Dispensational Theology

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by longshot, Jun 13, 2002.

  1. longshot

    longshot
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    I have seen the term on other threads in the past and am having trouble absorbing the concept. Could anyone please explain this to me in laymans terms? Thanks
     
  2. KenH

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  3. Pastor Larry

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    DT is based on several things:

    1. The consistent use of normal hermeneutics. In this we differ from covenant theology by virtue of the word "consistent." They believe in normal hermeneutics ... sometimes. Essentially by normal hermeneutics, we mean that language should be understood as it normally would be, possessing one meaning governed by what the author intended the original reader to understand. This is the method that everyone uses to communicate in daily life.

    2. Because of this hermeneutic, we maintain a fundamental distinction between Israel and the church. God made specific promises to the nation of Israel, the ethnic descendants of Israel, that have yet to be fulfilled. We believe that God will still fulfill those to the people to whom those promises were given.

    3. Lastly, the glory of God as the center of all history. The covenantalists would claim this as well but they couch it in terms of "redemptive motif" of history. We disagree believing that God's glory is supreme and that it involves much more than redemption.

    I recommend getting a copy of Dispensationalism by Charles Ryrie and There Really Is A Difference by Renald Showers. Both of these are easy to read books that make the case for dispensationalism.

    None of these remarks are intended to be inflammatory or offensive to those who would disagree; please don't take them that way.
     
  4. Chris Temple

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    Dispensational theology is the predominant theology in evangelical circles today, originating in the 1820s in the teachings of J.N. Darby, made famous by C.I. Scofield and his study Bible, tweaked by Charles Ryrie, John Woolvard adn Dallas Seminary, and considered as essential to proper belief in many fundamental circles.

    It is an errant form of biblical interpretation, reading the NT through the OT instead of the reverse, attributing a perennial and eternal significance to ethnic Israel despite NT teaching that only true believers are True Israel, believes in a two-program and separate salvation for Israel and the church, and therefore inserts such dogma into Scripture as a secret rapture of the church, a seven-year tribulation, and a premillennial reign of Christ upon the earth. :D

    [ June 15, 2002, 09:51 PM: Message edited by: Chris Temple ]
     
  5. Ray Berrian

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    The Bible does attribute an eternal and ethnic interest by God in the nation of Israel. 99 44/100 of the Apostolate were Israelites.

    Romans 11:25 indicates that Israel is only in part ‘blinded' for the truth. When ‘ . . . the fulness of the Gentiles comes in' meaning that when the age of grace is completed at the point in time of the rapture of the church [I Thess. 4:17] then something else is going to happen. This is the age of the Gentiles and our opportunity to find Christ or to be found of Him.

    After the church age has been completed, God speaking through the Apostle Paul says, ‘And so all Israel shall be saved.' Many will be saved during the Great Tribulation [Matt. 24:21] and during the Millennial Kingdom age of 1,000 years God indicates that all Israelites will be saved. And since He is sovereign, He can do what He wills to do.

    Some may have forgotten that Jesus first came to His own people, {Israelites} [John 1:11] but then later opened this glorious Gospel to all nations of people. [Acts 13:38-39]

    Jesus was an Israelite as well as the Apostle Paul. [Matt. 1:17c & Philippians 3:5b,c,d,f] Could anyone deceive himself or herself into believing that God/Christ would not have an everlasting interest in His own race of people?

    Covenant theology teaches some correct things, but they have taught more than enough error. There most ridiculous teaching is that God has forever, severed Israel in 70 A.D. because they rejected the Savior. While I believe this was a judgment of God against this nation, He never amputates any nation or groups of human beings. His mercy is everlasting. In fact, all of the Dispersions of the Jews was not because they were forever rejected by the Lord, but because He was and is presently, chastising them for their turning away from Himself. Do we need to explain that discipline is ministered by God because of their relationship to Himself?
     
  6. KenH

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    Ray,

    That there may be a future great ingathering of Jews into the church before the second coming of Christ Jesus is not restricted to dispensational premillenialism. Other eschatological -isms also have such adherents. In fact, my good friend, Chris Temple, to whom you replied, is one of those.

