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Dispensational Theology

(BI 338)

Pastor Dave Schlagel


We have

  • Infallible Bible
  • Fallible understanding
  • Even more fallible obedience


    1. Lecture 01 – Overview of Dispensationalism

Lecture 01 – Overview of Dispensationalism

What is Dispensationalism? – how we interpret Bible history


  • “ a system of theology which attempts to develop the Bible’s Philosophy of history on the basis of the sovereign rule of God.” (R. Showers) * “ A theological system of interpretation that sees a distinction between God’s Program for Israel and His dealings with the Church.” (F. Jones)
  • “An approach to understanding the Bible in terms of the unfolding revelation of God which results in different stewardships of responsibility on the part of man. “ (R. McCune)
  • An Approach to understanding the Bible in terms of the various means by which God exerts his reign over His Kingdom. ( Concept from M. Minnick)

Key “Features of Dispensationalism:

  • Predicated on a consistently applied literal ( normal) grammatical-historical hermeneutic
  • Presents a biblical philosophy of history
  • Provides a theological framework for organizing certain of the clear teachings of Scripture

A Philosophy of history is “a Systematic interpretation of universal history in accordance with a principle by which historical events and successions are unified and directed toward ultimate meaning.”

Covenantism                        (know this chart)                         Dispensationalism

Covenant Amill Covenant Premill [Premill] Progressive Dispensationalism Moderate [Baptist] Revised Classic Dispensationalism Ultradispensationalism
Names to know and where they stand when it comes to Dispensationalism
Waltke LaddEricksonPayne BlaisingBockSaucy Pastor Dave Schlagel (Teacher) RyrieWalvoordPentecostZuckMcClain SocfieldChafer Stam

Categories of Theological Study:


  • Biblical Theology
  • Historical Theology
  • Systematic Theology (Dogmatics)
  • Apologetics
  • Practical Theology
  • [ Philosophical Theology]

Dispensationalism has direct and significant impact on at least four areas of doctrine:

  • Eschatology
  • Ecclesiology
  • Pneumatology
  • Soteriology (has the nature of saving faith changed

Essentials of a valid articulation of the Biblical philosophy of History include:

  1. An ultimate purpose toward the fulfillment of which all history moves.
  2. An offer of explanations for distinctions and differences evident in history.
  3. A proper concept of progress of revelation.
  4. A unifying principle which transcends the distinctions and progressive stages of revelation and directs them toward the fulfillment of the purpose of history.

Advantages of Dispensationalism (3):

  1. It answers the need of biblical distinctions
  2. It harmonizes Scripture.


    1. Solves apparent contradictions (Mat 28:19/ Mat 10:5)
    2. Explains the varied ministry of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament
    3. Addresses the distinction between Israel and the Church
    4. Allows for proper understanding of difficult Old Testament passages that seem at odds with New Testament teaching



                                                              i.      Conditions for “membership” in Israel


                                                            ii.      Prayers of imprecation

1.      Ps. 69:22

2.      Ps 139:21

                                                          iii.      /[1]/Oath-taking and cursing

1.      Ne 13:25 - And I contended with them, and cursed them, and smote certain of them, and plucked off their hair, and made them swear by God, saying, Ye shall not give your daughters unto their sons, nor take their daughters unto your sons, or for yourselves.

2.      Mt 5:34 - But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne:

                                                           iv.      Prohibitions against certain foods

1.      Le 11:44 - 46 For I am the LORD your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy: neither shall ye defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. For I am the LORD that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy. This is the law of the beasts, and of the fowl, and of every living creature that moveth in the waters, and of every creature that creepeth upon the earth:

a.       God wanted to illustrate to them that they were a holy people set apart unto God

2.      1Ti 4:3 - 4 Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:

It provides a unifying purpose (or principle or “center” or explanation) behind god’s activity throughout history.

We can best understand the significance and meaning of history if we view it in the light of a unifying principle …

    1. The unifying purpose of God’s activity is His own Glory.  
    2. The goal of history (culmination) is the Kingdom of God on earth.  
    3. The means of moving toward that goal is the dispensational program.  

Terms commonly Mentioned:

Pessimistic: Covent theology fits here because victory doesn’t come until the eternal state

Optimistic: Dispensationalism grants victory before the end

Lecture 02 – What is a Dispensation[2]

Copy notes using scanner

1.      The Biblical Usage of the word Dispensation

“Dispensation” is the anglicized form of dispensatio, the Vulgate’s rendering of oikonomia

Note 1Cor. 9:17 “For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me.”


a.       General usage in the New Testament (e.g., Luke 16:1-4ff)

                                                                          i.      Verb oikonomeo→ the work of a steward (managing or administrating)

                                                                        ii.      Noun oikonomia → the office or function of a steward (managing or administrating)

                                                                      iii.      Noun Oikonomos a steward ( the person)

b.      The essential features of a stewardship arrangement

                                                                          i.      Two parties

                                                                        ii.      Responsibility

                                                                      iii.      Accountability

                                                                      iv.      Possibility of change

c.       Paul’s instruction regarding stewardship ( Dispensations)

                                                                          i.      Men are responsible to God (Titus 1:7)

                                                                        ii.      Faithfulness is required in a steward (1 Cor. 4:2)

                                                                      iii.      A stewardship may end at an appointed time (Gal. 4:1-2; translated “Governors”).

                                                                      iv.      A stewardship is connected with the “Mysteries of God” ( 1 Cor. 4:1).

In other words, a stewardship (oikonomia) is related to specific revelation from God.

The word “mystery” (Musterion) refers to revelation kept in the midna dn plan of God and revealed at a certain later time. When used in a non-theological sense, Musterion suggests a secret imparted only to the initiated that is unknown until revealed.

Munsterion =   (1) a secret imparted to the initiated

(2) revelation kept in the mind and plan of God and revealed at a certain later time

Prov. 25:2 teaches that “It is the glory of God to conceal [hide] a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter.”

Rom. 16:25-26 gives the biblical definition of a mystery.

God kept some things secret from the Old Testament. They were unrevealed not unrealized.

Mystery is something that God conceals in one dispensation that He reveals in another dispensation.

Note the two basic ingredients Revelation & an appointed time.

Examples of NT mysteries include . . .

1.      The Gospel – and in particular, the identity of the Messiah and the particulars of his saving work (Eph . 6:19)

2.      The person of Christ (Col. 4:3; 1 Tim. 3:16)

3.      Christ in you, the hope of glory (Col. 1:27

4.      The kingdom of God (Mark 4:11)

5.      The Church (Eph. 5:32)

6.      The blindness of Israel in this age (Rom. 11:25)

7.      The rapture (1 Cor. 15:51)

Key texts 1 Cor. 4:1; Eph. 3:2-11; Col. 1:25-26

                                                                        v.      “Dispensation” and “Age” are connected, but not interchangeable ideas.

The term age deals with time, whereas dispensation concerns an area of Truth

                                                                      vi.      Two (Three?) dispensations are expressly mentioned by Paul in the New Testament.

1.      Eph. 1:10 “The dispensation of the fullness of times” (Dispensation of Kingdom)

2.      Eph 3:2 “ the dispensation of the grace of God”

3.      Col. 1:25-26 implies an earlier dispensation that lacked thefulness of revelation given to us. Some see this as referring in particular to the dispensation of the Law.

2.      The definition of the term Dispensation

a.       Examples from Various Theologians

“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.”

The Scofield Reference Bible

“A period of time, long or short, in which God is dealing with men in a different way than He has ever dealt with them before.”

- Harry Ironside, Thelamp of Prophecy

“. . . a dispensation is divinely established stewardship of a particular revelation of God’s mind and will which is instituted in the first instance with a new age, and which brings added responsibility to the whole race of men or that portion of the race to whom the revelation is particularly given by God.”

