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THE ISRAEL OF GOD
In the evangelical world, the big arguments over the correct interpretation of eschatology are based largely on what constitute the Israel of God. The belief that only national Israel can fulfill the prophetic promises of the Old Testament has led into serious interpretational problems for dispensationalists, problems that we have begun viewing in chapters’ 1 and 2 and will continue to visualize. In light of the issues that we are analyzing in this course, one must raise the questions: What is the foundational pillar of dispensationalism? What is the main premise that supports the whole of dispensational systematic theology? Dispensationalists answer these questions in the following: Charles C. Ryrie explains: “The essence of dispensationalism, then, is the distinction between Israel and the Church” (Dispensationalism Today, 47. Emphasis mine). Lewis S. Chafer states: “The distinction between the purpose for Israel and the purpose for the Church is about as important as that which exists between the two testaments” (Systematic Theology, Vol. 4, 47. Emphasis mine). The belief that Israel is distinct from the Church, and the belief that the Old Testament is distinct from the New Testament (mainly sections) is the foundation for all dispensational theories. For dispensationalists, this dual distinction theory between Scripture and Biblical people is the main pillar and justification for placing the 70th week of Daniel 9 in the future—prior to the millennium. For dispensationalists, this pillar justifies the divided second coming of Christ around the 70th week. Dispensationalists emphasize that in order for the distinction between the Church and Israel to be maintained, the Church must be removed from the world before the tribulation. We have proved that there is no divided second coming of Christ; neither is the 70 th week applicable to the future. The removal of these two dispensational pillars from the picture of Biblical truth leaves the doctrine of Biblical distinctions in a denuded state, for the dispensational system is made up of too many additive premises, where if one premise is proved wrong, the whole system falls to pieces. The fact that the 70th week was fulfilled between A.D. 27 – 34, and the fact that Jesus will return a second time—not two times— before the millennium; precludes the distinction between Israel and the Church as two separate and distinct groups. The Unity Of The Word Of God We will begin our analysis of the dispensational view on Israel by analyzing the main premise that supports the third pillar of dispensational distinctions. What is this premise? The underling premise that maintains the distinction between Israel and the Church is the belief that the Old and New Testament Scriptures are distinct isolated messages for unique groups. Clarence Larkin defines this concept:
While the “Word of truth” is written FOR all classes of people, and FOR our learning, it is not addressed to all peoples in general, but part of it is addressed to the Jews, part to the Gentiles, and part to the Church. These three constitute the THREE CLASSES into which humanity is divided (Dispensational Truth, 19. Emphasis mine).
By D. S. Farris
The Israel Of God Larkin moreover explains that the Old Testament is centered in the Jewish nation, and that a good portion of the New Testament—especially the Epistles—is written exclusively for the Jew. Larkin emphasizes: “we must not apply to the Church what does not belong to it” (Dispensational Truth, 19). According to dispensationalists, this compartmentalizing of scripture is the process of “Rightly Dividing” the word of truth. When dispensationalists emphasize that they “Rightly Divide” the word of truth, they are telling us that the Old Testament must be observed as a self contained unit apart from the New Testament; that even much of the New Testament scriptures must be viewed as Jewish in character and cannot be used by the Church to form the basis of the Christian faith. The following correlation block is a simple illustration of the impossibility of dispensational compartmentalization of the scriptures. Correlation Block (1) The New Testament Interprets The Old Testament
2 Timothy 3:16
Acts 13:27 2 Corinthians 3:14 - 16
2 Timothy 2:15
Luke 24:44, 45
2 Peter 3:15, 16 Matthew 15:6 - 9
Isaiah 28:9, 10, 13
2 Peter 3:1, 2
2 Timothy 3:16 says that “ALL—not some—scripture is profitable for doctrine.” When 2 Timothy 2:15 says that we are to rightly divide (Gr. Orthotomeo: “to cut straight as to handle right”) the word of truth, this is showing that we are to rightly apply the scriptures. How do we do this? Isaiah 28:9, 10, 13 shows that, to rightly handle the scriptures, we must “lay precept upon precept, line upon line, here a little, and there a little.” The Berean Church was recognized as a very noble church, because “they searched the scriptures with all readiness of mind. (Acts 17:11).” In order to search the scriptures to find truth, we must apply the principle set out in Isaiah 28:9 – 13. Why? ALL scripture is profitable for doctrine! The fact that the whole of the Bible applies to all men—not isolated groups—is seen in the following illustration: 2 Corinthians 3:14 – 16 and Acts 13:27 perspicuously show that the Jewish leaders did not have a correct understanding of the Old Testament. In fact, 2 Corinthians 3:14 – 16 reveal that Christ is the interpreter of the Old Testament. For emphasis: If we want to know the meaning of the Old Testament, we must look at it through Christ. Why is this significant? This is significant because, according to Luke 24:44, 45, Jesus gave the apostles the proper understanding of the Old Testament. This means that the apostles became qualified—like Jesus—to interpret the Old Testament.
3 This is proven in 2 Peter 3:1, 2 where Peter puts the words of the apostles on equal par with the prophets. Notice the following argument:
(1) (2) (3) (4) Jesus is the interpreter of the Old Testament. Jesus gave the apostles the proper understanding of the Old Testament. The apostles wrote the New Testament. The New Testament interprets the Old Testament.
Here is another argument that will be proved over the duration of this chapter and the following chapter.
(1) The Jewish leaders did not have a correct understanding of the Old Testament (2 Cor. 3:14 – 16; Acts 13:27). (2) Dispensational compartmentalization of scripture is a methodology of interpretation almost homogeneous with that of the Sanhedrin 2,000 years ago. (3) Dispensationalists do not have a correct understanding of the Old Testament.
Hans K. LaRondelle speaks factually where he says, “Dispensational literalism does not allow that Jesus Christ provided a new perspective for interpreting the Old Testament” (The Israel Of God In Prophecy, 26). The Bible clearly shows that the New Testament— inspired by Jesus and the apostles—interprets the Old Testament. When we study the word of God, we interpret it through the unity of both Testaments, for ALL scripture— taken together organically—produces correct doctrine. This method constitutes “laying precept upon precept, line upon line, here a little, and there a little.” If we don’t apply this method, we will “wrestle down scriptures to our own destruction (2 Peter 3:15, 16).” This was precisely the problem of the Jewish leaders in Christ’s day (Matt. 15:6 – 9). When Paul warned about the fables that would replace sound doctrine (2 Tim. 4:2 – 4), he undoubtedly was referring to people who do not ascertain theology in the framework of the whole Bible. Dispensationalists, as has been demonstrated in the preceding chapters, have contrived a system that—when compared with the whole message of scripture—falls to pieces. Dispensationalists attempt to make it appear that the secret rapture, the futurism of the 70th week, and the Church being distinct from Israel has plausibility when they isolate certain passages of scripture—with imaginary inductions—away from the whole of scripture. When dispensationalists are confronted with a certain passage that contradicts their systematic theology, they are quick to say: “That passage of scripture does not apply to the Church; it applies to Israel (or vice versa).” This is wrestling certain scriptures down in order to support imaginary interpretations of others. It is this theory— right here: “That passage of scripture does not apply to the Church; it applies to Israel” that has contrived dispensational mythology. Well does LaRondelle emphasize:
Every proof-text method that appeals to the letters of Scripture verses, not considering their immediate and wider theological contexts and consequently not relating the verses to God’s holy covenant with its messianic framework, denies the theological unity of God’s Word and obscures the religious moral issue of the apocalyptic war between heaven and earth (The Israel Of God In Prophecy, 7).
By D. S. Farris
The Israel Of God It is “the wider theological contexts” of the Bible that dispensationalists have grossly misrepresented—by means of isolating congruous scriptures into feigned irrelevances and contradictions. Now we are going to see that Correlation Block (1) is factual, for we are going to see how the scriptures—taken together organically—destroy the most fundamental pillar in dispensationalism. We will see unequivocally that dispensational divisions of scripture for the purpose of maintaining dispensational eschatological hopes for national Israel—apart from the Church—are as LaRondelle says: “Such an absolute literalism in prophetic interpretation, however, leads irrevocably to a forced interpretation” (The Israel Of God In Prophecy, 26). Correlation Block (2) (The Church Is The Vineyard.) For dispensationalists the distinction between Israel and the Church is of the utmost importance. This is the reason Ryrie emphasizes: “The church is not fulfilling in any sense the promises to Israel” (The Basis of the Premillennial Faith, 136). Chafer says, “That the Christian now inherits the distinctive Jewish promises is not taught in scripture” (Systematic Theology, Vol. 4, 316). Can such statements be validated by the word of God? We answer this with an emphatic, No! Notice the following correlation blocks: Question: Who Is the Vineyard of the Lord, and whom did Isaiah say would eventually be very much apart of the Vineyard—so much—that they would be the new operators?
Israel is Vineyard Isaiah 5:1 - 8 ( verse 7 ) Vineyard would consist of Strangers. Isaiah 61:1 - 11 ( verses 4, 5 ) Luke 4:16 - 20 The Vineyard was taken from national Israel and given to another nation. Matthew 21:18, 19, 33 - 43 ( Verses 18, 19, 43 )
Answer: The Vineyard is Israel. Isaiah prophesied that strangers and foreigners (terms representing non-Jews) would become the operators of the Vineyard. Jesus Himself confirmed this when He said the kingdom (Vineyard) would be taken from national Israel and given to a nation bringing forth its fruits. It does not take a PHD in theology to see the clarity of these correlations. In correlation Block 2, we can deduct the following argument: (1) Isaiah 5:7. Israel is the Vineyard. (2) Isaiah 61:4, 5. Strangers and Aliens would become the operators of the Vineyard. (3) Therefore, non-Jewish people would be very much apart of Israel.
5 (4) Jesus told the Jewish leaders, “The kingdom (Vineyard or Israel) shall be taken from you and given to a nation bringing forth its fruits.” Right before Jesus explained the parable of the Vineyard to the Jewish leaders, He gave an object lesson in verses’ 18 and 19, a physical illustration to His apostles of what He was about to say to the Jewish leaders. The barren fig tree represents national Israel. And when Jesus said, “Let no fruit grow on thee henceforth forever,” He was telling national Israel that they would soon whither away. Luke 4:16 – 20 show that Jesus came to fulfill the words in Isaiah 61. Yes, Jesus came only to the Jewish nation (Matt. 10:6; 15:24) to confirm the Covenant promises given to the fathers of Israel (Dan. 9:27; Isaiah 42:6, 7). However, the results of Christ’s Advent were to go far beyond the confines of the Jewish nation (Acts 13:47; Isaiah 49:6). Jesus came to gather Israel together in order that Israel would gather the Gentiles to the saving grace found in Israel’s Messiah. Though Israel’s election was for the purpose of bringing the Gentiles into the kingdom of God (Isaiah 56:1 – 8), they rejected, not only their election as ambassadors to the world, but they rejected the Messiah of the Covenant. Consequently, the great commission given to Israel continued through the twelve apostles. Israel as a nation throughout the centuries postulated themselves as superior, because they were given the oracles of God. Were they giving the oracles of God to keep righteousness to themselves (Isaiah 5:8)? No! Israel was to bring the truths of heaven to all men (Isaiah 54 – 62; Malachi 1:11, 12). But too often as Hosea 10:1 points out, “Israel [was] an empty vine, he [brought] forth fruit unto himself.” When Jesus came to the Vineyard to receive the fruit that was rightfully His, He—like the prophets before Him— was killed. The fig tree, therefore, represents national Israel who portrayed pretentious foliage without fruit. This illustration should also serve as an example to the Christian Church that pretentious religion is unacceptable to God. God is looking for the manifestation of His fruit through the Holy Spirit working through the Church (John 15:1 – 7). It is written in Acts that the fruit of the Spirit has been realized in God’s Apostolic Church. The Church of God is the new Husbandmen, which render God the fruits in their seasons (Matt. 21:41). Dispensationalism, again, is in direct contradiction to the word of God. We know that the nation, which Jesus spoke about in Matthew 21:43, was and is the Church. Therefore, we are in agreement with George E. Ladd where he says:
However, in view of the fact that in Isaiah 5 the vineyard is Israel itself, it is more probable that Matthew’s interpretation is correct and that the parable means that Israel will no longer be the people of God’s vineyard but will be replace by another people who will receive the message of the Kingdom (A Theology of the New Testament, 112).
Concerning Matthew 21:43, Ladd found that “Jesus regarded his disciples as the remnant of the true Israel because they have accepted God’s offer of the kingdom” (A Theology of the New Testament, 200). We also agree with Oswald T. Allis’ comment on this chapter:
Jesus declared to the Jews that the kingdom should “be taken from” them (Matt. 21: 41). The children of the kingdom (the natural and lawful heirs) are to be cast
By D. S. Farris
The Israel Of God
out (8: 11). None of those “bidden” are to taste the marriage supper (Luke 14: 24). The vineyard is to be given to “other husbandmen”; to “a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof”; men are to come from the “highways,” from the “east and west and north and south,” to partake with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob of the marriage supper (Prophecy And The Church, 78).
After Allis explains that these scriptures are “parabolic and should not be taken too literally,” he then explained factually: “They imply clearly that the period of Jewish particularism was ended; and they do not lend any support to the view that it was ended only for a time and is to be restored after the proclamation by the Church (Prophecy And The Church, 78). Correlation Block (3) (The Church Is The Nation And People Of God)
Kingdom was given to another nation Matthew 21:43 Isaiah 65:1 Romans 10:20 Hosea 1:10; 2:23 Romans 9:25, 26
Christ made the Church into that nation through the 12 Apostles. 1 Peter 2:1 - 10
The Church has been given the same titles as ancient Israel Exodus 19:5, 6
Kingdom was given to 12 Apostles Matthew 10 Luke 12:32
( verses 8 - 10 )
Let us raise the question: Who is the nation that replaced national Israel as the keepers of the Vineyard according to the words of Jesus in Matthew 21:43? The nation that replaced national Israel is the nation that Isaiah had foreseen in Isaiah 61 and 65:1— the Church. Jesus founded the Church (Matt. 16:18) through His twelve apostles. When Jesus told the Jewish leaders in Matthew 21:43, “The kingdom of God shall be taken from you and given to a nation bring forth its fruits,” Jesus undoubtedly was speaking about the Church, which would grow through the twelve apostles (Mark 3:14, 15). Jesus told His apostles in Luke 12:32: “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” Scriptures such as, Ezekiel 34:12 – 14, Isaiah 40:11, and Jeremiah 31:10, show that ancient Israel was God’s flock. Obviously, Jesus made the Twelve Apostles the true flock (Israel) and gave them the vineyard. We agree with LaRondelle’s analysis:
As the messianic Shepard, Christ declares here that He was sent to fulfill Israel’s covenant promises of the gathering of Israel. As the Messiah He came to gather Israel to Himself (see Matthew 12: 30), but more than that, to gather the Gentiles to Himself (see John 12:32). This called for a decision of faith in Him as the Messiah of Israel. For this universal mission He called from Israel His twelve
apostles, who in their chosen number clearly represent the twelve tribes of Israel. By officially ordaining twelve disciples as His apostles (see Mark 3: 14, 15), Christ constituted a new Israel, the messianic remnant of Israel, and called it His church (see Matthew 16: 18) (The Israel Of God In Prophecy, 100, 101. Emphasis mine).
The preceding citation from LaRondelle is absolutely correct. The factualness of his analysis is seen in 1 Peter 2:8, 9, 10 where the Church has the same titles that ancient Israel possessed. Vs. 8: They (the Jewish nation) were appointed (Gr. Etethesan: Verb indicative aorist passive third person plural, from Tithemi: “to lay aside” “to establish” “ordain”) Vs. 9: But you (The Church) are: (1) chosen generation (2) royal priesthood (3) holy nation (4) peculiar people Vs. 10: In time past you were not a people but are now the people of God. The Greek says: nun de now but laos theou hoi people God the Exodus 19:5, 6 chosen people (Deut. 7:6) kingdom of priests holy nation peculiar treasure Isaiah 65:1
Verse 10 can be interpreted as it is in the King James or it can say, “but now are God’s people.” There is no indefinite article in the Greek. This text translated, either way, says that the Church is God’s people or the people of God. Notice that correlation blocks’ 2 and 3 clearly demonstrate that the Church was foreseen by Isaiah and now is the operator of the Vineyard. Notice that the Church has the same titles given to ancient Israel. The Church has fulfilled and is fulfilling the promises made with ancient Israel. The Bible is clear on this; but yet, dispensationalists will tell us the following:
. . .dispensationalists have regarded the present age as a parenthesis unexpected and without specific prediction in the Old Testament (John F. Walvoord, The Millennial Kingdom, 227). The Church is a mystery in the sense that it was completely unrevealed in the Old Testament and now revealed in the New Testament (C.C. Ryrie, The Basis of the Premillennial Faith, 136).
