"Acts 9, Acts 13, and Acts 28 Dispensationalists believe that the Church started with
Paul's conversion and it was through him that the body of Christ began."
I believe that Dispies vary on when exactly the Church started. If we are going to
say that the church started with Paul's conversion then we would have to say Acts nine is when it began.
In order for one to decide when the church/body of Christ started, the body of Christ
needs to be defined.
The Body of Christ requires:
1) Apostles and Prophets as the foundation with Christ as the chief cornerstone, not
just Peter. (Ephesians 2:20)
2) Jews and Gentiles in one body (diversity), not just Jews or Jews superior with Gentiles
His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus
making peace, 16 and in this one body to reconcile both of
them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. (Ephesians 2)
This unity was made possible only when Jew and Gentile were placed on the same level.
The Gentile hanging on to the skirt of a Jew is the Kingdom of Israel not the body
of Christ. (Zechariah 8:23)
3) The Body of Christ will be one of the mysteries taught by Paul.
The message that preached to 'the house of Israel' was the kingdom message only and
was to Jews.
Acts Two wasn't about the Body of Christ.
"the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is
now disclosed to the saints. 27 To them God has chosen to make
known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory." (Colossians
Here is what happens when one rejects Dispensationalism and the mysteries.
"Because of a failure to recognize the mystery, some have supposed it necessary
to alter prophecy to account for the present condition of Israel and the presence of the predominantly Gentile church
of this age.
Seeing that the fulfillment of prophecy apparently ceased shortly after the crucifixion
of Christ, and realizing that there was still much left to be fulfilled, these have supposed that God could not have meant
exactly what He said when He prophesied that Christ would sit on the throne of David in Jerusalem as King of Israel. They
have supposed that these things must have been intended in a "spiritual" sense and so have concluded that Christ is
now seated on "David's throne" at God's right hand, thus confusing earthly Jerusalem with "the Jerusalem which is above."
They have further concluded that the church of today is "spiritual" Israel, that heaven is Canaan, etc."
Notice that when one doesn't see scripture dispensationally and recognize the mysteries,
that Preterism is one of the results.
"But there is in fact nothing spiritual about this interpretation of the Scripture.
It is carnal, not spiritual, to fail to take God at His Word and to seek to explain away difficulties by arbitrarily
altering what has been plainly written."
This is what Preterism does, arbitrarily deciding what scriptures to take literally
and what not to take literally what to believe and what not to believe.
"We vigorously object to this whole system of interpretation because:
1. It leaves us at the mercy of theologians. If the Scriptures do not mean what
they obviously, naturally seem to mean, who has the authority to decide just what they do mean? If theologians have that authority,
then we must agree with Rome that the Church, not the Bible, is the final and supreme authority. Nor will it any longer avail
us to turn to the Scriptures for light, for the Word of God does not mean what it says and only trained theologians can tell
us what it does mean.
2. It affects the veracity of God. It is a thrust at His very honor. If
the obvious, natural meaning of the Old Testament promises is not to be depended upon, how can we depend upon any promise
of God? Then, when He says: "Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved," He may also mean something
else. This is unthinkable of God, for it is only just that the promisee should have a fair understanding of the
promise, for promised something, he will have a right to claim exactly what he has been promised. A little child is
supposed to have said: "If God didn't mean what He said, why didn't He say what He meant?"
3. It endorses apostasy. Indeed, it is the mother of apostasy.
When Luke 1:32,33 is "spiritualized" the Modernist agrees wholeheartedly. He agrees that the throne of David and the house
of Israel in this passage must be viewed in a "spiritual sense"--and so must the next few verses! Thus Christ was not
really born of a virgin. This picture is merely drawn to impress us with the purity of His person, etc.!
And the Modernist denies the resurrection in the same way. Concerning Acts 2:30-32
it is argued that since Christ will not really occupy the throne of David, neither was He really raised from the dead!
The Scriptures which say so must be "spiritually" interpreted!
