A short series by Ken Gentry
In a 6 Parts series below
Christological Distortions in Dispensationalism
In this and the next few newsletters, I will be highlighting three types of distortions involved in popular classic dispensationalism. These distortions are harmful to a balanced Christian worldview. In this brief series, I have chosen to cover classic dispensational errors in the areas of christology, redemptive history, and contemporary historical progress. There are, of course, many other areas that I could consider.
Before I begin considering these, it should be understood that, as in any system, there will be some internal disagreements among its adherents. The aspects I have chosen for scrutiny are broadly popular, even if some of the details of the following features are debated by dispensational theologians. I would also note that I will not be dealing with the latest variety of dispensationalism, “progressive dispensationalism.” This is because I am more concerned with the enormous influence of the older form which lies behind many multi-million selling books found in Christian bookstores everywhere. It’s influence is as large as it sales are enormous.
“Christ’s Rule is Future”
First, popular dispensationalism denies the contemporary presence of Christ’s kingdom, despite the clear teaching of Scripture. Thomas Ice writes that: “Whatever dynamic God has given believers today does not mean that the Messianic kingdom is here. We see it as totally future.” 
The dispensational view requires Christ’s physical presence or earth to rule over His kingdom. Dispensationalists often say, “You canoed have the kingdom present without the presence of the king.” Of course, an immediate problem with this statement is that Satan has an evil kingdom present (Matt. 12:26; John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11), even though he is only spiritually present (Eph. 2:2; 2 Cor. 4:4; Eph. 6:12). But a more serious problem is that Christ clearly taught that He established His kingdom when He came to earth. Let us survey some of the evidence.
In Mark 1:14-15, early in His ministry, Christ said: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand.” Notice that the prophetically decreed time had come; the kingdom was declared near at hand -not 2000 (or more!) years away. A little later in His ministry, as he exercised power over Satan, the Lord noted: “if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you” (Matt. 12:28).
Christ even prophesied that its coming with great power would be witnessed by His hearers: “And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power” (Mark 9:1). There seems no way around the fact that some that literally stood in Jesus’ presence would live (“not taste death’) until that time. Although by the very expression, it is implied that some would, in fact, taste death before that event. Consequently, Christ teaches that the kingdom’s coming “with power” would occur in that generation, even though it would be somewhat later than when Jesus spoke (and, hence, not the Transfiguration of only six days later).
Thus, in Colossians 1:13 Paul writes of our present salvation: “He hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son.” John agrees in Revelation 1:6, 9: “And He hath made us kings and priests unto God and His Father. . . I John, who also am your brother, and companion in the tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ.” In tact, we are now ruling with Christ, for Paul says in Ephesians 2:6: He “hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (cp. Rom. 6:5; 8:17: Col. 2:13; 3:1-3; Rev. 20:4).
Dispensationalism distorts Christ’s teaching about the coming of His kingdom, despite the clarity of His teaching on the matter. In other words, a major reason for Christ’s first coming was that he might be gloriously enthroned as Messianic king (Isa. 9:6,7; Luke 24:26; John 12:23; 17:5; 18:37; Acts 2:30-34; 1 Pet. 1:1 1), which understanding is lost in classic dispensationalism!
In my next article I will conclude the study of the Christological distortions in dispensationalism.
1. H. Wayne House and Thomas D. Ice, Dominion Theology: Blessing or Curse? (Portland, OR: Multnomah, 1988), 220.
2. There seems to be a distinction necessary here between the kingdom’s coming (which in Luke 17:20-21 is subtle and present, see later discussion) and the kingdom’s coming “with power” (which comes in the destruction of the temple in a very dramatic way in the near future from Christ’s perspective).
Christ, Politics, and Humiliation in Dispensationalism
In my previous newsletter I began a consideration of some of the leading errors in classic dispensationalism. I opened with a presentation of the Christological distortions inherent in the system — which is significant in that Christ lies at the very center of Christianity. I will conclude my concern with those Christological distortions in this newsletter.