Correlation blocks’ 2 and 3 indelibly destroy these statements, because they apply “the wider theological contexts” of the Bible. When the whole Bible is used, dispensational compartmentalizing becomes an overall contradictory system—at war against the scriptures. Notice how blatant the contradictions get: Ryrie asserts: “The Church did not begin until the day of Pentecost and will be removed from this world at the rapture which precedes the Second Coming of Christ” (The Basis of the Premillennial Faith, 136). By D. S. Farris
The Israel Of God Christ’s Church did not begin at Pentecost. His Church began with the gathering together of the twelve apostles (Matt. 16:18; 18:17). Moreover, as will be revealed through the message of this chapter, the Church was simply the organizing of a body of faithful believers in the God of Israel; therefore, God always had a Church, for He always had an assembly of true believers—even when Israel as a nation rejected truth. Stated another way, Christ simply came and formalized—for a lack of a better term—an assembly of true believers as the true Israel. The Church Was Foreseen, Not Unforeseen Ryrie says that the Church was completely unrevealed in the Old Testament and that the Church had its birth at Pentecost. Peter blatantly contradicts the idea that the Church was unforeseen. On the day of Pentecost, Peter emphasized, “But this was that which was spoken by the prophet Joel (Acts 2:16).” Compare Joel 2:28 – 32 with Acts 2:16 – 21. These scriptures unambiguously declare that the prophets foresaw the Church. In the context of the Church, Peter declares in Acts 3:24: “Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days.” Acts 15:14 – 17 is a quotation from Amos 9:11, 12. James states that, “God taking out of the Gentiles a people for his name, agreed with the words of the prophets.” Interestingly, the phrase “a people for his name” was used for Israel (Isaiah 43:7; Deuteronomy 7: 6; 14: 2; 28: 9, 10). Acts 15:14, 15 is in perfect correlation with 1 Peter 2:9, 10 and Exodus 19:5, 6. These scriptures prove that the Church, founded by Jesus and His twelve apostles, is the continuation of Israel; the Church is the new Husbandmen over the kingdom of God on earth (the vineyard). Isaiah 61 did foresee non-Jewish people within and operating the Vineyard (Israel). Compare Isaiah 61:6 with Romans 9:30 – 33. Isaiah foresaw that this would take place through the coming Messiah who would bring salvation to all men (see Isaiah 61:10, 11). We find in Luke 4:18 that Jesus confirmed Isaiah’s prophecy. Naturally, Jesus would have done so, for in Luke 2:32 we find that the purpose of Jesus was to be “a light to the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.” Isaiah 42:6, 7 foretold of the Messianic purpose as saving all men. Acts 13:47 demonstrates that the message of the Messianic purpose was to go to the ends of the earth for salvation. Paul and Barnabas were quoting Isaiah 49:6, literally. Isaiah 49:6 declares the exact words of Acts 13:47, except Isaiah 49:6 mentions the raising up of the twelve tribes of Jacob and restoring the preserved of Israel. Isaiah’s prophecy coincides with the words of James 1:1, which states that the “twelve tribes are scattered abroad.” Paul and Barnabas clearly demonstrated that Isaiah’s prophecy was being fulfilled in the Church; meaning, the twelve tribes were being “raised up and restored” through the growth of the Church. Peter testifies that what the prophets had seen, pointed to the Church. He says in 1 Peter 1:9 – 12:
Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. Of which salvation the prophets having inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the
gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down unto them from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.
Galatians 3:8 further clarifies the words of Peter: “And the scripture foreseeing (Gr. Proeido, “see beforehand”) that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.” Paul, like Peter, explains this text in the context of the salvation that is being brought to the world through the Church. The fact that the message of Salvation by Christ—seen in the Gospel —was foreseen by the prophets is also realized in Romans 16:26, 27. The New Testament does not support the dispensationalist claim that the Church was unforeseen by the prophets; and thus, not fulfilling Israel’s promises. The contradictions are glaring! For example, J. D. Pentecost says, “It has been illustrated how this whole age (church age) existed in the mind of God without having been revealed in the Old Testament” (Things To Come, 137. Emphasis mine). That statement is completely contradicted by Amos 3:7: “Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.” This truth in Amos 3:7 has been illustrated quite clearly in this chapter. Philip Mauro “hits the hammer on the nail” where he says:
The time came when the inconsistencies and self-contradictions of the system itself (dispensationalism), and above all, the impossibility of reconciling its main positions with the plain statements of the Word of God, became so glaringly evident that I could not do otherwise than renounce it (The Gospel Of The Kingdom, 6, 7. Emphasis mine)
The Eternal Or Everlasting Covenant Ultimately the dispensational controversy concerning the distinction between Israel and the Church is based on the faulty notion that God made the Everlasting Covenant exclusively with Abraham and his physical seed. As we are going to see in the following chapter, dispensationalists have a tendency to begin the Everlasting Covenant with Abraham and make its focal point a theocratic kingdom that Jesus—at His first advent—was to bring to the Jewish nation. Because the Jews allegedly rejected this kingdom, the theocratic kingdom and the Everlasting Covenant—tied to this kingdom— have been postponed until the millennium. In other words, according to dispensational theology, the Everlasting Covenant was made to the Jewish nation and has its spring of activation in this nation. This view is so “wanting” in an appropriate understanding of the Everlasting Covenant and “leaves far to much to be desired” in a proper understanding of the origin of the Covenant—in whole—and in whom it was actually made. Before we move into the following correlation blocks, we are going to take a journey into the topic of what constitutes the Eternal or Everlasting Covenant. A proper understanding of this issue dissolves all unwarranted conjectures about the literal nation of Israel. The Everlasting Covenant can also be described as the Eternal Creation Covenant. What is this Covenant? We know that according to Zechariah 6:13; Micah 5:2; Proverbs 8: Since ages-past the “counsel of peace” has existed between the Father and the Son. Colossians 1:19 says, “It pleased the Father that in Him (the Son) all fullness should dwell.” The Eternal Creation Covenant was an agreement the Father made with
By D. S. Farris
The Israel Of God the Son in eternity-past; that He would create the world’s (the creations) through the Son (Heb. 8:2; Col. 1:16, 17); that in all things the Son would have the preeminence (Col. 1:18). Colossians 1:15 – 17 explains:
[Christ] is the image of the invisible God, the first born of every creature. For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him and for him. And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
As we are going to see, the Father’s Covenant with the Son was based on a unilateral relationship between the Godhead and all creation; that God’s creation should experience the full blessings of God’s perfect work. Note: “unilateral” as a concept is always indicative of what God provides for the objects of His love and how God’s people rest in His perfect provisions in both physical and spiritual needs. The Eternal Creation Covenant—in essence—was that man along with the rest of creation should experience the Covenant blessings or provisions promised in Christ before the foundation of the world. How was the Covenant—made between the Father and the Son—manifested in the world in its unilateral nature? We can determine this by understanding certain points in the book of Genesis: (1) Genesis 1:1 – 31 says that God created the heavens and the earth in six days, and on the sixth day God created man in his own image. (2) Genesis 1:26 – 31; 2:4 – 25; Psalm 8:1 – 9 demonstrates that Adam entered into God’s creation blessing—brought into being through the Son (Heb. 1:1 – 4; Col. 1:15 – 17). Adam received the promise of dominion over the predetermined work, which the Father purposed in the Son, and Adam was blessed with the whole earth and all things in it (Gen. 1:29, 30). We can see that Adam was a “joint heir” of the Creation Covenant— established before the foundation of the world. As we are seeing, man was to enter— unilaterally—into the Creation Covenant between the Father and the Son, for man was to be the recipient of the blessings and promises of God’s provision. (3) The Unilateral Covenant, which Adam entered, had a law. Genesis 2:15 – 17 says that Adam was not to eat off of the tree of knowledge. If Adam disobeyed, he would receive the curse of death. Genesis 2:9 indicates that both the tree of life and the tree of knowledge were in the garden. Revelation 22:2, 14 tell us that the new creation—to come —will have the tree of life (immortality). Revelation 22:14 says that those who keep the commandments will have right to the tree of life. This is the way it was in the first creation. If Adam obeyed God’s commandment, he had right to the tree of life. Adam’s immortality was, unequivocally, conditioned on his obedience to God’s commandments. The unilateral Covenant clearly has God’s law as the basis of its foundation. (4) Genesis 2:1 – 3; Exodus 20:8 – 11; Mark 2:27: When God saw that all that He had created was good, He rested on the seventh day and blessed it and sanctified it as a sign of His perfect creation. Genesis 2:1 – 3 shows that God rested on the seventh day from all His works. If Adam received dominion over God’s creation as an inheritance, it is likely
11 that he also received the memorial of God’s creation as an inheritance. So, from the beginning, the Sabbath was the sign of the unilateral Covenant between the Father and the Son—brought to Adam and the creation. From the beginning, it was intended that man enter into God’s rest from God’s perfect work. Adam’s only work consisted of taking care of the Garden of Eden (Gen. 2:15) and enjoying God’s provisions every day and entering into the weekly Sabbath as the memorial of all God’s provisions. Genesis 2:1 – 3 reveals that God blessed the seventh day and made it holy. Did God bless and sanctify the Sabbath for Himself without offering it to Adam? No! Mark 2:27 shows that the Sabbath was made for man. The Sabbath was introduced to Adam as a memorial of his existence, the existence of both heaven and earth, and a memorial that points to the unilateral (a perpetual rest: Heb. 4) promises and blessings of God’s Covenant. From the beginning, the Sabbath was a day representing the unification of God’s whole creation to Himself in the Eternal Covenant. What we have just analyzed, in essence, is the fact that the Covenant of God— introduced to Adam—had promises, blessings, law, and the curse of death if the law was broken. Moreover, the Sabbath was instituted as a memorial of the Creation. These things are elements within the Noahic, Abrahamic, Mosaic, Davidic, and New Covenant. As we are going to see as we move along in this section, ultimately, there is One Everlasting Covenant, which includes all the saints from Adam to the last man born. Both the tree of life and the tree of knowledge were placed in the Garden of Eden as a symbol of “free will” in that man had a choice to serve God or to serve himself. Adam had only to trust in God for all his needs. To trust in God’s provision, is to eat off of the tree of life. The tree of knowledge then was the symbol of self-trust, opposed to trusting in God for all blessings. What was the great offense in eating off of the tree of knowledge? Eating off of the tree of knowledge placed Adam’s trust on himself instead of on God. The tree of knowledge was the symbol of making “self” the source of all blessings. This in essence was the breaking of the unilateral Covenant. Trusting in self broke the perpetual rest, which Adam was to live in for eternity.
Self-trust is the place that brought Satan into distrust towards God and led him into Sin (Ezek. 28:15 – 17; Isaiah 14:13, 14). Satan knew from his own experience that if he could cause man to seek self-knowledge, rather than trust God, man would separate himself from God’s provisions—both spiritual and physical, and man would place himself on the grounds in which Satan could become man’s master. Thus, Satan could rob man of his heritage. Man, through the tree of knowledge, was given a choice between two masters: By D. S. Farris
The Israel Of God either rest in the provisions of God predetermined to have their preeminence in Christ or trust in self knowledge and self provision—the very essence of Satan‘s kingdom. The earth was connected to Adam in a very intimate way, so much so, that when Adam fell from a sinless state, this had an affect on the whole creation. The creation was brought under the curse of sin with Adam (Gen. 3:17 – 19). This shows that God’s unilateral Covenant was, not only for Adam, but also for the rest of creation. The unilateral Covenant of blessings was for the benefit of the whole creation under the dominion of Adam. When Adam sinned he forfeited himself and the creation to the kingdom of darkness. We should raise the question: How did God bring man and the whole creation back into the Covenant? We learn that the Eternal Covenant included a way of salvation if the Covenant should ever be broken. 1 Peter 1:19, 20 and Revelation 13:8 explain that Christ dieing for mankind was “foreordained before the foundation of the world.” 2 Timothy 1:1, 9 states that we were saved in Christ Jesus before the world began. Titus 1:2 states that eternal life was purposed for us before the world began. For emphasis, the question should be raised: What was purposed before the beginning of the world, and in whom were they purposed? Ephesians 3:10, 11 and Romans 16:25 explain that all things were purposed in Christ before the world began. The Everlasting Covenant Definitely Includes The Creation We find that the Covenant made between the Father and the Son, in its predetermined plan of restoration for fallen man (Gen. 3:15), also included restoration of the creation. This is seen in the Noahic covenant (Gen. 9:9 – 17). Genesis 9:9, 10, 16 says:
And I, behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you; and with every living creature that is with you, of the fowl, of the cattle, and of every beast of the earth with you; from all that go out of the ark, to every beast of the earth. And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon earth.
After all flesh (both man and beast) was destroyed (Gen. 7:17 – 24), Noah, his family, and the animals were the remnant of the creation. God established His Everlasting Covenant with this remnant as the continuum of the Covenant’s re-integration for man. The Eternal Creation Covenant (The Everlasting or Eternal Covenant) was not distinct from the following covenants promulgated through Abraham as dispensationalists teach. We learn in Jeremiah 33:20, 21 that the Davidic promise is organically fused with the covenant of the day and the night (see Gen. 1:14 – 16). Jeremiah explained that God’s covenant with David includes elements of the creation. This fact is clearly proven in Colossians 1:16 where it says that all things in heaven and earth were created by the Son and for Him. Colossians 1:20 brings the Eternal Creation Covenant into clear focus: “And having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.” The promise of salvation in Genesis 3:15 and the Noahic covenant in Genesis 9 are in perfect correlation with the scriptures in Colossians 1, for the foreordained plan of Salvation in
13 the Eternal Creation Covenant, not only was purposed for the salvation of man, but also the restoration of the creation. This is further clarified in Romans 8:19 – 23, which states:
For the earnest expectation of the creature waits for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and travails in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.
