Two House Chronicles

The Insufficiencies of the Presuppositions of Dispensationalism in Rendering John's Apocalypse

(or Why I Do Not Want To Be a Dispensationalist)

Common Law Copyright 2016 by Hope Helen Huerta

 

Dispensationalists presuppose the transcendence of the grammatical-historical hermeneutic, in many cases to the exclusion of others, depending on the sect. Regarding this issue, Dispensationalists R. Bruce Compton confirmed the prophets were not omniscient and “did not always fully comprehend all of the implications or significance of the texts,” they wrote,1  which is an acknowledgment of the weakness in the grammatical-historical hermeneutic by itself. The grammatical-historical view informs us of the author's original intent and meaning, but cannot inform us of implications or significances beyond what the prophets were given to know. Such a concession concedes the existence of implications or significance developed in progressive revelation. True progressive revelation maintains concurrence with the grammatical-historical perception. Presupposing the hegemony of the grammatical-historical in concurrence with progressive revelation results in true correspondence between the Old and New Testaments.

 

Dispensationalism views Israel as a “nation among nations,” on path to salvation different from the church, which is “formed from all nations.”With this a priori Ryrie rendered Matthew 21:43 as the rejection of the Jews, albeit temporarily, and the conception of an ad hoc separate institution called the church, bearing the fruit of the vineyard. Curiously, Ryrie cross referenced the phenomenon with the nation in 1 Peter 2:9.3

“MATTHEW 21:43 taken from you, and given to a nation. I.e., taken from the Jews and given to the church (1 Pet. 2:9).”4

The Greek term ethnei, in Matthew 21:43, does stress singularity, as a nation among nations—but Dispensationalism maintains the church is not a nation like Israel; thus, when Ryrie renders the nation that bears the fruit in Matthew 21:43 as the church he violates the rule of non-contradiction. Ryrie was totally stifled in his study Bible on 1 Peter 2:9-10 and so we are left adrift on how the nation that bears the fruit in Matthew 21:43 relates to the nation Ephraim in 1 Peter 2:9. Thomas Ice’s rendition of Peter’s epistle supposedly has the grammatical-historical interpretation concur with a great number of exiled Jews dwelling in the regions in 1 Peter 1:1.

“Interestingly, most of the post-apostolic early church fathers also agreed that 1 Peter was written to Jewish believers scattered throughout the stated regions of modern-day Turkey.”5

What is perplexing is that Ice deviates from the grammatical-historical interpretation; the original intent of the authors, Moses and Hosea, who Peter cites in the second chapter of his first epistle, was Israel, with specific regard to Ephraim, the ten northern tribes and nation, as contrasted from Judah (Ex 19:6; Hos 1:10; 2:23).

   “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:  in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.” 1 Peter 2:9-10

   “And I will sow her unto me in the earth; and I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy; and I will say to them which were not my people, Thou art my people; and they shall say, Thou art my God.” Hosea 2:23

In his railings against Replacement Theology Ice produced an essay on 1 Peter 2 that also omitted the nation as Ephraim, which reveals the omission is pervasive in Dispensationalism and this blinds them from the salvific history of the nation of Ephraim, as contrasted from Judah. The omission stems from the Dispensationalist’s presuppositions that renders Matthew 21:43 as referring to the suspension of the calling of Israel at the first advent, and the commencement of the ad hoc call concerning the church, which is what Ice conveys in his essay on 1 Peter 2:9-10:

“While much more could be said about 1 Peter 2, it is abundantly clear that the passage does not support any form of replacement theology. Instead it speaks of a fulfillment of God’s Old Testament promises to the Israel of God through Christ…. God will indeed keep all His promises to Israel even though during the Church age He is combining elect Jews and Gentiles into a single co-equal body (Eph. 2:11–22).”6

As a Revised Dispensationalist, Ice’s perception of the fulfillment of, “God’s Old Testament promises to Israel,” is that they are yet future, after the rapture of the church; they were not fulfilled at the first advent in any sense. The restrictive clause, “even though during the Church age,” juxtaposes the church from Israel, in their manipulation of the grammatical-historical sense. In Ice’s view, then, God took his kingdom from the Jews when they rejected Christ, which he perceives as, God changed his mind on the offer of the kingdom, and, as an ad hoc, fed the church, a contingency summarized as the Parenthesis by Dispensationalists.7 The adverb ad hoc conveys the Dispensationalist perception of the first advent as they maintain the church was unplanned, unforeseen by the prophets. But if God knew about the response of the Jews and what resulted then the prophets should have been warned according to the prophet Amos.

“Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.” Amos 3:7

Classic and Revised Dispensationalism’s ad hoc or contingency forces an Open Theist8perception; God did not know how the Jews would respond to Christ, which cannot be divorced from the Parenthesis. Another Dispensationalist, Michael J. Vlach, attempts to vindicate the perception of the ad hock or contingency of the church.

“Thus, while the certainty of God’s purposes is sure because of God’s sovereignty, from the human side of the divine/human curtain the timing of fulfillment of some prophecies can be influenced by human obedience or disobedience. Contingency appears to be explicitly taught in Jeremiah 18:7–10… Thus, contingency in regard to prophecy must be considered… Jonah prophesied that Nineveh would be destroyed in forty days, but national repentance delayed God’s judgment (Jonah 3).”9

Vlach proceeds from an Open Theist’s perception of free will, believing man causes God to repent or alter his plans for the unforeseeable. This is incompatible with Compatibilism,10 which is the Calvinist’s perception of free will. Yet, Ice claims Calvinism as essential to Dispensationalism in another essay.

“In concert with the Calvinist impulse to view history theocentricly, I believe that dispensational premillennialism provides the most logical eschatological ending to God's sovereign decrees for salvation and history. Since Dispensational premillennialists view both the promises of God's election of Israel and the church as unconditional and something that God will surely bring to pass, such a belief is consistent with the Bible and logic. A covenant theologian would say that Israel’s election was conditional and temporary. Many Calvinists are covenant theologians who think that individual election within the church is unconditional and permanent. They see God's plan with Israel conditioned upon human choice, while God's plan for salvation within the church is ultimately a sovereign act of God. There is no symmetry in such logic.”11

Vlach supports the Open Theist’s claims concerning contingency from texts in Jeremiah and Jonah, below, which is at variance with Ice’s perception of God’s sovereignty in Calvinist’s terms.

“Contingency appears to be explicitly taught in Jeremiah 18:7–10… Thus, contingency in regard to prophecy must be considered. As will be argued, contingency is a factor when it comes to when the kingdom will be established… Jonah prophesied that Nineveh would be destroyed in forty days, but national repentance delayed God’s judgment (Jonah 3).”12

Vlach proceeds from the Open Theist’s concept of free will concerning God’s foreknowledge as an Incompatibilist,13 while Ice asserts Dispensationalists hold to the Calvinist Compatibilist’s perception of determinism. It is clear the Parenthesis is incompatible with the Calvinist’s view of foreknowledge and even Martin Luther acknowledged this aspect of Calvinism.

“God foreknows nothing contingently…”14

In truth both Ice and Vlach are Incompatibilist, laboring for the Open Theist’s view of God’s foreknowledge as it concerns contingency in regard to prophecy.

 

Compatibilist claim causal direction concerning human action, which Libertarians repudiated at some lengths on the grounds of indifference; freedom and moral accountability must remain indifferent to causation. Modern Libertarians have abandoned indifference and conceded causal direction but claim it must be under man’s sole direction to maintain their perception of free will. Since Open Theism is built upon the Libertarian perception of free will, if the Libertarian concept of free will is repudiated then contingency in regard to prophecy is also repudiated. In truth, Libertarian perception of free will was repudiated by Paul in his epistle to the Romans in the texts below.                               

   “For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.” Romans 7:15-23

Paul affirms that ultimately man has no power over his CN (carnal nature); it causes sin even when the will resists. As Dispensationalist John Nelson Darby expressed it, “when he [man] wills good, sin is too strong for him (added emphasis).”15 The CN efficaciously circumvents the will to consummate sin; this repudiates Libertarianism. First, man’s will is not in complete control of his actions; the CN also directs man and resists his will. Secondly, man is conscious of his sins; it troubles his conscience as Hebrews 10:2 states, which establishes accountability. Paul clearly affirms the mind is aware when it wrongs. The Incompatibilist’s arguments pertaining to accountability and causal determination are eradicated by Paul’s testimony. Furthermore, Old and NT revelation affirms we do not die for Adam’s sin, but for our own; death follows sin. 

“Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth [it] not, to him it is sin.” James 4:17

“The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.” Ezekiel 18:20

This also concurs the Calvinist perception the elect are called by God and not vice versa, as no man is able to free himself from the CN.

“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” Revelation 3:20

Arminianists and Open Theists think they stand at God’s door and knock and he answers to their beckoning. But only the causal direction of, “the law of the Spirit of life in Christ,” emancipates man from the CN and allows him to answer God’s call.   

   “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Romans 8:2-4

Calvinist’s perceptions of God’s foreknowledge in texts such as Romans 8:29-30, indicate God was familiar with the elect before creation (Jer 1:5; Eph 1:4), which also concurs with his foreknowledge of how they respond, in what appears to them as contingency (conveyed appropriately as anthropomorphic shepherding). In summary, scripture affirms sin is caused by an organic influence capable of overpowering the will, while maintaining accountability, which repudiates the perception of free will by Libertarianism and contingency in regards to prophecy.

 

What is also garnered from the circumstance of the CN, is that the power of the flesh was sanctioned until an appointed time, when manumission would be made possible for the elect by the crucifixion of Christ, at the inauguration of the Israel’s NC. Both Scofield and Ryrie indirectly affirm this appointed time in their commentary on Daniel, below; yet, both failed to grasp the ramifications of the appointed time being calculated from the Babylonian captivity. This dependency also reveals Jeremiah 8:7-10 contingent only from the perception of man. From God’s perception he had already ordained to, “pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy,” the nation as the means to determine the appointed time of Christ’s first advent.

