"THE TWO COVENANTS

"
RESTORING THE DUALISM OF SCRIPTURE TO THE MINISTRY OF THE GOSPEL

"But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully; Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine; According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust."

I Timothy 1: 8 - 11

" Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator. Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one. Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.

Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise."

Galatians 3: 24

"For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband. Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.

Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman. So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free."

Galatians 4: 22 - 31

"In many ministries, there is not enough of probing the heart and arousing the conscience by the revelation of man's alienation from God, and by the declaration of the selfishness and the wickedness of such a state."

- Charles Haddon Spurgeon

"Now the tragedy is that we have been separating these things in the character of God. I have often asserted, and I repeat it again, that the condition of the Church today is due to one major factor. And that is that during the last century, from about the thirties of the last century, a new attitude towards the Scripture came in in which men decided that they knew much more about the character of God than what was revealed in this book. And what they did was to say that God is love and nothing else."

- David Martyn Lloyd-Jones

"You see the combination of these opposites. The justice of God, but the love of God; the righteousness of God and the mercy of God; the wrath of God, and his everlasting compassion."

- David Martyn Lloyd-Jones

INTRODUCTION

A

merica was founded on Covenant Theology. That Blessed Book of Books, the Book which governed the overarching worldview of the Framers of our Republic, the King James Bible, was produced through the painstaking labor of staunch, convinced Covenant Theologians. And it was interpreted by Colonial Americans through a Covenant Theology hermaneutic at the time when our Constitution was first penned and ratified. Those Congregationalist and Presbyterian Englishmen who first established permanent settlements along the shores and marshes of Plymouth Plantation, the Massachusetts Bay Colony and Connecticut had brought with them the Covenant Theology that unified the conflicting soteriologies - Calvinism, Amyraldianism, Baxterianism and Armenianism - of Old World Puritanism under a single banner. And the Quakers and Anabaptist groups that followed their example in Rhode Island and Pennsylvania shared a similar hermaneutic, though they drew different conclusions from it. In fact, it was their clearer, more Biblical understanding of Covenant Theology, and particularly the differentiated characters of the Abrahamic Covenant, the Mosaic Covenant and the New Covenant of Christ's blood that drove the seventeenth and eighteenth century Baptist colonists to oppose paedobaptism so vehemently, even at the cost of personal suffering, imprisonment and exile.

And it was Covenant Theology that provided the driving theological outlook behind the mighty revival that preceded the Revolutionary War, the revival that we know today as The Great Awakening. We must not overlook this. It may seem irrelevant to some, but it has real significance. Apart from their solid grounding in Covenant Theology, those preachers would have never preached the way that they did.

The simple fact is that you will scarcely find any real, thoroughgoing Dispensationalist in the hundred years since Scofield first popularized the Dispensational scheme (scam) who would have ever preached a sermon such as Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God as Edwards did, or warned the multitudes of God's wrath and impending judgment in the same way that Whitefield did. Those few exceptions who may have done so did so in spite of their Dispensational theology, not because of it. The reason for this is of

course because Dispensationalists really don't believe in the wrath of God, except on the most superficial level. Dispensationalism advocates this idea that we're now living in the Age of Grace, and that God has changed in his attitude towards mankind and towards sin as a result of Christ's atoning work on the cross of Calvary. I even heard an influential independent Fundamental Baptist pastor from central Indiana say that sinners will not be judged for their sins, because Christ has already paid for them, and that as a result of Christ's work on the cross of Calvary, they will only be judged for their unbelief. Now this man is not a Ruckmanite, or any kind of radical, at least in the sense that the average independent Fundamental Baptist would define a radical. He is regarded as a very sound, "balanced" sort of preacher. And yet this is what he teaches about God's judgment as a result of his Dispensationalist training.

