In the 1800’s a heresy was popularized by a man named John Darby.  It was then further popularized by another man named Cyrus R. Scofield, through what is known as the Scofield Study Bible. The theology promoted in the study notes of this Bible is called Dispensational theology, and many of it’s doctrines are firmly entrenched as “Bible truth” in the minds of believers. An unbiblical distinction between the church and Israel is at the core of this teaching.

Dispensational theology has broken the second coming of the Lord into two parts. The teaching is that the Lord will come secretly only for the church (the secret rapture) and then again at a later time to pour out his wrath. One of the dangers of this teaching is that people will think that there is a second chance to receive salvation after the coming of the Lord. Satan has a purpose for every false doctrine, and that purpose is the destruction of souls. I used to believe this teaching myself until I learned the source and the reasoning behind it. It made me search the Scriptures for the truth.

Dispensational theology is an intricate web of deceit with various teachings. What follows is just a small portion of its false doctrines. Dispensationalism teaches that Jesus came to set up an earthly kingdom, but the Jews rejected his offer. Because of this, God’s original plan was interrupted and an alternative plan (plan B) was put into effect. It is taught that plan B was unforseen by God and would not have gone into effect if the Jews had accepted Jesus’ original offer of an earthly kingdom. Plan B, they say, is the cross and the church. Since the church is an interruption in God’s original plan, it will be taken out in a secret rapture. Then God will continue with what he had planned to do all along.

Clearly this is heresy and the exact opposite of what is taught in the Bible. The Bible teaches that the cross was foreordained by God and that the expectation of an earthly kingdom was a serious error of the Jews, causing them to “miss” their Messiah.

Acts 2:23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:

When John 6:15 When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone.

I don’t know many Christians that would say they believe the “plan B” portion of Dispensational teaching, but many have ingested at least one of the fruits of this heresy. That fruit is believing that there will be a secret rapture. This teaching has been further promoted by the fictional Left Behind series.

We know from Scripture that one day Christ will return. He came once, the first time, and now believers look forward to his second coming. That is when the dead in Christ shall rise, and that is when living believers will be taken up, or raptured, to be with the Lord. Then the wrath of God will come upon the earth and all “shall be burned up.” One event.  No one will be “left behind” for another chance to be saved.  It will all be over.  That’s the simple, Scriptural truth of it all.

But 2 Peter 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

2 Timothy 4:2-4 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

A fable is a tale, fiction, a myth.



  2. 10 Comments

    1. pjmiller
    Good post Cathy…

    my own study of dispensationalism was a real surprise. I was amazed at how many things about it i disagreed with.

    What has surprised me the most is how many errors from this teaching almost all Christians in the US have taken on. Even those who don’t claim to be dispensationalist.


    2. Cathy
    I was introduced to dispensational theology about six years ago, and it was a shock. I didn’t know the name of the doctrine at the time, but I knew it couldn’t possibly be right. I wanted to get at the root of this teaching, so I starated to do research. What I found was in intricate web of deceit. I had the same reaction as you did. What you say is true . . .

    “What has surprised me the most is how many errors from this teaching almost all Christians in the US have taken on. Even those who don’t claim to be dispensationalist.”

    Thanks for the link. I am going to read the material.


    3. Ron Faulk
    By the time I was through dispensationalizing my Bible, I had little left other than a cover and a concordance. Seems as though it was all meant to apply to everybody but me, making God’s word of no effect. This doctrine is straight from hell.

    I believe that the believing Jew and Christain are ONE, just as God the father and God the son are ONE.


    4. Cathy
    What a powerful and true statement. Well said. Thank you.


    5. Jane Harring
    My husband and I would like to join a church near by whose pastor has a wonderful appreciation for the gospel and a love for the Lord that is plain to see. Unfortunately, as we went to Sunday school, taught by one of the lay leaders, we hear this talk about the dispensations of the Bible. We have heard these things before and saw the birth of a new church from the old because of it.

    They are quick to talk about the “rapture” and premillenialism, which was the first symptom of something not quite right. Tomorrow, Wed 10/23, we are mtg with the pastor to talk about these “errors” as we see them. He is open but I don’t know how much. It is a teaching put forth by the Moody Bible Church of which he is a graduate. It is so hard to find a good church, especially like this one. All the other teachings he has are so good – yes, like “there is only a little poison in this pie maybe it won’t make us too sick.”

