Dispensationalism must be wrong – Part One

A number of arguments are regularly used to try to discredit dispensationalism and conclude that it is flawed and must be wrong as a theological system. Interestingly, two frequent arguments against dispensationalism are based on the history of dispensationalism, having nothing to do with theology or exegesis. One argument attempts to discredit dispensationalism with the charge that it is a “young” theological system. The other attempts to discredit dispensationalism with the charge that its development is suspect. However, neither is actually a legitimate argument against dispensational theology and both are relatively easy to refute.

The Relative Youth of Dispensationalism

Those who oppose dispensational theology at least partly on the grounds that it is “young” tend hold to amillennialism in general and more specifically to covenant theology (which is arguably a subset of reformed theology.) That being the case, this charge in particular doesn’t seem like one they would want to use.

The modern development of dispensationalism is generally traced to the work of John Nelson Darby (1800-1882) in the early nineteenth century – around 200 years ago.

Although covenant theology can be viewed as having its roots in the writings of Calvin (1509-1564) – and to some extent even in those of Augustine (354-430), Johannes Cocceius (1603-1669) has been credited with providing the classical statement on covenant theology. Therefore, its beginning is approximately 400 years ago – making it about 200 years prior to Darby.

This being the case, wouldn’t it have been equally valid for John Nelson Darby to challenge covenant theology based on the fact that it was still so young as compared to the 1800 year history of the church?

Then go back to 1700. At that time, covenant theology was less than 100 years old. Does that mean that it was even less valid then than it was in Darby’s day? And does something become more valid simply due to the passage of time?

To be fair, the challenge against dispensationalism is usually framed more in terms of it being a new type of theology – a suspect theological innovation. In other words, the question(s) can be summarized as: “If dispensationalism is correct, does that mean biblical scholars and theologians had it all wrong for 1800 years – and how could that be true?”

However, this is a two-edged sword that would cut equally against reformed theology. The critical theological issues that sparked and defined the Protestant Reformation were delineated especially in the work of John Calvin and Martin Luther (1483-1546). Although we would vigorously maintain that these fundamental truths of biblical Christianity were simply recovered from centuries of obscurity in the organized church, not all would agree.

A Roman Catholic monk and theologian, Luther posted his 95 Theses in 1517.  In 1545, largely in response to “heresies” of the Reformation, the Catholic Church convened the Council of Trent. This council continued for almost twenty years, while the Counter-Reformation that it spawned lasted almost 100 years.

The point is that the majority of Christianity, including virtually all of the pastors, scholars and theologians firmly believed that the innovative theology of the Reformation was nothing more than a new heresy. This “new” theological system was less than fifty years old when it was roundly condemned and its adherents were mercilessly persecuted – some to the point of martydom.

However, as we know, doctrines such as “salvation by faith alone” and “the authority of the Scriptures alone” were not new. They were recovered through a return to biblical exegesis. The validity of dispensational theology should only be judged on the same basis. Is it really a new theology – or simply a recovered or rediscovered theology? I would suggest it is the latter and furthermore that it was held and taught by Jesus and the apostles.

At the very least, it is a serious mistake on several counts to try to use the “it’s young” argument to say or support the idea that dispensationalism must be wrong.

In the next post, we will look at the argument against dispensationalism on the basis of its development.

  1. Right on, Dave! Well said.

  2. I am disappointed. Why fight about dispensationalism and covenant theology on a website called subtitled Standing for Biblical Truth and never reference a biblical support for the position. Holding up dispensationalism by attacking covenant theology proves nothing. There are flaws in both theologies because they men’s attempt to systematically explain God’s ways.

    There is are those of us has hold to neither systematic position…and with biblical support!

    Let’s concern ourselves with a lost world.

  3. A well-reasoned article, Dave. Thank you. How easy it is for Christians of all stripes to be dismissive toward those with whom they disagree based upon arguments not derived from Scripture.

  4. Thanks for your comments, Dave.

    I understand and share your concern for the lost. I wholeheartedly agree that we should concern ourselves with a lost world.

    On the other hand, the New Testament writers spent far more time in their writings to establish right doctrine among believers – because ultimately right doctrine has a direct impact on whether or not the gospel is presented and presented correctly. The gospel does not exist in a doctrinal vacuum – which is why I am concerned about the issues surrounding dispensational and covenant theology.

