Dispensationalism

The doctrine of dispensationalism is the biblical doctrine that there are different time periods in the Bible where God is dealing with different people.

The word “dispensation” appears 4 times in the King James Bible (1 Corinthians 9:17, Ephesians 1:10, Ephesians 3:2, Colossians 1:25).

The Greek word for “dispensation” is “οἰκονομία” or “oikonomia” (transliterated), which means “economy” or “stewardship.”

An important factor of dispensationalism is that God reveals things to different people in different time periods. The gospel of the grace of God (Acts 20:24) was revealed to Paul, and it said to be a mystery that wasn’t known before.

Ephesians 3:1-7 (KJV) – “For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, 2 If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: 3 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, 4 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)  5  Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; 6 That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel. 7 Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.”

It’s worth noting that “dispensation of the grace of God” is not the title for this current dispensation, Paul is simply saying that the grace of God was dispensed to Paul and put him in a position where God could reveal mysteries to him that were not known before (i.e. the gospel of Christ).

Paul also says a similar thing in Colossians 1:24-27.

Colossians 1:24-27 (KJV) – “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: 25 Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; 26 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: 27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”

Again, “dispensation of God” is not the title for this time period, Paul is simply saying the same statement he made in Ephesians 3:1-7.

Paul says that a “dispensation of the gospel” is committed to him.

1 Corinthians 9:17 (KJV) – “For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me.”

Again, “dispensation of the gospel” isn’t the title for this depensation, Paul is saying that God dispensed (or revealed) the gospel to Paul. God dispensed the mystery of the gospel of Christ to the apostle Paul. The gospel of Christ was not fully revealed until the apostle Paul.

The Greek word for “gospel” is “εὐαγγέλιον” or “euaggelion” (transliterated) which means “a good message”. So God dispensed a good message to Paul, and it was a mystery in the past.

There are 7 dispensations:

1. Garden of Eden (the creation (Gen. 1:1) to the fall of Adam and Eve (Gen. 3:7).

2. The pre-law age (the fall of Adam and Eve (Gen. 3:7-24) to the giving of the law of Moses (Exo. 20).

3. The law (the law of Moses (Exo. 20)and the prophets until John the Baptist (Matt. 11:13, Luke 16:16).

4. The kingdom age (John the Baptist (Matt. 11:13, Luke 16:16) until the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ).

During the kingdom age, the gospel of the kingdom is preached to the Jews (Matt. 4:23, Matt. 9:35Luke 16:16) because the king (Jesus Christ) is on earth at the time. There are two kingdoms, the kingdom of heaven which is the physical earthly kingdom (Matt. 8:11, Matt. 11:12), and the kingdom of God which is a spiritual kingdom with God (Rom. 14:17, 1 Cor. 4:20, John 3:5, Luke 17:20-21).

5. The time of the Gentiles (the crucifixion of Jesus Christ (2 Tim. 2:8, Rom. 2:16, Rom. 16:25-26, Col. 1:24-27, 1 Cor 2:7-10, Eph. 3:1-7) until the rapture (1 Cor. 15:51-58, 1 Thess. 4:16-18, Eph. 1:10-14).

6. The time of Jacob’s trouble (The rapture (1 Cor. 15:51-58, 1 Thess. 4:16-18Eph. 1:10-14) until the second coming of Jesus Christ (Matt. 24:29-41, Rev. 19:11-21, Joel 3:9-16, Zech. 14, Isaiah 13:4-13, Isaiah 34:1-8).

7. 1000 year reign of Christ (Rev. 20:4-6, Isaiah 65:17-25, Isaiah 11, Zech. 8).

Non-Dispensationalist Contradictions:

Contradiction #1:

Jesus said to not go to the gentiles, but to Israel.

Matthew 10:5-6 (KJV) – “These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: 6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”

However, the apostle Paul said he is the apostle of the gentiles.

Romans 11:13 (KJV) – “For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:”

Romans 15:16 (KJV) – “That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost.”

There was a dispensational change, Jesus said not to go to the gentiles, but Paul said he is the teacher of the gentiles, who is right? if you understand the biblical doctrine of dispensationalism, you know that they are both right, and that there was a dispensational change.

Contradiction #2:

The Old Testament tells us to keep the Sabbath:

Exodus 20:8 (KJV) – “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.”

Exodus 31:15-16 (KJV) – “Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. 16 Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant.”

When Paul lists the commandments for new testament Christians, he doesn’t list keeping the Sabbath:

Romans 13:9 (KJV) – “For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”

The Sabbath was a shadow of things to come:

Colossians 2:16-17 (KJV) – “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: 17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.”

Scripture is clear that the Sabbath is not a requirement for new testament Christians, this was not the case in the old testament, if the entire Bible was written to new testament Christians, as non-dispensationalist heretics claim, that would mean we should still be keeping the sabbath.

Contradiction #3:

Jesus was preaching the gospel of the kingdom to the Jews (the gospel of the kingdom was Jesus presenting the kingdom of heaven to the Jews):

Matthew 4:23 (KJV) – “And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.”

Matthew 9:35 (KJV) – And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.”

Paul never preached the gospel of the kingdom, Paul preached the gospel of Christ (also called the gospel of God).

2 Corinthians 10:14 (KJV) – “For we stretch not ourselves beyond our measure, as though we reached not unto you: for we are come as far as to you also in preaching the gospel of Christ:

Romans 15:19 (KJV) – “Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.”

