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or (This Doctrine Has No Clothes) by Pastor Robert E. Jones


     Dispensation doctrine has so many nuances, so many twists and turns that most adherents (to this form of biblical interpretation) cannot possibly be aware of the vast number of times this doctrine undermines the very words of scripture. In fact, the dispensational view, as promulgated by John Darby and later codified by C.I. Scofield and today, Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson and others, bears absolutely no resemblance to the endtime pronouncements of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It is therefore imperative for us, those who desire to continue in the teachings of the apostles, to fully search the scriptures to see if what the dispensationalists say is indeed true.  Remember, “…let God be true and every man a liar”.


     First, we must examine exactly what “dispensationalism says (and what it means when it is said). Then we will look at who (in the name of dispensationalism) says it (and what they mean when they say it). And third we will compare what is said (and meant) to what the scriptures say and mean.


     On its face, dispensational doctrine is wholly dependent on the belief in the doctrine of the trinity. [While many subscribe to this doctrine (the trinity), the official proponents of it always add this addendum “…this doctrine meets us in scriptures, however, not so much in direct state- ments and single expressions, as in great living facts”,  “…for the holy trinity, though the most evident, is yet the deepest of mysteries, and can be adequately explained by no analogies from finite and earthly things”].[1]


     In a 1992 radio program, dispensationalist John D. Dehann said, “One of the greatest mysteries of all ages is the blessed trinity.  Although it is not found in the Bible, we accept it by faith, because the Church can not explain the relationships of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, any other way.  It was not until the Church discovered Plato and his pluralistic unity in the oneness of the cosmic soul, that the Church discovered a way to clearly explain the relationship of the three separate persons in the holy trinity. The three persons in the Godhead are separate and distinct, but they are one God in unity as the cosmos is many but one.  God the Son is the person in the trinity who is now getting his bride-Church out of the earth.  God the Father has his program with Israel now on hold until God the Son gets his wife out of the way.  Israel is the wife of God the Father and the Church is the wife of God the Son.  Do not despair my beloved, God the Holy Spirit will get his wife in a new creation.  The unity of the holy trinity will always be the equality of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  When God the Son gets the Church safely in the New Jerusalem, God the Father can resume his dealings with Israel.  At present, God the Holy Spirit is working in unity and harmony with God the Son and God the Father, aiding them in obtaining their Covenant partners for all eternity.  Right now, the Holy Spirit is aiding God the Son to get the Church ready for the rapture.  When the times of the Gentiles is over, and the restrainer (the Holy Spirit), has completed his work on behalf of God the Son and the Church, the rapture will occur and we are out of here, …hallelujah!”[2]   


     Dispensationalism (a form of premillennialism) is said to have originated among the Plymouth Brethren in the early 1830’s. John Nelson Darby, a lawyer and Anglican priest was one of the chief founders of the Plymouth Brethren movement, which arose in reaction against the perceived empty formalism of the Church of England. [See Edward Irving, Irvingites, and Catholic Apostolic Church].  The Brethren believed that the true “invisible” church was to come out of the apostate “visible” Church, [see Donatists/Augustine].

     Dispensational theology centers upon the concept of God’s dealings with mankind being divided into (usually) seven distinct economies or “dispensations”, in which man is tested as to his obedience to the will of God as revealed under each dispensation. (The Greek word oikonomia, which is translated in the scriptures as “dispensation”, actually refers to a dwelling or house and means management of a household/stewardship in Luke 16:2,3,4. An apostolic stewardship, a ministerial commission in the publication and furtherance of the Gospel in 1 Cor 9:17; 3:2; and Col 1:25. As a due discharge of a commission in 1 Tim 1:4 and Eph 3:9. Only once, in Eph 1:10 does the word refer to an arranged plan or scheme].[3]

     Most dispensation theologians say there are seven, but many other dispensation theologians in general reject both a dispensation of conscience (since conscience has been present always in mankind {Rom 2:15}), and human government, (because the command to subdue the earth was already given at creation {Gen 1:8}). They teach from two to five dispensations which are: (1) Two = OT and NT, (2) Three = OT, NT, and kingdom, (3) Four = Adam to Abraham, Abraham to Moses, Moses to Christ, and the Gospel dispensation, (4) Five = The same as #3 plus the millennial kingdom.[4]

     A major flaw with Chafer and Scofield, even among adherents, is that they teach mankind has been under probation in each dispensation since the Fall, and that he could have met the specific test of any of the dispensational eras, and then the series would have ended. If so, then salvation was possible for mankind without the cross, and Christ therefore did not have to die. ALL LEADING DISPENSATIONALISTS KNOW THAT IT PROVES DIFFICULT TO BUILD A THEOLOGY UPON THE BIBLICAL USE OF THE GREEK WORK OIKONOMIA SINCE IT IS USED IN THE SENSE OF STEWARDSHIP IN EVERY CASE IN THE NT EXCEPT ONE (EPH 1:10 WHERE PAUL SPEAKS OF GOD GATHERING ALL THINGS INTO ONE  “IN THE DISPENSATION OF THE FULLNESS OF TIME”).[5]


     According to dispensationalists, God is pursuing two distinct purposes throughout history; one related to an earthly goal and an earthly people (the Jews), the other to heavenly goals and a heavenly people (the church).[6]  They believe that in the Old Testament God promised the Jewish people an earthly kingdom ruled by Messiah (of the house of David), and that when Christ came He offered this prophesied kingdom to the Jews.  When the Jews of the time rejected Christ (Messiah) and the earthly kingdom, the promise was postponed, and the “mystery form”  of the kingdom (the Church), was established.  The Church, according to dispensational doctrine, was unforeseen in the Old Testament and constitutes a "“parenthesis"” in God'’ plan for Israel.  In the future, they say, the distinction between Jew and Gentile will be reestablished and will continue throughout all eternity.  The “parenthesis”, or church age, will end at the rapture when Christ comes invisibly to take all believers (excepting OT saints) to heaven to celebrate the “marriage feast of the Lamb” with Christ for a period of seven years.[7]  NOTE: [The word Christ is the English translation of the Greek word Xristos which is the Greek translation of the Hebrew word Messias. John 1:41,42. Also John 4:24,25 Jesus declares himself to be the Messiah].

     God’s program for the Jews, they continue, then resumes with the tribulation, Antichrist, bowls of wrath, 144,000 Jews [preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom, and Armageddon.  Then the Second Coming (third, if you count the pretribulation rapture coming even if he only comes half of the way down to earth), This is followed by “the instantaneous conversion of the entire nation of Israel”, the resurrection of the Tribulation and Old Testament saints, and the “sheep and goats” judgment.  The “goats” will be cast into hell, the “sheep” and the believing Jews will enter the millennium in natural human bodies, marrying, reproducing, and dying.  The “mystery church” and the resurrected Tribulation and Old Testament saints will live in the heavenly Jerusalem suspended above the earthly city.  This millennium  will be a time of great peace and prosperity, with Christ ruling on David’s throne.  After 1000 years Satan will be released from the chain with which he had been bound at the beginning of the millennium and many of the children born to the "“sheep"” and the Israelites will follow him in revolt against Christ.  The King will again destroy His enemies, followed by another resurrection of the righteous, another resurrection of the unrighteous, a final judgment, and at last the New Heavens and the New Earth.

