NOTE FROM LES
Dear Friends, Once again, a big ''thank you'' for all your cards and letters. Yes, we still read every one. Our hearts go out to those of you who have lost a loved one. On the other hand, we rejoice with you who have gained a little one and with those of you who have fought sickness and disease and won.
This quarter started out with a great all-day seminar in Albuquerque, New Mexico on July 7th. It was a good test of our recovered health and we met many friends of past years and gained many new ones.
In August we traveled up to Minnesota and Wisconsin for three home Bible studies, Sunday school and church services at Bethesda Church and the three-day retreat in Wisconsin, which had over 150 in attendance. Then we were off to Todd and Kim's to spend a couple of days on Lake Superior's South Shore. Iris was hoping Kim would deliver number six while we were there, but little Daniel did not arrive until we got back to Oklahoma.
On our way home from the Duluth and Lake Superior area, we had a great time at "The Olson Barn" in Sunrise, Minnesota, which is a farming community about 40 miles north of St. Paul. Over 300 came to enjoy one hour of teaching and a potluck supper with another hour and a half in the Word. As we were leaving for Oklahoma the next morning Iris looked at me and said ''that was fun!''.
In the next newsletter, I will report on the cruise and land tour of Israel as well as the weekend in La Fayette Georgia-- the Lord willing.
The following article published by Priority One - Sound Doctrine echos what Les has taught on the Kingdom of Heaven compared to the Kingdom of God, and the importance of understanding dispensationalism when dividing scripture. We thank them for their permission to include this reprint in our newsletter.
TRUTH ABOUT KINGDOM TRUTH
The intent of this Position Paper is to identify the consequences of not distinguishing between the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Heaven. The Kingdom of God is the universal and eternal rule of God. The Kingdom of Heaven is the earthly sphere of the Kingdom of God, the coming Messianic reign of Jesus Christ, the Son of David. Found only in Matthew's Gospel, the book of the King and His coming Kingdom, it looks to His heavenly rule over the earth in the soon-coming millennium.
Over the past half century hypo dispensational leaders have turned their minds from the distinctions of the Kingdom of Heaven, and have embraced the error of making it synonymous with the Kingdom of God, ignoring the biblical division between earthly Israel and the heavenly Body of Christ, the Church of this age. Forgetting the message of Galatians, they attempt to make grace subject to the Mosaic Law, heresy of heresies!
One example of this mingling Law and Grace, the Body and the Kingdom, are attempted applications of the Sermon on the Mount to the Christian way of life today. Dr. Pentecost did it in his Sermon on the Mount - Contemporary Insight for a Christian Lifestyle. Hodges did it in his The Hungry Inherit - Winning the Wealth of the World to Come. Haddon Robinson wrote the Christian Salt and Light Company - A Contemporary Study of the Sermon on the Mount, plus his similar Solid Rock Construction Company. MacArthur followed with his Kingdom Living Here and Now, and his Gospel According to Jesus.
With Spirit-given insight, Dr. Lewis Sperry Chafer pointed out this pervasive error years ago. "There has been a constant disposition on the part of certain writers to invest Old Testament saints with the same positions, qualities, and standing as those which belong to the believers who comprise the Church. And there is more recently a disposition to carry the same realities which belong to the saved of this dispensation over into the Kingdom disposition, and to Jews and Gentiles alike. Such assumptions are avoided when it is recognized that to the Church alone is accorded this heavenly position and glory. Of her alone it is declared that each of her members who make up Christ's Body is made meet to be a partaker of the inheritance of the saints in light." - Systematic Theology 4:327. "Broadly speaking, the Kingdom of God is universal authority of God from everlasting to everlasting, while the term Kingdom of Heaven is fittingly applied to God's rule on the earth. When the vast distinctions between these two spheres of divine authority are observed, there is a solving of many problems in the interpretation of the Bible which otherwise exist." - Systematic Theology 5:316
These vast distinctions have been obliterated, unfortunately, and Dr. Chafer's prophecy has come home to roost. Dallas professor John Martin wrote in The Essays in honor of J. D. Pentecost, page 36, "Most modern dispensationalists see the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Heaven as synonymous", a certain testimony to the movement away from biblical dispensationalism, and the distinctive revelation given to the Apostle Paul.
Error begets error, and the denying of the Kingdom differences has been joined concerning Israel's New Covenant. While he was serving as president of Dallas Seminary, Campbell wrote, "The two opposite viewpoints of pre-millennialism and a-millennialism are still with us, though some modifications are taking place. Some pre-millennialists now view the present Church dispensation as the first phase of the fulfillment of the promised Messianic Kingdom, in that believers now experience the spiritual blessings of the Kingdom, such as the blessings of Israel's new Covenant." - Essays p. 155.
