Challenging the Study: A Look at Dispensational Eschatology

CRISWELL COLLEGE

CHALLENGING THE STUDY:

An Examination of

THE HERMENEUTICS OF DISPENSATIONAL CHRISTIAN ESCHATOLOGY

leading to the doctrine of

MILLENNIAL ANIMAL SACRIFICES

A Research Paper

Submitted to Dr. David L. Brooks

Department of Old Testament Studies

By

Marvin W. Huddleston

Mesquite, Texas

May, 2000

Intro to the Revised Document (6/25/2001)

The following paper was presented as a Graduate Research Thesis at Criswell College in the spring of 1999. The present work published herein should be viewed by the reader as a work in progress. Please stop by frequently and check for revisions (dates of revisions will be printed at the top of the document). I welcome any student of theology to use this work as a reference source. I do request that a comment be left in the guestbook under the comments section as to your intention to do so. Please note the title and subject of your paper in your posting there, as well as the institution to which the paper will be presented.

My current thoughts on the subject matter at hand are complex. I often think that one of the primary reasons this doctrine (Dispensationalism) is so popular is that it sells books. Lets face it, human nature leads us to desire the Dispensational model. No one in their right mind would prefer to endure the tribulation of the book of Revelation. In contrast, one of the major alternative viewpoints (Historical pre-millennialism) is not only a very un-popular position but it is seldom taught on the lay level simply because it teaches a theology that is not a pleasant thought. The question at hand is it wise to base our theology on the emotional response to a doctrine, or should we seek good theology and truth and trust in the Christ of Salvation for “the patient endurance of the saints?”

Introduction

In the mid 1990′s I recall overhearing a group of research scientists discussing their field of research. There I was standing at the top of a ladder repairing a leaking pipe above one of the research stations in a lab at the University of Texas, Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. Surrounding me were dozens of Medical scientists (Ph.D.’s came a dime a dozen in this building) and student research associates (Master Degreed Ph.D. candidates), all busily performing their assigned duties. One group stood just a few feet from my ladder. The material they were discussing was quite advanced for my mere college level of understanding in the Biological Sciences, but I gleaned something extraordinary from their discussion. The majority of the group wished to duplicate and therefore confirm a study one of their colleagues at another University had published in a national medical journal. However, their boss, the P.I. (Principle Investigator) disagreed with their intended methodology. I remember his words to the letter…”No, No, No! We must CHALLENGE the study!” In other words, true science required a deeper investigation. Where their intention was to take the results of the study and duplicate the methods the researchers had used that arrived at a particular conclusion, their boss demanded they attack the conclusion. The subject under scrutiny would thus have to stand on its own merits.

This study will follow that line of reasoning. My goal is not to follow the popular eschatology of our day. On the contrary, it is my hope that this paper will “challenge the study.” It seems to me that libraries can be filled with books on the subject of Christian Eschatology that followed the methodology of these medical students. One additional such work is not necessary. We shall, rather, attempt to examine some of the problems within the system known as Dispensationalism leading to the problematic conclusion that animal sacrifices will be re-instated in the age to come.

Eschatology

A definition seems in order for the word Eschatology. Berkhof notes “The name eschatology is based on those passages of scripture that speak of ‘the last days (eschatai hemerai), Is. 2:2; Mic. 4:1; ‘the last time’ (eschatos ton chronon), I Pet. 1:20, and ‘the last hour,’ (eschate hora), I John 2:18. It is true that these expressions sometimes refer to the whole New Testament dispensation, but even so they embody an eschatological idea. Old Testament prophecy distinguishes only two periods, namely, ‘this age’ (olam hazzeh, Gr. Aion houtos), and ‘the coming age’ (ollam habba, Gr. Aion mellon). Since the prophets represent the coming of the Messiah and the end of the world as coinciding, the ‘last days’ are the days immediately preceding both the coming of the Messiah and the end of the world.”(1). Thus, in this study, references to eschatology may be taken as referring to the doctrine of last things.

Millennial Sacrifices?

