The Heresy Of Dispensationalism

DispensationalismA Return to Biblical Theologyor

Pseudo Christian Cult

“What is indisputably, absolutely, and uncompromisingly essential to the Christian religion is its doctrine of salvation… If Dispensationalism has actually departed from the only way of salvation which the Christian religion teaches, then we must say it has departed from Christianity. No matter how many other important truths it proclaims, it cannot be called Christian if it empties Christianity of its essential message. We define a cult as a religion which claims to be Christian while emptying Christianity of that which is essential to it. If Dispensationalism does this, then Dispensationalism is a cult and not a branch of the Christian church. It is as serious as that. It is impossible to exaggerate the gravity of the situation.”By John H. Gerstner Wrongly Dividing the Word of Truth: A Critique of Dispensationalism

What is Dispensationalism?

Dispensationalism is a form of premillennialism originating among the Plymouth Brethren in the early 1830’s. The father of dispensationalism, John Nelson Darby, educated as a lawyer and ordained Anglican priest, was one of the chief founders of the Plymouth Brethren movement, which arose in reaction against the perceived empty formalism of the Church of England. To the Brethren the true “invisible” church was to come out of the apostate “visible” Church, rejecting such forms as priesthood and sacraments.Dispensational theology centers upon the concept of God’s dealings with mankind being divided into (usually) seven distinct economies or “dispensations”, in which man is tested as to his obedience to the will of God as revealed under each dispensation.

Dispensationalists see God as pursuing two distinct purposes throughout history, one related to an earthly goal and an earthly people (the Jews), the other to heavenly goals and a heavenly people (the church).Dispensationalists believe that in the Old Testament God promised the Jewish people an earthly kingdom ruled by Messiah ben David, and that when Christ came He offered this prophesied kingdom to the Jews. When the Jews of the time rejected Christ and the earthly kingdom, the promise was postponed, and the “mystery form” of the kingdom – the church – was established.

The church, according to dispensational doctrine, was unforeseen in the Old Testament and constitutes a “parenthesis” in God’s plan for Israel. In the future, the distinction between Jew and Gentile will be reestablished and will continue throughout all eternity. The “parenthesis”, or church age, will end at the rapture when Christ comes invisibly to take all believers (excepting OT saints) to heaven to celebrate the “marriage feast of the Lamb” with Christ for a period of seven years.God’s program for the Jews then resumes with the tribulation, Antichrist, bowls of wrath, 144,000 Jews preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom, and Armageddon.

Then, the Second (third, if you count the preTrib rapture) Coming, the instantaneous conversion of the entire nation of Israel, the resurrection of the Tribulation and Old Testament saints, and the “sheep and goats” judgment. The “goats” will be cast into hell, the “sheep” and the believing Jews will enter the millennium in natural human bodies, marrying, reproducing, and dying. The “mystery church” and the resurrected Tribulation and Old Testament saints will live in the heavenly Jerusalem suspended above the earthly city. This millennium will be a time of great peace and prosperity, with Christ ruling on David’s throne. After 1,000 yrs. Satan will be released from the chain with which he had been bound at the beginning of the millennium and many of the children born to the “sheep” and the Israelites will follow him in revolt against Christ.

The King will again destroy His enemies, followed by another resurrection of the righteous, another resurrection of the unrighteous, a final judgment, and at last the New Heavens and the New Earth.

Although premillennial thought has been recorded in the early church, dispensational theology and its pursuant eschatology are new, as even the father of the system admitted -“I think we ought to have something more of direct testimony as to the lord’s coming, and its bearing also on the state of the church: ordinarily, it would not be well to have it so clear, as it frightens people. We must pursue it steadily; it works like leaven, and its fruit is by no means seen yet; I do not mean leaven as ill, but the thoughts are new, and people’s minds work on them, and all the old habits are against their feelings – all the gain of situation, and every worldly motive; we must not be surprised at its effect being slow on the mass, the ordinary instruments of acting upon others having been trained in most opposite habits.” – LETTERS OF J.N.D., vol.1 pg.25-26

