Dispensationalism II - Lesson 1

  1. DEFINITION OF DISPENSATIONALISM (Continued)
    1. Objections to Dispensationalism
      1. Dispensationalism describes a changeable God
        1. The argument
          1. God does not change (Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 13:8)
          2. Therefore, God cannot alter in His plan for man
        2. The answer
          1. No one denies basic dispensational differences (for example, from law to grace)
          2. God’s immutability does not mean He always deals in the same way with man.
            1. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8)
            2. Yet, Jesus was born as a baby in a manger and died on the cross; is now seated at the right hand of God and will in the future sit on the earthly throne of David.
            3. His differences in His dealings with man do not deny His unchangeable nature.
          3. The Bible clearly teaches that what God requires of man at one time is not the same as at another time (Acts 17:30; Galatians 3:21-26)
      2. Dispensationalism destroys the unity of scripture
        1. The argument
          1. All scripture is profitable for doctrine (2 Timothy 3:16)
          2. And the scripture cannot be broken (John 10:35)
          3. Therefore, no portion of scripture can teach different doctrine than any other portion of scripture; the teachings of scripture must be understood to say the same thing.
        2. The answer
          1. This argument is never taken to its logical end because it would be ludicrous to do so.  Clearly, we do not offer animal sacrifices today.  All agree with this.  To make this logic work at all, the plain statements of scripture must be watered down to vague spiritual generalizations.
            1. The sacrifice of Christ and our living sacrifice are the sacrifices of today.  [Of course they are, but that does not mean the commands have not changed.]
            2. Circumcision is replaced by baptism.  [This is not true but, even so, the plan has changed.]
            3. The Jewish Sabbath is replaced with the Christian Sabbath.  [The Bible does not teach this equality.]
          2. The same Bible book that tells us that all scripture is profitable for doctrine also tells us to rightly divide the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15).
      3. Dispensationalism declares the failure of the gospel
        1. The argument
          1. The gospel is part of God’s perfect plan
          2. God cannot fail in His plan
          3. If this age ends in failure, then God’s plan has failed
        2. The answer
          1. It is not God’s plan that fails, but man’s obedience to God’s plan that causes failure.
            1. Adam failed to remain in the Garden of Eden
            2. Israel failed to maintain her kingdom because of sin
            3. How are these different from the age of grace ending in another failure of man to follow God’s plan?
          2. However, dispensationalism is the only doctrinal system that completely establishes the success of God’s plans for man
            1. The earthly paradise offered to Adam will be realized in the new earth
            2. The earthly kingdom offered to Israel will be realized in the kingdom age
            3. The heavenly home promised to us will be realized
            4. God, not man, will receive the glory for all
  2. THE DISPENSATION OF INNOCENCE (Genesis 2:4-9)
    1. Content
      1. From the creation of man to the fall
      2. Genesis 1-3
      3. Duration unknown but probably short
        1. Adam 130 at birth of Seth (Genesis 5:3)
        2. At this time, he and Eve had had two sons (Cain and Abel) to grow up, establish careers, and had one of them get killed by the other.
        3. The story of Adam and Eve in the garden indicates a short time.
          1. The temptation mentioned in chapter three was evidently the first one
          2. They had probably not been eating of the tree of life (Genesis 3:22)
    2. Conditions
      1. Perfect world (Genesis 1:31)
      2. Unfallen creation (Romans 8:19-23)
      3. Innocent nature (Genesis 2:25)
      4. Perfect home: Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:8-10)
      5. Purpose given by God (Genesis 2:15)
      6. Limited opportunity to sin (Genesis 2:16-17)
      7. Unhindered fellowship with God (Genesis 3:8)
    3. Commission (Genesis 1:28)
      1. Be fruitful
      2. Multiply
      3. Replenish the earth
      4. Subdue the earth
      5. Have dominion over the animals
    4. Covenant (Genesis 2:16-17)
      1. Liberty: Eat freely of the trees of the garden
      2. Restriction: Do not eat the tree of the knowledge of good and evil
      3. Judgment: In the day you eat thereof you die
    5. Crisis (Genesis 3:1-8)
      1. The Test: God allows the serpent (Satan) to tempt Eve concerning the tree (verse 1)
      2. The Plan
        1. The serpent questions God’s word (verse 1)
        2. The serpent contradicts God’s word (verse 4)
        3. The serpent changes God’s word (verse 5)
        4. NOTE: Compare the three attacks made on the word by the Pharisees (Matthew 15:3, 6, 9)
      3. The Fall
        1. Eve adds to the word (verse 3)
        2. Eve takes of the forbidden fruit (verse 6)
          1. Good for food
          2. Pleasant to the eyes
          3. Desired to make one wise
          4. NOTE: Compare to the three kinds of lust in the world (1 John 2:16)
        3. Eve gave of the fruit to Adam (verse 6)
      4. The Consequences
        1. They lost their innocence (verse 7)
        2. They lost their fellowship (verse 8)
        3. Their spirit died at that moment (see Romans 7:9)
    6. Condemnation (Genesis 3:14-24)
      1. The serpent is cursed (verses 14-15)
      2. The woman is judged (verse 16)
      3. The ground is cursed (verses 17-18)
      4. The man is judged (verses 19-24)
    7. Compassion
      1. God covers man with coats of skins (Genesis 3:21)
      2. God promises a future Redeemer (Genesis 3:15)
    8. Change
      1. Man now has a fallen, sinful nature
      2. Man now lives in a sin-cursed world
      3. Man is cast out of the Garden of Eden
      4. Man now will die and return to dust
David Reagan

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 14:11

The house of the wicked shall be overthrown: but the tabernacle of the upright shall flourish.