     Listen to what the accredited founder (Darby) of dispensationalism has to say,  “…THE JEWISH NATION IS NEVER TO ENTER THE CHURCH”.[8]


     This “NEW” doctrine that appeared around 1830 was widely accepted in America, due to popular meetings such as the Niagara Bible Conferences.  C.I. Scofield promulgated dispensational thought in his Scofield Reference Bible.  Dispensational bible institutes by the hundreds have sprung up across the continent (notably Moody Bible Institute and Dallas Theological Seminary).  Media evangelists such as Jack Van Impe, Jerry Falwell, Hal Lindsey and Pat Robertson popularize dispensational eschatology today.  These doctrines are taught over Christian radio programs and from your own church’s pulpit, even though probably no one explained the system as Dispensationalism or gave the originator as Darby circa1932. They claim their teaching is a return to Biblical theology, after nearly 1800 years of darkness.

      As has been often said, even by those in the days of Darby, including former adherents, “Darby’s doctrine did not, and does not, always agree with the Bible, and you must come to see that you must either part company with Mr. Darby or part company with the Bible”. I personally chose to hold fast to the word of God, that is settled in Heaven and part from Mr. Darby’s dispensational doctrine.


Following are excerpts from THE BIBLE AND THE FUTURE by Dr. Wick Broomall.  They highlight the differences between Dispensational Premillennialism and what may be called classic Historic Premillennialism.  You will see that they are two very different systems of eschatology.



The church was in the forevision of the Old Testament prophecy.

The church is hardly, if at all, in the Old Testament prophets.

The great burden of O.T. prophecy was the coming of Christ to die (at the First Advent) and the kingdom age (at the Second Advent).

The great burden of Old Testament prophecy is the kingdom of the Jews.

The First Advent was the specific time for Christ to die for man’s sin.

The kingdom (earthly) should have been set up at the First Advent for that was the predicted time of its coming.

The present age of grace was designed by God and predicted in the Old Testament.

The present age was unforeseen in the Old Testament and thus is a “great parenthesis” introduced because the Jews rejected the kingdom.

One may divide time in any way desirable so long as one allows for a millennium after the Second Advent.

The only allowable way to divide time is in seven dispensations. The present age is the sixth such dispensation and the last one will be the millennial age after the Second Advent. [It is from this division of time that dispensationalism gets its name].

The Second Advent was to be one event.

The Second Advent will be in two sections – “the Rapture” and “the Revelation.”  Between these two events they put the (to them) unfulfilled seventieth week (seven years) of Daniel 9:23-27, which they call “the Great Tribulation.”

Certain signs must precede the Second Advent.

No sign precedes the “rapture-stage” of the Second Advent, which may occur “at any moment.” However, there are signs that precede the “revelation-stage” of the Second Advent. The “Rapture” could occur “at any moment”, but the “Revelation” must take place after the seven years of the Great Tribulation.  The first stage is undated and unannounced; the second stage is dated and announced.

Two resurrections: the righteous before the Millennium and the unrighteous after the Millennium.

A third resurrection: “tribulation- saints” at the “revelation-stage” of the Second Advent.

The “historic symbolic” view of the book of Revelation.  This view makes Revelation a picture in symbolic form of the main events in the present age.

Generally, a “futurist” view of the book of Revelation, which view makes almost the whole book (especially chapters 4 to 19) a literal description of events to take place during “the Great Tribulation” or Daniel’s seventieth week, which they consider  as yet unfulfilled.

The general attitude of older premillennialism was on the whole mild and reverent in its approach to Scripture. There have been some outstanding scholars who have been persuaded that the premillennial is the correct view.

They have assumed a far more dogmatic attitude. It has introduced a number of novelties in prophetic interpretation that the church never heard of until about a century ago.


NOTE: The dispensational system contains aberrations which has, and will, whenever it is seriously considered against older forms of chiliasm, end in the denial of the everlasting gospel!



How Does Dispensationalism Deny the Gospel?

“I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed. For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ”. -Gal 1:6-10

     Dispensationalists have long been accused of teaching multiple methods of salvation. Dispensational leaders (excepting the Bullingerite or Consistent sects) have long denied these charges. Denial without refutation is, however, meaningless. Let us examine some of the evidence.

The Scofield Problem

     C.I. Scofield (1843-1921) pastor of the First Congregational Church in Dallas, Texas, and then of Moody Church, Northfield, Massachusetts, discussed with Arno C. Gaebelein his plan to write an annotated version of the Bible in 1901:

"One night, about the middle of that week, Dr. Scofield suggested, after the evening service, that we take a stroll along the shore. It was a beautiful night. Our walk along the shore of the sound lasted until midnight. For the first time he mentioned the plan of producing a reference Bible, and outlined the method he had in mind. He said he had thought of it for many years and had spoken to others about it, but had not received much encouragement. The scheme came to him in the early days of his ministry in Dallas, and later, during the balmy days of the Niagara Conferences he had submitted his desire to a number of brethren, who all approved of it, but nothing came of it. He expressed the hope that the new beginning and this new testimony in Sea Cliff might open the way to bring about the publication of such a Bible with references and copious footnotes." -Moody Monthly 43 (1943):278.

     The end result of this discussion was the Scofield Reference Bible of 1909, combining an attractive format, notes, and cross references which became perhaps the most influential tome of dispensational theology to date. "The teachings of dispensational premillennialism on prophecy have spread widely in Canada and the United States, due especially to the influence of the 1909 Scofield Reference Bible and it subsequent editions." The theology presented by Scofield in his Reference Bible is normative dispensational doctrine, thus the significance of the quote here:

“As a dispensation, grace begins with the death and resurrection of Christ...The point of testing is no longer legal obedience as the condition of salvation, but acceptance or rejection of Christ, with good works as a fruit of salvation” [9]

     Scofield here states that salvific grace is a New Testament phenomenon, unavailable in previous dispensations. Notice that Scofield explains that legal obedience was the condition of salvation in the previous dispensation, but that now faith in Christ is the condition that must be met. This is consistent with Scofield's definition of a dispensation.

