Class Notes: 2/4/2009

2Tim 1:13-14 The rediscovery of the pattern of sound words that are to be retained

The mandate of the PPOG for the church age believer that we are presently examining is found in 2Tim 1:13; where we have the command to retain the "standard of sound words" or doctrine and in verse 14 we have the command to " Protect” that doctrine.

In verse 13 the word translated "retain" in the NASB, "hold fast" in the KJV and "keep" in the NIV is the second person singular present active imperative of the Greek word "echo" that means to " keep on having" the present tense signifies action in progress or in a state of persistence, the active voice shows that the believer performs the action of the verb and the imperative mood is a command.

So we have the command for the believer and especially the communicator of Bible Doctrine to hold on to and to guard "the pattern of sound words" that have been taught by Paul.

Given the mandate to hold to and protect this "pattern of sound doctrine" we are presently examining the system that pastor is to use for the development of that doctrine.

We have seen that the Protestant Reformation that started with Luther, Calvin and Zwingli was the result of their switch from the allegorical to the historical literal grammatical method of hermeneutics based on the original languages of scripture that led to a rediscovery of the doctrines of Salvation by Grace through Faith alone in TLJC alone and the Eternal Security of the believer.

Another result of this revival of the literal-historical-grammatical system of hermeneutics was the rediscovery of the divine framework of human history that emerged in the theology of dispensationalism.

Some of the late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century scholars who refocused attention on this critical aspect of biblical analysis included John Darby, CI Schofield, Lewis Sperry Chafer, John F. Walvoord, and RB Thieme Jr.

The Dictionary of Dispensational Theology has the following to say regarding these theologians.

John Nelson Darby (1800-1882).

Darby is acknowledged as the father of modern dispensational premillennialism.
His order of end-time events is:
(1) the rapture and first resurrection,
(2) postrapture events in heaven,
(3) postrapture events on earth,
(4) the millennial kingdom,
(5) postmillennial events,
(6) the eternal state.

Cyrus Ingerson Scofield (1843-1921).

Editor of the Scofield Reference Bible.

Scofield, was a lawyer, in Atchison, Kansas, where he began a career in politics and was elected as a representative to the lower house of the Kansas legislature in 1871.

In 1873 he was appointed by President Grant to the office of District Attorney for the District of Kansas, he resigned within six months under suspicion of misuse of his office for personal gain.

Scofield experienced an evangelical conversion in 1879, apparently through the witness of Thomas McPhetters, who was a member of James Hall Brooks's Walnut Street Presbyterian Church.

Scofield was licensed to preach by the St. Louis Association of the Congregational Church shortly thereafter, and then organized and pastored the Hyde Park Congregational Church in St Louis.

In 1882 Scofield accepted a call to a mission church of the denomination in Dallas. In 1895, Scofield accepted an invitation from D. L. Moody to the Trinitarian Congregational Church of Northfield, Massachusetts, leaving the church in Dallas that had reached a membership of over eight hundred.

In 1902, the idea of editing a reference Bible was first discussed. The Bible was published by Oxford University Press in 1909 and again with revisions in 1917.

After the publication of the Reference Bible in 1909, Scofield became evermore popular in the evangelical world. In 1914, Scofield, with William Pettingill and Lewis Sperry Chafer, established the Philadelphia School of the Bible with Scofield serving as president

Lewis Sperry Chafer (1871-1952).

Son of Thomas Franklin Chafer, a Congregational Pastor and Lomira Sperry Chafer.
Thomas Chafer's battle with tuberculosis was lost in 1882. Facing financial uncertainty, Lomira, a school teacher, moved the family to South Lyme, Ohio, where Lewis and his older brother Thomas entered the preparatory school, New Lyme Institute.

Then the family moved to Oberlin, Ohio, where Lomira managed a boarding house so that the children could attend college.

Lewis entered the Conservatory of Music of Oberlin College where he completed three semesters. Financial constraints prevented further study.

Beginning in 1889, he associated with A. T. Reed, an evangelist of the Congregationalist Church in Ohio, as a baritone soloist. In 1896, he married Ella Lorraine Case.

Chafer became increasingly well known in evangelistic circles and met an array of prominent evangelicals, among them G. Campbell Morgan, F. B. Meyer, Arno C. Gaebelein, James M. Gray, and W. H. Griffith Thomas.

