BIBLICAL FULFILLMENT
Dispensationalism
I am Jessie Mills, Ph.D.
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Dispensationalism

 

Preface:

This dissertation is sent forth, prayerfully, in the scriptural attitude of “Come, let us reason together.”  It is not written as a personal attack on any person or group, but rather as a examination of a doctrine.  Therefore, I believe very definitely in predictive prophecy, in types, shadows, and patterns, and accept the entire Bible without apology, as the infallible Word of God, spoken as He intended to speak.  Therefore, any other meaning is untenable, Rev. 22:18,19.  It is with this attitude, that I examine the teaching of dispensationalism.  May all who read this have the same disposition. 

 

 

I. Dispensationalism denies fulfillment of Old Testament predictive prophecy.

 

A. Dan. 2:44. In viewing the interpretation of the great statue, the above doctrine denies the establishment of the kingdom mentioned in Dan. 2:44.

 

B. The dispensationalists say they have a new truth.  They assert that Dan. 2:44 cannot now be fulfilled, but rather that God had planned to set up His kingdom in the days of Christ, but because the Jews set their heart against Christ, and rebelled against Him as their ruler, God was forced by mankind to change His mind regarding the kingdom, and gave the church as a temporary entity instead, until such time as the proper conditions arrived again. 

 

C. Further, that when God has changed the mind of the Jews, that Christ will come a second time to redeem Israel from sin, and to establish His Kingdom in Jerusalem on the physical throne of one named David, that His reign will be a physical reign.

 

II. An examination of this problem.

 

A. The dispensationalists, like premillennialists, abuse the teaching of Daniel.  Notice the following:  Dan. 2:36-43. The king to whom Daniel spoke was Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon.  Notice verse 39, after you will arise another kingdom, then a third kingdom.  Verse 40 states, that during the days of this kingdom (which was Rome) that God would establish His Kingdom.  This is fact.

 

B. Secondly, if God changed His mind because of sinful Israel, and will in the future establish his Kingdom, based upon the idea that mankind has power to cause God to change His mind, what would keep the same people from changing His mind again?

 

C. Thirdly, it is mentioned in this doctrine that Christ will come a second time to redeem Israel from sin.  They take this from Heb. 9:28.  Now, to show that such doctrine is full of inconsistency, notice:  The doctrine says, that the church was given in the place of the predicted kingdom.  Matt. 16:28 states that the kingdom would come during the lifetime of some of the apostles.  Mark 9:1 gives the same evidence as well as Luke 19:12-15 which relate to predictive prophecy given in Dan. 7:13-22.  All these passages denote a fact, the kingdom would come with power, and Christ would come to usher in His reign.

 

D. Fourthly, Jesus promised to take the kingdom away from the Jew, and give it over to the Gentile nations, who would produce fruit of it.  Therefore, it would be received by the Gentiles in just the same way that the Jews received it, with power.  Biblical history relates this fact in Acts Chapter 10.

 

E. Fifthly, notice what the Scripture relates in Acts 2:39, “For the promise is for you [the Jew] and your children [Jewish children] and for all who are still far off.”  Who was still far off and who had not yet received salvation when the second chapter of Acts was written?  None other than the Gentiles.

 

F. Sixthly, look now at their favorite scripture, where they try to prove a second fleshly coming of Christ.  Notice, “So Christ also, having been [past tense] offered once to bear the sins of many shall [Greek, mello–about to] appear a second time, not to bear sin, to those who eagerly wait for salvation.”  Notice the whole of chapter 9 is written of those matters which have already taken place.  Especially was it fulfilled when chapter 9 was written.

 

G. Seventhly, this is confirmed by Acts 10:14.  Notice in verse 3, an “Angel of God.”  In the Old Testament this Angel was Christ.  The Angel spoke to Cornelius, and Cornelius said, “What is it Lord?”  Christ also appeared to Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles.  It is quite obvious that Heb. 9:28 spoke of matters already having their fulfillment.  If this is not the case, then the Gentiles are as lost now, as they were before the cross of Christ!  Further, the passage states that He appeared once in the flesh to put away sin:  meaning that He will never appear again in the flesh.  The doctrine will not stand the test of God.  Neither will it stand when we read the statement of Paul in 2 Cor. 5:17, “Therefore from now on we recognize no man according to the Flesh.  Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we thus know Him no longer.”  He would never again appear in the flesh.