“A dispensation is a period of time during which man is tested in respect of obedience to some specific revelation of the will of God”. [10]

     If, indeed, man is tested in respect to obedience to the will of God in each of these "dispensations", what is the reward - or punishment? If the reward is salvation, as obviously Scofield taught concerning the dispensation of Law, that salvation is not of grace but of works! The dispensationalist, misunderstanding the concept of Law and Gospel, offers salvation to those who meet the condition of the "dispensation" in which they are tested, thus even in the dispensation of Grace, faith becomes a work which entitles us to Christ. If one can only muster from the depths of one's heart enough "faith", one can meet the condition of this dispensation and be rewarded with salvation.

     Orthodox Christian doctrine, on the other hand, adamantly teaches that man is dead in trespasses and sin, cannot improve his condition in the slightest, and that it is Christ alone who justifies the ungodly. Faith is the gift of God, through the new birth, a work of the Holy Spirit by Word and Sacrament.

It is also taught among us that since the fall of Adam all men who are born according to the course of nature are conceived and born in sin. That is, all men are full of evil lust and inclinations from their mothers' wombs and are unable by nature to have true fear of God and true faith in God. Moreover, this inborn sickness and hereditary sin is truly sin and condemns to the eternal wrath of God all those who are not born again through Baptism and the Holy Spirit. Rejected in this connection are the Pelagians and others who deny that original sin is sin, for they hold that natural man is made righteous by his own powers, thus disparaging the sufferings and merit of Christ.[11]

     In answer to the "Scofield problem" dispensationalism began to redefine the term "dispensation". The New Scofield Reference Bible of 1967 repeats Scofield's terminology, but the modern commentators elaborate on 1909 version indicating that the definition implies three concepts: a new divine revelation, the nature of man's stewardship with respect to it, and a certain time period for it. These implied concepts are then qualified to such an extent as to make the delineation’s meaningless. Significantly, this new definition of dispensations brings into question whether the term means anything at all.

The purpose of each dispensation, then, is to place man under a specific rule of conduct, but such stewardship is not a condition of salvation. In every past dispensation unregenerate man has failed, and he has failed in this present dispensation and will in the future. But salvation has been and will continue to be available to him by God's grace through faith.[12]

     Revisionist dispensationalism now states that the purpose of the dispensations is not salvific. What, then, is the purpose of the testing in regards to the "specific rule of conduct"? What is the significance of man's failure in the various dispensations? It seems that while Scofield might have been too frank in his elucidation, his successors have so qualified the term "dispensation" as to remove from it any semblance of meaning. Note also, that "available to him by God's grace through faith" still leaves it unclear as to whether "faith" is an innate ability of fallen man, or is a product of the new birth.

     The central question here is whether dispensational theology recognizes, as does orthodox Christianity, that regeneration is the source of faith. Dispensational theology sees the sequence of dispensations as opportunities for fallen man to attain to God. Though in past dispensations none passed the test, the opportunity was there - "Do this and live". During the current dispensation of Grace, the bar has been lowered - all that is required is "faith". If a man will avail himself of his "chance", and exercise his own moral ability to believe, he will be entitled to the grace of God in Christ.

The Chafer Problem

     Lewis Sperry Chafer (1871-1952), a student of Scofield, established Dallas Theological Seminary in 1924, and led dispensationalism's flagship school for it's first thirty years. Chafer also produced the first definitive systematic theology of dispensationalism. Lewis Sperry Chafer, Systematic Theology, 8 vols., (Dallas: Dallas Seminary Press, 1948) is a standard articulation of Scofieldian dispensational thought. Chafer, always faithful to his mentor, stated – It goes on record that the Dallas Theological Seminary uses, recommends, and defends the Scofield Bible.”[13]

     That the founder of the school known as the "Jerusalem of Dispensationalism", and the author of her Systematic Theology might make statements such as the following comes as no surprise to those who understand the grievous error of the dispensational system.

"With the call of Abraham and the giving of the Law... there are two widely different standardized, divine provisions whereby man, who is utterly fallen, might come into the favor of God."[14]

     Chafer's Systematic Theology makes the point that in the Old Testament men were justified by the Law, while in the New Testament faith was without works.[15] Again, in his Dispensationalism, p. 430, Chafer makes plain his misunderstanding of grace -

As before stated, whatever God does for sinful men on any terms whatsoever [being made possible through the death of Christ] is to that extent, an act of divine grace; for whatever God does on the ground of Christ's death is gracious in character, and all will agree that a divine covenant which is void of all human elements is more gracious in character than one which is otherwise. These distinctions apply only to the divine side of the covenant. On the human side... there is no exercise of grace in any case; but the human requirements, which the divine covenant imposes, may be either absolutely lacking, or some so drastically imposed as to determine the destiny of the individual.

     Chafer, in keeping with the standard definition of a dispensation, sees the Atonement as making grace possible throughout the various ages, which allows salvation to be viewed as gracious regardless of the added requirements of that specific dispensation. So, under Grace (...the human requirements which the divine covenant imposes may be either absolutely lacking...) if one can generate the necessary faith one might receive grace. Under the dispensation of Law (...or some so drastically imposed as to determine the destiny of the individual.), one might be required to keep the Law.

In either case, the salvation obtained is gracious (according to Chafer), while in fact it is salvation by grace in neither. Modern dispensationalists may argue that what Scofield and Chafer had meant has not been properly discerned from what they have said. To that we say, look to the Consistent (or Bullingerite) Dispensationalist who has done nothing other than carry dispensationalism consistently to it's logical conclusions.

The Kingdom Offer

     Dispensationalism believes that the purpose of the first advent of Jesus Christ was to offer an earthly Kingdom to the Jews. This Kingdom would reinstate the Old Testament legal system and it's expansion to the entire world under the Messiah. When the Jews rejected Jesus Christ and His Kingdom offer, plan B went into effect and Christ went to the cross to initiate the dispensation of Grace and the "mystery church". Had Israel received her King there would have been no cross - and no Gospel!

When Jesus came, He made a bona fide offer of the Kingdom and power to the people of Israel.[16]

     What then, if the Jews had done their duty and accepted this offer, of the salvation of mankind? What of the cross - "without shedding of blood there is no remission"? What of the prophecies pointing to the cross? How could Christ offer a Kingdom that He could not permit to be established lest there be no salvation of man by His shed Blood? Dispensationalists attempt to absolve themselves from the concept of making God a liar by claiming He knew no one would call His bluff.

He knew before He came that they would refuse it - knew from all eternity; hence, there are prophets which speak of His coming to die for us.[17]

     Still, the problem stands. Even if Christ made an earthly Kingdom offer knowing that the Jews would refuse, the offer could not have been redeemed. An offer that is impossible to honor is not a sincere offer but a fraud. Our God makes no insincere offers. Besides, if Christ came to establish an earthly Kingdom for the Jews surely He had opportunity, and the support of the masses -

“Therefore when Jesus perceived that they were about to come and take Him by force to make Him king, He departed again to the mountain by Himself alone”. -John 6:15

     No, Christ came at the set time to die on the cross, to redeem fallen mankind. All true sons of Abraham recognized Him. It is at the Ascension that He received His Kingdom, and He is seated now on His Throne!

Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His 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 age but also in that which is to come. -Eph 1:15-21

The Dispensational Distinction Between Israel and the Church

“Comparing, then, what is said in Scripture concerning Israel and the Church, we find that in origin, calling, promises, worship, principles of conduct and future destiny all is contrast”.[18]

     Perhaps the central doctrine of dispensationalism is the distinction between Israel and the church. Dispensationalism sees Israel as an earthly people with earthly promises, and the church as a heavenly people with heavenly promises. Membership in Israel is by natural birth.[19] One enters the church by supernatural birth. Dispensationalists view Israel and the church as having distinct eternal destinies. Israel will receive an eternal earthly Kingdom, and the church an eternal heavenly Kingdom.

     Darby, the father of dispensationalism, stated the distinction in the clearest of terms “The Jewish nation is never to enter the church.”[20]            Ryrie considers this the most important dispensational distinction, and approves the statement that the basic promise of Dispensationalism is two purposes of God expressed in the formation of two peoples who maintain their distinction throughout eternity.”[21] In contrast, Christian theology has always maintained the essential continuity of Israel and the church. The elect of all the ages are seen as one people, with one Savior, one destiny. Examining a few Old Testament prophecies with their fulfillment can show this continuity. Dispensationalists admit that if the church can be shown to be fulfilling promises made to Israel their system is doomed.

If the church is fulfilling Israel's promises as contained in the new covenant or anywhere in the Scriptures, then [dispensational] premillennialism is condemned.[22]

Promise to Israel -

"Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, Which cannot be measured or numbered. And it shall come to pass in the place where it was said to them, 'You are not My people,' There it shall be said to them, 'You are sons of the living God.' -Hosea 1:10

Fulfillment in the church -

What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory, even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles? As He says also in Hosea: "I will call them My people, who were not My people, And her beloved, who was not beloved." "And it shall come to pass in the place where it was said to them, 'You are not My people,' There they shall be called sons of the living God." -Romans 9:22-26

Promise to Israel -

Then I will sow her for Myself in the earth, And I will have mercy on her who had not obtained mercy; Then I will say to those who were not My people, 'You are My people!' And they shall say, 'You are my God!'" -Hosea 2:23

Fulfillment in the church -

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy. -1 Peter 2:9-10

Promise to Israel -

"On that day I will raise up The tabernacle of David, which has fallen down, And repair its damages; I will raise up its ruins, And rebuild it as in the days of old; -Amos 9:11

Fulfillment in the church -

"Simon has declared how God at the first visited the Gentiles to take out of them a people for His name. "And with this the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written: 'After this I will return And will rebuild the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down; I will rebuild its ruins, And I will set it up; So that the rest of mankind may seek the LORD, Even all the Gentiles who are called by My name, Says the LORD who does all these things.' "Known to God from eternity are all His works. -Acts 15:14-18

In the same manner there are many Old Testament passages referring to Israel that are in the New Testament applied directly to the church.


Spoken to Israel -

"And it shall come to pass afterward That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your old men shall dream dreams, Your young men shall see visions. And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days. "And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth: Blood and fire and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the LORD. And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance, As the LORD has said, Among the remnant whom the LORD calls. -Joel 2:28-32

Applied to the church -

When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place..."But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: 'And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams. And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; And they shall prophesy. I will show wonders in heaven above And signs in the earth beneath: Blood and fire and vapor of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the LORD. And it shall come to pass That whoever calls on the name of the LORD Shall be saved.' -Acts 2:1,16-21

Spoken to Israel -

'And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.' These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel." -Exodus 19:6

Applied to the church -

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; -1 Peter 2:9

Spoken to Israel -

"My tabernacle also shall be with them; indeed I will be their God, and they shall be My people. -Ezekiel 37:27

Applied to the church -

And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will dwell in them And walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people." -2 Cor 6:16

Spoken to Israel -

"Speak to all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say to them: 'You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy. -Lev 19:2

Applied to the church -

…but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, "Be holy, for I am holy." -1 Peter 1:15-16

Spoken to Israel -

"Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah-- -Jer 31:31

Applied to the church -

Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you. -Luke 22:20

     The New Covenant is particularly problematic for the dispensationalist, as Jeremiah 31 is undeniably addressed to Israel. The New Covenant is the very heart of the Gospel, yet if the church is fulfilling the promise given to Israel under the New Covenant, dispensationalism is dead. Ryrie, in his early writings, makes this significant statement:

“If the church does not have a new covenant, then she is fulfilling Israel's promises, for it has been clearly shown that the Old Testament teaching on the new covenant is that it is for Israel. If the church is fulfilling Israel's promises as contained in the new covenant or anywhere else in the Scriptures, then [dispensational] premillennialism is condemned. One might well ask why there are not two aspects to the one new covenant. This is the position held by many premillennialists, but we agree that the amillennialist has every right to say of this view that it is a practical admission that the new covenant is fulfilled in and to the church.[23]

     Dispensationalism has used various arguments to get around this insurmountable problem. Perhaps the boldest was the concept of two New Covenants. Chafer appears to be the originator of the idea:

 “There remains to be recognized a heavenly covenant for the heavenly people, which is also styled like the preceding one for Israel a "new covenant." It is made in the blood of Christ (cf. Mark 14:24) and continues in effect throughout this age, whereas the new covenant made with Israel happens to be future in its application. To suppose that these two covenants -- one for Israel and one for the Church -- are the same is to assume that there is a latitude of common interest between God’s purpose for Israel and His purpose for the Church.”[24]

     Consistent Dispensationalists have long recognized the problem. E.W. Bullinger noted that the cup of the Lord's Supper was indeed the New Covenant of Jeremiah 31:31-33, directed to Israel and not the church, and for that very reason the "mystery" church should not administer it. Moderate (inconsistent) dispensationalists, not understanding the Sacrament, but still desiring to preserve their "memorial" sought to maneuver out of this predicament. John F. Walvoord, who became the president of Dallas Theological Seminary, and who appears to be the leading contemporary champion of the second new covenant, writes:

“The point of view that holds to two covenants in the present age has certain advantages. It provides a sensible reason for establishing the Lord's supper for believers in this age in commemoration of the blood of the new covenant. The language of I Corinthians 11:25 seems to require it: "This cup is the new covenant in my blood: this do as often as ye drink it in remembrance of me." It hardly seems reasonable to expect Christians to distinguish between the cup and the new covenant when these appear to be identified in this passage. In 2 Corinthians 3:6, Paul speaking of himself states: "Our sufficiency is of God: who also made us sufficient as ministers of a new covenant." It would be difficult to adjust the ministry of Paul as a minister of the new covenant if, in fact, there is no new covenant for the present age.”[25]