The saints and the whole creation wait with the earnest expectation for the New Heaven and Earth where there will be righteousness (2 Peter 3:13; Rev. 21, 22). We learn in Isaiah 65:17 – 25 that, not only man, but also the creation will be restored to what it was in Eden (Even Better). Isaiah 66:22, 23 indicate that the Sabbath will be the memorial in the New Heaven and Earth as it was in the first creation. The Eternal Creation Covenant is the Everlasting Covenant. It was lost in the Garden of Eden. God, in His foreknowledge, predetermined that it would be restored through Christ. Every covenant in the Old Testament was a gradual re-integration of the Everlasting Covenant until it was more fully regained in the New Covenant. The Everlasting Covenant existing today—defined as the New Covenant—will reach its acme and complete restoration in the New Earth after sin has been eradicated. Now we will proceed to expound on this issue with more clarity through the following demonstration. Everlasting Covenant’s Reintegration Through Patriarchs Notice the comparison of the following covenants—from Creation to Moses—and compare them with the following diagram: (1) Eternal Creation Covenant or Everlasting Covenant given to man: Genesis 1:26 – 31; 2:4 – 25; Psalm 8 (a) Adam was blessed with all provision, both spiritual and temporal. (b) He was promised to be the heir of the whole earth. (c) The Law concerning the tree of knowledge was the governing principle of God’s unilateral Covenant. (d) Gen. 1:14 – 16: The division of day and night was to be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years. (e) Gen. 2:1 – 3: The sign of the Covenant was the Sabbath. The Sabbath must have also been the sign of the weekly cycle. (2) The Law was broken, and God had a preordained plan to restore the Everlasting Creation Covenant. The gradual reintegration of the Covenant began with the promise given to Adam:
By D. S. Farris
The Israel Of God 1 Peter 1:19, 20; Revelation 13:8; 2 Timothy 1:1, 9; Titus 1:2; Ephesians 3:10, 11; Romans 16:25 (a) Gen. 3:15: Through the seed of the woman, the Messiah would come and save man from death, and the Messiah would restore all that was lost through the fall. (b) Gen. 3:2 and 4:4: Sacrifices were instituted as a type of the Messiah who was to come. The basis of the sacrifice, a symbol of the coming Messiah, was faith (Heb. 11:4). (3) The Noahic covenant was the next gradual reintegration of the Everlasting Covenant: Genesis 6:5: God saw that all of mankind had been corrupted, but Noah found favor in God’s eyes (verse 8). God continued the Creation Covenant with Noah (Gen. 6:18; 9:9, 10, 15). (a) Gen. 8:17; 9:1 – 3: Like Adam before his fall, God wanted to bless Noah with all provision. (b) Gen. 8:21, 22 and 9:11: God promised Noah that he would not again curse the ground or destroy the living creatures through a flood. Cold and heat; summer and winter; day and night shall not cease. Gen. 8:22, like Jer. 33:20, 21, is restating what was promised in Gen. 1:14 – 16 concerning God’s covenant with day and night and “time.” It is undoubtedly true that God’s Covenant was, not only for man, but also for creation. (c) Gen. 9:4 – 6: God made the Law that Noah and his seed cannot eat the blood of animals. Gen. 7:2: Noah new the difference between clean and unclean animals. God also emphasized that Noah and his people were not to commit murder. Law was the guiding principle in this aspect of the Everlasting Covenant’s reintegration, just as it is in all the other covenants. (d) Gen. 8:20, 21: The sacrifice of Noah pointed to the Messiah of the Creation Covenant. Noah became heir of the righteousness, which is by faith (Heb. 11:7). (e) Gen. 9:12 – 15: The rainbow became the sign of God’s Covenant with both Noah and the rest of the creation that a flood would not destroy the world again. Notice that the Everlasting Covenant continued, not only with Noah, but also all the living things on earth. (4) The Abrahamic covenant was the next gradual reintegration of the Everlasting Covenant. Note: Genesis 17:17 says that the Everlasting Covenant continued through Abraham. (a) Gen. 12:1, 6, 7; 13:14 – 16; 15:18 and 17:8: The blessings of Abraham are clearly seen in the promises made to him. Abraham’s seed was promised to be the recipient of the land of Canaan, but Canaan was only a type of the world (Rom. 4:13). Abraham’s seed was promised the New Jerusalem, which is the New Creation in the new world to come. Obviously the Abrahamic covenant is the
15 gradual recapturing of the one Covenant introduced and broken in the Garden of Eden. (b) Gen. 12:3; 22:18; 26:4: Abraham was promised that, through his seed, all nations would be blessed. This is the promise of Gen. 3:15, and this promise is based on the Everlasting Covenant between the Father and the Son. (c) Gen. 26:5: Abraham kept God’s commandments, statues, and judgments. In other words, Abraham kept God’s laws. Law in this aspect of the Covenant’s reintegration was the guiding principle. (d) Gen. 15:8 – 11 and Jer. 34:17 – 19: When Abram was first being led away from the Chaldees, he wanted assurance that God was giving him the land of Canaan. God told Abram to offer a sacrifice. This sacrifice, like all the others, pointed to the Lord of the Covenant. (e) Gen. 17:7 – 11 and Rom. 4:11: God gave Abraham circumcision as the sign of the Covenant. (5) The Mosiac covenant was supposed to be a step closer in the reintegration of the Everlasting Covenant, but here the Covenant went the direction of Bilateral instead of unilateral. (a) Ex. 3:6 – 8 and Gen. 15:13, 14: Moses was to lead the Israelites to the land, which was promised to Abraham. Israel was to receive the unilateral blessings, which were offered to Abraham. (b) Ex. 20:2 – 17 and Deut. 4:13: The Covenant was based on the Law of God. (c) Ex. 24:1 – 8: The Covenant was ratified with the blood of oxen. (d) Ex. 31:16, 17 and Ezek: 20:12, 20: Like the first Creation and the Creation that is to come in the New Earth, the Sabbath was the sign of the Covenant.
Eternity Past ETERNAL CREATION COVENANT Jesus ratifies Eternal Covenant Eternity Future
UNILATERAL The progressive reintroduction of the Everlasting Covenant throughout history Bilateral Departure
Mosaic or Old Covenant
Man sinned and the Eternal Covenant was broken.
Eternal Covenant is regained more fully.
THE CREATION COVENANT WILL BE COMPLETELY RESTORED IN THE NEW HEAVEN AND EARTH
Up to this point, we can see that the covenants from Adam to Moses had within them, blessings, promises, law, sacrifice, and signs. All these covenants had these elements. What was the focal point of the promises in the Mosaic covenant? The focal point of the Mosaic covenant was receiving the land of Canaan, a type of the world. This promise By D. S. Farris
The Israel Of God goes back to Abraham; then back to Noah; then back to Adam. Note: The absolute outcome of the of the entire Covenant is explained by 2 Peter 3:13, “Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth wherein dwells righteousness.” All of these covenants had elements, which revolved around the promises of inheriting the land, because they all represent ONE Covenant, the Everlasting Creation Covenant, which will reach its total fulfillment in the New Jerusalem in the New Earth. Elaborations On The Terms: Old And New Covenant The New Covenant is the Everlasting Covenant more fully regained. If ultimately there is only one Covenant, The Eternal or Everlasting Covenant, then why do the scriptures indicate that there are two Covenants, the Old and New Covenant? The reason that the Mosaic reintegration of the One Covenant is styled the Old Covenant is because the Israelites, not the Lord, changed this Covenant from unilateral (not I, but Christ) to bilateral (self sufficiency plus Christ). The Mosaic covenant was a departure from the experience of Abraham. When the book of Hebrews talks about the poor promises of the Old Covenant, the book is undoubtedly speaking of the fault found with the Israelites (Heb. 8:7, 8). God came to Israel to fulfill the Abrahamic promise of establishing a great nation of men who’s obedience would be the product of a faith that allowed God’s Spirit to produce righteousness in the individuals. The reason Abraham kept God’s commandments (Gen. 26:5) is because he, through faith, relied on the unilateral provision of God. This had been the case of all the prominent figures from Adam’s day to Moses. Law has always been the guiding norm of the Everlasting Covenant’s reintegration, but never was it intended to be the Savior of man. Man could only keep God’s precepts when he—through faith—relied on God’s provision in the heart. Obedience was to be the fruits of the Spirit. Exodus 19:3 – 6 show that God intended for the Israelites to obey the Law of the Everlasting Covenant. Did got want a bilateral commitment from Israel? The Mosaic covenant was supposed to be based on the same unilateral experience of Abraham. Galatians 3:17, 18 and Romans 4:13, 14 teach that the law given 430 years after Abraham cannot disannul the Covenant given to Abraham. The Mosaic covenant was in purpose to be an expansion of the unilateral Covenant. Note: “The promise that Abraham and his seed should be the heir of the world was not through [righteousness (bilaterally) obtained] the law, but through the righteousness of faith (Rom. 4:13, 14).” Galatians 3:19 says, “The law was added because of transgression.” The law was to reveal to Israel their sins and their need of the coming Savior. Deuteronomy 6:1 – 9 reveal that God wanted his laws, statues, and judgments to be placed in the hearts of the Israelites; this is the basis of the New Covenant (Heb. 8:10). The requirements of the law were to be fulfilled by means of God writing those laws in the hearts of the Israelites. Through faith in God, the Israelites would allow God to transform their minds and hearts (unilaterally), then, and only then would obedience be genuinely performed with self sufficiency put in the dust where it belongs. The ancient Israelites chose a path that could never have worked. Thus, the term Old Covenant points to the departure from the unilateral Covenant in the time of Moses, and the term New Covenant points to the recapturing of the unilateral Covenant. The Mosaic covenant was a further revelation of the original promise. For
17 example, we find that the Sabbath was instituted before sin ever came into the world, as a memorial of God’s perfect creation (Gen. 2:2, 3). After the fall of man, we see Abel offering a Lamb as a sacrifice in Genesis 4…after the fact that the Lord gave the promise of redemption in Genesis 3:15. In Genesis 8:19 – 21, Noah offered burnt offerings to God, offerings which pointed to the Messiah. Furthermore, Noah knew the difference between “clean” and “unclean” animals. The Sabbath, the burnt offerings, and knowledge about clean and unclean animals were institutions that were expanded upon in the Mosaic covenant. We find in Genesis 17:9, 10 the fact that circumcision was added to the Abrahamic covenant and enlarged upon in the Mosaic covenant. Genesis 26:5 states that Abraham kept God’s “commandments, statues, and laws.” The Mosaic covenant set in motion a system of types, which would find their perfect antitypical fulfillment in Christ and His ministry in the heavenly sanctuary (Heb. 8:1 – 6). The Mosaic covenant, in essence, was to be the culmination and organization of a nation who had the experience of Abraham. The bilateral error on the part of the Israelites did not set aside the Covenant promises made to Abraham; which was an expansion of the promises made to Noah; which was an expansion of the promises made to Adam; which, as a Covenant, has its inception in the Godhead. The Everlasting Covenant (Determines Who Constitutes The Seed Of Promise)
When mankind transgressed the commandment of God in the Garden of Eden, he broke the unilateral Covenant of God, for he sought self-knowledge. As a result of transgression, man forfeited his dominion over the earth (Psalm 8) to the control of the kingdom of darkness. As was said, preceding the fall of humanity, God had already decided how He would save mankind and re-integrate the Covenant if the Covenant had ever been broken. Revelation 13:8 says that the lamb was slain from the foundation of the world (also see 1 Peter 1:19, 20). In Genesis 3:15 Jesus told us that through the seed (offspring) of the woman, a way out of the kingdom of darkness would be made manifest. The promise given to Adam was the promise of redemption through the Messiah. The Godhead purposed these things before the world began, because it has always been in the mind of God that in Christ “we should be Holy and without blame before the [Father] in love (Eph. 1:4).” Within Genesis 3:15 we have the beginning of the Everlasting Covenant’s reintroduction, and we have a clear indication that throughout time there would exist two (not three) seeds: the serpent’s seed (offspring) and the woman’s seed (offspring). In By D. S. Farris
The Israel Of God Genesis 4:1 – 11 we immediately see the manifestation of the two seeds. Abel represents the seed of the woman, and Cain represents the seed of the serpent. Now we must raise the question: What distinguished Abel as belonging to the seed of the woman and Cain as belonging to the seed of the serpent? Both Cain and Abel were the offspring of Adam, and both possessed fallen humanity; their lineage could not have been a distinguishing factor. Hebrews 11:4 shows that through Faith Abel was righteous in God’s sight. Did God respect Abel over Cain because of superficial reasons such as genetics? No! The Lord told Cain, “If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door.” From the very beginning in God’s dealing with mankind, we can see the fact that God “is no respecter of persons (Deut. 10:17; 2 Chron. 19:7; Job 34:19; Acts 10:34; Rom. 2:11; Gal. 2:6; Eph. 6:9; Col. 3:25; 1 Peter 1:17).” God told Cain, “If you do well, you will be accepted.” Rather than offering a sacrifice that pointed to the Messiah and His work of salvation, Cain offered a sacrifice produced from his work (human works). It is in this instance that we see the elements of bilateralism. Though Cain wanted to please God, his sacrifice pointed to “self provision,” (eating off of the tree of knowledge) while Abel’s sacrifice pointed to faith and trust in “God’s provision” (eating off of the tree of life). Man’s provision was not acceptable to God in Cain’s day and never will be, for that sin is what broke man’s Covenant relation with God. The second sin of Cain was jealousy, and then followed murder. Here in Genesis 3:15 and 4:1 – 11 we have the very foundation of the method in which God would re-integrate man back into the Everlasting Covenant (Heb. 13:20): Faith in the Messiah (the one in whom the Eternal Covenant was made), and Faith in God who is no respecter of persons, for God is just and righteous knowing the exact motivation of each heart—being the self expression of purity, not partial. This is the foundation for a relationship with God, and this was the foundation, which was laid for all those who would be the seed of the woman. In these illustrations, we can see the foundation of what differentiates the seed of the woman from the seed of the serpent: Galatians 4:29 says, “He that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit.” Cain and Abel represent a prototype of two classes: those who are born after the flesh and those who are born after the Spirit through faith (Gal. 3:14). “The children of the flesh are not the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted for the seed” (Rom. 9:8), and the children of the promise are those who are righteous through faith (Rom. 9:30 – 32; Gal. 3:14); for they are resting in God’s perfect work in their lives; they are not seeking self provision on the tree of knowledge. These are two classes, which will exist until the close of human history. Said another way, the experience of Cain and Abel was a prototype of the Battle that would exist between the children of God and the children of the Devil until the close of time (Rev. 12:1 – 17). The Noahic covenant, the Abrahamic covenant, the Mosaic covenant, and the Davidic covenant—pointing to the New Covenant—are a continual revelation and expansion of the Covenant promise of Genesis 3:15 (notice the preceding diagram on this point). All of these covenants are simply a continual expansion and reintegration of the Eternal Covenant that was lost through the fall of man. These covenants are based on the same principles set out in the story of Cain and Abel: righteousness by faith. Hebrews 11 undoubtedly takes the entire prominent father’s of the Old Testament and
19 combines them into one people of God expressed through human history. Hebrews 11 also includes the New Covenant saints as the perfection of the Old Covenant saints. Hebrews 11:39, 40 states: “And these all (the Old Testament Fathers), having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better things for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.” We should ask for the sake of emphasis to dispel all confusion: Why are the New Testament saints and all the Old Testament saints—from Adam through the Church—all classified as one people of God? Here is the answer: Noah was heir of the Everlasting Covenant (Gen. 9:16; 17:7); Abraham was heir of the Everlasting Covenant (Gen. 17:7). Israel was heir of the Everlasting Covenant (Lev. 24:8); David was heir of the Everlasting Covenant (2 Sam. 23:5); the Church saints are heir of the Everlasting Covenant (Heb. 13:20, 21; 1 Cor. 11:25; Matt. 26:28). All the saints mentioned are heirs of the Everlasting Covenant, because this Covenant, though broken in Eden, was introduced to Adam (Mankind). Are we, as dispensationalists, to dream that there are several Everlasting Covenants, or shall we come to the reality that the saints of all ages are heirs of THE Everlasting Covenant? Christ was married to Israel (Isaiah 54:5; Jer. 3:14; 6:2; 31:32 Hos. 2:19). Christ is married to the Church (Eph. 5:23 – 33; 2 Cor. 11:2; James 4:4; Rom. 7:1 – 4; Rev. 12). According to the Scofield Reference Bible Ft. notes on Rev. 19, Christ has two wives: (1) The Church, Christ’s heavenly wife; (2) and Israel, Christ’s earthly wife. This is totally ridiculous; Christ has always had one wife. Are we to dream that Christ is a polygamist or that he may even have concubines, or shall we come to the Biblical conclusion that Christ’s bride—at His second coming—will be all the faithful from Adam’s day to the last man born? The fact that Christ does not have two wives, one on earth (Israel) and one in heaven (the Church), is seen in Revelation 21:12 – 14. These scriptures illustrate that both the names of the twelve tribes of Israel and the names of the twelve apostles are engraved on the New Jerusalem. The Church (Matt. 16:18; 18:17)—enlarged through the twelve apostles—obviously inherits the earth with ancient Israel. Why is this the case? This is the case, because both represent Christ’s bride; because there are two seeds in the world—the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent—not three seeds. Who are the seed of the woman and heirs of the Everlasting Covenant? According to Hebrews 11, those who have faith in the following message:
Adam Seth Enos Cainan Mahalaleel
Man Placed or appointed Wretched, fallen man Lamenting The Blessed God
Jared Enoch Methusaleh Lamech Noah
Shall descend, or come down Teaching, dedicated, disciplined His death shall bring Power Rest and comfort.
