Summary: What is Dispensationalism? How do understand what God is doing inhistory?
Eph 1:10, 3:2; Col 1:25
INTRO: An unusual topic, Can be deep, confusing & some might think unnecessary
1. I submit, if it helps us to understand our God in a greater
way, to Know how He operates, therefore it effects our faith
and our life
2. Ultimately what we are looking at is
a. The on-working Program of God as it unfolds through the
course of history
3. Dr. C.I. Scofield: lawyer saved & became a bible student
a. Part of the DL Moody ministries
b. Scofield provided the classic definition of dispensation
A dispensation is a period of time during which man is tested in respect to his obedience to some specific revelation of the will of God.
a. He saw through history 7 periods of time in which God was
doing different things with men
(1) the "dispensation of innocence," which covered the time before the fall when Adam and Eve were in the Garden, in fellowship with God;
(2) the "dispensation of conscience," which followed the fall and extended to the time of Noah, when men lived according to their consciences;
(3) the "dispensation of human government," which came in after the flood and went from Noah’s time until that of Abraham;
(4) the "dispensation of promise," which began when Abraham was given various great promises of God by which men were to live, as Dr. Scofield saw it, until the time when Moses brought the Law.
(5) the "dispensation of law" ran on through many centuries until the coming of Jesus Christ, who introduced
(6) the "dispensation of grace" in which we all live,
(7) the "dispensation of the kingdom," which many call "the millennium," the thousand years of Christ’s rule on earth which is yet to come.
2Ti 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
4. The old Dispensationalist would interpret that as to
understand thing we must divide things in time periods
a. But I would hope we would agree that isn’t the meaning
b. But rightly comprehending the teachings, principles of
God & His revelation of Himself to us
B. Sayings to recognize changes in God’s revelation of Himself
1. “The Great Parenthesis” takes note of the fact that seemingly God
has interrupted his program with the nation of Israel,
a. That at the Cross this nation was scattered abroad across
the face of the earth, & God introduced the church.
b. The church age will run its course until the Great
c. Then God will again deal with the people of Israel & wind
up this age with a resurgence of the prominence of the
nation of Israel.
1. The period in between, then, is called "The Great Parenthesis," the
time when God is working with the church, as opposed to Israel.
c. Now, there is a good deal of truth in some of these
1. But that line of thought deals with the history & focus on man/Israel
2. “All Scripture is for us, but not all is about us’
a. This was an attempt to show people that certain parts of the
Scriptures seemingly did not apply to the church, or
Christians today, but were addressed only to the Jews.
b. And there is some grain of truth running through this as
well, which we need to understand.
c. Again this is the old school of thought dealing with time
d. What is the purpose of Scripture?
2Ti 3:16-17 All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
1. ALL Scripture even OT has great benefits & are to be studied
a. Why? History? Understanding the NT? NO GOD to know Him
Joh 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
3 Do you get it? To properly interpret scripture, though it
speaks intimately of mankind,
a. The scripture is authored by & is about God
I. Time line vs. Truth line
A. We can certainly look back & see history unfold & see God’s
hand at work
1. Creation to Revelation Eternity past to Eternity future
a. As Scofield notes God appears to be about a course of
action that is different at different times in history
*1. Love time lines, I am visually oriented
a. But does that tell us of God’s operation or his character?
1. Operation not character or
2. Is God just about His Plan & purpose for man life?
a. Or is He about His Person & His Presence in man’s life?
3. Again Dr. Scofield says a dispensation is a period of time.