I find the concept that the Old Testament sacrificial system will be re-instated in the millennial kingdom to be one of the intriguing points of the theological system known as Dispensationalism. Dispensationalism has been defined by Chafer: “The dispensationalist believes that throughout the ages God is pursuing two distinct purposes: one related to the earth with earthly people and earthly objectives involved, which is Judaism; while the other is related to heaven with heavenly people and heavenly objectives involved, which is Christianity.”(2).

The idea, that the animal sacrificial system of ancient Judaism is to be re-instituted in the millennial kingdom, arises out of the “literal” hermeneutic employed by the dispensationalists. And in this area of their theology the Dispensationalist is quite adamant. Schmitt makes the statement, “Ezekiel himself believed it was a reality [the Millennial Temple] and the future home of Messiah. Then, it becomes not heresy to believe that a Temple and sacrifices will exist; rather, it is almost a heresy to not believe this, especially because it is part of Gods infallible word. The burden on us is to determine how it fits—not its reality.”(3).

The Scientific and Christian Communities, Something in Common

All too often in matters of Christian theology we follow a line of reasoning, beginning our thesis with something we take as fact rather than attempting to challenge the norm. I am not suggesting questioning the basic pillars on which Christianity stands, no more than the scientist can question the basic established laws of physics. In Christianity, as in Science, there are immutable facts among which there must be agreement. But in Christianity, as in science, a principle has developed in practice where the facts become blurred by the theories.

In the world of science, an example of this principle can be found in the subject of Darwinian evolution. Few scientists today question this theory. Owing to the weakness of the scientific evidence supporting this theory, I find this extraordinary. In actual practice, if a scientist hopes to find themselves among the ranks of researchers at the best academic and research centers within their field of specialization, publishing a paper that challenges the Darwinian Theory would be in effect a form of career suicide. As Darwin’s theory is just that, a theory on the origins of life, this is remarkable. We theologians can point the accusatory finger and say “Look how inconsistent the scientific community is. Darwinian Evolution is not one of the basic irrefutable tenants of scientific dogma, such as the law of gravity.” Therefore, “It seems silly and unscientific to prevent an eminent and otherwise highly qualified scientist from studying, performing research or teaching at such an institution just because his viewpoint on one of the lesser issues in science does not agree with many of his colleagues.”

Unfortunately, this very scenario occurs in Christianity. In the area of Christian Eschatology, many schools, churches and para-church organizations place a prerequisite on degree candidates, faculty and staff members requiring them to hold to the pre-tribulation rapture doctrine as a condition of employment or acceptance to a particular program.

Essentials

The present writer must make clear at the outset of this work that he is a conservative, bible believing Christian. I believe there are five principle pillars on which the Church of Jesus Christ stands. It might be beneficial here to list these:

The Inspiration and Authority of Scripture
The Virgin Birth of Jesus Christ
The absolute Deity of Jesus Christ
The Substitutionary Atonement of Jesus Christ
The Bodily Resurrection of Jesus Christ and his Second Coming
I furthermore believe in the absolute authority of the biblical text, and in the verbal, plenary inspiration of the Scriptures contained in the cannon. Many would call me a fundamentalist.

In the area of Eschatology, I must admit at this point in my theological progress the jury is still out concerning my view of many of the questions raised concerning Dispensationalism. I feel that these are questions that are not to be taken lightly, either. That said, I hold that in Eschatology there is much room for discussion among believers as to the mechanics of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. According to Lightner, ” …theologians and many Christian leaders hold tenaciously to particular views of future happenings. Denominations, mission agencies, schools, para-church ministries and other Christian organizations, as well as individuals, are divided over Gods plan for the future.”(4) I feel the questions raised under the umbrella of Eschatology are very important to our generation (as well as to all generations) of believers.

The essential doctrine in Eschatology is not the pre-tribulation rapture of the saints. Neither is it the millennial temple and consequent system of animal sacrifice (despite the very stern words quoted previously in this paper by Smitt). Rather, as noted by Terry, there seems to be agreement on four points:

The Lord will come from heaven with signal accompaniments.
The dead in Christ shall rise first.
The living saints shall be caught up to meet the Lord.
Those thus glorified shall ever be with the Lord.
He goes on to say, ” But while all agree these four doctrines are clear and explicit beyond controversy, there has been wide difference of opinion as to the time and order of these sublime events.”(5).