The new doctrine was widely accepted in America, due to popular prophetic meetings such as the Niagara Bible Conferences. C.I. Scofield promulgated dispensational thought in his Scofield Reference Bible. Dispensational Bible institutes by the hundreds have sprung up across the continent – notably Moody Bible Institute and Dallas Theological Seminary.Media evangelists such as Jerry Fallwell, Dave Hunt, Howard Conder, Charles Capps, Pat Robertson, Jack Van Impe, and Hal Lindsey popularize dispensational eschatology today. Most likely you have heard these doctrines taught over Christian radio programs, and yes, from your own church’s pulpit, though probably no one defined the theological system as dispensationalism nor the origination as Darby circa 1832.Dispensationalists view the teaching as a return to Biblical theology, after nearly 1,800 years of darkness.

But, since the day Darby began to preach the doctrine, Godly men have opposed.Many books have been published exposing the flaws in the intricate system. Most hack away at the branches, arguing peripheral issues. We intend to lay the axe to the root of the tree.”My brother, I am a constant reader of my Bible, and I soon found that what I was taught to believe (by Darby’s doctrine) did not always agree with what my Bible said. I came to see that I must either part company with John Darby, or my precious Bible, and I chose to cling to my Bible and part from Mr. Darby.” – George Müeller, a contemporary and one time supporter of Darby quoted by Robert Cameron in his book SCRIPTURAL TRUTH ABOUT THE LORD’S RETURN, pp.146-7

25 Comments on “The Heresy Of Dispensationalism

  1. i have been in an ongoing conflict with certain teachers at first baptist leesburg fl over this doctrine. finally just gave up and left the church. in the last days there will be a great falling away seems appropriate for those that follow this teaching.

  2. I consider Dispensationalism as part of the end-times deception.

  3. I agree that the falling away seems to fit the viewpoint of folks who are ready to be raptured…and aren’t. The church will experience a gigantic hissy fit when they have to tribulate. Big-haired women and saintly old church deacons will shrug and say it was all a lie as their neighbors lean over the fence and mock them saying, “I thought you were gitten raptured?”

  4. Since the Bible does not teach John Nelson Darby’s dispensationalist doctrines, he placed his new doctrines into his own translation of the Bible.

  5. The “secret Rapture” doctrine, as well as other teachings of Dispensatioalism,i.e.,decisionism as opposed to election,free grace to the point of Antionomianism, and rebuilding the wall between jews and gentiles that Christ broke down, has seriously eroded the faith of many and makes for extremely shallow converts that will be wondering why Christ says”Depart from me ye workers of iniquity”. To turn away from teaching this doctrine many of todays authors and professors would have to renounce their learning
    and money gained by the books popularizing their teachings that are very popular.

    • I agree with the sentiment antinomianism. Darby was, by all intents and purposes an antinomian, and one who was ecclectic in putting together his teaching so that one has quite a problem trying to see just whom he copied from, though a great deal comes from a Jesuit, Emmanuel Lacunza. By the way dispensationalism is an attack upon Christ and upon His bride, makes out that Christ has two brides, therefor He is an adulterer, bigamist, fillanderer, law breaker, running after two brides, or spouses as Darby calls the persons whom Christ has His eye upon, that He is in love with both Jews and Christians. How the Jews are to be saved once the day of grace is finished with, Darby does not inform us, though Lacunza intimates through mere will power, an acceptance that Christ is Lord. So there is going to be a punch up in heaven. The Christians indebted to mercy whilst the Jews boast that they came by their own efforts. Lacunza brings in a third bride, the Roman Catholic church. You just cannot make it up, can you, and people actually believe dispensationalism.

    • Darby was allowed into Christendom when he should never have been. The times were such that any old heretic could simply walk into Christendom.

      John Nelson Darby was worse than a heretic, he was merely an esoteric individual that would have been more at home on a carpet, hand raised up, humming something.

      If Darby falls, so does the secret rapture, the tribulation, and the rest.