    Our responsibility is both evangelism and discipleship – and helping believers to deal with challenges to their faith is a part of discipleship.

    Concerning the lack of biblical support – my intent was not to demonstrate that dispensationalism is true, but only to deal with the logical problem of this one particular line of argument against dispensationalism – which doesn’t require the use of Scripture. I will be dealing with the overall subject later – and will definitely use Scripture.

    Again, thanks for taking time to read the blog and comment. I definitely want to be accountable to our readers.


  5. Dave…enjoy reading your blogs. Let’s face it, anything but a strict Reformed position in today’s popular theological world is out of the acceptable theological loop. As one adherent said…”We have a much higher view of God.” I grieve over division in the Body of Christ with brothers..albeit brothers who differ…denouncing brothers. I’ve come to the place in my journey where I refuse to be tagged by a system name, or a man’s name, and consider myself a Scripturalist. Say more than Scripture says and I’ll challenge you. Say less, same result.
    That any theological system holds that God must operate and be defined by how that system defines God is assuming a right God limits to Himself. His ways are past finding out.

    Thank you for raising issues with a non-denigrating attitude. Refreshing.

    We were with you at WOL in Hungary a few years ago.

    Mickey Park

    • Thanks, Mickey. So good to hear from you. I fondly remember your time in Hungary – and the day we spent with you in Budapest. (Do I remember correctly that it was a cold, snowy day? For some reason that picture is in my mind.)

      Thank you for the kind words. I like the term “Scripturalist” – and “Biblicist.” If that would be one of the things people know me as, I would be quite satisfied.


  6. I agree with David Crichlow, first you make the assumption that anyone that is in disagreement with this teaching of dispensationalism is of a certain theological thought.
    My theology as is David C. is not determined by what some other theologian has developed but rather what biblical scripture reveals. As Wyrie states in “Basic Theology” “We are all theologians good or bad.” I do not fit into either theological system that you have alluded to. The theology that I have and think by is the revelation and understanding that I have from the Holy Scripture with no man’s name on it but the LORD Jesus Christ.

    Workman Gene
    Gene Eberhardy Th.D.

    • Dear Gene,

      Thank you for your comments. I think perhaps you read more into my post than I wrote – or even implied. I was not challenging any other theological system at all. My only point was that any theological system must be judged by whether or not it is biblical, not by how new or old it is as compared to another theological system.

      Besides that, I don’t think we all have completely independent theological systems. We can and do learn from other theologians who have done good, solid exegetical work to come to thoroughly biblical conclusions. This is the biblical pattern.

      Ultimately we are personally responsible for our own theology – but that doesn’t mean we can’t learn from others. Paul makes this point in Ephesians 4 concerning the Lord giving pastors/teachers, evangelists for the building up of the body of Christ.


  7. Hey, Dave interesting post.
    I agree in a sense that older does not necessarily mean better or more correct. There were religions around before the birth of Christ. Buddha for example lived 500 years BC. Now admittedly Christ predates the world but, for the sake of discussion I am referring to Christ in the Physical earthly manifestation. It could also be said that the new Covenant is inexorably linked to the Old Covenant (no argument here). I believe most people could agree at least that the new Covenant was in many important ways distinct from the Old. And very much a new thing (which also would be evidence that older isn’t necessarily better).
    In the sense of theological ideas however, I think it is acceptable to be a little dubious of newer ideas. Saying that something is “more valid after time has passed” is at least partially true. False religions that are long lasting usually pass the test of time because they have elements of truth in them. Buddha for example taught that the middle of the road is the ideal (not asceticism or lavishness). Boy, that sounds like a lesson from Ecclesiastes. The principle of “give us this day our daily bread”. Don’t give me too much least I forget you, don’t abandon me least I curse you. Yet fads and cults based on just lies fade quickly away. Buddhism is a false religion and the passing of time will not make it Valid. It is however, “more valid” then a religion that is forgotten in ten years time. After all a lie mixed with truth is a more deceptive lie. But true wisdom can glean the truth and reject artifice.


    • Ivan,

      Good to hear from you. Hope you’re doing well.

