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Dispensationalism and Covenant Theology


Dispensationalism and Covenant Theology * * * Dispensationalism, Israel And The Church - The Search For Definition Dr. W. Edward Glenny. Dr. Glenny, progressive ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Dispensationalism and Covenant Theology

Dispensationalism and Covenant Theology
  • Dispensationalism is a Protestant evangelical
    tradition based on a biblical hermeneutic that
    sees a series of chronologically successive
    "dispensations" or periods in history in which
    God relates to human beings in different ways
    under different Biblical covenants. As a system,
    dispensationalism is rooted in the writings of
    John Nelson Darby (18001882) and the Brethren

  • The theology of dispensationalism consists of a
    distinctive eschatological "end times"
    perspective, as all dispensationalists hold to
    premillennialism and most hold to a
    pretribulation rapture. Dispensationalists
    believe that the nation of Israel is distinct
    from the Church,3322 and that God has yet to
    fulfill His promises to national Israel.

  • These promises include the land promises, which
    in the future result in a millennial kingdom
    where Christ, upon His return, will rule the
    world from Jerusalem for a thousand years. In
    other areas of theology, dispensationalists hold
    to a wide range of beliefs within the evangelical
    and fundamentalist spectrum.

  • The label "dispensationalism" is derived from the
    idea that biblical history is best understood
    through division into a series of chronologically
    successive dispensations. The number of
    dispensations held are typically three, four,
    seven or eight. The three- and four-dispensation
    schemes are often referred to as minimalist, as
    they recognize the commonly held major breaks
    within Biblical history.

(No Transcript)
  • These different dispensations are not separate
    ways of salvation. During each of them man is
    reconciled to God in only one way, i.e. by God's
    grace through the work of Christ that was
    accomplished on the cross and vindicated in His

  • Before the cross, man was saved on the basis of
    Christ's atoning sacrifice to come, through
    believing the revelation thus far given him.
    Since the cross, man has been saved by believing
    on the Lord Jesus Christ, in whom revelation and
    redemption are consummated.

