Gospel of the Kingdom
by Philip Mauro
HE LIMITETH A CERTAIN DAY
THIS brings us to a question of
great interest, namely: When the times of the Gentiles are ended.
What then? Will "the Day of the Lord" then come? Will
Christ appear suddenly as a thief in the night, as the lightning that
lighteneth from one part to another under heaven? Will the door of
salvation then be shut? Will the dead be raised and righteous separated
from the wicked? Will the eternal day of glory dawn, the New Jerusalem
come from heaven, and the new heaven and new earth appear? Or is there
to be, as is now commonly taught among evangelical Christians, a post-gospel
salvation for the Jewish nation, a salvation in which Gentiles also
are to have a subordinate portion? For it is now taught that after this
present era of the grace of God is ended; after the Gospel of Jesus
Christ and the convicting and -regenerating power of the Spirit of God
have done all they can do for the salvation of Jews and Gentiles
(as between whom it is written that there is no difference"); then
our Lord Jesus Christ will appear again in Person, and will be seen
by the entire Jewish nation (for this doctrine puts the fulfillment of
the prophecy, "His feet shall stand in that day on the Mount of
Olives" into the next "dispensation") and the
whole Jewish nation will be converted by the sight (Zech. 14:4). And
after that wholesale conversion of the Jewish nation (which meanwhile is
to be re-constituted in Palestine), those converted Jews are to go forth
into all the world as missionaries to the Gentiles. (See the
"Scofield Bible," note on Zech. 8:26).
By this same "authority" it is
"Israel as a nation always has
its own place, and is yet to have its greatest exaltation as the
earthly people of God" (note to Rom. 11:1).
"According to the prophets, Israel,
regathered from all nations, restored to her own land, and converted,
is yet to have her greatest earthly exaltation and glory" (note
to Rom. 11:26).
The order of these alleged future happenings,
as given in this new "Bible" is: First, "The return of
the Lord"; then "Restoration to the land"; and then "National
Conversion" (note to Deut. 30:3).
And not only is there to be a salvation
consisting of "earthly exaltation and glory" for the Jewish
race, but the whole earth is to have a system of worship consisting of a
revival of the sacrifices and other "shadows" of the law,
which Christ (according to God's Bible) abolished by His
sacrifice upon the cross (Heb. 10:1-9). For, according to the
"Scofield Bible," Jerusalem is yet to be the religious
center of the earth" (head line inserted above Zech. 8:20); and
further it is asserted that:
"In the days when Jerusalem has been
made the center of earth's worship, the Jew will then be the
missionary, and to the very nations now called 'Christians'" (foot
note on Zach. 8:23).
A RADICAL AND REVOLUTIONARY
Here is modernism with a vengeance. Think of it, my brethren!
For nineteen centuries it has been taught as one of the most
indisputable of Christian verities, that NOW is the day of salvation.
But here is a copyrighted "Bible" that tells us of a coming
day in which all the inhabitants of the earth will be saved and
blessed; a day in which the most glorious triumphs of the Gospel of
Christ will be made to look contemptibly cheap and insignificant; a day
when conversion will be on a national, a wholesale, and a world-wide
I protest against this doctrine, first of
all because of its radical and revolutionary character; seeing that the
teaching that there is to be another day of salvation, is subversive of
foundation truth plainly taught in the New Testament.
But besides this general objection, there
are certain specific objections to be considered; among which are the
1. This new doctrine proclaims a salvation different
in kind from (and of a distinctly inferior grade to) that
"common salvation" ("common," that is, to all races
and classes of men the world over) which the gospel of Jesus Christ
offers to all men everywhere, upon the essential condition of individual
repentance and faith.
