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Dispensationalist Only John Nelson Darby

Discussion in 'Dispensationalism' started by tzeyen, Apr 24, 2019.

  1. tzeyen

    tzeyen New Member

    United States
    Greetings brethren, I am interested in communicating with any in this group who consider themselves to be knowledgeable and supportive of the teachings of John Nelson Darby?
    We teamed up with Faith Counseling. Can they help you today?
  2. Revived

    Revived Fighting the good fight of faith.

    United States
    I've heard his name often but not familiar with his teachings. Can you summarize his beliefs?
  3. tzeyen

    tzeyen New Member

    United States
    Here is an example of Darby's exposition:


    “"THIS AGE" IS NOT THE "HEAVENLY PARENTHESIS" (i.e., comprising the "Church")

    Let us now consider three expressions found in Scripture concerning "this age."

    1. This age: Matt. 12:32; 1 Cor. 2:8; 2 Cor. 4:4; Gal. 1:4; Eph. 1:21; 1 Tim. 6:17; 2 Tim. 4:10.

    2. The completion of the age: Matt. 13:39,40,49; 24:3; 28:20.

    3. The age to come: Matt. 12:32; Mark 10:30; Luke 18:30; Eph. 1:12; Heb. 6:5.

    Previously we considered the Gentile parenthesis of judgment upon Israel (i.e., the times of the Gentiles). Our Lord lived here during that parenthesis and spoke of "this age." It was the Mosaic age preceding the introduction of the earthly kingdom. 83 Note, then, that the Gentile parenthesis of judgment upon Israel did not change the age!

    But more, the introduction of the heavenly parenthesis did not change the age, either. Several epistles refer to "this age" after the introduction of the heavenly parenthesis. Observe, then, that "this age" is still in progress. It will come to an end, of course, when "the age to come" (which means the millennial age -- the dispensation, or administration of the fullness of times (Eph. 1:10)), is introduced. There is a short period just preceding the introduction of that administration which brings to an end "this age." It is called "the completion of the age." You will see from this the fitness of designating the work God is doing in forming a heavenly company now as "the heavenly parenthesis." This work does not alter the fact that "this age," which has to do with the earth, existed before the Lord came, was in progress when He was here, is in progress now, and will be completed after the rapture; and when this age is ended, the earthly parenthesis of judgment on Israel will close (at the appearing of Christ in glory, when the smiting stone smashes the image (Dan. 2)). But if this is all true, and it is, what about the change introduced with John the Baptist?


    Verily I say to you, that there is not arisen among [the] born of women a greater than John the Baptist. But he who is a little one in the kingdom of the heavens is greater than he. But from the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of the heavens is taken by violence, and [the] violent seize on it. For all the prophets and the law have prophesied unto John (Matt. 11:11-13).

    The Law and the prophets [were] until John: from that time the glad tidings of the kingdom of God are announced, and everyone forces his way into it (Luke 16:16).

    These texts do not mean that prophecy had no further fulfillment after John came preaching. There were, for example, prophecies of Christ’s death and resurrection that were fulfilled after John was dead. And so it is in the case of the law. There were types in the law that Christ fulfilled in His death. "For all the prophets and the law" indicates the whole of what we call the O. T. I suggest that they pointed toward the coming kingdom but John announced it. Thus, these passages do not mean the end of the prophets and the law arrived when John came preaching. But this does mean that an impending change was announced. This was a period of transition.84 The kingdom had not yet commenced, of course (else John would have been in it and not compared with the least in it).

    In Matthew, the rejection of Christ is especially marked in chapter 12 when the religious leaders said that He wrought by the prince of demons -- thus committing the sin against the Holy Spirit, Who was the true power that wrought in Christ. 85 In Matt. 13, the parabolic form of teaching about the kingdom began indicating that the kingdom in power and glory was being postponed and a mystery form of the kingdom was being introduced. This was consequent upon the commitment of the sin against the Holy Spirit as recorded in Matt. 12. The kingdom would therefore take a mystery form (Matt. 13:11), i.e., a form unforeseen by the prophets and the law.

    The preaching of the kingdom up to this point of the rejection of Christ, implicit in this sin against the Holy Spirit, was not about the mystery form but about the kingdom in power. This includes Matt. 11:11-13. "A little one in the kingdom of the heavens" refers to one in the kingdom in power, what we call the millennial reign of Christ. As JND remarked:

    The introduction in testimony, of the kingdom, made the difference between that which preceded and that which followed. Among all that are born of women there had been none greater than John the Baptist, none who had been so near Jehovah, sent before His face, none who had rendered Him a more exact and complete testimony, who had been so separate from all evil by the power of the Spirit of God -- a separation proper to the fulfillment of such a mission among the people of God. Still he had not been in the kingdom: it was not yet established; and to be in the presence of Christ in His kingdom, enjoying the result of the establishment of His glory, was a greater thing than all testimony to the coming of the kingdom. 86

    The moral state suitable to the kingdom (Matt. 5-7) 87 was quite at variance with the state of the people generally and especially the leaders (with a few exceptions). The "violent" are those who break through all that which spiritually opposed entry into the kingdom. This does not refer to physical violence, but to those who at all personal cost would lay hold of that kingdom with its blessedness under Messiah’s reign before His ancients in glory.

