Friday, December 28, 2012


One of the studies on Dispensationalism found in the vast resources of Middletown Bible Church's web site (, opens with this statement: 

"THE SCRIPTURES, when interpreted in their natural, literal sense, reveal divinely determined dispensations or rules of life which define man’s responsibilities in successive ages. These dispensations are not ways of salvation, but rather divinely ordered stewardships by which God directs man according to His purpose. Three of these—the dispensations of law, grace, and the millennial rule of Christ—are the subjects of detailed revelation in Scripture (Jn. 1:17; 1 Cor. 9:17; 2 Cor. 3:9-18; Gal. 3:13-25; Eph. 1:10; Col. 1:24-25; Heb. 7:19; Rev. 20:2-6)."

I have a couple of problems with this statement, should someone present it out of context.  For one, a person unfamiliar with the seven dispensations (Innocence, Conscience, Human Government, Promise, Law, Grace, and The Kingdom), may be confused by the paragraph's focus on Law, Grace, and the Millennium.  When one thinks about it, it is obvious that man was accountable to God long before Moses was given the Law.  Key figures in the four dispensations prior to the Law were Adam (the Fall), Noah (the Flood), Nimrod (the Failure to disperse), and Abraham (the obsession with a Foreign land - Egypt). 

In addition, the first 2000 years prior to Abraham being born, involved only Gentiles.  The 2000 years between Abraham and Christ, focused upon the Jews.  The 2000 years from the Crucifixion, Burial, and Resurrection of Jesus until today (1 Cor. 15:1-4), focus upon the Church, which consists of both Gentiles and Jews who have come to faith in Christ.  That totals 6000 years of man having the responsibility of governing themselves.  The next 1000 years will involve the Lord Jesus Christ governing man upon this earth (Rev. 20:1-7).

On a positive note, the statement makes it clear that:
1)  The Scriptures must be interpreted literally in order to properly understand them.
2)  There are rules of life given to man by God.
3)  Man is responsible to obey God according to "the light" He has revealed to them.
4)  Salvation was, is, and always will be based upon faith in God's provision:  Jesus!

There is a literal God, who has literal rules to be followed by literal man.
Because we all literally fail to obey God, He has literally provided His Son.
Jesus literally died, was buried, and rose again to rule over all His creation.



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