A Lawless Religion
Cyrus Ingerson Scofield (1843-1921)
By Ovid Need, Jr.
The Biblical Examiner - October 1997
Beyond any doubt, the
Scofield Study Bible did more to establish the temper of world-wide Christianity for the twentieth century than any other one event in history.
The Bible which Scofield discussed with Gaebelein that night is perhaps the most influential single publication in millenarian and Fundamentalist historiography. The
Scofield Reference Bible combined an attractive format of typography, paragraphing, notes, and cross references with the theology of Darbyite dispensationalism. The book has thus been subtly but powerfully influential in spreading those views among hundreds of thousands who have regularly read that Bible and who often have been unaware of the distinction between the ancient text and the Scofield interpretation.1
“I don't read his notes, nor do I use them,” some have told this pastor. However, his marginal cross references also support what he says in his notes. We will also ask, if folks do not use his notes, why is his book such a huge seller? The Old 1917
Scofield Study Bible reportedly is “Used by more Baptist Pastors Than Any Bible Ever Published.”2
Being a Baptist pastor, this writer is especially concerned about the tremendous destructive influence of the
Scofield Study Bible among his Baptists brethren, as well as its influence among others who believe that
Scofield's notes are legitimate study aids. Though vehemently denying they are Scofield's disciples, almost every Baptist pastor this writer knows teaches
Scofield's notes though priding themselves on being “independent.” Moreover, every major Bible college and every Baptist Bible college this writer knows of teach basically what is found in the Scofield notes. Accordingly, though they may not promote nor use the
Scofield Study Bible, their system of exegesis is clearly Scofield's. They are followers of the Scofield religion.
All one must do is read closely what he or she is being told by any author, and the true intent of an author will be readily apparent. (The material this writer puts into circulation is meant to be read closely. Follow through the implications of what is said. Reach your own conclusions from the Word of God. The material is meant to seriously challenge the reader to think and to study it out for him/her self. Our material is NOT for those who want someone else to do the work for them, nor for those who are looking for something to make them feel “warm and fuzzy,”
e.g., Chicken Soup for the Soul. We offer strong meat that requires earnest consideration. May God deliver us from the
Chicken Soup generation of Christians who cannot discern both good and evil, Heb. 5:12-14. Multitudes of professed Christians are being swept before the ever changing winds of false doctrines because they do not know the Word of God. Most have never read it through even one time.)
Gospels according to Scofield
Scofield himself tells us the truth behind his
With a new system of connected topical references to all the greater themes of Scripture, with annotations, revised marginal renderings, summaries, definitions, chronology, and index, to which are added, helps at hard places, explanations of seeming discrepancies, and a new system of paragraphs.
“A new system of paragraphs.” Why did he feel the established system of paragraphs had to be changed? What can be done with a text when its paragraphs are run together or split differently than originally given?
The real truth behind the
Study Bible is clearly reveled in the introduction to “THE FOUR GOSPELS” in the Old
Scofield Study Bible. Read it closely, and you will see that his purpose was to destroy almost two thousand years of Christian theology. The introduction is so permeated with inconsistencies and unbiblical assumptions that we will only discuss the more obvious fallacies upon which his
Study Bible is based:
... The distinctive part which each Evangelist bears in this presentation of the living Christ is briefly noted in separate Introductions, but it may be profitable to add certain general suggestions.
I. The Old Testament is a divinely provided Introduction to the New; and whoever comes to the study of the four Gospels with a mind saturated with the Old Testament foreview of the Christ, His person, work, and kingdom, will find them open books.
For the Gospels are woven of Old Testament quotation, allusion, and type. The very first verse of the New Testament drives the thoughtful reader back to the Old; and the risen Christ sent His disciples to the ancient oracles for an explanation of His sufferings and glory (Lk. 24. 27, 44, 45). One of His last ministries was the opening of their understandings to understand the Old Testament.
Therefore, in approaching the study of the Gospels the mind should be freed, so far as possible, from mere theological concepts and presuppositions. Especially is it necessary to exclude the notion—a legacy in Protestant thought from post-apostolic and Roman Catholic theology—that the Church is the true Israel, and that the Old Testament foreview of the kingdom is fulfilled in the Church.
Do not, therefore, assume interpretations to be true because familiar. Do not assume that “the throne of David” (Lk. 1. 32) is synonymous with “My Father's throne” (Rev. 3. 21), or that “the house of Jacob” (Lk. 1. 33) is the Church composed both of Jew and Gentile.
Though Scofield sounds good saying that the Old Testament foresaw Christ and His work, his religion reduces the Old Testament to simply containing quotations, allusions and types.
Typical of the “Bible reading” method of teaching that commonly uses texts out of context to support the “teacher's” theories, Scofield stopped short of Luke 24:46, 47. For there Christ told the disciples that the Old Testament clearly spoke of His death, burial and resurrection, and of the gospel going to the Gentiles — Christ's crucifixion was not “plan B” that took place because national Israel rejected His offer to be its Messiah-King. In fact, the gospel of God's freely given grace through Christ to both the physical seed of Abraham and to those outside that seed was preached to Abraham long before the Old Testament prophets came into history:
Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad. (John 8:56.)
The gospel of Christ was preached to Abraham in Genesis 12:3, and reconfirmed in Genesis 18:18; 22:18; 26:4, 14,
Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying,
In thee shall all nations be blessed. So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. (Gal. 3:6-9.)
The prophets did not promise a restored national Israel, as longed for by the “Jews” since Christ; rather, they spoke of the coming Gospel Church to replace national Israel in establishing Christ's world-wide kingdom — the foundation of the Church is the redemptive work of Christ.
Scofield admitted that the theories offered in his book (his new religion) went against what had been for eighteen hundred years accepted Biblical doctrine. He said that the intelligent reader's mind must be “freed from mere theological concepts and presuppositions,” which, we must add, were obtained from passages like Luke 24:46, 47. He pointed out that his notions would counter, among other things, the then universally accepted and the historic understanding of Scripture, “that the Church is the true Israel,” and that that truth was presented in the Old Testament. (In making that assertion, he had to willfully suppress the knowledge of passages like Gal. 3:8, that tell us that the Gospel Church,
i.e., the gospel of Christ to the whole world, was revealed to Abraham and to the prophets following Abraham.) Note his hostility toward those who disagreed with his new and unique ideas — he said that it was not Biblical to understand that the Gospel Church fulfilled the ideal of the kingdom of God on earth. He told his readers that the orthodox Christian doctrine concerning Israel and the Gospel Church was wrong up to the release of his
Thus with two paragraphs, he swept away almost two millenniums of developed church doctrine. Though Scofield attached his name to the unique ideas found in his notes and cross references, his theories were obviously gleaned from John Nelson Darby (1800-1892), who gathered them from Lacunza (1731-1801) and Edward Irving (1792-1834).3 The reader of Darby's works will be struck at his open hostility against all who might not follow his new and unique theories. This pastor must say that now most of the pastors he knows make Scofield's then new and unorthodox understanding of “Israel” their
Shibboleth of fellowship.
II. The mission of Jesus was,
primarily, to the Jews (Mt. 10. 5, 6, 15. 23--25; John 1.1l). He was “made under the law” (Gal. 4. 4), and was “a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers” (Rom. 15. 8), and to fulfil the law that grace might flow out.
Expect, therefore, a strong legal and Jewish colouring up to the cross (e.g. Mt. 5. 17--19; 6. 12; cf. Eph. 4. 32; Mt. 10. 5, 6; 15. 22-28; Mk. 1. 44; Mt. 23. 2, etc.). The Sermon on the Mount is law, not grace, for it demands as the condition of blessing (Mt. 5. 3-9) that perfect character which grace, through divine power, creates (Gal. 5. 22, 23).
His “Bible reading” method of “teaching” pulled the text he wanted out of its context if that context would not support what he was saying. The following verses in Romans 15 (vv. 9ff.) clearly tell us that the purpose of Christ's work was so the Gentiles could become equal members of
the commonwealth of Israel and fully equal with the “Jews” in the covenants of promise. A major argument presented by the Author of the New Testament is that circumcision ([Jews] and uncircumcision [Gentiles]) is no longer any kind of dividing line in God's kingdom. (Eph. 2:11-13; Rom. chaps, 2-4, &c.)
Moreover, Scofield tells us of his hatred for God's law, presenting a very strong militancy between God's law and God's grace. His
Study Bible is a major foundation stone for the modern “unconditional love” movement that says that God's blessings are “unconditionally” upon His people. With his continuing distinction between the circumcision (Jews) and the uncircumcision (Gentiles), he teaches that a “Child of God” can lay claim to the promises of God though that person disregards God's Law-Word.
He dismisses the Sermon on the Mount as for another dispensation yet to come because it contains law. Containing law, it contains conditions for obtaining God's promised blessings, which, in his opinion, cannot be. His lawlessness is clearly revealed for anyone to see who will look.
doctrines of grace are to be sought in the Epistles, not in the Gospels; but those doctrines rest back upon the death and resurrection of Christ, and upon the great germ--truths to which He gave utterance, and of which the Epistles are the unfolding. Furthermore, the only perfect example of perfect grace is the Christ of the Gospels.
There is no grace in the Gospels! Is it not sad when a “Bible teacher” can read ANY passage of Scripture and not find the doctrine of grace at work? No matter where the Word of God is opened, from Genesis 1:1 through Revelation 22:21, God's grace is clearly at work: God is the One who gave the saints of old the desire and power to follow Him, and do the things pleasing in His sight. (Comp. 1 Kg. 8:58 and Php. 2:13.) What makes fallen man think that he has in himself the desire and power (natural ability) to seek, worship and serve the Holy Heavenly Father? This writer wonders what “Bible” people read when they can find no Grace of God except in the Epistles. What will the lawless do with 1 Corinthians 7:19?
Though the Gospels contain “great germ-truths,” the Scofield religion denies that they are THE TRUTH for the modern Christian living in the “Church age” — THE TRUTH can only be found in the Epistles. And thus is held that only the writings of Paul are for the “Church age.” However, not all of Paul's writings are for the Gospel Church, for any dogmatic commands,
e.g., Rom 13:8ff., must be dismissed — the Church cannot be under any kind of mandatory obligation (law). Also passages and preconceived notions that counter his new truths must be ignored,
e.g., Ephesians 2:11-13, &c. We might ask, “Which words of Christ contain 'germ-truths' for the Christian and which do not? Who determines which words of Christ are to be accepted as truth and which are not?” I believe the reader of Scofield's notes will find that he — CIS — is the one who makes that determination.
IV. The Gospels do not unfold the doctrine of the Church. The word occurs in Matthew only. After His rejection as King and Saviour by the Jews, our Lord announcing a mystery until that moment “hid in God” (Eph. 3. 3--10), said, “I will build my church” (Mt. 16. 16, 18). It was, therefore, yet future; but His personal ministry had gathered out the believers who were, on the day of Pentecost by the baptism with the Spirit, made the first members of “the church which is his body” (1 Cor. 12. 12, 13; Eph. 1. 23).
The Gospels present a group of Jewish disciples, associated on earth with a Messiah in humiliation; the Epistles a Church which is the body of Christ in glory, associated with Him in the heavenlies, co--heirs with Him of the Father, co--rulers with Him over the coming kingdom, and, as to the earth, pilgrims and strangers (1 Cor. 12. 12, 13; Eph. 1. 3--14, 20--23; 2. 4 6; 1 Pet. 2. 11).
We are told by the Spirit right in the midst of his proof text that the “mystery” was that both Jews and Gentiles would be
fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel: The “mystery” was that the “Jew/Gentile” distinction would be removed in Christ. (Eph. 3:6. See Point II above.) Though his proof text is Eph. 3:3-10, he completely ignores the Scriptural fact that Christ completely did away with the “Jew/Gentile” distinction. (Isn't the “Bible reading” study method something wonderful? It will “support” the whims of both a “teacher” and a “learner.”)
The Church cannot be found in the Gospels, except for the “only” use of the word in Matthew, implies that the word is only used 16:18. Because Christ's statement there is in the future tense,
I will, the Church was future from His time, and could only come about as “plan B” after the Jews rejected Christ as King and Saviour. However, a great “Bible scholar/teacher” as Scofield should know that Christ also used the word in Matthew 18:17, and it was in the present tense:
The name [Greek word] is used even by Christ while on earth of the company of his adherents in any city or village: Mt. xviii.17.
bb. the whole body of Christians scattered throughout the earth; collectively, all who worship and honor God and Christ in whatever place where they may be: Mt. xvi.18 (where perhaps the Evangelist employs [Greek word] although Christ may have said [Greek word]); 1 Co. xii.28; Eph. 1:22...5
Why did Scofield say that Christ only used the word,
Church, in speaking of a future event when he had to know that Christ also used it of a present event? There are vast multitudes who willingly follow to their own destruction modern “teachers” who
wrest, i.e., torture, twist, put to the rack, the Word of God. (2 Pet. 3:16.)
The Scofield religion strips Christians, the Church, of any hope of victory over the world, flesh and the devil this side of Christ's literal reign upon this earth. (See one of the Epistles, Rom. 8:37.) Thus the Scofield religion leaves Christians hopeless victims of surrounding events, telling them that they have no hope of victory (dominion, or authority) over anything of this earth until they co-rule with Christ in a kingdom that will come someday. Christians are simply “pilgrims and strangers” passing through this earth, totally unconcerned about the surrounding social chaos; they are little more than victims of their environment. They are left with no option except to capitulate and wait in withdrawn fear and misery until a day when they will be supernaturally removed from their victimhood. What Scofield presents here was clearly the ideas offered, developed and published by Irving and Darby many years before Scofield was even born.6
V. The Gospels present Christ in His three offices of Prophet, Priest, and King.
As Prophet His ministry does not differ in kind from that of the Old Testament prophets. It is the dignity of His Person which makes Him the unique Prophet. Of old, God spoke through the prophets, now He speaks in the Son (Heb. 1. 1, 2 . The old prophet was a voice from God; the Son is God Himself (Deut. 18. 18, 19).
The prophet in any dispensation is God's messenger to His people, first to establish truth, and, secondly, when they are in declension and apostasy to call them back to truth. His message, therefore, is, usually, one of rebuke and appeal. Only when these fall on deaf ears does he become a foreteller of things to come. In this, too, Christ is at one with the other prophets. His predictive ministry follows His rejection as King.
The sphere and character of Christ's
Kingly office are defined in the Davidic Covenant (2 Sam. 7. 8 16, and
refs.), as interpreted by the prophets, and confirmed by the New Testament. The latter in no way abrogates or modifies either the Davidic Covenant or its prophetic interpretation. It adds details which were not in the prophet's vision. The Sermon on the Mount is an elaboration of the idea of “righteousness” as the predominant characteristic of the Messianic kingdom (Isa. 11. 2--5; Jer. 23. 5, 6; 33. 14--16). The Old Testament prophet was perplexed by seeing in one horizon, so to speak, the suffering and the glory of Messiah (1 Pet. 1. 10, 1l). The New Testament shows that these are separated by the present church age, and points forward to the Lord's return as the time when the Davidic Covenant of blessing through power will be fulfilled (Lk. 1. 30--33; Acts 2. 29--36; 15. 14--17); just as the Abrahamic Covenant of blessing through suffering was fulfilled at His first coming (Acts 3. 25; Gal. 3. 6--14).
The “present church age” was, according to Scofield's religion, not seen by the prophets of old, and has nothing to do with the “Davidic Covenant of blessing.” Observe: Luke 24:47, the Old Testament law, prophets and psalms clearly presented the gospel, saying that Christ must suffer, rise from the dead and that His gospel would be preached among all nations, including the non-Israelite, Gentile nations. The “present church age,” according to the Lord's words, did not come unexpectedly. However, this fact cannot be understood unless the Lord opens the understanding, v. 45.7
Note Scofield's very strong support of a restored national Israel as the glory of the whole earth prevalent throughout his Introduction, and cutting off the Gospel Church from any Old Testament prophecy. He, intentionally or unintentionally, seems to relegate all non-Israelites/Jews to an afterthought of the Father. Exalting national Israel and cutting out the Gospel Church from prophecy and from the four Gospels, the Scofield religion borders on being the old Jewish religion revived. His religion contends that the Gospel Church has no part in the “Davidic Covenant;” in fact, the Lord suspended His workings through the house of David and injected the “present church age.” But one day, this religion says, He will pick up the loose ends of the “Covenant” and continue. The error of Scofield's plan is readily apparent to those who read
all Scripture, and remain true to the context of the passages. The “Davidic Covenant” is found in 1 Samuel 7:12-17, and it mentions three things: (1)
He shall build an house for my name, and (2) I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever. (3)
I will be his father, and he shall be my son...
build an house: For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house. (Heb. 3:3.)
Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. (1 Pet. 2:5. See also Mat. 16:18; Lk. 1:31ff.; 1 Cor. 1 & 2.) The
house is the Gospel Church, made up of born again believers, 1 Corinthians 3:16. (See also, 1 Cor. 6:19; 2 Cor. 6:16; Eph. 2:20ff., &c.)
stablish the throne: And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us--ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet... (Eph. 1:19-22a.)
But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is (present, not
will be future) for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.
The King now has the sceptre of the power of His kingdom. (See also Dan. 4:17, 25, 32, 35.)
Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. (Heb. 1:8, 9.) Hebrews 1:8, God the Father quoted Psalms 45, placing that Psalm with its promises into effect at Christ's resurrection and ascension to the right hand of the Father. (See also Isa. 9:6, 7.)
his father: And there came a voice out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him. (Lk. 9:35.) The fact that God the Father is
his father is too obvious to develop. (See also Ps. 2; 89:20ff.; Heb. 1:5.)
Christ is never called King of the Church. “The King” is indeed one of the divine titles, and the Church in her worship joins Israel in exalting “the king, eternal, immortal, invisible” (Psa. 10. 16; 1 Tim. 1. 17). But the Church is to reign with Him. The Holy Spirit is now calling out, not the subjects, but the co--heirs and co--rulers of the kingdom (2 Tim. 2. 1l, 12; Rev. 1. 6; 3. 21; 5. 10; Rom. 8. 15--18; 1 Cor. 6. 2, 3).
office is the complement of His prophetic office. The prophet is God's representative with the people; the priest is the people's representative with God. Because they are sinful he must be a sacrificer; because they are needy he must be a compassionate intercessor (Heb. 5. 1, 2; 8. 1--3). So Christ, on the cross, entered upon His high--priestly work, offering Himself without spot unto God (Heb. 9. 14), as now He compassionates His people in an ever--living intercession (Heb. 7. 25) . Of that intercession John 17. is the pattern.
Twice, points IV & V, Scofield tells us that the church has no responsibilities as subjects in and to God's kingdom on earth — that is, subject to the written Law-Word of the Tri-Une God. The Church's responsibility is simply to wait until it is supernaturally exalted. It is astounding that a man who claimed to be skillful enough with God's Word to write a commentary (his notes) on it can overlook so many passages in the very contexts from where he pulls his proof texts. It is even more astounding that there are so many good people who claim to believe the Bible (KJV or Geneva) from cover to cover yet follow this religion. They even “believe the cover,” for it says, Holy Bible.
Scofield's Proof Texts
2 Timothy 2:19, Paul does not suggest, but he commands that those who name Christ depart from
iniquity, lawlessness. “We are not subjects” in God's earthly kingdom during the “Church age;” Divine law and Christ's commands (e.g., the Sermon on the Mount, Mat. 5) are for subjects, and Christians are “not the subjects, but the co--heirs and co--rulers of the kingdom” yet to come — clearly lawlessness.
built upon proper subjection to Divine law in God's kingdom on earth is proper subjection in the home and in society. Denial of proper subjection leads to the breakdown of proper authority in every area. This religion's lawless attitude, when it is imbibed by the general Christian population, must lead to the pagan's refusal to be subject to civil law (e.g., the Constitution). Multiplied millions who
nameth the name of Christ claim they are not subject to Divine law, and then they complain when all proper law breaks down. However, the pagan's simply reflect their attitude toward Divine law. (Cf. 1 Cor. 11:3; Eph. 5:21-25; 1 Cor. 15:28, &c.) Of course, if one believes that this world is the Devil's kingdom, he or she might justify saying there is no responsibility other than wait to be co-ruler with Christ.
Though it took a few years to come to pass, like a falling egg obeying the law of gravity, the national results of Scofield's 1917 lawless religion are clearly reveled: The US president, congress and the courts all feel they are above the law — they consider themselves not subjects, but co-rulers of the “kingdom.” How many “balanced budget” laws have been passed in the last ten years? There is no law that can bind the co-rulers, the “lawmakers,” and they know it. They are lawless, but they are acting in complete conformity with the Scofield religion's lawlessness.
Revelation 1:6 and
3:22, encompasses God's anger against His professed people's refusal to be subject to His Divine laws, 2:20; 3:15. V. 21, To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. In order to remain consistent that the Church is not called out to be
subjects, but co-heirs and co-rulers in a kingdom to come, overcometh must mean
overcometh the temptation to be subject to Divine law and/or overcometh the temptation to be involved in restoring a Christian social order as existed, say, in the Byzantine Empire (founded by Constantine, 330 AD, and fell to the Ottoman Turks, 1453 AD), or in America's foundation (See
The Biblical Examiner, Safety in the Land, Apl., 97). Scofield tells us that Christians must be “as to the earth, pilgrims and strangers.” Let us follow to an absurdity the implications of those words. Those who desire to please the Lord must not follow the example of the Good Samaritan, because, as a pilgrim, he failed to remain unconcerned, Luke 10. However, maybe he was a pagan, and, therefore, he was not bound by Scofield's grace to ignore Divine law. But then again, maybe because Luke 10 took place before the crucifixion and the issuance of God's grace, his actions fell under the Old Testament law, and not under Scofield's New Testament grace.
Romans 8:15-18, is totally misused to prove that those in the Church age are “not the subjects, but the co--heirs and co--rulers of the kingdom.” V. 4, speaks of the righteousness of the law being fulfilled in the life of the believer; then Paul contrasts the lust of the flesh with the power of the spirit to walk according to the
righteousness of the law, i.e., the Ten Commandments. (1 Cor 7:19. See the book of James.) V. 18 speaks about suffering. But if one has the same lawless attitude as do the pagans, what brings on the suffering? V. 29, Christians are called to be conformed to the image of Christ, and Christ was
subject to the Father, even to the death. (John 4:34; 6:38; 15:10; Php. 2:8; Heb. 10.) So Scofield's call to conform is to conform to Christ reign over the earth, not to His subjection in all things to the Father according to the written Law-Word of God.
1 Corinthians 6:2, 3, follow 1 Corinthians 5 where Paul told the Church to judge those within the Church who refused to be
subject to Divine law. Using Paul's words in 1 Corinthians 6:2, 3 to say that the Church is not called to be
subject to Divine law, but is called to be “co--heirs and co--rulers of the kingdom” is clearly
wresting scripture. (2 Pet. 3:16.)
We are told in point V that Christ came to call national Israel back to God the Father through Himself. Then only upon failure of national Israel to heed His call did the crucifixion take place. However, One must reject God's Word to even consider such an absurd idea, for the purpose of Christ's coming is clearly spelled out by the Word of God. He came to take on a body to offer as a sacrifice for the “sins of his people.” (Is. 53; Acts 2:23; Rev. 13:8, &c.)
The Sermon on the Mount, we are told, contains general ideas of “righteousness,”
i.e., right living, that are good for the Christian to consider and maybe even follow. However, the Christian is under no obligation to follow what is presented by King Jesus there, for it is presented in the Gospels, not in the Epistles. By being in the Gospels, Christ's commands are for national Israel in the coming Messianic kingdom. Christ's laws there are not for the “Church age.”
Obviously, Scofield had to reach this conclusion that “Christ is never called the King of the Church” because he totally rejected the orthodox, Biblical doctrine that the Gospel Church is the new Israel of God. (Gal. 6:16.) Those who start with false assumptions, MUST reach false conclusions.
VI. Distinguish, in the Gospels,
interpretation from moral application. Much in the Gospels which belongs in strictness of interpretation to the Jew or the kingdom, is yet such a revelation of the mind of God, and so based on eternal principles, as to have a moral application to the people of God whatever their position dispensationally. It is always true that the “pure in heart” are happy because they “see God,” and that “woe” is the portion of religious formalists whether under law or grace...
Scofield removed any commands (laws) from the Gospel Church one might find in the Gospels, and replaced them with a “moral application.” Though “much in the Gospels” belongs “in strictness of interpretation to the Jew or the kingdom” to come, the Gospels contain some good “moral applications.” Thus in this religion, under the “gospel age,” the Christian finds no command-word from Christ, only moral suggestions. Notice that the reader is left to determine for him or her self what should be understood as his or her “moral applications” from the Gospels.
For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. (Gen. 3:5.)
The Scofield religion leaves the reader to determine for him or her self what is sin and what is not, for the reader is left with no command-word from God; he or she is only left with moral applications while he or she waits to be exalted to rule and reign with Christ.
The lawlessness found in the notes and cross references of the
Scofield Study Bible “Used by more Baptist Pastors Than Any Bible Ever Published” is amazing.
1 Ernest R. Sandeen, The Roots of Fundamentalism, 222. Arno C. Gaebelein [1861-1945], was a German immigrant who arrived in the United States in 1879. He became a minister in the German conference of the Methodist church. He learned Yiddish well enough to be accused of attempting to pass as a Gentile. Thus Gaebelein was a Jew. He preached to large audiences of Jewish men on Saturday afternoons with considerable success. He began publishing a Yiddish monthly paper and, in 1894, established an English periodical called Our Hope to publicize his work, proclaim the imminent second advent, and alert Gentiles to the remarkable Zionist awakening among the Jewish population. After converting to Plymouth Brethrenism, he finally cut himself off from the Methodist in 1899. A heated conflict arose in 1900 between the posttribulation and the pretribulation positions. In a special December issue of Our Hope devoted entirely to Christ's premillennial advent, in which appeared Scofield's May the Lord Come at Any Time, Gaebelein said point blank: No one can continue to give out a truth, scriptural, edifying testimony of the coming of the Lord who believes that certain events must come to pass before the Lord comes or that the church will pass through the tribulation. With this statement, Gaebelein had, in effect, excommunicated the posttribulaationists. The controversy also involved who would be in apostolic succession from Brooks, who was a through Darbyite pretribulation rapture dispensationalist, and from Gordon, a historicist, i.e., historic Chiliasm. Each side had a publication, with Gaebelein (Our Hope) on the pretribulation side, and Cameron (Watchword and Truth) on the historicist side. Both Gaebelein and Cameron sought to fill the void left by Brooks and Gorden. (Scofield was a protégé of J.H. Brooks. For A.J. Gordon's belief, see A.H. Strong, Systematic Theology, 1012, 1013. Brooks and Gordon were among the five organizers, four Presbyterian and one Baptist [Brooks], of the prophetic movement in America, the first Niagara Bible conference for prophetic study, 1876. George M. Marsden, Fundamentalism and American Culture, 46.) The Gaebelein-Scofield Darbyite party emerged from the struggle far stronger than its opposition. According to a 1943 issue of Moody Monthly, Gaebelein, who never seemed to lack funds, put Scofield in touch with several of his supporters, Alwyn Ball, Jr., John T. Pirie, and Francis E. Fitch, all of whom contributed toward Scofield's expenses during the next few years while he worked on his manuscript. Roots, 215-220, 233. Gaebelein was known for prophetic vision of the needs of the Jews in this country and his effort in behalf of the Jewish people. [He was, ed.] Superintendent of the Hope of Israel Mission in connection with the City Mission of New York. (1894-1899). Elgin S. Moyer, Who was Who in Church History, 158, 159. Rev. Arno C. Gaebelein, D.D., a Jew converted to Plymouth Brethrenism, is listed by Scofield as a consulting editor for his Study Bible. Evidently, it was thus Jewish money that financed the Scofield Study Bible. It seems that behind just about every well-known name in the formation of the modern Protestant Zionist movementi.e., pretribulation, premillennial dispensationalismthere are found converted Jews.
2 Emp. his. Calvary Journal, Vol. 68, Summer 1997. Bi-Monthly Journal of Calvary Bible Ministries International. Calvary Ministries is a very large mail-order retailer of Bibles. (1-812-347-3388) Though he promotes the Scofield Study Bible, he does have good prices on good Bibles, including the one published by World Publishers, which this pastor uses and recommends.
3 Manuel De Lacunza Y Díaz, a Roman Jesuit who wrote The Coming of the Messiah in Glory and Majesty, using the pseudonym, Juan Josafat Ben Ezra. The manuscript became known as Ben-Ezra. Lacunza's 1790 manuscript circulated for several years before the Church of Rome published it in Spanish in 1812. However, it was finally banned by the Holy Office on Sept. 6, 1824, and again on July 11, 1941. The problem Rome had with the book was its millenarianism and its praise of Judaism. Lacunza had been a Jew before converting to Romanism. The Ben-Ezra document laid the foundation for Edward Irving's millenarianism and his Protestant Zionism, which is held to so tenaciously today by millenarians. New Catholic Encyclopedia, VII.309. The Death of Victory throughly traces modern millenarianism from its Ben-Ezra roots, following its rapid growth through prophecy conferences, and develops its fruits in modern Christianity. The Death of Victory also shows that Darby developed the Bible reading method of study to support his newly developing theories, for the context of his proof texts would not support what he was offering to the Christian public. Through the untiring efforts of D.L. Moody, the Bible reading study method became accepted in America. Though historic Chiliasm has always been around, that faith had fallen into the background. It was revived by Lacunza, Irving and Darby, each adding his unique ideas, and, with those added ideas, re-energized Chiliasm had been circulating for over a hundred years before Scofield published his book. That faith had been gaining gradual acceptance, but it was Scofield's notes that injected it into Christian society as the major Christian doctrine.
4 If one did not know better, he might be inclined to believe that we have in Scofield's book what took place in Numbers chapters 24 and 25. Balaam, for the wages offered to him, taught Balak to cast a stumblingblock before Israel. That stumblingblock caused God's people to disregard God's Law-Word, bringing upon themselves God's own hand of judgment, 2 Pet. 2:15; Jude 11; Rev. 2:14. However, we know that God's grace intervened.
5 Thayer's, 96.
6 The tracks of the Plymouth Brethren are all over the Scofield Study Bible, yet it is Used by more Baptist Pastors Than Any Bible Ever Published. In other words, those who use and defend Scofield are Plymouth Brethren regardless of their claims otherwise, for Scofield clearly set forth the tenets of Brethrenism. This is, no doubt, a reason former Plymouth Brethren have very little problem becoming Baptists.
7 We must mention here that the denial that the gospel was presented in the Old Testament laid the foundation of sand for the modern Christian Identity religion.
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Date: 03 Apr 2005
Dear Vexed Baptist Minister:
What you critiqued might be better termed Scofield's theology. You could also title it, "One vexed Baptist minister's rant on the Sermon on the Mount." Or how about, "Ever since Origen emasculated himself I've been afraid to interpret the Bible in the literal sense?"
Either way, your problem is not with Scofield. It's with an eschatology that includes a future hope for the nation of Israel--as opposed to a view that says God is done with the Jewish nation.
Lastly, why are you so bent out of shape that Scofield placed his views in a Bible? Isn't that what a study Bible is supposed to do? And why do you assume that people automatically agree with everything they read? Is it because your congregation does everything you tell them?
Lose the bile and the article will read better.
Date: 12 Apr 2005
Brothers of the reformed faith, tear down the alter you have erected to Moses. Instead of reading the 10 commandments every Sunday morning and calling the Lords day the Sabboth, read the sermon on the mount. Brothers of the powerful dillusion called dispensationalism, tear down the alter you have erected to Elijah who represents all the prophets - including Daniel and Ezekiel. Because the voice from the cloud said, "This is My Son....LISTEN TO HIM!