2. The New Testament knows of but one
salvation; and that salvation is identified with the gospel of
Christ; which is expressly declared to be "the power of God unto
salvation" (Rom. 1:16). And another scripture, speaking of
Christ says, "Who hath abolished death and brought life and
immortality to light through the gospel" (2 Tim. 1:10). And
again, the apostle writes to the saints at Corinth concerning "the
gospel . . . by which also ye are saved" (1 Cor. 15:1,
12). But, without further citation of texts, I give it as the
indubitable teaching of the New Testament that "salvation" is of
one sort only, without any "respect of persons"; and that
it comes only "by the gospel" (Eph. 3:16). Hence, in
setting forth a different salvation, apart from the gospel
of Christ, this doctrine contradicts fundamental truth of the New
Testament. Here then is a matter for the serious attention of all
3. The doctrine in question proclaims
"a second chance" for some who reject God's mercy now offered
through the gospel. For whereas the New Testament, again and again, now
in one form of words and now in another, declares that there is no salvation,
no mercy, no hope, nothing but everlasting destruction
from the presence of the Lord, nothing save the blackness of darkness
forever, for those who reject the gospel, this doctrine says, not so,
but that a whole generation of Jews who have not obeyed the gospel will
be saved after the gospel day is over (to a lower grade salvation, to be
sure, but such as the natural heart greatly prefers); and that Gentiles
too will then be saved through the instrumentality of those Jews who are
to be converted apart from the gospel; and not by faith, but by sight.
In this respect dispensationalism resembles Russellism.
4. This doctrine sets forth a special
salvation (earthly supremacy and dominion) for Jews only. Thus it
builds again that "middle wall of partition" between Jews and
Gentiles, thereby undoing the work of the cross of Christ, which broke
that wall down (Eph. 2:14). In other words, it revives racial
differences which God has abolished forever, and makes Him a
"Respecter of persons" (2 Cor. 5:16; Mat. 12:50; Rom. 3:9, 22,
23; 10:12; Ac. 15:9; Eph. 2:14).
5. I have already indicated that the
salvation thus said to be reserved for persons of Jewish descent, is
more attractive to the natural heart than the salvation offered by the
gospel. But it should be noted particularly that is the very thing
the Jews had been taught by their blinded leaders to expect from their
Messiah; and it was because He did not fulfill the prophecies
according to their carnal misinterpretation of them, that they rejected
and caused Him to be crucified. Hence this doctrine vindicates the
attitude the Jews took towards Jesus Christ.
6. This new dispensationalism places
the special salvation whereof it speaks in an era subsequent to
that of the gospel; whereas the Scripture not only declares emphatically
that "now is the day of salvation," which expressly
limits salvation to this present era, but it also teaches impressively,
and in various ways, that there will be no mercy for any when once the
gospel day is ended. See Luke 13:23-2 7 (where the question was
"are there few that be saved?"); Luke 17:26-30 (noting
the words, "until the day," "the same day"); 2 Thess.
7. The new doctrine takes no account of the
truth that Jews, like all other human beings, belong either to the first
Adam, or to the last Adam; are either "in Adam" (where
"all die") or "in Christ" (where "all are made
alive"). Those Jews who are to be saved by this post-gospel
salvation, are neither one thing nor the other. (This will be
referred to more in detail hereafter). They are nondescript. Confessedly
they have no part in the first resurrection, else they would be given
glorified bodies, and be caught away to be with the Lord. Hence they
must be "flesh and blood"; but if so, then they cannot have
the Kingdom; for the same passage which describes the resurrection and
transformation of those that are "in Christ," contains this
emphatic declaration. "Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and
blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit
incorruption" (1 Cor. 15:50).
"NOW IS THE DAY OF SALVATION"
According to the teaching of the New Testament, salvation is strictly
limited to this era of the Gospel. This has been briefly stated
above; but it is of such importance as to call for further
consideration. For the gospel-appeal derives its urgency from the
revealed truth that there is but one day of salvation, and that
it is now.. What else could be the meaning of those words of
intensest earnestness: "Behold, now is the accepted time;
behold, now is the day of salvation" (2 Cor. 6:2)? Could those
words have been written if there were to be another "day of
salvation" for any part of the human race? Certainly not.
And how could the apostle Peter have
written that the Lord's seemingly long delay in fulfilling "the
promise of His coming" was because He is "not willing that any
should perish, but that all should come to repentance" (2 Pet.
3:9), if His coming was to be followed by day in which conversions are
to be on a wholesale and national scale? if the modern doctrine of a
Jewish millennium, whose blessings are to be shared by Gentiles, is the
revealed truth of God, then the very reasons that are given to explain
the great length of this present age (foreseen by Peter) would be
compelling reasons why the Lord's coming should be hastened.
The apostle says that "the
long-suffering of our God is salvation," which saying
clearly places "salvation" on this side of the Lord's second
coming. And then he appeals to the epistles of Paul as teaching the same
thing (vv. 15, 16) ; adding the significant statement that there are in
those epistles "some things hard to be understood, which they
that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other
scriptures to their own destruction."