“The seventy weeks are divided into seven = 49 years; sixty-two = 434 years; one = 7 years (Daniel 9:25-27). In the seven weeks = 49 years, Jerusalem was to be rebuilt in "troublous times." This was fulfilled, as Ezra and Nehemiah record. Sixty-two weeks = 434 years, thereafter Messiah was to come (Daniel 9:25).”16

“Certain important events were to happen after the 62 weeks (plus the 7 weeks, or a total of 69 weeks): the crucifixion of Messiah, and the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 by the Romans who are the people of the prince that shall come.”17

The presented evidence concurs with the foreknowledge of Israel’s ordained responses in what appears as contingencies to man. Where man perceived contingencies—God perceived his power over the CN to carry out his plans to free man from his fallen nature but only at an appointed time.

 

The appearance of contingences in Jeremiah 18:7–10 and the book of Jonah, from whence Vlach drew his conclusions concerning contingency in regards to prophecy, are only contingencies as they appeared to man, but as they appeared to God they were ordained to affirm man was incapable of complying with his declarations without his causal direction, as a display of his Glory (Ps 37:23; Pr 3:6; Jer 31:9, 28; 2Th 3:3; 2Pe 2:9).

“Lord, thou hast heard the desire of the humble: thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear.” Psalms 10:17

“A man's heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.” Proverbs 16:9

God ordained that Israel would ultimately fail to comply with the law under the SC (Sinai Covenant) without his direction. This evidence substantiates that the warnings under the SC were as ordained as where the punishments, his divine providence, perceived as contingency by man.  God either moves18 against the CN or allows it to run its course, the former case being the example of the book of Jonah. In Jonah God moved the wicked Ninevites and the prophet to act contrary to their CN, which demonstrates Compatibilism, as opposed to Open Theism. It is man’s perception of contingency in prophecy that leads to the misapprehension of Open Theism. Covenantalists C. Matthew McMahon properly analyzed the narrative in Jonah as giving, “us a glimpse of God’s true intention for the Ninevites through Jonah’s actions (the compound sense), while the stated text exhibits His coming wrath against the city in forty days (the divided sense).”19 McMahon developed the 17th century Calvinist’s work of Francis Turretin in his hermeneutic tool of the compound and divided sense, which substantiates all the previous evidence on contingency in regards to prophecy. In Jonah the compound sense perceives God moving against the CN of Jonah and the Ninevites to perform his will; in the divided sense, man perceives contingency in regards to prophecy. Jonah demonstrates God’s sovereignty over the city-state as in the prophecy in Revelation 17:17, where God puts his will into the hearts of the ten kings to, “give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.” Texts such as Jeremiah 7:1-7 and 18:7-10 are conveyed in the dividedsense, the appearance of contingency, but only God can cause them to amend their ways and their doings to dwell in Jerusalem. The assertion of contingency in prophecy stems from the fallacy the declarative law could be complied with without the need of the NC but Paul makes it very plain the SC was never intended as such, but was a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ and justification (Gal 3:24). The doctrine of contingency in prophecy is a fallacy. Prophecy is preordained, the foreknowledge of God, his compound will and the decretive sense (Isa 41:21-23; 42:9; 44:7; 45:11; 46:10; 48:3,5,6; Jer 1:5; Act 15:8; Rom 8:29).

 

God knows how man will respond beforehand, which appears to man as contingency but is mere appearance. All the prophets anticipated Israel would fail to comply with the SC but then God would intervene at an appointed time to establish the NC and would impart the ability to comply with God’s law before the consummation of the kingdom (Jer 31:31-34; Ez 11:14-21). Romans 9-11 affirms that in God’s judgments upon Israel he hardens the reprobate and intervenes for the elect remnant.  

   “Except the LORD of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah.” Isaiah 1:9

   “What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?” Romans 9:22-24

At the first advent the vessels of wrath were ordained to reject Christ (Ps 118:22-23; 1Pe 2:7-8), while those who avowed him were chosen, “before the foundation of the world,” (Ro 8:29-30; Eph 1:4). This also affirms only the appearance of a contingent offer of the kingdom. It is this perspective that informs us God foreknows nothing contingently. Dispensationalism maintains the fallacy that the reprobate Jews who were appointed to wrath (Ro 9:21) were offered the kingdom they were never destined to inherit, which is due to the appearance of contingency in prophecy. In returning to Ice’s essay on 1 Peter 2 and Replacement Theology he inadvertently acknowledges the fallacy by his affirmation that there were unsaved reprobate mixed with the elect of Israel.

“Since Hosea is a type of God in that book, the Lord is saying that not all of the children of Israel are His offspring. (I take it this is the Lord’s way of saying many within national Israel were unbelievers in relation to their individual salvation while still a part of national Israel.)”20

Ice inadvertently acknowledges that the promises to Israel were only to the elect and not to the reprobate that mixed with them.

“However, since Peter is writing to ‘the Israel of God’ or Jewish believers, he is listing these Old Testament descriptions of Israel to let them know that everything promised them in the Old Testament is being fulfilled through their faith in Jesus as their Messiah. This is juxtaposed by a comparison with unbelieving Jews who have not trusted Jesus as the Messiah of Israel in verses 7–8. Peter speaks of “the stone which the builders rejected” (2:7) as a likely reference to Jewish leadership that lead the nation to reject Jesus as the Messiah. Peter further describes Jewish unbelievers as ones that view Jesus as “a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense” (2:8a). He notes that these Jewish unbelievers “stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed” (2:8b).”21 

Yet, the elect of Israel did avow Christ and since the kingdom did not appear there can be no other sound conclusion than it simply was not the appointed time and that it was not offered by any means. God is not a God of ad hoc contingencies. The church was planned for “if” it had not been then God did not know how the Jews would respond to Christ, which promotes the fallacy God foreknows only contingently. Ice faltered, above, where he states Peter’s epistle informed the Jewish believers, “everything promised them in the Old Testament is being fulfilled through their faith in Jesus as their Messiah.” This inadvertently concedes the OT (Old Testament) prophesies concerning Ephraim were being fulfilled at the first advent and there was no intent to establish the kingdom. It inadvertently concedes the fulfillment of the church as the vehicle to, “raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel,” as well as being a, “light to the Gentiles.” Isaiah 49:6. It inadvertently acknowledges Peter’s citation from Hosea 2:23 should be interpreted as literal prophecy, literally fulfilled as Ice expressed it in still another of his essays, Dispensational Hermeneutics.22         

 

The omissions of the grammatical-historical interpretation of the OT citations in 1 Peter 2:9-10 is a failure to account for the salvific history of the nation of Ephraim as contrasted from Judah in Hosea, Jeremiah, Isaiah, Zechariah and especially in the anthropomorphic motif of the unfaithful, divorced wife returned to her husband, as idiomatic of the obstacle of Deuteronomy 24:4. More than one prophet idiomatically presented the obstacle of Deuteronomy 24:4 in the return of the divorced woman of Hosea.

“Her former husband, which sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after that she is defiled; for that is abmination before the LORD: and thou shalt not cause the land to sin, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.” Deuteronomy 24:4

“They say, If a man put away his wife, and she go from him, and become another man’s, shall he return unto her again? shall not that land be greatly polluted? but thou hast played the harlot with many lovers; yet return again to me, saith the Lord.” Jeremiah 3:1

“Thus saith the Lord, Where [is] the bill of your mother’s divorcement, whom I have put away? or which of my creditors [is it] to whom I have sold you? Behold, for your iniquities have ye sold yourselves, and for your transgressions is your mother put away.” Isaiah 50:1

Omitting the grammatical-historical perspective of Ephraim taints any rendition of an OT citation in the NT. Ice concedes that at the first advent many exiled Jews dwelt in what is now southern Turkey,23 but as mentioned above, he neglects the grammatical-historical hermeneutic by omitting Ephraim, the unfaithful, divorced wife returned to her husband in Hosea 2:23, which was cited in 1 Peter 2:10. Instead he calls the descendants of Israel abiding in the provinces of 1 Peter 1:1 Jews, as if all Israelites were Jews. Even so, Peter’s citations from Hosea pertained to the reinstatement of the elect descendants of Ephraim, as an unfaithful, divorced wife returned to her husband.

 

Deuteronomy 24:4 enters relating to the idiom of the unfaithful, divorced wife returned to her husband in eschatological context, which is precisely what Paul relates in his Romans epistle concerning the release from the condemnation of the law.                       

   “Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man. Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.” Romans 7:1-4

Dispensationalists like Scofield and Ryrie were silent upon Paul’s allusion to Deuteronomy 24:1-4. Ryrie certainly does not even attempt to explain how the Gentiles were, “in bondage to the law,” 24 as he put it, in any prior association with the SC. Furthermore, his assertion the law did not pertain to the SC25 cannot be sustained by the context. The contemporary Dispensationalist Ernest L. Martin acknowledged the hindrance of the law as it pertained to the northern nation of Ephraim, but held that the re-marriage, “will take place, contrary to the law of God in Deuteronomy chapter 24.”26 Dispensationalists like Martin fail to grasp Paul’s allusion to Deuteronomy 24 in Romans 7:1-4 affirms the SC ended with the cross, and the betrothal of Hosea 2:23 began. According to Paul Israel’s marriage to the covenant maker (Jer 3:14; Isa 54:5-6; Hos 2:7) ended when Christ died on the cross, freeing them from the SC and leaving them free to re-marry the risen Christ in the NC. Further, Martin is in conflict with one of the founders of Dispensationalism, Charles Stanley (1821-1890), of Rotherham, who grasped the association of the marriage to the husband conveyed in Romans 7:2-4 pertained strictly to Israel’s marriage in the OT, as opposed to Gentles.

“Here, then, we have the two husbands. The old husband the Jews had had; that is, the law… so is it shown that the believer cannot be married to both Christ and the law…. if we carefully examine the holy oracles of God, we shall find that the Jews had been under law, or married to the first husband, 1,500 years…. But of the Jews the apostle says, ‘Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ, that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.’ (Rom. 7:4) Hence, do not you see, my reader, the passages that follow, instead of being the proper experience of the Christian, really are the strongest possible contrast.”27

Stanly was correct in one sense only; excluding Gentiles, only Israelites were married to the husband in the anthropomorphic depiction of the covenant relationship in the OT, but Stanly failed to ascribe concurrence with the husband in Jeremiah 3:14, Isaiah 54:5-6 and Hosea 2:7; concurrence affirms a divine being as the husband in the illustration, not the law. Another contemporary Dispensationalist, Arnold Fruchtenbaum, concurs the husband is a divine being and correctly rendered the SC, the law, as the marriage contract in the anthropomorphic equivalence.