     Walvoord, discussing the Epistle to the Hebrews, contrasts the Mosaic (old) Covenant, the New Covenant, and his novel "Better" Covenant. The identification of the New Covenant, which replaces the Old Covenant, would seem to be certain by the lengthy quotation from Jeremiah 31, which the Epistle contains, and thus it is with some astonishment that one reads Walvoord's denial:

“The Epistle to the Hebrews by its title is addressed to the Jewish people. The epistle is planned to show that Christ and Christian doctrine supersedes Moses and the Mosaic covenant. The argument in Hebrews eight proceeds on the revelation that Christ is mediator of a better covenant than Moses, established on better promises. At this point, the writer shows that the Mosaic covenant was never intended to be eternal (in contrast to other Jewish covenants) and that the Old Testament itself anticipated the day of its passing. To prove this point, the passage from Jeremiah on the new covenant is quoted (Heb 8:8-12)...There is no appeal at all to the content of the new covenant with Israel as being identical with the better covenant of which Hebrews speaks. The very absence of such an appeal is as strong as any argument from silence can be”.[26]

     Dispensationalists, determined to cling to their false distinction between Israel and the church are forced to abandon the New Covenant's application in any real sense to the church. Albertus Pieters, however, representing non-dispensational commentators in general, explains:

“This is entirely correct [that Israel is meant in Jeremiah 31], and it is to the house of Israel that the fulfillment came. The objection arises from a failure to perceive that the Christian church in its origin was an Israelitish body, fully qualified to claim the promises made to Israel.... The Christian church, once having been established, many Gentiles came into it, but that did not make it a "church from among the Gentiles", any more than the naturalization of many Italians in our country makes it a nation from among the Italians.... they were all Israelite members of the Old Covenant people of God, to whom the promise had been made. Strictly in line with the promise and with the prevailing principle of the covenant history, to them, the believing remnant, the promise of the New Covenant was fulfilled. That promise was, "To the House of Israel and the House of Judah," and to the designated parties the fulfillment came; to all who were, in the sight of God and according to a just interpretation of history, still worthy of the name: "Israel and Judah.".... In all this, are we spiritualizing the prophecy as some allege? Not at all. We are stating a historical fact, clearly contained in the sacred records, that in or about the spring of the year 30 A.D., the mass of those who then called themselves Israelites ceased to be such for prophetic and covenant purpose, having forfeited their citizenship in the commonwealth of Israel by refusing to accept the Messiah, and that after this event all the privileges of the Abrahamic Covenant and all the promises of God belonged to the believing remnant, and to them only; which remnant was therefore and thereafter the true Israel and Judah, the Seed of Abraham, the Christian church. Thus the promise was fulfilled strictly and definitely to the designated parties”.[27]



     Although the Pre-Tribulation rapture is not specifically and clearly taught in the Scriptures, it is nevertheless a Divine truth.  Like the Trinity doctrine, which needed nearly three hundred years to come to its full development and acceptance, the Pre-Trib doctrine was not revealed for hundreds of years.  In fact, the first mention of a Pre-Trib rapture and a theological argument for its truth was around 1830.  It was from this humble beginning in England, that God the Father revealed the new revelation of Dispensational truth.  We may point proudly to John Nelson Darby, as the minister chosen of God to develop the system of interpretation as we now believe it.  The doctrine is a reinterpretation of ancient Jewish Messianism.  Right now, God has rejected the Jews because of their evils.  But, he will bring the postponed Kingdom when they forsake their sins.  In fact, if the Jews were to forsake their sins right this very moment, God the Father would stop everything and usher in the Kingdom.  Because of their refusal and delay, a time-gap was created.  Into this gap of eternity, the mystery of the salvation of the Gentiles is revealed.  A proper interpretation then of prophecy and Scripture is founded in how God is dealing with the Jews. God’s focus is the Jews, never the Church.  The Jews are the eternal elect and chosen of God.  The Church is not the elect or chosen of God.  The only reason the Gentiles may be saved, is owing to God the Father delaying the Kingdom until the Millennial, and allowing God the Son to slip in and get a wife while Israel is in blindness.  The Kingdom was postponed because the Jews rejected it when it was offered to them.  But in the 70th week of Daniel that is future, this all changes.  God the Father gets his wife back.  First however, he must now get God the Son and the Church off the scene.  This is a mystery of the Trinity and the basis of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture doctrine. Any man who denies these wonderful truths is a heretic and to be rejected.  If any come not bearing this message, it is because they are antichrist.  Since 1830, the revelation of the work of the Trinity in Dispensational Truth has spread throughout the world.

Dispensationalism is the true interpretation of Bible prophecy.  First, because it teaches the doctrine of the Trinity, without which it would certainly collapse.  Second, because it proves the Father and Son are two separate persons and have two separate programs in the earth and eternity.  Third, because it teaches the divine truth that God the Father is in an unconditional Covenant with Israel, and that the Law is not ended, only suspended or postponed until the 70th week begins.  Fourth, because God the Son is now redeeming his wife, the Church, and soon this hidden mystery will be finished.  Fifth, God the Father will be reunited with the Jews during the 70th week and will save all Israel; not by the blood of Christ, but by restored animal sacrifices.  Remember, if the seventieth week was postponed, then it is a week of seven years of the Law Dispensation not nailed to the cross.  This authorizes animal sacrifices for salvation and God the Father’s return to Israel through the old Law. Those who deny this doctrine are usually anti-Semitic.  Anyone who denies God the Father still has a Covenant with Israel is an anti-Semite.  Anyone who denies Israel still has an unfulfilled Covenant in Abraham without regard to Christ, is an anti-Semite.

 What is holding back God the Father from returning fully to Israel?  How come God the Father has not revealed the location of the lost Ark?  Why is it taking so long to find a pure red heifer?  How come the Temple Mount has not been recovered and the new Temple built?  All of these are what is withholding the Father from returning to Israel.  The real hindrance to God the Father’s plan with Israel, is the presence of the Church in the world.  It is the apostate Catholic Church and the Pope, the abomination that maketh desolate, the great whore, who is also hindering God the Father from returning to Israel.  When God the Son gets his wife safely out, God the Father will delay no longer and the apostate Church will be in for the wrath of God.  Whoever fights against Israel will have God the Father to contend with!