      Trying to beat the dead horse of my post points all along – the actually validity of a theological system can only be judged on the basis of its faithfulness to the biblical text. Again, the Reformation doctrines themselves were seen as innovative and new at the time – but when they are repeatedly scrutinized in the light of the Word, they are found to be true. This was true 10 years after the reformation and 100 years after the Reformation. I don’t think they were inherently dubious – but rather they were approached that way by those whose whole theological system was being challenged.

  8. For those of you who are eschatologically expert, I invite you to comment specifically on a Google article entitled “Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty,” a photographic version of which is on the “Powered by Christ Ministries” site. Since some have given the impression that that article is full of errors, I would very much like to be informed as to which particular item in it is in fact erroneous. Thanks in advance. Karl

    • Karl,

      I have read this article several times over the last year as it is frequently cited across the internet. And I have looked at Dave MacPherson’s work and his website on several occasions.

      I have not done extensive research on Darby’s life myself, so I cannot comment on those specifics. However, I did hear a very well-researched paper on Darby at the annual Pre-Trib Study Group Conference in Dallas, in 2005, which dispelled many myths, misconceptions and results of poor and biased research. I think I still have the paper somewhere on my computer that I will look for.

      In the meantime, I will briefly comment on the major charge of dishonesty that forms the basis for the article – which is focused almost exclusively on the issue of plagiarism.

      Perhaps the main factor in whole the issue of plagiarism in general relates to the character and integrity of the person who is charged with plagiarizing. I have met several of the men mentioned in the article (including John Walvoord) and am familiar with their work. For all those I whom I haven’t met but who are living, I’m almost positive there is only “one-degree of separation” between us – meaning I personally know men who know them fairly well. The reason this is important is because I have personal knowledge of the character and integrity of them or those who know them – and I am as certain as possible that there aren’t character or integrity issues. Rather, I would stake my own reputation on the fact that these men are quite sincere and extremely committed in their lives and ministries for the Lord and to others.

      On the other hand, the implication throughout is that these men are inherently dishonest as reflected in their treatment of this subject. For someone to make this accusation who does not personally know them is to cross the line into judging the hearts and motives – because there are other explanations for the evidence besides intentional plagiarism and deception.

      As someone who has taught many courses over the years in the areas of Bible exposition and theology, I know that I have personally used what I have learned from the teaching, preaching and writing of others. And after 25 years, I have learned, synthesized and internalized so much of this material I couldn’t begin to remember where I got it all from. And this certainly isn’t unique to me – but is simply the nature of the process of teaching and learning. Once the material is internalized, it becomes your own – particularly if you have synthesized and combined it with your own thoughts. And when that happens, I may use something that is essentially a quote from a given teacher or a compiled quote from several teachers, with neither memory of the source nor any intent to plagiarize someone elses’ material. Yet, for both me and the listener, the results, seem like honestly passing on information as any teacher would.

      Another factor, is that these men do know one another personally and discuss these matters personally, sometime quite extensively – and then also write and teach extensively – yet often for fairly disparate audiences. Sometimes there are student-teacher relationships – where students take extensive notes in class – then the teacher decides to publish, which the student may also decide to publish using his own words. In these situations, there aren’t genuine cases of plagiarism at all. Just this evening I read a phrase or a way of describing something that was exactly the illustration I had used for years – even though I thought for sure it was original with me. Maybe we both copied it from someone else – maybe we both simply had the same thought. But in the end, it just doesn’t matter if there was not an intention to deceive or profit or gain power from such a process. It is just evidence of the learning process and the development of biblical and historical theology.

      So, there are completely legitimate potential explanations that are far less insidious explanations of apparent plagiarism The men mentioned simply represent a very dynamic process that follows the development of dispensational theology. It is quite normal that there would be “cross-pollination” of thought when dealing with exactly the same topics, biblical passages and collateral work as those who have gone before.

      These charges of plagiarism simply don’t prove that anything insidious was going on without far more personal investigation. Discussions need to occur with those who are charged, before they are charged, to try to genuinely discover why there are similar passages in some books. And furthermore, many of them simply indicate that a student / teacher process was underway and theology was being passed from generation to generation.

      The article would be more significant and demand more attention if Mr. MacPherson would spend his time dealing with the actual exegesis of the passages rather than engaging in straw-man and ad hominem argumentation – and then that working to demonstrate that there are exegetically problematic conclusions being drawn. However, whether or not one agrees with the theology and the underlying hermeneutics, there has been significant and strong biblical work to support pre-trib dispensationalism. The doctrine does not at all rise or fall on the fact of whether or not some men shared their common knowledge of the subject.

