DISPENSATIONALIST "AUTHORITY"

OR: THE TEACHING OF LIES



W. H. SHOPE

Of course, the goal of a teacher is to teach. In order for this to occur, other matters must be present. The first to come to mind is that there must be one or more students and that these students must have a desire to learn that which is being taught. But, it must not be assumed that the subject matter being taught has any relationship to truth, however the word “truth” may be defined. There are many instances, though, when the students might demand that some authority is recognized. For instance, when teaching that agitation of a fluid results in increased internal fluid temperature, the standard tests for the matter can be brought to bear.

Specifically, I would direct the attention here to teachers that profess to teach matters associated with God's Word, the King James Bible. And, more specifically, I would have you consider those who present the principles of “dispensationalism.” Since dispensationalism serves as the linchpin for much that is taught in fundamental Baptist churches today, I certainly believe that such teachers should be pressured to present the authority or authorities behind their teaching. And, if no authority can be found, it is certainly correct to state that such teachers lack intellectual honesty or, to put it bluntly, are simply liars.

A dispensationalist will quickly point out that “dispensation” is found in the Bible. But, they are less prone to point out that the essential definition of dispensation...as far as they're concerned...is lacking. Though it is used four times, it is NEVER used in the sense of a period of time. It is used as the act of dispensing or that which is being dispensed. (One of the four cases is interesting, in that it uses the word in the sense of dispensing “away.” This is equivalent to a salesman who might say: “There's usually a shipping charge to be included, but we'll dispense with that.”)

But, is it possible that the definition of the word included “a period of time” during the time period when the KJV was beng translated? No, it is not! The 1828 Webster's dictionary did not include such a definition. To look for one who could be called a dispensationalist, before John Nelson Darby and C.I. Scofield, would be equivalent to a search for a motorcycle mechanic! This is not to say that such a person could not be sought by a description, rather than a name, but the question remains: Why did it take two men, Darby and Scofield, to come up with these notions almost two thousand years after the crucifixion?

It might be pointed out that modern dictionaries usually include, for “dispensation,” the meaning of a period of time. This is true, however, only for dictionaries that were published AFTER the publication, and wide acceptance, of Scofield's reference Bible.

The problems inherent with Darby/Scofield dispensationalism might not be immediately apparent. It would be ridiculous to argue with the notion that Noah's flood marked a change in God's relationship with His creation. What would be wrong, then, with recognizing other such events and then using such events to describe certain periods in history? Anyone with access to a Scofield reference Bible can read that Scofield defined seven such time periods, as he saw them, in the world's history. You might see these time periods as excellent mnemonic aids in the study of the Bible.

The problem did not arise in the recognition of these time periods. It arose when these two heretics used time periods as springboards for their strange and unscriptural theology. They did not stop at a justifiable recognition of these periods, but went on to give their personal understandings as to the causes for the periods. Each period, they argued, exhibited man's failure to obey God in some respect and ended when God realized that His plan had failed, forcing Him to proceed to His backup plan. The next of Scofield's dispensations was then begun. Of course, this is not the God of the Bible, but is, instead, the god which Darby and Scofield created.

You should understand that the flesh appears to have no limits in these imaginings. For instance, Scofield opined that the keeping of the Law was, during its allotted time period, capable of bringing salvation. Scofield then “saw” three different means by which salvation could be attained. The private lives of these scoundrels are readily available for your perusal, if you are so inclined. Suffice it to say that, with the exception of such things as language skills, there is nothing worthy of emulation.

Another essential aspect of Darby/Scofield dispensationalism is the notion that those living in modern Israel are the only recipients of certain Old Testament promises and that this relationship can never be violated.

For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.:
Galatians 3:26-29

The promises, then, are certainly NOT violated. The only violation occurs when the dispensationalist attempts to ignore the clear teaching of this Galatians passage (and those teachings found in Ephesians 2 and Romans 2) and attempts to bring the benefits of those promises to the unbelievers presently living in Israel.

So, why did Darby and Scofield introduce this false teaching of dispensationalism when they lacked any authority for doing so? I have referred to this teaching as a linchpin...an absolute necessity...to the introduction of other false teachings. A clear example is illustrated above, which is generally known today as “Christian Zionism.” A Christian Zionist believes that those now living in the modern state of Israel are “God's Chosen People.”

Consider these “chosen” people: Almost to a man, these people hate Jesus and the Christian faith. Their teaching source, in the synagogues, is the Talmud, NOT the Torah. (Virtually all the truths and miracles of the Torah are rejected by the modern Israelite.) The Talmud teaches that Mary was a whore and Jesus was her bastard son.

Now, consider those living in The United States. Although this would be called into question by many today, it is often claimed that this is a Christian nation, founded upon Christian principles.

Yet, these two disparate nations are considered "allies," with The United States more than willing to sacrifice the lives of the young to fight Israel's wars. The leaders of this so-called Christian nation pay no heed to God's Word:

And Jehu the son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him, and said to king Jehoshaphat, Shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the LORD? therefore is wrath upon thee from before the LORD.
Second Chronicles 19:2

Dispensationalists go so far as to say that the bloodshed and grief brought upon this county is somehow owed to these godless people. Certainly, the obvious descent into immorality indicates the loss of any pretense of this being a "Christian nation."

Continuing with the heresies engendered by dipensationalism, we come to that dream vision of a teenage girl which so impressed John Nelson Darby. As Darby's life is considered, it becomes quite evident that he was easily swayed by the emotionalism of the day. And, we must wonder whether the girl sought the notoriety caused by her dream or whether she merely ate something which disagreed with her. In any event, she dreamed that, at a time preceding the Great Tribulation, Christ would return to secretly "snatch away" Christians. This would mean, of course, that Christians would avoid the time of tribulation. (There are obvious problems presented with the number of "returns" and whether one should be numbered "Christ's Return 2.5," but we won't consider them here.) To justify such a belief, dispensationalists often quote the following:

For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,
First Thessalonians 5:9

These men seldom mention verses found just two chapters earlier:

That no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto. For verily, when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation; even as it came to pass, and ye know.
First Thessalonians 3:3,4

Obviously, there is a great difference between "tribulation" and "wrath." This is made much more apparent as we consider verses like that found in Romans:

And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
Romans 5:3

Here, again, the principles of dispensationalism come into play. The dispensationalist would remind us that certain portions of the Bible are for Christian believers and other portions are for the Jews. Remember: "Jews" is the codeword for those godless people living now in Israel. So, though these unbelievers would never be prone to read them, the words contained in the Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21) are intended for them. These dispensationalists realize that, if it is commonly known that these chapters are not written for those that hate Christ and His Word, believers would read them and find therein an exact presentation of the order of events. Yes, there will be a period of time when the antichrist brings tribulation upon the world, and, yes, believers are to glory in that tribulation. But, tribulation will end and Christ will return, beginning a time of God's wrath. Since believers ARE appointed unto tribulation and ARE NOT appointed unto God's wrath, the natural logic which God has given each of us can lead to only one conclusion: The rapture occurs as Christ returns to bring His wrath to the world. We are simply called upon to place our faith in God's Word, and NOT in the words of those who would replace God's truths with fanciful notions of a secret rapture.

Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
Matthew 24:29-31