DISPENSATIONALISM = ASSUMPTION + SENSATIONALISM + CONSPIRACY

GRANT SWART

Dispensationalism is a complicated system of belief about the “last days”, the Jewish nation, the millennium and other related subjects. This system is extremely popular and has been heavily promoted around the world during the last two centuries.  The system of Dispensationalism is built on false assumptions about Scripture and Bible prophecy. If ANY ONE of these assumptions is wrong then the entire system collapses and in essence, NONE of these assumptions can be biblically supported. With reference to my previous post on this subject, what follows is an outline of Dispensational assumptions.   

Assumption One

Dispensationalism assumes God deals differently with people in different time periods called dispensations [hence the name]. Although there is some disagreement among dispensationalists, most agree that there are seven distinct dispensations. The dealings of God with mankind are seen as separate – with perhaps some overlap.

Is God’s plan really broken up into different ways of dealing with people at different times? This is a dangerous assumption to make because it means that God is unpredictable. He has had different unrelated plans in the past and may then have different plans in the future. It also means that salvation in some of these dispensations was possible without the cross. Some people are saved, in this view, simply because of their national heritage.

“And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:” Mark 12:29

One God means one plan for all time and eternity.

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6

There is only one way to God: Jesus Christ. The Old Testament saints looked forward in faith to what Christ would do on the Cross and we, in the New Testament era, look back in faith to what He did do.

God does not have separate methods of dealing with people in different dispensations, instead He has one unfolding plan revealed in different stages. Each stage builds on the one which has gone before and expands it.

Assumption Two

Dispensationalism assumes there is more than one way to God. In particular, the natural Jews are seen as God’s special people and are saved because of who they are, not because of Christ’s work on the cross. Some go so far as to imply that if the Jews had accepted Jesus the cross would not have been necessary at all.

“And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.” Heb. 9:22

Without Christ’s shed blood no one could be saved: Jew or Gentile.

“And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” Rev. 13:8

The atoning death of Christ was God’s plan from the beginning of the world.

 Assumption Three

Dispensationalism assumes that God has not yet fulfilled His promise of Land to Abraham.

“And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him.” Gen. 12:7

“And the LORD said unto me, Arise, take thy journey before the people, that they may go in and possess the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give unto them.” Deut.10:11

God told Moses that He was about to give the land to the children of Israel as He had promised.

“And the LORD gave unto Israel all the land which he sware to give unto their fathers; and they possessed it, and dwelt therein.” Joshua 21:43

Scripture records that God fulfilled His promise to Abraham under Joshua.

“Blessed be the LORD, that hath given rest unto his people Israel, according to all that he promised: there hath not failed one word of all his good promise, which he promised by the hand of Moses his servant.” 1 Kings 8:56

Israel possessed the land a SECOND time under David and Solomon.

To say that God has not yet fulfilled His promise to Abraham is to deny to plain teaching Scripture. In fact, God gave it to them twice as confirmed by Scripture and perhaps once again – not confirmed by Scripture – under the Macabees. God kept His promise!

Assumption Four

Dispensationalism assumes there is a gap in the image in Dan. 2. For some mysterious reason the feet are disconnected from the legs. Daniel did not see this. He saw a complete image – no gap between the legs and the feet! Do you see one in the Scripture? Why would the Dispensationalist place a gap here? The only reason is to make Scripture fit into a prophetic agenda.

“This image’s head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay. Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.” Dan. 2:32-35

This beautiful picture of the kingdom of God [stone] being set up in the days of the Roman empire [at the death and resurrection of Christ] and growing until it fills the earth is twisted and distorted for sensationalistic thrills.

Assumption Five

Dispensationalism assumes there is a gap in the Seventy Weeks. Look at this verse. Look at the context. Is there a gap? Did not God say 70 weeks ARE determined? Did He say 69 plus gap will make 70? Of course not! My God knows how to count. 70 follows 69.

“Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.” Dan. 9:24

Almost everyone agrees that the 69 weeks brings us to the time of Christ. The 70th week is then the time of Christ’s ministry. If you look carefully at the above list you will see that Jesus did it all.

Assumption Six

Dispensationalism assumes the prince of Dan. 9:26-27 is a future antichrist.