But the most important contact was with C I Scofield, then pastor of the Trinitarian Congregational Church of Northfield, Massachusetts. Chafer found in Scofield a clear, biblically oriented teacher, and the two were thereafter bound together in ministry for two decades.

Scofield led the younger Chafer into his particular understanding of the Scripture, as well as into a change of careers. No longer as itinerant evangelist, Chafer progressively joined his mentor as a traveling Bible teacher, increasingly becoming a central participant.

Gradually, Chafer emerged in the early 1900s as a quiet, energetic leader of one segment of the emerging evangelical movement. His close identification with Scofield increased in the second decade of the century as Chafer moved to East Orange, New Jersey, to join the staff of the New York School of the Bible, an agency that distributed Scofield's increasingly popular Bible correspondence course. In 1913, he assisted Scofield in founding the Philadelphia School of the Bible, apparently writing the curriculum.

Moving to Dallas, Texas, in 1922, Chafer became pastor of the First Congregational Church, which had been founded by Scofield in 1882. Chafer pastured the church from 1922 to 1926.

In 1924, Chafer founded the Dallas Theological Seminary, serving as its president as well as professor of systematic theology from its inception until his death in 1952.

After the seminary acquired Bibliotheca Sacra in 1933, a journal with roots in the early nineteenth century, Chafer wrote numerous articles that, combined with portions of his books, were published as his largest work, Systematic Theology in 1948.

John F. Walvoord (1910-2002):

John was born on May 1, 1910 in Sheboygan, Wisconsin,

During his high school years, He excelled in academics and athletics but continued to have only a nominal interest in Christianity. While attending a study of the book of Galatians, he became assured of God's mercy toward him.

Three years later in 1928, he entered Wheaton College and subsequently pursued a regular program of study at Dallas Seminary where he graduated in 1934.

As Dr. Chafer’s health deteriorated in the 1940s Walvoord became his administrative assistant while at the same time continuing in the pastorate, teaching at the seminary, and being secretary of the faculty,

After Chafer's death in 1952, Walvoord became the institution's second president and was promoted to fill Chafer's chair as professor of systematic theology in 1953.

Walvoord led the seminary until his retirement in 1986.

Walvoord's tenure at Dallas Theological Seminary effected evangelicalism both nationally and internationally. Under his administration, the school emerged as a major evangelical seminary, sending out hundreds of graduates into pastorates, missions, and teaching posts throughout the world and becoming the largest independent seminary in the world.

Chafer was a visionary and founder, Walvoord was concerned with establishing and stabilizing the school in academic and professional excellence.

In addition to directing an increasingly complex school, Walvoord emerged in the same decades as an eminent scholar in the realm of prophetic and eschatological studies and in defense of pretribulational premillennialism.

His stature in the premillennial dispensational movement is evidenced by his service on the committee of scholars and churchmen who produced the New Scofield Reference Bible in 1967.

Walvoord made a significant contribution to the delineation and defense of dispensational premillennialism. A perusal of his writings makes it clear that his focus was not upon modern dispensationalism as a system, but upon its eschatological implications.

He accepted the theological structure that dispensationalists placed upon the Bible (literal interpretation, progressive revelation, and a sharp contrast between Israel and the church in the economy of God (two peoples, two programs, and two destinies).

Embracing the tenets of modern dispensationalism as derived from Chafer who was influenced by Scofield and cogently expressed later by Charles Ryrie, Walvoord delineated the prophetic details of that system.

Robert B. Thieme, Jr: was prepared for a life of religious scholarship and teaching. From the University of Arizona he had received a bachelor's degree in classical Greek and history, and was honored with membership in the alpha chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. He received a master's degree in theology from Dallas Theological Seminary, summa cum laude.

During World War II he served with distinction as a staff officer where he rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel.

On May 7, 1950, Thieme accepted the call to become pastor of Berachah Church in Houston, Texas. From 1950 to 1959 the congregation of his small downtown church met for weekly Bible classes and Sunday services in a Quonset hut at 502 Lamar Street. As people from all around the city came to hear his dynamic preaching of the Scriptures, the building soon became inadequate.

After much prayer and deliberation, the Colonel chose to build his new church on a prairie far out Westheimer Road. The westward expansion of Houston eventually enveloped the church and the surrounding area became known as the Galleria.