- Clarence Mason, Dispensationalism Made Simple

“. . . a particular way of God’s administering His rule over the world as He progressively works out His purpose for world history.”

- Renald Showers, There Really Is A Difference

“The word dispensation refers to a particular arrangement by which god regulates the way human beings related to Him.”

- Craig Blaising, Progressive Dispensationalism


“From the human standpoint a dispensation is a steward of light 0 a management of God’s revelation and will. From the divine standpoint it is an economy or an administration controlled by God. “

– Rolland McCune, Dispensationalism (Dallas theological)



b.      Analysis of Ryrie’s Definition

“A dispensation is a distinguishable economy in the outworking of God’s purpose.”

                                                                          i.      An Economy

                                                                        ii.      A Distinguishable Economy (Based on new Revelation From God that results in distinguishable changes in Man’s responsibilities before God)

                                                                      iii.      God’s Purpose [on the earth]

3.       The Relationship between the Dispensations and Progressive Revelation

a.       The Principle of Progressive Revelation

Heb. 1:1 describes God's revelation as in "many parts and many ways." (cf. John 1:17) Revelation unfolds progressively as ...

                                                                          i.      God wills to give it.

                                                                        ii.      Man is able to receive it (John 16:12-13).

Man is accountable for the accumulation of God's revelation to that point in time. Those living in the NT age have been given much 4 greater responsibility.

b.      The Dispensational Program

Rather than viewing the succeeding dispensations as a "time line," dispensationalism sees historical, theological, and spiritual progress being made as God moves toward the climax of human history-the dispensation of the fullness of times (Kingdom).

c.       Unity with Diversity

Dispensationalists recognize the unfolding plan of God and the continuing revelational principles which gives unity or continuity. At the same time, they see the new revelation of God and new relationships based thereon which gives diversity and differences. Covenant theologians tend to focus more so on the unity and continuity as evidenced by the unchanging "covenant of grace." While they must address certain dispensational differences, some are at times prone to alter the way they understand differences through the use of a non-literal hermeneutic.

d.      Continuing Principles

Continuing principles are revelational principles carried forward from one dispensation to the next. They are aspects of how God administers his rule that carry over into a subsequent dispensational economy.

                                                                          i.      A continuing principle can be carried forward either intact or adjusted.

Example: God's prohibition against murder is carried over intact, whereas instruction regarding keeping the Sabbath has been adjusted.

                                                                        ii.      A continuing principle is discernable when ...

1.      It is clearly restated in later revelation.

2.      It is based on the nature of God. (Romans 2:15; Genesis 9:6; I Timothy 2:12; Deuteronomy 25) – nature is a theology teacher

3.      It is based on the natural created order of God.

4.      It is not superseded (i.e., it does not create a conflict with subsequently revealed, clearly stated Bible principles).

                                                                      iii.      Continuing principles may take various forms, such as ...

1.      The continuation of certain ordinances (e.g., marriage, blood sacrifices, eating animal meat, circumcision, etc.).

2.      The continuation of a rule of life (e.g., there has been no advance for the "heathen" beyond Civil Government).

3.      The continuation of the results of judgment (e.g., the fall and curse, confusion of languages, dispersion of Israel).

4.      Their continuation during a period of transition (e.g., ongoing Mosaisms in the Book of Acts).

5.      Anticipatory form during the transitional period in advance of a new dispensation (e.g., Israel kept certain ordinances before the Law was actually given such as the Passover, redemption of the firstborn, Sabbath observance, etc.)

                                                                      iv.      Man is always responsible for "accumulated" revelation.

The revelational light for which man is responsible and with which God manages His affairs with man is cumulative.

4.      The Characteristics of a Dispensation  

a.       Primary Characteristics

                                                                          i.      New Special Revelation

Note: You can have a deposit of new revelation without it marking a new dispensation, but you cannot have a new dispensational economy without new revelation.

                                                                        ii.      The Governing Relationship between God and Man (God's Rule)

                                                                      iii.      Man's Corresponding Responsibility (Stewardship)

b.      Secondary Characteristics

                                                                          i.      Test

In essence, will man be faithful in his stewardship-will he meet his obligations under the economy established by God?

                                                                        ii.      Failure

Failure is a part of each dispensation (often climactically so), but need not have been so-it is not a necessary aspect of a dispensation. Climactic failure is certainly not requisite to have a dispensation.

                                                                      iii.      Judgment

Similarly, judgment is a part of each dispensation, but is necessary only in response to man's failure.

5.      Objections to a Dispensational Philosophy of History

a.       Dispensationalism compartmentalizes history.

This argument neglects that Dispensationalism takes not only a cross-sectional perspective (i.e., the individual dispensations considered separately), but also a longitudinal perspective (i.e., considering God's overall plan, the continuing principles, and God's movement toward a culmination).

b.      Dispensationalism contradicts the immutability of God.

c.       Dispensationalism reflects the Greek view that "history is cyclic."

While there may be recurring patterns that transcend some or all of the dispensations, they are not simple repetitions of historical movements. Each economy is on a "higher plane" than the former, providing for true progress-not a reversion back to an earlier day.

Inverting the scheme illustrates the progression-imagine a dispensational program beginning with Kingdom and ending with Innocence!?

6.      Ryrie's Sine Qua Non of Dispensational Tenets

The expression sine qua non means irreducible minimum; the essence or essentials.

a.       Negatively

Dispensationalism does not consist in ...

                                                                          i.      Recognizing different dispensations.

                                                                        ii.      The number of dispensations.

                                                                      iii.      A premillennial return of Christ.

b.      Positively (Ryrie suggests three essential elements)

                                                                          i.      The fundamental, theological distinction between Israel and the Church.

Some call this an anthropological distinction-Israel and the Church are two permanently distinct people-groups. There are distinct difference in terms of origin, purpose, and destiny.

                                                                        ii.      The consistent use of a literal (normal) hermeneutic.

                                                                      iii.      God's underlying purpose for the world is His own glory.

7.      God's Underlying Purpose in the World

a.       Is God's doxological purpose for this world appropriately included as one of Dispensationalism's sine qua non?

                                                                          i.      Not all of classic dispensationalism agrees.

                                                                        ii.      Not unique to dispensationalism.

                                                                      iii.      Though the doxological purpose is the best answer to an important question, it is not necessarily a defining element underlying dispensationalism.

b.      God created this world and all that is in it for His own glory, and this doxological purpose unifies history.

                                                                          i.      The word "glory" can be used of God to describe His unique excellence.

                                                                        ii.      Here "glory" is used in the sense of the esteem which God's person and work elicits from rational beings.

                                                                      iii.      God manifests Himself through the dispensational program as He progressively reveals Himself and administers His rule, with each economy moving closer to the culmination of history (the Kingdom).

                                                                                 iv.Some succinct passages on this point include Rom. 11:36; 1 Cor. 15:28b; & Col. 1:16.

c.       Alternatives

                                                                          i.      Redemption of Man (Soteriological)

1.      Redemption is a means by which God is glorified. It is but one means (though perhaps the most significant one) to the greater end of glorifying God.

Note Eph. 1:6,12, & 14.

2.      The Law was not only redemptive, but also a "ministration of death," yet it was "glorious" (2 Cor. 3:7 & 9).

Additionally, the Law regulated the total life of the covenant community-whether or not all of its adherents were truly redeemed.

3.      The punishment of the lost is anything but redemptive, yet it brings glory to God and exalts His holiness, righteousness, and justice (Phil. 2:10; Rev. 20:11 ff).

4.      God has a plan for angels that does not include redemption.

                                                                        ii.      Person and Work of Jesus Christ (Christological)

Unquestionably, the Bible is Christo-centric (cf. Luke 24:27)-Christ is centrally in view. Though the Father does give honor and glory to the Son, the broader doxological purpose focuses on the glory of all the persons of the Godhead.

