Ultimately that kingdom will include a visible rule of Christ with God the Father over the new earth, as an aspect of Christ’s glorification. Why then does man need to be tested anew in every dispensation (according to the definition of a dispensation quoted above)? The words "they came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years" (v. 4) are to be understood, dispensationalists tell us, as meaning that those here described were raised from the dead in a physical resurrection.451 No other meaning of the word lived (ezsan) is permissible, so say dispensationalists. The following quotations are introduced to bring some of the main points into focus: Though in Amos's day the fortunes of God's people were at a low ebb (the tabernacle had fallen), today—so James is saying—the people of God are once again flourishing, since their numbers are now growing by leaps and bounds. In John 4:23, what does it mean to worship God “in spirit”? Mic. Dispensationalism is a religious interpretive system and metanarrative for the Bible.It considers biblical history as divided by God into dispensations, defined periods or ages to which God has allotted distinctive administrative principles.According to dispensationalism, each age of God's plan is thus … 10:22; 24:6, 13—14, Mark 13:7,13, Luke 21:9, Heb. When Christ is revealed, the end will come and the believer’s need to persevere in hope will conclude (cf. I have found in him no crime deserving death" (Luke 23:22). In Evangelical Christian theology, progressive dispensationalism is a variation of traditional dispensationalism. In the sixtieth chapter of Isaiah God addresses his Israelite people as follows: "Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. "This passage, therefore, does not need to be interpreted as describing the millennium, but makes good sense when understood to be an inspired picture of the new earth which is to come. I used to go back and forth between Amillennialism and Historic Premillennialism… Now, because of many of the reasons below I am seeing any form of Premillennialism as less and less of a viable option. Amos was referring to a time which was future to him, not necessarily to an event as far distant as the Second Coming. But dispensationalists sepa… 56 pp. When the Bible talks about Israel it does not mean the church, and when the Bible talks about the church it does not mean Israel. Dispensationalism is a way of looking at the Bible that understands God's unfolding plan––that He has worked in somewhat different ways with and through different peoples. The word kai, therefore, should here be rendered even, as the New International Version has done. The premillennial teaching that Christ’s return will introduce a millennial period, whose conclusion will be marked by a new outbreak and manifestation of Satanic opposition to Christ and his people (Satan’s ‘little season’ of Revelation 20:3), hardly seems to fit this focus and expectation. In II Peter 3:4 he states that scoffers will come in the last days, saying, "Where is the promise of his coming?" Do these passages give us the impression that Christ postponed his kingdom?A second point of criticism is this: the kingdom which Christ offered to the Jews of his day did not involve his ascending an earthly throne, as dispensationalists contend. eita’) are found, they are used to express events in the closest temporal connection, without any protracted period of time intervening (Luke 8:12, Mark 4:17, John 20:27). These words convey a far-reaching concession on the part of dispensationalists. 5:8; 15:28; 29:5). But, according to dispensational teaching, the restoration of Israel is the central purpose of the millennium! War is not totally banished from that dispensation, since there will still be a final onslaught against the camp of the saints. The last enemy to be destroyed is death.’ The adverbs translated ‘then’ are epeita, eita, which denote a sequence: ‘after that’. One of the problems in theology today is that many people who refer to dispensationalism do not adequately understand its roots, and therefore they dismiss it without giving it due … The latter passage reads, “Once you were no people but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy but now you have received mercy.”416A comparison of the Greek text with the Septuagint renderings of the Old Testament verses just referred to will indicate that Peter is here quoting almost verbatim from the version of the Old Testament with which he and his readers were most familiar.417If the New Testament church is now God’s holy nation, what room is left for the future emergence (in the millennium, so it is claimed) of another “holy nation” which will be distinct from the church?418For a further elaboration of the biblical use of concepts similar to the three just discussed, showing how the Scriptures indicate that the church is the true Israel, see Martin J. Wyngaarden, The Future of the Kingdom.419See above, pp. In New Testament times