“Christ’s Rule is Political”
Dispensationalism posits a carnal and political kingdom, rather than a spiritual and redemptive one. Dispensationalism has Christ on a physical throne in earthly Jerusalem administering the day-to-day political affairs of the world during their earthly millennium. Citing Thomas Ice again, we learn: “Then God’s will in heaven will be brought to earth. But not until Christ rules physically from Jerusalem.”
But Christ and the New Testament writers clearly discount such a notion. Contrary to such an idea, they teach that His kingdom is a spiritual kingdom rooted in the heart (although not denying its external impact). In fact, in Luke 17:20–21 Christ contradicted the Zionist tendencies of many first-century Jews when He denied a future earthly, political kingdom introduced by catastrophic intervention: “Now having been questioned by the Pharisees as to when the kingdom of God was coming, He answered them and said, ‘The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed; nor will they say, “Look, here it is!” or, “There it is!” For behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst.’”
When Christ stood before Pilate, He repeated the same truth. In John 18:36 we read: “My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight.” His was not a political kingdom like that of Caesar’s, requiring an army. This probably explains why He asked Pilate where he got his information (John 18:33, 34): Had he heard it from the Jews, Pilate would have heard a misconception of the nature of the kingdom; had he heard Jesus say it, he should have known what Jesus intended.
Paul picks up on and promotes the spiritual nature of the kingdom, when he writes that “the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost” (Rom. 14:17). He says nothing of a political kingdom by which Christ rules the world’s nations.
Dispensationalism discounts the spiritual glory of Christ’s present rule by denying it. And this despite the biblical record.
Christ’s Second Humiliation
Another significant christological distortion appears in dispensationalism’s having Christ endure a second humiliation. In their view the Lord leaves heaven (which is His throne) to return to rule on earth (which is His footstool) only to finally have His personal kingdom rule rebelled against.
One major aspect of His humiliation was His dwelling in the dust of the earth and suffering abuse during His ministry. Thomas Ice writes that in the postmillennial view: “Messiah is in heaven and only present mystically in his kingdom. His absence from the earth during his kingdom reign robs Messiah of his moment of earthly glory and exaltation.”
Ice’s statement is incredible. Scripture teaches of Christ’s return to heaven that it is not a place where His reign is robbed! We must understand the majestic glory that is His, which issues from His ascension into heaven. Did He not pray to the Father just before the cross: “Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was” (John 17:5)? He was preparing to leave the earth to enter heaven. He considered that to be glorious, not a robbery of glory!
Ephesians 1:20 says: “Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at His own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under His feet and gave him to be the head over all things to the church.”
The same concept is repeated in Philippians 2:9: “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name.” 1 Peter 3:22 agrees: “Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.” This is a robbery of His glory?
What is worse, the “moment of glory” that Christ has during His millennial rule ends up in chaos and rebellion! J. D. Pentecost states that toward the end of the millennial kingdom Satan “goes forth to deceive the nations, in order to lead a final revolt against the theocracy of God.” Pentecost admits that “there is no understanding how a multitude, ‘the number of whom is as the sand of the sea’. . . , could revolt against the Lord Jesus Christ, when they have lived under His beneficence all their lives.” Christ’s “moment of glory” ends in chaos and ultimate failure!
As Walvoord put it: “Thus the last gigantic rebellion of man develops against God’s sovereign rule in which the wicked meet their Waterloo. As the battle is joined in [Rev. 20:91, the great host led by Satan and coming from all directions compasses the camp of the saints. The word for camp’. . . seems to refer to the city of Jerusalem itself which is described as ‘the beloved city."’4
Dispensationalism’s "moment of glory" for Jesus puts Him back in the dust of the earth, so that He might personally, physically administer a kingdom that eventually revolts against Him and attacks Him and His capitol.
The Christological errors briefly surveyed in this and the preceding newsletter article are quite serious. Dispensationalism has significant — not inconsequential — problems inherent within it relates to the view of Christ and His ministry. It is important that we recognize the debate regarding dispensationalism is not over minute details of the complex of end time events. Dispensationalism inadvertently diminishes the glory of the person and work of Christ.
