Skip to main content

Dispensational Truth



God does not change in His person, principles, or promises (Mal. 3:6; Heb. 13:8), but He certainly does change in His dealings with man. If you don’t understand that, the Bible will be a confusing book to you. We cannot possibly obey everything in the Bible. 

Consider the basic issue of what we are to eat:
1. Adam (Gen. 1:29) = no meat
2. Noah (about 1500 years later, Gen. 9:3-4) = meat without blood
3. Moses (about 1000 years later, Lev. 11:46-47) = clean meats
4. Paul (over 1500 years later, 1 Tim. 4:1-5) = nothing is to be refused

We must distinguish moral truth and dispensational truth. There are moral principles that never change. For example, murder is wrong in every dispensation. The sabbath day is an example of dispensational truth. God gave Israel sabbaths to observe, not the Body of Christ (Col. 2:16). Paul reaffirmed 9 of the 10 commandments (Rom. 13:8-10).

All scripture is profitable for us (2 Tim. 3:16) but we will not gain the profit that God has for us in His word unless we study it His way (2 Tim. 2:15). It is fitting that we find these two great statements in the last book that was written. 

I. Mandate What we are to do - STUDY
II. Motive Why we are to do it - to shew thyself approved unto God
III. Method How we are to do it - rightly dividing the word of truth

All the Bible is the word of truth, but we must recognize and consistently maintain the divisions that God put in His word if we are going to understand it. What was truth for Israel under the law may not be truth for the Body of Christ under grace. This is the dispensational approach to Bible study. The context of 2 Tim. 2:15 interprets what it means to rightly divide the word of truth (vs.15-18). Hymenaeus and Philetus did not deny the truth of resurrection, they failed to rightly divide it. 

All Bible students divide the Bible to some extent, but most do not rightly divide it. We must be careful not to invent our own divisions (e.g. Acts 28 position) or ignore the ones that God placed in His word (e.g. Acts 2 position). 

There has always been at attack on dispensationalism. Many simply do not understand the matter which is proven by how they misrepresent it when they attack it (Prov. 18:13). We believe the WHOLE Bible. We are not chopping it up and trying to get rid of any part of it. We are not exalting Paul, but simply acknowledging that God chose him to be the pattern and spokesman for this present age of grace (1 Cor. 11:1; 1 Tim. 1:16). It is not about Paul as a man, but what Christ revealed through him for us (Eph. 3:1-13). 

A “dispensation” (1 Cor. 9:17; Eph. 1:10; 3:2; Col. 1:25) is basically a dealing out, distribution, or dispensing of something. It is an administration. Dispensations are not periods of time. Ages are periods of time, but dispensations operate within ages. 

A dispensation is marked by five things:
1. Divine revelation (clear changes in God’s dealings with men)
2. Human spokesman (e.g. Moses for the Law and Paul for the Mystery)
3. Human responsibility to the revelation (testing)
4. Human failure (every dispensation ends in apostasy except last one)
5. Divine judgment (no remedy for apostasy)

Twofold division
1. Prophecy (Acts 3:21, Israel, earth)
2. Mystery (Rom. 16:25, Body, heaven)

Threefold division (Eph. 2:11-13, 7): 
1. Time past (Genesis thru Acts)
2. But now (Romans thru Philemon)
3. Ages to come (Hebrews thru Revelation)

In the Bible, seven is God's number of perfection, and eight is the number of a new beginning. I believe there are seven dispensations in human history and that the eighth and final dispensation (of which there will be no end) is the "dispensation of the fulness of times" (Eph. 1:10). That is when God’s purposes as revealed in the times of human history will have finally come to their fulness. 

1)     Innocence (Gen. 1-3)
2)     Conscience (Gen. 4-8) 
3)     Human Government (Gen. 9-11) 
4)     Promise (Gen. 12-Ex. 19) 
5)     Law (Ex. 20-Acts 8, transition) 
6)     Mystery (Rom.-Phile.) 
7)     Kingdom (Heb.-Rev.) 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Gap "Theory"

Is there a gap, or interval, between the first two verses of Genesis? In other words, does Gen. 1:2 describe God’s creative work, or His judgment? I believe it describes His judgment in response to the fall of Lucifer.

I. Creation (1:1) – eternity past
II. Destruction (1:2) – eternity past
III. Reconstruction (1:3-2:3) – done in 6 literal 24-hour days about 6,000 years ago 
The six days are clearly marked. Each days begins with, "And God said," and ends with, "And the evening and the morning were..."

This is not an issue to fight about, or to break fellowship over. So, why does it matter? I believe that it is very much connected to right division and the mystery of the Body of Christ. It also helps us understand some things about Satan and his policy of evil.

I think that most Christians reject what is commonly referred to as the “gap theory” because they have been told that it was invented in the 1800’s by a preacher named Chalmers (1780-1847) as a compromise to acc…

Our Rapture is not Revealed in John 14:1-3

John 14:1-3 [1] Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.  [2] In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so , I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.  [3] And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
The traditional view:  1. The Father's house is Heaven.  2. When Jesus ascended back to Heaven He started a construction project so that every believer will have their own mansion ("I don't know what it will be like, but if Jesus has been working on it for 2,000 years..."). But, He said “ARE many mansions,” not “WILL BE after I go build them.” 3. Christ is teaching His disciples about the rapture of the Church. 
One of the major hinderances to Bible study is reading truth back into a passage before it was revealed. The way this passage is usually taught is a great example of anticipating revelation. It is easy to read the Body of Christ…

What about Romans 10:9-13?

There seems to be much confusion and conflict these days about the tenth chapter of Romans. Many use vs.9-13 to support the "sinner's prayer" approach to evangelism. They believe that a sinner MUST vocally call upon the Lord in order to be saved and they emphasize prayer over faith. Others, seeing the error of this approach, overcorrect and go to the extreme of claiming that Romans 10 is only for Israel and has no application in this age of grace. Paul was talking about Israel in Romans 9-11, but he is speaking to the Gentiles (11:13). Let's work verse by verse through this chapter simply trying to understand what it says, instead of trying to prove a particular view. Romans 10 is in the middle of the dispensational section of this epistle in which Paul deals with issues concerning Israel. He demonstrates and defends the faithfulness of God to His word concerning Israel. In these three chapters he has something to say about Israel’s past, present, and future.

Chapter …