the people of God no longer consists only of Israelites with a few non-Israelite additions, but is expanded to a fellowship inclusive of both Gentiles and Jews. Current Issue ), or in a later return under Ezra (in 458 B.C. According to J. Dwight Pentecost, "The wedding supper, then, becomes the parabolic picture of the entire millennial age, to which Israel will be invited during the tribulation period, which invitation many will reject and so they will be cast out, and many will accept and they will be received in. My departure from Premillennialism was gradual and came as a result of two discoveries as I studied Scripture. Obviously, this prophecy was fulfilled in the immediate future in the birth of a child as a sign to King Ahaz (see the entire paragraph, vv. eschatology. In fact, they may be fulfilled in a threefold way: literally, figuratively, or antitypically. We could state the problem somewhat differently: The reason why Christ went to the cross was that he was rejected by the majority of his countrymen. The place to begin to evaluate the assertion that premillennialism was the only view of the early church would be to survey the writings of the Ante-Nicene Fathers. Does the Bible anywhere else support this position? The closing chapters of the book of Revelation, in fact, echo Ezekiel's vision. The New Testament makes quite clear that God has no such separate purpose for Israel.In the passage from Ephesians to which reference has just been made Paul clearly shows that the middle wall of partition between believing Gentiles and believing Jews has been broken down (Eph. Think not? In the Sermon on the Mount Christ paraphrases this passage in the following way: "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth" (Matt. In another setting, I’d said, “Eschatology is a tough nut to crack. We see, therefore, in these Old Testament prophecies inspiring anticipations of the glorious visions of Revelation 21 and 22. What is unmistakably clear here is that all New Testament believers, all who belong to Christ, all who have been clothed with Christ (v. 27), are Abraham's seed—not in the physical sense, to be sure, but in a spiritual sense. But it is also an impoverishment to make them refer to a thousand-year period preceding the final state. False History of Creationism is Full of Beans, Your People Must Know Jesus: Strategies for Teaching Christology in the Local Church, The Catholic Puritan: John Owen on Eternal Generation, The Bulwark of Trinitarian Theology: Eternal Generation: What it is and what it is not, The Radiance of the Father: The Nicene Creed and the Incarnation, Begotten, Not Made: Eternal generation, the orthodox way to speak of the Son’s perfect life. It is like an ill-fitting jacket. First, I devoted myself to a thorough examination of what the NT said would occur at the time of Christ’s second coming (or Parousia). Earlier, evidence was given for the position that Romans 11:26 ("and so all Israel will be saved") does not necessarily teach a future conversion of the nation of Israel.419 It should now be added that even if one were inclined to understand this passage as teaching such a future national conversion of Israel, he would still have to admit that Romans 11 says nothing whatsoever about Israel's being regathered to its land or about a future rule of Christ over a millennial Israelite kingdom.As a matter of fact, there are clear indications in Romans 11 that God's purpose with Israel is never to be separated from his purpose with believing Gentiles. Assyria is mentioned first since Isaiah may well have written these words after the Northern Kingdom had been deported to Assyria in 721 B.C. Of all the blessings God promised to Abraham, including the promise that the land of Canaan would be his everlasting possession. Dispensational premillennialism often assumes the opposite. This coincides with what is said in 1 Corinthians 15:23—26 to occur in conjunction with both the ‘coming’ of Christ and the ‘end’, when the believer’s last enemy, death, will be overcome. This great purpose of God with Israel we see fulfilled in the book of Revelation, which describes the Lamb in chapter 5 as follows: "Worthy art thou to take the scroll and to open its seals, for thou wast slain and by thy blood didst ransom men for God from every tribe and tongue and people and nation" (v. 9). This would have to include all true believers, both Jews and Gentiles. The reckless charge of Landis that European premillennialism is based only on Ezekiel 40-48 and that American premillennialism is based only on Revelation 20:1-7 is as unfair as his more serious charge that “actually their bases are both contra-Biblical,” and that premillennialism “is a fungus growth of first-century Pharisaic … This second part of the article will begin with a discussion of dispensational premillennialism and will move on to other important issues: the under-standing of the two resurrections in Revelation 20, the nature of the Millennium, and