Louis F. Were’s book , The Certainty Of The Three Angel’s Message, p. 181. Were claimed that “the Reformer Urinus, author of the Heidelburg Catechism, is credited with being the first to draw attention to
By D. S. Farris
The Israel Of God
The Confusion That Undermines The Unity Of The Saints Hebrews 8 speaks of two Covenants: The Old Covenant and the New Covenant; and this simply means, the departure (Old) and re-establishment (New) of the Everlasting Covenant. Hebrews 11 takes the prominent Old Testament fathers—from Abel to the Church—and combines them with the saints in the New Covenant as one continuous chain of believers representing one people of God. This is sufficient to say that God does not have a people based on a physical nature as dispensationalists teach. How is it then that dispensationalists miss this fundamental truth? Dispensationalists ignore the unity of the saints under the Everlasting Covenant by means of compartmentalizing the saints into their own unique dispensations. Scofield says, “A dispensation is a period of time during which man is tested in respect of obedience to some specific revelation of the will of God. Seven such dispensations are distinguished in Scripture” (Scofield Reference Bible, Ft. notes on Gen. 1: 5). What are these seven dispensations? Ryrie explains: “A dispensation is a distinguishable economy in the outworking of God’s purpose” (Dispensationalism Today, 29). In other words, these seven dispensations are seven distinguishable economies. According to the Scofield Reference Bible, Ft. notes on Gen. 1, these seven economies are said to be: (1) Innocence: Before the fall of man; (2) Conscience: From Adam to Noah; (3) Human Government: From Noah to Abraham; (4) Promise: From Abraham to Moses; (5) Law: From Moses to Christ; (6) Grace: The Church Period; (7) Kingdom: The millennial period. Intertwined with these seven economies, there is said to be seven covenants: (1) Adamic (Gen. 3:15); (2) Noahic (Gen. 9:1); (3) Abrahamic (Gen. 15:18); (4) Mosaic (Ex. 19:25); (5) Palestinian (Deut. 30:3); (6) Davidic (2 Sam. 7:16); (7) New (Heb. 8:8). We must ask: Which scriptures do dispensationalists use to justify the seven dispensations? They use the following: 1 Cor. 9:17; Eph. 1:10; 3:2; and Col. 1:25. These scriptures are important to dispensationalists because they all use the word, “Dispensation.” Does the fact that the Bible uses the word, Dispensation, justify dispensationalism, or have dispensationalists contorted a word to have a meaning different from its true meaning? Notice the following examples:
the teaching of the Gospel in the meaning of the names of these ten antedeluvians.” Copyright 8/27/03
NKJ1 Corinthians 9:17 For if I do this willingly, I have a reward; but if against my will, I have been entrusted with a stewardship. NAU Ephesians 1:10 with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. In Him NAU Ephesians 3:2 if indeed you have heard of the was given to me for you; stewardship of God's grace which stewardship from
NKJ Colossians 1:25 of which I became a minister according to the God which was given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God,
Notice that we purposely chose translations that use the words’ “Stewardship” and “Administration.”—being essentially the same. The Greek word that is used for “Dispensation” is Oikonomia; meaning: “management or administration, as in managing or administering a house.” These scriptures say absolutely nothing about dispensations as dispensationalists assert. The only text that dispensationalists could possibly use is Ephesians 1:10 because of the phrase “fullness of times.” This does not work, for there have been times past, and the there will be times future—in the perspective of years, decades, and centuries. “Times” simply indicate multitudinous periods of existence. Paul is simply saying that the administration (the plan of salvation) is suitable for the many periods until the second coming. If dispensationalists were to apply their methodology to the true meaning of “fullness of times,” there would be multitudes of unique dispensations between the cross and the second coming—instead of just one dispensation. If we were to apply the true meaning of “fullness of times” with dispensational methods —from Adam to the end of the millennium—we would have perhaps thousands and thousands of dispensations. What is the immediate problem with this compartmentalizing of God’s dealings with mankind? Ryrie—inadvertently—takes the matter to its logical conclusion:
Let it be said very emphatically at this point that dispensationalism does not deny that God has His own redeemed people throughout all ages. But that these constitute a people rather than peoples of God we do deny. The fact that God saved people from among the Israelites and the fact that God saved people from among Gentiles today does not make the Church equal to Israel or make the Church the fulfillment of Israel’s purposes and promises. This does not follow any more than the fact that God saved Noah and his family and the fact that God saved Israelites make Israel the family of Noah or make Israel to fulfill the purposes of Noah. Israel is distinct from the godly line that preceded the calling out of Abraham and Israel’s promises were different. The godly from both groups are redeemed, but they do not necessarily have the same promises or fulfill the same purposes. The same is true in comparing Israel and the Church (Dispensationalism Today, 143. Emphasis mine).
Ryrie’s statement is a perfect example of how dispensationalists compartmentalize the saints, and how dispensationalists completely overlook the message of Hebrews and the solidarity of the Everlasting Covenant. In disagreement to dispensationalism, we must By D. S. Farris
The Israel Of God concur that God has not told us about seven distinct dispensations. God has told us that there is one Everlasting Covenant encompassing the saints of all time. In the One Everlasting Covenant, God has reintegrated it through Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David, and the Church. When we acknowledge that the term “covenant” can be applied to each of these figureheads, we are acknowledging the Everlasting Covenant’s reintegration and enlargement with each of these figureheads. In other words, the term “covenant,” as is applied to these figureheads, does not depict several distinct dispensational covenants; but rather, the term depicts the One Covenant’s enhancement through each of the figureheads. Dispensational Economies Disproved We must emphasize that God has given us in His word a description of two Testaments (Matt. 26:28; Mark 14:24; Luke 22:20; 1 Cor. 11:25; 2 Cor. 3:6, 14; Heb. 7:22; 9:15 – 20; Rev. 11:19). The Bible does not teach seven distinct and separate Testaments (Gr. Diatheke, “a will” “compact” “covenant”). Well does Philip Mauro explain that the idea of seven distinct dispensations does not exist in the scripture; but rather, exists totally in men’s imagination. He explains this matter most accurately where he says:
There are no such dispensations distinguished in the scripture. The method by which they have been arrived at is purely arbitrary, fanciful, and destitute of scriptural support; the method being to select arbitrarily some epoch, such as the Exodus, and say, ‘here began a new dispensation’ (The Gospel Of The Kingdom, 28).
In further pages, Mauro examines:
The humanly concocted scheme of the seven dispensations, which we are now considering, has had the effect of blotting, for those who accept it, the illuminating truth which the scriptures reveal concerning the Two Covenants (The Gospel Of The Kingdom, 34).
Paul completely repudiates the dispensational doctrine of seven distinct covenants. Galatians 3:17, 18 explain:
The law introduced 430 years (Gen. 15:13; Ex. 12:40) latter, does not set aside the covenant previously established by God and thus do away with the promise. For if the inheritance depends on the law, then it is no longer depends on a promise; but God in his grace gave it to Abraham through a promise (NIV).
In other words, the Mosaic covenant (styled Old Covenant) is the expanded revelation of the Abrahamic covenant. This fact is also seen in Exodus 32:9 – 14 where God was ready to destroy the children of Israel and make a great nation out of Moses, and Moses said:
Turn from thy fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against thy people. Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, thy servants to whom thou swarest by thine own self, and said unto them, I will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have spoken of will I give unto your seed, and they shall inherit it
Dispensationalists emphasize that the Mosaic covenant was the fifth dispensation of “Law,” whereas the Abrahamic covenant was the fourth dispensation of “promise.” According to dispensationalists, the explicit system of law—works—in the Mosaic covenant qualifies it as a different covenant than that of the Abrahamic covenant of promise. Galatians 3:17, 18 preclude this interpretation. Nevertheless, we will ask for the sake of emphasis: Was the addition of an explicit system of Law at Sinai brought into being to create a distinct dispensation of works—distinct from Abraham’s unilateral experience of God’s provision? Galatians 3:17 – 19 says that the law was added (Gr. Prostithemi, “joined to” “placed along side”) because (Gr. Charim, “for the sake of”) of transgression. The Law was the principle in the preceding reintegration of the Everlasting Covenant, but not in an explicit and multifarious system, as seen in the Mosaic covenant. The law as it pertains to Sinai is not the beginning of law in the Covenant; it is the beginning of a much more elaborate and detailed system of law. The promises given to Abraham included that his seed would become a great nation (Gen. 12:2). A great nation must have a much greater system of law to govern it; thus it was with the Mosaic reintegration of the Covenant. We do not read from Paul’s writings that the Law instituted a new dispensation of works; we read that the Law was placed along side of the Abrahamic covenant of promise. This repudiates the idea that the Mosaic integration of an explicit law system was mutually exclusive from the unilateral essence of the Abrahamic covenant. Paul made it clear that the Law was placed along side of the Covenant of grace given to Abraham for the sake of transgression; meaning, to reveal in an open way the hideousness of sin. This in effect was to point the Israelites to a faith relationship with the coming Messiah. As Deuteronomy 6:1 – 9 shows, God wanted to put His Law in the hearts of the Israelites. This could have only been accomplished through the same faith relationship, which Abraham had with God. God intended to integrate an explicit law system, not as a means of salvation (Heb. 10:4 – 10), but as a mirror, which was to reveal the sins of the people (Rom. 3:19, 20; 5:20, 21; 7:7 – 13), which in turn would lead them to Christ where they would be justified by faith (Gal. 3:24). The Mosaic covenant was not to set aside the previous Abrahamic covenant of God’s unilateral provisions. The problem that was introduced in the Mosaic covenant was that the children of Israel made the Law into something God never intended it to be, a way of salvation. The children of Israel sought a bilateral (partly them and partly God) covenant (Exodus 19). Paul, in Galatians 3:15 – 20, proves that God never intended for the Israelites to go on the path of a bilateral covenant; but the Israelites chose this path. God in His omniscience allowed them to take this path to clarify to the future generations of the New Covenant that a unilateral Covenant is the only way in which we can walk with God. The New Covenant is based on this principle, and this will be the principle in the New Earth when the Eternal Covenant is finally brought back to its perfect state. Dispensationalists, in support of their supposed separate dispensational economies, will explain: “The teachings of grace have not applied to men of all ages. These teachings were revealed from God through Christ and His apostle” (Lewis S. Chafer, Systematic Theology, Vol. 4: 205). They say, “For God has never addressed either the teachings of the law or the teachings of grace to the whole world” (Chafer, Systematic By D. S. Farris
The Israel Of God Theology, Vol. 4: 209). In Systematic Theology, Vol. 4: 207 – 215, Chafer explains that the teachings of grace, as brought out by Christ, are for the Church saints in this present Church dispensation only. (Obviously, in looking at the writings of Chafer, dispensationalists create distinctions between the grace given to Abraham and the grace given to the Church.) Dispensationalists go as far as to teach:
The nature of a covenant which is based on human works is obvious. Whatever God promises under such a covenant, is conditioned on the faithfulness of man. Every blessing under the law of Moses was so conditioned, and every blessing in the kingdom [the future kingdom] relationship will be found to be so ordered. (Chafer, Systematic Theology, Vol. 4: 211. Emphasis Mine).
In other words, according to dispensationalists, the covenant that will exist in the millennium will be based on works. These statements are not only false; they are perfidious. In contradiction to Chafer, Romans 3:19 says that the law’s purpose is to make the WHOLE WORLD—not exclusively for those in the fifth dispensation— guilty before God. If the law applies to the whole world, then grace must apply to the whole world. Titus 2:11 says: “For the grace of God that brings salvation hath appeared to ALL MEN—[not exclusively for those in the sixth dispensation].” Dispensationalists are in direct contradiction with these scriptures. John 3:16, 17 testify that Jesus was sent to the world to bring this grace. The problem with dispensationalism is that it makes the grace of Christ, brought at His first Advent, a kind of geometrical ray that commenced with Christ to proceed forward, only to be halted prior to the millennium. This concept is completely false. Hebrews 11 makes plain the fact that the grace Christ—brought to the world—extends both backwards in time and forwards in time (Heb. 9:15). From Adam’s day to the time of Christ’s death, the saints were the recipients of Christ’s unilateral grace through faith. For God’s people, preceding Christ’s death, grace was based on faith in a future event—Christ’s atoning death. For God’s people from Christ’s death to the last person born, grace is based on a historic event—Christ’s atoning death. Said another way, all of God’s people from Adam to the last person to be born were and are to experience the grace that came to mankind in A.D. 31. With this in mind, we find Chafer’s attempt to make God’s Covenant with Israel a covenant based on works a fiction:
The kingdom teachings, like the law of Moses, are based on a covenant of works. The teachings of grace, on the other hand, are based on a covenant of faith. In one case, righteousness is demanded; in the other it is provided, both imputed and imparted, or inwrought. One is of a blessing to be bestowed because of a perfect life, the other is of a life to be lived because of a perfect blessing already received (Systematic Theology, Vol. 4: 215, 216. Emphasis Mine).
God never expected the Israelites to obey the law outside of the provisions, which were inherent in the Abrahamic covenant. The Law was not given to change the Abrahamic covenant; but rather, it was given to reveal sin and make the Israelites cling with more tenacity to God’s provision through faith. Hebrews 10:1 – 10 make plain that Israel’s salvation did not come by the law. Hebrews 9:15 proves that Old Testament Israel was
25 saved through the cross, the same providential grace that Chafer acknowledged as belonging to the Church. Dispensationalists want us to believe that the “unilateral” provisions of God— manifested in the Church covenant of grace—has its inception in Christ’s first advent and was distinctly unheard off in God’s purpose for the Mosaic covenant; and once the Church is removed from the world, then a New Covenant of works—bilateral in nature— will be established in which God will expect those “still in their natural bodies” to obey the law apart from the grace, which the Church has experienced. “What a mind boggling assumption.” [Dispensationalism is undoubtedly a religion based on the flesh.] Dispensationalists attempt to create the idea that God had distinct dispensational economies before Abraham, because if the Old Testament Covenant includes the antedeluvian saints; dispensational ethnic, literalistic, and eschatological applications for the physical seed of Abraham become contrary to God’s overall plan to fulfill His promises through the saints in all ages. Contrary to dispensationalism, we learn that the writer of Hebrews 11 classifies the antedeluvian saints, the fathers of Israel, the saints in Israel, and those in the New Covenant as the people of God. We learn in Genesis 5:22 – 24 the very thing, which qualified Enoch for son-ship; he walked with God. Hebrews 11:5, 6 teach that Enoch pleased God through faith. Hebrews 11:7 says that Noah “became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.” This is a term, which undoubtedly places Noah and Abraham in the same Covenant relation with God. The Bible is so plain that faith was the principle of the saints preceding Abraham; and yet, dispensationalists like, Chafer, will tell us:
Abraham attained unto the righteousness of God through faith (Gen. 15: 16), a stupendous privilege not restricted to Abraham (though not extended to other Old Testament saints) . . . (Systematic Theology, Vol. 5: 318).