Although the divine revelation unfolds
progressively, the deposit of truth in earlier
time-periods is not discarded, rather it is
cumulative. Thus conscience (moral
responsibility) is an abiding truth in human life
(Ro. 215 91 2 Co. 112 42), although it
does not continue as a dispensation.
In every past dispensation unregenerate man has
failed, and is failing in the present
dispensation, and will fail in the future until
Eternity arrives. But salvation has been and will
continue to be available to him by God's grace
through faith. (The New Scofield Study Bible, NIV
1984 Edition , pg. 3-4)
The relationship between the ancient nation of
Israel and the church as the people of God is the
key discriminator between Dispensationalism and
other views.
In the dispensational view, the time in which the
church operates, known as the church age or the
Christian dispensation, represents a
"parenthesis". That is, it is an interruption in
God's dealings with the Jewish people as a nation
as described in the Old Testament, and it is the
time when the Gospel was preached and salvation
in the present age is offered to the Gentiles and
Jews alike.
Gods continued care for the Jewish people as a
nation will be revealed after the end of the
church age when Israel will be restored to their
land and will accept Jesus as their messiah and
therefore "all Israel shall be saved."
Jesus Christ will then sit on the throne of David
and will begin the Theocratic Davidic Kingdom
which is promised in numerous places in the Old
Testament, in which believers and Christ reign
together on the earth from Israel
Contrasted with this view are Roman Catholicism,
Eastern Orthodoxy, Anglicanism, Covenant
Theology, and New Covenant Theology. In
Catholicism and Covenantalism, the church is not
a replacement for the nation of Israel but an
expansion of it where Gentiles are, in the words
of Romans 11, "grafted into" the existing
covenant community.
All of these groups expect there will be an
influx of Jews to the church before the second
coming of Christ. However, dispensationalists do
not view the Church as the promised covenanted
kingdom in Old Testament prophecy. They believe
such a kingdom is still promised to the Jews
during the New Testament era, i.e. in Acts 319-21
 Acts 3 18 21 18 But those things, which God
before had shewed by the mouth of all his
prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so
fulfilled. 19 Repent ye therefore, and be
converted, that your sins may be blotted out,
when the times of refreshing shall come from the
presence of the Lord. 20 And he shall send Jesus
Christ, which before was preached unto you 21
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.
Dispensationalism was first introduced to North
America by John Inglis (18131879), through a
monthly magazine called Waymarks in the
Wilderness (published intermittently between 1854
and 1872). In 1866, Inglis organized the
Believers' Meeting for Bible Study, which
introduced dispensationalist ideas to a small but
influential circle of American evangelicals.
The energetic efforts of C.I. Scofield and his
associates introduced dispensationalism to a
wider audience in America and bestowed a measure
of respectability through his Scofield Reference
Bible. The publication of the Scofield Reference
Bible in 1909 by the Oxford University Press was
something of an innovative literary coup for the
movement, since for the first time, overtly
dispensationalist notes were added to the pages
of the biblical text.
The Scofield Reference Bible became the leading
Bible used by independent Evangelicals and
Fundamentalists in the U.S. for the next sixty
years. Evangelist and Bible teacher Lewis Sperry
Chafer (18711952), who was strongly influenced
by C.I. Scofield, founded Dallas Theological
Seminary in 1924, which has become the flagship
of Dispensationalism in America.
Dispensationalism has come to dominate the
American Evangelical scene, especially among
nondenominational Bible churches, many Baptists,
and most Pentecostal and Charismatic groups,
while mainline Protestants generally continue to
reject dispensationalism.
"Ultra" Dispensationalists hold to the belief
that the Church wasn't started till after the
stoning of Stephen. The first reference to the
church the body of Christ is in Romans and unlike
most other dispensationalists they believe that
the church started after Acts 2. Some begin the
church with the salvation of Saul in Acts 9,
while others move to Acts 13 with Paul's first
missionary journey.
Dispensationalism rejects the notion of
supersessionism, sees the Jewish people as the
true people of God, and sees the modern State of
Israel as identical to the Israel of the Bible.
John Nelson Darby taught, and most subsequent
dispensationalists have consistently maintained,
that God looks upon the Jews as his chosen people
even as they remain in rejection of Jesus Christ,
and God continues to have a place for them in the
dispensational, prophetic scheme of things.
Christian Dispensationalists sometimes embrace
what some critics have pejoratively called
Judeophiliaranging from support of the state of
Israel, to observing traditional Jewish holidays
and practicing traditionally Jewish religious
rituals. Dispensationalists typically support
the modern state of Israel, recognize its
existence as God revealing His Will for the Last
Days, and reject anti-Semitism.
Covenant theology (also known as Covenantalism or
Federal theology or Federalism) is a conceptual
overview and interpretive framework for
understanding the overall flow of the Bible. It
uses the theological concept of covenant as an
organizing principle for Christian theology.
The standard description of covenant theology
views the history of God's dealings with mankind
in all of history, from Creation to Fall to
Redemption to Consummation, under the framework
of three overarching theological covenants the
covenants of redemption, of works, and of grace.
Covenant theology is often referred to as
"supersessionism," or "replacement theology" by
its detractors, due to the perception that it
teaches that God has abandoned the promises made
to the Jews and has replaced the Jews with
Christians as his chosen people in the earth.
Covenant theologians deny that God has abandoned
his promises to Israel, but see the fulfillment
of the promises to Israel in the person and the
work of the Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth, who
established the church in organic continuity with
Israel, not a separate replacement entity.
Covenant of Redemption The covenant of
redemption is the eternal agreement within the
Godhead in which the Father appointed the Son
Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit to
redeem his elect people from the guilt and power
of sin.
