PMW 2022-022 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
Dispensationalism is the bull in the china shop of biblical eschatology. The door needs to be opened and the bull released from the minds of earnest Christians. This will require an expose into the non-biblical nature of dispensationalism. I am continuing a series on the distortions of theology in the system.
A distinctive feature of dispensationalism is that the Millennial kingdom will be fundamentally Jewish in character, even to the point of rebuilding the temple, setting up David’s tabernacle, re-instituting the Jewish sacrificial system, and exalting the Jews: “This is the point: once Israel is restored to the place of blessing and the tabernacle of David is rebuilt, then will follow the third phase in the plan of God. That period will be the time of the millennium, when the nations will indeed by converted and ruled over by Christ” (House and Ice, Dominion Theology, 169; cp. Pentecost, Things to Come, ch. 30).
Dispensationalism surprisingly teaches such things as:
“The redeemed living nation of Israel, regenerated and regathered to the land will be head over all the nations of the earth…. So he exalts them above the Gentile nations…. On the lowest level there are the saved, living, Gentile nations” (Hoyt in Clouse, The Meaning of the Millennium, 81).
Greatness of the Great Commission (by Ken Gentry)
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See more study materials at: www.KennethGentry.com
“The Gentiles will be Israel’s servants during that age…. The Gentiles that are in the millennium will have experienced conversion prior to admission.” (Pentecost, Things to Come, 508)
“Israel will be a glorious nation, protected from her enemies, exalted above the Gentiles….” (Walvoord, The Millennial Kingdom, 136)
House and Ice concur: “God will keep his original promises to the fathers and will one day convert and place Israel as the head of the nations” (House and Ice, Dominion Theology, 175).
To hold the historic Christian view of the Church as a new Israel forever, over against dispensationalism is not in any way suggestive of a Reconstructionist “charismatic connection” with the cultic Manifest Sons of God, as they suggest (Dominion Theology, App. A). As we sing in that great Christian hymn, “All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name!”: “Ye chosen seed of Israel’s race/ Ye ransomed from the Fall.”
The Setting Aside of National Israel
While on earth Christ clearly and forthrightly taught that God would set aside national Israel as a distinctive, favored people in the kingdom: In Matthew 8:11,12 in the context of the Gentile centurion’s faith, He expressly says that the “sons of the kingdom shall be cast out” while “many from the east and west” shall enjoy the Abrahamic blessings. In Matthew 21:43 He parabolically teaches the rejection of national Israel when He says: “Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you, and be given to a nation producing the fruit of it.” In Matthew 23-24 He prophesies the removal of the spiritual center, the temple. He says it will be left “desolate” (Matt. 23:38) during the Great Tribulation (Matt. 24:21) when men should flee Judea (Matt. 24:16). He emphatically noted that “all these things shall come upon this generation” (Matt. 23:36; 24:34).
It is true that racial Jews in great mass will be saved later in the development of the kingdom in history (Rom. 11:11-25), per postmillennialism. The rub comes with their being exalted over and distinguished from saved Gentiles, and the turning back of the redemptive progress to “the weak and beggarly elements” of the sacrificial system.
As mentioned above, Isaiah 19:19-25 expressly alludes to Israel’s eventual equality in the kingdom: In verse 23 Isaiah says: “In that day Israel will be the third party with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth” (v. 23). Here the former enemies are seen receiving an equal share of God’s favor. In Zechariah 9:7 God speaks of His future favor upon other enemies of Israel. He refers to Ekron, one of the five chief cities of Philistia: “I will remove their blood from their mouth, and their detestable things from between their teeth. Then they also will be a remnant for our God, and be like a clan in Judah, and Ekron like a Jebusite.” This Philistine enemy is to become like “a clan in Judah.”
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See more study materials at: www.KennethGentry.com
In a surprising query, House and Ice (174) favorably cite Hunt: “At what point did her sins become so bad that God had to go back upon His Word, nullify His promises, and reject Israel?” The point they are looking for is without question the crucifying of the Messiah, the greatest sin of all history! Jesus makes this the point of the parable mentioned above (Matt. 21:23ff). The constant apostolic indictment against the Jews was this gross, conclusive act of rebellion. Although it is true that the Romans were responsible for physically nailing Christ to the cross (John 18:30-31), nevertheless, when covenantally considered the onus of the divine curse falls squarely upon those who instigated and demanded it: the Jews. The Biblical record is quite clear and emphatic: the Jews are the ones who sought His death (Matt. 26; 27; John 11:53; 18; 19). This most heinous sin of all time committed by the Jewish nation is a constant refrain in the New Testament (Acts 2:22-23, 36; 3:13-15a; 5:30; 7:52; 1 Thess. 2:14-15).
The dispensational disavowal of covenantal ethical cause-and-effect blinds them to the reality of God’s rejection of national Israel. The very fact that it could be assumed that Israel’s rejection as a nation is a ‘going back on His word’ and a ‘nullifying of His promises’ is evidence of this. Deuteronomy 28:15ff is the classic statement of the reality of covenantal curse, but it is constantly brought before Israel (Deut. 6:14-16; 11:26-28; 30:15; Lev. 26:14-33). God’s curse upon Israel, rather than representing a going back on His promise, was a fulfilling of His own publicly stated (Deut. 4:26; 31:19, 21, 26), Israel-affirmed (Exo. 19:8; 24:3, 7) covenantal threat.