Blatant contradictions like this are so sharp, that one can wonder if these fellows ever read the Bible. Dispensationalists overlook Hebrews 11 for the simple fact that it brings all saints of all ages together as one people and thus destroys their applications of both ethnic literalism and unique dispensational economies. In summing up this section, we appeal to the question which LaRondelle asked: “Is the hermeneutic of dispensational literalism organically related to the Holy Scriptures themselves, or is it a presupposition forced upon God’s Word from the outside as an objective standard?”(The Israel Of God In Prophecy, 13). The hermeneutic of dispensationalism is an ideology forced upon the scriptures in order to maintain imaginary eschatological hopes for Israel. We adamantly emphasize that the dispensational neglect to apply the Scriptures as an organic book—unified in purpose for all men—has caused them to “wrestle down” much of God’s word. Dispensationalism by nature creates disunity in God’s word and disunity among the saints. We have already provided sufficient enough evidence—in this chapter—to eliminate the third pillar of dispensationalism. However, we are going to go much further. Let us take this issue to greater heights in the following correlation blocks. Correlation Block (4) (The New Covenant) By D. S. Farris
The Israel Of God
New Covenant made with Strangers and Foreigners
Jeremiah 31:31 - 34 Isaiah 61:4 - 9 ( verse 8 ) New Covenant made with Israel and realized in Church Hebrews 7:22 8:6 - 13 9:15 12:22 - 24
Non Jewish People are no longer foreigners when they come into Israel ( Church ).
we are children of the covenant Acts 3:24, 25
We are no longer Gentiles. 1 Corinthians 10:1 - 4 Ephesians 2:19, 20 1 Corinthians 12:1, 2 Ephesians 2:11
We have already provided sufficient enough evidence to prove that dispensational theology on the Everlasting Covenant lacks Biblical support. Now we are going to focus in more detail on the New Covenant and see how un-factual dispensationalism can get. Question: Was the New Covenant, according to Jeremiah 31:31 – 34 and Hebrews 8:6 – 13, made with the Church? Walvoord says, “The New Covenant is with Israel and awaits the second coming of Christ for its fulfillment” (The Millennial Kingdom, 209). One should ask the question: What is Walvoord talking about? Pentecost states, “It should be clear from a survey of the passages already cited that this covenant (the new covenant) was made with Israel, the physical seed of Abraham according to the flesh, and with them alone” (Things To Come, 119). These statements become so nonfactual when one simply reads Isaiah 61: 4 – 9. Note: The pronouns: they, their, and them refer to the “strangers” and “foreigners.”
NRS Isaiah 61:4: They shall build up the ancient ruins, they shall raise up the former devastations; they shall repair the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations. 5 Strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, foreigners shall till your land and dress your vines; 6 but you shall be called priests of the LORD, you shall be named ministers of our God; you shall enjoy the wealth of the nations, and in their riches you shall glory. 7 Because their shame was double, and dishonor was proclaimed as their lot, therefore they shall possess a double portion; everlasting joy shall be theirs. 8 For I the LORD love justice, I hate robbery and wrongdoing; I will faithfully give them their recompense, and I will make an EVERLASTING COVENANT with them. 9 Their descendants shall be known among the nations, and their offspring among the peoples; all who see them shall acknowledge that they are a people whom the LORD has blessed.
Answer: We have already seen the fact that Isaiah 61:4, 5 pointed to the Church as the operators of the Vineyard (Israel). Interestingly, Isaiah prophesied that God would also make an Everlasting Covenant with the “strangers” and “foreigners.” Isaiah 61:8 points to the New Covenant as described in Hebrews 8:10; 13:20. But one will raise the question: How can the New Covenant be made with the strangers and foreigners and at the same time be made with Israel? This is only a problem if one assumes that Israel does not include people of a genetic background different than that of the Jews, as
27 dispensationalists believe. Isaiah 61:8, in correlation with Hebrews 8:10; 13:20, give us the following argument:
(1) God made the Everlasting Covenant with the strangers and foreigners. (2) God made the New Covenant (Everlasting Covenant) with the house of Israel. (3) The house of Israel consists of people of all nationalities (strangers, foreigners, and Jews). (4) The house of Israel is the Church.
How do dispensationalists attempt to wrestle down these Biblical truths? Walvoord explains: “a new covenant has been provided for the church, but not the new covenant for Israel” (The Millennial Kingdom, 214). Walvoord reasons: “The concept of two new covenants is a better analysis of the problem and more consistent with premillennialism as a whole” (The Millennial Kingdom, 219). Ryrie goes as far as to say, “The induction that there are two new covenants strengthens the premillennial position” (The Basis of the Premillennial Faith, 125). When Ryrie says that the idea of two new covenants is an induction, he is absolutely correct; it is an induction that is not based on anything deductible in the scriptures. O. T. Allis noticed that this kind of interpreting was an ongoing problem with dispensationalists, where he explains:
The writings of Dispensationalists furnish many examples of hairsplitting distinctions and of arbitrary assertions which have little if any basis in fact or rest upon a partial and inadequate induction of the available facts (Prophecy And The Church, 51).
Ryrie’s induction is completely foreign to the Bible. Furthermore, we cannot see, even in the remotest way, how Ryrie’s induction strengthens pre-millennialism, because of the fact that: in order to have a New Covenant for the Church, the Church had to have an Old Covenant somewhere. If the Church did not exist before the day of Pentecost, according to dispensational reasoning, then how could the Church have received a New Covenant if they never had an Old Covenant? Dispensationalists would have been better off to teach that the Church has its own “first” Covenant, but they cannot teach that in light of Hebrews 8:6; 7:22; 9:15. R. H. Gundry acknowledges the ridiculousness of such an interpretation where he says:
Jeremiah prophesied the new covenant under which the Church now stands (Jer. 31:31 – 34). Some dispensationalists separate the new covenant for Israel of which Jeremiah spoke from an unpredicted covenant for the Church. However, that view seems defective. Scripture makes no explicit distinction between two different new covenants (The Church and the Tribulation, 16).
The scriptures in Hebrews, which dispensationalist cannot separate from the Church, prove that there was a previous Covenant for the Church—before the New Covenant; it was the same Covenant Israel had. “Two New Covenants,” one for the Church now and one for Israel in the millennium, is not in the word of God. The only logical conclusion is to say that the New Covenant for Israel has been realized in the Church; meaning, the Church is Israel and the continuation of the EVERLASTING COVENANT made with the fathers of Israel. By D. S. Farris
The Israel Of God We find perfect correlation to this fact in 1 Corinthians 10:1 – 4, which state that the children of Israel are the fathers of the Church. Moreover, Paul told the Corinthian Church in 1 Corinthians 12:1, 2 that they were Gentiles. We find that Paul also applied the term “Gentile” in the past tense in Ephesians 2:11 where he says, “Wherefore remember that you being in time past Gentiles.” After declaring that these people were Gentiles in the past, we find in verse 19 that Paul told them: “You are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God.” These were the very terms that Isaiah gave to the non-Jews in his day. What is interesting is the fact that Isaiah said these people would be operating the Vineyard (Israel), and God would make an Everlasting Covenant with them. We find that Jesus confirmed this in Matthew 21; and then, Paul in Corinthians tells the Christians that they were Gentiles and that the Old Testament fathers are the fathers of the Church. Paul’s reasoning in 1 Corinthians 10:1 – 4 and Ephesians 2:11, 19 – 21 prove that the Church saints are no longer Gentiles, but are now in the house of Israel. Seeing the clarity of these correlations leads one to conclude that statements such as: “If the Church is not a subject of Old Testament prophecy, then the Church is not fulfilling Israel’s promises, but instead Israel herself must fulfill them and that in the future”(Ryrie, The Basis of the Premillennial Faith, 126) are absolutely contradictory to the Word of God and very tiring to those who study the sacred precepts. We agree with Gundry: “Hence again, the present age is neither unforeseen in the preceding age nor unrelated to the chronology of Israel as revealed in the OT. Not only did the OT predict the present age, but the NT applies OT prophecy to the Church” (The Church and the Tribulation, 15). Daniel P. Fuller emphasizes the message of Hebrews almost to the point of factualness:
He clearly contrasts this “new Covenant” with the old Mosaic Covenant in Hebrews 7:22 – 23; 9:15; 12:18 – 24, and cites Jeremiah 31:31 – 34 in support of this contrast in Hebrews 8:8 – 13 and 10:16 – 17. Such passages offer considerable evidence for concluding that this inspired writer regarded Jesus’ work as a fulfillment of the new covenant promised in Jeremiah 31:31 – 34. But then a promise for Israel would find some fulfillment in the Church, and this would refute dispensationalism’s basic premise that God’s dealings with Israel remain seperate from his dealings with the Church (Gospel and Law, 165).
Note: The promises for Israel do not find some fulfillment in the Church; the promises find its entire fulfillment in the Church. ISRAEL IS NOT BASED ON GENETIC LINAGE (Exposing Zionist Racism) The reason that dispensationalists cannot see the clarity of the New Testament fulfillment of Israel’s promises in the Church is based on the belief that God has two different seeds of promise, a spiritual seed (the Church) and a physical seed (Israel). The outcome of this assumption leads to the belief that there are three groups of people: Israel, the Church, and the Gentiles. Said another way, dispensationalists believe that God has a people based on their spiritual inheritance through faith in Christ while—at the same time—He has a people based on their physical linage from Abraham. While dispensationalists believe that there is a spiritual Israel (which refer only to Jews after
29 the flesh who have attained to the meaning of the Gospel) within Israel, they nevertheless teach that God has an unconditional covenant with Israel after the flesh. Can such a doctrine be sustained? Up to this point, we have thoroughly disproved this theory; but nevertheless, we are going to take the argument to greater heights to reveal the impossibility of dispensational theology. Concerning the promises made to Abraham, Pentecost tells us:
The Abrahamic covenant, which contained individual promises to Abraham, promises of the preservation of a nation, and the possession of a land by that nation, was given to a specific covenant people. Since it was unconditional and eternal, and has never yet been fulfilled, it must await a future fulfillment, Israel must be preserved as a nation, must inherit her land, and be blessed with spiritual blessings to make this inheritance possible (Things To Come, 93. Emphasis mine).
Why do dispensationalists emphasize that the Abrahamic promises must be fulfilled in the literal nation of Israel? Chafer explains the foundation for this reasoning: “As for their racial stock, the Gentiles had their origin in Adam and their federal headship is in him.” What about the Jews? Chafer says:
Whatever Abraham was nationally before he was called of God, it is certain that God set him apart and through him secured a race so distinct in its individuality, that from the time of the Exodus to the end of the record of their history they are held as antipodal (exact opposite) of all other nations combined (Systematic Theology, Vol. 4: 5, 6. Emphasis Mine).
Dispensationalists emphasize that the land and national promises of “the Abrahamic covenant is an unconditional covenant made with Israel, and therefore cannot be either abrogated or fulfilled by people other than the nation Israel . . .”(Pentecost, Things To Come, 84). Dispensationalists emphasize that the Abrahamic covenant was an Everlasting Covenant made to a race distinct from all other people. First of all, that the Jewish race is distinct from Adam, is wholly destroyed by Luke 3, which identifies a genetic linage from Adam to Christ. Secondly, the original promise of redemption (Gen. 3:15), the beginning of the Everlasting Covenant’s reintegration, was promised to Adam in the seed of the woman, a terminology that precedes Abraham and proceeds Abraham (Rev.12). Thirdly, the promise made to Adam was based on the Eternal Covenant, which the Father made with the Son. Therefore, the Everlasting Covenant was made to Christ. Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and David were simply introduced to an already established Covenant made to Christ, and they were to be recipients of the promises involved if they believed in the Covenanted Messiah. Ultimately the Covenant—though introduced to men—was not originally made with men; the Covenant was made to Christ in eternity-past. The only way that men, such as Abraham and his seed, could be implicated into the Covenant promises —made to Christ—was to accept salvation in Christ. The magnitude of the dispensational fallacy is that they teach God made the Everlasting Covenant with a race. No! The Father made the Everlasting Covenant with Christ who was predestined to be made manifest in the seed of the woman. The land, national, and universal blessing which were
By D. S. Farris
The Israel Of God promised in the Abrahamic covenant, were promised to meet their fulfillment in THE seed of promise. Galatians 3:16 clearly states, “And to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.” In other words, the whole Abrahamic covenant promise, an enlargement of the original promise, was made to Christ. This is why 2 Corinthians 1:20 declares that all the promises of God are “YES” in Christ. We can project this picture as such (The emphasis is needed): (1) The promise made to Adam was the Everlasting Covenant made to Jesus in eternity-past, and this promise was to be manifested through the seed of the woman (Gen. 3:15). (2) The Covenant made to Jesus continued through Noah’s seed who “became heir of the righteousness which is by faith (Heb. 11:7).” (3) The Covenant made to Jesus continued through Abraham’s seed (Gen. 17). (4) The Covenant made to Jesus continued through Isaac’s seed (Gen. 21:12). (5) The Covenant made to Jesus continued through Jacob’s seed (Gen. 28:10 – 14). (6) The Covenant made to Jesus continued through Judah’s seed (Num. 24:17; 49: 10). (7) The Covenant made to Jesus continued through David’s seed (2 Sam. 7:12 – 15; 23:5; 22:51). (8) Finally, the Covenant made to Jesus, who was predestined to come through the seed of the woman, was confirmed in His person Gal. 3:16, 17. The whole Covenant was made to THE seed of promise. Christ is THE HEIR of all the promises made to the fathers of Israel (Matt. 21:38; Mark 12:7; Luke 20:14). When Adam was given dominion over the whole earth, he received this inheritance as a joint heir in Christ. When Adam lost possession of the world—to Satan—through transgression, he received the promise of deliverance through the Messiah. The promise of deliverance, not only focused on man’s salvation, but also restoration of the creation. Being the heir of the world was, therefore, a promise inclusive of all those who are joint heirs in Christ. In other words, God’s people are heir of the world, because they are implicated in Christ, the One in whom the whole Covenant points to. Being heir of the world is not locked into ethnic and geographical boundaries. Dispensationalists have a tendency to lose sight of this fundamental truth, while they focus on the physical seed of Abraham as being the heirs of the promises. The promises are not Israel centered; they are Christ centered. The Covenant was made to Christ, not to the Jews. Since Christ is the seed of promise, He is the heir of the promises, and the saints of all ages—including Jews—are heirs through or IN Christ (Gal. 4:7, 8). Romans 8:17 says, “We are joint heirs with Christ.” How are the saints of all Ages joint heirs with Christ? Romans 4:13 says, “For the promise that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham and his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.” In other words, Abraham and his seed, through faith, are joint heirs with Christ; and these promises include all men who accept Christ (Rom. 4:16). When dispensationalists assert: “The Gentile believers of the present day, while reckoned as a seed to Abraham, are not the seed in which national promises are to be fulfilled,”(Pentecost, Things To Come, 88) one can clearly see that dispensationalists
31 make the Covenant promises focal to a fleshly group of Jews rather than to Christ. The dispensational emphasis on Abraham having a physical seed of promise and a spiritual seed of promise declares that Christ has fleshly children and spiritual children. No! Throughout time there will exist two seeds: the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent. Galatians proves this! Galatians 4:22 – 31 and Romans 9:6 – 8 perspicuously show that a physical descent from Abraham does not make one a child of the promise: compare Genesis 21:12, Galatians 3:16, and 4:28. Genesis 21:12 says, “In Isaac shall thy seed be called.” In other words, in Isaac the seed of promise would come who is Christ. In Galatians 4:28, Paul told the Christians, “Now we brethren as Isaac was are the children of promise.” We are told that spiritual children are God’s children, no one else! Dispensationalists explain in futility:
Since the church is not the seed in whom the covenants will be finally and literally fulfilled, it is well to consider the question of her relation to the whole covenant program. Any relationship which the church sustains to the promises is based, not on physical birth, but on a new birth, and is hers because the individuals are in “Christ (Pentecost, Things To Come, 89).
