The Gospel of Matthew
"E. Schuyler English: The Gospel According to Matthew"
The Book of MATTHEW
Author's Note: The definitions published in this appendage have been arrived at by the author and those whom he has quoted only after prayerful study of God's Word. They concern matters about which volumes have been written, and more may yet be added, and it is quite evidently impossible to give much detail in the space allotted. Scripture references have therefore been furnished indicating the chief Biblical sources of our conclusions, which the reader is urged to verify and study.
"Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth" (2 Tim. 2:15).
Dispensation. A period of time, or an age, conditioning human life in the present earth, during which God tests man, by means of some specific standard of conduct, in respect to man's obedience to the will of God. There are seven dispensations recorded in God's Word, and under each one man fails and God brings judgment. The seven dispensations are: (1) The Age of Innocence, beginning at Gen. 1:23, and ending at Gen. 3:23, 24; (2) The Age of Conscience, beginning at Gen. 4:1, and ending at Gen. 7; (3) The Age of Human Government, beginning at Gen. 8:20, and ending at Gen. 11:8; (4) The Age of Promise, beginning at Gen. 12:1, and ending at Ex. 19:8; (5) The Age of Law, beginning at Ex. 19:8, and ending- at the Cross; (6) The Age of Grace, beginning at Calvary, and ending at the Return of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Tribulation being a time of judgment between the Rapture and the Lord's return in glory (1 Thess. 4:13, 17; Rev. 19:11-16); (7) The Age of the Kingdom, beginning at the Lord's Return in Power to the Earth, and ending after the completion of the one thousand years, and the doom of Satan and the judgment of the Great White Throne, when the Lord Jesus Christ shall deliver up the Kingdom to God (1 Cor. 15:24) and there will be the New Heaven and a New Earth (Rev. 20:1).
The Age of Law. The fifth Dispensation (see Appendix A), extended from the giving of the Mosaic Law at Mount Sinai until the crucifixion and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, when the Age of Grace began. In answer to the question of Exodus 19:1, "Wherefore then serveth the law?" Dr. C. I. Scofield has written: "The answer is sixfold: (1) The law was added because of transgressions, i.e., to give to sin the character of transgression, (a) Men had been sinning before Moses, but in the absence of law their sins were not put to their account (Rom. 5:12); the law gave to sin the character of 'transgression,' i.e., of personal guilt. (b) Also, since men not only continued to transgress after the law was given, but were provoked to transgress by the very law which forbade it (Rom. 7:8), the law conclusively proved the inveterate sin fulness of man's nature (Rom. 7:11-13). (2) The law, therefore, 'concluded all under sin' (cf Rom. 3:19, 20, 23). (3) The law was an ad interim dealing, 'till the seed should come' (v. 19). (4) The law shut sinful man up to faith as the only avenue of escape (v. 23). (5) The law was to the Jews what the pedagogue was in a Greek household, a ruler of children in their minority, and it had this character 'unto' (i.e., until) Christ (v. 24). (6) Christ having come, the believer is no longer under the pedagogue (v. 25)."
The Age of Grace. The sixth Dispensation (see Appendix A), extends from the death of the Lord Jesus Christ to His return, the latter being in two stages, the Rapture (1 Thess. 4:13-17), and His return in Power (Rev. 19:11-16). The Tribulation, the last of Daniel's seventy weeks (Dan. 9:20-27), is the time of God's judgment ending the Age of Grace, and may be considered a transition period, just as there were transition periods between Conscience and Human Government, and between Law and Grace. During the Age of Grace the point of man's destiny is no longer obedience to the law as a condition of salvation, but the receiving or rejecting of the Lord Jesus Christ. Salvation is the gift of God. "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast" (Eph. 2:8, 9).
But salvation in any age, is "by grace ... through faith." For example, under Law man was tested by his obedience to the law. But "all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God," and only by the grace of God, through faith in the blood, a type of the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, could there be salvation.
The Lord's Return. There are two phases of the Lord's Return described in the Word of God: (1) The Rapture. The Lord's coming, before the Tribulation, for His own, when we shall be caught up to meet Him in the air (1 Thess. 4:13-17; 1 Cor. 15:51, 52). (2) The Lord's Return in Glory. His return after the Tribulation, with His own to reign on the earth upon the Throne of His father David (Rev. 19:11-16).
Type. That which is "a divinely purposed illustration of some truth. It may be: (1) a person (Rom. 5:14); (2) an event (1 Cor. 10:11); (3) a thing (Heb. 10:20); (4) an institution (Heb. 9:11); (5) a ceremonial (1 Cor. 5:7)" (C.I. Scofield, D.D.). For example, in Eden, when Adam and Eve had sinned, the Lord God made "coats of skins, and clothed them" (Gen. 3:4). The shedding of blood here was a type of forgiveness through the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the coats of skins a type of the believer being clothed in the righteousness of Christ.
