Support for Dispensationalism

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by gb93433, Jan 24, 2009.

  1. gb93433

    gb93433
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    Over time on BB there have been those who have made the claim that dispensationalism started much earlier than Darby. If you are one of those then I would like to see some support for that. Could you provide the quotes and cite your sources so they can be verified.
     
  2. DHK

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    Your answer is found here:

    http://www.baptistboard.com/showpost.php?p=1344687&postcount=4
     
  3. billwald

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    So the only dispensationalists prior to Darby are ancient Orthodox Catholics? <G>
     
  4. DHK

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    I see nothing in that quote mentioning "ancient Orthodox Catholics." What are you talking about?
     
  5. OldRegular

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    That posts proves nothing about dispensationalism. It simply states that premillennialism was an early doctrine of the Church. There is a world of difference between historic premillennialism and dispensationalism.

    Furthermore I don't know of anyone who states that the Church is one with national Israel. The Church is one with spiritual israel, the believing remnant, as clearly demonstrated by Paul's use of the good and wild olive trees [Romans 11].

    Also the AnaBaptist confessions [Lumpkin, Baptist Confessions of Faith] clearly teach a general resurrection and judgment. That is not dispensational!

    1. The Waterland Confession of 1580 or 1581 [Anabaptist]
    Article XL -- Of Christ’s Return, Of The Resurrection Of The Dead, And Of The Last Judgment. [page 65]

    “Lastly, we believe and teach that Jesus Christ, our glorious King and Lord, visibly just as he ascended, will return from heaven with power and great glory, and with Him all the holy angels, that He may be glorified in His saints and may be admired by all believers, and will manifest Himself as the Judge of the living and the dead. At that time all men, just and unjust, who have lived upon the earth and have died, will rise from the dead [with incorruption] and live again, their souls being reunited with their own bodies in which they have lived evilly or well. But those who are alive in that day and have not died, changed in a moment and in a twinkling of an eye, will put on incorruption, and the whole multitude of the human race will stand before the tribunal of Christ to report what each one has done in their body according to that which he has done whether good or evil. Then Jesus will separate the sheep from the goats as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and will place the sheep on His right hand but the goats on the left, and will give sentence. The just who have lived here holily and have exercised all the works of charity and mercy , as the husband of that Christian multitude, He will take to Himself. They will enter with Him into eternal life and celestial joy and glory, where all will always be with the Lord and will possess forever that kingdom which God the Father had prepared for them from the beginning of the world. But the unrighteous who have not known God nor regarded the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, will be condemned to eternal fire, which was prepared for the Devil and his angels, and they will undergo sorrow and eternal perdition, from the face of the Lord and the glory of His power.

    Preserve us, omnipotent God, full of grace and mercy, from the punishment of the impious; and concede to us grace and gifts for a holy life and a happy death and a joyous resurrection with all believers.”

    2. The Dordrecht Confession of 1632 [Anabaptist]
    Article XVIII -- Of The Resurrection Of The Dead And The Last Judgment. [page 78]

    “Regarding the resurrection of the dead, we confess with the mouth, and believe with the heart, that according to the Scriptures all men who have died or fallen asleep, will, through the incomprehensible power of God, at the day of judgment, be raised up and made alive; and that these, together with all those who then remain alive, and who shall be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump, shall appear before the judgment seat of Christ, where the good shall be separated from the evil, and where every one shall receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad; and that the good or pious shall then further, as the blessed of their Father, be received by Christ into eternal life, where they shall receive that joy which eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor hath entered into the heart of man. Yea, where they shall reign and triumph with Christ forever and ever.

    And that on the contrary, the wicked or impious, shall, as the accursed of God be cast into outer darkness; yea, into eternal hellish torments; where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched; and where - according to Holy Scripture - they can expect no comfort nor redemption throughout eternity.”
     