But there are more errors. I will continue looking at these dispensational distortions in my next article.
1. H. Wayne House and Thomas D. Ice, Dominion Theology, 160.
2. House and Ice, Dominion Theology, p. 240.
3. J. Dwight Pentecost, Things to Come (Gand Rapids: Zondervan, 1958), 548, 551.
4. John F. Walvoord, The Revelation of Jesus Christ (Chicago: Moody, 1966), 304.
Redemptive History Errors
In this portion of my survey of dispensational theological distortions, I will consider the distinctive errors of dispensationalism relative to redemptive history. The message of Scripture is the divinely revealed story of redemptive history. It involves the progress of God’s saving acts from the fall of Adam to Christ’s return in glory. Unfortunately, several peculiar doctrines of dispensationalism distort redemptive history. In this article I will focus on the problem of the church in prophecy.
In dispensationalism the church is deemed a new and unprophesied aside to God’s major plan for the Jews. Walvoord writes of the church: "It becomes apparent that a new thing has been formed — the body of Christ. It did not exist before Pentecost, as there was no work of the baptism of the Spirit to form it. The concept of the body is foreign to the Old Testament and to Israel’s promises. Something new had begun. . . . There is good evidence that the age itself is a parenthesis in the divine program of God as it was revealed in the Old Testament. . . . [T]he present age [is] an unexpected and unpredicted parenthesis as far as Old Testament prophecy is concerned.”
In this statement it is clear that God had a special, Jewish program in operation in the Old Testament. It is obvious, also, that on the dispensational view the present church age of Jew and Gentile union in one body was unknown in the Old Testament. And that the church age is but an interruption of that program.
Most evangelical scholars, however, see the New Testament phase of the church as continuous with and a culmination or fruition of God’s history-long redemptive labor. Indeed, when we look into the New Testament, we discover references to the Old Testament prophets’ knowledge of the “church age.”
Ephesians 3:3-6 reads: “By revelation he made known unto me the mystery. . . which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; that the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ.”
In Romans 16:25-26 Paul points out that the “mystery” of Gentile salvation was hidden only from the Gentiles (which in Eph. 3 Paul calls “the sons of men”), not from the Old Testament prophets, for he defends his doctrine of the mystery from “the scriptures of the prophets.” He speaks of “the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, but now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience
of faith.” Paul says that the “mystery” is “now made manifest” to “all nations,” not just to Israel.
In Luke 24:44–47 the Lord taught that it was necessary for Him to die in order to fulfill Scripture in bringing salvation to the Gentiles. “Now He said to them, ‘These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.’ Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and He said to them, ‘Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.’”
The distinction between Jew and Gentile has forever been removed. Paul points out this fact in Ephesians 2:11-16: “Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh. . . , at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: but now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in His flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having stain the enmity thereby.”
Thus. “there is neither Jew nor Greek. . . for ye are all one in Christ” (Gal. 3:28) and “there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision” (Col. 3:11). Dispensationalists see this as but a temporary parenthesis in God’s plan!
I will continue this analysis in my next article. Stay tuned!
1. John F. Walvoord, The Rapture Question (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1957), 23, 24. Emphases mine.
Redemptive History Errors in Dispensationalism
The Holy Spirit’s work
I am continuing an analysis of redemptive history errors within dispensationalism. This is part of a broader study of the three leading distortions in the classic dispensational system.
In dispensationalism the Gospel’s Church age labor among the Jews becomes a relative failure. During the future Tribulation, the Gospel will be dramatically successful, among the Jews, only after all Christians and the Holy Spirit are removed from the world!
Ryrie speaks of the removal of the Holy Spirit and the Church from the earth prior to the Tribulation: “If the restrainer, the Holy Spirit, is to be removed before the tribulation. . . then the Church also must be taken out of the world. But surprsingly, Pentecost mentions the conversion of “all Israel” during the Tribulation: “God uses many different means to bring ‘all Israel’ to salvation during the seventieth week.”
