Tag Archives: Israel

Bible Lessons on Israel

Click the following links to go to the subdivisions on lessons on Israel.

(1) Israel, the only theocracy ordained by God
(2) Israel’s Performance, God’s Judgement, and a New Economy—God’s Grace
(3)  God is the God of Israel

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Click here to go to all lessons on the Bible Doctrine of Government.

(3) God is the God of Israel


If you miss one part of the puzzle that is being put together in these studies, you will never see and understand the whole picture.


A Publication of Churches Under Christ Ministry


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(2) Israel’s Performance, God’s Judgement, and a New Economy—God’s Grace

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God Desires That All Nations Choose To Glorify Him

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Go to much more extensive essay by clicking here.


Jerald Finney
Copyright © December 28, 2017


1God promised the nation Israel He would bless those that bless her and curse those who curse her. This promise was for all time. No such promise was ever given to any other nation.[1]

To suggest that Israel has only the rights God has given to all nations is a shocking rejection of clear biblical teaching! God distinctly tells Israel that He has “separated [and] severed [her] from other people”[2] and that she will not be “reckoned among the nations”[3] because He loved Israel and chose her to be a “special people … above all people.”[4]

God promises repeatedly, “O Israel … I am with thee … to save thee: though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee.”[5] “The Bible identifies the true god as ‘the God of Israel’ 203 times, ‘the God of Jacob’ 28 times, ‘the God of Abraham’ 17 times, and ‘the God of Isaac’ 13 times. Never is He called the God of any other ethnic group. These designations are foundational to everything the Bible teaches, including the character of God. To profess to believe in God and at the same time to hold a prejudice against God’s chosen people, the Jews, or against Israel, which turns these clear biblical identifications into meaningless titles, casts doubt upon whether one really knows the true God.”[6]

The land of Israel was unconditionally given to Abraham and to his seed in the covenant God made with Abraham (the Abrahamic Covenant).[7] God said to Abraham, “For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever;”[8] “And he said unto him, I am the LORD that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it.”[9]

“The Abrahamic Covenant as formed (Gen. 12.1-4) and confirmed (Gen. 13.14-17; 15.1-7; 17.1-8) is in seven distinct parts:

  1. “‘I will make of thee a great nation.’ Fulfilled in a threefold way: (a) In a natural posterity—‘as the dust of the earth’ (Gen. 13.16; John 8.37), viz. the Hebrew people. (b) ‘In a spiritual posterity—look now toward heaven … so shall thy seed be’ (John 8.39; Rom. 4.16, 17; 9.7, 8; Gal. 3.6, 7, 29, viz. all men of faith, whether Jew or Gentile.) Fulfilled also through Ishmael (Gen. 17.18-20).
  2. “I will bless thee.’ Fulfilled in two ways: (a) temporally (Gen. 13.14, 15, 17; 15.18; 24.34, 35); (b) spiritually (Gen. 15.6; John 8.56).
  3. “‘And make thy name great.’ Abraham’s is one of the universal names.
  4. “‘And thou shalt be a blessing.’ (Gal. 3.13, 14).
  5. “‘I will bless them that bless thee.’ In fulfillment closely related to the next clause.
  6. “‘And curse him that curseth thee.’ Wonderfully fulfilled in the history of the dispersion. It has invariably fared ill with the people who have persecuted the Jew—well with those who have protected him. The future will still more remarkably prove this principle (Deut. 30.7; Isa. 14.1, 2; Joel 3.1-8; Mic. 5.7-9; Hag. 2.22; Zech. 14.1-3; Mt. 25.40, 45).
  7. “‘In thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed.’ This is the great evangelic promise fulfilled in Abraham’s Seed, Christ (Gal. 3.16; John 8.56-58). It brings into greater definiteness the promise of the Adamic Covenant concerning the Seed of the woman (Ge. 3.15).

“NOTE.—The gift of the land is modified by prophecies of three dispossessions and restorations (Gen. 15.13, 14, 16; Jer. 25.11, 12; Deut. 28.62-65; 30.1-3). Two dispossessions and restorations have been accomplished. Israel is now in the third dispersion, from which she will be restored at the return of the Lord as King under the Davidic Covenant (Deut. 30.3; Jer. 23.5-8; Ezk. 37.21-25; Lk. 1.30-33; Acts 15.14-17).”[10]

Thus God made three kinds of promises in the Abrahamic Covenant: (1) personal promises to Abraham, (2) national promises concerning Israel, and (3) universal promises that would affect all the people of the world.[11]  Some of those promises have been fulfilled, but His promises “to give the land of Canaan for an everlasting possession to Abraham’s physical descendants (Genesis 17.8) and to give the Abrahamic Covenant for an everlasting covenant to those same descendants (Genesis 17.7, 19)” have not yet been fulfilled.[12]

The Abrahamic Covenant was an everlasting covenant dependent upon God and not upon what Abraham did. A theological controversy surrounds this issue, but the Bible makes clear that the covenant is everlasting.[13]

Palestinian_1As pointed out above, Israel entered the land under Joshua after Israel wandered forty years in the wilderness under the conditional covenant God made with Israel prior to their entering the land, the Palestinian Covenant. The Palestinian Covenant, which was established by God with Israel after He gave the Mosaic Covenant, was separate from the Mosaic Covenant.  “These are the words of the covenant, which the LORD commanded Moses to make with the children of Israel in the land of Moab, beside the covenant which he made with them in Horeb.”[14] In conjunction with the covenant, God made very significant promises to Israel.[15]

These promises are to be fulfilled with literal, not spiritual, Israel, and reveal that God always leaves the way open for unfaithful Israel to be reconciled to Him. The final fulfillment of these promises to Israel is in the future. Since God intends to fulfill these promises to Israel when all the curse of Deuteronomy 28 concerning the nation Israel has been completed, this shows that literal Israel, as distinguished from the church (identified by some theologians as spiritual Israel), will survive the curse of God. God’s promise to restore Israel to the land which he gave to Abraham and his descendents when all the curse of Deuteronomy 28 has been fulfilled is another guarantee of Israel’s permanent ownership of that land. The Word of God in the promises of the Palestinian Covenant guarantees that literal Israel will repent and become saved in the future.[16]

3DavidicThe future blessing of Israel as a nation rests upon the Palestinian Covenant of restoration and conversion and the covenant God made with David, the Davidic Covenant of the Kingship of the Messiah, David’s Son, and this gives to predictive prophecy its Messianic character. The exaltation of Israel is secured in the kingdom, and the kingdom takes its power to bless from the Person of the King, David’s Son, but also “Emmanuel.” The interpretation of “Emmanuel” is “God with us.”[17]

Later, after Israel rejected the theocracy and demanded a king, and after God anointed David as King, God made a covenant with David as recorded in 2 Samuel 7.8-17.[18] The Davidic Covenant, “upon which the glorious kingdom of Christ ‘of the seed of David according to the flesh’ is to be founded, secures:

(1) A Davidic ‘house’; i.e. posterity, family.
(2) A ‘throne’; i.e. royal authority.
(3) A kingdom; i.e. sphere of rule.
(4) In perpetuity; ‘for ever.’
(5) And this fourfold covenant has but one condition: disobedience in the Davidic family is to be visited with chastisement, but not to the abrogation of the covenant (2 Sam. 7.15; Psa. 89.20-37; Isa. 24.5; 54.3). The chastisement fell; first in the division of the kingdom under Rehoboam, and finally, in the captivities (2 Ki. 25.1-7). Since that time but one King of the Davidic family has been crowned at Jerusalem and He was crowned with thorns. But the Davidic Covenant confirmed to David by the oath of Jehovah, and renewed to Mary by the angel Gabriel, is immutable (Psa. 89.30-37), and the Lord God will yet give to that thorn-crowned One ‘the throne of his father David’ (Lk. 1.31-33; Acts 2.29-32; 15.14-17).[19]

assyrianCaptivityUtterly violating the conditions of the Palestinian Covenant, the nation was first disrupted[20] and then cast out of the land.[21] The dispersion was for disobedience, as foretold by God.[22]

A temporary dispersion within was prophesied, to come before the extended dispersion. “The LORD shall bring thee, and thy king which thou shalt set over thee, unto a nation which neither thou nor thy fathers have known; and there shalt thou serve other gods, wood and stone.”[23] This refers to Babylonian captivity of 70 years prophesied by Jeremiah.[24]

God, through Moses, told Israel that her continued disobedience would be punished by a worldwide dispersion.[25]

The Lord Jesus confirmed Moses’ words: “And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.”[26] After the siege and total destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. almost all Judea became a desert and remained that way for nineteen-hundred and fifty years until 1948.

But the same covenant unconditionally promises a national restoration of Israel which is yet to be fulfilled. We see this in many prophecies. See En27[27] for some of those prophecies.

6This is where we are in prophecy at the present time: “And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.”[28]

God told Israel, “If my people [Israel], which are called by my name, shall humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”[29] Israel will repent in the future while still in the dispersion: “And shalt return unto the LORD thy God, and shalt obey his voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul[.]”[30]  God will then forgive them, restore them to their land which He gave them, and heal them.


Go to the following webpage for links to more in-depth Bible studies on Israel: The Bible Doctrine of Government.

Go to much more extensive essay by clicking here.


Endnotes

[1] 2 S. 7.23-26. David understood this. David said to the Lord after the Lord proclaimed to him what is called the Davidic Covenant: “And what one nation in the earth is like thy people, even like Israel, whom God went to redeem for a people to himself, and to make him a name, and to do for you great things and terrible, for thy land, before thy people, which thou redeemedst to thee from Egypt, from the nations and their gods? For thou hast confirmed to thyself thy people Israel to be a people unto thee for ever: and thou, LORD, art become their God. And now, O LORD God, the word that thou hast spoken concerning thy servant, and concerning his house, establish it for ever, and do as thou hast said…. And let thy name be magnified for ever, saying, The LORD of hosts is the God over Israel: and let the house of thy servant David be established before thee.”

[2] Le. 20.24, 26.

[3] N. 23.9.

[4] De. 7.6-9: “For thou [Israel] art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people: But because the LORD loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharoah king of Egypt.”.

[5] Je. 30.10-11.

[6] Dave Hunt, “God of Jacob, God of Israel, Part I,” The Berean Call, August 2006, Vol. XXI, No. 8, pp. 3, 5. See Matthew 22.29-31; See article for more good information on those who think the covenant with Israel was broken.  See also, Dave Hunt, “God of Jacob, God of Israel, Part Two,” The Berean Call, September 2006, Vol. XXI, No. 9, pp. 3-4.

[7] Ge. 12.1-4: “Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran.”.

[8] Ge. 13.15.

[9] Ge. 15.7.

[10] 1917 Scofield Reference Edition, n. 3 p. 24 to Genesis 15.18. This notation was made before the Jews were restored to the land in 1948. But even in 1948 and thereafter, there has not been a complete restoration to all the land that God gave to the Jews.

[11] Renald E. Showers, There Really Is a Difference: A Comparison of Covenant and Dispensational Theology (Bellmawr, New Jersey: The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry, 1990), p p. 57-58.

[12] Ibid., p. 59.

[13] Ibid., pp. 60-68: Renald E. Showers sums up the dispensational arguments against the conditional position.

[14] De. 29.1.

[15] De. 30.1-10: “And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath driven thee, And shalt return unto the LORD thy God, and shalt obey his voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul; That then the LORD thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath scattered thee. If any of thine be driven out unto the outmost parts of heaven, from thence will the LORD thy God gather thee, and from thence will he fetch thee: And the LORD thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it; and he will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers. And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live. And the LORD thy God will put all these curses upon thine enemies, and on them that hate thee, which persecuted thee. And thou shalt return and obey the voice of the LORD, and do all his commandments which I command thee this day. And the LORD thy God will make thee plenteous in every work of thine hand, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy land, for good: for the LORD will again rejoice over thee for good, as he rejoiced over thy fathers: If thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which are written in this book of the law, and if thou turn unto the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul.”

[16] Bible teaching on this is outlined in this chapter, infra. See also, Showers, pp. 81-82.

[17] Mt. 1.23.

[18] 2 S. 7.8-17. “Now therefore so shalt thou say unto my servant David, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I took thee from the sheepcoat, from following the sheep, to be ruler over my people, over Israel: [a]nd I was with thee whithersoever thou wentest, and have cut off all thine enemies out of thy sight, and have made thee a great name, like unto the name of the great men that are in the earth. Moreover I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more; neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more, as beforetime.  “And as since the time that I commanded judges to be over my people Israel, and have caused thee to rest from all thine enemies. Also the LORD telleth thee that he will make thee an house. And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom.  He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever. I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men: [b]ut my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee. And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever. According to all these words, and according to all this vision, so did Nathan speak unto David.”  “Although this passage does not call God’s promises to David a covenant, other passages clearly indicate that God was establishing a covenant with His servant (2 Sam. 23:5; 2 Chr. 7:18; 21:7; Ps. 89:3-4, 28-29, 34-37; Jer. 33.19-26).” Showers, p. 85.

[19] See also, 1 Chr. 17.7-15.

[20] 1 K. 12.

[21] 2 K. 17.1-18; 14.1-25.11.

[22] De. 30.1-3: “And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath driven thee, And shalt return unto the LORD thy God, and shalt obey his voice according to all thine heart, and with all thy soul; That then the LORD thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee from all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath scattered thee.” De. 28.25, 63-64: “The LORD shall cause thee to be smitten before thine enemies: thou shalt go out one way against them, and flee seven ways before them: and shalt be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth…. And it shall come to pass, that as the LORD rejoiced over you to do you good, and to multiply you; so the LORD will rejoice over you to destroy you, and to bring you to nought; and ye shall be plucked from off the land whither thou goest to possess it. And the LORD shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other; and there thou shalt serve other gods, which neither thou nor thy fathers have known, even wood and stone.” See also, Le. 26.32-39

[23] De. 28.36.

[24] Je. 25.11-12: “And this whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years. And it shall come to pass, when seventy years are accomplished, that I will punish the king of Babylon, and that nation, saith the LORD, for their iniquity, and the land of the Chaldeans, and will make it perpetual desolations.”. God gives explicit details of what will happen in that dispersion in De. 28.35-62.

[25] Deuteronomy 28.63-64. “And it shall come to pass, that as the LORD rejoiced over you to do you good, and to multiply you; so the LORD will rejoice over you to destroy you, and to bring you to nought; and ye shall be plucked from off the land whither thou goest to possess it. And the LORD shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other; and there thou shalt serve other gods, which neither thou nor thy fathers have known, even wood and stone.” See verses 63-68.

[26] Lk. 21.24.

[27] Is. 11.11; Isaiah 48 explains that Israel will be restored & why; Isaiah 49.8-21: Israel to be preserved & restored; Is. 51.3; Is. 52.8, 9; Is. 54 describes Israel the restored wife of Jehovah & security and blessing of restored Israel; Is. 61.3-11; 62: The restoration of Israel; Is. 65.17-66.24: The eternal blessing of Israel in the new earth.

Is. 65.1-16 tells of all the bad things Israel, the rebellious people had done. Is. 65.17-25 tells of the eternal blessing of Israel in the new earth. Verse 17 looks beyond the kingdom-age to the new heavens and the new earth, but verses 18-25 describe the kingdom-age itself.  Longevity is restored, but death, the “last enemy” (1 Co. 15.26), is not destroyed till after Satan’s rebellion at the end of the thousand years (Re. 20.7-14).

Je. 16.15c (see Je. 16.14-16); Je. 23.1-40: the future restoration and conversion of Israel. This chapter tells the bad things the nation, the prophets, the priests, the people had done, and also states. “And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase…. Behold, the days come saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.”

Je. 24 speaks of both the good and the evil and the good people who will be deported & the evil who remain in Judah and those who dwell in Egypt. God says he will remove the evil “into all the kingdoms of the earth for their hurt, to be a reproach and a proverb, a taunt and a curse, in all places whither I shall drive them … and will send the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, among them, till they be consumed from off the land that I gave unto them and their fathers” (Je. 24.9-10). But He will “set [his] eyes upon them for  good, and … will bring them again to this land: and … will build them, and not pull them down; and … will plant them, and not pluck them up.” (Je. 24.6). Je. 30.8-11, 16-24; 31; 32.37-44: Israel will be restored; Je. 32.32, 37-41; Jeremiah 33: God will restore Israel and Judah; Je. 46.27-28; Je. 50.19-20, 51.5; Ezekiel 11.17-21: Israel to be restored to the land and converted; Ezekiel 16.60-63: The promise of future blessing under the Palestinian Covenant and the New Covenant; Ez. 28.25-26; Ezekiel 34.11-31. Israel to be restored and the Davidic kingdom to be set up.