Now all of this has real significance. It defines not only the way that a man preaches, but his whole philosophy of ministry. The whole message of a sinner's guilt, condemnation, utter perdition and eternal damnation - the whole message of the entire first three chapters of Romans, everything that the Apostle Paul so carefully lays out under the controlling power of divine inspiration - is continually downplayed because of the Dispensationalist's fallacious view that confounds and utterly confuses progressive revelation with God's divine dispensations. The result of this confused hermaneutical outlook, this case of mistaken theological identity, generally speaking, is that the Dispensationalist wants to focus almost exclusively upon God's grace and God's love and avoid anything that makes the sinner feel uncomfortable. He has no concern that the sinner's conscience should be awakened or troubled with deep, genuine conviction or contrition over sin. He sees no need for this at all. All that is necessary is to tell people about God's grace and God's love, because we are now living in the Age of Grace, and God is no longer angry over sin. And if anything is said about sin or guilt or condemnation or eternal damnation at all, it is said only in the most brief, most cursory, glancing manner before hurrying on to grace and the love of God. And this is the underlying perspective, the controlling outlook behind the modern seeker-sensitive approach to reaching the lost. You do not confront them, you do not discomfort them, you do not make them feel guilty about anything or sorry for their sin. It is unnecessary to do so, because we are not living in the Age of Law, but in the Age of Grace. The condemning factor, the Law of God, is gone, it no longer condemns anyone. And you will find that, generally speaking, the more a preacher or church is steeped in Dispensational theology, the more they avoid the sort of piercing, confrontational preaching that characterized The Reformation, the Puritan Era and The Great Awakening, as well as the other great revivals both before and afterwards, up until the publication of the Scofield Reference Bible and the establishment of Dallas Theological Seminary.

Now it is the popularization of this confusion of divine dispensations with progressive revelation that has done so much damage to Christianity today, that has rendered the Church so utterly powerless in this generation, resulting in this ecclesiastical degeneracy that we see all around us. So it is necessary to identify the roots of this confusion and to examine them in the light of Scripture. We must ask ourselves what the Bible itself says about these ideas, not what Darby or Scofield or Chafer or Pettingill or

Walvoord or Ryrie or Pentecost or Ruckman or Stauffer may teach about them. We must allow Scripture to speak for itself and to provide us with its own inspired definitions, rather than superimposing upon it the external definitions of any supposed "experts" or "prophecy scholars". At the heart of this matter, lies this question: does God have one chosen people, or two chosen peoples? The Dispensationalist claims that God has two chosen peoples, Israel and the Church. According to Dispensational theory, God's primary purpose is ethnic Israel, with the Church incorporated merely as a temporary backup plan, because ethnic Israel rejected the Lord Jesus Christ and his offer of the Kingdom. As a result of this rejection, God suspended his entire Kingdom program and turned to the Gentiles temporarily during this Dispensational "gap" that we know as "The Church Age" or "The Age of Grace". He is now temporarily dealing differently than he did before the book of Acts. According to this view, God's Law is suspended during this "Dispensation", but will be restored again when God returns to his original and true purpose, ethnic Israel. It is shocking that any true student of the Scriptures could ever believe this kind of nonsense, but that is the teaching of Dispensationalism, and it is the underlying worldview of the overwhelming majority of Fundamentalists and Evangelicals around the world today, and multitudes of conservative, sincere and well-meaning Christians have been caught up in it.

So in order to come to a Biblical understanding of these matters, we must answer these questions: what does the Bible actually teach about Israel? What does the Bible actually teach about the Old Testament Covenants? When we answer these questions Biblically, relying strictly upon Scripture, apart from any external "authority", we will have arrived at truth.

I. THE CONDITION OF THE COVENANTS PROMISES
Perhaps nothing requires greater clarification than the essential character of the Abrahamic and Mosaic Covenants. The Dispensationalist asserts that these are irrevocable blessings assured by Almighty God to Abraham's physical, biological descendents as a distinct, ethnic nation. The Dispensationalist is particularly concerned to insist that the Abrahamic Covenant is absolutely unconditional and that this therefore assures ethnic Israel of these irrevocable blessings without qualification. What the Dispensationalist underemphasizes or else ignores altogether is the dual character of these Covenants. That is to say that the Dispensationalist either minimizes or else completely bypasses the fact that these Covenants contain not only blessing, but cursing. I ask, why is that we hear the Dispensationalists constantly prattling on about the blessings assured to ethnic Israel, and yet scarcely ever hear so much as the faintest peep about the cursing? It is my position, and the position of all true Covenant Theologians, and really all Biblically orthodox Christians that the Bible contains both blessing and cursing, and that it can be rightly understood or rightly divided in no other way but this. That is to

say, that any hermaneutic that focuses exclusively upon promised blessing, while ignoring promised cursing, not only fails to rightly divide the Word of Truth, but is actually a form of perversion. So it is essential to note the duality of these Covenants. And that is to say that we must observe not only the blessing and the cursing, but also the conditions essential to both. We cannot rightly divide the Word of truth without identifying the conditions that Almighty God ordained and communicated and recorded for us in his holy Word by inspiration of the Holy Ghost.