      In short, I find this article to be little more than a diversion tactic that will capture the attention and imagination of those who for whatever reason are predisposed against Pre-Trib Dispensationalism. For those of us who both know the theology, understand the process, this article is yet another interesting, but ultimately ineffectual attempt to discredit the theology of the Pre-Trib rapture.

      Beyond this, which is sufficient by itself to challenge the article, I’m sure there are those out there who do have the experience and research expertise and resources to adequately respond to each point on a case-by-case basis.

      To say the least, despite the sense by some that this is somehow the death-knell for Pre-trib dispensationalism – I believe it falls far short of anything approaching that. And furthermore, it does so with language and accusations and style that actually raises questions concerning the character of the author himself as he does cross the line of judging another brother. This is very serious indeed.

      Dave James
      The Alliance for Biblical Integrity

  9. I remember a book written by Charles Dyer; “The Rise of Babylon” at around the first Persian Gulf war in 1991; This is literalism taken to it’s extreme conclusion; That because Saddam Hussein was rebuilding Archeological sites to it’s former glory, that it pointed towards biblical prophecy being fulfilled the Rise of Babylon as a world super power some day, never mind that Iraq was being destroyed back to the stone age. This whole exegesis was laughable. Such literalism is the same applied to Dispensational theology, it violates the full understanding of God’s redemptive history as outlined in the Bible.

    • Rudy,

      Dire was and continues to be right. I don’t know if you’ve done any research into this before commenting – but the work on Babylon has been ongoing, as far as I know, and it is inhabited. The restoration is still going to take place – and nothing that has happened in the intervening years indicates a problem. The Bible was written to be understood literally unless the text makes it obvious that it is not. If we don’t take the passages concerning prophecies of future Babylon literally, then on what basis does on take literally those concerning the bodily resurrection of Christ – or his return to the earth. The picking and choosing that I’ve seen most people do is completely arbitrary.

      And in fact, it is Dispensationalism that actually recognizes and embraces the fullest understanding of God’s redemptive history throughout the Bible. We accept the text as written – and that lays out God’s redemptive program in very clear detail from Genesis to Revelation.

  10. I couldn’t care less that Dispensationalism is new. Is wrong because it is wrong. “Rightly dividing” has nothing to do with making a distinction between Israel and the Church. The Church is not a parenthesis between God’s dealing with Israel. The Church is the fulfillment of the ages, the mystery hidden from the foundation of the world. The Church is a continuation of Israel with Gentiles grafted into her. Israel is not set aside until the rapture. God is dealing with a chosen remnant now, just as He always has. Not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. Israel (the Jewish apostles and prophets) are the FOUNDATION of the Church. A remnant of Jews and Gentiles are built upon them, and become a holy Temple in which God lives by His Spirit. There is ONE Olive Tree, not two. The Dispensationalist interprets everything based on Daniel’s seventieth week. Seventy sevens are decreed for Israel to finish transgression, to atone for sin, end iniquity, seal up vision as prophecy and anoint the most holy. These things must be finished WITHIN the seventy sevens. Dispensationalists have these things occurring for Israel AFTER the seventy sevens. The tribulation ends, the sun moon and stars are darkened, and the sign of the Son of Man appears, and Jesus gathers His elect. Israel looks on Him. In other words, His coming, Israel’s salvation, the anointing of the Millennial Temple, the sealing up of vision and prophecy, etc. all happen after the tribulation, or the supposed seventieth week.
    Jesus is the ONLY true Israel, and all who are IN Him by faith, both Old and New Testament saints. Unbelieving Jews are and always have been cut off from the people and cease to be Israel, but can be grafted back in if they do not persist in unbelief. And a remnant will continue to be grafted in until the fulness of the Gentile comes in. “And in this manner will all Israel (the remnant of Jews chosen by grace, as well as believing Gentiles) be saved, when the redeemer comes out of Zion.”

    • Unfortunately, you demonstrate that you don’t understand either dispensationalism or the Scriptures when you state that “The Dispensationalist interprets everything based on Daniel’s seventieth week.” This is further demonstrated by you next two sentences since no dispensationalist holds that all the things you note in Daniel will take place AFTER the 70th week. The only thing in the list is the anointing of the most holy – which takes place in conjunction with the 2nd coming in Revelation 19.

