“the Grand Difference”

Discussion in 'Bible Study' started by netchaplain, Jul 22, 2013.

  1. To fail to differentiate between dispensations is a normative within contemporary Christendom but I believe to fail to seek understanding in this area is to miss a great mass of spiritual growth doctrine available to the Word-hungry believer.

    Presently, many do not realize God’s work of division between unbelieving Israel (consisting only of Jewish nationality) and that of the Church (the believer of all nationalities). When God united Himself with Israel it was for eternity and even though their (unbelieving Jew) fellowship is presently broken, He is remaining faithful to His Abrahamic promise to save many of them (Rom 11:26; Jer 31:31-34).

    It is my personal belief that due to Israel’s unbelief before they see the Lord Jesus Christ, theirs will be of a lesser blessing (new Earth?) than that of those who believe in this life (new Heaven?); “Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (John 20:29).

    I do not expect many to understand, be familiar or even desire this dispensational issue and after nearly twenty years of study and research in this area, I find the knowledge of this remains well in excess of its understanding.

    The Grand Difference”​
    The Old Testament, speaking broadly, is occupied with the promise and prophecy of the advent of the Messiah Who would come to the chosen people of Israel as their Prophet, and King, and exalt the seed of Abraham above all the nations of the earth. The blessings which the saints of old were taught to expect were of an earthly nature. The daughter of Zion was to look for the coming of her King Who would reign in righteousness. The oppressor should be broken in pieces, and their enemies made to lick the dust of the earth.

    Peace should flow like a river, and the earth be full of the knowledge of Jehovah as the waters cover the sea. Long life and prosperous days should be the happy portion of every subject of the glorious kingdom of David’s Lord. In short, the Lord Jesus in the Old Testament is brought forward as the earthly ruler and the executor of divine justice in the earth, especially in connection with the nation of Israel. Accordingly the blessings of the people assume an earthly and national character in perfect accord with these promises.

    Now just as the hopes of Israel derived their points of distinction from Messiah the Prince coming to reign here below, so the hopes and calling of the Church received their distinctive marks from the position now assumed by the Lord Jesus Christ on high. This establishes the widest possible difference between Israel and the Church. The difference is that betwixt earthly and heavenly, carnal and spiritual blessing. Where we look in the Old Testament we find the same kind of anticipations. In Egypt and the wilderness, they look for the land of promise with a bountiful basket and store. In Canaan when groaning under the idolatrous rule of apostate kings, or when weeping by the rivers of Babylon, the faithful long for the Redeemer to come to Zion, Who shall bless every man under his own vine and his own pomegranate tree.

    But the New Testament sanctions no such expectations for the Christian. The Jew was entitled to hope for blessing here of a worldly nature; but the believer’s blessings are heavenly and spiritual, enjoyed by faith alone. They take their character from the risen and glorified Lord Jesus Christ at the Father’s right hand; and from Him, not as the king of Israel and the ruler of the nations, but as the glorified Head and Life of the Church.

    Because a thing is in the Bible it does not warrant the conclusion that it is God’s will for the Christian: we must seek rightly to divide the Word of Truth. What was formerly right for the Jews is for us nothing but the elements of the world. These forms pointed to a reality that is now come; the Body is of the Lord Jesus. The blessed portion of the Christian is that he has died even to the best things of the world, and is now alive to spiritual things in the presence of the Father.

    In the Old Testament we get the earthly or millennial family represented by the congregation of Israel, for whom the two goats were offered (Lev 16:8), and the heavenly family, the Church, by Aaron and his sons, whose offering was a bullock (Lev 8:6-14). In the one case, that of the earthly or millennial family, the law will be written in their hearts (Jer 31:33), the inclination to do evil will be superseded. In the other family, the heavenly, that is, Christian, the Lord Jesus is written in their hearts by the Holy Spirit; a great and important distinction, and indicating that the Christian’s blessings are in association with the Lord Jesus who has gone within the veil.

    -W J Hocking
  2. I really like the post millennial view.
  3. Hi Josh - Thanks for the reply. I realize Dispensational doctrine has no direct effect on the essentials of receiving salvation but I find it, and any truths of Scripture, growth-essential.

    God's blessings to your Family!
  4. I'm a dispensational believer. I see the millennial kingdom as earthly but temporal in which the Jews who survive the Tribulation as well as Gentiles who get saved during the Trib enter the kingdom in un glorified bodies vs the church saints (Jew and Gentile) and Old Testament saints entering in in glorified bodies. If this is what you meant by "lessor" blessing then I can see that. However according to scripture, in the eternal order, there will be equality.
  5. Though dispensational theology has much concerning the end times, it is used throughout the entire Bible, hallmarking the various ways God maintained His grace--from Adam onward. Scripture discloses that which is clear when in the black or white but there are places were it is gray and not so clear and direct, which is in the realm of the adiaphora (things indifferent). Eschatology contains the majority of such and differentiation of doctrine is difficult to clearly resolve, resulting often in speculative-theology which material fortunately is not salvation-essential (required for receiving salvation).

    Just to share a brief piece I would like to give what I've come to learn concerning Revelation 19:21 and onward. At present I do not think from here and onward there will be anyone in the physical bodies because they perished in the great conflagration in verse 19 and using this model is how I presently comprehend the Millennium dwellers.

    The saints and saved Israelites are in their gliorified bodies, and the rest, who are still dead (the unsaved) are in spirit only per - "the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished ( 20:5) and these also make up those in verses 8 and 9. Living intends being in an eternal bodily state. Dead intends in spirit only. So those in verse 8 are devoured and brought forth in verses 12 and 13.
  6. Amen to the salvation essentials not being part of the deeper things of God's Word. Most dispensationalists are literalists I guess. If they are then many like Hal Lindsey (I like him) abandon their literal interpretation method when it comes to eschatological symbolic language. I would have done the same if it had not been pointed out to me that when scripture uses symbols, those symbols are consistent in their definitions 95% of the time. Thus to keep the strict literal hermeneutic one has to define the symbolic passages of scripture with the normal defines and use the context to make sure that the symbols should be taken as usual or if it says otherwise as in the case of the woman used symbolically as Israel and in another place symbolized mystery Babylon.

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