​The Three Distinctives

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  • ​The Three Distinctives

    There are three distinct administrations in the Word, consisting of Israel up to the Cross, the Church from Pentecost to the Rapture, and the Millennial Kingdom. These three systems set up conflicting and opposing principles; but since these difficulties appear only when an attempt is made to coalesce systems, elements, and principles which God has separated, the conflict really do not exist outside these unwarranted unifying efforts. In fact, they rather demonstrate the necessity of a due recognition of all of God’s different and distinct administrations.

    The true unity of the Scriptures is not discovered when one blindly seeks to fuse these opposing principles in one system, but rather it is found when God’s plain differentiations are observed. The dispensationalist does not create these differences as he is sometimes accused of doing. The conflicting principles, in the text of Scripture, are observable to all who penetrate deep enough to recognize the essential features of divine administration. Instead of creating the problems, the dispensationalist is the one who has the solution to them.

    If the ideals of an earthly people for long life in the land which God unto them (Ex 20:12; Mat 5:5) do not articulate with the ideals of a heavenly people* who in respect to the earth are “strangers and pilgrims” and who are enjoined to be looking for and loving the imminent appearing of Christ, the problem is easily solved by the one whose system of interpretation is proved rather than distressed by such distinctions.

    All Scripture is “profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2Tim 3:16), but all Scripture is not of primary application to a particular person or class of persons which the Bible designates as such. All Scripture is not of the angels, nor is it of the Gentiles. In like manner, all Scripture is not addressed to the Jew nor is it all addressed to the Christian.

    These are obvious truths and the dispensationalist’s plan of interpretation is none other than an attempt to be consistent in following these distinctions in the primary application of Scripture as far as, and not further than, the Bible carries them. However, all Scripture is profitable, that is, it has its moral, spiritual, or secondary application.

    To illustrate this: Much valuable truth may be gained from the great body of Scripture bearing on the Jewish Sabbath; but if that body of Scriptures has a primary application to the Church, then the Church has no Biblical ground for the observance of the first day of the week (which she certainly has) and she could offer no excuse for her disobedience—hence her individual members, like all Sabbath breakers, should be stoned to death (Num 15:32-36). In like manner, if all Scripture is of primary application to believers of this age then they are in danger of hell fire (Mat 5:29, 30), and to have the blood of lost souls “required at their hands” (Eze 3:17, 18).

    Moral and spiritual lessons are to be drawn from God’s dealings with Israelites, quite apart from the necessity being imposed upon Christians to comply with all that a primary application of the Scriptures specifically addressed to Israel would demand. Of the believer of this age it is said that “he . . . shall not come into condemnation (judgement)” (Jhn 5:24), and “there is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus” (Rom 8:1). These latter promises are disannulled by diametrically opposite declarations if all Scripture applies primarily to the Christian.

    - L S Chafer

    Poster’s Comment:

    *”If the ideals of an earthly people . . . do not articulate with the ideals of a heavenly people”: One of the most speculative (but likely true in my opinion) concepts concerning the end-time Jew is that they will inherit the New Earth, and the Church of Christ, the New Heaven. Some are of the thought that the land of Canaan is meant for an earth inheritance, but I believe it is not a natural, temporal inheritance but an eternal one, isolated to the Jewish nation, after they have been brought to faith by seeing Christ.

  • #2
    There will be no Jew or Gentile in the next life, but all shall be one in Christ. The Gentiles are grafted into the Vine. The Abrahamic Covenant, which is unconditional, will be fulfilled by the end of the battle at Megiddo (Armageddon). At that time, all the land promised by God to Abraham (Genesis 12) shall be given to him and his seed and nations. Right now, part of the land is occupied but by an unbelieving Israel.
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    • #3
      Originally posted by Stratcat View Post
      There will be no Jew or Gentile in the next life, but all shall be one in Christ. The Gentiles are grafted into the Vine. The Abrahamic Covenant, which is unconditional, will be fulfilled by the end of the battle at Megiddo (Armageddon). At that time, all the land promised by God to Abraham (Genesis 12) shall be given to him and his seed and nations. Right now, part of the land is occupied but by an unbelieving Israel.
      Hi SC - You may be correct, but for the last 15 years I've been researching and discovering the good possibility of the concept that the last unbelieving Jews at the time of Christ's return will believe in Him after they see Him.

      The prophecies of Eze 36 and Jer 31 seem most likely in a general relation to the Jews, e.g. most (if not all--Rom 11:26) of them will be saved in the latter days, which will contain a group of people separate from the those who will be children of God (Christians), for they will just be people of God and will not be able to lay claim to God as their Father, just as their God.

