Friday, February 2, 2007
"How To Enjoy The Bible" ~ E.W. Bullinger
I’m reading “How To Enjoy The Bible” by Bullinger, written in 1907. It’s interesting because it was written BEFORE 1948, long before anyone would have ever guessed that Israel would be re-born. This is an excellent snipette against both “Replacement Theology” and “Universalism”:
“We hold that what is written to and about the Jew belongs to and must be interpreted of the Jew. We hold that what is written of and about the Gentile belongs to and must be interpreted of the Gentile. We hold that what is written to and about the Church belongs to and must be interpreted of the Church. Is this robbery? Or, is it justice? Is it stealing? Or, is it restitution?
Evidence of the misappropriation (to use a milder term) is furnished by the Bible which lies open before us, to which we have already referred in speaking of the page-headings of Isa. xxix and xxx, in our current editions of the English Bibles, in which the former is declared to be “Judgment upon Jerusalem”; and the latter, “God’s mercies to his church.”
What is this but not only wrongly dividing the Word of truth, but the introduction of error, by robbing Jerusalem of her promised ‘mercies’ and appropriating these stolen mercies to the Church? While the ‘judgments’ are left for Jerusalem, just as burglars take away what is portable, and leave behind what they do not want or cannot carry away.
We believe God when He says that the Visions shown to Isaiah were “CONCERNING Judah and Jerusalem” (Isa. i.1).
True, they were written FOR us; and ‘for our learning’ (Rom. xv.4); but they are not addressed TO us, or written CONCERNING us, but ‘concerning Judah and Jerusalem.’
It would be an act of dishonesty, therefore, for us thus to appropriate, by interpreting of ourselves, that which was spoken of Israel.
In like manner, if we take, as some do, the words of the Epistle to the Ephesians as though they were written to or concerning the Gentiles (or the unconverted world), then we not only rob the Church of its most precious heritage, but we teach the ‘universal Fatherhood of God’ instead of His Fatherhood of only those who are His children."
This is another funny little bit from the page before: “This comes of that inbred selfishness which pertains to human nature; which, doing with this as with all beside, is ever ready to appropriate that which belongs to others.”