Thursday, March 17, 2011


Note: All Scripture quotations found in this article are from the text of the Authorized King James Version of the Bible.

The answer to all the confusion in the denominations today is Dispensationalism. As Christians we should believe that the Bible is God's perfect word without error.

1 Thessalonians 2:13 "For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe."

When the Bible reader finds two things that are different in the Bible, he can either view it as a mistake or receive it as the word of God. There are things in the Bible that technically "contradict", but these are not mistakes. These "contradictions" can be handled by rightly dividing the word of truth. We are commanded by God to study and rightly divide the Bible. Anyone that does not rightly divide the word is disobeying God.

2 Timothy 2:15 "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."

The word "dispensation" is a Biblical word.

1 Corinthians 9:17 "For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me."

Ephesians 1:10 "That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:"

Ephesians 3:2 "If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:"

Colossians 1:25 "Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God;"

Although God's personality does not change and is always faithful. God's dealings with men do change. (Hebrews 1:1-3)

In scripture, there are three classes of people and each are addressed differently in regards to doctrine. These three classes are the Jew, the church of God and Gentile.

1 Corinthians 10:32 "Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God:"

There are at least seven dispensations in the Bible.

1. Genesis 1-3 = Innocence
2. Genesis 4-8 = Conscience
3. Genesis 9-11 = Government
4. Genesis 12 - Exodus 19 = Patriarchs
5. Exodus 20 - NT Gospels = Law
6. Acts - Philemon = Grace
7. Hebrews - Revelation = Kingdom

There are eight covenants in the Bible.

1. Edenic - Genesis 2-3
2. Adamic - Genesis 3
3. Noahic - Genesis 8-9
4. Abramic - Genesis 12, 15, 17, 22
5. Mosaic - Exodus 19-34
6. Davidic - 2 Samuel 7
7. Christian - Matthew 26
8. Angelic/Eternal - Revelation 21-22

There are three different applications that can be applied to verses in the Bible.

1. Historical - Verses have a place in a specific time frame in history.
2. Doctrinal - Verses are aimed at specific groups of people to teach them.
3. Inspirational/Practical - Verses can be instructional.

Failure to study and rightly divide the word of God correctly can lead to false doctrine. The Bible should be studied line upon line and precept upon precept.

Isaiah 28:9 "Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. 10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:"

When reading the Bible, the Bible student should ask questions about the context.

1. Who is talking?
2. Who is he talking to?
3. What is he talking about?
4. What are the surrounding circumstances?

Here are a couple of examples that prove we should be able to rightly divide the word.


Doctrine for the Tribulation Saints, read the context.

Matthew 24:13 "But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved."


Doctrine for the Church Age Saints

Acts 16:31 "And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house."


Peter's message to the JEWS, telling them to repent because they killed the Messiah.

Acts 2:38 "Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost."


Church Age Doctrine

Acts 10:43 "To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins. 44 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. 45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. 46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, 47 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?"


Tribulation Doctrine, directed toward the Jews according to verse 30.

Hebrews 10:26 "For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,"


Church Age Doctrine

Romans 5:20 "Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: 21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord."


Tribulation Doctrine, James is written to the twelve Jewish tribes(James 1:1).

James 2:20 "But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? 22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? 23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. 24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only."


Church Age Doctrine

Romans 4:1 "What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? 2 For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. 3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. 4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt."


Read Hebrews 3:6-14, 6:4-8 and Mark 16:15-18 and see if those verses match the Pauline Epistles written to the Gentiles for doctrine. Rightly dividing is the only way to make the Bible make sense. The easiest division to make is to notice that God's dealings with people changed dramatically between the Old and New Testament. We can explain these differences historically and gain from them practically, while understanding the doctrinal differences in the scripture.

There are way more divisions in scripture than just the divisions of the Old and New Testament though. There was no law given until Exodus 20. The New Testament Gospels record the ministry of Jesus Christ and during the First Coming, Jesus was under the law according to Galatians 4:4 and Hebrews 9:16-17. The book of Acts is a transitional book that begins with the church as an organization then ends with the church being an organism. Paul is the Apostle to the Gentiles that is given the mystery of the church and preaches the dispensation of grace. Hebrews to Revelation contains Tribulation doctrine. All of the Bible is written for you, but not all of the Bible is written to you, doctrinally.

2 Timothy 2:15 "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."

We are workmen that should study and rightly divide the word to be APPROVED unto God. If we do not want to be ashamed at the Judgment Seat of Christ, we must realize that we are accountable for our walk, work and doctrine.

There are scriptural laws of diet given to different people at different times. In Genesis 1:29-30; 9:3, they were told that they could eat anything. In Leviticus 11, they are told that some food is unclean. Church Age saints are told in 1 Timothy 4:3-5 that anything can be ate as long as you give thanks for it.

There are differences in Holy Days in the Bible. Read Genesis 2:1-3, Exodus 20:8-11, Matthew 19:17-19, Romans 14:5-6 and Galatians 4:3-11.

There are different kinds of gospels talked about in the Bible.

Our gospel is the gospel of the grace of God that God gave Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles. This gospel defined in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4.

Acts 20:24 "But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God."

1 Corinthians 15:3 "For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:"

The gospel that Jesus Christ preached is called the gospel of the kingdom and is accompanied by signs and wonders for the Jews.

Matthew 4:23 "And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people. 24 And his fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatick, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them."

1 Corinthians 1:22 "For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:"

John 4:48 "Then said Jesus unto him, Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe."

Matthew 9:35 "And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people."

Jesus calls out twelve apostles to preach the gospel of the kingdom and tells them not to go to the Gentiles.

Matthew 10:1 "And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease. 2 Now the names of the twelve apostles are these; The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; 3 Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus; 4 Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him. 5 These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:"

Matthew 15:24 "But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel."

Those are just two examples of different types of gospels in the Bible. One is the gospel of the grace of God given to Paul for the Gentiles(everyone) that does not include signs. The other is called the gospel of the kingdom that is given to the twelve apostles for Israel alone and does include signs and wonders. In conclusion, there are divisions and the Bible student must study and rightly divide the word of truth lest he fall into false doctrine.

2 Timothy 2:15 "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."