This was written in the 3rd century, AD, by Augustin, Bishop of Hippo
“The divine institution of sacrifice was suitable in the former dispensation, but is not suitable now. For the change suitable to the present age has been enjoined by God, who knows infinitely better than man what is fitting for every age, and who is, whether he give or add, abolish or curtail, increase or diminish, the unchangeable
Governor as He is the unchangeable Creator of mutable things, ordering all events in his Providence until the beauty of the completed course of time, the component parts of which are the dispensations adapted to each successive age, shall be finished, like the grand melody of some ineffably wise master of song, and those pass into the eternal contemplation of God who here, though it is a time of faith, not of sight, are acceptably worshipping Him.
If it is now established that that which was for one age rightly ordained may be in another age rightly changed, the alteration indicating a change in the work, not the plan, of Him who makes the change, the plan being framed by His reasoning faculty, to which unconditioned by succession in time, those things are simultaneously present which cannot be actually done at the same time because the ages succeed each other.”
This is for anyone who wants to read it, but particularly for folks who refer to themselves as “grace believers,” a community of Christians of which I am a part.
No doubt, I’ll be called a “hater” and accused of “sowing discord among the brethren” for saying what I’m about to say, but I am charged with speaking the truth, regardless of whose feathers it ruffles, so here it goes. For those who have ears, let them hear.
Like any other homogenous group, grace believers do not all agree on every point of doctrine. Anyone who follows discussions on social media knows this. But there are foundational doctrines to which all GBers are in lock step. One of these is the belief that the world now stands in what the apostle Paul refers to as “the dispensation of the grace of God.” (Eph. 3:1-3) We don’t all agree on the exact date it started, but everyone (I know of) agrees that it started at some point between A.D. 35 and A.D. 70, and that it is the program and gospel that God has ordained in the world ever since.1
Another foundational doctrine of this dispensation/spiritual economy is that God no longer makes any distinction between humans based on their gender, nationality, religious affiliation, or physical leanage. In other words, the ground is leveled in this dispensation, and no one comes to the Father except by the Son and the gospel.2
But this was not always the case, as God did, in time past, choose a people “unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.”3 All Bible students know who that was; the nation Israel, aka, the “twelve tribes of Israel.”4
Part of God’s promise to the nation Israel was that he would give them a land,5 and in that promise was the declaration that God would “bless them (nations) that bless thee (Israel), and curseth them that curse thee.”6 Furthermore, under the New Covenant, which belongs to Israel,7 it says: “For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted.”8
But grace doctrine teaches that the favored position the nation Israel occupied in time past, and will assume in a future time, is not in effect in the present dispensation (grace), as no nation, in God’s eyes, takes precedence over any others . As the apostle Paul plainly says, speaking to the church of the present dispensation,9 the nation Israel is now broken off and castaway10 They are presently in a state of “Loammi.”11
Therefore, in the present dispensation, any people or nation that forms or establishes a government12 and calls it “Israel,” cannot be the one God promised he would establish on the original land grant promised to Abraham’s seed. In other words, the government that was established on part of that land grant, through a series of wars (around 15, so far), which drove the people from it who had occupied it for 12 centuries,13 cannot be God’s Israel; therefore, they are imposters whose goal is to convince the world that they are indeed something they are not. So far, they have succeeded in accomplishing their goal, particularly among the Evangelical Christian community.
My point is this: the Evangelical community’s belief about Israel notwithstanding, what in the world is anyone who calls himself/herself a “grace” believer doing lending their voice of support on social media to these imposters presently occupying that land grant? Do you really believe, as Evangelicals believe, that God’s hand was in the repatriation of Palestine with European Jews in the first half of the twentieth century? And as they also believe, that America is going to come under a curse if we don’t continue the handouts to them (now totaling in the hundreds of billions of $$), and fight proxy wars on their behalf?
The usual response to this is that Israel is a U.S. ally, and as American citizens, we need to support them. This response is spurious, as there are many things that the U.S. government supports and advocates that no true grace believer can say amen to, and the list is way too long to enumerate here. Folks who think they can separate their political persuasions from their core beliefs are just deceived.
In conclusion, you either believe we’re in the grace dispensation (under grace), or we’re under the new covenant (under the law)–these two dispensations cannot be going on simultaneously, because the their respective doctrines–particularly concerning salvation and inheritance–are contrary, one to the other. Under the new covenant, true Israel is re-established in the land, and will rule the world from it. If this is now the case, then everyone must bless Israel to be blessed of God, and to avoid coming under a curse (see above sites). But if it’s the former, the grace dispensation, in which there is no chosen/favored nation/people of God, then by supporting Israel we are giving the lie to what we claim the truth to be about this, and standing in direct disobedience to God and his will for us in our lives, which is, that “all men be saved, and come unto the knowledge of the truth,” that is, “to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery.”14
All Scripture references are from the King James Bible. Please feel at liberty to distribute this or any other article on this site as you see fit.
It is also referred to as “the revelation of the mystery” – Ref. Romans 16:25-27 ↩
John 14:6; 1 Tim. 2:5,6; 1 Cor. 15:1-4 ↩
Duet. 7:6 ↩
Gen. 49:28 ↩
Gen. 12:1,7; 13:5; 15:7;17:8 ↩
Gen. 12:3 ↩
Ref Jer. 31:31-34 ↩
Isa 60:12 ↩
the body of Christ – Ref. Rom. 7:4; 12:4,5; 1 Cor. 12:13.27; Eph. 1:22,23; 2:6; 3;6; 4:4,12; Col. 1:18; 2:17,19; 3:15 ↩
Hosea 1:9; Romans 11:15:17 ↩
Hosea 1:9 ↩
under the new covenant, Israel is a government. Ref. Isaiah 9:6,7 ↩
the Palestinian Arabs, most of whom are also descendants of Abraham ↩
1 Tim. 2:3,4; Eph. 3:1-9 ↩