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Old 05-09-2008, 02:05 AM
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Luke Luke is offline
 
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Default Please explain dispensationalism to me

Hi,

I am quite confused. On the one hand, I have never really taken a serious study of the Bible (but I am enrolling in TBDI as soon as my text books arrive. Ordered them two weeks ago ), but on the other hand, I have gradually moved towards the position held by dispensationalists.

I am inclined to believe that Jesus gospel and Paul's gospel are different. Not in all aspects, but in it's purpose. Jesus Gospel was of righteousness in regards to the Kingdom coming. Paul's Gospel was of imputed righteousness by Christ's death burial and resurrection. There are similarities between the two, and the Gospel of John is almost Pauline in doctrine.

So my question is this, and it may seem ignorant, so please forgive me:

If the gospel of the Grace of God (Paul by revelation of Jesus Christ) and the Gospel of the Kingdom (Jesus Christ & John the Baptist) are different, how exactly?

If they are not, how does one reconcile a works based Gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven, with a faith without works based Gospel of the Grace of God?

I cannot understand "reformed" theology (including amillennialism & calvinism), because there seem to be too many contradictions within scripture.
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Old 05-09-2008, 07:33 AM
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PB1789 PB1789 is offline
 
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Luke:---One thing at a time. Your Thread title looks like you have a question. You then start to post answers to things,,,yet you say you are "confused"...well---

Okay I'll give you a short reply (as I wasted nearly 45 minutes last night composing a reply to someone else---and got nothing but "typing fingers".) but you must do some clicking and reading,,,OK-?

Dispensationalism basically teaches that there are different stages in The Lord's plan. He acts differently at certain times. They believe that many things that are written in Ezekiel and Daniel and Matthew and Revelation can be mapped out and put in picture (drawing) form . The places that most often teach this are in The Scofield Study Bible, and the Ryrie Study Bible and others. Chick publications does much on this. Many colleges and Seminaries would hold to that line. Dallas Theo. Sem. , Talbot Seminary and others. Several TV shows are on track with it...because it is very visual. They are famous for predicting (or almost predicting) the return of The Lord.

----- ------ ----- ----- ------- ----- --- ------ ---- ----

Now, Luke by your picture next to your name it looks like you are a young guy, sooo before you start making statements about Calvinism and Reformed (or Covenant Theology) it would be best if you actually -

A) Read what the Geneva Reformer said in his commentaries and his great work titled "The Institutes of the Christian Religion". Read John Knox of Scotland. Read John Bunyan of England and C.H. Spurgeon of England, and Jonathan Edwards of New England, read the excellent commentary on the Whole Bible (every verse!) by John Gill of England! In our own time period read/listen to men like Rev. Ian Paisley of Northern Ireland, and Dr. R.C. Sproul, now in Florida.

B) Realize that Reformed/Calvinist/Covenant Theology focuses on God! God doesn't change, and he isn't stupid. He doesn't have to read the newspaper each morning to know what is going on! The Lord God Almighty IS still on the throne and in charge! Not all of us are amillienial. Most of us are more focused on preaching and teaching the parts of the Bible that HAS taken place, rather than speculating on something that The Lord Jesus himself said; ..."No man knows the day nor the hour."

C) Learn about William Carey. He was a calvinistic Baptist and was a cobbler by trade. He was the first one to decide that Matthew 28 meant GO! He got on a ship and left England to start "Missions", next read about men like Adonirum Judson and Hudson Taylor. They went out to Proclaim Christ! Because God's Word is like a sword...His will be done!

click on to these links and you can read two documents that have stood the test of time for centuries now and will be around (should the Lord tarry) long after the picture books of certain "prediction groups" have faded away.

http://65.71.233.194/arbca/ read the 1689 2nd London Baptist Confession of Faith. (click on the green booklet)

http://www.freepres.org/ read the Westminster Confession of Faith 1644.

http://eword.gospelcom.net/comments/gill/ John Gill Commentary

read The 39 Articles of Religion of the Anglican Church. {google it.} Reformed Theology.

Last edited by PB1789; 05-09-2008 at 07:39 AM.
  #3  
Old 05-09-2008, 09:29 AM
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Diligent Diligent is offline
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I cannot understand "reformed" theology (including amillennialism & calvinism), because there seem to be too many contradictions within scripture.
That is because they are busy trying to "harmonize" scripture instead of divide it.
2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Note that this verse associates a lack of right division with shame. But beyond that, it explicitly commands us to divide Scripture -- not to harmonize or spiritualize it. That is where reformed theology fails and also where I think a lot of "almost dispensationalists" miss the mark.

God has different dispensations in his dealings with men -- far many more than just between the OT and the NT. Adam's first commandments were to tend his garden and he was not to wear any clothes. He was also commanded to eat from the tree of life. Once banished from the garden, it would have been outright sin for Adam to continue obeying those commands. Obviously, even Adam had to divide God's word in his time.

Bro. Douglass Stauffer has written a book called One Book Rightly Divided that teaches dispensationalism (which is really just right division) of the King James Bible. I recommend it.