    Having looked at Romans 11 over the years, I have not yet reached the same conclusion as Chris and others, but I am working on it. [​IMG]

    One redeemed by Christ's blood,

    Ken
     
  7. Pastor Larry

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    A key passage on whether or not God has cast off his people Israel as a nation forever is Jeremiah 31:31-40. In that passage, God specifically delineates that Israel "as a nation" will not be cast off. If God has cast off Israel as a nation, then there are some serious problems with Jeremiah 31 and the New Covenant.

    When some recommend that we read the OT through the NT, you must remember the simple matter of hermeneutics. A text cannot mean what it never meant. If the NT is necessary for revelation to have meaning, then we deny progressive revelation ... at the very least, the perspicuity of the OT. In short, if the OT means nothing by itself, or if it cannot be understood by the original reader, then it served no purpose for OT Israel. Yet we see God very clearly expecting the nation of Israel to understand and respond on the basis of teh words in the text. If God expected that of them, he expects no less of us than to understand the words as they are written.
     
  8. longshot

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    But as I see it, very few did understand and respond to the Old Testament. Even after all the quotes of the prophets that were given by Jesus, the apostles didn't understand till John 16:29 what they were dealing with. Even then they had doubts.
    Could I get an example of reading the Old Testament through the New Testament? (Or vice versa)? Kinda bear with me on this if you would folks. I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer and this is new to me. :confused: Thanks
    [​IMG]
     
  9. Pastor Larry

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    This is true but that does not mean the OT was unclear. Because of sin, Israel had their eyes blinded. They didn't believe God in the OT. But the revelation was essentially clear. In 1 Peter 1:12, we are told that the prophets understood exactly what they were writing; they simply didn't know the time or the person.

    Some say that the OT promises of a kingdom on earth have now been replaced by a "spiritual kingdom." They think that the NT revelation has superceded the OT revelation. We do not agree. We think the promises of God to Israel of a kingdom with a divine ruler in Jerusalem are actual promises. In Gal 3, many say that the church has taken the place of Israel, that the promise to Abraham has been transferred to the church because the nation of Israel rejected the Messiah. Yet that passage makes clear that the promise has not been annulled by the Law. Therefore, the consequences to Israel of breaking the Mosaic Law (cf Jer 31:32) are not permanent. The promise to Abraham (land, seed, and blessing; cf Gen 12:1-3) are still in effect for the genetic descendants of Abraham (cf Gen 15:1-5). Lastly, some argue that Gal 6:16 means that the church is now the "Israel of God." Yet that passage says nothing of the sort. It makes a clear distinction between the church and Israel. "And those who will walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God." The word "and" clearly marks two groups of people, not one as they would contend.

    These are but a few examples. I am sure Chris and others will be along to offer their own.
     
  10. Dr. Bob

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    Every Bible-believing child of God should have a working knowledge of the TOTAL PLAN of God for all time, especially for that period in which he is living. Correct interpretation of the Bible and discovery of the author's meaning, along with the various applications of these truths, is called "Hermeneutics".

    Primary in Bible interpretation are the two views or systems of Theology. One deals with COVENANTS that God made with man, focusing all Bible truth around these provisions. A more conservative (and recent) position is that of "rightly dividing the Word" into DISPENSATIONS, how God dealt with men through specific methods during different eras of history.

    Dispensational Theology can be paralleled with the word "stewardship", as the original Greek words are identical.

    In Christ's teaching, a Stewardship includes:
    ~Two parties (Luke 12:42; 16:1)
    ~Responsibility of the Steward
    ~Accountability of the Steward (Luke 16:2)
    ~Changes made from Previous ((Luke 12:45)

    In Paul's teaching to the Churches, a Stewardship includes:
    ~Men responsible to God (Titus 1:7)
    ~Faithfulness required in Stewards (I Cor. 4:2)
    ~Appointed time limitations (Galatians 4:2)
    ~Interconnected to various ages

    INNOCENCE
    CONSCIENCE
    HUMAN GOVERNMENT
    PROMISE
    LAW
    LOCAL CHURCH
    KINGDOM

    DEFINITION: "A dispensation is a period of time during which man is TESTED in respect of obedience to some SPECIFIC revelation of the will of God. It is a distinguishable economy in the outworking of God's purposes. It must include revelation from God concerning His relationship and responsibility with mankind. Secondary to this are tests, failures, judgments, and subsequent revelations (new dispensations)."

    Hope this helps. I believe that understanding these basic divisions allows for less confusion. "Every promise in the Book" ISN'T mine!
     
