The Dispensational Theme of the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John
The Lord Jesus Christ is
the most unique and important person to have ever lived on this earth. The
so-called “Four Gospels” – the books of Matthew, Mark Luke and John
set forth His earthly life and ministry. We are, naturally, are very
interested in this information. Remember, however, that Jesus of
1. The Four Gospels are still in… “Time Past” - It’s not yet the age of "the body of Christ."
Recall that in “Time Past” the “Middle Wall of Partition,” which the Lord had erected between the Nation Israel and the Gentiles, was still in place.
Israel was still distinct and distinguished from the Gentiles, as seen in the verses below. We clearly see this in the ministry of Jesus and the “Twelve.”
15:24 But he (Jesus) answered and said, I
AM NOT SENT BUT UNTO THE LOST SHEEP OF THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL.
10:5-6 THESE TWELVE JESUS SENT FORTH,
and commanded them, saying, Go NOT INTO THE WAY OF THE
GENTILES, and into any
city of the Samaritans enter ye not: 6 But
GO RATHER TO THE LOST SHEEP OF THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL.
I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily
I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in
no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments,
and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of
heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them,
the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the
righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter
into the kingdom of heaven.
Mark 1:44 And saith unto him, See thou say nothing to any man: but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing THOSE THINGS WHICH MOSES COMMANDED, for a testimony unto them.
Matthew 23:2-3 Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees SIT IN MOSES’ SEAT: 3 ALL THEREFORE WHATSOEVER THEY BID YOU OBSERVE, THAT OBSERVE AND DO…
was at that time still available only “through
4:22b … for salvation is of the Jews.
7:25-29 For a certain
woman, whose young daughter had an unclean spirit, heard of him, and came
and fell at his feet: 26 The
woman was a Greek (Gentile), a Syrophenician by nation; and she
besought him that he would cast forth the devil out of her daughter.
27 But Jesus said
unto her, Let the children (
Luke 19:9-10 Jesus said unto him (Zaccheus, a Jew), This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is A SON OF ABRAHAM. 10 the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost (
the Universality of Jesus' John 3:16 phrases referencing
world,” and “whosoever
believeth,” and yet note the distinction Jesus spoke of...
“go NOT to
the Gentiles… go rather to the lost sheep of the house of
How can we
explain Jesus’ words? “I AM NOT SENT BUT UNTO THE
LOST SHEEP OF THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL when in the very next
chapter Jesus speaks to a Samaritan woman (a non-Jew) and “many
Samaritan woman said to Jesus) …
we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. John
4:41 And many more (Samaritans - non-Jews)
believed because of his (Jesus’) own word;
to Jesus words: With the Kingdom now “at
hand,” Jesus was demonstrating the transition for redeemed
answer to our question is found in the Covenant God made with Abraham.
Remember Genesis 12:3-4 and 22:15-18 below. The Scriptures had long
predicted that SALVATION WAS TO GO TO THE GENTILES
22:15-18 And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham
out of heaven the second time, 16 And
said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done
this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son:
17 That in blessing I will
bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the
heaven, and as the sand which is
upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; 18
And IN THY SEED SHALL ALL THE NATIONS OF THE EARTH
BE BLESSED; BECAUSE THOU HAST OBEYED MY VOICE.
Isaiah 60:1-3 Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee (
61:5-6 5 And
strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, and the sons of the alien shall
be your plowmen and your vinedressers. 6
But ye shall be named the Priests of the LORD: men
shall call you the Ministers of our God: ye shall eat the riches of
the Gentiles, and in their glory (expression) shall ye boast
8:20-23 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; It
shall yet come to pass,
that there shall come people, and the inhabitants of many cities: 21
And the inhabitants of one city
shall go to another, saying, Let us go speedily to pray before the LORD, and
to seek the LORD of hosts: I will go also. 22
Yea, many (Gentile) people and strong nations shall
come to seek the LORD of hosts in
This is the reason Jesus
came to His own, confining His ministry to
words in John 3:16 concerning everlasting
life going to “the
world,” of “whosoever believeth,”
(including Gentiles) was a stinging rebuke to
As we see below, after Israel’s “fall,” God nevertheless sent salvation to “the world,” in spite of Israel’s “FALL” in UNBELIEF, to “provoke them (Israel) to jealousy.”