My Experience

Backing up a bit, I became a believer in 1973 under a “fire and brimstone” preacher. I don’t recall a single sermon in my early Christian experience that did not contain a message concerning the Dispensational, pre-tribulation rapture of the church. I accepted this position on eschatology as a basic, and absolute, tenant of the Christian Faith. This preaching also stressed a “literal” interpretation of the Bible. Anything less was taught to be tantamount to apostasy. And, of course, I bought into this theological system hook, line, and sinker. I bought and read the popular books, passed out the tracts warning people they better be ready or else be “left behind.” I witnessed to people frequently stressing how horrible the tribulation period was going to be and that soon it would be too late to avoid the terror of those days.

I studied, read, and meditated on this subject for years, and a curious thing happened. As I matured in my Christian Faith, I found myself in a theological dilemma. One of the catalysts of this dilemma was an intense emotional tie I had developed to the doctrine that the church would not endure the tribulation. I had been taught that God would not put “us,” his precious church, through the horrors of the forthcoming period of tribulation foretold in the Bible. I furthermore worried that I was in danger of becoming an apostate and losing my faith!

Why did I question my faith? Was I having doubts about the existence of my God and/or the Lord Jesus Christ? Did I doubt the Virgin Birth or the Resurrection? No. The problem was the more I studied the dispensational system from the viewpoint of the popular writers of that time, the more I found problems and contradictions within that system as taught and preached by it’s adherents.

I once sought counseling with a Youth Minister concerning my doubts as to the second coming occurring prior to the tribulation, and was told I was in just such a danger of apostasy, and possibly nearing committing the unpardonable sin! This minister came to this conclusion because I begin to question whether or not the dispensational doctrine of pre-tribulation rapture and all it entails was actually what the Bible taught! The most remarkable thing was that the Pastor concurred with this conclusion! My experience in counseling with the youth pastor seems typical in many ways of the popular writers and teachers following the dispensational school, especially at the non-academic levels.

It was during this period in my theological development that I noticed the difficulties in understanding let alone explaining to others those complicated charts commonly sold in the Christian bookstores. The point I wish to make here is that as a system of theology, pre-tribulation rapture (Dispensationalism) is such a complicated system that it almost is impossible to keep the facts straight and thus avoid confusion and contradictions.

This paper is not intended to chronicle every experience I have had with this issue, but a second example seems typical from the lay perspective. During a class some years ago, the Dispensational, Pre-Tribulation rapture doctrine was being taught with the typical emotionalism that seems to characterize such discussions. The jest of the conversation among class members at the slightest mention of other viewpoints amounted to the statement, “Don’t they (those that dared to challenge the study) read the same bible? Don’t they interpret the bible literally (and thus correctly)?” Thus, it appears that at least in the mind of the layman and average church staff member, this issue seems to be viewed as a basic tenant of the Christian Faith, and failure to adhere to it is in effect apostasy. The norm at the local church level seems to be to teach the pre-tribulation rapture doctrine as the only viable position for the bible believing Christian.

This position has been fueled in part by some Dispensational scholars, such as Charles Feinberg (quoted in a doctoral dissertation by William Bell), addressing the idea that the church will not be subjected the wrath of God during the tribulation period. Feinbergs statement is of interest here: “To intimate anything less is blasphemy of the worst sort.”(6).

On the other hand, liberal theologians and bible students have no problem here. They do not take the scripture seriously in the first place. This abandoning of the Bible greatly simplifies their Eschatology. C.H. Dodd, a liberal scholar, coined the term “realized eschatology,” in describing this subject from the liberal point of view. He says, “The eschaton has moved from the future to the present, from the sphere of expectation into that of realized experience.”(7). In other words, what’s the big deal anyway? It hasn’t happened, the bible has no credibility, so why worry?

Dispensational Hermeneutics

Examining the hermeneutics behind the doctrine of pre-tribulation rapture in general and millennial animal sacrifice in particular is essential to our present study.

Much is made in Dispensationalism of the “literal” method of interpretation. Randall Price stresses the importance of the literal interpretation of Dispensationalism by using the terminology “consistently literal hermeneutic.”(8). Price states, “The consistently literal hermeneutic (method of interpretation) seeks to understand the Old Testament prophecies in their original setting, reading them as historical realities that will be fulfilled in the future for those to whom they were intended in the context.”(9).