In other words, according to dispensationalists, the physical seed of Abraham does not have to be in Christ through “new birth” to be heirs of the promise; they are heirs through genetic heritage. Let it be noted with emphasis that dispensationalists argue incessantly that God has a fleshly people and a spiritual people. Ryrie emphasizes this where he says, “All non-dispensationalists blur to some extent the distinction between Israel and the Church. Such blurring fails to recognize the contrast that is maintained in Scripture between Israel, the Gentiles, and the Church” (Dispensationalism Today, 137). No Ryrie! Ephesians 2:13 – 16 prove that in Christ all distinctions between Jew and Gentile are abolished. Why is this the case? Romans chapters’ 1 – 3 prove that ultimately, there is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for both have the Adamic nature and both stand under the condemnation of the Law—outside of Christ. This is why Paul declares in Romans 10:12, 13, “There is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Christ came to abolish the Adamic nature on the cross in order to create a new man altogether. The new man is the living Christ who abolished our humanity (Rom. 8:2) and recreated us gloriously in Himself (Phil. 3:21). In Christ we have been recreated; therefore, it becomes obvious that God does not have a people in the likeness of the Adamic nature, for Romans 8:13 says, “If we live after the flesh we will die.” This is why Romans 6 emphasizes that we are to consider ourselves dead to the Old Nature. Regardless of the fact that the Bible proves Christ abolished the whole Adamic race—even abolishing the manufactured distinctions between Jew and Gentile (Eph. 2:13 – 16)—dispensationalists argue that Christians are only children of promise through spiritual birth but are not actually the seed (offspring) of promise. Philip Mauro perceptively explains the problem with dispensationalism: “The new doctrine [dispensationalism] takes no account of the truth that Jews, like all other human beings, belong either to the first Adam, or to the last Adam; are either ‘in Adam’ (where ‘all die’) or ‘in Christ’ (where ‘all are made alive’)” (The Gospel Of The Kingdom, 212). Dispensationalists are teaching that God has two different bodies of the saved, natural Israel and the Church. And worse, dispensationalists are teaching that God’s By D. S. Farris
The Israel Of God chosen people are chosen because of their genetic heritage from Abraham. The New Testament gospels emphasize that, ultimately, the Jew was no better than the Gentile, because both stood condemned under the Law in their defiled humanity (Rom. 2 and 3). Dispensationalists want us to believe that God has distinguished the nature of Adam in the physical descendents of Abraham from the nature of Adam in the rest of mankind. No! God took the whole Adamic nature and crucified it on the cross. God does not have a people based on their genetic heritage, which ultimately leads back to the fallen humanity of Adam. God has a spiritual people based on their spiritual relationship with Him. This is why 2 Corinthians 5:16, 17 commands us to “know no man after the flesh.” God has told us to “know no man after the flesh,” because He “knows no man after the flesh.” Dispensationalists want us to believe that God knows one particular group of people (natural Israel) after the flesh and that natural Israel is going to inherit the kingdom of God in their natural bodies. No! 1 Corinthians 15:50 says, “Flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.” For dispensationalists to teach that God has a physical people is to teach that God has a people based on the Adamic nature. Such a doctrine is inherently carnal and is in opposition to the efficacy of the cross and makes God a glorifier of human flesh. We disagree with the dispensational attempt to divide a “so called” divinely appointed race from the pre-Abrahamic saints and the Church saints. The horrible conclusion of this theology is that rather than Jesus being the heir of the whole Covenant, while the saints in both Testaments are joint heirs in Him; God chose a race to be the heir of the Covenant, and the whole purpose of God is to glorify a race above all other races. This doctrine is a disgrace to the Gospel of grace. Dispensationalists make the Everlasting Covenant, not focal in Christ who blesses all, but rather in the Jews who are blessed above all. The chief cornerstone of dispensationalism is not Christ, but Zionistic Racism. We disagree with Chafer who declares: “Beginning with the covenant made with Abraham as recorded in Genesis, chapter 12 and continuing to the end of the New Testament, the promise respecting an everlasting earthly seed is ever in view” (Systematic Theology, Vol. 5: 318, 319. Emphasis mine). Wow! This is phenomenal to think that the Adamic nature will continue for eternity. But this is not the case, for “the children of promise are counted for the seed, and these are not the children of the flesh (Rom. 9:8).” The children of the seed of promise (Jesus) are spiritual, for Romans 2:28, 29 make it clear that in order to be a Jew, we must have the circumcision of the heart in the spirit. Colossians 2:11, 12 identify this circumcision as the New Birth experience. Compare Romans 2:28, 29, Colossians 2:11, 12, with Galatians 6:15, 16; for these scriptures reveal that the “Israel of God” consists of those who are a new creation in Christ. Galatians 6:15, 16 repudiate the dispensational idea that “the term Israel continues to be used for natural (not spiritual) descendants of Abraham after the Church was instituted, and is not equated with the Church” (Ryrie, Dispensationalism Today, 138). George E. Ladd explains the interpretation of Galatians 6:16, as it truly is, where he says, “It is highly probable that when Paul speaks of the ‘Israel of God’ (Gal. 6:16) he is referring to the church as the true spiritual Israel” (A Theology of the New Testament, 584). Why can’t dispensationalists understand Paul’s theology? Oswald T. Allis explains the dispensational phenomena of ignorance:
In short, Paul’s words must be interpreted in such a way as not to conflict with the hopes and claims of the Zionists! The present glorious age of the preaching
of the gospel of the grace of God to every creature must be regarded as a merely temporal interruption in the Old Testament program for the glorification of Israel (Prophecy And The Church, 50).
It is not God’s purpose to glorify Israel on the merits of her genetic heritage from Abraham. God will glorify Israel on the basis of a spiritual new birth experience (2 Peter 2:4; Jer. 31:31 – 34; 32:36 – 40; Ezek. 36:24 – 28; Deut. 30:1 – 8)—through faith in the seed of promise—Christ Jesus. It was God’s purpose to glorify Israel the same way the Gentile Christians are glorified: Galatians 3:14, “That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” Being a physical descendent of Abraham does not make one a child of promise, for both Jew and Gentile through Christ “have access by one spirit unto the Father (Eph. 2:18).” Both come to the Father through the Spirit, because both are reconciled “in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby (Verse 16).” John the Baptist understood the constitution of a true Israelite when he told the Jewish leaders: “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 (Matt. 3:9).” In verse 10 John emphasizes through the analogy of the fruit-producing tree that it is the spiritual constitution of a man that decides if he is one of Abraham’s sons. The fact that there are only two different seeds, the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent, is described in John 8:39 – 44. The scribes and the Pharisees told Jesus, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus told them, “If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do.” Here we have a clear indication as to who really constitutes the seed of Abraham: those who do the will of God. In Luke 8:20, 21, Jesus says, “My mother and my brethren are those which hear the word of God, and do it.” Jesus did not acknowledge the Jewish leaders as being the children of Abraham, because they did not have the faith of Abraham followed by the works of Abraham. Jesus acknowledged those who did the will of God as the true Israel of God. In John 1:47, Jesus acknowledged Nathanael as an Israelite, because there was no guile in him. Even back in the days when God was working His purpose through ancient Israel, God’s people were not counted as children on the basis of some predetermined genetic favoritism. Ezekiel, foreseeing Israel’s second gathering, made the issue clear that God’s remnant would be those with new hearts—based on the new birth experience (Ezek. 36:24 – 27). This experience can be realized only through faith (Gal. 3:14); therefore, God’s Israel has always been realized in the true believers of the Covenant promises. Amos 9:8, 9 had foretold that the second gathering of Israel would consist of true believers in God, not a predetermined favoritism based on physical linage:
Behold, the eyes of the Lord God are upon the sinful kingdom, and I will destroy it from off the face of the earth; saving that I will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob, saith the Lord. For, lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth.
Moses had foreseen the second gathering of Israel, and he made it clear that God’s Israel is not based on the flesh. Deuteronomy 30:6 says, “And the Lord thy God will circumcise
By D. S. Farris
The Israel Of God thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou may live.” This is in perfect correlation with the words of Paul in Romans 2:25, 26, 28, 29 where he explains:
For circumcision verily profits, 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. 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.
Obviously Paul and Moses saw real Jews as those who have the circumcision of the heart. This circumcision is found in Christ (Col. 2:11, 12); therefore, we must agree with Paul’s conclusion: “We are the circumcision (Jews), which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh (Phil. 3:3).” What is so intriguing about this statement from Paul is the fact that he is stating this in the light of his once supposed superiority of being a “Hebrew of Hebrews (Verses 3 – 9).” Paul literally contrasts true circumcision (V. 3) with his experience as a Pharisee (Verses 4 – 6), and unambiguously, he explains that circumcision is not defined by being of the “stock of Israel”; but rather, is the experience of new birth in the Holy Spirit. What is interesting is the fact that; what dispensationalists define as being a criteria for one to be of the Israel of God; Paul defines as “dung”(Vs. 7, 8). We must conclude further that the “seed of promise” is Christ, who came through the seed of the woman, and God’s people are joint heirs with Christ through faith; thus, Christians too are the seed of promise. What then do we say to statements such as Chafer’s statement in the following:
That people (the Jews) will be hated of all nations, and, though the world cannot analyze its own passions, this hatred is their resentment against a divinely chosen race, which resentment has continued as a heritage from the earliest days of Israel’s history (Systematic Theology, Vol. 5: 122).
We concur with Albertus Pieters:
Whenever we meet with the argument that God made certain promises to the Jewish race . . .certain facts are pertinent. God never made any promises to any race at all, as a race. All the promises were to the continuing covenanted community, without regard to its racial constituents or the personal ancestry of the individuals in it. Hence no proof that those whom the world now calls “the Jews” are descended from Abraham, if it could be supplied (which it cannot), would be of any avail to prove that they are entitled to the fulfillment of any divine promise whatsoever (The Seed of Abraham, 19, 20. Emphasis mine).
Amazingly, Walvoord proves the underlined point of Pieters statement where Walvoord says: (Concerning the twentieth century State of Israel) “This is all the more remarkable because those who are accomplishing this phenomenon are not for the most part believers in the Scriptures and do not recognize the prophetic significance of what they are doing” (The Millennial Kingdom, 185. Emphasis mine). The point of Pieters is clearly
35 in harmony with scripture, if they don’t believe in the Scriptures and don’t believe in Christ, they are entitled to no promises. Correlation Block (5) (More Issues On Linage)
Galatians 4:     Literal, National Israel is the Child of Hagar  Jerusalem above is the mother of us all (The Church ).  The desolate represents the non Jewish nations.  Being children of the promise has never been based on ethnicity. Galatians 3: 16 Matthew 3:9 Galatians 3:28, 29 Romans 9:6 - 8 Romans 2: 28, 29 Hebrews 12:22 - 24 Ephesians 2:11 - 14 Isaiah 54:1 - 3 Colossians 2:11, 12 Philippians 3:3
Galatians 6:15, 16 ( Israel Represents All Born Again Believers )   Literal, National Israel is not heir with Spiritual Israel (The Church). 
Matthew 21:43 22:1 - 14
Galatians 4:22 – 31 completely obliterates the idea that “the Abrahamic covenant is an unconditional covenant made with Israel, and therefore cannot be either abrogated or fulfilled by people other than the nation Israel”(Pentecost, Things To Come, p. 84). The message of Galatians prohibits the belief that the literal nation of Israel must fulfill the Abrahamic covenant. This passage of scripture contrasts the heavenly Jerusalem from the earthly Jerusalem. Both Jerusalems are the focal point of the Two Testaments. The earthly Jerusalem was the focal point of the Old Testament. The heavenly Jerusalem is the focal point of the New Testament. Galatians 4:22 – 25 illustrate that literal, national Israel is the child of Hagar and the child of the Old Covenant (Synonymous with the Mosaic Covenant). Verses’ 26 and 31 illustrate that we (as Christians or the Church) are the children of Sara, and the children of Hagar will not be heir with the children of Sara. In other words, national Israel will not be heir with the Church (see verse 30). We totally concur with Hans K. LaRondelle’s analysis of this passage of scripture:
In Galatians 4:21 – 31 the apostle radically denies any claim of ethnic Israel to any covenant promise. This passage has rightly been called “the sharpest polemic against Jerusalem and Judaism in the New Testament (The Israel Of God In Prophecy, 108).
By D. S. Farris
The Israel Of God
What does Galatians 4:22 – 31 teach? This passage of scripture reveals that the Abrahamic covenant has been realized in the Church. Concerning literal, national Israel in Galatians 4:22 – 25, she is not heir with the son (the Church) of the free woman (verse 30). Dispensationalists will argue that, “The term Israel is nowhere used in the Scriptures for any but the physical descendents of Abraham”(Pentecost, Things To Come, 127). This dispensational interpretation does not follow the message of Galatians. Notice Galatians 4:28: “We brethren as Isaac was are the children of promise.” Interestingly, Paul drew his argument in Galatians 4:27, 28 from Isaiah 54:1 – 3 where these texts show that the “seed of [Israel] would inherit the Gentiles.” This correlation destroys the preceding citation from Pentecost, for Isaiah 54:3 shows that Gentiles were to be inherited as the seed of Abraham. Let us raise the question: How, according to Galatians, is the Church the children of promise? Ultimately the seed of Promise is Jesus Christ (Gal. 3:16). Jesus Christ is the focal point of all the promises made to Abraham. For example: In Genesis 22:18 we read: “And in thy seed shall all the nations be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.” What does this promise mean? Through Abraham’s seed (Heb. Zera, “offspring”) would come the One in whom all the Old Testament promises would be realized. That person is Jesus Christ. Jesus is the second and last Adam. As we analyzed in chapter 2, Jesus is a corporate man. He came to abolish sin and death in his flesh on the cross. Christ’s life, death, burial, and resurrection has given mankind two choices: either accept our righteousness (imputed) in Christ and allow Him to impart his righteousness through us as we learn to walk in the spirit as the sons of God; or deny what we have in Christ and continue to walk in the Adamic nature. The argument of Galatians is that the Church is the seed of promise, for the Church is the offspring of Jesus, the promised seed. Philip Mauro, in looking at the dispensational emphasis on the physical seed of Abraham being the Israel of God, raised some very important questions, which dispensationalists cannot answer from the scripture:
Did He (Christ) come to re-institute the bond woman and her son in the family of Abraham? And to make the son of the bondwoman to be heir with the son of the free woman? Did He come to raise up again, and to make permanent, that “middle wall of partition” between Jew and Gentile, or to take it away entirely and forever? Did He come to restore the “shadows” of the Old Covenant, or to abolish them (Philip Mauro, The Gospel of the Kingdom, 24, 25).
Mauro touches on a very important point in my own experience of giving up dispensationalism. He points out—as in this example—that dispensationalism blatantly contradicts the word of God. As he says in the beginning of his book, “the contradictions are glaring.” The Second Gathering Of Israel Does the Bible teach that God will gather the physical seed of Abraham a second time in the 20th or 21st century? Dispensationalists use the apparent reestablishment of the State of Israel as proof that the second gathering of Israel is taking place today. Unfortunately, too many Christians credulously look into this issue. The Bible teaches that God has already gathered the physical seed of Abraham a second time.
37 Dispensationalists have mastered the ability to take the prophecies of Israel’s second gathering out of their historical and Christological contexts and throw these prophecies way up into the future. Dispensationalists take the Old Testament prophecies on this issue and deal with them in a manner homogeneous to the way they treat the 70 weeks of Daniel 9. Scripture is chopped up and compartmentalized in a fashion suitable to the expectations of imaginary prophecy. To dispensationalists the reestablishment of Israel in 1948 proves that their prophetic system is not imaginary. In this chapter, we prove that the Old Testament expectation of Israel’s second gathering had a historic as well as a progressive Christological fulfillment. Compare “What The Prophets Expected” with “correlation block (6)”—in this chapter—and see with clarity that the second gathering does not point to the future. We prove that, theologically, it is impossible to support the idea that national Israel will be re-instituted in our day. We ask the reader to compare the following section with chapter 11: In that chapter, in the section concerning the Zionist conspiracy, we prove through different sources that the modern state of Israel—including many Jews worldwide—are not purely of Jewish decent, as dispensationalists believe they should be. The research from Yair Davidy in his book Lost Israelite Identity—coupled with other sources—shows that the lost ten tribes are mostly mixed with the European races. The purpose of Davidy’s very extensive research is applied into three major sections:
The first part of ‘Lost Israelite Identity’ shows how most of the ancient Hebrews were exiled by the Assyrians and became identified as part of the Cimmerian hosts that moved from the Middle East into Europe. The second part . . .relates that part of the exiled Israelites were taken directly overseas to Spain where they merged with the Cimmerian-Israelites coming overland and from there moved to Britain and Ireland. The third part . . . examines Mythology, Ethnic-Names, Languages and Religious Customs that connect Celtic peoples of Britain, Ireland, and Gaul to ancient Israelites (Yair Davidy. Lost Israelite Identity: The Hebrew Ancestry Of The Celtic Races. (Shiloh-Hebron-Susia-Jerusalem-Beth-El, Israel: Brit-Am Publication) read from back of book.).
When we analyze the sections in chapter 11 that deal with these issues, it will become very clear from history why Biblical theology so thoroughly contradicts dispensationalism. (What The Prophets Expected)
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Joel (Probably around 800 B.C.) 2:28 - 32. Salvation would come from Mt. Zion -in Jerusalem- through the remnant.