Covenant of Works The covenant of works was made
in the Garden of Eden between God and Adam who
represented all mankind as a federal head.
(Romans 512-21) It promised life for obedience
and death for disobedience. Adam, and all mankind
in Adam, broke the covenant, thus standing
Covenant of Grace The covenant of grace promises
eternal life for all people who receive
forgiveness of sin through Christ. He is the
substitutionary covenantal representative
fulfilling the covenant of works on their behalf,
in both the positive requirements of
righteousness and its negative penal consequences
It is the historical expression of the eternal
covenant of redemption. Genesis 315, with the
promise of a "seed" of the woman who would crush
the serpent's head, is usually identified as the
historical inauguration for the covenant of grace.
Adamic covenant Noahic covenant Abrahamic
covenant Mosaic covenant Davidic covenant New
(No Transcript)
The following are quotations from
Dispensationalism A Reformed Evaluation by J.
Ligon Duncan, PCA
Classic dispensationalism, in addition to being
premillenial, is also pretribulational. On the
other hand, most Covenant Theologians have been
either post- or amillenial. 
You can only have two views at the time of the
millenium. Christ is either coming before or
after the millenium.  Those are the only two
possible views.  So, amillenialism is a
subcategory of postmillenialism.  All believers
are either premillenialists or postmillenialists. 
Amillenialists tend to stress the heavenly
character of the millennium.  They will, for
instance, stress that the millenial reign is
going on now, in heaven.  It is a spiritual
millenium.  Whereas postmillenialists tend to
stress a more earthly character to that
millennium, and often times project it as a
golden age which is yet to be experienced, but
which will occur before the time of Christ. 
...it is perhaps the fundamental point of
Dispensationalism that Israel and the Church are
distinct, and the Law-Gospel distinction must be
preserved at all costs.  That is the very heart
and core of classic dispensationalism.  You
should never, ever mix up Law and Gospel, and you
should never ever mix up Israel and the Church.  
Dispensationalists do not believe that the Church
is prophesied about in the Old Testament. 
Covenant Theology on the other hand, sees the
Church as the fulfillment of Israel in New
Covenant prophecy.  Covenant Theology is happy to
acknowledge the uniqueness of the Church,
especially in its post Pentecost phase.  But
Covenant Theology sees all believers in essential
continuity.  There are not two peoples of God.
There is one people of God. Dispensationalism,
however,  contends that God has two peoples with
two destinies.
Some modern dispensationalists generally argue
that the saving faith of the Old Testament was
substantially and materially different from the
saving faith of the New Testament.  They tend to
argue that sinners in the Old Testament were not
justified by faith in the Gospel of the Messiah
as sin-bearer (Christ crucified), but rather
their faith was in promises that were peculiar to
their individual era in redemptive history. Now,
this isnt just out of accord with Covenant
Theology, but this is the area where
dispensationalism has been most out of accord
with Protestant theology.
Hebrews 4 1 2 1 Therefore, since a promise
remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest
any of you seem to have come short of it. 2 For
indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as
to them but the word which they heard did not
profit them, not being mixed with faith in those
who heard it.
Dispensationalists speak in terms of a literal
interpretation of the Bible.  This is a major
rhetorical thing that you hear in discussion with
Dispensationalist friends.  We interpret the
Bible literally.  Of course, the implication
being that you dont.  We interpret the Bible
literally, you dont.  You do something else to
Covenant Theologians would argue, We interpret
the Bible literally, but, we believe that the New
Testament interprets the Old Testament.  We
believe that the New Testament is the
hermeneutical manual for the Old Testament.  And
Dispensationalists are suspicious of that. 
For the Covenant Theologian, the New Covenant
always has the final word as to the meaning of
the Old Covenant passage.  It doesnt mean that
you dont start with the original context, and
that you dont bother yourself about original
intent, it just means that you recognize from a
biblical theological standpoint that later
revelation, by definition, controls the final
Systematic Theological understanding of earlier
Acts 2 (NKJV) 14 But Peter, standing up with the
eleven, raised his voice and said to them, Men
of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this
be known to you, and heed my words. 15 For these
are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only
the third hour of the day. 16 But this is what
was spoken by the prophet Joel
Joel 2 (NKJV) 28 And it shall come to pass
afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all
flesh Your sons and your daughters shall
prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your
young men shall see visions.
For the Dispensational side, the Church is a
parenthesis in Gods program for the ages. It is
a temporary thing in the flow of history.  You
have heard the phrase The Great Parenthesis,
which is used to describe the time when Messiah
came and the Jews shockingly rejected Him.  This
actually thwarted Gods plan, because the
original plan was for Messiah to come and set up
a kingdom in Israel, but oops, the Jews rejected
At that point the prophetic clock stopped and we
entered into the period of the Gentiles, the
Great Parenthesis.  That is a period about which
there was no prophecy in the Old Testament.  At
the end of the period of the Great Parenthesis,
the end of the time of the Gentiles, as the
Dispensationalists interpret that section in
Romans chapter 11,  the Church is removed.   That
is the rapture.  Then the prophetic clock starts
ticking again, and Gods dealings with Israel
This gives you a clue as to why a
pre-tribulation rapture is so important for
consistent classical Dispensationalism, because
you have to get rid of Gentile believers in the
program of God, before you can get on with the
work that God is doing with literal physical
earthly Israel. 
Pauline Dispensationalism
Lehman Strauss wrote
  • the departure from the traditional
    dispensational position is leading younger
    students of Gods Word into the Covenant Theology
  • For years I have been reading and studying the
    Apostle Paul and his Church Epistles. They are
    completely adequate for the life and labors of
    every member of the Body of Christ.