Notice the reason God restores Israel: “Therefore say unto the house of Israel, thus saith the Lord GOD; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name’s sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went. And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, saith the Lord GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes. Not for your sakes I do this saith the Lord GOD, be it known unto you: be ashamed and confounded for your own ways, O house of Israel.” Ez. 36.22-23, 32 [Bold emphasis mine]. One purpose for God setting aside the nation of Israel was to point other nations to God. Israel failed miserably. See Ezekiel 36 and many other passages in the OT.  Man always fails.  Only God succeeds.  As was mentioned in Chapter 2 above, the God-given purpose of man is to glorify God, but man seeks his happiness, and seeks not the glory of God.

“Jehovah gives [in Ez. 37] the method of the restoration of the nation. The “bones” are the whole house of Israel who shall then be living. The “graves” are the nations where they dwell. The order of the procedure is: (1) the bringing of the people out (v12); (2) the bringing of them in (v12); (3) their conversion (v13); (4) the filling with the Spirit (v14). The symbol of the 2 sticks follows. The 2 sticks are Judah and the ten tribes; united, they are one nation (vs. 19-21). Then follows (vs 21-27) the plain declaration as to Jehovah’s purpose, and verse 28 implies that then Jehovah will become known to the Gentiles in a marked way.  This is also the order of Acts 15.16, 17, and the two passages strongly indicate the time of full Gentile conversion.  See also Isa. 11.10.” 1917 Scofield Reference Edition, n. 1 to Ezekiel 37.1, p. 881.

Ez. 37.26-28; Ezekiel 39.25-29: Vision of restored and converted Israel. Ez. 40.1-48.35: Israel in the land during the kingdom-age. Vision of the future temple. Vision of the glory of the Lord filling the temple. The place of the throne of the future kingdom. The measure of the altar.  The offerings. 43.19-27. The gate for the prince. The priests of the future temple. Etc. Ez. 43.7-12: The place of the throne of the future kingdom.

“That Israel is the wife of Jehovah (see vs. 16-23), now disowned but yet to be restored, is the clear teaching of the passages [in the book of Hosea]….  Israel is, then, to be the restored and forgiven wife of Jehovah, … Jehovah’s earthly wife (Hos. 2.23)[.] …” Schofield, n. 1 to Ho. 2.2, p. 922. Ho. 2.14-23: Israel, the adulterous wife, to be restored. Ho. 13.9-16: The ultimate blessing of Israel in the kingdom.

Joel 3.1; Joel 3.17-21: The kingdom blessing; Amos 9.13-15: Full kingdom blessing of restored Israel; Micah 4.6-8: Israel to be regathered; Zephaniah 3.14-20: The kingdom blessing of Israel; Zec. 2.4-13: Jerusalem in the kingdom age; Zec. 8.1-8: Jehovah’s unchanged purpose to bless Israel in the kingdom; Zec. 8.20-23: Jerusalem to be the religious center of the earth; Zec. 9.10-17: The future deliverance of Judah and Ephriam, and the world-wide kingdom; Zec. 10: The future strengthening of Judah and Ephraim and the dispersion and regathering of Israel in one view.

Luke 1.26-38 (Here the angel Gabriel says to Mary): “He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.”

Zacharias, filled with the Holy Ghost, prophesies… “And he raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David; As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; The oath he sware to our father Abraham, That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.”

When Jesus taught the apostles after he was risen, they “asked of him saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power” (Ac. 1.6-7). Notice, Jesus indicated that this would happen, but would not tell them when.

“… Taken together, the N.T. teachings concerning the return of Jesus Christ may be summarized as follows: (1) That the return is an event, not a process, and is personal and corporeal (Mt. 23.39; 24.30; 25.31; Mk. 14.62; Lk. 17.24; John 14.3; Acts 1.11; Phil. 3.20, 21; 1 Thes. 4.14-17). (2) His coming has a threefold relation: to the church, to Israel, to the nations.

“(a) To the church the descent of the Lord into the air to raise the sleeping and change the living saints is set forth as a constant expectation and hope (Mt. 24.36, 44, 48-51; 25.13; 1 Cor. 15.51, 52; Phil. 3.20; 1 Thes. 1.10; 4.14-17; 1 Tim. 6.14; Tit. 2.13; Rev. 22.20).
“(b) To Israel, the return of the Lord is predicted to accomplish the yet unfulfilled prophecies of her national regathering, conversion, and establishment in peace and power under the Davidic Covenant (Acts 15.14-17 with Zech. 14.1-9). See “Kingdom (O.T.),” 2 Sam. 7.8-17; Zech. 13.8, note; Lk. 1.31-33; 1 Cor. 15.24, note.
“(c) To the Gentile nations the return of Christ is predicted to bring the destruction of the present political world-system (Dan. 2.34, 35; Rev. 19.11, note); the judgment of Mt. 25.31-46, followed by world-wide Gentile conversion and participation in the blessings of the kingdom (Isa. 2.2-4; 11.10; 60.3; Zech. 8.3, 20, 23; 14.16-21).” 1917 Scofield Reference Edition, n. 1 to Ac.. 1.11, p. 1148.

“A distinction must be observed between the ‘last days’ when the prediction relates to Israel and the ‘last days’ when the prediction relates to the church (1 Tim. 4.1-3; 2 Tim. 3.1-8; Heb. 1.1, 2; 1 Pet. 1.4, 5; 2 Pet. 3.1-9; 1 John 2.18, 19; Jude 17-19). Also distinguish the ‘last days’ (plural) from ‘the last day’ (singular); the latter expression referring to the resurrections and last judgment (John 6.39, 40, 44, 54; 11.24; 12.48). The ‘last days’ as related to the church began with the advent of Christ (Heb. 1.2), but have especial reference to the time of declension and apostasy at the end of this age (2 Tim. 3.1; 4.4). The ‘last days’ as related to Israel are the days of Israel’s exaltation and blessing, and are synonymous with the kingdom-age (Isa. 2.2-4; Mic. 4.1-7). They are ‘last’ not with reference to this dispensation, but with reference to the whole of Israel’s history.” Ibid., n. 1, p. 1151 to Acts 2.17.

Acts 15.13-17: James declares the result of the council at Jerusalem which considered the issues of whether it was “needful to circumcise [the Gentile believers], and to command them to keep the law of Moses” (Ac. 15.5). the outcalling of the Gentiles agrees with the promises to Israel. Peter had argued, “And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they” (Ac. 15.8-11).

Romans 9-11: The Gospel does not set aside the covenants with Israel. 9.4-5 gives the sevenfold privilege of Israel. “I SAY then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid.  For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew…. 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, and I shall take away their sins” (Ro. 11.1-2, 26-27).

“That Israel has not been forever set aside is the theme of [Romans 11]. (1) The salvation of Paul proves that there is still a remnant (v. 1). (2) The doctrine of the remnant proves it (vs. 2-6). (3) The present national unbelief was foreseen (vs. 7-10). (4) Israel’s unbelief is the Gentile opportunity (vs. 11-25). (5) Israel is judicially broken off from the good olive tree, Christ (vs. 17-22). (6) They are to be grafted in again (vs. 23, 24). (7) The promised Deliverer will come out of Zion and the nation will be saved (vs. 25-29). That the Christian now inherits the distinctive Jewish promises is not taught in Scripture. The Christian is of the heavenly seed of Abraham (Gen. 15.5, 6; Gal. 3.29), and partakes of the spiritual blessings of the Abrahamic Covenant (Gen. 15.18, note); but Israel as a nation always has its own place, and is yet to have its greatest exaltation as the earthly people of God. See ‘Israel’ (Gen. 12.2; Rom. 11.26); ‘Kingdom’ (Gen. 1.26-28; Zech. 12.8).” (1917 Scofield Reference Edition, n. 2 to Ro. 11.1, p. 1204).

[28] Lk. 21.24.

[29] 2 Chr. 7.14.

[30] De. 30.2.

(2) Israel’s Performance, God’s Judgement, and a New Economy—God’s Grace


If you miss one part of the puzzle that is being put together in these studies, you will never see and understand the whole picture.


A Publication of Churches Under Christ Ministry


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(1) Israel, the only theocracy ordained by God

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(3)  God is the God of Israel

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Jerald Finney
Copyright © December 28, 2017


“The reader of scripture should hold firmly in mind: (1) that from Genesis 12. to Matthew 12.45 the Scriptures have primarily in view Israel, the little rill, not the great Gentile river, though again and again the universality of the ultimate divine intent breaks into view;[1] (2) that the human race, henceforth called Gentile in distinction from Israel, goes on under the covenants given to Adam and Noah; and that for the race (outside Israel) men are guided by conscience and human government continues. The moral history of the great Gentile world is told in Romans 1.21-32, and its moral accountability in Romans 2.1-16. Conscience never acquits: it either ‘accuses’ or ‘excuses.’  Where the law is known to the Gentiles it is to them, as to Israel, ‘a ministration of death,’ a ‘curse.’[2] A wholly new responsibility arises when either Jew or Gentile knows the Gospel.[3]

2The Mosaic Law covered the period from Moses until the death and resurrection of Christ, or from Exodus 19.1 to Acts 1.26. Under the covenant God made with Moses, the Jews were to be responsible for keeping the whole law.[4] They did not succeed in their responsibility. Their zeal for God was not according to knowledge; they, being ignorant of God’s righteousness, went about to “establish their own righteousness, and did not submit themselves to the righteousness of God.[5] The result was the captivity of Judah by Babylon and the captivity of Israel by Assyria. After the Jews later rejected the Lord, they were scattered over the entire world. Jesus lamented, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.”[6]

“All during their many periods of declension and backsliding, God dealt with them graciously from the very first apostasy with the golden calf, when the law was being delivered to Moses, to the gracious promises of final regathering and restoration in the millennial age to come. These promises of a glorious future are guaranteed secure by the Abrahamic promises, which the law in no way abrogated (Gal. 3.3-25). We are also told clearly in the New Testament (Rom. 3.20 [“Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.”]) that the law was not a means of justification but of condemnation.”[7]

God declared that Israel would lend to other nations, but would not borrow, that Israel would reign over many nations, but that no nation would reign over Israel.[8] Israel was called the wife of Jehovah.[9] Israel is the “rod for his inheritance,” and God will use Israel to “break into pieces the nations.”[10] Thus, Israel is the key to everything regarding the nations of this world.

Again, Israel was ordained to be a theocracy under the direct rule of God, through His judges. This type civil government was unique to Israel. We see how this type of civil government was applied by Israel in the book of Judges. Over and over again, especially in Deuteronomy, the Jews were told to follow God’s law, to keep his commandments and statutes. “These are the statutes and judgments, which ye shall observe to do in the land, which the LORD God of thy fathers giveth thee to possess it, all the days that ye live upon the earth….”[11]  God’s laws covered everything, including idolatry. The Ten Commandments exemplified the law, and the whole of the Ten Commandments, including the first four, were to be enforced in the nation Israel.

kings-crownGod gave Israel free will. Ultimately Israel rejected God’s plan under which God himself ruled over the nation of Israel and demanded a king like the Gentile nations. Israel demanded a king.[12] God told Samuel to hearken unto their demand, that Israel had rejected God and His rule over them:[13]

God also told Samuel to tell the people the ill consequences of being ruled by a king: the king would take their sons and daughters for various services to the king; that the king would give their fields, vineyards, and oliveyards, the best of them to his officers and servants; their menservants, maidservants and their goodliest young men, their asses and put them to work; a tenth of their sheep; that they would be the servants of the king. Finally, Samuel warned them: “And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the LORD will not hear you in that day.”[14]

King_Saul004But they still demanded a king.[15]  They were looking at man, not God, when they made this demand: “And they said unto Samuel, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways[.]”[16]  They still did not realize that God fulfills His purposes. Had Israel walked in faith and kept His statutes and commandments, God had promised to bless them.

Before the Israelites rejected God, God’s law as transmitted through Moses, then through his successors, was the whole of civil and religious government. God’s chosen people, even in the theocracy, rebelled against God and His ways time and again, were judged by God for so doing, and returned to God.

When kings started to rule, kings dominated prophet and priest. Saul, the first king, disobeyed the command of God through Samuel[17] and even sought to slay Samuel, the prophet of God.[18] David followed Saul as king of Israel. After the death of Solomon, David’s son who became king after the death of King David, the nation of Israel split in two. The northern Kingdom was called Israel, and the southern Judah. Before those two nations were eventually taken into captivity for their failure to proceed under God, all nineteen kings of Israel were evil and only eight of twenty kings of Judah were good (did that which was right in the eyes of the Lord).

During that time, God sent prophets to warn the kings of both Israel and Judah to cast down their idols and return to the ways of the Lord and to proclaim the consequences that would surely come if they did not do so. Rarely did the kings heed the warnings of those prophets.  The Jews broke the Mosaic Law repeatedly.[19]

The nation was judged many times during this dispensation. Israel and Judah were both ultimately conquered and the people taken into captivity because of their rebellion against God. Worldwide dispersion resulted from their rejection of Christ.

5Israel miserably failed to obey God on the basis of conscience, the restraint of the Holy Spirit, human government, promise, and law. As a result, God instituted a new economy in which He dealt with all mankind on the basis of Grace. Conscience, the restraint of the Holy Spirit, human government, promise, and grace are being used by God to govern people. The law is not a ruling factor for the believer during this time of grace.[20]

ROMANSGrace as a ruling factor for the believer consists of two things. First, a confirmed favorable disposition toward God, the law of God in the heart.[21] The second thing is the indwelling Holy Spirit: “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”[22]

Sadly, the majority of Jews and Gentiles do not accept the gift of righteousness offered by God through grace. Organized Christendom does not fulfill its mission given it by God in the New Testament—it does not “fulfill the Great Commission, maintain a pure membership, discipline unruly members, prevent false teaching from existing within it, and contend earnestly for the true faith.”[23]  Man again will fail, and judgment will follow.


Go to the following webpage for links to more in-depth Bible studies on Israel: The Bible Doctrine of Government.


Endnotes

[1] e.g. Ge. 12.3; Is. 2.2, 4; 5.26, 9.1, 2; 11.10-12; 42.1-6; 49.6, 12; 52.15; 54.3; 55.5; 60.3, 5, 11-16; 61.6, 9; 62.2; 66.12, 18, 19; Je. 16.19; Joel 3.9, 10; Mal. 1.11; Ro. 9., 10., 11.; Ga. 3.8-14

[2] Ro. 3.19, 20; 7.9, 10; 2 Co. 3.7; Ga. 3.10.

[3] Jn. 3.18, 19, 36; 15.22-24; 16.9; 1 Jn. 5.9-12

[4] Ja. 2.10.

[5] Ro. 10.1-3.

[6] Mt. 23.37-39.

[7] Charles C. Ryrie, Dispensationalism (Chicago: Moody Press, 1995), p. 55.

[8] De. 15.6.

[9] Is. 54.5; Je. 3.14, 20; Ez. 16.26-59; 24.15-27. In Hos., we see the picture given that illustrates to the Jews how God feels when His wife, Israel, commits adultery.

[10] See Je. 51.19-23.

[11] De. 12.1.

[12] 1 S. 8.5.

[13] 1 S. 8.9.

[14] 1 S. 8.11-18.

[15] 1 S. 19.

[16] 1 S. 8.5.

[17] See 1 S. 15.

[18] 1 S. 16.2.

[19] Je. 31.32; Zec. 7.12.

[20] Ga. 3.19, 23-25; Ro. 6.14; 1 Co. 9.20.

[21] Ro. 7.22; 2 Co. 3.3-11; He. 8.8-12.

[22] 1 Co. 6.19-20.

[23] Renald E. Showers, There Really Is a Difference: A Comparison of Covenant and Dispensational Theology (Bellmawr, New Jersey: The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry, 1990), p. 46.

(1) Israel—The Only Theocracy Ordained by God


If you miss one part of the puzzle that is being put together in these studies, you will never see and understand the whole picture.


A Publication of Churches Under Christ Ministry


Previous Series of Lessons:
Civil Government

Next Lesson:
(2) Israel’s Performance, God’s Judgement, and a New Economy—God’s Grace

Click here to go to links to all lessons on Israel.

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Click here to go to much more thorough essay on this subject by clicking here.


