I’ve recently had some good discussions through email with my friend, John Schumacher, on the origins of Rabbinical Judaism. He has done a lot of research on this topic and has some great insight, so I asked his permission to include some of his thoughts on our blog.
Our friends at Dispensational Publishing House have recently posted my testimony about why I am a dispensationalist. It’s a short story that follows my journey from church to apostasy to war to prison to conversion to seminary to today. I glossed over some details for the sake of brevity in that article, but today, I am going to zoom in on my prison story a bit.
I was a notorious vegetable smuggler in a Jewish prison gang! In a federal prison, no less. Sounds pretty tough, right? I assure you it is not.
I wonder just how shocked folks were when Peter and John taught in the temple. They were arrested for teaching “in Jesus the resurrection from the dead” (Acts 4:2). We know that “the dead in Christ will rise first” (1 Thess 4:16), so it sounds to me like they were teaching the rapture, not the Great White Throne.
But, they also may have mispronounced the word, “hear,” so let’s talk about that instead.
Let’s talk about animal sacrifice in the Bible and why we don’t do animal sacrifices today. When we mention animal sacrifice, the first thing people often think about is the Mosaic Law, but the Mosaic economy is not the only one that featured sacrifices. Sacrifices also occurred immediately after the fall (Gen 3:21), in the first generation after the fall in the dispensation of conscience (Gen 4:4), after the flood in the dispensation of human government (Gen 8:20), and in the dispensation of patriarchs (Job 1:5). So, before Christ, were people saved by offering animal sacrifices? The short answer is “No.” The long answer is “Noooooooooooooo!”
Here’s an excerpt from a paper I’m working on that has been modified for your viewing pleasure:
When I was in the Army, I thought it would be cool to get a tattoo that said, “I run with scissors!” with a skull and cross-scissors above it. I was telling my brilliant idea to my father, who told me, “Son, most people I know who are my age and have tattoos are folks that got the tattoos when they were your age and now they regret it.”
Have you ever seen a conversation like this take place between two believers?
Believer 1: How is life going, Believer 2?
Believer 2: Oh, life is terrible! My dog left me and I stepped on a LEGO. Things will never get better. Blah blah blah.
Believer 1: Oh no. Be encouraged! The Bible says, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
Believer 2: Oh, wow! You’re right! Everything is just swell. I think I’ll ride off into the sunset now.
Believer 1 has just quoted Jer 29:11. If we look at the context of this passage, I think we’ll find that he has actually misused this particular verse (though, I’m sure his intentions were good).
Now, Jer 29:11 is a source of encouragement for many believers and I don’t want to rob anyone of encouragement. So, I have compiled a list of three reasons why we should rejoice that this passage is not about us. If Jer 29:11 was indeed about us, then: