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Notorious

There have been many notorious individuals in history but none quite so notable as J. N. Darby and C. I. Scofield. These two 19th century men founded what amounts to a new religion and converted most of the Western World to it. It is known as Dispensationalism, a highly distorted form of Christian theology. It was devised by Darby and published by his student Scofield in 1908.

It appeared in the form of notes embedded within the text of The King James Bible. It presented a new view of God’s Word. It was extremely popular with Christians that were not serious students of God’s Word and just accepted what it said. It made such readers feel that they finally had a Bible that explained itself clearly. Many average, unstudied readers felt that with it they were as competent as pastors that spent years in the study of God’s Word.

The theology they learned from these notes though, differed markedly at certain points from what Scripture actually teaches:

  • Scofield taught that: There are seven periods in history in which God changes the way He deals with mankind.
    • God says: “I change not.” “Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today and forever” (Heb. 13:8).
  • Scofield taught —over a century ago—that we were then in the last days and Jesus is coming very soon.
    • God says the nations of the world will become Christian nations before He returns (Rev. 11:15).
  • Darby wrote: “I do not receive the Bible, that is, a revelation of God from the hands of men. I receive paper and ink. The revelation I receive of God directly—“They shall all be taught of God.” The revelation is the divinely-wrought conscience, and, I repeat, in the conscience.”[1]
  • This utterly incredibly statement says:
  • The Bible is not a revelation from God. It is just paper and ink. the work of men.
  • God reveals His will directly to the conscience of all those that He teaches.
  • God’s revelation to man is located within him. It is his own God-created conscience.
  • This is God’s means of teaching. It is directly to the heart.

So, according to these men, we can just ignore the Bible; it’s just man’s word. God never spoke to His creatures. He just puts into our minds all we need to know about Him, about sin, righteousness, Christ’s sacrifice for us, repentance, forgiveness, and about how to live in this world. All this is supernaturally communicated to us!

How did God’s people ever fall for this Satan-inspired pack of lies that so blatantly contradicts God’s Word? God tells us that Satan is a deceiver and the father of lies. Let’s reject these lies from Satan’s servants and go back to God’s Word. We have work to do:

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations …. to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:  and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.   Amen.  (Matt. 28: 19,20)

This is not an impossible task. God doesn’t ask the impossible of us. It is well within the ability of His people to fully accomplish. We just need to roll up our sleeves and get to it.


[1] See a letter Darby wrote from London in 1874, http://plymouthbrethren.org/article/11026

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