  6. As a young believer, in the mid 1980’s I applied for a correspondence course, through the Free Presbytarian Church, Northern Ireland. I was secretly taught dispensationalism, it being slipped in amidst the course work, and was never entitled dispensationalism, just different ways in which God had dealt with His people in the past. Since I recently discovered what I had been taught, and praise God, it never became part of my ministry, I have sought to warn others of this denominations tricks, along with other matter. YOU HAVE AN EXCELLENT ARTICLE HERE AND I SHALL CONTINUE TO REFER TO IT FOR REFERENCE PURPOSES. May to Lord wake His church up (Matt.25.5).

  7. “If Dispensationalism has actually departed from the only way of salvation which the Christian religion teaches, then we must say it has departed from Christianity”. Question: how has it departed from he only way of salvation? The article above does not seem to say.

  8. If the distinction between Israel and believing gentiles is removed Dispensationalism fails to exist. Consider the following: Matt 8:5-12, 12:46-50, 21:33-41, 21:42-43, 22:1-10, Luke 13:25-30, 14:16-24, 24:44-47, John 1:9-13, 4:21-23, 8:39, 10:16-17, 11:51-52, 12:27…32, Acts 10:34-35…44-45, 11:17-18, 13:38-39, 13:47-48, 15:8-9, 15:13-18, 26:22-23, Rom 1:16-17, 2:28-29, 3:9-11, 3:21-23, 3:27-29, 4:9-12, 4:13-16, 9:6-8, 9:22-24, 9:25-26, 10:11-13, Gal 3:5-9, 3:13-14, 3:26-29, 5:1…6, 6:15, Ephes 1:7-10, 2:11-22, 3:1-6, Heb 1:1-2, 2:16-17, 3:3-6, 12:6-7, 1 Pet 2:9-10, and Rev 21:2-14. The Bible teaches that there is neither Jew nor Greek but one people of God brought together in Christ Jesus for the glory of God. The wild olive branch has been grafted into the natural olive tree. We who were far off have been brought near through the blood of Christ. We are no longer foreigners, but fellow citizens and members of the household of God. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. Are we to be more devoted to a system than we are the plain teachings of the Bible?

  9. Very interesting comments indeed! I myself came into the Faith at about age 4. Since then I have always been drawn to God although manytimes I have stumbled and fallen, but for the grace of God go I. As scripture states over and over again, we are to seek the Lord and be a student of the word for it is that engrafted word which will enable us to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ thereby bringing us to the fullness of Christ.
    I have been under both the teachings of Dispensationalism and Covenantalism and I myself tend to lean toward Covenant Theology for the most part, aside from amillenialism…I am post trib pre mill. The more I examine the teachings of Dispensationalism and the ultimate goal of it the more I am persuaded that is is more heresy than truth. Would to God that his people would have eyes to see and ears to hear, that they would examine the scriptures and see these man made false doctrines for what they are!
    When Christ cried “It Is Finished” ……he meant it! The door of Faith has been opened, enter in or be eternally damned.
    Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near.
    Now is the excepted time, Behold, now is the day of salvation!

    • When Jesus Christ shouted “It is finished,” He meant the battle was over, His people released from the prison house of sin, the devil defeated, his house spoiled of all his goods. What the devil never expected was to see the Son of God facing him in his world, upon his own ground, ahead of an army of light, within chariots of salvation, as Satan looked upon a body on a cross, he not understanding the hypostatic union, that as the body of Christ lay upon the cross, the Son of God could face out the devil, as Paul puts it, ascend to the nether world to do battle with the enemy, and to return triumphant (Eph.4.9). How many say, rightly, that Jesus Christ is the Captain of salvation, and yet never see the term refers to a warrior, a commander at the head of a great army.

