PROGRESSIVE REVELATION WITHIN ESCHATOLOGY, DISPENSATION THEOLOGY
Covenant or Reformed Theology Versus Dispensationalism
EXPLANATIONS ABOUT SALVATION
- But I need to add here, I am not speaking of many ways of SALVATION. Each period, each dispensation, each administrative arraignments had sufficient revelation so that a person could be right with God. Adam was not given the Roman Road of Salvation. Moses was not given one verse from the N.T. for salvation. The term "By faith believe in Jesus Christ and you will be saved." is not found in the Old Testament. This does not mean salvation has not always been by God’s grace. The basis of salvation in every dispensation is the death of Christ; the requirement for salvation in every age is faith, the object of faith in every age is Christ. BUT, the content of faith changes in the various dispensations. Abraham had faith to believe, it was counted unto him as righteousness.. The information that he received in his time, and he believed, was counted unto him as faith. (Romans 4)
- The initial promise of the Gospel is Gen 3:15- the seed of the woman will crush the head of the serpent, though bruised on the heel. (cf. Rom 16:20, Rev. l2:9; 20: 3,10 on the serpent, Isa 7:14, 9: 6,7, Mt 1:18f, Rev. 12:1-9 on the seed of the woman.) The blood sacrificial system was to teach of the necessity of the redeemer to sacrifice his life for the salvation of his people. "The patriarchal, sacrificial system and later the entire levitical ritual, point forward to Christ and His redeeming work. The plan of salvation develops with ever increasing clarity and fullness as the messages of the prophets and the Psalms are historically unfolded. In such a passage as Isaiah 53 the richness of the Gospel is almost complete." Buswell,, Systematic Theology, p. 382,383. God progressively expands man's comprehension of the Savior that when He came in the fullness of time- man was ready to recognize Him and understand His coming
- "The revealed names of God connect the knowledge of God in a special way with his creation of the universe and with his redemptive deeds of Israel and the founding of the Christian church. . . the truly remarkable factors in the disclosure of God’s names are these: that the Living God transcendently and absolutely discloses his name in historical revelation and that the successively revealed names of God signal distinctive epochs in the progressive manifestation of God's redemptive purpose. The fact that the Hebrew people come to know God now by one then another revealed name bears its own testimony to the enlarging significance of these names. Viewed from the side of human comprehension, no single name wholly expresses God's being. The many names reveal his perfection, purposes and personal distinctions. . . . Yet we shall see that the Hebrew-Christian revelation not only periodically unveils new names for the living God, but that in successive periods of redemptive history, earlier names of God are retained side-by-side with later names. Later divine disclosure does not annul the force and significance of the earlier names, for God does not deny himself in the progressive revelation of his names," (Carl. F.H. Henry, God, Revelation and Authority, pp. 180, 181-182)
- The basic covenant is expressed perhaps best in Gen17:7 "And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your descendants after you." is progressively repeated in the history of God's dealings with man :Adam (Gen 3:15), Noah (Gen 9), Abraham (Gen 17), at Sinai (Exo 19 & 20), with Levi (Num 25:12,13) and David (II Sam 7) and is in essence the New Covenant (Jere 31:31-34, cf. Hebr 8, cf. Mt 26:28, Lk 22:20) and the Covenant of Peace (Ezek l6:60, 34:25). The Scripture comes to its climax in Rev. 21:3 with the fulfillment of that covenant: "Behold the tabernacle of God is among men and He shall dwell among them, and they shall be his peoples, and God Himself will be among them." The relationship man was created to have, though lost through the fall, is restored in Christ, and will be brought to fulfillment in the New Heaven and Earth. God's revelation of this is, in the successive stages of Biblical history, expanded and clarified- though it is there from the beginning.