1. One major flaw concerning dispensationalism is that it is wholly composed of conjecture. There is no proof that allows us to build such a huge doctrine from no scriptural base at all! If it were any other doctrine, we would reject it immediately as having no scriptural basis. Though many good men have adopted the theory, it still suffers from genuine validity. I can think of no other doctrine that is so widely accepted with so little fact! Keep in mind though, that I am not so resolute in my belief that I cannot be convinced--it merely takes evidence that is factual and Biblically convincing to change my thinking.
This brings us to a question that one might ask concerning the doctrine:
Who determined where one dispensation ends, and the other begins? I realize that some say they overlap, but who decided this? They have put pieces together, they say, as a puzzle, and come up with an entire doctrine. It does fit in the way they present it, but does that determine fact? Perhaps men have “rejoiced in the works of their own hands”! (Acts 7:41)
2. Another fault one finds with dispensationalism is that it separates scripture instead of fusing it together. What I mean is that they determine what pertains to the end times concerning prophesy, and how it affects the Jew, and not necessarily the Gentile. I wonder, why do we then read it? Why has the Lord given us that which was for another people, and not for us? It is as if we are reading other people’s mail! Has He not broken down the middle wall of partition between the Jew and the Greek, and made all “one body” in Christ? Friends, His Word is one also. There is not a Gospel to the Jew and one to the Gentile.
The Bible does use the word “dispensation”, but it does not directly infer a time or date to it; it is, in fact, a means of God’s dealing with His people. There is no need to chart it, or to categorize it, but realize that God deals differently with different people. The Book of Ephesians excepted, and that we cannot be sure of. (Eph. 1:10). The word is used only four times in the Bible, and each speaks of a special work which of course may also last for a certain time. The prOBlem is, we look at the time periods, and do not focus on the work! The “dispensation of grace” which we hear so much about (Eph. 3:2), is an act of grace, apart from the law, and not necessarily a time period in history. Grace was present through out all ages, and the Lord was working His grace even in the Old Testament. By the way, it is the same with “law”. We are always under the law, whether it be mans law or God’s law; you never get away from “law”, not in the O.T. or the New. All the dispensations are principles and all still exist today in some form.
Neither can we refer to “the age of grace” since it was alive and well even in the beginning of time. To link it with the church, specifically, is an error on our part. We can all recall that “Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord”, (Gen. 6:8) and we find grace weave itself through and through the Old Testament..
3. A third major prOBlem we see with the doctrine concerns the promises of God. I realize that God promised Abraham that he would be the father of many nations, so to speak, but aren’t we “spiritual Abrahams” according to Galatians 3? The promises of God are unto all His children, and not a select few. We, as Christians, can also have our seed number as the sands of the seas, and the stars in heaven by soul winning and producing much offspring. One preacher used to say “A dog produces pups; a cat kittens; a Christian, other Christians.” Look at what the Bible says:
2Co 1:18 But as God is true, our word toward you was not yea and nay.
2Co 1:19 For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us, even by me and Silvanus and Timotheus, was not yea and nay, but in him was yea.
2Co 1:20 For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us. All the promises, to the glory of God by us!
There were certain covenants made by God with men, but they also have their portion in us, the Gentiles. The point is, we all have the same promises with perhaps a different application. The dispensationalists do not teach this. There are thirteen times that the Bible speaks of “promises”, but I will not take the time to expound on each of them. You can, if you have a mind to, look them up for yourself, and see what the Word says about it. I would do an injustice however, to my thesis if I did not mention at least a few. These thirteen mentions of “promises” begin in Romans, and end in 2 Peter. Let us look at a few:
Rom 15:8 Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers:
The promises were “confirmed” unto us through Christ.
Gal 3:16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.
Not only to Abraham, but to his seed, and to Christ. All that are in Him receive the promises.
Gal 3:21 Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.
The law is not against the promises if God, it is for us through Christ (on our side!).
Many of your dispensationalists will tell of a “window in prophesy”, but where does that thought originate? Why a window? They say that the Lord did not reveal unto them the church age because it did not pertain to them, but if that is true why should He reveal to us all this prophesy that belongs to Israel? The prophesy does not pertain to us either according to them! It seems many look at it with tunnel vision in the sense that they are already convinced before they search it out! They see no other way. It has been explained that they saw the mountain tops, but failed to see the valleys in between! All this is conjecture at best. They will take a Book, and chop it up into sections--some for Israel only, and some for the church. They “see through a glass darkly…” and their vision is fogged by the vain philosophies of men, and after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. It is always dangerous to build doctrine from the ground up--it must be built from heaven, downward. You will find no other doctrine that is built with such weak material as mans ideas and conjectures, and as popular as it is, this is somewhat baffling. Any heresy is harmful to the body of Christ no matter how insignificant it may seem to be; any untruth is unhealthy to the body of Christ. It is unbelievable that so many preachers and otherwise godly men adopt this heresy, even to the extent that they promote it as scripturally and ethically correct. To teach it in any fashion other than theory, is to make it equal with scripture, and becomes dangerous to the body, yet many do. I have known (and do still know) a man that spent several years teaching dispensationalist through the Bible, and to what end? Who has been edified? Who has moved mountains because their faith has been strengthened? Or who has been encouraged in the Lord because of it? It is, to say the least, a waste of time.
Dispensation: Webster’s Dictionary
1. Distribution; the act of dealing out to different persons or places; as the dispensation of water indifferently to all parts of the earth.
2. The dealing of God to his creatures; the distribution of good and evil, natural or moral, in the divine government.
3. The granting of a license, or the license itself, to do what is forbidden by laws or canons, or to omit something which is commanded; that is, the dispensing with a law or canon, or the exemption of a particular person from the OBligation to comply with its injunctions. The pope has power to dispense with the canons of the church, but has no right to grant dispensations to the injury of a third person.
4. That which is dispensed or bestowed; a system of principles and rites enjoined; as the Mosaic dispensation; the gospel dispensation; including, the former the Levitical law and rites; the latter the scheme of redemption by Christ.
King James Bible Dictionary:
An arrangement of things; a scheme.
Easton’s Bible Dictionary:
(Gr. oikonomia, “management,” “economy”).
(1.) The method or scheme according to which God carries out his purposes towards men is called a dispensation. There are usually reckoned three dispensations, the Patriarchal, the Mosaic or Jewish, and the Christian. (See COVENANT, ADMINISTRATION OF). These were so many stages in God's unfolding of his purpose of grace toward men. The word is not found with this meaning in Scripture.
(2.) A commission to preach the gospel (1Co_9:17; Eph_1:10; Eph_3:2; Col_1:25).
Dispensations of Providence are providential events which affect men either in the way of mercy or of judgment. (emphasis is mine)
I would not say that dispensationalism is a dangerous doctrine, but for the error it contains. Any untruth is error, and any error is harmful to the body in some way, and the “body” is those that are in Christ. We do not have to have this dispensational doctrine to better understand the Word of God, as some say. The Holy Spirit will reveal it to us. If we must seek out mans schemes to better understand “the whole picture” then we are not allowing the Spirit to work in us.
Stick with the pure, unadulterated Word of God which is able to save our souls and grant us access to eternal life.