How broad is this divergence? Campbell, Walvoord, Ryrie, Pentecost, Hodges, Johnson, Zuck, Martin, Bock, Blaising, Toussaint, and Robinson, all of the Dallas Seminary taught that the New Covenant blessings belong to the Church, the Body of Christ. So have Whitcomb, Saucy, Kent, and MacArthur. In his book, Dispensationalism and Salvation of the Kingdom, Dr. Saucy wrote, "Many dispensationalists today no longer understand the fulfillment for the Messianic Kingdom announced by Jesus as postponed entirely until the Second Advent. They understand the spiritual salvation of the Kingdom as now available through the work of the disciples of the Kingdom, in a world that has not yet become the Kingdom of Christ to the believer in the Church today. It is difficult to say how much of the contemporary dispensationalism holds this position; although it would seem that the number is considerable and growing, providing a convergence with non-dispensational teaching at this point."
Further, he wrote, in Chriswell Review, "We would suggest that God's historical working is a unified plan. Contrary to traditional dispensationalism, it does not entail separate programs for the Church and Israel, which are somehow ultimately unified only in the display of God's glory in eternity. The present dispensation is not an historical parenthesis which is unrelated to the history which preceded it. Rather it must be viewed as an integral sphere in the development of the mediatorial Kingdom."
Is there not a simple, obvious factor which refutes all this Sermon, Covenant, Kingdom application to the heavenly Body of our Lord Jesus Christ? The Sermon on the Mount, The New Covenant, and the Messianic Kingdom are all legal, belonging to Israel, and earthly, and will be so throughout the millennium and into eternity. Emphasis above in bold by Les Feldick.
The identification of every believer in this present age by the sealing of the Holy Spirit, and the eternal union of the members of His Body with their Head, looks to the heavenly abode. This glorified Church cannot be brought down to Israel's earthly level by a historical, grammatical, exegetical, hermeneutic. Not now or ever, period.
Substituting studies in the Old Testament and the Gospels for the eschatology provided uniquely by the Apostle Paul can never be contributive to sound doctrine for the redeemed today. Body truth must be taught and understood clearly in these last days before His coming. As they are His Body, Paul pleads with believers, "Therefore let us not sleep, as do others, but let us watch and be sober" - 1 Thessalonians 5:6. And "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but after their own lusts shall they reap to themselves teachers, having itching ears, and they shall turn their ears from truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things...make full proof of your ministry" - 2 Timothy 4:3-5.
You and I, reader friend, may not be equipped to change the current status quo radically today, but we can and must put on the whole armor of God, which begins with truth. Confronting such unbiblical posturing personally and publicly for the good of the redeemed of our day will surely earn a "Well done, good and faithful servant" from our blessed Lord.
NOTE FROM LAURA
As I am writing this note, I cannot believe that I'm coming up on my third anniversary. It was three years ago September 20 that I had my accident which left me a quadriplegic. Over those three years, I have been so very blessed and so fortunate to have the support of so many in prayers, letters or notes of encouragement, and financial help. I cannot tell you how grateful I am for all of it and I want to thank all of you who have been a part of my support system and of course I know that ultimately it was God and is God that has provided for my needs and given me strength to make it through the tough times.
As I write my note, I try to think of something that I might can write that will be an encouragement to someone who needs it. I thought I would share with you something that helped me through one of my more difficult times.
One day I was feeling bad physically and emotionally and a letter came for me. This letter was written in the middle of the night and was so sincere in its content. The woman writing the letter did not share details of the trials she was going through but rather took the time to write out in longhand the verses that she was going to for her strength. She wrote out several passages and all were from the writings of Paul, but the passage from Romans eight was the one that really made an impression on me. Isn't it amazing how God's Word is like that? Through the years, I have read those passages numerous times and yet this time it made such an impact. One of the verses that she shared with me was Romans eight verse eighteen ---'' for I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.'' Such a short verse, and yet it helped me through a difficult time.
So I would like to encourage those of you who know someone that is going through a tough time to take the time to drop a line of encouragement. Perhaps it will not help them at all, but on the other hand, your words or perhaps verses you choose out of God's Word, will be of real help at a time when they are really needed.
NOTE FROM OFFICE
As we enter one of the busiest times of the year at the ministry, and I'm sure for all of you as well, we do not cease to give praise for the many different ways in which we have been blessed. Our sincere gratitude goes out to the people who, through the Lord, are responsible for the growth in the numbers of stations on which the program airs, allowing literally millions of people to hear the true Word simply taught. We don't fail to recognize that each soul that comes to understand and accept salvation through faith on the finished work of the cross brings us closer to that blessed hope we so look forward to... the return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
We always want to remind our faithful supporters and ask that those of you that are new, please write on the memo line of your check or money order what it is to be used for. For payments, please write invoice number, or if unavailable, the word "payment". For orders, please write "send" and the product type and numbers you would like. If the order is too large to fit on the memo line, you may include it on a separate sheet of paper. There is no need for an order form. It is also to your benefit as well as ours if you remember to include your name and address on the letters you send to Les, especially if they contain questions. Sometimes they are separated from the envelope, making it difficult to send the reply. In addition, do not forget to keep us up to date on any address changes.
Once again, thank you so much for your friendship, prayers and financial support.
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