And then, everything turned over. The transfer of the US Embassy to Jerusalem and the Hamas campaign against Israel on the Gaza border on Monday passed relatively quietly in the Arab world, and even Egyptian intelligence even forced Hamas to stop the offensive, while the Iranians were sharpening swords for the next round of strikes against us, In the Muslim world against Israel and for Hamas Turkey accuses Israel of committing genocide, insists Hamas is not a terrorist organization and expels and humiliates our ambassador
On Wednesday, Turkish Prime Minister Benali Yildirim announced that Turkey, An emergency of the organization, in order to attack Israel . At the end of the conference, a huge demonstration will be held against Israel in the city’s largest square. The Turks and the Iranians not only share hatred of the Jewish state, they also work together. Turkey is the most important channel to circumvent the economic sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council on Iran.
But while there is no sane person in Israel who does not recognize the fact that Iran is Israel’s enemy, almost no one in our political and security echelon knows that Turkey is an enemy of Israel. Our unwillingness to recognize this reality is not coincidental. Is a sign of the success of Erdogan ‘s cunning strategy .
In 1979, the revolutionaries in Iran took control of the Shah regime with violence, with the intention of turning secular Iran into an Islamic state. The hatred of the revolutionaries against Israel and the US has left no room for doubt among Israeli government and intelligence officials that the story of the alliance with Iran is behind us, and no one has deluded himself that it is possible to maintain ties with the new
In Turkey, the situation is different. From 1996 to 1997, Erdoğan’s mentor, Najmatin Arbakan, was prime minister of Turkey. The Turkish army removed him from his post because he worked to abolish the secular regime in Turkey and replace it with an Islamic government. As the scholar Dr. Harold Rhode wrote in his book Ally No More, when Erdogan and his AKP came to power in 2002, learning that Erbakan had been removed, Erdogan worked to conceal his intention to dismantle the secular regime, bowing to the desire of the Americans and Europeans to see him Leader of “moderate Islam”. Since then, systematically and consistently, Erdogan has dismantled the strongholds of secular rule – the press, the
judiciary, law enforcement, education and public service. Secularists were replaced by radical Muslims.
At the same time, Erdogan overthrew the army. According to the constitution introduced by Ataturk, the founder of the secular Turkish Republic, the army had faith in the preservation of the liberal regime.
In July 2016, following the failed coup attempt, Erdoğan completed reform when he suppressed and dismantled the pockets of the last secular resistance to his rule. Erdogan unveiled his goal in his victory speech on the eve of the 2011 election, when he was elected for the third time. “Today,” he said, “our victory is also important in Sarajevo, Beirut, Damascus, Ramallah, Jenin and Jerusalem.” In other words, he said that Turkey is headed to lead the entire Islamic world.
Erdogan’s intention is to revive the Ottoman Empire, which the Ataturk republic replaced for only a few decades. Like the Ottoman sultans who preceded him, he also sees himself as the Caliph, the religious and political leader of the entire Islamic world. Given Erdogan’s Turkey’s clear strategic shift, it is clear that Turkey’s hostility toward Israel will only worsen. What we are experiencing today, what we experienced in the events of the Mavi Marmara in 2010 and following them, were not ephemeral episodes.
As a non-Arab country (like Iran), Turkey considers leading the all-out Islamic campaign against Israel an essential tool for establishing its legitimacy as the leader of the Islamic world. Like the ayatollahs in Iran, as long as Erdogan and his people are in power, there is no chance that the situation will change. On the contrary, if it depends on Erdogan, he will get worse.
On Thursday it was reported that last year a shipment of electronic capacitors originating in Turkey was intercepted en route to Iran. The captured Israeli-made capacitors are included in the list of prohibited equipment for export to Iran as part of the United Nations sanctions, which the Israeli company claimed sold the capacitors to a veteran Turkish company: “We do not sell to enemy countries. Turkey is not an enemy state and there is no reason not to trade with it. ”
Minister of Finance Moshe Kahlon said in an interview with the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) that no change in economic relations between Israel and Turkey is expected, which he called “very important.” This means that Israel will not limit the sale of combat systems to Turkey, let alone dual-use systems. The importance of the Turkish ruler’s conduct in that “Erdogan has internal problems. He has a regular ritual. “Tourism Minister Yariv Levin also ignored Erdogan’s ambitions when he claimed he was acting as he did for election reasons, adding that” Turkey has a leader who is exploiting the Israeli issue in order to create headlines and enlist support before elections. ”
Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely Has made it clear that Israel is not in a state of severing ties with Turkey, most of El Al’s flights are over Turkey, there is a Jewish community in the country that needs to be cared for, and Israel has significant trade ties with Ankara. Diplomatic relations.
The Jewish community should be encouraged to leave Turkey. El Al’s flight routes should be examined in order to find ways to reduce exposure to Turkish skies, and trade relations should be limited in view of the close relations between Turkey and Iran. The story of the alliance between Turkey and Israel ended years ago. This is not a passing episode. Erdogan is a real enemy, not to be confused. The man aspires to empower and lead radical Islam and exploits his hostility towards us in order to establish his status. He is not interested only in political gain. The time has come for Israel to understand this and formulate a long-term policy aimed at weakening Turkey, reducing its maneuvering space and damaging its international, military and economic standing.
MOSCOW — Russia’s defense minister met with his Iranian counterpart Tuesday and hailed the two country’s cooperation in Syria.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said at the start of talks with his Iranian Defense Minister Amir Hatami that “our joint work in Syria has brought appreciable results.”
Russia and Iran both have backed Syrian President Bashar Assad throughout the seven-year civil war, helping Assad’s army turn the conflict in his favor.
Shoigu told Hatami that Moscow and Tehran now need to focus on restoring Syria and helping refugees who fled the war to return.
The defense ministers’ talks in Moscow came on the eve of a trilateral meeting of the presidents of Russia, Turkey and Iran in Ankara that is expected to focus on next steps in Syria.
Last month, Iran signed a $742 million (600 million euro) deal with Russian state-owned energy firm Zarubezhneft to boost production at two oil fields in the country’s west.
The deal comes amid heightened fears that US President Donald Trump will withdraw from the 2015 deal to restrict Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for the easing of crippling economic sanctions.
Israel, America’s closest Mideast ally, and other regional nations like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are deeply concerned about the influence of Iran and its allies, including the Shiite terror group Hezbollah, inside Syria.
The US military presence in Syria has been seen as a buffer against unchecked Iranian activity, and especially against Tehran’s desire to establish a contiguous land route from Iran to the Mediterranean coast in Lebanon.
Times of Israel staff and AFP contributed to this report.
The US envoy sounded a victorious tone with a narrative of how the US has helped put ISIS on the run in both Iraq and Syria, focused on ISIS clean-up operations.
The US will not let Iranian proxies threaten Israel from the Golan after ISIS-rule in Syria falls, US envoy for combating ISIS Brett McGurk said on Thursday.
Speaking at the IDC Herzliya Conference, McGurk said that he was “recently on the Golan looking at… ISIS across the border” and that neither ISIS nor “Iranian proxies” can be allowed to remain to trouble Israel.
The US envoy sounded a victorious tone with a narrative of how the US has helped put ISIS on the run in both Iraq and Syria, focused on ISIS clean-up operations.
He said that the US has undertaken “30,000 airstrikes on ISIS to date in the most precise air campaign in history.”
Next, McGurk said that the US and allies would need to work hard top share intelligence data about fleeing ISIS fighters to ensure they are caught wherever they go, remarking that “few do better” in this arena than Israel.
