The dispensation of the law

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Steven2006, Nov 11, 2009.

  1. Steven2006

    Steven2006
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    For most of my life the churches I have attended have believed dispensationalism. It is not something that I have ever spent a lot of study over, and there have been some aspects of it that I never could completely agree with.

    For the sake of this discussion, I would like to keep the discus to the dispensation of the law.

    I have never read a Scofield bible, but I have been under the impression that it has gone a long way in making dispensatioalism as popular as it is today. I also have gotten the impression it was kind of a bench mark if you will. I recently read this quote from it.

    “The Dispensation of Promise ended when Israel rashly accepted the law Exodus 19:8. Grace had prepared a deliverer (Moses), provided a sacrifice for the guilty, and by divine power brought them out of bondage Exodus 19:4 but at Sinai they exchanged grace for law.”

    This kind of goes along with other things I have remember either hearing or reading over the years, where I have gotten the impression that is was kind of a arrogant or cocky “bring it on” type of attitude of the Jews to the law.

    Recently in doing some personal study I was reading this part of Exodus and I am not sure I understand it to be that way. In verse 19:8, it doesn’t sound like they were “rashly accepting the law in lieu of grace. They sound like they are enthusiastically responding to what God is asking of them. I mean seriously if God said to any of his children “if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all earth is Mine; and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” Who would say, “no sorry God no thanks not for me, I’ll pass”?

    Also I am not so sure I believe that Gods moral laws were not known to them like this kind of alludes to. Sure now God was formally writing them down in stone, but these moral laws were not completely foreign to them were they? They knew it was wrong to murder (Cain). They knew it was wrong to lie. Just earlier in Exodus 16:23 we see that they were observing the Sabbath. It really doesn’t seem like this was some rash arrogant decision of the Jews, but rather a response to what God is asking of them.

    It also doesn’t seem like they were choosing to “exchange grace for the law” God did write down His moral law, and did go on to establish many other ceremonial and laws for their society, and we know many of the Jews started looking at keeping the law as their means of salvation. But weren’t they still under Gods grace? Weren’t the Jews who were saved the ones that believed in the coming Christ and understood that the sacrifices were looking forward to His coming and sacrifice for their salvation? Was God’s grace really gone?

    Maybe I am misunderstanding this, as I have mentioned it is not something I have spent a lot of time studying. But I would like to read what others believe about this to better help me learn more about it. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. kyredneck

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    Of all the covenants that God entered into with man, the law was the ONLY one that man took part in. With all the other covenants man was passive.

    And all the people answered together, and said, All that Jehovah hath spoken we will do. And Moses reported the words of the people unto Jehovah. Ex 19:8

    ............eerily reminiscent of:

    And all the people answered and said, His blood be on us, and on our children. Mt 27:25
     
  3. OldRegular

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    I am not a dispensationalist so I have never bought the myth that Israel exchanged "Grace for Law". When reading the passage you reference above I simply wonder, what choice did Israel have?
     
  4. exscentric

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    Where is the quote of Scofield supposed to be found in his Bible - will check its accuracy for you. Does not seem something he would have said but will look into it.

    Have never heard either the view of Israel's acceptance of law, nor the exchanging of grace to law. Been a dispie for way many years and read a lot of dispie writing, would love to check into this for interest sake.

    Dispies have been quoted as saying many things they have not.
     
  5. exscentric

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    Did some digging, this quote is from his Gen.12.1 note. Anyone wanting to read his notes - not recommending here - can get a copy of E-sword and download Schofields notes for it free at http://www.e-sword.net

    Schofield and others made dispensationalism popular but it has been refined over the years by Dallas Seminary profs and others.

    There are some on this board that probably hav a far better grasp of it than I.

    I might add this is his 1917 study Bible and he updated/changed it in his New Scofield. He made some poorly thought out comments about the gospel in the old one and corrected it in the new. I snooped his New notes on Gen 12.1 and am not seeing the quoted information, but still snooping.
     
    #5 exscentric, Nov 11, 2009
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  6. Aaron

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    This is a lie of the Devil. In fact I wouldn't be surprised if this thinking was spawned by the judaizers of the last 200 years to corrupt the thinking of the Church, and dupe her into believing that the Jews are somehow favored though they reject Christ.
     
  7. Havensdad

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    Remember that the Scofeild Study Bible you hold in your hand today, is vastly different from the original. Your jaw would drop in horror if you saw some of the things in the original version.
     
  8. OldRegular

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    You won't read the following in the New Scofield Bible.

    [Scofield’s Introduction to the Song of Solomon.

    Source: http://www.studylight.org/com/srn/view.cgi?book=so&chapter=000

    Nowhere in Scripture does the unspiritual mind tread upon ground so mysterious and incomprehensible as in this book, while the saintliest men and women of the ages have found it a source of pure and exquisite delight. That the love of the divine Bridegroom should follow all the analogies of the marriage relation seems evil only to minds so ascetic that martial desire itself seems to them unholy.

    The interpretation is twofold: Primarily, the book is the expression of pure marital love as ordained of God in creation, and the vindication of that love as against both asceticism and lust--the two profanations of the holiness of marriage. The secondary and larger interpretation is of Christ, the Son and His heavenly bride, the Church (2 Corinthians 11:1-4 refs).

    In this sense the book has six divisions:
    1. The bride seen in restful communion with the Bridegroom, 1:1-2:7.
    2. A lapse and restoration, 2:3-3:5.
    3. Joy of fellowship, 3:6-5:1.
    4. Separation of interest--the bride satisfied, the Bridegroom toiling for others, 5:2-5.
    5. The bride seeking and witnessing, 5:6-6:3.
    6. Unbroken communion, 6:4-8:14.