  10. In my humble opinion, any who desire to know the truth, will the Spirit reveal it unto them. Scripture will always intrepret scripture and if we are to believe that the dispensation of the Church will end at the rapture and we will then we ushered into old covenant law is to make the cross of Christ ineffectual. My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, PROVE ALL THINGS and HOLD FAST to that which is good. I have sat under many a preacher who earnestly contends for the “truth” of dispensationalism with out examining its heretical implications! “For many will come in my name…believe them not”……”if it were possible, they should deceive the very elect”…… “but ye brethren are not in darkness that that day should over take you.”
    Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not be ashamed rightly dividing the word of truth.

    • Dear James. I have yet to find pre-tribulation spoken of in scripture. The doctrine came in with Dispensationalism, which all came from Emmanuel Lacunza, a Jesuit, whose teaching was taken up by one Edward Irving, who then introduced it to another heretic John Nelson Darby, only for yet another heretic, Schofield, to bring it more fully into Christendom by constructing a reference bible on the subject.

  11. No, you most certainly will not find any pretribulational second coming of Christ. There remains only the second advent or second coming. It is a time which will proceed a time of great tribulation; such as the world has never seen. Would to God more of his people would study his word and be enlightened as to what He says about his return. It is very easy to sit and take the opinions of indoctrinated graduates from many of the cemetaries / seminaries that seek to push these man made doctrines down the throats of unsuspecting, uneducated men of God. My first pastor was one of these men, but after much prayer and study of scripture, he came to an understanding of the Truth and rejected the false doctrine that has infected the body of Christ. I am 32 yrs old and I would say it was his teaching that has given me the principles and guidlines with which to examine and study the scriptures.Thank God for faithful men who will contend earestly for the Faith.

  12. People should take far more notice of 2 Peter 3! That’s what’s going to happen when the Lord returns. Love this post and the commentary.

  13. Dispensationalism messed me up. I finally joined a church that teaches covenant theology. I have broken away from an apostate church. I am excited and will be baptized in March. ;)

