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History of the First Advent of Christ

Old Testament     Reformation

When seeking to understand the return of our Lord in power and great glory it is appropriate and consistent to look at prophecies of his first advent. Were those prophecies literally fulfilled or fulfilled in a hidden or allegorical manner? No honest disciple can disagree with the following.

Genesis 49:20 Messiah would come from the tribe of Judah. Recorded as literally fulfilled in Luke 3:23 – 33.

Deuteronomy 18:15 Messiah would be a prophet like Moses from within Israel. Recorded as literally fulfilled in Acts 7:37.

Psalm 41:9 Messiah would be betrayed by a friend. Recorded as literally fulfilled in Mark 14:10.

Isaiah 7:14 Messiah’s mother would be a virgin. Recorded as literally fulfilled in Luke 1:26 – 33.

Isaiah 9:6 Messiah would be God. Recorded as literally fulfilled in Matthew 1:23.

Isaiah 9:7 Messiah would be David’s descendant. Recorded as literally fulfilled in Matthew 1:1.

Isaiah 53:3 Messiah would be despised and rejected. Recorded as literally fulfilled in John 1:11 and throughout the New Testament.

Daniel 9:26 Messiah would die. Recorded as literally fulfilled in I Peter 2:24 and throughout the New Testament.

Micah 5:2 Messiah would be born in Bethlehem. Recorded as literally fulfilled in Matthew 2:1.

Hosea 11:1 Messiah would come from Egypt. Recorded as literally fulfilled in Matthew 2:14.

Zechariah 9:9 Messiah would come riding a foal of a donkey. Recorded as literally fulfilled in John 12:13 – 16.

These and other prophecies of Christ’s first advent were literally fulfilled. Why ascribe allegorical understanding to the prophecies of his second coming? Why use an allegorical method to interpret prophesies of his second coming when it was inappropriate and not used with his first advent? Consistency is always best. Take the word of God plainly.

Old Testament

Creation
Some teach that the record of creation is not to be taken literally rather it is an allegory and should be taken only in a spiritual sense if at all.

Adam and Eve
Some teach that the record of God creating Adam and Eve should not be taken literally rather it is an allegory and should be taken only in a spiritual sense if at all.

Noah and the flood
Some teach that the record of the world wide flood is not to be taken literally rather it is an allegory and should be taken only in a spiritual sense if at all.

Parting of the Red Sea
Some teach the parting of the Red Sea is not to be taken literally rather it is an allegory and should be taken only in a spiritual sense if at all.

Battle of Jericho
Some teach that the details of the battle of Jericho should not be taken literally rather it is an allegory and should be taken only in a spiritual sense if at all.

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego
Some teach that the record of these Hebrew children should not be taken literally rather it is an allegory and should be taken only in a spiritual sense if at all.

The list could go on and on. Everything recorded in the Bible which defies a rational explanation can be subject to the same false teaching including unfulfilled prophesy. Rational means “consistent with or based on or using reason” That is human reason or in the words of Paul in 1 Corinthians chapter 1 the, “wisdom of the world”. Those who do not understand or do not want to believe the Bible change it to mean something other than what is recorded. Changing the word of the eternal living God is the most dangerous act performed by a human.

John Spong was a bishop of the Episcopal Church. He wrote a book to destroy the faith of those who believe that the Bible records literal events. John Shelby Spong, Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism: A Bishop Rethinks the Meaning of Scripture (San Francisco: Harper, 1991) He was not the first to hold pagan views disguised as Christian. Church history if filled with false teachers as Christ warned his disciples in Matthew chapter 24.

The use of symbolic language does not mean that the events recorded are allegorical therefore not literal events and people. In the word picture of symbolic language you will find actual historical people, actual historical events and actual truths. Do not look for the “hidden” or “deeper” meaning. Look for what is presented for the Spirit of God speaks expressly or explicitly.