Jerald Finney
Copyright © December 27, 2017


Originally, all civil governments were under the same guidelines. Although Gentile nations proceeded under the original plan as ordained by God in the covenant He made with Noah, God called out Israel, a nation for Himself. First, Abraham was called out and obtained a promise of God.[1] Since man had failed to obey God on the basis of human conscience, the restraint by the Holy Spirit, and human government, God instituted a new economy, a new way of dealing with man. He made promises to Abraham and his seed, Jesus Christ, which were four hundred years before the law. The inheritance was not of the law which was added because of transgressions, “until the seed should come” who was Jesus Christ.[2] God “sware” this promise “by himself.[3]

God promised Abraham that He would bless him, make his name great, give him many physical descendants, make him the father of many nations, give him the land of Canaan for an everlasting possession, and bless those who blessed him and curse those who cursed him.[4]

God promised Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and their seed everlasting possession of a physical land on the earth with prescribed boundaries. Israel’s government, working in conjunction with the Jewish religious leaders, was given the responsibility to enforce all ten of the Ten Commandments, as well as all of God’s moral law. The Gentile nations proceeded under the original plan laid down by God and their highest function was the judicial taking of life, from which all other governmental powers may be implied.

Israel was called by God for specific purposes: “Israel was called to be a witness to the unity of God in the midst of universal idolatry;[5] to illustrate the blessedness of serving the true God;[6]) to receive and preserve the divine revelations;[7] and to produce the Messiah.[8]

The Jewish patriarchs (heads of families) failed in the responsibilities God gave them, and judgment followed. Their responsibility was only to believe and serve God who provided all material and spiritual resources requisite to inspire them to do this. God gave them the Promised Land, and blessings were guaranteed while they remained in the land. In spite of this, their future was predominated by failure. Jacob eventually led his children to Egypt where they were enslaved. God delivered them and crushed their taskmasters.

After God delivered Israel from their Egyptian oppressors, He gave them the Mosaic Law. This was, of course, before they entered the Promised Land. He dealt with them now on the basis of that law in addition to conscience, the restraint of the Holy Spirit, civil government, and promise. God’s new economy for Israel was based on law. Promise and law are sharply distinguished in Galatians 3 even though the law did not annul the promise.[9]

The law was written in stone and “was a totally external way of God’s administering His rule over Israel.”[10] It was an external moral restrainer, a “schoolmaster to bring us to Christ.”[11]

When God delivered Israel out of Egyptian bondage, their faith failed and God caused them to wander in the wilderness for forty years. Before God allowed Israel to enter the Promised Land, she operated under a covenant directed solely to the nation Israel. All other nations, the Gentile nations, continued under the covenant God made with Noah. Israel was given covenant declared in Deuteronomy 30.1-10 which gives God’s conditions under which Israel entered the land. Israel has never as yet taken the land under the unconditional Abrahamic Covenant, nor has it ever possessed the whole land.[12] The seven parts to the covenant given in Deuteronomy 30 are:

  1. Dispersion for disobedience, v. 1 (De. 28.63-68. See Ge. 15.18, note).
  2. The future repentance of Israel while in the dispersion, v.2.
  3. The return of the Lord, v.3 (Amos 9.9-14; Ac. 15.14-17).
  4. Restoration to the land, v. 5 (Is. 11.11, 12; Je. 23.3-8; Ez. 37.21-25).
  5. National conversion, v.6 (Ro. 11.26, 27; Hos. 2.14-16).
  6. The judgment of Israel’s oppressors, v. 7 (Is. 14.1,2; Joel 3.1-8; Mt. 25.31-46).
  7. National prosperity, v. 9 (Amos 9.11-14).

Israel in the land was originally a theocracy directly under God. God spoke directly to Moses and Joshua, and then chosen judges in Israel. God does not and never has spoken directly to Gentile nations as He did with Israel.

Israel was a theocracy. The word “theocracy” comes from two Greek words, theos meaning God and kratos meaning ruler. “Theocracy” means “Government of a state by the immediate direction of God; or the state thus governed. Of this species the Israelites furnish an illustrious example. The theocracy lasted till the time of Saul.”[13]

The church, which God instructed to be directly under God and His principles only, is not a state, and therefore not a theocracy. Nor can a church take the place of God over a state; such an arrangement is not a theocracy.

Next, we will take a look at how Israel performed in the theocracy in the land, God’s judgments of Israel, and God’s grace.


Go to the following webpage for links to more in-depth Bible studies on Israel: The Bible Doctrine of Government.


Endnotes

[1] He. 6.15; 11.9

[2] Ga. 3.15-22.

[3] He. 6.13-15.

[4] Ge. 12.2-3; Ge. 13.14-17; Ge. 22.16-18. See also, Ge. 15 and 17.1-22.

[5] De. 6.4; Is. 43.10-12.

[6] De. 33.26-29.

[7] Ro. 3.1, 2; De. 4.5-8.

[8] Ge. 3.15; 21.3; 28.10, 14; 49.10; 2 S. 7.16, 17; Is. 4.3, 4; Mt. 1.1.

[9] Ga. 3.10-18.

[10] Showers, p. 42.

[11] Ga. 3.23-25.

[12] Cf. Ge. 15.18, with Nu. 34.1-12.

[13] AMERICAN DICTIONARY OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE, NOAH WEBSTER (1828), definition of “THEOCRACY.”

Introduction to the Biblical Doctrine of Government

 


A Publication of Churches Under Christ Ministry


Next Lesson:
Self-government

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Click here to go to all lessons on the Bible Doctrine of Government.

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If you miss one part of the puzzle that is being put together in these studies, you will never see and understand the whole picture.


Jerald Finney
Copyright © December 26, 2017


12A basic definition of government is “direction, control.” God is the highest Ruler. His government is above all other governments; all other governments derive their authority from God. He, as the Sovereign of the universe ordained and rules over all other governments. “Ordain” means “to establish or order by appointment, decree, or law” (WEBSTER’S COLLEGIATE DICTIONARY 818 (10th ed. 1995)). Men know that God is in control because God put a God-consciousness in every person (See Ro. 1.18-32).

God teaches in many ways, throughout the Bible, that He is the Supreme Ruler and His is the Higher and Highest Power. As possessor of heaven and earth, God has and exercises supreme authority in both the heavenly and earthly sphere.

That God is supreme, the Highest Power, is revealed in the Old Testament through, among other things, His names. The Old Testament reveals the existence of a Supreme Being, the Creator of the universe and of man, the Source of all life and intelligence who is to be worshipped and served by men and angels.

As the Supreme Ruler, He has decreed that men may choose to be guided by His principles or not. However, choices are met by either blessings or judgment. In the final analysis He will either reward or judge all governments according to the degree they abide by His will.

The first government established by God was self-government. Every person exercises self-government, and decides whether he or she will receive the only true and eternal hope which is provided by God, that is the Lord Jesus Christ, as Savior. “And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day” (Jn. 6.40).

After the fall of man in the Garden of Eden, and man knew “good and evil,” God established family government. Every person within a family – father, mother, and children – in exercising self-government, chooses whether to submit to God’s guidelines concerning family government.

The next type of government ordained by God was human government or civil government. God ordained civil government at the time of the great flood.  For the first time, He gave man the responsibility of ruling the world for God. Relatively quickly after Cain killed Abel, all mankind except Noah and his family, guided only by conscience (knowledge of good and evil or an awareness of right and wrong) had become totally corrupted. Civil government provided further and direct control over the evil nature of man.

Some time after ordaining civil government, God called out Abraham to be the father of Israel. Israel was established as a theocracy. All other nations were non-theocratic and were and are called “Gentile.” God established Israel to be directly under Him for specific purposes. Israel was to be the only theocracy that God has ever ordained. The Gentile nations can only look to Israel to see that God is who He claims to be, but God still desires every nation to choose to honor Him and His principles.

The Word of God teaches us that no civil government, Jew or Gentile, since it is made up of sinful men, will, before the return of Christ, ever follow the principles of God for any significant period of time. That both Israel and the Gentiles have governed for self, not God, is sadly apparent. Therefore, every civil government that has ever existed or which will ever come about prior to the return of the Lord will be judged by God.

God used a Gentile nation to take Israel into captivity, and He has already judged and is judging many Gentile nations. The Lord will return and crush the Gentile world-powers existing at the time of His return which, led by the beast and false prophet, will come and besiege Israel (Re. 19.19). The nation Israel will then be restored to the land which God gave them according to his covenant with them (Many verses in the Bible verify this. God will do this for His “holy name’s sake, which [Israel had] profaned among the heathen….”  Then Satan will be cast “into the bottomless pit, that he might deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled,” the nations shall be judged, and God’s kingdom will be set up.

Throughout these studies, the student should keep in mind all governments: first, God’s Supreme Government, then the other governments which God has ordained—self-government, family government, civil government, and church government. Biblical principles of governments other than church government are dealt with in this section, Section 1 with an emphasis on civil government; and biblical principles of church government are dealt with in Section 2. God laid down the boundaries of the authority of each type of government and the principles by which every government should conduct its affairs. He will hold every government responsible for the choices it makes. The reader should also keep in mind that the God-given goal for all governments is the glory of God, not the happiness of man. Joy is a side effect of “loving the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.”


Many Bible verses back up the conclusions stated in this brief lesson. Only a few are given here. The student can go to Introduction to the Bible Doctrine of Government online or to Online PDF of God Betrayed pages 3-9 to find those verses.


 

Dispensation Theology versus Covenant Theology


Jerald Finney
Copyright © March 10, 2012


Preface

This article is a continuation of Jerald Finney’s systematic development of the doctrines, application, history, and legalities of “separation of church and state.” See EN1 for more on this matter. This article is an edited version of Section III, Chapter 3 of the book God Betrayed/Separation of Church and State: The Biblical Principles and the American Application (Link to preview of God Betrayed). (Link to Contents of “Separation of Church and State Law” Blog which has links so that the new follower can start his study at the beginning. “Line upon line, precept upon precept.”). See EN2 for information on books by Jerald Finney which thoroughly examine “separation of church and state law.”


Dispensation Theology versus Covenant Theology

In order to understand religious liberty and the history of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution (freedom of speech, press, association, religion (or religious liberty), and conscience; soul liberty; separation of church and state; and the right to petition the government for a redress of grievances), one must understand Dispensational Theology and Covenant Theology. The Puritans were  Covenant Theologians. Historic Baptists were Dispensationalists (in belief, although the term “Dispensational Theology” was not coined until sometime in the last few hundred years). These two theologies clashed in the English colonies of America, the Baptist view prevailing with the adoption of the First Amendment. Unknown to most contemporary “Baptists” the warfare between various biblical theologies continues and will continue until the kingdom of heaven is established by our Lord. Most “Baptists,” not to mention members of denominations and religions, have unknowingly succumbed to false religious beliefs and philosophies as end-time prophesy unfolds as foretold in Scripture. This article explains Dispensational Theology and Covenant Theology, distinguishes them, and will be invaluable in one’s quest for understanding of the biblical principle of separation of church and state and the American application thereof.

Although many biblical principles run from Genesis to Revelation, the rules for church and state and for the Jewish religion-state are not the same. Under Judaism (the Jewish religion as ordained by God), religion and state operated hand-in-hand under God; that is, the religion and state were unified by God, both religion and state instructed by God to work together directly under God for the same goals. The church has not replaced Israel, and the rules for the church and state are different than the rules God ordained for the theocracy in Israel. Distinct rules, as discussed in Chapter 4 of God Betrayed and also in the next article to be published on this website (entitled “Distinct differences between church and state”), are laid down in the Bible concerning Judaism and Israel and the church and state. It is a grave mistake to Judaize the church, a mistake which has many consequences. Dr. C. I. Scofield was correct in his assertion that:

“It may safely be said that the Judaizing of the Church has done more to hinder her progress, pervert her mission, and destroy her spiritually, than all other causes combined. Instead of pursuing her appointed path of separation from the world and following the Lord in her heavenly calling, she has used Jewish Scriptures to justify herself in lowering her purpose to the civilization of the world, the acquisition of wealth, the use of an imposing ritual, the erection of magnificent churches, the invocation of God’s blessing upon the conflicts of armies, and the division of an equal brotherhood into ‘clergy’ and ‘laity.’” (Dr C. I. Scofield, Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth (New Jersey: Loizeaux Brothers, First Edition, January, 1896), p. 12).

The “Judaizing” of the church is based upon false biblical interpretation, upon a false philosophy of history. “Karl Lowith defines ‘a philosophy of history as ‘a systematic interpretation of universal history in accordance with a principle by which historical events and successions are unified and directed toward ultimate meaning’” (Charles C. Ryrie, Dispensationalism (Chicago: Moody Press, 1995), p. 17, citing Karl Lowith, Meaning in History (Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1949), p. 1; see also, Renald E. Showers, There Really Is a Difference: A Comparison of Covenant and Dispensational Theology (Bellmawr, New Jersey: The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry, 1990), p.  1). This definition “centers on three things: (1) the ultimate goal of history; (2) the unifying principle; and (3) the recognition of ‘historical events and successions,’ or a proper concept of the progress of revelation in history” (Ryrie, p. 17). The Bible contains a philosophy of history because it deals with the issue of meaning, offers a systematic interpretation of history, covers the entire scope of history from beginning to end, including the what and why of the future, presents a unifying principle which ties together and makes sense of the whole gamut of events, distinctions, and successions, and demonstrates that history has an ultimate goal or purpose (Showers, p. 2; Ryrie, p. 17).

The two main systems which Bible-believing scholars have developed to exposit the Bible’s philosophy of history over the last three or four hundred years, Dispensationalism or Dispensational Theology and Covenant Theology, have produced two systems of theology. Dispensational Theology contains all the necessary elements of a valid philosophy of history. “Dispensationalism, [which] can be defined very simply as a system of theology which attempts to develop the Bible’s philosophy of history on the basis of the sovereign rule of God, represents the whole of Scripture and history as being covered by several dispensations of God’s rule” (Showers, p. 27).

“The essence of dispensationalism … is the distinction between Israel and the church. This grows out of the dispensationalist’s consistent employment of normal or plain or historical-grammatical interpretation, and it reflects an understanding of the basic purposes of God in all His dealings with mankind as that of glorifying Himself through salvation and other purposes as well” (Ryrie, p. 41).

Although Dispensationalism was not developed as a scheme in a systematic fashion until the 17th century, early church leaders did recognize some of the biblical principles basic to Dispensational Theology. The word from which dispensation is translated, oikonomia, appears nine times in the New Testament. Only once is it translated dispensation. It refers to a responsible office or ministry entrusted to one’s care by a higher authority in six passages and to a particular way of God’s administering His rule over the world in three other passages. “[T]he term dispensation as it relates to Dispensational Theology could be defined as a particular way of God’s administering His rule over the world as He progressively works out His purpose of world history” (Showers, pp. 27-30; see also, Ryrie, pp. 28-31). Another way to define “dispensation” is “a distinguishable economy in the outworking of God’s purpose” (Ryrie, p. 28). “Dispensationalism views the world as a household run by God” (Ibid., p. 29; see pp. 29-31 for definitions of “dispensation” by various scholars).

There are important characteristics and considerations concerning dispensations. There are three characteristics of each dispensation necessary to make it distinct from all other dispensations. First, each dispensation is characterized by a unique ruling factor or combination of ruling factors. “Second, it must involve a particular responsibility for man.” “Third, it must be characterized by divine revelation which had not been given before.” Three secondary characteristics are that each dispensation applies a test to man to see whether or not man will perfectly obey God’s rule, each dispensation demonstrates the failure of man to obey the particular rule of God of that dispensation, and each dispensation involves divine judgment because of man’s failure (Showers, pp. 30-31; see also, Ryrie, pp. 33-35).

Some important considerations are first, the different dispensations are different ways of God’s administering His rule over the world, not different ways of salvation. Since the fall, individuals have always been saved by grace through faith. The sacrifices of the Israelites in the Old Testament did not provide salvation. “For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sin” (He. 10.4). “The Israelite’s offering implied confession of sin and of its due desert, death; and God ‘covered’ [or ‘passed over,’ ] his sin, in anticipation of Christ’s sacrifice, which did, finally, ‘put away’ the sins ‘done aforetime in the forbearance of God’” (1917 Scofield Reference Edition, n. 1 to Ex. 29.33, p. 110).

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God: Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God” (Ro. 3.23-25. See 1917 Scofield Reference Edition, n. 2 to Ro. 3.25, p. 1195.).

And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance” (Hebrews 9.15).

Second, “[a] dispensation is a particular way of God’s administering His rule, but an age is a particular period of time”—hence a dispensation is not an age of history. Third, a dispensation may involve God’s administering His rule over all mankind or over only one segment of mankind. “Fourth, a dispensation may continue or discontinue some ruling factors of previous dispensations, but it will have at least one new ruling factor never introduced before.” “Fifth, each new dispensation requires new revelation” (Showers, pp. 31-32).

Dispensations have characteristics. Primarily, dispensations are stewardships. All in a particular dispensational economy are stewards, although one man usually stands out. For example, Paul was used by God more than any other to reveal His grace. Nonetheless, all the apostles and every other believer are also stewards of God’s grace. All have a responsibility to respond to that grace. God will judge those who fail to do so (See Ryrie, pp. 56-57).