“The entire format of the Book of Deuteronomy is that of both an ancient treaty and an ancient marriage contract. In this book, Moses took all the various facets of the three earlier books and presented them in the form of an ancient marriage contract. In this book we find the marriage contract signed between Israel and God whereby Israel becomes the Wife of Jehovah…. The relationship of Israel as the Wife of Jehovah is viewed throughout the Scriptures in various ways and facets.… if one makes the Wife of Jehovah (Israel) and the Bride of the Messiah (the Church) one and the same thing, he is faced with numerous contradictions because of the different descriptions given.”28

The problem Fruchtenbaum faces is, how does Jehovah himself release Israel from the SC by his death? Yahweh cannot die. The prophets reckoned Deuteronomy 24:1-4, the law, as an impediment to Ephraim’s restoration and Paul revealed the impediment was surmounted by the death and resurrection of Christ in Romans 7:1-4. This is a revelation it was pre-incarnate Christ that was the husband who divorced Ephraim. This is also affirmed in the revelation Christ was the angle of the Lord who declared, “I will never break my covenant,” in Judges 2:1. The comprehension Christ was the angle that gave Israel the covenant flourished in the 18th and 19th century Evangelical movement, which is recorded in Louis Goldberg Baker's Evangelical Dictionary.

“Angel of the Lord… The connection between the angel of the Lord and the preincarnate appearance of the Messiah cannot be denied. Manoah meets the angel of the Lord, and declares that he has seen God. The angel accepts worship from Manoah and his wife as no mere angel, and refers to himself as "Wonderful," the same term applied to the coming deliverer in Isaiah 9:6 (Jud 13:9-22). The functions of the angel of the Lord in the Old Testament prefigure the reconciling ministry of Jesus. In the New Testament, there is no mention of the angel of the Lord; the Messiah himself is this person.”29

Ryrie inadvertently conceded that Christ was the husband in the OT and Romans 7:2-4 when he interpreted the “spiritual rock” in 1 Corinthians 10:4, which accompanied Israel after their release from Egypt, was Christ.30 Even so, Ryrie completely missed the allusion to the SC in Romans 7:1-4, specifically Deuteronomy 24:1-4. Fruchtenbaum’s perception of the husband in the OT presents the fallacy of the death of an immortal being to release Israel from the SC. Stanly misrepresented the law as the husband. Martin missed the phenomenon altogether, where Christ’s death released both houses of Israel from the SC. The failure of these Dispensationalists to grasp the significance of Deuteronomy 24:1-4 as it pertains to Romans 7:1-4 stems from their omissions of Ephraim from the grammatical-historical perspective when rendering NT texts such as 1 Peter 2:9-10. They fail to account for the salvific history of the nation of Ephraim as contrasted from Judah in Hosea, Jeremiah, Isaiah, Zechariah and especially in the anthropomorphic motif of the unfaithful, divorced wife returned to her husband, as idiomatic of the obstacle of Deuteronomy 24:1-4.

 

As a Dispensationalist Vlach sees two distinct anthropological groups at the first advent. 

“Revised dispensationalists did not emphasize the eternal dualism and separation of heavenly and earthly peoples like classical dispensationalists did. Yet they did emphasize that there were two distinct anthropological groups— Israel and the church which are always kept distinct. These two groups are structured differently with different dispensational roles and responsibilities, but the salvation they each receive is the same… The distinction between Israel and the church, as different groups, will continue throughout eternity even though both groups inherit the millennial kingdom and the eternal state.”31    

As revealed above, Ice’s essay on 1 Peter 2 also conveys two anthropological groups—but from God’s perspective:

“Peter is writing to “the Israel of God” or Jewish believers, he is listing these Old Testament descriptions of Israel to let them know that everything promised them in the Old Testament is being fulfilled. This is juxtaposed by a comparison with unbelieving Jews who have not trusted Jesus as the Messiah of Israel in verses 7–8… He notes that these Jewish unbelievers “stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed” (2:8b).”32

Ice clearly affirms two bodies within the biological descendants of Jacob, an anthropological division, where only the elect biological descendants of Jacob are, “the Israel of God.” The biological descendants are anthropologically divided as either the seed of the woman or the seed of the serpent (Gen 3:15). Many are called but few are chosen (Mt 20:16). Moreover, Ephraim and Judah are two nations with differing salvific histories in the scriptures, which is an anthropological division and this is what Dispensationalism omits. This is the dualism Vlach conveys but is blind that the dualism pertains to the distinction of the salvific destiny of Ephraim as contrasted with Judah. Dispensationalist’s omissions have blinded them to the evidence the church is the vehicle to, “raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel,” as well as being a, “light to the Gentiles.” Isaiah 49:6.

 

Ephraim’s unique salvific histories commences with Solomon. Ice inadvertently acknowledged Ephraimites were dwelling in exile when he stated Jews had, “been there since their dispersion by the Assyrians and Babylonians.”     

“It is clear, Peter, an apostle who was specifically called to minister to the Jews, is writing a letter to encourage Jewish believers who are in the diaspora. It makes no sense to speak of Gentile Christians as aliens living in Gentile nations. It makes good sense to speak of Jewish believers as aliens living in Gentile lands who had likely been there since their dispersion by the Assyrians and Babylonians.”33

Ice makes a good point that Peter and other epistles pertained to primarily to the biological descendants; yet, Ice misrepresented them as Jews, as not all Israelites are Jews. Ice’s citation of the Assyrian dispersion concedes descendants of Ephraim as well as Judah were dwelling in the dominions Peter’s epistles were directed. Dispensationalist William D. Barrick indirectly affirms this in his essay upon the yet to be fulfilled promise of the land to Israel.

“Note that several of these characteristics were undeveloped or unfulfilled during the return of Israel to the land following the Babylonian Exile (viz., altered topography, climate changes, and extension of boundaries). This would seem to contradict those theologians who insist that the promises to Israel for restoration were all fulfilled when Zerubbabel, Ezra, and Nehemiah led their various groups of Israelite exiles back into the land from Babylon. If these promises were fulfilled by the return of the Jews from the Babylonian exile, ‘How then shall we explain the prophecy in Zechariah 10:8–12 that announces in 518 B.C. a still future return, which would not only emanate from Babylon, but from around the world?’”34

Here we have evidence from a Dispensationalist that Zechariah 10 pertains to a subsequent return from a dispersion occurring after the return from Babylon and the phenomenon in 70 A.D. is clearly the event that disperses Judah again. This by itself substantiates Christ’s first advent was not to offer the kingdom but to disperse the Jews. Barrick indirectly affirms the experience of Ephraim is in this age and it is clearly contrasted from Judah's in Zechariah 10. Nevertheless Barrick omits the distinction in Ephraim, which only proves the omission is pervasive in Dispensationalism.

   “And they of Ephraim shall be like a mighty man, and their heart shall rejoice as through wine: yea, their children shall see it, and be glad; their heart shall rejoice in the Lord. I will hiss for them, and gather them; for I have redeemed them: and they shall increase as they have increased. And I will sow them among the people: and they shall remember me in far countries; and they shall live with their children, and turn again.” Zechariah 10:7-9

Zechariah 10 is in part the inspiration for the parable of the marriage of the king’s son and the mustard seed. In abstracts the first five verses in Zechariah relate the flock is scattered because of the neglect of the shepherds of Judah (Jn 7:35; 11:51-52), but out of the remnant of Judah (Mt 12:49-50), depicted as a goodly horse, they persevere over the reprobate shepherds, become the husbandmen of the vineyard who avow Christ. Scofield conceded Christ represents the symbolism of the corner 35 in verse 4 (Mt 21:42; Mk 3:33-35; 1 Pe 2:6-7). The neglectful shepherds correspond to those siting on Moses’ seat who refused to come to the marriage; consequently, God destroys the city and scatters the reprobate and intercedes for the remnant as he sows them in the world in verse 9 above (Mk 14:27; Zec 13:7). God gathers them (verse 8) in Christ (Eph 1:10) when he calls (hisses) for the elect descendants of Ephraim, Judah and the Gentiles to come to the marriage, as they find themselves on highways when scattered—with the blotting of their sins accomplished (Heb 9:28; 10:10). He secures their inheritance in the age to come after sojourning for generations in the nations with their children—becoming a great multitude in fulfillment the promise of fecundity passed down to Ephraim and Manasseh, the sons of Joseph (Ge 48:17; 49:22). Zechariah 10:7-9 affirms Ephraim is redeemed and then sown in distant countries and is concurrent with the betrothal of Ephraim, “in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies,” and, “in faithfulness,” in Hosea 2:19-23 before they are sown in the earth. The death of Christ releases Ephraim from the marriage contract, the SC, and frees them to marry Christ under the NC. Ephraim is the nation that bears the fruit of the vineyard in Matthew 21:43. This is not the history of Jews (Ro 9-11; Gal 4:25). The prophets agree, many of the elect are the biological descendants of Abraham propagated with Gentiles in a protracted exile (Jer 31:27; Hos 2:23, 7:8, 8:8-9; Am 9:9; Mic 5:7; Zec 10:7-9). They also agree, these descendants populate the world due to Ephraim’s fecundity (Ge 12:3, 17:5-6, 35:11, 41:52, 48:16, 19; Hos 1:10; Zec 10:7-9). They further agree, they are redeemed or saved, their sins blotted, while in exile, dispersed in the world (Isa 43:1, 5, 25; 44:22, 24; 51:5, 11; 14 26; Hos 2:23; Jer 31:1-2, 5-6; Zec 10:6).

 

It is hard to conjecture as to exactly what Ice meant when he interpreted Peter’s citations of Hosea to the Jewish believers as imparting, “everything promised them in the Old Testament is being fulfilled,” when Dispensationalists believe God disturbed his plans for Israel when they rejected their Messiah. What is revealed in the NT is that Christ released Israel from their marriage under the SC and his resurrection made them eligible to be espouse to him (Ro 7:1-4) and especially Ephraim, the unfaithful, divorced wife returned to her husband. Ephraim’s fecundity is consummated as she returns to her husband. Inadvertently, Ice has conceded that the eschatological promises to Israel are protracted over time and not merely at a precipitous event at the return of Christ.

