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The Brief Teaching on Dispensationalism

Dispensationalism is God’s creative management of the ages in keeping with His own eternal plan, incorporating the good and bad choices of humans.           -Danny Campbell

3 Key Features of Dispensationalism:                

The overall theme of the Bible is the glory of God.

Takes Bible texts at their plain meaning. Therefore Bible passages are read literally unless the context indicates otherwise.   

Maintains a clear distinction between Israel and the Church. Unfulfilled Promises made to Israel will be fulfilled. Dispensationalists reject the idea of the church replacing Israel.   

Clarifying items about Dispensational teaching:

Salvation is always by grace through faith!

The call in every dispensation is to believe God and love Him.

Then each dispensation has specific commands to obey.

There is both continuity and discontinuity between the dispensations:

Salvation is always a matter of believing in and loving God; some commands are reiterated, others non-applicable (Priestly Law, Civil Law)

Some things end at the end of a dispensation

Access to Garden; Civil Law of Israel

The Rites to observe may be different in different dispensations

7th Day Principle observed on the Sabbath by Israel, on Lord’s Day for the Church

Circumcision for Israel, Baptism for the Church 

Passover sacrifice for Israel; Lord’s Supper for the Church

No need to “spiritualize” battles Israel fought, or to try and justify what God called them to do in that ‘dispensation’ as if they were the church

No need to speak of “the church in the OT” – the church wasn’t in the OT!

No need to insist that the church replaces Israel – God has a future plan for Israel that will fulfill all of His literal promises to Israel.

“The basis for salvation in every age is the death of Christ; the requirement for salvation in every age is faith; the object of faith in every age is God; the content of faith changes in the various dispensations.”            -Charles Ryrie

“Now we must frankly admit that a literal interpretation of the Old Testament prophecies gives us just such a picture of an earthly reign of the Messiah as the premillennialist pictures. That was the kind of Messianic kingdom that the Jews of the time of Christ were looking for, on the basis of a literal kingdom interpretation of the Old Testament.”                                                                                             -Floyd Hamilton, amillennialist

Verses to Consider:

Genesis 3:22-24                      Clear that one age has ended, another begun

Genesis 6:1-8                          Clear that one age is ending, and another coming

Psalm 37:34                             The Righteous will inherit the land

Jer. 25:11-12; 29:10; Dan.9:1-2          Daniel took Jeremiah literally

Daniel 9:24-27                         Speaks of much to come, including Tribulation

Daniel 12:1-2                           Refers to the very end

Matthew 5:17                         Came to fulfill the Law

John 1:17                                 Law through Moses, grace and truth through Jesus

John 7:37-39                           Different realities about H.S. B.C. and A.C.

Luke 11:24                               Until time of Gentiles has ended

Acts 1:5-9                                Kingdom Restoration coming later

Acts 3:21                                 Coming restoration of all things

Romans 11:1-7, 25-29             Coming moment of mass salvation for Israel

Galatians 3:13-29, v. 24          The different aspects of the law

Ephesians 1:10                        Dispensation of the fullness of the times

Revelation 3:10                       Church raptured before the Tribulation


Eternity Past

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.     -Genesis 1:1

“Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever You had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God” (Psalm 90:2).

“And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory I had with You before the world was.”                         -John 17:5

“Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.”                 -John 17:24

 “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”          -Rev. 1:8

But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me, The One to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting.     -Micah 5:2

Being omniscient, or all-knowing, God was able to factor in all the free will choices that angels and humans would make ________________ He created everything.

But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory.                     -1 Cor. 2:7

Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; Mercy and truth go before Your face.                                 -Psalm 89:14

The Lord possessed me (WISDOM) at the beginning of His way, before His works of old, I have been established from everlasting, from the beginning, before there was ever an earth.             -Proverbs 8:22-23

Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world…   -Eph. 1:4a

Who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began.   -2 Tim. 1:9

Then the King will say to those on His right hand, “Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.”            -Matthew 25:34

All who dwell on earth will worship him (the antichrist), whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.       -Revelation 13:8

…whose names are not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world. -Rev. 17:8b

In hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began.     -Titus 1:2

He (Jesus) indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you.                        -1 Peter 1:20

For we who have believed do enter that rest, as He has said: So I swore in My wrath, ‘they shall not enter My rest,’ although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.                                                                                                                          -Hebrews 4:3

Ephesians 1:7-11

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2 big timing Questions about angels and demons:

When did God create angels?

When did some angels rebel with Satan and become demons?

Job 38:1-7

Since the angels were singing and shouting as God was creating, they themselves must have been __________________ before Genesis 1:1. In other words, before the 6 days of creation!

Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?                    -Hebrews 1:14

Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in Heaven.                                                                                      -Matthew 18:10

So we conclude that Satan and the demons fell sometime after creation started but before Satan deceived Eve and Adam in Genesis chapter 3.

Closer look at Satan’s fall –

Isaiah 14:12-17                        Ezekiel 28:11-19

Nowhere are we told the total number of angels and demons. But there is a place that tells us what percentage of angels became demons.

Revelation 12:3-4

Then He will also say to those on the left hand, “Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the Devil and his angels.”   -Matt. 25:41