  11. postrib

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    Is there a verse which says grace ends or the rapture comes before the tribulation? Isn't the covenant of grace the "everlasting covenant?" (Hebrews 13:20) Isn't the gospel of grace the "everlasting gospel?" (Revelation 14:6) How could we Christians who will be in the tribulation who have "the faith of Jesus" (Revelation 14:12) are "in the Lord" (Revelation 14:13) not be in his grace?

    When will "the fulness of the Gentiles be come in?" (Romans 11:25) In the pre-trib view, will no Gentiles be saved in the trib? Are the great multitude of us Christians in the tribulation "of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues" (Revelation 7:9, 14) all Israel?

    Does the "the times of the Gentiles" refer to the church or to unbelievers? "Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled" (Luke 21:24). Has Jerusalem been "trodden down" in the past and present by the church or by unbelieving Rome and Islam, and won't it be trodden down in the future tribulation? "The holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months" (Revelation 11:2).

    Is there a verse which refers to "the church age" and says it ends before the tribulation? Isn't the church forever? "Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen" (Ephesians 3:21).

    Note that it doesn't show anyone repenting during the tribulation. In fact, it repeatedly says the unbelievers "repented not" (Revelation 9:20-21, 16:9-11), and Paul says that at some point in the tribulation "God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness" (2 Thessalonians 2:11-12). It's possible the Christians we see in the tribulation were saved before the tribulation began, for nowhere does Jesus promise us a rapture before the tribulation.

    I believe giving unbelievers the idea of a 2nd chance is dangerous. After hearing the ideas of a pre-trib rapture and a 2nd chance, unbelievers could get complacent and say "Oh, when I see a pre-trib rapture happen then I'll repent and believe; I've got a 2nd chance, right?"

    I think instead we should warn them: "The Bible doesn't promise that there will be a rapture before the tribulation. And in the great tribulation God is going to send a strong delusion (2 Thessalonians 2:11) on all those who rejected the gospel. Today is the day of salvation. You may not get another chance to believe."

    "They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed" (Romans 9:8).

    Spoken to unbelieving Jews: "If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham" (John 8:39); "Think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire" (Matthew 3:9-10).

    Spoken to believing Gentiles: "Some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree" (Romans 11:17).

    The land covenant is for all those in Christ: "I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land" (Genesis 17:8); "Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ... And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise" (Galatians 3:16, 29); and it will be fulfilled in the millennium: "So shall ye divide this land unto you according to the tribes of Israel. And it shall come to pass, that ye shall divide it by lot for an inheritance unto you, and to the strangers that sojourn among you, which shall beget children among you: and they shall be unto you as born in the country among the children of Israel; they shall have inheritance with you among the tribes of Israel. And it shall come to pass, that in what tribe the stranger sojourneth, there shall ye give him his inheritance, saith the Lord GOD" (Ezekiel 47:21-23).

    "At that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise... Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints" (Ephesians 2:12, 19).

    "Ye have heard of the dispensation... That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel" (Ephesians 3:2, 6).

    Fellowheirs with who? Of the same body as who?

    Who are the two parties Paul refers to when he says: "Hath made both one... to make in himself of twain one new man?" (Ephesians 2:14-15)

    http://www.geocities.com/postrib
     
  12. Pastor Larry

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    Posttrib,

    There are a number of exegetical and theological points that you are choosing to not reckon with. The pretrib position, belief during the tribulation, the distinction between Israel and the church are all well established from Scripture.

    You say that that land covenant is for believing Gentiles. Yet Scripture clearly delineates that the land promise was given to genetic descendants of Abraham. There is not one Gentile that fits the bill of Gen 15:1-6. The bottom line -- I think a case can be made very strongly that if you are right then promises of God go unfulfilled. That is wholly unacceptable. This has been beat up in a number of places on this board and in print where all of your questions are answered so I will not beat it up here again.
     
  13. postrib

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    I don't believe this has been shown..

    I say it is also for believing Gentiles. The scriptures I quoted above showed that believing Gentiles are also the seed of Abraham and will also inherit the land.

    Which ones will go unfulfilled?

    [ June 22, 2002, 02:30 PM: Message edited by: postrib ]
     
  14. church mouse guy

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    Am I or am I not an adopted brother of Jesus and spiritual heir of Abraham?
     
