This article was taken from a email list in which Ken Janney was defending the truth that ALL churches are not apostate, and that Harold Camping has departed from his own teaching.
certainly do believe that there is great apostasy today. I believe that the
Bible teaches us to depart out of any church or fellowship that teaches a Gospel
of works and this is characteristic of most today. Check Galatians 4:25 for this
definition of the Jerusalem we are to flee.
are correct in your original assessment of my position: I do believe that the
interpretation regarding ALL churches being apostate is in error. I believe it
is a misinterpretation of the Scriptures. My original question was because it is
my observation that Mr. Camping is looking for a historical meaning in the third
level of interpretation. He has stated in his booklet on "First Principles
of Bible Study" on page 73 in the Conclusion the following:
Bible FREQUENTLY has three levels of meaning. The first is historical; the
second is moral or spiritual; and the third is that which relates to the ESSENCE
the Gospel of SALVATION.
For these reasons, a Bible translator (I
believe this word would more correctly be teacher)
must be EXCEEDINGLY
in his desire to make plain the historical or moral teaching of a verse, he does
not obscure or remove the spiritual or Gospel meaning. In relation to the third
level, any spiritual meaning found within a passage must be in agreement with
these three principles: 1) The deeper, spiritual meaning must relate to the
Gospel of SALVATION. 2) The spiritual identification of elements within the
parable or historical account MUST
have Biblical validation. 3) The spiritual conclusion MUST BE IN TOTAL AGREEMENT
WITH EVERYTHING IN THE BIBLE THAT CLEARLY
TO THE NATURE
(not the METHOD)
mine) (all statements in parenthesis are mine)
have been against the "depart out" teachings as currently taught
because it makes the essential Gospel one of having to do something in order to
be saved (in other words, to be saved, although this isnt supposed to
necessarily guarantee salvation, we must depart out). Others have defended the
"depart out" teaching on the grounds that it is not the essence of
salvation, but the METHOD
that God uses to bring salvation. If you believe it is not the essence of
salvation, but the method, we should be able to see this on the first or second
level of interpretation and should NOT be looking for it on the third level.
This is the complete reverse of the actual situation. By doing this, we replace
the TRUE Gospel message of salvation with a NEW Gospel of works.
Gospel message that is gotten on the third level of meaning of this "Depart
Out" Gospel is not the same Gospel of Grace message that Mr. Camping has
derived from the Book of Ruth, or Proverbs 31 or the raising of Lazarus. This
should be very apparent. To those who would state that the whole Bible is the
Gospel, while this is true in one sense, it is obvious when studying the word
"gospel" and comparing Scripture with Scripture that this word is used
in a more specific way. It is quite apparent that Mr. Camping at one time was
very aware of this, at least at the time he wrote "First Principles of
Bible Study". Since he is no longer following these guidelines, were they
unbiblical to begin with, and if they were not, then why are they being
this same book on the principles of Bible study on page 57, Mr. Camping gives
to attempt to discover spiritual meaning within the Bible? Will this lead to fanciful
Would it be better to leave this idea and cease from any attempt to find the
Gospel declaration on every page of Scripture?
are serious questions.
never want to read anything into the Scriptures that God never put there.
As we seek out this third level of meaning within the biblical account, it is
important to remember these three rules:"
Mr. Camping goes on to give the three rules he repeated in the Conclusion
section cited above, only in more detail. One thing of additional note he states
under point three which he states on page 58 is:
we reach a conclusion that is contrary
to the teaching of the rest of the Bible concerning salvation, we immediately
know that we have
not correctly understood
the spiritual meaning of the passage."
he goes on to state (Please
these three rules are carefully observed, we will be on safe ground as we study
the bible to discover its deeper spiritual meaning.
WE RUN GRAVE RISKS IN ATTEMPTING TO SPIRITUALIZE STATEMENTS OF THE BIBLE?
Some have done this and they ended up with wrong teachings concerning the
message of salvation. We must be exceedingly careful in how we deal with the
Holy Scriptures. The word of God is never to be considered a mere plaything of
HAVE EXPRESSED THE FEAR THAT SPIRITUALIZING THE BIBLE WILL LEAD PEOPLE
AWAY FROM THE TRUE GOSPEL. THIS CAN HAPPEN ONLY WHEN WE VIOLATE THE THREE RULES
OUTLINED ABOVE. IF THESE RULES ARE STRICTLY FOLLOWED, THE UNDERSTANDING OF THE
GOSPEL OF SALVATION CAN BE NOTHING BUT WHAT THE BIBLE TEACHES."
is apparent as we read all of the RW e-mail on this current teaching that there
is much confusion and disagreements even among those who agree with the basic
teaching. It is also apparent that the basic Gospel of the salvation of the Lord
Jesus Christ as the Bible defines it when comparing Scripture with Scripture is
no longer the focus of attention. I would appeal to all to consider these points
and observe that Mr. Camping himself has departed from his own set down
principles and has not heeded his own warnings. It has been the observations of
many of us that many have gone astray over the years in what they see the third
level of spiritual meaning is. An example would be those who have taught that
there are no such things as angels, that they are all references to our fleshly
nature. They derive this from the third level of meaning, comparing spiritual
things with spiritual things. The problem is that they ignore what the Bible
says in the first and second level of meaning, in other words, the historical or
moral or spiritual levels that are right on the surface. This is another
principle that is being violated in this current teaching, and Mr. Camping has
condemned the teaching about no angels as heresy. Those who came to this
conclusion that there were no such things as angels are using the same
hermeneutics as Mr. Camping and others are using in this current "Depart
seeker after truth,
God's marvelous Grace,
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