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Abrahams Blessing – The Dispensationalist Dilemma


Excellent bible teaching by Steve Lumbley at Apostasy Watch.

The question before us is this: should one interpret the Old Testament through the lens of the New Testament or should one interpret the New Testament by the Old Testament?

Dispensationalism rests largely on the latter while I (and the authors of the New Testament) believe the former is the correct way to interpret scripture.

Let’s start with a very basic and fundamental example of each style of interpretation using Genesis 12:2-3

We’ve discussed the misinterpretation of Genesis 12: 2-3 on a number of occasions, but if you still have questions, check out Steve’s post:  Abrahams Blessing – The Dispensationalist Dilemma

7 comments on “Abrahams Blessing – The Dispensationalist Dilemma

  1. These are a real blessing to read. I love the way the Lord opens one’s eyes to not only see the words, but also give understanding. I too believe it goes further than just ‘misinterpreting’ the scriptures. Too many times I see people who proclaim Jesus doing what they believe is ” for the Lord”, as if it were a good thing; yet doing something for God out of Obedience (because He asks/commands) is a good thing. I am still pained by knowing I had misrepresented God in a circumstance to which I truly believed at the time was of the Lord. Praise the Lord He brought me to my senses. Thanks for sharing.

    • I am still pained by knowing I had misrepresented God in a circumstance to which I truly believed at the time was of the Lord. Praise the Lord He brought me to my senses

      Know what you mean H….i too regret times when misrepresenting the Lord. Thank God that He sees our hearts and sees our ernest desire for truth and (as you put it) “brings us to our senses”🙂

  2. Great and necessary article PJ!

    A couple of comments I would add to it.

    First, he quotes this verse:

    John 8:19 Then said they unto him, Where is thy Father? Jesus answered, Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also.

    I want to unpack that verse with these Words from the Lord recorded in Matthew 11:

    Mat 11:25 At that time Jesus declared, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children;
    Mat 11:26 yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.
    Mat 11:27 All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.

    Essentially Jesus is saying there in John 8:19 the reason why they do not know either Him, the Lord Jesus as He is or Our Heavenly Father is because God, Our Heavenly Father reveals Christ to us Who in turn reveals that truth to us so that we can doubly rest in the reality that to be saved is a work of God Almighty, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Seeing it is the task of the Holy Spirit to reveal to us “the Will of God” so as to ground and settle us in God’s Love, and, root and ground us in God’s Faith, and, continually fill us with the Hope of God:::>

    Rom 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

    There are various reasons why we are attacked by spiritual forces of wickedness. None of these attacks are “self-generated” or by the will of the spiritual force or forces attacking us. Once we have come to Christ, we enter into that rest that has been promised to the whole household of the Faith once delivered to the Saints so that we can endure the attacks and know of a certainty both “why” and by “whose” permission we are under attack. Sometimes the attack is a mere chastening of the Lord.This Truth not only frees us it settles us in the Truth which is the place of rest for our souls and the Truth sets us free from the continual condemnations that come upon us daily at times and sometimes these condemnations are harsh and severe and will wear us down because of such harassments.

    One final comment I would like to make is basis this quotation from Hebrews that he makes in the article:::>

    Heb 11: 8-10 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

    At first I used to think it strange this wording “BY FAITH HE SOJOURNED IN THE LAND OF PROMISE, AS IN A STRANGE COUNTRY …”.

    Why would it seem strange to Abraham and Isaac and Jacob once they entered into the promised land to live there? Well because of the Gospel. The Gospel back then is the very same Gospel today. The end result or rather the “SPIRITUAL” fruit of the Gospel is absolutely the same. Why? Because God is the SAME yesterday, today and forever.

    Abraham while in the natural LAND OF PROMISE didn’t derive any spiritual life from it. It wasn’t the land but the relationship Abraham developed on the land that gave him spiritual life. And that relationship is best seen in the following verses:::>

    Gen 12:7 Then the LORD appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built there an altar to the LORD, who had appeared to him.

    And:::>
    Gen 12:8 From there he moved to the hill country on the east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. And there he built an altar to the LORD and called upon the name of the LORD.

    And:::>
    Gen 13:3 And he journeyed on from the Negeb as far as Bethel to the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and Ai,
    Gen 13:4 to the place where he had made an altar at the first. And there Abram called upon the name of the LORD.

    And:::>
    Gen 13:18 So Abram moved his tent and came and settled by the oaks of Mamre, which are at Hebron, and there he built an altar to the LORD.

    It’s not WHERE we live that determines our progress and maturity in Christ. It’s our personal relationship with the Lord as inspired by the sanctification work of the Holy Spirit who is sent to us to reveal the Father and the Son to us that brings us spiritual rest and comfort so that we too, wherever we are led to go and work and live when we get there, we like our fathers of the Faith before us, build an altar to the LORD and call upon His Names!

    Jesus taught us to pray OUR FATHER, WHO ART IN HEAVEN, HALLOWED BY THY NAME!

    • Our Heavenly Father reveals Christ to us Who in turn reveals that truth to us so that we can doubly rest in the reality that to be saved is a work of God Almighty, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Seeing it is the task of the Holy Spirit to reveal to us “the Will of God” so as to ground and settle us in God’s Love, and, root and ground us in God’s Faith, and, continually fill us with the Hope of God:::>

      Amen Michael.

