This morning our family completed a two-day consideration of the reasons for God’s dispensational dealings given by Finis Jennings Dake in his God’s Plan for Man (Lawrence, Georgia: Dake Publishing, 1949), which we are studying in our after breakfast Bible reading time. This report consists of a brief summary of Lesson 1, sections VII and VIII, of God’s Plan for Man supplemented in square brackets by comments from our discussion or by me personally. Biblical quotations are from the KJV unless otherwise noted.
VII. Reasons for God’s Dispensational Dealings
1. God created moral agents with a free choice instead of creating mere machines that could run forever without any choice of their own. Thus He also imposed some restrictions and limited the acts of created beings so that they would not rebel and destroy Him and rule in His place.
2. The wills of all free moral agents must be tested before those agents are entrusted with the eternal administration of the universe.
3. The wills of all free moral agents must be purged of all possibility of falling.
4. Free wills must be put through all possible tests so that there can be no possible transgression against any part of God’s plan at any time.
5. Free wills must eventually learn many lessons about God. [Dake lists twelve on pages 8-9.]
6. God wants to bring man back to the place that he was before the fall of having dominion over all things.
7. God’s dealing with free moral agents in holiness and justice gives Him a sound basis for punishing those who refuse to conform to His plan and for blessing those who do conform. [Dake argues at length that God’s plan of punishment and blessing is the only one that could be used with free moral agents, concluding “Everyone can be blessed if he so desires, or can be cursed if that is his choice. Therefore, punishment is not compulsory for anyone. It is the free choice of the individual, and he alone is to blame for his eternal choice and destiny. God’s will is that none should be lost (1 Tim. 2:4-6; 2 Pet. 3:9; Jn. 3:16)” (Dake, page 9).]
8. God’s dispensational dealings are necessary to guarantee God’s eternal purpose as expressed by Paul in Ephesians 1:10; 3:1-11. This will be considered fully in Lessons Forty-nine through Fifty-two.
9. God’s present dealings with man make it eternally possible for Him to be all-in-all.
VIII. God’s Plan Is Eternal
The fall of man didn’t do away with God’s original plan. It merely postpones it until the restitution of all things after the Millennium. [Dake lists some of the many passages in the Bible that teach an everlasting plan for man on Earth, beginning with Genesis 8:22 and ending with Revelation 22:3-5. Although I looked up all the passages in preparing for our reading of the section, we looked up only the first and last ones in our reading of the section.]