Yet the Scriptures teach that one of the glorious advances of the New Testament era is the magnified presence of the Holy Spirit, Who will bring great blessing, not be a stumbling block to Jewish conversion. “Thus it is written. . . that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. . . . But tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be enclued with power from on high” (Luke 24:46–49).
In Acts 1:8 He said: “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you.” They were prepared for this in Acts 2:17: “I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh. . . . And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” In fact, the Great Commission teaches that until the end of the age Christ will be with us to see that we “make disciples of” and “baptize” “all nations” (Matt. 28:19).
The Sacrificial System
Another failure of the dispensationalist’s understanding of redemptive history regards the rebuilding of the Temple and re-establishing of the sacrificial system in the future millennial kingdom (though they see these sacrifices as only memorial). Ryrie writes: “The temple is yet to be built and the sacrificial system reestablished during the millennium.” This is based on their literalistic understanding of Ezekiel 40ff.
But the New Testament teaches the temple is spiritual. Thus, dispensationalism involves a serious retrogression.
1 Corinthians 3:16 reads: “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God?” 1 Corinthians 6:19 asks: “Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost?” 2 Corinthians 6:16 concurs: “Ye are the temple of the living God.”
The age-long building of this temple is mentioned in Ephesians 2:21-22: It “grows into a holy temple in the Lord” for we “are built together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” Each of us is a living stone, for 1 Peter 2:5 says: “You also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house.”
A final redemptive-historical error in dispensationalism is its inherent racial prejudice in favoring the Jews above even saved Gentiles during the millennium. As such it re-introduces the distinction between Jew and Gentile and replaces faith with race as a basis for divine favor. Please note this from several dispensationalists:
Ryrie: “Three groups of people will be related to the millennial government. Israel, regathered and turned to the Lord in salvation, will be exalted, blessed, and favored throughout the period.”3
Pentecost: “The Gentiles will be Israel’s servants during that age. . . . The Gentiles that are in the millennium will have experienced conversion prior to admission.”
Walvoord speaks of: “Israel’s restoration and exaltation in the millennial kingdom”
Hoyt: “The redeemed living nation of Israel, regenerated and regathered to the land, will be head over all the nations of earth……. So he exalts them above the Gentile nations……. On the lowest level there are the saved, living, Gentile nations.”
Dave Hunt: “The Messiah ruling the world from the throne of David and with national Israel restored to its place of supremacy over the nations’s
But with the establishment of the New Testament phase of the Church, the distinction between Jew and Gentile has been abolished. This was the whole point of Peter’s vision of the sheet filled with unclean animals in Acts 10: What God has called clean, let no man call unclean. Thus, there is no separate Jewish program exalting them over saved Gentiles.
The Church, which includes Jew and Gentile in one body, is the fruition and culmination of God’s promises to the Jews. Christians are called by distinctively Jewish names in the New Testament. “He is a Jew, which is one inwardly” (Rom. 2:29). Christians are called “the circumcision” (Phil. 3:3), “the children” and “the seed of Abraham” (Gal. 3:7, 29), the “Jerusalem which is above” and the “children of the promise” (Gal. 4:24-29). In fact, Christians compose “the Israel of God” for we are a “new creature” regarding which “circumcision avails nothing” (Gal. 6:16).
The second class of dispensational distortions, which I have finished surveying here, evidences a clear retrogression and error in the dispensational view of redemptive history. And since dispensationalism is thought to be a tool for redemptive-historical analysis, this is a most serious deficiency. In the next newsletter, I will highlight some of their contemporary history errors.
1. Charles C. Ryrie, The Basis of the Premillennial Faith (Neptune, NJ: Loizeaux Bros., 1953), 144.
2. J. Dwight Pentecost, Things to Come (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1958). 263.
3. Ryrie, Basis of the Premillennial Faith, 151.
4. Pentecost. Things to Come, 508.
5. Walvoord, The Rapture Question, 65.
6. Herman Hoyt, “Dispensational Premillennialism” in Robert G. Clouse, ed., The Meaning of the Millennium: Four Views (Downer’s Grove, Ill.: Inter-Varsity Press, 1977), 81.