      Why would it seem strange to Abraham and Isaac and Jacob once they entered into the promised land to live there? Well because of the Gospel. The Gospel back then is the very same Gospel today. The end result or rather the “SPIRITUAL” fruit of the Gospel is absolutely the same. Why? Because God is the SAME yesterday, today and forever.

      Another amen! It took me some time to truly understand this Michael. We are blessed to be “on the other” side of the Cross, for those prior to it, who walked by faith, TRULY! walked by faith—not always seeing the Gospel, but still walking in it. I only understood recently how mistaken dispensationalists are, who deny those in the old testament were saved in the same manner people have been being saved, since Calvary.

  3. PJ,

    yeah and amen too! To add just a little more about the Gospel. Think about this:::>

    Joh 8:56 Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.”

    See it? This is the Lord Jesus Christ saying that Abraham SAW His day, Abraham saw it and was glad! What did Abraham see and when and why would what he saw make him glad? When he offered up Isaac and as he was raising the knife up to slaughter him to offer him up as a burnt offering he was stopped. At that moment the Spirit of God showed Abraham what the plan of salvation is for all the Elect in every generation. The Father, his Heavenly Father was going to offer up His Only Son as He was guiding Abraham to do to offer up Isaac and that opened up to Abraham the understanding of the power of the resurrection in a way more keenly than just before when he said this to the servants:::>

    Gen 22:5 Then Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; I and the boy will go over there and worship and come again to you.”

    God had showed Abraham before he and Isaac headed up the mountain to make the burnt offering He could raise Isaac from the dead but I believe it was just then at that moment when the Angel called out to him that the LORD showed him the Gospel’s meaning in a way that made that event even more broadly gladdening than just having a prayer answered.

    Recall the first time the Gospel came fully into view in your mind and heart? Were you glad or saddened?

    Now, I want come to this point about what Abraham saw that caused him to rejoice and be glad. Jesus went on further pressing the issue here and said the following in John 8 which incited a murderous response from the Jews:::>

    Joh 8:57 So the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?”
    Joh 8:58 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.”
    Joh 8:59 So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.

    In the book of Romans the Apostle Paul has written this:::>

    Rom 1:4 and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord,

    What sets the Lord Jesus apart, head and shoulders over the greatest people on earth then or now or to come if there is a to come to come, future generations?

    The Apostle Paul says Christ is proved to be the SON OF GOD because of the resurrection. It’s the resurrection and the Life of Christ that sets Him apart from every other person born of a woman and such a person we can wholeheartedly trust and worship and bow before daily in this life. We can fully trust and rely upon every Word of the Lord.

    Ask yourself why the god of this world, Satan, is unwilling to die for this world? Because he has no resurrection power to fall back on because his life has a beginning! Christ has no beginning. He is Eternal.

    Now, looking further, Jesus said to Martha:::>

    Joh 11:25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live,

    He said to her, THOUGH HE DIE, YET SHALL HE LIVE. Jesus of course was saying that about Lazarus who would shortly come out of the tomb after being in it for four days. He was also saying that to everyone who believes He is the Christ the Son of the Living God they too, though they, or we die, yet we shall live. We have this hope that we too shall live because He rose from the dead. We believe He atoned for our sins. We believe He is the Son of God. We believe. We believe. We believe.

    But I say all that to point out this about something we read about Abraham and what he said to the rich man that underscores what Jesus is saying there to Martha and hopefully to us as well. Maybe you have seen this before or thought it strange what he said but what he said just goes to show us all that Jesus is the Lord and the Resurrection and the Life and everyone who believes in Him and dies in this Faith before, during and after Calvary will live and will be alive in the very same paradise the thief on the cross went to the moment he breathed his last while hanging on the cross next to Jesus the day of the Lord’s crucifixion:::>

    Luk 16:29 But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’
    Luk 16:30 And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’
    Luk 16:31 He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.'”

    How could Abraham say that? How did Abraham know who Moses and Prophets were? They were all born in FUTURE generations? None of them were alive in the time of Abraham! He knows about Moses and the Prophets because he did not die when he breathed his last on earth. Oh yes, he breathed his last that day Isaac and Ishmael buried him next to Sarah. But he never stopped breathing! Abraham is as much alive today, spirit, soul and body, watching from Glory as things unfold all over the world. He sees what is now going on in Israel. He is just as perplexed about the unbelief there as we are. He knows that it isn’t the land promise that is the true inheritance. It’s Christ and Him crucified. Christ is the true inheritance and that was what Our Heavenly Father showed him that day he offered up Isaac. It’s being made alive in Christ and so, we too, like Abraham can finish out our days in Hope praying and exalting the Lord of Glory as he did looking for the same city we are looking to enter, too:::>

    Heb 11:11 By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised.
    Heb 11:12 Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born descendants as many as the stars of heaven and as many as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore.
    Heb 11:13 These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth.
    Heb 11:14 For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland.
    Heb 11:15 If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return.
    Heb 11:16 But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.

  4. Excellent PJ, and just as the last paragraph is used as a disclaimer, I couldn’t agree more! People need to wake up from their deception and read the Word of God and Pray for revelation, enlightenment, understanding, and for the truth of God’s Word! Clearly interpreting God’s Word is a fallacy and deception. 2Peter 1:20,21 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
    All praise and glory to God our Father and Jesus Christ our LORD and Saviour forever and ever Amen!

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