“And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” Dan. 9:26-27

They teach that the antichrist, who is the prince, will confirm a covenant with the Jews, etc. They assume that “he” refers to the prince. A pronoun refers to the subject of a sentence. The subject of the previous sentence is the Messiah not the prince. It is the Messiah Who will confirm the covenant, etc. There is no way grammatically that “he” can refer to the prince – which is in a prepositional phrase.

Look at the above verses. Jesus confirmed the covenant – He said He came to minister to the lost house of Israel. His death on the cross ended the need of all the other sacrifices, etc. Dispensationalism takes the beautiful, holy work of Christ on the cross and credits it to some future antichrist! Why? So they can keep their system of prophecy in tack. By the way, twisting this Scripture is the only way they can get a seven year tribulation which is so important to their beliefs.

Assumption Seven

Dispensationalism assumes there are two Second Comings. They make a great difference between Christ coming WITH the saints and Christ coming FOR the saints. They sometimes try to avoid this problem by saying it is two stages of the same coming. However, two stages separated by 7 years IS two different comings. Study the Scriptures on the subject of the Second Coming and you will see that there is only one Second Coming. Some Scriptures only deal with one aspect of the Second Coming, but when you look at the big picture you see only one Second Coming.

Assumption Eight

Dispensationalism assumes that “this generation” in Matt. 24:34 was not the generation to whom Jesus was speaking. Interestingly, Dispensationalist Thomas Ice admits that every other time the word “generation” is used in the book of Matthew it means the generation then living. But in Matt. 24 it can’t mean that, it must mean a future generation that sees the predicted signs beginning to happen. Why is that? Because if Jesus actually meant what He said then all those prophetic signs would have already happened and could not be in the sensationalistic future. The entire dispensationalist vision of terrible future tribulation would be destroyed if Jesus seriously meant what He said. If Jesus had meant a future generation He could easily have said “the generation which sees these signs begin” but He didn’t.

“Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.” Matt. 24:34

Assumption Nine

Dispensationalism assumes that words in Revelation like “quickly” and “soon” do not mean something is going to happen in the immediate future. Like assumption eight, the dispensationalist believes he knows what the author meant instead of looking at what he said. They claimed that the references in Revelation to things happening quickly really mean that when the events begin to happen they will happen quickly. If that is what the writer had meant to say, he could easily have said it that way. He didn’t.

Assumption Ten

Dispensationalism assumes that natural Jews and national Israel are the center of God’s plan. Christ is replaced by the Jews. Examine some of their charts and you will see it is all about Jews. Jesus is a sidelight. Does God love the Jews? Of course, but Paul makes it very clear in Romans and elsewhere that the natural Jews no longer have any special place in the plan of God. What was the purpose of the Jewish nation in the Old Testament anyway? It was to be the womb through which Messiah would be born in order to bless the nations! A world-wide church was always the goal. The Jewish nation was a valuable and necessary instrument in accomplishing that goal. And if they had remained faithful to God as a nation there would have been great reward instead of AD 70. God is not a racist, all nations are now and forever welcomed into His presence through Jesus Christ.

This report is not intended to question the sincerity of anyone’s faith. Most dispensationalists love God. They are Christian brothers and sisters. However, their system of belief about these things is, I believe, a dangerous error. If you look at the implications, dispensationalism devalues Christ and the cross among other things. As you examine these things, search the Scripture with an open mind to see if these things are so or not. We are required to reject every teaching – no matter how interesting or popular – if it is not grounded firmly in Scripture in context.

Dispensationalism distracts Christians and motivates them to waste time, energy and money in a false direction rather than in expanding the Kingdom of God.


With appreciation to Glenn Davis 

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10 thoughts on “DISPENSATIONALISM = ASSUMPTION + SENSATIONALISM + CONSPIRACY

  1. Hi there , I have been reading up on dispensationalism , since many of my friends and people in the church are that way inclined. However I do think the covenental folks also have a point but also have deficiences in their doctrine. so my question is this. Does anyone really have a handle on real truth? Because the more I study the more I see flaws in even those I have rgarded as mentors. So who do you believe?

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    • Simon Thomas

      Thank you for commenting. It is possible that someone does have a handle on real eschatological truth, however, we are still burdened with the task of trying to find that specific teaching (or person). Even when we think we might have found the truth, as you say, we are left with certain doubts. And then, of course, we all operate from a position of fallibility, uncertainly and hope. We have to weigh the various positions carefully and meticulously against Scripture with much prayer, and then follow our conscience and sensibility about the matter.