Date: 25 Mar 2008
First of all I
agree not to be so harsh on any man as I read on the site which was sent
to me by a frined interested in your site and materials, I think.
Anyway, I seen many comparisons which were thrown out there and not
So with that said; I have never found "rapture" in the Bible. OH, it
is implied? Oh, it says that the people will be "taken up" and this I
say yes. This one and not that one; nad yet in more than one place we
see that God knows not time. And we see that, in an instant in the
twinkling of an eye, that no man knows that hour, that a theif stikes
without the owner's knowledge. etc. In other words this is a moot point
and useless to debate. For only God knows what he does and for what
purposes and no argument you can bring forth will change that, so why
worry about it?
YOU people depend too much on other men's words and not on your own
heart, Prayer's for guidance, and then read and re-read the scriptures
ever searching for your personal questions, OH, but instead you have a
deep seeded desire to bee seen to be known, of stock much better than
those you revere more than God.
I have bought literally hundreds and now thousands of books, and none of
them have ever explained these mysteries; WHY? Because God did not
intend for man to know and that is good enough for me!
As for the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus; why not also find the
verse that stated that this was the worse event to ever happen and it
will never take place again??? I do believe it is in Josephus and in at
least one other account where theives broken into a rich person's house
to find the woman eating her own child. Now, tell me of such events;
even by Hitler or others in this world?
Let me also point out in a small fraction; that people, all people have
a braking point and I can find it in any man on earth. YOU say that is
an awful bold statement. Well, I happen to do something rather stupid a
long time ago while I was in the military. I volunteered for a POW camp
which was put on for officers and a few enlisted. It was inteded to
teach and it was run by X-POWs and an intelligence officer who was
extemely experienced. He said boldly; I will break each and everyone of
you before this camp is over. He broke half in a week. Mind you we
knew they could do us no actual harm, and yet we broke. It was a true
lesson alright. Also, let me also state that there is absolutely no
such thing as a true Atheist in a life and death situation; when they
think they are going to die the first thing they cry is for someone in
the spiritual world to help them. Most of the time it is God they cry
Now, back to man and his deprivation, or as the humanist and the animal
superiorist would say, any man will sink to low levels in order to
survive and this does not mean that they are totally depraved. Oh, but
then use the Bible and what did God's people do? Not the same acts, in
fact they perferred to die so that others could live; as did Jesus.
Did Jesus change things? NO, not really. He mearly changed the order
of things. He became our Kinsman redeemer int he flesh, then his lived
the entire Law to become that "perfect and acceptable" sacrifice for all
who were given him, not for ALL mind you. and then Jesus freely gave
His life for His friends or those that were given to Him by the Father
in Eternity. and even though Jesus knew the great 'Tribulation' he was
about to endure He did so willingly and without thought for himself.
WHY? we are not worth it. we will never be worth it, and God does not
need humans no matter what the humanists have brain washed you to think;
God is complete and needs of nothing .... So again why did he do this
Simple actually, for he said it a hundred times or more. For His
purpose and pleasure and nothing more.
You can argue any eschatology you want and I truly believe with all my
heart that when Christ said it was finished it was truly finished. And
we are to just continue on trying to live as He has taught us and
commanded us to live; and when Christ is finally sent back as Judge Jury
and executioneer that all the things all of you people have said in all
realms of eschatology will be wrong. And all you will have done is do
the devil's work and decieve or confuse some of those dumb enough to
follow you down your little trail to no where.
Does eschatology accomplish anything?
Oh, yes it does; it sets the tone of understanding for quite a bit of
the Bible and its history;
BUT no matter what it doe sin that area it has no power in the Good News
or Gospel of Christ.
So what is the point? Again?
Remember one thing my friend; you are responsibile for what you teach
others. God says so in the scriptures. If you mislead them then you
and only you (well besides where they are to also study and shew
themselves approved rightly dividing the word.) will answer to God, and
they separately from you will also answer for their shortsightedness in
follwoing you blindly.
So where does that leave your theories? ARE you absolutely
Can you absolutely Prove it???????????
Then what are we going to do???? Since the rest of the known world is
going to hell for having it all
Sorry folks God does not make allownaces for mistakes; if so then find
me that verse!
You are either Right or you are wrong you can not be both; there is no
gray area with God.
Date: 25 Mar 2010
I think youre another one who just wants it his way and youre just a
pawn in the plan to disect,fragement and turn the church of the Lord
Jesus Christ against itself.We are pilgrams in this world and theres no
PYSICAL Kingdom untill HE COMES IN PYSICAL POWER AND GLORY.