THE FOUNDATIONS OF DISPENSATIONAL TRUTH.
BY THE LATE DR
position and wonderful teaching of the later Pauline Epistles written from the prison in Rome.
bar of the written Word to see whether we have learned from man. or from God, from tradition or from revelation.
earth (Matt. 19. 281. It is surely unnecessary to quote the many prophecies which tell of the time when the earth shall
be full of the knowledge and glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea (Num. 14:21,. Ps. 72:9, Isa. 6: 3 ; 11:9,.
them, or rather fritter them away by any spiritualizing interpretation which deprives them of all their truth and power.
all be taught of God " (John 6. :45, Isa.51:13); when "the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdom of our
LORD, and of His Christ" (Rev. 11: 15) ; and when the earthly Jerusalem shall be restored in more than all its ancient
changed to a heart of flesh and with a new spirit, will bring forth "the fruits of righteousness " (Ezek. 36.2.1-36, Matt.
21. 23). This will be the regeneration (or Palingenesia) when the apostles will be seated " on twelve thrones judging
the tribes of Israel"
(Matt. 19. 28).
the people of the
saints of the Most High " Dan. 7: 27)
on the earth (Dan. 7: 18, 22, 25), and occupying a distinct place in the HEAVENLY SPHERE of this same kingdom.
These, according to the Lord's words in Luke, are " equal to the angels," " sons of the resurrection " (Luke 20:34
-36) raised in the " first resurrection " before the thousand years of earthly blessing for Israel and for the nations " under
the whole heaven " (Deut. 4:19, Rev. 20:4-6). These belong to " that great city the holy Jerusalem," which John saw "
descending down from heaven, having the glory of God ; and her light like unto a stone most precious." This "holy
Jerusalem" is fully described in Rev. 21: 9-27. It is the" city which hath THE foundations" for which Abraham had
been taught to look (Heb. 11:10) when he "saw Christ's day and was glad " (John 8: 56) : for, as " faith cometh by
hearing," Abraham must have heard : and this " hearing " must have come "from the spoken word of God" (Rom.
precious faith with us." That inheritance" is "incorruptible, and undefiled, and fadeth not away, reserved in HEAVEN
for you." The Greek, by the figure Homoioteleutos, emphasizes this " inheritance " as being not earthly, but
amaranton (1 Pet. 1:4).
the other was likened to " the stars of heaven " (Heb.
11:12 ; Gen., 15: 5).
points to " the partakers of a heavenly calling
which hath the foundations."
and having confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things make it
manifest that they are seeking after a country of their own. And if indeed they had been mindful of that country
from which they came out, they would have had opportunity to return. But now they desire a better country,
that is a HEAVENLY; wherefore God is not ashamed of them to be called their God; for He hath prepared for
them a city" (Heb. 11:13-16, R.V.)
Where, and what could that city lave been if it was not the city which John was shown " descending out of
heaven from God," the
foundations of which are specially described in Rev. 21:19 20.
Moses, or offered the prescribed sacrifices, attended "the feasts of Jehovah," or carried out the ordered ritual.
"assembly " or the
The verb means to call, assemble, gather together : and the noun is used of any assembly thus called. Seventy
times in the Septuagint version of the Old Testament it is rendered ekklesia (the word for ` church " in the view
Micah 2:5. In Neh. 13.
1 it is ` the ekklesia (or church) of God."
68.26.** In Ps. 22: 25 it is spoken of as "the great ekklesia or congregation," and in Ps. 149:1 as "the ekk lesia
of the saints."
afterward to be used in the revelation of "the secret " in the Prison Epistles ;but in the larger and wider Old
Testament sense which His hearers would understand as embracing the whole assembly of Jehovah's believing
and worshipping people who were " partakers of a heavenly
calling" (Heb. 3: ).
of pious worshippers.
the Wilderness, see
Ps. 90 and 91.
to the 120 who before Pentecost assemble ( together in the upper room, and who "continued daily in the Temple
(no longer offering sacrifices and partaking of the food furnishes thereby), but , breaking bread (or eating; as in
Luke 24: 30, 35 and Acts 27: 35) at home, with gladness and singleness of heart, praising God, and having favour
with all the people.
conservative and least " modern ") Lachmann, Tischendorf, Tregelles, Alford, Westcott and Hort, and the Revised
version; but we lay no stress on the omission here, because even as it stands, it is used in the Old Testament sense
of the congregation of the LORD," and not in the later sense as found in the Epistle to the Ephesians : for, they
would not have understood it
(neither should we to-day, if we had never seen that later Epistle).
sense which he had at that time never heard of, or had even the remotest idea of. His words must be understood
in the same sense in which he then used them; and we must not read into any passage of Scripture that which was
the subject of a subsequent
revelation; especially, when the sense is perfectly plain and clear as it stands.
