Dispensational TruthB. Kelson
All the Words of God are pure (Ps.12:6), and are given by inspiration of God, (2Tim.3:16). Yet the servant of the Lord is instructed to distinguish things differing and to rightly divide the Word of Truth, (Phils.1:9-10 and 2Tim.2:15).
The Word of God is truth and complete but every Christian will acknowledge to varying degrees that some parts of the Word are not about us today. The entire Bible is for us, not all the Bible is about us.
Dispensational truth is specific truth or sets of conditions for specific groups at specific times, though time is not the essential element. We might wait at the pharmacy for the chemist to dispense our medicine but we don’t walk away with a bag of time. Some examples of dispensational truth would be specific commands given to Adam in the garden and to Israel like the Sabbaths and food obligations. Certain promises were made to Abraham and Israel’s other fathers which are different to promises made to us. And finally, Christ is the only Saviour but He has different relationships with different called out companies; He is the Priest King of Israel and the Bridegroom to the Church of the Firstborn and the Head of the Church which is His Body.
Contrary to popular belief, not all the promises in the Word of God are yours or mine.
Universal, fundamental or doctrinal truth is truth which is found from the beginning to the end of God’s Word and is essential for all people, at all times. Fundamental truth declares understanding of and the essential issues for relationship with God. Some examples of fundamental truths would be; God is love, without faith it is impossible to please Him, all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, Christ is the only Saviour and by faith in Him we have redemption through his blood the forgiveness of sins and righteousness by grace. These truths are universal, for all at all times.
Here is a link which more fully explains the differences between foundational and dispensational truth;
Here is a summary:
From Genesis 1-12 God dealt with people and preserved the godly in an ark when He destroyed the wicked by a flood but people continued to ignore God, see Romans 1:18-32.
In Genesis 10-11 God separated people (around Israel) into different Nations with tongues. These are the nations, or heathen or the gentiles of the Bible.
At Genesis 12, God called one man, Abraham, made promises to him which included benefits to those nations surrounding Israel. Through Abraham God created The Nation, Israel. Israel is Gods inheritance on the earth and they have an inheritance on the earth in Gods Land. From Genesis 12 God is the God of all the earth but bound Himself to Israel through covenants and promises.
From Genesis 12 we have two groups, THE NATION and THE NATIONS; that is, Israelites and Gentiles with God aligning Himself with Israel and their land which is Gods land as well, Gen.17:4-8 compare Eph.2:11-12.
From Genesis 12 to Acts 28, God through Israel, provided salvation to the world, but all believers had their hopes and future homes with God on the earth including the New Jerusalem which is to descend to the earth. Up until Acts 28 God and Israel were together by covenant and His purposes were all OT, that is prophecy unfolding.
When Christ came, He came as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the World, but He also came as a minister of the circumcision, He was an Apostle of the Israelites. He confirmed the promises made to the Fathers, and was raised (resurrected) to sit on the throne of His father David. John 1:29, Matt. 10:6, 15:24, Roms.15:8, Hebrews 3:1, Luke 1:32-33, Acts 2:30, 13:23, 32-33 (Ps.2).
The appeal of the Gospels and the Acts period was for Israel to repent and turn back to God and this appeal continued through the book of the Acts. Had they done so, God would have set up their earthly Kingdom and the world reached with the gospel. The return of the Lord was expected at any time during the Acts period. 1Cor.1:8, 10:11, Hebrews 10:37, James 5:8 and 1Jn.2:18 (time = hour),.
At the end of the book of Acts, not at the cross or Acts 2, Israel was put aside, as God had put them aside in the past. Please read Acts 28:17-31. Here, in the final chapter of Acts, we see yet again the ministry of the Acts period which was the word being preached to Jew first, however, the Israelites were non-committal to their Messiah and God put them away, or let them go,
Act 28:25 And disagreeing with one another, they were let go,
In Matt.1:19, the same word “let go” of Acts 28:25 is used as “put away”.
Paul announced the Prophecy of Isaiah 6 against the nation of Israel in this final record of witness to them, and Israel were cast aside and now have no national privileges before God being just one of the Nations. Gods earthly purposes and the soon return of the Christ were put aside with Israel as well.
Israel was put aside at Acts 28 and Christ descended and revealed to Paul alone the present dispensation of the grace of God, the Mystery which was hidden away from ages and generations. Paul is Christs messenger for us today.
However, we have to be careful with Paul’s books. Some were written during the Acts period while Israel still stood as a nation and while Israels hopes were still on offer. Some of Pauls writings came after Israel was cast aside for a time and her hopes had been put aside with her.
When the Lord called and commissioned Paul He told him he would have a twofold ministry;
Act 26:16 But rise and stand on your feet, for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to make you a minister and a witness BOTH of what you saw, and in what I shall appear to you;
Both implies two, and here are two (BOTH) groups of Pauls letters accompanying the two ministries.
These letters were written during the acts period, before Acts 28; while Israel still stood as a nation and Gods purposes were all earthly. These books concern the things Paul had seen; knew about which was the OT Scriptures, (above his equals Gal.1:14). Here is Paul’s own statement concerning his ministry at that time;
Act 26:22 Then having obtained help from God, I stand until this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying no other things than those which the prophets and Moses said was going to happen.
Here are Pauls books written during the Acts period which unfolded prophecy; Galatians, [email protected], [email protected] Thessalonians, Hebrews and Romans. In these books of Paul there are about 400 O.T. quotes. In Romans alone Paul uses the phrase it is written 14 times and there are about 70 OT references in it. For the hope of the Acts period, see Romans 15:4-13.
Between these two groups of letters, Israel was put aside at Acts 28.
This group was written after Acts 28 after Israel had been put away for a time. They are about the things the Lord revealed to Paul concerning a new purpose in the heavenly places. Up until this time of revelation, these things had been hidden in God and were thus unsearchable.
Eph 3:8 This grace is given to me (who am less than the least of all saints) to preach the gospel of the UNSEARCHABLE riches of Christ among the nations,
Eph 3:9 and to bring to light what is the fellowship of the mystery which from eternity has been HIDDEN IN GOD, who created all things by Jesus Christ;
This group has nothing to do with the promises and hopes of the Old Testament. The purposes of God in this group are all found in the dispensation of the grace of God given to Paul alone. Here is the post Acts group. Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Titus, Philemon, [email protected] In this later group there are about 8 Old Testament quotes, the reason being that this present dispensation was hidden in God and not kept silent in the Scriptures so Paul could not quote from the Scriptures which knew nothing of this calling. For the hope of the post Acts period, please read Ephesians 1:15-2:6.