Most theologians recognize seven dispensations: “Innocence (Gen. 1.28); Conscience (Gen. 3.23); Human Government (Gen. 8.20); Promise (Gen. 12.1); Law (Ex. 19.8); Grace (John 1.17); Kingdom (Eph. 1.10)” (The 1917 Scofield Reference Edition, see the notes accompanying the quoted verses. See also, Showers pp. 33-49 and Ryrie, pp. 45-57 (Showers and Ryrie call the Dispensation of Law the Dispensation of Mosaic Law and the Dispensation of Kingdom the Dispensation of the Millennium; Ryrie calls the Dispensation of Human Government the Dispensation of Civil Government.)).

In each dispensation, God used or uses a ruling factor to govern man. Man failed or will fail in every dispensation, even in the last dispensation in which Christ Himself will rule over a perfect government and exceptional conditions. Man’s failure in that dispensation will bring God’s judgment. Those who rebel outwardly during that time will be executed (See, Is. 11.3-4; 29.20-21; Je. 31.29-30), and “God will crush the huge revolt which will take place immediately after the seventh dispensation sending fire to destroy the human rebels and casting Satan into the lake of fire for everlasting torment (Rev. 20:9-10)” (Showers, pp. 33-49).

Dispensational Theology recognizes distinctions of things which differ in history by asserting that distinctions are the result of God’s administering His rule in different ways at different periods of history. “There is no interpreter of the Bible who does not recognize the need for certain basic distinctions in the Scriptures” (Ryrie, p. 16). The Covenant Theologian also makes rather important dispensational distinctions even though he views them as related to the unifying and underlying Covenant of Grace. For example, Louis Berkhof, after rejecting the usual dispensational scheme of Bible distinctions, enumerates his own scheme of dispensations or administrations—the Old Testament dispensation and the New Testament dispensation. “However, within the Old Testament dispensation Berkhof lists four subdivisions, which although he terms them ‘stages in the revelation of the covenant of grace,’ are distinguishable enough to be listed.’” Thus, he recognizes five dispensations—four in the Old Testament and the New Testament dispensation (Ibid., citing Louis Berkhof, Systematic Theology (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1941), pp. 293-301).

“[T]he way in which the two systems meet [the] requirements [for a valid philosophy of history] affirms that dispensationalism is the more valid and helpful system” (Ibid., p. 17). First, Dispensationalists find the goal of history in the establishment of the millennial kingdom on earth, an optimistic view which insists that the glory of the sovereign God must be seen in the present heavens and earth. According to Dispensational Theology, all history moves toward the ultimate goal for God to glorify Himself by demonstrating that He alone is the sovereign God. Throughout Scripture, God is glorified. The First of the Ten Commandments, “Thou shalt have no other Gods before me,” an absolute, rock-hard rule, indicates that God wants to be glorified. Everything is seen in the Bible as being for His glory (See Showers pp. 50-51 for an excellent overview of Scripture that substantiates this point.). The successive dispensations glorify God by (1) demonstrating that God is sovereign throughout history despite Satan’s attempts to overthrow God’s rule and man’s rebellion against God since God can “hold man responsible to obey His methods of administering His rule and can judge man for his” disobedience; (2) “displaying the disorder and tragedy which result from the rejection of God’s rule;” and (3) by “progressively [moving] history toward the fulfillment of its God-intended climax” (Showers, pp. 50-51).

On the other hand, the Covenant Theologian seems pessimistic and sees the present struggle between good and evil terminated by the beginning of eternity at which point there will come catastrophe and divine judgment (Ryrie, pp. 17-18 citing Alva J. McClain, “A Premillennial Philosophy of History,” Bibliotheca Sacra 113 (April 1956): 113-14).

Second, in Covenant Theology, the unifying principle for the philosophy of history is the Covenant of Grace, a soteriological principle. Dispensational Theology has a unifying principle—the sovereign rule of God—which “ties the distinctions and progressive stages of revelation together and directs them toward the fulfillment of purpose in history” (Showers, p. 52). Dispensational Theology recognizes that the redemption of the elect plus many other programs are all parts of God’s purpose for history.

“In dispensationalism the [unifying] principle is theological or eschatological or doxological, for the differing dispensations reveal the glory of God as He manifests His character in the differing stewardships, which culminate in history with the millennial glory. This is not to say that dispensationalism fails to give salvation its proper place in the purpose of God…. If the goal of history is the earthly Millennium and if the glory of God will be manifest at that time in the personal presence of Christ in a way hitherto unknown, then the unifying principle of dispensationalism may be said to be eschatological (if viewed from the goal toward which we are moving) or theological (if viewed from the self-revelation of God in every dispensation) or doxological (if viewed from the perspective of the overall manifestation of the glory of God)” (Ryrie, pp. 17-18; see also, Showers, p. 53).

Third, Dispensationalism gives a proper place to the idea of development, whereas Covenant Theology does not. In Covenant Theology in practice there is extreme rigidity even though Covenant Theology does include in its system different modes of administration of the Covenant of Grace, and although those modes would give an appearance of an idea of progressiveness in revelation. Dispensational Theology states that each new dispensation requires a new revelation, thereby supplying the element of a proper concept of the progress of revelation. According to Dispensationalism, under different economies, God gives new revelation which is increasingly progressive in scope. The similarities in different dispensations are part of a progression of development by God rather than

  • “a result of employing the unifying principle of the covenant of grace…. Only dispensationalism can cause historical events and successions to be seen in their own light and not to be reflected in the artificial light of an overall covenant.
  • “Thus a correct philosophy of history with its requirements of a proper goal, a proper unifying principle, and a proper concept of progress is best satisfied by the dispensational system. Like the need for biblical distinctions, the proper concept of the philosophy of history leads to dispensationalism” (Ryrie, p. 19).

Three factors are indispensable to Dispensational Theology.

  1. First, Dispensational Theology recognizes the distinction between the nation Israel and the Church. Covenant Theology is convinced that Israel and the church are essentially the same. “The theological liberal, no matter how much he speaks of the Judaistic background of Christianity, recognizes that Christianity is different from Judaism” (Ryrie, p. 16; Showers, p. 52).
  2. Second, Dispensational Theology, unlike Covenant Theology, uses a single hermeneutic or method of interpreting Scripture—the historical-grammatical method. “If plain or normal interpretation is the only valid hermeneutical principle and if it is consistently applied, it will cause one to be a dispensationalist” (Ryrie, p. 16, see also, Showers, p. 53). “Covenant Theologians are well known for their use of nonliteral interpretation, especially when interpreting prophecy, and they are equally well known for their amillennialism, which is only the natural outcome of such a hermeneutic” (Ryrie, p. 20; Showers, p. 53).  Thus, the 144,000 of Revelation 7 cannot refer “to literal Israel, but the spiritual Israel, or the church, [etc.]” (Ryrie, p. 20, citing George E. Ladd, The Blessed Hope (Grand Rapids: Eardmans, 1956), 126).
  3. Third, Dispensational Theology recognizes that the ultimate purpose of history is the glory of God through the demonstration that He alone is the sovereign God, unlike Covenant Theology which advocates that the ultimate purpose of history is the glory of God through the redemption of the elect. “[A]lthough Dispensational Theology recognizes that the redemption of elect human beings is a very important part of God’s purpose for history, it is convinced that it is only one part of that purpose.” God is working out many other programs in addition to the program of redeeming people, all of which must be contributing something to the ultimate purpose of history (Showers, pp. 52-53).

Covenant Theology, “a system of theology which attempts to develop the Bible’s philosophy of history on the basis of two or three covenants,” “represents the whole of Scripture and history as being covered by those two or three covenants.” Covenant Theology began as a system in the 16th or 17th century and was introduced into America primarily through the Puritans (Ibid., pp. 7-8; see also, Ryrie, pp. 183-184).

This chapter will not examine Covenant Theology in detail, but some explanation is necessary. Some information will repeat some of the concepts discussed supra. This book is primarily concerned with Covenant Theology, as practiced in the American colonies by established churches (more on this in Section IV), and the resulting unbiblical practices including persecution of dissenters. The two or three covenants involved are called the Covenant of Redemption, the Covenant of Works, and the Covenant of Grace. One version of Covenant Theology combines the Covenant of Redemption with the Covenant of Grace. Covenant Theology teaches that God established the Covenant of Redemption in eternity past when God determined to provide redemption during the course of history for the elect. This Covenant placed requirements on the Lord Jesus Christ. God the Father gave the Son the responsibility of paying for the sin of Adam and His elect (those the Father had given Him). He could do that by keeping the law thereby assuring eternal life for His children (See, e.g., Showers, p. 9).

According to Covenant Theology, the Covenant of Works and the Covenant of Grace came after God created man. These covenants are deduced by Covenant Theologians and are not specified in Scripture. The Covenant of Works was established between the creation and fall of man. It required “implicit and perfect obedience of Adam” (Ibid., p. 10; see also, Ryrie, pp. 188-189). Adam broke the Covenant of Works after which God established the Covenant of Grace.

The Covenant of Grace has been defined as “that gracious agreement between the offended God and the offending but elect sinner, in which God promises salvation through faith in Christ, and the sinner accepts this believingly, promising a life of faith and obedience” (Showers, pp. 10-11; see also, Ryrie, p. 184 citing Berkhof, p. 277)  God is the first party to the covenant, and, depending upon the theologian, the second party is the sinner, the elect, or the elect sinner in Christ. Some people who never become regenerate are included in the Covenant of Grace since it exists as both ‘a communion of life’ experienced by only the regenerate and as a ‘purely legal relationship’ experienced by both believers and their children. The children of believers experience the Covenant of Grace as a legal relationship in four ways: They are in the Covenant (1) “as far as their responsibility [to repent and believe] is concerned;” (2) “in the sense that they may lay claim to the promises which God gave when He established His covenant with believers and their seed;” (3) “in the sense that they are subject to the ministrations of the covenant;” and (4) “as far as the common covenant blessings are concerned.” A person who is a child of the regenerate is regarded as a member of the covenant even if he does not enter into the communion of life aspect through a confession of faith (Showers, pp. 11-13).  As one Puritan preacher, in an attempt to remove objections of some against partaking of the Lord’s Supper because of fears of not being born again, preached in order to persuade them:

“The children of those who are members of the visible church are, by the constitution of God, from their first coming into existence, members of his kingdom in common with their parents. So it was under the Jewish dispensation; and so it is now, [under the Christian] if there is any validity in one of the principal arguments, by which we vindicate our practice, in baptizing the infants of those who are members of Christ’s church” (Isaac Backus, A History of New England With Particular Reference to the Denomination of Christians called Baptists, Volume 2 (Eugene, Oregon: Wipf & Stock Publishers, Previously published by Backus Historical Society, 1871), p. 171).

According to Covenant Theology, the main promise God made in the Covenant of Grace was: “I will … be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee (Ge. 17.7);” and “includes the following promises: temporal blessings, justification, adoption, eternal life, the Spirit of God with His many ministries, and final glorification” (Showers, p. 14, citing Berkhof, p. 277). Establishment of religion in Christianity depends upon this covenant. Isaac Backus taught, “All establishments of worship by human laws, that ever were erected under the Christian name, were built upon calling the covenant in Gen. xvii the covenant of grace.”

Mr. Backus goes on to point out that “Those who have seen the nature of original sin, cannot tell how to keep up the idea of children’s being born in the covenant of grace, without some regard to grace in their parents. And in the same chapter where the unbelieving consort is said to be sanctified by the believer, a widow is required to marry only in the Lord….” [He then refers to a parable wherein to make his point the author thereof describes a church which advised a member to marry a certain woman of grace in the church rather than a woman he loves who is not of grace. Of the woman of grace, the church says:]

  • “As to some trifles, which a carnal man would object to, it becomes you as a spiritual man, to make no objection. It is true, she is of a mean family, and a very weak understanding; she is peevish and fretful to the highest degree; her shape is semicircular; she is what the world calls monstrous ugly; every feature is adapted to mortify carnal desires, which is much better than to have them gratified; she is the queen of sluts, and without any polite education. But she has grace, saving grace; she is regenerated; let your grace wed with hers, and a sweet bride she will be. Moreover, she is past the flower of her age, and we suppose need so requires.”
  • Backus goes on to say that this parable can be applied to no church on earth, but says “[H]ow mean and spiteful it is to treat the Word Grace [in the manner treated by Covenant Theologians]! Affixing the word to the covenant of circumcision, where God never put it, is the source of [a difficulty of a church at Stockbridge where to be sanctified by the believer, a widow is required to marry only in the Lord]”. (Backus, A History of New England…, Volume 2, pp. 238-241.)

Most Covenant Theologians have divided postfall history into two dispensations, the Mosaic dispensation sometimes called the “Old Covenant,” and the Christian dispensation, usually called the “New Covenant;” and they claim that the Covenant of Grace, although administration of that covenant differed between the dispensations, exists throughout these dispensations. “[E]ach dispensation or covenant named in the Bible is simply another stage of the progressive revelation of the nature of the Covenant of Grace” (Showers, pp. 14-16, citing Berkhof, pp. 282-283 and Ernest Frederick Kevan, “Dispensation,” in Baker’s Dictionary of Theology, editor-in-chief, Everett F. Harrison (Grand Rapids; Baker Book House, 1960), p. 168).

Covenant Theology has both commendable and problem features. It is commendable in that it emphasizes the grace of God, the redemptive work of Christ, and salvation by grace through faith, recognizes Jesus Christ as the central figure of world history, and has exhibited a commendable motive in that it has made an honest attempt to be faithful to the Scriptures while expositing the biblical philosophy of history (Showers, p. 19).

On the other hand, Covenant Theology has many problems. Many of them are pointed out in this chapter as well as throughout this book. Several significant shortcomings of Covenant Theology follow, repeating some already discussed supra:

  1. First its “ultimate goal of history[, also discussed supra, the Glory of God through the redemption of the elect,] is too narrow….
  2. Second, Covenant Theology denies or weakens some of the distinctions which are in the Bible by insisting that distinctions are simply different phases of the same Covenant of Grace…. In addition, Covenant theology denies the existence of distinctive gospels in the Bible…. Covenant Theology insists that there is no essential distinction between the Mosaic Covenant (the Law) and the New Covenant…. Covenant theology also denies the distinction between the nation of Israel and the Church.…
  3. Third, Covenant Theology is mistaken when it teaches that each of the biblical covenants is a continuation and newer phase of the Covenant of Grace….
  4. Fourth, Covenant Theology’s unifying principle is too limited or narrow. [First, Covenant Theology is too limited in that it unifies history through the Covenant of Grace from either the fall of man or the time of Abraham. It is too narrow because it deals only with God’s redemption of the elect, and it does not unify the program of redemption with all God’s other programs.] Second, … it does not unify prefall history with postfall history, which a valid exposition of the biblical philosophy of history must do….
  5. Fifth, in order to make its system work, Covenant Theology must employ a double hermeneutic (a double system of interpretation)…” (Ibid., pp. 19-25 citing Berkof, pp. 298, 300; Bernhard W. Anderson, “The New Covenant and The Old,” in The Old Testament and Christian Faith, ed. by Bernard W. Anderson (New York: Herder and Herder, 1969), p. 232; and Johannes Behm, “kainos,” Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, Vol. III, ed. by Gerhard Kittel, trans. and ed. by Geoffrey W. Bromiley (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1965, pp. 447, 448, 449. See Showers for a more detailed explanation of the deficiencies listed.).

According to the Covenant Theologian, “the idea of dual covenants functioned as a warning against reliance on good works for salvation.” The Covenant of Works required obedience for salvation. According to the Covenant of Grace one could only be saved by faith in Christ (E. Brooks Holifield, Theology in America: Christian Thought from the Age of the Puritans to the Civil War (Ann Arbor, Michigan: Sheridan Books, 2003), p. 40).

Yet, the Covenant of Works remained in effect.

“This meant, first, that New Englanders whom God had not yet called effectually into salvation remained entirely under a covenant of works and subject to its moral restraint. It meant also, according to Cotton, that the burden of moral expectation should drive the sensitive conscience to Christ. It was ‘the usuall manner of God to give a Covenant of Grace by leading men first into a Covenant of works.’ Living under the covenant of works, Shepard explained, they would discover their sinfulness, and their ‘terrors, and fears, and hopes’ would turn them to Christ. And it meant, third, that even Christians safely within the covenant of grace remained subject to the moral substance of the first covenant. Abolished as a ‘covenant of life,’ Shepard said, the law still remained a ‘Rule of Life.’ These were the traditional three uses of the law in Reformed theology; covenantal language provided a lively way to restate them” (Ibid.).

