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denying your false teachings and false prophecies in this post means NOTHING. admitting to them will...but you can't do that, since you have so much invested in what you've already done and said, and you are a very arrogant and prideful man.
of course you hadn't heard the names Irving, MacDonald, Scofield or Darby or Westcott & Hort, or of the Talmudic judaic golden age TEMPORAL MILLENNIUM until i told you about them.
what's that got to do with you having them internalized? what's that got to do with you dishing up your own version of it: AND CLAIMING YOU GOT IT STRAIGHT FROM GOD?
have you not understood yet that LEAVEN LEAVENS THE WHOLE LUMP?
gonna play that card now? go back and read your puffed up rants about how YOU discovered all this yourself (now you'll see it for the dispensational trash that it is).
i tried dialouging with you....but you and yours would have NONE OF IT.
you aimed to tell aaalllllllll your detractors that if they were REALLY TRULY honest seekers, they would see what you saw.
well comrade, i saw what you saw. but i saw it for what it is. i saw it for what it is because i DID seek...and i was willing to go against everything the MASSES were bleating about RAPTURES, AND DANIEL'S 70TH WEEK TO COME and all the rest of that nonsense.
And as i said in my reply to your other post. There will be in this world similarities amongst all beliefs. One need not be aware of the other for this to occur. For we all read the same bible. And as my reply to your other post clearly reveals, i only agree with 2% of what that man spoke anyway.
you carried presuppositions of dispensationalism to your studies (whether or not you have a corrupted study bible i do not know) and denied over and over that you had any presuppoistions. somewhere along the line you picked it up, and you ran with it.
that's okay.....millions have been deceived by this stuff...and many are coming out of it.
but you STILL teach it and believe it, AND your group claimed SPECIAL REVELATION.
And as i also said, i have seen you agreeing with Catholics on certain points. Does this make you Catholic? Of course not. Have i accused you of being Catholic for agreeing with them on certain points? No i have not. So why mete out unjust measure which you yourself do not suffer?
So if you will not stop this untruth you keep saying we preach, then hopefully, many will see this declaration and know that what you say about us is just that...untruth. And in that knowledge, those who know scripture, know that His children do not practice this type of behavior...this in itself speaks volumes. It is very serious in Gods eyes to falsely accuse, especially the more so when it is Spiritual..
ROTFLMHO! there's that paranoid persecution complex again. i haven't reported a single post from your group devo. wouldn't that be howi'd try to "get you banned"? grow up. face up to what you've been teaching.
ERROR... But within are points to help us understand the workings of this THEORY that has NO biblical authority whatsoever.
COVENANT THEOLOGY IGNORES JUDAISTIC THEOLOGY
"Judaism has its field of theology with its soteriology and its eschatology. That these factors of a system which occupies three-fourths of the Sacred Text are unrecognized and ignored by theologians does not demonstrate their nonexistence, nor does it prove their unimportance. A Covenant Theology engenders the notion that there is but one soteriology and one eschatology, and that ecclesiology, such as it is conceived to be, extends from the Garden of Eden to the Great White Throne.
The insuperable problems in exegesis which such fanciful suppositions create are easily disposed of by ignoring them." (IV, 248)
Tsk,tsk,tsk. Now i can learn about a certain persons beliefs, which does not come from personal searching in spirit and truth, but from a made up theory devised by men.
i don't ignore 'Judaism' AT ALL. I WONDER WHY DISPENSATIONAL TEACHERS WOULD HAVE US IGNORE JUDAISM?
Why not Christianity?
Who Was Jesus?