II. THE CONDITIONALITY OF THE COVENANT PROMISES

Now we must face the objection of the Dispensationalist and his claim that the Abrahamic Covenant is an unconditional Covenant. We must ask ourselves, "Is the Abrahamic Covenant truly unconditional? What does the Scripture say about this?"

The answer to this question is found in Genesis 17:

"This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised. And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you. And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed. He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised: and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant. And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant."

Notice the defining statement made at the very outset of verse ten, "this is my covenant". God is about to give a definition. He is about to reveal what the Abrahamic Covenant "is". What is it? It is circumcision. The Abrahamic Covenant "is" - God's own word - circumcision.

Now here the Dispensationalist is outraged. He is totally furious. He hates this fact. He wants to do away with it completely. But of course, he cannot do away with it. It is immutably engraved in the eternal counsels of God and recorded in the inspired Word of God, of which Christ said that one jot or one tittle shall never pass away. So all the ranting and ravings of all the Dispensationalists in the history of the world, all the collected volumes of their erroneous doctrine heaped one on top of another, piled all the way to the moon itself can never change it. God has given us his definition of the Abrahamic Covenant. And it "is" circumcision.

III. THE CONSEQUENCES OF THE CONDITIONAL PRINCIPLE
And it "is" conditional. Notice the consequences:

"And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant."

You cannot ignore this. You cannot deny this. You cannot bypass this. The Abrahamic Covenant is not unconditional. God gave a very specific condition for inclusion in it. Anyone who failed to meet the condition was excluded, "cut off from his people", even though they were direct, lineal descendents of Abraham himself! To sum up then the doctrine of Scripture in Genesis 17 as seen in the light of Galatians 3, the Abrahamic Covenant is a conditional Covenant, not directly salvific in or of itself, but that includes along with the Gospel promise of the Redeeming Seed, both blessing and cursing, dependent upon the obedience of the ethnic Israelite. That is to say that the Abrahamic Covenant itself is not an unconditional promise of blessing, but a part of the larger, overarching Covenant of Works, the Law of God, containing the Gospel promise of the Seed that would come to crush the head of that old Serpent, the Devil. It was given, not as a directly salvific Covenant, but to condemn mankind in the role of a schoolmaster, thereby bringing men to Christ (Galatians 3: 24). I personally believe that it served a unique purpose in relationship to ethnic Israel in reminding them that salvation and the blessings of God do not come as a result of biological paternity. The Dispensationalist would do well to take note of this, and to humbly submit himself to it.

We notice of course that the Abrahamic Covenant has laid the foundation for the Mosaic Covenant. In Exodus, as the children of Israel were about to eat of the Passover and then leave Egypt to enter the wilderness where they would receive the Mosaic Law in its entirety, they were given strict and specific instructions about the Passover: "no uncircumcised person shall eat thereof." Only within the unifying

bond of circumcision could anyone partake of this sacred meal or have part in the society that would exist within these two Covenants. Notice the unyielding decree in the following verse: "One law shall be to him that is homeborn, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you." Notice that it is defined by Almighty God, not merely as a Covenant, but as a Law, the "one law" that would unite Jewish society. Every clean Israelite who was not travelling abroad was to eat of the Passover or be "cut off from among his people" (Numbers 9: 13). And they could only do so within the Covenant bond of circumcision, as established with Abraham in Genesis 17. Which is to say of course, that the Abrahamic and Mosaic Covenants were conditional, not unconditional.

But perhaps nothing is more remarkable than the express decree, the oath sworn in wrath by the Holy Ghost himself concerning the first generation of Israelites to leave the land of Egypt. It is terrifying in its implications. We find it recorded in Hebrews 3:

"Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years. Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways. So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.)"

Of course the whole argument being made in that chapter is that of the necessity of faith. And in the following verses, this is made unmistakably clear:

Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end; While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation. For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses.

But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness? And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief."