                                                                     iii.      Establishment of the Kingdom (various emphases)


Covenant Theology =           "A system of theology which attempts to develop the Bible's philosophy of history on the basis of two or three covenants." (Showers, p. 7)

The Covenant of Works

·         Established between the triune God and Adam

  • God made Adam the representative head of the human race so that Adam would act for his descendents. [The federal or representative view of imputation "views Adam as the representative of the whole human race so that when Adam sinned his sin became the ground of condemnation of his race. No one but Adam actually committed that first sin, but since Adam represented all people, God viewed all as involved and thus condemned. The word `federal' means covenant and indicates that Adam was appointed to represent the race in the so-called Covenant of Works. Because the covenant head sinned, the guilt of his sin was imputed to each of his posterity" (Ryrie, BT, p. 258); cf. the seminal view, which holds that when Adam sinned, all actually sinned through the organic solidarity with Adam.]  

·         Established between creation and the fall of man (during the course of world history).

·         Required Adam's implicit and perfect obedience (probational or testing concept).

·         God promised eternal life (not natural life) to Adam and his descendents in return for Adam's perfect obedience. Berkhof admits no such promise exists in the Bible, but "the threatened penalty clearly implies such a promise." (ST, p. 216).

  • Since Adam was appointed representative head of the human race, if he were to disobey God, he and his descendants would be penalized with death, "including physical, spiritual, and eternal death." (p.217).

  • Hosea 6:7 "But they like men have transgressed the covenant: there have they dealt treacherously against me." Some CT adherents suggest that this verse refers to the covenant of works.

Covenant of Grace

Established because Adam broke the covenant of works.

  • Berkhof s definition: "that gracious agreement between the offended God and the offending but elect sinner, in which God promises salvation through faith in Christ, and the sinner accepts this believingly, promising a life of faith and obedience." (p. 277).

·         The first party of the covenant of grace is God; the second, Berkhof says, is "not easy to determine precisely. . ." (p. 273). Some say it is the sinner, some say it is the elect (corporately), some say it is believers and their seed.

·         Because of the federal perspective, some proponents view children of believers as part of the covenant. These children are under the covenant as a legal relationship, though they may or may not ever enter into the spiritual life intended by the covenant (by personal faith).

  • Varying views on when established ... (1) immediately after the fall; (2) Gen. 3:15; (3) in conjunction with the Abrahamic covenant. Berkhof, for example, says, "The establishment ofthe covenant with Abraham marked the beginning of an institutional Church." (p. 295), but he allows for believers who preceded Abraham to be under the covenant of grace.

  • The main promise is found in Genesis 17:7 "And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee."

  • The covenant of grace exists throughout the dispensations. The ongoing summary expression is "I will be thy God."

·         Final thought from Berkhof . . . "The Bible teaches that there is but a single gospel by which men can be saved. And because the gospel is nothing but the revelation of the covenant of grace, it follows that there is also but one covenant." (p. 279).

Covenant of Redemption [not all covenantalists include this covenant, but per Berkhof, most do]


·         Established between God the Father and God the Son.

·         The Father granted the Son to be Head and Redeemer of the elect. In return, the Son voluntarily agreed to be the recipient of God's judgment in the place of those whom the Father had given Him.

·         Established in eternity past.

  • The Father required that the Son "make amends for the sin of Adam and of those whom the Father had given Him," and "do what Adam failed to do by keeping the law and thus securing eternal life for all His spiritual progeny." (Berkhof, p. 269). This involved the Son becoming human and living sinlessly under the Mosaic Law.

  • In return, the Father promised to the Son resurrection, a numerous seed, all power in heaven and earth, and great glory.

·         The covenant of redemption is the model for the covenant of grace, as well as providing the foundation, or basis, which makes the covenant of grace possible.


·         God's ultimate purpose for history is the redemption of man (soteriological). The touchstone principle by which God accomplishes this purpose throughout history is the ongoing covenant of grace.

  • Dispensational distinctions are seen as different administrations of the same covenant of grace rather than changes in God's ruling relationship with man.

  • Progressive revelation: each new body of revealed truth is another stage of the progressive uncovering of the nature of the covenant of grace.

·         Covenant theologians emphasize that there is but one means of salvation, and they see the Person and work of Christ very clearly evident in the OT. They often see fuller meaning of OT passages in light of NT revelation. "There is not a doctrine concerning Christ, taught in the

  • New Testament, which the Apostles do not affirm to have been revealed under former dispensations." (C. Hodge, Vol. 2, p. 370).


  • Israel and the Church are seen as organically related just different manifestations of God's ministration of the covenant of grace.

Progressive Dispensationalism

  • "During the 1980s and 1990s, another generation of dispensationalists arose who knew not Scofield or Chafer. . ." (Bateman, p. 34). [cf. Ex. 1:8] 4 Bock, Blaising, & Saucy.

·         PD seems to have been born in the spirit of rapprochement. Appears to be somewhat dialectic (thesis + antithesis = synthesis). It would not be surprising to see further movement toward the covenant position in the future. Some covenantalists (viz., Waltke, Elwell) see the PD position on some points as being very nearly in their camp already.

  • PD is described as understanding "the dispensations not simply as different arrangements between God and humankind, but as successive arrangements in the progressive revelation and accomplishment of redemption." (PD, p. 48).
  • PD (Blaising & Bock) sees four dispensations (Patriarchal, Mosaic, Ecclesiastical, and Zionic-which includes the Millennium and extends into the eternal state).
  • Complementary hermeneutics. PD adherents hold to a NT priority in the progress of revelation. The NT introduces complementary changes and additions to OT promises without jettisoning those original promises. This expansion of meaning concept (Bock) is essentially sensus plenior (fuller meaning).

·         The mystery of the church is not unrevealed, just unrealized.

  • Holistic and unified view of eternal salvation, by which they emphasize accordingly that the church, just as Israel, looks forward to the redemption of humanity in its political and cultural aspects. The church today is a revelation of the spiritual blessing in which all the redeemed will share, in spite of their ethnic and national differences. God will bless humankind with the same salvation given to all without distinction-the same, not only in justification and regeneration, but also in sanctification by the indwelling Holy Spirit. These blessings will come to all without distinction through Jesus Christ, the King of Israel and of all the nations of redeemed humanity. (PD, pp. 46-48).
  • The distinction between Israel and the church is seen as different categories among the redeemed of the ages (which they are), rather than two permanently distinct groups. There are not two distint purposes of God-one for Israel and one for the church. Rather, the church is the present manifestation of God's unified program of redemption. (This position leads some to label them as "covenant". The label is perhaps exaggerated at this point, as PD adherents do maintain a distinction between Israel and the church-but not a permanent one.)
  • Inaugurated eschatology-"already, not yet". The spiritual blessings of the Abrahamic covenant are being fulfilled today, though the promises to Israel remain to be fulfilled. Of particular note is the PD position with regard to the Davidic covenant and Christ's present session. PD sees Christ as currently (already) on the throne of David, but with a future further fulfillment in the earthly millennial reign. PD also adheres to a New Covenant inauguration through Christ and the coming of the Holy Spirit in Acts 2. Complete fulfillment awaits the coming of Christ. (Admittedly, the church does in some fashion enjoy a measure of New Covenant blessing, though to say this is the same as the inauguration of the covenant promise to Israel is inappropriate.) This matter of inaugurated eschatology seems to be the facet of PD to which the name "progressive" attaches-the progressive fulfillment of covenant promises.
  • God's ultimate purpose (and unifying principle) seems to be kingdom-oriented and Christological, based on the emphasis on Christ's inaugurated rule on the Davidic throne.
Covenant of Works
Graphic Representation of the Notional Covenants of Covenant Theology
Covenant of Grace
Gen 17
Covenant of Redemption

