Paul Benson – A Bottomless Bucket (Part 1)

Tom (Discerning the World)

Tom Lessing is the author of the above article. Discerning the World is an internet Christian Ministry based in Johannesburg South Africa. Tom Lessing and Deborah Ellish both own Discerning the World. For more information see the About this Website page below the comments section.

15 Responses

  1. Janet says:

    I couldn’t even bring myself to read the entire article because of your false assumptions. This article is a reaction to my comment, so i can categorically state that i have no inborn animosity for the pretribulation rapture ’cause i started out believing that false teaching as biblical truth until God’s Word, the Bible, opened my eyes. I was reading 2 Thess 2 one morning when i began seeing things there that were contrary to the teaching of a SECRET catching away before the Coming of the Lord. it was not someone’s book or article that opened my eyes. I only recommended the book because it is indepth. Many people have bought in this rapture lies that they need someone who has spend years ‘discerning those lies’ and debunking them. Secondly, this article is hypocritcal (at least from the introduction i read) for if you truly employ ‘fiery biblical discernment’ and let ‘Scripture complement Scriptures’ the rapture teaching would crumple. the teaching has to be supported by unbiblical and sometimes heretical claims (dispensationalism that claims a seperate means of salvation for the jews and those supposedly ‘left behind’ after the rapture. as in my last comment, i would recommend you address teachings, without necessarily attacking the teacher. You can’t discredit biblical truth by simply attacking the character or other teachings of the teacher.

  2. Janet,

    I can assure you that I have never in all my life believed that there are two separate means of salvation for the Jews and the Gentiles. But, that’s so typical of Pre-trib haters. You accuse me of making false assumptions whilst you are the one who is making the false assumptions. Goodie for you. Your very first sentence proves that you are not interested in learning the truth. “I couldn’t even bring myself to read the entire article because of your false assumptions.” How on earth can you accuse me of false assumptions if you hadn’t taken the time to read the entire article? Rest assured, much more is following, yet you need not read the whole series of articles because you have already made up your mind. You are guilty of what Paul Benson says in his book.

    It is absolutely amazing the lengths folks will go to in order to fabricate various proofs or twist alternate renderings out of verse, to provide support for their theory.

    I am sure you read Benson’s book from cover to cover which proves that your views of the Pretribulation Rapture must have been influenced by his rantings against the Pre-trib.

    You say, “i can categorically state that i have no inborn animosity for the pretribulation rapture ’cause i started out believing that false teaching as biblical truth until God’s Word, the Bible, opened my eyes.”

    How does that work for you? First, you loved the Pre-trib Rapture and now you have turned your back on it. Turning your back on something you used to love echoes sentiments of animosity, not so?

    Another thing, I can see that your understanding of 2 Thessalonians 2 is rather shaky. Where is the “gathering unto Him” (harpazo) in Matthew 24, one of the chapters the Posttribulationists use to argue in favor of their doctrine?

    And by the way, I wrote: “Discerning The World regularly has to contend with comments of people (plural) who have a natural inborn animosity for the Pretribulation Rapture.” You are not the only one. There are minions of anti-Pretrib haters. If you’d been that important I would have mentioned your name in the article.

  3. Dear Janet

    You said “the teaching has to be supported by unbiblical and sometimes heretical claims (dispensationalism that claims a seperate means of salvation for the jews and those supposedly ‘left behind’ after the rapture.”

    I echo what Tom said “I can assure you that I have never in all my life believed that there are two separate means of salvation for the Jews and the Gentiles.”

    There is no 2 separate ways of salvation for Jews and Gentiles, this is a lie that anti-pretribulationists love to yell out to the world. Nothing but a big fat lie. You don’t understand Dispensationalism. And yes there are many a false teacher that preach pre-trib rapture; it DOES NOT make the “harpazo” false.

    You are anti-pretrib and so is the Romann Catholic church, they believe as you do, or you believe as they do. Does that make you a Roman Catholic? I should hope not.

    We have addressed every possible Rapture teaching on this website (but you don’t want to read it). That’s your problem, not ours.

  4. Paul Benson left a comment on his site (https://pbenson.me/2017/02/11/a-bucket-full-of-holes/comment-page-1/) in which he uses one of the oldest methods of distractions – playing the martyr. I tried to post a comment on his blog “Let’s Get It Right” but was unable to do so. Here is the comment I made.

