right mind accepting it blindly without one verse of scripture to validate it. I am not at all sure whether those die-hards who tenaciously hold on to this theory will even realise what is happening during the 70th week of Daniel. Their fixation upon an imminent pre-tribulation rapture is so strong, the danger is that many may fail to recognise the signs of Jesus' return because they will not be watching (Matthew 24:42; 25:13). At some time shortly after the mid point of the 70th week, when the persecution against Christians kicks in, many will quickly fall away (Matthew 13:20-21). Pretribulationism sets believers up for a fall from which many will not recover: And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. (Matthew 24:10)

The groundwork for the falling away has been well laid by the enemy through various false doctrines, not least of which are the charismatic "word-faith" teachings and also the teachings of Darby and his successors. Disturbingly, the evil seeds of dispensationalism and pretribulationism continue take root within the western church. Since many pretribulationists already appear to be under a spiritual delusion, what will be the outcome for them when the arch deceiver, the Antichrist appears (2 Thessalonians 2:11)? The "falling away" (apostasy) spoken of by the apostle Paul, will, I suggest, be due to those who become "offended" due to the unexpected horrors of the great tribulation and the escapist teaching of the pretribulationist teachers (2 Thessalonians 2:3). Tim LaHaye: "If Christ does not rapture His church before the tribulation begins, much of the hope is destroyed, and thus it becomes a blasted hope." {8} Are teachers like Tim LaHaye setting believers up for a fall from which they will not recover when the rapture fails to materialise at said time and false hopes are destroyed? In the words of Joe Falkner: "Is the pre-tribulation rapture theory the blessed hope or blasted hype?" {9}

There are of course differences between the Church and ethnic Israel in the scriptures. In particular we should note that the Jews were dispersed to the ends of the earth in AD 70 in fulfilment of prophecy. Since 1948, they are being regathered in unbelief and have revived Biblical Hebrew as their language. This is a completely unique situation in history for any dispersed and uprooted nation (Isaiah 11:11-12; Ezekiel 37:11-12 ). The church will be raptured after the tribulation, before the wrath of God falls (Matthew 24:29; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-8 cf. Revelation 6:16). Once this has happened, Christ will turn his attention towards Israel once again, and - all Israel will be saved.. (Romans 11:26) - to those in Jacob who turn from transgression.. (Isaiah 59:20; cf. Zechariah 13:8). I find nothing about "a renewed age of the law" in the scriptures, except in the plans of Satan. There is only one gospel and one way of salvation, the everlasting gospel which is by grace through faith. (Revelation 14:6; Ephesians 2:8) 

"For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one, and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall." (Ephesians 2:14) 

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance ALL that I have said to you. (John 14:26) 

ALL Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, (2 Timothy 3:16)
 

The SUM of your word is truth, and every one of your righteous rules endures forever. (Psalm 119:160) 

I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.

11 comments:

colin said...

The "futuristic interpretation of Revelation chapters 2-3" (purely a Dispensational invention) falls down principally on the ground that if seven Church ages HAD to come to pass before the Second Advent of Jesus Christ, then how on earth could the rapture ever have been an any moment event?
That is not to say that there isn't an application to our present age. History is often being charged with repeating itself, so no doubt the Laodicean age as it was in history will yet be so in the latter days: "But as the days of Noah were, so shall the coming of the Son of man be."
Dispensational theology is contrary to Scripture.
Keep up the good work.
God bless you.

Irv said...


Excellent comments, Colin. Because of you, Treena, and other scholarly Christians these days, many are now getting their eyes open and even throwing out the pretribulational baby along with the dispensational bath water!

Treena Gisborn said...

Thank you Colin and Irv. Colin that is very significant. God bless you.

colin said...

Further to my last comment, if "Dispensational"/pre-tribulation rapture "theology is not contrary to Scripture", then, what is it? Or, rather, where did it come from? It can only be satanic. Some may say it is only "of the flesh" or "man-made", but, was it not Satan who deceived our first parents? And today he continues to deceive their offspring to this day. "Hath God said?"
This Randy White character (I hadn't previously heard of him) has obviously built his theology upon a false premise: first they receive the false teaching, then they 'build' upon it. It really astounds me that some folk cannot see the "wood for the trees", because it is a well known fact that pre-tribulation doctrine unequivocally asserts that the Lord Jesus can (or could have returned at any moment since His ascension) return at "any moment", yet here we have a 'teacher' contradicting himself! He is now telling us that because Revelation 2-3 is yet future, then the Lord Jesus could NEVER have returned at "any moment" in the last near 2000 years as the rest of his deceived pre-trib teachers would have us believe!
La Haye's words are simply breath-taking, but then what can we expect from one who has feathered his nest on the back of this great deception?
No one was ever saved in the OT dispensation without God's grace alone, as it will always be. Dispensational theology is akin to Marcionism. This separation of New Testament Church age believers and OT believers is foreign to the Scriptures. There is but ONE Church.
God bless you.

Treena Gisborn said...

