DISPENSATIONALISM  VS.  COVENANT  THEOLOGY

Applied to REPLACEMENT THEOLOGY.

By www.FeastsOfTheLord.Net

 

A ”Dispensation” is a distinctive arrangement or period in history that forms the framework through which God relates to mankind.  This view sees a series of chronologically successive dispensations in Biblical history, with regard to the different Biblical covenant promises.  Dispensationalists place emphasis on to whom these original promises were written, i.e. the original recipients.  This has led to certain fundamental Dispensational beliefs, such as a distinction between Israel and the Church.

Dispensational Premillennialism generally holds that Israel and the Church are distinct entities and that the Church is the “New Israel”.  According to this view, the many promises made to Israel were forfeited (i.e. punitive supersessionism; divine judgment for their rejection of Messiah) and fulfilled in the Christian Church.  This position holds that the Jewish nation no longer has a place as the people of God.   That place was taken by the Christian community, which fulfills God’s purpose for Israel.  The blessings and restorations of Israel are spiritualized into promises of God’s blessing for the Church.  Yet the prophecies of condemnation and judgment still remain for national Israel and the Jewish people.  This view is called Replacement Theology because the Church replaces Israel in the program of God. 

Two Forms of Premillennialism

There are two forms or variations of Premillennialism.

The main difference between these two forms of Premillennialism is the emphasis that each gives to the nation Israel during the Millennium.  One form of Premillennialism holds that the nation Israel will be saved and restored to a place of preeminence in the Millennium.  Thus, Israel will have a special function of service in the Millennium that is different from that of the Church or saved Gentiles.

The second form of Premillennialism, on the other hand, hold that the nation Israel will undergo a national salvation immediately before the Millennium is established, but there will be no national restoration of Israel.   Thus, the nation Israel will not have a special role or function that is distinct from the Church.

Church historian Philip Schaff stated that Premillennialism / Chiliasm was the most widely-held view in eschatology of the Ante-Nicene age (100-325 A.D.) and a widely-held current opinion of many other distinguished teachers throughout history as of 1884.

Dispensationalism is a nineteenth-century evangelical development that sees a series of chronologically successive "dispensations" or periods in history in which God relates to human beings in different ways under different Biblical covenants.   As a system, Dispensationalism is rooted in the writings of John Nelson Darby (1800–1882) and the Brethren Movement.

The theology of Dispensationalism consists of a distinctive eschatological "end times" perspective, as all dispensationalists hold to Premillennialism and most hold to a Pretribulation Rapture.

Dispensationalism traces its roots to the 1830s with John Darby.  The Dispensational form of Premillennialism was propagated on the popular level largely through the Scofield Reference Bible and on the academic level with Lewis Sperry Chafer’s eight-volume Systematic Theology.

 

 

Range of Bible Chapters

Schemes

Genesis 1–3

Genesis 3–8

Genesis 9–11

Genesis 12
to Exodus 19

Exodus 20 to
Acts 1

Acts 2 to
Revelation 20

Revelation 20:4–6

Revelation 20–22

7 or 8 Dispensational
Scheme

Innocence
or Edenic

Conscience
or Antediluvian

Civil Government

Patriarchal
or Promise

Mosaic
or Law

Grace
or Church

Millennial Kingdom

Eternal State
or Final

4 Dispensational
Scheme

Patriarchal

Mosaic

Ecclesial

Zionic

3 Dispensational
Scheme
(minimalist)

Law

Grace

Kingdom

 

 

Note: These different dispensations are not separate ways of salvation.   During each of them, man is reconciled to God in only one way, (i.e. by God's grace through Jesus the Christ.)

Other possible Dispensations:

·         Dispensation of Abraham

·         Mosaic Dispensation

·         Dispensation of the meridian of time

This dispensation's authority was in Jesus Christ himself and then with the apostles after His death and Resurrection.  Following their death, shortly after the record of the Bible but before the Nicene Creed, the Earth fell into what Darby terms ‘the great apostasy’.