    Of course according to dispensationalism the Church is unknown in the Old Testament and all Scripture must be interpreted literally.
     
  9. exscentric

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    For clarification the below was not part of the quote and most know there is further information between "literally" and the "." as few dispies would hold to a completely literal interpretation of all Scripture ignoring obviously other methods of writing/interpretation.

    "Of course according to dispensationalism the Church is unknown in the Old Testament and all Scripture must be interpreted literally."
     
  10. kyredneck

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    Excellent. Thanks for sharing that!
     
  11. OldRegular

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    Thank you! Obviously the statement: Of course according to dispensationalism the Church is unknown in the Old Testament and all Scripture must be interpreted literally. was not part of Scofields Introduction.
     
  12. Steven2006

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    Thanks for everyone's input.

    This makes me ask, in your opinions what are the absolute beliefs one must have to be considered a dispensationalist, or not have to definitely not be one?

    I find I agree with some and disagree with others.
     
  13. exscentric

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    One of the big theologs once stated, and I've found it to be pretty true, if you follow allegorical interpretation you will not be dispensational and if you follow literal interpretation you will be dispensational.

    Some sort of separation of different economies or governing relationships between God and man. Number varies but usually around 7.

    It has been observed that if you don't offer animal sacrifices you are some sort of dispensationalist :laugh:

    Ryrie has a couple books on dispensationalism if you are interested in reading about it. Google is your friend :) http://answers.org/theology/dispensationalism.html might give you a quick look.
     
    #13 exscentric, Nov 12, 2009
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  14. Steven2006

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    Well I can say that our pet rabbit is safe. :laugh:

    Seriously though, one thing I disagree with is when someone is preaching or teaching that much of the teaching of Jesus in the gospels is not for us.
     
  15. exscentric

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    He was offering the millennial kingdom to Israel thus much of his information was to the Jews, though you can draw application for the church age as we do from the Old Testament. When the Jews rejected the kingdom He began laying information for the church age to come.

    To say the gospels are not for us is a bit of an overstatement though I'm sure you have heard such comments. That is almost to say that there is nothing in the Bible except the epistles that is for us today - and that is the hyper-dispensationalist that sees the church beginning way later than Acts 2.
     
  16. Steven2006

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  17. Havensdad

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    Not at all. I believe in 100 percent literal interpretation: that is why I will never again be a dispensationalist.
     
  18. Allan

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    First, please understand that Scofielf did not create or come up with the view of dispensationalism but understand that it can be traced back a couple hundred years prior to him. However, I will grant that he did help to popularize it much like Augustine did with convenant theology over and against the early church pre-mil view. (literal vs allagorical). Since they were not the same thing nor even closely related the many of the churches (about about 450 ad) sought to get rid of the pre-mil view and it became the main end times theology after that point in the Church.

    Second, it appears you need to study Dispensationalism much more than you have already. Get some good books by reputable authors and examine them against scripture to see if it is something you agree scripture bears our or not. There are two main views in Christianity 1) Dispensationalism and 2) Covenant. There are variations in each of these of course but these are the most commonly held views with Dispensationalism being the greater helf of the two. (those are just facts, not that one is more true than the other)

    However please do not get a book about another view (such as one on covenant theology) that is discussing the dispy view or vise-versa. More often than not, the author rarely understands the dispy view and even at time (depending on the author - quite often) can willfully misconstrue what is said. (both groups can be found doing this)

    Take what a reputable dispinsationalist says in their book and compare it to scripture. Do nothing more than that. If after much study, you don't feel it correlates, then look at another or differing view. Please however don't try to examine two or more views at once. Do one at a time so you can at least understand not only what they are saying but 'why' they are saying it. It will help you a great deal when speaking to someone else about what you have come to believe and allow you to give a better answer that will 'hopefully' increase their desire to dig into the word.
     
    #18 Allan, Nov 12, 2009
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  19. Steven2006

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    Thanks Allan. This is what I have always been taught and believed. Recently in my own personal bible study I have started to have questions about some of it, but I admit it is not an area I have done a lot of specific study. What is one book you would recommend?
     
  20. exscentric

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    Come on Allen you are making sense, is that allowed in a dispie/covenant discussion :laugh:

    To the questions:

    It almost feels like that is making the cross a second or back up plan, when we know through OT prophecy that the Jews were expecting a Christ that would be a sacrifice. Even the first introduction from John the Baptist was "Behold the Lamb of God". He was a believing Jew and he was expecting a sacrifice, nothing else."

    John knew this was the Lamb but obviously the Jewish leadership did not else wise they would have followed him. I would seem they were looking for a king to get them out of political trouble. Even the disciples didn't get it till the end, they were not looking for a sacrifice.

    Slain from the foundation of the world makes it the original and only plan not a backup. God knew they would reject so it was in the plan.

    "It has always been about a blood sacrifice, has it not?"

    Yes, THE blood sacrifice of the Lord.

    Just a word - don't know you at all - don't know your depth of interest - just have observed a lot of people considering all this - where does dispensationalism/covenantism rate on the grand scale of believer priorities? We are here to glorify God and bring others to Christ. Those are the important things. The rest is part of the discipling stuff, not the major that we should major on but something for us to work through while doing the other two :) Sure study it but don't get in a dither about it - Have known many that took a lot of time off from reality to worry through this and forgot the one they were studying about.

    Havensdad, you speak in riddles, if you have something to say about a wrong statement spit it out :thumbs: Delcaring something "wrong" is way simple. Wax eloquent and share with us what you were getting at.
     

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