Anti-Type. That which is "the fulfilment of the Type, It is found, usually, in the New Testament" (C.I. Scofield, D.D.).
The Tribulation. A period of seven years duration, Daniel's 70th week (Dan. 9), between the Rapture (see Appendix D.1) and the return of the Lord! Jesus in glory and power to reign on the earth (Appendix D.2). During the first half of the Tribulation, 3-1/2 years, Anti-Christ will be revealed (Dan, 9:26, 27), and he will make a covenant with Israel.
The Great Tribulation. The last half of Daniel's 70th week, 3-1/2 years duration, specifically the time of "Jacob's trouble" (Jer. 30:7), though it will involve the whole world (Rev. 3:10). The Great Tribulation is fully described in Revelation 11 to 18 (see Matt. 24:15-26). "The elements of the Great Tribulation are: (1) The cruel reign of the 'beast out of the sea' (Rev. 13:1), who, at the beginning of the three and a half years, will break his covenant with the Jews (by virtue of which they will have re-established the temple worship, Dan. 9:27), and show himself in the temple, demanding that he be worshipped as God (Matt. 24:15; 2 Thess. 2:4). (2) The active interposition of Satan 'having great wrath' (Rev. 12:12), who gives his power to the Beast (Rev. 13:4, 5). (3) The unprecedented activity of demons (Rev. 9:2, 11); and (4) the terrible 'bowl' judgments of Rev. 16" (C.I. Scofield, D.D.). (1) Pre-Tribulation. Referring to that which will occur before the Great Tribulation begins; e.g., the resurrection of the believers who have died, the return of Christ for His Church, the Rapture of the saints, etc., etc. A Pre-Tribulationist believes that the Rapture of the Church (1 Thess. 4:13-17) will take place before the Tribulation, a wholly distinct event from the Lord's coming in glory (Rev. 19). He bases his belief on the fact that the Holy Spirit, Who indwells believers, will be removed from the earth before the Tribulation when Anti-Christ shall be revealed (2 Thess. 2:7, 8), and consequently the believer cannot be on earth at that time; on the fact that the elders of Revelation 4 are the redeemed; and on the fact that in the Lord's coming in glory, He will come with His Church (Rev. 19:14). (2) Post-Tribulation. That which will occur after the Tribulation Period, e.g., the return of the Lord in glory, the judgment of the Great White Throne, the casting of Satan into the bottomless pit, the Millennium, etc. A Post-Tribulationist is one who believes that the Church will go through the Tribulation, and does not distinguish distinctly between the event of the Rapture (1 Thess. 4:13-17) and the coming of the Lord Jesus in glory (Rev. 19:11-16).
The Millennium. A period of 1000 years (Latin: Mille, thousand; annus--year) during which the Lord Jesus Christ will reign on earth with His saints (Rev. 20:4, 6) on the Throne of His father David (Isa. 9:7). This will be the Kingdom Age, which will follow directly after the Great Tribulation, Armageddon, the casting of the beast and the false prophet into the lake of fire, and the binding of Satan (Rev. 19 and 20). Following the Kingdom Age, Satan will be loosed for a season, but he will be finally cast into the lake of fire forever, as will the unbelieving dead after the judgment of the Great White Throne (Rev. 20). After these things will come the New Heaven and the New Earth (Rev. 21).
(1) Pre-Millennial. "That which occurs before the millennium. When we speak of 'the pre-millennial return of Christ' we mean that He will return before the Millennium begins, and that it is His return that makes such a Millennium possible. If Christ's return is pre-millennial it may occur at any time. All men who believe that Christ may return at any time, even today, or tomorrow, are, whether they admit it or not, pre-millennial in their conviction. One who believes thus is spoken of as a pre-millennialist. A remarkable list of some of the great Biblical scholars of all ages who have held this view may be found in The Coming and Kingdom of Christ, Chicago, 1914, pp. 241-249" (Wilbur M. Smith, D.D.)
(2) Post-Millennial. "That which occurs after the Millennium. When it is used in reference to the Second Advent of Christ it carries the idea that Christ will not return until after the Millennium has occurred. Strictly speaking, one who takes the post-millennial view of Christ's Second Advent believes that the world will gradually grow better and better until a veritable millennium of peace, and righteousness, and godliness will be prevailing over the earth; and, that Christ cannot possibly return for at least one thousand years -- unless the Millennium has already commenced, as some expositors have claimed. If anything we now know to exist upon the earth is identified with the Millennium, it is certainly not the glorious Millennium promised in the Holy Scriptures" (Wilbur M. Smith, D.D.).
(3) A-Millennial. "A term the meaning of which the A- prefix easily reveals -- without a Millennium. Those who take the A-Millennial view believe that the Lord's return cannot be located specifically either before or after the Millennium, but that it must be wholly separated from any connection with the idea of a Millennium, repudiating the reality of any such a period of time. An A-Millennialist might still believe in the imminent return of our Lord" (Wilbur M. Smith, D.D.).