Covenant Theologians teach that God’s commands are “too severe even for Adam in innocency, and that grace[, through the covenant of circumcision and its successor, baptism,] gives an exemption from that severity,” under the Covenant of Grace.

Covenant Theology, which does not recognize or correctly analyze the roles of the Old and New Covenants, is at odds with a correct interpretation of the Bible on this issue. Isaac Backus explained:

“[The law is holy, just, and good]; it [is] spiritual; but [man] a carnal slave to sin, instead of having such high dignity and liberty as he before imagined he had…. A false imagination of good in the forbidden fruit, drew our first parents into rebellion against God; and such imaginations are the only source of sin in all their children. James i. 14, 15. Good is still their pursuit, but they have lost the knowledge of who can give it, or of what it is; but the regenerate soul knows both, and this is the precise difference between them. Psalm iv. 6, 7. Who does not know that debtors and criminals are not fit judges in their own causes? [Y]et that is the case with all reasoners against the truth and perfection of God’s written word…. And to hear many speaking evil of things they know not, but what they know naturally as brute beasts, and in those things to corrupt themselves; to see them tread down the good pastures, and foul the deep waters, and thrust others with side and shoulder, serves to confirm believers in the truth of revelation, and in the hope of a speedy deliverance from such evil beasts. Jude 10. Ezek. xxxiv. 18, 25” (Backus, A History of New England…, Volume 2, p. 254).

To show that God has “disannulled the national covenant which he made with Abraham,” Backus offered the following insights:

  1. “First, Abraham had no right to circumcise any stranger, until he had bought him as a servant for money. Gen. xvii. 12, 13. But God says to his children, Ye are bought with a price, be not ye the servants of men. I Cor. vii. 23. And he says to his ministers, Feed the church of God which he hath purchased with his own blood. Acts xx. 28. He also says, Ye have sold yourselves for nought, and ye shall be redeemed without money. And this is the gospel of peace. Is. lii. 3, 7; Rom. x. 15. Thus do the apostles explain the prophets.
  2. Secondly, The children of Israel had no right to receive strangers into the church by households, until the day in which they came out of Egypt, when the Passover was instituted. And then God said, Every man’s servant that is bought for money, when thou hast circumcised him, then shall he eat thereof. Exod. xii. 44—48. Circumcision and the Passover were as binding upon servants as children; and both ordinances pointed to the blood of Christ, which he was to shed for his people. And in reference to that, God said, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah; not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers, in the day that I took them by the hand, to bring them out of the land of Egypt. Jer. xxxi. 31, 32. And an inspired apostle says, In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.  Heb. viii. 7—13; x. 9.  And can old and new, first and second, mean but one covenant? Surely no.
  3. Thirdly, Circumcision is the name which God gave to his covenant with Abraham. Acts vii. 8. And though Jews and Mahometans are still zealous for it, yet all Christians allow that circumcision is repealed. But after the apostolic age, men took away the name which God gave to that covenant, and added the name Grace to it; and they held that dominion is founded in grace. And from thence the nations have made merchandise of all the vanities of time, and of slaves and souls of men. But the plagues of Babylon will come upon all men who add to the word of God, and take away from the words of his book, if they refuse to come out of that practice. Rev. xviii. 4—13; xxii. 18, 19. And there is not a word in all the Bible for bringing any child to baptism without his own profession of faith in Christ, nor for forcing any man to support any religious minister; and all national churches are built upon these two superstitions.
  4. Fourthly, Circumcision was the shedding of human blood; and when Abraham received it, it was a seal of righteousness of the faith which he before had in Christ, in whom believers are justified by his blood. Rom. iv. 11, 23; v. 9; Gal. iii. 16; Gen. xv. 6; xvii. 24. It was a seal to him; but neither circumcision nor baptism are ever called seals to any other person in the Bible. But God says to true believers in Christ, In whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise. And he also says, Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Eph. i. 13; iv. 30. After believing in Christ, the Holy Spirit seals the merits of his death, and the promises of his grace to the soul. And all believers from the beginning, looked through the bloody ordinances which God appointed, to the blood of Christ for justification. And after the beast arose out of the bottomless pit, God said, All that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. Rev. xiii. 8. Force and cruelty is the general character of the beast; but Jesus, who is the root and offspring of David, will cause all evil beasts to cease out of the land. Ezek. xxxiv. 4, 25; Rev. xxii. 16.
  5. Fifthly, the believing Jews were suffered to go on in circumcision for a number of years past the death of Christ, and then God said to them, If ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. …. Whosoever of you are justified by the law, ye are fallen from grace. Gal. v.2—4. So far was the covenant of circumcision from being the covenant of grace. That bloody sign not only pointed to the death of Christ, but also to the death of all true believers in him. Therefore Paul says, I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God. I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. … The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance, against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s, have crucified the flesh, with the affections and lusts. Gal. ii. 19, 20; v. 22-24. Adam and Christ are the only two public heads of mankind, as to the great affairs of the soul and eternity. For as by one man’s disobedience, many were made sinners; so by the obedience of one, shall many be made righteous. Rom. v. 19. For parents to bring up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, is of infinite importance; but we can find no warrant for any to bring them to baptism without a personal profession of faith in Christ….
    “God said of Abraham, I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him. Gen. xviii. 19. He will and They shall, was the language of God’s covenant with Abraham; but I will, and They shall, is the language of the new covenant, since the death of Christ. Heb. viii. 10; x. 9. It was the will of God that the visible church should continue in the line of Abraham’s posterity, until Christ came and died for his people, and then the holy spirit was given, and believing Jews and Gentiles were united in his church. And they never were called Christians, until believing Gentiles were received into the church without circumcision….
    “[T]he holding that the children of believers are born into the covenant of grace, or that baptism can bring them into it, without their own knowledge or choice, is such a confounding of grace and works together as holds multitudes in blindness and bondage.” (Ibid., pp. 364-366, 371-372, 373).

We should look at the Dispensation of Grace to find the duties of believers today.

Who are the true seed of Abraham? Mr. Backus again correctly divided the Word of Truth in answering this question:

“Circumcision was only for males, but females are equally the subjects of baptism, which proves an essential change of the covenant. And our Lord gave the gospel commission to the eleven, who were all born again; and he said to them, Go teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy ghost; teaching them to observe all things, whatsoever I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen. Matt. xxviii. 16—20. This promise is only to his children, in the way of obedience to all his commandments. And as the covenant of circumcision gave Israel a right to buy the heathen for servants, and circumcision was only for the males, the gospel says to believers, Ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female; for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s then ye are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. Gal. iii.26—29. Abraham was an eminent type of Christ, and none are his spiritual seed but believers in Christ.” (Ibid., pp. 370-371).

Dispensationalism correctly explains the Covenants of Law and Grace. God made a covenant with the children of Israel called the Mosaic Covenant. The Mosaic Covenant of Law applied to an earthly people.

“The Mosaic Covenant (1) given to Israel (2) in three divisions, each essential to the others, and together forming the Mosaic Covenant, viz.: the Commandments, expressing the righteous will of God (Ex. 20.1-26; the ‘judgments,’ governing the social life of Israel (Ex. 21.1-24.11); and the ‘ordinances,’ governing the religious life of Israel (Ex. 24.12-31.18). These three elements form ‘the law,’ as that phrase is generically used in the New Testament (e.g. Mt. 5.17, 18). The Commandments and the ordinances formed one religious system. The Commandments were a ‘ministry of condemnation’ and of ‘death’ (2 Cor. 3.7-9); the ordinances gave, in the high priest, a representative of the people with Jehovah; and in the sacrifices a ‘cover’ (see ‘Atonement,’ Lev. 16.6 note) for their sins in anticipation of the Cross (Heb. 5.1-3; 9.6-9; Rom. 3.25, 26). The Christian is not under the conditional Mosaic Covenant of works, the law, but under the unconditional New Covenant of grace (Rom. 3.21-27; 6.14, 15; Gal. 2.16, 3.10-14, 16-18, 24-26; 4.21-31; Heb. 10.11-17).” (1917 Scofield Reference Edition, n. 1 to Ex. 20.4, p. 95).

Christ was the mediator of a better covenant, called the New Covenant “But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises” (He. 8.6. He.8.1-5 speaks of the Mosaic Covenant of Law).

“The New Covenant, Summary:

(1) “‘Better’ than the Mosaic Covenant, not morally, but efficaciously [or ‘as of having the power to produce the desired effect’] (Heb. 7.19 [‘For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God.’]; Rom. 8.3-4 [‘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.’]).
(2)  “Established on ‘better’ (i.e., unconditional) promises. In the Mosaic Covenant God said, ‘If ye will’ (Ex. 19.5-6a [‘Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine; And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation.’]); in the New Covenant, He says, ‘I will’ (Heb. 8.10, 12-13 [‘By the which we are all sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.’]).
(3)  “Under the Mosaic Covenant obedience sprang from fear (Heb. 2.2 [‘For if by the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward’]; 12.25-27 [‘See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven: Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.’]); under the New, from a willing heart and mind ([Heb. 8.]9-10 [‘Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:’]).
(4) “The New Covenant secures the personal revelation of the Lord to every believer (Heb. 8.11 [‘And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.’]);
(5) “the complete oblivion of sins ([Heb. 8.]12 [‘For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins, and their iniquities will I remember no more’]; Heb. 10.17 [‘And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.’]; cf. Heb. 10.3 [‘But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year.’]);
(6)  “rests upon an accomplished redemption (Mt. 26.27, 28 [‘And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.’]; 1 Cor. 11.25 [‘After the manner also he took the cup, when he supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me’]; Heb. 9.11, 12, 18-23 [‘But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. Whereupon neither the first testament was dedicated without blood. For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people. Saying, This is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you. Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry. And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should by purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.’]);
(7) “and secures the perpetuity, future conversion, and blessing of Israel (Jer. 31.31-40 [‘Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD:  But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more. Thus saith the LORD, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The LORD of hosts is his name: If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the LORD, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever. Thus saith the LORD; If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the LORD. Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that the city shall be built to the LORD from the tower of Hananeel unto the gate of the corner. And the measuring line shall yet go forth over against it upon the hill Gareb, and shall compass about to Goath. And the whole valley of the dead bodies, and of the ashes, and all the fields unto the brook of Kidron, unto the corner of the horse gate toward the east, shall be holy unto the LORD; it shall not be plucked up, nor thrown down any more for ever.]; see also ‘Kingdom (O.T.),’ and 2 Sam. 7.8-17). The New Covenant is the eighth, thus speaking of resurrection and of eternal completeness.” (1917 Scofield Reference Edition, n. 1 to He. 8.8, p.1297).

“In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away” (He. 8.12).

Covenant Theology has had clear consequences. Roger Williams pointed out, concerning the religious persecution based upon Covenant Theology: “He [that is, the established churches] that kills and he [those defined as heretics by the established churches] that is killed, they both cry out, ‘It is for God, and for their conscience” (Roger Williams and Edward Bean Underhill, The Bloudy Tenent of Persecution for Cause of Conscience Discussed and Mr. Cotton’s Letter Examined and Answered (London: Printed for the Society, by J. Haddon, Castle Street, Finsbury, 1848), p. 33, First published in 1644.). Only one side can be right, and the Bible shows that side to be the persecuted Baptists. Both protestants and papists, Williams continued, “pretend they have spoke with Moses and the prophets, who all, say they, before Christ came, allowed such holy persecutions [and] holy wars against the enemies of holy church” (Ibid., p. 34).

It is impossible for a Gentile nation prior to the return of Christ to operate as a true theocracy. As seen in Section I, Chapter 6 of God Betrayed (which is published on this website in an edited version), a theocracy is a “Government of a state by the immediate direction of God; or the state thus governed.” All alleged “Christian” theocracies (church over state, state over church, or a combination of church and state; called ecclesiocracies by the author) are only poor imitators of the one true God-ordained theocracy in Israel. God never told the church to work with the state, over the state, or under the state.

Israel, the only theocracy which has ever existed, operated as a theocracy only until the Israelites rejected God and demanded a king, and God acted on their request and gave them King Saul. In the theocracy, all ten of the commandments were enforced. While operating as a theocracy, Israel was directly under God, and God initially spoke directly to the leaders of the nation of Israel. After God allowed Israel, at Israel’s request, to be ruled by a king, the Jewish religion and the civil government no longer worked together, although God spoke to the kings of Israel through his chosen prophets.

God no longer speaks directly to leaders of civil government, to the leaders of church government, or to others. He speaks to believers, led by the Holy Spirit, through His Word, the Bible. This is consistent with the fact that He only ordained one theocracy, Israel, prior to the second return of Christ. Yet Covenant Theology united church and state, with the church taking the place of God in speaking directly to the civil government. As a result, the “church” used the strong arm of the state to enforce its own particular brand of religion, or the state itself enforced its preferred religion. The only way to justify such a union is to use a false interpretation of Scripture, an interpretation which, since it is based upon Satan’s principles, must have been developed by Satan himself and implemented either by his children or by children of God who were not walking in the spirit according to knowledge.

The most noticeable and atrocious consequence of all church-state and state-church unions has been the confiscation of property, dissemination of lies about “heretics” as defined by the state-church, and other persecutions such as the beating, torture, imprisonment, and killing of untold millions of people who have dissented from the views of the state-church. The ultimate result of church-state or state-church alliances is always the same—the alliance of church and state called for by a perverted interpretation of Scripture forces others to profess allegiance to the doctrines of the official church under penalty of persecution, thereby attempting to stamp out those who practice free will. The state-church or church-state enforces its own peculiar doctrines including all of the Ten Commandments among which are the first four commandments which deal with man’s relationship to God. In effect, it requires many to be dishonest with both man and God. Since no one can be forced to choose to believe a particular religious belief in their heart, a lot of religious hypocrites are thereby created.

As history shows, the official corrupted “church” was vile to the core. The reformers became especially aware of the corruption within the Roman “church.” Corruption is inevitable when church and state are intermixed.

To quote a great Bible teacher: “The church that sets out to spiritualize the world will soon find that the world will secularize the church. When wheat and tares compromise, it is the wheat that suffers. Light and darkness, right and wrong, good and evil, truth and error are incompatibles, and when they compromise it is the light, the right, the good, and the truth that are damaged” (W. Graham Scroggie, born 1877, twelve times the Bible teacher at the famous Keswick, England conference, They Knew Their God, Vol. 5, 194 cited in The Berean Call, February 2006, p. 5, available at www.thebereancall.org. Separation is a Biblical principle that runs throughout scripture—Pastor Hank Thompson gave a tremendous sermon on “Separation” on Sunday evening,February 12, 2006. Ask for notes on that sermon.).

As Pastor Hank Thompson, has preached: “Holy means set apart for God.  You cannot bring that which is holy and unholy together without making the holy things unholy. Holy things combined with unholy things do not make the unholy holy. It always makes the holy unholy. Being around someone who is sick may make a well person sick. Being around a well person won’t make a sick person well. If you are grounded and touch the ground and a power line at the same time, you are cooked. If you try to touch God and touch the world, you will be corrupted.” (“Separation.” Sermon preached at Capitol City Baptist Church in Austin, Texas by Pastor Hank Thompson,February 12, 2006).

The Holy Bible, the basic source for all truth proclaims: “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God: as God hath said, I will dwell in them and walk in them: and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore, come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters saith the Lord Almighty.” (2 Co. 6.14-18. The doctrine of separation is taught extensively in the Word of God.).

Just as the union of church and state corrupted the Roman “church” and society, it also corrupted the established Protestant churches and the nations which had established Protestant churches.

The church proceeded under the New Covenant, whereas the Jewish theocracy operated under the Mosaic covenant. Isaac Backus, in pointing out that Jesus did away with the Old Testament Covenant of Law, wrote:

“When our Savior came, he fulfilled the law, both moral and ceremonial, and abolished those hereditary distinctions among mankind. But in the centuries following, deceitful philosophy took away the name which God has given to that covenant, (Acts vii.8) [the covenant of circumcision] and added the name Grace to it; from whence came the doctrine, that dominion is founded in grace. And although this latter name has been exploded by many, yet the root of it has been tenaciously held fast and taught in all colleges and superior places of learning, as far as Christianity has extended, until the present time; whereby natural affection, education, temporal interest and self-righteousness, the strongest prejudices in the world, have all conspired to bind people in that way, and to bar their minds against equal liberty and believer’s baptism.” (Isaac Backus, An Abridgement to the Church History of New England (Boston: Harvard University, 1804; reprinted. 1935), p. 136. cited in Beller, America in Crimson Red…, p. 446).