7. Dave Hunt, Whatever Happened to Heaven? (Eugene, Ore.: Harvest House, 1988), 246.
Contemporary History Errors in Dispensationalism
In this current series I am briefly highlighting three major classes of error within classic dispensationalism. In previous newsletters I focused on dispensational errors regarding Christology and redemptive history. We are now ready for the third and final class of errors: the dispensational outlook on contemporary-history. Regarding Scripture its historical system is confused; regarding the Christian witness its historical system is distracting. I will treat this error in two newsletters.
Christ’s Comings and Goings
First, we witness confusion regarding the future coming of Christ. The blessed hope of the Christian is the singular, literal, bodily, glorious Second Coming of Christ. But dispensationalism teaches multiple literal comings of Christ from heaven to earth. Jay Adams calls this tendency to see doubles of singular events: eschatological diplopia. Where the Bible teaches in the singular, dispensationalists double the people of God, the future coming of Christ, the resurrection, and the judgment.
J. D. Pentecost writes regarding the (alleged) two future comings of Christ: “There are a number of contrasts to be drawn between the rapture and the second advent which will show that they are not viewed as synonymous in Scripture. . . . These are two separate programs and can not be unified into one event.” 
Charles Ryrie agrees, noting regarding a Second Coming text: “This passage cannot refer to the Second Coming of Christ because that event was not a mystery unrevealed in the Old Testament. The reference is to something distinct, that is, the rapture of the Church before the tribulation.” 
Thus there are in the dispensational view two more future, literal comings of Christ: a second coming and a third coming. But the Bible speaks only of a “second” coming. Hebrews 9:28 says- “So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” The Bible speaks of His coming again (Acts 1:11), not of His “comings” or His “coming again and again” or of a “third coming.”
Closely related to this is the idea of the resurrection. The Bible speaks of there being but one resurrection, on the last day: John 6:39-40: “And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one who sees the Son, and believes on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” He does not say, “I will raise him up 1000 years before the last day.” John 6:44, 54; 11:24; and 12:48 agree.
Dispensationalism is driven by a system requiring two programs — one for the Jew and one for the Gentile. It is not driven by Scriptural warrant. Consequently, its view of a second and third coming of Christ is wrong. And being wrong it misdirects the Christian’s blessed hope.
Second, we witness surprising absurdities in dispensationalism’s millennial view. One particularly strange one is that in the Messianic kingdom there will be 1000 years of a mingling between resurrected, glorified, previously-raptured believers and non-resurrected, mortal men.
Ryrie writes in this regard “The kingdom will be established on the earth. . . . The center of government in the millennium will be Jerusalem. Jerusalem will be the city to which Christ returns. It seems clear that there will be unsaved people in the millennium. There is no evidence that those who enter the kingdom as a result of this judgment will have redeemed bodies so that children may be born during the millennial period.” 
He notes: “The reason that God can bring these believers with Him at His Second Coming into the kingdom is because before that time God will have raised them, and Paul then goes on to speak of that resurrection and translation which must occur before His Second Coming.” 
Even more surprisingly, though, is that the mortals actually attack the immortals toward the end of the millennium. Pentecost writes of their attack: “Among those unregenerated in that day will come the multitude known as ‘God and Magog,’ who come up against the ‘camp of the saints,’ which must be Palestine, and ‘the beloved city,’ which must be Jerusalem.” 
Thus-, we see that the kingdom will involve resurrected believers and the glorified Christ ruling over un-resurrected mortals. The place of Christ’s throne will be in literal Jerusalem on earth.  In other words, for 1000 years these glorified people live without sickness, weakness, or death among un-resurrected men who get sick and die. And, incredibly, these un-resurrected mortals attack these 1000 year old, glorified people!