    To return; my point is that John’s announcement of the coming kingdom did not put an end to the law and the prophets (cp. Matt. 5:17 and JND’s footnote). There yet remains the kingdom in power "to fulfill." John had announced it as at hand; and so did our Lord likewise. But the kingdom in power is "postponed," but not because God did not know Christ would be rejected.

    God presented the kingdom in the Person of the meek and lowly Lord Jesus, One that depraved man would certainly reject. And through this rejection, and consequent upon His exaltation in glory at the Father’s right hand, He has taken the position of Head of the body formed at Pentecost by the Spirit sent down upon those who had received Him (Acts 2:32,33, 1 Cor. 12:13, etc.). This unity of the saints with the Head in heaven is the great mystery of Christ and the church, unforeseen by the prophets (Rom. 16:25; Col. 1:26; Eph. 3:9). The kingdom pointed to by the law and the prophets will yet be established by the crushing power of the stone of Daniel 2 after God’s present work of forming a heavenly people is completed.

    CONCERNING THE LAW [OF MOSES], we do not read that it has died. But the Christian is dead with Christ (Rom. 6:8). The law does not apply to a dead man (cp. Rom. 6:7) but, "Now we know that the law [is] good if anyone uses it lawfully, knowing this, that law has not its application to a righteous person . . ." (1 Tim.1:9).

    Still, the law does not appear to be in force since the law-giver, Jehovah, having come down here in holy manhood, was crucified. Scripture shows that the Christian is not under the Law of Moses as the rule of life, a subject on which a few further remarks are in order at this point. The system that puts the Christian under the Ten Commandments as the rule of life finds it necessary to transmute the seventh day Sabbath into the Lord’s Day Sabbath, else how have all ten?

    Galatians does, in spite of all contradiction, oppose putting the Christian under law for any purpose; and speaks, not of fulfilling the law of Moses, but of "the law of Christ" (Gal. 6:2). The law of Christ is not the Law of Moses. The law of Christ is the rule of the new creation:

    For [in Christ Jesus] neither is circumcision anything, nor uncircumcision; but new creation. As many as shall walk by this rule peace upon them and mercy, and upon the Israel of God (Gal. 6:15,16).

    Here, believing Gentiles and believing Israelites 89 (the Israel of God) are directed to the law of Christ, namely, the rule, the norm, the standard, of the new creation of which Christ in resurrection is the head. The law-of-Moses-minded do not seem to comprehend this and call us antinomians (i.e., without, or against, or opposed to, law). The rule of the new creation is for those who ought to be here in this world to give expression to the will of the Head of the new creation, Christ Himself. This rule of the new creation is the law of Christ. The Law of Moses was addressed to those who stood in Adamic responsibility, BUT Our (i.e., the Church's) standing is "in Christ."


    During "this age" the Lord Jesus was rejected. His crucifixion marked the end of the testing of the first man (man in the lost, Adamic standing of responsibility). Since His rejection, Satan is called the god of this age (2 Cor. 4:4). The true God has been rejected. And "this age" is now for the Christian "this present evil age" (Gal. 1:4). Demas forsook Paul, "having loved the present age" (2 Tim. 4:10). How well it is for us to "love his appearing" (2 Tim. 4:8) which will display the rights and glory of Christ in "the age to come," i.e., the millennium.


    In many, many places J. N. Darby (and others) spoke of the present period as a dispensation, speaking conventionally. However, consider the following:

    “The church is not, properly so called, a dispensation. It is the assembling together the co-heirs in unity, whilst the kingdom is in mystery. When the law ends as a dispensation, the kingdom is not yet established in power, and all is in transition. Here the saints are seen above, and the throne of God is in relation with the earth. 90

    The Church, properly speaking, the body of Christ, is not a dispensation, it does not belong to the earth; but there is an order of things connected with it during its sojourning here below -- an order of things whose existence is linked with the Church’s responsibility.” 91

    Notice that in both cases he used the word "properly." And we are seeking at this point to be more exact so as to enlarge our understanding, not merely gliding along on a scheme that regards a dispensation as "a period of time during which . . ." while leaving out the essential subject of the development of the ways of God in government in the earth, not apprehending the end of the testing of the first man, and not apprehending the true meaning of the heavenly parenthesis and other concomitant truths. Why speak of man being tested now with respect to "grace" since the first man is no longer under testing since the cross? It is because of erroneous notions about the character of dispensations accompanied by defective views regarding the end of testing the first man (who no longer has a standing before God) and concerning the consequences of this great change.

    At any rate, dispensations have to do with the earth, not with a heavenly company.

    Really, this is not a dispensation. The Jews had a "this world" and "a world to come," "this age" and an "age to come." Messiah was to bring in the "age to come." The age of the law went on and Messiah did come, but they would not have Him, and the whole thing stopped: then comes the church between that and His second coming; and this is why I said this is not strictly a dispensation, but when Messiah comes again, it will close this time, and then will be the last day of this age.