As to your questions about Paul's Gospel and Jesus' Gospel -- yes, they are different. It's clear from what happened at Stephen's stoning that there was a major change in how God was dealing with men at that time. Paul's ministry was a mystery to the Old Testament saints and I believe even a mystery to Christ's disciples. (Ephesians 3)
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Old 05-09-2008, 03:12 PM
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Thankyou both


PB1789: I was reformed in theology for the first 18 years of my life. Could never understand the amillennial gospel that was preached because the Bible seemed to say things different to what they were saying. I only got saved after reading a chick tract that said God died for all. Maybe I was just at a dud reformed church. While I said I have never undertaken a serious study of the Bible, I did examine calvinism and other "reformed" theology after I got saved, and rejected it on the grounds that it did not mesh with scripture. I do appreciate the total focus on God that many calvinists had (Spurgeon, Edwards etc).

Diligent: Thankyou, my main fear of rightly dividing is this verse:

Joh 12:48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not MY words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.

Okay, I haven't rejected Jesus Christ. I know that. But by saying that Matthew - Mid Acts is Kingdom Gospel and not for the Church, aren't we essentially "rejecting" His words for today?

Of course, I realise this verse could be about the jewish rejection of Jesus Christ, but how do I see that?

(I have ordered a bunch of Bro Ruckman's books on the subject - they are a requirement of TBDI - as well as some books by Scofield, Larkin and I think the book you mentioned is on the text book list as well).
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Old 05-09-2008, 04:39 PM
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Diligent: Thankyou, my main fear of rightly dividing is this verse:

Joh 12:48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not MY words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.

Okay, I haven't rejected Jesus Christ. I know that. But by saying that Matthew - Mid Acts is Kingdom Gospel and not for the Church, aren't we essentially "rejecting" His words for today?
All questions about dispensationalism aside -- was Adam rejecting God's words when he stopped caring for the garden of Eden? Of course not. It would have in fact been sin for Adam to apply God's words before the Fall to his then-current state.

I absolutely do not reject Christ's teachings from the Gospels. But I must recognized that much of it is not actually for me.

That we must make divisions in even the New Testament is apparent here:
John 7:39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

Clearly, if we recklessly apply teachings from before Christ's glorification, we're making pretty big mistakes!
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Old 05-10-2008, 01:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luke View Post
Hi,

I am quite confused. On the one hand, I have never really taken a serious study of the Bible (but I am enrolling in TBDI as soon as my text books arrive. Ordered them two weeks ago ), but on the other hand, I have gradually moved towards the position held by dispensationalists.

I am inclined to believe that Jesus gospel and Paul's gospel are different. Not in all aspects, but in it's purpose. Jesus Gospel was of righteousness in regards to the Kingdom coming. Paul's Gospel was of imputed righteousness by Christ's death burial and resurrection. There are similarities between the two, and the Gospel of John is almost Pauline in doctrine.

So my question is this, and it may seem ignorant, so please forgive me:

If the gospel of the Grace of God (Paul by revelation of Jesus Christ) and the Gospel of the Kingdom (Jesus Christ & John the Baptist) are different, how exactly?

If they are not, how does one reconcile a works based Gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven, with a faith without works based Gospel of the Grace of God?

I cannot understand "reformed" theology (including amillennialism & calvinism), because there seem to be too many contradictions within scripture.
Brother Luke,

Don't apologize for not knowing some of these things. I didn't know anything about Dispensations until about 6 years after I got saved.

And to tell you the truth - I couldn't make "heads" or "tales" of much of the Bible until I learned how to "rightly divide" the word of truth about 10 years after I received the Lord Jesus Christ as my Savior.

I just want to warn you not to follow men! Always look to and rely on the "scriptures of truth" to be your guide and your "Final Authority" in all matters of faith and practice and you won't stray far from God's precepts and principles.

If you want to see how Dispensational truth is taught check out the posts on this Forum by: {Stvvv1611> AV1611 Bible Forums > General Chit-Chat > Under the thread - Dr. Ruckman - In regards to "faith"}.

Brother Steve Rich (Stvvv1611) has posted 7 posts (equal to about 30 type-written pages) on "faith" in the Old Testament in contrast to "faith" in the New Testament and his method of teaching is a model, or a perfect example of Dispensational teaching i.e. "rightly dividing the word of truth".

I pray that God will guide you into all truth and that you will avoid the many "false teachers' and "false doctrines" that are so prevalent in modern day Christianity.

Acts 20:27 For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.
28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.
30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.
31 Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.

And please remember:
Psalms 33:4 For the word of the LORD is right; and all his works are done in truth.