  6. OldRegular

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    There is much disagreement about the beginning of the dispensational system of theology. Perhaps most debated is the origin of the two event Second Coming of Jesus Christ, the insistence on a removal of the Church prior to the so-called seven year great tribulation, generally called the pretribulation rapture .

    It is generally, though not universally, conceded that dispensationalism as a system of Biblical interpretation was formally promulgated about 1830 by John Nelson Darby, a member of the Plymouth [England] Brethren. It is further conceded that the publication of the Scofield Reference Bible, which made the system of dispensational interpretation an integral part of the Bible notes, had a significant impact on the spread of dispensational thought.

    Martyn Lloyd-Jones in his book, The Church and Last Things, asserts that Darby was influenced by Edward Irving, a charismatic Scottish preacher, who established a new church in London called the Catholic Apostolic Church. As reported by Lloyd-Jones [page 138] the origin of ‘the secret rapture’ is the result of a prophetic utterance in the Catholic Apostolic Church. This utterance was supposedly in tongues, interpreted by someone and considered “a revelation”. There is much dispute as to whether the so-called revelation occured in Irving’s church or elsewhere and was then discovered by Irving. The origin of this ‘revelation’ has been attributed to Margaret Macdonald of Port Glasgow, Scotland. Her revelation was first published in Robert Norton's Memoirs of James & George Macdonald, of Port Glasgow (1840), pp. 171-176. Norton published it again in The Restoration of Apostles and Prophets; In the Catholic Apostolic Church (1861), pp. 15-18. Whether all of this is historical truth is subject to debate. However, it is apparently historical fact that there was a split within the Plymouth Bretheren as the result of Darby’s acceptance of the two event Second Coming and the ‘parenthesis church’. One truth should be evident. If the two event Second Coming is based on a revelation claimed by Margaret Macdonald, Edward Irving, or John Darby, or anyone in the Catholic Apostolic Church it is inherently false doctrine since the special revelation of God to man, the Scriptures, ceased with the Apostolic Age.

    Charles C. Ryrie in Chapter 4 of Dispensationalism argues that the beginning of dispensational thought is much earlier. He asserts that Pierre Poiret, a French philosopher and mystic, published a rudimentary system of dispensations in 1687 and that Isaac Watts [1674-1748] developed an outline of dispensations that essentially paralleled that in the Scofield Bible, with the exception of the millennium. There is no indication, however, that either of these men believed that an intrinsic and enduring distinction exists between Israel and the Church which according to Ryrie [page 39] is the basic theological test of whether or not a person is a dispensationalist. The question is not whether there is a distinction between the nation Israel and the Church, there obviously is. The concern is the relationship between true or spiritual Israel, the believing remnant [Isaiah 10:20-23], and the Church.
     
  7. DHK

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    If you will read the writings of Hubmaier and other genuine Anabaptists you will find that they drew a clear distinction between Israel and the Church.

    Some of our Reformed brethren (and I genuinely regard you as brethren) like to hang the "Johnny come lately" tag on Dispensationalism by attributing it to Darby. But biblical elements of Dispensationalism have been around far longer than the invention of Reformed Theology with the Dutchman Coccesius and his imagined "Covenant of Works." At least the Reformed Theologians Charles Hodge and John Gerstner have admitted in writing that such a covenant is not found in Scripture.

    A. H. Strong has a great line where he observes: "That covenant was made in Holland."


    You said "The post proves nothing about dispensationalism."
    I read quite a bit about dispensationalism. What is your problem?
     
  8. OldRegular

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    I draw a clear distinction between national Israel and the Church. I don't know of any knowledgeable believer who doesn't.

    However, the Apostle Paul clearly shows in the parable of the olive trees that branches from the wild olive tree, that is believing Gentiles, are grafted into the Good Olive Tree, a tree that represents Israel in the Old Testament. Unbelieving Israelites were broken off or cast off the Good Olive Tree. There is, therefore, a continuity and union of believing Israel of the Old Testament and the Church in the New Testament. This same truth is taught in Ephesians 2.
     
