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A Study of Dispensationalism
by Arthur Pink

"But there is further reason, and a pressing one today, why we should write upon our present subject, and that is to expose the modern and pernicious error of Dispensationalism. This is a device of the Enemy, designed to rob the children of no small part of that bread which their heavenly Father has provided for their souls; a device wherein the wily serpent appears as an angel of light, feigning to "make the Bible a new book" by simplifying much in it which perplexes the spiritually unlearned. It is sad to see how widely successful the devil has been by means of this subtle innovation."

Culture
A biblical view of self defense
Rick Martin | A Biblical defense of this misunderstood doctrine

I can find nothing in Scripture which prohibits lawful self defense against physical attack, even to include the defensive use of deadly weapons. I offer the following Biblical defense of this misunderstood doctrine.

When Nehemiah was rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem and was under threat of attack, notice his reaction in verse 14. We see from verses 16-18 that their defense was with deadly weapons. There is no condemnation of his defense in Scripture.

Nehemiah 4:7-18
7 Now it happened, when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites heard that the walls of Jerusalem were being restored and the gaps were beginning to be closed, that they became very angry,
8 and all of them conspired together to come and attack Jerusalem and create confusion.
9 Nevertheless we made our prayer to our God, and because of them we set a watch against them day and night.
10 Then Judah said, "The strength of the laborers is failing, and there is so much rubbish that we are not able to build the wall."
11 And our adversaries said, "They will neither know nor see anything, till we come into their midst and kill them and cause the work to cease."
12 So it was, when the Jews who dwelt near them came, that they told us ten times, "From whatever place you turn, they will be upon us."
13 Therefore I positioned men behind the lower parts of the wall, at the openings; and I set the people according to their families, with their swords, their spears, and their bows.
14 And I looked, and arose and said to the nobles, to the leaders, and to the rest of the people, "Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, great and awesome, and fight for your brethren, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your houses."
15 And it happened, when our enemies heard that it was known to us, and that God had brought their plot to nothing, that all of us returned to the wall, everyone to his work.
16 So it was, from that time on, that half of my servants worked at construction, while the other half held the spears, the shields, the bows, and wore armor; and the leaders were behind all the house of Judah.
17 Those who built on the wall, and those who carried burdens, loaded themselves so that with one hand they worked at construction, and with the other held a weapon.
18 Every one of the builders had his sword girded at his side as he built. And the one who sounded the trumpet was beside me.

In the Garden of Gethsemene, when Jesus was being arrested, Jesus indicates that it is permissible to come after a robber with swords and clubs. The rationale is that a robber may be armed, therefore, if we pursue a robber it is a good idea to be armed.
John 10:10
10 "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly."

Matthew 26:55
55 In that hour Jesus said to the multitudes, "Have you come out, as against a robber, with swords and clubs to take Me? I sat daily with you, teaching in the temple, and you did not seize Me."

In the beginning, Jesus disciples were well received and needed no protection.

Luke 9:3-5
3 And He said to them, "Take nothing for the journey, neither staffs nor bag nor bread nor money; and do not have two tunics apiece.
4 Whatever house you enter, stay there, and from there depart.
5 And whoever will not receive you, when you go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet as a testimony against them."

But, before Jesus' arrest, Jesus told the disciples that there would be much hostility towards them and they would need protection, for since He would be considered a transgressor, as His followers, they would be considered transgressors.

Luke 22:35-38
35 And He said to them, "When I sent you without money bag, knapsack, and sandals, did you lack anything?" So they said, "Nothing."
36 Then He said to them, "But now, he who has a money bag, let him take it, and likewise a knapsack; and he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one.
37 For I say to you that this which is written must still be accomplished in Me: 'And He was numbered with the transgressors.' For the things concerning Me have an end."
38 So they said, "Lord, look, here are two swords." And He said to them, "It is enough."

Some say that the swords mentioned here are spiritual swords that Jesus is talking about. I guess that the ear of the high priest's servant that Peter cut off was a spiritual ear.

Luke 22:49-50
49 When those around Him saw what was going to happen, they said to Him, "Lord, shall we strike with the sword?"
50 And one of them struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his right ear.