The Reformation

Believing what others believe can be good or bad depending upon whether the belief or tradition is founded on scripture. Example; I am a Baptist because my mother and father were Baptists as were my grandparents and their parents before them, therefore I am a Baptist. Such reasoning is not valid as a basis for sound doctrine or practice. Some hold a particular view because it was the view of the reformers of the 16th century and continues as part of the reformed community today.

Did the reformers go far enough?

Like the ancient kings of Judah they did not correct everything that was wrong. Salvation by faith apart from works was their primary focus plus they upheld the scripture as the only source of doctrine, removed the idols from their church buildings and changed church governance for the better. With hindsight we view their reforms with sincere gratitude, without finding fault for their shortcomings. Thanks be to God they reclaimed the gospel of Christ thereby exposing an apostate idol worshiping Roman Catholic church.

Should traditions the reformers continued to practice be considered doctrine?

The great reformers were flesh and blood and like us all subject to error. Their views are not the word of God therefore their traditions should not to be accepted as doctrine.

Martin Luther was brave, godly and well educated but continued to practice the tradition wherein the elements of the Lord’s Supper were purportedly transformed into the actual real blood and body of Christ. A plain reading of Hebrews reveals this tradition to be false.

(Hebrews 9:25 – 26)
“25 Nor was it to offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters the holy places every year with blood not his own,
26 for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.”

Martin Luther’s life’s work in service to the Lord was remarkable and changed western civilization but he was imperfect and made mistakes. Baptists respect and admire Martin Luther but do not accept transubstantiation as sound doctrine.

Transubstantiation remains the practice of the apostate Roman Catholic church. The 1689 London Baptist Confession states, “In this ordinance Christ is not offered up to his Father, nor any real sacrifice made at all for remission of sin of the quick or dead, but only a memorial of that one offering up of himself by himself upon the cross, once for all; and a spiritual oblation of all possible praise unto God for the same. So that the popish sacrifice of the mass, as they call it, is most abominable, injurious to Christ's own sacrifice the alone propitiation for all the sins of the elect. (Hebrews 9:25, 26, 28; 1 Corinthians 11:24; Matthew 26:26, 27)”.

Zwingli the Swiss reformer believed the church to be political which was the traditional view of the Roman Catholic church since Roman times. He advocated and practiced the use of military force to make others comply with the reformation. Calvin also held this belief and so did Augustine before the reformation.

Zwingli believed Christ’s reign on earth was during this present age. He believed his political and military efforts were in behalf of Christ’s kingdom. He was killed in battle on October 11, 1531 while involved in the application of military force for that purpose.

Was Zwingli right?

(John 18:36)
“Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.”

Had Zwingli simply accepted what is plainly taught in scripture he would not have engaged in warfare to enforce his view of the reformation. Again we see the reformers were flesh and blood subject to error and sometimes acted in error.

Luther and other reformers also continued the tradition of paedobaptism (infant baptism) which also remains the tradition of the apostate Roman Catholic church and the majority of reformed churches.

On baptism in the 1689 London Baptist Confession.
“Those who do actually profess repentance towards God, faith in, and obedience to, our Lord Jesus Christ, are the only proper subjects of this ordinance.”

Not a single instance of infant baptism is recorded in the Bible. All Christian baptisms in the New Testament were believers baptisms. Again we see the reformers were flesh and blood and subject to error and sometimes acted in error.

Respect and admiration for the reformers did not prevent our Baptist forefathers from continuing to reform church doctrine. Christians should not be content to stop where the reformers stopped. Today we need to continue to reform our doctrine and practice because Christ has not yet returned and we must continue to conform ourselves to his image and our corporate worship to God's word.

Home      Beliefs      Contact Us      God's Love     When Death Comes     Faith Alone      Spirit or Wisdom?      Spirit or Tradition? 

  Jesus' return different views part 1      Jesus' return hermeneutics part 2      Jesus' return history of 1st advent part 3      

Jesus' return part 4       Who is Your God?      Christ or Caesar?       Will God Accept You?      Audio Recording     Church Music

©2019 - 2020 thegospelworks.org  All rights reserved