[SIZE=-1]The Bible gave a warning about a dangerous, false prophet who would arise to test our faith in G-d. In Deuteronomy 13, G-d describes this false prophet as a member of the Jewish people (v. 2, 7) who would tell true prophecies and would have the power of miracles. G-d Himself would give this false prophet the power to perform miracles and reveal prophecy, but the false prophet would try to seduce the people away from G-d's Law and towards strange gods unknown to Judaism. The purpose would be to test whether we are truly committed to living under the Law, or whether we will be dazzled and fall for the temptation to join a false path to salvation (v. 3-6, 7-8, 11). In this Biblical passage, G-d repeatedly commands the Jews to kill this false prophet, lest the evil spread and destroy many souls.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]To be accepted by the people, the false prophet would sometimes pretend to be a righteous Jew who fulfills the Law, but at key moments he would turn against certain details of the Law in order to make the breach (v. 6, 7). This is the reason that verse 1 commands us not to add or subtract any details from the Law, and verse 5 warns us to remain steadfast with all the traditions of the Law.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]In Deuteronomy 17, this false prophet is also described as someone who would rebel against the authority of the judges of the Jewish people, and who should be put to death for his rebelliousness (v. 8-13, esp. v. 12). Who are the judges? The highest court in Israel was the Sanhedrin, which was established by Moses (Exodus 18:13-26; Numbers 11:16-29), and which lasted more than 15 centuries. The members of the Sanhedrin were the rabbis known as "Pharisees" (Pirushim, "those with the explanation"). G-d gave permanent authority to these judges to interpret the Law and G-d's Word, and it is a commandment to follow their decisions without turning even slightly to the right or the left (Deut. 17:11). But the false prophet would challenge the authority of the Sanhedrin, thus revealing himself to be an evil man.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]In the book of the prophet Daniel, this false prophet is described as a king (the eleventh horn on a terrible beast) who would wage war against the Jews (the "holy ones"; see Deut. 14:2 on this term) and would change the Law including the calendar and the holidays (Daniel 7:8, 20-25). Elsewhere, this false prophet is described as a king who would disregard the G-d of his fathers, exalting himself as a god and giving honor to this new god-head (Daniel 11:36-39).[/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]The man known today as "Jesus" fulfilled all these prophecies. He became a "king" (over the Christian church) who changed the original Law, doing away with the Hebrew calendar and the Biblical holidays (Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkos the Festival of Tabernacles, Passover, etc.). He disregarded the one, infinite G-d of the Hebrew Bible in favor of a new "trinity" that included himself. And he repeatedly broke the Law by committing terrible sins, while openly challenging the G-d-given authority of the rabbis of the Sanhedrin.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]Naturally, Jesus did sometimes pretend to respect the Law, but whenever he thought he could get away with it, he turned right around and broke that same Law. In Matthew 5:17-19, he declared that he came to fulfill the Law, and in Matthew 23:1-3 he defended the authority of the rabbis. But the rest of the time, he rebelled against the Law—thus showing that his occasional words of piety were meant only to hide his evil agenda. The following sins of Jesus are recorded in the "New Testament":
Jesus repudiated the laws of kosher food (Mark 7:18-19). [Compare this to the prophet Daniel's strict adherence to kashrus, in Daniel chapter 1.]
He repudiated the laws of honoring one's parents, and called on his followers to hate their parents; he also dishonored his own mother (Matthew 10:34-36; Matthew 12:46-50; Luke 14:26).
He violated the Sabbath by picking grain, and incited his disciples to do the same (Matthew 12:1-8; Mark 2:23-26).
4) He again violated the Sabbath by healing a man's arm, which was not a matter of saving a life, and he openly defied the rabbis in his total repudiation of the Sabbath (Matthew 12:9-13; Mark 3:1-5). [Compare this to G-d's view of violating the Sabbath, in Numbers 15:32-36, Nehemiah 10:30-32, and dozens of other places throughout the Bible.]
Jesus brazenly defied and disobeyed the rabbis of the Sanhedrin, repudiating their authority (This is recorded in many places throughout the New Testament, but look especially at Matthew 23:13-39 and John 8:44-45).
The Talmud (Babylonian edition) records other sins of "Jesus the Nazarene":
He and his disciples practiced sorcery and black magic, led Jews astray into idolatry, and were sponsored by foreign, gentile powers for the purpose of subverting Jewish worship (Sanhedrin 43a).
