Dispensation(s)

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by agedman, Oct 7, 2015.

  1. agedman

    agedman
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    The day the web site was revised, I posted a thread on the old layout that apparently was lost.

    This tread is meant to discuss the OPINIONS about how one might lay out a time line of Scriptures.

    I am using the word dispensation, HOWEVER, I am using it in the sense of eras, periods of time, divisions of evens, and God's stewardship of dealing with humankind in each dispensation - for it is clearly evident that humankind at one time spoke the same language. This is typically the way most modern "dispensationist" folks take the word to mean. On a side, I dare say that most have never heard or read anything from a person named Darby. Discussions about that man or what that man held as valid are really not part of this thread. However, I am sure that at some will decide differently. :)

    As one who is Pre-mil (yet holds to a literal 1000 year millennium rather than the historic view of a millennium of undetermined length), I am also one who uses the term dispensation.

    For those of you who expect me to defend some scheme that God saves differently depending on the dispensation, you will be disappointed. Because I hold that, in the manner of how God saves in different parts of the Scriptures, salvation has remained the same from the foundations (faith in the promise, that is, the promise of a redeemer, and the promise of there having been a redeemer).

    Nor is dispensation, in this thread, used in the sense of some great "parenthesis" of a church age in which God sets aside Israel and establishes a separate group of gentile believers. Imo, such thinking is not aligned with Romans 11, where the writer discusses that the gentile believer is grafted into the believing Jews, not the other way around. Gentiles are part of the believing Israel. They did not replace believing Israel, rather "grafted into" believing Israel. Again, imo, there is more than one "scheme" that either replaces Israel with the church, or puts this time of the church as a separate gentile grouping. Both are wrong according to Romans 11.

    Here is the basic dispensations that I use for laying out a timeline of the Scriptures:
    • Pre-fall
    • Pre-flood
    • Pre-Abraham
    • Pre-Mosses
    • Pre-major and minor prophets
    • Pre-John the Baptist (including the 400 years of no prophets between OT and NT)
    • Pre-Pentecost
    • Pre-Armegedon coming (note: the rapture is held by some as a proven doctrine. I am pre-trib hopeful, but am comfortable with mid -trib rapture, too - there is no other way to interpret the Scriptures dealing with the secret taking of believers out of this world than by a pre-second coming rapture)
    • Pre-Millennial (second coming return of Christ in Physical form when every living eye on earth will see him)
    • Pre-final uprising
    • Pre-New Heaven and Earth
    • Final abode of the believers - a new heaven and earth in which no evil has been present, a place prepared for the believers, where there is no temple and no sunlight.
    Again, what this tread seeks is to explore how members of the BB might generate a scheme of dispensation or perhaps an outline using only the major points with no sub points of the Scriptures.
     
  2. Deacon

    Deacon
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    Hey, I really like the new quote feature in this software. Simply Highlight the section you want to quote and hit reply.

    I identify as a dispensationalist and wouldn't ask you or anyone else to believe anything else...
    God saves by faith throughout the various dispensations.

    Best go to a textbook definition of dispensation to define the terms before someone tries to cut down a straw man.

    "The word dispensation refers to a particular arrangement by which God regulates the way human beings relate to Him. Dispensationalism believes that God has planned a succession of different dispensations throughout history, both past, present, and future. Furthermore, dispensationalists believe that these dispensations are revealed in Scripture, in both biblical history and prophecy. Understanding these dispensations, these different relationships God has had and will have with humanity, is crucial for comprehending the teaching and message of the Bible."
    Blaising, Craig A., and Darrell L. Bock. Progressive Dispensationalism. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1993. (p14)

    Rob
     
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  3. kyredneck

    kyredneck
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    Wow.

    Dispensationalism is complex

    Simplicity:

    52 And he said unto them, Therefore every scribe who hath been made a disciple to the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is a householder, who bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old. Mt 13 [new and old equals TWO, not twelve; bery bery simple]

    3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve in his craftiness, your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity and the purity that is toward Christ. 1 Cor 11
     
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  4. Darrell C

    Darrell C
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    Do we not see differing ministries of God pointed out here...


    Hebrews 1:1-2

    King James Version (KJV)

    1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,

    2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;



    ...?

    It is simple, we see that there is that which is new, and that which is old.