In 1982 Berachah Tapes and Publications became R. B. Thieme, Jr., Bible Ministries, dedicated to disseminating Colonel Thieme's tapes and publications at no charge to believers in every corner of the world

Colonel Thieme taught from the original languages of Scripture in the light of the historical context in which the Bible was written. He has developed an innovative system of vocabulary, illustrations, and biblical categories designed to communicate the truths of God's Word. He inspired men with the spiritual gift of pastor-teacher, evangelist, or missionary to prepare for the ministry and to carry the guidon of doctrinal truths.

Darby, Scofield, Chafer, Walvoord, and Thieme are but a few of the theologians who exploited the rediscovery of the "literal-historical-grammatical" method of biblical interpretation.

From this system these men were able to reach several critical conclusions, which enabled them to rediscover the order and simplicity of divine revelation that is the “pattern of sound words”, that was taught by Paul per the mandate in our passage: 2Tim 1:13;

Some of the doctrines that are part of that" pattern of sound words" are:

The Doctrine of the Rapture or Exit Resurrection of the Church:

This event is defined as follows in Daniel Chapters One through Six. by RB Thieme Jr.

The resurrection and removal of all believers, both living and dead, from the earth at the end of the present age immediately before the Tribulation begins.

The literal-historical-grammatical exegesis of 1Thes 4:13-18; reveals several components of the Rapture:

From Basic Theology by Charles Ryrie pages 462-463:

In 1Thes 4:16; we have the Return of Christ for the Church, The Lord Himself will return for His people. The trumpet of God will summon the dead in Christ to their exit resurrection.

At this time only the dead in Christ will be raised.

This means believers since the Day of Pentecost, for though there were believers before then, none of them were placed "in Christ."

The dead in Christ will be raised just before the living are changed.

Both groups will experience their respective changes "in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye" per 1Cor 15:52; this entire procedure will be instantaneous.

1Thes 4:17; Strictly speaking; only believers who are alive are "caught up". This means they will be caught up into the Lord's presence without having to experience physical death.

The reunion will be with the Lord and with the loved ones who have died and have just preceeded them in resurrection.

1Thes 4:18; The truth of the Rapture both comforts and encourages believers. Paul clearly states that "we shall all be changed" at that time.

Another Doctrine that is part of the "pattern of sound words" that Paul refers to in 2Tim 1:13; is The Doctrine of Pretribulationalism:

This is the belief that the Rapture will occur prior to the seven-year Tribulation, referred to as Daniel's Seventieth Week with reference to Daniel 9:24-27 and that is the subject of our Lord's Olivet Discourse in Matthew 24.

The church is removed before the Seventieth Week commences with the signing of the covenant with the Antichrist in Daniel 9:27;.

Pretribulationalists believe that the church escapes the Tribulation by asserting that the Rapture occurs before the Tribulation begins. They also believe that the Second Advent occurs prior to the millennial kingdom.

Another is The Doctrine of Premillennialism.

This view is defined as follows by Ryrie on page 450 of his Basic Theology:

The second advent of Christ will occur prior to the Millennium, which will see the establishment of Christ's kingdom on this earth for a literal 1,000 years. It also understands that there will be several occasions when resurrections and judgments will take place.

When the 1000 years are concluded, Physical life in sin nature infused bodies on this planet will end and there will be a new heavens and earth.

This doctrine was established by the early church Fathers and was lost after the third century due to the acceptance of the system of allegorical hermeneutics.

The Dictionary of Premillennial Theology. States on pages 310-11:

Premillennialism is the oldest system of viewing the prophetic future and was adhered to by Clement of Rome, Ignatius of Antioch, and Hippolytus the antipope who collectively lived from a.d. 40 to 240.

During the first three centuries of the church one could find very few who disagreed with the premillennial view.

The premillennial view holds that Christ will return to earth, literally and bodily, before the millennial age begins and that, by His presence, a kingdom will be instituted over which He will reign.

Premillennialism is based on two unique concepts:

A literal interpretation or the literal-grammatical-historical method of interpretation and an absolute separation between Israel and the church.

Prophecies given to Israel are for Israel and cannot be usurped by or applied to the church.

In the present age, Israel has been set aside until the Church Age is completed with the Exit Resurrection or the Rapture.

Adherents to premillennialism hold that the return of Christ to reign the second part of a two-part plan.