And here comes one of 'Jehovah's Witnesses,' claiming to belong to the 144,000. Ask
what tribe he is from and he will explain that not physical, but "spiritual" Israelites are referred to in the prophecy of
the 144,000! Yet we are distinctly told that there are to be 12,000 from each tribe, and the tribes are named!
Rome employs the same reasoning. She is seeking to establish the kingdom of Christ
on earth! Because the Church of Rome is really a political system, with a state and a ruler on earth it may seem at first
that she leans rather to a literal interpretation of prophecy, but this is not so, for the Church of Rome is not literal Israel,
Rome is not Jerusalem, and Christ Himself is not reigning.
Those who have resorted to the 'spiritualization' of the prophetic Scriptures because
they cannot account for the seeming cessation in their fulfillment, will find the solution to their problem in the recognition
of the mystery. Recognize the mystery and there will be no need to alter prophecy."
Notice that only dispensationalism can effectively refute errors such as: Catholicism,
Preterism/Partial Gnosticism, Jehovah's Witnesses, Modernism, Liberalism, Gnosticism etc.
This is not a minor point but shows us that if you want to be a defender of the faith,
it is best to be a Christian who sees scripture Dispensationally.
"There are many (not all) involved with this movement that believe the only true English
Bible today is the Authorized King James Bible. They go against all other English translations and say they are full of lies
This may be what Dispies prefer but it is not necessary to prove dispensationalism.
" Now to him who is able to establish
you by my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery hidden for
long ages past, 26 but now revealed and made known
through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all nations might believe and obey him-- 27 to the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen." (NIV)
Interesting I just quoted from the New International Version and it more than adequately
"Another important thing concerning this movement is that they reject the 4 Gospels
(Matthew, Mark, Luke, John) as being for the body of Christ. They believe for doctrine and practice they are to go only by
what Paul has written, but strangely enough they use other portions of the Bible to prove their theology."
They don't reject the four gospels for the body of Christ any more than your average
Christian rejects the Old Testament as being the final word on the subject.
Christians know that the Old Testament was leading up to something.
Well, technically speaking the New Testament didn't begin until the blood of Christ
was shed, which happened at the end of the four gospels.
This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you (Luke 22:20).
Should we assume that because Jesus and the twelve only went to Jews, that we should
only go to Jews as well? (Matthew 10:5ff; Galatians 2:8,9). So if not, then should we see the gospels and the book of Acts
as the final word or as leading up to something, as the Old Testament was?
This is not a rejection of the OT, gospels or Acts but as a process leading up to the
Rrrrrrrrrrrest of the Story.
Also one of the main teachers of Dispensationalism answers this allegation
in his book 'Things That Differ'
He says: " A principle, as
we have used the word above, is a settled rule of morality or conduct. We respect men with principles; men who stand for the
right, whatever the cost. God, of course, has the very highest principles and never deviates from them. He always did and
always will hate sin. Sin always was and always will be contrary to His holy nature. In no age has this been any less so than
in any other age. In like manner, God always did and always will delight in righteousness, mercy and love. God never has and
never will deviate in the slightest degree from these principles.
The principle of law or justice, for example, has continued unchanged
through the ages. No matter what the dispensation, when wrong is done God's sense of justice is offended."
" Next, it should be noted that God has
revealed His good news to man progressively. To Adam and Eve He proclaimed the gospel, or good news, that the woman's
seed should some day crush the head of the Serpent (Gen. 3:15). To Abraham He preached the gospel, or good news, that in him
all nations should be blessed (Gal. 3:8). And all down through the Old Testament Scriptures we find God proclaiming more and
more good news to man. Finally the Lord sent His apostles to proclaim "the gospel of the kingdom" (See Luke 9:1-6), but mark
well: at that time they did not even know that Christ was to die. In this connection read carefully, Luke 18:31-34:
I do differ from some dispies in that I believe that 'the whole counsel of
God' that Paul preached was inclusive not exclusive of the previous messages either directly or indirectly. (Acts 20:26-28)
One argument I have heard against Dispensationalism is that it is a recent
That is presupposing that we cannot argue Dispensationalism straight from the
scriptures and we can.
