A dispensation refers to order or proper arrangement given to people or things. The word “dispensation” is most commonly associated with different periods of time, which is not always the case. To show this, the Bible uses examples of dispensation including God Himself! Because of this, we cannot assume that the definition of dispensation is limited to a period of time since God Himself is limitless.
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;”
Dispensationalism is needed to rightly divide and properly understand the word of God. To rightly divide the word of God means that we are interpreting it according to God’s intention, through His perfect order not our own. Wrong doctrine arises through the inability to correctly define what is meant by dispensation. If we define the ‘dispensation’ mentioned in 2 Timothy 2:15 as a time period, we do not get right doctrine in the following verses.
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.”
If the Bible is not rightly divided when studying it, it will not make sense. To avoid wrong doctrine, take the verse as it says, in the case of 2 Timothy 2:15, “dividing the word of truth”. Comparing scripture with scripture can help us understand the intended definition of a word and avoid wrong doctrine. The following verses show an example of comparing scripture with scripture to determine the definition of ‘divide’:
Genesis 1:3-6 “And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day. And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.”
It is rather easy to prove that skeptics, while unknown to them, also believe in dispensationalism. As Christians, we believe in the trinity of God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three persons are different from each other in identity but come together as one being. Therefore, those that believe in the trinity must believe in dispensations. Some Old Testament laws and statues are no longer practiced today, those of which include stoning to death for blaspheming the name of God and in the case of Jews, blood sacrifice for the atonement of sin. These are examples of dispensationalism since they were applicable in the Old Testament but are no longer practiced.
Didn’t you know that 2 Tim. 2:15 is changed in modern Bibles, change this verse so that they take out the words “study” and “divide” and thereby remove the command to study the Bible and the description of how to study the Bible. The modern Bibles say “do diligent” instead of “study” and replace “divide” with the word “handle” the word of God, instead of Study (and this includes the NKJV). Some non-dispensationalists like to play Greek and Hebrew, but if you look up the word in a greek lexicon, you will see that the majority of Greek lexicons say the Greek word “ὀρθοτομοῦντα” is translated as “to straightly cut” which is closer to divide (and yes that includes Strong’s Lexicon). It is true that the Greek word can also be “to handle things rightly” but you will see that definition is rare and is not in the majority of lexicons. You know who wants you to “handle” the Bible? Go to 2 Corinthians 4:2, Cults and Modern Bible versions like to handle it and interpret it how they want to. They took the verse that told them how to study and took that as “I want to handle the Bible in my own way”.
2 Corinthians 4:2 “But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.”
Paul pointed out that false teachers “handle” the word of God, no wonder they are not genuine Bible teachers. It is common sense that everyone believes in Dispensationalism. They believe God administers things differently, one example is you believe that there is one God in three separate persons. You know who are the ones who don’t rightly divide this? The Jesus Only cult makes this error, but what happened at the Baptism of Jesus Christ? There was God the Father speaking in Heaven, the Holy Spirit coming down, and Jesus getting baptized. Another example is you don’t believe that people should be stoned to death for taking the Lord’s name in vain. Even Catholics divide from the New and Old testament. Even Jews believe that they no longer need to practice blood sacrifices, they use dispensationalism, they believe in differences and if they didn’t then they do not have common sense.
Dispensationalism is also proved through the division among the books of the Bible. More specifically, certain verses in scripture are divided and allude to other times, people, or things not specified in their respective books. John, for instance, quotes a prophecy from the book of Psalms in the Old Testament which refers to the fulfillment of the prophecy of Jesus Christ. Previous verses in Psalms 34, however, are not about Jesus but about the righteous people of Israel.
John 19:36 “For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken.”
Psalms 34:20 “He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken.”
Jesus also believed in dispensationalism when he read the fulfilled prophecies in the book of Isaiah. Other examples include dedicating half of one verse out of a whole chapter to different dispensations, which can be seen in the book of Matthew while quoting Hosea, 1 Peter when quoting Leviticus, and Hebrews when quoting 2 Samuel. Other passages with dispensations include John 15:25 quoting Psalms 69:4.
Here Jesus fulfills Isaiah 61:1 and but the next verse Isaiah 61:2 is for the second advent.
Luke 4:17-21 “And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.”
Isaiah 61:1 “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;”
Here Matthew is insisting that Jesus is the reference from Hosea, but obviously the first part of the referenced verse is referring to Israel and the second half is to Jesus Christ.
Matthew 2:15 “And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.”
Hosea 11:1 “When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt.”
Here Peter only applies a small portion of the verse to Christians, while excluding the command to not touch creeping things.
1 Peter 1:16 “Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.”
Leviticus 11:44 “For I am the Lord your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy: neither shall ye defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.”
Here we see that the second part of 2 Samuel 7:14 cannot apply to Jesus Christ because it talks about if he commits iniquity he will be chastened, that cannot be the Lord Jesus Christ.
Hebrews 1:5 “For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?”
2 Samuel 7:14 “I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men:”
Here dispensationalism is applied to divide Psalms 69:4 from Psalms. 69:5 because verse 5 talks about having sins, but we know Jesus Christ is sinless!
John 15:25 “But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause.”
Psalms 69:4 “They that hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of mine head: they that would destroy me, being mine enemies wrongfully, are mighty: then I restored that which I took not away.”
The bottom line? Not every verse is applicable to us Christians today nor Old Testament Jews. This is apparent when comparing our own salvation, which comes from the grace of God to that of the Old Testament saints (laws of Moses). Dispensations are needed to understand everything in the Bible without confusion, including the gospel of grace that was intentionally announced before the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. By rightly dividing the word of God we can learn to understand it better and avoid false doctrine.
1 Peter 1:10-12 “Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.”
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:”
John 7:37 “In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.”