Ultra-Dispensationalism - An Enemy of Soul Winning
by Pastor Jack Hyles
(Chapter 2 from Dr. Hyles book, Enemies of Soul-Winning)
I have no problem with the word "dispensation." It is a Bible word, but I do have a problem with Dispensationalism which says that salvation comes in different ways in different dispensations. For example, the Scofield Reference Bible, page 1115, in sub point (2) of footnote 1 on grace, notice the words, "As a dispensation, grace begins with the death and resurrection of Christ (Rom. 3. 24-26; 4. 24, 25)." The note continues as follows, "The point of testing is no longer legal obedience as the condition of salvation, but acceptance or rejection of Christ...."
Now it is certainly true that salvation in this age is by acceptance or rejection of Christ, but Mr. Scofield is wrong when he says that before the death and resurrection of Christ the condition of salvation was legal obedience! This is what I call "hyper-Dispensationalism." There are those who likewise erroneously believe that salvation will be other than grace through faith during the millennium. This is also heresy! Salvation has always been and will always be by grace through faith in Christ. From the first sin in the garden of Eden until the last person who is saved in the millennium, every person who goes to Heaven will go there by grace.
I take even stronger issue with the hyper-Dispensationalism which says that the letters to the seven churches in Asia Minor in Revelation 2 and 3 represent seven ages of church history. For example, Mr. Scofield says that the message to the church in Ephesus is the church at the end of the apostolic age. Where is that in the Bible? Then he says that the letter to the church in Smyrna represents the "Period of the great persecutions to A.D. 316." Where is that in the Bible?
Then he says that the letter to the church in Pergamos represents "The church under imperial favour, settled in the world, A.D. 316 to the end." Where is that in the Bible? Then he says that the letter to the church at Thyatira represents "A.D. 500-1500: the triumph of Balaamism and Nicolaitanism; a believing remnant (vs. 24-28)." Where is that in the Bible?
Then he says that the letter to the church in Sardis represents "The period of the Reformations; a believing remnant (vs. 4, 5)." Where is that in the Bible? Then he says that the letter to the church in Philadelphia represents "The true church in the professing church." Where is that in the Bible? Then he says that the letter to the church in Laodicea represents the final state of apostasy. Where is that in the Bible? This kind of heresy is no where to be found in the Word of God, and the danger of it is that these hyper-dispensationalists enjoy teaching that since this is the day of apostasy, God does not do any great works anymore and that this is the day where we just hold out faithful to the end. According to them, no great churches can be built, and no great revivals can be had.
What a sad commentary! What a pitiful look at the Scripture! There is absolutely nothing that says we cannot have revival today. We can have revival anytime God's people will pay the price!
These seven letters to the seven churches are exactly that. There were churches named, "the church at Ephesus," "the church at Smyrna," the church at Pergamos," "the church at Thyatira," "the church at Sardis," "the church at Philadelphia" and "the church at Laodicea." These churches had problems like all churches do. The Holy Spirit inspired the Apostle John to write letters to these churches to help the churches get straightened out. Would somebody please show me in the Bible where these letters represent the seven ages of church history?
There Is a False Teaching Also Concerning the Last Days
The first time the term "the last days" is mentioned in the Bible is in Isaiah 2:2, 'And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD'S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it." Here we have something that is predicted to happen in the last days.
Now we come concerning the last days to Joel 2:28, 29, 'And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit."
Please note what will happen in the last days. It is talking about the power of the Holy Spirit coming upon people. Please notice Acts 2:14-1 8, "But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy."
It is Pentecost; 3000 people are about to be saved. Peter stands up to speak. He explains that what is happening there on Pentecost is a fulfillment of the prophecy of Joel 2:28, 29, which he quotes. Notice also in verse 17 that he calls these the last days.
Now I'm not saying that there are no signs that must precede the second coming of Jesus Christ to the earth. I'm fully aware of the tribulation plagues, of the end time war, of Russia and her allies attacking Israel and the Western Confederacy defending Israel, and of the Eastern Confederacy coming from the land of the sun rising to join Russia, etc. Though I do believe that the rapture is an imminent event that could take place anytime, I nevertheless do not discount that there are some signs that could point to the soonness of the tribulation period and the second coming of Christ at the end of that period. However, the term "the last days" describes the days from the resurrection of Christ even until this day and until the consummation of the age.
Now turn to II Timothy 3:1-8, "This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith."
Notice there in II Timothy 3:1 the term, "the last days." Likewise notice the condition of the last days, bearing in mind that the last days started at the resurrection of Christ, as we learned a while ago in Acts 2:16, 17. We find such things characterizing this age as people being lovers of themselves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, etc. It goes on to say, "without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, "etc. Then it mentions "having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof" Now these are not things unique to the days in which we live. People have always been lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters. People have always been trucebreakers, false accusers, high minded, disobedient to parents, lovers of pleasure. People have always had a form of godliness.
However, we should notice here that whatever these last days are, in II Timothy 3:5 Paul tells Timothy, "from such turn away." He was saying, "Timothy, you turn away from these people," showing that these were already the last days. Notice the words in verse 6, "for of this sort are they...." Notice the word "are." That word is in the present tense. These people were there then. These people then were covetous, unthankful, unholy, false accusers and disobedient to parents. They were alive then, for the apostle said, "are they."
