Our intent in writing this book was to provide all Christian believers, taught by the Spirit of God, a simplified means of understanding the Bible. Dispensationalism, as properly defined by the teaching presented here in these chapters, provides to any believer the tools by which he may rightly divide God’s word of truth. This theological system is simple to comprehend and stays true to the revelation of Scripture. The writing of the book contains a multitude of both quoted and referenced Scriptures. We plead with the reader to prayerfully consider these references, asking the Holy Spirit to enlighten his understanding of the word. As we read God’s word, we should always be seeking to receive, and this only by God’s grace, divine teaching from the Spirit of God. This is how we’ll possess the comprehension of God’s thoughts from His word. If we are diligent in always doing this, I do not doubt that this theological system will, as we previously said, be seen as obvious to you from the Scriptures.
We will not again go into the fine details and proofs, but will repeat for the reader the major points which make the dispensational system a simple understanding.
- There are only three dispensations which Scripture deals with in any substantial way. This is true concerning both systems presented in this book. When dispensationalism is based on God’s calling, there is a Jewish, a Christian, and a millennial dispensation. When the system is based on God’s government of the earth, there is a Jewish, a Gentile, and millennial dispensation.
- The two different systems are still based on the responsibility given by God to certain groups. The one based on calling involves Israel and the church as the two distinct corporate groups. The system based on government involves Jews and Gentiles. Dispensations are not based on individuals. Corporate responsibility is of the entire group acting as one body. This is very different from individual responsibility.
- Bible dispensations follow a distinct pattern. They all begin with a display of a sovereign work of God. Then a chosen corporate group is given responsibility by God for His testimony relating to this original work. When a dispensation is succeeded by a new one, it is because the corporate group has failed in its specific responsibility. Dispensations end by the judgment of God.
- When dispensations are based on God’s calling, each of the three dispensations are associated with one of the two religions God has sanctioned, either Judaism or Christianity.
We also mentioned early in the book the importance of understanding biblical principles in order to properly envision the bigger picture of Scripture. Again, without going into the fine details and proofs, we will list most of the prominent principles discussed in this book which are so helpful in enabling believers to rightly divide God’s word.
- From the time Adam was chased out of Eden to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, God had placed man on probation by which He tested and proved man’s depravity. This period of testing included the entire Jewish dispensation, the Jews serving as the privileged test-case representing all mankind. These truths give the reader a far better understanding of Israel, the Old Testament writings as well as the gospels, God’s true purpose for the law and Judaism, and the Jewish dispensation.
- The importance in seeing in New Testament Scripture the distinction the Spirit of God makes between the church and Christendom, the two corporate bodies associated with the Christian dispensation. This distinction is paramount to any proper understanding of the present dispensation.
- Most dispensational systems maintain a permanent separation between Israel and the church. Unfortunately, this separation isn’t maintained very well between Jewish and Christian things, especially the two religions. The subtle and systematic judaizing of the Christian faith is a real evil, which only adds to the corruption and ruin of Christendom in the world today. This reality may be obscure and difficult for many believers to see, but it remains a deep-seated influence in Christian teachings today.
- The realization that corporate responsibility is far different than individual responsibility. Dispensations are dependent on the corporate responsibility of a specific group chosen by God and instructed by Him to act as one unified body.
- This book teaches the proper way of defining and structuring the dispensational system. By applying this knowledge, any believer should arrive at the conclusion that Christendom is corrupt and ruined. If a dispensation is replaced by a new dispensation, it is only because that dispensation has failed. The Jewish dispensation, because of Israel’s corruption and ruin, failed and was replaced by the Christian dispensation. As certain as this was, we know the Christian dispensation will be replaced by the millennium.
- The rapture of the church, in sovereign power and grace, fulfills God’s calling of the believer/church. If only all Christians would realize this. We do not belong to this world, it is not our home. Being taken in glorified bodies to the Father’s house in heaven is the blessed hope of the church. If we really believed this and kept its expectation constantly before our eyes, it would keep us separated from this world as we patiently wait for the Lord.
There are many other important understandings related to the dispensational system that were discussed in the chapters of this book, teachings helpful in opening up the word of God to our minds and hearts. Particularly, we could have mentioned the believer being given the Holy Spirit to dwell with him and live in him during the Christian dispensation, and the consequent dispensational advantages exclusive to him by this gift. Or we could again comment on the Christian’s walk of faith in contrast with the Jewish walk by sight. Then there is the understanding of the differences between Jesus commanding believers to show self-sacrificing love for their brethren verses the law requiring the Jew to love his neighbor with self-love. Also, Jesus tells believers to only layup treasures in heaven; a Jew looking to be restored in the land with all physical blessings, would only be confused by such teaching. All these and more are principles exclusive to Christianity and the Christian dispensation. They are invaluable dispensational lessons that we, as Christians, should learn well.