Problem with reading the New Testament back into the Old Testament

            I Timothy 5:18 – ox does not mean pastors

A comparison of Dispensationalism and Covenant Theology

    Dispensationalism Covenant Theology
  Basic Philosophy of History The Biblical record of human history is best viewed as a succession of dispensations whereby God administers his rule over creation. A dispensation may be thought of as a distinguishable economy in the outworking of God's purpose. Each dispensation involves a new governing relationship between God and man, as well as an accompanying responsibility or stewardship that is given to man. Man's ultimate failure in each succeeding dispensation reveals man's fallibility and need for God's gracious intervention. Traditional Dispensationalism identifies seven distinct stewardships in God's relationship with man, though the exact number of dispensations is not a critical point. The Biblical record of human history is best viewed in light of two or three notional covenants: (1) the Covenant of Works between God and Adam (some believe that Hosea 6:7 refers to this covenant); (2) the Covenant of Grace between God and elect sinners, established as a result of Adam's transgression of the Covenant of Works; and (3) the Covenant of Redemption established in eternity past between God the Father and God the Son (not all Covenant theologians hold to the Covenant of Redemption). Human history is the unfolding record of God's administration of the Covenant of Grace.
  Harmonizing Differences Differences are best explained as dispensational changes in God's sovereign administration of His rule over mankind. Clear dispensational differences are seen as successive stages in God's revelation and administration of the Covenant of Grace. Others differences may be harmonized by means of non-literal interpretation-particularly in matters of prophecy.
  Unifying Theme The glory of God (doxological). The redemption of man (soteriological).
  Hermeneutic Consistently literal. Conservative Covenant theologians are literalists in most areas, but tend to impose the New Testament on their interpretation of the Old. Many are allegorical in their handling of prophecy, especially concerning the yet-unfulfilled promises to Israel. Passages related to Israel are often spiritualized and applied to the Church.
  Eschatology Premillennial, pretribulational. Some Covenantalists hold to historic Premillennialism (and are generally posttribulational), but the majority in the present day are Amillennialists. Postmillennialism was common prior to the twentieth century.
  Israel and the church Israel and the Church are viewed as two permanently distinct people groups. The Church was a mystery not revealed in the Old Testament. Old Testament references to Israel do not ever refer to the Church. Israel and the Church are organically related-they are simply different manifestations of God's unified program of redemption. Many of the promises made to Israel will not be fulfilled literally for Israel, but rather spiritually in the Church.
  Revised (Traditional) Dispensationalism Progressive Dispensationalism
Israel and the Church The church and Israel are two distinctive groups of people, differing in their origin, as well as in their purpose and place in God's ongoing plan. The church is an intercalation in relation to the divine program for Israel. "The church is precisely redeemed humanity itself (both Jews and Gentiles) as it exists in this dispensation prior to the coming of Christ" (Blaising & Bock, Progressive Dispensa­tionalism, p. 49). The church is the present manifestation of God's unified program of redemption.
Dispensations "[D]istinguishable econom[ies] in the outworking of God's purpose" (Ryrie, Dipsensationalism, p. 28). Each begins with a deposit of new revelation affecting God's ruling relationship with man and man's associated responsibility (stewardship) on the basis of that revelation. Generally seven dispensations. Sees four dispensations (Patriarchal, Mosaic, Ecclesial, & Zionic) which are "successive arrangements in the progressive revelation and accomplishment of redemption. ... [T]he dispensations progress by revealing different aspects of the final unified redemption" (Blaising & Bock, PD, p. 48).
Unifying Principle The glory of God (doxological). Messiah and His Kingdom (Christological)
Hermeneutic Consistently literal. Literal and "complementary" hermeneutics, whereby "the New Testament complements Old Testament revelation ... [by] introduc[ing] change and advance. ... In making complemen­tary additions, however, it does not jettison old promises. The enhancement is not at the expense of the original promise" (B & B, Dispensationalism, Israel and the Church, pp. 392-93).
The Church and the Davidic Covenant No present fulfillment of the Davidic covenant. Inaugurated eschatology-"already, not yet." The spiritual blessings of the Abrahamic covenant are being fulfilled today, though the promises to Israel remain to be fulfilled. The means of their fulfillment is the Davidic covenant. Even now, Christ is seated upon the throne of David, of which the descent of the Spirit is one result.
The Church and the New Covenant The New Covenant is with Israel and (at least technically) will not be inaugurated until the millennium when Israel is restored. Still, the church enjoys some of the redemptive spiritual blessings of the New Covenant, causing some to see two New Covenants-one with the church, one with Israel. Others see a single New Covenant with two "aspects." The church is enjoying the spiritual blessings of the New Covenant, which was inaugurated through Christ and the coming of the Spirit in Acts 2. Full fulfillment awaits the return of Christ and the establishment of the millennial kingdom (again, "already, not yet").
Kingdom While the church is a spiritual kingdom, it is not in any way the fulfillment of Israel's kingdom promises. The visible kingdom was "postponed" and will be fulfilled in the millennium. The Kingdom of God is a unifying theme of Scripture. The eschatological Messianic kingdom is in force now; the church is the present manifestation of this Messianic kingdom.


Complementary hermeneutics – New Testament compliments the Old Testament

Lecture 03 –Distinctions of the Dispensation[3]

Ephesians. 3:2 Grace
Ephesians 1:10 Kingdom
   Civil Government
Not much revelation
Colossians 1:25-26
Christ’s period on earth
Transitional period sometimes called its own dispensation
Revelation in Glory

Matthew 11:

3 views of the tribulation pertaining to where it fits into the dispensations


  1. it is a reinstatement of the law
    1. The Gospel of he kingdom will be preached in measure II Thessalonians 2:6
    2. objections

                                                              i.      no other dispensation seems to come back once it is ended

                                                            ii.      the events of the incarnation, resurrection, ascension, make it hard to say that the tribulation will be the same as the law

                                                          iii.      it will be apostate anyway

  1. The tribulation is it’s own dispensation (Dispensation of Wrath)
    1. The gospel of the kingdom at that time will still be a gospel of Grace
    2. Salvation has always been by grace
  2.  the message during the tribulation is the Gospel of the Kingdom

the first 3 dispensations are covered in Genesis 1-11

Dispensation of Innocence


  1. Explanation Name

    1. Does not mean moral neutrality
    2. Does not mean morally ignorant
    3. Adam and Ever were positively Holy – they did not have a Holy character

  1. Extent (Chronology)  
    1. from Creation to the fall

  1. New Revelation  
    1. Genesis 1:28 (6 responsibilities of man)

                                                              i.      Command to fill the earth with people

                                                            ii.      Command to subdue the earth (we are here to prophet from the earth) (Cultural Mandate)

                                                          iii.      Command to Rule over the Animals

                                                          iv.      Command to Cultivate the Garden

                                                            v.      Command to Have a vegetarian diet

                                                          vi.      Command to abstain from the tree of knowledge of good and evil

                                                        vii.      Command to Obey and become confirmed in holiness.