Paul R. Van Gorder wrote
  • Utter confusion reigns among evangelicals
    because of the failure to rightly divide the
    Word, especially the clear distinction between
    Israel and the Church
  • I am distressed with the teaching which confuses
    Israel and the Church, Law and Grace, Salvation
    and Discipleship
  • Sad, sad that many of Gods dear children seem
    to know nothing more than Jesus of Nazareth in
    His humiliationwhile the risen, ascended,
    glorified Man is ignored, or unknown

  • This movement, recently emerging from Dallas
    Theological Seminary and elsewhere, is
    contemporary, and progressive, having left
    Dallas founder, Dr. Lewis Sperry Chafer, and his
    Pauline Dispensationalism far, far behind.
  • The aim of Neo-Dispensationalism is to equate
    Israel and the Church as much as possible, while
    at the same time keeping them separate.

Pauline Dispensationalism is heavenly.
  • The Christian whom Paul presents is heavenly
  • The Church that Paul presents is heavenly
    her Source is in heaven, although
    her birth took place on earth on the Day of
  • She will return to her Source in heaven on the
    Day of the Rapture

Neo-Dispensationalism is progressing on the
horizontal, kingdom level, and is already halfway
to Covenant Theology, which has always been on
that earthly plane.
Pauline Dispensationalism
Coming onto Pauls heavenly ground results in a
full escape from all earthly, horizontal, New
Covenant, Synoptic, Sermon on the Mount, and
Millennial Kingdom influences.
The Church is to be kept separate from all else,
including Israel and her Law, via clear-cut
Pauline Dispensationalism.
Ephesians 525-27 . . . . Christ also loved the
church and gave Himself up for her, so that He
might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the
washing of water with the word, that He might
present to Himself the church in all her glory,
having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing but
that she would be holy and blameless.
Two Gospels
  • The earthly (Kingdom) gospel
  • The heavenly (Grace) gospel

The earthly gospel
  • ministered by Christ on earth, during His
    pre-Cross humiliation
  • exclusively addressed to Israel regarding her
    Millennial Kingdom

The Heavenly Gospel
  • ministered to Paul by the glorified Lord Jesus
    Christ after Calvary, from heaven
  • exclusively to and for His chosen heavenly Body

Heaven-based Church
  • Why should a heavenly citizen, blessed with all
    spiritual blessings in heavenly places in
    Christ, stoop to purloin some spiritual
    blessing from comparatively poor Israel?

The Rapture 1 Thess. 413-17
Here we are, in the year 2004.
Infinitely Above
  • The Lord Jesus heavenly Gospel in content and
    position is infinitely above the Kingdom Gospel
    that He shared with earthly Israel
    which they rejected.

Those who do not center in the truths which the
ascended Lord communicated directly to Paul
  • will not know WHO they are in Christ
  • will not know WHERE they are in Christ
  • will not know WHAT their portion is in the
    purpose of the Father
  • will not know their PRIVILEGES and

They will constantly go astray in their
interpretation of the Gospel and the
all-important Church truth
Dr. L.S. Chafer wrote
  • "The laws of the Kingdom are not required to be
    combined with the teachings of Grace, since every
    item within those laws which could have any
    present application, is exactly and amply stated
    in the Pauline teachings of Grace."

You can evaluate a mans ministry by this
rule--is he Pauline? Does his doctrine start
and finish according to those statements of
Church truth proclaimed by the Apostle Paul?
Would they substitute the synoptic Gospel of the
Kingdom for Pauls exclusive glorious heavenly
Would they subject members of the heavenly Body
of the glorified Lord to Israels earthly New
Covenant, her legal Sermon on the Mount, and
her Mosaic and Kingdom law systems --
that to which the
Christian has died?
Israels New Covenant
  • Those who pander to Israels New Covenant, and
    seek to participate in its spiritual blessings,
    are simply playing into the hands of
  • Amillennial Covenant Theology,
  • its stepchild, Theonomy,
  • as well as Judaistic Messianic Christianity.
  • There is neither word nor inference in Israels
    New Covenant concerning the Church

John Darby wrote
  • Covenant theology at the utmost, is
    forgiveness of sins and divine favor enjoyed and
    all that concerns their new position in the Lord
    Jesus Christ is ignored, or alas! guarded against
    as dangerous.
  • Men are placed under Israels New Covenant
    which does not go beyond remission of sins and
    the law written on the heart. But being new
    creations in Christ Jesus, and knowing it by the
    Holy Spirit, and what that involves nowthat is
    not a part of their creed.

  • We are come to Jesus, the Mediator of the new
    covenant (Heb. 1224). We are not come to the
    New Covenant, but to Jesus the Mediator of it.
    We are associated with Him who is the Mediator
    that is a far higher thing than if merely come to
    the Covenant. He will make this New Covenant
    with Israel on earth.
  • H.H. Snell

The Blood
  • The heavenly Bride requires nothing from earthly
    Israel and her coming kingdom.
  • Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter
    into the Holiest by the Blood of Jesus (Heb.
  • Israel, in all her coming earthly glory, will
    never be the recipient of anything like that!

The Holy Spirit
  • Israels indwelling will be for the purpose of
    writing the theocratic law upon their hearts and
    enabling them to walk in His kingdom ordinances.
  • After those days, saith the Lord, I will put My
    law in their inward parts, and write it in their
    hearts. (Jer. 3133)
  • And I will put My Spirit within you, and cause
    you to walk in My statutes, and ye shall keep
    Mine ordinances, and do them (Ezek. 3627).

