Understanding The Bible
Clarence E. Mason's "ESCHATOLOGY 1"

Dr. Clarence E. Mason, Jr.
Philadelphia College of Bible

Edited by Dr. Clarence E. Mason, Jr.

    1. It coincides with the way the Bible was produced -- that is, all revelation was not given at once.
      1. Adam to Moses: for perhaps 2500 years (according to the Hebrew chronology) there was no written revelation.
      2. Moses was the first writer.
      3. It was not produced all at once but was about 1600 to 1700 years information.
      4. Approximately 40 writers wrote the Scriptures.
      5. An important purpose of each writer was to serve his own generation, There is need, therefore, of dispensational study.
    2. It helps one to see the progressive unfolding of God's plan for the ages as it embraces Israel, the Church, and the Gentiles.
      1. Intimations of the Lord
        Mark 4:28 "blade ... ear ... full grain in the ear" (RSV)
        God's revelation is dynamic (like the opening of a flower), not mechanical.
        John 16:12-13 "Cannot bear them now.. .when He, the Spirit of Truth is come, He will guide you into all the truth." These all indicate the principle of progressive unfolding.
      2. A widening testimony
        Mt. 10:5-6 "house of Israel" only
        Mt. 11:28 "come ... all" (after His rejection)
        Mt. 28:19 "Go into all the world"
      3. Evidence of transitions
        1. Note distinction between Law and present dispensation.
          Rom. 10:4; Gal. 3:23-25; 4:21; 5:1, 6; Eph. 2:15; 3:2-6, 9
        2. The statement of Christ, "Ye have heard that it was said to them of old time ... but I say"(6 times in Mt. 5).
        3. Consider the widening ministry of Christ. He ministered first to the lost sheep of Israel only (Mt. 15:24), but later left the command for His disciples to go into all the world (Mt. 28:19; Acts 1:8).
        4. The Bible recognizes different classes of people.
          (a) Cp. 1 Cor. 10:32--Jews, Gentiles, and Church
          (b) Ministry of Christ—twofold, Rom. 15:8-12
          (c) O.T. Law given to Jews only
      4. Council at Jerusalem
        Acts 15:13-18 The program was:
        "Visit the Gentiles" - the present divine program
        "Will build again" - the restoration of the Davidic kingly house in Christ's incarnation. He holds this title inviolate and eternally, since He cannot die.
        "The residue of men" - the incarnation of Christ and His earthly ministry have led to a remnant of Israel being saved.
        "The Gentiles" - the salvation of Gentiles in this age, after David's House has been re-established in Christ, is in harmony with the purpose of God as stated by Amos (9:11-12). James does not say that God is now fulfilling the Amos prophecy, but he does say that Paul's missionary work, resulting in God's saving of the Gentiles is not out of harmony with the 0. T., which (as in Amos 9) plainly declares that this is to be the ultimate purpose of God when He sets up Messiah's kingdom. Hence, this now-revealed purpose of God during the interim of Israel's rejection is consonant with the whole tenor of Scripture. Amos 9 will yet be fulfilled when Israel repents at Christ's coming and kingdom.
      5. Certain specific Scriptures:
        Eph. 3:9, 11; Col. 1:26; Eph. 2:7; Heb. 1:2; 11:3
    3. It has demonstrable apologetic and polemical value.
      1. Apologetic value
        Harmonizes apparent contradictions, and helps us understand problems: e.g., Moses and Christ on divorce; "eye for an eye'; the imprecatory Psalms that call down wrath on one's enemies as opposed to "love your enemies."
      2. Polemic value
        1. It explains the Law of Moses, or the Ten Commandments, in its relation to present-day usage.
        2. The Sabbath question, in relation to Seventh-Day Adventism.
        3. Roman Catholicism as a perversion of the Old Testament ritual.
        4. Only dispensationalism can harmonize the doctrine of the Holy Spirit, as it points out His relationships in the Old Testament, in the Gospel period, in the book of Acts, in the Epistles, in the Kingdom, etc.
        5. Because of the basic laws of sound interpretation.
          Every passage must be interpreted primarily in the light of the person (or persons) to whom it was originally addressed, what it meant to him, and what he understood it to mean. Spiritual applications for us will grow out of this primary interpretation, but no true interpretation can be found that does not recognize this principle. Dispensationalism is the only method of interpretation that carefully observes this fundamental law of interpretation (throughout all the Scripture).
    4. It has proven to have beneficial effects upon the Christian's life and character.
      1. It makes the Bible a practical book. Dispensationalists know what to do with all the Bible. It all has a definite meaning. It is not necessary to explain certain parts away because we cannot apply them to the present day.
      2. It gives liberty, for it does not mix law and grace.
      3. It gives a clear insight into the purpose of God.
      4. It promotes fellowship with God as we enter into His plans more thoroughly.
      5. It promotes fellowship with other believers as sharing in the one Church which is His body.
      6. It gives the believer a sure, optimistic outlook--the Lord's return.
    5. It has proven to have a beneficial effect upon Christian service.
      1. The Church will be spared from undertaking tasks never committed to it, such as "converting the world."
      2.  The Church will have a right relation to service--it is not man building a kingdom, but God working through believers to accomplish his divine purpose of calling out a people for His name.
      3. It delivers from misguided zeal.
      4. It keeps the Church on the right path of service--not our work to transform society or act as a political power, but to preach the Gospel.
      5. It gives the greatest possible impetus to Christian service--"the Lord is at hand!"


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