The Holy Spirit seems to have had this
particular wresting of Paul's words that we are now discussing in view
when He inspired the following Scripture:
"Again He limiteth a certain day, saying
in David, Today, after so long a time, Today, if ye will
hear His voice, harden not your hearts" (Heb. 4:7).
For here the Spirit of God uses the word
"limiteth," which means to fix the boundary of
something; and what God has fixed the bounds of in this case is "a
certain day." Moreover, the context makes it plain that the
"day" that God has specially marked off from other days is
that wherein opportunity was to be given to men to enter into what He
here calls "My rest," whereof David and other prophets had
spoken. That "rest" yet "remaineth" (so the passage
tells us) "to the people of God" (v. 9); and it makes plain
that today is the time for entering into it (v. 11). That rest yet
"remaineth" for the reason as here expressly stated, that
"they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of
unbelief"; and therefore men are now exhorted to "labour to
enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of
That promised "rest" is what the
Jews mistakenly supposed to be an era of earthly wealth and ease and
world-leadership for themselves. And their error was fatal. How much
more culpable then, the error of those who now adopt the same false
interpretation of the prophecies, and who do it in the face of plain
Scriptures like the one we are considering; which definitely limits the
time for entering into God's rest to now; saying, "Today,"
and with the strong emphasis of repetition!
Beyond a doubt then, this passage teaches
that there will be no entering into God's rest, that is, no salvation
for any, after this gospel day shall have ended.
WHAT MANNER OF MEN ARE THESE?
In connection with this modern doctrine (modern among Christians,
that is) of a future Jewish millennium, there arises an exceedingly
perplexing question, namely: What sort of people are they who shall
inhabit the earth during millennial times?
The "dispensational" doctrine is
that the natural descendants of Jacob will be gathered back to
Palestine, still in impenitence and unbelief (Zionism is supposed
to be the beginning of this movement); that Christ will come to
"the air" above (unseen), will raise dead believers, change
the living and take all to glory (1 Th. 4:16, 17), thus leaving only
unsaved persons on earth; that the "great tribulation"
will then ensue and will last for seven years (this being the
"missing week" of Daniel's seventy); that thereafter
our Lord will continue His descent from heaven, will come visibly to
the earth and take His stand on the Mount of Olives (which will
thereupon be physically cleft into two parts, &c.) ; that the entire
Jewish nation will see Him and be instantly converted after some fashion
(see explanations below) ; that the Jews will then go forth and convert
the nations of the earth; that all mankind will enjoy uninterrupted
peace, plenty and every earthly gratification for a thousand years (all
going to Jerusalem every year to keep the feast of tabernacles) during
all which period of time the Jews will be in the place of leadership in
the world. Out of this teaching (and I think I have fairly stated its
main points as taught to me by men sound in the faith) there naturally
arises the question already stated: What sort of people will these
millennialites be? By the terms of the doctrine itself they will be
just natural men, "Jews" and "Gentiles." They
are not "in Christ"; for in Him there is neither Jew nor
Greek. Therefore they must be "in Adam," and hence subject to
So far as I am aware the copious literature
of those who propagate this doctrine of a Jewish millennium give no
definite answer to the above question. I have, however, lately seen in
print that the "tribulation saints" (those who go into the
millennium, thus constituting a link between this
"dispensation" and the next) are "a semi-Christian or
semi-Jewish body, who will be called out as witness to God before
the end of the present age." This is modernism truly; for the
notion of a people who are half-Christian and half-Jew being called out
as a witness to God, is a startling novelty.
Again, in a recent issue of an English
periodical, which specializes in the doctrine of a Jewish national
restoration during the millennium, there appeared an exposition of the
words of Christ: "The hour cometh, and now is, when the true
worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth" (John
4:23); concerning which verse the writer said:
"Observe, this statement leaves room
for a change of dispensation back again to the locality of Jerusalem
in millennial days."
So it does, indeed; and with equal truth it
might have been said that the passage leaves room for a change of
dispensation to the Sahara Desert.
And the writer proceeds to say that, in
those "millennial days," the worship of God in spirit and in
truth will be abolished the world over; and the Levitical system--with
its temple, altar, priesthood, feast days, and bloody animal
sacrifices--will be restored at Jerusalem and will become the religion
of all the nations on earth.