The first part is called the Exit Resurrection or the Rapture.

Separating the Rapture and the Second Coming is the seven-year time period known as the Tribulation.

The purpose of the Tribulation is to bring judgment upon an unbelieving world.

The literal-grammatical-historical hermeneutic is able to pull these increments of human history together and categorize them into a chronological sequence that once done not only organizes Scripture but it also provides a framework upon which the plan of God for the human race can be clearly defined.

Prophecy and a correct understanding of how it progresses in history provide the believer with the following;

(1) It gives the believer comfort and tranquility regarding their own eternal future.

(2 Having a confident assurance of their eternal destiny they are enabled to fearlessly address the challenges of living in satan's kosmic system.

(3) They are able to see benefits attached to fulfilling the plan of God by means of promises that outline the conveyance of temporal and eternal rewards for compliance.

(4) They can clearly present this incredible plan to both the unbeliever and the confused believer.

Since this doctrine is an aspect of the believer's hope, let's review some principles regarding the rapture of the Church

Rapture is an English transliteration of the Latin word "rapturo" and both may be defined as "being carried away."

The Greek word is " harpazo," and in Christian theology it refers to the exit resurrection of the church as described in 1Thes 4:17 by the words "caught up"

It is the second phase of the first resurrection. The first phase was the resurrection of TLJC and precedes the resurrection of those who are in the dispensations of Israel and the Millennium.

The church is the mystery dispensation that began on the feast day of Pentecost with the baptism of the Holy Spirit in Acts 2:1-4; and continues until the Rapture as described by Paul 1Thes 4:17;

The Rapture was prophesied by our Lord during His Upper Room Discourse recorded in John 14:1-3;

Between Pentecost and the Rapture the church is being formed into the body of Christ on earth. Once the body is completed then the body of Christ is "caught up" from the earth and becomes the bride of Christ in heaven.

The question of the timing of the rapture emerges from this doctrine and there are always those who claim to have come up with the missing clue that reveals the date of the Rapture.

However, those who set a date are always embarrassed when it passes quietly by and discover they were either wrong or "left behind." and they always, with reluctance, admit they were wrong.

The fact is that there are no prophecies in Scripture related to the Church Age other than those which mark its beginning and end.

The Lord prophesied its beginning in John 14:26; with the promise of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit that occurred on Pentecost just after his ascension, and will be concluded with the fulfillment of his promise of the Rapture per John 14:1-3;

The Church Age is therefore a dispensation of no prophecy. Consequently we have no clue to the timing of its occurrence other than to know that it will occur when the body of Christ is completed.

Satan and the kingdom of darkness seek to delay the Rapture by means of false gospels to confuse the unbeliever and false doctrines to neutralize the believer.

These efforts are referred to by Paul as "doctrines of demons" in 1Tim 4:1; and along with the sinful nature combine to produce sin, human good, and evil.

But the date of the Rapture is not revealed and as a result it remains imminent.

The Rapture will occur when the last member of the body of Christ is saved and no sooner.

Since we do not know when that will occur, we must assume that the Rapture could occur at any second but also could be delayed to a day far beyond our lifetime on this planet in these earthly bodies or "earth suits"

We must therefore conclude the Rapture to be imminent but not necessarily immediate.

Oxford English Dictionary defines. "imminent" as an event that is Impending threateningly, hanging over one's head; ready to befall or overtake one.

Oxford also defines. "immediate & immediately as taking effect without delay or lapse of time; Done at once; instant; with nothing intervening in time, space, order, or succession; or next.

That which is considered immediate is expected to occur at once, instantly, without delay or lapse of time.

That which is considered imminent is considered an impending threat, ready to happen, but where the exact timing of its occurrence is not known.

In order to consider the Rapture as an immediate event would require some sign, historical trend, or fulfilled prophecy signaling its arrival, but the Bible does not provide any such sign, event or signal.

Biblical passages that describe historical downtrends as indicators for national discipline, such as 2Tim 3:1-7; or passages that describe events that are prophetic of the Second Advent, such as TLJC described starting in Matt 24:3;are often misapplied as signs or events that signal the Rapture.

Neither of these has anything to do with the timing of Rapture or Exit Resurrection of the Church.

© Copyright 2023, Michael Lemmon Bible Ministries. World Rights Reserved.