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A Study of Dispensationalism
by Arthur Pink

"But there is further reason, and a pressing one today, why we should write upon our present subject, and that is to expose the modern and pernicious error of Dispensationalism. This is a device of the Enemy, designed to rob the children of no small part of that bread which their heavenly Father has provided for their souls; a device wherein the wily serpent appears as an angel of light, feigning to "make the Bible a new book" by simplifying much in it which perplexes the spiritually unlearned. It is sad to see how widely successful the devil has been by means of this subtle innovation."

Theology

Christ in the Old Testament

Wil Pounds | In the Beginning...


"What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us," wrote Tozer. "Were we able to extract from any man a complete answer to the question, 'What comes into your mind when you think about God?' we might predict with certainty the spiritual future of that man" (A. W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy, p. 9).

"In the beginning . . . " Those are the most sublime words in the Bible. Imagine with me for a few moments Moses telling the story of creation to the Israelites. "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." He knew it because of the self-revelation of God to him. "The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. Then God said, 'Let there be light'; and there was light. God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness" (vv. 2-4).

Those opening words in the book of Genesis tells us about Moses' view of creation and the sovereignty of the Creator over all of His creation. The God who created Israel also created the entire world and everything in it. Since God is before all things and created all things, there can be no idols or false gods. They don't exist. The LORD God of Israel is the only God. There is none other. Not only is He the Creator of all life, but He is also the God who redeems fallen man and enters into covenants with him.

The apostle John contemplated creation and wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it" (John 1:1-5).

Substitute the name "Christ" in the place of "Word" in the above paragraph and you get to the very heart of John's believe about God. In the beginning was the the second person of the God-head, Christ, and the Christ, was with God, and the Christ, was God. Christ was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. 

John takes us back to a time before the time of "in the beginning" of Moses. He is speaking of eternity before time was created. John takes us into the mind of the eternal Triune God. He begins by telling us that Jesus is God manifest in the flesh. God came to us in the incarnation. The words and works of Jesus, the Logos, are those of the God-Man. Christ, the Logos did not at some point in the past come into being. God the Father and the Son have always been in existence and were not created. God the Father and God the Son have existed eternally in fellowship with one another.

The term logos is applied to Christ exclusively in John 1:1, 14; Revelation 19:13 and I John 1:1. There is a possible personification of "the Word of God" in Hebrews 4:12.

Years later, the Apostle Paul expressed his convictions about the Creator when he wrote to the philosophers at Colossae. "He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven" (Colossians 1:15-20). Not only did Jesus create all things, but also He is the super-glue that holds all things together. The personal pre-existence of Christ is taught by the apostle Paul (II Cor. 8:9; Phil. 2:6f; Col. 1:17). These words of Paul are parallel to the logos passage in John 1:1–18 and to Hebrews 1:1–4 as well as Philippians 2:5–11.

Jesus said, "He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father" (John 14:9). A. T. Robertson observed, "Jesus is the very stamp of God the Father as He was before the Incarnation (John 17:5) and is now (Phil. 2:5–11; Heb. 1:3) . . . the one who sees Jesus has seen God (John 14:9)."

Paul tells us something else about his thoughts on God incarnate. "See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority . . ." (Col. 2:8-10). Lightfoot said, "In Christ dwells the whole pleroma (fullness, plenitude), the entire fullness of the Godhead . . . " Kenneth Wuest captures the pregnant idea of verse seven when he translates, "Because in Him there is continuously and permanently at home all the fullness of the Godhead in bodily fashion."

Again John would say, "And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth . . . No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him" (John 1:14, 18).

Perhaps a quote from the old Christian mystic A. W. Tozer we can bring together the convictions of these three Bible saints. Tozer writes in The Knowledge of the Holy, page 31:

. . . God can not so divide Himself that one Person works while another is inactive. In the Scriptures the three Persons are shown to act in harmonious unity in all the mighty works that are wrought throughout the universe.

In the Holy Scriptures the work of creation is attributed to the Father (Gen. 1:1), to the Son (Col. 1:16), and to the Holy Spirit (Job 26:13; Ps. 104:30). The incarnation is shown to have been accomplished by the three Persons in full accord (Luke 1:35), though only the Son became flesh to dwell among us. At Christ's baptism the Son came up out of the water, the Spirit descended upon Him and the Father's voice spoke from heaven (Matt. 3:16, 17). Probably the most beautiful description of the work of atonement is found in Hebrews 9:14, where it is stated that Christ, through the Eternal Spirit, offered Himself without spot to God; and there we behold the three Persons operating together.

The resurrection of Christ is likewise attributed variously to the Father (Acts 2:32), to the Son (John 10:17, 18), and to the Holy Spirit (Rom. 1:4). The salvation of the individual man is shown by the apostle Peter to be the work of all three Persons of the Godhead (1 Peter 1:2), and the indwelling of the Christian man's soul is said to be by the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (John 14:15-23).

 

  Wil Pounds is the Field Director for the Honduras Baptist Dental Mission in Tegucigalpa and central Honduras. Previous to God directing them to Honduras, Wil and Ann served as missionaries in Panama, Ecuador and pastored churches in the U. S. They made numerous trips to Honduras with medical and evangelism teams before assuming their new field responsibilities.
 

A special thanks goes out to Abide in Christ for permission to reprint this article on our site.

 

Martyn Lloyde-Jones

From whence come wars and fightings among you? Come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?
James 4:1

It is interesting and strange to note in what may be termed the religious attitude towards war, or the attitude of religious people towards war, two tendencies almost invariably manifest themselves.
 
CONTRIBUTORS
Rev. Paul Alexander
Rev. Greg Bahnsen
Nat Carswell
Gordon H. Clark
Edward Dalcour
Rev. William Einwechter
J. C. Evans
Kenneth Gentry
Perry A. Hess
Michael S. Horton
Ronald Kirk
Amanda Krystaponis
Rick Martin
Charles A. McIlhenny
Larry J. Michael, PhD.
Wil Pounds
Eunice V. Ray
Colonel Ronald D. Ray
Ernest Reisinger
P.Andrew Sandlin
Steve M. Schlissel
Geoff Thomas
Sarah Thomas
K. Cody Vest
Peter J. Wallace
 
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