Bell addressed this “consistently literal hermeneutic” in his work on the subject of Dispensationalism. He states, “Dispensationalists are also reluctant to accept a literal interpretation of Old Testament prophecies which speak of an apparent reinstitution of Israel’s ancient enemies in the millennium, e.g. Philistria, Edom, Moab, Assyria, etc. Feinberg, for example, sees Egypt and Assyria in Isaiah 11 as representative of Israel’s enemies—not the specific nations named.(10). This interpretation is doubtless correct, but it is not literal. One wonders why if ‘Israel means Israel,’(11). Assyria does not mean Assyria and Egypt mean Egypt. The answer, obviously, is that plain common sense militates against any interpretation that sees a necessary revival of ancient peoples who passed off the scene of history thousands of years ago. No Christian would deny that God could once again bring together an Assyrian empire or a Philistine nation if He chose to do so, but few expositors, Dispensationalists included, look for such an occurrence. Thereby, they avoid what Davidson has called ‘the insanity of literalism.’” Bell goes on to say, “It can be seen, then, that in practice Dispensationalists are not the consistent literalists that they claim to be in hermeneutical debates.”(12)

Dr. Bell makes a very good point, and based on the fact he brought this argument to the discussion thirty-two years prior to Prices book, it appears to have been a been a point that was not taken too seriously in the camp of Dispensationalism. Stated another way, it appears to this writer that the Dispensationalist is comfortable with literal interpretation when literalism supports their system of theology. On the other hand, where literalism (and history) do not uphold their system, they deviate from their strict literalism in order to make the facts fit their position.

In contrast to the “consistently literal hermeneutic” it should be stated that Price defines the “spiritually symbolic hermeneutic” thusly: “The spiritually symbolic hermeneutic reads the Old Testament prophecies in light of New Testament fulfillment in Christ.” I believe this is a very good definition upon which I could not hope to arrive at any improvement.

Is there a dichotomy between Israel and the Church?

I believe the single most important defining factor differentiating between Dispensational theology and other eschatological systems lies in the strict distinction Dispensationalism holds between Israel and the Church. According to the Dispensationalist, therefore, where scripture refers to Israel it literally means the nation Israel (i.e., circumcised Jews). And where it refers to the term Church it is referring strictly to the New Testament Church, as instituted by Christ. Never, according to this hermeneutic, are the two terms combined. This seems to be the point of contention Bell has with the claims of the “consistently literal hermeneutic” followed by those adhering to the school of Dispensational eschatology. In light of my understanding of progressive revelation and the theology of the Old and New Testaments, I feel I must agree.

Along this line of thought, there also seems to be a problem in the dispensational camp in discussions dealing with the New Covenant as taught in the New Testament. Bell notes, “Pentecost, Ryrie, and other dispensational writers agree with Walvoord that the new covenant with Israel is to be fulfilled in the millennium. Dispensationalists, of course, in an attempt to adhere to a literal interpretation and to preserve the supposed dichotomy between Israel and the church, cannot conceive of a covenant which promised to “Israel and Judah” as being fulfilled in any sense to the church. Therefore, since they feel that no such covenant has been instituted historically with Israel as a nation, the fulfillment must be future. Ryrie even states that “If the church is fulfilling Israel’s promises as contained in the new covenant or anywhere in the Scriptures, then [dispensational] premillennialism is condemned.”(14).

I believe the Dispensationalists, due to the strict dichotomy they hold between the Church and Israel, miss an important point. I feel the point is not that the Church replaces Israel, but rather the mystery is that a union has developed between the Church and Israel. It is not so much a question of a replacement, but rather a union. Gentiles have been added to the people of God. Dillard and Longman address this thusly, “In the first place, there are few, but highly significant quotations from Hosea in the New Testament. Paul (Rom. 9:25) and Peter (1 Peter 2:10) both cite the negative to positive use of the prophet’s children’s names to support their contention that the Gentiles are now a part of the people of God. (Italics mine)”(15).