 

III. Dispensationalism, like premillennialism rejects any ideas of a spiritual interpretative method.

 

A. John Nelson Darby, one of the fathers of dispensationalism, said this, “The resurrection in Daniel 12:2 applies to the Jews...  It is a figurative resurrection of the people, buried as a nation among the Gentiles.  In this revival it is said of those who rise:  …some to shame and everlasting contempt…” (The Hope of the Church of God, by John Nelson Darby, p. 138)

 

B. Charles C. Ryrie is another who castigates other Christians for spiritualizing any text of scripture.  His book, The Basis of Premillennial Faith, page 35 states, “The system of spirituality or spiritualizing Scripture is a tacit denial of the doctrine of the verbal, plenary inspiration of the Scripture.”

 

C. Oswald J. Smith, a world leader in Dispensationalism, in his book, When the King Comes Back, page 31 says that when one spiritualizes, he “dishonors God.”  Many more quotes could be added.  Now to examine these ideas.

 

IV. An examination of this problem:

 

A. Dan. 12:2 speaks of a spiritual resurrection occurring after the resurrection of Christ.  Notice just five verses later, Daniel is informed as to the total fulfillment of these events.  When they (the Romans) shatter the power of the holy people, all these events will be completed. Dan. 12:7.  Hosea 6:1-2 suggests the same resurrection, and at the same time.  And, Matt. 27:52-53 talks about a similar resurrection.  Then, Paul, in Eph. 4:8-9, speaks regarding the same matter.  Heb. 12:23 in the Greek text, makes it clear regarding the resurrection.  Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon, page 465 under the word “Heaven” has this to say, “Into Heaven have already been received the souls of both the OT Saints, and departed Christians.”

 

B. 1 Cor. 2:12-16, Paul here is very concerned regarding spirituality.  Those who do not possess such cannot understand Scripture.  They are called a natural man, and to him spirituality is foolish.  Perhaps this best describes dispensationalism, as well as the doctrine of premillennialism.  This argument should be closed at this point, but Paul speaks again.

 

C. Romans 8:9, if one does not have the Spirit, he does not belong to God.  How can one have the Spirit, and not be spiritual?

 

V. An examination of the Scofield Bible, and the Ryrie Study Bible.

 

A. The Scofield Bible, has the personal notes of John Nelson Darby, the father of Dispensationalism, written along with the Scripture.  On page 5, notes 4 and 5 deal with seven dispensations of their system, maintaining that salvation is received differently under each system of seven different plans of salvation.  Five have passed.  We now live in the sixth.  The seventh will come when the church is destroyed.

 

B. Summarizing Lewis Sperry Chafer’s book, Dispensationalism, page 416, he says that the coming millennial kingdom will be a continuation of the Old Testament plan.  It is declared to be fulfilling the law and prophets.  From this, the following is clear:

1. Old Testament–salvation was by legal obedience in effect until the cross

2. Church age–salvation by grace alone [legal obedience postponed]

3. Kingdom age–legal obedience restored, on a more perfect basis.

 

C. It would be difficult to find a Bible like The Scofield and Ryrie Study Bible which would cast as much doubt upon the infinite wisdom of God as do these two.  They are anti-Biblical and anti-Christian.  Their comments alongside scripture completely contradicts Christianity.  They deny that Christians now possess the Kingdom of Christ.  They say Christ is not now reigning, that God still has the reign, and Christ was rejected by the Jews.  They further state Christ does not have all power in heaven and on earth, and that Satan still reigns with power.

 

VI. Conclusion.  If we Christians do not have the kingdom, as promised, we are no better off than the Jews before Christ were.  If Christ did not bring it as He promised to do in that very generation (Matt. 16:28), how can we be sure He ever will bring it?  Such an idea unravels our faith in Christ’s promises and the salvation that He claims to have given us.  But, He did bring the kingdom, just as He promised. 


 

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© Copyright 2015 by Jessie Mills. All Rights Reserved by the author, Jessie E. Mills, Jr. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or otherwise, without the prior express written permission of the publisher, except for brief quotations in critical reviews or other publications. Such quotations must be used with proper reference to their context and give appropriate credit to their authorship.