1.      Hebrews 5:9 – Christ learned obedience without ever disobeying

  1. Man’s Responsibility
    1. Commanded to Obey God #. Commanded to develop holy character
  2. Failure
    1. Rebelled against God
  3. Judgment
    1. Curse Genesis 3:14-19

                                                              i.      curse of ground

                                                            ii.      cuse of woman

                                                          iii.      curse of man

    1. Entrance of sin Romans 5:12

                                                              i.      sin entered the world

    1. Expelled from Garden Genesis 3:24                                                               i.      Man and women expelled
  1. continuing principles to the next generation  
    1. Fill the earth – Genesis 9:1
    2. Subdue the earth – cultural mandate
    3. Maintain a vegetarian diet

Dispensation of Conscience

  1. Explanation of the Term  
    1. Genesis 6:3 – God’s spirit will not always govern man
    2. Genesis 4:15 –

  1. Extent (Chronology)  
    1. From the Fall to the Flood

  1. New Revelation  
    1. division between satan and the woman

                                                              i.      Genesis 3:15

1.      God will put ementy between the woman and Satan

2.      put enemy between the woman and serpent

a.       between believers and unbelievers

3.      bruise his head and bruise his heal

                                                            ii.      Hebrews 2:14

                                                          iii.      1 John 3:8

                                                          iv.      Revelation 12:1-5

    1. Blood Sacrifice                                                               i.      Genesis 3:21 – clothing was applied

  1. Man’s Responsibility  
    1. Respond to the holy spirits prompting
    2. was to respond to God through Blood sacrifices
    3. believe the promise of Genesis 3:15

  1. Failure  
    1. Cain didn’t bring the right offering
    2. Cain murdered his brother
    3. Genesis 4:17 – the rise of a godless civilization

                                                              i.      they had a prosperous civilization

                                                            ii.      it was characterized by Godless technology

    1. Genesis 4:19                                                               i.      Much sensuality

                                                            ii.      brutality

    1. Genesis 6:1-2                                                               i.      Marriage of the ungodly
    2. Genesis 6:5,11                                                               i.      earth full of wickedness and violence

  1. Judgment
    1. Flood  
  2. continuing principles

    1. Operation of Conscience – Romans 2:14-15

                                                              i.      trusting in your conscience will not help curve the sinful nature

    1. Blood atonement by faith manifested through the animal sacrifice  

Dispensation of Government

  1. Explanation of the Term  
    1. God charges society to exercise a corporate conscience


  1. Extent (Chronology)  

a.       from the Flood to the Call of Abraham

  1. New Revelation


    1. Genesis 9:2 - Noahic Covenant

                                                              i.      fear of man placed on the animals

                                                            ii.      Permission to eat flesh, but not blood

                                                          iii.      institution of capital punishment (9:5-6)

                                                          iv.      No more universal floods


  1. Man’s Responsibility  
    1. Govern on behalf of God
    2. Protect sanity of human life

  1. Failure  
    1. Genesis 11:4-6
    2. did not obey God’s command to spread out

  1. Judgment  
    1. God confused their languages

  1. continuing principles  

Acts 17:26

    1. Man is responsible to retain human government

Acts 25:11

    1. Paul giving legitimate to even false governments to administrate capital punishment  

Romans 13

    1. we should always obey God’s ordained authority  

I Peter 2:13-14

    1. punishment of evil doers and praise for those that do well  

Dispensation of Promise

  1. Explanation of the Term  

a.       Hebrews 6:12-17

b.      Hebrews 11:9

c.       the promises gave to Abraham

  1. Extent (Chronology)


a.       from Abraham to Mount Sinai

  1. New Revelation


Abrahamic Covenant

    1. Genesis 12:1 – a seed or prosperity
    2. Genesis 13:14 – a land (later gives defined boundaries)
    3. Genesis 15:17-21 – personal and universal blessing


  1. Man’s Responsibility  

a.       Believe the promises of the Abrahamic covenant

a.       Genesis 15:5-6 – Abraham believing the promises God said

b.      Observe the right of circumcision

a.       Genesis 17:10 -14

b.      observe the new covenant

c.       Continue separate from the nations

a.       the seed would dilute and the covenant dissolve if they did not marry within their own nation

                                                                                      i.      Genesis 24:3-4; 26:34

d.      remain in the land of promise (Genesis 26:1)

  1. Failure


Two views

a.       General failure in lives of the patriarchs  

a.       Abraham’s unbelief regarding his son

b.      climatic failure when Jacob when down to Egypt

a.       captivity is a judgment connected to the failure

b.      Problem (Genesis 46) – God tells them to go down

  1. Judgment


a.       Egyptian bondage

  1. continuing principles


Galatians 3:16-18

a.       the promises God made to Abraham continue and will be fulfilled in the future

a.       the land promise

b.      the blessing promise

c.       the prosperity promise

Dispensation of Law[4]


  1. Explanation of the Term


    1. Law of Moses

  1. Extent (Chronology)  
    1. | God |
In the system set up the only way for a Jew to get to God was through the Law

From Mt. Sinai to day of Pentecost

  1. New Revelation  
    1. The mosaic Code

                                                              i.      Civil aspects

                                                            ii.      Ceremonial aspects

  1. Man’s Responsibility  
    1. Israel was responsible to keep the whole law (Leviticus 18:4-5/ Galatians 3:10 / Romans 10:5 / Romans 7:10 / Galatians 2:21 / Galatians 3:21-24)

                                                              i.      only access to God was through the mosaic law

1.      Leviticus 17:11

2.      I Samuel 26:17-19 (David is saying they have chased me out of the promise land and said that he was to serve other gods) – he was saying that if he was to live outside the land he could not be in fellowship with God

3.      Psalms 42:1-4 (David longs to go back to the people of God and observe in the religious services)


  1. Failure  
    1. They tried to establish their own righteousness (Romans 10:1-3)

                                                              i.      they did not understand that their righteous did not get them anything

                                                            ii.      God’s rightesous was needed

    1. They killed messiah  
  • \\ #. Judgment  *
    1.  captive judgment

                                                              i.      Assyria

    1. God turned his back on them (He took the kingdom from them for a time)                                                               i.      Romans  11:7-11

                                                            ii.      Matthew 21:42-45


  1. continuing principles  
    1. Moral principles continue

                                                              i.      1300 commands in the Old Testament and 1,100 stated in the New Testament

End of the dispensation (II Corinthians 3:7)

Defining apostasy:

-          a defection from true faith ( could only be used to describe collective bodies)

Dispensation of Grace (Spirit/Church)


  1. Explanation of the Term  
    1. comes from Ephesians  3:2 John 1:17


  1. Extent (Chronology)  

a.       From Pentecost until Revelation in Glory

  1. New Revelation


a.       new provision and in junctions that result from the life and death of our lord

b.      epistolary teachings

c.       Hebrews 1: 1-2 – key passage

d.      Hebrews 10:20 – new way

  1. Man’s Responsibility


    1. Receive Christ as savior
    2. Identification with body of Christ
    3. Spirit Baptism – occurs with new birth

1.      I Corinthians 12:13 – Spirit Baptists is a church concept

2.      it identifies us with the body of Christ and this ends when the next dispensation comes

    1. become members of the church #. propagate the Gospel around the world

                                                              i.      During the law they didn’t have a missionary call

1.      Zachariah 8:18


  1. Failure  
    1. The great apostasy

                                                              i.      despite the privilege of being part of the church the Christian church will almost become completely apostate


  • \\ #. Judgment  *
    1. Tribulation period (pouring out of God’s Wrath)


  1. continuing principles  
    1. The preaching of the Cross
    2. Spirit Baptism – Stops

Dispensation of Kingdom


  1. Explanation of the Term  
    1. Christ will be on earth on bodily form and will be ruler.


  1. Extent (Chronology)  
    1. From Revelation in Glory and lasts 1,000 years ( I Corinthians 15:24)

  1. New Revelation  

a.       reinstitution of animal sacrifices

a.       Isaiah 2:3 – every word that comes from the mouth of God on his throne

b.      Jeremiah  31:33

b.      Feasts observed

a.       Zechariah 14:19 – they will keep the feasts

b.      Jeremiah 33:15

c.       Ezekiel 44:15-23

d.      Ezekiel 45:21-25

  1. Man’s Responsibility


    1. Obey the king
    2. receive the blessings of the new covenant


  1. Failure  

Revelation 20:8

    1. they rebel against God


  • \\ #. Judgment  *

Revelation 20:8

    1. God destroys them


  1. continuing principles  

Revelation 22:1


    1. Monarchial government
    2. the exercise of reining

Lecture 04 –The Dispensational Program


Review . . .

