My new friends from 2014 have often used theological term “dispensationalism” in their conversations with me but until recently the meaning of this word has been nebulous in my mind. I think it most Christians today don’t know what it means either even though they believe the doctrines that sprang from it.
Below is text edited from http://regal-network.com/dispensationalism/
The origin of this theory can be traced to three Jesuit priests;
(1) Francisco Ribera (1537-1591),
(2) Cardinal Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621) one of the best known Jesuit apologists, who promoted similar theories to Ribera in his published work between 1581 and 1593 entitled Polemic Lectures Concerning the Disputed Points of the Christian Belief Against the Heretics of This Time,
(3) Manuel Lacunza (1731–1801).
The writings of Ribera and Bellarmine, which contain the precedence upon which the theory of Dispensationalism is founded, were originally written to counteract the Protestant reformers’ interpretation of the Book of the Revelation which, according to the reformers, exposed the Pope as Antichrist and the Roman Catholic Church as the whore of Babylon.” (Quoted from http://regal-network.com/dispensationalism/ )
The doctrine of dispensationalism makes a distinction between Israel and the Church. It stresses a literal fulfillment of Old Testament promises to Israel.
The notion that God has one plan for “ethnic Jews” and another plan for the Church was utterly rejected by the “Prince of Preachers” Charles Spurgeon.
Distinctions have been drawn by certain exceedingly wise men (measured by their own estimate of themselves), between the people of God who lived before the coming of Christ, and those who lived afterwards. We have even heard it asserted that those who lived before the coming of Christ do not belong to the church of God! We never know what we shall hear next, and perhaps it is a mercy that these absurdities are revealed at one time, in order that we may be able to endure their stupidity without dying of amazement. Why, every child of God in every place stands on the same footing; the Lord has not some children best beloved, some second-rate offspring, and others whom he hardly cares about. These who saw Christ’s day before it came, had a great difference as to what they knew, and perhaps in the same measure a difference as to what they enjoyed while on earth meditating upon Christ; but they were all washed in the same blood, all redeemed with the same ransom price, and made members of the same body. Israel in the covenant of grace is not natural Israel, but all believers in all ages. Before the first advent, all the types and shadows all pointed one way —they pointed to Christ, and to him all the saints looked with hope. Those who lived before Christ were not saved with a different salvation to that which shall come to us. They exercised faith as we must; that faith struggled as ours struggles, and that faith obtained its reward as ours shall. Charles H. Spurgeon, “Jesus Christ Immutable,” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit
Once you understand how the doctrine of dispensationalism originated, you will hopefully reject all the false doctrines that spring from it. These false doctrines include:
- A distinction between the Church and ethnic Israel.
- The Antichrist is a single individual in the Endtime, and will probably be a Jew.
- The Antichrist sets up a final world government and one world religion during his rule on earth which is from 7 years just before the return of Christ.
- The Antichrist makes a 7 year peace pact with the Jews which allows them to rebuild the Temple of Solomon.
- There will be a secret rapture of the Saints just before the start of the Great Tribulation which is starts 3.5 years into the Antichrist’s reign.
My friends, these doctrines all sprang from the Roman Catholic Church! The Vatican wants you to think the Antichrist will be a Jew because then you will not think of the Pope as the biblical Antichrist — which is what the early Protestant reformers used to think. The doctrine of a final 7 year reign of the Antichrist is based on a false interpretation of Daniel 9:27. That false interpretation is also the bases of the 7 year peace pact doctrine with the Jews and the rebuilding of the Temple of Solomon.
I have written extensively about Daniel 9:27 and its true interpretation on this website;
For more study, please see: http://www.theologicalstudies.org/resource-library/dispensationalism/421-what-is-dispensationalism