In other words, the children of Israel that first came out of Egypt never inherited the blessings of Abraham! They were excluded! They were his direct biological descendents, and yet he excluded them from the blessings of Abraham, and this, not merely because of circumcision but because of unbelief! The Holy Spirit does not even bring up the question of whether or not they were circumcised or had kept the Passover faithfully, or were Abraham's seed! He simply excludes them unilaterally on the basis of their unbelief! All of this should serve to establish a principle foundational to a genuine Biblical hermaneutic, and utterly fatal to the whole idea that God has two separate peoples. That principle is stated concisely in Hebrews 11: 6:

"But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him."

The same book puts it another way, the same way that the Apostle Paul had stated it when quoting

Habakkuk 2: 4 in his Epistle to the Romans:

"THE JUST SHALL LIVE BY FAITH".

And so we repeat again the foundational argument that the Abrahamic Covenant and Mosaic Covenant were not unconditionally made to the biological descendents of Abraham.

IV. THE CONDITION OF THE COVENANT PEOPLE
This then introduces another question: "If the Abrahamic and Mosaic Covenants are conditional, what then is the status of the ethnic Jews today in relationship to the blessing of Abraham?" The answer of course is that they are excluded from the Abrahamic blessing, except for "a very small remnant" (Isaiah 1: 9). More specifically, we would state that they are under the curse, as opposed to the blessing. Once again, we reiterate that this is the note that Dispensationalism constantly underemphasizes or else ignores altogether - the fact that the Old Testament Covenants included not only blessing, but also cursing. And, of course, as long as the conditions are unmet, the result is cursing and never blessing. Let us make this point abundantly clear: there is absolutely no blessing available for those who have violated God's eternal standard of holiness, his holy Law, outside of the One who fulfilled the conditions for the blessings, the Lord Jesus Christ, regardless of their biological relationship to Abraham. All such individuals, whether Jew or Gentile are under God's wrath and subject to his eternal curse, as uttered by the Lord Jesus Christ, "Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels". In short, they are not the people of God, until they believe on the only begotten Son of God (John 3: 18).

It is important to note that throughout the Word of God, ethnic Israel, as a whole is seen in a condition of unbelief, alienation and actual enmity against God, except for "a very small remnant" (Isaiah 1: 9). We point to the following Scriptures:

"They have corrupted themselves, their spot is not the spot of his children: they are a perverse and crooked generation." (Deuteronomy 32: 5) "Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward." (Isaiah 1: 4) "But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham." (Matthew 3: 7 - 9)

"O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh." (Matthew 12: 34)

"They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham. But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham. Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God. Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it." (John 8: 39 - 44)

"This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us: To whom our fathers would not obey, but thrust him from them, and in their hearts turned back again into Egypt, Saying unto Aaron, Make us gods to go before us: for as for this Moses, which brought us out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him. And they made a calf in those days, and offered sacrifice unto the idol, and rejoiced in the works of their own hands. Then God turned, and gave them up to worship the host of heaven; as it is written in the book of the prophets, O ye house of Israel, have ye offered to me slain beasts and sacrifices by the space of forty years in the wilderness? Yea, ye took up the tabernacle of Moloch, and the star of your god Remphan, figures which ye made to worship them: and I will carry you away beyond Babylon. Our fathers had the tabernacle of witness in the wilderness, as he had appointed, speaking unto Moses, that he should make it according to the fashion that he had seen. Which also our fathers that came after brought in with Jesus into the possession of the Gentiles, whom God drave out before the face of our fathers, unto the days of David; Who found favour before God, and desired to find a tabernacle for the God of Jacob. But Solomon built him an house.

Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet, Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool: what house will ye build me? saith the Lord: or what is the place of my rest? Hath not my hand made all these things? Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye. Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers: Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it." (Acts 7: 38 - 53)  "Behold, thou art called a Jew, and restest in the law, and makest thy boast of God, And knowest his will, and approvest the things that are more excellent, being instructed out of the law; And art confident that thou thyself art a guide of the blind, a light of them which are in darkness, An instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, which hast the form of knowledge and of the truth in the law. Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery? thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege? Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonourest thou God? For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written. For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision. Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision? And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfil the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law? For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God." (Romans 2: 17 - 29)

Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed." (Romans 9: 6 - 8)

"As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers' sakes." (Romans 11: 28, see Matthew 5: 44) "For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judaea are in Christ Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews: Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men: Forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved, to fill up their sins alway: for the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost." (I Thessalonians 2: 14 - 16)