  9. DHK

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    OK, so you are hung up on that one statement that doesn't even mention dispensationalism. We'll drop that for the time being, and look at the rest of the quote "that doesn't mention dispensationalism" as you said.

    Some of our Reformed brethren (and I genuinely regard you as brethren) like to hang the "Johnny come lately" tag on Dispensationalism by attributing it to Darby. But biblical elements of Dispensationalism have been around far longer than the invention of Reformed Theology with the Dutchman Coccesius and his imagined "Covenant of Works." At least the Reformed Theologians Charles Hodge and John Gerstner have admitted in writing that such a covenant is not found in Scripture.

    A. H. Strong has a great line where he observes: "That covenant was made in Holland."

     
  10. OldRegular

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    I have shown above that the AnaBaptists, at least those in Holland, were not dispensational so I don't understand what point you are trying to make above. A. H. Strong was not dispensational either.
     
  11. DHK

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    Is there?
    In a footnote in his book "In Pursuit of Purity," David Beale says this:

    Premillennialism has traditionally been associated with dispensationalism.
     
  12. OldRegular

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    Sadly premillennialism has been associated with dispensationalism since Darby developed it "out of whole cloth" in or about 1830. That can in no way be characterized as traditional.

    The basic difference between historic or covenant premillennialism and postmillennialism or amillennialism is the millennial reign. All three agree on the nature of the Church which is totally different from the dispensational concept of the Church.

    And may I add that the dispensational concept of the Church is at odds with the Southern Baptist definition of the nature of the Church:

    "The definition of the Church as presented in The Baptist Faith and Message adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention in Atlanta, Georgia on June 14, 2000 is as follows [Section VI]:

    “The New Testament also speaks of the church as the Body of Christ which includes all the redeemed of all ages, believers from every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation.”

    We see from the definition of the Church as presented in the Baptist Faith and Message that the doctrine of a pretribulation rapture of the Church contradicts not only historic Baptist Theology but current Southern Baptist theology as well."
     
    #12 OldRegular, Jan 30, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 30, 2009
  13. DHK

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    The SBC doesn't speak for everybody, and it doesn't for me. Overall the SBC forms a minute portion of Baptists.
    The important thing to understand is the underlying word for church, and that is the word ekklesia. In the NT it is translated church but the KJV only did that out of political expediency. The word means "assembly" all the time. There is no such thing as a universal assembly. Such an animal doesn't and cannot exist except in heaven alone, when all believers will be gathered together in one great assembly. On earth, ekklesia always refers to the local church. That is the way that the NT believers who spoke, read, and understood the Greek language far more than you or I would have understood the word. Never would they have understood such a concept of a universal assembly. It is impossible to have an assembly that doesn't assemble--an unassembled assembly. The SBC does not have a copyright on Baptist doctrine.
     
  14. OldRegular

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    If I am not mistaken the Southern Baptist Convention is the largest Baptist body.

    I agree there is no such thing as a universal assembly on earth. However I disagree with your statement that:


    Consider the following Scripture. It is obvious that the reference is not to a local body of believers.

    Matthew 16:18. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

    Jesus Christ is obviously talking about all believers, not a local body.

    Acts 2:47. Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

    The Lord obviously does not add those that are saved to a local church.

    1Coorinthians 10:32. Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God:

    Galatians 1:13. For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews’ religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it:

    Ephesians 1:22. And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,

    Ephesians 3:10. To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,

    Ephesians 3:21. Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

    Ephesians 5:23. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.

    Ephesians 5:24. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.