After this, Jesus tells Peter to put away his sword, because it is foolish to try to oppose the Jews and the Romans by force (often the priests were armed since they were the guardians of the temple). They would surely be cut to pieces. Therefore, if they try to build Christ's kingdom with the sword, they would surely lose the battle and pay with their life. We should live at peace with all men when it is possible. The kingdom of Christ is a spiritual kingdom. Notice, however, that Jesus does not command Peter to throw away his sword, but put it away where it belongs, in it's scabbard at Peter's side, only to be used for lawful self defense.

Matthew 26:51-53
51 With that, one of Jesus' companions reached for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear.
52 "Put your sword back in its place," Jesus said to him, "for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.
53 Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels?"

Jesus did not want to be defended because He had come to be crucified. If He needed to be defended, God's legions of angels would handle the matter.

John 18:10-11
10 Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest's servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant's name was Malchus.
11 Then Jesus said to Peter, "Put your sword into the sheath. Shall I not drink the cup which My Father has given Me?"

In fact Jesus stated that His kingdom was not an earthly kingdom which needed to be defended physically. If it were an earthly kingdom He said that it would be perfectly just to defend it with physical force.

John 18:33-36
33 Then Pilate entered the Praetorium again, called Jesus, and said to Him, "Are You the King of the Jews?"
34 Jesus answered him, "Are you speaking for yourself about this, or did others tell you this about Me?"
35 Pilate answered, "Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered You to me. What have You done?"
36 Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here."

It is clear that Jesus' disciples were armed and He knew it.

In the following verses, Jesus spoke of spiritual matters, but used principles which he and his audience accepted as true (I cannot believe that Jesus would use as a teaching example something which was not lawful)

Luke 11:21-22
21 "When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are in peace.
22 But when a stronger than he comes upon him and overcomes him, he takes from him all his armor in which he trusted, and divides his spoils."

And how can the master of the house prevent his house from being broken into except that he use deadly force?

Luke 12:39
39 "But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into."

Which leads us back to Exodus 22:2

Exodus 22:2
2 "If the thief is found breaking in, and he is struck so that he dies, there shall be no guilt for his bloodshed."

Many have said that when physically assaulted, we should turn the other cheek.

Matthew 5:38-41
38 "You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.'
39 But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.
40 If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also.
41 And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two."

The context of these verses relate to the teaching that we should not trade injury for injury; insult for insult. If the teaching here means that we should respond to physical assault by inviting more physical assault, then Jesus and Paul would have done the same when under physical assault. Did they?

John 18:19-23
19 The high priest then asked Jesus about His disciples and His doctrine.
20 Jesus answered him, "I spoke openly to the world. I always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where the Jews always meet, and in secret I have said nothing.
21 "Why do you ask Me? Ask those who have heard Me what I said to them. Indeed they know what I said."
22 And when He had said these things, one of the officers who stood by struck Jesus with the palm of his hand, saying, "Do You answer the high priest like that?"
23 Jesus answered him, "If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil; but if well, why do you strike Me?"

Acts 23:1-3
1 Then Paul, looking earnestly at the council, said, "Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day."
2 And the high priest Ananias commanded those who stood by him to strike him on the mouth.
3 Then Paul said to him, "God will strike you, you whitewashed wall! For you sit to judge me according to the law, and do you command me to be struck contrary to the law?"

Some additional verses for consideration -

Proverbs 25:26
26 A righteous man who falters before the wicked is like a murky spring and a polluted well.

1 Timothy 5:8
8 But if anyone does not provide (protection) for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.


Richard P. Martin, LtCol, USAF (retired)

 

 
REVIEWS

By Nat Carswell

When confronted by the type of inanity which so dominates the Modern Evangelical New Testament American Christian (MENTAC) landscape today, one is tempted to become cynical and angry-sins as grievous as the inanity itself.
 
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Rev. Paul Alexander
Rev. Greg Bahnsen
Nat Carswell
Gordon H. Clark
Edward Dalcour
Kevin L. Clauson, M.A., J.D.
Rev. William Einwechter
J. C. Evans
Kenneth Gentry
Perry A. Hess
Michael S. Horton
Ronald Kirk
Amanda Krystaponis
Rick Martin
Charles A. McIlhenny
Larry J. Michael, PhD.
Wil Pounds
Eunice V. Ray
Colonel Ronald D. Ray
Ernest Reisinger
P.Andrew Sandlin
Steve M. Schlissel
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Sarah Thomas
K. Cody Vest
 
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