Scriptures, other than those already cited to show that the church and state are not to wed or to enter into any kind of relationship, especially for persecution of those who do not submit to the official religion, teach that the church is not to enforce spiritual laws in society in general, even with the help of civil government. The Lord commanded that men not remove the tares “lest [they] root up also the wheat [the children of the kingdom]” (Mt. 13.24-30, 37-43). Instead, they are to be permitted to grow together until the harvest when the Lord shall send forth his angels to gather the tares and cast them into a furnace of fire (Ibid.). The Lord commanded His disciples to leave the Pharisees, whom He referred to as the “blind leading the blind,” alone because “every plant, which [His] heavenly father hath not planted, shall be rooted up” (Mt. 15.13-14). He told his disciples: “Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall in the ditch” (Mt. 15.14).

As Roger Williams noted, “This sentence against [the blind Pharisee], the Lord Jesus only pronounceth in his church, his spiritual judicature, and executes this sentence in part at present, and hereafter to all eternity. Such a sentence no civil judge can pass, such a death no civil sword can inflict” (Williams and Underhill, p. 97).

Other relevant scriptures dealing with the actions of a Christian against his enemies, those who curse, hate, despitefully use, persecute and disagree with him include:

  • “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so” (Mt. 5.44-47)?
  • The Lord said to his disciples, “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in they synagogues; [a]nd ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles” (Mt. 10.16-18). What sheep ever attacked a wolf or anything else?
  • “And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us. But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me. For he that is not against us is on our part. For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward” (Mk. 9.38. See also Lu. 9.49-50).
  • The Lord Jesus said to his disciples, James and John, who desired to command fire down from heaven to devour Samaritans who would not receive Him, “Ye know not what manner of spirit ye be of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them” (Lu. 9.55-56).
  • “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life of the sheep” (Jn. 10.10-11).
  • “And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, [i]n meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; [a]nd they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will” (2 Ti. 2.24-26).

The reason for not attempting to remove heretics, the tares, from the world seems to be, as Roger Williams noted:

  • “because they who now are tares, may hereafter become wheat; they who are now blind, may hereafter see; they that now resist him may hereafter receive him; that that are now in the devil’s snare, in adverseness to the truth, may hereafter come to repentance; they that are now blasphemers and persecutors, as Paul was, may in time become faithful as he; they that are now idolaters, as the Corinthians once were, 1 Cor. vi. 9, may hereafter become true worshippers as they; they that are now no people of God, nor under mercy, as the saints sometimes were 1 Pet. ii. 10, may hereafter become the people of God, and obtain mercy, as they.
  • “Some come not till the eleventh hour, Matt. xx. 6: if those that come not till the last hour should be destroyed, because they come not at the first, then should they never come, but be prevented” (Williams and Underhill, pp. 11-12).

Persecution of “heretics” is contrary to many New Testament teachings. True believers were promised that they would be persecuted, and never were told to persecute anyone. Jesus told the disciples that “the time cometh that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service” (Jn. 16.2. This was spoken directly to the apostles, but the Bible and history show that it is applicable to all believers who have been persecuted or will be persecuted for Christ’s sake. Christ is actually speaking to all who are not of the world, but are the chosen of God. See, e.g., Jn. 15.).

The promises to the Jew in the Old Testament were significantly different than the promises to the Christian in the New Testament. No greater example can be cited than the contrast between the Old Testament promises that Israel would prosper and be blessed materially if they would keep God’s commandments and statutes or that they would be judged if they failed to do so (See, e.g., Ex. 15.26; 19.5-8; 24.3, 7; 34.18-35.3; Le. 18.3-20.27; 20.22-23; 26 (read in conjunction with De. 28-30); De. 4-11; 12.30-31; 28-30; 28.1-68; I S. 12.1-5; 1 K. 6.12-13; 9.1-9; 2 Chr. 7.12-22; 15.1-7; etc.) and the New Testament promise to Christians that “all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” (2 Ti. 3.12).

The church and state wed at the invitation of the Roman Emperor Constantine early in the fourth century. Some churches married the state and became the officially recognized “church.” After that unholy union, the established Roman Catholic “church,” working hand in hand with the state, persecuted believers. The persecution was continued by the Protestant churches which came out of Roman Catholicism, and finally was brought to America and our colonies by the Puritans, Anglicans, and others.

Throughout these teachings, Scripture and arguments are presented which refute Covenant Theology. Section I, which deals with government, explains that God, because of His covenants with Israel, will establish Israel in the land he has given them. Section II, which deals with the church, shows that Christ desires to be the only head of the church, that He loves the church and gave Himself for it, and that the church is the bride and wife of Christ. The distinct differences between the church and state, as will be shown in Chapter 4 infra, render the two mutually exclusive, operating in different spheres—the civil government or the state operates in the earthly sphere and the church operates in the spiritual realm (although application of spiritual principles affect earthly actions).

The Covenant Theology examined in this book cannot coexist with free will. As will be shown in Section IV, the established churches in almost all the American colonies advocated either a church-state or state-church, unions of church and state under which the strong arm of the state punished, sometimes by death, (execution of dissidents in the colonies was forbidden by England after four Quakers were hanged in Massachusetts as will be explained in Section IV) those the state-church labeled as “heretics.” Had the official churches prevailed, America would not have the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. Thank God that Baptist dissenters led the fight that resulted in liberty of conscience guaranteed by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Endnotes

EN1 Why should believers, and especially pastors, be concerned about the area of church and state law? Because only through knowledge can they avoid dishonoring the Husband/Bridegroom/Head of their local church body and thereby failing to achieve their God-given goal—glorifying God and pleasing Him.

These articles systematically examine the biblical doctrines of church, state, separation of church and state and the application of those doctrines in America. For believers and churches, the information presented is—according to God’s Word—of great importance to our Lord. By reading and studying each article using the Bible as the standard, a believer will discover that the biblical principles are correct as presented. By studying the historical and legal facts presented—without bias, prejudice, illicit motive, or an overriding opposing agenda which has a vested interest in maintaining a status quo due to loss of finances, support or something else—and examining those facts in light of biblical principle, a qualified believer (a believer who has the necessary biblical, historical, and legal qualifications and education) can understand that the conclusions are correct.

That said, understanding the biblical principles, relevant history, and legal principles and facts is, first, impossible for one who is not a born again believer who is walking in the Spirit, and, second, daunting for even the spirit filled follower of Christ. Years of honest, open minded study is required to achieve the correct knowledge and understanding of all facets of church and state law. First, one must interpret Scripture correctly (See 2 Ti. 2:15) as to the relevant topics. After mastering the biblical principles, one must then labor through the annals of history, and the intricacies of law. In order to be qualified to comment upon the law, one must have an extensive legal education. He must understand how to do legal research and how to reach correct legal conclusions. Legal commentary by a pseudo lawyer can sound good to the untrained, while he may be correctly understood as frivolous and unlearned and probably heretical by the educated believer.

This is not to say that a non-lawyer cannot understand the legal and historical aspects of spiritual matters. In fact, the author knows some pastors and other believers who, having already correctly divided the Word of Truth and determined to seek to please God in all matters, have open minds and who have eagerly sought truth in the historical and legal church and state law arena. He is working with such a young pastor at this very moment. He is a brilliant young man who had mastered the Scriptures and Baptist history before the author met him. He excels the author in those matters, as do some other pastors and believers known by the author. Unlike most pastors, he does not have the disadvantages of having gone to either a secular or ecclesiastical (Baptist or otherwise) institution of higher learning. Secular colleges and universities usually corrupt even the most devout child of God; and religious colleges, institutions, and seminaries generally (with few exceptions, one of which the author has personal knowledge of)—by either mixing an ample dose of humanism with whatever biblically correct teaching they dose out; or by having totally having abandoned truth—likewise usually corrupt their students to one degree or another.

On the other hand, the author isvexed by what he reads in some books and websites concerning church and state law; particularly by some vicious, unfounded attacks upon the Biblical Law Center Declaration of Trust by unqualified, biased assailants who are attempting to mislead believers and churches through incorrect biblical and legal analyses and personal attacks upon and outright lies about those with whom they disagree in such matters.

Being a believer alone, even a pastor, does not by itself qualify one to teach on church and state law. The author has been a believer and faithful member of independent Baptist churches since his salvation. He was called by God to go to law school for His glory and to please Him. As a result of that calling, he obtained a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from one of the best law schools in the country and has practiced law for seventeen years. He has no motive for dishonesty. By design, he has never made a dime above expenses in his work in the church and state law arena. In fact, he has spent tens of thousands of dollars with total income of at most three to four thousand dollars in all the years he has worked in this area of law. Because of this he is beholden to no one and nothing but the truth and his Lord and Savior. Since becoming a lawyer, he has devoted untold thousands of hours in biblical, historical, and legal study and analysis of church and state law.

As always, he declares that if anyone can show him where he is in error, he will recant. Honest, loving believers have taught him much and caused him to modify some of his positions. He has also, in his continued studies, modified some of his conclusions and positions. However, he maintains his primary positions because neither he, through his continued studies, or others have shown him to be wrong about his basic church and state law principles and conclusions.

EN2. God Betrayed/Separation of Church and State: The Biblical Principles and the American Application (Link to preview of God Betrayed): may be ordered from Amazon by clicking the following link: God Betrayed on Amazon.com or from Barnes and Nobel by clicking the following link: God Betrayed on Barnes and Noble. All books by Jerald Finney as well as many of the books he has referenced and read may also be ordered by left clicking “Books” (on the “Church and State Law” website) or directly from Amazon by going to the following links: (1) Render Unto God the Things that Are His: A Systematic Study of Romans 13 and Related Verses (Kindle only); (2) The Most Important Thing: Loving God and/or Winning Souls (Kindle only); (3) Separation of Church and State/God’s Churches: Spiritual or Legal Entities? (Link to preview of Separation of Church and State/God’s Churches: Spiritual or Legal Entities?) which can also be ordered by clicking the following Barnes and Noble link: Separation of Church and State on Barnes and Noble.

God is the God of Israel


Jerald Finney
Copyright © September 12, 2011


Click here to go to “Self-exam Questions on God Is the God of Israel”


Preface

This article is a continuation of Jerald Finney’s systematic development of the doctrines, application, history, and legalities of “separation of church and state.”  See Endnote for information on books by Jerald Finney which thoroughly examine “separation of church and state law.” This article is an edited version of Section I, Chapter 8 of the book God Betrayed/Separation of Church and State: The Biblical Principles and the American Application which is available free in both PDF and online form or may be ordered in softback and Kindle by going to Order information for books by Jerald Finney. (Link to preview of God Betrayed). (Link to Contents of “Separation of Church and State Law” Blog which has links so that the new follower can start his study at the beginning. “Line upon line, precept upon precept.”).


God is the God of Israel

Take the GOSPEL to the Jews is an excellent online teaching on believers’ responsibilities to the Jews.

IsraeliFlagThis chapter will prove from the Bible that God is the God of Israel and that nations who bless Israel will be blessed and those who curse her will be cursed. That does not necessarily mean that nations should interfere with Israel in her foreign policy and actions against foreign nations. God was never pleased with Judah or Israel when they turned to other nations for military help. He always made clear that He would preserve Israel and assure victory if Israel would love Him, keep his statutes and commandments, and depend upon Him as their deliverer. So that the reader does not apply biblical teaching concerning the treatment of Israel by other nations to individuals and churches, this teaching will be prefaced by a summary biblical teaching concerning God’s directions to believers and churches concerning their treatment of the Jews and Israel. Many believers take verses such as those where God says to Israel that He would bless those that bless her and curse those who curse her to mean that Christians as individuals and churches are never to say anything against Israel and/or Jewish people and support Israel and the Jews in whatever they do. The words of God spoken to the Israelites through the Old Testament Prophets and the treatment of those prophets by non-believing Jews as well by the words spoken to the non-believing Jews by believers within God’s New Testament churches and the resulting persecutions of those believers by the Jews makes clear the God-given responsibilities of individual believers and churches towards the Jews. The author can understand how believers can misunderstand these matters because he believed the Christian revisionism he had been subjected to concerning these matters before the teaching of a dear Christian brother then and his new Pastor, Jason Cooley, along with many years of dedicated Bible study.

14These prefatory remarks are intended to make clear that believers and churches should not laud present day Israel or individual Jews for wickedness any more than they should praise the nation and people of America or any other nation for their wicked teachings, laws, and deeds. The Bible makes clear the God-given commission of believers and churches. God Himself has made clear in His Word that the Jews were and are, like all people, wicked and a stiffnecked. The Old Testament is repleat with God’s continual warnings to Israel of the consequences of evil actions including rebellion against Him. As one reads through the Old Testament, he cannot miss the fact that the Israelites, except for an always present remnant, were rebellious, wicked, and stiffnecked. Here are a very few of many Old Testament verses which make that clear.

  1. 15Exodus 32:9-10  “And the LORD said unto Moses, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiffnecked people: Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee a great nation.” The Lord said this because of what the Jews did while Moses was on the mountain. They built an idol and offered a sacrifice to it. Upon returning 3,000 men were killed.
  2. Exodus 33:3     ‘Unto a land flowing with milk and honey: for I will not go up in the midst of thee; for thou art a stiffnecked people: lest I consume thee in the way.”
  3. Deuteronomy 9:6-29 (Moses recounts the transgressions of the Israelites)  “6 Understand therefore, that the LORD thy God giveth thee not this good land to possess it for thy righteousness; for thou art a stiffnecked people. 7 Remember, and forget not, how thou provokedst the LORD thy God to wrath in the wilderness: from the day that thou didst depart out of the land of Egypt, until ye came unto this place, ye have been rebellious against the LORD….”
  4. Isaiah 63.1-6. The day of vengeance. Isaiah 63:7-19  I will mention the lovingkindnesses of the LORD, and the praises of the LORD, according to all that the LORD hath bestowed on us, and the great goodness toward the house of Israel, which he hath bestowed on them according to his mercies, and according to the multitude of his lovingkindnesses. For he said, Surely they are my people, children that will not lie: so he was their Saviour. In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old. But they rebelled, and vexed his holy Spirit: therefore he was turned to be their enemy, and he fought against them. Then he remembered the days of old, Moses, and his people, saying, Where is he that brought them up out of the sea with the shepherd of his flock? where is he that put his holy Spirit within him?  That led them by the right hand of Moses with his glorious arm, dividing the water before them, to make himself an everlasting name? That led them through the deep, as an horse in the wilderness, that they should not stumble? As a beast goeth down into the valley, the Spirit of the LORD caused him to rest: so didst thou lead thy people, to make thyself a glorious name. Look down from heaven, and behold from the habitation of thy holiness and of thy glory: where is thy zeal and thy strength, the sounding of thy bowels and of thy mercies toward me? are they restrained?  Doubtless thou art our father, though Abraham be ignorant of us, and Israel acknowledge us not: thou, O LORD, art our father, our redeemer; thy name is from everlasting.  O LORD, why hast thou made us to err from thy ways, and hardened our heart from thy fear? Return for thy servants’ sake, the tribes of thine inheritance. The people of thy holiness have possessed it but a little while: our adversaries have trodden down thy sanctuary. We are thine: thou never barest rule over them; they were not called by thy name.
Jewish religious leaders kill Stephen, a Jew (Acts 7)
Jewish religious leaders kill Stephen, a Jew (Acts 7)

Believers within God’s churches continued to preach to the Jews Jesus, for which Jews, except for a remnant who believed, sought to persecute and kill them. Here are a few of many New Testament verses which show this to be true:

  1. Acts 2:14-36 [Peter’s first sermon after Pentecost, addressed to lost Jews. He preached salvation through Christ to the Jews, as the apostles thereafter always did.] Notice thereafter that lost Jews constantly sought to persecute and kill Christians.
  2. Acts 7 “… [51-53:  Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye. Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers: Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it. [see vv. 54-60 for the reaction of the Jews toward Stephen, a saved Jew] …”
  3. 1 Thessalonians 2:14-16 “For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judaea are in Christ Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews: Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men:  Forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved, to fill up their sins alway: for the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost.”

PaulThus, churches and pastors who put their names on Israeli missiles in the name of Jesus do not correctly divide the Word of Truth in regards to the Jews. The God-given role of believers as to treatment of the Jews is to preach salvation through Jesus, which includes being clear that the only way to salvation and all that follows salvation is through the blood of Jesus. Most Jews just like other non-believing pagans, as always, reject the Gospel, and persecute believers who proclaim the truth to them, when they get the chance. However, according to Scripture, a nation who blesses the nation Israel will be blessed and a nation who curses the nation Israel will be cursed. (See the teaching that follows).