      Of course, those who are of dispensational persuasion, claim to have a better handle on the truth, due to their claim of interpreting the Scripture in a more “literal” way, but first they have to make wild assumptions on which the rest of their eschatology is precariously balanced. Those assumptions put paid to any validity of their claim of a literal interpretation. As I have shown in this article, there are at least ten of these wild assumptions. Once these assumptions are accepted as “literal” interpretation of prophecy, only then can their sensationalism and conpiracy theories seem to become creditworthy.

      Although one can expect covenant theology to contain flaws based on the fact that it is also human interpretation, it leaves a hundred-fold less space for gross error and speculation. Added to that, the mere fact that most of what is today accepted as dispensationalism, owes its existence to a few men with severely suspect publications in very recent history, (who I have mentioned in my two articles), has led me to regard (most of) it as dangerous conjecture. I was a very strong dispensationalist myself until I had more time to properly study eschatology. I have since found it absolutely impossible to continue to hold to those beliefs. I still have many learned friends, brothers and sisters whom I hold very dear, who
      continue to stick to dispensationlism.

      Seeing as you are reading on this subject, I could make a few suggestions about some good literature which I have studied, as time has allowed. There is a tremendous amount to go through, and as you might have read some or even most of it, I’ll avoid the lists of suggested reading for now.

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  2. do you feel as though these events have already occurred…. Mat 24:29 But immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
    Mat 24:30 and then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

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    • Yes, and No. Why? Because, to understand the passage you mention, we must look at the questions which the disciples asked Jesus. They asked three specific questions, one dealing with the destruction of the temple and two others dealing with the coming of Jesus and the end of age. Quite naturally, the disciples may have assumed that the end of the age and the destruction of the temple could be the same event. Remember, Jesus was speaking to the disciples and they understood things, by and large, in accordance with their own understanding of their times.

      They might have been wrong in their assumption, as the destruction of the temple in AD70, was NOT the end of the age, neither did the Lord return in AD70. So, Jesus answered their questions to correct their misconceptions. Therefore, Matthew 24 referred to both the destruction of the temple and the accompanying judgement on Israel, as well describing a future judgement. This is why I answered your question as, Yes, and No. Because the passage you refer to does not describe only past events of AD70, but also future events.

      If we understand this passage to describe events which have all already occurred, or all which still have to occur, we fail to explain our Lord’s words here. What the disciples may have understood to be a singular event, may have been two separate events. Jesus answered the questions in such a way that it becomes clear that, while the coming destruction of the disciple’s world by the ruin of the temple and Jerusalem would seem to them to be the end of the age, (and would be part of God’s judgement on Israel), it was NOT the end of the age nor His Second Coming.

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  3. mennoknight

    Your comment has not been approved due to the maliciously speculative and misleading nature thereof. We do our fallible best to proclaim Biblical truth on this humble and relatively inconspicuous blog. If you regard what I have written in my articles and posts as insulting, I most strongly suggest that you do not read them. However, if that is the case, it does not grant you the right to insult the Truth, or me for that matter, on my blog.

    Important points made and questions asked in your comment have been dealt with in my articles. My further response would simply be a repetition of what I have already written. There are very few Dispensational theological arguments which I have not considered at length. I am blessed to be able to count a few highly qualified and deeply Christ-centered dispensational theologians amongst my elder teachers and beloved brothers, some of whom have been internationally publicized and read for good reason.

    Of course I have read the work of Michael Vlach and many other far more influential dispensational theologians and Christian teachers. It would have been absurd of me to have written this article, had I not previously considered the writings of all the primary sources of dispensationalism.

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  4. I believe you’re confusing dispensationalism with dual covenant theology. Dispensationalists do NOT believe the Jewish people are saved just because of their heritage. That’s dual covenant theology. What we believe is that the church has not replaced Israel nor taken God’s promises from them.

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    • Thank you for your comment.

      I agree that Dispensationalists do not believe that the Jewish people are saved simply because of their heritage, but rather that they will be saved (converted) as a nation in the future.

      The church has not replaced Israel as a nation. The church IS the spiritual Israel, not a new development. The Body of Christ, will never be separated and God will never make a regressive move back to the Law for the benefit of the Jews/nation of Israel.

      None of God’s promises to the Jews have been taken from them, or handed over to the church. Neither Covenant theology, nor the heretical dual-covenant theology, hold that belief. All the Old Testament promises which God made to the Jewish people have been fulfilled in their entirety.