    Irrelevant to the Mystery of the Gospel and when it was revealed.

    This does not nullify Paul's clear teaching that the Gospel was the Hidden Wisdom of God, revealed in due time...not throughout the entire Old Testament.

    It is only in retrospect that we can place Messianic Prophecy into it's proper context, having had the Gospel revealed to us by the Spirit. That is the very means by which we are saved. And when we are saved in this Age, we do not, like the Old Testament Saints...have to die in anticipation of Messiah coming, but with a full knowledge that He has come and redeemed us on an eternal basis. We do not worry about the need to continually offer up for sin. We do not have to worry about whether we will properly identify Christ when He comes, as did every Old Testament Saint prior to Pentecost. We do not fret about an earthly Kingdom as did the disciples...right after they are told they are going to be Baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.

    We should, however, worry about being rebuked for allowing others to influence us in the simplicity of the Gospel, as was the case with the Corinthian believers.


    God bless.
     
  5. heisrisen

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    Yes salvation is the same, yet it's different in that, the OT God didn't seal people with the Holy Sprit. It came and went. Hence why David said take not your Holy Spirit from me (Psalm 51:11). After Christ died, now the Spirit seals us "forever". (John 14:16). The Holy Spirit dwelling in us is what makes us a new creature.
     
  6. TCassidy

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    There are two "dispensations." The Old Testament dispensation and the New Testament dispensation.

    Classic Dispensationalism sees 7 dispensations.

    The dispensation of innocence prior to Adam's fall.
    The dispensation of conscience, Adam to Noah.
    The dispensation of civil
    government, Noah to Abraham.

    The dispensation of the promise, Abraham to Moses.
    The dispensation of the Mosaic Law, Moses to Christ.
    The dispensation of
    grace (also called the Church Age).
    The dispensation of a literal, earthly 1,000-year
    Millennial Kingdom that is yet to come.

    Classic Covenantalism sees 3 economies.


    From Creation to the Fall.
    The Fall to Redemption.
    Redemption to Consummation.

    Neither dispensationalism nor covenantalism is explicitly expressed, as such, in the Bible, but both are thought to be theologically implicit by those who accept one or the other.

    What so many people in both camps fail to realize is that both positions are external hermeneutics by the application of which the bible text is structured.

    Both are, as a consequence, essentially eisegetical rather than exegetical.

    As an historic Chiliast I see the folly of both hermeneutical systems. :)
     
  7. TCassidy

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    I can't help but suspect you have a misunderstanding of David's anointing and his prayer to God not to take that anointing from him in Psalm 51.

    If we look back to Samuel we see what that anointing was and why it was so important to David.

    "So Samuel took the horn full of olive oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers. The Spirit of the Lord rushed upon David from that day onwards. Then Samuel got up and went to Ramah." (1 Samuel 16:13).

    As with Saul’s anointing (in 1 Samuel 10:1-11), the Spirit of God was given to empower God’s king to carry out his task. When the Spirit abandons Saul and comes upon David, it is a sure sign of things to come. From this point on, things will never be the same for either Saul or David.

    David realized he had sinned and was in danger of the Spirit abandoning him just as the Spirit had abandoned Saul after his sin.

    David prays that God does not take His Holy Spirit from David and thus remove his ability to be the king that God wants him to be. A bad king would harm the whole land and David did not want his sin to harm the people of Israel.

    The anointing of the Holy Spirit for a specific task is not uncommon in the Old Testament but has nothing to do with the salvation of the individual believer.
     
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  8. Darrell C

    Darrell C
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    I would agree with this.

    This...

    Hebrews 1:1-2

    King James Version (KJV)

    1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,

    2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;



    ...distinguishes the Age/s in which God spoke through Prophets with this current Age, in which He speaks unto men by His Son.

    And while we not equate the distinctions we see between, for example, the Abrahamic Covenant and the Covenant of Law, we see a general consistency of an Era in which atonement is drastically different. Prior to the Cross the God prescribed method for remission of sins and atonement was the vicarious death of Animals. That is consistent from Abel up until the Cross of Christ.

    In this Age a return to those sacrifices would be "crucifying Christ to one's self again," which is done, not literally, but in figure, just as they were only figurative of the Cross when they were offered.

