x409.........Dispensationalism That We all Follow
There is a doctrine which many denominations follow after called "dispensationalism. To explain this very complicated doctrine simply, it is the belief that certain things in the word of God, certain things which are doctrine in the New Testament, were things that applied only in the days of the Bible.
this doctrine relates--in a very complicated way--the idea that God works by ages or "dispensations"--periods of time in which certain of His "rules" apply--and when an age changes the rules no longer apply. the specific teachings that are most often attacked by dispensationalism are the gifts of the Spirit (praying in tongues--etc.) and the gift of healing. Many many Christians are held under the belief in their church that these gifts are no longer in effect in our day and age. They are taught that God healed in the past--buy not today--that the gifts of the Spirit were for believers of the day of the Bible---but not for believers of today.
Here are a few simple verses which speak against this doctrine --I think very clearly--
37* If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord. 38* But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant. 39* Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues. (1Corinthians 14: 37-39)
The Bible clearly tells us that we should "forbid not to speak with tongues" and that this is a "commandment of the Lord." If we were to read the 2 previous chapters of the bible in context, we would see that the "commandments" which are being taught here include all the gift of the Spirit--as well as the gifts of ministry--and also give us a clear plan for conducting ourselves "when we gather together".
this leads us to the point which we are speaking of in this Bible study......
Not all Christians follow after "dispensationalism". (or at least they don't believe that they do). The "Spirit-filled" church, (Pentecostal--charismatic--etc) we believe that we do not follow after the concept of dispensationalism. We believe that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are vital for the lives of every Christians. We believe that the gifts of supernatural healing by the name of Jesus ("..with His stripes we are healed" -1Peter 2:24) is certainly a gift for today. WE believe that when Jesus gave His apostles the authority over sickness and disease--He is giving this same authority to us today also. And we find that when we believe these things by faith--they become reality (just the same process by which we are saved--by faith--amen!)--just as in the day when Jesus walked the earth. ("Jesus Christ the same, yesterday, today and forever" Hebrews)
But, whether we realize it or not, even us "pentecostals and charismatics"-- believe in a form of dispensationalism--in fact we still propagate the original dispensationalism which entered the church shortly after the times of the end of the Bible.
Whether were realize it or not we believe that the apostolic age has come to an end. One of the first doctrines which entered the early church after the times of the Bible was that the "age of apostles" had come to an end. One of the very first doctrines which came into the early church was that of worshiping saints. the early church began to hold relics of the apostles--they began to believe that the "age of aposltes" had come to and end with the death of the direct apostles of Jesus. The belief was that the apostles were only the people who had directly come in contact with Jesus (Paul had a direct vision of Jesus so he "qualified" too). So for hundreds of years for the most part we have not believed that it is important for the church to make apostles. For the most part, even us "charismatics-and pentecostals" follow after this dispensationalist viewpoint. We don't deem it important to make apostles or encourage the training of or recognize the anointing of apostles at all.
What we are missing is the most important ministry that the New Testament church (and Jesus) operated in! the very first thing that Jesus did in His ministry is choose people whom He would make "fishers of men". During His earthly ministry Jesus released hundreds (perhaps thousands) of apostles in Israel. Jesus brought, in His ministry, an "apostolic revival" to Israel. He went about releasing hundreds of people to serve God--and He purposefully set out to "send" many many apostles.
The rest of the New Testament is the record of this apostolic revival in Israel and beyond. Apostles were absolutely essential to the propagating of the move of God in the earth. Romans chapter 10 tells us how to be saved--but then it asks us some important questions--
13* For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. 14* How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? 15* And how shall they preach, except they be sent?...." (Romans 10: 13-15)
The word which is translated as "sent" in the Greek is "apostello" the root word for apostle (Greek "apostellos"). the message here (and in many many other places in the NT--the word sent--"apostello" is used hundreds of times!) is clear that the Gospel will not be propagated unless someone does the work of an apostle--unless someone is "sent"--to the lost.
IN terms of the Spiritual church (the church which has kept the Gospel alive for these 2000 of years) many many people have functioned in the gift of apostleship--without fanfare--without recognition or "title". Think of yourself as a Christian---when you were saved, didn't God "send" someone to bring you the Gospel? When you were dead in your sins--when you were living your life in the world--didn't someone come to you and bring you the word of God which saved you? whether anyone recognizes this or not, when a Christian does this type of work--they are functioning under the anointing of an apostle. If we could lose our ideas which come from dispensationalism and see the anointing and gifts of God as just that--gifts and anointings which are "given unto every one of us" and get rid of the wrong dispensational concept of ministry perhaps we could begin to build the church the way that God demonstrates to us in the the Bible. Perhaps we could have the same type of apostolic revival that is described in the New Testament.
WE all believe in dispensationalism when we operate the church under the "authority" of a pastor. the pastoral anointing is only mentioned one time in the Bible. WE do not study at all what this anointing really consists of --so instead we function by our own experience--by the experience of people of the past who have been "pastors". what we don't realize is than the concept we have of "pastors" comes directly from the concept of the Roman priest. It serves the same function and operates in the same way--and is based entirely on the old covenant "office of the priest" something which the new testament in the book of Hebrews specifically does away with!