God promised the nation Israel He would bless those that bless her and curse those who curse her. This promise was for all time. No such promise was ever given to any other nation. David understood this. He said 1to the Lord after the Lord proclaimed to him what is called the Davidic Covenant: “And what one nation in the earth is like thy people, even like Israel, whom God went to redeem for a people to himself, and to make him a name, and to do for you great things and terrible, for thy land, before thy people, which thou redeemedst to thee from Egypt, from the nations and their gods? For thou hast confirmed to thyself thy people Israel to be a people unto thee for ever: and thou, LORD, art become their God. And now, O LORD God, the word that thou hast spoken concerning thy servant, and concerning his house, establish it for ever, and do as thou hast said…. And let thy name be magnified for ever, saying, The LORD of hosts is the God over Israel: and let the house of thy servant David be established before thee” (2 S. 7.23-26).

To suggest that Israel has only the rights God has given to all nations is a shocking rejection of clear biblical teaching! God distinctly tells Israel that He has “separated [and] severed [her] from other people” (Le. 20.24, 26) and that she will not be “reckoned among the nations” (Nu.23.9) because He loved Israel and chose her to be a “special people … above all people:” “For thou [Israel] art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were 16more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people: But because the LORD loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharoah king of Egypt” (De. 7.6-9).

God promises repeatedly, “O Israel … I am with thee … to save thee: though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee” (Je. 30.10-11).

“The Bible identifies the true god as ‘the God of Israel’ 203 times, ‘the God of Jacob’ 28 times, ‘the God of Abraham’ 17 times, and ‘the God of Isaac’ 13 times. Never is He called the God of any other ethnic group. These designations are foundational to everything the Bible teaches, including the character of God. To profess to believe in God and at the same time to hold a prejudice against God’s chosen people, the Jews, or against Israel, which turns these clear biblical identifications into meaningless titles, casts doubt upon whether one really knows the true God” (Dave Hunt, “God of Jacob, God of Israel, Part I,” The Berean Call, August 2006, Vol. XXI, No. 8, pp. 3, 5. See Matthew 22.29-31; See article for more good information on those who think the covenant with Israel was broken.  See also, Dave Hunt, “God of Jacob, God of Israel, Part II,” The Berean Call, September 2006, Vol. XXI, No. 9, pp. 3-4).

The land of Israel was unconditionally given to Abraham and to his seed in the Abrahamic Covenant: “Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran” (Ge. 12.1-4). God said to Abraham, “For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever” (Ge. 12.1-4); “And he said unto him, I am the LORD that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it” (Ge. 15.7).

6“The Abrahamic Covenant as formed (Gen. 12.1-4) and confirmed (Gen. 13.14-17; 15.1-7; 17.1-8) is in seven distinct parts:

  1. “‘I will make of thee a great nation.’ Fulfilled in a threefold way: (a) In a natural posterity—‘as the dust of the earth’ (Gen. 13.16; John 8.37), viz. the Hebrew people. (b) ‘In a spiritual posterity—look now toward heaven … so shall thy seed be’ (John 8.39; Rom. 4.16, 17; 9.7, 8; Gal. 3.6, 7, 29, viz. all men of faith, whether Jew or Gentile.) Fulfilled also through Ishmael (Gen. 17.18-20).
  2. “I will bless thee.’ Fulfilled in two ways: (a) temporally (Gen. 13.14, 15, 17; 15.18; 24.34, 35); (b) spiritually (Gen. 15.6; John 8.56).
  3. “‘And make thy name great.’ Abraham’s is one of the universal names.
  4. “‘And thou shalt be a blessing.’ (Gal. 3.13, 14).
  5. “‘I will bless them that bless thee.’ In fulfillment closely related to the next clause.
  6. “‘And curse him that curseth thee.’ Wonderfully fulfilled in the history of the dispersion.  It has invariably fared ill with the people who have persecuted the Jew—well with those who have protected him. The future will still more remarkably prove this principle (Deut. 30.7; Isa. 14.1, 2; Joel 3.1-8; Mic. 5.7-9; Hag. 2.22; Zech. 14.1-3; Mt. 25.40, 45).
  7. “‘In thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed.’ This is the great evangelic promise fulfilled in Abraham’s Seed, Christ (Gal. 3.16; John 8.56-58). It brings into greater definiteness the promise of the Adamic Covenant concerning the Seed of the woman (Gen. 3.15).

“NOTE.—The gift of the land is modified by prophecies of three dispossessions and restorations (Gen. 15.13, 14, 16; Jer. 25.11, 12; Deut. 28.62-65; 30.1-3). Two dispossessions and restorations have been accomplished. Israel is now in the third dispersion, from which she will be restored at the return of the Lord as King under the Davidic Covenant (Deut. 30.3; Jer. 23.5-8; Ezk. 37.21-25; Lk. 1.30-33; Acts 15.14-17)” (1917 Scofield Reference Edition, n. 3 p. 24 to Ge. 15.18. This notation was made before the Jews were restored to the land in 1948. But even then, there was not a complete restoration to all the land that God gave to the Jews nor did God Himself perform that restoration although Isaiah prophesied it (See Isaiah 66).).

TerritoryOfAncientIsraelThus God made three kinds of promises in the Abrahamic Covenant: (1) personal promises to Abraham, (2) national promises concerning Israel, and (3) universal promises that would affect all the people of the world (Renald E. Showers, There Really Is a Difference: A Comparison of Covenant and Dispensational Theology (Bellmawr, New Jersey: The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry, 1990), pp. 57-58). Some of those promises have been fulfilled, but His promises “to give the land of Canaan for an everlasting possession to Abraham’s physical descendants (Genesis 17.8) and to give the Abrahamic Covenant for an everlasting covenant to those same descendants (Genesis 17.7, 19)” have not yet been fulfilled (Ibid., p. 59).

The Abrahamic Covenant was an everlasting covenant dependent upon God and not upon what Abraham did. A theological controversy surrounds this issue, but the author is convinced beyond all doubt that the covenant is everlasting (Ibid., pp. 60-68: Renald E. Showers sums up the dispensational arguments against the conditional position.).

Palestinian_1As pointed out above, Israel entered the land under Joshua after Israel wandered forty years in the wilderness under the conditional Palestinian Covenant. The Palestinian Covenant, which was established by God with Israel after He gave the Mosaic Covenant, was separate from the Mosaic Covenant.  “These are the words of the covenant, which the LORD commanded Moses to make with the children of Israel in the land of Moab, beside the covenant which he made with them in Horeb” (De. 29.1). In conjunction with the covenant, God made very significant promises to Israel: “And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath driven thee, And shalt return unto the LORD thy God, and shalt obey his voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul; That then the LORD thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath scattered thee. If any of thine be driven out unto the outmost parts of heaven, from thence will the LORD thy God gather thee, and from thence will he fetch thee: And the LORD thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it; and he will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers. And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live. And the LORD thy God will put all these curses upon thine enemies, and on them that hate thee, which persecuted thee. And thou shalt return and obey the voice of the LORD, and do all his commandments which I command thee this day. And the LORD thy God will make thee plenteous in every work of thine hand, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy land, for good: for the LORD will again rejoice over thee for good, as he rejoiced over thy fathers: If thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which are written in this book of the law, and if thou turn unto the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul” (De. 30.1-10).

These promises are to be fulfilled with literal, not spiritual, Israel, and reveal that God always leaves the way open for unfaithful Israel to be reconciled to Him. The final fulfillment of these promises to Israel is in the future. Since God intends to fulfill these promises to Israel when all the curse of Deuteronomy 28 concerning the nation Israel has been completed, this shows that literal Israel, as distinguished from the church (identified by some theologians as spiritual Israel), will survive the curse of God. God’s promise to restore Israel to the land which he gave to Abraham and his descendents when all the curse of Deuteronomy 28 has been fulfilled is another guarantee of Israel’s permanent ownership of that land. The Word of God in the promises of the Palestinian Covenant guarantees that literal Israel will repent and become saved in the future (Bible teaching on this is outlined in this article, infra. See also, Showers, pp. 81-82).

3DavidicThe future blessing of Israel as a nation rests upon the Palestinian Covenant of restoration and conversion and the Davidic Covenant of the Kingship of the Messiah, David’s Son, and this gives to predictive prophecy its Messianic character. The exaltation of Israel is secured in the kingdom, and the kingdom takes its power to bless from the Person of the King, David’s Son, but also “Emmanuel.” The interpretation of “Emmanuel” is “God with us” (Mt. 1.23).

Later, after Israel rejected the theocracy and demanded a king, and after God anointed David as King, God made a covenant with David: “Now therefore so shalt thou say unto my servant David, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I took thee from the sheepcoat, from following the sheep, to be ruler over my people, over Israel: [a]nd I was with thee whithersoever thou wentest, and have cut off all thine enemies out of thy sight, and have made thee a great name, like unto the name of the great men that are in the earth. Moreover I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more; neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more, as beforetime.  “And as since the time that I commanded judges to be over my people Israel, and have caused thee to rest from all thine enemies. Also the LORD telleth thee that he will make thee an house. And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom.  He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever. I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men: [b]ut my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee. And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever. According to all these words, and according to all this vision, so did Nathan speak unto David” (2 S. 7.8-17. “Although this passage does not call God’s promises to David a covenant, other passages clearly indicate that God was establishing a covenant with His servant (2 Sam. 23:5; 2 Chr. 7:18; 21:7; Ps. 89:3-4, 28-29, 34-37; Jer. 33.19-26).” Showers, p. 85.).

The Davidic Covenant, “upon which the glorious kingdom of Christ ‘of the seed of David according to the flesh’ is to be founded, secures:

  1. “A Davidic ‘house’; i.e. posterity, family.
  2. “A ‘throne’; i.e. royal authority.
  3. “A kingdom; i.e. sphere of rule.
  4. “In perpetuity; ‘for ever.’
  5. “And this fourfold covenant has but one condition: disobedience in the Davidic family is to be visited with chastisement, but not to the abrogation of the covenant (2 Sam. 7.15; Psa. 89.20-37; Isa. 24.5; 54.3). The chastisement fell; first in the division of the kingdom under Rehoboam, and finally, in the captivities (2 Ki. 25.1-7). Since that time but one King of the Davidic family has been crowned at Jerusalem and He was crowned with thorns. But the Davidic Covenant confirmed to David by the oath of Jehovah, and renewed to Mary by the angel Gabriel, is immutable (Psa. 89.30-37), and the Lord God will yet give to that thorn-crowned One ‘the throne of his father David’ (Lk. 1.31-33; Acts 2.29-32; 15.14-17)” (1917 Scofield Reference Edition, n. 2 to 2 S. 7.16, p. 362 (see also, 1 Chr. 17.7-15)).

assyrianCaptivityUtterly violating the conditions of the Palestinian Covenant, the nation was first disrupted (1 K. 12) and then cast out of the land (2 K. 17.1-18; 14.1-25.11). The dispersion was for disobedience, as foretold by God:

  1. “And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath driven thee, And shalt return unto the LORD thy God, and shalt obey his voice according to all thine heart, and with all thy soul; That then the LORD thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee from all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath scattered thee” (De. 30.1-3).
  2. “The LORD shall cause thee to be smitten before thine enemies: thou shalt go out one way against them, and flee seven ways before them: and shalt be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth…. And it shall come to pass, that as the LORD rejoiced over you to do you good, and to multiply you; so the LORD will rejoice over you to destroy you, and to bring you to nought; and ye shall be plucked from off the land whither thou goest to possess it. And the LORD shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other; and there thou shalt serve other gods, which neither thou nor thy fathers have known, even wood and stone” (De. 28.25, 63-64. See also, Le. 26.32-39).

547bc-1650A temporary dispersion within was prophesied, to come before the extended dispersion. “The LORD shall bring thee, and thy king which thou shalt set over thee, unto a nation which neither thou nor thy fathers have known; and there shalt thou serve other gods, wood and stone” (De. 28.36). This refers to Babylonian captivity of 70 years prophesied by Jeremiah: “And this whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years. And it shall come to pass, when seventy years are accomplished, that I will punish the king of Babylon, and that nation, saith the LORD, for their iniquity, and the land of the Chaldeans, and will make it perpetual desolations” (Je. 25.11-12. God gives explicit details of what will happen in that dispersion in Deuteronomy 28.35-62.).

God, through Moses, told Israel that her continued disobedience would be punished by a worldwide dispersion: “And it shall come to pass, that as the LORD rejoiced over you to do you good, and to multiply you; so the LORD will rejoice over you to destroy you, and to bring you to nought; and ye shall be plucked from off the land whither thou goest to possess it. And the LORD shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other; and there thou shalt serve other gods, which neither thou nor thy fathers have known, even wood and stone” (De. 28.63-64. See verses 63-68).

The Lord Jesus confirmed Moses’ words: “And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled” (Lu. 21.24). After the siege and total destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. almost all Judea became a desert and remained that way for nineteen-hundred and fifty years until 1948. Of course, the 948 return of Israel is not the final return of the Jews which will be brought about by the Lord.

The Messiah Will Change And Save The Jews
The Messiah Will Change And Save The Jews

But the same covenant unconditionally promises a national restoration of Israel which is yet to be fulfilled. We see this in many prophecies, of which the following is a fairly complete listing:

