Dispensationalism

 

Dispensationalism has been a fairly recent occurrence within Christianity, as also Premillennialism has become. Grace Halsell recorded in Islam Online that dispensationalism is “ a belief system that holds, among other things, that the signs of the second coming of Christ are clearly spelled out in scriptures and can be identified with current international events.” (Halsell, 1) Also, in the same article, Halsell reinforces the ideals that Scofield made popular that God’s interest lies within two groups, the Jews and the Christians. Each of these two groups are on a different “tracts” of religious spectrums. The Jews are on what is called the “earthly tract” which refers to the idea that the Jews are waiting, still, for the coming of the messiah and so their focus is more on earthly ideals. It is also important to not that the Jews had received their coventant from Earthly figures, such as moses’ direct conversation with God and the receiving of each of the covenants. On the other hand the Christians are on a “heavenly tract” because they are anticipating the return of Christ to take them to a new kingdom. And these signs that show that that this time is approaching are recorded for us in the word of God and then pointed out to us by Scofield’s reference notes in the margins.

 

 Halsell’s main criticism is that the dispensationalist see the world worsening day by day but they do nothing about it. This is not entirely true because they do see that the world is getting worse and see a need for the reconciliation of individuals with Christ but the world is going to get worse, the Bible told them that, so why try to stop the inevitable?

 

During the time that Dispensationalist thought was spreading, mostly through the work of Scofield, war was beginning to seem in the very near future. This, however didn’t phase the Dispenational Premillennialist, simply because of the same reasons and they thought that they would begin to see the signs coming about but then the church would be raptured and they would not have the endure the tribulation. (Weber, 108) 

 

There are Seven Dispensations, as told by Scofield in Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth, his first publish work in 1888. I have listed them below and put the scripture references that they correspond with next to them:

            1. Innocence                                 Before the Fall

            2. Conscience                               Fall through the Flood                           Gen. 1:23

            3. Human Government                  Flood- Babel                                       Gen. 8:20

            4. Promise                                    Call of Abraham                                   Gen. 12:1

            5. Law                                        Law of Moses                                       Exodus 19:8

            6. Grace                                      PRESENT TIME                                  Matt. 27:5

            7. Personal Reign of Christ           Second Coming                                    Rev. 19

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