      Once you understand what Dispensationalism actually teaches, and why, then we can have an informed discussion.

      Your comments sounds like what you think you know about Dispensationalism comes only from what non-dispensationalists say, rather than your personal study of the writings of dispensational theologians.

  11. I understand dispensationalism and the pretrib rapture because I believed it wholeheartedly and studied it for over 35 years. I have read over 150 books (and still have them in my library), and I have listened to dozens of tapes, and have all of the CDs from every prophecy conference that has ever come out. I have zero non-dispensationalist books, except for the Bible, of course.
    The seventieth week is the “framework” around which everything revolves.
    And you completely miss the point of my argument. The anointing of the most holy is supposed to happen WITHIN the seventieth week. You have it happening AFTER the seventieth week. The second coming is AFTER the seventieth week. “After the tribulation of those days, the sun, moon and stars will be darkened. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky…”
    So, tell me, when does everlasting righteousness for Israel happen? When is iniquity atoned for? Answer: Again, at Jesus’ second coming (the fulfillment of the Day of Atonement), which happens AFTER the seventieth week. “After the tribulation of those days…”
    THEN Israel will “look on Me whom they have pierced…”
    A hardening in part has happened to Israel until the fulness of the gentiles comes in. And in this manner all Israel will be saved WHEN the Redeemer comes out of Zion to turn godlessness away from Jacob.
    When does the Redeemer come out of Zion?
    When is godlessness turned from Jacob?
    AFTER the tribulation, AFTER the great multitude of gentiles come in, WHEN the Redeemer comes…”
    Even IF the anointing of the most holy happens in conjunction with the Second Coming (which no scripture will testify to), the Second Coming still happens AFTER the seventieth week.
    In addition, nowhere in the book of Revelation are the 144,000 from the tribes of Israel called evangelists. In fact, Jesus said the Kingdom would be taken from them and given to a nation who would bear its fruit. Did Jesus change His mind? Is He an “Indian-giver.” It is the job of the Church to “take the gospel, the good news of this offer of salvation, to all the world.” That witness will continue until He comes.
    God announced the Gospel, the New Covenant, to Abraham beforehand, saying “in your Seed (Jesus) all nations will be blessed.”
    The Law Was given “because of transgression UNTIL the Seed (Jesus) should come.”
    The Seed has come and “the mystery hidden from the foundation of the world is made known”….that Jew and Gentile are one body in Christ.
    “The things that happened to Israel are types and warnings for us on whom the fulfillment (culmination) of the ages has come.” The Church is the fulfillment of God’s intention for redemptive history. It is not a temporary parenthesis in the middle of God’s dealings with fleshy Israel.
    Jesus is the New Israel, as are all Jews and Gentiles who are in Him. Very simple. It’s about Jesus, not national Israel.
    p.s. I didn’t cite the scripture quotes because I assume you know where they are found. As for calling dispensationalist “theologians,” no comment.

    • Todd,

      I would have been happy engage you and respond to all your questions, but the condescending “no comment” comment about dispensationalists being theologians makes it clear that it would a pointless endeavor.

      I would love for you to be with me at a conference I’m currently in with some of the most brilliant theologians and scholars of this generation (who just happen to be dispensationalists) – and have you make such a disparaging remark – especially after interacting with them for a couple of days. It’s easy to make such brave statements when afforded the anonymity and impersonal nature of the internet.

      So, I will just respond to one question concerning Jesus changing his mind and being an “Indian-giver” – perhaps you should consider who this applies to promises he makes in Jeremiah 31:31ff explicitly to “Israel and Judah” – and followed by the absolute guarantee of its fulfillment.

      It would appear that something other than the text itself caused you to abandon what you believed for so long to be biblical.


