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David S. Clark - The Message From Patmos: A Postmillennial Commentary on the Book of Revelation (1921) "This early twentieth-century Postmillennial commentary on the Book of Revelation, written by the father of theologian Gordon Clark, offers an easy-to-read alternative to the popular Pre-millennial/Dispensational views of the best-selling Scofield Reference Bible and a multitude of other dissertations on end-time prophecy that litter the shelves of Christian bookstores. "

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Israel and Dispensationalism

By Greg Loren Durand

     Many Christians believe that there are three separate bodies in the world today: the Church, Israel, and the Gentiles. The Bible, however, is clear that God has had only one people throughout redemptive history which He has adopted as His Church (as they are called in the New Testament), or as the people of God (as they are called in the Old Testament). The modern distinction that is made between the Christian Church and Israel is, by and large, the product of the Dispensational system which originated in the last century with J.N. Darby and C.I. Scofield. It is perpetuated today in the writings of Hal Lindsey, Dave Hunt, and in such evangelical movements as the Calvary Chapels. Dispensationalists center their interpretation of biblical prophecy around modern Israel and look forward to a time in the near future when the Church will be "raptured" out of the world and God will resume His historical dealings with the physical descendants of Abraham. Supposedly, with the advent of a world leader known as "Antichrist," the Jews will recognize Jesus as their Messiah and will repent of their rebellion and return to the worship of Yahweh. This, however, will not constitute their salvation in the Christian sense of the word, for the Jewish temple will then be rebuilt and the sacrificial system will be reinstated. At the end of a seven-year period commonly referred to as the "Great Tribulation," Jesus will return once again to earth and set up an earthly throne in Jerusalem. This is referred to as the "millennial reign" of Christ, for it is said to last one thousand years.

Many would be shocked to hear that such an elaborate eschatological system has no basis whatsoever in the Scriptures (properly interpreted), and instead rests upon very questionable, and at times even heretical, presuppositions regarding redemptive history. First of all, there is not one verse that can be cited from the Bible that teaches that Jesus will sit upon an earthly throne in Jerusalem. Also, the teaching that this reign will be limited to one thousand years is drawn from a strained interpretation of Revelation 20:1-10 (the only biblical passage that even mentions a millennium). However, the gravest error of the Dispensational system is its underlying premise that God deals with Christians and the nation of Israel in completely different ways, and that Jews may be reconciled to God apart from the Gospel of Christ. Paul specifically addressed this alleged distinction when he wrote that "both Jews and Greeks [Gentiles]... are all under sin" (Romans 3:9). He went on to say:

"Therefore by the deeds of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the Law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God apart from the Law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God which is through faith in Jesus Christ to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus" (Romans 3:20-24).

     Furthermore, in Romans 8:5, Paul separated mankind into two classes of people-- those "who live according to the flesh" (the unregenerate) and those who "live according to the Spirit" (the regenerate). Members of the former group are said to be "enmity against God" (verse 7), and therefore "cannot please God" (verse 8). The latter are those whom God had chosen to save "before the foundation of the world" (Ephesians 1:4), and are pleasing to God solely on the basis of the fact that they have been reckoned by Him as being "in Christ" (Ephesians 1:3). This same concept is seen in slightly different terms in Paul's distinction between those "in Adam" and those "in Christ" found in Romans 5:12-21 and I Corinthians 15:22.

     The point being made here is that there is no third class of mankind which are not included in Christ by divine predestination and spiritual regeneration (Romans 8:29-30), and yet enjoy His favor on the basis of nationality and their observance of the Law (Galatians 3:11). Scripture is very clear that those who are called "sons of God" have not been "born of blood, nor the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man," but have been born "of God" (John 1:13). The message of Jesus to those Jews who were relying upon their lineage for right standing with God was, "You must be born again" (John 3:3). As Paul wrote:

"There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism...." (Ephesians 4:4-5)

     In Galatians 3:26-29 and Romans 9:6-8, Paul denied that physical descent from Abraham and physical circumcision would save anyone, and stated that the true descendants of Abraham were those who "are Christ's" via spiritual regeneration. Consequently, we must reject the concept promoted by Dispensationalism that there are two separate people of God-- the Christian Church and the nation of Israel. The covenantal privilege that national Israel enjoyed as the chosen people of God was ended when the Jewish leaders "fill[ed] up... the measure of [their] fathers'guilt" (Matthew 23:32) by rejecting and crucifying their own Messiah. Jesus was very explicit in stating that the "house" of Israel was left "desolate" (Matthew 23:37-39), and that the Kingdom would be taken from the Jews as a people and given to another people (Matthew 8:10-12, 21:33-45, etc.).