Amos (between 767 - 753 B.C.) Chapters 3 - 9. Israel would inevitably be punished if she did not repent. 9:11 - 15. The captivity of Israel would be regathered to build the Davidic temple. Hosea (before 753 - after 729 B.C.) 9:1 - 17 Israel would be deported to Assyria 10:1 - 15. Their kingdom would ultimately be destroyed. 1:10, 11. Israel and Judah would be gathered as God's sons. 3:4, 5. Israel would be gathered to seek David. Isaiah (750 - 739 B.C.) Chapters 8 - 10. Assyria would devour Israel Chapters 13 - 23. Israel would be delivered from Babylon. 2:1 - 5. God's house would be rebuilt, and the Gentiles would be gathered to worship God. 4:2 - 6 The righteous remnant would be gathered to the restoration. 11:1 - 16; 27:7 - 13. The gathering of the remnant. Chapters 54 - 62. The Gentiles would be gathered with the Jews. Zephania (between 640 - 609 B.C.) 3:9 - 20. The gathering of the remnant. Jeremiah (was called in 627/626 B.C.) 26:1 - 24. Jerusalem and the temple would be destroyed. 3:12 - 20; 31:1 - 40 Judah and Israel would be restored under the New Covenant. 30:1 - 24. Israel would be restored through David. 23:1 - 8 Through the Messiah, Israel would be restored in the remnant. Micah (latter half of the Assyrian supremacy) 3:12. Zion and the temple would be destroyed. 4:7; 5:3 The gathering of the remnant. Obadiah ( around 586 B.C.) Verses 17 - 21. Israel to be restored. Ezekiel (began around 593/592) 23:1 - 49. Israel's apostasy explained in a parable. 36:19. Israel was dispersed and scattered throughout the world. 17:1 - 12. The Jews would be carried away to Babylon. 36:24 - 28. Israel would be regathered with a new heart and spirit. 6:6 - 8. The remnant constituted God's true people.
Question: What did the prophets foresee in terms of punishment for the Jewish nation? Answer: (1) The Northern kingdom of Israel would be destroyed and dispersed by the Assyrians. (2) The Southern kingdom would be destroyed and dispersed by the Babylonians. (3) The Davidic temple would be destroyed. Question: What did the prophets foresee in terms of national restoration for the Jews?
Answer: (1) The re-gathering of dispersed Israel back into their land. (2) The Gentiles would be gathered with the remnant of Israel (This is completely Christocentric). (3) The rebuilding of the Davidic Temple.
The Historical Fulfillment Of Israel’s Second Gathering Question: How did the negative outlook of these prophecies find historical fulfillment? In 2 Samuel 7 and 1 Chronicles 17:1 – 17, God told David (1011 – 971) that, through his seed, the Jerusalem temple would be built. 1 Chronicles 28:6, 7 – 21 and 1 Kings 5 – 8 show an immediate historical fulfillment of this promise in Solomon (971 – 931 B.C.). After Solomon died, his son Rehoboam caused the 10 northern tribes to revolt, and the tribes split away from Judah (1 Kings 12, 13 and 2 Chron. 12, 13). Thus, the northern tribes made Jeroboam king over them, while Rehoboam was king over Judah and Benjamin. The northern kingdom existed from the time of Jeroboam (931 – 913 B.C.) up to Hoshea (732 – 722 B.C.). 2 Kings 17:7 – 23 give the outline of Israel’s apostasy and the reasons that God allowed Assyria to destroy the northern kingdom. 2 Kings 17:5, 6 explain how the northern tribes were captured and taken to Assyria. The ultimate outcome of the ten tribes was dispersion to the point that they lost their identity as a nation. The southern kingdom existed from the time of Rehoboam up to the reign of Zedekiah (597 – 586 B.C.). 2 Chronicles 23:31 – 25:30 and Jeremiah 52 explains in detail how Judah was destroyed in 586 B.C. by the Babylonians and how the Jews were deported to Babylon. Question: How did the restoration of Israel’s dispersed find historical fulfillment? The prophet Jeremiah had foreseen that the Babylonian captivity would last 70 years (Jer. 29:10 – 14; 2 Chron. 36:21 – 23; Dan. 9:2). Isaiah 44:24 and chapter 46—a long time before Babylon’s destruction—foretold of the actual man (Cyrus) who would rebuild the Davidic temple (Isaiah 44:28). We find a complete historical fulfillment of Israel’s second gathering and the rebuilding of the Davidic temple in the book of Ezra. Ezra 1:1 – 11 gives a detailed explanation of how Cyrus gave the decree for the Jews to rebuild the temple. Chapter 2 gives a description of the re-gathering of Israel’s remnant. It is absolutely ridiculous to assume that what the prophets saw, as to the dispersion of Israel with her re-gathering, should leap thousands of years into the future —bypassing its immediate historical fulfillment. Some dispensationalists make the events explained in Ezra pertinent to Israel’s first gathering, while the second gathering began in 1948 and will reach its acme during the millennium (See Arthur W. Kac, The Rebirth of the State of Israel). Other dispensationalists believe that Israel’s first regathering was from Egypt, while the second re-gathering will occur during the millennium (See J. B. Payne, Encyclopedia of Biblical Prophecy). Still, other dispensationalists believe that by the millennium, there will have been three gatherings of Israel. Chafer explains:
Three dispossessions were anticipated and three restorations (Gen. 15:13 –14, 16; Jer. 25:11 – 12; Deut. 28:25, 36 – 37, 63 – 68; 30:1 – 5). All three of the dispossessions are now fulfilled and two restorations. Thus the nation is out of
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The Israel Of God
her land for the third and last time. When restored again, as predicted, that people will go out no more forever (Systematic Theology, Vol. 5: 320, 321).
Walvoord is in agreement with Chafer, and Walvoord points out that the first gathering was fulfilled in the Exodus, the second gathering was fulfilled in the days of Zerubbabel, and the third gathering has a partial fulfillment in 1948 and will reach its complete fulfillment in the millennium (See The Millennial Kingdom, 176, 177). Note: not one text used by Chafer points to a third gathering of Israel. How then do they supply scriptural evidence for a third gathering? Dispensationalists often appeal to Zechariah 8:8 – 12 as evidence that the prophets had another re-gathering of Israel in mind for the simple fact that Zechariah prophesied this re-gathering after the ingathering of the captives from Babylon had occurred. This interpretation by dispensationalists misses a very important historical fact. Zechariah prophesied this in 518 B.C., and this was latter fulfilled in 457 B.C. when a more complete re-gathering took place for the restoration of Jerusalem as a government. The big problem with dispensationalists is the fact that they overlook the clear statement of Isaiah 11:11 which explains, “the Lord would set his hand again the second time (not two times—not three times) to recover the remnant of his people.” Isaiah inferred that there had already been the first gathering of Israel from Egypt (Heb. 8:9); Isaiah made this very clear in verse 16. Therefore the second gathering of Israel’s remnant had its immediate historical fulfillment in the days of Zerubbabel and Ezra. Walvoord acknowledges this, but he attempts to go beyond Isaiah’s clear statement, “a second time,” and make the scriptures infer “two times.” The Bible does not teach a third gathering of the literal nation of Israel. The Christological Fulfillment of Israel’s Second Gathering During the days of Zerubbabel, the prophets’ Haggai and Zechariah encouraged the Jewish exiles in their work of rebuilding the temple (Ezra 5:1; 6:14). Haggai told the Jews that the new temple would be more glorious than the former temple (2:9). It was during this time frame that Zechariah had the vision of a much more glorious sanctuary (6:12, 13). We know that Zechariah’s vision of the “BRANCH” pointed to the priestly ministry of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary (see following chapter). This leads us to the Christological aspect of all the prophecies that we have looked at. Ultimately, the second gathering of Israel and the rebuilding of the Davidic temple in the days of Zerubbabel was a shadow—a type—of a much greater sanctuary with a much greater gathering, a gathering that transcends physical and geographical boundaries. The Abrahamic promises pointed to the blessing of all nations in the Messiah. “All people being blessed in the Messiah” was expounded upon more and more through the prophets, which foretold of Israel’s second gathering.
The Christological Aspect Of Israel’s Second Gathering (Correlation Block 6)
Jews and Gentiles to be gathered Isaiah 2:1 - 5 Amos 9:11, 12 Isaiah 56:1 - 8
Fulfilled in the Church Acts 15:14 - 17
The seed of Israel to inherit the Gentiles. Isaiah 54:1 - 3 Jews and Gentiles to be gathered to David Jeremiah 30:3, 9 - 11 23:3 - 6 Isaiah 55:1 - 3 Joel 2:28 - 32 The Vineyard to be restored The whole world filled with fruit Isaiah 27:1 - 6 62:1 - 3 61:4, 5 49:6 Those gathered in the New Covenant have a new heart Fulfilled in the Church Jeremiah 32:36 - 40 Ezekiel 36:24 - 28 Jeremiah 31:31 - 34 Deut. 30:1 - 8 Hebrews 8:10 Romans 2:25 - 29 Colossians 2:11, 12 Philippians 3:3 Hebrews 12:22 - 24 Galatians 6:15, 16 Fulfilled in the Church Matthew 21:33 - 43 Acts 13:47 Fulfilled in the Church Acts 2:16 - 21, 30, 31 Fulfilled in the Church Galatians 4:22 - 31
Note: These scriptures within “correlation block (6)” are so clear that one simply needs to read the Old Testament prophecies with the New Testament equivalents to see that Israel’s promises are meeting fulfillment in the Church.
Israel Continued Through The Remnant (Romans 9 – 11)
By D. S. Farris
The Israel Of God
Romans 9: (1 - 3) Paul had great sorrow for his kinsmen after the flesh. (4, 5) Israel was the vehicle in which Christ would fulfill His purpose. (6 - 8) The promises made to Israel will not be made of none effect, because these promises were not made to the children of the flesh. (9 - 21) Paul expounds on election as being an act of God’s grace on our behalf in contrast to man’s work. (22 - 29) Both Jews and Gentiles are included in the election of grace. (2 - 11) Israel must be saved through faith in Jesus. (2 - 10) Israel has been preserved in the remnant through the election of grace. ( 11 - 24 ) Unbelieving Jews are broken off of the olive tree (Israel) Romans 10: (1) Paul’s hearts desire is to see Israel saved. Romans 11: (1) Has God cast away His people which he foreknew?
(12 - 18) There is no difference between the Jew and the Greek. God intends to save both through the gospel. (19, 20 ) Isaiah prophesied that the Church would receive Christ through the gospel. (21)
(11 - 24) (2 - 10) Faithful Jews remain in the Israel of God. Gentiles are grafted in the Israel of God.
(30) The Gentiles attained to the righteousness which is by faith. (31 - 33)
Israel did not attain to the righteousness by faith, because they sought it through the works of the law.
Israel did not receive the gospel because of disobedience.
Dispensationalists attempt to make Romans 11:25 – 27 the proof texts that the physical nation of Israel will once again be established. One of the main reason’s for this outlook is that dispensationalists emphasize that the scriptures in Romans contrast between the terminologies, Church, Israel, and Gentile; thus, these three terms represent
43 three distinguishable bodies (See Walvoord, The Millennial Kingdom, 164 – 169) Dispensationalists teach that Romans 9 – 11 definitely retains natural Israel’s identity, as a separate body from the Church. They emphasize that natural Israel is still identified as God’s chosen people as stated in Romans 11:28: “As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the father’s sake.” LaRondelle points out:
Thus, the term “Israel” as used in Paul’s letter to the Romans must be determined by the context of Romans, and his use of the same term in his letter to the Galatians must be understood by the context in Galatians (The Israel Of God In Prophecy, 125).