And no reference to the fact that Christ dwelled in His resurrected body upon the earth can relieve the absurdity of this feature of dispensationalism. For Christ was only one person, was in His resurrected body for a short period upon the earth (Acts 1:3), and was only seen by a selected few brethren (1 Cor 15:5–8). Neither may a reference to the blind stubbornness of sin account for the attack upon this glorious people and city. Even sinners believe in self-preservation and restraint against overwhelming and well-documented odds.
1. J. Dwight Pentecost, Things to Come , 206–07.
2. Charles C. Ryrie, The Basis of the Premillennial Faith, 133.
3. Ryrie, Basis, 147, 149, 150.
4. Ryrie, Basis, 133–34.
5. Pentecost, Things to Come, 550.
6. Pentecost attempts to escape this dilemma by having Jerusalem floating and shining brilliantly above the earth (Pentecost, Things to Come, 577). But the popular perception and the demands of literalism forbid it.
Dispensationalism and Pessimism
In this newsletter I am finishing my current series briefly highlighting three major classes of error within classic dispensationalism. In earlier newsletters I focused on dispensational errors in the fields of Christology (the doctrine of Christ) and redemptive history (biblical history). In the immediately preceding email I opened a discussion of the third class of errors: the dispensational outlook on contemporary-history.
I am writing as a postmillennialist. one who is biblically optimistic about the future progress of human history. When I consider the other eschatological perspectives, I find them all pessimistic regarding the unfolding of the future. But dispensationalism is the most pessimistic system of all. The dispensationalist urges believers to accept the view, as Thomas Ice notes, that “the church age will end in apostasy, not revival,” because it was destined so by God. 
Further, Ice teaches believers today that: “This current world is headed toward judgment. After that judgment, Christ will take over control of the world and rule it. But until that happens, the message and activities for believers should be, ‘Flee the wrath to come by finding safety in Jesus Christ.” 
J. F. Walvoord dogmatically — and shockingly! — declares: “Christians have no immediate solution to the problems of our day.”  He continues: “A solution to this unrest and turmoil is provided in the Bible, and there is no other. That solution is that Jesus Christ Himself is coming back lo bring peace and rest to the world.” 
In fact, House discourages Christian efforts to effect change: “to attempt to establish a long-term change of institutions before Christ returns will only result in the leaven of humanism permeating orthodox Christianity.”  He even castigates Christians for trying: “Tragically, this will contribute to the further unfaithfulness of the church in these last days before the return of Messiah.” 
But the Bible expects ultimate success and victory in the world. The Great Commission promises that Christ, who has all authority in heaven and on earth, will be with us to the end (Matt 28:18, 20). For what purpose? To see that we disciple and baptize all nations (Matt 28:19).
In fact, earlier Jesus promises: “if I be lifted up, I will draw all men to myself” (John 12:32). Indeed, we learn that “God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved” (John 3:17). Paul instructs us that Christ must continue to reign until all of his enemies are put down (1 Cor. 15:21-25). He believes that God was in Christ reconciling “the world” to Himself (2 Cor. 5:19).
Conclusion to series
Despite the attraction of millions of evangelical Christians to dispensationalism, the system is fraught with distortion, error, and even absurdity. The errors are not insignificant. They involve major matters: Christ, redemption, and history.
In that “ideas have consequences,” the ultimate outcome of dispensationalism is to discourage Christians from advancing the cause of Christ in the world. Both its grave distortions as well as its misguided concerns make dispensationalism a system fraught with much potential harm. If you are a dispensationalist, I hope you will rapture out of the system.