    Can you help us with this dilemma –
    1. To understand how this affects the delivery of the gospel.
    2. Should we stay, how then do we accept one part of the theology which is good that he teaches, and then reject the other?
    3. If we stay, would we then be hypocritical? Or, could we do good by relating to the pastor and eventually others what is wrong with the theology without becoming “trouble makers”?

    We are praying about this, and are quite upset as we really love this congregation – they so want to do what is pleasing to the Lord.

    Sincerely seeking to do the Lord’s will,


    6. Cathy
    Jane, my heart goes out to you and your husband. I encourage you to continue seeking the Lord for wisdom, both in prayer and in His Word.

    You ask …

    1. To understand how this affects the delivery of the gospel.

    Dispensational theology exalts secular Israel above Jesus Christ. Dispensational theology has strayed from preaching the gospel to all people, and has led to political and military involvement without concern for the well being of all people. It has led Christians to blindly support injustice. (John Hagee’s Christians United For Israel – C.U.F.I. – would be an example of this. John Hagee is a Christian Zionist who at one time called for a pre-emptive attack on Iran.) This teaching has led to many interfaith alliances with the Jewish people without ever presenting them with the gospel. There are variations within dispensationalism. Some have gone so far as to say the Jewish people are under a different covenant and are accepted by God if they live in light of the Torah.

    2. Should we stay, how then do we accept one part of the theology which is good that he teaches, and then reject the other?

    3. If we stay, would we then be hypocritical? Or, could we do good by relating to the pastor and eventually others what is wrong with the theology without becoming “trouble makers”?

    In an attempt to respond to your 2nd and 3rd questions I will tell you of our experience over the past 20 years. I can truly relate to what you are going through because my husband and I have gone through similar situations. (See: https://giannina.wordpress.com/2007/04/13/pastors/) We have had many heartaches speaking to pastors regarding our testimony of coming out of Roman Catholicism. Our testimony was not well received. At times we were involved in ministry and thought that because the pastor knew our walk with the Lord he would more readily receive what we had to say. Unfortunately that was not the case. Also we have found that many Christians have such a strong allegiance to their pastor, and their church, that it actually becomes a hindrance to receiving a certain truth not accepted by their pastor or their particular church. We have found that in the past that it was not possible to stay in a church under those conditions because of the very serious nature of the issues. These principles I think are the same whenever serious doctrinal issues are involved.

    Knowing what we know now regarding dispensationalism, both my husband and I agree that we could not be part of a church that taught this false doctrine.

    I pray the Lord give you both wisdom and peace as you labor for Him. Be encouraged. So many seem to have given up the fight and it can be very discouraging when one feels so alone. Blessings,


    7. Melissa
    Amen again…another good article. Dispensationalism really does attack the pure gospel of Jesus Christ because it attempts to divide up His body, making Jews and Gentiles forever separate. Christ is clear, they are one in Him, and there is only one way of salvation for both. Dispensationalism at its most extreme actually teaches that only the words of Paul are binding on the church, and all the teachings of Jesus are only for the Jews, thus denying the Lord Jesus authority over His church.

    It also teaches that animal sacrifices will once again be done in Israel, and those who kill these animals will be saved this way. This contradicts Jesus, who said He is the ONLY way of salvation for all men.

    So many in America are completely given to this delusion, and refuse to listen to others – may some find help here. God bless you.


    8. Cathy
    Thank you for your encouraging words. Many Christians that I know have embraced much of this theology. We have been praying that the Lord would free people from this very wicked doctrine. When embraced to it’s extreme, as you say, dispensationalism teaches (1) the words of Christ, are not for the church but for the Jewish people; they also teach that (2) the four Gospels, (3) water baptism, (4) the Lord’s supper and, believe it or not, (5) repentance, are not for the church. They say that there is more than one Gospel! I know that many, if not most, will not even give truth a hearing. May the Lord have mercy and bring deliverance. Blessings,


    9. Peter Ivanchuk
    Thank you for the sound teaching. Dispensationalism is a disaster for many
    christian; they read the Bible through the very wrong glasses…
    God bless you,


    10. Cathy
    My husband and I became aware of the errors of dispensationalism when a relative became heavily involved in dispensational teaching (and still is). It prompted us to search the scriptures. It definitely is disastrous error that we want to help believers avoid.


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