Dispensation of the fullness of times

The Dispensation of the fullness of times is the last dispensation before the second coming of Jesus Christ.  It was begun with the restoration of the church in 1830 (which Darby associates with his founding of the Brethren movement) and continued with the restoration of all the priesthood keys of each prior dispensation restored.

 

 

Replacement Theology”:

According to this doctrine the Church rivals Israel by claiming that she is the "New Israel of the Spirit", superseding the "old Israel of the flesh".  This incredibly arrogant claim of the Church found its legal expressions in the "Codex Justinian", which subsequently spawned the Inquisition, the Crusades, as well as multiple expulsions and pogroms.  Today we see this theory manifest itself by calling for "even-handedness" in the Arab/Israel controversy.   According to this theory all of G-d's promises to 'physical' Israel have been cancelled, as they have been transferred to 'spiritual' Israel - i.e. the Church.  Thus they have tried to make this theory fit with literally hundreds, if not thousands, of prophecies and inspired statements in the Bible that refer to the ultimate "Restoration of Israel".  Even though the contexts in which many of these inspired statements are set clearly indicate reference to a 'literal' and 'physical' restoration of the Whole House of Israel, they have tried to rationalize this by 'spiritualizing' them away.  For centuries the church has tried to impose its own interpretation on Scripture.   The Bible, however, is foremost a book about Israel!    While Christians have a concept of 'personal redemption', 'national redemption' is something that is foreign to them.  Yet nearly ninety percent of the prophetic books of the Bible are about the redemption of the House/Nation of Israel .  If the established Christian Church today were to recognize that all these prophecies refer to a 'literal' and 'physical' Israel after all, her entire theological house of cards would collapse.  Thus with this crucial vested interest at stake, it should not surprise us that their leaders are wholly opposed to any idea of a physical, literal Israel playing any role in end-time eschatology.


 

The following link demonstrates and refutes this heresy to delete God’s covenant with Israel:

PRE WRATH vs. PRE TRIBULATION - Rapture Eschatology Hermeneutics

DANIEL 9:27 Hebrew Transliteration and English Equivalents:

http://www.feastsofthelord.net/prewrathrapture/id14.html

 

Many well-known scholars warned that the teachings of Dispensationalism were "unscriptural" (Spurgeon), "heterodox" (Dabney), "bizarre doctrine" and "grievous error" (Warfield), but the warnings went largely unheeded.

 

For example:   “Parallelism” Hermeneutics  -  PRE-TRIB  THEOLOGICAL  FOUNDATIONS  -  “Tribulation” vs. “ Wrath”

http://www.feastsofthelord.net/prewrathrapture/id28.html

 

Darby is considered to be the father of modern Dispensationalism.  He produced a translation of the Bible based on the Hebrew and Greek texts called The Holy Scriptures: A New Translation from the Original Languages by J. N. Darby.    Darby is noted in the theological world as the father of "Dispensationalism," later made popular in the United States by Cyrus Scofield's Scofield Reference Bible, and later by the New American Standard Bible (NASB or RYRIE Bibles).

 

There were also differences of opinion regarding the nature, calling, and order of the church.  Newton felt that the church includes all the faithful from Abraham to the present.  He was not interested in the extreme Dispensational views of Darby and stated that they were the “height of speculative nonsense.”  Newton was opposed to the idea of the church being “a special company of whose calling and destiny the Old Testament knows nothing”.

 

Today, Dispensationalism is in a theological turmoil, having declined sharply since the 1970's because of mounting questions, inconsistencies and criticism.  Grenz notes, "Dispensationalism today is in a state of fluidity.  No longer are the rigid distinctives of the past held to with unswerving certainty.  Many Progressive Dispensationalists are no longer certain as to exactly what are the defining tenets of the system that commands their allegiance."