 

In Christ elect Jews and Ephraimites are no longer held to the Old Covenant laws prohibiting intermarriage (Dt 7:3-5; Gal 3:28; Ro 7:1-4; Eph 2:13); even so, in another sense they still remain the biological descendants and maintain God’s elections are irrevocable as they are the Israel of God's irrevocable choice, by whom the Gentiles are blessed (Ge 12:3; 18:18; 26:4). In Christ, Jew, Ephraimite and Gentile become corporately perceived as one, but in the biological sense women remain women as Ephraimites remain biological heirs of Abraham no matter how diminished that biological sense becomes, due to the end of the prohibitions against intermarriage and concern for genealogies is quashed (1 Tim 1:3; Titus 3:9). Moreover, Dispensationalists omit the birthright of fecundity passed down from Jacob to the descendants of the northern tribes in Zechariah above (Gen 48:3-4, 16-20), which renders them a copious people in Providence, much greater than the hardened Jews who Dispensationalists perceive as the only Israelites. 1 Samuel 15:29 affirms God, “is not a man, that he should repent.” God did not repent concerning the biological descendants’ commission to bless the nations at the first advent, even as their biological identity diminished; in a sense, it becomes the means to bless the nations. Any principle in determining how one discerns the term Israel in eschatological context must avoid tension between OT and NT revelation, which Dispensationalism has not evaded.

 

The Dispensationalist’s remonstrance against any protracted and gradual development of eschatological prophecy is to limit fulfillment to a precipitous event just prior to the second advent based on context. Citing Compton, again, he asserts that the, “promises without exception occur in the Old Testament in eschatological contexts... in connection with the Lord’s coming to gather the Jews from the lands in which they have been dispersed, reconstituting them as a nation, and restoring them to their geographical homeland.”36 Again, the fallacy in Compton’s assertion is the prophets did not fully grasp all the implications of the words they were superintended to write, which he concedes,37 and nowhere is this more striking than in the prophecy of the two advents of the Messiah, the greatest of mysteries! One of the most noted Dispensationalist, Cyrus Ingerson Scofield, affirmed the prophets wrote of the two advents and commented they did, “not see the separating interval described in Matthew 13.”38 But only NT revelation provides the hermeneutic to discern this distinction in the OT. Scofield must rely on NT revelation to make such a statement. Scofield inadvertently supported the prophets were not given to know of two advents but this does not affirm two advents were not planned. NT revelation affirms two advents; the first to be wounded for our transgressions (Isa 53:5) and after a mysterious interval, his return as king. Scofield’s concession verifies Israel’s promises of the redemption from sin and regeneration in the NC, anticipated in Jeremiah 31:31-33, were not committed to the second advent, as Compton perceives, but to the first advent. From Peter’s perspective, the present salvation of the descendants of the ten tribes, still in exile, to whom he addressed his epistles, was seen by the prophets in the sufferings of Christ (1Pe 1:10-12). Moreover, their present “trials” correspond to the chastisements also anticipated by Isaiah 27:8-9 and Zechariah 13:8-9, which will be examined presently, along with the provisions of the NC, from which the salvation of the descendants of Israel originate.

 

After his resurrection Christ unveiled to his disciples where in the prophets wrote he was to die and be raised to his Father’s right hand (Luke 24:25-27). With this inspiration Peter’s monologue in Acts and affirms that David had prophesied Christ’s suffering and death in Psalms 16:8-11 and how it had been fulfilled at the first advent, but his return or second advent was held in abeyance until his enemies are made his footstool in fulfillment of Psalms 110:1 (Acts 2:25-36). Peter’s renditions of Psalms 16 and 110 provide the hermeneutic by which Dispensationalists like Ryrie render Zechariah 9:9 as “fulfilled completely at the first advent of Jesus Christ,” and then interpret the subsequent verses held in abeyance until, “the second advent of Christ”.39 In like manner Ryrie and the preponderance of Dispensationalists, such as J. Dwight Pentecost, render the birth of Israel’s ruler in Micah 5:2 fulfilled at the first advent by Christ who then gave up Israel, verse 3, while verses 4-15 of the same context are held in abeyance until the second advent.40 The point being is that Dispensationalism must concede, the NT reveals the Savior in a greater capacity than the OT. Discernment between first and second advents in the OT is only possible from a NT hermeneutic. Scofield was right, the OT prophets new nothing of “the separating interval described in Matthew 13,” citing it to discredit a protracted eschatology, but fails miserably in the words of Dispensationalism’s own advocates, as even they agree the prophets were not given to see two advents, which is clearly seen in NT revelation. The Dispensationalists’ acknowledgement of the two advents are conveyed within the same context in the OT destroys Compton assertion the promises to Israel are always in the context of the second advent as both advents were often in the same context; their acknowledgement of the former affirms the promise of redemption and regeneration bridge both advents before the consummation.

        

The NT substantiates the judgment on the reprobate shepherds prophesied in Zechariah 11 and Ezekiel 34 was fulfilled at the first advent. Christ took the kingdom from the reprobate shepherds and justified and prospered the redeemed remnant to sojourn in the nations and be sifted by them also (Am 9:8-9; Mk 10:30). Intercession for the remnant is evidence that God continued to feed and work with Israel in this age. The parables in Matthew 13 illustrate the remnant of Israel, especially the nation Ephraim, would be sown throughout the world to fulfill the promise that Abraham would be the “father of many nations (Gen. 17:4-5). Even so, Scofield’s notes on Micah 5 assert, “from the rejection of Christ at His first coming Jehovah will give Israel up till the believing remnant appears; then He stands and feeds in His proper strength as Jehovah (Micah 5:4).”41 Scofield’s presuppositions have him see Israel’s remnant only at the second advent, at the last scene of the present age, dismissing the evidence that the copious remnant of exiled Ephraimites continued to avow Christ, migrate and intermarry with the Gentiles, fed by God in this age. Clearly, the reprobate who rejected Christ were appointed to wrath (Ro 9:21) and could never have been offered the kingdom they were never destined to inherit. Darby, the author of classic Dispensationalism, also held the literalist view the remnant of Israel will be fed at the second advent:

“Another very important element of this last scene of the present age is pointed out in this verse. Israel is given up to judgment, forsaken of God, in a certain sense, for having rejected the Christ, the Lord. But now she who travaileth has brought forth. Afterwards (and this is the element I refer to) the remnant of the brethren of this first-born Son, instead of being added to the church (Acts 2), return unto the children of Israel. The Christ is not ashamed to call them His brethren; but at this period they no longer become members of His body. Their relation is with Israel.”42

Notwithstanding, their supposition concerning “context” and quelling of the evidence the remnant of Israel was fed at the first advent is thwarted by their concession there is a transition from one advent to the other without chronological notation, which can only be resolved by NT revelation. Such a concession inadvertently substantiates NT revelation and also resolves the issue concerning the feeding of the biological descendants of Israel; it did not end with the first advent (Jn. 21:17; Acts 20:28; 1 Pet. 5:2). Dispensationalists force Micah 5:4, Ezekiel 34 and sometimes even Zechariah 11 to pertain to the second advent by circumventing the remnant of Israel was fed by God at the first advent. Acknowledging said texts pertain to the first advent substantiates the gradual development of eschatological provisions of the NC in Hebrews.  Major provisions were fulfilled at the first advent and others await the second, which is clearly sustained in the epistle to the Hebrews.

 

Darby stressed the discontinuity between the OT and NT relationship with God while underestimating the continuity, which led to his failure to properly render the sense in which the woman is given up in Micah 5:3. Notwithstanding, the judgment at the first advent did not depart from the precedent established prior that sent Israel into Babylonian captivity; God interceded for the faithful remnant that submitted to his judgment, while the reprobate were hardened and endured the wrath of God, which maintains continuity between Israel and the church and the glory of God.

   “Build ye houses, and dwell in them; and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them; Take ye wives, and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons, and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; that ye may be increased there, and not diminished. And seek the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be carried away captives, and pray unto the LORD for it: for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace... Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.” Jeremiah 29:5-7

   “And the LORD said unto me, A conspiracy is found among the men of Judah, and among the inhabitants of Jerusalem. They are turned back to the iniquities of their forefathers, which refused to hear my words; and they went after other gods to serve them: the house of Israel and the house of Judah have broken my covenant which I made with their fathers. Therefore thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will bring evil upon them, which they shall not be able to escape; and though they shall cry unto me, I will not hearken unto them. Then shall the cities of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem go, and cry unto the gods unto whom they offer incense: but they shall not save them at all in the time of their trouble. For according to the number of thy cities were thy gods, O Judah; and according to the number of the streets of Jerusalem have ye set up altars to that shameful thing, even altars to burn incense unto Baal. Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up a cry or prayer for them: for I will not hear them in the time that they cry unto me for their trouble.” Jeremiah 11:9-14

Writing from a revised Dispensationalist supposition Gary E. Yates confirms the two responses and the ramifications:

“While steadfastly refusing to extend ‘peace’ (שְׁל֣וֹם) to Jerusalem, the prophet Jeremiah then encourages the Judean exiles in Babylon to pray for the ‘peace’ (שְׁל֣וֹם) of Babylon (29:7). Jeremiah opposes the prophets who proclaim an unconditional ‘peace’ (שְׁל֣וֹם) for Jerusalem (cf. 4:9-10; 6:14; 8:11) and asserts instead that Babylon has replaced Jerusalem as the place of blessing and security for the people of Israel... this same prophet... exhorts the exiles to seek the ‘welfare’ (שְׁל֣וֹם) of Babylon (29:7a) because in its ‘welfare is your welfare’ (לָכֶ֖םיִהְיֶ֥ה שָׁלֹֽום בִשְׁלֹומָ֔ה) (29:7b). Following the subjugation of Judah to Babylon in 597 B.C., the prophet Jeremiah asserts that the exiles in Babylon actually enjoy a position superior to the citizens and king who remain in Jerusalem. The promise for a new Israel is connected to the return of the Babylonian exiles after seventy years (29:10-14). In contrast, the inhabitants of Jerusalem remain the object and target of Yahweh’s decree of judgment (29:16-18).”43

The Hebrew word palal translated pray, literally imparts: intervene or interpose. Jeremiah substantiates that God continued to intercede for the remnant of Israel during the Babylonian captivity, which the book of Esther also corroborates. The dichotomy between the two responses to Christ at the first advent was explained by Paul as the distinction between the children of the promise and the children of the flesh (Rom. 9). The same distinction conveys the response to Jeremiah’s prophecy to Jerusalem. At the first advent the majority of Judah represented the children of the flesh destined to be cast off, which brought about the circumstances where God interceded for the remnant, the children of the promise and they became a blessing upon the nations (Gen. 12:3; Rom. 11:11-29). In like manner the remnant that went peaceably to Babylon become the means by which their cities prospered as in the case of Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah (Dan. 1-6). Christ, as the supreme prophet Moses anticipated (Deut. 18:15-19; Acts 3:22-23), represented the anti-type of Jeremiah who rebuked the false prophets who claimed God would save Jerusalem (Jer. 29:8-9; Jn. 11:45-53) and interceded for the children of the promise who submitted to him and ultimately went peaceably into the world and propagated the gospel, in fulfillment of the parables of Matthew 13, and prophesies of Hosea 2:19-23 and Zechariah 10:7-9.