Responding to recent allegations that the US was violating the laws of war by using white phosphorous as a weapon, he shot down the reports.
“In the last month, ISIS started killing any civilians trying to leave” Mosul as Iraqi forces started to retake the city, even “using a hospital” as a “killing tower” for firing on fleeing civilians, he said.
He explained that “the US is only using white phosphorous to protect civilians trying to flee ISIS,” and not as a method of attack.
The use of white phosphorous on the battlefield, even as a diversionary measure, is controversial because it can easily and indirectly create large fires which spring out of control.
McGurk also contextualized the US’s recent shooting down of a Syrian Assad regime aircraft as responding to its crossing battle lines in attacking US-supported Syrian rebels.
ISIS gained prominence in 2014 at one point controlling large swaths of both Iraq and Syria, but has lost most of its territory against a range of Iraqi, Syrian, Turkish, Kurdish, US and Russian power over the last two years.
Germany and Austria have lashed out against US Senate for approving a legislation tightening sanctions on Russia. The bill has a provision that enables the United States to impose sanctions on European firms involved in financing Russian energy export pipelines to Europe. European companies could be fined for breaching US law. In a joint statement, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel and Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern accused the US of threatening European economic interests, describing it as an illegal attempt to boost US gas exports. The United States recently started shipping liquefied natural gas to Poland and has ambitions to cultivate other European customers.
The bill says the US government «should prioritize the export of United States energy resources in order to create American jobs, help United States allies and partners, and strengthen United States foreign policy». But the European foreign chiefs believe that «Europe’s energy supply is Europe’s business, not that of the United States of America». Gabriel and Kern said they «can’t accept» proposed US sanctions targeting European energy companies as part of measures against Russia.
German firms BASF and Wintershall, Austria’s OMV and Voestalpine, and Royal Dutch Shell are involved in Nord Stream 2, a pipeline project to pump Russian natural gas via the Baltic Sea to landfall in Germany. Russia’s Gazprom and its European partners are pushing ahead with the plans to double the capacity of the existing Nord Stream undersea gas pipeline to Europe. Gazprom has already received more than €1 billion from its partners for Nord Stream 2 financing. In April Uniper, Wintershall, Shell, OMV and Engie agreed to each loan 10% of the cost of the venture, or up to €950 million each. The Russian company will shoulder 50% of the cost of the 55 billion cubic metre pipeline, which is due to start operating in 2019.
The foreign ministers emphasized that the very fact that the US bill threatens European firms taking part in pipeline construction is «a completely new and very negative dimension into European-American relations». The officials wrote that, «In noticeable frankness, the draft US legislation describes what it’s really about: the sale of American liquefied petroleum gas and the squeezing out of Russian natural gas from the European market». German Economy Minister Brigitte Zypries joined in the criticism on June 16 and warned of possible retaliation if Washington ended up fining German companies. The Senate’s move is a way for the US «to try to favor its own gas» in Europe, Isabelle Kocher, the chief executive officer of Engie, France’s former gas monopoly, told reporters in Paris on June 15. «I don’t think at all that the United States can stop this project». she said.
It’s worth to note that the US space agency (NASA) is exempt from the Senate bill but fines against foreign companies are specifically mentioned! Can there be a better example of double standards practiced by America’s political elite?
It’s very important to emphasize that the joint statement of the foreign ministers goes beyond the Nord Stream project. It puts into doubt the very idea of US-European joint policy on Russia. The paper says, if the bill becomes a law it would «diminish the effectiveness of our stance on the conflict in Ukraine if we were to no longer take joint action» against Russia in future.
Actually, the attempts to undermine Russia’s gas exports to Europe are doomed if the game is fair and politics is not mixed up with economy. Russia has a clear advantage. Natural gas transportation by pipeline is significantly cheaper than building and employing expensive LNG port infrastructure. Besides, the Russia’s export infrastructure is already built while the US export terminals are still under construction. At present, only Sabine Pass LNG export facility in the Gulf of Mexico is operational but still has a long way to go to reach full operational capacity. And with more terminals built, the US will be seeking to export LNG to Asia, which is more profitable than the supplies to Europe.
Russian Gazprom can produce and export gas to Europe at a much lower cost than LNG from across the Atlantic. It can flood Europe with cheap gas to kill off US sea exports. It has 100 billion cubic meters of annual gas production capacity sitting on the sidelines in West Siberia, which can effectively be used as spare capacity. The company’s latent capacity is equivalent to 3 percent of global production. This large volume of capacity is the result of investments in a major project on the Yamal Peninsula.
And the bottomline? Evidently, the United States clout in the Middle East is on the wane, while Russia is emerging as an important broker. Qatar, a leading world gas exporter, has recently started to shift to the Moscow-spearheaded Russia-Turkey-Iran axis as a result of the US-supported recent rift in the Arab world. What does it mean for global energy market? A new gas cartel is emerging to include Russia, Iran and Qatar – a dangerous competitor and for the US nascent shale industry. What to do about it? Here they are – the US lawmakers are going to any length to turn the tide. No scruples, anything will do when it comes to the implementation of the «America First» principle.
Another aspect to take into account. The Russia sanctions are part of the Iran bill. European companies are chomping at the bit for sealing lucrative contracts with Iran. Europe does not have to join the restrictive measures unilaterally imposed on Tehran by US Congress. The interests diverge and the gap between the US and Europe is getting wider. The process is gaining momentum.
The statement made by the German and Austrian officials is not just a separate event – another scoop to hit headlines. This present rift between the US and its European allies is another reflection of the trend that has been gaining momentum recently. America and Europe appear to go separate ways on many issues and no turgid words and high-fallutin’ speeches can hide this fact.
Terror group in Egypt says it launched two grad projectiles at crossing two days ago, hitting Egyptian territory; claimed IDF had bombed its positions in response
BY JUDAH ARI GROSS AND AVI ISSACHAROFF December 15, 2016, 1:35 am
The Islamic State terror group claimed Wednesday that it was responsible for firing two missiles on Monday from the Sinai Peninsula, aimed at an Israeli border crossing with Egypt but which missed the mark and landed in Egyptian territory.
The Islamic State affiliate in Egypt, known as Sinai Province, published photos on one of its news agencies from the attack on Monday documenting “the bombardment of the Nitzana border crossing on the border with Palestine with two grad rockets.”
On Monday, incoming rocket alert sirens sounded in southern Israel, as a result of the missiles launched in Sinai.
The Islamic State group claimed Israel responded with a series of airstrikes against it in the northern Sinai peninsula. The IS news agency said that Israel carried out three strikes over the course of three days in the area of Sheikh Zuweid in the northern peninsula. The Israel Defense Forces would not respond to the allegation.
View image on Twitter
#ISIS affiliate claims responsibility for rockets fired from #Sinai into #Nitzana Border Crossing this week.
According to the IS news agency, Abdullah Kishta, a former member of Hamas who joined the ranks of the Islamic State was killed in Sinai but the circumstances of his death were not immediately clear.
For the past two years, Kishta had reportedly worked as a bridge between the Islamic State and Hamas in the Gaza Strip, assisting in smuggling fighters in and out of the coastal enclave.
Israel’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai called Kishta out by name as a link between the two terrorist groups last year, saying the IDF had “proof” of the direct connection.
In July, a former Israeli senior official told Bloomberg news that Israel had carried out drone strikes against terrorists operating in the Sinai Peninsula in recent years.
