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1 © 2013 James P. Steel See printed material for permissions. Chapter 1 – Begin at the Beginning.

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1 1 © 2013 James P. Steel See printed material for permissions. Chapter 1 – Begin at the Beginning

2 Attacks from Without Our Reformed brethren accuse us of teaching that God has more than one program. Ecumenical neo-evangelicals cite our “negative world view.” Even some Dispensationalists have begun spiritualizing away its core elements. Well known denominationalists call Dispensationalism a cult. Cultists dismiss Dispensationalism by falsifying its history and teachings. Historians in general dismiss it as a passé theological theory of apocalyptic zealots. 1 Attacks from Within 2 Why it Matters 3 Dispensationalism is Under Unprecedented Attack Only in Dispensationalism: Can the average Christian understand God’s Word without being in bondage to the “church fathers.” Only in Dispensationalism: Is Christ given His full position as prophet, priest, and King! Only in Dispensationalism: Can GRACE flow freely! Only in Dispensationalism: Can God’s darling Israel be protected and receive the promises He has made to her! Only in Dispensationalism: Does the believer fully understand God’s will for his life and His role in God’s program!

3 First, last, and always, Dispensationalism is about…

4 When we fall into error here. It’s because we failed to begin here.

5 God is unlike God is unchanging God is up close and personal

6 GOD IS UNCHANGING GOD IS UNLIKE GOD IS UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL Isaiah 40:6-25 God is completely separate from and unlike His creation. While God fills His creation He is not a part of creation. creation based worshipper If you believe that God and His creation are part of each other, you are a creation based worshipper instead of a creator based worshipper. Creation based worship permeates false religions.

7 GOD IS UNLIKE GOD IS UNCHANGING GOD IS UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL Hebrews 1:10,12; James 1:17, Psalm 102:26-28 Our God is the ONLY God who does not and cannot change. He is outside of the changing creation. All other gods are subject to change, including Islam’s Allah and Mormonism’s faux Elohim. Without this singular trait, none of the words or promises of God would have any meaning. God simply does not change. Period. S WIFT TO ITS CLOSE EBBS OUT LIFE ’ S LITTLE DAY ; EARTH ' S JOYS GROW DIM ; ITS GLORIES PASS AWAY ; CHANGE AND DECAY IN ALL AROUND I SEE ; O THOU WHO CHANGEST NOT, ABIDE WITH ME !

8 GOD IS UNLIKE GOD IS UNCHANGING GOD IS UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL John 3:16, Isaiah 55:6,7 God loves His creation, fallen as it is. Since the day when He called “Where art thou?” to Adam, He has provided for our restoration. The souls of men will find no rest until they find their complete rest in God through Christ. God calls upon us to seek Him while He may be found. Today is the day of salvation. We can know Christ intimately!

9 God is unlike God is unchanging God is up close and personal Why is this important to me? Because God is unchanging I know He will be forever consistent in all He says and does. This is the basis of my faith. Beause God is personal and interpersonal I know He will communicate and fellowship with me. This is why I was made. *Reminder: I can only fellowship with God on His terms. Because God is unlike anything, I must not compare Him to anything. That would be idolatry.

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11 God is self - revealing God is personally active God’s works are His witness to us

12 GOD IS PERSONALLY ACTIVE GOD IS SELF-REVEALING 2 Peter 3:5-7; Rom 1:18-20; 2 Tim. 3:14-17; Heb. 1:1-2; Acts 17:30-31 GOD’S WORKS ARE HIS WITNESS His Word God alone is self-revealing through His Word. God has authority over me: By right of creation. By right of revelation. By right of redemption.  God spoke the creation into being. I must respond.  God spoke through the scriptures. I must respond.  God spoke through His Son. I must respond.

13 GOD IS PERSONALLY ACTIVE GOD IS SELF-REVEALING GOD’S WORKS ARE HIS WITNESS God is not a distant creator- judge. For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him … (2Ch 16:9)  He intervenes daily in the activities of men.  He declares the course of history.  He fashioned you before you were born! And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding: (Dan 2:21) I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. (Psa 139:14-16)

14 GOD IS PERSONALLY ACTIVE GOD IS SELF-REVEALING GOD’S WORKS ARE HIS WITNESS O give thanks unto the LORD; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people. Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him: talk ye of all his wondrous works. Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the LORD. Seek the LORD, and his strength: seek his face evermore. Remember his marvellous works that he hath done; his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth; (Psa 105:1-5)

15 God is self - revealing God is personally active. God’s works are His witness to us Why is this important to me? God has personality. I must become a new creation in order to understand Him and His ways. All of mankind is accountable for the truth God has revealed through the creation, through His Word, and through His Son. never I can trust the way God speaks. I must never rely on other sources.

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17 The following slide contains one of the most misunderstood facts of all time. To miss this point is to miss the whole basis of your relationship with God. To miss this point is to miss the foundation of Dispensationalism.

18 Throughout history, God has dealt with men on the basis of only one thing: There is simply no other way to approach God, to seek His blessing, or fellowship, except on the basis of a promise. every single interaction We may not always be aware of the exact promise we are benefitting from, but there is ALWAYS a promise behind every single interaction between God and men. His PROMISES

19 When we exercise faith, for example, we are simply laying hold on the promises of God: FAITH There is no such thing as “free standing faith.” It is not enough to simply believe! Faith is not faith unless it is based upon an object. When we lay hold on the promises of God we are exercising biblical faith. We can trust God because He is unchanging. His promises are sure!

20 At this point, you may be asking, “So, when are we going to actually start studying Dispensationalism? The answer is, we have been studying it all along! Dispensationalism is simply a study of the promises of God, nothing more, nothing less. However, before we begin our journey, we must learn a little bit more about how promises actually work. God has made all sorts of promises. Some are great promises. Some are incidental promises. Some are made to individuals only. Some are made to all. Some promises were temporary because they just addressed a specific need. Most of God’s promises are permanent. HOW, THEN DO WE SORT OUT THE PROMISES OF GOD? The Holy Spirit has provided us with two keys to help us understand the promises of God. Here’s my “promise” to you: When you grasp these two keys which are freely taught in God’s Word, you will never be confused about Dispensationalism or major prophetic issues again! But first, a final admonition concerning what God expects from us: Short Definition: A Dispensationalist is one who takes the promises of God literally.

21 You must truly desire to have the Word of God opened to you. You must take this study very seriously. For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; (Col 1:9-10)

22 Thank you for listening! We hope you’ll visit us soon at one of our sites: IsGodMad FiveThingsYouShouldKnow BiblicalDispensationalism BreadcrumbsMinistries BiblicalIntensives BiblicalMinute Thank you for listening! We hope you’ll visit us soon at one of our sites:

23 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. - 2 Peter 1:3-4 We invite you to visit us online and subscribe to our newsletter. Biblical Intensives is a ministry of Breadcrumbs Ministries BIBLICAL INTENSIVES


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