the relevance This judgement presumably will prepare the way for the ‘resurrection of the body and the life everlasting’, commencing the final state. Dispensationalists reply: look at verse 20, "No more shall there be in it an infant that lives but a few days, or an old man who does not fill out his days, for the child shall die a hundred years old, and the sinner a hundred years old shall be accursed." Once again we find that the New Testament widens the understanding of these terms. During the last forty years a number of books have appeared which contain more thorough criticisms of dispensational theology and eschatology than will be offered here.409 What follows is a critique under eight major points of the type of dispensationalism which has been described in the previous chapter.410(1) Dispensationalism fails to do full justice to the basic unity of biblical revelation. In the book of Romans Paul frequently uses the expression, "to the Jew first and also to the Greek" (1:16; 2:9, 10; cf. 2:14-15). (5) Dispensational teaching about the postponement of the kingdom is not supported by Scripture. Dispensationalists find evidence for Christ's future millennial reign in a great many Old Testament passages. In Chapter 14 I quoted Charles Ryrie's statement that the earthly purpose of Israel will be fulfilled by Jews during the millennium as they live on the earth in unresurrected bodies.448 To the same effect is the following statement by J. Dwight Pentecost: The conclusion to this question would be that the Old Testament held forth a national hope, which will be realized fully in the millennial age. 4:8, 2 Tim. An unidentified interval falls between Christ’s resurrection and his parousia, and a second undefined interval falls between the parousia and the telos, when Christ completes the subjugation of his enemies.4. According to dispensational teaching, the purpose of the earthly millennial reign of Christ is to fulfill hitherto unfulfilled promises to Israel, to restore the Israelites to their land as a nation, and in that land to give Israelites a place of exaltation above non-Israelites. A number of features of the Bible’s teaching regarding the return of Christ confirm this general pattern of teaching: Christ’s coming will be a visible, public event that will bring about the salvation of the people of God and the realization of the kingdom of God in fullness (Matt. But is there anything in the chapter which would compel us to think of that glorious distant future era only in terms of a millennium? Note now what he says in verses 16 and 17, "For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the archangel's call, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. Dispensational premillennialism is the view of most 21st century evangelical Christians. The prediction found in these verses, therefore, was literally fulfilled in the days of Ezra, who returned from Babylon to Jerusalem with a number of Jews in 458 B.C.All the predictions of a restoration of the Israelites to their land so far examined have been literally fulfilled. "444 This interpretation is certainly disputable; why should those waiting for the bridegroom in Jesus' parable be limited to Israelites? Truth In A Culture Of Doubt – Is God Immoral Because Of Suffering? Louis Berkhof, for example, in his Principles of Biblical Interpretation, describes the general analogy of Scripture as any teaching that ‘does not rest on the explicit statements of the Bible, but on the obvious scope and import of its teachings as a whole . The principle of discontinuity between one dispensation and another has now overruled and virtually nullified the principle of progressive revelation. 4:7). Timothy Weber. The origin of Dispensational Premillennialism. The headings of the New Scofield Bible once again apply this prophecy to the restoration of Israel to its land during the millennium. Are Christian Ethics Merely Reflections of the Primitive Beliefs of the Ancient Greco-Roman World? If context and ordinary usage have a bearing upon the interpretation of a text, then it seems evident that these words ought to be read as expressing a simple sequence of events — when Christ comes, the dead in Christ will be raised and the end state will ensue with all things subject to him. Appeal is then made particularly to verses 25 through 27. The gathering of the Gentiles as a people for God's name is seen as something which must happen previous to the final restoration of Israel in the millennium. Published by the Commission on Theology and Church Relations of The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod, 1989. If We Say that We Have No Sin, We Deceive Ourselves, The Difference Between Legal & Gospel Mortification. In theology, a dispensation is the divine administration of a period of time; each dispensation is a divinely appointed age. 21:2) is far more inclusive than to be limited only to believing Jews. 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