     The Reformed view is that God "divorced" national Israel and "married" spiritual Israel, which is the Church made up of people "from every tribe and tongue and people and nation" (Revelation 5:9). Henceforth, the Church, not the nation of Israel, is referred to as the "Israel of God" (Galatians 6:16), the "house of God" (Hebrews 10:21), "a holy temple" (Ephesians 2:21), the "new Jerusalem" (Hebrews 12:22; Revelation 21:2), and "a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, [and] His own special people" (I Peter 2:9). Moreover, the Church is referred to by Scripture as "the bride, the Lamb's wife" (Revelation21:9), and "His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all" (Ephesians 1:23). Since there is no salvation apart from inclusion in Christ, Jews cannot and will not be saved unless they repent, believe the Gospel, and are baptized into the Church by the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38).

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Date: 08 Sep 2005
Time: 11:57:53


I agree on most of it, but what about the promises made by God to the nation Israel in the OT about them never ceasing to be a nation before Him, namely Jer. 31? Could you please comment more about the eschatological aspects of the "dipesational" view of the nation Israel, and how it does not really pertain to national Israel?
And falso, if the scriptures are not to be interpreted literally and grammatically and historically, then how is one to interpret scripture? I am not at all replying in an angered tone, I am just really curious to how you arrived upon such interpretations. Thank you.

Date: 13 Dec 2005
Time: 09:07:44


Pastor Reynaldo Estrada

Cristo es el Todo y en Todos (Colosenses 3:11) No hay distingos de raza, pueblos, naciones. Somos UNO en el Cristo resucitado sean judíos o gentiles: iglesias denominacionales o sinagogas judías no valen nada, lo que vale es que en Cristo somos Su nueva creación (Gálatas 6:15). Gracia y Paz.

Date: 30 Mar 2009
Time: 14:05:14

Your Comments:

In reply to the response above ("I agree on most of it"):

Israel's nationhood can never be divorced from the finished work of Jesus Christ who is "the king of Israel." The ethnic "nation" of Israel disappeared from the face of the earth when, at the moment of the Lord's death, the temple veil was ripped in two from top to bottom (Matt. 27:52). Although Paul expressed an ongoing godly concern for his ethnic kin, he also clearly emphasized that an Israel after the flesh was NOT the Israel of God (Romans 9:8). A nation of bloodline children is not the nation/Church Peter has identified in 1 Peter 2:9.

Therefore, the Dispensational "view of the nation" has perverted and distorted the following truth--the Lord Jesus is, in every respect, the literal seed of Israel (Galatians 3:16) who is the Head of the Church, the heavenly "country" (Hebrews 11:15,16;12:1,2) who fulfills the land promises of the Israel of God, the temple of Israel (John 2:19) who rose from the dead, the law of God (Romans 10:40) who provides righteousness for His own, and the King of Israel (John 1:49) who is also enthroned as her great High Priest (Hebews 8:1).

Date: 12 May 2010
Time: 08:43:12

Your Comments:

I'm confused. It was my understanding that the reformed view differs from that of the dispensational view. Have I been led astray???

Date: 08 Oct 2011
Time: 09:11:32

Your Comments:

"Many would be shocked to hear that such an elaborate eschatological system has no basis whatsoever in the Scriptures (properly interpreted), and instead rests upon very questionable, and at times even heretical, presuppositions regarding redemptive history."

Heretical? Really? When authors make straw men with their arguments it is because they lack a solid argument to stand on.





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