  14. It is heresy… Plain and simple. Hebrews (Not a favorite book of the Dispensationalists) states clearly Chapter 10:8-10 “`Sacrifice, and offering, and burnt-offerings, and concerning sin-offering Thou didst not will, nor delight in,’ — which according to the law are offered — 9 then he said, `Lo, I come to do, O God, Thy will;’ he doth take away the first that the second he may establish; 10 in the which will we are having been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once,”
    The old covenant is gone…. Was God happy with that? No! For the psalmist says (Psalm 40:6-8) “6 Sacrifice and present Thou hast not desired, Ears Thou hast prepared for me, Burnt and sin-offering Thou hast not asked. 7 Then said I, `Lo, I have come,’ In the roll of the book it is written of me, 8 To do Thy pleasure, my God, I have delighted, And Thy law [is] within my heart.
    What is it that Jesus requires??? Getting to the heart of the matter… (John 4:23-24) “23 but, there cometh an hour, and it now is, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father also doth seek such to worship him; 24 God [is] a Spirit, and those worshipping Him, in spirit and truth it doth behove to worship.'”
    God does not require more animal sacrifices nor will he accept them…. They were just a shadow of that which was fulfilled – once and for all – in Christ.
    Dispensationalists make many of the same errors that the Pharisees of Christ’s time made. 1) They elevate the teachings of men over the plain writing of scripture. They mangle the definitions of words to fit their theology such as translating soon into 1000’s of years, change generation into race. 2) They start with the old testament instead of beginning with it’s proper interpretation as found in the inspired writing of the New Testament. Ephesians 3 – “3 For this cause, I Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for you the nations, 2 if, indeed, ye did hear of the dispensation of the grace of God that was given to me in regard to you, 3 that by revelation He made known to me the secret, according as I wrote before in few [words] — 4 in regard to which ye are able, reading [it], to understand my knowledge in the secret of the Christ, 5 which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it was now revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit — 6 that the nations be fellow-heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of His promise in the Christ, through the good news, 7 of which I became a ministrant, according to the gift of the grace of God that was given to me, according to the working of His power;” The truth of the Old Testament prophecies and to be revealed by the Spirit of God. The Jews studied the texts looking for clues regarding Christ. But the truth of Him, again, can only be found by abiding in His Spirit.
    Where did this heresy come from? Well it must have been the Devil – for as surely as it is a lie, and the Devil is the fathers of all lies and liars, it follows that it is indeed his spawn.
    God’s Kingdom has come. Not visibly – because it is within you. Where is Christ? Seated at the right hand of God the Father. What is he doing? Ruling the nations with a rod of iron and making intercession for the saints.
    How do we know this? Cause the Bible says it plainly – no word warping required here. Let us see. Hebrews Chapter 1:13 “13 And unto which of the messengers said He ever, `Sit at My right hand, till I may make thine enemies thy footstool?'” and Psalm 110 “A Psalm of David. The affirmation of Jehovah to my Lord: `Sit at My right hand, Till I make thine enemies thy footstool.’ 2 The rod of thy strength doth Jehovah send from Zion, Rule in the midst of thine enemies. 3 Thy people [are] free-will gifts in the day of Thy strength, in the honours of holiness, From the womb, from the morning, Thou hast the dew of thy youth. 4 Jehovah hath sworn, and doth not repent, `Thou [art] a priest to the age, According to the order of Melchizedek.’ 5 The Lord on thy right hand smote kings In the day of His anger. 6 He doth judge among the nations, He hath completed the carcases, Hath smitten the head over the mighty earth. 7 From a brook in the way he drinketh, Therefore he doth lift up the head! and in Acts Chapter 7:54-56 we find at the stoning of Stephen “54 And hearing these things, they were cut to the hearts, and did gnash the teeth at him;
    55 and being full of the Holy Spirit, having looked stedfastly to the heaven, he saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, 56 and he said, `Lo, I see the heavens having been opened, and the Son of Man standing on the right hand of God.'” and Paul writes in I Corinthians Chapter 15:20-26 “20 And now, Christ hath risen out of the dead — the first-fruits of those sleeping he became, 21 for since through man [is] the death, also through man [is] a rising again of the dead, 22 for even as in Adam all die, so also in the Christ all shall be made alive, 23 and each in his proper order, a first-fruit Christ, afterwards those who are the Christ’s, in his presence, 24 then — the end, when he may deliver up the reign to God, even the Father, when he may have made useless all rule, and all authority and power — 25 for it behoveth him to reign till he may have put all the enemies under his feet — 26 the last enemy is done away — death;” and lastly (Although not by any means exhaustively) Revelation 12:1-5 “And a great sign was seen in the heaven, a woman arrayed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars, 2 and being with child she doth cry out, travailing and pained to bring forth. 3 And there was seen another sign in the heaven, and, lo, a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his head seven diadems, 4 and his tail doth draw the third of the stars of the heaven, and he did cast them to the earth; and the dragon did stand before the woman who is about to bring forth, that when she may bring forth, her child he may devour; 5 and she brought forth a male child, who is about to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, and caught away was her child unto God and His throne,”

    Again, the bible clearly teaches us, that Jesus is sitting at the right hand of God, ruling the nations with a rod of iron, and making intercession for his saints. He will continue to do this until all his enemies have been conquered – placed under his feet. Then and only then will He hand over the Kingdom (His Sacntified Ones or Saints) to God the Father so that He may all in all.

    Why don’t they Dis[pensationalists understand. They live in darkness. They have turned away from God and have said “I can do it. I can study and know they way of God”. In short they deny the working pof the Holy Spirit and are blind.

    We are the New Jerusalem, God’s Holy Temple, The Body of Christ The Kingdom of God, if of course we have been born of the Spirit and God’s Holy Spirit lives within us. If you haven’t been born of the Spirit, you are spiritually blind – dead in in your sins, unable to comphrehend spiritual truths and therefore in natural denial of those things which can only be understood spiritually. You will make up earthly substitutes in order to try to make sense of those things which are spiritual and consequently only spiritually understood. You also will live in fear of things – The antichrist, The beast, etc. etc. – which are not gods and are of by their nature subordinate to God. You will search the papers for answers – the meaning pof prophecy. You will look to earthly rulers for order and protection etc. WHEN YOU SHOULD BE LOOKING TO CHRIST.