When it comes to the word of God:


Always assume that: “The word of the LORD is rightAlways and without exception!
And always seek to do His works according to the Scriptures: “all his works are done in truth” Always and without exception!
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Old 05-10-2008, 08:25 PM
conwaytim conwaytim is offline
 
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Thank you, Brother George!
I was also going to mention brother Steve's posts for Luke to read when you had beat me to it!
You are absolutely right. There is so much false teaching in the church today. Few do rightly divide scripture!
Tim
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Old 05-12-2008, 11:21 AM
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chaplainles chaplainles is offline
 
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Thumbs up Re:Dispensationalism

Ok Luke hope this helps..
You have been given some real good info so far and Ill add my 2 bits worth
Briefly as you probably know Dispensationalism is a method of Biblicall Interpretation. There are various 'Schemes' as there are adherents. The basic premise is based upon 2 Tim. 2:15 and 1 Cor.10:32. That God deals with man differently in the various 'Periods Of Times' i.e. Dispensations. Furthermore there are 3 divisons of mankind Jew Gentle and Church of God and thus all scriptures are allotted a Dispensational setting as well as one or more of the divisons of mankind. The usual scheme followed is that found in the Scofield Bible consisting of 7 Ages..

Innocency - Conscience - Human Goverment - Promise - Law - Grace - Kingdom

Each dispensation is marked by a Covenant that defines the terms of the period.

Edenic Gen 1-2 - Adamic Gen 3 - Nohaic Gen.9 - Abramic Gen 12-15 - Mosaic Exo.19-20 - Davidic 2 Sam.7 New Covenant Matt.28; Heb.8

Personally I use the Covenants as markers rather than an arbitery period of time.
This link should help to fix the relationship between them all..

http://www.fellowshipbibleannarbor.o...ationChart.pdf

Regarding The Gospel Of The Kingdom and Gospel Of The Grace Of God, space forbids a full treatment here but basically, the contrasts are this, and they are contrasts rather than differing Gospels due to their dispensational setting. In short the Gospel Of The Kingdom is Jewish in its focus.. see Matt.10:5; 15:24; John 4:22
This explains why christians fight over stuff that basically belongs in a Kingdom setting and misapply a whole bunch of scripture e.g. Matt 5-7; Matt. 24 etc into a 'Church Age Setting'.....

The Gospel Of The Grace of God is 'Post Calvary' and is applicable today as Gods method of Salvation for all. This was revealed to the Apostle Paul along with the 'Mystery Of The Church' whilst he was in Arabia Gal.1:1-24 c.f. Eph.3:1-13

Hope this helps, as your starting at TBDI you will get a good grounding in this, besides Dr.Stauffers Book The Bible Believers Guide to Dispensationalism Dr.David Walker is also really good. He is a Grad of PBI and so you will get some good stuff. Also I would recommend Doc.Ruckmans How To Teach Dispensational Truth.. that will give you a real good all round look and also more...

Regarding Reformed Theology you have to bear in mind you are dealing with a Philosophy more than anything. I know first hand how it goes trying to decypher the various Tenets...
Every Blessing Mate....
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Old 05-12-2008, 04:12 PM
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Greektim Greektim is offline
 
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how does one reconcile a works based Gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven, with a faith without works based Gospel of the Grace of God?
I hope you didn't mean what you said here, Luke. These kind of statements are what give Dispo's a bad name. The Bible never teaches 2 ways of salvation. Nor is that a teaching propagated in Dispensationalism. Salvation is always by grace through faith no matter the dispensation. What I hope you mean to say is that the content of their faith is not always the same. The content of their faith is according to the revelation from God of the day.

For instance, Abraham believed God (NOT the death, burial, & resurrection Christ) and he was saved through the channel of his faith (cf. Gen. 15:6, Rom. 4, Gal. 3, & James 2). But the content of his faith was based on the revelation of the covenant that God made with Abe and specifically that he would have an heir through his wife Sarah. That is the context leading up in Gen. 15:1-5. Then you come across Gen. 15:6 where you have the statement of Abe's faith and God imputing righteousness to Abe (cf. Rom. 4).

Please make sure you nail this down before you start speaking about 2 ways of salvation and Dispensationalism. Dr. Ryrie dedicated an entire chapter on this issue in his landmark text apply named Dispensationalism (previously known as Dispensationalism Today). It is unfortunate that Dispos have such a reputation of teaching multiple ways of salvation.
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Old 05-12-2008, 07:54 PM
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Well, it's always been faith, but it hasn't always been faith alone.

If Abraham believed God, but didn't go where God told him (faith + works), then would God have imputed righteousness to him?

During the tribulation, only those that DO NOT recieve the mark of the beast (through faith, believing that by refusing, they will be saved by Christ's blood), will be saved.

During the millennium, it will be works only (how can one have faith in something that is seen. Faith is replaced by sight during the millennium).

Besides, I don't see why everyone cares so much. We don't live in the dispensation of Law. We aren't in the tribulation, nor will we go through it, and we will already be saved in the Millennium, because of Christ's shed blood on calvary, and we did not reject it. What is the big deal if God used works in the past, and NOW is the dispensation of the grace of God (faith alone).

Why would Paul spend several whole chapters of Romans and Galatians explaining why we are now justified APART from the works of the Law, if the Law was never required to be justified? Why didn't he just say "You have always believed God, now believe Jesus because he is God". The Law was part of OT salvation, and now it is not.
 

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