Literalism

The principle of hermeneutics known as literalism has been defined thus by Ryrie: “Dispensationalists claim that their principle of hermeneutics is that of literal interpretation. This means interpretation which gives to every word the same meaning it would have in normal usage, whether employed in writing, speaking or thinking. This is sometimes called the principle of grammatical-historical interpretation since the meaning of each word is determined by grammatical and historical considerations.”(16).

This strict literal approach to scripture in no way rules out linguistic principles, such as the use of figures of speech. Walvoord states, “Symbols, figures of speech and types are all interpreted plainly in this method and they are in no way contrary to literal interpretation.”(17).

To sum this up, therefore, the dispensationalist should adhere to a literal interpretation of scripture consistently while allowing for linguistic elements such as figures of speech. And it is precisely this method which arrives at the supposition that in the millennial kingdom the temple worship system along with it’s specialized priesthood and animal sacrifices will be re-instituted. This fact has been stated by Pentecost, “…It can thus be seen that the form of worship in the millennium will bear a strong similarity to the old Aaronic order.”(18).

Scholars have differed greatly in their interpretation of the passages that deal with the prophecy of the millennial temple. This may be interpreted as pertaining to a temple that was to have replaced Solomon’s Temple. This, it must be noted, has not occurred. Other scholars hold that this temple is symbolic of the church. Walvoord notes that the language of the text leaves this interpretation in question, due to the specific details revealed concerning this temple. He states, “Inasmuch as the specifications are very specific and imply a literal temple and inasmuch as having a temple in the Millennium would coincide with a period of joy and peace and worship of the Lord, it would seem best to consider this temple a literal temple though problems of interpretation remain.” (19).

Taking this literal approach a step further, it appears that if this system of worship is to be re-instituted in the millennial kingdom, one wonders why the purposes for the animal sacrifices in this temple system would not also demand the same principles of literal interpretation? The modern school of thought among dispensational teachers is that the animal sacrifices in the Millennial Temple will be a memorial, somewhat akin to the Lord’s Supper. Speaking of the passage in Ezekiel dealing with this millennial temple, Walvoord states “As brought out previously, there is no good reason for understanding this passage in other than the literal sense.”(20).

Following Walvoords line of reasoning, “there is no good reason for understanding this passage (dealing with the animal sacrifices) in other than the literal sense.” Where does the dispensationalist derive the teaching that the sacrificial system of the millennial age is to be taken as a memorial then…aside from pure inference? Why should the passages dealing with the physical properties of the temple be taken “in the literal sense” but not the passages dealing with the purpose of the animal sacrifices? If taken in the same literal sense, these animal sacrifices must take on the same purposes and properties as those in the historical context. Thus we have the curious teaching that while leading Dispensationalists would in no way embrace a teaching requiring a return to Judaism for the New Testament Church they in turn impose a return of the Aaronic sacrificial system for the Jews living in the millennial kingdom. Here we run into a problem, as this runs contrary to New Testament teachings.

The book of Hebrews addresses this teaching clearly, stating that those addressed should continue in Christianity and not return to Judaism or its ordinances. Specifically, “For since the law has but a shadow of the good to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices which are continually offered year after year, make perfect those who draw near. Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered? If the worshippers had once been cleansed, they would no longer have any consciousness of sin. But in these sacrifices there is a remainder of sin year after year. For it is impossible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sins. Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said, ‘Sacrifices and offerings thou hast not desired, but a body hast thou prepared for me; in burnt offerings and sin offerings thou hast taken no pleasure. Then I said, ‘Lo, I have come to do thy will, O God,’ as it is written of me in the roll of the book.’ When he said above, ‘Thou hast neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings’ (these are offered according to the law) then he added ‘Lo, I have come to do thy will.’ He abolishes the first in order to establish the second. And by that will we have been sanctified through the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”(21).

Guthrie, among others, holds this view as the most widely accepted position among scholars as to the purpose of the book of Hebrews. He states, “This is the most widely held view [that the purpose of Hebrews was to warn Jewish Christians not to return to Judaism] and is supported by the assumption that chapters vi and x suggest that the readers are tempted to apostatize. Since the argument of the Epistle is designed to show Christ’s superiority over the old order, it is further assumed that the apostasy in question must involve a return to Judaism.”(22). It therefore is clear that if the animal sacrifices are to be re-instated in the millennial kingdom, they cannot be for the same purposes as in the Aaronic system, similarities aside.