1. Wayne House and Thomas Ice, Dominion Theology, 390, 378.
2. House and Ice, Dominion Theology, 356.
3. John F. Walvoord, in Charles Lee Feinberg, Prophecy and the Seventies, 212.
4. Walvoord, Prophecy, 210.
5. House and Ice, Dominion Theology, 340.
6. House and Ice, Dominion Theology. 161.
With Thanks to Ken Gentry for writing this little series
Books and DVD’s by Ken Gentry that was helpful to me in my Escahtology studies :
Against Dispensationalism (2 DVDs) Ken Gentry, Jerry Johnson, and Ken Talbot
This two DVD set is divided into seven segments totaling nearly seven hours of lectures:
1. “Literally Abused: The Hermeneutics of Dispensationalism” (Johnson)
2. “The Harlot Rides the Beast” (Gentry)
3. “Not All of Israel is Israel” (Johnson)
4. “Matthew and the Demise of Israel” (Gentry)
5. “Against Dispensationalism” Part I (Talbot)
6. “Against Dispensationalism” Part II (Talbot)
7. Roundtable Discussion (Q&A)
These lectures provide deep insights into both dispensationalism’s errors, as well biblical eschatology itself. Recommened for personal study and group Bible study / discussion groups.
Late Great Planet Church (DVD)
Documentary hosted by Jerry Johnson of NiceneCouncil.com . Participants: Ken Gentry, Fowler White, Gary DeMar, Cal Beisner, and others
Many Christians today read their Bibles through the lens of pop-prophecy books like The Late Great Planet Earth and the Left Behind series. They naively believe the prophetic schemes and theological presuppositions expressed in these and other fictional writings represent the doctrinal positions that Christians down through the centuries have embraced. However, that is far from the truth.
Volume One of The Late Great Planet Church: The Rise of Dispensationalism is the first documentary of its kind. It exposes this erroneous system of thought as breaking continuity with history — and even the very Word of God. In this first volume we will examine the beginnings, beliefs, and motivations of this innovative movement by focusing on its relatively recent development, stormy history and its most influential proponents.
Before Jerusalem Fell Lecture (DVD)
This lecture was given before an audience in Draper, Virginia, in December 2008. It is a summary of the evidence for Revelation’s date, which is found in the book by the same title.
Revelation continues to be a favorite book for Christians today, just as it has been throughout the ages. Its bold drama easily captures our imagination in our visually-oriented culture. But Revelation is no easy book to understand. The Devil’s Dictionary facetiously defined Revelation as “a famous book in which St. John concealed all that he knew.” One of the key issues necessary for understanding John’s mysterious work is its date of composition. Once we realize when John wrote, the task of understanding what he wrote becomes much easier. In this in-depth lecture, Dr. Gentry presents a helpful summary of his doctoral dissertation on Revelation’s date. He not only highlights fascinating evidence from ancient writers, but from Revelation’s text itself. He presents a concise, clear, and compelling case for a pre-AD 70 composition. Once he points out the clues in the text, a flood of light illuminates the story: John was writing Revelation as a prophetic warning of Jerusalem’s coming destruction, which ended the old covenant economy and secured the new covenant church a place in history. Once we hear the evidence, Revelation will become for us truly a revelation. We will experience as never before Revelation’s blessing : “Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy” (Rev 1:3).
Ideal for small group Bible study! Professionally produced; high quality.
In the last one hundred years dispensationalists have, by the thousands thrown their hats into the ring trying to guess who Antichrist is, what country he will come from, how old he will be, and most importantly when he will be revealed.
During an interview with Eternity magazine 1977 Hal Lindsey stated, “In my personal opinion, he is alive somewhere now.”
Regrettably, most dispensational authors ignore the failed, man-made predictions of the past and continue to believe that Antichrist will soon appear on the world stage.
Join Jerry Johnson, President of Apologetics Group &www.NiceneCouncil.com as he explains why most self-proclaimed prophecy experts totally overlook the Apostle John’s direct statements of who, what and when antichrist is.
If you have been following the dispensationalist arguments you may find this surprising: the least helpful verses for developing the doctrine of Antichrist are the only ones that expressly use the word “Antichrist”! Something is wrong here. And this DVD pinpoints the problem. Contemporary Antichrist thinking may be exciting, but it is not biblical. Watch this clear and compelling presentation and learn why.
Encoding: Region Free
Studio: The Apologetics Group, Inc.
Time: 55 Minutes