(from “Defending Dispensationalism”) by Mark Graeser, John Schoenheit and John Lynn
- A “covenant” is a solemn promise binding two parties in an agreement. In certain biblical covenants like the “New” Covenant, God binds Himself unconditionally by His love and grace to perform specific promises to specific people (Israel). These promises cannot be disannulled, and neither can they be “fulfilled” only in part; they must at some point be fulfilled completely or God’s righteousness would be compromised, and He found to be a liar. If the Church cannot “fulfill” the New Covenant, then it must be in a different relationship with God, (we are “in Christ/ in the Lord” and Israel cannot claim this relationship).
2. The covenant was made with Israel, the physical descendants of Abraham according to the flesh, and with them as a specific nation. Since the Church is neither Jews nor Gentiles (a “nation”), how can the Church fulfill this covenant?
- Since the Abrahamic covenant promises Israel a permanent existence as a nation (with a physical country), then the Church is not fulfilling Israel’s promises, nor is it “the New Israel” (or literally “the Israel of God”). The New Covenant properly belongs to the restoration of Israel as a glorious nation that is filled with a knowledge of God as “the waters fill the seas.”
- Because the Abrahamic covenant promises her permanent possession of the Promised Land, Israel must still come into possession of the land, which she has never fully possessed in her history, according to the precise specifications of that covenant. Old Testament prophecies confirm that Israel will have full possession of the land of Israel in the future, and Ezekiel 48 even describes which tribe will get which part of the land. In contrast, the Christian Church will never possess the land of Israel, and it has no “tribes,” so it cannot fulfill the prophecies of Ezekiel.
- The “New” Covenant is made with the same people as the “Old” Covenant, namely Israel.
- There is a distinction among personal promises to Abraham, national promises to Abraham’s seed and universal promises to “all the families of the earth.” The national promises can be fulfilled only by the nation itself. The language of the New Covenant is quite specifically directed to national Israel (Jer. 31:31-33).
- The Gospel of Christ is not a covenant, but the revelation of the salvation of God to all men.
- All the blessings that come to the Church today are based upon the blood of Christ, which was necessarily shed to make possible the New Covenant, according to Jeremiah 31. But just because the Church partakes of the blessings of the shedding of Christ’s blood (shed for the propitiation of the sins of the whole world –1 John 2:2) it does not mean that the Church therefore fulfills the New Covenant. The shed blood of Christ was a necessary condition for the formation of the Church, but was not sufficient for the fulfillment of the covenant. There is still the matter of land, material blessings, rest, Christ’s reign, a new heart for Israel, and so on, that were promised as a part of the New Covenant and have not yet been fulfilled. That’s why Hebrews 7: 22 says, “Jesus has become the guarantee (“surety”) of a better covenant”.
- Although we do not have the covenant made with us, we can have some of its blessings ministered to us, as well as be ministers of some of its blessings. This is the same principle as Peter’s Acts 2 citation of Joel 2:28-32 in reference to the giving of holy spirit on the day of Pentecost, a prophecy that actually refers to the still future “day of the Lord .” Peter had not been introduced to the truths of the “dispensation of the Secret” (Ephesians 3: 8) Although Peter did not then know the “secret,” his reference to Joel was relevant because each Christian now partakes of the holy spirit aspect of the future New Covenant with Israel. To me this is prevarication with the plain reading of the text. Peter absolutely DID NOT KNOW what he was talking about. Paul, in Romans 8:23 clears it up by saying we have the “firstfruits of the spirit”. It is easy to understand how people can have the blessings of a covenant ministered to them without being part of the covenant if one thinks of the Gentiles in the Old Testament. They were not part of the Old Covenant, but they could have covenant blessings ministered to them. Many non-Jews lived in Israel, apparently for that reason.
- As the Church receives blessings of the Abrahamic covenant by faith without fulfilling that covenant, so the Church may receive blessings from the New Covenant without fulfilling it.
- Israel must go through the Tribulation and be delivered by the Messiah before the New Covenant can be fulfilled (Rom. 11:26 and 27).
- Since the Tribulation, the second coming of Christ and the Millennial Reign of Christ are yet future, the fulfillment of this promise must also be future, and cannot be fulfilled now by the Church.
- The Messiah, who ratified this New Covenant with Israel, must return to the earth to complete the salvation, restoration and blessing of Israel that is promised them as a result of the New Covenant God promised them.
Some things Christians believe never fail to amaze me. One of them is what is named “the New Covenant.” Covenants have been and always will pertain to Israel, not the Church of God in Christ Jesus.
The Book of Hebrews will be a lot more familiar to a Hebrew than to a Gentile. The language and the words used will be much more understandable to them. Nevertheless, this “new” covenant mentioned in detail 14 times from 8:6 to 13:20 will leave even former Gentile, now Christian believers, with no doubt to whom this covenant applies.
8:6 tells us that Jesus will be the mediator of this new covenant. Verse 8 begins a quote of Jeremiah 31:31-34 which goes like this:
31 “Behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah,……NASB
It is pretty clear “to whom” this new covenant applies. This prophecy is yet to come to be fulfilled.
8:10 and 10:16 says “After those days,”—-after what days? “Those days” aren’t just any days, but refer to the Day(s) of the LORD, the days of the vengeance of our God.
And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in “those” days!
And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake “those” days shall be shortened.
Immediately after the tribulation of “those” days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
Yes, after these days of the Great Tribulation, will this new covenant be enacted for the faithful of Israel who live through it and those who are raised from the dead at the First Resurrection, that of the Just.
Covenants apply to Jews, not Gentiles nor the Church of God. God Bless!