  15. Pastor Larry

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    It has been shown a number of places. To give some quick references, consider Rom 9-11, exp 11:24ff. Otherwise, see Renald Showers, "There REally is a Difference." He deals with a number of passages.

    Gen 15 expressly gives the land to those who are from the body of Abraham. That promise was never changed. Which of the above quoted verses shows the land from the 'river of the north to the river of Egypt' (Gen 15) given to the believing Gentiles?

    Many ... to list a few: The one about Abraham's descendants dwelling in the land for an extended period of time (Gen 15), in peace (2 Sam 7), with the Davidic king ruling over them (major and minor prophets). The promise of the New Covenant (Jer 31). The promise of Rom 11:25-26.

    [ June 22, 2002, 04:55 PM: Message edited by: Pastor Larry ]
     
  16. postrib

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    I believe Romans 11:17 says that believing Gentiles have been grafted into spiritual Israel and unbelieving Jews have been broken off.

    Note again what it says: "I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land" (Genesis 17:8); "Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ... And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise" (Galatians 3:16, 29).

    Amen.

    Given also to believing Gentiles: "So shall ye divide this land unto you according to the tribes of Israel. And it shall come to pass, that ye shall divide it by lot for an inheritance unto you, and to the strangers that sojourn among you, which shall beget children among you: and they shall be unto you as born in the country among the children of Israel; they shall have inheritance with you among the tribes of Israel. And it shall come to pass, that in what tribe the stranger sojourneth, there shall ye give him his inheritance, saith the Lord GOD" (Ezekiel 47:21-23).

    How will these go unfulfilled?

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  17. go2church

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    Perhaps a book you should read is one by O. Palmer Robertson titled The Israel of God, P&R Publishing. Cleared a bunch of the fog that Dispensational teaching left behind.
     
  18. Pastor Larry

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    posttrib,

    That promise to Abraham was specifically said to be to his genetic seed (Gen 15:5). You simply cannot get around that. That Gentiles are involved in the blessng in some way is not n dispute. What you appear to deny is that God meant what he said in the OT. I simply disagree. I think God meant exactly what he said.

    As for Rom 9-11, if you are right about Israel and the church being the same, then the passage makes no sense. In 11:26, we are told that after the fulness of the Gentiles comes in, Israel will be restored. It is ludicrous is the church is Israel.

    As for reading, skip robertson and read Showers. He does a much better job of explaining the position.

    However, since our approach to Scripture is so different, we will not agree on this. So I will probably back out ... until something so outrageous it cannot be ignored is said again. Then I will give in to my flesh ... [​IMG]
     
  19. postrib

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    Note that nothing is promised TO the multitudinous seed of Genesis 15:5, and note again what Paul taught regarding the promises TO the seed: "Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ... And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise" (Galatians 3:16, 29).

    I believe Paul explained what God meant.

    As do I.

    Believing Gentiles have been joined to spiritual Israel:

    "Some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree" (Romans 11:17).

    "At that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise... Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints" (Ephesians 2:12, 19).

    "Ye have heard of the dispensation... That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel" (Ephesians 3:2, 6).

    "To the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all" (Romans 4:16).

    Much confusion arises when we fail to distinguish between spiritual Israel and physical Israel. Paul makes clear that "they are not all Israel, which are of Israel" (Romans 9:6), that is, they are not all of spiritual Israel which are of physical Israel. He quotes from Isaiah, "Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved" (Romans 9:27), meaning though Abraham's physical descendants be as the sand of the sea, only a remnant of these will become his spiritual descendants by faith. Therefore, "all Israel shall be saved" (Romans 11:26) can't refer to all of physical Israel, but to all of spiritual Israel, which includes "all" believing Gentiles and Jews (Romans 10:12-13), including the remnant of physical Israel who will become believers at the 2nd coming (Romans 11:24-26, Zechariah 12:10-13:6).

    http://www.geocities.com/postrib
     
  20. dave brauer

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    After reviewing this spiral of dispensational views, the question and thought that comes to my mind is this. I believe that Bible salvation has always been by faith in Jesus Christ. The promise of "His Seed" in Genesis 3, "the Messiah", "the Christ", and all other references had to be believed by faith.

    What do "dispensationalists" believe about this. I have read some "theologians" who believe that each dispensation has it's own plan of salvation so to speak. To me this is confusing and inconsistent with the simple gospel message.

    I'd like to know your views. Is this consistent with this thread? Thank you!
     

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