Notice also in II Timothy 2:6 it says, "and lead captive silly women laden with sins...." Notice the present tense. They were doing it then.
Now look down to verse 8. Notice the words, "so do these also..." In other words, as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, there were people at that very time who did the same thing. Paul is saying to Timothy, "In these last days, these people will do these things, and this is the way you are supposed to respond to them."
Now turn to Hebrews 1:1, 2, "God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds." Notice that Paul (probably the writer of Hebrews), used the present tense, "hath in these last days," so in Hebrews 1:1 the last days were already there.
Now turn to I Peter 1:19, 20, "But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you." Notice especially in verse 20 the words, "in these last times." Once again, Peter is saying what Paul had said - that these were the last days.
Now notice II Peter 3:3-5, "Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, 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. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water." In verse 3 he mentions the last days. In verse 5 he says, "for this they willingly are ignorant of...." Notice the present tense - they "are ignorant of." In other words, these "last days" were in existence at the time that this was written.
Now notice I John 2:18, "Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time." Notice the words in the first part of verse 18, "it is the last time." The word "is" indicates present tense. John said the same thing that Peter and Paul said.
Again you find in the last part of verse 18, "it is the last time." How much more plain could it be? Paul, John and Peter all attested to the fact that the last days were in existence at the time they were living.
Now turn to Jude 18, 19, "How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit."
In Jude 18 the term "last time" is mentioned. In verse 19, it says "these be"-notice present tense. "They who separate themselves"-notice present tense. There Jude joined with
Paul, Peter and John in attesting to the fact that the last days were days during which they were living.
God's people can do great things for Him now!
Daniel 11:20-23, "Then shall stand up in his estate a raiser of taxes in the glory of the kingdom: but within few days he shall be destroyed, neither in anger, nor in battle. And in his estate shall stand up a vile person, to whom they shall not give the honour of the kingdom: but he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries. And with the arms of a flood shall they be overflown from before him, and shall be broken; yea, also the prince of the covenant. And after the league made with him he shall work deceitfully: for he shall come up, and shall become strong with a small people."
Daniel 11:32, 33, 'And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits. And they that understand among the people shall instruct many: yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days."
In verse 20-23, it is obvious that God is talking about the end time. He talks about the antichrist and his work; he talks about the league that will be made with Israel. All Bible teachers who hold the premillennial position would agree that these verses deal with the end time. Now, notice the last half of verse 32, "but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits." Then look again at verse 33, 'And they that understand among the people shall instruct many...." It sounds to me like exploits will still be done in the end time. The truth is, one of the greatest revivals (as far as evangelism is concerned) that the world has ever seen will take place during the tribulation period, and certainly God's grace is not limited to this generation.
It is a wicked thing for dusty Bible teachers with their dusty theology to compartmentalize the Bible concerning salvation and soul winning. It doesn't bother me for someone to talk about dispensations, and it doesn't bother me for people to divide the Bible, as long as they do not divide it up concerning the plan of salvation, concerning the power of God, and concerning soul winning! People can be saved today like they were in the book of Acts! God's people can have revival just like they always could!
I was preaching in the deep South. On Tuesday night I made a statement that startled myself. I made the statement that if somebody would pay the price in this generation, a church could still have 3000 people saved on one Sunday. I could not believe I said it. Flying back to Chicago the next morning, the Lord seemed to impress that upon me. In fact, I could almost hear Him speak and ask me if I believed what I had said the night before. I was somewhat stunned that I had said it. Somewhat to my own surprise, I went to my people that Wednesday night and told them that we were going to have 3000 people saved on the third Sunday of March of that year. (That date was about two months away.)
The First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana, began to work and pray as I've never seen a church work and pray. We were asking God to give us 3000 people saved on, as it were, another Pentecost. On that special Sunday, 5195 people walked the aisles of the First Baptist Church of Hammond receiving Christ as Saviour! The next year we had a second Pentecost Sunday, and over 3300 people were saved! Then the next year we had another Pentecost Sunday, and over 4900 people were saved, as Dr. Curtis Hutson was our guest speaker.
I'm not a great preacher. I don't profess to be a great Christian. I just profess to serve a great God Who is the same yesterday, today and forever, and Who will give revival when God's people pay the price!
I believe that II Chronicles 7:14 is still valid, and while the ultra-dispensationalists are saying it cannot happen today, there are men of God all over America who are seeing it happen! More people are being baptized today than in the history of the United States of America. More great soul-winning churches are being built than have ever been built.
Let the dusty theologians say it can't be done, but give me a generation of young preachers on fire for God who believe the Word of God, believe the promises of God and claim the blessings of God, and we will prove by the grace of God that it can be done today! I am not fighting Dispensationalism; I am attacking vigorously the heresy and false teaching that says it can't be done today. Whatever God could do, God can do! Whatever God can do, God will do, if His people meet His conditions!
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“I am an old-fashioned preacher of the old-time religion,
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—Pastor Jack Hyles, a precious quote from the MP3 sermon titled, “The Test Of Spiritual Maturity.”