VS. COVENANT THEOLOGY
Applied to REPLACEMENT THEOLOGY.
”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
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.
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Range of Bible Chapters
to Exodus 19
Exodus 20 to
Acts 2 to
7 or 8 Dispensational
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
· 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
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.