11:11 Have they (
Gospel of the Kingdom,” not Paul’s “gospel
of the grace of God” (Act 20:24).
4:23 Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues,
and PREACHING THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM,
and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of
disease among the people.
Matthew 9:35 And Jesus went …, teaching in their synagogues, and PREACHING THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.
Matthew 24:14 And THIS GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM SHALL BE PREACHED IN ALL THE WORLD for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
Four things we have learned about “Time Past”
that were still true during Christ’s earthly ministry.
2. The Law of Moses is still the operating system.
3. Gentile salvation
was still available through
4. The goal is till the establishment of the earthy Kingdom promised and prophesied in the Scriptures.
2. The so-called New Testament, like the old, begins with a very interesting verse.
1:1 The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the
son of David, the son of Abraham.
Matthew is the 1st Book of the so-called New Testament, the 40th
book of the Bible. 40 = “Probation.” In Christ's appearing God speaks
after 400 year of silence…saying the kingdom was “at
Matthew is still in “Time
Past,” thus it is a transitional book.
Matthew announces the 14th of the “generations”
from David – Thirteen previous were in rebellion; now a final 14th
completes the generational listing that ends with the coming of Christ (Gen
1:17). The number fourteen (14) is the number of double “completion.”
5:1 This is the
book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God
created man, in the likeness of God made he him. Genesis 1:26-28 And
God said, Let us make man in our image, after our
likeness: and LET THEM HAVE DOMINION over
the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and
over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the
earth. 27 So God created man in
his own image, in the image
of God created he him; male and female created he them. 28
And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and
multiply, and REPLENISH THE EARTH, AND
SUBDUE IT: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the
fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
Adam had a
high calling but he and
all humanity fell to the Serpent’s snare.
The work of Jesus in Matthew restores the position of men “in
Christ” over the earth in
the Messianic Kingdom.
is the first time the name “Jesus Christ” appears in Scripture
but Jesus is introduced as “The
Son of David – the Son of Abraham.”
Matthew 1:1 The
book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of
long-promised Kingdom was now… “at hand.” Matthew
saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Mark
1:14-15 Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into
Galilee, preaching the gospel of the
RECALL - The Prophetic Schedule of Dan 9:24-27 leads to Jesus Christ the Messiah being “CUT OFF.”
9:24-27 (KJV) SEVENTY WEEKS
(490 yrs) are determined upon thy people (Israel) and upon
thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of
sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting
righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the
Know therefore and understand, that
from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build
Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall
be seven weeks (49 yrs), and threescore and two
weeks (62 weeks = 434 yrs): the street shall be built again,
and the wall, even in troublous times.
And after threescore and
TWO WEEKS (434 yrs) shall MESSIAH BE
CUT OFF, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that
shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end
thereof shall be with a
flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are
determined. 27 And he
(Anti-Christ) shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and
in the midst (middle, at 3.5 years) of THE
(1) WEEK (of 7 years) he (Anti-Christ)
shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease (in the
rebuilt Jerusalem Temple), and for the overspreading of
abominations he shall make it
desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined
shall be poured upon the desolate.
Per the chart below, “Seventy weeks” (i.e., 70 weeks of 7 years equal 490 years) is “to finish the transgression, and to make an end” (v24 above). First, there is a seven week period (49 years) from the order to rebuild the Temple, and then a sixty-two week period (434 years), after which Messiah would “be cut-off” (v26, see also Isa 53:8) – totaling 483 yrs. Then seven (7) of the original 490 years remains to account for the 7-year Tribulation period that is coming on the world.