  12. Yep, Jesus made the new covenant with Israel and Judah, but not all who are descended from Israel are Israel, but only those of faith. Gentiles are grafted into Israel and are partakers of the promises of this new covenant which was announced beforehand to Abraham. The supposed dispensation of promise was actually an announcement of the new covenant which Christ would make with Israel. All those promises are fulfilled ONLY in Christ.
    (The writer of Hebrews tells us this gospel was also preached to Israel in the wilderness, but unfortunately, they did not believe, and therefore failed to enter that rest. They also drank from the same spiritual rock, and ate the same spiritual food, which was Christ.)
    In Christ, through the new covenant in His blood, Jew and Gentile are one body. Gentiles become part of the commonwealth of Israel. Israel has not been set aside during the so-called dispensation of grace. True Israel is and always has been only a remnant chosen by grace, even though they number the sands of the seashore. All the Old Testament saints were saved and made righteous by faith, but they never received the promises, because God had something better for them, so that together, with us, they would be made perfect. And we have come to Mount Zion, the heavenly Jerusalem…to the spirits of the righteous made perfect…to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant.

    No, it was actually the biblical text that caused me to abandon all that I had been taught by the so-called dispensational theologians.

    • Todd,

      Once again, you show that you refuse to engage in civil dialogue with your “so-called dispensational theologians” remark.

      Such arrogant tactics are uniformly employed by those who know in their hearts they are arguing from a position of weakness.

      Those who are confident that they are holding to the position most consistent with the relevant biblical texts are able to do so with kindness, gentleness and humility.

      So, unless you choose to let go of the cynical sarcasm, I won’t engage you further or allow your comments to post.

      I’m not afraid of criticism – even that which is harsh and unwarranted. I’m not afraid to engage with those who disagree – even in the strongest possible terms.

      However, I won’t allow conversations to degenerate into what amounts to little more than playground taunts.

      I hope you will prayerfully consider a different tack.


  13. My argument is not from a position of arrogance or weakness, but from what the actual text of the Bible says, of which a small portion is stated above. The dispensational view is not even implied in Scripture. God made a series of covenants, which are all fulfilled in Christ, for both Jew and Gentile. He is the inheritor of all the promises of God. They are “yes and amen” in Him. And in Him all nations are blessed. How are they blessed? in Christ, He “has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ, according He has chosen us from the foundation of the world…having made know unto us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, that is the dispensation of the fulness of time He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth, even in Him…
    In whom we have obtained an eternal inheritance…”
    By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out to a place which he should receive as an inheritiance, obeyed…by faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country…for he looked for a city which has foundations, whose bulder and maker is God…
    “These (Old Testament saints) died, not having received the promises, but having seen them from afar, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had an opportunity to return. But now, they desire a better country, that is a heavenly one, where God is not ashamed to be called they God, for He has prepared for them a city…But you are come to Mount Zion, unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem…”And I John saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her Husband.”
    “All these, having obtained a good reprort through faith, received not the promise, for God had something better for us, that together with them we would be made perfect.”
    The mystery hidden from the foundation of the world is that all things would be one in Christ. One Covenant for Jew and Gentile. The Church is not a parenthesis, a temporary measure put in place until God’s true chosen people are saved. God’s chosen people are all who have been chosen from the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight, both Jew and Gentile.
    The children of Israel have grown up into a Son who has received His inheritiance. “Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made…which is Christ.”
    “Now I say as long as the heir is a child, he is no different from a servant…even so, when we were children, we were in bondage under the elements of the world. But in the fulness of time (the dispensation mention previously by Paul), God sent His Son, made of a woman, made under the Law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.”
    “For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondwoman, the other by a freewoman, but he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he who was of the freewoman was by promise. Which things are an allegory, for these are the two Covenants, the one from Mount Sinai, which answers to bondage, which is Hagar. For this Hagar is in Mount Sinai in Arabia, and answers to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.
    “But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all (both Old and New Testament saints).