    Hi Paul, Why do you assume that I am attacking you personally when I am merely critiquing your book in the light of Scripture? You are the one who uses harsh words against the Pre-trib Rapture and its adherents. SO . . . go ahead and attack if you must. You accuse us of using distractions but you are actually the one who uses one of the oldest methods of distraction in the book – playing the martyr by accusing me of attacking you personally. I urge you to read my critique prayerfully and in a real scholarly and gentlemanly way by looking what I had written instead of distracting those who want to read it prayerfully by your self-inflicting martyrdom. For instance, your assumption that Michael the archangel is the restrainer instead of the Holy Spirit gives you a wonderful opportunity to grind the Pre-trib Rapture into the ground once and for all. But, you can’t because you can only speculate, as you have already admitted in your book, something the Holy Spirit will never do.

    You deny that you suggested that your book was inspired by the Holy Spirit but boastfully say, “I think most will see that attacking as you sidestepping the firm points made in the book that so many others have thanked me for pointing out.” Doesn’t that imply that most see your book as inspired by the Holy Spirit? At any rate, your ranting that the Pre-trib Rapture is a curse pretty much gives one the impression that you believe your book was inspired by the Holy Spirit. Only those who are absolutely sure of the inspiration of the Holy Spirit will dare to call something that just might be a divinely inspired doctrine a curse because he knows it is very dangerous (Isaiah 5:20-21). For instance, Paul would never have pronounced the curse in Galatians 1:8 and 9 unless he was absolutely sure that he was inspired by the Holy Spirit to say so.

    You are welcome to post your refutations in our comment section here: https://www.discerningtheworld.com/2018/04/15/paul-benson-bottomless-bucket/

    Tom Lessing

  5. Hi Tom

    Yes, I too struggled to comment on his site, you have to login to wordpress and all sorts of obstacles. Scratch/ I have left another comment there pointing back to your comment here.

  6. HI Tom and Deborah;
    If you choose not to accept my conclusions about the modern pre-trib rapture doctrine that is between you and the Father. And yes it is modern, and not the historical view of the Church. How in the world could the Church have gone on for over 1800 years without believing something supposedly revealed to the apostle Paul and supposedly taught by him to all his disciples? The writings of the theologians , teachers, and preachers down through the centuries are chock full of clear indication the Church has always believed we would face the onslaught of Antichrist’s war on the Church BEFORE Jesus comes for his Bride.

    Your claim that you do not believe in TWO separate methods of salvation is in direct opposition to your claim to be a dispensationalist. Dispensational theory firmly teaches the Christian Church is a byproduct of a gospel of grace that is only available in this (supposed) dispensation; and salvation by grace was not available before this dispensation (dispensational theology teaches O.T. saints were saved by the Sinai Covenant, and their adherence to the Law of Moses,) nor will salvation by grace through faith be available after the age of grace supposedly comes to a close at the pre-trib rapture; and then things will revert back to salvation by the Old Testament manner. Dispensationalism teaches salvation by grace through faith for us Christians (and properly so), but salvation by works for the O.T. believers and also those they have labeled as the’ tribulation Saints’.

    Dispensational theology teaches Israel is saved by a completely different covenant of salvation that the Christian Church. If you don’t understand that maybe you should examine the theology you claim to hold to a little deeper. It is quite flawed!

    The unworkable facets of dispensational theory (particularly concerning election and ‘separation’) are quite numerous. That is why, after years of prayer consideration, I rejected it.
    Bottom line: Whether you choose to acknowledge it or not, if your are a dispensationalist you believe in TWO separate ways to be saved! And that denies the Cross of Christ, and the life-Blood he shed there, as the ONLY means of salvation!

    I do wish you well; and pray God will give us ALL a clear understanding of his truths.
    In Jesus Christ;
    Paul Benson

  7. Hi Paul, and thanks for your comment.

    The other Paul, Paul of Tarsus, clearly speaks of the “dispensation of grace.” in his epistle to the Ephesians.

    For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward (the Gentiles): How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel: Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power. (Eph 3:1-7).

    He expounds on it more in Romans 11.

    (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day. And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompence unto them: Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back alway. I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness? (Rom 11:8-12).

    God has set his people whom He chose as his elect (Isaiah 45:4) aside for a season (dispensation of grace) because of their rejection of their Messiah so that He could reach the Gentiles with the Gospel of grace in this dispensation. In this dispensation, Jew and Gentile are being saved by grace through faith alone in the finished work of Christ on the cross and are united by the Holy Spirit as one body (the Bride of Christ) in Jesus Christ. When this dispensation comes to an end at the Pre-tribulation Rapture, God is once again and finally going to set his mind on his people as a nation. The parable of the five wise (Jewish believers) and five foolish virgins (unbelieving Jews) describes this event which is going to take place when the seven-year tribulation has run its full course (Matthew 25). The prophet Zechariah also prophesied this event in Zechariah 12:10-14 and 14:4.

    BY the way, Abraham, who is called the Father of all the believers, was a Gentile when he got saved. He only became a Jew when he was circumcised.

    Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin. Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness. How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision. And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also: And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised. Rom 4:8-12)

    Dispensationalism is a fact, whether you believe in it or not.

    By the by, why do you assume that Michael is the Restrainer and not the Holy Spirit? Isn’t that “kinda-sorta sound like” demeaning the Holy Spirit?

  8. Hi Tom;
    I do not assume that Michael is the restrainer; I am merely open to that possibility (as well as others) as the reference to restraint is not given to us in a manner that gives clear indication as to just what or who is doing the restraining. When things are unclear in the Scriptures it is only because the Lord chose not to make them clear. The things that are important for us to grasp are plainly stated.

    I feel the undue emphasis on the restraint expressed in v.7 of 2Thess. is a smokescreen to hide the true focus of that chapter; and that is the matter of Christ’s appearance (NOT the restraint of antichrist’s appearance), and just what it is that restrains that appearance of Christ. All the hub-bub over v.7 obfuscates the reality that this chapter clearly states that Christ’s coming and our gathering together unto him will NOT happen until after the great apostasy and the man of sin is revealed. And the text goes on to state this coming of Christ destroys that wicked man of sin. Antichrist is not destroyed until the end of the tribulation. Thus this Coming of Christ and the catching away associated with it cannot be a pre-trib event! If people would stop jumping into the middle of the chapter, focusing on one verse, and then exiting the chapter without examining the entire context, they would see this chapter forbids the notion of a pre-trib rapture.

    Speaking of assumptions: Why do you assume Paul was speaking of one of seven supposed dispensations (segments of time) when he referred to the dispensation of grace; and not the true and proper meaning of the word dispensation – (distribution or administration). A soap dispenser is for the dispensation of soap. Joseph was charged with the dispensation of the stored up food during the famine in Egypt. The dispensation of grace is referring to grace being dispensed, not a period of time; and this marvelous grace of our Lord has been dispensed throughout the Old Testament and the New. It is NOT exclusive to a particular period of time.

    Where is there any mention of time being chopped up into seven ‘dispensations’ in the Scriptures? NONE! It is an invention of man, and a flawed theory.
    Paul Benson

  9. Hi Paul,

    You’re not listening. Paul is not merely speaking of the dispensing of grace but also of a Godly induced blindness on the part of his chosen people, the Jews, to his grace. How many times do I need to quote Scripture to you before you will acknowledge the truth?

    “(According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day. And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompense unto them: Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back alway. I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness?” (Rom 11:8-12).

    I find it rather odd that you are so readily open to the possibility that Michael is the restrainer and yet completely against the possibility that the Holy Spirit alone has the power to restrain, not only sin but also the man of sin. Haven’t you read my remarks on your strange surmisings in my article. Allow me to remind you.

    “Let’s face it. If God alone (the Holy Spirit) has the magnanimous power to quicken a spiritually dead sinner and breath into his soul eternal life through the forgiveness of sins and the cleansing power of the blood of Jesus Christ, then surely, He alone must have the power to restrain the man of sin, the son of perdition (2 Thessalonians 2:3).

    Even Paul Benson who so matter-of-factly allows his mind to wander off in a maze of speculations and possibilities, admits that the Holy Spirit restrains sin. On page 60 he writes:

    ‘The Holy Spirit truly restrains sin in the life of one who is submitted to that influence.” (There’s that disclaimer again).’ (Parenthesis added).

    Nonetheless, he denies that the Holy Spirit is the Restrainer of the man of sin. His speculative mindset leads him to believe that the angel Michael has a far better chance to restrain the man of sin than God Himself. Michael alone, according to Benson, can restrain someone who is not submitted to the influence of the restraining power of the Holy Spirit.”

    You readily attribute to an angel the power to restrain the Antichrist and in the same breath the strength, know-how, and expertise to Satan and his Antichrist to restrain Jesus. If this were true, and you will agree it is, that what He said here is indeed true, “No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have the power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again, This commandment have I received of my Father.” (Joh 10:18), then no one else but his Father and He Himself have the power to restrain Him. And why would they do that, may I ask – to validate your strange interpretations of the Gospel?

    I have already warned you that it is dangerous to give Satan and his cohorts the honor and praise that is due only to the Trinity. Be careful! (Isaiah 5:20).

    Your argument that God’s marvellous grace was dispensed throughout the Old and the New Testaments, is correct. However, you deny that fallings away from the faith have occurred throughout the Old and New Testaments as well. Instead, you suggest that “a falling away” in verse 3 of 2 Thessalonians, together with the appearance of Antichrist, are the two factors that restrain Christ’s coming. And to give it the impetus you wish it to have, you change “a falling away” (apostasia) to “great apostasy.” The term ‘great apostasy” is as glaringly absent from the Bible in the same way a chicken with teeth is. There is absolutely no discrepancy in the Pre-trib’s chronological reading of verses 7 to 9 or even from verse 1 to 9. Only those, like yourself, who see the restaining as a hindrance of Christ’s coming will make the assumption that we are “jumping into the middle of the chapter, focusing on one verse, and then exiting the chapter without examining the entire context, . . .”