The Sermon
  • Christs Sermon on the Mount, addressed to
    Israel, is the next great leak in the
    Dispensational wall.
  • There is nothing in the Sermon on the Mount that
    is not superseded by Pauls Church Epistles.
  • Nothing!
  • The Sermon on the Mount is characterized--among
    other thingsby the absence of those elements
    which are distinctly Christian, i.e., redemption
    by the Blood of Christ, faith, regeneration,
    deliverance from judgment, the Person and work of
    the Holy Spirit. The absence of these vital
    elements cannot but arrest the attention of those
    who are awake to, and jealous for, the faith once
    delivered to the saints. Dr. L. S. Chafer

catchword from seminary
  • The Church is a phase of Israels future
    millennial kingdom
  • There is a recognition of a present form of the
    theocratic kingdom now/not yet.

kingdomization of the Church
  • Failure to distinguish between the kingdom of
    God, and the
    kingdom of

Millennial Saint
  • The Christian is now joined to Christ and is one
    spirit with Him.
  • the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus
    hath made me free from the law of sin and death
    (Rom. 82)
  • The future earthly kingdom saint will live here
    on earth
  • he will not be united to the Lord Jesus
  • He will not be dead to the flesh and the world

Millennial Saint
  • The great difference
  • the heavenly saint has a standing of complete
    deliverance from the man in the flesh
  • while the millennial saint will be through grace
    empowered by the Spirit to do what God requires
    from man in the flesh.
  • 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 (Heb. 810)

Millennial Saint
  • We the heavenly believers -- have
  • boldness to enter into the Holiest by the Blood
    of Jesus... through the veil, that is to say,
    His flesh (Heb. 1019,
  • The earthly millennial saint, though cleansed of
    his sins by the Blood, cannot speak of being
    inside the veil, because his dispensation is
    connected with this earth.

Messianic Judaism
  • Hebrew Christianity by Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum
  • "What then is a Hebrew Christian? He is a Jew who
    believes that Jesus Christ is his Messiah. He
    must acknowledge that he is both a Jew and a
    Christian" (p. 12).
  • There is neither Jew nor Greek for ye are all
    one in Christ Jesus (Gal. 328)
  • If a Jew accepts baptism solely to lose his
    identity as a Jew, he is by no means to be
    considered a Hebrew Christian he is a renegade,
    a traitor, and an apostate. A Hebrew Christian
    is proud of his Jewishness (p. 13).

Judaism is not the bud that blossomed into
  • ground of relation-ship
  • Jew by physical birth
  • Christian by spiritual birth
  • instruction on the life
  • Law for Israel
  • Grace for the Church
  • sphere of existence
  • Israel on the earth
  • Church in heaven

Distinctive Gospels
  • The Church, the Body of Christ, into which, in
    the Father's wondrous grace, we have been called,
    is heavenly.
  • The Church has nothing to do with earth, except
    to witness in the name of the Lord, and then pass
    on into glory, into heaven, her eternal Home.

Distinctive Gospels
  • Israel,
  • the chosen earthly nation,
  • The Church,
  • the heavenly Body of Christ

Stephen Juncture
  • the times of refreshing shall come from the
    presence of the Lord and He shall send Jesus
    Christ, who before was preached unto you, 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
    age began. (Acts 319-21)
  • This same Jesus, which is taken up from you
    into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye
    have seen Him go into heaven (Acts

Stephen Juncture
  • He would come again to receive them unto Himself,
    that where He was they should be also
  • the leaders of Israel began to reject the Gospel
    and persecute the apostles
  • they not only rejected but stoned to death the
    witness of the Holy Spirit
  • now by the stoning of Stephen they openly unmask
    and expose the hatred and rebellion of their
    hearts to a glorified Christ

Disciples - To Stephen - To Paul
  • The disciples Gospel was salvation expecting
    Christs earthly return to establish His Kingdom.
  • Stephen was witness to Christs earthly
    presence and to His post-ascension glorification.
  • Saul sees Him and is commissioned to be a
    minister and a witness of the things that he sees

Church Gospel
  • Unto me, who am less than the least of all
    saints, is this grace given, that I should preach
    among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of
    Christ, and to make all men see what is the
    fellowship of the mystery, which from the
    beginning of the ages hath been hidden in God,
    who created all things by Jesus Christ (Eph.
    38, 9)

Church Gospel
  • He preached Christ that He is the Son of God
    (Acts 920)
  • the Gospel of God (Rom. 11)
  • the Gospel of His Son (v. 9)
  • my Gospel (Rom. 1625)

Established in the Cross of Christ
  • bearing in Himself the judgment on man
  • He was made to be sin for us, that we should be
    made the righteousness of God in Him
  • the old man was crucified with Christ
  • the end of man in the flesh

Grace Reigns
  • through righteousness to eternal life through
    Jesus Christ our Lord (Rom. 521)
  • ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit
  • the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus
    which has made me free from the law of sin and
    death (82)
  • if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is
    none of His (89)

Pauls Gospel
  • righteousnessthe righteousness of God
    established by Christ
  • the judicial ending of the old man
  • the gift of eternal life
  • the Spirit of Christ
  • so that Christ in me is the summing up, as well
    as the fullness, of blessing.

Dr. Chafer Vs. Covenant Theology
  • he faithfully sought to alert the Church as to
    its doctrinal dangers
  • too many dispensational leaders are seeking
    dialogue and fellowship with Covenant theologians
  • the errors of Covenant Theology

Reformation Restraint
  • the Church is,
  • the Body of Christ,
  • the Bride of the Lamb
  • the Reformation did not recover this truth as
    formerly it was held by the early Church
  • that attitude of the theologians, being bound and
    confined within the limitations of Reformation
    truth, has been one of avoidance of what to them
    seems new.