Fred S. Wolfe
This picture represents what the prophets (including Jesus Christ) could see and know from the Scriptures. As you can see here the Prophets could not know or understand anything about the Church Age because God kept it a Secret from everyone until it was revealed to Paul and the other Apostles by the ascended Christ.
And to Him who is able to establish you, according to my good news, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the secret, in the times of the ages having been kept silent,
26 and now having been made manifest, also, through prophetic (Christian) writings, according to a command of the age-during God, having been made known to all the nations for obedience of faith —
27 to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, to him [be] glory to the ages. Amen.
3 that by revelation He made known to me the secret, according as I wrote before in few [words] —
4 in regard to which ye are able, reading [it], to understand my knowledge in the secret of the Christ,
5 which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it was now revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the spirit —
1 Cor 2:7-8
7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a musterion, secret, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:
8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
This one represents the Church of the Body of Christ versus the Kingdom of God and Christ. The resulting affect of this hidden wisdom is that the coming Kingdom which Jesus and the apostles expected soon after his ascension, would be put on hold or held in abeyance. As you can see, the Kingdom most Christians speak about as if it existed today, will not exist until after the Great Tribulation. As for now, Jesus is our Lord, not our king.
2 Peter 3:14-18
Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless, 15 and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, 16 as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction. 17 You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness, 18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.
This revelation is NOT to be ignored; you do so at your own destruction.
Will you be found blameless?
Are you among the untaught (unteachable) and unstable?
Are you being lead astray by the error of unprincipled men?
Are you growing in knowledge as well as grace?
As thrilling as it might be to read things about the End Times & the Great Tribulation, no one knows when they will be. In chapters XI, XII, XIII & XIV of my book, I go into great detail why these events cannot be known and there are no prophecies that pertain to the times in which we live.
Before you order it through Amazon at https://fredswolfe.com/ you can “Look Inside.” Basically, before Jesus’ ascension, he did not know about the Age in which we live today. (Here is where some of you will say, “but he was God and God knows everything,” yet in his own admission he stated that only the Father knows when he is coming back.
There are some people who are now saying that we are in the beginning stages of the Tribulation because of all the atrocities and wars going on throughout the world, as well as the lawlessness that prevails in many government leaders. Because I am here, and am writing this, I can assure you that we are not. The False Prophet is unveiled at the beginning of the Tribulation, performing lying signs, miracles and wonders. Has anyone heard of this?
Many Christians do not believe in the Rapture of the Church prior to the unveiling of the False Prophet, one of the antichrist’s, but I do. The Bible states that unless “a falling away” he apostasia, comes first the son of perdition will not appear. You can see the true meaning of Apostasia in the footnotes of page 106, but basically it means departure. This departure is called the “gathering together” or episunagoge.
As far as prophecies go, yes there are many about the end times but not the administration of the Secret which God kept a secret until He told it to the ascended Christ who in turn revealed it to the apostle Paul. It only stands to reason by mere deduction that if only God knew about it, no one could prophesy about it. Doesn’t that make sense?
Yes, these are trying times and when this age will end, no one knows. For now all of our friends can still be saved by the grace of God for merely making Jesus The Lord of their lives and believing God raised him from the dead. After the tribulation begins, this will not be the case, as there will no longer be salvation by grace. During the tribulation salvation will only be available by staying faithful through it or to the end of your life, whichever comes first. The latter will most likely come first.
Take advantage of this opportunity to get saved, now, before it is too late. God Bless!
The believers of Hitler’s time must have thought Hitler was the Antichrist; surely they believed Christ would return before he was able to do so many horrible things. The point is, there are no signs to indicate his return for the believers of this day and age. The Rapture of the Church is a part of the Sacred Secret, that was kept a secret by God until He revealed unto the apostle Paul, through Jesus Christ.
No one, including Jesus Christ, before his ascension, knew anything about the time in which we now live. It stands to reason that there can be no signs in the Bible as to when this Age will end, since no one knew when it would begin. All this and more is in my book at www.fredswolfe.com. If you did not read it this past year, you owe it to yourself, your children and your grandchildren to do so. Since there are no signs announcing the Rapture (Part 1 of the Parousia) there will be no time to prepare for it. If you are not ready now, you could very well be left behind.
If you are left behind, my book will tell you what to expect and how to make it through the Great Tribulation into the Millennial Kingdom where Christ will reign as King of kings and Lord of lords. It will be a thousand years that you will not want to miss. God bless you and happy new year.
When Paul spoke about another gospel he was speaking about anything other than his own gospel which he was preaching:
But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.
12 For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. KJV
Paul did not receive the revelation of Matthew, Mark Luke and John. He received the gospel of Romans, Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians and Thessalonians. These epistles are in the exact same order in every Greek Manuscript.
Romans, Ephesians and Thessalonians are Doctrinal
Corinthians and Philippians are Reproof
Galatians and Colossians are Correctional.
The revelation Paul received from our Lord Jesus in these letters supersedes everything else, as these are written directly to the church of God which is the body of Christ. These represent the Sacred Secret that God kept from everyone until Paul.
To confirm that Jesus did not know about this secret, he told his disciples that some of them would not die until they saw him returning in the clouds. Yet, they all died. Jesus and the disciples believed that the Great Tribulation described in the book of Revelation and Daniel would begin immediately after his ascension. They all expected Jesus to return within 7 years.
But, God threw them all a curve ball for the sake of the Gentiles. Thank Him He did! We are now living in that time period, the Age of the Secret, the Administration of Grace. Essentially the book of Revelation has been held in abeyance for about 2,000 yrs now.
See Romans 2:16, 16:25; 2Ti 2:8 concerning Paul’s gospel. See also the word “doctrine” in 1st and 2nd Timothy. God bless!