 

In their zeal to stress the discontinuity, while underestimating the continuity between the OT and the NT relationship with God, Dispensationalists force Zechariah 13, just as they do Micah 5:4, into pertaining to the second advent. However, Christ cited Zechariah 13:7 in Matthew as fulfilled at his death and the scattering of the sheep is confirmed by history.

   “Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad.” Matthew 26:31

Furthermore, the refinement of the remnant of Israel, the third part brought through the fire,44 is substantiated as commencing at the first advent through the vehicle of the church and running concurrent with this age in the NT epistles such as Peter’s, which he addressed to the elect exiles of the dispersion (1 Pet. 1:1), which Ice holds hardly pertains to the Gentiles.45

   “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 1:7

   “Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” 1 Corinthians 3:13-15

Scofield conceded recapitulation in Zechariah46 and rendered chapter 13 as recapping the second advent conveyed in previous chapters, but, as stated, the smiting of the shepherd is clearly a first advent phenomenon. Christ was prophesied to be stricken and afflicted at his first advent in correspondence with Isaiah 53:4 and Micah 5:1 and other texts. Premillennialism renders the second advent of Christ in power to smite the nations (Isa. 11:4; Rev. 19:15) as opposed to the first advent when he was afflicted. Furthermore, it was the first advent when Christ fulfilled, “a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness.” Zechariah 13:1. Hebrews 9:28 confirms that Christ died once for sin at the first advent and when he returns it is not to remit sin again but to save his people and end persecution at the hands of their enemies. It was the first advent when Christ’s ministry resulted in the, “cut off,” of, “the names of the idols out of the land,” and caused the false, “prophets and the unclean spirit to pass out of the land.” Zechariah 13:2. The propagation of the gospel overpowered paganism wherever the gospel and Christ was avowed, which maintains Zechariah 13 as pertaining to the first advent, recapping chapter 11, and relating to the same time in chapter 14 verses 1 and 2, and then transition occurs in verse 3 into the second advent, just as Zechariah 9:9 and 9:10, which Dispensationalism concedes. It is in this age the promise that Jacob would become a nation and a company of nations is fulfilled (Gen. 35:11).

 

In Mark Christ proclaimed the continued intercession for the Jews who avowed him and the gospel, post diaspora, expressed in the same language in Jeremiah 29:7.

   “And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s, But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life. But many that are first shall be last; and the last first.” Mark 10:29-31

Hebrews 4 corroborates that the Jews who entered into the rest for the people of God at the first advent obtained mercy and grace through the intercession of Christ as high priest, who ministers the NC anticipated in Jeremiah 31 (Heb. 10:9-10, 12:22-24). 1 Peter 2:8 affirms many are appointed to disobedience, and inherit wrath. Again, the judgment at the first advent did not deviate from the precedent established prior that sent Israel into Babylonian captivity in that God interceded for the faithful remnant that submitted to the judgment, while those who resisted were hardened and endured the wrath of God. And lastly, here, the intercession for the remnant substantiates that Micah 5:4 pertains to the first advent as the woman represents the “remnant” fed by God, while his wrath fell on the children of the flesh that were cast off. The sense in which the remnant woman in Micah 5:3 was given up at the first advent, then, was to persecutions and trials in correspondence with Mark 10:30 and 1 Peter 1:7, entering God’s rest and Christ’s intercession to find “grace to help in time of need,” while those who disavowed Christ, “because of unbelief,” God swore in his wrath were not able to enter into his rest (Heb. 4).

 

In their continued zeal to stress the discontinuity, while underestimating the continuity between the OT and the NT relationship with God Dispensationalists claim Gentiles have no standing as parties to the NC, which was strictly promised to Judah and Israel. Standing is accentuated in support of their doctrine that God set aside Israel at the first advent and will not feed them again until Christ’s return, in fulfillment of Micah 5:4. The evidence that God interceded for the scattered remnant of Israel at the first advent and continued to feed them substantiates the church was foreseen in the OT as the remnant women in Micah 5, albeit veiled until God’s appointed time. In one of the controversies concerning this issue an essay by Elliott Johnson in The Master’s Seminary Journal stresses the Dispensationalist’s view.            

“Discontinuity exists also in the application of the New Covenant benefits. The discontinuity is present because the party to the New Covenant is specified as the house of Israel and the house of Judah (8:8 and 10:16). And Judaism had not accepted a partnership in the New Covenant since they continued to practice their worship under the terms set by the first covenant. Hebrews views the recipients (3:1 and 9:15) as merely beneficiaries. Benefits promised in the New Covenant have now been applied to called ones because of the death and ministry of Jesus Christ.... And Hebrews’ quotation of the passage from Jeremiah (8:8:12 and 10:16-17) leaves open the expectation, as the quotations claim, that the houses of Israel and Judah will be called in the future. That would then involve a fulfillment of Jeremiah’s prophecy of the covenant at some future time, in the same terms as prophesied”47

Johnson argued contextual reason warrants the transition from the Septuagintal meaning of diathēkē in Hebrews 9:16-17 for the secular concept of a Hellenistic or Roman civil legal arrangement.             

“The transition from 9:15 to 9:16-17 introduces a strange anomaly in the use of diathēkē... it has the sense of last “will” or “testament” according to the majority of translations and interpreters.… the “death of the one who made it” most naturally requires a sense of “last will” or “testament,” since covenants did not involve the death of their makers before being inaugurated. Likewise, in 9:17 the statement that a diathēkē, takes effect at death and is not in force while the maker is alive applies only to a testament. In 9:18, however, the topic returns again to the first diathēkē, that is, the Sinai arrangement, which is clearly regarded as a covenant. Accepting such a change in translation suggests profound implications in the hermeneutics of Hebrews. It is not a change in arrangement but a change in perspective in looking at the same arrangement... That does not mean that the second party [Judah and Israel] is unnecessary, or subject to change...”48 (emphasis added)

Faithful to Dispensationalism’s presuppositions Johnson chose to stress the discontinuity of a secular concept or a Hellenistic or Roman legal practice in support of a transition in the meaning of diathēkē in Hebrews 9:16-17, while underestimating the continuity of a Septuagintal meaning. He and the many others that hold this view stress that “covenants did not involve the death of their makers,” in order to enforce its provisions. Even so, Scott W. Hahn points out that the Greco-Roman arrangement departs from the theme in Hebrews where, “it is the heir rather than the testator who must die before the inheritance is bestowed.”49 God fulfills the party of testator who does not die but bestows Christ’s inheritance as, “heir of all things.” Hebrews 1:2. Christ then shares his gift with the elect who are called. The Greco-Roman arrangement has the heir live and the testator ultimately die. Moreover, the Greco-Roman arrangement was not made valid by the death of the testator but when it was written, witnessed and notarized and often distributed the estate prior to the death of the testator. Hahn’s essay analyses syntax, the secular issues, grammar and the liturgical cultist issues that become insurmountable to the perception of a Greco-Roman arrangement in the meaning of diathēkē. Furthermore, Hahn drew on the OT to substantiate that in the arrangement of the SC, indispensable to the syntax of Hebrews 9:15-18, the sacrifice of an animals ratified the covenant and symbolized the death of their maker(s) if they violated the covenant. The death of the animal ratified the covenant and preceded its enforcement; “vv. 18-22 point out that, in fact, the first covenant was established in just this way, with the blood of the representative animals being sprinkled over the people and over all the physical implements of the covenant cult.”50

 

Johnson’s endeavor is one of copious attempts in Dispensationalism to explain the relationship of the NC with the church since its inception;51 they cannot concede the church as party to the covenant as it would substantiate Israel and the church are not separate people. Johnson attempts to substantiate the author of Hebrews affirmed that God departed from a covenantal arrangement with his people and based his relationship with the church upon a secular civil arrangement, which he believes backs Dispensationalism’s doctrines the church is not held as a party in the NC, but is to be fulfilled in a future. Hahn’s work dispels any notion the author of Hebrews departed from the Septuagintal concept, which corroborates the church is party to the NC and eschatological prophecy was intended as a gradual development in fulfillment of major provisions of the NC at the first advent, while holding others in abeyance until the consummation at the second.

 

Johnson’s sentiments found their way into another Dispensationalist’s composition in the Chafer Theological Seminary Journal by Stephen R. Lewis entitled: The New Covenant: Enacted or Ratified?52 Lewis attempts to assert the same doctrinal views as Johnson, drawn from the same presuppositions and making the same assertions.