He was sexually immoral, worshipped statues of stone (a brick is mentioned), was cut off from the Jewish people for his wickedness, and refused to repent (Sanhedrin 107b; Sotah 47a).
He learned witchcraft in Egypt and, to perform miracles, used procedures that involved cutting his flesh—which is also explicitly banned in the Bible (Shabbos 104b).
The false, rebellious message of Jesus has been thoroughly rejected by the vast majority of the Jewish people, as G-d commanded. Unfortunately, however, this same message has brought a terrible darkness upon the world; today, over 1.5 billion gentiles believe in Jesus. These lost souls mistakenly think they have found salvation in Jesus; tragically, they are in for a rude awakening. Truth and eternal life are found directly from G-d, through performing His Law. Any "mediator" only separates man from G-d:
"G-d is not a man, who can lie, nor the son of man, who relents... He has not beheld iniquity in Jacob, nor has He seen perverseness in Israel" (Numbers 23:19).
Speaking prophetically of the Christian church, Moses declared, "For their 'rock' is not like our Rock... Where is their god, in whom they trusted?" (Deut. 32:31, 37).
"'See now that I, only I, am He, and there is no god with Me. I kill, and I bring to life; I wound, and I heal, and there is none who can rescue from My Hand...' Sing songs of joy, gentiles, with His people, for He will avenge the blood of His servants, and will take vengeance on His enemies, and will forgive His land and His people" (Deut. 32:39, 43).
"I, only I am Hashem (the L-rd), and besides Me there is no savior" (Isaiah 43:11).
"I am the First and I am the Last; besides me there is no god... Is there a god besides Me? There is no rock; I do not know any" (Isaiah 44:6).
"Israel is saved in Hashem with an eternal salvation... Assemble yourselves and come, come near together, you gentiles who have escaped [the judgment]. (They have no knowledge, those who carry wooden sculptures and who pray to a god that does not save.) Announce and bring near, even take counsel together: Who declared this from ancient times, and announced it from then? Is it not I, Hashem? And there are no other gods beside Me, nor any righteous and saving god other than Me. Turn to Me and be saved, all ends of the earth, for I am G-d and there is none else. By Myself I swore, a righteous word went out of my mouth and it will not be withdrawn, that to Me every knee will bow and every tongue will swear" (Isaiah 45:17, 20-23).
What is the true key to salvation? Those who return to the Law (the Seven Commandments for the Children of Noah, according to the eternal covenant made with Noah in Genesis 9) and who assist the Jewish people (Isaiah 60, 61, 66) will be saved and will participate in the miracles and revelations, including worshipping in the Third Temple, under the kingship of the Messiah. As described in many places, including Jeremiah 16:19-21 and Zechariah 8:20-23, all the old gentile religions of the world will disappear, and their followers will turn to the Jews for spiritual leadership. Until then, Christians are spiritually blinded, and cannot yet understand G-d's wisdom in the Bible.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]Ours is the last generation of the era of sin and evil and the first of the Messianic Era. Indeed, for the first time in history, there is a growing consensus of leading rabbis willing to name the man most suited to be the Messiah, and they are agreeing that he is the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson. The Rebbe is the spiritual leader of our generation, having boldly stirred up controversy over vital issues in which other leaders have remained tragically silent or have even caved in to the growing forces of darkness. He has upheld the Law perfectly and has worked mightily to strengthen the observance of the Law by Jews, as well as the observance of the Noachide Law by gentiles. Through his teaching of chasidus (Jewish mystical teachings, preserved from Moses and Mount Sinai), he has taught the world that G-d is One, the Infinite Who renews creation at every moment. The Rebbe is a direct descendant of King David and has received a true prophecy from G-d that we who are alive in this generation shall be the first in history to see the coming of the true messiah. Many Jews are eagerly anticipating the Rebbe's resurrection from the grave, ready to re-establish the Sanhedrin and anoint the king.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]Our job is to finish preparing the way, by announcing the truth and bringing all of mankind back to the Law immediately. Through our divinely mandated efforts, we shall now clear the path for the return of the Garden of Eden and the establishment of the eternal sinless world promised by Isaiah and the other Biblical prophets.[/SIZE]
"Judaism has its field of theology with its soteriology and its eschatology. That these factors of a system which occupies three-fourths of the Sacred Text are unrecognized and ignored by theologians does not demonstrate their nonexistence, nor does it prove their unimportance.