    Ephesians 5:25. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

    Ephesians 5:27. That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

    Ephesians 5:29. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:

    Ephesians 5:32. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

    Colossians 1:18. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

    Colossians 1:24. Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:
     
  15. DHK

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    In Acts 2, The Lord added to the local church at Jerusalem. That is the only church there was at that time.
    In every other case Paul was writing to local churches. How did those local churches understand what Paul was writing? He was writing to them, not some nebulous body that was non-existent as far as they were concerned. The word is assembly. He was writing to the assembly of God in Colossians, Ephesians, etc.
    And they each understood that to be them. It is applicable to each other church. But it was written to each local church that he was writing to at that time, and they understood it that way.
     
  16. gb93433

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    I agree with you about the earth part. However the early word of synagogue is also present. What do you call the great assembly of believers in heaven?
     
  17. DHK

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    The bride of Christ.
     
  18. gb93433

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    The how would you interpret Mt. 16:18, "18 "I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it."

    The word church is singular and I see it as Christ's church not just a local assembly. He possesses the church but local churches (assemblies) meet at a number of places in a number of homes around a particular city.
     
  19. OldRegular

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    The Lord saves; He does not add to the local body. That is the purview of the local body. In Baptist Churches the saved are voted in upon their profession of faith and request for membership. In pedobaptist churches they apparently become members upon “Baptism”.

    I realize that most of the quoted Scripture is from letters to local churches, however, that does not prove your assertion.

    For example consider the following passages:

    Matthew 16:18. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

    It is obvious as gb93433 states in a previous post that the reference is not to a local church but to the Church of Jesus Christ.

    1Corinthians 10:32. Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God:

    Paul advises,

    Give no offense:

    Not to the Jews, [plural]

    Not to the Gentiles, [plural]

    He does not use the plural for church but instead

    Not to the Church of God.

    Paul is obviously referring to all churches, not just to the church at Corinth.

    Galatians 1:13. For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews’ religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it:

    Now which church did Paul persecute. He did not say “I persecuted the churches of God”. He persecuted the church of God, again obviously referring to the Church as a whole, not an individual church or churches.

    I believe a similar case could be made for each passage above but I see that it would be useless.
     
  20. DHK

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    First, my concern is not with the Pedobaptists for they are unscriptural in their baptism.
    Secondly, in traditional baptist churches membership is composed of "immersed, regenerated members." They are accepted upon their profession of faith, and their baptism. Without baptism they cannot become members.
    I believe it does, but only if you understand how the word ekklesia is used in Scripture.
    I will build my assembly...and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
    What is the teaching?
    The word ekklesia is used generically. When we say that "Man has sinned," what does it mean? Which man? Joe? Jim? Fred? No. All men. It is a singular noun to represent all men. It is used in a generic sense. And so it is with the word "church" or assembly. My "church" (wherever it may be), the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Christ is the head of every local church, and that promise is given to every local church, not just to one church.
    Look at the example of the word "church" that Jesus used in Mat.18. Here he uses it in a similar sense. He is speaking of church discipline. "If he fail to hear you bring it before "the church". Which church? Whichever church you are a member of. The local church. There is no universal church being spoken of here. Jesus was speaking of the local church and teaching about how church discipline was to be carried out, though Pentecost had not even taken place yet.
    Yes, the church of God at Corinth. That is who he was writing to, and that is how the Corinthians would have understood Paul. Paul mentions to the Corinthians: the Jews, the Gentiles, and then he points to them--the church at Corinth--God's Assembly (at Corinth). There was no other way that they would take that. They wouldn't think of some nebulous universal "assembly" in the sky, with no pastor, no deacons, no place to meet.
    Your opinion only. The meaning of the word is "assembly." He mentions "God's assembly." It is located at Corinth.
    Which church? Compare Scripture with Scripture:

    Acts 8:1 And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles.
    --Paul persecuted those which were in the church at Jerusalem. Shortly after that, after Stephen's stoning, he was saved.
    It was only one church. It was the church at Jerusalem, as Scripture tells us.
    And every case that ekklesia used it can be accounted for by translating it assembly this discounting any such doctrine of a universal church. Such an animal doesn't exist, is a contradiction of terms. An unassembled assembly cannot exist.
     

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