“Those who assert the enactment of the New Covenant for the Church must ponder the following questions: Which part of the Church is the house of Judah and which, the house of Israel? Did God lead our fathers out of Egypt and make a covenant with them? The Holy Spirit’s choice of words proves that the Church (predominantly Gentile in composition) is not the entity with whom the Lord Jesus Christ enters into the New Covenant.”53

Lewis, like Johnson, forces the anachronism of a greater constituency of the Gentiles as members of the church in their exegesis of Romans 11, while underestimating the circumstances that the Jews were the overwhelming majority at the inception of the church and the constituency that founded it. The latter view must be accentuated in any presupposition concerning Romans 11 and the grafting of the Gentiles. Accurate analysis renders that Israel did not fail; in the compound sense God interceded for the preordained remnant to remain on the olive tree in the imagery of Romans 11. This intercession corresponds with the precedent in Jeremiah where the prayers of the remnant promoted the welfare of the nation where they sojourned (Jer 29:5-7). Therefore, by design the fall of those who God hardened had the effect of, “Salvation is come unto the Gentiles,” affirmed in Romans 11:11. Furthermore, Paul was cognizant Peter, James and other disciples had carried the gospel to northern-eastern Asia Minor where the descendants of Ephraim, the ten tribes, had favorably received the good news in great numbers and in correspondence with the parable of the marriage of the king’s son (Mat 22:1-14).54 The epistles of James and Peter are supported by the first century Jewish historian Flavius Josephus who observed the ten tribes, “beyond Euphrates till now,” as, “an immense multitude, and not to be estimated by numbers.”55 Peter’s epistles to the elect exiles of the dispersion in the dominions of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia (1Pe 1) are supported by Josephus’s observation, as the dominions were beyond and westwards of the Euphrates. Christ prophesied Jerusalem would be laid waste and would cease to be the center of worship as the gospel was commissioned to the world (Mat 24, 28:19-20; Jn 4:21-24), which was integral to Paul’s testimony the fall was the cause of salvation proceeding to the Gentiles as well as the elect exiles of the dispersion; worship becoming centrifugal form Jerusalem. Such analysis renders the queries of Lewis shortsighted; the remnant of Judah and Israel and the elect Gentiles are redeemed by the invitation to the marriage proclaimed through the gospel to the highways, again, in complete harmony with the parable of the marriage of the king’s son.

 

Lewis also makes the highly untenable claim that, “Nowhere does the Scripture say the New Covenant has already come into existence,”56 in order to sustain the church as a separate people from Israel.

“... the author of Hebrews says to second or third generation Hebrew Christian believers in the Church Age that the enactment of the New Covenant will be in the future (cf. Hebrews 8:6–13). He states: Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away (8:13b)—literally, “Now that which is growing old and aging is near disappearing.” The old has not yet disappeared because the new has not come.”57

Not only did Lewis fail to grasp the significance of Romans 7:1-4 but he failed to grasp the author of Hebrews avowed the offering of Christ for sin ended the lawful standing of the SC and established the NC.

   “But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people: The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing.” Hebrews 9:7-8

Hebrews 9:8 avows, so long as the first tabernacle remained standing the way into the holiest was yet to be manifest; even so, 10:19 confirms the way into the holiest came about at Christ’s ascension, in spite of the evidence in the final chapter the SC priesthood was still offering the bodies of beasts for sin in the temple (13:11). Such examination substantiates stasis, rendered standing, must be comprehended abstractly, as the authority from God to enforce the Aaronic priesthood and minister his covenants. Hebrews 10:19 verifies said authority of the SC was taken away, indicated by the veil being rent (Mat 27:51). Only this abstract rendering of stasis corresponds with the need of changing the law at the change of the priesthood (7:12), the disannulling of the commandment that only the descendants of Aaron mediate as high priests (7:18) and substantiates the “first” and “second” in Hebrews 10:9 pertains to the old and new covenants, which Dispensationalist Rodney J. Decker conceded. Quoting William Lane,58 Decker stated:

“If this is a valid assessment of the text (and I think it is), then in light of the larger argument of chapters 7-10, it appears quite certain that we are talking about the first and second covenant, whether we explain it more generally or more specifically... The negative term, ἀναιρέω, means ‘to take away, abolish, set aside.’ This is perhaps ‘the strongest negative statement the author has made or will make about the OT cultus’—or, as I would prefer to say, about the old covenant. The positive, ἵστημι, is ‘to put into force, establish,’ often with legal or covenantal overtones. The first covenant comes to an end; the second take its place.”59

Decker concludes the NC, “is in as much force as during the time of Jesus’ high priestly ministry as the old covenant was as of Exod 24,” and that it is not, “possible to divorce Christians from some relationship to the new covenant,” falling short of confirming the church is the party to the covenant.60

 

The propitiation for sin was at an appointed time according to Daniel 9:25. The NT reveals the ratification and ramifications of this appointed time (Heb 9:15, 24-28, 10:10, 14; Ro 8:29-30; Ac 13:48; Eph 1:4-5, 11). Lewis inadvertently concedes the aforesaid where he stated, “When Christ returns to the nation of Israel and appears the second time, He will appear without need to deal with man’s sin problem (Hebrews 9:28).”61 Yet, he attempts to hold the fallacy that Israel’s sins had not been forgiven in the same composition.

“God did not forgive Israel at Christ’s first coming. In fact, just the opposite took place—the sins from Abel to Zecharias God required of that generation (Matthew 23:34–36).”62

Lewis attempts to hold conflicting views because of Dispensationalism’s misapprehension of Romans 11:27b in correspondence with their view the NC is not in effect.

   “And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.” Romans 11:26-27

Paul conflated Isaiah 59:20-21 and Isaiah 27:9 and does not mean Christ returns to ratify the NC of Jeremiah 31:31-34 again, as most Dispensationalists believe (Hebrew 9:28). Isaiah 27:9 pertains to correction or purification before the consummation of the kingdom, while the reference to chapter 59 pertains to God’s spirit abiding with those of Jacob who God turns from transgressions.

   “And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the LORD. As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the LORD; My spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed's seed, saith the LORD, from henceforth and for ever.” Isaiah 59:20-21

Romans 11:27 cannot be perceived as the second advent. Jeremiah 59:21 occurred at the first advent. The Spirit of God fell upon the biological descendants at the first advent according to the NT, fulfilling Isaiah 59:21.

“And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” Acts 2:4

Nevertheless, further chastisement sustains the kingdom not yet consummated. John Owen, a theologian from the 17th century, wrote 7 volumes on Hebrews in which he stated the purpose of chastisement in his commentary on Hebrew 12.

“It is required in chastisement, that the person be in a state wherein there is sin, or that he be a sinner; so that sin should have an immediate influence to the chastisement, as the meritorious cause of it: for the end of it is, ‘to take away sin,’ to subdue it, to mortify it, to increase holiness.”63

Owen was not speaking of taking away sin in the sense that Christ did at the first advent, which justified man before God, but in the sense of the sanctification, conforming the life to live victoriously over sin. He prefaced this statement with his comments upon 10:4.

“The cessation of offerings follows directly on the remission of sin, which is the effect of expiation and atonement; and not of the turning away of men from sin for the future. It is, therefore, our justification, and not even sanctification, that the apostle discourseth of.”64

Owens conclusion in the matter fixes Isaiah 27:8-9 as chastisement and not the propitiation for sin.

“In the balance against this matter of sorrow in divine chastisements, the apostle lays down the advantage and benefit of it. ‘It yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness.’ It yieldeth fruit; not it will do so, but it doth so. It is not a dead useless thing. When God purgeth his vine, it is that it may ‘bear more fruit,’ John xv, 2. Where he dresseth the ground, it shall ‘bring forth herbs meet for himself,’ Heb. vi, 8. By this therefore, shall the iniquity of Jacob be purged, and this is all the fruit, ‘to take away his sin,’ Isa. xxvii, 9.”65

The most essential matter exposing Dispensationalism’s fallacy concerning Romans 11:27b is the fulfillment of the NC provisions for the forgiveness of sin and regeneration for the remnant of Judah, Israel and the Gentiles who are called from the highways, representing the world, to the marriage. The church is the vehicle by which the house of God is built (Eph 2:11-22) as they answer the call to come to the marriage. Such evidence corresponds with the law and the prophets that vindicate the inclusion of the Gentiles as partners to Israel’s covenant, which Dispensationalist turned Epangelicalist66 Walter C. Kaiser, Jr. develops in his essay published in the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society.

“Consequently, we conclude that the extent of that kingdom had already in its earliest design embraced the steady absorption of Gentiles as well as Jews. Furthermore, there were numerous illustrations of this historical inclusion of the Gentiles. Witness the presence of Melchizedek, Jethro, Zipporah, Balaam, Rahab, Ruth and possibly the Gib-eonites, the Rechabites, the Ninevites and the entire books (e.g., Obadiah, Jonah, Nahum), or sections of books (e.g., prophecies to the nations in Isa 13–23, Jer 45–51, Ezek 25–32, Amos 1–2), addressed to Gentiles.”67

The Law and the Prophets witnessed the inclusion of the Gentiles in God’s covenants, such as Isaiah and Ezekiel concerning the consummation of the kingdom.

“The Lord GOD which gathereth the outcasts of Israel saith, Yet will I gather others to him, beside those that are gathered unto him.” Isaiah 56:8

   “For the LORD will have mercy on Jacob, and will yet choose Israel, and set them in their own land: and the strangers shall be joined with them, and they shall cleave to the house of Jacob.” Isaiah 14:1

   “So shall ye divide this land unto you according to the tribes of Israel. And it shall come to pass, that ye shall divide it by lot for an inheritance unto you, and to the strangers that sojourn among you, which shall beget children among you: and they shall be unto you as born in the country among the children of Israel; they shall have inheritance with you among the tribes of Israel. And it shall come to pass, that in what tribe the stranger sojourneth, there shall ye give him his inheritance, saith the Lord GOD.” Ezekiel 47:21-23 

 

In relation to Zechariah 10:7-9 and Hosea 2:19-23, the gospels confirm Christ came initially for Israel, to repair the tabernacle of David that had fallen and to gather from the nations the Gentiles that are called by God’s name.

   “In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old: That they may possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen, which are called by my name, saith the LORD that doeth this.” Amos 9:11-12

Kaiser’s composition stresses the texts from Amos 9, cited by James in Acts 15:16-17, to substantiate his thesis.