J. N. Darby Company
  • The Plymouth Brethren movement produced an
    expository literature covering the entire Sacred
    Text which
  • is orthodox
  • free from misconceptions
  • interprets faithfully the entire field of
    Biblical doctrine

J. N. Darby Company
  • division in the ranks of orthodox men
  • there are those who are restricted in their
    doctrinal viewpoint and who look upon added truth
    as a departure from standard ideas and therefore
  • there are those who are constructing an
    unabridged system of theology, and finding the
    way into full-orbed harmony of truth and into
    limitless fields of Biblical doctrine

Apocryphal Covenants
  • The theological terms,
  • Covenant of Works and
  • Covenant of Grace,
  • do not occur in Scripture
  • Covenant Theology builds its structure on these
    two covenants
  • Covenant Theology has Cocceius (16031669) as its
    chief exponent.

  • Reformed Theology has largely been constructed on
    these two covenants.
  • It sees the empirical truth that God can forgive
    sinners only by that freedom which is secured by
    the sacrifice of His Son,
  • However, that theology utterly fails to discern
    Gods purposes for the ages.

  • Reformed Theology
  • penetrates no further into Scripture than to
    discover that in all ages God is immutable in His
    grace toward penitent sinners
  • constructs the idea of a universal Church
    (continuing through the ages)
  • disregards vast spheres of revelation
  • reaps the unavoidable confusion and misdirection
    which part-truth engenders

One-track Limitation
  • Judaism has its field of theology with its
    soteriology and its eschatology
  • Covenant Theology engenders the notion that there
    is but one soteriology and one eschatology
  • Scripture is harmonized and its message clarified
    when two divinely appointed systemsJudaism and
    Christianityare recognized, and their complete
    and distinctive characters are observed

Roman Residuary
  • Many theologians consider millennialism to be a
    modern theory.
  • justification by faith and millennialism were
    taught in the NT and were therefore the belief of
    the early Church

Roman Residuary
  • along with justification by faith the Reformers
    retained the Romish notion that the Church is the
    Kingdom, fulfilling the Davidic covenant, and
    appointed to conquer the world by bringing it
    under the authority of the Church.

Covenant Amalgamation
  • Israel has never been the Church, is not the
    Church, nor will it ever be the Church.
  • Covenant Theology asserts its inventions
    respecting an OT Church, which, it is claimed, is
    an integral part of the NT Church

Rescinded Resurrection
  • as viewed by Covenant theologians, there is
    practically no doctrinal significance of Christ's
  • Christ as the federal Head of a wholly new order
    creation of beings cannot be incorporated into
    a system of which the cherished and distinctive
    feature is one unchangeable divine purpose from
    Adam to the end of time.
  • According to Covenant Theology the Church is not
    a new creation with its headship in the ascended
    Christ, but has existed under a supposed uniform
    covenant from the beginning of human history
  • the great reality of a heavenly purpose peculiar
    to this dispensation is ruled out completely

Slighted Spirit
  • Covenant Theology neglects most of the vital
    truths respecting the present age-characterizing
    ministries of the Holy Spirit
  • The disannulling of all Jewish purposes and
    distinctive features for a dispensation renders a
    continuous-covenant conception objectionable

This Present Dispensation
  • Romans 39
  • What then? Are we better than they? Not at all
    for we have already charged that both Jews and
    Greeks are all under sin (NAS)
  • Romans 1012
  • For there is no distinction between Jew and
    Greek for the same Lord is Lord of all,
    abounding in riches for all who call on Him

Incalculable Loss
  • the resurrection of Christ is,
  • the very ground of all the purposes of this
  • the basis upon which the new positions and
    possessions of those in Christ are made to rest.
  • There is a wide doctrinal difference between
    those who see no special consequence in Christs
    resurrection and those who see its momentous

Incalculable Loss
  • the greatest transition the world has ever
  • from Judaism
  • to Christianity
  • This stupendous change is not clarified or even
    approached by Covenant theology

  • Such blindness respecting the discriminating
    teaching of the Bible can be accounted for only
    on the ground that a man-made scheme of supposed
    continuity is embraced and followed without an
    unprejudiced examination of the Scriptures

School Of Paranoia
  • Two schools have developed among orthodox men
  • one which restricts all doctrine to the findings
    of men from the very early days of Protestantism
    (Covenant Theology)
  • one which recognizes that much added light has
    fallen upon the Word of God in later days and
    that this is as worthy of consideration as the
    findings of men of former times (Dispensational

Eschatalogical Error
  • A phenomenon exists, namely, that men who are
    conscientious and meticulous to observe the exact
    teaching of Scripture
  • the ruin of the race through Adams sin,
  • the Deity and Saviourhood of Christ
  • are found introducing methods of spiritualizing
    and vamping the clear declarations of the Bible
    in the one field of Eschatology.