The Dispensationalists deals with this problem by attempting to maintain their strict literalism while also adhering to the teachings of the New Testament through the inference that these sacrifices will be offered as memorials of the death of Christ and not for the purpose of atonement or covering.(23). Stated by Archer, “We may therefore be confident that the sacrifices mentioned in Ezekiel 43 have nothing to do with atonement for sin. Their function will be parallel to that of the Lord’s Supper, which Christ established as a communion ordinance during our present age. The Eucharist of bread and wine is only intended for this present dispensation, however. Jesus said, ‘This do in remembrance of me…For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes’ (1 Cor. 11:24-26). But during the age of the millennial kingdom, when our Lord Jesus Christ will come again to set up the rule of God over all the earth, what type of Communion ordinance will replace our present Lord’s Supper with its bread and wine? Apparently it will be in the form of blood sacrifices once again, yet without any of the atoning function of the Old Testament period.”(24).

The problem with this attempt at explaining the sacrifices in the millennial kingdom as memorials is that, as has been noted by Bell, the text of Ezekiel 40-43, and 45-46 simply will not bear this interpretation. Quoting Bell, “A comparison of the verses from Ezekiel 45 with the verse from Leviticus reveals that in each case the problem is sin, the prescribed remedy is an animal sacrifice, and the promised result is the covering of the sin in the sight of God. Nothing whatever is said of any memorial or commemorative value for the sacrifice in Ezekiel; rather, the precise terminology of Leviticus is used.” He goes on to say “The people of Jeremiah’s day, under the Levitical economy, sought acceptance with God through sacrifice, but it was denied them because of their wickedness. The people of Ezekiel’s vision will seek and find that acceptance through sacrifice. Again, there is no concept of a memorial whatsoever.”(25).

It may be of help here to quote a section of the text in question:

“Then he said to me, “Son of man, this is what the Sovereign LORD says, These will be the regulations for sacrificing burnt offerings and sprinkling blood upon the altar when it is built: You are to give a young bull as a sin offering to the priests, who are Levites, of the family of Zadok, who come near to minister before me, declares the Sovereign LORD. You are to take some of its blood and put it on the four horns of the altar and on the four corners of the upper ledge and all around the rim, and so purify the altar and make atonement for it. You are to take the bull for the sin offering and burn it in the designated part of the temple area outside the sanctuary.

On the second day you are to offer a male goat without defect for a sign offering, and the altar is to be purified as it was purified with the bull. When you have finished purifying it, you are to offer a young bull and a ram from the flock, both without defect. You are to offer them before the LORD, and the priests are to sprinkle salt on them and sacrifice them as a burnt offering to the LORD.(26).

For seven days you are to provide a male goat daily for a sin offering; you are also to provide a young bull and a ram from the flock, both without defect. For seven days they are to make atonement for the altar and cleanse it; thus they will dedicate it. At the end of these days, from the eighth day on, the priests are to present your burnt offerings and fellowship offerings on the altar. Then I will accept you, declares the Sovereign LORD.”

The text makes the point quite clear. The text simply does not support the inference that these offerings are in any way a memorial.

In conclusion, then, it may be stated that Dispensational theology does not hold to the “consistently literal interpretation” that one would expect. In matters where this hermeneutic becomes problematic, they divert to other forms of interpretation. In areas where support for their scheme of thought can be upheld through literal interpretation, they employ this literalism to the letter.

In light of the fact that the theory (i.e., that animal sacrifices will be re-instated in the millennial temple) is largely dependent on this flawed “consistently literal hermeneutic”, it seems necessary to take a closer look at this doctrine. In reevaluating the issue of millennial animal sacrifices, the doctrine of progressive revelation is of the utmost importance. Thus, more questions may have been raised in this paper than answers discovered.

It appears to this writer that another major flaw in Dispensationalism is the almost total rejection of the doctrine of progressive revelation. Many of the objections raised from those in the Dispensational camp appear to ignore this important doctrine. Early on in this work I quoted the very stern words of Smitt. This is as good an example as I can find of a complete abandonment of the doctrine of progressive revelation. Smitt seems to hold the position that inspired writers of the future could not be expected to further define this future temple as anything but a literal building. But the message of the New Testament seems to me to teach that we (the church – both Jew and Gentile, the true believers in Jesus Christ, that Messiah foretold by Ezekiel), would be called the temple of the Holy Spirit within which he dwells. We have had the fortune of experiencing the unfolding of progressive revelation in this case.