      Dual-covenant theology holds the heretical view that Jews simply need to keep the Law of Moses because of the everlasting Abrahamic covenant as expressed in the Hebrew Bible, whereas the church (those who are not Jewish) must convert to Christianity or accept the Seven Laws of Noah in order to be saved.

      The summary of conclusions of both Dispensational and Dual-covenantal beliefs are modern and erroneous interpretations of Scriptural prophecy.

      The New Covenant is now in place and Jesus Christ, our Great High Priest, is the leader of this Covenant and is also the Great High Priest over this New Covenant, which includes all nations without exception.

      No confusion there.

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  5. (Grant, here a thing I spotted on my computer. Hope you find it interesting.)

    Pretrib Rapture Pride

    by Bruce Rockwell

    Pretrib rapture promoters like Thomas Ice give the impression they know more than the early Church Fathers, the Reformers, the greatest Greek New Testament scholars including those who produced the KJV Bible, the founders of their favorite Bible schools, and even their own mentors!
    Ice’s mentor, Dallas Sem. president John Walvoord, couldn’t find anyone holding to pretrib before 1830 – and Walvoord called John Darby and his Brethren followers “the early pretribulationists” (RQ, pp. 160-62). Ice belittles Walvoord and claims that several pre-1830 persons, including “Pseudo-Ephraem” and a “Rev. Morgan Edwards,” taught a pretrib rapture. Even though the first one viewed Antichrist’s arrival as the only “imminent” event, Ice (and Grant Jeffrey) audaciously claim he expected an “imminent” pretrib rapture! And Ice (and John Bray) have covered up Edwards’ historicism which made a pretrib rapture impossible! Google historian Dave MacPherson’s “Deceiving and Being Deceived” for documentation on these and similar historical distortions.
    The same pretrib defenders, when combing ancient books, deviously read “pretrib” into phrases like “before Armageddon,” “before the final conflagration,” and “escape all these things”!
    BTW, the KJV translators’ other writings found in London’s famed British Library (where MacPherson has researched) don’t have even a hint of pretrib rapturism. Is it possible that Ice etc. have found pretrib “proof” in the KJV that its translators never found?
    Pretrib merchandisers like Ice claim that nothing is better pretrib proof than Rev. 3:10. They also cover up “Famous Rapture Watchers” (on Google) which shows how the greatest Greek NT scholars of all time interpreted it.
    Pretrib didn’t flourish in America much before the 1909 Scofield Bible which has pretribby “explanatory notes” in its margins. Not seen in the margins was jailed forger Scofield’s criminal record throughout his life that David Lutzweiler has documented in his recent book “The Praise of Folly” which is available online.
    Biola University’s doctrinal statement says Christ’s return is “premillennial” and “before the Tribulation.” Although universities stand for “academic freedom,” Biola has added these narrow, restrictive phrases – non-essentials the founders purposely didn’t include in their original doctrinal statement when Biola was just a small Bible institute! And other Christian schools have also belittled their founders.
    Ice, BTW, has a “Ph.D” issued by a tiny Texas school that wasn’t authorized to issue degrees! Ice now says that he’s working on another “Ph.D” via the University of Wales in Britain. For light on the degrees of Ice’s scholarliness, Google “Bogus degree scandal prompts calls to wind up University of Wales,” “Thomas Ice (Bloopers),” “be careful in polemics – Peripatetic Learning,” and “Walvoord Melts Ice.” Also Google “Thomas Ice (Hired Gun)” – featured by media luminary Joe Ortiz on his Jan. 30, 2013 “End Times Passover” blog.
    Other fascinating Google articles include “The Unoriginal John Darby,” “X-raying Margaret,” “Edward Irving in Unnerving,” “Pretrib Rapture Politics,” “Pretrib Rapture Secrets,” “Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty,” “Pretrib Hypocrisy,” “Pretrib Rapture Secrecy,” and “Roots of Warlike Christian Zionism” – most from the author of “The Rapture Plot,” the most accurate documentation on pretrib rapture history.
    Can anyone guess who the last proud pretrib rapture holdout will be?
    (Postscript: For another jolt or two Google “The Background Obama Can’t Cover Up.”)

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  6. Pingback: Scofield “Bible” (Part 3) – C.I. Scofield: Dispensational Scalawag | For the Love of His Truth

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