      It goes without informing you that my opinion of these concepts do not agree much with many on the internet, but we must remember these issues (Israel and the Church) being discussed are nonessential concerning receiving salvation.

      Thanks for your input!
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      • #4
        Originally posted by NetChaplain View Post
        Hi SC - You may be correct, but for the last 15 years I've been researching and discovering the good possibility of the concept that the last unbelieving Jews at the time of Christ's return will believe in Him after they see Him.
        Hi NetChaplain,

        Would you say your conclusion parallels the disciple Thomas? That is, the Jews will not believe until they can see, or through other empirical evidences? I am referring to John 20:29 - Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

        Are you suggesting blessed are they not through faith but by agnosticism?

        God bless,
        William
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        • #5
          Originally posted by William View Post

          Hi NetChaplain,

          Would you say your conclusion parallels the disciple Thomas? That is, the Jews will not believe until they can see, or through other empirical evidences? I am referring to John 20:29 - Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

          Are you suggesting blessed are they not through faith but by agnosticism?

          God bless,
          William
          Hi Will - Yes, I believe the issue concerning the saving of Israel in the end times has most to do with not believing in Christ before seeing Him, but the direct reference to Thomas' disbelief wasn't in Jesus being the Son of God but about His resurrection, which is the same problem the rest had until they say Him (Jhn 20:9). Since they believed before His return, it places them first in the Body of Christ, but it was their faith in Him as the Son that imparted salvation then, but now it requires belief in His resurrection (Rom 10:9, 10), which also assumes His incarnation which is another essential doctrine for salvation (1Jhn 4:2, 3; 2Jhn 1:7).

          In all things godly--"the Jew first, then the Gentile (Rom 1:16); and the Jews always required a sign (1Cor 1:22).

          I'm not certain what you mean by "not through faith but agnosticism."

          Appreciate the reply and esp. your site labors.
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          • #6
            Originally posted by Stratcat View Post
            At that time, all the land promised by God to Abraham (Genesis 12) shall be given to him and his seed and nations. Right now, part of the land is occupied but by an unbelieving Israel.
            The land promise, Genesis 15:18, by God to Abraham is right now occupied by Abraham's descendants, the Arabs.
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            • #7
              The Arabs are Ishmael's descendants. The land covenant with Israel is unconditional and will be fulfilled as I posted in #2, Genesis 12:1-9, Genesis 15:1-21, Genesis 17:8-10, Genesis 18:17-19,.
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              • #8
                Originally posted by Stratcat View Post
                The Arabs are Ishmael's descendants. The land covenant with Israel is unconditional and will be fulfilled as I posted in #2, Genesis 12:1-9, Genesis 15:1-21, Genesis 17:8-10, Genesis 18:17-19,.
                Your Bible references say Abraham, not Israel. The New Testament says the promises to Abraham apply to Christians, not Israel. Galatians 3:18-29
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                • #9
                  Originally posted by NetChaplain View Post
                  Appreciate the reply and esp. your site labors.
                  Thank you NetChaplain,

                  It is my pleasure to serve you. I appreciate your participation and enjoy reading your material.

                  God bless,
                  William
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                  • #10
                    You cannot ignore that Paul goes to great lengths to show us that we New Testament Christians are not just a new Israel, but Israel proper. We are said to be Abraham's seed and heirs according to the promise. The promises concerning the land are now redundant, God having spewed them out one final time in AD 70. That which is now called Israel by the world (the land formerly known as Palestine) is not the Israel of the Bible. Dispensationalists try desperately to hold on to an "earthly" Israel, separate and distinct from the NT Church - but Scripture simply does not support this. There is but ONE olive tree, not two.
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                    • #11
                      Cornelius, my Bible reference reveals that there will be neither Jew nor Greek, "27 For has many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 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. 29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise."

                      So then we share in the promise, unconditionally which God gave to Abraham concerning his seed and those of the Gentiles. All who are his seed are believers, along with the seed of Gentile believers.

                      I appreciate the responses, as they are good ones.

                      The land Abraham was shown in Genesis is the land God promised to Abraham unconditionally, and believing Gentile share in that land. All the land has not yet been given, but shall be after the tribulation period. There are serious flaws in the amillennialist view. During the tribulation to come, God turns back to Israel and fulfills His covenant which He gave to Abraham. There will be a new earth and new heaven, and the new Jerusalem will rest upon it as described in Revelation. Now, if one does not believe this, they do not believe what the Bible actually says. Dispensation bashing is based on incorrect background and false doctrine, due to ignoring certain Scriptures such as the 1000-year reign of Christ which is yet to come. As you all may have guessed, I am not of the Reformed belief, except for TULIP.
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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Stratcat View Post
                        The land Abraham was shown in Genesis is the land God promised to Abraham unconditionally,

                        The seed of Abraham, unconditionally?