Referring back to Galatians 6:15, 16, we must conclude that the term “Israel” represents the faithful saints in the Church for the fact that the context of Galatians as a whole demands this outlook. Galatians 3 totally abolishes the distinctions between Jew and Gentile and makes faith the criteria for being Abraham’s seed. Galatians 4 unequivocally demonstrates that national Israel (son of bondwoman) is not heir with the Church (son of freewoman). This background in Galatians determines the meaning of Galatians 6:16; it determines that the Church is the Israel of God. On the other hand, Romans 9 – 11 does not use the term “Israel” the way Galatians does. These chapters in Romans use the term “Israel” to define the nation in whom God bestowed His oracles and how this nation rejected the very basis of their election in Abraham, because they did not receive the Messiah through the faith of Abraham. Furthermore, Romans does not distinguish between Israel and the Gentiles on the basis that God has two different people “who maintain their distinction for eternity.” Romans 11 gives evidence that there was factionalism in the Church at Rome. The Gentile Christians were boasting of some alleged superiority over the Jews. Paul used these distinctions to teach the Gentile Christians at Rome that the very reason they have salvation is because of Israel’s Messiah. Paul used these terminologies in their distinctiveness, not to create different bodies of saints and thus contradict himself in other passages of the New Testament, but he used these distinctions to prove to the factions that there are no so such distinctions (see Eph. 2:11 – 22). Said another way: Paul addressed Christians and Jews mutually exclusive to prove his point that they are not mutually exclusive. Paul made this clear in Romans 1 – 3 that both Jew and Gentile stood under the law and needed a Savior. Dispensationalists attempt to make Romans 11 contradict Galatians 4:22 – 31 along with all the other New Testament correlations which prove that Israel has been continued through the remnant—the Church. Romans 11:25 – 27 must be understood in light of Romans 9 – 11, for these three chapters are a unit in the book of Romans. (Refer back to the correlative outline of Rom. 9 – 11). The dispensational interpretation of Romans 11 cannot be factual, for their interpretation is in contradiction to the rest of the New Testament. The dispensational understanding of Romans 11 makes the Bible a grotesque monstrosity of oxymorons. As we are going to see, Romans 11 is in harmony with the rest of the New Testament. Notice: Romans’ 9, 10, and 11: each chapter has almost an identical theme or point of explanation. Said another way, the outline and point of chapter 9 is restated in chapter 10; chapters’ 9 and 10 are restated in 11 with additional information. What does By D. S. Farris
The Israel Of God this mean? This means that Romans 11:25 – 27 are defined by the context of these three chapters. Before we explain the meaning of verses 25 – 27, let us expatiate on the outlined theme from page 115. Before or after reading this outline, refer back to Correlation Block (6). In looking at Romans 9:1 – 3, 10:1 and 11:1 we can see that Paul had great sorrow and heaviness of heart for his kinsmen. That is understandable, for he too was an Israelite of the seed (physical) of Abraham (Philippians 3:3 – 9). Paul’s heart desire was to see Israel saved. The big question which Paul raised is: “has God’s people been cast away and therefore cannot be saved?” Paul raised this question in Romans 11:1 because of the fact that Israel was to be heir of the promises made to the seed of promise—Christ (Rom. 9:4, 5). Israel was to be joint heirs with Christ through the righteousness of faith. This was the very promise given to Abraham. The answer to this question is an emphatic, NO! (God Forbid. Me, “May that never come to pass”) God has not cast away His people. In Romans 9:6 – 9 Paul told us that God’s promises are not made of none effect; because of the simple fact, that Israel does not have its foundation on a predetermined favoritism based on a linage back to Abraham: “For they are not All Israel, which are of Israel: neither because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children.” God’s promises are not made of none effect, because His promises are not to a group of fleshly people. (The reciprocal of this is, if God’s promises had been to a fleshly group of people, His promises would have been of none effect.) God’s promises have always been to those who attain to election through Faith. In Romans 9:9 – 21, Paul elucidates on what “election” means. Romans 9 – 11 as a whole illustrates that “election” is a position that all the saints have IN Christ apart from the works of the law. The elect are those who attain to the righteousness of Christ through faith in God‘s provision in their lives (The essence of the Eternal Covenant). As we saw in pages back, the Eternal Covenant was made to Christ. Christ is THE ELECT of the election. Ephesians 1 proves that God chose the saints in Christ before the foundation of the world. When a person accepts their life, death, burial, resurrection, and ascension IN Christ, that person is accepting his place in the Elect (Christ) of the election. Faith in this truth makes one a joint heir of Christ and thus makes one a saint in the election of grace. Paul proves in Romans 9:22 – 29 and 11:2 – 10 that Israel’s promises have not failed, because these promises are continued through the “remnant according to the election of grace,” a grace that is attained through the righteousness of faith. God’s promises to Israel have not failed, because these promises have continued through the Church, the remnant of Israel. For emphasis: to be the elect of God, is to attain the righteousness of God through faith in Christ, the One in whom God chose us to be holy and without blame (Eph. 1:4). Romans 9:22 – 30 and 11:11 – 24 demonstrate that the continuation of Israel’s promises in the remnant of Israel includes Gentile believers. Thus we can say that, truly, God is no respecter of persons. Paul is simply confirming what the prophets had foreseen in the Christological aspect of Israel’s second gathering; that the second gathering would include the Gentiles—both Jew and Gentile would be gathered to Christ. These scriptures prove that genetics, as a criteria for membership in Israel, is not the case. Romans 11:11 – 24 is in perfect correlation with chapter 9:6 – 8. The Olive Tree is Israel (Psalm 52:8; Jer. 11:16, 17; Hosea 14:1 – 6) and unbelieving Jews were broken off of the tree (for they are not all Israel which are of Israel), because they did not accept
45 the Gospel through faith (Rom. 9:31 – 33; 10:21), while Gentile believers were grafted in the Israel of God (Rom. 9:30; 10:19, 20). The criteria for membership in Israel, according to these scriptures, is faith in the Messiah of Israel. Therefore, being a physical descendent of Abraham is irrelevant to this membership (Rom. 10:12 – 18). Faithful Jews and faithful Gentiles who believe and obey the Gospel are the remnant according to the election of grace and comprise the Olive tree. Paul’s hope for Israel is seen in Romans 10:2 – 11. His hearts desire was that his kinsmen would accept the gospel and be grafted back into the Olive Tree. Compare Romans 11:11 – 24 with Ephesians 2:11 – 21. Israel has been continued through the “remnant according to the election of grace.” This is the Church where “by one spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit (1 Cor. 12:13).” The olive tree (Israel) is this body. Dispensationalists will accept that the Church is a body containing both Jew and Gentile, but insist that Israel, as a body, does not have this equality between Jew and Gentile. That is completely contradicted by Romans 11:11 – 24, which clearly shows that in the present continuous sense, the olive tree (Israel) has both groups. Romans 11: 25 – 27 Dispensationalists see in these texts a promise that national Israel will be saved after the Church dispensation. This is not in harmony with the theme of Romans 9 – 11 or Galatians or the New Testament for that matter. (25) For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until (Gr. Achri, “as far as”) the fullness (Gr. Pleroma, “a filling up” “what is put in to fill up”) of the Gentiles has come in. (26) And so (Gr. Houtos, “in this manner”) all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “The Deliverer will come out of Zion, And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; (27) For this is My covenant with them, When I take away their sins.” Up to verse 25, the message has been that unbelieving Jews have been broken off of the olive tree. Believing Jews stay in the olive tree, while Gentile believers are grafted in. In other words, Israel as a nation who rejected the Messiah and His Gospel does not constitute the olive tree, because Israel as a nation is not connected to the “root and fatness of the tree (V. 17).” Verse 25 tells us that national Israel has experienced a partial blindness “as far as” or “up to” the “filling up” of the Gentiles has come in. Romans 11:12 says, “Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles, how much more their fullness.” This text explains that the fullness of Israel is fulfilled in the riches of the Gentiles. Paul places the salvation of Israel in a unisonous relationship with that of the Gentiles. This “filling up” of the Gentiles is in perfect correlation with Acts 15:14 – 17 which states that “God taking out of the Gentiles a people for His name” was the projected hope of the prophets. Romans 11:25, in correlation with the preceding verses—from 11 – 24—explain that both Jew and
By D. S. Farris
The Israel Of God Gentile being gathered in the olive tree through the Gospel is the “filling up” of Israel. Verse 26 confirms this by saying, “In this manner all Israel will be saved.” Does this mean that all Israel will be saved by means of the ingathering of both Jews and Gentiles together into Christ through the Gospel? Of course! Romans 9:6 – 8 explain the definition of ALL ISRAEL as not pertaining to the flesh, but of those who are children of the promise. As we have already analyzed in Galatians, this pertains to those who become a new creation in Christ. In other words, all Israel is the olive tree containing both Jew and Gentile, and the “filling up” of Israel will continue “as far as” the time when Jesus comes to take His people to heaven. How does Paul prove that “in this manner all Israel will be saved?” He quotes from the hope of Isaiah 59:20, “And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the Lord.” Paul also quotes from Jeremiah 31:31 –34 where it is says that in the New Covenant, “God will no longer remember their sins and iniquities.” From Isaiah’s point of view this text was completely fulfilled in Christ’s first advent. Jesus as the last Adam gathered the whole human race into Himself and abolished death (2 Tim. 1:10), which is the wages of sin (Rom. 6:23). Paul re-coined the words “to Zion” in Isaiah to “from Zion” in order to illustrate that the Deliverer had already come to Zion with salvation. The Deliver came to Zion and turned ungodliness away from Jacob (Israel) on the cross. Israel as a nation did not accept this truth; thus, they were broken off of the “root and fatness of the olive tree.” The faithful Jews who believed in the Deliverer stayed in the olive tree, and Gentile believers were grafted into the remnant of Israel. This ingathering of both Jew and Gentile constitutes the all Israel of God’s saving grace. How do dispensationalists misconstrue the truth of Romans 11:25 – 27? They misconstrue the words “until” in verse 25, “so” in verse 26, and Paul’s quotation of Isaiah. The root of the threefold misconception is their interpretation of the word “so.” Dispensationalists make verses’ 25 – 27 say the following: (25) Blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. (26) And then (Gr. Tote, “at that time”) all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “the Deliverer will come out of Zion, and He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob.” Dispensationalists treat the word “so” as if meant “then.” This means: Israel has been blinded “until” a certain period of time; and after this period, all Israel will be saved. Dispensationalists then move on the conclusion that Paul’s quotation of Isaiah is future from Christ’s first advent—confirming the idea that, after the fullness of the Gentiles (as a distinct dispensation), “then” Israel will be saved. If we were to diagram the dispensational view on this, it would appear as follows:
UNTIL The fullness of the Gentiles THEN All Israel Shall Be Saved Isaiah 59: 20
This dispensational conjecture is not in harmony with Romans 11:25 – 27. Paul did not use the word “then.” Paul did not use such a word as a conjunction with the word “until” to represent another dispensation of salvation for national Israel after the “filling up” of the Gentiles—placing Isaiah’s quote future from his day. Here is Paul’s outline:
So "in this way" all Israel is saved
Blindness has happened to national Isaiah 59: 20 Israel until the completion of the "filling up"
1, 000 Years
Paul quotes Isaiah’s future expectation of “ungodliness being taken away from Jacob” as a confirmation of the “all Israel” being saved “in the manner” of the present remnant of the election of grace seen in the olive tree—containing both Jews and Gentiles. National Israel will stay blind until this “manner” of saving Israel through the remnant is completed. There is nothing to indicate that a restoration of the physical nation of Israel proceeds the “until.” The “until” is an end in itself. Even if Romans 11 supported dispensationalism, which it does not, the majority of Paul’s writings in the New Testament confirm Israel’s second gathering as the present fulfillment in the Church (see correlation block 6). The olive tree—containing both Jew and Gentile—was not projected as a future event from Paul’s day. The olive tree itself was not projected as a future occurrence after some temporary interrupted dispensation. The olive tree was the present reality in Paul’s day which coincides with his description of the Church body in Ephesians 2:11 – 21. Hence, “in this way” the ALL ISRAEL is being saved. This means that the Church is the olive tree; thus, the Church is Israel. If there was any hope for national Israel’s restoration in Romans 11, it was that she would be grafted into the Church where there was already in existence both Jews and Gentiles according to the projected hopes of the prophets. Note: Dispensationalists state:
The pre-millennial position on the term Israel is that it always has reference to those who are physical descendants of Jacob. Within this larger definition, however, there are distinctions. There is a godly or spiritual Israel in the Old Testament who are true believers in God, and there is a godly Israel in the Church consisting of Israelites who are believers in Jesus Christ (Walvoord, The Millennial Kingdom, 164).
By D. S. Farris
The Israel Of God
It is absolutely a fantastic joke that dispensationalists can acknowledge that there was a spiritual Israel in both the Old and New Testament and yet still insist that Israel as a Biblical concept has its primary definition in the physical linage to Abraham— irrespective of whether or not the people in national Israel are true believers in God. The theme of Romans 9 – 11 along with Ephesians and Galatians is that Israel has continued through the remnant containing both Jew and Gentile. The Church is this body. There is no other alternative unless we place imaginary dispensations with imaginary boundaries around terminologies such as “Church” and “Israel,” which the apostles never intended. The fact of the matter is: there has always been one true Israel and will only be one true Israel; those who have the righteousness of God both imputed and imparted through faith. The very focal point of the Abrahamic promises has been and will be realized in the Church. Concluding Statements In conclusion of this chapter, we have come to understand why the first two pillars of dispensationalism have failed; because the third pillar, which sustains the futurism of the 70th week and the secret rapture, too has failed. The New Testament interprets the Abrahamic promises as being continued in the Church. The Church is the great nation (1 Peter 2:9, 10) of Old Testament expectation. The Old Testament (Isaiah 56) focused on an Israel in which both Jew and Gentile were to be gathered together as one people—focused on the Messiah of the Everlasting Covenant. The Church has fulfilled this expectation! The land promises—made to Abraham—pointed to the whole world (Rom. 4:11 – 16) in which all people of faith will be gathered to worship God for eternity; this will take place in the New Earth. The Abrahamic covenant made with Abraham and his seed according to Genesis 17:7 is the continual revelation and expansion of God’s Everlasting Covenant, promised to Adam. In Genesis 17:19, 21 and 21:12, we learn that the Abrahamic covenant (Everlasting Covenant) continued through Isaac’s seed. Genesis 28:10 – 14 shows that this Covenant continued through Jacob’s seed. Were Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob’s election based on the establishment “of a people who maintain their distinction for eternity?” No! God elected these men and the Jewish nation, which came out of these men to be the progenitors of the Messiah (Gal. 3:16); the one who would make the elements of the Abrahamic covenant a far greater reality than what was achieved in Solomon’s reign. God did not elect these men in order to produce a nation that should sit on the land of Palestine and say to the Gentile world, “Stand by thyself, come not near to me; for I am holier than thou (Isaiah 65:5).” The purpose of Israel’s election was based on the salvation of all men so that all men could be brought into the Everlasting Covenant, which in whole, points to the Messiah. Psalm 65:5; 72:17; Jeremiah 4:2, and Isaiah 40:3 – 5; 42:1 – 10 demonstrate clearly what Israel was elected to do. Isaiah 49:6 states:
It is a light thing that thou should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou may be my salvation unto the ends of the earth.
John 4:22 says, “Salvation is from the Jews.” Notice that this text says from, not exclusively for; meaning, the election of the Jewish nation was to bring the nations into
49 the Covenant relation with the God of Israel. This gives credence to the fact that God is no respecter of persons. We agree with LaRondelle’s outlook on Israel’s election:
In this light it becomes clear that the divine election of Abram, and of Israel as a people, served the universal purpose of salvation. Israel’s particular ethnic and geographic promises are subordinated to the purpose of saving mankind and not to a different and independent goal (The Israel Of God In Prophecy, 91).
Bringing the saving knowledge of Jehovah to the world was Israel’s first and most important purpose in their election. Israel as a nation did not pursue God’s great commission for them. E. G. White comments on this issue with absolute clarity:
But the people of Israel lost sight of their high privileges as God's representatives. They forgot God and failed to fulfill their holy mission. The blessings they received brought no blessing to the world. All their advantages they appropriated for their own glorification. They shut themselves away from the world in order to escape temptation. The restrictions that God had placed upon their association with idolaters as a means of preventing them from conforming to the practices of the heathen, they used to build up a wall of separation between themselves and all other nations. They robbed God of the service He required of them, and they robbed their fellow men of religious guidance and a holy example. Priests and rulers became fixed in a rut of ceremonialism. They were satisfied with a legal religion, and it was impossible for them to give to others the living truths of heaven. [Acts Of The Apostles, Chap. 1, “God’s Purpose For His Church”]
Up to this point, we have seen that the Everlasting Covenant has been inclusive of all men willing to be led by the voice of God. In other words, this Covenant has always been a unilateral Covenant of faith. God promised Abraham that out of his seed, He would build a great nation who would bring forth the Messiah. God intended that Israel should be a light to the world; to bring the lost into the Covenant expectation of the Messiah, the one in whom all nations would be blessed. Too often the Jews ignored their great commission. What the Jews were supposed to, but did not do, Christ accomplished through the Church. The ingathering of the Gentiles into union with the Israelites as one people—worshipping God—was the great commission given to Israel (Isaiah 56). This commission has and is being fulfilled in the Church. When the whole of the Bible is organically applied as one solid Testimony, dispensational divisions fall to pieces. The whole of the Bible says that the Church is the Israel of God. We assert that the third pillar of the dispensational system has failed. The fourth pillar—examined in the following chapter—deals with the idea of a literal fulfillment of the Davidic monarchy over the literal nation of Israel. That issue is deeply related to the issue discussed in this chapter. We ask the reader to analyze the correlation constructs in this chapter with the following constructs. I speak from experience that too many evangelicals ignore the information debated in this chapter—even though it has excellent cohesion in the Bible. Many ignore this information, because they see the reestablishment of an Israel in the Middle East; and
By D. S. Farris
The Israel Of God they listen to enthusiastic pastors emphasize that the 1948 establishment of Israel is divine providence. Many evangelicals are forced to contend between something they see in the Middle East—accompanied by popular opinion and enthusiastic pastors—and the plain statements of scripture. We emphasize that the reader is going to see some of the most shocking truths, truths that reveal the whole Palestine Plot as a last day deception to cause evangelicals to support Romanism—one of the main architectures of this deception. In further chapters, we are going to prove that the Jews of Israel cannot properly be called Jews by the dispensational definition of the word; that secret societies have honed a Jewish state for the purpose of creating a New World Order under the Catholic Church and Protestant America. Works Cited For Chapter 3 Allis, Oswald T. Prophecy And The Church (The Presbyterian And Reformed Pub. Comp., 1945, 1947) Chafer, Lewis Sperry. Systematic Theology (Dallas Texas: Dallas Seminary Press, 1948), Vols’ 4 and 5 Fuller, Daniel P. Gospel and Law: Contrast or Continuum? The Hermeneutics of Dispensationalism and Covenant Theology (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., 1980) Gundry, R. H. The Church and the Tribulation (Grand Rapids, Mich: Zondervan, 1973) Kac, Arthur W. The Rebirth of the State of Israel (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Book House, 1976) Larkin, Clarence. The Book Of Revelation (Philadelphia, Pa: Erwin W. Moyer Co., 1919) LaRondelle, Hans K. The Israel of God In Prophecy: Principles of Prophetic Interpretation (Berrien Springs, Mich.: Andrews University Press, 1983) Ladd, George E. A Theology of the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 1974) Mauro, Philip The Gospel of the Kingdom: With An Examination Of Modern Dispensationalism (120 Tremont St., Boston: Hamilton Brothers, 1928) Pieters, Albertus. The Seed of Abraham (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1941) Emphasis mine Payne, J. B. Encyclopedia of Biblical Prophecy (New York: Harper & Row, 1973) Pentecost, J. Dwight. Things To Come (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan: Dunham, 1958)
Ryrie, Charles C. Dispensationalism Today (Chicago: Moody Press, 1965) Ryrie, Charles C. The Basis of the Premillennial Faith (Neptune, N. J.: Loizeaux Brothers, 1953) Scofield, Cyrus I. The Scofield Reference Bible (New York: Oxford University Press, 1909, 1917) Walvoord, John F. The Millennial Kingdom (Grand Rapids Mich.: Dunham pub., 1959) Zondervan and
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