    “It is not as though God’s Word has failed, for not who are of (national) Israel are (spiritual) Israel, neither becuase they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children…that is, they which are the children of flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of promise are counted for seed…
    “As He says also in Isaiah, though the number of the children of Israel be as the sands of the sea, a remnant shall be saved…
    “But the righteousness that is by faith speaks in this way…the Word is near you, even in your mouth and in your heart; that is, the word of faith which we preach, that if you shall confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved. For with the heart man believes unto righteousness, and with your mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
    “Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness.”
    “For scripture says, whosoever believe on Him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich unto all who call unto Him. For whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
    “But they have not all obeyed the Gospel, for Isaiah says, who has believed our report? ”
    “For unto us was the Gospel preached,mas well as to them, but the Word did not profit the,, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. For which we who believe do enter that rest.”
    “So then, faith comes by hearing, and hearing the Word of God. But I say, have they not heard? Yes, truly, their voice has gone into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.”
    I say then, has God cast away His people? God forbid…God has not cast away His people which He foreknew…even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace….
    “What then? Israel (of the flesh) has not obtained that which it seeks, but the election (those out of fleshly Israel who are chosen by grace, who live by faith) has obtained it.
    Fleshly Israel has experienced a hardening in part. This partial hardening will continue until the fulness of the Gentiles is grafted into the Israel of faith. “And in this manner all Israel will be saved. As it is written, the deliverer shall come out of Zion, and shall turn godlessness away from Jacob, for this is My Covenant with them when I shall take away their sins.
    That Covenant has been made with Israel, and Gentiles are also, through God’s mercy, able to partake in the promises.
    God has one Olive Tree, the remnant of Israel chosen by grace. Both unbelieving Jew and unbelieving Gentile may be grafted into this Olive Tree through faith.

    God never intended to save the entire nation of Israel, but only a remnant. That remnant is now being saved, and will continue to be until the elect from the nations has come in. “And in this manner will all Israel (those who are of faith) will be saved.”

    Abel, saved by faith.
    Enoch, saved by faith.
    Noah, saved by faith.
    Isaac, saved by faith.
    Jacob, saved by faith.
    Sarah, saved by faith.
    Moses, saved by faith.
    Rahab, saved by faith.
    Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthae, David, Samuel, and all the prophets, saved by faith.
    God has only and always had one people, saved by trusting in His promises to them.

    Who are the 144,000?
    “And there came unto me one of the angelswhich had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, come and I will show you the Bride, the Lamb’s wife. And He carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain and showed me the great City, the holy Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God…
    “And [it] had a great and high wall, and [it] had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the twelve tribes of the children of Israel…
    “And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb…
    “And the city lies foursquare and the length is as long as its breadth, and he measured the city, twelve thousand furlongs…”
    “But you are come to Mount Zion (“a great and high mountain”) and unto the City of the Living God (“the great city”), the heavenly Jerusalem (“the holy Jerusalem”), and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly, and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the judge of all, and to the spirits of men made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkling of blood,nthat speaks a better word than that of Abel…
    “Yet once more I will shake, not the earth only, but also the heavens…that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.”
    “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and earth were passed away…”
    “Wherefore, we are receiving a Kingdom which cannot be moved.”

    The difficult and obscure passages of the Old Testament must be interpreted based on clear unambiguous passages in the New. Dispensationalist literal interpretation of Old Testament prophecy requires them to redefine, reinterpret, and even dismiss New Testament passages. This fact is seen in your question to me. The New Testament applies Jeremiah 31:31-40 in a figurative sense to refer to Christ and the Church (Mark 14:24; Luke22:20; I Corinthians 1:25; II Corinthians 3:6; Hebrews 8:6-13, 9:15, 12:24). Never once is a restoration of Judaism during a future millennial kingdom foretold.
    “Now it will come to pass in the last days, that the Mountain of the Lord’s house will be established as chief among the mountains, and will be raised above the hills, and the nations will stream to it…”
    According to the New Testament writers, we are living in the last days, and nations are entering into the Kingdom.

    • Todd,

      Thank you for refraining from inflammatory remarks.

      Everything that you have written has been known, evaluated, critiqued and responded to thousands of times from a thoroughly biblical perspective in hundreds and hundreds of books and articles – so there is no way that I will convince you otherwise in an internet forum or email exchange.

      You already know this.

      I could recommend many books by outstanding dispensational scholars whose expertise far outweighs either of ours – but you are already aware of those and reject them.

      I’m not going to convince you here and you’re not going to convince me. I have studied and taught on this subject for over 30 years – and currently do so 5-6 times a year in various schools around the world. The Bible is my text and I develop dispensationalism from Genesis to Revelation – so, I fully understand all of your arguments and find that they do extreme injustice to both the Scriptures and the character of a covenant-keeping God who has made it clear that his promises to the nation of Israel are eternal and unconditional – and that there will be a believing remnant who are ethnically Jews who will receive the promises made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – and confirmed to Moses and David and Jeremiah and Ezekiel and through all the OT writers – and then confirmed through Jesus and the apostles.

      So, I’m sure we will just have to agree to disagree and leave it at that.

      Thanks for taking time to comment.


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