Thank you again Colin. I have to agree that Randy White's teaching is totally perverse and Satanic. What else can we expect from Tim LaHaye - a man who was yoked together with Sun Myung Moon who claimed to be the Second Advent! Why do people trust these men?

Harry Ironside on Bullingerism:

"Having had most intimate acquaintance with Bullingerism as taught by many for the last forty years, I have no hesitancy in saying that its fruits are evil. It has produced a tremendous crop of heresies throughout the length and breadth of this and other lands, it has divided Christians and wrecked churches and assemblies without number; it has lifted up its votaries in intellectual and spiritual pride to an appalling extent, so that they look with supreme contempt upon Christians who do not accept their peculiar views; and in most instances where it has been long tolerated, it has absolutely throttled Gospel effort at home and sown discord on missionary fields abroad. So true are these things of this system that I have no hesitancy in saying it is an absolutely Satanic perversion of the truth. Instead of rightly dividing the Word, I shall seek to show that these teachers wrongly divide the Word, and that their propaganda is anything but conducive to spirituality and enlightenment in divine things."
http://www.biblelineministries.org/onlinebooks/wrongly-dividing-the-word-of-truth/ch1.html
God bless you Colin

colin said...

And this verbal salvo isn't coming from any of us, but from a foremost American Dispensationalist, a pre-tribulation rapture teacher!!!
Who would disagree with Mr Ironside? Certainly Bullinger stretched the elastic too far with his diabolical teachings! Again, not everything Bullinger taught is wrong (I have read and studied his epic work-"The Apocalypse/Day of the Lord"), but this is how many are deceived, especially when people hold orthodox views on the Atonement? It was Bullinger's treatment of the "trumpets" that caused me to smell a dead rat.
Dispensational pre-tribulation theology doesn't need to be constantly re-engineered and refined, like some try to do; rather it should be abandoned altogether, in the pit where it belongs.
God bless you.

Treena Gisborn said...

It is so odd that H Ironside rejected Bullingerism and yet admired Darby and was pre-trib. He was honest enough to admit that the pre-trib rapture was a "new" teaching not taught before Darby... he found “the mystery” conspicuous by its absence for sixteen hundred years! There is such blindness about this subject.. Darby has a lot to answer for! Randy White's teaching I think goes against most pretribulationists and moderate dispensationalists. God bless

colin said...

Something troubles me about the last comment I made. Speaking of Ironside and Bullinger, I intimated that they held "orthodox views on the Atonement", and indeed this is true in so much as they believed in Christ Jesus as their OWN personal Saviour. But these men also believed and taught the theology that the NT Church and OT Israel had two separate destinies and that the OT saints were saved by their 'perfect' observation and 'keeping' of the law, rather than by the blood of "the lamb slain from the foundation of the world." Revelation 13.8. So their views on the Atonement cannot be considered to be orthodox.
Unger (Biblical Demonology), quoting from Ironside's "The Epistle of John" p.126-134 speaks correctly of Ironside's high view of the Incarnation; railing against the modernist prevailing view of the Atonement which reduces it to an apotheosis.
The confusing world of Dispensationalism often confuses me as well as the great many that have little understanding of this unbiblical theology! Thank God that our salvation is not works based, but by God's free sovereign grace ALONE? The thief on the cross bears testimony to this.
God bless you.
But, again this is NO excuse for not studying His prophetic word and warning believers and unbelievers alike of the coming wrath of God?

Treena Gisborn said...

Thank you for this information Colin. I do not have in depth knowledge about the beliefs of Ironside, but if indeed he taught that the OT saints were saved by the law as you say, then he was very much mistaken. Having come across his attack against Bullingerism, I felt it was very relevant and I do concur with him on that subject. The various strands of Dispensationalism are bewildering to say the least, and I wish no more acquantance with its complexities than as is absolutely necessary in order to refute it. God bless you.

Jim Olson said...

If dispensational is so evil explain what Paul meant when is used the word on numerous occasions? It must mean something, it's in the Bible.
Eph.1:10, 3:10/ Col.1:25/ and 1 cor 9:17.
Kindly, Jim

Treena Gisborn said...

Dear Jim.

"dispensation" is to dispense i.e. to distribute or provide (a service or information) to a number of people: The "dispensation" of the gospel is therefore to distribute the gospel. It is the "dispensation" i.e. the distribution of the grace of God which is referred to in Ephesians 3:2; Colossians 1:25 etc.


I will go through these verses you mention:

Ephesians 1:10 - ..as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.
*the fullness of times" is the completion of all things. It is not a dispensation it is the end of time.
Ephesians 3:9-10 - and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God, who created all things, so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.
* I do not see "dispensation" in these verses.
Colossians 1:25 - of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known,
* the "dispensation" of the gospel... to make the word of God fully known.
1 Corinthians 9:17 - For if I do this of my own will, I have a reward, but if not of my own will, I am still entrusted with a stewardship.
* Once again it is the distribution of the gospel.

God bless