“The ‘things’ James wanted to highlight were the predicted judgments that Amos had said were to fall on Israel, causing the outward and material collapse of the ‘house of David’.... However, the political and national aspects of that same promise could not be deleted from Amos’ truth-intention. As the suffixes in Amos 9:11 indicate, the northern and southern kingdom, the Davidic person, the people of Israel and the remnant of humanity at large were all encompassed in that rebuilding of the “tent of David,” even though its outward fortunes would appear to sag in the immediate events of the eighth century.”68

Kaiser conveys, Dispensationalists contradict the grammatical-historical hermeneutic in an interpolation69 of Acts 15:14-16. Kaiser’s exegesis renders the prophet’s intent was, in that day or when both Samaria and Judah are both exiled and the second temple destroyed70, the sifting of Israel would commence. Dispensationalist, Les Feldick, a TV evangelists, teaches the sifting of Israel is concurrent with the end of this age71 and that, “not a kernel,”… “will be lost,”72 but adds God will not call them again until the church is raptured.73 According to Kaiser, James’ intent was the tabernacle is restored inchoately by the sifting in this age that commenced with the destruction of the second temple and precipitous dispersion of the Jews. The presuppositions of Dispensationalists prevent their objectivity concerning the scriptural and enduring research in archeology and etymology that confirm the descendants of Israel became the church to which the Gentiles were joined. The illustrations in Ephesians 2:19-22 and 1 Peter 2:4-5 attest that God is building a supernatural house by redeeming the members who are predestined and fitting them upon his building, which is comprehended as the repair of David’s tabernacle when one acquires the proper hermeneutical presuppositions.

 

Without doubt, there is sense of redemption as well as chastisement implicit in the sifting that compels Dispensationalists like Feldick to exclaim, “not a kernel,” … “will be lost,” regarding the ordained of Israel. Dispensationalist W. Edward Glenny, citing Dines on the issue, also concedes the sifting is to be regarded as having a sense of redemption,74 and it must be supposed he grasps chastisement is also part of the phenomenon. Feldick’s description of the sifting as ordained inadvertently concedes predestination, which contradicts his view, “God expected Israel to receive her King, get the Kingdom set up, and the Jew to go out and evangelize the world.”75 One must concede the presupposition God ordains the future and with that, one perceives the fallacy in the belief God did not know how Israel would respond to Christ. This is what Ice alludes to in his assertion, “In concert with the Calvinist impulse to view history theocentricly, I believe that dispensational premillennialism provides the most logical eschatological ending to God's sovereign decrees for salvation and history.”76 According to the prophets, some would avow as well as disavow Christ their king; it was in the prophecy of the stone rejected—and is exactly what happened according to the gospels and epistles. Calvinism, specifically Compatibilist cannot perceive the reprobate who rejected Christ and were appointed to wrath (Ro 9:21)—were offered the kingdom they were never destined to inherit. The sifting is redemptive, corrective, centrifugal and preceding the kingdom. The epistle to the Hebrews confirms redemption at the cross and correction (sanctification) in process, all of which substantiates God knew the cornerstone, his Son, would be rejected by many of his own; it was his plan. But in mercy God would intercede for an avowed remnant, to include the Gentiles, who would become the body of Christ, the church, by which God brings Jacob again to himself (Isa 49:5), the tribes of Ephraim playing the dominate role as his first born (Jer 31:9), as the prodigal son in the parable and the nation bring forth the fruit of the vineyard (Mat 21:43). With the proper presuppositions one can see the prophecies of God are proceeding according to plan and in their appointed times, including Daniel and the apocalypse of John. But those proper presuppositions are not to be found in Dispensationalism or Covenantalism.

send me your response


1 R. Bruce Compton, Dispensationalism, the Church, and the New Covenant, DBSJ 8 (Fall 2003): 3–48, “Divine inspiration did not circumvent the human author’s intellect, but superintended the human author so that the words the human author understood and used communicated precisely what the divine author intended. This does not imply the human author shares in God’s omniscience or that the human author understood all the implications or significance of the text.”

2 John S. Feinberg, In Continuity and Discontinuity, Westchester, Illinois: Crossway Books 1988, pg. 259, “...the place of Israel according to the OT teaching concerning the call and mission of that nation among the nations... and the church as similarly ‘people of God,’ but formed from all nations, we have sought to show that these entities are not totally continuous. Rather, the Scriptures indicate that both have a place in God’s program of salvation. The failure to recognize the discontinuity, especially in the assumption of Israel’s promises by the church, has had and continues to have significant implication both practically and theologically.”

3 Other Dispensationalists such as Scofield interpret the nation bearing the fruit as the Gentiles, but this presents difficulty as the Gentiles becoming Christians represent a “nation” in the scripture.

4 Charles Caldwell Ryrie, The Ryrie Study Bible, Moody Press, 1976, pg. 1378

5 Thomas Ice, The Calvinistic Heritage of Dispensationalism, Liberty University, May 2009

6 Thomas Ice, 1 Peter 2 and Replacement Theology-Tom’s Perspectives, article posted by Pre-Trib Research Center, http://www.pre-trib.org/articles/view/1-peter-2-and-replacement-theology

7 Wikipedia, Dispensationalism… “Dispensationalism is unique in teaching that the Church is a provisional parenthesis, a "mystery" period, meaning that it was not revealed in the Old Testament, directly, which period will end with the rapture of the church and the Jewish remnant entering the Great Tribulation.”

8 Theopedia, “In libertarianism (not to be confused with the political ideology), free will is affected by human nature but man retains ability to choose contrary to his nature and desires. Man has the moral ability to turn to God in Christ and believe of his own "free will," apart from a divine, irresistible grace. Indeed, according to Open Theism, God is anxiously waiting to see what each person will do, for he cannot know ahead of time what the choice might be. Or, according to Arminianism, God chooses to save those whom he foresees will believe of their own free will.” (added emphasis) http://www.theopedia.com/free-will

9 Michael J. Vlach, The Kingdom Program in Matthew’s Gospel, www.TheologicalStudies.org

10 Theopedia, “Compatibilism, in contrast to Libertarian free will, teaches that people are free, but defines freedom differently... God is said to influence our desires, and thus is able to have exhaustive control of all that goes on.” http://www.theopedia.com/compatibilism

11 Thomas Ice, The Calvinistic Heritage of Dispensationalism, Liberty University, May 2009

12 Michael J. Vlach, The Kingdom Program in Matthew’s Gospel, www.TheologicalStudies.org

13 Theopedia, “The incompatibilist says that the free will is "incompatible" with determinism. The Libertarian is an incompatibilist who consequently rejects any determinism associated with the sovereignty of God.” http://www.theopedia.com/libertarian-free-will

14 Martin Luther, The Bondage of The Will, 1525

15 Synopsis of the Books of the Bible by John Nelson Darby, Romans 7, “The evil here spoken of is the evil that is in our nature, and the want of power to get rid of it… What distresses here is the present working of sin which we cannot get rid of…. in him, that is, in his flesh, there is no good thing; but, secondly, he has learned to distinguish between himself, who wills good, and sin which dwells in him; but, further, that when he wills good, sin is too strong for him…  He is come to the discovery and to the confession that he has no power. He throws himself upon another.”

16 Scofield's Reference Notes Daniel 9:26

17 Charles Caldwell Ryrie, The Ryrie Study Bible, Moody Press, 1976, pg. 1238, Daniel 9:26

18 Moves means God’s ability to overpower the CN by his causal direction as a display of his power as stated in Romans 9:21-24 and Revelation 17:17

19 McMahon, C. Matthew, The Two Wills of God, Puritan Publications, 2005, pg. 86-87, 250, “In dealing with God’s will, we must then ask the question “Does God desire things He does not decree?” First, we must answer this question in the compound sense... God, in this sense, never desires anything He does not decree. All things are accomplished in the exact way— the only way— He has ordained from the foundation of the world. His pursuit of His own glory is fulfilled in the execution of His decrees concerning the compound sense, the wide angle lens, of His desire….

     “However, in the divided sense, in His preceptive will, “Does God desire things He does not Decree?” Do we see things happening in the world around us that seem like God desires them, but has not actually decreed them to come to pass? Absolutely.”

20 Thomas Ice, 1 Peter 2 and Replacement Theology-Tom’s Perspectives, article posted by Pre-Trib Research Center, http://www.pre-trib.org/articles/view/1-peter-2-and-replacement-theology

21 Ibid.

22 Thomas Ice, Dispensational Hermeneutics, Liberty University, May 2009, “Fruchtenbaum cites four ways the New Testament quotes from the old and notes that Matthew 2 contains an example of all four uses (see chapter 4). “The first example is called literal prophecy plus literal fulfillment.”51.... When a literal prophecy is fulfilled in the New Testament, it is quoted as a literal fulfillment. Many prophecies fall into this category, such as Isaiah 7:14, 52:13-53:12, Zechariah 9:9, etc.52”, Footnotes, 51 Fruchtenbaum picks up these classifications from David L. Cooper, Messiah: His Historical Appearance (Los Angeles: Biblical Research Society' 1958), p. 74.; 52 Fruchtenbaum, Israelology, p. 843.

23 See footnote 5

24 Charles Caldwell Ryrie, The Ryrie Study Bible, Moody Press, 1976, pg.1604, “ROMANS 7:4 The believer who has died with Christ is released from bondage to the law and hence from bondage to sin, and is free to experience the abundant life of Christ.”

25 Ibid. “7:1… not the Mosaic law here.”

26 Ernest L. Martin, The Book of Hosea, Associates for Scriptural Knowledge (ASK), Number 10/12, October 2012, “A re-marriage will take place, contrary to the law of God in Deuteronomy chapter 24. But God makes the laws; He decides what to do. In this case, He will bring back the people of Israel, scattered into all of the earth. Jezreel will find a conclusion, and I will tell you where the conclusion will finally be.”

27 Charles Stanley, The Two Husbands of Romans 7, Major Works vol. 2, Irving Risch, 2015

28 Arnold Fruchtenbaum, The Wife of Jehovah and the Bride of Messiah, http://www.bibleprophecyblog.com/2009/07/wife-of-jehovah-and-bride-of-messiah.html

29 Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology, Baker Books, 1996

30 Charles Caldwell Ryrie, The Ryrie Study Bible, Moody Press, 1976, pg. 1632, “that spiritual Rock which provided water (Ex. 17:1-9; Num. 20:1-13). Since the rock is mention twice, and is in different settings, a rabbinic legend held that a material rock actually followed the Israelites. Paul, however, says that it was Christ who was the with Israel all the way.”