Testament (Septuagint) usage as meaning simply the congregation or assembly, or company of Jehovah's worshipping
people, " partakers of a heavenly calling," having a heavenly hope, a heavenly sphere of blessing, and looking for
their part in the ''resurrection unto life."
but it was subsequently revealed also that there would be two resurrections, one to life, and one to judgement.
Paul testified of the former as being the hope of those who were worshippers of God (Acts 24. 14, 15; David
hoped for it (Psalm
16:9-11;*** 49: 14, 15). So did Daniel (Dan. 12. 1-3).
life " (John 5: 29). " By the word of the Lord " was revealed a further hope, or rather, an expression of the hope
in John 11: 25, 26.
be " alive and remain"
when that event should take place.
d | and everyone who [is- alive, and believing in Me shall to nowise die, for ever." [To him I will be the
who " trusted that the Lord was He who should have redeemed Israel " (Luke 24:21),
who " waited for the kingdom of God " (Mark 15:43,; Luke 23: 51),
who were " as many as received Him " (John 1:12),
who gladly received Peter's or Paul's word " on the day of Pentecost and after (Acts 2:41, 8:14, 11:1, 17:11,
who received the word in much affliction "(1 Thess. 1: 6) : and
who " when they received the word, accepted it not as man's word, but even as it is truly God's word which worketh
effectually in you that believe" (1 Thess. 2:13).
who "received not what was promised," (Heb.
11:39) but who believed and embraced it by faith.
heavenly calling," possessing a heavenly hope, and
looking for a heavenly sphere of blessing.
foundation of the world," and was not
" made manifest " by being committed to prophetic writings.
the elect members of His body.
privacy of the upper room after the last supper. Not only could He not say these things then, but the apostles
themselves would not have been able to
bare them if He had.
them in the Acts of the Apostles, afterward.
whole of the truth.
" the truth " which would not be complete without them.
These precious " riches of grace," and of glory these were the doctrines which had for their foundation the facts of
Christ's mission, which had not at
that time taken place: though they were all then near at hand.
doctrines could not
have been known.
must of necessity include that last phase of what " Jehovah hath spoken "before we commence our consideration of
the Prison Epistles : for therein and only therein, do we find the " riches " of grace and glory into which the Holy Spirit
was to guide: them, the good news of which was destined to fill the long era of Israel's blindness and the nation's dark
(spiritual,) night (Isa.
in Acts 28: 25, 26), have for their one great subject the revelation of the third of the three spheres of blessing and glory
which stands in special relation to Christ
and His church.
what is there written.
however once significant.
all earthly associations and connections, and as having jointly suffered, jointly died, jointly risen, and being jointly
seated with Christ in the highest heavens.
the things above "where Christ is already seated at the right hand of God.
Hence, we do not read in those Epistles about the coming of Christ to the earth, but rather about our being removed
to be with Him where pie is, not about His parousia, or presence on earth, or " in the air " ; but about our presence
and manifestation with Him in His own glory; not about anastasis or resurrection (which is the subject of the earlier
Pauline Epistles), but about an "ex-anastasis," (Phil. 3: 11) and "the calling on high" (Phil. 3: 14) which is the subject
of the later Epistles; not about any personal happiness which we may have, but about Christ's personal glory, in which
we have the wondrous privilege of sharing.
Epistles, and of this third and highest sphere. It is a remarkable word, found. in this form, only here, in the New
Testament. It occurs once before in Rom. 13:9, but there it is in the present passive voice (anakephalaioutai), and
means " is summed up." But in Eph. 1:10 it is the Aorist Infinitive of the middle voice, (anakephalaiosasthai). This
difference is ignored both by the Authorised and the Revised Versions, which read the middle voice of Eph. 1. to
as though it were the Active. This is an almost unpardonable oversight, in the interest of the ordinary Bible reader,
who has an undoubted right to a correct grammatical rendering from such a quarter.
our Heavenly Father has, FOR HIMSELF, purposed what is here stated, viz., that
the seasons, TO-SUM-UP-FOR-HIMSELF, every thing in Christ: things in heaven and things on earth,
even in Him, in whom we were taken as an inheritance, being foreordained according to the purpose of Him
who worketh all things according to the counsel of His own will, that we should be to the praise of His glory
who have before hoped in Christ.
(1) that of earthly glory, or (a) that of the glory reserved for those who are " partakers of a heavenly calling."
later Epistles reveal a third sphere of Headship and Heirship above the earth or the heavens.
created beings, whether principalities, or powers, or, might, or thrones, or dominions, which are mentioned (though
not defined or explained) in Eph.
1:21, Col. 1: 16 in relation to Christ, who shall be "Head over all."
gospel) of the
glory of Christ" should be hidden from them (2 Cor. 4: 3, 1).
cherish it as our earnest hope and constant theme; and, not being ignorant of Satan's devices," since we are thus
told against what his assault is being made, therefore know where our defence is to be directed.
Highest sphere of blessing and glory and honour for
" Christ and His Church."
*'The Hebrew word is rendered _ congregation "
86 times; "assembly," 17 times; "company," 17 times; multitude," 3 times.