I had the opportunity to travel to Georgia last weekend to visit Hope Bible Church in Locust Grove. If you are new to studying the Bible rightly divided, you might think there is no one else around that follows Paul’s instructions about Bible study, but this is not the case. There are many people in Bible Studies, home churches and yes even very nice church buildings studying the Bible as God intended. Unfortunately, there are not churches in every city that rightly divide. What you will find within these groups is a surprising amount of agreement about the meaning of verses and doctrine. This is not found within Christianity as a whole. The main difference being the literal interpretation of scripture. Christianity as a whole gives many verses and entire passages or doctrines an allegorical or “spiritual” meaning. The result of the allegorical interpretation of scripture is a wide variety of meanings for verses. Each teacher can “interpret” verses in his own manner with differing applications and opinions of the meaning. The dispensational teacher follows a strict literal interpretation of verses which results in typically only one outcome on the meaning of a verse. My wife recently talked to a pastor about Ephesians 4:5. This verse clearly states there is “one baptism.” This pastor quickly replied; “that’s not what that verse means.” This is a convenient answer for a pastor with a “two-baptism” doctrine to uphold. Pulpits are filled with people teaching you that verses don’t mean what they say. If there were a way you could leave this verse alone and believe it EXACTLY AS IT IS WRITTEN and it would still make COMPLETE sense why would you want to not believe it? Why would you work so hard to convince people verses don’t mean what they say? I don’t believe this Pastor is deliberately hiding the truth. This pastor was not taught to believe his Bible ALONE. This pastor was taught to believe his Bible in relation to his denominational stance. His agenda is water baptism, therefore this verse contradicts his agenda. This type of teaching is the reason why so many Christians believe they will never understand the Bible. They watch Pastors and teachers explain away the literal meaning of verses, so they can teach a different meaning. To the person in the pew this makes the Bible seam hard to understand and they feel frustrated with Bible study and defeated. Dispensational Bible study is basically just the concept of believing the Bible AS WRITTEN and not reading yourself into verses that were NEVER written to you. You ARE in the audience of Ephesians 4:5 and the “one baptism” it describes. You are NOT in the audience of John the Baptist and Jesus’ water baptism. When you follow scripture rightly divided you CAN understand the Bible! Wouldn’t you like to know how?
Steve Schoenberger is a student of the Bible and the teacher at Abundant Grace Bible Fellowship, A Mid-Acts Dispensational Bible church teaching the Bible rightly divided according the revelation of the mystery delivered to the Apostle Paul