The airstrikes were conducted with Egypt’s knowledge and blessing, according to the ex-official, who spoke to the US-based news site on condition of anonymity.
While it has become a well-known secret that Jerusalem and Cairo cooperate closely on security measures in the Sinai and Gaza, many of the details of that relationship have been kept a closely guarded secret.
Islamists in the restive Sinai who have since pledged allegiance to the Islamic State have waged an insurgency against Egyptian forces since the ouster of president Hosni Mubarak in 2011.
Fighting has intensified in recent years following a coup by current President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi to remove Muslim Brotherhood-linked leader Mohammed Morsi from power.
In this Sunday, April 12, 2015 photo, Egyptians gather at the scene following a bombing that struck a main police station in the capital of the northern Sinai province in el-Arish, Egypt. (Muhamed Sabry/AP)
In this Sunday, April 12, 2015 photo, Egyptians gather at the scene following a bombing that struck a main police station in the capital of the northern Sinai province in el-Arish, Egypt. (Muhamed Sabry/AP)
Israeli military officials believe that despite ideological differences, Hamas in Gaza is cooperating with extremists affiliated with Islamic State or other armed groups in Egypt’s neighboring Sinai region.
They praise Egypt’s crackdown on Hamas’s cross-border smuggling tunnels, which had been a main conduit for weapons into Gaza, and say the Egyptian military is doing an admirable job in a fierce battle against IS militants in Sinai.
Israel has allowed Egypt to move heavy weapons like tanks, artillery and attack helicopters into the Sinai to fight extremists, overlooking provisions in the landmark 1979 peace treaty between the two countries.
The two sides also are considered to have close intelligence ties.
The two countries have entered something of a golden age in their relationship since Sissi assumed the country’s leadership in 2013.
“This is one of the best times we’ve ever had” in terms of cooperation between governments, Israeli ambassador to Cairo Haim Koren said earlier this year. “There’s good cooperation between the armies, we have understandings about the Sinai Peninsula, and basically, we see (eye-to-eye) on development of the region.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Times Of Israel
DUBAI – Donald Trump’s election has led to unease over threats to peace in the region, Iran’s defense minister said on Sunday, warning that a war would destroy Israel and the small Gulf Arab states.
Trump’s election victory has raised the prospect the United States will pull out of a nuclear pact it signed last year with Iran, which Barack Obama’s administration has touted as a way to suspend Tehran’s suspected drive to develop atomic weapons.
This has led to unease among US allies in the Gulf, Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan was quoted as saying by the semi-official Mehr news agency.
“Even though a businessman, the assistants that … (Trump) has chosen may map a different path for him, and this has led to unease, particularly among Persian Gulf countries,” Dehghan told a security conference in Tehran, according to Mehr.
“Considering Trump’s character and that he measures the cost of everything in dollars, it does not seem likely that he would take strong action against our country,” he said.
“Enemies may want to impose a war on us based on false calculations and only taking into consideration their material capabilities…
“Such a war would mean the destruction of the Zionist regime (Israel) … and will engulf the whole region and could lead to a world war,” Mehr quoted Dehghan as saying.
“Among other consequences of the war, would be the destruction of the city-states on the southern shore of the Persian Gulf, because they lack popular support,” Dehghan said, referring to small Western-allied Gulf states such as the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Qatar.
Iran is an arch-enemy of Israel. Tehran and most Gulf states are on opposite sides in Middle East conflicts, with the Islamic republic an ally of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria’s civil war and of the armed Houthi movement fighting a Saudi-led military coalition in Yemen.
THE European Union has been dealt a huge blow as a pro-Russia politician looks to set to become the next Bulgarian president.
Instead former air commander Rumen Radev will take the top title after winning an estimated 58 per cent of the vote.
Rumen Radev will take the top title after winning an estimated 58 per cent of the vote
Despite being a political outsider, he was the clear winner after Tsetska Tsacheva – the 58-year-old candidate of the ruling GERB party – only secured 35 per cent of the vote.
Voters took to the polls in Bulgaria today
He argued Bulgaria needs to be pragmatic in balancing the requirements of its EU and NATO memberships while also ensuring the Baltic nation does not alienate Russian allies.
The Socialist Party candidate also vowed not to let Bulgaria become a “migrant ghetto”, and advocates a separate Bulgarian army operation at the Turkish border to prevent an influx of new arrivals.
Radev, 53, came into politics following discontent with the ruling centre-right
Prime Minister Boiko Borisov said on Sunday he will resign as promised
We listened to the voters’ concerns. We said that we will work for Bulgarian national interests, that’s what gave us broad support
He later added: “The results clearly show that the ruling coalition no longer holds the majority.
The result is now likely to result in months of political instability, and Bulgaria’s tilt towards Russia is likely to come as a blow to the country’s western European allies.
Although President-elect Radev said he will keep Bulgaria in Nato, he also affirmed that “being pro-European does not mean being anti-Russian”.
Rival Tsetska Tsacheva only secured 35 per cent of the vote
Radev called for an end to EU sanctions against Russia
Radev said: ”We listened to the voters’ concerns. We said that we will work for Bulgarian national interests, that’s what gave us broad support.”
In Moldova, another ex-communist state near the Black Sea, voters were expected to install another pro-Russian candidate as president – which would slam the breaks on seven years of closer EU integration.
Many new leaders in the Baltic are supporters of Vladimir Putin
The EU member state’s falling government is now expected to be replaced by the traditionally pro-Russia Centre Party following the collapse.
With a 62-to-28 vote against Roivas, his Reform Party has been pushed out of power, leading to a new government between the Centre Party, the Social Democrats and the IRL.
President & Professor of Theology & Languages
Tyndale Theological Seminary, Ft. Worth, TX
The Relationship Between the Dispensations and Covenants — Part 1
Few writers have addressed the relationship between the dispensations and the biblical covenants. Rarely do you find dispensationalists discussing this issue. Because of this, often there are statements that seem to miss the mark and confuse the specifics that make dispensations and covenants different.
For example, often dispensationalists may be heard to say “the dispensation of Promise continues on into the Old Testament period of the Law because the nation of Israel is built on the promises of the Abrahamic covenant.” This is a perfect illustration of confusing and mixing the purposes and functions of the covenants with the dispensations.
For example, in his book Dispensationalism, chapter Three, under the paragraph heading The Matter of “Carryovers”, Ryrie seems to confuse the Noahic Covenant with the Dispensation of Human Government, when he writes, “The rainbow as a sign that God will never again bring a worldwide flood on the earth has assured, and continues to assure, mankind.”1 Ryrie is trying to say that certain elements of a dispensation may carry over into other dispensations coming later in the Bible. But the rainbow is not a sign of the Human Government dispensation, it is a sign of the Noahic Covenant!
Introductions and Limitations
Right off, I want to say that this article is calling for a challenge and dialogue on the subject. I am open for adjustments on the thoughts here presented because what will be stated may be somewhat different than our normal approach as to how the dispensations and covenants work. But I trust
CTJ 2:7 (December 1998) p. 406
that the article is true to the Scriptures and that it helps clarify areas of some confusion.
Most dispensationalists would argue that the dispensations are not measured by, defined by, nor limited to periods of time. But I believe that a period of time can be an important part of the theological definition of a dispensation. And I believe that this article may demonstrate that time is indeed a crucial factor in how a dispensation may work. Granted, the idea of a time period is not embedded in the word oikonomiaitself.