     The seventieth week concerns no one but Israel. The true messianic interpretation of these verses (Dan 9:24) deal not with Christ or the Church but with Israel.  Israel is the focus of these messianic predictions, therefore they cannot apply to Christ or the Church.  Even the Messiah, when he came, did not come during any of this time period, but in a gap (the great parenthesis) between the 69th and the 70th week.  Israel had sinned against the Lord’s covenant.  According to the word of Moses, when they did this, they would be carried captive to other nations.  However, if they would turn toward Jerusalem and pray, God the Father would hear their prayers and restore them to their land and the Covenants.  This happened in 606 BC.  Israel was carried captive to Babylon.  During this interval of time, God the Father tried to get his wife back.  He then gave the period of seventy weeks to accomplish this.  When he saw the seventy weeks were running out, he revealed a mystery hid in the Trinity for ages, that God the Son would also have a covenant wife.  So, God the Father stopped the time clock of weeks and God the Son became incarnate at Bethlehem to get his wife, the Church.  As Larkin and Pentecost have said, a Wife and a Bride are two different things.  God the Son gets his Bride during the Church Dispensation.  When that time period is over, the seventieth week begins and God the Father turns back to his wife Israel.  God the Father turned beck to Israel in 1948.  Now we know the rapture can be any minute.  The secret coming of Christ at the midnight hour is upon us. He comes before the tribulation, the seventieth (70th) week “for” his saints.  The 70th week ends with the destruction of the antichrist (the Pope), for stopping the sacrifices in the Temple, for damning Jews by making them take the mark of the beast, and for sitting in the Temple as God.

     NOTE:  If anyone says that the rapture occurs after the tribulation, beware of them. Those who teach this deny the revelation of Dispensational Truth.  Many of them deny the Holy Trinity.  This doctrine is false for the following reasons;

1.     It teaches replacement theology, that the Church replaced Israel.

2.It teaches that all the promises of Abraham for Jews are fulfilled in Christ in the Church.

3.It teaches that God the Father does not have a special time remaining to restore Israel and finish her Covenant promises.

4.It teaches that the 70th week of Daniel is already fulfilled and not future.

5.It teachers that the seventy weeks of Daniel is messianic and deals with Christ and the setting up of the Church and not Israel being set up to enter the Millennial Kingdom.

6.It teaches that the seventieth week is for the anointing of Messiah to restore lost humanity, not that the seventieth week is for the restoration of  the nation Israel.

7.It teaches that the Law is fully ended and God the Father does not have seven years of Law remaining to get his wife back through animal sacrifices.

8.It teaches that the Kingdom was not delayed or postponed.

To believe the Post Tribulation doctrine is to deny that the Trinity is working out two plans, two separate Covenants, one for the Jews and one for the Gentiles.  This doctrine, by its very teaching that the Church is the new Israel, anti-trinitarian.[28]   


How does the Pretribulational Rapture Deny the Gospel?

     We have discussed the fact that the dispensationalist's understanding of "dispensation" invalidates the reality of grace in any age, how the dispensational "Kingdom Offer" impugns the honesty of God and makes the gospel nothing more than an afterthought, and how presumed distinctions between Israel and the church deny the New Covenant to either. We will now examine how the peculiarly dispensational doctrine of the Pretribulational Rapture of the Church makes manifest these errors.


     The novel doctrine of the pretribulational rapture is central to dispensational teaching. The removal of the church to heaven preceding the Tribulation period, when the stopped prophetic clock begins ticking for Israel again with the "Seventieth Week of Daniel", was Darby's innovation.

Darby broke not only from previous millenarian teaching but also from all of church history by asserting that Christ's Second Coming would occur in two stages. The first, an invisible "secret rapture" of true believers could happen at any moment, ending the great "parenthesis" or church age, which began when the Jews rejected Christ.[29]

 Scofield also taught this doctrine along with Chafer, Ryrie, Walvoord, etc. At dispensational schools, failure to hold steadfastly to the doctrine of the pretribulational rapture may have dire consequences.

...the doctrine of a pretribulational rapture of the church seems to be a litmus test of orthodoxy. To "outsiders," including classic premillen-nialists, this doctrine is not crucial, if it is believed at all. But not only is it vigorously maintained in Dallas Dispensationalism, but deviation from it causes a person to be suspect and institutions to shake and sometimes split.[30]

It is unfortunate that "outsiders" - historic premillennialists, have not taken this distinctively dispensational doctrine more seriously, for it is here that dispensational theology stands or falls. It is the doctrine of the pretribulational rapture that proves conclusively that Dispensationalism is not, as dispensationalists claim, a return to Biblical theology - but a pseudo Christian cult.


     Most arguments against pretribulationism have focused upon showing that the doctrine is a new development in theology and can not be found in the scriptures. Various orthodox commentators and theologians, from the ranks of each of the millennial views,[31] have presented this case with considerable skill. Let us therefore take a different tack, and show that the doctrine is in direct opposition to the everlasting Gospel of Christ Jesus.


     Most earlier dispensational theologians allowed that the Old Testament saints would be resurrected along with the church in the pretribulational rapture. Alexander Reese, a classic premillennialist, utterly destroyed this position with convincing scriptural arguments locating the resurrection of the Old Testament saints at the Day of the Lord at the end of the Tribulation.[32]

“At that time Michael shall stand up, The great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people; And there shall be a time of trouble, Such as never was since there was a nation, Even to that time. And at that time your people shall be delivered, Every one who is found written in the book. And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, Some to everlasting life, Some to shame and everlasting contempt”. -Daniel 12:1-2

“Although I heard, I did not understand. Then I said, "My lord, what shall be the end of these things?" And he said, "Go your way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. "Many shall be purified, made white, and refined, but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand. "And from the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days. "Blessed is he who waits, and comes to the one thousand three hundred and thirty-five days. "But you, go your way till the end; for you shall rest, and will arise to your inheritance at the end of the days.” -Daniel 12:8-13

No dispensationalist would argue that the "time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation", the "abomination of desolation", and the taking away of the daily sacrifice is not a reference to the time of the Tribulation. Yet, Daniel is told that the resurrection follows these events.


Dispensationalists then, for the most part, amended their position to separate the resurrection of the Old Testament saints from the rapture.

... many careful students of premillennial truth have come to the conclusion that the opinion that Israel's resurrection occurred at the time of the rapture was a hasty one and without proper Scriptural foundation. It seems far more preferable to regard the resurrection of Daniel 12:2 as a literal one following the tribulation, but not to be identified with the pretribulational rapture of the church... The church will be raised at the time of the rapture before the tribulation, and the Old Testament saints, including Israel, at the beginning of the millennial reign of Christ.[33]

     On this point the dispensationalist has jumped from the frying pan into the fire. In order to preserve the precious doctrine of the pretribulational rapture of the church, they raise the Old Testament saints apart from the saints of the church age. We note that this is consistent with the dispensational understanding of "dispensations" and with their distinction between Israel and the church. It also reveals that the longstanding charge made by orthodox Christianity that dispensationalism teaches multiple methods of salvation is absolutely true. Let us look at some of the texts concerning the resurrection of the saints -

“Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed--in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: "Death is swallowed up in victory." "O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?” -1 Cor 15:50-55

“For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord”. -1 Thes 4:15-17

In these classic dispensational proof texts of the pretribulational rapture, we see that the righteous dead are raised first, and then those who are alive and remain are translated into incorruptable bodies and gathered to Christ. How, then, can the dispensationalist justify the concept of the Old Testament saints being raised at some later point in time?