The gospel of Christ and the gospel of the kingdom are NOT the same gospel. Non-dispensationalists will counter this by saying that Paul and Jesus both preached the kingdom of God, and they will claim that the kingdom of God and the kingdom of heaven are the same. The kingdom of God is the spiritual kingdom (Rom. 14:17, 1 Cor. 4:20, John 3:5, Luke 17:20-21) the kingdom of heaven is the physical earthly kingdom (Matt. 8:11, Matt. 11:12) that Jesus sets up. Jesus was preaching the kingdom of God and the kingdom of heaven because they were both available, but once the Jews rejected Jesus Christ, the kingdom of heaven was temporarily set aside but the kingdom of God is still available. The gospel of Christ is how a person gets saved, the gospel of the kingdom was the kingdom of heaven being presented to the Jews. If the entire Bible was written to Christians, that would mean we would be preaching the gospel of the kingdom today.

Contradiction #4:

Under the old testament, the Israelites had to perform animal sacrifice to cover sins that were committed:

Exodus 29:36-37 (KJV) – “And thou shalt offer every day a bullock for a sin offering for atonement: and thou shalt cleanse the altar, when thou hast made an atonement for it, and thou shalt anoint it, to sanctify it. 37 Seven days thou shalt make an atonement for the altar, and sanctify it; and it shall be an altar most holy: whatsoever toucheth the altar shall be holy.”

Leviticus 4:2-3 (KJV) – “Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a soul shall sin through ignorance against any of the commandments of the LORD concerning things which ought not to be done, and shall do against any of them: 3 If the priest that is anointed do sin according to the sin of the people; then let him bring for his sin, which he hath sinned, a young bullock without blemish unto the LORD for a sin offering.”

In the new testament, our sins are paid for by the blood of Jesus Christ:

Acts 13:38-39 (KJV) – “Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: 39 And by him all that believe arejustified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.”

Colossians 2:13-14 (KJV) – “And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; 14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;”

Titus 2:13-14 (KJV) – “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; 14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”

If the entire Bible was written to Christians today, that would mean that Jesus died for nothing and we still have to keep animal sacrifices.

There are just 4 of the many examples of the contradictions in the Bible if non-dispensationalism was correct. Whenever Atheists claim to find contradictions in the Bible, they are always crossing dispensational lines, they will take verses from the old testament and the new testament and say they found contradictions in the Bible when in reality, they took verses from two different dispensations. Non-dispensationalism is a satanic heresy.

4 Portions Of Scripture That PROVE Dispensationalism:

Romans 16:25-26 (KJV) – “Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, 26 But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith.”

1 Corinthians 2:7-10 (KJV) – “But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: 8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.”

Colossians 1:24-27 (KJV) – “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: 25 Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; 26 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: 27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”

Ephesians 3:1-7 (KJV) – “For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, 2 If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: 3 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, 4 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) 5 Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; 6 That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel: 7 Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.”

All these portions of scripture clearly show that there was a mystery that wasn’t known in the past, but that was revealed to Paul and the early church. That is dispensationalism! God reveals things to people that were not known in previous dispensations, God reveals different mysteries to different people in different time periods. That is basic dispensationalism. The Apostle Paul was a dispensationalist!

“But Dispensationalism Was Invented In 1830 By John Nelson Darby”

First of all, Bible-Believing Christians deal with SCRIPTURE, the standard for doctrine is scripture alone, so it doesn’t matter who said what first, it only matters what the word of God says. So even if the dispensationalism was only invented in 1830, it doesn’t prove it’s false because the standard is not the “historic position of the church” the standard is what the scriptures say.

William Gouge (1575-1653): He taught that there were 6 dispensations. Adam to Noah; Noah to Abraham; Abraham to David; David to the Captivity; the Captivity to the Birth of Christ; the Birth of Christ to the White Throne Judgment. This system resembled the Roman Catholic system of Augustine. It left out the Mosaic Covenant, and spiritualized three-fourths of the Old Testament, teaching no restoration of Israel, and no Millennial Reign

(Notethis is not accurate, there are 7 dispensations, but this is to show that the teaching of dispensationalism existed before 1830).

Pierre Poiret (1646-1719): He taught a Calvinistic Premillennial system with 7 dispensations in 6 different “volumes”: The Oeconomy of the Creation; the Oeconomy of Sin; the Oeconomy of the Restoration; the Oeconomy of the Incarnation; the Oeconomy of the Cooperation of Man with the Operation of God, and the Oeconomy of Universal Providence. The 7th dispensation was a literal, 1000-year reign of Christ.

(Note: like the previous teaching, this is not accurate, but it shows that rightly dividing the bible into dispensations existed before 1830).

Isaac Watts (1674-1748): He taught 7 dispensations: The Dispensation of Innocency; the Dispensation of the Covenant of Grace; the Noahical Dispensation; the Abrahamical Dispensation, the Mosaical Dispensation, and the Christian Dispensation.

(Note: like the other two, this is not accurate, he leaves out the time of Jacob’s trouble and the 1000-year reign of Christ, but like the other two, it proves that dispensationalism has been taught before 1830).

Other pre-Darby dispensational systems have been taught by Joachim of Fiore (1135–1202), John Flechiere (1729-1785), John Taylor of Norwich (1694-1751), David Bogue (1750-1825), and John Priestley (1733—1804). All BEFORE 1830.