31 Michael J. Vlach, Dispensationalism: Essential Beliefs and Common Myth, Theological Studies Press (December 28, 2010), (Kindle Locations 171-179) 

32 Thomas Ice, 1 Peter 2 and Replacement Theology-Tom’s Perspectives, article posted by Pre-Trib Research Center, http://www.pre-trib.org/articles/view/1-peter-2-and-replacement-theology

33 Ibid.

34 William D. Barrick, Th.D., THE KINGDOM OF GOD IN THE OLD TESTAMENT, MSJ 23/2 (Fall 2012) 173–192, quoting Kaiser, “The Land of Israel and the Future Return (Zechariah 10:6–12),” 213.

35 Scofield's Reference Notes, Zechariah 10:4 “The tense is future: “From him Judah shall be the cornerstone Exodus 17:6.(See Scofield "1 Peter 2:8")…”; 1 Peter 2:8 “… (2) To the church the foundation and chief corner Stone Ephesians 2:20.

36 R. Bruce Compton, Dispensationalism, the Church, and the New Covenant, DBSJ 8 (Fall 2003): 3–48, “The problem with seeing the fulfillment of any of the new covenant promises in the present era with the church is that those promises without exception occur in the Old Testament in eschatological contexts. As was argued above in the survey of the new covenant in the Old Testament, the new covenant promises are all given in connection with the Lord’s coming to gather the Jews from the lands in which they have been dispersed, reconstituting them as a nation, and restoring them to their geographical homeland.”

37 See footnote 1, again.

38 Scofield’s reference notes, Malachi 3, “Malachi, in common with other O.T. prophets, saw both advents of Messiah blended in one horizon, but did not see the separating interval described in Matthew 13.”

39 Charles Caldwell Ryrie, The Ryrie Study Bible, Moody Press, 1976, pg. 1319, “ZECHARIAH 9:9 This great prophecy was fulfilled completely at the first advent of Jesus Christ (Matt. 21:4-5) ... 9:10 The fulfillment of this prophecy of universal peace awaits the second advent of Christ.”

40 Ibid, pg. 1288, “MICAH 5:2... the birthplace of King David (1 Sam. 16:1) as well as of his most eminent descendant, Jesus Christ, the Messiah... 5:4-15 In this section Micah again describes the glories of the Messianic kingdom.” J. Dwight Pentecost, Things to Come: A Study in Biblical Eschatology (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1958), p.289, “In Micah 5:2 is recorded the birth of the ruler. The rejection of this ruler results in the setting aside of the nation (‘therefore will he give them up,’ Mic. 5:3). The nation will be in travail “until the time that she which travaileth hath brought forth: (Mic. 5:3), that is, until the accomplishment of God’s purpose.”

41 Scofield’s Reference Notes, Micah 5, http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/srn/view.cgi?bk=32&ch=5

42 Darby’s synopsis of the Bible, Micah 5, http://www.sacred-texts.com/bib/cmt/darby/mic005.htm

43 Gary E. Yates, “The People Have Not Obeyed”: A Literary and Rhetorical Study of Jeremiah 26-45, Published dissertation presented to the Dallas Theological Seminary, 1998, pg. 173-174

44 The proportions need not be rendered as precise but merely a majority as opposed to a remnant, as there is a remnant at any time that God chooses from those who are called.

45 See footnote 33

46 Scofield’s Reference Notes, “Zechariah 13 now returns to the subject of Zechariah 12:10. Zechariah 13:8; Zechariah 13:9 refer to the sufferings of the remnant; Isaiah 1:9; Romans 11:5preceding the great battle. Zechariah 14 is a recapitulation of the whole matter.”

47 Elliott Johnson, Does Hebrews Have a Covenant Theology?, MSJ 21/1 (Spring 2010) 31-54

48 Ibid., pg. 46-47

49 Scott W. Hahn, A Broken Covenant and the curse of Death: A Study of Hebrews 9:15-22, Catholic Biblical Quarterly; Jul 2004, Vol. 66 Issue 3, pg. 421-22, “This runs counter to a testamentary model, in which only God (the Father, 1:5) could function as the testator, since he dispenses the inheritance. Ironically, it is not God, the ‘testator,’ but Christ, the heir, who must die to receive the heavenly inheritance. In the understanding of inheritance in Hebrews, God gives a heavenly inheritance to Christ, ‘the heir of all things,’ after the death, resurrection, and exaltation of Christ the heir, whereas in a Hellenistic testament, a testator gives an earthly inheritance to his heir(s) near the end of his (the testator’s) life—in the case of donatio inter vivos—or at this death. The most striking difference between the model of inheritance in Hebrews and a testament is that, consistently in Hebrews, it is the heir rather than the testator who must die before the inheritance is bestowed.”

50 Ibid., pg. 430

51 Charles C. Ryrie, Dispensationalism, 2d. ed.: Chicago: Moody, 1995, pg. 140-141, “Premillennialists have not always dealt with questions about the new covenant uniformly. Some have taught that the church has no relation to the new covenant, only Israel does. Others see two new covenants, one with Israel and another with the church. Others acknowledge that the church receives some of the blessings (or similar blessings) promised in the Old Testament revelation of the new covenant but not all of them.”

52 Stephen R. Lewis, The New Covenant: Enacted or Ratified?, Chafer Theological Seminary Journal 8 (October–December 2002), pg. 55, “The idea for this paper began with John Lawrence in 1974. Discussions and dialogs with Elliott Johnson and Stanley Toussaint (of Dallas Theological Seminary) have led to expanding the original idea.”

53 Ibid. pg. 60

54 Soon after the pronouncement of the parable the Jews found themselves on the highways with Ephraim and with the same opportunity for their descendants to respond favorably or not to the stone the builders rejected and be grafted again upon their own tree (Ro 11:23).

55 Flavius Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews - Book XI Ch. 5

56 Stephen R. Lewis, The New Covenant: Enacted or Ratified, Chafer Theological Seminary Journal 8 (October–December 2002), pg. 59

57 Ibid.

58 William Lane, Hebrews, 2 vols., Word Biblical Commentary, 47. Dallas: Word, 1991, “The content of τὸ πρῶτον, ‘the first,’ is defined by the structural link between the law and cultic sacrifices established in 8b. The old cult and the law upon which it was based are set aside on the strength of an event in which there was concentrated all the efficacy of a life fully submitted to the will of God. The content of τὸ δεύτερον, ‘the second,’ which is placed in antithesis to ‘the first arrangement,’ is defined by the will of God as realized through Jesus. In v 10 the mode of that realization is specified as ‘the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.’”

59 Rodney J. Decker ThD, The Law, the New Covenant, and the Christian; Studies in Hebrews 7-10, Council on Dispensational Hermeneutics, 2009, pg. 23.

60 Ibid. pg. 28, 29

61 Ibid., pg. 62, “No future sacrifice for sin and no shedding of blood will ratify the (already ratified) New Covenant. The blood sacrifice necessary for the ratification already occurred years earlier, at the Lord’s first coming.”

62 Ibid. pg. 60

63 John Owen, D.D., An Exposition of the Epistle to the Hebrews; With the Preliminary Exercitations, Revised and abridged by Edward Williams, Vol.4, printed and sold by Samuel T. Armstrong, 1812, pg. 315

64 Ibid. pg. 18

65 Ibid. pg. 327

66 Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., The Davidic Promise and the Inclusion of the Gentiles, Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, Volume 20:2, “Recently, this writer has affirmed that a rapprochement can be had between the heretofore opposite positions assumed by dispensationalists and covenantal theologians. Such a solution he calls “promise theology” or “epangelicalism.” Its unifying principle is not soteriological (covenant theology) or doxological (recent dispensational theology);6 it is, rather, the single, inclusive, everlasting plan of God announced and continuously expanded.

67 Ibid.

68 Ibid., pg. 105, 110                            

69 Ibid., pg. 105, “Now ‘after these things’—the destruction of the temple, the fact of the diaspora, and the end of Samaria—warned James, with an eye to the Amos context, God ‘would turn again’ (anastrepsō) to re-establish the house of David. To obtain the dispensational view one must assume that the ‘first’ of v 14 signified the ‘first [era]’ (a clear interpolation) while the second reference was given a sequential meaning: ‘After this [gospel dispensation]’28 God would ‘come again’ and restore Israel. But on these grounds neither phrase is a literal, grammatical or natural interpretation of James. Dispensationalism has thereby yielded any hermeneutical edge it possessed by so arguing.”

70 Ibid., pg. 106, “Now ‘after these things’—the destruction of the temple, the fact of the diaspora, and the end of Samaria—warned James, with an eye to the Amos context, God ‘would turn again’ (anastrepsō) to re-establish the house of David.”

71Les Feldick, Through the Bible with Les Feldick, Book 76, Les Feldick Ministries on Smashwords, 2015, location 188, “Amos 9:9 – 10 For, lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, (That’s why they’ve been out in dispersion.) like as corn (or grain) is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth.

72 Ibid., Book 16, html, pg. 30, “Not a single Jew that is intended to go into the Kingdom will be lost. Turn back to Ezekiel 37... that's a picture of the Nation of Israel coming back out of their dispersion... But, as yet, the breath hasn't been breathed into them, they are still spiritually dead.... Amos 9: 9... Not a kernel of what God wants to keep will be lost... not a single Jew that God has ordained to go into that Kingdom is going to miss it.”

73 Ibid., Book 76, location 165-167 Acts 15:15 – 16a “And to this agree the words of the prophets: as it is written, 16. After this…” See, that’s what made me think of it. After what? After God has called out a people for His name as we saw in verse 14. Or we could say, after the Rapture and the Body of Christ is removed from the earth to Heaven. See how it all fits?

74 W. Edward Glenny, The Septuagint and Apostolic Hermeneutics: Amos 9 in Acts 15, Bulletin for Biblical Research 22 1 (2012) 1-26, pg. 4-5, “It is worth noting that [Amos] 9 9b in the LXX is not a message of judgment as in the MT (where Israel will be ‘sifted’ and none will escape) Instead, the last clause of 9 9 is ‘a confident oracle of salvation’ that destruction will never again fall on the land to afflict it and its inhabitants. After the time of exile and punishment, the Lord promises the true remnant of Israel a new era of freedom and peaceful occupation of the land, there will be no more destruction and punishment (Jennifer Mary Dines, The Septuagint of Amos A Study in Interpretation [Ph D thesis, University of London, 1991], 289)” (emphasis added)

75 Ibid., Book 5, Lesson Two, Part III

 

76 Thomas Ice, The Calvinistic Heritage of Dispensationalism, Liberty University, May 2009