Being a Calvinist, I believe that all things happen through the agencies of God’s providence and sovereignty. That includes, of course, the establishment of the dispensations and covenants. I see the covenants as prophetic and redemptive in nature, but I understand the dispensations to be passive in nature. By this I mean that God is applying a test to history, during a given dispensation, and He is waiting and observing how man will respond in light of new circumstances. In actuality, no merit God is not really waiting on the actions of human beings.
Coming back to the issue of time, Ryrie reacts to the idea of a time consideration in a dispensation. But many fail to read his final thought on the subject:
…there is a certain justification to the criticism [of a dispensation being a period of time], for a dispensation is primarily a stewardship arrangement and not a period of time (though obviously the arrangement will exist during a period of time). Age and dispensation are not synonymous in meaning, even though they may exactly coincide in the historical outworking. A dispensation is basically the arrangement involved, not the time involved; and a proper definition will take this into account. However, there is no reason for great alarm if a definition does ascribe time to a dispensation. (Italics mine.)2
By what I see in Scripture, I think it is important to re-introduce the concept of time back into the theological definition. I believe this will help in defining the relationship between the dispensations and covenants.
Theological Definition of Dispensationalism
The word oikonomia technically means “house law,” implying how a house is managed and its affairs are placed in order. From this we get the idea of an “economy, stewardship, arrangement,” or a “dispensation.”
CTJ 2:7 (December 1998) p. 407
Ryrie points out that, from these ideas we arrive at “the outworking of God’s purpose.”3 The dispensation is also seen as the work of God and not man. The dispensations are “economies instituted and brought to their purposeful conclusion by God.”4
To summarize: Dispensationalism views the world as a household run by God. In His household-world God is dispensing or administering its affairs according to His own will and in various stages of revelation in the passage of time. These various stages mark off the distinguishably different economies in the outworking of His total purpose, and these different economies constitute the dispensations. The understanding of God’s differing economies is essential to a proper interpretation of His revelation within those various economies.5
To this, I would add:
A dispensation is a recognizable historic division in Scripture in which God observes the activities of man, in a given historic framework, and passes judgment on that activity. In a certain practical way, man fails in every dispensation. He also fails morally and spiritually. A dispensation is not a way of salvation. Through the Ages of history, man is saved by faith and by believing and trusting what God has said. By the time of New Testament revelation however, faith must be placed in the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ for our sins. Christ and His work of salvation becomes the object of our belief.
Most dispensationalists see seven dispensations clearly marked out in Scripture. Few have questioned the fact that the apostle Paul speaks about at least three of the seven.
First, Paul clearly contrasts between the dispensations of Law and the Church. He writes of the stewardship (dispensation) that was given to him by God, the “mystery” that “has been hidden from the past ages and generations, but has now been manifested to His saints…the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col. 1:25–27).
Paul was saying that Jesus would come and dwell within the Gentile who had accepted Him as Savior. This truth had been hidden from ages past. It is now manifested to the present saints in contrast to the fact that saints of the
CTJ 2:7 (December 1998) p. 408
past had not known this great spiritual miracle of redemption, the Messiah dwelling within!
Did not God work differently in the Ages past than He is in the present age? Was it not a different time? Is He not doing something unique in this Church Age generation? And, in the context of the passage, is there another dispensation in view? What would be the apostle’s nearest point of reference in the past? Answer: The Dispensation of Law!
In Colossians 1, but also in Ephesians 3, Paul’s “mystery of Christ” (Eph. 3:4) is clearly the Dispensation of the Church Age. He says “in other generations it was not made known to the sons of men as it has now been revealed…” (v. 5). That is, that the Gentiles would become fellow partakers [with the Jews] of the same spiritual body, and fellow heirs of the promise in Christ Jesus (v. 6).
Thus, it was given to Paul “to bring to light what is the administration (dispensation) of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God,…” (v. 9). Without question, the great apostle is speaking of the dispensation of the Church.
Finally, Paul seems to be alluding to the dispensation of the future Kingdom when he writes in Ephesians 1:10: “[God] made known to us the mystery of His will,…with a view to an administration (dispensation) suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things upon the earth.”
Characteristics of a Dispensation
Below is a list of characteristics that most dispensationalists have come to accept. Included also are some additional factors that may help in our understanding of the dispensational interpretative approach, in unfolding a proper biblical time-line.
1. God is the author of history and all history will ultimately bring glory and honor to Him. God’s sovereignty and providence is continually at work in the world of mankind. God is not passive nor is He simply a spectator. And yet, under the Lord’s mysterious providence, human beings are moving forward in the development and shaping of a civilization in their own time. That is, each Age seems to be moving forward and growing intellectually. The horizon broadens. But of course, knowledge in itself never leads mankind to God.
Technologically, and in a certain framework of maturation, the world is growing up. But because of the depravity of human beings since the Fall, this
CTJ 2:7 (December 1998) p. 409
certainly in no way includes spiritual and moral development. In these areas, humanity gropes in darkness and will continue to fail.
2. The stages in which God analyzes the direction human beings are going may be called dispensations. At a given time, people are living in a certain social and spiritual framework. What kind of decisions will they make? How will they relate to each other and to God?
As human cultures progress and move forward, they continually fail and are judged. Out of what is happening in each dispensation among people, there develops an opportunity to turn to God, a test becomes obvious, a natural failure arises, and a judgment follows. Then, another dispensation begins.
There are exceptions to this pattern seen in the dispensations of Innocence, Promise, and Law. Innocence was obviously confined to our first two parents, Adam and Eve. There were no other people on earth! Because of the failure of human beings in the early dispensations, in the dispensation of Promise, for example, the Lord focused His attention on Abraham and his immediate children. In the dispensation of Law, God is testing the entire nation of Israel. In a perfect legal environment, can this people be true to God and obedient to His laws? This test was not given to the nations. It was confined to the Jewish people. Only a limited number of Gentiles who came into contact with Israel became believers in the God of the Bible.
3. Dispensations are progressive but their distinctions keep them from being co-mingled or confused because they have a chronological succession. As quoted by Ryrie, Eric Sauer seems to have a correct understanding and proper biblical perspective on how the dispensations actually function:
But a fresh Divine beginning is never merely a return to the old. In each reformation born out of collapse lay at the same time the seed of a life-program for the future. Revelation and development are in no case opposites but belong together. In the sphere of the Bible, as elsewhere, there is an ascent from lower to higher, from twilight to clearness.6
Ryrie adding to this, writes:
4. Dispensationalism reveals the outworking of God’s plan in the historical process in a progressive revelation of His glory. It magnifies the grace of God, for it recognizes that true progress can come only from God’s gracious
CTJ 2:7 (December 1998) p. 410
intervention in human society. If there were not “cyclical” interventions, then the course of history would be only downward and entirely pessimistic.7
Difference of Viewpoint
Though agreeing in essence with Ryrie in his excellent book on the subject,Dispensationalism, here are two statements that I believe need to be refined. Ryrie argues for the importance of Progressive Revelation in the development of dispensationalism and for teaching more clearly the concept of biblical unity, within the dispensational framework.8
But it is with these two crucial points that I believe we, all dispensationalists, have made several slight errors.
First, there is no question as to the importance of Progressive Revelation (PR) in hermeneutics and interpretation. PR does indeed show development, growing stages, and God working in different ways at different times in Scripture. But in reference to dispensations, Ryrie makes the point that, in the Bible, in a new series of generations either a new promise is given or some great purpose of God is brought to light.