  1. The unifying purpose of God’s activity is his own Glory. #. The goal of history (culmination) is the Kingdom of god on earth.
  2. The means of moving toward that goal is the dispensational program

What is God’s ultimate purpose?

Short: God’s ultimate purpose is to glorify himself

Long: God’s ultimate purpose and unifying principle underlying His activity is to glorify Himself by entering into a rule of Loving sovereignty and fellowship with his created image-bearers and dwelling with them forever

  1. Genesis 17:7 – God wants fellowship with his creation
    1. Leviticus 11:45 – God wants to be their God
    2. Numbers 15:41 – I am the lord your God
    3. Zachariah 8:8 – God wants to be their God
    4. Zachariah 13:9 – God wants to be their God
    5. Jeremiah 31:33 - God wants to be their God
  2. Exodus 25:8 – God wants to dwell with his people
    1. Revelation 21:3 – God never gives up

                                                              i.      Adam rebels

                                                            ii.      God sends his Son

                                                          iii.      God sends his Spirit

Lecture 04 –The History of Dispensationalism

  1. Charge of recently
    1. history does not make something right or wrong
  2. connection of Dispensationalism and eschatology
    1. Progress of Premillennial Thought

                                                              i.      First Century to AD 325

1.      Premillennialism (Posttribulational) Dominant.

                                                            ii.      AD 235 to the Reformation

1.      Amillennialism dominant

                                                          iii.      The Reformation through the 18th Century

1.      16th Century:   Amillennialism dominant.

2.      17th Century:   time of revived premillennialism.

3.      18th Century:   postmillennialism dominant.

4.      19th and 20th Centures

a.       Rise of futurism[5], resulting in a division in the ranks of premillennialists:

b.      Pretribulation futurists (e.g., Darb, Gordon, Chafer, Socfield, Morgan)

c.       Postribulational futurists (e.g., Tregelles, Alford, Erdman, Delitzsh)

d.      Historicsts (e.g., Bickersteth, the 7th Day Adventist Movement, et. al. )

Lecture 06a –Principles of Literal Interpretation

Principles of Literal Interpretation [6]

  1. Primacy of authorial intent (find God’s original meaning)

    1. The Bible means what God means for it to mean
    2. the goal of communication is to have an idea pass from the mind of the source to the mind of the recipient
    3. I Corinthians 2:9-13 – we want to be after God’s intended meaning

  1. univocal nature of language (A passage of Scripture has only one meaning)  
    1. a passage of scripture has only 1 meaning

                                                              i.      nothing more

                                                            ii.      nothing less

    1. univocal – the scripture speaks of one voice #. a passage can have multiple applications

  1. textual locus of meaning (The meaning of a passage is found in the text)  
    1. God has inspired the Holy words
    2. the meaning resides in the context

Sensus plenior – interpretive approaches that are not literal

  1. single truth-intention of scripture (the timeless/historical truth-intent of scripture)a passage cannot mean what it never meant  
    1. understand the original setting
    2. understand the original languages
    3. understand the progressive nature of revelation

few problems Isaiah 7:14;Matthew 1:22-23

            the new testament is inspired

Challenges to interpreting prophecy


  1. Lack of a time referent  
    1. Events not fixed chronologically
    2. Prophecy is not pre-written  (Isaiah’s prophecy)

                                                              i.      Isaiah 65:17 – eternal state

                                                            ii.      Isaiah 65:18 – Millennium

    1. Prophetic foreshortening                                                               i.      Isaiah 61:1-3

                                                            ii.      Luke 4:17

  1. Faulty Presuppositions (bad a priori approaches)  
    1. we must understand the text allegorically
    2. Multiple meanings
    3. Fuller meaning (Sensus Plenior)
    4. Forcing the New Testament back into the Old Testament 

                                                              i.      you may not catch all the details with out the New Testament

    1. Denial of authorial intent #. Literalism – NO! I don’t want to be a dispensationalist


  1. use of figurative and poetic language  
    1. God does use figurative speech but it is clear when he is using them


  1. Importance of understanding political, social, and cultural context  
    1. often we don’t understand things about the original audience and what they knew and how they thought


  1. Difficulties reconciling literal fulfillment  
    1. Recorded fulfillments

                                                              i.      I Kings 21:19 → I Kings 22:37-38 (Very specific fulfillment)

                                                            ii.      I Kings 21:23 → II Kings 9:34-37 (Very specific fulfillment)

                                                          iii.      Isaiah 53 → Crucifixion narratives

How do we interpret Revelation – literally!

    1. Different kinds of literal fulfillment  

                                                              i.      Direct – all elements fulfilled once and at the same point in history

                                                            ii.      Sequential – all the elements fulfilled once, but not at the same time

                                                          iii.      Continuous/Repetitive Ongoing – a promise that is not a singular event but a continuing event

                                                          iv.      Preview – not really a fulfillment (a sight into future)

                                                            v.      Multiple – Referents – who is being referred to ( it can have in mind more than 1)

    1. Marginally allegorical approaches  

                                                              i.      Partial fulfillment – Prophecy is consider fulfilled even though only parts of it are historical accomplished

                                                            ii.      Multiple fulfillment – prophecy is fulfilled in different ways on different occasions

                                                          iii.      Complementary hermeneutics of Progressive Dispensationist.

  1. Guidelines  
    1. Follow normal hermeneutical principles

                                                              i.      just because it is prophet or apocalyptic, doesn’t mean we throw out the rules and create a separate set of principles. Literal when possible

    1. Take words of prophecy in their normal, Grammatical sence  
    2. Recognize the place of figurative and symbolic language  

                                                              i.      unless there is a good reason

                                                            ii.      literal would involve an impossibility

                                                          iii.      literal creates an absurdity

                                                          iv.      literal would demand an immoral action

                                                            v.      follow- on explanatory literal statements

                                                          vi.      Qualifying adjective or prepositional phrase

Regarding symbols . . . symbols always have a referent. Proper interpretation identifies the symbol as such and determines a specific referent.

    1. View Prophecy as focusing primarily on Messiah  
    2. Recognize the principle of prophetic Foreshortening  
    3. Look for a stated interpretation  
    4. Compare Parallel passage  


Lecture 06c – The Sermon on the Mount[7]

*| Davidic Kingdom |

Intermediate Kingdom
Spiritual Kingdom
Universal Kingdom




Views regarding the context for the Sermon on the Mount:


1.      Primarily the disciples; in relation to the offer of the kingdom

a.      many dispensationalists hold to this view


2.      Present-Day believers (Church Ethics)


3.      Millennial Kingdom


4.      Social Gospel


5.      Elaboration or exposition of the law


6.      The nature of kingdom citizens


Outline of Sermon on the Mount

  1. 5:3-12 Character #. 5:13-16 Influence
  2. 5:17-48 righteousness
  3. 6:1-23 motivation
  4. 6:24-34 loving master
  5. 7: relationship to father and other
  6. 7:24 obedience



Lecture 08 –The Church In Dispensationalism

Distinctiveness of the Church

  1. Distinct in Character

    1. Because of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit into the Body of Christ

    1. Because of the components of the Body (Jews & Gentiles together)  
    2. Because of the new relationship of the indwelling Christ  

1.      Some say that the Old Testament believers had an indwelling in some sense

2.      The Holy Spirit didn’t fill them (John 7:37-39)

1.      Psalms 51:11

2.      The Holy Spirit is quite often connected with Him Coming down on someone so they can do something for God

3.      in this present age

1.      His work is personal (Romans 8:9)

2.      He is presently in us

4.      Ezekiel 36:24-29

5.      John 14:17

1.      the Spirit dwells with us

2.      The Spirit is in us but it was With them

The Holy Spirit’s Expanded Ministry

During the Old Testament dispensations, the Holy Spirit’s Ministry was occasional, selective, temporary, and generally service-oriented (e.g., Psa. 51:11).