So there remains one last week of 7 years, which we call the Tribulation period. In “the midst” of that week, at 3-1/2 years into the Tribulation, we see the “abomination,” which Christ identified with the Anti-Christ and the Great Tribulation, taking place immediately before the return of the Lord in judgment (Matt 24:15, 21 cf. 2 Thes 2:3-4).
At the first appearing of
Jesus, a new stage in God’s program for
The ministry of John the
Baptist marks a new beginning in the national life of
So, the theme of the
message then was “…Repent:
9:6 they departed, and went through the towns, preaching
the gospel, and healing every where.
18:31-34 Then he took unto
him the twelve, and said unto them, Behold, we go up
to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the
Son of man shall be accomplished. 32
For he shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be
mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on: 33
And they shall scourge him,
and put him to death: and the third day he shall
rise again. 34 And
they UNDERSTOOD NONE of these things: and this saying
was hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken.
Paul was the meaning of the Cross explained in all its detail, but only
1 Corinthians 15:3-4 For I (Paul) delivered unto you first of all that which I also received (directly from Christ), how that CHRIST DIED FOR OUR SINS according to the scriptures; 4 And that HE WAS BURIED, AND THAT HE ROSE AGAIN the third day according to the scriptures:
21:43 Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall
be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth
the fruits thereof.
Luke 12:31-32 But rather seek ye the
19:28 (KJV) And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye
which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall
sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones,
judging the twelve tribes of
Acts 13:24 When John had first preached before his coming the BAPTISM OF REPENTANCE to ALL THE PEOPLE of ISRAEL. (The Gentiles were excluded.)
1:4 (KJV) John … and preach the BAPTISM OF REPENTANCE
FOR THE REMISSION OF SINS.
7:29-30 (KJV) And all the people that heard him
(Jesus), and the publicans, justified God, being
baptized with the baptism of John. 30
But the Pharisees and lawyers REJECTED the counsel
of God against themselves, being NOT BAPTIZED of him.
19:5-6 Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep
my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above
all people: for all the earth is
mine: 6 And ye
shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy
nation. These are the
words which thou shalt speak unto the children of
36:25-28 Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye
shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will
I cleanse you. 26 A
new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and
I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an
heart of flesh. 27 And I
will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye
shall keep my judgments, and do them.
28 And ye shall dwell in the
land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be
baptism was the means of identifying the Messiah to
1:30-34 This is he of whom
I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was
31 And I knew him not: but that
he (Jesus) should be made manifest to
3. “His own
received Him not” - “He
came unto His own”
1:11-12 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
12 But as many as received him,
to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even
to them that believe on his name:
15:8 Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the
circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made
unto the fathers: (He came
per Isaiah 9:6)
own received Him not” – the nation rejected Jesus.
· Matt 12:14-16 - Jesus de-emphasized His Public Ministry
· Matt 16:20 - Jesus de-emphasized His Messianic Office
· Matt 17:9 – Jesus de-emphasized His Messianic Glory
Those who “received Him”
- Jesus trained the “Little
Flock” for their ministry in His absence. Luke
12:32 Fear not, LITTLE FLOCK; for it
is your Father's good pleasure to GIVE YOU THE KINGDOM.
17:2 As thou hast given him (Jesus) power over all flesh, that he
should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. John
17:4 I have glorified thee (Father) on the earth: I
have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.
John 17:6 I have manifested thy name unto the
men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and
thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word. John 17:8-9 For
I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me;
and they have received them,
and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that
thou didst send me. 9 I
pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given
me; for they are thine. John 17:11 And now I am no more in
the world, but these are in the world, and I come to
thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given
me, that they may be one, as we are.
John 17:24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast
given me, be with me where I am;
that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given
the conclusion of Jesus’ earthly ministry the “little
flock” is poised to continue His ministry that He had trained
them to perform and extend to the Nation Israel as a renewed opportunity for
repentance and salvation – to at last be a blessing to the world that they
were created to be.
shall we escape,
if we neglect so great
salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by
the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by THEM THAT HEARD HIM
(the little flock);
God also bearing them
witness, both with signs and wonders,
and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost,
according to his own will?”