A Covenant Theology engenders the notion that there is but one soteriology and one eschatology, and that ecclesiology, such as it is conceived to be, extends from the Garden of Eden to the Great White Throne.
The insuperable problems in exegesis which such fanciful suppositions create are easily disposed of by ignoring them." (IV, 248)
Tsk,tsk,tsk. Now i can learn about a certain persons beliefs, which does not come from personal searching in spirit and truth, but from a made up theory devised by men.
• The idea of mashiach (messiah) is an ancient one in Judaism • The Jewish idea of mashiach is a great human leader like King David, not a savior • There is much speculation about when the mashiach will come • The Bible identifies several tasks that the mashiach will accomplish • Jews do not believe in Jesus because he did not accomplish these tasks
The Messianic Idea in Judaism
Belief in the eventual coming of the mashiach is a basic and fundamental part of traditional Judaism. It is part of Rambam's 13 Principles of Faith, the minimum requirements of Jewish belief. In the Shemoneh Esrei prayer, recited three times daily, we pray for all of the elements of the coming of the mashiach: ingathering of the exiles; restoration of the religious courts of justice; an end of wickedness, sin and heresy; reward to the righteous; rebuilding of Jerusalem; restoration of the line of King David; and restoration of Temple service.
Modern scholars suggest that the messianic concept was introduced later in the history of Judaism, during the age of the prophets. They note that the messianic concept is not explicitly mentioned anywhere in the Torah (the first five books of the Bible).
However, traditional Judaism maintains that the messianic idea has always been a part of Judaism. The mashiach is not mentioned explicitly in the Torah, because the Torah was written in terms that all people could understand, and the abstract concept of a distant, spiritual, future reward was beyond the comprehension of some people. However, the Torah contains several references to "the End of Days" (acharit ha-yamim), which is the time of the mashiach; thus, the concept of mashiach was known in the most ancient times.
The term "mashiach" literally means "the anointed one," and refers to the ancient practice of anointing kings with oil when they took the throne. The mashiach is the one who will be anointed as king in the End of Days.
The word "mashiach" does not mean "savior." The notion of an innocent, divine or semi-divine being who will sacrifice himself to save us from the consequences of our own sins is a purely Christian concept that has no basis in Jewish thought. Unfortunately, this Christian concept has become so deeply ingrained in the English word "messiah" that this English word can no longer be used to refer to the Jewish concept. The word "mashiach" will be used throughout this page.
Some gentiles have told me that the term "mashiach" is related to the Hebrew term "moshiah" (savior) because they sound similar, but the similarity is not as strong as it appears to one unfamiliar with Hebrew. The Hebrew word "mashiach" comes from the rootMem-Shin-Chet, which means to paint, smear, or annoint. The word "moshiah" comes from the root Yod-Shin-Ayin, which means to help or save. The only letter these roots have in common is Shin, the most common letter in the Hebrew language. The "m" sound at the beginning of the word moshiah (savior) is a common prefix used to turn a verb into a noun. For example, the verb tzavah (to command) becomes mitzvah (commandment). Saying that "mashiach" is related to "moshiah" is a bit like saying that ring is related to surfing because they both end in "ing."