Since Pentecost, the indwelling ministry (John 14:7) of the Hoy Spirit is personal ( Romans. 8:9), permanent (John 14:1), and Spiritually empowered (Acts 1:8).  

During the millennium, believing Israel too was enjoy a permanent indwelling of the Holy Spirit (Ezekiel 36:17

  1. Distinct in time  

The Nature of the Holy Spirit’s Expanded ministry

  1. The “Christ Ministry”

    1. Colossians 1:27

  1. Full assurance of salvation and purged conscience  
    1. Hebrews 2:14-15
    2. Hebrews 9:8-9, 14

  1. gifts of the Holy Spirit  
    1. In the Old Testament they had certain Spiritual enabling in spite of him being a unspiritual man (God enabled people for services)
    2. Now the Holy Spirit works through us in the church.
    3. every believer has a supernatural indwelling for service.

  1. power for evangelism and witnessing  
  2. The “Paraclete” capacity of the Holy Spirit

    1. John 14:16
    2. John 15:26 – He comes from the Father
    3. John 16:7 – He could not come until Christ fulfilled His earthly ministry


The Distinctiveness of the church

  1. Distinct in Character  
  2. Distinct in time

    1. began at Pentecost


The beginning of the church

(Pentecost – not during an Old Testament Dispensation )

                                                              i.      The Church is a “Mystery”

1.      Ephesians 3:3-6 – they did not have the knowledge of the church until this present dispensation

                                                            ii.      The baptism of the Holy Spirit began at Pentecost

1.      key aspect – identification of that person into the Body of Christ

2.      I Corinthians 12:13; Acts 1:5

                                                          iii.      Peter’s reference to “the beginning” – Pentecost

1.       Acts 11: 15 – Peter refers to Pentecost as the beginning of the church

                                                           iv.      Christ spoke of the church as future

1.       Matthew 16:18-19 – I Will build my church

a.      in the future

                                                             v.      the necessity of  Christ’s death and exaltation for the giving of the Spirit and the formation of the body of Christ

1.      John 16:7

2.      Ephesians 1:20

a.      his session (session – Christ’s current ministry seated next to the right hand of his father from the moment of assention until the rapture)

3.      Ephesians 2:13-16

a.      The unity of the Jews and gentiles is formed by the church

                                                           vi.      the gifting of he church followed the ascension

1.       Ephesians 4:7-12


    1. Ends at the Rapture   
  1. Distinct from Israel
    1. Distinction from national (Political Israel #. Distinct from natural (Ethnic) Israel

                                                              i.      Galatians 6:15 – and the Israel of God

1.      what is the Israel of God?

a.      covenant theologians – the church is God’s Israel

b.      Dispensationalist – a group in addition to (and as many of them [gentiles] walk according to this rule are according to the Israel of God [Jewish Christians])

                                                            ii.      Philippians 3:3


  1. The church and Israel compared
  2. The church and Israel Contrasted
    1. as to origin

                                                              i.      Israel

1.      Israel –ethnic group (call of Abraham)

Israel – politically (law at Sinai)

2.      physical birth


                                                            ii.      Church

1.      Church -  originated on Day of Pentecost (Spiritual entity)

2.      spiritual birth

    1. as to purpose

                                                              i.      Israel was national and corporate

                                                            ii.      Church is with individuals

    1. as to destiny                                                               i.      Hebrews 12:18-23 – people try to use this to prove that the church will rule over Israel in the millennium (? maybe they are right but I don’t see why this really matters)

                                                            ii.      Revelation 21:12

                                                          iii.      Distinction is made even in eternity

  1. the church and covenant theology
    1. it is usually defined as the people of God                                                               i.      this people is the one body of  believers who are saved on the one covenant of grace

                                                            ii.      It is appropriate to speak of the Old Testament church and the New Testament church.

    1. beginning of the church

                                                              i.      Adam L

                                                            ii.      Abraham L

                                                          iii.      Pentecost J

Fundamentals of Eschatology /Essential agreements in eschatology/ Essential Differences in eschatology

Essential agreements in eschatology


  1. The Immorality of the Soul  
  2. The intermediate state

  1. the Future bodily resurrection

  1. the future Devine judgment

  1. the future return of Christ

  1. the future eternal state

Essential Differences in eschatology

  1. The nature of the millennial kingdom

  1. the chronology of the inauguration of the Millennial kingdom

  1. the Agency (Means of Establishment) of the  Millennial Kingdom

Presuppositions of Amillennialism

  1. a tendency toward the allegorical interpretation of prophecy.

  1. a single program – redemption

  1. a single people – the redeemed of all ages.

  1. The church is rightly considered a spiritual kingdom

  1. God’s promise to Israel are conditional

Essential tenents of premillennialism

  1. the tribulation and revelation in glory precede a literal 1,000-year reign of Christ on earth.
  2. The tribulation period last for seven literal years.
  3. resurrections and judgments are particular. there are no general resurrection and judgement.
  4. Satan is bound during the millennium
  5. The millennium begins at the ends with discrete events.
  6. The millennium is marked different from the world today

A defense of premillennialism

1.      The unconditional land promise made to Abraham that has never yet been fulfilled

2.      the unconditional promise of an everlasting kingdom made to David.

3.      The unmistakable references to 1,000 years and to two distinct resurrections.

4.      Acts 1:6-7 –

a.       the disciples ask when the kingdom would be established

b.      Jesus left that concept in their mind

c.       agency – will you bring the kingdom

d.      immanent with reference with chronology

e.       he left in tact the character of the kingdom

Lecture 11 – The Rapture Of The Church

1,000 years
Old Testament  saints resurrected
Tribulation martyrs
Great white throne judgment (unbelievers)
2nd death
1 resurrection
2nd resurrection

Lecture 13 – The Covenant Views

Old Testament Word for “Covenant” = berith

Basic meaning of berith.

  • a binding agreement or obligation of some sort
  • the result of some sort of “pledge”

The most frequent Old Testament expression regarding covenants has the idea of “cutting a covenant.”

“ a covenant is (said to be) Conditional when its establishment is made dependent upon man’s acceptance of the terms of a bilateral contract proposed by God.” (Clarence Mason)

In other words, a conditional covenant is on e requiring acceptance by man of a condition proposed by God Before God ratifies the covenant, rather than simply considering the resulting contingency (Blessing or judgment) that is imposed on the basis of man’s response after the covenant is in place.

In the end Israel will receive the covenant

a covenant is said to be unconditional in the sense that God unilaterally announces his intention to obligation himself in grace to accomplish his desired results, regardless of any failure on the part of the recipient of the covenant, this is indicated by God’s unrestricted declaration, “I will.”

The human response is still important, leading as it does to blessing or chastening. it has been said, “While (An unconditional ) covenant is unilateral in establishment, it is mutual or two0sided in (its) accomplishment.” but human failure is never able to abrogate the covenant nor block its ultimate fulfillment.

Near eastern convent types

  • Parity treaty – bilateral in nature between 2 equal parties

  • Suzerainty Treaty (Mosaic) – between a king and a vassal (the king had all the cards)

  • Royal Grant or Promissory Covenant (Abrahamic, Davidic, New) – the king would obligate himself to do certain things to care for the people

Characteristics of biblical covenants

  1. There must be a clear declaration in scripture that a covenant relationship exists.

  1. There must definite and specific covenant language (E.g., “I will…”)

  1. All the Devine covenants are expressly called such; there are no hidden covenants. There must be Devine promises; there may be percepts and/or warnings.

