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


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

Edited by Dr. Clarence E. Mason, Jr.

    We have shown the difference between "dispensation" (the revelation of truth) and "age" (the time period in which some particular truth is the basis of judgment'), but because the term "dispensational" has come to mean our viewpoint in popular, dictionary, and theological usage, we are so using the term here.
Non-dispensational Dispensational Dispensational
1. Holds that a dispensation is just God's method of "administering" the one "Covenant of Grace" in different epochs, and that man's responsibility through history has always been the same--"always the same promise, the same Redeemer, the same faith, and the same life" as truths understood by man before, as well as after, Christ's coming and death. (Hodge, p.395) 1. Holds that a dispensation is a distinctive responsibility for man in a given period, and that in the various ages, man. fails in fulfilling his responsibility, making judgment necessary. (Nowhere in Scripture are men said to Lie administrators of a covenant.)
2. Accuses the dispensationalist of teaching more than one way of salvation. They place themselves as the defenders of the "salvation by grace through faith" principle. 2. Holds that salvation is always by grace through faith, though the tests to prove man's need of salvation have changed with various ages as the will of God determined. These tests were never the cause or basis of salvation.
3. Holds to one single purpose of God, that of personal redemption, as being the whole function of the Covenant of Grace. 3. Holds that God's central purpose is His glory and that it is not limited to man's personal redemption, but also includes His plans for groups of redeemed men (e.g., Israel, the Church) and for the whole world, when the Lord Jesus reigns in righteousness and peace.
4. Holds that Israel has no abiding and distinctive national hope, 4. Holds that Israel is perpetually a chosen and elect nation.
5. Based on an allegorizing or figurative interpretation of Scripture, particularly in the area of unfulfilled prophecy. 5. Based on a literal interpretation of Scripture, including prophecy.
6. Holds that such terms as Israel, Palestine, Jerusalem, Zion, throne of David, kingdom, are not to be taken literally but spiritualized and applied to the Church in a typical or symbolic way. 6. Holds that these terms are literal, not spiritual, and relate to the nation Israel (e.g., Jerusalem is always the earthly one, unless the word "heavenly" is also used).
7. Holds that "law" and "grace" are auxiliary principles, and they coexist as principles of approach to God and the government of the life of the believer. 7. Holds that "law" and "grace" are entirely different principles.
8. Some hold that the Church is just a spiritual Israel, a continuation of the one people of God. Others lean to a social gospel for the betterment of men in this present life, or the building of the kingdom through men's efforts. 8. Holds that the divine purpose of this age is unique and the ministry of the Spirit is to call out an elect people for His name, who constitute the Church, which is His body.
9. Usually holds to no prophetic program for Israel as a nation in a kingdom over which David's Son literally reigns on earth and with whom the Church is associated. 9. Holds to a full prophetic program including Israel, the Church, Gentile nations, and Satan and his hosts; and is cataclysmic in fulfillment.
10. Holds that the return of Christ results not in a personal reign on earth, but in a general and universal judgment, which ushers in eternity. 10. Holds to the literal return of Christ to the earth to set up a reign of righteousness for 1000 years on the earth, which is the prelude to eternity.
11. Holds that the dispensational and premillennial interpretation is a perpetuation of "crass Jewish views" and at the same time is a modern-day heresy (e.g., John Wick Bowman, Interpretation, April, 1956). 11. Holds that this view harmonizes with Biblical, apostolic, and present-day teaching of sane and devout Christian leaders.


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