                        Or, on the condition that the seeds of Abraham aren't Arabs?

                        Or, on the condition someone calls himself a Jew, regardless of any relationship, or non-relationship, to Abraham?


                        Originally posted by Icon O'Clast View Post
                        You cannot ignore that Paul goes to great lengths to show us that we New Testament Christians are not just a new Israel, but Israel proper. We are said to be Abraham's seed and heirs according to the promise. The promises concerning the land are now redundant, God having spewed them out one final time in AD 70. That which is now called Israel by the world (the land formerly known as Palestine) is not the Israel of the Bible. Dispensationalists try desperately to hold on to an "earthly" Israel, separate and distinct from the NT Church - but Scripture simply does not support this. There is but ONE olive tree, not two.
                        This!
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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Icon O'Clast View Post
                          You cannot ignore that Paul goes to great lengths to show us that we New Testament Christians are not just a new Israel, but Israel proper. We are said to be Abraham's seed and heirs according to the promise. The promises concerning the land are now redundant, God having spewed them out one final time in AD 70. That which is now called Israel by the world (the land formerly known as Palestine) is not the Israel of the Bible. Dispensationalists try desperately to hold on to an "earthly" Israel, separate and distinct from the NT Church - but Scripture simply does not support this. There is but ONE olive tree, not two.
                          Right, I also like how Keith Mathison of Ligonier describes Romans 11:

                          ... if we are talking about true Israel, there really is no distinction. The true Israel of the Old Testament became the nucleus of the true church on the day of Pentecost. Here the analogy of the olive tree that Paul uses in Romans 11 is instructive. The tree represents the covenant people of God—Israel. Paul compares unbelieving Israel to branches that have been broken off from the olive tree (v. 17a). Believing Gentiles are compared to branches from a wild olive tree that have been grafted in to the cultivated olive tree (vv. 17b–19). The important point to notice is that God does not cut the old tree down and plant a new one (replacement theology). Neither does God plant a second new tree alongside the old tree and then graft branches from the old tree into the new tree (traditional dispensationalism). Instead, the same tree exists across the divide between Old and New Testaments. That which remains after the dead branches are removed is the true Israel. Gentile believers are now grafted into this already existing old tree (true Israel/the true church). There is only one good olive tree, and the same olive tree exists across the covenantal divide. The Church and Israel in the NT
                          The faithful remnant has, and will always be true Israel. True Israel is not limited to geographic lines created in the sand by the U.N, but rather the church is the true Israel of God, “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession” consisting of people from every tribe, tongue, and nation, Jews and Gentiles alike, into one worldwide family - 1 Peter 2:9. The Land promised to Abraham in the Covenant of Grace has been fulfilled in Jesus Christ - Galatians 3:26, 29.

                          And welcome to the forum Icon O'Clast!

                          God bless,
                          William
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                          • #14
                            The unconditional covenant is not only the great nation of Abraham's seed, but the land promised to him. You all may be getting mixed up with the Mosaic law, which being broken does not break the Abrahamic Covenant. Follow your lineage. It goes through Israel, not Ishmael. You are also getting mixed up between the people promised to Abraham who are all the chosen of God, and those not chosen, thus are not of Abraham's seed, heretically or spiritually. Bothe Arabs and Jews are Semites downstream from Noah's son, Shem.

                            "I'm the brains of this outfit... nyah, see?" - Edward G. Robinson.
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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Stratcat View Post
                              The unconditional covenant is not only the great nation of Abraham's seed, but the land promised to him. You all may be getting mixed up with the Mosaic law, which being broken does not break the Abrahamic Covenant. Follow your lineage. It goes through Israel, not Ishmael. You are also getting mixed up between the people promised to Abraham who are all the chosen of God, and those not chosen, thus are not of Abraham's seed, heretically or spiritually. Bothe Arabs and Jews are Semites downstream from Noah's son, Shem.

                              "I'm the brains of this outfit... nyah, see?" - Edward G. Robinson.
                              Sometimes I forget to see from the perspective of classical dispensationalism where God has two distinct peoples: an earthly people, Israel, and a heavenly people, the church.

                              Question Strat, do you believe that there are two separate covenants, one between God and Israel and the other between God and the church of Jesus Christ? Just to clarify, rather than there being one way of redemption through faith in Jesus Christ for Jew and Gentile believers alike... do you believe God’s original covenant relationship with His ancestral people, Israel, remains separate from His new covenant relationship with the Gentile nations through the Lord Jesus Christ?

                              God bless,
                              William
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