  1. Biblical covenants may be conditional or unconditional

The covenants of the Biological

(* =these are unconditional)

  1. Noahic*
  2. Abrahamic*
  3. Mosaic
  4. Davidic*
  5. New Covenant *

Some suggested these additional “Covenants” …

  1. Edenic
  2. Adamic
  3. Palestinian (Part of mosaic?) Deuteronomy 30


1.    Noahic*

2.    Abrahamic* (Genesis 12)

a.       Content of the covenant

                                                              i.      Blessing

1.      personal blessing

a.       Land

b.      son/heir

c.       kings in his decent

2.      national blessing

a.       great nation

3.      universal blessing

a.       bless them that bless thee

b.      curse them that curse thee

c.       bless all nations through him

d.      salvation to all

e.       millennial kingdom

                                                            ii.      A Seed

                                                          iii.      Land Genesis (13:14-17)

b.      Characteristics of he covenant

                                                              i.      Israelite

1.      only for Israelites

2.      not a spiritual group – the church

                                                            ii.      unconditional

1.      God only passed through the pieces of the slain animals

a.       Moses was not obligated to pass between the animal pieces because he was not obligated to do anything

b.      Genesis 22:16-18

                                                          iii.      eternal

1.      Genesis 17:7,9

2.      I Corinthians 16

                                                          iv.      doxological

1.      not to give a blueprint of salvation

c.       confirmation of the Covenant

                                                              i.      To Abraham (Genesis 12-17; 22:15-18)

                                                            ii.      To Isaac (Genesis 26:2-5)

                                                          iii.      To Jacob (Genesis 28:12; 35:9-15)

                                                          iv.      To the Nation (1 Chronicles 16:16-17 & Psalms 105:9-10)

d.      Historic (Sequential/ ongoing) Fulfillment

                                                              i.      Dispensational Position

The land promise has never been fulfilled – but it will be during he Millennium.

                                                            ii.      Non- dispensational alternatives

1.      Abraham inherited the land when he acquired the cave of Machpelah. J

2.      Israel received the land during the reign of Solomon.

3.      The land promise will be fulfilled in the eternal state.

                                                          iii.      Israel received the land in the reign of Solomon


1.      There was no permanent possession of the land as promised.

2.      all the promised land was not possessed

3.      Solomon did not actually occupy the land- the collected tribute from it.

4.      there are post-Solomon promises of a re-gathering and restoration to the land

e.       Future fulfillment of the Covenant justification for a future literal fulfillment …

                                                              i.      Israel retains national and ethnic definitions in the New Testament

1.      The New Testament Contrasts Israel with the Gentiles.

2.      The New Testament contrasts Israel and the Church.

3.      Jewish Christians and Gentiles Christians are contrasted in the New Testament.

                                                            ii.      Israel eventually will be given the Kingdom with all its blessings

                                                          iii.      Israel will be restored spiritually and politically and will inherit the promised Old Testament blessings

1.      Matthew 21:43

2.      Romans 11:26

3.    Mosaic

4.    Davidic* (II Samuel 7)

a.       Provisions of the covenant

                                                              i.      to David

1.      an everlasting Dynasty (“house”)

a.       II Samuel 7:16

2.      an everlasting Kingdom

3.      an everlasting Throne

                                                            ii.      To Solomon

1.      the privilege of building the temple

2.      the promise of an everlasting throne

3.      the promise of perpetuity of he covenant amid chastening.

Curse of Coniah
Right to rule cut off 

Jeremiah 22:28-30

b.      Historic (Sequential/ ongoing) fulfillment

c.       Remaining Fulfullment of the covenant

                                                              i.      present fulfillment Views

1.      Via the Church ( Amill & Postmill)

2.      Inaugurated in Christ’s present right – hand session (Historic Premill & Progressive Dispensationism)

                                                            ii.      Future Fulfillment View (Dispensational)

Defense of the future fulfillment view

            The fulfillment of all remaining elements of the Davidic covenant will be wholly future


  1. the covenant was made with an oath
  2. Both David and Solomon understood it to be literal.
  3. the language of the prophets spoke of a literal kingdom
  4. the Jews expected a literal kingdom

The distinctive of the throne of David

The inaugurated eschatology of Progressive dispensationism. Like Covenant theology. Equates Christ’s present right-hand session on God’s throne in heaven with the commencement of his reign on the throne of David. The following reasons argue against equating the throne of David with God’s throne.

1.      Scripture distinguishes 2thrones Hebrews 12:2

2.      the throne of God “began “long before David’s throne was established

3.      God’s throne is universal; David’s is limited to an earthly reign

4.      Christ’s present session is not “everlasting.”

Revelation 3:21

Psalms 110:1

Psalms 93:1-2; 19

I Chronicles 29:11-12

5.    New Covenant  (Jeremiah 31:33; Ezekiel 37:15)

a.     The Israelite Character of the covenant


                                                              i.      the name ”new” is in relation to the “Old”

                                                            ii.      The covenant is established with Israel

b.      The provisions of the New Covenant


                                                              i.      Regeneration and an indwelling of the Spirit (Jeremiah 31:33)

1.      Spiritual life imparted

2.      spiritual power to walk with God (This was limited at best under the mosaic covenant)

3.      Expanded ministry of the Holy Spirit.

                                                            ii.      The universal knowledge of God

                                                          iii.      Forgiveness and final expiation of sin

c.      The new covenant and Church


                                                              i.      The new covenant is linked to the shed blood and death of Jesus Christ and consequent forgiveness of sins.

                                                            ii.      the covenant is joined to the role of Jesus Christ as the believer’s high priest

                                                          iii.      the covenant is associated in some way with believers of eh present age

                                                          iv.      the covenant proceeds for the future deliverance of the nation of Israel.

                                                            v.      the covenant is superior to the mosaic covenant in terms of longevity and ministry

d.    5 views conserving he relationship between the new covenant and the church


                                                              i.      the church essentially replaces national Israel as the recipient of the new covenant

                                                            ii.      the church is fulfilling certain provisions of he new covenant now, with complete fulfillment later for Israel (Progressive fulfillment).



1.      violates the context and meaning of Jeremiah 31, et al.

2.      Divides the covenant by allowing for partial (and in some provisions, multiple) fulfillments.

3.      violates hermeneutical principles (assigned double meaning in that clear references to Israel must also refer to the Church).

                                                          iii.      The church does not participate in the new covenant (one New covenant, only for Israel.) [Darby’s view]


1.      New Testament passages clearly indicate some connection.

2.      Christ’s atoning work is wrapped up with the new covenant. A total disjunction where the New Covenant is divorced from any connection with the church would suggest that Christ’s atoning work and the resulting forgiveness of sins would not be available for the church.

                                                           iv.      The church has its own separate covenant (two new covenants – one for the church, one for Israel).


1.      There is no clear indication in the New Testament of any such distinction.

2.      The view finds its source in the dispensational system, rather than in exegesis

3.      The first hearers (the disciples at the last supper) would have understood Christ’s reference to the new covenant in a Jewish context.

                                                             v.      Israel fulfills the New Covenant, but he church “participates” in some of the benefits (one covenant with 2 aspects)

This view is a relatively recent attempt to maintain a strict position regarding literal fulfillment while acknowledging the undeniable connection between the church and the New covenant

Israel will fulfill all the provisions of the covenant during the Millennium. The church “participates,” in that it is the recipient of the saving benefits that proceed from the atoning work of Christ.

In a sense, the church receives a pre-fulfillment application of the benefits of the death of Christ, which benefits were first intended for Israel.

the participator relationship of the Church in the benefits of the New covenant is found in…



One New Covenant with Two aspects

1.      The forgiveness of sin through Christ’s blood.

2.      The ministry of Christ as high priest for the church saints.

3.      Christian service or ministry in the church.

4.      the emblem of the communion cup in the local church ordnance


[1] Beginning of  day to  Sessions 1

[2] Time session 1 ~ 45:00

[3] Wednesday, January 24, 2007 session 2

[4] Thursday, January 25, 2007 session 1

[5] this is the belief that the book of revelation is prophecy (dispensationalist are futuristic)

[6] know these for the test Friday

[7] Friday, January 26, 2007 Session 2

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