Without question, I believe the dispensations indeed bring forth more information about the depravity of mankind. But I believe it is within prophecy as declared in most of the covenants, coupled with Progressive Revelation, that we learn about the Savior Jesus Christ and of His plan of redemption. We do not learn these things primarily in the dispensations. (But more on this later.)
Second, some non-dispensationalists say that our dispensational views destroy the unity of Scripture. Ryrie agrees that we have not been as clear as we should on this point. He writes,
Dispensationalism alone has a broad enough unifying principle to do justice to the unity of the progress of revelation on the one hand and the distinctiveness of the various stages in that progress on the other…only dispensationalism can adequately account for the variety of distinguishable economies or dispensations in (not apart from) the outworking of God’s purpose.9
On this point also I have a different opinion. I believe that unity of Scripture is not necessarily shown in the dispensations but in the covenants. It is in the biblical covenants that a plan and purpose is set forth by the Lord.
CTJ 2:7 (December 1998) p. 411
Not only is redemption revealed in the covenants, but a plan of history is revealed, that flows mainly from Abraham all the way to the final chapters of the book of Revelation. Ryrie adds: “Only dispensationalism can maintain unity and diversity at the same time and offer a consistent system of interpretation.”10 I believe, however, it is closer to the truth to say that the dispensations give us biblical diversity while the covenants reveal a plan of redemptive unity!
How Many Dispensations Are There?
For the purpose of this study, we will simply note that most dispensationalists hold to seven. I recall while studying under Ryrie at Dallas Seminary that he would say: “If you can see the difference between the dispensations of Law and the Church Age, you are a dispensationalist!”
Ryrie was obviously emphasizing the point of how important it is to recognize the difference between these two most obvious dispensations. And with this difference, one can observe the significant doctrinal distinctions between Israel under Law and the uniqueness of the Spirit-indwelled life under the dispensation of the Church Age!
But could it be that there are actually eight dispensations? Even Ryrie seems comfortable in discussing the possibility that the seven-year period of the Tribulation is actually a dispensation! (Maybe since this period is so short, this is the reason it is generally excluded as being a dispensation!)
Is the Tribulation a Dispensation?
Ryrie points out that Chafer suggested that the dispensation of the Law would come back in operation during the Tribulation. For instance, the Sabbath day will apparently be observed in this period (Matt. 24:20). And God will be dealing specifically with Israel in the seventieth week of Daniel. (The first sixty-nine weeks were part of the economy of Law.) Thus, according to Chafer, the Tribulation is that last week (seven years) with the Law dispensation fully restored.11
But I answer that the Sabbath is being observed in the Tribulation simply because a majority of Jews are back in their homeland during this period. And, if the Tribulation is a dispensation, it is greater than God simply dealing with Israel—though this is important. He is also pouring wrath out upon the whole world! Ryrie notes, “…even though God turns His attention to Israel again during the Tribulation, He does not do this to the exclusion of others.”12
CTJ 2:7 (December 1998) p. 412
Though wrath is being poured out, this will be a time of much salvation in the world. Many Jews and multitudes of Gentiles will come to know Christ (Rev. 7:9–17). It will be a time during which grace will not be absent, but rather manifestly present.13
In what way is there both a test and a judgment during the Tribulation? The following list points out factors that may represent a test, and judgment for failure of that test. In addition, other reasons are given below for considering the Tribulation a dispensation:
- As a test, the world will have the witness of the 144,000 Jewish evangelists (Rev. 7:1–8).
- As a test, with great pain inflicted by the demon hordes, men will still refuse to repent of their immoralities (9:20–21).
- Though seeing the miracles of the two witnesses, the world still rejoices over their deaths (11:9–10).
- The eternal gospel is carried throughout the entire world by an angel so that people will be without excuse (14:6–7).
- Though great wrath is poured out on the throne of the beast, people will still blaspheme the God of heaven and will not repent of their deeds (16:10–11).
- Though the Jews living during this period are spiritually responsible for the message about the Messiah, it appears as if the majority fail to carry out that mission to the world (Matt. 25).
- The Tribulation has a distinct beginning and a definite ending with the second coming of Christ (Rev. 19:11–21). This would seem to be an important demonstration of a dispensation.
- The entire period could be called a failure. A vast majority of human beings resist the coming of the Lord. A great company assembles with the beast and the kings of the earth “to make war against Him who [returns and] sat upon the horse, and against His army” (19:19).
The Nature of the Covenants
It is this writer’s contention that the covenants are all redemptive in nature. For example, redemption may be simply in the form of protection or of “prevention” as is the case with the Noahic Covenant.
Thus, the giving of this covenant, which God made with all flesh, means that the Lord has promised to protect man and animals from ever being
CTJ 2:7 (December 1998) p. 413
destroyed again by water. (More on the nature of some of these other covenants later.)
A Major Difference Between the Mosaic and the New Covenants
Though conditional in nature, the Mosaic Covenant of Law provided for the Jews a redemption for living, which in theory, revealed perfect guidelines for walking in peace with their God. This was a temporal or “fleshly” redemption, whereas in contrast, the New Covenant, based on Christ’s death, would give eternal redemption (Heb. 9:12) and an eternal inheritance (v. 15). The Mosaic Covenant in itself was good but it was “weak” in the flesh and Israel was doomed NOT to be able to fulfill it.
In Romans, Paul attests to the “flesh” weakness of the covenant of the Law, and refers indirectly to the New Covenant that will be ratified by the death of Christ. “For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh” (Rom. 8:3). The sending of His Son, who would ratify the New Covenant by His death, is what Paul is referring to, not the dispensation of the Church.
The conditional Mosaic Covenant ceased at the death of Christ and the New Covenant was ratified and launched, by that same sacrifice. It was a prophesied (Jer. 31) extension of the Abrahamic Covenant that is first and foremost for Israel, but with the Church benefiting from the blessings of that covenant!
The covenant with Moses is entitled “the Law of Moses” (Heb. 10:28), and is indeed called a covenant that was inaugurated with blood (9:18). The sacrifice of blood is central to this covenant. “This is the blood of the covenant which God commanded you” (9:20; Ex. 24:8). Hebrews 9:19 helps us understand this:
For when every commandment had been spoken by Moses to all the people according to the Law [He just gave them], he took the blood of the calves and the goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book [of the Law] itself and all the people.
The Mosaic Covenant appointed weak and imperfect priests, whereas the Son of God by ratifying the New Covenant with His death, made believers “perfect,” mature, complete, or whole (teleoo; Heb. 7:28). Thus, He was a mediator of a better covenant (the New Covenant), based on better promises (8:6) because the Mosaic Covenant had human limitations and a better covenant was needed (v. 7).
CTJ 2:7 (December 1998) p. 414
As already pointed out, in a real sense the sacrifices of the Mosaic Covenant were simply covering the outward sins of the flesh. The writer of Hebrews again notes that the blood of bulls and goats was sprinkled for “those who have been defiled, sanctifying for the cleansing of the flesh” (9:13) but Christ “once for all” had obtained “eternal redemption” (v. 12), giving us an “eternal inheritance” (v. 15) by entering the heavenly holy place “through His own blood” (v. 12).
Another very important verse is Hebrews 9:15 that reads:
[Christ] is the mediator of a new covenant, in order that since a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant [the Mosaic], those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.
This verse tells us the Mosaic Covenant was not efficacious in that in that it could not actually offer ultimate spiritual redemption. But those Old Testament saints who were called under that covenant, received their eternal inheritance by the death of Jesus, the mediator of the New Covenant.