  1. “… The Lord shall “recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, From Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. 12 And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth…” (Is. 11.10-16).
  2. Isaiah 12 describes the worship of the kingdom.
  3. Isaiah 14: The kingdom set up and Israel restored and exalted. “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…. The whole earth is at rest, and is quiet: they break forth into singing…. For the LORD of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it? and his hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back…” (Is. 14.1, 7, 27)?
  4. “And it shall come to pass in that day, that the LORD shall beat off from the channel of the river unto the stream of Egypt, and ye shall be gathered one by one, O ye children of Israel. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the great trumpet shall be blown, and they shall come which were ready to perish in the land of Assyria, and the outcasts in the land of Egypt, and shall worship the LORD in the holy mount at Jerusalem” (Is. 27.12-13).
  5. “Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west; I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth.” (Is. 43.5-6).
  6. But Israel shall be saved in the LORD with an everlasting salvation: ye shall not be ashamed nor confounded world without end” (Is. 45.17).
  7. Isaiah 48 explains that Israel will be restored & why. “Because I knew that thou art obstinate, and thy neck is an iron sinew, and thy brow brass…. Yea, thou heardest not; yea, thou knewest not; yea, from that time that thine ear was not opened: for I knew that thou wouldest deal very treacherously, and wast called a transgressor from the womb. For my name’s sake will I defer mine anger, and for my praise will I refrain for thee, that I cut thee not off…. For mine own sake, even for mine own sake, will I do it: for how should my name be polluted? And I will  not give my glory unto another” (Is. 48.4, 8-9, 11). [Bold emphasis mine.]
  8. Isaiah 49.8-21: Israel to be preserved & restored.
  9. Isaiah 49.22-26: judgment on Israel’s oppressors. “And kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and their queens thy nursing mothers: they shall bow down to thee with their face toward the earth, and lick up the dust of thy feet; and thou shalt know that I am the LORD: for they shall not be ashamed that wait for me…. And I will feed them that oppress thee with their own flesh; and they shall be drunken with their own blood, as with sweet wine: and all flesh shall know that I the LORD am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob” (Is. 49.23, 26).
  10. “… For the LORD shall comfort Zion: he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the LORD; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody…” (Is. 51.3).
  11. “… when the LORD shall bring again Zion…. For the LORD hath comforted his people, he hath redeemed Jerusalem” (Is. 52.8, 9).
  12. Isaiah 54 describes Israel the restored wife of Jehovah & security and blessing of restored Israel.
  13. Isaiah 61.3-11; 62: The restoration of Israel. Isaiah 65.17-66.24: The eternal blessing of Israel in the new earth.
  14. Isaiah 65.1-16 tells of all the bad things Israel, the rebellious people had done. Isaiah 65.17-25 tells of the eternal blessing of Israel in the new earth. Verse 17 looks beyond the kingdom-age to the new heavens and the new earth, but verses 18-25 describe the kingdom-age itself.  Longevity is restored, but death, the “last enemy” (1 Corinthians 15.26), is not destroyed till after Satan’s rebellion at the end of the thousand years (Revelation 20.7-14).
  15. “[A]nd I will bring them again into their land that I gave unto their fathers” (Je. 16.15c; see Je. 16.14-16).
  16. Jeremiah 23.1-40: the future restoration and conversion of Israel. This chapter tells the bad things the nation, the prophets, the priests, the people had done, and also states. “And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase…. Behold, the days come saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS” (Je. 23.3, 5-6).
  17. Jeremiah 24 speaks of both the good and the evil and the good people who will be deported & the evil who remain in Judah and those who dwell in Egypt. God says he will remove the evil “into all the kingdoms of the earth for their hurt, to be a reproach and a proverb, a taunt and a curse, in all places whither I shall drive them … and will send the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, among them, till they be consumed from off the land that I gave unto them and their fathers” (Je. 24.9-10). But He will “set [his] eyes upon them for  good, and … will bring them again to this land: and … will build them, and not pull them down; and … will plant them, and not pluck them up” (Je. 24.6).
  18. Jeremiah 30.8-11, 16-24; 31; 32.37-44: Israel will be restored. “Behold, I will bring them from the north country, and gather them from the coasts of the earth, and with them the blind and the lame, the woman with child and her that travaileth with child together: a great company shall return thither…. Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people…” (Je. 31.8, 31-33).
  19. “Because of all the evil of the children of Israel and of the children of Judah, which they have done to provoke me to anger, they their kings, their princes, their priests, and their prophets, and the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. [in verses 33-35 their abominations given]…. Behold, I will gather them out of all countries, whither I have driven them in mine anger, and` in my fury, and in great wrath; and I will bring them again unto this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely: And they shall be my people, and I will be their God: and I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear me for ever, for the good of them, and of their children after them: And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, and they shall not depart from me. Yea, I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will plant them in this land assuredly with my whole heart and with my whole soul…” (Je. 32.32, 37-41).
  20. Jeremiah 33: God will restore Israel and Judah. “And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity, whereby they have sinned against me; and I will pardon all their iniquities, whereby they have sinned, and whereby they have transgressed against me…. Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will perform that good thing which I have promised unto the house of Israel and to the house of Judah. In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land. In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The LORD our righteousness…” (Je. 33.8, 14-16).
  21. “But fear thou, O my servant Jacob, and be not dismayed, O Israel: for, behold, I will save thee from afar off, and thy seed from the land of their captivity; and Jacob shall return, and be in rest and at ease, and none shall make him afraid. Fear thou not, O Jacob my servant, saith the LORD: for I am with thee; for I will make a full end of all the nations whither I have driven thee: but I will not make a full end of thee, but correct thee in measure; yet will I not leave thee wholly unpunished” (Je. 46.27-28).
  22. “And I will bring Israel again to his habitation, … for I will pardon them whom I reserve.” “For Israel hath not been forsaken, nor Judah of his God, of the LORD of hosts; though their land was filled with sin against the Holy One of Israel” (Je. 50.19-20, 51.5).
  23. Ezekiel 11.17-21: Israel to be restored to the land and converted.
  24. Ezekiel 16.60-63: The promise of future blessing under the Palestinian Covenant and the New Covenant. “Nevertheless I will remember my covenant with thee in the days of thy youth, and I will establish unto thee an everlasting covenant. Then thou shalt remember thy ways, and be ashamed, when thou shalt receive thy sisters, thine elder and thy younger: and I will give them unto thee for daughters, but not by thy covenant. And I will establish my covenant with thee; and thou shalt know that I am the LORD: That thou mayest remember, and be confounded, and never open thy mouth any more because of thy shame, when I am pacified toward thee for all that thou hast done” (Eze. 16.60-63).
  25. “When I shall have gathered the house of Israel from the people among whom they are scattered, and shall be sanctified in them in the sight of the heathen, then shall they dwell in their land that I have given to my servant Jacob. And they shall dwell safely therein, and shall build houses, and plant vineyards; yea, they shall dwell with confidence, when I have executed judgments upon all those that despise them round about them; and they shall know that I am the LORD their God” (Eze. 28.25-26).
  26. Ezekiel 34.11-31. Israel to be restored and the Davidic kingdom to be set up. “… [I] will deliver [my sheep] out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day. And I will bring them out from the people, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places of the country. I will feed them in a good pasture, and upon the high mountains of Israel shall their fold be: there shall they lie in a good fold, and in a fat pasture shall they feed upon the mountain of Israel…. And I will set up on e shepherd over them, and he shall feed them even my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd. And I the LORD will be their God, and my servant David a prince among them; I the LORD have spoken it…” (Eze. 34.12-14, 23-24).
  27. Notice the reason God restores Israel: “Therefore say unto the house of Israel, thus saith the Lord GOD; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name’s sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went. And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, saith the Lord GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes. Not for your sakes I do this saith the Lord GOD, be it known unto you: be ashamed and confounded for your own ways, O house of Israel” (Eze. 36.22-23, 32. One purpose for God setting aside the nation of Israel was to point other nations to God. Israel failed miserably. See Eze. 36 and many other passages in the OT.  Man always fails.  Only God succeeds.  As was mentioned in Chapter 2 above, the God-given purpose of man is to glorify God, but man seeks his happiness, and seeks not the glory of God.). [Bold emphasis mine.]
  28. “Jehovah gives [in Ezekiel 37] the method of the restoration of the nation. The “bones” are the whole house of Israel who shall then be living. The “graves” are the nations where they dwell. The order of the procedure is: (1) the bringing of the people out (v12); (2) the bringing of them in (v12); (3) their conversion (v13); (4) the filling with the Spirit (v14). The symbol of the 2 sticks follows. The 2 sticks are Judah and the ten tribes; united, they are one nation (vs. 19-21). Then follows (vs 21-27) the plain declaration as to Jehovah’s purpose, and verse 28 implies that then Jehovah will become known to the Gentiles in a marked way.  This is also the order of Acts 15.16, 17, and the two passages strongly indicate the time of full Gentile conversion.  See also Isa. 11.10” (1917 Scofield Reference Edition, n. 1 to Eze. 37.1, p. 881).
  29. “Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore. My tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And the heathen shall know that I the LORD do sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for evermore” (Eze. 37.26-28).
  30. Ezekiel 39.25-29: Vision of restored and converted Israel. “Then they shall know that I am the LORD their God, which caused them to be led into captivity among the heathen: but I have gathered them unto their own land, and have left none of them any more there” (Eze. 39.28).
  31. Ezekiel 40.1-48.35: Israel in the land during the kingdom-age. Vision of the future temple. Vision of the glory of the Lord filling the temple. The place of the throne of the future kingdom. The measure of the altar.  The offerings. 43.19-27. The gate for the prince. The priests of the future temple. Etc.
  32. Ezekiel 43.7-12: The place of the throne of the future kingdom. “And he said unto me, son of man, the  place of my throne, and  the place of the  soles of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst to the children of Israel for ever, and my holy name, shall the house of Israel no more defile, neither they, nor their kings, by their whoredom, nor by the carcases of their kings in their high places…” (Eze. 43.7).
  33. “That Israel is the wife of Jehovah (see vs. 16-23), now disowned but yet to be restored, is the clear teaching of the passages [in the book of Hosea]….  Israel is, then, to be the restored and forgiven wife of Jehovah, … Jehovah’s earthly wife (Hos. 2.23)” (1917 Scofield Reference Edition, n. 1 to Ho. 2.2, p. 922). [Bold emphasis mine.]
  34. Hosea 2.14-23: Israel, the adulterous wife, to be restored.
  35. Hosea 13.9-16: The ultimate blessing of Israel in the kingdom.
  36. “For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem” (Jl. 3.1). Joel 3.17-21: The kingdom blessing. “For Judah shall dwell forever, and Jerusalem from generation to generation” (Jl. 3.20).
  37. Amos 9.13-15: Full kingdom blessing of restored Israel. “… And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them. And I will plant them upon their lane, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the LORD thy God” (Am. 9.14-15).
  38. Micah 4.6-8: Israel to be regathered. “… and the LORD shall reign over them in mount Zion from henceforth, even for ever” (Mi. 4.7b).
  39. Zephaniah 3.14-20: The kingdom blessing of Israel. “Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel; be glad and rejoice with all the heart, O daughter of Jerusalem…. Behold, at that time I will undo all that afflict thee: and I will save her that halteth, and gather her that was driven out; and I will get them praise and fame in every land where they have been put to shame. At that time will I bring you again, even in the time that I gather you: for I will make you a name and a praise among all people of the earth, when I turn back your captivity before your eyes, saith the LORD” (Zep. 3.14, 19-20).
  40. Zechariah 2.4-13: Jerusalem in the kingdom age.
  41. Zechariah 8.1-8: Jehovah’s unchanged purpose to bless Israel in the kingdom. “And I will bring them, and they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God, in truth and righteousness” (Zec. 8.8).
  42. Zechariah 8.20-23: Jerusalem to be the religious center of the earth. “Yea, many people and strong nations shall come to seek the LORD of host in Jerusalem, and to pray before the LORD” (Zec. 8.22).
  43. Zechariah 9.10-17: The future deliverance of Judah and Ephriam, and the world-wide kingdom. “And the LORD their God shall save them in that day as the flock of his people: for they shall be as the stones of a crown, lifted up as an ensign upon his land” (Zec. 9.16).
  44. Zechariah 10: The future strengthening of Judah and Ephraim and the dispersion and regathering of Israel in one view. “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. I will bring them again also out of the land of Egypt, and gather them out of Assyria; and I will bring them into the land of Gilead and Lebanon; and place shall not be found for them” (Zec. 10.9-10).
  45. Luke 1.26-38 (Here the angel Gabriel says to Mary): “He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end” (Lu. 1.32).
  46. Zacharias, filled with the Holy Ghost, prophesies… “And he raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David; As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; The oath he sware to our father Abraham, That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life” (Lu. 1.69-75. See verses 67-80).
  47. When Jesus taught the apostles after he was risen, they “asked of him saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power” (Ac. 1.6-7). Notice, Jesus indicated that this would happen, but would not tell them when.
  48. “… Taken together, the N.T. teachings concerning the return of Jesus Christ may be summarized as follows: (1) That the return is an event, not a process, and is personal and corporeal (Mt. 23.39; 24.30; 25.31; Mk. 14.62; Lk. 17.24; John 14.3; Acts 1.11; Phil. 3.20, 21; 1 Thes. 4.14-17). (2) His coming has a threefold relation: to the church, to Israel, to the nations.
  49. “(a) To the church the descent of the Lord into the air to raise the sleeping and change the living saints is set forth as a constant expectation and hope (Mt. 24.36, 44, 48-51; 25.13; 1 Cor. 15.51, 52; Phil. 3.20; 1 Thes. 1.10; 4.14-17; 1 Tim. 6.14; Tit. 2.13; Rev. 22.20).
  50. “(b) To Israel, the return of the Lord is predicted to accomplish the yet unfulfilled prophecies of her national regathering, conversion, and establishment in peace and power under the Davidic Covenant (Acts 15.14-17 with Zech. 14.1-9). See “Kingdom (O.T.),” 2 Sam. 7.8-17; Zech. 13.8, note; Lk. 1.31-33; 1 Cor. 15.24, note.
  51. “(c) To the Gentile nations the return of Christ is predicted to bring the destruction of the present political world-system (Dan. 2.34, 35; Rev. 19.11, note); the judgment of Mt. 25.31-46, followed by world-wide Gentile conversion and participation in the blessings of the kingdom (Isa. 2.2-4; 11.10; 60.3; Zech. 8.3, 20, 23; 14.16-21)” (1917 Scofield Reference Edition, n. 1 to Ac. 1.11, p. 1148).
  52. “… Peter, in his 1st sermon [recorded in Acts 2.14-36], preaches that Christ is the Messiah, an unwelcome message to the Jews because they were expecting as promised, a regathered Israel established in their own land under their covenanted King (e.g. Isa. 11.10-12; Jer. 23.5-8; Ezk. 37.21-28).] Instead of explaining, as Rome 1st taught, followed by some Protestant commentators, that the covenant and promises were to be fulfilled in the church in a so-called ‘spiritual’ sense, Peter shows (vs. 25-32) from Psa. 16 that David himself understood that the dead and risen Christ would fulfill the covenant and sit on his throne (Lk. 1.32, 33). In precisely the same way James (Acts 15.14-17) met the same difficulty. See ‘Kingdom (O.T.),’ Zech. 12.8; (N.T.). Lk. 1.33; 1 Cor. 15.24” (Ibid., n. 1, p. 1150 to Ac. 2.14).
  53. “A distinction must be observed between the ‘last days’ when the prediction relates to Israel and the ‘last days’ when the prediction relates to the church (1 Tim. 4.1-3; 2 Tim. 3.1-8; Heb. 1.1, 2; 1 Pet. 1.4, 5; 2 Pet. 3.1-9; 1 John 2.18, 19; Jude 17-19). Also distinguish the ‘last days’ (plural) from ‘the last day’ (singular); the latter expression referring to the resurrections and last judgment (John 6.39, 40, 44, 54; 11.24; 12.48). The ‘last days’ as related to the church began with the advent of Christ (Heb. 1.2), but have especial reference to the time of declension and apostasy at the end of this age (2 Tim. 3.1; 4.4). The ‘last days’ as related to Israel are the days of Israel’s exaltation and blessing, and are synonymous with the kingdom-age (Isa. 2.2-4; Mic. 4.1-7). They are ‘last’ not with reference to this dispensation, but with reference to the whole of Israel’s history” (Ibid., n. 1, p. 1151 to Ac. 2.17).
  54. WordOfGod“Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began…. Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed” (Ac. 2.21, 25, taken from Peter’s second recorded sermon (Ac. 2.12-26)).
  55. Acts 15.13-17: James declares the result of the council at Jerusalem which considered the issues of whether it was “needful to circumcise [the Gentile believers], and to command them to keep the law of Moses” (Ac. 15.5). The outcalling of the Gentiles agrees with the promises to Israel. Peter had argued, “And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they” (Ac. 15.8-11).
  56. Romans 9-11: The Gospel does not set aside the covenants with Israel. 9.4-5 gives the sevenfold privilege of Israel. “I SAY then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid.  For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew…. 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, and I shall take away their sins” (Ro. 11.1-2, 26-27).
  57. “That Israel has not been forever set aside is the theme of [Romans 11]. (1) The salvation of Paul proves that there is still a remnant (v. 1). (2) The doctrine of the remnant proves it (vs. 2-6). (3) The present national unbelief was foreseen (vs. 7-10). (4) Israel’s unbelief is the Gentile opportunity (vs. 11-25). (5) Israel is judicially broken off from the good olive tree, Christ (vs. 17-22). (6) They are to be grafted in again (vs. 23, 24). (7) The promised Deliverer will come out of Zion and the nation will be saved (vs. 25-29). That the Christian now inherits the distinctive Jewish promises is not taught in Scripture. The Christian is of the heavenly seed of Abraham (Gen. 15.5, 6; Gal. 3.29), and partakes of the spiritual blessings of the Abrahamic Covenant (Gen. 15.18, note); but Israel as a nation always has its own place, and is yet to have its greatest exaltation as the earthly people of God. See ‘Israel’ (Gen. 12.2; Rom. 11.26); ‘Kingdom’ (Gen. 1.26-28; Zech. 12.8)” (1917 Scofield Reference Edition, n. 2 to Ro. 11.1, p. 1204).

This is where we are in prophecy at the present time: “And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled” (Lu. 21.24).

God told Israel, “If my people [Israel], which are called by my name, shall humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land” (2 Chr. 7.14). Israel will repent in the future while still in the dispersion: “And shalt return unto the LORD thy God, and shalt obey his voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul” (De. 30.2).  God will then forgive them, restore them to their land which He gave them, and heal them.

Endnote

All books, except An Abridged History of the First Amendment, by Jerald Finney are available free in both PDF and online form. One may go to Order information for books by Jerald Finney should he desire to order any of the books which are in print.

God Betrayed/Separation of Church and State: The Biblical Principles and the American Application (Link to preview of God Betrayed)(PDF; online form) may be ordered from Amazon by clicking the following link: God Betrayed on Amazon.com or from Barnes and Nobel by clicking the following link: God Betrayed on Barnes and Noble. All books by Jerald Finney as well as many of the books he has referenced and read may also be ordered by left clicking Order Information for Books by Jerald Finney or directly from Amazon by going to the following links:

  1. Render Unto God the Things that Are His: A Systematic Study of Romans 13 and Related Verses (Kindle only)(PDF; online form);
  2. The Most Important Thing: Loving God and/or Winning Souls (Kindle only from Amazon.com; see Order information for books by Jerald Finney to order directly from Kerygma Publishing Co.)(PDF; online form) ;
  3. Separation of Church and State/God’s Churches: Spiritual or Legal Entities? (Link to preview of Separation of Church and State/God’s Churches: Spiritual or Legal Entities?) which can also be ordered by clicking the following Barnes and Noble link: Separation of Church and State on Barnes and Noble (PDF; online form)
  4. An Abridged History of the First Amendment is available in PDF only.
  5. Tract on the legality of street preaching is available in PDF only.
  6. “Quick Reference Guide for Churches Seeking to Organize According to the Principles of the New Testament” is available in PDF only.
  7. Miscellaneous articles by Jerald Finney.
  8. Links to some of Jerald Finney’s writings on legal issues.

Click here to see for updated list of Finney’s books. This Endnote is complete up to August 1, 2014.