    But here is a question, and I hope our earlier antagonisms won't keep you from answering, but you being a Hebrew Teacher would be qualified to answer it: do you see a familiarity in the terminology used to describe Abel's offering and that which is found when the Law is given?


    God bless.
     
  9. robustheologian

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    Edenic — age of creation to fall
    Adamic — age of fall to flood
    Noahic — age of flood to Abraham
    Abrahamic — age of Abraham to Ten Commandments
    Mosaic — age of Ten Commandments to David
    Davidic — age of David to Jesus
    New Covenant — age of Jesus to Millennium
    Consummation
     
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  10. kyredneck

    kyredneck
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    When Nathan came to David God had already identified the offense, put away his sin, and passed judgment:

    10 Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thy house, because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife.
    11 Thus saith Jehovah, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house; and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbor, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun.
    12 For thou didst it secretly: but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun.
    13 And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against Jehovah. And Nathan said unto David, Jehovah also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die.
    14 Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of Jehovah to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die. 2 Sam 12

    David, with a humble and contrite spirit, sincerely did not want to lose "the joy of the Lord which is our strength".

    162 I rejoice at thy word, As one that findeth great spoil. Ps 119

    I never want to lose that either. It's the most profound thing that's ever happened to me in this world.
     
    #10 kyredneck, Oct 7, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2015
  11. Aaron

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    Prophets and Son. Testaments old and new.


    2
     
  12. agedman

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    The quote above is typical "textbook" thinking, however, the argument that some will bring against the thinking is the view that the Dispensations present various ways humankind could be saved (taking "arrangement by which God regulates the way human beings relate to Him" as meaning salvation).

    Perhaps there are dispensation folks who hold that sacrifices of blood in the OT could save, but I do not. What those sacrifices presented was a picture of what was to come. Examples given to believers to look upon and see how God plans and nothing is ever left to chance.

    What I accept is that salvation remains static - that is all gain heaven exactly the same way.
    The same with prayer. From the beginning, prayer is the way folks did, can, and should talk to God.
    The same with fellowship. The time Adam spent walking and talking with God, the believer should also be very aware. Spending time with God in praise and seeking His wisdom is not just wise but a welcoming embrace of the fellowship / friendship relationship.
    These things have never changed from the very time of Eden.


    As it applies to the quote, the "arrangement" of relationship significantly changes from one period to another. God dealt with the Pre-flood time folks much differently than those in the time of David, or in this modern time.

    The modern believer has the whole cannon in which examples are given of the ancients living. It is in this interaction with God that believers can see the methods and interactions modified. Large portions or blocks can then be set out as "dispensations."
     
  13. agedman

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    So, am I to take it that you are a two dispensation person? :)

    Btw, just because Hebrews states that God spoke through prophets, does not limit just how or in what method God spoke.

    Unless you consider the burning bush that God used was a prophet.

    Or the donkey of Balaam.

    Or face to face with Cain, Able, Adam, Eve.

    Certainly, God used the prophets.

    But the voice Elijah heard hiding in the cave was not that of a prophet.
     
  14. Aaron

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    Gods Word was dispensed in time past to the fathers through the prophets. The burning bush is not a dispensation, neither are the donkey, the Urim, nor any other manner by which God communicated to the prophets. God spoke in time past to the fathers through the prophets, but in these last days, He has spoken to us by His Son.
     
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  15. Darrell C

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    The question would be...do we equate losing the joy of our salvation with losing salvation itself?

    Secondly, do we fear the Spirit of God departing from us as David, a Prophet, feared?

    Third, was David's sins atoned for by the sacrifices of the Law, or by the Atonement accomplished by Christ?


    God bless.
     
  16. Darrell C

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    And do you see that there is a distinction between how God has spoken in this passage? Does this signify a change in how and Who is speaking?


    God bless.
     
  17. kyredneck

    kyredneck
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    I'm enjoying these excellent posts Aaron!
     
    #17 kyredneck, Oct 8, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2015
  18. Darrell C

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    While it is true that all Covenants have pointed to the Redemptive Plan of God, including the Covenant of Law (which is contrasted with the promises of God to Abraham), there is no reason to bring Systematic Theology into the conversation.

    Does the Bible distinguish between dispensations is the question.