Eschatalogical Error
  • In the Covenant theory Israel and the Church are
  • Disregarding Biblical testimony they believe that
    a hypothetical Grace covenant will produce a
    transformed social order
  • not by a returning Messiah,
  • but by the preaching of the Gospel.

Eschatalogical Error
  • They assert that Christ cannot return until the
    missionary enterprise has reached to all the
    inhabited earth
  • They fail to realize that passage is a
    Tribulation passage, not a passage for this
    dispensation, the Church Age.

Kingdom Misconstrued
  • Misunderstanding of the Millennial Kingdom is
    directly due to the failure to recognize the
    dispensational aspect of divine revelation
  • 2 Timothy 215
  • Study to show thyself approved unto God, a
    workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly
    dividing the word of truth.

Kingdom Misconstrued
  • The Old Testament Kingdom
  • IS NOT
  • the Church
  • The New Testament Church
  • IS NOT
  • the Kingdom

Deadly Rule Of Life
  • Covenantism
  • recognizes no distinctions as to ages
  • therefore it can allow for no distinctions
    between Law and Grace
  • utter neglect of life-truth in all their works of

Kingdom Gospel vs. Grace Gospel
  • Strong objection is offered by Covenant
    theologians to a distinction between the Gospel
    of the Kingdom as preached by John the Baptist,
    Jesus, and the Disciples, and the Pauline Gospel
    of the Grace of God

Israel And The Church Contrasted
  • Extent Of Biblical Revelation
  • Israel 80 Church 20
  • The Divine Purpose
  • Israel Earthly Church Heavenly
  • Birth
  • Israel Physical Church Spiritual
  • Nationality
  • Israel World system Church Aliens
  • Ministry
  • Israel None, yet Church Missionaries

Israel And The Church Contrasted
  • The Death of Christ
  • Israel Church
  • Guilty of His Death Saved by His Sacrifice
  • The Father
  • Israel Church
  • God, not Father Abba Father
  • Christ
  • Israel Church
  • Messiah, Immanuel, King Savior, Lord,
  • Bridegroom, Head, Life
  • The Holy Spirit
  • Israel Church
  • Temporary Induement Permanent Indwelling

Israel And The Church Contrasted
  • Governing Principle
  • Israel - Law Church Grace
  • Divine Enablement
  • Israel none flesh Church Holy Spirit
  • Christs Return
  • Israel Church
  • Gather Israel Take His Bride
  • into her land to Heaven

Israel And The Church Contrasted
  • Position
  • Israel Church
  • Servants of Jehovah The Body of Christ
  • Christs Earthly Reign
  • Israel Church
  • Subjects of the King Reign with the King
  • Priesthood
  • Israel Church
  • has a priesthood is a priesthood

Dispensationalism, Israel And The Church
  • Neo-Evangelicalism is a compromise toward
  • spawned in Fuller Seminary
  • Neo-Dispensationalism is a compromise toward
  • spawned in Dallas Theological Seminary

Dispensationalism, Israel And The Church
  • You, a totally new creation in the ascended and
    glorified Lord Jesus Christ.
  • You, one spirit with Him who is your very
    Christian life.
  • You, having died to the law and to the world, and
    already blessed with all spiritual blessings in
    heavenly places in Christ, co-heir with Him.
  • You, raised and seated in Christ, at the Fathers
    right hand.

Dispensationalism, Israel And The Church
  • If (since) you, then, be risen with Christ,
    seek those things which are above, where Christ
    (and you) sitteth on the right hand of God. Set
    your affection on things above, not on things on
    the earth, for you died, and your life is hidden
    with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our
    life, shall appear, then shall you also appear
    with Him in glory (Col. 314).

Dispensationalism, Israel And The Church - The
Search For Definition
  • Dr. Stanley N. Gundry, ex-dispensationalist,
    Vice President of Academic Books, Zondervan
    Publishing House.
  • contemporary dispensationalist thinking
  • Dr. Craig A. Braising, progressive
  • reexamine biblically the distinction between
    Israel and the church
  • abandon the transcendental distinction of
    heavenly versus earthly peoples in favor of a
    historical distinction in the progressive
    revelation of the divine purpose.