How the Dispensations and Covenants Work Together
The Dispensation of Innocence—Genesis 1:28–3:6
Can the first humans, Adam and Eve, walk with God in sinlessness and moral integrity? Will they obey His command and not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil? (Gen. 2:17) After they both had disobeyed (3:6), the Lord inquires “What is this you have done?” (v. 13).
After the “Fall,” the curse of death was placed upon man (v. 19), and he was expelled from the protection of the garden (v. 24). It is the Lord Himself who apparently established the concept of sacrifice when He slew the innocent animal, in order to make skins of clothing for Adam and Eve. Sacrifice, which is found in almost all religions, seems to have originated from this historic event. Dispensationalists and non-Dispensationalists would say that Adam and Eve were saved by their faith in a certain redemption that God would provide. Most would argue an issue of obedience, for continuing to sacrifice, after the pattern that the Lord gave them in the garden.
Notice that there is no covenant acting as an underpinning (base or ground floor), and on which the dispensation of Innocence is built.
The Dispensation of Conscience—Genesis 3:7–8:14
Can sinful man, leaving the perfect environment of Eden, live in peace with his conscience dictating right and wrong? With a ring of selfishness, the
CTJ 2:7 (December 1998) p. 415
CTJ 2:7 (December 1998) p. 416
Scriptures tell us “men took wives for themselves, whomever they chose” (6:2). The narration continues: The Lord was sorry He made man; He was grieved in His heart (v.6), “I will blot out man whom I have created, including animals” (v. 7), the earth was corrupt in the sight of God, and the earth was filled with violence (v. 11), “The end of all flesh has come before Me” (v. 13). The Dispensation of Conscience was with all mankind and it ended in failure. In Genesis 7:11, the world-wide Flood begins. Only Noah and his immediate family are saved by means of the ark.
Notice that there is no covenant acting as an underpinning beneath the dispensation of Conscience.
Noahic Covenant. As the Dispensation of Human Government began to fail, it may have been thought that the Lord would bring about another judgment. The earth could have again been destroyed by that which He used previously, water. Instead, a covenant of promise, the Noahic Covenant, was made between God and the people that were left on earth, i.e., Noah and his sons (9:8).
But the covenant goes further than his immediate family. It was established also between the Lord and “all flesh [which] shall never again be cut off by the water of the flood, neither shall there again be a flood to destroy the [whole] earth” (v. 11). This covenant is prophetic in that it tells us what God “will not do.” I consider it redemptive in a physical sense because it will spare all flesh a death by drowning in a universal flood. Though the Dispensation of Human Government would end aroundGenesis 11:32, the Noahic Covenant will continue throughout history because it is everlasting (v. 16).
The Dispensation of Government—Genesis 8:15–11:32
The Noahic Covenant – Genesis 9:7-on
Dispensation of Government. Following the Flood, is it possible for man to live in communities, clans, nations, and tribes, do what is right, and find peace? The answer will be, No! First of all, having found the appropriate opportunity, all men came together in the land of Shinar (11:2), “settled,” and built a city and a tower “whose top will reach into heaven” (v. 4a) for the purpose of making a name for humanity! (v. 4b). They feared that they would be scattered across the earth. Their ultimate purpose was unknown, though some say they intended to reach into heaven in order to control or influence God!
CTJ 2:7 (December 1998) p. 417
CTJ 2:7 (December 1998) p. 418
Whatever their ultimate purpose was, the Lord apparently saw sin as one of their motives because He said “now nothing which they purpose to do will be impossible for them” (11:6). The Dispensation of Human Government ended in failure. With a judgment against them, God confused the one language men were using, then scattered them across the face of the whole earth (v. 9).
Abrahamic Covenant – Genesis 15:18 through the Kingdom
Dispensation of Promise – Genesis 12:1–Exodus 18:27
[It is important for theological understanding, from this point on to look first at the covenants before analyzing the dispensations that rest upon them. In a sense, the covenant is the base or ground floor with the dispensation built upon it.]
Abrahamic Covenant. From about Genesis 12 and on, the Lord begins laying down the tenets of His covenant with Abraham. The covenant has to do with (1) a land (v. 2), (2) a nation (v. 2), a blessing to Abraham, his children, and to all families of the earth (v. 3). As God develops this covenant with Abraham other factors are added. The covenant and its promises are eternal in scope (13:15), it is also literal in that Abraham was told to “look” at the land promised him and walk through it because it belonged to him. He was also to expect actual children or seed (descendants) to be born to him (v.15). And it is agreed upon by most scholars that the covenant is “unconditional” because when the Lord made (cut), or finalized the covenant with Abraham, he had been put to sleep (15:7–21).
By “unconditional” it is meant that its prophetic fulfillment is not based on the loyalty or obedience of any man but on the fact that the Lord will bring the promises to pass. God will sovereignly fulfill the covenant at some future time.
Some important points to recognize about the Abrahamic Covenant are:
(1) At some future date, the Gentiles will be blessed by this agreement with Abraham (12:3). How this will come about is not explained here.
(2) As the covenant promises are finally summarized by the Lord, the size of the land promised extends from the river of Egypt to the river Euphrates (15:18), a far greater area than simply the land of Canaan!
CTJ 2:7 (December 1998) p. 419
CTJ 2:7 (December 1998) p. 420
(3) From this covenant with Abraham forward, God will be focusing His attention on His promises to Abraham’s children, the Jewish people. This covenant becomes the driving engine of Scripture!
(4) This covenant is salvific and redemptive in that a spiritual blessing is attached. But also in the future the land will be redeemed from foreign hands and restored to the Jews to whom it was promised through Abraham. The apostle Paul focuses on this in Galatians and writes:
And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “All the nations shall be blessed in you.” So then those who are of faith are blessed with Abraham the believer (3:8–9).
An important side note: As Abraham finally begins to understand how God is working with him, he gets the picture and “believes in the Lord.” And the Lord reckons or imputes his faith back to him as righteousness (Gen. 15:6). Paul makes this verse the hallmark passage illustrating the process of personal salvation by faith alone. And all dispensationalists certainly agree that by faith is the only way that salvation is received in any dispensation.
Dispensation of Promise. God had been testing all humanity in the Dispensations of Conscience and Human Government. But the Lord now applies the dispensational magnifying glass to one man and his immediate family. Can this one man, Abraham, and his immediate descendants, be faithful to the sworn promise of God made in the Abrahamic Covenant? Will Isaac and his grandson Jacob trust the Lord and treat with respect the covenant made with their father Abraham?
The fact is that even Abraham in his latter years seems to have forgotten the important spiritual legacy given to him by the Lord. After Sarah’s death he married again, but he also collected numerous concubines by which he had many sons. Realizing the family tension that would develop at his death, he sent those sons with gifts out of the camp and away from Isaac, his son of the covenant (25:5–6)!
Isaac did not fare spiritually much better. He sojourned for some time in the land of Gerar and passed his wife Rebekah off as his sister (26:7). His trust of God had slipped. Isaac’s son Jacob had his problems too. Many times he departed from the Lord. Although, no doubt, Jacob realized that he was the keeper of the covenant (Gen. 27:29; 28:13–17; 35:9–12), his life many times did not reflect the level of spiritual responsibility he should have felt and shown. Except for Joseph, Jacob’s sons who constituted the tribal heads,
CTJ 2:7 (December 1998) p. 421
seemed to live almost as pagans. Little that is spiritual seems to come out of their hearts. One could say that the Dispensation of Promise ends in failure with the whole family living in Egypt. In time, their children would become slaves to Pharaoh.