    Stop with the foolishness. Turn to God. Ask Him to show (Convict) you of your sin. Admit (Confess) the truth of it before Him. Turn from your ways (Repent) and ask of His help in doing so. As k for his help in living you life by the Spirit. Self centered self help isn’t. Our God is gracious and merciful. He is the Way, The Truth, and The Life

    May God have mercy on our Dispensationalist friends. Amen

  15. As we contend with this doctrine which separates those whom Christ has brought together through His Cross, we will do good to remember those who have gone before us, the Prophets and apostles who spoke in His name, and how they were treated. My eyes have been like Jeremiah’s over the deception of dispensationalism and its resulting problems for the Church.However I encourage myself in the Lord and press on. Paul had ample time and space to preach this doctrine in Romans 11, but he spoke of one olive tree and not two. There is only one body of Christ just as there is only one olive tree; with Gentile, who were of the wild olive being grafted into the cultivated olive, and the unbelieving Jews were broken off their own cultivated olive, but God is able, not to give them a new olive, but to graft them again into their own olive tree. Here O Israel the thy God is ONE! There is one Mediator between God and man! There is one Church! One King! one Lord and Savior of all. I pray for all my brothers and sisters who are experiencing scorn for honoring Christ as the all sufficient Savior of all His Elect.

  16. Quote
    “If Dispensationalism has actually departed from the only way of salvation which the Christian religion teaches, then we must say it has departed from Christianity”. Question: how has it departed from he only way of salvation? The article above does not seem to say.
    end
    The question asked is how does Dispensationalism depart from the gospel. In essence , dispensationalism preaches two gospels, for the majority of those who come to Christ , it is believing by faith , for the Jews however , Dispy’s assert that they will believe when they see Christ returning. Two entities, two gospels and a multitude of problems.

  17. The answer is found in this spoken to jews….. “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” No one! Hmmm does this mean Jews can have a different dispensation by which they can save themselves? Think of it logically. Christ is saying “I am the only way to ME!” So NO! Even during the Age of Moses – The only way to God was to have FAITH in him. Check Hebrews out (Not a favorite of the Darby-ites). For it is by Grace you have been saved – Through what???? FAITH. Not by works so that none can boast. Faith for those under the Old Covenant and Faith for those under the New Covenant. For in Christ Jesus there is neither Jew nor Greek, male or female….. In Ephesians we learn that their is only ONE Body of Christ – i.e One group of believers that are the heirs to the promises given to Abraham. We must pray that our Lord has mercy and grants believers in this lie – from the father of lies no doubt – escape from this evil trap.

  18. Dispensationalism is not Christian, has nothing to do with Christianity, though it goes under the name of Christianity. Dispensationalism that we have today comes from a Jesuit called Emmanuel Lacunza. I might also add that the foundation upon which present day pre-Millennialism and its rapture also come from the pen of this Jesuit. To cut a long story short it was the heretic Edward Irving that took Lacunzas work and had it brought to another heretic, esoteric, semi-Theosophist John Nelso Darby. Eventually to become housed in the work of and adulterer and thief C I Scofield. By the way the people involved in the rapture of Lacunza’s work where Roman Catholics, not Protestants. Both Irving and Darby changed the people to that of Protestants.

    • Calvin111 could not have said it better ! Our “churches” have been polluted with the heresy of dispensationalism. It is a belief system that is spoon fed the masses who have no intention of living God’s truths. It is for those who want to put in their hour or so on Sunday and do the devil’s work the rest of their lives. It’s for those who refuse to “search the scriptures” and accept the ranting of Darby and the crime of the Scoffield reference Bible which is not a Bible but rather a commentary. This is perhaps the best website ever !

  19. Thank you for this. How much pain and confusion has been caused by teachings of a “Rapture” that will never really occur, unless we read the words of Jesus where those who do _not_ love Him are lifted up and taken away… to Gehenna! Lord, help us see clearly.

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