    Now show where Scripture teaches "the Covenant of Redemption."

    I agree with the statement in large part, however, the point I would make is that this is implicit to the teaching of Scripture, not derived from an explicit statement, and that is the same way that God dealing with men through various means at various times is derived. If you make it a matter of something peculiar to a particular system of Theology, it distracts from the focus.

    And the fact of the matter is that while it may be viewed as correct to day "The Noahic Covenant, Abrahamic Covenant, Davidic Covenant, and the New Covenant all operate under the auspices of the Covenant of Redemption," what we cannot say is that "the Abrahamic is the New Covenant," or "the Covenant of Law is the New Covenant," but...these are distinct Covenants which simply reveal in a progressive manner that which would be clarified when the New Covenant was established.

    And I would place your statement "The Covenant of Redemption has been a continuing covenant since Genesis 3:15" as incorrect, in that from the time of the promise of the defeat of Satan in the Garden until the very last Old Testament Sacrifice was offered...there was no equitable atonement nor remission of sins as that provided through Christ.

    From an eternal perspective we understand the Security of the Old Testament believer was every bit as secure as our own, but, that doesn't nullify the fact that the Old Testament Saint was demanded to offer up vicarious sacrifice for the temporary covering of sin.

    And those are two distinct Eras that cannot be denied. I doubt you would ascribe Old Testament Sacrifice (both Pre and Post-Law) as removing sins on an eternal basis as Christ's does. But, if you equate the redemption from sin achieved by Christ with the redemption of men in the Old Testament, that is what you do.

    Not sure how we conclude a "Covenant of Works" when Adam was never demanded to work for relationship with God. Instead, we see prohibition concerning the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Adam did not have to "work" for that relationship, that was just the fact. Loss of that relationship cannot be equated to a true Covenant of Works, which only appears in the Covenant of Law, which was an "if/then" Covenant that stands separate from all other Covenants. Each distinct Covenant reveals the Gospel of Jesus Christ just a little more, and all of those Covenants did not require anything of man.

    What was Eve required to do that her Seed would deliver the death blow to the Serpent? Nothing.

    What was required of Noah to ensure God would never again judge and destroy the earth as He did in Noah's day? Nothing.

    What was Abraham required to do that through him all families of the earth would be blessed? Nothing. If we attribute works to Abraham then we nullify the fact that he is accounted righteous based on faith. And faith is not an effort, it is a result.

    What was David required to do that his Seed should be King? Nothing. This too was the declaration of God, not a condition of that Covenant.

    Finally, what does the New Testament believer, who is inducted into relationship to God through the New Covenant...do? Nothing. The argument of the Arminian, "Well...I had to believe didn't I?" is in error, because before they believed, just as we see in every Covenant God establishes with man (even the Covenant of Law)...it is God that initiates interaction and enlightens men to His will.

    This is not an understanding developed by any System of Theology...this is the clear presentation of Scripture itself.

    So I invite you to discuss the Scripture, rather than Systematic Theology. This is not about sectarian division, but about what Scripture actually teaches independent of the terms coined to describe concepts in the Bible.

    And while we could understand a concept of two dispensations and label them the Covenants of works and the Covenant of Redemption, because we see elements of both, at the same time it is because we see elements of both that we draw a distinction between Promise and Reality. What is provided to men under New Covenant Relationship was not provided to them under any other Covenant. We do see salvation has always been by grace through faith, but that does not mean we equate the covenants to the point where we neglect the distinctions drawn between the differing eras. Men were commanded to shed the blood of bulls and goats, now they are not. We are ministers of the New Covenant...the Prophets were not. The New Covenant was not operative then, now it is.

    These distinctions lead to a proper understanding of Scripture. If it were not important to draw these distinctions...they wouldn't have been drawn.


    God bless.
     
  19. Aaron

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    I'm just repeating the Scriptures. ;)
     
  20. kyredneck

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    Not disagreeing with this, only adding comment. PBs (mainstream in this area) hold to the Eternal/Everlasting Covenant made between God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit before the foundation of the world to predestine, redeem, and call out a people for His own possession; the New Covenant being the Eternal/Everlasting Covenant REVEALED. All His saints that ever were or ever will be are children of the heavenly Jerusalem. 'Ye must be born from above'.
     
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