A Problem for Dispensationalism: Zion

What is “Zion”?

Dispensationalism quickly answers, “Jerusalem”.

Now Dispensationalism has a problem.  Not only does the New Testament forthrightly define Zion as the Church, but the Old Testament frequently refers to Zion in an idealistic, metaphorical way, pointing to a place of eternal wonder and perfection.  This certainly does not, nor did it ever, describe the earthly Jerusalem.

William Gadsby, an early 19th century Baptist Pastor, preached a sermon called “Look upon Zion, the city of our solemnities.

Here is the first paragraph taken from the web site http://www.truegospel.net/Gadsby/016.htm:

By Zion I understand the real church of Christ, and, in the strictest sense, the whole body elect, chosen, and secured in Christ Jesus before the foundation of the world: “For the Lord hath chosen Zion; he hath desired it for his habitation. This is my rest for ever; here will I dwell; for I have desired it.” (Ps. 132:13,14) So that Zion is the spiritual property, the glorious church, and the eternal residence of Jehovah. Here the Lord not only declares but subscribes his name, and maintains all the honours of his glorious nature; and to this blessed Zion every real believer in the Lord Jesus Christ is brought by the power of the Holy Ghost; as it is written, “But ye are come unto Mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem.” (Heb. 12:22-24) From this statement we learn that Zion is the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, the glorious vision of peace, where God lives and dwells as the God of peace, and that it consists of an innumerable company of angels; and if by angels the glorious angelic host above is intended, they are an innumerable company indeed; for “the chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels;” (Ps. 68:17) and the mountain was full of them for the protection of Elisha. (2 Kings 6:17)

I would invite my dispensational Baptist friends to click on the link and read the rest of the sermon.

It’s interesting that dispensationalists like to brag about their version of the faith being “old fashioned”, yet even the most shallow review of Baptist history reveals that no Baptists believed in the dispensational scheme before the 1920’s.  The true “old fashioned” version of Baptist theology is Covenantal, mostly in the Amillennial mode, and to a lesser degree, in the Historic Premillennial mode, but never is it Dispensational before World War I.

The true Old Fashioned Gospel tells us that God has made “of twain” (Jew and Gentile) “one new man” (The Church) (Eph 2:15).  With the finished work of Christ “there is neither Jew nor Greek” in the eyes of God (Gal 3:28).  The hope of salvation for the Jews is Jesus Christ of Nazareth, not Moses.  They are commanded to enter into the New Covenant in His Blood, signified by Baptism and Lord’s Supper.  They are not to continue in Temple worship, or offer sacrifices of any sort, lest they tread the Blood of Christ under foot.  They must repent.  They are not God’s people by the blood of Abraham.  Only through the Blood of Christ may they be restored to God.  This is “dispensational” truth.  The old dispensation is over, and the new has been inaugurated.  The old dispensation is over, God ain’t goin’ back to it.  Jews must be “born, not of blood [Abraham’s], nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:13).

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