There Is No “There” There :: By Gene Lawley

In the current American political scene, you have heard, perhaps, that statement in regard to the investigation into President Donald Trump’s collusion with the Russians in the campaign and election process. A special investigator has been appointed, and he has put together a committee to investigate the situation. There is a problem even in that, for the rule for setting up such an appointment is that a crime has been clearly committed and needs to be investigated for evidence that could lead to indictments and conviction. This one, however, is an investigation in search of a crime. Thus, it is not legally founded.

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives and the Senate both have initiated investigations into the same issue in their respective Intelligence Oversight Committees. Now, the House Committee’s majority leader, Devin Nunes, has issued a final report on their investigation, that there is no evidence whatever that Trump’s campaign or his election was accomplished by Russian collusion. The ranking Democrat minority leader, Adam Schiff, denies that report and maintains that he knows of evidence to the contrary, but it is classified, and therefore he cannot disclose it.

My first thought after that argument is, “what a marvelous way to keep in the news the idea that the president is guilty of something, and therefore he is not worthy to be in that office!” There is a desperate need for Trump’s opposition to somehow implicate him in criminal activity, or just anything—ANYTHING—that could end his stay in the oval office. But evidently, there is no “there” there.

Truth has a unique way of coming to the surface and slapping the faces of those who despise it because of ulterior motives. And that can be greatly shattering when it happens.

I am convinced from Psalm 75:6-8 and Luke 17:26-37 that they are fighting against the sovereignty of God and His “times and seasons” of end-time events.

The title of this article, however, points to another situation in biblical considerations where there is no “there” there.

When the bright light of Scripture is turned upon false doctrines, it is like the time when Jesus was tempted by Satan, reported in Matthew 4 and Luke 4. When Jesus responded with “It is written…” and quoted a verse of Scripture to rebuke him, he turned away – to find another victim, no doubt – just as proponents of false doctrines seem to continue doing.

There is a false doctrine which proclaims that everything prophetic was finalized in the first century, culminating in the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple in 70 AD, and now we are in a mere waiting state.

Those who promote false doctrines want to identify with the name of Jesus and with Scriptures, to the extent they seem to support their pre-conceived ideas, in order to have the appearance of authority and legitimacy. They build a box around those false tenants that shuts out anything that refutes them, then they put their idea of God inside of it. Anything in Scripture that does not fit in their box is labeled an allegory and not a true biblical fact.

For them, the Bible cannot be chronological in its broad unfolding of God’s dealing with mankind, of which are dispensations, or eras of time in which God specifically related to man in certain ways of revelation. Having an understanding that embraces those concepts will not fit into their box of pre-conceived ideas about God.

For example, it is clear in the Bible’s unfolding account of God revealing more and more of Himself to man, that there are four major periods of time when the knowledge of God becomes more obvious with each succeeding period of revelation. And, too, with that increased revelation of God, mankind has more increasing responsibility toward God.

Those four major dispensations when God “dispensed” the increasing knowledge of Himself are these:

  1. From creation to the Tower of Babel, man was responsive to God only through his knowledge of good and evil that he had received when he disobeyed God and ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Thus, God did not let go of man entirely, but He put in man a secret tool that gives Him access to the conscience of man. In this way, and verbally, God revealed Himself to man during this period or era of time. This era ended in judgment at the Tower of Babel when God broke up man’s unity without God by smattering their one language into many languages (Genesis 1 to 11).
  2. Then God called out a man named Abram (later called Abraham) as the father of a special people in whom He would entrust the written law, thus further revealing His judicial nature and man’s responsibility to it, and to Him. Most of the Old Testament contains the increasing resistance of man to obey God, proving, likewise, the depravity of man without the gift of righteousness from God.

This era continued until the birth of Jesus Christ, including the four hundred years of silence at the end of the Old Testament record, from the end of Genesis 11 to Malachi. It overlaps into the third era, as the first did in the second one, while God’s judgment on the Jews was fully implemented as they were scattered into all nations, finally, by 136 AD.

  1. Then God became flesh and dwelt among mankind, as John 1:14 tells us; and whereas in times past He declared Himself to man through His prophets, now He made Himself known by His Son, the only begotten of the Father (Hebrews 1:1,ff). His life, death, burial and resurrection is the revelation of God identifying with man in man’s redemption through the unmerited favor—grace—of God. He came to His own, but His own did not receive Him (John 1:11), but those who did were, and are, receivers of eternal life.

This is also known as “the times of the Gentiles” when God will take from the Gentiles a people for His name. When that is fulfilled, there will be a final judgment upon the Jews and Gentiles who have rejected Jesus Christ and His salvation, a period of seven years. It is the ending judgment of that third era of God’s revelation and man’s rejection of God.

  1. A final revelation of God to man will then commence, as Revelation 20 spells it out, a thousand years when Jesus, the Christ, comes bodily to earth and commands a theocracy over the whole world from the throne of David, in Jerusalem. This dispensation is detailed in Revelation 20, Zechariah 14, Isaiah 11 and Isaiah 65. In those passages in Isaiah, we are told of a time when “the wolf will lie down with the lamb, the lion will eat straw with the ox, a child shall play safely by the den of poisonous snakes, and when a 100 years old, he will be as a child, indicating that man will again attain greatly extended ages.

In Isaiah 9:6-7 we are foretold this:

“For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.”

As this era begins, Satan will be chained in the bottomless pit where he will no longer deceive the nations for a thousand years (Revelation 20:1-3), then he will be released and will gather together a multitude who will defy God in a final warfare. In one quick move, God will again judge man’s evil in swift destruction.

The passage in Isaiah sums up the content of this fourth era, when the government will be on His shoulder; and by Him peace will abound, as there will be no hurt between creatures of His dominion. False doctrine promoters would have us believe that the devil was bound in the bottomless pit when Christ was crucified, and all prophecy was finished in 70 AD, and since that time we are being controlled by Christ from heaven; but the Scriptures speak otherwise.

Peter wrote some thirty years after the crucifixion that “the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8), and Paul urges us in Ephesians 6, also about thirty years after the crucifixion, to “put on the whole armor of God that you might stand against the wiles of the devil.” And we have yet to see any signs of the wolf lying down with the lamb, nor a lasting peace between peoples.

To this I would have to summarize the bottom-line answer to the false doctrines: “If we believe not, yet He abides faithful; He cannot deny Himself (2 Timothy 2:13-KJV), for there are far more Scriptures and historical facts than these that defy the claims of false doctrines. In false doctrines, there is no “there” there when faced with the whole counsel of God.

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