Footnotes

. L. Berkof, Systematic Theology. (Grand Rapids, Michigan; Wm. B. Erdmans Publishing Company, 1941), 666.
Lewis Sperry Chafer, Dispensationalism. (Dallas, Texas: Dallas Seminary Press, 1936), 107.
John Smitt and Carl Laney, Messiah’s Coming Temple: Exekiel’s Prophetic Vision of the Future Temple. (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Kregel Publications, 1997), 181.
Robert P. Lightner, The Last Days Handbook. (Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, TN., 1990), 21.
Milton S Terry, Biblical Hermeneutics. (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1979), 454-455.
William Everett Bell, Jr., A Critical Evaluation of the Pretribulation Rapture Doctrine in Christian Escatalogy. (New York University, New York, 1967), 359.
C. H. Dodd, The Parables of the Kingdom. (New York: Charles Scribner Sons, 1961), 50.
Randall Price, The Coming Last Days Temple. (Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, Oregon, 1999), 141.
Ibid.
Bell, Inconsistencies in Dispensational Hermeneutics, 86. Here Dr. Bell refers to a work by Charles L. Feinberg entitled God Remembers.
Ibid
Ibid
Price, The Christian Connection, 141
Bell, The New Covenant, 176.
Raymond B. Dillard and Tremper Longman III, An Introduction to the Old Testament. (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing Company, 1994), 362.
Charles C. Ryrie, Dispensationalism Today. (Chicago: Moody Press, 1965), 86-87.
John F. Walvoord, The Rapture Question. (Findlay, Ohio: Dunham Publishing Company, 1957), 19.
Dwight J. Pentecost, Things to Come. (Findley, Ohio: Dunham Publishing Company, 1958), 519.
John F. Walvoord, The Prophecy Knowledge Handbook. (Wheaton, Illinois: 1990), 199.
Ibid. 205-206.
Hebrews 10:1-10, RSV.
Donald Guthrie, New Testament Introduction. (Downers Grove, Illinois: Inter-Varsity Press, 1970), 704.
Pentecost, 525.
Gleason L. Archer, Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties. (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing Company, 1982), 280.
Bell, Inconsistencies in Dispensational Hermeneutics, 79-80.
Ezekiel 43:18-27, NIV.
Selected Bibliography

Archer, Gleason L. 1982. Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties. Michigan: Zondervan Publishing Company.

Bell, William Everett, Jr., 1967. A Critical Evaluation of the Pretribulation Rapture Doctrine in Christian Eschatology. New York: New York University.

Berkhof, L. 1941. Systematic Theology. Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.

Chafer, Lewis Sperry. 1936. Dispensationalism. Texas: Dallas Seminary Press.

Dillard, Raymond B. and Longman III, Tremper. 1994. An Introduction to the Old Testament. Michigan: Zondervan Publishing Company.

Dodd, C.H. 1961. The Parables of the Kingdom. New York: Charles Scribner Sons.

Guthrie, Donald. 1970. New Testament Introduction. Illinoin: Inter-Varsity Press.

Lightner, Robert P. 1990. The Last Days Handbook. Tennessee: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Pentecost, Dwight J. 1958. Things To Come. Ohio: Dunham Publishing Company.

Price, Randall. 1999. The Coming Last Days Temple. Oregon: Harvest House Publishers.

Ryrie. Charles C. 1965. Dispensationalism Today. Illinois: Moody Press.

Smitt, John and Laney, Carl. 1997. Messiah’s Coming Temple: Ezekiel’s Prophetic Vision of the Future Temple. Michigan: Kregel Publications.

Terry, Milton S. 1979. Biblical Hermeneutics. Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House.

Walvoord, John F. 1957. The Rapture Question. Ohio: Dunham Publishing Company.

________1990. The Prophecy Knowledge Handbook. Illinois: Victor Books.

Ezekiel 43: 18-27, NIV.

Hebrews 10:1-10, RSV.

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