As dispensationalists, we believe that there are verses in the Bible that do not apply to us. Some verses are for a particular time and context. Opponents of dispensationalism will have you believe that every verse of the Bible can be applied to your life.
They will often use Matthew 4:4: “But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” They will try to twist our doctrine, saying that since Satan is who Jesus is speaking to, that by our logic this verse must not apply to us. They say the same things about 1 and 2 Timothy. They say since those books are addressed to Timothy, we must not be able to apply them to ourselves. But that’s not true.
We determine whether or not a verse applies to us if the context of the person and the situation apply differently from us. If it’s not, then obviously, we can apply that to ourselves. Let’s look at some examples.
2 King 7:1-2: “Then Elisha said, Hear ye the word of the Lord; Thus saith the Lord, To morrow about this time shall a measure of fine flour be sold for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel, in the gate of Samaria. Then a lord on whose hand the king leaned answered the man of God, and said, Behold, if the Lord would make windows in heaven, might this thing be? And he said, Behold, thou shalt see it with thine eyes, but shalt not eat thereof.”
Does this verse apply to us? Are we cursed by the prophet to die? Absolutely not! It’s common sense! And how do we know this? Because the context is completely different than our own. Another example that we can use common sense that it does not apply to Christians:
Matthew 23:33: “Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?“
Let’s go back to Matthew 4:4. This verse can apply to us! It makes complete sense. It doesn’t have to be as complicated as the opponents of dispensationalism will try to make it.
Now, let’s look at another example.
Leviticus 24:16: “And he that blasphemeth the name of the Lord, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him: as well the stranger, as he that is born in the land, when he blasphemeth the name of the Lord, shall be put to death.”
Do we truly believe this verse applies to us? That we should be stoned if we blaspheme the Lord’s name? No!
Haggai 1:7-8: “Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Consider your ways. Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build the house; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, saith the Lord.”
Take a moment and apply this verse to yourself. Do you truly believe that the Lord wants you to bring wood up to a mountain and build a temple to Him in Jerusalem?
Isaiah 14:12: “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.“
The above passage is another one where we can apply common sense to know that the passage isn’t actually for us.
I hope this is helping you understand that the methods of dispensationalism are common sense. When we read our Bibles, this is how we naturally understand what we are reading. There are just heretics out there that want to complicate it and confuse you for their own purposes.
- A chapter, passage, or even one verse can divide itself into different time periods, groups, or situations.
- Verses can be divided a lot, no matter how crazy it seems.
- The mind of God in the Bible is without time, so man must put it in the correct timetable.
- The Bible is the mind of God, not man. That means that the men who wrote the Bible didn’t fully understand everything they were righting, but just expressing what the Spirit was revealing to them to the best of their ability.
- God can see double or more applications for one statement.
- Exceptions only prove the rule.
- Be familiar with the 8 covenants. Covenants are the ways that God works with mankind.
- Use common sense.
- Looking at context and covenant proves that wrong doctrine in a verse is 90% referring to a Jew.
- Take every word in the verse literally, according to common sense in the Bible.
Scholars nitpick on metaphorical interpretations, try to interpret it in Hebrew or Greek, and handpick an interpretation that fits with their way of interpreting the Bible. That’s how one gets rid of common sense.
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.“
Let’s look at context and covenant. If we look at Acts 2:2,5, it would be clear that Peter was addressing Jews in Jerusalem. Jews are people who have a physical covenant with God.
In Matthew 7, Jesus says that any tree that does not bear fruit will be plucked out and cast into hell. Are we to believe that we lose our salvation and are cast into hell when we do not bear fruit in our lives? No!
So how does dispensationalism help us to understand this verse? It’s simple. If you go back to the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount, you will clearly see that Jesus’ entire message was directed towards a Jewish audience with the kingdom of heaven (which is a physical kingdom, not a spiritual kingdom).
Matthew 3:6-8, 12: “And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins. But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance. Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”
Opponents of dispensationalism will try and use this verse to scare people and tell them that they are not truly saved if there is no obvious fruit in their life. But that is absurd. All you have to do is look at verse 5: “Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan.” Here you go, there is your context. Jesus was speaking to a Jewish audience!
The same thing with the sermon on the mount (Matthew 5). It is for the Jews and the kingdom of heaven. Christians do not get to go to heaven because they do good works!
Matthew 25 is another passage about the millennium, not for the church age. Therefore, if you don’t feed the poor or visit people in prison, you don’t go to hell in the church age. The context is found in verse 31: “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory.”
Matthew 25: 44-46: “Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.“
Acts 19:5-6: “When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.“
The above is another passage that talks about baptism and laying of hands and speaking in tongues that are required for salvation. But the context and covenant once again were for the Jews (verse 3) because John’s baptism refers to the Jewish baptism that was commanded since Jesus hasn’t died and resurrected yet.
Yet another passage that teaches Lordship salvation.
Hebrews 6:4-6: “For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.“
The context and covenant above are used for Jews in the tribulation setting.
James 2:17-24 is a verse used to convince people of faith by works and Lordship salvation:
“Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? 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. Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.”
You will understand that this passage is all coming from a Jewish end-time context if you know your covenants (James 5:3). We know that these things don’t apply to us in the same way.
The following passage shows that if you don’t love your brother, you’re not saved.
1 John 3:14-15: “We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.”
Again the context of 1 John 3 is for end times and the covenant is for the Jews.
The following also shows one can lose their salvation if they don’t have righteous works (garments).
Revelation 3:3-4: “Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy. He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.“
However, the book of Revelation is written by John. John is an apostle to the Jews and it’s also addressed to end times.
Many preachers teach that you have to “endure to the end to be saved.” But the context is very clear that it’s for the “end” and also the Jews.
Matthew 24:13-14: “But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.”
Another one for wrong application of the verse to ourselves.
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,”
Again, it’s simple. The context is for Jews!
Understand the basics of covenants and context, and it will help us dismantle heresies.