The mashiach will be a great political leader descended from King David (Jeremiah 23:5). The mashiach is often referred to as "mashiach ben David" (mashiach, son of David). He will be well-versed in Jewish law, and observant of its commandments (Isaiah 11:2-5). He will be a charismatic leader, inspiring others to follow his example. He will be a great military leader, who will win battles for Israel. He will be a great judge, who makes righteous decisions (Jeremiah 33:15). But above all, he will be a human being, not a god, demi-god or other supernatural being.
It has been said that in every generation, a person is born with the potential to be the mashiach. If the time is right for the messianic age within that person's lifetime, then that person will be the mashiach. But if that person dies before he completes the mission of the mashiach, then that person is not the mashiach.
When Will the Mashiach Come?
There are a wide variety of opinions on the subject of when the mashiach will come. Some of Judaism's greatest minds have cursed those who try to predict the time of the mashiach's coming, because errors in such predictions could cause people to lose faith in the messianic idea or in Judaism itself. This actually happened in the 17th century, when Shabbatai Tzvi claimed to be the mashiach. When Tzvi converted to Islam under threat of death, many Jews converted with him. Nevertheless, this prohibition has not stopped anyone from speculating about the time when the mashiach will come.
Although some scholars believed that G-d has set aside a specific date for the coming of the mashiach, most authority suggests that the conduct of mankind will determine the time of the mashiach's coming. In general, it is believed that the mashiach will come in a time when he is most needed (because the world is so sinful), or in a time when he is most deserved (because the world is so good). For example, each of the following has been suggested as the time when the mashiach will come:
if Israel observed two Shabbats in a row properly;
in a generation that is totally innocent or totally guilty;
in a generation that loses hope;
in a generation where children are totally disrespectful towards their parents and elders;
What Will the Mashiach Do?
Before the time of the mashiach, there shall be war and suffering (Ezekiel 38:16)
The mashiach will bring about the political and spiritual redemption of the Jewish people by bringing us back to Israel and restoring Jerusalem (Isaiah 11:11-12; Jeremiah 23:8; 30:3; Hosea 3:4-5). He will establish a government in Israel that will be the center of all world government, both for Jews and gentiles (Isaiah 2:2-4; 11:10; 42:1). He will rebuild the Temple and re-establish its worship (Jeremiah 33:18). He will restore the religious court system of Israel and establish Jewish law as the law of the land (Jeremiah 33:15).
Olam Ha-Ba: The Messianic Age
The world after the messiah comes is often referred to in Jewish literature as Olam Ha-Ba (oh-LAHM hah-BAH), the World to Come. This term can cause some confusion, because it is also used to refer to a spiritual afterlife. In English, we commonly use the term "messianic age" to refer specifically to the time of the messiah.
Olam Ha-Ba will be characterized by the peaceful co-existence of all people (Isaiah 2:4). Hatred, intolerance and war will cease to exist. Some authorities suggest that the laws of nature will change, so that predatory beasts will no longer seek prey and agriculture will bring forth supernatural abundance (Isaiah 11:6-11:9). Others, however, say that these statements are merely an allegory for peace and prosperity.
All of the Jewish people will return from their exile among the nations to their home in Israel (Isaiah 11:11-12; Jeremiah 23:8; 30:3; Hosea 3:4-5). The law of the Jubilee will be reinstated.
In the Olam Ha-Ba, the whole world will recognize the Jewish G-d as the only true G-d, and the Jewish religion as the only true religion (Isaiah 2:3; 11:10; Micah 4:2-3; Zechariah 14:9). There will be no murder, robbery, competition or jealousy. There will be no sin (Zephaniah 3:13). Sacrifices will continue to be brought in the Temple, but these will be limited to thanksgiving offerings, because there will be no further need for expiatory offerings.