  10. Dear Paul

    You said “I do not assume that Michael is the restrainer; I am merely open to that possibility (as well as others)”

    Do you realise that writing a book/article claiming it to be the truth but at the same time state it’s nothing but a book/article that is full of ‘open possibilities’ is in fact nothing less than false teaching and downright confusion.

    Calvinists are pass-masters when it comes to using the age old deceptive tool that anything that can’t be explained in scripture is ‘but a mystery that only God knows’. You say the same thing. If you don’t understand it, you surmise and claim it’s a mystery, something that man will never be able to figure out. Why would God put it in His Word to us, if we are never able to understand it?

    Scratch/

    Would you mind telling me what you think of Andrew Strom?

  11. Ida Geyser says:

    Tom, this is a very good article. These issues have been troubling me and just about everybody I know, for a long time. I am now studying the subject from beginning to end. I am reading some of Loretta Vosloo’s book. I just want to ask you which Bible translation you recommend for studying this subject ? Apparently the Ascot and Hort translations of the Bible has about 2900 words missing. Is “The Scriptures” translation more accurate then? I want to make sure I read all there is to read in the Bible about this subject. Keep up your good work :thank:

  12. Hello Tom and Deborah;
    I would be happy to try and answer any questions or address any issues you want. But first I would like you to address the issue of: Does Dispensational Theology teach two separate means of salvation. One for Israel (the Sinai Covenant)and one for the Church (Grace thru faith)? You both have skirted that question; but formerly stated neither of you believe in two methods of salvation.
    Dispensational (pre-trib) theory teaches a separation of believing Israel and the Church that is contrary to the picture of election given in Romans 11. We (the Gentile Church) are grafted into the Olive Tree (elect of God) along with the remnant of believing Jews. Unbelieving Israel is currently cut off by their unbelief. When they embrace faith they are grafted back into the same Olive Tree (election) we are a part of. This is the ‘one new man’ Paul wrote of. Although these things are plainly stated in Romans 11, Galatians 3, and Ephesians 3, Separation theology ignores these truths and instead separates the ‘one new man’ into two separate groups with two separate covenants of salvation. That is heresy.

  13. Dear Paul

    I am interested to know where you get your information from regarding this ‘separation’ idea of yours? Please name your sources?

  14. Hi Paul, I really do not know what more to say to make it clearer to you that I do not believe in two separate means of salvation for the Jews and the Gentiles. Both are saved by faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross – nothing more and nothing less. You seem to be the one who embraces two different kinds of salvation when you suggest that sinners need to be grafted into the “Olive Tree (election)” in order to be saved. As far as I know, sinners (Jews and Gentiles alike) only need to be baptized into Jesus Christ, and by definition into his death. There is not a single verse in Scripture that likens salvation to a grafting into the Olive Tree. Is Jesus Christ the Olive Tree? If so, then every single Jew who had been grafted into the Olive Tree (the entire nation of Israel was grafted into the Olive Tree), was saved but lost their salvation when they were cut off from the Olive Tree. Yet, they can be grafted in again. What kind of see-saw salvation is that? First, they are saved (in the Olive Tree) and then lost (out of the Olive Tree), and then again saved (grafted into the Olive Tree). Once again, I must ask, is Jesus Christ the Olive Tree? According to your reading of Romans 11:24, He must be because He is the ONLY WAY to be saved – both for Jew and Gentile. And by the way, as I have shown in my article, you have an unbiblical view of identifying oneself with Christ’s death.

    What do you mean by “Olive Tree (Election)”? Therefore, Your “Olive Tree (election)” kind of salvation is heresy. And by the by, my next article in this series exposes even more heresies in your views of the rapture.

    You wrote:

    I would be happy to try and answer any questions or address any issues you want.”

    I have already put several issues I have with your book on the table. Answer them first before we continue to answer in more detail your issue with our alleged double covenant salvation, which we have answered in any case.

  15. HI Ida, and thank you for your kind words. I know it is somewhat of a hassle to find the right translation of the Bible. I am Afrikaans and use the 1953 edition. However, when writing my articles, I use the old King James version. Hope that helps.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

:hi: 
:hat: 
:nod: 
:nope: 
:unhappy: 
:smile: 
:grin: 
:giggle: 
:laugh: 
:up: 
more...