Dispensationalism, Israel And The Church - The
Search For Definition
  • Dr. Darrell L. Bock, progressive
  • The descriptions invisible and visible do not
    characterize the kingdom as ineffective or secret
    now, versus powerful later. Rather, the terms
    are intended Christologically to describe the
    nature of Jesus rule.
  • Being seated on Davids throne is linked to
    being seated at Gods right hand

Dispensationalism, Israel And The Church - The
Search For Definition
  • Neo-Dispensationalism is kingdom-oriented, and
    would fasten The Kingdom upon everything and
  • Dr. Lewis Sperry Chafer
  • David was not promised a heavenly spiritual
    throne, and the one who contends that Davids
    throne is now a heavenly rule is by so much
    obligated to name the time and circumstances when
    and where so great a change has been introduced
    (Systematic Theology IV 324)

Dispensationalism, Israel And The Church - The
Search For Definition
  • Dr. Bruce A. Ware, progressive dispensationalist.
    Dr. Ware is Professor of Biblical and Systematic
    Theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
  • Between the two extremes of a strict distinction
    between Israel and the church (two new covenants
    and hence two distinct peoples of God) there is a
    middle position that would suggest that Israel
    and the church share theologically rich and
    important elements of commonality while at the
    same time maintaining distinct identities.

Dispensationalism, Israel And The Church - The
Search For Definition
  • When Israels New Covenant is usurped, all
    becomes of the earth, earthy. Neo-Dispensationali
    sm would bring the Bridegrooms
    unique-in-the-universe-Bride down to the
    commonality of the earthly kingdom

Dispensationalism, Israel And The Church - The
Search For Definition
  • Dr. Carl B. Hock, Jr., progressive
    dispensationalist. Dr. Hock is Professor of NT,
    at Grand Rapids Baptist Seminary
  • Here is the very heart of Neo-Dispensational
    error! Wrongly-divided Word!

Dispensationalism, Israel And The Church - The
Search For Definition
  • Not knowing who they are in Christ, and where
    they are in Christ, and what they have in Christ,
    they would seek to make something of Israel, and
    have us come down to it as the source of blessing
  • The Israelite in Christ, as well as the Gentile
    in Christ, is a totally new heavenly creation,
    and needs nothing from the nation Israelwhether
    it be now, in her Millennial Kingdom, or in

Dispensationalism, Israel And The Church - The
Search For Definition
  • Dr. Robert L. Saucy. Dr. Saucy, progressive
    dispensationalist, is professor of Systematic
    Theology, at Talbot School of Theology, Biola
  • The revelation of the equal participation of
    Israel and the Gentiles in Gods salvation
    through union with Christ is a realization of OT
  • Our examination of the mystery in Ephesians 3
    leads us to a mediating position between
    traditional dispensational and non-dispensational

Dispensationalism, Israel And The Church - The
Search For Definition
  • Dr. W. Edward Glenny. Dr. Glenny, progressive
    dispensationalist, is Professor of NT, at Central
    Baptist Seminary
  • Old Testament Israel was a pattern of the
    churchs relationship with God as his chosen
  • In his use of the three people of God citations
    in 1 Peter 29, 10, the apostle is teaching that
    there are aspects of the nation of Israels
    experience as the people of God that are also
    true of the NT church.

Dispensationalism, Israel And The Church - The
Search For Definition
  • Dr. J. Lanier Burns. Dr. Burns, progressive
    dispensationalist, is Professor of Systematic
    Theology, at Dallas Theological Seminary
  • The end of this survey shows that dispensational
    theologians have constantly distinguished Israel
    and the church, while dispensationalism has
    undergone remarkable developments over time in
    terms of a common destiny emphasis mine in the
    city of God, a shared new covenant, and, most
    recently, a recognition by many scholars of a
    present form of messianic kingdom that removes
    the parenthetical idea.

Dispensationalism, Israel And The Church - The
Search For Definition
  • Dr. Kenneth L. Barker. Dr. Barker, progressive
    dispensationalist, is Executive Director, NIV
    Foundation Center, International Bible Society
  • One of the legitimate continuities, then, between
    the Old and New Testaments is Gods moral law
    expressed throughout Scripture. It is more in
    keeping with the totality of biblical teaching to
    insist that the ethical and spiritual commands of
    the OT, the numerous imperatives of the NT, and
    Christ (or the law of Christ, or the royal law of
    love) are all part of the believers rule of

Theologians Respond
  • Dr. William A. VanGemeren. Dr. VanGemeren,
    ex-dispensationalist, now Covenant theologian, is
    Professor of OT at Reformed Theological Seminary
  • Dr. Bruce K. Waltke. Dr. Waltke,
    ex-dispensationalist, now covenant theologian, is
    Professor of OT, at Regent University (Canada)
  • Dr. Walter C. Kaiser, Jr. Dr. Kaiser,
    non-dispensational, pro-Covenant, is Academic
    Dean at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

  • The similar lines that Dispensationalism and
    Covenant Theology are locked onto are horizontal
  • Israels New Covenant,
  • Synoptics,
  • Sermon, and
  • Kingdom
  • all Law-oriented.
  • But Grace and Truth came by Jesus Christ
    from heaven, to Paul, for the Church.

  • If since you, then, be risen with Christ,
    seek those things which are above, where Christ
    sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your
    affection on things above, not on things on the
    earth. For you have died, and your life is
    hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 313).
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