Some gentiles have tried to put an ugly spin on this theology, claiming that Jews plan to force people to convert to our religion, perhaps based on their own religion's history of doing exactly the same thing. That is not at all how Jews understand the messianic age. We believe that in that future time, everyone will simply know what the truth is, in the same way that we know that 2+2=4, and there will no longer be any reason to argue about it. It is much like a situation I witnessed at work once: two computer programmers were arguing loudly and at length about whether it was possible for a user to input data at a certain point in a program. Finally someone pressed a key and they all saw that nothing happened. Now they knew the truth, end of argument. When mashiach comes, theological truths will be equally obvious to mankind, and there will be no reason to argue about it.
What About Jesus?
Jews do not believe that Jesus was the mashiach. Assuming that he existed, and assuming that the Christian scriptures are accurate in describing him (both matters that are debatable), he simply did not fulfill the mission of the mashiach as it is described in the biblical passages cited above. Jesus did not do any of the things that the scriptures said the messiah would do.
On the contrary, another Jew born about a century later came far closer to fulfilling the messianic ideal than Jesus did. His name was Shimeon ben Kosiba, known as Bar Kokhba (son of a star), and he was a charismatic, brilliant, but brutal warlord. Rabbi Akiba, one of the greatest scholars in Jewish history, believed that Bar Kokhba was the mashiach. Bar Kokhba fought a war against the Roman Empire, catching the Tenth Legion by surprise and retaking Jerusalem. He resumed sacrifices at the site of the Temple and made plans to rebuild the Temple. He established a provisional government and began to issue coins in its name. This is what the Jewish people were looking for in a mashiach; Jesus clearly does not fit into this mold. Ultimately, however, the Roman Empire crushed his revolt and killed Bar Kokhba. After his death, all acknowledged that he was not the mashiach.
Throughout Jewish history, there have been many people who have claimed to be the mashiach, or whose followers have claimed that they were the mashiach: Shimeon Bar Kokhba, Shabbatai Tzvi, Jesus, and many others too numerous to name. Leo Rosten reports some very entertaining accounts under the heading False Messiahs in his book, The Joys of Yiddish. But all of these people died without fulfilling the mission of the mashiach; therefore, none of them were the mashiach. The mashiach and the Olam Ha-Ba lie in the future, not in the past.
Biblical Passages Referring to the Mashiach
The following passages in the Jewish scriptures are the ones that Jews consider to be messianic in nature or relating to the end of days. These are the ones that we rely upon in developing our messianic concept:
Isaiah 2, 11, 42; 59:20
Jeremiah 23, 30, 33; 48:47; 49:39
If you want to know how Jews interpret the passages that Christians consider to be messianic, see the Jews for Judaism website, especially the Knowledge Base under Resources. The Knowledge Base addresses more than 130 of the most common arguments that evangelists make to Jews.
THE JEWS DON'T NEED JESUS!
THEY HAVE THEIR OWN COVENANT, RIGHT?
after all, though God was befuddled by the rejection of Jesus and had to scramble to implement Plan B (gentile church - with a few jews in for good measure), He'll rapture out THAT church, and reinstitute the Mosaic Covenant because after all, He DID make a Promise! He'll change the promise though, for 1,000 years til the jews get it right.
If exegetical and historical arguments are not effective in persuading dispensationalists to change their position, what is left for covenantalists to use? Isn’t sound interpretation of scripture, using the analogy of faith, and dependence on the work of the Holy Spirit, sufficient to disprove dispensationalism? When combined with a disjointed system of argumentation, sound interpretation will nevertheless have minimal effect in persuasion, especially if it is used against a coherent, harmonious, and flexible system such as dispensationalism. Covenant theology is one such harmonious system, and we will explore what it can offer as an alternative approach in challenging dispensationalism.