Maybe officially dispensationalism is a recent development but there also those
out there that think the Catholic church was the only expression of Christianity , because it was in the forefront.
Fact is there are many in the Body of Christ/an organism which do not need
the official and organizational recognition from the religious power brokers to exist.
Also Dispensationalism may be a recent development officially speaking because,
the time is near and people need to recognize the difference between the program for Israel and the program for the Body of
Christ as the rapture gets closer.
" But you, Daniel, close up and seal the words of the scroll
until the time of the end. Many will go here and there to increase knowledge." (Daniel 12)
Many OT prophets and saints did not understand the two comings of Christ either, until Christ came.
Bj Maxwell 08/03/2006
It says: "Basically put the main beliefs are that Paul preached a different gospel
than what the Apostles taught."
Galatians One says: " I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one
who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel-- 7 which is really no gospel
at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8
But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! 9 As we have already
said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!"
(Galatians 1; NIV)
Here Paul says that, If one preaches a gospel other than what was preached to the Gentiles/Galatians,
then they are to be eternally condemned.
To preach repentance and baptism for salvation is not what Paul or even Peter ever
preached to Gentiles.
The other gospel is a perversion of the real gospel.
The American Standard Version says: "which is not another [gospel] only there
are some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ." (Ga. 1)
Notice that this version says that it is 'NOT' another gospel only a perversion of
How is something not another gospel but a perversion of it?
The other gospel could have the same ingredients but mixed up and put in the wrong
order or it could be a message that at one point was properly applied but no longer applies today.
Is it a perversion of the gospel to say that one should repent and be baptized for
the forgiveness of sins before they can receive the Holy Spirit'?
Well, today Christians would dismiss this message as in error saying that 'baptism'
is not required for salvation but instead should be what one does AFTER salvation.
On what authority?
On the authority of what the apostle Peter experienced in Acts Ten and on what Paul
" While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard
the message. 45 The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit
had been poured out even on the Gentiles. 46 For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God. Then
Peter said, 47 "Can anyone keep these people from being baptized with water? They have received the Holy Spirit just
as we have." 48 So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked Peter to stay with
them for a few days." (Acts 10:44-48; NIV)
Notice that Peter didn't even finish his message to the Gentiles before he was interrupted.
Notice this new message involved the Gentiles getting the Holy Spirit before they were
This new message is what Paul preached to the Gentiles. (Acts 16:31)
This was different than Peter's message to the 'House of Israel':
"Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness
of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." (Acts 2)
Peter was first used here to verify the new thing to the Gentiles and the whole
counsel of God that Paul the apostle had to bring to the table. (Acts 15:7-18)
So to preach what the United Pentecostals and Church of Christ preach, who by the way
got it from Peter in Acts Two, would be considered heretical today.
Only when we make a dispensational distinction do we see the real gospel which completes
and prioritizes baptism as following salvation not causing it.
"Now to him who is able to establish you by my gospel and the proclamation of
Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past, 26 but now revealed and made known
through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all nations might believe and obey him-- 27
to the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen." (Romans 16; NIV)
But as I said earlier, the gospel given to Paul went beyond and was inclusive not exclusive
of the previous gospels, though the priorities were different.
Still, the message of the twelve was restricted to the kingdom and was to Israel only.
(Galatians 2:8,9; 1 Peter 1:1; James 1:1; Matthew 10:5ff)
This message of the twelve will be resumed after the delay is ended and we are in 'the
heavenlies.' (Romans 11:24-32; Luke 21:20-24; Revelation 4-20)
In this respect I may not be considered an Ultra Dispensationalist.
"Now I know that none of you among whom I have gone about preaching the kingdom
will ever see me again. 26 Therefore, I declare to you
today that I am innocent of the blood of all men. 27 For
I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God. 28 Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of
the church of God, which he bought with his own blood." (Acts 20)
The incomplete and partial message of Peter and the twelve would today qualify as 'not
another gospel but a perversion' of it, that if preached today would land one in hell.
Only a dispie can effectively combat the false teachings coming out of the United Pentecostal
and the Church of Christ movements.
Bj Maxwell 08/04/2006