Some people are startled by the thought that the Old Testament saints will not be resurrected until the end of the Tribulation. But keep in mind that the rapture is a promise to the Church, and the Church only.[34]

We see that the dispensationally imposed distinction between Israel and the church is at the root of this argument. The Old Testament saints are not "in Christ" and therefore will not arise to everlasting life at the same time as the church saints.

According to dispensationalists, the Old Testament people are not the heirs of the Holy Spirit, are not regenerated by Him, and are not grafted by Him into Christ in the same way that the New Testament people are.[35]

...the verse simply says that the dead in Christ will precede the living in Christ in the rapture. If you are saying that Daniel would be included in "the dead", then you have to show that Daniel is "in Christ". If you will study the NT you will see that "in Christ" refers to the baptism in the Holy Spirit. "For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body--whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free--and we were all given the one Spirit to drink"...There is no way that Daniel was part of the body of Christ. This verse in 1 Thess 4:16 simply does not apply to him. The Holy Spirit did not permanently indwell believers in the OT. It is not really people or time period that delineates the church--it is the Holy Spirit. Personal faith in Jesus Christ--which is what the passage is referring to--was not an option for OT saints. They are not in view in this passage. It is referring to people who do have the option of this personal faith in Jesus...OT saints are "in Christ" in that sense that the death of Jesus is the basis for the salvation of anyone--past, present, future. However, they were not part of the body of Christ, in the sense of being permanently indwelt by the Holy Spirit.[36]

The technical term for the Church is those who are "in Christ." 1 Thess. speaks of those who have died "in Christ" being resurrected at the time of His coming IN THE AIR. The context has ONLY the Church in mind.[37]

     This dispensational distinction between the OT & NT saints, the church & Israel, is in fact what denies dispensationalism any claim to Christianity at all, for in that very distinction dispensationalism teaches multiple methods of salvation. By excluding the OT saint from the ekklesia (church) the dispensationalist is required to produce some means, other than partaking of the New Covenant in Christ, for one or the other of the groups to be granted eternal life. The teaching of the church for the last 2,000 yrs precludes this, as does our Lord.

Then Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. " - John 6:53-56

Notice these points which contradict Dispensational doctrine -

·        No one has life who does not partake of the New Covenant in Christ's Blood. The OT saint must partake, as does the NT & tribulation saint, in order to have life.

·        ALL who partake are raised at the LAST DAY. That day is the "end of the days" prophesied to Daniel -

"But you, go your way till the end; for you shall rest, and will arise to your inheritance at the end of the days."- Daniel 12:13

·        ALL who partake are "in Christ" and He in they.

·        ALL THE SAINTS are promised the same resurrection, by the same Blood, at the same time!

And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance. -Hebrews 9:15

By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God. -Hebrews 11:9-10

These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth...But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them. -Hebrews 11:13,16

And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us. -Hebrews 11:39-40

The dispensationalist, ignoring the clear teaching of scripture and the historic church, denies the existence of the general assembly, and falls back to perdition by advocating shadows as the means of salvation for the OT & Tribulation saint, all in order to preserve the delusion of the pretribulational rapture!

But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel. See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven, whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, "Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven." Now this, "Yet once more," indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire. -Hebrews 12:22-29

The dispensational argument that proclaims that the OT saint is somehow saved because of Christ - rather than being "in Christ" by partaking of the New Covenant in His Blood - is opposed to orthodox Christian soteriology.

The truth will inevitably manifest itself. It has in dispensational soteriology. The truth is that another way of salvation which is somehow connected with Christ but not resting on Christ is a DIFFERENT way. The dispensationalist at this point is, unconsciously perhaps, consistent with himself. He does not regard the Old Testament people of God as second, third, or fourth class citizens of the Kingdom of God. They simply are not citizens at all. While dispensationalists roundly assert that Old Testament people were saved by Christ, there is NO WAY IN THEIR THEOLOGICAL SYSTEM they could be.[38]


                                     *     *     *

   A final word…

I hope and pray that sincere men of God will take a good hard look at the ramifications of this erroneous reinterpretation of the Word of God. As the Scripture so loudly proclaims:

     “ See to it that no one carries you off as spoil or makes you yourselves captive by his so-called philosophy and intellectualism, and vain deceit (idle fancies and plain nonsense), following human tradition – men’s ideas of the material [rather that the spiritual] world – just crude notions following the rudimentary and elementary teachings of the universe, and disregarding [the teachings of] Christ, the Messiah. For in Him the whole fullness  of  Deity (the Godhead), continues to dwell in bodily form -–giving complete expression of the divine nature.  And you are in Him, made full and have come to fullness of life – in Christ you too are filled with the Godhead, and reach full spiritual stature.  And He is the head of all rule and authority – of every principality and power. In Him also you were circumcised with a circumcision not made with hands, but in a [spiritual] circumcision [performed by] Christ. You were buried with him in [your] baptism, in which you were also raised with Him [to a new life] through [your] faith in the working of God [as displayed] when He raised him up from the dead.  And you, who were dead in trespasses and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, [God] brought to life together with [Christ], having (freely) forgiven us all our transgressions; Having cancelled and blotted out and wiped away the handwriting (the written code with its regulations) its legal decrees and demands, which was in force and stood against us – hostile to us.  This [note with its regulations, decrees and demands] He set aside and cleared completely out of our way by nailing it to [His] cross.  [God] disarmed the principalities and powers ranged against us and make a bold display and public example of them, in triumphing over them in Him and in it [the cross]”. Col 2:8-15

                         +     +     +     +     +     +     +

        “A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by he written code. Such a man’s praise is not from men, but from God”. Rom 2:28,29

May the peace and blessings of God be upon you as you review this material and search the scriptures to see if the things that are said here are indeed true.

        Your servant for Jesus who is the Messiah,

                  Pastor Robert “Bob” Jones

 Messianic Fellowship Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith

A very special thank you to Pastor Gary Reckert. Without his willingness to share the “Truth”, regardless of the personal cost to himself, I would probably still be stumbling around in “half-light”. [Not quite night, but not quite Day either.]

Also a thank you to Craig Conrad of gosplow for making historic material readily available and permitting its use.

A final thanks to my wife and true helpmeet, Gloria, who insists that I take the love of the Truth that is in my heart and share it on paper with those who are likeminded.



     The view that there will be no (a) 1000 (mille) year visible earthly  kingdom or “millennium”.  This view is better termed “realized millennialism” since it teaches that the symbolically understood 1000 years of Revelation 20 began at Christ’s first advent.