Thus the doctrine we are examining requires
that, during those blissful millennial times, the light of the Gospel of
Jesus Christ shall be wholly withdrawn from the earth. This is necessary
because otherwise it would be impossible to interpret certain Old
Testament prophecies literally, and make them fit into a post-gospel
But our expositor quoted above realized
that it would not do to leave the matter there; so he hastens to inform
his readers that, although the millenniumites will not be Christians,
(he says it is "an error" to suppose they will be) yet the
Jews of that day will be of a greatly improved type; that they
"no more rebellious or idolaters. They
shall be all religious; they shall be a nation of holiness, obeying
the Lord's commands fully; kings and priests to the Gentiles. . . In
all this is a great advance as it regards Israel." And how about
"The same advance shall be found in
regard to the Gentiles also. The remnant of the Gentiles shall own
the superiority of Israel, and shall obey and worship the Savior.
Idol-worship shall cease. Peace shall be enforced." (Is
not this a contradiction of terms?) "They shall go up from year
to year to worship at Jerusalem the Lord of hosts, and to keep
the feast of tabernacles."
The Scriptures, however, know nothing of a
third order of men, intermediate between the unregenerated children
of Adam and the regenerated sons of God.
And what, we would ask, is the agency that
will bring about this marvelous improvement in the dispositions and
characters of men? What is it that will accomplish "what the law
could not do?"
And finally let the reader notice the
atrociously false doctrine that myriads of people--whole nations, both
Jews and Gentiles--that have not obeyed the gospel of Christ, instead
of being "punished with everlasting destruction from the presence
of the Lord," are to be blessed with every carnal satisfaction and
delight for a thousand years, including a religion suited to men in the
flesh, being composed of forms and ceremonies and sacrifices, those
"weak and beggarly elements," in which, even when they served
temporarily a typical purpose, God declared He "had no
pleasure" (Heb. 10:6).
But this topic of the resumption hereafter
of the shadows of the law which Christ abolished by His Cross deserves a
more extended consideration. Therefore I take up at this point the
ARE BLOODY SACRIFICES TO BE RESUMED
That the resumption of bloody sacrifices is a part of God's revealed
plan for a future day is a prominent feature of the new
"dispensational teaching"; and specifically it is taught that
the sacrifices of bulls and goats, which Jesus Christ abolished by the
offering of Himself as a Sacrifice for sin "once for all," are
to be continued throughout the thousand years. It is explained that
those animal sacrifices are to be carried on for a "memorial"
of the Cross of Christ!
Thus in the "Scofield Bible" the
following occurs in a note on Ezekiel 43:19:
"Doubtless these offerings will be
memorial, looking back to the Cross; as offerings under the old
covenant were anticipatory, looking forward to the Cross."
But what saith the Scripture?
"But now once in the end of the world
hath He appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself"
(Heb. 9: 26).
"For it is not possible that the blood
of bulls and goats should take away sins. Wherefore, when He cometh
into the world He saith, Sacrifice and offering Thou wouldest not, but
a body hast Thou prepared Me. In burnt offering and offering for sin
Thou hast had no pleasure. Then said I (in the volume of the book it
is written of Me) lo I come to do Thy will, O God." And
what was that will of God which He came to do? It is plainly stated in
the word, "He taketh away the first that He may establish the
second" (Heb. 10:4-9).
In the light of this Scripture it is plainly
to be seen that the new dispensationalism contradicts the Word of God in
respect to a matter of the first importance, namely, the consequences of
the Sacrifice of Christ. For in the last quoted passages it is declared
that the coming of Jesus and His offering of Himself as a sacrifice was
for the very purpose of taking away those futile slaughterings of
animals "which could never take away sins." Moreover, the
wording of the verse last quoted above, indicates that the taking away
of the shadowy and futile sacrifices of the Levitical system was
necessary to the establishing of the Sacrifice of Himself as the true
sin-offering. And finally, the teaching of the entire context (Heb.
VIII-X) is to the effect that the Levitical system of sacrifices has
been abolished forever by the one Sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Therefore
the teaching of a future resumption of those sacrifices of bulls and
goats, that have been abolished at such a cost, is serious error; and
this is sufficient in itself to condemn the entire
"dispensational" system whereof it is a part.