Mosaic Covenant – Exodus 19:1-Mt. 27:51
Dispensation of Law – Exodus 19:1–Mt. 27:51
Dispensation of Law. This begins at the same time as the Mosaic (Law) Covenant (which is conditional). The Dispensation of Law will be the “observable test” as to Israel’s ability to live by the Mosaic Law. As the Lord observed, and we today as spectators observe, under the Dispensation of Law the children of Israel were responsible to keep the entire law (James 2:10), yet they failed (Rom. 10:1–3). Failing this dispensational test, judgments followed that finally carried the northern kingdom into Assyria and the southern kingdom into Babylon, and ultimately the remaining peoples into a final world-wide dispersion (Mt. 23:37–39).
Mosaic Covenant. The Dispensation of Law rested upon this covenant, which almost all of Deuteronomy 1–28 shows is conditional. If the people did not keep the commandments of the covenant, “which are written in this book,…then the Lord will bring extraordinary plagues,…” upon you (28:58–59a). The New Testament tells us that this covenant was not a way of justification (Rom. 3:28), but of condemnation. And though the Law was perfect, it was weak because of the inability of the flesh to do what is right (Rom. 8:3).
The unconditional nature of the Abrahamic Covenant is compared with the conditional nature of the Mosaic Covenant when the Lord reminds Israel that He did not bring them into the land of promise because He foresaw them keeping the Mosaic commandments, but because of His eternal promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Lev. 26:42). He will remember the land promise because of the Abrahamic Covenant!
Abrahamic Covenant. This covenant continues on into the future where it will finally be fulfilled and completed. By the principle of Progressive Revelation, the details of this covenant are expanded and explained in more detail through three sub-covenants or extension-covenants.
(1) The Land Covenant gives more details as to what the Lord intends concerning His “Eratz Israel,” or Land of Israel prophecies. This Land promise is an extension of Genesis 12:2.
CTJ 2:7 (December 1998) p. 422
CTJ 2:7 (December 1998) p. 423
(2) The Davidic Covenant elaborates on what God has in view concerning the ultimate Seed of Abraham and David, the Messiah. His two comings are focused prophecies concerning His substitutionary death as a sacrifice for sin and His future kingly reign as the Son of David. Jesus is, of course, this Seed who secures the blessings promised to the seeds (plural).
(3) The New Covenant has to do with the blessings promised in the Abrahamic Covenant (Gen. 12:3). This covenant is prophesied in Jeremiah 31 and will contrast with the Mosaic Covenant (v. 32). In chapter 31 there is a strong hint that the Mosaic Covenant will cease and the New Covenant will take it’s place. The writer of Hebrews points out that this is exactly what happened.
Jesus makes it clear that by the giving of His body and the shedding of His blood for sins, He is ratifying this New Covenant. “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood” (Luke 22:20).
The New Covenant – Begins in Acts 2:1
Dispensation of the Church – Acts 2:1–I Thessalonians 4:18
Dispensation of the Church. This dispensation rests upon the Abrahamic Covenant, but more specifically, it rests upon an extension of the Abrahamic Covenant, the promised New Covenant. The New Covenant was prophesied inJeremiah 31 and through many other Old Testament verses. As already shown, it was ratified by the death of Christ (Lu. 22:20). As well, the New Covenant was launched by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost (Acts 2).
Paul recalls Christ’s words as written in Luke 22:20 to show the importance of this New Covenant to the Church. He says believers today “proclaim the Lord’s” covenant death when they partake of the Lord’s Supper (I Cor. 11:25–26). Because of this reference, it only makes sense to say that there is but one New Covenant given in Scripture. This author believes Benware makes one of the best statements in regard to the relationship between the Dispensation of the Church and the New Covenant:
The church, then, is a partaker of the spiritual blessings of the new covenant, enjoying regeneration, the forgiveness of sin, and the presence and ministry of the Holy Spirit. The church is primarily Gentile in its makeup—those who have been graciously grafted in by God until their number is completed. Multitudes of Gentiles experience the wonderful blessings of the new covenant. But the church is not national Israel, the people with whom God made this covenant. The church does not and cannot fulfill the new
CTJ 2:7 (December 1998) p. 424
CTJ 2:7 (December 1998) p. 425
covenant. Its fulfillment awaits the arrival of Jesus the Messiah. When He returns at the Second Coming, all the spiritual and material blessings promised Israel will be received.14
The Church is made up of Jews and Gentiles who accept Christ as Savior. The Church is not “inserted” into Israel. Instead, “both groups” (Jew and Gentile) are “made…into one” (Eph. 2:14). By His death, Jesus has made “the two (Jew and Gentile) into one new man, thus establishing peace [between the two groups]” (v. 15).
The Dispensation of the Church will end when the body of believers is raptured (I Thess. 4:13–18), just before the terror and the wrath of the seven-year Tribulation begins. Though we look for the rapture to take place at any time, we also believe that the Church Age ends in failure and an apostasy, in which a great number of those professing Christ will turn away from the truth.
The New Covenant. The Abrahamic Covenant, and the three sub-covenants already referred to, are going forward to ultimately be fulfilled in the Kingdom. But as shown several times in this article, the Gentiles are now being blessed by the New Covenant. Remember that this blessing was prophesied to Abraham in Genesis 12:3. As mentioned, this seems to be Paul’s point in I Corinthians 11:23–34 when he quotedLuke 22:20 and the fact that Jesus’ sacrifice would ratify the New Covenant, remembered by the Church in the Lord’s supper.
It also seems to be what the apostle is saying in 2 Corinthians 3:6–18. Here he contrasts the New Covenant with the Mosaic Covenant of the Law which became “the ministry of death in letters engraved on stone” (v. 7). He compares the New Covenant, that gives us the Spirit, in opposition to the old covenant (Mosaic Law) (v. 14), i.e., “the letter that kills” (v. 6).
Dispensation of the Tribulation
[Begins sometime after the Church is raptured and ends with the Second Coming of Christ, Rev. 19:11]
We’ve already pointed out that it is possible that the Tribulation period is a dispensation. Some may resist this because this seven year period is the final week or phase of Daniel’s Seventy Weeks which conclude God’s work of judgment upon Israel. Thus, they would argue, it is not a separate entity but simply the final stage of the seventy week prophecy.
CTJ 2:7 (December 1998) p. 426
CTJ 2:7 (December 1998) p. 427
But on the positive side, the Tribulation seems to be a test for mankind. With all the terror, men do “not repent of the works of their hands” (10:20). They rejoice over the death of the two witnesses (11:10), seem willingly to worship the Beast (13:12), blaspheme God “because of their pains and their sores” (16:11), drink willingly the wine of the passion of the Harlot’s immorality (18:3), and seem to be well due the final great stroke of wrath that falls upon them from Jesus Himself (14:14–20).
Thus, it may be that the Tribulation could be considered a separate dispensation by itself, though not all will agree with this conclusion.
New Covenant. Like water flowing in a tunnel underground, the Abrahamic Covenant and its specific sub-covenants continue to go forward for final fulfillment in the promised Kingdom. This would include the New Covenant, of course. Men would then be saved on the basis of the finished work of Christ just as they are today. That would mean they receive all the personal blessings that come from that covenant.
However, they would not be placed into the spiritual body of Christ, the Church. This body of believers will have been taken home to be with the Lord in the rapture. Thus, church saints are gone! Those who become saved in the Tribulation, called tribulation saints (Rev. 14:12), are redeemed by the New Covenant that Jesus ratified through His death. In the technical sense, they are not “in” Christ, yet they benefit by His work on the cross.