     The apostle John is the only Biblical writer who uses the expression “antichrist” and applies the term in a general sense to many who oppose or seek to replace Christ.  Martin Luther referred to the Pope and various unbiblical doctrines of the Roman Church as antichrist in this sense.  The concept of one individual, who epitomizes evil and in the end times persecutes the people of God, is found throughout the apocalyptic writings.


     Derived from Hebrew har megiddo, “the hill of Meggido”, in Palestine.  Armageddon refers to the battle mentioned in Rev 16:16.


     Followers of Ethelbert W. Bullinger who carry dispensational theology consistently to it’s logical conclusions.  Also called “Hyper”, “Ultra”, or “Consistent” Dispensationalists.


     See “millennialism”.


Also called dispensational premillennialism, this is a system of theology which divides history into distinct dispensations or periods of time in which God gives a specific revelation and man is tested with respect to his obedience of it.  All dispensationalists are premillennialists, but not all premillennialists are dispensationalists.


     Derived from the Greek word eschaton, “end”, eschatology is the study of the end times.




     Derived from the Latin words mille, “a thousand”, and annus, “a year (Revelation 20), millennialism teaches that there will be a 1000 year, possible kingdom of God on earth.  It is also called chiliasm from the Greek word chilia. “a thousand”.

New Covenant

     The covenant of Jeremiah 31:31-34, which Christ sealed with His blood at Calvary. (Heb 8:6-13, Heb 9:11-15, Luke 22:19,20).  Some dispensationalists distinguish between an earthly new covenant pertaining only to Jews, and a spiritual “better” covenant pertaining only to saints of the church age (Walvoord).  Other dispensationalists (Bullingerites) deny any application of the New Covenant to the church.


     Conforming to the Christian faith as formulated in the early church period.


     This is the view that Christ’s Second Advent will occur after (post) the “millennium”, understood as a golden age on earth but not necessarily lasting 1000 years.


     This refers to the event described in 1 Thess 4:14-17 when believers will be “raptured” or “caught up” (Latin: rapiemur) in the clouds to meet Christ in the air.  The “pre-tribulational rapture” view holds that the rapture will occur before a seven-year tribulation; the “mid-tribulational rapture” view places the rapture in the middle of a seven-year tribulation; the “post-tribulational rapture” view holds that the rapture will occur after the tribulation.


     In theology, the doctrine of salvation.

Systematic Theology

     A constructive method of theology which aims at a complete, philosophic and systematic statement of the entire sum of theological knowledge.



     [From the Greek theologia; theos (god) and logos (discourse)] The study of God and the relations between God and the universe; the study of religious doctrines and matters of divinity.


     This refers to the intensified persecution against God’s people preceding Christ’s Second Advent. Dispensationalists understand it as a seven year persecution against the Jewish nation, while amillennialists and premillenialists see it as a persecution of unknown duration against the Church.


[1] History of the Christian Church [Schaff] Vol. II (Eerdmans 1910) 568

[2] Tract 12-1-1992

[3] Analytical Lexicon to the Greek New Testament – William D. Mounce (Zondervan 1993)  p. 335

[4] Wycliffe Bible Encyclopedia (Moody Press 1975) p. 465

[5] Ibid., p. 465

[6] Ryrie, Dispensationalism Today (Chicago: Moody Press, 1965), pp. 41-45

[7] Darby introduced into discussion at Powerscourt (1833) the ideas of a secret rapture of the church and of a parenthesis in prophetic fulfillment between the 69th and 70th weeks of Daniel. These two concepts constituted the basic tenets of the system of theology referred to as dispensationalism… E.R. Sandeen, The Roots of Fundamentalism 1800-1930 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1970)

[8] J.N. Darby, The Hopes of the Church of God (London: G. Morrish, n.d.) p. 106

[9] C.I. Scofield, Scofield Reference Bible, 1909, 1917 (notes on John 1:17 sec. 2) p. 1115

[10] Ibid., p. 5

[11] The Augsburg Confession, Article II [Original Sin]

[12] New Scofield Reference Bible, p. 3

[13] Quoted in Jon Zens, Dispensationalism, p. 12

[14] L .S. Chafer, “Dispensationalism”, Bibliotheca Sacra 93 (1936):93

[15] L. S. Chafer, Systematic Theology, 7:219

[16] D. G. Barnhouse, He Came Unto His Own (New York: Revell, 1933), p. 17

[17] Ibid.

[18] Scofield, “Scofield Bible Correspondence Course”, pp. 23-25, cited in Zens, Dispensationalism, p. 17

[19] Ryrie, Dispensationalism Today, pp. 137-140

[20] See footnote 8

[21] Ryrie, Dispensationalism Today, pp. 44-45

[22] Ryrie, THE RELATIONSHIP OF THE NEW COVENANT TO PREMILLENIALISM (unpublished Master’s thesis, Dallas Theological Seminary 1947) p. 31

[23] Ibid.

[24] Lewis Sperry Chafer, Systematic Theology, VII, 98

[25] Walvoord, The Millenial Kingdom, p. 218

[26] John F. Walvoord, “The New Covenant With Israel”, Bibliotheca Sacra, 103:24,25, January, 1946

[27] Albertus Pieters, The Seed of Abraham, pp. 71-76

[28] John Delbert DeHann [Tract] (Radio Program 12-1-1992)

[29] W. A. Hoffecker, Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, “Darby, John Nelson”, pp. 292-3

[30] John H. Gerstner, Wrongly Dividing the Word of Truth: A Critique of Dispensationalism (Brentwood, TN: Wolgemuth & Hyatt, 1991), p. 47

[31] Alexander Reese, Premill.), O. T. Allis (amill.), W. E. Cox (amill.), Greg Bahnsen & Kenneth Gentry (postmill.) are notable among others.

[32] Alexander Reese, The Approaching Advent of Christ (Marshall, Morgan and Scott, London, 1937; reprint Grand Rapids MI: Grand Rapids International Publications, 1975) p. 328

[33] John F. Walvoord, Israel in Prophecy (1962; reprint, Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1977), pp. 116, 118

[34] David R. Reagan, The Master Plan: Making Sense of the Controversies Surrounding  Bible Prophecy Today (Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 1993), p. 123

[35] John H. Gerstner, Wrongly dividing the Word of Truth: A Critique of Dispensationalism (/Brentwood TN: Wolgemuth & Hyatt, 1991), p. 206

[36] “Resurrection Apart from Christ?” Bill Barton, Armageddon, FamilyNet, 10/21/93

[37] “Rapture”, Gary Nystrom, Armageddon, FamilyNet, 5/28/94

[38] John H. Gerstner, Wrongly dividing the Word of Truth: A Critique of Dispensationalism (Brentwood, TN: Wolgemuth & Hyatt, 1991), p. 169