V. THE CONVERSION OF THE COVENANT PEOPLE
Beloved, Dispensationalism has made an idol out of ethnic Israel, and teaches something entirely contrary to the Word of God about the Abrahamic and Mosaic Covenants. The fact of the matter is that ethnic Israel taken as a whole is guilty of unbelief, has grieved the Holy Spirit of God, has rejected the Messiah, has broken the Covenants that they claim an exclusive right to and forfeited their God-given place in the land of Palestine. It is Almighty God himself who allowed the armies of Vespasian and Titus to besiege Jerusalem, destroy the city and burn the Temple to the ground. These terrible events took place according to the prophecy of our Lord Jesus Christ that not one stone would be left upon another in the Holy City because of their rejection of him. Tragically, the awful sin of unbelief has reduced Jerusalem to the status of Sodom and Gomorrah (Revelation 11: 18). No wonder our Lord wept over it!

Worse than that, ethnic Israel, broadly speaking, has forfeited all claim to that heavenly country, that Celestial City, "whose builder and maker is God" (Hebrews 11: 10 - 16). They are as lost as any Gentile, and need to born again and included in the New Covenant of Christ's blood (Jeremiah 31: 31 - 34; Hebrews 12: 18 - 24), just like any Gentile. Unless they repent and "believe on the Lord Jesus Christ"

(Acts 16: 31), they are first in line only for "tribulation and anguish" (Romans 2: 9), not for any special Covenant privileges.

Beloved, it is a mistake to romanticize the Jewish nation, even with reference to their relationship to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The need of the Jewish people, as of any people, is the forgiveness of their sins, the salvation of their souls and the regenerative work of the Holy Ghost according to the promises made in the New Covenant of Christ's blood (Jeremiah 31: 31 - 34; Hebrews 12: 18 - 24). Let us not cloud the issues in the Middle East today with romantic ideas and misguided hermaneutics. Let us address the underlying problem of sin, of universal human depravity, of God's broken Covenants, of his just and righteous wrath, and of the universal human need for the righteousness of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, made available through his shed blood, agonizing death and bodily resurrection. Let us preach to the Jew first, and not only to the Gentile, the precious promise of the Gospel "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast" (Ephesians 2: 8 - 9). In so doing, we will see that blessed remnant that Scripture promises (Romans 11: 1 - 8) called out, justified through the merits of the Son of God and united with the company of God's elect from all ages, his redeemed Covenant people - the true Israel of God.

Beloved, some would seek to degrade this truth by stigmatizing it with the epithet of Replacement Theology. But this is not Replacement Theology. This is Inclusion Theology. I for one, thank the Lord, that we are no longer strangers or foreigners or aliens from the commonwealth of Israel. I thank the Lord that we have been made nigh by the blood of Christ and united together in the faith of Christ Jesus, because he broke down the middle wall of partition on the cross of Calvary and abolished the enmity that resulted from our violations of God's holy Law (Ephesians 2: 11 - 22). I thank the Lord that, like Ruth and Rahab of old, we now have a place in the Heavenly Jerusalem through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whether we be Jew or Gentile.

CONCLUSION
Beloved, Dispensationalism has skewered the Word of God. It emphasizes and misapplies the blessing while ignoring the cursing. It preaches an "Age of Grace", when all around us multitudes perish under wrath, under condemnation, being cursed with a curse. It comes dangerously close to universalism at this point. Some might even call it a mild form of universalism. In any case, it omits Biblical principles, misapplies Biblical promises and blessings, and misleads sincere people as to the root problems and needs of both ethnic Israel as a people, and humanity as a whole.

May God in his mercy save us from this modern Dispensational preaching! May God Almighty raise up a valiant host of preachers who will preach the truth of God's Word as it is, as it was first carried to this great land from across the Atlantic Ocean by pilgrim feet, rather than repeating the stumbling errors of the blind guides and pop theology of the twentieth century, the pseudo-literalism of Dispensationalism! May Almighty God raise up a host of men who will preach convictingly against sin as the Bible defines it, as "the transgression of the law" (I John 3: 4), fearlessly confronting men and women with their miserably ruined state as "guilty before God" (Romans 3: 19), under his eternal curse and subject to eternal damnation in "the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone" (Revelation 21: 8)! Then, and only then will we see consciences awakened, hearts deeply broken over sin, and lost multitudes made to tremble and cry out under overwhelming Holy Spirit conviction, as on the day of Pentecost "What shall we do?" Oh, that he would do so quickly! It is not too late, even for this wicked and godless generation.