It must be remembered that during the tribulation the “eternal gospel” is preached by the influence of an angel flying in mid-heaven “to those who live on the earth, and to every nation and tribe and tongue and people” (Rev. 14:6). This gospel has to do with the message of the death of Christ whereby He ratified the New Covenant.
Dispensation of the Kingdom
The Abrahamic Covenant
Dispensation of the Kingdom. This 1000-year period is definitely a dispensation. All who survive the tribulation, and trust the Messiah as Savior enter this near-perfect period in their human bodies. They will have children who will have children, etc., etc. It is these later generations who will be tested. Will they trust, honor, and obey the Messiah Jesus who reigns in Jerusalem? Can mankind live faithfully before the Lord God with His own Son ruling over His earthly domain? The answer will be, No!
Though there are only three verses, Revelation 20:7–9, that describe a rebellion by Satan at the end of the Kingdom, people from all the nations “like the sand of the seashore” come against Christ and the “camp of the saints and
CTJ 2:7 (December 1998) p. 428
CTJ 2:7 (December 1998) p. 429
the beloved city” with the result that “fire [comes] down from heaven and” they are devoured (v. 9).
Abrahamic Covenant. This covenant and its sub-covenants, are fulfilled in the 1000-year Kingdom period. The Jews will be in the land. The Son of David will be reigning and ruling as promised. And the Jews and Gentiles, who enter the Kingdom in their natural bodies, are redeemed and blessed by the earlier work of Christ on the cross.
As mankind matures in a certain technological and self-awareness sense, he is tested through the Ages of history by what we call dispensations. These are chapters of history, if you will, that reveal what is truly inside the human species. The dispensations consistently show a rebellious and a evil heart in man. They reveal diabolical schemes, individual and corporate selfishness.
If a single philosophy is born, nourished, and matured progressively down through the dispensations, it would be labeled humanism, or mankind’s great religion of self-glorification!
Though the dispensations end in human failure, God’s redemptive plan outlined in the Abrahamic Covenant, and the sub-covenants that follow, will make salvation possible for some of the elect and chosen rebels. Pentecost helps us conclude when he writes on the Abrahamic Covenant:
…this covenant has a most important bearing on the doctrines of Eschatology. The eternal aspects of this covenant, which guarantee Israel a permanent national existence, perpetual title to the land of promise, and the certainty of material and spiritual blessing through Christ, and guarantee Gentile nations a share in these blessings, determine the whole eschatological program of the Word of God. This covenant becomes the seed from which are brought forth the later covenants made with Israel. The essential areas of the Abrahamic covenant, the land, the seed, and the blessing, are enlarged in the subsequent covenants made with Israel.15
1 Charles C. Ryrie, Dispensationalism (Chicago: Moody Press, 1995), p. 57.
2 Ryrie, Ibid, p. 28.
3 Ryrie, Ibid, p. 29.
6 Eric Sauer, The Dawn of World Redemption (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1955), p. 54.
7 Ryrie, Ibid, p. 37.
8 Ibid, pp. 31-33.
9 Ibid, pp. 32-33.
10 Ryrie, Ibid, p. 33.
11 Ibid, pp. 49-50.
12 Ibid, p. 51.
13 Ryrie, Ibid, p. 50.
14 Paul N. Benware, Understaning End Times Prophecy (Chicago: Moody Press, 1995), p. 73.
15 J. Dwight Pentecost, Things to Come (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1958), p. 71.
Obama’s burst of enthusiasm for Shimon Peres, on the death of the Israeli left-wing political figure, had nothing to do with any personal affection. It was a cynically calculated political move. From the flags flown at half-staff to the delegation (an honor he failed to extent to Thatcher) to the overdone speech that clearly a whole bunch of Jewish staffers and associates had labored over, this was about politics.
It wasn’t about Peres. It was about an opportunity to stick his thumb in Netanyahu’s eye.
Obama’s speech was not only a vigorous defense of the failed negotiations and concessions to the PLO. A disastrous program often associated with Peres. It was a series of cynical attacks on Peres’ “critics to the right”. It doesn’t take much knowledge to attach one name to that nameless bunch.
Peres lost his last election to Netanyahu. He had gambled on using the elections to gain a mandate for his unpopular peace process with the PLO. Instead the Israeli people picked Netanyahu.
This enraged the Clintons who managed to use every dirty trick to force Netanyahu out of office by interfering in Israeli politics. Obama has tried and failed to do the same thing. This spectacle is not about honoring Peres. It’s about exploiting his death to attack Netanyahu while pushing the same old policies of terrorist appeasement that the Israeli people have rejected again and again.
RAMALLAH, Sept. 7 (Xinhua) — Russia has officially informed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas that its efforts to arrange a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will continue, a senior official said on Wednesday.
The Palestinian Minister for Foreign Affairs Reyad al-Malki said during an interview with the Ramallah-based “Voice ofPalestine” Radio station that Mikhail Bogdanov, Russia’s peace envoy had a telephone conversation with President Abbas.
On Tuesday, Abbas’s office criticized Netanyahu’s request from Russia to postpone a three-way meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Russian President Vladimir Putin, which was scheduled in Moscow next week.
Abbas’s office said in an official statement that Netanyahu’s request to postpone the meeting “assures that he (Netanyahu) is evading from any international initiative to rescue the stalled peace process.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin had proposed a three-way meeting with both Abbas and Netanyahu in Moscow next week. Abbas had stated earlier in Poland that he does not object meeting Netanyahu anywhere.
According to WAFA, the state-run news agency of the Palestinian National Authority, Abbas received a phone call form Bogdanov on Tuesday, saying that Netanyahu asked to postpone the scheduled meeting.
WAFA’s report said that Bogdanov briefed Abbas on his earlier meeting with Netanyahu in Jerusalem, adding that Bogdanov informed President Abbas that Netanyahu asked to postpone the meeting in Moscow.
“Bogdanov conveyed to President Putin, the positive role of President Abbas in pushing forward towards making peace,” said the report.
It added that both Abbas and Bogdanov agreed to keep in touch between the two sides to arrange a bilateral meeting between President Abbas and President Putin in New York next month.”
“Bogdanov informed President Abbas on Tuesday that the Palestinian position is fully clear and that the problem comes from Israel’s side,” Al-Malki said, adding “the Russian efforts focus on setting up a new date and a place for the meeting.”
Meanwhile, Nabil Abu Rdineh, aide to President Abbas, said that the Israeli rejection of the meeting shows once more that the Israeli government is not serious in looking for a just peace based upon the two-state solution along the 1967 borders.
Abu Rdineh informed WAFA that the Israeli government wants to maintain settlement activities, assaults against Palestinians and their lands and evade any commitment towards implementing the agreements.
“Israel always escapes from any international initiative to rescue the stalled peace process in the Middle East,” said Abu Rdineh.
The last direct peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians, sponsored by the United States, stopped in April 2014, after nine months without progress, due to critical differences regarding settlements and security.
Earlier on Tuesday, Tayeb Abdul Rahim, another aide to President Abbas, held talks with Bogdanov in Ramallah, after the latter met with Netanyahu.
Abdul Rahim reiterated to Bogdanov that Palestinians support president Putin’s initiative.
“Pushing peace forward needs full Israeli commitment to halting settlements, release prisoners arrested before signing Oslo peace accords in 1994 and ending the Israeli occupation and establishing a Palestinian state,” said Abdul Rahim.