    The times of the Gentiles in Daniel, and the parenthesis of the church, are not at all contemporaneous; for the times of the Gentiles began in Babylon, being the times of the four Gentile beasts in Daniel. The times of the Gentiles will not end at the same time with the church, but go on a little after we are caught up. The temple of Jehovah on earth was set aside when the people were carried to Babylon, and they never got the ark again, but a remnant of them was spared to present to them Messiah.

    I know what a person means by "the dispensation of the kingdom of heaven," but we belong to a heavenly thing in an interval, and there are no dispensations in heaven. The kingdom of heaven is a dispensation, l the dispensation of the gospel is an administration. 92

    The fact that "this age" is still proceeding does have a bearing on the way we should think of the period we are in.

    And hence it is also that this present time is called (not I judge a dispensation, but) a parenthesis, because the Lord Jesus speaks of "this age" when He was upon earth, as the same as that which will close by judgment at the end; but this was a period connected with His relationship with Jews, and which will not be closed till He again is present in person; whereas, in the interval, the Church of the first- born has been gathered for heaven. 93

    The dispensation of the law will be followed by the administration of the fullness of times (Eph. 1:10), the millennial reign of Him Whose right it is to reign. Observe that the covenant of the law will be followed by the New Covenant. The New Covenant, if we believe the express statements of Scripture, will be made with the house of Israel and Judah (Jer. 31:31; Heb. 8:7-13),94 not the church. There are certain blessings for Israel under the new covenant that we share. We already have the Mediator and the blood and the forgiveness of sins as our own, on the basis of our oneness with Christ, NOT BY COVENANT. 95 And thus WE ARE ABLE MINISTERS OF THE NEW COVENANT (2 Cor. 3) WITHOUT BEING UNDER IT. These things are sovereignly given of God. The Law demanded; the New Covenant gives, and gives by grace. To contrast the two covenants, may we not say that the law and works go together, and the new covenant and grace go together? 96

    It is true that Paul received an "administration of the grace of God which has been given to me towards you" (Eph. 3:2). Paul was not given "a time period during which man is tested . . . ." Properly speaking, we are not in a dispensation; not in "the dispensation of grace." Paul had an administration to discharge and he did discharge it. This involved the mystery, which is beyond the grace that Israel will experience in the millennium, of course. But nonetheless, grace 97 will characterize God’s dealings with Israel in the millennium; and a blessed Israelite will be able to say, ‘This is indeed the dispensation of grace’ (having a position greater than John the Baptist). And as far as God’s dealings with an earthly people are concerned, that is true.

    Observe again J. N. Darby’s remark: "To me the world is not under any dispensation, but the whole course of God’s dealings with it [with the world; with the earth] are over until He comes to judgment." 98 Dispensations have to do with the earth, not with a heavenly people. The personal administration committed to Paul does not contradict this. This was toward those composing a heavenly company during the heavenly parenthesis, while "this age," begun in the time of Moses, continues on.

    So there has not been a change in the age; and it continues while God’s formation of the heavenly company is in progress. The kingdom as Messiah’s reign has not been inaugurated; but rather, in God’s ways, consequent upon the rejection of Christ, the manifested kingdom has been "postponed" and the mystery form of the kingdom introduced, during the time of which, God is forming the heavenly company, 99 although the mystery form runs from Christ’s ascension until His return in glory (see Luke 19:11- 27 and other Scriptures).” (emphasis mine)

  4. Monk Brendan

    Monk Brendan Well-Known Member Supporter

    United States
    Melkite Catholic
    He is responsible for spreading the teaching of a pre-tribulation rapture.

    It was never heard of before his time, 1830 or so.
  5. tzeyen

    tzeyen New Member

    United States
    It was heard of, in the scriptures but, like the gospel essentially until the 1600's, it was misunderstood. The timing of the rapture is misunderstood but the pre-tribulational rapture is true because the biblical text teaches it. Here is some biblical exposition in defense of a pre-tribulational "timing" rapture. I would be interested in your thoughts after studying through. I draw your attention particularly to section 2B entitled "The Timing of the Rapture" beginning on page 10 of the manuscript:

  6. Dan Perez

    Dan Perez Member

    United States

    Hi and I only see 2 dispensations in the bible and 1 Cor 9:17 and Col 1:25 and Eph 3:2 and one in 1 Tim 1:4 where the Greek word is NOT GODLY EDIFYING but misnthe Greek word OIKONOPMIA and every where these words MYSTERY or DEPOSIT are seen , it speaks to the Dispensation of the Grace of God !!

    The second dispensation is in Eph 1:10 where Paul speaks of the DISPENSATION of the FULNESS of TIME !!

    All others to me are AGES / AIONS as only Paul develops what a DISPENSATION IS !!

    Yet in Luke 16:2 , 3 , 4 , does use the Greek word DISPENSATION , the CONTEXT DEMANDS that the translation means STEWSHIP !!

    dan p