In Scriptures, God’s covenant with man is: (1) a “bond in blood sovereignly-administered,”14 that is, God alone determines the conditions, (2) with promises of blessing for obedience and curses for rebellion, and (3) signs and seals to confirm it. Although the idea of the covenant existed since the early church, particularly in Irenaeus, Justin Martyr and Augustine, covenant theology was first systematized during the Reformation. Ulrich Zwingli, Henry Bullinger, Zacharias Ursinus, Caspar Olevianus, Francis Turretin, John Preston, and William Ames were some of the early Reformation and post-Reformation covenant scholars. The Westminster Divines recognized that God’s transactions with man were revealed through covenants in declaring that “the distance between God and the creature is so great that…. they could never have any fruition of him as their blessedness and reward, but by some voluntary condescension on God ‘s part, which he hath been pleased to express by way of covenant,” and recognized both covenants of works and grace.15
These covenant theologians affirmed that God deals with man through these two basic covenants. Despite the lack of an explicit covenant of works with Adam, the Reformers concluded that all the elements of a covenant are nevertheless present in God’s charge to Adam, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Gen. 2:16-17): (1) a bond between God and his creature, (2) promise of eternal life for obedience and curse of death for disobedience, and (3) the tree of life as the sign, symbolizing the second Adam who would give the eternal life to his covenant people who would partake of him.
Because Adam failed his probation in Eden when the serpent tempted him, all his descendants share the curse of sin and death with him (Rom. 5:12). “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us” (Eph. 2:4), promised that Adam’s descendants would be released from the bondage of the tempter by his seed (Gen. 3:15). The covenant God will “make us alive together with Christ” (Eph. 2:5), the tree of life who will abolish the curse in the restored holy city (Rev. 22:2,3).
Thus was the first revelation of the covenant of grace made by God, and throughout redemptive history, he made his covenants with Noah, Abraham, Moses, and David, each time revealing more about the second Adam who is coming – Jesus Christ the True Man who will fulfill all the covenants that God made with man. In Christ is the fulfillment of God’s promise in the covenant of grace: “And I will be their God, and they shall be my people” (Jer. 31:34).
1. Covenant theology is the foundation of Reformed doctrines.
Although it does not have the unity of the covenant system, dispensationalism has “a new theology, anthropology, soteriology, ecclesiology, [and] eschatology.” Covenantalism, long neglected by the Reformed and Presbyterian community, also has its own system that may be the most important tool in challenging dispensationalism. John Murray affirmed God’s dealings with man through covenants, saying that covenant theology is “a distinguishing feature of the Reformed tradition because the idea of covenant came to be an organizing principle in terms of which the relations of God to men were construed.”16 Since covenantalism was developed by the early Reformers, it became strongly connected and foundational to Reformed doctrines. Geerhardus Vos affirms the concept of covenant as distinctively Reformed and is at the core of Scriptures,
To what, then, does one attribute the fact that from the beginning this concept of the covenant appears so much in the foreground of Reformed theology?…. The doctrine of the covenant is taken from the Scriptures. It came with the Reformation’s return to the Scriptures… Because Reformed theology took hold of the Scriptures in their deepest root idea, it was in a position to work through them more fully from this central point and to let each part of their content come to its own.17
Thus, covenantalism and dispensationalism are divided cleanly in their doctrines, without much overlap.
In anthropology and soteriology, dispensationalists are mostly Arminian, while covenantalists are [almost] always Calvinist. In ecclesiology, dispensationalists adhere to the dualistic view of the people of God, while covenantalists support the unity of the church in redemptive history. And lastly, while dispensationalists are always dispensational premillennialists, covenantalists are always non-dispensational in their eschatology.
Where covenantalism is taught, there is knowledge of Reformed doctrines; where dispensationalism is taught, non-Reformed doctrines are also prevalent. Peter Y. De Jong states that “wherever the Reformed religion made its appearance, the idea of the covenant became prominent.”18 It is not surprising then that covenantalists are usually found in Reformed and Presbyterian churches and institutions, and dispensationalists find it hard to accept Reformed doctrines. R. Scott Clark states the importance of the covenant:
“We cannot understand what God is doing in history apart from understanding one of the most important terms in Scripture: covenant.”
Thus, we can more systematically teach reformed eschatology through covenantalism, its foundational theology.