Dispensationalism, Its Development, Its Beliefs, Its Consequences: Part Two – Its Beliefs

In part one, we considered a brief overview of the Dispensationalism error. Now we shall look at a few of its basic beliefs. The platform for all of this system is the concept of a dispensation.

A dispensation is a period of time in which God deals with man in a particular way. While classic dispensationalism has as many as seven dispensations, we will only look at two. Most of the Old Testament period makes up the dispensation of the law. In this dispensation, God requires (1) the Israelites to perfectly keep both the ceremonial law and the ten commandments. He provided the temple service and animal sacrifice to deal with sin. The next dispensation (2) is the dispensation of grace. This dispensation only deals with the Church, not the Jews. Dispensationalists believe that Christ came to Earth in order to set up an earthly kingdom of Jewish converts. When the Jews refused to accept him, God had to come up with Plan B. Now, Plan B is the Church and the dispensation of grace. Orthodox Reformed Christians believe that God is omniscient and was not surprised by the Jews rejection of the Gospel. They also believe that God (even in the Old Testament) always has only one way of dealing with people. People were always looking forward to the perfect sacrifice for sin. The entire book of Hebrews was written to show how Christ was the fulfillment to the old covenant with its temple service and priesthood. It shows how Christ is superior to all of the old covenant system.

Another important belief of dispensationalism is that there are two distinct peoples of God: the Jews and the Church. Each of these has its own separate destiny. They believe that the Old Testament of the Bible was written chiefly to the Jews, as was the Gospels and Revelation. The letters of Saint Paul etc. were written to the Church. This teaching is probably one of the most erroneous planks of the dispensationalist theology. It fragments the Church, and is clearly not founded in the scriptures.

They believe that the Jews will return to Palestine at the end of the church age and eventually set up a new temple with a renewed Mosaic system. This is the reason that these folks support the nation of Israel and have such a pro-Jewish bias. A clear reading of the book of Galatians will illustrate the errors of this idea.

Dispensationalism also supports two returns of Christ. They say he will return first (secretly) and snatch up all the true Christians. They refer to this secret return as the Rapture. Now this Rapture is at the beginning of the period of tribulation, so they don’t believe that Christians will have to undergo any terrible persecution; after all the Lord is coming to take them away. They say that the Lord will return a second time at the end of the Great Tribulation and establish his kingdom of earth. Now this secret Rapture was NEVER taught in the Church until about 1830. Just let that soak in a little bit! There is not a single verse in the Bible that clearly shows this.

The final belief that we will look at is their belief that the Law of God has been done away with. But the Law of God (the Ten Commandments) are very important to Orthodox Reformed theology. First, the law shows us a clear picture of the Holy nature of God and second it shows us how we should live in respect to God and man. Without the standard of God’s law, evangelicals have drifted into the quagmire of modernity. Resulting in situational ethics and political correctness.

In conclusion, we see that Dispensationalism is a complex system which does not conform to the simple teachings of the Bible. Next we shall look at the dangers resulting from Dispensationalism.

-By Guy de Vries